Special guest writer credit to you-know-who ;)

(HENRY’s pained and fitfully sleeping face melts into CECELIA’s pained, awake one. She’s also laying uncomfortably on the sofa in her parent’s flat, trying to pass the time by reading a magazine. She is humming “Leaning on a Lamp Post” against her better judgment. She pages through, quicker and quicker until finally, in disgust, she tosses it with a grunt onto the coffee table and scowls. There’s a knock at the door.)

MRS. BROWN: (from the kitchen) Celia, darling, can you get that?

CECELIA: Yes, Mum…

(she begins to trudge over to the door.)

MRS. BROWN: And make sure you empty the rubbish today, it’s starting to pile!

CECELIA: (pulling a face) Ugh, yes Mum.

(she opens the door and greets LEW and VERA, both carrying large plastic bags full of bright pink papers: Henry’s pamphlets. LEW looks somber, and VERA optimistic in spite of it all. CECELIA tries her best to be non-plussed.)

CECELIA: Is that all of them?

LEW: All we could find.

(HE and VERA set their bags down just inside the door, next to two massive bags of rubbish. The four are nearly indistinguishable.)

CECELIA: Good. I don’t want to incite any riots, or get that fool hurt some more.

LEW: (leaning on the doorjamb) You can’t tell me you don’t believe him, Cecelia.

CECELIA: So what if I do? It’s not like it’ll change anything.

LEW: How do you know?

CECELIA: Because we’re four little insignificant bugs out of trillions in the whole wide world.

LEW: (stretching a little and hearing a few satisfactory cracks) Henry believed it.

CECELIA: (getting testy) Well, he’s not here right now, is he?

LEW: (escalating) Because you sent him away!

CECELIA: It was for his own good!

LEW: Oh, BOLLOCKS it was!

VERA: (stepping between them) STOP!

(they do. VERA is near tears.)

VERA: Stoppit, th’ both of yew! D’yew think ‘enry woulda wanted this, eh? Actin’ loike a roight pair a larvae (she pronounces it lahr-vee), yew are!

(a beat. LEW and CECELIA both look cowed. It’s obvious that, on top of being told off, they’re also upset at HENRY’s disappearance. Finally, CECELIA speaks up.)

CECELIA: You heard anything?

LEW: Nope. You?

CECELIA: Nope.

LEW: Three weeks…and not even a peep. It’s not like him.

CECELIA: Makes you wonder if this’ll go on forever…

(a fade away as the music fades in. The original idea is posted, but others could be “Big Man,” “Where Were You When I Needed You,” or “I Can Take Or Leave Your Loving.”)

(In CECELIA’s imagination, time passes, and it is a long-off winter where HENRY’s parents’ house is covered in snow. The parents are gone, we can assume long since dead, and the house is an absolute mess: dishes everywhere, stacks of old newspapers, peeling wallpaper, et cetera. Up in his room, a wild-eyed and ridiculously gray-bearded HENRY rails at the world.)

A winter’s day
In a deep and dark December;
I am alone,
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

(he steps out from the room and walks down the stairs with creaking knees, ranting madly. He slides his arms across the wall as he spits out the lyrics in a gravely approximation of his former voice.)

I’ve built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It’s laughter and its loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

(He glances out a grimy window to see a group of carol singers, and immediately slams the blinds shut with a growl.)

Don’t talk of love,
But I’ve heard the words before;
It’s sleeping in my memory.
I wont disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
If I never loved I never would have cried.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

(He turns back inside to the dark and cluttered living room which is piled all over with failed writing, books, magazines, and other “lone nut” bric-a-brac.)

I have my books!
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor!
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

(he sits on the now faded and stained floral couch as two stacks of newspapers lean inwards, almost seeming to console him. He looks downward with sad, reddened eyes and mutters a dark oath.)

And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.

(as the music fades out, the camera zooms in on the old, crazy, bearded HENRY until, with a start, we are back in the present at the farmhouse as HENRY rockets up from his bed, eyes wide open in fear and gasping for air. It appears that he and CECELIA were having a common dream. As HENRY’s narrow chest pounds and his breath comes in huge, sucking wheezes, the camera fades back slowly to a sad-looking CECELIA.)

LEW: Not a pretty thought, that.

CECELIA: (with a shudder) Yeah…

(from the open balcony window, there is a noise beginning to build. It’s Wednesday, and the bachelor mantises are at it again with their song and mating dance, either “Cecelia” or “Jezebel.” LEW can’t help but laugh as the mortification pours over CECELIA’s face.)

LEW: Oh, right! It is Wednesday, after all.

VERA: (thoroughly perplexed) Wot’s that mean?

LEW: It means–

CECELIA: (cutting him off) It means I’ve got to take out the trash.

(she grabs two of the bags and storms over to the window, seeking to hurl refuse down on the amorous bugs.)

CECELIA: LEAVE ME THE BLOODY HELL ALONE!

(However, she has picked the bags of HENRY’s pamphlets, and enacts an impromptu ticker-tape parade in the town square, blanketing the folks with a cascade of pink propaganda. CECELIA just stands there, shocked and helpless as the bugs stop their singing slowly and, confusedly, start picking up the fliers and reading.)

CECELIA: (hushed and utterly flabbergasted)
…Bugger.

(LEW and VERA walk up behind her on the balcony, arm in arm, laughing uproariously.)

LEW: Blimey, Cecelia, good show! You did in one swoop what woulda taken Henry years to do!

VERA: Way to get the word out, luv!

LEW: I can’t believe it! Just… WHOOOOOOOOSH! Out they went!

(and so on and so on until VERA finally says…)

VERA: Oh, it was luvly, simply luvly! Jus’ wayt til ‘enry ‘ears this…he’ll be thrilled!

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