Leeann Josephine Redabaugh 12 Creative Writing period 6
October 31, 2012 One Act Play
1. Nothing: a teen-age boy; a philosophical, somewhat depressed goth.
2. Poppy: a teen-age girl with a dark sense of humor and a kind heart, Jared's "girlfriend" (sort of).
3. Jared- Poppy's abusive boyfriend.
Act I Scene I
(Setting: This part of the story takes place in a shopping mall, in front of a store that sells Halloween things, black tallow candles, plastic skulls, incense, and cheaply made costumes. A lonely looking boy with long hair in all black and a trench coat stands near the entrance of the store, staring off into space with a brooding expression. It is late night; the mall will close soon.)
Nothing (dramatically): "Would it have been worthwhile/ If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl, / And turning toward the window, should say: 'That is not it at all,/ That is not what I meant at all.'" Oh, dearest T.S. Eliot, how I wish I was able to answer your question, but I ask myself the same thing. I wish that I would be able to truly and fully get to know another human being, but I doubt that it's possible, for two souls to truly commune. (He sighs and begins to slowly, dejectedly pace in front of the shop, running directly into a girl who has exited aforementioned shop. The girl trips and drops her bags, the contents spilling across the floor.) Oh! I'm so sorry. Here, I… I'll help you pick that up. (He kneels and begins frantically gathering the girl's candles and incense.)
Poppy: (helping him pick up the things): Thank you! Most people would have just walked away. You must have a kind heart (She stares at him strangely and offers her hand. Nothing shakes it.) My name is Poppy; what's yours?
Nothing: My name is Nothing.
Poppy: That's an interesting name. May I ask how it came to be?
Nothing: My father named me Nothing because my birth was a disgrace. My mother wasn't his wife. He committed seppuku because of it.
Poppy: What does that mean?
Nothing: It's a ritual suicide, a Samurai tradition in case of disgrace. He named me Nothing because I shouldn't exist.
Poppy(Nervously twisting her short, blond hair around her index finger.): Oh! That's awful, I'm so sorry.
Nothing (standing and handing Poppy her things): It's fine. It's nice to meet you, Poppy.
Poppy (smiling shyly and also standing): It's nice to meet you too, Nothing. (She takes the things from Nothing. An angry looking, middle-aged man walks up behind her, taking her by the shoulder and roughly turning her to face him.)
Jared: What are you doing talking to him? You were supposed to meet me at the bus stop an hour ago; we missed the last bus!
Poppy (nearly crying and tugging at her hair): I… I'm sorry, Jared. I d'… didn't mean to make us miss the bus. We can walk. It isn't far. It won't happen again.
Jared: (roughly grabbing Poppy by the hand and beginning to pull her off stage): Don't ever let me see you with him again!(Poppy and Jared exit the stage, the lights dim. Nothing stares after them a moment, then sighs and slowly walks into the Halloween store, the cashier does not notice him. He goes to the corner farthest from the cash register and curls into the fetal position underneath a rack of costumes. This is where he will spend the night. The lights dim.)
Act I Scene II
(Setting: The area around the Halloween store in the mall. It is morning, the lights come on and Nothing arises from under the clothing rack, stretching and yawning. He walks out of the store and sits at the entrance, knees drawn up to his chin.)
Nothing: Dearest T.S. Eliot, if you were still alive and if I were privileged enough to speak with you, I think that I would tell you it is worth it. It is worth it to attempt to communicate with another human being. In fact, I believe I might be on the verge of success, maybe even of making a true friend. I hope that I do not disgrace her as I have disgraced my father, by my mere existence. I wish that I were able to reverse this disgrace. He paid for it with his life; I should give something in return. (Poppy approaches.) "To be, or not to be: that is the question:/ Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer…/ Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,/ And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep." Oh, Shakespeare, how I wish I were able to answer you. If ceasing to be would make right what was wronged by my birth, I would gladly cease to be. (Poppy hears his words and begins to weep, causing her large amount of makeup to streak. Nothing hears her and turns to see her, staring at her face where it is free of makeup.)
Poppy: N'… Nothing, why w'… would you s'… say such a th'… thing? (She hiccups.)
Nothing: I'm sorry, I think about that a lot. … Are those bruises?
Poppy (covering her face and continuing to cry): Y'… yes!
Nothing: How did you get them?
Poppy: It… was nothing. I, uhm, w'… walked into a door.
Nothing: You don't get bruises like that walking into a door.
Poppy (sadly, ceasing to cry): No. No, you don't. It… it was my boyfriend.
Nothing: Your boyfriend? That's awful. I'm sorry. Why in the universe are you still with him?
Poppy: He's the only one who will have me and my parents expect me to marry him; I'm trapped.
Nothing: You should leave him. You don't have to do what others expect you to; you are your own person. You have the right to your own beliefs and decisions, even if they aren't what's socially accepted or what the people around you think you should do. You should do what's best for you.
Poppy: You make it sound so easy. I wish I had your conviction and bravery, but I'm stuck.
Nothing: You can get out; I'll help you if you want. What you're stuck in is the cage you built for yourself, that's all anyone is ever stuck in. You can make yourself free if you want to be free. No one can free you but yourself.
Poppy (staring into space):…. Maybe I'll fly free … one day. (Jared approaches.)
Jared: Poppy! What did I tell you about talking to him?
Nothing: Excuse me, sir, I didn't mean any harm to you the other day. I wasn't aware that Poppy had a boyfriend. Can I buy you some food or a drink as an apology?
Jared: Oh, that's quite alright. Some coffee would be nice.
Nothing: Alright, I'll be right back with your coffee.
Jared: Thank you.
(Nothing walks in the direction of the food court in the mall, which is the left side of the stage. He purchases the coffee and walks to a table in front of the store. He pulls a small, clear bag from his pocket, which is filled with green leaves; they are nightshade leaves. He crumbles a few of them into the coffee cup, replaces the lid, walks back to Jared and hands him the coffee. Poppy crosses her arms and glares at Nothing. Jared grabs Poppy by the elbow and steers her to offstage.)
Jared: Thanks for the coffee, have a nice day. (Poppy and Jared exit the stage. Nothing stares after them. The lights dim.)
Act I Scene III
(It is the next morning, the lights come on. Nothing is sleeping underneath a clothing rack. Poppy approaches and knocks on the glass of the locked store. Nothing awakes and exits the store and approaches Poppy. Poppy is angry, very angry.)
Poppy: You! What was that yesterday? After I spilled about my bruises you were nice to him. Why in the bloody universe were you nice to that terrible man? You disgust me! Do you have no empathy? Do you have no emotion? Can you not understand why I hate him so? You told me you would help me escape! I hate you! (Poppy runs off the stage, sobbing. Nothing stares after her in shock. After a moment, he sinks to the floor and begins to weep, curling into a ball and covering his face with his hands. The lights dim.)
Act I Scene IV
(The lights brighten. Poppy is at Jared's house, knocking on the door. It is afternoon, she has just left the mall.)
Poppy (frantically beating the door to Jared's abode): Jared! Jaaaaaared! Answer the blood door! Now! I need to speak to you! I'm leaving you, I can't take it any more! Jared? Jared, I know you're in there! If you don't answer I'm going to let myself in! (She pauses, then takes a key out of her pocket and unlocks the door. She gasps. Jared is lying on the floor, dead, the coffee cup from the day before in his hand. Poppy carefully takes the cup from his hand and removes the lid. ) Oh! (She sees the nightshade leaves crumbled inside. She runs from Jared's home to the mall. The lights dim.)
Act I Scene V
(The lights brighten. It is still afternoon. Nothing is leaning against the brick wall behind the mall, crying. His wrists are slit and he is dying.)
Nothing (sobbing): I have disgraced her! I love her and I have disgraced her! (Poppy approaches, running and crying.)
Poppy: N'… Nothing! I'm so sorry. You freed me and I yelled at you. I'm sorry. Will you forgive me? Thank you, thank you. I'm free. I love you. (she gives him a grateful hug, sobbing into his shoulder.)
Nothing (violently weeping): I forgive you. I love you also. (He dies.)
Poppy: My love! (She takes his razorblade, slits her wrists, and dies. A random person comes onto the stage.)
Random Person: "And they were all dead together." (Random Person exits the stage. The lights dim.)