Monday, 6 February 2017

The Mistake

For audio click here
“Yes, we loved your material, really loved it,” the voice on the other end of the line said. 
George punched the air and wiggled his hips. This was amazing, amazing, this was the news he’d been waiting for the last twenty years of his life. Twenty years slaving over a sticky keyboard and finally, finally, someone appreciated his art. 
“Listen, I see in your cover letter that you have written other episodes. Please send them over. No, better still come in to the office and we’ll have a chat, bring the episodes with you. How does 10 o’clock Tuesday sound?”
10 o’clock Tuesday sounded like music to George’s ears, sweet, sweet music. 
“I told you, Mary,” George said when he put the phone down. “I told you it would all be worth it. I’m going to be a star.” 
His wife smiled at him and patted him on the arm. 
“Great news George, but don’t get your hopes up love, it’s only a meeting.” 

“So, good to meet you, George,” Russell smiled and stretched his arm out signalling for George to sit down. “So good to meet you. So, you’ve been writing for twenty years?”
George took a deep breath, he could feel the sweat rolling down his back like rain on a bus shelter window. He nodded.
“I really loved your female characters; the way you get inside their minds. I honestly thought when I phoned you I was going to be talking to a woman.” 
George smiled. He was mentally flicking through the pages of his manuscript wondering what female characters Russell could possibly be talking about. There was a nurse in one scene, but she only said two words. 
“Especially Elaine. Elaine was a fantastic character.” 
“Oh yes,” George said. The sweat had turned into rivers; there was no Elaine in his script. 
“She was a feisty little minx. I do like a strong woman.” 
“Oh yes.” George didn’t know what to do. This was terrible, terrible. it was the end of the world. Should he admit that Russell was not talking about his work or just go along with it? 
“She was a joy to write, let me tell you.” he found himself saying. “Well, here are my other scripts,” he said, holding up his pen drive. “Hope you enjoy them.”
“Great, I can’t wait to get started,” Russell said. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got another meeting to get to.” 
George stood up and noticed the sweaty silhouette of his bottom on the seat. He shook Russell’s hand. 
“We’ll be in touch,” Russell said, walking George to the elevator, “soon.” 
The lift brought George back down to earth with a bump. That was that, dream over, over, before it had even begun. 

“George,” Mary’s voice echoed up the stairs. “George!” 
‘I’m in the bath.” He heard his wife’s footsteps and the bathroom door swung open. 
“It’s Russell,” she handed him the phone.
“Hello, Russell.” 
“George, what a fool you must think I am.” 
George didn’t say anything, but he agreed wholeheartedly with the man on the other end of the line. 
“A whole meeting where I discussed the wrong script.” Russell was laughing, trying to make light of it, George was glad you couldn’t murder someone over the phone. “Anyway,” Russell continued. 
Here it comes thought George, here it comes, terribly sorry for the mix-up, hope you can forgive us, good luck with your work, yada bloody yada. 
“We loved your material, really loved it, we’re going to make a pilot.” 
George dropped the phone into the bath.