Shop More Submit  Join Login
×

:iconbarnabus: More from barnabus


Featured in Collections

DD's of 2005 by krissimonsta


More from deviantART



Details

Submitted on
April 13, 2005
File Size
23.9 KB
Thumb

Stats

Views
37,890
Favourites
397 (who?)
Comments
301
×
A bare stage.  GUY 1 is standing CENTRE stage.

GUY 2 [entering].  Hey.
GUY 1.  Hey.
GUY 2.  What's going on?
GUY 1.  I’m watching that burning house over there.
GUY 2.  What burning house?
GUY 1.  It's offstage.
GUY 2.  Oh.
GUY 1.  But it's there.
GUY 2.  What for?
GUY 1.  It’s a plot device.
GUY 2.  A what?
GUY 1.  A plot device.  Something introduced to the narrative in order to advance it.  In this case, a burning house.
GUY 2.  Oh.  How's that working out?
GUY 1.  Well, you showed up.
GUY 2.  Is it a symbol or something?
GUY 1.  Probably.
GUY 2.  I don't get it.
GUY 1.  Yeah, neither do I.
GUY 2.  I don’t think I like this plot device.
GUY 1.  Give it some time.  Sit down, have a smoke.
GUY 2.  I don't smoke.
GUY 1.  Well this is my story and in my story you smoke.
GUY 2.  I don't want to smoke.
GUY 1.  Smoke the goddamn cigarette.

[GUY 2 takes a cigarette from GUY 1 and takes a drag from it.  He chokes and coughs.]

Way to smoke.

GUY 2.  I said I didn't smoke, didn't I?  If the smoking is so important you should have lit one up.
GUY 1.  I don't smoke.
GUY 2.  Shouldn't there be firemen on that house by now?
GUY 1.  We don't have any firemen.
GUY 2.  Who do we have?
GUY 1.  So far?  You and me.

[Enter LOVE INTEREST stage RIGHT. ]

And her.

GUY 2.  Who's that?
GUY 1.  The romantic interest.
GUY 2.  She's not too bad.
GUY 1.  She's doable.

[Enter JERK stage RIGHT. ]

GUY 2.  Another guy?  We already have two.
GUY 1.  He’s important.  I’ll make him important.
GUY 2.  How's that?
GUY 1.  He's the jerk boyfriend.  Eventually she realizes he’s a jerk and falls in love with me, who's been under her nose all along.
GUY 2.  You don't even know her.
GUY 1.  It's my story.

[Enter RANDOM stage RIGHT. ]

GUY 2.  What about that guy?
GUY 1.  I don't know.  He exits stage left and we never see him again.

[Exit RANDOM stage LEFT.  We never see him again.]

GUY 2.  Here she comes.
GUY 1.  How do I look?
GUY 2.  Simian.
GUY 1.  Thanks.

[LOVE INTEREST sniffles.]

Excuse me.

LOVE INTEREST.  Huh?
GUY 1.  Hi.
LOVE INTEREST.  Hello.
GUY 1.  Would you like to fall in love?
LOVE INTEREST.  Excuse me?
GUY 1.  Fall in love.  With me.
LOVE INTEREST.  I don't understand...
GUY 1.  Your boyfriend's a jerk, so he's not an option, and you hate smokers, so that leaves out this guy here.
GUY 2.  You asshole.
LOVE INTEREST.  Is this a joke?
GUY 1.  No.  Don't fall in love with me straight away, though.  We need to draw out the sexual tension until our eyes meet under the stars or something.  Then we kiss, fade to black and everybody goes home happy.
LOVE INTEREST.  I don't get it.
GUY 1.  That's how romances are done.  Nobody cares about the kiss itself.  That’s what porn is for.   [to GUY 2. ]  Are you done with that cigarette?
GUY 2.  Almost.
GUY 1.  Here's another.  Welcome to flavour country.

[GUY 2 accepts it with a sigh.]

[JERK approaches.]

JERK.  What the fucking cockshit?
LOVE INTEREST.  Oh no, please, Jerry, I was just…
JERK.  Fuck that fuck, I'm fucking pissed the fuck fucking.
LOVE INTEREST.  We were just talking…
JERK.  Fucking football ass shit ass shit shit fuck slut.
GUY 2.  I hope there aren't any kids in the audience.
GUY 1.  He doesn't care; he's an asshole like that.
JERK.  Fuck.
LOVE INTEREST.  No, Jerry, I told you, I don't want to discuss the finer points of Marxist economic theory right now.
JERK.  Cockslap a bitch fuck fucking ass.
LOVE INTEREST.  I'm Smithian and always will be.  Your eloquent rhetoric will never change that.
JERK.  Motherfucking fuckass fuck a duck.
LOVE INTEREST [with a sob].    Now you're just being hurtful!
JERK.  Fuck!

[JERK exits stage LEFT.  LOVE INTEREST cries.   GUY 1 opens his arms.  After a moment, she flings herself violently into them and cries on his shoulder.  Eventually she stops crying and they catch each other’s eyes.  They pause for a moment.]

GUY 1.  Beat.
LOVE INTEREST.  What?
GUY 1.  In dramaturgy, this is called a beat.  It's a division of the scene when two characters have made a mutual discovery.  In this case, you have discovered that I am your true love and I have discovered I have a chance of scoring.  And it all happened under silvery moonlight.
GUY 2.  We’re indoors.
GUY 1.  My story.
LOVE INTEREST.  I want to kiss you.
GUY 1.  Damn straight.

[They kiss.  Tenderly at first, but then they start to get a little carried away.]

GUY 2.  Whoa, whoa!  I’m right here.
GUY 1 [between kisses]. My story!
GUY 2.  You know what?  I'm getting sick of "your story".  This is my story now.  And my story has pirates in it.

[Enter PIRATE 1 stage RIGHT. ]

I said pirates!

[Enter PIRATE 2 stage RIGHT.]

PIRATE 2.  What up?
GUY 2.  Hell yeah!  Do some funky pirate stuff.
PIRATE 1.  Like what?
GUY 2.  I don't know.  Do a pirate dance.

[The PIRATES dance.]

Now this story is going places.

GUY 1.  What?  This is stupid.  Romances don't have pirates in them.
GUY 2.  This isn't romance.  This is mile-a-minute action, baby!

[PIRATE 1 starts "waxing that ass."]

LOVE INTEREST.  Those guys are freaking me out.
GUY 1 [to PIRATES].  Hey.  Hey!

[The PIRATES stop dancing.]

You're killing the mood over here.

PIRATE 1.  Just doing as we're told.
GUY 1.  Get out of here.

[PIRATES exit stage RIGHT, grumbling.]

GUY 2.  I went along with your crappy story.
GUY 1.  My story is not crappy.
GUY 2.  Yeah it is.
GUY 1.  Is not!
GUY 2.  You're just jealous because my story also has robots in it.

[Enter PIRATE 1 stage RIGHT. ]

I said robots this time.

PIRATE 1.   I didn't have time for a costume change.  Pretend I'm a robot pirate.
GUY 2.  That's stupid.
GUY 1.  Your whole story is stupid.  It's not even a story.  Mine has an intricate plot, yours is just some pirates.
GUY 2.  He's a robot.

[PIRATE 1 starts doing the robot.]

LOVE INTEREST.  Somebody please tell the dancing pirate to stop, seriously.
GUY 2.  He can't help it!  Poppin' fresh moves flow through his veins like a mighty river.

[Enter PIRATE 2 stage RIGHT with rope.]

PIRATE 2.  Did someone ask for a reef knot?
GUY 2.  No man, a robot.
PIRATE 2.  Oh.

[Beat.]

[Exit
PIRATE 2 stage RIGHT. ]

GUY 1.  This is ridiculous.   [to PIRATE 1] Stop dancing.

[PIRATE 1 stops dancing.]

Exit stage right.

[Exit PIRATE 1 stage RIGHT. ]

GUY 2.  Alright, I see how it is.  Beat.
GUY 1.  Beat?
GUY 2.  That's right, beat.  Your romantic interest just discovered your horrible secret.

[LOVE INTEREST gasps.]

GUY 1.  I don't have a horrible secret.
GUY 2.  That's not what you told... her sister!
LOVE INTEREST [slapping GUY 1].  You bastard!  I hate you!
GUY 1. Ow, damn!
GUY 2.  Enter Pirate 1, stage right.

[Enter PIRATE 1 stage RIGHT. ]

She runs into the pirate's waiting arms.

PIRATE 1.  What?

[LOVE INTEREST runs into PIRATE 1’s arms.]

GUY 2.  They get married and she forgets about you.
PIRATE 1.  Sweet.
GUY 2.  After they exit stage left.

[Exit PIRATE 1 and LOVE INTEREST stage LEFT. ]

And they spend their days dancing the night away.  You can't really tell because they're offstage, but rest assured they're dancing their hearts out.  The end.

[Lights begin to dim]

GUY 1.  Hey!

[Lights go back up]

What was that for?
GUY 2.  Also, the burning house was your house.  The end.

[Lights begin to dim]

GUY 1 [to lighting booth].   Turn those goddamn lights up now.

[Lights go up, quickly]

[to GUY 2] That’s the way you want it, huh?  That’s the little game you’re playing?  You slap yourself.

[GUY 2 slaps himself.]

GUY 2.  Ow!  You slap yourself.

[GUY 1 slaps himself.  There is a pause, and then both GUYS roll up their sleeves. Every order is followed by the appropriate action]

GUY 1.  Punch your arm.
GUY 2.  Punch your leg.
GUY 1.  Lick the floor.
GUY 2.  Bite your tongue.
GUY 1.  Pull your hair.
GUY 2.  Pluck an eyelash.
GUY 1.  Poke your eye.
GUY 2.  Twist your nipples.
GUY 1.  Twist your nipples.
GUY 2.  Twist harder!
GUY 1.  You too!
GUY 1 and 2.  Run into the wall.

[They both run full tilt into the wall.  They fall to the ground, breathing heavily.]


GUY 1 [after a pause].   Do you give up?
GUY 2.  Never.
GUY 1.  Good.
GUY 2.  Good.
GUY 1.  Good!

[Pause.]

GUY 2 [softly].   Good.

[Enter LOVE INTEREST stage LEFT. ]

LOVE INTEREST [to GUY 2].  You. Yeah, you.  You screwed me over!
GUY 2.  What do you mean?
LOVE INTEREST.  What do I mean?  What do I mean?   You said I would live happily ever after.  Ever!
GUY 2.  Well…
LOVE INTEREST.  Shut up.  You know what else you said?
GUY 2.  Um…
LOVE INTEREST.  Shut up!  You said I’d spend the rest of my days dancing.  That’s a lot of days.  And you know what?  Some days, I don’t want to dance.  Some days I want to stay at home and watch TV, or read a book, or call my friends.  That’s not even the half of it.  Shut up.
GUY 2.  I didn’t…
LOVE INTEREST.  Shush!  To think, you want me to marry a pirate, too.  A pirate.  Do you realize how little market demand there is for a pirate these days?
GUY 2 [mumbling].   Sorry.
LOVE INTEREST.  What was that?
GUY 2.  I said sorry.
LOVE INTEREST.  Sorry?  You’re sorry?
GUY 2.  Look, what do you want?
LOVE INTEREST.  How about… how about I tell a story.
GUY 1.  No.
LOVE INTEREST.  Yes.  Yes, I think I will. I like that.  You boys have had your fun, it’s my turn now.
GUY 1.  There are no “turns.”  I was telling the story.
LOVE INTEREST.  Not anymore.  I am now.   [Looks around]   I need more characters.  Pirate and Jerry, re-enter!

[Enter PIRATE 1 and JERK stage LEFT]

GUY 1.  As if this wasn’t already ridiculous.
GUY 2.  Just let her do it.
LOVE INTEREST.  That’s right, listen to him.
GUY 2.  Thanks.
LOVE INTEREST.  Shut up.  Now…

[Pause]

Hmm.

GUY 1.  …Well?
LOVE INTEREST.  I’m thinking.
GUY 1.  Thinking?  Thinking about what?
LOVE INTEREST.  Thinking about what to do.
GUY 1.  Are you serious?  You took command without any idea of what you wanted to do?
LOVE INTEREST.  Be quiet.  Sit down.  All of you.

[They sit.]

Now… Oh!  Oh, I know.

PIRATE 1.  What?
LOVE INTEREST. A murder mystery.
GUY 1.  You can’t be serious.
LOVE INTEREST.  I’m very serious.  I love whodunits.
GUY 1 [sighing].   Fine.  Fine, get it over with.

[LOVE INTEREST moves downstage.  She clears her throat and begins.]

LOVE INTEREST.  It all began when a group of strangers met on a deserted island for a party…

[Pause.]

Ahem.  It all began.

PIRATE 1.  Do we… say something now?
LOVE INTEREST.  Yes, you say something now.
PIRATE 1.  Like what?
LOVE INTEREST.  Talk about the party!
PIRATE 1.  Oh.   [turns to other guests.  Delivers his lines rapidly and monotonously] My what a mysterious party on this mysterious island with you mysterious strangers I hope no evil befalls us would you agree dear fellow.
GUY 2.  Quite.
GUY 1.  I concur.
LOVE INTEREST.  Stop.  That was terrible.
PIRATE 1.  Look, I’m doing my best with what’s being given.
LOVE INTEREST.  Fine.  We’ll move on.  The night progressed without a hitch, until—suddenly—the lights went out!

[Lights go out.]

Two gunshots rang!

[Two gunshots ring.]

A woman screamed!

[Pause.]

Somebody scream!

GUY 2.  Ah.
LOVE INTEREST.  And when the lights came back on, what did they find but…

[Lights come back on.  Everybody is sitting in the same position as before.]

…The Colonel… was dead!

[She turns around and realizes nobody moved.]

What are you guys doing?

GUY 1.  Sitting here.
LOVE INTEREST.  One of you was supposed to die.  That was the point.
GUY 2.  Oh.
LOVE INTEREST.  It’s a murder mystery, people.  You can’t have a murder mystery without murder.
GUY 2.  Try again, then.
GUY 1.  Can we not?
LOVE INTEREST.  We’re doing it again.  This time, the Colonel dies, got it?   [Turns back toward audience]   The evening appeared to be going swimmingly.  That is, until the fateful moment when the lights went out.

[Lights go out.]

Two gunshots rang!

[Two gunshots ring.]

A woman screamed!

GUY 2.  Eek.

LOVE INTEREST.  And when the lights came back on, the Colonel was… dead!

[Lights come back on.  Nobody has moved.  Everybody sitting looks at each other.]

GUY 2.  Um.
LOVE INTEREST.  What?
GUY 2.  Who’s the Colonel?

[LOVE INTEREST turns back]

LOVE INTEREST.  Are you guys really this stupid?  Jesus.   [Points to PIRATE 1. ] You.  You’re the Colonel.
PIRATE 1.  I don’t want to die.
LOVE INTEREST.  Too bad.  The rest of you, decide who’s the murderer.  God knows at this point that’s the next thing you’d screw up.

[The others huddle to confer.  After a few moments, they break.]

Ready?

[They nod.]

Lights.

[Lights out.]

Gunshots.

[Gunshots.]

Scream.

GUY 2.  Ooh.
LOVE INTEREST.  Lights up!

[Lights up.   PIRATE 1 is lying on the floor. GUY 2 holding a gun.]

GUY 1.  I think I solved the mystery.
LOVE INTEREST.  No.  No, no, no!  You put the gun away before lights come back up.  Jesus!  You guys really are stupid.
GUY 1.  We’re not stupid.  You’re just a bad director.
LOVE INTEREST.  I am not a bad director.   [To others]   You guys are with me, right?
GUY 2.  Well…
PIRATE 1.  Uh…
JERK [leaping to his feet].   Balls!
LOVE INTEREST.  Go ahead, Jerry.  I can’t get anything out of these people.
GUY 1.  What does he want?
LOVE INTEREST.  He says he wants to do something.
GUY 1.  No.  Absolutely not.  This has turned into enough of a circus as it is.
JERK.  Fuck.
LOVE INTEREST.  He says he’s already taken the liberty of preparing something.
JERK.  Fucking.
LOVE INTEREST.  “A poignant existential piece exploring man’s emotional relationship with reality.”
GUY 1.  Oh.  That doesn’t sound too bad, I guess.

[JERK takes several sheets of paper out of his pockets.  Hands one sheet apiece to everybody but LOVE INTEREST.  He motions the others to begin.]

[GUY 1 looks from his sheet to JERK, then back to his sheet.]

GUY 1.  This is not a play.
JERK.  Shit.
LOVE INTEREST.  It is.
GUY 1.  No, it’s not.  It’s a sheet of paper with the word “dicks” written on it over and over again. [turns over the page]   On both sides!
JERK.  Dicks!
GUY 1.  Yes, dicks.  Dicks dicks dicks!  Is this supposed to mean something?  Is this supposed to be… theatre?   I was telling a reasonable story and now it’s a farce, a goddamn farce.  People go to the theatre to be…God, I don’t know, educated.   When the lights go up and you leave the building, you should have learned something.  You should take something home with you.  What in the hell are you going to take home with “dicks?”
JERK.  Post-modern.  Fuck.
GUY 1.  This is not post-modern.  This is juvenile.  This is… I don’t even know what this is.  But hey, as long as everybody gets a turn, right?  As long as everybody gets a chance to spin their respective yarn.  All stories are equal, eh, comrades? [to PIRATE 1]  I suppose you have something too, right?  Words that are just aching to be told.
PIRATE 1.  Uh…  no, not really.
GUY 1.  Oh no, please, be my guest.  The horse is still twitching, it can stand another beating or two.
PIRATE 1.  I like horses.
GUY 2.  Maybe we should all settle down.
GUY 1.  Shut up.
GUY 2.  No, you shut up.

[Everybody but PIRATE 1 begins to squabble.  Finally, once he’s had enough, he yells above everybody.]

PIRATE 1.  Stop!

[Everybody falls silent.]


I do have a story to tell.

GUY 1.  Fantastic.
PIRATE 1.  It’s about these guys.  And a girl.  Guys and a girl.  And they were fighting.  And then… then they stopped and were friends again.

[Pause.]

GUY 1.  Is that it?
PIRATE 1.  Yes.
GUY 2.  I think he’s talking about us.
GUY 1.  I gathered that, thanks.
GUY 2.  So?
GUY 1.  So what?
GUY 2.  You know what.

[GUY 1 shuffles his feet.]

GUY 1.  I’m sorry.

[Pause]

GUY 2.  Hey.

[Pause]

Me too.

LOVE INTEREST.  Me too, I guess.
JERK.  Pussy.
GUY 1 and 2. Beat.
GUY 1.  I'd hug you but I'm homophobic.
GUY 2.  So now what?
GUY 1.  We can stay here.
GUY 2.  Let's not.
GUY 1.  Okay.

[GUY 1 and GUY 2 exit stage LEFT. ]

[LOVE INTEREST, PIRATE 1 and JERK look at each other.  LOVE INTEREST steps downstage.]

LOVE INTEREST [with sudden flourish].   It was a dark and stormy night…

[Lights out.]
THERE IS A BETTER, NEWER VERSION HERE, OK. CLICKETY-CLICK.

Finally, something that isn't about dying. I used an idea from `Astrophel (the burning house plot device) and hey, it worked.

I stayed up far later than I should have to finish this.

14/4/05: Now (relatively) coherent!

25/6/06: Major revision. Added a new bit. I tried to make it even longer in addition to the new part but I didn't like it so I stopped after that. Enjoy.

8/8/06: HOLY HELL HUGE REVISION. I am entering this into a fringe festival and wanted to make it even longer. I finally had a good idea of how to do it. And it worked.

Beautiful preview image by ~moyan . I don't know why it took me so long to use it.
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2005-04-30
~barnabus wrote Nothing; and he started with a burning house. This play is chock-full of self-reference, hilarity, plot-twists, and pirates! You know you want to read it. ( Suggested by danielzklein and Featured by MinorKey )
:iconneoseraph24:
Neoseraph24 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2009
I've just re-read this and my word! I forgot how brilliant this is. It's the sort of thing that you read and think it should be included in school programmes for generally being awesome but for showing how you can do amazing things with theatrical techniques and ingenuity. How'd it go with the fringe angle? Did it get accepted? I would love to see this actualy in production!
Reply
:iconbarnabus:
barnabus Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2009
Yep, we went through it and put it on, and it shared a night with my favourite show of the rest of the festival. It was pretty sweet. There was a local director who really liked the concept and wanted to develop it, but then he kept being way to busy to ever make good on it.
Reply
:iconneoseraph24:
Neoseraph24 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2009
Aw man that sucks! But hey that must be awesome to see your work actually playing and alive like that! :) I'd encourage you to press on with the director guy and you might get somewhere eventually but I can imagine it's quite hard to persevere in a situation like that. But yeah, awesome! :D
Reply
:iconhangman13:
Hangman13 Featured By Owner May 1, 2008
Man, I laughed quite a bit at this. Very good.
Reply
:iconcherri13:
Cherri13 Featured By Owner May 18, 2007
Today was the first time i have read this all the way through it is beyond brilliant and it makes me laugh which ceverybody needs everynow and agian :D
Reply
:iconinziladun:
inziladun Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2006   Writer
THERE'S NO SUCH WORD AS SPURID
Reply
:iconbarnabus:
barnabus Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2006
i don't see why not, it's a perfectly cromulent word

i pretty much chucked this version out the window anyway, try the new one on for size.
Reply
:iconinziladun:
inziladun Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2006   Writer
haaha. nicer
Reply
:iconinziladun:
inziladun Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2006   Writer
I liked the original much better, this is cluttered & annoying & stupid. it was spurid earlier, but it was witty. it ended with a pirate doing the robot half-heartedly, it was one of the best plays I've ever read.
can't have it all I guess
Reply
:iconkaizerarc:
KaizerARC Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2006
:+fav: I love this
especialy "jerk", what a jerk
Reply
Add a Comment: