Let The Hungry Games Begin

In a tale where the setting is either “apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, or just ten years from now” the number of available pencils are at an all-time low, and only Jimmy the reporter seems to have one. In this world only one thing is certain: “Dunkin’ and Fox [have] won.”

You won’t want to miss out on this creative piece written by Clark’s Raechel Segal. With that, let The Hungry Games begin.

The Hungry Games
Raechel Segal

EFFIE
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the fourth gathering of the…um, I don’t know, the Games? No, not The Hunger Games. I ate my burrito. I’m no longer hungry. Don’t make dinner plans with me, because I’ll cancel. I’m stuffed.

Quick pause

What I mean is, the games, the expedition…that’s starting now. So if you can’t wait for the release of the next Jennifer Lawrence film, which, I know you can’t because it’s fucking Jennifer Lawrence, who’s only like 24 or something and so accomplished and…I need to stop myself. Patience, Effie, patience.

Quick pause

Let me take you to a place that never existed. Can you picture it? Great, you get the point. Welcome to a time, a city, and a state that I don’t know much about, but I feel would be great for your general knowledge. No, it’s not Panem or any of the districts. It’s more like that Salvador Dali Persistence of Memory painting. You know, the one with the clocks? I don’t know if this is apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, or just ten years from now. Anyways, here we are!

Effie exits, as the audience enters a melted land. A crowd gathers around Roy, who lectures to his community.

ROY
Giving speech

They stole our pencils! They stole our goddamn pencils! How am I supposed to write a poem of mourning? How can I sing John Lennon parodies and drink Merlot? Wait, we still have fridges, right?

Looks to the audience for reassurance

Okay, good. I’m thirsty.

Quick pause
The PC’s…sorry, “Police Commanders,” stole our writing utensils. There’s no more free speech except me and this podium. Where the hell is my mic? They won’t let me record anything I want to say, because if I, God forbid…whoops, that’s offensive. If I write something creative, there’s a chance it will offend someone…even if it’s from the voice of another character or a ballad with a narrator other than myself. So we rise from the dead, me and Chaucer…and you, lovely people, my subscribers and even colleagues! No more imagination. Storytelling is all we’ve got. And who can remember our tales for future generations? We can’t say nada. Whoops, that was Spanish. Maybe I’m racist. No, I’m not racist. I’m taking Spanish classes, or was, back when they permitted me the pencils. Now I have no pencils.

Roy turns suddenly, as he sees a mysterious man with paper and a pencil. Suddenly, the whole audience turns to view the enigma.

Excuse me, but who are you? And where did you get the writing supplies?

REPORTER
Oh, um, hi. I’m Jimmy.

Jimmy extends his hand, and Roy reluctantly shakes hands with Jimmy the Reporter.

ROY
Name’s Roy, but they call me Writer with a Lost Cause.

REPORTER
Oh, um, that’s a shame—

ROY
Tell me, where’d you get that pencil of yours?

REPORTER
I’m sorry?

ROY
Where’d you get the paper and pencil?

REPORTER
Excuse me?

ROY
Where’d you get it?

REPORTER
Um, my office, I think

ROY
Wait, what? You have an office? Where?

REPORTER
I’m a reporter for Fox News.

ROY
But I thought they got rid of creative writing classes.

REPORTER
Yes, but they also canned your “liberal bullshit,” as my executives like to say.

ROY
Just yesterday I was writing folk songs like Bob Dylan…before he lost his voice.

REPORTER
He never had a voice.

ROY
Well, yes, but…I thought I was a decent writer. I don’t know, at least sub par, mediocre. But now, I can’t write. I can’t store all these emotions in my head. I’m a lyricist! I’ve got words to say and feelings to process. I gotta sing, act, and dance. But now, I can’t express myself, because they took my goddamn pencils.

REPORTER
Oh, the PCs?

ROY
We say “Police Commanders,” but yes.

REPORTER
We at Fox…by we I mean me and Baba O’Reilly, never liked them.

ROY
After the “Police Commanders” took our writing utensils, the writers died out. The next David Sedaris booked it. The future Sarah Ruhl quit. There’s no more creative juices, just orange juice. Not even Starbucks!

REPORTER
Dunkin’ and Fox won.

ROY
And literature lost. We lost ourselves. Death to Charles Dickens. Sayonara, Poe. And so, all that’s left is the other side, the far right, those crazy conservatives with moose carcasses tied to their cars. It’s just you and Baba O’Reilly.
REPORTER
Sorry about the battle of existence. I hope there weren’t too many casualties.

Suddenly, the Higher Powers intervene.

HIGHER POWERS
Was somebody pleading for a pencil?

ROY
Sorry, but I’m an atheist.

HIGHER POWERS
Fine, I won’t disperse millions of Paper Mates and Bic pens among the mortals. Besides, I have other errands to attend to.

ROY
What? No! Oh, please, God, please.

HIGHER POWERS
I’m sorry, but you should have been kinder to your sister.

ROY
Huh? My sister’s dead.

HIGHER POWERS
Exactly!

ROY
She died from terminal cancer, not murder! I don’t know what you’re accusing me of, Dear God. But I apologize. Look, I’m praying on my knees. I’m super duper sorry, and I would appreciate some Paper Mates.

HIGHER POWERS
Fine.

ROY
Thank you!

HIGHER POWERS
Anytime, but just a quickie.

ROY
A what?

HIGHER POWERS
A quick lesson. You know, gotta do that Biblical stuff.

Quick pause

Any time you’re doubtful…of life or even Me, trust that your creative side will win.

Quick pause

Now, um, I gotta go to the ocean and throw a scary storm at political groups that I’m opposed to. Catch you on the flip side!

ROY
Bye, God!

HIGHER POWERS
Hasta luego!

Suddenly, a storm of pencils hits the earth. The people rejoice.

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