avoiding the big bang

United States

writes abt: books, cats, and self-deprecation
anti -isms and -phobias

Message to Readers

my friend and i make these sort of bizarro absurdist weird skits and i ended up writing this script in like half and hour randomly on a sunday for one of them. i took a deck of cards with random words on them and tried to incorporate every single one of the first twenty-five words i pulled (that's how you get weird stuff like "scorpion"). the story is fit together with a vague retelling of the story of lucretia, a character in rome's mythohistory whose abduction was instrumental in turning the roman monarchy into a republic. it's very loose and very weird, but i thought it might be worth posting here. let me know what you think; i prefer comments to likes anyday.

Lucretia and Jack

March 27, 2021


LUCRETIA stands in her classroom.  JACK enters.

JACK: Ms. Lucretia?
LUCRETIA: Come in, Jack.
JACK: I’m here to cut off your thumb.  You know how it goes.
LUCRETIA: Of course.  Do as you wish, Jackius.
JACK: What?
LUCRETIA: Jackius.  Or Iackius.  As you would have been called in ancient Rome.
JACK: Oh.  I thought you called me jackass.
LUCRETIA: I would never say that to you.  If you’re going to cut off my thumb, do so.

LUCRETIA raises her hand; the thumb appears to be missing.

LUCRETIA: In ancient Rome, the beginning of every new era was marked by violence against a woman.  You may leave, Jack Superbus.  Jack Sextus.  And call me an ambulance on your way out.

JACK leaves.  LUCRETIA sits and examines her thumb-less hand.  The sound of an airplane grows loud.  A jet materializes next to LUCRETIA; she steps aboard and shakes the hand of the PILOT.

PILOT: To the hospital?
PILOT: I’m operating on a car engine.  The best we can hope is to fall on top of the emergency room.
LUCRETIA: You have my every confidence.

A crash sounds; there is blackness.  LUCRETIA materializes lying on a hospital bed while a DOCTOR looms over her.

DOCTOR: Who did this?
LUCRETIA: His name was Tarquin.  Or John; I don’t remember.
DOCTOR (inspecting wound): Plastic surgery and a scorpion sting will fix this. 
LUCRETIA: It was John, but he went by Jack.  Jackius.
DOCTOR: He was a jackass?
LUCRETIA: That too.
DOCTOR: You’ll be going under the knife soon.
LUCRETIA: Iackius.  The ‘J’ was an ‘I.’  A dipthong.  Doctor, there are heads in the street.
DOCTOR: How tall are you to be?  After the treatment?  (Pause.)  Lucretia?
LUCRETIA: What?  Five feet two inches.
DOCTOR: Aha.  And I’m afraid you’ll be going to prison after this.
LUCRETIA: Lost to history, I suppose.
LUCRETIA: Lack of protein kept us short, you see.  Doctor, you would starve if you were fed wheat like a common animal.
DOCTOR: What would I know?  There now––follow the pilot to Mexico.

The sound of another airplane grows loud.  Again, a jet materializes next to LUCRETIA.  LUCRETIA steps aboard.  The PILOT is chewing his fingernails and looking bored.

LUCRETIA: Do you know Tarquin?
PILOT: Heard of him.
LUCRETIA: He ran me over.  I’m going to die.
PILOT: Any idea what you’ll do in prison?
LUCRETIA: Try to escape, I guess.

The PILOT stops driving and pushes her out into a jail cell.  A human form made of straw sits in the corner.  LUCRETIA inspects the straw figure.

LUCRETIA: Collatinus?

A GUARD walks in.

GUARD: He’s just a ghost.
LUCRETIA: Of course.  (Smiles feebly.)  Should I… unweave my tapestry?
GUARD (harshly): Don’t care what you do in here.  Die for all I care.
LUCRETIA: Escape for all you care.

The GUARD leaves.  LUCRETIA looks back, then slips out of the cell.  She boards a limousine and starts to drive away.

LUCRETIA: Ah!  A light!

She stands in the limousine, then topples over.  Blackness, then LUCRETIA materializes in a simple white dress.  She walks toward an unspecified light source.  An afterlife OFFICIAL greets her.

OFFICIAL: Business?
LUCRETIA: Just died, I think.
OFFICIAL: And the cause?
LUCRETIA: Might’ve been me.  I don’t know.  Might’ve been him.  There was a beheading, an abduction, a chariot crash.  There was a governmental shift.
OFFICIAL: Could his name be Jackius?
LUCRETIA: Jackass?
OFFICIAL: Iackius.
LUCRETIA: The Proud.
OFFICIAL: The Younger.
LUCRETIA: A new Romulus.
OFFICIAL: A dipthong.
LUCRETIA: Of course.  Where do I belong?
OFFICIAL: Purgatory.
OFFICIAL: Then Hell.
LUCRETIA: Of course.  Lost to history.

LUCRETIA vanishes and reappears in a much darker place.  ROSE appears directly next to her, so that the two are face-to-face.  LUCRETIA steps back.

LUCRETIA: Collatinus?
ROSE: Rose.
ROSE: I want your arm.
LUCRETIA: You want my arm?  What do you mean, you want my arm?

LUCRETIA looks at her arm.  It appears not to exist.

LUCRETIA: What did you do with it?
ROSE: I bit it.  That’s the way it is.  It’s Hell.  Woman, it’s bad down here.
LUCRETIA: Where’s Tarquin?
ROSE: There isn’t a Tarquin in Hell.
LUCRETIA: Rose, let me tell you.  For once, I want something.  For once I want just one thing.
ROSE: Can’t have one thing in Hell.
LUCRETIA: What I want is to put on a show.  I’d swap it for my arm.  Trade it to Satan.
ROSE: A contract?  For your arm?
LUCRETIA: Satan likes arms, doesn’t he?  In the pools of magma, in the lakes of the Underworld, I want to put on a show.
ROSE: I see.
LUCRETIA: Now where’s Collatinus?
ROSE: Disappointed.  And dead.
LUCRETIA: Of course.
ROSE: Was he important?
LUCRETIA (thinks about it): No, I guess he wasn’t.


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  • March 27, 2021 - 11:14pm (Now Viewing)

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  • Taylor West

    I loved this! I think the absurdist/disjointed structure of it helped capture the powerlessness of Lucretia. The whole thing felt like a satirical commentary on the inevitability of historical tropes, which I thought was very neat. Also liked the diphthong recurring joke!

    10 days ago
  • anemoia (#words)

    oh wait in the message board you said it was absurdist. my bad

    about 1 month ago
  • anemoia (#words)

    i feel lost in some intensely creative world you've made
    literally lost, but i loved the mytho-historical aspect
    would i be right if i said it had elements of absurdism?
    overall, i felt into this script

    about 1 month ago