Writings / Drama

excerpt from John and Jamie’s Flies

Celeste Parr

(Excerpt of A ten minute play)

JOHN, 35, and JAMIE 30, are in the kitchen. Jamie is rolling out pie dough while John crouches down, walking around, looking for something. Meanwhile, John and Jamie do not directly look at each other.

JAMIE. They’re coming from the sink.

JOHN. I cleaned the sink.

JAMIE. Every time I turn on the water, a swarm of them flies out of the drain, and into my face.


JOHN. So, Friday?

JAMIE. What about it?

JOHN. Sara and Josh.

JAMIE. Sara and Josh?

JOHN. We talked about it... (Pause.) Or maybe we didn’t. (Silence.) Sara called me—

Jamie sighs loudly.

JAMIE. Of course she did.

JOHN. Sara called me and invited us to go over and have dinner at their new place. Meet Josh.

Jamie stops rolling the dough.



JAMIE. Thought you could trick me.

Jamie starts rolling again.

JOHN. Trick you?

JAMIE. Yeah, you knew what I’d say.

JOHN. Trick you. Heh.

John shakes his head and gets on his hands and knees to look under the kitchen table.

JAMIE. They’re. In. The. Sink.

JOHN. I cleaned the sink, I cleaned the sink. I don’t even know what I’m looking for.

JAMIE. John.

JOHN. You’re prone to exaggeration. (She shoots him a look and he feels it.) A little, ok? Come on. You are. A little.

JAMIE. Fuck this fucking pie dough!

JOHN. Let me do it.

JAMIE. Don’t let shit get all in it.

JOHN. (as John takes over the pie dough) So what did I know you’d say? (Jamie starts scrubbing the sink.) There’s nothing in the sink.

JAMIE. What do you call these?

JOHN. What do I call what? I don’t see anything!

JAMIE. The fucking...

JOHN. What did I know you’d say, huh?

JAMIE. When was the last time you washed this dishrag?

JOHN. (sing-song) Jaaamieeee...

JAMIE. That it’s bullshit.

JOHN. Why would I make that up? We’re invited.

JAMIE. Oh I’m sure we’re invited. They’re coming from everywhere.

Jamie crouches down and begins to walk around the kitchen, looking for the source of the flies.

JOHN. Then what’s bullshit?

JAMIE. The idea.

JOHN. Aww, Jamie. It’s their new place; they just decorated their dining room.

JAMIE. Ughghghgh.

JOHN. You found them?

JAMIE. They just decorated their dining room?


JOHN. Yeah.

JAMIE. I’m not going.

JOHN. Why not?

JAMIE. I’m not going to participate in that charade.

John stops rolling the dough and hangs his head.

JAMIE. Yes, a charade. Maybe do something festive with that... Carve a design in it for Canada Day.

JOHN. Ok. For the sake of conversation. How is that a charade?

JAMIE. Come on. It’s offensive.


JOHN. Is it because she’s my ex?


JOHN. You’re cute.

JAMIE. You two aren’t friends, you know.

JOHN. We are. She’s my friend.

JAMIE. No. (Jamie notices the fly-traps hanging on the wall.) What are these?

JOHN. Fly traps.

JAMIE. Man. They’ve been up there for a while haven’t they...

JOHN. Yeah.

John keeps working the pie dough.

JAMIE. And yet you insist we don’t have a fly problem.

JOHN. Whatever it takes to... (he censors himself)... keep the peace.

Jamie examines the fly trap.

JAMIE. You know, this whole time I thought they were like... Streamers or something for a party. Stupid. They’re covered in dead flies.

JOHN. What?

JAMIE. Come look.

JOHN. (after a beat) I believe you.

JAMIE. Of course you do. Shut up and look.

John crosses the room and looks. He stands next to Jamie.

JAMIE. See them? (Silence.) Nice to know I’m not crazy.

John takes Jamie’s hand.

JAMIE. You and Sara are not friends.

John lets go of Jamie’s hand and goes back to the pie.

JOHN. Looks like specs of dust to me.

JAMIE. She calls you once every six months to talk about herself. She starts yapping without even asking how you are--

JOHN. You mean how you are?

JAMIE. And then you go hide in the bathroom or closet or --whatever --and then 10 minutes later when she’s done venting about --whatever --she hangs up. And that’s that.


JOHN. Do I really go into the bathroom?

JAMIE. Yeah.

JOHN. I didn’t even realize.

JAMIE. Yeah. Well.

JOHN. Do you forgive me?

JAMIE. Are you apologizing?


JAMIE. How long were we dating before she even realized you had a girlfriend?

JOHN. I don’t know.

JAMIE. 11 months. (John raises his hands to say “Why did you ask?”) You were on the phone and you were like “Uh, sorry to interrupt Sara but I’m just stepping out with the girlfriend.” I hate it when you say “the girlfriend.” And then she said-- I could hear it because of her loud obnoxious voice-- she said “You have a girlfriend? Since when?”

JOHN. Well that’s just the way she is, that doesn’t mean—

JAMIE. And that was how long ago? (John waits for an answer) 8 months. And did she express any interest in meeting me then or even knowing what my name is? (Pause.) Eh?


JAMIE. No. Why? Because she doesn’t give a shit, John. Because she’s not your friend.

Jamie smiles, smug.

JOHN. But she’s inviting us over to dinner now.

JAMIE. Exactly! Now that she has a boyfriend who lives with her and now that she has her nice walk-up in Outremont and all her nice housewarming stuff and her newly Decorated Dining room. “Hey, John, come over and look at how fabulous I am!” -- I hate that word, fabulous-- “And look at you! Who’s crying now?”


JOHN. I’m not crying.

Jamie covers her face with her hands.

JOHN. Are you crying?

Jamie puts her hands down. She’s not crying.

JAMIE. I bet she’s good at this...

JOHN. At what?

JAMIE. This.... shit.

JOHN. You want me to tell you you’re good at this.


JOHN. Come here.

Jamie approaches John. He wraps his arms around her.

JOHN. You got all this from a dinner invitation?

JAMIE. John.

JOHN. I knew I shouldn’t have fallen in love with an English teacher.


JOHN. What? Jesus Christ!

JAMIE. Is that a penis?

John chuckles.

JAMIE. Did you carve a penis in the pie crust?

About The Author


Céleste Parr is a published, produced, and four-time award-winning screenwriter and playwright. She holds a BA (with distinction) in Honours English Literature and Creative Writing from Concordia University and is currently completing her M.A. at McGill. She has studied screenwriting at both Concordia University and UCLA. Céleste also currently works as a script consultant.

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Celeste Parr

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