Evil Fan (work in progress)


Title: Evil Fan
Status: work in progress
Genre: Horror
Running time: to be determined
Cast size: 1M, 3F
Tag line: Sometimes you can’t get rid of an evil fan.
Blurb:
Dolores believes she is being haunted by the ghost of her stalker who she killed in self-defense after one of her singing performances. Unfortunately for her, the truth is much, much worse.

This is a work in progress and is likely to change before production. Performance without written permission of the playwright is strictly prohibited.

EVIL FAN

a play
by
Chas Belov

Copyright © Charles Belov
All rights reserved.

#1011

CHARACTERS

DOLORES An adult female.
BEAUREGARD An adult male, dead.
CONRAD Beauregard’s identical surviving twin.
FRANCESCA An adult female.
DR. WHITE An adult female.

BEAUREGARD and CONRAD are actually the same character and are to be played by the same actor.

SETTING

Dolores’s drawing room.

TIME

Now and then.

NOTE
“Blancmange” – cornstarch pudding, and Dolores’s pet name for Beauregard – is pronounced approximately “Bluh-manzh.” A French pronunciation would not be out of order.

EVIL FAN

(Dolores’s drawing room. A writing desk or perhaps a table is present, with paper, envelopes, and writing implements. Dolores enters and sits at the desk. She picks up a sheet of paper and a pen and begins writing.)

DOLORES
(As she writes; “Bluh-manzh”)
My dearest and most precious Blancmange, I hope this letter finds you well. I imagine that you must be surprised to hear from me. I must admit that, given the circumstances, there are those who think it is inappropriate for me to be contacting you so soon, if indeed I were to contact you at all. But I believe it is part of a healing process, and so I take up pen and paper—indeed it is not merely a pen I take up but a fountain pen—and address you in this formal yet intimate tone. Amazing, is it not? In this day when people can barely think to sit down at their computer and compose a work of electronic mail, when they can’t even be bothered to take out their mobile phone and compose a text message of thanks…for indeed I am taking up fountain pen and fine writing paper—twenty-five percent rag content, I believe—to write you a letter of thanks for the favor you have ultimately done me, even though I was incapable of appreciating it at the time.

(BEAUREGARD enters. DOLORES sees him instantly and shoos him away. BEAUREGARD exits.)

DOLORES
Even now I cannot get you out of my mind. Do you know how hard it is to find a fountain pen these days? I am completely incompetent at searching the Internet for a suitable vendor, and so had to send poor Francesca on what I was afraid might be a fool’s errand. Fortunately, after several outings she was able to come up with a suitable implement. It is a fine pen indeed, and after a few days of practice I have managed to learn to use it without creating large streaks and spots on the paper and have become confident to the point where I feel prepared to correspond with you. Yes, the care with which I prepared to write this letter was so important to me, reflecting the high esteem with which I regard you.

(BEAUREGARD enters. DOLORES sees him instantly and shoos him away. BEAUREGARD approaches her.)

DOLORES
(No longer writing)
Go! Go away! I’m busy!

(BEAUREGARD exits.)

DOLORES
(Writing)
You must know how hard it is for me to set my memory of you aside. Yes, I forgive you for all the wrong you have done to me. Yes, yes, I want you back by my side. If only I were not here and you were not there, we could be together and all would be right with the world. But regardless of our limitations and restrictions, it is incumbent upon you to know that I forgive you and want only the best for you in the future. If the Good Lord wills it, may it be our future, but I wish you the finest future nonetheless. Your companion forevermore, Dolores Del Valle, or, as you know me, Miss Constance Adams.
(She waves the paper to dry it, addresses an envelope, folds the paper, inserts it into the envelope, and seals the envelope. Calling:)
Francesca, please come in here.

(FRANCESCA enters, bearing a tray with a glass of water and a pill.)

FRANCESCA
Yes, madame.

DOLORES
Please take this letter and post it.

FRANCESCA
Yes, madame. It is time for the madame to take her medicine.

DOLORES
You see what this affair has drawn me to, Francesca? This pill for my nerves. That pill for my insomnia. Another pill for my blood pressure. And any day now, a fourth pill to make the other pills stop interfering with one another.

(DOLORES takes her pill as FRANCESCA says:)

FRANCESCA
Yes, madame.

(FRANCESCA takes the tray and the letter and exits. BEAUREGARD enters, puts his hand over DOLORES’s mouth, and directs her offstage. There are sounds of a struggle, and DOLORES re-enters.)

DOLORES
Francesca, Francesca, come quickly!

(FRANCESCA enters.)

FRANCESCA
Yes, madame.

DOLORES
Please bring that envelope back immediately. I must add to my letter.

FRANCESCA
Yes, madame.

(FRANCESCA exits. BEAUREGARD sneaks onstage.)

DOLORES
Don’t go skulking around like that. I see you. Go!

(BEAUREGARD exits as FRANCESCA enters with the letter and gives it to DOLORES, who opens the envelope.)

DOLORES
Thank you, Francesca. You may go now.

FRANCESCA
Yes, madame.

(DOLORES writes again.)

DOLORES
(“Bluh-manzh”)
P.S. The fact that I do not address you by your given name Beauregard, and instead address you as Blancmange, my sweet, does not give you the privilege of haunting me. I am entitled to my dignity. Yes, dear Blancmange, even after these proceedings I do still have that. Referring to you as a variety of pudding—though a mass of pudding you may well be by this time—does not mean that I have fully given myself to you. You are expected to remain a gentleman. A gentleman! Do you understand what that word means? I wonder. If you do not, I am sure the nearest dictionary will disabuse you of the notion that it is alright to steal into my convalescent chambers and attempt to abscond with me. I have my employ to think of. Did you notice Francesca as you were sneaking about? Did you see how devoted she is to me? What would become of her if you were to take me away? How would I pay her? How would I pay any of the people I employ to see to my comfort as I recover from this sad and most dreadful episode of my life? And that is beside all of my fans who anxiously await my return to the stage. Yes, I have other fans, my dearest and most precious Blancmange. You are not the one and only. Yet only you have turned out to be my evil fan.

(DOLORES falls asleep on her writing desk, the pill having taken affect. BEAUREGARD enters.)

BEAUREGARD
Come, my dear lady. Come into my world and sing for me.

(DOLORES raises her head. At some point she may rise.)

DOLORES
I cannot.

BEAUREGARD
What do you mean, you cannot? You are in my world for now. You cannot refuse me.

DOLORES
No, it is that I cannot sing in this world.

BEAUREGARD
That is nonsense. Sing!

DOLORES
I swear to you, I cannot.

BEAUREGARD
What point is there for me to visit you then? I cannot attend your concerts. There is only my grave and here, and my grave is only fit for my remains. My pudding, as you so appropriately put it.

DOLORES
Is it not enough for you to simply be with me, my dearest Blancmange?

BEAUREGARD
No, you are not Miss Constance Adams until the room is awash with song.

DOLORES
Then I must be Dolores Del Valle for you forever more. I have never sung in my dreams. Not even a tra-la-la.

BEAUREGARD
Perhaps I should go.

DOLORES
No, don’t leave me!

BEAUREGARD
That wasn’t what you were saying when you were at your desk. “Go! Go away! I’m busy!” was what you said.

DOLORES
It’s so difficult for me to concentrate these days.

BEAUREGARD
I am not a dog to be called or sent away at will.

DOLORES
I know that.

BEAUREGARD
I demand an apology.

DOLORES
No! Absolutely not! Who gave you permission to haunt me?

BEAUREGARD
(“Bluh-manzh”)
Why, you did, madame, in your dreams. You called out “Blancmange, Blancmange, my dearest,” and I came. Believe me it isn’t easy to gather up my protoplasm into a form resembling my former self. You tell me to go and yet you cannot let me go. Come, stop resisting me, and we shall be joined in matrimony in the land of shadows.

(BEAUREGARD pulls at DOLORES.)

DOLORES
No! No! Francesca! Help! Save me!

BEAUREGARD
She cannot hear your calls from dreamland. You are mine, all mine.

(DOLORES pulls away from BEAUREGARD.)

DOLORES
Nonsense! I am nobody’s property but my own! It is not your place to tell me whom I belong to. I decide and that is that.

BEAUREGARD
Madame, your words cut deeply, but your rejection cuts even deeper. My death has bound me to you in a way my life never could fathom.

DOLORES
You must let go of me. You must!

BEAUREGARD
No! You are mine forever!

DOLORES
Is there nothing I can do to make you set me free?

BEAUREGARD
You must explain to me why you killed me.

DOLORES
I’ve told you before. It was self-defense!

BEAUREGARD
I never attacked you.

DOLORES
You did! You lay in wait in my dressing room, and when I left the stage you tried to have your way with me. What else was I to do? A lady has a right to defend herself from unwanted attention.

BEAUREGARD
Do you truly believe that is what happened on the night that you sent me to my grave?

DOLORES
What would you suggest? That I stalked you? That I chose a random fan from my audience of admirers and sent you to your grave as a show of my power as a star?

BEAUREGARD
It is not to me to suggest. I want to hear it from you.

DOLORES
Then you will have a long wait.

END OF SCENE

SCENE 2

(Dolores’s drawing room. Dolores is not present. FRANCESCA is dusting. After a few moments, CONRAD enters.)

CONRAD
Has she told you anything yet?

FRANCESCA
No, not a word.

CONRAD
Perhaps we need to increase her dosage.

FRANCESCA
I don’t think the doctor would approve of that at all. Even now she is out for hours, mumbling and tossing in her sleep. I don’t see what good the pills are doing. She spouts nonsense about your brother haunting her and writes him letters. They are exceedingly strange letters. Have you read them? Never mind; I saw you reading one the other day as she slept.

CONRAD
I believe those letters hold the key to the mystery of my brother’s death. Why did she attack him? I can’t believe he even knew her. He never mentioned her. I barely care at this point. All I wish for is that she be found sane so that she may be brought to justice. But as long as she spouts nonsense like this…My only chance is to catch her in a mistake, an inconsistency. I must continue to pretend to be my brother and that I am haunting her until she slips up and reveals her true mental state.

FRANCESCA
And if she is mad?

CONRAD
I don’t think I could take that. His death would seem so random, so capricious.

FRANCESCA
The world is often capricious. Why is it that you are wealthy and I am a poor actor? It is only that you and your brother were born—

CONRAD
I am fully conversant with my family’s history. Do I not pay you enough?

FRANCESCA
It’s not that. It’s that you demand I carry on this charade, pretending that this is her house and that I am her servant. She will drive me batty with her Francesca this and Francesca that. Are you not aware that she believes herself to be—

CONRAD
A concert artist. I know. One who mysteriously cannot sing. Some concert artist. Still, she is my brother’s murderer, and I must see that she is brought to justice. When will Doctor White be here?

FRANCESCA
She is due at three.

CONRAD
Fine. Enough time to leave so that she does not see me here. You must continue to pretend the same. Your livelihood depends on it.

(CONRAD starts to exit.)

FRANCESCA
Beauregard…

CONRAD
I am not Beauregard! Beauregard is dead! I am Conrad!

FRANCESCA
I know. It’s just you look so much like him.

CONRAD
Take care you do not call me that again. It is bad enough that my brother lies in his grave. I should not have to be reminded of this every time I talk with you.

(CONRAD exits as FRANCESCA says:)

FRANCESCA
I’m sorry.

(CONRAD is gone now.)

FRANCESCA
I miss him.
(FRANCESCA continues dusting.)
Yes, Madame! No, Madame!
(Aside)
This scheme is madder than Miss Del Valle herself!

(FRANCESCA continues dusting. The doorbell rings. FRANCESCA exits.)

FRANCESCA (O.S.)
One moment, please.

(Doorbell rings again.)

DOLORES (O.S.)
Francesca, get the door.

FRANCESCA (O.S.)
I’m going, madame!
(Pause)
Dr. White, I wasn’t expecting you for another half hour yet.

(FRANCESCA and DR. WHITE enter.)

DR. WHITE
I’m sorry for the intrusion, but I have some urgent business to attend to later. I hope it’s not an inconvenience.

FRANCESCA
Well, it is not as if madame is going anywhere.

DR. WHITE
Must you be so respectful to her in my presence?

FRANCESCA
I meant no disrespect to Mr. White’s memory, doctor. But I must stay in character.

DR. WHITE
Of course. Has she told you anything?

FRANCESCA
Nothing. She raves on and on about how-

DR. WHITE
My husband supposedly attacked her. Impossible! We will have to adjust her dosage.

(End of excerpt)

One Response to “Evil Fan (work in progress)”

  1. Making my own goalpost « Exit, Pursued by a Lark Says:

    […] Completed first drafts of and began editing three more full-length plays: The Beginning of Grammar, My Visit to America and Evil Fan. […]

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