Indigestible Companions

by Brigette ReDavid

Celeste’s livingroom
Carl puts a cheese tray on the table while Celeste puts a plate of fruit on it. There is an assortment of dips, breads and crackers on the table, as well as a flower arrangement at center. 
It’s a well-furnished apartment. A large Salvadore Dali print adorns the wall in the dining area. The dining area is to the right and the seating group is to the left. The back of the sofa faces the dining area and there’s a chair to the left of that, which faces the audience. 
There’s a laptop somewhere. There is also a side table on the left side, with seven bottles of wine on it.
Next to the side table, six dining room chairs are lined against the wall.
The TV is on a table in the seating area, off to the side, with its back to the audience. 
Carl wears black dress pants with a white dress shirt and a tie. Celeste is wearing a black bra and underwear.
Soft jazz-type music plays from an iPod dock while they move around the table arranging everything just so.
All movement in the play should be well-choreographed, as if the actors are dancing. New people checking each other out from all angles.
If there’s an intermission, serve rum drinks with umbrellas. If there is no intermission, consider serving them before the show.
CELESTE
How long?
Carl checks his watch.
CARL
Soon.
CELESTE
Wine?
CARL
Two merlot, a cab, two pinot grigio and a few blends. I didn’t get a white zin.
CELESTE
Why would you?
CARL
Right?
CELESTE
As if.
CARL
Just drink juice.
CELESTE
Make sure it’s old juice, though. So you get a headache.
CARL
I’ve had a good red zin though.
CELESTE
Sings a different tune completely.
Carl stops arranging the food and looks at Celeste lovingly.
CARL
Speaking of ...
He takes her hand and draws her into the center of the livingroom area.
They’re playing our song.
Celeste puts her head on his shoulder as they dance slowly. They speak softly as they dance, as lovers do.
Beat.
CELESTE
Maybe we should have had those rum drinks.
Beat.
CARL
Bahama mamas.
Beat.
CELESTE
Only we would have put those little umbrellas in them.
Carl chuckles.
CARL
That would have been funny. (beat) Hey everyone, we have something to tell you. But first, drink a few Bahama mamas.
Celeste remembers the purpose of the evening and snaps back to reality. She  scoots out of his reach. 
CELESTE
Open the wine and I think we’re ready.
CARL
All of it?
CELESTE
Yeah, my brother’s coming. 
Carl moves to a side table where the wine bottles are and begins opening them. Celeste straightens the already-tidy room.
Looks good. I think we’re ready.
CARL
You do?
CELESTE
I forgot something? What do you think I forgot?
Carl circles Celeste inspecting her. Celeste turns with him.
What?
She looks down and laughs.
Oh. 
Carl grabs her affectionately.
CARL
I like this look. It’s daring.
CELESTE
I’m not sure my mother would appreciate it.
CARL
What’s she like?
Celeste tilts her head as she considers her answer. She clicks her teeth.
CELESTE
What was that fish they told us to stay away from?
CARL
A barracuda?
CELESTE
That one. Call her Audrey. No. Mrs. Withers. (beat) Definitely Mrs. Withers.
CARL
If you call my Ma Mrs. D’Accolte, she’ll tell you that was her mother. 
A buzzer sounds. 

Writer's excerpt courtesy NYWIFT (NYWIFT.ORG)