/ teenage vampires / play / incomplete /
written by jack richardson

SAM, a teenage vampire

EVE, Sam’s older sister

 

STEVEN, a vampire

ROMMY, a vampire

RICK, a vampire

                                                                                               

 

The action of the play takes place in a children’s playground, with a picnic table, a swing set, and a slide.

 

It takes place at night.

                     

                                                                          

 

1.

SAM is talking in his sleep. His sister EVE is listening.

 

SAM            Not much to tell.

                   Truth be told.

 

                   The daylight was so insanely hot

                   the sun had baked the tarmac to molten liquid beige.

                   There was shimmer

                   this sharp glare

                   watering my eyes.

                   Wheat bristling on the shoulder

                   parched and golden

                   shivering like a pile of bones.

                   And the sky, moving on overhead

                   falling upwards to a black shade of blue.

                   And not a single cloud.

 

                   Sitting on the shoulder

                   after the fall

                   the bike twisted in a metal heap

                   waiting for the pain.

                   Picking gravel from my skin

                   ruby pearls of blood beading out the holes.

                   I was all over the road. Smeared on the grass. Drying to flakes beneath my fingernails.

                   I was spread across myself

                   inside out

                   leaking

                   like a burst balloon.

 

EVE            You remember that?

 

SAM           I remember

                   waiting.

 

                   Waiting for someone to come.

                   To have heard me shout out

                   heard me screaming.

                   My bike lying broken

                   more broken than me

                   and knowing I’d be in trouble

                   and calling anyway.

                   Just listening to the wheat keeping me company.

                   Waiting for my tears to dry.

                   Waiting for my skin to burn.

                   Waiting for the pain creeping up my leg

                   an army of tiny ants

                   marching their needle feet

                   to fill up the hollow space in my chest

                   left by all the air I’d

                   shouted out.

 

                   Waiting for the blood to settle in my stomach.

                   Waiting to be sick.

                   Waiting for the people who loved me to come and stop the bleeding.

 

EVE            And did they?

 

SAM           No.

                   No one came.

                   But I waited for them anyway

                   because it’s what you do.

                   Wait.

                   I waited for them

                   between the sky and the road.

                   Knowing they weren’t coming.

                   But waiting for them anyway.

                   Under the sun.

                   Burnt and

                   bleeding.

 

EVE            How did that make you feel?

 

                   Sam?

 

                   Knowing there was no one coming?

 

                   Sam?

 

SAM           Dead.

 

                   It made me feel like I’d slipped off the face of the earth

                   and I might as well be dead.

2.

STEVEN is sitting on the picnic table, reading a Stephanie Meyer. He is wearing jeans and a kitsch knitted sweater.

 

SAM enters, dressed in a school jersey and carrying a backpack. He is covered in dust.

 

SAM           Hey.

 

STEVEN     Hey Sam.

 

SAM           What’s goin’ on?

 

STEVEN     Waiting.

 

SAM           Night for it.

                   So fucking clear. Country clear. You know? Like, rural.

                   You smell that?

 

STEVEN     The sea.

 

SAM           No way. Really?

                   That’s nuts.

                   Stinks.

                   Where are the others?

 

STEVEN     I don’t know.

 

SAM           They left?

 

STEVEN     They weren’t here.

 

SAM           Oh. Right.

 

STEVEN     They said to say “Hey”.

 

SAM           Sweet.

                   They coming?

 

STEVEN     Rommy has a game on. Later.

                   Cheetahs v Swans.

 

SAM           What about Rick?

 

STEVEN     He goes for Swans.

 

SAM           So just you then?

 

STEVEN     So yeah. Just me.

 

                   You all right?

 

SAM           Yeah. You?

 

STEVEN     Yeah.

                   No, I mean, you all right?

 

SAM           Oh. Yeah. I’m all right. I guess.

                   Am I supposed to?

                   I am, right?

                   I’m all right.

                   What you reading?

 

STEVEN     Research.

 

SAM           Hunger Games?

 

STEVEN     Social science.

 

SAM           Propaganda much?

 

STEVEN     Still learn from it.

 

SAM           Think I’ll rent it.

                   Thanks for the loan, by the way.

                   Came in handy.

 

SAM removes a small shovel from his backpack and gives it to STEVEN.

 

STEVEN     No worries. Mum bought it on sale. No need to Kill Bill it out of there.

 

SAM           Huh?

 

STEVEN makes digging motions with his hands. No response.

 

STEVEN     Forget it.

 

SAM           They said they’d be here.

                   You call Rick?

 

STEVEN     Why would I?

 

SAM           Said he’d be here.

 

STEVEN     I’m here.

 

SAM           He knew you’d be here?

 

STEVEN     He knows I’m here.

                   He doesn’t know I’m here.

                   So what?

                   I’m always here.

                   You’re shaking.

 

SAM           I’m not.

 

STEVEN hands SAM a Boost Juice.

 

STEVEN     Brought you this. Might be warm by now. Sorry.

 

SAM           Thanks.

                   Yeah. Warm.

 

STEVEN     Thought you’d get here sooner.

 

SAM           What time is it?

 

STEVEN     After eight.

 

SAM           Eight on Thursday night.

                   Late dinner. Mum’s at meetings.

                   Eve’s cooking.

                   Pasta bake.

 

STEVEN     Gastronomic. Jealous?

 

SAM           No. No way.

                   Never again.

                   Shit. Warm but

                   brain-freeze.

                   Got any more?

 

SAM’S Boost is empty. STEVEN hands SAM the rest of his.

 

STEVEN     Like, a mouthful.

 

SAM           Thanks. Warm too.

                   Fuck.

                   My head.

 

STEVEN     It’ll pass.

 

SAM           That part of it? Thought I was done with that stuff.

 

STEVEN     Dehydration, dickhead. Like, happy food shakes.

 

SAM           The hell is that?

 

STEVEN     Like, so excited for food. You know.

                   Blood glucose levels.

                   Sugar.

 

SAM           I’m a diabetic?

 

STEVEN     Are you?

 

SAM           The ocean fucking reeks.

 

STEVE        You get used to it.

 

SAM           D’you swim?

 

STEVE        Swim?

 

SAM           Yeah, swim. Want to swim? I want to swim. Got so much

                   blood glucose.

                   Sugar.

 

STEVEN     I don’t swim.

 

SAM           Run then? Around the park?

 

STEVEN     You go ahead. Party on.

 

SAM           Just so much… you know?

                   Processing this sugar at a

                   like

                   metabolic rate.

                   Feel like I could

                   you know

                   scale a fucking building

                   at a metabolic rate.

                   Fuck it’s clear tonight.

 

STEVEN     Great.

                   I’ll catch you later.

 

SAM           You going already?

 

STEVEN     Late double at the Astor.

                   Why?

                   You got here okay.

 

SAM           Yeah, I got here.

                   Like, only just got here.

 

                   What am I gonna do?

 

STEVEN     Read a book?

 

SAM           Stay and hang out then. Isn’t that what we do?

 

STEVEN     Yeah, but…

 

SAM           So? I’m one of you guys now.

                   Right?

                   Till death do us part?

 

STEVEN     Cute.

 

SAM           So?

 

STEVEN     Why not.

 

3.

EVE is standing, recollecting.

 

EVE            I remember.

                   You were five.

                   I was older.

                   Old enough to know better

                   than what the adults were saying.

                   And what they were saying by not saying anything.

                   They locked you away in a room with white walls and long curtains

                   and filled it with light every hour of every day.

 

                   I brought you flowers

                   even though you were a boy.

                   I drew them in felt marker because mum said that real ones weren’t allowed in your room.

                   She said the pollens were an allergen.

                   That the dust that makes them smell

                   was the same dust that might make you sick.

                   And I thought

                   that was bullshit

                   because when had flowers ever hurt anyone?

                   And then I remembered poison ivy

                   and “The Day of the Triffids”

                   and thought it was best to be safe.

 

                   I tacked it on the wall of your white room

                   above your bed.

                   Or

                   mum said she would

                   and I was still kid enough to believe her.

                   And when I pictured you there

                   at all those dinnertimes that happened after

                   where you weren’t there

                   I always saw it on the wall above your head.

                   Above a small boy’s body

                   tucked up to the chin in a long white sheet

                   hidden by long white curtains

                   against a long white wall.

                   And you were so small

                   and just

                   nothing.

                   And we didn’t talk about you

                   because you were just

                   nothing.

                   I wondered how they could fix you

                   if you blended so well into the room

                   they didn’t even know you were there.

 

                   I’m sorry. This isn’t useful.

                   I think what I’m trying to say is

                   we sometimes felt

                   and I know I did

                   that we were always one step away from losing you.

                   Even from the start.

                   We knew that one day

                   if not this day

                   then another.

                   And if you knew that

                   Surely you knew that

                   Then I can understand why you’d feel you were sometimes

                   more dead

                   than alive.

 

4.

ROMMY is wearing a netball squad uniform, furious. RICK follows her. Both have Boost Juice.

 

ROMMY     If I count to ten

                   the first ten digits of pi

                   to demonstrate I can

                   will it undo years of stereotype

                   for girls who dress like this?

 

RICK          Can you?

 

ROMMY     It could never be a choice, right?

                   I mean, it could never be like

                   we wanted this.

                   Right?

                   That someone, somewhere

                   a woman

                   in full grasp of her faculties

                   took it upon herself to design something

                   not just a thing

                   not just an object

                   not just something less for you to remove

                   in your mind or otherwise

                   to serve a function

                   that really was a function?

 

                   Could you really do this (kicks)

                   without a split in your pleats?

 

RICK          I couldn’t do that.

                   Pleats or no pleats.

                   And if I could

                   pretty sure I wouldn’t need anyone in my life

                   except a scented candle

                   and a door that locks.

 

ROMMY     That a hint, Ricardo?

                   Poor choice of words

                   might come back and hurt you?

 

RICK          I think you’re emotionally invested

                   maybe too much

                   in your skirt.

                   And the only one who can fix that

                   is you.

 

ROMMY     Christ.

                   How do people get born?

                   Where’s the quality control on that?

                   A lifetime of stupid people

                   isn’t worth living.

                   Why I hang out with you

                   God knows.

 

RICK          Better to ask why the stars move in concert.

                   Or the planet spins.

                   Or night falls.

 

ROMMY     Misery loves company.

 

RICK          Blood calls to blood.

                   We like our reflection for a reason.

 

ROMMY     Who are you, anyway?

                   What’s inside your head that I haven’t seen

                   that you haven’t shown?

 

RICK          Secrets.

                   Secrets and storm clouds.

 

ROMMY     Dickhead.

                   Go start a vlog.

 

                   Defend my honor next time.

                   Idiots.

                   What’s the point of a male

                   that doesn’t act like a man?

 

RICK          If my heart could bleed

                   it’d bleed all over you.

 

ROMMY     Not near me, thanks.

                   Just

                   gross.

 

                   Well.

                   This is lame.

                   Why’s nobody here?

                   You called Steve?

 

RICK          I called Steve?

 

ROMMY     Yes, you called.

                   You picked up your tricorder

                   phoned up Starfleet

                   and told Kirk we’d be late.

 

RICK          I think I lost your metaphor.

                   But yeah.

                   I think.

 

ROMMY     If he’s eaten already

                   I’ll kill him.

                   Then eat him.

 

RICK          Through the bramble, round the brook;

                   deep asleep in dreaming’s crook.

                   Images of ships and sails;

                   Pirate flags and hunting whales.

                   I dreamed upon an hour or more

                   Of chests of gold upon the floor;

                   Of palaces and dragon flame;

                   Of mice and men with royal names;

                   The dreams of youth did fill my bowl;

                   To eat enough to fill my soul.

 

He kisses her.

 

ROMMY     Verse?

                   Really?

 

RICK          Something my mum used to read to me.

                   I’m not sure.

 

ROMMY     Deep-seeded fear of poets.

                   Did I mention?

                   Don’t get me started on Byron.

                   God I’m starving.

 

                   He knew we were eating.

                   Right?

 

RICK          Sure.

 

ROMMY     Fuck you, Rick.

                   Seriously, I could kill you.

 

RICK          C’mon. I’ll take you through drive-thru.

 

5.

SAM is running. STEVEN stops behind him, breathless.

 

STEVEN     The hell I agree to this?

                   Huh?

                   I have an aneurism?

                   Am I dead?

 

SAM           What’s the matter?

                   Just a little exercise.

                   Huh?

                   You think this is natural?

                   Three K every morning, man.

                   You should try it. Might be good for you.

 

STEVEN     This?

                   Naturally svelte.

                   You see me doing this shit every morning?

 

SAM           Make good money selling tickets but.

 

                   My legs are on fire.

                   In a good way.

                   One more lap?

 

STEVEN     Some of us are human.

 

SAM           You see that?

                   There? And there?

                   Fruit bats.

                   Coming back from the mountains.

                   Must be pretty late already.

                   Pretty early.

 

STEVEN     The hell are we?

                   This new, this part?

                   New trees?

 

SAM           Cricket pitch.

                   Two blocks past the playground.

                   You don’t get out, do you?

 

STEVEN     Out is relative.

 

SAM           To?

 

STEVEN     Wherever I am

                   and wherever I need to be.

 

SAM           It’s so quiet.

                   I didn’t think it could be this quiet.

                   I could hear things

                   all through town

                   like

                   my ears were all so full up of

                   of shit.

                   Traffic lights ticking and

                   and the sounds of engines and

                   pipes

                   pipes beneath the street

                   electricity, I think

                   electricity in the wires.

                   How’s that?

                   Is that possible?

 

STEVEN     Do you think that’s possible?

 

SAM           My ears are on fire.

                   Everything.

                   All that shit.

                   That noise pollution

                   the noise of people.

                   I couldn’t stand it.

                   It’s what I always heard

                   or didn’t hear but always knew was there.

                   The kind of stuff I thought would drive me crazy.

                   Did

                   drive me crazy.

                   I went crazy for a while there, did you know?

                   I was really, officially crazy.

 

                   But here

                   out here

                   I can hear

                   almost

                   nothing.

                   Just the bats

                   wings against the air.

                   The grass, moving.

                   My pulse.

                   My heartbeat.

                   Yours.

 

STEVEN     It’ll pass. It always passes.

                   Sometimes there’s just too much

                   and the only way to deal with it is to believe that it’s possible.

                   Even when it seems impossible

                   that it could ever stop.

 

SAM           I don’t want it to stop.

 

STEVEN     You’ll want it to stop.

 

SAM goes to kiss STEVEN.

 

STEVEN     Sam.

 

SAM           Why not?

 

STEVEN     Just

                   don’t.

 

SAM           Why?

 

STEVEN     Just.

                   Don’t.

 

SAM           That’s bullshit.

 

STEVEN     Trust me.

                   It’s best.

                   Things are different in the morning.

 

SAM           Why wait ’til morning?

 

STEVEN     I’m not saying no, I’m just

 

SAM           not saying anything.

 

STEVEN     It’s complicated.

                   You’re complicated now.

 

SAM           We can do what we want.

                   Isn’t that what Rick says?

                   Isn’t that why we are who we are?

 

STEVEN     Yeah, but Sam.

                   This is just a joke to you.

 

SAM           What’s that mean?

 

STEVEN     Well, isn’t it?

 

                   Nothing.

                   It doesn’t mean anything.

                   I’m sorry.

                   It means

                   blood glucose

                   you know.

 

                   You’re not yourself.

                   Not yet.

 

SAM           Forget it.

 

STEVEN     Not forget it

 

SAM           You know what I mean.

 

                   I really did go

                   crazy

                   you know.

                   I got lost in the wheat fields

                   not really, but sort of.

                   Got lost in the rustling

                   the noise they used to make.

                   My sister was in a play once

                   about a man

                   who killed another man

                   and was driven nuts by the noise the murder made.

                   The stems of the corn

                   they’re called stalks

                   and the leaves are called

                   blades

                   they have an edge

                   they can cut you

                   if you run through them in short sleeves

                   or in summer, when it’s hot

                   so you walk

                   you’ve got to walk

                   between the rows, around the stalks

                   so the blades don’t cut you.

 

                   We had a lot of fields

                   where I grew up.

                   None left now.

 

STVEN       Quo vadis.

 

SAM           Huh?

 

STEVEN     The Romans

                   the Romans conquered the world and filled it with roads

                   crossed it with highways

                   from one horizon

                   to the next

                   so that no point on earth

                   would be far from another.

                   They moved further and faster than anyone ever has

                   saw every wonder

                   the world ever made

                   but knew the most important thing

                   out of everything they came to have

                   was the way to get home.

 

                   Quo vadis.

 

SAM           You’ve spent too long in the dark.

                   It’s got into your brain.

                   I’m not Italian.

                   Neither are you.

                   Why are you so scared of connecting?

 

STEVEN     Because I know where you’re going

                   Sam

                   and I know where you’ve been.

[End of excerpt]

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