MONOLOGUE: Garden of Crows

by Brian Beatty

Setting:
Front porch of a broken-down suburban ranch house. Piles of black feathers litter downstage.

Time:
Early morning, just a flickering hint of sunlight.

Character:
STEVE, Late 40s.

STEVE wears plaid flannel pajama bottoms, a contrasting flannel shirt, a ragged, outdated sport coat, muddy work boots and a hunter orange knit cap pulled down to his eyebrows. 

STEVE

These neighborhood crows know something they’re not telling us—and they refuse to shut up about it. So I’m out here every morning, a bit before sunrise, with my cup of coffee and my shotgun.

[Pause.]

What I’m doing is doing everybody a favor. That’s right. A favor. Can’t leave your windows open if you expect to get any kind of beauty rest. That’s what my wife used to say. My ex-wife.

[Pause.]

Before all this ruckus, I was one handsome son-of-a-bitch. She’d say that once in a while, too. If she was drunk.

[Pause.]

Look at me now. Not a pretty picture. I know it.

[Pause.]

So my plan is to blast every last one of these birds to Crow-dom Come. Their smug, smart-ass days are numbered. Nobody appears to miss the couple dozen I’ve blasted so far. Haven’t heard any complaints, anyway. Except that morning some shot ricocheted off a city streetlamp post and beaned Mrs. Nelson’s front door window glass. She got a little upset, I suppose. Then I got upset. That crack cost me a hundred bucks. But the old lady was sweet as can be again, once it was all fixed up. She carried over a pie fresh from the oven the very next day. Old Man Nelson chuckled he wished she’d find it in her heart to be that nice to him sometimes. Then the two of them scooted back over to their house to hide.

[Pause.]

I quartered that hundred-dollar pie into four and ate it for breakfast the rest of that week. Brought it out here so the birds could see I wasn’t done with them. Tossed the plates off the porch like clay pigeons. Thought that would send the message. Think again. These are the dumbest goddamn creatures you’ve ever seen. They just keep it up with that same stupid, blank stink-eye. As if I’m the one ought to be scared. I’m not scared. Merely annoyed. We’re not living in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1950s around here.  Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: Liora (God’s Gift Of Light To Me)

by Kimberly Mercado

Setting:
Interrogation room

Character:
LIORA, 20s, is a multi-racial young woman with a soothing southern drawl that evokes innocence.

LIORA sits in a chair on a bare stage.

LIORA

That night child Jamal kept goin’ on an on about who knows what. I just made sure I looked like I’s listening real good. Frowning real hard like I’s thinkin’ with him. Except, I had a real hard time with that. I didn’t tell ‘im that or nothin’. But what’d he expect? We were in the middle of something else, you know gettin’ it on, and I’ve never been any good at doing more than one thing at once. Besides Jamal wuz never much for talkin’, especially when he’s in the middle of… um…

(Embarrassed) …Grindin’ and poundin’ like boys do. But that night child he kept goin’ on and on while he’s on top of me looking straight at me and what he said… Wait — I wanna make sure I get it right… “Liora, e-ve-ry human… person –” Yeah that’s what he said, “human person… when their life’s gone to crap realize suicide’s right there for one’s taking. Most try to shake their heads straight cause it’s a sin to go against God’s law but then for others, its God calling on ‘em.” And then as he come inside of me, Jamal shouted to the heavens above.

(Imitating Jamal, she shouts) “As God is my witness, I’m no coward.” I couldn’t keep my eyes off him even if I wanted to. Jamal’s hands found themselves around my neck. Grunting like a bull in heat. His dark eyes stared down at me while his sweat kept dripping on my forehead and his hands got tighter and tighter around my neck. Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: The Red Head

by Deidre Dowling

Setting:       An artist’s studio in Paris, France

Time:          Christmas Eve in the late 19th century

Character:   JOANNA HIFFERNAN, 25 years old, artist and model. For six years Joanna was the Irish mistress of painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

JOANNA

Do I want him to come? Well, I do…and then maybe I don’t… I’m expecting “the curse” an I feel like a piece of stretched elastic…and I’m that mad at him. Who the hell does he think he is ranting and raving at me like that? Maybe he has some little whore’s melt lined up somewhere whose only too happy to put him up these last few nights

(She vigorously brushes her hair) The best thing my Da did for me—the red hair…the only thing…the drunken ole shite! Though, it has to be said…I’ve never met the like of him…and he does stir me up so! His lovemaking isn’t all talk like some I could mention! I suppose you can’t blame the fellas back home, what with the priest and their mammies breathing down their necks and them afraid they’ll be hauled before the parish priest and condemned from the pulpit for immoral and debauched behavior with a girl of “uncertain” character! If it wasn’t for me Ma, I’d have been carted off to one of those homes for women—where they keep you in slavery washing sheets and scrubbing floors. What would the good people of Ballyjamesduff make of me now? I could be living at home with nothing better to do than saying a Novena to the Blessed Virgin. I wouldn’t go back if they paid my fare and threw in a hundred pound! Glory be to God, I’d go out of me mind and be sent off to the looney bin like Mary Henderson! Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: Modigliani’s Muse

A fantasy on poems by Jacqueline Kolosov

by Norman A. Bert

Setting:
Outside an apartment, on a little balcony, 12 stories up.

Time:
Late at night.

Character:
PETE, 50s

PETE is in his pajamas, sitting in a plastic chair, smoking.

PETE

I get back from lunch, drowsy. Wander through those three rooms. My world. Mine? That’s a good one. Pictures of strange, long-necked women. Watch for the hidden camera, the reaching hand—what makes people think they can touch the paintings? Gotta remember to pick up the eggs, the tortillas—means taking the slow way home. Jesse. Who did he think he was, saying that to our mother? Then I notice her. Where did she come from?

Blue scarf. Foreign. Maybe European.

And then he expects you to fix his car. After a comment like that. Must be the water pump.

She’s slow, this one. Gonna be here a while. Methodical. One picture at a time.

Then the kids come in with their teacher. Third graders? Giggles. Pointing. More giggles. What was that teacher thinking? Didn’t she know about the nudes? She’s gonna catch hell from the parents. Serves her right. Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: Acts of Reconciliation

by Dick Curran

Setting:
A confessional box in a Catholic church, Newcastle, England.

Time:
present

Character:
DAVID, a well-dressed man, 45 years old

DAVID

(Part 1)

Right. Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It’s been…a very long time since my last Confession.

Specifically?  Shit—sorry, Father. Right, it’s over thirty years since my last confession. Thirty-two probably. I accuse myself of…

Do you still do it like this? These words?

I’m out of touch. Obviously. Not even called confession any more is it? An act of reconciliation.

Perhaps I’m Old School but it sounds strange. Hard to believe God’s so upset that  we need to be reconciled.

I used to exaggerate it when I was little. Accuse myself of extra sins to make it more interesting than just arguing, fighting, being disobedient, and telling lies—which I didn’t apart from saying I did. I stopped going about the time it became…embarrassing.

Don’t suppose I was unusual in that. Not wanting to chat about my sexual fantasies with a priest in a wardrobe.

I’m glad you’re Irish. My Mam was. Last Catholic in the family.  Look, seriously, father, I’m sorry, I’ve made a mistake. If I accused myself of everything I’ve done since my last confession, we’d be here all night. Traffic offenses and financial misdemeanors alone, never mind sins of the flesh.

I don’t want to waste your time. Might be people waiting. Proper Catholics. Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: Steel Roses

by Michael Monkhouse

Setting:         Stage is empty except chair

Time:            Evening

Character:     SEYMOUR, a sad and confused teen

SEYMOUR

The Baron of Beef. Everyone’s favourite pisser, my favourite solution.

Outside there’s a butcher’s and a vegetarian restaurant with the

obligatory old bastard pissing up the side with his jeans ripped to

expose his arse. When the wind gusts the spray into my face…

CHEER.

It’s the smallest, smokiest, pokiest pub—or bar—or cesspit—you could

hope for. The walls sweat under a fluorescent light that flashes on and

off, on and off. Yobs cheer over their beers at the boxing on the telly,

the tiny black-and-white telly above the barman who’s spindly and

moustachio’d and has red smudges across his apron. (PAUSE.) I look

left and there’s a wizened witch on a high backless stool in a tight

leather miniskirt, a blue jacket dripping yellow at the armpits, and

thick tights squashing the hairs that mushroom from her thighs. Her

face is sandpaper with a vermilion smudge where her lips should be

and wisps of wool where her hair should be and they remind me of

strands spouting from a Chinaman’s mole. A sign of fortune, I’m told.

When she isn’t tugging on her rollie she’s squawking at volumes

inversely proportional to the interest of anyone around her. (PAUSE.) Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: excerpt from The Shining Path

by Rahila Gupta

Setting:         Bare stage

Time:             Present

Character:     CANDIDA FORTESCUE, 40s

CANDIDA faces the audience, wearing a white laboratory coat and sexy glasses, holding a test-tube in her hand and leaning against a makeshift counter. All the paraphernalia of a photo shoot, white umbrella, wires, lights, cameras. She talks to Mark, the photographer, while she poses.

CANDIDA

Thanks, Mark. You certainly know how to make a girl feel at home. This is not my forte. As you can see. (Laughs) Is it that obvious? I have to say my media training… (camera flash) …oh yes…sorry, was my mouth open?… Let’s do it again… Where was? Media training…didn’t stretch to this… it’s been mainly displays in city centres, beer swilling youths peering down a microscope at a stem cell beating like a heart, going, cool, there’s a heart… Sorry, yeah, okay… No, I’m doing myself down, not like me really… There were the radio  interviews and… h yes… Open University…but this… (Poses. Flash, flash, flash.) Wow! the paparazzi! You know…we don’t really…I don’t wear, need to wear a white coat in my lab…unless you’re an actual, hands-on researcher type… What? …Puh-lease…lie on the counter…why? That’s ridiculous…I’m not lying on the counter… I can just see the headline now, “If your brain’s short of a cell or two, then Candida’s your girl.” Tell you what, I’ll sit on the counter…

(Candida’s shapely legs in black tights and fancy stilettos are now visible. Her lab coat is unbuttoned. She’s stylishly dressed.)

How’s that?

“Candida gets on top of her research.” Or “Candida gets on top of her tubes.” Scrap the last one. That probably suits “Loaded” better… A model who supplies her own headlines… (Flash) Two for one… Can I take my glasses off? I look much better without them (Takes them off and then puts them back on, wearily) Oh…alright. (Flash) Why couldn’t they have done a feature like “Candida: A scientist relaxes”? Pictures outside the Royal Opera house in a Dolce Gabbana dress and jewelry that comes with its own security guards…wouldn’t that be great?… I guess that would be Vogue, not Hello… Yeah, alright, keep your hair on…I’m sure Hello is a great magazine to work for… (Flash) Was I talking again? Continue reading