Lucy In The Sky by Tony Layton
Lucy In The Sky by Tony Layton © Tony Layton 2000. All Rights Reserved This script may not be copied or transcribed by any means electronic, optical or mechanical without the prior permission of the copyright owners or their agent. Photocopying this script without a suitable license is strictly prohibited. This play is a work of fiction. The characters are entirely the product of the authors’ imaginations and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. ‘Lucy In The Sky’ is fully protected under the international laws of copyright which are enacted in the UK as the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The right of Tony Layton to be identified as the intellectual owner of the work has been asserted by him in accordance with the above Act. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this play, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the material contained herein. Published, and worldwide rights managed, by : Stagescripts Ltd Lantern House, 84 Littlehaven Lane, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 4JB, UK Tel : +44 (0)700 581 0581 Fax : +44 (0)700 581 0582 email@example.com www. stagescripts.com Publication History:
June 2003, First Edition May 2011, Second Edition Stagescripts Ltd Registered in England and Wales No. 06155216
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Lucy In The Sky Characters Gloria Wendy Meg Alexia
middle-aged social worker, warden of the hostel. 73, long-time homeless. 40â€™s, middle-class, not used to street life, a motherly type. 19, professional family background, a keen intelligence.
Synopsis Itâ€™s winter in an inner city hostel for the homeless. On this night three women seek shelter. Each has her own story to tell which explains why they live on the edge of society. Meg has wreaked revenge on a brutal husband and has imposed a self-exile. Alexia is pregnant following a rape, and with Wendy we see that sometimes, all it takes to become an outcast is a sudden impulsive act which you regret for ever.
Lucy In The Sky A dormitory in a woman’s hostel for the homeless. Three basic beds stand in line across the stage. Between each bed is a simple wooden cabinet. On the wall behind the bed are various government notices regarding how to deal with rape, violence, venereal disease and AIDS. Next to these are posters on Social Security benefits. Next to these are large notices banning the use of drugs and alcohol on the premises. A low table is down stage centre. Meg is on the bed stage left, fully dressed, curled up asleep. She is clasping a radio which is playing Classic FM. Next to the bed is a holdall. Wendy enters with Gloria from stage right. Wendy is in her seventies, a strong woman, used to life on the streets. She is wearing many layers of thick clothing. She’s been drinking but she’s in control. She’s carrying plastic carrier bags in each hand.
Take your pick, Wendy
(Wendy throws the carrier bags onto the middle bed.)
I’d kill for a brew.
(Gloria looks in Wendy’s bags and pulls out a large bottle of cider.)
Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy
What you doin’ with that? You can have it tomorrow. You know the rules. That’s my bloody property tha’ is. I’ll put it in the fridge. I don’t want it in the soddin’ fridge. Been anywhere nice today, Wendy? What? Been anywhere nice? Anywhere nice? Why? Why? Well, it’s been so sunny. Bloody freezin’! It’s bloody freezin’! 1
Gloria Wendy Gloria
Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy
But you’ve been well wrapped up haven’t you. Nice and cosy. Nice and cosy? I’ve got bloody cramp. Can hardly walk with it. It’s no joke. Remember what I’ve told you , Wendy. Any aches and pains…go and see the doc. You’re entitled, same as the rest of us. I want that back. It’ll be safe and sound in the fridge. Bloody rules. You always try it on don’t you Wendy, every time. You know the rules. Don’t tell me about rules. I know all about rules. Rules are for fools my Dad used to say. You know what to do if you don’t like my rules. I’m not a kid, ya know. I’m a citizen. Sen…senior citizen. We know. Where were you last night? Last night? Can’t remember. Can’t remember? It’s cold out there. You don’t sleep out in the winter. I can look after myself. So you say. So I say. I give up with you. Wha’ day is it? Friday. Might go up north tomorrow…see my friend. And how will you do that? Got contacts. I can go anywhere I like. Anywhere. What contacts? A lorry friend. A friend with a big lorry. Very nice. A very nice friend. 2
Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy
Just be careful. What you doin’ with tha’? For the last time…I’m putting it in the fridge. It’ll be very safe. Don’t worry. Get your head down. Gloria! Yes? Get us a brew. Let me get my breath. You’re a slave driver, d’you know that. I’m parched. (Gloria exits right. Wendy removes her balaclava, scarves and coat and pushes them into the bedside cabinet. she leans across to Meg’s radio and re-tunes to Radio One. Meg stirs and wakes. she sits up and looks at the radio with confused concern. she re-tunes it back to Classic FM.) That’s a very nice
Meg Wendy Meg Wendy Meg
Wendy Meg Wendy
radio. I like radio. The Archers. Woman’s Hour. All that. Brain’s Trust. Take It From Here. Educating Archie. All that. Yes! I had a radio. Lent it to someone. Someone had it. Someone had a bargain. I miss that radio. When I get a bit of spare that’s wha’ I’ll get. Go down the car boot. You can pick ‘em up for a fiver…in full workin’ order. I’m Meg I’m wet. What? I’ve pissed in my pants. I’ve pissed in my bloody pants. I’m all wet. Tell the woman. Tell Gloria (Wendy shifts uneasily.) That’s what I’d do. I’d tell Gloria. She’ll fix you up. Sit there like that you’ll get raw. Go and tell Gloria. Shall I tell her? She’s got my bloody bottle. She won’t mind. She might have a spare pair. I’ll wait a bit.
Up to you. Your decision. You do what you want. All I’m saying is I wouldn’t sit there in wet pants. (Wendy rocks on the bed and sings “Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag” out of tune. Her singing drowns the radio.) Don’t you like this
Wendy Meg Wendy Meg Wendy
music? I said don’t you like this music? Is it disturbing you? What? If you don’t like it I’ll turn it off. You can’t whistle to that can you. It helps me relax. I don’t like black. I don’t like black. I like it nice. I like it bright, that’s what I like. Too many clouds. I see too many clouds. In my time I’ve seen too many clouds. I want to spew. I’m gonna spew.
(Wendy exits stage left. Meg re-tunes the radio to Radio One with a sigh. Gloria enters.)
Gloria Meg Gloria Meg Gloria Meg Gloria
Coffee, tea, cocoa? Tea please. And how are we feeling? Okay. That woman…here… Wendy? Think she’s wet herself. She does this. Every time I tell her to let us know and she won’t. She’s a good old soul but she’s frustrating sometimes. Anyway, what about you. Feeling better? You looked drained when you came in. I thought I’d never find the place. It was dark. I couldn’t read the numbers. It’s not easy if you’re not local. We’d like to be more central but the residents won’t have it. So, what about family? Do you want to make a call? Do you have a family? Two girls. Both married. 4
Gloria Meg Gloria Meg Gloria Meg Gloria Meg Gloria
Do they know where you are? No. Do you want to tell them? Not yet. When were you last in touch? A while ago, six months. Do you want to talk about it? No thanks. If you change your mind let me know. Okay? (Meg nods. A bell rings loudly.) No rest for the wicked. I’ll be back in a minute.
(Gloria exits stage right. Meg takes a compact out of her holdall. she examines her face with a mirror and tidies up her make-up. Wendy enters stage left. she watches Meg for a moment. when Meg realises she is being watched she puts the compact away. Wendy goes to her bed.
I used to be beautiful once. Couldn’t keep ‘em off during the war. I had more Yanks than hot dinners and a case full of nylons. Any gum chum? Any gum chum? Full of life they were. Lovely lads. “In The Mood” that was the one. “In The Mood”. I was always in the bloody mood I was. Still am. But I get this cramp see. All down one side. I see the Doc and he does nothin’. Nothin’! Keep warm he says. Keep out of the damp. I got this pal in Walsall. She says I can go there anytime. Anytime at all. I might go up tomorrow. I got this friend with a lorry. He goes up that way a lot. Never been to Walsall. I’ve been to Stoke and I went up to Accrington once for a short holiday with a pal. She was in the land army. But I’ve never been to Walsall. My God I brought up some stuff out there. A real gut full. Sally Army stew most of it. I like that. I like that music. Cheers me up. Good. Where you from ? 5
Meg Wendy Meg Wendy
Meg Wendy Meg Wendy Meg Wendy Meg Wendy Meg Wendy
Meg Wendy Meg Wendy
Why? You don’t live ‘ere. I know everyone here. I know ’em all on the streets around ‘ere. I don’t come from round here. Thought not. See a lot like you. Come ‘ere to hide. They like it here. Big place. Good place to hide round ‘ere. Lots of hiding places. Is that what you’re doing, hiding? Me hiding? That’s a laugh. No-one’s looking for me. Here, guess how old I am. Go on. No idea. Have a guess. Honestly, I’ve no idea. Guess. Sixty something? Seventy three. Seventy three. No joke. And I drink, I smoke and have sex regular. That’s the secret, sex. Keeps you going. That’s the problem with this place, you can’t bring ‘em in. You can’t bring your boyfriends in. That’s the problem. If you do it in a doorway they run you in. They’ve got you all ways. Have you got a fella? Me? No. Why not? You’re not a lez are ya? No. I’m just having a rest from men. Takes all sorts. Me, I can’t get enough of ‘em. We go under the bridge, ya know, under the ring road. Bit draughty mind, but no-one goes under there. The coppers keep away from there. Well away. A good shag in the open air is one of God’s greatest gifts. What do you say? (Meg buries her head in her hands.) Don’t worry. I know the feelin’. We’ve all been there. I did have some scrumpy you could have had, but rules are rules as she keeps tellin’ us. Like the 6
hospital this is…..with the rules. I know all about rules. I was in the war. Rules are for fools. Rules are for fools. Jack, my boyfriend, he gave me that bottle. Bought it himself. Good cider. Strong. Very strong in fact. He normally gets me somethin’, does Jack. Packet of fags or a bacon sarny, somethin’ like tha’. Very kind hearted is Jack. Very kind hearted. One of the old school, ya know wha’ I mean. A gentleman. A very gentle man. Not like the doctors used to be. Not like them. They weren’t nice. Didn’t like their rules. They can stuff their rules (Meg stands and exits stage left. As she exits, Wendy shouts after her.)
Don’t use the first bog, not yet anyway.
(Gloria enters from stage right with Alexia)
You’re lucky. We’ve got one bed left. We’re always busy on a Friday. This is Wendy, one of our regulars. Wendy, this is Alexia. Is this it? This is it. (The phone rings off stage.) Here we go. Oh, I’ve got something for you, Wendy. Back in a tick.
(Gloria exits running stage right. Alexia plonks herself on the bed. The phone stops.)
Alexia. That’s a new one. I haven’t heard that one. That’s unusual that one. Gloria, she’s a nice woman. She’s like a bloody blue-arsed fly. Makes me dizzy all the running around. I was telling my friend here, the one who’s out there, that I might go up North. I’ve got a friend up there. Walsall. I’ve heard it’s very lovely, Walsall. She’s got a flat. Right in the centre. Very handy. What? 7
Wendy Alexia Wendy
Alexia Wendy Alexia Wendy
Alexia Wendy Alexia Wendy Alexia Wendy Alexia Wendy Alexia Wendy
I’m talking about tomorrow. I might go for a short break. Walsall. See my friend. She’s got a very nice flat. Great! Good! I did have a friend in Accrington but she passed on. Don’t know what it was. Something nasty. Usually is. She was an atheist so I’ve no bloody idea where she is now. Could be anywhere up there floating around. No fags have ya? Nope, and no money so don’t ask. I wasn’t asking for fags. I don’t want fags if that’s what you thought? What? I was trying to point out, if you’ve got fags, tha’ if you light up in here you’ll get chucked out on your ear, quick bloody smartish! She doesn’t like it. Rules, you see. Rules. What are you on? Pot or what? Eh? You’re talking to a senior citizen. I’m a senior citizen. Well done! I’m seventy three if you must know. Look , I didn’t want to know as a matter of fact. I’ve got a bus pass. I bet you never thought I was seventy three. Never! I could still pass for sixty. I’ve got a boy friend. They don’t let them in. Really. Once upon a time I had skin like yours. Now it’s gone like that French woman…Bridget Bardot. It’s the sun does it. It dries it up. Takes all the grease out of it. I took you by surprise then, didn’t I. You never thought I was seventy three did ya? Look Wendy, I’m very pleased you’re seventy three. Great! Wonderful! Me, I’m nineteen and completely and utterly shagged out. It’s been a bad day. Okay? A very bad day in fact. So, forget I’m here. Got it? Thank you. 8
(Wendy stands and removes another layer of clothing. Meg enters and sits on her bed.)
Wendy Meg Wendy Meg Wendy Meg Wendy
Meg? What? This is Alexia Oh. She says don’t talk to her ‘cos she’s shagged out. Right. She’s had a bad day, she says. Funny name that….Alexia. Sounds foreign. What do you think Meg? Does it sound foreign. (To Alexia,) Are you not from these parts? Are you foreign? Shut it, you stupid old bag.
(Gloria enters with three mugs of tea and a plate of biscuits which she places on the table centre stage. She has a small package under her arm.)
Gloria Wendy Gloria
Here we are ladies…a nice fresh brew. Now that’s more like it. Come with me first, Wendy. I’ve got something for you.
(She leads Wendy off stage left.)
Something for me? Come on.
(They exit. Alexia goes to the table to get her cup. Meg turns off the radio and sits forward with her head in her hands. Alexia takes a cup over to Meg)
Alexia Meg Alexia Meg
Want this? Ta. Biscuit? Wouldn’t mind. (Alexia brings the biscuits over for Meg.) Ta. 9
Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia
Are you hungry? I’m bloody starvin’ I am. Wha’ d’ya get for breakfast? I think she said it was Cornflakes and toast…or something. Is tha’ all. Cornflakes and bleedin’ toast. Can’t live on that. We might get a bit of bacon. I’m not sure. A bit of bacon would be alright. That would be something. D’ya know this area, then? No. Me neither. My first time. This Wendy’s got a gob on her hasn’t she. She’s harmless. Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit! ‘Course she’s not right is she. She hasn’t got all her lights on. I feel sorry for her. Sure. Then we’ve all got our problems.
(Alexia moves back to her own bed.)
Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg
Where you from? Where am I from? Yes. South Coast. Hampshire. Hampshire? Yes. Near Bournemouth. Bournemouth? Yes. I like Bournemouth. It’s okay. Good and bad. We used to take the kids on holiday near there. A camp site. Very reasonable. It was right on the beach. We went back every year. I’m not going back. Never. Never? 10
Alexia Meg Alexia
Meg Alexia Meg
You couldn’t drag me back. So where you going? Haven’t a clue. Get away from this soddin’ hole for starters….and then find a place in the sun for us both. Spain or Florida…somewhere like that. Both? You taking a boy friend? No. No, I’m pregnant. Oh, I see.
(They drink their tea in silence for a few seconds.)
You had kids? Me? Yes. Two. Two with my first and nearly one with my second…..but I miscarried……I shouldn’t have mentioned that, sorry. Bet that was rough. Not pleasant. That was a very nice cuppa. (She places her cup back on the table and moves to stage left deep in thought.)
Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg
We nearly moved down that way, me and my first…Tom. Oh yeah. It was the sunshine and the sand. We thought it would save the marriage. You don’t want to go down there. It’s all geriatrics. We liked it. What’s it like? What? When it comes out…the baby….I know it’s painful an’ all that, but, what’s it like? Well…it’s painful alright…..but beautiful.. I don’t know if I can do it. I felt like that….both times. You forget the pain. It’s over quickly. I might get rid of it yet. Why? 11
Alexia Meg Alexia
Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg
I saw this doctor. A sort of doctor. He said he’d do it. A sort of doctor? If you’re going to do it get it done properly. You don’t need quacks. That would’ve been easy wouldn’t it. Pop along to the local hospital, pop it out and pop home……and they all lived happily ever after. Why not? What was the problem? You don’t want to know. Anyway, I think you’ve got enough on your plate by the look of it. Does it show? You’re joking. Does it show. You’re like me aren’t ya. You’re not used to this. No. No I’m not What are you running from? What am I running from. Life…and the truth. Do your kids know where you are? No. If it hadn’t been for my Mum I might have topped myself. Bet they’re missing you. Maybe. They’re all grown up. Fled the nest. They’ve got their own lives. Bet they’re worried though. Maybe. I know my husband’s worried and that makes it all worth while.
(Wendy enters with Gloria.)
Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy
That’s better. New knickers. All dry now. Better now. And tell me next time. Wendy. We’re not mind readers. I’m going to Walsall tomorrow, Gloria Yes love. We know. That’s what you said last week though, wasn’t it. In a lorry. My friend goes up North…Manchester way, and he says he’ll drop me off. 12
Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy
Gloria Wendy Gloria
Where will you stay, Wendy My friend. She’s got a flat. Does she know you’re going? She says I can go anytime. Who is this friend Wendy? Who is it? Have you known her long? It’s whatsername. Thingy. She was here. Tall woman. Had a moustache. Big boots. Kind woman. Very kind. Long hair with a ribbon. Black hair. Like silk. Very soft. Have you got an address? No, but she says she lives in the centre. That should be easy. Wendy love, you can’t traipse around Walsall. It’s a big place. You need an address. You’ll be walking around all day. You might never find it. I’ll be all right. Got to move on. Can’t stay here all my life, can I. She’s been everywhere. Liverpool, Glasgow….everywhere. Let’s see how you feel in the morning shall we.
No, got to move on. She’ll be expecting me I should think. We might have a jaunt over to Hull. She’s got friends in Hull…on the docks. She’s very central. A pub on one side…chippy on the other. So, we should be alright. My arse is sore. I’m nice and dry. That’s the main thing. What I’m worried about …his lorry gets to the corner at seven. If I miss ‘im I’ve had it. That’s another day wasted. You still shagged out? What? Still shagged?
(Alexia lies down on her bed and turns her back on Wendy.) 13
You don’t know wha’ I know. None of you know wha’ I know. For God’s sake.
(Wendy takes a small cake out of her pocket and places it carefully on the table.)
You hang around long enough you get some bargains. They know me. I’m well known in this area. I’m round the bakery every night at six. I get all the bread and cakes I can carry. I give the birds most of it….give it to the pigeons, my little friends. Too much for me. (She stands back to admire the cake.) What do you think of that?
(Meg and Alexia give it a cursory glance.)
Wonderful. Oops! I nearly forgot. (She takes a small candle out of her pocket and sticks it in the cake. she then strikes a match and lights the candle.) Now what do you think?
Meg Alexia Wendy
Very pretty. Just eat the damn cake. It’s not for me. It’s for all of us. Come on! Stand up! (She helps Alexia off the bed and gathers Meg, then stands between them holding their hands.) Now, ready? (She starts to sing “Happy Birthday” very slowly and off key at the same time trying to encourage the other two to join in. Meg joins in and nods at Alexia to do the same. When they get to the name the song is addressed to, Wendy sings “Lucy” , then they finish the song together.) Lucy! Lucy! Lucy! (She holds her hands up to heaven.) Happy birthday my little love. Here. (She breaks the cake up with her hands and hands out pieces to the other two.)
Meg Wendy Meg
Who’s Lucy, Wendy She’s my little angel. Grandchild? 14
Wendy Meg Wendy Meg Wendy
Grandchild? No. Lucy’s my angel. My little girl. My daughter. Your daughter? How old is she? Three. Where is she? Up there. He always takes the good ones first. He gave her special powers. He’s blessed her with special powers. She looks after me. Everywhere I go she’s there, looking down. She’s looking down on us now you know. Oh yes. She wouldn’t miss her birthday. I need to wet my whistle. I’m parched.
(Alexia takes a bottle of whisky out of her rucksack and hands it to Wendy.)
Alexia Wendy Alexia Wendy Alexia
Have a swig of that. Oh, I don’t know. What if Gloria found out? She won’t know will she. She’d chuck me out. I wouldn’t like that. I said I’d be good. Stop messing. One good swig. Go!
(Wendy takes the bottle and takes an enormous swig. Alexia has to take the bottle away from her. Wendy sits down heavily on her bed.
Wendy Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg
Bloody hell! What’s tha’? Good eh? With the compliments of Mr Tesco. How come? Actually, I went in to snaffle a few buns for my lunch. I grabbed this on the way out. They’ll have you on camera. You’ll be on Crimewatch. Fame at last. Here Meg! Knock it back. I don’t drink whisky. This is no ordinary whisky. This is the best highland malt. Try it! No thanks. 15
Alexia Meg Alexia
Try it! You’ll like it. No. Okay! Your loss.
(Alexia puts the bottle to her lips and takes a long hard drink.)
Alexia Wendy Meg Wendy
Three years, five months she was. They thought she was asleep. She looked lovely. God keeps the pretty ones in his paradise garden. No hope for me then. I think you’re pretty. I think you’re very pretty. Isn’t she pretty? Yes, she is. There you are. Told ya. I used to be pretty. I had long blonde hair…all the way to my waist. And I could dance the tango. Could have gone pro…they said. Silly thoughts we have. But you are pretty. You won’t go short. I say, she won’t go short. ‘suppose not. Sod it! I want to piss. I need a new bladder that’s what I need.
(Wendy exits stage left.)
Paradise garden. If only. I can’t believe in all that crap. (She takes another drink, then speaks in an Irish accent.) “Ten Hail Mary’s Alexia and, as an act of contrition, no sex for five years!” Thank you Father and take your hand off my knee you dirty bastard. How far gone are you? (Laughing.) How far gone? I’ve gone too far. I’ve gone where I shouldn’t have gone. I didn’t want to go but I went.
(Gloria enters. Alexia hides the bottle behind her.) 16
Gloria Alexia Gloria Alexia Gloria Alexia Gloria Alexia Gloria
Lights out in fifteen minutes ladies. Certainly madam. Anything you say. I see. Where is it? Where’s what? No games. I’m tired. The bottle. Get your own bottle. If I have to I’ll get you thrown out. It’s up to you. Stupid bloody rules anyway. What sort of fascist are you? What’s wrong with a soddin’ drink? Where is it?
(Alexia holds out the bottle at arms length. Gloria goes to grab it but Alexia takes a sudden long swig before the bottle is taken off her by Gloria.)
Gloria Alexia Gloria Alexia Gloria
We can do without the anarchy. Ah, piss off! Don’t push it! You’re that close. Now I’m really scared. Thanks to this Charity you’ve got a roof over your head tonight. Tomorrow you won’t be so lucky.
(Gloria moves to Meg.)
Alexia Gloria Meg
You’re all the same you lot. You need a good shag, that’s what you need. Where’s Wendy? Is she alright? In the bathroom.
(Gloria exits stage left.
Alexia Meg Alexia
That’s settled that. This hotel does not get my custom again. Sod ‘em! What are you going to do then? What do you mean? 17
Meg Alexia Meg Alexia
Well, what’s going to happen to the baby? What baby? My baby? What are you? Two months? Three months? Correct! Give the lady a coconut. And now, for a cuddly toy, can the lady tell me, should it be life or….death for the little worm? That’s got to be up to you. Exactly! My decision. Mothers of the world unite! Let the child live! Why not! On the other hand, what is it. Let’s not get all sloppy and sentimental about all this. It has no mind. It does not see. It does not feel. It’s just there. When it’s cut out it won’t remember. It won’t remember anything.
(Alexia is now showing signs of distress.)
Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia
But you will. Yes, I will. Yes… I will remember. What about the father? What does he think? He doesn’t know. Perhaps if you told…. I was raped. Oh, no! I’m sorry. Now there’s an experience. Are you curious? Do you want all the sordid details? No, not if… Isn’t that what makes the bloody world go round? We love it. We love all the shit. You’ll love this shit. Alexia… We’ve got this big house see. Very posh and very secure. Alarms on all the doors, video cameras on the gates. My God are we secure. When I go into my bedroom I feel safe. I’ve still got all my dolls and teddy bears. They used to keep the ghosts away. I hear the breeze rustling through the willow and I hear the tapping of branches on my window. 18
Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia
Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg
I don’t hear the door opening. I see a dark figure standing at the bottom of my bed. What is it? A dream? A trick of the light? Yeah, that’s it. It must be shadows. No, it’s not a shadow. I see a face. I know that face. I know it well. I try to scream. I can’t. A hand’s on my mouth. I can’t understand it. The voice is gentle but his fingers are evil claws pushing into me. I can’t breathe. Then he’s into me and groaning and groaning. I fight, I fight, I fight! My strength has gone. I lie there. I watch the shadow of a rape on the wall. No! What a nightmare Do you like the imagery? I did A-level English. Was this true? What do you think? Should I have made it a little more dramatic? Acted it out more? It was horrible. Yes it was …horrible. It was unbelievably ….horrible. Now, I could let the thing inside me live. But what if it has his eyes, his face? Every day they’d haunt me. I’d see him every second of every day. You couldn’t live with that. You could never live with that. How did this bastard get in? He was already in. He was the one who locked the doors. He was the one who kissed me good night. He was my idol. He was my absolute idol. I loved him. I adored him. He was a boyfriend? No. He was my Father. My ever loving Father. No! Oh, Christ! Good story? I like a story with a little kinky twist at the end, don’t you? Did you tell the police? No way. It would kill my Mother. Have the abortion. Get it done. See your doctor. It’s all confidential. It’ll be over in no time. 19
Alexia Meg Alexia
Meg Alexia Meg Alexia
Meg Alexia Meg Alexia
Is that it? Is that what I do? Do it. Not easy. I’ve been got at by Nuns. They drummed it into me day after day, year after year … the sanctity of life…the threat of hellfire and eternal damnation. They frightened the shit out of me and I’ll always hate them for it. And there’s one other thing. My father, my great hero, works in the hospital. He’s a gyno… gynaecologist to you. That’s why I can’t go there. And he doesn’t know you’re pregnant? He must never know. I haven’t seen him since. I couldn’t face him. You’ve got to do something. He can’t get away with it. He’s sick. You’ve got to tell someone. I’ve got two young brothers. They’re kids. If I tell anyone… their life falls apart. The whole family falls apart. It’s socially inconvenient. So he gets away with it. Don’t worry. I’ll have my revenge one day. And he won’t see it coming. It will be glorious and bloody satisfying. What about the other women? The women in his care? What about them? He wouldn’t dare. He’s too clever for that.
(Gloria enters supporting Wendy, who she helps to her bed.)
She’s not well. She keeps doing this. She suddenly flops. One day she’ll be on the street and that’ll be it. I’ve arranged a home for her, everything. But no, she won’t have it, will you Wendy Sod that!
(Alexia exits stage left.
You’d be warm and well fed. 20
Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy
I’d be bloody dead in a week. They’re all old bastards. Some are, but some are a lot younger than you in there. They have outings every week. There’s a garden to sit in. A lovely lounge. Afternoon tea with biscuits. Sitting watching the wall all soddin’ day. Having bets…who’s poppin’ off next. Do they go to Walsall? To be honest I don’t think they do. That’s it then. They can stuff it. I’m not going there. You’re an awkward old bugger aren’t you, Wendy. Can I get you anything? An aspirin? Stop fussin’ woman. It’s this bloody central heating, that’s all it is. It blocks me up. There’s no air. I need air. I need fresh air. How would you like a bed out in the street, then? And be touched up by bleedin’ tramps all night long? No fear.
(Meg takes Gloria to one side.)
Meg Gloria Meg Gloria
Meg Gloria Meg Gloria
About Alexia Yes? Well, she’s still a kid and it’s been rough. Listen Meg, I do this job twenty four hours a day. I see it all. They want a base…I give them a base. They want shelter… I give them shelter. But I have my rules. If they don’t understand that, then hard luck. I’m sorry , but that’s how it is. You know she’s pregnant. I’m not surprised. We see it every day. Eventually they all go home, unless they’re bloody minded.. She can’t. She’ll never go home. Very unpredictable, human nature. Surprising what people do when push comes to shove. Anyway, what about you? This life isn’t for you is it. You don’t fit in. 21
Meg Gloria Meg
Does anybody? Some have no choice. I’ve got a funny feeling you have a choice. Right? Maybe. We’ll see.
(Gloria exits right.)
She gone? Yes, she’s gone.
(Wendy gets off the bed and stretches her legs.)
She’s like a soddin’ blood hound. I was trying to ‘ave a quick snort of some stuff a pal threw my way and in she walks. So what can you do? I folded up. That did it. That fooled her. She thinks she knows it all, but she doesn’t. Better not rain tomorrow, ‘cos if it does I’m buggered. Don’t mind the cold. Cold doesn’t bother me, but the rain and the cold…that’s a bastard. You see, I’ve got to meet this lorry on the corner. A blue lorry. And this friend says he’ll drop me off in the centre of Walsall. That’ll be handy. Very, very handy. I can walk from there. I like walkin’. I can walk all day, me. And I’m never alone. Lucy’s always there, always looking down. Always smiling. I like you. And I know something you don’t. What’s that? There’s somewhere in paradise for you. (Meg smiles.) No! I’m serious. Believe me, you’ve been chosen and there’s a place waiting. And for eternity you will know nothing but happiness. All your pain will go and a great feeling of happiness will drown all sorrow. If you say so, Wendy You’re a good ‘un. I know a good ‘un when I see one. Now for a kip. Long day tomorrow. 22
(Wendy climbs onto her bed and wraps a blanket around her. Alexia enters.)
Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia
Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia
Meg Alexia Meg
Wendy reckons I’ve got a place in paradise. Is there a place for humanists in paradise? It’s all mumbo-jumbo. I’m sick of it. So, any decision? I could top myself. Oh yes. I’ve worked it all out. I’d get in the bath…bottle of plonk, a few sleeping tablets…slit my wrist and drift off. Painless and easy. ‘cos what do I do if I hang around? You’d be killing two. Call it a mercy killing. You don’t want to do that. Don’t I? No. Remember, there’s a question of revenge. What could I do to him? I feel helpless. Live. That’s what you’ve got to do. He’s got a lot of years of guilt ahead of him. That’s not enough. I want to hurt him. I want him to know real pain. I want to hear him scream. I could kill him. I could actually physically kill the bastard. I know. Do you? Do you know? Yes, I know. Do you want to hear a funny story? (Alexia shrugs.) There was this woman who idolised her husband. They had a fine house, lovely family, very successful. Then things started to go wrong. Her husband, Henry, had a big fist, and as time went on he used it more and more. And one day he used it once too often and this woman had a miscarriage. So, she decided to teach him a lesson. She wanted revenge. She planned it very carefully. Took her time. It had to be perfect When he was asleep she cut her hand with a kitchen knife. She collected the blood in a bowl 23
Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg Alexia Meg
and splattered it on his clothes. Then she went to the wood shed and smeared some on the axe. She went to the boot of his car and sprayed the boot with the blood. She packed her bag and left. They couldn’t find her anywhere. Newspapers, television made the usual appeals, but they were useless. She had disappeared, presumed dead. The police arrested the husband. He was the most likely suspect. The evidence was overwhelming. The neighbours told them about the violent rows and the blood told its own story. He was found guilty of her murder and got twenty years. So, what do I do? Do I go back and clear his rotten name? Or do I move on? You…you did that? I don’t believe it. Poor old Henry. You stitched him up? Yes, poor old Henry was really stitched up. How’s that for revenge? You really put him away. I really did. And when did he go down? Today! It was on the news today. You’re jokin’. And I felt terribly guilty. I mean….what have I done?
(Alexia laughs loudly. This is infectious and Meg joins in. They end up in an embrace on the floor.)
Alexia Meg Alexia Meg
He deserved it. Let him stew. I’ll give it a couple of months then I’ll rise from the dead. Give the bugger two years at least. Make it four…or five….or six. I was so busy thinking about myself ….I didn’t think about my daughters. They think I’m dead. I’ve put them through hell. They’ll get over it. 24
Shurrup! I’m trying to get some kip ‘ere. If I’m late I’m buggered. I need some kip.
Gloria Alexia Gloria Alexia Wendy
What’s going on? We’ve just started a beautiful lesbian love affair. D’you want to join in Gloria? I hope you’ll be very happy. You’ve got a minute to get into bed. It’s just like Roedean isn’t it. It’s like the soddin’ army, that’s what it’s like.
(Alexia and Meg strip down to their underwear and get into bed. Gloria kneels by Wendy)
Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy
Gloria Wendy Gloria Wendy Gloria
Okay? I must get up early. I must get off. Don’t want to waste time. Get up and get off. And where’re you going? I’m meeting a friend. Can’t remember his name. Jack I think it is. Nice fella. Big lorry. Lovely lorry. You can stretch out. You can stretch right out. Bed and everything. And where’s he taking you, Wendy? Where was it? It’ll come to me in a minute. It’ll come back in a minute. It’s my Lucy’s birthday you know. She’s looking down. That’s nice. It is nice. It’s very nice. I know something you don’t. What’s that? She says she’s got a place all ready for you. I can’t wait. Night Wendy
Wendy Night. Gloria Night ladies. Meg Night. Alexia Wendy You can tell a lot from underwear. It tells you a lot about a person. In the war we had parachutes. Lovely silk that was. Lovely silk. My husband got it. That was his trade. He jumped out of planes. He went to France. Mademoiselle from Armentieres and all that. He didn’t come back. He promised he would but he didn’t come back. I got a telegram. Yes, I got a telegram. Very nice. It brought Lucy on. It certainly did. Premature they called it. She was never really right, were you Lucy love. Always had a chest. Funny old world. Alexia Meg? Meg Yes. Alexia I’m bloody scared. I can’t get rid of it. Meg So don’t. Alexia But I can’t keep it. I know I can’t. What do I do? Meg Have it adopted. Alexia Will you have it? Meg What? Alexia If you have it I’ll know where it is. Meg You don’t know me. You know nothing about me. Alexia I’d like you to have it. Meg Let’s sleep on it. Alexia I mean it. Meg I know. I know. Let’s talk it through tomorrow. (The lights dim until we have a single spot on Wendy.)
Did you like the cake, girls? Did you like the cake? It was lovely. Thanks. 26
There you are, Lucy. They liked it. Told you they would. There we are then, another year gone. My guts are much better. Got a lot of wind though. We’ve got a nice long journey tomorrow, that’s something to look forward to. Don’t know what I’m going to do after that. Tell you the truth I ain’t got much juice left these days. The old bones are playing up. I think I’ve seen all I want to see down ‘ere. Time to move on. I can’t wait to be up there with you. Why are you smiling? I’ve got all my plans sorted. I’m going to have long blonde hair again and I’ll teach you how to tango. I want you to be proud of me. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. I want you to be proud of me. What you laughing at? Don’t do that, Lucy. I don’t like that. I said don’t do that. Don’t laugh at me. Not on your birthday. Don’t spoil your birthday. Don’t Lucy! Don’t! All right, Wendy? Every day I say: “sorry”. Haven’t I said “sorry” every day. Stop laughing, Lucy. I love you. I love you.
(Meg puts her arms around Wendy to comfort her. Alexia stands close by.)
Wendy Meg Wendy
I’m sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. Come on. Calm down. Sorry, sorry! I only hit her once. Once. She wouldn’t stop crying. I hit her. I hit her. And she went to sleep. She never woke up. She’s always three years old. She doesn’t grow old. She knows I’m dying and she laughs. Every year she laughs louder. (Alexia sits close to her and holds her hand.) I’ve tried to make her happy. I’m sure you have, Wendy It’s a long time ago. She’s forgiven you now. We all do things we regret. She’s fine now. She’s happy.
No! She won’t be happy until it all ends. I want to be with her but she won’t let me in. She won’t forgive me you see. She will never forgive me. Where will they put me? What sort of hole will they dump me in. I’ve been in hell a long time…a lifetime. I want to be in paradise That’s what I want. I want to be in paradise with her. I want to hold her, I want to hug her and say sorry properly and I want everything back to normal. She must understand it was an accident. It was an accident you see. An accident. That’s what it was. I didn’t mean it. Over in a flash. I killed her. I killed my little angel.
(Gloria shouts from off stage.)
Lights out, ladies! Lights out!
---ooo000 The End 000ooo---
Published on Feb 12, 2013
(4f) apx 40 mins Prize Winner Three women seek shelter in an inner city hostel for the homeless. On this cold winter night, each has a diffe...