"Radio Noir"

a Clashing Black audio production
in conjunction with Goth Mafia

script by Ian Ton

page 1, 2 ,3, 4, 5, 6

__Scene 1: The Office__

[Standard background noises: phones, muttered talking, a little typing, and so forth. And then, a pitch whistle, and four voices preparing to harmonize.]



FACELESS CO-WORKER #3: ... -ning...

FACELESS CO-WORKER 1/2/3/4: ... Aliiiice! Hmmm...

Alice: There's a reason it's called "mourning," oh Faceless Co-Workers. Night has gone, 9 to 5 has come, and now, after five minutes without any new e-mail from my friends on the "Ghastlycrumb Listserv," I weep.

FCW 1: Alice, we're all very amused by your antics here in the office, and appreciate the half-price token of white bread sub-culture you represent, but recently, something about you has changed...

FCW 2/3/4: ... and we have concerns.

Alice: Grave concerns?

FCW 1: See what we mean? While you've always been moody...

FCW 2: ... morose...

FCW 3: ... morbid...

FCW 1/2/3/4: ... and even a little bit monstrous...

FCW 1: ... as of late this "unlifestyle" of yours has gotten downright malevolent.

FCW 2/3: "Malevolent!"

FCW 4: From the Latin for "Evil, small, furry mammal."

Alice: This is about the fact that I replaced the bulleting board with a rack of voodoo dolls, isn't it? I'll defend the idea again-it's simple multi-tasking! As long as you're pushing pins into something, why not break two legs with one trip? Leave your message and make your point.

FCW 1: Actually, we found the dolls to be very conducive to office communication. It motivates people to read our memos and flyers when they're threatened with the loss of limbs, emotions, and major organs. No, what we want to talk about are-

FCW 2/3/4: The little things.

FCW 1: The little things.

Alice: Little things? Do you see them, too? The half-formed, skittering things lurking just beyond the eye's reach?

FCW 1: Precisely-we're talking about the artwork hanging in your cubicle.

Alice: But we're allowed to hang pictures and clipped images in our cubicle. It lends the illusion of personalization and a sense of humor.

FCW 1: Yes, but the rest of us hang up the weekly strips of "Dilbert" while you hang up reproductions of-

FCW 1/2/3/4: ... Albrecht Durer.

FCW 1: ... and they frighten the mail boys.

FCW 2/3/4: ... and the female boys, as well.

Alice: Alright, I'll keep the woodcuts taped up underneath my desk so I can see them when I'm scouring the floor for dropped matches. But can I at least keep my alien-green lava lamp?

FCW 1: As long as you stop threatening to toss Rita the Secretary into it as a virgin sacrifice.

Alice: >>Sigh.<< Fine. Look, do you have anything pleasant to tell me, or rather anything that's unpleasant yet oddly fascinating in a sick and demented sort of way?

FCW 2/3: "Demented!"

FCW 4: From the Latin for "Not so fresh."

FCW 1: Well, we have decided to grant your request that your name be removed from the coffee-making rotation list.

Alice: At last I-now I can devote my full attention to my growing Jolt addiction. Why the sudden wisdom on the part of the staff committee?

FCW 1: Your demand was unanimously agreed to when it was discovered that you have been disinfecting the coffeepot not with dish soap but with...

FCW 1/2/3/4: ... Potassium cyanide!

Alice: It's a good chemical and I'll stand by it. It's very good at cleaning glass.

FCW 1: Yes-it's worked wonders on the windows as well.

Alice: The windows? How's that?

FCW 1: Well, it used to be that we couldn't see clearly out of the windows because the accounts department sat in front of them. Now we can see through the windows clear as a bell because...

FCW 1/2/3/4: ... the whole bloody department was poisoned! Hmmm...

Alice: When did you all become a barber shop quartet?

FCW 1/2/3/4: Yesterday at half-past five.

Alice: What the hell for?

FCW 1/2/3/4: To give ourselves a chance to get out alive.

Alice: And just what makes you think that singing barbers would stay on my less-evil side?

FCW 1/2/3/4: You have grown a taste for blood
And your morality's gone odd,
But we're positive your violence
You will make exceptions for "Sweeney Todd."

Alice: Dammit.

[Fade to song]

The Faceless Co-Workers' Quartet sings "Blackmail"

Mmmm... you've got mail
Mmmm... blackmail
Mmmm... the dirt that can put you ahead
If it doesn't put you in jail
Mmmm... you've got mail
Mmmm... blackmail
Mmmm... they should have been watching their backs
'stead of chasing their neighbors' tails

To make money from sin
You yourself must have a portion
But their list of crimes is a mile long
You're just guilty of extortion
You're teaching a lesson on generosity
And here's how it goes:
" 'Tis better to give
Than to be exposed!"

Mmmm... you've got mail
Mmmm... blackmail
Mmmm... who needs strong-arm tactics
When the subject's morally frail?

Mmmm... you've got mail
Mmmm... blackmail
Mmmm... what's that behind your back-
A dagger or a tail?

[FCW Chorus hums and fades into the background again.]

[Alice checks her mail-sound of keyboard clacking.]

Alice: From Alice to Andrew-What's the scoop on the Angstrom Coke concert tonight? Are we still going?

ANDREW: From Andrew to Alice-Of course we're still going. I took out a second mortgage on my soul to get those tickets, colon end-parentheses.

Alice: From Alice to Monica-We're on for the concert. It starts at 9:30 so start dressing by four.

MONICA: From Monica to Alice-Are you interested in helping? Semi-colon end parentheses. I'll meet you at the club, and I'll be there with fangs on, greater-than sign semi-colon end-parentheses equals.

Alice: From Alice to Robert-You owe me a clove. When we get to the concert, you better pay up.

ROBERT: From Robert to Alice-I totally forgot, at-sign underline at-sign. I gave my last clove to Dig, dot dot dot... I'll get more. Before we go to the concert can we drop by the store? Colon zero semi-colon end-parentheses colon end-parentheses equal sign, Later! Robert.

DIG [with faked Romanian accent]:
From D to Mr. Harker-
Welcome to the Carpathians, colon end-parentheses. I am anxiously expecting you, semi-colon end-parentheses. Sleep well tonight, capital-Z underline capital-Z. At three tomorrow the diligence will start for Bukovnia; a place on it is kept for you, zero underline zero. At the Borgo Pass my carriage will await you and bring you to me, colon zero lower-case o. I trust that your journey from London has been a happy one, and that you will enjoy your stay in my happy land, asterisk less-than sign colon end-parentheses. Your friend, Dracula, greater-than sign colon end-parentheses equals.

[Flourish of keyboards clacking, cue song: "Starblood," by Cranes.]

[End of Scene I.]

Act II Scene II