7 minute script: The Announcement

7 minute short films

The Announcement

Revisions

27 September 09 – First Draft

By

Lisa Sinclair

“The Announcement”

INT KITCHEN NIGHT 1.

Five women are sat around a dining table. One has just made an announcement of earth-shattering proportions of which we will only find out later.

The women are Marika, Michelle, Sharon, Kellie and Debbie.

It’s a cold evening and they’ve just got back to the house of Kellie, who has invited them all over to tell them something important to her. They’re still wearing coats, and are waiting for the heat in the room to kick-in properly.

MARIKA

(angry, shocked)

You’re WHAT?

MICHELE

(surprised)

Wow.

KELLIE

(relieved to be getting this out)

It’s what I’ve wanted my whole life.

(sighs)

It’s been so hard living with this.

MICHELLE

But you look totaly normal.

DEBBIE

Well, yeah. Course she’s normal. It happens all the time.

MARIKA

When? When does it happen? We’re talking about–

DEBBIE

(stern)

Don’t you dare go there. We all know how you feel about this.

A mobile phone goes off — it’s a text message. DEBBIE grabs her phone up from the table, giggles slighty and texts back. She get’s a dirty look from Marika

MICHELLE

But why? You grew up the same as me. We’re sisters — how could you keep this from me. We’re the same!

KELLIE

We’re not the same! I’m not the same as you. I know what I feel. I know what I want.

MARIKA

How? How do you know it’s just something you need to do? And how can you be sure? It’s not like there’s a test you can take: one bar pregnant, two bars not.

SHARON

(Sotto)

It’s the other way around.

Attention turns to Sharon

DEBBIE

(smiling)

You’re not…

SHARON

One bar.

DEBBIE

Who to? You’ve been single for–

SHARON

Remember Eddie?

KELLEY

(Glad to be off the subject)

Who’s Eddie?

MARIKA

Eddie? Eddie the Freak you mean?!

SHARON

He’s not a freak! I don’t believe you! He’s nice!

(glances away)

…ish.

MARIKA

Nice enough to get you pregnant.

SHARON

He didn’t. That’s the point.

They all chew this over for a moment.

DEBBIE

So why didn’t you tell anyone?

SHARON

Because it’s over. It was over before it started.

MICHELLE

(thinks she’s got it)

Oh no… he wasn’t.

SHARON

He wasn’t. It was just me. All day every day.

(Sighs)

I’d rather not talk about it

DEBBIE

(smiles, being a smartarse)

I could imagine you with a boy.

MARIKA

(only half-joking)

She’d be useless. Never touched a nappy in her life.

SHARON

Oh, thankyou very much.

MICHELLE

(being peacemker)

She was joking.

MARIKA

Just proves my point.

SHARON

I don’t touch other people’s kids and nappies and things because they’re filled with what they fed them only a few hours later. And it’s not nice at that end.

MICHELLE

(who has three kids of her own and misses the baby thing)

It’s different when you’ve got your own. You’ll like it.

SHARON

Ewww.

The kettle begins to boil,. It’s a shrill, piercing whistle which everyone reacts to, KELLIE gets up and turns it off and pours water into five cups — three instant coffee, two teas. They’re put down on the table with the milk from the fridge and a bowl of sugar.

MARIKA is a coffee drinker, but won’t touch this muck. She’s with the tea. As is Kellie. The rest have the naff coffee.

The phone goes off again. Sharon giggles and texts back. MARIKA is unimpressed. Again.

MARIKA

(to Kellie)

Look, What you’re doing is like me drinking that.

(points to a coffee mug)

DEBBIE

Hey! It’s not that bad.

She gets an appalled expression in return.

MARIKA

It’s sort of the same, but the spirit of it, what you’re losing is quality. You’re losing the experiences. You’re losing the whole meaning of what it is to be–

The phone goes off again.

MARIKA

Will you put that away! It’s distracting!

DEBBIE

It’s important!

MARIKA

It’s your boyfriend. And he’s one of them, the enemy.

DEBBIE

Don’t say that!

KELLIE has reacted as-if stung — well, all right, probably not with screams and trying to get the insect off of her — and withdraws into herself.

MARIKA

It IS that bad. It’s like being told she’s gay.

SHARON

Hey!

MARIKA

No offense.

SHARON

Well, you know it’s the third time you’ve said that since I came out.

MARIKA

(sotto)

Didn’t think you were counting.

SHARON

And it was funny the first time, but it’s wearing thin now. So yes, offense taken.

MICHELLE

(to Marika)

You should apologise

MARIKA

For what? And anyway, we’re talking about Kellie and the mistake she’s making.

KELLIE

I’d prefer not to be talking about me at all. This isn’t what I was expecting.

MARIKA

Well, we are. You brought us here and you brought it up. So start talking.

DEBBIE

Yes, what were you doing on the night of the fifteenth?

MARIKA

This is serious!

DEBBIE

Oh for the love of god.

DEBBIE gets up.

MICHELLE

Don’t take the lord’s name in vain!

Everyone turns to Michelle. They’re gobsmacked.

MICHELE

(regretting the outburst)

Sorry. automatic reaction. My parents…

Everyone nods understandingly. Parents, they fuck you up.

DEBBIE retrieves three pieces of fruit from the bowl on the kitchen bench and stands in a corner juggling.

MICHELLE

I didn’t know you could juggle.

DEBBIE

Helps me relax. Like drumming or meditating. Clears the everyday out of my head.

MARIKA

Doesn’t help me relax.

DEBBIE

Then don’t do it.

DEBBIE smiles tightly.

KELLIE

I didn’t want a fight over this. I told you because you’re my friends. I didn’t tell you because I wanted your approval.

She’s lying. She very much wants their support.

MARIKA

(calming down)

Okay, I’m sorry. It’s just it’s a big step, you know. It’s not like choosing a new frock. We’re talking about completely jumping the fence, and away from everyone in this room.

DEBBIE rolls her eyes and shakes her head, thinks about it and speaks.

DEBBIE

You know, that’s a complete overreaction. It’s not life-or-death. She’s not moving to another country or becoming–

MARIKA

But she’s brought us here to tell us. So it’s important to her. It’s important to me to know why my friends are.

DEBBIE

(sarcastic)

So you can choose who to include on the guestlist?

MARIKA

That’s not what I mean. It’s hard for me, you know. It’s the only thing that I was able to rely on through my life and the things I had to go through. And she wants to — to leave it all behind and… I just don’t understand.

KELLIE

It’s not about turning my back on you all. I just feel this. I feel it in my bones. I need to do this.

MARIKA

You’re one of us and that’s that.

DEBBIE

Stop badgering her.

MICHELLE

Yes, she’s got a right to do what she thinks is right. Even if it’s going to upset people.

(to KELLIE)

You’re sure about this?

It’s a big step.

KELLIE

I know what I need. I really do. I’ve wrestled with this my whole life.

MARIKA

Big? It’ll mean we can’t ever be around you again.

SHARON

She knows her own mind

MARIKA

She’s out of her mind!

KELLIE

I won’t be any different. Honestly.

MARIKA

Of course it is! If she changes… it’ll mean the end of all this. That’s what I’m saying

KELLIE is getting upset. She is comforted by Michelle who is trying to understand and be supportive.

MICHELLE

If it’s what Kellie wants then we have to accept it.

MARIKA

I’m not going to be around a Collingwood supporter

 

BLACK

CREDITS

 

Author: gotheek

Sometime writer, full time human.