A dark and absurd farce by

Armando Rotondi

Voice 1 (as ONE)
Voice 2 (as TWO)

The scene is completely dark. The audience cannot seen anything on the stage, but can only hear clearly the  two voices speaking. There are actions and sounds, because they are unnecessary and secondary compared to the dialogue. The scene can be performed both on a stage than in any other space, because anyway the audience will not see.

ONE    Are you dead?

TWO    Yes. (Pause)

ONE    And why do you speak?

TWO    Why?

ONE    You shouldn’t.

TWO    And who are you to say that?

ONE    One who is alive.

TWO    And so?

ONE    So I can speak.

TWO    I can speak too.

ONE    But you shouldn’t.

TWO    But I do.

ONE    Then, you are not dead. You are alive.

TWO    I am dead. I have told you. Don’t you trust me?

ONE    How can I? If you can talk and speak, you should be alive.

TWO    I am dead. I know it for sure. I killed myself. (Pause) Don’t you trust my word?

ONE    A word of a dead is difficult to trust.

TWO    You should. I killed myself because I was too sincere in my life.

ONE    Difficult to believe.

TWO    Why?

ONE    If you are lying in a so peculiar way, pretending you are dead.

TWO    But, I am. (Pause) I can swear on…

ONE       …your life.

TWO    No, I cannot.

ONE    Seen? I cannot trust you.

TWO     I don’t understand why you think that only because I am clearly dead you cannot trust me.

ONE    Because dead people do not talk nor speak.

TWO    Are you sure of that?

ONE     Sure.

TWO    Really?

ONE    One hundred percent.

TWO    Can I ask you something?

ONE     (cinical) Yes, alive-man-who-pretends-to-be-dead.

TWO    Do you know other dead people?

ONE    Yes.

TWO    (direct) Real dead?

ONE     (Pause, uncertain of the answer) Well… not really dead… I mean… I use to know them when they were alive… (cinical) when they were able to speak and we talk together… the they died and… that’s it… Stop… ending…

TWO    So, you knew them when they were alive… You do not know dead people after they died. I am right then.

ONE    (upset) Are you right in what?... Are you telling me that dead people can also reason and be right?

TWO    So do you agree that I speak?

ONE    Yes, because I can hear you and I reply to you. But I don’t think you are dead. You cannot!

TWO    Why?

ONE     (upset) Again! (Pause) Dead people do not speak. (Pause) They shouldn’t. (Pause) They absolutely cannot.

TWO    How do you know it?

ONE    I know!

TWO    But how? (Pause) Let’s think in a logical way. Let’s use the brain.

ONE    Your dead brain…

TWO    …and yours alive. (Pause) You have admitted you used to know only alive people. Is it true?

ONE    Yes.

TWO    So, if you have never met dead people, how can you say that they do not speak? Have you ever stopped a dead person in the street, asking him… I don’t know… simply “How are u?”

ONE    Dead people do not walk in the street.

TWO    And how they can run their business.

ONE     Dead people have not business.

TWO    Only because we do not breath, eat or drink, it doesn’t mean we do not have something to do.

ONE    You do not breath…

TWO    I am dead. It is my prerogative, not to breath.

ONE    And you do not eat.

TWO     Are you silly?... You say that “I starve to death”, not “after death”. I am not hungry, so I do not eat.

ONE    But you speak.

TWO    Of course. I told you. We have our thing to do, we have our death…

ONE    …life

TWO    …death. You have life. I have my death. (Pause) Anyway, you don’t know dead people. It means that you have no experience, no evidence, no data about the talkative quality of dead people. Alive people are so blind about truths most of the times.

ONE     (sarcastic) Usually dead people do not speak.

TWO    Oh! Finally! Usually! Exact! (Pause) Sometimes they speak, sometimes they don’t.

ONE      And who decides if they can or not?

TWO    They decide by their own.

ONE     So they also have will (Pause) After death…

TWO    Of course, they have. (Pause) I have decided to killed myself and died. Don’t you thing I can decide a simple thing like speaking with you?

ONE     I am confused.

TWO    You shouldn’t. (Pause) This is just a normal conversation. (Pause) Now we are almost friends. Next time, you will meet another dead, like me, and he will ask you “Do you know other dead people?”, you can surely say “Yes”.

ONE    (uncertain) I… I…I apologize. But I still do not trust you. It is hard to believe in your words.

TWO    Come on. It is so clear I am dead and I speak.

ONE    I will never believe you are dead.

TWO    (resolute) Ok, I have the solution. Do you want to try?

ONE     Try what?

TWO    To die and be dead.

ONE    And if I don’t succeed?

TWO    You will continue to stay alive.

ONE    And if I succeed.

TWO    You will die.

ONE    Forever?

TWO    Well yes, but we can continue talking. (Pause) Take the gun.

ONE    Which gun?

TWO    My gun. (Pause) How do you think I have killed myself?

ONE    Oh.

Two gives its gun to One.  Audience cannot see it, but can imagine according to the sounds.
A gunshot.

TWO    Are you dead?

ONE    Yes.

TWO    And so?

ONE     You were right. I can speak...

TWO     …and see.

Light on the scene. Finally the audience can see the two character.