During long drives, which are now a daily occurrence in my life, I often find myself writing scenes in my head - snippets, perhaps, from a novel struggling to be born. Sometimes I don't know anything about the characters or their situation except what their brief exchange reveals. Here are some of these snippets, just for archival purposes....
SON: Mother, I would like you to meet my fiancee.
MOTHER: Really? What a surprise. Isn't it customary to wait until after the wedding before you introduce the bride to her mother-in-law?
SON: Now, mother, I...
MOTHER: What is its name? Can it talk?
GIRL: My name's Harlow.
MOTHER: Enchanted, my dear. I trust you spell it in the French fashion, with a silent t at the end?
GIRL: Au contraire, madame. It's spelled just like the film star of your generation.
SON [gasps in shock]
MOTHER: Oooh...I like this one!
[Scene: An airport. At an appointed place, an arriving child meets a parental unit, who is impatiently pacing. The boy's clothes are soiled from a mishap that happened in flight.]
BOY: Been waiting long?
MAN: Only since half past the fall of the Hittite empire. What happened to your clothes?
BOY: It's a long story.
MAN: Well, you're not getting into my car like that. Have you got something to change into?
BOY: What, here?
[Later. In the car.]
BOY: Why did you...?
MAN: Did it do any harm?
BOY [confused]: No, but...
MAN: Then let it go, all right?
BOY: I was just...
MAN: I'm not going to argue about this.
BOY: I know, but...
MAN: And I have no interest in listening to you argue by yourself. So I suggest that you drop it.
BOY: I'd like to kiss you.
GIRL: I'd like to see you wear a necklace of your own teeth... but we can't have everything we want.
[Later. The girl desperately needs a favor from the boy.]
GIRL: Whatever you want.
BOY: How about that kiss?
GIRL: Don't press your luck.
BOY: You said anything.
GIRL: All right, but if...
BOY: No ifs, ands, or buts. These are my terms.
GIRL: O brother... I shouldn't have asked.
BOY: Five seconds. Open mouths. My hand on the back of your head.
GIRL: [Sigh.] Go on.
BOY: And no biting!