Chris Mcknight Chris Mcknight
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Great writing here Harry.

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Harry Wells Harry Wells
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Oh, What a Night!

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This Here`s for Dads, Even if You Felt Like You Never Had One.

Well! You can't be good at everything, can you?

In Britain, the year 2102 saw a spate of lead thefts from church roofs. Some of the robbers  (I repeat some) were quite accomplished.

Act 1 Scene 1

Darren’s old shed, well looked after, fitted out as a male refuge but not without a few cobwebs, unwashed cups, a little untidiness and dirty windows. Darren and Shaun often sit here on a couple of old folding deck chairs to yarn and drink cans of cider. Darren is the talkative one while Shaun can be explosively taciturn.

They have an uneasy relationship consisting of friendly banter often developing into open conflict. Darren has the bigger share of the not too large joint intellect. If asked, they would declare themselves to be best mates. At times they are victims of their own foolishness.

Darren:       I took the wife and kids to Mablethorpe last weekend.

Shaun:       Mablethorpe! Where’s that?

Darren:       Lincolnshire.

Shaun:       Hell, you must have been desperate.

Darren:       Hey, there’s nothing wrong with Mablethorpe. My mother came from Mablethorpe.

Shaun:       Alright! Alright! I’m not criticising your mother.

Darren:       Anyway, that’s not what I want to tell you.  I’m talking about what I saw while I was up there.

Shaun: Like what?

Darren:       I saw this neglected old church, miles from anywhere. They just use it for services twice a year to keep it running. It’s a tower church.

Shaun:       Yeah, what about it?

Darren:       This one’s got a flat roof and it’s lead.

Shaun:       How do you know all this anyway? Don’t tell me you’ve started going to church.

Darren:       They were giving tower climbs a fiver a time to raise money and I went up. And guess what!  They keep the big key on a hook in the porch. Hey, and it’s got a set of bells, an’ all.

Shaun:       Well, the lead’s one thing but how the hell can we get great big bells down without killing ourselves?

Darren:       They’re on the floor, aren’t they?

Shaun:       What are you talking about? Bells are upstairs.

Darren:       The timbers are rotten up there. They’ve obviously taken the bells down at some time, haven’t they, in case they fell on somebody like you who was daft enough to stand underneath?  Anyway, we can’t go and do the job just like that, can we?

Shaun:  Why not?

Darren: Well, we’ll have to tell the big man about it.

Shaun:  Him! That robber!  Why should we tell him?

Darren: Well, have you got a low loader and a place to stash the loot? You wouldn’t know what to do with it. How would you sell it? You can’t just take it to the local pawnshop you know. We’ll stick to the gaffer. I know he takes a big cut but he knows the ropes, does Henry. We’ll see if we can borrow his big truck. He takes 75 per cent though.

Shaun:  Thieving swine!

Darren: Like I said. See if you can sell the lead.

Act 2 Scene 1

A church in remote Lincolnshire, unused for many years except for special occasions, but previously serving a now deserted medieval village. The diocese shows little interest in it. The grounds are studded with yew trees and gravestones which oblige the pair to park their truck some distance away.

With the help of some big baulks of timber from inside the church, at a high risk of incurring a hernia, they have already removed the bells and loaded them onto the lorry. Action takes place on the church roof and on the ground below. It is mid-December.

Darren:       Right! You go up there and cut the lead and throw it down to me.

Shaun:       Hold on! I can’t go up there. I’ve got vertigo. I can’t stand heights.

Darren: Why did I bring you on this job?

Shaun:       Well, I can’t help it.

Darren: Ok! Ok! Don’t worry about it. I’ll go upstairs and do the cutting. You keep out of the way of the walls. I’ll throw stuff down and when I shout, you come and pick it up and stow it on the truck. Stay with the truck ’til I shout you again. Have you got that?  We don’t want lead dropping on your head. Not just now anyway.

Shaun:  Yeah, I’m not an idiot.

Scene 2

Darren enters the church and climbs to the roof through a trapdoor and begins cutting squares of lead.

Darren:       Are you ready?

Shaun:       Yeah, carry on.

Darren:       Are you away from the walls? Don’t forget what I told you.

Shaun:       Yeah, start chucking.

Scene 3

On the church roof Shaun has cut away some pieces of lead when he disturbs a huge colony of bats which seethe in the space between the lead and the wooden belfry roof, around his head and into the church itself. Darren is terrified and screams at the top of his voice.

Darren:       Shaun! Shaun!

Shaun:       Alright! I’m back inside the church. What’s up?

Darren:       I’m being attacked by bats and one’s bitten me, Come up here and beat them off.

Shaun:       I've told you. I can’t do heights. Just come down.

Darren:       I can’t get past the bats. I've got a terror of bats. I’m in my room 101.

Shaun:       What are you doing in there? I thought you were on the roof.

Darren:       Go in the truck and get help.

Shaun:       I can’t. I don’t know how to drive, do I?

Darren:       Use your mobile phone then.

(After a pause)

Shaun:       The battery’s run down.

Darren:       Well, get walking, mate and get some help.

(An agonized shout from Shaun)

Shaun:       We’re locked in. The handle came off when I tried to open the door to get out.

Darren:       Bloody  marvelous! I’m here stuck on the roof,  you’re locked in and the loot’s in the truck. If I freeze to death or die of rabies up here I hope they get you. I hope they give you twenty years, you swine.

Oh God! What a night! 1 comment

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