Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More
a play by Laura Lee Bahr
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 1)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 2)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 3)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 4)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 5)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 6)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 7)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 8)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 9)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 10)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 11)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 12)
And now, for the FINAL INSTALLMENT and of WEIGHT OF WORDS! When we last left our ladies…
FINAL SCENE, Herstory Boutique.
PRICILLA and LINDA are working, LINDA is taking down the empty cage, crying.
LINDA: I guess I might as well put this away- no one’s going to find her.
PRICILLA: I’m so sorry she flew away.
LINDA: I guess some birds are just too bright to be caged.
PRICILLA: Yep. Hey, let me take that out back and put the hose on it.
LINDA hands her the cage. PRICILLA walks out back.
The AUTHOR walks in (CHIMES). She carries a huge stack of pages, bound with twine.
LINDA: Oh, hi! She went out back- my goodness, are those for the Hope Chest?
The AUTHOR nods and hands over the pages. LINDA puts them in the box.
AUTHOR: They’re worth something.
LINDA: I’m sure they are.
AUTHOR: They’re worth a lot- a whole lot. Anyway, I gotta run. I need these shoes.
She picks up Zelda’s ballet slippers.
LINDA: They’re six thousand dollars.
AUTHOR: Well, those pages are worth-
LINDA: Nothing. Those shoes are worth six thousand dollars.
AUTHOR: Just let me see if they fit-
LINDA: No- I think you’d better put them back-
PRICILLA: (From the back, singing) “Don’t stop believing!”
LINDA hides the author in the back room.
PRICILLA walks in, all smiles, the cage is dripping wet.
PRICILLA: No more pretty birdie turdie!
The DOCTOR enters (CHIMES), bearing the rocks, now painted bright red.
DOCTOR: Hello. I’d like to sell these to you.
LINDA: What are they?
DOCTOR: Some actress gave birth to them.
PRICILLA: (suspicious) Who was the father?
DOCTOR: Some unknown artist. Anyway, the mother died in rockbirth. And she delivered these she delivered the lines of Emily Dickinson, Zelda Fitzgerald, Shakespeare.
PRICILLA: (More suspicious) Hmmm… Put these in your pockets, go in a river, and I bet you’d drown.
DOCTOR: Oh, but you wouldn’t want to do that. Then the blood would wash off.
LINDA: Right. And now, they are the color of rubies. Put them in an open field, and a man- a rich man would sell everything to buy that field-
PRICILLA: What did you say?
LINDA: I don’t know-
PRICILLA: Wait a second. What is this, some sort of conspiracy? You’re all on her side?
LINDA: I don’t know who you’re talking about.
DOCTOR: Who’s side? I don’t know any “her”.
PRICILLA: (to Linda) Don’t be coy. You just the exact thing that Hero said to that cunt before she stole him away-
LINDA: No, it’s a parable, I think- didn’t Jesus say-
PRICILLA: Oh, I don’t’ give a fuck what Jesus say, I’m talking about that bitch who came in here, said this retarded monologue we were all completely bored through, took her fat ass into the backroom and ripped a 20,000 dress because she was too fat to fit in it, humiliated herself because she wasn’t wearing a bra and I had to see that disgusting display- and she begged like a whiny cur, that cunt, and everybody was like ohhhh!!! She’s singing and crying and what is this?- But I saw through that! She was just trying to get out of paying what she owed because she never should have tried on something that wouldn’t fit- and she has no responsibility to the laws of society because she thinks she’s an artist, that fucking bitch- and then my fiancé bought it! He bought it! And now she’s sitting high and mighty in some tower with my Hero, knocking up actresses and why? Why?
She turns to the DOCTOR and LINDA.
I’ll tell you why. Because I didn’t do what I should have done along time ago.
PRICILLA breaks the glass on the gun, pulls it out and points in at the DOCTOR.
DOCTOR: Uh- I’m not naked…
PRICILLA: Fine. Be literal about it. (to Linda) You. You like what you’re wearing?
LINDA: Um. I guess so. I picked it out, put it on.
PRICILLA: Okay, you cow. I think you look like shit, but you know what- I’ve had a long day- and I’m gonna make yours-
AUTHOR: (emerging from the back room) Whoa! Hold it there, silly!
PRICILLA: I knew it. You are so dead.
AUTHOR: No, no! I’m in control here. Everything’s cool… don’t get…all… we don’t want you to do anything you’ll regret…
PRICILLA: Oh- I don’t think that’s possible at this point, do you? I mean, my character is beyond regret. And what does it matter. You gonna sue me? You gonna prosecute? Uh-uh. I know how long it’s been. It doesn’t matter at this point what I do. I can kill all you motherfucking actors or rip off my clothes and rip down this wallpaper or start speaking in tongues- whatever I want! Play time’s coming to end… what are you going to do about it?
AUTHOR: Well, right now you have the gun, so, I just wanted to remind you that- well, this woman is a Doctor, and this woman, well, she’s your boss.
AUTHOR: Well, I think we’ve established that you respect authority.
PRICILLA: uh-huh. What if I don’t anymore?
AUTHOR: You do. You have to. Even you holding up that gun is a pathetic attempt for you to try and muster some authority through violence.
PRICILLA: This is all your fault! You did this to me! You have to make it right!
AUTHOR: Okay. Okay. I know what to do…
The bells chime. In walk the three A-C. They do not notice the current tension, nor Pricilla’s gun.
B: Born to shop!
C: I live for sales!
AUTHOR: Ladies! Did you know that Pricilla here is a casting director?
B: Can you-
C: Make me
PRICILLA: I can make your day.
PRICILLA: Out back. The audition is out back.
A: oh! Me first!
B: No- me- you skank!
C: I’m the one who’ll make it-
The three fall over each other running out back.
PRICILLA looks at the AUTHOR with a sick smile.
PRICILLA: I’ll be right back… (to the AUTHOR) Thank you.
AUTHOR: My pleasure.
PRICILLA walks out back. There is a long silence. Then we hear one shot. Then another. Then silence again.
PRICILLA walks back in. C follows her in, shaking, crying.
AUTHOR: (to Pricilla) Well, how did I feel?
PRICILLA: (makes the so-so hand gesture) You know. It was okay, I guess. I granted this one a reprieve.
PRICILLA: You know- she could be the next Dostovesky…
C: “I am a sick woman. I am a spiteful woman. I am an unattractive woman.”
DOCTOR: I can help with the “sick”.
PRICILLA: (points the gun at the DOCTOR) William Tell?
AUTHOR: No more. Give me the gun.
AUTHOR: It’s my responsibility to end it.
PRICILLA shakes her head and puts the gun to her temple.
Everyone left in Herstory tries to stop her.
PRICILLA: (to the author) You think you get to steal everybody’s thunder.
She pulls the trigger. It makes no bang. She pulls again.
Pricilla starts to cry, genuinely.
I saved a bullet.
AUTHOR: I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.
PRICILLA: I saved a bullet for me. Why didn’t it work?
AUTHOR: It wasn’t a real gun.
LINDA: That was a real gun!
DOCTOR: I knew it! What did I say! I told you it couldn’t be the real gun.
PRICILLA: (sobbing) Chekhov promised.
AUTHOR: Oh- Chekhov didn’t lie- you just had the wrong gun. (The AUTHOR uses her index finger and thumb to point). This is the gun.
PRICILLA: You can’t do that! You’re not allowed to just change the rules like that!
AUTHOR: Watch me.
PRICILLA: You owe us!
AUTHOR: No, no I don’t.
DOCTOR: I’d say that you do owe them. A lot.
LINDA: After all we’ve done for you- you’re going to rob us?
AUTHOR: I’m robbing NOTHING. I am the father of that baby made of literary suicide and scientific insides and have turned rocks into rubies.
LINDA: The Doctor delivered those. Not you.
AUTHOR: I filled that box- the Emily Dickinson Hope Chest- with hope. I filled it with pages, bound them with twine.
PRICILLA: But so what? That doesn’t matter- what are your words worth?
AUTHOR: Twenty million dollars!
PRICILLA: Come on…
AUTHOR: I am writing this play- I say what it’s worth!
She trains the “gun” on them. They hold up their hands.
LINDA: Okay! Okay! It’s worth twenty million dollars! We owe you!
AUTHOR: That’s right. You owe me Nineteen million, ninehundred and eighty thousand dollars.
The AUTHOR looks down at the ballet slippers she is wearing.
Nineteen million, nine hundred and seventy-four thousand dollars. For the shoes.
DOCTOR: What can you possibly do with those shoes.
AUTHOR: I’m wearing them out.
PRICILLA: Out where?
AUTHOR: Out! I’m getting out!
LINDA: You may have the “gun”, but there’s no out.
AUTHOR: Oh, yes there is. I’m going to make it.
PRICILLA: Make it? You?
LINDA: Make it? Make what?
The dead A-B come in, bloody. ALICE and ALEX and HERO enter. The ACTRESS, the BOY BARISTA and TOM all enter the stage, babbling the same question.
ALL CHARACTERS: Make it? Make what? Make it? Make what?
They pause for a moment: and then the entire cast (except the AUTHOR) ask the question in a simultaneous chorus.
ALL CHARACTERS: What are you going to make?
The AUTHOR turns and faces the audience. She points the “gun” outward, straight ahead.
AUTHOR: I’m going to make your day.
End of Play
Laura Lee Bahr is the author of the short stories Happy Hour and The Liar (available in the anthologies DEMONS, winner of the Bram Stoker award and PSYCHOS, edited by John Skipp and published by Black Dog & Leventhal). She is the award-winning screenwriter of the feature films Jesus Freak and the little Death. Her first novel, HAUNT, received the Wonderland Book Award.