Episode 1 – “Stars” – Transcript

MonkeyTales – Episode 1 – “Stars”
by D.J. Sylvis

Listen to the episode here

(The entire episode is a phone conversation – we always hear one or the other over the phone.)

AKIA
You have to come outside.

REN
I can’t.

AKIA
Just –

REN
I can’t come outside. Not to you.

AKIA
You know what I mean.

REN
Your outside is different from mine.

AKIA
Come on, you have to see this.

REN
That’s what you said about that Youtube thing this morning.

AKIA
Baby lemurs, Ren. Baby lemurs.

REN
Fair enough.

AKIA
Come outside.

REN
I’m out, I’m out.

AKIA
Lying.

REN
It’s a beautiful night. The crickets are … doing their crickety thing.

AKIA
Lying, lying.

REN
How do you know?

AKIA
I can hear the echo from those green and white ceramic kitchen tiles.

REN
You pay way too much attention to my pictures.
(entering the stage on the other side)
I’m really out now.

AKIA
Did you turn off the lights?

REN
Of course I turned off the lights.
(we hear the light switch click)
I’m outside, I’m here, it’s … very, very dark. GOOD THING I HAVE MY PEPPER SPRAY. AND A DOG.

AKIA
Who are you talking to?

REN
Nobody. A BIG DOG. WITH BIG TEETH

AKIA
Oh, just sit down.

REN
You know there are ants out here. And non-ant crawly things.
(they settle in somewhere comfortable)
Only for you. Okay. Now what?

AKIA
Now, you look up.

REN
And…?

AKIA
Look. Up.

REN
And then what?

AKIA
What do you see?

REN
A tree branch, a passing plane … Did you hire a skywriter? Because, you know, night time.

AKIA
Hilarious.

REN
Are we doing something here?

AKIA
Look up. Look further.

REN
I think I see a satellite.

AKIA
Ren.

REN
What am I supposed to be looking at?

AKIA
Everything.

REN
Everything.

AKIA
The sky. The stars. Just look.

REN
I’m looking! My eyes are focused on the stars. My corneas reflect the fire of –

AKIA
Stop. Just … look.

REN
Okay.
(they finally get caught up in it for a moment)
That’s really … that’s … I’m so …

AKIA
Yeah.

REN
Wow.

AKIA
Verrrry wow. Much wow.

REN
(after a moment)
How’d you know my sky would be clear?

AKIA
I track your weather in an app right beside mine.

REN
The marvels of the information age.

AKIA
No one says that anymore.

REN
Stop talking.
(another silent moment, lost in the sky)
You look up, and it’s pretty, but then – the focus changes. There’s this click, like when they switch lenses during a vision test. Click, click, and … wow.

AKIA
Wow.

REN
The depth really grabs you. How far up can I see?

AKIA
Maybe … four thousand light years.

REN
I don’t know from light years.

AKIA
About thirty quadrillion kilometres.

REN
I knew you’d have the answer.

AKIA
That’s kinda what I do.

REN
Okay, Bill Nye.
(after a moment gazing up again)
There’s like a million stars spread out there, sprinkled over the … scattered against …
(Akia can’t help but laugh)
What? “You should have sent a poet.”

AKIA
It’s not that. A million.

REN
What?

AKIA
The most stars you can possibly see is maybe twenty-five hundred.

REN
That’s not quite as impressive.

AKIA
Still works for me.

REN
Nerd.

AKIA
Nerd? You have how many sci-fi tattoos? Yoda and Firefly and Dune –

REN
Oh, my.

AKIA
And I’m the nerd.
(shivers)
It’s chilly here.

REN
You need a blanket.

AKIA
I need to be cuddled.

REN
I need to be there.
(pause)
How far is it?

AKIA
About thirteen thousand kilometers.

REN
Always with the about. Where’s your precision?

AKIA
You move around. Thirteen thousand, six hundred and fourteen.

REN
Six hundred and fourteen.
(spends a moment looking up again)
How far is the closest … up there?

AKIA
Alpha Centauri. Four point two light years. Thirty-eight trillion kilometers.

REN
About?

AKIA
About.

REN
It must really suck if you’re the Sun with a crush on Alpha whatever.

AKIA
Centauri. You have a crush on me?
(sing-song, teasing)
You have a crush on me …

REN
Nerd.

AKIA
Nerd again?

REN
An adorable, sexy nerd.

AKIA
All your stuff could be out there somewhere. All your Treks and Wars and Bases …

REN
Let’s have some respect. You’re talking to a veteran of the star wars.

AKIA
What are you talking about?

REN
I fought in a star war.

AKIA
Which movie?

REN
Movies! There are lots of star wars that didn’t make it into the history books.

AKIA
Wasn’t that all long ago and far away?

REN
You see that star right there?

AKIA
How can I tell which one you –

REN
Not there, to the left. I saved it. I’ve got a medal.

AKIA
Dork.

REN
You’re a nerd, I’m a dork.

AKIA
We were made for each other.

REN
They could have made us closer.

AKIA
For the cuddling.

REN
Dammit. Thirteen thousand, six hundred, and …?

AKIA
Fourteen.

REN
Fourteen.
(we hear a few footsteps)
Closer now.

(There is another pause while they get lost in the sky and the closeness between them. There is a beep in the background.)

AKIA
What was that?

REN
My phone is starting to die.

AKIA
Aww.

REN
I meant to charge it.

AKIA
You are getting forgetful.

REN
I’ll need alarms soon to set my alarms.

AKIA
I’m glad we had some time together.

REN
I’m not done yet. Just getting low.

AKIA
Okay.

REN
Give me another one of those sciencey star facts. They get me kinda hot.

AKIA
Umm … just about every star you can see is more powerful than the Sun.

REN
Now that’s hot.

AKIA
Red hot. Or blue hot. Because blue stars are actually –

REN
Don’t ruin this for me.
(there is a rustling noise)
Fuck what was that?

AKIA
What happened?

REN
I don’t know. It’s dark.
(yelling as earlier)
KILLER! GET BACK HERE, BOY!

AKIA
Killer?

REN
My imaginary dog. It was probably some … whatever runs around in bushes.
(their phone beeps again)
Eight percent. You’d think that would be a lot. Why do phones die at five percent? Why don’t you make that zero? Anyway … something else you wanted to share with the class?

AKIA
Let me think. Most visible stars, maybe as many as four-fifths … I think four-fifths …

REN
Get to the point.

AKIA
Are actually binary stars.

REN
Really?

AKIA
Two stars locked in orbit.

REN
Yeah.

AKIA
Balanced together, rotating around one another –

REN
But not touching.

AKIA
Well, no. They can’t really touch, gravity keeps them –

REN
Close, but not close enough.

AKIA
Not yet.

REN
Not yet.
(a moment, and then)
My phone’s gonna die.

AKIA
Okay.

REN
I’ll stay out here a while.

AKIA
I will, too.

REN
I’ll keep looking up. I’ll keep … you know.

AKIA
I know.

REN
(after a moment)
This time we probably should say good –

AKIA
Hey.
(after a bashful pause)
I … I love you.

REN
(after a moment)
Wow.

AKIA
Wow.

REN
Oh, wow. I love you, too.

AKIA
Good, then.

REN
Yeah.

AKIA
Good.

REN
(after a comfortable pause)
I’m glad you told me to come outside.

AKIA
Me too. Have a good sleep. And good dreams. With stars, and with …

REN
Yeah. Maybe there’s time for just one more –

(There is another beep, and the phone obviously dies. We hear one of them sigh happily, and then the other. The moment lingers, and then the play ends.)

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