CBCBooks on  Twitter CBCBooks on Facebook

Shakespeare High: Caliban ditches the party

Caliban, as usual, is being a total freak all alone, taking shelter from the rain somewhere near Tempest, Manitoba. But two jocks interrupt his solo drinking session and set off Caliban's diabolical streak. In "Tempest, Manitoba," comedian, actor and young-adult author Seán Cullen takes the monster from The Tempest and recasts him as a Goth teen with daddy issues.


“Tempest, Manitoba” by Seán Cullen


A SCENE FROM UPCOMING TEEN DRAMA “TEMPEST, MANITOBA” 

EXT. A FOREST. NIGHT.
We hear music in the distance, the thump of a P.A. blasting out dance tracks. A Goth teen, Caliban, pimply, gangly and basically unformed, staggers into view and leans against a tree, a half-drunk bottle of vodka in his hand. It is raining and he takes shelter under the leaves of a tree.

CALIBAN
My father’s a total douche. I wish he’d die. He’s like, “What’s wrong with you? Why are you such a disappointment? What are you trying to prove with that haircut? You look like a vampire scarecrow!” I mean, he’s totally trying to run my life.

Two teen boys smoking a bong wander into the clearing. They look like they shop exclusively at Abercrombie and Fitch. 

TREY
Bro, it is freakin’ freezing. And now it’s raining. This party blows.

STEVE-O
Let’s get out of here, then.

TREY
Dude, have you forgotten? The car’s out of gas.

STEVE-O
Oh, yeah. That also blows. We can maybe stay under this tree until it lets up. I’ll stoke the bong.

Steve-O lights the bong. Trey sees Caliban.

TREY
Dude. Get a load of the walking dead guy. Don’t bite me, dude!

CALIBAN
Very funny.

STEVE-O
Hey, I know you. You’re in my chem class. 

TREY
(to Caliban)
Hey freak! What are you doing out here by yourself? Are we interrupting a wank break?

CALIBAN
Just leave, all right? I was here first. 

TREY
So this is you’re freakin’ tree, dude? Nu-uh!

CALIBAN
Just leave me alone, okay?

TREY
Whatever. Freak. What are you supposed to be? A vampire?

CALIBAN
Listen, I’m just trying to stand here and drink this in peace, all right? I get enough hassles at home from my dad.

STEVE-O
(hitting the bong)
Trey!

TREY
Your dad is a dick too? My dad is an uber dick. His picture is in Wikipedia if you look up dick.

Caliban reluctantly laughs. 

STEVE-O
(gasping)
Trey! Take this, man.

Steve-O hands the bong and lighter to Trey, who looks over at Caliban.

TREY
You wanna hit, dude?

CALIBAN
I don’t know. I’ve never done it before.

TREY
Then you have to.

Trey holds out the bong and flicks the lighter. Caliban leans in and draws on the bong and immediately starts a coughing fit. 

STEVE-O
Whoa! He’s gonna barf, man.

TREY
(laughing)
Take it easy bra! Breathe.

Caliban’s fit subsides.

CALIBAN
Wow. I feel like... Like... I don’t know.

TREY
Awesome, right? 

STEVE-O
Yer high, dude. Deal. 

Caliban starts laughing. The others laugh, too. 

CALIBAN
This is amazing. I feel like I could do anything. I feel like my mother was a witch and I’m full of magic. 

STEVE-O
Ooookay!

He takes a long pull on his vodka and hands the bottle to Steve-O. Steve-O takes a swig. Trey takes the bottle and finishes it. 

TREY
We are officially out of vodka.

STEVE-O
And that was the last of my weed.

TREY
Bummer. 

Caliban starts giggling. 

CALIBAN
I know where we can get some more. 

TREY
Where?

CALIBAN
My house. My dad is douche but he has a fully loaded liquor cabinet.

STEVE-O
I’m in.

CALIBAN
I will lead you to the castle of my father! I’m a beast. I’m a monster. I’m a fishman.  

TREY
Okay, monster fishman! Lead on.

Caliban staggers off laughing.

STEVE-O
Are you sure you wanna go with this guy? He’s a weirdo.

TREY
He’s got vodka.

STEVE-O
Good point. Let’s roll. 

Caliban staggers back in.

CALIBAN
I’ve just had a great idea. Let’s kill my dad.

Trey and Steve-O look at each other. Shrug.

TREY
Vodka first though, right?

CALIBAN
YES!

Caliban capers off and they follow.

*****

Seán Cullen  is the award-winning author of two series of novels for young adults and is writing a third new series. The first series, Hamish X, won a Rocky Mountain Book Award and an Arthur Ellis Award in the Juvenile Crime category. His second series, Chronicles of the Misplaced Prince, includes The Prince of Neither Here Nor There, nominated for a 2010 Toronto Book Award; and The Prince of Two Tribes. As a comedian, Sean is a regular on Match Game (Comedy Network), The Debaters (CBC Radio), various voice credits on animated programs like Almost Naked Animals and Rocket Monkeys (YTV), and performs in comedy festivals worldwide (most recently at Just for Laughs in Montreal and The Melbourne Comedy Festival in Australia). His stage credits include a starring role as Max Bialystock in the Canadian production of Mel Brooks' The Producers. He lives in Toronto. Follow Sean on Twitter @mrseancullen.




Click on each character in the image below to go to his/her story.
Shakespeare High RICHARD BETH PORTIA MERCUTIO PETE CORDELIA OPHELIA EMILY CALIBAN


Original illustrations: Graham Roumieu



  •  

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.