Candlelight by Richard Bell

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(The scene is set at a dinner table in a dark house in winter. At one end is a slight, old man in his 70’s wrapped up warm with a woollen hat and fingerless gloves. At the other end of the table, propped up on the chair is a full length mirror. On the table is the remains of a meal and two candles, one at each end. That sets the scene.)

Old Man: (gazing at his reflection in the candlelit mirror)
Well, Hilda, we’ve dined like royalty at the table in our palace. You look so wonderful in your long gown that you first wore to the debutant ball. That night was marvellous. The warmth of a summer’s evening wafting into the great hall through the open doors and windows. It was as though we had invited the stars to descend and dance with us beneath the hanging crystals and twirling silhouettes. That night, the world had raised us on great platforms of hope and it seemed as though the future had been engraved with our names. Your eyes were dazzling flares that burst with every smile and pulled my heart from my jacket and into the strangeness of love. I knew that my plane would leave and that if you were not on it, I would lose you to a lifetime of regret. I hid you in the cargo hold and kept checking on you, pretending that I was air sick. I was put on a charge for smuggling you but the Captain knew that it was for love so he set us up in a little prefab house on the edge of the base. The house faced the sea and we would walk along the beach and talk for hours. I learned your language and you learned mine. I loved the surprise on your face when I would tell you how much I loved you in verse from your native tongue.
The war ended and we…
(The sound of breaking glass signalled another window smashed by the children on the estate. The candid flame a flicker as a cold draught rushes in to pinch the old man and he winces in pain)
They want me out so that their sister can live here with her babies. The money ran out trying to fix them time and again. The Police won’t come here any more.
They are like carrion just sitting and waiting. They watch without pity at this injustice.
Now, where were we? Oh yes! After the war we were given the prefab house and had so many years together walking our dogs and singing songs in the evening at the piano. Remember that piano? It was from the officers mess. We tried so hard for children but providence had no plans for offspring.
You made such beautiful clothes in your shop. One of a kind garments with colours gathered from the dreams of hummingbirds. The ladies would dance with their partners and when they twirled it seemed as though paradise was a kaleidoscope.
The candle is burning down to nothing.
These are the last of them and when they are extinguished then, my love, I will join you in the world beyond reflection.
You kept your illness from me, to spare me your agony, but I knew.
I knew because the flares would not burst in your eyes and my heart was left hanging in mid-air inside my jacket pocket.
You loved the soup I made from the greenhouse tomatoes and celery. I baked bread and we’d dine like royalty in our palace and sing our songs. Some lines in my language and some lines in yours.
When you died they took you away and, in my tortuous grief, I was sent here to an ante-room of life.
I can’t hear the waves on the shore only cries from wretched lives with no hope of escape.
I can’t hear the piano with its rich tones only mechanical sirens and their droning engines.
I can’t hear your voice like silk brushing the fur of a Persian cat only the whispering venom of the children as they wish me into my grave.
I am tired and cold, Hilda.
My skin is paper and my blood won’t reach my heart in the air in my jacket any more.
Will you warm me with a last smile and sing me to sleep?
(The old man picks up his fork and puts the last mouthful of food in before choking and pushing over the little tin of rat poison next to his plate. He takes his fork out and begins to wave it like a conductor’s baton as the candle flames flicker.
There’s more sound of broken glass and more shouts of abuse from children. The old man coughs and drops the fork onto the floor. The candle flames flicker and are extinguished)
I can hear the music, Hilda and see the warm stars through the windows beyond the chandeliers.
At last, I can reach my heart in the strangeness of love.

By-Candle-Light-candles-11662578-1280-800

Original written work by Richard Bell

Protected by The Freewill Writers Asylum Vaults since 2015

Protected by The Freewill Writers Asylum Vaults since 2015

**Click on any Image to redirect to the images webpage/designer where it has been provided.
All images are found using Google Image Search and are not always labelled
I hold no ownership to any image used unless otherwise stated**

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Woodwose by Richard Bell

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(The scene is set around a table ladened with drinks and books with three scholars seated and chatting. The subject of the paranormal crops up and the debate becomes heated. One of the scholars is conspicuously quiet. The other two proceed to delve into urban legend and the evening turns into who can tell the best ghost story. That sets the scene)
Prof. Guzman: But these are the dark spaces between theory and fact. They become a breeding ground for mysticism and folklore.
Prof. Trainor: The mysticism is held within the Chaos Theory. Every random act or unexpected result can be explained by that which does not follow a pattern of behaviour, be it pre determined or not.
Prof. Guzman: What about the documented evidence of levitation and a knowledge of dead languages and unannounced events? There are more things in heaven and earth…
Prof. Trainor: There you go again with the factory reset; heaven. It’s the lazy philosopher and scientist that falls back on the hallowed ground when they fall short of credibility. Smoke and mirrors, research, tricks, wires, recordings and alcohol added to hysteria and pretty much every event can be debunked.
Prof. Guzman: All I’m saying is dismiss the darkness at your peril. It is a living entity.
Prof. Trainor: Poppycock! It’s the absence of light and that is all. Everything that transpires in the dark is conjured by the imagination. Every emotion, every sense and every limb is heightened to primal dangers and those tend to be sharp teeth and claws.
Prof. Guzman: Know what your trouble is Trainor? You lack romance. You lack imagination. We need the imagination to see beyond the boundaries and into the dark places. That’s where we will find our advances…
(The third Professor, silent until now, finishes his drink and slams his glass upon the table before looking sternly at the other two)
Prof. Calder: I’ve been to the dark places. Those parts of the world beyond the safety barriers and the tour guides. The unimaginable monsters that hang from churches and in art and the printed word are founded in truth. What if I told you that they would come to you if properly summoned? What if I said that it wouldn’t be hours of ritual either? Would you find me credible or make me a laughing-stock?
(The other two Professors shift uneasily in their seats, pouring another drink and staring at Prof. Calder with incredulity. After a brief pause, Prof. Guzman leans forward and whispers “Go on!”)
Prof. Calder: This concerns something that pre dates magick as we know it. It is the about the Shadow Dimension. In English folklore lives a creature that was older than the primeval forests and appears in manuscripts and carvings on churches. These depictions were made to ward off this beast and keep the holy places safe from its presence.
Prof. Trainor: Shouldn’t we be say round a campfire with cub scouts and marshmallows?
Prof. Guzman: Be silent, Trainor and learn something. It might be your ticket to an imagination!
Prof. Calder: If you’re both going to bicker, I’ll save it for the lectern. I warn you though, it is a journey into darkness.
Prof Guzman & Trainor: (Together) Do go on.
Prof. Calder: Have you ever wondered about the origins of the gargoyle? About the hairy human beast leering from atop a parapet or above an arched door? The truth is far more insidious than the comedic representations make out. In fact, it’s down right terrifying. You see, we live in a world of illusion. Our eyes lie to us for our own protection. We see things in our peripheral vision and dismiss them as hokum or a trick of the light. But what if they were real beings passing just out of sight and beyond a reasonable explanation? What if I were to tell you the secret to seeing what’s REALLY right in front of you?
(Silent and intense, both professors shifted uneasily in their seats and continued to stare at Professor Calder as he placed his drink on the table and removed his jacket.)
Prof. Calder: You see gentlemen, it is quite simple. Tromp L’oreil or trick of the eye is the trump card for the Woodwose. He is the miscreant, the mis leader and the misanthrope. He steals the innocent away and leads them down dark paths and into his shadow world. He is the sylvan satyr and the Sasquatch. But do you know what his greatest trick is?
(Suddenly the lights flicker and dim then go out altogether leaving the room in pitch darkness. There is complete silence as a low grumble and a wheeze fills the room. The two Professors, Guzman and Trainor shift in their seats. Then for a moment the lights flash on to reveal, right in front of theirs, a huge hairy face with terrifying features and piercing red eyes. They both scream as the creature, who they realise is Professor Calder, whispers in a low growl
“Boo!”
The lights go out for the last time.)

chudmonster

Original written work by Richard Bell

Protected by The Freewill Writers Asylum Vaults since 2015

Protected by The Freewill Writers Asylum Vaults since 2015

**Click on any Image to redirect to the images webpage/designer where it has been provided.
All images are found using Google Image Search and are not always labelled
I hold no ownership to any image used unless otherwise stated**

Obscura by Richard Bell

(The scene is set in a bijou photographers studio in a picturesque, rural location. Inside the photographer, Vik Russon, is preparing for a shoot with a client who hasn’t arrived yet. His assistant is out on an errand and due back in an hour. He opens a cupboard, smiles at the contents then closes it slowly. There’s a knock at the door and he shouts “Come right in!” A tall, distinguished gentleman in his sixties enters and walks over to shake the photographers hand. As they exchange pleasantries, the gent winces at the strong grip. The photographer ushers him over to his computer to show him examples of his style. They are both looking at the slide show, which is unseen by the viewer, and the gent begins to frown and then to be visibly shaken. The photographer whispers something into his ear and the gent stifles a tear as he sheepishly walks in front of the camera to begin the shoot. That sets the scene.)
Vik: David, you’re a bit stiff, you need to be more natural. People can relate to a natural look, it puts them at ease. Even the shark smiles just before the big bite (laugh)
David: (Through a heavy sigh) Of course! I’ll try to relax. It’s a long drive from the city and I’ve three high-profile cases to fight.
Vik: Please, David, call me Vik. My friends call me Black Russian. On account of my sense of humour.
(David stares at him wide-eyed then looks at his hands which are shaking)
David: I like that a lot. My friends call me…they call me…uh…oh…I-I can’t remember my nickname. My caseloads are huge. I’m a QC for the defence and I have to endure bare-faced lies every day.
Vik: Spot a liar can you?
David: You get a sense…but not everyone is on the radar…not everyone…(whispered) please let them go.
Vik: Now, David! We have a shoot to do and an image to maintain. You need to be dignified and restrained with little emotion on show. It’s all in the eyes…all in the eyes…(grins at David who begins to sob again)
David: I think I should wear my wig and gown, Vik. It should be formal
Vik: Or a formality? Some people shouldn’t be defended, should they? I mean, you read their charge and you are aware of the evidence and the case is open and shut. And then the bank opens and the dinner bell rings and all the fat hogs descend upon the trough. There’s handshakes and misdirection and then the foreman delivers the walking papers. In a blink of an eye…or a shutter click…the pigs are set free. Blind justice and the last cigarette before dodging the bullet.
David: But it is not always that clear-cut and circumstances change throughout a trial. It is the job of the prosecution to convince the court of guilt. If they can’t…? You must understand that!
Vik: I understand that you play god. Since I can’t get an answer from the man in the sky then you will have to do.
David: They’re my family…
Vik: What about my family? What about the justice for my family. My god says eye for an eye. That’s why I’ve invited a guest today. The woman you set free. A drunk, rich killer that is here to get what she was meant to get at sentencing.
(Vik goes to the cupboard and opens it hastily reaching inside and pulling out a bound and gagged woman. The woman is crying and shaking and, as he throws her in front of David, she screams pleas from beneath the gag.)
Vik: David, you remember Lorna McDougall. She mowed down Olivia Russon and her son, Vladimir at a zebra crossing and switched seats with her corrupt husband then drove away like it was nothing. You remember defending her and laying card after card on the table to confound the jury and finally ‘persuading’ the foreman to acquit.
The foreman died in a hit and run a week ago.
Driver never found…
David: Please, Vik, It wasn’t like that. Donald McDougall is a statesman and he appealed. It was out of my hands. Circumstantial is not concrete.
Vik: Your family want you to do the right thing, David. In fact, they’re counting on it. (Vik moves to the computer screen and turns it to face David. It is apparent why David is so upset. His family are bound and gagged together with an explosive device on a detonator. Vik picks up his phone and says “Siri, call bomb!” David shouts out as the device next to his family begins to count down. Vik speaks to his phone again “Siri, disengage!” The counter is stopped. Vik then opens his desk drawer and hands David a pistol. David stares at the gun and then looks at the terrified sobbing Lorna)
David: Vik, I urge you, don’t do this. Revenge is not the way. You can still stop this and we can leave and never speak of this. I know that you are angry and devastated but we have all suffered. Lorna is divorced and I have a tumour.
Vik: Shut up! What do you know of suffering, lawyer? What do you know of loss. What do you know about burying your future? I lost everything and had to pull this meagre living out of the ashes. Now, shoot her through the head and go home. The disarm code is 4235. If you shoot me, I’ll detonate and your future is in ashes. Shoot her now!
David: Please Vik, don’t…
Vik: Siri…
David: (mouths to Lorna “I’m sorry” who screams under the gag) God forgive me…(David aims the gun at her head and pulls the trigger. Lorna flies backwards knocking over a light and spraying blood everywhere. David drops the gun and runs out of the studio, jumping into his car and driving away)
Vik: He’s gone, Lorna. You can get up now.
(Lorna stands and wipes the fake blood from her hair. She wraps her arms around Vik and gazes at the ring he bought her)
We sacrificed so much for our love and we are almost home free. A fresh start far away from it all. Well, we took care of your husband’s divorce lawyer. Now for the final act, to take care of your husband.

Obscura.svg

Original written work by Richard Bell

Protected by The Freewill Writers Asylum Vaults since 2015

Protected by The Freewill Writers Asylum Vaults since 2015

**Click on any Image to redirect to the images webpage/designer where it has been provided.
All images are found using Google Image Search and are not always labelled
I hold no ownership to any image used unless otherwise stated**