Duel

DUEL.doc

Duel
a short play

 

DUEL

 

        

CAST:        HE,  a man.

SHE, a woman.

SETTING: A hotel room.

(The lights come up on a man and a woman standing there staring at each other. Poised like gunfighters at the Ok Corral. Except HE and SHE are in bathing suits with towels around their shoulders. A tense pause, then:)

HE

This is it.

SHE

The last stand.

HE

The final showdown.

SHE

The main  event.

HE

The point of no return.

SHE

The tipping point.

HE

The edge of the brink of the verge.

SHE

Make your move.

HE

Draw.

SHE

A picture?

HE

A pitcher.

SHE

Of what?

HE

Beer.

SHE

What kind?

HE

Anchor Steam.

SHE

Margaritas.

HE

Where?

SHE

The beach.

HE

With me?

SHE

Maybe. Can you swim?

HE

Of course.

SHE

I mean really swim?

 

HE

Like a fish.

SHE

How’s your butterfly?

HE

How’s yours?

SHE

Well if push comes to shove-

HE

Which it will.

SHE

You think?

HE

It will if I have anything to do with it.

SHE

Which you don’t.

HE

Says you.

SHE

Says me.

(A beat.)

 

HE

I know what your problem is.

SHE

Shoot.

HE

You have no respect for me.

SHE

I do, but it’s small.

HE

How small?

SHE

Infinitesimal.

HE

Can it be measured?

SHE

I guess.

HE

Then it’s not that small.

SHE

Small enough.

HE

For what?

SHE

To compare.

HE

To what?

SHE

Zero.

HE

Zero respect?

SHE

Bingo.

HE

So compared to zero respect you have an infinitesimally small amount of respect for me.

SHE

Exactly.

HE

…I have the same for you.

SHE

Really. …I guess it’s a start.

HE

Something to build on.

SHE

But not much.

HE

Still, there’s a slim chance-

SHE

Infinitesimal.

HE

– that something might grow.

SHE

Or fade.

HE

Or flower.

SHE

Or fester.

HE

Or flourish.

SHE

Or flounder.

HE

It’s the chances we take that define us.

SHE

However hopeless.

HE

However tiny.

SHE

Miniscule.

HE

But measurable.

SHE

Negligible.

HE

-As a negligee.

SHE

Don’t go there.

HE

I never left.

SHE

It’s a dead end.

HE

I like your cul-de-sac.

SHE

Hang a u-ey.

HE

What’s your sign?

SHE

Yield.

 

HE

I’m a Leo.

SHE

So am I.

(HE & SHE both growl.)

 

                                    HE

I want you in my pride.

SHE

Yeah, that’s likely.

HE

You think?

SHE

You know who invented sarcasm?

HE

Who?

SHE

(Sarcastically)

I did.

HE

But you said there was a chance, however infinitesimal, but a measurable chance.

SHE

Like a snowball in hell.

HE

Depends on the snowball.

SHE

Hunh?

HE

Depends on the snowball. What if the snowball was huge?

SHE

Same difference-

HE

What if the snowball was as gargantuan as the chance was infinitesimally small? What then?

SHE

Impossible.

HE

So is true love, but it still happens.

SHE

Only in books.

HE

And songs.

SHE

And movies.

HE

And poems.

SHE

And ten minute plays.

(A pause as they both look at the audience.)

 

HE

You’re warming to me.

SHE

I’m melting you.

HE

Dive into my syrup then.

SHE

I forgot my floaties.

HE

Borrow mine.

SHE

They’re deflated.

HE

So am I.

SHE

I can’t help you with that.

HE

How do you know?

SHE

I never tried.

HE

Exactly.

SHE

Exactly.

(A pause as they re group.)

 

HE

What if I was your chance?

SHE

You?

HE

Yeah, me.

SHE

You don’t have the snowballs.

HE

No, seriously. What if I was your chance for true love. What would I look like?

SHE

Well first off, you’d be small.

HE

How small?

SHE

Ever seen a quark?

HE

A what?

SHE

A quark. A lonely quark.

HE

Impossible.

SHE

Why’s that?

HE

A quark could never be lonely. They always travel in pairs.

SHE

That’s true.

HE

Gotcha.

SHE

In your dreams.

HE

There too.

SHE

Why me?

HE

I’ve got my reasons.

SHE

Name ‘em.

HE

Well let’s see… Availability.

SHE

Charmer.

HE

Desperation.

SHE

That’s always attractive.

HE

Opportunity.

SHE

It’s not knocking.

HE

Self loathing.

SHE

Well justified.

HE

The challenge.

SHE

Make your move.

HE

Draw.

SHE

A pitcher?

HE

Of beer.

SHE

Margaritas.

HE

No, a picture.

SHE

Of what?

HE

Of us. Two lonely quarks, swimming in the syrup. Duking it out on the edge of the abyss. Gambling on the infinitesimal chance that they might fall…

SHE

In love?

HE

Bingo.

SHE

Happy Valentines’ day, baby.

HE

Happy Valentines’.

(They kiss. A warm, passionate kiss.)

SHE

Are we crazy?

HE

The only thing I’m crazy about is you.

SHE

Me too… Let’s go.

HE

Where to?

SHE

For a swim.

(SHE runs off, giggling. HE looks after her for a moment, shakes his head, and follows.)           

END OF PLAY

 

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