A Gift For Mother


Mother, has a southern accent

Tanya, Older Sister

Suzie, Younger Sister


Living Room of Tanya, and offstage

Props: Pencil, notepad, store circulars, boxed ring, wine bottle, gloves, picture of mother, phone.

Scene 1

Enter Tanya and Suzie, dressed casually. Suzie

Carries a notepad, checking off items as Tanya


Tanya: We have the balloons.

Suzie: Check.

Tanya: What about the h'or derves. Did you order the veggie tray and the buffalo


Suzie: Check.

Tanya: Did you pick up the linens from the cleaners?

Suzie: No I thought you would, when you pick up the gift.

Tanya: What gift? We haven't decided what to give her.

Suzie hands Tanya store circulars. Both sisters take

a seat on the couch and begin to look through them,

Suzie pointing to items, Tanya often shaking her head

and giving looks of disgust.

Suzie: What about this one?

Tanya: It has to be real good. You know how she is.

Suzie: Hello. I'm Ms. Perfection, nothing's good enough for me.

Tanya: You remember that dress we got her last year?

Suzie: You said blue was her favorite color.

Tanya: I thought it was.

Suzie: Well, lets not get her any clothes again.

Tanya: Fine by me.

Suzie: Why did we have to get stuck with the pickiest of all mothers?

Tanya: Well at least it didn't rub off on me.

Suzie gives her a dirty look.

Tanya: You remember what she used to do when you wet your bed

When you were little?

Suzie: Hang the sheets out my bedroom window for the whole

world to see.

Tanya: And remember that ash tray you made for her at summer camp

In the sixth grade.

Suzie shakes her head in disgust.

Suzie: Yeah, she said it looked like a two year old could have made it.

Tanya: I think she gave it to Goodwill.

Suzie: I really hate her. I mean who cares if it wasn't perfect. I made it for her.

You know, I don't even know why we're doing this for her. She certainly

doesn't love us.

Tanya: Oh, c'mon, you don't mean that.

Suzie: Sorry, she didn't make you the laughing stock of the family your whole


Tanya: It's in the past, let it go.

Suzie: It's in the past, its today. Its tomorrow.

Tanya: She's still your mother.

Suzie: I wish she weren't.

Tanya: Don't say that. You don't mean it.

Suzie: The hell I don't. You know I can't wait til she dies then I won't have to

deal with her anymore. I can just do what I want and not live up to her

unrealistic expectations.

Tanya gets up from the couch and sets the circulars on the

Coffee table.

Tanya: Why don't you uh, finish with the checklist. I'll go out and get something

for mother. If the phone rings just let the answering machine pick up.

I shouldn't be too long.

Suzie: Fine.

Exit Tanya.

Suzie gets up from couch. She picks up a photo of

her mother.

Suzie: I really do wish you were dead. You've made my life hell.

Scene 2

With gloved hands, Suzie mixes poison into a bottle of wine, then she puts the poison away and screws the lid on the wine tight. She removes the gloves from her hands.

Enter Tanya with a small bag and her purse. She eyes the wine bottle.

Tanya: having a glass of wine to ease your pain?

Suzie: Shut up.

Suzie looks at the wine bottle.

Suzie: I thought you'd want to bring it, it's her favorite, you know.

Tanya picks up the wine bottle and puts it into her bag.

Tanya: You want to see what I bought for mother?

Suzie nods.

Tanya takes a small burgundy box out of her


She opens it and reveals a ruby ring.

Suzie takes the ring out of the box and holds it

up, inspecting it.

Suzie: Oh, its so beautiful!

Tanya: Do you think she'll like it?

Suzie: God only knows.

Tanya: Well if she doesn't then maybe next year we'll just get her a gift certificate.

By the way, you owe me a hundred dollars.

Suzie: A hundred? You didn't say anything about a hundred dollars!

Tanya: Oh, c'mon. Don't you want to make your sweet old mother happy for once your life?

Suzie: Well, of course.

Tanya: Are you ready to go now?

Suzie: As I'll ever be.

Suzie picks her purse up. Exit sisters

Scene 3

Offstage, the audience hears voices of sisters and mother.

Tanya: And here's a gift from me and Suzie.

Suzie: I hope you like it.

Mother: Well, they do say good things come in small packages. Besides, it couldn't be

any worse than that wretched gown you girls gave me last year.

Tanya: Thanks.

Suzie: Well if you don't like this, don't blame me. She picked it out.

Tanya: That's only because you picked out the present last year.

Mother: Girls, please? Can't I not listen to you two argue for once in my life?

I don't have very many years left in this dreadful world.

Suzie: Aww.

Tanya: Do you need help opening the gift, Mother?

Mother: No, I think I can manage by myself.

She tears wrapping paper from gift, sound of paper


Suzie: This ought to be good.

A beat.

Tanya: What do you think of the color, mother, I think it will match your red

evening gown.

Suzie: Like the devil.

Mother: It's simply awful! Where did you get it, out of a candy machine?

Tanya: No! What a horrible thing to say.

Suzie: She paid two hundred bucks for it.

Mother: Well that just proves it. Not only do my girls have lousy taste, but cheap too!

Tanya: How can you say such things? Have you no respect for us? And to think I

defended you against Suzie. She said you're cruel and she's right!

Mother: Oh, just chill. Have a glass of wine.

Tanya: Fine, I will.

Suzie: No… wait.

Tanya: What for?

Suzie: What about a glass of water instead?

Mother: Leave your sister alone, mind your own damned business for once!

Suzie: You are 'dreadfully awful', vindictive and cruel. The only thing you care about in

this world is you!

Mother: I didn't get to where I am by caring about others… Oh, for Pete's sake.

What's the matter with Tanya now?

(Audience hears a thud, Tanya has fallen to the floor)

Suzie: Oh my gosh! She's convulsing! Call nine- one- one.

Mother: Tanya, dahling. Don't leave us.

Suzie: Tanya, don't die. I'm going to call the paramedics!

Scene 4

Mother (dressed in wig and black veiled hat) and Suzie enter

Tanya's living room. Suzie's face is wet (from crying).

Suzie: I can't believe this has happened.

Mother: She was my baby, my firstborn. I don't understand why she would kill


Suzie, shakes her head in agreement.

Suzie: All she ever wanted was to please you. Even I thought you cared about her more.

Mother: She said she brought the wine for me, and she knew it was poisoned.

Maybe she intended to kill me instead?

Suzie: I don't know.

Mother: No, you said yourself, she stuck up for me, even when you didn't. I don't believe

that. But then again, why would she plan to kill herself on my birthday, in front of

me? This doesn't make any sense.

Suzie: Mom, its late and its been a long day. Why don't you go home and get some rest?

Mother nods.

Mother: I guess you're right. It's hard to think now.

Suzie: I'll call you in the morning.

Mother: Yes dear.

Suzie follows her to the door. Mother turns back, while

reaching into her purse.

Mother: Wait, I almost forgot something.

She pulls the burgundy ring box out and holds it out to Suzie.

Suzie: Well, don't you want to keep it? She picked it out for you.

Mother: No, dahlin, you keep it. And when you wear it, you can think of her.

Suzie takes the box and nods.

Mother: I know something ain't right here. And I aim to find out what it is.

You mark my words, whoever's responsible's gonna pay dearly.

Suzie: Goodnight, mother.

Exit mother.

Suzie looks around nervously, then rushes over to the cabinet ,

Takes out the poison bottle and pours poison into a glass.

Suzie: Please forgive me, Tanya. I'm coming to join you.

Suzie drinks the concoction.

Suzie falls to the floor.