The following is an excerpt from a work in progress absurdist play staring Carter a young adult woman stuck in the wreckage of a city that has been bombed and left to fend for itself by their governing powers. She and her friends managed to survive off a small hide away garden one of them had decided to make years earlier in an inebriated paranoia. The opening scene starts off as an introduction to the feel of the play and the mental state of the main character who later struggles with deciphering her hallucinations from reality.
(Stage opens with a barren scene entirely in grey scale. The set is filled with several hidden doors, drop floors, break away walls and is confusing to the eye. Staging should convey a world in chaos environment from the start.
Lights come up to reveal Carter lying in the middle of the stage, clothing tattered, passed out.
Spot lights are to reveal each character one by one in different areas of the set turning on and off for each reveal. Carter stays lit for the entire series of reveals. Each character enters looking more and more manic and closer to Carter as time goes on. Luna and Asher are the last to reveal.
With the last entrance, the lights begin to flash to reveal that none of the other characters have remained on stage. Asher reaches out to shake Carter on the shoulder. Just before he makes contact, Carter sits up and Screams.
Black out. All but Carter Exit.)
How did I get here?
(Spot light up on Carter, standing centered on highest point in the set. She stares straight out afraid, looking into the void as if seeing a ghost of a memory from the past.)
Where did you go? Do I run or do I lie where I stand now? There’s nowhere left to go, there’s no world left to run through. I am alone.
(Asher appears onstage right of Carter under a spotlight.)
The world is not what it used to be. There are no rules. There are no cities, no people. I am alone.
(Lana appears onstage left of Carter under a spotlight)
There are bodies but no one lives in them anymore. There are no people. I am alone. These bodies are hopeless, drugged out personas wasting away in their thoughts.
(Sprocket appears passed out at the base of a crumbling structure)
Obsessively living their lives in their fantasies. The things they want but could never have.
(Eli appears opposite Sprocket on stage flowers in hand sprawled out on the floor, dejected)
Barely surviving, never thriving moving from day to day like zombies, or savages never anything in between.
(Racing heartbeat starts quietly in the background increasing in volume and slowing to a stop as Carter continues to speak becoming more and more manic with each passing word. Any remaining characters appear onstage one by one until the entire stage is lit.)
The sounds of a world long forgotten linger in my ears ringing a defying memory that I am alone here. I can’t go back. I lived through a world on fire and now I’m destined to trudge through the ash or give up like the rest of them. I’ve lost them all. I don’t want to be here. I am alone.
(Lights out. Everyone but Carter Eli and Sprocket exit. Spot on Carter. Heart beat stops to an uncomfortable silence.)
Why am I alone?
(Lights go out. Carter exits)
(lights up, Eli is seen resting in a corner where he appeared previous begins drinking from a bottle and messing with the dying flowers in his hands.
Sprocket startles himself awake with a hiccup, looks around confused about where he is. He settles as if realizing what had lead him to this point stretches and begins to stand up and walk away before noticing Eli sitting in the corner.)
Ya know man, (walking toward Eli) you look so down. I couldn’t find a flower in this whole damned place if I tried but you’ve got a handful and still look like you would spit fire on anyone who walks past.
(Doesn’t look up from the flowers in his lap, begins picking at the peddles. Responds half-hearted)
We’re already living in a hell fire. I don’t need to add any more to it.
That may be the case man but if looks could kill yours would probably slow me to death.
Ya know, like them sloth things moping around and shit all slow like.
(mimics a sloth walking over to steal his drink, falls in Eli’s lap. Takes a swig from the bottle and rolls over onto his back still on top of Eli)
You went and killed one of the last frickin' things in this god forsaken ash pit. Yet here you are pissed off that you have it. If you ask me, you’re some spoiled little prick. So, who went and broke the last piece of your heart there Romeo? What led you into the gutter with the likes of a degenerate like me?
Why don’t you just beat it?
(takes back the bottle realizes its empty, pushes Sprocket off his lap and stands up)
I’ve got nothing to tell, (angry) No one’s got anything to tell around here! There’s nothing left to happen! Anyone holding onto some concept of hope or love or happiness in a place like this is a liar or an idiot. You seem to be the latter.
Whatever you say man. You hold that shit close. If you’re holding out on a place that’s alive around here Karma’s got another thing coming for you.
(starts to walk off, muttering to himself) Fuckin rich kid thinking he’s entitled to shit after the world is dead.
The fuck did you just say?
Don’t worry about it Romeo, nothing hurts more than your broken heart right now I’m sure.
My name’s not Romeo you prick.
Oh I’m sorry lover boy’s offended I don’t know his name. Fuckin’ rich kid thinking everyone down here gives a damn. News flash, there’s no one left to care. Everyone’s either dead or unaware of anything happening outside of their drug fueled delusions.
(pulls out a joint and lights it, makes sure to blow smoke in Eli’s face)
Might as well join the party kid. I’m sure you’re no stranger to getting by in a haze or is lover boy too good for a hit?
(Eli punches Sprocket in the nose then grabs him by both shoulders. Sprocket flails his arms back in Eli’s direction but misses. Eli headbutts Sprocket before forcing him to the ground and punching him in the face a few more times. Sprocket goes unconscious.)
How’s that for a fuckin’ hit?
(Eli sits with his knee on Sprocket’s chest to make sure he’s out. After a moment to catch his breath and realize what he’s done Eli begins to cry but quickly pulls himself together. He picks up the joint and relights it before returning to his seat. Carter enters)
Who the fuck are you?
(spitting the words in Carter’s direction without looking up)
In a world, full of people, stories, and places why on Earth do you give a damn enough to bother me?
For starters, I think you killed my roommate.
(points to Sprocket laying in front of him)
He’s not dead. The fuck just needed to shut his mouth for a bit.
(sarcastically) And you had to shut it for him?
(Through smoke) Some people need a bit of a hand to get there.
(Eli looks in Carter’s direction and softens a bit at the sight of her)
Yeah I see that’s at the expense of your own. (gesturing to Eli’s bleeding knuckles)
We’re living in a world on fire Princess. If you make it out in tact you’re already dead.
(Looks back at his hands and grimaces pulling a rag from his pocket and wrapping it around his knuckles.)
Fire’s already out. (Chuckles) Nothing stays alive here anyways. Not even the people who are still living – well, breathing.
(Grabs joint from Eli’s mouth. He offers her the lighter)
(Asher enters upstage, watching. Making sure to stay out of sight and away from the action, lurking.)
Well, I thought I found that little piece of life still around in this shit storm. (laughs at himself briefly and lets his head hit the wall behind him). Turns out people are just as shitty as they ever were.
Ain’t that the truth.
(Carter stands looking over Sprocket hands in her pockets before letting out a sigh)
So what’s a guy like you doing in a shit hole like this anyways?
You act like the entire world isn’t a shit show.
You know what I mean.
(Carter breaks her gaze and kicks Sprocket in the leg a bit to no response. Gives up and sits down next to Eli.)
Most people abandoned this part of town long ago. It’s practically unlivable. Not that there’s much livable space anywhere else. (Shakes her head) Yet here you are, with flowers no less. If you’re not going to tell me why you’re here will you at least tell me your name?
You’re the first to ask for a name in a long time.
Is that so?
I was told its easier not to get close to people here. So, I haven’t told anyone my name.
Well we don’t play that game around here man. Tell you what, my name’s Carter, that there’s Sprocket. He’s fuckin' obnoxious but he’s a good kid. You’ve just got to tell him to fuck off every once in a while, but he’s harmless. If anything, he’s just high out of his mind all the time.
Yeah how the hell do you manage to have weed in a place like this?
We’ve got a small group of people living nearby. If you can promise not to put any of them in a coma you can come back with us when he wakes up.
(Carter looks over at Eli. Eli stares back at her bewildered. Carter rolls her eyes at him.)
The kid was a fuckin junkie before shit went south. Apparently, his conspiracy theories were enough for him to build a bunker. He was growing out of it for a while. Shit comes in handy now a-days.
(shocked) So, you’re telling me, you have a place to grow things nearby and you’re using it for weed?
Yes. (pauses. Eli stares back stunned. Sprocket begins to stir)
Look it’s not like we don’t use it to grow anything else. It’s just one of the few damned things that still grows on this planet. Every so often we can get something else out of it, but this shit keeps us sane so we keep it around.
If you don’t like it that’s fine you don’t have to come.
(Carter stands up and grabs Sprocket at the shoulders shaking him. His head jerks around confused about where he is, nose bleeding. Carter yanks him to his feet)
Come on sleeping beauty lets go.
(starts to walk off up the set toward a hidden door. Sprocket begins to follow kicking Eli as he passes)
(Eli stands up dropping the flowers. He stammers. Carter pauses on the steps and looks back at him. Sprocket walks into her.)
Eli. My name’s Eli.
Come along Eli.
(Eli, Carter and Sprocket exit)
(Asher comes down set to where their interaction occurred.)
God, damn it Carter.
(Asher, upset, stands staring after them)