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Vol. 4, No. 4

Billy and the Crab Lady
by Holly Phillips

Scene Twenty-three

FRED walks down from KAT's room, holding a pair of her underpants. He is totally off his tree. Jumper is watching him. He's dancing around holding the pants to his nose. He then puts the underpants on his head and starts talking to Jumper.

FRED: Now, Jumper, the thing is see, the thing is . . . I took these tabs and they're very nice. I know she wants me really, just playing hard to get. She's up for it I'm tellin' ya. Will you stop bloody staring at me? [Pause.] She wants me, she's just denying herself the pleasures in life, the pleasures of "moi." Kat wants to be with ME. That's funny, that is, that she's called Kat and you're a cat, that's funny. [Beat.] Well, I think it's funny. [Pause.] Hear that . . . that is the sound of a phone not ringing. Nice in't it. Sorted it, see. Fred sorted it, shut her up. Just Billy to sort now and I reckon he's out there. Just poxy records. He's been looking for me at work but he won't find me coz I've been hiding behind the sofa. Stop staring at me, cat. What the fuck do you know about it anyway, do you work for Billy or something? [Pause. He pulls a very nasty-looking knife out of his back pocket.] I had to get this see, for protection. I had to get it coz he wants to get me and he might see me if I go out. I reckon he's got spies. Are you a spy, Jumper, a spy cat? That's why you're staring, coz you're a fucking spy. [He stares intently at Jumper. He is very freaked.] Was Billy that put you here, wasn't it? It was fucking Billy. I'll have to sort it . . . stop staring or I'll have to sort you, Jumper. Got to protect myself . . . You're freaking me out. You're freaking . . . me . . . out. [He falls to his knees, lifts the knife up, then brings it down on Jumper's neck. It slices Jumper's head right off. FRED stares, unsure of what he has done. Then he picks up Jumper and his head and starts crying.] I'm sorry, mate. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt ya. You're all right though, aren't ya? You're all right, giz a little meow, go on. I didn't mean to hurt ya.

[He tries to put Jumper's head back on. BRI enters.]

BRI: Jesus, what . . . you've completely . . . you've . . . Jesus . . . fuck . . . shit. What the fuck? Fred.

FRED: It's all right, Jumper, it's all right. I'm just gonna put you back together again. I didn't mean it. I thought you worked for Billy. Bri, Bri, mate, we're gonna sort it, aren't we, Bri, it'll be sussed.

BRI: Jumper, shit. How? You fucking fuck-head Fred. What have you taken?

FRED: I dunno but you look purple Bri. Purple Bri. Giz a meow, Jumper. Go on. Giz a little meow.

BRI: Fuck. Acid. The cat's head.

FRED: I just thought you were a spy cat. I didn't mean.

BRI: You are seriously disturbed.

FRED: 'Course I am, I'm tripping. The head won't go back on, Bri. It doesn't, what's the word . . . tessellate. I'll get another, she'll never know the difference. Have we got any copydex?

BRI: A fucking lunatic.

FRED: There are white cats all over the place, I'll get her another. Mate, mate, it'll be sussed.

BRI: Great plan, fantastic. It's easy to see why you're the one with the flash job and all the money.

FRED: Don't get at me, Bri, I'm upset.

BRI: Alternatively we could nick next door's cat and paint it white. Have you ever tried painting a cat? Personally I haven't but I hear there's nothing to it. It's the texture that worries me. What do you think?

FRED: [crying again] I thought it was a spy, I thought, I was just talking to it, it was those eyes. It knows I'm a bastard and then . . . I got the knife for protection . . . need it.

BRI: Fred.

FRED: What?

BRI: Why have you got a pair of Kat's pants on your head?

[Blackout.]

Scene Twenty-four

BRI and FRED are sitting on the sofa. Jumper is gone and the blood has been cleared. FRED is a bit more together.

FRED: You're not gonna say anything, are you, mate?

BRI: Like, hi Kat, by the way Fred murdered Jumper, how was work?

FRED: Manslaughter, mate, manslaughter.

BRI: Just fuck up.

FRED: But you're not, are you? He just went missing, that's the party line.

BRI: If I lie it'll be for her sake, not yours.

[KAT enters.]

KAT: Hi, I'm shattered. Is there any beer around or has Fred drunk it all?

BRI: Fred's got to tell you something.

FRED: Thing is, see, right . . . Jumper was going off his nut. Really wanted to go outside. Like I think maybe he could smell a bird or a cat or something but he really wanted to go out and I was like not gonna let him out but then, by accident like, I opened the door. He darted off fuck knows where but he'll probably be back for his tea.

KAT: He never goes out. [Beat.] Have you tried calling him?

FRED: Urr, yeah.

KAT: What time did he go?

FRED: What time did he go, Bri?

BRI: I wouldn't know. I wasn't here.

KAT: Shit, I hope he's okay, he's not used to being out.

[She exits. We hear her calling from offstage.]

FRED: That went all right.

BRI: You haven't got a clue.

[KAT comes back on.]

KAT: I'm gonna go look down the road, see if anyone's seen him. Come with me, Bri?

[BRI gets his coat.]

BRI: You just sit and relax, Fred. Don't worry about it.

Scene Twenty-five

FRED is sitting on the sofa, drinking. JOE knocks at the door.

FRED: [shouting] Who is it? I'm not in.

JOE: It's me.

[FRED lets JOE in, quickly, trying not to be seen.]

FRED: Well, what do ya want, little Joe? Come to tell her you love her?

JOE: Well . . . yeah.

FRED: She's not here.

JOE: I'll go to her room, wait for her.

FRED: Right. You do that. Waste ya time. [JOE goes. FRED sits back down. BRI returns.] So where's Kat, mate?

BRI: Still looking. You cunt.

FRED: Right, sorry. Maybe she'll find another one.

BRI: I saw Mel on my way back. [Pause.] With a bruise, a nasty one, right across the side of her face.

FRED: What she say? Is he coming?

BRI: She's leaving, going back to her folks. Do you wanna tell me what happened, Fred?

FRED: Nothing, nada, zilch.

BRI: So why's she got a bruise and why's she leaving town?

FRED: Did she say, is he coming? Is Billy the bastard-kid coming?

[JOE comes back in. FRED and BRI don't notice him.]

BRI: Why would Billy be coming? [Beat.] Does Mel know it was you who nicked his records?

FRED: She might do.

BRI: If she tells him you can kiss your face goodbye. That's why you've been skiving work.

FRED: No. I'm not scared of him. I in't bothered. Just haven't been feeling too good.

JOE: Where's Kat?

BRI: What's he doing here?

JOE: Wanted to see Kat.

FRED: Poor little Joe doesn't get it. When it gonna sink in, mate? She don't wanna know, doesn't care. You're not her type.

JOE: [upset] That's not true.

FRED: Wake up and smell the Red Bull, Joe, stop being a twat. And get outta me house.

JOE: I'm going. Bastards. I hate you.

[JOE exits.]

FRED: Did Mel say? Is he coming?

BRI: Thought you weren't scared of him, Fred.

FRED: I in't, just wanna know what she said. Don't I?

BRI: She said you're a wanker. That's what she said.

Scene Twenty-six

Evening. BRI and KAT are curled up on the sofa.

KAT: I don't get it, I've looked everywhere.

BRI: Kat, I think, maybe . . . [Pause.] Do you think we should move out?

KAT: What?

BRI: Fred. He's not well.

KAT: I know. And he's getting worse.

BRI: So can we go?

KAT: I can't go. I've got to be here for when Jumper gets back.

BRI: 'Course.

KAT: When he comes back, we'll go.

BRI: Right, when he comes back.

Scene Twenty-seven

Morning. BRI is outside calling Jumper. FRED and KAT are getting Red Bulls out of the fridge.

FRED: Right Kat . . . are you and Bri going out or summat?

KAT: Sort of, dunno.

FRED: I really like you.

KAT: Give it up.

FRED: Kat . . . I think Psycho Billy's after me, Kat. I think he's gonna get me. I'm really shitting meself. Told Bri I wasn't bothered but I am. [FRED begins to cry. KAT gives him a hug.] Will you kiss me?

KAT: I said give it up.

[BRI enters. He stands back, watching, not saying anything. FRED is crying a lot now, KAT continues to hold him.]

BRI: I'm going out. You can call for your cat.

KAT: Bri.

BRI: I'm sure Fred will keep you company.

KAT: I don't want Fred to keep me company.

BRI: I don't give a fuck. I'm going out.

KAT: Don't.

[BRI exits.]

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