29 PLAYS LATER – DAY 5 – PLAY 5 – MOOSES MURDER

The Brief:

Challenge 5 – Due 06/02 at 10am GMT
OK, so we’ve been focusing too much and worrying about writing good stuff

how about writing some shite?

Like, proper total crap. (not literally! You know who you are!)

Not as easy as it sounds.

Just have no filters.

Let yourselves go.

Now, typos are the enemy of the writer – but let’s make it our friend.

Type and don’t proof. If you type a wrong word – leave it, you never know – it might sound better!
Bonus points to those of you who are going to send the play without even re-reading it.

Knowing damn well that there’s a chance that a stranger might read it…
The Result:

A one act muder mystery farce with no murders or mysteryScene 1

1928. A rustic lodge in the Adirondack Mountain, New York. The entry hall, light streams through the windows ad the dist moats can be seen happily dancng.

CUE: Dance of the Dust Moates – stage ballet by local children. They pretend to be dust.

Enter Arthur Bicknell and his wofe Snooks. They are dressed in the latest fashions abd despite being quiality cloting thiey clearly have no idea how t owear it. It looks tacky.

Snooks

Oh i say arthur you really gone over board fir this our honey moon.

Arthur

I’m so glad you agreed to be my wife Snooky-wookums. 

SNOOKS

Even though I did it by pretending to get knocked up? 

ARTHUR

Even though. Well what do uou think?

SNOOKS

Not bad for a dame like me. Ooooo look a Mooses’ head. Ah poor thing. Looks like it ran at the wall too hard.

ARTHUR

You wicked creature.

SNOOKS

You knows it.

Arthur

Shall we check out the bedroom?

SNOOKS

Why save it for the bedroom?

ARTHUR

You devil.

They kiss. It get’s passionate. Snooks undoes Arthur’s trousers and they drop to the floor showing his skinnY legs, complete with socks held up by suspenders. 

Enters Dorothea. Snooks’ mother is in her 70s, wears dark glasses and is supposedly blind. Though for someone who can’t see she is surprisingly spry and observant.

Dorothea

Don’t mind me. What can a woman lile me see anyway?

SNOOKS

Mama! Come in.

ARTHUR

(Hurredly pulling up his trousers. Muttering under his breath.)

Dorethea. of course it is. Heaven forbid I should ever enjoy my wife.

DOROTHEA

Ah my son and daughter. My family. What could a woman as close to death as I wish for if not to see, I mean, witness, I mean experience the nuptuals of her only beloved child. Oh but I am so tired.

ARTHUR

(Hopefully.)

Then why not sleep Mama?

DOROTHEA

No I will just sit here. If Snooks will sit with me then I know that I will be safe and happy. Who knows this could be my last breath.

ARTHUR

That’s why we employed you a nurse. Speaking of which, where is Hilda?

DOROTHEA

Outside chatting to that chauffeur of yours.

ARTHUR

Ah I will go and see where they are at. It looks like the weather is turning.

DOROTHEA

There will br a storm. I can feel it in my bones.

Arthur exits out the main front door. A second later a laiden chauffeur enters wiuth the family’s suit cases. Snooks are numerours, as are her monthers. There appears to be a lot of pink fluff and feathers sticking out. He is also carrying a small dog. The dog barks. McNaughton the chauffeur is a middle aged man witha scare down his face. He is tough and rugged.

DOROTHEA

Is the my little Willy?

McNaughton

Aye ma’am.

He puts the dog down. It scampers towards his mistress taking care to pee on various bits of furniture as it goes.

SNOOKS

Oh mama! He’s is showing his business all over the lodge.

DOROTHEA

He is a baby. He is just making himself feel at home.

MCNAUGHTON

Shall I put the luggage in the rooms miss?

SNOOKS

Yes please. Mcnaughton. Did you see my husband by the way? He was looking for you. And it’s starting to rain.

MCNAUGHTON

No miss. But it’s hard madam. I came in the back entrance. In the kitchen.

SNOOKS

There;s a back entrance.

MCNAUGHTON

Yes miss. It’s a bit stiff but I managed to force my way into your back entrance. Once you find it, it’s very convenient.

DOROTHEA

At least that what the showbiz papers used to say.

SNOOKS

Mother!

MCNAUGHTON

The luggage miss.

SNOOKS

Ah yes. Thank you Mcnaughton.

MCNAUGHTON

Miss. Madam.

McNaughton goes out another door into the bedrooms. A second later, Arthur and Hilda, the nurse enter. Hilda is swedish and quite ample.

SNOOKS

Arthur, you are soaked.

ARTHUR

As is miss Hilda. We should get these wet clothes off you.

Hilda

Thank you sir, but maybe later. I must attend to my patient. It’s her medicine time and then we should experience the local herbal lakes.

SNOOKS

I this weather?

HILDA

Yes. It is most efficacious.

DOROTHEA

She is trying to kill me

SNOOKS

Who would want to kill you mama?

ARTHUR

(Under his breath)

I can think of one or two people.

DOROTHEA

That nurse. She’s probably not evern a woman.

ARTHUR

I can guarantee that Miss Hilda is most definitely female. Hilda, take Mrs Dorethea for her treatments. We trust you to take care of her.

HILDA

Thank you Mr arthur. Come now Dorethea. We must go poo poo.

DOROTHEA

Ahhhhhh.

Hilda practically drags the struggling Dorothea out of the door to the back entrance.

SNOOKS

I do hope she is going to be alright.

ARTHUR

Your mother has survived two European wars and seven decades and that was before even arriving in America. Wouldn’t syrprise me if she turned out to have been the snake round the tree, tempting Eve.

SNOOKS

Arthur, that’s my mother.

ARTHUR

And now she;s gone and we are alone.

Arthur drops his trousers again. He bends Snooks over the sofa. She responds gleefully. Mcnaughton enters. Coughs politely. The couple freeze inflagrante. Rush to make themselves descent. Arther tries to do this by merely lighting a pie and acting like this is perfectly normal.

MCNAUGHTON

Terribly sorry sir. Just heading back to the car. I will beback in three days to pick you up.

ARTHUR

Yes of course. All boys here. Apart from you obviously Snookums. See you in a few days.

McNaughton nods. He exits out the front door.

ARTHUR

Now we really are alone. To the marital beadroom!

Giggling the two go to the bedroom. Noises of an animal nature come from the room. There is thunder and ligtening and we can now hear the rain. Mcnaughton enters. He is drenched. He is also white as a sheet. He looks around. clear his throat.

MCNAUGHTON

Hello…? sir?

No one answers. He Walks tp the bedroom door. Knocks. The animal noises stop. he door opens. Arthur in draws and vest looks out.

ARTHUR

Yes Mcnaughton. What is it?

MCNAUGHTON

Sir. I’m afraid the car has washed away.

ARTHUR

What do you mean?

MCNAUGHTON

I mean that there was a massive rush of water from the lake and it took your vehicle with it.

ARTHUR

I don’t suppose it also took my mother in law diud it?

MCNAUGHTON 

No sir. I am afraid not.

ARTHUR

Shame. Well we nbetter ring for a tow.

Arthur goes to the telephone. He picks it up. It’s dead.

ARTHUR

It’s dead. Mayve a wonky connection, eh?

MCNAUGHTON

Sir I wouldn’t…

Arthur bends down to fiddle with the wires, there is a massive flash of lightening and electrics and Arthur is electrocuted.

ARTHUR

Eurgh…

MCNAUGHTON

Sir!

SNOOKS

(Running in at the noise.)

Arthur! What happened.

MCNAUGHTON

Electrocuted miss. Willy wet the wiring.

SNOOKS

Oh that dog! Arthur are you alright?

Arthur makes unintelligible sounds.

SNOOKS

Mcnaughton. We need to get him to the bedroom. Can you go and get a doctor?

MCNAUGHTON

The car got washed away ina freak flood.

SNOOKS

Thank heavens we have a nurse with us. Come let’s move him and then we will go and find the magnificent Hilda.

Snooks and Mcnaughton pick up Artur between them and carry him intothe bedroom. 

As the bedroom door closes the kitchen door flies open. hilda eneters. She is carrying, with ease, the postrate body of Dorothea. Hilda Places Dorothea on the sofa. Sh takes her pulse. She shakes her head, Swears in swedish.

Snooks and Mcnaughton comeout the bedroom.

SNOOKS

Hilda? What’swrong?

HILDA

Snooks, it’s your mother. You may want to sit down.
snooks sits.

HILDA

Your mother is dead.

SNOOKS

No.

HILDA

Yes.

SNOOKS

How?

HILDA

Turns out Willy has a metal hip. She was carrying him when he was struck by lightening. Even her rubber batheing suit did not save her.

SNOOKS

And her little Willy?

HILDA

BBQ.

SNOOKS

oh woe is me! First Arthur and now mama? Shall I be an ophan and a widow before my wedding night is over?

HILDA

Mr Arthur is hurt?

MCNAUGHTON

Mr Arthur was electrocuted. By wily’s wee.

HILDA

I shall go and see him. I am sorry Mrs Snooks. But there is nothing I could do.

SNOOKS

It’s ok. I understand. She had a good life.

MCNAUGHTON

Even the that russian famine. She told the stories and it was clear she made the best of a bad situation.

SNOOKS

Thank you. Both of you. I was all alone in the world apart from Mama. But when i found arthur I also found a family, of servants to look after me.

MCNAUGHTON

Miss.

HILDA

I shall go an d checkon my employer.

Hilda exits to bedroom. 

SNOOKS

What are we to do Mcnaughton?

MCNAUGHTON

Tomorrow well sort all this out. I have a trained carrier pigeon in my suitcase. Once this storm passes, I can send word to get help.

SNOOKS

Mcnaughton. You’re our fifth emergency service. LIke the ambulance, or the firemen or the cocoaine dealer.

MCNAUGHTON

Thank you miss.

Hilda re-enters.

Hilda

He is fine. Just needs to sleep.

Snooks

As i think do we all. Why don’t us girls take the spare room? Mcnaughton you can shack up with my husband.

MCNAUGHTON

Very good miss.

There’s another massive flash of lightening. The lights flicker and fuse.

SNOOKS

Ah!

MCNAUGHTON

The lights.

Hilda

Let me try the switch. 

She tries to group her way to the wall swicth near the front door. On her way she groupes Snook. Snook gasps and the two women make eye contact. Hilda finally makes her way to the wall and the switch. She flicks the switch. Nothing happens.

HILDA

Damn. It is kaput.

SNOOKS

Let’s go to bed. there will be more light in the morning.

Hilda and Snooks find eachother in the dark, and cling to eachother as they make their way to the second bedroom.

Mcnaughton carefully finds his way to the master bedroom, and shuts the door.

Dorothea’s corpse is left alone on stage.

Scene 2

CUE: The children come on and do the dance of the passing of time.

It is later that night, still dark ad still no electricity.

The storm appears to have passsed.

The door opens and Arthur emerges in his draws and vest, along with socks and shoes. He is muttering to himself under his breath, He clatters about.

Dorethea’s arm begins to raise up.

Arthur doesn’t see as his mother in law’s body sits up and reanimates. Then he turns around.

Dorothea screams. Arthur falls backwards. The moose head falls down onto his own head, where it lodges. Arthur bellows and fights with the head, Dorothea jumps up and kicks Arthur in the crotch he beloows again, and takes a swing ather. Like lightening Dorthea unleashes a startling bout of kung fu onto Arthur.

All the doors open, as Hilda, Snooks and Mcnaughton comes on shouting.

Suddenly the electricity comes back on Revealing the commotion. Hilda and Snooks are both in diaphanous nightwear. McNaughton is in vest and trousers. Arthur is on the floor still in the moose ghead, pinned by Dorothea.

ARTHUR

Uncle! Uncle!

SNOOKS

Mama?! But you’re dead???

DOROTHEA

No I an not. I was merely resting.

ARTHUR

Uncle.

SNOOKS

Could you let my husband go? Mcnaughton could you help with the moose head?

Dorothea reliquishes Arthur. Mcnaughton helps Arthur up and together they tug the moose head off.

SNOOKS

Well, I don’t know about you, but I think I am going to mix a cocktail, to calm my shattered nerves. Mcnaughton, I’d like a martini with a cherry and a side car.

Arthur

Yerrrr

ARTHUR

Arthur will have the same.

Mcnaughton trudges resignedly to the kitchen. He exits.

SNOOKS

Arthur, my darling, how are you?

ARTHUR

Peachy, just peachy, well I’ve had a bit of a shock.

SNOOKS

Yes that was Willy.

ARTHUR

Where’s is the little creep?

HILDA

He got blown up when Dorothea got hit by lightening.

ARTHUR

So there is nothing left to kick? Shame.

DOROTHEA

I won’t hear you say a bad word about my Willy.

SNOOKS

Your Willy nearly killed you and Arthur. Sometimes I think you loved that dog more than you loved me!

DOROTHEA

Of course I did!

SNOOKS

What do you mean?

DOROTHEA

Well look at you! You look nothing like me. You don’t talk like me. You don’t think like me. Hell, do the maths. I would have been 67 when I had you!

SNOOKS

I don’t understand. You were dead and now you are being mean.

DOROTHEA

And I am done with you. You brat. Thank heavens you’re adopted. It means I can give you back!

Snooks faints. Hilda goes and attends to her.

ARTHUR

You vile woman. If you aren’t related to either of us then you won’t mind if I ask you to leave.

DOROTHEA

Gladly.

Mcnaughton enters.

MCNAUGHTON

Stop right there Dorothea!

DOROTHEA

Who are you to give orders?

MCNAUGHTON

Sergeant Graham Mcnaughton of New York Police Department!

At this mooment the sound of sirens. Police burst in and detain DOrothea.

ARTHUR

Look here Mcnaughton. What is all this? And how did these men get here?

MCNAUGHTON

They were summoned by carrier pigeon. Once the storm abated, I could get word to the regulars. As for all this. Let me introduce you to the infamous Cahoonzie Cat Burgalur!

ARTHUR

So you are not from Russia!

DOROTHEA

Ha! No. Orange County!

MCNAUGHTON

Dorothea is a well known con artist, cat burglar and hired hand. It’s just we never had any proof until we traced odd activity on your bank account Mr Arthur.

ARTHUR

Bank account?

MCNAUGHTON

Yes. The bad news is that you are bankrupt. The good news is, you’ve helped justice be served.

ARTHUR

That’s the duty of every good american officer.

MCNAUGHTON

NYPD salute you sir. Now boys. Let’s take her away.

Dorothea is dragged off and all the police exit. All the police cars go. Snooks comes round.

ARTHUR

Darling!

SNOOKS

Mama?

ARTHUR

Taken away by the police. Well, Mcnaughton. Who is the police.

SNOOKS

Jeepers, That sure escalated quickly.

ARTHUR

And I’m a bankrupt. Do you think you can love a penniless man?

SNOOKS

Actually darling, I’m not sure I can love any man.

ARTHUR

What?

HILDA

Snooks and I are in love.

ARTHUR

Oh really? Well that is quite irregular but in this day and age anything goes. How frightfully modern.

SNOOKS

So we have your blessing?

ARTHUR

I suppose so. But what will you do? Where will you go?

HILDA

We shall go back to my homeland and my small town of Sigtuna, where we shall live as fishermen for the rest of our lives.

ARTHUR

How very rustic.

SNOOKS

Thank you Arthur. It’s been a hoot. Well, nothing to really wait around for. Might as well go.

ARTHUR

How will you het back to the city.

Hilda

I shall carry her. Very strong thighs.

Hilda scoops up Snooks. They kiss and then Hilda carries snook out the lodge through the front door.

ARTHUR

Right. Jolly good.

Arthur gets up and searches for his pipe. He finds it, lights it and sits back down puffing intently.

ARTHUR

Well old chap, You’re broke, wifeless and servantless. On the upside, at least you have a few days in a lodge in the mountain. Peace and quite.

The walls of the lodge fall down around him. He is left sitting on the sofa.

ARTHUR

At least it’s not raining.

The sound of birds in the emerging daylight. The sun comes up. Arhur puffs on his pipe contentedly.

There is a distant rumble of thunder. Arthur looks alarmed.

Cutain.

The children emerge and lead the audience in popular songs of today. Being 1928, everyone knows ‘The Mooche’ or ‘Cow Cow Blues’.

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