JILL Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Davey, happy birthday to you!
DAVEY Happy birthday to me!
JILL Six years old already, you’re such a big boy!
DAVEY Do I have to go to school today?
JILL Of course…
DAVEY But mum…
JILL But mum nothing – six year olds have to go to school, even on their birthday. But they do get a special breakfast – eggy bread with as much tomato ketchup as you like. Here you go.
DAVEY Yay! Thank you.
JILL Are you looking forward to your party at the weekend?
JILL Did your friends give you their invitation replies yesterday?
DAVEY Just Helen.
JILL I’m sure there will be more today. Remember to ask them.
JILL Is that nice?
DAVEY It’s scrumptious.
JILL Good. Now, when you’re finished…
DAVEY Present! I’ll open it now…
JILL Finish your breakfast first…
DAVEY Okay… Finished!
JILL Alright, on you go.
DAVEY Wow, a World Maker! Thank you!
JILL It’s from your Uncle Bill too. He’ll be popping round tonight so make sure you say thank you.
DAVEY I will. Can I play with it now?
JILL No, time to get washed and ready for school. You can play with it tonight.
DAVEY But mu…
CHILDREN Davey and Helen, sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g.
DAVEY Stop it, leave us alone!
HELEN Ignore them Davey, let’s go and play by the bench.
DAVEY I hate them all.
HELEN They’re just silly.
DAVEY They’re mean. And ugly.
HELEN It’s mean to call people ugly.
DAVEY They are. I don’t want them to come to my party anyway.
HELEN It’s okay, we’ll have fun.
DAVEY And lots of cake. All for us.
HELEN Hi Jag.
JAG Hi Helen. My mum and dad say I can come to your party Davey. They said I should give this to you for your mum.
HELEN That’s good, isn’t it Davey? We’re going to have lots of fun.
DAVEY Yes. You can come Jag.
JAG Thank you for asking me. Can I play with you two?
HELEN Of course.
JILL Davey, come down, Uncle Bill is here.
BILL How’s he getting on at school?
JILL The teachers say he’s doing very well. But he’s having trouble making friends. Only Helen and a new boy are coming to his party on Saturday.
BILL Poor kid. Glad those days are behind me. Never have things so unimportant seemed so monumental. And children can be the worst type of shits.
JILL I don’t know, I quite enjoyed it.
BILL Yes, but you were popular. I hated it.
DAVEY Hi Uncle Bill!
BILL Happy birthday big man!
DAVEY Thank you for my present.
BILL You’re welcome. Have you opened it yet?
DAVEY That’s what I was doing upstairs. I’m just checking all the bits are there.
BILL What are you going to make first?
DAVEY I don’t know, I have to read the instructions.
BILL Instructions! He really is his father’s child, isn’t he?
JILL Hey! I can be organised.
BILL But you choose not to be? You know, Davey, I had a World Maker when I was your age. I can help you if you like.
DAVEY Thanks Uncle Bill, but I think I’ll be okay.
BILL Okay, but you just shout if you need me.
DAVEY I will. Can I go back upstairs mum?
JILL Sure. Dinner will be ready in half an hour.
BILL He seems happy enough.
JILL Yes, I suppose so.
BILL And he has us.
JILL Yes. Thanks Bill.
At the party.
JILL (off) Kids, lunch!
DAVEY We’ll be down in a minute mum.
JAG This is so cool.
HELEN Can I look?
JAG Just a minute…
DAVEY Let Helen look Jag.
HELEN It’s all blurry.
DAVEY You have to focus it, like this.
HELEN Wow! What are they?
DAVEY Sort of a cross between a zebra and a giraffe, but furrier.
HELEN How did they grow so quickly?
DAVEY That’s how it works. You have to leave it for two days after you’ve put all the bits together. Then you crack it and the world’s inside.
JAG What else is in there?
DAVEY Not much. Some grass and trees, something like a hippo. Nothing that swims or flies. It’s just a practice.
JAG What are you going to do next?
DAVEY I’m not sure. Maybe a water world.
JILL (off) Kids!
DAVEY Come on, we better go downstairs.
At home, 25 years later.
HELEN Is everything sorted for the funeral now?
DAVEY Yes, all arranged.
HELEN Who will be there?
DAVEY Bill, of course. A couple of cousins I met when I was a kid. And some friends.
HELEN My mum too.
DAVEY I’m not looking forward to it. I hate funerals.
HELEN I don’t think anyone likes them. But we need them, as sort of a full stop.
DAVEY I know people say that, but they don’t do anything for me other than make me feel, I don’t know, awkward.
HELEN I’ll be there.
DAVEY I know, thanks. Come on, we should get started. The loft?
HELEN The loft.
In the loft.
HELEN I’ve never seen such an organised loft!
DAVEY I like to know where things are.
HELEN What’s this, all your old toys?
DAVEY Yes, we kept pretty much everything.
HELEN Oh, I remember all these. They might be worth something, some of them, in this condition.
DAVEY They might be, but they’re mine.
HELEN Look, your World Maker! Do you remember?
DAVEY Of course I do.
HELEN The first time I saw those giraffe things! I don’t remember you using it much after that though.
DAVEY No, it was too easy. I made a water world, an air world. I tried a fire world, but phoenixes turned out to be violently solitary.
HELEN You made phoenixes?
HELEN Of course you did. Shall I pack these back up?
DAVEY Yes, thanks. I’ll go down and you can pass them to me. But leave the world maker out.
DAVEY I just want to have a look at it. Do you know how those things work?
HELEN Sort of, not really.
DAVEY I’ll show you.
At home. Night. Davey sits at a table, the contents of the World Maker strewn across it. The telephone rings. He ignores it. Night turns to day. He makes himself a cup of coffee.
At home. Later that day.
HELEN You look tired.
DAVEY I’ve been up all night.
HELEN Doing what?
DAVEY Playing with the World Maker.
DAVEY Yeah, I had an idea.
DAVEY You’ll have to wait.
HELEN How long?
DAVEY I think this one’s going to take a bit longer, a fortnight or so.
HELEN How will you know when it’s ready?
DAVEY The timer.
HELEN Oh yes, of course.
DAVEY Do you want a bacon sandwich?
HELEN Mmmm, please.
At home. Two weeks later.
DAVEY (On the phone.) Yes, in about five minutes. Okay, I’ll see you later tonight then.
Davey paces for five minutes. A timer sounds. Davey cracks open the World Maker crucible. He places the world under the magnifier.
DAVEY Holy shit.
At home. Later that day.
DAVEY (off) Hey, come in, come in.
HELEN (off) Are you okay?
DAVEY Yes, yes, fine, excited!
HELEN Why so excited?
DAVEY The world’s finished.
HELEN Yes, but why so excited? It’s still just a toy.
DAVEY Just wait… look.
HELEN Can I have a cup of…
DAVEY No, just look!
HELEN Okay! Right… what am I looking for?
DAVEY You’ll know when… Let me have a look. No, I just need to rotate it a bit. There.
HELEN Why don’t you just tell… Is that a city?
HELEN How did you grow a city?
DAVEY I didn’t! Look again.
HELEN That’s, they’re… people!
HELEN But, I thought it couldn’t make people?
DAVEY Then you thought wrong! The instructions, all the adverts, said it wasn’t for making people. But it never said you couldn’t.
DAVEY I just had to fiddle about, and remove a sort of built in barrier.
HELEN Don’t you think that might have been there for a reason?
DAVEY Oh, don’t be so boring! Of course it was there for a reason, but who cares, I’ve grown people! In two weeks, I’ve grown people, and those people have already built cities!
HELEN Holy shit.
DAVEY I know!
HELEN But what, well, how, what are you going to do now?
DAVEY What do you mean?
HELEN Well, they look like people, they’re doing what people do. Does that mean they’re people, just like us?
DAVEY I don’t know. Yet.
DAVEY I’ve thought of a way of communicating with them. I’m going to go in.
HELEN Go in?
DAVEY Not literally, of course. But not figuratively either. And it might not work. But I think it will.
HELEN Stop being so bloody cryptic!
DAVEY I think I can make one of them pregnant. No, don’t be silly. I know they can reproduce – there’s a hospital. And I think I can implant sort of a bit of me in one of them, which should create a basic psychic link. Well, say something.
HELEN I don’t know what to say.
DAVEY I know, it’s cool isn’t it?
HELEN I don’t know if cool is the word. There are so many questions, ethical dilemmas…
DAVEY Oh don’t be so boring! What could possibly go wrong?