And a Little Child will Lead Them | Dialogue for a Film Short

Abby lied about the cookie.

Yes, honey, I know. She did. And that was wrong.

Yup.

Yup.

Why is it wrong, Grandma?

Wrong to lie? Well, Sweet Pea, if you think about it, people could hardly carry on a conversation if they couldn’t expect that other people were telling the truth. Mostly.

Why doesn’t the President tell the truth then, Grandma?

Because there is something wrong with him honey.

Will Abby go to hell then, Grandma?

Oh, my, honey, no. Whatever gave you that idea?

The minister said what when a husband cheats on his wife, he’s a liar and an adulterer and for either one of these reasons, the Devil will TAKE HIS SOUL.

You shouldn’t be listening to that stuff, Zoë.

Mama says we should always listen in church.

I need to have a talk with Reverend Windle.

What about?

About little ears.

But he has great big ears. With hair in them.

That he does.

Grandma?

What, honey?

What does the Devil want with all those souls? Grandpa needs workers on the farm, but it’s not like the Devil’s got farms down in Hell and needs people to set his tobacco. . . . Does he?

Well, I guess not.

So what does he want them for?

Maybe misery just loves company.

It don’t make any sense.

It doesn’t make any sense.

That’s what I said. What does he want with all those nasty old souls?

I don’t know. Maybe souls are pretty, like butterflies.

Flutter-bys. You’re funny, Grandma. But serious. Why does he want them?

Well, as I understand it, it’s not that he wants them or needs them. He just sorta collects them outta spite.

You mean to make God mad?

Yes.

Grandma?

Yes?

When are you going to die?

Not soon, honey. Why?

When you see God, could you tell Him something for me?

Anything you like, child.

Tell Him all this bickering over souls is foolish and they should just stop it and play a nice game of checkers.

OK, honey. I’ll do that. Soon as I see Him.

I love you, Grandma.

Love you too. Goodnight, Sweet Pea.

Night, Grandma.

Honey?

Yes, Grandma?

You know people say you’re not supposed to talk back to your elders.

Yes

Well, God, you know, is just about as elder as you can get.

But I wasn’t talking back, Grandma. I was just explaining.

Oh, I see. OK. Don’t you ever stop doing that.

Doing what?

Explaining.

Copyright 2018. Robert D. Shepherd. All rights reserved.

About Bob Shepherd

interests: curriculum design, educational technology, learning, linguistics, hermeneutics, rhetoric, philosophy (Continental philosophy, Existentialism, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, ethics), classical and jazz guitar, poetry, the short story, archaeology and cultural anthropology, history of religion, prehistory, veganism, sustainability, Anglo-Saxon literature and language, systems for emergent quality control, heuristics for innovation
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