Theatre, arts, culture, politics, and snark from a practicing playwright and recovering journalist.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Bombardment, Episode 4: Dallas Style
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.
PLACID: Do it right! Make him come to you! Feign penance. Face behind a veil. So he’s sure he’s won. Accepting your proffered hand in his grand benevolence. ARETHA: Humiliated. PLACID: Does a spider humiliate? No. She waits. For the prey to relax. ARETHA: Then strike. PLACID: Why you need me. The most loyal of loyal. The only one--present company excepted--that he trusts. The one who’s borne the blood. Who’s bashed the heads to pieces. Slit the throats. He slinks home for you. On his knees. Pleading mock repentance. Until my shadow crosses his. ARETHA: I know this gore and violence thrills you, but must your willie stick up my ass?
PLACID stands her up.
PLACID: Sorry, babe! Got a little excited! Excited…for your triumph! ARETHA: Sit.
He sits. ARETHA paces.
ARETHA: Ah god.
She sits down and puts her head between her knees.
PLACID: Babe…you okay?
She sits back, obviously pained. CORNO rises from hiding place, vaguely concerned.
ARETHA: Comes in waves, the agony. My eyes. Seeing him. Them. He's kisses her hair, her neck. She clenches her calves. She drops the platter. It rattles on parquet tiles, oysters splashing. She reaches back. Bunches the pleats of his woolen trousers. Fingers spreading flat. Trembling. . .. In my bed, Placid! My bed! I need murder. Tell me murder!
CORNO eases from one spot to another.
PLACID: Sweet. (Rises. Goes to bag. Takes out a tire iron.) Eh? ARETHA: Kitchen to garage. Better. He loves his cars. Men love to go fast. Why they always do. PLACID: Yeah, I love this fucker. Nice and heavy, but a point, too. Let it hang by your side. Come up behind him. Jam! Right through the back of his head!
PLACID demonstrates. ARETHA winces.
PLACID: Skull frags everywhere! Dallas style! Busted pottery! Or. . .--hwack!-- uppercut! Hook that soft spot 'neath the jaw! Give a twist, snap, whole trache rips out! Blood like a Rorschach! Beautiful. ARETHA: I don't the implement is properly. . .stylish. PLACID: This gonna’ be a murder or a tea party? ARETHA: What about something with a point that doesn't have to mutilate? A pin? A dart?
PLACID rummages, comes up with a drill.
ARETHA: I believe you need a cord. PLACID: (Buzzes it.) Batteries. ARETHA: So…intrusive. PLACID: You know what? You still love the bastard. ARETHA: I do not. PLACID: Yes, you do. You hate him as much as you say, you'd cut his head off--(pulls a hacksaw out of the bag and waves it around)-- never mind the glop. Shit. Why don't you just feed him a cute little Seconal brandy? CORNO: Prefer coffee.
ARETHA leaps out of her seat. Enraged, she lunges toward him. The lights flicker. Planes return. Bombs fall, thundering. Shatteringly loud. Strobe lights. ARETHA, PLACID, and CORNO all hit the deck and cover up.
CORNO: Aretha? Aretha!
Admist the bombardment, one bomb falls with an especially piercing whine. Lights out with a shattering concussion. Silence.
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.