It’s Just a Napkin

 

a short ten minute play

 

by John Lindsey

December 5, 2005

 

 

 

CHARACTERS

 

BABBETTE, 25 years old.  Friendly, but mostly insane.

 

JOSE, 23 years old.  Not any more sane that BABBETTE. 

 

MELCHIOR, 30 years old.  Intelligent, but hardly sane.

 

 

TIME

 

Distant future. January 15, 2007 Anno Domini. 4:32 PM CST

 

 

 

PLACE

 

In a roadside diner.  Place looks run down but clean, there is a table with silverware and the like on its center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Restaurant; JOSE and BABBETTE sitting together.  MELCHIOR arrives to take their order)

 

                        MELCHIOR

I am Melchior, the majestic and meaningful meal master!

 

                                                BABBETTE

I don’t need to eat; I harvest the sun’s rays for my energy.

 

                                                MELCHIOR

You are what you eat, and you are the pretty pretty sun that shines into my pupils, blinding me in agony!

                       

                        (Shielding eyes)

 

                                                JOSE

I’ll take the fish.

 

                                                MELCHIOR

This is a seafood restaurant, we don’t have any fish.

 

                                                JOSE

Oh, then I’ll take what she’s having.

 

                        (Points to BABBETTE)

 

                                                MELCHIOR

The suns rays for both of you then!  I shall return shortly.

 

                                                BABBETTE

There is something ominous about that waiter…  I think he is from another world.

 

                                                JOSE

It reminds me of all of those cacti we saw in Arizona.  I think we should befriend Melchior.

 

                                                BABBETTE

Yes, and when he gets comfortable, we’ll kill him and plant our cacti in his carcass.

 

                                                JOSE

Excellent idea!  It’s like angels came down from Rhode Island and whispered all of their secrets to us…

 

                                                BABBETTE

I shall build a paper dove out of my napkin to celebrate, and also to put dear Melchior at ease.

                                                MELCHIOR

                       

(Returns with two candles)

 

Rays of the sun for both of you!

 

                                                BABBETTE

What!?  These candles will not do, nothing but the real sun will suffice!

 

                                                JOSE

Silence Babbette, you will put the victim in a state of agitation.

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Victim?

 

                                                JOSE

Yes, you will be our victim.

 

                                                BABBETTE

Quiet Jose!

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Let me guess…  You planned on befriending me and then killing me whilst my guard was down.  Probably so you could burry some kind of plant in my cadaver…

 

                                                JOSE

He’s all knowing!

 

                                                BABBETTE

All powerful!

 

                                                MELCHIOR

I am neither, I could just tell by the look in your eyes, and by the paper vulture you made, that you both had sinister, sinister plans in mind!

 

                                                BABBETTE

Those of us who survived the apocalypse of January 1st 2006 have been forced to be ruthless in order to live.

 

                                                JOSE

That is why we need your body.  The soil is contaminated from all of the caffeine that rained down on that fateful day…

 

 

 

 

                                                BABBETTE

Plants have become…  Unruly, and hunger for human flesh.  Only a satiated plant will produce the fruits needed for human sustenance.

 

                                                MELCHIOR

You probably plan on planting cacti in my chest…  Something that will give you both food and water, but it is not to be…

 

                                                BABBETTE

And why not?  Wolves hunt in packs, likewise Jose and I number two to your one.

 

                                                JOSE

Much like the wolves of the sea, we will destroy you and plant things in your belly!

 

                                                MELCHIOR

But alas, alas, I have a trump card.

 

                                                JOSE

You mean a trump card.

 

                                                MELCHIOR

That’s what I said…

 

                                                BABBETTE

What he means is that we’ve heard this story before.  Our mother used to read it to us before bed during happier times.

 

                                                JOSE

Last year, before the end of civilization.

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Stop…  Don’t talk about those happy days before the day we call The Day of Infinite Sadness, Badness, and General Madness; the day civilization snuffed it.

 

                                                JOSE

But when I think of all of the joyful times of yesteryear, I get a tremor if hope Mr. Waiter, real hope!

 

                                                MELCHIOR

How could you possibly have hope in these times, what is there to hope for?

 

                                                BABBETTE

We have hope for a world where we will no longer have to “off” our friends and plant foliage in them, a world where all doughnuts are half price, a world we can bring children into without having to worry about them being horribly mutated.

 

                                                MELCHIOR

You should abandon your hope; no such world will ever exist.  Half-price doughnuts!?  Unbelievable!

 

                                                JOSE

Fie on you for trying to crush our dreams, fie!

 

                                                MELCHIOR

You can’t do that, I have on an anti-fie shield!

 

                                                JOSE

Fie on that too!

 

                                                MELCHIOR

You do an awful lot of fieing for a man who talks of hope for the future.

 

                                                JOSE

Well, I don’t fie on hope, and I don’t fie like an eagle.

 

                                                BABBETTE

You tell him Jose!

 

                                                JOSE

I did already.

 

                                                BABBETTE

Oh yeah, let us rejoice!

 

                                                JOSE

I shall sing a song.

 

                                                BABBETTE

We shall sing a song together!

 

                                                MELCHIOR

You both… sing?

 

                                                JOSE

Of course!  Don’t you?

 

                                                MELCHIOR

I haven’t been able to sing since the day the world cried, died, and fried.

 

 

 

 

                                                BABBETTE

You need to get over it….

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Get over it!?  But five billion people, and my pet bunny Sir Hopsalot, died that day!

 

                                                JOSE

Sir Usta-hopsalot.

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Fie on you!

 

                                                JOSE

Ah!  Now who’s doing the fieing?

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Stop it, you’ll hurt my feelings…

 

                                                BABBETTE

There there Mr. Waiter.

 

                        (Handing MELCHIOR the paper vulture/dove)

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Ah!  A vulture!  Keep that away vile woman.

 

                                                JOSE

Oh, she’s not so vile.  More like…  Vile-ently beautiful!

 

                                                MELCHIOR

No matter, the vulture is an ill omen.

 

                                                BABBETTE

It was supposed to be a dove…

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Then why does it have super dangerous talons!?

 

                                                BABBETTE

So it can dig for seeds…

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Yeah, in the chest of some poor animal or child!

 

 

 

                                                BABBETTE

Ori-Dovey would do no such thing!

 

                                                JOSE

You tell him Babbette!

 

                                                BABBETTE

I did already!

 

                                                JOSE

That reminds me, we were going to sing.

 

                                                BABBETTE

Let’s sing the one about the jingly bells!

 

                                                MELCHIOR

No, not that one!  That was the lullaby I used to sing to Sir Hopsalot before he hopped his last hop.

 

                                                JOSE

That really is sad…  The song about the jingly bells really must conjure up sad memories.  Tell me?  Did you plant a carrot in Sir Hopsalot’s body?

 

                                                MELCHIOR

I… had to eat…  I had to eat!

 

                        (Collapses into tears)

 

                                                JOSE

There there, there there

 

                        (Motions for BABBETTE to grab a steak knife)

 

                                                BABBETTE

(Raises knife above MELCHIOR, who looks up suddenly, just as BABBETTE hides the knife behind her back)

 

                                                MELCHIOR

                       

(Ceases crying)

 

What was that?

 

                                                BABBETTE

What was what?

 

                                                MELCHIOR

What is always what, what is behind your back?

 

                                                BABBETTE

He is?

 

                                                MELCHIOR

No, what is?

 

                                                JOSE

I think I’ve heard this before…

 

                                                MELCHIOR

This doesn’t concern you fie-boy!  This is between be and the knife wielder!

 

                                                BABBETTE

No, that is between us.

 

                        (Points to paper vulture)

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Ahhh!  It’s that again!

 

                                                BABBETTE

Isn’t it though?

 

                                                JOSE

I believe you are right Babbette.

 

                                                BABBETTE

Yes, quite.

 

                                                MELCHIOR

                        (Slamming fist down on paper dove)

 

                                                BABBETTE

                        (Dropping knife behind her quickly as she scoops dove up)

 

Ori-Dovey!  Are you okay!?

 

                        (Dove doesn’t answer)

 

Why don’t you talk to me!?

 

 

 

                                                JOSE

He’s…  He’s dead Babbette.

 

                                                BABBETTE

No! Nooooo!  Why!?  First the destruction of the world, and now this?  I can’t take it anymore!

 

                                                JOSE

It’s going to be alright Babbette; remember the Alamo.

 

                                                BABBETTE

                       

(Nodding then settling down)

 

Yes, of course you’re right Jose.  Everything’s going to be… alright.

 

                                                JOSE

 

                        (Begins to pet BABBETTE, much like one would a dog)

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Oh come on, what’s the big deal?  So I crushed the nemesis vulture, it’s not like it is a living creature.

 

                                                BABBETTE

Well it’s not now!

 

                                                JOSE

I’m very disappointed in you Mr. Waiter.  Here I thought you would be a peaceable vctim, and it turns out you’re just a villainous dove slayer.

 

                                                MELCHIOR

It wasn’t a dove, it was an inanimate vulture made out of paper!

 

                                                BABBETTE

It was a dove!  It was… my dove.

 

                                                JOSE

It was very dovely.

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Stop it, it is not even a living thing!

 

                                                BABBETTE

Because you smashed the life out of it!

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Would it help if I just made another one?

 

                        (Folding origami bird quickly)

 

There, happy?

 

                                                BABBETTE

You think you can just create a life!?  You are on drugs!

 

                                                JOSE

Drugs are bad Babbette.

 

                                                BABBETTE

I know!

 

                                                MELCHIOR

This bird isn’t alive, and “Ori-Dovey” was never alive either!

 

                                                BABBETTE

Ori-Dovey was too alive, I was the one who birthed him!  He suckled at my teat for years, he was my very own!

 

                                                MELCHIOR

I know perfectly well that your bird was just an ordinary napkin before you came in here.  All you’re doing conjuring up very disturbing images…

 

                                                BABBETTE

I just wanted to give him a back story…  Wanted you to know the depth of the character you annihilated not so long ago.

 

                                                JOSE

You know, I am starting to get very hungry…

 

                                                BABBETTE

Why did we come in here again?

 

                                                JOSE

For food.

 

                                                BABBETTE

Right right, Dove Slayer, bring us both whatever the special is today.

 

 

 

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Oh, you’ll get the special alright…

 

(Walking off stage right, returns almost immediately with a potted plant and slams it down on the table)

 

Timmy the Terrible Tulip, devour these people!

 

                        (BABBETTE and JOSE scream in terror and cower behind their seats)

 

                                                JOSE

It’s a plant, it’s a monster!  Run Babbette!

 

                                                BABBETTE

I’m too scared to run Jose, it’s going to eat me!

 

                        (Plant continues to just sit there, BABBETTE and JOSE relax a little)

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Why isn’t it attacking!  Plants eat freaking people!

 

                        (Pokes plant repeatedly)

 

                                                JOSE

                        (Ventures a look closer at the plant)

 

What is that soil you have it in?

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Regular contaminated death soil of course!

 

                                                BABBETTE

                        (Looking closer too)

 

This plant isn’t mutated, where did you find it?

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Out back, there are many just like it…

 

                                                JOSE

Perhaps this mean…  Plants are at last adapting to the poison soil, perhaps there really is hope for our world.

 

                                                BABBETTE

We should plant this plant and its seeds all over the world…  Perhaps one day humans and plants will be able to live in harmony once more.

                                                JOSE

Let’s go Babbette

 

(JOSE and BABBETTE hold hands and walk off stage, carrying the plant with them)

 

                                                MELCHIOR

Hey, you two never paid your check!

 

                        (End play, thankfully)

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