Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Monologue Mania Day # 1706 Five Minutes in Hell (for Halloween) by Janet S. Tiger (c) Oct. 18, 2018

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Monologue Mania Day #  1706 Five Minutes in Hell (for Halloween) by Janet S. Tiger (c) Oct. 18,  2018

  (Part of  the countdown for Halloween - only this is..... the real scary stuff)

          Parental alert - strong language

                                       Five Minutes in Hell
                                                 (for Halloween)
                                            by Janet S. Tiger  (c) 2018


                    (A woman comes onstage and sits at a typewriter.  She stands up, walks around, then sits down again.)

Okay, I'm going to do this. 

            (She carefully takes out a timer)

And now I set it......

            (She adjusts the buttons, putting it on the table.  She now stares at the typewriter, raises    her hand to hit the keys, then takes it back.)

This is going to be harder than I thought.  Who would have thought five minutes      could be so long?  It's almost.....scary!

            (She types)

Five minutes.  What if I had only five minutes left to live?  Talk about scary!

            (She hunkers down as if to type more but her hands remain frozen over the keyboard)

How can I do that?   I know damn well that I wouldn't spend the last five minutes   writing...I'd try to argue or cajole or talk my way out of  the mess.  Which assumes there was       a mess, and I wasn't just dying.  If I was dying from a horrible, painful slow excruciating        demise, would I want to extend that?  No, extend is not the right, what is the word.... let me call up my friend....

            (She pulls out a phone, starts to make a call, then stops.)

This is what happens whenever I start to write. That's why I am using a typewriter - so the Internet can't bother me.  But if I call someone up, we go out for coffee...all right, maybe sometimes ice cream......but then I blither on how I can't write, and that's my writing time.  It is frightening how many ways I can avoid doing this!

            (She puts the phone away.)

All right.....I won't call, but, how much time do I have left to write? 

            (She examines the timer.)

  (Shrieks)  Oh my God, I forgot to push the on button!

            (She almost throws the timer across the room, then stops, pushes wildly and sets the timer down carefully.)

 All those precious minutes!  And they don't even count.....

            (She pulls the paper out of the typewriter, counts the words on the page.)

Nine words, and now I am spending time counting them.  Genius.  I am a genius.       Why should I write - others should be following me around with a tape recorder to catch  my every dripping ......(she pauses to think of the right word)  ...what word is it?  '   dripping..... thought?  idea?  they don't drip, they...drop......there I have the truth...droppings...what comes out of my brain......How much time do I have left now?

            (She examines the timer)

Four minutes and 30 seconds.  Holy crap!  I think I've invented a way of getting  more time!  You set a timer to do something you hate to do, then the minutes stretch like     hours....

           (She starts to type furiously, then stops.)

Another brilliant idea.  Except I realize, from the depths of my memories that it's  been done...only it was

            (She gets up, shaking her head)

Now school was a way of stretching minutes into hours, days into months, years!  I   remember waiting for the bell to ring....the seconds ticking on that's almost like one of those Stephen King things - only this is real!  Really scary!

            (Snaps back to herself, sits down, types)

Okay,   I can do this.  If I write more than the five minutes, can I avoid tomorrow?  (Shakes her head)  No, my original concept was to do a little writing every day.  That's  what I'm doing.  I can waste an hour, all right, maybe a few hours, on those stupid angry birds, but if I can do that, I can write for 5 minutes every day.

            (Looks at timer)

There, that wasted...I mean used....almost one minute.  (Starts to get happier)  I can do this, I can do this!  (Gets a thought)  Can I count thinking as part of the time?  (She  weighs this)  I don't know if it's fair.....

            (Looks at timer, shakes it a little)

Only one stinking minute to go!  I guess these things aren't like the old sand timers, where you could shake them and they'd go faster.  (Like a TV announcer)  Like sands through the hourglass, so, too, are the days of our lives....  I remember my mother   watching that!  I wonder if someone got that idea trying to write five minutes a day.....

            (She sits down, more thoughtful.)

Excuses. Maybe I should write a 'Book of Excuses.'   I certainly have enough. 

            (She starts to type.)

  The kids are little, I don't have time.  The office is busy, I don't have time.  My aunt  is sick, I need to take care of her, so I really don't have time.  I got sick, I can't write when I'm taking antibiotics.  I have to go shopping, I have to get the car repaired...the list   is...endless.  Actually, why did I do this?  Why start? (Loud)  Why did I start these five      minutes in hell?

            (She stops as if in anguish, then gets up as if searching........She takes a deep breath.  A      light dawns on her face.)

 Wait a second...I think I remember.  This is for me.  Only I can write these words.    No one else.  Someone can read them, but they are a part of me.

            (She sits and starts typing)

My children, once a major part of my life, are grown up, and although I see them, and of course I still nag them...... it is just not the same. Thank God for that.   I can do things for myself - get a haircut, a manicure, take a bath.  (Figures it out)  But when I ....when I write, that IS me.

            (The timer rings.  She turns to it and shuts it off.  Then we see her reset it.)
 What am I afraid of?  That I won't write.....or that.....what I write won't be right.....

Ooh, I like that! 

            (She presses the button to start the timer, only this time with reverence.)

 Maybe just a few more minutes.....

            (She sits to type and the lights go down.  We hear typing and laughter.)

Note: A few words about 'free' -  all these monologues are protected under copyright law and are free to read, free to perform and video as long as no money is charged. Once you charge admission or a donation, or include my work in an anthology, you need to contact me for royalty 
Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315      
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983

Swedenborg Hall 2006-8