The Accidental Victim

[I was cleaning up some old files and found this short playscript that I wrote way back in 2010. I remember very little about it, but I suspect that it was a writing exercise. This may have been the first thing I wrote when starting down this path of becoming a playwright. It is what it is.]


(An office. Two chairs, back to back, face identical desks. NATHAN, a professional looking man in a suit, is on the phone at one desk.)

NATHAN: (on phone) No man, I’m telling you, the Knicks are absolutely gonna take it this year! What? The Bobcats? Are you on crack? (laughing) All right, you are on. You are on! I’ll catch you later.

(Nathan hangs up, but continues chuckling to himself. RORY enters, looking agitated. Rory is in a similar-looking suit, but somehow it just doesn’t hang on him as well. Disheveled is his natural state, but he looks visibly more unruly than what could be expected for an office. He hangs up his coat and sets down his briefcase.)

RORY: Hey, Nathan.

NATHAN: (drawing it out) Roooory! Good morning, man. Heh, do you believe Barnes down in accounts? He says The Bobcats are gonna take the championship this year. I told him he must be on crack!

RORY: I heard. Listen, I’m sorry to be late, but I saw the most amazing thing.

NATHAN: Did you catch the game last night? Did you see Ewing get that free-throw in?

RORY: Yeah. No. I didn’t see the game. But you won’t believe the accident I saw just now from the bus. You know the intersection near the park…

NATHAN: Green Park?

RORY: No, Tower Park. On Central.

NATHAN: By the stadium?

RORY: Like, six blocks away. On Central.

NATHAN: That reminds me, I gotta call Fred about tickets for next week.

RORY: So the bus stops right on 4th Street – you know, the four way stop by the entrance to the park…

NATHAN: Green Park?

RORY: No, Tower.

NATHAN: Near the stadium?

RORY: Not really! Anyway, some asswipe pulls around the bus and goes right into the intersection just as some other dickhead comes from the right…

NATHAN: Are you just getting here?

RORY: What? No, I’ve been here.

NATHAN: Tony came by about ten minutes ago, looking for you. Said he thought you’d be here at 9:00.

RORY: Well, I was late. There was this accident down by the park.

NATHAN: (starts to ask a question)

RORY: Tower Park! These two cars smack right into each other. I saw the whole thing from the bus. The car coming from the right just smashes into this a-hole who was trying to drive around the bus. Pushed his ass all the way across the intersection. People were jumping out of the way, there were pieces of metal and shit flying all over the place. I actually saw the face of the guy who got hit. He put his hands up, like this, and I could see him yelling “Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu….!”

(Nathan just stares at Rory for several beats. Rory looks back in anticipation, waiting for some kind of reaction. Finally…)

NATHAN: I gotta go see Fred. See if he can get some tickets for next week. You wanna come to the game?


NATHAN: (exiting) Hey, Tony was looking for you.

(Nathan exits. The scene changes. The two chairs are pushed together. Rory is now back on the bus, on his way home from work, clutching his coat and briefcase, gazing out the window. Enter HOWARD, a fellow passenger so unkempt that he makes Rory look like Prince Charles. He’s probably crazy.)

HOWARD: (pointing to the empty chair next to Rory) This seat taken?

RORY: Uh, no. Go ahead.

(Rory makes room for Howard, who sits down. Rory looks a little distressed. He smiles and nods at his new traveling companion. Howard just glares straight ahead.)

RORY: (looking out the window) Oh, hey, look, they cleaned up after the accident this morning.

(HOWARD says nothing)

RORY: Geez, this morning on my way in, this asshole tries to pass the bus at this light. He roars out into the intersection and just gets smacked by this numbnut coming the other way.

HOWARD: Are you from the agency?

RORY: What now?

HOWARD: Have you been reading my journals?


HOWARD: I have seen the angels, and they serve coffee to you.

RORY: (really struggling with something to say) I like coffee.

HOWARD: What happened?

RORY: When?

HOWARD: The accident. The two cars.

RORY: Oh! Really? Well, so this asshole goes into the intersection, and this other car just smashes into him and pushes him across the street. People are jumping out of the way, there’s metal scraping and shit flying everywhere, and I can see the guy in the car. He puts his hands up and he’s yelling…

(Rory pauses, looks around, then raises his hands and lowers his voice a bit)

RORY: “Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu….”

(Howard, who has been watching Rory this whole time, raises his own hands and begins yelling)

HOWARD: Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu…

(Rory stops, mortified, then tries to shush Howard)

HOWARD: Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu…

RORY: Ah, this is my stop!

(Rory clambers over Howard and beats an exit. Howard is still going.)

HOWARD: …uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck! Ladies and gentlemen, I have seen the devil, and he carries a briefcase!

(Scene change. Rory’s house. He drags himself in, clearly exhausted, and drops his coat and briefcase onto a chair. Enter his wife, MARGO.)

RORY: Hey, hon’.

MARGO: I expected you home.

RORY: I know, I had to get off the bus. There was this crazy person.

MARGO: Your sister called. She wants to know if you’re still going to your parent’s anniversary party next week.

RORY: What? Yes, I already told her we’ll be there. Christ!

MARGO: Rory, please don’t swear like that.

RORY: Sorry. I just … we already discussed this. Did you tell her that we talked about this? I already said we’d go.

MARGO: Could you call her back?

RORY: No, I don’t want to get into it with her now. You won’t believe the day I had.

MARGO: It’s just that if you don’t call her, she’ll just keep calling back, and I don’t know what to tell her.

RORY: Tell her that everything is exactly the same as the last time we spoke! Jesus…

MARGO: Rory, please.

RORY: Sorry, again. I’ve just been dealing with idiots all day. It started this morning on the bus, when this ass…

(Rory stops, looks at Margo.)

RORY: …inine person tries to pass the bus at this intersection. Some … knucklehead is going the other way, and just smashes the … stuffing out of him.

(Rory sees that Margo is actually listening to his story. She looks a little worried.)

RORY: There’s glass and stuff all over the place, people are jumping out of the way.

MARGO: Was anyone hurt?

RORY: (thinking) No. It was a miracle. Everyone walked away. But I could see the guy in the car, and he had his hands up like this, and he was screaming…

(Margo is looking at him expectantly. Rory stops without finishing the sentence.)

RORY: But it was fine. No one was hurt. I was delayed getting to work.

MARGO: Well I’m so relieved. Are you okay?

RORY: I’m great. Sorry I was late. I could use a little dinner.

MARGO: I’ll get everything on the table.

(Margo exits, leaving Rory to look after her. He is quiet for a moment. Then he raises his hands, and ever so softly…)

RORY: “Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!”

(Rory picks up his coat and briefcase, and exits after Margo.)

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