A brief skinny dip in “MANIAC LAKE”

A thriller in three acts

 
And now dear friends, I shall take a short detour from the linear, logical progression of things, to share with you a preview if you will, a “coming attractions” if I might, a rare and furtive glimpse of another dark and demented opus of mine.  A play, for the theatre. Can you imagine that? And now for your pleasure, a tantalizing taste of the action from act one…Nathan and Marla, two randy teens have found themselves at a secluded mountain cabin, and Nathan is “wooing” Marla by telling her a hideous campfire tale….
 

                                                            NATHAN

O.K. So there was this troop of Girl Scouts, with this very stupid leader, who figured that she could take all these inexperienced  girls out into the middle of nowhere for an overnighter. They drove up in a station wagon, and parked by that dead, grasping tree that we passed on the way in, remember? You do? (MARLA nods.) Good. Well, they hiked a mile or two into the woods and pitched their tents…peacefully, innocently, their insubstantial voices echoing across the lake, never once suspecting that they were right next door to…his lair.

                                                           MARLA

His lair? You never…

                                                             NATHAN

He had a little camp. A fire. Bed of leaves. Lots of animal bones. But they knew nothing about this. They didn’t know that someone was watching their every move. Watching their little legs, their little pig-tails, counting their little merit badges. So they played, and fished, and did Girl Scout Things until…the sun went down.

                                                             MARLA

What did they do then?

                                                             NATHAN

Ate dinner. They roasted wieners. But one little girl…she wandered off…to use the bathroom. ‘Course there wasn’t really a bathroom, but she was a very private little girl, and she wanted to go very far away to do her business.

                                                             MARLA

I understand.

                                                             NATHAN

When she didn’t come back, they all got very worried. They searched with flashlights: Maaarlaaa….Maaaaarlaaaaa….

                                                             MARLA

That was her name?

                                                             NATHAN

Uh-huh.

                                                             MARLA

You didn’t tell me that.

                                                            NATHAN

Well. She had been gone for several hours, and it was getting late. Far too late to hike back out, back to the car. And the leader, she was simply frantic, as you can imagine. But she put the girls to bed as best she could, then she stayed up by herself, wondering what in the world she should do. Then, in the darkest part of the night, long after the noises in the woods had stopped, and everything was very still. All the other little girls breathing in unison, like one big lung. She heard a rasping sound, a dragging sound, a wet sound. She grabbed her flashlight, ran out of her tent, but there was no one around. Her feet got cold. She was standing in water. Up to her ankles. But it wasn’t water. She pointed the light at the ground. Then she wished she hadn’t. She was in the middle of a pool of gore, which turned into a trail, and led off into the darkness. She followed this trail, through the woods, heart petrified, a fossil in her chest, terrified at what she would find. And then, she found it. A shoe. A tiny, Girl Scout regulation camping shoe. But it wasn’t just a shoe. There was a foot in it…

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the cabin.

          

Holy hoary chestnut, intrepid thespians, that’s only the first act! The second act takes place twenty-five years later, when Nate, (the son of Nathan and Marla), is taken from a mental hospital up to the very same cabin by his psychiatrist, with whom he is having a torrid affair. I told you it was gonna get good. Let’s peer in for a minute, and spy on the lovers, as the poor boy reveals the sad fate of his parents, who avoided the madman in the first act, only to come to a brutal, bloody, and tragic end in the second!

 NATE

I was the one who found them.

MARTHA

Right. I know that, as well.

 NATE

I called first. Dad told me he was grilling steaks. Told me to come on over. Then Mom got on, asked me to pick up some of those little corn holders.                                                  

 MARTHA

With the prongs?

NATE

Right. And I brought some. Parked out back. The steaks were burned to a crisp. But I liked mine…He knew I liked mine rare. I had always liked mine rare. Ever since I started eating steak. The corn was boiling away. Everything was exactly…Then I saw the bedroom door. It had never been closed before. I knocked first, but there wasn’t a sound. I saw their feet. Intertwined. Almost turned around and left. But I couldn’t hear anything. They had all their clothes on. Lying on the bed. On top. On the bed  spread. Both throats cut from ear to ear. I had never seen them so still. They used to move all the time. (Pause) Stood there for hours, while the sun set, and the steaks blackened, the water boiled down, and the corn began to whither. But people committing suicide do not leave the steaks on! Not sirloin steaks! They do not go in and lie down on their bed, when they are both in the prime of life. And they do not, DO NOT, on the wall in their own blood, scrawl the words BIG HEAD VENGEANCE! They do not do that!

 

Be afraid...Be very afraid.

 Dear lord, a gruesome turn of events to be sure! But fear not–or DO fear–for after a brief intermisson transpires and the audience settles back into their seats, the final, and all-encompasing act takes place. Nat, a troubled writer is secluding himself  in a lonely mountain cabin, trying to finish a one-act play. But his dark and bloody imagination finally gets the better of him. Holy perpetual re-write, this act took me twenty-five years to get right, but I assure you, it was worth every minute!
Marti, his voluptious shrink, has come to the cabin to…bring him home. So to speak. She speaks with breathy,  tender tones:
                                                        
                                                       MARTI

We’re miles away from everything. We’re in a cabin in the woods. I know this is not a good idea. This could cost me my career. I think it’s always best to be prudent. (pause) Tell me what you’ve been thinking about. Tell me what you want to do to me.

                                                           NAT

Can I just show you?

                                                             MARTI

You’ve got that thing with words.         

                                                             NAT

What thing?

                                                             MARTI

Besides, this time its different. ‘Cause this time it’s really going to happen. Everything you imagine will become real.

                                                             NAT

Really?

                                                             MARTI

Really.

                                                             NAT

Everything?

                                                             MARTI

Everything.     

                                                              NAT

Where do I start?

                                                             MARTI

Use your imagination. It’s your fucking job.

                                                             Pause

                                                             NAT

I want to put my face in your hair for about six hours.                                   

                                                           MARTI

You got a plane to catch?                                            

                                                         NAT

Then I want to kiss your neck. Want to rub my lips all over your neck. For like, four hours. I want to lick your neck. I want to bite your neck so softly. The back of your neck, where its warm and smells like you.                                                 

                                                       MARTI

You can do that. I would let you do that.                                              

                                                      NAT

Then, I want to hold your face in my hands, and kiss your mouth.

                                                       MARTI

I would like that.

                                                            NAT

I want to do nothing but kiss you for one solid hour. Per lip.                                                      

                                                            MARTI

I would like that a lot.

                                                             NAT

I could kiss you forever. Your kiss tastes like breakfast in heaven.

                                                          MARTI

What do you mean?

                                                            Long Pause

                                                            NAT

Did you ever see that movie, “The Oblong Box?”                              

                                                           MARTI

No.

                                                           NAT

It was a…like late 60’s Corman Poe rip-off, and Dad took a bunch of the neighborhood kids downtown to see it one afternoon.

                                                             MARTI

I taste like bacon?

                                                             NAT

There was a scene with this guy who’d been buried alive, screaming for help, and the cemetery guy’s like deaf or something…I used to think about being dead, lying in the grave, after everybody had filled in the dirt, gone to their cars, slammed the doors, left. If I was feeling lonely. I used to think man, this is nothing, you want to see lonely, wait ’till that first night in the grave, then we’re talking. If I could just get past that first night. I would wake up to breakfast in heaven.

                                                             Marti stands, goes to the stairs.

                                                            MARTI

Hold on. Stay right there.                                                       

                                                             NAT

Where are you going?                                            

                                                            MARTI

I’m gonna take out my contacts. I like it when things are blurry. 

 Hey…Hey…Hey…Don’t we all like it when things are a little BLURRY? Well, that’s a small sample for you to chew on. The play was recently read, and after many, many years, is clearly ready to be fully produced. Several offers are pending, deals are being made, money is changing hands, and much falderall is transpiring. Watch this space for updates, and whatever you do…just keep repeating….It will get produced…it will get produced…it will get produced!

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~ by tjeffcarey on February 2, 2012.

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