Or how I learnt to stop worrying and love the bubble

Act Two, Scene Six

The road. MARY, CUTHBERT, MELT and DR BUTLER enter. MELT has become more of a chair.

Mary: Which way now?

Dr Butler: (looking back and forth). This way, I think. (She steps forwards then halts). Or maybe it’s this way.

Mary: We’re not lost again, are we?

Dr Butler: Not lost, just taking a moment to assess the situation.

Cuthbert: (to Mary). We’re lost.

Mary: (exasperated). We don’t have time for this; Melt Is getting worse by the minute.

Melt: I can’t feel my intestines.

Cuthbert: (intrigued). Could you ever feel your intestines?

Melt: That’s beside the point; I can’t feel them now.

Mary: Doctor, we need to go.

Dr Butler: And what would you have me do? Ask for directions?

Mary: There’s no need to be facetious.

Dr Butler: Then stop stating the bleeding obvious.

Cuthbert: Mary does not state the bleeding obvious.

Dr Butler: Oh, no, sorry, she’s a model of subtlety and sophistication.

Melt: Will you three cut it out? I’m turning into furniture.

ODR and TRUSTEES enter.

ODR: Well, that should simplify things. Although it will look a bit odd on the paperwork.

Dr Butler: You!

ODR: Dr Butler, we meet again.

Mary: Do you know this man?

Dr Butler: Ah, yes … we had a little … liaison … on an Open Day several years back.

ODR: (conspiratorially to MELT). It wasn’t just the furniture that was made of wood that night. (MELT looks disgusted).

Dr Butler: Representative, what are you doing here?

ODR: I’m afraid you’re all under arrest. If you would like to come with me quietly, there’ll be no need for this to get nasty.

Cuthbert: You can’t fool us; your goons have tried this already. There’s nothing you can do to make us move: your red tape means you can’t even touch us.

ODR: I believe you will find that that red tape has been quite convincingly cut. I now possess full DSU authority, and I have the forms in triplicate to prove it.

Dr Butler: Let me see that.

ODR hands DR BUTLER a copy of the form, DR BUTLER, MARY and CUTHBERT study it.

Mary: He’s right, you know.

Dr Butler: Yes, it seems so. The devils.

Cuthbert: So, what do we do?

Dr Butler: (pause). Run!


ODR: After them, you fools; don’t let them get away.

ODR and TRUSTEES exit.


Dr Butler: I think we lost them.

Melt: Shame, I could have done with a good fight: I’m feeling quite stiff.

Cuthbert: (looking around). Where’s Mary?

Dr Butler: The Representative must have caught her.

Cuthbert: We’ve got to rescue her.

Dr Butler: Oh no, no way. The Trustees are not to be messed with. No, we need to get to the Door.

Cuthbert: But they’ll kill her.

Dr Butler: No, they won’t, not while we’re still running free.

Cuthbert: So, we’re just going to leave her.

Dr Butler: I never said that. If we can get to the Door, we can negotiate Mary’s return. You’ll see, the Trustees will bring Mary to us.

Cuthbert: All right, but if you’re wrong, I’ll smash you round the head with Melt.

They exit.

Enter MARY, running on.

Mary: Lost them. Damn, I’ve lost everyone.

Enter ODR.

ODR: Not quite everyone.

Mary: You! Who are you? Where are my friends?

ODR: Your friends are quite safe, for now. As for whom I am, I am your Open Day Representative, I am your guide, counsellor, and friend.

Mary: Like Klute you are.

ODR: I’m sorry you think like that, because I really am on your side. In time, you may come to see that. Unfortunately, time is the one thing we don’t have (he produces a gun), so I’m afraid we’re going to have to play it this way.

Mary: Are you going to kill me?

ODR: Oh no, I’m talking you to the edge of the Bubble, to the Door.

Mary: Why?

ODR: Because I think your friends would be most disappointed if you didn’t make an appearance. Especially, I am led to believe, would Cuthbert.

Mary: You leave him alone, he’s done nothing wrong.

ODR: Maybe not, but justice is blind. Now, we’ve wasted enough time here, let’s go.

They exit.

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