The abandoned warehouse was very quiet. It was one large room with the windows boarded up, and five pillars spaced evenly down the center, supporting the condemned floors up above. There was a dirty blanket folded neatly on the floor. Garlands of shiny tin ashtrays, stolen from various local diners, were attached with paperclips to twine which wound around the columns. There was a card table along one wall. One of its legs had broken off, so the edge was propped up awkwardly by two milk crates and a few local zines. There were cups balanced precariously on the table and filled with a bright red liquid.
Francis entered the room, quickly followed by Jenny. Francis wore black boots, black jeans and a white sleeveless t-shirt. He had a blue mohawk, closely cropped to his scalp. Jenny wore black boots, torn fishnet stockings, a red plaid skirt and a black t-shirt. Her hair was mussed and she had a lot of mascara on. They were arguing in front of the table.
JENNY: But you have to be in the play. I need you to be in the play.
FRANCIS: But I do not want to be in your play.
JENNY: You said you would be in the play.
FRANCIS: I don’t remember that.
JENNY: Well you said it.
FRANCIS: Well I don’t remember saying it, and it doesn’t matter, because I am not going to be in your play, because I do not want to be in your play.
As they were arguing, Sam entered the room. He was wearing black boots, plaid pants, and no shirt. He had a nose ring and spoke in an accent that was sometimes British, sometimes Scottish, sometimes vaguely Australian. As he stood and spoke with Jenny and Francis, he wobbled slightly as though he had been drinking, although he had not been.
SAM: Oy. Wot er yieu teh argyoon abowt?
JENNY: Francis says he won’t be in my play now.
SAM: Frrahnsis, is this trrieu?
FRANCIS: It is.
JENNY [to Sam]: It’s really good though.
FRANCIS [to Sam]: It actually isn’t.
JENNY: It is really good, I worked on it all week and it’s about a straight-edge band whose van breaks down during their west coast tour and they start fighting and smashing their instruments and then they learn the true meaning of Christmas.
SAM: Thot sounds like uh prit’y neat play tuh me, Frahncis.
FRANCIS: The characters have to sing “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.”
Sam looked to Jenny for confirmation.
JENNY [defensively]: A punk rock version!
Sam and Francis continued staring at her.
JENNY: Danny taught me the chords and I’ve been practicing on my brother’s guitar for, like, a month.
FRANCIS [to Sam]: In my mind it’s not really a question of how well she can play the song, as much as it is why, or who cares.
JENNY [screaming at FRANCIS]: BE IN MY FUCKING PLAY!
SAM: Yeh might jest dieu it this one taim, Frrancis.
FRANCIS [looking up at the ceiling, exasperated]: As I said earlier, I will not be in the play. Plays are stupid. Plays in general, and this one in particular. Now: people will be arriving soon, and I do not want them to see us fighting like this. It would spoil the mood. I did not come to argue, and I did not come to be in a play. I came tonight to rock out and fuck shit up, and I intend to do just that.
JENNY [still very angry]: You’re such a fucking ne’er-do-well. God forbid someone could ever count on you just one time.
Francis was silent, but swiveled slightly to show his shoulder to Jenny. He pointed to a tattoo on his upper arm which he had done himself in india ink. It said “Punk As Fuck.” He then opened his mouth and stuck out his tongue while flashing the “metal horns” hand single (a raised fist with index and pinkie fingers extended), before running out of the room.
JENNY [sobbing]: This is the worst Punk Rock Christmas ever!
SAM: Including lahst year, when tae da oor gah pray ton dae?
JENNY: I have no idea what you’re even saying.