Take a HIKE
the Mayor interviews Mark Ward - author of HIKE (Jan 2022 Bear Creek Press)

Mark dials The Mayor


Phone:     I’m sorry, but your call isn’t important enough to answer. As such there is no
                  facility to leave a message.


Mark checks that he has the right time, dials again


Phone:     I told you. Your call isn’t important enough to answer.


Mark emails The Mayor’s assistant, waits, dials again


Janice Lee:  The Mayor’s Office, Janice Lee speaking.


Mark Ward: Janice, it’s me.


JL:             Who?
MW:          Mark. I just emailed you.
JL:             Oh yes, putting you through.
MW:          Every single -


The phone clicks


The Mayor: The Mayor.


MW:          It’s Mark.
TM:           We agreed that not being in contact was the best thing for both of us, Mark.
MW:          *sighs* I know, it’s about the -
TM:           It was your idea.
MW:          I know, but this isn’t -
TM:           The rest of me are very annoyed.
MW:          The rest of you were the fucking problem.
TM:           You knew who I was.
MW:          I knew who you were, not all the other Mayors that simultaneously co-exist in
                  you. How can I be expected to date all of those? At least half of them are
                  straight.
TM:           You were dating me.
MW:          I’d wake up and The Mayor from 1867 would call me a sodomite and push me
                  out of bed.
TM:           And I apologised, and he’s been on time out ever since: no speaking privileges.
MW:          Look, let’s not go through this again. Can you just interview me?
TM:           Okay. Wait, I thought you were interviewing me for the Gazette?
MW:          No, did you not read the email?
TM:            I don’t have time. Janice gives me a rough synopsis.
MW:          *sighs* You’re interviewing me about my book.
TM:           You published it?
MW:          Of course I did.
TM:           I wrote you an email telling you not to publish it.
MW:          And I used it as a blurb.
TM:           Do you understand the danger you’re putting people in?
MW:          Who? Who exactly am I putting in danger? Everyone in this town knows exactly
                  what’s going on, Mayor.
TM:           I hate when you call me that.
MW:          I know, it’s just “The Mayor” is weird. Like, whose first name is The?
TM:           Mine. I’m not interviewing you about the book.
MW:          You promised me. Look, it’s not like anyone outside of Bear Creek is even going
                  to read it, what does it matter?
TM:           You don’t just write down town secrets and get to act all high and mighty.


Silence.


                  Why did you write the book?
MW:          Did you read it?
TM:           No.
MW:          I told you the story, more than once.
TM:           The one I said not to write down?
MW:          Yes.
TM:           What did the Coven say?
MW:          They’re not happy, but they’ll get over it.
TM:           Do you really think this town is the best place to make enemies?
MW:          They understand what they’ve done. And they at least have the good grace to act
                  bashful about it.
TM:           Wait, is that why you were down at The Dunes, retracing your steps?
MW:          Hah, no. I didn’t see you there.
TM:           I saw you.
MW:          You could’ve said hi.
TM:           No, I couldn’t. Are you happy with the book?
MW:          Yeah.
TM:           Well, that’s the main thing. Who’s printing it?
MW:          A new firm called Bear Creek Press.
TM:           I’ll be sure to look into them.
MW:          Don’t burn them down.
TM:           I said “look into them”, Mark.
MW:          Exactly. Don’t. Burn. Them. Down.
TM:           I won’t. Is the book funny?
MW:          Is the story funny?
TM:           No.
MW:          You threaten the press, but not him.
TM:           He didn’t do anything wrong.
MW:          To think I loved you once.


Long pause.


TM:         Send the interview to my office for approval.
MW:        I won’t.
TM:        *off in the distance* Janice, I told you not to let his calls -


Line disconnects.