(Yawn. . .)
Hey. How are you all doing? Hold on a second. Let me wipe the sleep from my eyes and clear up the old vision. There, much better.
(Scratches head and looks around the old joint)
I see the bodies are where I left them. Can’t get the vampires to do their jobs anymore. They’ve gotten fat and lazy, just like the slobs they dine on. I guess the old saying is true: You are what you eat.
Coffee. Yeah, I need some coffee right about now.
(Rubs hand over face, scrunches nose up.)
Wow. You all sure are a nice looking bunch. Well, maybe not you there on the second row, but there’s always an exception to the rule. But, whoa—you. Yeah, you, right up front with the pretty smile. Yeah, you look nice.
Anyway, let me make a pot of coffee and we’ll get the show started. Hold on a second.
(Searches cupboards looking for the coffee. Finds it and wipes the dust off the can.)
That’s right where I left it, too.
Well, what are we doing here tonight? Just kind of hanging around? Ew… bad choice of words for that dude swinging from the rafters. I should have taken him down a long time ago. (Shrugs) At least the crows enjoyed a decent meal for a change.
(Turns coffee on and crosses arms as he looks into the crowded theater. Spreads hands out and walks to the center of the stage.)
Welcome, everybody. To my Theater of Nightmares.
Hey, you in the back. Yeah, the one on his way to the bathroom. This is not a comedy show. Sit down like a good little boy or I’ll send the Quelchers out to get you. Don’t look at me like that.
What? Can you folks believe that? Hold on a sec.
(Picks up phone, dials a number and waits.)
Yeah, hey, Count. Listen, it’s me, Cornelius.
Yeah, Corn. It’s me, Corn, okay? Some dude in a Whitesnake T-shirt just got up and walked out. I think he had to go water the lilies or something. Yeah, do you mind sending Ste-vie and the Quelchers after him? No. No. No. They don’t have to bring him back. If they’re hungry . . . Oh, they are. Good. Well, let them enjoy. Say hey to Ste-vie for me, okay? Yeah, thanks. Bye.
(Hangs phone up and looks back toward the crowd. Smiles when he hears the scream.)
Okay, where were we? Oh yeah, I’m making coffee and introducing you to myself. I am Cornelius and this is the Theater of Nightmares. It is my humble home. There are bodies strewn about, which I am sure you can see. Spiders on webs in corners and under seats. Don’t hurt them—they are my friends and I’d hate to have your eyeballs plucked while others looked on. It’s really not a pretty sight.
(Scratches head and chuckles.)
I just made a pun, I think. (Shrugs.)
(Pours coffee and takes a sip. Nods in satisfaction.)
That’s some good stuff.
(Walks over and sits in dusty recliner. Scratches head again.)
I’m glad you guys and gals—especially you in the front—made it to my domain. There’s no turning back now. Time for me to play. Time for you to scream. I hope you enjoy it here—you can’t leave anytime soon.
(Looks to the right of the stage.)
Oh, look, one of the Quelchers brought me a souvenir. Thank you. I’ll put this eyeball with the others in the Looking Lab.
(Licks eyeball and nods). Fresh. Thanks, buddy.
For you out there in the seats, please feel free to roam around. Just don’t wake me as I sleep. I’m cranky when I’m woke up earlier than usual. As you can see, I need my beauty sleep. It’s not easy being uglier than a frog’s butt with hairy warts on it. Somehow I manage just fine.
I have to go put this eyeball away before it spoils. You all just sit tight and I’ll be back real soon with a few treats for you.
(Turns, walks away. Lights dim, curtains close.)