Extract from a 15 minute play.
The opening pun-filled scene of Wingless, where angelic Accountant Bert is invited into a meeting with his seemingly humane Employer Mrs Windle…
WINDLE is typing on her laptop in her office. The room is adorned with personal trinkets that denote her life and relationships. There is obviously far too much cheap fragile clutter in the room.
There is also a noticeably blood stained feathered rug on the floor.
She hears a noise and snaps her focus to an advancing figure in the audience.
BERT squeezes and shuffles his way past. He walks carefully between the audience and apologizes for disturbing their work. His silhouette fills up most of the room.
As he exits the audience and stumbles into the room, he instantly knocks over several personal artifacts without touching them…
WINDLE Stop flapping about Bert. Have a perch. We need to talk.
BERT I can’t.
WINDLE No need to be shy. This is rather important.
BERT I physically cannot sit down in that chair.
WINDLE Well… Do you know why I’ve called you?
BERT It wasn’t my fault that I was late.
WINDLE I’m aware of that Bert…
BERT I wouldn’t just let it happen.
WINDLE Will you cease twittering on about how that bus door trapped your… erm…
BERT Wing? Just because you cannot see them, does not mean they are not there.
WINDLE I haven’t received a ‘Doctor’s note’ to validate your recent sick leave.
BERT Is that why I’m here? Because Avian veterinaries apparently don’t do ‘Doctor’s notes’. The receptionist was particularly awkward.
WINDLE You went to the vets for a check-up?!
BERT The Bird Vets to be precise. I queued rather pheasantly for several hours between a Bushtit with a rather swollen breast and a Himalayan Snowcock with wonky plumage.
WINDLE What’s wrong with the normal surgery?
BERT The Doctor refused to admit me, whilst the Avian veterinarian did what he could. He was a sweet dove, but I was just a little too…
BERT Big. He suggested the equestrian centre for the future.
WINDLE So where is this baffling veterinary?
BERT It’s next door to the butchers actually…
WINDLE Ah yes! I bought a chunk of Swan there last week. It tasted quite celestial.
BERT shifts uncomfortably. His invisible feathers are ruffling and frustrating him. WINDLE watches with a mixture in disgust, curiosity and professionalism.
WINDLE You have an eagle’s eye for detail Bert, which makes you a rather efficient employee.
BERT You could say that I’m a rare breed of Accountant.
BERT Nothing to pardon here ma’am. (nervous laugh) I’m not a turkey. Don’t see me gobble-gobbling, do you? Prepare the feast, for here I am!
WINDLE You’re in a chirpy mood.
BERT (Laughs) Very good. That was a good roast. (beat) Oh I thought you were making a joke. No? Okay. Go on.
WINDLE Your previous experience has placed you perfectly within our pecking order here. Although I’m still not entirely sure what you did, over there…
BERT Back in my own world?
WINDLE You are simply my best and worst employee Bert.
BERT And how exactly am I running afoul in your office?
WINDLE When your physical obtrusion prevents you from doing your excellent work.
BERT My wings.
WINDLE Whatever you say they are.
BERT They are right here.
WINDLE They are clearly not.
BERT Well I can see them.
WINDLE I can’t. No-one can.
BERT My lot can.
WINDLE Well your ‘lot’ have to adjust to our world. Our culture.
BERT I didn’t choose to have ‘physical obtrusions’ Mrs Windle.
WINDLE You chose to work here.
BERT You employed me. Do we have a problem?
WINDLE Since starting at this Branch, you are now accountable for over two thousand pounds in property damage.
BERT The numbers have been flying sky high since I’ve been here! That must surely cover any /
WINDLE The clock is cuckooing. This conversation has been a long time coming. You’ve unsettled our neat nest with your flapping and fluttering and flocking…
BERT Flocking? But I’m the only one of my kind who works here…
WINDLE You’re so scruffy and unkempt all the time. Bert. I’ve warned you about keeping yourself presentable.
BERT Oh come on! I do absolutely everything to keep myself presentable. I groom, pick, moisturize, condition and hey, on special days, I even straighten my damn feathers!
WINDLE Well we can’t even see them so that’s utterly pointless. I’m talking about your attire.
BERT My wings are covering most of me.
WINDLE No. They are not Bert. Don’t you see?
BERT I can see just fine, but you can’t. That’s the point!
WINDLE Iron your clothes and don’t demolish the office. That’s all I’m asking.
BERT Those cubicles are six-by-six foot squared. Me? I have a twelve-foot two inch wing-span. It doesn’t take a cross-world accountant to do the mathematics for you.
WINDLE I advise you lower your tone chick…