#28PlaysLater 2019: Day Seventeen | Cat Lady

Image result for cat

NOTE: No idea what happened here. This is what happens if I mix sugar with extreme fatigue.

The rules.*

  1. You must have at least 6 characters in the play. 3 in the first act and 3 in the second act. 3 actors must double these 3 parts, and there needs to be a good reason for it. If you are gendering any of the characters – the actor playing that character must play a different gender in the second act. Feel free to add more characters in either acts if you want.
  2. One character loses their hair throughout the show, two other characters swap clothes at some point.
  3. There must be no less than 3 pauses and no more than 7 pauses throughout the play – each of them at a different length.
  4. One of the scenes revolves around a piece of garbage that was brought inside by the second character to speak in the play.
  5. Every line of dialogue must have one of the following: either 6 words, 17 words, 31 words, 33 words, 66 words or 101 words (you can punctuate as you like).
  6. Each of the two acts has at least 3 scenes in it, and each scene must have a minimum of 12 spoken lines in it. Except for the last scene – that must have a minimum of 24 spoken lines in it.
  7. One of the characters pushes two of the other characters for two different reasons.
  8. One character sings a song; one character dances a dance; one character paints a painting; one character plays the trumpet; two characters play Scrabble.
  9. Every scene should have a minimum of 5 descriptions and 5 stage directions.
  10. All the characters have to have names – all the names have to have a symbolic meaning behind them. And a character can’t speak the first letter in their name!

*Are made to be broken. Or, maybe not.**

**No, I broke them.

 

Characters.

TILDA: Female. Tilda is from Old German, meaning: “mighty in battle”. Performed by a single actor throughout.

SANCHO: A giant grey cat who can walk on its hind legs and talk. The cat’s hair falls out constantly through the play. It is bald by the end of the play. Name derives from Sancho Panza. Performed by a single actor throughout.

CHAYSE: Male. He is TILDA’s first date. Name is from the old english for huntsman. Performed by actor 1.

DRAKE: Male. TILDA’s brother. The ancient name of a dragon is DRAKE and this is reflected in his personality. Performed by actor 2.

FLINT: Male. TILDA’s boss. Tall and chiseled. Dressed from head to toe in grey. From the old english for hard rock Performed by actor 3..

BERRY: Female. Occupational Health Therapist treating TILDA. Tall and rotund. Dressed head to toe in electric blue. Name does what it says on the tin. Performed by actor 3.

CHASE: Female. She is TILDA’s second date. Derived from French to hunt. Performed by actor 1.

Cybil: Female.TILDA’s mother. She is an old dragon. Cybil comes from Cybele which means “mother of gods.” Performed by actor 2.

Act one.

Scene 1.

TILDA’s disastrous date with CHAYSE.

A Spanish restaurant lots of tiled tables and a white rose on each table. There is a sound track of tinny flameno playing over the PA.

TILDA is sitting at a table, her hands crossed in her lap. She is dressed in a She is staring at the table top.

SANCHO is sitting at the table opposite TILDA, picking its way through a very large fish. They have a large white napkin tied around their neck.

CHAYSE enters. He is dresses in a black shirt and trousers. He brushes back his already very sleek hair. He licks his lips and walks to TILDA’s table.

CHAYSE: Is this seat taken, by chance?

TILDA looks up. She catches SANCHO’s eye. SANCHO smiles and TILDA looks away. She extends her hand to the seat opposite her.

CHAYSE sits down opposite her. He shuffles his chair noisily into place.

CHAYSE: This is very nice isn’t it?

TILDA: It’s a lovely spot for dinner.

CHAYSE: That’s why I always come here.

TILDA looks up at him, slightly alarmed.

CHAYSE: Proper introductions all around, I think. I’m CHAYSE, actor, lover and humanist.

CHAYSE holds out a limp hand across the table. TILDA takes it lightly.

TILDA: TILDA, just TILDA, and that’s it.

They shake hands weakly. TILDA puts her hands under the table wiping them on her skirt out of CHAYSE’s view. CHAYSE leans across the table.

CHAYSE: I want to know everything about-

TILDA: This may be an odd question to ask someone in a restaurant on a first date , so sorry. Can you see anything unusual anywhere?

CHAYSE looks around the restaurant.

CHAYSE: It’s weirdly empty for a Thursday.

TILDA: But nothing else a bit odd?

CHAYSE looks around again. He looks SANCHO who gives him a massive toothy smile. CHAYSE smiles back before turning back to TILDA.

CHAYSE: No, it all seems perfectly normal.

TILDA looks over CHAYSE’s shoulder at SANCHO who is licking their paws with a large pick tongue. She looks back to CHAYSE who is running his eyes up and down her. He licks his lips again.

CHAYSE: TILDA let’s cut to the chase. I think it’s clear from our conversation on the app that I want you and you want- Well, that you want me too. It’s animal magnetism – completely understandable, right. Two hot red blooded consenting adults-

TILDA’s gaze has wandered back to SANCHO who has climbed onto the table and is liking their plate. CHAYSE clocks this, looks behind him and grunts. He turns back to TILDA.

CHAYSE: I am all man, lovely TILDA. You are Woman, I can see. Let’s cut the red tape right? Admit we want to rip off each others clothes and submit to a night of unencumbered passion.

TILDA: CHAYSE I really don’t want that-

CHAYSE: Trust me, lovely TILDA, and I will prove that I am all the man that you need.

TILDA opens her mouth to say something but CHAYSE puts a finger to her lips before getting to his feet. SANCHO is back in his seat and now has their feet on the table, with their hands behind their head.

CHAYSE strikes a dramatic pose.

5 second pause.

CHAYSE dances a flamenco. He’s very ‘committed’ to the dance. He rips the front of his shirt, exposing his chest. He grabs the white rose from their table and puts it between his teeth. He spins and finished the dance on his knee.

60 second pause. CHAYSE doesn’t move from his final pose.

SANCHO claps enthusiastically. TILDA looks directly at SANCHO, who returns her look with another massive smile, again showing all of their teeth. TILDA looks away. SANCHO takes the napkin from around their neck and wanders out of a door tucked away in the back of a restaurant. TILDA lets out a huge sigh of relief.

CHAYSE is panting. He gets back to his feet, wiping his sweaty brow with the back of his hand. He sits back down opposite TILDA. TILDA has gone back to staring at the table top.

TILDA: Well, that was really very interesting.

CHAYSE: Glad I managed to impress you.

TILDA: I can safely say no one has ever danced at me on a date in my life.

CHAYSE: I wanted to bare my [CHAYSE runs a finger down his chest] soul.

TILDA gulps. CHAYSE smirks.

CHAYSE: I should go and freshen up.

TILDA nods her head. CHAYSE gets up from his seat, gives TILDA a long look as he licks his lips, before turning dramatically on his heels and swaggering to the toilet.

SANCHO drags in a trash can lid and a rake up to TILDA’s table.

SANCHO: Hello there – miss me much TILDA?

TILDA: Jesus, really you again, right now? Why won’t you leave me alone?

SANCHO: That’s no way to talk to an old friend is it, especially not one you’ve been ignoring.

TILDA: It’s hard to ignore a cat. Especially an absolutely massive grey one.

SANCHO grins.

SANCHO: I have a present for you.

SANCHO holds out the dustbin lid and rake.

TILDA: What is this you’re giving me?

SANCHO: I would have thought that was somewhat self explanatory, wouldn’t you TILDA, just by looking at it?

TILDA gives SANCHO a look. SANCHO sighs.

SANCHO: It’s for fighting dragons, obviously TILDA.

TILDA: On the tip of my tongue.

SANCHO: I believe you will need it.

SANCHO holds out the lid and the rake. TILDA takes them both dubiously.

TILDA looks towards the bathroom.

TILDA: No one else can see you?

SANCHO shakes his head.

TILDA sags in her chair.

SANCHO: He’ll be back in 40 seconds. If you don’t want to be wiping his dribble off you for the rest of the night-

TILDA: Good heavens, no way on earth-

SANCHO: Then you need to leave now. Or you could, you know, kill-

TILDA: Don’t even say it SANCHO, understand.

SANCHO rolls their eyes and sighs.

TILDA stand up, clutching the rake and lid like weapons. SANCHO offers TILDA their arm, which she takes and together they walk out the restaurant.

Beat.

CHAYSE comes out of the toilet smiling. He walks to the table and notices TILDA is not there. He looks around the restaurant as if he believes she might be hiding somewhere. It finally registers that she is gone. He grabs a napkin from the table screws it up and throws it back on the table.

CHAYSE: Absolutely bloody fucking bollock cunt flaps.

Blackout.

Scene 2.

TILDA confides in her boss, FLINT, that she may be going mad.

An office. TILDA and FLINT sit opposite each other, both working industriously on laptops. FLINT is well chiselled and buff, in an immaculately tailored grey suit, grey shirt and grey tie.

SANCHO enters playing the trumpet. They march up and down the office, playing enthusiastically.

TILDA stops typing and watches in horror. FLINT looks up at her over his laptop.

FLINT: Everything okay out there, space man?

TILDA looks back at FLINT blankly, while SANCHO continues marching.

FLINT closes his laptop delicately.

FLINT: TILDA do we need to talk?

TILDA shakes her head.

FLINT: Good because you’re my best manager. I wouldn’t want you going gaga.

FLINT laughs. TILDA laughs

TILDA goes back to her laptop and starts typing again keeping a watch on SANCHO out of the corner of her eye.

FLINT sits back on his chair and watches her.

10 second pause.

FLINT: Come on TILDS, out with it.

Beat.

TILDA looks up from what she is typing. FLINT holds her gaze.

TILDA sags over her keyboard.

TILDA: You know the joke about me being a cat lady except without any cats at home-

FLINT: It’s my favourite pastime, you know-

TILDA: Yes, that’s exactly my point FLINT. It was a joke wasn’t it?

FLINT gives TILDA a hard stare. TILDA squirms.

TILDA: There’s a giant cat in here-

FLINT stares.

TILDA: Called SANCHO, playing the trumpet, badly-

SANCHO stops playing the trumpet and hisses at TILDA.

FLINT stares.

TILDA: It keeps telling me to kill.

FLINT blinks.

FLINT: Is this cat here right now?

TILDA points to where SANCHO has climbed on to a filing cabinet and is sitting cleaning their spit valve.

FLINT blinks then nods slowly. He gets up and walks around the desk to sit on it next to TILDA.

FLINT: Tilds, now you know that I love working with you – always have, always will – but since that – incidents with your mother – well I have been worried that – something like this – would happen, you know, with all the stress of the job and sorting your life it – I mean, god knows it’s been a hard time for us all what with Brexit and – stuff – you know, right?

TILDA nods.

FLINT: Tils, I think you should take some leave. And well get HR to book you some time with the occupational health team.

TILDA stares at FLINT, wide eyed.

FLINT: Tilds, it’s only because we care.

TILDA nods sadly.

FLINT: Good that’s all settled then. Pack your deck up and get out, you crazy kid before I change my mind.

2 second pause.

TILDA grabs her bag from the back of the chair. She runs out of the office. SANCHO watches her go before jumping down off the filing cabinet. As SANCHO walks past FLINT, they blow the trumpet into FLINT’s ear. FLINT jumps, looking around, but can’t see anything. FLINT shakes his head to clear the ringing in his ears.

FLINT sits for a moment, before sighing, and dialing a number on his desk phone.

FLINT: Oh hi, how you doing? Yes, all good here. I’m afraid to report we’ve got another one. Yes. Stress. And something about giant cats. Probably hormones. Yes. she’s just left. Let’s get her in to see the company headshrinker. A-SAP. Great. Later.

FLINT hangs up. Sighs again. Opens up his laptop and begins typing.

Blackout.

Scene 3.

In which, TILDA fights a metaphorical Dragon (DRAKE)

A park bench.

DRAKE sits on the bench holding a sunflower wrapped in paper. He wears glasses and a baseball jacket.

SANCHO is curled up under the bench careless batting at DRAKE’s shoe laces. DRAKE doesn’t seem to notice.

TILDA enters. She sees DRAKE sitting there. She then sees that SANCHO is also there. SANCHO waves at her. TILDA hesitates and steals herself. She walks up to DRAKE on the bench.

DRAKE looks up, smiles. He pats the bench next to him.

TILDA sits, keeping a bit of distance.

DRAKE: hey sis, how you doing?

TILDA: You know DRAKE, same old.

DRAKE: Yeah, I know. Here. This is for you.

TILDA: Why?

DRAKE: Sounded like you needed cheering up?

TILDA: True dat.

DRAKE laughs.

TILDA: I think I am going to lose my job.

DRAKE: Oh-

TILDA: Yeah.

DRAKE: Is it-

DRAKE looks round.

DRAKE: Is ‘It’ back?

TILDA nods.

DRAKE: Oh.

30 second silence.

DRAKE gets out a packet of cigarettes. He lights one, draws deeply and blows a smoke ring.

DRAKE: Has it given you anything?

TILDA: A rake and a trash can lid.

DRAKE: Why?

Beat.

SANCHO has climbed out from under the bench and is standing behind DRAKE.

SANCHO sings:

SANCHO: Kill kill kill them all, kill them all, all of them

Kill kill kill them all, slay the dragons, beast and men,

Kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill

SANCHO sings the word kill over and over again.

TILDA puts her hands over her ears.

DRAKE: It is here now?

TILDA nods.

DRAKE: What’s it doing?

TILDA: Singing the word kill kill kill over and over again.

DRAKE: Oh. I see.

Beat.

DRAKE: Anyone in particular?

TILDA: Dragons.

DRAKE gives TILDA a long look.

DRAKE draws on his cigarette. He blows smoke through his nostrils.

DRAKE: Should I be worried?

TILDA looks at DRAKE, then back at SANCHO who is still singing his little kill song and now accompanying it with a little dance.

DRAKE: Well at least you don’t have your murder rake or dustbin lid of doom.

TILDA: They’re at home.

DRAKE: Thank christ.

DRAKE looks at TILDA and then back at his cigarette.

DRAKE: Tilds, I think you should let me take you back home.. Just for a bit.

TILDA looks at DRAKE, horrified.

TILDA pushes DRAKE off the bench.

DRAKE lands on the ground.

DRAKE: Ouch. Shit.

SANCHO applauds.

DRAKE: Okay. Okay.

DRAKE dusts himself off and stands up.  He holds out his hand to TILDA. TILDA turns away from him.

DRAKE: I see. Okay. Well – you know where I am – if – you know – you change your mind – or something.

DRAKE stands watching her for a minute.

DRAKE walks away.

SANCHO walks around the bench and lolls on the space left by DRAKE.

SANCHO: That was nearly fun.

TILDA: Why are you doing this to me?

SANCHO:  I need a reason?

TILDA: Can’t you just go away. Torment some other poor shit-

SANCHO laughs.

SANCHO: Easy tiger-

TILDA: I don’t want to slay dragons.

SANCHO [putting his arm around TILDA]: There, there, you know you do really. Everyone does, you know, deep down.

SANCHO winks at TILDA.

TILDA looks up at SANCHO. TILDA pulls away from SANCHO and stands at the other end of the bench, clutching her bag to her chest.

SANCHO: Did you throw away the rake and that bin lid?

TILDA shakes her head, slowly.

SANCHO: You know I’m right.

TILDA looks at SANCHO. She turns and walks quickly away.

SANCHO stretches out along the full length of the bench and settles down for a nap.

Blackout.

Act two.

Scene 4.

A small cafe with wooden school-style tables and chairs. TILDA, CHASE and SANCHO sit around a table, laid out with a Scrabble board. TILDA and CHASE are mid game. CHASE is laying down some tiles. She smacks the table and lets out a little cry of victory.

CHASE: ‘COCKS’ on a double letter word score! That will be be 26 points, plus a new word off your ‘muzjick’ whatever that is, so 32 – whatever that is – so – 58! Ha , ha. You are going to owe me a the clothes off your back.

TILDA pushes CHASE, playfully.

SANCHO walks round behind CHASE as she restocks her tile into her rack.

SANCHO: She has the word ‘FLAPS’.

TILDA: Shut up.

CHASE: Sorry?

TILDA: Just got really good tiles.

SANCHO [leaning into CHASE’s ear, in a stage whisper]: She doesn’t you know, she has all vowels and a ‘P’.

CHASE looks up from her tiles.

CHASE: What you going to wow me with now?

TILDA: I’m just too overwhelmed with all the possibilities.

CHASE: Sometimes you have to just admit defeat in the face of genius.

TILDA: Hardly.

CHASE: Oi. We’ve been on this date for exactly 39 minutes and you’re already giving me cheek?

TILDA smiles at CHASE, shyly.

TILDA: It’s actually been really – nice.

CHASE: Nice? Bloody hell. Quash a woman’s self esteem why don’t you. Nice? That hasn’t been used about me since my pre-school ballet report.

TILDA: Ballet? You?

CHASE: Fuck off you.

CHASE and TILDA smile at each other.

CHASE: So, TILDA, tell me one thing about you.

TILDA’s eyes swivel to SANCHO who has got hold of the bag of Scrabble tiles and is looking through them to see what is left.

TILDA: There’s not much to tell. Single. I’m an account manager of a logistics company. I have a small flat. I’m probably about 3 years from buying cats and throwing away the key.

CHASE laughs.

CHASE: Yeah, I can see that. Full on crazy cat lady.

TILDA squirms.

TILDA: Thanks. You?

CHASE: Single, obvs. Social worker, obvs. Live with my brother and a mate in Wandsworth, also obvs. Say obvs too much.

TILDA: Obvs.

CHASE: Oi.

17 second pause.

SANCHO yawns, and curls up on one of the other tables. It snores quietly.

CHASE: I really like you.

Beat.

CHASE: Sorry – I know – too early – but – I just get this – vibe from you.

TILDA: Vibe?

CHASE: Yeah – like – you’re interesting somehow – like – I don’t know.

TILDA: Right.

CHASE: Sorry.

TILDA: It’s fine.

CHASE: I’m shit at all this – you know – flirting.

TILDA: It’s fine.

CHASE: Like – I should be all charming – you know – roses and – I don’t know – dancing-

TILDA: Please god no.

CHASE: No?

TILDA: Hell no.

CHASE: Thank fuck.

Beat.

TILDA: Thank you.

CHASE: For what? Embarrassing the fuck out of you?

TILDA: For saying something nice.

CHASE: That all?

TILDA nods.

CHASE reaches across the Scrabble board and puts her hand over TILDA’s. TILDA looks down at CHASE’s hand on hers. She lets it rest there.

Beat.

TILDA: What if I told you I were insane?

CHASE: I’d say, bloody hell not another insane woman.

TILDA tries to take her hand from CHASE. CHASE holds on.

CHASE: Hey. [She sighs.] I’d say, I work as a social worker. Insane is basically in the job description.

TILDA tilts her head and gives CHASE a long look. TILDA’s eyes travel to a sleeping SANCHO then back to CHASE.

TILDA: Shall we get out of here?

CHASE: Really?

TILDA: Yeah, really.

CHASE: Where?

TILDA shrugs.

TILDA: Anywhere.

CHASE stands up. Holds out her hand to TILDA.

CHASE: As my lady wishes.

TILDA stands. She doesn’t take CHASE’s hand.

I have a weird ask.

CHASE: Okay.

I don’t want to be recognised.

CHASE: Okay.

So – can we swap clothes.

CHASE: Well this is the weirdest mugging.

It’s not a mugging. Just – I want to be – I don’t want anyone to notice me leave.

Beat.

CHASE: You in trouble?

Beat.

TILDA looks at the table.

CHASE: Girlfriend?

Beat.

TILDA shakes her head.

CHASE: Boyfriend?

Beat.

TILDA shakes her head.

CHASE: Family?

TILDA looks down at the table.

Beat.

CHASE: Ok. But only cos I think you’re fit.

TILDA looks up at CHASE.

CHASE smiles and nods.

They rapidly undress – as much as is decent in a cafe. CHASE and TILDA swap clothes.

CHASE and TILDA smile at each other.

CHASE: You look cool.

TILDA: You definitely don’t.

TILDA laughs.

CHASE holds out her hand again to TILDA.

TILDA smiles and takes CHASE’s hand.

CHASE begins to lead TILDA out of the cafe.

TILDA doesn’t move. TILDA gently pulls CHASE back. CHASE stops. TILDA steps towards CHASE and gives her a kiss on the cheek.

CHASE touches her cheek where the kiss landed. She looks at her hand and then at TILDA. She give TILDA a massive goofy grin.

CHASE pulls TILDA towards her and they pair walk out the cafe. As they leave:

CHASE: Did you see that massive fuck off great cat lying on the table? Snoring like a drill hammer-

TILDA stops. CHASE stops, looking at TILDA quizzically.

CHASE: Ok?

TILDA nods. She looks back at SANCHO.

CHASE: C’mon.

CHASE takes TILDA’s hand again. They leave the cafe.

SANCHO snores loudly and rolls over, wrapping itself in the tablecloth.

Blackout.

Scene 5.

TILDA confides in her Occupational Therapist that she isn’t at all mad. Giant cats are real.

An office with two chairs and a table with a box of tissues and an intercom on it. Under the table is a box of art materials.

BERRY sits in one of the chairs. She is writing in a notebook. Tall woman and massively rotund. Dressed head to toe in electric blue, she looks like a blueberry.

There is a knock on the door.

BERRY: Come in.

The door opens and TILDA walks in. She is still wearing CHASE’s clothes.

BERRY stands up.

BERRY: Chop-chop. Time and tide wait for now man.

BERRY holds out her hand. TILDA looks at it. BERRY waves it in mid air. TILDA steps forward and shakes BERRY’s hand.

BERRY: Dr BERRY. Occupational therapist, councillor, sometime writer. You?

TILDA: TILDA. My boss sent me.

BERRY: Ah yes. FLINT. A – of a man.

TILDA squirms.

BERRY: Sit down.

TILDA sits.

BERRY sits. PIcks up her notebook and pen.

BERRY: So tell me.

TILDA: You don’t already know?

BERRY: I want to hear from you.

TILDA: There’s this – thing

BERRY: Thing?

TILDA: Yes.

BERRY: Is it here?

TILDA shakes her head.

BERRY: Why isn’t it here?

TILDA: I swapped clothes with someone. A date. I’ve not seen it since.

BERRY: I see.

TILDA: Is that normal?

BERRY: Define normal.

TILDA: Does everyone see – things?

BERRY: What thing is it you want to know if everyone sees?

TILDA: I can’t tell you. It might – conjure it.

BERRY: FIne.

BERRY stands and walks to the table. She pulls out the box of art materials and pulls out a pot of paint and a pad of paper.

BERRY: Here. Take these.

BERRY hands TILDA paints and pad. TILDA looks curiously at her.

BERRY: I work a lot with children. Take them.

TILDA takes the pad and paint.

BERRY: Draw it.

TILDA lays the pad on her lap. She takes one of the brushes, dips it in the paint and draws a giant cat.

BERRY watches, waiting for TILDA to put the paintbrush back in the pot.

BERRY: Show me.

TILDA holds up the pad.

BERRY: You see a cow?

TILDA: What? No. It’s a – cat.

BERRY: Well, I’ve learned one thing at least – never be on your Pictionary team.

TILDA puts the paint and pad on the floor next to her chair.

BERRY: Does it have a name?

TILDA nods.

BERRY: Does it do things?

TILDA: Plays the trumpet. Ruins good games of Scrabble.

BERRY: Anything else?

TILDA: It tells me to kill.

BERRY: I see. Anyone in particular.

TILDA: Dragons.

BERRY: Many Dragons round your – neck of the woods?

TILDA: One or two.

BERRY looks at TILDA.

TILDA: That was a joke.

BERRY: Is the giant murderous cat also a joke?

TILDA: No. It’s real.

BERRY: Real?

TILDA: I was out last night. With a girl – a woman really. She could also see it.

BERRY: Is she real?

Beat.

TILDA: Yes.

BERRY: Sure?

TILDA: These are her clothes. She’s wearing mine.

BERRY: Yes you mentioned that. So the cat wouldn’t find you.

TILDA: Yes.

46 second pause.

BERRY: You’ve been under some stress I understand.

TILDA: Just work.

BERRY: Nothing at home?

TILDA: Just work.

BERRY: Nothing which would trigger anything? I’ve seen your records TILDA. I know about what happened. After your dad’s death.

13 second silence.

BERRY: Was that the first time you saw it? After that?

TILDA nods.

BERRY: But it went away?

TILDA nods.

BERRY: And now it’s back?

TILDA nods. BERRY writes in her notebook.

BERRY: I see.

TILDA: Do you?

BERRY puts down her pen. Closes her notebook.

BERRY: I diagnose stress. That’s what I will put in my letter to FLINT. You need to take a leave of absence and seek medical help. I would suggest medication.

TILDA: Medication?

BERRY: Come see me once a week and we can monitor your progress.

TILDA: So you believe me?

BERRY: I believe you need time off.

TILDA: Right.

At that moment, the door burst open and SANCHO bursts in, panting. It slams the door and leans back on it.

BERRY screams.

BERRY: CAT!

SANCHO: Where have you been?

BERRY [pointing]: Giant cat.

SANCHO: Who you pointing at?

BERRY screams again and faints.

TILDA: What did you do that for?

SANCHO: Swapping clothes with that lesbo was a nice touch. Had me foxed for a while, but I still found you-

TILDA: You made my therapist pass out.

SANCHO: Pshaw. Some therapist.

TILDA: Can she see you?

SANCHO: Probably. All sane people can.

TILDA: Sane?

SANCHO: Well, platypus exist. Why not giant talking cats?

TILDA: And CHASE?

SANCHO: From last night? Yeah, she definitely saw me.

TILDA: So she’s sane?

SANCHO: As any body. Right, I won’t lie. I’m pissed. Like really pissed.

TILDA shrugs.

SANCHO: One successful date and you’re all sass?

TILDA shrugs again.

SANCHO see the painting and picks it up.

SANCHO: This me?

TILDA: She thought it was a cow?

SANCHO: What? It’s clearly me. See.

SANCHO holds the pad next to it’s head and grins. TILDA laughs. SANCHO sits on the floor next to her chair.

SANCHO: I’m tired, Tilds. It’s been a long time, hasn’t it.

TILDA nods.

SANCHO: You tired?

TILDA nods.

SANCHO: So why not finish this?

Beat.

TILDA nods.

TILDA stands up, picking up her bag. She looks at BERRY. Hesitates.

SANCHO: I’ll sort her out. I’ll catch you up.

TILDA nods and leaves the room.

SANCHO stands up and stands over BERRY.

BERRY moans and opens her eyes. It takes her a second to focus. She sees SANCHO, screams again and passes out.

SANCHO chuckles. SANCHO walks to the table, leans down and presses the button on the intercom.

SANCHO: Can we get a nurse in here please? We have a fainter.

Blackout.

Scene 6.

In which, TILDA fights an actual Dragon (CYBIL.)

An english country garden. CYBIL is on her knees aggressively weeding a flower bed.

TILDA walks in, with SANCHO bobbing along behond her. TILDA is carrying the rake and the bin lid.

TILDA: Mum?

CYBIL puts down the trowel she is using and looks up, shielding her eyes from the sun. She sees TILDA and sighs as she stands up.

TILDA walks towards CYBIL.

CYBIL: You’ve not called me that for some time.

CYBIL: Would you rather I called you CYBIL?

CYBIL purses her lips.

CYBIL [pointing to the trash can lid and the rake]: What’s that?

TILDA: A bin lid and a rake.

CYBIL: I can see that. But why?

TILDA: TILDA means worrior.

CYBIL: I know. I picked it.

TILDA: This is how I fight dragons.

CYBIL: Your brother said it was back.

TILDA: I don’t think SANCHO ever went away.

CYBIL: But you’re ok?

TILDA: Yes, actually.

CYBIL: Good.

CYBIL digs in a pocket and produces a packet of cigarettes. She pulls out one and lights it. She draws deeply, blowing smoke from her nostrils.

SANCHO sings.

SANCHO: Kill kill kill them all, kill them all, all of them

Kill kill kill them all, slay the dragons, beast and men,

Kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill

SANCHO sings the word kill over and over again while doing a hoolla dance.

CYBIL: Does it still want you to kill me?

TILDA: Dragons. Not you specifically.

CYBIL: Fine.

CYBIL drops her cigarette and stamps it out.

SANCHO stops dancing and singing.

TILDA: Mum, why didn’t you stop? After dad died?

Silence.

TILDA: Mum?

CYBIL: The damage was done.

TILDA: Dad died of lung cancer.

CYBIL: Yes, I know.

TILDA: Never smoked. Not one day in his life.

CYBIL: I know.

TILDA: Then why carry on?

CYBIL: Why not?

Silence.

CYBIL: Do you want to take a swing at me TILDA? All that pent up rage.

Silence.

CYBIL: Or maybe you are more a shouter these days? Really, the seething resentment must be exhausting.

Silence.

TILDA: SANCHO?

SANCHO: Yes?

TILDA: Come here.

SANCHO walks up to TILDA. She climbs on to it’s back. She brandished the lid like a shield and the rake like a lance.

CYBIL watches all thing unflinchingly.

TILDA kicks her heels into SANCHO’s thighs. SANCHO gives a mighty battle howls and they charge at CYBIL. CYBIL stands her ground not flinching.

The end of the rake connects with CYBIL’s cheek. She turns her head away. She puts her hand to her face, there is what looks like a series of claw marks.

TILDA pulls up SANCHO. She jumps off it’s back and runs to CYBIL, dropping the lid and rake.

TILDA: Oh god, mum, I’m so sorry.

TILDA reaches CYBIL. She tries to get CYBIL to turn her face so she can see CYBIL’s cheek. CYBIL turns to her and slaps her.

TILDA is momentarily stunned. Then she bursts into tears.

CYBIL scoops her up into her arms, pulling TILDA into a big embrace.

TILDA: I’m sorry mum, I’m sorry.

CYBIL makes shushing sounds.

CYBIL: No, Tilds. I’m sorry.

SANCHO looks at the two women for a while. It smiles sadly. Looks up the the sky. Blinks a couple of times. Then vanishes.

CYBIL and TILDA continue to hold each other.

CYBIL breaks the hold.

CYBIL: Right you. I think we need coffee.

CYBIL touches her cheek, flinches.

CYBIL: And some TCP.

TILDA: I’m sorry mum.

CYBIL: Nope. Coffee. Then talk. Then we fix all this.

CYBIL gestures at them both and the wider world.

CYBIL: Agreed?

TILDA nods.

CYBIL: Good.

TILDA: And can we talk about dad?

CYBIL nods.

TILDA: Good.

CYBIL: Excellent. Come on, I’ve even got some of those biscuits you like.

CYBIL strides off towards the house.

TILDA watches her for a moment. Looks up at the sky. Smiles.

TILDA runs after CYBIL, who puts her arm around TILDA.

Blackout.

 

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