- THE GIFT by Writingfundimension
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Tough Love
THE GIFT by Writingfundimension
Artwork by Renate-Bertodi at

Presentation script for:

                    THE GIFT





               DR. PRESTON :
     Under the terms of my contract
     with the Montrose school district,
     today was my last mandated visit
     with Gabriel Lynch. Given the
     the boy's 
desperate state, I
     hope to convince his parents to
     authorize continuation
     of treatment.
I've requested an
     urgent meeting with them to ...

Hears three sharp raps on the office door.

               DR. PRESTON:

(Clicks off the recording device and places a hard copy file in his desk drawer)

     Just a moment, please.

(Crosses the room and opens a door)

               DR. PRESTON:
rs. Lynch, Mr. Lynch thank you for
     coming on such short notice.

(Gestures towards a small sitting area)

     Would either of you like coffee? I've
     a fresh pot brewed.

               DELPHINE LYNCH:
     No thank you, Doctor. Morris and I
     shared a thermos of coffee and a tuna
     salad sandwich on the drive over here.

(Smoothes her dress and seats herself)

               DELPHINE LYNCH:
     We've just received an overseas order
     which requires a quick turnaround.
     Since you implied this matter
     needed to take precedence, naturally
     Morris and I dropped everything …

                MORRIS LYNCH:
     What my wife is trying to say
that your panic over
     our son's welfare is disappointing
     considering your
     reputation. We were led to believe that
     you've had a great deal of experience in
     the area of child psychology. You, of
     people, should be able to handle the
     irrational moods of a teenage boy.

               DOCTOR PRESTON:
Mr. Lynch, my years of
     experience have given me a pretty good
     barometer for the real and the imagined.
abriel's distress is real, and I might
     add, understandable given the

               MORRIS LYNCH
     Don't think you can intimidate me
     and my wife (Voice rises) with your
     high and
mighty tone. A piece of paper on
     your wall from
some fancy
     university, doesn't give
you the right
     to sit there and judge

               DELPHINE LYNCH:
(Pats her husband's hand)
     Calm down, dear. Remember your blood
     Have you ever experienced the loss of
     a child, Doctor Preston?

               DOCTOR PRESTON:
     No, I have not. But I am experienced
     in counselling grieving parents.

               DELPHINE LYNCH:
     Then you have no personal knowledge
     of the kind of burden our family has
     had to endure.

(Moves to the edge of the couch)

               DELPHINE LYNCH:
     Our eldest child's selfishness has left
     my husband and myself forced to put up
     with the humiliation
of strangers
     knowing our business. We are
     private people, Doctor Morris, who simply
     wish to be left alone.

(Leans back and crosses her arms)

               DOCTOR PRESTON:
     What about Gabriel's feelings? Have
     you considered that stealing a car
     might be the desperate act of a grieving,
     confused child? T
he suicide of an
     adored older brother is probably the
     most terrible thing he's ever had to

               Morris Lynch:
     I think I know what's going on here
Today was your last state-paid
     visit with
 Gabriel, wasn't it? This guilt
     trip you're laying on us is all nothing
     more than a ruse
to get us to continue your
     treatments with him. Not a bad business
     ploy. Seems we're really not that different
     after all, Doc.

               DOCTOR PRESTON:
(Places his elbows on his knees and locks together the fingers of his hands)
     Mr. and Mrs. Lynch, I need you to
     understand the events you have put
     into motion with your Christmas
     gift to Gabriel.

               MORRIS LYNCH:
     That gun was brought all the way
     from Austria by my grandfather.
     Now that Gabriel is the eldest child,
     we felt it was a very appropriate gift.

               DELPHINE LYNCH:
     I don't understand what you're getting
     at Dr. Preston. That gun is going to
     be worth a lot of money someday. Even
     more important, it's
a reminder to our
     son of the hard-working middle
     people that sacrificed indulgences
     and extravagances so the next generation
     could have an easier life.

               DOCTOR PRESTON:
     You don't find it the least bit
     inappropriate that you should give your
     only remaining child the gun his older
     brother used to shoot himself?

(The Lynchs rise and head for the door)

               DOCTOR PRESTON (Follows):
     I'm just asking for a month longer.
     If it's the money, I'm sure we can
     negotiate a payment plan. 

Mr. Morris exits. Mrs. Morris faces the psychiatrist)

               DELPHINE MORRIS:
     You doctors all have a God-complex.
     Well, let me tell you something,
     Doctor Preston, Gabriel is OUR son, and
     we feel h
e's old enough to understand
no place in this world for weak men.
     It's our responsibility to toughen him
     up. So
, you see, we have no intention of
your pockets with any of our hard
     earned cash. We're going to be just
     fine.(Patronizing smile) Thank you for all
     you've done
for us, Doctor Preston. Have a
     pleasant evening!





Author Notes
Adapted from my flash fiction contest entry which, in turn, was based on real events.

Artwork courtesy of Bertodi. Thanks.


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