WS = Wicked Stepmother, BP= Biological Parent, GB= Gollum Boy alias teenage online gamer.
Scene 1: The kitchen. Midday, Wednesday. GB is due to return home at 12.30. Shopping bags litter the counter tops and table. Wicked Stepmother is putting away market produce. Biological parent is getting in the way.
BP: ( stuffing into his mouth the piece of cheese he has just snapped off the new block ) Have you thought yet about what’s for lunch?
WS: Leftover Bolognese sauce. I’ll do some fresh pasta to go with it.
BP: Will there be enough, Wicked Stepmother?
WS: There’s enough for two.
BP: What will you have?
WS: (reaching under the kitchen table to retrieve tomatoes that have rolled there) Something else.
BP: Shall we have a drink first?
WS: (from under the table) Good idea.
BP: I’ll have a coffee, please. (exits)
The kitchen. There are still bags of shopping to put away. WS has retrieved tomatoes and is now making coffee. GB arrives from half-day school classes.
WS: Hello, Gollum Boy.
WS: Everything okay?
GB: Hmmmph. (exits)
WS finishes putting away the shopping and makes coffee. She is adding milk when GB suddenly reappears in doorway.
GB: Dad says I’m having pasta for lunch. Will there be some kind of sauce to go with that?
He scans the empty hob for proof.
GB: What time will it be ready?
(It is 12:40)
WS: You know what? It’ll be ready at exactly 1pm. (GB exits again) Biological Parent! Oh, Biological Parent! Are you there? Your coffee’s ready.
The kitchen. 1pm. Lunch for the boys is ready. WS gets out dishes and begins to make herself a sandwich. BP makes for the door.
WS: Where are you going, Biological Parent?
BP: To tell GB his lunch is ready.
WS: He already knows. He asked me for a time and I gave him one. I told him it would be at exactly 1pm.
(Close-up on WS’s face. Her mouth is a thin line)
BP: Then we will put out his lunch, Wicked Stepmother and he’d better get his ass down here.
BP: Actions and consequences, Wicked Stepmother. Actions and consequences.
(They clear the dishes and make another drink. Still no sign of GB. Noises off are obvious gaming sounds with GB calling out to team members to Look out! Wait! Let him have it!)
(Close up of clock face)
Kitchen. WS and BP are nowhere to be seen. It is 2:15pm. GB arrives. There is a dish under a net cover on the table. GB stares at it as if he doesn’t know what to do with it.
GB: Dad! Dad!!
BP enters kitchen. He is carrying a gardening fork. He appears not to have heard GB calling him.
GB: Why didn’t you call me to let me know when lunch was ready?
BP: Were you told it would be ready at 1pm?
BP: So why didn’t you come at 1pm?
GB: I thought somebody would call me.
BP: Oh. (He begins to walk away)
GB: Well, if I’d known this was going to happen, I would have come down.
GB: So why didn’t somebody call me?
BP: We’re not going to call you any more, Gollum Boy. Not when you’ve already been given a time.
GB: Why not?
BP: It’s your responsibility to get yourself ready to come and eat with us. You could help, couldn’t you by laying the table or stacking the dishwasher? Remember those small chores we asked you to do? You’ve been avoiding them, haven’t you?
BP: If your lunch is too cold to eat, you can reheat it in a pan. Wash up after yourself, please. We’ve already tidied the kitchen. (He exits)
Gollum Boy sits to eat. He tastes. He stands and for a moment it looks as if he’s going to make the effort to reheat the food. Then he sits down again, gobbles the food quickly and gets up to leave.
BP: ( from outside) Don’t leave that dirty dish for somebody else to clear!
GB rinses dish under tap. He looks around. He doesn’t know where to put it next. He leaves it on the draining board and exits.
In the garden, BP is happily planting tomatoes. In the bedroom WS looks in the mirror.