A Dialogue-based Tribute to Once Upon A Time’s Mr. Gold in his pawn shop.
I noticed the shop whilst passing through the quaint Maine town. Ancient antiques, enough heirlooms to embody a sizeable king’s ransom, adorned the storefront windows. Being a fan of trinkets from days-gone-by, I couldn’t help myself. I had to go inside.
“Can I help you, Dearie?” the proprietor asked.
“You have a beautiful shop.”
“That it is. The victors and the spoils of many a Storybrooke local.”
I continued to look around.
“They can’t help themselves, you see? Everyone wants something. Their deepest, darkest desires fulfilled. Something they’re sure’ll bring about their happy endings. Promise them that, and they’ll make a deal. Promise them their happy ending and they’ll bargain away their right arm if you let ‘em.”
I chanced a glance at him.
“Of course, I wouldn’t let ‘em.”
I looked away.
“What need have I for someone else’s right arm?” he muttered.
I cast a sideways glance his way.
“It was a quip,” he said.
I looked away.
“This is an interesting piece.” I touched the base of the statue.
“The three wise monkeys. Yes, it is. Very interesting.
“They’re Japanese in origin, did you know that? It is said that if we hear, speak and see no evil then we, ourselves, shall be spared from evil.
“Did you know there was originally a fourth monkey? Do no evil.” He sighed.
“Damned creature got away before he could be turned to gold alongside his brothers. Pity, really. There are some in this town that could use a reminder of that.” He winked and smiled a lecherous smile.
“This mobile is stunning, the way the unicorns catch the light. Are they glass?”
“And this, the wooden windmill.”
“Fine craftsmanship. It’s a lawn ornament, actually, fit to adorn the yard of royalty.” He laughed. “Funny. The man that traded me it was no prince. His wife’s gone missing, hIs mistress accused of foul play, you know.”
“Yes, well, it would be.” He spun the spokes of the miniature mill. “If I weren’t representing her as legal council.”
I looked at him questioningly.
“Oh, come now. You didn’t think my little shop was enough to keep my finances in order? It’s not like I can sit in my back room all day spinning straw to gold, now, can I?
“But I do have my eye on everything that happens in this town. Have to stay on top of things. If I’m going to survive. The mayor—she’s a worthy adversary. Everyone in the town’s afraid of her, you know. But they’re more afraid of me.” He winked again and nodded a single nod.
“Now you’re catching on.”
I wandered to the rear of the shop, drawn by the paintings hung on the back wall. I stood, speechless, admiring their beauty.
“I knew it when you walked in. You have a keen eye for aesthetics, a real nose for beauty.”
“Where is this? It looks familiar. Something from my childhood, maybe?”
“It’s of a place long ago and far away. A place where magic is real and sorrow and heartbreak can be wished away for the price of something dear.”
He mused silently for a moment, then snapped, “They’re not for sale.”
“So.” He clapped, then rubbed his hands together. “Let’s put that aesthetic eye and nose of yours to work, shall we? Let’s see if we can’t find you your happy ending, eh?”
This dialogue was written as an exemplar for my Writers Craft students for an upcoming dialogue assignment. The goal is to depict a famous person or character using as few dialogue tags and narrative as possible. Naturally, I chose to portray Mr. Gold. I hoped to pick up the subtleties of his character using dialogue only, the droll sense of humour, always champing at the bit to make the next deal, his thinly veiled contempt for the residents of Storybrooke, and the tragic sense of loss that propels his character forward.
Thanks to http://ouatv1.blogspot.com/2011/11/rumpelstiltskin-mr-gold.html for the graphic and some of the Mr. Gold quotes.