PLAYHOUSE OF THE DAMNED

"My Ax-Girlfriend"

                                    by Richard Nathan 

This entire story is lit only by the light of flashlights.  Our host, GUS THE GHOUL, turns on a flashlight which he holds a few inches under this chin, aimed upwards.

                                                            GUS THE GHOUL
                                    Boo!  Our next story is about my kind of gal,
                                    an ax-murderess.  I think you'll agree it's keen 
                                    with cutting humor, and a really sharp ending. 
                                    It's called, "My Ax-Girlfriend."

Gus turns out the flashlight.

Enter a couple of college students, ALAN and ELIZABETH, carrying each carrying a flashlight.  They shine the lights around the stage.  They see a pair of chairs and sit down.  They shine their flashlights on each other as they talk.

                                                            ELIZABETH
                                    Alan, I want to go home.

                                                            ALAN
                                    Elizabeth!  You promised!

                                                            ELIZABETH
                                    I didn't know it was going to be this
                                    creepy!

                                                            ALAN
                                    It's a haunted house!  What did you expect?

                                                            ELIZABETH
                                    I thought you didn't believe in haunted houses?

                                                            ALAN
                                    I don't!  That's the whole point!  We're going to
                                    prove there's nothing to be afraid of!

                                                            ELIZABETH
                                    But I am afraid!

                                                            ALAN
                                    Do you want me to fail my psych class?

                                                            ELIZABETH
                                    No.

                                                            ALAN
                                    Well I need a witness to prove I stayed here all
                                    night.  You agreed to help me, Elizabeth.  I
                                    thought you wanted to be my friend.

                                                            ELIZABETH
                                    I do want to be your friend, but why couldn't
                                    you write your paper on something else, like
                                    conditioned reflex or something?

                                                            ALAN
                                    It's too late for that.  The paper's due
                                    Wednesday.  Anyway, the whole idea of
                                    this place being haunted is ridiculous. 
                                    You've heard the story, haven't you?

                                                            ELIZABETH
                                    No.

                                                            ALAN
                                    No????  Well, wait until I tell you.  It's so
                                    absurd, you'll laugh.  It will convince you
                                    there's nothing to be afraid of.

                                                            ELIZABETH
                                    Okay.

                                                            ALAN
                                    This house was built by Simon Linkletter, a
                                    wealthy but very homely man.  Even with all
                                    of his money, no woman wanted to have
                                    anything to do with him because he was so
                                    hideously ugly.  One day, as he was strolling
                                    through the park, he met the most beautiful
                                    young girl he had ever seen, who was out
                                    walking with her mother.  The girl's name was
                                    Esmeralda.  When he looked at her, she looked
                                    directly back at him, she was the first woman
                                    Simon had ever met who didn't turn here eyes
                                    away because of his ugliness.  Simon asked
                                    the girl's mother if he might take them both
                                    out to dine, but the mother said if he had
                                    any interest in her daughter, he had best
                                    think again, because Esmeralda was mad. 
                                    Simon said he would pay for her to go to
                                    the finest doctors, if she would allow him to
                                    call upon her.  The mother had very little
                                    money, so she agreed.

                                                        ELIZABETH
                                    Simon sounds like a very nice man.

                                                        ALAN
                                    He wasn't.  Soon after he started courting
                                    Esmeralda, he asked for permission to take
                                    her out to dine, un-chaperoned.  Simon had
                                    been so generous, paying for Esmeralda's
                                    medical care, that her mother agreed.  But
                                    instead of taking her to a restaurant, he took
                                    her here to his house.

                                                        ELIZABETH
                                    Did he molest her?

                                                        ALAN
                                    He tried to make her kiss him.  But she
                                    screamed, and ran through the house. 
                                    By the fireplace, she found an ax, and
                                    she raised it, and brought it down,
                                    smashing it down, splitting Simon's
                                    skull in two.  The next morning, the
                                    police found her, over Simon's body,
                                    and she was laughing, "Heh-heh!  Heh-heh! 
                                    Heh-heh!" 

Alan cackles like Dwight Frye playing Renfield in the 1931 film version of   "Dracula."

                                                        ALAN
                                    When the police tried to take her away, she
                                    raised the ax and started to swing it.  They
                                    shot her down, dead!  To this day, people
                                    who walk by the house at night swear
                                    they can still hear her laughing, "Heh-heh! 
                                    Heh-heh!  Heh-heh!"

                                                        ELIZABETH
                                    I'm leaving!

                                                        ALAN
                                    Elizabeth!  You can't believe that story!  It's
                                    ridiculous!

                                                        ELIZABETH
                                    What's ridiculous is you thinking I'm going to
                                    stay in this house another minute!

                                                        ALAN
                                    I thought you were a mature, intelligent
                                    woman.  I am so disappointed in you!

                                                        ELIZABETH
                                    Alan, please.  I don't want you to think
                                    badly of me.  I really don't.  I thought
                                    I could stay...

                                                        ALAN
                                    You're really letting me down.

                                                        ELIZABETH
                                    All right.  I'll stay.  But don't tell me any
                                    more creepy stories.

                                                        ALAN
                                    All right.

A VOICE comes from the darkness.

                                                      VOICE
                                    Heh-heh!  Heh-heh!  Heh-heh!

And Elizabeth is out of there like a shot!  She's gone!  After a moment Alan starts laughing hysterically.  His friend STEVE (who was the voice doing the imitation of Esmeralda) turns on a flashlight and sits in the chair vacated by Elizabeth.  Steve laughs along with Alan.

                                                        STEVE
                                Oh man!  That was hilarious!

                                                        ALAN
                                Priceless!  Did you see the look on her face?

                                                        STEVE
                                I hope you didn't traumatize her for life.  I
                                never thought ol' weird Liz was too stable to
                                begin with.    

                                                        ALAN
                                She'll be fine. 

                                                        STEVE
                                What if she complains to someone?

                                                        ALAN
                                I'll ask her out on a date and she'll forget all about
                                it.  She's got such an obvious crush on me, it's
                                pathetic.  Hey, did you check to see if the
                                infrared camera was working?

                                                        STEVE
                                It was last time I looked. 

                                                        ALAN
                                I'll go get it.

Alan leaves.  Steve is along on the stage.  He relaxes his arm so that his flashlight is aimed at the floor.  We hear a THUNK and Steve falls to the floor.  Alan renters, carrying some camera equipment.  He shines his flashlight on Steve.  Steve's head has a big glob of blood on the back of his skull.  Alan shines his flashlight around on the stage.  He finds Elizabeth, stark, raving mad, holding a bloody ax!

                                                        ELIZABETH
                                Heh-heh!  Heh-heh!  Heh-heh!

She swings the ax at Alan.  Alan screams and drops his flashlight.  We hear a THUNK.  The flashlights go out. 

GUS THE GHOUL enters and turns on a flashlight, which he points up at this face.

                                                        GUS THE GHOUL
                                    I really admire that girl, Elizabeth.  I
                                    believe her motto was, "Ax, and ye shall
                                    receive!

 

THE END

 

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2005 by Richard Nathan.  All rights reserved

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Send e-mail to the author at Richard-Nathan@att.net.