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DDs by neurotype

Written by RandomNinjaNumber38

LiteratureDevious Collection by Kallios


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August 5, 2010
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MAN - rough, professional, thirty to forty years old

WOMAN - broken, devout, same age as MAN

BOSS - played by a man or a woman, soft demeanor, forty to fifty years old


(Lights up on WOMAN, who is sitting at an empty conference-size table with her face resting in the crook of her arm, her hands shackled. The room's brick walls are grey and look freshly painted. There is a cracked mirror on the back wall, about the same size as the table. An empty chair sits opposite WOMAN. The one door out of the room is heavy and closes and opens with eerie silence. MAN enters with a file in hand and jingling keys on his belt.)
MAN
Wake up.

WOMAN
I wasn't sleeping.  Praying.

MAN
Do you honestly think your god can save you?

WOMAN
I was asking Him if He would save you.
(MAN knocks WOMAN's chair over.  WOMAN crawls to her knees.)
When are you going to realize that stuff doesn't work on me?  I mean, if it hasn't worked up to now why do you persist?  It's never going to work.  I won't do it.

MAN
I could ask the same of you.  You pray, and you pray, and it's obvious that your god doesn't hear you.  Rumor has it, you know, that he forgot to put batteries in his hearing aid.  The old fool.

WOMAN
My God hears me.

MAN
Of course he does—just like he heard your precious Heidi and darling Ni-Ki-ta.  Face the truth:  You're hopeless.

WOMAN
(singing softly) My hope is built on nothing less than—

MAN
Shut up.

WOMAN
(slightly louder) I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean—

MAN
Be quiet!  Sickens me, the way they've deluded you into believing that stuff. (beat) Aw, now you've got that—that tune stuck in my head!

WOMAN
I'm sorry it bothers you.

MAN
It doesn't bother me—just sickens me, the thought.

WOMAN
Which thought?

MAN
Hey!  I ask the questions around here, not you.  You got that?

WOMAN
Got that.
(MAN rubs his neck, scratches his nose and picks up the overturned chair.  MAN helps WOMAN to her feet, seats her down in the chair and unlocks her handcuffs.)
MAN
So, enough with the metaphysics.  We'll get to the issue.

WOMAN
Always "the issue."

MAN
Do not interrupt.  I do not—

MAN and WOMAN
—tolerate interruption.

MAN
Yes.
(MAN opens file and sits down.)
Tell me all about Mrs. Vivian Schmidt.

WOMAN
Is that what the issue is today?  Why do you want to go to that again?  She's dead, you said.  Found her dead in her home not long after you picked me up.

MAN
Tell me about her life.  Tell us.

WOMAN
There's not much to tell.  Yes, she is…or was the widow down the block who would look after Nikita and Heidi for me when I had to work.  She lived off of the pension her husband earned after serving in the military.  You've already found her body; why do you ask this now?

MAN
Yes, well, apparently, she is not as dead as we originally thought.  The body we found in her house was extremely…compromised by decay, and it would seem that we assumed too quickly that it was Mrs. Schmidt we had.

WOMAN
Well, I don't know where she is.  I don't know where anybody is anymore.  You ask me the same things over and over, and I've told you nothing because I know next to nothing.

MAN
And it is that "next to nothing" which I need you to tell me.  Right now what you know.

WOMAN
Jesus loves me, this I know.
(WOMAN spits on the file, barely missing MAN's hands.)
MAN
You'll be sorry.

WOMAN
What're you going to do?  Beat me…again?  Whip me…again?  Open your eyes; it's not working.  Open your eyes and see the truth that's all around us.

MAN
What truth?

WOMAN
That you can't crack me.
(MAN stands up, crosses behind WOMAN and places his hands on her shoulders, almost tenderly.)
MAN
Why would I want to crack such a pretty little trinket?  When I could just ravage it, instead?
(MAN flings WOMAN to ground, pins her underneath him and straddles her with his legs. BOSS enters and slams a club against the door.)
BOSS
Enough!  Get up.  You, you need to cool off.  Take a walk.
(MAN stands and goes toward the door.  Before exiting, MAN takes one last glare at WOMAN, who is still on the floor, staring blankly at the ceiling. BOSS sets the club on the table and sits down on the floor beside WOMAN.)
You alright? (beat) You look like you'll make it. You're strong.  I know you are. (beat) Yeah, he's a little high-strung. (beat) Guess you know that already, don't you? (beat) It's hard to keep a guy like that around, but the punk's good at what he does, and my higher-ups tell me I got to use him. (beat) He's good at cracking tough eggs like yourself. (beat) Sorry I didn't see that coming sooner.  Would've come in, but…what're gonna do?  Y'live and y'learn. (beat) You're awfully quiet.  Why don't you sing me a song?  I know you've got a pretty voice under there, somewhere. (beat) Don't want to sing?  That's alright.  I get it.  You're a little shy around authority. (beat) You know I'm no flunky like, like…uh that, that punk before, whatsisname.  You know. (beat) Just between you and me, I call him my flunky punk.  You like that? (beat) What's that I see, a little smile?  Huh?  Flunky punk. (beat) So, yeah, while he's out there cooling off, why don't we talk a little about Mrs. Schmidt, huh?  Okay?
(WOMAN sits up, her arms crossed and clutching her chest.)
WOMAN
Okay.
(BOSS reaches for and picks up the file on the table.)
BOSS
Okay, so we have that she supposedly died last December from natural causes, alone in her house with 'er dog, uh, Sebastian chewing on 'er arms and legs.
(BOSS turns page.)
But then, we discovered that the corpse was not Mrs. Schmidt but Mrs. Dreyfisk, her sister.  Her twin sister. (beat) What a world, huh?

WOMAN
What a world, indeed.

BOSS
Quite the coincidence, doncha think?

WOMAN
Quite the coincidence.
(BOSS slides the file over to WOMAN, who ignores it.)
BOSS
Why doncha take a look, try to help us understand—figure out what's goin' on?

WOMAN
What would I know about any of this?  I'm just a low-level subversive.  How could I know anything about this?  The woman disappeared after you people took me into custody.  I. Don't. Know. Anything.

BOSS
I believe you—I do—But come on: we both know you're not just a low-level.  There's something you know, even if you don't know you know.
(WOMAN picks up the file and tosses it across the floor, scattering papers all over.)
WOMAN
I can't help you do this.

BOSS
You'll have to, one way…or the other.

WOMAN
(quietly, but steadily, quoting) You, Lord, are my shepherd.  I will never be in need.  You let me rest in fields of green grass.  You lead me to streams of peaceful water; You give me new strength.  You lead me on paths that are right, for the good of Your name.  Even though I walk through the darkness which is darker than death, I fear no harm, because You are there, with me. (beat) With me.

BOSS
Are you finished?

WOMAN
I've forgotten how the rest of it goes.
(BOSS stands and picks up the club from the table.)
BOSS
I don't know what to say.

WOMAN
Hm?

BOSS
I don't know what to say that will make this easier for you to hear.
(WOMAN sits up.)
WOMAN
What?  What do you…what are you sayi—

BOSS
Nikita is still alive.  We have kept her for such a time as this.  When we have no other option.

WOMAN
You leave my Nikita alone!  You leave her alone!  You had better leave her alone, or I'll—

BOSS
I have no intention of hurting Nikita. (beat) But my flunky punk, as you know, sometimes does things that I cannot condone, cannot control, cannot…mention.

WOMAN
You…you…wouldn't…
(BOSS picks up the pieces of paper on the floor and hands them to WOMAN.)
BOSS
Look and see what you can tell us.
(WOMAN takes the papers and looks at them with intense eyes.)
WOMAN
I—I don't see anything that I recognize…It's been so long since—

BOSS
—Try.
(WOMAN flips through more of the papers.)
WOMAN
I—There's nothing here!  I can't help you!  I would, but there's nothing!  You have to believe me; I don't know anything about this.
(MAN enters. BOSS walks over toward him. WOMAN scoots away.)
MAN
You're being too soft on the woman, boss.  Allow me a moment with her.  I promise to behave myself.

BOSS
Alright, but remember, I'm watching.
(BOSS exits. MAN turns chair towards WOMAN and sits down in it.)
MAN
So, that's some interesting news, isn't it?  About Ni-Ki-ta?

WOMAN
(softly) My life is but a breath; my eyes will never see happiness again.  Your eye that sees me now will quite soon see me no longer; You might look for me, but I will be no more.  When a cloud evaporates, it's gone for good, and those who go to the grave never come back.

MAN
Oh, shut up.  I almost preferred it when you were just singing that nonsense.

WOMAN
I won't even try to argue with you that it's not nonsense.

MAN
Why?  Because you now see its futility?

WOMAN
Because I see yours.
(MAN moves toward WOMAN, as if to slap her, but then stops.)
MAN
Never mind.  It's like spanking a doll.
(MAN remains standing.)
WOMAN
How do you like your job, sir?

MAN
That's a new one.  I like it just fine.  How do you like yours?

WOMAN
Were you good?  Did you…control yourself with Nikita?

MAN
I controlled myself just fine.  Little ones aren't my thing.

WOMAN
(not to MAN) Thank God.

MAN
Be quiet.  Be quiet about that stuff.

WOMAN
Still bothers you?

MAN
Sickens me!  Sickens me!  Must I remind you?  It sickens me!  There is a difference.

WOMAN
Why do you think it sickens you—If it's (like you said) just nonsense about a deaf old fool who can't remember to replace the batteries in his hearing aid?  Why would it sicken you?

MAN
Do not ask questions; that is my job.

WOMAN
Of course.  Forgot.

MAN
Now…
(MAN takes file papers from WOMAN and sits in chair.)
Vivian Schmidt's twin sister is dead, thought for some time to be Vivian Schmidt, and we believe now that the sister's body was deliberately placed in the house to make us think that Vivian was not alive.  Deliberately placed there by other subversives.  Now, why would they do that, do you think?  Huh?  (beat) Speak!

WOMAN
Vivian was a member of us.  But you—you already know that.  I don't know if it's connected.

MAN
Vivian is. She is a part of your group.  Tell me:  why would they do what they did?  What are they up to?

WOMAN
I don't know.  I wasn't there.

MAN
What were they up to when you left?

WOMAN
They—they weren't up to anything.  After you killed—we thought you killed—Nikita and Heidi, we decided to lie low for a while, until we felt the Spirit lead us differently.

MAN
And "the spirit" wasn't leading anyone when we picked you up?

WOMAN
He always leads us.
(MAN drops papers and roughly picks WOMAN up from the floor.)
MAN
I don't have time to play games here.  Understand?

WOMAN
I'm sorry.  Please, I'm sorry.

MAN
Tell me why you're sorry.
(MAN tightens his grip on WOMAN, who reacts with pain.)
What are you sorry for saying to me, again?

WOMAN
The…nonsense, it sickens you.  Makes you sick.
(MAN releases WOMAN, who sits down in chair.)
MAN
They think you're dead out there.  We're pretty sure they believed what we've been feeding them, just like you believed it about Ni-Ki-ta and Heidi.  Of course, with Heidi… We can't lie all of the time, after all.

WOMAN
Sometimes, the worst is true.

MAN
Yes.  Yes, it is. (beat) I know how it happened.  With Heidi.

WOMAN
You—?

MAN
No.  I was barely on-duty at the time.

WOMAN
Tell me what happened.

MAN
Tell me what is going on with the subversives!

WOMAN
Tell me how my daughter died…and I'll tell you what I know.

MAN
Promise?
(WOMAN nods.)
She fell.  Down some stairs, poor thing.  From what I've…read in the reports, she got loose…somehow, and ran, but then—oops-a-daisy!—the girl tripped on her shackles.  Snap.  Very quick.  Little or no pain involved.

WOMAN
You monster.

MAN
You promised.  Tell us. (beat) Now!

WOMAN
Alright. (breath) We were beginning to suspect that the information we were intercepting was being deliberately falsified.  Too many raids in the right places at the right times, you know?  Now, I don't know for sure, but this Vivian thing—with her twin—might have something to do with those suspicions.  Your boss said the twin, uh, Dreyfisk, died of natural causes; maybe they saw it as some weird opportunity for something.  I'm just not sure.  Maybe they're testing you, I dunno.  That's all I know; I promise.

MAN
You promise?  Swear it.

WOMAN
I promise.  I do not swear.

MAN
Swear on your daughter's life.

WOMAN
I won't!

MAN
Do it, or she dies!

WOMAN
You don't have that authority.

MAN
Oh, but I know someone who does.  OH BO-OSS!
(BOSS enters.)
BOSS
I have the authority.
(WOMAN begs at BOSS's feet.)
WOMAN
No, please…please…please…(continues)

BOSS
(to MAN) What're you doing?  What d'you think you're going to accomplish with this?  She's in complete hysterics, for cryi— (pause) I think you've come to the end of the line with this one.

MAN
There is more in there.  I am certain, with a little more poking, I can break—

BOSS
I have watched you work, and you are clearly good at what you do.  However, with that kinda skill comes a good amount of self-delusion.  You think you're incapable of error, that nothing you do could be a mistake—because you're too good to let anything slip.  You're not perfect.  And I think you're making a mistake, pushing this one.

MAN
I know what I'm doing.
(WOMAN stops begging and begins talking, almost coherently.)
WOMAN
Scrub away my guilt.  Soak out my sins in Your laundry.  I know how bad I've been—a bad, bad girl—my sins are staring me down.  Against You, You only, have I sinned and done things that are evil in Your sight.  So it is right and fair, only right and fair, for You to correct and punish me.  You crushed my bones; now let them celebrate.

BOSS
(to MAN) I think you're making a mistake with this one.

MAN
I've got it.
(BOSS shakes head and exits.)
WOMAN
Open my lips; thy praise shall spew forth!

MAN
Snap out of it.

WOMAN
The Lord gives and takes away. (beat) Did you have a good mother?

MAN
This is also new.  Answer me this:  Do you think you're a good mother?  Just because you cry?  Because you shed tears and beg?  That, that makes you nothing.

WOMAN
(earnestly) What did she do to you?

MAN
I ask the questions.

WOMAN
Did she even love you?

MAN
Shut up.  Shut up.  Shut up.  Shut up.  Shut up.  Shut up.  Shut up.  Shut up.
(MAN slaps and hits WOMAN over and over again until his rage subsides. WOMAN points a finger pistol at her temple and another at MAN.)
WOMAN
Whatever you fling at me, whatever means you take to desecrate me, whatever words you twist and threats you make against me, I won't be able to help you.  I don't know any more.  I know nothing.  You get it?  Nuh-thing.  Not a thing.  My pockets are all turned out; you've smashed my piggy bank with a hammer; my stomach is purged, and my throat burns with bile.  I am empty, sir.  Empty.  I am empty.
(BOSS enters, indicates to MAN to place the handcuffs on WOMAN.  MAN obeys, and leads her to the door.  WOMAN exits.)
BOSS
Couldn't rattle anythin' more out of her, eh?  Just ended up plain-ol' rattling her brains.  Inevitable. (beat) O'course, like I tried to tell you, her usefulness to us was already used up.  But you're a stubborn fellow.  Gotta try things for yourself. (beat) In the old days, they'd call you obstinate, like a mule.  Might've made a good scientist, with all your determination and smarts—if you weren't so good here, obviously.  Who can say?
(MAN sits in chair.)
MAN
Who can say.  If she were still here, she'd say her god could say.  What a trip.  I wouldn't say this to her, but I almost envy them and their delusion.  Life becomes so much simpler, much more certain for them.

BOSS
And yet, they are considered dangerous subversives, enemies.

MAN
As they well should be!

BOSS
Should they, really?

MAN
Is that a philosophical question, or are you playing the devil's advocate?

BOSS
What do you think?

MAN
I'm so tired, I don't know what to think.
(Pause.)
BOSS
You seemed pretty rattled yourself when she asked about your mother.  You alright?

MAN
Sure, fine.

BOSS
Alright. (beat) Well, I guess it's a little late to start another one.

MAN
Yes, indeed.  I need to get some sleep.  Fresh start tomorrow.
(MAN starts to leave.)
BOSS
Hold up.  Stay a minute.

MAN
But—

BOSS
But nothin'.  I'm serious.  You didn't look alright back there, and you'd better start telling me the truth.  Now, what's goin' on?

MAN
Nothing is going on.

BOSS
What happened with your mother?

MAN
With all due respect, shove off.  Leave it alone.

BOSS
Alright, alright. (beat) Man, what a day.  Some nuts really are harder to crack.  But you did good.
(MAN holds his breath at the word "crack." BOSS does not notice.)
MAN
I always do.

BOSS
Do you think she thinks the kid is still alive?  I mean, really?

MAN
I think that she'll believe anything that makes her feel better.  Probably what made her such a determined subversive.

BOSS
But then, y'gotta wonder, if they're so emotionally weak, how do they go through what we put 'em through when we get them here?

MAN
It's all a sick delusion.  Like a drug, it numbs them to reality.  Helps them face it—or not face it, really.

BOSS
And then, we separate them from all reality.  Crack.
(MAN flinches at the word. BOSS notices.)
What's with you?

MAN
Nothing.  Just…memories.

BOSS
What sort?

MAN
Nothing you want to hear.

BOSS
Oh, that sort.

MAN
No, not that sort.  Family stuff.  Nothing.

BOSS
You keep saying "nothing," and I'm having trouble believing that.  "Protest too much" and all that.

MAN
It's not nothing.  I simply do not wish to discuss it.

BOSS
Something to do with "crack?"
(MAN flinches, more than before.)
That's really strange, kid.

MAN
I'll see you tomorrow.
(MAN reaches for the door.)
BOSS
Hey, I was only making an observation.

MAN
Well, then.  All is forgiven.
(MAN puts hand on door.)
BOSS
Stay right where you are.

MAN
What is it?

BOSS
You don't look so good.

MAN
I feel fine.  I'm going home.

BOSS
What's going on?

MAN
Is this an interrogation?

BOSS
I need to know that my subordinates aren't going to fall apart on me.  Tell me what's going on.

MAN
It's just…my…

BOSS
But she died a long time ago, didn't she?  Heart disease, if I remember right?

MAN
Close.  She died of a heart attack after doing about three times the lethal dose of crack.  Out of respect, you know, they called it "heart disease."

BOSS
Man, I'm sorry.

MAN
It's…what she was saying about my… it wasn't right.  Didn't sit right, for some reason.

BOSS
Bring up some bad memories?

MAN
The opposite, really. (beat)  It's just—It's just too bad I wasn't born as a piece of crack.  At least then I would've mattered to her.  For fifteen… maybe thirty minutes—Imagine it, attention undivided, then… Puff. (beat) The guilt you feel, not knowing if you could've… it's strange.  I know it's not my fault, but somehow it is.

BOSS
Those are some pretty bad memories.

MAN
Yes.  Well, there.  Is that all you need to know?  Am I done being interrogated?

BOSS
Yeah.  Go ahead.  Get some rest.

MAN
Thank you.
(MAN exits. BOSS sits at table, makes fists and rests forehead.)
BOSS
Father, save him.
(Blackout. END OF PLAY)
Some questions I have are as follow:
1. Is the twist at the end too far-fetched or too expected? Why?

2. Do you think BOSS should be played by a woman or a man? Why?

3. Which mysteries/revelations need more explanation? Why?

4. Is the religious imagery effective? Or overly burdensome? Or too scant? Why?

5. I am also considering the titles Man, Woman, Boss and Crack. Do you think either works better for the piece? Why?
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-02-26
~Same-side explores the power of faith in a difficult situation in Subversives. ( Featured by neurotype )
:iconon2urgame:
on2urgame Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
Sorry for not being as concise and with it as to not needed 2 posts. I did like the twist, though I saw it coming from far off. Perhaps it is the wording in which we use or more specifically the lack of wording theat serves as a clue.
It is my opinion that we as a society have not experienced enough women as superiors to get ourselves to take for granted that supervisory positions are not gender specific. There is a riddle dealing with a child 2 parents a surgeon and a car accident that illustrates this very well indeed. Really the answer to the 2nd in entirely up to you.
The imagery was more than adequate IMOSHO.
How about Hopscotch?
Reply
:iconon2urgame:
on2urgame Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
nice twist into a neat little bow!
Reply
:iconvagabond24-7:
Vagabond24-7 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013
I saw the Boss as a man.
Reply
:iconamamortuum:
amamortuum Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Student General Artist
That awkward moment when your aunt is named Vivian Schmidt...
Reply
:iconsame-side:
Same-side Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013   Writer
Does she have a twin sister?
Reply
:iconamamortuum:
amamortuum Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Student General Artist
Possibly...
Reply
:iconultimamage578:
UltimaMage578 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013
I think there are some parts where a woman can play the boss, and some parts where a man can, but I think a man would fit way better.

I would like to know why religion has such a tie to the story. It seems like... cult mystery murder.

I love the twist, really.
Reply
:iconsbclover:
sbclover Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013
I really like this piece though I felt like when you included a (beat) it just made things awkward, at least for me reading it. I couldn't imagine it in some places, but maybe that's because I'm reading this and not seeing how you would want it acted out. The twist at the end... I can't say I expected it, but it doesn't seem far-fetched, no.

I think that the Boss could be played as a man or a woman. I imagined at first as a man, because of the club weilding and how they spoke with authority, but when you asked what gender, I could also imagine them as a woman during the part where the Man is being interrogated. I think most people see boss-types as men though, (at least, from my experience) and that would fit this role overall the best.

I think that the audience needs to know a /bit/ more about these 'subversives' and /why/ the people in charge hate don' like them so. At least hint at what they have done, or have some greater overlying authority mentioned that could be the person who wanted these subversives investigated.

I think you did just fine with fitting in the religion; like it is stated later in the scene, it gives her something to fall back on when nothing else is working out/she is in a difficult situation-her faith. She uses it as a way of defining who she is, not some religious nut who is trying to force it on others (something I personally find really annoying when that is done to me). The phrases she uses also fit in nicely with the context and work effectively as what she means to say-she doesn't have to explain or add on.

I agree with what Caity-Kitten said:
__I think you should involve the word “crack” at the very beginning of this. Right off the bat have the woman say that word, use it in a tense that’s going to hurt the man without her realizing what she is doing, give a little foreshadowing because I felt the whole “crack” thing was just suddenly thrown in there, I think that word should be mentioned at least once before.__
I feel like that was just thrown in there and while it does work as a good transition for the twist, maybe hint that it is coming or tie it in more with the story.

I also liked how there wasn't one main character-the POV/focus shifted from character to character with the Woman at the beginning, Man towards the middle and end, and the last bit with Boss. You did a good job of defining each character and giving them their own personality.

Heh, anyway, I did like this and it caught my attention that it was a screenplay-I've never come across one on DA before, though I do enjoy reading them. Sorry this review is so long, but I hope it helped if you are still changing piece :)
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:iconattempts-at-normalcy:
Attempts-At-Normalcy Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Student General Artist
1. No it’s incredible
2. A man. I imagine that the man would share more with another man…
3. Why they are fighting and interrogating the subversives…
4. Yes. It makes for a very mysterious yet inspiring essence to the script.
5. No, I like subversives because it draws attention to that word which isn’t exactly emphasized.

fabulous. congratulations on the DD!
Reply
:icondjchocolate-lover:
DJChocolate-Lover Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Student General Artist
Wow that's quite interesting, I would love to see it played out.

1) I think on some level I expected it, but not very strongly because it still came as a mild surprise.
2) I kinda see Boss as androgynous so that they appear to the person as the person needs to perceive them. So when they're nice to woman she might perceive them as more feminine.
3) None that spring to mind immediately
4) Yes I kinda like it, and the stark contrast between the characters is very nice, so you can sort of side with who appeals to you more as a person.
5) Crack or even cracks could possibly work as a piece because the narrative shows the weaknesses in man and woman creating and showing the cracks in their demeanour.
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