MUSIC: ["BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY" BY THE VERVE]
NICHOLAS BRIGGS IMPERSONATOR: Coming soon from The Youth of Australia.
SOUND: THE SOUND OF THE WAVES BY A SHORE, BIRDS CHIRPING IN THE TREES.
NICHOLAS BRIGGS IMPERSONATOR: [ECHOING] Jacob's Ladder.
ANDREW: Have you ever been lying in bed, or on the couch, dozing off, and as you're lying there, eyes closed, on the knife edge of consciousness, half awake and half asleep? And then, somehow, for some reason, you think you're falling? You've tripped going down some steps or fallen off a cliff or something and your hurtling downwards, with your balance going skewiff inside your head... and just before you can hit the ground you're suddenly slammed awake, in bed, with your heart trying to break its way out of your ribcage? Adrenaline burning under your skin, sweat boiling over it. And while your eyes and your senses are telling you you're safe and sound in bed, your body is convinced it's just fallen into a bottomless chasm. And, just for a moment, for a second, you wonder to yourself... which one do I believe? My body or my mind? Which is dreaming? And which is awake? Don't you know that feeling of utter disorientation when you can't trust *anything*?
IZZY: No. Not really. Sounds pretty freaky though.
SOUND: DISTANT THUNDER AND RAIN FROM AN OPEN DOORWAY, INDOORS.
CHAMBER: Eve?! Where the hell did you come from?
EVE: That’s a bit of a personal question, isn’t it?
SOUND: BG: THE ACCOUSTICS OF A CHURCH.
DAVE: I'm not too good at this sort of thing. But you knew that anyway... I'd be lying if I said I liked Nigel. He picked on me a lot, stole my stuff, criticized my family, my ethnic background, my friends and even my haircut. But I'd be lying if I said, after all that I hated him. I'm sorry you're dead, dude. Life is unfair. And so were you most of the time. In fact, I can honestly say the day you died was the day you stopped making everyone else's lives a living hell. Which is probably ironic or something.
SOUND: A WINDY, ECHOING BG.
NIGEL: [SCREAMS HYSTERICALLY] Jesus! Jesuss!! Smegging Jesus! I'm freaking dead and I’m trapped in this black pit of despair and nothingness for the rest of eternity until the crack of doom!
PHOEBE: [MOCK HYSTERICAL] And you managed to contradict yourself *three* times in that sole outburst!
NIGEL: [CALMER] OK, OK, I was panicking.
PHOEBE: You don’t say.
SOUNDS: BG: A BUSY PUB.
BARMAID: ‘Every writer, without exception, is a masochist, a sadist, a peeping Tom, an exhibitionist, a narcissist, an injustice collector and a depressed person constantly haunted by fear of unproductivity,’ to quote Dr Bergler.
JADI: Hey, Dave. I’m writing my magnum opus. I’ve decided to write the worst book ever written. I want something that will, one day, be auctioned off to the Times Literary Supplement for millions of dollars – just so they can publicly urinate on the said manuscript. And I want *you* to help me.
JADI: Yeah. I’m gonna make you creative consultant, and the main character. I shall call him... Dave. A back-stabbing asshole who, who sings! How does that sound?
CHAMBER: How did you get in here?
EVE: The door was open.
CHAMBER: What door?
EVE: Well, this one... except... except it won't open.
SOUND: EVE TRIES AND FAILS TO OPEN THE DOOR SEVERAL TIMES.
CHAMBER: What *are* you doing?
EVE: Chamber, was there a door here yesterday?
CHAMBER: Look, babe, I know my own room. The only door is over *there*! There’s no secret passage to my knowledge. Would have come in freaking useful if there was, though.
EVE: [URGENTLY] Nothing has changed, then?
CHAMBER: No, nothing’s changed. Why’d you ask?
EVE: How very curious.
SOUND: ECHOING, A STONE TUNNEL
IZZY: What *is* that smell? [SNIFFS] It's like... like something sweet and sickly. Like vanilla. And something else.
ANDREW: It's hair. Human hair. The smell hair makes when it's burnt.
IZZY: How do you know that?
ANDREW: You don't live the life I lead, Izzy, without your hair getting set on fire *at least* twice!
SOUND: CHURCH BG.
DAVE: I mean, if there *is* an afterlife, I'm not totally sure about that, and *if* you all go to the same place, which I hope we do, well, maybe we'll see each other again...
NIGEL: [SOTTO] Christ, that’s a long way down. My, my, that’s a lot of naked chicks down there.
PHOEBE: [CHUCKLES] Look at that, that’s real funny.
NIGEL: [SOTTO] What’s really funny?
PHOEBE: [SOTTO] Well, their eyes.
NIGEL: [SOTTO] What about them?
PHOEBE: [SOTTO] Their eyes follow you as you move.
NIGEL: [IMPRESSED] My goodness, that’s clever. I thought ‘eyes follow you around the room’ was just a convoluted description.
PHOEBE: Well it isn’t.
NIGEL: No, and it’s not just their eyes. Heh-heh. You know, there’s something very odd about the way they’re just lying there with their ‘come-hither’ expressions.
PHOEBE: What, the way their naked bodies spell out the words, "FACE YOUR JUDGEMENT AND WE WILL COME AND DANCE FOR YOU"?
NIGEL: Yeah. Ahem. [SHOUTS] COME UP AND DANCE FIRST AND THEN I'LL FACE MY JUDGEMENT, HOW ABOUT THAT?
PHOEBE: Wow, those six thousand ladies forming the letter "F" aren't impressed, are they?
NIGEL: That gorgeous babe down there is waving at us. Wierd. She’s not using *all* her fingers, though. What’s she saying, anyway?
PHOEBE: Something about "judgement first and nude women later".
NIGEL: No, there’s something wrong about that, morally-speaking.
SOUND: TUNNELS BG.
IZZY: We've been walking for ages now. These tunnels... they all look exactly the same! No doors, no distinguishin features, nothing! It almost like this is a maze!
ANDREW: "Almost"? I'd have said "it's exactly like this is a maze.
IZZY: How are we going to get out of here? It's so dark...
ANDREW: Simple. We just keep our hand on this wall as we walk. A maze is just a more complicated empty room. If you want to find a way back to the entrance of an empty room, you pick a wall and follow it until you end up back at the entrance. There are a lot of dead ends and its very frustrating, but it always works.
IZZY: You don't sound worried.
ANDREW: I'm not worried, I'm confused. This doesn't make sense! None of it makes *any* sense! Why the hell would there be a maze inside an abandoned tuck shop down by a football field that hasn't been used since Bob Hawke was in power? It's so pointless it beggars belief.
IZZY: Who says it's pointless just because we can't see the point in it?
SOUND: DAVE CLAPS HIS HANDS LOUDLY.
DAVE: Right. What we desperately need in this novel is... a redneck from Texas! Who romances every single character in the book, living or dead!
JADI: Yeah, who starts every sentence with ‘Haaaaaaaay!’
DAVE: Yes, that’s cool. And ends every sentence with, ‘Wheee, I’m like so excited, ya’ll!’ and everyone tells her to shut up!
JADI: And the main protagonist works in the diplomatic core, but can’t stand the hours! Then, he meets the sluttiest whore in existence for some romantic tension. Let’s call her ‘Detective Bitch’ A bit of dull feminine touches – *and* some very lowbrow humor!
DAVE: I know the perfect title: ‘For The Love Of God, Why?’
KATY: I’m thinking similar things.
JADI: Anyone can write a bad book by accident, but to do it deliberately. That takes imagination. Imagination and genius. Imagination, genius and Guinness. More beer!
EVE: This is just a story! Don't you see, this isn't really happening!
DR SPOON: [CAUTIOUS] What do you mean?
EVE: What's your real name? Do you even have one? Were you born "Dr Spoon"?
DR SPOON: Of course I've got a real name! It's Rupert. Rupert Woosing-Gard.
EVE: Why are you called Dr Spoon then? Why don't you use your real name?
DR SPOON: Well, I... you know, come to think of it, I don't remember.
EVE: You don't remember a lot of things. Come on, this entire world is a pack of lies!
CHAMBER: Cockadoodledoo, babe. What are you talking about?
EVE: You guys don't have jobs. You don't have bills or mail or post. You live in this apartment without paying rent, you don't have any friends or family, you don't even like each other. But you live here and you have a fully-working time machine in the shape or a portable toilet you can't remember where you got, or know how it works, or why you haven't sold it! Is it ANY way credible? Does that make any sense?
CHAMBER: It does if you don't think about it.
DR SPOON: [SARCASTIC] Oh, very Zen.
JADI: All the characters will be shallow – there shall be no hint of personality, no redeemable values, no exploration of depth. Just whine, whine, whine, bitch, bitch, bitch!
SOUND: A DOOR IS FLUNG OPEN.
ANDREW: You took your time.
NIGEL: *We* took our time??
ANDREW: That’s what I just said.
DAVE: My sense of direction is better than yours, Andrew!
ANDREW: *MY* sense of direction??
DAVE: That’s what I just said.
ANDREW: Never mind, you can tell me about it later.
NIGEL: Tell you about it later?!?
ANDREW: That’s what I just said.
DAVE: Andrew, this conversation is getting us nowhere.
ANDREW: David, this conversation is getting us nowhere.
JADI: Just whine, whine, whine, bitch, bitch, bitch! Whine, whine! Bitch, bitch!
ANDREW: I can't help feeling there's something... unreal about all this.
IZZY: What do you mean?
ANDREW: We're trying to draw logical conclusions about what's happening. Where we are, what this place is for, why we happen to be here. But logic is wasted if we're not in reality.
IZZY: If we're not in reality, where are we?
ANDREW: I've no idea. But trying to think this out hasn't worked, so I've gone for gut instinct.
IZZY: What does your gut instinct tell you?
ANDREW: There's something not right about this.
NIGEL: Right, so, what do you do in a crisis situation-situation when the first thing you do in the same crisis situation-situation has proved to be a total waste of time?
PHOEBE: OK, how about ‘panic’?
EVE: Right, now, Rupert. I’m fairly certain this door will lead to the hallway.
DR SPOON: *Fairly* certain?
EVE: Well... I hope it does.
CHAMBER: [CONFUSED] Do you expect it to?
EVE: Don’t be stupid, Chamber. Matters are decidedly confusing, not to mention just a little serious.
NIGEL: It’s just like "The Matrix"! And "Matrix Reloaded". And "Orphée"! And "Le Testament D’Orphée"! And "L’Annee derniere a Marienbad"! And "Scanners"! Jesus, you think a dark god of total evil would have at least *some* imagination!
BEN CHATHAM: You will fear me. You will tremble. You will cower. You... you will stop laughing!
DAVE: I just don’t buy the nephew turning up and always acting tough around older people. In reality, younger people get to be hushed up in an instant!
JADI: Hey, it’s *my* childish fantasy, so screw you!
DAVE: Oh what I mean is, I'll miss you. You deluded, pathetic wanker. It just won't be the same without you.
NIGEL: Maybe. I mean, stranger things in heaven and hell then are made on Surprise Chef.
EVE: This is boring.
EVE: Tediously, mind-numbingly, relentlessly boring! Every second sees me having to fight to stay awake. Am I still in here? I don’t know how much more I can take to be honest. The only thing that kept me conscious just now was having to drum my fingers. I’m not kidding, either – I’ve just fallen into a half sleep stage. I’m not actually sure what was happening as, frankly, I lost all interest.
CHAMBER: Was that thunder a bit loud to you?
EVE: I don’t know and I don’t care.
SOUND: FLOODLIGHTS SNAPPING ON.
KATY: Welcome to the House of Infinite Chambers!
ANDREW: But who are you? And where am I?
KATY: It's so good to have someone to talk to after all these years. Years, I tell you. After all that, you start to get lonely. Even me. But I'm surprised to see you of all people here. You're not who I expected.
ANDREW: Who did you expect?
KATY: I've never known his name... only what he looks like. Which, by the by, is not what you look like. And the knowledge that he shall be armed with the burnished bronze sword of a hero! Which isn't a sword per se, if you follow my thinking.
ANDREW: Which I don't.
SOUND: RAINING HEAVILY.
CHAMBER: You know, Rupert. I have absolutely no idea what's going on.
DR SPOON: Exactly! Exciting, isn’t it?
SOUND: FADE OUT.