The Experiment

This is a writing exercise that turned out rather well. Some friends said it was too funny not to post, so here it is. The directive was to take a childish habit and give it to an adult character.

OH:     Why do you do that?
EG:     Do what?
OH:     That…with the hair?
EG:     What am I doing?
OH:     You’re twisting your hair around with your fingers.
EG:     So what?
OH:     My sister used to do that when she was little.
EG:     I’m sure a lot of people do it.
OH:     Yes, I know that, but it’s just that, given the circumstances, it’s a little…
EG:     Distracting?
OH:     That’s as good a word as any.
EG:     What does it matter?
OH:     I suppose it doesn’t in the grand scheme.
EG:     My grand scheme, or yours?
OH:     The.
EG:     Oh. Yes, it doesn’t
OH:     Mmm.
EG:     Why?
OH:     Why what?
EG:     Why did you want to know?
OH:     Know what?
EG:     Why did you want to know about twirling my hair?
OH:     I was just curious where you picked it up. I never asked my sister.
EG:     You think our answers would be the same?
OH:     That hadn’t even occurred to me.
EG:     Then why?
OH:     As I was lying here, I just realized I never asked her.
EG:     So instead you asked me?
OH:     No, not instead. I just asked.
EG:     I don’t understand
OH:     You wouldn’t.
EG:     Meaning what?
OH:     Well, people really aren’t your forte.
EG:     Can’t argue with you there.
OH:     No.
EG:     Mmm.
OH:     You never answered, by the way.
EG:     What?
OH:     Why you twist your hair…
EG:     Oh. A nervous habit, I expect.
OH:     Nervous? Why are you nervous?
EG:     It’s an expression.
OH:     A bad one given the situation.
EG:     How about an anxious habit?
OH:     That fits better.
EG:     Yes, it does. I’ll have to remember it.
OH:     Please do.
EG:     Is that why your sister did it?
OH:     I don’t think so.
EG:     What then?
OH:     When she was little I think it was just something to do with her hands.
EG:     And now?
OH:     Now she does it when she’s vulnerable, scared.
EG:     And you thought I was…
OH:     …No.
EG:     No?
OH:     Like I said, I realized I never asked her.
EG:     Oh…yes.
OH:     Yes.
EG:     Are you antagonizing me?
OH:     Not intentionally. Maybe it’s ingrained.
EG:     There’s a thought.
OH:     What’s this contraption supposed to do?
EG:     It’ll slowly lower you into a vat of lampreys.
OH:     Lampreys, huh? Not sharks?
EG:     Cliché is one thing, but sharks are passé.
OH:     Mad Scientists follow fads?
EG:     Well, actually the sharks kept dying.
OH:     I see.
EG:     …
OH:     …
EG:     Shall we get on with this then?
OH:     Sure. But first…
EG:     Yes?
OH:     Please stop twisting your hair.

A note for any curious readers: EG stands for Evil Genius and OH is Our Heroine.

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