A vast open-plan office. About 30 or so staff dotted around the room, all sat at desks in front of computers.
A smartly suited woman, RUTH, stands in front of a huge window, the London skyline shimmers in the sunlight behind her. She is loudly (but solemnly) addressing the room.
RUTH: As some of you may already know, Pat from HR died at the weekend-
There are a few gasps from some in the room (but not many), mystified looks and shrugs from all the rest.
In the very centre of the room there are 3 desks clustered together. At these sit TOM, JEN and MEL.
TOM: (whispered) Which one was Pat?
MEL: (whispered) Funny teeth. Glasses. Smoked a lot. She was quite sweet, actually-
JEN: (whispered) I hate HR!
TOM: (whispered) “Where were you at the time of the murder?”
JEN, MEL and TOM snigger amongst themselves.
RUTH: Ok, guys, so we’re just going to have a minute’s silence, ok, to-
JEN: (whispered) Christ! You’d think she was a war hero, or royalty-
MEL: (whispered) Jen, she was one of the good guys, alright?
RUTH: To commemorate the 27 years of hard work he put in for this company-
MEL: (whispered) He? Who am I thinking of then?
RUTH: Ok, so if we all just stop what we’re doing… (checks watch) NOW!
Everyone is silent. MEL, TOM and JEN smirk at each other, stifling giggles.
Everyone else looks utterly bored, some furtively check watches, phones, etc.
The phone on MEL’s desk starts loudly ringing.
Everyone stares round at MEL. A few tut. MEL shrugs apologetically, unsure what to do.
RUTH glares at MEL, arms folded.
MEL quickly lifts phone from receiver, slams it back down, then takes it off the hook.
A minute finally elapses. RUTH checks her watch.
RUTH: Right, that’s it guys, back to work!
RUTH exits as the noisy hubbub of normal workplace life immediately resumes, and everyone chats, laughs, flirts, answers the phone, etc…
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