Imagination's Bane

This is a short play I wrote for my Creative Writing lessons in school. As I am not submitting it as a final piece, I thought I would share it with you. Enjoy. *** I do not have plans to extend it.


2. Act 1


An old house standing in a wooded area, the plants overgrown, and crawling over the building,making holes in the walls and roof. Two boys emerge from the trees, each of them about 15. One of them (BARRY) is excited, half-skipping to the front of the house. The second (REGINALD) is rather sombre and unsure, almost shuffling as he follows his friend.


BARRY: [Excitedly] This is it! This is the place!


REGINALD: This? Doesn’t look like anything special to me.


BARRY: But it is. Just look at it. [Points at the building] It’s a union of nature and man.


REGINALD: Looks like nature’s in a destructive mood…


BARRY crosses his arms and moves closer to the house. REGINALD looks on, bored.


BARRY: I used to love coming here. I mean, it used to be more stable…and it looked bigger.


REGINALD: You were smaller. Can we just go?


BARRY: [Frowning] No. You said you wanted to know what I did when I was younger.


REGINALD: I know I did. But I didn’t think that had anything to do with a boring old house.


BARRY: [Annoyed] It’s not boring! It’s amazing! Just look at it…properly. Everything about it is so alive.


REGINALD: Alive? Tell me how it’s alive.


BARRY steps forward. A spotlight settles on him and the background goes dark. He speaks, gesturing as he does.


BARRY: You have to look. Look really hard. Then you can see its life. Observe the plants on its walls, some like snakes, coiling and climbing, and others like mystical doorways, arching. And the roof. It hasn’t collapsed, no. It has been broken out of…by that oak tree. And when the wind blows, the house quivers. Shaking, shaking. I tell you, it’s not a house, no. It is another world. A world of wonder. Do you see?


BARRY steps back and the lighting returns to its previous state. REGINALD looks at his friend vacantly.


REGINALD: [Sarcastically] Oh, yeah. Totally.


BARRY paces, opening and closing his mouth as if choosing his words carefully, but finding it impossible to say them. A few times he taps his chin.


REGINALD: [Sighing] Seriously, man. Can we go?


BARRY: [Shakes his head] No. We’re staying here.


BARRY runs into the house. REGINALD moves to follow, but then stops, deciding the house is too unstable. He calls to BARRY, shouting: “It’s too dangerous in there!” and “Come out!” over and over.


BARRY: [Off] What are you, a wimp? [Laughing] It’s not that bad, Reg. Five minutes, and then we’ll go.


REGINALD: Five minutes? You promise.


BARRY: [Off] Promise.


REGINALD hesitates for a moment, but then heads in with a sigh. There is a shout from BARRY, followed by a short cry from REGINALD. He then comes running out, followed by BARRY.


REGINALD: [Sarcastically] Very funny.


BARRY: [Laughing] Your face…haha…your face was…haha…


REGINALD: [Deep Breath] Okay, you got me. God, you’re so immature.


BARRY: [As he finishes his laughing fit] Lighten up, will you?


REGINALD: Lighten up? [Angrily] I’ll show you ‘lighten up’!


REGINALD raises his fists as if to hit BARRY. BARRY yelps and runs into the house, followed by a red-faced REGINALD. There is a second of angry shouting from REGINALD. “You bastard, you bastard!”

There is a loud crash, followed immediately by a scream from BARRY. REGINALD tumbles out of the house, panting and crying: “BARRY! BARRY!” After a short time, REGINALD gets to his feet, but is very unsteady.



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