by: Walter Wykes


[Early evening. A public park. The sounds of strange animals howling in the distance, clumping about in the brush. EUGENE sits quivering on a park bench. In his hands, he grips the orange tightly.]

EUGENE: It's all right. They're ... they're probably much smaller than they sound. Tiny little things. Birds. Or ... or insects.


Insects ... insects often sound much ... ahh ... much larger than they really are. It's a ... a kind of ... you know ... defense ... to ... to scare away the ... ahh ... the bigger animals.


That's it. Insects. I've solved one riddle at least.


They're ... they're probably terrified, poor things. Huddled in the dark ... all alone ... making as much noise as possible, but ... terrified some bigger insect might come along and call their bluff. It's ... it's certainly good to be a human being capable of defending oneself!


If ... if not insects, then birds. Birds at the most.

[An enormous roar. The sounds of a kill–a small animal gasping, clawing for its last breath of air.]

Squirrels maybe. Or ... or chipmunks. Perhaps a kitten chasing its first moth. How ... how cute.

[Enter the VAGRANT. He could be SCHÄFFER's twin except for the fact that he is much shorter and covered with a thin layer of filth. His clothes are tattered and torn. He has no shoes. He hobbles toward EUGENE, breathlessly, the grinning idiot. He pauses behind the bench for a moment, then reaches for the orange. EUGENE screams.]


VAGRANT: [Jumping back.] Ahh!

EUGENE: Stay back! Stay back or I'll ... I'll ... well, I'll defend myself if I have to! I can be terribly vicious!

[The VAGRANT crouches low to the ground.]

Who are you?! What do you want?!

[Still crouching low, The VAGRANT spins around as if looking for an attacker.]

What are you ... what are you doing? I'm talking to you!

VAGRANT: This one?

[The VAGRANT points to himself.]

EUGENE: Yes! You!

[EUGENE glances around nervously.]

Who ... who do you think I'm talking to?

VAGRANT: Moon-pie!


VAGRANT: Moon-pie!

EUGENE: Moon-pie?

[The VAGRANT nods emphatically.]

That ... that's ... what? Your name?

[The VAGRANT nods--watches EUGENE expectantly.]

It's a code-name, isn't it! You're an agent of The Profession! They've sent you to hunt me down! To drag me back! Well, I ... I won't go!

[The VAGRANT does a mad dance, laughing wildly.]

VAGRANT: Moon-pie!

EUGENE: I won't go back! Do you hear?! My mind's made up! Are you listening?! I've had it with The Profession! I'm finished! You ... you might as well just move on to your next ... your next ... ahh–

VAGRANT: [Clapping wildly.] Moon-pie! Moonpie!

EUGENE: –victim. [A beat.] Oh, you're not one of them. You're just a lunatic. A halfwit. No offense.

VAGRANT: Fruit-fly!

[EUGENE freezes.]

EUGENE: What was that?

[The VAGRANT waits expectantly.]

What did you say?

VAGRANT: Fruit-fly!

EUGENE: I thought so! Where did you hear that word?!

VAGRANT: This one!

[He points to himself.]


VAGRANT: This one!

EUGENE: You're ... you're Fruit-fly?

[The VAGRANT watches EUGENE expectantly.]

Then you're the one! You're the one behind it all!

[The VAGRANT does a mad dance, clapping wildly.]

But ... you can't be. You're an idiot.

VAGRANT: Moon-pie! Moon-pie!

EUGENE: Oh, you don't even know your own name!

[EUGENE returns to the bench. The VAGRANT follows, sits next to him.]

Are you sure you're not one of them?

[The VAGRANT grins.]

No ... I guess not. If you were, they'd be here by now. Unless they sent you to ...

[EUGENE swallows hard.]

I can't think about that! I won't! It's pointless! Besides, they'll ... they'll never find me here! I'm perfectly safe!

[The VAGRANT hovers over EUGENE.]

Still, you ... you do look familiar.

VAGRANT: The eyes!

EUGENE: [Studying the VAGRANT's eyes.] Yes ... it is something about the eyes. Or do you mean my eyes are playing tricks on me?

VAGRANT: The eyes! Darkness! Dream hole!

EUGENE: Oh, well ... that clears it up. Thank you.

[The VAGRANT makes a dive for EUGENE'S orange.]

Hey! Don't touch that! That's my orange! MINE!!!

[EUGENE wrenches the orange away from the VAGRANT.]

Sorry. I'm sorry. I ... I don't mean to be stingy. I'm sure you're very hungry, but I can't allow you to eat this orange. It's just that ... well, it's ... it's the key to everything! I know it doesn't make much sense. I don't understand it quite yet myself. But one has to have faith, you know, that ... well, that everything will come clear in the end.


It ... it must be nice to be a halfwit. A vagrant, I mean. A wanderer. You don't have to contemplate. If you're hungry, you eat. Everything's basic. Primitive. Nothing to confuse the issue. No one to push you around ... tell you what to do. Maybe ... maybe I should join you!

[EUGENE chuckles. No response from the VAGRANT.]

Hey ... maybe ... maybe I should! They'd never find me then! And if they did ... well, they wouldn't recognize me! I'll bet people don't even give you a second thought, do they?! They probably cross the street when they see you coming! That's it! That's the answer! I'll be an outcast! What do you think?


EUGENE: [Defensive.] What?

[The VAGRANT snorts.]

What's so funny? I ... I could be an outcast!

VAGRANT: Moon-pie! Dreamer's gold!

EUGENE: Why not? I ... I admit I don't have much experience, but I've always thought of myself as living on the fringes. I'm an outlaw at heart! Once, when I was five or six ... don't tell anyone, but ... I once stole a whole handful of comic books from a retarded boy that lived down the street! Lifted them right under his nose!

[A beat.]

All right, I ... I took them back the next day, but it's the thought that counts!

[A beat.]

You're not impressed.

[A beat.]

I guess maybe a ... a true outcast only takes what he needs to survive. Is that it? You probably have your own code of conduct. Like the samurai. But I ... I could learn! You could teach me!

[The VAGRANT snorts.]

I think I'd make a respectable outcast!


All right, what's ... what's wrong with me? Is it the shoes? You're right–shoes might draw attention! Shoes are much too mainstream for me anyway! I've never really liked them! They chafe your feet! Give you blisters!

[EUGENE removes his shoes.]


[The VAGRANT stares at EUGENE's feet.]

I ... I suppose I should get rid of the socks too?

[He does.]

There! You see–I'm willing to make sacrifices. I don't ask for special treatment. I just want to be a regular outcast like everyone else.

[The VAGRANT stares hard at EUGENE.]


[EUGENE begins to fidget.]

What is it? The pants? Just tell me what to do. I'm willing to do whatever it takes. Only I ... I don't have anything else to wear. This is all I've got. I admit, it's a bit dressy for your average outcast, but ... I ... I could dirty it up a bit. A few properly placed smudges, a rip here and there, and you won't recognize it!

[EUGENE attempts to rip his coat.]

This ... ahh ... this is ... good ... good fabric. Maybe if I try the seams.

[He tries the seams--no luck.]

Oh! Wait! I've got it! We could trade! You want to trade?! You know, they say well dressed panhandlers are much more successful! People are more likely to give you a few dollars if you're wearing a coat and tie because they know you must really be in a bind! I ... I know it doesn't make much sense, but it's a proven fact!

[EUGENE begins to take off his clothes.]

Just ... just take off your clothes. I'll even throw in the shoes. And the socks, if you'd like. They're a little smelly, but ...

[The VAGRANT takes EUGENE's shoes. Sniffs them.]

Believe me, you won't be sorry. Those are very expensive shoes! Some kind of fancy leather. My ... my wife, Ibid, bought them for me ...

[EUGENE pauses.]

Ibid ...

[He stares at the pants in his hands for a long moment.]

She ... she has very good taste in ... in clothes.

[Silence. Overcome with sadness, EUGENE sits on the bench. Finally, after a long moment, he offers the VAGRANT his pants.]

Here. Take them.

[He does.]

You want the coat too? Take it! And the tie! Take it all! I don't need it anymore! There! I feel much better now! Free! So this is what it's like to be an outcast!

[The VAGRANT snorts.]

What? I ... I still don't qualify? But I've met all the requirements.

VAGRANT: Hah! Skin-deep!

EUGENE: Well ... I ... I'm sure there are some spiritual aspects that I'll ... I'll have to grow into ... certainly. I mean, I'm sure there are several levels of vagrancy and ... and I can't expect to attain the highest levels right away. These things take time. I'm sure you've been at it for years, and you want to protect your status by making newcomers serve a ... a sort of apprenticeship so to speak. And I'm willing to do that! I'm committed for the long term! But surely I qualify as at least a Level One outcast! I mean, one has to have some kind assurance that one is moving in the right direction! After all, I've given up everything! I've sworn off all material possessions!

VAGRANT: Not all.

EUGENE: Not all? What ... what do you mean?

[EUGENE clutches the orange tightly.]

You don't mean this? It's not for material reasons that I'm attached to it! It's what the orange represents! Why can't I be an outcast with an orange? Where is it written that an outcast can't own a little piece of fruit?!

[The VAGRANT holds up his hand--points to it.]


[The VAGRANT points to his hand.]

Your hand.

[The VAGRANT nods--pantomimes opening a book.]

Reading. Hand-reading? Braille? Blind?

[The VAGRANT shakes his head no.]


[The VAGRANT nods.]

Hand. Book.

[Pause. Horrified.]

The handbook!

[The VAGRANT nods emphatically.]

No! Oh, no!

[The VAGRANT does a mad dance, clapping wildly.]

You're lying! There is no handbook! I refuse to believe it! It's a lie! A fabrication! You just want me to feel I've been left in the dark! Well, I ... I won't have it! Do you hear?! I won't have it! I refuse to cooperate! How do you like that?!

VAGRANT: [Clapping wildly.] Refuse!

EUGENE: That's right! Refuse!

VAGRANT: Refuse! Refuse!

EUGENE: Would you ... would you stop that! Stop it! Are you sure I don't know you?! You remind me of someone! A professor I once–

[The VAGRANT has worked himself into a frenzy.]

Okay! Okay, I'll make a deal with you! If there really is a handbook, then show it to me! Show me the handbook, and I'll believe! I'll follow it to the letter!

[The VAGRANT stops dancing.]

That's right! Show me! Go on! Do you have it with you?!

[The VAGRANT nods.]

Well, let's have a look! Where is it?!


Go on! I dare you!

[Long pause.]

See! You can't! You can't show me because it doesn't exist! There's no such thing!

[The VAGRANT smiles. Points to his head.]


[Again, the VAGRANT points to his head.]



It's in your head. You've memorized it.

[The VAGRANT nods.]

Well ... that doesn't count! I want something solid! I have to see it with my own two eyes!

VAGRANT: Darkness! Dream hole!

EUGENE: Oh, shut up! Shut up! Just ... just stop babbling for a minute!

[The VAGRANT giggles maniacally.]

I ... I can't think. I'm losing focus. I've ... I've got to–

IBID: [Offstage.] Eugene!

[EUGENE and the VAGRANT both freeze.]

EUGENE: Did you hear that?! They ... they've found me! They're here! You! You tipped them off somehow! You sent some kind of telepathic signal!

[EUGENE searches desperately for a hiding place.]

If you give me away, so help me I'll ... I'll do something awful!

[EUGENE disappears into a trash can. The VAGRANT takes a seat on the lid.]

IBID: [Offstage.] Eugene! Gene, where are you?!

EUGENE: [From the trash can.] Ibid? Ibid, is that you?!

IBID: Eugene?!


IBID: Eugene?!

EUGENE: Yes! It's me!

IBID: Where are you?!

EUGENE: Over here!

IBID: Where?!


[Enter IBID.]

IBID: Where?! I can't see you!

EUGENE: Over here! Inside this trash can!

[IBID approaches the trash can.]

IBID: What are you doing in there?

EUGENE: I was hiding! But now I ... I can't get out!

IBID: [To the VAGRANT who is still seated on the lid.] Excuse me, but I think my husband's in that can.

[The VAGRANT rises.]

Thank you.

[The VAGRANT nods and shuffles off, grinning, as IBID removes the lid. EUGENE pops up.]

There you are! I've been looking all over.

EUGENE: Are you alone?

IBID: Of course I'm alone. Are you all right? I heard what happened.

[She checks his temperature.]

EUGENE: I'm fine! I ... I escaped with everything intact! How did you find me?

IBID: Oh ... I have a nose for these things.

EUGENE: [Suspiciously.] What things?

IBID: Oh ... you know. [A beat.] Who's your little friend?

EUGENE: My ... oh ... his name is Moonpie.

IBID: Oh, what a nice name! Aren't you going to introduce me?

EUGENE: No. No, I ... I don't think so.

IBID: Why not?

EUGENE: He's a little wacky.

IBID: Oh. Poor thing. That's too bad.


IBID: Well ... let's get you home.


IBID: What?

EUGENE: I'm ... I'm not going home. After what's happened, I don't see how I can. That's the first place they'll look!

IBID: But ... where will you go?

EUGENE: I don't know. I thought I might stay right here. On this bench.

IBID: On this bench?


IBID: In the park?

EUGENE: That's right.

IBID: But ... what about all the wild animals?!

EUGENE: Wild ... wild animals?

IBID: That's right! Dinosaurs! And saber-toothed tigers!

EUGENE: Saber ... saber-toothed tigers?

[She nods. EUGENE forces a nervous little laugh.]

There haven't been any saber-toothed tigers in these parts for millions of years!

IBID: Haven't you heard?

EUGENE: Heard what?

IBID: What happened.

EUGENE: Did something happen?

IBID: They've had a rash of escapes from the tar pits.

VAGRANT: Escape! Escape!

IBID: No one's safe anymore. And after such a long sleep, they're very ... ahh ... active. They're eating everything in sight!

EUGENE: Well ... I ... I don't care. I'm staying right here. My mind's made up.

IBID: What about me? What am I supposed to do?

EUGENE: You can share my bench if you'd like. It's big enough for two.

IBID: It's filthy!

EUGENE: Oh, it's not that bad. Just a little dust.

[EUGENE wipes a spot off for her.]


[IBID sits reluctantly.]

You see. Isn't this nice?


IBID: I'm not happy here.

EUGENE: Why not?

IBID: I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with a fear of being eaten alive.

EUGENE: Don't worry. I'll protect you.

IBID: Oh, a fat lot of good you'll do me!

EUGENE: It'll be an adventure.

IBID: There isn't even a toilet.

EUGENE: We'll build one.

IBID: How?

EUGENE: I don't know! We'll figure it out! We'll live off our wits!

IBID: What would people say?! Think of me for once!

EUGENE: I know it sounds a bit unusual, but ... if you really think about it ... it's only our perception that's unusual. We've been told there's a certain way to live ... that this is living ... and we ... we never really questioned it. We just sort of went along. But what if it's not the best way? What if there's another way that's better? What if there's something more?!

IBID: But the handbook says--

EUGENE: I don't care what the handbooks says! I can think for myself! And if I want to live in the park and brave the wild animals and steal bread away from little children before they can feed it to the ducks, then ... then that's what I'll do!

[IBID struggles to hold back the tears.]

Oh, now don't cry.

IBID: They say horrible things happen to people in the park at night! Evil things!

EUGENE: Have you ever stayed in the park after dark? Have you ever seen anything awful happen with your own two eyes?

VAGRANT: Darkness! Dreamhole!

EUGENE: [To the VAGRANT.] Shut up! [To IBID.] Have you?

IBID: Well ... no. But I've heard stories!

EUGENE: How do you know they're true?

IBID: Why wouldn't they be?

EUGENE: Who knows! There could be a million reasons! Who knows why people say the things they say! Or why they do the things they do! Who knows what motives they might have! Maybe they want to keep it all for themselves! Did you ever think of that?! This place could be the answer to our prayers! It could be everything we've ever dreamed of!

IBID: Or we could get eaten.


IBID: If we get eaten, what's the point?

EUGENE: Well ... it's a gamble, I admit. But think of the possibilities!

IBID: I don't see them.

EUGENE: You're not trying!

IBID: I am! I really am! I ... I just don't see it the same way you do. I was perfectly content the way things were.

EUGENE: [Explodes.] Well, I wasn't!!! [Pause.] You see this orange? Somewhere inside this ... this mass of ... of pulp and ... and seeds ... and juice ... somewhere inside this skin ... somewhere ... buried ... deep down ... is the answer! The truth! It's my only clue! I can't give that up! I can't condemn myself to darkness!

IBID: What about the children?

EUGENE: Don't start that again!

IBID: We'll have some sooner or later–won't we?

EUGENE: Well ... I ... I guess so. I mean, sure. Sooner or later.

IBID: And then you'll have to think of their safety too. You won't be able to think of only yourself. You might be able to outwit all of the insects and wild beasts and things, but what about an innocent little baby?

EUGENE: Well, I ... I don't know.

IBID: Come home. We'll pretend like nothing ever happened.

EUGENE: But it did! It did happen! For a few minutes, I saw through all the lies! All the deception! The smoke and mirrors! I pulled this orange out of a hat! And even if I can't remember exactly what it means now or ... or put all the ... all the pieces together ... I know that ... that ... somehow ... all of this is ... is ... ... ... all of this is ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... well, it's ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... I don't remember what I know, but I know something, and I can't pretend I don't know it!

[EUGENE slumps on the bench. Silence.]

IBID: The sun's almost gone.

EUGENE: There's always the moon.



IBID: Haven't you heard?

EUGENE: Heard what?

IBID: What happened.

EUGENE: Did something–

IBID: It's fallen out of orbit.

EUGENE: The moon?

IBID: It's headed for Pluto.

EUGENE: I ... I don't understand! How can ... how can THE MOON ... I mean ... for God's sake ... WHAT KIND OF WORLD ARE WE LIVING IN?!!!

[IBID grabs EUGENE and kisses him passionately–one last desperate kiss. EUGENE is startled by this sudden display of affection, but he returns the favor, and it calms him somehow. IBID stares into his eyes for a long moment.]

IBID: I have to go.


IBID: I have to go. The sun's almost gone. I won't stay here after dark.

EUGENE: [Desperately.] But ... you can't leave now! We've almost done it! We're almost free!

IBID: Free? Free from what?!

[IBID attempts to contain her mounting rage.]

If you want to throw your life away because ... I don't know ... because you have a feeling ... because some lunatic gave you an orange ... because the couch is too small ... well ... I can't stop you. But I won't watch you do it. And I won't put my life in jeopardy.

EUGENE: Ibid, wait–

IBID: Look at yourself, Eugene! What are you doing?!



[EUGENE hesitates.]

EUGENE: I ... I don't know. I don't know what I'm doing exactly. But–

IBID: No "buts!"


EUGENE: I think I'm looking for something.

IBID: Something real?

EUGENE: Yes! Something real!

IBID: Something solid? Something that won't change? Something you can count on no matter what kind of craziness goes on around you? An anchor?

EUGENE: Yes! An anchor! That's it exactly!!!

IBID: Then take my hand.


IBID: [Offering her hand.] Take my hand. I'm your anchor, Eugene. It's not too late. You can still come home. Everything will be just like it was. Just like it's always been. Everything will be forgiven.

EUGENE: But, I ... I don't want to come–

IBID: It doesn't matter what kind of world we live in as long as we have each other!

[EUGENE hesitates.]

Please ... Eugene ... is that orange really more important to you than I am?

[Silence. For a long moment, they just stare at each other. But finally, ever so slowly, EUGENE sets his orange on the bench. He stares at it sadly for a moment–then reaches for IBID's hand.]

EUGENE: All right.

[Just then the VAGRANT snatches the hair from IBID'S head, revealing, beneath the wig, a startled ROSETTA.]

IBID/ROSETTA: Hey! Give that back! Come here, you little monkey!

EUGENE: What ... what's going on?

ROSETTA: Halfwit!

VAGRANT: Fruit-fly!

EUGENE: I don't–

VAGRANT: Fruit-fly! Fruit-fly!

EUGENE: You're ... you're not Ibid! Where's Ibid?!

[ROSETTA lunges for the orange, but EUGENE beats her to it.]

What have you done with my wife?!

[ROSETTA removes her apron.]

ROSETTA: I haven't done anything with her!

EUGENE: I don't understand!

ROSETTA: Oh, for god's sake! Do I have to spell it out for you?!

EUGENE: How am I supposed to know if no one ever–

ROSETTA: There is no Ibid! There never was!

EUGENE: No ... no Ibid?!

ROSETTA: That's right! She was a lie! A fabrication!

VAGRANT: The eyes! Darkness! Dreamhole!

EUGENE: But ... why ... why would anyone want to ... ... ... then ... then she ... you ... you were her and ... and she was ... all along ... there ... there was never any ...

VAGRANT: Waste of flesh! Tissue! Spit, spit! Irritation!

EUGENE: It doesn't make any sense! It doesn't–

VAGRANT: Redundant organ!

EUGENE: Schäffer!


EUGENE: It is you!

SCHÄFFER: Cut off to save the whole! How does it feel?!

EUGENE: I knew it! But you're so ... small. What happened to you? Why, just this morning, you were up to here! A great educator! An integrated member of The Profession! Now look at you! You're melting away! You're ... you're no bigger than I am!

ROSETTA: Give me the orange.


ROSETTA: The orange. Give it to me. As a token. Something to carry back to them. A bone–to show I tried.

EUGENE: Never! I'll protect this orange with my life!

ROSETTA: Really? You're willing to give your life?


ROSETTA: Fine then. [To SCHÄFFER.] You heard him. He's willing to give his life.


[SCHÄFFER listens intently. There is a faint humming in the distance.]

EUGENE: What's he doing?

ROSETTA: Can't you hear them?


ROSETTA: That faint rustling in the distance ... like leaves ... ashes!

EUGENE: Yes ... yes! I hear it! Just barely!

ROSETTA: They'll be here soon. Then we'll wash our hands of this whole sordid little mess!

EUGENE: What mess?! What do you mean?! Who are they?! What do they want?! Please ... I ... when I said I'd give my life, I didn't actually mean–

SCHÄFFER: Throw yourself! Blindly! Into the fire!

EUGENE: I ... I don't–

SCHÄFFER: The chasm!

[The noise in the distance is growing louder.]

EUGENE: I don't understand!

ROSETTA: If only you could have forgotten that silly little orange. We could have carried on the pretense. It was pleasant while it lasted–wasn't it?

EUGENE: But ... it wasn't real!

ROSETTA: [Explodes.] Who are you to say what's real and what isn't?!


ROSETTA: Did it ever occur to you that maybe I liked my little home! My little couch! My little walls! Maybe I liked my little life! Did you ever think of that?!


[The humming in the distance grows louder. The air is filled with the thundering of great hoofs upon the earth. The crashing of trees. EUGENE is terrified.]

What's that?! What's happening?! It's THEM–isn't it?!


EUGENE: I don't understand! What do they want with me?!

ROSETTA: With you? Hah! It's not you they want!

EUGENE: What then?!

[All eyes fall on the orange in EUGENE's hand.]

The orange!


Here! This belongs to you! I shouldn't have run off with it!

[EUGENE tosses SCHÄFFER the orange. SCHÄFFER, horrified, tosses it back.]

No, really! It's yours! Keep it!

[Again, EUGENE tosses SCHÄFFER the orange. Again, he tosses it back.]

What about you?! You wanted it!

[EUGENE chases after ROSETTA with the orange.]

ROSETTA: Get away from me! It's too late!

[The three of them play what appears to be a life-or-death game of hot potato, frantically tossing the orange back and forth until suddenly the stage grows dark and they are surrounded by the buzzing of a thousand flies.]

ROSETTA: Look at them! Oh! Those dark blue eyes! Those shiny, black bellies! I've ... I've never seen anything so beautiful in all my life!

SCHÄFFER: Fruit-fly!

[SCHÄFFER tosses EUGENE the orange and climbs into the trash can.]

EUGENE: Wait! Where are you--

[SCHÄFFER disappears beneath the lid. EUGENE turns on ROSETTA.]

You! This is all your fault!

ROSETTA: My fault?!

EUGENE: I trusted you! And you ... you've been against me from the start! If only you'd been honest with me then ... then maybe ... together ... we ... we could have–

ROSETTA: Oh, don't be such a fool!

EUGENE: A fool?! I'm a fool?!

ROSETTA: Yes! That's exactly what you are! A great big, silly buffoon! Always running in circles, asking questions you couldn't possibly understand! Making funny faces! Come on, Eugene–be honest. Surely you can see it. You have only one purpose–to amuse others with your antics, with your pathetic attempts at comprehension! You're a clown!

EUGENE: A clown?!

ROSETTA: That's right! You have no idea how hard it was to contain myself! Every time you came into the room I wanted to burst out laughing!

[As herself.]

How was your first day?!


My ... my first day?!

[As herself.]

Your first day! How was it?!


Ahh ... fine ... fine! It was fine! Just fine! Normal! Just a normal day!

[As herself.]

Are you all right?!



[As herself.]

I said, "Are you all right?!"


Oh! Yes! Fine!

[As herself.]

Is something wrong?!


No! No! Everything's fine! Just fine! Normal! Why do you ask?!

[As herself.]

You sound a little nervous!


Me?! No! No! I'm not nervous at all!

[ROSETTA laughs hysterically.]

EUGENE: You think that's funny?!

[ROSETTA nods through the laughter.]

What about this?! Is this funny?!

[EUGENE dances around like a monkey.]

Look! I'm a monkey! I'm a dancing bear!

[EUGENE balances the orange on his nose as he dances. ROSETTA laughs even harder.]

You like that?! Huh?! Does that amuse you?!

[ROSETTA is laughing so hard she is near tears.]

What about this?! Is this funny?!

[Overcome with rage, EUGENE charges at ROSETTA and, in one swift motion, forces the entire orange into her open mouth. She stumbles back, stupefied, clutching her throat–thrashes about the stage, unable to breathe, desperately trying to dislodge the orange which shows through her teeth like a great colored moon. Finally, she falls to the ground and, after a few moments, lies motionless. The buzzing of the flies fades away. Light returns to the stage. Silence. EUGENE moves slowly towards ROSETTA. Horrified, he shakes her lifeless body.]

My god! What ... what have I done? What have I–

[He cradles her in his arms, rocking slowly back and forth. SCHÄFFER lifts the lid and peeks out of his can.]

Ibid? My beautiful ... I'm sorry! I'm ... I'm sorry! I'll come home now! I'll come home! We'll pretend like nothing ever ... nothing ... it didn't ... none of this ... everything will be just like it was! Ibid? Please? This can't be ... Ibid? This can't ... somebody ... this isn't happening! This can't be happening! I just ... I didn't ... oh my god ... what have I ... Ibid?! Somebody help me! Somebody–

[Bells sound. Fireworks.]

What ... what's going on? I don't understand.

[The fireworks continue as SCHÄFFER approaches.]

Did someone get points?

SCHÄFFER: [Standing over EUGENE.] Yes, Eugene. Someone got points.

EUGENE: Who? Who got points?

SCHÄFFER: Not her.

EUGENE: [Still cradling ROSETTA'S lifeless body.] Not ... not her?



EUGENE: Then ... who?


SCHÄFFER: Your progress continues to astound me ... Eugene.


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Copyright © 1997 by Walter Wykes

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