The Last Can

by D. M. Larson

free romantic play for two actors


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 characters have been renamed to Mel and Nell)

MYLA

What's wrong, luv?

RIM

I'm hungry.

RIM is staring at a can.

MYLA

Then eat.  I don't mind.

RIM

But it's the last one.

MYLA

It's okay.

RIM

What about you?  Aren't you hungry?

MYLA

Not really.

He stares at it a long time.

RIM

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

MYLA

It had to happen sooner or later.

RIM

I was hoping for much later.

He's looking for a can opener.

MYLA

Check under the table.  Maybe it fell down there.

While Rim is under the table, Myla rushes over and grabs the can and goes back to her chair, hiding the can.  Rim gets up excited.

RIM

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

Rim stops when he sees the can is missing.

RIM (CONT.)

What is this!  The hunger games!

Rim sits on the sofa and looks at the empty coffee table.

RIM (CONT.)

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

Myla has a playful voice.

MYLA

Maybe.

RIM

Or maybe someone took it.

Rim leaps up suddenly and starts tickling Myla.

MYLA

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

RIM

Hand it over!

Myla

Okay, okay.

Myla holds up the can still laughing.  Rim takes the can.

RIM

You sure you don't want any.

MYLA

Nope.

Rim 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.  Myla moves forward a bit.

RIM

Don't you dare.  You'll make a mess.

Myla laughs.  Rim gets two forks and sits.  Myla goes and sits by him.  He feeds her a bite and she returns the favor.

MYLA

The last can.

RIM

Afraid so. 

MYLA

Or maybe it is the first meal before the feast.

RIM

The feast?

They are still feeding each other.

MYLA

The feast that's waiting outside.

RIM

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

Myla

Too bad you're a vegetarian.

RIM

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

MYLA

And the water sparkles and bubbles like Perrier.

RIM

But you don't like Perrier.

MYLA

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

RIM

I can make bubbles in your water.

MYLA

Ew, not those kind.

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

RIM

I wonder what it's really like outside.

MYLA

Not sure.  The monitor still shows radiation.

RIM

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

MYLA

Time to start recycling.

RIM

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

They are quiet a minute and finish the food.

MYLA

Thank you for sharing.

RIM

Of course.  I always do.

MYLA

You've always shared everything with me.

RIM

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

MYLA

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

RIM

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

MYLA

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

RIM

I was terrified we wouldn't be together.

MYLA

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

RIM

I was driving the other way. 

MYLA

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

RIM

Nothing was going to keep me from you.

MYLA

I wasn't going in the shelter without you.

RIM

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

MYLA

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

RIM

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

MYLA

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

RIM

I was in a hurry.  No time for brakes.

MYLA

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

RIM

I didn't have a scratch on me.

MYLA

We were meant to be mole people together.

RIM

Burrowed together in our little nest.

MYLA

I like our little nest.

RIM

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

MYLA

Me too.

RIM

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

MYLA

I never wanted to go outside again.

RIM

Except for the last can.

MYLA

We made it over a year.

RIM

I could go longer.

MYLA

Me too.

RIM

I wonder what the chair tastes like.

RIM goes to the chair.

MYLA

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

RIM removes the cushion.

MYLA (CONT.)

What are you doing?

RIM

Seeing if you dropped any food down here.

MYLA

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

RIM

What?

MYLA

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

RIM

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

RIM goes to the sofa and removes the cushion.

RIM (CONT.)

Jackpot.

MYLA

Told you.

RIM

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

MYLA

Bon appetit.

RIM

Merci.

RIM muches on some veggie chips.

MYLA

How many are down there?

RIM

A year's supply I think.

MYLA

You wish.

RIM

If wishes were fishes...

MYLA

What does that mean?

RIM

No clue.

They laugh.  Rim is munching on veggie chips.  They grow quiet.  Myla sits in her favorite chair.

MYLA

So what do we do?

RIM

Go outside?

MYLA

But the radiation.

RIM

We might have to risk it.

MYLA

I wonder what it looks like outside.

RIM

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

MYLA

Then how do you explain the radiation?

RIM

You left the microwave on?

MYLA

Maybe.

They laugh.  Myla is looking at a map now.

MYLA (CONT.)

I wonder where we go?

RIM

Where was the last radio broadcast we heard?

MYLA

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

RIM

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

MYLA

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

RIM

Nowhere became the only somewhere.

MYLA

I wonder how many people from the city went there?

RIM

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

MYLA

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

RIM

Maybe we don't want to go out there.

MYLA

I know I don't want to.

They are quiet.

RIM

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

MYLA

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

RIM

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

MYLA

Want me to perform another movie for you?

Rim laughs.

RIM

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

MYLA

I watched that one a lot as a kid.

RIM

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

MYLA

One of my many special useless skills.

RIM

Sure came in handy now.

MYLA

I guess it did, didn't it?

RIM

You've kept me very entertained.

MYLA

I love what you wrote for me.

RIM

I love what you drew for me.

MYLA

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

RIM

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

MYLA

It doesn't matter.  I did it for you.

RIM

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

MYLA

To be stuck with?

RIM

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

MYLA

You're very sweet to me.

RIM

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

MYLA

You've always taken good care of me.

RIM

I never wanted to fail you.

MYLA

You never did.

RIM

Until today...

Myla goes to him.

MYLA

What do you mean?

RIM

The food... it's gone.

MYLA

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. 

RIM

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

MYLA

Like what?

RIM

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

MYLA

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

RIM

You have a plan?

MYLA

No, but I bet someone else does.

Myla points up.

RIM

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

MYLA

We've done well so far.

RIM

We have.

MYLA

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

RIM

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

MYLA

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

RIM

I believe.

MYLA

Then close your eyes and get on your knees.

RIM

We're going to pray.

MYLA

Yes, pray.

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

RIM

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.

Myla 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.

RIM (Cont.)

Amen.

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

RIM (CONT.)

You're an angel.

Rim hugs her happily.

MYLA

I saved the best for last.

Suddenly music is heard.

RIM

Do you hear that?

MYLA

That's the intercom.

RIM

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

MYLA

Beautiful, beautiful music.

RIM

Should we go see?

MYLA

Maybe they're after our Diddly Doos?

RIM

Nothing is getting my Diddly Doos. 

Myla gets a pouty face.

RIM (CONT.)

Except you of course.

She smiles happily.  The music gets louder.

MYLA

It's coming closer.

RIM

I feel like a kid hearing an ice cream truck.

MYLA

Maybe it is an ice cream truck.

RIM

I like Diddly Doos better.

MYLA

Yummy... ice cream.

RIM

Should we go see?

MYLA

Okay.

RIM

Ready?

MYLA

Let me get my sweater.

She gets her sweater.

RIM

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

MYLA

Thank you.

RIM

Ready?

MYLA

I'm a little scared.

RIM

I'll be with you.

MYLA

Promise.

RIM

I promise. I'll never leave you. 

MYLA

You never do.

RIM

Let's go.

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

END OF PLAY


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