Broken Biscuits

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An extract from my play Broken Biscuits…

Annie: My garden gate creaks. I’ve oiled it but it still creaks. It’s just old, I suppose. So when they come into the garden I can hear them come through the gate. And I wait. I wait for the letterbox to go. I remember the first time it happened. Years ago now. Well, it seems like years ago I don’t really know when it was. It was dark. It was after dark. I don’t always put the lights on. Doesn’t do to draw attention to yourself. I heard the gate creak. I heard the letterbox snap. Can’t be the postman it’s too late for the postman the postman never comes in the evening always in the morning never in the evening can’t be the postman. I stand up. Open the door and go out into the hall. There’s glass in the front door and I can see the outline of the gate and the glow of the streetlamp from behind it, orange glow these modern streetlamps they don’t light anything but the glow shows through the door and I walk towards it and I’ve taken my shoes off so as not to make any noise and as I reach the door I feel something under my feet and something crunches on the carpet under my feet and it’s rough and dry and I can’t put the light on I daren’t put the light on and then a figure appears in the glass he’s been crouching in front of the door and he bangs three times on the glass and runs away through the gate and there’s crunching under my feet and I can hear the ducks crying in panic as the gate bangs shut and I think I’m shouting or screaming but I can’t be sure and I reach out without thinking and switch on the hall light but I’ve closed my eyes and I tell myself he’s gone he’s gone there’s nothing to harm you now nothing and I step backwards from the door and I look down at the carpet and on the carpet, on the carpet is a pile of broken biscuits nothing else just a pile of plain, ordinary, broken, crumbled…

Harvey has entered.

Harvey: …biscuits?

Annie: Biscuits.

Harvey: And this has happened more than once?

Annie: More than once? More than once! Oh yes, more than once.

Harvey: And what have you done about it?

Annie: When it gets dark I keep the light off. I try not to make a sound. I hope they’ll think the house is empty. Some people, you see, they tell kids off, bawl them out, they have authority, it comes naturally to them but me, I don’t have that, it’s never come naturally to me I know I just know they’ll see how nervous I am, they’ll see straight through me and I can’t bear, I can’t bear to see that smile start to appear, that smile that means they know they can say what they like do what they like have as much fun as they like and I won’t be able to do anything, anything…

Harvey: My dear Annie, what am I to do with you?

Annie: Do?

Harvey: You are in need, my dear Annie, of a mentor, a guide, a steadying influence and you are so fortunate that you sat in my seat, that you sat in the seat of Harvey Peppard.

Annie: You can help?

Harvey: I can help you help yourself.

Broken Biscuits was first performed in 2003 by Gadabout Theatre Company and subsequently went on a mini-tour of Western Scotland.