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ARCHIVE -- CHARGEUSSE

FIRST ISSUE
FALL 2011

SECOND ISSUE
SPRING 2012

THIRD ISSUE
SPRING 2013

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Solidus Online



Andrew Francis

Life can’t be taken pass/fail


Cast of Characters

Lenny: Middle aged man
The Receptionist: Middle aged woman
Malachi: Admission Counselor
Rebekkah: Admission Counselor
Prometheus: Admission Counselor


S c e n e

A drab waiting room to the afterlife


A C T   I

S c e n e  1

Scene opens up on a sparse, drab waiting room.
Three chairs are lined up against the wall center
with a small coffee table with magazines in front.
A RECEPTIONIST sits at a desk stage right in front
of a door, she is using a typewriter, making loud,
obnoxious strokes on it. LENNY sits in the center
chair, sleeping. The RECEPTIONIST bangs on a stuck
key making a loud sound, waking up LENNY. As she
speaks her lines, she never looks up from the
typewriter.

LENNY
                 (Waking up)
Uh...

LENNY groggily surveys the room
                  (To himself)
What time is it?

Looks around.

No clock.

RECEPTIONIST
You fell asleep.

LENNY
I’m sorry?

RECEPTIONIST
You fell asleep.

LENNY
Oh. How long have I...

RECEPTIONIST
Don’t know.

LENNY
You don’t know?

RECEPTIONIST
Can I help you sir?

LENNY
I...don’t know...

RECEPTIONIST
You don’t know sir?

LENNY
How long have I been here?

RECEPTIONIST
I don’t know sir-

LENNY
No right, sorry. Am I here for an appointment?

RECEPTIONIST
An appointment sir?

LENNY
Uh...yeah. I don’t remember.

RECEPTIONIST
Your name?

LENNY
Leonard Smalls.

RECEPTIONIST
Have a seat sir.

LENNY
So I...

RECEPTIONIST

Have a seat, they’ll be with you soon.

LENNY goes over to sit, stops at table to look at
magazines. He shuffles through the old magazine.


LENNY
Old...old...older...ancient.

LENNY pauses for a minute. He’s just realized
something. He looks around the room.


Um...miss?

RECEPTIONIST

Yes.

LENNY
I didn’t come in from that door did I?

RECEPTIONIST
Sir?

LENNY
Um...that’s the room I’m supposed to go into right?

RECEPTIONIST
Yes.

LENNY
Oh...right.
                 (Goes to sit and quickly turns around)
So, um...how did I get in here?

RECEPTIONIST

I’m sorry?

LENNY
Um...it’s just that...there’s no other doors or
windows...

RECEPTIONIST
Yes?

LENNY
Then how did I? I don’t remember coming here...the only
thing I remember is...
                   (Dawning on him)
Oh...right...

Sits in the middle chair

I’m dead aren’t I?

Pause, RECEPTIONIST continues to type, ignoring
LENNY. He gets up looks around at the drab
interior.

So this must be Hell.
                  (Looks to receptionist for a response.
                  None.)
Heaven?
                  (Still no response)
In between?

RECEPTIONIST
                   (Hitting a key hard with a final stroke)
Sir, why don’t you have a seat.

Sits.
LENNY
What’s on the other side?

RECEPTIONIST
Of what sir?

LENNY
That door.

A buzz from an intercom is heard, RECEPTIONIST
holds button and responds.

RECEPTIONIST
               (To intercom)
Coming now sir.
               (To LENNY)
My Boss.

Pause, RECEPTIONIST gathers her papers and exits
through door. LENNY leans to look through as door
closes. No luck. LENNY sits in the chair
nervously, then gets up and begins to pace,
looking down at the old magazines. The
RECEPTIONIST reenters and sits. MALACHI enters, he
is dressed in a nice suit.

MALACHI
                (Calls out his name from a clipboard)
Leonard Smalls?
                 (Leonard looks around, raises his hand)
Leonard? Welcome, my name is Malachi, I’m your
admissions counselor, are you all set?

LENNY
Set?

MALACHI
To embark. To cross over. The adventure is just
beginning.

LENNY
To where?

MALACHI
Heaven my dear boy, Heaven.

LENNY
Oh...then...yes?

MALACHI
                 (Looking at his papers)
So lets see here. Mmmhmm. Are you excited?

LENNY
Yes.

MALACHI
Bet you’ve had enough of all the waiting.

LENNY
Oh yes. The magazines are old.

MALACHI
Uh huh. Well I’m sure you will like Heaven, everyone
does.

LENNY
So I’m really going to Heaven?

MALACHI
You sure are...oh...oh no...no...that’s not right...

LENNY
What?

MALACHI
Well I’m afraid we have a discrepancy here.

LENNY
A discrepancy?

MALACHI
             (To Receptionist)
Did you double check this?

LENNY
What’s a "discrepancy"?

MALACHI
I’m afraid you don’t have the proper number of credits
to graduate to Heaven. I’m sorry there must have been a
mix up somewhere down below...

LENNY
Credits?

MALACHI
Yes.

LENNY
To go to Heaven?

MALACHI
Yes...let me see here. Yes, yes. So you didn’t take
life as pass/fail I take it?

LENNY
Um...I don’t think so?

MALACHI
Why didn’t you do that?

LENNY
Well I didn’t know you could take life as pass/fail.

MALACHI
Didn’t know? What is happening down there?

LENNY
Wait, wait. How can I not have enough credits?

MALACHI
Well according to your transcript, you are missing a
few introductory-level credits.

LENNY
Like?

MALACHI
Well...Charity 101.

LENNY
Charity 101?

MALACHI
Covetousness and how to share 203.

LENNY
What?

MALACHI
Oh and Topics in general human decency 105.

LENNY sits despondently in his chair
LENNY
So I can’t go to heaven.

MALACHI
No, no, not at all. You will have to take these over.
Once you meet the credit requirements for graduation
you can cross over. Take this add drop form and come
back when they are completed.


S c e n e   2

Lights come up on the same room. LENNY sits in the
chair same as last time. The RECEPTIONIST
continues to obnoxiously type as before.

LENNY
Two hundred years.
               (He looks to the Receptionist. No
               response)
I’ve been waiting two hundred years to graduate.
               (Still no response)
Did you hear me? Two hundred years.

RECEPTIONIST
The Admissions counselor will see you shortly.

LENNY
That’s what I’ve been told for the last hundred years,
when do I get to go through-

A buzz from an intercom is heard, RECEPTIONIST
holds button and responds.

RECEPTIONIST
Coming now.

LENNY
Yeah I wanna see what Malachi has to say about this.

Pause, LENNY paces the room waiting for the door
to open. He walks over and thumbs through the
magazine pile.

Old, older, ancient.

The door opens and the RECEPTIONIST reenters and
sits to start typing again. REBEKKAH enters,
dressed similarly to Malachi.

REBEKKAH
Leonard Smalls?

LENNY
That’s me.

REBEKKAH
Leonard, welcome, my name is Rebekkah, I’m your
admissions counselor, are you all set?

LENNY
Where’s Malachi?

REBEKKAH
Who?

LENNY
Malachi, my admissions counselor.

REBEKKAH
Oh...I’m sorry I don’t know a Malachi.

LENNY
What?

REBEKKAH
Are you ready to crossover.

LENNY
Yeah...whatever fine, lets just go.

REBEKKAH
              (Reading the papers)
All right, ever the eager beaver aren’t we? Ok...well
things look set...oh...

LENNY
No, no, no. Don’t say that. No "oh".

REBEKKAH
I’m looking at your transcript here and well...

LENNY
What?

REBEKKAH
I don’t know how to tell you this but...

LENNY
What!?

REBEKKAH
Well since you last visited us, the graduation
requirements have changed.

LENNY
Changed?! What does that mean?

REBEKKAH
You didn’t take life as pass/fail?

LENNY
No, no I didn’t!

REBEKKAH
Oh well that’s unfortunate, you really should have
taken life as pass/fail.

LENNY
Well I didn’t know you could do that.

REBEKKAH
Take this add/drop form. You will need to add Altruism
305 and topics in general human decency 105.

LENNY
Wait I already took that last one.

REBEKKAH
Yes, but because the requirements changed you can’t
double dip with that course. I’m afraid you will have
to take it again for separate credits.

LENNY
Are you kidding me.

REBEKKAH
Bring this back to me as soon as possible and we’ll
speed you through the process.


S c e n e   3

Lights come up on the same room. LENNY sits in the
chair same as last time. The RECEPTIONIST
continues to obnoxiously type as before.

LENNY
Six hundred years.
                 (He looks to the Receptionist. No
                 response)
I’ve been waiting for six hundred years to graduate.
                 (Still no response)
Did you hear me? Six hundred fuck-

RECEPTIONIST
                 (Without looking up)
No cursing.

LENNY
Six hundred years.

RECEPTIONIST
The Admissions counselor will see you shortly.

LENNY
Yeah whatever...

A buzz from an intercom is heard, RECEPTIONIST
holds button and responds.

RECEPTIONIST
On my way.

LENNY slumps in his chair, kicks his feet up on
the coffee table. He doesn’t look up when the door
opens and RECEPTIONIST and PROMETHEUS enter. He is
wearing a nice suit like Malachi and Rebekkah and
holding papers.

PROMETHEUS
Leonard Smalls?

LENNY is visibly agitated at the sight of a new
counselor.

LENNY
Oh no, no, no. Where is Rebekkah?

PROMETHEUS
Oh I’m sorry I don’t know a Rebekkah-

LENNY
Forget it, never mind. Am I good now, can I cross over?

PROMETHEUS
Let me take a look here, yes, yes it looks like you’re
all set.

LENNY
I am?

PROMETHEUS
Yes, your credits seem to be in order. Are you ready?

LENNY
Yes!

PROMETHEUS
Bet you’re done with all of that huh?

LENNY
Yes, yes I am.

PROMETHEUS
All right we’ll just step through this door here. Now,
do you have your Heaven acceptance form?

LENNY
My what?

PROMETHEUS
Your application for acceptance into Heaven.

LENNY
Oh no...no don’t tell me that I need...

PROMETHEUS
I’m sorry, I need that form filled out before I can
admit you into Heaven. Didn’t anyone tell you?

LENNY
No, no one told me!

PROMETHEUS
I’m sorry, you’ll have to fill it out before I can
admit you.

PROMETHEUS exits through the door.

LENNY
Wait, wait! No don’t go.

LENNY bangs on the door, slumping against it
crying.

No one told me! I just want to cross over, I’ve been
waiting!

He goes to sit, he puts his face in his hands and
sobs.

I’ve been waiting...and waiting...but of course that’s
what you want isn’t it?

             (No response from the receptionist, she
             continues to type loudly)
I’ve been waiting and waiting...for what? Huh? I’m not
going anywhere am I?
             (No response)
I’m not going anywhere! Right? Just tell me that, where
am I?

RECEPTIONIST
Have a seat sir.

LENNY
No, where am I? Just answer that! Where am I!

RECEPTIONIST
Where do you think you are sir?

LENNY
I’m...
            (Pause, slumps back into chair)
            I think I’m in Hell. This is Hell.

RECEPTIONIST
Then this is Hell sir.

RECEPTIONIST continues to type as lights come down
on LENNY sitting in his chair defeated.
BLACKOUT

 

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Andrew Francis is a graduate of the class of 2011. He graduated with a bachelors of science in environmental studies. While at Colby-Sawyer, Andrew was very active in theatre; acting, writing, directing and even producing theatrical performances. Andrew is currently working as a fellow with Environment America in Portland, Maine.