Terror Arts

(Scene 2- Ter's room. The walls are a dark blue color, and there is no bed. Instead, pillows are strewn everywhere. The room, and items in it, could be easily described as opulent. Ter [short for Terry] is 17, with black hair and blue eyes. He is dressed in black, in an artsy rather than angsty way. He is sitting on a particularly well-formed clump of pillows in the middle of the room, cross-legged, reading from a book. Every once in a while he jots down something in the notebook by his feet, then goes back to reading. After a few seconds of this, he blinks, stares out SL, puts the book down, and stands.)

Ter: (beginning to pace) Amazing. Astounding, really. How did he figure it all out? How could he have known so early, when I'm only just discovering? I wonder if he really...? He did. He must have. Right? Of course. He'd be a hypocrite not to. (he stops pacing. A terrible grin lights his face.) I can do it. It's all for beauty, after all. (he roots around and finally digs up a phone, picks up the receiver, and dials. Lights begin to fade.) Hello?

(Blackout.)

(Lights up on Mal's room. A chest of drawers in on the left wall, a window looks out on the right, and a bed stands, strangely enough, in the exact center of the room. Mal himself is lying under the bed, where there is enough room for the 17 year-old to prop himself up on his elbows.

Pince, 18, is sitting cross-legged on the bed. He is watching Mal silently, obviously intent on Mal himself and not particularly what he's doing.

Mal is contemplating an sketch book laying before him, and every once in a while his hand leaves its place near his chin, snakes out with a pencil, and revises a line or so. Finally, he nods, rolls out from under the bed, and picks the sketch book up, keeping it open to the same page.)

Mal: (sitting on the bed with the sketch book and scribbling the title he says out loud) 'Fall of the Gates of Troy.' No...(he erases a few words he's penciled in) 'Death at the Gates of Troy.' That's it. (looks up at Pince finally) Sorry.

Pince: (shrugging) Its okay.

(They sit in silence for a few moments as Mal puts his sketchbook and pencil away. He sits back down on the bed and lapses into deep thought, then finally speaks.)

Mal: (tentative, dreamlike) A few years ago, they taught us in some class- Physical Science, I think- that you broke the sound barrier at a certain speed, and that when that happened, you had outrun your own sound. I asked the question, but I never understood exactly what happened to the space where sound didn't exist. Is it like driving on the highway really fast with the radio off, just hearing the white noise? Like deafness- unable to hear at all? Or more like stifled, like earmuffs? What happens to the world of sound that still exists outside of your soundless one? It's like the question about the tree falling in the forest when no one's around, but better- if you can't hear the world, are you sure it's making sound at all?

Pince: (concerned) What, are you stoned? Calm down, Mal. You're just driving yourself crazy, thinking like that.

Mal: (hostile, defensive) I'm not making myself crazy. Life is making me crazy. You're making me crazy.

Pince: (backing off) I'm making you crazy? I'm not making you crazy. You're not crazy.

Mal: (sighs) I'm tired.

Pince: Sleep.

Mal: (raving) I can't sleep. I'm thinking too much about this crazy life. I can't sleep.

Pince: (trying to calm Mal down) You don't have to sleep. Just rest.

Mal: (still raving) Crazy people don't sleep. We think, Pince. We think a lot and we never find answers.

Pince: What could make you rest?

Mal: Answer. Answers.

Pince: (touching Mal's face, moving closer) Nothing else?

Mal: (feeling that touch for a minute, finally turning away) I want answers more than life. If there were answers in death, I'd be dead.