literature

Arnold The Sentient Pina Colada's Very Busy Day

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By DamonWakes
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Literature Text

EXT. LEAKY BOTTOMS BOAT RENTAL - EVENING


ARNOLD THE SENTIENT PIÑA COLADA sits at the front desk of his beachside establishment, LEAKY BOTTOMS BOAT RENTAL. Row upon row of kayaks and catamarans lie untouched upon the sand. It is late in the day. It is evident from the neatness of the ranks of boats that there have been no customers. JOLENE, a perfectly ordinary jellyfish, drifts about in a shallow rock pool nearby. ARNOLD and JOLENE listen to upbeat reggae music emanating from a cheap, wind-up RADIO that also rests upon the front desk.


ARNOLD

Nice weather. Mild.


JOLENE propels herself into the side of the rock pool, pauses, then reverses direction.


ARNOLD

You said it. Surprised we haven't seen more business today, really. I wonder if it's because...


JOLENE drifts lethargically towards the other side of the rock pool. The light is getting low, and - as a perfectly ordinary jellyfish - she is becoming lethargic now that dark is falling.


ARNOLD

What a remarkably succinct summary of my predicament. Yes, I did drink so many piña coladas that I became a piña colada myself. My mother always warned me it would happen. I guess I should have taken it more seriously.

(Beat.)

Of course, now that I look back, I do wonder if it was sensible for her to allow a five-year old to have multiple piña coladas in the first place.


JOLENE does not weigh in on this thorny subject. Instead, she simply continues on her way through the still saltwater.


ARNOLD

Of course, you'd hope that people would take it all in stride. I realise that it might be a little unsettling to hire a boat from a talking piña colada, but I feel as though it should be a little fun too. I like to think there could be a sentient mint julep taking bets at the Kentucky Derby, though I don't know what the odds are of anybody drinking enough of those to turn into one.


JOLENE reaches the opposite side of the rock pool, but instead of bumping into it she simply circles slowly around the edge. The light provides greater contrast on this side, and so her simple eyes are better able to detect the obstacle.


ARNOLD

(Laughing)

I'm sure you could!


The RADIO cuts out mid-song. After a few seconds of static, it begins blasting out a rapid series of high-pitched beeps.


RADIO

- .... .. ... / .. ... / .- -. / . -- . .-. --. . -. -.-. -.-- / -... .-. --- .- -.. -.-. .- ... - / ..-. .-. --- -- / - .... . / -- .. -. .. ... - .-. -.-- / --- ..-. / ..- -. ..-. --- .-. ... . . -. / . ...- . -. - ... .-.-.- / .- -. / . ...- . -. - / .. ... / .. -- -- .. -. . -. - .-.-.- / .-- . / .-. . .- .-.. .. ... . / - .... . / .. .-. --- -. -.-- / .. -. / -... .-. .. -. --. .. -. --. / -.-- --- ..- / .- -.. ...- .- -. -.-. . / .-- .- .-. -. .. -. --. --..-- / -... ..- - / .-- --- ..- .-.. -.. / -.-- --- ..- / .-. . .- .-.. .-.. -.-- / .-. .- - .... . .-. / - .... .- - / .-- . / -.. .. -.. -. .----. - ..--..


ARNOLD

(Wincing)

Whoah! Time to turn that down a bit.


ARNOLD does not turn down the RADIO. ARNOLD is a piña colada. The only part of his body that is not liquid is the pineapple wedge garnish on the rim of the glass. (The glass itself is more like clothes.)


ARNOLD

That's better. Kids these days and their Skrillex. Now where were we?


JOLENE does nothing. Literally nothing.


ARNOLD

Well I don't see why that would have anything to do with it.


There is a cataclysmic explosion on the horizon. Neither ARNOLD nor JOLENE notices it.


RADIO

--- .... --..-- / .-- .- .. - --..-- / -. --- .-.-.- / .. / ... .--. --- -.- . / - --- --- / ... --- --- -. .-.-.- / - .... . -.-- .----. .-. . / .... . .-. . .-.-.- / - .... . -.-- .----. .-. . / .. -. / - .... . / ... - ..- -.. .. --- .-.-.- / .-- .... .- - / -.. --- / -.-- --- ..- / .-- .- -. - ..--.. / .... .- -. --. / --- -. .-.-.- / .. / -- . .- -. - / - --- / ... .- -.-- / - .... .- - / --- ..- - / .-.. --- ..- -.. --..-- / -. --- - / - .-. .- -. ... -- .. - / .. - .-.-.- / .. - / -.. --- . ... -. .----. - / -- .- - - . .-. --..-- / - .... --- ..- --. .... ---... / - ..- .-. -. ... / --- ..- - / - .... . -.-- / .-- . .-. . / .... . .-. . / - --- / . .- - / -- -.-- / ... -.- .. -. .-.-.- / .. - .----. ... / . -..- - .-. . -- . .-.. -.-- / .--. .- .. -. ..-. ..- .-.. --..-- / .- -. -.. / -- .- -.- . ... / .. - / ...- . .-. -.-- / -.. .. ..-. ..-. .. -.-. ..- .-.. - / - --- / -.- . . .--. / -.. --- .. -. --. / -- --- .-. ... . / -.-. --- -.. . .-.-.-


ARNOLD

Okay, I suppose "Leaky Bottoms" does rather suggest there might be something wrong with the boats. But it's light-hearted, and dare I say a little bit cheeky?


Again, JOLENE just pulses gently around the rock pool.


ARNOLD

Okay, maybe it will just make people think about diarrhoea. Still, there's being right and there's being nice.


RADIO

-... .. --. -....- ..- .--. / - --- / .... .- -. -. .- .... / ..-. .-. --- -- / - .... . / --. .-. .- .--. .... .. -.-. / -.. . ... .. --. -. / -.. . .--. .- .-. - -- . -. - --..-- / .-- .... --- / ... .--. . -. - / - .... . / .--. .- ... - / ... .. -..- / -- --- -. - .... ... / ...-- -.. -....- .--. .-. .. -. - .. -. --. / .- / -... ..- -. -.-. .... / --- ..-. / -- .- -.. / -- .- -..- / ... .--. .. -.- . ... / - --- / ... - .. -.-. -.- / --- -. / .... . .-. / -.-. .- .-. .-.-.- / .. / - .... --- ..- --. .... - / -.-- --- ..- / .-- . .-. . / .--- ..- ... - / - .- -.- .. -. --. / .-.. .. -... . .-. - .. . ... / .-- .. - .... / - .... . / --- ..-. ..-. .. -.-. . / ... ..- .--. .--. .-.. .. . ... --..-- / -... ..- - / - ..- .-. -. ... / --- ..- - / - .... .- - / .-- .- ... / .--. .-. --- -... .- -... .-.. -.-- / .- / --. --- --- -.. / ... .... --- ..- - .-.-.- / .. ..-. / -.-- --- ..- / --. --- - / - .... --- ... . / .. -. ... - .- .-.. .-.. . -.. / -... . ..-. --- .-. . / - .... .. ... / .- .-.. .-.. / .-- . -. - / -.. --- .-- -. --..-- / .. .----. -- / .-- .. .-.. .-.. .. -. --. / - --- / -... . - / -.-- --- ..- / .- .-. . -. .----. - / -... . .. -. --. / . .- - . -. / -... -.-- / -- ..- - .- -. - ... / .-. .. --. .... - / -. --- .-- .-.-.-


ARNOLD

(Eager to change the subject)

You know, I think this new music is growing on me.


Suddenly, a HIDEOUS ZOMBIE rises from the ocean, a strand of seaweed draped across its repulsive brow.


ARNOLD

We're closed!


ZOMBIE

What? Come on, man! It's still light out. Just let me grab a kayak for a quick splash about?


ARNOLD

It's not... Look, I don't want to be "that guy" but if they're being used out of hours then they're not insured.


ZOMBIE

I'll put down a deposit.


ARNOLD

Yeah, but then I've got to wait around to lock up. This beach gets crazy at night. Somebody might drink me.


The ZOMBIE looks at the boats, then at ARNOLD, then back at the boats.


ZOMBIE

(Eyes narrowing)

I'm taking one anyway.


ARNOLD

Oh yeah? You and what undead army?


An UNDEAD ARMY rises from the ocean behind the HIDEOUS ZOMBIE.


ARNOLD

Okay, this is gonna sound like I'm just giving in because of the show of force, but the numbers do actually make this quite a bit more practical. I would have agreed right away if you'd said you were with a group. Just try to have the boats back by ten, and make sure everybody knows I'm a person and not a complementary beverage.


ZOMBIE

That's cool. Nobody in the entire world has working organs any more anyway.


ARNOLD

Oh. Well, that's a weight off my mind!

Flash Fiction Month 2020, Day 7, Challenge #3: Write a story revolving around two very different characters working towards a common goal. The characters must be specified by a fellow participant, who will also provide a line of dialogue to be included in the story.

I chose to use the characters and dialogue suggested by GDeyke in this comment: a perfectly ordinary jellyfish; a sentient piña colada; "You and what undead army?"

Fans of this script may also like Satan and His Robot Buddy Paul.

If you've enjoyed this story, you can find the rest of today's submissions here, and all my previous Flash Fiction Month stories collected as OCR is Not the Only Font, Red Herring, Bionic Punchline, Osiris Likes This, Robocopout, We All Saw It Coming Blunderball, and Smallholding.
Published:
© 2020 - 2021 DamonWakes
Comments8
anonymous's avatar
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WizardandGalaxy's avatar

I spent a good chunk of last semester reading assorted scripts for classes, and I must say, this one gives quite a few of them a run for their money.

DamonWakes's avatar

I did actually take scriptwriting as part of my MA (taught by one of the actors from Monty Python's Life of Brian), but it was easily my worst module. I really liked it, I just got so-so marks.


What sort of thing have you been reading?

WizardandGalaxy's avatar

It's mostly play scripts, and often very weird ones, but not in a purposefully absurd sort of way; Sarah Ruhl's The Clean House and Sam Shepard's Buried Child are two of the more prominent ones, and I was not particularly fond of either of them. That, and a bunch of children's musicals; I did an internship with a children's theatre.

GDeyke's avatar

This turned out amazing in just about every way. :giggle: Better than I could have ever imagined.


Error check: I think there's a missing line about (the lack of) customers in the intro, right before It is evident from the neatness of the ranks of boats that there have not been any at any point earlier either.


And the bit that begins JOLENE reaches the opposite side of the rock pool isn't italicised.

DamonWakes's avatar

Thank you! There was originally a line about there having been no customers, but I realised it was a bit of a holdover from straightforward prose fiction: it doesn't really make sense to describe details in a screenplay that couldn't be shown on screen.


This one has (predictably) been a real pain to format. I think I've got the italics and whatnot consistent everywhere now, but apparently the Morse code was getting autocorrected into dashes and ellipses over on WordPress. Thanks again for the help!

joe-wright's avatar

Big ups to Hannah from the Graphic Design department! She's really on top of things

Irennia's avatar

WHAT just happened?? XD XD XD I love the final two lines of dialogue, it really ties everything together. The style in which you've told this is really fascinating and it fits the post-apocalyptic setting. I also had fun translating the morse code bits, but it says a lot that I could still understand what was going on even without understanding the morse!

DamonWakes's avatar

Thank you! That was a real concern with this. I initially wrote the whole thing out as words (partly to ensure I was within the limit) then only translated the radio sections into Morse code later. They were very much meant to be a bonus for anyone who went to the trouble of investigating them rather than something essential to the story.

anonymous's avatar
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