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Monday 4 April 2016

Popstars of the Apocalypse 2 Act 3

Act 3 Scene 1

Vicky Clarke's house. The lights are all out, it is nearly 1 am in the morning.

Suddenly there is the sound of sobs and swiftly moving footsteps and Vicky Clarke appears at the front door, she tries the door and finding it locked starts banging wildly on the door.

She is visibly distraught with tears streaming down her cheeks.

Vicky: shouting Mum, mum open the door, quick!

Suddenly a light is turned on upstairs, then after a moment another light in another window upstairs come on, followed by a light downstairs as Helen Clarke makes her way downstairs. The door opens. Vicky steps quickly inside with relief.

Helen Clarke: concerned and surprised Vicky, what's going on? What are you doing out there? becoming angry How did you get out you're supposed to be in bed? You'd better have a damn good explanation for this.

Vicky Clarke: Mum you've got to help me, they've killed June and David Bowie kissed her dead body.

Helen Clarke: Killed June? What are you talking about? David Bowie? Who's killed June? David Bowie kissed her? Helen Clarke gives her daughter a penetrating look Have you been out taking drugs Vicky because if you have you can forget about having any more riding lessons.

Vicky Clarke: No mum, I haven't taken any drugs.

Helen Clarke: Then what on Earth are you doing out of the house at this time of night? She waves Vicky into the living room sit down, you're in big trouble young lady.

Vicky Clarke: distraught and nervous I'm not on drugs mum, I'm serious. It was this weird club suddenly Vicky's mobile phone rings and she panics Mum it's them, they can hear me talking.

Helen Clarke: Don't be silly Vicky. Who have you got ringing you at his time of night? We've got a lot to talk about my girl, you're fifteen years old, you're still a child. You shouldn't be out at midnight and getting phone calls in the middle of the night. Aren't you going to answer that phone?

Vicky Clarke: I'm scared to, I don't know who it is.

Helen Clarke: Enough of this nonsense Vicky I'm starting to lose patience, looks to me like you've been carrying on behind my back up to all sorts. You're grounded Vicky, from now on you're not leaving my sight for a second. Give me that phone, I'm in no mood for games, and if this is some boyfriend of yours then that's your cracker, I can tell you. She takes the phone which says unknown caller and is about to answer when suddenly it stops ringing. Hmm lucky for you.

Vicky Clarke: takes her phone It's a secret club that we wanted to join so we could become witches and the headmaster winks at you but when we got there June was dead and they took Loz away too and at that moment she receives a message, It's them again mum, Vicky nervously checks the message which has an attachment which she opens and it shows a picture of Smiley Mindless posing with a finger over her mouth in a 'shushing' gesture. It's from THEM mum.

Helen Clarke: Who's them Vicky? All you've told me is a crazy story about David Bowie and a winking headmaster. Show me that message! She looks at the picture again and notices the sender. Look, it's from your friend June, you said she was dead! What is this nonsense Vicky? I'm starting to get annoyed.

Vicky Clarke: But it's not really her. Someone else sent it. I saw her, she was dead and covered in blood.

Helen Clarke: Well I'm going to get to the bottom of all this. She presses a button and calls June.

Vicky Clarke: Mum, DON'T. She knocks the phone out her mum's hands.

Helen Clarke: Right! That's it. she calls out Jim! Jim Clarke comes downstairs I can't get any sense out of her, and she's knocked the phone out of my hands. Says David Bowie kissed her friend June who was killed and covered in blood. I think she's been taking some drugs but she says she hasn't. Won't let me find out who's calling her. I'm going to lose my temper in a minute.

Jim Clarke: firmly Call them Vicky, I want to know what this is all about.

Vicky Clarke: But you can't.

Jim Clarke: raises his eyebrows What do you mean 'can't'?

Vicky gives him the phone.

Vicky Clarke: resignedly Press this button to call.

Jim Clarke: Right, let's find out what's been going on shall we? Then we can all go to bed.

He calls the number and waits. After a moment there is an answer.

Jim Clarke: Suavely polite Sorry to disturb you at this time of night, I'm just returning a call, may I ask who I'm speaking to? Uh-uh. Ok. Would it be possible to speak to your parents, it's quite important. Ok thank you. Good evening, sorry to bother you at this time of night, we seem to be having a slight problem here. Can I just pass you onto to my wife for a second, I think she'd like to speak to you.

Helen Clarke: Hello. Oh I see. It's my daughter Vicky, she's just come in saying some incredible stories and I wondered if you knew anything about it, she said something terrible had happened to June. Oh, really, that's very strange. I wonder what made her say that. It is odd. Well I wonder what's been going on. Well if you say so, I'll have to speak to her then, see if we can get to the bottom of this. Ok, so sorry to bother you, looks like I'll need to keep my eye a bit more tightly trained on her from now on. Thanks, bye.

Helen Clarke: stares at Vicki That was June's mother. After a pause and flatly She says June has been with them all night. She's far from dead.

Vicky Clarke: What? But that's not true, we went out to the woods.

Jim Clarke: losing his patience What were you doing out in the woods at this time of night? Have you completely lost your mind!

Vicky Clarke: But I saw her dead on the ground.

Helen Clarke: Yeah, with David Bowie, don't forget that bit.

Vicky Clarke: They're lying. She came with us, it was all her idea, she told us we could join, then she disappeared and the next thing we saw she was dead. She's dead, I saw her.

Jim Clarke: angrily Dead? I've just spoken to her. She didn't sound very dead to me.

Helen Clarke: You'll be dead in a minute Vicky if you don't pack this up.

Jim Clarke: Ok I'm going to see if we can settle this once and for all. He picks up Vicky's phone and redials. Sorry to bother you again, could I speak to your mum again. Thanks. Hello again, look I don' know what's been happening with Vicky or what she's been up to but she still says June is dead. I'm a bit worried something might be wrong. Uhuh. Oh would you mind, oh that would be a great help, I'm so embarrassed I can't believe this, I didn't think being parent would put you in so many embarrassing situations. Ok, see you in soon. Turns to Vicky. Well, June will be here soon so you'll be able to check whether or not she's dead. Is that ok with you Vicky?

Act 3 Scene 2

Vicky Clarke's parents' house. It is now somewhat near two in the morning. Mr John and Mrs Wendy Vale and their daughter June are standing in the hallway while Helen Clarke has a quiet chat with June's father.

Helen Clarke: I'm so sorry to drag you here in the middle of the night. To be honest I'm a bit worried about Vicky, she's been out all night and came in with some far fetched fantasy story about June being dead and David Bowie kissed her.

John Vale: How strange. I was under the impression that David Bowie died last January.

Helen Clarke: That's just what I mean. It's not normal is it? The most obvious explanation is that she's been taking drugs but she assured me she hasn't. And she was insistent that June was dead, I thought if we can bring June here then we might get to the bottom of things. I just don't understand what's got into her, she normally so sensible and is always back home before 9 at night.

John Vale: She says she hasn't taken any drugs?

Helen Clarke: So she says.

John Vale: Do you think she's telling the truth?

Helen Clarke: Well I think so, but what other explanation is there for what she's saying? It's like she's out of her mind.

John Vale: Well there might be one other explanation. I'm going to put my professional hat on for a moment, I work with many young people who for whatever reasons, have been momentarily thrown off balance by some personal event and as a result, sometimes lose touch with reality. Now Has Vicky been under any particular stresses recently? Can you think of any particular upsets or traumatic events that you know of which might have had a marked detrimental effect on Vicky's psychological well being?

Helen Clarke: None that I can think of. This has all come completely out of the blue. If anything she seemed to have no worries in the world at all, she's doing well at school and she's been working hard to prepare for her part as Hero in the school play Much Ado About Nothing.

John Vale: Hmmmm. Maybe this could be the cause of the stress. It can be very difficult particularly for young people to prepare themselves for getting up on stage in front of so many people. Learning all those lines, I remember when I trod the boards for Saint Bart's drama club how fearsome it was learning all my lines for the Easter musical, not only that but getting the intonation right and remember all my cues. It's certainly no easy task, just the kind of trigger which might send a young self conscious teenagers into a sudden and unexpected spiral of fear, anxiety and then..... well. Why don't we show her that June is very much alive and well and see if she sets her delusions aside.

Helen Clarke: But she doesn't seem mad, just profoundly upset.

John Vale: Well we don't really use the word mad, it's a word which doesn't tell us anything about someone's condition, and is so full of the horrors of Bedlam and the lobotomy. Psychiatric is a much more precise instrument nowadays and there is no condition which cannot be improved without the appropriate medication. In fact I have brought a mild sedative should the need arise and with your consent of course.

Helen Clarke: surprised Oh, I don't know about that, do you really think it will come to that?

John Vale: Well we'll have to see, not without your consent of course, I can only advise at this stage.

Helen Clarke: concerned Oh dear, I almost wish she had been taking drugs, at least then we'd know what it was and it would just wear off. 

They open the living room door and move into the room with June behind her parents.

Helen Clarke: Vicky, we've got some visitors.

Vicky Clarke just stares at Mr and Mrs Vale.

Wendy Vale: Hello Vicky, we hear you're not feeling too well.

Vicky Clarke: Er, I'm fine, I mean, there's nothing wrong with me. Suddenly she starts crying I need to tell you the truth Wendy. We were going to the woods at midnight to become witches, and then June disappeared and when we got to the Deadfield we saw June's body, someone killed her. Then I went back after hiding and her body was gone.

John Vale: Are you sure about all this Vicky?

Vicky: Of course, I saw it all myself.

John Clarke: But June isn't dead, far from it. She's right here and she's been with us all evening.

June comes forward from behind her parents and looks at Vicky.

Vicky: puzzled We saw you, you were dead and covered in blood.

June: laughing What are you talking about Vicky? You haven't got in with the Greebos have you and started smoking Spice?

Vicky: What? June, I saw you, you went with us to the Deadwood.

June: What would I do that for?

Vicky: You said we were going to become witches and you said we could wink at the headmaster?

John Vale: quietly addressing his daughter It's alright June, I've got some experience with this kind of thing. Listen to yourself Vicky, June is here, she's alive and she's been with us all night.

Vicky: You're lying.

John Vale: Really? And why would I do that?

Vicky: seems perplexed but suddenly has a revelation Because you're part of it too. Just like the headmaster at school.

John Vale: exchanges concerned looks with Helen Clarke Vicky, you don't sound well. Have you taken any drugs or been drinking anything?

Vicky: defensively No. And I'm telling the truth.

Helen Clarke: We're trying to help you sweetheart, we can't make sense of what you're saying. It's crazy-talk she looks at John Vale and corrects herself I mean, it doesn't make any sense, your condition isn't normal love. Something's happened to you. Something's happened to your mind.

John Vale: Now wait a minute Helen, it's a little too early to make a diagnosis, but we are concerned Vicky.

Vicky: I'm not lying, June said we were going to be Children of the Temple and become witches, and we had to meet in a secret place in the Deadwood, and there was a flare which told us where to go. Laura was there with us but she disappeared.

John Vale: You say your friend Laura was there with you?

Vicky: Yeah but she disappeared.

June: I'm going to text her. June quickly sends a text message to Laura. After a few seconds she receives a smiling smiley face message. She shows the message to Vicky. Look, she's ok.

Vicky: How do you know she sent it?

June: Because it's her phone.

Wendy Vale: Do you think you could give her a ring since she's awake?

June: Ok mum. She presses a button on her phone and instantly her call is answered. Hey Loz, hope I didn't wake you up, it's Vicky, I'm at Vicky's house, she's.. doesn't know what to say well, she wants to talk to you. She passes the phone to Vicky.

Vicky: So you got back ok? What happened to you? Huh? Not you as well, you came with us to the Deadwood remember? What? But you were there, and you disappeared, we were all going to become witches remember? It was all June's idea. What do you mean you went to bed at 10, you were out with us? No, I'm fine, it's you lot
 who have gone crazy. She gives the phone back to June, and suddenly starts crying.

Vicky: Mum, I don't know what's happening. Everyone's lying and I don't know why.

Helen Clarke: Now Vicky, everything will be alright, all you have to do is own up and tell us what drugs you've been taking and who gave them to you.

Vicky: But I haven't taken any drugs mum, never. I never have. Something weird and horrible is happening and I don't know what it is.

Helen puts her arms around her daughter to comfort her who is sobbing in her arms.

John Vale: I think we'd best be getting off, taking out some tablets do you think you'll need something?

Helen Clarke: No, I don't think so, let's see what a good night's sleep does, I'm sure it'll help.

John Vale: Well you have my number, I can be here in less than 10 minutes, don't be afraid to call if you need help.

Helen Clarke: Ok I will. We're all just tired out and want to sleep, I think everything will be better tomorrow.

John Vale: Looking at Vicky, he places the tablets on the mantelpiece I'll leave these here just in case. Remember, you can call me anytime you need extra help.

Helen Clarke: Thanks, but I'm hoping this will sort itself out.

John Vale gives Helen a wan look which indicates that he isn't of the same optimistic opinion. They leave while Helen continues to comfort her daughter.

Act 3 Scene 3

Vicky Clarke is in bed trying to sleep. She is lying in bed and feels a cold draught in the room and her hair starts to be move as if a breeze is passing through it. She gets up and goes to see if the window is open but sees that it is firmly closed.

She is puzzled and goes back to her bed. As she lies there the cold breeze slowly starts up again. She closes her eyes and suddenly sees in her mind a pair of bright demonic eyes shining into her consciousness. She opens her eyes, wide in terror. She settles herself for a moment and tries to sleep again, the breeze again passed over her hair and as she closes her eyes she sees the same dazzling demon eyes in a skeletal pale face. She opens her eyes wide, despite her fatigue she tries to keep them open but each time she closes them she sees the same demonic face and sees also that the cold breeze is the demon itself.

She gets out of bed with terror in her eyes and goes to her mum's door and plaintively calls out.

Vicky: quietly and plaintively Mum, mum.

After a moment Helen comes out of her bedroom.

Helen Clarke: What is it Vicky? then she notices the look of fear on Vicky's face What is it baby? What's happened?

Vicky: I keep seeing demons everytime I try to sleep and I feel them on my skin.

Helen Clarke: Wait a minute. She goes downstairs to the mantelpiece and takes one of the tablets. She comes back upstairs with a glass of water. Take this Vicky, it will help you to sleep.

Vicky: But June's dad left them and he's part of it.

Helen Clarke: I'll hear no more of that Vicky, take this and just get some sleep and you'll feel better in the morning.

She takes the pill and swallows it with the water. She hugs her mum and goes back to her bed. After a few minutes she is fast asleep.

Vicky finds herself back in a field approaching the Deadwood, there is a full blood red moon in the sky. She realises that she doesn't want to go into the wood so she turns away to make her way in the opposite direction, as she walks she finds herself moving closer and closer to the trees, she changes direction several times but still finds herself moving towards the Deadwood. She stops moving altogether realising that is whichever way she moves she only comes closer to the dark place. Upon stopping she sees that she is still moving towards the trees, she realises with horror that the wood has surrounded her and is now moving towards her. She screams soundlessly and finds herself sitting up in her bed.

She looks around, it is the middle of the night and there is a blood red moon shining through the window.

She hears a noise coming from outside, she is afraid but is determined to confront her fears. She looks out of the window and sees a strange dark shape seeming to shift and move over the lawn. She stares at it trying to discover what it is. With a cold sudden fear she sees that it is a black demonic figure floating over the ground, suddenly it is joined by another, she screams.

She goes out of her room and downstairs into the garden. She opens the door and goes into the garden and approaches the two black figures. 

As she approaches she sees that they suddenly start to move faster.

With the terror of someone approaching their own death she is irresistibly drawn towards this dark mystery. She gets closer and hears a howling wind in the air and sees a sudden swaying in the trees, she looks before her at the two figures and now sees what they really are.

Vicky Clarke: under her breath
Just a couple of black bin bags.

With a momentary relief she considers her fear and overreaction and laughs. But her relief is cut short as she looks to the trees being blown by the wind and sees, with unaccountable terror that the trees are moving towards her.

In an instant she is back in the Deadwood with the blood red moon now peering at her through branches which are all around her.

Vicky Clarke: Am I awake or asleep? Is this real?

A Voice: Tricky Vicky told on us.. Tricky Vicky ran away and couldn't keep her mouth shut. Now she's half way in and half way out. Up to her neck in it.

Vicky Clarke: trying to master her fear Who's that? Come out here and show yourself.

David Bowie: Hello there again you bad little girl. It's little old me again. 

Vicky Clarke: But you're dead.

David Bowie: Dead? Alive? Or somewhere halfway in between. It doesn't make much difference once you're part of the gang.

Vicky Clarke: I'm not scared of you.

David Bowie: You should be, because I am. There's so much to be afraid of here in the serious midnight of the Deadwood. All the monsters hide here looking for new tricks to play.

Vicky Clarke: Are you a monster?

David Bowie: I suppose I must be, but I only ever wanted to be a rock'n'roll star, though the way they make arrangements you can't be one without the other.

Vicky Clarke: Why not?

David Bowie: This world is a great stage under the perpetual twilight management of The Dark Circus. Anyone who wants to get up on the stage has to make a deal with the Management, and they're all monsters. They only let you play with them if you're a monster like them. When they've made you more like them they give you your lines to read... anyone who strays from the script or wants to play their own tunes Bowie makes a hand sign cutting his throat they have their contract terminated. 

Vicky Clarke: How do they make you into a monster?

David Bowie: Shhhhhh! I'm not allowed to tell you all the secrets, some things you have to find out for yourself. The way things are going you'll be a monster soon too.

Vicky Clarke: Never, I'm not a monster.

David Bowie: Then why are you talking to one? Only Monsters play here under the blood red moon in the Deadwood and once you're in the Monster Club, you can never leave.

Vicky Clarke: What are you talking about? I'm not in any club.

David Bowie: considering Well that's a shame.The world could be yours, anything you want, the world's stage at your feet Vicky. Are you sure you won't join us, now you're so close?

Vicky Clarke: I'm sure, it's weird and creepy.

David Bowie: Well, in that case, they'll have to take you away somewhere quiet where you can't tell anyone about us. Have fun with all the madmen Vicky, and remember, you could have had it all.

Vicky Clarke: I'm not mad.

David Bowie: We're all mad here Vicky, but the trick is not to get caught being mad out there.

Voice: Vicky, Vicky. Is that you? Who are you talking to?

Suddenly Vicky realises she is not dreaming but is standing in the back garden of her house with her mother standing before her.

Helen Clarke: Oh Vicky? What's happened to you? 

Vicky: I don't know mum, am I going mad?

Helen Clarke: I wish I could help you Vicky but I don't know what's happening to you. I'm going to have to phone June's dad in the morning.

They stand outside for a moment, Vicky seems catatonic and Helen Clarke is crying silently.

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Kundalini refugee doing a bit of landscaping.