Scene 24 (Wow, our scene numbers are messed up)

AUTHOR’S HOUSE - INTERIOR - BEDROOM 

[AUTHOR is scribbling in a notebook but keeps crossing it out, unable to make the words sound right. After about a minute she dumps the notebook on the bed, walks over to the desk and starts to type at the open laptop - having jogged the mouse once or twice]

AUTHOR

Write a book into a story … how do I do that?

[AUTHOR types]

No, that doesn’t work. Hmm. How about this?

[AUTHOR types again]

No, that doesn’t work either. Ugh! Whoever knew this was so difficult?

[phone rings]

Hello? No, sorry, I’ve already got double glazing. No, honestly, I do. Yes, it was put in by a professional! No, I don’t want it done again! Yes, thank you, thank you … All right, goodbye.

[she puts the phone down]

Stupid double glazing companies. Don’t they ever get the point the first time they ring you? I’m sure that company called me yesterday.

[AUTHOR stares at the screen]

I know, I’ll quit with this scene and get on with writing Kate and Ellie into something else. That’ll take my mind off it.

[KATE bursts in, closely followed by ELLIE. They are both out of breath]

KATE

We’ve got the book! It’s okay, we’ve got the book!

AUTHOR

I never said you didn’t.

[frown]

What is it? What’s wrong?

ELLIE

We were sort of hoping you’d write it in now? Because time might pass more quickly there and we don’t want the Elves to get angry…

[ELLIE shudders. KATE looks exasperated] 

KATE

She’s convinced the elves are out to get her and nothing I say will convince her otherwise. I think she should get a copy of the book. Maybe then she’d realise that they’re not the bad guys.

ELLIE

Just because they’re not the bad guys, doesn’t mean they’re not scary.

AUTHOR

You’re scared - of the Elves? As in, turning round all the time to check they’re not following you and convince that everybody who is tall with pointy ears must be an elf that’s escaped from the books?

ELLIE

Yes…

AUTHOR

You’re scared of creatures that are wise and good and saved Frodo from certain death at the hands of the Black Riders? You’re scared of creatures that healed him from great injury and gave him advice that would save his life.

ELLIE

Yes! Okay, I’m sorry, I’m pathetic! There’s no need-

AUTHOR

Don’t be sorry! It’s fair enough -  I used to be scared of them, too!

ELLIE

You did?

[KATE sniggers, her hand over her mouth to hide it]

AUTHOR

Of course! And don’t you laugh, either, Kate. Haven’t you ever had an irrational fear that you couldn’t tell anyone because they’d laugh at you and you didn’t think it was funny.

KATE

That’s not the point. She is telling people. She hasn’t stopped going on about it. Earlier, on the way back from WHSmith’s, she ran away from a man who was walking his dog because she thought he was an elf! Just because he was tall, with long hair, and may or may not have had pointy ears!

AUTHOR

Perhaps that’s taking it too far … but you shouldn’t laugh. You know how it feels to be laughed at.

ELLIE

She doesn’t care.

[ELLIE sniffs loudly]

She’s heartless and insensitive and couldn’t care less whether what she says hurts other people! I hate her! 

[ELLIE storms out of the room. AUTHOR tries to grab her arm but fails, and so ELLIE leaves the room. KATE is standing in the middle of the stage, stunned. The lights suddenly fade and sweet, sad music comes on] 

KATE

Do you think she really does hate me, Author? I didn’t mean to be insensitive and I definitely wasn’t trying to hurt her…

AUTHOR

It’ll be okay. She’s just highly strung and thinks the world is out to get her. How old is she now?

KATE

Sixteen. Hang on, you’re supposed to know that! You invented her!

AUTHOR

I forget these things. Besides, my characters are walking and talking without my say-so … it wouldn’t surprise me if they started aging as well.

[KATE and AUTHOR laugh] 

KATE

[wistfully] Even so, I do hope she doesn’t hate me. I don’t want her to hate me. I wasn’t trying to be mean, honest…

[BLACKOUT]

The End

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