30 Plays – Day 7

I’ve done the first week! It’s a small victory, but I believe we should always recognise our little achievements. Below is the next part of my sci-fi theme park play. If you haven’t read the other parts, and you’re keen, go back to Day 5 where it all begins.

I’m still excited about this script, but I may have got myself into a bit of a sticky spot. My main character is in a tough situation, and I don’t know how she’s going to get out! Any ideas?!

Here it is…

Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. on Pexels.com

7.

The sounds of carnival music, and crowds of people laughing, cheering and screaming on their rollercoaster rides. As the lights come up, Lane is sitting in a ferris wheel carriage with the Popcorn Seller, holding hands. The sun is beginning to set.

LANE: I know it must seem strange –

POPCORN SELLER: Not at all.

LANE: – but I felt something pushing me towards you. Perhaps we were friends in another life.

POPCORN SELLER: Or sisters!

LANE: Some people tell me I have psychic abilities, and – I don’t know about that – but I just feel like something is happening in your home. Perhaps your old home. Trying to find your way back to your real home?

Beat. The popcorn seller thinks and then smiles, nods.

LANE: It’s probably none of my business –

POPCORN SELLER: No, I’m just surprised you could see that. That’s exactly what I’m going through.

LANE: This will sound odd, but – do you mind staying with me until the park closes?

POPCORN SELLER: Of course not!

Beat. Lane is a little taken aback.

LANE: Uh… not at all?

POPCORN SELLER: I mean, I would really love to. I feel like there’s something special about you.

LANE: You do?

POPCORN SELLER: You seem trustworthy, like I could tell you everything about my life – even my darkest secrets, and you’d hold onto them. Do you find that – that people confide in you a lot? People have told you secrets?

LANE: Yes… sometimes.

POPCORN SELLER: Did you come here by yourself?

LANE: I just told my son to come and pick me up, and I didn’t realise it would be so late. I don’t like being on my own this late.

You must be so tired, though, being on your feet all day.

POPCORN SELLER: Don’t you worry about me.

LANE: I’m sure you’d prefer to be elsewhere. Just finally getting that rest day.

POPCORN SELLER: Oh, no – my day off is Friday. I’ll catch up on lots of rest then!

LANE: It wasn’t meant to be today?

POPCORN SELLER: No, I’m working today! (beat. She looks strangely at Lane, and then laughs) Oh, baby brain! I don’t even remember. Anyway. Tell me about you. What makes you come to a theme park all by yourself?

Pause. Lane isn’t so sure she wants to answer.

LANE: Dear, I’m afraid I’m feeling a little woozy up here.

POPCORN SELLER: You’re completely safe. Now tell me why you came today?

LANE: You said you were looking for your real home…

POPCORN SELLER: Did I?

Lane tries to withdraw her hand from the Popcorn Seller, but she’s holding on tight.

LANE: Uh, I think… I think I need to get off.

POPCORN SELLER: Lane. He told you to hold on, didn’t he? For eternity.

Beat.

LANE: No, no I don’t think –

POPCORN SELLER: You’re going to stay with me until the park closes.

LANE: It’s not you.

8.

At the theme park, the parade of storybook characters. Goldilocks and Peter Pan and the Faraway Tree kids… and then Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. She stops in the centre and waves to the crowd, and then poses for photos, and pretends to click her heels together. Over time, her smile droops, and she looks thoroughly wrecked. She continues waving to the crowd, but her heart isn’t really in it.

From up on the ferris wheel, Lane has spotted her.

LANE:

A girl who has recently experienced natural disasters… Dorothy’s cyclone.

A girl on a journey, trying to find her real home… Dorothy in Oz.

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time to say goodnight to our storybook friends. We wish all of you a happily ever after.

Dorothy steps back a little, and she performs a little curtsey. As she straightens up, her hand momentarily sweeps over her belly in a protective motion.

Lane inhales.

LANE: A pregnant woman who was not scheduled to work today…

POPCORN SELLER: (noticing where Lane is watching) Our little friend Dorothy? Yes, she’s been off sick so much lately, just had to take up the extra shift today I suppose.

LANE: But what are the strawberries?

POPCORN SELLER: We’ll never know.

LANE: Let go of me.

POPCORN SELLER: Lane, how can you trust someone who lied to you, never told you who he really was? He made you love him, didn’t he? Made you call him Grandpa? Sick. Didn’t you ever think that you got played? I mean look at you. You’re an old lady and what have you got to show for it?

LANE: Let go of my hand!

POPCORN SELLER: He made you spend your whole life waiting for this day. Wasted. Every day before it. Nothing. For what? So you can stop that poor girl going home to her family?

LANE: He chose me!

POPCORN SELLER: He destroyed your whole life. I’m trying to stop you from getting caught up in this any further.

LANE: I need to save her.

POPCORN SELLER: I’m saving you.


I’m definitely getting to a difficult part. It’s that moment as a writer when the adrenaline and excitement starts to decrease, and you’re left with the actual hard work. The slog. Will I keep going with this script tomorrow, or will I give myself a break and just write something else? We’ll have to see!

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