This is over a year old. It was a literal last-minute submission for a playwriting contest. Five plays were going to be chosen to be performed at the Whole Art Theater downtown, and... this made it. :D

Stockholm Syndrome:

"I Love You, Will You Let Me Use the Bathroom?"

Scene: An office. The walls are light blue and the floor is dark blue. There's a mahogany desk to stage R and there's also a chair. On the desk is a phone and a box of papers. There's a window with dark blue curtain by the desk, and next to the window is a painting.

(CHARLIE is sitting at the desk, talking on the phone. CHARLIE is in his early twenties and has a wide-eyed innocence about him. As he's talking, he's playing with a yo-yo)


Yeah Mom… uh-huuuhhhmmm… I know… I knowMoootherrr!

(He rolls his eyes and sighs. He drops the yo-yo and scrambles up from his chair to get it, almost knocking over everything else in the process)

Yeah… no… no, everything… everything's fine, Mom! I just tripped over my chair, is all. Yeah…. No, I'm fine…. No, Mom, an ambulance is not neces… no, Mom, I'm not bleeding… I'm not dying! Oh, I wish I was… no, I didn't say anything…

(There's a knock at the door)

I gotta go… Goodbye. I love you. Good…bye.

(Hangs up, collapses in chair, letting the yo-yo unwind to the floor. Takes a deep breath)

Come in!

(JULIA enters from R holding a cactus. JULIA is also in her early twenties, but has the cool intellect and sophistication of someone twice her age)


(Shoots up from his chair, hiding the yo-yo behind his back He is suddenly very flushed and nervous, mostly because he's in love with JULIA)

Julia! Julia, are how you? I mean, how you are? I mean, you are how? Oh bollocks.



I'm fine, Charlie. So you won your big campaign, Mr. Mayor.


Oh. Uhh, umm…

(Hides the yo-yo in the box of papers and smiles sheepishly)

Yeah. Um. Good office. You like the office? I like the office. The office is nice. Nice office. Blue office. Very nice, good, blue office. Gum?

(He pulls a pack of gum out of his pocket and holds it out to JULIA)


No thanks.

(Sighs and sits on CHARLIE'S desk. CHARLIE pulls on his collar as he grows more nervous. JULIA looks away from CHARLIE)

Listen, Charles, I wish I could say this is just a social call, but…


(Squeaky voice)

But what?

(Clears his throat and repeats in a deeper voice)

But what, Julia?


Listen. You're a nice kid. A really, really nice kid. And over these past few months, I've gotten to be very fond of you, but you see…

(Sighs deeply and regretfully)

How to put this… um… managing your campaign was only my… my day job.


(Taking in what JULIA has said for a moment)

Oh… so… what? What's the problem?


(Rubbing her forehead)

I'll say this slow so you can get it, OK?

(CHARLIE nods as he sits down)

Someone… paid me… to… eighty-six you…



(With genuine confusion)

To what me?


Er… make you eat lead.

(CHARLIE is still confused by the phrasing)

To kill you.


(A look of comprehension crosses his face)

Ohhhhh! OK. Kill me. Yeah. Right. I get it.

(Smiles, and then his smile falls dramatically and he jumps up in shock)

WHAT?! Why do they wanna kill me? I haven't done anything to anybody that's worth killing me over!


(Pats CHARLIE on the shoulder)

Of course you haven't! Like I said, you're a nice kid. But this is a political thing, like it always is.


(Falls back into his chair and groans)

Is it something I said?


I didn't stop and ask for details. They told me they wanted you gone, I said OK, as soon as this is over, I get half a million.

(Pulls out a gun and sets it)

I'm really sorry, Charlie. You're a sweet kid, and I really do like you. But hey, a girl's gotta get by, right?


(Who is scared stiff)

…You're… you're serious, a-aren't you?

(JULIA nods and CHARLIE starts to laugh nervously. He pulls a handkerchief from his pocket and wipes his face, and then puts it back)

Oh… OK then. That's wonderful. Just… wonderful. So… you're going to kill me? And nothing I can say will convince you to not do that?


(Sighs and smiles apologetically)

I'm sorry, Charlie. It's part of the job.


Well… um… are you going to do it soon? Kill me?


You seem a little too nervous. I'll let you relax.


(Starts speaking at a rapid pace again)

That's very kind of you. You know, you're a very nice lady, Julia, and I like you a lot, too. I think you're a very prady letty. I mean a pretty lady very. VERY. PRETTY. LADY.

(Pause. Once he starts speaking, he gradually talks more and more rapidly)

And I think it would have been nice if you would not k-kill me and we could go to the cinema and hold hands and then we would be friends but we would not be friends and I forgot what that is called because I am so scared and I need to use the bathroom, so can you please put that away so I can go out into the hallway and I would not run away, because I love you and I promise?


(Pauses and isn't sure how to respond)

I've heard of Stockholm Syndrome, but this is ridiculous.


PLEASE, JULIA. I need to go.


Fine. Go. You have two minutes.


(Jumps up and starts running off stage R)

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

(He disappears off scene)



OK… that just got a little complicated…

(She puts down the gun on CHARLIE's desk and looks into the box of paper. She pulls out the yo-yo and starts playing with it)

So he thinks he loves me. Alright. All I have to do is stop thinking about it long enough to pull the trigger, and it'll be over.

(The yo-yo drops to the floor and JULIA sighs)

You're going soft.

(CHARLIE walks back on set, looking pale and nervous)


H-hi. So how are you going to pull it off? Silencer on the gun, I suppose. Escape through the window? That'd make sense.




I love you, what?

(Looks at JULIA desperately)


(Holds the gun up to CHARLIE's head)

I'm sorry…. Really.

(She closes her eyes and looks away. She repositions the gun to about two feet away from CHARLIE and pulls the trigger. CHARLIE screams and hits the floor, covering his head. JULIA opens her eyes and looks at the quivering CHARLIE, thinking quickly)

OK. Here's the story. I came to kill you, but you escaped through the window after a struggle. Oh, and Charlie?


(Gets up slowly and turns to JULIA)


(JULIA strikes him across the face)

OW! What was that for?


The struggle. Duh.

(She turns to the window and opens it)

So are you going to jump out yourself, or will I have to throw you out?



What?! Julia, what is going through your head? Aren't you going to kill me?


You moron. You don't get it, do you?


…Get what?


(Takes a deep breath)

OK. I'm supposed to kill you. But I'm letting you escape. So you won't die. Yet.


Oh. Oh! Ohhhhh. Right. Right. But… but whoever is paying you… to kill me… whoever that is… won't they be just a tad… won't they be annoyed?


(Takes this into consideration)

Well, yes. But I can make arrangements.

(CHARLIE and JULIA smile and shake hands and CHARLIE moves as if to jump out the window, but then turns back to JULIA, looking at her in confusion)


What kind of arrangements?


The kind that you shouldn't worry your sweet little head about.

(She ruffles his hair)

Now off you go. I'll catch up with you later.


OK. Bye, Julia. I love you. Thank you.

(He gives her a hug and climbs out the window. Suddenly you hear him screaming and then a loud thud, and then silence)


(Looks at the gun and sighs)

Right then.

(She puts the gun down on the desk and picks up the phone, dialing a number. She waits for a moment, and then smiles suspiciously)

Yeah, hi, Sweeney? This is Julia Dylan… yeah… yeah, I've taken care of Charlie… Sherman. Are you good for your end of the deal? …OK. I'll be over there in a half an hour. Bye.

(Hangs up and picks up her gun, the smirk still on her face. She looks around the room and sighs)

OK. New plan. Get in, get the money, kill Sweeney, dispose of the body, get out.

(She starts to leave towards stage R, but just as she leaves the room, she stops)

Oh… and get some tea.

(She smiles and exits the room)


(From off-stage)



No, this is not the same Charlie as in Fine Line. I just really like that name.

Stockholm syndrome is when a hostage starts showing signs of loyalty or sympathy to the person who took them hostage.

I don't even like this on paper, but the actors who were in it actually made me like it. Also, can you tell I was rushing? :)

Have dairy products of your choice. If you're lactose intolerant, have something sweet.