Waiting For Cthulhu And The Whimsical Damnation of Nicholas Faust


Molly
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The Two Pieces I wrote for 24 Hour Theatre this year, both took a little over an hour and will amount to maybe five minutes.

Cthulhu first. This community will quickly realize where I jacked the names of the characters from.

Waiting For Cthulhu

Preston Nelson

Characters:

Scott: Blonde, clean cut. Cabbie Hat.

Oberon: Tall, dark haired, heavy. Top Hat.

Barda

Cthulhu

(Open, lights up, Scott and Oberon are seated on a pair of chairs, a box between them. Oberon’s shirt is smeared with blood, he is slouched in his chair.)

Oberon: Dearest Scott, I seem to be covered in blood.

Scott: So you are, good Oberon, are you harmed?

Oberon: Don’t worry, I don’t think it’s mine.

Scott: Have we finished with the lofty Elizabethan English?

Oberon: It would seem so.

Scott: That’s good, it gets tedious quickly.

Oberon: So, what comes today?

Scott: He comes today.

Oberon: Who?

Scott: Cthulhu.

Oberon: I don’t think he’s going to come today, brother. We’ve waited, and waited and waited, and seen nothing.

Scott: (looking into the audience) Is he out there?

Oberon: (squinting) No, all I see out there is more nothings.

Scott: Perhaps. None of them look like the unknowable horror we’re expecting.

Oberon: How are we expecting it if it’s unknowable?

Scott: What?

Oberon: How does one expect the unknowable?

Scott: I don’t know, faith?

Oberon: Faith? Faith in what?

Scott: That which we cannot understand, just know that he loves us.

Oberon: Cthulhu loves us?

Scott: I doubt it.

Oberon: Then why are we here?

Scott: Because it’s written that way.

Oberon: By whom? Beckett? Lovecraft? Stoppard? Kirby?

Scott: I don’t know. There’s something sinister about the whole mess.

Oberon: Undoubtedly.

Scott: So let’s leave.

Oberon: Where do we go?

Scott: Is there anywhere else?

Oberon: I sincerely doubt it.

(From the wings, enters Barda. She walks onstage and looks around, not noticing the pair.)

Oberon: Is that him?

Scott: I don’t think that’s a him at all.

Oberon: Is Cthulhu a him?

Scott: I’ve heard he has height, width, depth, and a couple of other things, too, I bet it hurts to look at him. I guess he’s really not a him, then.

Oberon: Should we address her?

Scott: Why? We’re not waiting for her.

Oberon: It will help pass the time.

Scott: What time?

Oberon: Not now. (he calls to Barda) You there! Ma’am!

(Barda lifts her head, and looks toward them.)

Barda: Comment? Vous parlez à moi ?

Scott : Are we sure she’s not Cthulhu ? She’s speaking in tongues.

Oberon: Be quiet. We’ll get through this.

Scott: (calling at Barda) Are you Cthulhu?

Barda: (moving closer to them) Je suis désolée. Je ne parle pas votre langue.

Oberon : She’s not Cthulhu.

Barda : Ne parlez plus à moi ! Vous me mettez en colère ! (she storms out)

Oberon : Now look what you did !

Scott: We didn’t need her anyway!

Oberon: Maybe you didn’t but I can think of a few things I’d like her around for.

Scott: You’ll always have me.

Oberon: I don’t want you for those things.

Scott: Oh. Well, I would.

Oberon: I know you would.

Crash offstage.

Scott: That’s him!

Oberon: I don’t want to look at him.

Scott: Neither do I.

Oberon: We could put out our eyes.

Scott: Do you think he’d approve?

Oberon: I hope so.

Each of them pulls a fork from his pocket, and in unison, they raise them to their eyes.

Oberon: Wait. This is going to hurt, isn’t it?

Scott: Terribly.

Oberon: Give me your fork.

Scott: What?

Oberon: Give me your fork. I don’t want to put my eyes out one at a time. It will hurt too much after the first one, and I won’t want to do the second.

Scott: Oh.

Oberon: So, I’ll put my eyes out, and then you can have the forks and do it to yourself, so we don’t have to look at him.

Scott: Yes, that makes sense.

(Scott hands his fork to Oberon, who raises both of them to his eyes. As he’s about to blind himself, Scott stops him.)

Scott: I don’t want to watch. You should do it over there. (he points offstage)

Oberon: But I’ll be blind, I’ll have to walk back on in the blackout.

Scott: The nobodies don’t want to see that either. They just want to see the fallout.

Oberon: You’re right. For the nobodies. (he leaves and Scott covers his ears, Oberon screams bloody murder, before re-entering blindfolded, holding the forks.) Your

turn.

Scott: You know, I don’t think I should.

Oberon: What?

Scott: That looks remarkably unpleasant.

Oberon: It was. Please. We have to match.

Scott: Why?

Oberon: We need to match, otherwise we’ll get identities. And if we have identities, responsibilities are soon to follow. We can’t have that.

(Another crash offstage.)

Oberon: What was that?

Scott: Cthul—

BLACK. END

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Faust second. I had a co-writer on this one, Lucy.

The Whimsical Damnation of Nicholas Faust

Written by Lucy Burgchardt and Preston Nelson

Cast

Mephistopheles

Nick Faust

Lucifer

Milhouse

Petunia

Opening: Lights come up, Faust is seated at table. He is scribbling furiously in a notebook. Milhouse enters. Faust hides what he is writing. Milhouse is the only character that’s a bigger loser than Faust. He asks Faust what he was doing.

Milhouse: What’s on the paper, Nick?

Faust: Nothing, nothing, just . . .

Milhouse: You’re summoning Satan again, aren’t you?

Faust: No, those spells from the internet don’t work anyway.

Milhouse: So you were trying to summon Satan.

Faust: Shut up, Milhouse.

Milhouse leaves. As Milhouse leaves . . .

Milhouse: Just don’t sell your soul for anything stupid.

Faust returns to scribbling.

Faust: (yelling) There! I’ve got it!

Lights shift, he stops scribbling. Lucifer enters, he is dignified, callous and business-like. Faust is terrified.

Faust: S-so, you’re Satan, huh?

Lucifer: Lucifer, to precise. Now, you’ve pulled me out of the pits of Tartarus during peak sodomy hours, so this better be damn good.

Faust: Well, I guess the easiest way to put it is; I’m a loser. I suck at pretty much everything, people don’t like me, I have an overbite, and body odor. I can’t

dress, I’m broke and unemployed. I haven’t had sex with a woman without money being involved. My best friend is the only person on Earth or hell that’s more pathetic

than me—

Lucifer: I’m sure this is intriguing dialogue on Earth but you can’t possibly imagine how boring this is for me. What do you want, five words or less.

Faust: (counts along on his fingers) Make my life awesome… …please.

Lucifer: And how do you propose I do that?

Faust: I dunno, a nigh-omipotent, all powerful demon at my beck and call would probably do it.

Lucifer: Dick Cheney? Haha, no he’s not a demon. Heh, I have fun. (he pulls a cell phone out, and clearly goes through his address book) Oh, I got a guy. Let me call

him. (He dials, and waits. He looks at his phone and pouts.) Tell me how AT&T has perfect service on the plain of burning sand, but I can’t get a single bar in the

middle of the city.

Faust: I have Verizon, it’s pretty solid.

Lucifer: Yeah, I’ll remember that when my contract is up in four years. And people say I’m cruel. Guess I’ll just have to rely on the old Satanic charms for this one.

(he begins speaking in a deep, gravelly voice) From the frozen lake in the depths, to the wood of the suicides, to the great tower, I use my great power to summon the demon Mephistopheles.

(From off-stage, Mephistopheles enters. He is unkempt, overweight and dangles a cigarette out of his mouth.)

Meph: The fuck do you want? Oh, shit, sorry boss. (He clears his throat.) How may I serve thee, my dark lord?

Lucifer: Surprise! Loser One, meet Loser Number Two. Loser Number Two, you’ll be working for Loser Number One. And I swear to God, if you screw this up again, I will

freeze you up to your balls in the Lake of Cocytus.

Meph: (Nervous) Sure thing, boss!

Lucifer turns to Faust.

Lucifer: I take my leave.

Faust: Don’t I, uh, have to sign something, er, blood, er …something?

Lucifer: How barbarous. No, souls are a very clean matter to deal with. When you die, I will be taking yours.

Faust: Okay, fair enough.

Lucifer: And don’t think you can get out of this pact with any fancy lawyer bullshit, either. You die, I get your soul. End of story.

Lucifer vanishes.

Faust: So, you’re my all-powerful demon henchman, eh?

Meph: Don’t call me your henchman. I could crush you.

Faust: I’m pretty sure you can’t, what with the whole unholy servant deal with the big guy downstairs.

Meph moves to lights his cigarette. Faust stops him.

Faust: Hey, rule number one, don’t smoke around me.

Meph: What, are you worried about cancer? What’s the worst that could happen, you die and get dragged off to someplace where you’re punished ironically for all of your sins? Oh…right. (Pretends to blow smoke in Faust’s face)

Faust: No, I’m worried about dying prematurely, asshole. I only get one lifespan, and I won’t let you cut it short.

Meph: Fair enough. (He pulls a bottle of pills and a flask) I got other poisons.

Faust: What’s your issue?

Meph: I’m from hell.

Faust: Well-p, therapy time’s over. (Epically) Time to make my life AWESOME!

Meph sighs.

Meph: What’s it going to be?

Meph and Faust exit. Milhouse enters.

Milhouse: I hope he didn’t get in trouble. (Sniffs) It smells like brimstone and sodomy in here…I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

Lights dim

Scene Two

Opens with Meph and Faust in chairs. Faust is slouched, fingers tented. Meph has a legal pad and his glasses are far down on his nose. He looks like an insurance specialist.

Meph: So you don’t want to sleep on a bed of women, you don’t want to become a heroine-addled rock star, you don’t want to know the answer to Life, the Universe, and

Everything . . . What the hell did you sell your soul for?

Faust: I’ve got plans. Don’t accuse me of planning this poorly!

Meph: Sure thing, Rommel. So what do you want?

Faust: (Misty-eyed) The girl of my dreams . . .

Meph: And why was this so hard to figure out?

Faust: Well, she’s just a little hard to understand. She’s a rare and exotic flower and I don’t want you to judge her too harshly . . .

Meph: I have a rare and exotic flower for you. In my pants.

Faust: Can we act like adults, here?

Meph: (Nails down some pills and swallows them with a swig from his flask) I’m acting like an adult. You’re acting like a twelve-year-old with a crush.

Faust: And who’s serving whom, here?

Meph: Just because my boss sold me to you doesn’t mean you’re not an idiot. So what’s this flower’s name?

Faust: Petunia.

Meph laughs. Hard. He grabs his flask.

Meph: What is she, from a Tex Avery cartoon? You’ve got to be kidding me. She couldn’t be a …I don’t know, a Roxanne or a Vivica, or something? She sounds like a dog.

Faust: Come on, you’ve got to give her a chance.

Meph: Well, how do you propose we do that?

Faust: I don’t know, out of body experience or something.

Meph: What do I look like, the Ghost of Christmas Past?

Faust: (sighing) Did I sell my soul for nothing? What good are you, anyway?

Meph: Look, we can do it, but I have to warn you—when your soul is out of your body, it’s going to be really vulnerable. Any big upset, anything at all, could—

Faust: Just do it.

Meph: Is that an order?

Faust: Yes.

Meph: Have it your way.

Scene ends. Magical chime “out-of-body” music plays. Lights come up on Meph and Faust as they watch Petunia folding laundry.

Faust: Huh? Huh? Not too shabby, is she?

Meph: If you like that…type. Not exactly worth being dangled by your toes in a vat of boiling coyote piss, but hey, different strokes.

Faust: (defensively) She’s worth it! Just watch her…she’s just, different.

Meph: So different that you couldn’t have sent her some chocolates and gotten her to pull off her waist-high granny panties? I’ll bet that adorable little floral pattern would have really tripped your trigger. Totally worth your immortal soul. Totally.

Faust: Shut up.

The doorbell rings. Petunia gets all aflutter as she rushes to meet Milhouse at the door. They embrace.

Faust: What’s he doing here?

Meph: It looks like he’s boning your girlfriend.

Faust: Impossible! He’s a bigger loser than I am!

Meph: Yeah, when you put it that way, it makes your eternal damnation seem even more pathetic. Nothing good lasts forever. Bad things, though, they go on for a long

time.

Faust: I don’t want to live!

Lucifer enters

Lucifer: Did I hear the dulcet tones of someone surrendering their life?

Faust: No, no, definitely not. I’m still healthy. I’m vibrant. I’m—

Meph: Detached from your body, incredibly vulnerable, and …dead, now. I tried to tell you that, but you were in such a hurry to go see your whore, you didn’t want to listen. Just following orders.

Lucifer: Mephistopheles, let’s remove him from the mortal coil.

Meph: (Takes a drag of his smoke) Owned.

Demons drag Faust away, screaming.

Petunia: Do you smell brimstone and sodomy?

End

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