|The Courtship of Annalisa
Author: Redcatie7 PM
A widowed innkeeper aims to marry off her eldest daughter to a rich man, but complications occur.Rated: Fiction K - English - Romance/Family - Chapters: 3 - Words: 3,832 - Reviews: 1 - Updated: 06-13-12 - Published: 05-28-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3026709
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
(Morning, a few days later. Molly is sitting in an armchair, staring off into space worriedly. William enters.)
Molly: (looks up) Oh, hi.
William: (nods) Hello. Is she-
Molly: No. (shakes head) Still gone.
William: I'm so sorry. I honestly wish there was something I could do. (sits beside Molly)
Molly: (smiles sadly) Thank you. I appreciate that.
William: Is your mother any better?
Molly: (looks up the stairs) She refuses to get out of bed. She won't eat anything. I've never seen her like this. (stands up and begins to pace) My family's been ripped in half, all thanks to Mother's stupid social aspirations and Annalisa's idiotic "secret romance." Now my mother is sick and my sister is gone! I'm so tired of being alone in this family! God, I… (buries face in hands) I miss my father.
(Williams stands and takes Molly in his arms. Molly cries on his shoulder. After a few moments, Molly wipes her tears and looks up at William.)
Molly: (quietly) I'm sorry. I just…this has all been a lot for me to handle. I shouldn't have unloaded on you like that.
William: (softly) It's perfectly alright. We all need someone to comfort us. I'm honored to be yours.
Molly: (sniffles) You know…when you came here, I expected you to be completely different. (smiles weakly) I've never been more wrong in my life. And I'm glad I was. (kisses William on the cheek) Thank you.
(A knock is heard on the door. Molly answers it. Thomas enters through the front door.)
Molly: Thomas? What on earth are you doing here?
Thomas: (frantically) Where's Annalisa, Molly?
Molly: Don't you know?
Thomas: No! She never met me like we'd planned! Isn't she here?
Molly: (gasps) No! My God, where on Earth could she possibly be?
(Mrs. Malone enters coming down the stairs.)
Malone: William? What's all the racket?
William: (rushes over to her) It's nothing, Mother. Go back to bed, everything's alright.
Malone: I will not! I've been bed ever since I've gotten here and I intend on having a little recreation while we're on leave.
Molly: William, you stay here and keep an eye on your mother. Thomas and I will go search the woods.
William: But it's been days since your sister left! She could be halfway to Boston by now.
Molly: I know, but we have to start somewhere. While we're out looking, you call the police. And not a word about this to Mother!
Randolph: (offstage) Not a word about what?
(Everyone stops what they are doing and turns their head toward the stairs. Mrs. Randolph enters, wearing a bathroom and looking bedraggled.)
Molly: (breathlessly) Mother. What are you doing up?
Randolph: Well I heard all the noise and decided to investigate. Now what is going on?
Molly: (rushes over to her and takes her hands) It's nothing, Mother, nothing at all!
Randolph: (deadly calm) Margarite, you tell me what's going on right now.
Molly: (pauses pensively, then takes a breath) It's Annalisa, Mom. She's missing.
Randolph: Well, I know that.
Molly: No, Mom. I mean no one knows where she is.
Randolph: (shocked) What did you say?
Molly: She's gone, Mother…she's gone.
(Randolph stands there, unable to move. All are silently staring at her.)
Malone: I know where she is.
(All heads whipped around to face her.)
Molly: (whispers) What?
Malone: That tall, pretty girl who does the needlepoint. I know where she is.
William: Mother, you don't know what you're talking about. Here, let me take you upstairs for your medication-
(William starts to coax Malone up the stairs. She fends him off.)
Malone: Oh, William, hush! I know perfectly well what I'm talking about. I saw that girl go swimming in the river the night of the storm.
Molly: Go swimming?
Malone: (nods) Oh yes. The lightning kept waking me up, so I got up to close the drapes. When I did, I saw that girl walking through the rain with a suitcase. Then she stumbled over something and jumped into the river. I thought it was quite strange. Hardly the weather for swimming. The water must have been freezing.
(The room is silent.)
Thomas: (whispers) No. (grows louder) No, no! It can't be! (runs out the door)
Molly: Thomas! (runs after him)
(William blankly stares after them, then slowly turns to Mrs. Randolph, concerned.)
William: Mrs. Randolph?
Randolph: (dazedly) Yes, my son?
William: (hesitantly) Are you alright?
Randolph: (bleakly shakes her head) No…nothing is alright now. Nothing will ever be.
(Randolph shuffles out. William stares after her for a moment, then rushes out the door after Molly and Thomas. After he is gone, Malone takes center stage. All lights go dark, except for a single spotlight on Malone.)
Malone: (acting as a narrator, in a clear, undisguised voice) And so tonight, we see a tragedy. But who, the audience may wonder, is the villain here? The mother? Not at all. I think it's people's idolization of money. It's such a powerful poison that it's driven a young girl to her death. Our friend Molly accused money of breeding evil, but she was slightly off. Money doesn't breed evil. People allow it to generate evil. Never let money come before something as important as another's happiness, dear audience.
(The cast enters the stage and joins Malone. They all take a bow. Lights come down and curtains close.)