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Preston Dirges and the New Day

The last episode of Preston Dirge’s office saga featured Tina, working on her comic, drawing her alter ego as she battles her demons. Now events return to Preston, and to Valerie, who is dreading the morning after the night before…

Int. Preston’s Floor – Morning

Valerie skulks in late. Preston is typing at his computer.

PRESTON: Morning. You look like a public health campaign, raising awareness about the evils of drink.

VALERIE: Good morning.

Valerie sits at the table for a long time, waiting for Preston to speak.

PRESTON: Did you want to ask something?

VALERIE: No.

PRESTON: Don’t you want to ask for some work to do? You usually do.

VALERIE: No.

PRESTON: Alright, I’ll ask a question then. What’s your excuse for being late? It’s important to arrive on time.

VALERIE: Funny.

PRESTON: I’m serious. People notice if you’re late. If you’re tired, don’t have a lie in. Just sleep when you get here. You’ve got it easy. Now there’s a whole floor where you can sleep undisturbed. When I started, I used to have to sleep in the toilet, with my cheek resting on the toilet roll.

Valerie sits in silence, restless.

PRESTON: What?

VALERIE: Don’t make this more awkward than it already is.

PRESTON: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

VALERIE: Where were you this morning? Did we…?

PRESTON: Have sexual intercourse? I’m a bit old for you, aren’t I?

VALERIE: Is that a roundabout way of saying I’m too young for you?

PRESTON: No.

VALERIE: Then don’t tell me who’s too old or too whatever for me.

PRESTON: Okay, but don’t worry. We didn’t break any rules about intra-office liaison. (Pause) Are you saying I’m not too old? That if drunk enough, you’d contemplate having sex with me?

VALERIE: Preston! I don’t think this is an appropriate topic of conversation.

PRESTON: Perhaps not, but you brought it up.

VALERIE: (Clasps her hand across her mouth) Don’t talk about bringing things up.

PRESTON: Don’t worry. You didn’t do anything shameful, apart from drinking too much. You fell asleep, so I carried you to your bed. I struggled with the sofa bed for a while, then gave up and slept on the floor. At 6am I woke up feeling stiff and cold, so I went home, got ready, had breakfast for a change, and came in – on time.

VALERIE: You didn’t set my alarm for me.

PRESTON: No.

VALERIE: Well, there’s my excuse for being late, boss.

Valerie lays her head on the table, but is restless.

VALERIE: Seriously, Preston, what are we doing today?

PRESTON: Nothing. There’s nothing to do today. I’m going to write some personal emails. You can just chillax.

VALERIE: All day?

PRESTON: Yup.

VALERIE: Are you being serious?

Cut to Black

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