A GRAVEYARD. AN OPEN GRAVE WITH A PILE OF FRESH EARTH BY IT.
TWO WOMEN IN THEIR SEVENTIES STAND LOOKING DOWN INTO THE GRAVE.
EDNA: It is a funny old world.
FAYE: I don’t see you laughing.
EDNA: Oh well you know me, always fire on the inside, icy steel on the outside that’s me.
THEY GIGGLE A BIT.
No, we must think of where we are.
FAYE: Oh I am, I am.
EDNA: I wonder…
EDNA: Sixty, that’s a terrible young age.
FAYE: Just what I was thinking.
FAYE: So young. I mean, it’s highly irresponsible popping off at that age these days.
EDNA: For all its faults, I’ll give the NHS its credit.
FAYE: Oh I agree with you. I’ve never felt better.
THEY GIGGLE AGAIN.
Stop it, we mustn’t. Think of all them poor souls resting here.
EDNA: Aye. (BEAT) Your mother’s over there.
FAYE: Mm, and me dad. Though they never abided each other in life.
EDNA: You could have put them on opposite sides.
FAYE: Well yes, we could have. But that would have cost an extra bob or two, and you know what they were like with money. Tight as duck’s arses they were.
EDNA: Oh I remember.
FAYE: They’d prefer to be stuck next to each other for all eternity rather than see their money spent on some such frivolity like separate graves. You can’t take it with you can you?
EDNA: You can’t take it with you, no.
FAYE: And besides, look at it all.
FAYE: There’s no room.
EDNA: There isn’t.
FAYE: Too many green winters recently.
EDNA: I blame that global warning.
FAYE: Well you can’t take it with you can you?
EDNA: No you can’t. That’s what I always say. (LOOKS DOWN INTO GRAVE) Are you finished or what?
EDNA: I said, are you finished or what?
JOSIE: I heard you the first time. Almost there. Stop fretting.
EDNA: It is getting a bit parky up here. Just so you know. (WINKS AT FAYE)
FAYE: And we’ve only got the dead for company up here.
EDNA: And you of course.
JOSIE: Stop with your joking. It’s hard work down here.
FAYE: Well we would help you.
EDNA: But you know how it is.
FAYE: With our aches and pains.
JOSIE: Didn’t I just hear you two going on about the NHS doing you proud?
FAYE: Well you know it is.
JOSIE: Well you can jump down here and find out for yourselves how it is.
EDNA: My back.
FAYE: Mine too.
JOSIE: It’s always me in’t It?
FAYE: But you dig so well. You must have picked it up from having a husband in construction. You’re a natural digger.
JOSIE: And from what they tell me you picked up, you’re a natural slapper.
EDNA: Steady on.
JOSIE: And you too.
FAYE: Someone’s jealous.
JOSIE: Can you stop it? It’s awfully distracting. And any way this isn’t digging— Ooh, what’s this?
EDNA & FAYE: Ooh what have you found?
EDNA & FAYE: Oh…
JOSIE: Having been wed to a man in construction for near on 50 years, I can’t say as I’d know what it would be like to share me life with a mortician.
JOSIE: But if I had, I’d much rather he wouldn’t come home with things like THIS!
SOMETHING THAT LOOKS SUSPICIOUSLY LIKE A HUMAN HEART POPS OUT OF THE GRAVE AND LANDS AT THEIR FEET.
EDNA: What’s that?
JOSIE: It’s her heart.
FAYE: It’s not…
EDNA: That’s disgusting.
JOSIE: We’ve all got one.
FAYE: Yes but most of us have the decency to keep our one inside.
EDNA: Yours is certainly well hidden from the rest of humanity.
FAYE: Anyway it’s disgusting. Could you have not left it in her?
JOSIE: No I could not.
FAYE: And why not?
JOSIE: It was in the way.
EDNA & FAYE SHARE AN IRONICALLY KNOWING LOOK.
EDNA: Right. In the way. And are you finding your way?
JOSIE: Almost there. It’s a bit disgusting if I’m to be honest.
EDNA: You are taking your time, you do know that?
JOSIE: (A) it’s dark down here and (B) that torch you gave me didn’t work.
FAYE: Well who keeps a torch these days? It were my grandson’s. And we were lucky he’s still kept all his kiddie stuff.
JOSIE: Like the batteries which’ve not been changed since his birth. And he’s at least 20 your lad.
EDNA: When was the last time you changed the batteries in anything?
FAYE: In her hearing aid.
JOSIE: I heard that.
EDNA: So how’s it going?
JOSIE: And (C) you do know this is a very mucky job?
EDNA: You’re the one with the talent. All those years working in our knacker’s yard. Expertise like that we couldn’t buy.
Just couldn’t buy. You’re a star!
JOSIE: Oh stop it you two. And my age too. At least this knive’s— Ooh.
EDNA & FAYE: What?
2: Ooh, I nearly fell in there, did you see?
JOSIE: Oh dear.
EDNA & FAYE: What?
ANOTHER BIT OF BODY PLOPS OUT OF THE GRAVE AND LANDS AT THEIR FEET.
EDNA: What’s that when it’s at home?
FAYE: Is that what I think it is?
EDNA: No! Where’d you find that?
JOSIE: Where’d you think. Below the waistline, above the thighs.
FAYE: But Nora never had one of those.
EDNA: If she did, it were the biggest secret in the street. Along with what she did with the diamonds.
JOSIE: No, and there’s nowt in the stomach of this one. Unsurprisingly if you ask me. I’m coming out.
EDNA: No no, have one more look.
FAYE: Please, we’ve got to be sure.
JOSIE: I’m coming out. It’s not Nora. And this one’s not swallowed the diamonds or anything else that might take your fancy.
FAYE: Funny that.
EDNA: Funny. I could have sworn it were Nora buried here.
JOSIE: At this moment you’ll excuse me if I appeared not to be too bothered. I’m coming out. Must be Nora’s husband, maybe unlike your mother and father they invested in a bit of eternal peace from each other on opposite ends of here.
FAYE: We never thought.
FAYE: We’ll need to look around.
EDNA: But I could have sworn she were right here.
FAYE: I thought so too. The funeral after all. Did the… person look sixty. No don’t answer that. We really should have waited till they put the gravestone up.
JOSIE: Well I’m coming up. You can throw his bits back down.
THEY GINGERLY PICK UP THE BITS AND DROP THEM DOWN.
JOSIE: Oh you never. You could at least wait until I’m up.
EDNA & FAYE: Sorry!