Young Writers Society

E - Everyone

Mind Games (Draft 1)

by RavenBlack



A cheap, simple apartment close to the city. ANDREA SUMMERS, mid 20s, wakes reluctantly to the SOUND of her alarm clock. The time, 6:00. She stares at the ceiling for a while before forcing herself out of bed and heading into the bathroom.


ANDREA pours milk into her bowl of cereal. With a spoonful, she puts it to her mouth. She grimaces. The milks cold. Throwing the cereal into the bin, she curses. Picking up her flask and her briefcase, she heads for the door.

The SOUND of the rain greets her before she opens the door. Hastily, she puts on her coat, covers her head with her hood and makes her way to work.


ANDREA holds her briefcase close to her chest as she waits for the train, her free hand in her pocket, a constant reminder that her phone and house keys are there. The platform is crowded.


The train approaching Platform 1, is the 06:30 train to Westminster.

At the train's arrival, the crowd becomes rowdy as people try to secure themselves a seat on the train. ANDREA doesn't bother to fight her way through the crowd, instead when she gets on, she stands in the gangway.

Among the crowd, ANDREA's eyes catches the attention of an elegant BUSINESSWOMAN in her mid 30s. She walks with a powerful stride in her step as she makes her way pass the passengers before claiming her reserved seat.

When the BUSINESSWOMAN catches ANDREA staring, ANDREA quickly refrains and focuses her attention to the window opposite her as the train begins to move.


A neo-futurism inspired office building towers among the city, the famed prize of Futurism Technologies.

A man-made Babel. ANDREA finds herself staring in awe at it's structure, despite how many times she's seen it.

The HONK of a CAR snaps ANDREA back to reality. Embarrassed she apologies as she moves out of the way. As a line of expensive cars parades pass her, a dim hunger grows in her eyes but it fades as soon as it appears.


ANDREA presses the button for the 5th floor. As the elevator door closes, ANDREA immerses herself in the silence. Her eyes are closed. The SOUND of her rapid heartbeat decreases. She's at peace for a brief moment.

Then the elevator doors open and a BURST of SOUND floods into ANDREA's ears. With a deep breath, she makes her way through the office.

MAN #1

(giving her a pile of paper)

Get this to Mark would you.

ANDREA takes it with a fake smile and moves on.


(placing a bulky folder on top of ANDREA's pile of papers)

Could you look over this for me? I'd hate to show the boss, anything that had any errors in it. You know how she is.


I'll look over it tonight.

Just as ANDREA was about to move passed her, she grabs her arm






I'll look at it in my break.


(with a sly smile)



ANDREA sits alone in the buzzing canteen, the sound of colleagues gossiping and bragging about the money they made in the year clashing against her ears. She's barely touched her food - a tuna and sweetcorn sandwich - her focus is on the folder MARIA gave her earlier.

The folder consists of ideas for a VR phone that is implanted in the user's skin and has a virtual interface. ANDREA flicks through it uninterested. Then her eyes catch the spine of a folder in her briefcase. It's labelled, 'ANDREA'S PITCH IDEA'. Suddenly her eyes fills with hope but it disappears as soon as it appears.


(as she gathers her things)

Don't fool yourself, Andrea.


The room fills with employees eager to impress the boss, ANDREA joins them. Just as she takes her seat, MARIA appears behind her, impatient to hear the feedback on her pitch idea.


Did you look at it?






(handing her the folder)

I loved it! It's a very intriguing idea. I'm sure she'll love it.


You're damn right she will.

(snatching the folder)

And don't you go about getting any ideas. This is mypitch. So just sit there like a good little girl and keep quiet like you always do.

ANDREA nods with a small smile as MARIA takes her seat opposite her. MARIA's feral eyes glaring at her as she cowers into silence. But when an older woman in her early 40s walks in, her menacing behaviour turns dramatic.

LAURAINE WILLIAMS, the CEO of FUTURISM TECHNOLOGIES was dressed in a golden, velvet suit and her short hair was slicked back. Everyone stood to their feet upon her entry. Even when she took her seat at the head of the table, which too was majestic as well as her, no one sat down.


You may be seated.

In unison, everyone took their seats as ordered.

GREGORY SIMPSON, operations manager of Futurism Technologies, dressed in a tailored suit, spoke first.


Just as you asked last week, my team and I have come up with various ideas of products that we could produce-


Get on with it Gregory.


Yes, yes, of course, ma'am.

Eyeing his employees he nods to MARIA to start first, who almost jumps out of her seat at the opportunity.

An interface appears on the glass surface of the table as she stands. She swipes a holographic presentation onto the screen at the back of the room.


With technology becoming much more advance, consumers are growing tired of their old smartphones - they want something hi-tech but not too difficult and simple to access.

MARIA swipes the next slide of the presentation onto the screen, showing a draft model of her proposed idea. It's a small micro-chip.


I give you the future of mobile communication-


(typing away at her phone)


MARIA is in utter shock at LAURAINE's dismissal.



With a single glare that encompassed the wrath of God, LAURAINE silences MARIA, who sits embarrassed in her seat. ANDREA tries to hide her smirk but MARIA catches her, though she's too humiliated to confront her about it.

In the silence, LAURAINE peers up from her phone and scans the frightened faces in the room.


Is that all?

Immediately, the room erupts with a chrous of voices trying to pitch their ideas, hoping to be more successful than MARIA. Among the chaos, ANDREA eyes the spine of her folder. The SOUND of her HEARTBEAT bangs like a drum against her ears as the room fades the black.



A faulty light bulb dimly lights up the dark room, but the glass chess board on the metal table is clear under the pillar of light.


You're not seriously thinking of pitching your idea, are you?

ANDREA nervously moves a pawn one square forward. Her chess pieces are white.




A gloved hand immediately moves a pawn two squares forward. The chess piece is black.


And what makes you think this time will be any different?

ANDREA looks up at ANDI, who exchanges a mocking stare. Unlike ANDREA, ANDI was casually dressed, her hair was wild and the bags under her eyes looked worse under the harsh light. But ANDI was her. A reflection of her worst trait.


I said maybe.

ANDREA moves another pawn one square forward.


I'm only saying this because I'm trying to help you.

ANDI confidently moves her knight forward to the left.


I don't want you to make an embarrassment of yourself.



Help me? You've been nothing but a pain in my side!


(with a finger to her lips)

Hush, darling. It's your turn.

ANDREA takes a deep breath before moving the first pawn she moved forward, one square. ANDI tuts disapprovingly at her decision before using her knight to capture her piece.

The light bulb above them flickers frantically. The flashes of darkness making ANDI appear more menacing. Then it becomes stable. As ANDI smiles at her victory, ANDREA becomes agitated.


Let me help you.

Reaching across the table, ANDI attempts to hold ANDREA's hand but she slaps it away.


I want to pitch my idea!


So you want to make a fool out of yourself? In front of your colleagues? Ha! They'll never forget it.

ANDREA casually moves her knight forward to the left. It's adjacent to ANDI's


I wont.


Oh you will because you always do. You've never had the guts to speak your mind, let alone speak in front of multiple people. That's why I'm here-

ANDI moves her knight forward, into ANDREA's territory, capturing her pawn and putting her KING in check.


To keep you in check.

ANDREA becomes anxious.


I don't need to be kept in check.


Oh trust me, darling, you do.

Again, the light bulb begins to flicker frantically, this time causing ANDREA to jump.


I'm what's keeping you from becoming a laughing stock.

(leaning into her seat)

But, hey - if you want to take the reins and see what will happen, be my guest. You know what piece to move.

ANDREA eyes the board and notices a blank square in which she could move the KING out of harms way. But as she reaches to move it she becomes hesitant.


Just don't come crying to me when you fall flat your face.


A flash of light brings her back to her senses. ANDREA realises that she's in the meeting room, the numerous voices still gnawing at her ear.

She looks at her folder, then at her colleagues, then at her folder, then at LAURAINE who seems unbothered by the noise as she types away at her phone.

With a deep breath, ANDREA brings herself to a tranquil state.


(standing to her feet)

I have an idea!

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377 Reviews

Points: 2980
Reviews: 377

Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:46 am
Omni wrote a review...

Hey there, Raven. I’m getting back to the beginning so I could get more context and give more comments on the piece. Let’s jump right in!

So, what’s exactly wrong with the cereal? In the stage directions, it says that the milk is cold, but like, I eat cereal with cold milk so I’m not exactly sure what’s wrong enough with cold milk to throw the whole thing away. Perhaps you meant spoiled?

We get introduced to Maria, and she’s sleezy here, but we don’t actually get her name. Perhaps if Andrea is like “sure thing, Maria” when Maria wants it done today, or perhaps the Stage Directions position Maria’s name in front of the camera (I assume it’s a camera xD I remember I asked whether or not this was a play script or film script, but I can’t really feasibly see this being a play. Too many visuals that require intimate space or transferring of locations). I like the idea that Andrea catches a glimpse of her own project looking through this pitch – which, by the way, sounds pretty cool. I’m not sure how much into the future this is, but I like the idea of a VR phone implanted into my skin! XD

So what exactly is Andrea’s worst trait, which Andi embodies? Self doubt? Being annoying? Interrupting a chess game? In all seriousness, I believe it’s self doubt, but I don’t believe it’s conveyed clearly enough here. Perhaps subtlety is what you’re striving for, but I just personally just want a littttlle bit more here.

Ooh, I love that the whole Andi bit is in her head. I have to be honest, I thought it was an actual thing, like technology made it possible for Andrea to make an AI that represents the worse in her to talk to because she doesn’t seem like she has a lot of friends right now –maybe she just moved to this job and is having troubles blending in, or she’s a workaholic and has no more time for anyone who used to be close to her—

Remember how I compared this to the Devil Wears Prada, and you said that it was inspiration for you? Well, I think Lauraine talks too much here. See, what made whats-her-face so powerful was that a simple sigh from her could quell an entire presentation, even with the implication that he’s getting fired and wouldn’t find a job in the fashion industry ever again. And, that was a sigh. I like the Lauraine demands presence right now, but I’m not getting why. I supposed I’ll get that with time, but I feel like, if you’re gonna go there, go there all the way. See, people were terrified of whats-her-face in the Devil Wears Prada, but I’m not seeing that here.

I hope to read more!

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13 Reviews

Points: 100
Reviews: 13

Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:47 pm
sylrie wrote a review...

I enjoyed every second of reading this. Truly, I did.

The rhetorical decision to put this in a play format made it unique, setting it apart from others that might try a similar theme. And while the abusive co-worker might have been a tad cliché, it is easily forgotten as rather than having to wait for her to be put in her place, it happens instantly. Although I'm curious; if a micro chip doesn't make Lauraine interested, what will?

The suspense built in this is extraordinary as well, especially when it comes to the basement scene. I saw the chess plays coming, as who could resist the opportunity to do something like that? However it was still beautifully executed, as it reveals a lot about Andrea, and the character of Andi is also set up in a way that the reader understands what Andrea is going through. And I have a weak spot for manipulative characters.

All in all, I can't wait to see where this story goes!

RavenBlack says...

Thank you so much! I'm so happy you enjoyed it! Can't wait to hear your opinions for the following parts of the story :)

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6 Reviews

Points: 394
Reviews: 6

Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:15 pm
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StarsForEyes wrote a review...

Okay, right away, I love the strong, consistent characterization of Andrea. The "forcing herself out of bed," and the throwing away of the cereal, and the hand in her pockets to check for her phone and keys, the whole sequence of the train show me an insecure person uncomfortable in the world. It's super down-to-earth and relatable. I love it. As I keep reading, just like your opening scenes, there is so much characterization crammed into each moment, and again, it's all very down-to-earth. The first few lines of dialogue reiterate the original characterization, and it does so in a way that is not repetitive. And there's the theme of envying the money-makers of the world in Andrea's noticing all the expensive cars and listening to her co-workers brag after work. The character is very distinct and immersive and relatable.

Your themes of anxiety, ambition, and cutthroat confidence in a corporate world, are also really down-to-earth and very immersive. Each moment in your story means something, whether it's to characterize or to draw attention to your themes. One scene that illustrated these themes and use of moments especially well was Maria's pitch. Lauraine, the boss, is uninterested both in Gregory and in Maria, in spite of their confidence, which just increases the anxiety and the stakes of the story. It's an especially impactful scene because of the implication that Andrea, our hero, would like to make a pitch. The themes illustrated in your story fit in with the narrative and make it more high-stakes and immersive.

And the basement scene is absolutely excellent. I love the personification of Andrea's anxiety, and I love the fact that they're playing chess. I think it's a perfect metaphor for how it feels trying to make decisions with anxiety. I especially loved how Andi, an antagonistic and menacing character, really did seem to be trying to help, just like real-life anxiety does. The chess game just adds another dimension of emotional immersion. Each move is named and I can see the game in my head, and I can connect how Andi's and Andrea's conversation is related to the game.

However, my one criticism does have to do with the basement scene. It feels a little bit abrupt in a story that up to this point has been grounded in reality. It might feel less out-of-place if we'd seen quick flashes of the chess game or Andi earlier in the story.

The ending was good too. The story had to end with Andrea standing up to give her idea rather than Lauraine accepting her idea. The standing up and taking the initiative in spite of the odds is the triumph that all your moments have been leading up to. I think it this ending is really great.

Thank you very much for publishing this! I loved reading it.

RavenBlack says...

Thank you so much! I'm so happy that you inferred the meaning that I wanted to convey in the script, I thought no one would catch on but I guess I wrote it well :)

Your thoughts on the chess bit being abrupt I totally understand. I wasn't sure how to introduce that bit because I was thinking about how it would look visually in my head, since it's written for the screen. I'll have to think about that.

But thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it :D

Of those who say nothing, few are silent.
— Thomas Neill