Ibex

United States

Christian
as in Presbyterian Church in America
(denomination)
Writer
Novelist
Reader
Ambivert or something
Self-proclaimed band nerd
Planet Earth nerd
etc, etc
Joined September 10, 2019

Message from Writer

Favorite songs (hymns edition):
--Rock of Ages
--It is Well With my Soul
--Be Still My Soul
--Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
--Be Thou My Vision
Go read all the lyrics, I dare you.

------
Sometimes I tell stories. Most of the time I rattle my soul until I break and my heart spills out onto the page.

I tell stories not because I want to find God, but because He's already found me.
I don't think I'll ever really understand.

Memory

May 10, 2020

Cast
MADISON: female, 26 years old, looking back on past experiences
LITTLE BOY: male, 5 or 6 years old
LITTLE GIRL: female, 5 or 6 years old
YOUNG MADISON 1: female, 6 years old, slightly overweight
BULLY: male, 6 years old
2 FRIENDS: male or female, middle school aged
YOUNG MADISON 2: female, 11-13 years old
FALSE FRIEND: female, 11-13 years old
YOUNG MADISON 3: female, 16 years old
BOYFRIEND: male, 17 years old
FLASHBACKS: male or female, should be strong enough to perform lifts, preferably good dancers. Should be dressed in flamboyant, bright-colored clothing.

Note: YOUNG MADISON 1, 2, and 3, BULLY, FALSE FRIEND, and BOYFRIEND should be dressed in white, as if they are ghosts.


SCENE 1
It is just another day at the park. The trees are green, the sun is shining, and the birds are singing. MADISON sits on a park bench, basking in the sunlight, reading a book. LITTLE BOY and LITTLE GIRL play in a sandbox nearby. Their sudden dialogue shatters the peace of the day and silences the birds as MADISON watches them. (All this on stage left, with MADISON's bench center stage.)

LITTLE BOY: (astounded) You read books?
LITTLE GIRL: (quietly) Yes.
LITTLE BOY: That's stupid! You're a nerd!
LITTLE GIRL: I am not a nerd!
LITTLE BOY: (gets up, runs around the park shouting) Sadie is a ner-erd, Sadie is a ner-erd!
LITTLE GIRL: (about ready to cry) I am not a nerd! (she runs off to stage left and starts crying)

FLASHBACKS creep onto the stage from stage right, carrying colorful blocks, yoga balls, etc. They walk to erratic piano music. They surround MADISON and scatter their colorful items around her. She shudders as they surround her, getting in her face and whispering in her ears, although we cannot hear what they say. They leave her, and build a makeshift playground on stage right with their items and their bodies.

YOUNG MADISON 1 and BULLY enter stage right, instantly swarmed by the FLASHBACKS. Some FLASHBACKS return to MADISON and carry her, struggling, over to the playground. The piano music continues under dialogue.

BULLY: You're fat!
YOUNG MADISON 1: (desperately) I am not fat!
BULLY: Fat girl! Fat girl! (the FLASHBACKS join him in a chorus of "fat girl" and "ugly") How much do you eat at dinner? I'll bet you weight a million pounds. (echoes of "a million pounds")
YOUNG MADISON 1 and MADISON: (together) Stop it! (FLASHBACKS surround them both) Stop it!

The FLASHBACKS dissipate, collapsing to the ground. The playground crumbles. BULLY and YOUNG MADISON 1 exit like ghosts. MADISON stumbles back to her park bench and sits down again as the music ends. 2 FRIENDS enter from stage left. FRIEND 1 is giggling, but FRIEND 2 looks disengaged.

FRIEND 2: Listen, I have to talk to you.
FRIEND 1: Yeah?
FRIEND 2: We're not going to be friends anymore.
FRIEND 1: What?
FRIEND 2: You're selfish. And you judge me for everything. I don't want to be friends with you.
FRIEND 1: (as FRIEND 2 exits) What? When did I ever judge you? What are you talking about? (follows FRIEND 2 off stage left)

The music begins again. Just as hauntingly as before, the FLASHBACKS rise and approach MADISON. She tries to run away from them, but they approach her from all sides. They drag her back to stage right. YOUNG MADISON 2 and FALSE FRIEND enter from stage right. They stand back-to-back, texting one another. Offstage voices narrate their messages.

YOUNG MADISON 2: Hey! Enjoying the summer?
FALSE FRIEND: (silence)
YOUNG MADISON 2: Is something up?
FALSE FRIEND: You think you're better than everyone else because you won those awards. I don't want to be friends with someone like that.
YOUNG MADISON 2: When did I ever say that?
FALSE FRIEND: You didn't. It's just obvious.
YOUNG MADISON 2: That's not true!
FALSE FRIEND: Stop lying. You know it's true.
YOUNG MADISON 2: I never lied to you!
YOUNG MADISON 2: (typing frantically as FALSE FRIEND exits stage right) Come back. Please, come back!

YOUNG MADISON 2 falls to the ground. MADISON runs over to her, and the FLASHBACKS surround them both. FALSE FRIEND's voice and the FLASHBACKS scream in a haphazard chorus: "not good enough", "no one loves you", "not good enough", over and over.
YOUNG MADISON 2 covers her head and cries. MADISON falls to her knees and begs the FLASHBACKS to stop, but they continue, not hearing her. They whir around the stage, taking YOUNG MADISON 2 off stage right and replacing her with YOUNG MADISON 3, who resumes the same position.

The piano music crescendos, and the tempo accelerates at a horrifying rate, until finally, as all hope seems lost BOYFRIEND bursts through the wall of FLASHBACKS and screams:


BOYFRIEND: Stop!

At his command the FLASHBACKS fall. The music halts. BOYFRIEND takes YOUNG MADISON 3 by the hand, and, for a moment, they look in love. The piano begins to play again, only this time it plays ballroom music. They dance across stage right. MADISON watches with sadness in her eyes.

Suddenly, the music begins to quicken, resuming its typical, crooked tune. The lights flash on and off at random, illuminating FLASHBACKS in black and red costumes. A spotlight reveals YOUNG MADISON 3, pressed against a wall of FLASHBACKS, BOYFRIEND hollering at her with a bottle in his hand. He drags her off stage right. MADISON reaches out to help her, but the FLASHBACKS push her back.

The music accelerates and crescendos, the FLASHBACKS intensifying with it. Their dancing grows more crooked and more terrifying with every passing moment. In the chaos, MADISON screams and screams, unheard. Finally, above the music, which slowly decrescendos:


MADISON: Stop! Stop! (to the FLASHBACKS, who stand frozen) I'm done trying to be who people want me to be. Where has that ever gotten me? The past is behind me. I am Madison now, no one else, you hear? You'll leave me now, and never return. You'll never return.

At her last word, the music stops, and the FLASHBACKS crumple to the ground, defeated. MADISON stands triumphantly above them, breathing heavily, as if having made a great effort. She turns, looks out at the audience, and smiles.

THE CURTAIN FALLS.

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