A theatrical trilogy

interlinked short theatrical stories 



-Look what I found behind the longcase clock…

-Oh my goodness! A toothbrush!

-We haven’t moved the clock since we got here…

-But how come we didn’t see it…

-How come nobody else saw it…

-It is not ours that’s for sure.

-It probably belongs to the previous tenants.

-It strikes me, three years it has been there and nobody’ s seen it, although it is not that small to go unnoticed.

-Many people cleaned the house before we lived here.

-And so did we.

-Behind the clock all this time… Adam picks up the toothbrush, extends his arm and examines it under the light.

-What should we do with it? -Throw it away. He says to Eve.

-Think about it for a moment. Three years behind father’s clock and only now that the clock has stopped and we are going to have it repaired, we discover it. Adam as if speaking to himself says,

-since it has gone unnoticed, for three years, behind the clock, we found it.

-We have to respect it. The time that has passed was smiling at us. They were happy years. It was as if the toothbrush was taking care of the shiny smile of time…

-But the clock broke.

-The toothbrush got worn out, maybe time needs a new toothbrush.

-Why the hell are we talking about the toothbrush, the shiny smile of time, whatever has got into us!

-Lately things are not as good as they used to be between us… then the clock broke… and then we found this toothbrush.

-This is the first time you tell me something is wrong…

-I will put my toothbrush behind the clock when it is repaired. It will take care of the shiny smile of time…

-And when the clock stops again? Will we replace it with another one?


-And what are we going to do with this one? Are we going to throw it away? Nobody needs it anymore, not time, not us.

-No!! Eve snatches the toothbrush from Adam’s hands, clasps it in both of hers, closes her eyes as if she is praying and says: -I will place it on father’s tombstone.

-And the next toothbrush? Will you be littering father’s tombstone with toothbrushes? Adam hugs her condescendingly. Eve starts to cry. They never put the toothbrush where she said she would, they never did any of the things they said they would do, and time for them stopped smiling.



– Move a little please, can’t you see you have some space left?

– Αnd go where? These two guys to my right and to my left, are hindering me.

– In that case, why don’t you take a step back?

– I tried walking backwards, if that’s what you mean, but they both did the same.

– Αnd why don’t you do something about it?

– Do what? Complain? Poke them?

– I don’t know, but you will be very strange, stranger than them that accidentally stand next to you, to your left and to your right! Because they are just standing and their walking backwards could be a coincidence.

– But how coincidental could it be that everytime I stepped backwards they did the same simultaneously? Can’t you see their indifference? We talk about their abnormal behaviour and they don’t react at all!

– They could be deaf! (Eve turns her head and sniggers surreptitiously…)

– Now this would be a coincidence indeed.

(TANNOY) “Kindly make room for more passengers, because others are about to arrive”

-Will you ask them once and for all?

-Oh stop it lady! All this time I am this close to jumping on the tracks, or take two steps back and miss the last train.

(TANNOY) “The new generation is coming up the escalators!”

– You are the middle man; the other gentlemen are not to be blamed.

– I stopped hearing you

– You stopped, because I stopped being by your side.

– And if I tell you that I love you, how will you know?

– Now I am not hearing a word you say.

– Maybe this is love.

– Lack of understanding

– Hearing and speaking

– Absense

Adam notices the toothbrush in her hand and suddenly says:

-This is very funny. Maybe I am the ghost of someone who took their life, on the platform, standing between real people. In that case, are you perhaps a ghost too?

– I am very glad I stopped hearing you, because I haven’t the vaguest idea what you mean. Ghosts are not “funny” at all, and you are insulting me. What else? I loved you too once upon a time and even married you.

– I hear everything you say

– Now it is too late.

– What must I do?

– Next time you will be completely alone here, and you won’t remember a thing. You cannot do anything about it, but I can go to our graves, visit our grandchildren, it’s Christmas today.

– Hold my hand! Adam says in agony.

– If I do that, I’ll come back, I cannot watch this twice.

– Then you love me! Hold it damn it!

– Farewell Adam!

– Is that a no?

– I don’t know.

(TANNOY) “Of those of you who insist on not falling onto the railway track, the new generation will inadvertently throw you! Make room, courageously, because a young person’s life might depend on your resistance.”


They sit in seats designed for them

with a strange smile. The train departs on cloud-track

leaves on an empty platform

where passengers are ghosts.

Nobody hears its whistle, for better or for worse,

The train departs on cloud-track,

the sun melds with their love.



The little boy asked his father how many fleas can be found in the barn. The father having no idea said there are probably many. Then the kid asked how long it would take him to find them all. “Here’s the deal,” his father replied, “find me three fleas and I will calculate how long it would take you.” The boy went to the barn and having spent half an hour searching came out thirsty, “No”, his father said, “go back in, I will now have to detract the minutes we spent talking,” the kid did go back inside. Then two hours later yelled while searching that he is thirsty and hungry and cunningly added “Can you bring me some milk and cookies? I can eat and drink while searching.” The father smiled, brought him what he asked. He left and went to bed to take a nap. He had a dream about his child and his weird questions, his puzzling quietness when they visited Mom’s grave. He woke up an hour later and on approaching the barn heard him yelling, “Dad, I found one! Can I stop now and you can detract the hours I’ll be sleeping after taking a bath?” “Yes,” he said wishing this would make him forget the initial question. The next day, however, he saw his son heading for the barn and at some point the boy asked loudly, “Why is mommy dead”, “She was very ill and nothing could be done to save her life”, he replied, then “where is she now”, and the father said “I think she is waiting for us somewhere nice.” The father felt as if he was having a deja vou, remembered the dream, his son would now come out, with her. The sobbing however made him go inside instead. Ten years earlier, a young woman about to be married had a dream, she was hugging a child in tears in a barn and Adam rushed inside but couldn’t see her and this made her feel odd, as if she was smaller than a flea.

© ifyouplease 2021
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IYP, I do like this sequence – albeit the middle one takes a bit of thought to create the right links and make the full circle. There is a bit lost in translation as here – I don’t know, but you will be very strange, stranger than them that accidentally stand next to you, to your left and to your right!  and here – “Here’s the deal,” his father replied, “find me three fleas and I will calculate how long it would take you.”  did you mean “how long has it taken you”? reading it as it is now I… Read more »


This layout is much more accessible and adds to the messaging and the power of the scenes.

We’re here to support each other – don’t worry about any perceived negativity in some of the comments – and I was going to hold up my hand if you wanted to colloborate or needed another eye to help.



Have you thought about writing the first two stories as a play/movie or podcast? I think they would make a good playlet.

I’d like to see it done, I kind of viewed it in my mind while I was reading it, that says a lot about the quality of these little stories.

I see no brain damage here I can assure you 🙂 🙂 🙂

Last edited 4 months ago by Guaj

I enjoy reading these kind of works. If it’s well written i will follow where it goes. Don’t need to necessarily “get” all the significance in the riddle about fleas or the toothbrush found in an odd place.


I have re-read these pieces three times today and they are exquisite works, fitting together, complementing each other and yet alive on their own as well.


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