Source: geocities.com/televisioncity/9171/fanfic

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Title: 'Twas the Night Before New Year
Author: Helen Boyle

DISCLAIMER ETC.

The following script was drafted to fit into Series Two or Three of BallyK.
The assumption has been made that Assumpta 1) didn't die, and 2) didn't
marry Leo. For the purpose of this script, Peter and Assumpta have not
revealed their affection for one another.
I make no pretence about following correct script writing procedure, nor
about the contents of this script being particularly plausible or true to
prior characterisation (I tried my best, however). Please do not attempt to
discover a plot in this tale, as there is unfortunately none.
I also make no claim to originality, and freely confess that I have stolen
ideas both directly and indirectly from film, television, novels, real life,
and the demented visions within my mind. I do, however, claim copyright
over the way I have pieced together that which I have stolen.
Above all, please enjoy, or at least tolerate.

 

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE NEW YEAR

 

SCENE: Interior Fitzgeralds. Day.

Assumpta is busily pulling down Christmas decorations.

Brendan, Siobhan and Padraig are sitting at the end of the bar.

They become aware of what Assumpta is doing.

Brendan: You're taking them down already?

Assumpta: Well Christmas is over afterall

Brendan: Sure, but the turkey's not even cold

Padraig: We don't want to be having too much fun now, do we Assumpta?!

Assumpta: Not on my time we don't

Siobhan: We have to start thinking about ringing in the New Year now I

suppose

Assumpta: (without stopping) A bottle of red and a nice long sleep I say

Brendan: (overly Irish) Ah, your community spirit warms the very cockles

of me heart Assumpta

Assumpta: That's nice for ya

Peter enters Fitzgeralds. There is a chorus of welcome.

Peter: You're taking them down already?

Assumpta: (spins around to face him) Oh for the love of God, you'd think

I'd committed a crime! How many days of Christmas are there

anyway!

Siobhan: I believe that's twelve Assumpta

Assumpta: About eleven too many if you ask me

Brendan looks to Padraig

Brendan: Did we ask her?

Padraig: No, I don't believe we did

Brendan: (to Assumpta) We didn't ask you!

Assumpta: (sardonically) Cute!

They all chuckle. Assumpta isn't amused.

Ambrose and Niamh enter Fitzgeralds.

Niamh: You're taking them down already?

Assumpta: Argh!

Assumpta storms into the kitchen.

The others laugh heartily.

Niamh is confused.

Niamh: What did I say!?

 

ROLL OPENING CREDITS

 

SCENE: Interior Fitzgeralds. Day cont.

Ambrose, Niamh, Peter, Brendan, Siobhan, and Padraig are all at the

bar. Assumpta is returning from the kitchen.

Ambrose: How was the trip home Peter?

Peter: Full of the usual joys and tribulations associated with a full

family Christmas. I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Assumpta looks at him and scoffs. Peter decides to ignore it.

Peter: (looking at Assumpta but addressing Ambrose) And how was Christmas

here?

Assumpta: Challenging as always.

Brendan: Don't worry Peter, we didn't let anything exciting happen without

you

Siobhan: We were just about to hatch schemes for New Years Eve. Any ideas?

Assumpta: (acidicly) A round of the Rosary perhaps?!

Peter: (glares at Assumpta then turns to Siobhan) Well...we used to have

a tradition in Manchester...

Assumpta: This should be good

Peter: (casting a raised eyebrow of disapproval in Assumpta's direction)

...as I was saying, we used to have a tradition in Manchester that

each New Years Eve we'd have a formal sit down dinner. (Impressed

with himself) Not quite black tie, but cutlery and everything

Assumpta: Nice change from having the feed bag strapped around your neck,

then drinking till you throw up I'll bet

Siobhan: (Ignoring Assumpta) Looks like we have our plan then...

Assumpta: Yeah, but where are we going to find that many feed bags?

Siobhan: That'll be great thanks Father

Assumpta: I guess Eamonn might have a few

Peter: (Anxiously) Oh no, I couldn't do it!

Siobhan: Why not then?!

Peter: I don't have the room for starters

Niamh: Sure you could host it here

Assumpta: (with a laugh) You'd be hopeful!

Padraig: Aw come on Assumpta

Brendan: What do you think Peter?

Assumpta: Hang on a second!

Peter: (hesitant given Assumpta's objections) I don't know

Ambrose: Sure it'd be perfect!

Assumpta: (looking for an out, to Peter) Don't you have to say mass that

night, or something?!

Peter: We do get the occasional reprieve Assumpta

Niamh: We'd all pitch in, make some fancy dishes

Siobhan: Absolutely. Peter can be our co-ordinator and Assumpta can act as

host, lending us this fine establishment

Assumpta: Me? Host?

Siobhan: Yeah, why not?!

Peter: (mock thoughfulness) You're intelligent...presentable...

responsible...of course, you realise you will have to make a 

sincere effort to mitigate some of the more off-putting, not to

mention obnoxious, aspects of your personality

Assumpta: (unable to help smiling) Well if you sweet talk me like that how

could I possibly refuse

Brendan: That's settled then. Decorum and sophistication shall be the order

of the day

Assumpta: Yeah, I'll believe that when I see it!

Peter: Oh ye of little faith!

Assumpta: You know me.

 

SCENE: Exterior. Evening falls over Ballykissangel.

Peter is in St Joseph's blowing out candles.

Ambrose and Niamh are clearing up in their kitchen.

Assumpta is shutting up Fitzgeralds.

Liam and Donal are in a shed looking intently into a cardboard box.

Darkness falls.

 

SCENE: Exterior. Morning has broken over Ballykissangel.

Peter is walking from the church towards Fitzgeralds. He suddenly

stops as a group of cockroaches run across his path. He dashes out

of their ways and pulls a disgusted face.

SCENE: Inside Hendley's, Kathleen is scurrying about with a broom, swiping

at the floor, mumbling "Get out, dirty vermin!" She lifts the broom

to reveal a squished cockroach.

SCENE: Interior Fitzgeralds. Assumpta has a rolled up magazine. She whacks

it down on the bar and glances around to see if anyone has noticed.

She raises the magazine to reveal a squished cockroach.

Siobhan, Brendan, Padraig, Liam and Donal are all at the bar.

Siobhan: Another one?

Assumpta: Yeah. They're out of control. I'm just waiting for the health

inspector to pay a surprise visit, and just top this whole festive

season off!

Donal: Mr Quigley says it's one of the seven signs of the second coming

Brendan: (amused) Of the Lord?

Liam: The man himself!

So it can't be that bad

Liam and Donal nod enthusiastically.

Assumpta: Are you both mental!?

Donal: Not at all. (Seriously) It's the plague

Padraig: I think you'll find a plague of locust would be more likely Donal

Donal: Mr Quigley said he was going to get some reporters to come and

cover the event. Says it'll do wonders for the tourist trade

Brian appears at the door of Fitzgeralds unbeknown to the others

Assumpta: Well that's just typical of his type isn't it?!

Brian: My type?

Assumpta looks around, obviously surprised by Brian's presence.

Brian: My type? What does that mean, my type?

Assumpta: (shrugs) Narcissistic pseudo intellectual entrepreneurs who believe

everyone else in the world is merely there to act as extras in

their star vehicle

Peter arrives and listens in interestedly. He catches Brendan's eye and

raises a questioning eyebrow. Brendon smiles and shrugs. They all look on

with curious amusement.

Brian: How long have you been practising that little speech?

Assumpta: The Lord himself has merely a guest role in the self-promotional

life and times of Brian Quigley

Brian: Let's hear you complain like that when this place is on the

international map and you're so busy you have to turn people away

Assumpta: You're too right I'd turn them away. Hoards of religious phoneys

is the last thing I'd want. I'd sooner have Kathleen to tea.

Padraig: What do you think Father? Is there a chance Jesus will be coming

to BallyK?

Peter: I think there's a greater chance of seeing Assumpta at church on

Sunday!

Brendan: We wont expect him anytime soon then hey Peter?!

Assumpta: The chance would be a fine thing

Brian: Well now that I've been well and truly insulted, might I 

straighten out a few facts?

Assumpta: (sarcastically) Oh please, indulge us

Brian: Firstly, I did not say that I would get the press here (glares at

Donal), I said I'd get a professional exterminator. And secondly,

I said this plague could kill off our already dead tourist trade

Donal: (obviously caught out) Oh right. My mistake.

The others exchange amused glances.

 

SCENE: Dusk in Ballykissangel.

Eamonn is at a trough of pig swill, waving his arms frantically. It

is swarming with cockroaches

Eamonn: Get outta here, the lotta ya

 

SCENE: Liam and Donal are in the same shed staring into the same box.

Donal: Do you think it's worth it

Liam: Winners aren't just born overnight

 

SCENE: Late evening. Fitzgeralds.

Assumpta is clearing up. Everyone is leaving except Peter. The

gentle rumble of thunder can be heard in the distance. Assumpta

notices Peter is making no move to leave.

Assumpta: I'm closing. Do I have to throw you out?

Peter: I'd like to see you try

Assumpta: Alright then

Assumpta moves to the front of the bar. She smiles at Peter and sits at the

bar with him. They are alone.

Peter: I just thought we should go over the arrangements for Friday

night

Assumpta: Friday night?

Peter: New Years Eve! Our dinner party!

Assumpta: Oh right - the screaming farce

Peter: Nice!

Assumpta: What's it got to do with me? I thought I was just supplying the

venue?

Peter: Well yeah, I just thought...

Assumpta: Thought what?

Peter: (obviously a bit shy about asking) thought you might like to help

me out a little

Assumpta: Help you?

Peter gets up to leave

Peter: Forget it! Sorry I asked

Assumpta: No, no. Come back. I was only joking. I'll help you

Peter: (relieved) Thanks

Assumpta: I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing at midnight than

trying to figure out how to entertain the deity, and I use the

term *very* loosely, of Ballykissangel for hours on end on one of

the most over-rated evenings of the year

Peter: (deliberately misunderstanding her) Yeah I'm looking forward to it

too

Assumpta grabs a notebook and pen

Assumpta: So who's coming?

Peter: Well, obviously me and you

Assumpta: Obviously

Peter: (counting on his fingers) Brendan, Siobhan, Padraig, Ambrose and

Niamh. I guess Liam and Donal

Assumpta: Dumb and dumber

Peter: Michael hopes to make it, and if Brian's managed to successfully

drive every cockroach out of Ireland he should be here

Assumpta: That's it?

Peter: And Father Mac said he'd be delighted to attend

Assumpta: (horrified) No way! Not in my pub he isn't. Deals off. Find

yourself another party place. You must be dreaming

Peter: Assumpta! Assumpta I was kidding

Assumpta: Oh. (Regaining her composure) I knew that

Peter: Ah huh!

Assumpta: (with a relieved laugh) Thank God! I mean how much fun could New

Years Eve be with a priest around

Peter: Ah hem?

Assumpta: Oh, sorry!

 

SCENE: Exterior. Night. Fitzgeralds

Pan out to a shot including the night sky and moon. It begins to

rain. Lightening brightens the sky. Slowly zoom back to the lighted

windows of Fitzgeralds.

SCENE: Interior. Fitzgeralds. Same evening but later.

Both Peter and Assumpta look worn out. They are surrounded by bits

of paper and empty glasses.

Peter: There sure is a lot to organise

Assumpta: You're not wrong

Peter: I hope we haven't overcommitted

Assumpta: (cheekily) Perhaps we could conjure up some divine help with your

religious abilities and get some poor soul stuck in purgatory to

work their way into heaven by giving us a hand here. I'll set up

a little seance shall I?

Peter: (jovially) That's not religion you heathen, that's voodoo!

I'm sure we can manage

Assumpta is visibly tired. She yawns and rubs her eyes.

Assumpta: Yeah, well, you're welcome to work your heart out, but I'm not

the one who took some vow based on some parochial idea of selfless

servitude. I'm going to bed. You should go before this storm gets

any worse.

Assumpta gets up.

Peter: (tentatively) Assumpta?

Assumpta: (she flops back down in her chair) Yes

Peter: (knowing he's treading on thin ice) Why do you hate the church so

much?

Assumpta: (with a shocked gasp) What?

Peter: Why do you hate the church so much? I mean you've been pretty acidic 

lately, even for you

Assumpta: (taken aback) Why do you love it so much?

Peter: I asked you first

Assumpta: I asked you second

Peter: I'm serious

Assumpta: So am I

Peter is thoughtful for a moment, then continues in a slightly dismissive

tone so as not to make the conversation too heavy.

Peter: I guess, because it gives my life meaning and reason; shows

there's something bigger than just me. Don't you ever wonder just

what it is that gives your life meaning?

Assumpta: I get plenty of meaning right here. What greater reason could

there be in life than to serve copious amounts of alcohol to those

who arrive at my door. I don't need the church telling me how to

live my life to get meaning and reason

Peter: No one's saying you do

Assumpta: Oh really?!

Peter: Yes really!

Assumpta: I'd like to see what your boss has to say about that

Peter: The church is there to merely act as a facilitator

Assumpta: Oh here we go!

So what? You're like some sort of spiritual conduit? Is that it?

What makes your religion more powerful than any other religion?

More powerful than Buddism, or music, poetry, science, or

mysticism? Or voodoo for that matter?

Peter: (shrugs) My faith

Assumpta suddenly becomes irritable and deadly serious.

Assumpta: Yeah well it's easy to have faith when life's just peachy keen

isn't it

She gets up annoyed

Peter: What does that mean?

Assumpta: Nothing

Peter: No. I want to know

Assumpta: (she stops and comes back to him) Fine! It just means that maybe

if you spent a little less time blindly following your faith you'd

realise that the world isn't all sweetness and light. Things don't

always work out the way you planned. Life's hard Peter. You can't

just go to church on Sunday and expect all your problems to go

away. People spend their lives running into one obstacle after

another. And just as soon as things start going your way you can

bet there's something waiting around the corner to kick you in the

guts. When everything you care about...

Assumpta stops herself, obviously changing her mind about what she's saying,

then continues

Assumpta: ...I've spent my life picking myself up and I don't need you, or

your church, telling me how to live. I've coped up till now by

myself and I'll continue to cope without your help

Peter: (caringly) Assumpta

Assumpta shrugs off his concern

Assumpta: Oh open your eyes Peter

Peter: My eyes are wide open, but what is faith if not blind. A belief in

something that can't be proven. I can't just opt out at the first

thing that goes wrong

Assumpta: What do you know about things going wrong? Your life's mapped out

for you. The biggest trauma you face each day is what to eat for

breakfast

Peter: You know that's not true

Assumpta: (tiredly) Yeah well

Peter: You want a guarantee. You can't get that

Assumpta: I don't want anything

Peter: No I didn't mean...

Assumpta: ...especially from you.

(She shakes her head disappointedly)

I thought you were different Peter, but I guess it was only a

matter of time before we got around to the old conversion lecture

Peter: That's ridiculous

Assumpta: Is it

Peter: So I can't even ask you a question

Assumpta: Apparently not

There is silence for a moment as they look at each other, realising they've

both said too much.

Assumpta: Go on, clear off!

Peter: What?

Assumpta: Leave!

Peter: No!

Assumpta: No?

Peter: That's right, no. I won't leave you like this

Assumpta: (loosing patience) Get out of here...now!

Peter: Assumpta, please don't do this

Assumpta: I'm not doing anything. You're trespassing, so unless you want me

to call Ambrose you'd better get out of my pub

Assumpta glares at Peter but he remains motionless.

Assumpta: Right. Then I'll leave

She gets up and heads to the door.

Peter: Huh? What are you doing? Where are you going?

She opens the door and steps out into the pouring rain and calls over her

shoulder

Assumpta: Away from you!

Peter gets up, chasing after her out into the rain.

Peter: (calls to her back) Are you going to spend your whole life doing

this? Constantly shutting people out? Maintaining this bravado - 

strong, independent, and alone?

Assumpta stops in her tracks, spins around and gives a disbelieving laugh

Assumpta: Oh that's rich coming from you!

Peter: Maybe if you spent a little less time being bitter and angry,

you'd realise just how many people there are who care about you

Assumpta

She takes a menacing step towards him

Assumpta: Who gave you the right...

Peter: (more gently) You're not alone

Assumpta: (seething) Do not presume to think that I am not acutely aware of

what is happening to me

She pushes back past Peter and runs into the pub, slamming the door behind

her. She turns and collapses against it, sopping wet, drawing in a deep

breath.

Outside Fitzgeralds Peter stands staring up into the night sky. Suddenly the

door to Fitzgeralds opens again and Assumpta flings Peter's coat to him. It

lands on the wet ground at his feet. A momentary look of regret flashes

across Assumpta's face. However, she again slams the door. Peter stands for a

moment then picks up his coat and puts it on, pulling it tight around

himself and heads of towards St Josephs, kicking the ground as he goes.

 

SCENE: Morning. Ambrose and Niamh's kitchen. Ambrose is clearing dishes

and Niamh is feeding Kieran.

Niamh: You've got to do something Ambrose. They're out of control

Ambrose: What can I do?!

Niamh: Well you're the Guard aren't you?!

Ambrose: I can't order them out of town Niamh, they're cockroaches.

Or perhaps you'd like me to shoot them all, is that it?

Niamh: I don't know! But something has to be done. Where did they all

come from anyway?!

 

SCENE: Liam and Donal are in the same shed as previously. They are looking

into the same box. Liam pulls a piece of paper from his pocket and 

reads it while Donal picks up a stick and starts poking around in the box.

 

SCENE: Exterior. Fitzgeralds. Same morning. Assumpta is cleaning the 

outside windows. Niamh is walking across the road toward her.

Niamh: Getting all spic and span for tonight then hey?

Assumpta: (slightly startled) Huh? Oh, yeah.

Niamh: So is it all ready then?

Assumpta: What?

Niamh: Everything for tonight

Assumpta: How should I know

Niamh: (confused) Aren't you organising things?

Assumpta: No. Not me. That's Peter's little brain-child

Niamh: (concerned) Aren't you helping?

Assumpta: (pleading) Niamh

Niamh: Ok then, so is Peter all organised?

Assumpta: I'm not his keeper Niamh. Why not ask him

Niamh: I just thought since it was being held here, you'd...

Assumpta: Well you thought wrong then

Niamh: But...

Assumpta: Niamh! I haven't seen Peter, alright. I assume he's got everything

under control. Didn't he ask you to make a dish?

Niamh: (catching on to the fact that they had a fight) Oh I see. Yeah he

did. (Soothingly) I'm sure it'll all be fine

Assumpta: I'm glad you're sure

Niamh: I'll see you tonight then

Assumpta: See ya

Niamh heads off up the road and passes Peter on his way towards Fitzgeralds.

Niamh smiles reassuringly.

Niamh: Morning Father

Peter: Niamh

Niamh: How are you?

Peter: All the better for seeing you Niamh

Niamh smiles and walks on. Peter reaches Fitzgeralds. Assumpta is still

busily cleaning. She doesn't stop and doesn't look up.

Peter: Hey!

Assumpta: (without looking at him) Hey

Peter: (deciding to cut to the chase) Look I know you hate me right now,

but no more than I hate myself. I had no right to say the things

I said. If I could take it all back I would...

Assumpta: (she finally stops and looks at him) I don't hate you Peter

Peter: Loath?

Despise?

Intensely dislike?

Assumpta: There are just certain things (she takes an exhausted breath)...

things that I'm not ready to deal with, that I don't have the

strength to deal with, and you seem to have a unique talent of

making me think about them

Assumpta pauses and looks at Peter to see if he understands. He is listening

intently.

Assumpta: And possibly I over-reacted, just a little, the other night

Peter: I'm sorry I upset you

Assumpta: Yeah, well you're forgiven I guess

Peter: (meaning more than the fight) I *am* sorry

Assumpta: (to break the slightly uncomfortable intensity of the moment) You

can drop the pure-of-heart act, I don't buy it for a minute

Peter: Let us be friends and quarrel no more

Assumpta smiles at Peter and he smiles back with relief. Suddenly Peter

looks down at his feet, jumps and lets out a girly scream.

Assumpta: (concerned) What?

Peter: (ashamed) Cockroach

Assumpta: (rolls her eyes) Real scary!

Peter: Well, I guess I've got a dish to make before tonight

Assumpta: Do I need to do anything?

Peter: Just show up

Assumpta: I live here

Peter: Indeed you do. Easy then! I'll see you around six so we can add

some festive touches?

Assumpta: I'll be waiting

Peter: Bye

Assumpta: See ya

Peter starts walking back towards St Josephs, but then turns back and calls

out

Peter: You could arrange pens and paper for everyone

Assumpta: What?

Peter: You know - pens and paper. Pre the information technology

revolution

Assumpta: What did your last slave die of?!

Peter: Insolence!

Assumpta laughs and Peter once again heads off up the road. She watches him

go.

 

SCENE: New Years Eve. Interior Fitzgeralds. The pub is completely empty.

There is no sound or movement anywhere. The outside door opens

slowly and Peter pops his head in. He looks around and calls out

Peter: Assumpta?

There is no response. He walks inside and shuts the door, then calls again

Peter: Assumpta?

Again no response. So he looks in the kitchen and call again

Peter: Assumpta?

From upstairs Assumpta calls down

Assumpta: Yeah yeah, I'm coming

Assumpta appears at the top of the stairs making final adjustments to her

outfit. She walks down the stairs without looking up. She stops short of the

bottom of the stairs as she looks up at Peter. They both stand stunned with

mouths agape for a moment. Assumpta is in a black evening dress and Peter is

dressed in suit and tie.

Assumpta lets out a nervous laugh

Assumpta: Are you allowed to wear that Peter?

Peter: No, no I'm not. Breaking the slightly less-known 11th Commandment

actually

Assumpta: Ha ha

Peter: (looking at Assumpta with admiration) Are you allowed to wear

that?!

Assumpta: What's wrong with it?

Peter: (smiling) Nothing. It's just you could lead many a man to a sinful

thought in an outfit like that

Assumpta: Oh bog off Peter. Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. 

(With a grin) I should know!

They both look at each other, trying to conceal their mutual admiration

 

SCENE: Donal's house. Early Evening. Donal is in the kitchen. Liam enters

from the living room carrying a plastic bag. They are both in suits.

Liam: Come on Donal, we'll be late

Donal: Right. I'm just getting my dish

Liam: What did you make?

Donal: Lasangna

Liam: Beef or vegetable?

Donal: I'm not sure

Liam: You're not sure?

Donal: I'll check

Donal goes to the freezer and removes a frozen instant dinner packet

Donal: Beef

Liam: Oh for pities sake Donal!

Donal: What!?

Liam pulls the exact same packet out of his plastic bag. It's dripping.

Liam: You could have at least defrosted it first!

 

SCENE: Fitzgeralds. Interior. Peter and Assumpta are setting a long table.

Peter takes some chips from the middle of the table.

Assumpta: Drop it!

Peter hurriedly stuffs the chips in his mouth and then speaks with it full

Peter: Ooops! Too late

The door to Fitzgeralds opens and Niamh and Ambrose enter. Ambrose is

carrying a dish.

Niamh: Happy almost New Year

Peter: Welcome, welcome

Ambrose: We come bearing food

Assumpta: Great! What have you got there then?

Ambrose: Beef lasagna

Assumpta: Mmm, perfect!

Peter: So where's little Kieran?

Niamh: Who?

Ambrose: Our son

Niamh: Oh right! Ambrose's mother decided to stay on till after the New

Year - she's got him

Assumpta: Oh, (dubiously) how nice

Niamh: (with little enthusiasm) Yes, isn't it swell

The door to Fitzgeralds bursts open and Brendan, Siobhan and Padraig enter

full of cheer.

Brendan: Happy New Year all!

They all respond in kind. Siobhan offers her dish to Assumpta.

Siobhan: Beef lasagna

Brendan: Mines the same, but we figured two wouldn't go astray

Padraig: And I've made vegetable lasagna

Assumpta spins to look at Peter who is cowering at the end of the table

Assumpta: Did you not *tell* them what to make Peter?!

Peter: I didn't know they'd all come up with the same thing!

Assumpta: (to the others) We'd have been better to have a baboon in charge

Peter smiles back sarcastically.

Niamh: Sure it'll be fine. Liam and Donal are bound to bring something to

add a bit of variety

Assumpta: We'll be lucky if they bring anything. Do us a favour Brendan, walk across to Hendleys and see if you can't rustle up
something to spice things up a little

Brendan: For you Assumpta, I would walk 500 miles

Padraig: And I would walk 500 more

Peter: Just to be the man that walked 1000 miles...

Assumpta: Oh pull your head in!

They all cackle

 

SCENE: Exterior Fitzgeralds. Brendan is walking across to Hendleys. A van

labelled Michael Rawson-Daly Exterminator zooms past towards St 

Josephs

SCENE: Exterior Brian Quigley's home. The same van is parked outside.

SCENE: Interior Brian Quigley's Home. Brian is handing over a cheque to the

exterminator

SCENE: Exterior Fitzgeralds. Music and laughter are emanating from inside.

SCENE: Interior Fitzgeralds. Assumpta, Peter, Siobhan, Doc Ryan, Brendan,

Padraig, Niamh, Ambrose, Liam and Donal are all sitting around one

long table covered with food and drink.

Padraig: So Brendan, what's your resolution this year?

Brendan: What's the point of making a resolution when you're perfect 

already

Assumpta: But surely the assumption of perfection is, in itself, a fatal

flaw?

Brendan looks questioningly at Assumpta, shrugs and turns back to Padraig

Brendan: What about you old friend?

Padraig: I've resolved to no longer make hollow resolutions and therefore

was unable to make any resolution given that any that I did make

was bound to be hollow

Peter: Say that again, but a lot slower

Donal: My resolution is to no longer be taken advantage of, and I won't

stand for being the butt of everyone's jokes anymore

Padraig: Just most people's jokes hey Donal?!

Dr Ryan: Good luck with that Donal

Assumpta: So where's your Dad Niamh? Well be finished before he gets here

Niamh: He's meeting with Michael Rawson-Daly

Brendan: Who?

Niamh: Michael Rawson-Daly

Donal: What?

Niamh: Michael Rawson-Daly, it's hyphenated

Assumpta: Maybe he took his wife's name

Donal: Oh

Ambrose: The exterminator

Liam: Oh no!

Dr Ryan: What?

Liam: Oh no...thing

The door to Fitzgeralds swings open and Brian strides in

Brian: I have arrived. The beasts have been slayed and the party may now

commence

Donal: Oh no

Donal and Liam drop their heads

 

SCENE: Exterior Fitzgeralds. Michael Rawson-Daly's Exterminator van zooms

past Fitzgeralds and over the bridge.

SCENE: Various exteriors of evening in Ballykissangel, ending with an

exterior shot of Fitzgeralds

SCENE: Interior Fitzgeralds. A clock on the wall reads 10:30pm.

A cockroach runs across the clock face.

Everyone is sitting around the table. Peter has just sat down with

a pile of note paper, pens and two bowls.

Dr Ryan: What's all this then Peter?

Peter: This is the part of the evening people love to hate, or is that

hate to love? I'm never sure

Niamh: What is it?

Peter: It's time for the painful truth

Siobhan: The what?

Peter: The painful truth

Assumpta: Or the most convincing lie

Peter: No. The truth. Everyone gets a piece of paper which you rip in 

half. On one half write your name, on the other half write a

question. We then put all the names in one bowl and questions in

the other. We'll go around the table taking turns to pull out a

name and a question. Who evers name is picked has to answer the

question as truthfully as possible

Niamh: Oh my word!

Assumpta: Come on, how old are we? I haven't done something like that since

school

Peter: And try to keep it decent, we don't want to offend anyone

Assumpta: Oh and who would it be that we'd offend then Peter?

Peter: I have no secrets

Assumpta: Well see

Brendan: Let the games begin!

They each take pen and paper and begin to write. Many a cheeky grin can be

seen. Niamh is thoughtful. She tries to sneak a peek at what Ambrose is

writing but he hurriedly shields it from her view. Dr Ryan is first finished

and puts his two bits of paper in the bowls.

Brendan drops his paper in the bowls and winks in Siobhan's direction. She

puts her paper in the bowls while looking rather proud of her effort.

Assumpta glances up from under her brow at Peter and hurriedly looks away

when he looks in her direction. One by one they each put their paper in the

bowls. A nervous excitement fills the room.

Donal: So who's first?

 

**The following scenes fade into one another in a continuous time lapse

sequence**

 

Ambrose reaches into each bowl and takes a piece of paper

Ambrose: Ok, contestant number one...it's Brendan!

A cheer goes up

Siobhan: Something tough please Ambrose

Ambrose: I'll do my best. The question. Alright Brendan, the painful truth,

which of the Ten Commandments have you broken?

Assumpta: Oh please! Surely it'd be quicker to ask which he hasn't broken,

there's bound to be fewer

Brendan: You're making the big assumption with that question that I 

actually know what the Ten Commandments are

Donal: A lot of guff about donkeys and neighbours wives I believe

Brendan: Thanks Donal

Everyone looks intently at Brendan awaiting a response. Brendan begins to

feel the pressure

Brendan: Now surely that'd be a better question for Peter. Clean slate hey

Father?

Peter: Oh you'd be suprised

Siobhan: Please, do tell!?

Peter: Unfortunately Siobhan, that was not my question and I'd hate to

break the rules of the game. Brendan?

Peter looks to Brendon with a raised eyebrow which beckons a response

Brendan: Alright then. Ok. Mmm. Well. Let's see. Ten Commandments. I'm

drawing a blank. Someone help me out here

Dr Ryan: Thou shalt not kill

Brendan: Right! Thanks Doc. Never broken that one. Although there's 

probably a couple of cockroaches who'd dispute that...if they

could

Both Liam and Donals heads drop again

 

**Cross fade to Brian taking a name and question from the bowls**

 

Brian: And the next victim...my little angel Niamh

Niamh: Dad!

Liam: The question

Niamh: Oh please let it be respectable

Brian: Who was your first love?

Niamh: Oh wonderful

Brian: It's your father of course

Padraig: I don't think the question means that sort of love Brian

Siobhan: (flatly) What is love anyway?

Peter: (absently) Something akin to nausea

Everyone stops and looks at Peter. He quickly adds...

Peter: (smiling sheepishly) So I've been told

Assumpta: (while looking at Peter) Niamh?! Story time

Niamh: There's no story. It's boring really. It was Ambrose of course

Ambrose: Well thank you very much

Niamh: No, I didn't mean it like that

Ambrose: No, really, that's fine. Dull as dishwater, I understand

Niamh: Oh don't be a child. From the moment I met Ambrose I knew he was

the one for me. I felt safe

Ambrose: From the moment I met Niamh I was afraid

Niamh: (swiping at Ambrose) Go on with ya

Brendon: There's one about adultery isn't there? 

Niamh: Your point?

Brendan: A commandment

Niamh: Oh

Brendan: Since I've never been married, and never had an affair with anyone

who was married, I'm in the clear on that one too!

Padraig: So far so good old friend

 

**Cross fade to Dr Ryan plucking a name from the bowl**

 

Dr Ryan: Padraig!

The others cheer and jeer as Dr Ryan takes a question

Dr Ryan: Padraig, if you could be anyone for a day, who would it be?

Siobhan: Oh that's not probing!

Peter: Well that all depends on his answer now doesn't it?!

All eyes turn to Padraig

Padraig: (with head held high and chest puffed out) I'd be the best version

of myself that I could possibly be

There is a stunned silence as everyone looks at Padraig, mouths agape. They

look from one face to another. Simultaneously they all break into laughter

and Brendan slaps Padraig on the back..

Brendan: Ah, you nearly fooled us! Come on, who would you really be?

Padraig joins in the laughter

Padraig: Alright. If I could anyone I guess I'd be Superman for a day.

Apart from his many supernatural talents, and the obvious link to

Lois Lane, I've always wanted to be able to fly!

Assumpta: I thought you already could - I've seen you drive

Siobhan is sitting with a grin from ear to ear. Brendan notices.

Brendan: Siobhan?

Siobhan: I'm just picturing the tights

Niamh & Assumpta: Eeeww!

Brian: Thank you very much for bringing that image to my head Siobhan,

I've just eaten!

Padraig: (offended) Hey!

 

**Cross fade to Niamh taking a name and question**

 

Niamh: Liam!

Donal lets out a whahoo as Niamh continues

Niamh: With who, where, and when was your first kiss?

Liam: I'm still waiting

Assumpta: Ah go on with ya!

Liam: I'm serious - I'm still waiting!

Peter: Come on Liam, the painful truth

Liam: Trust me, the truth doesn't get much more painful than that!

They all laugh undecidedly

 

**Cross fade to Peter taking a question**

 

Peter: Siobhan, what's the worst pick up line you've ever used or had

used on you?

Peter pulls a face

Assumpta: (cheekily) Brendan?

Brendan: (feigning ignorance of her meaning) What?!

Peter: (with a look of disapproval) Assumpta!

Assumpta: Don't give me that dirty look

Brian: That's right, she doesn't need it, she's got one of her own!

Assumpta pokes her tongue out at Brian

Brian: Very mature

Niamh: The answer!

Siobhan: One day I was out wandering with a couple of girlfriends, back in

my wild youth, when we came across a dashing young man painting a

landscape by a river. One of my friends dared me to go up to him.

So I did.

In unison everyone pulls their chair a little closer to the table

Niamh: And?

Siobhan: (holding back laughter) And, I asked him if he'd like to paint me

nude

A chuckle goes around the table

Niamh: (amazed) What did he say?

Siobhan: He said sure he would, but did I mind if he left his socks on,

otherwise he wouldn't have anywhere to stick his brushes

Siobhan laughs and the others exchange amused looks

Assumpta: Was that the end of it?

Siobhan: We actually went out a couple of times and then he decided to

start stealing from me

Niamh: Oh Siobhan

Siobhan: I should have known. After all, he was an Australian and we all

know Australia was almost entirely populated by criminals

Assumpta: Yeah, but they were Irish criminals

Brendan: Thou shalt not steal. That's one. I guess until Padraig gets his

lawn mower back...and Siobhan her blender...and Peter his shovel

Brian: And my tennis racquet

Donal: And me my wrench

Brendan: Right! Until all those things are returned, I guess the jury's

out on whether I've broken that one or not

 

**Cross fade to Siobhan with question in hand**

 

Siobhan: Donal!

What's the biggest secret you have

Donal: But if I tell it wont be a secret

Brendan: Precisely

Donal: I do have one secret

Liam: (hurriedly) Ah that's a ridiculous question. Next one

Padraig: Hang on a moment Liam, we want to hear this one secret

Liam: No we don't

Donal: It's about the cockroaches

Liam: No it's not

Brian: Donal?

Donal: I know where they all came from

Liam: Yeah it's the plague, they came from the heavens

Donal: No they didn't

Liam: (with a warning stare) Donal

Donal: They came from Mr Quigley's shed

Brian: What?

Niamh: Dad!

Brian: (offended) Well I didn't put them there

Peter: Donal?

Donal: The Annual Roach Race is in Dublin next weekend

Ambrose: You're breeding cockroaches?!

Liam: We didn't have to try very hard

Donal: It sorta got out of control

Brian: You're telling me

 

**Cross fade to Liam taking a question**

 

Liam: Guard Egan!

Now you can't arrest me for this, it's not my question. I'm just

the messenger. Remember that

Brian: Get on with it

Liam: Alright then - what's the thing or person that makes you most

nervous

Ambrose: Being asked personal questions in front of a group of people on

New Years Eve ranks right up there

Siobhan: Come on now Ambrose, you can do better than that

Ambrose: I guess, to combine the two, I was pretty nervous when I first

told Brian I wanted to marry Niamh. But I gathered all my courage

and walked right up to him, look him in the eye, and said Mr

Quigley, I want to marry your daughter

Siobhan: Good for you Ambrose

Ambrose: He continued to look me straight in the eye and told me to leave

my name and number, and if nothing better came along he'd give me

a call

Assumpta: (with a smirk) Oh the cruelty

Brian: Oh Ambrose that's not true. You came and asked me for my 

daughter's hand, so I told you to take the one that's always in my

pocket

Niamh: Dad!

Niamh turns to Ambrose and smiles fondly

 

**Cross fade to Brendan with question in hand**

 

Brendan: Assumpta!

Everyone cheers

Assumpta: Yeah yeah. Thank you very much. I shall reveal nothing

Brendan: Name an experience you'd most like to forget

Assumpta: What?

Niamh: (chirpily) Oh that would have to be your seventeenth birthday

Assumpta: (defensively) What!?

Niamh: (matter of fact) You were hammered

Assumpta: (indignant) I was not hammered! Who's answering this question

anyway

Assumpta turns to Peter to find support, only to find him smiling widely.

He merely shrugs.

Niamh: Oh yes you were, you were hammered. It was a party to end all

parties. No parents and Assumpta got completely toasted

Assumpta: Niamh!

Niamh: (not deterred) She was standing on tables reciting poetry, and when

she ran out of poems she started on song lyrics

Everyone is keenly interested

Assumpta: (weakly) I did no such thing

Niamh: We put her to bed, but she got up and started again where she's

left off. We heard every word from The Unforgettable Fire

Assumpta: What are you trying to do? Embarrass me to death?!

Niamh: You spent most of the night complaining that there was too much

blood in your alcohol system. You only stopped when you danced

straight into a wall

Assumpta: I was not hammered

Niamh: Yeah, you were

Assumpta: I only had a couple of drinks

Brendan: Cheap date hey Assumpta!?

Assumpta: Well how can it be an experience I'd most prefer to forget if I

have no recollection of it to start with?!

Niamh: I rest my case

Assumpta: The next day, however, was one I could have lived without

Assumpta smiles in embarrassed defeat

Brendan: If there's a commandment related to drinking in excess, I've

broken that one more times than I care to remember

Assumpta: Ah, but it keeps me in business Brendan

 

**Cross fade to Padraig who is holding a question**

 

Padraig: Doc Ryan, what event has irreversibly changed your life?

Assumtpa: (sarcastically) Bring on the easy ones

Doc Ryan: No, actually this is an easy one, for me at least. I guess I was

around about sixteen years old. A good friend of mine was killed

when he was hit by a car.

There is a thick silence

Doc Ryan: Afterwards, what I couldn't come to terms with was not that my

friend had died, but I couldn't come to terms with the fact that

within a split second life could change so much. That life could

hang so precariously by a thread, ready to snap at any moment with

one ill timed move. If he'd been just one minute earlier, or one

minute later that day, he might still be alive now

Siobhan: That must have been awful

Donal: Yeah, it's the kind of thing that makes you question your own

morality

Brian: Ah, no, not really

Peter: Mortality Donal

Assumpta smiles at Peter and Doc Ryan forces a smile

Donal: I don't think I'm ready to die just yet

Niamh: Let's pray none of us are

Donal: I wonder who'd do the urology at my funeral

Dr Ryan: It's a bit late for a urology at your funeral Donal

Liam: Eulogy Donal

Donal: Oh yeah right

Brendan: You're not making it real easy for us to help you out with that

New Years resolution Donal

Assumpta: But it's not the New Year yet

Siobhan: Almost though

Niamh: Do we have time for another question

Assumpta: Cause we do

Assumpta hurriedly reaches for a name and question. Liam gets up rubbing his

stomach and leaves the table

Liam: Too much lasagne

Assumpta: (disappointedly) Brian

Brian: (rubbing his hands together fearlessly) Bring it on

Assumpta: (with a frown of concern) Have you ever seen a ghost?

Brian: Everyday when I look in the mirror. The ghost of the man I once

was and the ghost of the man I could have been

Padraig: Ah seriously now Brian

Brian: Well legend has it that the ghost of BallyK still walks the banks

of the River Angel. But no, I myself have never seen a ghost

Peter: The ghost of BallyK?

Doc Ryan: Have you not heard the story Peter?

Peter shakes his head

Brian: Legend has it that back in the late seventeenth century a pair of

young lovers formed a pact to always be together in life and in

death. He was wanted for theft and smuggling, and as sure as he

was to be caught, he was to be put to death. He sooner wanted to

die a free man than a prisoner. Not wanting to let him go alone,

his lover took his life and then her own, supposedly along the

River Angel - true to their pact. He was unburdened of his crime

and she was damned to walk the river for ever for hers

Niamh: There's a poem isn't there? A horrid children's rhyme?

Doc Ryan: Indeed there is - 

From the black tangled heart

Of lovers torn apart

Spawned the ghost of Mary Daisy

Brian: Her lover the thief

Begged for relief

Begged the ghost of Mary Daisy

Brendan: He fled from the chain

She put a pistol to his brain

Did the ghost of Mary Daisy

Siobhan: She stood high 'bove the river

For a moment did shiver

Did the ghost of Mary Daisy

Padraig: She'd not let him go alone

She fell to the stone

Did the ghost of Mary Daisy

Brian: Now she comes by night

She comes by daylight

Does the ghost of Mary Daisy

Suddenly the lights all go out, a door slams, the clash of heads and a 

simultaneous moan can be heard. The lights flicker back on to reveal both

Assumpta and Peter rubbing their foreheads. Liam is returning from the 

bathroom laughing wickedly

Liam: Got ya!

Assumpta: Real funny

Liam: Have you all seen the time

They all swing around to look at the clock. A floundering cockroach drops to

the ground. It is a quarter to twelve.

Peter: Let's fill our glasses and before the stroke of twelve each toast

the New Year ahead

Assumpta: (under her breath) Convenient

Peter: Assumpta, you want to start?

Assumpta: Fine. Um (raising her glass) May we all live as long as we want

and never want as long as we live

Assumpta smiles proud of her effort. Peter flashes an approving look and

continues

Peter: May we all get to heaven half an hour before the devil knows we're

dead

Assumpta: Oh very uplifting

Niamh: May we all be alive this time twelve months

Assumpta: What is this? A wake?

Padraig: May the flees of a thousand camels infest the underpants of our

enemies

Assumpta: That's more like it

Brian: To our wives and sweethearts. May they never meet

Doc Ryan: Remember the poor, it costs you nothing

Ambrose: May we drink to the thirst which is yet to come

Donal: May your luck be like the capital of Ireland, always Dublin

Brendan: May you slide down the bannister of life with nary a splinter

Liam: There's many a toast, if I could think of it. Damned if I can so

let's drink to it

Siobhan: And a special on as the midnight hour is upon us - may we kiss who

we please and please who we kiss!

There is a chorus of "Here, here" as everyone raises their glasses and

toasts the New Year. Peter and Assumpta exchange a tender look.

Brendan: Who needs a refill?

Siobhan: Yes please

Brendan takes an open bottle of wine and upturns it into Siobhan's glass.

A mere drop comes out

Brendan: I'm out. Ambrose

Brendan indicates the bottle in front of Ambrose. Ambrose picks it up and

shakes it

Ambrose: It's empty too

Brendan: Assumpta?

Assumpta: Yes

Brendan: We're out of wine

Assumpta: So?

Brendan: So...get some more!

Assumpta: There's more in the kitchen

Brendan: So?

Assumpta: So you get some more

Peter: (enthusiastically curt) I'll get some more

Peter hurriedly gets up and goes into the kitchen. He closes the door after

himself

Assumpta: (to Brendan) Are your arms painted on?!

Liam: Only a few more minutes

Niamh: Oh party hats people

Niamh hands out party hats, noise makers and streamer poppers

Siobhan: (calling out) Come on Peter!

Padraig: Perhaps he's fallen asleep

Assumpta: Not for long

Assumpta gets up and goes to the kitchen. Brian raises a bottle of wine from

beside his chair

Brian: Reserve supply

 

SCENE: Interior kitchen at Fitzgeralds. Peter is sitting at the kitchen

table fiddling with a tea towel. Assumpta bursts through the door

Assumpta: Peter, what on earth...(she stops on seeing him just sitting 

there)...What are you doing?

Peter: Oh sorry. I got sidetracked. I, ah, couldn't find the wine

Assumpta: Well it has to be here somewhere. Did you look?

Peter: Yes I looked!

Assumpta comes into the kitchen, closing the door after herself. She

begins to fumble through piles of packets and dishes on benches.

Peter watches then clears his throat

Peter: So what's your New Year's resolution?

Assumpta: (absently) I don't have one

Peter: Oh

Assumpta: I couldn't choose. Too many things need resolving. Anyway, what's

the point. I don't believe in deluding myself

Peter: Fair enough

Assumpta: And I suppose Peter Perfect has written a list?

Peter: Mock if you wish. I'm not perfect...yet

Assumpta: Oh I know that (turning and smiling) I just wasn't sure you knew

it

Peter: Far from perfect

Assumpta: Really? How so?

Peter: Hey? Nothing, it was just a comment

Assumpta: No it wasn't. It was a statement loaded with meaning. I'm 

interested to hear about your imperfections. Makes me think you 

might be human after all

Peter: Well I'd hate to give you that impression, as that's a complete and

utter fallacy

Assumpta: Uh huh!

Assumpta continues to look for the wine, stacking things as she goes. Peter

sits in silence, twirling his tea towel. He is obviously lost in thought.

Assumpta's back is to him. Finally he breaks the silence

Peter: Assumpta?

She turns to look at him

Peter: I know life can be hard. It's just that sometimes in order to 

survive, I need to believe in something

Assumpta: Or conversely, to survive you could believe in nothing at all

Peter: But that's not you?

Assumpta: You know it's not

Peter smiles fondly at Assumpta. She smiles back then turns away.

Suddenly she spins back as if she's going to say something, but stops.

She cocks her head thoughtfully to one side

Assumpta: Have you ever had a premonition Peter?

Peter: I knew you'd ask me that

Assumpta: Seriously

Peter: You mean like seen something that was going to happen before

it did?

Assumpta: Yeah, something like that

Peter: I don't know. I've anticipated things, but I don't know that you'd 

call it a premonition. Like knowing who's on the phone before I

pick it up

Assumpta: Mmm

Assumpta turns back and continues to clean up

Peter: Why?

Assumpta: Just wondered

After stacking a couple more platters she again stops and turns to Peter

Assumpta: Do you believe in ghosts?

Peter: The ghost of Mary Daisy?

Assumpta shrugs

Peter: I believe in spirits. Is that the same thing?

Assumpta: You tell me

Peter: Well, the power of suggestion is an amazing thing. If you plant

the notion, see all the right cues, you can believe you saw

anything I guess

Assumpta: That's a very clinical point of view

Peter: What about you then. Do you believe in ghosts?

Assumpta: (dismissively) I thought I saw one once

Peter snaps to full attention

Peter: You did?!

Assumpta isn't looking at Peter

Assumpta: (starting to sound edgy) Mmm, it was while I was in Dublin,

just after I'd finished studying

Assumpta stops and doesn't look like continuing, so Peter gently prods

her

Peter: And...

Assumpta: I'd just been visiting my mother back here. She'd been quite

sick and I was feeling so high and mighty for taking time out of

my busy social schedule to come visit

Assumpta looks up at Peter and laughs nervously

Assumpta: When I left to go back to Dublin she seemed well enough.

The night I got back, I was sitting catching up on lost time

when I heard footsteps in the hallway, really light footsteps.

So I got up to have a look. I don't know why, but it never

crossed my mind to be afraid. And standing there at the end

of the hall, as clear as day, was my mother. She just stood

there, look at me, and smiled. Then the phone rang and she

was gone.

Peter is sitting spell bound

Assumpta: It was Dr Ryan on the phone, telling me my mother was

very bad. So I raced home, but she died before I got there.

Dr Ryan said she died only moments after he'd rung me.

And you know I was so mad at her for not waiting for me to

get there. But really I was angry with myself for leaving in

the first place.

Assumpta pauses and looks up at Peter

Assumpta: I just wanted to be able to say goodbye

Peter: Perhaps you did

Assumpta: Perhaps

Assumpta smiles at Peter through glazed eyes

Peter: Do you miss her alot?

Assumpta: She's my mother

Assumpta brushes a tear from her eyes and quickly changes the subject

Assumpta: We should find this wine and get back to the others. Who

knows what they'll think we're up to

Peter: The mind boggles

Assumpta spins around and opens the fridge. Peter gets up to help

her look. Peter looks in a couple of cupboards then notices that

Assumpta is staring blankly into the fridge. He goes to the fridge

behind Assumpta. She continues to stare, oblivious to the fact that

Peter is now behind her. Suddenly, without looking, she backs up into

him. She turns in suprise and is facing Peter only centimetres away

from him

Assumpta: Sorry

Peter: Sorry

Neither of them move away. Peter looks down at Assumpta then

raises his hand to the side of her face. He brushes the hair from her

forehead and then gently runs his thumb over the smallest of red

marks

Peter: (quietly) You've got a bump from earlier

Assumpta is frozen with tears in her eyes

Assumpta: (shakily) It's fine

Peter moves his hand down the side of Assumpta's face, resting it

on her cheek

Peter: (meaning her Mum but still with his finger gently brushing

her forehead) Does it hurt alot?

Assumpta: (almost inaudible) Yes

Peter raises his other hand and holds Assumpta's face gently. A

tear drops down one of her cheeks. Peter softly wipes it away.

From outside the cheers of Happy New Year rip through the silence.

Assumpta hastily pulls away from Peter.

Assumpta: (flustered) Happy New Year...Father

We should get back to the others

Assumpta rushes to the door an back out into the pub. Peter is left

standing alone. He puts his hand over his heart an breaths in deeply.

 

SCENE: Fitzgeralds Interior Pub. Same time.

Brendan grabs Assumpta as she emerges from the kitchen and 

gives her a bear hug, lifting her off her feet. This is followed by a 

hug from Niamh.

Peter returns to join the others. Niamh leaves Assumpta and goes

to Peter, kissing him on the cheek. She then giggles. Brian comes

to Peter and shakes his hand.

Peter: Happy New Year Brian

Padraig: You were in there all that time and you still didn't get any

wine?!

Peter: Happy New Year to you too Padraig

Brendan: Assumpta? How about a poem?

Assumpta: Yeah, yeah, yeah! Maybe next year

Siobhan: I feel a year of change is ahead of us

Assumpta looks at Peter an he smiles at her shyly.

Everyone continues to chatter and drink.

FADE OUT TO:

 

SCENE: Interior Fitzgeralds. Same evening but much later

Assumpta is clearing up. Peter is leading Brian to the door.

Brian is a little worse for wear. Everyone else has left.

Brian: Thank-you both, you make a good team, that was a lovely

evening. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and pass out

Peter: Will you be alright Brian?

Brian: Fine, fine. To all a good night

Assumpta: Goodnight Brian

Peter: Goodnight

Peter shuts the door after Brian. Peter turns back to Assumpta

Peter: I'll help you clear up

Assumpta: It's ok. I'll do it in the morning

Peter: You did a marvellous job here tonight. I think everyone

had a really good time. Good food, good drink, good

company, and a few home truths revealed

Assumpta: Some better forgotten I think

Peter: Maybe

Assumpta: Anyhow, you conveniently never got to answer your

painful truth question

Assumpta heads to the table with the bowls from behind the bar

and Peter converges from the door

Peter: Is there one left?

Assumpta: Indeed there is

Peter: Bugger

They both sit. Assumpta takes the question and reads it to

herself. She then screws up the paper and throws it back in the

bowl. She's embarrassed.

Assumpta: Oh let's just forget it

Peter: Why? What does it say?

Peter reaches across the table and grabs the paper before 

Assumpta can stop him. He reads it and smiles with 

embarrassment, putting the paper back in the bowl.

Peter: Yeah well just forget it

They smile embarrassed at each other. They sit for a moment

in companionable silence

Assumpta: You asked me the other night why I hate the church

so much. Truth?

Peter: Uh huh

Assumpta: I don't (she looks at Peter and adds with a grin) I

just hate it a little. Some parts more than others

Peter grins back

Peter: Thank-you

 

SCENE: Exterior Fitzgeralds. Same night/day. Light is breaking

through the dark. The door of Fitzgeralds opens and 

Peter and Assumpta emerge from the pub

Assumpta: Wow, what time is it?

Peter: Very late, or very early

They walk out further onto the street and wander a distance

towards the bridge. They stand together for a moment.

Assumpta yawns

Assumpta: I'm gunna get some sleep.

They look at each other for a moment

Assumpta: See you later

She heads off back towards the door

Peter: (with his head titled to one side) Wait

Assumpta: (stopping) What?

Peter: Can't you feel it?

Assumpta: Feel what?

Peter: It's amazing

Assumpta: What?

Peter: The magic. In the air

Assumpta: Huh?

Assumpta starts to leave, rolling her eyes and shaking her

head.

Assumpta: You're crazy!

Peter: No wait. Just stand still for a minute

Assumpta stops. Everything is quiet except for the gentle

rustle of the trees and the faint sound of the river. Peter

looks to Assumpta who is concentrating and absorbing the

peace. She looks to Peter as he smiles at her. Unwittingly

she smiles back

Peter: (triumphantly) See. Amazing

Assumpta: (walking away but still smiling) Yeah, whatever

Assumpta goes back to the pub, but stops short of the door.

She turns back to Peter

Assumpta: Happy New Year Peter

Peter: Happy New Year Assumpta

Assumpta goes into the pub smiling broadly. Peter remains

in the middle of the street smiling

FADE OUT

ROLL CLOSING CREDITS

 

'Twas the night before New Year

And all through the house

Not a creature was stirring

Not even a cockroach?