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Alternative Ending 1 - by Rob Keeley

(A god-like male VOICE booms in.)

VOICE: The Book is quite correct. (quieter) I’m glad it’s realised the truth at last.

BRIAN: What the - ?

SUSAN: Who’s that? Where are you?

BOOK: He’s here. He has come. I knew he would.

SUSAN: Who?

BOOK: I knew he would return to speak with us. Eventually.

SUSAN: Who’s there? And why can’t I see you?

VOICE: If you’d seen me before now, there would have been no Book. But I had to step in, as soon as I heard what you were saying.

BRIAN: (very Geordie) Look, man, will you tell us what’s going on here?

VOICE: Oh, Brian. As Geordie as a pint of Newcastle Brown. I am sorry. I don’t really know the North all that well. And you, Susan. The feisty, determined woman, determined to get to the heart of the mystery at all costs. I am sorry that was all I had the time to make you.

SUSAN: Look, for the last time, will you tell us who you are? (beat) Well?

(pause)

BOOK: He’s the Writer. (beat) The one who’s telling the story.

VOICE: Our poor peasant girl has it. (pause) I failed her, you know. Just as I failed Isabella. I was going to call the other Mrs Ferguson, Elizabeth. Then I thought Isabella had more of a Mediterranean ring. Never got it quite clear in my mind who she was. Keeper. Spurned lover-to-be. Helper. Traitor. Still, what can you do? I don’t really know Portugal either.

BRIAN: Look…

VOICE: You didn’t get much of a deal either, Brian. Disappeared for hours, when I couldn’t think what to do with you. And the Man. He didn’t even get a name.

SUSAN: You’re... the Writer?

VOICE: Well, all Writers actually. Every writer who’s ever lived. We’re the ones who make the Books. Don’t do it all that well, actually, a lot of the time. (colder) But we have to be in charge. As soon as I heard you starting to think... even create for yourselves. That was when I knew I had to intervene.

BRIAN: I don’t get it, what’s he saying?

(pause)

BOOK: He means the Book is over.

VOICE: Before the story was even concluded. (beat) The fact is, my Creative Writing Group hated it. And I have other stories to tell. Bills to pay. (beat) I really am sorry.

(Mouse clicks repeatedly. Sound of objects being hurled into an old-fashioned dustbin.)

ALL CHARACTERS: What’s happening? What’s going on?

BRIAN: (small voice) Why’s it gone dark?

VOICE: You’re in the Recycle Bin. Oh, don’t worry. I’ll be back before it’s emptied. (beat) Probably.

SUSAN: (steely) Now, look. You may have created us. But I, at least, have a life of my own. I am Susan Ferguson. The original Mrs Ferguson. And I am not being manipulated by some generic nameless hack!

(long pause)

VOICE: Shouldn’t have said that, Susan.

(More mouse clicks. Screams and sound of rushing oblivion.)
 
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