Sophie McCook

BBC Scriptwriter & Author of New Book Thinkless

A room kitted out for constrained circumstances. It’s cold, damp, desperate. For all we know, this could be the stronghold for Stalingrad freedom fighters during WW2, because that’s what it looks like.
Two men and a women sit huddled around a tiny stove with basic, raggy khaki blankets around their shoulders. They are unshaven, wide eyed. They are all shivering. Another is facing the wall, rocking slightly. One of the seated men mumbles.
MAN 1: ‘Oh God! How long will this go on for?’

WOMAN 1: ‘It HAS to be over by Christmas. No human could survive the biting cold!’

MAN 1: ‘We’re running out of men and women! How long can we fight for this cause ?’

Suddenly there is a THUD and screaming from outside. Man 2 gets up and peers out of the window.

MAN 2:  ‘Another one gone.’

The door of the room is thrown open and a man (MAN 3) staggers in, He is pale, shivering. He is also drapped in a war-torn blanket.

MAN 1: ‘What’s happened!? Tell us!’

MAN 3: ‘Nearly everyone has given themselves! There’s almost no-one left.

Another thud, another scream! Man 2 rushes to the window.

MAN 2 (desperate): ‘He was only a kid!’

WOMAN 1: ‘Who’s left to continue this struggle?’

MAN 3:  ‘We’re down to children!’

WOMAN 1: (horrified) ‘Children?!’

MAN 1: ‘We can’t allow the children!’

MAN 3: ‘But they’re all we have left! And they’re gladly volunteering.’

MAN 2: ‘But what we’re asking of them – how can a child consent to pain and the shock it? They don’t even know what they’re fighting for!’

Man 3 takes Man 2 by the shoulders.

MAN 3 ‘Someone! Someone has to be nominated for the Ice-Bucket Challenge! If it’s not them, it’ll have to be household pets! Do you want to hold Alfie the Alsatian while I pour?’

Man 2 rushes back to the window.


Outside, a watery splash and a Liverpudlian two-year old’s screams.



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