“A Simple Twist”  by C. Sweeney

An original play written in CW 205:  Introduction to Creative Writing with Dr. Carlos Dews — Spring Semester 2010

 

“A SIMPLE TWIST”

Characters

SARAH, A college student in her early 20’s that prefers cleanliness and organization.

JEN, A college student in her early 20’s, Sarah’s roommate, who is energetic, messy and naïve.

Setting

Sarah and Jen’s kitchen in their apartment.  The present.

Lights up to reveal SARAH, a college student, wiping down the counter tops, putting a bowl away, and then sitting at the kitchen table, typing on her laptop. There is an empty seat next to her. A door creaks open in the background.

SARAH glances up

(Enter JEN, SARAH’S roommate, in pajama pants and a tee with messy hair, yawning.)

SARAH

Good morning.

JEN

Ugh. What time is it?

SARAH

Almost noon.

JEN

Man. I need coffee.

SARAH

I left some in the pot. You might wanna microwave it though.

JEN

Thanks.

(JEN heads toward the counter, pours herself some coffee, spills a little, and puts it in the microwave.  Then she sits next to SARAH in the empty chair.)

JEN

What time did you wake up?

SARAH

Uh, about 9.

JEN

Really going for it today, huh?

SARAH

Yeah, well I had to finish that play for my English class.  And I finally did!

JEN

Oh yeah? Congrats. How did you finally decide on a topic?

SARAH

(Looks a little nervous) Um, someone told me to just pick a simple situation and see where it takes me.

(The microwave beeps. JEN gets up to get her coffee.)

SARAH (CONT.)

(Breathes a sigh of relief and whispers to herself) Saved by the bell.

(JEN comes back to the table with her coffee and sits down.)

JEN

Yeah. So what’s the simple sitch?

SARAH

Oh, it’s pretty boring.

JEN

No way. You were worried about this play and now I can’t believe you’re done. Tell me about it!

SARAH

(Stuttering) Uh, well, it’s…

JEN

Oh come on, let me see.

(JEN pulls SARAH’s laptop across the table and reads out loud. SARAH looks extremely nervous.)

JEN (CONT.)

(Smiling) Ohhhh, it’s about two roommates, huh?  Sophie and Jane, that’s cute.

SARAH

It’s really nothing special.

(SARAH reaches across the tablefor her laptop but JEN doesn’t let her take it.)

JEN

(Laughing) What are you freaking out about?  You’re such a good writer, I just want to read your little play…

SARAH

(Babbling) It’s just that I haven’t, like, edited it yet and I don’t know what it’ll sound like. Plays are different than stories, ya know.  It’s just a bunch of dialogue and—

JEN

(Interrupting SARAH) Oh perfect! I’ll help you. We can read the parts out loud to each other!

SARAH

Oh, no. You don’t have to do that. I’m sure you have homework and stuff you wanna get done for Monday.  But thanks.

(SARAH stands up and grabs her laptop, setting it in front of her again on the table.)

JEN

No, really, it’s no big deal.  I’d actually rather put off my homework for as long as possible.

SARAH

(Looks confused, then sighs) Well, okay.  But know that it’s just a rough draft.  And it’s my first play so it’s just random and whatever.

JEN

(Smiling) I knew you’d come around.

(JEN pulls her chair over next To SARAH’S.)

JEN (CONT.)

Okay, I’m Jane!

SARAH

Guess that makes me Sophie.

JEN

Oh, it says Sophie walks in the front door and goes to the kitchen to look for a clean cup. Should you go outside to start?

SARAH

No.

JEN

Fine fine. I’ll set the scene.

(JEN puts her hands up to quote the word “scene” with her fingers.)

JEN (CONT.)

(In a dramatic, suspenseful tone) Sophie opens the front door and heads to the kitch—

SARAH

(Interrupts JEN, unimpressed) It’s actually not a murder mystery, Jen.

JEN

(Playfully jabs back)Well if somebody would’ve told me the topic of the play, maybe I would’ve known that.

SARAH

Whatever. You’ll find out soon enough.

JEN

Anyways, Sophie’s in the kitchen and going to get a glass of water after her early morning run. Sophie starts talking.  Go.

SARAH

Okay. Sophie.  Frustrated.  Are you serious?  Why I just did the dishes yesterday!  Where are all of the clean cups?!

JEN

Okay.  My turn. Jane walks in, looking like she’s been hit by a bus, wearing her clothes from the night before and looks at Sophie.  What is the matter, Sophie?

SARAH

Sophie.  I am dying of thirst and have no idea where all of our cups have gone.

JEN

Jane.  Oh my, can you quit slamming the cabinets so hard?  I have a pounding headache.

SARAH

Sophie.  Really?  From what, Jane?

JEN

(Laughing) I can already tell I like Jane.  Okay, she says, ‘Somehow I got talked into playing beer pong last night after we went to Joey’s…’

SARAH

(Smiles) Doesn’t surprise me.  Sophie.  I thought I heard people in our backyard.  But you always play beer pong.

JEN

Yes, I love Jane.  She says, ‘Well, it was not just the beer pong.’

SARAH

Sophie.  It never is.

JEN

Jane.  It was the flippy cup and speed quarters that really have gotten to me.

SARAH

Ahhh.  Knew it.

JEN

Knew what?

SARAH

That’s what Sophie says.

JEN

Oh! I like this, getting into our characters, huh?

SARAH

(Nods knowingly) More than you’d think.

JEN

Hmm, where are we?  Okay, Jane says, ‘Yes, I am sorry about the cups.  I bet there is one or two on the deck that no one used.’

SARAH

Sophie.  Um, no thank you.

JEN

Jane.  Suit yourself.  I need some water to take my Tylenol.  Are you sure you do not want me to grab you one while I am out there?

SARAH

Sophie.  I’m sure.

JEN

I like this so far, Sar! I didn’t know plays could be so modern.  I was picturing some Romeo and Juliet action or at least a sword fight between guys in tights.

SARAH

(Laughs) Believe it or not, people do actually write non-Shakespearean plays.

JEN

Who would’ve thought?  Maybe I’ll write a play.

SARAH

Go for it.  I’m sure it’d be entertaining.

JEN

Maybe later.  We’re only on Scene 1 of yours.  Two more to go.

SARAH

Yeah, we don’t have—

JEN

(Interrupts SARAH) Scene 2.  It’s like in Sophie and Jane’s living room—

SARAH

(Interrupts JEN) Yeah, I know. I did actually write the play.

JEN

Whoa, okay. You’re vacuuming and I—oh wait!

(JEN leaves the room and comes back a second later with a teddy bear.)

SARAH

(Looks at JEN like she is crazy) Like I said, I did write the play and I know I didn’t include any small bears in it…

JEN

(Excited) But you did include a puppy!  Bear is perfect for the role.

SARAH

(Rolls her eyes) Alright.  Whatever.

JEN

Okay, this time I walk into the living room while Sophie is vacuuming.  Jane’s so excited and says, ‘Guess what, Soph?’

SARAH

Sophie. What is it, Jane?

JEN

Jane opens the door and a yellow lab puppy races inside and jumps on the couch.  She says, ‘Don’t you love him?’

SARAH

Sophie jumps back and puts the vacuum in front of her like a shield.  She says, ‘Where did you get this thing?’

JEN

Jane.  Joey’s friend adopted the puppy but they cannot have dogs in their apartment complex so I told them he could stay here until they figure it out.

SARAH

Uhh, it sounds so ridiculous.  Why did I make the dialogue so stiff?

JEN

Nah, no way. This is your first play. Take it easy on yourself. (Then whispers under her breath) For once.

SARAH

What?

JEN

Nothing. Go on.

SARAH

Fine. Sophie. Uh and how long is it going to take them to figure this situation out?

JEN

Jane.  I do not know, I hope awhile!  I love this little guy!

SARAH

Sophie.  NO!

JEN

Jane.  What?

SARAH

Sophie.  Please do not let him pee on our couch, Jane! Get him out of here quickly!

JEN

Jane laughs.  ‘Oh, it will be alright.  We can wash the couch cover.  Just do not scare him like that,’ she says.  Then Jane picks up the puppy and heads out of the room.

SARAH

(Mumbling) You mean I’ll wash the couch cover.

JEN

End of scene 2!  Nice work, Sophie.

SARAH

Ha. Thanks.  I am thinking this is getting a little repetitive.  I think I know what I want to change so we can stop now.

JEN

You mean we’ve come this far and you’re not going to let me see how it ends?

SARAH

I hate to break it to you, but it’s not that exciting.  No drastic Oedipus ending or anything.

JEN

First of all, who’s Eddie?  And second of all, let’s just finish this.  I like it.

SARAH

No, you just like doing anything other than your own homework.

JEN

Maybe true, but my coffee’s kicking in so I’m ready for the finale.

SARAH

(Sarcastically) Break a leg then, champ.

JEN

Yeah! Scene 3, the final one.

(JEN stands up, pushes her chair in behind SARAH so that she is able to see the computer screen.)

SARAH

What are you doing?

JEN

Oh, just so I can really get into Jane’s character.

SARAH

(Rolls her eyes and changes the subject quickly) Did you read the new setting?

JEN

Yeah, we both are at a party, right?  Talking in the corner or something.

SARAH

Yeah, with red cups in our hands.

JEN

Maybe that’ll make my headache go away if we really get some red cups.

SARAH

I’ll pass.

JEN

You’re no fun.  I have heard that actually really works…

(JEN contemplates the thought for a second.)

SARAH

If you still don’t feel well, you can just go lay down or something.

JEN

Yeah, I think I will after this.

SARAH

(Unsure and drawn out) Alright…

JEN

Jane is ready. Start us off, Soph.

SARAH

Okay.  I’m, err, Sophie’s in the corner of the party, alone until—

JEN

Jane backs into her.

SARAH

Right.  Because of that, I, I mean, Sophie spills her whole drink all down the front of her.

JEN

I feel like this happened before.

SARAH

(Nervous) What do you mean?  It’s just a stupid play.

JEN

(Speaking slowly) Like that one time…

SARAH

(Interrupts JEN and speaks quickly) We’ve been to so many parties in college.  Of course somebody has bumped into somebody and had their drink spilt on them.

JEN

Yeah.  Yeah, I guess you’re right.

SARAH

Yeah, okay let’s—

JEN

(Interrupts SARAH and slams her hand on the table next to the laptop dramatically) Oh, I know what it reminds me of!  That one time we were out sophomore year, at that frat house.  I finally had convinced you to come out with me because I knew that guy you liked, what was his name? Billy? Brian?

SARAH

(Looking glum but replies immediately) Ben.

JEN

Yeah! Ben!  And you wore that white sundress from Urban—

SARAH

(Interrupting) Forever 21.

JEN

Yeah!  Forever 21.  And I don’t really remember the rest of the night, but when I woke up that next morning, you were so pissed cuz some idiot had, like, run into you and spilled their red jungle juice all over that white dress.

SARAH

(Looking sad) Yeah, that sucked.

JEN

And we never found out who the drunk idiot was, did we?

SARAH

(Looking distracted) Uh, nope.  I don’t think so.

JEN

(Slowly starting to realize what the play is about so speaks gradually) Weird that that’s what this made me think of..

SARAH

(Says quickly)Yeah, so weird.

JEN

Was that one night the inspiration for your 3rd scene?

SARAH

(Feeling uncomfortable) Uhh, no. You know what, I really just want to—

JEN

(Interrupting) finish the play? Me too. I am ready to be Jane.  So I bump into you and then what?

SARAH

(Nervous to continue the play) Uh, okay. Well, then Sophie is like, ‘Are you kidding me? Watch out.’  And then she turns around—

JEN

And realizes it’s me!  I mean, Jane!

SARAH

Yep.

JEN

Jane.  I’m so sorry, Soph!

SARAH

Sophie sighs.  No big deal.

JEN

Jane.  Why are you over here in the corner anyways?!

SARAH

Sophie.  Uh, just not in the mood for a crazy night.  Since I am soaked now, I will probably just go home anyways.

JEN

Jane.  No, that is stupid.  Don’t leave!

SARAH

Sophie.  Yeah, I am going to.  I am just not really in the mood anymore.

JEN

Man, Sophie’s lame.

SARAH

What do you mean?  She got spilled on, I’d want to go home too.

JEN

It’s just a college party.  No one notices if you’ve been spilled on.  Hell, they’re probably surprised if you aren’t.

SARAH

Not everyone can just go with the flow like that, Jen.

JEN

Whoa, easy. I just think the play would be more exciting if Sophie stayed at the party.  Threw her drink on Jane then or something.  Caused a scene.

SARAH

Some people don’t like being the center of attention.

JEN

Wait, what?

SARAH

Nevermind.

JEN

(Speaks slowly) Okay. Fine.

Awkward silence fills the room for a beat.

JEN CONT.

You know what? It’s not fine.

SARAH

What isn’t fine?

JEN

(Getting angry)You.  You’re not fine.  You obviously have a problem with me.

SARAH

What?  You’re being crazy.  I have more important stuff to do than argue over a play.  And I’m not really in the mood to finish it.

JEN

Okay, but just tell me what happens.

SARAH

(Sighs dramatically) Um, basically Sophie goes home and sits alone all night while Jane stays at the party and comes home claiming she had the best night of her life.

JEN

So poor (uses her fingers to quote the name, Sophie) Sophie is the victim and (uses her fingers again to quote Jane’s name) and Jane ruins everything for her, like always?

SARAH

What?  No. Take it easy, Jen.

JEN

(Looks at SARAH, enraged now) No! I won’t take it easy, Sarah!  You can’t just sit here, acting like you’re little miss perfect, write a play about me, and expect me to pat you on the freaking back!

SARAH

(Pauses to think before speaking) You have no proof it’s about you.

JEN

(Sarcastically) Yeah, you’re right. No proof, just a brain to figure it out.

SARAH

(Speaks quickly)  Figure what out?  You’re thinking way too much about this.

JEN

No, actually, you’re thinking way too much about this.

SARAH

What do you mean?

JEN

You know what? (Pauses and thinks for a beat.)  Nevermind. I’m not gonna go there.

SARAH

No. What?

JEN

Nothing.

SARAH

No, tell me.  You’re not gonna go where?

JEN

I just can’t believe that’s how you’re gonna remember our last two years of college living together.  That your life is always so unlucky and you’re the little victim. Like it’s my fault that you’re not living your perfect fairy tale.

SARAH

What?  I can’t be annoyed at you sometimes?

JEN

No, of course you can. It’s just stuff like that happens to everyone. But they move on.  You just can’t seem to get over any of it.

SARAH

(Stuttering) I, uh.. it’s just…

JEN

It’s just that (uses fingers to quote the name Sophie over dramatically) Sophie might actually be happy for once if she just let go and lived her freaking life. (Pauses)  I just.. I honestly just feel bad for her.

(SARAH sits in silence for a minute as JEN stands next to her, trying to make eye contact but SARAH refuses it.)

SARAH

(Speaks quietly)  I feel bad for Sophie too.

(LIGHTS GO OFF.)

END OF PLAY

—written by  Caroline Sweeney

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s