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.
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: 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.
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?
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?
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.