Alter Ego

Caroline Alexander- 16 going on 17, sort of awkward, but she's trying to be more social. She buries her problems, and they have manifested themselves into a bigger one (see Carmen). She is a little uncomfortable around guys but could be very pretty if she tried.

Carmen- Caroline's "alter ego"; the other side of her split personality. Very flirty in a seductive way. Also a complete and total bitch. There-but-not-there, like an imaginary friend that takes over sometimes. Dressed like Caroline, but hotter.

Katherine - 17, one of Caroline's friends. They have an interesting relationship. They are constantly insulting each other, but neither one of them means it. Caroline's test subject of sorts when it comes to opening up.

Preston Pudgewick- 14, very smart, bumped up a grade. Annoying in a know-it-all-show-off-y kind of way. Friendly; not discouraged by the fact that no one really likes him. Clothes on the brink of Steve Urkel, but not quite that far.

Jonathan Rainier- 17, very sweet, funny, extroverted. Used to like Caroline, realized he had been friend-zoned and buried his feelings. Now Caroline likes him, but he doesn't know. The two haven't spoken in months.

Carol Alexander- 18, Jonathan's girlfriend. She is in the grade above him and is almost exactly like Caroline in every way.

News Anchor- male/female. Either just a voice, or off to the side with a single spotlight.

Lucy- 15, fellow inmate at asylum.

Scene 1, Madam Gertrude's Home for Troubled Girls

A spotlight goes up on CAROLINE sitting in a chair center stage. She is content, almost a little too much given her situation. She speaks to the audience.

CAROLINE:

Day 75 of confinement... I think. I can't remember when I first got here. I think it was a Monday. Oh, well. Who can tell anymore? Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Who is this girl? Should I feel sorry for her or what?" Well, for the first question, my name is Caroline. Caroline Alexander. And I'd like to tell you my story if you'd let me. As to the second question, the answer is a resounding 'no'. I deserve to be here. This is an asylum and I am crazy. Well, supposedly. [Begins to stand and walk around to the back of her chair] You see, I have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. I've also been accused of murder. Only one of these things is true. [Laughs sadly] As for my story, let's start with one of the first things they ask you once you start treatment. "Why are you here?"

Walks offstage right

End Scene

Scene 2 Mrs. Mueller's Room

A school classroom scene a month or two in the past. "Novel Study: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" written on whiteboard. Caroline and friends are there. CARMEN is there, sitting behind Caroline, but no one is acknowledging her presence. The students are talking, listening to music, eating chips, throwing things, etc. There may be a teacher, desperately attempting to control her class.

CAROLINE:

I just don't get it. I mean, in December, we were best friends. Then we get back from break and suddenly he's not talking to me anymore.

KATHERINE: [joking, but keeping a straight face]

I still don't get why anyone would want to talk to you.

CAROLINE: [laughing slightly]

Stop it! This is serious.

KATHERINE:

So am I.

CARMEN: [bitchy. Very bitchy]

Maybe it's because you're an awkward loser whose only talent is playing a stupid clarinet...

Caroline is the only one who hears this, and her expression falls a bit. Katherine stops laughing, looks concerned.

KATHERINE:

Hey. I was just kidding.

CAROLINE: [muttering in a warning tone and rubbing her temples]

Carmen...

KATHERINE:

Are you okay?

CAROLINE: [still kind of upset, but faking happiness]

Yeah, yeah! I'm fine, it's just a headache. I miss him sometimes.

KATHERINE:

I know. But don't worry about it. I'm sure Jonathan just hasn't noticed you.

CAROLINE:

It's been five months. I'm sure if he wanted to talk to me, he would've done it by now. I'm starting to go from a hopeless romantic to just plain hopeless.

The bell rings and the students get up to leave, exiting stage left and right.

End Scene

Scene 3, Hallway

Caroline, Carmen in tow, enters from right.

CARMEN:

I mean, you can't exactly blame him for not wanting to talk to you. You aren't exactly very interesting.

CAROLINE: [irritated]

Will you shut up?

CARMEN:

Make me.

PRESTON enters from left, nose buried in a book. Caroline/Carmen try to sneak around him, but he looks up just in time.

PRESTON:

Hi, Caroline!

CARMEN:

So close!

CAROLINE:

Hello, Preston.

Try to walk away, but he won't shut up.

PRESTON:

You know, I was just reading this book about advanced physics. It's fascinating. Do you want to hear about it?

CARMEN: [snotty]

NO.

CAROLINE:

Sure.

PRESTON:

Well, right now I'm on the chapter about the parallax. You see, our abilities as humans to determine distance to an object is a result of the brain's process of visual data. Both our eyes work in tandem so that any shift from one eye to another allows for a determination of distance. This-

CAROLINE:

Well, that's great, Preston, but don't you have somewhere to be?

PRESTON:

Oh, yeah! I have a meeting with the guidance counselor.

CARMEN: [sarcastic]

I wonder why...

PRESTON: [doesn't hear her]

I need to talk to her about colleges. I know I'm just a freshman, but it's never too early to start thinking about-

CAROLINE: [Practically pushing Preston offstage left]

You know what, Preston? You are absolutely right! You need to grab the bull by the horns or, well you just won't get anywhere in life, now will you? [Fake laugh] Go get 'em!

CARMEN:

Grab the bull by the horns? Where'd you get that?

JONATHAN, looking at his phone, enters right. Caroline is looking at Carmen and doesn't notice. They bump into each other. Rapidly apologizing, they look up at each other.

JONATHAN: [smiling]

Hi!

CAROLINE: [smiling]

Hey! Long time no see.

JONATHAN:

Yeah, yeah. So, what's up?

CAROLINE:

Nothing much, just have to write this stupid eight-paragraph essay on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

JONATHAN:

You have Mueller? [Caroline nods] Me, too!

CAROLINE: [hopeful]

Yeah? Maybe we could do it together after school? You know, catch up a little?

JONATHAN: [smile fading]

Um, about that. I kinda already made plans to-

CAROL: [from offstage]

Jonny!

CAROL comes running onstage and grabs Jonathan in a tight hug. She is giggling madly and might kiss his cheek. Caroline stares wide-eyed at the whole spectacle, Carmen is watching with amused disbelief. Think, "Okay, who's this bitch?"

CAROL:

I missed you! I get so lonely without my wittle schnookie-poo!

CARMEN: [amused]

Wittle schnookie-poo?

JONATHAN: [slightly embarrassed]

Uh, Caroline, meet my girlfriend Carol. Carol Alexander. She's a junior.

CAROL: [just noticing Caroline]

Hi! I'm Carol! Hey! Carol [points to self]; Caroline [points to Caroline]! It's almost like... déjà vu!

CARMEN: [face palm]

Oh, god.

CAROLINE: [flabbergasted]

Right. Well, um, nice to meet you. [Awkward pause] Oh, gosh, uh, [looks at watch, realizes she doesn't have one] look at my wrist! I have to go. Essay and all. Better get started. It'll probably take all night. Bye!

Caroline and Carmen walk offstage right, brushing past the couple. Caroline is going fast, head down. Carmen is sulking and glaring angrily at Jonathan and Carol.

JONATHAN:

Caroline, wait!

She's gone. He turns his attention back to Carol, who is playing with his hair. They walk off left.

End Scene

Scene 4, Caroline's Room

Caroline is sitting in a chair center stage at a table, writing on a paper. Carmen is behind her, pacing slowly and studying her nails.

CARMEN:

You need to do our nails. The polish is chipping.

CAROLINE: [slightly irritated]

No, Carmen, we- I need to do this stupid essay for Mrs. Mueller.

CARMEN:

If it's so stupid, why are you doing it?

CAROLINE:

So I can go to college, become a psychologist, get rid of you, and maybe make myself normal.

CARMEN: [reassuring]

We are normal.

CAROLINE: [angry]

Really? Because last time I checked, normal people don't walk around with their other personality following them everywhere making snarky comments and being an overall bitch!

CARMEN: [patronizingly]

No need to get all flustered. You said yourself that there's no such thing as normal. All I wanted was a little manicure. Here, [Retrieves nail polish bottle and pulls Caroline out of her chair. She takes her place and begins to paint her nails] I'll even do it for you.

CAROLINE: [shocked]

How long have you been able to do that?

CARMEN:

Do what?

CAROLINE:

Just take over like that?

CARMEN: [thinks for a second]

Hm, not sure. A recent development, I guess. Sure will come in handy.

CAROLINE:

What do you mean?

CARMEN: [slyly]

Well, you're still pining over that silly little boyfriend of yours. What's his name? Joseph? Jacob?

CAROLINE:

His name is Jonathan!

CARMEN:

Same thing. I can help you get rid of that pesky girlfriend of his.

CAROLINE: [very interested]

You can? How?

CARMEN:

That's for me to know and you to find out. Now, [holding out hand] what do you think of this color?

CAROLINE: [slightly irritated]

Since when do you care what I think?

CARMEN:

Hm. Too true. [continues painting while Caroline paces] Oh, by the way, my plan doesn't involve being nice. Just thought I should warn you.

CAROLINE: [thinking, not really listening]

Yeah, yeah, do whatever you want... So you can really split them up and get him with us- me?

CARMEN:

Just call me Carmen Hyde.

End Scene

Scene 5, Hallway

The next day at school. Carol enters stage right, carrying books with one arm and scrolling on her phone with the other hand. Caroline, Carmen following, is carrying books and looking at the ground. The two run into each other, sending books all over.

CAROL: [as the two pick up their books]

Oh! I'm sorry; I didn't see you, I was just texting Jonathan.

Carmen pulls Caroline upstage and takes her place.

CARMEN:

Oh, yes. You are so lucky. He is so sweet. Well, most of the time anyways.

CAROL: [slightly worried]

What do you mean?

CARMEN: [feigning surprise]

You mean he hasn't told you?

CAROL:

Told me what?

CARMEN:

Oh. Well, last summer he punched a kid in the face for no reason at all. Well, not no reason. He had just broken up with Gracie Brown and-

CAROL:

Wait! Broken up with her? He said I was his first girlfriend!

CARMEN: [Playing up the drama]

Really? Interesting. Anyways, a few days later, he saw this guy, Rodger Jones, flirting with her. He was so pissed, he went to Rodger's house that night and when he answered the door, he nailed him, right in the nose. Oh!Poor dear nearly had to go to the hospital.

CARMEN: cont.

Thank goodness the boy's mother showed up and scared Jonathan off. You know, he didn't even press charges! He was too scared Jonathan would come after him again!

CAROL: [shocked]

WHAT? No way. That can't be true.

CARMEN:

Of course it's true! Have you seen that kid's nose recently? It looks worse than Michael Jackson's!

CAROL:

He hasn't told me anything like that! I have to go!

She walks away stage left, very worried. Caroline has been watching this with some concern, she steps forward now to Carmen's level

CAROLINE:

That was just a rumor!

CARMEN:

So? She doesn't need to know that. And besides, I'm helping us.

CAROLINE:

How? By lying to her and making her feel betrayed by her own boyfriend?

CARMEN:

Listen, Jekyll! You like Jonathan, don't you?

CAROLINE:

Yeah, but-

CARMEN:

And you'd do anything to have him for yourself, wouldn't you?

CAROLINE:

I guess, but-

CARMEN: [mockingly]

But! But! But nothing! I am so sick of seeing those two all the time and I know for a fact that you are too.

CAROLINE:

So?

CARMEN:

So, doesn't it make your blood boil whenever he talks about her like she's some freaking goddess? Or what about when he's walking down the hallway with her draped all over him? [circling her] How does it feel to know that you're not wanted? To realize you missed your chance? To know that everything you've ever wanted is slipping right through your fingers?

CAROLINE: [weakly]

Stop it...

CARMEN: [meanacing]

What's wrong? Scared? You knew what you were getting into from the beginning. You're weak! [grabs her arm] You're nothing! I'm in charge now. And there's nothing you can-

KATHERINE: [entering from right]

Caroline? Are you okay?

CAROLINE: [pushing Carmen back]

Yeah, I just have a headache. I'm gonna go home early. See you tomorrow, Katherine.

KATHERINE: [not quite believing her, exiting right]

Alright. See you.

CARMEN:

This is so not over.

The two storm off stage right.

End Scene

Scene 6 Caroline's room

Late at night. Caroline is sleeping and Carmen is nowhere to be seen. Suddenly, she comes bursting in, not bothering to be quiet, and crosses towards a television {by the bed, over by stage left}.

CAROLINE: [waking suddenly]

Wha-? Carmen? What are you doing?

CARMEN: [terse]

Shut up. Go back to sleep.

CAROLINE:

Why were you- [sees Carmen's hands which are covered in blood] Carmen? What did you do?

CARMEN:

Don't worry about it. Go back to sleep.

CAROLINE:

Carmen, is that blood?

CARMEN:

I said not to worry about it! Go- [sighs, giving up] Turn on the news.

Caroline does so.

NEWS ANCHOR:

The victim appears to have been sleeping when an intruder entered her bedroom through an unlocked window and slit her throat. The suspect then proceeded to carve the victim's initials plus the initials J.R into the victim's abdomen. The perpetrator then exited out the window and fled the scene. The body was discovered by the victim's younger sister.

Caroline is watching in horror while Carmen appears anxious.

NEWS ANCHOR: cont.

The police have not released- [short pause] This just in, the victim's family have confirmed the victim's identity as Carol Alexander, a local teenager.

Caroline mutes the television.

CAROLINE: [horrified]

Carmen? Please tell me you did not kill that girl. [Carmen doesn't reply] Carmen? [Still silence] Goddamn it, Carmen! Answer me!

CARMEN: [a short pause]

They weren't supposed to find the body until morning.

CAROLINE:

Oh my God!

CARMEN:

I didn't have a choice. You obviously weren't going to do anything.

CAROLINE:

You know, when you told me not to expect you to be nice, I figured you'd just scare her or something. But murder?

CARMEN: [completely nonchalant]

Well, if it makes you feel any better, she did look pretty scared. Oh, and the media got it wrong. I carved the initials then slit her throat. What kind of world do we live in when you can't even trust the news anymore...

CAROLINE: [has been putting on her shoes]

I can't believe you. You just killed a girl in cold blood and you feel nothing.

CARMEN: [suddenly nervous]

Where are you going?

CAROLINE:

To the police station. I'm turning you in.

CARMEN: [knowing]

You can't do that.

CAROLINE:

Watch me.

CARMEN:

Aren't you forgetting something? I'm you. You're turning yourself in. Not so brave now, are we? [looks back at the television] Besides, you're too late. [un-mutes the TV]

NEWS ANCHOR:

-from a homeless man who witnessed the suspect fleeing the scene. The victim's boyfriend, Jonathan Rainier, identified the sketch as Caroline Alexander. Police are en route to the suspect's house to arrest her.

Carmen turns off television. A knock on the door/doorbell.

CARMEN:

Boy, that was quick. I guess those tax dollars have been put to good use, eh?

Another knock/doorbell.

CARMEN:

You wanna get that, or should I?

CAROLINE:

No. I'll do it.

Caroline exits right, followed by Carmen.

End Scene

Scene 7, Madam Gertrude's Home for Troubled Girls

Lights go up on a scene similar to Scene 2. Caroline is sitting in a chair, Carmen sitting in one behind her. Caroline talks to another girl.

CAROLINE:

So that's basically it.

LUCY:

Wow. So, your alter ego killed a girl over a boy she didn't even like?

CAROLINE: [looks at Carmen, who is sulking, then back to Lucy]

Pretty much.

LUCY:

That's... sick! [in a good way]

CARMEN: [sarcastic and spiteful]

Thanks, freak. Your opinion means so much to me.

CAROLINE: [to Carmen]

Shut up!

LUCY:

Were you talking to me?

CAROLINE: [sigh]

No.

LUCY:

Hey, I've been there. Wanna know why I'm here?

CARMEN:

No.

CAROLINE:

We- I would love to know.

LUCY:

Okay, so it started when I was a kid, right? I had a sister who was a real bitch. And I just wished I could get back at her, right?

CARMEN & CAROLINE:

Be careful what you wish for.

Lucy improvises a story as we fade to black.

The End