Halloween Monologue

Earlier this year an updated series of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads was shown on television. It included new and updated versions of his famous monologues which can still be seen here. It inspired a discussion in the Rugby Cafe Writers about monologues and we were encouraged to write our own.

My effort produced a few shudders and I decided it would be suitable for Halloween. I hope you enjoy it!

Hello? Is there anybody there?
There must be someone, out there in the darkness.
Where am I? If I am imprisoned, there must be a jailor. I hear nothing. Why do you not speak?
At least tell me why I’m here. I don’t remember.
I don’t remember anything.

I’m sorry about all the noise earlier, I must have panicked.
I’ve never liked the dark, but I’m all right now. I know what has happened.
There is a little light, not much, and voices, far away and muffled. I smell the sea and hear the gentle sound of waves against a wooden hull.
Still, there is no reply when I shout, but I know why.
This is a dream, and I am on the cusp between sleep and waking.
There is nothing to worry about, and when I wake all will be well and my voyage will continue.

Light! Bright light!
Colours. Blue sky, green grass.
Men shouting. Polished weapons reflecting sharp sunlight.
Everywhere movement, make it stop.
Everything spinning, I’m going to be sick.

That’s better, it’s quieter now.
I see a hall, servants preparing for a feast. Somewhere meat is roasting and the smell of freshly baked bread fills the air.
I am sitting in a chair, at least I think I am. I cannot move, only stare straight ahead. My neck aches, annoying but an improvement on feeling nothing.
I must be badly injured. How? And why am I here?
A woman approaches. I don’t recognise her.
She doesn’t reply, only studies me carefully. She frowns. A slave brings a bowl of water. Of course, one must wash before the meal.
The woman carefully washes my face. I enjoy the trickle of scented water down my cheeks and the touch of smooth linen as she dries them.
She combs my hair. It is not my comb. Where is my comb? I don’t remember.
She is good at this; it hardly hurts at all.
It is soothing, the gentle passing of the comb as the tangles are undone, as she strokes my wayward locks back into place.

Where has she gone?
I must have slept.
The hall is brighter, the hearth flares high and torches glint off shields that hang from the walls; the devises unfamiliar, except…
Men sit at tables, meat is eaten, ale is drunk, I catch the bitter aroma of it.
A man appears.
He looks me in the eye.
At last. Someone recognises me. He addresses me by name and welcomes me to his feast.
He raises the mead horn to me, and laughs.
I cannot reply.
He disappears, out of my view.
I recognise him. Where did we meet?
Then understanding comes. This is no dream.
I saw his face, teeth clenched beneath a helm.
Saw the axe swing towards my neck and felt the pain as flesh tore and bones shattered.

Is there anybody there?
There must be someone, out there in the darkness.
This is wrong. It should not happen.
If you can hear me,
Help me.

It has an appropriate title, which I omitted to give at the start.

If you didn’t guess, it is Talking Head.