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The terrace of Alma’s villa in Breitenstein/Semmering. Oskar Kokoschka is mad with anger. Alma enters, carrying a dead toad. She is frightened by the sight of Kokoschka’s madness.

OSKAR   Alma! Alma!!! Where are you?! Alma! Come here! Will you?! Come to me! You fucking bitch! You hear me! Get out of your hole, you slithery asshole , or I’ll crush all your bloody toads! You hear me, Alma?! I’ll smash all your aquariums, terrariums, and vivariums!

ALMA   Oscar! You crazy nutcase! Look what you’ve done! It’s Doctor Kammerer’s Midwife–Toads. His favorite animals!

OSKAR   Where is your stinking bastard?!

ALMA   You’ve destroyed months of work, you brute.

OSKAR   Where is this asshole?! Doctor Kammerer?! Get out of your hole, I’m warning you!

ALMA   He’s not here, Oscar, I swear! He’s not here!

OSKAR   If I get hold of him I’ll break his bones, that motherfucking asshole! I’ll smash his dirty face, that slimy, ugly, stinking toad–fucker! That cockroach!! – Can you hear me, Paul Kammerer?

ALMA   Stop it, Oskar, will you! Stop it at once, or I’ll throw you out of my house! Do you understand?

OSKAR   Where is your bloody toad-fucker? Hmmm?!! That backwoods shit-ass?!

ALMA   Oskar, you're acting just like Kammerer’s silly wife. He is not my lover. He is a good friend. Do you understand?!! That’s all. I’m interested in him as a great scientist, not as a man. You have absolutely no reason to be jealous. He’s a friend! You hear me?!

OSKAR   “He’s a friend! A bloody friend! I want to fuck your friend and shit in his face! A friend! A bloody friend!” –   How dare you lie to me, you stinking whore? How dare you lie to me, you goddamn bitch?!

ALMA   You’re getting on my nerves, Oscar. I’m sick and tired of you. I can’t stand your paranoia for a second longer. Get the fuck out of my house!

OSKAR   You lying bitch! You lying bitch! l’ll kill you! I’ll kill you!

ALMA   Yes! Kill me, kill me! Come on! Kill me! - Tear me to pieces, you pervert. You’ll save me an abortion!

OSKAR   What?! What did you say?

ALMA   Come on, come on, come on, come on, come on! Kill your own baby!!! Kill it! Kill it! Kill it!!

OSKAR   My baby?!

ALMA   Your baby! Your ugly little child! Rip it out of me, and squash it, like one of Kammerer’s stupid toads! I don’t need it!

OSKAR   Alma! You’re not really pregnant – ?

ALMA   I am, God damn it! I am!

OSKAR   You mean with my child?

ALMA   Who else’s , you barbaric  stallion?

OSKAR   Alma! Is that true? Is that really true?!

ALMA   Why not, you damn bastard? I’m dripping all over with your sperm. It’s oozing out my pores!

OSKAR   Oh! Alma! Alma! Alma! My sweet little dripping horny bitch!

ALMA   No! Don’t touch me! Don’t touch me! You just come near me, and I get pregnant. And don’t stare at me with your bloodshot goat’s eyes, you make me all wet and drippy .

OSKAR   Take off your clothes! Take off your clothes. I wanna see you naked.

ALMA   No, Oskar. Leave me alone! Leave me alone!

OSKAR   Sit on my face! Sit on my face! Come here! Come here! I wanna eat you. I want to bury my mouth in you.

ALMA   No, stop it, Oscar! Stop it! Don’t touch me! Sensuality is not the only thing in life. I don’t want to lose my head.

OSKAR   Oh my God! What a fool I am! What a fool I am! There’s a totally new expression on your face. How could I have missed it? It’s like you've just been born! Your eyes, your mouth, your skin, even your smell… You’re a totally different creature !

ALMA   Oh no!

OSKAR   Oh yes! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! And your face looks different. It’s softer, sweeter, broader...

ALMA   My God! As if it wasn’t broad enough before...

OSKAR   And your breasts! Alma, please look at your breasts! Look at your breasts!

ALMA   What about them?

OSKAR   I love these breasts. I love them! Look how big they are! Sooo big! Sooo big! They’re swollen. Balloons! Melons! And your nipples blossom like buds in the spring. Let me suck them. Let me lick them!

ALMA   Stop it, you idiot! Don’t treat me like a milk–cow.

OSKAR   But you are a milk–cow now! You are a milk–cow. Muumuu! Muumuu! And I am your longhorn bull ! Muumuu!–

ALMA   No! Come on, Oskar, stop it! Get away!

OSKAR   You know what, Alma? I’m already jealous of our baby!

ALMA   You don’t have to be.

OSKAR   No, no: I’m not jealous. I’m not jealous in the least! I’m happy. I’m so happy! I’m going out of my mind! Yu-huuuu! We’ll have a baby! A baby! Alma! A child! A child born of our love! Alma, you don’t know how much I have longed for that. I prayed for it. I prayed for it to happen. But I didn’t dare believe it . I didn’t dare believe that it might come true. And now, Alma, and now?  Now our affair won’t have to be secret anymore. Everybody will be able to see it!! I’ll walk by your side in the street, hand in hand with you, arm in arm! I’ll kiss you, Alma, in front of everybody I’ll kiss you. They will see that you are mine! You are mine, Alma! Mine! I will marry you! You’ll be my wife. Alma Maria Kokoschka. Alma Maria Kokoschka! – I think I have to call my mother, and tell her!

ALMA   Wait a minute -

OSKAR   No, no, no! You’ll see: this will completely change her feelings towards you, I know it! This will prove to her that she was wrong about you all along .

ALMA   What did she say then?

OSKAR   Well! She says that you are destroying me. That you are sucking up my life. That you are God’s holy curse on me. But now she will melt like butter in the sun, when she hears that she’s going to become a grandmother. Mama, I will say to her, Mama, I’ve got a surprise for you! Guess what ? Guess what? Hmm?! Guess, Guess!

ALMA   Stop it, please!

OSKAR   Oh no, no. no! Alma, We’ll go together, we’ll tell her together. You have to get to know my mother after all! You' ll tell her! You' ll tell her the good news!

ALMA   Oscar, you’re so childish!

OSKAR   You think I’m childish? Really? You’re right! I am childish. I am. I have to grow up. Childhood goodbye! Infantilism au revoir! Good-bye, good-bye, Oscar, you silly little idiot! Adieu, mon enfance, adieu, mon insouciance! But you’ll be surprised, Alma. You won’t recognize me anymore. I’ll be a father. A father. A real papa! The most serious, responsible, caring, thoughtful, gentle, considerate, compassionate, concerned father the world has ever seen! - But I warn you, you sweet little devil, if you take up too much of your mother’s love...

ALMA   Don’t worry.

OSKAR   … I’ll have to beat you up, my little sweetie pie !

ALMA   You won’t have to. There won’t be any baby .

OSKAR   Why not?

ALMA   Oscar, come on, it’s over.

OSKAR   What I s over?

ALMA   Our affair is over. I’ve decided to end it .

OSKAR   What? Our affair is over? Are you crazy?!

ALMA   We don’t belong together.

OSKAR   Are you mad? -

ALMA   Oscar, our affair was one long lover’s quarrel.

OSKAR   So what? It doesn't matter what we did . It only matters what we do now . Everything will be completely different! Everything will change once we have a child! – What’s the matter with you?

ALMA   Never before have I tasted so much hell, and so much paradise.

OSKAR   That’s good, Alma. That’s life, you know?

ALMA    Not mine. I need solid ground under my feet. I need someone who will bring me back to earth when I start to fly!

OSKAR   You're so stupid! You're so stupid!! I can give you more stability than anyone else in the whole world. Because I love you more than anyone else in the whole world, Alma. Don’t you understand that?

ALMA   Oskar, you are much more mature as an artist than you are as a man .

OSKAR   I am laying my life at your feet! I am laying my life at your feet! Can’t you see that? Give me a chance. Please! Give me one chance. I’ll grow, I promise! I’ll mature by your side. Please!

ALMA   Oscar, it takes a long time and a lot of experience to reach maturity. And you still have a long way to go as an artist as well, if you ever want to do anything meaningful.

OSKAR   Ah, I see! So that’s it! You don’t like my paintings any more?

ALMA   They’re good.

OSKAR   They’re very good, you stupid woman!

ALMA   Of course I like them. Some of them more, some of them less. But you haven’t produced a masterpiece yet.

OSKAR   I haven’t produced a masterpiece? Are you mad? What about “The Tempest” ?!

ALMA   It’s a decent painting, that’s all.

OSKAR   It’s a very decent painting, you stupid cow!

ALMA   No. It is not a comprehensive expression of human experience.

OSKAR   You’re talking nonsense!

ALMA   It’s not going to be a defining work for our times. It lacks a universal dimension.   You’d better not cling to any illusions about that.

OSKAR   »Universal dimension« My ass! I couldn’t care less.

ALMA   Oskar, your vision is divine, but you are still too lazy to work it all out in full detail with absolute precision. If you only knew how Gustav used to work!

OSKAR   Fuck you! Fuck you and your Gustav Mahler ! Kiss my ass and Gustav’s too !

ALMA   He never made concessions to his weakness. He fought it like a lion .

OSKAR   Gustav Mahler can kiss my ass ! To hell with him! What are you getting at? Hmm? What are you getting at? What have you got in the back of your sweet little mind? Hmmm?! You can’t possibly mean that I’ve got to wait for our marriage  until I’ve produced a masterpiece. It’s insane!

ALMA   Why? It’s not such a bad idea to celebrate marriage with a masterpiece . If you’re capable of producing one.

OSKAR   I have! My baby is my masterpiece.

ALMA   This is not a joking matter .

OSKAR   Who’s joking, Alma? Who' s joking? I’ve never been so serious in my life . Even if I live to be ninety years old, I’ll never create a greater masterpiece than our baby. You can be sure of that.

ALMA   Forget the baby. (Alma starts opening the cardboard box.)

OSKAR   What do you mean: “Forget the baby”? What kind of nonsense is that ?

ALMA   My dear Oskar... There’s a war coming.

OSKAR   So what? What has our poor baby got to do with that ?

ALMA   So many young men will lose their lives. The whole world is going to change! Do you really think this is the time to give birth to a baby and indulge in the sweet family life?

OSKAR   Of course.

ALMA   I wonder!

OSKAR   I don’t.

ALMA   I do.

OSKAR   I don’t.

ALMA   I do.

OSKAR   But I don’t. - “Forget the baby” - What’s that supposed to mean? You can't just make a child disappear into thin air... — Oh no…! Alma, no! Please! Alma! No!! You're not going to... Alma, you’re not thinking of… of aborting the child...? Are you crazy?!

ALMA   I know the price you pay for giving up your calling .

OSKAR   Are you completely crazy?!

ALMA   Gustav, Gustav! I wish I was still the young aspiring artist that I was when your trajectory crossed mine. Oh Gustav, you diverted me so cruelly from my path as a composer, and condemned me to be unfaithful to myself for the rest of my life. If I were given the chance again, I wouldn’t give up my calling for anything in the world, including your goddamn babies!

OSKAR   Alma, you're going to keep that child! I’m telling you.

ALMA   No!

OSKAR   I’m warning you!!

ALMA   I am not going to keep the child.

OSKAR   (breaks a glass and holds it to her neck)

ALMA   Do you want to kill me?!

OSKAR   Yes, Alma, yes. Yes. Because I can't live without you. I can't be without you. I cannot even breathe. I can't take a single step without you. I wake up in the morning and I think of you. Every time I blink my eyes, I think: Alma - Alma - Alma - Alma - Alma! Will you marry me?

ALMA   I will. One day.

OSKAR   If I loose you... if I really have to give you up… … I’m going to l ose my mind. I’m warning you. ! I don’t know what to do. You have to marry me, there is no other way! You have to.. !

ALMA   Oscar, you could be such a great artist. Such a great painter. You have everything it takes. But you've got to ration your time, and not smear it out like shit, the way ordinary people do, w asting it, squandering it, frittering it away..

OSKAR   I’ll do whatever you say. I’ll do whatever you want .  Anything you say!

ALMA   You’ve got to learn to stand on your own feet. You’ve got to acquaint yourself with reality. You have to join the army. Do You hear me?

OSKAR   Yes. Yes. Yes.

ALMA   No, no. The moment war breaks out, you've got to join the fighting.

OSKAR   I will. I will.

ALMA   Your future as an artist depends on it. Do you understand?

OSKAR   No. But I'll do it. I'll do it. Because you told me to . I’ll sell ‘the tempest’, buy myself a horse and  join the Austrian army, as an Imperial Dragoon.

ALMA   That’s a wonderful idea.

OSKAR   Will you keep the child?

ALMA   No, my love, I can’t.

OSKAR   Please! Please! Please!! Alma! I’ll join the Cavalry no matter what . I’ll join the Cavalry. I'll fight on the front lines. I'll fight on the front lines.  Just Please, keep the child!

ALMA   Stop it, Oskar!! Stop it! No…!! –

OSKAR   Please keep the child! Please!!! Please…

ALMA   (sets herself free, and goes to take a uniform out of the cupboard) Oscar! You make me so proud of you. I’m so thrilled  for you. . This is the time to rise above yourself. Forget your personal desires. Be ahead of your times.  Don’t w ag behind them like a tail. You’ll look wonderful in your uniform. I’m already very excited. I can hardly wait to see you fighting. I wish you all the luck in the world.

OSKAR Thank you. You’re very kind. I just hope we won’t have too many victories. That would be the greatest sin of all. But don’t worry, Alma, don’t worry. You’ll be proud of me. You’ll be very proud. I will go where the battle is fiercest. Where the battle is bloody, where it is lethal. I will go straight to hell. And you’ll be with me.

ALMA   Yes, I will always be with you in spirit...

OSKAR   In spirit? No. No, no, no, no. Not in spirit, Alma. You will be with me in body. In body, in your perfect body you’ll be with me. I will create your puppet. Your puppet. Your life-size puppet. A precise copy of you. In all details, in all details. Down to the most intimate fiber s: your face, your head, your lips, your nose, your eyes, your ears, your neck, your arms, your legs, your elbows, the hollow of your knees, your armpits, your breasts, your belly, your vagina, your pubic lips, your hair… everything. Everything! And then you will be with me, wherever I go, whatever I do. On the battlefield, in the camp, in the hospital, in captivity, even in death. (They kiss.) Adieu, Alma, my love. I’ll wait for you. Don’t forget it , do you hear me? Don’t forget ! I love you so much! But I’ll come back…