Thursday 16 May

by Keziah Warner

Sara and Annie in the office, 10.30am. Two women in their 70s are sat on chairs against the wall. There is a plate of biscuits on the floor in front of them. They are not eating the biscuits. Sara has her back to the women.

SARA: Are you feeling good?

ANNIE: Definitely.

SARA: I’m feeling really good.

ANNIE: Great.

SARA: It’s close.

ANNIE: Don’t worry. We’ll be fine.

SARA: I mean in time. Close in time.

ANNIE: Oh.

SARA: It’s almost Saturday.

ANNIE: Yes. Of course.

SARA: I’m not worrying. Why would you say don’t worry? I’m not worried. Are you worried?

ANNIE: No.

SARA: Are you?

ANNIE: Of course not. It’s been a good week.

SARA: Great week.

ANNIE: Yes.

SARA: We promised jobs and talked about fast rail and funded that electronic scoreboard.

ANNIE: They loved that.

SARA: Just you wait till they see the fast rail.

ANNIE: Yes.

SARA: It’s all about community ethics.

ANNIE: Right.

SARA: I used to be a journalist, you know.

ANNIE: I do.

SARA: And as a journalist you have to say what you mean and mean what you say.

ANNIE: Ethical reporting.

SARA: Exactly. Now as a politician you can have bias but only towards your local community and I’ve got that in spades.

ANNIE: And the fast rail.

SARA: Exactly.

ANNIE: So, for Saturday/

SARA: Are they still there?

Annie looks at the women.

ANNIE: Yes.

SARA: What are they doing?

ANNIE: Just sitting.

SARA: Why are they inside now?

ANNIE: It’s a sit-in.

SARA: But they were outside.

ANNIE: Yes.

SARA: I didn’t mind when they were outside.

ANNIE: It’s escalating.

SARA: I gave them an interview.

ANNIE: Yes.

SARA: I told them that if they voted for me I’d listen to their concerns. And now they’re inside. They’re impeding access to my internal office area.

ANNIE: Is that true?

SARA: Of course it is.

ANNIE: I gave them those biscuits you made.

SARA: Why?

ANNIE: A peace offering.

SARA: Are they eating them?

ANNIE: No.

SARA: For god’s sake.

ANNIE: Let’s talk about Saturday. The big day.

SARA: Fine.

ANNIE: We’ll go to the polling station first thing. Talk to some people, shake some hands. You’ll vote. You’ll eat a democracy sausage. Quick photo op. Done.

SARA: Do I have to eat the sausage?

ANNIE: Democracy sausage.

SARA: Do I have to eat the democracy sausage?

ANNIE: We just need a photo with it.

SARA: Why aren’t they eating them?

ANNIE: What?

SARA: The biscuits.

ANNIE: I think it’s the olive oil.

SARA: What about it?

ANNIE: You used olive oil instead of butter.

SARA: I don’t do butter anymore.

ANNIE: It has a slightly ah…

SARA: What?

ANNIE: It’s not the best fat for biscuits.

SARA: So they don’t like the biscuits I hand-flippin-made for them?

ANNIE: It might just be part of the protest.

SARA: What are they doing now?

ANNIE: Nothing. Just sitting.

SARA: So what about you?

ANNIE: Me?

SARA: Yes. You. We should get you voting too; an expectant mother taking her child’s future into her own hands. You can have two democracy sausages, that’d be terrific.

ANNIE: I can’t vote.

SARA: What do you mean you can’t vote?

ANNIE: I’m English.

SARA: What? You don’t have an accent.

ANNIE: Yes. I do.

SARA: Do you?

ANNIE: My mum lives in England.

SARA: Everyone’s mum lives in England.

ANNIE: That’s not really true.

SARA: God, why this obsession with the truth all of a sudden?

ANNIE: I’m just… not a citizen.

SARA: Are you even allowed to work for me?

ANNIE: I put my nationality on the forms. I’ll be eligible next year.

SARA: What use is that?

ANNIE: I wanted to do my bit.

SARA: Jesus Christ.

One of the old women coughs.

Right. That’s it.

ANNIE: I’ll get her some water.

SARA: Yes, fantastic. Why don’t you get her some champagne while you’re at it? And caviar. And a poached quail’s egg and a roast pheasant and our finest brandy and some bloody frankincense and myrrh and the flipping pink and purple flowers of the tinkle-tinkle tree.

ANNIE: I…

SARA: Call the police.

ANNIE: What?

SARA: Do it now.

ANNIE: Is that necessary?

SARA: I’ll do it if you won’t do it.

ANNIE: I don’t want to / call

SARA: Fine!

Sara picks up the phone and dials.

SARA: Police.

Yes, thank you, I’m being intimidated.

It’s a sit-in.

I’m an MP. They’re protesting.

It’s not violent physically. But it is extremely violent psychologically.

Two of them.

I don’t know, in their seventies?

Well they’re impeding access to my internal office area and they’re intimidating my staff. I’d like them arrested.

Of course I support the right to protest but there really is a line.

Thank you.

She hangs up.

They’re on their way.

ANNIE: I’ll get that water.

SARA: Well don’t take too long; we don’t know what they’ll do.

Annie goes.

Sara stands stoically facing away from the women.

One of them leans down and picks up a biscuit. She takes a bite and chews it slowly. It does not taste good.

One of them leans down and picks up a biscuit. She takes a bite and chews it slowly. It does not taste good.

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