The Train That Runs On Time MAG

April 6, 2015
By writerfluid SILVER, Tempe, Arizona
writerfluid SILVER, Tempe, Arizona
9 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
Greater good? I am your wife. I am the greatest good you are ever gonna get!


HORACE, an older gentleman, is sitting on a train. He pulls out a pocket watch, puts it away upon seeing PETULA, a young, childlike woman. She gets on, takes a seat immediately next to him, though there are others available.

PETULA: Hello!

HORACE: Welcome aboard.

P: Thank you.

H: First time on the train?

P: Yes.

H: Nervous?

P: No!

H: Of course not.

P: The train isn’t even going anywhere.

H: Yes it is. We’re going to the Hoover Dam.

P: I mean it isn’t moving yet.

H: Really? It’s hard for me to tell these days.

P: My name is Petula.

H: My name is Horace.

P: Your name is funny.

H: So is yours. Are you alone, Petula?

P: Yes.

H: You’re not afraid to travel without your mother?

P: No, I’m with you!

H: You trust me?

P: Yes.

H: That’s a dangerous mistake.

(They lurch forward)

P: Oh! We’re moving now!

H: Interesting.

P: Still very slow though.

H: That’s how it goes.

(Enter NEWSBOY into their compartment.)

NEWSBOY: Breaking news! Andrew is having a birthday party and Mary lost a tooth!

(PETULA is deeply interested, HORACE unaffected. NEWSBOY exits.)

P: Amazing!

H: Perhaps.

P: Isn’t it incredible that humans lose their teeth?

H: No.

P: We’re picking up speed.

H: Good.

P: How long will it take us to get there?

H: That depends.

P: On what?

H: On how often you look out the window.

P: What do you mean?

H: The more you look out the window, the longer the ride will seem.

P: Mother says we’ll pass Las Vegas on the way.

H: Your mother is right.

P: When will we see it?

H: In time.

P: I can’t wait. I’m not going to take my eyes off the window for a second.

(NEWSBOY enters.)

NEWSBOY: Breaking news! Ally’s too sick to go to Matt’s Halloween party!

(Same reactions and quick exit as before.)

P: How sad!

H: Hmm.

P: Horace?

H: Hmm.

P: What do you think of the newsboy?

H: I think his headlines are boring.

P: But what do you think of him?

H: He’s punctual, I guess.

P: I think he’s wonderful. (Suddenly turning to face HORACE) I think he’s very cute, and I’m going to tell him.

H: No, you won’t.

P: I will! I like him!

H: You like him now.

P: I always will.

H: All right.

P: Horace?

H: Hmm.

P: When will I see Las Vegas?

H: You missed it.

P: What?

H: It already went by the window while you were blabbering about the stupid newsboy.

P: Oh.

H: Sorry.

P: Well how could I not have missed it? We’re going so fast.

H: Already? That’s strange.

(HORACE takes out his watch and puts it back. PETULA stands up to stretch.)

P: There’s not much to look at. When we first started there were so many interesting things to see out the window, and now there’s nothing.

H: I don’t remember you thinking it interesting.

P: It was. I’m sure of it.

H: Are you though?

P: It was so colorful.

H: What is it like now?

P: Drab. Blank. The interesting shops and towns are gone. Now it’s just trees, whizzing by.

H: I don’t think it was ever that interesting to begin with. I think you’re wrong.

(They lurch forward again, gaining speed. PETULA tries to regain her balance, then sits again but leaves one seat between them.)

P: Does this train make any other stops?

H: No.

P: The conductor must get very tired.

H: You believe in a conductor?

P: Yes, I think so. You don’t?

H: Trains are all run by electricity these days.

P: But someone’s in charge of making sure they all operate, right?

H: Maybe there used to be someone to do that. But now the trains run fine on their own.

P: Well, I still think there’s somebody making sure we’ll get to the dam.

H: Oh we’ll get there all right. Everybody does.

P: What do you mean?

H: Not single person I’ve ridden with hasn’t eventually gotten where they’re going.

P: Well, that’s a relief.

(NEWSBOY enters.)

NEWSBOY: Breaking news!

H: Oh, for Pete’s sake.

P: Shh!

NEWSBOY: Argentina has declared war on Mexico!

H: Ugh.

P: How can you not be interested in his headlines? They’ve all been so intriguing.

H: Perhaps to you.

P: I think they’re important.

H: I think they’re silly.

P: I think you’re wrong. You’re really starting to get on my nerves, you know.

H: I’m sorry to hear it.

P: Why do we keep going faster and faster?

H: Don’t you want to get to the dam on time?

P: Of course.

H: Then embrace it.

P: Something’s not right.

H: What’s wrong?

P: The train. It’s shaking.

H: Really?

P: We’re going too fast.

H: You’ve been saying that the whole time.

P: No, it’s serious. I think something is wrong.

H: Look out the window.

P: I can’t, it’s black. I think we entered a tunnel.

H: When did that happen?

P: I have no idea.

H: What do you hear?

P: The screeching of the wheels – you can’t hear it? I think the conductor’s trying to stop the train.

H: Why would he do that?

P: I don’t know! I’m not ready for the train to stop! We haven’t gotten to the Hoover Dam yet!

H: That is odd.

P: Wait, it’s getting brighter now.

H: Is it?

P: Yes. Oh, good. We must be leaving the tunnel. I really hate being in tunnels. I wonder when we’ll go by –

(An awful sound. The train comes to a violent, crashing halt. PETULA is thrown from her seat. Blackout. After a long pause, the lights come back up. PETULA is face-down on the floor, unmoving. HORACE is unaffected. Looking at her, he once again pulls out his stopwatch and clicks it audibly.)

End. F


The author's comments:

This is a one-act I wrote for my creative writing class.


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JOIN THE DISCUSSION

This article has 16 comments.


HammadWaseem said...
on Apr. 10 at 4:40 pm
HammadWaseem, Lahore, Other
0 articles 6 photos 287 comments

Favorite Quote:
Be proud of who you are.
-Eminem

You can't see me
-John Cena

Ooh, somebody stop me!
-Mask

This is completely brilliant and outstanding. @writerfluid will you check and comment on my pic,"Side View of Sketching Guy", and video,"The Unbeatable Breakdancer"? :) :)

Cizag said...
on Apr. 5 at 1:52 pm
Cizag, Lake Mary, Florida
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments
I love the imagery and wording of the script but I believe that it could be better if more descriptive stage directions were scattered across.

on Feb. 16 at 1:29 am
writerfluid SILVER, Tempe, Arizona
9 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
Greater good? I am your wife. I am the greatest good you are ever gonna get!

This just made my day. Thank you for telling me!

Wilding BRONZE said...
on Dec. 21 2017 at 5:31 pm
Wilding BRONZE, Cary, North Carolina
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I may walk slowly, but I never walk backward." -Abraham Lincoln

I read this script a few days ago and am still thinking about it. It's written wonderfully and the symbolism is intriguing. I loved it-- fantastic job!

on Apr. 16 2017 at 3:21 am
writerfluid SILVER, Tempe, Arizona
9 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
Greater good? I am your wife. I am the greatest good you are ever gonna get!

@jarofsouls

on Nov. 9 2016 at 12:30 pm
ScarletCity PLATINUM, High Ridge, Missouri
41 articles 4 photos 69 comments
Yes, highly. It's one of the best books I've read in a while. :)

on Nov. 7 2016 at 11:28 pm
writerfluid SILVER, Tempe, Arizona
9 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
Greater good? I am your wife. I am the greatest good you are ever gonna get!

@ScarletCity Thank you! I actually haven't read that book yet, would you recommend it?

on Aug. 30 2016 at 10:45 am
ScarletCity PLATINUM, High Ridge, Missouri
41 articles 4 photos 69 comments
I like this. The style reminds me of something in Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. Good work!

on Aug. 2 2016 at 4:48 pm
writerfluid SILVER, Tempe, Arizona
9 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
Greater good? I am your wife. I am the greatest good you are ever gonna get!

Hey, sorry I took so long to respond. I'm fine if you use this for a skit, just please credit me, Lily Ludwig. If you end up directing/performing it anywhere, let me know!

on Feb. 21 2016 at 4:31 pm
writerfluid SILVER, Tempe, Arizona
9 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
Greater good? I am your wife. I am the greatest good you are ever gonna get!

@NikolIsk Thank you so much! It's a new style for me to write in but I enjoyed doing it.

NikolIsk GOLD said...
on Feb. 20 2016 at 9:30 pm
NikolIsk GOLD, Sarasota, Florida
11 articles 69 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not knows no release. From little things. Knows not the livid loneliness of fear, nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear... the sound of wings. - Amelia Earhart

This was really cool in a really weird, fascinating way. :D

on Feb. 19 2016 at 8:36 pm
writerfluid SILVER, Tempe, Arizona
9 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
Greater good? I am your wife. I am the greatest good you are ever gonna get!

@jarofsouls Thank you for the encouragement! I like the "symbolism over logic" style too, and I wanted to give it a try. I wrote it for a class, so I'm not sure where to find other examples, sorry. :/

on Feb. 19 2016 at 8:33 pm
writerfluid SILVER, Tempe, Arizona
9 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
Greater good? I am your wife. I am the greatest good you are ever gonna get!

@NightBulb Thank you so much! I actually considered calling it "Train of Thought", haha. I appreciate your feedback. :)

on Jan. 29 2016 at 7:19 pm
NightBulb SILVER, Sudbury, Ontario
7 articles 2 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life is a blank canvas: it's up to you to paint the picture.

This is a beautiful, eerily strange piece. I love the way everything flows, like somebody's train of thought: disjointed, random, yet always moving. I assume that's what the role of the newsboy was... (This is just my personal interpretation.) And yet, everything weirdly makes sense, even though it doesn't... It's always things like this that intrigue me and pique my interest the most! Great work!

on Jan. 20 2016 at 10:31 am
jarofsouls SILVER, Montpelier, Indiana
9 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope." - Author unkown

Also, could I use this for a skit or something? I'd really like to.

on Jan. 20 2016 at 10:31 am
jarofsouls SILVER, Montpelier, Indiana
9 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope." - Author unkown

I love this. It's so surreal, like an odd dream. Obviously more interested in symbolism than logicality (which isn't a bad thing. I believe it takes extreme talent to do this kind of writing). I actually like this kind of writing a lot, but don't find it all of the time. Do you know where I could find more writing like this?


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