Me & My Imaginary Friend

Me and my imaginary friend, have been going round the bend, for some time now... This is a short play I've written for the Klaris Cliff contest. It's only one scene, between only two actors. It sort of speaks for itself really. Mild trigger warning for violence/ child abuse.

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1. .

SCENE 1: INT: PLAIN BEDROOM

 

A boy, OSCAR, cowers in a corner, bruised and bleeding.

 

A tall, but kind faced man, THOMAS, violently beats MOTHER. After a while, MOTHER falls to the ground, still.

 

THOMAS waits, catching his breath for a moment. Slowly, he turns towards OSCAR, and crouches down next to him. His voice is gentle and kind.

 

 

THOMAS

 

Are you alright?

 

 

OSCAR does not reply. He is trembling.

 

 

THOMAS

 

Oscar, are you alright?

 

 

OSCAR makes a strained squeaking sound, but does not speak.

 

 

THOMAS

 

Please speak to me, Oscar. Please?

 

 

OSCAR still does not respond. THOMAS sighs and sits down on the floor next to OSCAR.

 

 

THOMAS

 

Shit.

 

Silence. THOMAS looks at OSCAR in concern.

 

 

THOMAS

 

I didn't mean to scare you.

 

 

Beat.

 

 

 

OSCAR falls from his crouched position on to his hands and knees, and crawls towards MOTHER.

As he gets close to her body, he folds his legs and kneels down beside her.

 

 

OSCAR

 

Mother...

 

Beat.

 

OSCAR

 

Mother... Mother?

 

 

THOMAS stands and approaches OSCAR, but pauses before getting too close. Oscar speaks, growing panicked as he continues.

 

 

OSCAR

 

Oh Mother, I'm sorry, Mother I'm sorry, please Mother, please don't, please don't Mother! I'm sorry Mother don't hurt me, please don't hurt me please don't hurt me!

 

THOMAS approaches MOTHER, and takes the pulse at her neck. OSCAR mutters to himself, verging on a panic attack.

 

 

THOMAS

 

Oscar, please don't be frightened.

 

 

OSCAR continues to mutter to himself.

 

 

THOMAS

 

Oscar, breathe. It's okay. She isn't going to hurt you.

 

OSCAR looks up at THOMAS. THOMAS looks into OSCAR'S eyes, sad and troubled.

 

 

THOMAS

 

She can't, she's dead.

 

OSCAR recoils, horrified, scuttling away from THOMAS. He screams, low pitched and panicked, and climbs on to his bed in the corner.

 

 

OSCAR

 

Mother, you killed Mother, you killed Mother YOU KILLED HER!?

 

THOMAS rushes to comfort OSCAR.

 

 

OSCAR

 

STAY AWAY! GO, go away, stay away! DON'T! YOU KILLED MOTHER! GET AWAY!

 

THOMAS backs away quickly, hands up. OSCAR sobs to himself, rocking.

 

 

THOMAS

 

Oscar...

 

OSCAR interrupts THOMAS, shouting, then begins to revert back to the panicked muttering we heard before.

 

 

OSCAR

 

STAY AWAY! Please, please don't hurt me, go away, please don't hurt me PLEASE DON'T, please don't hurt me....

 

THOMAS is hurt by this. It takes him a while to find words.

 

 

THOMAS

 

Oscar.. I'm sorry. I am so sorry. I didn't mean....

 

Beat.

 

THOMAS

 

Please don't be frightened, I won't hurt you. I'll never hurt you, never ever.

 

THOMAS tentatively approaches OSCAR.

 

 

THOMAS

 

You know I love you Oscar... And you know I don't say that like how Mother does. I don't only love you when I've done something horrible. I love you for always.

 

OSCAR nods, but does not look at THOMAS.

 

 

THOMAS

 

You don't hate me do you Oscar? I don't want you to hate me.

 

OSCAR looks up and shouts, petulant.

 

 

OSCAR

 

Yes I do! I hate you Thomas, I hate you and I want you gone away! I hate you! I HATE YOU!

 

 

THOMAS

 

That's sad. How long are you going to hate me for?

 

 

OSCAR

 

Forever! I hate you for forever!

 

 

THOMAS

 

You can't hate me forever. Forever isn't real, and even if it was real, you would die before it was forever, and you can't hate people after you're dead.

 

OSCAR looks back down at his knees and speaks more quietly.

 

 

OSCAR

 

I know that really.

 

Beat.

 

 

OSCAR

 

I'm just really angry.

 

 

THOMAS

 

I know. But you don't really want me gone, otherwise I wouldn't be here.

 

 

OSCAR

 

But I do! I do want you gone, I don't want you here, I don't know why you're still here! YOU KILLED MOTHER!

 

 

THOMAS

 

You know I didn't mean for her to get killed.

 

OSCAR

 

You HIT HER! You hit her and hit her and you kept on hitting her for way after you had to! She would have gone away!

 

 

THOMAS raises his voice now, frustrated.

 

THOMAS

 

She would have come back! She always comes back, every time and you know that! And she would have been angry, so, angry, so angry...

 

THOMAS seems to get lost in this line, nearly falling into anxious muttering similar to OSCAR'S. But he pulls himself out of it. He speaks quickly, to the point.

 

THOMAS

 

Oscar, once I'd hit her once, I couldn't stop because she would have hit you again and that's not supposed to happen, that's not allowed, that's the whole reason that I'm here.

 

 

OSCAR looks up at THOMAS, spiteful.

 

 

OSCAR

 

So you DID mean her to get killed! You hit her so that she would stop and you knew she wouldn't stop unless you killed her, so you killed her, you killed her you killed her she's dead....

 

OSCAR is muttering to himself again. THOMAS sighs and runs his hands through his hair.

 

 

THOMAS

 

I didn't mean to kill her, I just- Oscar, I don't know what I was trying to do, I just wanted her to stop, and then I'd hit her, and then I didn't know what to do... Oscar. Please, calm down.

 

OSCAR is panicking severely, and not breathing properly.

 

 

THOMAS

 

Oscar, Oscar I'm being serious now, you need to calm down. This is dangerous for you, remember. Stop it, please.

 

Beat.

 

THOMAS

 

Oscar!

 

OSCAR looks up at THOMAS, snapping suddenly.

 

OSCAR

 

I can't just stop it! I can't just stop it! You killed Mother and she's dead and YOU CAN'T MAKE THAT STOP!

 

THOMAS snaps, too.

 

THOMAS

 

I did it to protect you!

 

Beat.

 

THOMAS

 

Don't you understand, I did this so you could be SAFE!

 

 

OSCAR is now cringing away from THOMAS.

 

 

THOMAS

 

She was going to kill you, Oscar!

 

 

THOMAS is quieter now, but his tone escalates throughout, until he is shouting again.

 

THOMAS

 

Look at yourself. You're hurt all over, and she was still hitting you and... I didn't think she was going to stop. Can you understand, Oscar. Can you please understand! I'm just trying to keep you safe, it's my- it's my JOB, it's why I'm here, why don't you understand!?

 

 

OSCAR

 

Because YOU'RE NOT REAL!

 

Beat.

 

OSCAR

 

You're not real...

 

 

THOMAS sits down at the foot of OSCAR'S bed, leaning against the footboard.

 

 

OSCAR

 

Tom, I'm scared.

 

 

THOMAS looks up towards OSCAR.

 

 

THOMAS

 

Are you scared of me?

 

 

OSCAR thinks for a moment.

 

OSCAR

 

Not really. Sort of... I... I don't know.

 

Silence.

 

THOMAS

 

You know I would never hurt you, right?

 

 

OSCAR

 

Yeah.

 

 

THOMAS

 

You're not frightened that I'll hurt you?

 

 

OSCAR

 

No.

 

 

THOMAS

 

Can I sit with you?

 

OSCAR thinks again.

 

 

OSCAR

 

Okay.

 

THOMAS stands from where he is sitting at the foot of OSCAR'S bed, and gets up to sit on the bed, next to OSCAR. He is tentative, and does not touch OSCAR.

 

 

THOMAS

 

You know Oscar, I'm scared too.

 

OSCAR and THOMAS look at each other.

 

 

OSCAR

 

Why are you scared, Tom? What's there to be scared of when you're not real?

 

 

THOMAS

 

I'm scared for the same reason that I think you're scared, Oscar. We don't understand.

 

Beat.

 

 

THOMAS

 

I know that I'm imaginary. We talked about that once, do you remember?

 

 

OSCAR

 

Yeah. You got all scared that you weren't real.

 

THOMAS smiles.

 

THOMAS

 

Yes, and you said just because you're imaginary, that doesn't mean you don't exist, or that you're not important.

 

 

 

THOMAS

 

That was a good conversation. You made me very happy.

 

OSCAR smiles too.

 

THOMAS

 

But... I'm still imaginary. I'm not really real. Because we always said, we both know what's real, and I am not.

 

OSCAR

 

But if you're not real, how can it be that you killed Mother?

 

 

THOMAS

 

I don't know. That's what's scary.

 

 

Beat.

 

 

OSCAR

 

How much of this is real, Tom, how many of these things have really happened?

 

 

THOMAS

 

I don't know any more than you do. I- I'm all in your head!

 

 

OSCAR begins to rock back and forth a little.

 

OSCAR

 

I don't like this Thomas, I don't like this at all, I don't understand.

 

Beat.

 

OSCAR

 

How do I know what's real, Tom?

 

THOMAS looks to OSCAR very mournfully, and reaches his arm out as though he wishes to touch OSCAR. He will not, though.

 

THOMAS

 

I'm sorry Oscar, I wish I could do more... but I don't think you can rely on me for that anymore.

 

 

OSCAR

 

You don't know either?

 

 

THOMAS shakes his head.

 

OSCAR thinks for a moment.

 

OSCAR

 

Could you be wrong about Mother?

 

Beat.

 

OSCAR

 

Perhaps she is not dead.

 

THOMAS sighs sadly.

 

THOMAS

 

Perhaps.

 

Beat

 

THOMAS

 

I don't think that I'm wrong, but... I'm not exactly a reliable source. You might want to check the facts for yourself.

 

OSCAR looks at MOTHER's body. He considers this, reaching out a hand slightly as though he might try and touch her, but suddenly recoils at the prospect.

 

 

OSCAR

 

No, no. No! I can't I can't I can't I can't...

 

OSCAR curls away towards the wall. THOMAS is taken aback and clearly concerned. Again, he reaches out as if to touch Oscar, but does not. He waits a moment before speaking to OSCAR again.

 

 

THOMAS

 

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, that was mean. I shouldn't have asked you to do that.

 

Beat.

 

THOMAS

 

Do you want to trust me?

 

 

OSCAR nods, but does not look at THOMAS

THOMAS smiles.

 

 

 

THOMAS

 

Then trust me.

 

OSCAR speaks with more certainty.

 

OSCAR

 

Mother is dead.

 

 

THOMAS

 

Yeah.

 

Sad silence.

 

 

OSCAR

 

Tom, what will happen now? The Police are going to come and Mother is dead, Mother is dead, Mother is dead! And, and they will want to take somebody away, the person who did this, and they can not take away you, because, because...

 

 

THOMAS

 

Because I'm not real.

 

OSCAR nods, and is becoming very anxious again.

 

 

OSCAR

 

Tom, will they take me away, will they take me away? I don't want to go, I don't want to, I don't want to...

 

THOMAS speaks suddenly, loud and fervent.

 

THOMAS

 

Nobody is going to take you away Oscar. I am not going to let them, not ever. No matter what, even if I have to... hit.. people.. again.

 

Beat.

 

 

THOMAS

 

I don't know what will happen, what they will think happened. I- I don't even know what happened, exactly. I don't know how it happened.

 

Beat.

 

THOMAS

 

But... it happened.

 

Beat.

 

 

THOMAS

 

There aren't very many things that I know, Oscar. But I know that I love you. And I know that this is not your fault. And I know that they will not take you away.

 

 

OSCAR looks up at THOMAS

 

 

OSCAR

 

So what will we do?

 

 

THOMAS

 

Well, the way I see it, we have two options. We can stay here, and wait, and lie, and hope. Or...

 

Beat.

 

THOMAS

 

We can run.

 

Silence.

 

OSCAR looks up at THOMAS

 

 

THOMAS

 

I know that this is scary, and probably I'm the last person that you want to run away with right now. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm...

 

Beat.

 

THOMAS

 

Can you trust me Oscar? Can you really trust me?

 

 

OSCAR is torn. He looks to THOMAS, but then back to MOTHER. He speaks softly, whining.

 

OSCAR

 

Mother...

 

Beat

 

THOMAS

 

You don't need her. You've never needed her, not really, not really.

 

Beat.

 

THOMAS (Cont.)

 

I can take care of you. I love you, and she never did, not really. I do.

 

 

OSCAR snaps again.

 

 

OSCAR

 

But you're not REAL! YOU'RE NOT!

 

 

So THOMAS shouts too.

 

THOMAS

 

But do I have to be!?

 

 

THOMAS suddenly lowers his voice, much softer and kinder now.

 

 

THOMAS

 

Does it really matter?

 

Beat.

 

THOMAS

 

I look real to you, don't I? And I feel real- I feel real to myself, so I must feel real to you, I must, I must.

 

Beat.

 

THOMAS

 

And when you let me look after you, when I hold your hand... it feels real to me, it feels warm and soft and... It feels like touching. And that feels safe, and at home.

Beat.

 

THOMAS

 

Does it feel like that to you?

 

Pause.

 

OSCAR

 

Yes.

 

 

THOMAS

 

Then isn't that enough?

 

Beat.

 

 

THOMAS

 

Can that be enough?

 

 

THOMAS reaches out his hand, still wet from MOTHER's blood, to OSCAR.

 

There is a lengthy pause.

 

OSCAR takes it. The blood now on his hands.

 

OSCAR

 

Tom.

 

THOMAS

 

Yes?

 

 

OSCAR

 

I love you.

 

 

THOMAS

 

I love you, too.

 

 

OSCAR climbs into THOMAS' arms, and THOMAS holds him. He starts to hum a soft lullaby.

 

Blackout.

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