Something's Wrong with the Horses

Characters Michael Sullivan, a fairly rich, down to earth man who owns a stable Mary Sullivan, his daughter, age eight Junior, Mikes son, age fourteen Jane Sullivan, Mike's wife Mr. and Mrs. Henderson, ex-neighbors of the Sullivan's

Act I Scene I: The Sullivan Ranch, the stable. Its early morning and fog has set in, the air is damp and muggy. Mike is seen shoveling dirt in one stall.

[Mary Sullivan runs into the stable screaming only to be stopped by her father.]

Mike: Mary! Mary! What the heck's wrong? [Mary tries to speak but her words are muffled by her sobbing.] Mary, come on, settle down. Tell me what's wrong.

Mary: [Wipes face and mutters] Star's hurt daddy. He's gonna.. [Starts crying uncontrollably.]

Mike: [Gives Mary a sympathetic look] Honey, settle down. Where is he?

[Mary leads Mike out of the stable, down a dirt road and into the woods.]

Mike: Hon, how did Star get out of the pasture? [Mike is skeptical of the whole ordeal because this isn't the first time Mary has led him on a chase after the spooks in the woods.]

[Mary doesn't respond to her father; she is intent on finding her way through the brush. The two soon come upon an old barn with part of the roof caved in on one side.]

Mike: [Realizing where he is] My god Mary this is the last time I'm going to tell you this! We can't be foolin around in here! This is the old Henderson place; if they knew we were over here they would kill us. [Mike's angry expression fades when he looks at his daughter.] Now you know that Mary, so come on, lets go. [Mike turns to leave, Mary in hand, but feels her resistance; she is firmly planted and staring into the dark barn.]

Mary: Daddy, Star's in there and he's hurt, I just know he is. Please daddy you gotta help him! [A single tear streams down Mary's already damp cheek. Mike lets out a sigh and walks into the barn. The barn is dank and smells like rotting wood; the huge hole in the ceiling seems to give almost no illumination at all.]

Mike: [After walking a few feet inside turns around.] Mary I don't see Star anywhere. [Mike is beginning to get a little agitated with the extreme humidity in the barn.]

Mary: [Enters the barn, stops and points to a stall in the back of the barn.] "That's were Star is dad."

Mike: [Moves slowly toward the last stall. The sound of heavy breathing is heard. A white horse is shown with wide eyes and blood oozing from around them. When the horse sees Mike it lets out a loud snort and starts walking to him.] Lord in Heaven. [Mike's eyes become very wide, he swallows loudly. Mary starts to walk to the horse.] Mary stay back, something's scared him very badly. [Mike walks to the horse and tries to grab his halter but the horse rears up and knocks Mike to the ground. The horse looks down at Mike and lets out a loud nay before running off.]

Mary: [Frantically runs to her father's side.] Daddy! Daddy! [Mary begins to cry.]

[Fade to black]

Scene II: We open on Jane Sullivan in an old kitchen cooking scrabbled eggs. Jane is murmuring about when they are going to come and hook up electricity in the house. Junior and Mary are sitting at the table talking about the horses and their father. The room is quieted when Mike enters.

Mike: [Glares at Jane and sits down.] So. What's for breakfast dear?

Jane: [Looks a bit confused but responds] Why we're having the traditional breakfast, eggs, toast and bacon. Would you like yours scrambled?

Mike: [Smiles at Jane and replies] Yes, yes I would, but could you put some of your delicious sausage in there for me honey? [No response from Jane] Please?

Jane: [Turns with a plate of steaming scrambled eggs in her hands and throws them to the ground, plate and all.] Mike! Are you just not going to talk about it! It's been a week; we are all worried to death about you! You could have been killed.

Mike: [Interrupts Jane by slamming his fist upon the table.] Jane, if I down want to talk about it we won't talk about it!

Jane: Mike how can you ignore what happened? Star the calmest horse in the world tried to kill you! Then the next day he was found floating in the pond! Mike please tell us what happened! [Tears stream down Jane's face]

Mike: Children would you mind leaving mummy and I alone for a little while? Hmm? [Junior and Mary nod as they get up and exit the room]

Mike: Jane, the horse got out is all. I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Mary and I went to the old Henderson barn and found Star there. He had hurt his eyes some how and I spooked him. He knocked me down when I tried to grab him.

Jane: [Jane's eyes widen at the mentioning of the barn and she breaks into a sweat] Mike I thought we agreed we never would allow the children over to the Henderson's property, especially that barn? Grace Henderson was terrified of that barn Mike, that's why they left, she said it was haunted. Little Anne kept going in there in the middle of the night.

Mike: [Clears his throat] Jane don't be so superstitious! You know the Henderson's left because they had to be closer to the city, Anne's heart problem, remember?

Jane: [Walks to the window and looks out into the morning fog] Do you remember when we moved here? The Henderson's were a picture perfect family until last summer when they cut down those trees and found they barn. Not long after that Anne developed her condition, and now they're gone.