Joni – 18
Violet – 19
Ash – 20
Midnight. A bathroom in an old house. There is a door that divides Joni from Violet and Ash. On Violet and Ash’s side there is an old, tarnished chair and a small table with a lamp. On Joni’s side there is a large space with a small mirrored cabinet and a sink facing the audience, a toilet to the right and a large bathtub next to the toilet. Dotted around the stage are old, stacked TV sets that turn on an off at random times; they play black and white horror films, church videos, and various flashes from news stories, old and new. Violet and Ash aren’t able to see Joni and visa versa.
The scene opens with Joni storming into the bathroom and slamming the door before Violet and Ash catch up. Joni is breathing heavily, she locks the door. Violet bangs on the door.
Ash: What the fuck?!
Violet: Joni what happened?
Joni: Just leave me alone!
Joni starts pacing the bathroom space while Violet continues to bang on the door.
Violet: Joni let me in!
Ash lights a cigarette.
Ash: Just leave her! She’s having a little fit, that’s all.
Violet: I’m not going to just leave her! Joni! Come on…
Joni: I’m fine!
Joni sits on the edge of the bath collecting herself.
Ash: See? She’s fine! Let’s go…
Ash starts kissing the back of Violet’s neck. Violet pushes him away.
Violet: Joni talk to me what happened? Is it Ben?
Joni: No, it’s not Ben.
Ash – disgruntled – sits on the chair and smokes.
Violet: Do you want me to call him?
A TV flashes on. It flashes on for a brief moment then flashes off again. As if reacting to the screen, Joni flinches and closes her eyes. She does this every time a TV flashes on and off again throughout the play.
Ash: Just leave her alone Vi! She’ll talk…she always does…
Violet: You could at least TRY to be a bit more supportive.
Joni. Please. Stop. Come out. Tell us all your problems. Better?
Violet: You’re a pig.
Ash: (Looks at cigarette. Blows on it)
Joni gets up and starts rummaging through the bathroom cabinet while she talks.
Joni: Did you hear what happened to that year 9 kid?
Joni: (Finds a bottle of pills. She starts shaking them out onto her hand)
She went to the MacKenzie’s party last week and got something slipped into her drink. She passed out and Colin Blake fingered her in the backyard. They reckon he went down on her as well. She doesn’t remember a thing.
Joni takes a couple of blue pills dry.. A TV flashes on and off.
Violet sits on the floor and leans on the bathroom door.
Ash: (Turns around on his seat)
Bullshit. I heard that rumour too and Liam told me that she just didn’t want everyone knowing how much of a slut she is so she made up some bullshit story about passing out.
Violet: I heard she slept with him too! Isn’t Colin, like, 20 or something?
Joni: He’s 22.
Joni continues to rummage through the cabinet.
Joni: And what about the Chaplain? At our school?
Violet: What’s all this-?
Joni finds some wipes and starts taking her makeup off.
Joni: He got caught with more than a thousand child-porn pics on his computer. All the kids were under 10. Some were from our school. Their parents are suing the school they reckon. Letting a pedo teach at a prestigious school or some shit…
Violet: As if!
Ash: Well…that sounds a lot more plausible.
Ash: Don’t you remember?
Ash gets up.
Ash: He used to creep me the fuck out in year eleven. The girls would always complain that he was staring at their pussies.
Violet: Oh whatever-
Ash: Nah! No bullshit eh. He used to make them meditate in class right?
He starts acting this out.
Ash: So he gets ‘em to sit right still yeah? Weren’t allowed to cross their legs or nuthin’. This was in summer too so think of those skimpy fucken’ dresses right? So, yeah couldn’t cross their legs. So once they all closed their eyes…he’d drop a pencil.
Ash: Well! You know!
Ash bend down and picks up an imaginary pencil and pretends to stare ahead. He grins and turns and looks at Violet.
Ash: Get it? Right up their fucken skirts!
Violet: That’s gross.
Ash sits back down.
Joni ties up her hair.
Joni: Molly told me her friend caught him wanking off in the church but I reckon that’s bullshit. No shit though they actually caught him with all that kiddie porn. He’s lookin’ at 5 years max.
Violet: Is that all?
Joni: That’s all.
Ash: That’s pretty fucked.
A TV flashes on. Violet looks at her iPhone.
Violet: It’s 1am Joan! What are you-
Joni kicks her shoes off.
Joni: It’s just so…weird how the strangest things happen in this town behind closed doors.
Ash: Yeah… I wonder how many people have sex dungeons in their basements.
Joni: Or gimps locked in trap-doors…
Ash: Shit…or worse…
She takes her stockings off.
Joni: It’s like…we’re all getting lost in the static. You know?
Violet stands up.
Violet: Not really Joan.
Bored, she walks over to Ash and sits on his lap. He holds her.
She takes her dress off over her head. She’s standing in her underwear.
Joni: People think, like, when you die right? You go to heaven or hell yeah?
Ash: Or you get reincarnated into a less annoying person?
Violet punches him.
Joni: Well…yeah whatever. But what happens if you don’t go anywhere?
Joni I’m tired!
Joni: Like…what happens if…like…this is it? There’s no heaven or hell or any other life apart from the one we have right now? You die…your body rots in the ground…and…yeah…
Joni: Doesn’t that sound…liberating?
Violet: Uh…not really Joan. It sounds really weird.
Violet: Well no…I mean…if when we die nothing happens…then what’s the point in living?
Joni pulls out a lipstick from the cabinet, looks at it, then puts it on the counter.
Joni: Continuation of the species?
Violet: Oh THAT’S nice. How did we get here then huh? I don’t buy into all this “Big Bang” garbage.
Ash: So you believe in a creator?
Violet: Well…isn’t it a possibility?
Violet: And anyway…god can’t NOT be proven right?
Ash: Just the same as a teapot floating in space can’t NOT be proven?
Violet: Huh? What does kitchenware have to do with this?
Joni: It’s the argument from ignorance.
Violet: Stands up and starts looking through her phone.
Ash: Don’t you want to talk about these things Vi?
Violet: Uh…not reals Ash.
Aren’t you a little bit curious?
Violet: I’d rather not know.
Joni: Because then everything boils down to mankind. People don’t want to acknowledge that. People are scared to be informed. So…we block it out.
Ash: “I’m gonna get my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames!” Who said that Vi?
Violet: I don’t know! John Lennon?
Ash: Oh sweetie…
A TV flashes on an off again. Joni looks at herself in the mirror.
Joni: And…we’re all connected. All human beings are connected and our bodies are amazing and the fact that we even…exist is amazing and yet…how can we be such a flawed species?
Joni takes out her long brunette hair. It falls past her shoulders. She finds a brush in the cabinet and starts brushing it. A TV flashes on and off.
Ash: Joni it’s too early in the morning to be getting all existential.
Joni: Everyone around us seems to preach good will and love…but we’re alienating each other. No one talks about it WHY doesn’t anyone talk anymore?!
Violet: Oh my GOD!
Ash and Joni: What?!
Violet looks up.
Violet: Josh just posted a pic of Janey and Lola hooking in! Look! (She shows Ash) Lola’s mum is going to FREAK if she finds out! Her mum’s like…HELL Christian. She kicked Lola’s brother out of home when he finally came out to the family. Not even right?!
Ash: Yeah I heard that too. Great mother.
Joni: See what I mean! We have mother’s disowning their own sons! This planet is on its head.
Joni sits on the toilet. She scratches her ankle.
Violet: Well I don’t see why all this…thinking has put you in the bathroom Joan. I wanna go home…my feet hurt.
Ash: Take those fucken shoes off then!
Violet: No! Joni come out now?
Joni: Maybe I just want to…change…
Joni stops brushing her hair. She takes the lipstick from the counter. She starts drawing lines on her face.
Ash stands up and looks out to the audience.
Ash: See…look at these guys.
She walks and stands next to Ash but is still looking at her phone.
Ash: They’re all…watching us.
Violet: Joan you’re right! (She walks back to the bathroom door) Tina posted a link from the Telegraph: Chaplain Timothy Banks has been arrested after police…yadda yadda…1200 pics! That’s SO fucken gross!
Joni: Told ya Vi.
Ash looks back. Lights another cigarette.
Violet: Urgh! You know…now that I think about it…he DID give me the eebie-jeebies. It must have been SO obvious he was a nonce! I mean…how could he?!
Ash walks over to her. He puts his hand on her shoulder.
Ash: This might be a dawning realisation for you Vi, but human beings are shit.
Joni: They’re worse than shit.
She starts drawing lines on her shoulders.
Ash: So it’s no wonder that Little-Miss over here has locked herself away.
Violet rolls her eyes.
Pause. A TV flashes on and off.
Joni: When you really think about it…it starts to make sense why so many of us drink and take drugs and…fuck strangers. Anything to escape this isolation.
Joni starts drawing red lines on her body, starting from her collarbones.
Joni: You can block your ears, and close your eyes…but it won’t last long.
Ash: Eventually it all catches up to you.
Violet: I’m tired.
Ash: We are all tired. Numb.
Violet: No…as in I want to get out of this gross little shack and go home. (Beat) When are you coming out Joan?
Joni: So much fucked up stuff has already happened this year! But that’s only the stuff we know about. People are crying out in this town and no-one is listening.
Ash: I still can’t believe what happened to Paul.
Ash: That kid in year 10. Skinny dude. Weird glasses.
A TV flashes on and off.
Ash sits down on the chair. Violet sits on the floor and leans against it while on her phone. Joni looks at herself in the mirror.
Joni: I could change. I don’t have to follow the heard. The zombies.
Ash: We could start a travelling band.
That’s your answer for everything!
It’s not a bad idea…
Violet: Urgh…Nancy just tagged me in the grossest photo…look- (She holds her phone out to Ash)
Ash: Violet I DON’T care!
Ash stands up.
Ash: Why are you so attached to that fucken’ thing?
Violet: I’m not!
Ash: You ARE! I promise Vi, you will not cease to exist without Facebook or Twitter or whatever bullshit you’re hooked on. (Beat) You haven’t listened to ONE word of what Joan and I have said tonight not ONE fucken’ word!
Violet stands up. Joni picks up a pair of scissors. Looks at them.
Violet: Well SO?! I don’t feel the need to spend every waking moment of my life thinking about…things, Ash! Maybe I’m not as smart as you two freaks but personally I don’t want to think about how shit this town is, how many kids I know have killed themselves or about how…corrupt humanity is!
Ash: But don’t you want to change that?!
Joni: (Off) Yes…
A TV flashes on and off. Joni stares at her face in the mirror and pulls her fingers through her long hair. Scissors posed in her other hand.
Violet: Not REALLY Ash! I’m quite happy as I am thank you very much!
Ash: So ignorance is bliss then?
Joni starts cutting away at her hair. She makes a cut just below her chin, watches the hair fall to the ground. She smiles. She cuts again.
Ash: You can’t be serious Vi.
Violet: I am. Sorry but that’s just me. If I were to let my thoughts take over then I’d end up in the bathroom like her. (Points to bathroom)
Joni cuts more hair.
Ash: Is that so bad?
Violet: Well…yes. I don’t want to spend the rest of my days crawled up next to a mouldy old toilet.
She crosses her arms.
Ash smiles. Joni smiles. Her hair is cut all the way around now. She turns her head from side to side letting the bob curl in her face. The cut is uneven and jagged, but she doesn’t care.
Violet: You two are getting so stressed out about how shit the world is…can you see no good?
Joni: Well…not really…
Violet: I would…argue…that there IS good!
Violet: Like…blueberry pancakes…and the beach and champagne and…being around people who you love and who love you back.
Violet: And shoes.
Ash laughs. Joni smiles.
Joni: “We are infinite.”
Ash: Hey now. Not your words.
Joni: I know that. A girl can dream.
Joni starts smudging the lipstick lines from her face and body. She is covered in messy red and looks like a dodgy murder victim. A TV flashes on and off showing a still from the film Carrie. Joni giggles as if seeing this.
Violet rolls her eyes and looks at her phone. She looks up to see Ash looking back at the audience again. She puts her phone on the table and joins him. He puts his arm around her. Joni looks at the audience as well.
Joni: (To the audience plus Ash and Violet)
Don’t you want to change as well? Lock yourself in a bathroom? Run down the street naked? Scream at the top of your lungs bloody murder?
Ash: Get high? Read a good book? Sleep in?
Violet: Throw your phone out the window?
Ash looks at her.
Ash: Go on then.
Pause. Violet shakes her head. Ash smiles.
A TV flashes on and off again.
Ash: So…what now?
Joni opens the bathroom door and steps into the living room. Ash and Vi regard her. They all stare at each other. They laugh.
Ash: Well well well…fuck me…
Joni walks over to them. Their faces illuminated by the lamp.
Violet: Your hair! It looks AMAZING! Can you cut mine?!
Joni: Sure. Afterwards.
Violet: After what?
Joni walks over and stares at the audience. She holds Violet’s hand. Violet holds Ash’s hand.
Joni: (To the audience)
If you care to join us…on the count of three…scream bloody murder.
Lights flash off. All the TV’s turn to static.
Joni, Ash and Violet scream at the top of their lungs.