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Thread: Creative Works

  1. #1

    Creative Works

    share chapters or short stories of your creative pieces (wrestling or non wrestling)
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 05-12-2018 at 06:55 AM.

  2. #2
    Hoping to get this thread rolling soon.. maybe even hold some contests

  3. #3
    Preview..

    He presses the gas, looking at the face of the helmet to his left in his lane on highway 66. Every car and bike has nothing but headlights to guide them. He's a bike. He's never seen the sun. Light is a bulb emitting a path. That's light.

    He takes a left off highway 66 onto whore street. He brakes. Then, stepping his left leg over the pad, his feet touch the hard pavement. There's a black chick. He grabs her ass. "I'm president Sea. He says. Let's have fun."

    "President? Ha! You grab my ass and call yo self dat? What da hell wrong with you. You fucked dis place up! Grab my ass and tell me dat? We grown ass people and look at you in those jeans! Make some damn sun shine like our fathers talked about then come back. Grabbing my ass and calling you self dat! My cousin gonna kick yo ass!"

  4. #4
    The Brain
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    A thread just for Benny to post random fiction is something I can get behind.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I like the idea, I hope more people jump on it.

    I can't really throw anything in myself right now, so I'm not helping matters. But I hope this takes off.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  6. #6
    Gonna be an uphill climb..especailly since I'm working a lot of hours right now. But I think this has legs

  7. #7
    LOP Freebirds Buddy Roberts SirSam's Avatar
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    That was quite a fun little exert Benny. Looking forward to reading more.

  8. #8
    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    Prime Time: This UK vs US thing is a nightmare. It’s really reaching a point where I’m sick of them all.

    Steve: Sorry to hear that. Anything I can do to help?

    Prime Time: I don’t know. It’s just got totally out of hand. People are whining, others aren’t showing interest, people are even posting joke columns. It’s really frustrating and I’m on the verge of deleting the whole thing. And the prediction contests are getting too time consuming too.

    Steve: Delete it if you have to. I wish I could do the same with my “Ask” thread. It’s spiralled out of control. I wish people would get the fucking hint.

    Prime Time: And all these fucking Russian Trolls.

    Steve: I know. I banned 50 people today. I didn’t even get to see any titty pictures this time.

    Prime Time: if only there was a way it could all just go away for a bit and we could have a break...

    Steve: I know just what to do....

    *Steve logs into a special part of the forums. He reaches for the drink next to his desk and necks it. It’s his 10th of the day and he’s feeling it. With a heavy heart, he presses the special button he’s been told never to press...*

    Steve: There we go. Sorted.

    Prime Time: Wow, have you deleted the threads? I’ll just log on.....oh, I got an error message. Steve? What have you done? Where’s the forums?!

    Steve: I thought we needed a break from all this shit? Plus I really needed to get rid of that ask thread. A couple more drinks and I can go to bed knowing there’s no risk of any more spam.

    Prime Time: What have you done?!

    *Steve goes to sleep, unaware of the chaos unfolding on social media about the death of the forums. Prime Time quickly logs out of everything and pours himself a stiff drink. It’s 9am in the UK.*

    Prime Time: Fuck.

    *Fast forward 6 hours. Steve wakes up with a raging headache and no recollection of the night. He uses his phone to catch up and discovers hundred of messages across all sorts of social media outlets.*

    Steve: Fuck.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Too close to home, mate!

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  10. #10
    I will support Steve with 200 percent of my heart if this is true
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 05-20-2018 at 11:06 PM.

  11. #11
    LOP Freebirds Buddy Roberts SirSam's Avatar
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    Let the Ask Steve conspiracy begin

  12. #12
    Tons of steel touched faces as the two stood face to face outside their Chevrolets while the valley of the gun rose its sand between their faces. "On a scale of 1 to 10 what'd you rate Kim", Luther said.

    Miklo swallowed a hard reality as Luther asked this. He reminisced of the Steinberg treatment. Mr Steinberg really cared for a student named "Herbert" but pronounced his name incorrectly. He'd say, "have you seen Hubutt. Hubutt's getting thick. If you see Hubutt grab Hubutt for me!"

    The case went federal when a student grabbed her butt and said Steinberg told him to. Steinberg got the penis guillotine on public TV as President Chelsy Clinton smiled....


    "If they heard us talking like this they'd give us the the Mr Steinberg treatment," Miklo said, swallowing the desert's rapture.
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 05-27-2018 at 03:05 AM.

  13. #13
    Nightingale



    The man who rides beside me.



    Organization X owned the City. Every exit out on highway 66 read “dead end.” A dome stood in place of the sky and the night had no day to oppose with. It’d been that way for over 60 years in Nightingale and Easy Eric Sea worked his way to be the President.


    He loved the cool air condition from the dome on highway 66. Still, sometimes, he saw a helmet in the lane next to him. It’s illegal to share a lane in Nightingale, but he never got pulled. And this surprised him, because cops loved nothing more than to pull over powerful people. He knew common people’s misconception of any sin being above the law to be wrong. For if anything it made common people happy to see a man like him at their mercy.


    For months he tried to signal to the rider to go in another lane. He tried to slow down, and then the rider’d slow down. When he tried to speed up; the rider sped up. This went on, but cops always passed them. He’d never been in trouble. Therefore, he learned the rider next to him to be OK.



    They’d nod and switch lanes together. They sped up and slowed down together. Sometimes he’d look left to see the rider disappeared. A mystery, he thought.


    He pressed the gas, looking at the face of the helmet to his left. Every car and bike had nothing but headlights to guide them. He was a bike. He never saw the sun. Light was a bulb emitting a path; that's light!


    He’d take a left off highway 66 onto Whore Street. He braked. Then, stepping his left leg over the pad, his feet touched the hard pavement. There was a black chick. He grabbed her ass. "I'm president Sea. He said. Let's have fun."


    "President? Ha! You grab my ass and call yo self dat? What da hell wrong with you. You fucked dis place up! Grab my ass and tell yo self dat? We grown ass people and look at you in those jeans! Make some damn sun shine like our fathers talked about then come back. Grabbing my ass and calling you self dat! My cousin gonna kick yo ass!"
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 05-28-2018 at 04:07 AM.

  14. #14
    The Brain
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    I'm very interested already! Hopefully there's more? Like, a lot more?

  15. #15
    There's more... working on a lot of things but hard to get too much into anything while work is heavy..but hopefully we'll see some creative works from others in this thread soon, too!

  16. #16
    He recommended 4 roses before he passed. Let me tell you, that whiskey is one hell of a floral arrangement. I drank all four of the roses to amount to a fifth of whiskey in his memory.

    Rose 1: It's a transition from sobriety to another existence. A man corks his soul in a bottle. When he drinks bourbon, he pops the cork and the shit explodes. Rose one is just popping the cork.

    Rose 2: It's an explosion of he soul and earth holds the pieces. The next day you gotta pick them up and put them back in the bottle.

    Rose 3: Roses are love. A man loves his brother and I drink this third rose for him and lay it down for him.

    Rose 4: It's the love that makes the dead live. My brother, you will forever be bottled in my soul. My soul will be mixed with your undying energy and never be the same.

    That my friends is one hell of a bourbon!
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 06-03-2018 at 04:43 AM.

  17. #17
    The Brain
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    Almost makes me want to be a drinking man! Almost.

  18. #18
    He preached for money and a living. He preached out of hope outside the grind.

    Yet, the grind stopped it all for him. The preachers he heard told him a good young man would distance Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John between himself and the girl he courted.

    But that night, somehow, those disciples followed her ass like it was on twitter. He flipped their pages and grabbed her bubble. It's then he knew he couldn't be a praying man unless he prayed to her ass's holiness.

    Sliding his angel in and out of heaven, he couldn't agree with a Jesus or any of his disciples who'd stand in the way.
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 06-03-2018 at 10:59 PM.

  19. #19
    The Brain
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    I can weirdly relate to this passage.

  20. #20
    A drunk man's last good eye.



    The light emitted a woman. "I'm leaving you, Jeff. You're always drunk!"

    Next, the light staggered just a bit, as he pressed his left eye tight to see her Don Julio black dress-up shirt, with 3 buttons unbuttoned at the top and her jeans. At first he couldn't make the face underneath the long dark brown curls out, but indeed the woman who said this to him was Shankara. It'd been awhile since he looked at her that well.

    "Uh, why?"

    Her brown eyes and expression went clear like a cloud lifted. She sucked her cheek in with a face that said, "fuck, I don't respect you so I'm going to say this."

    "I kissed Saul last night."

    "Uh, why?"

    He squinted his left eye and saw her ass moving right to left out the door. Then he looked down at his hand, as the light showed him a big, blue "P" for Pandora underneath his Samsung's cracked glass . He played some November Rain by Guns and Roses and did drunk singing with it.

    "Nothing last," his voice rose "FOREVER, in the cold November Rain." Then, his right eye and last good one showed him a tear it trickled down to the catch of his cheek.
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 06-10-2018 at 11:37 PM.

  21. #21
    The Brain
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    Are these connected to anything, or just awesome one offs?

    My sister teaches theater to high schoolers, and she asked me to write a 10 minute play for him. Here's what I came up with:


    The Wonderful World of Dreamy Tom
    Characters:

    THE GIRL - An average teenage girl. Very average. Dressed averagely.
    DREAMY TOM - A mysterious and whimsical vision. Ostentatious but also somehow shabby and strange. Dressed like a homeless Willy Wonka. Gender not important.
    DISTRACTION - A manifestation. Unfocused, manic, loud. Dressed so gaudy it hurts.
    PROCRASTINATION - A manifestation. Slow, languid, thrown together at the last minute. Dressed like they just rolled out of bed.
    DOUBT - A manifestation. Self loathing, morose. Afraid of failure and what others think. Dressed to blend in with the background.
    FEAR - A manifestation. At first appears cheesy but is quietly disturbing beyond all reason. Dressed in “scary” Halloween gear.
    TEACHER - The teacher. Offstage only.

    AT RISE: THE GIRL is seated in the middle of the stage, at a desk (if possible) with a sheet of paper in front of her. The lighting is the harsh glare of classroom fluorescents. That she is in a classroom with other students is implied but does not need to be staged.

    GIRL
    (To herself) Ok, you’re ready for this. You studied… ok, you didn’t actually study, you stayed up all night playing video games, but you looked at your notes that one time. Alright, you didn’t exactly take notes, but you took a 20 minute nap on your notebook around 4am, and that’s gotta do some kind of osmosis thing, right? Notebooks are smart, so being close to them makes you smart! That’s what osmosis is, isn’t it? Oh man, I hope osmosis isn’t on this test. Ok, focus. You got this. Fake til you make it. Yeah! It’s time to get this done! Gonna own this test! Bring it on!!!

    TEACHER (Offstage)
    Ready, class? And… begin.

    (GIRL flips her paper with great determination. Her face immediately falls.)

    GIRL
    (Filled with dark despair) No… osmosis.

    (GIRL thunks her head down on her desk. A beat. GIRL starts snoring.)

    DREAMY TOM (Offstage)
    (Goofy voice) Oh dear! That won’t do at all!

    (DREAMY TOM enters from STAGE RIGHT, doing a silly walk. He stops and surveys the scene in a silly way. He reaches into his coat and produces a crumpled brown paper bag. He removes a banana, a rubber chicken, and/or other silly objects, then blows the bag full of air before loudly popping it, waking THE GIRL).

    GIRL
    (With a start) I was wrong! Notebooks aren’t smart at all! Wait… (she looks around and spies the bizarre figure of Tom). Um… hey, what’s up.. Dr Seuss hobo?

    DREAMY TOM
    (Unsettlingly happy) Jokes won’t save you now!

    GIRL
    That’s a… disconcerting thing to say. Who are you, exactly?

    DREAMY TOM
    I’m Dreamy Tom! Nice to meetcha! (TOM slides up to her and pumps her hand enthusiastically through the whole next sequence, drawing her out of her seat to the front of the stage.)

    GIRL
    Um, no offense, but you’re not my idea of “dreamy”.

    DREAMY TOM
    Hey, you’re the one with the subconscious around here! Might want to check with your therapist about that one.

    GIRL
    Right… (awkward pause, handshake continues and becomes more elaborate. This can go on for a while.) We can probably stop shaking hands now.

    DREAMY TOM
    You’re the boss! (TOM twirls away dramatically and cavorts around the stage.)

    GIRL
    (Looks at her hand) Great… sticky. I’m afraid to ask, but why are you sticky?

    DREAMY TOM
    I was just at the Great Chocolate River!

    GIRL
    (Perks up) Oh, that sounds pretty good! Can we go there?

    DREAMY TOM
    (Stops dancing, suddenly solemn) No.

    GIRL
    Hey, I thought I was the boss?

    DREAMY TOM
    (Bright and cheery again) That was a lie!

    GIRL
    (Getting frustrated, paces STAGE LEFT) Oh, stupendous. Can we cut to the chase already? What exactly do you want?

    DREAMY TOM
    What do I want? (TOM takes an elaborate stance, hands on hips, and plants STAGE RIGHT, opposite GIRL). What do YOU want?

    GIRL
    Chocolate river sounded good.

    DREAM TOM
    (TOM performs the TOM LEAP, a jump in place that should be as extravagant and exaggerated as possible). Too bad! What else do you want?

    GIRL
    To… pass my test?

    DREAMY TOM
    (Another TOM LEAP) Nope! What else do you want?

    GIRL
    Maybe for you to sit your butt down and actually be helpful?

    DREAMY TOM
    (Another TOM LEAP) Good luck with that! What do YOU want? (GIRL glares at TOM, tired and annoyed. TOM is unfazed, and starts doing the TOM LEAP repeatedly). What do YOU want? What DO you want? WHAT do you WANT? What-

    GIRL
    (GIRL crosses to TOM and grabs him by the shirt) Look, Dreamy Tim-

    DREAMY TOM
    (Still very cheery) Dreamy Tom, at your service!

    GIRL
    (GIRL shakes TOM vigorously) Loooooook, you obnoxious weirdo, I’ve watched enough TV to know that you’re some kind of stupid dream guide and I’m supposed to learn some kind of stupid lesson, except I already know I should have studied for my stupid test, so you’re gonna either teach me about stupid osmosis or you’re gonna shut up and make with the magic.

    DREAMY TOM
    (Now TOM is pouting) You’re not fun.

    GIRL
    I’m genre-savvy. Now can we get on with it?

    (Instead of answering, TOM wriggles free and produces a kazoo. TOM proceeds to prance in a circle around the GIRL, playing it madly.)

    GIRL
    (Tired exasperated, doesn’t know where to being) What… what, what are you doing now?

    DREAMY TOM
    (Still playing the kazoo between words) Ask and ye shall receive! I’m summoning the first spirit so you can learn the true meaning of Christmas!

    GIRL
    Just because A Christmas Carol is in the public domain doesn’t mean you should rip it off shamelessly.

    DREAMY TOM
    (Stops playing) If I were worried about copyrights, would I steal this bit? (Plays the first part of “Shave and a Haircut)

    (DISTRACTION bursts onto the scene)

    DISTRACTION
    Two bits!!!

    GIRL
    (Releases TOM) I watch way too much TV.

    DISTRACTION
    (Manic, looking wildly in all directions, speaking fast) TV? Where? I love TV! I watch CSI, SVU, LAO, NTSFVU, basically anything with letters, but I love commercials the most because BRIGHT COLORS AND NOISES, and have you seen youtube? Yoooooutube! That sounds funny, doesn’t it? I wanna tweet about it! What’s your snapchat? I’m hungry, do you happen to have a big fat cooookie?

    GIRL
    (Sits down, not impressed, just tired) Could I just wake up and fail my test now? This is excruciating.

    DREAMY TOM
    (Suddenly venerable) No, my dear, this is Distraction! He represents, pause for effect, your distraction!

    DISTRACTION
    Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi-

    GIRL
    I get it already! But what’s the point of this guy? Weren’t you already filling the wackiness quota, Dream-like Jim?

    DREAMY TOM
    (He strokes an imaginary beard wisely) That’s Dreamy Tom, and I’m venerable now, not wacky. You are here to learn about your Distraction, and his friend, Procrastination! (A beat) Procrastination! (Nothing. Whispered to DISTRACTION) Is he coming, or…?

    (DISTRACTION suddenly cartwheels offstage. A commotion is heard. A loose wheel or other silly object rolls across the stage. DISTRACTION suddenly returns, stops stock still, then grins and shrugs extravagantly.)

    GIRL
    This is going really well.

    DISTRACTION
    HG Wells was a famous science fiction author and I have never ever read any of his books but I did read his entire wikipedia page one night at 2am which is why I know his great grandson was a consultant on Back to the Future II, which wasn’t as good as the first one but I really like those movies, which is why I watched the whole trilogy that night and I should probably sleep more but THERE’S A BUTTERFLY!!!

    (DISTRACTION careens wildly across the stage and exits)

    GIRL
    (Deadpan) I have learned. So. Much.

    DREAMY TOM
    Just you wait, you ragamuffin! We’ll learn you a thing or two yet!

    GIRL
    Yeah, somehow I doubt it.

    DOUBT (offstage)
    Oh, DO you??

    GIRL
    Who’s that? Did procrastination finally make it to the party?

    DOUBT (offstage)
    As IF.

    DREAMY TOM
    Why no, it’s none other than, drumroll, the manifestation of your doubt!

    (TOM gestures grandly to one side of the stage. DOUBT enters from the other side.)

    DOUBT
    Yeah, I was gonna come from over there but then it didn’t seem like a good idea.

    GIRL
    So, you’re supposed to be my doubts?

    DOUBT
    Probably not.

    GIRL
    But… Dreamweaver John said you were.

    DOUBT
    I don’t think he did.

    GIRL
    I… aha, I see. You’re doubting everything I say.

    DOUBT
    No I’m not.

    GIRL
    Um, yes you are?

    DOUBT
    Don’t think so.

    GIRL
    (Pause) ...this is just stupid.

    DOUBT
    No it’s super smart.

    GIRL
    Shut up!

    DOUBT
    Shut down!

    GIRL
    Hey Dopey George, what am I supposed to be learning again?

    (TOM is about to answer, when DISTRACTION charges back across the stage, yelling wildly, exiting the opposite side. They wait for the yell to fade out, but DISTRACTION charges across the opposite way. PROCRASTINATION finally enters from the side DISTRACTION just came from, and walks slowly to the center of the stage, holding an apple and looking sleepy. DISTRACTION’s yells once again get louder as he turns around again.)

    DISTRACTION
    (While running) Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooove!

    (PROCRASTINATION does not move, and DISTRACTION smashes directly into him and goes sprawling on the floor. A beat. PROCRASTINATION slowly takes a loud bite of the apple. Another beat while he chews. Finally

    PROCRASTINATION
    Ok.

    (PROCRASTINATION moves. Another beat)

    DREAMY TOM
    Bravo! Bravo!

    (TOM leads a dramatic round of applause as the three manifestations line up center stage and bow to the audience, dramatically soaking in the love of the crowd. Suddenly TOM violently motions for the audience to be quiet, and everyone looks pointedly at THE GIRL, who has taken this in with tired resignation. They wait in silence for her to speak. Finally.

    GIRL
    Um. Great job guys. I really learned… Nope, I can’t even lie. You’ve made me dumber than I was when I got here, I’m afraid.

    (The other four recoil and gasp at the word “afraid”)

    PROCRASTINATION
    Hey, don't…

    DISTRACTION
    Not that! Anything but that!

    DOUBT
    You didn’t just say that.

    DREAMY TOM
    Mi’lady, I beseech ye not so speak thus!

    PROCRASTINATION
    ...do that.

    GIRL
    Uh, weirdos say what now?

    DREAMY TOM
    I pray that thou shalt not say the word ye said!

    GIRL
    What… you don’t want me to talk about fear?

    (DISTRACTION crouches down to make themselves as small as possible. DOUBT puts their fingers in their ears. PROCRASTINATION raises a hand to make a point, then doesn’t bother and looks glum. They continue to react everytime someone says fear.)

    DREAMY TOM
    Indeed, fair lady. Do not utter the cursed word, lest thou summon yon foul beastie!

    GIRL
    I don’t know why you’re Shakespeare now, but you’re not the boss of me. I can talk about fear if I want! I can talk about fear all day! Fear, fear, fear, feary fear fear, fear!

    (FEAR appears wearing a “scary” mask and walks slowly up behind the GIRL)

    DREAMY TOM
    (Stutters) It-it-it-it-look-it… (points shakily)

    GIRL
    Let me guess, something scary behind me? That’s an old gag. It can’t be worse than you guys. (GIRL turns around and confronts FEAR, who only watches her stoically. GIRL is not impressed.) So what’s the big deal? Are you going to annoy me until I’m terrified? Take off that stupid thing!

    (GIRL rips off the mask off FEAR to reveal a normal face. The other four continue to cower and moan quietly in pain as the scene continues.)

    FEAR
    (Matter of fact) You’ll never get into a good college because there’s something wrong with you.

    GIRL
    (Taken aback) Um, what’s that now?

    FEAR
    There’s something wrong with your brain. Something not bad enough to kill you, just enough to make you slow and miserable your whole life.

    GIRL
    Um…

    FEAR
    You think your parents will take care of you forever? They’ll work themselves to the bone trying to support their useless daughter and probably lose their jobs when it gets too much to bear.

    GIRL
    (Uneasy, she starts to slowly back away, but FEAR follows) Ok, this is getting kind of heavy.

    FEAR
    They’ll lose the house, and you’ll all have to cram into your cousin’s apartment, and you’ll be 37 and your life will be over except for the miserable feeling that everyone knows it’s all your fault.

    GIRL
    Ok, let’s just put this back on- (GIRL tries to put the mask back on FEAR, but FEAR knocks it away)

    FEAR
    You’ll continue on in despair, alive on the outside but dead inside, until you die, because your body is a meat prison that will inevitably fall apart!

    GIRL
    Come on, stop it!

    FEAR
    That is, of course, unless you’ve already gone mad and you don’t even know it yet! But everyone around you knows it! It’s already too late!

    (This causes the group to break apart and start causing chaos. FEAR keeps repeating “Already too late” to GIRL. PROCRASTINATION sits down and looks around in despair, saying “I should have done it sooner”. DOUBT paces the stage, saying “I don’t think so, I don’t know”. DISTRACTION jabbers nonsense and runs in a circle. TOM begins doing the TOM LEAP again and whooping. GIRL is finally overcome by all the craziness. She runs to TOM and grabs him again.)

    GIRL
    Ok Tom, you win!

    DREAMY TOM
    Oh, NOW you know my name, do you?

    GIRL
    I’ll call you anything you want, I give up! I’ll learn better study habits! I’ll learn osmosis! Just don’t let it all go wrong!

    DREAMY TOM
    But are these visions of what might be, or what will be?

    GIRL
    (She shakes TOM vigorously) Stop doing the Dickens thing already! I’m ready to take my test! I get it now! My actions have consequences, school is important, whatever the moral is, I get it! It’s all about fear!

    DREAMY TOM
    (Gestures dramatically, and the chaos stops suddenly) By jove, I think she’s got it! Good luck on your test, dummy!

    (TOM leaps again and slams his feet down, and everyone clears the stage in a whirl, except GIRL who returns to her original seat and slumps down on the desk. After a beat she lurches up, having woken up)

    GIRL
    (Slurred) All about fear! (She looks around) I’m back! And I haven’t missed it! Oh great, now I’m doing the Scrooge thing. But my test is still here! I can dig deep, remember everything from class, and still get an A! I know I can do it, I just have to-

    TEACHER
    Time! Pencils down!

    GIRL
    Crud. (Dramatically shakes her fist) Curse you Dreamy Tom!

    (We hear TOM’s kazoo playing a wacky, Looney Tunes-esque tune.)

    THE END

  22. #22
    Man, that was some really really good stuff. Did your sister ever do this play or a version of it?

  23. #23
    The Brain
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    She's staging it with some of her students this summer! I also wrote this one for her, which I actually like even better:

    Go Go Strongest Heroes
    Characters:

    JOHN - So intense. Like you never saw before. A kid with attitude.
    WALT - Enthusiastic but a little unsure. Also a kid.
    DAVE - Ehhhhh, not into it. Definitely a kid.

    AT RISE: WALT is pacing back and forth, excited and a little worried. DAVE is sitting in a chair, messing around on his phone, not listening.

    WALT
    (In mid sentence) -and really Dave, I just can’t believe we were chosen by the Galactic Powers, you know?

    DAVE
    Yup.

    WALT
    I mean, you’d think they’d need more of a resume, you can’t even get hired at McDonald’s without previous experience, but we get picked to save the world!

    DAVE
    Oh yeah, definitely.

    WALT
    Do you think there’s some kind of training program? Will we have to watch, like, cheesy videos? Is there an HR department? (Suddenly struck) Is there a 401k??

    DAVE
    Why not?

    WALT
    And I don’t even know how I’m gonna balance this with my schoolwork. I got a B- in chemistry but now I’m gonna save the world? I mean, I’m way into this, but-

    JOHN (offstage)
    Aw yeah!!

    WALT
    Woah! Something’s up with John!

    DAVE
    (Sigh) Here we go…

    (JOHN charges onstage, bursting with intensity)

    JOHN
    Walt! Dave! It’s on, guys!!

    DAVE
    Oh, joy.

    WALT
    What’s on? What’s going on, man?

    JOHN
    King Nasty has escaped!!

    WALT
    No! Not King Nasty!

    JOHN
    For real man! King Nasty!

    WALT
    King Nasty! The Galactic Powers said he was the worst of the bunch! King Nasty!

    JOHN
    Kiiiiiiiiiiiing Nasty!

    DAVE
    (Snickers quietly, still on his phone) That’s a dumb name.

    JOHN
    (Ignores him) Alright guys, it’s time to use our powers. (Intensity intensifies) It’s time to save the world!

    WALT
    Yeah?

    JOHN
    Oh yeah!!

    WALT
    But we have class-

    JOHN
    If the world gets nastified, there ain’t gonna BE a class anymore!

    DAVE
    (Dryly) Maybe there will be nasty classes.

    JOHN
    (Practically Shouting) Dave!! You gotta get into this thing! It’s all up to us!!

    DAVE
    Yay…

    JOHN
    Are you ready?!?

    DAVE
    (Still on his phone) So ready.

    JOHN
    Are you ready Walt?!?

    WALT
    I think so!!

    JOHN
    Then let’s do it! It’s time! To! Power! Up!!!

    WALT
    Power up!!!

    JOHN
    (A macho shriek) YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH!!!

    (JOHN performs an incredibly complicated “power up” motion, which he has obviously been practicing. WALT tries to follow along, though he has clearly never seen this motion before. This should go on for as long as it’s funny. DAVE alternates between watching in mild amazement and continuing to mess with his phone. The motion finally ends and JOHN lets loose another macho scream, which WALT also tries to match. They both strike a pose that is obviously supposed to have a 3rd member, and shout together. This part WALT knows.)

    WALT & JOHN
    Strongest Heroes powers, activate!

    (A beat as nothing happens, except maybe quiet noises coming from DAVE’s phone. JOHN finally breaks the pose.)

    JOHN
    Dave!!! Come on man, we gotta save the world!

    (DAVE continues to mess with his phone. After a beat, he blows a long, drawn out raspberry. This should go on for a while. Finally, it ends.)

    WALT
    Dave, we-

    (Another, shorter, sharper raspberry cuts him off).

    JOHN
    Dude, you better-

    (And again)

    WALT
    Come on, grow up-

    (And again)

    JOHN
    DAVE!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING MAN?!?

    WALT
    Yeah seriously, we gotta go use our new powers!

    DAVE
    (Big, dramatic sigh) But I don’t……… want to.

    WALT
    (Waits for JOHN, but he is sputtering and too shocked to speak) Uh, what?

    DAVE
    I don’t feel like it.

    WALT
    The Galactic Powers gives us these amazing abilities… and you don’t want to use them?

    DAVE
    (Shrugs) It just seems like…. A lot of work?

    JOHN
    (Explodes) DUDE!!! I AM GOING TO THROW YOUR PHONE INTO THE SUN!!!

    DAVE
    Man, don’t even joke about that. Have you ever even seen Youtube? Or were you too busy drinking pre-teen protein shakes?

    JOHN
    Don’t mock my shakes!!! Protein makes you a pro teen!!

    DAVE
    That is the worst thing. I have ever heard. In my. Entire. Life.

    WALT
    Ok, seriously man, if we don’t do something, there’s not gonna be anymore Youtube either.

    DAVE
    I feel like… it’ll probably be fine?

    JOHN
    I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!

    DAVE
    It just seems like so much effort. Let somebody else take care of it, you know?

    JOHN
    AAARGH!!!

    (JOHN tries to rush at DAVE, who reacts with mild annoyance at most. WALT holds JOHN back)

    WALT
    Woah, easy big guy! This is what King Nasty wants, probably, I don’t know, I never met the guy, but maybe? Seriously though, just let me talk to him, you go cool off.

    JOHN
    GAH!! (He storms to the back of the stage and starts shadow punching and kicking the air while he mumbles to himself angrily)

    WALT
    Ok man, what is going on with you?

    DAVE
    (Shrugs) Nothing.

    WALT
    Don’t you care what happens to the world?

    DAVE
    (Finally looks away from his phone, annoyed) Of course I care, but do you really think three kids like us can make a difference? This is somebody else’s problem. It’s hard enough being a kid without this stuff. I can’t even go see an R rated movie, and now I’m supposed to go destroy a monster?

    WALT
    Don’t you think we were chosen for a reason though?

    DAVE
    I think we were chosen at random. You said it yourself, apparently the only requirement was having “attitude”.

    WALT
    But… it’s a chance to really do something, isn’t it? To make a difference?

    DAVE
    Ok, but what if we make the wrong difference? We don’t know anything about King Nasty. What if he’s, like, a political prisoner with a really unfortunate name? What if the Galactic Powers are just spreading propaganda, and they want to indoctrinate us into their evil police force or something?

    WALT
    I get it, this situation is way too weird, but still, does that mean doing nothing is the right thing?

    DAVE
    Is it better to get all amped up like mister punch first, kick later, and if there’s time for questions that means you didn’t kick long enough over there?

    WALT
    Well… maybe that why they chose us. Maybe you need people ready to take action, but also people ready to ask questions.

    DAVE
    (Goes back to his phone) Well, I hope you need a person who doesn’t participate, because that’s me.

    JOHN
    (Charges back to the group) Ok buddy, you had your shot, now we’re GOING. (He grabs DAVE’s phone away).

    DAVE
    (Finally gets up, angry) Oh, what?? Man, I don’t care how hopped on adrenaline you are, you better give that back right now.

    JOHN
    Or what? Thanks to you we’re just gonna sit around until we all get coated in nastiness anyway.

    DAVE
    (Starts after JOHN, who circles away from him, keeping either the chair or WALT, who helplessly tries to defuse the situation, between them) You better quit it.

    JOHN
    Oh look, I’m Dave! I don’t wanna do anything, I want to sit here and waste my life!

    DAVE
    You’re the waste, you hyperactive freak!

    JOHN
    I love being lazy more than being alive! The galaxy can just be destroyed, because I’m Dave and I don’t feel like standing up!

    DAVE
    Why don’t you just skip peaking in high school and go straight to anger management classes where you can talk about how you can’t deal with your best days are behind you?

    JOHN
    Our best days could be right now, you dummy, but you want to waste them!

    (DAVE dives past WALT and grabs JOHN. After a brief struggle, JOHN knocks DAVE to the ground hard. A beat.)

    WALT
    Guys, we’ve got to-

    JOHN
    (Ignoring him) You know what? I don’t care. I’ll just do it myself.

    WALT
    But our powers don’t work unless we’re together!

    JOHN
    I don’t care. If we don’t even try, if we let bad stuff happen when we might have been able to stop it, we’re as guilty as anybody.

    WALT
    But our powers-

    JOHN
    So stay here if you want! There are worse things than being powerless. (Starts to leave)

    DAVE
    (Still on the ground, not looking at the others) Maybe it’s good to be powerless.

    JOHN
    (Stops, comes back) What did you say?

    DAVE
    If you’ve got power, everything is… harder. If you have to jump in to something, you could get hurt, or worse. And even if you don’t, what if you do the wrong thing? What if you hurt the wrong person? What if you make things worse instead of better?

    WALT
    (After a silent beat) Maybe… maybe he’s right. We don’t know what we’re doing, and anything could happen out there. We can’t just get thrown into some fight we know nothing about. Maybe it’s actually better to do nothing.

    DAVE
    Yeah, if the Galactic Powers are so great, they can handle it. And if they’re not, that’s not our fault, right?

    WALT
    Maybe it’ll work itself out in the end.

    JOHN
    Ok, I see how it is. We get these amazing talents, and you want to bury them in the ground.

    DAVE
    But what if-

    JOHN
    What if, what if, what if! You could spend your whole life saying what if, and then at the end you’ll say hey, what if I had actually bothered to live?

    WALT
    Man… that’s pretty heavy.

    JOHN
    It’s a heavy time, but that’s easier to do with if you actually try to do some lifting.

    DAVE
    Easy for you-

    JOHN
    I’m not talking about lifting in the gym either. You think you don’t have to work hard on your responsibility too? On doing the right thing? You can’t just sit around and assume it’ll be fine, or you’ll do what you need to do at the last minute. You’ve got to put in effort. You’ve got to step up.

    DAVE
    But… we still don’t know what we’re doing.

    JOHN
    I don’t know if anybody does, Dave. But I know if we don’t try, we’re never going to figure it out.

    WALT
    (Convinced) Man, we gotta at least try, right?

    JOHN
    I don’t know what’s right either. If we jump into this thing and King Nasty is baking us pies and befriending woodland creatures, then maybe we’ll rethink things.

    DAVE
    (Feeling a little better) And if those pies are poison? And he trains those woodland creatures to attack us?

    JOHN
    Then it’s probably time to fight back, right? But if we don’t go, we’ll never know. Sometimes if you don’t know what to do, you’ve got to take the time to actually find out.

    DAVE
    (Takes a minute to consider this) Well…

    JOHN
    Come on man. Let’s find out together. (Reaches out his hand to help DAVE up. DAVE still isn’t sure.)

    WALT
    What’s the worst that could happen?

    DAVE
    We could all die?

    JOHN
    That could happen if we stay here too. Nothing’s guaranteed, but at least we can try to be ready.

    WALT
    And we’ll be more ready if we’re together.

    DAVE
    (Thinks again, then takes JOHN’s hand to get up) Alright. I feel like I’m stepping off a high dive here and I don’t know if there’s water in the pool, but let’s do it.

    WALT
    (Grins) Hey, when we’re powered up, maybe we can fly. Doesn’t matter then if there’s water or not, right?

    JOHN
    Woah, we can fly??

    WALT
    They did give us a manual. You guys didn’t read it?

    DAVE
    I was too nervous.

    JOHN
    I want to be surprised!!

    WALT
    Oh boy. Let’s get going before we all realize how nuts this is.

    JOHN
    (Macho yell, a bit less manic and more genuinely triumphant this time) Let’s do it!!!

    DAVE
    Ok, but without the weird dance number this time?

    JOHN
    Hey man, that’s how I get hyped!!

    DAVE
    The last thing you need is more hype.

    WALT
    He’s got a point, John.

    JOHN
    Fine, fine. Let’s do it! (The all prepare to pose).

    WALT, DAVE, & JOHN
    Strongest Heroes powers, activate!

    (They all pose. Suddenly, DAVE breaks away to grab his phone off the floor.)

    JOHN
    Really?

    DAVE
    Just in case we have downtime! (Rejoins the pose)

    JOHN
    You’ve got to be kidding-

    (Powers activate with a dramatic noise as the lights go down!)

    THE END

  24. #24
    Man, I loved this even better. It's cool to see this non-wrestling creative side of you.

    I see John as a person of action and Dave as a person of thought. Then, Walt is a supportive person..really doesn't care for conflict. He's definitely the glue but kind of a follower.

    In the end it's a true story of friendship. For John and Dave to put up with each other...John could go without Dave but doesn't seem to even know it.

    Good stuff, man...Loved the fuck out of it.
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:53 AM.

  25. #25
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,067
    Thanks man, I haven't really shown these outside my family and my sister's students so it's good to hear it's appreciated. I don't know if you watched as a kid but I had a strong influence of Power Rangers here. Really fun for me to touch on those themes.

    This is one I wrote for my sister last year, but at her urging I actually did submit it to a short play competition a couple weeks ago. Haven't heard anything but who knows? Anyway, hope anyone who cares to read enjoys this bit of fluff:


    Priorities at the End of the World
    By Chris Hageman

    SURVIVOR Bright, earnest, and resourceful. A little pretentious.

    INSTATWIT A nitwit.

    SPIN KICK So cool, bro!

    HEAD SHOT Totally awesome!

    PONDEROUS Like to hear themselves talk.

    WALKING ENTHUSIAST Likes to walk.

    TWILIGHT LOVER Likes Twilight.

    ZOMBIE A zombie.

    AT RISE: SURVIVOR is standing alone, CENTER STAGE, with a book satchel slung over their shoulder, facing the audience.

    SURVIVOR
    I used to wish for the world to end. That sounds terrible, I know, after all that’s happened. Please, don’t misunderstand me. I didn’t sit around every day wishing people would get hurt, and it’s not like I wanted the planet to explode or anything. I just wanted something to happen that would... I dunno, give people a jolt, I guess. Force them out of being caught up in meaningless junk. I mean, have you met people lately? Obsessed with themselves, with pop culture, with being trendy. It’s so annoying! So I thought if something big happened, everything would change. But, when it all started…

    (INSTATWIT enters STAGE RIGHT and SURVIVOR moves to join her. INSTATWIT is obsessed with social media and is constantly using her phone. SURVIVOR sits on the ground and removes a book from her satchel, and starts to read. The book is Brave New World. SURVIVOR speaks to INSTATWIT but without noticing whether she’s paying attention or not. INSTATWIT is not and is constantly texting and scrolling through the conversation.)

    SURVIVOR
    This book is so interesting. Huxley was so far ahead of his time. I can’t believe he predicted a future where people would have everything they needed and it all meant nothing. It’s a complete reversal of Orwell’s 1984, instead of society falling apart due to oppression, it actually devolves because of too much freedom. It’s been so long since these people have engaged their mind in a meaningful way that that part of themselves has atrophied to nothing! Everything is just an idle diversion and nothing impacts them below the surface! It’s just as soulless as a society beaten into submission! Can you imagine a world like that?

    INSTATWIT
    Oh yeah. Uh huh, yup.

    SURVIVOR
    Really? (INSTATWIT is taking a duck faced selfie) Hm, yeah I guess maybe you can.

    INSTATWIT
    Oh yes, that’s a good one.

    (INSTATWIT continues to seek the perfect selfie as we hear ZOMBIE groan from offstage. ZOMBIE enters from STAGE LEFT. ZOMBIE is pretty much your traditional zombie. She very, veeery slowly shuffles across the stage through the following exchange. SURVIVOR hears the ZOMBIE immediately and looks up in confusion. SURVIVOR watches the ZOMBIE approach in stunned silence for several seconds, then tries to speak to it.)

    SURVIVOR
    Um… hello? (ZOMBIE groans and continues approaching). Uh hey, that’s a great… whatever it is you’re doing, but I’m trying to read ok? (ZOMBIE groans louder.) Hey genius, people don’t care about zombies anymore. Since you want to be annoying you should at least know, vampires are the cultural joie de vivre for the braindead now, instead of the literally braindead. (SURVIVOR gets up and walks toward ZOMBIE, meeting at CENTER STAGE.) So you should probably be wearing a cape and saying “Blah” instead of this obnoxious-

    (SURVIVOR tries to poke her finger at ZOMBIE, but ZOMBIE tries to bite it. SURVIVOR jumps back, looks more closely at ZOMBIE. She tentatively tests her theory by putting her hand out again, and again ZOMBIE lunges to bite it. SURVIVOR is now alarmed and returns to INSTATWIT).

    INSTATWIT
    OMG, the craziest thing.

    SURVIVOR
    So you saw that too? What the heck is going on?

    INSTATWIT
    Japan has heated toilet seats. Buzzfeed is amazing, I always learn so much.

    SURVIVOR
    Um… yeah, ok, but I think something is really wrong with that girl over there. You know, the one shambling closer to us and groaning?

    INSTATWIT
    What. The. What.

    SURVIVOR
    I know, right? Come on, let’s go tell somebody.

    INSTATWIT
    Other countries have bathroom stalls that actually go all the way to the ground! I mean duh, why does America even have that weird gap at the bottom?

    SURVIVOR
    Seriously? Who cares, there’s something weird going on right here!

    INSTATWIT
    Weird is right. I’m never pooping in America again. (ZOMBIE is finally getting close).

    SURVIVOR
    Come on! We should really move!

    INSTATWIT
    Yeah, in a minute. I’m learning how to life hack by doing makeovers on the toilet.

    SURVIVOR
    Oh for… gah!

    (SURVIVOR gives up and runs off STAGE RIGHT. INSTATWIT doesn’t notice, and poses for another selfie, her back to ZOMBIE. Suddenly INSTATWIT screams and whirls on ZOMBIE.)

    INSTATWIT
    Get out of my background, creep!

    (ZOMBIE finally lunges at INSTATWIT as the lights go down. ZOMBIE and INSTATWIT EXIT. LIGHT GO UP, SURVIVOR rushes in from STAGE RIGHT and takes a moment to address the audience.)

    SURVIVOR
    Human resistance was off to a poor start, but I thought there was still time to turn the tables.

    (SPIN KICK and HEAD SHOT enter from STAGE LEFT. SURVIVOR rushes towards them.)

    SURVIVOR
    Guys, guys! This is gonna be really hard to believe, but I think there’s a… a zombie coming this way!

    SPIN KICK
    A zombie?

    SURVIVOR
    I know it’s probably hard to believe, but-

    HEAD SHOT
    Sweet! We were just talking about this!

    SPIN KICK
    Seriously good timing. Now of course, the most important thing to remember is-

    HEAD SHOT (Spoken together with SPIN KICK)
    Remove the head or destroy the brain!

    SPIN KICK
    Aw yeah, you know it! (High five.)

    HEAD SHOT
    This is gonna be awesome, the whole country is gonna empty out. We could move to LA, see famous zombies!

    SPIN KICK
    Is that your zombie plan?

    HEAD SHOT
    Well yeah, once I pick up some shotguns, machetes, probably a bazooka, I’ll be good to go.

    (ZOMBIE and a zombified INSTATWIT appear on STAGE RIGHT. They slowly make their way across the stage through the whole exchange.)

    SURVIVOR
    Look, there they are! We’ve gotta figure out what to do right now! (SURVIVOR will continue to try to interrupt the conversation, but with no success.)

    SPIN KICK
    That’s them? Oh man, slow zombies. So lame! Only fast zombies are scary.

    HEAD SHOT
    No way, fast zombies are sooo cheap. Ugh, modern zombies are so lame.

    SPIN KICK
    Shut your mouth right now. Fast zombies or nothing.

    HEAD SHOT
    So wrong! How can you be so wrong?

    SPIN KICK
    Whatever. You like those old Romero snoozefests. Oh no, a zombie is coming at zero miles per hour! I would have to have to walk briskly to get away!

    HEAD SHOT
    What, so you’re gonna power walk forever? That’s so dumb! The slow but inevitable march of death is way more atmospherically creepy than a bunch of spastic jump scares!

    SPIN KICK
    Oh well excuse me for wanting a zombie apocalypse that I don’t end feel comfortable sleeping through!

    HEAD SHOT
    You know what? We’re off topic. What kind of car are we gonna steal on the way to LA?

    SPIN KICK
    And about that, it’s totally stupid to go to LA. It’s one of the most crowded cities ever, it’s gonna be zombie central!

    (The ZOMBIES are getting close. SURVIVOR gives up on trying to get a word in and rushes off STAGE LEFT.)

    HEAD SHOT
    Well, where would you go, braniac?

    SPIN KICK
    Alaska.

    HEAD SHOT
    That is. The dumbest. Idea ever. You want to freeze your butt off first, get eaten by wolves, or just starve?

    SPIN KICK
    Uh none of the above, obviously! They have grocery stores in Alaska. We get supplies and hole up somewhere with a generator. Alaska is not crowded, plus the cold slows the zombies down. It’s the best way, I’m telling you.

    HEAD SHOT
    But the zombies are already slow! You were literally the one just complaining about that!

    SPIN KICK
    Ok, we obviously need an outside opinion before we go any further.

    HEAD SHOT
    Fine. (They turn to the ZOMBIES, who are almost upon them.) What do you think, Alaska or LA?

    (The ZOMBIES lunge at the lights go out. ZOMBIES EXIT, the LIGHTS COME UP and SURVIVOR returns from STAGE LEFT and address the audience again.)

    SURVIVOR
    How could this be? Were we really so desensitized as a society that even something like this couldn’t impact our obsessions? I was determined to find someone who would be willing to overcome our modern foibles and actually help me do something about all this.

    (PONDEROUS enters from STAGE RIGHT, SURVIVOR rushes to them.)

    SURVIVOR
    Hey, you! Do you know what’s happening? I know it sounds crazy, but there are zombies, and they’re attacking people!

    PONDEROUS
    Well, I must admit I was not aware of this. Zombies, you say? What a fascinating concept. A reflection of our societal fear that those around us could at any minute become mindless and violent, that we could become crammed in with no possible means of escape from something that looks like us but underneath is fundamentally different and alienating.

    (ZOMBIE, INSTATWIT, HEAD SHOT, and SPIN KICK all appear STAGE LEFT, and once again slowly cross the stage.)

    SURVIVOR
    Sure, whatever you say, but really-

    PONDEROUS
    Oh I don’t doubt your word, my dear companion, I simply wish for us to fully understand every aspect of what we’re dealing with before taking any rash decision. Imagine, if you will, the implications this event will have upon the religious sphere?

    SURVIVOR
    Does that really matter, right this second?

    PONDEROUS
    Everything matters, my friend, and what could matter more than the reality of life after death, not as an abstract or a theory only accessible via a leap of faith, but before our very eyes? It begs the question, were these poor reanimated souls plucked from a life everlasting in some other place beyond our comprehension to return to torment on earth? Or did they commit some crime in life to earn such a punishment? How can we know, and how can we avoid the same fate?

    SURVIVOR
    I bet we can avoid it if we just move!

    (SURVIVOR tries to tug PONDEROUS away, with no luck. PONDEROUS waves her away and strolls absently towards the middle of the stage, pontificating at this point.)

    PONDEROUS
    Perhaps the zombie shall be embraced as a new form of life? Who among us would not prefer to live forever if possible, even in a lessened state? Perhaps the zombie mind can be taught, perhaps it can even give us word of worlds beyond those we know! Perhaps we must welcome our new zombie brothers and sisters, with open argh!!

    (PONDEROUS blunders into the ZOMBIE crowd at CENTER STAGE and they drag her down. PONDEROUS rises again, one of the ZOMBIES. SURVIVOR looks on in half despair, half annoyance.)

    SURVIVOR
    (To the audience) What are these zombies eating? Nobody I meet seems to even have a brain anymore! (WALKING ENTHUSIAST enters STAGE RIGHT.) You, stop! Don’t go any further! There’s a zombie-

    WALKING ENTHUSIAST
    Oh what?? There’s a zombie walk and nobody told me? Those are so super cool, I’m in!

    SURVIVOR
    Wait! (ENTHUSIAST charges past her.)

    WALKING ENTHUSIAST: Wow, you guys are really good! What’s your secret? Argh!

    (The ZOMBIES drag her down. ENTHUSIAST rises again, one of the ZOMBIES.)

    SURVIVOR
    There’s got to be at least one intelligent person left!

    (TWILIGHT LOVER enters STAGE RIGHT. SURVIVOR physically stops her from walking into the ZOMBIES, who are getting close.)

    SURVIVOR
    Don’t go any further or the zombies will get you!

    TWILIGHT LOVER
    Zombies, for real?? Just like Twilight!

    SURVIVOR
    What? No!!! That’s vampires!

    TWILIGHT LOVER
    Close enough! (TWILIGHT LOVER jumps into the ZOMBIE herd.) Take me, Edward!

    (The ZOMBIES close in as SURVIVOR runs off STAGE RIGHT. All the ZOMBIES rise up and meander around the stage before the LIGHTS GO DOWN. SURVIVOR returns to her original position at CENTER STAGE and the LIGHTS COME UP)

    SURVIVOR
    So now it’s just me, me and my books. I always thought the end of the world would make people get over themselves. How can a person who is self obsessed ignore their own well being? How can someone who loves the sound of their own voice allow it to be silenced? How can someone who loves stories about danger and evil fail to recognize it in front of their very eyes? I don’t know. I don’t understand the world as it is, I guess I only understand the world I can read in my books. Everyone in real life was always so strange to me… I’ve done as well as I can, I think. (ZOMBIES groan from offstage). But I think I’ve come as far as I can by myself…

    (ZOMBIES enter from every side and slowly approach SURVIVOR, who is standing resigned, braced for inevitable. As the ZOMBIES get close, she says what she thinks will be her last words.)

    SURVIVOR
    Do your worst, you mindless morons! You’ll never know what it’s like to be real, to think about a world that’s deeper than what’s in front of you! You’re brainless, and annoying, and empty, and you can try to make me like you but I know who I am, and I don’t care anymore! So do what you think you have to, you drooling slobs, you shambling horrors, you repulsive monsters!

    (The ZOMBIES pause just as they are about to converge on her. The look around at each other and grunt. SURVIVOR slowly realizes nobody is eating her and looks around. ORIGINAL ZOMBIE steps up to her and she flinches back, still wary.)

    ZOMBIE
    You… bully!

    SURVIVOR
    (Stares, incredulous) Um… excuse me?

    ZOMBIE
    This safe space… for zombie. Need trigger warning! (Other ZOMBIES grunt and moan in agreement.)

    SURVIVOR
    I don’t… are you serious? You were going to eat me!

    ZOMBIE
    Is not so bad. Words… mean words hurt!

    SURVIVOR
    I… I…

    ZOMBIE
    You not marginalize us! We people too! (ZOMBIE crowd continues to grunt and moan support.)

    SURVIVOR
    Zombies are- (ZOMBIES grunt and moan displeasure)

    ZOMBIE
    We not use hateful word. We want be called… Z-People. More humanizing. You not PC, you make microaggression! Boo! (ZOMBIES boo.) You real monster!

    SURVIVOR
    (Stares at ZOMBIE, feeling completely at a loss. Suddenly throws her hands up in the air, giving up.) That’s it, I’m out. I’m gonna find some space aliens, maybe I’ll actually understand them. (She EXITS STAGE RIGHT in a huff.)

    (The ZOMBIES mill around, uncertain of how to proceed.)

    TWILIGHT LOVER
    What do now?

    ZOMBIE
    (Thinks it over) Go see Transformers movie?

    (All ZOMBIES roar in approval and EXIT STAGE LEFT)

    THE END

  26. #26
    Hahaha. Nice. Not sure what audience it is for the contest but might be difficult to win if they're a reflection of those in your play. Really dug it, and there really isn't much distance between the zombies and the society they're overtaking. I think the best connecting line is when Survivor ponders what in the brainless people the zombies are eating.

    Side note: I dig everything I know about Huxley!

    back to the play: I do see these mindless behaviors in many people. Left and right wingers and kids that don't give a shit but are doing whatever is "in" It's amazing the connection between the kid doing stupid stunts on youtube and the college educated group thinker. It's all lazy thinking.

    I think survivor is one who thinks for herself, who lives in real moments.

    I would definitely would enjoy watching this play and your other two for that matter. Seems like they're just getting better and better!





    In 2009 I wrote a dark fantasy manuscript. It really sucked as it was my first effort at writing...Recently I've tried to rewrite it and I've done some chapters but haven't had the time to think out and research all the details and plan everything. Being a randy Savage in my writing, i won't be satisfied until I do that first. But below are some of the first chapters in my revision.





    Fragmented.


    Chapter 1 The Ornaments


    Seth was born into a world he did not choose, fathered by a man he hated, and given a name. I will show you how over the course of eight years, Seth found both the strength to enter a world which understood him and the strength to bastardize himself from a world that didn’t. Then, you’ll find out what happened to all his bloody findings. Let’s start with the climax and work our way back to formalities, shall we?


    Two years ago in the month of November, I hovered from a dark castle-top over a city filled with smoke, Centaur Knights, ghosts, misfits, bars, gambling, torn buildings, goblins, wenches, and creatures such as the big face clan, whom your world has yet to hear of. I outstretched my arms, and the forces of freedom became physical. Ornaments surrounded me. In them I saw Seth’s reflection for the last time.



    His brown eyes filled with the ornaments and disbelief. With his brown hair blowing in the cool autumn wind and his pale skin blending with the sky, he smiled a surreal smile. Then it happened!


    The ornaments charged at me as if to celebrate a victory. I saw them no more. I felt them. The breath of possibilities exhaled through my legs and arms.


    Strand by strand, my hair surrendered itself to the autumn wind. My flesh melted from by bones. In the remaining maroon ornament, a skeleton in a hood and cloak smirked. Bouncing balls turned to blood replaced my eyes. I still had my heart which now beat visibly in the bones of my chest, and I kept the other organ any young man would, but now with four point five more inches of it.


    As the last ornament flew away, I felt as though I had somehow failed it. But I needed my heart, my mind, and my manhood. I wanted to be dark but to love and be loved.


    I am changed, I thought. I am no longer Seth. I am Skull Face, creator of Sparrow. I am not to be blamed for exploiting the power available to me in this world. In your world I had been powerless. It took coming to Dreammore for me to learn about power.


    Chapter 2


    Everpull



    Nine years old, I stood next to my ten year old brother, Jonathon. The town was a land field; the grass partially trash; the air, stink. As the cliff leveled our entire bodies with the giant’s neck and head, I hung on every syllable from his bushy face. I sadly did not recall his name after the meeting, just that he spoke like an Irishmen.


    “Me little friends traveling the world to tell of the salvation you wrought? No doubt you made good on the power of Everpull!


    “Everpull?” asked Jonathon.


    “You haven’t even heard of it? I figured the Great Wizard would have told you!” he stopped and stroked his beard. “Everpull— ahem…You know I have much respect for the Great Wizard, but this is something you have the right to know!”


    “NO!” shouted Jonathon. “If the Great Wizard has not told us, it must not be time for us to find out. Besides, me and Seth have to be on our way. We have an entire world to journey.”


    I couldn’t move. This could have been the news I waited a lifetime to hear. Could I really have power? Power to fight an abusive father? Power to bring back my mother? Power to become someone new?


    “Come on, Seth!” said Jonathon.


    “Everpull?” asked I. I knew I shouldn’t ask, but the question regurgitated from the pit of my stomach as involuntarily as vomit does.


    Jonathon walked away, turning once to shake his head at his shy brother who summoned from within his heart the sociability to ask a stranger what he should be asking their Godsend, the Great Wizard.


    “You’re a rebel are you?” The giant’s bushy face grinned. “Everpull is an energy source in the atmosphere. Our world can draw from it and do magnificent things. You’re world can draw from it and—do anything. You can do anything, but how to do it, I cannot say. Perhaps it’s like a raffle ticket. Losers and winners alike buy them. Just keep outstretching your hands, lad. You may lose every time, but one day luck, fate, or whatever it is out there that makes winners may do just that to you.”


    By this time my eyes hungered, growling at him with pains. “What—what does Everpull look like?”


    “One with a liar’s tongue, pretending to have experienced something he did not understand told me it is invisible. Maybe one day, lad, you will tell me the truth of this matter.”


    Two years ago, I outstretched my hands and saw figures favoring shining ornaments. They transformed me into Skull Face and created the town of Sparrow.



    Chapter 3


    Manmade Hell


    Hell existed as a place. Not a place created by God or the Devil. Humans devised this pit of fire that burned other living things. I can tell you such a place was real, firstly, because I know the ways of humans and the ways that they can do anything with Everpull. I can say that humans, not the devil, built it, for Lucifer would tell me this first hand. Mostly, I can say its heat made me sweat, its inhabitants made me weep.


    Shadows reached up and shook their faces in rapid convulsions. Some climbed the walls of the pit, only to be jerked back into the fire by their chains. They howled like the unseen of a forest’s night.


    The sky’s outer darkness bluffed a frown, daring not to smile a star. Dusky fire ascended from the pit, a few sparks flew out. Seth examined the dirt that he walked on, and the gravel, which circled the pit. He stopped and cried and sobbed. I… he was still nine years old.


    “Don’t worry, Seth, they can’t come out of Hell and get us. We have to keep going,” said Jonathon in a shaky voice. “We have to tell Dreammore about everything that transpired in the woods. We have to tell them that they are safe now.


    Chapter 4


    Circles


    The ornaments, the circular structures, floated. No beginning started them and no ending stopped them. The gray bricks of the castle-top submitted their hardness and pull to the wind-chill of the white firmament. The circles floated around me like children holding hands, chilling me with a soulless rendition of Amazing Grace. Should these break up, the fragments would be their own circular forms. Every story is its own ornament and part of a bigger one. Does any happen before any other? Or do they exist all the same, only broken up by the concept of time and space? Seth lay in a bed squeezing his patchy quilt, hearing the fighting of Lorena and Ward: her screaming “Stop it;” him calling her a whore, hurling her body, reducing her being to thuds against the walls.



    Somewhere else in another circle broken from this one, dark boot in front of the other, my rod bouncing in between my determined steps, and the emerald ground between it all moved me to the glass doors. Doors inscribed, “Advisor’s Office,” separated one from another, releasing a blinding light. The fiddle played in the hands of a baby-man, his cheeks as rubicund as his suit. His accomplishments elevated him every bit as his wings did. I looked up to the height he rose to.


    “Hello, Lucifer.”


    “Skull Face, we finally meet.”


    The fiddle played. The artificial solar energy blinded the sight of all in the room except for him and a red bird making a step on the window seal. My carcass heated like cheese.


    “Bold, what you’ve done to yourself, Skull Face. Remember, there’s a time when lust becomes power, and then there’s a day when power becomes madness. When one is mad, was there truly a time when he was sane? Or is his remembrance of sanity just part of his madness?”


    “You tell me.” I retorted. “How could you rule a place like hell? It’s not lovely at all for a child to see them or hear their cries.” I grimaced. “It gave me a fright.”


    “Oh, I didn’t make hell! People made it and worse, they made me. I and god are just images of the human constructs of good and evil.”


    “People like Reverend Hale?” I replied.


    “Oh, you don’t know?” He laughed loudly, while he played his fiddle fiercely. The bird that had been on the window was now a crow. It squawked. When my eyes lay on him again, he had horns. His squealing laugh became a deep howl. His voice moved to that of a slow tape recorder.


    “You will die, and the madness will end! You’re a son of darkness, boy, just like your father!”


    I turned, determined to finish Lucifer, and marched through the open glass doors. I snarled. I felt it impressed upon me to stop his gloating, to, someday, bite the head off his red bird and spit it in his face.
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 2 Weeks Ago at 04:04 AM.

  27. #27
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,067
    I always wanted to read something longer from you. Your writing style is so fragmented, but in a way that makes it even more intriguing. It's like a shattered mirror, if you move you see a whole myriad of new reflections, maybe of you, maybe of something else. I love the bones of what you've got here, like Le Guin meets Palahniuk, and you better believe I mean that as a big compliment. Would love to see more of this.

    Glad you liked the zombies piece, including the slightly hamfisted social commentary. It's exaggerated for the joke, of course, but there is so much lazy thinking... people pour so much energy into stuff that doesn't matter that they miss what's in front of their faces.

    He said, typing 900th post into a pro wrestling message board.

    I've really only got one more play in the tank, and it may actually be my favorite. It got some recognition at the state level when my sister's students performed it. For reference, if anyone doesn't know what a reader's theater is, it's where the actors sit on stools with their scripts in front of them, but still play out the show vocally. It was a category in the state art competition, so I decided to play around with the trope. Anyway, here it is, for Benny or anyone else...

    A Reader’s Theater Murder Mystery

    Lights up on 12 stools, occupied by the 12 characters. Suggested arrangement, stage right to stage left:

    1. THE MUSICIAN 2. THE HUNTER 3. THE MURDERER 4. THE ATHLETE 5. THE SCIENTIST 6. THE DETECTIVE 7. THE DAMSEL 8. THE SCOUNDREL 9. THE MILLIONAIRE 10. THE MILLIONAIRE’S WIFE 11. THE MAID 12. THE BUTLER

    All characters should remain on their stools facing forward and not turning to either side more than three quarters for the duration of the show, unless otherwise directed by blocking.

    DETECTIVE: Good evening… it was a dark and stormy night.

    MAID makes a noise for thunder with her mouth.

    DETECTIVE: Erm, yes, quite. Thank you. On this particular dark and stormy night, I had been summoned to a gathering at the old Millionaire’s Mansion. As I am a detective by trade, I could not help but analyze the nature of this invitation. What could they want with a simple world renowned detective like myself? As I arrived, I combed the guest list for any additional clues that might provide a solution to this mystery. The group included, of course, our wealthy hosts.

    MILLIONAIRE: Come in from the rain! Dry yourself off with some money!

    MILLIONAIRE’S WIFE: We’re so glad you could come! You simply must take the tour of our home, it only takes 13 hours!

    DETECTIVE: (Aside) The millionaire, and his wife.

    MAID whistles the Gilligan’s Island theme.

    DETECTIVE: Hmm, yes. Assisting them was an overenthusiastic maid-

    MAID: (Loud and obnoxious) Hi!

    DETECTIVE: And the always suspicious butler.

    BUTLER: (As a vaudeville villain) Mwahahaha! May I take your coat?

    DETECTIVE: One by one, the guests arrived. A roguish scoundrel-

    SCOUNDREL: (Rebellious) Hey, the party’s here, man!

    DETECTIVE: A fetching damsel-

    DAMSEL: (Air headed) Heeheehee! Wow, looks like fun!

    DETECTIVE: A world famous scientist-

    SCIENTIST: (Nerdy) Math!

    DETECTIVE: An accomplished professional athlete-

    ATHLETE: (Beefy) Duh, not math!

    DETECTIVE: (Without missing a beat) A murderer-

    MURDERER smiles and waves cheerily, and does not appear threatening at all.

    DETECTIVE: A raucous big game hunter-

    HUNTER: (Jocular) Bully!

    DETECTIVE: And a struggling musician.

    MUSICIAN: (Sung loudly and badly) Hellooooooooooooooo everyone!

    DETECTIVE: Well, that solves the mystery of why the musician was struggling. Even so, there was nothing suspicious about the group at first glance, so-

    MAID: Wait a minute… did you say murderer?

    DETECTIVE: (Nonplussed to be interrupted) Er, I don’t think so. That wouldn’t be much of a murder mystery, now would it?

    MAID: (Doubtful) I guess not, but you said…

    DETECTIVE: Now that’s quite enough! How can I soliloquize if you keep interrupting?

    MAID: Alright, fine...

    DETECTIVE: As I was saying-

    MAID: Good grief, just trying to help…

    DETECTIVE: (Beat) As I was-

    MAID: (Quickly, annoyed to be dismissed) But you did say murderer.

    DETECTIVE: (Beat) Are you quite done?

    MAID: (Quickly, spoken at the same time) It just seems like that might be important.

    DETECTIVE: Please! I need to finish setting the scene before-

    BUTLER: May I have your attention please!

    DETECTIVE: Now see what you’ve done? You’ve ruined the exposition! The audience will be completely lost now!

    MAID: Nah, I think they get the general idea. Murder mystery is kind of a cliche, isn’t it?

    DETECTIVE: (Fuming) Why you-!

    BUTLER: I suppose you are all wondering why you have been gathered here today.

    THE GUESTS call out agreement and demand to know what’s going on, while the DETECTIVE pouts. THE MURDERER gets off their stool and crosses quietly around the back of the stools, listening and moving slowly towards the BUTLER.

    BUTLER: You see, each one of you has a terrible secret, and I am here to reveal those secrets and use them to blackmail each of you! (The GUESTS gasp melodramatically!) Each of you thought your sins could be hidden, but justice will always find you out! And I am justice, dark and terrible!

    MUSICIAN: Noo! What are you going to do to us!

    BUTLER: Well, nothing to you. You weren’t even invited. What are you doing here?

    MUSICIAN: (Sung sadly and dramatically) I get so lonely…

    BUTLER: Well it doesn’t matter, because I will take from each of you what you value most!

    (Fast paced but not overlapping)

    HUNTER: My valuable trophies from foreign lands!

    BUTLER: Yes!

    SCIENTIST: My test tubes!

    BUTLER: Ye… no, what?

    DAMSEL: My man!

    BUTLER: Not really…

    SCOUNDREL: My charms!

    BUTLER: What? How would I even?

    ATHLETE: My sweet bod!

    BUTLER: What?? No!!!

    MILLIONAIRE: My money!

    BUTLER: Yes, someone gets it!

    MILLIONAIRE’S WIFE: His money!

    BUTLER: That’s the same thing, but yes!

    DETECTIVE: You’ll get nothing from me, you fool. I’m not afraid of a suspicious butler!

    BUTLER: Oh, is that so detective? You’ll soon learn your mistake in not fearing me! You shall serve as an example to the others! Your life will never be the same when I reveal that your dark secret is… oh no!!

    MURDERER pulls BUTLER off his stool and pulls him around so that his backstage is STAGE LEFT. MURDERER gives BUTLER a flimsy karate chop on his forehead.

    BUTLER: Augh!! BUTLER collapses onto his back and remains laid out there for the rest of the show. MURDERER retreats behind the stools and stays there, watching and listening.

    MILLIONAIRE’S WIFE: My goodness! What’s happened?

    MAID: Um, I think he’s dead!

    DETECTIVE: You think he’s dead?

    MAID: Well, I can’t quite… (She tries to turn herself to look at where BUTLER has fallen, but can’t move past the 3/4th profile.) If only this weren’t reader’s theater I could go make sure!

    DAMSEL: Oh dear! How can we find out?

    SCIENTIST: A simple experiment, my dear! If he is alive, he will certainly still want to blackmail us. Excuse me, Mr Butler sir? Do you still want to blackmail us? (silence) Ah, there, you see! He must be dead. Science does not lie!

    SCOUNDREL: Maybe he’s sleeping.

    SCIENTIST: Well, really! Are you questioning scientific fact? In my experience people do not fall asleep in the middle of a blackmail attempt.

    HUNTER: By jove, maybe he’s narcoleptic!

    DETECTIVE: Never knew someone to shout “Oh no! Augh!” as they fell asleep.

    MUSICIAN: (Sung dramatically) Maybe it was unrelated!

    DETECTIVE: I think that’s enough out of the peanut gallery.

    ATHLETE: Somebody has peanuts? Gotta get my protein, brah!

    DETECTIVE: Can we focus, please? A man just died!

    WIFE: Not to be crass, but are we certain that’s actually a problem?

    MILLIONAIRE: That’s right love, he was trying to blackmail us after all.

    DETECTIVE: That sounds like something a murderer would say! That’s right, I said murder!

    MAID: Amazing deduction…

    DETECTIVE: Quiet, you!

    MAID: I mean, it’s in the title of the play…

    DETECTIVE: You… you can’t protect your boss by playing dumb! That’s right sir, I am accusing you of murder sir!

    WIFE: Heavens!

    MILLIONAIRE: Now, there must be some mistake. Murder is something poor people do, right? As a kind of sport, I believe?

    ATHLETE: Hey, I’m good at sports! Maybe I should look into this whole murder thing!

    THE MURDER moves behind THE MILLIONAIRE and starts making faces and motions behind him, bunny ears and such.

    MILLIONAIRE: And I’d be happy to sponsor you my boy, I’m sure you’d be a natural.

    WIFE: Just think dear, we’re going to own a professional murder team!

    DETECTIVE: More playing dumb, eh? You had your own butler killed to protect your dirty money and dirty secrets!

    WIFE: How dare you?

    MILLIONAIRE: Indeed! My money isn’t dirty, it’s laundered regularly!

    DETECTIVE: Oh come on! No more dumb rich guy jokes!

    MILLIONAIRE: You’ll never stop me! I’ve got a million of them! I-

    MURDERER lightly taps MILLIONAIRE on the right side of his head.

    MILLIONAIRE: Gah! (He stumbles off the stool and collapses to the ground on STAGE LEFT, dead.)

    WIFE: (Drawn out) Noooooooo!

    MUSICIAN: Ooooooo! (Tries to harmonize after a few seconds)

    WIFE: What are you doing?

    MUSICIAN: Hey, every moment can be an artistic moment!

    DETECTIVE: Maybe not this one, Beethoven.

    MUSICIAN: Dum dum dum dum! (Beethoven’s Fifth!)

    DETECTIVE: I suppose I walked into that one.

    WIFE: Are you people really doing a comedy bit right now? That hardly seems appropriate!

    MAID: Tell me about it. The tone of this is all over the place.

    ATHLETE: (Very serious) I’m very toned.

    SCIENTIST: You’re an idiot.

    HUNTER: Now see here, this can’t go on!

    SCOUNDREL: I agree! I haven’t spoken in almost a full page! I shouldn’t be in the background, I’m a handsome scoundrel!

    DAMSEL: (Swooning) Oooh, what a rebel.

    DETECTIVE: I’ll solve the mystery of your missing lines later… right now we’ve got two people off their stools, dead on the floor!

    ATHLETE: Uh, three.

    SCOUNDREL: Can’t you count? It’s only two, meat head!

    SCIENTIST: Hey, shaming the dummy is my thing!

    SCOUNDREL: I don’t play by your rules, man!

    DAMSEL: (Fanning herself) Oh my...

    HUNTER: He’s quite right though, dear boy. The butler and his employer have gone to that great trophy room in the sky, but everyone else is quite alright.

    ATHLETE: Huh. Ok but… where’s this guy? (Without turning, ATHLETE waves their hand in the empty air where the MURDERER was originally sitting.)

    (Beat of silence.)

    DETECTIVE: Someone else is out of their stool?

    HUNTER: Well that’s hardly sporting!

    SCIENTIST: He must be incorrect, it’s scientifically impossible.

    SCOUNDREL: Hey, there can’t be a bigger rule breaker than me!

    MUSICIAN: (Sung) Guys I’m getting freaked out!

    DETECTIVE: Quiet everyone! This is all a red herring. Mysteries have clues, logic, clever solutions. It’s not like someone is going to just get up off their stool and start merrily bopping people on the head. (MURDERER waves cheerily to the crowd again) No, the true solution is clear… it was YOU! (Points at WIFE) You were planning to kill your husband and your butler found out, so you killed them both so you could have the whole fortune for yourself! That’s right, it was the rich man’s wife, it was… er, what’s your name again?

    WIFE: (Tries to answer, is stumped, then realizes with horror) Oh no… I have no idea!

    DETECTIVE: (Uncertain) Uh… don’t think you can plead insanity!

    WIFE: I don’t think I have a name… I don’t even have my own identity in the script. I’m just “the Millionaire’s Wife”. I don’t exist without a man to define me! How regressive, this is 2017!

    DETECTIVE: Stop trying to bog me down in politics and philosophy! Admit your guilt!

    DAMSEL: Ooh, so forceful!

    WIFE: You better get yourself together, girl! Have you even had a line yet that wasn’t just reacting to what a man said? (DAMSEL is nonplussed) You don’t even have a line right now, do you? Just wait, you’ll wind up as nothing but an accessory to a man, someone’s wife in a story where you don’t even get your own name! And if I’m not important enough to have a name, it’s only a matter of time before… oh no!

    MURDERER has been thinking it over during this exchange, then nods and taps WIFE on the right side of her head. WIFE falls off the stool next to her husband, dead. Silent beat.

    HUNTER: I don’t want to alarm anyone, gentlemen, but I don’t think any of us have names in this script.

    DETECTIVE: (A little nervous now) Now don’t you start! This isn’t about scripts or formats, it’s a mystery, for heaven’s sake! Everything will be fine once I figure out the solution!

    SCOUNDREL: Why do you assume you’re the hero? Maybe it’s me, man. I’m the cool one. Haven’t you ever heard of an antihero?

    DETECTIVE: Oh please. I did the opening narration, AND I’m sitting in the middle.

    MAID: Uh, guys? The dead people? Can we focus?

    DETECTIVE: Don’t worry, this is my field. First, we must make certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the victims are, in fact, deceased. After all, it could be (Dramatically) a clever ruse!

    HUNTER: Yes, you should check! Some creatures can be quite crafty at pretending to be dead, like the fearsome possum! I’ve been fooled before on my possum safaris!

    DETECTIVE: Possum…? I’m going to let that go for now. Yes, check the bodies.

    MAID: How am I supposed to…? Ugh. (MAID wiggles on the stool but can’t leave it. She reaches out her foot and prods the bodies.) Uh, sure. They seem pretty dead.

    DETECTIVE: As I knew they would be!

    MAID: Then why…?

    DETECTIVE: So then, what I must now determine is which among us had the motive to commit these crimes! Musician! Your career is going nowhere, true or false?

    MUSICIAN: (Sung sadly) I’m not very good!

    DETECTIVE: Perhaps the rich man’s will leaves a fortune to support the arts, eh? Enough to fill the coffers and support even failures like yourself!

    MUSICIAN: (Sung) Hey I still have feelings! In fact, I have nothing more than feelings!

    DETECTIVE: Hunter! You enjoy killing for sport, do you not?

    HUNTER: I do, my boy, I do. I truly do love killing.

    DETECTIVE: Perhaps you desired to hunt the most dangerous game of all!

    HUNTER: Possum?

    DETECTIVE: Poss… NO!! Man!

    HUNTER: I would never!

    DETECTIVE: So you say!

    HUNTER: In this country!

    DETECTIVE: Deny it if… wait, what?

    HUNTER: Besides, hunting man isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. They have really dull teeth and no claws to speak of. (Makes motion to demonstrate.) Possums, now…

    DETECTIVE: Moving on! Athlete! You’re clearly a muscle over mind type… (ATHLETE is mimicking HUNTER’s motion, mind blown that he has dull teeth and no claws) Way over mind, it seems. Perhaps someone is using you as a pawn!

    ATHLETE: I don’t even know how to play checkers, I swear!

    DETECTIVE: Or perhaps more direct brains were involved… Scientist! Testing a new mad theory, perhaps?

    SCIENTIST: Eh, I’m more of a “create a mutant monster” type.

    DETECTIVE: Well.. maybe man was the greatest monster all along!

    SCIENTIST: Come on, give me a little credit. This isn’t the Twilight Zone.

    DETECTIVE: Hm… well, Damsel! You… (DAMSEL is flirtatious playing with her hair) Er, I’ll come back to you.

    DAMSEL: Oh poo! I wanted to be part of it too!

    DETECTIVE: Ok, maybe… they didn’t think you were pretty?

    DAMSEL: They didn’t? I’ll kill them!!!

    DETECTIVE: But they’re already… ok then. Scoundrel!

    SCOUNDREL: Hey man, I’ve had about enough of this!

    DETECTIVE: Don’t interrupt me when I’m accusing you!

    SCOUNDREL: No way man, I don’t respect your authority!

    DAMSEL: Oooh! Now don’t you two fight over little old me!

    DETECTIVE: No, that’s not what we’re doing.

    SCOUNDREL: I’ll fight for you, baby!

    DAMSEL: Oh no, I said don’t do that! Even though I can only be with one of you in the end!

    HUNTER: By jove, but this is dramatic!

    MUSICIAN: (Sung) A love triangle for the ages!

    DETECTIVE: You’re not helping!!

    SCOUNDREL: Hey man, all your talking and all your rules, they aren’t solving our problem! Sometimes the only way to solve a problem is action!

    HUNTER: Bully, dear boy!

    ATHLETE: Yeah man, get physical!

    DAMSEL: Oh wow, it’s so exciting!

    DETECTIVE: Ok, so what, you’re gonna go fight the murderer? How you gonna do that, tough guy?

    SCOUNDREL: Street fight rules! Anything goes, down in the grit and the dirt! He’s gonna think he’s got me, but I’ll throw a little dirt in his eyes! And I’ll give him one of these! And one of those, hi-ya!!! (SCOUNDREL does various kicks and punches and karate noises through the next exchange, sitting in his stool. Everyone but DETECTIVE and MAID cheers him on and encourages him. MURDERER stands behind him and makes fun of him.)

    DETECTIVE: Oh yeah, you’re gonna punch him?

    SCOUNDREL: Ohhh yeah!

    DETECTIVE: You’re gonna kick him?

    SCOUNDREL: Yeeeeehah!!

    DETECTIVE: You’re gonna wipe the floor with him, huh?

    SCOUNDREL: Wakayakahaka ooooooh wow!!!

    DETECTIVE: Ok, go get him!

    SCOUNDREL tries to jump off his stool, but still can’t get up. He struggles in place for a little while then stops.

    DETECTIVE: What’s the matter, tough guy?

    SCOUNDREL: I think… he should come to me, man.

    DETECTIVE: Is that right?

    SCOUNDREL: That’s right, man. It’s too… predictable for me to go get him. It’s like… a rule, and I break rules!

    MAID: And it’s not that you forgot you can’t get off the stool?

    SCOUNDREL: (Long beat, then trying to sound tough) ...No, man.

    DETECTIVE: Ok, because I just thought-

    SCOUNDREL: Nope. Noooope. I just think he should come stand, right… just right directly in front of me, and then I’ll show him what’s what!

    DETECTIVE: (Loses patience) No you won’t because you’re not the main character!

    SCOUNDREL: Hey MAN, you can’t tell me what to-

    MURDERER does a dramatic karate wind up, then lightly chops SCOUNDREL on the back of the head. He falls forward in a heap, dead.

    DAMSEL: (Drawn out) Nooooo!

    MUSICIAN: (Tries to harmonize again) Ooooo!

    DETECTIVE: Stop that!! Damsel, are you alright?

    DAMSEL: (Cheerful) Oh yes, I’m fine now.

    DETECTIVE: That… was a quick recover.

    DAMSEL: As long as you’re around, nothing bad can happen!

    MAID: No, it’s not like four people died…

    DETECTIVE: I’m working on it!

    MAID: Hey, it’s not your fault. It’s just the genre.

    SCIENTIST: Um, excuse me? I for one would like to not die just because I got stuck in a murder genre story.

    HUNTER: Indeed, dying is for animals who can’t defend themselves, not for me!

    MUSICIAN: (Sung) Not dying would be just swell!

    ATHLETE: Uh, what they said! I was paying attention!

    DAMSEL: Well, I hate to break it to you guys, but you’ll probably be dead soon.

    ATHLETE: (Upset) Why would you say that?

    MUSICIAN: (Sung) What kind of a person says something like that?

    HUNTER: I should shoot you like a possum for that!

    SCIENTIST: Are you admitting, perhaps, your guilt in these murders by making this threat?

    MAID: No, I think she’s just a bad person.

    DAMSEL: Well I’m sorry if you can’t handle an HONEST person, but I’m just being real. Don’t you know how these stories go? The only really important characters are the strong, forceful man who solves the mystery, and the beautiful woman he fights for and sacrifices everything to protect. Everyone else is pretty much filler, a bunch of expendable nobodies whose only purpose is die and heighten the drama. Do you notice how much you’ve been talking in batches, one line at a time for each of you?

    SCIENTIST: We do not!

    HUNTER: By jove, it’s not true!

    ATHLETE: Nuh uh!

    MUSICIAN: (Sung) I resent your implication!

    DAMSEL: And that’s another thing! I mean, what purpose do you four really serve, except to be one note jokes drawn out over 20 minutes? A nerd-

    SCIENTIST: Preposterous slander!

    DAMSEL: A dummy-

    ATHLETE: Duh!

    DAMSEL A weasel hunter, I guess-

    HUNTER: Possum!

    DAMSEL: And Miss sing everything over there. You’re a bunch of jokes, and nobody cares what happens to you in the end! I’ll be hanging off my man’s arm long after you’re all gone!

    DAMSEL reaches back to grab DETECTIVE’S arm but grabs the MURDERER without realizing it. MURDERER, who has been shaking their head at this speech, pats DAMSEL on the top of her head. DAMSEL’S eyes go blank, and MURDERER draws back. DAMSEL tries to hold on to the arm and ends up stumbling behind the stools before collapsing. Silent beat.

    MUSICIAN: (Spoken sadly and quietly) I don’t have to sing everything. (Sung triumphantly) I just prefer it that way!

    HUNTER: My goodness. Was she the next to go?

    SCIENTIST: Not to speak ill of the dead, but good riddance to bad detritus!

    ATHLETE: You might have dodged a bullet there, brah.

    DETECTIVE: (Slightly panicking) Are you all nuts? Any one of us could be next! I need to solve this before we’re out of time!

    HUNTER: My dear boy, do you still believe this is a problem with a simple solution?

    SCIENTIST: The data does suggest this is no normal mystery, and that mere deduction may bring you no closer to resolving this conundrum. The culprit would seem to be quite perfidious.

    ATHLETE: Yeah, and the bad guy’s tricky too!

    Silent beat. Everyone looks at MUSICIAN, as far as the 3/4ths face will allow.

    MUSICIAN: (Sung) What? I don’t have anything to say this time!

    SCIENTIST: Perhaps she was right, we do speak a foursome a little too often.

    MAID: We really do need to figure out what we’re going to do.

    HUNTER: What can we do? We’re trapped like possums in a trap.

    MUSICIANS: (Sung) Would you stop with the possums?

    HUNTER: Now, don’t you start too!

    MAID: Yeah, it was a lot funnier at first, you’re kind of running it into the ground.

    HUNTER: Alright, fine. To be honest, I never thought my character would last this long.

    DETECTIVE: (Panicking more) Aren’t you people afraid??

    HUNTER: Oh, don’t take things so seriously my boy. If my character is no longer funny and it’s my turn to go, there’s nothing I can do about it, is there? Here, allow me to tempt fate. I surely do wish I had my possum gun!

    MURDERER throws their hands up in desperation, then pulls HUNTER off to STAGE RIGHT.

    HUNTER: I was right! One possum too many!

    MURDERER does a mock slap, sending HUNTER crashing upstage to be dead.

    SCIENTIST: A fascinating experiment! It’s as though our quirks have ceased to be pulchritudinous and have become merely putrid in the eyes of our obfuscated assailant!

    MURDERER grabs SCIENTIST and pokes her in the eyes, Three Stooges style.

    SCIENTIST: Ah! My faculties of visual perception! (He stumbles STAGE RIGHT and collapses, dead).

    ATHLETE: I don’t want to come in last place! Do me next, do me next!

    MURDERER flexes muscles and then bops ATHLETE on the forehead, and he stumbles behind the stools do to be dead.

    MUSICIAN: (Sung) I always wanted a dramatic death scene!!

    MURDERER makes dramatic gestures, then casually pushes MUSICIAN towards CENTER STAGE. MUSICIAN grabs at DETECTIVE’S leg as she dies.

    MUSICIAN: (Sung) I always… loved you! (She collapses to be dead)

    Silent beat.

    DETECTIVE: What… was… that.

    MAID: (Still happy to help.) The murderer, I expect! I told you that you introduced him as a separate character. Or her, come to think of it!

    DETECTIVE: (Weakly) I… (Suddenly snaps back to himself) That’s right! You were talking about a murderer before any of this happened! It was you all along!

    Beat. Nothing happens, DETECTIVE slumps again.

    MAID: Did you think that would bring this thing to an end? Sorry, no such luck. I think we’re in it for the duration, buddy. The show must go on, you know?

    DETECTIVE: I don’t understand… was it… me? Was I the murderer?

    MAID: I don’t think this is that kind of story. This is a story about something beyond our control, something just outside our field of vision controlling and influencing our lives in ways we can’t understand.

    DETECTIVE: But… why?

    MAID: I think you had the right idea, just the wrong execution. It doesn’t matter who the murderer is, but if we can figure out why this is happening, what it means, then the story will have reached its conclusion. I read a lot of stories, and most aren’t like this. The ones like this usually have some kind of deep meaning, some psychological truth. Let me try something… Mr Murderer, are you there? Can you hear us? Or Ms Murderer? I mean, women can do anything men can do, including being unseen murderers… We want to know why you’re doing this.

    MURDERER stops goofing off for once and slowly walks towards MAID through the speech, listening.

    MAID: Is it all about showing us that life is outside of our control? That sometimes it feels like stuff happens for no reason, but there is always a plan behind it? Do we need to surrender control to a higher power? (Quiet beat) Or maybe it’s about knocking down stereotypes and cliches, challenging us to view the people we meet as more than cardboard cutouts with simple, reductive defining features? Is this…
    is this like a spooky Breakfast Club thing?

    DETECTIVE: You don’t really think-

    MAID: Ok, that one’s a little unlikely. But think with me here.

    DETECTIVE: Ok… maybe the deeper meaning is about… murder?

    MAID: ...Really. That’s all you got?

    DETECTIVE: Well what’s wrong with that?

    MAID: Man, you are really limited by your genre, aren’t you?

    DETECTIVE: Well I never had to step outside it before, ok?!?

    MAID: Ok, let me take one last try… Hello, mystery person? Is this all about the fact that as we go through life we can only see what’s in front of us, and are blissfully unaware of the dangers on all sides until it’s too late? Is it about limitations we put on ourselves, silly rules that society tells us we need to follow that in truth put us in danger and stop us from reaching our full potential? (Growing more animated) Is it about being blind, small, and defenseless in an uncaring world that sometimes seems to be ready to swat us like a fly at any moment, and there’s nothing we can do about it?

    Beat.

    MAID: Or maybe sometimes a story just a story, open to interpretation, and finding the meaning is secondary to simply seeing what happens next?

    MURDERER regards her for a quiet beat, then shrugs and flicks MAID on the forehead. MAID pops up on her feet, eyes wide.

    MAID: Oh… now I see.

    MAID collapses to the floor, dead.

    Beat. THE MURDERER slowly moves towards

    DETECTIVE: Hello? Oh no, no, don’t tell me I’m alone! I can’t… no, wait, go back, think, deduce, use logic… No! I need characters, clues, context! I’m not cut out for this introspective, metaphysical stuff! I need structure and form, beginning, middle, and end! I need a role to perform for the audience, or else the story can never be told… Wait, that’s it! The audience! You have the true power here! The story can’t exist at all without you! It’s just me left now, but this doesn’t have to be it for me! Just stop watching this story, stop listening to me! Stop thinking about what happens next! Go out in the hall, have some punch or something, put this strange tale out of your mind! It’s still not too late! Just tell yourself the play is over, and it will be! The show will go on no matter what, unless there’s no one to show it too! Skip to the next story and maybe I’ll be there! Rescuing damsels, fending off scoundrels, uncovering plots and saving the day! The next one won’t be like this, I’m sure of it! Please! Get out of your seats,
    walk out that door, before-

    MURDERER places a hand on DETECTIVE’S shoulder.

    DETECTIVE: Oh, no…

    MURDERER waves goodbye to the audience, then taps one finger on the top of DETECTIVE’S head, and he collapses to the floor, dead.

    Beat.

    MURDERER gives one last cheerful wave and smile to the crowd.

    MURDERER: And scene!

    THE END

  28. #28
    Woah, WTF man! Great shit! Gonna have to read it 5 more times to figure it out!

    The maid is the only character to step outside her stereo-type. Good, consistent humor throughout.


    Fragmented



    Chapter 5


    Reverend Hale


    I will ensure this reflection remains trapped in the ornaments. Though, I will tell you, when mounting the castle-top, the ornaments materialized as they sometimes do. Clouds encompassed their inwards during their spin. Without a hint of slowing, their merry-go-round halted. When the clouds cleared, the ornament played a motion picture of a congregation singing Amazing Grace, as the Phoenix family, late for service as usual, sneaked to the back pew. Lorraine, in fast motion, set her purse down, Jonathon set his Bible down. Ward plunged himself on the pew; the rest of the family remained standing, singing Amazing Grace out of red-back hymnbooks. A few people stared back at Ward and laughed at his ridiculous wife beater and checkered tie.


    On the back wall, behind the pulpit, hung an art piece of a man dying on a cross, and on the left side wall hung a strange piece of fierce faced angels flying and dragging numinous individuals with dilated eyes and gaping mouths towards the darkness. Lorraine explained that it had something to do with Revelations, God’s angels carrying people to heaven. Seth looked into the creatures’ scared eyes and wondered about them. The picture had shaped Seth and Jonathon’s role playing games. They pretended to fight the creatures in the pictures: dragons and trolls and witches and goblins and large men with funny, monstrous facial features. Stained glass windows looped on both sides of the man on the cross and down half of both side walls. In the front of the church, the American flag stood folded in the right hand corner, the Christian flag in the left.


    When the hymnal came to an end, the Phoenix family sat down. Seth looked at the floor, Jonathon sat erect, Ward had been sitting the entire service and appeared zoned out, and Lorraine, radiating like a headlight, smiled at the church choir and the congregation and her sons and Ward.


    Deacon Gyro seized the pulpit. Seth liked him. He was broad shouldered and wore a light grey suit and a purple shirt, popping the collar over his jacket, and he had a Rolex wristwatch. He carried his words like musical notes “Now it’s time for the bread and wine of the service!” He said.


    “Amen!” The Pentecostal congregation shouted.


    He pulled the microphone closer to his mouth for the congregation to hear him breathe hard between his sentences. It was a sound effect that made them feel the Holy Spirit and get excited.


    “When I say bread and wine, I’m not talking about communion,” heavy breathe, “I’m not talking about bread that makes you fat,” heavy breathe, “I’m not talking drinking wine coolers or bud light or Jack Daniels or Tequila or whisky or vodka,” heavy breathe.


    The congregation shouted, “Amen!” and “Glory to God!”


    “I’m talking about getting druuuuuuuuuuunnnk off the Spiiiiiirrrrrrrrriiiiiit of the Lawd!” Five heavy breathes.


    Lorraine clapped, Seth smiled a little, Ward hung his head and shoulders down like a propped up corpse, and Jonathon nodded and kept eye contact with Gyro.


    “This morning,” heavy breathe, “Reverend Hale,” heavy breathe, “is going to get us all drunk.”


    The church laughed, Lorraine giggled and looked at Ward. He was a dirty-blonde haired, bearded, muscular, six-foot five dead body.


    “And the Lawwwwd said,” Heavy breathe, “’let there be light!’” Heavy breathe. “Reverend Hale, come up here and bring us that light of the Lawd!” Heavy breathe.


    The church applauded. Jonathon jumped out of his seat and clapped. Reverend Hale approached the pulpit, tucking his King James Version, Holy Bible under his arm. His smile sparkled at the congregation. He wore a white shirt and black tie, barely visible underneath his purple robe. The way the light fell on his head made Lorraine sometimes think she saw a halo surrounding his silver hair. Seth could not look at him. Jonathon could not lose eye contact with him.


    “I had a wonderful Christmas last night, I hope you did too,” Reverend Hale said.
    Seth rolled his eyes.


    “Notwithstanding, I am obliged by God to not preach a Christmas message, I must continue my lecture on Armageddon, instead. There is urgency in my spirit to do this. The time must indeed be nearing,” he smiled at a graying, middle aged blonde in the front pew. “My text is Revelations 19:14-15.” He opened his Bible, cleared his throat, and lifted his voice.


    And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron. And he treadeth the wine press of fierceness and wrath of God Almighty.


    “Armageddon,” Reverend Hale gently expounded, “will be a world war. Nation will rise against Nation and Kingdom against kingdom. It will be all who are good against all who are evil, meaning it will also be a civil war, for we know both good and evil exists everywhere in the world. He continued, “It will be a civil war amongst your own family. Both good and evil exists in our families. Does it not? Some of you are nodding your heads, yes, some of you are pointing at your spouses, oh my. I better get off that sub-topic before you get into trouble. I don’t want to start Armageddon right now!” He led the church in laughter and continued. “It will indeed be mother against daughter, husband against wife, brother against brother. The good destroy the bad.”


    Seth focused on his tennis shoes. They were white, kind of yellowed by dirt. He hoped he had a new pair under the tree. He thought about his still-unopened presents and everything but Reverend Hale’s topic. He didn’t want to imagine himself fighting against his own brother.


    “I do have good news,” he smiled. “The Armageddon war will be the final war. We who are good will have everlasting peace. That is our destiny. Ah, Destiny! It is one man’s destiny to lead the good, it is the good’s destiny to follow him, and it is the evil’s destiny to follow their evil leader and to be destroyed. What is your destiny? Let’s make something clear as an unclouded day. If you are committing crimes against God: fornication, selfishness, slothfulness, murders, hate, envy, strife, or anything else of the sinful nature, you are indeed destined for Hell. It will be a literal, eternal Hell with the hottest existing fire, black fire. It will burn you forever. If you are on the good side you can smile with me. It’s not all doom. We have a beautiful, peaceful destiny.”


    “Look at Reverend Hale, Seth,” Lorraine whispered, “Go ahead. It’s alright.”


    Seth sank into his vest. The pit of his stomach scolded him about his morning-slothfulness and his father-hating. “Go ahead, Seth, look. He has a halo over his head.”


    Seth would not look, but he doubted it. He envisioned horns and Hale breathing smoke from his nostrils and the pulpit igniting black hellfire.


    “Look in his kind eyes, Seth. You won’t be able to even question him.”


    Seth worried that Hale would cast a spell on him if he looked.


    “Armageddon is the final story of destiny,” he preached.


    Jonathon sat erect, butt half way off the pew. Reverend Hale locked eyes with him. The congregation between the back pew and the pulpit no longer existed. “One man must bring peace through war. What a fight he must fight, what a man it must take!” Hale said.


    Seth fidgeted his fingers and felt uncomfortable with both the pulpit and the back pew; Jonathon and Reverend Hale seemed to be in a room of their own, obscuring the man on the cross. Then, at last, Reverend Hale released his sharp eyes from Jonathon’s soul and pierced his own. He spoke slowly and in a daze. “It is his destiny to destroy the sinners; it is my destiny to judge them.”


    The congregation murmured amongst themselves, and Hale saw them and backpedaled. “Ahem, it is all the saints’ duty to judge sinners. The Bible says we will judge angels! How much more worthy are we to judge sinners?”


    The congregation, satisfied with his explanation, quieted, and he ranted on, insisting that they all be judgmental, backing up his statements with scripture. Lorraine had nudged Ward throughout the sermon hoping he would hear, hoping he would be saved, hoping he would change. Because she did not look at his face, because she had not for years, she did not notice that he was gone. His head humped over, his physique abandoned by his soul.


    “Judging is part of the power of God!” Hale insisted. His wide eyes and wide smile, underneath the wrinkles in his forehead and face, made him resemble a lunatic. “And we have the power of God!” He shouted.


    Ward procured a resemblance of life and moved brainlessly. The zombie-man hopped to his feet and raised his hand. Lorraine gave him a snappy whisper. “Ward, what are you doing?”


    Reverend Hale put his glasses on and strained his eyes at Ward.


    Ward snarled, “If you have the power of God, preacher man, move our pew.”


    Not even a baby’s cry could be heard. Jonathon clenched his fists, and Lorraine cried, and Seth buried his face between his legs. His world was his sown up pants’ crotch and blood of the lamb red pew cushion. Nobody had ever dared to interrupt Reverend Hale before, especially to challenge him.


    “What do you mean move the pew?” Reverend Hale bellowed a confused laugh.


    “Pick it up with your eyes.”


    “Levitate it, like magic?”


    “Yes, preacher, levitate it.”


    “That is preposterous!” Reverend Hale yelled. Commotion broke out in the church. Hale continued, “Such a power would be exceedingly evil!”


    Ward removed his tie, “Allow me.”


    The commotion became louder. Gyro was ready to jump at him.


    “Stop it, Ward!” Lorraine was sobbing. “You’re not even drunk!”


    “Shut up! I can do this.” Ward concentrated on their pew.


    Seth’s stomach dropped. His crotch and thighs shook about. The pew became a small ship hit by a tidal wave. Seth bumped into his mom and then his brother. Finally they steadied. After the tsunami passed, Seth lifted his eyes from his hands to scope out its still survivals. His eyes touched Jonathon’s. They laughed without sound. The blood red carpet was a long ways down. Magic, Seth thought, real magic! They’re wondering plummeted as they processed that it was Ward who wielded the power.


    Lorraine’s mouth fell. Women gasped, elders clutched their chests, and several deacons and men led by Gyro hustled to the back of the church. Bodies of men mounted on bodies of men created a tower with Ward as the foundation. They tackled him, then rolled with him, and then threw punches on his head and shoulders. Some drug his arms, others his hair, others his legs. They struggled to pull the beast of a man to the front of the church. Together they held him down in the altar. He fought and cursed. They shouted prayers and panicked.


    “It is the spirit of a demon!” Gyro yelled.


    “No, this is the spirit of Beelzebub, the prince of demons!” Reverend Hale declared, and with a fixed frown, he marched to the graying blonde on the front pew and demanded her gold cross from around her neck.


    Then, he burned Ward’s skin into the carpet. Dangling the cross in Ward’s face and kicking Ward a few times, he spoke in unknown tongues. Ward groaned. Reverend Hale’s voice picked up, his pupils rolled back, and the whites of his eyes enlarged. For every fifteen words Reverend Hale said in tongues, Ward groaned a couple of times. Reverend Hale became louder. Ward gasped and gasped and finally his eyes shut. The men pulled Ward to his feet, and then let him go. Ward collapsed.


    Seth, Jonathon, and Lorraine on the pew, Ward on the floor, and the entire church in itself became cloudy. Through a haze, I saw Reverend Hale, with a smug expression, handing the graying blonde, on the front pew, her cross back.
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 1 Week Ago at 04:12 AM.

  29. #29
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,067
    Haha, if you do read my piece 5 more times, I'd love to hear more of your thoughts. I do think it's pretty layered, to the point where my sister said the kids didn't always get it at first. I actually saw their performance and thought they did a great job though.

    Really enjoyed this chapter. I love the juxtaposition of the "ornaments", the castle, and a church that any of us might remember from our youth (at first, at least). Love the description of the image at the back of the church too. I can see it, I can feel it. The whole sermon portion was so compelling. One enthralled, one repulsed. A halo or horns? I never expected it to turn into an impromptu exorcism but the children being filled with joy to see real magic is great against the backdrop of the violent reaction of Hale. Lots to like in this chapter.

    This isn't one of mine, it's actually my sister's, but it's being performed professional this weekend in Illinois so I thought it would be a good time to share, if anyone is interested:

    CHARACTER ARC

    ASHLEY, mid 30s, jaded and sarcastic to a fault.
    BRITTANY, early 30s, the peacekeeper.
    TAYLOR, mid 20s, the baby of the family.
    OLIVER, mid 20s, a genuinely nice guy.

    Lights up on the waiting room in a care
    facility. ASHLEY, BRITTANY and TAYLOR are sitting at a table. Ashley and Brittany are playing a game of War. Taylor is reading a People magazine. Brittany and Ashley are quietly enjoying the game, though Ashley is doing well and Brittany is not. Ashley wins another round and fist pumps.

    ASHLEY
    (gesturing to the card to Brittany) Ooh, tough break.

    BRITTANY
    (under her breath) Cheater.

    Ashley scoffs.

    BRITTANY (cont.)
    Yes, you are.

    ASHLEY
    Am not.

    BRITTANY
    You are 100% cheating.

    ASHLEY
    I am 100% not.

    TAYLOR
    She’s probably cheating.
    ASHLEY
    Thanks a lot, Benedict Arnold. Name one time I’ve cheated.

    BRITTANY
    Every time we play a game of any kind.

    ASHLEY
    That’s not one time!

    BRITTANY
    That’s my point--it’s all times!

    ASHLEY
    Yes, I have always cheated. You caught me. When I was a wee child, I ingested baby-steroids so I could take my first step.

    BRITTANY
    (holds up her phone) Say that again, for the record.

    TAYLOR
    I have an example. Monopoly.

    BRITTANY
    Yes. That. Monopoly.

    ASHLEY
    Here we go.

    TAYLOR
    The 2008 Housing Crisis has nothing on you. Thanks, Ash-bama.

    ASHLEY
    Whatever. Communism looks good on paper, it looks even better when you play Monopoly.

    TAYLOR
    If we play a game later with Josh, do not cheat.
    BRITTANY
    Oh, Josh is coming?

    TAYLOR
    Yes, I told you last week, remember?

    ASHLEY
    Yay. I was just thinking that life was too interesting--I needed someone to spill a big glass of boring all over it.

    TAYLOR
    Thank you, that’s very nice.

    ASHLEY
    I’ll be here all day.

    TAYLOR
    Okay, but really--don’t. Not when Josh gets here. He’s already doing a nice thing coming out--you know he hates driving long distances.

    ASHLEY
    Why doesn’t he just fly? Is he deathly afraid of peanuts? Or is it the extreme time-saving and convenience that he has an issue with?

    TAYLOR
    I don’t know, but don’t badger him about it when he gets here.

    ASHLEY
    Why not?

    TAYLOR
    Because he probably has a weird reason and when he tells you, you two will do your stupid thing.

    BRITTANY
    What?
    TAYLOR
    You’ll look at each other.

    BRITTANY
    Uh…?

    ASHLEY
    So that’s what he’s allergic to--people looking at each other’s faces.

    TAYLOR
    Okay, since you two are playing stupid--it’s thing you two do when you think someone says something dumb and you give each other this look.

    Ashley and Brittany look at each other.
    Ashley smirks and Brittany rolls her eyes.

    TAYLOR (cont.)
    Yes! Yes, that--that right there. Ashley smiles this obnoxious little “are you seeing what I’m seeing?” grin and then Brittany rolls her eyes like “oh, woe is me, the world brings me such weariness”

    BRITTANY
    In my defense, that’s more of a reaction to Ashley than to anything else.

    ASHLEY
    And I hate to break it to you, you can’t put an embargo on people looking at each other. It’s unconstitutional.

    TAYLOR
    Well, it makes other people feel like crap in case you guys care.

    BRITTANY
    Hey, wow, come on.
    ASHLEY
    Good grief, Taylor, can you dial it back like eight million notches? We’ll be cool.

    TAYLOR
    It’s just that that sister stuff that you two do has the tendency to make other people feel super left out.

    ASHLEY
    Uh, you’re our sister too.

    TAYLOR
    Yeah, with an age gap so big and tangible it has its own atmosphere.

    BRITTANY
    Alright, Taylor, you’re right, we won’t say anything.

    ASHLEY
    We promise to not move our eyes in each other’s general direction upon Josh’s airplane-free arrival.

    TAYLOR
    I’m serious. I really like him. And last time--he didn’t have fun.

    ASHLEY
    That was probably because Dad freaked out last time he was here.

    TAYLOR
    It wasn’t that.

    ASHLEY
    Did he say it wasn’t that?




    TAYLOR
    Dad gets a free pass. You saw the way Josh shut down when he said he liked that TV show and you immediately started bagging on it.

    ASHLEY
    Okay, but--come on, Singing Sensation? It should be called “Instagram Butt Model Sensation” since those are the only contestants that get through.

    TAYLOR
    You are a walking headache.

    ASHLEY
    Then take some Advil and shut up.

    BRITTANY
    Okay, okay, both of you, return to your corners.

    ASHLEY
    And here’s Switzerland to save the day.

    BRITTANY
    If you don’t want me to be Switzerland, then don’t be Germany and America.

    ASHLEY
    (muffles her words in a cough) Cough, Taylor’s Germany, cough.

    TAYLOR
    Thank you for your boundless maturity.

    ASHLEY
    Thank you for your boundless uptightness.

    TAYLOR
    Okay, you know what, he’s doing something really nice. He’s taking off time at work and--I saw that.

    Taylor had caught Ashley trying to look
    at Brittany. Brittany is tired of their fighting.

    ASHLEY
    What? I turned my head!

    TAYLOR
    Do not do that thing again.

    ASHLEY
    What thing? I’ve never done a thing in my whole life. I wouldn’t even know how to start.

    TAYLOR
    That thing where you pretend to be interested in tax auditing.

    ASHLEY
    How do you know that I don’t find it interesting?

    TAYLOR
    Because of your face when you ask him about it. You are all like--

    Taylor feigns interest, nodding and
    bright-eyed, eager attention--and then over-the-top snickering behind her hand.

    BRITTANY
    Okay, that’s enough

    ASHLEY
    Okay, you know what, I am so sorry. I am so sorry for having a face that moves.


    TAYLOR
    Oh my word, Ashley, sometimes I want to just staple your face shut.

    ASHLEY
    You hear that, Brittany? Hide the office supplies--

    BRITTANY
    Okay, both of you, please, please stop.

    ASHLEY
    (overlapping) What? Did you hear her--?

    TAYLOR
    (overlapping) She started--

    BRITTANY
    Guys, please, just don’t. I feel bad. We don’t come here enough and when we do, you two just fight and fight and fight and it is exhausting.

    ASHLEY
    We don’t come here to fight. It’s just an unpleasant byproduct of sharing the same air.

    BRITTANY
    Whatever it is, you could and should stop it. Your verbal nuclear warfare is unbearable. You think he can’t tell that you’ve been fighting?

    ASHLEY
    Well, he wouldn’t recognize us if we weren’t.

    That’s a miserable thing to say and
    Brittany and Taylor react accordingly.

    TAYLOR
    Geez.

    BRITTANY
    Seriously, Ash?

    ASHLEY
    Oh, come on, I’m kidding.

    BRITTANY
    Well, it’s not funny. I know Oliver is optimistic, but he’s dad’s orderly, it’s his job to sugarcoat stuff. You don’t get cured of Alzheimer’s.

    TAYLOR
    Yeah, but you can get better.

    ASHLEY
    No, you can’t.

    TAYLOR
    Yes, you can.

    ASHLEY
    Who told you that? Doctor Google?

    TAYLOR
    I read it on multiple sites. And besides, what’s wrong with being hopeful? Dad wouldn’t want us sad.

    ASHLEY
    How do you know?

    TAYLOR
    Dad wasn’t like that.

    ASHLEY
    Right, Dad had other serious emotional issues.

    TAYLOR
    Would you stop it?

    ASHLEY
    I’m trying to lighten the mood!

    TAYLOR
    By tying a five hundred pound weight of snark around it?

    BRITTANY
    Guys, stop it!

    ASHLEY
    Oh come on, you and I fight all the time.

    BRITTANY
    Not like you two. You fight like you hate each other.

    TAYLOR
    Is it fault that she hates me?

    ASHLEY
    It’s much more fun being the victim, isn’t it, Taylor?

    TAYLOR
    It’s easy to be the victim when you want to be a villain.

    ASHLEY
    Yeah, and I’ll get your little dog too.

    TAYLOR
    I want to punch you.

    ASHLEY
    I’m sure all your goat yoga prepared you for battle.

    TAYLOR
    Oh my word, you go to goat yoga one time--

    ASHLEY
    What? Does it get a baaaaaaaaaa-d rap?

    BRITTANY
    Well, I feel bad for Josh and he’s not even here yet.

    ASHLEY
    Whose side are you on?

    BRITTANY
    I’m on no side! Why are there sides?

    ASHLEY
    We are a family of squares, not of spheres.

    TAYLOR
    Do you have to be so witty about everything?

    ASHLEY
    You’re just jealous of my geometry comebacks.

    BRITTANY
    Well, Josh is going to think we’re even more insane.

    TAYLOR
    It’s not you, Brittany. He likes you. It’s her. You know, I hate everything about being here--I hate seeing who Dad is now, I hate being around you (to Ashley)--you know, when I’m about to come out here, I start freaking and my hair starts to fall out because I know I’m going to have to deal with you and you are going to be horrible to me. Josh comes to support me because he loves me. I mean, he must, he endures you.

    And, at the worst possible moment,
    OLIVER enters. OLIVER is a jovial young orderly who is either really good at ignoring family tension or is completely oblivious. Honestly, he’s probably just being polite.


    OLIVER
    It’s the Reisling sisters!

    Ashley, Brittany, and Taylor
    immediately snap into their “well-behaved, public” modes. The nastiness lingers. Brittany feels bad about what Taylor said, Ashley is incredibly irritated with her, and Taylor is embarrassed and angry.

    BRITTANY
    Oliver, hi!

    OLIVER
    How are you guys doing?

    ASHLEY
    Oh, you know us, always at “War.”

    Ashley holds up the deck of cards.

    OLIVER
    Oh man, you guys should be comedians.

    BRITTANY
    You’re such a flatterer.

    ASHLEY
    And we’re not tipping you.

    OLIVER
    I’m serious, you guys are hilarious. I wish that my brothers and I were that funny.

    ASHLEY
    Impossible, the Y chromosome destroys true humor.


    OLIVER
    There’s that mouth. And have I mentioned how beautiful you look today, Ashley?

    ASHLEY
    Now that you mention it, I don’t think you have mentioned it. You should probably mention it.

    BRITTANY
    Gag me.

    ASHLEY
    Oh, sorry that I’m so enchanting, I’ll--

    Taylor can’t stand it anymore. She
    interrupts.

    TAYLOR
    How’s Dad?

    A moment passes. Oliver seems
    embarrassed and a little taken aback, Brittany still feels bad and Ashley is even more irritated now.


    OLIVER
    Right, yeah, of course, well--overall, he’s been doing okay. He’s usually pretty good about taking his meds and he’s sleeping in the bed most nights.

    BRITTANY
    Most nights?

    OLIVER
    Well, I called Ashley about this a few weeks ago--I think it’s really been bothering him lately that his bed is smaller than the one I presume he had at his home?

    Ashley had not told Brittany or Taylor
    that she had spoken with Oliver. She looks away. The smallest moment passes.

    OLIVER (cont.)
    It’s not a big thing, one of us will usually just go and talk to him and he calms down--and when he won’t go to the bed, he’s good about the couch.

    TAYLOR
    Dad is seventy years old--and he sleeps on a couch?

    OLIVER
    It’s very rare, most of the time--

    TAYLOR
    No, no, he should not be sleeping on a couch.

    ASHLEY
    Well, what are they supposed to do? Tie him to the bed?

    BRITTANY
    Ashley.

    TAYLOR
    There has to be a better option than that. Isn’t it your job to come up with treatment plans?

    ASHLEY
    It’s just a night on the couch, it’s not going to kill him--

    TAYLOR
    Right, he’s dying anyways, who cares.

    BRITTANY
    Okay, okay, you two, stop it right now! Just--be quiet for once

    Ashley and Taylor are both too upset to
    continue fighting, at least in that moment. Oliver is definitely a little shaken, but it’s not like this is something new to him.

    BRITTANY
    I’m sorry, Oliver.

    OLIVER
    No, it’s alright, stuff like this--it’s hard. I understand.

    BRITTANY
    There’s no excuse. We’re sorry.

    OLIVER
    We love your father. We’re doing the best we can for him.

    Oliver looks at the file he has. He’s
    holding something back--and then he figures, no time like the present.

    OLIVER (cont.)
    He was doing really well for awhile, but--I feel like I have to tell you guys before you go in that he has gotten worse.

    A moment passes where each sister tries
    to figure out what worse is. Then Taylor asks in a small, child-like:

    TAYLOR
    Worse?

    OLIVER
    It’s just been the past week really. The daylight saving time really affected him. Something so small like that can be very difficult for someone with Alzheimer’s. It’s like--well, the way that I explain it is that little changes can sometimes dig up big changes that the patient never
    (MORE)
    OLIVER (cont.)
    really came to terms with. You guys remember how much he struggled when he first came here--and he’s having all those problems again, only now his condition is much worse. We have been using the pictures and the mementos that you guys gave us, but he’s pretty desensitized to them now. They bring back the good memories, but they also bring back the incidents that made him need the good memories if that makes sense. He has been getting very upset.

    The guilt that Ashley, Brittany, and
    Taylor are experiencing is so huge, it is nearly a physical presence. It is a guilt so big that none of the three can sit with it. They get up and move around the room as Oliver speaks.

    BRITTANY
    Like the fit he threw the last time we were here? My birthday?

    OLIVER
    That, and--worse.

    ASHLEY
    You keep saying worse--what does that mean? Worse? Is it like he--?

    Ashley wants to defend herself with her
    sharp wit, but she can’t stomach making a joke. Brittany and Taylor tense up, expecting something that will hurt.

    ASHLEY (cont.)
    What is worse?

    OLIVER
    He becomes very physical. Very verbal. Lots of swearing. And sometimes, he will try to hurt himself.
    BRITTANY
    Hurt himself? Why didn’t you--?

    OLIVER
    It was this morning and he’s resting now. Besides, I knew you guys were coming and these conversations are much better in person.

    ASHLEY
    (so bitter it hurts) “Better.”

    OLIVER
    I know. I’m sorry. We all love your Dad here. While what we feel is nothing compared to what I’m sure you guys are feeling, it’s been hard for us to watch.

    BRITTANY
    Is it normal it would come out of nowhere like this?

    OLIVER
    It’s such a case by case thing.

    BRITTANY
    But is it something you can--anticipate? I mean, where do we go from here? Is he going to get better?

    OLIVER
    (hedging) It’s possible that he--

    ASHLEY
    No, Brittany. The answer is no.

    Oliver says nothing. He just gives a
    conceding gesture. Taylor is sitting away from everyone else. She makes the smallest noise of grief that pulls the attention of everyone in the room. She is the youngest and in that moment, it shows.

    OLIVER
    Do you guys have any questions for me?

    BRITTANY
    Can we see him?

    OLIVER
    He’s resting right now. If I had to guess, I’d say he’ll probably wake up in about ten minutes. He’s on a pretty tight schedule for meals and his body will probably cue him.

    BRITTANY
    Okay.

    OLIVER
    I can come get you guys if he wakes up.

    BRITTANY
    Yeah, that’d be great--and thanks for loving our dad so much, Oliver. We’re really lucky to have you.

    OLIVER
    Yeah, of course, he’s a special guy. And Ashley? It might be a good time to have that conversation we talked about.

    Brittany and Taylor deeply resent that
    they have been left out of this conversation--and Ashley is absolutely aware of this. Oliver goes to exit and stops.

    OLIVER (cont.)
    I’m praying for you guys and your family. This is about as hard as it gets.

    BRITTANY
    Thank you.

    Oliver wishes there was something he
    could do. It’s like he’s trying to figure out how he can help before realizing that he has already helped as much as he can. He exits.

    ASHLEY
    Am I the only one who wishes Oliver wasn’t the most incredible human being right now? I think it’d be nice to hate him right now, just to--

    Taylor lets out a muffled, aching sob
    and Ashley stills. Brittany gives Ashley a look and hurries to comfort Taylor. Ashley is left with no tools to deal with her grief. She tightens her jaw against it.

    TAYLOR
    (sharply at Ashley) Why aren’t you telling us everything?

    ASHLEY
    I’ve told you everything that you need to--

    TAYLOR
    No, it is not your job to decide what we need to know!

    BRITTANY
    Hey, hey, shh--

    TAYLOR
    No, no, you get the calls because you’re the oldest--and it is your job to pass everything onto us!

    ASHLEY
    And what exactly are you going to do with that information, huh? Thousands of miles away? Worry yourself into another panic attack?


    TAYLOR
    I was going to--I don’t know, just know it!

    ASHLEY
    Knowing is overrated.

    TAYLOR
    You don’t get to decide that!

    ASHLEY
    I’m ten years older than you, Taylor, can you trust me for once?

    TAYLOR
    I will trust you the moment I believe for one second that you think about anyone but yourself.

    BRITTANY
    Okay, please, please--please stop. Please.

    ASHLEY
    So I don’t get to say anything back to that blatant attack?

    BRITTANY
    No. You don’t. We have to talk. Please, both of you, try to calm down.

    ASHLEY
    I was calm until--

    BRITTANY
    Ashley.

    Brittany gives Ashley a look. Ashley
    shuts up. Taylor is trying to get herself together, but she is extremely upset.


    BRITTANY
    (to Ashley) You need to keep us in the loop.

    ASHLEY
    Kay.

    BRITTANY
    It hurts to hear it from Oliver.

    ASHLEY
    Yep, got it.

    TAYLOR
    She’s not even going to--?!

    BRITTANY
    Don’t, shh.

    Ashley and Taylor both have a lot left
    to say, but at least they can recognize
    that now is not the time or place. Brittany strokes Taylor’s hair until she calms down. Ashley sits, breathing deeply.

    BRITTANY
    What conversation are we supposed to have?

    Ashley takes a long moment of
    hesitation, heavy and
    uncharacteristically lacking confidence. It’s so strange that Brittany and Taylor look over.

    ASHLEY
    Oliver suggested that one of us move back here. He thinks it’ll help the end be more--comfortable for Dad.

    The thought sinks in--and the sisters
    sink with it.

    BRITTANY
    I’ll do it.

    ASHLEY
    No.

    BRITTANY
    I’ll do it. It’s okay.

    ASHLEY
    You’re not moving back here.

    BRITTANY
    Someone has to. I can get my job back with Doctor Beekman and--

    ASHLEY
    No. I’m not letting you move back here. Not while your creep of an ex husband is still around.

    BRITTANY
    He won’t bother me--

    ASHLEY
    You know he will.

    TAYLOR
    No, she’s right, you can’t move back here.

    BRITTANY
    Well, then--what?

    Neither Ashley or Taylor speak.

    TAYLOR
    I think Josh and I are going to get married.

    BRITTANY
    Really?

    TAYLOR
    Yeah, he was going to--it seems stupid now.

    BRITTANY
    What?

    TAYLOR
    He was going to talk to Dad. Get his permission.

    BRITTANY
    That’s wonderful, Taylor. He’s a nice guy.

    TAYLOR
    I really think it’s going to work.

    So much is unsaid. Ashley is
    struggling.

    BRITTANY
    Would you?

    ASHLEY
    I don’t know.

    BRITTANY
    It would only be until…

    ASHLEY
    Don’t say it. I know.

    BRITTANY
    Would you, Ash?

    ASHLEY
    I don’t--know.

    BRITTANY
    We could never ask you.

    ASHLEY
    Yeah, but you are. (To Brittany) You can’t do it. (To Taylor) And you’ve got this whole “having a future” thing going for you. So--it’s me, isn’t it?

    BRITTANY
    Only if you will.

    ASHLEY
    And if I--I mean, what choice do I have?

    BRITTANY
    We’d figure something out--

    ASHLEY
    There isn’t anything to figure out. It’s me. But I--

    Ashley can’t go on. Living here would
    be death.

    TAYLOR
    Josh and I could move here--

    ASHLEY
    If you spend the first years of your marriage taking care of your Alzheimer-ridden father in a town that is the athlete’s foot of America, you will get divorced. Probably within two years. No love can survive that.

    TAYLOR
    But if you can’t--

    ASHLEY
    No, that’s the thing--I can, but I--can’t.


    A moment passes.

    BRITTANY
    I don’t think he’ll be around that much longer.

    ASHLEY
    That’s comforting.

    BRITTANY
    I’m trying.

    ASHLEY
    I’ll be shocked if he makes September.

    A moment passes.

    BRITTANY
    I don’t want to remember him like this.

    TAYLOR
    No.

    ASHLEY
    Some days, I don’t want to remember him at all.

    BRITTANY
    Ash, just because he’s this doesn’t mean he wasn’t--that.

    ASHLEY
    That.

    BRITTANY
    Remember what Mom called him?

    TAYLOR
    Your dad is the fill-in-the-blank-est in the world.

    BRITTANY
    Smartest, handsomest, strongest.

    TAYLOR
    You remember how he went to the gym every morning? Before that was a thing?

    BRITTANY
    Yeah, when gyms were just free weights and perpetually-broken treadmills. And remember when Dad taught himself how to play the piano?

    TAYLOR
    Yeah, remember how he started on that little Casio keyboard and played it at top volume until Mom agreed to get an upright?

    BRITTANY
    I will never forget that sound as long as I live--

    Brittany starts to imitate the sound
    of an old electric keyboard playing “Heart and Soul” to Taylor’s laughter. Ashley interrupts harshly.

    ASHLEY
    Remember the way he used to scream profanities at our neighbors?

    BRITTANY
    Ashley, come on.

    ASHLEY
    Remember how he used to throw Mom’s clothes out of their room when she “nagged”? Remember how he yelled at us for getting anything less than an A? Remember how he never came to our games because “women’s sports were boring?”

    TAYLOR
    Please--

    ASHLEY
    No, I can’t do this. He was mean--to mom and to you two. Especially you, Taylor.

    TAYLOR
    I was a hard kid to raise--and they weren’t planning on me.

    ASHLEY
    So? That’s not an excuse.

    BRITTANY
    He wasn’t perfect, but he loved you, Ash.

    ASHLEY
    I never doubted that. But he loved me because he saw himself in me. I didn’t take that as a compliment.

    TAYLOR
    He wasn’t all bad.

    ASHLEY
    No, he wasn’t--and he wasn’t all good either. He never made up his mind. His whole life he was the same. And I used to think that made him strong, but I look back and I think--who even was he? He had his moments of being good, but it never redeemed how mean he was--and all the horrible things he said to Mom and you guys. His character arc sucked. Like, if he was a character on a TV show, everyone would hate him. He learned the piano, whoop-dee-freakin’-do, did he ever learn to love his family? Did he ever say sorry, or did he just try to smash everyone down and control them until every interaction with them was saturated with bitterness? I mean, how sad is this? His own kids don’t want to take care of him.

    BRITTANY
    That’s not true.


    ASHLEY
    That’s exactly what’s happening here.

    BRITTANY
    No, no, I mean--Dad wasn’t perfect, but he was just a man.

    ASHLEY
    I know, but--what kind of legacy is that to leave? I don’t think we’ll put that on his tombstone--”here lies John Reisling, he was just a man.” And now my biggest memory of him is that night when we first noticed, when the sun went down and he got so scared and he threw that glass.

    What a terrible memory. All three live
    in it.

    BRITTANY
    I always wondered what he saw that night that made him so afraid.

    TAYLOR
    Me too.

    ASHLEY
    I think it was this. Maybe not this place, but this feeling. That one day, the world would become so strange that he wouldn’t even know how to begin controlling it any more.

    BRITTANY
    We can’t control the things that happen to us.

    ASHLEY
    Some of us like to try.

    BRITTANY
    What an exhausting way to live.

    ASHLEY
    It’s enough to make you lose your mind.

    A moment passes.

    ASHLEY (cont.)
    I’ll stay.

    BRITTANY
    Ashley, you don’t have to.

    ASHLEY
    I think I do. I think I’m trying to--redeem myself or something. I need a satisfying character arc.

    BRITTANY
    It’s too much.

    ASHLEY
    It’s just enough.

    BRITTANY
    We’ll visit.

    ASHLEY
    Only as much as you want to. This place is horrible.

    BRITTANY
    Well, we’ll help you move, I’ll hire a company--

    ASHLEY
    You don’t have to make this okay, Brit. Not everything is okay. Sometimes things are just things.

    Oliver enters.

    OLIVER
    Hey guys? He’s up.

    BRITTANY
    Okay, thank you, Oliver.

    Oliver exits.

    ASHLEY
    I’ll see you guys in there.

    BRITTANY
    You sure?

    ASHLEY
    Yeah, just--give me a second.

    Brittany and Taylor head towards the
    door, but before they exit, Taylor rushes to Ashley and hugs her tightly. It surprises all three sisters--even Taylor herself. But Ashley hugs Taylor tightly. Brittany crosses over to hug them too.

    ASHLEY (cont.)
    (to Taylor) Hey. Be happy.

    Taylor nods. Brittany and Taylor go to
    the door to exit. Taylor goes, but Brittany hangs back.

    BRITTANY
    You are a good person.

    ASHLEY
    I do a good impression.

    BRITTANY
    You’re my hero.

    ASHLEY
    I’m just a person.

    BRITTANY
    Today, you’re more.

    It means the world to Ashley. Brittany
    smiles at her. Ashley smiles back and gives her a little fist pump. Brittany gives it back and exits. Ashley takes a moment for herself--and maybe in that moment, we see how scared, broken, and miserable she is at the core for herself. But she has done something good--and even though it might kill her, she takes comfort and pride in that.

    ASHLEY
    (to herself) Not a bad arc.

    Ashley exits.

    CURTAIN.

  30. #30
    The murder mystery I've read with great detail, but the part I always go back to is the maid's questions.

    To me this is a very jovial mood meant for a a school play. Even the murderer is quite friendly. It's quite a sharp wit with a beat. I keep going back to the maid though. Of her two questions concerning the play's meaning; I find the most correct to be "open to interpretation' and it being more about "what's going to happen next' than "who dun it".

    But to me, personally, I see all these flat characters as dying mental constructs in one mind. The detective is much more keen on being a detective than he is on actually figuring anything out. Matter of fact, he ignores the blatant fact that the murderer is right there.

    Even the idea of the "maid" is a dying construct. However, through her the aware individual manifest them-self. The maid is a universal "idea" in the mind of the individual like the others; however the aware individual possesses the maid to move about and see all these ideas die. She's quite unsure of how they're dying and is trying to figure it out. She's an Alice in Wonderland. She watches all these ideas die one by one.

    Ha! You tell me man. You're the author. What's the meaning?

    I've read about half of your sister's play. I've enjoyed it thus far and will comment more when I finish it.

    Thanks, really enjoying you're writing. I love a mind fuck.
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 1 Week Ago at 04:40 AM.

  31. #31
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,067
    I didn't want to make it too heavy because yeah, it's a school play at heart, but I did want to give it a dark age. In the original draft, the maid's final question is if it's all a cosmic joke. I took it out because it was a little too on the nose but what I wanted to get across is sometimes inexplicable shit might happen that's not part of your plan/role, and there might be a reason and there might not. I also really wanted to touch on the idea that if they really wanted to get up, they could do so at any time, but they're bound by the constraints of the format, which is so ingrained that even when they "try" to get up they don't/can't. Even at the end, when the detective is desperate, he just wants the play to end, he can't actually leave the story no matter what he does.

    Really glad you liked it... I have more of my sister's stuff that I might post at some point, plus I've been toying with another idea but god knows if I'll have time to actually write it. Hope to see more of your story too!

  32. #32
    I think there's good lesson in there, man. We cannot grow without challenging ourselves. I always tell my direct reports to embrace what's unatural to them at first, learn it. That's how you expand yourself. I think there's such a Resistance to get out of the chair and do that. If they pay attentioned to the murderer, they'd may be able to overcome him. Good stuff, man.



    Fragmented


    Chapter 6


    The Light Bearer



    The ornaments rotated, and another movie showed. Two years after I transformed into Skull Face, my evolution collided with his. The street signs were gray and enameled with words. The center of the street comprised huge bold letters forming the insignia, Sparrow, city of smoke. The signage lighted and dimmed and dimmed and lighted for as usual— lightning struck it and lit it and it faded. Everything looked like a normal day in Sparrow until I reached the tail end of the city.


    Red and yellow balloons floated about like color in a black and white portrait, and banners read, “Hero of Light.” “Happy eighteenth birthday!” “Thank you for gracing us.”


    I groaned.


    The greatest, close by, landmarks were the City Hall and the Bell Tower, and both had all but rotted away. Not much to see in that part of the city except young lovers or drug deals or thieves. A street sign read, “Infinite Gate, two miles south.” I gulped.


    I watched the gate intently as I rode toward it. The gate’s widening and lengthening into infinity stopped me and made me stare. Its prison-like bars separated us from the outside world. It opened from the center, but only I had the power to open it. Only a couple of handfuls showed up, waiting for the Light Bearer, but thousands passed it, and it was the talk of most, and everyone thought about it.


    Death, I thought, I’m not ready yet. I slowed Pale down to baby steps, as a plague stung my heart. I saw a flash then the infinite gate. I saw another flash then Jenkins standing by the gate, a flash then Purple and Lilac, a flash then the long neck wench, Envy, and her sister, Malice. My heart ached. I had to be strong. I was the creator and leader of Sparrow. Pale came to a halt, and I descended from her. I took staggering steps, not breathing; I wasn’t ready to die. I would’ve been strong if possible, but what I was feeling was more than worry, it was an overwhelming health quandary. I gripped my heart and dropped to my knees. My surroundings flashed at me again. Then, everything went black. Then, I heard someone inquire what was wrong with me. Then, I heard Boolley say hypochondria, and then everything cleared. Nobody had even moved to check on me.


    Light Bearer, I thought. I invited him. I couldn’t let him see me this way. I stood to my feet and directed everyone. I told them nobody but Jenkins would stand by the gate, and the rest of us would stand back and one by one greet the Light Bearer. I commanded Boolley to stand by me. I felt, for the day, my first spark of anticipation. This was Light Bearer’s first time seeing Sparrow and me as Skull Face, its creator. The importance of precision, however, overtook the anticipation. I glanced at Envy; she indeed had made her infamous doom cake. “You didn’t poison it did you?”


    She bent her pointy face down over her long, stiff neck and scowled at me, exuding mischievousness.


    “Well— did you?” I said.


    “Not this time,” her eyes were trouble incarnated.


    Check, I thought.


    “Straighten that tie!” I ordered Boolley, pointing my bony finger.


    That makes two checks.

    “I should have tried to make the city less smoky,” I thought aloud.


    Jenkins and, the other big faces present, Lilac and Purple, beat me up with frowns of their faces and pounds of their fists into their hands.


    “Or maybe not.” I begged off.


    My mind numbed for a few minutes. My mouth was an annoyed foreman’s. I was sure, instead of working, these citizens were staring at my heart thumping through my cloak. Perhaps, they laughed at me. I did not look at them; I kept grimacing.


    “He’s here, Skull.” Jenkins snorted.


    “Everyone stay where you’re at!” I paced about, making sure everything was perfect. Pale dropped manure.


    “No! Somebody pick that up! Nobody? Boolley? You’re not moving. Can’t you do anything? Straighten the damn tie.”


    I waited for several minutes, squirming; my fingers fidgeted as if escape were their option. I hated that nervous habit, but I didn’t want to die, I just wanted it to be like old times, and I wanted a perfect celebration and for him to see the amazing city. “What’s taking him so long?”


    “Easy, Skull! It was just a dirn Frog Express member passing by.”


    “So that’s your idea of kidding, Jenkins?” My voice shook with anger.


    “Watch who you’re accusing’! I don’t rib, Skull. I don’t rib, unless somebody is going to die!”


    I exhaled displeasure for these individuals.


    “Patience is a virtue, young man.” Boolley said, examining me.


    “And honesty is the best policy, unless you want to win elections. Right, Mayor?”


    “Why the hell are we talking about virtue and honesty?” Jenkins said.


    “Satire and sarcasm, Jenkins, nothing you would understand,” I replied.


    “I was making fun of everything his beloved brother stands for.” Boolley laughed.
    “Honesty and virtue and chastity and sobriety and a true bearer of light, what a hero he is!”


    Everybody except the big faces laughed. The mood seemed to ease a little.


    “Lovely city today.” I snickered. “Banners and lights and such. Just makes you feel warm inside, doesn’t it? It’s not too late to be saved, you know? We can let him convert us, show us the light. We could be like this all the time!”


    We laughed; this incensed the Big Face Clan. Jenkins turned away and looked through the gate. He kept quiet for a time.


    “Open the gate, Skull,” Jenkins finally said with his large hand over his eyes like a captain at sea blocking out the sun. “You can start worryin’ now.”


    I didn’t bother checking twice with Jenkins. I outstretched my hands and my bones shook, then the gates opened. I heard the sound of hoofs getting closer. My heart drummed. Hoofs and drumming made me think of war.


    “You going to be ok, kid?” Purple said, annoyed at me.


    “If my tidying up this sloppy Mayor’s tie bothers you, don’t look.”


    As I spoke, a man in the distance, I hardly recognized, dismounted his white horse. His hair was an angel’s. His eyes were a lighter blue than last I saw them. He wore a perfectly clean and shining, big red chest plate with the light of the sun putting its finger on it. He had Illuminator, his famous sword, tucked in by his side. On his face lay the expression of a dutiful smile. He walked through the city gate, head held high.


    “Welcome to Sparrow,” Jenkins muttered and offered a weak handshake.


    Light Bearer treated the wenches and big face clan and goblins, which one by one shook his hand, like honorable friends. The horse manure was still on the ground. His smile did not fade as he made small talk with them. He promised to have a bite of the doom cake later. He laughed, and they laughed.


    Mayor Boolley bounced and floated towards him. The manure could be smelled.


    “Welcome! I said WELCOME… to my city.” He stroked his mustache, his eyes wandered up and down Light Bearer, and they came across impressed.


    Light Bearer’s eyes were uncomfortable, his smile unwavering.


    Boolley’s voice settled into its slow soft ghostly protraction. He raised his nose. “A fine man indeed, you have tremendous forearms.”


    Light Bearers’ forearms, the only unshielded part of him from the neck down, bulked with muscles. He was as far from his human days as I was.


    “You must be the ghost-mayor. Boolley, right? Skull Face spoke well of you in his letters to me.”


    The manure set in solitude, unnoticed, not mentioned.


    “Yes, yes, I have heard good things about you too, very nice forearms, by the way. You know, ahem, Light Bearer, there are splendid attractions here that you may enjoy; tourists say our pubs are unmatched. Would you ever consider moving here?”


    Light Bearer’s mouth gaped and his eyes winced, but he held his smile. I quickly jumped between them before there could be an awkward follow up or response.


    “Hello, my brother.” A smile extended across my entire face. “Happy birthday.”


    “Hello, Skull Face.” He warmly embraced me.


    “You should learn some manners from your brother.” Boolley winked.




    Chapter 7

    The Brothers' Destiny




    All parties cut the celebration; and we two wonders of Everpull advanced to a place where communication only existed in an invisible truth nudging on our elbows. He sat on the City Hall’s steps. I felt fine standing. He seemed unaffected by the smoke clouding the air and the fact that the City Hall, especially its steps, and Bell Tower rotted with mold. He glared, straight ahead, in a daze. His eyes emitted the intensity of a man, but his facial features the softness of youth. He only turned eighteen. Then, a baby two-headed white-tailed black bird dove to a landing on the gravel some feet ahead of us. Its left head squawked at us and its right pecked at a couple shards of glass lying around, and then it flapped its wings like it’d seen nothing and flew off into the mystery behind the white sky.


    Awkward silence lingered, until he said, “My destiny is to destroy you.” He looked straight ahead, not at me.


    “One of these days.” I sighed.


    “How could you throw me a party?”


    “I try not to think about it. You know?”


    “Yes, I do.” He went silent again then said, “That’s why you’re like this, that’s why destiny has to be this way.”


    He focused his eyes ahead of him, his hand relaxed on his knee, and his chest plate seemed inseparable from him.


    “You sure know how to rain on an outdoors party,” I said. “You know I hate these kinds of events! I did this, because I know you like them. Enjoy it!”


    “But my destiny,” he said, rising to his feet, hoisting me by my cloak, and locking pupils with me, “is to destroy you and this city!”

    The bell rang an awakening to the city. A magic hour must’ve struck.


    I scratched my hood. My life events flashed before me-just a bunch of fragments. None happened before the others; but they all happened, and, somehow, they all connected to each other. And then the morning flashed. Then, I remembered and pulled out the present that I had bought him at Tarckfuger’s. “Cigar, Light Bearer?” I smiled.


    He turned away.


    I puffed the cigar and coughed and grimaced behind his back. “That’s all you have to say?”


    Silence ensued.


    “Like it or not, I have done something here! I created a city!”


    Silence ensued.


    “Mr., umm, Light Bearer, right? Light Bearer? That’s what they call you now? Or is it THE Light Bearer?” My voice arose, emphasizing THE. I laughed out loud.


    He stared at me. I was a maniac, slapping my knee and guffawing. He wore a confused expression, while his smile questioned my demeanor. I kept on. I grabbed my heart to heal it of the pain my laughter caused it. I puffed and coughed and laughed and puffed again.


    “Are you sober?” He said


    “THE Light Bearer,” I said, pointing and slapping my knee. I was a wild man, fighting my cloak.


    He gawked at me.


    I swung my Everpull enhanced dick. “Look at me! I’m THE Light Bearer and this is my sword, Illuminator! I’m real cocksure of myself if you know what I mean!” I, then, covered myself and bent over laughing and laughing, trying to smoke but laughing the cigar and my hand away.


    And, suddenly, he burst into loud laughter too. He held his side, I held my heart. For minutes, madness related us back as brothers. We took deep breathes, allowing sanity- if it would try—to catch up to us.


    “Brother! My brother! I created a city! Imagine that! We dreamt of this! We dreamt of this magic!”


    “This— all of this—” he looked about, “is against the Great Wizard’s wishes, Seth.”


    We quieted again, for I claimed no moral ground to give a rebuttal or a damn, for that matter.


    “I killed Lucifer.” I said.


    He looked ahead.


    “I raped a Zombie.” I insisted.


    He looked disgusted. “I’m out.” He walked forward.


    I yelled. “Brother, her arms were chained by links stretching into the darkness on either side; her mouth foamed underneath her muzzle. It happened in a sewer. And against the drips, the chains from the gods pulled her arms in opposite shadows, she bent over and-- a Zombie can’t consent! I’m so sorry!”


    I laughed again, as Light Bearer turned. And then I saw my brother, Jonathon, underneath what the magic made him. He beheld his brother, turned again, and walked into the same mystery where two-headed black birds disappeared.
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 1 Week Ago at 05:14 AM.

  33. #33
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,067
    The whole concept of this is wonderful to me. Like a deconstructed version of He-Man or some other cartoon, darker by necessity than the child friendly version we saw as children on Saturday mornings. These characters are fulfilling roles but they also have history, layers, unexpected depths. Lots of little details here... the balloons are foreboding to me, and the term "Infinite Gate" capture my imagination. The manure on the ground serves as a character in and of itself. Chapter 7 is less descriptive and more driven by interaction... lots of shrouded mythology as the background of a broken personal bond. These two brothers could have split in any world, in any reality, but here they're playing with fire. The ending of the chapter is disturbing, to say the least. I'm really enjoying the story, looking forward to what happens next!

    This is another one my sister wrote. I've been encouraging her to expand it, but curious to hear thoughts about it.


    Tenacious Ted and the Swamp Boy

    TEDDY 9-12, imaginative and a bit of an outcast.

    SWAMP BOY 9-12, a boy who lives in the swamp.

    SCOUTMASTER HENRY Voice only.

    AUTHOR’S NOTE: It is completely acceptable that these roles be played by young adults, however, please no exaggerated childish affectations. Heart is what matters here.

    SETTING: Outdoors near a pond in a lush green forest. Use as much
    set as you can.

    AT RISE: Outdoor noises. TEDDY enters in a boy scout uniform.
    He is looking over his shoulder, clearly bothered by something, but too stubborn to admit it. He drops his pack on the ground. He pretends to press buttons on his watch and speaks into it. There is nothing special about his watch. He is playing pretend--and he is very good at it. While there is a level of humor to it, playing pretend is Teddy’s lifeline and it should not be played solely for laughs. There is a poignancy here.

    TEDDY
    Day seven of this torment. Abandoned in the forest all alone. Food supply is dwindling. Fortunately, as a scientist slash archaeologist slash swordmaster slash secret pirate prince agent, I am gifted at fashioning traps out of…
    (He peers around)
    Leaves and… sticks. And!

    (He digs in his pocket and removes a Reese’s wrapper.)

    TEDDY (cont)
    Reese’s wrappers.

    (Teddy is immediately on the ground, fiddling around with
    the materials he has to fashion a “trap.” He is a pretty clever and crafty kid and manages to make something that sort of looks like a trap. As he works, he talks into his watch.)

    TEDDY (cont.)
    It’s worse than I thought it’d be, Vic. It’s clearly a trap and I’m the only one who can see it. Camp? Ha! It’s ludicrous. They force you to walk steep hills and tie knots until your fingers are bloody and the food, Vic, the food. The nacho cheese sits in your stomach like a punch from the Ballistic Boxer. And then, of course, there’s Diabolical Dustin Wildebeast Wilbanks, bringer of wet toilet paper in my shoes. He doesn’t know who he’s messing with, just you wait!

    (Teddy abandons his “trap” to grab a long stick off the
    ground. He makes a lot SHOOOOOM noise as he draws it out as if he made it out nothing.)

    TEDDY (cont.)
    He has yet to taste the calcium and iron of my blood and bone sword! Bring it on, Dustin, you’re going to regret dunking me in the pool!

    (Teddy advances and knocks “Dustin” to the ground. He
    actually shows some ability to fence. He points his stick at
    “Dustin.”)

    TEDDY (cont.)
    (as Dustin, trembling on the ground)
    No, no, don’t! I have s’mores to make and promises to keep!
    (as himself)
    I wouldn’t kill you. That goes against my code as a hero.
    (as Dustin)
    You’ll regret leaving me alive, Tenacious Ted.
    (as himself)
    Maybe. But regret fuels most heroes. Go, go!
    (to his watch)
    I know he’ll just cause problems later, Vic, but Dustin’s life is hard enough, his dad can’t even toast a marshmallow without lighting it on fire. My dad is a doctor and he saves people’s lives and he’s...

    (Teddy looks back from where he came from and loses his
    character. A moment. And then Teddy springs into action
    again.)

    TEDDY (cont.)
    (into his watch)
    Weekends are busy for doctors, Vic, you know that. Besides, he promised next weekend we’d go to that baseball game and--yeah! It’ll be great! Just Tenacious Ted and Doctor Dangerous! Wait, what? What’s that, Vic? Doctor Dangerous has been kidnapped? I’ll save him! They don’t know who they are messing with, Doctor Dangerous cut out his heart so he could be the best surgeon in the world--and who am I? I’m the great Tenacious Ted!

    (Teddy is back to swashbuckling with the air. There is
    movement by the pond, but Teddy doesn’t notice.)

    TEDDY (cont.)
    (as he fights)
    Take that, you villain! Aha, nice try with spewing acid, I’m immune to acid, Vic used it as a lotion for me since I was three! Bring back my father or you will taste my bone, you clumsy, you viscous villain, you--

    (Teddy is interrupted by an EXTREMELY loud gasping
    noise. It is shuddering and jarring. Teddy immediately drops the stick and cowers. The noise stops.)

    TEDDY (cont.)
    (into his watch)
    Vic, I don’t want to alarm you, but--

    (The noise starts again. Teddy drops once more, genuinely
    afraid. When the noise ends, there is a loud splash. Onto the stage flops SWAMP BOY. Please be creative in your design of his costume and make up. He should look like part of the swamp--muddy, with leaves and sticks emerging from his body. Either around his head (if you can do so safely) or around his neck is a plastic shopping bag from your local store. Swamp Boy is struggling weakly, but valiantly on the ground. His hand stretches towards Teddy, who is terrified.)

    TEDDY (cont.)
    (not playing pretend any more)
    What--who are--

    (Swamp Boy makes a loud gasping sound and grasps more
    for Teddy. Teddy leaps away, shouting over his shoulder.)

    TEDDY (cont.)
    Scoutmaster, Scoutmaster--!

    (The noise is deafening and Swamp Boy flops in a strange,
    terrifying manner. Teddy runs in the direction of where he came from, no longer playing.)

    SWAMP BOY
    (raspy)
    Please… please…

    (Teddy stops without turning back. He is terrified. He
    slowly turns around.)

    SWAMP BOY (cont.)
    Help me, help me, please...

    (Teddy is petrified. He slowly turns back--and then, he
    makes a decision. This isn’t something Teddy himself could handle, but...)

    TEDDY
    (moving towards Swamp Boy with a purpose)
    I gotta help him, Vic. I know it’s dangerous, I know! I’ll use my finger dagger--
    (pulls out his swiss army knife)
    --and cut the poor beast free.

    (Teddy hesitates for only a moment. Swamp Boy is rolling
    on the floor, exhausted and barely conscious. Teddy kneels and forces himself to touch Swamp Boy, carefully cutting the plastic bag away from his neck.)

    TEDDY (cont.)
    With deft precision, the courageous Tenacious Ted cut away the barbed wire from the creature’s neck.. After all, who would tether such a--harmless animal It was a crime, he knew it was a crime. And then--and then--and--

    (He has cut Swamp Boy free. Swamp Boy slowly gets to
    his feet. Teddy looks at him. They stare at each other, both awestruck.)

    TEDDY (cont.)
    Tenacious Ted then... um...

    (But Teddy doesn’t know what to say. When Swamp Boy
    speaks, he has a regular voice.)

    SWAMP BOY
    You are Tenacious Ted?

    TEDDY
    Sir--? No, no, I’m--
    (He changes his mind and stands a little taller.)
    Yes. Yes, I am Tenacious Ted.
    (He salutes.)
    What’s your name?

    (Swamp Boys stares at Teddy for a long time. At first,
    Teddy stands up straight and importantly--but then, his posture relaxes and he becomes a boy again--a boy who is absolutely amazed.)

    SWAMP BOY
    I don’t know.

    TEDDY
    You don’t know?

    SWAMP BOY
    No.

    TEDDY
    Everybody has a name.

    SWAMP BOY
    I don’t.

    TEDDY
    Where are you from?

    SWAMP BOY
    Here.

    TEDDY
    Were you born here?

    SWAMP BOY
    I guess. One day, I opened my eyes and I was just… here.

    TEDDY
    What about before that?

    (Swamp Boy has nothing to say. Or maybe he does, but he
    doesn’t say it. Teddy begins to circle around Swamp Boy to get a better look at him. Swamp Boy is a little shy.)

    TEDDY (cont.)
    Are you a monster?

    SWAMP BOY
    I don’t think so.

    TEDDY
    Do you have special powers?

    SWAMP BOY
    Special?

    TEDDY
    Yeah! You know, things other people can’t do.

    SWAMP BOY
    What can other people do?

    TEDDY
    I don’t know. Boring stuff. Wear ties, go to work, come home. Fall asleep in front of the TV.

    SWAMP BOY
    Do you have special powers?

    TEDDY
    No. I wish.

    SWAMP BOY
    I thought you could make a sword with your bones and blood.

    TEDDY
    Oh, no, I was just--that was just--

    SWAMP BOY
    You are Tenacious Ted, aren’t you? A hero?

    TEDDY
    No, I’m just--that wasn’t real. I was just--pretend.

    SWAMP BOY
    Oh. Why?

    TEDDY
    Just cuz.

    SWAMP BOY
    Is it fun to pretend?

    TEDDY
    It used to be.

    SWAMP BOY
    It’s not fun anymore?

    TEDDY
    Kinda. No. Not really.

    SWAMP BOY
    Why do you do it then?

    TEDDY
    It’s more fun than… not doing it. Than being me.

    SWAMP BOY
    What’s wrong with you?

    TEDDY
    Nothing. I dunno. I’m just not special and nothing cool ever happens to me. My friends and my dad used to play with me all the time, but then my friends wanted to play video games and sports and my dad got a promotion and he said we’d go on this father-son camping thing for boyscouts but he got called in at the last minute and he said I still had to go because he and mom already paid for it. So. Yeah. I dunno.

    SWAMP BOY
    Oh. Are you sad?

    TEDDY
    No. I guess. Yeah.

    (They are both quiet again.)

    TEDDY (cont.)
    What do you do for fun?

    SWAMP BOY
    I swim with the frogs. Sometimes fish get lost in me.

    TEDDY
    Really? Gross.

    SWAMP BOY
    Yeah. They wiggle around. It feels weird.

    TEDDY
    Coooooool.

    SWAMP BOY
    Really?

    TEDDY
    Yeah. You know, maybe you’re a superhero.

    SWAMP BOY
    Like you?

    TEDDY
    No, like a real one--lots of their stories start like this. They wake up and they don’t remember who they are or where they’ve been but they really want to make a difference and make things better.

    SWAMP BOY
    Oh.

    TEDDY
    Yeah! That’s what makes somebody a hero, they start off really ordinary but then they do something really cool and brave and awesome and then everyone is like--oh, wow!

    SWAMP BOY
    Something--like what?

    TEDDY
    Like, I dunno, they stop a bus from getting into a crash--they save a bunch of lives and then the people try to thank them for saving them and they’re like, oh, it was no sweat.

    SWAMP BOY
    So they’re very brave.

    TEDDY
    Yeah, heroes are really brave.

    SWAMP BOY
    Then I can’t be a superhero. I’m always scared.

    TEDDY
    Superhoes get scared too. But they choose to be brave.

    SWAMP BOY
    Were you scared when you saw me?

    TEDDY
    Oh yeah. You were really creepy.

    SWAMP BOY
    And then you saved me. So you’re a hero.

    TEDDY
    No.

    SWAMP BOY
    Yes! And then I say, oh, wow!

    TEDDY
    No. No, I’m not a hero.

    SWAMP BOY
    Why not?

    TEDDY
    Heroes are cool--and my dad says I still play baby games. I should play football with kids my age.

    SWAMP BOY
    Football?

    TEDDY
    Yeah. You--run around and hit people and throw a ball.

    SWAMP BOY
    … that’s it?

    TEDDY
    Yeah.

    SWAMP BOY
    (almost awestruck)
    It sounds so boring.

    TEDDY
    It’s sooooooooo boring. But he’s mad that I don’t want to play.

    SWAMP BOY
    Oh. Why does he get mad that you don’t want to?

    TEDDY
    I don’t know.

    SWAMP BOY
    Have you ever asked him?

    TEDDY
    No.

    SWAMP BOY
    Maybe you should. One time, I asked a fish why he swam inside me and he told me that he thought I was a safe place to hide. I asked him to stop and he said okay.

    TEDDY
    … you can talk to fish?

    SWAMP BOY
    Yeah.

    TEDDY
    That’s. So. Cool. You are the coolest person I’ve ever met.

    SWAMP BOY
    Really?

    TEDDY
    Yeah.

    SWAMP BOY
    Well, I think you’re the coolest person I’ve ever met. And you looked cool with your stick.

    TEDDY
    Really? I can teach you how to do it! My mom had me take a fencing class once and it’s really kinda easy but also kind hard, you just have to practice. It’s all about making your opponent go backwards, you know? So you have to--

    (Teddy shows Swamp Boy how to advance. Teddy gives
    Swamp Boy a stick and Swamp Boy imitates him beautifully.)

    TEDDY (cont.)
    Yeah, yeah, that was really good! And then, you can--

    (Teddy does something a little fancier. Swamp Boy
    imitates him.)

    TEDDY (cont.)
    (playing, dramatically to an unseen person)
    Ah, so we meet again, Fiery Fred. Last time, you burned my bones and my blood--but this time, I’ve brought someone new with me.

    SWAMP BOY
    Huh?

    TEDDY
    His name is Swamp Boy and he will--

    SWAMP BOY
    Are you talking to someone?

    TEDDY
    (trying to get Swamp Boy to play along)
    His name is Swamp Boy and he’ll--

    SWAMP BOY
    I don’t see anybody.

    TEDDY
    (breaking character)
    I’m pretending!

    SWAMP BOY
    Oh. Oh. OH. YEAH, I’m Swamp Boy!

    TEDDY
    And he can make a sword out of water!

    SWAMP BOY
    I can? Cool!!
    (Teddy gives him a look.)
    I mean, yeah, of course I can!

    TEDDY
    And he can wrap you in mud and seaweed, and not like in a spa, in a scary way!

    SWAMP BOY
    Yeah, wrap you up good!

    TEDDY
    And he can throw fish at you that he keeps inside his stomach!

    SWAMP BOY
    Yeah, I can--oh, do I have to do that one? That’s kind of mean. Fish are really nice.

    TEDDY
    (breaking character)
    Oh, yeah, no, you don’t have to do that one.

    SWAMP BOY
    Okay, thanks.

    (They immediately get back into playing position.)

    TEDDY
    Oh no, Swamp Boy, we’re surrounded by Fiery Fred’s little ember soldiers! Let’s take ‘em down!

    SWAMP BOY
    Yeah, take ‘em down!

    (Teddy and Swamp Boy fight off the ember soldiers with
    teamwork! It is epic. They actually look pretty cool doing it. Eventually, though, Teddy and Swamp Boy stand back to back as if they are surrounded.)

    TEDDY
    There’s too many of them!

    SWAMP BOY
    What are we gonna do, Tenacious Ted?

    TEDDY
    Use your power--water cannons from your hands!

    SWAMP BOY
    Wait, I can do that too? I have so many powers!

    TEDDY
    Now, now, they’re closing in!

    SWAMP BOY
    Okay, water cannons engage!

    (Swamp Boy and Teddy turn in a circle, Swamp Boy makes
    a PSHEEEW sound as he “shoots water from his hands.”)

    TEDDY
    And now wave goodbye to your life, Fiery Fred! We’re about to hang you out to dry! H2No way out now!

    SWAMP BOY
    … huh?

    TEDDY
    They’re water puns, they’re--just do it!

    SWAMP BOY
    PSHEEEEEEEEEEEEW!

    TEDDY
    We did it! Doused him good!

    SWAMP BOY
    Yeah!

    TEDDY
    Tenancious Ted and Swamp Boy, victors!

    (Teddy and Swamp Boy turn to each other to celebrate. As
    Swamp Boy turns, he sprays Teddy with water from his hands (or wrists or however you can achieve this effect). They are both equally stunned.)

    TEDDY (cont.)
    Whoa.

    SWAMP BOY
    Whoa.

    TEDDY
    How’d you do that????

    SWAMP BOY
    I don’t know, I’ve never done it before!

    SCOUTMASTER HENRY
    (offstage)
    TEDDY? TEDDY?

    TEDDY
    Oh, man, I have to go.

    SWAMP BOY
    What? No!

    TEDDY
    Urghh, I’m gonna be in so much trouble, okay, you have special powers, you have to learn how to control them or they’ll control you! I’ll be back tomorrow and I’ll help you.

    SWAMP BOY
    No, no, please don’t go, I’m scared.

    TEDDY
    That’s okay, you just--gotta choose to be brave.

    SWAMP BOY
    How?

    TEDDY
    How can you not be brave? You’re Swamp Boy.

    SWAMP BOY
    Okay, okay! Yeah, yeah, you’re right!

    TEDDY
    I’ll come back tomorrow, okay?

    SWAMP BOY
    Alright, alright, yeah!

    TEDDY
    I can’t believe it, I met a real hero.

    SWAMP BOY
    So did I.

    (A moment. Teddy beams.)

    TEDDY
    Oh, it was no sweat.

    (Teddy grabs his pack and exits off.)

    SCOUTMASTER HENRY
    (offstage)
    Where have you been? We’ve been looking for you for twenty minutes. Good grief, you’re filthy and soaking wet, alright, come on, we’re about to start campfire.

    (While Scoutmaster Henry chews Teddy out, Swamp Boy
    stands center. He looks at his hands. He clenches his fist and a stream of water shoots out again. It surprises him. He beams.)

    SWAMP BOY
    Yeah. I’m Swamp Boy.

    END OF PLAY

  34. #34
    Haha...man love this one. The kid's inpromtu imagine is fantastic. Like yhe way the surroundings are used perfectly for a child's role-play. Having a fire army come about and Ted quickly comes up with water weapons, while teaching swamp Bor the way of pretend..

    It's a good moment in a hard life for this child. You get such insight on his father. In a sense his father is the doctor and the man who can toast a marshmellow right but it's been a long time since he's done it...the boy is lonely and getting himself in trouble. But for 1 minute he's a hero.

    Good, good, good read...


    As far as your comments...I would say your about spot on with the he-man reference..the first scene I ever wrote of this was dialogue of these two and didn't ev n think of he-man and skeletore. But I've thought of them both many times since. I drew a picture of them back then and light bearer does loook like a cross between he-man and cloud strife and skull face Michael Jackson and a skeleton in a hood and cloak...one of the themes for this has always been a deconstruction of light and darkness and figures we've imagined up to create good and evil

  35. #35
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,067
    Love it, thought I was picking up a strong vibe of that but I'm not surprised it didn't go directly from there... I'm a big sucker for deconstructed stuff like that. That's kind of what Strongest Heroes was, breaking down how insane the premise of Power Rangers and similar "kids save the world" shows are, though I didn't go dark on that one (I could have though).

    Just literally a few hours ago wrote this up from scratch. I think it might be one of my best, or it will be after I revise it a bit.

    Grand Gesture
    By Christopher Hageman

    GERARD College age. Determined, deeply in love. A problem solver.

    BELLE College age. Nothing special, except to the right person.

    SETTING: STAGE RIGHT should be warmly lit and made up to resemble a college classroom. This can be fleshed out or basic, but there should at least be something to make the setting clear. STAGE LEFT should be lit very coldly and include a chalkboard or something on which the actors can write. At rise it should already be covered in a complicated diagram, tracing many different pathways, with many crossed off or altered and many yet unexplored. There should also be as much “technology” as can be made. The lighting divide should be as sharp as possible and only one side should be clearly illuminated at a time, whichever side GERARD is on. When he crosses back and forth, there should be a sharp, audible snap.

    AT RISE: GERARD and BELLE are in the classroom after class has ended, talking casually and having a good time. Both have textbooks/notebooks with them. GERARD is in the middle of telling a story and BELLE is laughing.

    GERARD
    So there I was, right, my roommate kept me up all night, I barely know what planet I was on, let alone what class I’m in, and the professor is looking right at me. I know she asked me a question, but I didn’t hear it, I don’t have a clue, and this silence, just this dead, graveyard silence is hanging over the classroom.

    BELLE
    God, it sounds like a nightmare.

    GERARD
    That’s what I’m thinking, I’m like, is this happening or did I pass out into the worst, most realistic stress dream of all time?

    BELLE
    What did you do?

    GERARD
    What could I do? I looked right at the professor, and I said, with 100% confidence, “1492”.

    BELLE
    You did not.

    GERARD
    Swear to god! I like to take chances, even if it’s a million to one.

    BELLE
    So what happened?

    GERARD
    Well, she gets this look on her face, and I know I’m screwed, 100%, she knows I’m talking straight out of my butt… and then she says “that’s right” and walked away!

    BELLE
    Oh. My. God.

    GERARD
    Right??

    BELLE
    I mean, what are the odds she was asking about Columbus? That’s unbelievable!

    GERARD
    Especially because it turned out to be a math class!

    BELLE
    (Laughs so loud she snorts unattractively)
    Holy crap, I would have crapped my pants right there.

    GERARD
    (Visibly taken aback)
    Uh yeah… um, me too.

    BELLE
    Oh hey, what’s the matter?

    GERARD
    It’s just… that’s not very ladylike, I guess.

    BELLE
    Oh. Huh.

    GERARD
    No, what I mean is-

    BELLE
    Oh, I got what you mean. Thanks for the story, I’ll see you around.

    (BELLE gathers up her books and leaves in a huff. GERARD looks after her, then knocks himself in the head.)

    GERARD
    Stupid. Stupid, stupid asshole.

    (GERARD crosses to STAGE LEFT. As he crosses the dividing line, there is a very loud snap and the lighting changes. The way GERARD moves changes subtly as well, as he seems older, not elderly but no longer moving like a young man in his prime. He goes to his diagram and carefully traces out a new line from the beginning point, ending it in a question mark, then steps back and thinks.)

    GERARD (Cont)
    She never made THAT noise before. Must be a fluke. Some kind of ripple? No, I’ve been very careful. I guess in infinite realities, anyone can have an off moment. After all, I should know. Okay, use what you’ve learned… computer? (Beep) Reset. (Beep beep)

    (BELLE moves back into the classroom on the dark side of the stage, . GERARD takes a deep breath, and moves back to the classroom side. Snap, lights change, GERARD is moving more freely again. This change should occur every time he goes across the dividing line. He walks up casually and taps BELLE on the shoulder as she is gathering up her things.)

    BELLE
    Oh! Hey, didn’t see you there buddy.

    GERARD
    My bad, didn’t mean to startle you. Just wanted to say hi, looks like we’re in the same class together. You’re Belle, right? I’m Gerard.

    BELLE
    Oh, you’re in class? I didn’t see you earlier. I’m terrible with faces, you have no idea.

    GERARD
    Oh, haha, I doubt it. I tend to blend in with the background sometimes.

    BELLE
    I see… so, do you need something?

    GERARD
    Like I said, just wanted to say hello… do you, do you want to hear a joke?

    BELLE
    (A little weirded out)
    Um…

    GERARD
    It’s, haha, it’s so funny you’ll probably crap your pants!

    BELLE
    (After an awkward silence)
    I think I’ll take a rain check buddy. See you in class.

    (BELLE exits with her things. GERARD is visibly annoyed.)

    GERARD
    Oh, she can say it, but if I say it’s weird…

    (GERARD crosses back over, snap, lights change. He goes to his diagram and writes notes under the question mark he left before.)

    GERARD (Cont)
    Ok, fine. The joke avenue isn’t looking too promising. Lots of other possibilities… (He fishes out some “cool” sunglasses” from his things.) Worth a try, right? Nothing to lose. Computer? (Beep.) Reset. (Beep beep.)

    (BELLE returns again to the classroom and is in the process of gathering up as GERARD crosses back again. He confidently leans on the desk and tries to look as cool as possible.)

    GERARD (Cont)
    Sup, girl?

    BELLE
    (Surprised)
    Oh! Um, hi. Didn’t see you there. Can I… help you?

    GERARD
    Yeah girl, actually I can help you out. As in go out, on Friday, you and me. 8 o’clock?

    BELLE
    ...yeah, that’s… what’s your name again?

    GERARD
    Ger-, ah, Jerry.

    BELLE
    Ok Jerajerry, I’m flattered but I’ve got plans on Friday.

    GERARD
    Yeah, you and that hot body got plans with me girl.

    BELLE
    Ugh. Is this a joke? Did Melissa put you up to this?

    GERARD
    (Takes off the glasses)
    No, I just-

    BELLE
    Yeah, that’s fine buddy. Whoever told you to do this, they’re an asshole, and so are you.

    (She leaves with her things.)

    GERARD
    (Yells after her)
    It was a compliment!
    (To himself)
    Jesus, can’t take...

    (He crosses back and cracks the sunglasses in half, throwing them away. He goes to his diagram and draws out another line, then scratches out the end of it. He takes a deep breath and thinks again.)

    GERARD (Cont)
    I wonder…

    (He clears a space and writes the words “Meet Cute”. He’s excited about this idea. He grabs his books.)

    GERARD (Cont)
    Computer? (Beep) Reset. (Beep beep).

    (GERARD crosses back again, then lies in wait for a moment as BELLE returns and starts gathering up her books again. When she turns to leave, GERARD lunges forward and bumps into her, sending both their books down in a pile.)

    BELLE
    Jesus Christ man!! What the hell?

    GERARD
    (Trying to play it as amusing)
    Oh dear, I’m so clumsy-

    BELLE
    (Not amused, very annoyed to be bowled into)
    Yeah, no kidding asshole.

    GERARD
    Here, let me help-

    BELLE
    (Quickly grabbing her stuff)
    You did plenty buddy. Just watch where you’re going next time.

    GERARD
    Oh, haha, sure. I’m Gerard-

    BELLE
    Yeah, cool, see you.

    (BELLE has already turned and left, in no mood for a conversation. GERARD slumps in disappointment, then crosses back over. He makes a big production of crossing out the words “Meet Cute”, first slowly, then angrily, muttering under his breath.)

    GERARD
    Stupid, stupid, lying movies, stupid, stupid, doesn’t work, not real, fake, fake, fake! Ugh, so stupid.

    (He pauses and rubs his eyes, clearly frustrated. He abruptly makes up his mind.)

    GERARD
    Computer? (Beep) Reset. (Beep beep)

    (BELLE returns again, and starts gathering up her books. GERARD steels himself and walks across the line, grabs her, spins her around, and tries to kiss her. BELLE tries to push him away.)

    BELLE
    What the hell?? Get away from me, you freak!!

    GERARD
    (Still trying to push in, upset that this isn’t working)
    I just love you much, from the first time I saw you I knew it was-

    BELLE
    You perv! You’re sick! Get off me!

    (BELLE shoves him away as hard as she can. GERARD tries to approach her again, and she smashes him in the arm with her textbook, and he winces back as BELLE runs out of the room.)

    BELLE (Cont)
    Help! Help!

    GERARD
    (Rubbing his arm, more annoyed than hurt)
    Ah, crap.

    (He walks back to the other side, checking his arm.)

    GERARD (Cont)
    I guess I could have predicted that… but I hear sometimes it works? Love at first sight, my ass. Ok, I know I’m tilting here. Gotta take a breather. Computer? (Beep) Reset. (Beep beep).

    (GERARD updates his diagram with another failed pathway, then goes through again. This time he just sits at a desk and quietly watches with deep, incredible longing as BELLE gathers up her stuff. Before she leaves, she decides to take a picture of herself. She doesn’t look any special way, hasn’t done anything special to make herself pretty, she just feels happy and wants to capture the moment. She takes a selfie and then leaves happily. GERARD is quiet for a few moments.)

    GERARD (Cont)
    (Quietly)
    You look… so perfect. This will all be worth it, I’ll get it right.

    (GERARD cross back again and takes a moment to look over his diagram and his notes. He is calmer now, not rushing. He gets an idea.)

    GERARD (Cont)
    Computer? (Beep) Reset (Beep beep)

    (GERARD crosses again as BELLE returns to gather her things. He approaches, not with false confidence, aggression, or a faked casual attitude, but directly. He doesn’t poke or grab her, but instead calls out to her.)

    GERARD (Cont)
    Hi there.

    BELLE
    (Turns around, surprised)
    Oh, hey! Didn’t think anybody else was there. Do I know you?

    GERARD
    No, but you will. My name is Gerard, and you’re Belle. Like from Beauty and the Beast.

    BELLE
    Hm, never heard that one before. So I’m gonna know you, huh? What’s your story, Gerard?

    GERARD
    I’m the love of your life.

    BELLE
    Riiiight… ok, did-

    GERARD
    Melissa didn’t put me up to this. Nobody did.

    BELLE
    I… I’m sorry, I guess I don’t know what to say to something like that. How can anybody just say something that like? Hell of a ballsy pickup line, but I’ll give you credit for being interesting.

    GERARD
    I think I can be more than interesting. I’m from the future.

    BELLE
    Oh, very cool, very cool. Do they have hoverboards yet?

    GERARD
    I know your middle name is Evelyn.

    BELLE
    Anybody could find that out, and this is getting just a little creepy buddy.

    GERARD
    I know you’re trying to get your Psych degree. You want to be a therapist.

    BELLE
    Lucky guess, or have you been snooping around my academic counselor?

    GERARD
    I also know you’re afraid you won’t be able to help people, that you might say the wrong thing to a patient and mess up their life. That’s why you’re going to end up as administrator of a medical center. Still helping people, but the direct responsibility not in your hands. You’ll contribute from a safe place. I know the idea already occurred to you, but you haven’t told anyone because you don’t want to quit before you even start your real goal. I know your Dad is an alcoholic and he hit your mom a few times when you were growing up, but you still love him and sometimes feel guilty for it, but I think that’s sort of beautiful, in a really complex way. I know you’ve got a brother who’s staying home from school this week. The bad news is he’s got cancer. Leukemia. The good news is, he’s going to pull through, though it’s going to be very rough. He’s gonna be fine though, at least as far as I’ve gone ahead. And I know… I know if I don’t talk to you right now, the first time I meet you, you’re going to go on to your next class and meet your husband.

    BELLE
    (A beat, then quietly)
    You said-

    GERARD
    I said I was the love of your life, and… I am. This guy you meet, he’s gonna work hard for you, he’s gonna support you while your brother’s sick and stick by you when you change careers, and by the time I get up the courage to talk to you, all we’ll ever be is friends. But… but it’s not the way it was supposed to happen. He helped you, but he never understood you. I knew you from the minute I saw you, I knew that we were destined to be together, but… I missed my chance. I’m not going to miss it again.

    BELLE
    So… so you came back to, what? To tell me you know all this stuff about my life, and I should, what, drop everything and we should… what? Date? Fall into each other’s arms?

    GERARD
    We can do… anything you want. I can come back to this moment as many times as we need to, until we get it right.

    BELLE
    ...Ok, assuming I even believe you-

    GERARD
    You should.

    BELLE
    Assuming… Gerard, how long have you been coming back to this moment? How long have you put your life on hold for this?

    GERARD
    It doesn’t matter. I would do it a million more times to make it perfect.

    BELLE
    I… Gerard, that’s an amazing story, but… if you’ve tried a million times and it didn’t work, how can you say it’s destiny?

    GERARD
    I didn’t… I-

    BELLE
    Nobody should be so stuck. Especially on somebody like me. I’m not that special.

    GERARD
    You are that special.

    BELLE
    Gerard, nobody is that special.

    GERARD
    Don’t you understand what I’ve gone through to get to this point? Don’t you understand the work I’ve done, the sacrifice?

    BELLE
    I never asked you to. I don’t even know you.

    GERARD
    But you will!

    BELLE
    But I don’t. You can’t just insist that someone should love you back just because you’ve worked hard. That’s not how people work, you can’t just bowl them over with some… grand gesture. (A quiet beat). I’m sorry, this is too much. I don’t know if you need help or… I just don’t know. Goodbye, Gerard. I guess according to you we’ll meet again in this moment, but… I hope we don’t. Whether now or then, it might be time to move on.

    GERARD
    You don’t even know me.

    BELLE
    And maybe I will, or maybe I won’t. Goodbye, Gerard. I hope you find… a way to be happy, I guess.

    (BELLE leaves. GERARD is overcome with emotion, choking back intense frustration and despair. He crosses back over and tries to compose himself with several deep breaths and speaks quietly to himself.

    GERARD
    True love takes time. Perfection takes time. There is a perfect combination out there, a perfect pathway. This will be worth it. I’m doing the right thing. She’s worth it. I’m worth it. I will be happy. We will be together and I will be happy. Okay, okay… computer? (Beep) Reset. (Beep beep).

    (GERARD forces a smile on his face and crosses as BELLE picks up her books.)

    GERARD (Cont)
    Hey there-

    (GERARD trips over himself and crashes hard to the floor, his things flying across the room. BELLE lets out a surprised laugh.)

    BELLE
    Oh man, I’m so sorry, that was mean. It just looked really funny, you were like BLEAH!! Let me help you-

    (BELLE reaches down to help him, and GERARD lunges up, red faced, crying, frustrated and breaking down from the hellish existence he’s made for himself. He wraps his hands around her throat and pushes her to the floor, choking her. He sputters incoherently in rage and anguish. BELLE tries to shove him away again, but he’s too strong, too angry. After a little while, BELLE stops moving. A little while after there, GERARD lets go, sniffling and rubbing his hands, which are now sore. He slowly pulls himself up, gathers his scattered things as quickly as he can, and crosses back across to his side. He takes a few moments to wipe his face, and sadly adds another X to a corner of the board filled with them. He's done this many times. He then looks at his diagram again and taps the note he made at the start of the play, and takes a deep breath.)

    GERARD
    Computer? (Beep) Reset. (Beep beep)

    (He puts a big, friendly smile on his face, crosses back to the classroom, where BELLE is once again gathering up her things.)

    GERARD (Cont)
    Boo!

    BELLE
    Woah! You surprised me there, man.

    GERARD
    Sorry, I like to make an impression. I’m Gerard.

    BELLE
    I’m Belle.

    GERARD
    I’ll do you a favor and not say “Oh, like Beauty and the Beast”.

    BELLE
    Oh, thanks so much, kind sir! You really spared me a hardship there.

    GERARD
    So, how do you like the class so far?

    BELLE
    Oof, pretty boring, right?

    GERARD
    If you think this class is boring, I’ve got one heck of a story to tell you.

    BELLE
    I’d like to hear it, Gerard. Do we have time? I don’t want you to be late for your next class or anything.

    GERARD
    Oh, I’ve got time. I’ve got all the time in the world. So there I was, right, my roommate kept me up all night…

    END OF PLAY

  36. #36
    Man, this is brilliant! Can't believe you just wrote it yesterday. He's a great character, very very flawed. You root for him, though the guy she maaried seemed to be the better guy. I also really dig concepts on time. This is a question about infinite possibilities vs. fate and a story of determination. Yet, it's like the butterfly effect, seems he just can't win. Great read.

    It would be difficult for me to know with confidence something I just wrote was my best work. But you're right, I think it is indeed your best play. Liked the details of the two settings and how he visibly changes. Liked that he got offended by her just being herself, though he supposed to love her. Good complexity. Great, great play!
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 6 Days Ago at 05:02 AM.

  37. #37
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,067
    I was surprised myself, it usually takes a lot more mental effort and time to crank something like this out. Just hit in the right place at the right time I guess. I want to tweak it still but I think I'll see about submitting it to some competitions, see if anyone wants to perform it. Thanks for the very kind words, and for all the reading man.

  38. #38
    Hoping to have a refined chapter 8 up saturday
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 2 Days Ago at 04:57 AM.

  39. #39
    Chapter 8
    Veins



    When Seth turned a pale, right wrist upwards, he'd see that a blue vein went right towards the thumb. Seth, for sure, wore scars across that vein.


    There’s a time Seth learned his destiny. It’s a time happening now and then, for now and then is one in the same. Nothing happens before anything else. It all just floats around us in shining ornaments and reflects a desire to be actualized. The past, present and future are a merry-go-round of shining circles. I have eight years; eight years represented by eight floating ornaments that show all that got me here.



    Now, in Dreammore all important folk seem to be proceeded by hallways. In one ornament floating around my head I see my feet skipping down an emerald hallway; I see my rod soaked in Lucifer's blood as I skip away from the glass double doors. Emarald base and blood drops lay beneath my skips, as I skurry. For a moment my feet stop. I hear my spit and see the head of Lucifer's Redbird, with it's beak in tack, land on the emarald. My feet skip again, leaving the head where it lay.


    And in another ornament, I see Seth's brown boots walking down a hall. There's a classical piano sound, not playing from any instrument but by magic, and candles dancing with not life but enchantment. Let's focus in on this ornament and go back...


    That hallway that led to the Great Wizard had the feel of cement under Seth's brown boots and black cloak. However the floor or walls could barely be seen, just dancing candles floating in mid air emmitted some light onto them. Into the Great Wizard’s office, Seth pushed the door by the large golden handle. With caution he went in to receive his final present for his fourteenth birthday.


    Once past the door and in the room, no floor or walls could be felt. Seth glided through a room of starry night sky towards the Great Wizard. With the cylinder of starlight circling down on the Great Wizard's beard and large, blue hexagon hat and rustic wooden desk, the Wizard under his eye shadow and blush blinked at Seth and studied him, while the young teen lowered his head.


    The Wizard, Valvus, blinked at Seth with an expression as empty as his desk. “I’m sad to tell you this is the last time we’ll be meeting like this. You are growing up and will soon step into being the man that you will be the rest of your life. No more birthday parties.”


    “That-that’s too bad.” Seth tried to hold back a smile.


    “You don’t much like these parties do you?"


    “Umm…no…not really…”


    “Why do you suppose that is? It’s life; it’s fun! What about your room? Do you like your room?” A glare in Valvus eyes replaced their blinking. It cut past Seth's skin, up the vein over his thumb, and into his heart and thoughts.


    “I…umm…” Seth sighed, “You’re all-knowing.”


    “That I am. So how did you suppose that I wouldn’t find out about you attempting suicide?”


    Seth paused and said, “I’m sorry…”


    “Wrist-slitting shows a sort of dark madness wouldn't you say?"


    "No, please..."


    "And since that incident, you stopped reading your chapters, didn’t you?”


    “Yes…”


    “Seth, have you ever wondered, wondered why Jonathon advanced in swords, and you never did?”


    “I –I use to.”


    “Well, to help cure any curiosity that may dawdle, I will detail it to you. It’s simple, you have separate destinies. You read so much about Jonathon’s, but how much have you read about your own?”


    “I’ve read enough!”


    “Really? I have with me the chapter that I gave you for your birthday last year. The one you stopped reading.”


    The Great Wizard outstretched his hand, opening one of his desk drawers, and then he levitated glowing thin grade of pages out of the drawer over to Seth. The pages flipped themselves like they were being blown upon. When they stopped on a page; Seth, unable to resist, read—


    The son of darkness will be revealed; he will rule the evil forces and create his own city.


    Seth could hear his heart, then a strange voice mumbling. He couldn’t tell where the voice came from or, over the drumming of his heartbeat, make sense of the mumbling. When the voice became clearer and familiar, it was Ward Phoenix saying, “Son of darkness, boy, just like your father.” Seth squeezed his eyes, hoping it would go away, but, when he opened them, a rod stood before him.


    The Great Wizard gawked at Seth like the boy flew among two-headed black-birds. Then, Seth stormed away from the Great Wizard and the rod, swimming his feet in the starry room as fast as slow motion would allow.
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 5 Hours Ago at 10:43 AM.

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