30 Plays – Day 5

Today I got a bit excited by my script. As in, excited enough to want to pursue it. This is the first writing exercise that I feel has potential beyond one little scene, or a ten minute play. This one could actually be Something.

This was my prompt:

Write a play set in a theme park.

But I had some extra inspiration. I also just finished reading ‘The Sea of Tranquility’ by Emily St. John Mandel. I love Mandel’s books, because they’re carefully plotted sci-fi novels, which focus on the humanity and small, poignant moments of her character’s lives. One of her other books – ‘Station Eleven’ – is one of my absolute favourites. If you get a chance, read it!

So, I was inspired by ‘The Sea of Tranquility’, and decided to work on a sci-fi script. I’ve written a few plays recently with science fiction elements, and I find it gives me so much creative freedom. I really love it!

Here’s today’s script:


1.

A small study with shelves lined with files. An old, but well-cared for, computer sits on the desk, beside a fresh bouquet of wattle and rosemary.

A solid and small woman, about 60, packs a small bundle of letters and notes into her backpack and sighs. She is Lane, and she may be about to save the world.

LANE: I solved his clues about 20 years ago, and then I had to wait. Wait for the site to be cleared. Wait for them to build Storyland Theme Park. Wait for the pandemic to subside and gates to re-open. And then, finally, wait for the day that the first floods make the northern creek overflow, meaning one woman will not make it to work, and another will be called in to replace her at Storyland.

She is the target.

And today is that day.

Blackout.

2.

Lights up on an elderly man, sitting with a 12 year old girl. She writes in her scrapbook as he dictates to her.

MAN: “And the priness held the little girl’s hand ad talked to her for eternity. She – ”

GIRL: Wait! I just need to –

MAN: No time!

GIRL: How do I spell eternity?

MAN: Doesn’t matter. Spell it your way. Better if it’s wrong.

GIRL: Grandpa, can you write it?

MAN: If they see my handwriting, they’ll take it.

GIRL: Who will?

MAN: Keep going. “Talked to her for eternity. She heard the bell strike midnight, the ball was ending, but the princess and the girl kept holding hands.”

GIRL: Why?

MAN: Because if the girl returns to the forest, the strawberries will take their seeds back and she won’t survive.

GIRL: She’ll die?

MAN: Don’t write that. Remember it.

GIRL: Are you alright?

            (He looks at his watch, paces)

MAN: Damn. Draw a picture.

GIRL: Of what?

MAN: Anything! Just quickly draw, draw something. Write something. Practise your signature. (she does)

Ok, and at the bottom write – damn – here, just copy this. Quick as you can.

            (She quickly copies from the scrap of paper he produces, and then he snatches it away and tears it up)

GIRL: I haven’t –

MAN: It’s enough. Just remember it.

GIRL: Grandpa –

MAN: Remember everything.

GIRL: They’re coming, aren’t they?

            (pounding on the front door)

MAN: I love you so much. So much. Even if you forget everything else –

            (crashing footsteps are heard running towards their room. Blackout)

3.

Lights up on Storyland Theme Park.

Lane sits on a bench, wearing a Storyland t-shirt, and a cone-shaped princess hat.

She watches people pass, eyeing them carefully.

LANE: And the men came, turned our house upside down, and ripped out the page of drawings and the list.

The target is here – the girl-woman who must be held for eternity – but I don’t know who she is yet.

Did I ever see Grandpa again?

Well, I later found a photo of my real Grandfather, killed in the Korean War years before I was born. Mum explained that the other one was a special visitor we were lucky to have in our family. Even for a short time.

Anyway, that’s a story for another day.


I’m so excited about writing more for this one! This is still a first draft, and I don’t know exactly where it’s going, but I know that I can’t just leave it here. I’ve still got more of this story to tell, so I’ll be working more on this tomorrow.

What do you think? Does it feel like it could sustain a longer play?

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