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Welcome to the Henhouse

[Playwright and Maid are on-stage. Playwright is seated at a desk.]

Playwright Act 1, scene 1. Lights up on the Lobby of the old Hotel. [scribbles on note-pad as he narrates] It's a ... dark and stormy night! Yeah, That's good! The maid is on-stage, dusting the furniture with a feather duster. She says... [continues to write as the scene unfolds]

Maid My goodness, all this rain. [Thunder cracks] We haven't seen a storm like this in a long time, but I guess they do come around once in awhile. You know, I've been around this Hotel five and a half years now, and I've seen my share of storms come through. But I haven't seen anything like all these strange people who've been showing up at the Hotel lately. Let's see. Last night, that shady looking man showed up with his wife. I don't know much about them yet -- haven't been able to get in to "clean" their room. [Enter Villain, pushing Damsel, with a set of railroad tracks tied to her back. She collapses onto a couch.]

Damsel Aieeeeeeee!!!!

Villain Scream all you want! You're not getting off those tracks until I get the deed to your father's land!

Maid [Looks on disdainfully. Aside] You know, he's probably just going to leave that there. [Back to the audience] Anyway, today, Mr. Hero showed up, flying all over the place [Enter Hero, majestically] with his friend, who just seems to follow him everywhere. [Sidekick enters. Loner can be seen slinking about the sides of the stage.]

Hero Step away from that Damsel, knave!

Sidekick You'd better do what he says! The last villain we tangled with fell of a cliff!

Maid [Referencing Loner] I don't know much about him. He doesn't seem to be on the register, doesn't have a room or anything. Well, not as far as I can tell. I've seen everyone from star-crossed lovers to desperate southern women in my time here, and something's going to happen with this lot. Something's going on here for sure, I can tell you that much! [Loner takes out a cigarette. Playwright yawns and falls asleep.] [pause]

Maid Did he fall asleep?! He did! He fell asleep!

[Frantic behavior ensues as all the characters begin speaking at once]

Hero He can't fall asleep! I've got to save this girl.

Sidekick Yeah. We're working here!

Maid This is all my fault! If I hadn't been so boring, he wouldn't have fallen asleep, and we'd be on our way to the ending. Now what are we going to do?!

Damsel Aieeeeee! Save me!

Hero Yes, yes.

Villain I went to all this trouble, tying her to the tracks, making sure the knots weren't too tight, and now this!

Loner [Looks disgustedly at the cigarette, which he has just lit.] I don't smoke! Why's he got me smoking?! He should know I don't smoke!

Hero [Snatches the cigarette from Loner's hand and begins periodically taking deep drags.] Well I do. [Addresses Maid.] What are you going to do about this?

Sidekick Yeah, what are you going to do about this?

Loner And what exactly am I doing here anyhow? I don't know. [Addresses Maid] How am I supposed to find out what I'm doing here if he's sleeping?!

Hero Excuse me. Could you do something here? If I save this damsel, and nobody's here to write it down, then what's the point?

Maid Look -- why don't you just untie her now?

Hero Untie her now? If this were a story, sure, but this is nothing! The writer fell asleep!

Villain I really hope this won't reflect badly on me in the future. It's not my fault he fell asleep. [To Maid] Can't you do something?!

[The characters continue their complaints, assailing Maid, louder and louder]

Maid SHUT UP!!! [All snap quiet.] Thank you! He's fallen asleep, and there's nothing we can do about it. We'll just have to wait, and maybe he'll wake up soon. [All stare at Playwright for about 3 seconds.] Okay, never mind. We'll think of something else.

Hero [To himself] Not as if it really matters anyhow. This play is the worst piece of drivel I've ever been in.

Maid That's it! I've got an idea!

All WHAT?!

Maid We'll all just behave normally and finish the play ourselves.

Loner Can we do that? Is that allowed?

All [To Loner] YES!!!