Lights up on DOCTOR SPECTRE, a gangly mad scientist with exploded hair, large goggles and a lab coat. Various tables filled with beakers and test tubes litter the lab, and on stage left is a large control panel with a lever sticking out of it. The Doctor faces away from the audience as he works at a medical slab. On the slab is the body of a pretty girl covered in scars, stitches and maybe even some robotic parts. The Doctor tinkers with her arm and a small socket wrench. In the corner of the room sits an inconspicuous cardboard BOX.
SPECTRE: (twisting the wrench) There we go! Soon, my lovely… soon you will be given the gift of life, and then we two can live together in peace. And no one will disturb us… you and I, master and creation. Doctor Spectre and love… And you’re so pretty too. (He picks up her hand and kisses it) Not quite as pretty as me, but we can’t all be perfect. Now where did I put that bolt? (He looks around, but cannot find a bolt anywhere.) …Box! (He shouts directly at the box.) Box!!! (The box jiggles a bit.) Box, get out here!!!
BOX: (The corner of the box lifts up, and a face pokes out of it.) You rang, sir?
SPECTRE: Box, find me a bolt.
BOX: Yes, master. (He puts the box back over his face and scoots over to the Doctor.)
BOX: (From inside the box.) The bolt is not in my box, master.
SPECTRE: Of course it’s not inside your box, you imbecile. Now come on out of there.
BOX: But it’s cold.
BOX: As you wish, Doctor Spectre. (Box crawls out of his box and we see him in full for the first time. Box is a short, wide, goofy looking Igor-type fellow. He is bald and has a large nose, and his eyes are not the same size. Box is as cute as he is ugly.)
SPECTRE: Well, what are you waiting for? Hurry up and find me that bolt!
BOX: Right away, sir. (Box bumbles around the lab for a moment but finds nothing.) The bolt remains unfound, sir.
SPECTRE: (Removing his goggles) Confound it, Box! Without that bolt I cannot finish my latest and greatest creation! I won’t be able to breathe life into her without that bolt!
BOX: But you gave me life, sir, and I don’t have any bolts.
SPECTRE: Yes, and look how you turned out.
BOX: My apologies, sir.
SPECTRE: That was our last bolt, blast it all. Oh well, I suppose we’ll just have to improvise. Hand me that rubber band.
BOX: (he does) Rubber band.
SPECTRE: (Spectre tries unsuccessfully to put the rubber band around the girl’s neck and gives up.) No, no, no, no, no! This is too tight! I need something to secure the head!
BOX: (Struck with a brilliant idea) Oh, I have just the thing, sir! (He runs back into his cardboard box and searches its contents.)
SPECTRE: Oh, now what are you up to?
BOX: Here it is! (Box emerges from his box holding a necklace of pearls.) Ta ad!
SPECTRE: Box, why do you have a pearl necklace in your box.
BOX: Sometimes I like to play dress up. When I’m dressed as someone else it makes me feel less alone.
SPECTRE: Well give it here! (Rips the necklace out of Box’s hands) There’s no chance of this working, but I guess I’ll give it a shot anyway. (He fastens the necklace around the girl and then shakes her head a bit to make sure it’s on right.) Eureka! I knew it would work! Another success of the genius Doctor Spectre!
BOX: Congratulations, sir.
SPECTRE: She’s all ready! Finally you will see the light of day, my darling Ointment!
SPECTRE: Yes. Ointment.
BOX: You are naming her Ointment.
SPECTRE: Yes, I am naming her Ointment. Do you have a problem with that?
BOX: Sir, Ointment is a terrible name.
SPECTRE: What do you know, you little twit?! I happen to think that Ointment is a lovely name. A lovely name for a lovely woman.
BOX: I like Carolynn.
BOX: Carolynn. I think Carolynn is a pretty name. Carolynn is the name of my necklace.
SPECTRE: Oh, shut up. I’m naming her Ointment and that’s final.
BOX: Sir, I don’t think you’re the best person to trust with names. You named me Box.
SPECTRE: That’s because I hate you.
SPECTRE: Now hurry! The storm clouds are gathering above the castle! Get over to the lever! (Box walks over to the huge lever on stage left) Now, Box, witness the creation of life! (He puts on his goggles) Ointment, arise! Pull the lever, Box! (Box pulls the lever, with some effort. Lightning flashes and thunder booms as Ointment spasms and Spectre laughs maniacally. The lightning ends and Ointment remains a corpse.) Mwahahaha… ha ha… ha… ha. Um. Box. She’s not alive.
BOX: (Poking Ointment) It would appear so, sir.
SPECTRE: What happened?!
BOX: Perhaps she wants a better name.
SPECTRE: Shut up, Box!
BOX: Oh, here’s the problem. (Box lifts up Ointment’s torso. There is a small battery pack on her back.) I forgot to put in the batteries.
SPECTRE: Well? Put them in!
BOX: Yes, master. (He inserts the batteries.) Now what?
SPECTRE: Pull the lever!
BOX: The lever! (Box pulls the lever, the same lightning effects, Ointment spasms again, but is still dead.)
BOX: Oh, I must have put the batteries in the wrong way. (He hobbles over to Ointment and checks her pack.) Yes, I’ve put the plus end in the minus end and the minus end in the plus end. (He corrects the batteries and sits there.)
SPECTRE: The lever!
BOX: Oh right, the lever! (Runs over to the lever and pulls it again.) The lever! (Lightning, etc. etc. Ointment finally gets up, rubs her eyes, and looks around confused.)
OINTMENT: (All of Ointment’s lines are read very quickly with an air of curiosity and naivety, not stupidity.) Where am I?
SPECTRE: (Running over to her and taking her hand) Ah, my dear, you are in the world of the living! Welcome! Your name is Ointment, and I am your master, Doctor Spectre! I created you!
BOX: And I helped!
SPECTRE: Shut up, Box!!! Make yourself useful and fetch us something to drink. (Box goes over to the table covered in beakers filled with multi-colored liquids. Spectre helps Ointment off the lab table, and she has a bit of trouble balancing at first, like a newborn deer. Spectre holds her steady, taking this opportunity to be close to her.)
OINTMENT: Ooh! What are all these shiny things everywhere?
SPECTRE: These are my inventions! I made all of them myself. Do you like them?
OINTMENT: Oh yes! Wow, everything is so tinkery and bright! (Notices the pearl necklace) Ooooh! This is really pretty!
SPECTRE: What? Oh, that old thing? I knew you’d like it. I picked it out myself.
OINTMENT: What are you? Your hair is funny. What happens if I do this? (She pokes Spectre on the nose playfully.) I think I like you!
SPECTRE: (Blushing) Well, I like you too. (They are still for a moment, and then Spectre leans in an extremely awkward attempt to kiss her.)
BOX: (Hops in between them with two flasks of green liquid.) Your drinks, sir.
SPECTRE: (Pissed off) Thank you, Box. (He brings the drink to his lips, but then stops after he smells it.) Box, this mixture is poisonous! Had I drunk it I would’ve died instantly.
BOX: (Looking directly at the audience) Oh, how silly of me.
SPECTRE: (Taking the flask from Ointment, who was looking through it and entranced by her own warped reflection.) Now bring us something less lethal.
BOX: (Offers two flasks of red liquid.) Here you are sir.
SPECTRE: Yes, thanks and all that. Now, if you wouldn’t mind, I think Ointment and I could use some time together.
OINTMENT: Who’s Ointment?
SPECTRE: That’s you, sweetie.
OINTMENT: Oh! That’s a goofy name.
SPECTRE: …Now then. (Box does not move.) …I think we could use some time together alone.
BOX: Oh. Right then, sir. (Box crawls back into his box and sits under it on the floor. Spectre stares at him.)
SPECTRE: A-hem. (The box does not move) Get out of here, Box! (He kicks Box’s box and Box quickly scoots off stage left) Now then, where were we? Let’s set the mood, shall we? (He claps his hands and the lights turn all pink and disco-tastic as something seductive and probably sung by Barry White plays in the background. Ointment has absolutely no idea what is going on, though she is entranced by the pretty lights.) That’s better. From what I’ve read, this is the perfect atmosphere for procreation. Shall we move rhythmically back and forth in arbitrary motions? (He begins to dance in a horribly awkward fashion. Ointment, intrigued, mimics his movements. She then looks at her beaker.)
OINTMENT: (Shocked by her own reflection, gasps) There’s a person in this glass! And she’s copying me! (She makes ridiculous faces and noises at the beaker) Wait! How did that person get in there? What if she’s crying out for help!?
OINTMENT: I’ve got to save her! (She turns the beaker upside-down) Come on, get out of there! (She taps the base of the beaker trying to get her reflection out of the glass like it’s a ketchup bottle.) Nothing’s working! (Sudden determination) This calls for drastic measures!
SPECTRE: Wait a moment, Ointment, that’s your own reflection you’re looking at-
OINTMENT: I’ll save you! (She throws the beaker to the floor and it shatters everywhere.) Yippee! Whoa, the person went everywhere. Does that mean she’s free? Can she go wherever the wind takes her? What’s wind? Is she okay?
SPECTRE: No, she’s dead.
OINTMENT: What’s “dead?”
SPECTRE: Here, let me show you. (He walks over to the lever and turns it. Ointment deactivates and falls to the floor in an unconscious heap, Spectre claps to deactivate the lights) Ugh. Women. I forgot why I had so much trouble with them in the first place. All they do is talk, talk, talk, my god. Ah well. At least I’ve got some peace and quiet again. (Spectre’s cell phone rings) Well Bunsen my burner, who might that be? (He checks the phone, sighs, picks it up and begins to exit.) Hello, mom. Yes, I’m still a mad scientist, yes, and it’s treating me fine, Miss Go-To-College-Pants. (exits off stage right)
BOX: (Scoots back on stage, keeping a watchful eye out for Spectre. He wiggles his way over to the lever and reactivates ointment.) Hello.
OINTMENT: (Jolting up happily) Hello!
BOX: Hello. I’m Box. And this is my box.
OINTMENT: Hello, Box and Box. You two have the same name, but you look totally different. That’s interesting. I like your wart. My name’s Ointment!
BOX: Yes, I know. Are you okay?
OINTMENT: I don’t know. Everything was all colorful and new… and then suddenly there was a sort of flash of light and then everything was nothing. There was nothing for me to look at. It was so dark. I didn’t like it.
BOX: Oh. Sometimes that happens to me when Master experiments on me.
OINTMENT: Oh? Who is Master?
BOX: He is the scary looking man who yells a lot and smells vaguely of aftershave.
OINTMENT: Oh, him! I like him. He shows me things. Like this thing (she points at a lever) and this stuff (tugs at her own hair) and especially this thing (she touches the necklace). It’s pretty and nice and fun to look at. And I wear it so it’s always with me!
BOX: Oh, that’s Carolynn. She used to be mine, but I gave her to Master so you could wake up and your head wouldn’t fall off.
OINTMENT:Oh! So you gave me Carolynn? That was… that was…
OINTMENT: Nice! That was nice.
BOX: Thank you. I didn’t really want to give her away, but I guess it’s okay. I liked Carolynn because she made me feel less alone, but I don’t need her anymore because you’re here.
OINTMENT: Alone… I’ve never felt alone. What’s it like? Can you taste it?
BOX: No. It’s sad. It feels like there’s no one anywhere. Everything feels gone.
OINTMENT: (Happily) That sounds like death. Master showed me death. Death has a taste. It tastes like licorice and purple. And death is dark and alone.
BOX: We don’t have to be alone. (Box takes Ointment’s hand.)
OINTMENT: This is nice. What is it?
OINTMENT: I like it. “Together”.
BOX: When we’re together we can’t be alone.
OINTMENT: Or dead!
BOX: Well I don’t know about that.
OINTMENT: It’s just like my necklace. I wear Carolynn so I won’t be dead. I’ll wear you so I won’t be alone!
BOX: Excellent. Hey, I have an idea. Want to drink this thing? (He grabs a purple potion from a lab table) I made it myself when Master wasn’t looking.
OINTMENT: What does it do?
BOX: Let’s find out! (He gives the potion to Ointment and she drinks it.) Well, how do you feel?
OINTMENT: (Moos like a cow)
BOX: Ointment you are mooing.
BOX: Ointment, you have turned into a cow. (Freaking out) What do I do? What do I do?
SPECTRE: (Coming back on stage) Well tell dad I say hello then. Hold on mother, I think I hear a… a cow. No, I am not talking about Ointment! Yes, her name is Ointment. No, she is not a stripper! Look mother, this might be important. I have to go. Yeah, talk to you later. (He puts away his phone.) What’s going on in here? I thought I deactivated you.
SPECTRE: (Beat) Did she just moo?
BOX: (Cowering under his box) No!
SPECTRE: Box! What have you done?! (He grabs Ointment and shakes her) Ointment! Can you hear me?!
SPECTRE: What happened, Box?!
BOX: Well, I was teaching her about things like togetherness and I taught her how to call you Master and-
SPECTRE: (Train of thought switching tracks) Wait. She called me Master?
BOX: Yes, sir.
SPECTRE: (Chuckling erotically) Well, well, I guess that means that I’m on top then. (Fantasizes)
BOX: …Uh, sir?
SPECTRE: Oh, right. The cow thing. That might throw of my mojo later tonight. Gah, Box, you’ve completely ruined the mood! You’re like the opposite of a scented candle! Ointment, my dear, how are you feeling?
SPECTRE: See, Box?! This is why we can’t have nice things! I leave the room for ten seconds and everything turns into a cow! Alright, I’ll fix this problem. Box!!!
SPECTRE: Hand me that wrench.
BOX: (He does) Wrench.
SPECTRE: Step one: (He hits Box on the head with the wrench and knocks him to the floor.) Alright, step two. Ointment, are you up for surgery?
SPECTRE: One moo for yes, two moos for no.
OINTMENT: (Moos three times)
SPECTRE: Your answer is unacceptable! (He hits her with the wrench and knocks her out.) Operation time! (Spectre tightens one of his gloves as if he’s going to perform a prostate exam, and knowing Spectre, he just might.)
BOX: (Popping back up) Wait, Master please, don’t hurt her!
SPECTRE: Aw, she won’t feel a thing. I used some pretty powerful anesthesia there. (Pats the wrench in his hand)
BOX: She drank some of my potion, that’s all! Here, (hands him the flask) can’t you make an antidote?
SPECTRE: Hm… I suppose I could. But you’re going to pay for this when I’m done, Box. I told you to stop fiddling around with potions! Am I going to have to put you in the cage again?
BOX: No! My name is “Box” for a reason, sir! (Box hugs his box)
SPECTRE: We’ll see about that. (Spectre puts on his goggles and begins to mix potions) You stay right there till I’m done with this, got it?
BOX: Yes, Master. (He sits next to Ointment and rouses her awake.)
BOX: It’ll be alright. I’m here. Whatever happens, we’re in it together, right?
OINTMENT: Moo. (They hold hands again and watch Spectre with a mixture of fear and fascination as he mumbles angrily to himself and the lights fade to black).