Category Archives: surreal theatre

Bombardment, Episode 21: Everything Stops

Splattworks concludes its presentation of Bombardment, a two-act drama by Steve Patterson.

Thank you all, over these last couple of weeks, for reading, for your support, and for your gracious comments. It has been a terrific pleasure watching the play’s readership rise and expand far beyond its humble beginnings, and it’s been great fun for me to spend time with the play again. Your comments, observations, etc., are welcome. If you would like to reach me off the blog, my e-mail is splatterson@mindspring.com

[EPISODE 21]

The wind dies down. Lights gradually rise. CARMELITA and PLACID hunch over, hanging on the lines like prisoners shot at the stake. ARETHA and CORNO stand with their backs to the audience.

ARETHA/CORNO: Hello? Hello? Anyone there? Hello?

ARETHA and CORNO face the audience. Their shades are gone, their eye sockets hollow. Blood streams down their faces. They stagger forward, fingers outstretched, becoming caught in the lines.

ARETHA/CORNO: Hello? Can you hear me? Can you help me? I can’t see. Help me, I’m caught. I need help. Please. I’m caught. Please, please, please….

They continue calling “please” as they struggle with the cords. Their calls take on a synchronous, mechanical quality. A chant. An incantation. The sounds of planes begin, steadily rising. Chant and airplanes rise to crescendo. Blackout. Everything stops.

End of play.


Bombardment, Episode 20: A Cloud from Above

Splattworks continues its presentation of Bombardment, a two-act drama by Steve Patterson. The author will attempt to post an installment each day, but, if events intercede, installments could arrive a day or so apart. So please be patient.

[EPISODE 20]

CARMELITA: Not me!
PLACID: Yes! Yes, you do! Remember? Remember his smile? His hair? Think how he felt. Filling up a room. How he kept you warm. How you were never cold.
CARMELITA: This is what we fought against. What we fought to stop.
ARETHA: My wrath.
PLACID: His smell. His taste. How he infected your senses. Remember how he playfully tugged your hair? Whispered your name into your neck? All the times you wondered if he loved you, if he loved you or was just pretending. Those lips told the answer.
CARMELITA: You don’t know what you’re doing. Stay away! We don’t want you!
CORNO: My lips on her neck.
PLACID: And the others. The ones who let you down. Who seduced you and used you. For your body. For your kindness. For your good will. Was he one of those?
CARMELITA: You weren’t there!
PLACID: Did he abandon you? Lead you into disaster? Knock you up and take your money? Take your pride? Leave you strung out in the tenement hotel room? Trust me, baby. Trust me. I love you. Look into your eyes and lie, lie, lie.
CARMELITA: We’re free of them, Placid! Don’t throw it away!
PLACID: Lying eyes. Lying lips. Lying tongues. Licking your hands. Licking your face. Probing your inner crevices. Your private secrets.
CARMELITA: Placid!
PLACID: What everybody wanted. What all the world wanted.
ARETHA: All the world.
PLACID: His touch saved. His touch relieved. Turned to fire. Turned to light. Steam. Wind. Feel it! Feel it, Carmelita!
CARMELITA: Don’t touch me!
PLACID: The swelling of your breasts. The trembling of your leg. The clenching of your calf.
ARETHA: The clenching of the calf.
PLACID: It’s there. It’s still there. You want him. You want him still.
ARETHA: You want him. I can feel it.
PLACID: His lips on your neck. His hands on your breasts.
CARMELITA: No, Corno–Placid! No, Placid!
CORNO: My hands on your breasts. My smile in your eyes.
PLACID: His weight and his scent, a cloud from above, and your body making way, moving on its own. Guided by his will. Beyond your control. Your legs spreading wide. At a touch. You can’t stop it. At a touch. He’s inside you! He’s inside you now!
CARMELITA: (Screaming) No!

Lights out.

[Next…the conclusion]


Bombardment, Episode 16: Sometimes a Pipe is Just a Pipe

Splattworks continues its presentation of Bombardment, a two-act drama by Steve Patterson. The author will attempt to post an installment each day, but, if events intercede, installments could arrive a day or so apart. So please be patient.

[EPISODE 16]

CARMELITA: I see him on his boat. Wearing his thick sweater, his plush woolen trousers. His hands upon the wheel. Steering. Turning. The prow cutting the waves. The spray. He’s standing in the sun. He’s standing in the sun, and he’s got that smile. Wind catching his hair, but he’s got that smile. The brilliant, too-large teeth. The trembling lips. His eyes squinting at the sun, at the wind, and you see through his eyes. You see tomorrow. It’s bright and it glistens in the wind, sharp and brilliant with promise. Oh yes. It’s right there in his eyes. In his smile. It’s there. There. It is right there. It’s still there. Oh god, it’s still there. Here. It’s here. He’s still here! Dear lord, he’s still here!

CARMELITA’s breath breaks into moans. PLACID continues reading. In the background and from opposite ends of the stage, ARETHA and CORNO slowly emerge from darkness. Dressed like PLACID and CARMELITA in Act I. Distant. Cool in shades. They are invisible to PLACID and CARMELITA. Everyone should be in place just as CARMELITA is about to orgasm. Suddenly, she stands.

CARMELITA: No! No.

Carefully, she places the pipe back in the rack. She grabs the carving knife.

CARMELITA: It’s here. The beast is here. I can smell it. Thought the smell was something else. Placid. Placid!

CARMELITA walks in front of PLACID, and cuts his paper in half.

PLACID: What the hell was that?
CARMELITA: Stock split.
PLACID: You know what that was? That was the newspaper. That was the last newspaper. There won’t be any more. That means we’re out of news. We won’t know what’s going on.
CARMELITA: What’s happening is–
PLACID: Wind.
CARMELITA: Wind? What wind?
PLACID: Winds of change. Yeah. Winds of change blowing. We got to be ready. Gotta be prepared.
CARMELITA: Or what?
PLACID: Or else we get blown away, babe. Plain and simple.
CARMELITA: A regular hurricane.
PLACID: That’s right. We’re right in the eyes and–
CARMELITA: Eye.
PLACID: Huh?
CARMELITA: Eye. Hurricane’s only have one eye. Go ahead.
PLACID: We’re right in that eye. Here, it’s calm. Real calm. But out there, right out there, it’s the worst midnight on the worst road of the worst winter. Believe you me. Right out that door it’s trees pulled out of the ground, roof tiles flying like hatchets, little girls and their dogs carried off.
CARMELITA: So we stay in the eye? We never move because of this hurricane?
PLACID: No. The hurricane shifts. Today it’s here, tomorrow it’s over there. And the eye moves with it. The stuff. We got this stuff now.

[To be continued]