A Big Red Shiny Helmet

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A Short Drama In Four Acts
For Three Performers
By Ben Khamis

Submitted: April 14, 2017

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Submitted: April 14, 2017

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A BIG RED SHINY HELMET

A Short Drama In Four Acts
For Three Performers

By Ben Khamis

 

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

PHIL: A naive optimist
TIM: A sarcastic pessimist
PYRAMID HEAD: A dear friend

 

ACT ONE

The New Pet

 

An ordinary room in an ordinary apartment. The heroes, PHIL and TIM, are sitting bored on the couch, staring straight ahead. ]

PHIL
You know what's weird?

TIM
What?

PHIL
(makes a very weird noise)

TIM (after a long pause)
Yes, that was pretty weird.

The doorbell rings ]

PHIL
I wonder who that could be?

TIM
Less wondering, more answering.

PHIL gets to his feet and answers the door. We see him open the door of the apartment from the POV of the visitor, and we see him react with surprise. Cut suddenly to PHIL's POV. A man dressed like PYRAMID HEAD from Silent Hill 2 is standing there, breathing heavily and clutching an enormous knife. Scary music plays. Intercut between close-ups of PHIL's horrified face and urgent zooms into PYRAMID HEAD. Then, cut music and cut very suddenly to PYRAMID HEAD sitting on the couch in the same posture as PHIL and TIM before, while the two men stand in the corner watching him. ]

TIM
Does he have a collar?

PHIL
Nope. Guess he's a stray.

TIM
Well then, call the pound.

PHIL
I don't want to call the pound. They'd just put him down.

TIM
He can't stay here.

PHIL
Why not?

TIM
What do you mean, why not? We can't look after a Pyramid Head!

PHIL
I could look after him.

PYRAMID HEAD gets up slowly and stumbles drunkenly over to another part of the room, dragging his big knife. He continues to wander around the scene throughout the following dialogue. ]

TIM
I don't know, Phil, a Pyramid Head is a big responsibility.

PHIL 
Pleeeeeease?

TIM
Why are you so insistent?

PHIL
It's just, well... my parents never let me have a Pyramid Head when I was a kid. For years I begged for them to let me have a Pyramid Head for my very own, but they never listened. Then, one Christmas, they got me a zombie nurse, and said if I could prove I could look after her responsibly then they'd think about getting me a Pyramid Head next year.

TIM
So what happened?

PHIL (getting emotional)
I loved that zombie nurse. I called her Cowbell and took her everywhere I went. For eleven months I fed her and walked her and loved her... and then it all went wrong. Just one month before Christmas. Fatty Dipshit down the road got me some illegal fireworks from Mexico. I just... I just wanted to see what would happen. Good god, I thought zombie nurses made horrible noises anyway, but you should hear them once they're lit on fire.

TIM
And that's going to be different now, is it?

PHIL
Oh, you bet! I'll take him for walks and feed him and bathe him and clean up after him and love him forever and ever! Can I keep him, can I?

TIM
Well... okay. But he's sleeping in your room.

PHIL
Yaaay! (patting his thighs encouragingly) C'mere, boy!

The heavy, industrial first boss battle music from Silent Hill 2 starts playing and PYRAMID HEAD starts moving very, very slowly towards PHIL and TIM in the same manner as he did in the aforementioned boss battle sequence, dragging his knife behind him. Intercut between PHIL and TIM watching him curiously and PYRAMID HEAD moving very slowly. After several intercuts, PYRAMID HEAD is barely half-way across the room.]

PHIL
I think I'm going to call him Lightning.

 

ACT TWO

Training Lightning

 

The apartment again. PYRAMID HEAD is dragging his knife around the room while PHIL sits reading a book. TIM enters speaking into a dictaphone (or a microphone while carrying a tape deck) ]

TIM
Lightning appears to have acclimatised himself to the apartment. This morning he marked his territory by raping Phil's bathrobe as it hung from the bedroom doorknob.

PHIL
What are you doing?

TIM
I'm keeping a record. I figured when the police come to scrape up the piles of human coleslaw that used to be us, it would be helpful if they knew it was all your stupid fault.

TIM sits down next to PHIL ]

PHIL
You've just bought into all the myths about Pyramid Heads. They're quite docile in their natural habitat and can even be trained to murder on command. I got this book out of the library. It says all you really need to train a Pyramid Head is a stern voice and a ball-peen hammer. (produces one)

[ PHIL goes up to PYRAMID HEAD and gets his attention. PYRAMID HEAD watches curiously as PHIL brandishes his hammer. ]

PHIL
Okay, Lightning? Sit! Siii-iiit! (he puts his hand on PYRAMID HEAD's back and pushes down) Siiiit! (long pause, PYRAMID HEAD just watches, curiously. Finally, PHIL starts banging his pyramid with the hammer) Bad! Bad! Bad! Sit! Sit! Sit!

PYRAMID HEAD swings his huge knife and PHIL leaps backwards just in time, falling back onto the couch next to TIM. ]

TIM
Jesus Christ, he tried to maim you!

PHIL gets up again. ]

PHIL
Actually, the book says that's a very positive step. It means Lightning recognises me as a parental figure. (starts scratching Lightning's pyramid head) You tried to maim your daddy! Yes you did!

Fade out and fade up. PHIL and TIM sitting next to each other on the sofa again. We hear the TV playing quietly. ]

TIM
I wonder whose he is.

PHIL
Mine.

TIM
No, I mean... Pyramid Heads are supposed to be the manifestation of someone's guilt for past evils. I'm just wondering whose guilt he's manifesting.

PHIL
I never really thought about it. I guess your's, probably.

TIM
Not necessarily.

PHIL
But you're the most evil person I know.

TIM
I think it has to be a really serious evil, like murder or something.

PHIL
You do murders all the time. You murdered that guy last week.

TIM
Yeah, but I didn't feel GUILTY about it.

PHIL
Well then, I dunno.

long pause ]

PHIL
D'you think we should declare today Lightning's birthday? We could paint his head with funny stripes.

TIM
Look, don't start getting too attached to this thing, okay? They're like cats. He'll probably just move on in a day or two.

PHIL
I dunno, he looks like he's settling in to me.

Zoom out to reveal that PYRAMID HEAD is slumped in an armchair with a remote control in one hand and a coffee mug in the other, watching TV ]

 

ACT THREE

Everything's going beautifully

 

The entirety of act three is a montage in which PHIL and PYRAMID HEAD rejoice in their new relationship to the tune of a nice jolly song, like 'Something Tells Me I'm Into Something Good' or something like that. What you stick in this montage entirely depends on what resources are available. Just so long as it's as deliriously happy and as completely silly as possible.

Some ideas:

- PHIL and P.H. playing a board game
- PHIL and PYRAMID HEAD on swings
- PYRAMID HEAD running around with other people's dogs in the park while PHIL looks on proudly
- PHIL and P.H. in a swimming pool passing a beach ball back and forth
- PHIL throws a stick for P.H., P.H. runs off camera after it, then comes back with a severed arm; both laugh heartily
- PHIL and P.H. dancing around in a fountain a la Friends opening sequence

etc, etc ]

 

ACT FOUR

Trouble in paradise

 

The apartment again, empty but for a mangled bloody corpse on the sofa. After a few seconds, TIM comes home from work ]

TIM
Hey, I'm home! (notices corpse) oh, fuck.

disappears offscreen for a moment, then comes back on with a pooper scooper. Cut suddenly to TIM in the apartment a bit later, wiping off his hands. Corpse is now missing. After a second, PHIL comes back in with PYRAMID HEAD. Both are wearing Burger King crowns and giggling. PHIL notices TIM and attempts to sober up. ]

PHIL
Hey, man.

TIM
Your little friend left another present on the living room floor.

PHIL
Aw, sorry, man, I'll go out and dig a shallow grave in a second -

TIM
Don't bother. I already did it. I knew this would happen. You shirk your responsibilities and I end up having to pick up the pieces.

PHIL
Look, I said I was sorry, alright? Get off my back. I'll bury all the corpses from now on.

TIM
It's not just the corpses and you know it. He's totally out of control. (pulls out stack of filthy papers) I keep finding these stupid cryptic notes all over the place. And last night I had to walk all over the apartment looking for three different-coloured statuettes of crucified babies just to get into my bedroom.

PHIL
He's just playing...

TIM
I don't care! You should have trained him to stop doing all this!

PHIL
I just can't bring myself to use that hammer anymore, Tim. Not when he gives me those big, soulful eyes...

TIM
He hasn't got eyes!

PHIL
Big, soulful... angles...

TIM
I knew you couldn't be trusted to look after anything. I knew I should have learned my lesson after that fucking headcrab. Well, I'm putting my foot down. If he's not properly trained by the end of the week he's going to the pound.

PHIL
You know what? Fine. I'll have him trained by the end of the week. I could have him trained by the end of the day if I felt like it. I am to Pyramid Head training what Joan of Arc was to getting killed in a spectacular way.

TIM
Yeah, well, I'll believe it when I -

Suddenly, PYRAMID HEAD makes a very weird noise, exactly like the weird noise Phil made at the beginning of this play. PHIL and TIM jump in surprise. ]

TIM
What the hell was that?

PYRAMID HEAD makes the noise again ]

PHIL
Isn't that the weird noise I made a few days back?

TIM
Yes. (suspiciously) Literally seconds before Lightning appeared.

PHIL
What're you saying?

TIM
I understand now. I think Lightning is the manifestation of the guilt you feel for making a weird noise!

PHIL
But... I don't feel guilty about that.

With a loud pop, PYRAMID HEAD disappears (jump cut) ]

PHIL
I mean I do feel guilty about it! I do! Oh Jesus fucking Christ do I feel guilty about it! (drops to his knees where PYRAMID HEAD was, inconsolable with grief) Oh, come back, Lightning! I'll take you to the skating rink and you can braid my hair and we'll go and throw things at James Sunderland's house... (speech degenerates into incoherent sobbing)

TIM
Well, this was a... bewildering course of events... (PHIL howls even louder) Ok, look, there there, don't cry. He had a good, full, seventy-two hour life. And I'm sure he's very happy and looking down on us right now from the big, poorly-designed labyrinth in the sky.

PHIL (wiping his nose)
I was going to buy him a little spear with a bell in it... I was going to take him to the big Pyramid Head show in September...

TIM
Damn. I feel kind of guilty, now.

PYRAMID HEAD pops into existence next to TIM with another jump cut ]

TIM
Shit.

 

- FIN -


© Copyright 2018 Khamis. All rights reserved.

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