More sillyness from yours truly. I'm snowed in and bored!
The usual critique will be welcome guys and gals.
Dip those arrows in poison and just let them fly!
Paul T (Castlecat7)
Working Title: A Day at The Office.
The curtain opens on an office scene. A glass screened office is shown at the rear of the stage right. It contains a desk, two chairs, one in front and one behind the desk. The rear wall stage left in this office is a very large picture window. Tabs behind the window show a skyscraper scene. We are obviously high in a tall building. There is a door stage left out of this rear office leading to the remainder of the stage depicting an ‘outer’ office with two desks and accompanying chairs. There are filing cabinets and assorted office equipment including a coffee machine (located stage left wall) and a Photostat machine and fax machine located on the stage right wall. There are entrances from both sides of the stage into this office.
When the curtain opens, we see John Grainger, sitting at his desk in the rear office, concentrating on some paper work before him. There is a couple minutes during which he sighs loudly a couple of times, shakes his head at what he is reading and uses a pen to strike out various passages in what he is reading.
Suddenly, there is a loud scream and a body falls past the picture window.
BODY: (Off stage). AHGGGGGGG!
John Grainger looks up from his work, jumps up and dashes to the window and looks to where the body fell.
John: What the hell…..! Oh my God!
He rushes out of his office panic stricken. Finding no body in the outer office he rushes off stage left calling for help.
There is a pause. Entering from stage right come Elsie Powell and Hilary Short.
Elsie: I have no idea what happened to him. I said ‘you can jump off the roof for all I care’ then I left him. I mean, it’s the oldest line in the book saying you’ve lost all your money and you’re going to be fired so life’s not worth living. They seem to think that’s going to get them into my knickers just like that. Huh! Takes more than a sob story to get access to my portfolio I can tell you.
Hilary: Too right. I expect a couple of drinks at least.
Elsie: (Giving Hilary a funny look) Yes. Well. However many drinks it takes the ‘I’ve nothing left to live for’ line doesn’t work on me!
The two women sit down at a desk each. They are now facing each other across the office. They each get busy at their desks. Eventually….
Elsie: You don’t really surrender after two drinks do you?
Hilary: Actually, it only takes one.
Hilary: Yes. Unfortunately I’ve got an allergy against alcohol. If I have a glass of wine I go from sweet and demure to rip roaring drunk within a few sips. When I say it only takes a couple of drinks what I mean is after one I’m anybody’s!
Elsie: Good grief girl. That’s appalling.
Hilary: I know. I can’t help it you know. It’s not in my character to just let anybody jump on me. It’s a medical problem.
Elsie: Oh I wasn’t being judgmental about your character. I was just thinking ‘poor you’. If you’re that drunk you obviously never remember any of it. Mind you. Sometimes that would be a blessing!
Hilary: It’s quite sad really. I’m twenty six and I haven’t really had a proper boyfriend.
Elsie: But I’ve seen you in the pub. You’re always surrounded by men. You seem very popular to me.
Hilary: (Hilary looks pointedly at Elsie.) Hello. In the pub. The home of alcohol.
Elsie: (Realising what she has said.) Ah! Yes! Of course. No wonder you’re surrounded in the pub. Sorry! Didn’t think! So what do you do?
Hilary: I have to have eyes in the back of my head. I don’t drink. Not even a coke. I can’t trust them. Men! How do you deal with them?
Elsie: Me? Oh it depends. The older ones sidle up to you and say ‘Well hello there. And where have you been hiding all my life?’ They’re easy. You just tell them that for the first twenty years you weren’t even born and the next ten you were in kindergarten. Then you’ve got your young executive. He’ll slide over say something like, ‘Haven’t seen you around here before. Mind you I don’t get much time at the top of the ladder for socializing.’ He’s easy too. Look deeply into his eyes and say, ‘Piss off.’ Works a treat.
Hilary: (Laughing) I couldn’t say that! You’re awful!
At that, John Grainger returns from stage left. He is accompanied by Michael Hamersley. Hamersley is an older man. He is one of the Company’s directors.
John: I can’t believe it. What the hell did he do it for?
Michael: I don’t know John. He wasn’t on the Board. There’s nothing that he was responsible for within the Company that could have caused him to do what he did. It has to be something in his personal life.
The two men become aware of the two women sitting at their desks.
John: Ah. Ladies. There you are. I’m afraid I have some bad news to impart. You’d better sit down. (He pauses then realizes that the two women are already seated.) Oh. Silly me. You’re sat already. Right then. Here goes. Er… I’ve never done this before. I’m not sure how to say it.
Michael: Get on with it John.
John: What? Oh yes. Here goes. Sean Timms, from sales, just threw himself off the roof and committed suicide. Splattered himself all across the car park.
Elsie is horrified at hearing this. She reacts by standing up and just allowing her mouth to drop open. Hilary on the other hand, emits a small scream, stands and puts her hands up in front of her face.
Michael: Very good John. Excellent people skills. Idiot!
John: Well he did! When you fall 48 floors onto your head, splatter is a very good adjective to use.
Hilary: Oh my God. How terrible. Why did he do it?
Michael: Well. As John and I were discussing there’s nothing here at work that stands out so it must have been something in his personal life. A woman most probably. Usually is.
As he says this, Hilary looks across at Elsie with a look of growing comprehension.
Hilary: Elsie! You don’t think…?
Elsie: What? No. Certainly not. Couldn’t be. Absolutely impossible. No. Never. Out of the question.
Michael: What’s out of the question? Elsie, do you know something?
Elsie: No. Nothing. Never. Not me. Impossible. Never met him. I know nothing.
John: Methinks she doth protesteth too much!
Michael: Come on girl. Give it up. What do you know that we don’t?
Elsie sits back down in her chair slowly.
Hilary: She told him to jump off the roof!
Elsie: What? I didn’t tell him to jump off the roof I only said I didn’t care if he did!
She puts her hands to cover her mouth realising what she has just said.
Michael: You don’t care that someone jumps off a roof 48 floors above a concrete car park? That’s a little callous even for a woman.
John: What did you say to him? What did you do?
Elsie: I didn’t do or say anything?
Michael: Well you must have done or said something. Guys just don’t hurl themselves of roofs for nothing.
Hilary: She didn’t want him to get in her knickers.
Both men take a double take at Hilary with this statement. They then look at each other then look back at Elsie.
John: There’s no answer to that.
Michael: There is but I’m not going to say it.
Elsie: It’s not like that. He made a pass at me yesterday and I just rejected him. What I said was just an expression. I didn’t think he’d actually go and jump off a roof!
There is a loud scream and another body drops past the picture window.
End scene one.
The scene is the same a few seconds later.
Michael: Oh my God! Who did you reject this time?
Michael and John both exit stage left. The two women rush to the picture window in John’s office and look down searching to see if they can see anything.
Hilary: Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!
Elsie: For goodness sake. Pull yourself together Hilary. Stop being such a wimp.
Hilary: A wimp? A wimp! In case you hadn’t noticed this is not your average day at the office. That was the SECOND body to throw itself off the roof in the last half an hour. I’m sorry if that seems to upset me slightly.
Elsie: OK. OK. I’m sorry. I’m just as stunned as you are with what’s happened but what I mean is that it doesn’t help matters by screaming and falling apart every time a body passes the window. We have to try to be strong.
Hilary pauses and stares at Elsie.
Hilary: You’re weird.
The two men return to the stage entering from stage left. They both enter. Stop together and stare at Elsie.
Michael: Stuart Talbot.
John: Stuart Talbot!
Elsie: Who is Stuart Talbot?
Michael: Not is. Was.
John: Do you, or rather, did you know Stuart Talbot?
Elsie: Never heard of him in my life. Who is, was or might be Stuart Talbot?
Michael: Stuart Talbot was the guy who went past the window on his way to join Sean Timms.
Hilary: Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my ..
Elsie: Oh shut up Hilary!
There is a silence as they all look at Elsie.
John: You have a very cold streak in you Elsie if you don’t mind my saying so.
Elsie: Actually I do mind John. Now, who the hell is Stuart Talbot and why did he throw himself off the roof?
Michael: Actually he didn’t.
Elsie: Didn’t what?
Michael: Didn’t actually throw himself off the roof.
Hilary: Yes he did. I saw him fall past the window.
Michael: Yes. He fell past the window but not from the roof. Stuart Talbot is or was one of the company’s maintenance staff. He was in the cradle cleaning the windows on the 47th floor when Sean Timms threw himself off the roof. Stuart Talbot was leaning out of the cradle trying to see what was happening below when he slipped and fell between the safety rails and fell out of the cradle. Nearly killed a policeman who was examining Sean Timms remains below in the car park.
Hilary: Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my …
All: Shut up Hilary!
Elsie: Good God. What a thing to happen. Poor man.
There is a pause as the four of them consider what has happened.
Elsie: Hang on a minute. I’ve just realized. You thought I’d rejected Stuart Talbot hence his throwing himself off the roof. Some work colleagues you lot are.
John: Well. We were just checking. You have to admit it’s not a regular occurrence for guys to throw themselves off a tall building. And when they do, a woman is usually involved and well, you had, by your own admission, just rejected the first guy.
Elsie: I told you that was just coincidence. A fluke. Movie stuff. Never happens in real life.
There is a scream and another body falls past the picture window of John’s office.
Elsie: Oh Hell!
End scene 2.
The scene is the same a few minutes later. The two men are absent and the two women are sitting at their desks with their heads in their hands.
Hilary: Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my …
Elsie: SHUT UP HILARY!
The two men enter from stage left. They both stop and stare at Elsie as they did before in scene 2.
Michael: Seth Thompson?
Elsie: Oh God. Not all this again!
Michael: Seth Thompson?
Elsie: No. No Seth Thompson. No Steve Talbot. Only Sean Timms.
John: (To Michael) Told you. Chances of her knowing Seth Thompson would be astronomical.
Michael: Well. Had to ask.
Elsie: Dare I ask? Who’s Seth Thompson?
Michael: Seth Thompson. Local anchor for Channel 6 News.
Hilary: What was he doing up on the roof?
Michael: Nothing. He wasn’t up there.
Hilary. Now you can’t tell me he was washing windows! I may be blonde but I’m not that stupid!
Michael: No. He wasn’t washing windows. In fact he wasn’t in or on the building at all. He was in the channel 6 news helicopter covering Sean’s suicide for the evening news bulletin when his safety belt snapped and he fell out of the helicopter. Running total is three so far in the car park.
Hilary: Oh my…
All: Shut up Hilary!
John: You know what’s amazing about all this. We’re the biggest motor insurance company in the city and so far, not one of the bodies has hit any of the cars in the car park and seeing as though it’s the company car park and all the vehicles are covered by us ….. (He tails off as he realizes the others are looking at him with distain.) What?
Michael: You’re an idiot John.
There is silence for a moment.
Michael: Well. I suggest that we all head for home. There won’t be any business done today that’s for certain. It must be some sort of grisly record. Three bodies inside of 45 minutes. All off the same building. Enough to send the CEO over the edge. (They all laugh nervously).
There is a scream and a body falls past the picture window in John’s office.
The only little thing I would change is John's line when he re-enters. In my opinion, he shouldn't have to say "Silly me. You've sat already." The humor should come out in the action as he pauses to reflect on what he said seconds ago.
Apart from that I think it's good. I wonder what the others have to say.