The InmatesMature

(We are once again in the communal area of the asylum. John and Belinda are sat downstage centre, they are whispering to each other. Upstage left are Violet and Rose., Rose is playing with Violet's hair and Violet is looking around the room, her eyes darting everywhere, she giggles to herself occasionally. Henry and Head Nurse are sat in her office. They have a conversation at the same time as the other characters on stage.)


John:  Where’s Henry?


Belinda: What?


Head Nurse: Now Henry, the new supply is available.


John: Henry isn’t here, he’s gone.


Belinda: No he isn't.


Head Nurse: I suggest you procure it at your earliest convenience.


John: He is. They've taken him. Them! They have him.


Belinda: Who?


John: They.


Henry: Of course sweet nurse.


Belinda: He isn't allowed out of his cell for a few weeks.


John: What?! Why?!


Belinda: Because they said he can't control himself.


Henry: Will the arrangement stand?


John: They planned this! Drugs…makes you do silly things… then they punish him.


Belinda: I thought they were here to help?


John: No, no, no, no no no no no (giggles) they want to hurt us, they want to keep us here, they want to control us. They’re watching. Always watching. I hear them. Buzzing. In my head. Buzz, buzz, buzz.


Head Nurse: Yes. As long as you do this for me you will avoid the electrifying experience you desperately need.  


Belinda: Where is she?


John: She?


Henry: And what of Alice?


Belinda: Alice.


John: Having atreat!


Henry: You will continue being lenient with her?

Belinda: Pretty isn't she.


John: I don't know. Haven’t looked. Can’t look. Not allowed to look. Can’t get attached. Can’t cling too tightly. Don’t want to scare her. Hurt her. Like last time. Not like last time. Not like last time.


Head Nurse: Of course. She thinks we have an arrangement of our own. That if she behaves I will be kind with the procedures.  


Belinda: Very pretty.


John: I don't know.


Henry: Good. Good. She’s beautiful.


Belinda: Keeps getting Henry in trouble.


John: No. She’s a nice girl. Kind girl. She would look after me. She would protect me. Shield poor John from the horrors. From the voices.


Head Nurse: Quite.


Belinda: Yes. She is the problem here. Not them. Ever since she came it's been worse. They're obsessed with her. Why?


John: Why?


Head Nurse: I’m rather surprised that John didn’t come into your bargaining.


Belinda: Yes. Why. Is it her beauty? That timeless face. That smooth skin. Those tormented eyes.


John: She's...intriguing.


Belinda: She's plain.


Henry: John is stronger than he seems. Alice needs my protection.


John: I need Henry. They’re plotting. Belinda. They’re planning. Scheming.


Belinda: No you don't. I'm here.


Henry: He’s my friend but she…


John: I need Henry. You scare me. That gargoyle face haunting my mind.


Belinda: (vicious) Yes well he's occupied isn't he? You can't have him. I’m the best you’ve got. I don’t care if you don’t want me around. You’re just another name on the list.


Head Nurse: Enough. You have been given a task. I suggest you go and do it.


John: I just wish he...


Head Nurse: Run along little Henry. Set their minds ablaze.


Belinda: The accident wasn’t even my fault. The fire. All their fault. I was trapped. My face melted. Warped. Slipped away. All my beauty, gone. But she…so perfect…so regal.


John: I wish he would just control himself.


Henry: As you command your grace.


Belinda: Sometimes I wish for things...bad things.


John: What things?


Belinda: Well if I tell you they won't come true.


Head Nurse: Don’t mock me.


John: You shouldn't wish for bad things.


Henry: Apologies, twas not my intention.


Belinda: You shouldn't sit and wait


John: For what?


Belinda: For Henry (pause).


Head Nurse: Any more insolence and I will take my irritation out on your precious Alice.


John: He's my friend.


Belinda: No one is a friend in here and besides someone like you shouldn’t be allowed friends. They always seem to wind up a little…butchered don’t they?



(Lights down on Head Nurse, Henry & Nurse)



Violet: I can't smell her.


Rose: Who?


Violet: She isn't near is she?


Rose: She?


Violet: No. Can't smell her.


Rose: It's good.


Violet: What?


Rose: It's nice.


Violet: What?


Rose: That she isn't near. (Pause)


Violet: She scares me.


Rose: She scares me.


Violet: Don't know why.


Rose: Me neither.


Violet: I want her to leave.


Rose: She will.


Violet: But will she get better?.


Rose: Perhaps not. But she will leave.


Violet: How do you know?


Rose: She will.


Violet: How?


Rose: She will.


Violet: Rose, tell me.


Rose: You trust me don't you?


Violet: Yes.


Rose: Then stop asking questions.


Violet: Yes.


Nurse: Come on now. Time for medication. Back to your rooms.


Belinda: Laughable isn't it.


Violet: What is?


Rose: What's funny?


Belinda: That they call them rooms. (Pause)



(They all exit)


The End

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