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by Jubbly 

Posted: 13 March 2008
Word Count: 7875
Summary: A one act play.


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Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.


Added









By Julie Balloo




























CHARACTERS: HERA

BELINDA

ANDY

TIM/KIRK

FLORA/TANIA/SONIA/WOMAN


THE SCENE IS A DOMESTIC SETTING. A WOMAN, BELINDA, EARLY THIRTIES LEANS OVER AN IRONING BOARD, FROZEN IN DUTY. THE MAN, ANDY IS SEATED, BEER IN HAND, STARING AT THE TELEVISION. THEY BOTH STAY COMPLETELY STILL. ENTER HERA, YOUNGISH AND DRESSED IN A MIDRIFT SHIRT AND HIPSTER JEANS WITH PLENTY OF BLING EVERYWHERE.


Hera: Iím Hera. Goddess of marriage, crap job I know. Well Iím only the cloud imitation of Hera, the real Hera is far too busy to look in on every miserable married couple in the world, life is long for us Goddessís but not that long. Iím the wife and sister of Zeus, donít ask. Most of my children were conceived without the help of a man, I simply ate lettuce, a method I canít recommend highly enough. (She slides her hands over her body) Good for the shape and prevents STDs. Donít get me wrong, Iíve had many lovers over the years, couldnít get enough me. I know I donít look my age, when you get to the big 1 0 0 0 you do stop looking forward to birthdays. But, hereís a tip, I bathe in the Well of Canathus every year and bingo, my virginity returns, like magic.
All women have Goddesses looking out for them, weíve always done it, God knows why, itís a Goddess thing. Some women choose to heed our warnings othersÖwell, theyíve been known to adopt selective deafness when it comes to advice. Another term is womenís intuition, no itís not a myth. Itís very very real. But as I said, some women are susceptible to it, others are just plain bloody stupid.
Look at Belinda, tut, tut, is there no hope for that girl? We do have something in common, Iím the patron of Argos and she spends a lot of time there too.


Belinda springs into life. Hera observes.

Belinda: Iím Belinda, this is Andy. Some say weíre mismatched. Yin and Yang.

Andy: Good cop, bad cop.

Belinda: Gabriel and Lucifer.

Andy: Well maybe thatís a bit strong, but between you and me and the bedpost, compatible is not the word that springs to mind.



Hera: They met through mutual friends, the interfering sort.

FLORA AND TIME ENTER.

Flora: You should meet my friend Belinda, youíd really like her.

Tim: Not as much up top as Flora, but as fit as a butcherís dog.

Andy: She was just like a little doll.

Belinda: A China doll with flaxen hair, dressed in a lace blouse and linen skirt, perfect for taking home and putting up high on a shelf out of harms way.

Andy: Which is exactly what I did.

Hera: Andy is outgoing and considers himself very direct, others have concluded he can be bloody rude.

Andy: If I donít like something or someone Iíll let them know in no uncertain terms.


Belinda: When he dies his epitaph will say - ĎIíd like you to mark me down as a disgruntled customerí.

Hera: Andy didnít laugh when he heard his wife saying that to their mutual friends, Flora and Tim.


Belinda: When Andy dies his epitaph will say Ė ĎIíd like you to mark me down as a disgruntled customerí.

FLORA AND TIM LAUGH, ANDY DOES NOT. THEY ALL STOP ABRUPTLY.

Andy: (To Belinda) A word please.

ANDY TAKES BELINDA ASIDE. FLORA AND TIM LOOK UNCOMFORTABLE AND STRAIN TO HEAR. HERA SIGHS.

Flora: Wonder when theyíll start a family?

Tim: Wonder if theyíll start a family.

ANDY AND BELINDA RETURN.

Flora: So, when are you two going to start a family?

Andy: Itíll happen.

Tim: You need to be in the same room mate.

FLORA AND TIM LAUGH, ANDY PRETENDS TO LAUGH, BELINDA IS HORRIFIED.

Belinda: Is it that obvious? Can everyone see the gaping divide between the two of us?


Hera: I can love.

Belinda: You can? Really? Oh dear. Who are you?

Hera: Oh here we go again. Iíve told you dear, Hera, remember, the Goddess of Marriage.

Belinda: Oh yeah, hya.

Hera: Hera!

Belinda: I mean hello. We are trying, really.

Hera: None of my business.

Belinda: But I thought..

Hera: Donít wish to hard for what you want, you know what they say.


Andy: I work long hours Tim mate.

Tim: Then spend the next few in the pub eh?

Andy: I deserve a drink after a hard day in the office, isnít that right Bell?

Belinda: Yeah, heís right.

Andy: Bell doesnít like pubs, they were always too smoky, isnít that right Bell?

Flora: Theyíre not anymore.



Andy: I mainly go to watch the football results and the match and the rugby when itís on, the cricket gets me in too, Bell isnít one for sport are you love?

Belinda shakes her head and smiles weakly.

Tim: You donít just go out drinking?

Belinda: No, heís very sporty, thereís squash..

Andy: Twice a week.

Belinda: Football coaching..

Andy: The under 8ís.

Belinda: And all the charity fundraising events, donít forget them..

Andy: We raised two grand for Cancer Research with our sponsored rugby match.


Flora/Tim: Ahhh.

Andy: But yeah, course I like the occasional drink.


Hera: They do manage to do some things together though.


FLORA AND TIM EXIT. BELINDA AND ANDY SIT ON SOFA AND WATCH TV. ANDY CLUTCHES THE REMOTE CONTROL. HE RAPIDLY FLICKS THROUGH VARIOUS PROGRAMMES, JUST AS BELINDA HAS TUNED IN, HE CHANGES AGAIN. FROM DRAMA, TO GAMESHOW, TO COMEDY TO MATCH OF THE DAY.BELINDA BEGINS TO NOD OFF.

ANDY: Go to bed Bell, look at you, youíre dribbling girl, go on.

Hera: In keeping with the national average they managed sexual intercourse two and a half times a week, the half occurred when Andy had stayed in the pub until well after closing and no amount of patient arm aching caressing could render him effective.


ANDY AND BELINDA LIE DOWN AND THE SOFA BECOMES A BED, UNDER A BLANKET THEY TRY TO SIMULATE SEX BELINDA IS EXHAUSTED AND SHOWS IT, ANDY IS SOON COMATOSE.




Hera: Donít get me wrong, Belinda has friends, admittedly she is on the shy side and never really socialised as much as Andy, but there was the occasional lunch with the girls or visits to the gym. But for the most part Belinda preferred her own company, sometimes she wonders why sheíd even got married then she remembers.


Belinda: Thatís what people do.

Hera: Andy wasnít bothered if they went out or spent any quality time together, but he certainly wanted to know exactly where she was at all times, who she was with and what she was doing.

Andy: Belinda, where are you? Who are you with? And what are you doing?


Hera: So Belinda stopped going out, it was less stressful, anything for a quiet life. I hear that a lot in my line of work.

BELINDA SITS ALOND READING A BOOK AND OCCASIONALLY LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW WHEN SHE HEARS FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING.

Hera: Then it happened didnít it?

BELINDA REVEALS HER BABY BUMP.

Andy: Oh brilliant babe, see I told you I wasnít a jaffa.

BELINDA GOES INTO LABOUR AND SIMULATES THE BABYíS BIRTH. A VERY SQUEAMISH ANDY TRIES NOT TO LOOK. THE BABY CRIES AND ANDY PUNCHES THE AIR.

Andy: Well done old girl, what a little beauty. You rest up darling, Iím off to wet the babyís head.

BELINDA IS LEFT HOLDING THE BABY AND ANDY IS NOW IN A NOISY PUB WITH HIS MATE TIM.

Andy: Cut the chord myself I did, nothing to it, donít know why these women whinge on like they do, should have seen me when I had my wisdom teeth come through, now that hurt.

Tim: Cheers mate, to baby Emily!

Andy: To Emily!

SCENE FADES.

BELINDA IS NOW IN HER DRESSING GOWN AND ROCKING A PRAM.

Hera: Belinda took the required maternity leave from her office job and tried to adjust to life at home with a baby. Havenít times changed? When I was born I was swallowed by my father as soon as I left my motherís womb and later regurgitated when Ma got fed up of having her kids swallowed. If that wasnít enough I was brought up by three Naiades, Nymphs of fresh waters and streams to the uninitiated or if you like, just glorified nannies in bikinis. Itís a wonder I ever bothered with kiddies myself, and my second daughterís only Eileithyian, Goddess of Childbirth! Rebelling against me I suspect. I had my two lads, Hephaestus and Ares without the help of my hubby or any bloke for that matter, but thatís all the rage these days init?

A RATHER INNEBRIATED ANDY ENTERS AND PICKS UP EMILY AND HOLDS HER HIGH ABOVE HIS HEAD.

Andy: Hello daddyís little girl, howís daddyís little angel today eh?

A LOUD BARFING NOISE INDICATES EMILY HAS VOMITED ALL OVER HIM.

Andy: Bloody Hell Bell, do something will you, fetch us a towel.

BELINDA TAKES THE BABY AND THROWS HIM A MUSLIN CLOTH.

Andy: Iíve got a presentation in the morning and I need a good nights kip, Iíll take the spare room, see you in the morning love.

ANDY SETTLES ON THE SOFA AND IMMEDIATLEY DOSES OFF, THE BABY CRIES AND BELINDA PACES THE ROOM. LIGHTS FADE TO BLACKOUT THEN FADE UP. ANDY HAS GONE BUT BELINDA IS STILL IN DRESSING GOWN WITH CRYING BABY.

Hera: Motherhood can change your life, it can blend day into night, so you donít know which is which. Your brain turns to butter, youíll put your mobile phone in the fridge and the cheese in your handbag. Youíll stop looking into the mirror and wearing nice clean clothes. As little fingers can wrench earrings from your ears and necklaces from your neck, Ouch! Jewellery is no longer an option. But sometimes you still have to make an effort.

Andy: Happy anniversary Belinda babe!

Belinda: What?

Andy: Donít say youíve forgotten? Itís our wedding anniversary and Iím taking my best girl out on the town.

Belinda: But what about Emily?

ENTER FLORA.

Flora: Iím going to baby-sit.

Belinda: What?

Flora: Itís a surprise, off you go and beautify yourself, everything will be just fine here.

Belinda: Are you sure?

Flora: Just go and enjoy yourselves.

MUSIC BLARES AND LIGHTS DEPICT A BAR. ANDY IS NECKING A BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE AND BELINDA DRINKS FROM A GLASS. ANDY SWEEPS HER OFF HER FEET AND THEY DANCE, BELINDA LOOKS LIKELY SHE MAY THROW UP AND IS VERY DRUNK.

Andy: You having a good time doll?

Belinda: I think we should be heading back.

Andy: Yeah yeah, Iíll just get us another in.

FADE AND SCENE CHANGE. BACK AT HOME. ANDY AND BELINDA COLLAPSE ON THE SOFA AND BEGIN TO MAKE LOVE.

Hera: Oh Belinda you stupid girl, it doesnít matter that youíre still breastfeeding, thatís a myth men made up so they didnít need to bother with condoms. Mark my words youíll regret this moment of drunken passion, mind you, youíre so off your tits youíll probably think it was an immaculate conception. It wasnít love and as you wonít remember a thing, itís wonít have even been worth it.

BELINDA AND ANDY EXPERIENCE A JOINT ORGASM.


BELINDA STANDS UP TO REVEAL HER BABY BUMP WHILST STILL HOLDING BABY EMILY.

Hera: Ha ha, told you so.

BELINDA SPINS AROUND WHEN SHE FACES FRONT HER BUMP HAS GONE AND SHE NOW HOLDS TWO BABIES.

Andy: See you love have a nice day. Iím entertaining clients tonight so donít wait up.

Belinda: Do you have to go out?

Andy: Itís business babe.

Belinda: But you went out last night and the night before that.

Andy: I deserve a break, two bloody kids in as many years, do me a favour.

ANDY EXITS.

Hera: Have you not thought of getting a childminder?

Belinda: Canít afford one, not on the one wage.

Hera: You could go back to work.

Belinda: Still couldnít afford it, Iíd just be paying for the childcare.



Hera: Mmm, and you do have to be careful. When my husband was a baby he had a girl looking after him called Melissa. She had her own methods, instead of giving him milk she gave him honey, ruined his teeth.

Belinda: Really?


Hera: If that wasnít enough he then got given a goat to look after him, it were cheaper than an au pair, he loved that goat he did. Milk on demand as you can imagine, mind you had to be careful with your belongings, bloody rancid beast would eat anything. When it died he had it made into a constellation, ahhh, still up there somewhere I suspect.

THE BABIES BEGIN TO CRY.

Belinda: There there Emily mummyís here, never mind Georgie girl, everything will be alright. (Sings) The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round , the wheels on the bus go round and round all day long.

THE CRYING GETS LOUDER

Belinda: The mummies on the bus go Ssh ssh ssh, ssh, ssh, ssh, ssh ssh, the mummies, the mummies.. (She breaks down sobbing).



Andy: Bloody hell Bell, itís bloody bedlam in here, youíve got to get things under control girl.

Belinda: I know, Iím just so tired.

Andy: Tired? You should trying going to work for a living.

Belinda: If you could just take them once in a while, just to give me a break.

Andy: Course I will, you only have to ask.

Belinda: I am asking Andy.

Andy: I mean donít ask as soon as I walk in the door, give a man a break. Iíll take them to the park on Saturday morning for a bit before I go to the pub for the Rugby, England and France then Ireland and Australia, donít wait up.

Belinda: Could you put them down for me?

Andy: Now?

Belinda: Yes, now.

Andy: All right, donít nag. Come to daddy little treasures.

THE BABIES STOP CRYING AND ANDY EXITS WITH THEM.

Hera: Thought of getting a hobby love?

Belinda: Thereís no time, not enough hours in the day.

Hera: Go online, itíll open up a whole new world for you without having to leave the house.

Belinda: Well maybe just to order the weekly shop.

Here: Well, thatís a start.

Belinda: I could check my email.

Hera: Why donít you?

Belinda: I never really get many messages, adverts and scams and Viagra offers, no one from work ever gets in touch anymore.


Hera: Ooh get off your cross love. You remind me of the Algea, not a girl band no, a bunch of the most miserable minor Goddesses youíre ever likely meet. In fact thatís their logo, Goddesses of Pain and Misery, perleaseÖtalk about permanent PMT. Misery begets misery love, now get your finger out and get online, who knows a miracle might occur like you smiling for once.

BELINDA GOES TO A COMPUTER AND LOGS ON. WE HEAR A FAMILIAR PING.

Voice/Over: Belinda Moore, Jenny Armitage has added you as her Facebook friend, please confirm you know Jenny Armitage.

Belinda: Yes, yes we are, well were, well I know her. How? How? Um, through work. When? Um..canít remember. Now what? What should I do?



V/O According to Wikipedia, Facebook is a social networking website that launched in 2004. It is free and allows users to join one or more networks in order to easily connect with other people. The name refers to the paper facebooks that depict members of a campus community in American Colleges. Facebook has met with a certain amount of criticism and controversy because of privacy concerns, the politics of its founders and censorship issues.

Belinda: Right, done.


V/O View photos of Jenny, send a gift to Jenny, hug Jenny, write on Jennyís wall, see Jennyís Funwall, dedicate a song to Jenny, send Jenny a message, compare your friends, compare yourself with Jenny, compare yourself with Jenny, compare yourself with Jenny.

Belinda: Goodness, she looks fantastic. (Gasps) 361 friends! Oh my.

Hera: A word of warning Bell. I used to be a little on the jealous side myself, which is why poor but lovely and beautiful Side, wife of Orion now dwells in the stinky, old Underworld. Bitchy I know but I was very hormonal yeah, and there she was giving it all ĎIím so fine, why everyone one desires me, my Orion just canít keep his hands off meí. So down she went and down she still is, thereís a no return policy. So Iím telling you girl, donít get all bitter and twisted, the only person youíll be hurting is yourself and whoever youíve sent to burn alive for all eternity of course, but donít dwell on that bad stuff itíll only bring you down. Ok?

Belinda: Okay, letís get started, a photo of me, mmm, howís this one?

A LIFE SIZED BACKDROP APPEARS WITH A CUT OUT IN THE TOP LEFT SIDE. BELINDA POPS BEHIND AND POSES UNTIL SHE SETTLES ON AN IMAGE.

ENTER ANDY.

Andy: You what? Facebookís for losers.

Belinda: Itís only Jenny from work, she was just wondering what I was up to, havenít seen her in ages.

Andy: Nah, take it from me, itís for people who canít be arsed to make themselves a decent Myspace page, anyway this whole internet virtual social life is just for kids, go out and meet some real friends if youíre that lonely.

Belinda: How can I do that?

Andy: Iíll baby-sit, go out with your mates, meet this Jenny whoever, have a girls night out, I donít mind.

Belinda: Course he bloody minds.


Andy: Course I bloody mind.

Belinda: Itís all right, I donít want to go out.

Andy: I want you to go out.

Belinda: I donít want to go out.

Andy: Go out if you want.

Belinda: No.

Andy: Go!

THE BABIES CRY.

Belinda: No.

Andy: Oh bugger this, Iím off out.

ANDY EXITS. THE CRYING FADES AND BELINDA SITS UP AT HER COMPUTER.


Hera: So Belinda didnít go out, she stayed in and met people online. She didnít have to dress up or get her hair done. People she hadnít seen or heard from in years began contacting her, friends from college, from school, a girl sheíd once met while travelling in France. Theyíd hitch hiked from Avignon to Paris, sharing bread, brie and red wine.

Tania: Belinda? Is that you? How are you? Itís been years. Every time I eat brie with red wine I think of that day.

Belinda: Everytime? Goodness. Thereís people out there thinking about me, wondering what Iím up to. I like that.

ANDY ENTERS AND WATCHES HIS WIFE TIP TAPPING AWAY.

Andy: Youíll end up wearing glasses if you go on that bloody thing much longer.

Belinda: Dinner wonít be long love, give us a minute.

ANDY SITS DOWN AND OPENS A BEER AND WATCHES TELLY.



Hera: Oh dear thereís no stopping her now. I know what itís like to be obsessed with something. When that little slaggy nymph Echo starting shaking her booty at my husband I could not get the image out of my mind. So I numbed her tongue to stop her speaking for all eternity, she pissed me off, so sue me.

V/O: Superpoke somebody, throw a cow at someone, give massive respect to someone, buy your friends a round of drinks. Send a meaningless photo of a doe eyed kitten for them to forward so that nothing at all will happen. Check your horoscope.

BELINDA DRAMATISES THE ACTIONS.

V/O: Aquarius - Belinda, You are planning an upcoming outing when you realise that two of the people you wanted to get together are fighting like cats and dogs.

Belinda, Kate has posted on your Funwall.

Kate: Check this out, is it for real? Bloody funny if it is.

THERE IS A RECTANGULAR GAP IN THE BACKDROP, A WOMAN APPEARS AND SINGS A SONG VERY BADLY IN AN X FACTOR STYLE AUDITION THEN FAINTS.

Belinda: Ha, got to see that again.

THE WOMAN REPEATS THE SONG AND COLLAPSE.



Hera: Hey Belinda, why not join the ĎI got off my face and added you as a friend even though I know you hate the sight of meí group?

Belinda: Ok.


Hera: Remember thereís an etiquette, you might add someone who doesnít want to be your virtual friend, who in fact wants you to mind your own bloody business.

THIS IS DRAMATISED BY THE BACKDROP. A WOMAN REACTS BADLY TO BEING ADDED BY BELINDA AND PULLS A FACE AND SHAKES HER HEAD.

Woman: Ignore!


Hera: Hey donít take it personally, oh I forgot, it is personal, sorry. And donít try and add anyone famous, itís not really them just some sad fuck pretending to be them, go on try and add Madonna, see how far you get.

BELINDA TAPS AWAY.

Belinda: Oh, damn.

V/O: You have no friends online in the past five minutes.

Hera: Itís a Saturday night Belinda, get a life.

V/O: You have no friends online.

Hera: Even your husbandís gone out and left you alone.

V/O: You have no friends online, you have no friends online, you have no friends, you have no friends, you have no friends, you have no, no, no, no!

BABIES CRY.

Belinda: Iím coming, mummyís coming. Ssh, ssh.

CRYING FADES.

Hera: Those early years arenít easy, I know. Donít make my mistakes Belinda. I wasnít too bad with my kids or step kids, but woe betide the bastard offspring of my husband, why do you think Hercules had to go through the 12 labours? I made him do it.


BELINDA COMES BACK AND SITS AT COMPUTER AND LOGS ON.

Belinda: (Gasps) No.

KIRK APPEARS IN THE PHOTO HOLE ON THE PROFILE BACKDROP, HE HOLDS UP A SIGN BEARING HIS NAME. KIRK MANNING.

Kirk: Belinda, how lovely to find you. Please be my friend.


Belinda: Kirk Manning! Confirm/ignore, confirm/ignore, confirm/ignore.

Kirk: Go on Belinda, add me, add me.

Hera: Who is this guy?

Belinda: Kirk Manning.

Hera: This I know, but who is he to you girl?

Belinda: Kirk Manning. Kirk Manning.

Hera: Snap out of it! (Clicks her fingers)

Belinda: Just after college I shared a flat with an Australian girl, Sonia, very extrovert and loud.

Sonia: (Sings very loudly) Oh no, weíve run out of milk?

Belinda: She was always slamming doors and singing.

FX DOORS SLAM, MORE SINGING.

Hera: Like an episode of Neighbours come to life.

Belinda: Yeah. Kirk Manning was her on/off boyfriend. I havenít seen or heard from him in over ten years.

Hera: Did you ever?

Belinda: No!

Hera: Did you ever want to?

Belinda: No!

Hera: Liar!

Belinda: Yes! No!

Kirk: Yes, itís me. How are you? I heard you got married, everything ok?

BELINDA GETS CLOSER TO THE PROFILE BACKDROP AND STROKES HIS FACE THROUGH THE HOLE.

Belinda: God, heís so gorgeous. I canít believe he even remembers me.

Kirk: Of course I remember you, you were always such a sweetie, nice and calm compared to Sonia.

Sonia: FUCK! THEREíS NO VEGEMITE!

V/O: Add Sonia as your friend. Compare yourself with Sonia.

Belinda: Whatís he doing now?

Kirk: Iím exhibiting, check out the pictures in my album. You canít help but notice how trendy, cool and interesting all my friends are eh?

Belinda: Oh my God, his friends are all so trendy, cool and interesting. What will they think of me? Legend Marr, filmmaker and Flash co-ordinator, Jax Darra, Improviser and party organiser and look how Connie Kahn has turned out? Crime novelist and womenís activist, wow!

ANDY ENTERS DRUNK.

Andy: Hello babe, had a good evening? (Hic)

Belinda: Kirk Manning.

Andy: You what?

Belinda: Err, you stink of beer.

Andy: Indeed I do. What a beautiful aroma, come here Bell.

ANDY OPENS HIS ARMS FOR HER.

Belinda: Iím going to bed.

Andy: Me too babe.

Belinda: To sleep!

Andy: Oh.

ANDY COLLAPSES INTO A DRUNKEN STUPOR ON THE SOFA AND SNORES FOR ENGLAND. BELINDA TUTS AND EXITS.

FADE TO BLACKOUT. LIGHTS UP.

BELINDA IS LOGGED ON.

Kirk: I canít believe youíve got two kids.

Belinda: I have all right, two girls, Emily and Georgina.

Kirk: Emily and Georgina.

Belinda: Thatís them.

Kirk: What does your husband do?

Belinda: Oh office work, you know?

Kirk: Whatís his name again?

Belinda: Huh?

Kirk: His name?

Belinda: Oh, Andy, and your wife?

Kirk: Not married.

Belinda: Girlfriend?

Kirk: Nope, still recovering from Sonia.

Belinda: You mean getting over?

Kirk: No, recovering. Where are you living these days?

Belinda: Here.

Kirk: Really?

Belinda: Yeah.

Kirk: Thatís about a quarter of a mile from mine.

Belinda: No.

Kirk: Letís meet for coffee.

Belinda: No.

Kirk: Just a coffee,be great to see you and catch up properly. Come to the gallery, see my latest collection.

Belinda: No.

Kirk: Are you sure?

Belinda: No.

Kirk: See you Wednesday.

Belinda: Yes.


Hera: Hey, wait up. Uh uh. What kind of Goddess of Marriage would I be if I stood by and let you go off for coffee with a single guy you really fancy, huh?


Belinda: I donít fancy him.

Hera: Heís an artist yeah?


Belinda: Yeah, he exhibits all over the world and does lots of graphic illustrations too.

Hera: Heís into adoration Bell, he needs approval this one, he will toy with you my girl.

Belinda: Donít be stupid.

Hera: Steady, Goddess, respect.

Belinda: Iíve always admired his work, heís always been very self effacing, he wonít have changed.

Hera: Oh stop the press, you donít fancy the hunky,, world famous artist.

Belinda: No.

Hera: Youíre not going to meet him, I canít permit it.

Belinda: You donít have to know about it.

Hera: Iím a Goddess, dur, all seeing, all being,all knowing, why do you think I have such a fierce some reputation? I have destroyed my own loved ones when they have angered me. I demand respect at all times. You will heed me girl or I will go bitchcakes on you!

Belinda: Just checking.

BELINDA DASHES TO THE COMPUTER AND LOGS ON, TIP TAPPING.

V/O: Kirk has posted on your funwall. Click here to see Kirkís post.

Belinda: Kirk! Whatís this then?

THE BACKDROP IS LIT ON THE FUNWALL. AN OPTIC ILLUSION IS HELD UP, IT MOVES AROUND IN CIRCLES INCREASING IN SPEED. A VOICE/OVER SAYS Ė LOOK AWAY NOW!

BELINDA LOOKS AWAY WHEN SHE TURNS BACK A SIGN COMES UP SAYING BOO!

Belinda: Oh Kirk.

BELINDA CHANGES INTO SOMETHING NICE AND DOES HER HAIR AND MAKEUP.



Hera: Thatís more like it, you need to make an effort for your old man Andy, Belinda, bling up, otherwise he is going to stray. Mind you my Zeus did not need no excuse, he just couldnít keep it in his tunic, which is why heís fathered more kids than Jack Nicholson and Eddie Murphy put together.

Belinda: Bye.

Hera: Where you going girl? Come back here you cheap ho, donít you leave this house, why if you leave this house Iím going to..

BELINDA EXITS.

Hera: Nobody listens to me anymore, God forbid we have another battle of Troy.


SCENE CHANGES TO CAF…. KIRK ENTERS AND AIR KISSES BELINDA.

Kirk: You havenít changed a bit Bell, you look beautiful.

Belinda: You too, I mean you look the same.

Kirk: Are you going back to work?

Belinda: Not just yet.

Kirk: Didnít you want to go into design?

Belinda: What?

Kirk: Interior design, that was you wasnít it?

Belinda: Yes, didnít end up..well. Went into recruitment advertising, then got married and the kids, you know, life goes on, eh?

Kirk: As long as youíre happy Belinda.

Belinda: Of course, I am, things just donít always go to plan.


Kirk: If youíre not happy you should do something about it.

Belinda: I am.

Kirk: Like what?

Belinda: I am happy I mean.

Kirk: Good. All Iím saying is itís never too late to achieve your ambitions.

Belinda: Iím a mother now.

Kirk: Youíre a woman too.

BELINDA LETS OUT A LITTLE CRY.

Kirk: Belinda, are you ok?

Belinda: (Trying not to cry) Yes.

Kirk: Are you sure?

Belinda: Yes. Just going to loo.

BELINDA QUICKLY EXITS. KIRKíS PHONE RINGS AND HE TAKES A CALL. ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STAGE BELINDA TRIES TO COMPOSE HERSELF.

Belinda: What a fool, God, he must think Iím mad. Oh what is wrong with me? Calm down, calm down. Right.

BELINDA REJOINS KIRK.

Kirk: Iíll call you later, bye.(Puts his phone away) So, youíre back.

THEY STARE AT EACH OTHER A MOMENT. HE PUTS HIS ARMS OUT TO HER.


Kirk: Hey Bell, what is it babe? Oh come here have a hug.

THEY HUG, NOT AT ALL SEXUAL BUT VERY COSY. HERA APPEARS.

Hera: Oh no. How is this going to look on my report. I am such a crap marriage Goddess. Is it any wonder Zeus used to get so peed off with me.

Kirk: I got to rush Bell, lovely to see you, letís do it again, soon eh?


Hera: Pretty soon they were chatting on the phone and texting to and forth, talking about this and that and nothing in particular. But she no longer wore stained t-shirts and track suit bottoms. No, she took time getting dressed even when there was no time. She wore makeup and tight jeans that flattered her newly dieted to fit body. She wheeled them babies out in that big double buggy no matter the weather, just to walk by that swish gallery and press her piggy nose against the window. Most times he werenít even there and if he was she ran away and hid because she had them screaming kids with her.

FX BABIES SCREAM.

Hera: Classic, obsessive stalker behaviour. She had her hair cut and dyed her roots to match the rest of her hair. Andy didnít seem to notice, but then why would he, itís not like he was around much.

Andy: You seem happy.

Belinda: Do I?

Andy: Have you lost weight?

Belinda: No, donít think so.

Andy: You look like you have.

THE BABIES START TO CRY.

Hera: Oh God, talk about high chairs of misery.

Andy: See you later then, thereís a leaving do tonight, so donít wait up.

ANDY EXITS.

Hera: You are playing with fire my girl.

Belinda: No.

Hera: (Mimics in whiny voice) No.

Belinda: I could never be unfaithful to my husband.

Hera: It donít just have to be physical you know missy?

Belinda: I just enjoy Kirkís company, talking to him, being with him, he makes me feel like Iím someone else, someone I couldíve been.

Hera: Woulda, shoulda, coulda.

Belinda: I just like when he calls or texts, just acknowledges that I exist, Andy couldnít care less.

Hera: You donít know that.

Belinda: Yes I do.

Hera: Then tell him about this wonderful Mr Kirk Manning, tell him you two are just friends, go on tell him.

Belinda: No, I couldnít. I canít.

Hera: Seems thereís a lot of things you canít do.

A TEXT MESSAGE ALERT SOUNDS ON BELINDAíS PHONE.

Kirk: Itís my birthday on Friday, Iím having drinks in town, details to follow.

Hera: Now what you going to do lady?

Belinda: Iím not going.

Hera: Course not.

Belinda: Iíll make an excuse, babysitters, late notice, busy, busy, busy.

Kirk: Oh please say youíll come, Iíd love to see you, bring Anthony if you like.

Belinda: Who?

Kirk: Your husband.

Belinda: No!

Kirk: Please come.


SCENE CHANGES. BELINDA IS GETTING DOLLED UP.

Hera: You look like a right minging whore.

Belinda: Not bad.

Andy: A mumís night out you say?

Belinda: Yeah, at an Indian not far.

Hera: Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Belinda: Wonít be late.

Hera: Burning knickers, ouch, ouch, ouch!

Andy: About time you had a treat, off you trot love, have a good one.

Hera: I is warning you lady, big mistake!

ANDY KISSES HER BUT SHE PULLS AWAY.

WINE BAR ATMOS. MUSIC, DARKNESS. PEOPLE DANCING.

Kirk: Bell, you came, hi babe.

KIRK PULLS HER TO HIM AND THEY KISS ,THEN DANCE. LIGHTS CHANGE AND A RATHER WORSE FOR THE WEAR BELINDA STAGGERS BACK HOME. SHE ENTERS TO FIND ANDY SLUMPED ON THE SOFA, THE TELLY ON AND THE BABIES IN HIS ARMS.

Hera: What time do you call this slut?

Belinda: (Gasps) Ssh.

Hera: This is your family woman, what you doing dancing and necking with some boy across town? You is asking for grief. When ever I misbehaved, my Zeus would throw thunderbolts at me, and Man I got to tell you they frigging hurt.

Belinda: Oh look at them.

Hera: You look at them lady. They are your family.

Belinda: Oh God, Iím so wicked.

Hera: This is what Iíve been saying all along.

Belinda: I belong here.

Hera: Yeah, aha.

Belinda: I shouldnít be out dancing with other men.

Hera: No.

BELINDA ALLOWS HERSELF TO RELIVE THE GLORIOUS MOMENT SHE WAS WRAPPED IN KIRKíS ARMS.

Hera: Stop it now! Stop those fantasies or Iíll do something youíll regret. You forget all about this silly boy, you hear, you let go now, let go!

Belinda: Ok.

BELINDA SCOOPS UP THE GIRLS AND EXITS.

SCENE CHANGE. BELINDA IS LOGGED ON TO COMPUTER. TIP TAPPING AWAY.

Belinda: I donít care really, I mean, itís just general interest, nothing more.

V/O: Kirk is attending Rick and Franís wedding, Kirk is attending The Big Expo Party, Kirk is feeling soooo good! Status ĖKirk is hung over.

Belinda: Why? why? Why? Why? Whereís he been, who has he been with.


BABIES CRY.

V/O: Kirk is in Madrid attending the opening of Nicoís exhibition.

Belinda: Why is he having so much fun while Iím stuck here wiping up baby snot and scooping up shitty nappies.

V/O: Kirk is attending Mirandaís birthday evening of cocktails and enticement.

Belinda: What if?

Hera: It happens honey.

Belinda: What?

Hera: What if he meets and falls in love with the woman of his dreams? A young, pretty thing without a care in the world other than him. Sheís got the latest handbag and two tickets for Glastonbury?

Belinda: This is driving me mad.

Hera: I warned you and believe me Iíve seen mad.

Belinda: Really mad?

Hera: You ever seen an angry Gorgon?

Belinda: A what?

Hera: Gorgons. Snakes for hair, buttaz bitches, you turn to stone if you look at them and the noise, like a bad televised talent show on full volume.

Belinda: Heís taking over my night dreams and my day dreams.

Hera: Donít let him, banish him.

Belinda: Yes. Iíll switch off the notification and stop compulsively checking his profile.

BELINDA WALKS UP TO THE BACKDROP, KIRK SMILES FROM THE PEEPHOLE.

Belinda: Iím not interested anymore, you hear, couldnít care less. Iím not checking for messages, Iím not texting you, you no longer exist, do you hear, you no longer exist!

Kirk: Hope youíre well love, liking your new picture.

Belinda: (sighs) Iíll do something else.


V/O: Help fight global warming, look after your green patch. Take a quiz, how crazy are you? Which Spice Girl are you? Whatís your favourite sexual position.

THESE FACEBOOK ACTIVITIES ARE DRAMATISED BY THE COMPANY WHILE BELINDA REACTS.



Hera: The writingís on the wall, your profile wall as it happens.

V/O: Kirk is going away for business.

Belinda: At last, good, things can get back to normal.

Andy: Thereís no clean socks, bloody hell Bell, where are me socks?

Belinda: Coming.

Andy: Footie tonight babe, donít wait up.

Belinda: Iíve exorcised him from my mind. Heís gone. Iím going to concentrate on my family. Thereís nothing between us anyway, it was all just nothing.

Hera: You were just projecting.

Belinda: What do you mean?

Hera: Kirk was holding up a mirror and reflecting the deficiencies in your relationship with Andy.

Belinda: Why would he do that?

Hera: Not literally you dumb ass. He was just being himself and you was reading all sorts of crap into your relationship.

Belinda: I was?

Hera: You so were. I see this all the time. Itís mainly women, but when itís the men you got to be real careful, cause then they can turn nasty and mean and well, the police have to get involved and that can mean restraining orders.

Belinda: Kirk wouldnít do that to me.

Hera: No, youíre not a psycho stalker, not yet anyway.

Belinda: Iím not.

Hera: Honey, you are one hot plate away from bunny boiler, trust me, this has to stop.

Belinda: It will.

Hera: He doesnít want you, he doesnít love you, he doesnít even see you in that way.

Belinda: Are you sure?

Hera: Has he told you otherwise?

Belinda: Not in so many words..

Hera: Not in any words, stop making a fool of yourself and think of your family.

Belinda: Youíre right, Iíve been an idiot.

Hera: Thatís more like it.

Belinda: But there was a chemistry..

Hera: Shut it!

Belinda: An emotional connection..

Hera: Enough!

SCENE CHANGES, BELINDA IS LOGGED ON, TIP TAPPING, SHE SUDDENLY REACTS WITH SHOCK.

V/O: You have been poked by Andy.

Belinda: No! No, he canít come in here, this is my world, go, go, get out! Damn, what will I do.

V/O: Poke Andy back, ignore Andy, Poke Andy, ignore, poke, ignore, poke. You have poked Andy back. Add Andy as a friend? Add Andy, add Andy, add, add, add.

ANDY ENTERS. BELINDA JUMPS UP AND STARTS TO TIDY.

Andy: You all right love?

Belinda: Yeah, you?


Andy: Yeah, all right.


Belinda: Just taking the girls for a walk, see you in a bit.

BELINDA EXITS. ANDY WATCHES THEN LOGS ONTO THE COMPUTER.TIP TAPS AWAY.

Andy: Well, well, well. Only 17 friends, Christ, what a saddo . What a bunch of tossers, advertising where theyíre going and when and who with, bloody hell, talk about handing a burglar an opportunity on a plate.


Hera: Oh, this is not looking good.


Andy: What the fuck is this then?



BELINDA AND KIRK APPEAR BY THE BACK DROP KISSING AND DANCING AS THEY WERE AT THE PARTY.



Andy: Belinda tagged at Kirkís birthday party!!! Who the fuck is Kirk? Whatís the date? Jesus Christ! The night when instead of joining the lads for pint, Iíd come home especially early to baby-sit so she could go to a bleeding girlís night out. Girlís night out my arse! Heís kissing her! Heís holding her in his arms? Who is this cunt?

Hera: Donít say I didnít warn you.

Andy: The lying bitch. Iíll have her for this, sheíll be sorry she dared to make a bloody fool out of me.

ANDY LOOKS LIKE HE MIGHT LITERALLY EXPLODE.


Andy: Iíll let her stew, wait and pounce thatís the plan. Lying, scheming, cheating slag. Iím not telling anyone about this, just act normal, but sheís not getting away with this, no chance, Iíll kill them both if I have to.

ANDY PUNCHES THE NEAREST FURNITURE. THEN RETURNS TO COMPUTER.

Andy: What a load of shit.

V/o: Kelly has bought her a drink.

Jane has thrown a snowball at her.

Debbie has hugged her.


Andy: Whatís this then? Latent lesbian tendencies? That I could forgive, might even join in.

ANDY STARES AT KIRK AND BELINDA IN AN EMBRACE. KIRK AND BELINDA BREAK AWAY FROM THE EMBRACE. BELINDA LOOKS LIKE SHEíS MADE A DECISION, KIRK IS DISTRACTED BY HIS PHONE AND TAKES A CALL. KIRK EXITS.

Belinda: This canít go on.

Hera: No it canít. What if Andy found out?

Belinda: Thereís nothing to find out.

Hera: Isnít there?

Belinda: I canít lose my family, I have to make the most of things, we both have to. Weíll go to counselling, weíll sort this out. I wonít have any contact with Kirk anymore. Itís not right. I feel stronger already, more righteous, good things happen to righteous people, right?

Hera: Donít bank on it.

Belinda: Andyís been even colder than usual, what if..

Hera: He knows?

Belinda: He does?

Hera: Itís only a matter of time.

Belinda: Why?

Hera: You added him.

Belinda: So? Oh no, Oh God!

Hera: Calm down sister, nothing happened right?

Belinda: Right.

Hera: But you walking around like a zombie, so distracted and distanced from your reality, your real life, your family, you are courting disaster my girl.

Belinda: Youíre right, I know that.

Hera: Chill then. End this nonsense before itís too late. Listen to me and you canít go wrong, I am your instinct, your intuition, your guide.

Belinda: Itís over, whatever it was, the fever has passed, I promise you.

Hera: You got to be so careful with these obsessions, Ixion had such a thing for Hera, he ended up get down and dirty with one of the minor cloud imitations and only fathering a baby, a baby centaur I might add, but still a baby and a major embarrassment.


Andy: Where did it all go wrong eh? Damn! Bloody damn! Is it too late, can we turn things around. I have been a bit of an asshole, Iíll admit that. I mean it canít be easy looking after two little uns, day in day out. Iíve read that somewhere. I could come home earlier, help with the supper, get the kids off to sleep, share a bottle of wine with her, talk about our day, any problems we have, thatís what adults do, they get married, mortgaged, reproduce get old and die. Hell, weíre adults, we can do that.


Belinda: Iíve not been fair to Andy, weíve had some good times, we could again. I could drop the kids round at a friends, go to the shops cook something really nice for dinner, weíll talk weíll sort this out.

Hera: Atta girl.


Andy: I know, Iíll come home early, surprise her. Tell her I wasnít snooping but I saw the photo and what the hell was she playing at?


Belinda: Iíll tell him Iím unhappy, lonely, that we have to work harder together because itís not just about us anymore, weíve two beautiful little girls to think of.

Andy: Iíll say I was bloody angry at first, who wouldnít be but maybe , just maybe..weíre a family, theyíre my family.

Belinda: Iíve been a bloody idiot. What was I thinking of? Kirk isnít interested in me in that way, how could he be?

Andy: Iíll help put the kids to bed and tell her I know Iíve been a useless bastard and though Iím damned angry she lied to me, I want to sort things out, can we please just do that?



Belinda: Iíll stop being so obsessive about the computer, Iíll do a course, retrain, get a part time job, the kids will be in nursery soon, this is just a blip, we can get through this.

Hera: Ahh, donít you love a happy ending? Thing is as Belinda drove down to the shops to get something special to cook for supper, she got a bit distracted.

BELINDA STANDS CENTRE STAGE, SUDDENLY SHE NOTICES SOMETHING AND LOOKS AWAY.

Hera: Belinda! Concentrate!

Belinda: Oh my God! Kirk!

Hera: Belinda, listen to me, heed me, I am your own personal Marriage Goddess, your guide, better than going to Relate, I come to you, all hours. I am your instinct, your intuition, women need me, listen to me.

Belinda: Kirk!













Hera: Sheís approaching the roundabout at the top of the high street. She hadnít meant to feel it, but it crept up on her, her whole body tingled, it was love, passion, desire, something she knew she didnít feel for Andy. No amount of cooking romantic suppers and talking and reasoning with her husband was going to make her feel as good as just seeing Kirk in the distance had. I tried to tell her, BELINDA FORGET HIM, HEíS NOT WORTH IT! But you know what sheís like, bloody stubborn woman. She wants to to change her life.

Belinda: I can change my life.

Hera: Become the become the woman that Kirk will adore.


Belinda: Become someone Kirk will adore.


Hera: Kirk hasnít just added her to his online life, heíd crashed into her entire life, heís made her feel alive and wanted and utterly desired.

Belinda: Oh Kirk, I need you.



Hera: But sadly her joy was short lived for having seen Kirk meant she did not see the Number 19 heading straight for her and forgetting the highway code for just an instant she didnít give way to her right, doh! BELINDA! Tut, so the bus ploughed straight into her little Nissan Micra, crumpling it up like discarded wrapping paper..

FX MASSIVE CRASH SOUND. BELINDA LIES DEATHLY STILL ON THE GROUND, ANDY STANDS OVER HER, CLUTCHING THE BABIES.



Hera: Kirk moved abroad and started a family with a much younger woman he met at an Art conference, heíd be terribly shocked if he ever found out what an impact heíd had on Belindaís life.

ANDY SITS AT THE COMPUTER AND LOGS ON.

Andy keeps up her profile as a tribute, each day he updates her status, she is happy, she is busy, she is shopping, she is drinking lattes and nibbling gingerbread, she is tired, she is bored, but he never ever ever does he write Belinda is dead.

ANDY AND BELINDA LOOK UP SHOCKED AT THE REALISATION. TIM AND FLORA JOIN THEM IN SHOCK.





V/O: Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg has issued an open letter of apology, along with an update to the company's controversial "News Feed" and "Mini-Feed" features, that will allow users greater controls on personal privacy issues. The move was in response to a Facebook Boycott that was called by users in response to the feeds. Many users found the feature to be an invasion of their privacy, and more than 500,000 signed an online petition against it. According to Zuckerberg, "the new privacy page will allow you to choose which types of stories go into your Mini-Feed and your friends' News Feeds, and it also lists the type of actions Facebook will never let any other person know about."
News Feed and Mini-Feed will never publish stories about:
Pokes
Messages
Whose profile you view
Whose photos you view
Whose notes you read
Groups and Events you decline to join
People you reject as friends
People you remove from your friends
Notes and photos you delete
News Feed and Mini-Feed may publish stories about:
Things you add to your profile
Photos you upload or are tagged in
Notes you write or are tagged in
Groups you join or create
Events you create or attend
Networks you've joined
Status updates


Hera: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Consequences, yeah, consequences. We canít go round blaming this and that and living in a world of if onlys. We have to accept responsibility for our actions, always, accept and respect their power. And for you ladies out there, always always listen to your damned Goddess. This is why I am here. Anyway, I got a hot date with a new God, just been promoted, Webitus, a cloud imitation of Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web and God of all things in Cyber Space, should be fun, see ya, bless.


FX NEWSREPORTS ABOUT VARIOUS NETWORKING SITES. IE. MAN SACKED FROM ARGOS FOR SETTING UP ANTI ARGOS GROUP. TEEN SUICIDES,ETC.


The End.















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Comments by other Members



scottwil at 12:36 on 25 April 2008  Report this post
Julie,
I enjoyed this all the way through. You didn't hit a bum note for me (although hopefully, I'm not Andy). The Hera device works brilliantly.
My only crit is - Hera:
Sheís approaching the roundabout at the top of the high street. She hadnít meant to feel it, but it crept up on her, her whole body tingled, it was love, passion, desire, something she knew she didnít feel for Andy. No amount of cooking romantic suppers and talking and reasoning with her husband was going to make her feel as good as just seeing Kirk in the distance had. I tried to tell her, BELINDA FORGET HIM, HEíS NOT WORTH IT! But you know what sheís like, bloody stubborn woman. She wants to to change her life.

This jarred with me: I thought this was too much show and 'Let me tell you what my play is all about' .

Anyway, you're going to be one of the first with a serious exploration of the new social mechanisms and you've done it beautifully. Bravo.

Best
Sion




Jubbly at 11:09 on 28 April 2008  Report this post
Hey Sion,

Thanks so much for the feedback. Don't know about the first I have an uncanny knack for missing the boat so to speak. I agree with the Hera speech, the play was adapted from a short story so it's not as conversational as needs be. I sent it off to a one act play festival it's been rejected though they may do a reading, don't know yet. All the very best and I'll get on to that rewrite ASAP.

Cheers

Julie
x

vanessa rigg at 20:31 on 23 June 2008  Report this post
Hi Julie

As you have been great supporting me - I thought I would return the compliment. Sort of. I' ve never written for the stage - apart from one short OU exercise so this might all be worthless gumph.

I really loved the concept and presentation. The way the goddess/real life/facebook are interspliced. It makes for a fun and lively theatrical piece with great staging possibilities.

I love the fact that Hera is so obviously a crap goddess of marriage - and the more she talks exotica, the more Belinda gets disatisfied. And the fact that she is trying to control Bel as much as Andy is - hence the rebel turn.

Two points:

I did feel the crash at the end was a little too abrupt - could there be more of a lead-in somehow? Or different dramatic death?

And I was wondering about the lead characters and whether they need more layering or colour. I realise this was for a short story originally which is why they are a bit stark.

Julie, this is a great idea - I really enjoyed reading it - and I' m hoping you' ve got the time and inclination to rewrite.

Vanessa

vanessa rigg at 07:05 on 24 June 2008  Report this post
The last comments sounds like I didn' t like Andy and Bel - I did. Needle sharp and very funny. Yet they felt like Exhibit A and Exhibit B - is that the effect you were going for?

V

Jubbly at 14:04 on 08 July 2008  Report this post
Hi Vanessa,just seen this, sorry how remiss of me. Thanks so much for commenting, I didn' t see the A and B thing but yes it' s there, must have been sub conscious. I want to do a few read thrus and see if I can make this work, so all comments very gratefully received.

Cheers
Julie


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