by Madelaine Formica, Age 18, USA
The June drama prompt was to base your script on a well-known song. This script was inspired by the song “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce.
TIME IN A BOTTLE
Int. Hospital room. LIZ is sitting up in the hospital bed, tissue in hand. LIZ watches GOERGE as he paces in front of her bed.
LIZ: What is it, George?
GEORGE goes to answer, but is cut off by LIZ coughing. LIZ takes tissue away from mouth. Blood is staining the tissue.
LIZ: Sorry, what were you saying?
GEORGE stops pacing. Glances at LIZ, then continues pacing.
GEORGE: Just listen.
LIZ: I’m listening. (Coughs slightly.)
GEORGE: No, just listen. I know how you are. You’re not a big believer of things you know nothing about.
LIZ zips her lips, grinning mockingly, giggles, which then turns into retching coughing. GEORGE averts his eyes. LIZ spits blood into her tissue.
GEORGE: What if I told you we could have more time together?
LIZ: You heard what the doctors said. I only have another month.
GEORGE: Doctors are Liars. (Grins madly.) Science is nothing, once magic gets involved.
LIZ: Magic? What do you mean?
GEORGE: Magic, Liz!
GEORGE stops pacing. He pulls out a vial from his pocket and holds up for LIZ to see.
GEORGE: This, my love, is time in a bottle, literally. I’ve sucked time out of my life and placed it in this bottle. Every free hour I’ve had, I just opened this vial, let the magic knock me out, then time slipped out of me and into this vial. It was a little tricky to get the spell right, but I followed the recipe from my grandmother’s book perfectly.
LIZ: Wait, wait, wait. (Waves hands.) What the hell are you talking about?
GEORGE: I’m saying I’ve sucked about three years from my life so you can have more time. And by the time those three years are up, I’m sure I’ll have collected three more. Sure I can’t have any free time to watch TV or read books because of this, but I can give you time. And once I’m out of time and can’t give you any more, we’ll die together.
LIZ stares in shock at GEORGE. She looks over at the bedside table piled high with her books, then back at GEORGE.
LIZ: So, when you’re not with me, you just pass out and let that bottle suck your time away?
GEROGE: Exactly. I want to spend all my time with you, and if I’m not with you then time means nothing to me. I’ve saved my time, Liz. I’ve banked it for you.
GEROGE sits next to LIZ on the edge of the bed. He hands her the vial, leaning forward and kissing her on the forehead as she takes it from him. Tears stream down LIZ’S face. She drinks.
Madelaine has been published in Realms magazine and three times in jaBlog! for her scripts “Dueling Characters,” “Kidnapped,” and “Future Slime.”