Monday, April 23, 2012


Goooooooooood Morrrrrrrrrning. For some unaccountable reason I'm in a good mood. Maybe it's because I've received another rejection, or it could be that I've finished the first draft of a short story and am waiting for critiques. It could easily be the pills kicking in. Whatever.

I received a rejection from Corvus magazine for Februaruy's W1S1 story, Jurors. In their rejection email the editor said the following: We enjoyed reading it and found the concept very interesting, unfortunately, it is not quite right for Corvus at this time.

Rejections aren't someting I worry about as it's another one for the writer's group list. When we collect ten of them between us, we celebrate with a meal as it means we've been doing some work.

April's short story for W1S1 is complete but will need some tweaking after I receive the critiques and I may well send Jurors out again. It's been rejected twice so far and I want to see if I can get it up to twleve by the end of the year, or have it accepted somewhere.

I've also added another couple of chapters to Apollo the thirteenth. I especially like the chapter where Mae and God are talking about time travel and how God can be everywhere at once.

With that, here's scene 6 (of nine) of the play 'wot I is writing'. This scene gets a bit tense at the end and I would appreciate comments of how it reads.


Scene 6 (Late evening/night. A field by a road on the way to Oxford)

The four of them are sitting and chatting and eating. They have stopped for the night and are getting ready to sleep. Elena is tying Elizabeth's hair in a plait

Elena: When will we get to Oxford, John?

John: By tomorrow evening.

Elena: Why can't we just continue on tonight? Elizabeth and I can sleep in the back.

Margaret: And who will drive the cart?

Elena: John.

John: And when do I sleep?

(Pause as Elena thinks)

Elena: Oh yes. (She continues doing Elizabeth's hair)

Margaret: Are you sure your brother's still interested in having you there? Even with us?

John: Yes. I wrote to him a day after you came into my house and his reply arrived a few days later. He's making room for us all.

Elizabeth: As a family?

John: No. As a household.

Elena: Are you going to marry mother?

Margaret/Elizabeth: Elena!

John: (Laughs) I have no plans to marry her. I will tell my brother that you are related to me through my marriage and I am caring for you.

Elena: But why don't you want to marry her?

John: Because I'm too old to get married again.

Elena: But the priest siad you can never be too old to marry. Unless you're a woman. If you're over thirty as a woman, you're too old, but not as a man.

Margaret: Elena, you can't force someone to...

Elena: But then, mother is over thirty, so I suppose she can't get married again.

Elizabeth: Are you finished with my hair yet? I'm getting a stiff neck.

Elena: Nearly.

(John and Margaret exchange knowing looks)

John: I'll go and sort the horse out for the night. Come when you're ready.

(John exits stage right. Elena finishes Elizabeth's hair)

Elena: All done

Elizabeth: Finally. You take so long to do my hair. Why?

Elena: Because I like your hair. It's so lovely to touch.

Elizabeth: Yours isn't. I can't wait to finish. It's usually covered in dirt where you've been playing in the mud and dust. It feels rotten and wiry.

Margaret: (Calm) Elizabeth, don't upset your sister. Take what she says as a compliment. Let's put everything away and go back to the cart.

Elena: There's something in the bush over there (She points to stage left).

Elizabeth: Probably a wolf come to get you and eat you.

She puts her hands on Elena's shoulders to scare her. Elena jumps and screams.

Elena: You're being horrible.

Elizabeth: Of course I am. I'm your big sister and that;s what big sisters do to little sisters. Isn't that right mother?

Margaret: No it isn't.

Elizabeth: It should be. Little sisters are rotten.

Elena: No we're not. Little sisters are perfect.

Margaret: And daughters should be helping their mother to gather up their belongings and get back to the cart.

They gather round and pick up the cloth and food and start to walk to stage right.

Elena: There's that sound again. (She turns to stage left)

Elizabeth: Then we'd better hurry or the wolf will get you.

Elena: It could be a rabbit.

Elizabeth: Good. We can catch it and eat it tomorrow.

Elena: You're horrible.

Margaret: Girls. Come on.

A man enters from stage left. It's the man Margaret saw talking to the potter in the town square He is carrying a gun and a sword.

Man: I'm no rabbit. More like a wolf. You should have listened to your sister and run, Elena.

Margaret: Run girls, run.

Another man enters from stage right, also carrying a gun and a sword.

Second Man: I wouldn't bother.

Elena: (Shouts) John!

Second Man: He's dead.

Margaret/Elizabeth: No.

Second Man: Yes. Shot him with this pistol.

Elena and Elizabeth get close to their mother.

Man: Now, Margaret, you and the girls are coming back to the village and die for your crime.

Margaret: What crime? I didn't do anything.

Man: Oh yes you did. You took one of our men as a husband and stopped a village woman from marrying him.

Elena: That's not a crime. Father loved her.

Second Man: Love's got nothing to do with it. It's about land and inheritance.

Man: And now you own it, we are going to kill you and marry the girls to a couple of properly chosen villagers.

Margaret: You two?

Man: Can you think of anyone better?

Elizabeth: Satan?

Second Man: He could only marry one of you.

The men approach the women.

Man: You can go voluntarily, or violently. I don't really care as long as the girls are alive when we get to the church.

Second Man: After the weddings...well, who cares what happens to you. If you're good, we may let you live. If not...I'll leave you're imaginations to work on that.

Elizabeth: I'd rather die.

Elena: So would I.

Man: Then you'll get your wish. In time.

The two men raise their guns and a gun is fired from offstage. The second man falls to the ground, dead. John enters stage right, sword in hand.

John: Ladies, get behind me.

They turn round and see John.

Margaret: They said you were dead.

John: Then I shall haunt them. (He points his sword at the man) Leave now, or die too.

Man: You have no gun.

John: And you have only one bullet.

Man: It'll be enough for you.

John: I doubt it.

Elena reaches down and picks up the second man's gun.

Elena: John. Here's a gun.

She runs over to John with it and the man fires. Elena falls to the ground. John runs at the man who runs away, stage left. Margaret and Elizabeth shout 'Elena' and run to her.


With that I'll bid you adieu and I'll see you on Wednesday


Nick Wilford said...

It's a great way to look at rejections. Something to show is better than nothing, eh?

Wonder who fired from offstage if John didn't have a gun? Good stuff. You definitely got the tension in there - I like the short sentences towards the end.

Martin Willoughby said...

Nick: Oops. Hadn't noticed that bit. Thankyou.