It is a medium sized café, decorated wall to wall with plants and flowers. There are enough tables to seat around 40 customers at any one time. Along one wall, there is a counter and glass display case full of exquisite and elaborate cakes, some of which look a little old and stale. There is a door behind the counter that leads to the kitchen and office. ROSIE, the café owner/manager, is watering the plants. KENZO, the events manager/café employee is sitting slouched at one of the tables impatiently waiting. There are sounds of activity coming from the kitchen.
KENZO: Rosie, please.
ROSIE: I’m nearly finished.
KENZO: Do you ever think about your mortality?
ROSIE: Don’t, Ken. Not today.
KENZO: Please do not refer to me with that westernised abbreviation of my name.
ROSIE: It’s the first three letters of your name.
KENZO: I’ll leave, Rosie!!
He doesn’t move from his slouched position.
ROSIE: Do we have to do this every time? Can I have a break, Ken, please?
A loud clanging of pots and pans is heard from the kitchen. MURPHY, the kitchen hand, comes running into the café. He’s red in the face and clearly distressed.
MURPHY: She’s doing it again.
KENZO: Another lovers tiff, yeah, Smurf?
MURPHY: It’s not fair that I’m the only one that has to work with her. You don’t know what she’s like!
ROSIE: OK, Murph, I’m sorry. You sit down here and relax, alright? I’ll go and make sure she’s taken her meds.
ROSIE exits into the kitchen.
MURPHY: I’ve had enough of this now. I’m serious. You guys can’t take advantage of me like this.
KENZO: It’s all love, Smurfy, son. Don’t you enjoy the embrace of a woman?
MURPHY: (Agitated) You as well! I don’t like it. With all your…your stupid looking tattoos and…and your muscles and that hair…taking the piss out of me all the time.
KENZO: Hmm. You don’t like the embrace of a woman. It’s alright, man. Sexuality is a fluid concept anyway.
MURPHY: Just shut up! I’m calling my probation worker. I like Rosie and everything and, like, she’s helped me out a lot, but I’m done with this.
KENZO: (sits up) Hold on, brother. Don’t do anything you might regret, yeah.
MURPHY: Don’t call me brother either.
KENZO: OK, son. Let’s talk about this.
MURPHY: You’re still doing it!
KENZO: Doing what? Being existent?
MURPHY: That! Just stop. Stop taking the piss.
KENZO: I am me, brother son, and we are we. No man can change me, nor should he. Just be.
MURPHY takes his phone out of his pocket and starts searching through his contact list.
KENZO: (attempting a posh accent) OK, fine, Murphy. Is this what you want? You want me to talk to you like this?
MURPHY holds the phone to his ear and stares angrily at KENZO. KENZO slaps the phone from his hand. When it hits the ground, the battery falls out.
MURPHY: What the hell?!
MURPHY kneels on the floor and picks up his phone. He fumbles around trying to put the battery back in. KENZO starts trying to pick MURPHY up from the floor.
MURPHY: (screams) Get off me!!
KENZO: I’m sorry, little man. Don’t scream. We’ve gotten to a strange place, you and I.
MURPHY: You broke my phone, you idiot.
KENZO: I’ll fix it, brother son.
MURPHY: Don’t call me that! I quit. I’ll go straight to the probation office and explain. Tell Rosie I said sorry.
KENZO: No, no, no, no, no. You can’t quit. Alright, look, let me change frequency and talk to you on a different wave length for one second. Hold up, yeah.
MURPHY gets up from the floor and dusts himself off.
MURPHY: Just shut up, please. Shut up.
KENZO: Please do not quit today as it is Rosie’s birthday and we are throwing her a surprise party in here tonight. She cares about you, so please care about her today. Today, on the anniversary of her birth.
Please do not be a dick.
Not today, Murphy.
MURPHY: (Sighs) OK, fine. I won’t quit today. But I will quit, you’ll see. And you won’t know when, I’ll keep it hanging over you. With every stupid thing you say, it’ll be hanging over.
KENZO: Like the hanging man. A limb closer to death with every wrong letter spoken. Two fates tied together.
MURPHY: Shut up! And I’m not going back in the kitchen with that loony!
KENZO: Be cool, man, you can’t say loony.
MURPHY: I want to work out here from now on.
KENZO: Alright, you work out here today and then we’ll see how it goes from there, yeah?
KENZO reaches a hand out to MURPHY.
MURPHY: And you owe me a new phone.
KENZO: Give it, son, let me put the battery back in.
MURPHY: (restrained scream) I want a new phone!!
KENZO: OK, OK, man. Stop doing that scream thing. I’ll get you a phone. So we’ve got a deal?
MURPHY: OK, fine.
MURPHY shakes KENZO’s hand. KENZO pulls him in and gives him a hug.
KENZO: What was your crime, man? You’re so delicate.
MURPHY: I burn things.
KENZO: Oh, OK. That’s creepy. I can dig that. (LAUGHS) And you work in the kitchen – cosmic.
ROSIE enters from the kitchen.
ROSIE: What are you doing?
– End of Extract-
© 2016 Celia Morgan.
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