A non-play

The Players: Henri, Marcy, a Bed Lamp

Act Only.

Early evening.

Henri and Marcy are at a hospital, visiting a mutual friend. The friend is in a coma, and the two are sitting opposite each other, on either side of his hospital bed, talking. They look troubled.

Henri: All I know is, the nurse said she turned the bed lamp off when she left, and when she came back a few hours later, it was turned on and there was a book on his lap.

Marcy: So?

Henri: So? Doesn’t it look like he... (Trails off and nods down at their friend.)

Marcy: What? No.

Henri: (Hurriedly and hushed.) But the nurse said no one came in while she was gone.

Marcy: (Furrows her brow. Pauses.) But it’s not like the nurse would have been staking out the door to his room.

Henri: Well, no, but don’t you think someone would have seen something?

Marcy: You’d think so, but I wouldn’t say necessarily, no. Besides, it’s just a light–maybe she didn’t really turn it off, anyway.

Henri: Maybe. (Squinting) But what about the book?

Marcy: What about it?

Henri: (Wildly.) Are you kidding? I think the nurse would have noticed something like that.

Marcy: (Looks out the window, exasperated.) Of course she would have... (Looks back toward Henri.) but maybe it was her book–she could be reading it on her breaks, you know.

Henri: Ok, but if you were a nurse, would you put the book you were reading during your breaks on a patient? On a man in a coma?

Marcy: (Sighs.) No, I wouldn’t.

Henri: (Triumphant.) And that’s my point.

Henri and Marcy stare at each other for several seconds, then both turn to look at their friend. Marcy stands up.

Marcy: Whatever, I’m leaving. You’re creeping me out with all this.

Marcy leaves the room.

Henri: (Calling after Marcy.) But what does the book mean? It has to mean something!

Henri leaves the room.

Bed Lamp: (Agitated and disturbed.) Yeah, something creepy, and I’ve got to sleep in here!



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