Peter M Howard ::

Monologue for Stage :: Michael


Wrote this for my 'Writing for Performance' class; we had to write three short scripts, the first of which was a monologue for the theatre. It's an experiment in character and in using the theatrical space.

Lights Up
The stage is bare except for a chair. Dimly but evenly lit.
A man stands in the centre, slightly nervous/manic.


A laden swallow flies east in 12 hours 27 minutes. Ducks fly south when the leaves don't fall. And a lone rooster crows to the light of the moon.
Did you know the planet Venus traces out the points of a pentagram?

(He walks about on stage, absent-mindedly tracing out the five points. About halfway, he pauses, looks up)

The evening star isn't really a star at all

(continues walking)

OK, what are we going to do about this little problem? You got us into this mess, you can get us out.

(spins around to face other direction)

Oh! ... I thought I heard something
This isn't getting us anywhere


I can't believe you can make light of this, we almost killed that man.

(in audience's direction, but not AT them)

But we didn't

(moves to the centre, takes a seat)

It would have been his fault anyway, he should have known what we could have done.
Dammit, I don't know what we could've done. What are we capable of now?

(Stops, changes expression, stands up to address audience. As he does the rear lights go down and he steps forward into a spot)

I suppose an explanation is in order. My buddy Michael here has been visiting me for years. I don't know where he comes from. Sometimes he comes for a few minutes, sometimes a few hours. Anyway, he came again yesterday. Says he's got a job for me. Something about life and death. Or cheating death. We had to see some guy. Something about him executing the designs of the gods. So we go, we're just talking to him when suddenly Michael's ... I'm hitting him. The guy's screaming, there's blood all over the place. I run out of there and Michael's yelling at me. We've gotta do it now, it's too late to stop.

And now Michael won't leave. He's been here much longer than usual. Says we gotta go back, finish the job. Says he won't leave me alone till it's done.

I don't know what else I can do.

(pauses, listens)

Shit, it's Michael again. I have to return.

(He walks back to the chair in darkness. The lights do not come back up)

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