PLAYHOUSE OF THE DAMNED

"A Lady Of The Night"

                                    by Richard Nathan 

The spotlight is up on GUS while the set for the next story is prepared.  The one takes place in a tawdry little hotel room in a big city.  The only major piece of furniture required is a rumbled bed.

 

                                                            GUS
                                    You know, money can't buy love.  On the 
                                    other hand, love can't buy you a ticket to 
                                    "The Playhouse Of The Damned."  Our next 
                                    story is about a man in search of love, and 
                                    what happens when the girl of his dreams 
                                    turns out to be the girl of his screams.  It's 
                                    called "A Lady Of The Night."

 

Gus exits and the spotlight goes out.  The lights come up on the hotel room.  Enter LAMIA followed by the man she has just picked up in a bar, HERMAN.  Lamia is very sensual, in a deranged sort of way.  Herman is a nerd.  

 

                                                            LAMIA
                                    I'm sorry my lodgings aren't more elegant.  
                                   
It's just a place to hang my hat, or it would 
                                    be if I had a hat.  But I won't be staying here 
                                    long.  I move around a lot.  I have to.  The 
                                    police are so small-minded.

 

                                                            HERMAN
                                    It's not so bad.

                                                            LAMIA
                                    Don't lie to me.  Would you like a drink?  

 

                                                            HERMAN  
                                    No, thank you.  I already had more than 
                                    I'm used to at the bar.  But you go right 
                                    ahead.  

 

                                                            LAMIA
                                    I'll let you in on a little secret.  I never 
                                    drink anything alcoholic.  That's not why 
                                    I go to bars.

 

Lamia sits on the edge of the bed and makes eyes at Herman.  

 

                                                            LAMIA
                                    What's your name?

 

                                                            HERMAN  
                                    Herman.  What's yours?  

 

                                                            LAMIA
                                    Lamia.  Now, why don't we get better 
                                    acquainted.  Come, sit beside me.  I'm not 
                                    going to hurt you.  Not unless you want me 
                                    to.

 

Herman shyly keeps his distance.

 

                                                            HERMAN
                                    Lamia.  That's an unusual name.

 

                                                            LAMIA
                                    It's from a poem by John Keats.  Lamia took 
                                    the form of a woman, but she was really a 
                                    serpent.

 

As Lamia quotes from the poem, she slithers over to Herman.

 

                                                            LAMIA
                                    "Her head was a serpent, but ah, bitter sweet.  
                                   
She had a woman's mouth with all its pearls 
                                    complete:  And for her eyes what could 
                                    such eyes do there, but weep, and weep, 
                                    that they were born so fair."  I don't know 
                                    why I was given that name.  You don't think 
                                    I'm a serpent, do you?  

 

                                                            HERMAN  
                                    Why did you invite me to come up here?  

 

                                                            LAMIA
                                    Because I like you.  

 

                                                            HERMAN
                                    You don't expect me to believe that, do you?

 

                                                            LAMIA
                                    I never lie, Herman.  

 

                                                            HERMAN
                                    But women don't like me!  They don't. 
                                    don't know why.  There must be something 
                                    wrong with me.

 

LAMIA

There's nothing wrong with you.  Nothing a little time with me won't cure.

 

HERMAN

What do you mean?

 

LAMIA

You're innocent, Herman.  Most women don't like that, but I'm very attracted to innocence.  I like to corrupt it.

 

HERMAN

Is that all you want from me?  My innocence.

 

LAMIA

Well, that and maybe one other little thing.

 

HERMAN

What's that?

 

LAMIA

Your blood.  I need your blood, Herman.  I'm a vampire.

 

HERMAN

Okay, I'm going home now.

 

He heads for the door.

 

LAMIA

Stop!

 

Herman stops, but looks away from her.

 

HERMAN

If you decided you didn't like me, you could have just said so.  You didn't have to make fun of me.

 

LAMIA

I'm not making fun.  I really am a vampire.  I survive by drinking human blood.  Really.

 

HERMAN

I just remembered.  I have to get up very early tomorrow morning....

 

LAMIA

Don't go until you hear what I have to say.  It won't take long.  Will you trust me?

 

HERMAN

I have a hard time trusting crazy people.

 

LAMIA

I'm not crazy.  Look at my teeth.

 

She shows him her fangs. 

 

HERMAN

Okay, so you've got a kinky dentist!  So what?

 

She goes over to the bed and picks up her purse.  She opens it, and takes out a small mirror, which she hands to Herman.

 

LAMIA

Look in this mirror.  Try to find my reflection.  You won't be able to, because vampires don't cast reflections.

 

Herman looks in the mirror and tries to find Lamia's reflection.  It isn't there.

 

HERMAN

How do you do that?

 

LAMIA

It's very simple.  First you let a vampire drink your blood for three nights in a row.  On the third night, you die.  Then the next night you come back as a vampire, and you never cast a reflection ever again.

 

HERMAN

This is a trick mirror, right?

 

LAMIA

What's more, you become incredibly sensual.  The opposite sex won't be able to resist you.  Think of it Herman.  You can attract any woman you choose.

 

HERMAN

Any woman I choose to make love to me?

 

LAMIA

No, Herman.  Something better than love.

 

HERMAN

Better than love?

 

LAMIA

More intimate.  More personal.  Why don't you let me show you?

 

She takes his face in her hands and looks into his eyes.

 

HERMAN

Your skin is cold.

 

LAMIA

Does that really matter?

 

HERMAN

I don't want to die.

 

LAMIA

You don't have to.  You won't die unless you decide to spend three nights with me.  You can let me drink your blood tonight, and if you don't like it, you don't ever have to come back.  It's your choice.

 

HERMAN

I don't have a choice.  I've never had any woman interested in me before.

 

LAMIA

You don't ever have to feel that pain ever again. 

 

She leads him over to her bed and makes him lie down.

 

HERMAN

Will it hurt?

 

LAMIA

Exquisitely.

 

She bites him in the neck.  As she sucks his blood, Gus the Ghoul enters.  As he speaks, the lights go down on Herman and Lamia, leaving Gus alone in a spotlight.

 

GUS

Poor Herman.  He's really dying to get a woman interested in him.  When he came to Lamia's room, he had no idea of the kind of necking he was in for.  But Lamia didn't lie to him.  In fact, she was extremely toothful.  He didn't die that night.  But he couldn't help coming back the next night.  Let's see if he can stay away the third night.

 

The spotlight goes out as Gus exits.  The lights come up to reveal Lamia alone in her hotel room.  She paces, wondering where Herman is.  Then, after a moment, Herman comes in- but he's changed.  He's lost the nerdiness, and replaced it with a confidence that's very attractive.

 

LAMIA

You're late this evening.

 

HERMAN

Sorry.  I was attempting to write my will.  But I couldn't think of anyone I wanted to leave anything to.

 

LAMIA

I thought maybe you'd decided not to come.

 

HERMAN

I considered it, briefly.  But I thought about you, waiting for me, and I didn't want to disappoint you.

 

LAMIA

Are you willing to die for me?

 

HERMAN

No.  Not just you.  If it were only you, I might have been able to stay away.  But I thought of all the other women who are going to let me hold them in my arms.  All the women who will want me.

 

LAMIA

I warn you, Herman.  This is your last chance.  I'll kill you if you stay with me tonight.

 

HERMAN

I know.

   

LAMIA

You'll never see the sun again.

 

HERMAN

With all the nights like this before me, how could I possibly miss the sun?

 

LAMIA

You're sweet.  I'm going to miss you.

 

HERMAN

Miss me?

 

LAMIA

I'm moving out tonight, as soon as you're dead.  It's best not to stay in one place too long.  But you won't want to see me anyway.  When you wake up transformed, your thirst for warm blood will be overpowering.

 

HERMAN

And will I have any trouble quenching that thirst.

 

LAMIA

No trouble at all.  But you know that already, don't you.  You know you're becoming more attractive.  Women smile at you now, don't they?  You can leave now, live, and those women will still find you attractive.

 

HERMAN

They aren't enough.  I want all women to find me attractive.  I wish I'd become a vampire years ago!

 

LAMIA

Then come to me!  You've kept me waiting long enough.

 

She sits on the edge of the bed and holds out her arms to him.  Herman goes to her and she bites his neck.  The lights fade out, and a spotlight picks up Gus the Ghoul.

 

GUS

And so Herman died.  But that's not the end of our story.

 

We hear an off-stage voice from behind the door.

 

                                                            VOICE
                                                (off-stage)

Open up!

 

There is a pounding on the door.

 

GUS

As I was saying, that's not the end.  The next morning...

 

Gus is again interrupted by off-stage voices.

 

                                                            VOICE
                                                (off-stage)  

                                    The door's locked!

 

                                                            SECOND VOICE  
                                                (off-stage)

Then break it down!

 

Gus exits and the lights come up on the hotel room.  Herman lies dead on the bed, his throat a bloody mess.  Three VAMPIRE-HUNTERS break into the room.  One of them carries a black satchel.

 

FIRST VAMPIRE-HUNTER

She's gone!  She got away again.

 

SECOND VAMPIRE HUNTER

She left one of her victims!

 

THIRD VAMPIRE HUNTER

Looks like she just killed him.

 

FIRST VAMPIRE HUNTER

At least we're in time to save him from becoming one of them.

 

The Third Vampire-Hunter opens the satchel and takes out a wooden stake and a hammer.

 

SECOND VAMPIRE-HUNTER

Do you think she knew we were coming.

 

FIRST VAMPIRE-HUNTER

She couldn't have.

 

THIRD VAMPIRE-HUNTER

This one doesn't even have fangs yet.

 

FIRST VAMPIRE-HUNTER

He'll grow them tonight, unless we drive that stake through his heart.

 

THIRD VAMPIRE-HUNTER.

I'll never get used to doing this.

 

FIRST VAMPIRE-HUNTER

You're saving him from becoming a monster!  Believe me, if he could talk, he'd thank you.

 

The Third Vampire-Hunter places the stake over Herman's heart and prepares to drive it in.  The lights go out, and in the darkness we hear the HAMMERING.  A spotlight comes up on Gus the Ghoul.

 

GUS

Oh dear.  It looks like Herman's going to die of a broken heart.  But he should have known that you're playing for heavy stakes when you love a vampire.  That's because vampires love in vein!

 

 

THE END


 

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2000 by Richard Nathan.  All rights reserved

The author grants all internet uses to print these scripts for their own, personal, non-commercial use.  No other use may be made without the author's permission.  Without limiting the foregoing, the plays may not be staged without the author's express  permission.

Send e-mail to the author at Richard-Nathan@att.net.