"gradually I've come to realise that my house is haunted by the ghost of a dead astronaut"

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

57. Rumours of Mud

[This is another choice scene from the screenplay of the movie version of ‘Nicole Kidman stars in: The Astronaut Dropped’, with Nicole Kidman having a ‘bit part’ as herself, supporting Julianne Moore in  her Academy award nominated role as the deep, complicated and somewhat tortured Stephanie Fey, a right royal redheaded stunner of indeterminate age.]


A cosy little café in the town that lies a few miles from Mordan House. The café is busy. There are few available seats and there is a nice healthy din. A sumptuous redheaded woman sits on a stool at the bench that runs along the café window. She has her back to the café as she looks out of the window drinking a cup of coffee. The window is full of condensation. At a table nearby sit two men. One of the men is around 30 years of age. He has a gash on his nose, wears Wellington boots and is called Scott. He toys with a paper napkin. The other man, Wullie, is in his early 40s. He wears a casual zipper jacket and a bicycle helmet on his head. He has a pair of spectacles held together with sticking tape.

(Contemplates his friends spectacles and helmet with a wry smile)
Should’ve gone tae Specsavers.

It’s not bloody funny!
(Looks at the gash on Scott’s nose)
Look at the state o’ you!

Ach, a wee bit o’ blood. I’ve tons more o’ the stuff.

You’ll huv none o’ the stuff if a’ this continues. One o’ these days you’ll slip o’er and bloody well die, so you will! Then where will ye be?

(Stretches out his boots and wiggles them from side to side)
Deid in ma boots!

Aye. Me alang wi’ ye tae, nae doubt. Me and this helmet’s a’ that’s keepin’ me fae the grave. Council’s tae blame, if you ask me! Shysters! Arse holes!

Maybe. Maybe.

Maybe? Got tae be! Busted specs. Sore heid. Coccyx buggered tae. And all because of …


Aye! Mud! Everywhere! Bastards …

You know, when I slipped, my life flashed before ma eyes and ye know wit I saw, Wullie? Jerry Springer. Jerry soddin’ Springer! Whit’s that a’ aboot?

Aye, ye know yer life’s jiggered if ye see Jerry bloody Springer in yer last moments.

I think it was an association. You know, mud-slinging …

It’s cos yer a wee wuman at heart, Scott. An absolute wee wuman!

(Scott sits back and fold his arms)
Away you and yer rubbish patter go bugger off. Um no wearin’ a bike hat! Look at me, defyin’ death. Lookin’ it right in the eye! Um sayin’, come on ya bastard! Make me slip o’er again, why don’t ye! Wire intae me again, why don’t ye just!

Easy for you. Uv got half a wife and half a kid tae support. Death’s nae option for me. Even half a death and um screwed. Hence the hard hat, Scottie boy! Pro-tec-tion!

Cannae be the council anyhoo. Nae wuman diggin’ the roads, Wullie. The council can account for the mud, but no’ Mud Wuman! She’s somethin’ else that wan!

Aye. Mud Wuman. Part o’ folklore nearly. A strange wuman covered in mud, diggin’ holes all over town and all over the hills. Lookin’ for whit? That’s the question. Diggin' for what?

(Folds the paper napkin into a small ball distractedly)
Who knows, Wullie. Who knows. Lookin’ tae kill a’ the people who slip and die on the mud she leaves a’ ‘er the place, that’s whit! Uh heard that there's sometimes a man wi' 'er. Mud Man an' Mud Wuman, no less! It's him that wets the earth so they can dae a' that diggin' efter. That's why we're a' slippin'. It's no the mud. It's the wet mud!

Aye. Heard that wan tae, Scotty. Rumour hus it tae that it’s the ginger lass. The wan fae up Mordan way. She’s a total nut-job, that wan apparently. Her heid’s looser than a hooker’s undies!

Scott becomes silently animated. He starts to nod his head in the direction of the woman sitting on the stool and he waves his arms to indicate to Wullie to stop talking. The woman in the stool glances round briefly and Scott immediately stops gesturing. Wullie realises that the redheaded woman is the ‘ginger lass’ that he has been referring to.

(Speaking so the woman will hear)
Aye, but … that’s … no ma thinkin’ … or your’s fae that matter, Wullie. Salt o’ the earth, that wuman, um sure a’ it. Pretty as a picture tae, uh hear.

(Realising what Scott is indicating)
Eh, aye, Scott. That'll be a red picture, uh guess.
 (Scott kicks Wullie under the table. Wullie winces)
Oh, ya ..! 
(Grimaces at Scott and starts to speak nicely)
Um, aye … lovely bird, um sure. Lovely. Wiz it no you that telt me that horrible rumour anyhoo?

Bloody wisnae!

The woman on the stool gets up to leave. Her stool makes a loud, angry scraping sound on the floor. We can see now that it is indeed the delectable Stephanie Fey, the warped and slightly ludicrous heroine of our tale. She moves towards the door without looking in the direction of the two men she has overheard speaking about her.

(Watching her leave and raising his voice slightly so that she might hear)
No? Must’ve been on Jerry bloody Springer then …
(Wullie stifles a laugh)

(In a loud, admonishing whisper)
You shut up. Leave her be. Jeez! An' you wonder why yiv only got half a wife an' half a wean? Helmet heid!
(Scott screws up the napkin and bounces it off Wullie’s helmet.)

Stephanie Fey steps out into the street. Her eyebrows are knitted and she looks lost in thought. As she walks along the busy street, she glances across the road at a stationery figure who appears to be watching her. The woman looks remarkably like Nicole Kidman. Steph glances away, discounting the image.


Next instalment: 58. Goodbye Mordan House, Hello Mud Woman


logankstewart said...

Aye, dialect is so difficult to read sometimes, but it was fun nevertheless. Best of luck my friend.

Stephanie Fey said...

Thank you, Logan. Really good to hear from you. I'm not a great fan of writing in dialect, but this one seemed right. Sometimes it gets very claustrophobic in Mordan House and it needs new voices. There'll be lots of new voices between now and the end, but not many in a dialect. Hope you stay with me as things start to get a touch more mental!

Steph x