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Home of the Brave

suspect.scarlet.jpgIt's Out of the Hat time again, so I'm writing a short play for tomorrow night and for Saturday night based on prompts drawn (where else?) out of a hat.

This time around for the 8 short plays each night, 2 of the writers will share the same prompts so the audience can see what different directions the set of prompts can take the writers. These were the prompts for Lauren Fleischman and me...

Who: Bruce Wayne
What: heart-shaped tattoo with the name “Bubba” in it
Where: a house where there’s been a murder

It's going to be performed Friday night at Renegade Comedy Theater, but you can read it here first!

Home of the Brave

written for Out of the Hat 9
Renegade Comedy Theatre
Duluth, Minnesota

DIANA – Diana Prince, formerly Wonder Woman
BRUCE – Bruce Wayne, formerly Batman

LIGHTS UP BRUCE is sitting at a computer, unkempt.

DIANA (from offstage) Bruce, I’m home! (enters) How… (takes in the place) was your… day?

BRUCE Oh, you're back. That was fast. (looks at watch) Wow, is it really that late?

DIANA Bruce, have you been sitting at the computer all day? (starts doing tidying up business)

BRUCE Well, sort of… but I’ve been keeping my wits sharp solving crimes…

DIANA Solving crimes?

BRUCE Well, yeah, testing my wits against other crime sleuths around the world.

DIANA (moves over to look at the screen) Lemme see…

BRUCE (blocking her view, talking fast) You see, there was this murder… in an old mansion…

DIANA Old mansion… uh huh…

BRUCE Yes, and… (succumbs to her cold stare)

DIANA (looks at the screen) So, the caped crusader figured out that Miss Scarlet did it in the kitchen with a lead pipe. (a take) Ewww!

BRUCE Well, actually, Clark got that one. But I’m still 3 out of 5 for today!

DIANA You’ve been playing Clue with Clark all day on-line?

BRUCE No! That would be silly… (laughs) You can’t play Clue with just two people. Dick has been playing as well. (types into the computer) Diana is home. They say “hi!” (reads and laughs and then types) OMG LOL U NERDZ.

DIANA What did they write?

BRUCE (covering the screen with his hand) Uh. Nothing…

DIANA (pries hand away) “LOL Oh, I guess it’s golden lasso time! LOL” (stares daggers at Bruce)

BRUCE Don’t look at me! It was Clark who wrote it.

DIANA It’s not that…

BRUCE (bewildered) Good, I mean… then… what is it?

DIANA Bruce, look at you. You’re a changed person!

BRUCE (checks self) What do you mean?

DIANA Ever since you were… laid off it’s like you don’t have any energy to do anything. You just stay at home, cooped up, staring at your computer.

BRUCE Laid off? Laid off?

DIANA (cringing) Well…

BRUCE Is that what you call it? They took a controlling share of Wayne Industries, they took away the batmobile, the batcopter, the batboat, the batcycle, the batcave, the batcomputer, and… (starts to break down)

DIANA Bruce…

BRUCE They took away my utility belt. (starts to sob)

DIANA (moves in to comfort BRUCE) Oh, sweetie…

BRUCE (pulls together) Ever since that… fucking Patriot Act…

DIANA I know, I know honey…

BRUCE It’s easy for you. They gave you your old job back at the DOD.

DIANA Easy? Hey, pal, don’t you think I miss my invisible jet? I used to jet around the world but now…

BRUCE (snarling) Now you work at the Pentagon at least…

DIANA Oh sure, I work at the Pentagon with a bunch of grabass desk jockeys and generals who call me “Sugar” and ask if I can get them some coffee.

BRUCE But, at least you get out of the house.

DIANA Bruce, you should think about getting out of the house too. I think you need to.

BRUCE But… Diana, you know I’m not allowed to do the whole… cape thing again.

DIANA No, I meant, get a job… a regular job.

BRUCE Doing what?

DIANA Well, the Starbucks down the street is hiring.

BRUCE (stares at DIANA) Sure, that’d be great. I could have an espresso machine utility belt. (as if he’s serving coffee from his belt) Here’s your Grande Latte… foooosh… with two shots of hazelnut… sa-punk, sa-punk… and whipped cream… whooooosh!

DIANA Well, Bruce, you’ve got to do something. You just can’t sit here.

BRUCE Why not? Why can’t I just sit here? They don’t want heroes anymore. They want me to sit this one out, so why don’t I?

DIANA Because it’s not like you…

BRUCE But this is the new Bruce Wayne. No more gadgets. No more costumes. No more soirees with the Paris Hiltons of the world. Why? Because it’s too dangerous to have “these loose cannons acting on their own.” Because they labeled us “terrorists” and took away our lives, that’s why.

DIANA That’s not…

BRUCE Don’t defend them! Don’t you dare defend them! (calms down a bit) You know what I really do, Diana, when you leave for work? Hmm? Want to know?

DIANA (still rattled a bit) Yes, Bruce. I want to know.

BRUCE I sit down and turn on CNN and I just laugh and laugh. Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, North Korea… hell, New Orleans… I just sit there in my terry cloth bath robe and I… laugh.

DIANA No, you don’t.

BRUCE Sure I do. Because it’s not my problem anymore. I’ve been absolved. Relieved of duty! I’ve been told not to worry my pretty little head about it. They gave a rifle to some kid from Alabama named Bubba with a heart shaped tattoo and sent him overseas and it’s his job now. I’m free… to shop… to watch expanded cable… to play “Clue” with my buddies on-line. And I just laugh… and laugh… and laugh… (starts to tear up)

DIANA Bruce… get dressed… we’re going out.

BRUCE I’m not going to apply at Starbucks, Diana…

DIANA No, I know. I’ve got a better idea. We’re going spelunking.

BRUCE You mean… spelunking? In a cave spelunking?

DIANA Yeah, hot shot, I happen to know where there are some caves not too far away from here. What’s the matter? You chicken all of a sudden?

BRUCE Won’t… (looks around) “they” be a bit unhappy about us going… to a cave?

DIANA What’s the matter with a little innocent, harmless outing for… exercise and fresh air. It’s still a free country. Right?

BRUCE Where are these caves, anyway?

DIANA (smiles and types something into the computer) Google Earth… latitude… longitude… zoom in… There’s the entrance. (taps screen) Right there.

BRUCE But that would lead right under the Pentagon (dawn of recognition) where you’ve been working for the last five years.

DIANA (feigns surprise) Would it? Imagine that!

BRUCE Move over! (starts typing) Hey guys… up for a little outing with Diana and me?



I love it! But you know, you should have him play "City of Heroes" or "City of Villains," the stoooopid MMORPG that Brett played in Connersville, when his business was depressingly slow. I'd want him to go do something, or give the kids a bath or whatever, and he would actually tell me that he was "saving the world," or if there was a "raid" or whatever, planned for a certain time, he wanted to be home in time for it because "people were depending" on him....so yeah, I can empathize with Ms Prince, there! :)

Nicely done. Nicely done.

Leah, I really wanted to do just exactly that but the "house where there's been a murder" prompt lead me to Clue. Ya gotta go with what you get and where the inspiration takes you.

That was fun, L! Makes me miss the old interactive fiction days...I'd never have time to so something like that (or this) now. You always had the quicker wit and quicker typing anyway. :-) Any chance the other writer will let you post her take?

Celia, you flatter me.

Go ahead, do it some more. I like it.

I'll have to ask Lauren if she wants to make her script public, but basically it was a schizophrenic Batman mistakenly calling a sex phone line looking for psychological assistance.

Okay, now I *really* want to read Lauren's version...just reading that cracked me up!

As for you, you know full well you had me at Sirokh's first hello...

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