Tragedy (Narrowly) Averted



Jeff sits alone at a writing table in the middle of a field of violets. The table holds a MacBook Pro and a Golden Delicious apple. A gentle breeze blows, animating the violets.

JEFF: Like a breeze on violets.

The line seems familiar to him.

JEFF: (haltingly) Like a bank of– like a breeze that blows on a bank of violets.

He looks out over the swaying sea of purple. And remembers the line from Twelfth Night.

JEFF: That strain again. It had a dying fall: O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound, That breaths upon a bank of violets, Stealing and giving odour!

He pauses and breathes in the beauty of his surroundings. Tight shot of his hands moving to the keyboard. We hear the words he typing in voice over.

JEFF: (V.O., speaking the stage directions) Jeff sits alone at a writing table on a mostly empty theatre stage.

CUT TO: The scene he describes.


JEFF: (V.O., speaking the stage directions) He types passionately, occasionally taking a brief pause but mostly without interruption. A small, mangy Chihuahua sits in the corner, far up-left, shaking and looking on at Jeff. The pitiful beast wears a tarnished and bejeweled collar, which, sadly, he seems to be proud of. The Chihuahua barks incessantly as Jeff continues to type.

CHIHUAHUA: (bark-speak, yappy) Scab pickin is no comparison to real life!

CAMERA: Tight shot of the corners of Jeff’s mouth curling up on the edges in a pleasant smile.

CUT TO: The Jeff in the meadow, tight shot of his mouth, curling up on the edges in a pleasant smile.

CUT TO: The Jeff onstage, the scene continues.

CHIHUAHUA: (scratching a sore near a torn ear) Glad you’re finally figuring that out. This whiney suicidal rant is a cry for help!

A noisy squirt of a mustard-like substance shoots from the poor beast’s ass. He turns and laps it up quickly as if to hide the evidence, pretend like it had not happened.

 CHRIS HEMSWORTH enters from stage left, takes a few steps onstage, surveys the situation. Chris wears low-slung blue jeans, Caterpillar boots, and no shirt.

CHIHUAHUA: Now own it bitch; Yes, others do matter, ass clowns aside.

CHRIS: (to Jeff of the mutt) What the fuck is that?

JEFF: Hmm? Oh.

A little laugh from Jeff is all the answer Chris gets.

CHIHUAHUA: (even more shrill than before) Quit fucking around!

Chris is perturbed by the annoying dog.

CHRIS: What the fuck is it and who does it belong to?

The Chihuahua licks its tiny penis with a blistered tongue.

JEFF: (still typing away) Hmm? Oh, I don’t know. He’s just a little stray, I guess. Leave him alone.

The Chihuahua coughs up a scab. Chris is disgusted by it.

CHIHUAHUA: Time to step up!

CHRIS: How the fuck do you put up with that?!

Jeff, somewhat amused at how much the dog is affecting Chris, stops typing, spins in his chair to face the stunningly beautiful actor.

JEFF: (gently explains) Well he doesn’t bother me, Chris, come on dude!

Jeff looks briefly at what had presumably once been someone’s pet, now a pathetic creature for whom death would be a blessing.

JEFF: I like him! He entertains me when I’m bored. I’m the only one with the key to the blog. He couldn’t even be in here if I didn’t let him. I used to have to unlock the door every time he scratched at it until I figured out how to make a little door for him to come in without my having to go to the trouble. He reminds me of how awesome I am, of what I never want to be!

Jeff laughs, amused at his own narcissism.

CHIHUAHUA: Course scab pickin aside you whiny fucker!

Chris Hemsworth marches upstage toward the dog with dispatch.

JEFF: Chris NO!

Chris punts the piteous canine into the upstage wall about halfway up. It’s head pops like a small gourd and the lifeless body slides down the wall leaving a bloody streak behind. Jeff darts to its side, kneels.

Jeff pokes at the tiny corpse.

JEFF: Hello? Little guy? (to Chris, angry) What did you do?

 CHRIS: Wull I–

JEFF: You fucked things up is what you did!

CHRIS: Aw come on man, I was just–

JEFF: Chris just go! Okay?! Just get the fuck out of here. I don’t want to see you right now.

CHRIS: (laughing under his breath, exiting) Jesus, you are a whiny fucker!

Exit Chris.

Jeff scoops up the bloody mess that once was the troll dog. He cradles him in his arms like a baby. He crosses downstage center.

LIGHTS: all fade except for single special on Jeff and dead dog.

MUSIC: solo cello.

Jeff is baptizing his deceased friend with his tears. Friend? Jeff looks heavenward.

JEFF: (aside to camera) Yeah, I guess he was my friend of sorts. Sure, he was a stupid little cunt, insecure. But I loved him anyway.

Jeff returns his attention to the corpse, stroking him gently.

CAMERA: tight on dog’s face, eyes popped out of sockets, tongue swollen and hanging.

JEFF: Oh little guy, nobody ever really understood you. But I did.

Jeff, overwhelmed with a wave of fresh grief trying to imagine what life might be like without the Chihuahua’s endless yapping, cries harder, kneels.

MUSIC: Cello crescendos.

Jeff’s weeping echoes through the theatre.

 Suddenly, Anne Hathaway flies in from the rails, descends gracefully  circa Glenda the Good Witch of the North but dressed, per usual, as The White Queen from Alice in Wonderland. When her feet reach the stage she crosses to Jeff and the dead Chihuahua.

CAMERA: 3/4 shot of Hathaway as she reacts (comically horrified) at the bloody mess that once was a dog.

JEFF: (to Hathaway, mustering hope, childlike) Can you help us?

Anne Hathaway smiles, reaches into her purple velvet bag, sprinkles a bit of glittery dust on the body of the dog. The Chihuahua springs to life, fully restored! Even the mange has disappeared. Jeff’s face instantly lights up with relief and joy like a kid on Christmas morning!

 The Chihuahua, gaining consciousness, growls and hisses at Jeff, scratches his way down out of Jeff’s arms and scrambles back up to his mark upstage left.

JEFF: (to Hathaway) Oh thank you, thank you!

Jeff leans in as if to give Anne Hathaway a kiss of gratitude on the lips. She halts his affront by placing a single index finger over his lips. She then offers her check to be kissed. Jeff smiles, kisses her cheek.

 As quickly as she entered, Anne Hathaway rises above the stage, waving as she floats upward.

JEFF: (waving) Thank you again so much!!

Jeff gestures to the Chihuahua to as if to try to get him to thank her as well. He simply snarls and growls at Jeff, shaking even more than usual. Jeff rolls his eyes.

CAMERA: tight on Jeff for the eye roll

CAMERA: wide

Jeff skips back to his writing table center stages and resumes his typing.

CHIHUAHUA: Oh ya. Forgot. You’re no better than anyone else.

CAMERA: tight on Jeff

 The corners of Jeff’s mouth curl up in a smile. Everything is once again as it should be.

CUT TO: Jeff at the table in the meadow, the one who’s been writing the entire scene.

 The corners of this Jeff’s mouth curl up in a smile and he draws in a cleansing lungful of violet summertime. He types one more sentence and then closes the laptop, looks out over the field, allowing his thoughts to return to Shakespeare.

The final sentence he had typed was:

See y’all tomorrow

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