Hey, don’t mind me popping in this morning, I saw that a lot of the other people involved in the 28 plays later project are posting their plays online and I thought. What an awesome idea! So I’ll be popping my plays up on here for you guys to have a read. I’ll pop them in a separate post in case that’s not what you are into, or if that’s all you are into you can just look at that post, easy peesy lemon squeezy!
So for challenge one we were given the inspiration prompt of ’19:28′, we could do with that as we wished. So without further ado here is my entry. It could suck, or be cliché, it might be awesome, I’ll leave that up to you to decide. Its the first play I’ve ever written and I am happy with it. Feel free to let me know your opinions in the comments section.
1st February 2017
Laura (late teens/early twenties)
Vicar (Late Thirties)
Late afternoon. The stage is bare except a mound of dirt stage centre, a young woman, Laura, stands by the dirt, dressed in black holding a black umbrella. She is crying and staring intently at the dirt.
Laura: (quietly repeating under her breath) 19:28, 19:28, 19:28, 19:28, 19:28
A vicar enters, see’s Laura and walks up to her.
Vicar: Laura? Laura?
Laura turns around, sees the vicar and forces a smile.
Laura: Hello father
Vicar: I know this is hard for you, especially hard. Your father was a great man and he loved you dearly. At times like this it serves us to remember the person as they were, the memories we shared with them and the way they impacted our lives for the greater.
Laura looks back at the earth.
Laura: I can’t do that; all I can see is… (unable to finish she starts mouthing 19:28 again)
Vicar: He wouldn’t want this for you. He would want you to build on the work you did together, to continue your recovery.
Laura doesn’t move, as if she hasn’t heard him, still repeating 19:28.
Vicar: I had the privilege of being there, with him, near the end and his only desire was for you to continue to heal.
Laura looks up, shocked.
Laura: Continue? Continue to heal? Father, my recovery can’t continue. This isn’t a relapse I’m battling; my dad is dead. He’s gone. This isn’t about battling old demons, this is about me staring into my entire fucking future without him! How can I continue, when I haven’t started!
The vicar looks at her, with compassion.
Vicar: He has gone yes but the ones we love never truly leave us. They are part of us always. The lessons we learnt and the love we had is imprinted on us. Remember what he taught you Laura, he brought you into the house of God for salvation and in turn he is in the eternal house of God and he has his salvation. Continue to walk the path he set you on.
Laura nods, tears falling down her face.
Vicar: (nodding) 19:28.
The Vicar takes Laura by the hand and leads her off stage.
The stage is now set for Laura’s bedroom. It is dimly lit, her room is simple a bed, a bed side table with a lamp that is lit. There are clothes strewn across the floor. On her bed, we see a Bible open and next to it a knife.
Laura enters in pants and a vest, she is carrying a bottle of vodka and taking sips from it. Her bare legs show scars, many scars all healed but still quite fresh. She sits on the bed, picks up the knife and lays it in her lap.
crying gently, she closes her eyes and begins to rock gently while repeating 19:28, she starts soft but gets louder until she is shouting
Laura: 19:28, 19:28, 19:28, 19:28, 19:2819:2819:2819:2819:2819:28!
She throws the knife across the room
Laura: I can’t’ do this dad, not without you. I know you were only trying to help by telling me but how am I supposed to deal with this? I already have enough guilt about what I did and what I still want to do. I put those rules there, me. I had it covered and when I break them I only have to hate myself but I hate you now. I hate you for putting this on me and by the way if God is so amazing why the fuck are you dead?! If you were so righteous and true why the hell did he take you from me like that! If God is all seeing and fucking wise he must have had a reason for wanting you dead and I’ve figured it out. It’s because I don’t deserve to be here, I shouldn’t be. I’m broken, I was born broken and I will always be broken and anything I touch is doomed and now this! This! Fucking 19:28?! I’m going crazy! Oh, and FYI I already have tattoos so I’m screwed either way!!
Laura takes a massive swig of her Vodka, then rummages around in her clothes on the floor until she finds a box of painkillers, she feverishly starts popping the pills out of the pack, until they are empty, she scoops them up and takes them with her vodka.
Laura: There you go problem solved! 19:28 is all good now dad, your precious rule is adhered too! I’m sure that it says somewhere that I can’t do this either but as you never bothered to tell me that, I don’t give a shit, hell can’t be any worse than this! This is fucking hell, I’m living it! I don’t care, I don’t care
Laura suddenly feels incredibly sick, she runs to the bathroom (off stage) we hear her throwing up and then a bang. There is a knock at the door, no answer. The door opens and it is the vicar.
Vicar: Laura? (he looks around, sees the empty pills and the knife) Laura?!
He runs into the bathroom
Off I need an ambulance to 12b knights drive immediately, my friend has overdosed.
Day. The stage is now a hospital room, Laura is sat up, bible in her lap. She looks rough.
Laura: Hello Father
Vicar: How are you feeling today?
Laura: Pretty much crap. I just wanted to say thank you.
Vicar: You are welcome, I’m just happy, you want to say thank you.
Laura: I failed him, he wanted me to be better and I’m not.
Vicar: Your dad wanted you to be better for you, he wanted you to have the life you deserve, until you can see that you do deserve it, that this isn’t all there is, nothing will change. You can’t want to get better for him, you have to want it for yourself.
Laura: I know. Being here is helping me see I don’t want this, I don’t want to die, I just can’t keep living this way.
Vicar: You know why your father told you 19:28 wasn’t to try to impose religion on you, or rules. He wanted you to have something that would help you, that would remind you, nobody is worth hurting yourself over. The pain you feel is normal, he wanted you not to run from the pain but to express it, so you didn’t have to fall back into old patterns. He just wanted to give you something to remember when you feel so trapped, a reminder there are other options.
Laura: Yeah, I think I can understand that now. He knew he was dying and he didn’t want to be my excuse. I have two weeks left here, when I am out can I come see you?
Vicar: Off course
Laura: Don’t get me wrong I’m not converting or anything, it would just be nice to have someone to talk to.
Vicar: (smiling) I promise I won’t try to convert you. I will though, if you don’t mind, remind you from time to time of this (He reaches over and picks the bible and reads) “Leviticus 19:28, You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord”
Laura: I might ignore the tattoo thing, it’s a bit too late anyway (Laura smiles and holds up her wrist which has a rose on it)
Vicar: As I understand it, the bible was written by a lot of old guys, what do they know about tattoos?
Laura looks shocked
Laura: Father! (in mock outrage)
Vicar: Well I best leave you to your rest, I’ll come back tomorrow to see how you are. (smiling) Oh and I’d appreciate it if you kept the whole ‘what does the bible know thing’ between us, the church tends to be quite strict on the whole bible issue.
Laura: I don’t know what you’re talking about!
The vicar exits. Laura closes the bible and puts it in her bedside drawer. She looks up and smiles
Laura: I love you dad, 19:28, I promise.