The is the last piece of assessment I will share. It is the first act of a play about insanity.
Enjoy, xx, Kristin
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Johnson, age twenty-two, unemployed living with girlfriend – Lucy.
Youson, age three-hundred, invading Earth.
We see a typical, modern country living room. There is a red plaid sofa, and dark oak furniture – including a coffee table and bookshelves. A fireplace is unlit on stage left besides a threshold into another part of the house we cannot see. This room is well lived in, with blankets hanging from the back of sofas and pillows on the floor. There are picture frames of a happy couple scattered on tables, the fireplace mantle and bookshelves. Several of these frames have been knocked flat. We can see though a giant window on the back wall that night has fallen. Half the curtain is drawn haphazardly blocking the view. Occasionally the lights of a car move past the window and each time the stage lightens a bit more to reveal the scene. On stage right there is a front door that’s been left ajar. Collapsed on the floor is a man. He is not moving as the scene starts and continues to remain still. After a few minutes, Johnson starts to move on the floor. There is confusion on his face, and he keeps looking around the room searching for something. He moves very slow, taking deep exaggerated breaths to steady himself. He picks himself up gingerly, groaning. As he stands he pushes his hand hard against his forehead, sucking in a deep breath of air. When he finally makes it to his feet he finds it difficult to stand. Rocking, he grabs the arm of a chair. Another few seconds pass as he grips it, holding it tightly to steady himself. For the first time he notices the door left a jar. Looking about the room to see if he is alone, he stumbles towards it using furniture to help him stand. By the time he reaches the door, he can walk with only a small hobble. He closes it gently and flips a light switch by the door. The stage.
JOHNSON Hello? Is someone here?
No one answers, but he is still nervous. Eyes wide, shifting glances about the room, he turns and glances over his shoulder. He walks across the room, turns on a lamp and picks up one of the knocked over picture frames. Holding it with both hands, he gazes at the photograph with a fearful expression. We cannot see the picture. He then turns quick to glance off stage. Without looking at the frame, he sets it up right on the table and walks to the exit by the fireplace. He leans through, flicking another light switch. It casts a dull light from offstage into the livingroom. Johnson yells offstage with his back to the audience.
JOHNSON Lucy? Lucy, are you here?
The door was left open.
Was it you? Are you home?
Johnson looks over his shoulder back towards the living room, showing us half of his face as someone answers offstage. [It’s important to note that all of Youson’s lines will come from off stage.]
YOUSON (off) I have been waiting.
YOUSON (off) Johnson is it?
JOHNSON Who’s there? Lucy!
YOUSON (off) Now, now – there’s no need to shout. I can hear you quite well – In fact, you do not need to speak at all and I will still hear you fine.
Johnson spins into the living room, falling over furniture. Books, a pile of magazines, a pen and a half-full coffee mug crash to the floor. Not taking a moment he jumps to his feet spinning.
JOHNSON Where are you? Come out and let me see who you are!
Johnson moves towards a table with several candlestick holders.
YOUSON (off) That – would certainly defeat my purpose.
(slow, apologetic laughter).
What are you thinking of Johnson?
Johnson reaches for the largest one, holding it tight in his fist, he spins into the room extending it like a weapon.
(Click Continue Reading to Keep Reading the Story…)
JOHNSON I’m armed!
YOUSON (off) Please. Please do not embarrass yourself like this. And no, I am not in your chimney. How foolish.
JOHNSON What? How did you –
YOUSON (off) This Lucy is very beautiful to you. I can see that.
Johnson turns to look at each of the spaces where picture frames sit around the room. Candlestick still in hand, he moves towards the table by the window.
YOUSON (off) No. I am not hiding in your living room either Johnson. Now please if you would stop resisting. This would all get done quicker if you just stopped resisting. Focus on your missing Lucy if you must.
JOHNSON Where is she?
(He turns to the threshold by the chimney and hollers).
YOUSON (off) Yes, where is she Johnson? Is she home upstairs in bed? Is she waiting for you somewhere in the dark? Waiting for you to come and save her? Ah yes – her face, beaten and bloody – your mind is quick to panic.
As Youson speaks, Johnson runs to the door that leads outside. Putting a hand on the doorknob, he seems to fight with himself to open it. After a brief struggle, he spins and rests against it, putting his head in his hands. He’s shivering violently as he yells into the empty room.
YOUSON (off) (laughter)
Can you feel it?
JOHNSON Just come out. Stop hiding!
YOUSON (off) Coming out is not really an option. Now just –
His body throws itself back hard against the door. He slides down until he sits with his knees tight in front of his stomach. His head strains up from his chest, bending back and exposing his neck. The grip of his hands on his calves tightens, pulling on the fabric of his trousers. He groans and gasps. With each involuntary motion his panic grows.
JOHNSON No. No – Wait! How –
YOUSON (off) Breathe Johnson. I need you to breathe still.
JOHNSON (He gasps out while speaking)
It’s – not – possible.
Johnson throws himself forward onto the floor with a violent slap. His face red; there is a tightness and strain to the way he moves across the floor. It appears he is fighting against something invisible and trying to hold him still. He pulls across the floor with his fingers, grabs the leg of the sofa to drag himself onto the carpet. With a cry, he flips onto his back in a fluid, arched motion, fingers grasping the carpet and pulling it over his seizing body.
JOHNSON Stop – Please.
YOUSON (off) Now, now. There’s nothing that can be done. Think of Lucy. Say goodbye.
Johnson’s hand trembles as he grabs for the leg of a table. Pulling it, he knocks a lamp, box of tissues and picture frame to the floor besides him. His hand slaps the ground as he tries to reach for the photo and in his strain, a sudden burst of unnatural strength causes him to break the table leg off. He extends it in a simple move, but to turn it so the jagged edge points at his neck is a struggle. He still reaches for the picture frame. Another unseen fight has him gasping as he tries to jab the table leg into throat. Everything stills. His body relaxes. A smile grows on his face and after eyeing the weapon, he tosses the it aside. The table leg clatters along the stage. Several moments of silence. He still lies on the floor. One hand on his chest, the other still extended towards the frame. His chest rises and falls with big, slow breaths. Several minutes pass like this. Slowly, he reaches the hand that was on his chest before his face. He wiggles his fingers and easily props himself on his elbow facing the audience to grab the picture frame. He looks at the photo with genuine curiosity. It is clear he is pleased by the smile on his face. He now speaks with a tone that is not his own. His words are out of character. Even his facial expression has morphed into something that doesn’t belong to him.
JOHNSON Ah, Lucy. You are very beautiful.