Play takes place in two worlds, the real and a comic book.
|The World’s Only Superhero
James: Man in his early 20’s. Suffered a tragic event in early childhood and because of this he hides in his immagination to escape reality. In the first scene or the ‘real’ world he lives with his sister, her husband and their son. His style and mannorisms resembles his imagination in which he is always pretending to be one of the superheros in the comic books that Becca writes. He dresses normally like a child who is pretending to be a superhero. However this costume should be less elaborate then the scenes that take place in his imagination where he is actually a superhero. His form of speech is unique: a combination of childlike language, occasional stuttering (mostly when emotional) and comic book like expressions (POW!). In the comic book scenes James first becomes Pigeon Man out of the comics book that Becca illustrates for. Later, he becomes X-Mark, the hero of Becca’s first attempt of writing and illustrating her own comics.
Becca: Loving sister who is trapped between wanting to have her own life and having to take care of her brother and the rest of her family. Loves James very much feels partially responsible for his trajedy. She loves her husband and son but is torn between wanting them to have a ‘normal’ life and wanting James to be happy. Becca plays a minor role in the first comic book scenes.
Joe: Strong and opinionated man. He doesn’t fully understand James and his problem. Conflict arises because Joe reminds James of his father, Lou. James occasionally slips and thinks that Joe is actually Lou (his and Becca’s father) these slips cause breakdowns and outburts. Joe first play the role of villian in the first comic book scenes and then becomes Cascade, X-Mark’s nemasis. When he becomes Lou Joe becomes sarcastic and taunting in language and actions.
Alex: Doesn’t quite understand what is wrong with James but they are best friends. Alex also looks up to James. Strong willed like his dad with a love of imagination like James. Constantly compeating with James for his parents attention.
Ann: Ann is an almost middle aged like 25-yearold housewife type whose boyfriend works full time. She is currently unemployed and inactively looking for a job. She likes to know what is going on around her and uses her ‘dry’ humor to pry as much as possible into the lives of those around her. She has a wiry appearance; this is accented by her hair that is also wiry.
Notes on performance:
The comic book scenes at first will happen completely in another realm and should be used to set the standard for what James’ imagination is like. As the Act 1 progresses this distinction will began to fall apart starting with the slip up of names by Joe as he plays the villian. After this point the real and imaginary scenes should start to overlap showing the collapse of James’ imaginary world he has set up to protect himself. This continues until the last scene when the two worlds should be indistinguishable apart from the costumes and setting. It is also very important that the comic book world revolves around James; he should be the focus and all of the other characters are the result of his imagination.
Joe becomes four different people during the play; himself, the villian, Cascade and of course Lou. Each of these different characters should be very distinct up until the point when Cascade starts to transform into Lou, at this point there should be some overlap of personalities until James fully realizes (at least in his mind) who the person is.
James should also be completely over the top during the times when he is noticably ‘happy’ and become very nervous and reserved when he is struggling with reality.
(The curtain opens to a small apartment with an almost overflowing look. There is one room which appears to be a combination living and dinning room. Everything seems to be too large for the apartment, the couch is too big for the room the paintings to large for the walls they are on. Becca is currently putting together a sandwich for James offstage. Before the lights even come up, James is flying around room deeply involved in his own adventure.)
Becca: (From offstage) James! Your dinner is ready.
James continues to fly around the room oblivious to his surroundings and his sister calling his name.
Becca: (Walking onstage) James, your food is ready. James, your dinner is… (getting increasingly frustrated) Your food James…Stop flying!
James: (Pauses) You could have just said so.
Becca: (Sarcastically) You could just listen.
James: (Ignores the comment and timidly stutters) Becca…I have…I have…ah… something to well—
Becca: Ask me?
James (Cheerily): Precisely.
Becca: Well, ask away. (Sets food on the coffee table to give James her full attention)
James: (Proudly) Chap stick.
Becca: Your question is chap stick?
James: Well, ah yes is that um…is that well—
Becca: Yes James, its okay.
James: Well, I was wondering why does the bottom of chap stick always turn in your pocket and then the cap comes off and then makes a mess?
Becca: (Thinks for a moment) Well, when you walk—
James: (Interrupting loudly) Nope! See that’s what I thought too, at first. But then I figure if that’s what happens then it’d work backward, am I right?
Becca: I don’t know…I don’t think I’m quite understanding your question James.
James: Well, ya see I took this chap stick (Pulls tube of chap stick out of his pocket and both the tube of chap stick and James’ hands are covered in globs of lip balm)
James: (Ignoring Becca) So I took it and screwed it all the way out and well I put it in my pocket to see if it would unmess itself…
James: Well it only works, ah, one way. And well—are you mad at me?
Becca: (Looking fierce at first but can’t hold her laugh back. She laughs for a second before James starts laughing loudly and ridiculously. Becca stops laughing but James doesn’t notice and keeps laughing until he runs out of breath and finally notices Becca is not laughing)
Becca: So about that food.
James: I was a superhero today!
Becca: Oh you don’t say? Who were you today, Batman?
James: Nooooooo! (laughing) Batman isn’t even a superhero. He’s just a rich jerk (Pause) With some nice, ah, pants. And I guess his belt is sort of cool…
Becca: (Laughing) So who were you today then?
James: (Pauses then says very quietly) Pigeon man.
Becca: What was that?
James: (Interrupts with a huge yell) PIGEON MAN! (Proceeds to fly around the room ending up ‘perched’ on the couch) (Pause) Yo, when does Joe come home? I need a villain.
Becca: He’s at work for another couple of hours yet, he had to work late tonight.
James: (Stammering over his words) I didn’t ask you where he is but I was wondering when is he well—
Becca: Coming home?
James: (With a smirk) Why yes!
Becca: Around seven, I think.
James: (Stammering again) I didn’t ask around when I asked when Joe will be—
Becca: He’ll be back—
James: (Strongly and clearly) Dammit! Let me finish. (He takes several sharp breaths and looks suddenly down at his feet before he continues) I asked, I was asking what (Clenches fists) No, when will Joe be home?
James: (Becomes happy instantly) Promises? (Holds up the peace sign)
Becca: Promises. (Repeats James’ gesture)
(The door bursts open and Joe walks through the door followed closely by Alex)
James: Joe’s home, Joe’s home, Joe’s home!
Alex: James, what about me?
James: I didn’t forget you Alex! You’re my sidekick.
Alex: (Sighs) Sidekick? How about you be the sidekick this time?
James: Ah…Yah, don’t think so.
Becca: Tell them who you were today James.
James: Pigeon Man!
Joe: Pigeon Man, huh? Why not a normal hero like bat—
Becca: (Interrupting) Don’t say Batman.
James: (Hearing what Becca said) I told you Becca, Batman is a sissy. Straight up—It’s like ‘I have a bunch of money so I’m going to help the same people I robbed to get it!’ That just doesn’t make any sense, ya know? I mean you don’t see Donald Trump swinging from buildings and pretending that he isn’t the bad guy. At least Trump accepts that he’s the villain, geez.
Joe: Sorry I asked buddy.
James: It’s okay Joe…sore subject I suppose. Batman comic are ten kinds of terrible. (Pauses) Nothing like Becca’s.
Becca: (Big grin) Why thank you, but you know I only illustrate them.
Alex: (Forcing himself into the conversation. Walks out from behind his father) Still they’re amazing mom….I saw a kid reading Pigeon Man in school today!
Becca: (Laughing again) Did you really?
Alex: (Caught in his lie, pauses) Well, ah no. But they should be!
Joe: What did I tell you about lying?
Alex: (Reciting) Only lie to strangers with candy and Grandma Allen when she asks if I read ‘Satan’s picture books’.
Joe: (Laughing) Exactly
(James notices his food for the first time and sits down on the couch and begins to ‘inhale’ his food at an alarming rate in a comical way. This doesn’t seem to be out of the normal for James so they continue to converse)
Joe: How’d your work go today hun?
Becca: Pretty good, I finished up that last few strips of Pigeon Man that had been a pain in the (looks at Alex, rephrases) that had been a problem. James was quite an inspiration I must say.
Alex: (Still seeking attention) Am I an inspiration?
Joe: (Responds before Becca can answer, scoops up Alex) You’re my inspiration.
Alex: (Clearly disappointed and overly honest) But you work retail…I must be some pretty terrible inspiration then.
Becca: Alex! That’s not nice at all.
Joe: It’s alright…I suppose he isn’t wrong.
James: (Spitting out food and quoting Jack Black in Nacho Libre which he had just watched) Hey, why don’t chu just take it easy!
(Everyone laughs for a moment)
Joe: Yah, well enough about my job. Can I see the last few scenes of the new Pigeon Man—
James: (Shouting again) Pigeon Man!
Joe: (laughs) Yah, that one. Is this the break through issue?
Becca: (Seductively) I don’t know, why don’t you come see. (Grabs Joe and pulls him off stage, curtain)
(Curtain opens, the set is stripped and what remains is a comic book background complete with the BAM! and POW! written on the wall to give the obvious feel of fantasy. James’s imagination is presented before us in the form of him falling into one of Becca’s comic books, Pigeon Man. Where the living room is now a ‘bank scene’ also set up in comic book fashion to preference. Joe is in a trench coat with his back to the audience facing a teller (Becca) who is wearing a teller’s uniform and a bright name badge declaring her to be “Stacy”. As soon as the curtain opens, Joe starts yelling for the money holding a ‘villain type’ gun. Becca at first looks terrified but soon gets control of herself and starts to dominate the situation.)
Joe: Give me the money lady, and don’t try anything funny.
Becca: (Hesitantly) …Define funny.
Joe: (Confused) What do you mean?
Becca: Like I shouldn’t try to tell you a joke or maybe you’re referring to my recently published light verse poetry, it has caused quite a stir—
Joe: You write poetry?
Becca: (Overly excited) Why yes! Do you?
Joe: No—Well, I wrote a short story once (Turns to audience and reveals his ridiculous stick on mustache, grins and says) It was about my quest for world domination. (He twirls the mustache which falls off and he picks up trying to hide his embarrassment)
Joe: Quaint? What is that supposed to mean?
Becca: Well, I mean, obviously I haven’t read it but….I mean it sounds a tad, well, overdone.
Becca: Well yes, I mean boring.
Joe: (Getting absolutely furious) BORING?!
Becca: Oh, I’m so sorry. I should be careful not to upset you. I mean with you robbing me and all.
Joe: (Remembering why he is here) Oh yah, the robbery. (Shoves bag into Becca’s hands) I want everything you’ve got, fill it up.
Becca: You mean you want the money?
Joe: Of course I mean the money, what the heck else would I mean? I mean how stupid of a question is that?
Becca: Well, you see, it really wasn’t a question.
Joe: What do you mean it wasn’t a question? Clearly that was a question, you even make your voice go up like this at the end? (Making the statement sound like a question.)
Becca: You see, it wasn’t really a question—I guess technically it was a question—but fundamentally it was a distraction.
Joe: (Confused) Distraction?
Becca: Why yes. See, you’re catching on now!
Joe: I’m not sure that I am…
Becca: Okay, well I’ll clarify. When I was talking about my poetry career I was really multi-tasking. I pushed the Pigeon Button.
Joe: The what-huh?
Becca: Pigeon Button.
Joe: (Sarcastically) Oh, the Pigeon Button! Of Course! (Seriously) How would I know what a Pigeon button is?
Becca: You know how Batman has his ‘Bat in the sky’?
Becca: Well… (Waits for understanding)
Joe: (Finally catches on) Ohhhhhh…not good, eh?
Becca: For you? No, not so much.
(James bursts in dressed in full Pigeon Man attire followed closely by Alex who is his sidekick ‘Squab’)
James: (Sourly) Did I just hear you compare me to Batman?
Becca: Um, yes?
James: I hope you mean ‘no’—honestly that would be the better answer.
Alex: And it would help you avoid copyright infringement.
James: (Ignoring comment) Oh well, why don’t you just have him come save you then. Oh, wait; he is probably too busy sipping crumpets on his yacht.
Becca: You can’t sip crumpets.
Alex: Listen lady, do you want us to save you or not. It’s your call.
Becca: Sorry, you’re right. (Dramatically) Oh Pigeon Man! Save me! (Swoons/feints)
Joe: This is just ridiculous, I’m leaving.
James: (Stepping in front of Joe, arm extended) Halt fiend!
Joe: What are you going to do? Poop on me?
Alex: I believe you have us confused with… (Thinks for a second) Some other bird…
Joe: Nope, that’s defiantly pigeons. You feed ‘em bread at the park, and then they poop on your car.
James: I believe you to be mistaken, scoundrel.
Joe: Nope, that’s defiantly what pigeons do. Little eating…lot of pooping.
James: Enough! We will be arresting you now.
Joe: What are you going to do? Tie me to your foot?
Alex: Pigeons don’t….wait…no, you’re right. That one is for sure pigeons.
James: You’re missing the point; you see we’re not actually pigeons. It’s a persona—
Alex: Like Batman!
(James sighs defeatadly, curtain)
(Curtain. Joe and Becca get out of their ‘costumes’ and walk out in front of the curtain to talk)
Joe: (Holding a comic book) Hmmmm…well, I think the writing could, ah—
Becca: Not suck? I know, the guy used to write sit-coms. I guess I didn’t think it was too noticeable. (Visibly disappointed)
Joe: The illustrations are phenomenal though! Really, your work just keeps getting better.
Becca: You’re sweet, full of crap, but sweet.
Joe: No seriously, you just need a better writer. (Eureka moment) Hey, you should just write them yourself. I’m sure you could come up with better plots then this garbage! I mean come on, a bank robbery being stopped by Pigeon Man and his sidekick Squab? Terrible.
Becca: You think?
Joe: That it’s terrible? Defiantly.
Becca: No I mean do you think I could really do the writing too?
Joe: For sure, you’ve got it Becca. You do.
Becca: Got what?
Joe: Ya know, I’m not quite sure…but you do.
(Becca smiles and grabs his arm leading him off stage.)
(The curtain opens again and the original set is back in place. James is sleeping on the couch and is completely sprawled out, legs hanging over the side and arms over the top of the couch. He is also a little upside down. Becca is at a desk that has been placed in the corner for the purpose of her new task of writing her own comic books. There is a knock at the apartment door and Ann their neighbor comes in. Ann is in the mood to talk and all Becca wants to do is work.)
Knock. (Becca hearing the knock at first considers ignoring it but sees James stir and gets up quickly to get the door so as not to wake him)
Becca: (While opening the door) Oh, hello Ann…I wasn’t, um, expecting you.
Ann: I know—I hope I’m not intruding—but you know without a job and everything it’s been pretty boring in my apartment. I thought I’d just come and have a quick chat maybe?
Becca: I’m kind of busy. (Noticing Ann’s disappointment) But maybe a little break could do me some good.
Ann: That’s what I like to hear.
Becca: (Lowering her voice again) We’re going to have to be quiet though. I don’t want to wake James…I don’t think he slept well last night.
Ann: Okay, I’ll try to keep my voice down then.
Becca: (Walks offstage for a second leaving Ann awkwardly alone in the living room with James, Becca quickly walks back onstage forgetting that she had set the coffee pot on her desk.)
I guess I must have forgotten this in here.
Ann: (Unsure about the coffee) Oh it’s…
Becca: I’ll just go grab you a mug. (Walks swiftly off stage to the kitchen again returning with a visibly dingy coffee mug)
Ann: You know, I just had a cup half-hour ago. (Pause) I think I’m…good.
Becca: Oh (A little embarrassed) that’s fine. (Trying to quickly change the subject) So how is your job hunt going?
Ann: Well, it’s coming.
Becca: Any interviews?
Ann: Yah. (Pause) Not exactly.
Becca: Well keep looking; I’m sure something will turn up.
Ann: Thanks—how about you, how is the illustrating?
Becca: Good… I’m writing now too.
Ann: (Overly concerned) Your own comics?
Becca: (Their voices gradually get louder over the next lines until James is woken up) Yah, I just started though. It’s taking a lot of work to get off the ground.
Ann: I can imagine. (Pause before deciding to pry) What made you want to take all that on?
Becca: Joe said—well, I mean it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
Ann: But Joe pushed, well not pushed, but you know what I mean.
Becca: Yah, he defiantly helped me make the decision.
James: (Waking up abruptly) Chickens!
Ann: (Startled) Oh my!
James: Hey Annie darling.
Ann: Well hello James, you scared me there.
James: (Questioning) Boo?
Ann: No, chickens? What’s that supposed to mean?
Becca: He’s talking about my first comic book, I mean the one I’m working on now…It’s well, I guess it’s in the “in progress” stage. The writing thing is new for me…I guess I’m having a hard time with it.
Ann: What’s it about.
Becca: Well, I was about to tell James but he started napping halfway through me telling him. (James lays down like he is about to sleep again) James, listen this time…ok well my first plot line…well what I’ve got so far. And I’d like your’re—James? Are you listening?
Becca: I’ve got a new story James, you know from my new comic book.
James: You mean Pigeon Man?
Becca: No, remember how I told you that I was making my own comic books now.
James: (Defiantly) No.
Ann: (Pause) Just go on Becca.
James: (Showing some interest) Shoot.
Becca: So, this young lady and her son are driving down the interstate—outside of Minneapolis I’m thinking—well, that’s not all that important….
James: But we live in St. Paul?
Becca: This isn’t about us.
Becca: (Pauses and then continues with gusto again) Anyways, so they’re driving and they’re following this poultry truck.
James: A what-huh?
Becca: Chickens James, chickens.
James: (In super hero voice) Chicken Man!
Becca: No! The truck is transporting chickens to be made into food.
James: Wait, say what?
Ann: Chickens about to be murdered and turned into money in places like that filthy KFC.
James: (Salutes) Yes Cornell!
Becca: No, there was no KFC on this truck.
James: But you just said—
Becca: (Over and above) No James, it’s a truck transporting chickens.
James: (Drops his salute) Do continue then.
Ann: Ya, go on. (Some doubt in her voice)It sounds interesting.
Becca: Okay, well the action starts when the chicken truck smashes into an overpass sending chickens and feathers everywhere and the driver is trapped underneath his semi.
Ann: Good, well he deserves it.
Becca: (Confused) Huh?
Becca: Why did you say the driver deserves it?
Ann: All those chickens about to be killed, maybe it would be good if a truck tipped over now and again. A few of those poor fellows might get free.
Becca: (Growing increasingly frustrated) Anyways. Then my superhero comes in.
James: (Finally paying attention at the mention of superhero) What’s his name?
Ann: (Still angry about the chicken thing and being interrupted) Greedy Capitalist?
James: (Whole line drawn out until the last word which is spoken quickly and directly) I don’t like that name so much. Its kinda well, I mean I hate to say it Bec, but it’s kinda lame.
Becca: (Very frustrated) No. That’s not his name. (To Ann) And if you don’t like what I’m writing you can just go back to sitting in your damn apartment, oh wait I mean go back to your “Job hunt”.
(During the ‘fight’ James is growing increasingly visibly nervous and starts to pace and show one of his nervous impulses—biting nails, scratching head ect.—which continual increases to the point of hysteria when he finally explodes)
Ann: (Says angrily without actually having an answer in mind) You know what?
Becca: What Ann? What do you have to say? That you are actually trying to get a job—we both know that isn’t true. (Short pause) At least I don’t sponge off my husband and feed on stupid apartment complex gossip garbage.
Ann: (Still unsure what to say) Anything else you like to add?
Becca: You know Ann, there is. But I’m going to give you break, because I think that’s about as much as you can handle at once.
Ann: Oh so what? I’m stupid now?
Becca: I didn’t say that.
Becca: No. (Pause) I implied it.
Ann: You are so… (thinks for a second then exhales heavily when she comes up blank again)
Becca: So what Ann? I’m tired of you always be so damn polite to me when I know you never liked me or my husband.
James: (Stops his pacing and stands in one place facing both of the women) STOP! (Pauses in between each stop) Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop.
Becca: (Turning to face James, in a comforting tone) James, its okay. We’re sorry we didn’t mean…
James: (Over and above) Yes you did! Yes you did too! Did too. Did too Lou. Lou you meant too, Lou you meant too. Lou you, you… (James pauses for a second his nervous habit increases drastic for a moment and then he runs into his bedroom)
Becca: (Following James for a moment) James don’t…
(There is a pause well Becca collects herself and Ann looks as uncomfortable as possible)
Becca: I’m sorry that—
Ann: (Interrupting) Don’t worry about it, I’m sorry too.
Becca: It’s just that James’ stepdad was—
Ann: You don’t have to explain it to me its fine, really. (Starts to leave)
Becca: I’ll see you later Ann.
(Ann looks back at Becca for a moment, considers responding, and then leaves. Curtain)
(Joe walks through the door and finds Becca laying on the couch and he is in a good teasing mood, her not so much)
Joe: (Scaring Becca) Hey hun!
Becca: (Startled) Dammit Joe. There’s heart-attacks…and…dammit Joe.
Joe: I’m sorry—I mean—I didn’t mean to…
Becca: Well you did. So…
Joe: Bad day?
Becca: What is that supposed to-
Joe: (Over and above) It didn’t mean anything just that you’re a little, well-
Becca: A little well what Joe?
Joe: Never mind.
Becca: No, no never mind. Tell me, go on say it like you want to say it.
Joe: I’m not trying to start…
Becca: Not trying to start a fight huh? Well that’s a little too bad now isn’t? If you woulda thought. Would have thought…before… you came in and decided to ruin my day.
Joe: (Changing tone to comforting) I don’t think I ruined you day to be honest.
Becca: (Pauses and realizes her ridiculousness) Oh…well. Yah, I guess. (With decisiveness) Your right.
Becca: (Letting a little bit of her hostel tone slip back in) So what?
Becca: Sorry—I just…
Joe: Not a problem, what happened.
Becca: Well nothing really. I mean, well, yes something. (Pause) But nothing.
Joe: So something but nothing happened?
Becca: That doesn’t make any sense.
Becca: What I meant to say. It’s bad. It’s James.
Joe: (Timidly)Did he have another…?
Becca: Ya. Ya he did.
Joe: When, or ah why?
Becca: Ann came over.
Joe: (Knowing) Oh.
Becca: Yah, we fought and-
Joe: James doesn’t like it when people fight. He’s been in his room then I suppose? (Becca nods) How long?
Becca: I don’t know. Four, five hours?
Joe: That bad?
Becca: I guess so…it wasn’t even that big of a deal. I was just telling Ann about the comic I’m working on and well, she started talking about how you pushed me—but I know you didn’t.
Joe: (Quickly frustrated again) She what?
Becca: It isn’t a big deal. Just Ann.
Joe: That’s no excuse…
Becca: (Reasserting) It is. It’s Ann.
Joe: Are you going to talk to him?
Becca: (Pauses to think for a second) I suppose.
Becca: Or never.
(Becca walks over to James’ door pausing before knocking lightly)
(No response, she looks back at Joe and receives a reassuring look)
Becca: (A little louder) James?
James: No one home.
Becca: James, its Becca…it's me.
James: (Short pause) I’m not stupid.
Becca: I don’t think you’re stupid-
James: (Quickly interrupting) Good, ‘cuz neither do I.
Joe: Hey bud, you’re going to be okay.
(There is a long pause where Becca followed by Joe move in closer to James’ door and consider talking multiple times but are somewhat lost for words)
James: (After the pause we hear some loud noises from the room. James voice and fury gradually build) He’s here? … He’s, here? HE IS HERE? Why is he here? Why is he here? WHY IS HE HERE BECCA?!?! You said! You said, never! You said, he couldn’t. No more. That he wouldn’t that…he was gone. That he was NEVER COMING BACK! But…(quietly now) he is here…
Becca: James…it's just Joe, it’s just Joe.
James: no no no no no! It is not, don’t lie Becca. You said. You told me. You said NEVER! You did, you did but now! But now he is here.
Joe: (Gradually has lost his composure and is now just angry) This is ridiculous James. You know who I am! I am married to your damn sister! You know me James.
Becca: Joe, don’t-
James: (Over and above) NO! Stay away from me! Becca said, Becca said never and you can’t—you can’t come in Lou, (softly) I won’t…I won’t let you…
Joe: Dammit James. There is nothing to be afraid of you know me. My name is Joe, I married you sister. My son Alex is you best friend. Lou has been dead for over five years now James. He can’t hurt you I promise!
James: No no no no no…You are lying! I know you are. (Pause, softly) You always do.
Becca: (Grabbing Joe’s arm now trying to get him away from the door) Lets just leave him alone Joe he needs to-
Joe: (over and above) No! He needs to face his problems Becca. He’ll never get better if he can’t face his problems.
Becca: Please Joe. Don’t, just leave him alone.
Joe: No, not this time. He is going to face his problems for once in his life!
Becca: (Really pleading and now pulling on his arm as hard as she can) Please Joe!
Joe: Get off me! This needs to happen Bec.
Becca: Not now, please not now!
Joe: This needs to happen.
Joe: (Over and above) James. Come out of your room I want to speak with you.
James: (Shouting) No Lou, no! Becca said, Becca said NEVER again. Becca doesn’t, Becca doesn’t lie, NEVER!
Joe: Becca isn’t lying James. I am not Lou. Lou is dead, he can never hurt you again. I promise James. He can never hurt you again.
James: But you are Lou…why do you lie? Why do you lie Lou?
Joe: Dammit James I am not Lou I am Joe. Come out of your room right now, I want to talk to you.
James: I am not coming out for you…you you you can’t hurt me anymore, no you can’t. Becca said so, Becca said…
Joe: Open the door I’m coming in James.
Becca: Please Joe. Don’t do this!
Joe: This needs to happen Becca. He needs to understand I am not his messed up fucking father!
Becca: He doesn’t think you are…it’s just sometimes.
Joe: Face reality Becca. (Joe turns back to the door) James you have five seconds.
James: NO! no no no no no.
Becca: Joe, please don’t do-
Joe: (Over and above) FOUR!
Becca: Joe don’t you-
Joe: (Over and above) Three. (Pause, Becca tries to move between Joe and James’ door) Two.
James: Stay away Lou, Becca said! Becca said, she said. Becca said-
Joe: Two. (Becca grabs his arm more forcefully then before but he pushes her off) One. (Joe starts to kick the door and the curtain drops before he makes contact)
(As soon as the curtain drops from the last scene all the apartment furniture is removed and the comic scene comes back. This time however there is a ‘jail’ over by where James’ room is that James is inside dressed as ‘X-Mark’ the new hero of Becca’s comic book series. The villain has captured him and brought him to the ‘jail’ in his evil lair. This scene is entirely between Joe and James. At first it will be straight comic book where Joe as the evil villain is explaining his genius capture of ‘X-Mark’ and then will proceed to boast about his plan for world domination and such. During this time Joe will start to speak as Joe and not the evil villain and eventually James will start to speak as ‘himself’ also.)
Joe: Well it seems that you’ve gotten yourself into a little bit of a situation X-Mark.
James: Ha! That’s where you are wrong Cascade, this is merely a temporary setback.
Joe: You do realize you’re handcuffed and chained to a chair which is bolted to the floor, right?
James: Like I said, temporary setback.
James: You can only keep me tied up for so long?
Joe: Oh yah? And why is that? The last time I checked, my remorse for arch enemies who are chained to a chair after trying to kill me-
James: (Over and above) Not kill, apprehend and then turned over to the proper authorities.
Joe: Sorry, (sarcastically) Apprehend me. You see that conflicts with my five year plan-
James: (Interrupting) You have a five year plan?
Joe: What? Why is it so hard to believe that a villain would have a life plan?
James: Well it’s just that-
Joe: Do you think I could just arrive at world domination by guessing? No, it takes years of planning…proper investing-
James: Wait…proper investing? You have investors?
Joe: Well yes, I mean it’s not like we can exactly get government grants. Guns, cars, thugs—they’re all expensive, it takes money.
James: Hm. I guess I’d never really thought about the practical side of villanry.
Joe: Most don’t.
James: So…can you let me go now please?
Joe; Well, since you asked so nicely…yes I suppose.
Joe: No, of course not. What did you think we had a moment there or something?
James: Well kind of yes, I mean-
Joe: No. (Pause) But on the upside you’ve got a front row seat to watch me vaporize Colorado.
Joe: Oh what now, do you not approve of my choice of state to vaporize?
James: Well, no it’s just that…well, I mean Colorado? It seems like…It seems like a mediocre choice at best. Why Colorado?
Joe: Why not?
James: Because there are much better targets. I mean think how many people you could be taking out if you aimed that laser thing at somewhere like New York instead.
Joe: You know now that you say that-
James: (Over and above) Colorado really is the better choice now that I think about it.
Joe: Really? (Pause) Wait, you’re not just saying that because you realize now how stupid it was to suggest that I aim for New York because I could get, pardon the pun, much more bang for my buck?
Joe: Oh good, because I don’t like being manipulated James.
(Joe continues his normal villain activities but James, recognizing his name, is taken back and doesn’t know what to say at for a moment)
James: (Quietly) What did you…what did you call me?
Joe: You I’d think you’d be a little louder when you talk, being the world’s only superhero and all.
James: (Resuming his normal volume) Oh yes. Well, I like to keep people guessing.
Joe: Pay attention would you, I’m explaining my master plan…I really don’t like repeating myself.
James: You have my full attention.
Joe: Are you sure I don’t need to smack you around a little bit, make you understand?
James: (Pauses) I’m already tied up…that wouldn’t be necessary.
Joe: I know what you did! I watched you do it! Do you think I’m stupid?
James: (Interrupting) No—I don’t think you’re—what are you talking about?
Joe: And don’t think it was just because I was drunk—I’d wanted to do it forever.
James: I don’t…understand.
Joe: Your mother, she had it coming. No respect! No respect for me, and you damn kids. Always doing what you want. I couldn’t stand it! No, it wasn’t the alcohol. It wasn’t—but then you took care of that for me didn’t you—I would have-
James: (Over and above) What are you talking about? (Quieter) Who are you?
Joe: James, James, James. You know who I am. Or have you forgotten?
James: No you can’t…it can’t….Becca said never again! Becca said-
Joe: (Over and above, mocking) Becca said, Becca said. Why should I care what Becca said? All I care is what I saw, all I care about it you James. This is all your fault James.
James: You aren’t Lou. Lou is dead. Becca said you were gone. Becca said you could never come back.
Joe: (Laughing) Is that what Becca said? Is that what Becca said? What else did Becca say, huh? Did she say that this wasn’t your fault? Did she say that, huh?
James: Becca said-
Joe: (Over and above) I don’t give a damn what Becca said! What do you think James? What do you think?
James: I think that…I think that Becca said-
Joe: (Over and above) Again with what Becca said. I don’t care! I don’t want to know what Becca said James. I don’t. Do you think you mom-
James: (Over and above) Don’t talk about her…
Joe: Oh, touchy subject? Feel guilty do you? I would…if I were you that is.
James: No! It wasn’t me…it wasn’t my fault that she-
Joe: (Over and above) Liar!
James: Don’t call me that, I didn’t. Don’t call me-
Joe: (Over, quietly) Liar? I’m not the one who killed her James. It wasn’t me.
James: I didn’t mean to. It wasn’t my-
Joe: (Over and above) Oh did Becca say it wasn’t you fault—that it was mine? No, James. It was your fault, you shot her! You did. We made it look like an accident, Becca and I. We made it look like you were playing with the gun…and it just went off.
James: I didn’t kill her!
Joe: You shot her! You were holding the damn gun. I wasn’t holding it! It wasn’t me who shot her James. It was you. (Slower) It always has been you.
(Both characters pause, James struggles furiously at his ropes for a moment, pauses again)
James: (Softly but firm) I meant to kill you. I meant to kill you, Lou.
(Scene switches back to the apartment right where scene 7 left off. James throws open his bedroom door just as Joe is about to attempt to break it down. Joe falls forward into James’ room off stage and then is thrown back onstage where he falls into Becca. James walks out on stage furious and as Joe is getting himself up Alex walks through the front door and makes his way to behind Becca mostly oblivious to the situation.)
James: Lou! Becca said-
Alex: Mom (Becca ignores him) Mom!
Becca: Alex, not now-
James: She said never again…she said it wasn’t my fault…she said it was you!
Joe: James stop this! I am Joe, you know who I am.
Alex: (Becoming afraid) Mom, what’s wrong?
Becca: (To Alex) It’s nothing—James is just—it’s nothing-
James: (To Becca) Please Becca, tell him to leave…tell him to-
Joe: (Over and above) I’m not leaving my own damn house!
Becca: Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea Joe—I mean just for a while-
Joe: I’m not leaving my own house-
James: Lou needs to leave. Lou needs to go—he’s going to blame me—going to tell everyone it was me. But Becca said that no, that no it wasn’t-
Joe: Enough! (Joe grabs James by the shoulders holding him firmly and looks him straight in the eyes) I am not your father, I am Joe. Please James, you need to understand-
James: (Gets very suddenly violent, pushes Joe off of him forcefully. Joe this time is knocked into Alex and they both land on top of the coffee table with Joe landing on Alex. Joe quickly gets up but Alex remains motionless on top of the broken coffee table. James runs back into his room, slamming the door)
Becca: (Running over to Alex) Alex. Alex! Are you okay?
Joe: (Apologizing) I didn’t know that—I mean not like I know James would—but I didn’t think Alex was so close.
Becca: That’s not—Alex. Alex, are you okay?
Joe: Should we-
Becca: No, we can’t let the police be involved again. James-
Joe: (Over and above) He’s unconscious Becca, I’m calling-
Becca: No! They’ll take James away this time-
Joe: Would you rather lose your son?
Becca: (Hesitating) Why don’t we just bring him in-
Joe: What if something is broken? We can’t move him, I’m calling.
Becca: Do what you have too-
Joe: What is that…(Joe decides not to finish his sentence and looks for his cell phone)
Becca: He’s my brother—You don’t understand-
Joe: Well Alex is our son—We’ll tell them it was an accident-
Becca: They won’t-
Joe: It doesn’t matter, Alex needs help. (Finds phone and dials)
(Scene switches back to the comic book setting but this time it is a continuation of scene 7. James and Joe are back in the same costumes and it picks up directly after James’ line)
Joe: You meant to kill me did you, X-Mark?
James: (Strongly) Yes, I did. And I would have too if-
Joe: (Interrupting) If you hadn’t killed that woman. Is that what you’re going to say? (Pause) I was there too, or don’t you remember?
James: I remember everything, she was-
Joe: (Interrupting again) Your mother. Yes, I read about that in the paper—rather sad really. But bad things happen when idiots fool around with guns.
James: (Ignoring the comment) She was your wife!
Joe: What? Finally lost it have you?
James: What—what do you mean?
Joe: I knew this would happen. Really it’s no fun playing the villain in this town when you have no one sane enough to stop you-
James: I’m not crazy! I know what happened.
Joe: (Indifferent) Doubtful.
James: She was your wife! And it wasn’t my fault she died.
Joe: Well I surely didn’t kill any one and the gun was in your hand.
James: I meant to kill you.
Joe: You’ve made that clear.
James: I meant to kill you for what you did. So you couldn’t hurt mom or Becca anymore. I meant to kill you but she got in the way as I-
Joe: What is it like to kill your own mother? I can’t even imagine it-
James: You did it!
Joe: James, son. Why can’t you just accept it.
(As Joe continues to talk Alex sneaks in behind James and begins to untie him. As soon as Alex finishes James jumps up and rushes Joe. They fight both struggling for control of the other until they make their way over to where Alex is standing. James throws Joe and he lands on top of Alex who crashes into the chair and goes unconscious just as in the previous seen. Joe immediately gets up and snaps back into ‘Joe’)
Joe: Alex! Alex are you okay? Can you hear me?
James: Joe did I…hurt Alex?
Joe: Get my phone, he needs an ambulance.
James: Joe did I…did I hurt Alex?
Joe: This wasn’t your fault—get my phone
James: I hurt Alex. I hurt Alex just like I hurt mom. But Becca said it wasn’t my fault…
Joe: Please James, I need you to get my phone—he’s going to be fine.
James: I hurt Alex. I hurt Alex just like I hurt mom. I hurt them.
Joe: (Trying to get his attention) James.
(James looks at Joe quickly then back at Alex for a moment before running off stage. James and Alex are left alone on stage, Joe still kneeling next to Alex)
Joe: (Yelling for Becca offstage) Becca! Alex is hurt, call an ambulance.
(After speaking Joe looks up in the direction James just ran offstage, it is obvious he is worried not only about his son but also about James. End of Act 1)