I've had this story batting around in my head for a while, basically my answer to shadownex 's master work. I was thinking about it today when a little scene, complete with dialogue, popped into my head. I typed it out as best I could; what you are about to see is a very early rough draft. It's kid of written in an odd stream-of-consciousness/script style, so forgive the odd organization.
My characters don't have names yet, and are therefore referred to as "boy" and "girl". To make it easier to understand, "girl" is the main character from a world like our own, who is on a quest to find five mysterious things that, upon being given to a strange benefactor, will cause all of her dreams to come true. (I know that sounds cliche, but I'm exhausted. "Boy" is someone she's met on her travels through the dimensions; he's a rock star from a place where your appearance is changed by a mere thought and image is, literally, everything. However, looking beautiful and having it all comes at a rather high price (another cliche, I know. Shut up.)
Anyway, this dialogue will take place in the middle of the story, after a failed attempt by "girl" to collect one of the objects she needs. Angry and disgusted with herself, she proceeds to tear apart her room and smash a mirror in frustration. The dialogue begins after the outburst.
Before we start, I ask you all to be kind. This is my first official attempt at fiction in at least five years...
Also, forgive any spelling/grammar/punctuation errors. I'm sleepy.
The first thing we see is his face. The door is cracked open a bit, and he’s looking in on her. His expression is a mix of sadness and understanding; we have the feeling that he’s been here himself.
Next we see her, in silhouette. She’s sitting on the floor, curled up and looking crumpled. She’s exhausted after her rampage, but not all of it has to do with the physical energy she’s expended. There are no sound effects, but if there were, it would be the gentle sighs of someone crying. She manages to stand up, but she doesn’t go anywhere.
We’re back to him now. He’s opening the door and stepping inside.
Boy: Can I come in?
She doesn’t say anything. Instead, she turns her body away from him, not in an unfriendly manner, but in a way that suggests she doesn’t want him to see her. He continues to walk in. We see things from his point of view- her figure shadowed in the window, the clothes she’s ripped and thrown about, the wreck of the room, the shattered mirror, and the glass on the floor. It is VITAL that we see what is on the floor…
Boy: I…figured I should come in and check on you. Believe me, I know from personal experience that you shouldn’t be left alone when you feel like this. If you don’t want to talk, that’s fine, I understand. I’ll just stay in the room with you, ok? Don’t feel like you have to talk to me if you don’t want to, either-
He stops short. We are seeing things from his perspective now; an angled shot of his sock-clad feet and her black boots and lower legs. On the floor between them are red, wet spots. The next shot is of his face.
Boy: Oh my god, you’re bleeding! Are you ok? Let me look at it.
We see him walking towards her, but she walks away from him. Finally, she speaks.
Girl: I don’t want you to look at me.
Boy: Why not?
Girl: Just don’t, ok? I don’t want you to see me.
The boy obliges; we see him close his eyes.
Boy: OK, suit yourself. He begins to “look” around, turning his head back and forth but not opening his eyes. I’m not really sure how I’m going to fix your hands if I can’t see them, though. Why don’t you want me to see you, anyway?
It’s important that there are two panels now- one to house her silhouette and the other in which we finally see her face. In the second panel, we see that she’s been crying hard- her eyes are red, and the make-up around her eyes is running. It isn’t comedic or overdramatic or even pitiful, just heart-wrenchingly sad. We get the feeling that she’s been holding a lot in, and this is the first good cry she’s had in a very long time. However, she looks more embarrassed than anything else. She hesitates, then finally speaks, turning her head downward in the third panel.
Girl:…because I’ve been crying.
The boy’s eyes open in surprise.
Boy: Is that it? Why are you so worried about that?
Girl: (defensively) I hate it when people see me cry, ok? She walks away angrily, but stops after a just a few steps and sits down. I hate crying in front of people. It’s a sign of weakness. People know they have you when you cry; they know that they’ve won the fight or the argument or whatever. All your defenses are down, and you have nothing left, and at that point you can’t fight back or resist or anything. You’re officially defeated. And when you cry like this, when you’re frustrated, well, that just means that you can’t deal with stuff. Tears start to run down her face again, but she’s so far in thought that she doesn’t wipe them away. You’re not strong enough. You really are weak, just like you always thought…she trails off and curls up again.
The action goes back to the boy. While the girl has been talking, we see that he’s found a bowl, which he’s filled with water, and some gauze. He’s standing in the background, holding these things. She’s in the foreground with her hands around her legs, her chin resting on her knees.
Boy: I see. He walks around in front of her to inspect her hands. There’s glass shards stuck in them from her smashing the mirror, but the bleeding is slowing. He reaches out and takes one of her hands in his.
Boy: This is probably going to sting a little…he begins to gently pull the shards out of her hands. She winces a little, but doesn’t complain. She isn’t looking at him, and he’s looking down, concentrating on his task and respecting her request. After a while, he speaks.
Boy: I wouldn’t worry too much about the crying. There’s nothing wrong with it. I don’t think any less of you if you cry, and I know no one out there does, either. He pauses for a moment and looks downward. In fact, I wish I could cry. It’s stuff like this…crying, bleeding…it lets you know that you’re alive, you know? He looks serious and lost in thought. I can’t remember the last time I cried.
She looks up, and now it’s her turn to be surprised.
Girl: What do you mean? You can’t bring yourself to cry, or…?
Boy: No, it isn’t that, it’s just…he trails off. When he starts speaking again, it’s partially to her, partially to himself.
Boy: When I was younger, before the whole fame thing, I cried a lot. Well, not a lot, but an average amount, I suppose. When I started to get into everything, though, the whole fame thing, that changed. I suppose I was just going along with the image at first- rock stars don’t cry. Hell, what could they have to worry about? You know, I was famous, had money, dating a pop star…people like that don’t cry.
The next few paragraphs are illustrated pretty much as they are written, unless there is a specific instruction as to how a scene should look.
The thing was, though, that after I stopped, I couldn’t start up again. Me- (he catches himself) She and I would go out to movies or a concert, and you’d see something that really moved you, and I’d feel it, but I couldn’t react at all. All these people around me would be sobbing, and I’d just sit there with this ache in my chest that couldn’t go anywhere.
And it only got worse. Once things really started to take off, I just…I started having trouble dealing with it. I’d get pissed off for no reason; I’d hit these low points where I’d be so depressed that it took everything I had just to wake up, and still tears wouldn’t come. That ache just kept getting bigger, too, like it was spreading all over my chest, and I didn’t know how to stop it.
I can’t remember the last time I cried, but I remember the last time I wanted to. It was one night when I hurt my hand.
Girl: How’d you hurt it?
There is a panel in which we see the boy smashing a mirror, exactly like the girl did earlier (before this passage).
Boy: An accident.
Afterward I looked at my hand, and there were cuts but no blood. It’s like I was being mocked: first no tears, and then no blood. It’s like all the liquid was just draining out of me, and I was nothing but-
Girl: An empty shell.
The boy looks startled and involuntarily looks at her face. They stare at each other for a few moments, then break the gaze.
Boy: Yeah. Exactly.
Both of them are silent. The boy goes back to his task, and for a few moments, nothing is said.
Girl: It’s like a fairy tale.
Girl: You know, a fairy tale, a story. It’s like someone took your emotions away from you or something, only there’s no clear-cut way on how to get them back. In fairy tales, the hero usually has to rescue the girl or whatever to save his kingdom or get his powers back. But for you it’s different; you don’t have a girl to rescue.
Boy: I thought that girl might have been Melina, but I was wrong. She was beyond help. Ow!
The boy clutches his hand, then involuntarily puts his thumb in his mouth. With his thumb still in his mouth, he speaks.
Boy: I gut my hinger on thome of some of that gwass! Damn, that hurts! Suddenly, his eyes widen and he jerks his thumb back out of his mouth.
Girl: What happened? Did you get glass in your tongue?
Boy: (excited) No, I tasted salt! We see him looking at his finger, and his expression is ecstatic.
Boy: Oh god…oh god…
Boy: I’m bleeding. I’m fuckin’ bleeding! (He’s smiling) God, look at that! Look! It’s blood!
Girl: (She, too, is smiling) Yeah, it is!
Boy: This is great! Do you know what this means? It…I’m…(he inhales sharply and we see tears in his eyes. He looks at the girl in disbelief) I’m crying.
The girl begins crying again, only this time she’s happy.
Girl: Yeah, you are!
Their wounds forgotten, them embrace each other. The boy holds the girl tightly and buries his face in her shoulder.
Boy: Thank you…
The same picture used for the “thank you” panel is used again, only the colors are different. We see that the two are being watched through a crystal on a string. The crystal is being held by a man who is neither old nor young, tall nor short. He has black hair and dark eyes. As he watches them, he speaks.
Tell me what you think, if you're so inclined. Also feel free to ask questions if you're totally lost...