by Bethany Wood, Age 15, United Kingdom
Artwork by Lucy Zhang
The drama prompt for January is “the beginning.” NOTE: Bethany submitted a script for our December prompt introducing these characters. This script is a continuation of their story. READ “The End” by Bethany Wood.
LARK has just left the prison for the last time, after finding out her boyfriend, NICO, is guilty of murder. She had rejected the thought of him having killed another girl, but the reality of NICO’s confirmation of his actions has left her shocked. She is standing motionless outside the prison door, staring blindly at the parking lot. A taxi pulls up, and she climbs in clumsily. The driver looks around at her expectantly.
LARK: Oh…um, back to our…I mean my flat in Plaistow. Thank you.
(the taxi pulls away from the prison)
LARK: (looks out the window) Bye, Nico… Sorry, you must think I’m mad, waving goodbye to a building like a child! I wonder if I’ll ever see this place again. I hope not, for next time it shall surely be my fault! But in a way, I wish I was going back next visitor time as usual. It seems like I am driving away and leaving him on his own. Well, I suppose that’s not far from the truth, really. He was a nice man––what am I talking about? A nice man? He killed someone. That isn’t very nice. Why did you do it, Nico? Why? (to the driver) And do you know what he said to me, before I left? He said that he was scared he’d do it again…to me. (trembles with shock) My goodness, I’m sorry. I just suddenly felt cold all over. It just occurred to me that…that…perhaps the girl he killed felt that way too. I have never felt threatened or scared when with him, even when we’re alone. But all that time he could have…and he looked so petrified. The way his clenched knuckles turned white as he told me, as if scared of himself. I was luckier than her.
(the taxi pulls up outside a block of flats)
LARK: Are we here? Already! What a pity, you were a good counsellor. But I must remember how lucky I am. And in the future I will be very careful, because, as he rightly said, I was and am vulnerable. He has opened the cage door and set me free. And now I will at last live again, without guilt, as that is what he wanted.
(LARK opens the car door and steps out)
LARK: (while paying the driver) But I shall ignore the one thing he said. I shall never forget him––for the good things and the bad, for I have learned from that as well.
(LARK walks up to the front and holds the handle)
LARK: (to herself) Right, this is it, Lark. A new beginning. A fresh start.
Bethany says, “Writing is a journey––it begins somewhere and ends somewhere else. And the more wrong turnings…the better!” Bethany was the winner of the 2014 Polly Prize for Creative Writing.