Well, sort of - I'm trying to work it a little more solidly in, it's referenced at the beginning and end. I'm wondering - what are some more parellels that can be drawn between Deep Space Exploration and "Little Bunny Foo Foo".
LITTLE COSMONAUT FOO FOO
Nikolai - Male, 25-40, grizzled and world-weary.
Nikolai #2 - Same, but doesn't have to look physically similar, as long as he can play the same character in similar way.
Alexei - Male, 25-40, optimistic and idealistic.
Alexei #2 - Same, but doesn't have to look physically similar, as long as he can play the same character in similar way.
Alexei and Nikolai, two cosmonauts, are walking on the surface of an asteroid, wearing space suits. Alexei wields a scanner and is waving it around taking readings.
Alexei: (speaking into transmitter mounted in his helmet) Good Fairy - Good Fairy, do you read? Our survey is complete. Asteroid RT-78-niner – no precious metals – nothing of note. We're ready for pickup.
Nikolai: Not a moment too soon – I'm running low on O2.
Alexei: Same here.
The two pause for a moment, Alexei takes the respite to look up and survey the stars.
Alexei: I never get used to it. Hah, Nikolai! My God - look at the thing! It's so vast.
Nikolai: Yes, Alexei. Vast.
Alexei: So many stars.
Nikolai: There's a lot. At least twenty.
Alexei shoots Nikolai an annoyed look.
Nikolai: Look, we've been out here for ten years. Yeah, I used to to get really, really excited about space. But all those things that you get excited about - they're the same things that drive you insane after six months. How many stars are there? What answer is more conducive to a man's sanity: five-hundred billion billion or twenty? There's about twenty stars out there and you're not going to convince me otherwise.
Alexei: You weren't always like this, Nikolai. You used to - what was that you used to sing? When you were on the moon, hopping around in your suit.
Nikolai: I don't remember.
Alexei: I remember - you would hop around in your suit and sing -
Nikolai: I was different man back then.
Alexei: 'Little bunny foo foo/
Alexei: Hopping through the forest/ Picking up -
Nikolai: Alexei!I said I was a different man back then! (Pause.) That was my favorite song as a young boy. I would spend all day singing - singing - that song as I hopped through the forest and bopped field mice on the head. But my mother - she didn't like it - she wouldn't allow me - one day she says to me, "Nikolai, You're 23 - maybe you shouldn't be spending so much time with field mice - maybe you should spend some time with some nice young women instead?" And I say, "'But Mom, Women don't like to be bopped on the head." And then she says -"Nikolai! If I catch you bopping field mice on the head one more time, I'm going - I'm going -"
Alexei: What, Nikolai?
Nikolai: She said she would turn me into a cosmonaut.
Alexei: Oh. (Pause.) I went to the Academy. That's how I became a cosmonaut.
Nikolai: Yes - the roads in this life are so winding, strange that they would lead us both to the same point. And after she turned me into a cosmonaut - yes - I would hop around on the moon and sing - sing - that song. But then I came to a grim realization - I realized -
Alexei: What's that, Nikolai?
Nikolai: That there are no field mice on the moon.
Alexei: That's right. There are no field mice on the moon.
Nikolai: It's enough to drive a man insane.
Alexei: Did you expect there to be field mice?
Nikolai: No - No - It's just... I've grown so bitter since then.
Alexei: Looks like our pickup is here.
The low roar of thrusters can now be heard.
Alexei: That left engine exhaust – is it supposed to be that color?
Nikolai: No, No. I don't think so.
The two cosmonauts are bathed in a brief wash of light. They both sit in stunned silence.
Nikolai: Our spaceship exploded.
Alexei: That's right. Our spaceship did just explode.
Nikolai: Well, fuck.
Alexei: How much oxygen have you got?
Nikolai: Seven to Ten Minutes.
Alexei: I think the air is breathable.
Alexei: Whenever I'm watching Science Fiction on TV - they always go, "I think the air is breathable", and take off their helmets and the air is breathable.
Nikolai: That's so the audience can see the actors' faces! Dickhead, we're practically in deep space.
Alexei: I'm going to try it.
Alexei removes helmet and sucks in some air.
Alexei: The air is breathable.
Alex: No, seriously, it is.
Nikolai removes his helmet. Nikolai gasps horrifically before his head explodes in a fine red mist due to explosive decompression.
A third astronaut, Nikolai #2, enters.
Nikolai #2: Is that you, Alexei?
Alexei: Who is that?
Nikolai #2: It's me! Nikolai!
Alexei: (referring to the corpse) That's Nikolai. He said he was Nikolai.
Nikolai #2: No, I'm Nikolai
Alexei: Hold on.
Alexeiwaves around the scanner and takes a reading.
Alexei: Just as I thought. We've stumbled into an anomaly. An anomaly among anomalies.
Nikolai #2: What sort of anomaly?
Alexei: Some sort of psychic - field - hmmm - sort of like in "Ghostbusters" when Gozer says "Choose the form of the Destructor!"and whatever they think of will show up and Dan Aykroyd can't help but think of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, and then he appears and - well, you know -
Nikolai #2: No. I'm Russian. So I've never seen "Ghostbusters".
Alexei: That's right. I'm Russian too. So I've haven’t seen it either. (Pause.) If only we had seen "Ghostbusters" - If only we knew who Dan Aykroyd was.
Nikolai: A lot. At least five-hundred billion billion.
Alexei: What? That didn't make any sense.
Nikolai #2: You're right - it didn't. I don't know why I just said that.
Alexei glances at scanner.
Alexei: I - I think time is also going out of joint. 'A lot. At least five-hundred billion billion' - I think that's something you'll say later on - in the future.
Nikolai #2: Why would I say that?
Alexei glances at the scanner.
Alexei: It doesn't say.
Nikolai #2: 'A lot. A least five-hundred billion billion.' Strange. (Pause.) Why aren't you wearing a helmet?
Alexei: The air is breathable.
Nikolai: Are you sure?
Alexei checks the scanner.
Alexei: No, wait.
Alexei gasps horrifically before his head explodes in a fine red mist due to explosive decompression.
Nikolai #2: Alexei!
A fourth astronaut, Alexei #2, enters.
Alexei #2: Is that you, Nikolai?
Nikolai #2: Yes. (referring to the corpse) This is also Nikolai.
Alexei #2: But you're Nikolai.
Nikolai #2: Yes. (referring to the other corpse) This is also Alexei.
Alexei #2: But I'm Alexei.
Nikolai #2: Yes.
Alexei #2: How much oxygen have you got?
Nikolai #2: Seven to Ten minutes.
Alexei #2: I think the air is breathable.
Nikolai gestures to the two corpses.
Alexei #2:Never mind. Well in any event I'm not waiting here to die.
Nikolai #2: What do you propose?
Alexei #2: Let's see what's on the other side of this asteroid
Nikolai #2: We were just – Alright. Alright. Let's set out. (referring to the two corpses) Those guys are creeping me out anyways.
During the following, stagehands move rocks and boulders across the stage to give the illusion of movement while Alexei and Nikolai march in place.
Alexei #2: Those rocks have legs. Why do those rocks have legs?
Nikolai #2: Fuck if I know.
They continue to march and Nikolai decides he can't take anymore of these legged rocks. He strikes one with his fist. It groans audibly in pain.
Nikolai #2: Creepy fucking rocks.
Nikolai #2: We're here. Has our situation improved?
Alexei #2: No.
They now notice that the two corpses are still in their original position.
Nikolai #2: Did they follow us?
Alexei#2: My God...
Nikolai #2: Don't make any sudden movements. Don't let them know that we've noticed.
Alexei #2: Walk slowly over there.
Alexei indicates where. The two march slowly in place, the rocks move relative to them. They look over their shoulders and see that the corpses are still there. The move a bit farther - rocks move relative to them, look back again, corpses are still there.
Nikolai #2: I hate space.
Alexei #2: It's just - Strange that they would follow us around like that. Hmmmmm...
Nikolai: What are you "hmmmm...."ing about?
Alexei#2: Do you believe in ghosts, Nikolai?
Alexei #2: You said yourself, that one's Nikolai, but you're Nikolai, and that one's Alexei, but I'm Alexei And they keep following us. Like we're tied to them -
Nikolai #2: And you said it was an anomaly – it's the anomaly. I don't want to be wandering all over this rock for eternity. (Pause.) We're not ghosts.
Alexei #2: How can we be sure?
Nikolai #2: I – um – (Pause.) Oxygen – we've been using oxygen! We wouldn't be breathing -
Alexei #2: Wait - wait - I think I've figured it all out -
Alexei's suit beeps.
Nikolai #2: What was that?
Alexei #2: I'm out.
Alexei sinks to his knees.
Alexei #2: I'm weak, I can't – I'm blind or something – I can't see.
Nikolai #2: I -
Alexei #2: What do you see? What are you looking at?
Nikolai #2: I see stars – a lot of stars.
Alexei #2: How many?
Nikolai #2: A lot. At least five-hundred billion billion.
Alexei #2and Nikolai #2: (in unison) Oh.
Nikolai #2: Yeah.
Nikolai #2: What a way to go - what a way - out here - all alone. Fuck. Fuck! I didn't want to die like this. If only had something familiar - something to remind me of home.
Nikolai starts nervously humming "Little bunny foo-foo". A small field mouse enters. It squeaks excitedly. Nikolai laughs, overjoyed. He hops over to it and grasps it in his palm, then tickles it with his free hand. The field mouse squeaks again. Nikolai laughs. He lightly touches its head and says -
Nikolai #2: Bop. Bop.
- and laughs again.The field mouse squeaks merrily in response to this. His suit beeps to let him know he is out of oxygen.
Uploaded a new draft - added some backstory to make the field mouse more meaningful to Nikolai's character, provided some explanation for the workings of the anamoly, and made the field mouse not explode at the end.
I thought this was pretty funny and fresh! Especially, "the moving rocks and corpses" bit, but I'm not sure I really understood the anomaly thing too well. Is it a time machine thing or more a question of regeneration? Still a funny piece in general though! Very witty dialogue.
Thanks for bringing up that point about the anomoly. In truth, I don't know if I have the rules and structure of what exactly this anomoly is or does worked out to a large degree. Currently, it's sort of a catch-all plot device that allows me to sandbox and play around with surrealism. I had this vague idea that it would be feeding off the thoughts and actions of the two protagnists, they think of something say, thier lack of oxygen, or a field mouse and it manifests. Yet, this idea is broken in several places, the time-out-of-joint is an example.
I had initially planned to hand-wave it, basically "strange stuff is going to happen, no real explanation will be provided, just deal with it and enjoy it." However, such hand-waving is undermined when Alexei says, "I think I figured it all out -" because that signals to the audience that there might be some underlying logic to it and then expends mental energy trying to figure that out when there is really is no real answer.
The main problem I had with the script so far was that the middle part with the anomoly doesn't really seem to hang together with the beginning and end - it doesn't contribute to any sort of real arc, and establishing some ground rules for the anomaly might actually go a long way towards solving that problem. Thanks, RTurco!
Also, update, since originally posting this, this short was picked up for production by a Chicago Theatre company called "Hobo Junction" for their annual short festival, the theme this year being Sci-Fi. They recieved 100 submissions for 7 slots. It'll be going up sometime in June. I'm excited, but won't be able to go see it in person. :/