Matthew Routledge - Writer

Short Stories and Poetry

Unused Script

Initial Draft


Tender Comrade


Very rough draft mate – no direction as of yet – until I know what direction I’m heading in and the edits you want to make I won’t add any directions because essentially I am a lazy fuck!


Drinks later this week if you like to maybe discuss it don’t mind


Be brutal!


Re: Ben Mellows Film Project


Three men – the funeral of an unseen character – theorized as a working class hero politician – revelation is men killed him – ultimate sacrifice for the cause.








Rob – Smoking a cigarette – It’s a shit boys, it’s a shit.


Paul – Aye mate, it is.


Tomo – It’ll all look better tomorrow.


Rob – Tomorrow Tomo? Tomorrow the shits just the same – different view, new opinions, maybe a new fact or two. But it’s still the same old shit. We’re still stuck in the same old shit.


Paul – Night is darkest and all that Rob…


Rob – “All that” sums it all up really.  We’re getting no further and after Tuesday’s events we aren’t going to move any closer to the conclusion.


Tomo – If this is the darkness before the dawn then I hope to fuck the sun rises soon. I’m starting to lose the will to carry on.


Paul – That’s why we’re stuck! Because people like you don’t want to stick to the plan when the shine comes off.


Rob – The shine came off this shit years ago. “I kept the faith and I kept voting” Look at what we’ve become. We used to be young men playing the old man’s game. Now we’re the old men and the new breed of bastards have forgotten the rules


Paul – the new breed of bastards? Doesn’t change the fact you’re still the same old bastard. You were born an old man Rob. Stuck in the old cause – the idealistic man I met at University died a long time ago. Where did the chip come from Robn?


Tomo – Guys come on! This isn’t the time or place. We’re here to say goodbye to a good man. Don’t turn this pulpit into a soapbox.


Paul – Some of us said goodbye to a “Good man” years ago, didn’t they Rob?


Rob – Fuck off.


Paul – Or what?


Rob – Or I’ll remind you why you used to flinch when I lifted my hand!


Paul – I flinched when a man lifted his hand to me, not a shell. Fuck me Rob, it takes most people years to lose their fire, yours just went out one day didn’t it.


Tomo – For god’s sake Paul, you’re acting like a child.


Rob – No, he’s acting like Paul. The kid, who strutted into the pub, slammed his hands down on the table and presumed he’d be the next Trotsky. And you know what happened to him!


Paul – You’d know all about murder wouldn’t you Rob. (Laughing) you know all about killing a good man.


Rob – I killed a man, not the good. The good lives on, in the words, the speeches, the poems, the songs.


Paul – Oh listen to him, listen to the arse. Espousing shit like you always do. Word don’t live without the voice. Oh! No! Wait! That’s it! You want to be the voice, you fat fuck! You want to be the voice!


Rob lunges at Paul, his hands around his throat – Paul laughing.


Tomo (in a quiet voice) stop it now. None of us will be half the man he was. No you Rob, not you Paul nor me. None of us has the power, people listen to you Rob because in a house of screaming madmen, you scream the loudest. Paul, you have the confidence, you ooze it but you don’t have any of the pissing substance behind it.


Rob – (removing his hands) He’s right, when he died, we lost the only hope we had. We lost the fuel for the flame. Yeah we both had that burning desire but it’ll die out without the fuel.


Paul – For the first time in years I agree with you Rob. It was like someone poured icy water down my back when I heard he’d died.


Tomo – It hurt us all Paul we share the pain. We always share the pain. Some of us manage to handle it better but nonetheless we always share the pain.


Rob – You’ll be saying what does not kill us can only make us stronger in a minute.


Tomo – Well, you’re right Rob. All the fire we’ve walked through, all the anger we’ve seen and all the suffering, its just made us stronger.


Paul – Fuck all good its done. Scars don’t become medals after a few years, there just scars.


Rob – Paul, scars are the medals we won. Bruises take minutes to create, in that fleeting moment of anger and revenge, with the burning justification, which causes the hand to fly, and smash into the flesh with that self-righteousness. But just like bruises, those feelings fade into foolish memories that are best remembered.


Tomo – And scars?


Rob – Scars are the medals of the battles we’ve fought. Not a brief moment of violence, but the hard fought hell we’ve been through. Scars last for life like the ideals we believe in. Our beliefs are scars, our scars are medals and our medals are proof that we stood and didn’t break when beaten, cut and nearly killed. Our beliefs are cut deep into our skin and best you remember that Paul.


Paul – Nice to see the poet coming out again.


Rob – I was a poet between the wars Paul, Its nice to be able to stretch the muscles again. You were lucky.

Paul – How was I lucky?


Rob – your natural ability never left you. You were before, during, between and after the wars exactly the same thing.


Paul (spitting) And…. What… Was… That…?


Rob – A cunt!


Paul goes to slap Rob, Rob catches his arm and twists it behind his back.


Tomo – Get off him! Your pair of inconsiderate pricks! Fighting like children on today of all days! Where the fuck did the respect you had for him disappear? When was it replaced by this stupid desire to be the dog with the biggest dick? You two are as close as brothers! You’d have died for each other once upon a time! What the fuck happened?


Paul – I’ll tell you what happened! That stupid swine changed! My comrade’s face made me sick to my stomach. His sudden desire for a solution, a solution that would mean we compromise! Compromise our ideals, compromise the memories of those who died…


Rob – And what did they die for Paul?

Paul – For the cause! The same fucking cause you always said you’d lay your life down for.


Rob – I decided a long time ago that I’d only ever die for love.


Paul – Oh for bollocks sake! Stop being a poet for 5 minutes and look at the world in the raw!


Tomo – You know something? Its not just the shine that came off the cause. The shines rubbing off you two pretty damn quickly!


Rob – Shut your mouth. Trying to run with the big boys again? Remember your place!


Paul – Another point of agreement there old boy! You need to learn your place Tomo!


Tomo – You pair never treated me with any respect. All you ever did was take the piss outta me. The fat fuck and the freakish beast of nightmares. You lorded over me for years, never looked at me and saw potential.


Rob – What potential is there in a man lacking any substance?


Tomo – You never looked deep enough to see any substance! He did though; I was in the inner circle because he saw the man I could be.


Paul – Enough of talking about Him! Why do we always have to talk about Him?!


Tomo – He was the last hope and now he’s dead we’ve got no direction, no aim, and no drive. We are officially fucking screwed!


Rob – (Laughing loudly, starting quiet culminating in the manic booming laughter) Hell fucking fire Tomo! You think it all dies with him? You think everything rested on His bloody shoulders? One man doesn’t carry the grand ideal. There are many shoulders to carry the cross, many hands to hold book and many voices to sing the songs.


Paul – (Eyes closed) Hands are connected to shoulders that are in turn connected to the neck housing the throat that calls to the primordial moon whilst running with the pack. But then the neck is connected to the brain. Have we forgotten already what the brains of men are capable of? Hide the evil whispers behind the shouting figurehead and you know where it ends. It ends with the slamming of train carriage doors, humans treated like animals, numbers cut into their skin to mark them like another product of this capitalist society and it all ends with the black boots dropping down on the rib cage of the gassed cadaver which lies still twitching on the floor all in the name of ideals.


Rob – We are better than that breed of man! We live for others. We have no desire for power! We’ve never wanted to lead, we’ve always wanted freedom!


Tomo – Its true, all we ever wanted was our brothers to stand with us in and build a new world.

Paul – Who would lead the grand new world? That’s the main question. Just to say we actually did it. Who would lead us? We all know who would be best at it…


All at once – I would.


Silence descends


The sound of footsteps is heard. A voice can be heard.

Voice – Brothers, the old order has fallen. The bastards who kicked us, kept us down are to die. The People’s Republic has spoken.


Each man steps forward  


Tomo – It was meant to be the brave new world. The future was so very bright, I suppose that light blinded us. Dodgy deals and cheap ideals cost us greatly. We jostled for position but that was always beneath him. We fought for his scraps. Some of us loved him but some betrayed him.


Paul – He was my friend, a good leader and a good man. But he fucked up. He let the lines blur and what happened? Power and Politics blurred their lines and we ended up becoming the one thing we always campaigned for. It didn’t end with the slamming of train carriage doors or with numbers, animals or even the screaming faces on the gassed cadavers.


Rob – No, it ended with us, With a trial to hold us accountable. I testified against my leader and because of me the death penalty was ordered. I kept the faith, faith in myself. We covered our own backs but not enough. We have fallen, upon our own swords upon the summit of the pile dead men, women and children. In the end we are all the same, mere fodder in the continuing war. We had our moment of burning glory but was it worth it? Is anything worth dying for? Yes one thing.


Together – Love


Tomo – Love of self importance


Paul – Love of belonging


Rob – Love of power


Together – Love of the bold new future.


All kneel while a man walks in behind and the sound of a gun being prepped is heard .