Christmas Day

by robhayeswritesplays

Christmas Dinner. An emormous turkey takes pride of place in the centre of the table, attended by plates of trimmings and condiments.

The Father, the Mother, and four young women sit around the table, ready to eat.

Stood amongst them, clad in army fatigues and holding half a bottle of vodka, is Duncan.

Duncan breathes heavily. The diners watch him.

FATHER It’s great to see you again Duncan.

Beat.

FATHER We’ve missed you around the house. Haven’t we girls?

Beat.

FATHER Why don’t you take a seat?

DUNCAN Piss off.

FATHER Eat with us. You must’ve had a long journey. Girls, make space at the table for your brother.

DUNCAN I’m not their brother.

FATHER You seem upset.

DUNCAN I’m fine.

FATHER Whatever it is, we can help you.

DUNCAN I don’t need your help.

FATHER Duncan. Whatever your problems, no matter how big or small, your family will always be there to help you.

DUNCAN You’re not a family!

FATHER Aren’t we? We certainly look like a family. We feel like a family, don’t we girls?

Beat.

FATHER Why don’t you tell me what family means to you? Your colleagues in the army, are they your family? What about the men you were forced to kill?

Duncan kicks a chair away. It clatters against the wall.

FATHER We’re very proud of you. Serving your country like that. When we found out where you were we were all very proud. Weren’t we girls?

Beat.

FATHER I just wish you’d told us when you were leaving. We could’ve thrown you a little party.

DUNCAN That’s bollocks. That is complete.

FATHER I promise you Duncan.

DUNCAN And you know it.

FATHER You never gave us the chance to show you how much we loved you.

DUNCAN Your love is poison. It’s.

Duncan cries.

DUNCAN It’s poison!

FATHER Sit down, son. You must be exhausted.

Father goes to help him to a seat. Duncan swipes wildly with the vodka bottle.

DUNCAN I’m not your fucking son! You know why I left. Don’t pretend you don’t just cos your little. Congregation is watching. We both know why I left. The question you should be asking yourself. Daddy. Is why I came back.

CASSANDRA Why did you come back Dunc? Why did you just go away and then come back?

Duncan cries again. He strokes Cassandra’s face.

DUNCAN I came back for you girls. I came to save you.

CASSANDRA Why are you crying?

DUNCAN I’m ashamed Cass. I’m ashamed I wasn’t brave enough to come sooner.

FATHER Duncan you must sit down and eat. We can talk this all through after dinner. Right now we’re all very hungry, and you must be absolutely famished. Sit down. Eat with your family. Then afterwards we can have a drop of sherry in the study, eh? Just you and me. Talk things through.

Duncan breathes. Looks at the family. He looks at the food on the table.

DUNCAN You’ve done a beautiful spread Mother.

MOTHER Thank you.

DUNCAN Do you mind if I start?

FATHER Please, go ahead.

Duncan pours the vodka over the turkey from his standing height.

He takes a match from his pocket and strikes it.

DUNCAN Merry Fucking Christmas.

He drops the match onto the turkey. It goes up in a ball of flame.

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