Here we have the second scene of my play: Subsiding Happiness – the plot of which I stole from that of my first novel (well, it’s mine so technically it isn’t stolen, but you get what I mean…)
I have a meeting soon with a guy who runs a local theatre company in which we intend to discuss producing my play, because after I sent him it, he was impressed by the work. So I can’t wait for that!
But I’m rambling…
So, without further ado:
(PETER and JAMES are standing centre stage, playing a game. Narrative James is stood Stage Left, watching the two. Peter lifts his hands above his head as if throwing a ball into the sky. They both look down at the ground, tensing their limbs in preparation for the impact)
Phew! (Relaxing as the ball has hit the ground) That was a close one.
Tell me about it.
(They carry on playing in silence)
NARRATIVE JAMES (to the audience)
Would you look at that (pointing to the pair and smiling) I used to be happy at one time. Well, as happy as a teenager could be just three years after the brutal murdering of his mother, and being forced to move from his home town in Connecticut, to a prison like town in Michigan. (Beat) And not long after this tremendously happy day, I would go on to spend large portion of my time in Michigan in imprisonment – I just didn’t know it at the time… (He walks upstage and turns to face the pair, observing the memory harmoniously)
(Volume returns to the pairs playing as they make their way further Downstage to grab a different item to throw)
Hey James, why don’t we play with a baseball next or maybe a rock?
Are you retarded? Or just plain dumb?
A little of both I think. (Beat) Whatta’ matter, is wittle Jamesy scared? (Mocking James)
C’mon Peter, we both know that there’s only one scaredy cat here.
Yeah, and his name is (–)
Peter Daily James Richardson
We really need to stop doing that.
You’re telling me. (Beat) Well, I guess there’s only one way to find out who the real scaredy cat is. (Bending down to pick up a rock) First one to look up or move loses.
I could read Peter like a freakin’ book (chuckling) He was such a wimp and I knew that he wasn’t actually going to throw the rock. So I decided to get some preceded payback. Watch and learn.
(They come back to life)
Y’know Peter, maybe I should throw it. You can throw a lot further – or in this case, a lot higher – and it would hurt a lot more if it hit us.
Yeah you’re right James (He hands him the rock)
NARRATIVE JAMES (laughing)
Look at the way he fell for it. What a sucker!
You ready asshole?
Born in a state of readiness my dear friend.
Okay then. Let’s go. (With his right arm Past James pretends to throw the rock into the air as far as he can, Peter has no clue that the rock is actually concealed in his left hand by his side)
PETER (running scared)
James! I was only joking! I wasn’t actually going to throw it.
Look at the pussy run. Told you he was a wimp. Now for the grand finale.
(James waits a couple of seconds and then slaps his leg hard, simulating the thudding sound of the rock striking him on the head. And then he falls face down onto the floor and lays motionless.)
Oh shit! Shit. Oh shit. What have I done? Dad’s gonna’ kill me. (He runs over to Past James and shakes him. James remains totally still) James. James! Are you okay? Oh god. This isn’t good. This isn’t good at all. C’mon Peter. Pull yourself together. Breath for Christ sakes!
(James’s laugh bursts out of him)
I can’t believe you fell for that. You’re such a dweeb. And talking to yourself too! People would think that you’re mentally unstable.
(Peter realises that it was a joke and punches James on the arm)
You dick! I can’t believe you. I thought you were actually hurt. (He stands up and exits Stage Right)
JAMES (getting to his feet)
Peter wait up. I understand that you’re in a rush to get home for your little tea party, but there’s nothing to worry about. I’m sure that your teddy bears won’t hold it against you.
Piss off James, you twat!
(James exists Stage Right, laughing uncontrollably)
Yep, those sure were the good old days. (Beat) I just wish that back then I was prepared for what was lurking only just around the corner…