A short Valentine’s Day Play.
by Ron Campbell
The cockpit of a DC3 Cargo plane and later a Deserted Island somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle.
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
Carl…………………………tall, tan and slightly out of shape man, mid thirties, pilot.
Carol……………………………..attractive, fit mid thirties woman with an easy smile.
Doc…………………………….non speaking role, sixties, looks like Christopher Lloyd.
(Lights up on the cockpit of a DC 3 cargo plane flying through a storm somewhere south of Key Largo. Doc, an old pilot and Carl, a young pilot, are struggling with the controls under heavy turbulence. Carl speaks directly to the audience:)
It was supposed to be a routine flight. I was co-piloting a DC 3 cargo plane delivering solar panels and gourmet kitchen supplies to a remote island south of Bermuda.
The pilot was a crusty old geezer we all called “Doc” on account he looked like Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future. We had taken off out of Key West under the questionable guidance of a crew of substitute air traffic control agents brought in during the government shut down.
Against our better judgement we lifted off into heavy turbulence at the front edge of a category 3 tropical storm and it only got worse from there. Three hours into the flight we were bucking seventy five mile an hour winds and a wicked wind shear out of the southwest and just trying to keep her level.
Doc was wrestling with the controls and I was trying to get the tower on the radio and that’s when it happened.
(There is a lightning flash! Thunder! Sudden sounds of wind and failing engine.)
What is he hell was that?! Doc! The instruments! They’re down! I’m getting nothing. That lightening bolt. I think it took out engine number one!
Doc! Pull up! Doc!
The electrics- they’re fried!
We’re going down! Doc! Pull up!
Largo tower! Come in Largo tower. This is cargo flight 333. Headed zero niner niner out of Key West. Do you read me!
Doc, it’s dead. The radio- it’s dead! Doc!
I shook him. And he slumped over in his seat. Eyes rolled back. Lips blue. A tendril of smoke curled out of his nostril. Doc!
…he was dead. The lightening bolt must have hit the cockpit dead center, knocked out all the instruments and then traveled up the joystick and straight into old Doc’s ticker. WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!
I was on my own now. Flying blind. Visibility down to zero. Primary engine sputtering.
Largo tower! Come in, Largo tower! Mayday! Mayday! I’m going down! Engine out! Visibility zero! Preparing for water landing- and I’m a lousy swimmer! Wait. Wait! What is that? Is that an ISLAND! And then everything went black.
(Blackout. In the darkness the sound of gulls and gentle surf. Lights come up on a deserted island. There’s a palm tree, a sandy beach, a volcano in the distance.)
I woke up three weeks later on the shore of this desert island. The plane had crash-landed on some soft dunes and was fairly intact on the south side of a secluded lagoon.
After burying Doc in a nice spot overlooking the West side of the island I went about taking an inventory. Since the main cargo had been kitchen supplies and solar panels I quickly fashioned a gourmet kitchen with an open plan dining room from the plentiful bamboo. I had time on my hands so I also built a small ballroom with a vaulted ceiling.
I then explored the island. There was a small volcano, banana and coconut groves, a bamboo forest with a lovely meadow and a lagoon filled with easy to catch fish. A fresh spring fed the island’s many pools and grottoes and because of the volcano’s thermal activity many were heated to a pleasant 86 degrees. There were tame venison and delicious wild boar grazing on the north side of the island’s only peak and plentiful flocks of turkey and Cornish game hen. Despite all of these riches my little kingdom had no other human inhabitants. I was alone.
Weeks turned in to months. And months into I lost count. To battle the monotony I began to teach myself gourmet cooking techniques using the bounteous menu of ingredients the island had to offer. On a fertile patch of soil in the shade of the volcano I grew assorted vegetables and herbs. Every evening I would treat myself to a fabulous five course feast that I had created in my solar powered chef’s kitchen.
After dinner, as the sun set, I’d gaze off into the horizon from my bamboo veranda. High on the pungent sauterne I had distilled from some bat guano I had harvested from a nearby cave, I contemplated my fate.
Was I to spend the rest of my days on this island, cut off from my fellow man making myself increasingly fabulous dinners night after night after night?
I prowled the ballroom. The bamboo floor glistened under its coconut oil polish catching the sunset glow. Loneliness clenched me like a vice. To combat the longing I danced.
(Carl does a little soft shoe Fred Astaire move.)
I closed my eyes and imagined that perfect partner and danced. I didn’t stop until I banged in to one of the bamboo beams that supported my vaulted ceiling.
Embarrassed despite the fact that there wasn’t a soul within a hundred miles to see me, I opened my eyes again and gazed once more out to sea.
And that’s when I saw it. Far beyond the lagoon. A boat. More than a boat. A pleasure cruiser. Just a few miles out to sea. I could see the strings of lights along the decks. I ran to the the closest edge of the island: Hello! Over here! Ahoy! Over here!
But something was wrong. The angle. The angle of the streamers of lights on the deck. It was leaning. Forty five degrees… Fifty. …Sixty! It was sinking. The ship was sinking! I dove into the water. Never a good swimmer, I quickly tired. But I kept going. If there was someone out there I would rescue them, I would serve them fantastic dinners. If they were hurt I would nurse them back to health, I would- but the water was pulling me under. The excitement was too much. I felt the darkness closing in and everything went black.
(Carol enters. She is athletic and fit with a warm smile. Carl and Carol stand side by side, addressing the audience.)
It was I who nursed him back to health. As a former Olympic swimmer I was the only survivor of the tragic sinking of the Idyll, a fully appointed luxury cruiser that I had, on a whim, boarded only weeks earlier for what they advertised as the “Bermuda Triangle Tour.” When the ship began to list curiously to starboard I had quickly grabbed on to the Pilates reformer that I had been using in the onboard gym and- using my core muscles of course- I paddled towards the shadow of an island that I thought I saw just moments before the Idyll created her own inexorable whirlpool and sucked the crew and passengers down to their watery graves. Perhaps if I had not medaled in the five hundred meter butterfly just two years earlier I might not have had the strength to escape their same fate.
No sooner had I made my way beyond the clutches of that deadly Charibdis that I saw a man desperately dog paddling in my direction. Using my life guard training I reversed his direction and pulled his unconscious body back to the lagoon. With my CPR expertise I was able to bring him, sputtering, back to life.
I woke up the next morning to the smell of one of my favorite breakfast treats, an omelet of albatross eggs and wild boar bacon cooked in coconut oil. I remember we didn’t speak a word to one another that first morning. We ate in silence. Just gazing at one another. Everything was so beautiful. She had found the palm fronds I was fond of and laid out a delicious spread with cut passion fruits and kiwi. Our eyes met again and again.
I couldn’t help it. You were so tall and tan and the way the coconut oil in your hair caught the light. And I just kept thinking how adorable you had been the night before, diving into the water to save me even though you could barely swim.
CARL Hey, I can swim!
CAROL No you can’t, Carl. You really can’t. You were gone. I had to give you mouth to mouth for hours before you finally opened your eyes.
CARL I know.
CAROL You know? You mean you- oh Carl! You little devil you!
CARL I Couldn’t help it- your lips- I never wanted to stop kissing them.
CAROL And you never shall.
(They kiss passionately.)
CARL A few days later I was recovered enough to show Carol the island. We started at the Western lagoon, the scenic overlook where I had buried Doc. She put some fresh picked flowers on his grave.
CAROL It seemed like the right thing to do.
CARL I was dusting off the headstone and our hands brushed each other. A shot of electricity went right through me. Our eyes met again.
CAROL We kissed.
CARL We did. This time for real. I felt the passion building up inside me.
CAROL I felt it too.
CARL We made love.
CAROL Right on the gravestone.
CARL Our bodies a tangle of limbs, I didn’t know where I ended-
CAROL -And I began. His months alone on the island had built up a fantastic amount of passion- and stamina. After making love on the gravestone we hiked up to the bamboo forest and made love in the meadow.
CARL After making a pik-nik of dried figs and venison sliders I showed her the coconut and bamboo groves where we made love-
CARL -before making our way to the bat grotto where we-
CAROL Made love-
CARL While hanging upside down to avoid being detected by the-
CAROL -Fruit bats.
CARL -That call the grotto their home.
CAROL Don’t forget to tell them about the rooftop.
CARL Oh yes. We made love on the roof of the vaulted ceiling I had constructed over the veranda and ballroom.
CAROL It was the single greatest use of a handmade flying buttress that I have ever been a party to.
CARL I bet you say that to all the guys.
CAROL Only you.
CARL We retired to the ballroom where we danced like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
CAROL Carl is a wonderful dancer.
CARL After the dancing we felt hungry and had a light snack of oysters and fermented pomegranate while bathing in one of the thermal pools-
CAROL Where we made love.
CARL Before hiking up to the lip of the volcano.
CAROL Oh yes.
CARL Where we had a final love making session culminating in a spectacular simultaneous orgasm timed perfectly to the green flash of the setting sun.
CAROL Carl made me a fabulous five course dinner and tucked me into bed, where we spooned, warm and spent, gazing up at the stars until everything went black.
CARL And that’s how it was.
CAROL For months.
CARL Every day.
CAROL Like clockwork.
CARL That was our routine.
CAROL Until one day…
CARL I said “Carol?”
CAROL Yes Carl?
CARL We need to spice things up.
CAROL How do you mean? The venison sliders? Too bland? The Cornish game hen too pedestrian?
CARL No I mean our lovemaking. It’s become too routine. Day after day it’s the same thing. The same ecstatic all day eroticism culminating in a volcanic cathartic consummation on the volcano slope. We need something to spice it up. Something to get our rutting out of a rut.
CAROL I’m glad you’re saying this. I was feeling the same way. As much as I love you and enjoy our erotic- and gastronomic- connection I feel we are reaching a plateau of intimacy and am ready to explore with you whatever you have in mind.
CARL Oh my love. I am so glad to hear that. Well, I’ll just come out and say it. I think we should see other people.
CAROL …but there are no other people.
CARL I know. But that shouldn’t deter us. There is a way.
CAROL I’m listening.
CARL Role play.
CAROL You mean-
CARL Yes. We pretend to be different people. We create costumes, develop scenarios, improvise scenes-
CAROL But it will still be you.
CARL Of course.
CAROL Carl, you know I love you. These past few months have been paradise. You fulfill me in ways I could never have imagined. And if this is what you really want- this “role playing”, then I am up for it.
CARL And so we started. That week a plumber arrived at the veranda and interrupted a yoga instructor in the middle of the splits.
CAROL And a worker in a haz mat suit made entirely of palm fronds rescued a shepherdess in the bamboo meadow.
CARL And an accountant was surprised by a mermaid in the South lagoon.
CAROL And a grieving widow-
CARL -Was taken by an undertaker on the scenic overlook near Doc’s grave.
CAROL Ginger Rogers-
CARL -gave Fred Astaire CPR- and a little bit more- in the ballroom.
CAROL And a cave man-
CARL -Deflowered a virgin that was slated to be sacrificed to the volcano gods.
CAROL It was quite a week.
CARL It sure was. But something was missing.
CAROL What my love? What could possibly be missing?
CARL I’ve been trying to put my finger on it. And I think I figured it out. Darling I checked the calendar. It’s February fourteenth. Valentines Day. I want you to wear this.
CAROL What is it?
CARL It’s a mustache. I’ve fashioned it out of coconut fur.
CAROL …okay. And who do you want me to be?
CARL Some guy.
CAROL ..Some guy?
CARL Yes, some random guy.
CAROL Carl I didn’t think you-
CARL No, it’s not for sex. I just need to talk to some guy.
CAROL What are you going to talk about?
CARL Look. I’m a guy. I need to share with some guy. Have some guy talk. I hope you can understand.
CAROL Darling. I love you. If this is what you really want I’ll do it.
CARL Great. Go behind the palm tree over there and put on the mustache with this guano glue I made from fruit bat feces. When you come back just be some random guy. Can you do that for me?
CAROL Of course. I’ll be right back- I mean he’ll be right back.
(Carol goes behind the palm tree. Returns wearing the mustache.)
CAROL What’s up?
CARL You won’t believe it.
CAROL Try me.
CARL I’ve been fucking this gorgeous ex Olympic swimmer all day and all night for months.
CAROL No shit. Which one? You mean that chick I’ve seen with the coconut bra picking flowers over by the scenic overlook?
CARL That’s the one.
CAROL Nice. I’d do her.
CARL (Taken aback:) Wait. What?
CAROL I’d do her. She’s hot.
CARL No. You’ll never. She’s mine. I’ll kill you if you dare touch her!
CAROL Well maybe we should see how she feels about that.
CARL Wait. Stop. This is not what I meant-
CAROL Yeah, I’ve noticed her. She’s been giving me the eye over by the banana grove.
CARL Don’t you dare go near her.
CAROL I hate to break it to you but I already had my way with her in a the bamboo meadow.
CARL You didn’t.
CAROL I did. While you were preparing the wild boar sliders. What can I say? She digs my mustache.
CARL How dare you! I’ll kill you. I’ll kill you before I let you have her.
CAROL It’s not like she’s your property.
CARL She is! She’s mine. She’s my one and only. My Valentine.
CAROL She might have something to say about that. She might want to make her own choice.
CARL Then I won’t give her a choice. This island isn’t big enough for both of us.
(Carl brandishes one of his Japanese kitchen knives.)
CAROL Carl, put down the knife.
CARL I finally found my dream girl. Some random guy can’t suddenly show up and take her from me.
CAROL Carl, it’s me.
CARL I don’t care who you are. You can’t have her. I’ll make sure you don’t.
CAROL Carl wait-
CARL Take that! And that!
(Carl stabs Carol repeatedly. Carol staggers to the ballroom.)
CAROL Oh Carl. I thought.. I thought we could have one. Last. Dance. But everything’s fading … to black.
(She dies. Carl looks out as the sun begins to set. He sings the Billy Idol song as he starts to dance alone in his bamboo ballroom. At the moment when the sun sets there is a green flash.)
CARL A-when there’s no one else in sight,
A-in crowded lonely night
Well, I wait so long for my love vibration And I’m dancing with myself.
Oh oh, Dancing with a-myself,
Oh, oh, dancing with myself
Well, there’s nothing to lose And there’s nothing to prove, well, Dancing a-with myself.
If I looked all over the world
And there’s every type of girl
But your empty eyes seem to pass me by And leave me dancin’ with myself.
So let’s sink another drink
Cause it’ll give me time to think
If I had the chance I’d ask the world to dance
And I’ll be dancin’ with myself
Oh oh, Dancing with a-myself,
Oh, oh, dancing with myself.
(Fade to Black.)