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Monday, May 19, 2014

Dead By Midnight, Part 1

Setting: Living room. A coffee table in the middle of the room, sofa behind it, recliner to the right. Decorations can be as sparse or as lush as the director and stage designer feel necessary. Stage left near the entrance to the stage is a fridge and a dining room table.

Clock on wall above the sofa should depict time of scene. Scene One starts a little before 10:00 PM, rehearsals should determine the time so that Demetrius’ arrival is right at 10:00 PM Scene Two should be timed out in rehearsals to set the clock at the beginning of the scene so that it ends just before the clock strikes midnight.


Chad: Young white man, mid to late twenties, type of guy to throw on the first thing he picks out of his closet. Average slacker type, nothing special.

Demetrius: Young black man, mid to late twenties, dresses like he’s in control. Speaks in slang that hides a deeper intelligence and cunning.

Alicia: Young white girl, mid to late twenties, lives with Chad, but looks like she’s way out of his league.

Bikers: Two bikers that follow Demetrius, dressed in leather vests with the patches of a biker club. The club is unimportant, and could be picked by the director or costume designer.

Scene One

Sounds of slight moans heard off stage left, that of a Chad and Alicia. As the moans heat up the sound of a cell phone ring tone cuts them off.

Chad – Fuck!

Alicia – Well, don’t answer it!

Chad – What if it’s important?

Alicia – I don’t know what could be so important right now. You keep sayin’ one of these days you’re gonna get me off, but I’m still not feelin’ it.

Chad – Who the fuck is this?! Hello … Who is this? … Oh, what’s up? … Yeah right! Do you want that in cash or check … Well, I know I fucked up but … Now! … What’s that going to help, can’t you just take me to court or some shit … Well, no matter what, it’s going to take time … Right now isn’t a good time … Hello? Hello? Fuck!

The sound of rustling clothes and the opening and closing of dresser drawers is heard off stage left.

Alicia – What’s going on?

Chad – Demetrius is on his way over here.

Chad enters stage left while putting on a shirt, Alicia follows shortly behind him. Chad stops by the fridge, pulls out a beer, and walks over to the couch and plops down while taking a gulp of the beer.

Alicia – Who the fuck is Demetrius?

Chad – Remember that car accident I got into a couple months back?

Alicia – (With a sense of resentment) How can I forget? I’ve been late for work how many times over the last couple months because you were using my car for god knows what.

Chad – (Ignoring Alicia’s comment) Demetrius was the owner of the other car.

Alicia – Oh. (Beat) What’d he want?

Chad – The money for his totaled Lexus.

Alicia – Wait a minute, you totaled his Lexus?

Chad – Yeah, I told you that.

Alicia – The hell you did! How did you get into that accident again? Your breaks went out, right?

Chad – Something like that,it doesn’t matter anyway. (Beat) I don’t even have the money to replace my Geo Metro let alone a Lexus. I told him that, but he said he’s on his way here, now.

Alicia – What for?

Chad – I don’t know, he just asked if I had his money, and when I said no he said he was on his way over.

Alicia – How does he know where you live?

Chad – I don’t know, police report, maybe. I wouldn’t put anything past him though, this dude freaks me the fuck out.

Alicia – How?

Chad – I don’t know, there’s just something about him.

Chad downs the last of his beer then goes to the fridge to grab another one.

Alicia – What do you think he’s going to do?

Chad – No clue, I’ll be freaked out if he walks in and starts quoting Ezekiel 25:17 though.

Alicia – Maybe he just wants to freak you out a little bit, some pressure on you. He could even have court papers and just wants to give them to you in person.

Chad – I guess it’s possible, but I think there’s got to be more to it than …

A knock can be heard coming from stage rightChad and Alicia look at each other for a minute in shock before Chad goes just off stage right to answer the door.
Chad – Umm, hi Demetrius …

Demetrius enters the living room followed by the two bikers. He stops just inside the door and looks at Alicia.

Demetrius – God damn, Chad, this your old lady?

Chad – (Unsure how to respond) Yeah, that’s my girlfriend Alicia.

Demetrius – Whew boy, ain’t seen that shit comin’, that’s some fine piece of work you got there.

Demetrius takes a seat in the recliner, while Chad sits back down on the sofa.

Demetrius – You gonna offer your guests somethin’ to drink, or should we get it ourselves? If so, I’ll take a beer. (Looking at the bikers) You cats want somethin’?

The bikers shake their heads no.

Demetrius – One beer then.

Chad – (Looks to Alicia) Do you mind getting Demetrius a beer?

Alicia rolls her eyes and goes to the kitchen and gets a beer and slams it on the coffee table in front of Demetrius. Demetrius smiles at her as he opens the beer.

Demetrius – Such hospitality from the lady of the house!

Chad – How did you get into the apartment complex? I thought I was going to have to buzz you in?

Demetrius – (Beat) I get it, you think I’m some hard hittin’ nigga bustin’ my way in here like a coked up bitch lookin’ for money for my next score.

Chad – That’s not …

Demetrius – Oh, so you think these cats is some mindless Hell’s Angels thugs who be breakin’ down doors and shit.

Chad – No, I didn’t mean …
Demetrius – You had to be thinkin’ somethin’, and I sure as hell don’t like whatever you implyin’ …

Alicia – Can you just get on with whatever you came here for?

Demetrius stares at her long and hard.

Demetrius – Chad, I recommend you shut up your caged butterfly before I do it for you, it would be a shame to fuck up somethin’ so beautiful.

Alicia – What do you mean: caged butterfly?

Demetrius – What do a caged butterfly do? Nothin’. It sits in a cage and looks pretty, but it ain’t goin’ nowhere. Like you, which is obvious by the company you keep. Now, shut your mouth, the men is talkin’. (Beat) How long it been since you fucked my shit up, man?

Chad – About two months.

Demetrius – I ain’t heard shit from you neither. Where you been?

Chad – I’m sorry, I’ve just been really busy.

Demetrius – I ain’t ask you if you been busy. I ask you where you been. My pops always taught me to square my shit away right away. Your parents ain’t teach you that shit?

Chad – They did, but …

Demetrius – I don’t think they did. Or you didn’t listen. You let this kind of shit lie, eventually you gonna mess with the wrong nigga.

Chad – I know, and I’ve been meaning to call you but …

Demetrius – I don’t wanna hear no buts man. You gots to take responsibility for this shit man. I been patient wit you, but fuck man. I ain’t even mentioned that bullshit about your brakes yet.

Chad – What?

Demetrius – You said your brakes gave out, but there ain’t no problem with your brakes man.

Chad – My brakes gave out, that’s the truth.

Demetrius – Dog, I know where your car was towed, I got one of my peeps to check it out. Ain’t shit wrong with your car besides the fact that it’s a pile.

Chad – I don’t know who checked it out for you, but maybe they just told you what you wanted to hear.

Demetrius – Don’t you be accusin’ my boys of lyin’ to me, I’ll add that to the shit list against you. Don’t matter none anyway, you got work son. I’m sick of waitin’ for your ass, so here’s the deal: you got to midnight tonight to get me fiddy grand or a brand new Lexus GX 460.

Chad – That’s less than two hours, how am I supposed to pull this off?

Demetrius – Do I look like a give a fuck? If you gots to rob a bank, steal a car, or whatever man. This ain’t my problem, and you ain’t the only problem I gotta deal with tonight. You just be wastin’ time fightin’ me on this, and I ain’t backin’ down and I don’t got time to waste.

Demetrius stands up and walks to the stage right entrance.

Demetrius – (To the bikers) Let’s get outta here and let this chump get to work. (Turns to Chad) And don’t get no stupid ideas neither, ‘cause no matter where you think you’ll end up by fuckin’ me, you’ll just end up worm shit six feet under.

Demetrius and the bikers exit stage right.


Chad – What the fuck? How am I going to come up with that kind of money by midnight?

Alicia – How did you get into that accident?

Chad – What?

Alicia – He said your breaks were fine, so how did you get into that accident?

Chad – Demetrius was just trying to get in my head! I’m sure he was just trying to rattle both of us.

Alicia – He seems like a lot of things, but a liar isn’t one of them. You on the other hand.

Chad – What’s that supposed to mean?

Alicia – That means this wouldn’t be the first time that you’ve lied to me.

Chad – So a stranger comes into our home accuses me of lying and you’re automatically going to believe him?

Alicia – What does he have to lie about? You owe him, he has no reason to lie to you! The truth, Chad!

Chad huffs and puffs before finally looking at the ground in defeat.

Chad – I had been at Stephen’s, we had been smokin’ out. He gave me a joint when I left and I was tokin’ in the car. I dropped my roach and when I bent down to pick it up I didn’t see the stop sign.


Alicia – You are un-fucking-believable, you know that!

Alicia exits stage left and re-enters with an overnight bag. As she speaks she exits and re-enters with clothes and other things needed when staying away from home.

Alicia – When we first started dating you said that you were going to quit that shit. Here we are, you lost your car for it, you’ve almost cost me my job, and now it might just cost you your life. Was it worth it, Chad? Was it fucking worth it? Fuck, he could have just killed us both because you’re a selfish fucking prick! I’m done, you can clean up your own mess.

Chad – But I need you.

Alicia – Of course, you do. You needed me when you lost your apartment. You needed me when you wrecked your car. You need me when you want food or beer or to go out and party it up. But what about when I need you? You barely pay any of your fair share around here, and you brought this bullshit in here.

Alicia grabs her overnight bag and walks stage right.

Alicia – What I don’t need is you. Your name isn’t on the lease for this apartment, so if you survive tonight I want you gone by tomorrow afternoon.

Chad – But …

Alicia – You seem to be full of buts tonight, but they aren’t gonna fly anymore. Part of me loves you, but part of me knows you’re the worst person I could have ever chosen to be with. Good luck, Chad. And lock the door when you leave.

Alicia gives Chad one last long look and exits stage right. Chad sits in contemplation for a few minutes, beer in hand. After a few minutes he drains it, sets the bottle on the coffee table, and goes to the fridge for another. As he goes back to the sofa he opens the bottle and takes a long gulp of beer. After a few more minutes of contemplation, Chad pulls a cell phone from his pocket and begins going through the contacts. After picking the right number he puts the phone to his ear.

Chad - Hey Mom … I’m doing okay … Well, I’m actually in a little bit of trouble … I know Mom … I got into a car accident a couple months ago … Aren’t you even going to ask me if I’m okay? … I don’t care if I’m calling you, but I haven’t spoken to you in months I could have been in a coma for all you know … No I don’t need you to help with hospital bills, I’m okay … Yeah, I know that’s what you just said … I’m calling because the guy I got into an accident with came by here asking for the money to replace his car by midnight tonight … Can’t you wire me some money? … No I didn’t try to set up a payment plan before now … How many times have I ever asked you to help me out in the past? … I know I haven’t called and I’m sorry, but you haven’t called me either … Please don’t do this right now I don’t have time for this … I know it’s late, but I didn’t know it was going to come to this now … I’m sorry, okay … Yeah, I’ll figure something else out … Whatever … bye.

Chad pushes the button to end the call on his phone and throws the phone down on the coffee table. He shows signs of frustration, anger, and sorrow before picking up the beer and draining it and going to get another one.

End of Scene One

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