By Eric Poirier
INT. Two people are stuck inside an elevator that has stopped moving.
A young woman (Sally) is standing in front of the lift control panel, arms crossed. She is tapping the floor with her right foot. She is staring at the floor number above the lift doors. It is stuck on 7. An older, short, stocky man (Sam) is standing in the middle of the lift with his hands on his hips. He is wearing a white robe tied in the front. The only things moving are his head and eyes as he scans his reflections in the mirrors fixed to the lift’s interior walls.
I can’t believe he let that quack put him in this nut house. Mom and Dad would’ve agreed with me. He’s kidding himself if he thinks I’m gonna visit him in here. I’m so embarrassed.
Sally stabs the button for the ground floor over and over again.
(in a deep, authoritative tone)
Silence you pleb.
Sally whips her head around and glares at Sam. Both her long hair and her bag hanging over her right hip swing around with violence.
Don’t talk to me.
You dare speak to me as your equal.
In the same violent swing, Sally turns back to face the panel again and punches the lift’s emergency intercom button.
Hello? I know you can hear me. You spoke to me just five minutes ago. This guy keeps talking down to me. He’s creeping me out. I don’t care if there’s a blackout. I don’t care if the lifts are not working on the hospital’s backup generators. I especially don’t care if this patient is harmless according to his nurse. It doesn’t feel like he’s harmless. I need to get out of here now. What’s taking so long?
(waiting for a response but still pounding the button)
Hello? How did this patient escape the ward staff anyway?
(waiting for a response and no longer pounding)
Hello! Jerks! If he touches me…
The battle draws nearer. The die is cast.
Sally’s fist hovers in front of the button. She is waiting for a response. She then slinks backwards into the corner behind her. She drops her arms to her side and keeps her fists clenched. Even though there is plenty of room in the lift, she is careful to avoid touching Sam who continues to stare at her. She is taller by a foot. Once Sally’s back touches the wall Sam returns to inspecting and nodding in approval at his reflections in the lift’s mirrors.
(pointing to his left reflection)
You. Prepare my horse.
(pointing to his right reflection)
You. Prepare my legion. We march on Rome.
(pointing to Sally)
And you. Prepare my armour and dress me.
I’m not getting you shit.
Sam unties his robe and lets it fall to the floor. He is only wearing underpants and sandals.
Oh for God’s sake…
I said arm me woman!
Sam begins tugging on the waistband of his underpants, trying to tear them off.
Oh no. Fuck this…
Sally charges the lift panel and pounds on the emergency intercom button again.
HELLO?! He’s getting naked in here. I’m ready to hurt him.
Treason on the Senate floor!
Sam approaches Sally and gently places his right hand on her left shoulder. In less than a second, Sally quickly spins around, hitting Sam’s arm away with her left forearm and punching him square in the cheek with a right hook. Sam falls to the floor hard, holding the left side of his face; tears well in his eyes. Sally stands over him with her fists at the ready.
Ouch, lady! Why do you have to be so angry? I was only trying to lighten the mood.
By getting undressed and grabbing me you pervert?
I was just trying to have some fun. My family stopped visiting me and they don’t entertain us in here. I didn’t mean to scare you. I wasn’t going to take my underwear off. I swear. Please calm down.
Sam raises his hands above his head as if he’s being held at gunpoint. He is trembling.
Sally lowers her fists and takes a step back. She lets her shoulders drop. She looks down at Sam with a sad look. The lift doors slide apart to reveal two firemen manually opening them.
(to the firemen)
Hi. We’re fine. Everything’s ok.
Sally holds out her hand to Sam, who takes it. She helps him get to his feet. While picking up and handing him his robe, she asks:
Have you met my brother by any chance? He’s new to your ward. Ask about him. His name is Tom. Maybe next time I visit we can all hang out together.
Sam puts on his robe and ties it up. He wipes away a tear from his bruised cheek.
I’d like that.
Sorry I hit you. My name’s Sally by the way.
Copyright Eric Poirier 2013