The Story-Keeper: A One Act Play by Tari Xalyr

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SUMMARY: This is my exam piece. An OSP (original solo production) that must be 7mins in length and written, performed and directed by the student themselves.

TARSHA: I'm everything and nothing. Here and gone. I belong everywhere and nowhere - at the same time. I'm the messenger. I'm the keeper. I'm the bringer of stories.

I bring the characters to the writers and the writers write their stories and then the whole world can read them. But there is one rule. They cannot write me. If they try I have to leave. I didn't want to leave Jennifer. But I had to. Coz she broke the rule.

JENNIFER: Thanks. (sits down) Three years of working together and you're late again Michael. (enter Michael, speech speeds up) Hi, Michael. Good thanks. Good weekend? So, story, what did you think? No good? Well what's wrong with it? Mhm. (nod) Hold on. Are you sure you've given me the correct manuscript? Well yes it's my hand writing I wrote it but it didn't look like this. It looked better in my head. My contract? Well there has obviously been a mistake. Can I at least give you a new manuscript? Okay. One month, a new manuscript and then if you still wish we can negotiate my contract.

TARSHA: Jen! Jennifer! Jennif- oh. There you are? What's wrong? They didn't like you're story. Well that's never happened before. (pause) Jen you didn't want to write the last characters story. Jen why is my name on the paper? You know what happens if you break the rule Jennifer. Promise you won't try to write my story again? Yay. So you need a new story and I have a new friend for you to meet. Her name is Tessa. She‘s a circus performer. No? Oh I know you can meet Kimberly. Kimberly's a detective. She's had lots of adventures following bad guys and catching clues.

JENNIFER: No! I'm not ten anymore Tarsha! You don't get it! I don't want to write about cops and robbers and jungle explorers. I want to write real stories.

TARSHA: I'm sorry Jen. Jennifer didn't want to write Tessa or Kimberly's stories but that's okay she hasn't wanted to write other characters in the past either. Like Buster the dog (giggle) But she promised not to break the rules and friends don't break promises.

JENNIFER: I cannot do this anymore. She won't leave.

She came to me when I was ten. Tarsha. We had to write a story for school. I had no idea. Spent the afternoon hoping that some idea would spring out of my head. And she did. She said I summoned her. It wasn't intentional. A child of about seven. "I'll help you" she said so I said okay. Then I met Buster the puppy. Who followed me everywhere until I wrote his story. Then he disappeared but Tarsha didn't.

TARSHA: I don't want to go. I like you, Jennifer. Will you meet all my friends, Jen? Write their stories?

JENNIFER: She told me there was just one rule. That I wasn't allowed to publish her story. So she'd bring character after character. And I would produce story after story. She's made my life. But I grew up in the real world. Tarsha didn‘t. And she needs to understand that.

(Flicking through envelopes) Bill. Bill. Publishing house. What? Same manuscript! I just finished fixing it up! Contract dismissed!

Tarsha! Why are they rejecting my manuscript? It sounds so good to me. I have bills to pay! A mortgage! I used to have someone who cared for me but you destroyed that! Tarsha I need to understand. Please.

TARSHA: You broke your promise Jen! Friends are spose to break promises! You broke the only rule! And you still ask why. You don't understand that I am everything and nothing. Here and gone. That I belong everywhere and nowhere - at the same time. I'm just the messenger. The keeper. The bringer of stories. BUT I DO NOT EXIST. You cannot write someone who does not exist. I have to go Jen. Bye.