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Elizabeth Lang

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Death and Epiphany
By Elizabeth Lang
Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Of death, epiphanies and clean underwear...

Business suit:  You’re dead.

An experiment for me, written in script format.
The setting is a back alley just outside the delivery doors of an Italian  restaurant. It's dark and the first brushes of sunlight are rimming the horizon. A man in a black business suit is talking to a man in faded black jeans and a pale yellow wind breaker, who happens to have a gaping hole in his chest, the result of a bullet to the heart.
Death and Epiphany
Track suit (disbelief on his face):  Really? I don’t feel dead.
Business suit:  And how did you think it would feel like?
Track suit:  Well…not like this. I feel normal.
Business suit:  You have a hole in your chest.
Track suit:  Ow! Wait a minute…I take that back.  (Pokes at hole.)  This is weird.
Business suit:  Now do you believe you’re dead?
Track suit:  Either that, or this is a strange dream.
Business suit:  It’s not a dream.
Track suit:  Prove it.
Business suit:  Prove it? What do you mean, ‘prove it’? You have a hole where your heart should be.
Track suit:  How do I know I won’t wake up in a few minutes and find myself passed out in an alley somewhere?
Business suit (curious, staring past him a bit):  Do you often pass out in alleys?
Track suit:  Shouldn’t you know?
Business suit:  I’m not a mind reader.
Track suit:  There! That proves it. This has got to be a dream or you would know.
Business suit:  I don’t follow.
Track suit:  You’re an angel, aren’t you?
Business suit:  Oh. I see the problem. Mistaken identity. I am not an angel, they’re far too busy to do this kind of administrative work.
Track suit:  What?
Business suit:  I’m just here to collect the bodies and direct them to the right place.
Track suit:  Like a traffic cop?
Business suit:  I don’t think they collect bodies, do they?
Track suit:  Work with me. Use a little imagination.
Business suit:  I’m in administration; we aren’t required to have imagination. And besides that’s a terrible analogy.
Track suit:  Everyone’s a critic.
Business suit:  I don’t have time for this. Are you coming with me or not?
Track suit:  You mean I have an option?
Business suit:  Not really. I’m just being polite.
Track suit (sits on crate):  I’m having a really hard time dealing with this. I can’t believe I’m dead.
Business suit (says irritably): I’m not a psychologist or a bartender, I’m just an administrator. (looks impatiently at watch) Look, if I give you evidence, will you come along quietly?
Track suit: It has to be convincing.
Business suit: Look behind you in the alley.
Track suit (turns and sees his dead body lying on the ground with a gaping hole in its chest): Oh my god… (pales) How come I don’t remember this?”
Business suit (taps foot impatiently): That happens sometimes in cases of violent death. Don’t worry, you’ll remember soon enough. Or…maybe you were unconscious when it happened. You did say you have a habit of passing out in alleys.
Track suit: It was just an example!
Business suit: Or maybe you were remembering something. Anyhow, come with me. (takes him by the elbow and propels him forward)
Track suit (looking down at his body): We can’t just leave me here.
Business suit:  I’m sure there are people who take care of these things.
Track suit (looking back at body): I hope I’m wearing clean underwear
Business suit (rolls eyes)
Voices become a murmur as they move off…there’s a bright flash of light and then a fade to black as the scene ends.

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