FICTION BLAST-OFF THEATER
by Richard Nathan
Before the lights come up, a voice announces the title of the story:
Two women, PAULA and SANDY are talking to each other in the living room of Paula's home. Paula is distraught.
He's not my husband!
He's not Charlie!
Who's not Charlie?
That man who's not my husband.
Well, that describes a very large number of people, -
everyone who isn't your husband Charlie isn't
Charlie. But what specific man who isn't Charlie
are we talking about?
Charlie! Or that the thing that's pretending to be
Charlie. He looks like Charlie, his voice is like
Charlie's, and he somehow has Charlie's memories,
but he's not Charlie. He's something possessing
Do you know what you sound like?
Like a cliché from a bad science fiction
movie. But it's true!
You're having a bad day.
Of course I'm having a bad day! My husband's
body has been possessed by a being from the
Why the fourth dimension?
Oh, sometimes when I'm not looking straight at
him, just seeing him in my peripheral vision, he
sort of fades in and out, as though he's still
learning how to stabilize in only three dimensions.
Paula, you can't see anything clearly if it's just in
your peripheral vision.
That's no reason to think he's not Charlie.
It's not just that! He smells differently from
I don't know. Sort of fourth dimensionally.
You're joking, right?
There's the SOUND OF A DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING from off-stage.
Shhh! He's coming! Don't let him know I know!
Enter CHARLIE, Paula's husband.
Sandy! I'm glad you're here. I have something
important to tell you.
This is not my wife. I don't know who she is,
but I know she's not Paula!
Who do you think she is, a being from the
No. I think she's from the future.
Why? Because I'm too brilliant to be from
the Twentieth Century?
It's the Twenty-First Century now! If you
were Paula, you'd know that!!!
Sandy, you've got to let me move in with
you and Jack till I can find my own place.
I can't stay here with a madman from the
Fine! Go! You think I want to live with a
maniac from the future?
Stop it! Both of you! Listen, do you know
why this idea about alien being possessing our
loved ones has become such a cliché?
Because it's true?
No, it's because it seems true! Everyone feels
that way sometime or another. It's because no
matter how long with live with someone, no matter
how much we think we know him or her, one day
we discover we don't know that person as well as
we thought we did. Some days times our most intimate
partner seems like a stranger. But that happens to
everyone! It's no reason to give up on your
relationship. You think you'll find a better, deeper
relationship with someone else? You won't! No
matter who you end up with, at some point he or
she is going to seems like a being from another time,
or another dimension, or another planet. So take
my advice and stick together. I know you two.
You're a good fit! As good as you're going to
Paula and Charlie look at each other warily. Sandy looks at her watch.
I've got to go meet Jack. Think about what
I said. And maybe try to be more open with
Sandy exits. After a beat, Paula and Charlie talk.
You think she's right?
I know that if anyone knows us, she does.
That's what I remember too.
And what she said about being more open?
The future sucks.
So does the fourth dimension.
So, let's give this twentieth century life a
Sorry. I'll get that down.
here to go to more
SCIENCE FICTION BLAST-OFF THEATER
science fiction scripts
© 2006 by Richard Nathan. All rights reserved
The author grants all internet uses to print these scripts for their own, personal, non-commercial use. No other use may be made without the author's permission. Without limiting the foregoing, the plays may not be staged without the author's express permission.
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