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Act Two - Scene One

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Evening.
ANDREW is sitting at his computer desk, awaiting the results of the latest Jurisfiction vote.  A dim, solitary light provides just enough visibility from CS.  He wears the same clothes from the previous act.
ANDREW types a few words and occasionally clicks his mouse before staring at the screen for a period of five to ten seconds.  Suddenly, ANDREW lets out a very audible cry of joy and faces the audience.

ANDREW.  It has come to my attention that the latest book has been chosen!

Pause for effect, and hopeful applause.

(his eyes moving between the different members of the audience).  And it is you who have caused this . . .  this . . . this, monstrosity!  (accusingly) What do you plan to do about it?  Did you even consider the consequences of your actions, or did you just blindly click on whichever option felt right at the time.

Some part of this event has clearly affected ANDREW so he sits down, cross-legged, in the centre of the stage with his back to the audience.  He cries.

His sobs increase.  Fifteen minutes pass.  He turns around, clears his throat, and addresses the remaining members of the audience.


(jumping to his feet).  Aha!  So, you've decided to stay!  That's super!  No, I mean it!  You guys are great!  Man, if you guys could see my words in text form, I doubt the presence of exclamation points at the end of every sentence in this paragraph would surprise you in the slightest!  If I could just harness the love I feel for you all right now you would all be struck by such awe that . . . 

(composing himself) Ah, so where were we?  Yes, the decision!  Well, um, it is my distinguished duty to inform you of the answer - the answer to the question that has boggled scientists for billions of years now, for those of you who came in late - I mean, really, didn't you hear the door chimes?  Did you think your conversation in the hallway was more important than . . . ah, but please excuse me, the playwright seems to have made my character one of easy distract.

ANDREW looks upwards, scratches his chin, and paces around the stage.

. . . now we are on the topic of the playwright, I begin to wonder his intentions for me.  This, of course, must be a common train of thought for characters written to a sudden awareness of their fictionality.  And the questions of existence and self awareness that naturally follow: are these common natural progressions of writing, or am I , in fact, thinking of my own accord.  Am I human because I believe I am?  Are you, the members of the audience eager, or confused, enough to stick around after my fifteen minutes of allowed crying time, any more real then I?

His pace suddenly stops, conveniently, once he is facing forward and on centre stage.

And what, if my sole purpose here is to introduce the next Jurisfiction book, happens to me once that information has been announced?  Do I cease to be?  Do I disappear as instantaneously as the mystery surrounding the announcement, once spoken, will?

(more talking to himself now than the audience) But what if my announcement was mistrusted?  If they were uncertain as to whether I spoke the truth, would my purpose as a character have been adequately fulfilled, enough to grant me my freedom, while simultaneously leaving enough mystery surrounding my words as to require my living for just a little longer in the mind of the playwright?

If I lie, or if I suggest the possibility of deception, I may just save my own life.

(addressing the audience now)  May I have your attention please?  It is my duty, nay, my privilege to announce that this month's Jurisfiction book is . . . (his eyes look around the room, as if in thought) um . . . how about . . . You Shall Know Our Velocity, by Dave Eggers.  I'd say that works nicely.

ANDREW's attempt to deceive the audience is not received well.  Following various cries of irritation from the old ladies in aisle C, he is viciously, and fatally, beaten by the unruly mob.  As luck would have it, once their havoc has obliterated three major cities and four day care centres they happen upon an all-night ice-cream parlour with relaxed health regulation procedures and they drop dead from food poisoning.

The moral of this story is this: If Harold chooses the lime-cappuccino-mango-boysenberry-swirl-waffle-cone-delight and you had your eyes on the chocolate-apple-caviare-double-lemon-sensation, don't just follow the crowd.

It then dawns on the playwright that some information regarding the announcement was not relayed before the untimely death of
ANDREW.  He decides against writing in a whole new character just to ask the other members of the group when they would actually like to meet, or to inform them that four copies of the chosen title - and the validity of the curious announcement - are available from the Marrickville library Service.  Instead, he retires to his bed, holds Edgar tightly, and drifts off to sleep . . . unaware that by writing himself into the notes of his own play, he will almost certainly be tempted to kill himself off by scene four.

Lights fade.
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