Thursday, October 29, 2009

Week 41, Day 284 - "A Moth To A Flame"

“A Moth To A Flame”

Written by Joe Janes

10/29/09

284 of 365

CAST:

Hal, 20s

Maggie, 20s

(Hal enters the dimly lit stage. He is all dressed in white and wearing a silver cap. He looks around quickly. He quietly walks to one side of the stage and presses his pear-shaped body against the wall as best he can. We hear a fluttering/knocking offstage. We hear it again.)

MAGGIE

Hal? Hal? (Pause) Hal, I know you’re in there.

HAL (to himself)

Shit.

MAGGIE

Hal? Come on, Hal. Let me in. I’m not leaving until you talk to me.

(Resigned to his fate, Hal walks over and opens the door. In the dim light, Maggie, with brown moth wings, enters. There is a palpable tension between them.)

MAGGIE (continuing)

We need some light.

HAL

I don’t think that’s a good idea. You know what that might lead to.

MAGGIE

I can control myself.

HAL

If you could control yourself, I wouldn’t be in here hiding.

MAGGIE

You were just going to try to hide from me and not say good-bye? I think I at least deserve a good-bye.

HAL

Good-bye.

(Pause)

MAGGIE

A good-bye and an explanation. I think I at least deserve that.

HAL

I think it’s obvious.

MAGGIE

Not to me.

HAL

We’re not right for each other. We come from different worlds. Nature and utilities. I’ll only end up hurting you.

MAGGIE

You’re hurting me, now, so congratulations on your psychic ability.

HAL

Maggie, I don’t see how it could work. I’m a light bulb. You’re a moth.

MAGGIE

And I want to have lots of moth bulb babies with you.

HAL

We can’t make babies. I don’t make babies. I don’t have baby-making equipment. I’m nothing but glass and filaments.

MAGGIE

Glass and filaments in all the right places. I look at you and I just go (she takes a deep breath). You make me feel so alive.

HAL

I’m hot.

MAGGIE

A little full of yourself, but yes, you are hot.

HAL

No, Maggie. Whatever you’re attracted to in me is blinding you to the fact that we’re not compatible. That I’m

dangerous to you. I’ve seen it happen to other moths and light bulbs. The moth just throws herself at the light bulb, scorches her wings and can no longer fly. I don’t want that to happen to you. I think you’re beautiful –

MAGGIE

You do?

HAL

Yes. I do. And I can’t stand to bear the thought of being the bulb that burns those perfect wings.

MAGGIE (overdramatically)

I’d rather touch the sun once and die than never love at all. (Pause) Too much?

HAL

A bit.

MAGGIE

It’s crazy, I know. I don’t know why I’m so attracted to you. I just know I am. And if I am, and I feel it so strongly, so deep in my heart, how can it be so wrong?

HAL

I think it’s nature’s way of controlling the population. If we were all wildly attracted to the right being all the time, we’d do nothing but screw each other and nothing would ever get done.

MAGGIE

It’s not just that sweet bod of yours. That brain’s pretty exciting, too.

HAL

Thanks.

MAGGIE

Can I see you in all your glory one last time?

HAL

Okay, one last time.

(Hal glows. Light fills the stage. Maggie is getting visibly excited by all this. She can’t control herself and she throws herself at Hal and burns her wings. She falls to the ground. Hal turns off his light and holds her.)

HAL

Maggie, Maggie. Talk to me. Maggie!

MAGGIE

It was worth it.

(She collapses in his arms. Then comes around.)

MAGGIE (continuing)

I smell burnt dog hair.

HAL

That’s your wings.

MAGGIE

Ew.

(Blackout)

3 comments:

Aly said...

I like this one... however, I think you kill the joke when Hal says, "We come from different worlds. Nature and utilities." It would seem stronger, at least in my opinion, if he only said "I'm a light bulb, you're a moth," which he says later on, and that would be our first introduction into who they are. Nature and Utilities" is too cerebral language-wise, and what a writer would think, but maybe not an actual character of a light bulb, or moth, though I could be wrong, and usually am! now, off to fix a lightbulb in my bathroom, no, I'm not attracted to it. If only it were that easy.

Joe Janes said...

Actually, Alisa, I think you're right on. It was a last minute addition that I had doubts about.

Aly said...

It's Aly, not Alisa! Just kidding. I have to maintain anonymity on the Net, though I am fairly confidant only you, and my mom glance at my blog from time to time, which is fine by me, and you both know my name anyway. Looking forward to the next 365 sketch.