The Workshop


INT. CAFE. NIGHT
It is like the small cafe found inside your local bookstore. Artwork hangs from the walls. STUDENTS work on their laptops.

A small group of WRITERS sit around a long table composed of three or four smaller tables. There are five WRITERS in total.

ERIC - early twenties - is rather good-looking and clean-cut.

BRENDA - late 30s - looks overtired, shy and insecure.

RAY - late 40s - is balding and has a high blood pressure. He looks like he has something stuck up his ass.

FRANK - early 40s - is quiet and creepy. His hair has oil in it and is parted to the side.

LINDA - early 50s - looks like your typical middle-class mother who also might be a professor at a university. She is the moderator of the group.

LINDA
(sipping a coffee)
Well...it's nice to see you all again. Glad you could make it back. Was everybody able to get some writing done this week?

The WRITERS nod their heads.

LINDA (CONT'D)
Great, so I think what we'll do is just go around the table, have everyone read what they have so far and then we can provide comments and feedback. K?

The WRITERS nod.

LINDA (CONT'D)
Ok, so who wants to start?

The WRITERS eyeball each other.

ERIC
(nervously raising his hand)
I...I will.

LINDA gives him a warm smile.

LINDA
Eric. Great.

ERIC passes out copies of his story to everybody at the table.

ERIC
Ok...

He clears his throat and starts reading.

ERIC (CONT'D)
(reading)
Ever since he was five years old Tommy knew there was something different about him. He would go with his brother into the forest and look at his father's old Playboys. His brother seemed to get so excited by the photographs of breasts, asses and hairy vaginas, but Tommy never did. His brother said his penis would get so hard whenever he looked at these magazines but Tommy's never did. Was there something wrong with his penis? Why wouldn't it get stiff and throb like his brother's did?

ERIC and the WRITERS turn the page to the story - in unison.

ERIC (CONT'D)
(reading)
Tommy was confused. He wanted so bad to get hard when he looked at photographs of big-titted women, but he never did. It just wasn't happening. An explanation for this never came to him until a couple years later when he was at Basketball Camp. He was in the locker room and he saw his first glimpse of a cock with hair on it. Tommy was scared at first, but only minutes later he found himself having the urge to go back and have another glimpse of it. He pictured the cock in his head and suddenly began to get hard. "This is strange," he thought. "Why am I getting hard now? All those instances where I looked at tits and black asses and I never got hard. Why does my cock throb so much now?"

ERIC and the WRITERS turn to another page of the story.

ERIC (CONT'D)
(reading)
From that day forward, Tommy started to put two and two together. "Oh, no...I must be gay." And indeed he was. VERY Gay. Gayer than a gay-head. At first, Tommy was very angry at God. "Why'd you make me gay, God? Why couldn't you have chosen somebody else? I don't WANT to be gay!" And then he slipped into denial. "I'm not gay. I couldn't be gay. I like women! I like snatch!!!" He would try and try and try to trick himself into thinking he liked pussy more than cock, but the urges for a big fat juicy penis in his mouth got greater and greater. Not to mention his urge to have something stuck up his ass, such as a gerbil.

ERIC and the WRITERS turn their pages.

ERIC
(reading)
To this day, Tommy has yet to admit to anyone that he is gay. He is in a world of hell. Suicide often crosses his mind, but he's afraid of what lies beyond this life and awaits him in the next life, if anything.

ERIC looks up from his story.

ERIC
That's all I have right now.

LINDA looks up from the story and gives ERIC a warm smile.

LINDA
All right...thank you, Eric.
(to the other writers)
OK...comments anyone???

BRENDA raises her finger into the air.

BRENDA
Um...yeah...I kind of have a comment. I noticed that in one part you use the word 'they're', but mispell it t - h - e - i - r.

ERIC
Oh, good point, thank you.

He makes a note on the page with his red pen.

LINDA looks around the table.

LINDA
Anyone else?

Nobody has anything else to say.

LINDA (CONT'D)
Ok, great discussion. Who wants to be next?

RAY raises his hand.

RAY
I will...

LINDA gives RAY a warm smile.

LINDA
Great, Ray.

RAY passes around copies of his writing, clears his throat and pauses for a moment...

RAY
(reading)
"I know that bitch is having an affair," Bobby thought to himself as he searched his wife's emails. "I know she is. I know it!" Sure enough he found what he was looking for: a message from a man named Bret, notifying his wife that he knew of a nearby motel that charged by the hour. This was all the evidence Bobby needed to make the divorce go through and get full custody of his children. Finally he could kiss that bitch wife of his goodbye, after fifteen whole years of sheer hell. Or so he thought...

RAY and the WRITERS turn to the next page of the story.

RAY (CONT'D)
(reading)
Bobby's wife wasn't about to give her children up without a fight. "He's unemployed," she told the judge. "He's a bum!" It was all lies. Sure Bobby had been out of work for the past few years, but he was no slouch. He was trying hard to look for a job - sending out an average of ten resumes a day to various companies. But nobody hired him. The sluggish economy was to blame. He could potentially work at a place like Walmart or McDonald's, but he had a bad knee and working those types of jobs would aggr-

RAY notices a little typo.

RAY
Whoops.

He marks it with his red pen and continues reading.

RAY (CONT'D)
(reading)
...aggravate it. Besides, Bobby was using his free time to try his hand at writing. He attended a writer's workshop every Tuesday of the week at the local Barnes and Noble. In other words, it's not like he was at home all day, sitting on his ass watching Oprah and Dr. Phil. And whenever he did watch television he usually watched educational channels like the History and Discovery Channels. "Do bums watch that kind of television programming?! Do they?!" This was what he wanted to shout at his wife during the courtroom proceedings but his lawyer advised against it. Hell, his wife was probably fucking him too. Along with the judge. His wife loves to fuck everyone but her husband. Bobby didn't care, though. He just wanted custody of his children. But he didn't get it. The judge ruled in favor of the bitch, his wife, who now gets to have her cake and eat it too, while poor Bobby is left with nothing. Absolutely nothing, but the History channel and TV dinners, which tend to give him gas because they're not home-cooked.

RAY looks up from his story.

RAY
That's all I have for right now.

LINDA gives him a warm smile.

LINDA
Excellent, Ray.

She looks around the table.

LINDA (CONT'D)
Comments?

ERIC raises his finger in the air.

ERIC
Well, I noticed something...that the word 'aggravated' was misspelled. But you caught it as you were reading...so I don't have to point it out to you.

LINDA smiles.

LINDA
Anyone else?

The WRITERS have nothing else to say.

LINDA (CONT'D)
OK, moving on...who's next?

BRENDA raises her hand.

BRENDA
I'll go.

LINDA gives BRENDA a warm smile.

LINDA
Brenda. Great.

BRENDA hands out copies of her story to everybody in the group, clears her throat and starts to read.

BRENDA
(reading)
Of course Matilda wasn't proud of the fact that she had had five abortions by the age of twenty-three, but it happened and she learned to accept it. After all, it wasn't her fault that she was insecure and felt the need to have unprotected sex with multiple partners during the course of a given day. Doing so made herself feel loved.

BRENDA and the other WRITERS turn the page to the story.

BRENDA (CONT'D)
(reading)
Matilda's insecurity could be traced all the way back to her early childhood. When she was only four years old, Matilda was gang-raped by her father, brother, uncle and grandfather in the back of a red barn. This happened on several occasions, so often that she started to believe that the only way her family would love her was if she would put out and have sex with them whenever they told her to. And it wasn't just regular sex either. Whips and chains and handcuffs and whipped cream and anal beads were always commonplace whenever they wanted to rail her from behind...

LINDA interrupts her.

LINDA
Um, excuse me, Brenda.

BRENDA looks up from her story.

LINDA (CONT'D)
I don't know if I'm the only one here who's disturbed by this...but I see a lot of places that could use some commas.

BRENDA looks over her writing.

BRENDA
Oh, you're right.

She makes a few marks with her red pen.

BRENDA (CONT'D)
Thanks for pointing that out. I wouldn't have noticed, otherwise.

LINDA
You're welcome. But, please...continue. Sorry for interrupting.

BRENDA continues reading.

BRENDA
(reading)
So was it really fair for Matilda to blame herself for the abortions? Would she have needed to mask her insecurity with so much unprotected sex if her family hadn't gang-raped her and whored her out as a sex slave to her neighbors in return for a little cow's milk? Or maybe it was only fair to blame God, the very entity who was responsible for placing her in such a fucked-up family to begin with. "Thanks, God," said Matilda on last Thanksgiving Day. "Thanks for placing me in the womb of a mother who would either look the other way when my family was probing every orifice of my body or join in with them."

BRENDA and the WRITERS turn to the next page.

BRENDA (CONT'D)
(reading)
Matilda used to sometimes cry herself to sleep when she thought of all the babies she had no choice but to deny life to, but now she knows it's not her fault and continues to participate in mass orgies because she knows God wants her to. Otherwise he would have blessed her with another family and another life.

BRENDA looks up from her story.

BRENDA (CONT'D)
That's it.

LINDA smiles.

LINDA
Great, Brenda. That's some really good stuff there.

She looks around the table.

LINDA (CONT'D)
Comments?

RAY has one.

RAY
In one part here you spell it's - it is - i..t...s when it should be i...t...apostrophe...s.

BRENDA
Oh, yeah, you're right. I have a tendency to do that.

She marks up her story with a red pen.

LINDA turns to FRANK...whom hasn't said a word all night. She gives him a warm smile.

LINDA
OK, Frank...

FRANK looks up from the table. He looks nervous. Shy. Insecure.

LINDA (CONT'D)
...you're up.

FRANK nervously hands out copies of his story to everyone at the table, clears his throat and begins his story.

FRANK
(reading)
"Murdering somebody gives you the ultimate rush," Frank explained to his psychiatrist one stormy day in October not too long ago from now. "You see the fear in their eyes, knowing that in only seconds they will either be in heaven or hell or nowhere. It's the most intense moment they've ever experienced. And I actually get my jollies providing such an experience for them."

FRANK and the WRITERS turn to the next page of the story.

FRANK (CONT'D)
(reading)
Frank was seventeen when he first killed somebody. He was at a pool hall and somebody was trying to pick a fight with him. What would have normally been a harmless fist fight turned into a gruesome murder, one that would make Jack the Ripper blush. For once in his life, Frank felt like he was in control, like he didn't have to take shit from anyone. Ever since that night at the pool hall Frank knew he wanted to do a lot of killing and that's what he's done at least once a month for the past twenty years now. Sometimes he uses a machete or an axe or a chainsaw but usually it's too messy. The cleanest way to take somebody's life away is poisoning them with cyanide, but that's not very fun. This is why he oftentimes prefers to use his own two hands, so he can look in his victims' eyes as they slowly exit light and enter night.

FRANK and the WRITERS again turn to the next page of the story.

FRANK (CONT'D)
(reading)
The police never find the bodies because Frank has access to an incinerator that turns flesh and bones into dust in only minutes. The homicide detectives think they're pretty smart and that they'll solve the murders some day but Frank knows he's smarter. They'll never catch him. He covers his tracks far too well. Lately, Frank has been restless because he hasn't murdered anyone for at least a good month or so. He's been attending a writer's workshop at the local Barnes and Noble every Tuesday night, to satisfy his second passion in life: creative writing. But he also figures he could meet some new people there, one or two of which he could kill. Perhaps he'll follow one of them home one night and kill them with the most extreme violence and passion. Maybe they'll have a family and he'll kill them too. Only if he's lucky, though.

FRANK looks up from his story and smiles bashfully.

FRANK (CONT'D)
That's it.

LINDA smiles.

LINDA
Good job, Frank.

She looks around the table.

LINDA (CONT'D)
Comments?

RAY has one.

RAY
I thought it was very suspenseful and thrilling. Perhaps you could go into further detail about why poisoning someone isn't a fun way to murder.

FRANK
(with great enthusiasm)
Well, because they usually drop dead - just like that, ya see? It's better watching them gradually fall into an eternal slumber. Don't ya see?

RAY nods.

LINDA looks around the table.

LINDA
Anyone else? Comments for Frank???

ERIC
Yeah, just curious...is that a true story?

FRANK gives ERIC a cold stare.

FRANK
Yes. Yes it is.

ERIC
Oh. Cool.

LINDA looks around the table.

LINDA
Anybody else? No? Well, I guess that leaves me.

LINDA passes a copy of her story out to everybody at the table.

She takes a sip of her coffee and begins to read.

LINDA
(reading)
What a lot of people never knew about Janet was that she used to be a man...


THE END

 


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