There is a loud knock at the door. Maggs places her copy of The Bell Jar on the table and answers the door to find a man in a suit holding a clipboard.
MAGGS: No thank you.
MAN: I’m not selling anything.
MAGGS: Thank heavens for that. The last thing I bought from a door to door salesman was a bobblehead of Eamonn Holmes. It lasted two days on top of Mabel’s twin tub before his head fell off, bounced to the floor and rolled under the trolley Mabel keeps the Teasmaid on. Took three days of trying to fish it out from under there before any of us remembered the trolley is on wheels.
MAN: Okay. Well, I’m carrying out a Brexit census to collate information on whether people will be voting in or out.
MAGGS: Brexit? Is that some kind of car?
MAN: No, Ma’am. Brexit – whether Britain stays in or leaves Europe.
MAGGS: Well that seems a pointless vote. I’m all for people power and standing up against the man, or the machine, but I don’t think democracy can stand against the mighty power of geography.
MAN: I’m sorry?
MAGGS: Well, it’s all good and well if the nation votes to leave Europe but what do we do once that’s decided? Do we take power tools to the tectonic plates until Blighty floats free on the ocean, then paddle for warmer waters?
MAN: I think you seem to have misunderstood. Have you not been following the news about the proposed exit from the European Union?
MAGGS: The news? I can’t be dealing with the news anymore; I have poetry in my life now.
MAGGS: Oh yes. I used to think it was a bit rubbish but I’m a convert now. Do you read much poetry?
MAN: I can’t say that I do.
MAGGS: Such a shame. Now, this Europe business, is it going to change the way poetry is written or read?
MAN: Well, I couldn’t really say.
MAGGS: Well who can then?
MAN: I don’t really know. I’m only employed to carry out surveys. Your local MP might have more information on how it will change poetry in your local area, or they might have to contact the culture secretary to find out about funding changes, I couldn’t really say.
MAGGS: The culture secretary, interesting. Are they very cultured?
MAN: I’m sorry?
MAGGS: How cultured is the culture secretary?
MAN: I think we’re getting a little off topic, Ma’am. I just need to know whether you plan to vote to stay in or leave the EU.
MAGGS: Yes, so you said. You know that voting is a private matter? I’m not discussing my voting choices with you or anyone else. Besides, I’m busy. I have to write to the culture secretary about Domestic Cherry 5.
MAN: I’ll just put you down as undecided.
MAGGS: You do that, dear.
after Kevin Williamson & Wes Craven
At Maggs' house. Smoke fills the kitchen as she tries to cook microwave popcorn on her stove. The Tefal(c) isn't looking too happy. Maggs abandons the growing fire hazard to answer the telephone.
MAGGS: Is this the fire brigade?
VOICE: What's your favourite scary movie?
MAGGS: Blazing Inferno.
VOICE: That's not a scary movie. What's your favourite scary movie?
MAGGS: You don't understand, the popcorn's on fire. if you're not the fire brigade could you ask them to ring me please? They might want to know about this. Goodbye.
VOICE: Don't hang up on me. I can be the fire brigade if you want me to.
MAGGS: Barry is that you?
BARRY: You've got to help me. Mabel's getting ready for a reading, she's practicing her vocal exercises. Not sure my ear drums can take it anymore.
MAGGS: My sympathies, but what am I meant to do with this popcorn?
BARRY: Never mind that, Mabel wants to know if you've re-launched Domestic Cherry yet.
Mabel can be heard shouting in the background.
MABEL: Has she relaunched Domestic Cherry yet?
BARRY: (To Mabel) I just asked her that. I honestly don't know why I bother.
MAGGS: It's on my to-do list. I was going to do it just after cooking popcorn and before eyebrow plucking, but it's going to have to wait now until I've put this fire out, then I'll have to go and buy some popcorn, I suppose.
BARRY: (To Mabel) No, she's not done it yet.
MABEL: I told you, Barry. Her memory's going. Is she still writing everything down? She's got to write everything down. Tell her.
BARRY: I feel like a ventriloquists dummy, why did I agree to make phone calls for her? Enjoy your popcorn, Maggs.
Domestic Cherry 5 is open to submissions. Check out our Submissions page for more information.