NIHIL EST QUOD TIMEAS - THERE IS NOTHING YOU SHOULD FEAR
This is a for anyone interested in meeting to read/rehearse original plays and screenplays in English. We can have a beer whilst having fun. My aim is to create a stable, dedicated group of artists interested in performing original work. The Argonaut Theater and Film Company has five original plays and two screenplays.
My short film "rAPPture" is ready to film! Mindshow is a fantasy thriller, which reveals my love of cinema in a unique way.
Currently, I am writing "Holiday Kill" a low budget screenplay set in Barcelona.
Take a look at one of my theatrical works: "The Toymaker´s Apprentice"
Here arescenes from my play entitled "This Thing of Darkness"! A dark story about children trapped in London during the Second World War, who come across an underground conspiracy in a quite unexpected way.
“This Thing of Darkness”
Steven Joseph Hunyi
Barcelona 08028 SPAIN
PRIVATE HARRY LOVENE
BUGLER VIC TRUCULO
FIELD MARSHALL HAIG
KING LEOPOLD II
ONSTAGE BLACKOUT. SOUND OF BLITZ IN BACKGROUND.
CHURCHILL: (Stock recording; June 1940 speech) “… The whole fury and might of the enemy might soon be turned on us. If we fail, then the whole world will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and protracted, by the rights of perverted science…”
NOISE OF AIR-RAID SIREN AS AIRCRAFT FLYING OVERHEAD ACCOMPANIES THE WHISTLING BOMBS FALLING. EXPLOSIONS ARE FOLLOWED BY THE SOUND OF COLLAPSING BUILDINGS.
CURTAIN RISES. PILED RUBBLE AND EVIDENCE OF THE REMAINS OF A WALL WITH A DOOR SIT CENTRESTAGE. STREET SIGN: “PEABODY TERRACE.” ON THE FLOOR IS A MICKEY MOUSE TIN- BOX AND A NEWSPAPER. RED AND ORANGE LIGHTING: FIRES STILL RAGE. A FIGURE LIES STILL IN THE RUBBLE, EDIE BONIFACE, SIXTEEN, WEARING HER NIGHTCLOTHES.
ENTER A WHITE-SUITED FIGURE DRESSED LIKE A GENERAL WITH AN ARMBAND: “CELESTIAL VIVISECTOR”. HE HOLDS A LARGE TOME ENTITLED “BOOK OF WAR” IN GOLD LETTERS. HIS NAME IS ANGELUS DAGON. HE SURVEYS THE BOMBED TERRACE BEFORE ADDRESSING THE AUDIENCE.
ANGELUS DAGON: The sky filled with iron crucifixes, the air with the stench of death; the dust of ages fills the air, this city of London in the year nineteen hundred and forty one is rugged and impassable, drenched in brimstone and phosphorus. It seems on the verge of extinction. So much devastation -- even the young stopped believing that they would live forever. (He sees the girl and kneels by her.) Sanguine child, how softly her hair shines in the naked flames. (He hears a sound offstage.)
RELUCTANT TO LEAVE HER ANGELUS DAGON EXITS SURREPTITIOUSLY, AS ANOTHER FIGURE ENTERS THE BOMBED SCENE.
A SPIV KNOWN AS ENOCH, DRESSED IN A WIDE LAPELLED SUIT WITH A WHITE LILY ON HIS LAPEL, HE HOLDS A CARPET BAG AND PUSHES A PERAMBULATOR CRAMMED WITH ODDS AND ENDS. HE SEES THE STILL GIRL AND GOES TO HER AID, REMOVING A FLASK FROM HIS PERAMBULATOR FIRST TO POUR HER A DRINK. THE GIRL STIRS AND WAKES AS HE TAKES A LOCK OF HER HAIR, CUTS IT OFF AND PLACES IT IN A POUCH.
ENOCH: Luftwaffe’s busy tonight, luv – cordite’s fresh in the air. (Looking at her.) Poor thing. Look at you. You’re a right mess.
REMOVES SILK HANKY FROM HIS BREAST-POCKET TO WIPE BLOOD FROM HER FACE. EDIE IS TOO STUNNED TO SPEAK. SHE LOOKS AT HIM PUZZLED AS HE STUDIES THE SIGN FOR PEABODY TERRACE. SIRENS OFFSTAGE.
ENOCH: Peabody Terrace copped a Fritz, Edie, big ´un, 2 metres long, dreamed up by some Nazi, has left a dozen homes rubble.
HE SPIES THE NEWSPAPER AND THE MICKEY MOUSE TIN-BOX AS HE GIVES HER THE DRINK. HE READS THE NEWSPAPER’S HEADLINE. HE TAKES THE TIN-BOX FURTIVELY AND STOWS IT ON HIS PERAMBULAR.
ENOCH: 10th May 1941 – clothes rationing. Suppose you won’t be able to get yourself a decent frock now. You must be cold? Here, I’ve a beret and coat, too big mind, but they’re better than your nightshirt. (Removes them from his perambulator and helps Edie put them on.) I’ve silks, too, but I don’t suppose you’ll want those?
ENOCH: That’s cocoa, the finest, with condensed milk.
SHE SIPS IT, SPLUTTERS, THEN BURST INTO TEARS WITH PAIN.
EDIE: Michael!? (She looks about.) Uncle Marty!? Somebody help me!? Who are you? How d`you know my name?
ENOCH LOOKS BEMUSED.
ENOCH: I surprise myself sometimes. (Pauses.) Michael this night has gone on a journey.
EDIE: Has something happened to him?! Oh, my head...
ALL CLEAR SIGNAL SOUNDS, AS VOICE OFFSTAGE, UNCLE MARTY, INTERRUPTS THEM.
UNCLE MARTY: (Off.) EDIE!!? God?! Edie!? You there? Hey!? I need a fireman over here! I saw someone in the wreckage!
ENOCH: Rest, Edie, your wounds will take time to heal.
ENOCH COLLECTS HIS PERAMBULATOR AND LEAVES.
EDIE: Who are you?
UNCLE MARTY ARRIVES. HE IS AN AIR RAID PRECAUTIONS MAN, AND LIMPS. HE WEARS AN A.R.P. ARMBAND AND A TIN HELMET.
DIM LIGHT REVEALS SIGN FOR “ELEPHANT & CASTLE” METRO HUNG LOPSIDED. ADJACENT IS ANOTHER: “CARELESS TALK COSTS LIVES” AND “ONLY BELIEVE THE BBC”. ANOTHER REVEALS: “BEWARE: PLATFORM CLOSED DUE TO BOMB DAMAGE”.
BENEATH THE SIGN SITS A MAN DRESSED IN A FIRST WORLD WAR UNIFORM WITH A WHITE DIRTY BLIND ACROSS HIS EYES. BLOODIED, HE WEARS A BUGLE ON A SASH. HIS NAME IS BUGLER VIC TRUCULO. HE HAS A SMALL BARROW UPON WHICH WE SEE VARIOUS TRINKETS AND A SIGN: “KEEPSAKES AND MEMORIES”.
ENTER ENOCH WITH HIS PERAMBULATOR, AND A YOUNG BOY, MICHAEL BONIFACE, FIFTEEN, WEARING A DIRTY RAGGED NIGHTSHIRT, WITH BLOOD ON HIS FACE.
MICHAEL: What we doin' coming down here. There ain´t no trains. I told you, station got bombed.
ENOCH: No trains, Michael... That´s true.
VIC: Hello Enoch. (Looks at Michael.)
ENOCH: Hi Vic.
VIC: New arrival? (To Enoch) Got new stuff?
ENOCH REMOVES THE TIN-BOX AND POUCH WITH EDIE’S HAIR CLIPPING INSIDE AND IS ABOUT TO HAND THEM OVER TO VIC WHEN--
MICHAEL: Hey, that’s my tin-box!
VIC LOOKS AT ENOCH SORROWFULLY.
ENOCH HANDS VIC THE POUCH WITH THE LOCK OF HAIR. VIC RETREATS TO HIS BARROW, CARRYING THE POUCH AND EXAMINING THE LOCK OF EDIE’S HAIR BEFORE HE PLACES IT ON A HOOK. ENOCH PLACES AN ARM AROUND MICHAEL.
ENOCH: You got a special memory in that box?
MICHAEL: What’s his blindfold for?
ENOCH: Vic, here, well, he´s...
VIC: ...a coward. Somme, 1914.
ENOCH: Vic wears a blindfold because he was unfortunate…
VIC: … firing squad. I’m infamous Bugler Vic Truculo. My regiment was the Royal Welch Fusiliers. I died aged eighteen, July 15, 1914, in Mametz Woods. Remember it like it was just hours ago...
MICHAEL: You’re lying!
VIC: I tried to wangle my way out of No Man’s Land. We was sent to slaughter. If any one deserves the firing squad it was that butcher Haig who sent us down.
MICHAEL: You got shot as a deserter?!
VIC: I got a fright and lost my way, that’s all.
MICHAEL: This is daft! Where’s Edie! Enoch? You said she’d be here.
ENOCH: She will.
MICHAEL: Why should I trust you? You’re crazy! Who exactly are you?
VIC: I sell keepsakes to remind those who still have a care to to remember the living. Enoch here is a… well,
ENOCH: ... a travelling collector of souvenirs.
VIC: Racketeer more like. Takes from the living so I can pass their memories onto the --
MICHAEL: You’re a looter?! I knew it. I remember! You were rummaging about in the wreckage of my house. We got hit by a bomb, didn’t we?
VIC: (Aside to Enoch.) Gentle on the lad.
ENTER A SMALL CROWD ATTIRED IN AN ASSORTMENT OF COSTUMES OF DIFFERENT PERIODS OF HISTORY ENTERS. THEY MOB AN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY GENTLEMAN WEARING A GREY WIG AND POWDERED FACE. THEY CALL HIM “MIRABEAU”. HE WEARS A RED NECK SCARF AND CARRIES A CRATE, ON WHICH HE STANDS. HE CLEARS HIS VOICE. THE CROWD QUIETENS. ONE FRINGE MEMBER OF THIS IMPROMPTUE MEETING, GARBED LIKE A MONK IN A CAPUCHON CARRIES THE “BOOK OF WAR”.
VIC: Shhh. It’s a revenant meeting. Mirabeau speaks.
ENOCH: (Lowered voice) That Mirabeau is a troublemaker, you mark my words. Never trust a man who doubts he can ever be wrong.
MIRABEAU: (French accent.) Fellow revenants, I have news from the Principle Organ of Morbid Repatriation.
VIC: (Lowered voice) He’s just standing up for revenant’s rights and for the likes of me, Enoch. I’ll not have a bad word said against him. Viva la Morbid Republic!
ENOCH: Come on, Michael. Revolutionary meetings always end in trouble.
HE DRAGS MICHAEL OFF.
ENTER A WOMAN, MADELEINE, DRESSED IN A PLAIN BLACK SHROUD WITH A VEIL TO HIDE HER WHITE FACE DISCOLOURED WITH PATCHES OF BLUE. SHE SPIES VIC AND HIS KEEPSAKES.
CROWD ONLOOKER: Another kangaroo court.
MADELEINE: (Cockney accent.) Hush, let him speak!
MIRABEAU: Since the arrest of Prince Barbarossa, taxation on body parts has been suspended. I am pleased to inform the revenant classes that the Principal Organ of Morbid Repatriation is on the verge of agreeing a compromise that would see Prince Barbarossa’s ban on our visiting the living reversed.
CROWD ONLOOKER: I haven’t haunted my family in months.
MIRABEAU: Patience, brother revenant, lower your voice, for everywhere there are cadaverist spies who would be happy to pilfer your limbs to feed Prince Barbarossa’s New Golem Army. (His audience is mesmerized) The time of the Morbid Republic draws near. The fate of the Barbarossa Monarchy and his corpse-thirsty generals will soon hang in the balance. We must start afresh. Sweep away their cruel corpse barbarism. Place virtue and nobility foremost in our minds. Restore our right of integrity without fear of amputation. Demand universal suffrage. And above all exercise our duty as revenants, as those who represent lives cut so painfully short to visit the living to ease their sorrow.
AUDIENCE: DOWN WITH CADAVERISTS!
ENTER PRIVATE HARRY LOVENE, A DUNKIRK VETERAN WITH A BAYONET JAMMED IN HIS CHEST. HE KEEPS TO THE PERIPHERY, EYEING UP MADELEINE. SHE FAILS TO NOTICE HIS ATTENTION.
MIRABEAU: Revenants cry out against injustice! We who have never borne the yoke of baseness and corruption shall gain universal suffrage in the Morbid Republic!
MIRABEAU: I bid you farewell.
MIRABEAU STANDS DOWN, LEAVING MADELEINE SHADOWED BY BEAUMONT, NEAR VIC’S BARROW. THE CAPUCHONED MONK TAKES MIRABEAU’S ARM, AND REMOVES HIS HOOD TO REVEAL ANGELUS DAGON, IN A WHISPERED AN ASIDE.
ANGELUS DAGON: You speak fine words, Mirabeau. You would be a worthy leader of the Morbid Republic.
MIRABEAU: You are mistaken, sir. I have no intention to lead only to serve through my work at the Principle Organ of Morbid Repatriation. I express my beliefs in accordance with the general will of the revenants. And you sir are?
ANGELUS DAGON: Angelus Dagon, Grand Vivisector of Souls. I may be of service for I have seen in the mob seeds of discontent.
MIRABEAU: How so sir?
ANGELUS DAGON: Those who mocked the Principle Organ of Morbid Repatriation called it nothing but a kangaroo court. Can you not see how such revenants already possess the counter-revolutionary spirit?
MIRABEAU: You think so?
ANGELUS DAGON HANDS MIRABEAU A BUSINESS CARD.
ANGELUS DAGON: You can find me in the Vivarium of Souls. When the time comes to judge the true character of a revolutionary you will seek me out.
ANGELUS DAGON LEAVES QUICKLY FOLLOWED BY MIRABEAU WHO EXITS THE OPPOSITE WING.
MADELEINE IS ABOUT TO ACCOST VIC WHO WANDERS AMONGST THE CROWD WITH HIS BARROW PEDDLING HIS WARES WHEN SHE IS CONFRONTED BY HARRY. HE BRANDISHES HIS VICTORIA CROSS PINNED ON HIS LAPEL.
HARRY: Madeleine, you been avoiding me?
MADELEINE: Harry… (Nervous.) I didn’t see you.
HARRY GOES TO LIFT HER SHROUD.
MADELEINE: Please... You know how I hate showing my face.
HARRY: It’s not your fault you got beaten to death. (He searches his pockets.) Besides, I can pay now I got some old coins off Vic.
MADELEINE: I told you I gave up whoring long ago. I read palms now.
HARRY: Old habits die hard. (Seductive caress.)
SHE TOUCHES HIS HAND WHICH HOLDS THE MONEY. HE PULLS IT AWAY.
MADELEINE: Why won’t you let me read your palm?
HARRY: I make my own future. And right now the future looks violent. (Flashes V.C.) How d`you think I got my Victoria Cross, posthumously— I love winning a fight, that’s how. So, what about my offer? (He hugs her and she hates it.) A little togetherness might restore us our... (Pauses.) Challenging times lay ahead, Madeleine. You’ll need a champion to stop the worst ravages of the cadaverists using your body parts.
HE LOOKS INTO HER EYES. SHE FLINCHES.
HARRY LOVENE: You scared of me?
MADELEINE: No. (Awkward moment.) What makes you sure the cadaverists will beat the revenants?
HARRY: I make my own future. (Smug.) You know what it is that I like about you.
HARRY LOVENE: Your eyes – I see your courage the night your client in Bow murdered you. With your courage and my love of war we can go far.
MADELEINE: Let me think on it, Harry.
HARRY LOVENE: I’m for the glory, the cut and the chase -- war is to man what childbirth is to woman—you know what I mean? It’s what we do.
SHE HAS A DISTANT LOOK.
HARRY LOVENE: You’ll see-- revolution is going to be the making of Harry Lovene. (He rubs his VC, ecstatic, then holds his bayonet and tugs it until it slides gruesomely into his chest; in/out.)
VIC, WHO HAS NOTICED THEIR LIAISON AND DETECTS HER DISCOMFORT, INTERRUPTS THEM, MUCH TO HER RELIEF.
VIC: (Fearful of Harry.) Keepsakes, memories of the living—can I interest you in a little something, Miss? (She tampers with a hot water bottle, soap, photographs, and the lock of hair.) Business has been brisk since Prince Barbarossa forbid visits to the living. That lock of hair is just in, Miss –
HARRY GRABS A PAIR OF SILKS AND OFFERS THEM TO MADELEINE.
MADELEINE: Don’t mind if I do.
HARRY LOVENE: Think on my offer, Madeleine.
VIC: It’s as well not to show fear to the likes of Harry Lovene -- you having trouble with him?
MADELEINE: Just a misunderstanding. (She picks up the lock.) My, it does feel warm. (Studies it.) It holds a tale I can’t quite read. I’m sure it speaks the truth plainer than palm.
MADELEINE IS CAPITIVATED BY THE LOCK, HOLDING IT TO HER BREAST WIH HER HEAD BOWED.
VIC: That’s what keepsakes do. Bring you a piece of the old life. It looks like that lock of hair was meant for you.
SHE GOES TO RETURN IT.
VIC: Vic says keep it.
MADELEINE: Oh. (She stows it.)
VIC: (Exiting slowly.) Keepsakes, mementos, memories of life…