(Recycled from 2008)
“Any similarities in the following to real people are purely coincidental.”
Flash Forward – Summer, 2027. Orlando, Florida. Setting: An old 1-story wood frame, weather-beaten house, window screens torn and hanging askew, paint peeling, shrubbery overgrown (think Edie Beale).
Two sisters, one age 65, with dark short hair flattened on one side from a night’s sleeping on a stained uncovered pillow, an elongated face strongly resembling Stan Laurel that shows the stress and disappointment of unfulfilled dreams as represented by her tattered crinkle fabric slacks and frayed t-sheet emblazoned with “arthurlizziemarilyn.com”; the other age 70, long gray hair to her ankles distracting from the several pencils protruding from her headr; wearing pinch nez glasses, a long floral gauze-like frock, barefooted she moves at a slow and aged pace, her back hunched as she carries a large 3-ring notebook cradled in her arm. The sun is nearly set and the room is dark and musky, the only light is from the computer screen.
They drink tea from delicate, ornate bone china cups and converse wistfully about never marrying or having children. Alone, save for each other, the conversation turns –
Agatha: She died 100 years ago today.
Ditz: Who died?
Agatha: Why, Lizzie, you old fool.
Ditz: How do you know that? What’s your source? And don’t call me Lizzie.
Agatha: I didn’t mean YOU Lizzie. I meant “our” Lizzie. Oh, nevermind.
Ditz: Well, I only ask for the source so that I can check it, but I may already have that information. Lessee, where did I put those other binders. (She steps over several cats and piles of xerox copies of newspapers going back 150 years, and picks up a stack of papers, dropping the binder from her arms and hitting her toe, causing her to jump awkwardly up and down, her foot landing in a pile of catshit.)
Agatha: I would laugh at you if you weren’t so pathetic.
Ditz: Ha! You haven’t laughed in years.
Agatha: Neither have you.
Ditz: Yes, but I said it first.
Agatha: No, *I* said it first.
Ditz: Said what?
Agatha: Said that you haven’t laughed in years.
Ditz: I thought you meant who said it first.
Agatha: Who said what first?
Ditz: (pulls a pencil out of her hair): I’m going to document that. What time is it?
Agatha: 8:07 pm.
Ditz: (she writes down 8:07 pm): Are you certain? How do you know that. What’s your source?
Agatha: The watch I’m wearing.
Ditz: You don’t have a watch.
Agatha. Well, if I had a watch it would read 8:07 pm.
Ditz: You’re making that up.
Agatha: No I’m not.
Ditz: Are too.
Agatha: Am not.
Ditz: Are! Are! Are!
Agatha: Why do you have 9 pencils poking out of your hair?
Ditz: I’m a researcher, remember? I’m a fact-checker. I need to have pencils with me at all times.
Agatha: What are you researching now?
Ditz: How many times Knowlton used the word “The” in his summation at the Trial.
Agatha: Hey, that’s a good one. I bet nobody’s ever thought of that.
Ditz: Uh huh. And another thing nobody’s thought about: When Lizzie went back up stairs to baste a sleeve….
Agatha: Sew on a button.
Ditz: Baste a sleeve.
Agatha: Baste a hem.
Ditz: Sew on a button.
Agatha: Baste a sleeve without a button.
Ditz: Hem a button.
Agatha: Whatever. What’s the other thing nobody’s thought about?
Ditz: Nobody’s thought about what?
Agatha: What you were going to say?
Ditz: What I was going to say about what?
Agatha: Watch it. You just stepped in cat shit again.
Ditz: Oh, I remember. When Lizzie went back upstairs which foot did she put on the first step. Her right foot or her left foot?
Agatha: I see. Because if she was right handed, her left hand would go on the railing and she would lead with her right foot.
Ditz: I’m checking the Witness Statements. It might be in there.
Agatha: You know who would know?
Agatha: Phoebe Bowen. Or maybe Luranna. One of the two.
Ditz: I think I need to measure the size of Lizzie’s feet first.
Agatha: How can you do that?
Ditz: By taking her body composition times the length of her elbow to tip of her middle finger, dividing by 7 and calculating her height without shoes against the depth of the stairs and factoring the humidity of the air and the number of birds in the pear tree.
Agatha: Sounds plausible. Don’t bother me now, I’ve got to finish working on my presentation.
Ditz: Another one???
Ditz: But you just gave me one this afternoon.
Agatha: But this one’s different. This one’s in Dutch.
Ditz: Okay. I’ll make us some soup.
Agatha: You’ve got a cat turd stuck to your dress.
Ditz: How do you know? What’s your source?