Ben Ohmart

3712 continued...

CREATURE: That's what I've been saying all along. Why do you think-

(Rolls DEAD BODY down hill. Here comes another one, reciting Swift's "The Progress of Beauty")

I invited him?


When first Diana leaves her bed,
Vapours and steams her looks disgrace,
A frowzy dirty coloured red
Sits on her cloudy wrinkled face;

But, by degrees, when mounted high,
Her artificial face appears
Down from her window in the sky,
Her spots are gone, her visage clears.

'Twixt earthly females and the moon,
All parallels exactly run;
If Celia should appear too soon,
Alas, the nymph would be undone!

MON: (Over DEAD BODY, of course) I appreciate it. The thought. - Kill that one, would you? I think the ribs are just about done. (CREATURE kills DEAD BODY and rolls it away during:)

CREATURE: Then why won't -

MON: You have no right.

CREATURE: He's my father.

MON: Actus reus: a wrongful act, as opposed to mens rea -

CREATURE: Adjudication: a final judgment in a legal proceeding.

MON: Feast of the Conception of St. Anne celebrates the conception of the Virgin Mary.

CREATURE: Reformation Sunday: the day Martin Luther nailed his "95 Theses" to a church door -

MON: Ben Hur, best picture, 1959.

CREATURE: Charlton Heston, best actor, same year!

MON: (They grow louder and louder like threats) Air mileage from New York City to Caracas is 2,123!

CREATURE: Emulsifiers keep oil and water mixed together!

MON: 1956 World Series, New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 4 to 3! 1957 World Series, Milwaukee Braves beat the New York Yankees 4 to 3!! 1958 World Series, New York Yankees beat the Milwaukee Braves, 4 to 3!!! (CREATURE is now crying, unable to ake the verbal abuse)The 1959 World Series, Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago White Sox, 4 to 2!!!! You want more?! You want more?!

CREATURE: Stop, stop! Mother, I'm sorry! (A pause, CREATURE continues crying. MON can't believe what she's just done)

MON: I'm sorry. I... - don't know what came over me. I'm sorry. Please. Don't cry... I'm sorry. -- Christine... (CREATURE looks up, surprised)

CREATURE: You called me Christine.

MON: No.

CREATURE: Yes. Yes, you did...

MON: You are mistaken.

CREATURE: No. Not at all. No. I don't have a wrong thought in my head.

MON: (Trying to change the subject again) I can see the smoke from here. It's still going strong. He won't come..

CREATURE: Tell me, mother...

MON: (Pause, deciding) - I think it's just about done. You might as well forget those sheets. Nothing's going to get dry today.

(DEAD BODY comes, reciting a Shakespeare sonnet. Note: from here on, the DEAD BODIES may recite any poetry they wish)

Remember when Disney World was like that. Every day, and the holidays. Until the Communists took it. That'll teach them to ignore a good ol' fashion Red Scare.

CREATURE: Mother...?

MON: Mon. Monica. You know I don't like to be reminded of that, Creature. Get those sheets inside, would you? Can you - oh, never mind.. (Takes the blowgun and shoots DEAD BODY with it)

CREATURE: You were shouting at me.

MON: I said I was sorry.

CREATURE: You think we're turning into those.. things?

MON: Give us a couple minutes, and I'm sure we'll come with the answer.

(Kicks DEAD BODY down the hill. They come much more frequently now and keep coming even when not noted. Note: the more actors or actresses to play DEAD BODIES, the better, although just two or three would do the trick)

CREATURE: (Pause) ..So what time is this guy supposed to be here?

MON: - Any minute.

CREATURE: I guess you'll have to call him back now, huh?

MON: Why?

CREATURE: (Surprised) Well... because -

MON: Oh, Creature..


MON: (Changes mind) - Take this in. It's ready.

(Puts semi-burnt ribs on a plate and hands it to CREATURE: Whatever the action, when a DEAD BODY shows up, one of them will have to kill it)


MON: Mmm...?

CREATURE: You called me Christine.

MON: Nonsense, Creature.


MON: You misheard. Sounds close to "Creature".

CREATURE: You know my mind's never worked better.

MON: On this, it's mistaken.


MON: If you persist, I'll become angry.

CREATURE: Comment dit-on cela en francais?

MON: And stop trying to show off.

CREATURE: I'm not!

MON: Take this plate in!


MON: Creature, I've just about had it!

CREATURE: Why won't you talk to me?

MON: Creature! For the last time -!

CREATURE: You hate me, don't you?

MON: Que quiere decir eso?

CREATURE: (Mocking) Show off!

MON: I can't help it!

CREATURE: Neither can I!

(MON slaps CREATURE, who cries on the deck chair. MON is very sad, and her anger leaves suddenly)

MON: It's no good.

CREATURE: (Through tears) ..What?

MON: Your father can't come back. - I've got to tell you. Don't you want Mon to be happy? Happy? Hmmm..? I'm sorry.. Creature.. I'm sorry..

CREATURE: Christine..

MON: He's late because if I know your father, he's started to celebrate already.

CREATURE: He can't help it. Just like you can't help naming all fifty state birds and flowers starting with the Camellia and Yellowhammer of Alabama.

MON: It's not as simple as that. Oops! Watch out for that one.

(DEAD BODY now here is a slippery one, but CREATURE finally kills it)

CREATURE: I got him.

MON: "I have got him."

CREATURE: What are you trying to say?

MON: Merely trying to correct you, dear..

CREATURE: No, I mean.. - "dear"? (She's touched)

MON: You know the circumstances? I'm sure you've guessed..

CREATURE: It's becoming clear, Mother.

MON: Don't call me that!


MON: (Composes herself) You weren't wanted. But I thought you might make good glue.

Didn't work. Everything fell apart..

CREATURE: - So why not try again?

MON: You knew, didn't you? Tell me. You knew.

CREATURE: ..My name was kind of a giveaway.

MON: Thought so. I didn't want you, Creature. You were - are - part of him. I just want to start over. It's what I really want.

CREATURE: Start over?

MON: Comprende usted?

CREATURE: Si... si... (MON starts to laugh) Por que se rie? Es mala mi pronunciacion?

MON: No, no - you just remind me of Mel Blanc. Doing his Si-sigh routine.. (They laugh together a little: relief laughter mostly)

CREATURE: You have to admit. It's a good thing his stuff's still here.

MON: (Trying to be calm) I don't have to admit anything like that. Now can we please get started. I don't -

CREATURE: You don't suppose it has any-

MON: Did you just -

CREATURE: Yes, I think I did just -

MON AND CREATURE: read your thoughts.. (They think about this. They start to become worried)

CREATURE: So you think maybe this Dead Poet's Society is slowing them down?

MON: Unless either one of them got the date wrong.

CREATURE: What's going on?

MON: Isn't it all clear?

CREATURE: Almost..

MON: You realize, of course, what they're making there -

CREATURE: today, at the -

MON: factory, yes -

CREATURE: Oh, really?

MON: Books. Yes. Contract -

CREATURE: - just started today. Branching out into more -

MON: - academic-type productions -

CREATURE: So how -

MON: Does it matter?

CREATURE: Guess not. You mind if I teach -

MON: - yourself the piano? 'Course -


MON: Of course, this way -

CREATURE: Yes, at least you'll save a fortune on the -

MON: college costs.

CREATURE: But what about a degree?

MON: It's only paper, isn't it?

CREATURE: Well, yeah, but -

MON: Then it's hardly practical, is it?

CREATURE: No, no, of course not.

MON: Is the potato salad ready?

CREATURE: Yes. I remember quite clearly.

MON: Do you?

CREATURE: Of course.

MON: Creature. You don't mind -

CREATURE: being a mistake, do you? No, of -

MON: course not. What's done is -

CREATURE: right. What happens when they both get here? If they haven't both -

MON: been killed... yes... well. If one of them has to go, I wish it'd be your father.


MON: Don't you understand? The factory. That damned factory always meant more to him than anything. He employs all those people. If one of them gets sick, it means more than an anniversary to us. He worries about firing the guy and getting some cheaper labor, meanwhile my meat loaf sits like a virgin, waiting for someone to cut into her.

CREATURE: Well spoken. I am sure. Mother, do you feel your judgment slipping away?

MON: I don't mind that you call me mother.

CREATURE: Doesn't that prove it?

MON: Is that not the price for unknown secrets?

CREATURE: Whatever it takes.

MON: Go ahead and take that in. Hope it's cold yet.

(CREATURE takes the plate of ribs in. MON kills a couple more DEAD BODIES while she waits, and while she cleans up the yard. She goes and picks a couple red berries off the bush and eats them. She can't quite define the flavor. CREATURE comes out just as MON's about to kill another DEAD BODY. CREATURE bows to MON, in a very civil manner, takes the blowgun from her, and kills the DEAD BODY. CREATURE looks at DEAD BODY)

CREATURE: Isn't that Mr. Kirtz?

MON: Mr. Kirtz?

CREATURE: Buried last week.

MON: Oh yes. He does look pretty good. Yet.

CREATURE: He hasn't really had time to decompose.

MON: Oh yes.

CREATURE: What's this man like?

MON: This man?

CREATURE: No, the living man. The one you invited.

MON: Oh he's a high school teacher.

CREATURE: My old high school?

MON: Though I'm sure he'll be a Ph.D. by the time he gets here. Oh. No. Not yours.

CREATURE: Is there another?

MON: Out of county.

CREATURE: Oh. Used to the country, then.

MON: My dear, Christine. Of course!

CREATURE: Christine!

MON: Certainly! Is there any reason not to now?

CREATURE: Am I your equal?

MON: Ever since I got back from the store.

CREATURE: You're too kind.

MON: Yes, well maybe a little. Since a few minutes ago, anyway. Comprenez-vous?

CREATURE: Oui, oui, je comprends.

MON: Merci.

CREATURE: Do you think the factory will ever close?

MON: Mon ami, I sincerely hope not. Why, I was just thinking -

CREATURE: I know what you were just thinking -

MON: I know you know what I was just thinking.


MON: When that dreadful man gets here. I'm going to have a few words. Before I'm through, the factory will run twenty-four hours a day. Until I can figure out a way to prolong the length of the day.

(They laugh together. DEAD BODIES keep coming, and they keep killing them, in all sorts of different and funny ways, to amuse themselves)

I'm so glad we were able to chat, you know. Really takes the pressure off.

CREATURE: I'm sure.

MON: Yes, yes. You know I probably would've wanted you had it been with someone else.

CREATURE: Not a doubt in my head.

MON: I know.

CREATURE: I know you know it.

MON: I know.

CREATURE: Because you love me.

MON: Together. We can start a new life.

CREATURE: It shouldn't be taking him this long. The factory's not that far away.

MON: I'll have a word with him. Let me know.

CREATURE: You sure that's a good idea now.

MON: You're right.

CREATURE: He'll want to explain.

MON: Rationalize.

CREATURE: Advertise.

MON: Himself.

CREATURE: Accomplishments.

MON: Things he's done, thriving bank accounts..

CREATURE: Make everything look so good -

MON: White-wash it all -

CREATURE: (During this, both women knee the DEAD BODIES in the groin before killing them)So no mistakes -

MON: Nothing shows up -

CREATURE: Except the good things -

MON: Things he wants us to hear -

CREATURE: It's amazing!

MON: The deceit -

CREATURE: of it all! Is that my father?

MON: I wouldn't've minded unfaithfulness - but to a factory?

CREATURE: Crafty -

MON: Explaining, over and over -

CREATURE: being an asshole once again!

MON: Right!

CREATURE: Right, right!

MON: Thinks we're soft!

CREATURE: Only reason he's coming!

MON: Right! Damn right!


MON: Can't be trusted! (MON and CREATURE look at each other and laugh) He'll be surprised!

CREATURE: And we can start over! You promised!

MON: It's all I've wanted for a long.. since he left.

CREATURE: Maybe he won't even come. Look. More smoke. It's really producing now.

MON: Yes. I want to get ready. Jason. That's his name. He should be here any minute. Oh, I hope he's not killed.

CREATURE: Don't worry, mother.

MON: I'll see about the dressing. And the table's set.

CREATURE: While I was reciting the Greek alphabet. Mother. Do you mind if I teach myself the piano tonight?

MON: No. Not if it doesn't - (Looks at the college textbooks and laughs. Picks them up) I'll throw these away.. (Starts to go in)

CREATURE: Mother. I just had a thought. I understand it all now. They can only repeat. The Dead Bodies. Whatever was closest to their souls. That's why poetry - you know, where all you have to do is repeat it. Don't you think? That's it. I mean, we're not turning into these things, don't you think?

MON: Does it matter?

CREATURE: I guess not. I love the country.

MON: Yes, of course. Let me know if Jason shows. Or the bastard.

(She goes in. CREATURE has fun with killing a few more DEAD BODIES and pushing them down the hill. She lets one chase her around the deck chair, then smacks it in the head with a shovel. She has fun for a few minutes more then becomes annoyed when more start to arrive. Without even looking at one closely, she kills him with the blowgun. Kills a few more. Then quiet. She starts to pull at the one she didn't see clearly and shrinks back in horror)

CREATURE: Dad! Oh, Dad.. oh... (But then she wonders what she's grieving for) You left me. Why did you do that? Were you reciting poetry? I didn't hear you. I would be sorry, but...

MON: (Off) Who are you talking to?

CREATURE: (Worried nature becoming pleased) - Just having fun with the bodies... (To DAD) but I'm not. (Kicks him. Makes fun of this dead parent) It's your fault, you know. Your fault. Whatever happened to me. Whatever happened to you. Your fault. Ha, ha.I don't care anymore. I really d-

MON: (Off) Christine.. (CREATURE pauses, making a big decision. She pushes DAD DEAD BODY down the hill with the rest, as MON enters) Help me a bit with this potato salad. Venez ici.

CREATURE: Oui, oui.. (She follows MON in with a smile on her face. As she goes in) You know I never really liked the country this much before.

MON: (Off) Anybody show up, yet? (As lights start to dim)

CREATURE: Just a lot of dead bodies.. (Lights out)



To TOCE-Mail the Author