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Movie Pet Peeves #4: Filler Dialogue

EXT. LOST ISLAND - DAY

SAWYER sits at a campfire, roasting a fish on a stick.  He's looking especially handsome today, with just a light smudge of dirt on his brow.  (The pretty kind of dirt, not the fecal kind.)

BEN walks out of the jungle, holding a BOX.  He sits on the other side of the fire, sets the box next to him, and warms his hands.

SAWYER
What's that?

BEN
What’s what?

SAWYER
(Nodding to box)
That.

Ben looks down at the box and pats it with a gentle hand.  He turns his piercing gaze back to Sawyer.

BEN
It’s a box, Sawyer.

Sawyer chuckles, then tosses the hair out of his eyes.

SAWYER
I can see that, Hercule Poirot.  What’s inside?

BEN
The same thing that has always been inside.

SAWYER
Which is?

BEN
Something that you should have seen a long time ago.

SAWYER
I’ll bet.  Is it something I can see now?

Ben scoffs, then stands and walks a few paces toward the ocean.  He gazes ruefully at the waves.

BEN
You know, this island wasn’t always just an island.  It used to be a community.

SAWYER
Was it a community that knew what was inside boxes?

BEN
You have no idea.

Ben turns slowly, and again his death-stare meets Sawyer.

BEN
You have no idea what is in the box.

SAWYER
Exactly.  You can fix that, you know.

BEN
Can I?

SAWYER
Jesus Christ, Ben, why do you have to be such a weirdo?  Just show me what’s in the damn box.

BEN
I’ll show you.

Ben stomps back toward his spot at the fire, kicking sand in the air as he trudges.  He snatches the box and holds it high.

BEN
I’ll show you if you think you’re ready.

SAWYER
Ready for what?

BEN
Ready for your future.

SAWYER
Is my future going to involve that box being open?

BEN
Your future will be the same thing it has always been....
(Beat)
An event that hasn’t happened yet.

SAWYER
Son of a bitch!

Sawyer throws the stick into the fire and jumps to his feet.

SAWYER
Listen, asshole, I've got a long day ahead of me!  There’s like six hatches that we have to explore!  Can you quit dicking around and open the goddamn thing already?!

Ben smirks knowingly.  He places his fingers on the lid and pulls gently - but does not open the box.

BEN
Before I open the box, there’s something you should know.

SAWYER
What’s that?

BEN
Something you should have known a long time ago.
(Beat)
The box is a mystery, waiting to be solved.

SAWYER
Ben, I swear to God, if you don’t open that right now....

JACK walks by the fire and stops.

JACK
(Glum)
Hey, guys.

They turn to him for a moment.

JACK
I just feel so bummed about my dad.

He sighs.

JACK
Well, see ya.

Jack leaves.  Sawyer and Ben lock gazes again.

Ben drops the box in the fire.

SAWYER
No!  What the hell, man?!

BEN
You’re better off not knowing.

Sawyer tries to get a glimpse, but the fire is too strong - the box has been destroyed already.  He can only stare as it burns.

Finally, Sawyer looks back at Ben, then points with an accusing finger.

SAWYER
You know what?  This is why nobody came to your birthday party.

Sawyer leaves.

BEN
(Sighing)
I know.

- FIN -