Author: lilsparkingauthor PM
"I know this is weird princess. An angel falling from the sky. Please don't scream." "Angel?" "In training." A short -hopefully humorous- play that tackles self-esteem, homophobia and overbearing parents. With a supernatural and cocky twist.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Humor - Words: 4,692 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Published: 07-15-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3042014
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Madison Teenage girl, Catholic, lesbian, lost her will to live
Raphael Angel, appears as a teenage boy, humorous character, sarcastic
Mama Madison's mother, Catholic
Papa Madison's father, Catholic, Pastor
Lindsay Teenage girl, Catholic, lesbian, church volunteer
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the colourful sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints; one belonged to him, and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints and noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. "Lord, you said that once I decided to believe in you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would abandon me."
The Lord said unto him, "My precious, precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trial and tribulation, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."
The entire play is set in a Catholic church. It is furnished with three rows of polished pews, an aisle down the middle, and a confession booth sits behind them, open to the audience.
A spotlight illuminates the confessional. Madison is sat inside, huddled on the bench, tears running down her face. She is dressed in a school uniform but it is dishevelled.
Please Lord. I don't know what to do. Who to turn to. I can't lie anymore. I can't pretend to be someone I'm not. But I can't be myself either.
She wipes her eyes with the back of her hand, sniffling.
She was so strong Lord. So proud. She wasn't scared, or ashamed of who she was. She knew you loved her and because of that she loved herself.
I'll never have that strength. That resolve. Please Lord, help me. Send me a sign. A miracle. I need your guidance. Your wisdom.
Please don't abandon me. Not in the dark. Not when I'm so confused, so lonely. I don't know what to do, who to be anymore.
A crash is heard from above.
Hey amigo! Watch the wings! These feathers cost more than your pay check!
Normal lighting replaces the spotlight. Raphael is lowered from the ceiling dressed in a long, white robe. He has white wings and is carrying a golden harp. Madison stares at him in disbelief, rubbing her eyes as if to make sure the sight before her is real.
The help nowadays.
Shaking his head, he strums a few notes on his harp and begins singing badly.
La, la, la, la, la, la.
He stares expectantly at Madison and frowns when she doesn't react. At this point, he is still in the air.
(Hinting) It's customary to clap after a performance princess.
Someone sniggers from above and Raphael scowls, glaring upwards. His lack of concentration ruins his flight and he falls to the floor, landing with a crash on one of the pews. Madison cautiously unfolds herself from the confession booth and approaches the fallen angel, who is breathing heavily, positioned as if lounging on the pew. Raphael whistles.
I meant (He holds up a finger) to do that.
Raphael jumps to his feet, straightening his robe. After checking on his wings, he sighs in relief.
No harm done. Phew.
Noticing Madison's gobsmacked expression, he smiles and extends a cautious hand in her direction.
I know this is weird princess. An angel falling from the sky. Please don't scream. I'm already on the outs with my boss –if my charge batters me to death, I can kiss my halo goodbye.
Madison takes a deep breath, and hesitatingly advances. Glancing towards the confessional, her expression becomes hopeful.
Raphael perks up physically and smiles.
That doesn't mean I'm no good. Because I am. Good that is. My methods are just…different.
Madison stares uneasily at him and moves to sit on one of the pews, keeping a suspicious eye on him. It is obvious that she doesn't believe a 'miracle' has been given.
But anyway, we're not here to talk about me.
Raphael gestures enthusiastically at Madison.
We're here to talk about you. So…
He examines her head to toe in a quick glance and crosses his arms.
What seems to be the problem? Apart from your utter lack of fashion sense.
I lost my best friend today. In a car crash.
Raphael frowns in sympathy and plays a note on the harp, humming under his breath.
She's happy princess. How could she not be in my delightful company? But you're beating round the bush. That isn't the problem.
I can't tell anyone my problem.
You can tell me.
Suddenly earnest, he takes a seat on the pew beside her, keeping his harp close, and puts an arm around her shoulders. She stares at his hand for a moment, as if contemplating something, and then ducks out from under his arm. Raphael grins and inches closer. Madison gets to her feet and moves forward a pew. Smirking, Raphael leans his head on his elbows using the pew in front as a support and prods Madison in the back from her new position.
I sense tension princess. Spill.
When Madison remains silent, he pokes her again. Harder this time. Suddenly angry, she spins in her seat and glares at him.
I'm a lesbian okay?
Her angry indignation fades and she slumps.
It's dirty and sinful and wrong but I can't help who I am.
Sensing the seriousness of the conversation, Raphael withdraws his hand with a considerate expression. There is a brief interlude of silence, and then he jumps to his feet.
Why is love wrong? The Bible states 'love thy neighbour.'
But I love women.
And I love dogs. The definition of that which we love is not important. The act of loving in itself is the important part.
It's wrong to love women.
No, princess, it isn't. If the Big Man's okay with love –which he is- there's no problem. End of story. He doesn't discriminate because everyone's different. If everyone on Earth was supposed to mate and procreate, there wouldn't be deficiencies. The world's a complex place. Sometimes love isn't as clear as A, B, C. Sometimes it goes straight to Z from A.
She stares at Raphael with questioning eyes, turning in her seat. Smirking, Raphael gets to his feet and incorporates the whole church in a sweep of his arm.
Love isn't a one-trick pony. It exists in thousands of different ways. Between a mother and daughter, a sister and brother, man and wife. Between best friends on the playground and colleagues in the office. It infuses everyday life like a ribbon, tying us all together, uniting us in the darkest of times. Love is unlimited. Forgiving. Pure.
And where is love on the battlefield? Where is it when terrorists murder thousands? Where is it when a mother can murder her own children without remorse? Where is it when a kind-hearted girl can be taken so cruelly from the girl who loves her?
This is a whole other debate princess. Free will vs. God. Destiny vs. karma. Blah, blah, blah. There is no all encompassing answer. I can't tell you why a newborn baby dies in the same second as a suicide bomber. It's not that simple.
Maybe it should be.
The booming voice of Madison's father can be heard. Madison jumps from the pew, straightening her clothes anxiously. Raphael watches her with a crooked eyebrow.
Love doesn't discriminate. Tell your family –share the burden you're carrying before you crumple under its weight.
My parents are Catholic!
Crossing his arms, Raphael moves to stand in front of Madison, scowling.
Religion isn't a cloak for prejudice and discrimination. It is faith –the belief in something more, something meaningful, something…transcendent. If your parents cannot look you in the eye and accept who you are then they are not Catholics.
Don't you mean what I am?
No. I don't. Liking women is not the same as being a human being. It is something deep within you, a trait you should treasure, not forsake.
The conversation is interrupted by Madison's father, who enters the stage talking to Lindsay (a teenager). Madison's mother trails behind, silent.
The floor needs a sweep, so you can start there. When that's done, the brass needs polishing.
I won't let you down Pastor Roberts.
Lindsay exits the stage for a moment and returns with a brush, which she uses to begin sweeping the floor, humming quietly under her breath. Madison's father strides to the front of the church and takes a seat on the front pew. Madison's mother follows close behind, but stops when she notices Madison's tears. No one except Madison is aware of Raphael's presence.
I heard about Anna sweetheart. I'm so sorry.
The two hug, Madison's tears beginning to fall once more in the safety of her mother's embrace. Her father scoffs.
Rather her than a sweet Catholic girl. That Anna was tarnished, liking girls the way she did.
Gritting her teeth, Madison pulls away from her mother and turns to address her father.
How can you say that? The man who preaches that we're all equal in God's eyes?
"You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." I raised you on the straight and narrow Madison. Do not defend such blasphemy to my face or I will strike the sympathy out of you.
That is taken out of context Papa and we both know it.
He raises a hand to strike her but Madison's mother gently clutches his arm and he stops.
David, please. Maddy lost her best friend today. We should pray for her, not muddy her name because of an illness she couldn't control.
There is a cure for every illness. She simply did not care enough to find it. Now, enough of this. We have real business to discuss.
Madison opens her mouth, as if to argue, but her mother puts a hand on her elbow and shakes her head. Frowning, Madison sits beside her mother and folds her hands in her lap.
I signed you up to help Mrs Williams after school tomorrow to help bake the cakes for the fundraiser on Sunday Madison. And I need you here early on Sunday to help set up. And I need you to show our new volunteer how to do her job properly.
He stands, dislodging Madison's mother's grip and glares at Lindsay, who has stopped sweeping the floor to listen to the conversation. Raphael is sat on a pew, legs crossed and resting on the pew in front of him.
I do not remember making this conversation public.
My apologies. I just wanted to offer my services for the fundraiser. Two people will struggle to make four hundred cakes in one night.
That is very sweet of you dear. (Glances at Madison) Any help would be appreciated. Isn't that right Maddy?
Madison nods shyly, glancing at Raphael, who wiggles his eyebrows and wolf whistles, strumming yet another volley of notes on his harp.
Get in there love. She's hawt.
He fans himself dramatically and Madison turns away with a scowl, slumping in her seat.
Sit straight girl. Have we taught you nothing?
She straightens obediently and crosses her ankles.
Helen, (He addresses Madison's mother) organise a session with Mr and Mrs Walters. They've been having martial difficulties lately. I'm going to edit my sermon for Sunday's event.
Madison's father exits the stage, and Madison's mother follows close behind, clutching her daughter's knee for a moment before she leaves to convey silent support. Lindsay continues her sweeping, but she persists with casting curious glances in Madison's direction. She opens her mouth, preparing to initiate a conversation, but Madison gets abruptly to her feet and leaves the stage.
Unlucky. You didn't move fast enough.
Oh shut it Raphael! No one likes a smartass.
She chucks a Bible at him, which he catches with a smirk.
The lights fade to black.
Madison is inside the confession booth again, dressed in casual clothes, eating the icing from a cake which she holds in her hand. Lindsay is sitting on the front pew, adding up the cost of the fundraiser. Neither is aware of the other.
Enter Raphael (without his harp), who walks through the audience to reach the booth, which he props himself up against so he can peer inside. Someone wolf-whistles from above and he flips his hair, smiling up at ceiling.
You can't fault heavens tastes. (To Madison) I know you missed me but fear not, for I have returned.
She stares at him disappointedly, resting her chin on a closed fist.
I was beginning to hope you were a delusion brought about by grief.
You asked for divine intervention, so here I am.
A divine nightmare maybe.
Laughter sounds from the ceiling and Raphael glares upwards before focusing on Madison with determination.
Seeing as you did such an ace (He makes an 'ok' symbol with his fingers) a good job coming out to your parents–
We both know that's not fair. It's not something I can just blurt out –not if I want to keep my family.
If they can't accept you for who you are, then who needs them?
I do! I'm sixteen years old! I don't know anything about living on my own! I rely on them, losing that support...I couldn't do it. Not so soon after...everything with Anna. I already feel like I'm living a life full of shadows instead of sunshine. Nothing seems as...bright without her. Without her smile and her bubbly enthusiasm because her artwork was being toured on the gallery circuit. She was everything and then she just...wasn't.
Raphael pulls Madison from the booth, his wings fluttering. Madison follows him reluctantly, taking the cake with her.
All I'm hearing here is the doom and gloom love. Come here.
He gestures to his chest, keeping his arms open. When Madison stares at him without moving, he sighs and bundles her into his arms.
I see I'm going to have to do everything by myself. Hold on tight love, we're about to take off.
Madison yelps when they leave the floor and takes a firm grip on Raphael's robe. They rise about two metres into the air, and then abruptly stop. Raphael glares upwards again.
Try not to drop us this time eh? I have a lady friend to impress. (To Madison) We're flying – impressive huh?
If man was meant to fly, God would have given us wings.
He couldn't give you all the fringe benefits. (Smirks) Oh look, hawtie at twelve o'clock.
He points at Lindsay but drops Madison in the process, and when Madison lands, Lindsay looks up in surprise and the pair make eye contact. Raphael is mouthing 'sorry', holding up his hands in mock surrender with a grin on his face.
Oh my God, are you ok?
Madison gets to her feet and brushes herself off.
Yes, I'm fine thanks.
She glares at Raphael.
What were you doing up there?
(Too quickly) Up where?
The pair share an awkward silence and avoid eye contact.
Oh for the love of! Hell-o? I did not throw the pair of you together so you could waste my efforts making goo-goo eyes at each other. (Said passionately) Say something that doesn't suck!
Mrs Williams sure knows how to make... (Lindsay gulps) cakes.
Yeah, (Madison snorts) they were a hit alright. I reckon Mr Walters could have polished them off all by himself: his wife's been sending him round the bend.
My mum's a divorce attorney. She's handling their case.
Don't tell my father that. He believes divorce is endorsed by the Devil to break up good, little Catholics (Said with bitterness).
And you don't?
I don't know what to believe in anymore.
Madison takes a seat on a pew and Lindsay sits beside her. Raphael lands on the pew in front and takes a seat but both girls ignore him.
My Papa's always been in charge. But...I can't sit idly by and let him live my life for me anymore. I never got to tell my best friend how I really felt and I'm never gonna be able to because I couldn't find the courage to go against my Father. I had the chance to be happy and I wasted it because I didn't have the guts to stand up for what I believed in.
(To Madison) Cry on her shoulder or something. She's obviously into you if she's willing to sit through this pity party.
Madison throws the cake at him and he catches it before it hits the floor. Winking, he takes a bite and grimaces.
Sweet sugary goodness. My fav.
Without Madison noticing, Lindsay rolls her eyes at Raphael and indicates that he should go away but he replies by taking another bite of his cake defiantly.
What do you two think you're doing? You volunteer here to contribute, not to laze around on the pews. Make yourself useful and polish them.
Oh goody, prejudiced Papa's home (Sarcastic).
Madison quickly gets to her feet, blushing, and pulls her cardigan around her. Lindsay remains seated, making eye contact with Raphael with a grim expression.
Dad...I (Stuttering)I thought you were having lunch with mum?
The choir is visiting Nottingham on Saturday for their annual festival. You'll be accompanying them, along with your mother and Mrs Williams.
Saturday is Anna's funeral. I...made a note, on the calendar.
Ignoring Madison completely, Papa walks over to the confession box and rubs the wood, tutting under his breath.
You'll need to dust this before the service on Sunday.
He straightens the curtains and nods after a moment, satisfied that they fall straight. Madison is floundering behind him, her expression exasperated. Lindsay has a bible in her hand, ready to throw at Papa's head but Raphael has a hand on her wrist.
Did you hear me dad? I can't do Saturday.
When Papa turns around, Lindsay drops the bible and faces Raphael with a glower. Madison's father jabs a finger in her direction.
No daughter of mine will honour the suicide of a homosexual. It's a disgrace that she has been granted a funeral at all. She was a disgrace.
Raphael grabs a bible this time and Lindsay latches onto his wrist, shaking her head silently. He drops it with a scowl.
Anna was the kindest person I have ever met.
She used kindness to mask the shame of her existence. Of her...abnormality.
She was my best friend!
Do not dispute this with me young lady. That girl...no, that thing, was a bad influence on you from the moment you made its acquaintance. I'm glad you escaped its clutches before it sank them in too deeply. I thank God for that every day.
How dare you! Anna was twice the person you'll ever be! Being a lesbian gave her strength. It made her someone special, unique, loved (Madison's eyes are filling with tears). I loved her. And not as a best friend either. I idolised her. Everything that she was. Every time she rose up above the tide of homophobia, I fell in love with her a little more. And it's because of people like you that I never got a chance to tell her that. (Now she cries freely).
Madison's father slaps her across the face and rears back as if to hit her again, but Lindsay throws herself into him, knocking him to the floor. Standing protectively in front of Madison, Lindsay glares down at the pastor with Raphael cheering her on.
I can't sit back and watch you abuse your daughter Pastor Roberts. I won't.
Once on his feet, he brushes himself off.
She's no daughter of mine. Not anymore. That...disgraceis the Devil's advocate and she will not taint my faith. Get her out of my church. There is no place for her here.
It's not her who needs to leave Pastor Roberts. God teaches 'love thy neighbour'. If you're not capable of putting aside your prejudices, than you are no man of God.
Defending a demon will earn you a place beside it in Hell's torment.
Then bring it on.
Papa straightens his robe again, then clears his throat.
You will leave this church and never return or I will phone the police and have you arrested for trespassing.
He storms from the stage before anyone can reply.
(To Lindsay) You should have thrown that bible.
The stage goes dark.
Madison is sitting on a pew in a set of clothes slightly too big. She's reading a book.
Her mother enters carrying a duffel bag and a school bag, which she places tentatively at her daughter's feet before scrambling back to the confession booth, where she takes a seat. Madison puts the book down and turns to stare at her mother, who won't meet her eyes.
Am I so shameful that you can't even bear to look at me?
No more Maddy then?
You're not my little girl anymore. I don't know who you are. Help is at hand once you realise that you need it. If you would only admit that...there is something wrong with you, then we could work together to cure you. To cure it.
There's nothing wrong with me. On the contrary, I'm finally comfortable with who I am, with who I love. It's you I pity for your small-mindedness. For your fear of individuality. For your ignorance of true love.
Madison's mother gets to her feet, squeezing her hands, still avoiding eye contact.
I will not sit here and dispute Satanic notions with you. I know that God is forgiving so I can find peace in the knowledge that you'll find redemption one day. But until that day, I can't...continue this charade Madison. You are my daughter by blood but you are not my daughter by kin, by soul. Not with this...disease tarnishing and corrupting you.
Madison sits quietly, steadily staring at her mother. She finally nods, stiffly and gets to her feet.
Then go. I need a mother but not at the cost of myself. There is nothing I need more than a secure perception of myself.
Madison's mother makes eye contact briefly, but swiftly looks away when she realises that Madison's eyes have been on her the whole time.
Just go. Save yourself the agony of facing your disowned daughter, because the forgiveness I'm capable of offering would crush you and your prejudice and then what would you be left with?
Her mother leaves, looking down at the floor the whole way.
Aw. Is little birdie ready to fly?
(Too quickly) No.
Raphael laughs, once more clutching his harp, and plays a theme less tune, humming along. Madison watches him with raised eyebrows, her mouth hanging open wordlessly. After a minute, she takes the harp from him and tucks it under her arm.
Has anyone ever told you your playing sucks? I think my ears are bleeding.
I'll have you know, I'm the best harp-player in the heavens.
Hysterical laughter is heard from above and Raphael glares upwards again, brushing his hair back from his forehead. He falls to the ground in a heap and sits up looking flustered.
I suppose there's room for miniscule improvement. The harp is a little rusty.
A bad workman always blames his tools.
I resent that. I got you out of your funk didn't I?
Grabbing her ankle, he pulls her off her feet and she lands in his lap. Nudging her in the ribs, he grins.
I did didn't I? Just admit it.
Smiling, Madison nods and grabs his hands.
Yes, oh wise and mighty angel. Your unorthodox ways took me off the beaten path and showed me the light and I shall worship you forevermore.
Raphael scoffs and frees his hands to ruffle her hair.
There's gratitude for you. But despite the sarcasm, you're welcome. It was a pleasure. Now, get up off my lap and into the playing field before you die of old age.
Madison opens her mouth but Raphael puts up a hand for silence.
Bluntness is my idea of tact love. Surely you know that by now?
I was going to say (Pouting at Raphael) that I have a coffee date with Lindsay. She spoke to her mum about what happened and Mrs Saint agreed that I could stay as long as I needed.
Down and dirty already love? (Wipes a fake tear from his eye) I'm so proud.
Did your mum drop everything off? I don't mind hassling your demon parents for their forgetfulness.
And why are you on the floor?
Madison gets to her feet and brushes herself off. Her and Lindsay both head to the pews and Madison picks up the duffel while Lindsay grabs the school bag. Raphael gets to his feet, opening his mouth to speak but he's jerked into the air. Staring upwards with alarm, he kicks out and spins.
This is so not fair! I am not missing the juicy part of the show!
He continues rising into the air, and his struggles soon cease as he rises above the confession booth. He scowls sulkingly instead.
Madison and Lindsay are sat side by side on a pew, holding each other's hands, their heads leaning against each other.
The stage goes dark except for a spotlight on Raphael.
I had a cupid's bow ready for that moment.
Fake sniffles before sticking his tongue out.
I better be getting my halo for this.
A/N: This is a little something I've had lying around for a while. I took part in a play-writing competition at school and this was the end result. Please review and tell me what you think. I'm particularly interested in what people think of Raphael. Thanks for reading.