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United Kingdom

Message to Readers

-Originality
-Any spelling, punctuation and grammar issues
-Any overall issues with the characters or story.
Thank you so much xx

Eliza

May 9, 2020

ACT 1
 
(A white spotlight shines ominously on WOMAN lying in a hospital bed across centre stage, surrounded by darkness. WOMAN is a young woman in her 20’s, she is dressed in a hospital gown and wears an oxygen mask around her nose and mouth. Her chest steadily rises and falls, mimicking this is the beeping of a heart rate monitor and the puffing of a ventilator. After six beats, we discern voices flying across the stage.)
 
VOICE 1
I love you! Can’t you see?
 
VOICE 2
Get away from me, you crazy bitch!
 
VOICE 3
Did I not raise you to be good?
 
(The voices start to repeat over one another, creating a cacophony of noise that’s gnawing at WOMAN’S head. She tosses and turns violently, the spotlight flickering. The voices are then intervened by ELIZA, a presence on stage in the surrounding darkness. The spotlight stops flickering as soon as her voice speaks.)
 
ELIZA (sardonically)
Take your time why don’t you, love?
 
(The lights come up, set to a subtle fiery-red hue. There is a chair just next to the hospital bed where another young woman in her 20’s, ELIZA, is sat primly. She is quirky and attention-grabbing with long, coloured hair, heavy makeup and a black dress. Her body language is calm and purposeful. WOMAN wakes up and adjusts to her reality. She sights ELIZA and takes off her oxygen mask.)
 
WOMAN (desperate)
Eliza?  
 
(ELIZA reaches out and clasps WOMAN’S hand.)
 
ELIZA (relieved)
Thank God you’re here with me. I thought you were dead- then I wouldn’t have been able to live.
 
WOMAN (Slightly concussed)
Where- where are we?
 
ELIZA (Indifferent)
A hospital ward, in a hospital bed. You overdosed on your medication. Almost forty pills. You’ve been in hospital for a day and I’ve been sitting around, going insane waiting for you.
 
(Long pause)
 
WOMAN (suddenly remembering, in a panic)
I think- I think I killed… my boyfriend.
 
(ELIZA tightens her grasp and nods quickly in joy.)
 
ELIZA (excitedly)
Yes- yes you did.
 
WOMAN
Where’s my mother?
 
ELIZA (Bored)
She fucked off hours ago; she doesn’t care about you like me. (Smiles) At least, Robbie’s gone now. Isn’t that what you wanted after so long?
 
(Laughs shortly but notices WOMAN’S sombre expression and turns argumentative.)
 
Why are you looking like that? Do you remember what he did to you? All that getting drunk and fornicating with women, men and not you- his girlfriend, his beautiful, hardworking girlfriend. No job- you brought in all the dough, babe- it was just drink and you as the trophy. That scumbag was waste- waste of space, waste of the world, you did us all a favour and cleaned him up.
 
(WOMAN closes her eyes and covers her ears, pained and trembling.)
 
WOMAN (hastily)
No! I loved him, Eliza, I did. I loved Robbie with all my heart, I would never have wanted to hurt him.
 
(ELIZA stands and leans over the bed. There is a long pause.)
 
ELIZA
Then why did you kill him, sweetheart?
 
WOMAN
Eliza, please don’t call me that.
 
ELIZA
Why? I love you.
 
(She clambers onto the bed and then onto WOMAN predatorily.)
 
I love you.
 
WOMAN (Unsure)
Eliza… (Pause) You told me to kill him.
 
(ELIZA dismounts WOMAN and sits on the bed next to her.)
 
ELIZA
You like being innocent, don’t you? Hmph, I suppose all humans do; it means bad things stay where they belong as thoughts in the brain. Everything was innocent until I came along, I know you think that.
 
WOMAN
But- but that’s good, isn’t it? You taught me so much, made me the person I am. You’re my greatest friend, my only friend-
 
ELIZA (unbothered)
I’m glad.
 
(ELIZA jumps off the bed and moves towards the audience, looking out with a brooding and glowering expression. The once reddish hue of the lights becomes a cold purple. Purple strobe lights cross ELIZA at her feet, highlighting her as fantastical and dominant. WOMAN is in the shadows. Their voices become like echoes.)
 
How many times did you stab him?
 
WOMAN (Timidly)
You- you know. You were there.  
 
ELIZA
I want you to admit it to me.
 
WOMAN
Twenty-nine.
 
ELIZA (grinning)
Why not thirty, ay, sweetheart? (Aggressively) Just as I told you!
 
WOMAN (crying)
I just- I just… When I saw his chest drop, his gorgeous, umber eyes becoming a colourless grey, I just couldn’t… I couldn’t bring myself to stab him one more time.
 
(WOMAN clutches her head with shaking hands. Eliza turns around and looks at her.)

ELIZA
You should only love me. (shouts suddenly) I love you! Can’t you see?

WOMAN (winces)
Yes- yes, I do- I really do!
 
ELIZA (aggravated)
No, you don’t. You don’t at all-
 
WOMAN (shouting)
No! No, Eliza, I do! I do!
 
ELIZA
You’ll expect me again.
 
WOMAN (screeches horrifically)
No!
 
(WOMAN suddenly flings herself across the bed with her arms out in a failing attempt to catch ELIZA. ELIZA stays put and the whole stage blackouts for a few seconds. The lights come back up and ELIZA has vanished. The stage is now set to a subtle sky-blue hue where WOMAN is crying in her arms, sprawled across the bed.)
 
WOMAN (sniffling)
Eliza, I’m sorry- I’m sorry. I love you and only you! (Pause) You’re right- you’re absolutely right. Robbie had wronged me all this time and I never did anything about it.
 
(The lights flicker slowly. WOMAN kneels up, looking out to the audience, a jagged smile stretched onto her lips.)
 
You helped me do something about it. You mean more than anyone now, more than Robbie, more than my sick mother. I will do whatever it takes to make you stay.
 
(The lights start flickering faster and faster, WOMAN reaching further and further before she collapses back onto the bed. The lights blackout.)
 
END

(973 words)  
Hello! My name is Ellen and I hope that you enjoyed reading my submission for the playwriting competition! I'm sorry if some words look different as I am from the UK, but this piece was really immersive to write. I am new to this site, so I'll make sure to read your works and comment :) x

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7 Comments
  • outoftheblue

    I love this piece, you captured the essence of an abusive relationship perfectly. I'd love to see this extended (perhaps after the competition) and staged professionally.


    7 months ago
  • Ollie Wells

    I love the use of repetition in the language nearing the end to make the play even more emotive. A wonderful read all in all !!


    7 months ago
  • Bronte

    Really good! Loved how the argument built up to the climax and you could tell how creepy of a person Eliza was. The premise was really well introduced with starting at the hospital which kicks off the plot and mood from the get go. My only thing that i found confusing is their attitudes towards each other because of the word choice describing their dialogue and the dialogue itself. I was a bit confused for instance why Eliza talked to her sardonically when its more a mocking tone when she is meant to be in love with the woman. And also why the woman was so quick to forgive Eliza for killing her boyfriend when the woman supposedly loved him and couldn't bring herself to stab him more, unless an abusive relationship between Eliza and the woman was what you were going for which would make complete sense! Overall really good and had a great atmosphere!


    7 months ago
  • Gemma Bradbury

    This is so good! I love the way you described the colours of the stage lights so carefully, I think it was really effective in creating the mood. I think it was also really cool how we were left questioning whether Eliza was real or part of her subconscious.


    7 months ago
  • ElsaRee

    Amazing work!!! <3


    7 months ago
  • Cressida

    This is amazing! I love Eliza's character and how messed up she is. You did a really good job of keeping it consistent all the way through, though like Vaelia, I am slightly confused about the ending. Why was she trying to catch Eliza? Why does she disappear? Is Eliza just a figment of her imagination/a hallucination? I know I should be asking some of these questions, but overall it was very great. I absolutely loved it!


    7 months ago
  • Vaelia

    OMG I love this story!! The suspense, the tension, and Eliza kinda reminds me of Victor from Frankenstein LOL or the Joker. But I got kinda confused with the ending though, maybe tweak it?


    7 months ago