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Carnivorous Trees Everywhere

A Ten-Minute Play by Natalya Churlyaeva

Natalya Churlyaeva Kolomenskaya 12/42 Krasnoyarsk, Russia churyahin@rambler.ru

Carnivorous Trees Everywhere by Natalya Churlyaeva

CHARACTERS
LENA: the mistress of an apartment. GALE: LENAS friend. ANDREW: LENAS husband.

Carnivorous Trees Everywhere by Natalya Churlyaeva

SETTING
The action takes place in Lenas apartment.

TIME
The present.

Carnivorous Trees Everywhere by Natalya Churlyaeva

As the curtain rises, a suitcase and a bag stand by the doorway. LENA enters. LENA Andy? (Aloud.) Andy, where are you? (Pauses. Puts her handbag on the table.) As usual, not even a foot in the door and off to the cronies! GALE (Enters.) Whom are you talking to? LENA Andrew. Just got back. GALE Already? You said hell return from the expedition in the fall. LENA So he said. But got back 3 months early, see? (Points at the suitcase by the doorway.) GALE An emergency? LENA I assume so. Drank all his money, thats all his emergencies. (ANDREW enters from another door, wiping his head with a towel.) ANDREW Oh, girls! Im so glad to see you! How I missed you... Let me give you a hug... (Tries to hug LENA and GALE.) LENA (Breaks loose, faces ANDREW.) Why did you come back so early? ANDREW I felt lonely without my wife... (Turns to GALE.) ... and without her best friend. (Tries to pinch GALES bottom.)

Carnivorous Trees Everywhere by Natalya Churlyaeva

GALE (Grabs LENAS handbag and hits ANDREWS hand with it.) Hands off! (Things fall out of LENAS handbag.) ANDREW I surrender! (Lifts his hands up.) LENA Gale! Dont touch my bag! GALE Im not. Just that Andy grabbed my ass... LENA Hes not Andy to you. To me hes Andy, but to you... ANDREW Thats right, wife! Quite right to guard your husband... LENA Shut up! Ill have a talk with you later. ANDREW About what? LENA About your grubby mitts! About how you grab strange women with them! ANDREW Gale is no stranger. We cant take a single step without her. We can only hide from her somewhere in Nepal. GALE You werent hiding there from me. You were hiding there from your wife. LENA Gale! Bite your tongue! ANDREW Her tongue shouldnt just be bitten but cut off altogether. So that she could only do this... (Grunts and moves his hands in different directions, simulating a mute.)
Carnivorous Trees Everywhere by Natalya Churlyaeva

GALE (Goes over to ANDREW and punches him in the nose.) Perhaps, better do this? ANDREW Ouch! (Covers his face with his hands and falls down.) LENA Andy, dont play the fool. Get up. (ANDREW lies on the floor motionless.) GALE Andrew! Cant you at least once in your life do what your wife tells you? ANDREW No. Why? ANDREW Because shell then constantly be on my case. Im a man, not some... GALE Youre not a man, youre henpecked! LENA Gale! Shut up, else Ill really... GALE What? Rip my tongue out? There, do it! (Sticks out her tongue at LENA.) Well? No guts? Thats it, you can only whine. As soon as Andrew leaves, you immediately start complaining, Please, my dear friend, pity my poor life. I, Helen the Beautiful, didnt get a foreign prince or a local tycoon for husband but only Andrew from next door ANDREW (Gets up from the floor.) I never lived next door to you. I lived in the city center while you both lived in the outskirts, the slums... LENA
Carnivorous Trees Everywhere by Natalya Churlyaeva

(Opens one eye.) GALE

What do you mean by that? ANDREW That I pulled you up to my level. And you, instead of learning how to live at this level, bring into our family your wild girlfriend whose only virtue is a strong left hook. GALE Right. ANDREW Right what? GALE Right hook. ANDREW Found something to be proud of! A normal woman is usually proud of her hips or breasts, even if theyre fake, but my wifes friend is proud of having a strong right hook, being a boxing master. GALE And what is a normal man proud of? ANDREW Well, for example, great inventions. GALE (Laughs.) Then its not for you, my dear. ANDREW There youre wrong. (Opens his bag and pulls out a box.) Do you see this? GALE What is it? I dont understand. ANDREW Of course, you dont. How can you understand that here, in this little box, is a chance for mankind to be happy? (A car alarm is heard. Rushes to the window, leans out, and shouts to someone outside.) Dont touch the mirror! Dont touch it or Ill rip your arms off! (Puts the box down on the table.) Wait a minute, Ill just...
Carnivorous Trees Everywhere by Natalya Churlyaeva

(Exits in a hurry.) LENA (Goes to the window and looks out.) Someone made off with the rearview mirror from his clunker. GALE I wonder why they havent yet taken it for spare parts. (Walks up to the table and picks up the box.) LENA (Takes the box from GALES hands.) Dont touch other peoples things. GALE (Looks attentively at LENA.) Seems like youre still hoping hell succeed in life? LENA Why not? Is he any worse than those who have everything in life? GALE Hes not like them. Theyre sly and cruel, but what about Andrew? I knocked him down and all he did was to grumble a bit. LENA Should he have beaten you up then? GALE I dont know what he should have done but definitely not what he did. LENA And what did he do? We dont even know what he did... Maybe hell really... (Examines the box in her hands.) GALE What? Give mankind a chance to be happy? LENA Maybe GALE Then lets see whats inside. LENA He didnt allow us to open it.
Carnivorous Trees Everywhere by Natalya Churlyaeva

GALE But didnt forbid it either. LENA Thats true. GALE So, why not open it? LENA Really, why not? Especially since Im his wife and should be in the know of my husbands matters. (Opens the box.) GALE Whats there? LENA Some pills...and a note. (Reads the note.) One tablet minus five years GALE Let me see. (Takes the box from LENA, and reads the note.) One tablet minus five years. Hmm (Takes a pill out of the box, looks at it, smells, and examines it.) LENA Well...? What do you think? Can we sell it? GALE You can sell anything. The question is at what price? LENA (Takes a pill out of the box and examines it.) If we ask ten bucks a pill... GALE Ten bucks? You must be joking! Havent you read the instructions? LENA What instructions? There are no instructions. GALE
Carnivorous Trees Everywhere by Natalya Churlyaeva

Whats this? (Shakes the note at LENAS face.) Its written here in black and white you take a pill and become five years younger! LENA (Examines the note.) Really... How could I not have understood at once...Yes, such a pill wouldnt be worth ten bucks GALE Of course! Thats what Im saying. LENA Such a pill would be worth a thousand...no, a million dollars! GALE A million might be too much. LENA Well, a million dollars may be too much but not a million rubles. GALE (Takes a handful of pills out of the box.) A million rubles? Well LENA Put them back. GALE What? LENA What you took from the box GALE (Squeezes her fist tight.) I didnt take anything. LENA You have my pills in your hand! GALE I have nothing. Leave me alone. LENA (Clutches GALE'S hand.)
Carnivorous Trees Everywhere by Natalya Churlyaeva

You stole them! Give me back what you stole! GALE No! I stole nothing. LENA You lie! You stole my pills! You are a thief! (Tries to take the tablets from GALE.) GALE You wont get poorer. Youve got a lot more of them... LENA You stole my tablets! Each tablet is a million dollars worth! GALE So what? You have a whole box of them. LENA Thats exactly it! I have, not you! These are my pills! My box! My millions! GALE (Opens her fist and shows LENA the pills in the palm of her hand.) See your millions? See no more! (Throws the handful of pills into her mouth.) (LENA jumps on GALE and tries to pull the pills out of her mouth. GALE falls on all fours and begins to swallow the pills.) LENA Give me my millions! Dont you dare swallow them! (GALE swallows all the pills at last, falls down onto the floor and stretches out.) ANDREW (Enters.) I got him! Got him and took it back! (Triumphantly shows the rearview mirror, and then notices GALE on the floor.) Why is she lying on the floor? Is she all right? LENA She swallowed our tablets! ANDREW What tablets?
Carnivorous Trees Everywhere by Natalya Churlyaeva

LENA (Shows the box.) These! What you wanted to bring happiness to mankind with! ANDREW She swallowed them? LENA Yes! Didnt want to give them back and swallowed! ANDREW How many? How many did she swallow? LENA I didnt count, but each is worth a million bucks! ANDREW What million bucks? What are you talking about? LENA (Shows the note.) This instruction! Its written here: One tablet minus five years! You wont find a tycoon and especially a tycoons wife who would refuse to look five years younger for a million bucks! Just imagine, looking five years younger... ANDREW You... Are you a fool? Of course, you are! And your Gale is an idiot! (Shakes the box of pills.) This is vitality activator for aging trees! Get it? For trees, not people! LENA (Disappointed.) For trees? ANDREW Yes! These pills will turn the whole world into an ever-blooming garden! (Lying on the floor, GALE begins to twist her arms, like branches.) LENA (Points to GALE.) And what will they turn her into? ANDREW (Reflects for a bit.)
Carnivorous Trees Everywhere by Natalya Churlyaeva

10

Seems like shell be one of the trees in this garden... Come on, lets lift her up. (ANDREW begins to lift GALE who lies like a log. LENA helps him. After that, GALE stands like a tree, with her arms stretching like branches to the window.) LENA Andy! Wont they put us in jail for this? ANDREW For what? LENA For what we did with Gale. ANDREW In fact, they should even thank us. LENA Why? ANDREW Because she doesnt have much brainwork for a human even from birth. And now instead of a stupid and unattractive woman she has turned into a beautiful example of a carnivorous tree. LENA Carnivorous? What does that mean? ANDREW That means we have to feed her still with chops, and even better, bloody steaks. However, now we must also keep her in the light at a window, check her temperature all the time... (GALE begins to show some activity. She repeatedly raises one arm after another.) LENA I dont agree to feed her with steaks. Too costly. And keeping her here all the time, its a bore. ANDREW Then we must get rid of her. LENA What if someone guesses shes no longer human? ANDREW Then we must put her in a grove of carnivorous trees, among the many others like she.
Carnivorous Trees Everywhere by Natalya Churlyaeva

11

LENA And where can we find such a grove? ANDREW Anywhere. Theyre everywhere around. Just turn on the TV and youll see a lot of them. LENA (Thoughtfully.) Andy... How long ago did you invent these pills? ANDREW My grandfather invented them. And my father experimented with them for a long time, both on trees and on humans. LENA And you? ANDREW I just restored the technology for production of the tablets on an industrial scale. Still, there was a lot of experimenting for me... LENA Andy! Did you experiment on me? ANDREW (Waves his hands.) Oh, no! Therere lots of other suitable human guinea pigs. (Sits down in a chair with his back to GALE.) LENA (Sits down beside ANDREW.) Okay then. After all, even if the trees are carnivorous, its not very dangerous. Theyre tame and cant do anything bad to normal people... (Meanwhile, GALE slowly toddles towards them. She opens her mouth wide, clasps ANDREW and LENA from behind, and bites them. The light goes out. ANDREWS and LENAS cries are heard in the dark.) LENA, ANDREW Oh, oh, ouch, ah...

End

Carnivorous Trees Everywhere by Natalya Churlyaeva