Part one of The Twist in the Tale series, two companion short plays.


(Lights rise on a bed in the centre of the stage, beside which is a small set of draws and a phone. To the right is a dresser with a mirror and a bag on it. On the bed sits a barefoot man, Sebastian, in trousers and a crumpled shirt with his shoes by his feet. A younger woman, Emma, stands beside the table brushing her hair.)

 

Emma

When shall we dance again?

 

(Sebastian fiddles with his shoes.)

 

Emma (Cont’d)

I was trying to be poetic.

 

(He unlaces the first holes then re-laces them.)

 

Emma (Cont’d)

Suit yourself.

 

Sebastian

Have you seen my socks? I can’t seem to find them. Silly really, a man losing his socks.

 

(Emma scrutinises her reflection then pulls her hair back into a ponytail.)

 

Sebastian (Cont’d)

Can’t wear shoes without socks. Especially not these, pinch awfully.

 

Emma

(To herself) Buy ones that fit.

 

Sebastian

Their handmade, can’t get them anymore the man who made them’s retired. I can’t remember his… (Pause) They’re just old, seems a pity to get rid of them.

 

Emma

A quick cull is the best way.

 

(Sebastian examines his shoe.)

 

Sebastian

I suppose your right. You’re always right, one of your less charming qualities.

 

(Emma applies lip balm.)

 

Emma

Of which I have many.

 

Sebastian

(To himself) Of which you have many. (To Emma) Sometimes I think I might be in love with you.

 

(Emma looks at the mirror.)

 

Sebastian (Cont’d)

Quite a lot, actually.

 

(There is a long pause in which Sebastian unthreads and re-threads his shoes and Emma stares at the mirror.)

 

Sebastian (Cont’d)

I won’t ask again, I know what you’ll say. Just a word and… That depends on you.

 

Emma

Oh?

 

Sebastian

You’re… You’ll say it’s trite, I know, but I’ve never met a woman like you before. Perhaps, in a different life… I know, ‘we only have one life’. But, do you see?

 

Emma

I see.

 

Sebastian

You’re making fun of me. I see too, more than you realise. Maybe you do, maybe that’s the problem.

 

(Emma plays with her hair brush.)

 

Emma

My problem?

 

Sebastian

This façade of yours. The tough loner, but you’re not a loner, are you? You’re just alone.

 

(Emma turns to face him.)

 

Emma

What about your ‘problem’?

 

Sebastian

This has nothing to do with-

 

Emma

(Interrupting) If you want some candid revelations you should start with yourself.

 

(Sebastian holds his shoe very still.)

 

Emma (Cont’d)

Personally? I’m just damn peachy.

 

(Sebastian put his head in his hands.)

 

Emma (Cont’d)

Sweet Jesus.

 

Sebastian

I can’t stop. Haven’t you been listening?

 

Emma

(To herself) Too fricking much. (To Sebastian) Finish it then.

 

Sebastian

And what good will that do?

 

(Emma packs her hairbrush and lip balm into her handbag.)

 

Emma

No reason to be guilty.

 

Sebastian

You’re a cold woman, Emma.

 

Emma

Really? I’ve not got a wife.

 

Sebastian

That’s not-

 

Emma

(Interrupting) No, Sebastian, you could have said no.

 

(Sebastian reaches down to put his shoe on the floor. He pulls socks out from under the bed.)

 

Sebastian

I found my socks.

 

(Emma picks up her bag and crosses the stage. She holds his chin and kisses him.)

 

Emma

Until next time.

 

(Emma Exits.)

 

(Sebastian sits for a moment. Then he starts to pull on his socks.)

 

END


Click here for the Twist in the Tale or take a look at my Short Story or Weekly Serial page for more fiction.

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2 thoughts on “When Shall We Dance Again?

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