June 14, 2019 “Dear Reader”

Dear Reader,

I know I’m not the worst person on the planet, heck I’m not the worst person in the city I live in, possibly not even the worst person in my apartment complex, but I feel like I am. I hate to be another whiney over sharing punk that my friends and family keep forgiving or forgetting about, but I am. Even if that’s okay, I don’t feel okay about it. My Dad has decided I’m the bad guy, that I’m this emotionally manipulative monster who only wants and mooches and grabs at things while wasting away any good in myself, and sometimes I believe him. He raised me, at least he had a hand in it, he might know.

I feel like all my friends are gone either by obligation, distance, or something else that makes me a non-priority, and I miss the kid me that didn’t care about that. The kid that could watch TV all day and drink Dr. Pepper and worry about Superman Vs. Batman without being shunned by anyone because he didn’t have anyone to ignore him. What I’m saying here is I think I’m on a ledge and jumping only looks better as it goes. I don’t have my rent for this or next month, and despite my best efforts, I don’t think I will. I’m useless in so many ways lately. My car won’t start and my little sister won’t or can’t answer my calls while every time talks to my Mom or Grandparents I feel like I’m picking a side.

So, I take it out on my friends and can’t sleep right and worry about all this stuff that keeps me from writing what I want to write, and I don’t know when to shut up, but here I am. I’m scared that I might kill myself, I really don’t want to, and despite some cases of popular opinion, I think few do. God, I just want to sit in a corner and write and not worry about all these other people and jobs and rent and family values and education. I swear if anyone asks me about my education again, I’ll scream, but I can’t scream right anymore because I’m losing my teeth and it hurts. It all hurts so much, and I just want it to stop. I can’t misquote Hemingway sit at a typewriter and bleed. I can’t e this struggling writer, I’m just the regular kind, struggling doesn’t inspire me, or maybe it does, and I just don’t want it too? Perhaps it’s all my fault and no one else, maybe I have been manipulated, maybe none of this matters and I don’t matter, and the world will be better off without me, and I know what they’ll say, “Don’t do it, Kade, it’s not you who’ll get hurt. It’s those that remain.” Which just makes me think they’re worried about themselves getting hurt, but I don’t know.

I’m afraid my Dad will kidnap my little sister and change her name and tell her all this terrible half-truths and full-lies about me. That I don’t love her or care, but I do. I’m worried my Dad will hurt her if she ever wants to leave or if she does leave kill himself and I don’t want that. I love him, and our brains work in such similar ways.

“Paranoias in our blood,” he wrote to me in an e-mail before I blocked him. Sure that’s a little out of context, but I don’t know what he meant by it, I don’t know anything, I don’t think I’m allowed too. Is it guilt keeping me up? Or shame or something equally terrible? How do I solve this, or can this be solved? Do I keep praying or do run away or face it head on even though I have no idea what I’m facing or if there’s anything there. You, reading this, can you help me? Can you tell me what to do? Or am I right in assuming nobody reads these… Well, I guess I read them while I’m writing them, think that makes me nobody. That was my internet tag name for a while, got it from Greek mythology. Also thought it helped when you are talking to someone about something you care about, and they say, “Nobody cares.” So, if I’m nobody, I care. I wonder, if I’m ever famous, which I doubt, will people look at this and talk about it? Will they care? Will anybody or just the nobodies? Well, thanks for reading Nobody, I appreciate it. Hope you have a better day tomorrow and a better one after that.
– Kade-Mica David Battles

May 24, 2019- “Perceptions”

You don’t have to be an expert in something to be a fan of it. I am legitimately tired of people expecting an encyclopedia of knowledge about one Fandom From someone who says they like a show or book or movie or webcomic or comic book or poem or era of history or trains or sour candies and so on and so on. This alone is concerning but also the assumption of a level of knowledge based on a person’s emotional relation to a subject is significant. So much that a person who cares more about Batman versus a person that knows more about Batman is either the better or worse in some peoples perspective.

I say this because as a society we are people that judge books by their cover and despite what young adult novels and movies and what have you would like you to believe that works a lot of the time. That’s the survival instinct we need to survive, especially in this online communication world we live in. That said I can’t speak for everyone. Everyone is random or how much someone’s a fan of something or how much someone knows about something definitively know individual can. At least not objectively and I’m not saying we should watch YouTube videos and listen to podcasts that talked about things that we enjoy, but we should take things with a grain of salt instead of as absolutes even this.

What you’re reading right now is an opinion of one person leading up to a series of statements I’ve had on my mind. Stuff nowhere near as crucial as the opening paragraphs. I’m just annoyed that when people see me, they seem to know everything about me and 90% of the time they’re wrong but there’s a 10% of the time when an assumption is on the mark, and that’s disconcerting.

I know it has to do with how I present myself and how I behave and how much I share, and I share a lot. I’m a very open book person, but I don’t share even more that people just assume about me. This could deal with the politics and religion and beliefs and all that stuff but I mainly focusing on the nerdy things I like right now and even though people he is as important to them as the previous thing as stated they are essential to me because I am a nerd or geek or outcast or weird person by a 1990s high school comedies social standard.

That all to say I am tired of people assuming I know every little thing about the lord of the rings When I’ve never completed the box order that I know every little Star Wars detail because I wore Star Wars shirt even when I do see a lot of stuff right about a subject like Batman or Superman they can do the opposite where they can give me based on assuming I know that stuff and condemn is a strong word but that’s what they do they don’t just label or place me on the shelf they condemn the judge they passed down judgment in a way that is scarring and unnerving and sad. I like that I am in dirty person that reads, books and novels and knows how to say Usidore’s entire name from hello from the magic tavern. But I’m more than that.

I have felt that people ignore and part of that’s because I’m a rude, blunt person at times who doesn’t know when to shut up who ask questions people don’t want to have asked all the time because I can’t tell what they want to know or how to say what to, well say.

So, I just ask I’m honest but there’s this little chess game of life that people move around, and though I know how to play chess I don’t know how to play this. Not to say life is a game, but life is a game not just be in the board game called life. Their moves and actions and choices you can make with the rules and stipulations and laws of physics, and it’s all kind of a roll of the dice, but it’s also not and I know I’m ranting…

You can’t hear my tone right now is not very calm tone 24/7. I can’t tell my mood, not ever, and people think I’m angry. I’m not happy with them correcting them or assuming or assuming them just go swimming me and roll guilty of that we’ve all done it we’ve all looked at someone and gone I know their deal and we’ve been right and we’ve been wrong and we’re all human and like Shakespeare said didn’t in, I don’t know Taming of the Shrew, I bleed and have pain and I am uncomfortable in my own body and my own mind and my own thoughts and I just want to write all the time and I’m scared because people see me and they seem to know I’m uncomfortable and they seem to think I’m a nice person but they still treat me like I don’t understand them and when I don’t understand them they treat me like I do understand them. Family and friends do this out of hatred or concern and love, and it’s confusing.

I have one best friend in prison, and I feel like I failed to help, and I have another who lives one hour away, and I never see him when I have a third that lives walking distance from my house I never see him and I don’t see anyone anymore not really even my roommate who’s gone right now Texas for now family and I have no problem with that just I don’t have connections that I had back when I was in college or at home they’re gone and they’ve changed and died and re-grown into new understandings but we look at each other and we still see those same people we saw freshman year of college and as kids because our perspective, our perception of them doesn’t change just like people‘s perception of me won’t change.

I’ll always be the guy in a T-shirt and flip-flops during the winter to some people and with messy hair and writes weird stuff and you have to get to know him, so he doesn’t make you uncomfortable because he does make you uncomfortable when he gets there because I’m an uncomfortable person. I exude uncomfortable nice and he sees that. I’m a smart person I know stuff and things lotta stuff to talk about and no one including more than just can’t book facts I surprise someone with my knowledge of Lizzie oh my gosh I can’t believe I’m forgetting the name Lizzie Borden or was it, Gordon? The one who killed her dad and stepmother with an axe. It was like 50 or 30 whacks and like I do find a fax about that it’s like we’re all like Slumdog millionaire was in a movie it’s a good movie role the combination of these random incidents that give us these answers grand I’m not in $1 million for grandma guessing the name of one of the three musketeers but I know stuff I’m more than this T-shirt or this wherever I’m working or what I write and I hate how no I think I’m just lonely.

Far as I know, no one reads these. I don’t take up anyone’s time or thoughts to think of this blog post. I don’t want people to think that this is some self-loathing speech to get over my idiosyncracies about me but that person that you are so certain of their ideas and beliefs. They could be the kind of person you never talked to you or that friend you knew like five years ago they don’t think has changed at all check on that say hello get to know them they’re living in the same world you are. They’re either a terrible person you don’t need to dabble with, but maybe there’s more to those people than meets the eyes.

May 16, 2019- “Dungeon & Dragons & Delirium

I was going to call this Dungeon & Dragons & Depression, but I don’t think I’m depressed but that could be denial so that too could’ve been in the title, but I wanted to talk about D&D in this post, a game I love and have always been found of, but mostly my life with D&D, which, despite my life long nerdiness hasn’t been apart of my life longer than a year. Though I had played other role playing games before that.
My first table top rpg experience was the fever dream impulse of my dear friend Brandon Randle who grabbed me and two others practically off the street to play GURPs. This adventure lasted a long time and all my friends joined one by one and became weird and awesome characters with amazing powers. I was a half-Elf rogue named Edam Selttab that journeyed the land asking if anyone heard of a destiny pebble and a loyal dog ally named Pip. The others were cool too: Mac was a sexy man with sex powers while Josiah was a flamboyant Mage and the list went on and Brandon guided us through a demonic dungeon filled with insaneness.
Our second game was run by me, and superhero themed because I’m a huge superhero fan, and it was instantly broken by Brandon’s insanely strong wizard character. We played on and off but never completed the game. This went on. Through a series of incomplete games, sometimes run by me and sometimes others, until last month. Last month I finished a nine month campaign. It was beautiful friend and adventure filled time that made me happy and despite all the stresses of it, it was fun, really fun, and I miss it.
Delirium is a temporary mental state characterized by confusion, anxiety, incoherent speech, and hallucinations. Isn’t that kind of beautiful in a way. Scary, but pretty. That’s how I feel lately, delirious, I don’t know who I am anymore, where I belong. Most of my friends I played that first game with have gone off and gotten married or we just don’t talk anymore. I’m alone most of the time and I write posts here that are confusing because I’m feeling anxious, talking incoherently, and waiting for the hallucinations to start.

May 7 2019- “Good Fortunes”

There’s a pile of fortune cookies slowly rising in a little plastic basket on top of my microwave. I don’t know why I’ve been slowly collected these little symbols of Americanized Chinese Food. Did you know that? Fortune Cookies, in fact, originate somehow from Kyoto, Japan in some way, but Sesame Chicken, Orange Chicken, Sweet & Sour Chicken, and a lot of other flavored fried chickens are actually American made. Now that I’ve written down flavored and fried it makes more sense.

“Allow your confidence to carry you through each day.”
So, I’ve meant to write about some stuff lately, stuff that’s on my mind, deep issues about my parent’s divorce and how I’m coping and living in an apartment with my poet roommate that does a crap ton better than me at everything, but for some reason feels he’s doing terribly. Granted I’m biased in that. I’m biased about everything. I think we all are. We’ve been looking into things from our perspective and not others. Even when we say we’re trying to look through others eyes, we still do that our way, whichever way that is. The way that makes us comfortable.

“If you fail to plan, plan to fail.”
And here I am, thinking about Fortune Cookies. The fortunes they hold, the predictions generated by a factory in the middle of nowhere. Probably written by a would-be writer like me or that same person that writes advice columns in local newspapers and is content. Anyway here’s to me writing posts for this blog for once. Tuesday seems as good a night as any. I’ll post it there.

“Doubt is the beginning not the end of wisdom.”

The quotes come from some of the Fortune Cookies, they were very stale.

A Review: Love, Death & Robots

With Black Mirror and the upcoming return of the Twilight Zone you might think you don’t need another sci-fi/ fantasy anthology in your lives, but I assure there is a place in your heart and mind for the animated splendor of eighteen episodes of the first season of Love, Death & Robots. I have never enjoyed a series of anthologies as much as this. As a lover of animation and the sci-fi genre it’s great to see the stories of multiple creators and their ideas put into form in a way we don’t usually get to see. Also, Spoiler Warning.

Sonnie’s Edge

Sonnies Edge

Talk about starting out strong. Sonnie’s Edge shows you the level of storytelling and severity of topic the anthology will deal with in this first epic tale. A story about people who put their brains in giant monsters and fighting each other becomes this beautiful double twist of what would lead down the dark paths of their life. The animations is also this gritty realistic style that perfectly fits this tale. This short film gives viewers an awesome monster vs monster street fight and depicts meaningfull, but serious light on topics of rape and the darkness in the world. Also a sweet twist that the Sonnie’s mind is in the Monster the whole time.

Verdict: 4.5 out of 5

Three Robots

Three Robots

People have this idea that comedy can’t take on serious topics, but this short film of three robots taking a tour through an apocalyptic city shows that’s anything, but the truth. The protaginists of this short film, these three robots, discover what was humans and who they are now. Also throughout the whole thing you wonder what killed the human race and at the end you find out, it was their own stupidity. Well, that and cats. Gotta love that cat twist.

The Witness

Possibly the best animated in the anthology, reminding me of the style of animation in the blockbuster Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but also a weird psychological tale that seems a little to unoriginal.

Verdict 2.5 out of 5

Suits

I was not ready for Pacific Rim with a thousand times more heart. This was the tale of some farmers in a Pixar adjacent animation style that have to deal with breaches where bug monsters come through and fight them off in mech suits. Their quick relatable characters that are described in some excellent show and no tell needed. My personal favorite being the sassy old lady mech pilot.

Verdict: 4 out of 5

Sucker of Souls

Sucker of Souls

The first real 2D animated short in the anthology tells a classic man vs vampire story that is horrifying and hilarious all at once. This follows the story of an archeologist that hired some mercenaries to protect him as they excavated a tomb that turned out to be Dracula’s. Key take away are some beautiful simple and cool characters and that a new noteworthy vampire weakness is cats.

Verdict: 4 out of 5

When the Yogurt took Over

This showed me a creepy comedic air that somewhat reminded me of Mars Attacks! and Little Shop of Horrors with an animation that reminds me of ParaNorman. The story is of some super intelligent yogurt taking over the world peacedully and making it a better place with a scary thought that it doesn’t really need humans anymore by the ending. The story ended up being more of a monologue instead of having actual characters similar to the later Short Film Alternate Histories, but this, though a reassonable storytelling technique, kinda bored me. If it was a minute longer, which it smartly wasn’t I would’ve cared less. In the end this short film was really funny, but heavy on exposition.

Verdict: 3 out of 5

Beyond the Aquila Rift

Beyond the Aquila Rift

My biggest complaint about the series is there’s a large amount of unnecessary nudity that I think distracts from the storytelling and animation, none more so than in Beyond the Aquila Rift.  This was my least favorite of the anthology and just a sad cliche story with weird realistic animation, which is sad because there’s a lot of good realistic animation in the anthology series like in Sonnie’s Edge and The Secret War. In the end this tale gets a little to generic with the whole pretending your safe but you’re in a simulation that’s secretly a big bug monster I’ve seen like twenty episodes of Buffy or some other WB or SyFy action adventure show do.

Verdict: 1.5 out of 5

Good Hunting

This second 2D short film has a tale of the son of a spirit hunter and the daughter of a spirit become friends in an ever modernizing china wich becomes this industrialized steampunk place. Which goes from being a nostalgic missing of magic in the word into an Alita Battle Angel style revenge tale. This one had my favorite art style, but also less action and more philosophy than I cared for. Which isn’t bad, just not for me.

Verdict: 3.5 out of 5

The Dump

The Dump

Hilarious, but I would not trust a dump monster dog that just ate my best friend. Not gonna explain this one, just know that.

Verdict: 3 out of 5

Shape-Shifters

The most down to earth tale of the anthology is about Werewolf soldiers and that is awesome. This is a beautiful tale of honor and action and gives a beautiful glance into those that serves and earing your spot in the pack. Also, an awesome Werewolf fight.

Verdict: 4 out of 5

Helping Hand

Helping Hand

A quant scared aesthetic that reminds me of The Martian, but seems more like a scene than a complete story. In the end it was kindof like a one off joke somebody wanted to write done in the most serious manner. That said the animation and tension almost make up for the simplicity of the tale.

Verdicts: 3 out of 5

Fish Night

A pair of traveling salesmen’s car breaks down and one is eaten by a ghost fish. A lot of metaphor, little substance. Though it is calmingly sad.

Verdict: 2.5 out of 5

Lucky 13

Lucky 13

The overall quaint story of a pilot and her ship that feels like a really sweet, like a sci-fi old yeller. Samira Wiley does a great job monologiuing and narrating the tale, but overall this was a little boring and vague, but Lucky 13 did bring a sliver of a tear to my eye. I liked that it was a boring looking ship instead of a sleek fancy one. Nice to see those models getting the representation they always deserved.

Verdict: 3 out of 5

Zima Blue

There’s two stories here. The one the world knows and the truth. It’s a sweet tale of finding yourself for an artist that turns out to be a pool cleaner. Gorgeous and artsy, but I’m not sure what the ending is supposed to mean and that’s probably the point.

Verdict: 3 out of 5

Blindspot

Blindspot

A fun explosion filled train heist adventure with robots. The party slowly dies in epic fashion leaving none, but the rookie to complete the mission only to have a twist that all their brains were backed up to a hardrive. In conclusion this was an exciting little adventure that left me wanting more of this crew.

Verdict: 3.5 out of 5

Ice Age

Ice Age

A really chill story about a couple finding a lost civilization in their old fridge’s freezer. They watch as the civilization quickly, in their time, goes from medievil times to an apacalypse to an awesome future then dissappear and start over. Also the only live action one for some reason. Reminds me a lot of the Futurama episode The Late Philip J. Fry where they kept going in the future and life started over, but with a lot more Topher Grace.

Verdict: 3 out of 5

Alternate Histories

Alternate Histories

It’s a movie about an app that shows you multiple timelines. In this case they do alternate deaths of Hitler in a comical and fun way. I mean nothing beats time traveling Hitler assassinations and moon landings.

Verdict: 4 out of 5

The Secret War

The Secret War

A Russian military unit versus a group of demons that the Russians summoned. Its a slow heartwrenching story about cleaning up their government’s mess in an impossible battle. A lackluster final tale that has some awesome fighting, but is overall anti-climactic.

Verdict: 3 out of 5

 

 

Play 28: Hal’s Movies. 31 Plays in 31 Days.

So, this is a bit of a cheat, I wrote this one, along with the rest of the last plays, in August, I swear, but one titled Expecting Something More is a little special and I can’t just share it on a blog. So here’s the technically 32nd play I wrote for Belhaven University’s 24 Hour theatre event instead. Others will be posted ASAP. Thanks for reading I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

I’ll post the others soon.

Lights Up.

We are in Hal’s Movie Store. A place from a bygone era that attempts to sell films instead of streaming them. The blocks are set up like a counter and there’s a chair behind it and the other chair is set up near where the imaginary door would be on stage right.

Jesse stands behind the counter which has a candy bunny, a lollipop and a bread roller strewn atop the surface. Allison walks in, if possible a doorbell rings, the kind for stores, not the kind for houses.

JESSE: Welcome to Hal’s Movies! Where the dream of a Friday night movie never dies!

ALLISON: It’s Tuesday.

JESSE (shrugs): To each there own.

ALLISON: I’ve come to get a movie.

JESSE: Good thing we’re a movie store.

ALLISON: Right. (looks around) What’s good?

JESSE: What kind of movies do you like?

ALLISON: Um… good ones?

JESSE: What genre?

ALLISON: Um… (frustrated looks like she’s about to burst with emotion) I’ve never seen a movie.

JESSE: Never?

ALLISON: Never.

JESSE: How is that possible?

ALLISON: I was home-schooled.

JESSE: That explains it.

ALLISON: Does that mean I can’t get a movie?

JESSE: Of course not, people wouldn’t make shows if they didn’t want everyone to see them.

ALLISON: Which one should I pick?

JESSE: Well do you like fantasy, drama, romance, all three in one.

ALLISON (confused): I guess… All three in one?

Jesse comes out from behind the counter and mimes picking up the Princess Bride, anniversary edition, off a shelf that’s not really there. It starts with a P so once you imagine your shelf figure out where that would be alphabetical.

JESSE: The Princess Bride, love romance, giants, sword fights the whole shebang.

ALLISON: Wow, that sounds pretty good.

JESSE: $2.99 A week to rent and if you become a rewards member… I’ll throw in a…

Runs behind the counter. Holds up the candy bunny.

JESSE: Free candy bunny. A special gift for Easter.

ALLISON: It’s December.

JESSE: They did not sell well.

Kelsey bursts in, like Kramer from Seinfeld, Google a video there’s probably a compilation.

KELSEY: Oh, Jesse!

JESSE: Hi Kelsey. Kelsey walks between Jesse and Allison.

KELSEY: Who’s this?

ALLISON: I’m–

KELSEY: Nevermind. Is my movie in?

JESSE: It’s always in Kelsey. No one else watches it.

KELSEY: But it is the greatest movie of all time?

ALLISON: Really?

KELSEY: Yes, really.

ALLISON: How do you know?

KELSEY: It’s my favorite.

JESSE: Kelsey, for the hundredth time. Leonardo Dicaprio’s the Great Gatsby isn’t the best movie of all time.

KELSEY: Blasphemy!

ALLISON: The Great Gatsby?

KELSEY: Yes.

ALLISON: Isn’t that a book?

Jesse goes back to the imaginary shelf, looks under G, and finds the Great Gatsby.

JESSE: Here. (beat) That’s $2.99 For the week and if you get our rewards program you can have… this lollipop.

KELSEY: Why do you have a lollipop?

JESSE: For new years.

KELSEY: Oh, upcoming.

JESSE: Two years ago.

Kelsey looks around.

KELSEY: This place isn’t doing very well is it?

JESSE: It’s a video rental store in 2018, we’re glad we’re open. (beat) My day to day life is filled with the hope of a small child coming in finding a movie they like and saying, no way that’s like my Kung Fu Panda 2 DVDs!

KELSEY: That’s sad.

JESSE: I can barely afford a hairbrush.

KELSEY: Why do you have a hairbrush, you don’t have any hair.

ALLISON: I love that!

JESSE: Love what?

ALLISON: Why do you have a hairbrush, you don’t have any hair.

ALLISON: Vegitales.

KELSEY: Vegitales? JESSE You really were home-schooled.

ALLISON: Sorry.

KELSEY: Don’t be sorry darling, be amazing. I know I will be. (beat) Heres five dollars for the movie keep the change and lollipop. Bye.

Kelsey pays Jesse and leaves.

ALLISON: She was… interesting.

JESSE: The word is weird.

ALLISON: I thought so, but I didn’t want to assume.

JESSE: You would’ve assumed correctly. (beat) So, the Princess Bride?

ALLISON: Yes, please!

JESSE We also have some vegitales if your interested.

ALLISON: I’m good with this.

Allison mimes paying him. Smiles, begins to leave. Turns and points at the counter.

ALLISON: Why do you have a bread roller?

JESSE: Rats.

ALLISON: Rats?

JESSE (nods): Rats.

ALLISON: Ew. Allison exits.

Jesse hears a rustling, to be performed offstage by Kelsey, that sounds like rats. Jesse picks up the bread roller.

JESSE: Not today!

Runs offstage.

Lights down.

The End.

Play 27: Here There Be Dragons. 31 Plays in 31 Days.

Lights Up.

A sea captain and his crew of three stand on the edge of his ship.

CREW MEMBER: Sir why are we still out here.

CAPTAIN: Because here, there be dragons.

Lights down.

Lights up.

We are now in a writers office at his desk.

WRITER: That might work right honey?

WIFE (O.S.): What?

WRITER: I’m saying here there be dragons!

WIFE (O.S.): It’s just my Mother coming for dinner!

WRITER: That’s not what I… Oh, never mind. (beat) How about…

Lights Down.

Lights Up.

Back on the ship. Now only the captain and his one crew member.

CREW MEMBER: They’ve all left us, sir, the entire crew. We can barely sail the boat why are we still here?

CAPTAIN: Because here there be dragons!

Lights Down.

Lights Up.

The Writer, his wife, and his in-laws sit at a dinner table.

MOTHER-IN-LAW: What are you working on George?

WRITER: Well, I’m writing this story about a ship captain in search of dragons because of local sightings and myths. (beat) Did you know that cartographers used to draw dragons on maps to symbolize dangerous waters, but some sailors went hunting for the dangerous creature in search of fame and adventure.

MOTHER-IN-LAW: That’s nice. You hear that dear dragons, isn’t that nice?

FATHER-IN-LAW: (grunts) Sure.

Lights Down.

Lights Up.

The Sea Captain is alone, then a woman in a shroud walks up.

SHROUDED WOMAN: Be still sea captain, it is I death. You have passed traversing dangerous waters, and for what, fame? Adventure? Why did you do this? Why did you waste your life coming here.

The sea captain looks her the deeply in the eyes.

CAPTAIN: Here there be dragons.

SHROUDED WOMAN: I don’t understand.

Lights down.

Lights up.

Back in the writer’s office. His wife is reading the manuscript.

WIFE: I don’t get it? (beat) Why does he keep saying here there be dragons. (beat) What does it mean?

WRITER: That’s just it. Dragons could mean anything, a dream to achieve, a meaningless goal, it’s up to the reader.

WIFE: Sounds kind of like a Moby Dick rip off.

WRITER: No it’s not, that had a giant whale, here… there be dragons.

Lights down.

Play 26: The Bookcase. 31 Plays in 31 Days.

Lights Up.

We’re in an apartment. Two guys, Frank and Mica, slowly enter, carrying a huge bookcase.

They try to stand the bookcase up, but it won’t go.

FRANK: Shit.

MICA: Maybe if we take it from the bottom.

FRANK: I got it.

Mica sits to the side and watches Frank try and fail to sit up the bookcase.

MICA: Give it here.

FRANK: Okay you try.

Frank sets down the bookcase and Mica comes up and fixes it in a way that seems simple and obvious.

FRANK (CONT’D): Oh.

Mica exits to get a can of soda. Comes back cracks open the beverage and takes a big sip.

MICA: Ah. (beat) Call me Mica.

Lights Down.

Play 25: Euphemisms. 31 Plays in 31 Days.

Lights Up.

A man walks up behind a podium.

MAN: Hello class, my name is Mr. Hutch. Welcome to our class about Analogies and Idioms our first lesson is… (beat) One moment. I need to go see a man about a horse.

He exits. Off stage we hear a door open. The the sound of a man urinating. Then a flush. Then the sound of a sink and washing hands then the tell-tell tear of a paper towel. He returns.

MR. HUTCH: Todays lesson, Euphemisms!

Lights down.

Play 24: Comics are for Everyone. 31 Plays in 31 Days.

INT. A COMIC BOOK STORE

Bob stands in front of a shelf and is putting up this week’s new comic books alphabetically.

BOB: Batman, Catwoman, Daredevil, and here goes the Flash. (beat) That’s everything.

Bob goes to sit behind the counter and begins reading a comic. A customer comes in.

BOB (CONT’D): (without looking up) Welcome to Fad Comics. Look around let me know if you need any help. The customer looks around. Picks up the new issue of West Coast Comics.

CUSTOMER: Is this any good? Bob looks up at what the customer is holding.

BOB: West Coast Avengers by Kelly Thompson? Haven’t read it yet, I liked this writer’s Rogue and Gambit mini-series though.

CUSTOMER: Cool. Another customer comes in.

Looks at the shelf. Points at issue.

ANOTHER CUSTOMER: All this SJW shit is ruining comic books.

CUSTOMER: What?

Bob puts down what he’s reading and slowly stands.

BOB: Can I help you sir?

ANOTHER CUSTOMER: Yeah, you can stop selling this trash.

BOB: I’m sorry you didn’t like what you’ve read–

ANOTHER CUSTOMER: I haven’t read any of this.

BOB: You haven’t read it, but you know you don’t like it?

ANOTHER CUSTOMER: I can’t read it because their all written by failed screenwriters.

BOB: By who?

ANOTHER CUSTOMER: These Hollywood screenwriters that don’t even like comic books.

BOB: I mean can you tell me a specific comic book writer? The only screenwriters I can think of are Coates and Landis and they were successful in that field. Coates penning an Oscar-winning film, but you must be talking about a different writer.

ANOTHER CUSTOMER: Yeah.

BOB: Which one?

ANOTHER CUSTOMER: The guy writing… Wonder Woman?

BOB: James Robinson? The legendary writer of Starman or did you mean an older run? Greg Rucka, Brian Azzerello maybe? Their industry legends.

ANOTHER CUSTOMER: Well, DC hasn’t been as bad as Marvel. There the ones who’re spreading all this BS political correct feminist message that they didn’t used too.

BOB: How odd, I’ve always seen Marvel as comics that relate to real life in fact Captain America was American propaganda against Nazis and the X-Men were a metaphor for racism.

ANOTHER CUSTOMER: Yeah, but they didn’t deal with real world stuff.

BOB: Name a character.

ANOTHER CUSTOMER: What?

BOB: Any Marvel character.

ANOTHER CUSTOMER: Spider-Man. I dare you to name one Spider-Man story that deals with political correctness.

BOB: Well, if you mean Peter Parker, he’s always been a really relatable superhero. Struggling teenager then adult and so on. (beat) I can think of several stories that dealt with a real-life response, the anti-drug issue that Marvel had to print without the Comics Code Authority, the issue about gun violence, oh, and I almost forgot. The one where they talk about 911.

ANOTHER CUSTOMER: Well, that’s different. BOB Yeah, it’s different, but it’s not. Times change stories change, writers change. Comic Books are for everyone, more diverse stories don’t over extend the medium to others, just opens it up to new readers. The old stories are there. I doubt you’ve read them all, but you wouldn’t like them as much as you think there’s some messages you might not agree with.

ANOTHER CUSTOMER: I’m not racist.

BOB: I didn’t say you were, and I’m sure you think what you believe is right. I’ve heard the arguments before. You want to protect the future of comic books, but if you get your way there won’t be a future. There won’t be new writers, comic books will die because you tried to keep them to yourselves. (beat) Also read the comic before you say you hate it. At least then we might not think you hate a book because of a person’s different than you.

ANOTHER CUSTOMER: Fuck you!

Another Customer leaves.

CUSTOMER: What just happened.

BOB: Oh, nothing. Just comics talk.

CUSTOMER: Weren’t you kinda mean to him?

BOB: How? I didn’t swear at him. Call him anything rude. Just gave an honest criticism, isn’t that fair?

Lights down.