Dreambox (A Short Play)

31 Plays in 31 Days #1

(A sandbox.)

(Enter SALL, wearing a chain necklace, carrying a shovel.)

(SALL looks around furtively.)

(SALL hastily digs into the sandbox and makes a hole way off in one corner of the sandbox.)

(SALL pulls the chain-necklace out, and it has an object attached on the end – perhaps a golden locket, or a white flash drive, or a key inside a velvet bag. SALL buries the precious item.)

(SALL exits.)

(Lights down.)

(Lights up. KOMRY is in the sandbox, digging in the center with hands alone.)

(Enter SALL, whistling oh-so-nonchalantly. SALL sees KOMRY digging and stops whistling.)

SALL
Hello, old friend.

KOMRY
Oh, hey, what’s up.

SALL
So yeah whatcha doin’.

KOMRY
Casserole.

SALL
What?

KOMRY
A chemistry experiment?

SALL
Asshole.

KOMRY
Ask a silly question.

SALL
Like whatcha doin’ in the larger purpose sense.

KOMRY
China.

SALL
As in digging to?

KOMRY
Yeah.

SALL
As in revisiting your childhood?
That’s sweet.

KOMRY
Want to help?

SALL
Naw.

KOMRY
It’s kinda fun, actually.

SALL
But you knew that, that’s why you got down there.

KOMRY
No.
Just because you make a joke doesn’t mean that’s what I’m you know actually doing.
Actually.

SALL
Relax.
You’re the cagey one here.

KOMRY
Sorry.
I know what you’ll say when I tell you the truth.

SALL
What will I say?

KOMRY
No no no.

SALL
Aw come on.

KOMRY
Ugh.
I hate predictability.

SALL
I won’t say a thing now.

KOMRY
That’s what I’d expect now that it was a big deal of, actually.

SALL
I’ll… hmm. Aright, try me.

KOMRY
I’ll give you a shiny quarter if your response is interesting.

SALL
Look I know you’ve got me pegged and all, but I do have… hidden depths.

KOMRY
Right, okay.

SALL
Shoot.
Wait.
Stop digging and shoot.

KOMRY
Why?

SALL
So you can ya know see my real reaction.

KOMRY
K.

(KOMRY pauses.)

KOMRY
Had a dream.

SALL

Like MLK?

KOMRY
Actual.
Actual dream.

SALL
Told you to dig?

KOMRY
I-
Ugh.
Someone else couldn’t have walked by.

SALL
Challenge yerself. Give me a shot.

KOMRY
Had a dream.
Actual dream.
Lasted all night in my head, I guess they always seem to, but it did actually last all night. I know because I woke up after the first little part, and it was 2:08am on my big red flashing clock numbers, and then fell back asleep and it restarted and went all the way through, and I woke up from it abruptly at the very end and it was well like 20 minutes ago.

SALL
Explains… the timing.

KOMRY
Sure.
Anyway.

SALL
Did your dream depict you y’know doing this?

KOMRY
Yeah, for starters.

SALL
Did your dream suggest you’d find treasure in that sand or y’know somethin like that?

KOMRY
No…
A world.

SALL
A world.

KOMRY
Yep.
Well?

SALL
Well…
What world?

KOMRY
Wasteland.

SALL
A tiny wasteland?

KOMRY
Sall.

SALL
Serious question.
This is the trick here, I’m being serious. These are serious questions designed to get serious answers from you. Surprised?

KOMRY
…No, it opened up. Into a portal.
Not a portal. A window.
Not a window. It was just, natural. Natural that inside the sand would be my head and inside my head would be my dreams and inside the dreams would be China and inside China would be the wasteland of humanity’s future.

SALL
A lot of layers deep there.

KOMRY
Inside, inside, inside. Like if you open a shaken soda can. The foam all comes up and out. It was all inside there for actual and true, but once it was opened, it took up more space. There’s more foam after you open. There’s more world after I dig in.

SALL
But you end up inside your head first.

KOMRY
The dream left me the feeling that I could do it.

SALL
And yer doin’ it.

KOMRY
Uh-huh.

(Komry digs.)

SALL
It seems like a bad idea, digging into your head.

KOMRY
I mean, I don’t believe in it. But I figure something’ll happen.

SALL
Something, aright.

KOMRY
Even if I just hit the bottom of the sandbox, at least I can say I followed the, what would you call it.

SALL
The… impulse.

KOMRY
Yep.

SALL
I’ll help.

KOMRY
I-

(SALL digs fast and hits the bottom of the sandbox, in the center.)

SALL
There ya go.

KOMRY
Hmm.

SALL
What?

KOMRY
I have to keep going.
SALL
What?
Why.

KOMRY
The dream-
It was all piled up like a volcano or an ice cream cone.
I have to get it all stacked up.
Then I get to the bottom of it all.

SALL
How all stacked up is all stacked up?

KOMRY
Why? You still going to help?
I guess you’ll go to lengths to prove me wrong and suggest you’re a lovely person.

SALL
You gotta leave the box nice for the next person, Komry.

KOMRY
I’ll put it back.

SALL
Unless you fall into some other universe or somethin’.

KOMRY
Right. That.

SALL
I had a dream once where I fucked your ex.

KOMRY
Yeah, I remember.

SALL
So I can see how you see this dream being fulfillable and all that.

KOMRY
Thanks.
I can finish it.

SALL
No, I insist.

(Komry stops while Sall sort-of digs around.)

KOMRY
I guess I knew you’d find a way to stick your ass in my face.

SALL
I don’t hate you.

KOMRY
I never knew what I ever did to you.

SALL
I don’t hate you.
Don’t take it personal.

KOMRY
Let me dig my dream in peace.

SALL
I wanna help.
To make peace, eh?

KOMRY
No, you don’t. So stop playing games.

SALL
I swear.
Heck, I’ll do it for you.
Go take a walk, come back, it’ll be all stacked to heaven. I swear to boy scouts.

KOMRY
Fuck off.

SALL
I swear.
Give me a chance.
Don’t let the ol’ mean demeanor put you off.
Just the one chance.

KOMRY
No. The dream needs me doing it.
I slide in, I slide down, I peel up, I peel in, I disappear…

SALL
Oof.
Sounds rough. You aright, old friend?

KOMRY
Dandy.

SALL
Cuz you sound perturbed.

KOMRY
You are annoying me, yes. If I hadn’t made that abundantly clear.

SALL
Maybe unhappy with yer life more like, like depressed. Wanting to disappear and all.

KOMRY
Then you should let me like actually finish this, I’ll be out of the way forever.

SALL
I don’t want you out-

KOMRY
No, you want to torture me for life.

SALL
I ain’t such a bad person.

KOMRY
What did you even do with Ilas when you were done with your fun?

SALL
It wasn’t that fun.

KOMRY
Terrible, horrible, a slog, a chore. Sex, joy, ugh, awful. To the victor goes the awful trouble of having to be spoiled.

SALL
No hard feelings, now.

KOMRY
How much of this sand is still all up in my eye ducts?

SALL
It’s the game. I just play. Ilas went for, y’know, the funny meaniepants. Childish and all, but, hey, sex.

KOMRY
My sister tried that, it never worked.
SALL
I played it better I guess.
Yeah all right?

KOMRY
Sure, all right, that actually explains why after Ilas disappeared you continued kicking at me.
Why don’t you move that sand over here a grain at a time.

SALL
Look look by then it was all habit n’ stuff. You looked at me like the bitch of your life. I tried to be all hey we’re cool now but.

KOMRY
Uh-huh. Didn’t try too hard.

SALL
Well I didn’t care that much.

KOMRY
But now you do all of a sudden?

SALL
I guess your dream moved me to be all sorts a magnanimous.

KOMRY
I know this. I know this game. I play, I give in, and suddenly it’s twice as bad, you laugh four times as big, I feel ten times as stupid. I won’t fall for that.
Get out of the sandbox, I have a Chinese wasteland to dig to, and a lot of dreams to sift to get there.

SALL
Hey.
I.
Hey hey.

KOMRY
Move, keep moving.

SALL
Hey.
Come on-
Look.

KOMRY
La la la not listening.

SALL
Komry.
Old friend.

KOMRY
Dig, dig, dig on down, low, low, low…

SALL
O-
Okay-
Okay okay look I-
I had a dream too.

KOMRY
Dig, dig, dig on down, low, low, low…

SALL
I had a dream too, I said.
About digging in the sand.

KOMRY
Oh what?

(KOMRY seems to have found something in the sand and searches around blindly for it, but only for an instant because SALL jumps in.)

KOMRY
Asshole!

(KOMRY slugs SALL.)

KOMRY
Oops.

(SALL snaps to.)

SALL
You-
I-
I am not upset here.

KOMRY
Uh-

SALL
I accept.

KOMRY
You-
You’re going to call the police and-

SALL
Nope!

(SALL takes out a cell phone and breaks it.)

KOMRY
Extreme.

SALL
Yup I wish I ain’t a done that. But you see I’m serious here.

KOMRY
What reason have you for preventing me from digging? Seriously?

SALL
Dream.
I had that dream.

KOMRY
Actually, you had a dream.

SALL
I dream buddy.
You don’t even know…

KOMRY
And…

SALL
Dreamed…
That you fall in.
And never come back.
Portal…
There’s a…
A portal, and it closes, but as it does… whoosh… there’s a, a scream.
Your. Your scream.
Oh gosh.
AAAAAAAGHHHHHHHH.
The worst sound I ever did hear, y’know?
It freaked me.
I never-

KOMRY
When-

SALL
A couple hours ago.
Same dream time.
You see?
How can I warn you?
Save you?
Maybe some demons tricked you-
I don’t know who knows-
Yer not normal, I’ve always known that, if anyone could get themselves dug into some hell space-

KOMRY
Huh.

SALL
Huh is right. Yeah.
How can I warn you when the…

KOMRY
The…
The whole Ilas thing.

SALL
Exact-
Exaaactly.
I tried to be subtle.
But here we are.

KOMRY
Oh.
Gosh.
Sorry I hit you.

SALL
I’m not ever been a dream believer type but hell this kind of crap can make you like change your outlook.

KOMRY
You really think if I complete the-

SALL
Yes.

KOMRY
Well.

SALL
Well?
Don’t die, old friend. Not neither of us got Ilas up here, but there’s still plenty of good to go ‘round, ey? It ain’t so bad.

KOMRY
…I suppose.

SALL
Yeah.
Yeah.
Good?
You good?

KOMRY
Ah…
I just had such a dream…
It was beautiful…

SALL
A wasteland?

KOMRY
A place where everyone was gone…
I was alone but I was happy there, because I knew I was only alone because there was no one else in existence.
Not like when there are other people in existence, and they just…
Well.
Maybe that’s a problem with me.
Maybe I should dig into my dreams more.

SALL
Yeah.
Yep.

KOMRY
…Tha-
Ugh.
So thank you, I guess.

(KOMRY winces.)

SALL
Wha?

KOMRY
This is where you go “gotcha sucker.”

SALL
No.
No, old friend.

KOMRY
…I don’t believe it.

SALL
B’lieve.

KOMRY
…I…
If I make it to the day I die-

SALL
Long may you live.

KOMRY
Yeah-
If I make it to the day I die, and there’s no gotcha, I’ll believe.

SALL
Yeah, Ilas was pretty great.

KOMRY
Yeah.

SALL
I get it.

KOMRY
Yeah.
Well.
Now what.

SALL
I’ll clean up the mess. You go contemplate your uh your life.

KOMRY
…Something like that, anyway.

(KOMRY exits.)

(SALL bursts into tears as soon as KOMRY is long gone.)

(SALL, panicky, dives into the sand, digs up the precious object.)

SALL
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. So sorry. So sorry.

(SALL kisses the object lovingly.)

SALL
The burden’s mine.
Unless…
No.

(SALL returns the object to the chain-necklace and wears it again.)

(SALL sighs and starts replacing the sand into a neat sandbox again.)

(End of play.)

writing time: 1:03

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One comment

  1. […] Dreambox – someone tries to keep a mysterious object hidden from an accidental explorer Came from listening […]

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