School for Performing and Creative Arts, Cincinnati
Keeler Web-Work Collaborative Novella-writing Exercise
Casley Matey, Morgan Malone, Marita, Katie, Maya, Jessica Tucker, Joe Zappa, Jake Miller, Shannon Marshall, et al
“Bart, come in here.”
Boss called me in to his office and closed the door behind him.
“What is it?” I asked, nervously.
“Well Bart, to be honest, I don’t know if we can keep you on here."
“People have been talking. Just yesterday, I got a call from the man in jail.”
“The last man you TRIED to defend. Remember? He’s in jail.”
“Oh.” I looked down at my feet and shrugged. “That man killed 5 people with a kitchen knife. What could I do?”
“So, Bart, we're gonna have to let you go.”
“What? What do you mean?”
I blew up. “Five years I've been working here. Five years! And you're gonna throw it all away because a man who murdered 5 people with a blunt kitchen knife got what he deserved?”
Boss paused and looked hesitant. “Well if you put it that way-NO! That's not all it's about, Bart. It's complicated.”
“No! No! Everything's perfectly clear. I completely understand!”
Bartholomew slams the car door, narrowly missing his fingers. “God, this is the worst day EVER!”
Furious, he takes off for McDonald's, at about ten miles over the speed limit, deciding to allow himself to go off his diet.
Finally getting to McDonalds he orders 3 Big Macs, a large biggy fires and a diet coke. The people are taking forever to get his food so he taps his fingers on the dashboard mumbling every curse that comes to mind.
At long last, the mysterious voice of the drive-thru box instructs him to pull forward to the next window. He pays for his food, and greedily snatches it from the cashier's hands.
Susan walked into the room, dressed neatly in a turquoise pants suit, no sign that she had just been in a terrible auto accident when her car broadsided the car of someone pulling out of the drive through and injured them, impaing their head in their steering wheel.
“Close the door behind you, please, and have a seat,” he said.
“Thank you, sir,” she replied.
“So you want to work for my law firm. I've gone over your resume', you're very experienced.”
She looked at him eagerly. He went on.
“I've made my decision already. I think you're what this firm needs. But I want you to know that it won't be easy for you to fill the shoes of the man you're replacing. Are you sure you're up to it Miss Susan?”
“Yes, sir, I am.”
“Good. Be ready on Monday. That'll be all.”
Susan got up and shook the man's hand, professionally. She had a serious look on her face when she looked at him but as soon as she left the office, her joy was evident on her face.
Bart was sitting on the gurney with the steering wheel cutting off the circulation of blood to his head. So much so that he started to see birds flying around his head.
After the waiter assigns their seat Bart pulls out Mary's seat.
He rounds the table and sits down. Another waiter comes up and asks what their first choice would be.
“So how was your day so far?”
“Very good. I had to perform an open heart surgery this morning that lasted till two but other than that it's been the same ole thing.”
The waitress comes up to take their order.
So that will be grilled salmon, a Caesar salad, a steak and sautéed shrimp.
“Yes that will be all. Is there anything else you want, Mary?”
“Umm... Please don't put any pepper on my salmon. I'm highly allergic.”
“That would be fine.”
The waitress leaves and comes back with their meal.
“Taste it and see how it is Mary.”
She takes a piece and starts to chew savoring the buttery flavor. In an instant her eyes start to water and a shocked look comes into her face.
“Oh my God, she's choking! Someone help!”
They arrive in court, Bartholomew had on a black tuxedo with the sleeves rolled up. He had on no tie and the top two buttons of his shirt weren't buttoned. Susan came in, and she had on a dress that came down to about the middle of her calves, it was a red dress, (not too fancy) and it had a cute but appropriate jacket. They walked up and sat at their spots in the courtroom, Susan's sister sat behind her. The judge looked both of them, then he sat down and everyone did the same. And court began.
by Lyndsey Lyon & Amris Hinton , Morgan, Dirk, William, Libby, Muffy, Jordan, et al
Bright lights. Mab’s head pounded under the fierce glare of fluorescent lights. She winced, rubbed her eyes, and groaned.
“Look who’s finally coming around...”
Mab squinted into a craggy bearded face as she moaned “Why are you talking so loud?”
The face smiled. “I would hate to see you hung over... my god!”
“Love you too Mabster.”
“So... Chet... how long will this take?”
“Well... the radioactive fish genes will take about 2 to 3 days to reach their full effect. Now remember after that... you won’t be able to talk. All right?”
Mab swallowed hard. “Yes I understand.”
“Good,” Chet smiled, and his yellow teeth caused Mab’s stomach to turn.
“Now that you are all souped up and ready to go we have good news.”
“In 24 hours you will be on your way to Thailand where you will be put onto the showcase.”
“Helll no! I wasn’t ever told about that!”
“It doesn’t matter, I control you now, you are officially mine!”
“Not over my dead body!”
“Just get some rest, over time your cage will be filled with water.”
“You can’t do this to me!”
“Watch me,” and with that Chet locks the lid to her tank and leaves the room.
After a few moments, she hears the rushing of water and her tank slowly begins to fill. Mab’s mind began to race. As she looked around helplessly, her eyes fell on a small crack in the side of the tank. Normally, Plexiglas is indestructible. But when there is a weakness, it is possible to break it. Mab positioned herself in such a way that she would be able to exert the most force and kicked. The Plexiglas wall shattered. Still woozy from the medicine and surgery, Mab stumbled from the lab, grabbed a white lab coat, and ran.
As Mab emerged into the light, she began to feel winded.
“Oh no,” she thought, “the gills are taking effect!” She placed her hands around her neck and, sure enough, gills were formed on her neck. She panicked, but, to her joy, the circus was in town. She ran over to them.
“May I join you?” she asked the burly ringmaster.
He spits... “What can you do?”
Mab moved her brown hair from her neck and exposed her fully formed gills.
The ringmaster paled. “Holy shit! Are those... no... they ain’t real, but hel... go ahead and join us.”
Mab sighed gratefully. “Can I get some water? Like a whole tank?”
The ringmaster just nodded as he stared, gaping at Mab as she walked past.
—Fred honey, I have something important to tell you
—Ma, what a surprise, what’s up? You sound...
—I’m not well! I have a rare and peculiar... abnormality—well not exactly an—-I’m sick. I’ve got—bone cancer. I’m afraid I’m—I’ve got—They’ve given me two hours to live. Goodbye son.
—Ma! What?! 2 hours?!? Is this some kind of joke? Why wasn’t I told earlier? Ma! What’s going on? I’m flying out now.
—I’m at a hospice but visiting hours aren’t until tomorrow. I’m afraid this is goodbye.
—It can’t be! Ma this is crazy! Let me talk to someone. What’s the name of the place you’re staying?
—The name of the hspice is [unintelligible] Hello? I’m having static in the line. I think we have a bad connection—What? What? [click]
—Ma! Ma! Pick up! Goddamnit. Why didn’t I get *69? Fuck.
i am looking at myself in my side view mirror, its vertical crack displacing the symmetry of my face. I look tired. and i can feel one of my socks is inside out—the seam creating an intense annoyance against the ball of my foot—god i hate that. I realize my palms are starting to sweat and my tongue is dry and i think i might be hungry or nauseous or both. I think of the comforts... cost-benefit ratios, risk assessment files, spinning my office chair in gleeful, ecstatic revolutions when no one’s looking. okay i feel a bit better. It’s been almost twnety years since I’ve seen her. The image in my head is static, a photograph of her holding a crate of clementines and a blue plastic teacup in the back yard. I lock my car and hurry up the gravel path.
Fred walked toward the flashing lights of the circus, with the intent to kill... Chet, the hospice worker for fishy business. “But where could Chet be? I’ll ask that cotton candy worker.” Fred decided & approached the wooden booth.
“Hey... want... some... candy?” the young peddler offered.
“No, I just have a quick question. Have you seen Chet around?”
“Uh, you know... Russian, Girabaldi sympathizer, kind of big, thick accent, maybe wheeling a ginormouse fishbowl with a woman inside.”
“Dude,” the young stoner replied, “I... see... nothing... BUT... bowls...”
“I’m talking fish bowls here man!”
“Oh... yeah... I... saw one like, a couple minutes ago... heading that way.” The boy pointed toward an abandoned area leading towards the river. Chet followed the boy’s finger & saw Chet not but 100 yards away, wheeling a large fishbowl.
“Oh no!” Fred exclaimed & raced towards Chet, who was stealing his mother for profit, to sell her to the freak show... but Fred didn’t know that yet.
“What are you doing?!” Fred shrieked, closing the gap between himself and Chet.
“I’m stealing your mother to sell her for profit to sell her to the freak show.” Chet yelled behind him and continued wheeling the fishbowl away towards his mobile home waiting at the edge of the river.
“Not on my watch!” Fred shrieked and pulled out his weapon, the fannypack w/a potato skin inside.
Chet glanced back and saw what Fred was threatening to throw at him.
“Oh no!” Chet left the fish bowl and ran with Fred close behind.
OUTLINE FOR THE FINAL FIGHT TWIXT FRED AND CHET
SETTING: A large circus tent off the beaten path, unused and neglected. Nearby a cage of three old toothless tigers. A great ring in the tent, full of dust, where they fight.