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Author Topic: First scene of Five Minutes More  (Read 3852 times)

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Offline canadian

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First scene of Five Minutes More
« on: January 13, 2005, 09:27:27 AM »
Something a little different for all of you out there. Here's the first scene of a script I'm currently writing for the stage:

Five Minutes More
by Donna Gagnon


Daniel      in his early 60’s, polished, well dressed, solid and well-built, soft spoken

Jessica      in her late 40’s, artistic, antsy, energetic, never still


Jessica’s rustic kitchen in her northern Ontario farmhouse (built in the 1930’s).


The present. Late afternoon in autumn.

Act 1, Scene 1

A modern rock song is being played in the blackout. As lights fade up, we see Daniel’s back. He’s turning up the volume on Jessica’s kitchen stereo. The music is now very loud.

Daniel is dressed in a black leather jacket, black turtleneck, dark khaki pants, black loafers.

He straightens, turns to look around the room. After a moment, he begins to examine, slowly and carefully (almost absent mindedly), things in the kitchen – stuff stuck on the fridge with magnets; opens cupboards, closes them; lifts canister lids; etc.

This is not his kitchen.

He returns to stereo, turns it off. Sits at kitchen table which is covered in magazines, books, papers. He doesn’t touch anything ...  he listens to the loud hum of the refrigerator until it stops.

DANIEL:   (puts both hands on table, closes his eyes, sighs) Jessica. (slams table with his both hands) Damn you. This place is a mess. Vanity Fair. National Geographic. The Echo. Elizabeth Rex. If We Are Women (he picks up each of these items and drops them on floor, one by one) ...  bills, bank statement (holds and looks at this closely for a moment) God. (puts it in his pocket) ...  steel roofs, Bigley shoe sale, Stratford ...  (continues dropping stuff on floor until all that remains is one quilted placement and a candle)

Daniel rises, quickly, takes off his jacket, looks for somewhere to hang it and then drapes it over the back of the chair. Rolls up his sleeves, runs hot water in the sink and begins to do the dishes.

DANIEL:   I hate this. It’s so bloody wrong. How the hell did this ever happen?

(refrigerator begins humming again, loudly)

DANIEL:   Stop it! (bangs the fridge with the palm of his wet hand)

He dries his hand with a towel, puts on another CD, finishes up the dirty dishes, puts them away in the cupboards, sings to the song, begins to weep. He sits at the table, his head in his hands. The song ends. He looks up, fishes in the pocket of his jacket for a lighter, lights candle on table.

DANIEL:   Well. Maybe in this light, you’ll never really be gone. (he leans back in the chair) All those goddamn candles. In all those motel rooms. And me not paying any bloody attention ...

Sound of main door opening. Jessica enters.

DANIEL:   Who ... ? Jessica ...  ?

JESSICA:   (enters, struggling to carry in a bushel basket filled with apples) Hey! Did you leave these out on the porch? There’s supposed to be frost tonight, y’know.

DANIEL:   (stands ...  slowly)

JESSICA:   (placing basket DSL) That rain ...  it’s brought all the leaves down. The road’s really slick ...  (turns) Daniel?

DANIEL:   You’re ...

JESSICA:   What?

DANIEL:   Where ...  ? (collects himself, goes to her)

JESSICA:   Hey, you’re all sweaty. (hugs him) Did ya just get here?

DANIEL:   I washed the dishes ...

JESSICA:   Ah, honey. Thanks! Did ya cook, too?

DANIEL:   (stares at her, touches her hair)

JESSICA:   Oooo ...  guess not ...  howz about an appetizer then? (kisses him)

DANIEL:   You’re ...  so warm.

JESSICA:   Hot flash. (laughs and gives him an even bigger kiss) Well ...  (pulling away), your mind might be willin’ but the flesh sure isn’t ...  Let me make you some supper. Then we’ll take another stab at it, okay?

DANIEL:   There’s a drip ...

JESSICA:   What?

DANIEL:   ...  in the sink.

JESSICA:   Oh, yeah. Been that way ever since I moved in.

DANIEL:   And the refrigerator hums.

JESSICA:   It does?

DANIEL:   It’s really quite loud ...

JESSICA:   Daniel, this house is full of creaks and groans. When the wind blows, it’s kinda like you’re on a ship in the middle of the ocean. Many a night’s I’ve gone to sleep feelin’ like I’m on a boat. It’s kinda cool.

DANIEL:   You never had a nice place.

JESSICA:   A nice Place? Ya mean with triple paned windows and aluminum siding?

DANIEL:   Yes ...

JESSICA:   And a furnace so ya don’t need to worry about the price of Hydro goin’ up?

DANIEL:   You never had enough money ... 

JESSICA:   (laughs) Money? What the hell is that?

DANIEL:   I could have given you that ...

JESSICA:   What are you talkin’ about? Drips, hums, money? What did you do today?

DANIEL:   (pauses) I came to clean up your house.

JESSICA:   (laughs) You? Clean my house? What’s wrong with yours?

DANIEL:   (looks out window) Where’s your car?

JESSICA:   (distracted, beginning to make dinner) In the driveway.

DANIEL:   No. It’s not.

JESSICA:   Yes it is. I drove ...  (pauses)

DANIEL:   Where did you go today, Jessica?

JESSICA:   To work.

DANIEL:   And then what?

JESSICA:   Then ...  I opened the store. There’s this huge crack in the front window, ya know. Some kid smacked it with his bike last week. And John hasn’t had it fixed. I’m afraid it’s gonna spread, ya know?

DANIEL:   So ...  busy day?

JESSICA:   Not really. After Labour Day, traffic really drops. No more tourists.

DANIEL:   (blows out candle on kitchen table) Jessica ...

JESSICA:   Hmmmm?

DANIEL:   You had a car accident.

JESSICA:   What?

DANIEL:   Two days ago.

JESSICA:   No. I didn’t ...  two days ago?

DANIEL:   Yes.

JESSICA:   (turning away from kitchen counter, looking at him) What the hell are you talking about?

DANIEL:   On the highway. You hit a deer. The car rolled. Sit down.

JESSICA:   But ...  this is nuts ...

DANIEL:   (rises, takes her arm, pushes her down, roughly, into the chair he has just vacated) You’re not supposed to be ...

JESSICA:   What ...  ?

DANIEL:   Here! (paces) What is going on? Look ...  I called you. Two days ago. At work. Remember?

JESSICA:   Yeah ...  you said we’d meet at McKeck’s ...

DANIEL:   And you never showed up!

JESSICA:   What? Of course I ...

DANIEL:   No! I sat there until the place closed. Ryan started vacuuming. Hardly let me finish my pint. I was pissed. And pissed off.

JESSICA:   But I know I ...

DANIEL:   No, Jessica. You never showed up ...  (goes to drawer, pulls out roll of duct tape)

JESSICA:   Daniel, this is insane. If I said I’d meet you there, then why …?

DANIEL:   (pulls off a big piece of duct tape, rips, stands behind her and smacks it over Jessica’s mouth) Just shut up! Shut up! (grabs her hands and holds them behind the chair) I don’t want to hear you. Just stop ...

JESSICA:   (struggles, mumbles)

DANIEL:   (menacing) Just sit there. Still. Okay? I don’t want to hurt you.

JESSICA:   (nods)

DANIEL:   (opens lower cupboard, brings out nylon rope, begins to tie her hands) I am going to talk… And I don’t want to get interrupted. Now. Here’s what’s happening. You died, Jessica. You were driving home from work. Coming to meet me at the bar. It was raining. And the road was wet, it was windy. The leaves were wet and they all came down on the pavement. It was slippery. The curve over by the Hydro station, you went around and there was a deer. You couldn’t have known ...  you didn’t see it. And you hit it. The car flipped over. Twice. It was in the ditch. Way down in the ditch.

(opens a bottle of wine, pours, drinks)

And the next day ...  it snowed. And I was so mad ...  you never showed up. I thought ...  you had left me again. I went home from the bar and I drank some more. Passed out in the chair. And I didn’t know ... 

I called the store. You were already dead. They knew. I didn’t.

(pours more wine)

They didn’t even know who I was. It’s like … Jessica, I came here ... three days ago? Rented that godforsaken place next door. It’s got bats. Bat shit stinking up the walls at night. It’s cold. All the heat gets sucked right outside. I hate it here. But I came … back for you. My wife, my kids … they think I’ve gone mad.

Damn it. (pause) 

Japanese food, remember? Where we went the first time? Kirin beer and sushi. God, I loved the way you frowned at all the stuff on your plate! But you ate it. Your kiss … I could taste the wasabi …

I’ve been such a bastard all my life. I moved …sold our house, once. Goddamn dog next door. Barking every bloody minute. It was either move or get a gun. I woulda shot the little shit. And I lied … to my wife, myself … but never to you. Never! It took me too long to tell you … but what I said was true.

(puts both hands around Jessica’s neck)

I love you. Nothing else has ever been so real. You are everything … my heart, my hands … (squeezes)

You wouldn’t listen to me, would you? Not when I told you. Not when I promised I’d take you anywhere. You just ran. Away.

(removes his hands)

And now you’re dead. Gone. Leaving me here. Alone. Trying to sleep in a bat infested hell hole …

(drops to his knees beside Jessica, places his head in her lap) I can still feel you. The heat. This is home …

(jumps up)

This is insane. I’ve gone mad. (goes over to stereo, hits play button, loud rock music fills the room) You’re not here. They told me you were dead. Why? (suddenly remembering) I brought apples. We always talked about apples. You liked them. And I promised, didn’t I? And it wasn’t a lie. (moves to bring apple basket closer to table) The Yeats poem: (he removes an apple from the basket as he finishes reciting each line, places it on the table in front of Jessica; he begins gently but smashes the last one down with considerable force)

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands.
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

He turns up the volume on the stereo, walks over to stand in front of Jessica. After a moment, he rips the duct tape off her mouth. She screams, barely heard over the music. Blackout.

End of Scene.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2005, 10:01:00 AM by canadian »
If people stand in a circle long enough, they will eventually begin to dance. -- George Carlin

Offline horrorcrafter

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Re: First scene of Five Minutes More
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2005, 11:10:33 AM »
I'm afraid I don't understand this.  First of all, I deeply admire how you use dialogue, and I wish that I could do that so well.  But is she dead or what?  And I don't rightly know that this is horror.  Maybe it will get scary later.  Hoping so,

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