Monday, February 27, 2012

WIP and A Contest

I've done it. I submitted my latest short story to Corvus Magazine as part of the Write1Sub1 monthly challenge. I have also added another scene to the play, which you can read below, but sadly, inspiration has deserted me for the two novels.

On the acting front, we have almost cast 'Communicating Doors' and it looks like I get to be the villain again. This time it won't be a jokey villain or someone who isn't as bad as he's painted, I'll be a nasty piece of work who tries to kill people. I also get my just reward at the end, which I hope I'll be athletic enough to perform.

If you want to keep up with us, we have a facebook page you can 'like'.

Now, for scene 5, act 1 of the play, which I now have a working title for: Tomorrow's Just Another Play. As usual, all comments are welcome whether they are about grammar, typos, characters, scenes, action or anything else.

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Scene 4 (John's Kitchen, the following morning)

Margaret: Come on girls, there's a lot to do and I need your help.

Elizabeth and Elena walk in, stage left, tired.

Elizabeth: Yes mother.

Margaret: Elena, I need you to go and get some wood from outside so I can get the fire going to cook. (Elena exits stage right, still not awake) Elizabeth, you see what food is in the larder and bring me something that we can all eat for breakfast.

Elizabeth: Yes mother. (Exits stage left)

Margaret searches cupboards for cooking pots and utensils and, taking what she needs, places them on the stove. Elena walks back in with a twig and hands it to her mother.

Elena: This is all I could find, mother.

Margaret: Elena. There will be a large pile of wood outside, as there was at home. (She stops and looks into space, thinking of her home) Home. (Sighs. Continues to talk to Elena, but more gently) You remember how father used to stack it outside the kitchen door. Every house does something similar. Go and have another look please. (She kisses Elena on the forehead)

John enters stage left, followed by Elizabeth, who has no food.

John: You won't find any wood out there. The townspeople usually deliver some mid morning, but only enough for the house fires. It's all I ask for. It's the same with food.

Margaret: So how am I...(John holds up his hand to stop her talking)

John: However, I have been out this morning and asked for more wood to come and for the food to be delivered before we go to bed so there is something there for the morning. Unless you would like it done a different way? You are my housekeeper now.

Margaret looks on in silence for a moment.

Margaret: That is an unusual way of managing your household. Is that how your wife organised things?

John stiffens.

John: No. She kept house in the normal way, going to the market every day and bringing everything back with her. The children helped her most days.

Elena: What happened to them? Your family.

Margaret: Elena. Mr Maynard has told us, They died.

Elena: How?

Margaret is about to remonstrate with Elena when John stops her.

John: Tonight I'll tell you about my family and how they died. It's better that you discover the truth from me than from the tales you'll hear around the town. (John relaxes) For now, you can clean the house until the townspeople deliver the food and wood. Then prepare some lunch.

Margaret: But there is no wood to boil water.

John: I have been in the habit of eating a cold lunch and breakfast, then fasting overnight. That will no longer do. If you will make arrangements with the stall holders for various deliveries, you'll find them accommodating. (He turns to leave and notices Elizabeth) I'm sorry to have startled you in the larder.

Elizabeth: It's alright, sir. I should have been paying more attention to...

John: I should be more careful now I have people living in my house. I shall try and be more respectful in future. For now, ladies, I will retire to my room and rest. I was up early. (He bows slightly and exits stage left)

They wait until they hear the click of his door closing before anyone talks.

Elizabeth: He's hiding something mother, I can feel it. It makes me uncomfortable.

Margaret: I know, dear, but we have nowhere else to go. We'll just have to be careful.

Elena: I like him.

Elizabeth: You're too young to understand.

Elena: And you're too old to know anyone. You talk too much.

Margaret: Girls. Let's start cleaning. We have work to do. When he tells us about his family tonight we'll know a lot more about the man we're working for. Elena, you can help me in the kitchen and Elizabeth, you can search downstairs for any brooms and brushes.

Elizabeth: I don't like this mother. There's a feeling of death in this house. It's uncomfortable. I know we have nowhere else to go, but it still feels wrong.

Margaret walks over to and hugs Elizabeth.

Margaret: I feel it too. We'll find out more tonight. But for now, it's all we have. We're alive, in a house, warm and have food. It'll do for now. Tomorrow's just another play, as your father used to say.

Elizabeth: (Laughs) It's a pity he couldn't make any money with his plays or acting.

Margaret: It's not a lifestyle for women or for families. He sacrificed it for us and never regretted it.

Elena: Is that why they killed him?

Margaret: I don't know why they killed your father and I don't know as I ever will. So, until we get a chance to find out why, we have to live for today and make sure we live. Your father loved us all and made sure we were safe when they came hunting for him.

Elena: He led them away didn't he?

Elizabeth: Yes.

Elena: (Starts to cry) Why did they kill father? Why?

Margaret and Elizabeth gather round and hold Elena.

Margaret: Only they know why.

Elizabeth: Do they?

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Did I mention a contest? Of course I did.

Fellow writer, Lisa Shafer, is holding a contest at her blog in which you can win all sorts of goodies....well a T-shirt and a copy of the book, which I highly recommend.

See you on Wednesday.

8 comments:

Lisa Shafer said...

Thanks, Martin!

Shell Flower said...

This is a great scene, and I didn't notice any typos or errors. There is certainly a lot going on for this family and you do a great job prolonging the tension and mystery.

Karen S. said...

How wonderful! I forgot to mention that is was quite interesting to hear your interview...some how I missed that you are British, and what a delightful surprise when I heard you speak! My comment was so long over your interview that I absolutely didn't mention this....love your British accent! Good luck with all your writing!

Martin Willoughby said...

Lisa: You're very welcome. It's a great book.

Shell: Thankyou. I was wondering about the mystery and whether I was holding on too long.

Karen: My accent has changed over the years from a die-hard cockney to a more gentle Londonish. The fact that I can do various accents helps me on stage too.

Patti said...

A lot of mystery to be revealed. I like it.

Martin Willoughby said...

Patti: It'll be interesting to see how people feel when the mystery is revealed.

Milo James Fowler said...

Way to go on the sub, Martin! Are you planning to sign up for Script Frenzy in April? I'm in the process of hyping it up for my students.

Martin Willoughby said...

Milo: Thanks. Not heard about the April Frenzy. Is it on your blog?