2017 Dialogue-Writing Challenge: Day 6
Scott Myers

2017 Dialogue-Writing Challenge: Scene 3


LENA is outside the room, by a glass door badly attached to a drywall. The blinders are closed, and she’s visibly concerned about someone arriving.

LENA: Come on, Dave! He could be here at any minute!

DAVE is sitting on a chair, behind a desk whose plate reads “John Adelstein, Exec. VP”. Whose computer he’s apparently hacking into.

DAVE: Calm down, I’m almost there.

Lena looks to the end of the hall, and a chubby, balding man is walking towards her, checking his smartphone.

LENA: Whoa, he’s coming! What do I do?

DAVE: Don’t let him in! Go talk to him!

LENA: Me? And what do I say?

DAVE: Anything! Just go!

Dave’s POV reveals his acts: he’s copying entire folders into a thumb drive. He’s using the front USB port, meaning slower transfers.

LENA: How long?

DAVE: One minute. Go!

Someone stops Mr. Adelstein, gives him a report and he takes a brief look before saying goodbye and heading his office. Lena closes the door before he sees her. She walks towards him, and he notices it.

LENA: Mr. Adelstein!

JOHN: Oh, Ms. Maya. Didn’t see you today. Good morning!

LENA: It’s Mayer, sir.

JOHN: ‘Course it is. What can I do for you?

LENA: It’s about the quarterly reports…

JOHN: Yes, I got ’em right here! Gonna skim through ’em, then I’ll call your desk.

For Mr. Adelstein, it’s settled.

LENA: No, wait a moment, sir…

John was about to enter his office.

JOHN: Yes?

LENA: Who gave you this report? Was it Doug?

JOHN: Yes, Doug. Mr… Barnes. Why?

Dave is still behind the desk. But now Mr. Adelstein is turned away from the door, looking at Lena.

LENA: Well, it’s just…

JOHN: What?

LENA: I think he gave you an outdated version.

She tries to grab the papers from his hands. He objects.

JOHN: W-well, I’ll see to that. You’re very kind, Ms. Mayer. But —

LENA: No, really, you’ll just waste your time —

Dave is furiously typing something.

JOHN: Please let go —

The folder opens and the papers fall to the ground.

LENA: I’m sorry, I’m gonna pick them —

JOHN: Don’t worry, I got it. I’m just going to put my briefcase inside.

John goes right inside his office. Dave is caught sitting behind his computer.

JOHN: Mr. Hull?

Lena freezes in the ground. That’s it, she’s fired.

JOHN: Can you explain why are you —

Dave turns the computer screen to his boss. In his desktop wallpaper there’s a picture of him, written “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” all over.

DAVE: Sorry boss. Lena was supposed to stall you.

John smiles.

JOHN: Oh, you shouldn’t! How did you know it’s my birthday?

DAVE: Well, I work in HR, it’s my job.

Lena finally lets the air out of her lungs.

Dave gives John an awkward side-hug, holding the thumb drive behind his back. He signals “positive” to Lena.