THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING HEARTLESS: A One-Act Play Halloween: Scenes 1-3
Scene 1: Missy and Todd leave their brownstone. The air is cold and wet with snow, the street filled with puddles and slush. Friday night, Park Slope,Brooklyn and strange weather for a Halloween weekend. The couple had met the year before at work, one of the top foreclosure law firms inNew York, McBludgeon Associates, Ltd. The year had been fantastic – with the advent of robo-signing the commissions from the mega-lenders were easy to come by and lucrative. Their trip toMonaco in May closed the deal and Missy moved in with Todd soon their after and married in July. The annual costume party is being held in McBludgeon’s luxurious office located on the top four flours of a strategically positioned building in Wall Street district.
Upon leaving the cab, Todd realizes that they have a problem. “We forgot about costumes.”
Maybe it was the unseasonable storm or the well aged cognac, but there is no way to go to the party without the appropriate costume, and this year the McBludgeon celebrants are to come as the jobless, the foreclosed upon, the homeless, the poor, the protesters.
Missy has an idea. “Todd, we’re only a block from Zuccotti Park– you know – Occupy Wall Street. Maybe we can buy some dirty old clothes from those guys.”
Scene 2: Zuccotti Park is crowded with odd assortment of people bundling together to stay warm. A speaker on a bull horn announced that Vermont Outback had donated fifty sleeping bags. Everyone cheers. A cacophony of signs – Feed the Hungry Soak the Rich, Stop the War, Fire Geithner, Recall Scott Walker. An bearded geezer. with cowboy hat and Texas boots picks away at his resonator guitar and belts out a delta blues “moan.” Large wet snow
flakes swirl down and dance under the street light. Several policemen stand on the outskirts of the encampment. A large, muscular Black man dressed in Marine fatigues eyes the cops. A woman wrapped in her sleeping bag holds a sign, Give Me Back My Home.
Missy approaches a woman knitting socks sitting next to a shopping cart.
Missy in low voice, “Hi, errr… would it be possible to buy an old coat, maybe some boots and a hat?”
The woman looks skeptically at Missy with her classy overcoat, silk scarf and heels. “What’s it for, a Halloween party?” Missy suppresses her surprise.
She looks to Todd for a cue. She settles on a line. “No, no, you see we… errr…we promised to take our kids for a long walk in the snow, but don’t have anything warm at the hotel.”
Todd nods, “yeah we’re up from Florida for the weekend and we lost our money on the subway.” “Well you can’t buy anything, here. Just go to the back … there’s a large carton filled with stuff, take what ever you like.” Todd takes out his wallet.
“No, no it’s free, all donated. There’s some hot chili and coffee over there if you want. Or maybe a cup of… Tea?”
Scene 3: As Missy and Todd enter, the McBludgeon Halloween party is in full swing. The office has been converted into a make-shift underpass complete with tents of paper and plastic, sleeping bags cover every chair and couch, shopping bags and shopping carts filled with rags and the like. A dummy dressed in rags is lies in the corner. About 60 celebrants mill about, dressed in the latest Salvation Army or St. Vincent De Paul retro. A large pot steeps on a Coleman camp stove – the post-it informs, “French Onion Beef Au Jus.” An assortment of hors d’oeuvres in used tuna fish cans, saved and cleaned for the occasion.
Jim McBludgeon, bit of a paunch, is wearing a dirty sweat shirt with a long-hair wig under a baseball hat. He is surrounded by admirers in their tatters and holds court. A bevy of nicely endowed escorts, adorned in police uniforms, pour wine into an odd assortment of jars. The wine is 2006 Achaval Forrier Gran Malbec Binca Altabrima; one of Argentina’s finest and most expensive. The music is vintage Weavers, “Cumbaya,” “This Land is Your Land.” Pete Seeger.
McBludgeon is helped up onto a chair. Standing above the assembly he proposes a toast. “Folks we cannot lose. The worse it gets out there, the better it gets here. How many can say that? You will all be getting a tidy bonus just before Christmas. So, may we have another year as good as this one; may we double the number of foreclosures and commissions. And may we continue to run the Attorney General’s office in circles.”
The clinking of glasses and cheers. Just then, the lights begin to flicker; nervous giggles. After a moment the lights go out and stay out. The music stops. Out the window, Wall Street is black. The sound of a siren filters up through the darkness. After some commotion, the partiers begin to rush for the stairs.