A Triumph of Leadership
Russell Degnan

The Scene: A large field on the edge of a city. To the left, a large castle made of sand; the walls manned by the incumbent government. To the right, a trench filled with members of the Labor CAUCUS. In the background RESIDENTS water their lawns in well kept single storey suburban houses.

A man, LATHAM, approaches the castle from the trench, a banner in hand. He has a crazed glint in the eye, and looks eager for the coming battle. The remaining members of the caucus approach warily behind him.

As LATHAM nears the castle he attempts to pull a grenade from his belt. Fumbles it. Drops it. And blows up his leg, causing him to stumble. Upon regaining his feet a cannon-shot from the castle takes him in the chest, knocking him out. The CAUCUS makes a hasty retreat back to the trench.

Hearing the commotion, the RESIDENTS look up from their gardening. Upon seeing the Labor leader on the ground they look at the castle and cheer. HOWARD waves at them and they wave back before returning to their watering.

Rats them appear from the side and start picking at LATHAM's still breathing body. A few pick up the discarded banner and drag it to the trench, depositing it at the feet of BEAZLEY, who had stayed in the trench during the entire episode.

BEAZLEY is tall and imposing, dressed entirely in black armour and missing an arm and a leg. Strangely, despite the gaping wounds he doesn't bleed; an anomaly attributed to an unusual medical condition. The majority of the CAUCUS sit at his feet, some waiting, others sharpening knives; two others, RUDD and GILLARD stand to one side, eyeing the banner.

BEAZLEY: Ah, here it is

He picks up the banner

BEAZLEY: Noone minds if I keep this do they? [to RUDD]: Did you want to try and take it?

RUDD [dreamily]: I've often wanted to take up the grand banner; to march across green fields with my field marshal's baton showing the way, knocking Liberal members over the head with it; to scale Parliament's high walls and run up the flag; oh I can see myself now...

BEAZLEY [cutting him off] So you do want to try and take it?

Shaken from his reverie, RUDD looks out to the walls of the castle, then back at the motley bunch standing before BEAZLEY. Eyes narrowing, he deftly positions himself before BEAZLEY, using BEAZLEY's ample girth as shelter from any potential volley from the castle.

RUDD: No. You can keep it [muttering] For now.

BEAZLEY [to GILLARD]: And you?

In response to this, the CAUCUS begins yelling, and making a terrible noise. GILLARD imagines herself transported to the set of the Price of Right, standing before a baying crowd with LARRY EMDUR by her side.

LARRY EMDUR: So, Julia, any kids?

GILLARD: No.

LARRY EMDUR: Oh, married?

GILLARD: No.

LARRY EMDUR [non-plussed]: Well I am sure you have some other family members who'd enjoy this prize. Would you like to take it?

The crowd starts again, alternatively yelling "Take it" and "No, no". While she watches LARRY EMDUR begins to waver and expand, becoming BEAZLEY. GILLARD looks at the baying CAUCUS, a few of whom stand up and measure themselves against her slender frame, to see if they could hide behind her, before returning to sit on the leeward size of BEAZLEY.

BEAZLEY: Well?

GILLARD [walking to stand with RUDD and the CAUCUS]: No, you can keep it Kim. [sitting] We are right behind you.


Sterner Matters 28th January, 2005 10:02:04   [#] 

Comments

Trackback...
Russ, if you had trackbacks I wouldn't have to link to this manually...
Rob  28th January, 2005 14:21:52