The Surprise

Today, I’m going to do everything in my power to write you guys something. I’ve been wanting to write a short, one-act play for a while, and I’m in a better writing mood today, so I have no choice but to take advantage of it. It won’t be about any of the World Cup free writing I did yesterday and I won’t use a prompt either.

 

The Surprise

MATT: 16 years old.

GEORGE: 15 years old.

MATT and GEORGE are next door neighbors. It’s MATT’s 16th birthday and they are walking through their neighborhood.

MATT

What exactly are we doing today?

GEORGE

You’ll see.

MATT

What do you mean “You’ll see?” Why can’t you tell me?

GEORGE

It’s a surprise.

MATT

Not anymore.

GEORGE

What? You know? Who told you?

MATT

Told me what?

GEORGE

About the surprise!

MATT

(Takes a deep breath, attempting to collect himself.) No one told me about the surprise. I was surprised when you said there was a surprise.

GEORGE

What?

MATT

That’s why it’s not a surprise anymore.

GEORGE

That’s not what I’m asking though.

MATT

Well, what exactly are you asking me?

GEORGE

I’m not asking you about anything. You’re the one with all the questions. (Beat.) Look, we’re almost here!

MATT

Where?

GEORGE

Can’t tell you ’til we get there.

MATT

Right, ’cause it’s a surprise.

(MATT stops and looks in all directions. Sees nothing but an overgrown, abandoned lot.)

Where are we? I don’t remember ever being over hear.

GEORGE

You don’t know where we are?

MATT

No.

GEORGE

Come on, really? We used to come here all the time! Look closer; at the lot. (MATT looks.) You see?

MATT

No!

GEORGE

You’re not looking hard enough. Think about it, dude. Where are we?

MATT

George, I’m supposed to be eating dinner with my family in like, five minutes. They made lasagna. They never do that; only during the holidays! Just tell me where we are. I have no idea.

GEORGE

Is your dad making it?

MATT

Yup.

GEORGE

Does he still make that paella?

MATT

Why would he stop?

GEORGE

I don’t know.

MATT

George.

GEORGE

Yes?

MATT

Where the fuck are we! We’re not even in our neighborhood!

GEORGE

Dude, this is where we first met! You’re a dick. How could you forget?

MATT

What are you talking about? We met at Larry’s, when he’d have those sleepover parties.

GEORGE

Nah, that doesn’t count.

MATT

How does that not count?

GEORGE

‘Cause we didn’t even know each other. We just knew Larry.

MATT

Yeah, but we had like, the best times at those parties.

GEORGE

True, but I don’t count that. (Beat.) We used to play wiffleball here all the time.

MATT

No! We used to play at Joe’s. He lived right next to the park.

GEORGE

Are you sure?

MATT

Dude, I don’t know what you’re smoking, but it has to be some good shit to think we used to play here.

GEORGE

Fuck you, man. I was just trying to make you feel better. You know, by remembering all the good times we used to have.

MATT

Yeah, that’s cool and all, but like, I know for a fact we’ve never been here once.

GEORGE

Fine, you want to go back?

MATT

Sure. You want to eat over? There’s always leftovers.

GEORGE

Yeah, I’m down.

(GEORGE and MATT turn around and head back. GEORGE trips over an old yellow wiffleball bat. MATT laughs and keeps walking. GEORGE stops and looks and sees what looks like the letter “M” etched in the side. Thinks nothing of it and catches up to MATT.)

End.

 

 

 

 

 

Late Night Diner Runs

I found my playwriting final the other day so I decided to post it. FYI: it’s twelve pages double-spaced, but it’s a quick and (hopefully) enjoyable read.

 

Late Night Diner Runs

MARK: 25 years old, best friends with Jerry.

JERRY: 25 years old, best friends with Mark.

WAITRESS: 40 years old.

Setting: MARK and JERRY are eating at a local diner after a night of drinking.

(MARK ends his phone conversation and attempts to leave.)

JERRY

Who was that?

MARK

What do you mean?

JERRY

On the phone, asshole. Who was on the phone?

MARK

No one. (beat) I got to go.

JERRY

Where are you going? We just got here!

MARK

Does it matter?

JERRY

Um, kind of. You said we’d get something to eat. That usually means you’re staying for more than a couple minutes.

(MARK gets up to leave)

Wait! (beat) You’re seeing her again, aren’t you?

MARK

No!

JERRY

Why are you seeing her? I thought you hated her.

MARK

I told you, I’m not seeing her!

JERRY

Bullshit. Tell me you’re seeing her.

MARK

Fine, I’m seeing her.

JERRY

You’re an idiot.

MARK

(MARK calls over the waitress. Orders drink.) What the fuck? Why am I an idiot? (to WAITRESS) Hi, sorry, two waters—please.

JERRY

Weren’t you the one bitching to me about how she hurt you and how you’d never talk to her again?

MARK

Yes, but—

JERRY

But nothing. You always do this, bro. Why are you seeing her?

MARK

She makes me feel happy, like, I don’t know, man. She just wanted me to pick her up so we can talk.

JERRY

About what?

MARK

I don’t know. She said something about wanting to spend more time together.

JERRY

And you’re gonna go through with it—again?

MARK

What do you mean again?

JERRY

You’re telling me you just forgot about all the crap she did to you? The lying, the cheating. How she got all your friends to turn their backs against you so she won’t feel lonely. You want to do that again?

MARK

No, you don’t get it. I—

JERRY

Enjoy feeling like shit?

MARK

No, I—

JERRY

Want to be taken advantage of?

MARK

No! I want to—

JERRY

Bitch about her to me when you get back? Complain about how she doesn’t care about you? Tell her you still miss her?

MARK

I don’t know, I—

WAITRESS

You boys ready to order?

JERRY                                                                                                MARK

Bullshit! You do know.                                                   (to WAITRESS) No! I’m still deciding.

JERRY

Why are you seeing her?

MARK

She needs money!

JERRY

Money?! Money for what?

MARK

JERRY

How does she not have money for clothes? She has a job. A great job! Why would she come to you?

MARK

I don’t know, maybe she wants to see if I still care about her. She might have feelings for me again.

JERRY

Are you kidding me? Bro, she screwed your whole life up.

MARK

Yeah, but I owe her for the—

JERRY

You don’t owe her shit! She owes you an apology. She’s always done this to you. She makes you feel like you’re always the one at fault and you constantly fall for it. I don’t know how many times I’ve told you.

MARK

Yeah, well, this time I really do owe her.

JERRY

For what? (MARK remains silent) Why does she need money for clothes?

MARK

I really think I should go. Coming here was a mistake.

JERRY

Stop it. You weren’t forced to come here; you came on your own free will!

MARK

Yeah but—

JERRY

Just tell me what happened. I don’t get why you’re being so defensive. We’ve known each other our whole lives. I want to help you, but—

MARK

Fine! I met someone at the bar the other day. We were talking and having a good time when—

JERRY

Wait! You went to the bar without me? And actually met someone?

MARK

Yes, and—

JERRY

What’s her name?

MARK

Michelle. Anyways—

JERRY

She cute?

MARK

Yes! Don’t you want to hear what happened?

JERRY

Right, yeah. Go on.

MARK

Alright, well I met this girl and we were talking and everything was going great.

JERRY

MARK

I bought her a couple drinks, we both got drunk, and she wanted to go back to my place and—

JERRY

Shut the fuck up!

MARK

Stop doing that!

JERRY

Doing what?

MARK

Interrupting me! You cry when I don’t tell you what’s going on and when I do—

WAITRESS

How about something to eat? What’ll you have?

MARK

(to himself) I can’t catch a fucking break today.

WAITRESS

Did you say breakfast? Yes, we can do that, what would you like?

MARK

(angrily) PANCAKES!

WAITRESS

Bacon?

MARK

Fine!

JERRY

Stop being a dick, dude. She’s just doing her job. (to WAITRESS) Sorry about him. I’m not hungry; I’ll have another water, please.

MARK

What’s wrong with you? You make me stay to eat and you don’t order anything. Why am I not surprised?

JERRY

Chill out. Anyways, continue with your story. Don’t think I forgot about the mess you got yourself into.

MARK

How can I speak when I’m constantly being interrupted?

JERRY

I’m letting you speak. You’re speaking now aren’t you? Just calm down and tell your story.

MARK

Fine. (beat) I turn around and boom! I run into her as we’re about to leave and got whatever she was drinking all over her clothes and bag.

JERRY

Okay, so what?

MARK

She was wearing some really nice clothes and I ruined them. She made me look like an idiot in from of Michelle and now she wants me to get her new clothes.

JERRY

So what happened with Michelle?

MARK

She freaked out and left without me! I didn’t know what to do.

JERRY

You’re not giving her money. That’s stupid, bro.

MARK

Why is that stupid?

JERRY

Why was she standing right behind you? It’s like she knew you’d bump into her the second you went to get up.

MARK

What does it matter? Her clothes are still messed up. I feel bad.

JERRY

You don’t think it’s weird that she was just right behind you as you and Michelle were talking?

MARK

I guess it’s kind of weird.

JERRY

She’s a freak, bro! Who does that?

MARK

I don’t know. (beat) What should I do?

JERRY

Tell her you’re not buying shit for her. Tell her she deserved what happened after all the crap she’s done to you.

MARK

I can’t do that!

JERRY

Why the fuck not? You want me to? I definitely can. In fact, I’d love to.

MARK

Why do you want me to tell her off so bad?

JERRY

Because I’m your friend.

MARK

No, a friend would want me to be happy. Despite the shit she did to me, she made me happy and you always hated that.

JERRY

Ok, so?

MARK

So why do you want me to get rid of her so badly? She never did anything to you. (beat) I bet you’re seeing her! You of all people would do something like that. Pretending to be there for me when in reality, you just want the girl all for yourself.

JERRY

You couldn’t be any more wrong than you are right now.

MARK

Why’s that?

JERRY

She’s not who I’m interested in.

MARK

What are you saying?

JERRY

What do you mean?

MARK

Who are you interested in?

WAITRESS

How are you boys doing?

JERRY                                                                                                            MARK

Great, just great                                                                                              Shitty! Really Shitty

WAITRESS

I’ll come back…

MARK

Tell me who you’re interested in.

JERRY

You, Mark! You! You fucking happy?

MARK

(beat) You’re fucking with me.

JERRY

I’m not. I’ve had feelings for you for a long time. Long before you two were dating.

MARK

No! You’re just joking. You can’t be—gay. I’ve seen you hook up with so many girls when we go out.

JERRY

It was just a show. I didn’t want anyone to know yet.

MARK

Well, since we’re being honest, I always knew you were.

JERRY

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

MARK

You always seemed like you would be. Me and the guys always said that if anyone would be gay, it’d be you.

JERRY

Thanks, asshole. You’ve always had a way with words. Always managing to say the right things to cheer me up.

MARK

You’re welcome. (beat) So what do we do now?

JERRY

I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure everyone’s staring.

MARK

I would too if I heard someone come out in the middle of a restaurant. Kind of random, don’t you think?

JERRY

Should we leave?

MARK

We still have to pay.

JERRY

Damn. (beat) And of course, the one time we need that waitress, she disappears.

Mondays (Quick One-Act Play)

Mondays

SCENE 1

SETTING: MICHAEL’s house.

MICHAEL’s alarm clock goes off at 5:30 am.  Light shines into MICHAEL’s eyes causing discomfort. Rushes to get dressed and forgets tie.

MICHAEL goes to the kitchen to get a glass of milk.  Pours milk into glass, but glass falls over as he pours. Shit! Milk is all over MICHAEL’s jacket.

MICHAEL goes back to his room to change into a new jacket.  Can’t find the jacket. Looks at his dresser and finds receipt from dry cleaners. Forced to wear dirty suit.

MICHAEL goes to pour another glass of milk, but the container is empty. He goes to make toast.  The ends of the bread are all that’s left.  Throws bread in garbage.

MICHAEL goes to the living room to find his briefcase. Can’t find it.  Remembers he left it in the car.

MICHAEL grabs his keys, locks the front door, opens his car door, finds his bag.

MICHAEL starts his car, but realizes he left his phone charging on the dresser.

MICHAEL turns the car off and goes to unlock the front door, but realizes he left the keys in his car. Goes back to his car and realizes he locked the keys in his car.

MICHAEL goes around back and grabs the spare key, unlocks front door, runs upstairs, grabs his phone, finds an extra set of keys, locks the door behind him, gets in his car, goes to work.

MICHAEL sighs —Mondays.

Cigarettes

MATT: 25 years old

GINA: 24 years old

 Cigarettes

SETTING: Stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on the LIE.  MATT is behind the wheel. GINA is in the passenger seat. A man smoking cigarettes in the car in front of them repeatedly drops smoked cigarettes out of his window.

GINA

Wow, this traffic is awful Matt. I told you we should’ve stayed on the service road.

MATT

No you didn’t. You said you were getting tired of stopping at all the red lights.

GINA

Yeah, but that doesn’t mean you should’ve gotten off.

MATT

Well what did you want me to do?

GINA

(beat.) I don’t know.

MATT remains silent.

How much longer until the next exit? We should probably get off.

MATT

Sign said another mile.

GINA

This traffic’s really stressing me out. I don’t know how much longer I—

MATT

Just turn the radio on! Please. Put whatever you want on!

GINA

Chill out, Matt! Traffic isn’t even moving. We’re going to be here for a long time.

Person in car in front drops a cigarette out the window.

MATT

(To himself) I could really use one of those.

GINA

One of what?

MATT

Huh?

GINA

Didn’t you just say something?

MATT

The person in front of us dropped a cigarette out his window.

GINA

Okay.

MATT

I want one.

GINA

Why? I thought you quit. You quit, right? Why would you—

MATT

Cause I’m stressed out.

GINA

From the traffic?

MATT

(beat.) Yeah.

GINA

Am I stressing you out?

MATT

(beat.) No.

GINA

Don’t lie to me, Matt. I’m stressing you out, aren’t I? Just tell me and I’ll stop. I don’t want to stress you out. I’m just trying to pass the time because we really aren’t getting anywhe—

MATT

STOP! Jesus Christ, stop! Stop talking for five goddamn minutes, please!

(GINA stops talking, crosses her arms.)

Thank you. Let’s just listen to the radio and not talk for a little while.

GINA

(GINA turns on radio. Keeps music low.) (after a couple beats) That was really rude of you.

(MATT is about to explode. Can’t fake it.)

Don’t get angry at me. You’re the one that yelled first.

MATT

(MATT sighs and watches another cigarette fall from the car in front.) We really haven’t gone anywhere.

GINA

(beat.) Am I allowed to speak?

MATT

If you want.

GINA

Are you sure? I don’t want to upset you again.

MATT

Gina.

GINA

Matt.

MATT

Just tell me what you have to say!

GINA

Don’t fucking yell at me!

MATT

Alright—sorry. (beat.) What did  you want to say?

GINA

(beat.) I, uh. I—I can’t remember.

MATT

Naturally.

(Another cigarette falls from the car in front. Matt grips the wheel tighter.)

(beat.) You know, that’s like, the third cigarette this guy just went through.

GINA

Okay, so?

MATT

It’s only been like five, ten minutes and we haven’t moved an inch.

GINA

What’s your point?

MATT

Why’s he so stressed out?

GINA

Who says he’s stressed out?

MATT

I don’t know. No one smokes that many cigarettes so quickly unless they’re stressed out.

GINA

Maybe he just enjoys smoking cigarettes.

MATT

No one enjoys it. Everyone I know that smokes hates the fact that they smoke. Even if it’s just one.

GINA

Maybe you can ask him. Get out of the car and ask him why he’s smoking so much.

MATT

Funny.

GINA

No, please. Go. Go ask him why. You want to know so badly, right?

MATT

I might know.

GINA

Oh yeah? Alright. Why’s he smoking so much?

MATT

He’s probably dealing with a sarcastic girlfriend that won’t shut up.

GINA

(beat.) Fuck you.

(Another cigarette falls from the car in front.)

Another one fell. You should do something about it.

MATT

Something has to be wrong with this guy.

GINA

Why does something have to be wrong with him?! He’s stuck in traffic, just like us. If he wants to smoke, let him smoke! What’s the big deal?

MATT

Maybe he’s stressed about something he did.

GINA

(sighs) Like what?

MATT

I don’t know. (beat.) Maybe he killed someone.

GINA

Matt, what the fuck’s wrong with you? Why would you assume he killed someone?

MATT

We live in a sick world. If I killed someone, got stuck in traffic, and had to put up with a sarcastic girlfriend, I’d be smoking just as many, if not more cigarettes than this guy.

GINA

I doubt he killed anyone.

(Another cigarette falls out the window.)

MATT

Five.

GINA

Five what?

MATT

Cigarettes. Five cigarettes. Something bad must have happened.

GINA

WHO CARES?

MATT

I care! I don’t want to be stuck behind a murderer.

GINA

He didn’t murder anyone!

MATT

You don’t know that!

GINA

What makes you think he killed someone?

MATT

Just look at him! He looks like the type of person that would kill someone.

GINA

No he doesn’t! He seems like a normal guy.

MATT

(beat.) Fine, maybe he didn’t kill anyone. (beat.) But he definitely robbed someone.

(GINA attempts to turn the radio up, blatantly ignoring MATT.)

No, don’t! (MATT lowers volume.) Just hear me out.

GINA

You don’t know this guy! You don’t know anything about him. Stop acting like you know him. He’s just a random guy sitting in traffic, just like us. Are we murderers or robbers because we’re also sitting in traffic?

MATT

Gina—

GINA

NO! Is the guy behind us thinking that we’re murderers? NO! He’s just talking on the phone like any other normal person. If he is thinking about us, he probably thinks we’re just an average couple fighting over something serious, but what he doesn’t realize is that we’re arguing over nothing. Nothing!

MATT

I’m glad you don’t give a shit about our well-being, Gina. When we die, or get our car stolen, you’re to blame!

GINA

(beat.) Excuse me?

MATT

When we die, I blame you.

GINA

Get out of the fucking car.

MATT

I’m driving! What are you saying?

GINA

Get out and ask this guy why he’s smoking or I’m going to.

MATT

You’re not getting out, and neither am I.

GINA

Watch me (unbuckles seatbelt).

MATT

Okay…

GINA

(beat.) Fuck! (puts belt back on.)

MATT

What?

GINA

I can’t do it. He does look kind of weird. (Another cigarette drops.) Maybe his girlfriend cheated on him.

MATT

What? No, that’s stupid. Why would he be smoking?

GINA

Because she just told him. That on top of being parked on the LIE would drive anyone crazy.

MATT

Did you ever cheat on me?

GINA

Huh?

MATT

Cheat on me. Did you ever cheat on me?

GINA

No! What the fuck! I’d never—

MATT

You cheated on me! How could you cheat on me?! I always knew it. Deep down, I knew you—

GINA

Stop being so fucking stupid, Matt! Put the radio back on; you know I’d never do that!

MATT

(Puts volume back up.)

(1010 WINS Broadcaster: This just in: The 7-Eleven on Francis Lewis Boulevard was robbed. The man shot and killed the owner of the store and was seen running out of the store with money and a pack of cigarettes. If anyone has any information, please call the police immediately.)

(MATT looks at the car in front and then smiles at GINA. Another cigarette falls from the car.)

GINA

What?

MATT

(beat.) Told you. (Starts Laughing to himself.)

GINA

(Slaps MATT.) Don’t laugh!

(beat.) (Nervously laughs together with MATT. Another cigarette falls.)