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CRAYFISH

Crayfish

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You already have permission to use this page under the terms of the license at the bottom right of the page. In this dialogue the action occurs in a box set (single scene = exterior day jetty) so the same format can be used for cinematography or stage.


Crayfish:

A Midwest Scene-Play



Synopsis

Two men from a fishing trawler. There is a strong bond between master and apprentice. The younger crew man is discussing his friend who can’t be trusted with women. The older skipper expounds his love for his wife. The older begins to see some parallels in the lives of the two distant protagonists until they realize that the fears of infidelity may be well founded and they speed for home. Performance time about 10 minutes.



Ad Lib Opportunity

Nudibranch (Type of venomous sea cucumber) poisoning a dog at beach after storm.



Characters

Warren – An old Skipper about 50

Tristan – A young crew about 20

Paulos – Another Skipper, friend of Warren, about 40



Ext. jetty afternoon

Scene opens to the overwhelming sound of seabirds. Both men are dressed for fishing. The setting is an island fishing depot. A crayfish pots or buoys suggest the industry. Tristan and Warren are coiling rope.



Warren

The last pot for the day.

Tristan

The last pot in the last spot and ‘X’ marks the dot!

Warren

Are you a jolly marine poet, eh?

Tristan

steady on mate, I’m not Randolph Stow.

Warren

Good because Randolph Stow was a landlubber, who didn’t know anything about pulling pots.

Tristan

(pause) You know what?

Warren

What’s that Lad?

Tristan

I can almos taste the ‘Chicken Biryani’ that they make at the Asmuni' Café . '(waxing lyrical again) The way they do those spices is just heaven. Just what I need after a day pulling up crayfish pots. Are we going to the bakery?

Warren

No way I am going back to the mainland!

Tristan

Why not?

Warren

I lose a day traveling either way, and always get caught up in something that holds up the fishing. That’s what we’re here for isn’t it, to harvest the bounty of the sea? Not to mention the diesel.

Tristan

We can’t very well anchor out on the edge of the reef overnight if we don’t have a spare battery can we? We’re on the edge of the continental shelf, a days travel west of the islands in the middle of nowhere, how do we get the ruddy engine started?

Warren

We’ll take the battery out of the generator shed.

Tristan

And how do we get the generator started, when we get back?

Warren

We carry it from the boat each day.

Tristan

That thing is heavy. I’ll be bent over like a greenough tree by the time I get home. What a wretched nuisance!

Warren

I’ll give you a hand. Have I told you the story of the two kings?

Tristan

Here we go. No. You have’t told me the story of the two wise kings.

Warren

Well in this story there are two wise kings. One was born on land with a comfortable feather down quilt to keep his booty warm. This king was very close to the land and ruled over all the wheat and all the sheep and he was called the ‘near’ king. The other king was born on a patch of seaweed off the coast. He lived far from the land and ruled over all the creatures of the sea. So whenever the ‘near-king’ goes out to visit the realm of the ocean, he does what whatever he is ‘far-king’ told.

Tristan

(laughing) I’d like to see you shearing.

Warren

Yes but if we order a new battery back-up, today on the supply boat, it will arrive next week.

Tristan

Alright. I’m going to have a swim. What would you like for dinner?

Warren

I thought I might sliver up that Blue Bone Groper we just pulled in this afternoon.

Tristan

(Surprised) Fish? (pause) I’ve been pulling sodden pots all day and you want fish?

Warren

You’re not going to get all righteous I hope, the season has just started.

Tristan

(interrupting) …and we’ve had fish every night. Well not tonight. I’m fed up with seafood, I’m havig a steak.

Warren

well count me out. I’m going to order a new battery from the mainland. I can’t believe the new one just died like that.

Tristan

Want me to throw a steak on for you?

W No, those things are bad for your arteries and your spiritual development.

Tristan

What about the Blue Bone?

Warren

I’ll save that until you get over your little tantrum.

Tristan

Well, would you like me to get out one of those chops you liked? You know, the ones my father bought out from the farm.

Warren

Geraldton lamb? Now you’re talking. You’d better give me three or four, they’re pretty hard to resist.

Tristan Hypocrite, I thought you said red meat was bad for your soul.

Paulos

Hey boys.

Warren

Hell Paulos you ugly bushwhacker.

Tristan

Gooday Paulos.

Paulos

(entering) I’ll tell you something about spiritual development. The new development around here is the spirits are getting testy. The weather has turned and a storm expected tomorrow from up the coast, looks like it’s heading this way.

Tristan

Thanks mate, I’ll go and secure the moorings on the boat, see you soon. (exit)

Warren No worries, make sure you close all the hatches.

Paulos

What’s this about hypocrisy?

Warren

I told him I will not eat meat, but farm chops are OK.

Paulos

How’s that?

Warren

Sweet farm chops are provided by his father, if he eats anything else I have to pay for it.

Paulos

Cheap-skate! How’s the new boy working out?

Warren

fine. After the last crew, I didn’t think I’d last another season. What an idiot I picked last year.

Paulos

You are too harsh on them. What happened that was so bad?

Warren I had a hook from the long line stuck through the flesh of my palm, right through the muscle.

Paulos

Uh huh.

Warren

I said to the lad… “Listen I said, I want you to cut the eye off.” I was feeling very green around the gills, not well at all. I told him, “You cut the shank of the hook with the bolt cutters and leave the barb sticking out. When you do this, I am going to pass out. When I do pass out, I want you to push what is left of the hook through the flesh and pull it out the other side”.

Paulos

I don’t understand, this could have happened to anybody, it wasn’t his fault you got hooked up.

Warren

I passed out alright, but when I woke up, I saw that the hook was still in my hand and he had passed out beside me.

Paulos

(laughs) Crikey.

Warren

I had to cut the jolly thing myself, and then prop his head till he came around. It was a long trip. It took a long time to bring the boat in. Things just didn’t work out after that.

Paulos

The wind got into him?

Warren

Maybe the wind did get to him, but he was off the planet half the time. First of all he wouldn’t shut up.

Paulos

He told a lot of stories.

Warren

He was all sounding trumpets and clashing cymbals. He told a story every five minutes, told a yarn every tick of the clock, but they all had the same ending. He had great talent for exaggeration and fabrication, but they were all monotonous in the end. They all ended the same way, with the same line.

Paulos

“…and I didn’t even spill my beer…?”

Warren

…That’s right. But then one day he clammed up. He told me the moon was singing to him and that it gave him a headache. He kept working but he wouldn’t talk, wouldn’t look at me. After two days of dead calm, I couldn’t stand it any longer.

Paulos

What happened?

Warren

We came ashore, or started to…We were way up north, almost to Carnarvon, and when we started down the coast, we got as far as the harbour at Oakajee and he jumped overboard and I never saw him again, He just swam ashore and I never saw him again. He just swam ashore, I have never seen anything like it.

Paulos I heard the flying doctor got to him.

Warren Flying Doctor?

Paulos

Yeah, the party pusher, you know, Narcotic Smugglers.

Warren I doubt it. I was waiting on cheques from the Co-operative when we left. He hadn’t been paid for a few weeks. Besides, we didn’t see another soul.

Paulos

Something peculiar about him anyway.

Warren

Yes, he was one propeller short of a wind farm.

Paulos

unfortunate.

Warren

But never mind. Tristan is worth his wages, I have a good one there.

Tristan

(entering) Hey Boss, the boat is secure, do you want to come for a swim before dinner?

Warren No thanks. It’s still too hot for me, See you Paul.

Paulos

See you both later (exit).

Tristan

What’s wrong you look worried.

Warren

It’s nothing.

Tristan

Come on mate, that’s not like you to hold back. We have plenty of time before we go out again, What’s up?

Warren

It’s just that I haven’t heard anything from the shore.

Tristan

What’s that? I’m not sure I understand, tell me more.

Warren

Well the wife is very tied up with the kids finishing school this year and it’s the first year she hasn’t come to the islands since they were babies.

Tristan

Yeah

Warren And I asked a friend to keep an eye on things.

Tristan

hmm

Warren

Just to give her a hand to get on top of things while I am away out here.

Tristan

She is very capable.

Warren

Well anyway I had hoped he would keep an eye out to make sure everything is all right. And he is not very busy these days.

Tristan

You have to be careful of these navy wives you know. We all try not to think of it, but there must be some temptation for the younger ones to keep moving around when the men are out on the water and far from home.

Warren

He and I go way back. If there was anything going on he would know, he would tell me I am sure.

Tristan

Sometimes the women we trust the most turn out to be rotten eggs and not trustworthy at all. Have I told you what I heard in the club before we came away. Apparently some bloke around here is bragging that he has two on the go, and right under the nose of is friends.

Warren

I don’t think that’s very likely. How could he keep his friends for very long if he carries on like that? How could you keep something like that a secret?

Tristan

I’m just saying that is what I heard. Who is looking after her?

Warren

Well you remember that fellow who injured his back?

Tristan

Slugger?

Warren

Yes

Tristan

You’re joking? Not him! Did you ask him to look after your missus?

Warren

yeah…

Tristan

What washing powder does she use?

Warren

Hey? What? What does that have to do with anything?

Tristan

Well that friend of yours might have a good reputation, and he might have along history with you, but the story heard in the pub, this guy found a new love. Her husband was out of town a lot. When he was away she would put a different brand of washing powder in the laudry window so he knew she was free for the night.

Warren

Grab your things and meet me at the boat. You are going to get your Chicken Biryani after all my boy. We’re going to the mainland and buy our own battery.

(Curtain/fade)

<p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"==Suggested Credit==:</p>

'Crayfish' by Hamish Darby

http://fiction.wikia.com/wiki/Crayfish_-_royalty_free_dialogue_screen_or_stage_play

Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

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