Denis Taillefer

First Place: Denis Taillefer

Dogs Of The World, Unite

Email to Richard Heinz:

Dear Mr. Heinz,

We shall attempt to assess your work promptly. However, if you do not hear from us within fourteen months, you may want to jog our memories.

Cheers,
Charles Roberts III
Editor In Chief
Purple Prose Quarterly Review
Great Britain

Email from Richard Heinz:

Dear Charles The Third,

You must have some hell of a backlog. Tell you what. If I don't hear from you within 14 weeks, I 'shall' assume that you are not interested.

Sincerely,
Dick Heinz The first
Regular Peasant
The Good Old U.S.A.

Email to Richard Heinz:

Dear Mr. Heinz,

Purple Prose Quarterly Review is a well-respected, prestigious and acclaimed online literary magazine. We receive hundreds of manuscripts for each issue. We take great care in meticulously combing through every submission. We thank you for your patience, as well as your interest in this fine institution.

Cheers,
Charles Roberts III
Editor In Chief
Purple Prose Quarterly Review
Great Britain

Email from Richard Heinz:

14 weeks. Capiche?

Ricky

Email to Richard Heinz - Re: Submission to Purple Prose Quarterly Review

Dear Mr. Heinz,

We thank you for considering Purple Prose Quarterly Review. Your story does not meet our current editorial needs, but we ask that you continue submitting your work. Cheers!

Post-Scriptum: Yes, that was our form letter. I have personally addressed your submission, knowing that yours required immediate attention. It is a pity, though, that I did not personally read your story.

Post, Post-Scriptum: Listen. I am damn proud of what I've created here. You are on my turf now, my American friend, so I am the bully. I am God, even. Good luck with your future writing endeavours.

Charly The Turd

Email from Richard Heinz - A New Submission

Oh, My Dog!
A One-Act Play

By Richard Heinz

 

PLAYERS

Charly -- Charly wears thick, black-rimmed glasses and his hair is disheveled and his scalp balding.

Charly has a serious demeanor, is forever fidgeting, and appears to be on edge.

Dog -- Unless we can find a well trained, speaking dog, it will be played by a very short American in costume. He should be easy to find.

The dog belongs to Charly. His name is Dog, and is a no-nonsense meat and potato kind of dog, yet is somewhat a wise old fart.

The Turd -- Fortunately, this excrement only has a speaking part, so no actor is needed to play this role.

The turd sounds cheerful, and thankful to be alive. It has a British accent.

 

ACT: I

SCENE: I

On center-stage is a living room with regular, living room furniture. There is a sofa, a loveseat, a coffee table, and there is also an upright piano with piano bench that stands right-front. On stage-left is a tree, which stands outside. Perhaps a few clouds or other 'outsidy' props can be used for emphasis.

The stage is dark, and when the play starts, a spotlight shines on the living room. Charly is sitting on the piano bench. He is bent forward, his head resting on the piano keys, and he is snoring. The dog appears from stage right, walks up to the piano bench and sits.

Charly:
(he is crouched on the piano keys, snoring loudly)

Dog:
Hey, Charly! You look like shit, man!

Charly:
(he sits up in a start, stares to the left, then into the audience, then back at Dog) Oh, my Dog--I'm glad you're here--I'm a wreck! I've spent the whole night arguing with the furniture.

Dog:
You're losing it, man. Furniture can't talk.

Charly:
The sofa kept quoting some Russian nihilist, and saying stuff like our whole world is a sham, and our social, political and economic institutions will be destroyed. And the coffee table was animated as it quoted Kierkegaard saying, 'Bullshit, bullshit, yeah it's all a hoax, but we are free to believe and act as we please, and right now I want a chocolate latte.' And the piano was no help. It kept egging them on, saying, 'Oh, I exist. Pull my finger, come on, I dare you!' I mean, Dog, it was awful! I couldn't get a chord in edgewise!

Dog:
Charly, you worry too much, and it's time for my morning leak.

Charly:
Man's best friend, eh? You never have answers.

Dog:
Nope. But that's because we don't have the same questions. I really gotta go. (Dog lifts his rear leg, feigning to pee against the piano stool.)

Charly:
All right! (Charly rises and they both walk to the door--stage-left.)

THE SPOTLIGHT GOES OFF BRIEFLY, AND WHEN IT'S TURNED ON AGAIN IT SHINES ON STAGE LEFT, WHERE DOG IS URNINATING AGAINST THE TREE OUTSIDE.

Dog:
(we hear a stream of water hitting the tree) Aaaaah, yes. Charly, if you're looking for enlightenment, give this a try, man.

Charly:
(Charly looks around in a pensive manner, then walks beside Dog, his back to the audience. We hear a zipper lower, then another stream of water hitting the tree.) Aaaaah. This is nice, but I wouldn't call it enlightenment. I mean, Dog, it's just a piss.

Dog:
(they finish their job, then turn and face the house) Just put this in your diary, Charly. And later, build your own balance sheet. (they walk toward the house and the stage goes dark)

WHEN THE SPOTLIGHT IS BACK ON, THE LIVING ROOM IS NO LONGER, AND CENTER STAGE HAS BECOME CHARLY'S WASHROOM. HE IS SITTING ON THE TOILET, HIS PANTS ROLLED DOWN TO HIS ANKLES.

Charly:
Aaaah, yes. Dog may be onto something.

The Turd:
Hello, up there!

Charly:
(he rises and quickly raises his pants, then turns and looks down into the toilet bowl)

The Turd:
Thank you, thank you! You are my creator, oh omnipotent one. (pause) Are you--God?

Charly:
(he removes his glasses with one hand, rubs his eyes with the other, then replaces his glasses) Dog! Get in here!

Dog:
(he walks in from stage right--I know, there's no door there, but that's okay, chill out man--and sits beside the toilet) What's happening, dude?

Charly:
Look! (Charly points into the toilet bowl)

Dog:
(Dog looks into the toilet, turns and feigns burying his own stool while scratching at the floor with his hind leg. He then turns, raises a paw, and flushes the toilet.)

Charly:
Oh, my Dog! What are you doing!

Dog:
Lesson number two. Creating something unique is also a buzz. There's plenty more where that came from. Keep doing it, but don't get hung up on the crap you create.

BLACKOUT, PAUSE, THEN WE HEAR THE TOILET FLUSHING AGAIN.

THE END

Email to Richard Heinz:

Dear Contributors,

Purple Prose Quarterly Review no longer accepts online submissions. They will also favour works submitted within Great Britain.

Cheers,
The Staff

 
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