Untitled Play by Will Malkus

(Lights up on an apartment, with a worn couch and an easy chair center stage. Some posters may be up on the back walls, and a small kitchenette stage right, just a sink and an oven, very simple. An end table may be next to the couch, with a lamp and a telephone on it. The stairwell and front door are stage left exits, the bedrooms are stage right exits. Trevor enters stage left, very obviously agitated. He leaps over the couch and scans the room carefully.)

Trevor: Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ!

Mark: (From far offstage.) Shut UP, Trevor!

Trevor: Mark, your hysterics aren’t helping anyone!

(Trevor sits down on the couch, then abruptly drops to his hands and knees to check under it. Still on hands and knees, he quickly crawls towards the easy chair and does the same thing.)

Mark: (Still from offstage, but closer now.) Would you mind helping me, maybe?

Trevor: Calm DOWN, Mark! (He exits stage left, and reenters with Mark, a black trash bag in the rough shape of a body carried between them. It’s clearly fairly heavy, and Mark is out of breath from having to haul it up the stairs. They deposit it on the couch, then both stare at in silence for a moment.)

Trevor: Ohh my god. Oh my god.

Mark: Shut up, Trevor! Shut up.

Trevor: (In a despairing monotone.) Court. Trial. Jail. Death.

Mark: Trevor! Shut. Up.

Trevor: (Panicked) Okay! (He paces to the other side of the sofa) Oh god.

Mark: I’m trying to think.

Trevor: This is bad, this is so, so bad. This can’t happen, Mark. How does this happen?! Who does this happen to? Terrible people! We aren’t terrible people! (He pauses for a second to look at Mark more critically.) Well, I’m not, I guess I don’t really know what you do in your free time. But this didn’t happen, right? I mean, it doesn’t. It doesn’t do that.

Mark: (Trying to pacify him.) It’s okay.

Trevor: It’s okay?!

Mark: It’s okay.

Trevor: (Calmer.) It’s okay?

Mark: (Distracted.) Yes.

Trevor: Good. Okay, good. (Takes a deep breath.) It’s okay.

(They both resume silently staring at the plastic bag.)

Mark: They ran out in front of us.

Trevor: “They?!” How many people do you think we hit?!

Mark: Look, I don’t know if it was a man or a woman!

Trevor: (Applauds sarcastically in Mark’s direction. As he does so, Mark balls his hands up into fists, closes his eyes, or gives some other outward sign of exasperation.) Oh, well done, Mark! When the police show up, we’ll just tell them-

Mark: There aren’t going to be any cops.

Trevor: (Catches his drift. Disbelieving gasp.) Mark.

Mark: I just mean…there might not be cops. I mean, it was dark, right? Night time. Night time is dark.

Trevor: Not on Commonwealth at ten o’clock!

Mark: All I’m saying is there might not be cops.

Trevor: What are you TALKING about? Of course there are going to be cops! We freaking HIT someone!

Mark: Okay, THEY ran out in front of us! We didn’t do anything wrong. We were driving home, and this maniac (He nudges at the trash bag with his toe.) jumped out in front of an oncoming vehicle.

Trevor: (Screams.) Don’t do that!

Mark: (Jumping back in surprise.) Jesus! Don’t do what?!

Trevor: Don’t…kick him!

Mark: “Him?” Oh, what the fuck, Trevor-

Trevor: Look, we (Looks around furtively as if making sure they’re alone still. His voice drops slightly.) killed the poor bastard, the least we can do is assign him a gender!

Mark: It was his fault!

Trevor: I just-(Pauses.) Okay, not to split hairs, but I’m glad you agree that he’s a “he.”

Mark: Fuck your fucking gender, Trevor!

Trevor: It’s not MY gender on the table here, Mark.

Mark: You’re losing it, man. You have to pull yourself together!

Trevor: There is a BODY. On the couch. That YOU stole.

Mark: (Stares at Trevor wonderingly.) I don’t even…what the hell is wrong with you, Trevor? Seriously.

Trevor: I’m guilty of caring too much, Mark. If anything, I’m guilty of caring too much.

Mark: I’m not listening to this. (Moves to exit stage left.)

Trevor: Where are you going?!

Mark: Out. I just remembered why we’re not friends.

Trevor: You can’t leave now! What are we going to do about…(Gestures frantically at the body.) this?

Mark: (Stops and turns around.) Well I’ll tell you what we’re not going to do, okay? We’re not going to tell anyone about this, we’re not going to let anyone into the apartment, and we’re definitely, absolutely, NOT going to open the bag. Right? (Trevor gives some outward sign of acquiescence.) Good. (Mark exits stage left.)

Trevor: (Quietly.) Worried about germs on your stolen furniture.

Mark: (Reenters quickly, his ire returned full force.) For the last fucking time, it was on the sidewalk. Someone was trying to get rid of it.

Trevor: You don’t know that. What if they were moving in and just set it down for a second?

Mark: I was…you don’t even…why are you talking about our couch?!

Trevor: Your couch. I don’t want anything to do with it.

Mark: Do you maybe think the dead guy is just slightly more pressing than a misappropriated piece of furniture?!

Trevor: I’m not your accomplice.

Mark: (Pauses.) Trevor.

Trevor: Hmm?

Mark: Body.

Trevor: What’s your point?

Mark: We are accomplices. Jesus, we are.

(They both let that sink in and stare at the body. It mirrors where they stood at the beginning of the scene.)

Trevor: Does that mean we’re friends?

Scene.

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