MONOLOGUE: Empathy in the Rape Farm

by Nathaniel Kressen

Setting:       a clinic in Perseverance, Wyoming

Time:           late 21st century

Character:    RACINE—female, teens, a problem child

After years of consuming artificial growth hormones, the female population in America is largely unable to bear children. RACINE, a rebellious orphan still in her teens, is one of the rare few to test fertile and is thrown into a government-run clinic. She forms an unexpected bond with the doctor there, who is equally conflicted about duty to self versus duty to humanity.

RACINE

So last night I dreamed I was at Craters of the Moon with Marty, just like we planned. He was giving me this out-of-this-world orgasm, and all of a sudden I look and he’s turned into Abraham Lincoln. The beard, the top hat, the whole nine. And I’m like, okay, cool. I’m a history geek, I’ll go with it. I mean how are you ever going to screw up the future if you don’t know who screwed up the past? So Abe keeps pumping away. Then he turns into Napoleon. He’s Alexander the Great. Einstein. Obama. I think he might have even turned into Chewbacca at some point. So eventually this rolodex of historical cock comes to a climax and spontaneously combusts into a cloud of butterflies. They’re everywhere. I can’t see the sky above us, they’re so thick. I try to get up but they swoop down and start batting their wings against my stomach. And the longer they do it, the more it swells up. I just lay there watching it grow, knowing with every fiber that something good is coming.

In like 30 seconds I’m big as a house, my water breaks, I go into labor and a baby pops out. Right away I know something’s up because this baby is sitting upright and just staring me down. Then it’s cute little mouth opens into a smile, a pair of white wings open from its back and it rises into the air. And its little infectious smile gets me smiling, and I don’t even mind when the butterflies swarm back down again. I don’t mind swelling up and I don’t mind popping out another baby. It does the same thing: sit up, sprout wings, hover over me and smile. The whole thing happens again. Another baby. Then another. And another. And another. Finally the butterflies quit. And I’m like, cool, I guess eight is enough. Then I feel this tug. The babies are still attached to me, the umbilical cords or whatever, and all eight of them are lifting me up. Soon I’m bare naked, spread eagle, upside down, floating into the air, but I’m still cool with it, ‘cuz their smiles are so damn adorable. Continue reading

Advertisements

MONOLOGUE: excerpt from the play Family Ties

by Susan Hodgetts

Setting:       Le Chabanais, a notorious house of ill repute in Paris.

Time:           1927

Character:   Adelaide Snape (working name VIVIANA), of English origin, now the Madame of Le Chabanais.

The dying strains of a faded French song. VIVIANA, a woman of around 45 years of age, appears to be waltzing with someone, but is alone. She has not been treated gallantly by time. The music stops.

VIVIANA

She speaks in an English accent, a jumbled mixture of East End and affected.

(burps) Oh, excuse me. I’ve just had a very big dinner at a charming little restaurant along the Champs Elysees with a wealthy Member of State and his very rich foreign guest. True, it’s a far cry from jellied eels. But I’ve lived here in Paris for decades and now oysters are more my type of cuisine. You see, I’ve dined with Kings.

(She removes what looks like a real pearl necklace, irritated by it clamouring at her neck. Distracted, she drapes it on a stool.)

But my Alain is buried here. Somewhere.

And this sumptuous abode, well I’ve risen to a Madame of my very own…I came here to escape the workhouse, fled like a canary bird from a coal mine. I knew that looks were my fortune. And my talents. I have many of those.

(She removes a bracelet, clamouring at her wrist. Drapes it on a mirror.)

All this jewelry, so heavy. It quite wears one down. I used to do the can-can for the King of England and I still wore all of this ammunition. Bertie, I mean. Although you’ve probably heard of him as Edward the Caresser. Lord knows, he spent enough time here. When he came to pave the way for the Entente Cordiale, I begged him. We were in the Japanese room, the most celebrated of all the rooms here at Le Chabanais (it’s the most luxurious with the right mixture of decadence and intimacy to put our guests a tease.) I said, Your Majesty, I fear for the future of England, and I got down on one knee, and he said, that’s a new position, I haven’t tried that one before.  Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: Alleluia

by Claire Booker

Setting:       A bathroom, Yorkshire.

Time:           Wednesday morning. The present.

Character:   BRIDGET, a 40-year-old housewife.

BRIDGET addresses the audience, her husband, Barry, is in the bathroom with her. He appears oblivious to her rambling thoughts. BRIDGET, in a towel, is getting ready for the day.

BRIDGET

Nineteen years in the same bed. Nineteen! (she observes her husband brushing his teeth) He thinks he knows everything about me. But do you? Do you know the half of it? (to husband) Don’t brush so hard, Barry; they’ll bleed.

(applying body lotion to her arms) All this flab. God, look at it—handfuls. I’ll have to keep my arms down. Or covered. Yes. Perhaps it’ll be one of those frenzied couplings where there’s no time to undress.

(irritated) Why does he have to brush his teeth that hard? It’s like a dog with a bone.

(pause) Habits. That’s what you marry. Regular as clockwork. Every morning: gargle and spit. Every night: nose whistling, chest pumping. And the snores, the snores! I could ram a pillow over his head and sit on it. Not to kill him, mind. Just to stop the breathing.

(she checks her face in the mirror) He never looks at me. Not a real “feel me over” look. Not anymore. Same as how you stop seeing the pattern on your curtains after a while, only the dirty fingers marks. Whereas Laszlo… (she sighs, then starts to sing an arpeggio) La di da Da di da da. (she raises the arpeggio by a tone and flunks the high note) La di da Da…  Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: The Restaurateur

by Les Hunter

Setting:
A kitchen in an Indian restaurant in Jackson Heights, Queen, NYC

Time:
Now

Character:
THE RESTAURATEUR, a young Indian man; a chef

(THE RESTAURATEUR is at work in his Jackson Heights eatery. He prepares a dosa.)

THE RESTAURATEUR

How to make, and serve, a Jackson Heights Dosa.

Step one: Be born. The importance of this step cannot be overlooked. New Jersey or Puducherry, a small town or large city; It makes no difference. But the best dosa comes from the south. So, say, be born in Ernakulam.

Step two: Grease the pan with cooking oil. Turn the heat on to a nice medium. That is the only time you will say the word “medium” at this restaurant. “Hot,” “Spicy,” yes; “Medium,” no.

Step three: Throw yourself completely into something imaginative as a child. Turn a tree into a far away castle. Become consumed with drawing butterflies. In certain cases, this can arise from some kind of trouble. For example: Have your parents die at a young age. Move in with your aunt in the country, who’s very kind and old fashioned. She’s a wonderful cook. You watch her in the kitchen. You watch her make step four of a dosa.

Step four: Pour half a cup of dosa batter into the pan like a pancake. Spread into pan. Do not be alarmed if the dosa develops tiny holes as you spread the batter. This is normal.

Step five: Fall in love. Feel rejection. Fall out of love.

Step six: Baste the dosa with oil. When the upper surface begins to look cooked, flip the dosa. By this time, ideally, the surface that was underneath should be light golden in color. Like me. Allow to cook for one minute after flipping the dosa. Become tired of dosas. Allow your mind to wander. Meandering, your mind guides you to…  Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: Where’s the Blitzkrieg?

by Ethan Kanfer

SETTING:            A bar and grill

TIME:                  Night

CHARACTER:      BERYL, female, 40’s, British accent.

(BERYL sits at a table talking to an unseen friend. She is drinking a margarita, not her first of the evening.)

BERYL

No, I don’t have a thing for him. I mean, I don’t have that kind of a thing for him. I don’t go moaning his name when Nigel and I are having sex, if that’s what you mean… Right, wouldn’t be good for the confidentiality rule, would it? Professional to the core, that’s us. Oh, yes. Faster, harder… ohhh, Patient X!! No, it’s not like that. It’s… I don’t know how to explain it. He’s gotten to me somehow. Challenges me all the time…  I know, it is what it is, it’s what we do… Yeah, yeah, I’m familiar with the bloody term, thank you very much. I never liked it, sounds like something they’d sell at Home Depot. Discounts on kitchen counter-transferences, come on down… He says I make him feel like he can’t win. He opens up, I’m negative. He goes back in his shell, I give him shit about that, too… I guess he’s right, in a way. I’m always saying “I’m not your mother, not your lover, not your guru, not your friend.” …No, not in those words, obviously. But that’s the content. At least to his ears, that’s how it sounds… I thought I was setting boundaries, that’s what my supervisor said to do, but it didn’t land. The poor bastard just keeps getting more and more upset with me. You know what he said to me the other day?

(She does an American baritone, not too well.) “Where’s the blitzkrieg, Beryl? Why does everything have to be rationed?”

(Back to her normal voice.) I didn’t say anything. What is there to say? He was taunting, of course, ‘cause he knows I’m sensitive. Been here twenty-six years, and I’m still a “foreigner.” My little axe to grind… But he’s right, isn’t he? We who aren’t the wives, aren’t the kids, aren’t the co-workers. Can’t we afford to be a bit more generous? Not say “no” all the time? What have we got to lose? We don’t have to live with the buggers, do we?… And that’s where I felt something shatter inside him. It was one negative too many, one rebuff, one cheap counter-argument, and I could see in his eyes something had gone just terribly wrong. He reminded me of a burnt out light bulb. You know how you shake it and you hear the filament sort of jingling around in there. Well, if you could pick up an a one hundred a seventy-five pound man and shake him, you’d have heard his heart rattling like that, like fried filament… I knew you were going to ask me that. Yes, he does. Every Tuesday. I’ve suggested many times he go find someone else, if he doesn’t like my approach. But he won’t do it. Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: On the Window Ledge

by Ella Carmen Greenhill

Setting:        A bed.

Time:           A cold February afternoon.

Character:    HOLLY, late 40’s. Beautiful and tired.

(HOLLY sits. She wears a white dressing gown.)

HOLLY

“You look nice”!

“You look nice”?

What sort of rubbish last words are they? If they are my last words, which to be honest with you, I think is quite likely.

Now “I love you”

or “never forget me”
or even,
if I had allowed myself to be really soppy I could’ve said:
“I will always be with you… right here” like E.T, with a lift of my frail hand as I reached up to touch her cheek.

But no, I’ve just said something that no-one really cares about, a comment that leaves no lasting impression whatsoever.

(She is annoyed but mellows quickly.)

She does though. She does look nice.
They all do, they all make an effort when they visit. Put on a pretty dress or a smart shirt to show me…

What?
To show me they’re ok?

Coping?

That they can use the washing machine without me? I dunno.

She’s small…looks very small today.

I wanna hug her but I can’t so
I just put my hand out a bit and she holds it.
Her hands are cold and…
they’re shaking.

Is she shaking because she’s cold?  Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: Griselda

by Richard Ballon

Setting:        A cluttered kitchen in a small apartment in Queens, New York City

Time:           The present

Character:    EVA SUCICH, 50-year-old lesbian, first generation American of Croatian descent.

EVA speaks to her lover.

EVA

I told you honey, this finger is off limits. You can’t put it in your mouth. I’ve got this sore that won’t heal. No, I’m not suggesting I’ve been messing around, of course we’re careful and everything. Will you get over that idea? I am not messing around. It’s kind of about my mother. What?  No I’m not sleeping with my mother. Eww.

She died a couple months ago just before I met you. You would have liked her. She was like a dancing bear. She enjoyed her food and liked to snag relatives in the paw of a good argument. She would shake herself awake as she turned her mattress every morning so her dreams wouldn’t sit there asking to be remembered. My Ma’s name was Griselda. You can imagine what I got as a kid to have a mother named Griselda with a foreign accent in her apron pocket.

My Ma didn’t walk, she lumbered, and things she touched burned bright and shame on the foreheads of the few she gave a piece of her mind. She spread wide as a hen over two bus seats and she would cluck a comment to someone she was bound to overhear, though she claims her hearing was going. She used to tell me, “These ears only fill up with good news.”

Well, give her a bit of gossip and she would peck at it, passing it on, politely, like she was apologetically offering a piece of day old cake.  Continue reading