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studentA
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Mana: 
Lights up

The late afternoon sun manifests the room, in which we see nothing more than a single window, one dresser across the room, a night stand by the bed and a small lamp on the night stand. On the far side of the dresser is the door leading to the master bath.

She is sits against the headboard, knees pulled tightly to her chest, clinging onto a photograph in which the subject is not visible.


From downstairs the front door is heard, it opens, and quickly after closes. She hurriedly reaches under the bed and pulls out a small wooden box, footsteps are heard quickly reaching the top of the stairs, she places the picture inside the box and pushes it back under the bed. He enters the room.


JEFF
what happened? Are you okay?

(Silence)
JEFF
Doctor Fretairo called my cell, said I should come home as soon as I could.



(She stares at the floor avoiding eye contact)
MARY
I’m okay.

(Holding back tears, she turns away from him. Silence fills the room. Nothing is said. Neither dare move nor make a sound to break the stillness)

MARY
It was an accident.

JEFF
what was an accident?

MARY
He said that it most likely happened when (pause) when I fell down the stairs last week.

JEFF
what happened? (Confused) You? Mary, you didn’t…?


(Tears streaming down her face, they sit in silence. Comfort dare not exist)


(He can’t look at her, his eyes stray to the window as he makes his way to it. He stands alone for what feels like hours, a reality of minutes, rather seconds. How time moves so slowly)

(Turning from the window, their eyes locked on each other’s, he moves a step closer, careful not to get too close)
JEFF
Do you know what you’ve done?


(Frightened, she moves further onto the bed until her back is flush against the headboard)
MARY
Baby, please, it was an accident.

JEFF
you were supposed to protect him.


(Grabbing her arm, he and pulls her from the comfort of the bed until they are standing face to face, both her arms now locked in his grip. Silence surrounds them.)

(Finally, He pushes her away, she sinks to the floor from where she had been standing, he storms out. All that is heard is the faint sound of the bedroom door being locked from outside followed by the heavy footsteps, fading as he reaches the bottom of the stairs and leaves.)


(She sits in silence, hugging her knees to her chest, tears streaming down her face)

Lights fade



Lights up

The sunlight has gone, now a cold darkness has flooded the room, the side lamp being the solitude source of a dim light.

With no clock in the room we can only guess that he will be home soon, as he always comes home shortly after the sun has set.

She lies sleeping in the bed on top of the covers as if she had not intended to fall asleep. In her hand is the same picture. The front door slams shut, she jolts up, not realizing the time that had passed she grabs the picture and has just enough time to slip it back under the bed before he walks through the door.

He slowly moves toward her and sits; he places one hand cautiously on hers which cling to the comforter on the bed.

JEFF
I’m sorry baby. You know I would never hurt you.

(He puts his hands on her face romantically; tightening his hold he brings her to face him. He then kisses her and takes his hands away)

JEFF
you do forgive me right?

MARY
Yes, of course.

JEFF
I brought you some food.

(He pulls a salad out of a grocery bag and sets it on her lap)

MARY
Thank you.

(She pushes the lettuce around with her fork; each piece seems to be slightly yellowed as if the salad were sitting out for a day)

JEFF
What? Not good enough?

(He reaches to take the salad away)


MARY
No baby its perfect thank you.

JEFF
I figured you didn’t need the dressing, its fattening anyway.


(She takes a few bites of the salad)

(He starts to take off his jacket and tie.)

JEFF
I was thinking a lot about today.

MARY
Yeah?

JEFF
I want to try again. (pause) I want my son.

MARY
Of course we can try again but don’t you think it’s a little too soon?

(He is rummaging through the dresser pulling out a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt)

JEFF
I know you won’t let it happen again.

(She stays silent eating more of the salad)

JEFF
Do anything else this morning? Or did you go straight to your appointment?



MARY
Umm.. well, I ran into Cyndi, she asked me to get coffee with her while I waited.

JEFF
She's Mark’s wife? From down the street right?

MARY
Yes

JEFF
Next time just tell her you can’t stay.

MARY
It was only coffee, I just thought...

JEFF
You know why. I don’t want people getting the wrong idea.

Steve said he saw you 5th today.

MARY
I wanted to stop and get some oranges, we were almost out and I know how much you like them.

JEFF
That all?

MARY
I went straight to the Doctors from there.

(She continues to pick at the salad)


JEFF
Jesus Christ, stop picking and eat. No you know what just stop. Stop eating.

MARY
I haven’t eaten all day, please.


(He grabs the salad from her and throws it into the corner of the room.)

JEFF
If you’re still hungry you can have what’s left after you clean it off the floor


(She sits in silence for a moment.)

(He grabs her upper arm and tosses her from the bed onto the floor with the salad)


JEFF
Are you going deaf now too?

(Upset, he grabs his jacket, still wearing button down shirt, suit, and pants, and he storms out of the room, again locking it behind him)



(She is left sitting in the corner. her knee bleeding and her arm bruising, she begins to pick up the pieces of the salad. After she has finished cleaning up, while still sitting on the floor, she reaches for the wooden box she has kept under the bed and slides herself into the corner where the salad had been. Slowly, she opens the wooden box.)

(She pulls out the photo and silently stares at it for a minute or two. We now see that it is a sonogram of the baby. She places the photo on the floor beside her and lifts her shirt just enough to show a small bump.)

MARY
I won’t let you live this life, I promise.


(From the same box she pulls out a small black handgun and sits with it in silence. The handgun looks brand new, never used)

(She points the gun toward herself and begins to cry, she sits with one hand on her stomach and the other on the trigger. Footsteps are heard coming up the stairs. As the door opens she turns the gun in his direction.)

BLACKOUT / GUNSHOT

SILENCE

Darkja
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Joined: Fri Jan 29th, 2010
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Mana: 
Wow very interesting and powerful. My only criticism would be that there is a lot of description in the stage directions that may not read. For example when they describe that he always get home after sunset that is hard to get across non-verbally. I'm not suggesting narration or anything just keep the stage directions to what can be portrayed.

Darkja

Jeccasdad
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Mana: 
I don't know why you wrote this or what you want from me (as audience) to experience in watching this?  What are you saying that's new?  I agree with the last commentor who stated not to write what we can't portray.  We hear a door, we hear footsteps.  We can't know its from downstairs (as an example).  The piece is too short to support two scenes.  Can you tell the story in one?  Theatre is being there.  In the same space at the same time.  Use character names (MARY and JEFF) as opposed to She and He.  Be careful of using terms like 'She looks at the photo for a minute" (tends to be taken literally - if you want a full minute fine but then you write the note "now we see it's a sonogram".  It reads more like you're trying to write a screenplay than a stage play.  There is some nice dialogue (and unsaid is always best) but again we aren't divested enough in the characters to care.  I know this sounds all too cruel but I do hope this helps. 

Darkja
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Mana: 
I don't neccesarily agree with eveything said in the previous post. I think the audience is supposed to empathize with the woman and her choice. I think it is a snapshot of abuse. The two scenes didn't bother but I was bothered by things that would be difficult to portray in a readable way on stage (i.e. the ultrasound). I also felt that at times it was a bit heavyhanded. There were time where I thought even an abused woman would have re-acted in some way.



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