28 September, 2014

The Accident Report: A Playlet in One Act


BYRON, a prisoner
MS. R, a prison kitchen supervisor
MS. D, a prison kitchen’s office secretary
The scene is an office in a state of barely controlled chaos, cramped with faux-woodgrain fiberboard desks and cheap green swiveling chairs. A small plastic clock hangs on the cinder block wall, reading 3:42. BYRON, dressed in prison grays, sits facing it. He is flanked by the seated MS. R and MS. D, obese middle-aged state employees whose shared attitude is one of total apathy. MS. R, in a white shirt and blue uniform pants, is filling out a form.

MS. R. Okay, what’s your name?

BYRON (stares blankly). Um….

MS. R. I mean, I know your last name, obviously. What’s your first name?

BYRON. It’s Byron — B-Y-R-O-N.

MS. R. Okay, and (She searches over the form, then makes a mark.) you’re a male.

BYRON. Last time I checked.

MS. R (distractedly searches the form again). Oh, here we go: how long ago was this?

BYRON. What, since I checked?

MS. R. No! Since — I mean — ugh! When did you cut yourself?

BYRON. Oh, just a minute or two ago. (He looks at the clock.) Let’s say three forty.

MS. R. And where did the accident occur?

BYRON. In the CRD room.

MS. R (stops writing for a moment). How long has it been since you checked?

BYRON. That’s personal. I don’t think I should share that with you.

MS. R. Hmm. Okay, tell me what happened. For your statement. It needs to be in your own words.

BYRON. Let’s say, “I cut my right index finger on a staple —”

MS. D (swivels her chair in BYRONs direction). On a staple?

BYRON. “— while tearing open a bag.”

MS. D (incredulously). A staple.

BYRON. That’s enough for the form, right?

MS. R. Yeah.

BYRON. Because I’d be happy to embellish and make it sound less ridiculous.

MS. R (slides the form toward BYRON). Which hand do you write with?

BYRON. My right.

MS. R. Please don’t bleed on my pen. Sign right there.

BYRON (signs, then scrutinizes his signature with a scowl). That looks terrible. No one would ever believe that’s actually my signature. And now I have to go to medical — for this? (He brandishes the pinprick on his finger.)

MS. R. Mmm-hmm. Go find an officer to escort you up there.

BYRON stands and goes for the door.

MS. D (shakes her head). A staple.


1 comment:

  1. In fifth grade, a girl in my class actually stapled her finger. She slipped while trying to hold some papers steady and the machine got the tip of her middle digit.

    I don't think being cut by a staple is embarrassing. Those things are dangerous.

    But hey, I whine like a wet cat when I stub my toe, so who am I to say what true pain is.

    PS- I like the one act play layout.


Byron does not have Internet access. Pariahblog.com posts are sent from his cell by way of a secure service especially for prisoners' use. We do read him your comments, however, and he enjoys hearing your thoughts very much.