by K. Brian Neel
A short play on the theme: "A Late Entry"
© 2007 all rights reserved
14/48 — July 20, 2007
PLAY # 6
Charlotte -- a mother
Bruce / Fetus Bruce / Carlos (her husband)
Frank / Fetus Frank / Zig (their best friend)
In black we hear the scream of a woman in labor.
DOCTOR: Don't push, Charlotte. They’re not ready.
Lights rise on Charlotte, legs spread for birthing, a sheet over her raised knees. The painful screaming wanes and a questioning look comes to her face. She reaches down and raises the sheet. Baby Bruce and Baby Frank are in her womb.
FETUS FRANK: Are we moving out?
FETUS BRUCE: Not dilated enough.
FETUS FRANK: I wonder if we're boys or girls.
FETUS BRUCE: Or both.
FETUS FRANK: I'm gonna check.
He disappears, swimming around the womb.
FETUS BRUCE: Look at mine too while you're down there. (to himself) The pressure on my skull is phenomenal.
FETUS FRANK: I'm a boy with a huge penis. I'm not sure about you.
FETUS BRUCE: What do you mean, not sure?
FETUS FRANK: You've got a sort of small lump that could be a penis.
FETUS BRUCE: You're confusing your chord.
FETUS FRANK: Check yourself.
FETUS FRANK: Damn, I've got a headache.
FETUS FRANK: Well?
FETUS BRUCE: You're right.
FETUS FRANK: Sorry, brother.
FETUS BRUCE: What a disappointing way to begin a life.
FETUS FRANK: I hope mom gets an epidural, I've got a big...
FETUS BRUCE: ... yea, me too!
BOTH: (calling up to her) Mom, get meds... We're in pain down here... Birth us... (etc.)
CHARLOTTE: It's okay, sweethearts. I'm in pain too, but I want to have a natural birth experience. Just stick in there for a little bit longer.
FETUS FRANK: What'd she say?
FETUS BRUCE: I don't know. I've got amniotic fluid in my ears. Hey, we've got that twin psychic thing!
FETUS FRANK: Sweet. Think of something and I'll psychic power it.
FETUS BRUCE: Okay.
He thinks. Frank concentrates.
FETUS FRANK: You're thinking: "my dad can beat up your dad."
FETUS BRUCE: No, I was wondering whether consciousness is physical or supernatural.
FETUS FRANK: (screams) It's mine! Give it back!
FETUS BRUCE: I don't have anything. I'm naked here.
FETUS FRANK: Just practicing for later.
FETUS BRUCE: Oh. Cool.
Charlotte screams, breathing heavily.
FETUS BRUCE: Here we go.
FETUS FRANK: When I take my first breath of hospital air I'm gonna scream like a punk rocker.
FETUS BRUCE: I'm gonna be all quiet and make her think I'm retarded.
FETUS FRANK: Sweet.
She screams and births them.
They become Carlos, standing beside Charlotte's bed, and Zig, standing nearby. She cradles the two baby bundles in her arms.
CHARLOTTE: I want them to have normal names. Frank and... (nothing comes to her.)
CHARLOTTE: Bruce. Frank and Bruce. Good boy names. (to Carlos) What do you think, dear?
CARLOS: They look... different.
CHARLOTTE: They're beautiful. Oh, look, Bruce has your nose. Look at that, it's like a little Carlos nose, so cute. Oh, and Frank's big eyes are...
They look closer at baby Frank. Then over at Zig. Zig, uncomfortable with their starring, joins them and peers down at the baby.
CARLOS: That's weird.
Awkward pause. Charlotte looks to Zig with guilt and pleading.
CHARLOTTE: I have to tell him.
CARLOS: What's going on?
CHARLOTTE: Carlos... Zig and I...
CARLOS: No way. Are you serious? No way, that's... wait a second. Are you saying that my sons?... (pointing) My son. His son? That's impossible. How can that happen? I mean, he'd have to have... like, right after we.... No.
CHARLOTTE: I love you.
CARLOS: No, you can't say that now. I'm leaving.
CHARLOTTE: Carlos! You can't leave me here like this. I need you.
Zig goes to comfort Charlotte.
Charlotte tells the babies a story, while getting up. She puts them to bed.
CHARLOTTE: Once upon a time there were twin brothers who were heroes. But before we talk about them, we have to talk about two other twin brothers. They were the sons of the creators and great game players. But they made a lot of noise playing their games, which annoyed the underworld lords. So the underworld lords had them killed and their heads put on a tree. A year later that tree bore fruit. One day a girl found the tree and ate the fruit and became pregnant. She gave birth to the hero twins, who were also great game players. Again, the underworld gods were annoyed. This time, they invited the hero twins to come down to play.
Charlotte watches the older boys play.
FRANK: I'm a tiger.
BRUCE: I'm a bear.
FRANK: I'm a dragon.
BRUCE: I'm a fly.
FRANK: I'm a spider.
BRUCE: I'm a human.
FRANK: I'm an infectious disease.
BRUCE: I'm a white blood cell.
FRANK: I'm cancer.
BRUCE: I'm radiation.
FRANK: I'm a genetic disease.
BRUCE: I'm... I'm...
Charlotte continues her story.
CHARLOTTE: The underworld lords put the dead brother’s head on a stick. But the other brother put his head back on his body and brought him back to life. This so amazed the underworld lords that they asked him to do the same trick on them. So the brother cut off their heads, but this time he didn’t bring them back to life.
FRANK: Only the other brother wasn't really alive.
CHARLOTTE: They ascended to the heavens.
FRANK: Only one became the sun.
Charlotte and Frank sit on a bench, starring forward.
CHARLOTTE: Your father and Zig were best friends since they were born. I slept with Zig only once.
FRANK: Jesus, mom.
CHARLOTTE: We were drinking, it was awkward...
CHARLOTTE: ... passionate, but fumbling...
CHARLOTTE: ... he came very quickly...
FRANK: Okay, stop, mom.
FRANK: Am I the bastard?
FRANK: Oh. (pause) Before he died he said to me: "I am sworn brother to grim necessity, and he and I will keep league till death."
CHARLOTTE: What does that mean?
FRANK: I don't know. He was the smart one.
CHARLOTTE: If you were his genetic twin, you wouldn't be with me right now.
FRANK: I love you, Mom.
CHARLOTTE: I love you too, Son.
Fade to black.
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