November 25, 2006

A Play A Day #226



Setting: Bare stage

(Enter Betsy, Rich is staring straight upward, center stage, his body gives away his excitement)

Rich: (still looking up) Who's there?

Betsy: It's me, Rich.

R: Oh hey, Betsy! Sorry I'm not looking at you, but there is supposed to be a visible supernova tonight!

B: Yeah... ummm...

R: So, I'm keeping my eye on that star up there, that's the one!

B: Rich.

R: Like a blinding flash and then the star will look a lot wider.

B: Right.

R: It's never been visible to the human eye before!

B: Yes, I know...

R: I mean... oohh! Was that it?

B: No.

R: It kinda sparked a little.

B: No, that wasn't it, Rich.

R: You sure, 'cause I saw like a flash and then...

B: I'm sure, Rich.

R: Well, when did you become the professional astronomer?

B: I'm not, Rich, it's just...

R: I've read up about this; so I think I know what to expect.

B: I'm not implying that you don't, Rich, but...

R: So let me watch for it.

B: You can't, Rich.

R: Course I can.

B: No. It already happened.

R: What? No!

B: Yeah, about a half hour ago.

R: No, tonight at about 11:30...

B: 10:30.

R: 10:30? Really?

B: Yeah. 10:30?

R: So that? (pointing at what he had been looking at)

B: Is a lighting instrument. You're in a theater, Rich.

R: Well, this is where the stars are!

B: Except this is a community theater, Rich.

R: So, you mean...

B: You at least have to be outside to see an astronomical event with the naked eye.

R: (finally looking down) My neck's sore.

B: Yeah.

R: My ego hurts a little too.

B: Don't worry about it.

(long pause)

R: Betsy?

B: Yeah, Rich?

R: What was it like?

B: The supernova?

R: Yeah.

B: It was... sorta... like watching a play that flashed for a moment, then had no real ending.

R: Yeah.

B: Just didn't know where to stop.

R: Yeah.

B: Now, everyone has stiff necks and cold butts from sitting on the ground.

R: Yeah.

B: And there's a brighter star in the sky.

R: Right.

B: But, it's not going anywhere.

R: Right.

B: It's just kind of standing on the stage.

R: Yeah.

B: With no real purpose anymore.

R: Right.

B: Better to burn out than fade away.

R: Right.

B: I... gotta go, Rich.

(B leaves, long pause, R turns his head upward again, long pause, lights start fading, then when they are halfway down they flare massively, electric crackling sounds, explosion, angelic music, then lights out immediately)

R: (beat) Awesome.


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