It is All Hallow’s Eve, don’t you know.

Tawny PortI, as editor-in-chief of this webby-sited literary journal, question those who so favour the All Hallow’s Eve celebration. Do they need to somehow make merry the macabre due to their own inner psychopathelogical tendencies? Do these poor unfortunate creatures need to “dress up” in demented “finery” to “convey” their spirit “for” this bizarre and unnatural revelry of the “un-alive”? What kind of twisted, depraved, grody, divergent, and, frankly, camp unfortunates need to adorn themselves with such unorthodox and disturbing costume?

Urchin! Come! And bring the bin liners!

Here at The Good Ear Review‘s cosy set of mahogany cubicles, we are fortunate to have such a creature in our midst. My staff, under my direction, have adorned the office urchin to dress as something—we don’t quite know what—but something that is at once spastic, sad, and flamboyant.

Can you guess what he is dressed as? We can’t. But no matter! Enough! Enjoy yourselves on this hideous of holidays. I don’t understand any of you.

Best,
Tristram Stjohn Bexindale-Webb,
Editor-in-Chief and Port-drinker 

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MONOLOGUE: Acts of Reconciliation

by Dick Curran

Setting:
A confessional box in a Catholic church, Newcastle, England.

Time:
present

Character:
DAVID, a well-dressed man, 45 years old

DAVID

(Part 1)

Right. Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It’s been…a very long time since my last Confession.

Specifically?  Shit—sorry, Father. Right, it’s over thirty years since my last confession. Thirty-two probably. I accuse myself of…

Do you still do it like this? These words?

I’m out of touch. Obviously. Not even called confession any more is it? An act of reconciliation.

Perhaps I’m Old School but it sounds strange. Hard to believe God’s so upset that  we need to be reconciled.

I used to exaggerate it when I was little. Accuse myself of extra sins to make it more interesting than just arguing, fighting, being disobedient, and telling lies—which I didn’t apart from saying I did. I stopped going about the time it became…embarrassing.

Don’t suppose I was unusual in that. Not wanting to chat about my sexual fantasies with a priest in a wardrobe.

I’m glad you’re Irish. My Mam was. Last Catholic in the family.  Look, seriously, father, I’m sorry, I’ve made a mistake. If I accused myself of everything I’ve done since my last confession, we’d be here all night. Traffic offenses and financial misdemeanors alone, never mind sins of the flesh.

I don’t want to waste your time. Might be people waiting. Proper Catholics. Continue reading

Classifieds Advert/Situations Wanted: Victorian Hermit


Dear Country Estate Owners:  

I am currently looking for a well-appointed garden shed or cave for hermetic possibilities on your property.

I require very little upkeep as I am partial to voles.  I am suitably apoplectic, adequately eccentric, and erudite in my mutterings. 
I philosophise. 

Let me be your living lawn ornament.

I can be reached at…  I am not reachable.

MONOLOGUE: Steel Roses

by Michael Monkhouse

Setting:         Stage is empty except chair

Time:            Evening

Character:     SEYMOUR, a sad and confused teen

SEYMOUR

The Baron of Beef. Everyone’s favourite pisser, my favourite solution.

Outside there’s a butcher’s and a vegetarian restaurant with the

obligatory old bastard pissing up the side with his jeans ripped to

expose his arse. When the wind gusts the spray into my face…

CHEER.

It’s the smallest, smokiest, pokiest pub—or bar—or cesspit—you could

hope for. The walls sweat under a fluorescent light that flashes on and

off, on and off. Yobs cheer over their beers at the boxing on the telly,

the tiny black-and-white telly above the barman who’s spindly and

moustachio’d and has red smudges across his apron. (PAUSE.) I look

left and there’s a wizened witch on a high backless stool in a tight

leather miniskirt, a blue jacket dripping yellow at the armpits, and

thick tights squashing the hairs that mushroom from her thighs. Her

face is sandpaper with a vermilion smudge where her lips should be

and wisps of wool where her hair should be and they remind me of

strands spouting from a Chinaman’s mole. A sign of fortune, I’m told.

When she isn’t tugging on her rollie she’s squawking at volumes

inversely proportional to the interest of anyone around her. (PAUSE.) Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: excerpt from The Shining Path

by Rahila Gupta

Setting:         Bare stage

Time:             Present

Character:     CANDIDA FORTESCUE, 40s

CANDIDA faces the audience, wearing a white laboratory coat and sexy glasses, holding a test-tube in her hand and leaning against a makeshift counter. All the paraphernalia of a photo shoot, white umbrella, wires, lights, cameras. She talks to Mark, the photographer, while she poses.

CANDIDA

Thanks, Mark. You certainly know how to make a girl feel at home. This is not my forte. As you can see. (Laughs) Is it that obvious? I have to say my media training… (camera flash) …oh yes…sorry, was my mouth open?… Let’s do it again… Where was? Media training…didn’t stretch to this… it’s been mainly displays in city centres, beer swilling youths peering down a microscope at a stem cell beating like a heart, going, cool, there’s a heart… Sorry, yeah, okay… No, I’m doing myself down, not like me really… There were the radio  interviews and… h yes… Open University…but this… (Poses. Flash, flash, flash.) Wow! the paparazzi! You know…we don’t really…I don’t wear, need to wear a white coat in my lab…unless you’re an actual, hands-on researcher type… What? …Puh-lease…lie on the counter…why? That’s ridiculous…I’m not lying on the counter… I can just see the headline now, “If your brain’s short of a cell or two, then Candida’s your girl.” Tell you what, I’ll sit on the counter…

(Candida’s shapely legs in black tights and fancy stilettos are now visible. Her lab coat is unbuttoned. She’s stylishly dressed.)

How’s that?

“Candida gets on top of her research.” Or “Candida gets on top of her tubes.” Scrap the last one. That probably suits “Loaded” better… A model who supplies her own headlines… (Flash) Two for one… Can I take my glasses off? I look much better without them (Takes them off and then puts them back on, wearily) Oh…alright. (Flash) Why couldn’t they have done a feature like “Candida: A scientist relaxes”? Pictures outside the Royal Opera house in a Dolce Gabbana dress and jewelry that comes with its own security guards…wouldn’t that be great?… I guess that would be Vogue, not Hello… Yeah, alright, keep your hair on…I’m sure Hello is a great magazine to work for… (Flash) Was I talking again? Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: Empathy in the Rape Farm

by Nathaniel Kressen

Setting:       a clinic in Perseverance, Wyoming

Time:           late 21st century

Character:    RACINE—female, teens, a problem child

After years of consuming artificial growth hormones, the female population in America is largely unable to bear children. RACINE, a rebellious orphan still in her teens, is one of the rare few to test fertile and is thrown into a government-run clinic. She forms an unexpected bond with the doctor there, who is equally conflicted about duty to self versus duty to humanity.

RACINE

So last night I dreamed I was at Craters of the Moon with Marty, just like we planned. He was giving me this out-of-this-world orgasm, and all of a sudden I look and he’s turned into Abraham Lincoln. The beard, the top hat, the whole nine. And I’m like, okay, cool. I’m a history geek, I’ll go with it. I mean how are you ever going to screw up the future if you don’t know who screwed up the past? So Abe keeps pumping away. Then he turns into Napoleon. He’s Alexander the Great. Einstein. Obama. I think he might have even turned into Chewbacca at some point. So eventually this rolodex of historical cock comes to a climax and spontaneously combusts into a cloud of butterflies. They’re everywhere. I can’t see the sky above us, they’re so thick. I try to get up but they swoop down and start batting their wings against my stomach. And the longer they do it, the more it swells up. I just lay there watching it grow, knowing with every fiber that something good is coming.

In like 30 seconds I’m big as a house, my water breaks, I go into labor and a baby pops out. Right away I know something’s up because this baby is sitting upright and just staring me down. Then it’s cute little mouth opens into a smile, a pair of white wings open from its back and it rises into the air. And its little infectious smile gets me smiling, and I don’t even mind when the butterflies swarm back down again. I don’t mind swelling up and I don’t mind popping out another baby. It does the same thing: sit up, sprout wings, hover over me and smile. The whole thing happens again. Another baby. Then another. And another. And another. Finally the butterflies quit. And I’m like, cool, I guess eight is enough. Then I feel this tug. The babies are still attached to me, the umbilical cords or whatever, and all eight of them are lifting me up. Soon I’m bare naked, spread eagle, upside down, floating into the air, but I’m still cool with it, ‘cuz their smiles are so damn adorable. Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: excerpt from the play Family Ties

by Susan Hodgetts

Setting:       Le Chabanais, a notorious house of ill repute in Paris.

Time:           1927

Character:   Adelaide Snape (working name VIVIANA), of English origin, now the Madame of Le Chabanais.

The dying strains of a faded French song. VIVIANA, a woman of around 45 years of age, appears to be waltzing with someone, but is alone. She has not been treated gallantly by time. The music stops.

VIVIANA

She speaks in an English accent, a jumbled mixture of East End and affected.

(burps) Oh, excuse me. I’ve just had a very big dinner at a charming little restaurant along the Champs Elysees with a wealthy Member of State and his very rich foreign guest. True, it’s a far cry from jellied eels. But I’ve lived here in Paris for decades and now oysters are more my type of cuisine. You see, I’ve dined with Kings.

(She removes what looks like a real pearl necklace, irritated by it clamouring at her neck. Distracted, she drapes it on a stool.)

But my Alain is buried here. Somewhere.

And this sumptuous abode, well I’ve risen to a Madame of my very own…I came here to escape the workhouse, fled like a canary bird from a coal mine. I knew that looks were my fortune. And my talents. I have many of those.

(She removes a bracelet, clamouring at her wrist. Drapes it on a mirror.)

All this jewelry, so heavy. It quite wears one down. I used to do the can-can for the King of England and I still wore all of this ammunition. Bertie, I mean. Although you’ve probably heard of him as Edward the Caresser. Lord knows, he spent enough time here. When he came to pave the way for the Entente Cordiale, I begged him. We were in the Japanese room, the most celebrated of all the rooms here at Le Chabanais (it’s the most luxurious with the right mixture of decadence and intimacy to put our guests a tease.) I said, Your Majesty, I fear for the future of England, and I got down on one knee, and he said, that’s a new position, I haven’t tried that one before.  Continue reading