Marital Bliss

Scene One

As the curtain rises, the stage is in darkness. We hear a bang and the shuffle of feet to the right of the stage. A bedside light goes on and a woman sits up in bed to the left of the stage. She has rollers in her hair and is in her late 50s. She has white cream all over her face. There is another bang and she leans over and shakes the person who is asleep next to her. He doesn’t budge and then she shakes him harder.

Woman:            (Whispering). John, John, wake up, John!

John:                  (Turning towards her). What is it, Maureen? What time is it?

Maureen:           (Whispering). There’s someone downstairs, John. I can hear them moving.

John:                   (Muttering). Don’t be ridiculous, Maureen. It’s probably the cats or the wind or something. You know what you’re like.

Maureen:            No, listen John! There’s somebody moving around down there. I distinctly heard something.

John:                   (Looking at his watch). Go back to sleep, Maureen, it’s gone midnight.

Maureen:            Listen. It’s there again. There’s someone in the kitchen, John. I can hear them. You’ll have to go down and look.

John:                   I’m not going anywhere Maureen. It’s nothing. Go back to sleep.

Maureen:            I can hear them talking John. Listen. Don’t just lie there like a big dummy, do something.

John:                   It’s all in your imagination, Maureen. You shouldn’t read those Stephen King novels before you go to bed. I told you they’d frighten you to death. Go to sleep, Maureen.

Maureen:            It’s getting closer, John. They’re in the hall now. I can hear them.

Another bang comes from the right of stage, this time louder and closer.

John:                   (Sitting up in bed and turning the bedside light on). What was that?

Maureen:            I told you there was someone in the house. Now do you believe me?

John:                   (Nervously). They’re coming up the stairs. Maureen.

Maureen:            Do something, John. Do something!

John:                   Call the police, Maureen. Call the police now!

Maureen:            (Stretching her hand out to the base of the phone on her right). Where’s the phone, John?

John:                    Shit. I took it downstairs to call Dan.

Maureen:            To call Dan? I told you to keep it up here. How many times did I tell you? I said always keep it handy in case of an emergency. And what do you go and do?

John:                   I forgot OK. I was arranging a golf match and forgot.

Maureen:            A golf match. A bloody golf match. We’re about to be murdered in our beds and you’re arranging to knock some balls about with your stupid mates.

John:                   OK.OK. I’m sorry. Really sorry. I didn’t think. I never assumed that…

Maureen:            No, you never ever think, John. That’s your problem. It’s all me, me, me. Christ, what are we going to do now?

Another bang and the footsteps get closer.

John:                    (Nervously). They’re getting closer.

Maureen:            Did you see that?

John:                   What?

A light shines under the door.

Maureen:           There, there, did you see it?

John:                   They’ve got a torch. They’re coming up the stairs. Oh my God.

Maureen:            Do something, John. Oh please, do something!

John:                    Quick, out of bed, Maureen. Quietly as you can.

Maureen:            What are we going to do, John?

John:                    Just get out of bed, Maureen. Now.

They both get out of their beds and move towards the centre of the stage. John’s pyjama’s top is open and his belly hangs out. Maureen hides behind him.

Maureen:             John, tell me what we are going to do.

John:                    Hold on, Maureen, I’m thinking.

Maureen:            Le’s hide, John.

John:                   Hide. Where?

Maureen:            In the wardrobe, John?

John:                    Don’t be mad, we can’t both fit in there. Anyway, it’s full of your of all your countless dresses. I told you to get rid of some but no, no…they’ve all got sentimental values haven’t they?

Maureen:            Under the bed?

John:                    We just changed it, remember, Maureen. Let’s get a waterbed you said. Would be good for our backs. Fat lot of good it is now. Couldn’t get a bloody mouse under it.

Maureen:            In the bathroom. We could lock the door. We could wedge something against it.

John:                   But they’ll know where in there. They’ll find us. We’d be trapped .

More bangs getting closer and closer.

Maureen:            Do something, John, they’re on the landing. Do something.

John:                   (Pointing). Give me that?

Maureen:            What?

John:                   The vase! Give it to me.

Maureen:           But John, that’s Mummy’s present. Our anniversary gift.

John:                   Give me the bloody vase, Maureen!

Maureen:            You never did like it, did you?

John:                   Maureen. This is not the time.

Maureen:            Mummy always said you hated it.

John:                   Get a grip, Maureen. Pull yourself together.

John walks over to the table and picks up the vase. He pulls out the flowers and tips the water on the floor.

Maureen:            Mind the carpet, John. It’s just been cleaned.

John:                   (Ignoring her). Who knows what they want?

Maureen:            Oh no. Not that, John. Please not that. You will protect me, John. Won’t you? You won’t let them do anything to me. Please say you’ll stop them.

John:                  (Pointing to the dresser by the window). What’s that over there?

Maureen:           What?

John:                   Over there by the window.

Maureen:            I must have left it when I was cutting the flowers this morning.

John:                   Pick it up, Maureen!

Maureen:            No John, no I can’t.

John:                   Pick the bloody knife up, Maureen. Pick it up!

Noises get louder outside the door. Maureen crosses the room and picks up the knife. She returns to centre stage and stands next to John.

Maureen:            They’re outside. I can hear them. What are we going to do?

John:                   Behind the door. Get behind the door. Quietly now.

Maureen:            But John.

John:                   We have to hit them hard, Maureen. No holding back. Do you understand? The minute they come in, we go for     them. Don’t even look. OK. Just do it. It’s all we have. The element of surprise.

Maureen:            But John, I can’t. I just can’t.

John:                    It’s them or us, Maureen. Them or us. Do it for the kids. Maureen.

Maureen:            OK, John. I’m with you. I’ll do it. I promise.

John:                   Hard as you can. Ready, Maureen.

Maureen:            Yes. Ready.

John:                   Don’t even look OK?

Maureen:            OK, John.

The door handle starts to turn. They walk over and stand behind the door.

John:            Right Maureen. On the count of three.

    One

    Two

Scene Two

The lights go out in the bedroom and come on in the hallway stage right. We see two hooded figures standing near the bedroom door. One is holding the door handle and holding a torch. The other is carrying something. The one holding the door handle stops, lowers the hood and reveals a young man in his twenties.

Boy:            Do you think they heard?

The other figure lowers its hood and reveals a young girl with long hair.

Girl:            Mum and Dad, no. Sleep like logs.

Boy:            They’ll be in for a real surprise.

Girl:            You bet.

Boy:            They think we’re on the other side of the world.

Girl:            Lucky we got back in time. Touch and go.

Boy:            Do you think she’ll like it?

Girl:            Course she’ll like it. She’s always wanted one. Her old sewing machine’s had it.

Boy:            Turning the handle.

OK, on the count of three.

One

Two

Three

He turns the handle and pushes the door open.

Happy Birth…………………..

All the lights go out.

© Graham Walker 2012

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Winner of the STAGE WRITE Script Writing Competition, Wimbledon BOOKFEST 2010