Saturday, November 03, 2007

(Tuesday) Excerpt

...several days late.

Today's excerpt comes from a play I wrote anonymously for class. And then they all had to guess who wrote it. And I had the class fairly split. Fair warning, it's about a cannibal. But, like, not Hannibal Lecter, more like...Frank Burns (from M*A*S*H, but the film version, not the television version) if he were a cannibal.

===

from "Confessions of a Conservative Murderer" by Anonymous (but really by me)

CHARACTERS:
Aaron Michael Stevens, the titular character
Seth, a seventeen year old boy
Marie, a fifteen year old girl

SETTING:
A classic looking kitchen; black and white tile, updated appliances, pantry in upstage right corner, a counter running parallel to the front of the stage with barstools in front of it divides the kitchen in half. Present day. AARON stands with his back to the audience, looking in the refrigerator. SETH is crouched in between the barstools, unseen by AARON.

AARON
What is it with people in the suburbs not having anything ready to eat these days?

(He turns towards the audience, with a green can of parmesan cheese in one hand and a jar of pickle relish in the other)

I mean, really, it’s almost obscene.

(Seth cringes as Aaron approaches the counter and sets down the food)

You people should be ashamed of yourselves.

(he goes to the pantry and opens it, revealing Marie, tied up and with a look of fear in her eyes)

You hear me? Ashamed! Unless, I’m sorry…is this your house, or the boy’s house?

(pause)

Don’t tell me you’re brother and sister…that makes things even worse.

MARIE
(timidly)

It’s his house…his father’s house…not mine…

AARON
Oh, bacon bits!

(he pushes Marie to the side and grabs the bacon bits)

And French Fried onions!

(grabs both items, slams the door in Marie’s face, she whimpers and Seth jumps up to face Aaron, brandishing one of the barstools)

SETH
You sick fucking animal! Let her go!

AARON
Young man, you’re calling me an animal?

(Aaron calmly approaches Seth, who is noticeably quivering)

The way you were breathing when I found you, with your shirt off, and your hand down her pants…and you’re calling me an animal?

(he slams the items in his hands down on the counter, then easily wrestles the barstool from Seth’s grip)

I am not an Animal! I am a human being!

(throws the barstool to the ground, breaking it)

You are the animal, young man!

(Aaron grabs the now sobbing Seth, drags him over behind the counter, picks up a large knife from a nearby knife set, and as he slashes, Seth goes silent as the lights go out)

Lights up, same setting, a little later. Aaron is splattered with blood and fiddling behind the counter. Unless otherwise directed from here on out, Aaron’s lines are addressed directly to the audience.

AARON
Look, I know that a lot of people are going to throw out words like “insane” and “troubled” and “monster” and “death penalty” and stuff like that. They probably already do. And I know some day I’m going to get caught, but I’m doing the world a great service, here.

(he picks up the can of parmesan cheese, shakes some into his left hand, and sets it back down)

Think of it this way; law enforcement can’t enforce every law on its own, people just need to comply with some things. Well, unfortunately, not everybody does. And not everybody who doesn’t comply gets caught. If you follow me.

(he picks up the jar of bacon bits and shakes some on top of the cheese in his hand)

Well, there are some things that people just shouldn’t do, and they should get punished for it. I mean, for instance, murder of an innocent life. Yes, I’m talking about The Big One, Roe v. Wade, abortion. That’s why I killed that doctor out in Canton, Ohio. I was saving potentially hundreds of innocent lives by removing one guilty life from this world. That’s why I killed that so-called “Mother” outside the clinic in New Jersey. Sure, her blood stained my Doc Martens, but she herself was stained with the blood of the innocent. And the blood of the innocent doesn’t wash away quite so easily.

(he sniffs at the food in his hand, then adds some French fried onions to the pile)

But it’s not just that. I mean, I did a tour of VFW halls a while back. Like, ten, fifteen years ago. This is how I got started. I asked all these veterans about their experiences. And if they mentioned anything about murdering civilians in a casual tone…well, come on! That’s guilty right there. Almost the definition, worthy of Webster’s.

(produces a spoonful of pickle relish, which he drops into his hand. There is a noise from the pantry)

And that’s what got me started.

(shoves the food in his hand into his mouth, dropping a good deal, after which he cleans himself off with a napkin and then walks over to the pantry, opening the door)

Is everything alright in here? You comfortable?

MARIE
Ye..yes.

AARON
Okay then. I just have one question; were you comfortable when I found you?

(silence, aside from Marie’s quiet sobs)

I’ll let you think about that one some more.

(he slams the door, returns to the counter)

Now after a little while, I realized I was committing a sin. I was guilty of something. What could I do? Well, you see, I felt remorse. A little bit, anyway. I felt conflicted. I mean, on the one hand, I was leaving earthly remains to be found for burial, you know, to give solace to the bereaved. But what right had they to be bereaved? To mourn for a guilty soul? Please. I was guilty of waste. And you know what they say? “Waste not, want not.” And being the self-appointed Hand of God doesn’t pay very well, especially when you’re always on the move. So…

(there is a beep)

Oven’s preheated, okay. Well, the secret to cooking a teenage boy is to only cook the good parts. Luckily, this one must be a track star, because his legs are nice and meaty. Maybe a swimmer, since it seems like he shaved his entire body.

(reflecting)

Although that may have something to do with his plans for this afternoon.

(returns to the pantry, opens the door, speaks to Marie)

Was today your first time?
MARIE
N…No. He…keeps count. I think it was our seventh.

AARON
Oh, mercy. Well…do you have an answer to my first question?

MARIE
…I never…never enjoyed it. I was never comfortable.

AARON
But did you want to be doing it?

(silence, Marie shakes her head “yes”)

I was afraid of that.

(she screams, he pulls her forward, puts her head on the ground in between the door and the door frame, and slams the door several times, the last time getting splattered with a little bit more blood as her screams get silent and the lights go out)

Lights up. It is several moments later. Aaron is splattered with still more blood. Steam rises from pots on the stove, which he stirs occasionally during the final scene.

AARON
So I find that hotbeds of sin are high schools. Oh my Good Lord! Kids lying, sneaking out of school, stealing from teachers and from each other, it’s amazing! Wait ten minutes outside of a high school, and you can bet most every law has been broken once within those walls while you stood there waiting. I would love to purge an entire high school of sinners…but people would catch on and then invariably, somehow or other, I would be pegged as the bad person. But I always leave a note. I explain it. I never steal anything, other than a little bit of food. I always put everything in the dishwasher after I use it. I always clean up as best I can. Because that’s what it’s about…making things clean.

(beat)

So this afternoon, I was strolling past a high school and noticed these two young kids, a boy and a girl, hurrying away. They got into a car, the boy was driving, so I followed them as best I could and found them here. They were kissing all the way into the front door and they forgot to lock it, which was fortunate for me. And for them too, because now they’re getting their rewards. And I get to eat. I waited a few minutes, then entered, and I heard them making some noise, and I found them…well, you can imagine. And the boy, the coward, picked up the girl and threw her towards me, then rushed out of the room. Well…talk about cowardice. But I knew he hadn’t left, because I can always tell. And sometimes, in these situations, there is one willing and one unwilling participant. And it appeared that he was certainly willing, but I wasn’t sure about her. And I wanted him. So, I tied her up in the pantry, gave her the benefit of the doubt.

(pause)

Silly of me, really. I’ve seen enough to know that I have seen too much. I should have known she was a willing participant. Well, you live and you learn, I suppose. And I found him, he confronted me. Ha! But I got him! Oh, I got him.

(pause)

The secret is to cook quickly. You can’t take time to savor, especially when somebody else might walk in and find you. But I spoke to the girl for a moment, she said the boy’s father is away on business, which is why they chose this house for their, um, rendezvous. So today, I can really take the time. I’ve got the boy slow roasting, I’ve got bits of her slowly simmering in a stew…it’s such a nice day, I wish I could go outside and barbecue. But that might arouse some suspicion, and, as I said, I have to keep low. Some people don’t appreciate what I do. Some people might think I’m a monster. But I do what I have to. I’m cleaning the world and surviving. Surviving.

(dips a spoon into the largest pot, tastes the stew, then reaches over and adds French fried onions or bacon bits or pickle relish, whichever is closest, as lights fade)

End.

===

"It's grift sense; I mean, you can search high and low all day, but to no avail. Without grift sense, you're never going to find that lemon." - Murray Farish

2 comments:

the wife said...

yeah I was right- creepy.

Lisa said...

Ummm...just a sec. "Mom, do we have to see Elliot during Thanksgiving???" Oh, and thanks for the nice bedtime story...yick.