The Met on the Corner
A script based on a short story
In 2013, I was studying for a degree in English. As part of this, I was required to write a short story and adapt it into a script.
The story was intended to be something that had not been done before. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find the original story but, with a few additions and changes for clarity, the script has stayed as true as possible to the story.
The Met on the Corner
Cast:(Modern day – 2013)
Mark – shy, hypnotherapist, smart
Rachael – spiritual, fit
Robbie – Mark’s brother, loud, scruffy
Medley – psychic medium, assertive
Harry - hypnotherapist
Doctor, Receptionist, Nurse(s)
(Late 19th Century)
Matthew – smart, placid
Samuel – rough, aggressive
Mary – Matthew’s sister, Samuel’s wife
Reuben, Jack – Mary and Samuel’s sons
Summer morning. Corner of a quiet street. Various buildings (shops, houses)
Mark enters SR (walking). Rachael enters SL (running, wearing headphones). They meet CS
Mark: Hello Rachael
Rachael: (smiling as she removes headphones) Good morning Mark
M: How was your holiday?
R:It was a nice break
M:Visiting friends in Milan this time, weren’t you?
R:You know I was. You’ve remembered more about me in the one year I’ve known you than anyone else has in my life!
M:(smiles shyly) Maybe you could tell me more about it tomorrow. I’ve got a client coming in this morning for smoking cessation hypnotherapy. I’d love a more interesting case sometimes.
R:(as she replaces headphones in ears) Bye then. See you tomorrow.
R jogs to exit SR. M exist SL.
Small café. Mark, CS, sits alone nursing a cup of coffee. Robbie bounds in from SR and notices his brother.
Robbie:Hey look! It’s my big bro’. What you doing here?
Mark:Hi Robbie. I was having a quiet lunch.
Robbie:You could look a bit more pleased to see us.
Mark:Sorry. Something on my mind.
Robbie:Something? Or someone? Marky’s got a girlfriend.
Mark:Stop it. Leave me alone.
Robbie:Oh, is it Rachael? Tell me about her. Go on. (Robbie sits next to Mark).
Mark: It’s nothing. Just… I’ve been worried about someone, a friend. I thought something might have happened to her.
Robbie:Yeah, she’s found a nice fella who’s took her off for a dirty weekend.
Mark:Robbie! That’s not funny.
Mark: I did think she could have moved, gone away, anything. She’s no reason to tell me, I just had a feeling.
Robbie:Oh that nonsense again. If you want to find her then do something. Having sixth sense feelings won’t do anything. What do you know about her?
Mark:That’s just it, Robbie, I don’t know. Yes, it is Rachael but I don’t really know anything about her.
Robbie:So you talk about this girl all the time but you don’t even know her last name?
Mark: No. I hadn’t really thought about it. I know she’s a fitness instructor and a tarot reader and that she likes bacon sandwiches for breakfast but it never occurred to me to find out her last name.
Robbie:Well, it’s gonna be hard to find her then, ain’t it.
Mark: You’re probably right. What chance to I have of finding her.
Robbie:(sarcastic) Maybe you need an omen.
Mark: (stands) I’ve got to get back to work (fumbles in pockets for change). Get yourself some lunch.
As Mark throws a handful of change on the table, a business card falls with it. Marks picks it up.
M:Of course, the church.
Late summer evening, half-open door to Gothic style church stands CS. Outside of church SL, a small street of houses. Inside church SR, Rows of pews, Medley and two others (Tilly and Jane) are adorning an altar with a purple cloth and various magical objects eg. Tarot cards, crystal ball, mirrors, candles, angels, crystals.
Mark enters SL and walks towards the church door holding the business card. He checks it as he stops in front of the church.
M:(reading the card to himself) Divine service with medium Medley, Sunday 7pm, Northford and District Spiritualist Church, Westborough Road, Northford
Mark walks up and peers through the open door. Jane notices him and walks towards him.
Jane:Hi. Are you here for the service? We don’t start for another hour.
M:Erm, no, I… well. I have a card (shows business card) which my friend gave to me. I thought I might find a lady here. A lady called Medley.
J:(turns head and shouts) Medley, for you. (Turns back to Mark) Come in.
Jane returns to adorning altar with Tilly as Medley and Mark approach each other.
Medley:Hi, I’m Medley (shakes Mark’s hand). How can I help you?
Mark:I’m not sure if you can. My friend is missing. At least I think she is. She gave me your card a while ago. She comes here sometimes.
Medley:(grinning) Oh, so you’re Mark? (Mark nods) She talks about you a lot. Now you come to mention it, we’ve not seen her for a while either. She usually attends a couple of my services every week. Why don’t you stay for the service and we can have a chat afterwards?
Inside the church. Altar is CS, decorated with purple cloth, tarot cards, candles, etc. Tilly and Jane sit at chairs either side of altar. Medley stands in front of it. 3 pews either side at an angle facing CS and audience. About a dozen people are sitting. It is the end of the service. Mark sits SR nearest to audience.
Medley:Thank you all for coming tonight. Now all that remains is to bid you all a good night.
As the congregation leave, Medley approaches Mark.
Medley:(sitting next to Mark as she begins) I have some information for you. I wanted to give it my full attention.
Medley watches as the last of the congregation leave. Tilly and Jane begin removing items from the altar.
Medley:(to Tilly and Jane) I’ll do that, girls. You get off. Thanks for your help.
Tilly and Jane:(in unison as they exit SL) Good night.
Medley:(closes eyes) I’ve asked the angels to help. They’re showing me a room. It’s really bright. Lots of lights. It’s peaceful and quiet but I sense people milling about. I can’t see a lot. Just the ceiling and part of a wall. It’s all very uniform. Very beige.
Mark:The hospital! I thought she might be there. I hoped she wouldn’t be but I couldn’t find out. Thank you.
‘Phone call. Doctor’s receptionist sits at a desk SL as a Doctor looks at charts USL. Medley and Mark stand SR. Receptionist and Mark are on the ‘phone.
Mark:Hello. I believe my friend may be there. Her name is Rachael but I don’t know her surname.
Receptionist:Sorry, we can only give information to family and we can’t discuss patients over the ‘phone.
Medley:(takes ‘phone from Mark) Could I speak to Doctor Jackson please? (to Mark) He’ll find a way around the red tape.
Receptionist:(to Doctor) It’s for you Mr. Jackson. (Hands over ‘phone and stands up). I’m due a break anyway.
Receptionist exists SL as Doctor sits down.
Doctor:Hello, this is Mr. Jackson.
Medley:Mr. Jackson? Since when?
Doctor:Since about 4 years ago.
Doctor:Oh, I remember, you spent all your time at medical college reading palms.
Medley:Yes, well, never mind about that. I need your help. As my friend here explained to your receptionist, we are looking for someone but we have limited information.
Doctor:I can’t discuss anything with you unless you’re family. Sorry.
Medley:She has no family here. If I give you a description, could you let me know if she’s there?
Mark and Medley Exeunt SR. Doctor exists SL
In the hospital. Receptionist sits at her desk SR. Doctor has a desk DSC. Doctor looks busy and walks between areas of the stage. A partition separates Doctor and Reception desks.
Lights up SR as Mark and Medley enter.
Medley:(to Receptionist) Hi there, we’re looking for a friend. We believe she is here.
Receptionist:What’s the name?
Medley:Her name is Rachael. We explained to the doctor –
Doctor:(having overheard the conversation) I thought I recognised your voice. Hello Medley. (to Receptionist) I’ll deal with this.
Doctor gestures for Mark and Medley to follow him. He leads them to his desk.
Doctor:Right, we do have a lady for whom we have not been able to contact anyone. (Sits at desk and thumbs through some notes). Tell me about your friend.
Medley:Rachael is tall and muscular. She could have been brought in any time in the past three weeks. She has long, dark brown hair –
Mark:- and she never goes anywhere without her iPod. It’s blue and silver with a pentagram transfer on the back.
Doctor:Well, that is very distinctive. Let me have a look (looks again through notes). Ah, yes, there was a music player of that description. Come with me.
Lights down. Exeunt SL.
Rachael is lying on hospital bed CS with life support machine on. There is a small table next to the bed with a jug of water and a beaker. Rachael begins to stir as Doctor, Medley and Mark enter SR.
Doctor:Is this your friend?
Mark:(very emotional) Rachael!
Mark rushes to Rachael’s bedside. Doctor and Medley follow slowly, keeping a little distance.
Mark:(to Doctor) What happened? Is she going to be OK? Do you know what happened?
Doctor:She was brought in from a hit and run. We had an anonymous call for an ambulance and that’s all we know. We are hopeful that she will make a full recovery. She’s been in a coma for a week but…
Everyone stops, shocked when Rachael opens her eyes. Doctor checks her vital signs and equipment.
Rachael:(groggy) Mark. What are you doing here?
Mark:I was worried about you. Medley helped me to find you. How are you feeling?
Rachael:(slowly, struggling for breath) I’m OK. A little thirsty.
Mark looks at Doctor.
Doctor:(Pours a cup of water and hands it to Mark) Hold her head up a little and you can give her a sip.
Rachael:(takes a sip of water) Thank you. What was I saying? Oh I had a dream. It was strange. I had two children called Reuben and Jack. My name was Mary Joyce. It’s a recurring dream. I’ve been having it since we first met but it’s been more vivid since I’ve been here. It seems very old fashioned. I’m wearing a white apron and I’m taking in washing for an old man.
Mark:I’ve been having the same dream. Not as vivid and the details were a little different but the same characters and the same scene.
Rachael:At the end of the dream, every time, there was a hand reaching out through something. I would describe the ‘something’ as a halo of light but it definitely had the texture of water and there were perfectly circular ripples around it. I don’t know if it was reaching out to pull me towards him or to push me away.
I wonder if these people are real and what happened to them. I’m always hearing of unresolved mysteries that turn into ghost stories. (half joking) You said you wanted something more interesting than smoking cessation, perhaps you could have a go at past life regression.
Stage is divided into two parts. Mark lies on a chaise longue SR as his colleague, Harry, has him under a hypnotic trance. Harry stands over him. SL Mary, Matthew, Reuben and Jack are still while lights down SL, up SR.
Harry:Tell me, who are you? Where are you?
Mark:My name is Matthew Joyce. I have a sister, Mary. Married someone with the same surname so she didn’t have to change hers. The year is 1898.
Lights fade on SL. Up SR. Joyce family are saying goodbye.
Matthew:See you tomorrow then?
Mary:If we must. (to Reuben and Jack) Now be off with you. You’re Uncle’s got work to do. Or so he says.
Reuben and Jack shake hands with Matthew. Mary kisses him on the cheek. Reuben, Jack, Mary exeunt SL as Samuel enters.
Matthew:How do old chap.
Samuel:Hello Matthew. Here again?
Matthew:I don’t get to see my sis and the boys so often now I’m planning a family of my own.
Samuel:Yes. We’ve still not met this mysterious woman of yours.
Matthew:You will, in time. Of course, no-one could ever be as wonderful as my favourite sister.
Samuel:I don’t know about that.
Matthew:I saw the bruises you gave her.
Samuel:She deserved them.
Matthew:I’m sure she didn’t and the rest of the family won’t be best pleased about it.
Samuel:(coming up close to Matthew) You needn’t think you’re going to tell them anything.
Samuel grabs Matthew by the collar. They struggle until Matthew turns blue and passes out. Samuel drags Matthew off stage where there is a splash as lights up on Mark who wakes with a start.