“More than anything else, I remember the silence.”
Claude is uncomfortable.
“Yes. Silence. As in absence of sound.”
“You didn’t hear anything?” the one with the glasses and grey goatee asks. His question sounds accusatory.
“No, that is not what I said,” Claude continues. He is cautious now. “There may have been sound. Sounds even. But they were absent to me.”
“That’s a very interesting way of phrasing your experience, Claude. Please tell us more.”
Though he pretends to be friendly, the young one is dangerous. His mouth forms a lopsided buddy-like smile, but his eyes seem to lead Claude down a predetermined path. He knows what Claude is going to say, but wants to hear it said. That means Claude cannot lie to him.
“It’s hard to describe, okay? It’s like you asking me what chocolate tastes like, and I know you don’t have any reference points for chocolate – like sweet, or cocoa – so I have to ask myself how I would start to describe the taste for you. How would I start?”
“I don’t know, Claude.” It’s glasses and goatee again. “How about you try. They told us you were a smart guy, so go ahead and prove them right.”
Claude looks intently at him, ignoring the younger colleague for now. He looks for any kind of emotion. There are none.
“Did they really say that about me?” he tests.
The two men continue to stare at each other, but nothing gets betrayed. Damn this guy is good, Claude thinks to himself. They all are. They. They, who came to his home and knocked on his front door. They, who convinced him he was special and told him they had been watching him for years. They, who revealed he was finally ready for his test. They, like sound in his silence; absent.


8 thoughts on “Interview

  1. Evelyn

    I really respect the art of the short short story, but this one I REALLY wanted more.
    and I think thats a compliment.

  2. screen_scribbla Post author

    Hi Rachel. Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate them very much. But I also believe that we all are full of ideas for stories. The key, as you already mentioned is practice. But equally, is to have fun – not to pressure yourself. It is amazing how much more productive and creative I have become since not taking my writing too seriously! And just by the way, if you’d like to take one of the story ideas you’ve seen on my blog and make it your own, please do. Just let me know so that I can read your interpretation of it!

  3. Rachel Blahgs (sometimes)

    Every single one of your posts is a fabulous seed that could sprout into an intriguing screenplay… you’re sitting on a goldmine of ideas, damn you!

    (heh heh… I’m just jealous, because that’s what I lack. Don’t worry, I won’t steal yours… but this does give me hope that it can be done, I can come up with more ideas maybe if I stretch and use my writing muscles more. Practice, practice, practice – that’s the mantra that your blog is beating me over the head with. Ouch.)

  4. Find an Outlet

    Initially the reader feels empathy toward Claude—he’s innocent, outnumbered, and being manipulated by his interrogators. But both sides can play this cat-and-mouse game and they haven’t been watching him for nothing. Claude’s sense of danger either foreshadows his fear that his lies will be exposed, or that he will be falsely accused. We don’t know but now we want to. If this were the first chapter of a book, I wouldn’t throw it across the room!

    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      Great exposition there Debra! Yeah, I love ambiguous characters. Nobody is pure good or bad or evil. We only vacillate between them, usually depending on whose company we are in. Either that or I just outed myself!!! As mentioned above, I may revisit these characters sometime.

    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      I have to say that I want to know more too! This is one snippet so far that I could be tempted into fleshing out a bit more. Thanks for the encouragement.


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