I'll Let You Into A Secret

Synopsis
Dawn explains what keeps her strong.

Location
Europe

Characters
Dawn, Ian, Jonti

JONTI films DAWN, who’s watching IAN several yards away. IAN’s dropped some French Fries and is trying ineffectually to shoo a pigeon away from them, presumably with an eye to their successful recovery.

DAWN (to JONTI)
Breaks your heart, doesn’t it?

JONTI
He seems happy, though.

DAWN
Well it’s his life. I mean would you say he’s vermin?

JONTI
I thought so at first but since Amsterdam I…

DAWN
If Ian doesn’t give him that chip, he could starve. That’s how close pigeons are to eternity. And people call them vermin.

JONTI
Oh right…

DAWN
And if Ian eats the chip he’ll get the plague and die. When you have as many brothers and sisters as me, you soon realise life is a merry-go-round of death.

JONTI
Ian seems to have lost. Look.

DAWN
Do you know why I’m still an optimist? Do you know why every step of this trip has seen my faith grow?

JONTI
God?

DAWN
No. To me that’s mumbo-jumbo. I’ll let you into a secret.

DAWN takes from her bag a box of tampons. She opens them.

DAWN
I keep them in here because, you know, it’s sacred. Pagan fertility and all that. No red-blooded man would ever look in there.

She tips out three pebbles.

DAWN
Smell these. Go on.

They loom large in the lens as JONTI does so, awkwardly.

DAWN
That one’s ylang ylang, that’s peanut and that one smells of the Holy Thorn at Glastonbury. I cut that myself last year. They’re joss stones.

JONTI
How do they work?

DAWN
After each disaster you select the most healing and sleep with it under your pillow. Ylang Ylang for physical upset, peanut for mental health and Holy Thorn for, you know, erectile dysfunction and women’s issues.

JONTI
And do they work?

DAWN
Well look at me. Of course they do. And it’s not just a placido effect.

JONTI
Don't you mean placebo?

DAWN
Placido, Placebo, Potato, Potat-oo.They work because you think they do. I’ve started putting one under Ian’s pillow. He doesn’t know. And look how much better his mind-set has got, bless him.

They look. IAN sees them looking and comes over. As he nears we see his eyes are streaming and he actually looks quite unwell.

JONTI
Ian, are you OK?

DAWN
My God. Have you been eating verminous chips? Ian, you’ve got the plague! Get into the car! We need to smuggle you back to the NHS!

IAN
No it’s not that. I just haven’t been sleeping well. All these lumpy foreign pillows. And my nut allergy has come back. I must have eaten some a few days ago. It should have gone by now but I’ll be OK if I get some anti-histamine.

Ian wanders off.

DAWN (to JONTI)
He looks knackered, poor love. I’ll try him on the ylang ylang next. That’s not a nut, is it?

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