The Antagonist

by Finn Flackett-Levin, age 12
The Antagonist I love to write, especially fiction, such as novels, and plays, and I love sharing my work with others. I also feel that Writopia has inspired me to write more interesting and daring stories and has really expanded my mind on how to write good stories.

“Really? The seven month block? I would have thought that would have passed by now. Let me explain something to you. This writer’s block is nothing more than your mind not wanting to accept something that has happened in your life. “

We start off in a blank room.  No decorations, nothing.  Only a desk sits in the middle of the room.  In this room, there is a man.  His name is JEREMY TRUSK.  Jeremy stares out at the room, a blank look in his eyes.  He picks up a phone, begins to dial, then hangs up.

 

JEREMY:

Have you ever had writer’s block?  Have you felt the ideas get blocked in your mind?  Like a wall, preventing ideas from coming in?  Well, that’s what I have.  I would like it if I could go to a doctor to diagnose it, because I love it when I get diagnosed with things.  I know that sounds strange, but it’s just the feeling of knowing what’s actually wrong, and that is very comforting to me.

 

JEREMY sits down at the desk and looks exasperated.  Suddenly his boss, CAROLINE, walks in with a stern look on her face.

 

CAROLINE

Jeremy, what the hell?!  I have been waiting seven months for you to write this play.  Seven months!  We could have had an amazing production in that time, but we were waiting for the amazing Jeremy Trusk to come and write us an amazing play that will help get us back to the top.  But no, we have been sinking further and further to the bottom, and this whole time we have just been waiting for you!  And while all this is happening, you have just been sitting here in a black void with absolutely no ideas!

 

JEREMY is lost for words.  He stares at CAROLINE for a second, then sighs.  He looks down at his desk.

 

JEREMY

I know that I have writer’s block.  And I hate it.  I’ve had things like this before, but not on this level, not on this scale.  I’m trying to make something out of nothing.  But my mind is a void, in which all of my ideas are just being sucked into.  I feel like I’m going through some sort of existential crisis.

 

CAROLINE

That may be the case, but if you don’t have anything presented to me by next week, you’re out.

 

JEREMY puts his head against his desk.

 

JEREMY  

I know.  Okay, I’ll think of something.  (Beat) I always do.  

 

CAROLINE nods then walks out, leaving JEREMY alone.

 

SCENE TWO

 

It starts with JEREMY picking up the phone, dialing, then hanging up.  Then he walks into a office and sits across from his therapist, a man named ALAN STYVINSON.  They sit for a second, then talk.

 

ALAN

So, Jeremy, what’s bothering you today?

 

JEREMY

Well, among other things, I think I have an Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor.  (Stern look from Alan) I still have writer’s block.

 

ALAN

Really?  The seven month block?  I would have thought that would have passed by now.  Let me explain something to you.  This writer’s block is nothing more than your mind not wanting to accept something that has happened in your life.  These events get buried deep in our brain, and happen to be the only thing we can think about.  That is what causes this writer’s block.  The only thing is, you haven’t told me of any event that would cause this.

 

JEREMY

Well, I’m not sure.  I mean, there are a multitude of things that could be the cause of this terrible writer’s block.  What scale are you looking at?

 

ALAN

Something big enough to cause you guilt and shame, but not something so incredibly terrible that you would notice it everyday.

 

JEREMY

Well, there is one thing.  About two years ago now, I was in a relationship with a girl named Nicole.  Nicole was a nice girl, but I was the problem.  I was having trouble writing this play, and I was becoming more and more narcissistic by the day.  One day, Nicole and I got into a fight and I left.  When I came back, and we drove to her parents’ house upstate.  Suddenly, our car crashed into a gigantic semi and Nicole hit her head badly.  We took her to the hospital, where they said she was going to be fine physically, but mentally she was going to lose a big portion of her memory.  This crushed me, because also I knew how much of a jerk I was to her before.  Then I couldn’t handle it.  I left that day and I can never see her again, because I know that I ruined her life, and that was just too much for me to take.

 

ALAN is speechless.  He just stares at JEREMY for a few minutes.

 

ALAN

That is quite a burden.  That would be the ultimate cause for your writer’s block.  You have to get through this though.  You have to write this.  And once you do that, you can accept it.

 

JEREMY

But if I write it, it will destroy me.  I couldn’t write it. It would ruin me.

 

ALAN

But if you do nothing, you may never be able to write the way you did.  If you do nothing, there’s no chance at a comeback.  If you try, there is a chance.  Your decision.

 

JEREMY looks torn.  Suddenly he gets a look in his eyes.  He knows what to do.

 

SCENE THREE

 

JEREMY is sitting back in the blank room.  He does the phone drill.  He is sitting at his desk, looking at the blank piece of paper.  With the pen in his hand, he begins to write.  Then as if a long time passes, he puts the pen down and stands up.

 

JEREMY

I’ve been writing for three hours now.  My hands feel like they are stumps.  My mind hurts on a whole other level.  Bringing these thoughts back up to the surface is breaking me like a piece of glass.  Of course, I always feel like sickness is breaking me in the same way, but this is different somehow.  I feel like my writer’s block is lifting, but then something is falling, and is going to crash.

 

Suddenly CAROLINE walks in and looks right at JEREMY.

 

CAROLINE

Well, it looks like you’re writing now.  That’s a good sign.  What is this new project that suddenly popped up?

 

JEREMY

Something emotional to me.  A story of a car accident that me and my girlfriend got into.  It’s provocative.

 

CAROLINE

And something provocative is just what we need.  This really might be the thing that takes us to the other level.  It must be really emotional for you.

 

JEREMY

You have no idea.  But the story is shaping to be something quite good.  I feel that this was the thing that was causing my writer’s block.  I feel like I can breathe again.

 

CAROLINE

Well that’s good.  Glad you got out of this period and now you can write freely again.

JEREMY nods and CAROLINE walks out.  Suddenly JEREMY looks up.

 

JEREMY

I just realized something.  Something big.  If I write this play then I will be made out as… the antagonist.  The whole world will see what happened in those days leading up to the accident.  But it’s too late to turn back now.

 

SCENE FOUR

 

JEREMY does the phone drill.  He then looks in an ad for Broadway plays, and he sees an ad for his play.  It reads ROBUST FORCE:  BASED ON A TRUE STORY.

 

JEREMY

I’m very proud of my name.  Robust Force is quite a title.  It shows the seriousness of the play.  That is something I have been worried about these past few months, that the play is too serious, that there is no comedic element to make it more light.  But I can’t do anything now.  I just don’t want this to be a completely dark play with nothing to bring it back.  We’ll see.

 

SCENE FIVE

 

It is opening night.  JEREMY does the phone drill.  He is standing outside the theatre.  CAROLINE comes out and stands next to him.

 

CAROLINE

Well, here we are.  I’m really sorry about the whole writer’s block thing, I was just really stressed.  You’re a really great writer, and I know that you have made us a masterpiece.  You have done us well.  Even though this was hard for you, I’m really glad that you could write this and help get over your inner fear.  That is what I am most glad about.  That you are at peace.

 

JEREMY

Thank you.  That means a lot.

 

CAROLINE

No, thank you.  You are the person who gave this to us.  We are the grateful ones.

 

CAROLINE starts to walk away, but sees that JEREMY is staying behind.

 

CAROLINE

You’re not coming in?

 

JEREMY

I don’t think so.  I think I’m going to stay here.  For now.

 

CAROLINE

Well, thank you.

 

JEREMY

You’re welcome.

 

CAROLINE turns and walks into the theatre.  JEREMY stays back.

 

JEREMY

Well, at this point, I can only hope people like it.

 

JEREMY turns and walks off the stage.

 

SCENE SIX

 

JEREMY picks up his phone and dials NICOLE’s number.  He begins to talk.

 

Hello, Nicole, this is Jeremy.  You probably don’t remember me.  You definitely don’t remember me.  But this is an apology.  An apology for this… this life you’re living.  Although the physical scars are terrible, the emotional scars are the biggest impact.  I feel like your life shattered like the windshield on our car, the fragments sprawled across the pavement, showing what we have lost.  The shattered remnants of your life show have haunted me since that night.  But at the same time, can you hear me?  I know you can hear me, but, are you understanding me? Does this make any sense to you?  This is me talking to you, but you don’t remember me, you can’t remember me.  This is me talking to nothing.  That is what hurts the most.  I don’t think I can do it.  I really can’t.  I’m sorry, Nicole.  I am.  But I can’t be sorry.  Because I don’t have anyone to be sorry to.  And that is what hurts the most.  That I am here, but you are not.  Good bye.

 

THE END

 

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