[Maigius walks slowly into the Thunderdome]
Maigius: Time to mess up a play! IN
|# ? Jun 5, 2019 06:02|
|# ? Sep 30, 2022 23:29|
|# ? Jun 5, 2019 06:55|
im gay, and in
|# ? Jun 5, 2019 18:15|
Okay, about a day and a half left to sign up, so if you've got an inclination to write plays this week then speak up!
Nethilia has graciously volunteered to judge, but I'm still looking for one more, so any other interested parties should chime in as soon as they can.
|# ? Jun 6, 2019 17:58|
Yeah, I'm in
|# ? Jun 7, 2019 22:37|
At some point during your play, one of the characters has a fit of laughter.
A Shepherd Confronts Two Wolves
“Salvation” Saul Miller - Male, 40s. A charismatic preacher.
Peter - Male, 40s. An old friend of Saul’s who helps run their megachurch. Slick.
David - Male, 40s. Same position as Peter, but acts and is treated as subservient. Anxious.
All three men wear suits and ties. Saul’s is a light shade, blue or white. The other two wear dark blue, gray, or black.
A simple meeting room with one door at stage left. A long table takes up most of the room.
A heavy religious ornament on the table
An old-fashioned flip cell phone
Two cups of water or coffee
[AT RISE: PETER and DAVID are sitting at the table.]
DAVID: Did he tell you what the meeting was about?
PETER: No. [Sarcastically] He probably had another one of his revelations and just has to tell us that the big man's really worried about pornography right now. [More serious] If it was something that impacted the company he’d have called the whole board.
DAVID: Yeah. That’s true.
[SAUL enters through the door on stage left. PETER and DAVID jump to their feet with big, fake smiles.]
DAVID [Nervously]: Your sermon for the faithful in the UK last weekend was amazing.
PETER: I’ve already listened to it five times since then. Fills me with the holy spirit every time.
DAVID: Makes me cry every time.
SAUL: Thank you, brothers. [Chuckling] I’m glad you haven’t gotten tired of hearing me talk.
[PETER and DAVID make a show of laughing at Saul’s comment.]
PETER: So what’s up? New orders from the man upstairs?
SAUL: Well, yes. Why don’t you two sit down.
[PETER and DAVID sit down slowly]
SAUL: I’m going to ask the holy spirit to be here with us right now, because this isn’t going to be an easy thing to talk about.
PETER: Something wrong?
SAUL: Peter, David, I think we’re running God’s church all wrong.
[After a pause, PETER barks a laugh. DAVID looks horrified.]
PETER: Well what the heck do you mean by that, Saul? You’ve brought millions to God, we donate, do charity work. What else does the big man need?
SAUL: I look at this church and I don’t see humility and service. I see giant golden castles we’ve built all over the world.
PETER: You yourself gave the sermon on that, Saul. ‘Candles on a hilltop' remember?
SAUL: A city on a hill. A candle on a candlestick.
[PETER waves a hand dismissively at the correction]
PETER: Yeah that. Anyway it’s about people seeing the glory and power of God on the Earth, right? People look up, see our churches, and know these are holy places. There were golden temples in the Bible too.
SAUL: I agreed to build these chapels only with whatever was leftover after all the donations and charity work we could do.
PETER: That’s right, and that’s what we’re doing.
SAUL: I saw a report saying less than 25% of our parishioners’ tithes go to charities or relief efforts.
[DAVID, who was reaching for his drink, gives a start and knocks his cup over. He swears, and SAUL is visibly offended by this.]
PETER: Where did you see that? Protestors? I told you, Saul, Satan is always-
SAUL [cutting PETER off]: I saw it on the internet.
[PETER’s smile goes from false to visibly forced.]
PETER [struggling to keep his voice light]: What were you doing on the internet?
SAUL: There are people out there replacing the S’s in my name with dollar signs.
PETER: We’ve been over this, Saul, the internet is Satan’s playground. You can’t-...
SAUL [cutting PETER off again]: No, no. I’ve looked at the financial reports and it’s all true. There are wolves here, my brothers. Wolves in sheep’s clothing, hiding in the flock. Demons of greed. I just wanted you two to hear about this before I bring it to the board. There are going to be big changes here. This whole church is going to repent.
[Ignoring half-vocalized protests from PETER and DAVID, SAUL turns and leaves the room, shutting the door behind him.]
PETER [furious]: What the hell was he doing on the internet? How did he even get on? We fed him that crap about Satan spreading viruses so we could keep all his computers off the network. So tell me how that happens?
DAVID: I think he used his cellphone.
PETER: What cellphone? He doesn’t have a cellphone. He has secretaries at every location ready to make any calls he wants to make. Multiple secretaries.
DAVID: I got him one. He said he wanted to be able to make personal calls to his family without going through an assistant. [He winces as PETER looks ready to start screaming at him.] It’s just a flip-phone, the oldest, cheapest one I could find! I didn’t even know it could connect to the internet!
PETER: Well great job, you really screwed us this time. We need to think of a way out of this.
DAVID: Let’s just leave. We’ve got all the money we need, let’s just leave the country.
PETER: And go where? We’re a worldwide church you moron. And once Saul starts blabbing about the finances, we’re going to have police from every country knocking on our door. No, we can’t run from this. We’re going to end up penniless, or in jail, or both.
DAVID: So what do we do?
PETER: We need to keep Saul from meeting with the board. Off the pulpit, too. He needs to take a sabbatical. Right. Now.
[DAVID looks horrified]
PETER: Oh calm down. We’re not going to do anything stupid. We just need him out of the picture for a while. We’ve got enough audio of his sermons recorded to last us for weeks, and if we run out of that we can just have somebody with a good voice read his written stuff. Hell we could staple his picture to a popsicle stick and wave it around and his fans would still eat it up.
DAVID: I don’t know. I mean, he’s dumb but he’s still a nice guy.
PETER: You should’ve thought of that before you let him have a phone with an internet connection!
DAVID: I thought he knew!
PETER: You thought he knew what? You thought our perfect choir boy knew his whole religion was a scam?
[SAUL bursts in the door from stage left, cold rage on his face. DAVID is terrified. PETER shows surprise for a moment before smoothly sliding into obsequious mode.]
PETER: Forget something Saul?
SAUL: I heard everything.
[There is a moment of heavy silence.]
PETER: Eavesdropping isn’t very righteous.
SAUL: I suspected, but I wouldn’t admit it to myself. That the demons of greed, the wolves among the flock, were my own best friends. We’ve been brothers since seminary, but apparently all it took was a little success and riches and-
PETER [cutting him off]: Oh shut up Saul. I got sick of hearing you preach when we were kids and it hasn’t gotten any better. Well done. You caught us.
DAVID [begging]: We’ll leave, Saul. We’ll leave the country. You can fix up the church and everything will be fine. Just let us go.
SAUL: No. No. You hurt my flock, my sheep. You have broken the laws of God and the laws of man. There will be justice.
[PETER jumps to his feet and picks up the heavy ornament from the table, advancing on SAUL with murder on his face.]
PETER: I’m so sick of you, you stupid son of a-
[SAUL retreats a few steps backward, and pulls a small flip-phone out of his pocket. It is open, and his finger is on the call button. PETER looks between it and SAUL, then drops the ornament and flops back into a chair.]
PETER: Go ahead. Call the cops. You’re the face of this whole operation. When we go down, you go down with us. No one’s gonna believe you were innocent.
SAUL: If that’s what it takes to bring the light of God back to my flock, then so be it.
[SAUL backs away, still holding out the phone with his finger on the button. When he reaches the door, he exits STAGE LEFT. PETER drapes one arm across his face and starts laughing, hard and slightly unhinged.]
PETER: Good job. Good job. He just had to have a phone.
[DAVID stands and kicks over his chair.]
DAVID: Shut up. Shut up!
[A moment of heavy silence passes. Both men glare in different directions, deep in thought. Then, they look at each other.]
PETER: I’m not going down for this. Sorry, David, but the phone was your idea, so you’re going to need to take the fall.
DAVID: The hell I will! I’ve put up with your stupid schemes since seminary. I’m tired of getting dragged into your shady crap!
[Both men become worked into a frenzy, yelling variations of ‘I’m not going down for this’ and ‘this is on you’. SFX of two wolves snarling starts low and builds until it drowns out the yelling of the two men as the stage goes dark and the curtain falls.]
|# ? Jun 7, 2019 22:53|
In two minutes you will have FOUR HOURS to decide whether you want to write a play this week. Come on, give us all some reading material.
I'm also still seeking another judge if anyone has the time!
|# ? Jun 7, 2019 23:58|
Batman Died On My Birthday
A living room decorated in tacky Batman decor: Bat stickers taped to the walls, posters picked up from a dollar store, displays of action figures. A banner reads HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAYDEN. A recliner rests upstage right. There is a closet door upstage left and an entry door stage right. The doorbell rings.
PAT (offstage left): We’re coming!
Enter PAT, a forty-something dad, and CAROL, his age-appropriate wife. They open the entry door. In walks BATMAN.
BATMAN (growling): Where is Kayden? I need his help to fight Mr. Freeze!
CAROL (to Pat): Ooh! This guy’s good! (To Batman) I’m Carol. This here is my lovely husband Pat. (They shake Batman’s hand) You’re here a little early. Kayden and his friends are going to be getting off the bus in, I don’t know, ten minutes?
PAT: Can I get you something to drink, Batman? Water? Orange juice? I think we have a few beers.
BATMAN: Water would be great, thanks.
PAT: Do you want ice in that?
BATMAN: Sure, if you got some.
PAT (proudly): Our fridge has its own ice-maker, actually. It has several settings.
BATMAN: Uh, cool.
CAROL: Pat, can you get Mr. Wayne that water?
PAT: Oh yeah, sure thing.
BATMAN: How do you know my secret identity?
CAROL: A real professional!
Exit Pat stage left.
CAROL: Make yourself at home, Batman. This can be your little batcave. I’m going to finish up getting ready.
Exit Carol stage left.
Batman stands still for a couple seconds. Then he has a sudden brain aneurysm and dies. He falls face-first to the floor. He’s a corpse now.
Enter Pat from stage left with a glass of ice water. He takes a second to absorb what he’s seeing.
[A moment of silence.]
CAROL (offstage): What?
PAT: Come here!
CAROL (offstage): Why?
PAT: Just come here!
Enter Carol, Pat’s wife, from stage left. She stops suddenly when she sees the body.
CAROL: Is he dead?
Pat splashes Batman’s face with the ice water. He shrugs.
CAROL: Come on. You know how to check for real.
Pat bends down and grabs Batman’s wrists. He briefly checks Batman’s pulse.
CAROL: What happened?
PAT: I don’t know. He was fine when we let him in. The Joker got him, maybe? [a dead silence] Sorry, bad joke. [He takes a seat on the recliner] I’ll call 9-1-1. You call the bus company. Have them drop Kayden and his friends off at Frank’s.
CAROL: Excuse me?
PAT: Excuse you what?
CAROL: You’re going to let our son’s fifth birthday be the day that Batman died?
PAT: What are we supposed to do? This guy has a family.
CAROL: Sure, Pat. Five is a great age to start a kid on therapy. You wanna give Kayden PTSD? I hope you feel good about this wannabe actor’s family when our son is scratching imaginary spiders off his skin in an RV in Missouri. No Pat, this party is happening.
PAT: You can’t be serious.
CAROL: You can’t be serious! You can’t be seriously considering jeopardizing our son’s future for some misplaced sense of idealism. [she grabs Batman’s wrists] We don’t have much time before Kayden gets home. Help me get this guy into the closet!
Pat gets up from the recliner.
PAT: How long are we supposed to keep this from him?
CAROL (unsuccessfully trying to drag Batman across the floor): Forever. We tell the cops and Rent-a-Hero that Batman didn’t show up for the gig. He becomes a missing person.
PAT: Jesus, we’re hacking up a body, aren’t we?
CAROL: Ew. Gross. Jesus. You don’t need a hacksaw and a barrel of acid to bury someone. What’s wrong with you?
PAT: What’s wrong with me?
CAROL: Think of your son! He deserves a normal childhood.
PAT: You just expect me to go along with everything, don’t you? Buying a horse! Throwing a gender reveal party that cost more than the wedding! Telling the cops it was me who was driving!
CAROL: You’re going to do it, right?
PAT: Of course I’m going to do it!
Pat grabs Batman by the ankles and they start to carry him towards the closet.
PAT: I love you, honey.
CAROL: I love you too.
Carol suddenly drops him.
PAT: Okay, now what?
CAROL: Who’s going to be Batman for the party?
PAT: Who’s going to be Batman for the party? No one’s going to be Batman for the party, that’s who. We’ll have a Batman party without a Batman.
CAROL: Don’t you dare.
PAT: Don’t I dare what?
CAROL: You promised Kayden that Batman would be at this birthday party.
PAT: We’ll tell him Batman was too busy fighting the Penguin or something. [a pause] Please don’t make me do it.
CAROL: Our son has one more year to believe that Batman is a real person who really exists in a real place called Gotham. Don’t steal that from him. How good is your Kevin Conroy?
PAT: Carol, please.
CAROL: HOW GOOD IS YOUR KEVIN CONROY drat IT?!
PAT (in his own voice but slightly lower): Hi, Kayden, I’m Batman.
CAROL: poo poo, that’s not good. Try Bale.
PAT (growling): SWEAR TO ME!!
CAROL: That’ll have to do. [she takes off Batman’s mask] You know what comes next.
Pat crouches to help Carol strip Batman.
PAT (muttering to himself and removing the boots): For Kayden, for Kayden, for Kayden. Huh, did this guy not wear socks?
CAROL (removing Batman’s shirt): Or an undershirt.
PAT (removing Batman’s pants): Or...yep.
Batman is now completely buck-rear end naked.
PAT (starting to strip to his underwear and socks): Somehow, the fact that he’s naked is more shocking to me than the fact that he’s dead.
CAROL: You need an undershirt.
PAT: I don’t think we have time.
CAROL: Do you want to end up like this guy? I’m getting you an undershirt.
Exit Carol stage left.
Pat puts on the Batman costume. Carol returns with an undershirt.
CAROL: What are you doing?
PAT (Bale growling): I’M BATMAN!!
CAROL: You need an undershirt.
PAT (growling): Fine.
Pat takes off the Batman shirt and cape, struggling to get it over the mask.
PAT: We don’t have time for this.
CAROL: You’re going to nip out without an undershirt. Do you wanna look like Clooney or not?
PAT: I would love to look like Clooney, actually.
CAROL: This is going to be one of the happiest days of Kayden’s childhood and you’re going to be wearing an undershirt for it, drat it!
Pat’s Batman shirt finally comes off. Carol gives him the undershirt, but then: the sound of a school bus door opening. Then, the sound of many excited young children.
PAT: poo poo, the body!
Carol and Pat, in a shirtless Batman costume, grab the deceased naked actor and haul him towards the closet as the children’s voices get louder. They have opened the closet door and are about to throw in the corpse when the door opens.
|# ? Jun 8, 2019 17:25|
Also while I have internet access: I am working in a foreign country presently and spent the first two days of this trip in hospital, so in the interest of not dying from pure stress, would the LWARB participants be amenable to an extension? Something like 20th June? I am exquisitely ill and traveling at the same time and I'm happy to eat the ban if everyone else is good to go but since this is a collab story between GIANTS OF THE DOME I'd like to try to take time to actually make it good.
Oh, hey, so I never officially followed up on this:
BlowoutMuffin and Yorurock, your LWARB due date is 11:59 PM Pacific time, Friday June 21st.
|# ? Jun 9, 2019 05:43|
Early afternoon in a clearing in the Caledonian Forest, covered in leaf litter and with various plants and flowers growing in the glade. On the right of the stage is a large Scots pine with a deer blind halfway up it. Two figures sit in it: a tall red-haired woman, ISLA, and a prepubescent boy, DOUGLAS. They are peering off stage left.
ISLA: Do you see him?
ISLA speaks confidently, with the soft brogue of a Highland Scots accent. She stands, and we see she is holding a hunting rifle.
DOUGLAS: No. Do you?
DOUGLAS, in comparison, sounds nervous and reedy, with the received pronunciation of a posh English boy.
ISLA: (sitting back down) No.
They sit quiet for a moment, DOUGLAS fidgeting with his hands.
DOUGLAS: Do you have to kill him?
ISLA: Yes, pet. I do.
DOUGLAS: But I don’t want to. I haven’t seen one before.
ISLA: I thought that’s why you wanted to come with me?
DOUGLAS stands and looks over the edge of the hunting platform.
DOUGLAS: Yeah...but I just thought we could look at him. I don’t want to see you shoot him.
ISLA: You don’t have to watch me do it.
DOUGLAS: That’s not what I mean.
Silence for a while.
ISLA: I know.
DOUGLAS sits back down and pulls his smartphone out. He pokes at it aimlessly.
DOUGLAS: I read earlier that people up here think deer are a pest.
ISLA: Yeah. You remember Mr McGuigan, who we met the other day?
ISLA: He’s paying me good money to kill this stag. It’s the top dog round here, so to speak. Breeds with every doe in a ten-mile radius, creates lots of little baby deer. And they’re all eating his barley.
DOUGLAS: He gave me a fiver and told me to keep it to myself.
ISLA (laughing): Of course he did. But I bet he’ll take that off what he promised to pay me. That McGuigan’s a tight bastard.
DOUGLAS looks shocked.
DOUGLAS: Dad says I shouldn’t say that.
ISLA: Your dad would, aye. Sorry. Don’t tell him, eh? And don’t worry about the money.
DOUGLAS: So they’re a pest because they eat our crops.
A rustling noise from offstage. ISLA rises to attention and sights the rifle against the edge of the platform.
ISLA shushes him with a raised finger.
DOUGLAS: (shouting) But that’s not fair! We eat THEM and no-one goes round shooting us for it!
The sound of something scurrying away, kicking up leaves. ISLA groans and lowers the rifle.
ISLA: You scared him off!
DOUGLAS: (still shouting) Good! He doesn’t deserve to die!
ISLA: Of course he doesn’t deserve to die!
DOUGLAS: Then why are you killing him?
ISLA: Because I need the loving money!
Silence. She sits down, head in hands. DOUGLAS sits for a moment, then scoots over to her and hugs her.
DOUGLAS: I’m sorry, Mum.
ISLA: I know. I’m sorry for swearing.
DOUGLAS: It’s ok. I won’t tell Dad. Anyway, he tells me not to, but you should hear him in the car. It’s way worse than you.
ISLA: Really? The wee bastard.
They smile at each other. ISLA stands up and beckons her son towards the ladder.
ISLA: Come on. The stag won’t be back for a while. Let’s have our lunch.
They climb down to the forest floor, and ISLA retrieves sandwiches and Thermos flasks from her backpack.
ISLA: Right, what’ve we got here...ploughman’s for me, and peanut butter and honey for you.
DOUGLAS grins and grabs the sandwich.
DOUGLAS: My favourite! You remembered!
ISLA: Aye. I thought it sounded pretty weird, but I tried a bit myself and that’s a solid combination. Sorry for doubting you, laddie.
They sit and eat their sandwiches, content. Once they’re done, ISLA crosses the stage and examines the plants.
ISLA: Come over here, son. Got something to show you.
DOUGLAS joins her.
ISLA: See this? This is Fat Hen.
DOUGLAS: That is a weird name for a plant.
ISLA: You’re not wrong. But this stuff is why our stag friend is over here. Do you like spinach?
DOUGLAS: Not really. It’s okay.
ISLA: This is spinach before spinach, if you get me. Spinach doesn’t come from round here; it’s from Asia originally. But we’ve always had Fat Hen. It’s full of tasty seeds, good for you, and it’s everywhere. And I tell you what: red deer love it.
DOUGLAS picks some and tries it.
DOUGLAS: It’s not bad!
ISLA: Pick some more, we’ll scatter it. Let’s see if we can’t create some bait for our friend.
DOUGLAS picks plenty and builds a pile in the middle of the stage. ISLA is looking at the foot of the pine they were in.
ISLA: There’s wood sorrel here, too. I don’t care for the taste, but the deer like that too. It’s technically poisonous, but you’d have to eat kilos of the stuff to get ill. Let’s grab some of that too.
They continue foraging for plants and adding to the pile.
DOUGLAS: Why do you need money, Mum?
ISLA: (laughs) Well, we adults always need a bit of cash, no? Especially ice-cream funds for when wee lads like you come to stay.
DOUGLAS: But don’t you have a job?
ISLA furrows her brow.
ISLA: Aye. But moving away from you was...expensive. Your dad wasn’t very helpful. I had to borrow money from Aunt Aisling to get set up. She tells me not to worry about paying it back, but she and Kenneth are in a tough spot themselves at the moment.
DOUGLAS: What did Dad do?
ISLA: Don’t worry, kid. What matters is that I pay my debts. Always.
They continue picking.
DOUGLAS: I’m sorry for earlier. I know you need to...you know. With the deer. Just, I don’t want to watch.
ISLA: You don’t have to watch. It’s okay. But get a good look at him before, eh? No red deer down in Kent. They’re beautiful animals.
ISLA grabs some pine needles from the forest floor.
ISLA: Now, let’s finish with these. Deer like a nice crunchy topping just as much as you and I.
DOUGLAS smiles and helps her top the pile. They climb the ladder again and settle into the blind, and sit for a while.
DOUGLAS: How do you know all that about plants?
ISLA: Ah, I had a life before you, you know? When I was wee, my dad and I used to come out into these forests every summer, like we’re doing now.
DOUGLAS: Did you hunt the deer?
ISLA: No. We just foraged. My dad taught me about the plants of Caledonia. Every shrub, flower, and mushroom.
DOUGLAS: I wish I could have met him.
ISLA: Aye, I miss him. I wish he could have come out and joined us on a trip like this. Still, the best thing I can do is to teach you; one day you’ll have bairns of your own. I’ll come out and make sure you don’t eat any funny mushrooms and make yourself look like a tit in front of your kids.
DOUGLAS: I don’t want to go home tomorrow, Mum.
ISLA is quiet.
ISLA: I know. I don’t want you to either, kiddo. But school starts soon. You’ll see me at Christmas. Anyway, your dad will be missing you.
DOUGLAS: Yeah. He’s a big jessie.
ISLA: Big jessie, that he is. But you’re too English sounding to get away with saying that.
DOUGLAS: Aw. I liked the sound of it.
ISLA: Ah, you can say what you like around me. You know that already.
DOUGLAS suddenly spots something off stage left.
DOUGLAS: (whispering) Mum, it’s the stag. I see him.
ISLA clambers to her feet quietly, and spots the deer.
DOUGLAS: He’s beautiful.
ISLA: They always are.
She raises the rifle and looks through the scope.
ISLA: (talking to herself) About a hundred metres. Easy shot.
She flicks the safety off.
ISLA: Douglas...you need to look the other way now.
DOUGLAS: I know. I just want to keep looking for a bit.
She takes her eye from the scope and looks down at her son, who is staring at the stag, transfixed.
ISLA: Ah, gently caress it.
She flicks the safety back on and sets her rifle down, then comes behind DOUGLAS and places her hands on his shoulders.
DOUGLAS: Aren’t you going to shoot him?
ISLA: What, after the effort we went to to make him that meal? Nah.
DOUGLAS: What about the money? Mr McGuigan?
ISLA: Ah, there’s always something else. Don’t worry, you can keep the fiver.
They stand there, happy.
ISLA: You see why they call the stag a monarch in that painting now?
DOUGLAS: Yeah. He’s king of the forest.
ISLA: Aye. And regicide isn't my bag.
DOUGLAS: Thanks, Mum.
She just holds him tighter, and they watch.
|# ? Jun 9, 2019 18:25|
The Golden Child
[Two middle-aged men in a lavish room. One, CHARLES, is dressed in a formal suit, leaning on an antique piece of furniture. The other, OTTO, slouches in an oversized armchair. Otto enjoys a crystal glass of golden liquid; Charles doesn’t have one.]
CHARLES: I know you want to kill mother.
[Otto chokes on his drink.]
CHARLES: And who could blame you? She is horrible.
OTTO: Only towards me.
CHARLES: My abuse at her hands was more…subtle than yours. Believe me, my resentment is very real.
OTTO: That is no reason to kill someone, let alone your own mother!
CHARLES: It is enough reason to acquiesce to someone else doing it.
OTTO: I would not…
[he is interrupted by his phone ringing. He takes a look at the display and sighs.]
OTTO: It is her. Probably about fixing the car. This is what I am good for.
CHARLES: Ignore her, for once, and listen to me.
OTTO: You know how she gets when I don’t answer.
CHARLES: Which is why you should make sure this never happens again.
[Otto stops the ringing and sets the phone down on the table in front of him.]
OTTO: So you, dear brother, tell me to ignore this call, and instead…
CHARLES: Kill mother. Yes. We both know she deserves it. For all of our lives, she has been an egotistical, narcissistic monster. She left your father just to marry a richer man.
[Otto continues taking sips of his drink as he listens.]
CHARLES: As soon as I was born from this union, you became obsolete in her eyes. A backup plan made unnecessary. You had poor genes, after all. In her eyes, poverty is sexually transmittable. And through her actions, she made sure to affirm her worldview.
OTTO: [bitter] Daily, she reminded me of my inferiority. Kept asking me why I was not more like you. Why I wasn’t perfect, why I couldn’t measure up to the golden child.
CHARLES: She wanted you to be a failure at life, so she could feel confirmed in her decision to upgrade her first husband to a better model. Her expectations were impossible, her criticism constant. Your grades kept slipping because even a passing one was treated as catastrophe. Your dreams were always empty, vain, impossible.
OTTO: While even your worst ideas were worthy of praise and encouragement.
CHARLES: She did not attend your father’s funeral, and tried everything to prevent you from going.
OTTO: But I went.
CHARLES: Which cost you her blessing for college.
OTTO: [angry] Do not dare put blame on me for that. She would have found any other reason.
CHARLES: [shrugs] Possibly. As I said, she’s evil. Which is why, despite you being at her beck and call, will not see a cent of the vast wealth she inherited from my father.
OTTO: I have made my peace with that long ago, when I decided to drop the old bastard’s casket.
CHARLES: That was deliberate? I thought you were just drunk!
OTTO: Two things can be true at once.
CHARLES: [clears throat] Anyway, this is my offer. You fulfil what must have been a lifelong dream and end her miserable existence, and we split the estate amicably.
OTTO: Why not wait a few years and take it all for yourself?
CHARLES: I’m doing you a favor here, Otto. I have planned everything: weapon sourced from a local fence, so it will seem like a robbery gone wrong. Thugs from the shady neighborhood. As an alibi, you’ll have been with me on my yacht at the time. I already have some beautiful witnesses lined up who’ll get busy with a guy who might just be you in looks. While the actual you relieves us both from her ever-increasing demands for attention. Her nagging, her attitude, her playing the victim. I am as sick of her abuse as you must be.
[He turns to a cabinet, produces a gun and hands it to Otto, who takes it.]
CHARLES: Besides, she’s getting stingier with age.
OTTO: [while examining the gun] You tell me; I don’t know about her generous side.
CHARLES: Well, she promised me a new car for my birthday, but seems to disagree on the practicality of the model I chose.
Could you please aim this somewhere else?
[Otto is pointing the gun towards Charles. His arm is wavering, his trigger discipline lacking.]
OTTO: It’s rare we get to talk like brothers. So often, you would just relay orders when mother couldn’t stomach talking to the rotten child. Why don’t you sit down and pour yourself one as well?
CHARLES: [nervously] It’s enough if one of us is getting tipsy, no? Speaking of, maybe you had enough?
OTTO: I have ample practice in holding my liquid, Chuck. Sit. Down.
[Charles complies with a wince. Otto uncorks the bottle with one hand, tops off his glass, and shoves it over to Charles’ side of the table. The gun keeps being pointed at the younger brother. Otto now takes sips from the bottle.]
CHARLES: This one is very expensive.
OTTO: Of course. You truly are your mother’s son if you believe that this might impress me. People, and their lives, don’t have price tags, Chuck.
CHARLES: You know I prefer a more dignified…
OTTO: [slams the bottle down, spilling liquor] You’re talking about murder, where’s the loving dignity in that? For my whole life, she tried to make me into a bad person, are you honestly banking on her having succeeded?
CHARLES: Well, you did get into a lot of trouble.
OTTO: Wrong, brother mine. You got me into lots of trouble. Remember when you broke her china vase? Tore the oil original? Took the Jaguar for a joyride? Always me who caught the blame.
CHARLES: I only remember the car. You were quite quick to tell my parents that I had done it, when we could have kept mum together.
OTTO: Because it was your idea, and you were in the driver’s seat! I tried to dissuade you, but why would you listen to me? You never had to face consequences for your actions. Golden child, of noble stock, you could never do any wrong. And again it was me who had to spend the summer working my fingers into nubs to pay back the damages you caused!
CHARLES: Yes, you were wronged! I fully admit it! And you can pay back mother for all this injustice!
OTTO: And what about the one who was complicit in all that happened to me? I do not remember you ever taking my side before. This is the first time in decades you claim to look out for my interests.
CHARLES: I paid for your last rehab…
OTTO: You did it because an addict would be a “disgrace to the family name”. It was not about helping me, and today’s offer is as selfish. I should shoot you and mother, that would be fair. Then I can piss on three graves instead of just one.
CHARLES: If you kill me, you will get nothing. I can increase your share of the inheritance, if that will help motivate you.
OTTO: You know, I’m actually glad for this. For so long, I thought mother had made me into a worthless gently caress-up, but I see now that she made you into something far worse: a carbon copy of herself. I should really just tell her about what you said today and watch you two destroy each other.
CHARLES: [with a cruel smile] You know fully well that she would never believe your word over mine.
OTTO: Of course.
[he takes a big gulp.]
Which is why I did not actually hang up when she called. She’s been listening to every word. Hello, you disgusting harpy.
[Charles scrambles for the phone in shock, but is stopped by the gun which is now unwaveringly pointed at his face.]
OTTO: You might want to listen closely to what will happen to your precious golden child now, mother.
[the lights go out. A gunshot sounds. Charles screams. After a short pause, the lights go back on – Charles is pressed back into his chair, and on the smoking table is a ruined phone.]
OTTO: Don’t any of you two dare call me again. But I suspect you’ll be quite busy with each other anyway. Have a wonderful life, dear brother. Chuck.
[Otto exits stage. Charles is frozen, staring at the destroyed phone, as another starts ringing in the background. Curtains.]
|# ? Jun 9, 2019 19:33|
663 words but this play makes significant use of negative space; uncomfortable silences and such.
SPACEMAN JONES IS THE GREATEST
a "ten-minute" play
[At rise, SPACEMAN JONES, intrepid explorer extraordinaire, is hovercarpooling to work with SPACEWOMAN PHILLIPS. They are adorned in retrofuturistic mylar bodysuits with a small Planet Express logo on the left chest. JONES has a poo poo-eating grin on his face. PHILLIPS is nonplussed, and staring out the passenger-side window.
SPACEMAN JONES: Thanks for hovercarpooling with me to the launch. Not many people take me up on the offer. Between you and me, I think they’re intimidated. I am the greatest, after all.
SPACEWOMAN PHILLIPS: [laughing] You’re full of poo poo.
JONES: You’re just jealouse of my many feats of adventure against the Soviets.
PHILLIPS: [low-key sarcastic] Oh, yes. I wish I had been the one who started an unprecedented diplomatic incident by dutch-ovening the Russian half of the ISS.
JONES: [not noticing the sarcasm] Yes, you would. You’ve always admired what I’ve accomplished for democracy and capitalism.
[a long pause. Jones smiles stupidly; Phillips stares out the window]
JONES: What made you want to be a Spaceman?
PHILLIPS: [short pause; baffled by the sudden burst of interest from this blowhard] Uh… well, my mom and dad were both scientists, and even after they split up they both encouraged me to work toward what I wanted, even if it wasn’t likely I’d get it. [realizing how much she’d opened up so quickly] Wait, what’s with the sudden interest in my personal life?
JONES: I asked what brought you here, not for your life’s story. It’s work-related.
PHILLIPS: [rolls her eyes] Whatever.
[another long pause. Jones is more neutral, Phillips still stares out the window]
JONES: My folks split up too.
[Phillips, with some surprise on her face, turns and looks at Jones, who doesn’t look away from the road.]
JONES: Mom picked me up from SpaceBoyCamp and broke the news to me on the way home. I was 14, I’d just started SpaceHighSchool. She didn’t say why, she just said the old man had left.
[Phillips stares at the road ahead, surprised and pensive]
JONES: He left me a note with a weak apology. He came around occasionally, sometimes for stuff he was supposed to show up for, like my Spaceball games. sometimes just randomly. He’d be angry sometimes. As I got older I recognized he smelled like rocket fuel most of the time. He had a thing for the old-fashioned ones and at first I thought he was just working on them a lot or something. After I learned in senior history that people used to drink the fuel in those old rockets, I figured out the truth.
[A short pause. Throughout this Phillips’ expression has gotten gradually more surprised. After the pause she turns to look at Jones. Jones continues watching the road ahead.
JONES: Anyway, after a while dad stopped showing up entirely. Last I heard he was with some kind of hot-rodder’s rocket camp in Peru or Chile or something, some high desert somewhere in south america. I guess they farm the starch and sugar down in the lowlands and make fuel, and spend the rainy season up in the desert racing and drinking rocket fuel.
[a short pause]
JONES: I’d always wanted to be a Spaceman and I guess dad being a deadbeat fueldrinker racing antique rockets was a big part of that.
[throughout, Phillips has gotten more and more visibly uncomfortable. there is a long pause. phillips’ tense expression softens a little. she continues facing ahead.]
PHILLIPS: My folks’ split was hard but they both kept showing up. I can’t imagine what that must have been like.
PHILLIPS: I… uh… that sounds like something you wanted to get off your chest for a while.
[Jones watches the road ahead. Phillips goes back to looking out the window.]
[the longest pause of the play]
[Jones glances briefly over at Phillips]
[Phillips continues looking out the window]
[A short pause, then curtain]
[END OF PLAY]
|# ? Jun 9, 2019 20:48|
Please excuse this minor distraction from the good postin of stories...
Potential Game Night....
It's been awhile, so if you are around for some hijinks, and general tomfoolery send me a PM or something to let me know.
Hopefully, we can scrape together 5 or 6 folks.
|# ? Jun 9, 2019 22:47|
Just over TWO HOURS until the submission deadline! Unless I'm feeling especially generous, but don't count on that.
|# ? Jun 10, 2019 01:56|
Interior, nighttime in an open-plan office building with several CUBICLES in a row, most empty. Two (center, adjoining) are occupied by PETER and CAROL, night-shift employees in office casual dress. At the far stage right back is a DOOR, closed, behind which is a traditional office.
PETER: What’s the matter, Carol?
(Begin ‘Night Shift’, an upbeat, mid-tempo song)
CAROL (Spoken, over light piano music):
Have you ever stopped to wonder where it was your life went wrong
For me, I know exactly to the day.
When Justine was cutting corners and I wouldn’t play along
She sent me here (sung from here) and this is where I stay
On the night shift
We’re working the night shift
Where nothing ever happens but you’re busy anyway
Out here on the night shift
A call-center night shift
It’s like dating men who never call and when they do they’re not at all like anyone you’d want to-
PETER (Spoken): So, just like dating
BOTH: We’re working the night shift
For Heller and Montz
PETER: They’ve got a hundred different things for sale that nobody wants
When somethings not working
We pick up the phone
We’ve got a dozen different scripts to get to ‘It’s not our fault’
CAROL: Someday soon they’re going to realize
That they don’t need to keep a center of this size
The night and the day shift, each guy and each girl
Could all be replaced with about ten lines of Perl
PETER (Spoken): That’s not going to happen.
CAROL (Spoken): Why?
PETER (Points at the DOOR): Heller’s been making most of his money making book out of his office. Needs the office to stay open as a front. So he won’t every automate or outsource or anything. We’ll be here forever!
BOTH: We’re working the night shift
‘Til someone gets wise
CAROL: It’s boring here but daytime’s like the Lord of the Flies
We’re working the night shift
We’re stuck on the night shift
There’s only one good thing, to say about the night shift
Working on the night shift
We’re safe from the queen
Yes on the night shift,
At least we don’t have
(End ‘Night Shift’)
Offstage, Left, the sound of a door opening and slamming shut. Enter JUSTINE, a middle manager, dressed slightly more formal than the others and in red, including a bright red PURSE.
CAROL: What are you doing here?
JUSTINE: Hm? Oh, Carol, was it? I’d forgotten you existed. You know, just like everyone else at the company.
Carol stands, and walks stage right.
JUSTINE: Where do you think you’re going?
CAROL: I’m taking my scheduled three-minute bathroom break. (Exist offstage right)
PETER: What are you doing here? This isn’t your usual haunt.
JUSTINE: I came to check on Mister Heller. Apparently he hasn’t been answering his phone. I guess he can keep busy down here, unlike some people.
PETER: God, Justine, why do you have to be so petty?
Main stage lights turn off as a slightly green-tinted spotlight illuminates JUSTINE
(Begin ‘Petty’, a minor-key song, instrumentals dominated by strings. Starts slow, continuously accelerates until the end)
Some say that I’m petty
I say that I’m wise
Some say that I’m evil
Now tell me who’s the fool who’s pushing that pack of lies?
When I was just a child at my parents’ feet
They always tried to teach me how to live
They’d show me that a winner can’t accept defeat
I took each little gem they had to give.
(She stops in front of CUBICLE near the left side of the stage.)
Mister Samoza was no great composer, no more of a poseur he was
Each morning he’d hum a laborious thrum that would lodge itself right in my head
Well I couldn’t let that stand, I had to make a little plan, the law does frown on murder so instead
One day after work I went out drinking with that jerk and when he couldn’t stay up straight I shave his head
(spoken)Some men can pull off the bald look. Frank Samoza...isn’t one of them.
Some say that I’m petty
I say that I’m wise
Some say that I’m evil
Now tell me who’s the fool who’s telling you those obvious lies?
My parents told never to get even
Their advice drilled itself inside my head
So when somebody gets to hurting or deceivin’
I don’t get even
I get ahead
(She streches over to the next CUBICLE toward the center)
Diana Savannah, fresh out of Montanna, she used to go out with my brother
She dumped him on Sunday, I made sure by Monday her little blue Hyundai was trashed
(spoken) Some people would settle for a few sweeps of a key across the paint. But it was such a small thing, and I did have a few of my brother’s friends with me. Have you ever seen a car parked on its side?
Some say that I’m petty
I say that I’m wise
Some say that I’m evil
Who says that I’m evil?
(Trailing off, spoken) Seriously, give me their names. There’s always room on my little list...
(End ‘Petty’, normal lighting resumes)
JUSTINE walks up to the DOOR, knocking on it.
JUSTINE: Mr. Heller? Mr. Heller?
JUSTINE reaches into her PURSE, retrieves a key and briefly fumbles with the DOOR before opening it. She reached inside to flip a lightswitch, at which point the stage lights should illuminate the OFFICE behind. Visible is a desk, with MR. HELLER slumped over it, lifeless.
JUSTINE screams. CAROL rushes back from off-stage, joins PETER, and gathers by the DOOR
CAROL: Is he...?
JUSTINE: (Holding MR. HELLER’s arm as if to check a pulse, drops it. It drops lifelessly to the desk.) Listen, you two. If you know what’s good for you you won’t call the police until I say so. There’s some very important company business I have to take care of first. In fact, give me your phones.
JASON and CAROL produce phones. JUSTINE puts them in her purse, then runs off to the back left corner of the stage.
CAROL: She’s looking for something, isn’t she.
JASON: Look like it to me.
CAROL: I wonder what.
(Begin ‘Bug-Out Bag’, upbeat, medium speed, ragtime instrumentation)
Isn’t it obvious? Don’t you know? The one thing that every criminal needs?
To make a new life when the consequence finally catches up with them for all their misdeeds?
(sung) A bug-out bag,
A bug-out bag
A little suitcase full of cash and other things you might want
A bug-out bag
A bug-out bag
Where would he hide his bug-out bag?
(patter or rap, depending on the actor’s abilities)
Now a criminal with minimal agility of mind has got to understand when forming plans he’llhave to leave behind the lion’s share of what he snared for the police to find.
But with a little time when undermined he’ll be inclined to flee if he prepared before ensnared a way to stay free
A bug-out bag
A bug-out bag
Or maybe two, one for the office and the other for home
A bug-out bag
A bug-out bag
Where would he hide his bug-out bag?
(End ‘Bug-Out Bag’)
(Dance portion beings, with JASON and CAROL together and JUSTINE separately searching the office, while also trying not to keep out of each other’s sight. Piano instrumentation and tap. Ends, eventually, with CAROL discovering a misplaced floor segment, lifting a hidden trap-door in an empty CUBICLE, and retrieving a SUITCASE. They open it.)
JASON: (Whispered) Look at that. That has to be, what, twenty thousand dollars?
CAROL: (Whispered) At least. And a new passport, and a fresh untraceable burner phone.
JUSTINE: (Entering behind them, holding a tiny pistol) I’ll be taking that.
JASON drops the phone back into the suitcase
JUSTINE: It’s the least of what I deserve, after everything I did. He wasn’t supposed to die. I mean, I knew he was allergic to shrimp, but I was hoping for hives and sweats, not face down on the desk. Still, after what he did to me...
JASON: What did he do to you?
JUSTINE: When I showed him my niece’s paintings, he called them ‘pedestrian’. ‘Pedestrian’, can you believe it?
JUSTINE shuts the suitcase and carries it awkwardly, as if it’s nearly too heavy for her to move as she exits, stage left.
JASON: Of course, she’s going to get away with it.
CAROL: I wouldn’t be so sure. You see, I managed to dial 911 before I put the phone down.
(Begin Bug-Out Bag Reprise)
BOTH: Her bug-out bag
Her bug-out bag
It recorded her confession and will bring the police
BOTH:Her bug-out bag
Is gonna drag
Her straight to jail and then to prison with no early release
Just blame her bugged-out bug-out bag!
|# ? Jun 10, 2019 02:18|
flerp fucked around with this message at 01:49 on Oct 11, 2019
|# ? Jun 10, 2019 03:08|
The Arid Heart
Scene 1: Bar, at closing
[Stage with table, glasses stacked on it, 16 sandbags hanging from ropes at different heights, each dribbling a fine stream of sand, these build up over the show. DANCER is leaning behind bar, bored, stretches, checks her watch. Goes to lock up. Comes back, putting glasses away. Plays with glasses, making them squeak and clomp in rhythm. The rhythm transfers itself to her feet and body, she dances. As she does, the DJINN enters. He speaks from behind her and she stops, startled]
DJINN You dance like the wind
DJINN The zephyr, the simoom.
DANCER Who the gently caress are you?
DANCER What’s your name?
DJINN Names are for things.
DJINN Dance for me again; you were not finished.
DANCER Where did you come from?
DANCER Just now.
DJINN I was… I am… I will be. There is no where. There is –
DANCER I’m calling the Police. [picks up phone]
DJINN There is … a door… out the back. It was open.
DANCER [checks him out… he looks back innocently… she goes and looks out the back] poo poo. Don’t touch anything. [goes offstage, locks back door]
DJINN [calling] Will you finish your dance? [waits]
DANCER [offstage] I have to go. So do you.
DJINN But you must dance, I wish it.
DANCER Fine. [enters] Wish away. [unlocks front door and gestures] You find a genie, let me know.
DJINN [Pushes a hanging sand bag, sets it swinging, the rope on the wooden beam makes an eerie creaking noise] Let me tell you something of the deep desert. The sand goes on for a thousand miles. It glows white in the sun like a furnace. [Pushes another bag] At night the sound it makes is like a man breathing out. [breathes out] You see?
DJINN At night the wind comes to caress its face, running its cool fingers over the surface of the dunes. The wind is the only lover the sand knows, apart from its long dead memory of the sea. [Another sand bag]
DANCER The sea?
DJINN Yes. The sand is the bones of the sea, and the desert is its sepulchre. For there is a moment, in the night, when the wind stops and the sand is at peace and one who stands at the heart of the desert can smell the sea. [All the sand bags are swinging now, making a chorus of creaks] Or so it is said.
DANCER Who are you?
DJINN Dance with me. I will go. [holds out hand, she hesitates, then takes it, they dance between the singing bags, until the storm (music, rushing wind, blinding light) blows up and takes him away. DANCER is left sitting on floor.]
DANCER Well. [looks around. Sees sand, picks it up lets it run through her fingers. Looks at watch, sighs. Picks up phone, dials.] Hello dad. Missed the bus. I'll be late.
Scene 2: Bedroom, evening
[Ancient wizened OLD DAD in bed in pyjamas, trying to drink a cup of tea with useless claw-like hands]
OLD DAD If there’s one thing I’ve learned in all me years, it’s don’t trust no bastard who wants something if you don’t know what he wants it for. That’s it. Simple really.
[DANCER comes in, bustles all round, talking all the while, chatty, smily, happy, busy nurse styles, tidies OLD DAD up, bustles out. OLD DAD doesn’t speak or move, apart from following her with eyes/face]
OLD DAD [makes sure she’s gone, craning his neck] We don’t talk to each other much, these days. [pause] I think it’s probably for the best.
She’s a lovely girl. Got a temper on her, though. Takes after her mother Mary, rest her soul. She took to me once with a stock whip in Abu Dhabi, heh heh. Her mother, that is. I ended up fracturing me coccyx, got laid up for a couple of months. She was very apologetic, of course. Probably why she married me, now I think of it.
I’ll tell you the story, not like I'm going anywhere. We’d been, we’d been, where had we been? The desert. On camels. We were having an argument about them, I think. Most arguments in Abu Dhabi are about camels. What happened next? Buggered if I can remember.
It was my fault, the coccyx. Jumped off me camel, didn’t look where I was going. Slipped on some sand. You don’t think of sand being slippery. It is though. Slides out from under you.
We were having an argument about the camel, on the camel, big smelly bastard of a thing… She wanted one of her own, I said I didn’t trust her not to fall off. She started whacking me with the whip, I was laughing away, she’s getting madder and madder.
Finally I jump off, slip on the sandbank. Didn’t even know I had a coccyx, till I broke it. That’s how it happened. Two months later we were married.
[DJINN appears behind bed in as simple yet mysterious a way the director can manage]
DJINN Old man. I did not think you would be old. Well, it has been many years, after all. The years have not been kind to you, old man.
[OLD DAD tries to say something but it's just a hissing noise like his throat is too dry]
DJINN Did you say something? No. Perhaps I was mistaken, and it was just phlegm. I make ‘mistakes’ these days, you see? There was a time when it was all so clear. For you as well, I think. You told me, that night, explained your wish, forever, you said. Live forever. Are you happy, now? I beg your pardon? No. Nothing but halitosis. [turns to leave, pauses] I know something you do not. I know your daughter. She is a lovely girl. Yes. I think I can help her.
OLD DAD [very long pause] Mary, I wish...
Scene 3: lounge, day
[DANCER comes home, tired, sees sand, pulls out vacuum cleaner, plugs it in, turns it on, it blows up (pop/smoke). Doorbell rings. DANCER opens it]
DJINN [puzzled] Who?
DANCER What do you want? How did you find-
DJINN Ah… [holds up finger] Cleaner. Vacuum Cleaner. Vacuum much cleaner.
DANCER Look, no. What are you doing here.
DJINN I am a vacuum cleaner salesman.
DJINN I am a vacuum cleaner salesman.
DJINN Do you need one?
DANCER No. Definitely, definitely not.
DJINN This one don’t go so good [starts fiddling with exploded vacuum cleaner]
DANCER Stop that. How did you find my address?
DJINN Purest chance. I have been to numbers 2 to 72, now I visit with you, then back down other side of street.
DANCER And you sell—
DJINN Vacuum cleaners. [pulls out vacuum cleaner]
DANCER This is an old one..
DJINN Of course.
DANCER The cord’s all frayed… [pause] …The other day in the café, where did you go?
DJINN Close your eyes. Just for a moment. [she looks at him, suspicious, takes a step back and closes her eyes for a second, then opens them] When you could not see me? That’s where I went.
DANCER You are a very aggravating man.
DJINN Ah, yes. But the ‘other day’, you danced for me. What has made you so sad?
DJINN No, the vacuum cleaner. Of course you.
DANCER I’m not sad.
DJINN You are sad. You want to weep. Each day you awake with a lament on your lips, every night you sleep with dry tears upon your cheek. Your sadness is a cloud that will not release its rain. Your face is a cactus flower amongst the spines.
DANCER What – Why do you want to know?
DJINN I am curious. Maybe a little bored and restless too, but mainly curious.
DANCER You know … dickhead… I don’t think my private life is any concern of yours.
DJINN You are right. Tell me anyway.
DANCER Jesus. Hey! I know! How about, how about instead of that, I don’t and you just gently caress off out that door and NEVER TALK TO ME AGAIN because I don’t need you and I don’t want you and I wish you’d stop and just go, go away, please, I can’t take anymore of those things you say and I don’t cry at night and I wake up and I’m fine, I am, I really really am, so would you just go? Please?
DJINN [sniffs air thoughtfully] Yes. Yes, thank you. I thought that was the reason. [turns to leave]
DANCER Take the vacuum cleaner.
DJINN No. Keep it. A free sample. [leaves]
DANCER [sighs. Eventually takes cord, plugs it in, turns it on. The vacuum cleaner blows up and every sandbag comes plummeting down to the ground.]
|# ? Jun 10, 2019 03:54|
Death & Honor
SETTING: A dense copse of artificial trees, grass and flowers create the illusion of a shaded alcove deep within a forest. A bean bag dressed to look like a boulder is center stage.
Ish'Narel Delenthor - High Harbinger of the the Primacy, Ish'Narel is a warrior of unrivaled skill and expertise. All throughout Morovia her name is known. Cursed by the wicked and cherished by the weak. She is 219 years old, but young to serve as leader of the Queen's guard.
Her Divine Primacy, Queen Elle-Zoelle Machar - Aged 739, she has seen the rise and fall of several dynasties and now faces the fall of her own. Throne usurped in a display of power by her brother, she and her High Harbinger have fled the kingdom. Her reign has come to an end.
[Ish'Narel leads Elle-Zoelle from stage left onto the stage; the tip of her sword guides them into the clearing.]
ISH'NAREL: "Rest here your Primacy, but we mustn't tarry long. Your brother's forces will be upon us soon."
[Elle-Zoelle approaches center stage and sits on the ‘boulder’, she breaks a capsule of dye that makes the creases of her already soiled dress run red along her torso. She winces from the pain. Ish’Narel, is poking about the clearing not yet noticing the injury.]
ELLE-ZOELLE: “Come child, come and sit.”
ISH’NAREL: “In a moment your Primacy, I must- “
E-Z: “It wasn’t a request.”
I’N: [Caught off-guard] “My apologies, your Primacy. Right away.”
[Ish’Narel approaches the Queen, and the Queen gestures for her to sit beside her. Ish’Narel notices the fresh blossom of blood on the dress and becomes frantic.]
I’N: “Y-you’re injured… let me examine your wound, we need to take care of it now.”
[Elle-Zoelle already knows the extent of her injuries but relents and shows Ish’Narel. The audience sees the fabric of her dress fan out but is left curious about the nature of the wound. Ish’Narel recoils at the sight of it.]
E-Z: “Sit, I’m not long left for this world child. I would speak to you before I make my final journey.”
I’N: “Yes, your Primacy…”
E-Z: “You may call me Elle. Here in these woods, sacred though they are, we do not require formality."
I’N: “Yes, Elle… I- I’ve failed you.”
E-Z: “You’ve done no such thing, child. You’re attending your Queen until her dying breath. You could fail me, but you’ve yet to do it.”
I’N: [Whispering] “But you’re… you’re dying.”
E-Z: “Did you plunge the blade into me? No, I’m certain I saw you sticking your sword into Buermond’s, that sniveling traitor’s, neck, and into the chest of a corsair who would have forced himself upon me.”
I’N: “What do we do now? All is surely lost.”
E-Z: “For me perhaps, but for you… your journey need not end here. I just ask that you share in my final moments.”
[The clopping of hooves and footfall of marching can be heard in the distance. I’N swings her sword to ready and puts a shielding hand against the queen as they both fall silent. The sounds pass and the queen breaks the silence.]
E-Z: “To the east, the Company of Seraph serves Regent Ymrel and they will surely take you into their employ. They’ve long been allies of the crown and would see you in the service of a good house.”
I’N: “I long to die in battle or at your side, my life has been pledged to that cause.”
E-Z: “But that is not all that there is to life. Do you not dream or have ambition of your own?”
I’N: “All due respect your Primacy, but as High Harbinger, much of that is sacrificed in dedication of servicing you. A sacrifice I was glad to have made. I’ve brought honor and glory to my house.”
E-Z: “Honor and glory? You remind me so much of my late father, and your own I suppose…”
I’N: “You knew my father?”
E-Z: “He was High Harbinger to my grandfather. I knew him when I was but a child. He was dutiful and valorous. Much like yourself.”
I’N: “How can you keep your calm, your Primacy? I am beside myself and don’t know what to do. I- I am lost.”
E-Z: “Because what would rage or sorrow change? What’s done is done, and my heart aches for my people, and my dreams not yet fulfilled, but I leave the world in capable hands.”
I’N: “Whose? My own? I am not capable. I can’t fix this.”
E-Z: “And no one is asking you to, but you are skilled and there is a light in you, a glimmer of hope that the world needs.”
I’N: “What? I serve a good house, I become a sellsword, maybe I join up in another army, another kingdom, but how does that solve anything!?”
E-Z: “It doesn’t, child. Again, no one is asking you to solve anything or fix the wrongs of this world. It’s an impossible endeavor. Our hearts are fickle, content one moment and desperate the next. You won’t be able to right wrongs, but by continuing on, by doing the right thing, you’ll make the world a better place.”
I’N: “It… it sure doesn’t feel that way your Primacy. The world demands action and rewards the bloodthirsty. Good people don’t change the world, they just get swept up in other people’s currents. WE are being swept up in other people’s currents.”
E-Z: “So just because you can see the immediacy of cruelty and greed means that there is no power in being good?"
I’N: “It feels that way…”
E-Z: “Well if that is the case, all is surely lost. Cut my throat and fall on your sword.”
I’N: “Your Primacy!”
E-Z: “ELLE, I told you. Respect a dying woman’s wishes.”
I’N: “I can’t do that! I can’t kill you or myself, why would I wish to? It would be a betrayal of the duties I’ve sworn to uphold.”
E-Z: “And why did you swear to uphold those duties? Was it just because your father served before you? I doubt that very much, if anything you’ve had to set yourself apart from the other soldiers. A more challenging task as a woman.”
I’N: “I joined because it felt like the right thing to do, there was nothing in it for me other than making my father proud. Bringing honor to my family.”
E-Z: “Yet, here you are as High Harbinger. You could have just stayed a foot soldier, or found a guard post to stand attention at dutifully, but you are a High Harbinger. A position not reached just because it felt like the right thing to do. You are in that position because you know what is right to do, and it is come time for you to prove that once again.”
I’N: “By carrying on? That doesn’t seem like a choice or an honorable duty. On the run or serving incompetent lords... You make it seem like I have the world before me. We have nothing, when you die, I will have nothing. Your brother has seen to that much.”
E-Z: “You won’t have a kingdom to return to, but you’ll have your life, and you’ll do more good living then dead. The world needs people like you, Ish'Narel”
I’N: “I’m not so great.”
E-Z: “Child, you are dense! You need not be great, and you need not solve the world’s problems, just do your best! Life does not end here! Not for you… now go!”
I’N: “I can’t leave you!”
E-Z: “You must!”
I’N: “It is a betrayal of my oaths!
[Elle furrows her brow in frustration, and then smiles a wry smile, her last.]
E-Z: “Then you are hereby removed of all rank and position, Ish’Narel Delenthor. You have no obligation to die here with me.”[E-Z takes I’N’s hand.] “Now go, child.”
[Ish’Narel throws her arms around the dying queen. Tears in her eyes, and holds her through her shivering. She’s cold, and her dress is more red then white now. Eventually, Elle-Zoelle stops breathing. Her falls chest motionless. Ish’Narel lays her gently in the grass, and folds her hands over her lap. She says a silent prayer to the divine and heads towards stage right exit. A final look back at the Queen leaves her uncertain, but she exits and the lights fade to black.]
|# ? Jun 10, 2019 03:55|
Green-Eyed (623 words)
Rosemary: A woman approaching her fifties. She likes bright clothes and the vegetable patch she’s growing in the backyard. Used to be the life of the party.
Peter: Rosemary’s husband, and just a little younger than her. He has thick glasses and a sweet tooth, and talks more during a day of office hours than he does at home during spring break.
A cozily lit restaurant. There is a round table with a neat tablecloth and a candle, and two chairs opposite each other.
[Peter and Rosemary are sitting together at the table, with half-emptied plates in front of them. Peter’s picking at his food.]
Rosemary: So, really, all you have to do is just water them in the morning before you head off. Except for the cucumbers -- they’ll need some more in the evening. Don’t worry about pesticides, or fertilizer.
Peter: [absentmindedly] Yes, Rosie. I’ll remember.
[Peter looks up.]
Peter: How long will you be gone?
Rosemary: Like I’ve said before, I’ll be with Sam and -- er, with them for a week. The flight’s early tomorrow, but I won’t arrive in Tokyo until Sunday night. Since there’s still the return flight, I’ll be back in the States by Monday.
Peter: Makes sense. I’ll make sure to pick you up when --
Rosemary: Peter! We’ve talked about this. I’ll call a cab.
Peter: Right. Sorry.
[Rosemary looks at Peter closely, then resumes speaking.]
Rosemary: You’ve spent so much time at the university lately -- I still feel you should have come along. [Peter is already shaking his head before she finishes speaking.]
Peter: I told you. l have to prepare the --
Rosemary: I’m sure Mrs. Beckett could take over for a couple days, and your TAs, especially that Max --
Peter: [louder] It’s not that simple. No one --
Rosemary: [insistent] You liked Aaron well enough at Thanksgiving, I don’t know why --
Peter: [standing, hands on table] That’s enough!
Rosemary: [quietly] Peter, dear, people are staring.
[Peter slowly retakes his seat. The silence stretches out.]
Rosemary: [tense, smiling] How’s your steak?
Rosemary: I’m really fond of this shrimp scampi, too. We should come here again, don’t you think?
Peter: Sure. [Beat.] I would like that.
[Rosemary relaxes, and pulls out a narrow menu.]
Rosemary: I wonder what they have for dessert.
Peter: The triple-layer brownie’s delicious.
[Peter freezes. Rosemary doesn’t seem to notice.]
Peter: That’s -- that’s what my students tell me, anyways.
Rosemary: If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.
[She waves down a waiter, and points to the menu.]
Rosemary: Did you want anything, dear?
Peter: I... don’t think I have room for dessert.
Rosemary: [laughing] That’s a first!
[The waiter gathers the menus, and heads off.]
Rosemary: Speaking of your students, what have you been covering lately?
Peter: At the moment we’re going with a TA-directed unit -- each of them picks an author, and then the students in their discussion groups tries to find a throughline in that author’s works. The most interesting author --
[At that moment, a group of college students walk in, laughing and chattering. Peter instantly turns to look at them, and they look back, curiously. Then they start whispering.]
Peter: [loudly] The most interesting author chosen so far is relatively new to the scene -- a lot of her work is about jealousy, and missed opportunities, and… [he trails off.]
[Rosemary looks at Peter, then back on the group. Understanding dawns.]
Peter: Rosie, I --
[Rosemary shakes her head, and Peter falters.]
Rosemary: Not -- now.
[Peter looks away, while Rosemary stares down at her lap. Finally she looks back up.]
Rosemary: [brightly] I’ll tell you all about the trip when I get back. How’s that?
Peter: ...All right.
|# ? Jun 10, 2019 04:05|
And the deadline has passed! Feel free to keep submitting, I'll still provide crits, but any pieces posted after this just won't be eligible to win.
|# ? Jun 10, 2019 04:05|
A Week After The Ball
[Interior, Queen’s private office, desk with papers, fancy chair behind desk, with two plainer chairs in front. Queen, in her fifties, is formally dressed with crown sits behind desk, bent over papers. A knock is heard at the door]
Queen [Not looking up]: Enter.
[Chamberlain enters, only in his early thirties. He remains standing, in front of the desk.]
Chamberlain [bowing]: Good Morning, Your Majesty.
Queen[Still not looking up]: What news do you have on the mystery guest? I gave you full authority to look into discretely. If the country found out that their heroine was a fraud we could end up with another revolt.
Chamberlain: Your Majesty, I have talked to the footmen at the gate. They say that the carriage was rounder than current fashion, even taking into the styles in Lietzburg and Marin del Mar.
Queen: And its livery?
Chamberlain: It was a pumpkin, flanked by mice. No known noble house uses that, a peasant house with delusions might. Of course, this could end up just a joke by a major house.
Queen [Intensely, finally looking at Chamberlain]: The realm’s and my son’s future are not a joke. The ball was held due to the most eligible match for my son being the daughter of a traitor. The Fitzroy family may never again set foot in the realm, much less the palace. Also, sit down, I hate conducting business looking up.
[Cowed, the Chamberlain sits down]
Chamberlain: Yes, Your Majesty. The most important thing is that the realm remains out of danger.
Queen: Do any of the dressmakers in Nestriz claim to have made her dress?
Chamberlain: Many have publicly claimed so, but none were able to produce the bill of sale.
Queen: As expected of the merchant class. Have you sent inquires to the other cities the realm?
Chamberlain: Yes, I also contacted the embassies, so they could make inquires there.
Queen: Very good. And the slipper? I trust you have been delicate about that? That is our best clue to who she is.
Chamberlain: Of course, your personal cobbler says that he has never seen shoes that small for a grown woman. I-
Queen: So we have a freak along with a mystery. Any maker’s marks?
Chamberlain: No, the shoe is completely clear. I have called on Van Verns, and he is trying to replicate even the roughest appropriation of the shoe.
Queen: And how much did charge to even take a look? Best glassblower in the country with the tightest purse.
Chamberlain: The commission for all the glass-ware for the royal wedding.
Queen: He has somehow gotten even greedier in his old age. In my youth it would have taken 1000 franc. That commission will be worth 10 times that. No getting around it though. If he truly made it though and is lying about, I will send him as gift to the Pope.
Chamberlain: Van Verns didn’t think it was even possible, he didn’t think glass molded like that could support the weight.
Queen: And my son’s plan, how does it go? Try the shoe on every lady of the land, I do not see that working, but as all other lines of inquisition seem to be exhausted…
Chamberlain: Exact copies of the shoe have been carved out of wood and are being sent out to the magistrates. There has been one match so far.
Queen: And who is she?
Chamberlain: A servant girl in the service of the Von Maartain family. They call her Cinderella.
Queen: Bury the fact she fit the shoe, and keep going in the investigation.
Chamberlain: She produced the other shoe.
Queen [Enraged and standing]: How!? Even Van Verns wasn’t sure about the shoe.
Chamberlain [Standing]: She claimed to be given the ensemble by her fairy godmother, Ma’am.
Queen: Break her shoe, and choose a daughter of the Von Maartain family for the new princess.
Chamberlain: She’s the legitimate daughter from the first marriage. She is technically nobility.
Queen: Fine. Next time start with that unless you want to be married off to Bertha von Hone.
Chamberlain: Not Bertha the Ugly.
Queen: Work on your manners, she is my cousin. [Pointing at the door] Out.
Chamberlain [Bowing]: Yes, Your Majesty. Good day.
[Queen sits down and returns to papers while Chamberlain leaves]
Queen[While writing]: Dearest Bertha, I have found the perfect husband for you...
|# ? Jun 10, 2019 05:05|
Hey Thunderdome, let's make a magazine
A while back, a handful of TDers bandied about the idea that we might create a platform for Thunderdome-style fiction—imagine! A platform on which you can share your stories, that isn't awkward to explain to your friends and family
Behold! Thunderdome dot NZ!
Looks a little empty, yeah? Well, to get the ball rolling, we are soliciting flash-length works from YOU, reader of and participant in this thread! Please send us your Thunderdome stories, or non-Thunderdome short and flash-length fiction. Any genre is welcome; please try to limit your submissions to stories roughly TD-length (we're not currently looking for your ten thousand word epic, sorry).
An official submission channel is forthcoming; however, interested parties should contact either myself or steeltoedsneakers via forums PMs, Discord, or IRC. Don't think, just do it!!! Let's get this ball rolling.
|# ? Jun 10, 2019 06:49|
You owe me
|# ? Jun 10, 2019 07:59|
Well, playwrights. That was quite the week, wasn't it? Before we get to the results, I think we need to have a talk about reading comprehension. See, when I ask for a grounded play depicting a scenario that could actually happen in reality, I'm not asking for plays in which genies make vacuum cleaners explode or fantasy sagas featuring people that are hundreds of years old! I know, the difference is slight, but it's there.
First of all, both Fleta Mcgurn and Mr. Steak failed to write anything at all, after promising to do so. Boo, hiss.
Starting at the bottom. As I alluded to above, Anomalous Amalgam provided a fantasy-ish tale featuring lots of stiff dialogue and forced exposition. This was, in short, just about the opposite of what I wanted, and so they are the loser for this week. Sorry.
Newcomer with stupid meme avatar OMGVBFLOL also decided to disregard the prompt, giving us a play starring two space crusaders that also happened to be a complete tonal mess. Sebmojo's piece was actually pretty cool with a lot of striking imagery, but it also ignored everything I asked for except the word count. Exploding vacuum cleaners are awesome, but they are not low-budget, Seb. They both get DMs.
On the other hand, Getsuya, my worthy opponent from last week, wrote a compelling tale of betrayal and religion that felt a little incomplete but was otherwise well-executed. Also, though I don't know if flerp really needed the monologue I gave permission for, they still delivered a portrait of a mother-son bond that was heartfelt and believable while avoiding cliche. Both of them have earned HMs.
The most successful playwright of the bunch? My fellow judge and I agreed that would be Adam Vegas, who, despite arguably stretching the time limit a tad, still managed to depict a fleshed-out, engaging relationship within a short space of time, without ever feeling rushed or obvious. He even wrote a noticeable but not over-the-top Scottish brogue, which is no small feat. For those reasons, he is this week's winner.
The Blood Throne is yours, Adam. Do with it what you will.
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 01:16|
WEEK CCCLVII: You People (in Theory) Are So Dramatic
A one act near-monologue.
Volunteer judge for the week. Tart but refreshing, she has a slightly snarky streak and a desire not to read crap this week. But we don’t always get what we want, do we?
Nethilia walks onto stage. She is dressed exceptionally casually—jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers—and holding a notebook in one hand and a Granny Smith apple that looks to have a bite out of it already in the other. As she approaches the center stage, she takes a bite out of the apple, chewing it thoroughly before speaking. She has a sour, almost annoyed look on her face.
Wow, we ask people to do a format that isn’t a story and they all fall over each other to show off how they're not really good at that.
I’m a three beat judge. It makes it simple for me to figure things out when I crit, judge, and fight. This week's three beats are as follows:
--Did you write a play? There is a distinct difference between script and prose. You can’t try and cram a story into a script like stuffing a wolf into a squirrel costume. We can all see what big ears you have. This means you can’t tell me what the characters are thinking. You can’t have long pauses. You can’t get in the heads of anyone to let me know what they think. You have words, and you have actions. If it’s not on the stage, it's not on the page.
--Did you do what you were told? That is, did you stick to ten minutes or so, two/three characters, one location, minimal requirements, and to a plot of something that could conceivably happen in reality? So no spaceships, no wizards, no ninja vs pirates unless these kids are being wildly imaginative. Could this be a thing that is in this reality? Here's the thing: It's been over two decades now but I took theatre in middle, high school and studied it in college. So I looked at everything through the lens of "can I pick this script up up, hand it to the actors, and not have to cast anyone else?" and "can I put this on with a low budget props department?"
--Is this an interesting play? Would I want to see this acted out on a stage? Can this capture my attention, or would I halfway through look at my smartphone repeatedly and find more interesting time killers on Twitter? Plays gotta fight for attention, and many times people pay in time or money to see them. Will I ask for a refund?
--Director’s notes: The rest of what I have to say. I read everything in judge mode, so you had to rise or fall on your words alone. All the world’s a stage and you’d better play it write.
Neth walks to the side of the stage. The curtain raises on the crits, while she sits in the "audience" slightly off to the side, still eating her apple.
A Shepherd Confronts Two Wolves
Plot: Two “wolves” in a super rich church are using the word of the Lord to make the bank. The head of said church is actually faithful. When confronted with the news of church restructuring, The wolves plot to remove the figurehead, and fail most righteously.
Did you write a play? Yes. This has all the beats of a short play with quick and dirty conflict.
Did you do what you were told? Yes. all in one room, very little in the way of props. Realistic scenario, with emotions all over the place.
Is this interesting? It is in its own way. I’d pay attention to this on stage, with good acting. There could be a lot of thumping and blustering, allowing for stretching those character chops.
--Director’s notes: Short and to the point. No extra characters, no complicated props, no random nonsense. You flashed for extra words and used it well. I’ll give it a high ranking. Good job, homie.
--Play level: College theater. Quite High.
Batman Died On My Birthday
Plot: Two parents are holding a birthday party for their son and have “Batman”—a character actor—come in to be entertainment. Before the kid can get there, “Batman” dies, leaving the two parents to deal with the unexpected.
Did you write a play? Yes you did. You even gave it structure. No brain hopping. The guy dying on stage suddenly turns a loose activity into a dark comedy.
Did you do what you were told? Yep. Well, I’m not sure about the life-changing secret you used to earn you the third guy. There’s a few too many props, but I can let it slide. You almost got me with the Batman thing.
Is this interesting? I’d probably start cackling when they came across the dead man and all that happened afterwards.
--Director’s notes: This would be hilarious acted out. Funny in a dark way.
--Play level: Improv comedy. Mid.
Plot: A mom and her son go hunting for a stag in the forest; the mum needs to kill the stag on orders/a job, and the son is enjoying his last day with him mum before heading back to a dad he’s not cozy with..
Did you write a play? Yeah, you did. It’s a little vignette style play, which would be good for like, two high schoolers learning the basics of duologues. (A duologue is a monologue for two people. There, now everyone's learned a word about what they should have written.) This was what the week should be about. Gave me high hopes for the week which the rest of you destroyed.
Did you do what you were told? Very much so. No magic, no fantasy, no extra poo poo. Just a mom and son in the woods trying to kill a deer and deal with real problems with each other.
Is this interesting? Yes. It’s a character sketch. I could see myself sitting with this one as a audition piece.
--Director’s notes: It’s sort of missing some script formatting, but that’s minor given the fact that it works as a play, which many of these do not.
--Play level: High School/college play. Quite high.
The Golden Child
Plot: Two brothers, the Golden child and the Unfavorite, come together to discuss killing Mother, who has ruined their lives in different ways. But the tables turn…
Did you write a play? Yes.
Did you do what you were told? Yes. The stage would be cluttered, mind, with all the stuff on it. But if this were all set up beforehand, it would be lovely acted. A nice little up, down, and no messing about with backstory. Short, to the point, and does all it needs in ten minutes.
Is this interesting? Yep. The conflict between the brothers is tight and crisp and the twist is good.
--Director’s notes: “Mother” is a name. Capitalize as such. This line caught me for a moment: “Then I can piss on three graves instead of just one.” I can see two thirty somethings acting this one out to test their chops. Needs more polish, but not a bad piece.
--Play level: Aspirations to be a playhouse feature, but not quite there. Mid.
SPACEMAN JONES IS THE GREATEST
Plot: Two space people go to work, one dumps backstory, and that’s it.
Did you write a play? You took a department of backstory angst and tried to play it. Hat tip, bucko, no one cares what’s in a character’s head on stage. No one cares about pauses. No one cares what A or B are thinking. The audience can’t see the script data. All those long pauses and poo poo? Nope.
Did you do what you were told? No. What part of realistic poo poo did you miss? Future Space is not the realistic. Reading: not your strong suit.
Is this interesting? *eyeroll* This is just sad self wank. Slapping “space” on the front of poo poo doesn’t make it spacey anymore than slapping “rock” makes it prehistoric. You basically wrote a half rear end monologue that wasn’t on prompt the moment you started some space non-sense.
--Director’s notes: Writing them would be wasting my time and yours.
--Play level: Youtube poop. Low.
Plot: Two people are working in a call center at night. They keep breaking into song. Their manager’s a bitch and their boss is suddenly dead—and everything is punctuated with a song.
Did you write a play? You wrote a musical. Which is a form of play. Half credit.
Did you do what you were told? Well, you got four characters, even if one’s dead, so on that alone I’d say no. Also we asked for a play, not a low budget musical.
Is this interesting? No. It’s random breaks out in song with very little happening in between. Also the “oh stealth dialed 911” turn was weak. Weak, I tell you.
--Director’s notes: Even the most sung-through musicals aren’t this jumpy. And I know sung through musicals. I’m looking at my phone in the theater here. You cannot cram a song in the middle of a ten-minute duologue, no matter what Steven Universe told you. You're not that good yet.
--Play level: Off Broadway musical. Like behind the alley of the Richard Rodgers and your audience is the cats from the ending run of Cats. Low.
Plot: Mom comes in to talk to her son about an event at school, and has to question in the process about what normal really means.
Did you write a play?: You wrote a character exploration. Which is a form of play.
Did you do what you were told? Yes. Few props, few characters, nothing unrealistic.
Is this interesting? It’s….got things happening. But it doesn't do much with it. Mom finds out son’s gay, has a side stage crisis of faith, and then she and her son talk more. That’s about it.
--Director’s notes: This play isn’t as interesting as you were hoping it to be. It’s an event that I’ve seen too many times—my child is gay, this is about my feels and not theirs. Even with the sudden monologue. In fact, that ruins it for me—duologues are about back and forth, not sudden side talks.
--Play level: High school duologue in Theatre class. Middling.
The Arid Heart
Plot: I have no idea what the gently caress is going on here. Dancing? Hospital? Vacuums? What in the…?
Did you write a play? In the same way that throwing toothpicks on the floor makes a woodpile.
Did you do what you were told? Three locations. Nope. Did you flash for that third character? I’m on judgemode and I don’t see it. So nope. Read the drat rules. This would not be ten minutes.
Is this interesting? Confusing is not interesting. I want my money back.
(Director: You didn’t pay, Neth.
Neth: I said what I said.)
--Director’s notes: Hit. Enter. After. Every Line. You are not the egg. Please stop pouring things on you.
--Play level: Off kilter beatnik interpretive dance in a dank coffee house. Low.
Death & Honor
Plot: A 200 year old queen is dying in a forest with a knight ???? Because war??
Did you write a play? You wrote fantasy book dialogue in a script. You even used quotation marks. In a play script. What Big Eyes you have, Grandma.
Did you do what you were told? Fantasy. So no.
Is this interesting? *yawns, checks Twitter* It’s a chunk of two people talking about fantasy crap with too much department of backstory. I am not interested in the least in this.
--Director’s notes: Plays don’t have quotation marks. That alone shows you had no idea what you were doing.
--Play level: And this is why Lord of the Rings can never be filmed. So Low, and I don't mean monologue.
Plot: A couple at dinner won’t talk to each other about their problems over food.
Did you write a play? You wrote a movie scene. Plays have three walls and only as many people and props as can fit on the stage.
Did you do what you were told? Extras count as characters, so you’re over count.
Is this interesting? Not by a furlong. It’s just two people together in a space, not doing anything but talking around and sometimes to each other. Which in a duologue means nothing is happening.
--Director’s notes: Writing a movie script is not writing a play. Plays have specific narrow definitions that don’t translate to movies. You wrote a movie scene here.
--Play level: Character scene at the start of what will surly be a boring movie.
(Disqualified) A Week After the Ball
Plot: Oh god you wrote Cinderella on the other side. I eat and poo poo fairy tales folk, you think I wouldn’t know this one like the back of my golden slipper stuck in pitch on the stairs?
Did you write a play? This is the only good thing I can say about it. It’s play like.
Did you do what you were told? Fairy tales, contrary to what I’d like, aren’t real, so no?
Is this interesting? It’s a side story to a fairy tale with added bitter snark and no real ending. Y’all should know by now how I, the person who likes fairy tales, feel about bitter deconstructions of them.
--Director’s notes: Look, if you’re going to write the play equivalent of fic, at least make it as good as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves of the Black Forest. That has bunnies in it.
--Play level: Middle school play. I’m only here because my kid is playing a tree in the next set and this way I don’t have to pick him up later.
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 01:42|
not bad for literally making it up as i went along and doing very little editing
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 02:48|
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 02:53|
WhoopieCat fucked around with this message at 09:39 on Jun 13, 2019
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 07:35|
Thunderdome Week CCCLVIII: 19th Century Schizoid Man
The 19th century was a big deal. Empires rose and fell, industrialisation and globalisation began to take hold in a serious way, and most importantly, the term ‘dinosaur’ was coined.
So let’s go back and check it out, shall we? You’re going to write a piece set strictly in the 19th century, between 1800-1899.
The rules other than that are pretty lax. You can write in any genre, any narrative you like. Set it anywhere you like! I will be particularly pleased by pieces set outside of the usual Old West or Victorian London, so feel free to hit me with your best depictions of Meiji Japan or pre-Scramble African nations.
There is one rule, however:
Don’t get cute with the setting: I said any genre is possible, and that’s entirely true. But don’t stretch that too far, eh? A sci-fi piece where the Great Exhibition is set upon by body snatchers or cowboys have laser guns is fine. An urban fantasy set among the penal colonies of Australia is great.
But don’t come to me with a story that’s two alien spaceships dogfighting in Alpha Centauri, and then say ’but technically it’s set in 1832 so it’s fine!’ I will roll my eyes, and you will DM.
Word limit is 1000 words.
Signup deadline is midnight Pacific Time, Friday. (that’s Saturday morning for me, so should give y’all a nice bit of extra time)
Entry deadline is midnight Pacific Time, Sunday.
Now here’s where it gets extra interesting. I am willing to give you an extra 750 words (that’s right) in return for taking a flash rule. The flash rule will consist of a popular contemporary genre from any part of the world in the 19th century that you must write your story in the style of. This could be a sensation novel, a detective story, a penny dreadful, gothic fiction, or any other I decide. When you take a flash rule, I will assign you one of these genres at random.
That’s all. If you want to co-judge, hit me up on the Discord.
sebmojo - FLASH: Naturalism/Verismo
Antivehicular - FLASH: Detective story
Thranguy - FLASH: The Lost World
Staggy - FLASH: Sensation fiction
Getsuya - FLASH: High adventure
Fleta Mcgurn - FLASH: Epistolary fiction
QuoProQuid - FLASH: Robisonade
apophenium - FLASH: Ghost story
Solitair - FLASH: Penny dreadful
Viscardus - FLASH: Scientific romance
Anomalous Amalgam - FLASH: Vampire fiction
Saucy_Rodent - FLASH: Social comedy
Simply Simon - FLASH: Transcendentalism
Shotaro - FLASH: Sea story
BIG FLUFFY DOG
Adam Vegas fucked around with this message at 09:45 on Jun 14, 2019
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 07:42|
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 07:45|
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 07:47|
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 07:50|
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 07:52|
Naturalism/Verismo - A genre influenced by, and in some ways opposed to, the earlier Sturm und Drang artistic movement in Germany, naturalism was a social realist genre that seeks to portray life exactly how it is.
Embrace social commentary, subdued pace, and realistic human interactions. Avoid the supernatural and the absurd.
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 08:27|
A detective story - This doesn't need explaining.
Have a read of a Sherlock Holmes short story for the classic example, or The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins if you've got lots of time on your hands!
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 08:30|
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 08:34|
The Lost World - Contemporary characters discover a civilisation lost to human knowledge, vastly different to our own. This can involve fantastical creatures, but doesn't have to.
This genre either goes for Gulliver's Travels-esque social satire, or romanticised high adventure. Pick whichever of the two you like!
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 08:35|
The sensation novel - A mid-century genre which plays with gothic and romanticised elements while keeping a generally grounded and realistic tone. The general way to describe sensation fiction is that of novels with a secret at the centre; they have also been described as "suspect wills and forged documents, secret marriages, illegitimacy and opium".
Embrace dark houses and darker secrets, murder, insanity, and most importantly the struggle for the truth. Avoid explicit ghosts, ghouls, and spectres.
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 08:48|
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 11:05|
|# ? Sep 30, 2022 23:29|
Yeah sure I'm in.
|# ? Jun 11, 2019 11:13|