Buckets of Blood
Tom said, a little lamely:
'I’ve never seen so much blood.'
‘That’s no use,’ cried the director. ‘You sound as if you’re reading from an instruction manual for kitchen appliances. Put your heart and soul into it. The emphasis is on never.’
‘Alright, then. I’ve never seen so much blood.’
‘That’s a bit better,’ said the director. New to this acting lark, aren’t you?’
‘I didn’t want to be in the play at all. I was happy prompting from the wings, but when Henry cracked his shin, I had no option.’
‘Can we please get on?’ came a voice from the floor. ‘I might get spelks in my backside or something.’
‘In a minute, Emily,’ said the director. ‘Tom’s being difficult.’
‘No, I’m not,’ said Tom, ‘I’m doing my best.’
‘What is all this red stuff anyway?’ asked Emily. ‘It stinks.’
‘It’s cochineal,’ said the director.
‘cosha-what?’ asked Emily.
‘Cochineal. It’s a dye made from the mucus of an insect,’ said the director.
Emily sprang up in horror.
‘You expect me to play in a scene covered in insect snot? Why couldn’t we have used ketchup?’
‘We don’t have any,’ said Tom. ‘The last went on his hot dog.’ He pointed at the director.
‘I’m going off to change clothes. I won’t stay a minute longer covered in beetle juice.’
With that, Emily stormed off the stage.
‘We’d better get someone else to play the corpse,’ said Tom.
‘Who?’ said the director. ‘She’s the only woman in the cast.’
‘It’s a rotten play anyway,’ said Tom.
‘I wholeheartedly agree,’ said the director.
‘Why don’t we do An Inspector Calls instead?’ said Tom. ‘There’s no blood in that.’
‘And Emily can be Mrs Birling,’ said the director.
Emily insisted on playing the Inspector, in drag.
‘Actors,’ moaned the director.