B.C. A.D. A.H. – After Humanity (Playwriting)
I was looking through some old homework assignments from my creative writing class at university this year and came across this dramatic scene homework task. I really love playwriting but I hardly ever do it because it’s a lot more technical and formulaic than ordinary short story writing but I’d really like to get into it more. One day writing a play that would be put on in a theatre would be the dream. Have a read – enjoy!
B.C. A.D. A.H. – After Humanity
Interior of a dark underground room with ladders to the left leading up to the outside, letting in dim light. The room is littered with boxes and old rubbish. Malicia and Leekie scavenge for food.
Leekie: [Rummages through boxes with a slightly hunched back and a limp.] I-I can’t believe we found this p-place. We must have p-passed by that trap door 20 t-times in the last week and we only just noticed-
Malicia: [Interrupts.] Shut up! [Pauses to hear something.]
Leekie: What is it?
Malicia: Nothing. I thought I heard something. Don’t talk so loudly. Someone could walk by and hear us. Hurry up and find something so we can get out of here before they get back.
Malicia: The person who built this place. I don’t think they’ll be too happy to find us stealing from them.
Leekie: I’m sure, whoever they are, they c-can’t be all that b-bad.
Malicia: [Confused and irritable.] What? What makes you say that?
Leekie: Well, they’ve been s-storing food and water so they d-don’t eat, you know, what the o-others e-eat.
Malicia: Perhaps. But think about this, it seems like there’s no food or water left here, so if this nice person comes home and finds us, what do you think they’ll try to eat?
Leekie: [Visibly shudders.] D-don’t s-say things like that! You know I don’t like it when you s-say things like that.
Malicia: You need to toughen up and accept what’s going on out there, Leekie. I might not always be here to protect you. Now, hurry up and keep looking.
Malicia and Leekie search through several boxes and drawers. Leekie finds a chocolate chip cookie and a stack of money and expensive jewellery in a bottom drawer.
Leekie: [Shouts.] Malicia, l-look!
Leekie: L-look! Look!
Malicia: [Runs over and covers Leekie’s mouth then looks in the drawer.] A cookie. [Laughs in disbelief.] A whole chocolate chip cookie!
Leekie: [Confused.] A cookie?
Malicia: Surely you remember cookies?
Leekie shakes his head.
Malicia: [Delicately picks up the cookie with both hands and they both stare at it in awe, ignoring the money and jewellery completely.] My mum used to make these. Chocolate chip and porridge oats and oatmeal raisin. They were the best.
Leekie: [Without looking away from the cookie.] D-do you miss her?
Malicia: [Pauses and looks thoughtful.] No. Don’t be so stupid. Now, how do we decide who gets this?
Leekie: [Whining tone of voice.] Can’t we share?! Why c-can’t we share? I’m so hungry. All I’ve eaten in the last four days w-was that half can of beans that I found in the old t-town!
Malicia: Yes I know, I had the other half! I’m just as hungry as you, Leekie. But let’s face it. I am the grafter. I am the one who scouts the lands and searches the houses when you’re too scared. I need more energy than you do.
Leekie: Well, can I at least have one of the g-gold lumps?
Malicia: The what?
Leekie: [Points to chocolate chips.] The gold lumps!
Malicia: Those are chocolate. After…after it happened, people started calling it gold but its real name is chocolate.
Leekie: [Enunciates.] Choc-o-late. [Pauses.] They’ve forgotten a-about us, you know, Malicia.
Leekie points upwards.
Malicia: They haven’t forgotten. They’re just testing us.
Leekie: W-will things get worse?
Malicia: [Irritable.] I don’t know, Leekie.
Leekie: I still have t-teeth-mark scares on my leg. That day was b-b-
Malicia: [Interrupts.] Scars, not scares, Leekie. And don’t talk about that. You’ll give yourself nightmares again.
Leekie: You give me nightmares.
Malicia: [Surprised.] What?
Leekie: [Suddenly brave.] All my n-nightmares are about you becoming one of them. Sometimes, Malicia, I think you might be capable of it. Sometimes, the way you look at me. It scares me and I think I should have the cookie because I’m not mean or devious or dishonest, like you!
Malicia: [Furious.] How can you say that? Everything I do is for you! You would be dead by now if it wasn’t for me.
Leekie: [Venom in his voice.] No, I wouldn’t! I could survive on my own. You’re always putting me down and making me feel small but I could survive on my own!
Malicia: [With a smug expression.] Prove it.
Malicia is still holding the cookie with both hands. Leekie puts his face in Malicia’s hands and grabs the cookie with his mouth, accidentally biting Malicia’s fingers in the process. Malicia screams in pain and holds her bleeding hand. Leekie doesn’t pause to apologise but instead eats the whole cookie in seconds like a wild animal. When he finishes, Leekie and Malicia stare at each other in anger. Quick footsteps followed by clattering noises come from above, the trap door closes and the room is suddenly in complete darkness.