SETTING: A hallway. Late evening.
AT RISE: A young man, HUNTER, stands centre. He is in distress and he is holding a phone in his hand. Two doors stand on either side of him. He is dressed in suit trousers but is shirtless with a housecoat around him.
[Knocks on the left door.]
Lloyd? Lloyd? Wake up. It’s my da.
[Speaking into the telephone.]
A heart attack? Where did you find him?
[Knocks on the left door again.]
Lloyd!? Wake up, will you?
[Speaking to the phone again.]
He’s not been right for a while. He had a heart attack just last year. He was told to take it easy. He must have been busting his nut again.
[He bangs on the left door with more force.]
[He snaps at his younger brother but when he returns to the phone his voice softens again.]
Grazi. I appreciate you calling. I’m just letting my little brother know. Did he suffer?
[Listens for the callers reply.]
Well, that’s something at least. He had said when I was last at the villa that he was thinking of coming over to the city. I told him it wasn’t worth risking the travel but I guess he wanted to check up on me. Doesn’t matter now, does it?
[He listens as the caller delivers him more information.]
I’d have to ask my ma. She’d know better what he wanted. I think he’d want to stay where he is but all his family are over here so I don’t really know.
[Knocks on the left door again with more force.]
Lloyd will you get out your pit? My da’s dead.
[Speaking to the caller in a softer voice.]
You’re lucky you caught any of us. I heard the phone though. When the phone rings at this time it’s rarely good news, is it? My whole body is still shaking.
Sorry. It’s just it wasn’t what I was expecting. He has been sick for a while though. Did I tell you he had a heart attack just last year? Yeah, he had the warning signs. The doctor told him it was a warning. He said he wouldn’t be so lucky next time and I guess he was right.
[HUNTER knocks on the second door.]
Ma? Ma!? You’re going to need to get up. It’s my da.
[Speaking to the caller again.]
I’ll let you go. I know it’s early. You were a darlin’ for calling. Grazi. Grazi. We’ll make the arrangements. We’ll get over to you as soon as we can.
[Finally hanging up the phone HUNTER gives a gasp. Emotion builds in him as he comprehends what he has just been told. He knocks on the right door again with a desperate hand.]
Ma! I need you out here. It’s my da. Come on, where are you? Wake up!
[HUNTER settles between the two doors putting the phone away. He steps forward as the two doors are placed in shadow and the focus takes centre stage. HUNTER addresses the audience.]
He was a tough man, my father. Some say he could be cruel but he just had a way he liked things to be done. He was really particular. As his first-born son he made it his life to make sure I was just like him. That’s where my little brother Lloyd was different. He could do whatever he wanted. We’re the Walden family, purveyors of the finest wine in the city. We’re known for our full-bodied merlot. Over on our vineyards is where my da died. A maid had gone into our villa to clean and there she found him by the pool. He must have been lying there all night. The maid said he was as stiff as a board.
What worries me is now all of this is on my shoulders. Lloyd won’t care but I have to make sure our family business carries on. Now the vineyards and the warehouses will all be looking to me to tell them where to go. My da was always in the background to keep me right. He never really trusted me; you see. He has to now though, doesn’t he? He has no choice. Better to trust me than my baby brother. Lloyd would rather piss our family name away, filling his nose with powder and taking whatever girl throws herself at him. That’s not the life for me. I just wanted things simple. I just wanted to live.
[Knocking on the right door HUNTER starts to become distressed again. He is trying to cover it but it is bubbling to the surface.]
Ma!? Are you awake? I really need you out here.
[Turning to the audience again HUNTER continues.]
My da would be nowhere without my ma. She made his wine what it is and she made him who he was. She took the wine and made it the most sought after. The people liked her. They wanted to deal with her. My da was a horrible bastard but my ma? She could make friends with just about anybody. It doesn’t matter how they were, I suppose. It’s all up to me now …
[Knocks on both doors. First the right and then the left.]
Will someone come out here and help me!?
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