Voyage of the Damned

Here is a short play I wrote for the 2009 summer blitz at the bartell theatre in Madison, WI.  The theme was “Malcom McDowell movies”, and we picked play titles out of a hat.  I got “Voyage of the Damned” as my pick, as well as 2 male and 2 female characters.  We were also supposed to have one character that would be portrayed by a “Mad Rolling Doll” roller derby skater.  Try to guess what role she got below… it isn’t difficult.  The whole experience was awesome, and they put on a great production.  Read it below, in its entirety.

The play opens on the recently married couple sorting things in their bedroom, unpacking for their long trip. They are on a small cruise.

Robert:

Well… this is nice isn’t it? (Pause)

You know, we saved a lot of money by going on one of these smaller cruises.

Robert:

Yeah, I have never heard of a cruise-and-breakfast before.

Captain Lord Bellswick comes in through the door.

Cpt. Bellswick:

Welcome aboard the good ship “Arthur Wimbley” I will be your cap’n.

Long pause, Robert acts if he is going to speak, Lord Bellswick cuts him off

Cpt. Bellswick:

Captine Miles Bellswick the 2nd at your service! Mr. Robert, I presume. And this loveley little scrumpet must be the fine Mrs. Cindy.

He bends down to kiss her on the hand his kiss is done in a very over the top odd manner that is creepy and somewhat sexual, she obliges, obviously creeped out.

Cindy:

P..pleased to meet you. Captain Bellswick.

Cpt. Bellswick:

The pleasure is all mine, I assure you! How have your accommodations been treating you so far?

Robert:

Everything has been great so far. My compliments to your wife on the fine dinner this evening.

Cpt. Bellswick:

Lady Bellswick takes great pride in her work, I am glad to hear you enjoyed the meal.

Cindy:

About what time will we be arriving at the Caribbean islands?

Cpt. Bellswick:

(Checks pocketwatch) Oh-ho look at the time… I must be going now, the ship won’t steer itself now won’t it?

Captain Bellswick exits the scene chuckling and shuts the door behind him. Robert and Cindy exchange a puzzled glance.

Cindy:

What was that about steering the ship? Who is steering when he is down here? He doesn’t seem to be spending much time being a “Captain.” I thought I saw him talking to himself earlier… it was weird.

Robert:

Don’t worry about it honey. A ship this big doesn’t need someone steering it all of the time out  on the open ocean. Besides I am sure he knows what he is doing.

Cindy:

You’re right, I am still stressed from the wedding. (Pause) I just can’t believe your brother came… he made such a mess at the reception..

Robert:

He’s a good guy, he just drinks too much. Give him a chance will you? He danced with your sister didn’t he? She seemed so lonely off by herself like that. That was nice of him wasn’t it?

Cindy:

Lindsey is 14 years old!!! After “dancing” He asked her if she wanted to come out back and take a sip from his “magical water bottle”

Robert:

Really? That’s crazy….

Cindy:

Yeah… I can’t believe he would…

Robert:

(Cutting her off) Lindsey is only 14? I wouldn’t have pegged her a year under 25.

Cindy:

Robert!!!!

Robert:

Sorry, you’re right, he was completely inappropriate, lets just forget about that and focus on our honeymoon. (Pause)… I love you…

Cindy:

I love you too….

There is a warm embrace, shortly afterwards Lady Bellswick enters through the door, walking in on the tender moment.

Lady Bellswick:

Oh my!! I am so sorry! I didn’t mean!!! (She is flustered, but soon a wry grin appears on her face) Oh… young lovers! You two get on with it! Enjoy your honeymoon! I know how it is. Oh Miles and I used to have a roaring time! But… he hasn’t been the same since the accident.

Robert:

What… accident?

Lady Bellswick:

Oh, Miles lost his eyesight in that horrible fire.

Cindy:

Fire?

Lady Bellswick:

It was our first bed and breakfast, the poor thing… (sad and distant) she never made it out of  her room…. (Back to her senses) But that is neither here nor there.… I will leave you two love-birds alone..

She leaves, with a wry grin on her face.

Robert:

It wasn’t what you think!!! (Yelling after her)

Cindy seems very distressed.

Cindy:

Blind?!! How can a blind man steer a ship? I knew this was a horrible idea! We should have just gone on a normal cruise… but you were too cheap for that.

Robert:

We didn’t have the money to do anything else, you know that. The Bellswick Bed and Breakfast cruise is all we could afford. This is better than sitting at home right?

Cindy:

At least we wouldn’t have had some blind old English pervert steering our house on a collision course with god knows what.…

Robert:

Pervert? Now that isn’t fair. British people are always like that. Haven’t you heard about that old British charm?

Cindy:

Whatever, Lets just get ready for bed.

Robert:

Wait… you are going to sleep? But… cmon.. it’s our honeymoon!

Cindy:

This is hardly romantic… besides I don’t want Capt. Ballsweat walking in on us.

Robert:

I believe it was “Bellswick”…. And Its not like he is going to see anything anyway.

Cindy:

Not Funny!

(She moves to get into the bed, Robert is visibly dejected, cock-blocked by an old British stereotype!! Just then a voice comes over the loudspeaker)

Cpt. Bellswick:

It looks like we are in for some rough seas ahead. Not to worry, and old salt like me has seen far worse in his day. The waves will be like a gently rocking cradle to lull you to sleep. Good ol’ Arthur can withstand nearly anything this ocean can throw at ‘im!

Robert:

See… we will be fine, the captain knows what he is doing. I am sure he has been through this plenty of times before.

(As soon as Robert finishes his line, the ship lurches hard to the left. Captain Bellswick is on the loudspeaker, he sounds slightly more panicked)

Cpt. Bellswick:

I have never seen the seas this rough before. (sounding unsure of himself) Arthur should be able to handle this no problem!

Cindy:

That’s it, we’re leaving!

Robert:

You’re imagining things Cindy, you’re tired, and I am tired. We’ve had a long day. Lets just go to bed and stop worrying about these little things. Just think, tomorrow we’ll be cruising in the sunny Caribbean, sitting on the deck enjoying an authentic British tea service.

Cindy:

Yeah, yeah… we’re both tired. Lets get some sleep.

The lights begin to flicker, and there is a mysterious moaning (the Devil’s Helper)

Cindy:

What was that? Now you are going to tell me that there is some certain British custom to switch the lights on and off and moan at your guests.

Robert:

Could be…

There is a knock at the door. It is Lady Bellswick. She enters.

Lady Bellswick:

Did you hear that too?

Robert:

(jokingly) The moaning? Is this something you do to all of your guests?

Lady Bellswick:

(Struggling to speak) … Yes and No.

Robert:

(Taken aback) What do you mean by that?

Lady Bellswick:

That’s… uh… Molly… she is the ship’s otherworldly tenant. She’s been haunting Miles and I since the… incident. We had hoped she wouldn’t follow us here. Every single bed and breakfast we have opened has been plagued by her hauntings. We figured she wouldn’t find us out on the ocean, so we started a cruise line… I guess we were mistaken.

Cindy:

Is this the same incident that blinded your husband.

Lady Bellswick nods gravely

Lady Bellswick:

It was our first place. Miles and I decided to open our home to guests once we had retired. Ever since our daughter moved away our house felt empty. Oh how we dreaded having an empty house… (Lady Bellswick is very choked up, almost too much). Then, one night, Miles and I must have left the stove on and the place went up in flames. Our house was old, and there were locks on the outside of all of the doors…. Molly didn’t make it out.

Cindy:

That’s horrible!

Lady Bellswick:

Her screams haunt me to this day.

A loud scream/moan pierces the silence.

Lady Bellswick:

(Cringing, she is obviously flustered) That’s the one.. She usually goes away after a bit, try and ignore her. I apologize profusely. Oh… what a horrible way to start a honeymoon.. I am so dreadfully sorry..

Robert and Cindy look sympathetic.

Robert:

That sounds just awful. (Trying to comfort her) It wasn’t your fault. We’ll just try and get some sleep. Just have us breakfast ready in the morning, and we can forget about the whole thing.

Lady Bellswick:

Thank you for being so kind. It has been so hard lately…. Miles is taking it the worst… She will probably stop by more this evening. (Deadly serious) If she stops by, don’t listen to a thing she says… she is full of lies.

Lady Bellswick promptly leaves the room.

Cindy:

That is just horrible. Getting burned alive like that? I couldn’t imagine.

Robert:

This couple sure gets into a lot of “incidents”. Suddenly I feel less safe traveling on these rough waters with an old drunken blind man at the helm.

The ship lurches again and the lights go out, when the lights are back up… the ghost is in the room!

Devil:

What did that old cunt tell you?

Robert and Cindy are doing their best to ignore her.

Devil:

Are you shits listening to me? HELLOOOO!!!!!

She lets out a horrible blood-curdling scream. Robert and Cindy visibly cringe.

Devil:

Alright, so you can hear me! (Long pause) Nothing? You want me to scream again? (She gets ready to scream)

Robert:

Wait!!! No!! No more… please.

Devil:

That’s what I fucking thought. So, what did that old bitch tell you? She go on about how there was a terrible accident? Something horrible happened to their lovely bed and breakfast? One of the guests tragically died and haunts them from time to time?

Cindy:

Yes… that’s pretty much it exactly.

Devil:

Ha!!! And you fell for it? The kindly old British couple that means no harm? What a bunch of fucking idiots you two are. It’s all an act, sure they seem kindly enough, but they would sell your soul over to the devil in a heartbeat.

Cindy:

What are you talking about?

Devil:

Do me a favor, smell the air…

Robert and Cindy sniff the air and cringe.

Devil:

That’s brimstone. (She smells the air deeply) God I love that smell.
Do me a favor and look out that window…. What do you see?

Robert:

(Surprised and scared) There is some sort of giant bloody dog thing swimming in an ocean of  blood. There are piles of..

Devil:

(Cutting him off) Writing bodies floating in the sea of the damned…. Cerberus treading across the horizon… blah blah…Do you see what I am getting at?

Robert:

What?

Devil:

Holy fuck! You must have been born yesterday. It is the ocean of the damned! (Robert and Cindy are puzzled) Satan’s soup? Beelzebub’s bathwater? Where the sinners drown in the blood of their own sin? Sheesh! For a couple of Satanists you sure don’t know much about your own religion.

Cindy:

We aren’t Satanists!!! Why would you think that?

Devil:

I don’t tend to find many gentiles floating in the ocean of the damned aboard the vessel of damnation.

Robert:

Ocean of the damned? What are you talking about?

Ghost:

Oh boy…. You are fucked… … Alright.. let me level with ya. You two seem nice enough. Right now, the old couple has brought you along as a sacrifice to their and my god the great dark lord Satan himself. The ship that you are currently in is now skirting the line between earth and the eternal hell beneath. The only way you are going to get out of this is to pull a switcheroo. Somebody is going to have to be sacrificed, and it is them or you.

Robert:

But they seemed so nice…

Devil:

Believe me, they have tried this crap plenty of times, every single time they have chicken-shitted out of the sacrifice everytime. That idiot managed to blind himself in the process.

Cindy:

Well…what happens if we don’t want to kill them.

Demon:

Then that cute little three headed pooch out there gets to become all intimate with your insides. (She lets that sink in) Well, I have said my piece… this is going to be fun to watch.

There is a knock on the door. Robert moves to pick up something heavy to throw. He gets ready to assault anything coming in the door.

Robert:

Who is it?

There is no answer.

Robert:

If it is Mr and Mrs. Bellswick, we know all about your plan.

Cpt. Bellswick:

Really? Did she tell you everything?

Robert:

Yeah, I think so.

Lady Bellswick:

Even the part about the virgin sacrifice thing?

Robert:

Yup.

There is a long pause.

Cpt. Bellswick:

Can we come in… to.. uh… talk?

Robert:

You aren’t going to kill us are you?

Another long pause.

Cpt. Bellswick:

Uhh… no.

Cindy:

(Whispered to Robert) I don’t trust them.

Robert:

(To the Bellswicks) I don’t trust you. Promise us you won’t try and sacrifice us anymore.

Another long pause

Cpt and Lady Bellswick:

(Together) We promise.

Robert:

Well, that is the best we are going to get… Don’t try any funny stuff.

Cpt Bellswick:

Well, what assurance do we have that you aren’t going to kill us when we open the door.

Robert:

Um… we aren’t a pair of crazy satan worshippers?

Cpt Bellswick:

Touche’

Capt. And Lady Bellswick enter the room. Capt Bellswick has his hinds behind his back as if he is concealing something.

Cindy:

HEY! What is that behind your back?

Cpt Bellswick

It’s nothing.

Robert:

Show us your hands (He wields the heavy object in his hands menacingly)

Cpt. Bellswick takes his hands from behind his back to reveal a rather gnarly knife.

Robert:

What is that for? Is that for sacrificing virgins? Give it to me.


Cpt. Bellswick doesn’t seem to want to give up the knife.

Robert:

Give me the knife old man!!

Cpt Bellswick dejectedly hands over the knife.

Lady Bellswick:

(Bursting into tears) We are so sorry, ever since Miles sold his soul to get this ship we have had to do her bidding. We really didn’t want to have to kill you…. But you realize what position she put us in…

Cpt. Bellswick:

Well, our sacrifices need to be virgin couples, so we thought that…

Robert:

(Obviously peeved about still being a virgin) Oh great!!! Well, you can sacrifice me all you want. But little miss “I’ll open my legs after a bottle of vodka” over here might not be what you are looking for.

Cpt. Bellswick:

(To Lady Bellswick) I knew it!!

Cindy:

Hey!!! At least I am not too cheap to have a real honeymoon, and at least I didn’t book us a one way trip to hell on a bed and breakfast owned by a an old satan-worshipping couple.

Cpt. Bellswick:

She’s got you there.

Robert:

Shut up!!! Lets get this all settled. There will be no sacrifices. Nobody is going to sacrifice anyone else… Got it?

Cpt Bellswick and Lady Bellswick both nod.

Robert:

Good, now that we have that settled, how about taking us back to Miami.

Cpt. Bellswick:

Three problems with that plan my boy. Firstly, I am blind as a bat, and without Satan guiding the ship there is no way I can steer us back. Secondly we are currently not on the plane of existence known as earth… and thirdly… we hit a reef about 20 miles back and the ship has been slowly taking water since then.

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