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A Smell of Burning and Then - Collection / Anthology

A Smell of Burning and Then

David Campton

Collection / Anthology

ISBN: 9780822210474

A SMELL OF BURNING. A married couple sit at the breakfast table, cluck…

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Collection / Anthology

A SMELL OF BURNING. A married couple sit at the breakfast table, clucking over bits of gossip in the newspaper and bickering about whether the eggs are properly done. In the distance, explosions are heard, and then a rather mysterious gentleman appears, announcing that he is from the City Surveyor's office and concerned with supervising "certain alterations in the structure of the status quo." As he darts in and out busily tending to his duties, the couple remain absorbed in domestic trivialities—as the sounds of violence come ever nearer and the actions of the visitor change from mysterious to sinister. But even as their doom approaches the couple cannot seem to grasp the reality of what lurks outside their cozy flat, cannot comprehend the anarchy that will engulf them. "Strange," muses the old gentleman (who is only doing his job) "that you never notice what is happening." (2 men, 1 woman, offstage voice.) THEN…Sitting alone amid a wasteland of nuclear destruction, his head covered by a brown paper bag, Phythick laments the loss of all that was and could have been. Then a girl walks by, her head also covered by a paper bag. They talk: he revealing that he was a science teacher; she that she was "Miss Europe." They fall in love, but cannot kiss, cannot remove their paper bags for fear of radiation. The bags are a crinkling barrier between them—and perhaps must always be so. Yet can there be hope? Do they dare? A cloud comes over the moon as Phythick slowly raises his hand towards the bag covering his face. (1 man, 1 woman.)
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