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Vol. 4, No. 4

Billy and the Crab Lady
by Holly Phillips

Scene Twenty-eight

FRED is sitting under the table again and we can hear KAT offstage, calling Jumper. FRED's been drinking.

FRED: Shut up. I'm sorry, I didn't mean it. Shut up all that "Jumper, Jumper, Jumper." On and on doing me head in. Like Mel, ring, ring, ring, Jumper, Jumper, Jumper. Just bloody leave me alone, will ya? Just leave me alone. [KAT enters.] Leave me alone.

KAT: Fine.

[She goes to walk out.]

FRED: No wait. Will you buy some more beer? I'd get it, see, but I've got to stay behind the sofa.

KAT: Fred, come on. No one is really after you.

FRED: You don't know anything.

KAT: I'm not getting you more beer anyhow.

FRED: [upset] Will ya come and sit next to me?

KAT: Okay.

[KAT sits.]

FRED: Kat, will ya giz a cuddle, go on giz a cuddle.

KAT: No, Fred. I'm sitting next to you, that's enough.

FRED: Go on, Kat. Giz a cuddle. You're not waiting for Bri, are you? You don't want Bri, do you? Nah, coz he went off coz he could see you wanted me, see. Giz a cuddle. No point denying it now Kat, no point.

KAT: Tosser.

FRED: If that's what turns you on. I can work with a little resistance. You're all right, you know. Not bad to look at. I wouldn't shag just anybody.

KAT: Go and shag Mel, she's the only one stupid enough.

FRED: Mel was asking for it and I had to sort her. But that doesn't affect us, does it? It's in the past, don't let her worry you. She's outta the picture.

KAT: Leave me alone.

FRED: Do you want to play with it? Do you wanna have a play with the lurrvve machine? Shall I get it out for you?

KAT: Don't even think about getting your bastard cock out.

FRED: Did you play hard to get with Bri? Is that what you do? Are you a bit of a bad girl? Do you like it rough?

[She gets up to go, but he grabs her shoulders and pushes her down again.]

KAT: Get off me, pervert.

FRED: Is this what gets you wet? [He forces her onto the sofa. She lifts her leg up and knees his groin.] You shouldn't have done that. [He raises his hand and thumps her. She crashes back to the sofa and he starts to lift her skirt up. He pulls it right up and then goes to get his cock out. She wakes.] You okay, sweetheart? I didn't mean to hurt you. Are you ready for me now?

KAT: Get away from me.

FRED: I was just going to--are you ready? [He goes to pull her underwear down. She thumps him in the side of the head. Then pushes him off and runs up to her room and locks the door.] Kat, where you going . . . Kat? [He runs up to her door.] Kat, talk to us. You were playing hard to get, right. That's what it was. Putting up a little resistance.

[KAT opens the door. She's got a bag full of clothes.]

KAT: Get out of my way, Fred.

[She pushes past him and exits.]

FRED: Kat, wait. Don't go.

Scene Twenty-nine

[BILLY and JOE are in the pub.]

BILLY: So what are we having today, my little chappy? Something to lift you up, something to make you dance your funky dance, something to make you chilled? I have many a selection of pills.

JOE: Something to cheer me up.

BILLY: Ahh, Joe. Someone taken your Saturday smile?

JOE: Yeah.

BILLY: So, do you wanna tell me, little chappy. Spit it out, spill it out, so I can be on my matey way.

JOE: Billy, have you ever been dumped?

BILLY: Now, I wouldn't want to lie to you so I can't say that is something I have personally experienced. But I'm a man of many qualities, and empathy is an asset I'm proud of.

JOE: Fred said Kat wasn't interested, he said she didn't care. Fred said I'm wasting my time.

BILLY: That's harsh. I can see that. And there are better ways of putting things.

JOE: And there's something else too. I don't know if I should tell you. But . . .

BILLY: Joe. Listen carefully. Billy boy doesn't like things being kept from him. Doesn't make him a happy chappy, doesn't help him relax in the way relaxing should be done.

JOE: But . . . you'll be mad.

BILLY: C'mon little chappy. Aren't I your matey-mate? Don't I give you words of wisdom and a perception you would otherwise be without?

JOE: S'pose.

BILLY: Well then . . .

JOE: I heard them talking. I did. And they were saying it was Fred. It was Fred, Billy.

BILLY: You're going round the countryside a bit now. Do you wanna tell me what was Fred?

JOE: Who took your records. Who took all your records so you couldn't be a DJ. Fred did that.

BILLY: You sure, Joe? My feathers are more than a little fluffed I'm telling you.

JOE: I'm sure, Billy. I heard 'em. Bri called him a fuck head.

BILLY: Those records, do you know how much they're worth, Joe?

JOE: No.

BILLY: A lot. But that is not the point, not the point at all. They had sentimental value, Joe, and that hurts me. That does more than a little damage.

JOE: What you gonna do?

BILLY: Have a little word.

JOE: You not gonna hurt Kat though are you? Coz she didn't do anything.

BILLY: Don't you worry, my little chappy. I'm not a man for blaming people who aren't to be blamed.

Scene Thirty

FRED is sitting on the sofa, acting really jumpy, when BRI walks in.

BRI: Killed any more cats in my absence?

FRED: What? No. Was anyone out there?

BRI: Where's Kat?

FRED: Dunno, mate.

BRI: She in her room? [FRED doesn't answer. BRI goes to KAT's room. Comes back.] All her stuff's gone.

FRED: Right, has it.

BRI: So where is she?

FRED: It's got nothing to do with me, honest. [There's a really loud banging on the door.] Don't answer it.

BRI: Where's Kat?

FRED: Don't answer the door.

BRI: Whoever it is is gonna break it down if I don't.

FRED: It wasn't my fault, all right.

[Banging continues.]

BRI: What wasn't your fault?

FRED: Nothing, mate, nothing. Don't worry about it. Don't open the door.

BILLY's voice: You gonna open this door or shall I just smash the window?

[BRI opens the door.]

BRI: Hello, Billy.

FRED: She was lying, making it up, to get back at me see. Coz I dumped her. It's not true, Billy. Mel made it up.

BILLY: Mel didn't tell me a thing, Fred. But as you chose to bring her into this conversation I might add that she is a very fit lady, is Mel. Very fit indeed and rather a fine fuck at that. [Beat.] I understand I passed some little crabbies on to you as a result of the encounter. It wasn't intentional, you understand. But you stealing all my records, now that was intentional, wasn't it, Fred?

FRED: It was Bri. Bri took your records. He did it.

BILLY: Now little chappy Fred is telling untruths.

FRED: No, I'm not. He took them.

BILLY: Those records meant a lot to me. Do you understand? Comprehend? Clear as crystal clear? You didn't just piss on my chips Fred, you pissed on my steak and I'm the kind of person to whom steak is a very important matter. I could go into detail about the number of heartfelt years spent collecting those records, but I haven't got all day. [Beat.] You could say we're even, because of the crabs, you might well say that. But you'd be wrong, wouldn't you. You'd be miscalculating the situation, because at this precise moment, I am not a happy chappy.

FRED: Don't hurt me.

BRI: Sorry to interrupt, but Fred, where is Kat and answer the question.

FRED: Bri, you're my mate. Tell him not to nut me.

BRI: Tell me what you did to Kat. [FRED starts to run off. BILLY grabs him by the shirt.] Billy, leave him.

BILLY: Now, Bri, you seem all right and I'd like to oblige but--

BRI: Billy, Kat has gone missing and Fred is the only one who might know what's happened to her. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't reckon he'll be capable of speech once you've finished with him, do you?

BILLY: That may be the case, but as I explained, I'm not smiling my Saturday smile.

[BILLY goes to head butt FRED. BRI picks up the video player and smashes it on BILLY's head. BILLY falls to the floor.]

BRI: Say thank you, Bri.

FRED: [shaking like mad] Thank you, Bri.

BRI: Now where's Kat?

FRED: I think she went to her mum's.

BRI: Why?

FRED: She was up for it, she was. She was giving all the signals.

BRI: Did you hit her?

FRED: Mate, I'm not like that.

BRI: You cut a cat's head off.

FRED: Mate, you're my best mate. She was up for it, all Wonderbra'd up. She likes it rough. [BRI knees FRED in the balls and then thumps him across the side of his face.] What you do that for? [in between screams]

BRI: For hurting Kat.

FRED: I didn't.

BRI: And for being a shit friend.

[BRI turns to leave.]

FRED: You can't leave me, Bri. You're my mate, my best mate. Bri, please. I'll be nicer. I'll buy you a car. Bri, you're all I've got.

[BILLY wakes and stands up. He rubs his head.]

BRI: Sorry about your head.

BILLY: Did he tell you where she is?

BRI: Yeah.

BILLY: Can I nut him now?

BRI: Go ahead.

[BRI goes.]

FRED: Bri wait . . . Bri.

[BILLY head butts FRED. FRED falls to the floor.]

Scene Thirty-one

BRI and KAT are in the pub.

BRI: So, do I qualify as a knight in shining armor, now then?

KAT: You certainly bloody do.

BRI: No more ignoring girls on tubes.

KAT: I wouldn't have thought so.

BRI: It's coz of you.

KAT: I know.

BRI: See what falling for someone will do?

KAT: Don't.

BRI: I'm sorry I didn't tell you about Jumper.

KAT: It's all right. It's not a very nice thing to tell someone.

BRI: Can I ask you?

KAT: You know I do.

BRI: But you're still leaving me?

KAT: A knight in shining armor isn't what I need right now.

BRI: What do you need?

KAT: I need to stop being frightened. Fred scared me . . . I . . . don't want to be scared.

BRI: I can protect you.

KAT: I don't want protecting. I want to be okay on my own first.

BRI: No changing your mind?

KAT: Maybe when . . .

BRI: When?

KAT: When I can look at you without thinking about Fred.

[Pause.]

BRI: I'll miss you.

[KAT just nods.]

Scene Thirty-two

FRED and JOE are in the pub. FRED walks over with the beers. JOE passes FRED a form across the table.

JOE: Billy says to just sign it. He'll sort out the rest.

[FRED looks at the piece of paper and signs. Passes it back to JOE.]

FRED: Three hundred a month. They were only his poxy records.

JOE: Yeah, he's letting you pay him back in installments though. I mean he din't have to do that, did he. [FRED shrugs.] And it's gonna take him ages to buy all them records back.

FRED: So do ya want the room? It's nice, spacious, an' that.

JOE: Dunno. You said Kat didn't care about me.

FRED: Coz I'm ya friend, see. That's what friends do for each other, tell 'em the hard facts.

JOE: You might nick my CDs.

FRED: I'm a nice bloke, Joe. I always get the beers in. That's the sort of bloke I am, giving. I'll give ya a tenner off per week.

JOE: I dunno, Fred. I dunno if I like you. If I liked you, I wouldn't have told Billy it was you who nicked his records.

FRED: You were upset, mate. I understand that. [Beat.] I can see ya mean well, just need to keep it stum in future.

JOE: You've forgiven me, then?

FRED: 'Course I have Joe but, about Bri's old room, ya want it then? [Beat.] Tell ya what, have another while you think about it.

JOE: I haven't finished this one yet.

FRED: Stella, in't it?

JOE: No, Fred. I gotta go. Told Billy I'd take this straight back to him.

FRED: Look, don't worry about paying me back. That's what the great and the good are here for. To look after the little people. [Beat.] Move in wiv me and I'll look out for ya, Joe.

JOE: I think I'll stay at me mum's for a bit longer. She does great chips.

FRED: Move in wiv me.

JOE: Nah.

FRED: Stay for another at least.

JOE: [putting his coat on] You'll be all right on your own, won't you?

[JOE leaves. "I Will Survive" comes on the jukebox. FRED sings along to himself.]

Curtain

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