Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tuesday Excerpts

I had this bizarre dream last night, that I was at a modern art gallery/mall with two guys from my playwriting class, and that we were there meeting with the devil and an ambassador of heaven to discuss terms of selling our souls for success as writers. The devil was willing to give us everything on our list but, obviously, he wanted to take our souls into hell for all eternity. God, it seems, was willing to offer us eternal salvation but little else on our list of demands, so we left without committing to either offer. Odd, I know...partly it's because I was sleeping on my back (due to Acrodyl lying across my stomach) and when I sleep on my back I always have either really strange or really scary dreams. This falls into the strange category. Anyway, I wrote a thirteen page play dialogue, and it's really rough and terribly unfinished at the moment, but nevertheless, I am giving you the opening as today's Tuesday Excerpt.

===

from an Untitled Play, may 2007

PAT, 21, wearing a corduroy jacket, button up white shirt un-tucked and jeans

JOHN, 22, wearing jeans and a Van Halen tee shirt, carries a pen and small notebook in his pocket

ELLIOT, 24, wearing jeans and a black sweater over a pink button down shirt, carries a messenger bag and an open box of chocolates

BUB, the devil

VOG, the Voice of God

Scene opens in a modern art gallery attached to a busy pedestrian mall. Three young men stand alone in the gallery, staring idly at a strangely grotesque sculpture depicting nothing in particular but doing so with definite human forms.

PAT
(glancing at his watch)
When did he say he’d be here?

JOHN
I don’t know, five or so?

PAT
Well it’s almost five thirty now, where the hell is he?

ELLIOT
(picking a chocolate from a Whitman’s Sampler box)
Ha. Good one, Pat.
(John and Pat look at him)
Chocolates?
(offers the box)

PAT
(taking one)
Sure, thanks Elliot.
(pops it into his mouth)
These are damn good. I wonder where he got them?

JOHN
Knowing him, he probably stole them from Straubs.

ELLIOT
He probably gets them for free. Big, influential guy like him. He probably is responsible for the success of the Whitman’s Sampler. He probably came up with the idea of the chocolate box map.

PAT
Now you mention it, probably.
(silence)
This was kind of a strange place to want to meet us, huh?

JOHN
Well, yeah, but don’t let it get to you. I mean, you know why he did it, right? To intimidate us. It’s the kind of thing I would do.
(fond smile)
So like him.

PAT
Hey, John; did you hear Ace of Bass might reuinite?

JOHN
(distracted from his reverie)
So?

PAT
(put off)
I thought you liked them.

JOHN
Just a play, Patrick. Just a play.

PAT
But your title was “This Really Happened.”

ELLIOT
Well, only you and I actually wrote plays that actually happened. And you peed your pants.

PAT
(checking his jeans)
Again?
(silence from both John and Elliot)

JOHN
(closing his eyes in obvious pain)
No, in your play.

ELLIOT
Brilliant.
(enter Bub, unseen by our three heroes)

PAT
(relieved)
Oh, thank God!

BUB
God? God, did you say?
(the three heroes jump, startled, Pat checks the front of his jeans again)
What has God got to do with anything tonight? Surely you don’t intend on letting Him know you’re meeting me?

PAT
Don’t sneak up on a brother like that, Bub!

JOHN
Yeah, that was pretty low and sneaky. And you’re about forty minutes late.

ELLIOT
But thanks for the chocolates.
(lifts up the tray)
I mean...you’ve got to have had something to do with this...there’s a whole other layer of ‘em down here! Nobody came up with that on their own.

BUB
Thank you, yes, that was me. Unfortunately, you know, when other companies caught on, there was no legal recourse for me to stop them from using my ideas...nothing I could do to reap any of their benefit. No, I’m afraid the only person I collected from on that one was my original partner...which is why I started enlisting every lawyer that came across my doorstep to help draft my contracts. Now...gentlemen, shall we get down to business? I’ve rather a busy schedule this evening.

ELLIOT
Contracts, yeah, that’s just what we wanted to talk about. Look, I understand the whole idea and everything, right?
(looks to his friends)

JOHN
Oh, yeah, quite simple in theory, we want success and fortune and only a little bit of fame-

PAT
Don’t forget the women, John. Can’t forget the women.
(wistful look in his eyes)
All the women we could want.

ELLIOT
(impatient)
Hear hear...

JOHN
-and the women, and we get all that in return for our eternal souls, right. But, there’s just a couple of concerns.

ELLIOT
Let’s talk terms and conditions.

JOHN
Let’s talk a service plan.

PAT
Full coverage, like they got on all the new Hyundais.

JOHN
Only way more than one hundred thousand miles.

ELLIOT
Or ten years.

BUB
My friends-

ELLIOT
Just listen, you want our souls or not?

BUB
Of course, but I don’t think you’re really in a position to-

JOHN
To what? Bargain? Like you’re the only person in all of Heaven and Earth interested in collecting souls?

BUB
Well...actually, all of the people in all of Heaven and Earth doesn’t really include me, does it?

PAT
Wait...let me...
(thinks about that one)
My brain hurts.

ELLIOT
Chocolates?
(offers box to Pat)

PAT
Are there any Orange Cremes left?
(takes box, roots around)


===

And there you have it.

Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. -Mark Twain

1 comment:

Becca said...

I like it. Witty banter is... I'm not sure what I'm trying to say here (not being a writer and all). Witty banter will make you money or get you far. Something like that.