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GEORGE: It looks better than it sounds.

MARTHA: Oh, it sounds great.

GEORGE: Well, I'm going now.

MARTHA: Good luck.

GEORGE: You're sure you don't want to see my face?

MARTHA: I saw it in my mind dear.

GEORGE: It's red, did you see that?

MARTHA: I thought it would be blue, but I'll change the picture in my head.

GEORGE: Doesn't it look better that way?

MARTHA: Much. I don't think I could handle it now if it was blue.

GEORGE: Your face looks different also.

MARTHA: My heart is making my skin fertile again. My veins are being sent back to work.

GEORGE: Do you think I'm extreme?


GEORGE: Ok, well, I'm going now.

MARTHA: Good luck winning his foot.

GEORGE: My life is on the line, did I tell you that?

MARTHA: Well you better win then honey.

GEORGE: Do you have any hopes, dreams or, or…any hopes or dreams that you want to share with me before I go.

MARTHA: No, I'm fine, thank you anyway.

GEORGE: Alright, you're welcome. Well, goodbye.


[George looks for his goggles, after the third try he finds the correct pair and puts them on.]

[Martha coughs. Then she un-pauses PIERRE.]

[While Martha is talking, she frantically looks for remotes, and puts them in an order.]

MARTHA: Are you--

CHICLET: Chiclets?

MARTHA: Are you--

CHICLET: Chiclets?

[Chiclet coughs loud and deep, she makes a small gasp and then falls quiet for the rest of the play.]

PIERRE: Mademoiselle, there is an intruder in the room.

MARTHA: We have to save the hood tonight.

PIERRE: One of my main duties as a chargeable friend is security.

MARTHA: Look, can't you see? Can't you? I know that you are just a bunch of metal and chips, but please, please for one moment see how important this is. We have the opportunity to help these poor people in the hood. We can help them, we can change their lives. Just the three of us tonight, we can stop the pain and suffering of these people. Please forget about her, forget about the security, and help us save the hood.

[Martha coughs.]

PIERRE: I understand.

[PIERRE walks off-stage for a moment. Seconds later he rolls on a cart that is covered by a cloth.]

MARTHA: Thank you, now lets start.

[PIERRE goes back to his original position.]

[Martha un-covers the cart. There are Six remotes controls.]

[1. She grabs the first one, aims, and presses: The lights fall black.]

[2. She presses grabs, aims and presses the next remote: Two spotlights find them selves on an empty space of the stage.]

[3. She grabs and presses another remote: We hear the sound of sirens, gunshots, and helicopters.]

[4. She grabs and presses the next remote: Pierre walks into one of the spotlights. He takes a moment, then he looks at all of the fictitious devastation around him. His eyes try and remain stoic, he loses his composure for a moment, then finds it again.]

[5. She grabs and presses the next remote, Gigi runs into her area of light.]

GIGI: Oh, sir, sir please help me. You have to help me.

PIERRE: What is it? What my dear?

GIGI: My boy. My little boy is gone. My son was… [She takes a moment as she is choking up.] He never puts his socks away, and we always fight about it. He leaves them on the floor and the dog chews them up. I can't afford to pay for new socks every two weeks. This morning he didn't put them away, I walked into his room and all his socks were chewed up. A pack of socks is two hours pay for me. I was in the living room steaming angry when he came in. He walked in the door he came to hug me, and he said. "I love you Mama." [A moment.] I told him I was sick of his goddamn sweet talking, and get his ass in his room and clean the mess. [A moment.] He just looked at me. I could see in his eyes that he understood. He understood how many sinks I had to clean for one pair of his socks. "I know socks are expensive." That's what he said. He walked away and went into his room. [Pause.] I looked to the floor. It was covered with his blood. I walked into the room and there he was dead. Leaning against the dresser. Holding his socks.

[She breaks down.]

[Martha pauses them both, as she takes a moment.]

[She un-pauses Gigi.]

MARTHA: [A little disappointed.] Oh. I liked the beginning. But…Gigi can you make that last part more poetic and beautiful?

GIGI: I stood there a moment. Smiled. I smelled a wet salty heat rising from my blouse. I looked and saw my chest covered in blood. I looked to the floor and saw droplets of blood. A path of liquid red rubies leading to his room. [Pause.] He was dead leaning against his dresser….with a pair of socks in his hands…he died before he could put them in the drawer. "I know socks are expensive." Those were his last words to me.

MARTHA: Liquid red rubies. How dramatic.

[She touches her chest.]

PIERRE: I can't give you back your boy.

GIGI: You have to, I can't live without my boy.

PIERRE: Can't you see Sista? Can't you see the problem? And therein lies the solution.

GIGI: What?

[7. Martha takes the final remote, aims and presses: "Impossible Dream" sung by Jerry Vale starts.]

PIERRE: Mine, mine, mine. We need to think about ours, ours, ours.

GIGI: Don't you give me this philosophical bullshit when my boy is in the ground.

PIERRE: And mine, mine, mine put him in the ground. Sister, your boys were just two flowers in an entire garden. You watered only them, while the others wilted next to them. They bloomed while the others crumbled. The dying flowers saw them flourish in the hot sun. And when they came for the water that only they had, and they took your first son's life in hopes it would transfer to them. And you ask me why. The boy that killed yours needed water and we let him dry up. And now they have your other boy in hopes he will put life back to their petals. And you want to leave, take your flower and watch the garden dry up. Until we start looking at the garden and not the flower. We will all dry and crumble. Not your street, not your hood, not your city, not your country…The world. That is your garden. If one flower dries up, it taints the entire garden. There is a poison of death in the air and it takes only the neglect of one anywhere to turn us all.

[Gigi and Pierre are silent.]

[The sounds of the gunshots and sirens get louder until they drown out the music.]


[The song then gets louder and louder until the sounds of the sirens and gunshots fall completely silent.]

[Martha starts clapping.]

MARTHA: WE DID IT. WE DID IT. And it was just that simple, we should all be proud.

GIGI: I need to charge now ma'am.

[Gigi walks to the wall and plugs in.]

MARTHA: We saved the hood.

PIERRE: Are we leaving now ma'am? To the hood?

MARTHA: Why? We're done. We kept them all alive.

PIERRE: No. We just kept you alive.

MARTHA: What? [Martha looks in the mirror.] I still have three veins showing.

[George takes off his goggles.]

[Martha grabs both the correct remotes, in a fast simple single motion and Pauses Pierre.]

GEORGE: I lost.

MARTHA: Lost what?

GEORGE: The bet.

MARTHA: Why is your face all red?

GEORGE: I bet my life like an Aztec. I have to go die now.

MARTHA: Oh, no, no, no you can't die.

GEORGE: I have to go.

MARTHA: But. Why?

GEORGE: I Have to go.

MARTHA: Well, don't go yet. [Pause.] We could still talk about social issues and change like they do in the movies.

GEORGE: I don't know anything about social issues and change.

MARTHA: Well, we could talk about it tonight so we would have something to talk about tomorrow. So let's talk about social issues and change.



GEORGE: What do you have to say about it?

MARTHA: What do you have to say about it?


GEORGE: I have to go now.

MARTHA: Why? For what reason? Your life for what?

[Martha coughs.]

GEORGE: You shouldn't be coughing. You have to get that looked at.


GEORGE: We don't cough.

MARTHA: I do. I am.

[George takes a long moment, then sits up. He swings his feet around touching the floor. He thinks about standing up. Then he grabs a remote. It takes him six or seven tries before he finds the correct one. Once he finds it he takes a moment before he presses it.]

GEORGE: [To Martha.] I have no toes.

[He presses the remote. Pierre turns on in full drill instructor mode.]


[Martha grabs a remote and pauses Pierre. She types a few lines, and un-pauses Pierre. Pierre then gently picks up George, and as he carries him off-stage he says.]

PIERRE: You did it my George. You are number one. You saved us all. You gave your life for us. You're number one. There is no one more extreme than you.

[Martha sits for a moment. She touches her chest, and coughs. She looks at Chiclet She then brings her feet around and looks at her toes she touches each one. She picks up the mirror again and sees all of her veins are gone.]

MARTHA: All gone. [She looks at Chiclet.] Chiclet? Chiclet? Chiclets? Chiclets?

[Martha sits up, she swings her feet around. She puts her feet on the floor. She stands--her feet feel the floor for the first time in many years. She walks to Chiclet, and touches her face. Martha then stands and walks to the door. She opens it. A soft red light emanates from outside, and it smells like burnt vanilla. Martha looks outside. Then after a moment she takes the two large plastic flowers. She brings one to Chiclet and puts it in her little hands. Martha looks at her box of Chiclets and takes one. She then walks out the door, holding the plastic flower before her as if it has the power to clean the world.]

[A moment later Gigi and Pierre walk back into the room. Gigi gets into bed and immediately begins typing. Pierre walks to the other side of the bed, is about to sit…then stands up and walk over to the giant black box. He takes down the box, and brings it back with him to the bed. Pierre gets into bed also and begins, then simultaneously they pick up a remote, aim it at the audience and:]

[Lights Out.]


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Copyright © 2000 Eric Kaiser

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