Theatre, arts, culture, politics, and snark from a practicing playwright and recovering journalist.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Bombardment, Episode 12: Worst Hangover of Your Life
Splattworks continues its presentation of Bombardment, a two-act drama by Steve Patterson. The author will attempt to post an installment each day, but, if events intercede, installments may occur a day or so apart. So please be patient.
ARETHA: You struck me!
CARMELITA grabs her hair and twists.
CARMELITA: Kneel! You want to stop the planes?
CARMELITA: You really want to stop the planes? Or just want to save your ass?
ARETHA: You're hurting me!
CARMELITA drops to her knees in front of ARETHA. She grabs both sides of her head.
CARMELITA: Shut up.
ARETHA: I can't with--
CARMELITA: Shut or die.
CARMELITA: Empty your head.
CARMELITA: It's been empty all your life. The only thing in there has been shoved inside, and you don't need it.
CARMELITA clamps her hand over ARETHA's mouth. She moves her face close. During her monologue, the noise of the planes slowly fades as bits of paper, glitter, and rose petals descend, or lights simulate a similar effect.
CARMELITA: Empty it. Close it down. Let the power ebb, the wheels slow. Gears grind. Stop. Ringing fades. Heat goes from metal. Ice blooms on factory windows. Snow falls. White flakes. Huge flakes. Circle in the wind. Flakes upon your face, eyes. Watch flakes descend. Are they falling? Maybe you’re rising. Blown here, blown there. Blown across the sky. You're falling and falling, one of millions, and you can't touch down.
ARETHA grows calm. CARMELITA takes her hand from ARETHA's mouth. The lights have become more naturalistic. All is silent.
ARETHA: Where are we?
CARMELITA: The real world.
CORNO moans, doubles over, and coughs. ARETHA goes to him. He's alive, but cannot speak. ARETHA helps him up, begins walking him around. PLACID stirs, groans, pulls himself up on all fours. CARMELITA helps him into an armchair.
CARMELITA: How you feel?
PLACID: Worst hangover of my life.
ARETHA and CORNO face one another. They caress one another, movements mirrored. They embrace. PLACID puts his hand on CARMELITA's. She picks up her apron and slips it around ARETHA. Puts PLACID’s hat on CORNO. No response from ARETHA or CORNO. CARMELITA draws a pistol from her coat pocket. She shoots ARETHA and CORNO, killing them. PLACID crosses to CORNO. He takes a roll of bills from CORNO's pocket and begins counting them as CARMELITA watches. The sound of planes returns, rising and cresting. Lights/sound abruptly.
Steve Patterson has written over 50 plays, with works staged in Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Austin, Tampa, and other U.S. cities as well as in Canada and New Zealand. His works include: Waiting on Sean Flynn, Next of Kin, Farmhouse, Malaria, Shelter, Altered States of America, The Continuing Adventures of Mr. Grandamnus, Bluer Than Midnight, Bombardment, Dead of Winter, and Delusion of Darkness. In 2006, his bittersweet Lost Wavelengths was a mainstage selection at Portland Center Stage's JAW/West festival, and, in 2008, won the Oregon Book Award (he also was an OBA finalist in 1992 and 2002). In 1997, he won the inaugural Portland Civic Theatre Guild Fellowship for his play Turquoise and Obsidian.