DEATH HAS FINALLY MADE HIS WAY THROUGH THE DANCING THRONG TO ARRIVE AT THE CLUB BAR.
DEATH: Your finest piña colada, good barperson.
BARPERSON: This is a goth club.
DEATH: Right. Pint of your cheapest Wolf’s Blood then.
BARPERSON: A pint? Wolf’s Blood is a wine.
DEATH: That’s what you think. Humour me.
BARPERSON: (STARES HARD)
DEATH: Oh please yourself. A glass of your cheapest.
BARPERSON: (POURS THE DRINK AND PLONKS IN FRONT OF DEATH) Two quid. Please.
DEATH: I’ll give you three if you give us a smile.
BARPERSON: You know that’s why I work here. It helps if you don’t smile.
DEATH: Not like at the metal pub down the road.
BARPERSON: Exactly. “Lighten up”, “know any good jokes?”, “cheer up things could be worse”. Could they? How do they know?
DEATH: I thought I saw you down there.
BARPERSON: I held on as long as I could, then this club opened last week. Left the bar at the metal pub and moved here as fast as I could. “Give us smile.” I’m not your dog.
DEATH: Iggy Pop.
DEATH: Never mind. Here’s your two quid. (TAKES A SIP) Don’t happen to know where I can find one of your goths, he’s one who REALLY doesn’t smile.
BARPERSON: Who REALLY doesn’t smile? Sure. Down at the end of the bar.
DEATH: Thank you good barperson.
BARPERSON: (SCOWLS) How do you know I’m good?
DEATH GOES TO THE END OF THE BAR WHERE A MOROSE GOTH STANDS, WATCHING THE DANCEFLOOR WITH WEARY DISDAIN.
DEATH: Hi, I’ve been looking for you.
GOTH: You’re not my type.
DEATH: It might be mutual.
DEATH: Anyway. I’m glad I’ve found you. You all look alike to me.
DEATH: Everyone dressed in black, pale faces and so on.
GOTH: (LOOKS AT DEATH STRANGELY) Erm…
GOTH: You can talk. You’re not from these parts are you?
DEATH: No. How did you guess?
GOTH: The scythe might be a clue.
DEATH: Ah. Too much?
DEATH: Shame. (BRIGHTENS) Anyway, I have an offer for you.
GOTH: Not interested. Every time I do something for someone else I always end up the loser. Never fails that I fail.
DEATH: And why would that be?
GOTH: I’m too trusting. Not ruthless enough. (WITHERINGLY) Didn’t you know? Everyone else seems to. I put people over profit. I’d like to change but I can’t so I’ve stopped doing anything for anyone. How does the song go? “Won’t get burned again.”
DEATH: Don’t know that one. But anyway, I have an offer for you.
GOTH: Told you. Not interested.
DEATH: An offer you can’t refuse.
GOTH: Not interested.
DEATH: You don’t seem to be interested in much do you?
GOTH: Told you, I burned my fingers. Tried to do good. Got shafted one time too many. Tired of everyone except me making money out of my efforts and goodwill. Tired of being knocked down every time I try to help. I’m not bothered with anyone now. And I’m happy like that thank you very much.
DEATH: Except you don’t seem very happy to me.
GOTH: I’m a goth, what else were you expecting? Isn’t this how we’re supposed to be?
DEATH: Well you did tell me you’re normally happy to help people out.
GOTH: Yeah but not any more. Now I’ve got a drink that wants tending. Solo.
DEATH: But I do have this offer—
DEATH: —from God.
GOTH: Give over.
DEATH: No honestly. Hand on my, erm, heart.
GOTH: And what does God want with me when he’s at home?
DEATH: He’s worried about you.
GOTH: I rather think the opposite. Am I not in a position we might describe as Godforsaken? As in forsaken by God? As in on your way, buddy, and I do mean you.
DEATH: (UNDETERRED) And God reckons it’s your time.
GOTH: For my 15 minutes of fame? Oh, you mean my death. I thought I recognised you from somewhere. About time.
DEATH: Well God doesn’t want it to be that easy. He doesn’t want you to die without some form of accounting for yourself.
GOTH: I did a lot of good deeds. I was a productive member of society. I worked my potential. I rest on that thank you very much. So what’s this God like?
DEATH: Well you know, here and there. The point is, he doesn’t want you leaving this mortal coil without a bit of reckoning. He says it’ll be a shame.
GOTH: So why can’t this God come down and tell me this himself?
DEATH: He’s busy and important.
GOTH: But not too busy and important to think about me.
DEATH: No… no. He wants to meet you. Work out this reckoning thing.
GOOD STAGGERS UP.
GOOD: I’m pissed.
GOTH: Now’s not a good time.
GOOD: Oh you’re always like this.
SHE TURNS TO GO.
DEATH: Hang on, don’t go.
And who are you? I like the scythe. You one of the Nottingham lot? I’ve heard about you.
DEATH: A bit further away. But enough about me. Are you Good by any chance?
GOOD: I am. What’s he been saying? We’re not together any more you know.
DEATH: But you wish you were?
GOTH: Hang on.
DEATH: (WINKS) Divine business.
GOOD: Yeah. We were good, he really helped me through hard times.
DEATH: Like everyone else’s he seems to have come into contact with.
GOOD: But not now.
DEATH: No. And do you think that is?
GOTH: Hello, am I actually here?
GOOD: Something happened. He was good – he IS good – but then the spark just seemed to go out of him. He helped me through some really bad issues, got me out of bad times. We were good. But he was helping everyone. He never said no and you know what I think everyone knew that. And thiugh he did incredibly good stuff, no one really respected him for it amd they all started to take advantage. And then said he didn’t want to see me. He went off by himself, closed off to everyone, and that was that. I try to say hello every once in a while but it’s always the same. He’s never rude. I’ve never seen him with anyone else. I wish he’d come home one day.
GOTH: Can everyone just go away?
DEATH: He sounds like a decent type.
GOOD: The best.
DEATH: Who just needs a bit of a break.
GOOD: Who just needs a bit of a break.
DEATH: Good, then I’m right in assuming that you know most of what we need to know about the good deeds he’s done in his life even if he’s not doing them now?
GOOD: You could say that.
DEATH: Then would it bother you if I asked you to accompany me to give a reckoning of his life to God?
GOOD: Me? What are you on?
GOTH: I think he’s serous. Hang on…
GOTH: You’re saying you’ll take her off with you instead of me?
DEATH: And why not? God will get his reckoning of the good you’ve done on this earth. And you know what you deserve it.
GOOD: You do.
GOTH: But she doesn’t deserve it. You leave her it of it.
GOOD: Well why? He does seem an okay guy, and if it’s God we’re talking about, well…!
DEATH: And well said! Shall we? (PROFFERS AN ARM)
GOTH: Wait up, wait up. Let me think this through. You’re not taking her.
GOOD: I rather think he is.
GOTH: No. Am I right in thinking that if you take my ex up to see God, then she’s basically dead?
GOOD: Am I? I mean, will I be? Dead?
DEATH: Well yes of course. That is sort of what I do. It’s a bit of a one-way thing. But you do get to meet God.
GOOD: Ooh, exciting.
GOTH: Well I’m not having that.
GOOD: You’re being a bit ungrateful here.
GOTH: No. Take me. You’ll not take her life instead of mine.
DEATH: Oh all right. Sorry Good, next time?
GOOD: Yeah. See ya.
DEATH: I look forward to that, very much.
GOTH: Don’t push it.
GOOD: You see, you do care!
GOTH AND GOOD HUG EACH OTHER.
DEATH: Come on, we’ve got a lift to catch.
DEATH AND GOTH WALK OFF, WITH DEATH ABOUT TO LAUNCH INTO AN ANIMATED DISCUSSION ABOUT HOW HE ALMOST MET SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES.
GOTH: Hang on, hold that thought. I’ll be back in a sec. (HE WALKS BACK TO THE AUDIENCE) Have you really ever thought about what happens when we die? And how do we live a good life until then? And how you can’t take it with you when you go? And yet we know not when that ‘then’ will come. We could die tomorrow, we could die in 50 years time. What happens after our death, who knows. The dead don’t come back to tell us of the wrath of the Gods – or do they? If they do speak to us, no one’s listening. No, we have to listen to the living. As the playwright once said, hell is other people. That may be. True hell is when you stop listening, living death follows, the death of your soul, your society, your nation. And you know what, I’m fed up with being fed up with not listening. If I’m back after this trip – and I might well be – watch out for a bit of lightning your lives!
ARM IN ARM HE EXITS WITH DEATH.
BARPERSON: Hey you, scythe man, you forgot your change!