Issue #13


A: I know you did it.
B: I did not. You don’t even know what it is you are accusing me of.
A: Yes I do.
B: No you don’t. I defy you to rationalise your logic.
A: I love to rationalise all things.
B: I think you have a warped perspective of your own worth.
A: My favourite thing to rationalise is pie charts.
B: You’ve never come into contact with a pie chart.
A: Yes I have. I use pie charts all the time. In fact, I’m thinking of one right now. Guess which one.
B: (the sound of thinking) The correlation between sportsperson’s earnings in relation to how likely they are to get away with rape or attempted rape?
A: No. But you were so close.
B: Oh was I?
A: Yes, you were.
B: I always am, but I never get first place. I’m not really a person who wins. I’ve never got a prize on a tombola and I’ve certainly never called full house at bingo.
A: I’m a really lucky person. I got five numbers on the lottery once.
B: What did you spend the money on?
A: I got myself a tombstone.
B: How lovely. What model? It’s so hard to choose the right one, isn’t it?
A: It’s one of those shiny marble slabs and it’s got a barn owl in the centre. I think everyone is really jealous of it.
B: I hate owls. They can kill a person, you know.
A: You’ve been listening to too many podcasts.
B: I haven’t listened to any podcasts in fifteen years.
A: (cross) Bullshit. I hear you listening to them all the time.
B: That’s your tinnitus.
A: Is that the one where you can’t stop eating?
B: No. It’s the one with the ringing in your ears.
A: I don’t have any ears.
B: Do you not? I’ve still got mine.
A: I lost mine last year after that really bad frost.
B: Oh yes that was awful, wasn’t it? Ester at the bottom gate lost all the skin from her arms.
A: (shocked and sad) But Ester was so pretty.
B: Well, she’s not anymore. Her suitors have dwindled somewhat. She’s very upset about the prospect of being unattractive.
A: You can’t be beautiful forever; that’s not how it works around here. And you know what it’s like. There’s always a flock of interest when a new one moves in. Ester’s not fresh meat on campus anymore.
B: Well of course not; she’s got no arms.

A pause occurs for an indeterminate period.
It could be a minute, hour or lifetime.

A: Are you sure you didn’t do it?
B: For heaven’s sake, how many times do I have to tell you? I didn’t do it!
A: (pause) I know you probably didn’t. I just like being reassured. It’s a very comforting feeling.
B: (sighing) Do you want me to tell you?
A: Yes, please.
B: But you never remember.
A: This time I promise I will.
B: It was a motorbike accident.
A: (incredulous) A motorbike accident? I don’t even like motorbikes.
B: (patiently) You did. You liked them very much. We used to talk about them a lot when you first got here.
A: But motorbikes are so dangerous.
B: Apparently when you were alive you didn’t seem to think so.
A: (fascinated) How curious.

Another pause

A: The worms are eating my brain aren’t they?
B: Most likely. I don’t think your coffin was closed properly.
A: That will be Sarah, she always liked cutting corners. My pillow is horrible in here.
B: She came to see you a couple of weeks ago. She brought her current husband by the sound of it.
A: Oh yes. I think he’s a quantity surveyor. Nice guy.
B: I didn’t like the way he was dismissive of your owl.
A: People are entitled to their opinions. Not everyone can like owls.
B: I got the impression he would have criticised whatever was on there. Be it owls or any other member of the animal kingdom.


A: What do you think happens after here?
B: I don’t follow.
A: Do you think we’ve got anywhere left to go? Or is this it?
B: I don’t think we are supposed to ask these kind of questions. Questions never solve anything. They only lead to more questions.
A: I wish I had asked to be cremated.
B: Why?
A: Because I would have asked to be thrown into the ocean and gone on adventures.
B: You might have got eaten by a fish.
A: It’s better than being stuck here waiting for a second death.
B: You are very negative today.
A: (gloomily) Yes, I think I might be depressed.
B: You should see a doctor.
A: I might. Do you think they will give me drugs?
B: Probably, I know Bert next to the fountain gets pills for his Parkinson’s.
A: I don’t like Bert.
B: Now you are just being cruel.
A: I don’t like him because he laughs at people that haven’t been buried in a suit. That’s cruel.
B: He’s just of a different era. Things were more formal back then.
A: I heard he had intimate liaisons with the KGB.
B: From who?
A: His next door neighbour. She said he always has some really shifty-looking visitors on his anniversary and one of them carries a gun.
B: Who’s his neighbour?
A: Delia. You know, the one with the eye.
B: Delia hasn’t uttered a grain of truth in twenty years. She’d be the one with the spy ring, not Bert.
A: My world’s been turned upside down. I don’t know what to believe anymore. My head hurts.
B: (softly) Why don’t you go to bed? It’s getting late.
A: How do you know?
B: I’ve just got a feeling it’s late in the day. That’s all.

Rebecca Sandeman