free romantic play for two actors

The Last Can

by D. M. Larson


From the published play "When Mel Fell for Nell" ISBN-13: 978-1512007183




"The Last Can" a short play by D. M. Larson
(This is an early draft of the play. The published version is in the book "When Mel Fell for Nell" ISBN-13: 978-1512007183)

NELL

What's wrong, luv?

MEL

I'm hungry.

(MEL is staring at a can.)

NELL

Then eat.  I don't mind.

MEL

But it's the last one.

NELL

It's okay.

MEL

What about you?  Aren't you hungry?

NELL

Not really.

(He stares at it a long time.)

MEL

I can't believe it's the last one.

NELL

It had to happen sooner or later.

MEL

I was hoping for much later.

(He's looking for a can opener.)

NELL

Check under the table.  Maybe it fell down there.

(While MEL is under the table, NELL rushes over and grabs the can and goes back to her chair, hiding the can.  MEL gets up excited.)

MEL

Found it!  Time to eat... sure you don't want...

(MEL stops when he sees the can is missing.)

MEL (CONT.)

What is this!  The hunger games!

(MEL sits on the sofa and looks at the empty coffee table.)

MEL (CONT.)

Was I just imagining there was a can there?  I am that hungry.

(NELL has a playful voice.)

NELL

Maybe.

MEL

Or maybe someone took it.

(MEL leaps up suddenly and starts tickling NELL.)

NELL

Stop, stop, you'll make me have to pee.

MEL

Hand it over!

NELL

Okay, okay.

(NELL holds up the can still laughing.  MEL takes the can.)

MEL

You sure you don't want any?

NELL

Nope.

(MEL opens the can and keeps his eyes on her.  She is still giggling a bit.  He has the can open but has no forks.  He gets up to get a fork.  NELL moves forward a bit.)

MEL

Don't you dare.  You'll make a mess.

(NELL laughs.  MEL gets two forks and sits.  NELL goes and sits by him.  He feeds her a bite and she returns the favor.)

NELL

The last can.

MEL

Afraid so. 

NELL

Or maybe it is the first meal before the feast?

NELL

The feast?

(They are still feeding each other.)

NELL

The feast that's waiting outside.

MEL

Maybe the radiation fried up all the critters and turned them to jerky?

NELL

Too bad you're a vegetarian.

MEL

And all the fruit is all dried up and ready for consumption. 

NELL

And the water sparkles and bubbles like Perrier.

MEL

But you don't like Perrier.

NELL

I'll drink anything we can find that isn't plain old bottled water.  I'm so sick of bottled water.  I miss bubbles.

MEL

I can make bubbles in your water.

NELL

Ew, not those kind.

(They laugh.  Eat feed each other more and then grow quiet.)

MEL

I wonder what it's really like outside.

NELL

Not sure.  The monitor still shows radiation.

MEL

We're out of food.  Water is about out too.

NELL

Time to start recycling.

MEL

You don't mean... ew.  I think I'd rather deal with the radiation.

(They are quiet a minute and finish the food.)

NELL

Thank you for sharing.

MEL

Of course.  I always do.

NELL

You've always shared everything with me.

MEL

You're my favorite person.  I wanted to give you the best of everything... and the best of me.

NELL

You always did... and you stayed with me to the end.

MEL

It's not the end... not yet.

NELL

I remember when they said the bombs were coming... I was all alone.

MEL

I was terrified we wouldn't be together.

NELL

Everyone was driving out of the city, trying to get far away from targets. 

MEL

I was driving the other way. 

NELL

They wanted to arrest you... force you to go.

MEL

Nothing was going to keep me from you.

NELL

I wasn't going in the shelter without you.

MEL

I remember I found you on the porch, sitting and looking up at the sky.

NELL

I wondered what it would have looked like... all the missiles in the sky. 

MEL

I crashed the car in to that big tree in the yard.

NELL

I was so glad you weren't hurt.  You scared me.

MEL

I was in a hurry.  No time for brakes.

NELL

That would have been an ironic ending to your trip home.  Crashing and dying.

MEL

I didn't have a scratch on me.

NELL

We were meant to be mole people together.

MEL

Burrowed together in our little nest.

NELL

I like our little nest.

MEL

I think I've been happier here than I've ever been before. 

NELL

Me too.

MEL

No interruptions.  No problems at work.  No outsiders getting their noses in our business.

NELL

I never wanted to go outside again.

MEL

Except for the last can.

NELL

We made it over a year.

MEL

I could go longer.

NELL

Me too.

MEL

I wonder what the chair tastes like.

(MEL goes to the chair.)

NELL

That's my favorite chair!  You're not eating that.

(MEL removes the cushion.)

NELL (CONT.)

What are you doing?

MEL

Seeing if you dropped any food down here.

NELL

You should check your sofa.  I'm a much cleaner eater than you.

MEL

What?

NELL

You need a bib.  That's why I feed you so you don't make a mess.

MEL

Dang... you're right... no food here.

(MEL goes to the sofa and removes the cushion.)

MEL (CONT.)

Jackpot.

NELL

Told you.

MEL

Ha... veggie chips... I love these.

NELL

Bon appetit.

MEL

Merci.

(MEL muches on some veggie chips.)

NELL

How many are down there?

MEL

A year's supply I think.

NELL

You wish.

MEL

If wishes were fishes...

NELL

What does that mean?

MEL

No clue.

(They laugh.  MEL is munching on veggie chips.  They grow quiet.  NELL sits in her favorite chair.)

NELL

So what do we do?

MEL

Go outside?

NELL

But the radiation.

MEL

We might have to risk it.

NELL

I wonder what it looks like outside.

MEL

Maybe all the bombs missed and it's all the same as before. 

NELL

Then how do you explain the radiation?

MEL

You left the microwave on?

NELL

Maybe.

(They laugh.  NELL is looking at a map now.)

NELL (CONT.)

I wonder where we go?

MEL

Where was the last radio broadcast we heard?

NELL

That was awhile ago.  I think I marked it on the map.

MEL

Some little station out in the boonies wasn't it?

NELL

Who would have thought that the last bits of civilization would be in some little town in the middle of nowhere?

MEL

Nowhere became the only somewhere.

NELL

I wonder how many people from the city went there?

MEL

I bet there wasn't enough food to go around.

NELL

Scary.  What are the survivors going to do for food?

MEL

Maybe we don't want to go out there.

NELL

I know I don't want to.

(They are quiet.)

MEL

I wonder how our shoes would taste?  Didn't Charlie Chaplin do that in a movie?

NELL

I don't know any Chaplin.  Heard of him of course.

MEL

I'm amazed how many movies you do know.  It's kept me pretty entertained.

NELL

Want me to perform another movie for you?

(MEL laughs.)

MEL

I think Jurrasic Park is my favorite.  You do all the dinosaur actions too.

NELL

I watched that one a lot as a kid.

MEL

I'm still amazed how well you memorized them all.

NELL

One of my many special useless skills.

MEL

Sure came in handy now.

NELL

I guess it did, didn't it?

MEL

You've kept me very entertained.

NELL

I love what you wrote for me.

MEL

I love what you drew for me.

NELL

It's probably been the most creative time in my life.

MEL

Me too.  I wonder if anyone will ever see anything we did.

NELL

It doesn't matter.  I did it for you.

MEL

You're very sweet to me.  I can't imagine a better person to spend my life with.

NELL

To be stuck with?

MEL

I never felt stuck... even before we became mole people... you were the best choice I ever made.

NELL

You're very sweet to me.

MEL

You make me feel sweeter... I've never felt so happy.

NELL

You've always taken good care of me.

MEL

I never wanted to fail you.

NELL

You never did.

MEL

Until today...

(NELL goes to him.)

NELL

What do you mean?

MEL

The food... it's gone.

NELL

But we probably had more food than anyone else.  You prepared so much better than everyone else.  You always had everything covered... you always took care of everything. 

MEL

This is the first time I don't know what to do.  I never felt like this before.

NELL

Like what?

MEL

Like I didn't know what to do... how to solve the problem.

NELL

Maybe it's time you let someone else handle everything.

MEL

You have a plan?

NELL

No, but I bet someone else does.

(NELL points up.)

MEL

Oh... I've always admired your faith.

NELL

We've done well so far.

MEL

We have.

NELL

I have a feeling something is going to happen.  Something good.

MEL

You know... I believe you.  I really believe you.

NELL

I don't know what or how... but something good will happen.

MEL

I believe.

NELL

Then close your eyes and get on your knees.

MEL

We're going to pray?

NELL

Yes, pray.

(MEL gets down on his knees at the coffee table.  He closes his eyes and prays silently.  Myla sneaks off.) 

MEL

I know I don't pray as often as a I should, but I really want to know, more than ever... rather than begging for something... I want to thank you for giving us this wonderful year together... I'm so thankful we got to be with each other... you've given me this wonderful gift and she is the most precious gift I've even been given... I thank you for her... I thank you with all my heart.

(NELL has come back during this and smiles so happily at his words.  She places a box of donut cake type things in front of him.)

MEL (Cont.)

Amen.

(He opens his eyes and sees her smiling happily and she points to the box.  MEL laughs.)

MEL (CONT.)

You're an angel.

(MEL hugs her happily.)

NELL

I saved the best for last.

(They sit and share one of the donuts. Happy silence for a moment and they share smiles. Suddenly music is heard.)

MEL

Do you hear that?

NELL

That's the intercom.

MEL

It's picking up music from outside. Someone's playing music.

NELL

Beautiful, beautiful music.

MEL

Should we go see?

NELL

Maybe they're after our Diddly Doos?

MEL

Nothing is getting my Diddly Doos. 

(NELL gets a pouty face.)

MEL (CONT.)

Except you of course.

(She smiles happily.  The music gets louder.)

NELL

It's coming closer.

MEL

I feel like a kid hearing an ice cream truck.

NELL

Maybe it is an ice cream truck.

MEL

I like Diddly Doos better.

NELL

Yummy... ice cream.

MEL

Should we go see?

NELL

Okay.

MEL

Ready?

NELL

Let me get my sweater.

(She gets her sweater.)

MEL

Ah... that's such a cute sweater.

NELL

Thank you.

MEL

Ready?

NELL

I'm a little scared.

MEL

I'll be with you.

NELL

Promise?

MEL

I promise. I'll never leave you. 

NELL

You never do.

MEL

Let's go.

(They go off stage and sounds of a massive door unlocking and opening.  Music gets much louder.  After a moment, MEL rushes back in and gets the box of donut/cake things and then runs off again.)

END OF PLAY


From the published play "When Mel Fell for Nell" ISBN-13: 978-1512007183


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