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P

penny

I feel like I'm being thrown to the lions. I'll do it for the cause because being demented one lacks common sense...only explosive bursts of inbridled and undisciplined creativity.
Note: The game in the play is a real game.

Zonk A one act play

By Ken Lehnig © 2004


Stage: Staircase back- stage right. Couch and curio cabinet- center table and four chairs. Bar in wall with a small fridge. Single lounger. Cheap and tacky wallpaper. General worn look to the room.

Characters:
Ramsey: 50 -60 dressed in a good suit. Heavy- working man mannerisms. Sure of himself.
Joanna: 50-60 years old, overly large bosoms, dye-black hair, pony tail, cheap clothes, pedal pushers, winged glasses. Earthy and unkempt. Bright red lipstick Male-ish in her movements and manner.
Adeline: 50-60 years old. Prissy, heavy- big bottom, well dressed and bejeweled heavy makeup. Too feminine- petite and coy gestures.
Bev: 20-30 pretty and very animated. High energy. Cute and likable.
Dwayn: 30- ish Effeminate and bold. Very flamboyant and animated. Large gestures and big voice. Handsome and 'on-stage'. (emotive)

Initial blocking: Two women at the table, center stage, playing a dice game. Lounger is front left stage, Ramsey is sitting in the chair facing the audience.

***
Lights up women are rolling dice at the table calling out numbers.

Joanna:
Three ones…that’s a thousand …your on.
(Writes down score.)

Adeline:
No, I think that was a two. That’s two hundred (Rolls dice) shoot! It doesn't pay to cheat. I won't be judged badly for something as petty as cheating at dice.

Joanna:
How good of you, Sis. I would have given you the thousand. (She gathers the dice and rolls.) That’s another thousand. (Writes down the score each time they roll)

Adeline:
( Rolls dice)
Nothing… I never get on. This is nice Iil-sis, I think your doing very well- but you always were the strong one. It still very nice- very nice. I wish you would have allowed a longer gathering. You know for the community. You all but fed them and shoved them out.

Ramsey:
It was a grand funeral. They only came for the food. There were flowers everywhere. I'm glad I couldn't smell them. I would have been sneezing up storm and that would have ruined the eulogy. Oak box as shiny as an ice cube with fancy brass handles… man it is a pretty thing…got more padding than my own bed. They even had a choir singing 'Closer My God to Thee…Closer my God to thee' (Laughing then begins to sing in a falsetto voice. He sings melody to Rock Of Ages:)

Rock of ages sweet irony
How did this all come to be
All my friends and family
Who didn't give a damn
For the likes of me
Rock of ages don't mean to be rude
I think they were there just for the food.

I only knew a few people and most of them were old shipmates that I haven't seen in years. I'd lost touch with most of them. I hope they came to remember the good times we had together. The rest were hers…telling her she is better off without me. That's the way life is. You have friends that you see all the time … then for small petty reasons and little bitty irks they go away …or you do. Like treasure thrown back into the sea. Everyone with an opinion about who you are.(Pause)
Even the Bishop, for God's sake, comes out and says a few words…imagine that… Me… having a Bishop there…uh? She is afraid of secrets, my wife. That’s why no real wake… just a polite gathering.
(Stands and walks towards the women.)
Look at these two, like bookends… this ones my wife, Joanne…till death did we part… this piece-o-work is my sister-in law, Adelene. When these two were younger they were both knockouts. When they swiveled by… every man seein' 'em would have to hoist their tongues out of the dirt, beg Ole one - eye to stay down. Both should have been in pictures, movies…that’s the kind of pretty I'm talking about. Pretty is the thing a few young people own and just for a short while. If it isn't used it blows away.
It is funny that when it's all-new, with a girl, it has everything going. Man, you can't wait to see them, hold em, talk to em. Christ, you think if you don't hear their voice you'll explode…touch em smell their hair and kiss their lips. The first time I saw her naked it seared in my brain forever. Not a memory- a tattoo…permanent- locked in my libido like a switch. I did, sadly, lose that along the way. I picked my girl, here, because I had never been with such a beautuful woman and who adored me. It was like I was the only man in the world. And I'll tell you I wasn't much. What in the world did she find in me? I could have married either one. Not that any of it matters. They're both crazy as loons now. And all that heat and need falls away to terrible habit or some hard fought rules of behavior. There is, however, something to be said for that. What is wrong with predictability?



Joanna:
(Rolls dice.) One hundred…(Rolls dice.) Three fifty. Sometimes you can win with 350. It's predictable and safe.

Adeline:
Yes, you can. Slow and steady. (She takes the dice and rolls) Darn it. I can never get on. You watch …you'll be up to eight thousand and I'll have nothing. It always happens.

Joanna:
(Rolls dice) 600…it was nice wasn't it?

Adeline:
(Takes the dice and rolls) There, what do you know …2000…that is nice

Joanna:
(Rolls dice.) I mean, the flowers and all. The Bishop eulogy was really nice. I'll take 400.

Adeline:
Nice of the Diocese to kick in for the flowers…

Joanna:
…And the coffin….

Adeline:
…and the food. Although, Dear Sister, your Jerk chicken always makes the hit. (Pause, pursed face.) I thought the eulogy was a bit over the top. (Rolls) 400.

Joanna:
Why? You wrote it. (Rolls) 500

Adeline:
I did not-what a thing to say. I only gave the poor man an outline so he wouldn't make a fool of himself. Lord, he was sweating so-and drunk as a pig. Sweet Mary I thought he was going to have a heart attack. Besides - you forced the bishop's hand. (Rolls dice) I got nothing! Zero! Zip! Nada!

Joanna:
It was the least the old fraud could do. (Rolls several times)350, 350, 350. Still, he didn't have to do it. My husband wasn't his most favorite person.

Adeline:
(Rolls) 450. Yes he most certainly did have to do what you asked.. Well, bless his little tiny heart, that's all past. Regrets can wear on us so- we confess the sin for heavens sake but we still live here and those events, in which we played some less than honorable part, still lives. That is grace, isn't it? A bishop must present the show of grace even if he processes none of his own.

(Both women giggle. Adeline crosses herself but can't stop laughing.)

Ramsey:
(Standing by the table with hands behind his back.)

The game they are playing is called a lot of different names, depends on what part of the world…Zonk, Ten-thousand, Zilch.

Joanna:
(Rolls) Naught,Zonk, Zilch
( Re.Writes down score.)

Ramsey:
You have six dice…you have to roll a five …worth fifty…or a one… a hundred. You accumulate points by rolling the other die. If you don't roll a five or one you Zonk. Three of a number is a hundred times the number…three fours equals 400…three sixes equals six-hundred. Three ones, however, is a thousand. Four of a kind doubles the three score. Four fives equals a thousand. And so on. If you roll six of a kind you win. It's the way life works…you roll and you hope that the decision you make is the right one. It almost never is. But it will lead you down interesting new roads. One never knows where the wind will blow you.

Adeline:
It just seemed a bit flowery - is all.

Joanna:
There were a lot of flowers. Hell- he would have died if he were alive to see it…

Ramsey:
Lavender and that white bridal crap…pink and …

Joanna:
…all covering everything. He was too much the mans man. All that frill and lace. ( Clucking) and him smelling of old spice.

Adeline:
You splashed that on him on purpose. You liked it. Still- when you see that many flowers it makes you feel that the man was loved.
(Long silence- then Joanna rolls) 800

Joanne:
It was such a waste. ( Rolls) 500

Adeline:
What went to waste?
(Takes the dice and pulls out a handkerchief from her purse -on the floor- wipes the dice off- then rolls.) 350

Joanne:
The flowers.
(Takes the dice and looks at a couple of them and shrugs. Rolls) 400

Adeline:
They didn't go to waste. I had them delivered to four different churches after the service. A lot of them were in pots…so they could be planted. (Rolls) zip!

Joanne:
Anyway…I thought the eulogy was too flowery. Things are true and things are true…if you know what I mean? You can say a truth and have it still be a lie in the speaking of it.

Adeline:
(Crosses herself!)Sissy? What has got into you? The Bishop said nothing to have you say that. Mother Mary, I made sure. (Disturbed.) Do you think I would have the old Toot say anything that would hurt you or upset you?

(Joanne stands and walks over to the bar and pours two drinks.)

Oh dear, you are upset with me.
(Starts to weep. Takes out the handkerchief and wipes her eyes. Joanne sets down the jelly glass and gestures to her sister to drink.)

Both women:
(Loud Voices)
Mary, Mary, St. Michael, and Joseph
Bear the will and ire of our God-da
Mary, Mary, St. Michael and James
Thank you Lord for the Blessed Vod-ka
(Swig down the vodka)
Hee-Haw!

Joanne:
It was nonsense and you know it. (Sits) The stuff he spewed. (Rolls) I'll take 300. (Starts to laugh)

Ramsey:
Some of it was true. I wasn't all-bad given the circumstances. I believe I acted well enough.

Adeline:
Well…God blesses his hard seagoing heart. I have to say he could have done better by you. Now… don't get mad. (Crosses herself.) He wasn't all that. So I made him sound gallant and brave and heroic… instead of the ass he really was.

Ramsey:
(Yells)You old hypocrite. You certainly…. (Throws his hands up and sits back down.)

Joanne:
Roll! It's your turn. (Adeline rolls and picks up the dice and hands them to her sister.) Nothing! He was a good man in his way. (Rolls) 600

Adeline:
Yes… It was wrong of me to speak ill of him…speak ill of the dead. I'm so sorry, Sis, you haven't even had time to grieve. (Rolls) 700

Ramsey:
Most people have something between their minds and their mouths that does some type of editing… not that one. It would get in the way of her helping God in his work of judging folks.

Joanne:
You speak ill of everyone. (Rolls) Zip!

Adeline:
I'm shocked. That would be a sin. (Pause) Occasionally I may mention that someone may be behaving in a manner that …well…is contrary to the way and manner of a good Christian. Of course, a heathen is a heathen. (Rolls) 350

Ramsey:
She's talking about me.


Joanne:
…Never to their faces. (Rolls) 400. You go to confession three times a week. What sins can a woman of your age be guilty of. Not sex…your she-canal is a dust bucket…

Adeline:
My lord, Sister! (Outraged stands and walks over to the bar and brings the bottle to the table. Speaks with dripping sarcasm.) I see that this is going to be one of those tell the truth games. I'll need some fornication… oh lord ( Covers her mouth - Joanne laughs)…I mean fortification. (Pause and sighs) Lord forgive my evil mind. Blesss me if not one day goes by that I don't think about doing it. Sister, I'm not as strong as you are. The spirit is strong but the flesh is weak.

Joanne:
Bring the spirirts Sis as I pray! …Dear Lord, I am heartedly sorry for all the sins that I notice other people are committing around me. I know, Lord, that they are not going to tell you… so I will tell you as a moral public service. And as an aside- forgive me my lurid thoughts and hypocritical actions. Amen.

Adeline:
(Glares, pours the drinks and sits.) Very funny. I still do require a mans attention on occasion. A little lub fixes the old dust bin. I know it's a sin but Mother Mary understands women of a certain age.
I'm sure that God will forgive you, Sis, your nasty tongue. It wouldn't hurt you to go to church…and I do pray for you all the time and I will continue to do so, in spite of your sarcasm. (Crosses herself.) You never know when He will call you home. Look at poor Ramsey… poof, just like that. I fear for his soul.
(Pours more booze)

Ramsey:
Me to…I still hear you talking…. What kind of God are you!
(Looks up with false piety.)

Both women:
(Toasts)
Hail Mary M. We ask from our hearts within
Our backbones are getting paper thin
From the weight of careless and stupid men
Can having a drink our three really be a sin
Amen
( Both Swig) Hee haw

Ramsey:
Dear God…sophistry was invented by women.

Joanne:
Why? Roll!

Adeline:
Why what? 550

Joanne:
Why do you fear for his soul?


Adeline:
Sister? He wasn't a repentant man… if I may be so bold? (Rolls) Zip! Did he ever go to confession? As far as I know he hadn't been inside a church in years.

Joanne:
(Rolls) How would we know that? He was never here for you to spy on. Did you wait around all day on every Sunday by the plaque on our grand and beautiful church that says "To the generous and loving heart of Ramsey Rouso from the parishioners of Saint Thomas'. (Rolls ) 450

Adeline:
You are being ugly and I won't have it. 350

Joanne:
Well…Lets be truthful. What's so different him being dead or alive? We just won't see him this Christmas or any Christmas from now on.
(Long silence)

Ramsey:
I was in the merchant marines. Chief engineer. I traveled the world. They would fly or sail me everywhere to inspect, refit or repair the fleet. It was a grand life and I didn't have to be here much. That was a 'two' Adeline ( Points to the dice)…she cheats…and such a pious woman. I'll bet that doesn't come up in confession.
( Door open and slams- young woman, Bev, runs upstairs.)

Joanne:
Beverly girl, come down and say 'Hi' to your aunt. Where you been?

Bev:
(Walks down stairs)
Hello Auntie Adeline.

Adeline:
What are you wearing, Dear?

Bev:
I was just out. Anyone made dinner? (Head off stage then stops) Do you know what I learned today? (Walks over to the table) Who's winning?

Adeline:
I think your mother…she cheats you know? (Passes Gas loudly and shifts in her seat waving the air. The other two women flinch) I'm so sorry. I have no control…diverticulitis.

Ramsey:
Bullshit…we are closer here to the real woman. Nothing but gas.

(End for now)
 
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nauticus66

Wow, incredibly well written Penny. I love the dialogue. If I could write like this I'd be knocking at the backstage door :O).
 

Vixen

Senior Member
This is well written and engaging.

However, I pity whomever ends up playing Ramsey. The begining monolouge is simply giagantic. Maybe, it would be safer to break it up with more dialogue between the sisters.
 
P

penny

Thanks
Vixen>>I did a read with some young actors. You are right. First: It fills in Ramsey too much,too soon. I mean for him to be an interlocutor, to fill in humor and insight.
Second: The plot dynamic is between the sisters.
Thanks for the clarity. I'll post more up soon.
 
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