Today's play was about beginnings. Again I've actually got a quite a big idea for this piece but have had to keep it to a shorter piece due to time constraints (and having a friend stay for the weekend. Can't spend it hiding on my laptop. Or can I...). Anyway here we go.
This Time It’s War
By Jeremy Linnell
The living room of an upstairs flat somewhere in the UK. Selina sits at a table, on a laptop. The tv is on but muted, and music is playing quietly on the stereo. After a few minutes Kylie enters.
Kylie: Have you been watching the news?
Selina: Not recently, no. Is it trending on facebook?
Kylie: No, it’s barely on TV.
Selina: What do you mean?
Kylie: Turn it over.
Selina picks up the remote and turns over the tv.
Kylie: You’ve got to read between the lines.
Selina: Just seems like a normal news report to me. Nothing that serious.
Kylie: Look at their eyes.
Selina: They look…scared?
Kylie: Yeah. No matter what they’re reporting on all of them look the same. Got that scared shitless look.
Selina: What’s it like outside?
Kylie: Take a look for yourself.
Selina goes and pulls back the curtain, taking a peek outside.
Selina: Looks perfectly normal.
Kylie: Jesus Selina, what have I been training you for if you’re not going to use it. Look.
Kylie joins her at the window and points outside.
Kylie: Man there smoking. Cigarette in his mouth. He’s been there 20 minues. Same fag between his lips. It’s not even lit.
Kylie: Car the other side of the road? I had a peek under the hood a minute ago. No engine. It’s a decoy. Why?
Selina: I don’t know…
Kylie: Come on. Think! Why would someone go to all the trouble of building a fake car and dumping it outside out flat?
Selina: They wouldn’t. Would they? I mean…it’s a lot of effort…
Kylie: Worth it though. To keep everything normal. A few dozen of those dotted about and it looks like our street is full.
Selina: Shit Kylie that’s clever. Who’d do that though?
Kylie: Jesus does it matter? Them. The great other. Gyppos. Jews. Pakis. Hell I wouldn’t put it past UKIP, or the fucking Hare Krishnas for all I know. At the end of it it’s the end of it. They’re making their move. Time up.
Selina: Who’s the smoker though?
Kylie: Triggerman. Jesus Sel, I’ve been telling you this shit for years. Eyes and ears. There’s always a sign.
Selina: I know but…shit Kylie I figured you’d pick ‘em up. I never worried.
Kylie whacks Selina across the face, splitting her lip.
Kylie: And what if the first thing that happens when that car explodes, or the sniper in the window over the road takes aim, or the dirty bomb detonates or the gas fills the air is I fucking die?
Selina rubs her mouth.
Selina: I’m sorry K. I just assumed you’d be there. You’re too smart to get caught out.
Kylie: What’s rule number one?
Selina: Be prepared for anything.
Selina: Yeah. Ok.
They both step away from the window. Selina sits and Kylie paces.
Kylie: OK Kylie. You’re ready for this. You prepared. Focus. Where’s our bug out bag?
Selina: Under the sink I think, behind the bleach.
Kylie: And the pipe bombs?
Kylie: Oh for….what now Kylie?
Selina: Well we were out of vinegar.
Selina: And I had fish and chips.
Selina: Well I remember you saying “First thing you gotta know babe is what you can use around the house to protect yourself. Glass tube of vinegar in a sealed pipe full of baking powder and you’ve got a pipe bomb”.
Selina: I popped open the ones in the bedroom so I could have vinegar. Used the baking powder to make your birthday cake too. You said it was nice.
Kylie: Ok…fine…I can deal with this. No bombs. OK.
Selina: You’re not mad at me are you K?
Kylie: Not at you exactly.
Selina: So you are mad.
Kylie: People never think it’s going to start. Not until it’s right outside their window.
Selina: You’re scaring me K. Please sit down.
Kylie: Can’t. Gotta think. Gotta fix this.
Selina: Let me help.
Selina stands up and walks out the flat, Kylie is too distracted to notice her.
Kylie: Yeah sure, sure. Come on Kylie, what’s plan B. Ammonia and bleach? That could work. Mustard gas could hit civvies though. Still. Kill or be killed really. Ok. That’ll work.
Kylie begins to rummage under the sink
Selina bounces back.
Selina: It’s sorted.
Kylie: What is.
Selina: The man. Outside.
Kylie: Shit Sel. I’m proud of you.
Selina: It wasn’t a problem.
Kylie: Didn’t think you had it in you.
Selina: Neither did I, but I wanted you to be proud of me.
Kylie: How did you do it?
Selina: Just walked right up to him.
Kylie: Damn girl that is ice cold.
Selina: Yeah it was kind of a touchy subject for him.
Kylie: I imagine getting killed is touchy for most people
Selina: Kylie! No! I didn’t kill him!
Kylie: Then what did you mean “deal with him”? You know this is life and death.
Selina: I just asked him why he was hanging around not smoking.
Kylie: For goodness sake Sel.
Selina: No it’s ok. He’s selling the big issue. Look
Selina hands Kylie a copy.
Selina (cont.) : And he’s trying to quit, but he likes how they feel in his mouth.
Kylie: You idiot.
Kylie: They’ll always have cover. I’ve told you that. Fuck.
Selina: He seemed nice.
Kylie: Well they’re hardly going to have the nutter who makes the bombs out there are they. They need nice to keep an eye on us.
Kylie: Yeah. Oh. And now
She is abruptly cut off. Suddenly chaos. Sirens. Bombs. Screaming.
Kylie: And now it starts.