PLAYHOUSE OF THE DAMNED

"Sťance You Went Away"

                                                               by Richard Nathan

 

The spotlight is up on our host, GUS THE GHOUL, while the set for the next story is prepared.  The stage represents the rec room of the Barton Family.  Gus addresses the audience.  

                                                            GUS
                                    Do you wish you could talk to the dead?  I
                                    do.  It must be better than talking to you! 
                                    Our next story is about a sťance.   It's not
                                    a factual story.  It's sťance fiction.  It takes
                                    place in a room in the house of the Barton 
                                    family  This is what they used to call a rec
                                    room.  And some lives are about to be
                                    wrecked!  The story is called "Sťance You
                                    Went Away!"

Gus exits.  The lights comes up on WALTER, the youngest of two children in the Barton family, and Walter's friends BOBBY, MARC, WENDY and JAN.  They are all teenagers.

                                                            JAN
                                    Are we gonna do this soon?  Cause my parents
                                    expect me home by eleven.

                                                            BOBBY
                                    They have to learn to face disappointment.

                                                            WENDY
                                    All parents need to grown up sometime.

                                                            MARC
                                    Guys.  Come on.  Jan can't help who her parents are.

                                                            WENDY
                                    Okay, she's got rough material to work with, but
                                    she has done a damn poor job training them.

                                                            WALTER
                                    It's okay.  I think we can start now.  My brother says 
                                    the later you start the better, but I think it's late enough
                                    now.

                                                            WENDY
                                    What do we do?

                                                            WALTER
                                    We light a candle, and sit around it in a circle, and
                                    then I start the sťance.

                                                            BOBBY
                                    I just want to tell everyone before we start, if we contact
                                    my uncle Izzy, and he asks anyone to pull his finger, don't
                                    do it.

                                                            WALTER
                                    There aren't going to be any fingers!

                                                            BOBBY
                                    It's not really his finger you have to worry about.

                                                            WALTER
                                    We're just going to try to commune with the dead,
                                    feel their presence.

                                                            BOBBY
                                    Just so long as we don't smell their presence.

                                                            WENDY
                                    Bobby!  Shut up!

                                                            BOBBY
                                    Although the candle may help.

                                                            JAN
                                    Have you ever done this before?

                                                            WALTER
                                    No, but I've heard my brother do it a dozen times. 
                                    It's very relaxing.  Soothing.

                                                            JAN
                                    I don't know.

                                                            MARC
                                    Jan, if you don't like it, you can leave at any time. 

                                                            JAN
                                    Okay.

Walter lights a candle and puts it on the floor.  He goes to the wall and flicks a switch.  All the lights go out except for the light of the candle.  The kids sit in a circle around the candle.

                                                            WALTER
                                    All right.  Relax.  It's ten at night.  The day is
                                    winding down.  People are ready to rest.  Not
                                    just us.  All over the city, people are getting
                                    ready to rest.

                                                            WENDY
                                    You don't know my sister.

                                                            MARC
                                    Hey!  Give him a chance. 

Walter speaks slowly, calmly, reassuringly. 

                                                            WALTER
                                    It's okay.  She's right.  Some people go out, have
                                    fun.  We need to be aware of that too.  We need to
                                    be aware of everything going on around us.  Open up. 
                                    People outside, driving their cars.  Some going out. 
                                    Some going home.  Some even going to work.  Some
                                    at work now, the truck drivers, driving through the night. 
                                    Some people heading out of town, waiting for the traffic
                                    to ease up.  Out of town, where it's quieter.  Darker.  The
                                    driving gets easier.  Fewer people out.  More of them are
                                    at home, asleep, comfortable, warm in their beds,
                                    forgetting about the day.  And we can go farther.  Out over
                                    the Atlantic ocean, in the middle of the night.  Nothing is
                                    darker than the ocean at night.  Even when the moon
                                    shines on it, it just bounces off the darkness.  Half the 
                                    world is dark, turned away from the sun.  And in the dark
                                    are millions of people resting, sleeping.  You can share
                                    their rest if you want to.  It's easier to reach them as
                                    they sleep.  And as we reach to so many of them, we also
                                    reach out, and away from the earth.  Out into the night.  Out,
                                    past the moon.  Among the stars.  Out, and out, and far away. 
                                    So far we don't even know which dot of light is our sun.  And
                                    out here, time doesn't have any meaning anymore.  And we
                                    are any time, and we can feel the presence of anyone, everyone,
                                    any time, every time.  It's all the same.  This is where we
                                    know what the dead are feeling.  The peace they feel. 
                                    And now it's time to come back.  Back through space. 
                                    Back past the stars, the planets, back past the moon, back
                                    over the ocean, back down the empty roads, back to this
                                    house, back to this room.  And we're done!

Walter stands up and turns on the lights.

                                                            BOBBY
                                    Wow.

                                                            WENDY
                                    Very impressive.

Marc turns to Jan to ask her opinion.

                                                            MARC
                                    What did you think?

                                                            JAN
                                    I like your world.

                                                            WENDY
                                    Yeah, I didn't think Walter had such insight.

                                                            JAN
                                    No, I mean your world, your planet.  It will be a
                                    good home for us.

                                                            MARC
                                    Jan?

                                                            JAN
                                    I am no longer Jan.  I am Koeurdal of the
                                    Immortal Tajassi. 

                                                            WENDY
                                    Yeah.  Funny.

                                                            BOBBY
                                    If that were funny, shouldn't at least one of us
                                    be laughing?

                                                            MARC
                                    Jan, if you're trying to scare me, you are doing a
                                    great job.

                                                            JAN
                                    Do not be scared.  We will not kill you.  We  need
                                    your bodies to house our spirits.

                                                            WENDY
                                    Come on.  You guys aren't taking this seriously.

                                                            BOBBY
                                    You mean there isn't an alien race that wants my
                                    body?

                                                            MARC
                                    Look, I don't believe this alien race stuff, either.  But
                                    something's the matter with her.  Jan doesn't play
                                    jokes like this.  She must have had some sort of
                                    mental incident.  We better get her to a doctor.

                                                            WALTER
                                    Wait a minute.  I did this.  Maybe I can undo it.                                     

Walter calls to his older brother David.

                                                            WALTER
                                    David!  David!  David, come down here!

DAVID enters.

                                                            DAVID
                                    What are you screaming about?  What if Mom and Dad
                                    were home.

                                                            WALTER
                                    We've got a problem.  I was trying to do a sťance, like the
                                    ones you do, and something went wrong.

                                                            DAVID
                                    You what????  I told you... you promised me you wouldn't
                                    try...  What have you done?

                                                            WALTER
                                    It's Jan.  She's acting like something took over her body.

                                                            JAN
                                    I am not Jan.  I am Koeurdal of the Immortal Tajassi.  We
                                    will possess you all.

                                                            DAVID
                                    Is everyone else normal?

                                                            WALTER
                                    I think so.

                                                            DAVID
                                    Be sure!  Was anyone else possessed when you did your
                                    sťance?

Walter looks into the eyes of his friends.

                                                            WALTER
                                    No.  No one else.

                                                            DAVID
                                    You rushed back, didn't you?  You didn't take your time
                                    on the return part!

                                                            WALTER
                                    I might have...

                                                            DAVID
                                    You are such an idiot!!!  Okay, I can fix this.  This happens
                                    if you don't take your time coming back.  We need to
                                    go out again.  Everyone sit around the candle. 

Everyone sits down except Jan.

                                                            DAVID
                                    You too, Jan.

                                                            JAN
                                    Koeurdal.

                                                            DAVID
                                    You too, Koeurdal.

                                                            JAN
                                    Are we going to find more worlds for my people?

                                                            DAVID
                                    Exactly.

David goes to the wall and turns off the lights.  Now the only light comes from the candle.  Davis sits down with the others and conducts the sťance, using the same technique Walter used.

                                                            DAVID
                                    All right, everyone's a little shaken up.  But you've been
                                    this way before, and it's easy to find your way back. 
                                    Remember how it felt to be a part of the night.  We
                                    can share that again.  It's still out there.  The day is
                                    still winding down.  More people are sleeping, getting
                                    ready to throw off the day, to put it behind them.  To
                                    seek out rest.  The calm corner of the night, where
                                    we can curl up in the quiet.  Remember how quiet
                                    the night can be.  Remember taking the roads out of the
                                    city. Out in the country, past the empty, grey fields and
                                    the silhouetted trees.  Over the land, over the ocean,
                                    letting go, and growing into space.  Growing, growing. 
                                    Merging into all times and spaces, all people, all
                                    consciousness.  Here, in all consciousness, we can find
                                    the consciousness we seek, the consciousness that is
                                    right for us.  Wait...  wait... Only when we have found it,
                                    only when we know we are right, and whole, then we
                                    can slowly separate ourselves from all the others, slowly
                                    cut the ties, and when we are ready, we can direct ourselves  
                                    back.  Knowing we are coming home where we want to live. 
                                    Directing ourselves, back through space, back to
                                    the world we want, seeing it grow as we cross the stars,
                                    cross the planets, across the sea, down the roads, back to
                                    this house, and into these bodies.  Is Koeurdal gone?

                                                            JAN
                                    Yes, Koeurdal's gone.   I'm in charge.

                                                            MARC
                                    Thank Groz!

                                                            WALTER
                                    I am so sorry!

                                                            DAVID
                                    Is everyone else all right?  In control?

                                                            WENDY
                                    Yes! 

                                                            MARC
                                    I'm good.

                                                            BOBBY
                                    Koeurdal is an idiot.

                                                            WENDY
                                    We told him he wasn't ready yet.  He
                                    hadn't even studied the plan.  Or the
                                    vernacular.

                                                            DAVID
                                    What I don't understand is how he was able to
                                    possess Jan and none of the rest of you was
                                    able to grab a host!

                                                            MARC
                                    Don't blame us.  Your brother zipped back before 
                                    we had a chance.

                                                            WALTER
                                    It was my first sťance.  I'll do better next time.

                                                            DAVID
                                    Okay, you all understand that it is okay to talk like
                                    this among ourselves, but whenever any humans
                                    are around, you adapt the persona of the body
                                    you now inhabit. 

                                                            MARC
                                    Hey, we know the plan.

                                                            DAVID
                                    Koeurdal didn't know the plan.

                                                            BOBBY
                                    I told you, Koeurdal is an idiot.  He'll learn the plan
                                    before he tries this again.

                                                            DAVID
                                    All right.  You can go home now.  Convince the parents
                                    of the host bodies that you are still their children.  Then
                                    come back here tomorrow night, and I'll start teaching
                                    you how to conduct your own sťances, and bring new host
                                    bodies to the Tajassi.   And for Groz's sake, remember
                                    what you learned tonight.  Don't come back before
                                    everyone's possessed!

Blackout!  Everyone exits.  A moment later the spotlight comes up on GUS THE GHOUL.  

                                                            GUS
                                    Some sťance!  They didn't contact the dead -- just 
                                    the
Immortal Tajassi.  Well, I wouldn't worry
                                    about them too much.  They have never, ever
                                    asked anyone to pull their fingers!

 

THE END

 

 


 

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© 2005 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.

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