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The Weather Plays

By
Daniel Welser Carroll

Four esoteric vignettes celebrating the end of the world.

Approx run-time: 80-90 min. 518-810-3053


dwelsercarroll@gmail.com
1.

ACT I
Prologue
The stage is bare. The house lights
are up. The HOST enters.

HOST
Hear ye! Hear ye!
House lights begin to fall as the
Host is illuminated. He is dressed
for an occasion and holds an
unopened champagne bottle in his
hand. His demeanor is festive; his
intent is to entertain

HOST
Ladies and gentlemen, gentlemen and spouses - performed for
your appreciation a plague on all your houses!
THE PLAYERS burst forth from all
available entrances laughing and
carrying on. They all have
champagne glasses; a few have
additional champagne bottles, and
with a succession of popping corks
the glasses begin to be filled. Big
band music fills the air playing
loudly at first. The audience is
now part of the party that has
begun. The host, at a central
position, begins to speak again.
The music lowers slightly.

HOST
My friends! My friends! The show has begun!
The Players cheer and laugh.
Someone hands the Host a champagne
glass which he raises, causing the
ruckus to dim. During his speech,
the players laugh, cat-call, and
cheer at most of what he says, all
in good humor.

HOST
To my esteemed audience - the first, unto the last, of many
toasts! Tonight we greet the end in solidarity - and
honestly, could there be any better way to greet it? A night
of theater, a night of triumph over the dismal world
outside! We humbly propose to you a salon of sorts - in the
styles of the former masters with the “realities” faced by
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 2.

HOST (cont’d)
the newer generations, we perform for you: The Weather
Plays!
(Cheers)
It is a modest presentation; sinister in its context, but
truthfully - for now - with no deliberate objective. We are
here for your entertainment, my valued audience. Before our
dedication, however, a truth! You sir!
(Points to one of the players)
Come forward!

A Man steps forward and joins the


host. The players laugh and
cat-call. The Man laughs along
good-humouredly, rolling his eyes
at his companions embarrassing
display. Host turns to him.

HOST
I ask you, friend, what I ask to all that are present:
Do...you...feel...comfortable?
(Loud reactions, some of disdain. The
man shrugs)
You do?? Well, good! The question is, though, should you?
The Weather - a hip... popular kind of apocalypse - we live
in a time where the rapture shall inevitably descend from
the sky. We have lived, and we do live, in a time when the
imminent is always immediate. A wise woman said, “They
sicken of the calm who knew the storm.” So, I ask you - have
you...known the storm?
The voices of players raise again,
the Man shrugs and laughs along -
the Host, however, snaps his
fingers suddenly before the Man’s
face. There is a change. The
players fall silent, perhaps the
ambiance shifts, and the Man
appears to be suddenly very
confused, even fearful. The Host
turns to the audience, as an aside
HOST
(Aside to the audience)
Nothing up my sleeves...yet.
(Turns to the man)
I ask again...have you known the storm?
(Pause)
Cannot answer? Well then...it is the answer you must seek;
and to that effect, I bid you go-
(Dismisses him regally)
That-a-way.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 3.

The Host bodily turns The Man and


pushes him firmly off. The Man
wanders out of the playing space
and disappears.

HOST
To my remaining friends I say: Let us begin.
The Players move to take a seat
around the playing space. All
lights but the one on the Host
begin to fade as the first play is
set up in the darkness behind him.
HOST
What a lovely evening we’ve prepared for you.
(Raises his glass)
Our first vignette, our first toast! To the Rain!!
There is a clap of thunder and
blackout.
Rain

There are two men.


TIM
I’m not going out there.
(Pause)
I’m not.
RED
No?
TIM
No. I refuse. No one told me it was going to rain.
RED
Perhaps no one knew.
TIM
Someone knew.
RED
Someone knew it might rain.
TIM
That’s as good a warning as anything; they could have
forwarded the information.
RED
You could have watched the news.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 4.

TIM
I’ve stopped watching TV, and the news has stopped
broadcasting anyway.
RED
Yes...it has been raining for a long time...
TIM
It has.
RED
You could have listened to the radio.
TIM
I’ve never really listened to the radio.
RED
Perhaps, then, it’s your own fault.
TIM
It’s not!
(Pause)
I’ve never owned and umbrella - that’s my fault.

RED
Never?
TIM
Well...once - I’ve never bought an umbrella.

RED
Oh?
TIM
No.
(Pause)
Umbrellas are one of those things. Someone always seems to
have one for me to use--always one lying around. That
thought’s always there when I go to purchase one--keeps me
from making the investment every time.

RED
That’s understandable.
TIM
It best be understandable; it makes sense.
(Long Pause, they gaze out the window)
No, I’m not going out there. Not today. Fuck the management.
It won’t be long now anyway...might as well wait out the end
here.
(Pause)
Did you know?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 5.

RED
Eh?
TIM
The rain.

RED
Hm?
TIM
It’s raining.

RED
Why...so it is.
TIM
It is. Did you know?

RED
Did I know?
TIM
Yes.

RED
That it was going to rain?
TIM
Yes!

RED
No...I didn’t.
(Pause)
Fucking hate the rain though. Cold rain; I hate cold rain.
Warm rain is alright, as long as it doesn’t go on for too
long. Warm rain--a lovers rain that is...
TIM
What’s the temp?

RED
Temp?
TIM
Temperature.

RED
What the hell are you asking me?
TIM
Out there!

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 6.

RED
Right now?
TIM
Yes!

RED
About sixty-seven degrees.
TIM
Fahrenheit?

RED
My god, of course.
TIM
Well, yes...what’s the month?

RED
November.
TIM
It doesn’t make sense.

RED
It’s not entirely unreasonable - not these days.
TIM
Oh it’s unreasonable alright!

RED
If you say so.
TIM
I’m not going out there! I’m not!

RED
Never again...never again...
TIM
Well...I wouldn’t say that. At some point I may have to. We
may have to. It’s not the rain that will kill us.
RED
Not the rain alone.

TIM
(Studies his palm, clenches his fist)
All alone...
Margot enters, walking up between
them looking out the window.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 7.

MARGOT
Coffee? Tea?
RED
Hello, love.

MARGOT
Something to keep you warm?
TIM
I’m not cold.

RED
Not yet.
TIM
Maybe never!

MARGOT
Something to drink then?
TIM
Water will be just fine. There’s plenty of water now.

RED
I’ll have a tea.
MARGOT
Okay.
(Pause)
I’ll get them in a little while.
RED
Pardon?

MARGOT
Just a little while. Thought I’d ask now.
(Pause)
Still raining?

RED
Still raining.
MARGOT
So much rain.

TIM
Too much rain.
MARGOT
What a waste...a whole day...a whole ocean...this whole
time...and not a thing worth talking about.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 8.

TIM
We could play cards!
MARGOT
I haven’t got any.

TIM
Have you ever bought an umbrella?
MARGOT
Yes.

TIM
Really? You’ve deliberately gone out and purchased an
umbrella?
MARGOT
Yes.
TIM
What was it like?
MARGOT
The purchase...or the umbrella?
TIM
Oh I don’t know...you pick.
MARGOT
(Pause)
It was black, pocket sized...folded right up. Quite an
ingenious bit of engineering, these pocket umbrellas. Didn’t
do much for the lower half of the body in a real downpour
though...

TIM
If you turned it upside down, while it was open, could you
sit inside of it and float?
MARGOT
No...I don’t think so...it would have to be a substantially
strong umbrella to go about doing a thing like that.
TIM
That would be something though. A flash-flood umbrella that
would be...a real useful thing these days...that would be
something.
There is a long pause--then he
laughs, then Red laughs, then
Margot laughs. They stop.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 9.

RED
Wasn’t really that funny, but one certainly needs a sense of
humor for rain like this.
TIM
And we certainly have that.
MARGOT
We certainly do.
TIM
Some people despair, but we laugh, we knew the rain would
come someday--we can laugh because our hopes were set at the
proper level before all this misery. All this misery...
Miserable people... I’m not going out there. Not today. I
prefer to keep laughing.

The warm lights suddenly go to


blue.
MARGOT
There go the lights.

RED
(Sigh)
How sad.
MARGOT
They were going to go eventually. Something would eventually
give out, give in. Now...now it will get cold.
TIM
But it’s so warm out.

MARGOT
Not for long. It will have to change.
RED
Yes, but so soon?

MARGOT
So soon?
TIM
Perhaps it will get hot, hotter.

MARGOT
Well, here’s to hoping we burn before we freeze.
(They lift to toast)
Maybe I’ll get those drinks now.
(She Exits)

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 10.

RED
Can you hear the rain?

TIM
(Listens)
No.
RED
Nor can I...it’s there though...we know it’s there. What can
you hear?
TIM
(Listens)
Someone above.

RED
You can?
TIM
I can.

RED
I can’t...perhaps your hearing is better.
TIM
What can you hear?

RED
Nothing yet...nothing yet.
There is a clap of thunder.

TIM
That you can hear.
RED
How can one not? We hear the warnings, but do we heed them?

TIM
Forever and ever, then and now, it’s the same.
A long pause.
RED
(Begins to sing)
Talkin’ to myself and feelin’ old...sometimes I’d like to
quit...
TIM
(Joining in)
Nothing ever seems to fit,
(They sing)
Hangin’ around, nothin’ to do but frown, rainy days and
Mondays always get me down.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 11.

(They gaze out the window for a while)


Too bad it’s Sunday.

The door suddenly bursts open; a


man rushes in absolutely sopping,
soaked to the bone; he frantically
shakes off in a dog-like motion.
MAN
A phone! Do you have a phone??
TIM
The floor! You’re drenching the floor!
MAN
I apologize but it’s raining!
RED
(Looks out the window, surprised)
Why so it is...and rather hard at that.

TIM
That may be, but the purpose of the indoor environment is to
keep the elements out, and here you are dragging in the
rain!
MAN
I’m so sorry.
RED
He can’t help it.

MAN
I really can’t.
RED
He’s really quite sorry.

MAN
I really am.
TIM
Ah! Damn this rain!

MAN
Do you have a telephone?? Please, a phone?
TIM
Don’t you own a cellular?

MAN
I did, but I dropped it in a rain puddle four days ago and
only recently recovered it. What’s the use though; the
towers were the first to go.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 12.

RED
And the beaches.

MAN
And the beaches.
TIM
Well, be that as it may...be--the power has gone and I’m
afraid our only phone was a cordless.

MAN
The...the power has gone?
RED
It has, it has.

MAN
The power has gone...
(Looking tragic, he sinks to the floor
in his own puddle)

TIM
It had to go eventually.
MAN
What am I to do...what are we to do...
(Puts his face in his hands and begins
to weep)
RED
Oh...
TIM
Well, as if we need any more of that. The whole fucking
world is weeping outside and we get a contributor right in
our midst.
Margot enters with the drinks.
Notes the weeping man.
MARGOT
Hm. Well.
TIM
Well.
MARGOT
Would he also like a drink?
RED
Sir? Sir!
(Man looks up)
Would you like a beverage, hot or cold?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 13.

MAN
A...an orange juice.
MARGOT
An orange juice. Hmph.
(Pause, to Tim)
One of your friends?
Margot distributes the two drinks
and then exits to fetch the other.

MAN
What will you do?
TIM
Pardon?

MAN
What are you planning to do about the rain?
RED
I’m beginning to think that this precipitation is actually a
bigger deal than we previously imagined.

TIM
Do?
MAN
Will you leave?

TIM
I’m not going out there. I’m not. I’ve said it before.
MAN
But will you leave eventually?

TIM
But...why would we?
MAN
You might have to?

RED
Is it really that bad?
MAN
Of course it is!!
RED
Well then.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 14.

TIM
Well then.
MAN
Well then??

TIM
All the world has gone to shit, man. Don’t worry yourself
with silly implications.
(This seems to shut the man up)

Margot enters with the drink.


MAN
Oh, thank you.
(He begins drinking with great purpose)

MARGOT
I’d have thought you’d want some brandy. I’d have thought
you all would actually. We should all be drinking a lot more
than we do.

RED
No need for sobriety now.
TIM
Was there ever a need?

RED
Here, here!
(Toasts the air, and then thinks better
of it)
No...actually, in truth, I’d rather not have any brandy.

MARGOT
(Studying man)
You’re...rather wet--you do realize that, don’t you? How wet
you are? You realize that?
(At this, the man begin weeping again)
Oh...well.
TIM
Well.
RED
Not a thing to do about that...I’m sorry about the phone,
sir.
MAN
Yes...well - It can’t be helped can it?
(His weeping subsides slightly)

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 15.

RED
Is there anything else we can do for you?
MAN
No...no, no.
(Stands)
Thank you...thank you for the juice.
MARGOT
Of course, think nothing of it.

MAN
You people have a very lovely...home...er...establishment.
(Pause)
Place.
(Pause)
I’m sorry for having dripped on the floor.

TIM
Forgiven! Do you have an umbrella?
MAN
(With disbelief, he looks down at his
sopping figure, and then looks to Tim)
No...no I don’t.
TIM
Pity...I’d hate to have to buy one.

MAN
Okay. Yes...well, good luck to all of you.
RED
(Laughs mightily)
Luck! Ha! Luck he says. Come, now. Well, same to you I
suppose.
MAN
(Moves to leave, is struck with despair)
If you get through this...the lot of you...could you look me
up? Give me a call? I’d hate to think that you’d be left
wondering whether or not I’ve perished.
RED
Ah...death...would it be by drowning you think? Maybe
something more silly...

TIM
Well yes, of course, we’ll try sir - but...what is your
name?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 16.

MAN
(This strikes his core)
Ah...that is the first hurtle.
The man is about to say something
more, but instead, he staggers out.
The companions stare after him.
TIM
Well.

RED
Well.
MARGOT
Well.

The three consider the deepest most


meaningful questions of life for a
moment, and then wander to the
window.
MARGOT
Water, water everywhere...
RED
And not a spot left dry.
MARGOT
What is it about the rain that is so tragic?
(Pause)
Perhaps something so comforting...so gentle, in short
showers...
(Pause)
So life-sustaining... When stretched out over time...weeks,
months...forty days and forty nights...
(Pause)
Finds ways to permeate, dissolve, drown...
(Long pause)
I don’t know how I was going to end that.

TIM
Hm, you really had it there for a bit.
RED
Got my attention.

TIM
Too many commas though...
RED
And ellipses.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 17.

MARGOT
Yes, yes - ah well. The sentiment was good while it lasted.
Life goes on.
TIM
Ah, but does it dear?
MARGOT
It does.
RED
It surely does.
MARGOT
Of that I am quite certain. The individual may perish, but
life persists.

RED
The poor individual.
TIM
Why does nature spite the individual so, for the sake of
life at large? They tear apart the single mind for daring to
separate from the novel of existence.
(Pause)
I believe that same sentiment was there when the forced
Socrates drink hemlock.
MARGOT
He was convicted for corrupting the youth of Athens.
TIM
If only we could all be so lucky.

MARGOT
The man did drip so on the floor...shall I fetch a mop?
TIM
Let it be, what’s the use?

RED
(Pause)
Where do you think he was going, sloshing his way through
the monsoon, with no umbrella and such?
TIM
...higher ground?
There is a pause, then they all
burst out laughing, they laugh in
earnest.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 18.

MARGOT
Ah...haha...haha...how morbid, how vain...
(They slowly fade to solemn silence)
TIM
So...
MARGOT
I suppose all we have now to do is wait.
TIM
It shall rain right into our humanity. It will not just wash
away our bodies.
RED
What a terribly...beautiful end...to be drowned from the
sky. To be swept away by the waters of the heavens.

TIM
Ah, if only the rain itself was able to produce its own
poetics.
MARGOT
Should we be drunk?
TIM
What?
MARGOT
When the end comes...should we have been drinking?
RED
What for?
MARGOT
I don’t know...it’s simply a suggestion...I’m sure you could
find some deeper meaning in the desire if you really had
time to sit and try.
RED
If we were to be judged by the almighty...should we be
inebriated?
(They consider)
TIM
Yes.

MARGOT
Yes.
RED
Yes...we are also sure of that.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 19.

There is a clap of thunder, they


cringe.
TIM
Well...in case the end is closer than we thought...I’d like
to say that I’m very happy to be amongst the two of you
right now. I’m happy that I’ve lived the life of a cynic, as
well as the life of a...um...a spore producing...leaflet.
RED
A what?

TIM
Oh damn, it was an attempt at a beautiful analogy, please
strike it from your mental record, I really should have
rehearsed this speech.

MARGOT
Yes, you should have. You’re always so half-assed.
TIM
Anyway--I am also glad of the way we shall go. I am proud to
have been a member of a planet that hated me, me and my
family, me and my species. I am proud that a necessity of
life, shall take life from me...it’s a senseless pride, but
pride with sense isn’t pride it’s...reserved faith.
RED
It’s what?

TIM
Oh I don’t know - I just made it up, thought it sounded
good.
MARGOT
It works though.
TIM
Does it?

RED
Yes, actually, quite nicely.
TIM
Well...good.
(Continues speech)
I do have one regret, however...
(He waits, he thinks, he waits for far
too long)
MARGOT
You were saying?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 20.

TIM
I’m trying to think of a regret...please, give me a moment.
RED
Is it that hard?

TIM
Please, yes, and rather embarrassing.
RED
God, you’re a bastard.

TIM
And thank goodness for that.
MARGOT
Hurry this along, I do hate when you draw out your final
words.
TIM
Yes, yes, well I can’t think of a regret; but...but...I love
you all. All of you...the two of you.

MARGOT
Thank you.
RED
Yes, thank you.

TIM
And now...to the end!
(Lifts his glass, they toast)
RED
And now...we wait for it.
MARGOT
I do hope it doesn’t take very long.
They wait a while. Trying to ignore
one another, it becomes incredibly
awkward. Suddenly, the three of
them are drawn to the window,
standing side by side, incredulous.
RED
What the -
TIM
Shh...wait...wait.
(Pause, the sound of rain, if there was
any, has faded away completely)
Oh dear...

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 21.

MARGOT
It uh...
RED
Yeah...it...

TIM
Damn it.
RED
What uh...

TIM
Damn it, damn it!
MARGOT
It...stopped.

RED
It stopped.
(Pause)
It stopped raining.

TIM
(Pacing back and forth)
Yes, it stopped! It fucking stopped raining!
MARGOT
Oh just settle down.

The three take a moment to compose


themselves, staring at one another
in great discomfort. Finally, Tim
comes to a silent conclusion that
they all silently agree with.

TIM
Okay.
(Moves, stops, places his hands on hips)

RED
Okay.
MARGOT
Okay.

TIM
I guess this means...I’ll be going.
RED
You’re just going to...leave?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 22.

TIM
Well what else am I supposed to do? . It’s stopped
raining...why stay now? It’s not like I have to. I
mean...it’s uh...it’s stopped raining. It’s fucking
stopped...raining. Now we have to go on with our lives.

MARGOT
Augh. This never would have happened if we had just hoped a
little less.
RED
All that time expecting the inevitable...and now we must go
back to what we were doing...I’m not even quite certain I
know what I was doing.
TIM
Well, be that as it may...be, there’s no point in dwelling.
(Turns around, turns back)
Goodbye.
(Turns around, turns back)
Um...yes...goodbye. My friends...goodbye...
RED
Bye...
MARGOT
Bye.
TIM
About the umbrella situation, I just...I thought I
might...no...no...
Tim considers, is about to say
something, but leaves instead. The
lights go down on the two left
behind standing around idly. The
lights blackout.
Mid-act
The host appears.

HOST
There is but one certain thing about the weather - that it
will ever be changing; much like the human way. This is a
comfort, yes? Alas, no. What place can our optimism hold in
the face of what we have awaited? The rain has...pardon, may
have ended, but will the more imperative “end” be held at
bay?
(Pauses, then begins laughing heartily,
bordering on madly.)
Never! Such vain fantasy is a waste of time - it is
inevitable. I say! The clouds part and then WHAM - there it
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 23.

HOST (cont’d)
is! A great fire in the sky...a fire that, with hope, may
mercifully burn us all away before we get to ourselves.
(Pause)
Not sure what’s happening...are you? I do hope you weren’t
seeking any substantial story...and I really hope you’re not
seeking my argument. If I may stress it enough before the
night is through: We are not telling stories, we are not
conducting debate...
(Opens his arms wide)
We’re having a party!!
(Laughs)
So! Another toast of dwindling many.
(Raises his glass)
Ah...empty.
(He stares at his glass, catching its
gleam in the stage lights, appearing to
be momentarily enraptured, and then it
is gone.)
To the sun!!
Blackout.

Sun
A man and woman are lying out on a
blanket. They are fully clothed,
but seemingly sunbathing. The woman
sits up, removes her sunglasses,
and then hits the man in the torso,
waking him.
JEROME
Augh!

YVETTE
Up! We don’t want to miss this.
JEROME
What...what time is it?

YVETTE
It doesn’t matter.
Pulls a small clock-like device out
of a purse, extends it to Jerome.

YVETTE
Look at this.
JEROME
That...that doesn’t make sense. What time is it?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 24.

YVETTE
Stupid! It’s not the time, it’s the temperature! Look at it!
JEROME
What?

YVETTE
It’s getting warmer - We must have been resting for a while.
JEROME
Augh...I’m all sweaty...and my eyes ache...it’s all this
sun. This was a bad idea.
(Pause)
Perhaps I should put on some lotion.
YVETTE
(Laughs, hits him, he flinches)
Stupid, stupid; you really are. What good will sunscreen
possibly do?
(He scowls and lies down, she hits him
again.)
Up!

JEROME
Ah! Stop that! Will you??
YVETTE
Up, I say! Don’t you sleep!

JEROME
I’m not going to...
YVETTE
Up!

JEROME
Go to hell.
Yvette smiles, withdraws a small
compact mirror and adjusts her
eyebrows or something mindlessly
oriented towards vanity.
YVETTE
How strange...how very strange it is...that I’ll be spending
these moments with you.

JEROME
Would you prefer to be alone.
(He grimaces, she studies him)
Augh...my head hurts.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 25.

YVETTE
Perhaps it’s the heat.

JEROME
Maybe...though it’s not that hot to tell the truth...not
yet. Maybe I’m hung-over. Did we drink? It’s probably the
direct sunlight.
YVETTE
(Basks)
Mmm...direct sunlight.
(She looks out)
There!!
They both scramble to put on
sunglasses. A sudden bright light
flashes and then a blackout occurs.
The lights then slowly return to
full brightness.
JEROME
Well...
YVETTE
Simply glorious.

A man suddenly enters upstage. He


is wandering, wild, mad and
mumbling. He halts and looks around
as if wondering why he is as
opposed to where.

MAN
The beaches!
(The two look at him)
BEACHES!
The man bends over, touches the
ground, and then touches his face
with the same hand. He laughs. He
stands and pats the spot of ground
with his foot. He sighs, walks a
few steps, then turns around and
angrily stomps the same spot, then
moves off-stage. The two take a
moment to consider his appearance,
and then mutually decide to ignore
it.

YVETTE
(Snaking a hand across Jerome’s
shoulders)
If you’d like, I can put that sunscreen on you.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 26.

JEROME
You said it was useless.
YVETTE
Well...for one one function...

JEROME
(Sighs)
You’re just looking for an excuse to...touch me.
YVETTE
I am touching you.
JEROME
Yes...yes you are.
YVETTE
Come, come...
(She scoots closer)
Just a little rub.
(She massages him)
You know...With all this happening...it’s funny, the things
that strike me. Like the realization that I never had the
opportunity to become famous.
(Chuckles)
I never had the opportunity to become renowned.
JEROME
What a ridiculous thing to say.
(She hits him)
Ah! What the hell! I swear to God-
YVETTE
Oh, just shut up. Let me continue, I have a story and this
is the set-up.
(He glowers, she continues rubbing)
And yet...I’m not sure if I quite regret not having the
chance to be a celebrated personality... My mother once told
me a very interesting story from when she was a young girl;
a young debutante, if you will-- She had the lovely
opportunity to appear at a rather ritzy gala, back when
gala’s occurred without a sense of bitter irony, and had the
fortune of sitting at the same table with a one Marlon
Brando. Imagine? Marlon Brando! Can you imagine? I can;
perhaps you can’t. Nevertheless--my mother said, however,
that it happened to be a night that Marlon Brando had a
rather severe cold. All evening she couldn’t help but watch
and listen as he made the most hideous sounds. He would
sniff and snort with terrible gusto--gurgling great amounts
of snot around his nasal passage and swallowing the lot of
it quite audibly. He would periodically choose to blow his
nose, and it would sound like some foul slime-lined trumpet.
He’d hack and cough and spray--he’d sneeze as if doing so
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 27.

YVETTE (cont’d)
through a submerged snorkel. It was quite, quite fetid and
foul. At one point my mother swore that he farted--for she
heard it, and then it began to smell exactly the way one
would expect Marlon Brando’s farts would not smell; hence
her logic at assuming it was him. No one else seemed to
notice though. He’d also bite his nails here and there, a
habit my mother hated, and through all his sickly sounds
she’d pick up that familiar click-foul-click as he bit...it
drove her positively crazy.
(She pauses here, stops rubbing)

JEROME
What...the hell are you talking a-
YVETTE
(Hits him)
So there! What would be the use of fame if you still fall
victim to the common cold, like any other layman? Could be
the veneration, but the world was going to end rather
quickly anyway, so veneration is pointless...in the face of
that, celebrity seems like such a mundane concept. Yes,
Marlon Brando farted...and leaves me with no regrets.
(She reaches around and begins to
unbutton his shirt)
That story has served me quite well at parties.
JEROME
Stop that. What are you doing??
YVETTE
Putting lotion on you.
JEROME
No, no.
He Attempts to move away, but she
playfully grabs on and then climbs
on top of him, much to his dismay.
Straddling his midsection and
pinning him to the ground, she
continues to unbutton.
YVETTE
Don’t you scramble away. Where would could go, but merely
where I could catch you again!
(Laughs gleefully as Jerome rolls over,
throwing her off.)
JEROME
Oh no, no. It’s far too hot for...that.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 28.

YVETTE
It’s only going to get hotter. Take off some clothes--cool
down.
She reaches quickly and manages the
last button. She quickly moves to
peel off the shirt. He groans, but
does little to fight it off. Man
enters upstage again.
MAN
Can’t you see it?? Can’t you? Why don’t you do anything? Why
won’t anyone do anything??
The two consider him, and then look
out into the audience. They quickly
scramble for sunglasses. A sudden
bright light flashes and then a
blackout occurs. The lights then
slowly return to full brightness.
The man sighs tragically, and then
exits again.

JEROME
That was a good one.
YVETTE
Mmmm...there’s something terribly sexy about radiation,
wouldn’t you say? It’s why I never used sunscreen--offensive
to my libido or something crass like that--I just don’t--
JEROME
(Suddenly exploding, angrily)
Can you just be silent?? Please! Can we just watch and wait?
Your voice is killing me...
YVETTE
(She is shocked for a moment, and then
gets nasty)
No, I can’t be silent. It’s the nature of what’s happening.
We have very little time left to talk, and I happen to have
a lot to say.
JEROME
Well, I don’t want to hear it.

YVETTE
No?
JEROME
No.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 29.

YVETTE
(Pauses, then goes for his belt buckle)
Then let’s do it.
JEROME
Do it? Listen to you. Do it. No!
YVETTE
Just nail me, come on - I’m asking you to nail me. Do it.
He makes a disgusted sound. She
laughs pointedly and goes for his
undershirt. He wriggles out of her
grasp.
JEROME
Please just stop it!

YVETTE
I don’t understand how you could possibly resist having sex
at a time like this.
JEROME
Really? Really? You don’t have a single idea why now would
be a bad time. Really?
YVETTE
Augh! Fine! You don’t want me to talk, you don’t want to get
naked, then you talk.
(Pouts, petulantly)
I’m bored.
JEROME
Exactly, why don’t you try listening. Why don’t you try
receiving information instead of spitting it out non-stop?
YVETTE
(Leaning into him)
Mmm...I can receive whatever you want me to receive.
(He sighs.)
You have something to say? Then say it.
JEROME
Let me think. Unlike you - I calculate my speeches.
They are silent for a while, she
lightly nuzzles his shoulder. He
shakes his head.
JEROME
What a waste the scientific process turned out to be...

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 30.

YVETTE
(Laughs, cynically)
"What a disaster" is more apt, considering.
JEROME
At least it lets us go out with a bit of perspective...
(Looks up, squints)
Think about the sun...think about the trillions of particles
of light it’s sent plowing into our bodies from so far a
distance.

YVETTE
Mmmm...I love it.
JEROME
But look up there, at the sky, past the blue that we can
see. There are trillions more photons that just missed our
atmosphere...that just missed our planet...just missed the
opportunity to plow into something close to home. Consider
that light, those little balls of light that missed
us...they’ll go on spiraling across the universe for
countless eons...most of them at least...but just think--the
ones that missed us just seconds ago are already far enough
away right now...that nothing that is happening here could
possibly matter...that far away...we don’t matter...not that
we do anyway...
(Pause)
I’m sorry, I suppose that was boring. Tragically
boring...but boring.
Yvette studies him curiously for a
moment, and then reaches out
smiling, and grasps his crotch.

YVETTE
Tragically.
JEROME
No! God damn it! Ow! Stop that!

YVETTE
Come on! Stop acting like this isn’t a good idea!!
JEROME
That isn’t at all the point.

YVETTE
Imagine if you happened to orgasm just as the big one hit
and vaporized us--you might reach nirvana then and there.
(Attempts to remove more of his clothes)
Stop struggling; I’m just going to put a little lotion on
you.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 31.

JEROME
Like hell you are!
There is a bit more struggle, but
then Jerome groans and appears to
give up. She removes his
undershirt.
YVETTE
See! You’ve given in. You’re practically begging for it now.

JEROME
We’re all about to be blown apart, you crazy bitch!
(Sighs, reclines)
But what’s the point of going out with dignity.
YVETTE
That’s the spirit!
(Leaps upon him, going for his fly)
JEROME
(Firmly removing her)
No. I said no.

She sits back indignantly as the


Man re-enters upstage.
YVETTE
We should booze up! Yes, yes that’s exactly what we should
do. A quick solution to exactly this sort of problem.
(She turns to the man who is muttering
to himself upstage)
Hello! Hello!
(Snaps her fingers)
Hello!
(The man looks to her, alarmed)
Excuse me, be a dear and fetch us a pair of Mojitos. It
would be best if you doubled up on the rum--no, actually,
triple up. A stiff drink would be best--and hurry up, so
they don’t get warm!

The man stares blankly for a


moment, and then trudges off-stage.
YVETTE
There - that should do it. You’ll be ready soon enough.

JEROME
Doubtful.
YVETTE
(Removes her shirt, seductively,
exposing a brazier or bikini top)
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 32.

YVETTE (cont’d)
Ah...feel that sun...I’ve always imagined it causing little
cosmic explosions all over my body and skin...making it just
alive with passion...

JEROME
Well...that is, in a way, what UV does.
YVETTE
Oh, i know. I’ve never been a pale woman--I was always
baking myself.

JEROME
Understandable--considering your personality.
YVETTE
I used to look at all the poor white-white creatures giving
in to the pure unforgivable evils of winter. I used to pity
them. Even if it was sunny out I’d go running to the tanning
beds. I wanted to die in a tanning bed, rubbed all over with
coconut, put on full blast forever just...sizzling.
JEROME
Good to know you’ll be perfectly content in hell.
YVETTE
Ah, yes...and yet not.
(Seems to drift into a bizarre memory)
Those poor white bitches used to chastise me, verbally
sometimes, merely with there eyes sometimes...but I pitied
them more...I knew what I was doing to my body. I liked it.
I’d look at those ugly, white, fetus-looking things and
realize...that I’d rather get skin cancer, than be
pale...but look at all this marvelous justice...me and the
white bitches are all going out the same way.
JEROME
Hm...poetic. You’re a poet. A really bad poet. But a poet.
YVETTE
I know, it’s a gift.
JEROME
And how lucky you are to get your way in the end.
YVETTE
(Strokes him)
Yes...but such little time left...and still things to get.
JEROME
Watch it!!

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 33.

They both grab their sunglasses. A


sudden bright light flashes and
then a blackout occurs. The lights
then slowly return to full
brightness.

JEROME
They’re getting closer.
YVETTE
(Withdrawing the device again)
And it’s getting hotter.
JEROME
(Takes it from her, thinks for a moment)
Did you know...that our sun is the most average kind of star
in the galaxy. I was awfully hurt when I first learned
this...the sun is regular, common, typical, and on top of
that it’s middle-aged. It’s just a skinny nothing of a
forty-something divorcee...with a father like that it’s no
wonder we’re all blowing ourselves away.
YVETTE
Your fascination with things is quite curious...quite
scientific...it’s a fascinating approach to life.
JEROME
Well...thank you.

YVETTE
It’s terribly sexy.
JEROME
Well you...have a fascinating sort of...magnetism.

YVETTE
Yes...magnetism...that’s exactly what it is...
Man re-enters. He’s stalking
forward wretchedly. He clutches in
his hand two nicely garnished, pale
green cocktails. He presents them
to Yvette and Jerome. Jerome looks
at the cocktails distrustfully.
YVETTE
Ah! Glory be!
MAN
M-miss...ma’am...

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 34.

YVETTE
(Warily)
Yes? What is it?
MAN
I-um...um, miss, miss?
YVETTE
Stop stuttering and say something!!
MAN
I don’t...want to be around for this...I want to go...I want
to leave...I’d...I’d prefer to be dead...before all the
screaming begins...
YVETTE
Yes...well.

Yvette stares at him for a moment,


and then reaches into her handbag
and withdraws a tiny pistol. She
hands it to him nonchalantly.

YVETTE
Here then. Enjoy, enjoy. I won’t need it, so you don’t have
to worry yourself about returning it once you’ve done the
deed. So, go-go, leave now.
The man stares at the gun, stares
at her, weakly smiles and then goes
to turn away.
YVETTE
Wait! Before you go off muttering whatever madness it is you
peddle, tell me--
(Turns to face him upstage, she loosens
her top, exposing herself to him alone)
Would you turn these down if the apocalypse was upon you?
The Man blinks once, twice, perhaps
a third time, and then turns around
and trudges off tragically. Jerome
laughs. She turns to him.
YVETTE
I wouldn’t dare consider that any kind of victory if I was
you--he was clearly a homosexual.
JEROME
Clearly.
(Pauses, looks at the drink)
Where the hell did he get these from?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 35.

YVETTE
You can’t fool me.
JEROME
I can’t?

YVETTE
(Creeping up to him on her hands and
knees)
You’re a poet, a hopeless romantic...what man like that
would pass up the opportunity to bump uglies at the very
edge of space and time.
JEROME
Are we really that vain to assume that when we end, so do
space and time.

YVETTE
Well, what are concepts of space and time themselves, except
for the result of vanity on our part?
JEROME
Hm...that’s quite true. How insightful of you.

She moves to kiss him, he turns his


face away. She makes an irritated
sound and moves back. She thrusts
her drink into his hand forcing him
to take it. She stands and removes
her lower outer garment, leaving
her bottom undergarment. She smiles
at him, then applies her sunglasses
and puts out her hand.

YVETTE
Give.
(He does)
JEROME
What time is it?

YVETTE
We’ve been over this; the time is of no consequence.
JEROME
I suppose...although it would be something of a comfort to
know anyway...
YVETTE
Comfort...yes...How right that we should have good weather
for the end of everything.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 36.

JEROME
(Sits, his face grows troubled, suddenly
he has an outburst)
God damn it! God damn this stupid situation! Shut up, would
you? There is no weather!
YVETTE
What??

JEROME
Sunshine is not weather, it’s entirely a lack of weather
altogether! The weather cannot be good because the weather
isn’t there!
YVETTE
Are you feeling alright? What are you overreacting about?
JEROME
I’m not overreacting. It’s just stupid. This is all so
stupid. People are stupid.

YVETTE
I’m stupid now, am I?
JEROME
For that statement, yes, yes you are.

YVETTE
I was merely commenting on the pleasantness of the day!
JEROME
(Laughs bitterly)
Yes, pleasant isn’t it? The entire world has gone to shit,
but at least there’s a warm breeze.
YVETTE
What are you talking about?

JEROME
Nothing. Nothing. Forget it. Nothing at all.
YVETTE
Hm. And you dare accuse me of being the crazy one...

JEROME
Yes, I do.
YVETTE
(Pause)
I do hope that man doesn’t end up killing anyone else other
than himself with that gun...imagine if we were sitting
here, trying to pleasantly take in the very end of human
existence, and someone arrives and blows us away before we
had time to enjoy the rapture. Wouldn’t that be terrible?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 37.

JEROME
Yes, it would be.
YVETTE
Perhaps I shouldn’t have let him have it...what a bastard he
is...to leave me with a regret just when I was starting to
think I’d die without having any.
JEROME
No regrets? None?

YVETTE
No...didn’t I tell you? My mother’s foul story gave me the
freedom from that...
JEROME
I wish I could say the same.

YVETTE
I bet you do.
They are silent for a while.
Something suddenly strikes her, and
she looks to her companion. Then
slowly comes to kneel by him. She
speaks softly...more humanly then
she has been.
YVETTE
You...you’re not upset at the prospect of dying with me?
JEROME
(Pause)
No...no I’m not.
(Pause)
No matter how much we may praise solitude for it’s
virtues...none of us truly want to be alone when we die. I’m
glad you’re here.
YVETTE
Thank you.
JEROME
Watch it!
They both scramble for their
sunglasses. A sudden bright light
flashes and then a blackout occurs.
The lights then slowly return to
full brightness.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 38.

YVETTE
Ah! I swear I felt that one.
JEROME
Impossible. If it was near enough to feel it, we’d be dead.

YVETTE
Well, it’s certainly warming the air, or something of the
sort.
JEROME
Something of the sort.
YVETTE
People were stupid.
JEROME
What?
YVETTE
You claim that people are stupid; but just like the time and
the weather--our stupidity is no longer of consequence.

JEROME
Well, not for long; it’s our stupidity, though...that’s
causing all of this.
YVETTE
(Bitter laugh)
How wonderful that having the sense to harness the power of
the sun still ended up blowing us up because we were too
stupid to handle our ability to reason. The bane of
humanity--ourselves, and God’s doing a wonderful job of
teaching us a lesson...

JEROME
No, no...God has absolutely nothing to do with
this--clearly. He would have been more creative had he not
checked out of the scene years ago. This is a godless
apocalypse--it can be nothing more.

YVETTE
A godless apocalypse...what a beautifully tragic phrase...
JEROME
What I want to know however, is will the final blow come
with nothing to say for it, or will there be some great...I
don’t know...gasp at the end...will there be something to
mark the extinction of the only sentient life we ever came
across?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 39.

YVETTE
(Reaches out and strokes him)
Well...a final gasp is exactly what I’m looking for.
JEROME
And for a moment there, I had thought you’d come to your
senses.
YVETTE
I’m at the very peak of my senses.
(Advances aggressively)
If I were at anything less, I might fall into despair. I
will do nothing of the sort, however.
JEROME
It’s sex or despair is it?

YVETTE
Would you just shut up and lay me?
JEROME
Augh, no!

YVETTE
Do it!
JEROME
No!

YVETTE
Don’t make me beg.
JEROME
Don’t make me hold your head underwater.

YVETTE
It’s your last opportunity to indulge in mankind’s highest
form of pleasure, don’t spoil it.
JEROME
It’s your last chance to die with dignity and pride.
YVETTE
Ravage me! Make love to me!
JEROME
Perhaps more desirable, but I still can’t consider it.
YVETTE
Why not!

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 40.

JEROME
I simply would prefer not to.
YVETTE
(Leaps onto him, they wrestle)
I don’t care.

JEROME
Nor do I - So get off!
YVETTE
The more you resist, the more it excites me!
(Tickles him)
JEROME
Augh! ACK! Stop! Stop! Damn it, stop!

YVETTE
Just give in!
JEROME
Get the hell off of me!
(Throws her off roughly, she laughs
gleefully)
I don’t want my last activity on earth to be a wrestling
match.
YVETTE
(The fire in her eyes remains for a
moment, and then she suddenly softens,
she approaches slowly)
Then...just kiss me.
JEROME
(Pause)
Kiss you?
YVETTE
Yes...kiss me, and I shall be appeased.

JEROME
Are you sure?
YVETTE
I’m a reasonable woman.

He hesitates for a moment, then


leans in and kisses her. It lasts a
reasonably romantic length of time.
When they separate, she looks at
him curiously.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 41.

YVETTE
If we were to have a second chance at life...could you see
yourself falling in love with me?
JEROME
(Pause)
No.
YVETTE
Good...I’d hate to waste a second chance on something as
silly as sex.

JEROME
Agreed.
She embraces him once more, and
they kiss. As the two lock lips,
there is a growing sound of
something thunderous
approaching--it suddenly cuts out.
A sudden bright light flashes and
then a blackout occurs. This time,
the lights never come back up.

Pre-Entr’acte
A single, minuscule spotlight comes
up slowly. He whispers in the
meager light.

HOST
My friends! I highly suggest you find a beverage and an
intimate partner, for the party’s end is imminent and the
evening’s half over - take in a breath of fresh air, for we
now have an interval.

Intermission.
42.

ACT 2
Post-Entr’acte
The host enters, surreptitiously.

HOST
Welcome back my pretties! We will continue with our
entertaining enterprise in just a moment, but I must set-up
our third toast! I begin with a happy thought: Death,
destruction, and mayhem, are always about to happen -
always.
(He pauses, smiles, and giggles at his
own facetiousness)
As humanity lives and dies, it does so in the name of the
apocalypse, which is the cause and the effect, of everything
that is - whether we are predicting it, assessing it,
accepting it, or attempting to avoid it...it is always
there. It has always been there. Why not celebrate its
existence? Why not!!?? We want it...don’t we? I mean think
about it...what if we never got our beloved apocalypse? What
if everything just kept going on and on and on and on into
despair and tedium? The apocalypse is there to save us from
a drab and gray future, I’d say...for who wants the same old
existence time after time?
(Laughs)
You people are wonderfully receptive!
(Lifts his glass to the sky)
La’chiam! Prost! To the clouds!!

Blackout.
Cloud
Rexford enters; observes his
surroundings. There is a park
bench, a trashcan or two, and
assorted garbage. He observes a bit
more. He removes one glove--tests
the air with his bare skin and is
seemingly satisfied. He removes the
other glove. He clears his throat.
He sighs a bit. He quietly hums an
A sharp, and then sits on the
bench. He is clearly weary and
clearly glad to be seated

REXFORD
Ah...yes, yes...yes, excellent...

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 43.

Another man, Thad, enters. Rexford


spots him and leaps to his feet. He
turns wide-eyed--freezes. The other
man also freezes; stares wide eyed
next to the trashcan. There is a
pause.
REXFORD
Where did-
Thad suddenly kicks over the
trashcan and dives over it; Rexford
takes evasive maneuvers. The first
evasive maneuver fails--he attempts
another. This also fails. He
appears to be quite inept at
evasive maneuvers. The men freeze;
neither seemingly where they wished
to be. There is a long silence.
REXFORD
Are you-

THAD
No!
REXFORD
Are you-

THAD
I swear to you, I’m not!
REXFORD
How did you-

THAD
That matters not!
REXFORD
What?

THAD
That matters not!
REXFORD
What??

THAD
It doesn’t matter!!
REXFORD
Oh! What doesn’t?
(Pause)
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 44.

REXFORD (cont’d)
Are you-
THAD
No! I promise, I’m not who you think I am!!

REXFORD
Okay!
(Pause)
How can I be sure of that??

THAD
You can’t be!
REXFORD
Oh!
(Pause)
So what am I supposed to do?
THAD
That’s entirely up to you!
REXFORD
(Suddenly angry)
Oh, is it? Is it??
THAD
Yes! You don’t have to shout!

REXFORD
Ohh, you don’t have to shout!
THAD
I’m not shouting! I’m trying to reason, just very loudly!

REXFORD
Oh!
(Pause)
Stand up!

THAD
Um. Would it be alright if I didn’t?
REXFORD
Why?

THAD
You might shoot me, and that might kill me, and that could
ruin things for me rather quickly.
REXFORD
Yes...it probably would.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 45.

THAD
So...you can understand my anxiety!
REXFORD
I can, but I can assure you, I won’t shoot you!

THAD
How can I be sure?
REXFORD
You can’t be!

There is a long pause. Thad


stands--Rexford also stands. They
stand rather awkwardly for a bit.
THAD
Well...hello.
REXFORD
What?
THAD
Um. How are you?
REXFORD
Terrible.
THAD
Oh.
(Pause)
Have I...perhaps...in some other context...seen you here
before? Or am I merely delirious?
(Rexford doesn’t appear to have heard)
Hello?

REXFORD
Terrible!
(Pauses, confused)
What?

THAD
Have I?
REXFORD
Have you?

THAD
I don’t know.
REXFORD
Know what?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 46.

THAD
Um...do you...have a gun?
REXFORD
Uh. No.

THAD
Are you sure.
REXFORD
(Confused, pats his head, his jacket)
Well...no.
THAD
Oh. Are you feeling alright?
REXFORD
Yes...yes actually I am.
THAD
But...when I asked: How are you-
REXFORD
Terrible!!
THAD
Ah. You are well...but terrible?
REXFORD
Well...yes, actually. That sums it up rather nicely.
THAD
Oh. Good. That’s a comfort.
REXFORD
(Nods, smiling, then pauses, concerned)
Why?
THAD
Ah...um. Might I ask you a rather...soul-searching question?

REXFORD
I think so.
THAD
Did there...use to be...a tree...there.

REXFORD
(Pause)
Funny, I’ve wondered that myself.
(Pause)
I have no idea. Have we...met?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 47.

THAD
Might I sit?
REXFORD
Can you?

THAD
I can.
REXFORD
Then you might.

THAD
What?
REXFORD
You may.

They sit next to one another. Thad


observes the sky.
THAD
That goddamn sky.

REXFORD
Right.
THAD
I wish it would do something.

REXFORD
Yes...something.
THAD
Ya know?

REXFORD
I do. I do.
THAD
Just something. It’s this waiting that kills. We expect it
to do something though, right? It can’t go on like this
forever. But that, that is what makes it worse - it’s
terrible to die while you wait in expectation of something.
REXFORD
Yes...it’s no good...although I’d imagine it happens often.
THAD
Nothing though...nothing good...nothing bad...

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 48.

REXFORD
These are strange times we live in.
THAD
They are, quite strange.

REXFORD
Boring times.
THAD
Very boring, very very boring. Drab.

REXFORD
I mean honestly. Seemingly decent men meeting in parks are
immediately flailing about in fits of distrust.
THAD
It’s not our fault. It’s what all this inconstancy does to a
man.
REXFORD
(Pause)
Inconstancy?

THAD
What?
REXFORD
Everything’s constant...nothing changes...is English your
first language?
THAD
Yes.
(Pause)
Right?

REXFORD
Uh...yes.
THAD
Good.
They sit. Rexford suddenly grasps
his head and lets out a great wail.
He gnashes his teeth and garbles
words together in an
indistinguishable scream that
eventually peters out. Thad looks
on nonchalantly.
THAD
If you keep that up, you’ll probably vomit.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 49.

REXFORD
(Miserable, panting)
You’ve seen this before...
THAD
In many men...with equal thoughts.
REXFORD
Tell me. Do you know? Is this it? Or has it already come and
passed?

THAD
I cannot say...the sky offers nothing.
REXFORD
But spite!

THAD
I’ve often wondered...is there anything we can do?
REXFORD
Do?

THAD
Can we hasten whatever is to come?
REXFORD
It is my impression that it has already happened.

THAD
Yes...that is what many think.
(Pause)
You...you know how it happened, don’t you?

REXFORD
No...but I would ask that you give me time before I must
deal with the weight of that information...
THAD
Yes...I can accept that, empathetically speaking.
(Pause)
I have something...I’ll share it.
REXFORD
...what...?

Smiling, Thad stands, fetches the


garbage can, dumps out its
contents, preferably something
absurd like a dead animal or the
props from the prior scene, turns
it on its end in front of the
bench, and then produces two beers

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 50.

from his jacket pocket. The labels


are mangled, but the contents are
intact. Rexford leans forward,
wide-eyed.

THAD
Look. At. That!
REXFORD
My God, I see it. Were there others??

THAD
The rest were broken, I salvaged these and nearly lost a
finger.
REXFORD
Is it-

THAD
Yes.
REXFORD
It’s-

THAD
Try it, have some. Go ahead.
Rexford tenderly grasps the bottle
and turns the cap. He relishes in
the sound it produces.
REXFORD
Ah...twist off...

Thad does the same to his. They


chuckle and toast. They sip in
silence for a moment.
THAD
How...betrayed we are...by our world these days--every man
denied his particular poison.
REXFORD
You say a great deal.
THAD
Do I? I suppose I do. It’s just about all I’m good for these
days.
REXFORD
(Staring at the sky)
Look...
(Thad does)
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 51.

REXFORD (cont’d)
What do you see?
THAD
Nothing, of course, just gray.

REXFORD
Gray what?
THAD
Skies.

REXFORD
No, no! Not sky! Sky is endless, it is our perception and
world that give it it’s colors and shades and pitiful pros.
What is there?

THAD
...the clouds.
REXFORD
Exactly! Exactly! Clouds! You see-

Rexford jumps up and moves to grasp


Thad. In his excitement he tips
a/the beer. Both scramble to right
it--they do.
THAD
No worries, no worries, my friend! Only some was lost.
REXFORD
(Defeated)
Augh...damn it.

THAD
(Observes his friend, the mess)
Just an accident...yes...that was how it started if you are
ready to know...an accident...I think you should know...it
may help.

REXFORD
Yes.
(Pause)
Yes, tell me.

THAD
(Hushed, calculated, a story)
It was some sort of...catastrophic misfire, some dire,
apocalyptic mistake...do you remember?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 52.

REXFORD
I was...distracted from the world until it had passed--I
saw, nor heard anything until it was this hell to wake to.
THAD
One...bomb...one explosion--accidental--thousands, millions
murdered.
REXFORD
Yes...of course...this I remember...i think...

THAD
After it happened...there were minutes to be had, mere
minutes to make a decision. All the stories, all the
predictions swore that retaliation was inevitable, that no
nation could excuse even an accident of that magnitude...but
somewhere in those minutes the choice was made not to
retaliate...there was no action there...and suddenly there
was no action anywhere...a flash--a single great noise and
we all could have been free of this present. Someone,
however, spared the button.
REXFORD
Button?
THAD
Lever...pulley...switch--I don’t really know how it works.
REXFORD
And then?
THAD
Then...this...an indiscernible amount of time, I don’t
remember, I lay asleep, I refused to get out of bed, perhaps
centuries passed--I have no idea. There was...fear,
anger--but no end. Then...slowly...the broadcasts
stopped...the targets turned down...the boats docked...the
ground--sealed...and then it grew cloudy...
(Pause)
And it never cleared.

REXFORD
(Silent, stone faced, something is not
right)
That...that’s impossible...that’s confusing, that makes no
sense! No...No!
(Lashes out suddenly, seizes Thad)
I’m no idiot! I am human! There is something you left out!
THAD
Please, my friend! Perhaps it is simply something I do not
know!

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 53.

REXFORD
Why would it happen like that--how could something like that
just fade to gray! How could a world fade to gray!
THAD
Perhaps we all were supposed to perish! Perhaps not
retaliating was the worst mistake of all--a cosmic
failure...and now our punishment is a slow decay.
REXFORD
Who--who fired?? Who did it?? Who’s bomb??
(Shakes him)
You--was it you--you’re people??
THAD
I don’t know my people! It could have just as easily been
you!

REXFORD
It wasn’t me!
THAD
It wasn’t me!

REXFORD
(Pauses, still clutching him)
Do...do you have a weapon...now?
THAD
...yes. Yes I do.
REXFORD
Put it down.

THAD
Down?
REXFORD
Reveal it! Disarm!

THAD
I swear to you, I won’t use it; I have no reason to shoot
you!
REXFORD
We make these promises every day - we mean them, we don’t
mean them, it doesn’t matter because we still carry our
weapons! Disarm!
THAD
But why?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 54.

REXFORD
A sign of faith, please.
THAD
I mean no disrespect, and although I have no reason to shoot
you, I have even less of a reason to have faith in you.

REXFORD
And you never will--disarm anyway.
(Clutches his head in pain)
It may save us.

THAD
Us? ...or you?
Rexford is silent--simply stares.
Thad, eventually, takes out a small
pistol, holds it, and then trades
it for the beer on the trashcan,
which he then nurses. Rexford sits
back, and sadly looks around the
park.

REXFORD
Living with...apathy...inconstancy... Living with gray
unrelenting skies only breeds distrust among men. We can
only do what we can do to protect against such things...
THAD
But in truth...what can we do?
REXFORD
Strive...to make the sun burn us away, or the rain soak us
to death, but together, to assure mutual end...I suppose
that’s about all.

THAD
One of us may better withstand the burn of the sun, or the
drowning rains, what then?

REXFORD
I don’t believe in that possibility.
THAD
Well...that is some comfort.
(Pause)
Isn’t it sad that we must borrow weather when there is none
of our own to speak of?
REXFORD
(Angry again)
Of course it’s sad. Fuck you, man. Honestly, fuck you! Sad,
you and sad...sad...

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 55.

(Mutters to himself)
THAD
You seem to suffer from rather severe nerves my friend...i
was only saying-

REXFORD
Nerves! I may have had nerves when the prices were rising,
when bullets were firing, but NO the nerves are all gone
from a man who must deal with gray unrelenting skies! You,
sir, are clearly already dead to be speaking of nerves.

THAD
Well...perhaps I am.
REXFORD
Augh...I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
(Pause)
It’s just...this feeling! Can you conceive of this? That
this has been done! That we’ve been here before. Us as
humans! Us as individuals! This spiritual...ache.
(Looks around)
Before - you mentioned to me about that tree. I felt it too!
What is that? Why is that? What is this feeling that there
was once a tree - that there was once intention - that there
was at least a brilliance involved, but that it’s gotten
mislead...
THAD
Well...brilliance is relative.
REXFORD
Well, to that extent, so are trees.

THAD
What?
(Pause)
You seem to think that all this...has happened before?
REXFORD
No...only that it was tried before...that at one time we
knew our purpose...as senseless as it may have been. We’re
being punished for loosing our way...
THAD
What do you mean?

REXFORD
I can’t tell you - I don’t even know.
THAD
Oh...

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 56.

REXFORD
You have the feeling! You must - you knew that there was
once a physical object, a tree there. What is that feeling?
THAD
I don’t know!
REXFORD
And yet it lingers with us, lingers on our breath. Neither
of us able to further it as a solid idea... It just sits in
us, gouged into us...like a foreign body conceived from
within...like a cancer.
(Pause)
Can the poet...ever truly be a plagiarist?
THAD
What?

REXFORD
Something very unusual happened to me once...something I
have no memory of.
THAD
What do you mean? What was that question you asked?
REXFORD
Look.
(Rolls up his sleeve, exposing his arm
on which a phrase is scrawled)
There.
THAD
Did you write this?

REXFORD
No, I don’t know who did. It may have always been there...I
don’t know.
(Angry)
I don’t know! I’m just left with a question that there may
have once been an answer to. This is all a question that was
once intended to be answered...but once we declared it’s
absurdity...we lost the ability to seek its remedy.
THAD
Perhaps...I may offer an answer...will that help?

REXFORD
I don’t know...I doubt it.
THAD
Ask it. Ask the question on your arm.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 57.

REXFORD
(Pause)
Can...can the poet, ever truly be a plagiarist.
THAD
Only if he tries very hard.
REXFORD
(Pause)
That’s your answer.

THAD
Well...it was worth the effort.
REXFORD
Ha! Was it?
(His head is struck with pain again, he
braces)
THAD
You have demons, I can see that...
REXFORD
I have no more than any other man.
THAD
(Pause)
My friend...you see, I have disarmed...just as you have
requested.

REXFORD
(Lost in thought, he gazes at the
pistol)
You have...haven’t you?

THAD
Yes...I did. I disarmed.
REXFORD
I didn’t think you would.

THAD
Funny...nor did I.
They share a meaningful glance,
then Rexford gingerly removes a gun
from his own coat and sets it down
next to Thad’s. Thad nods, and
speaks tenderly.
THAD
There...now you know honesty.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 58.

REXFORD
(Very soft, something has struck)
We have disarmed...
THAD
Yes.
REXFORD
(A realization)
We have disarmed.

THAD
I know, now ca-
REXFORD
Wait!
(Pauses, suddenly manic, he speaks as if
to alert a presence out of view)
We have disarmed!!
THAD
What are you-

REXFORD
Wait, I say! Wait!
(His agitation grows)
Can you not hear us?? Can you not see??
(To the sky)
We have disarmed, damn it!

THAD
My friend-
REXFORD
(Leaping to his feet, furious)
Damn you!! Damn you!! We have disarmed! We have disarmed!!
THAD
Stop!

REXFORD
We have disarmed!! Damn you!! We have disarmed!!
THAD
Please stop!!!

REXFORD
We have disarmed!! Damn it all!! We have disarmed!! We have
disarmed!! We have disarmed!!

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 59.

There is suddenly a loud clap of


thunder. Rexford trips over a bit
of garbage/dead animal. Thad dives
from his seat in fear. They both
scramble under the bench and
freeze. There is no other sound.
THAD
What have you done?
REXFORD
Oh no...oh no...
THAD
Shit. Shit.
REXFORD
Oh hell, oh damn it. I’m sorry. What was that?? What the
hell was that??
They freeze suddenly as MAN enters
from offstage. He staggers,
wanders, wide-eyed and unseeing
past the crouched companions. He
holds a small pistol out in front
of him, pointed at himself.
MAN
Hello? Anyone...? Oh please, anyone? Hello...?

After a moment of silence, the man


cocks the pistol and walks
offstage.

THAD
Might we...mutually agree...to ignore that ever happening?
REXFORD
We may have to...I can’t bare to consider it.

THAD
Right.
They look up again. There is a
moment, and then slowly but surely,
starting more as a whimper, Rexford
begins to laugh.
THAD
What the hell are you laughing at?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 60.

REXFORD
At...ha...at the...haha...at the deepest point in my
optimism I had hoped for a beam of sunlight--but in all
honesty, I am as satisfied with a bolt of lightening.
(Laughs)
If heaven chose to vaporize me, I would be inclined to agree
with the decision.
THAD
That puts too much faith in heaven.

REXFORD
(His laugh suddenly transitions to a
nasty growl)
No, no...it puts none at all.
THAD
Now it’s silent.
REXFORD
Again...it’s silent.
THAD
Maybe that was it? Maybe that was what we were waiting for?
REXFORD
What?
THAD
One clap for whatever reason, for whatever provocation...and
now eternity.
(Pause)
I get the feeling we were funnier people once.

REXFORD
It could go on forever like this.
THAD
Well...that is what I meant by eternity.

REXFORD
No...I mean you and I...this talk, this conversation, this
thing we’re doing.
THAD
Oh God...you’re right. If I may consider it as...as I
believe we were meant to...oh, how terrible. To think--you
write it down and leave it be, and then your characters are
left waiting forever...until there’s no one left to pity
them.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 61.

REXFORD
(Standing, insistent)
Let us resolve then...we have given tribute...let us have
resolution. Let’s depart, let’s end this!

THAD
It’s lousy tribute, if anything.
REXFORD
It may be lousy resolution; I suppose that’s up to you.

THAD
No...no...it is not up to me. Don’t give me the illusion of
control. No. No. Don’t do that to me, learn mercy and never
say that.
REXFORD
I apologize, I don’t think y--
THAD
Don’t you understand what has happened, my friend? Whether
or not this is the end or merely a precursor means nothing.
The end is upon us, has been upon us. Spending time upon
absurdity - living in despair has solved nothing. Pride in
despair has amounted to nothing! We cannot be friends, we
cannot be enemies. We cannot declare the good, we cannot
declare the bad!
REXFORD
I’m afraid I’ve lost what we’re talking about.
THAD
I’m sorry, I’m sorry - It’s my fault. I barely know what I’m
talking about.
(Pause)
What has happened...means nothing...what we heard...merely
indication. We will go on waiting; we will go on observing
eternity as something gray and unyielding. We feel as though
we have done this before...no, we have only known this
before. Context is everything, I suppose. No genuine
resolution...it is a cliché...it is an inequity. Now our
only choice is to be merciful to one another and fulfill the
necessary end that is loneliness. If we part now, we may be
spared the centuries of companionship. If we depart we may
be able to finally end this inclination towards
meaninglessness. Even the empty...the gray...the
unyielding...has meaning. When we met, you thought I was
someone...and you were right. Your only misgiving of thought
was that I was a specific someone, when in all reality--if
we can possibly call it that--I was simply who you were
supposed to run into, that we are being used. In this
thought, I might possibly infer that this is the end--that
no end...is the worst finish of all.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 62.

(Pause)
What a beautiful way for humanity to suffer.
Now completely lost in his
self-proclaimed poetic misery, he
picks up his beer and finishes it.
Rexford stares on, stricken, sad,
but understanding.
REXFORD
You cannot save me...can you...?

THAD
Save you? What do you mean?
(Pause)
No...I cannot save you.

REXFORD
You cannot even save yourself.
THAD
No, I cannot, of that I am even more sure.

REXFORD
(Head down, he trudges away)
Well...goodbye then. In response, I suppose I must leave
you, as surely as I may leave myself.
THAD
Yes.
Thad stands and begins to exit. As
he does, Rexford lets out a sudden
cry and holds up his hand.

THAD
What is it?
REXFORD
(Shocked, gazing at his hand)
It...it might have been a raindrop.
THAD
(Nods sadly)
It might have been.

Thad exits. Rexford, clutching his


own hand, observes it with
reverence. He goes to the bench,
still staring at it, sits and then
lies down. He cradles the hand to
his chest, staring out as the
lights fade.
63.

Mid-Act
The lights come up on the Host. He
appears to be in quite a different
mood from the times we have seen
him before. He is sad. He appears
to be more of a person now than a
character. He speaks genuinely.
HOST
My friends...a sobering moment...If I may be serious for the
time being...I hope you don’t mind. How dare we make
lightness of this subject? There is no greater conceivable
tragedy than the end of all things...all human
consciousness. There are some that would welcome the
destruction of humanity...but these are shrouded souls. What
exists as all of humanity may not be pleasant thing now, and
we might welcome an eternal end to the suffering and
stupidity that we exhibit as a species day after day...but
this is a hurried belief. The apocalypse is a very real
thing, and a frightening thing. It is probable. It is not,
however, impossible to avoid...so how could we accept
it...how dare we accept the end? When the end comes, when it
happens, it won’t just take us. It’ll take Marilyn Monroe,
and Lao-Tzu, and Einstein, and Morobuto, and Buddy Holly,
and Aristophanes... and all of this... all of this... will
have been for nothing. This would be...the greatest
conceivable crime...to allow this. To completely and utterly
covet our own demise at the base level of our inventive
spirituality--our art--is to override the likelihood that
all of humanity will someday be gone. We can avoid it, how -
I don’t know, but it is imperative that we resist the
apocalypse. It is imperative...that we survive.
(Pause, his demeanor changes suddenly,
garishly.)
Just kidding!!!
(He laughs, and then allows for a long
uncomfortable silence.)
Right?
(Pause)
Well...let’s cozy up...what do you say?
(Raises his glass)
To the snow!
Snow

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 64.

There is a couch for three. There


is an end table with a radio and
record player. Upon the center of
the couch is a mountainous pile of
blankets. Two seemingly elderly
women sit on the couch on either
side of the blankets carrying on a
few subtle, elderly actions, like
needlepoint.
PAPILLION
Darling?
EVA
What is it, love?
PAPILLION
Are you feeling well?
EVA
Well as I can be, I suppose.
PAPILLION
Well enough for a bit of an honest chat?
EVA
Honest? What do you mean, honest?
PAPILLION
Truthful? Erm...frank or candid?
EVA
Well, I suppose I can attempt something like--but what is
it?

PAPILLION
You are not feeling at all particularly vengeful?
Perhaps...darker than usual?
EVA
I should say not...should I? What could you possibly be
talking about, love?
PAPILLION
Well, darling--I don’t mean to antagonize you needlessly,
you know I never would, but I’ve noticed lately that...that
you’re an incredibly stupid person.
EVA
(Pause)
Oh?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 65.

PAPILLION
Yes.
(Pause)
How does that make you feel?

EVA
Well...I suppose I’d have to think on it.
PAPILLION
Yes, I’d imagine. Please do.
(Meddles with her task for a moment,
then withdraws a small pocket watch and
looks at it)
Oh! Check the airwaves darling!
Eva Turns to the radio and fiddles
with the dial--there is nothing but
static.
EVA
Nothing yet, love.
PAPILLION
No...it’s not quite that time, I must be too eager.
EVA
Oh no!
PAPILLION
What is it?
EVA
Oh please, my dear - Go to the window and look outside if
you can.

PAPILLION
(Stands slowly, creakily, achingly, she
grunts and then moves to the window)
Well...gracious me! I can’t see a thing! It finally happened
while we weren’t looking! It’s all one snow drift pressed
against the window!
EVA
Oh...just like that. It’s over...it’s gone.
PAPILLION
At last.
EVA
Completely...covered?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 66.

PAPILLION
Completely covered.
EVA
Well...I suppose that’s it. Goodbye sweet world.

PAPILLION
You know, love, it’s rather cozy...all of this--closed in
all snug and warm.
EVA
Please...come away from the window and stop that...I’d
prefer if you kept silent for now and let me think.
PAPILLION
(Tiny chuckle)
Oh, my poetess, stop your negativity.
(She returns to her seat, and her task)
EVA
(Softly, to herself)
I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the
earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the
fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made
them...
PAPILLION
Oh no, no, no--stop that this instant!

EVA
Why? Is it not respectable for me to consider this snow in
the way I should?
PAPILLION
Ah, but genesis is so blasted and lame.

EVA
That is true! How silly God must have been to consider a
flood, for humanity could simply make various boats to lift
above rushing waters. Ah, but then...how silly of mankind to
merely make one...and only at orders from the antagonist.
PAPILLION
There, that’s better, an agnostic again.
EVA
Is it so mad to be scholarly at our age--can’t we lead such
conversation?
PAPILLION
Ha! At our age...at our age...listen to you...

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 67.

EVA
If God Himself truly is cruel at heart, then it seems that
only the agnostic could be content with that.
PAPILLION
Is this cruel though?
EVA
He’s smiting us! Murdering us! Committing xenocide of the
severest nature! Xenocide! A whole species, countless
creatures, pinched out of life!

PAPILLION
Yes, but so gently...
EVA
Gently?? Is this gently, this horrible burial? You cannot
gently be rid of an entire race!
PAPILLION
Stop this...please, it’s agitating me.
EVA
(Is hard-faced for a moment more, then
softens)
Yes...I suppose there’s no reason to be so embittered
now...why allow yourself to pine when there is no hope...
PAPILLION
That’s right love...that’s right.
EVA
(Sigh)
Well...I’ve thought on it.

PAPILLION
What? Oh-yes! And?
EVA
(Nods and knits)
Perhaps I am the stupid one.
The great pile of blankets suddenly
shudders; there are grunts and
cries from within. Suddenly, a
man’s head surfaces on top of the
blankets. He is old and ailing.
POP
Adam Smith! Adam Smith! No corkscrew to a laggard!

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 68.

Papillion moves suddenly to him.


She coos and giggles and babies as
if the man was a little child. He
is clearly, severely, unhappy with
her, but she ignores it. She
showers him with cuddles and kisses
PAPILLION
Oh, yes, yes my darling! How are you, you, you? Yes, yes,
yes mmmmwah!
EVA
Blast it! Can’t he bloody well stay sleeping?
PAPILLION
What is it? What is it my love, love, love?
Papillion kisses him, he turns his
head away, and looks at Eva with
great concern.

POP
(Sick, gravelly)
The food stamp procrastinates, and a dust bunny panics;
however, a wheelbarrow slyly secretly admires a dreamlike
chestnut.

Pop nods and frowns, Papillion


listens to this intently, Eva
stares for a moment.
EVA
Well...thank you?
POP
Adam Smith! Blackguard! Poppy! Adam Smith!
PAPILLION
Oh, he’s cold again!
EVA
Then put a bloody blanket on him!
PAPILLION
We’re all out! All the blankets are on him!
EVA
Well then let him be cold--there’s no way to avoid the cold
now anyway.

POP
(Agitated)
An imaginative sandwich is knowingly surly.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 69.

EVA
Just stop!

Papillion shushes Pop down. He


merely glowers. She returns to her
work, and then suddenly laughs.
PAPILLION
You know, God really is quite clever with this apocalypse
nonsense.
EVA
Ah, so you are willing to admit the end?
PAPILLION
I always have been willing. Just think, if this really is
the great flood, then what is out there right now is merely
a fraction of the volume of water needed. It’s the physical
nature of snow. Quite a conservationist, the lord almighty
is. Now he has so much more room to totally ensure that all
life on this planet it beautifully and gently covered.

EVA
(Bitterly)
Yes...clever, quite clever.
PAPILLION
Perhaps I should have gone to confession before the
snowfall...
EVA
How naïve. How could it possibly matter now? God has clearly
postponed the Day of Judgment indefinitely--and if history
is any sign, he’s been taking longer and longer vacations.
POP
(Sneezes, growls)
If a stovepipe brainwashes a steam engine of a prime
minister, then the vaporized spider rejoices.
PAPILLION
How can you so simply brush aside the immortal soul, my
love?

EVA
It’s better to brush it aside and assume that we’ll all
merely perish, lest we believe we’re the exception. It’s
only natural to assume so much, unless you’re an altogether
exemplary human being, and one of those has never existed.

POP
The food stamp procrastinates, and a dust bunny panics;
however, a wheelbarrow slyly secretly admires a dreamlike
chestnut!

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 70.

PAPILLION
(Gleeful)
You remember those word sheets? Those game sheets on the
newspaper, where you’d have a story to put in your own words
and they’d always come out tremendously silly!

EVA
With the adverbs and nouns and adjectives and the
state-names?
PAPILLION
Yes, yes!
EVA
I do.
PAPILLION
He’s sort of like that!
(Laughs merrily, Pop looks at them
sadly)
Oh come now we must laugh at misfortune, and you can’t
expect us to laugh at our own when your affliction makes it
so much easier.
(Laughs)
At least we have you as you are dear, at least we have that.
EVA
At least we have that.
(Pause)
Listen!
PAPILLION
What?

EVA
I hear no wind...no sound...it seems were finally below the
blizzard.
PAPILLION
Well, how cozy.
(She giggles and returns to her task.
Suddenly, she looks up, concerned)
Darling?
EVA
Yes?

PAPILLION
What ever happened to...Odin?
EVA
What?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 71.

PAPILLION
Odin. What ever happened to him? What do you think? My
goodness...I don’t even remember when he left.
EVA
Nor...nor do I.
PAPILLION
Didn’t he say he was going to be back?
EVA
He...may have...
PAPILLION
Gracious me...isn’t that a downer?
EVA
Yes, quite. Hm, I suppose.
PAPILLION
Do you think he ever made it to where he was going?
EVA
Well...
PAPILLION
Or...
(Chuckles)
Or do you think he’s stuck outside somewhere and is now-
(Laughs)
a...a...
(Can’t contain her giggles)
A big Odin Popsicle!
(Falls into a great fit of laughter)

EVA
If you weren’t so good natured, I might accuse you of being
excessively morbid.
POP
When an ocean behind a tape recorder is fashionable, a
reactor learns a hard lesson from a muddy stovepipe!
EVA
Maybe he’s touch peckish...hungry, eh?

PAPILLION
I don’t think so.
EVA
Maybe he wants a piss.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 72.

PAPILLION
Oh, I’d imagine not, it isn’t in his nature.

POP
ADAM SMITH!!
EVA
SILENCE!

Papillion gasps. Pop is shocked for


a moment, and then nods with a
venerating and impressed nature.
PAPILLION
Don’t you shout at him!!

EVA
Bah.
They return to their tasks in
embittered silence, but after a
moment, Papillion begins to hum
merrily to herself.
PAPILLION
Oh...I do enjoy a good snowfall.

EVA
Jesus, Mary, Joseph...
PAPILLION
Think of the bloody massive snowman you could make out there
right now.
EVA
Honestly!
PAPILLION
Fine, fine! Burn me at the stake for trying to bring a bit
of levity to our poor position.
EVA
People have been burned at the stake for lesser crimes.

PAPILLION
Ha! What a degenerate intellectual thing to say.
(Continues to knit, suddenly looks to
her pocket watch in alarm)
Ah! Darling! The time!

EVA
(Sets down her task)
Right! Right!

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 73.

PAPILLION
Oh, how exciting!
EVA
Quickly my love, close your eyes!

Papillion does so and snuggles down


a bit into the couch. Eva reaches
for the radio dial. Static sounds
as she fiddles, but with expert
tact she has withdrawn a record
with the other hand and now places
it on the turn-table.
PAPILLION
Faster! We’ll miss the beginning!

EVA
No worries my dear, not a chance of that.
In one beautiful maneuver she turns
down the radio as the record player
begins to play the record. Vince
Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time is Here”
begins to sound through the room.
If there are royalty or rights
issues, something equally as
endearing or seasonal may be
substituted.

PAPILLION
Ah...yes...wonderful...
POP
Elephant parade!

PAPILLION
SHHHH!
Papillion is fierce at Pop’s
intrusion, but rapidly becomes
placid again. After a bit, she
slowly rises to her feet, eyes
closed, and with just her arms and
a slight shuffle of her feet, she
gently begins to dance. It is a
terribly adorable thing.
PAPILLION
Love, love, come dance with me, darling. Let us dance.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 74.

EVA
Well...alright, i suppose.
She grunts as she attempts to rise
from her seat. She finally stands,
grasps here companion, and the two
shuffles around the room to the
music playing.
PAPILLION
Remember the warmer days?

EVA
Sweltering days.
PAPILLION
They were pleasant.

EVA
Maybe here--but it grew so hot before it grew cold that this
sort of end is a great deal more preferable. Hypothermia is
practically a gift to those who were unfortunate enough to
be sub-Saharan.

PAPILLION
Oh how I would love to see the savanna covered with snow.
What the lions must be thinking!
They dance some more. Suddenly,
oddly, Papillion lets out a great
scream of terror. She covers her
eyes, and scampers across the room
still screaming.
EVA
What is it??
PAPILLION
Oh, nooooooo!
(Scampers and screams in terror, the
source of her duress appears to be
behind the couch)
Look, look!
(She screams, becoming quite insane and
manic.)

EVA
(Looking behind the couch)
Oh, gracious!
PAPILLION
What? Who is it?? What is it??

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 75.

EVA
My goodness, it’s Odin!
PAPILLION
I believe...i believe he’s been shot!

PAPILLION
Shot???
EVA
I think he’s dead!

PAPILLION
Dead?? What do you mean, dead??
EVA
He’s not moving or complaining, and well, it looks like he’s
been bleeding.
PAPILLION
He can’t be dead!
EVA
Well, he is!!
PAPILLION
What do you mean??
(Clutches her hair, begins a slow moan)

EVA
Oh the poor fellow, how did he get in here and die without
us noticing? He must have been very intent on it. How
curious...
PAPILLION
(Vicious)
Wake him up!!
EVA
I can’t wake him you damnable bat, he’s expertly deceased!

PAPILLION
(Stomping)
Wake him! Wake that bastard up; make him tell us his
secrets!
(Revolves in place for a moment,
moaning, insane)
Be not proud, though some have called thee...
(Moans and groans at different pitches)
POP
(Yelling, adding to the ruckus)

(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 76.

POP (cont’d)
When a defendant living with the mastodon starts reminiscing
about lost glory, some crank case toward a freight train
daydreams!
EVA
Stop this commotion! We’re all going to be dead once this
snow continues anyway, there’s no need to get all worked up
over a single victim!

PAPILLION
No! No! No!
EVA
(Losing he temper)
Stop this! Stop it! Stop it now, goddamn it, STOP!
Eva steps up and slaps Papillion
across the face, stopping her
mid-wail. She is silent with shock
for a moment.

PAPILLION
You...you hit me!
EVA
Well, clearly

Papillion hauls off and slaps her


back. Eva recoils.
EVA
Well! We all seem so sane until we start bludgeoning one
another! Now halt this ridiculous behavior!
Eva grabs Papillion who immediately
goes to the defensive and falls
down, Eva attempts to drag her as
she kicks and screams.
EVA
Stop it! Stop it!
She props her against the couch and
starts shaking her angrily
EVA
Stop...acting...SENILE... you’re...not...even...OLD!!
PAPILLION
NO?? No, Darling? You fool yourself, we’re ancient and
crazy!
(Roars and rolls away, then sits up
abruptly, her hair and clothes askew)

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 77.

We’ll end up sitting in shelves, paper corpses waiting into


eternity with the dust until the sun finally and mercifully
envelopes the earth and melts all this...all this...all this
fucking snow.

Papillion seizes up for a minute


and then begins to sob. She is now
quite sane. She crawls to Eva who
cuddles her
EVA
Now, now...there, there - it’s alright.
Her sobs begin to calm, they rock
back and forth in an embrace on the
floor for a while. Papillion wipes
her face, resting her head on Eva.
PAPILLION
Dearest...did you know that it rains diamonds on Neptune?
EVA
Really?
PAPILLION
Yes...someone once told me that. How marvelous...wouldn’t
you say? What if we were to be buried in diamonds...I might
not be as sad about it.

EVA
Diamonds are terribly oppressive things in great quantities,
love.
PAPILLION
Yes...yes, I know.
EVA
Snow is a much better medium...sparkles just as brightly
when fresh...I can certainly see that...

PAPILLION
(Pause)
So...Odin is dead. At least now we know where he is, pity
we’ll never know where he was.

EVA
Perhaps we don’t want to...he did end his journey by
shooting himself.
PAPILLION
(Sad chuckle)
I’d imagine that the rest of the world is not getting along
as well as we are.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 78.

POP
(Inquiring, as if also trying to
console)
Yellow marigolds sing salutations to a great foul windy
thing?

PAPILLION
(Slightly hushed, as if not to embarrass
him)
Really though, what is wrong with him.

EVA
Considering the state of our predicament...I think it’s best
not to worry about that.
(They look to Pop, who shrugs and yawns)
PAPILLION
Do you know what I’m really going to miss about the world?
EVA
What is that?
PAPILLION
Hidden camera television shows.
EVA
What? Oh? Why in heavens name?
PAPILLION
They were so wonderfully uplifting. I’ll miss that moment of
understanding. You know? The person who is getting this
great practical joke played on them has their confusion, or
anger, or mere agitation growing and growing throughout the
whole hilarious taping, and then suddenly right at the worst
moment, the host lets the poor victim onto the joke.
(Laughs at the memory)
I will miss that sudden relief on the persons face, that
special sort of laughter. I will miss the people laughing
and applauding, while the now cheerful victim buries her
face in her friends clothing while she giggles and chides
herself at allowing such a thing to happen. I’ll miss
that...that...”oh, you!” moment...yes?
EVA
I never watched much television.

PAPILLION
Well...
(Drifts into thought)
I regret not being able to experience myself...Wouldn’t
it...wouldn’t it be lovely if...if all of this snow actually
turned out to be a practical joke on the human race? Just as
our despair was at its peak, just as there was no hope left,
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 79.

PAPILLION (cont’d)
a great hand reaches down from the heavens and points at a
camera hidden just out of everyone’s view. All of humanity
would laugh in embarrassment and relief and chide themselves
at being so doom and gloom...that would be
marvelous...wouldn’t it?
EVA
Yes...I suppose that would be something.
POP
(In great understanding)
The umbrella negotiates a prenuptial agreement with a canyon
living with a fire hydrant, because a stovepipe of an
industrial complex often satiates the Spartan senator.
PAPILLION
(Pauses, stares at him)
Thank you, love...
EVA
(Hoisting herself up)
Come on then, let’s join the old boy on the couch and try
and forget this foul madness.
PAPILLION
Yes...
Papillion crawls up to sit on the
couch. Eva Goes around the back of
the couch, seemingly adjusts the
body a bit. She tries to drag it
out, but only succeeds at letting
the shoes and lower leg seen from
around the edge. It should become
at least partially clear now that
"Odin" is in fact MAN.
EVA
Well...I suppose I’ll leave him.

PAPILLION
Please do.
EVA
Shall I put the music back on?

PAPILLION
No...it was from a more innocent time, I can’t bare it.
EVA
Do you remember playing in the snow as a child?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 80.

PAPILLION
Oh...darling...

EVA
What? Do you remember?
PAPILLION
Yes...but I didn’t merely play in the snow as just a
child...it was a fond pastime for me...and why shouldn’t it
have been?
EVA
It was always after the first snowfall, yes? While the snow
was still fresh and white...no time for cars and such to
dirty it up with smog and soot. It would stay snow for only
a day or two...and then soon after it would be just ice and
dirt...
PAPILLION
It was sad...that something so beautiful was so fleeting...

EVA
Isn’t that the nature of things though?
PAPILLION
Yes...of course. My poetess...my agnostic...beauty is
fleeting...

EVA
We know this well.
PAPILLION
We do.

EVA
We must know this.
PAPILLION
We must...we must...
EVA
But just think, my love. Once this snow has kept falling
until everything is underneath...there won’t be any foul
machinery, or dirt, or anything of the like to ruin the
landscape. It will stay clean and beautiful for a very long
time...if anyone happens to make the climb...they will find
the world a very white place...and that’s how it will
stay...perfect.
PAPILLION
(Sad chuckle)
Leave it to you, my love, to make something so utterly
despairing appear altogether magnificent.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 81.

EVA
(This seems to concern her)
Can I be faulted for that?
PAPILLION
No dear, not entirely...
EVA
I have made peace in my life, love...and that is how I’ve
done it.

Eva She goes to the window, and


reaches out to it. She plays her
hands along the air as if gently
caressing the glass.
EVA
It is warm in here yet, my love...how wonderful to be tucked
in at the end...
(Looks down sadly)
All we can do now is wait...
She is about to turn away, then
stops abruptly looking at the
floor. She suddenly notices
something. A solitary spot of
sunlight, barely larger than a
baseball, has appeared on the floor
from the window. She looks up,
looks down again. It is most
certainly coming from the window.
She lets out a great gasp.
PAPILLION
Oh no, what now??
EVA
My love! Look! Look, my love!
PAPILLION
(Quickly getting up)
What? What could it be??
Looks down, freezes, and then with
a series of high pitches gasps, she
falls to the ground and caresses
the small spot of sunlight.
EVA
It’s-

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 82.

PAPILLION
Sunlight! Sunlight!
EVA
It has ended! Oh! Before it began it has ended!

PAPILLION
(To Pop)
Sweetheart! It’s sunlight!
POP
Fornication under consent of the king!
PAPILLION
Odin! It’s sunlight!
(Momentary pause)
Oh, yes - terribly sorry, Odin. I forgot. But it’s sunlight!
It really is!
She lets out a great laugh, Eva
laughs out loud as well. Papillion
dives into her arms, they embrace
upon the floor in great fits of
giggles. Quite suddenly, however,
Papillion returns to fits of sobs.
EVA
My dear?

PAPILLION
It...it...
(Sob)
It doesn’t make a great deal of sense, does it?
(Laughs, sobs, laughs)
Does it? N--no one to--to to stand and applaud at our
silliness now, is there? We’ll have to wait to chide
ourselves...
EVA
Oh, come now - don’t you worry about that...

PAPILLION
I don’t remember anyone crying about it...
(Laughs, and then suddenly becomes very
serious)
What a cruel thing to have done to us...to tease us and
torture us...does God really have a point to make with all
this misery...for the snow is certainly not our fault
directly.
EVA
Isn’t it?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 83.

PAPILLION
Isn’t it? Isn’t it? You always say that when you want to
seem like you understand.
EVA
I don’t though love...even with our difference of beliefs,
neither of us seems to have a very good explanation for all
this. I must say though...that perhaps, in the end, the
great practical joke is not the Armageddon, but God himself.
PAPILLION
No...it can’t be. For in the end, practical jokes are
expected be funny.
EVA
Ah...so true...

PAPILLION
(Stands)
Well...now that we have a great many days ahead of us...we
must find something to do.
EVA
Oh...that’s a bit of an agitating idea isn’t it? Just when I
was beginning enjoy retirement...
(Laughs)
PAPILLION
Don’t be silly!
EVA
I’ll try not to be! Oh, I’ll try.
The two return to their menial
tasks on the couch. We hear a
snore from Pa, who has fallen fast
asleep.
PAPILLION
That’s the spirit old boy!

EVA
Shall I get us a refreshment of some kind? Tea maybe?
PAPILLION
How about a cocktail! I daresay, now is good a time as any
for a bit of the bottle. A bit of a celebration, yes?
EVA
Of course!
(Gets up to get the drinks)

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 84.

PAPILLION
(Lets out a gasp)
Oh no! My dear...we may have an even worse problem on our
hands when all this bloody snow melts away.

This gives them pause for a moment,


and then they burst out laughing,
waking Pop, who looks around in
bewilderment.
EVA
Oh, who gives a shit!
The laugh even harder at this, even
Pop joins in, sensing merriment,
and Eva goes to the kitchen. Their
little elderly giggles and chortles
carry on as the lights fade to
darkness
Epilogue
The lights come up again, full
blast! The players are all up on
their feet. The stage is clear.
They all mingle, shout, and laugh.
The music has returned and it plays
loudly and vibrantly. Only one
thing is amiss...MAN still lays
dead on the floor, no longer behind
the couch. The players step over
him and ignore him as though he
isn’t there. They all have glasses
again and champagne is distributed.
Finally, it is decided that they
take bows. Each cast of each play
comes out one by one and modestly
acknowledge the applause of their
friends and audience. Finally,
after the last bow, the Host
returns. They all applaud him
heartily, and he accepts the praise
with much gusto.
HOST
Thank you! Thank you! My audience, my friends - thank you!
Our party is at and end! I do hope you enjoyed yourselves,
we certainly did! Now grab hold of a loved one, say your
prayers, and settle your debts - for the apocalypse is upon
us. Abandon all hope ye who live and breathe in this
reality! One final toast!
(Raises his glass, the players follow
suit)
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 85.

HOST (cont’d)
To the ending, to the conclusion, to the finale, to the
termination, to the APOCALYPSE!
They all cheer and drink. Then,
they all turn to the back of the
stage, looking at something, we’re
not sure what, and begin a
countdown from thirteen. Their
excitement peaks at one, and right
where we expect a “blast-off” or a
“happy new year” there is nothing.
The lights cut out abruptly, the
music cuts out abruptly, and when
the lights rise again...there is a
bare stage. The players, man and
host included, have vanished and do
not return.
End of Play.

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