Swylce

Musings and Writing of GG Alexander

Savage Writing: Mind the Rocks

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Task this week was to write a horror script. This was a little experimental for me – not sure I would get the points across – and upon questioning at the end I feel I explained too much. I won’t make that mistake here.

MIND THE ROCKS

SCENE: A CLIFFSIDE PATH, JUST BEFORE DAWN.

(Characters: Bob is an old-aged Yorkshireman. Ellison is a nervous-looking young man)

BOB ENTERS, AND ELLISON HESITATES BEFORE SPEAKING TO HIM.

ELLISON

Bob, are you there?

BOB

I’m right here, Mister Ellison.

ELLISON

Good. I was worried I may be imagining things.

BOB

Isn’t good for your health to be up so early, Mister Ellison.

ELLISON

I haven’t been able to sleep. Every night I dream that I wake, eat and dress, then walk out of the cottage, down this path, and right off the edge of this cliff. I never hesitate or stop to consider otherwise. I fall into darkness and then there’s nothing.

BOB

Now, now, Mister Ellison. Calm yourself. You came out here to rest your mind after all – to let that fresh sea breeze soothe you. Don’t it feel good, Master?

ELLISON

I don’t know, Bob. The longer I’m here the more I doubt myself. It’s been three weeks, hasn’t it? Three weeks, and already I feel I can’t remember my wife. My dear Emily.

BOB

She was a wonderful lady, master.

ELLISON

Yes. You know, here in this light, I feel as if I can see things which aren’t there. Right now, if I look closely, I can see a girl standing at the edge of the cliff, a child. She’s looking at me with eyes like Emily’s. Large brown eyes.

BOB

Emily had blue eyes, Mister Ellison.

ELLISON

She always wanted a boy. She wanted me to continue the Ellison name. But I was always partial to a girl, a demure child, an obedient child. Perhaps I worried that if I had a boy, I would become like my father. God rest his soul. But this girl now, she has eyes full of rebellion like Emily. If you forbid a person from action, they only strive to do it more, don’t they? She was that kind of person. I told her not to swim, so she swam. And she sank my child with her.

BOB

Hey, hey, Master, calm yourself. You’re here to keep your mind away from painful thoughts aren’t you? Don’t dwell on such horrors. I can’t imagine the grief you must be in now, but do not sink under it, do not fall into it. You must be strong.

ELLISON

I’m not strong, Bob. I’ve never been. That’s why father always sends me away to lonely country holes by myself –

BOB

God rest his soul. We don’t speak ill of the dead, Master Blake.

ELLISON

Yes. Yes. I don’t speak ill of him. But I see that girl over there, and I want to walk to her, and speak to her. And even if she was not there, I would want to walk to that cliff anyway, for these dreams I’ve been having. To see the water, and the rocks.

BOB

Careful, now. You might lean too far over the side.

ELLISON

I wouldn’t. I would not. But then I’d at least be with my dear Emily again. That girl over there, Bob – can you not see her? I swear she looks as real as you.

BOB

There’s nowt over there, my lad.

ELLISON

She is there. I see her. She’s the spirit of the child that Emily drowned, I know it, she looks so reproachful and her eyes are large and blue and filled with tears. What did I do wrong, Bob?

BOB

Nothing, Master. She went for a swim, and the tide took her down. Don’t think on it – it’s too awful.

ELLISON

It is too awful. I can’t bear to think of it. My father would be so saddened to see me now, wouldn’t he? He thought I would do well for him, but I’m weak. I couldn’t marry as he wanted and give him an heir. Are you sure you cannot see her?

BOB

It’s the light playing with your eyes.

ELLISON

I can’t trust myself recently. I can’t trust my memory at all. I think of Emily and I try my hardest but I can’t remember marrying her, or discovering she was with child, or any such memories. I tried to find photographs but was told there’s nothing.

BOB

She didn’t like this new technology.

ELLISON

No, no she didn’t. But when I think of her, all I can remember is that awful day she went out swimming.

BOB

You asked her where she was going and forbid her from swimming, and she smiled and said she was merely going for a walk by the cliff.

ELLISON

Yes, yes. I must have told you this before. Just for a walk by the cliff. That’s why this child is here now, looking at me. I killed her, Bob, I killed them both with my words.

BOB

Don’t think such awful thoughts.

ELLISON

I want to go to her. I want to go and apologise. I feel I must see the edge of this cliff.

BOB

Now Master Blake, this is just a passing weakness –

ELLISON

It’s not a weakness! Don’t you understand? I have to atone somehow. And why do you call me Master Blake? My father’s dead, isn’t he? I’m – I’m the head of the Ellison family. You do as I say.

BOB

Beg pardon, sir. Force of habit. What I mean is, your father always worried about you. He never thought you were able to stick to your word on owt, and always thought you were too weak to stand horrors. You’re a frail lad, and given to fancy. If you’re seeing visions, clearly you’re not strong enough yet to be out here.

ELLISON

I am strong enough! I am. I am the master of the house, Bob, and I see that girl over there with my two eyes. You’re deceiving me, aren’t you? You’re testing me, like Father always did. You don’t understand, neither of you. I am strong enough for this. I am going to go and touch that girl and bring her to you, and prove she is there.

BOB

You can’t do that, master Blake.

ELLISON

I can, and I will. I’ll show you, Bob – I’ll show you I’m not mad!

EXIT ELLISON. BOB LOOKS AFTER HIM.

BOB

After so many years, I’m sure your father will be glad to hear that you said that, Master. Mind the rocks on your way down. Mind the rocks.

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Written by G.J.

08/08/2012 at 11:15 pm

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