Unemployed Knife Thrower for Hire: Part 1

5064798739_b6702e06db.jpgOFFICE TEMP

CAST

Cedric the Magnificent – knife thrower, assassin and master of disguises. Disenchanted, taking a career break, currently temping in an office.

Persephone – A friend.

(Lights go up to reveal two figures sitting at a table, the face of one slightly obscured by shadow.)

Persephone

So what happened? You sounded quite upset on the phone.

Cedric

My concentration wavered for a moment and the knife went astray.

Persephone

By how much?

Cedric

Hmm, his throat was only slightly lacerated and the blood splatters cleaned up fine. I don’t know why they got so upset. The damned theatre was only half full and the audience woke up when my assistant started screaming. The idiot wasn’t dying or anything. Otherwise he would have got a call from you dearie.

Persephone

We don’t take anyone you know. The door policy is quite strict.

Cedric

I know, I know. Took me months to calm that ghoul, all he did was moan about being discriminated against. Anyway, are you going to let me finish?

Persephone

Sorrrrrrrrrrry!

Cedric

It was a dreary Wednesday, I’d fired my agent (may she rot in hell) and my nut allergy had almost finished me off at lunch-time. I was a man on the edge.

(Takes a sip of his tea)

Knife throwing is an Art and I was a Master of that Art. Sadly unappreciated and underpaid now.

(sighs)

Persephone

If I was your therapist I’d get paid for listening to this. Get on with it man.

Cedric

Oohhh! No need to get hoity toity madam. Being Queen of the Dead hasn’t done much for your patience has it? Anyway, the management had “enough” and wanted me to clear out of that rat hole they called a dressing room. I just wandered the streets in a daze. To think I appeared before the nobility of Europe at one time, feted by Popes, Kings, Philosphers. I was awarded the highest honour by the Venetian Guild of Assassins, real professionals they were. Took great pride in their work and looked after their members.

(Buries face in his hands)

Persephone

Oh Cedric! My heart goes out to you – well, it would do if it was still beating.

Cedric

Always thinking of others, you are a love.

Persephone

Thank you. What is it like working here?

Cedric

Being a “temp” isn’t so bad now. Difficult initially though, trying to fit in and having to be NICE was hard. All that smiling, not natural at all. Saying that, I fit in nicely. Everyone’s a little dysfunctional.

Persephone

Well, as you are by nature someone who is morbid, intense and slightly psychotic I can see how that could have been a problem.

Cedric

Compliments? You are spoiling me today.

Persephone

Ah, that charm finally re-surfaces. (Looks over her shoulder). I’m getting strange looks, is my make-up running?

Cedric

(Peers at her face)

No. You forgot to switch on your inter-dimensional phase shifter.

Persephone

What?

Cedric

No idea what it means but sounds good. Look, gone are the days when only the initiated would be blessed with a view of your most holy and profound presence. Not anymore. You need to remember to look like your passport photo.

Persephone

Ye gods! That is a horrible thought.

Cedric

Ain’t it just.

(Brief silence)

Persephone

We all miss you, especially Cerberus, he’s always asking after you.

Cedric

Really? You don’t know much that means to me. He was such a lovely little pup and now look at him. Done me proud.

Persephone

You can invite us round for Sunday lunch…We still haven’t seen your bachelor pad. Is that what they call it these days? I’m not really  conversant with modern vernacular.

Cedric

Slum you mean. Even the rats have left. The landlady laughingly calls it a “well appointed city centre flat”.  We’re right on top of the hellmouth and next door to the sewage plant. My sinuses are constantly aflame, oh gods!

Persephone

There, there. I’ll have a word with a mutual friend of ours, see what they can do about finding another place for you. Can’t bear to see you so upset. I’m finding it hard not to ask the Furies to send that woman a “message”.

Cedric

Look at the time, lunch is almost over. I’ll have to go. Don’t want to upset my boss by being late.

Persephone

Let’s do lunch on Saturday . I have so much to tell you. Mwah, mwah.

(rapid air kissing ensues)

(Cedric and Persephone make a quick exit, passing several puzzled and scared people in the canteen).

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/18913851@N00/5064798739″>2010 Knife & Tomahawk World Championships</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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