I thought I'd give this competition a try. It's hosted on the Mini Opera Website and closes 21st May 2012
Three writers will provide Mini Operas’ seed stories: Will Self, A.L. Kennedy and Neil Gaiman. and I've picked Neil's one to try. Here is my offering, it's called:
Do my dreams bring you calm or fright?
Opening Scene:It is night-time. The stage is empty apart from a bed. A gossamer-like curtain separates the stage from the audience. It is transparent enough to see that the bed contains two sleeping people, a man and a woman.Enter stage right (behind curtain) a man sweeping with a broom.Dream-sweeper (sings quietly)Do my dreams bring you calm or fright?Soothe your worries through the night?Or trail nightmares to your bed?Leave black images in your head?Shall I sweep them all away?Chase the darkness with the day?Will the next night find you awake?Fighting dreams that I must make?Only I can know the nightWill I bring you calm or fright?Woman in bed stirs then shakes her head from side to side. The dream-sweeper exits stage left and the curtain rises and the woman awakes. She shakes the man in bed next to her.Woman (agitated)Tom, Tom! (Man pulls sheet up and grumbles) Tom wake up, I’ve had that dream again.Tom (sleepily)What? (Yawns and picks up clock from bedside table) bloody hell Debbie, it’s nearly three in the morning. What’s the matter?DebbieI told you. I had that horrible dream again. A man was in the room, he was singing and I knew something bad was going to happen. It woke me up.TomWell I can’t see anyone now (makes a show of looking around the darkened room)Debbie hits him on the armDebbieDon’t be such an idiot. It scares me Tom!Tom moves over to her and puts an arm around her.TomSorry, you know I get grumpy when I don’t sleep properly.DebbieYOU don’t sleep properly! You were snoring like a pig. I’m the one who doesn’t sleep.(She pushes his arm away) You can drop off in the middle of a warzone. I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since... since... I can’t even remember...TomPerhaps you have too much pent-up energy (he smoothes her arm) perhaps if we...DebbieI just don’t believe you, I’m having kittens here and you think sex will make everything better.TomWorks for me...DebbieOh yeah, wham bang, thank you Mam and you’ll be snoring again.TomThat’s not nice...Debbie puts her head into her hands.DebbieI’m sorry Tom. It’s just... (She shakes her head) every night it’s the same dream. A man singing something softly, I can’t make it out exactly but it’s like:Do my dreams bring you calm or fright?Soothe your worries through the night?Or trail nightmares to your bed?Then I usually wake up with a terrible feeling of dread, that something is going to happen or something has happened. It’s horrible. He does trail a nightmare to my bed.TomTo our bed...DebbieYes, all right, to our bed. (She puts a hand to his face) Have you heard him?Tom (Puts a hand over hers and shakes his head)No, babe, I haven’t. I don’t expect I ever will either. It’s just a dream, babe. Your dream.She pulls away from him and gets out of bed.DebbieI’m not even sure it is a dream Tom. Someone could be in the house and I hear him. He’s taunting me. You don’t hear a bloody thing because you’re dead to the world.Tom shakes his head as she leaves the bedroom. He pulls the sheets back up and yawns again. Debbie returns with a box of Cornflakes and a carving knife.TomWhat the hell, Debs?Debbie walks backwards to the bed, sprinkling Cornflakes on the floor as she does. She gets into bed placing the box on the floor and the knife on the bedside table.DebbieRight Tom, I’ve had enough of this crap. If it’s a dream then tomorrow morning we’ll wake up and find everything undisturbed. But... (she nods) if someone is getting into the house and is stalking me or trying to mess with my head then they’ll crunch the Cornflakes and wake me up, or if I don’t wake up we’ll find them all crunched in the morning.TomSounds like a plan. And the knife?DebbieSelf defence. I told you I feel threatened by all this.TomWell, as long as it lets you get some sleep. (Yawns) So, are we sleeping or...DebbieSleeping, or I’ll be a wreck in the morning. ‘Night Tom (she kisses him)TomNight babe (He kisses her back, turns over and almost immediately starts to snore. She sits up in bed for a moment, stares at him and shakes her head then lies back down, looks around the room, looks at the knife and pulls it into bed next to her)The curtain falls slowly and before long both Tom and Debbie are asleep and snoring a duet. Before long the dream-sweeper enters stage right again and starts to sweep and sing quietly. He sweeps a path through the Cornflakes and stands by the bed looking down at the sleeping couple. He walks around to Tom’s side of the bed, leans his broom against the foot of the bed and lies down in Tom’s place, almost as if he is merging into Tom’s sleeping figure.He starts to sing.Dream-SweeperDo my dreams bring you calm or fright?Soothe your worries through the night?Or trail nightmares to your bed?Leave black images in your head?Shall I sweep them all away?Chase the darkness with the day?Will the next night find you awake?Fighting dreams that I must make?Only I can know the nightWill I bring you calm or fright?Debbie twists and turns in her sleep as the song repeats and repeats. She brings a hand out from beneath the sheets and up towards her head and places her curled fist against her forehead. The knife is in it, she brings it down hard onto the sleeping form at her side and the singing stops. Debbie sighs, turns onto her side, away from the prone figure of Tom with the handle of the knife protruding from his chest and soon she is snoring.The stage begins to lighten as dawn breaks and the gossamer curtain rises. Debbie wakes and yawns then stretches luxuriously.DebbieWell that was a better night’s sleep. (She gets out of bed. The Cornflakes make her jump for a second and she laughes. She puts on her slippers and begins to leave the stage. On her way off stage she begins to sing.Do my dreams bring you calm or fright?Soothe your worries through the night?Or trail nightmares to your bed?Leave black images in your head?Shall I sweep them all away?Chase the darkness with the day?Will the next night find you awake?Fighting dreams that I must make?Only I can know the nightWill I bring you calm or fright?End