Once upon a time, there was a mommy and a daddy. They loved each other very much. They loved each other so much that one day they decided to have a baby. But as the baby grew and grew and grew in the mommy’s belly the doctor’s began to notice something about the baby. And the mommy was starting to hurt. The doctors rushed the mommy to surgery. They took the baby out. It was a little boy. He was very sick and had a hard time when he was a baby. But the doctors took very special care of him and told the mommy and daddy that he would be just like a normal little boy. They didn’t tell the mommy and daddy what they had noticed. The little boy grew up as all little boys do. He was cheerful and a bit mischievous. But even though sometimes he got into trouble, he was a normal little boy. Or so they thought. When the little boy started to grow up into a man things began to change. The little boy started to like girls. But whenever he would try to hug them or hold hands the little girls would scream in pain and run away. You see: this little boy hurt people. Not on purpose. He was a nice little boy. But he hurt people. He tried holding hands with one of girl in a movie theater because she said she’d done it before and it wouldn’t hurt. But her hand seared at his touch. The next time they were going to see a movie, the little girl never showed up. She became very sick and never saw the boy again. The little boy thought he may never find a girl that he wouldn’t hurt. But one day a sweet girl with brown hair came along. She liked sunflowers and whenever he was around she didn’t seem to hurt. They became good friends and were very close. One day he kissed her and she didn’t scream or run. The little boy was happy. But time went on and the girl with the brown hair started to hurt. The boy tried to make it better but one day he got scared. He reached out and tried to touch her but as he got close the brown haired girl she cried. He hurt her badly and now she has a scar. She never spoke to him again. Time went on and the little boy met a funny girl. She liked kittens and dinosaurs and the little boy thought he wouldn’t hurt her. He rushed towards her but she ran away. The pain was too much. He still talks to the funny girl. But they never touch. Then one day the little boy met a strong girl. She knew what it was like to hurt. She liked comic books. The boy rushed towards her but she didn’t flinch. He got close but she didn’t hurt! The boy was happy. They spent lots of time together. They laughed and played. Time passed. The boy and girl were happy. But the girl started to feel funny. The boy didn’t notice. He was happy. But when he was close she began to hurt. She tried not to hurt because the boy was so happy. But one day she told the boy that she’d been hurting for a long time. The boy was sad. He said she shouldn’t be close to him anymore. He didn’t want to hurt her. She left. The boy cried. One day the boy heard a story. A story about a girl who was invulnerable. She could punch trains and not break a pinky. She could jump off buildings and land square on her feet. But the little boy didn’t know her. He didn’t know her name. Or where she lived. He knew nothing. So the boy started walking. As the boy walked down the street people would back away from him. They hurt when he got close. But the boy figured if he kept walking long enough, one day he would walk past the invulnerable girl. The one that wouldn’t back away with the rest of the crowd. And so. The boy kept walking.
Lights up. ALAN sits impatiently at a table. After a few awkward seconds, enter BETH.
They embrace and then sit.
ALAN: So, it’s been a while…
ALAN: So how’s life? We rarely talk anymore.
BETH: It’s good! Great actually and you?
ALAN: You know. Moving along.
The two then sit awkwardly again for a brief moment before-
ALAN: I still love you, Beth
BETH: Oh boy-
ALAN: And I know I hurt you but I won’t ever hurt you again! I’ve changed! Please, give me another chance and I-
BETH: Alan, just stop.
ALAN: Why? I love you, Beth.
BETH: Because, I’ve moved on. It’s time for you to do the same. You think I never thought about taking you back? After what happened I thought about it. For months I weighed the pros and cons and thought about all the time we’ve spent together and all the love we shared and for a while I almost let it go and took you back. (beat) But then I remembered how I felt the night you told me what happened and I realized I couldn’t ever trust you again. Not after that.
ALAN: Please, Beth….I’m begging you. (beat) I’ll prove you wrong. You’ll see! I’ll listen better, and I’ll be more considerate and I’ll get you parents to like me and we can go to your favorite restaurants and go see Journey in concert on a double date like we always said we would and we’ll go to the zoo to see the penguins and I’ll surprise you with banana splits again and we’ll go see Beauty and the Beast live and everything will be better! I just need one last-
BETH: I’m getting married, Alan.
ALAN:(long pause) What?
BETH: (exasperated) Married! I’m getting married, Alan. (beat) That’s why I wanted to meet you here. To tell you in person.
ALAN: (pause) Oh
BETH: (beat) I’m sorry.
ALAN: (beat) Me too.
BETH: I really am sorry, Alan. And I sincerely wish things could have turned out differently but you made your choice that night and there are consequences for doing that to someone.
ALAN: It was a mistake!
BETH: (snapping) Mistakes have consequences too, Alan.
ALAN: But what we have-
BETH: What we had is in the past. And it was wonderful. And for the most part, I will look back on it fondly. But that past, will never be a part of my future.
BETH waits for a response but an eternity could go by and none would ever be given
BETH: Goodbye, Alan.
BETH exits. ALAN sits alone at the table. ALAN sits in the silence and then removes a sealed envelope from his pocket. Releases a broken-hearted sigh, burns it, leaves it on the table, and exits. Fade to black.
Andrew: Remember when we were in 4th grade and they were teaching us about old gods and goddesses? I don’t remember many of those stories anymore, but the one I do remember is Prometheus; the guy who stole fire from the gods. Kind of like a badass Jack and the beanstalk. Have you ever listened to the sound of a gunshot, Jack? Not just heard the noise but really listened to the sound? Had it replay in you head every time you see a white dress? I do. That crack that echoes through the air after the slight motioning of a trigger. Every time I hear that sound, I imagine Zeus hurling lightning bolts down and causing that thunderous crack. Because the power of life and death was never meant for men to possess. To pull a lever and have anyone in your path immediately die. That is power. Raw unadulterated power.The gun is a tool to smite whoever the wilder might see fit. Like a modern Prometheus. Wielding godlike power for whatever you see fit: Righteousness. Justice. Vengeance. Malice. Betrayal. Which brings me to you Jackie-boy. You think yourself godlike don’t you Jackie? I know you do. I saw the look in your eyes you get when you pulled that trigger. When you took from me the only thing that ever mattered to me. You think yourself a god. Well. I think it’s about time you learned how mortal you really are. But I’m not going to shoot you, Jack. That’s too easy. I won’t give you the swift end that you gave Susan. (breaking down) Susan…forgive me. (composing himself) I’m going to hurt you, Jack. Like you hurt me. Like you hurt her. And when I’m done, Hell will seem like a vacation.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess. Her beauty was spoken of throughout the lands. Poets wrote tomes filled to the brim with sonnets and limericks devoted to her beauty. Artists filled entire galleries with paintings and sculptures trying desperately to capture her near perfect form. Her beauty was surpassed only by her wisdom. Her father, the king, had raised her to be a fair just, ruler and over time her only concern became the happiness and safety of her subjects.
One fateful day, a charming prince came to town. He had come to woo the princess and woo he did. They spent hours together. Hours became days. Days became weeks and the beautiful princess began to fall in love with the charming prince. Their love was spoken of throughout the kingdom.
One day, the charming prince took the beautiful princess to a shady meadow at the edge of the deep wood. He began to tell her how much he loved her. He said if she loved him, she would go into the deep wood and pick him the rarest flower in the world: the scarlet rose. The princess agreed out of pure devotion to the charming prince and went into the deep wood in search of the scarlet rose. The sun began to set and just when all seemed lost she happened upon the rose. She reached for the beautiful bloom but, at the very touch of the thorns, the beautiful princess fell into a deep sleep. The charming prince then appeared. He stood over her body and smiled. It had been his plan all along. He then stole all the princess’ riches and stole away. He had a maiden waiting for him in another kingdom and he left the beautiful princess alone in the deep wood.
The king sent out search parties but to no avail. Months passed until, one day while hunting, the king happened upon a beautiful woman covered in vines. It was his daughter. He tried to wake her but try as he might she would not stir from her deep sleep. The king lamented over his beautiful daughter, taken from him in the prime of life. He called his advisors to him who took the beautiful princess back to the castle. They laid her down in her bed chamber and pondered what to do. His advisors studied her sleep and found that the cause was the poison of the scarlet rose. When they informed the king he begged them to give her an antidote but no such antidote existed. They tried every potion in the kingdom to rouse her but none would wake the beautiful princess. The king’s advisors came to him and told him that all they could do was wait for the poison to run its course. The king, enraged, searched the kingdom for the cause of his daughter’s sleep. He found nothing until he heard word from another kingdom of a young prince whose fortune arose seemingly from nowhere. This was the charming prince that had betrayed her.
The king, then, issued a decree that, from that day forward, should a man wish for his daughter’s hand that man must wait at the kingdom for her to awaken. Men from across the world came to wait for the hand of the maiden of incomparable beauty. The suitors lined the streets of the kingdom. Each trying to prove his worth and so it was.
But as the years went by the stories of the princess’ beauty faded from record and the art made in her image was lost. And slowly men began to grow weary of waiting believing that the beautiful princess would never awaken. One by one they left the kingdom. Days turned to months turned to years until the streets, once lined with suitors lie barren. All the suitors had left the beautiful princess
Save for one.
A lone knight remained. Knelt at her bedside, he had not budged from the moment he arrived. His armor, heavy with rust, he waited on. Time passed until one fateful day the princess finally awoke. When she opened her eyes, only one knelt before her: the most faithful knight. As he looked in her newly opened eyes, he spoke of what had transpired: The poison, the king’s decree, and how he’d waited for her.
But then the most faithful knight said something that surprised her. He spoke of how he had always loved her from afar. He said he had become a knight in hopes of one day serving her in her court. The beautiful princess was moved to tears. She called in her father who was elated to see his daughter in full spirits yet again. Out of his joy, he promised her anything she desired. She said she wished for only one thing: the faithful knight to join her in her court. But not as a knight, but as her husband.
They were married the next day and the kingdom rejoiced. And for years to come the kingdom would tell the tale of the beautiful princess and the most faithful knight.
Jeanne: I love squirrels. I know a lot of people think that they’re gross, or that they are disease-ridden or that they stick too many nuts in their mouth, but I tend to know more people are like that. Ever since I was young I’ve loved them. The way they scurry up trees and how they go like this (squirrel impression) has always made my day bright even on the darkest days. But at one point in my life the cutest cuddliest squirrel on the planet couldn’t have helped me. I was just getting back from a Squirrel-lovers convention at the civic center and I had met a guy there, a taxidermist; a man who was nutty for squirrels? How could I say no? So I asked him to come back to my place with me. He was going to help me fluff my tail and I was going to help him find somewhere to hide his nuts. It was going to be one hell of a night! Anyway, we were driving back to my place and we got a little…distracted. And I was watching the road and I was almost completely aware of my surroundings. (Beginning to cry) He just came out of nowhere! As soon as it happened we got out of the car and checked. I couldn’t believe what I’d done. He was just lying there, motionless on the road. That poor baby squirrel! Crushed! That man we hit fell right on top of that darling squirrel and crushed him! I was mortified that I could have hurt God’s greatest gift to the Earth! I couldn’t contain my tears anymore and they flowed like a river from my eyes. Just then the man I had met picked me up. He said it’d be ok and to wait in the car. I went in and waited for what seemed like an eternity! I was going to go nuts! Just then he opened the door and presented it to me. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen! He’d apparently brought a kit with him because he fixed that baby squirrel right then and there! And now here it was, as good as new…except for the whole being dead part. We rushed back to my place and the rest is history. We’ve been married for 12 years now and even opened our own squirrel wildlife preserve. Also that man we hit died on impact and there were no camera’s in the vicinity so his family just things he went missing. But that’s probably for the best. Besides, he makes and excellent centerpiece for my husband’s taxidermy display.
The stage is divided in two. Half red half blue. On each side there is a large platform. Atop the red platform stands DAN; The blue VALERIE B. Though the characters, within the scene, are facing each other, they play directly out to the audience.
DAN: On the midpoint of the journey of life, I found myself in a dark place
Lights up on DAN.
DAN: Where the clear path seemed lost.
Lights up on VALERE B.
VALERIE B.: Dan, what’s wrong? It’s ok you can talk to me!
DAN: Valerie, I don’t know where I am. I don’t know where I should be going.
VALERIE B.: (pleading) Let me help you…
DAN: Poet, I thee entreat, By that same God whom thou didst never know, So that I may escape this woe and worse, thou wouldst conduct my where thou hast said.
VALERIE B.: Here all suspicion needs must be abandoned, All cowardice must needs here be extinct. Abandon all hope ye who enter here.
DAN: I feel so alone.
VALERIE B.: Do you believe?
DAN: Do you?
VALERIE B.: Not until I saw for myself
DAN: I don’t know what to believe.
VALERIE B.: Be not withouten infamy or praise?
DAN: I’m just me.
VALERIE B.: This way never passes a good soul.
DAN: How do I keep going when everything seem so hopeless?
VALERIE B.: You just have to believe.
DAN: In what?
VALERIE B.: Let us descend now into the blind world.
DAN: I’m afraid.
VALERIE B.: Good.
DAN: I live a good life. Why did this happen? I’m not stupid. I’m not evil. Why me?
VALERIE B.: Lost are we and only so far punished that without hope we live on in desire.
DAN: What does that mean to me?
VALERIE B.: Rain falls on the just and unjust alike. Follow down the rings of the tail and you will find what you seek.
DAN: (beat) Did you know that you are beautiful?
VALERIE B.: I never think of myself that way.
DAN: I want you.
VALERIE B.: Beware. The infernal hurricane within you never rests. Unto such torment, carnal malefactors are condemned.
DAN: Just kiss me.
VALERIE B.: Do you love me?
DAN: I want you. Isn’t that love enough?
VALERIE B.: If you think this true then your “love” has conducted us to one death.
DAN: I’m sorry. I want to love you. I don’t know how.
VALERIE B.: I’ll show you.
The sound of rain begins
DAN: (beat) I know Valerie, I’ll take you out to eat. A big meal. More food than you could possibly imagine! That’ll show you how much I care!
VALERIE B.: Food will just ease my appetite. It won’t appease my heart.
DAN: Ok. Uh. Jewels! Money! I can get you anything in the world! We can spend it all or save up and I’ll buy you the whole planet. I just want your love.
VALERIE B.: Lady luck might change at times the empty treasures she bestowed upon you. Then you’ll have nothing. How then would you prove your love to me?
DAN: I…don’t know.
VALERIE B.: You don’t know how to love do you?
VALERIE B.: Do you believe?
DAN: There is nothing to believe in. Nothing.
VALERIE B.: How do you know that?
DAN: Everything I’ve learned says there is nothing.
VALERIE B.: You don’t know it all, Dan.
VALERIE B.: You don’t, Dan.
DAN: I said stop.
VALERIE B.: Admit it, Dan. You. Don’t. Know.
He strikes her
DAN: Oh God…
VALERIE B.: (beat) What did you just say?
DAN: (collecting himself)…oh God?
VALERIE B.: (She smiles) Soon.
DAN: What? (he begins to break down)
VALERIE B.: Dan…
DAN: I shouldn’t have hurt you, Val.
VALERIE B.: It’s part of where you need to be.
DAN: I don’t deserve to live.
VALERIE B.: Those thoughts from your mind you must rend. As like a grain of spelt will they will germinate and spring a sapling and a forest tree from which your neck shall never be disconnected.
DAN: I’ve lost everything. How could your God let this happen?!? He’s nothing. He can’t be real and let me suffer so.
VALERIE B.: Dan, curse not God for your suffering. As suffering is brought on not by God, but by choice.
DAN: Is not choice a gift from God?
VALERIE B.: Yes. But if you suffer, it is of your will, not God’s.
DAN: Is this real? How do I know that my life isn’t just a fantasy?
VALERIE B.: Life is what you choose it to be. Nothing more. Though your life may have already happened, it is you who control the events therein.
DAN: Please. Love me.
VALERIE B.: Love is not a one way street, Dan.
DAN: What do you want? Seduction? Flattery? I’ll do it. Whatever you want!
VALERIE B.: I want you to love me.
DAN: I’ll pay for it, Valerie. Just love me!
VALERIE B.: You don’t buy love.
DAN: I want to see my future. I want to look forward and I want you to be there.
VALERIE B.: If you wish to look forward and see me, you will only see me when back is your countenance turned.
DAN: God! What do I have to do? Do I have to steal your love?
VALERIE B.: You couldn’t if you wished to, Dan.
DAN: I love you. There. I said it. That’s what you wanted. Now, love me.
VALERIE B.: You said you didn’t know how to love me. You’re full of it, Dan.
DAN: I have nothing left. Do you understand? Nothing. If I don’t have you I have less than nothing. Un-nothing. I’ll have un-nothing!
VALERIE B.: Dan, you’re being ridiculous!
DAN: AM I? You should be the one suffering. Not me. You were supposed to help me and you’ve only hurt me. Get out.
VALERIE B.: I’m trying to help you Dan but you won’t listen to me.
DAN: GET OUT!
VALERIE B.: If I leave you now you’ll never be who you are supposed to be Dan. Do you understand that? Do you know who you are supposed to be Dan because I do. And, the man you could be is so much more than the man you are!
DAN: (beat) I just want to make something to fix this mess. Just poof it all to normal. Or at least fake normalcy enough to be happy.
VALERIE B.: Why be normal, Dan, when you could be so much more?
DAN: (beat) I feel cold.
VALERIE B.: (giving up on Dan) That is because you are alone Dan.
VALERIE B.: I tried to help you Dan but I can’t. You don’t want to be happy.
DAN: You’d leave me now? I’ve lost everything and NOW you leave? YOU’RE THE DEVIL!
VALERIE B. begins to exit. DAN chases after her.
DAN: YOU’RE THE DEVIL!
VALERIE B. disappears.
DAN: (sobbing) And I love you… God, I love her so much. Please. Don’t let me lose her.
VALERIE B. reappears
VALERIE B.: My name’s not Valerie.
VALERIE B.: Call me Beatrice. It’s my middle name but I always felt it was my name more than Valerie ever was.
DAN: I love you, Beatrice.
VALERIE B.: Do you believe now Dan?
DAN: God is love.
DAN & VALERIE B.: Thence we came forth to rebehold the stars.
The scene is set in a living room. Steve and Jane enter. Both well-dressed after a fancy dinner. Lines should be delivered with purpose. The scene should be treated like a drama. “Ellipses” indicate pauses of 1-2 seconds,” pauses” indicate 3-4, “silences” indicate about 6 seconds.
Jane: Honey, dinner was wonderful! I don’t think I could eat another bite if I tried. Now what do you say we go on to bed?
Steve: Actually, we need to talk…
Jane: I hate that phrase. It never ends with “I just wanted to remind you that you look pretty”.
Steve: Have a seat.
Jane: What is it?
Steve: You know how after my promotion I’ve had to work late?
Steve: Well, I haven’t really been working late…
Jane: Steve…what are you talking about?
Steve: It’s kind of complicated…
Jane: Oh my God…
Jane: You’ve been cheating on me haven’t you?
Steve: What? No!
Jane: (she goes on a tirade. Steve trys to interject) You have! What? Am I not good enough for you anymore? Is it because I’m not a BLONDE like Clara? You’re cheating on me with Clara aren’t you? I knew it! That stupid fucking bimbo-
Steve: (erupting) Jane! I am not cheating on you!
Jane: (she begins to beat on his chest) Oh yeah right! You’re such a liar Steve! I should never have fallen for you!
Steve: (grabbing her) I’m a superhero!
Steve: (Silence. Lets her go. Sits.) I’m a superhero.
Jane: You’re joking, right?
Steve: (deadly serious) Why would I joke about something like this?
Jane: If there were a superhero in this town, I would have heard about it by now.
Steve: (snapping) This isn’t a comic book, Jane. (silence) I go out there and risk my life every night and I never get any credit for it. People never want to say it was a “superhero” that saved them. So they just blow it off.
Jane: What are your superpowers?
Steve: Does that really matter right now?
Jane: Well how am I supposed to believe that you’re a superhero-
Steve: You could trust me! (pause) The problem with this relationship was never my secrets. It was your suspicions. You never trusted anything I said.
Jane: That’s not true Steve-
Steve: You just finished accusing me of cheating on you. (pause) And you don’t think there’s a problem?
Jane: It’s just a lot to take in Steve. I want to believe you. But you have to understand how crazy this seems!
Steve: You want proof?
Steve: You’re wearing green lace underwear.
Steve: X-ray vision.
Jane: You can see my underwear?
Jane: This is what it’s always been about isn’t it?
Jane: You were just walking down the street one day using your X-ray vision until you saw me and thought to yourself “she looks like a fine piece of ass”. That’s all I am to you aren’t I?
Steve: What? No! What the hell is wrong with you?!
Jane: You know what, Steve? Maybe it’s time I left!
Steve: Jane, No!
Jane: You’re sick!
Steve: You don’t understand!
Jane: Give me one good reason I should stay!
Steve: Because I love you!
(silence. They both stop)
Steve: You’re the only person I’ve ever told. (pause) I’ve never trusted anyone enough. And then you come along…and everything changed. (pause) Please…don’t leave.