January 2, 2007

A Play A Day #264

Rough Night

Assistants - two, non-speaking

Setting: Bedroom, dim lights on queen-sized bed

(Man and Woman asleep in bed, the play continues like this for about thirty seconds, Man shifting his position a couple times, Woman is still. Suddenly three things happen simultaneously: a bright red fire engine light flares and pulsates with a very loud buzzer accompanying it, sounds pulsates in and out, and a crazily-dressed man leaps from offstage and bounds recklessly onto the bed. He is screaming horribly and immediately begins taunting the Man who has, understandably, sat bolt upright, terrified. He flails in self-defense, ineffectually, as the crazy man shouts at him, getting right in his face.)

Doctor: (jumping around, angry) YOU!! What is the matter with you!? How can you do that!? You are a sick, sick man! You have no sense of decency, sir! In bed! At a time like this?! The world needs you! You are crap! That's all you are! Yet, the world needs you, crap!

Man: (he has been screaming and flailing and adlibbing fearful exhortations during the Doctor's opening tirade) Who? Help! Help! (shaking Woman) Dear! Dear! Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Dear! Help!!! My God! Who... what? Stop, stop! Don't kill... don't kill me, don't kill me... don't kill me, my wallet's right there... please... I don't... help!!

Doctor: Shut up, crap! You sleep and you sleep and you sleep and you don't deserve it, because you're crap, crap! Don't you realize that you sleep, and the land is sloshed on poison... you sleep, and the oceans burn... you sleep, and children suck death! You are horrible! You ignore it all with your sleep! So easy for you, crap!

Man: (still panicking) Don't... No... No!! Please stop... I can't help you...

Doctor: My assistants (two beautiful women in lab coats with clipboards enter from each side of the stage) have been monitoring you for years... you have slept every single night during that time! YOU!! Are worthless, crap!

Man: (noticing the assistants) I've never seen these women before! I haven't! (he looks at his wife next to him) I don't... I mean... please don't hurt me! Please! (appealling to assistants who acknowledge his plea with callous nods) Don't let him hurt me!

Doctor: They won't listen to you. They work for me. I am telling you, what you have been doing for years, sleeping, is wrong! You sleep, and the world eats itself!

Man: Who ARE you?!!

Doctor: (first real pause) I am the Doctor. You are crap. Remember that! Sleep and die, crap! Sleep and die! Sleep and die!

(Doctor bounds off the bed, and twirls madly, screeching, all the way offstage. Man sits terrified, the assistants crawl onto the bed with man, running hands through his hair, rubbing his back, Man fades back into sleep. Assistants leave quickly. Lights brighten slowly in the room. Woman stirs, Man stirs, they sit up and stretch. Woman is bright, Man looks grim)

Woman: Morning, honey.

Man: Ahh... I feel like crap.

Woman: Oh! Really?

Man: I think I slept wrong.

(lights out)


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