Monday, February 06, 2012


So, you ask, what has this man been writing since last Monday, aside from telling us about his blog awards and basking in the glory of them? Quite a bit.

I've started a new short story for this month's Write1Sub1 and watched two of my kids have a snowball fight. Oh yes, I've written scene 3 of the play, which is below for you to look at and comment on.

If you haven't seen this before and want to catch up, you can read scene 1 and scene 2 elsewhere on this blog


Scene 3 (Town Square, early evening)

Margaret, Elizabeth and Elena enter, stage left and sit down on a bench.

Elena: My feet ache.

Elizabeth: Everyone's feet ache Elena.

(pause) Margaret puts her head in her hands and starts to cry. Elizabeth puts her arm around Margaret's shoulders and hugs her.

Elizabeth: You've done your best mother. We'll have to go to the church for help, even if you don't want to.

Elena: Aren't they supposed to help the poor? That's what our priest said.

Margaret: What they say in pulpit and how they act aren't always the same thing, Elena. But your right Elizabeth. It's all we can do now, unless there's someone else in this village who will help, someone we haven't seen yet.

They hold each other, close their eyes and start to pray very quietly. John Maynard enters, stage left and stops. He walks up to their side and waits for a while before coughing.

John: Excuse me. Would you be Margaret, daughter of Harold Blackman?

Margaret: (screeches in surprise) Yes. And who are you? Sorry for screaming. You surprised me.

John: My name is John Maynard, a citizen of this village. I knew of your father, but didn't know him. He did some work for me on occasion. I was a merchant for many years and he used to make various items for my house. (looks at the girls) I assume these are your daughters. May I know their names?

Elizabeth: I am Elizabeth and this is my younger sister Elena.

John bows slightly.

John: Delighted to make your acquaintance.

Margaret: I didn't see you as I walked through town. We are returning to village after the death of my husband and hoped to find some work in a household, such as yours...

John: That is why I am here. My neighbours told me about you. You did knock on my door this morning, but I don't generally answer.

Elena: Why?

John: I have my reasons.

Elena: What are they?

Margaret: Be quiet girl.

John: She's entitled to ask the question. I am equally entitled to refuse an answer. For now.

Margaret: As I was saying...

John: You are looking for work and I have work available in my house. I haven't had any staff for some time now. I let them go last year. (Looks at Elena) No questions why?

Elena: You wouldn't tell me if I did ask.

Elizabeth: Hush. You'll get us into trouble.

John: No, she won't. It's been a while since someone has been honest with me and looked me in the eyes as you three have done. (Looks back to Margaret) If you do want to work as my housekeeper then I would be happy to employ you. At least until you find another man to take care of you and your daughters. You are still young after all.

Margaret: We can start today.

Elena: We have nowhere to go and mother doesn't want us to go to the priest.

John: I don't blame her. I wouldn't go to the church for poor relief either. (pause) Do I take it that you are willing to accept my offer?

Margaret: Yes. Please lead the way.

Elizabeth: We haven't eaten today, or slept in a bed for several days.

John: I have plenty of food and spare beds, providing you don't object to sharing a room.

Elena: We all slept in the same room. Mother used to keep me awake when she and father were rolling around...

Margaret: Hush. That's not the kind of talk I want to hear from you Elena.

Elena: Why did you shout for God?

John: I think you had best listen to your mother and say no more. It's the sort of thing you will discover when you get older.

Elena: Tom Mangold said that...

Elizabeth: (Puts her hand over Elena's mouth) Be quiet or you'll get us into trouble and we won't have a bed for the night.

John: (Talking to Elena) You remind of my own daughter.

Margaret: How many children do you have?

John: (Stiffens) I used to have three. They died. Follow me if you want the work and a place to sleep.

John exits stage left

Margaret: (Starts to walk) Come on girls.

Elizabeth: But what if he...

Margaret: If he what? Do you have another place where we can go? I don't know what he's like, but tonight we will eat and sleep in a warm house. Tomorrow we shall see what the day brings. Now come along.

The girls hesitate for a second, then walk to their mother, stage left. As Margaret exits Elena speaks.

Elena: I was going to say that Tom Mangold said they were fighting over going to church.

Elizabeth: No you weren't. I heard exactly what Tom said. And his suggestion that the two of you copy them.

Elena: Is that why you hit him?

Elizabeth: Yes.

The two of them exit stage left.


As always, comments and questions welcome.

The short story is a comedy, which I'll tell you more about, and post an excerptfrom next week once I've given it the first edit and made some changes.

With that, I bid you adieu and I shall see you on Wednesday.


Caitlin said...

I'm really excited to see how Write1Sub1 is going to go for you. Great scene!

Deana said...

You've got some real talent Martin. I had a smile on my face the whole time I read this:) I hope you post more!

Tess said...

oh, stage writing terrifies me ... very nice work! And, snow? we have none here and I live in the blasted Rocky Mountains!!

not that I'm complaining.

Martin Willoughby said...

Caitlin: It's a great motivator to do some writing.

Deana: Thankyou. I'll keep posting scenes as I write them, partly because it gives me the incentive to write.

Tess: I find scriptwriting easier as I can focus on speech instead of description. If you want the snow, you can have it.

Patti said...

I would like to try stage writing, because I love writing dialogue.

Alice said...

You've been busy. Good work!

Martin Willoughby said...

Patti: Give it a go.

Alice: I like being busy. Life's boring otherwise.