Since I’m up doing some terrible writing, I thought I’d share with you some terrible writing from my past. This is my “response play” (to myself) to the lack of accord at the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. I wish I could claim to have been younger than I was when I wrote this. But I wasn’t. Happy schadenfreude:
“A SMALL ONE BEDROOM FLAT. A WOMAN, MADDIE IS LYING ON THE FLOOR, FLORAL DRESS SMEARED WITH BLOOD, WITH A MAN KNEELING, HOVERING OVER WITH A KNIFE. ENTER JOHNNY. HE WALKS TO THE KITCHEN, NON-PLUSSED AND BEGINS TO MAKE A SANDWICH.
JOHNNY: Good evening, dear.
MADDIE: Good evening, how was your day?
JOHNNY: Pretty solid I’d have to say. And yours?
MADDIE: Not bad, really. A bit dull. Feel like I’ve been here forever. This man here’s come to talk to you. Derek, was it?
DEREK: That’s right.
JOHNNY: Alright Derek? Nice to meet you.
DEREK: You as well.
MADDIE: He’s been ever so pleasant. He’s only knifed me a couple of times so far.
JOHNNY, HAVING MADE HIS SANDWICH, PULLS OUT A 4 PINT MILK BOTTLE AND BEGINS TO SWIG FROM IT.
JOHNNY: So what can I do for you, Derek?
DEREK: Well, I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to murder your wife, implicate you for the crime and burn down your flat.
JOHNNY: That’s pretty intense.
DEREK: It is, I know. Sorry to be so forceful, but it’s definitely the truth of the matter, I’m afraid.
MADDIE: He is a bit of a charmer, isn’t it?
DEREK: You’re damn right, Miss. Hey, you know you look pretty from this angle.
MADDIE: (Blushing) Oh, stop it! From there?
DEREK: I mean it! How many angles do you have to look pretty from to actually be pretty?
MADDIE: All of them, I’d imagine.
JOHNNY: She’s decent from most angles. Particularly from behind!
JOHNNY: Seriously, you’re missing out, Derek was it?
DEREK: That’s right.
JOHNNY: Two Rs? Or One?
DEREK: Doesn’t really matter.
JOHNNY: Well, my friend, you should flip her over, you’re missing out.
DEREK: I wouldn’t want to be rude.
MADDIE: No, no, it’s perfectly fine with me. Make yourself comfortable.
DEREK ROLLS HER OVER.
DEREK: I see what you mean.
MADDIE: (Muffled) Nice ey?
DEREK: (Nodding in appreciation) Very nice. The knife will probably go in better this way as well. I mean, either way up she’s dead.
JOHNNY: On this dead business, I’m not actually involved, yes?
DEREK: Weeeeeelll…to be truthful with you, this is all actually your fault. I mean its been a long time coming, and I know you’ve tried to change of late, but it’s a bit late I’m sorry to say.
JOHNNY: That seems a little unfair. I’ve been having a good time up to now, mostly.
DEREK: I’m not here to kill your good time, just your wife. You will likely perish in the flames. But that’s later.
MADDIE: (Muffled) Mfmfmfmmmmmhhmhhmhff?
JOHNNY: Be a lad and flip her over, would you Derek?
DEREK FLIPS HER OVER. MADDIE GASPS.
DEREK: Sorry, what was that again?
MADDIE: I was just asking if there’s anything I could get you? Tea? Coffee? Beer?
DEREK: Some beer would be delightful.
MADDIE: (To Johnny) Be a dear, would you?
JOHNNY CRACKS OPEN A BEER CAN AND HANDS IT TO DEREK. HE ACCEPTS THE CAN AND READJUSTS HIS POSITION OVER MADDIE.
DEREK: Ahhh, that’s great, thanks. I was just going to say that Maddie you have been a wonderful host, don’t you worry. This isn’t your fault at all.
MADDIE: Oh good! That’s very comforting. Here’s little old me thinking I’d messed up again! Haha!
DEREK: No no, it’s all Johnny.
JOHNNY: Right, right. So nothing to be done then, I guess?
DEREK: Weeeeeeeeeelllllllllllllllllll. Yes. Maybe. But things around here would have to change pretty substantially. And fast. Hold on a sec.
DEREK STABS MADDIE. SHE SCREAMS.
JOHNNY: What was that?
MADDIE: Just me, dear.
JOHNNY MOVES OVER TO THE SOFA, SANDWICH IN HAND, SITS DOWN AND TURNS ON THE TV.
DEREK: So about these changes?
JOHNNY: Oh right, yes? Substantial you say?
DEREK: I’m afraid so. Everything would have to be scaled back. You might even have to go back home, live with your parents.
JOHNNY: That’s fucking outrageous.
DEREK: I know, right? But it’s the only way.
JOHNNY: (With a mouthful of sandwich) Let me think about this a second.
DEREK: No worries, I’ll be right here.
DEREK STABS MADDIE IN SIDE. SHE WHIMPERS.
MADDIE: Ahh! Like a morning jog.
JOHNNY: Well, I’ve thought about it. I disagree with you.
DEREK: You do?
JOHNNY: Yes, I don’t feel that this is my fault. I reckon you just want to kill her and burn me anyway.
DEREK: (Hurt) While I, admittedly, do get a little bit of a kick from this all, it’s certainly not my intent. I just don’t have the imagination for this kind of thing.
MADDIE: You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself.
DEREK: Oh it’s true, I’m a lazy minded man.
JOHNNY: There, there. Anything I can do to help?
DEREK: You’re very kind to offer, but I’m fine. It hasn’t affected my career.
JOHNNY: And a fine career it is too.
DEREK: There are certainly a lot of fringe benefits. Would you like to give it ago?
HE MAKES A CASUAL STABBING ACTION WHILE SAYING THIS.
JOHNNY: (Flattered) Really? Me?
MAGGIE: Well, why not you? You always put yourself down, Johnny.
DEREK: The lady’s got a point – she’s been telling me that’s all you do.
MAGGIE: It’s true, he never takes anything for himself.
DEREK: Give it a whirl.
JOHNNY: (Tentatively) Ok…if you’re sure you’re fine with it, dear?
MAGGIE: I imagine it can’t do too much harm now.
DEREK NODS IN CONFIRMATION.
JOHNNY: Alright then, just a little.
HE THRUSTS THE KNIFE SUDDENLY INTO HER FOOT.
JOHNNY: That is rather good, isn’t it?
DEREK: Nothing better.
JOHNNY: Quite a giddy thrill, really.
MAGGIE: One more, you old softie. I hardly even noticed that.
JOHNNY: Of course, of course.
DEREK: Not too much, have to save some for later.
JOHNNY KNIFES A HAND, AND TRIES TO PULL IT OUT. IT WON’T BUDGE.
JOHNNY: (Annoyed) Oh bloody hell, it’s only gone and stuck. I knew something like this would happen, it’s never simple with me.
MAGGIE: Don’t be silly, it was probably my fault. The blood must have rusted the blade right into the floorboard.
DEREK: (As a man who knows his trade) I doesn’t act that fast – It’s probably the serrated edged stuck on some bone…here.
HE GRABS JOHNNY’S HANDS WHICH ARE OVER THE KNIFE AND PULLS SIDEWARDS. THE TWO MEN TUMBLE BACKWARDS. MAGGIE MOVES TO SCREAM, DROPS INTO CLEARING HER THROAT INSTEAD.
DEREK: Phew! So what do you say?
JOHNNY: About the changes?
DEREK: That’s the one.
JOHNNY: If what you say is the absolute truth.
DEREK: It is.
JOHNNY: I…don’t think you’ll do it.
DEREK: You don’t? Even now? (Gesturing at the bloody mess in front of him).
DEREK LOPS OFF ONE OF MADDIE’S EARS. SHE WHIMPERS.
DEREK: What about now?
JOHNNY: That can be reattached.
DEREK EATS THE EAR.
DEREK: (With a mouthful of ear) Now?
JOHNNY NARROWS HIS EYES AT DEREK, PLANNING HIS NEXT MOVE.
JOHNNY: That could grow back.
DEREK LOOKS AT MADDIE. TAKES A GOOD LOOK AT WHAT’S LEFT OF THE EAR, AND THEN BACK AT JOHNNY. HE TOYS WITH THIS IDEA IN HIS HEAD.
DEREK: You know, I can’t prove that that’s not true…
JOHNNY: (Rising in triumph) Well then!
HE HEADS TOWARDS THE KITCHEN COUNTER, RETURNING TO HIS SANDWICH WITH A NEW SWAGGER.
DEREK: (To Maddie) He’s a clever man, your husband?
MADDIE: (Unable to hear well) WHAT??
DEREK: (SHOUTING) YOUR JOHNNY’S A CLEVER MAN, AIN’T HE.
JOHNNY: (Full of confidence) I reckon…I reckon I’d rather speed things up. Get it all over with.
DEREK: How do you mean?
JOHNNY: Well, I’ve had a good run. We’ve had a good run, haven’t we dear?
MADDIE: I suppose so.
DEREK: You won’t last long without her. You need her.
MADDIE: Do you need me, Johnny?
DEREK: And she’s pregnant!
JOHNNY: (Turning to Maddie) Are you?!
MADDIE: (Embarrassed) I didn’t want you to find out this way…
DEREK: There we have it.
JOHNNY: How long along are you?
DEREK: 7 months, is it?
MADDIE: About that, I’d say.
JOHNNY: I hadn’t even noticed! Hah! Fancy that!
MADDIE: ‘Fraid so, my dear.
JOHNNY: That would probably change everything.
DEREK: You just need to change everything.
JOHNNY: That’s not as easy as it sounds.
DEREK: Not at all.
JOHNNY: Hmmm…ok, let me just think about it some more.
HE TAKES ANOTHER BITE OF SANDWICH.
DEREK: Gopher it, my man.
DEREK DIGS THE KNIFE INTO MADDIE’S THIGH AND RUNS IT DOWN HER LEG. SHE WAILS.
JOHNNY: It’s hard to think with all that wailing, dear.
MADDIE: Sorry about that, not very good with this sort of thing.
DEREK: I really am dreadfully sorry.
MADDIE: Not at all, not at all.
JOHNNY CLAPS HIS HANDS TOGETHER AND STANDS UP.
JOHNNY: Right! I’ve decided. Let’s do something.
DEREK: Good for you! Where will you start?
JOHNNY: Where do you reckon? I assume we can use some sort of instalment plan.
DEREK: Lose the tie.
JOHNNY REMOVES HIS TIE AND THROWS IT AWAY.
MADDIE: I love you!
JOHNNY: I bloody love you too, honey!
DEREK: You make a great couple, you know that. I was worried I’d have to ruin a good thing.
JOHNNY: Anything for her. What’s next?
JOHNNY: Really? Is that necessary?
DEREK NODS SADLY.
DEREK TAKES HIS TROUSERS OFF, THEY DROOP AROUND HIS ANKLE. RELUCTANTLY. MADDIE CLAPS A LITTLE.
JOHNNY: I…I feel a little awkward, to be honest. Will this do for now?
DEREK: It’s probably best if you keep going. I don’t know how much longer I can hold back.
JOHNNY: What could you possibly require?
DEREK: The phone? It’s pretty annoying anyway, isn’t it?
JOHNNY: My…my phone? Does it really have to be that way? It’s so very useful. And smart. It’s a smartphone.
DEREK: You won’t miss it.
JOHNNY: I’d need to let some people know. Send a few texts and tweets and that. Can you give me til morning?
DEREK: She might have bled out by then.
MADDIE: I’m trying not to.
SHE SUCKS IN A BREATHE, AS IF IT WILL HOLD IN THE BLOOD.
JOHNNY: Will you have really bled out by the morning?
MADDIE: (Trying to hold breathe) I’m not sure, dear.
DEREK: She definitely will.
JOHNNY: I don’t think so.
DEREK: You what?
JOHNNY: I think she’ll be just fine.
MADDIE: (Exhaling) It’s possible.
DEREK: It most likely absolutely isn’t.
JOHNNY: The tie – I can do without. But life…it just doesn’t seem worth living without smart, smart trousers. Even less so sans a smart phone.
MADDIE: You make a good point.
DEREK: Oh well. (To Maddie) Terribly sorry about all this, you do believe me on that?
MADDIE: I do, you seem an earnest man.
DEREK STABS HER REPEATEDLY. MADDIE PASSES OUT. JOHNNY SLOWLY PULLS HIS PANTS BACK UP.
JOHNNY: I mean…I can definitely do without the tie, though. That helps, no?
DEREK LOOKS UP. HE IS NOW COMPLETELY COVERED IN BLOOD.
DEREK: It’s not really enough, my man.
JOHNNY: I tried though. Do tell your superiors that I did try some, won’t you.
DEREK: I certainly shall.
HE RAISES HIS KNIFE HIGH ABOVE MADDIE’S HEAD, BUT LOOKS ACROSS TO JOHNNY GUILTILY.
DEREK: Do you want to be here for this?
JOHNNY: I’ll be in the bedroom. When will you be getting on with the fire business?
DEREK: Imminently, I suspect.
JOHNNY: Fair enough…well, we keep the petrol under the sink, next to the bog roll.
DEREK: Brilliant. Thanks for all your help.
JOHNNY: Not a problem. Feel free to chuck it around some.
DEREK SALUTES WITH HIS KNIFE HAND.
JOHNNY: (Moving towards the bedroom door) Will you give me a bit of heads up before you finish?
DEREK: This is pretty much your heads up right here, I’m afraid. No real chance for another one.
JOHNNY: Understandable. You seem a busy chap. Well, good luck to you, Derek.
JOHNNY: And good night to you, Maddie. You’ve been a wonderful gal, really wonderful. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time together.
MADDIE MURMURS INCOMPREHENSIBLY.
DEREK: Shame about the twins, though.
JOHNNY: Twins? I had no idea.
DEREK: Yeah, one of each.
JOHNNY: Oh. Probably for the best. This place is a bit of a dump, anyway.
HE LOOKS AROUND AND LAUGHS GENTLY.
JOHNNY: Definitely…well, enjoy!
JOHNNY SLAMS THE BEDROOM DOOR SHUT AS DEREK PLUNGES DOWNWARDS.
Did you get the analogy?! Did you?!