Rob Zimmermann encouraged me write a sequel to a short play I wrote titled, Suicide Pact. I had some inspiration over the last couple weeks and decided to give it a try.
A small apartment with a broken television.
(VINCE sorts through a collection of butcher knives while THRASH measures poison.)
VINCE: Dude, we’ll never become famous artists.
THRASH: Let’s hurry up and become famous for murder. It’s a lot easier.
VINCE: We’ve got to finesse it a little.
VINCE: People kill each other all the time. We have to stand out.
THRASH: So, we eat people?
VINCE: We tried that; they taste awful.
THRASH: That’s why we decapitate them first.
VINCE: I don’t understand how that helps.
THRASH: People guilt trip you when they have heads. I’ve got enough on my conscious without making eye contact and feeling awkward.
VINCE: There’s a problem.
THRASH: What’s that?
VINCE: We have no car and one roller skate.
THRASH: What happened to the other?
VINCE: I sold it for ramen.
THRASH: Why would they buy a single roller skate?
VINCE: Some people aren’t so plegic as you and I.
THRASH: (understandingly.) I see. What else can we move on?
VINCE: I found a pogo stick in the closet.
THRASH: We’re going on a rampage with one roller skate and a pogo stick?
VINCE: I thought you could hang onto me while I bounce.
THRASH: That could work.
(THRASH fastens a roller skate as VINCE climbs on the pogo stick.)
VINCE: Let’s ride!
THRASH: (hanging onto Vince for support.) How do we kill people like this?
VINCE: Snap their necks. Everyone will talk about the Roller Pogo killers and their neck snapping mayhem.
THRASH: I don’t know how to snap someone’s neck.
VINCE: Gimli snapped orc necks in Lord of the Rings. People are like orcs, right?
THRASH: I suppose their anatomy is similar. (They bounce and roll their way outside.) Who do we kill first?
VINCE: How about that lonely soul in blue? No one will remember him.
THRASH: Vince, I think that’s a police officer. (VINCE hops forward dragging THRASH.) Hey, stop! Vince! There’s a squirrel.
VINCE: Don’t worry, we won’t hit it.
(VINCE collides with the squirrel before stopping; THRASH skids into the police car.)
POLICEMAN: (getting out of his cruiser.) The both of you have a lot of explaining to do.
VINCE: (crying.) I’m so sorry, officer. I never meant to hurt a squirrel. I just wanted to be infamous for murder.
POLICEMAN: Are either of you currently employed?
VINCE and THRASH: We’re artists!
POLICEMAN: But how do you support yourselves?
VINCE: I’m a substitute teacher for cats.
THRASH: I count bones at the landfill.
POLICEMAN: I don’t think those are real jobs.
VINCE: Well, they don’t strictly pay us.
THRASH: It’s more of a hobby.
VINCE: I think of myself as an intern.
THRASH: Freelance. Here’s my card.
(THRASH hands him his business card.)
POLICEMAN: I’m taking both of you in.
VINCE: Will you tell the other cops about us?
THRASH: We want them to remember our names.
POLICEMAN: I’m sure they will never forget them.
© Ben Ditmars 2014
Every month I meet with my poetry group, as part of The Mid-Ohio Fine Art Society. We talk about different events, write and share poetry. It’s a lot of fun and if you’re in the Marion Ohio area, I encourage you to join us. You can find the Facebook group here. During the last meeting three of our members, including me, wrote a short poem together. I would like to share it with you today.
Poem composed by Ashley Mullins, Ben Ditmars, and Michael Schurch:
Brown curtains hum a jagged song
White walls reach high into night
Seconds, minutes, the time rolls along
Candle flames are somber light
New beginnings bring promise and hope
The past eventually will disappear from sight
Nail polish tarnished by soap.
A small apartment with a broken television.
(VINCE sits next to THRASH on the floor. They flip through bills, most with FINAL NOTICE written on them.)
VINCE: Thrash, we’re never gonna make it as artists.
THRASH: Don’t say that, man. I think my sculpting will really take off.
VINCE: No one sculpts, Thrash and no one’s gonna read my poetry.
THRASH: We just gotta keep at it.
VINCE: You said that six years ago when we moved to New York.
THRASH: It’s still true.
VINCE: It isn’t Thrash. No one ever lives to see themselves famous.
THRASH: So what do you suggest? Suicide?
VINCE: Yes, actually.
(THRASH gets out his cell-phone.)
What are you doing?
THRASH: I’m calling the hotline. You’re talking to them.
VINCE: No, I’m not. Think about it, Thrash. Every famous artist killed themselves before making it big.
THRASH: Edgar Allen Poe didn’t.
VINCE: He drank himself to death. Same difference.
THRASH: (putting away cell-phone.) So, we kill ourselves?
VINCE: Yes, but the death has to be memorable.
THRASH: We could do a bunch of drugs.
VINCE: Can’t afford it.
THRASH: Stick our heads in the oven?
VINCE: Sylvia Plath already did it. We don’t wanna be posers.
THRASH: (indignant.) Well, I’ve listed two. Why don’t you suggest something?
VINCE: I could brick you into a wall.
THRASH: Come, on! That was Poe’s short story. And you accuse me of being unoriginal?
VINCE: Okay, I’ve got it. We lie down in the middle of the road and wait for a truck.
THRASH: Won’t that hurt?
VINCE: Not very long.
THRASH: What if we eat each other?
VINCE: It could work.
THRASH: The whole art world will be talking about those two roommates who ate each other.
VINCE: And of course they’ll want to buy our sculptures and poetry. We’ll be novelties.
THRASH: Who goes first?
VINCE: I’ll start on your leg. (He goes toward a drawer in the kitchen.) It should be the most appetizing part.
THRASH: I think I should start eating you first.
VINCE: (closing drawer.) Why’s that?
THRASH: You’re a lot fatter.
VINCE: Screw that, you got ten pounds on me.
THRASH: We’ll never decide who eats the other. Let’s flip a coin.
VINCE: I’ve got a better idea.
VINCE: Let’s go on a killing spree. That way we live and other people die.
THRASH: But no one remembered Manson for his music.
VINCE: They still remembered him.
THRASH: I won’t look good with a swastika carved into my forehead.
VINCE: I’ll do it for you. My geometry teacher always liked the way I drew lines.
THRASH: Okay, let’s do this.
VINCE: I’ll get the car.
THRASH: It doesn’t run.
VINCE: Shoelace express?
THRASH: No way. We’re doing this rampage on roller skates.
THRASH: That’s dope.
© Ben Ditmars 2014
A collaboration with Chris McQueeney. Visit his blog here.
We were in Foodland where pizza trees
battle steak bushes, or Ribeyesteaksismajorum
as scientists call it, for supremacy
the popcorn shrimp flowers are king
and Jello giants tremble by
popsicle plants near pudding stalks
higher than licorice grass.
© Ben Ditmars and Chris McQueeney 2014
Theirs is sky above the trees
And we are lost below
The crimson failure
With a tangerine and blue indifference
Molten lava runs through our veins
While we gaze upon the liquid gold
That runs across the celestial sphere
As we try and find our way through life
Into a new horizon
Blanketed with clouds
And silhouettes of us
Entwined as scoria
With scarlet dreams
We enter the night
A new beginning
Of hushed whispers
© 2014 Ben Ditmars and Helle Gade