Two little girls alone in the woods one of them bad the other worse.
(2 women, one man- 4 scenes)
(darkened room, two women standing at either side of space taking turns speaking)
An Awful Thing
They thought it was the reason I disowned them. No. It was more pride than shame. A terrible thing, pride; takes you over; calls the shots if you let it. Couldn't bear they might not be. Proud. Myself. Have to win at all costs. I will. Can't bear not. Proud. They thought it would mend itself, it won't. Won't let it, can't. Too much invested and I can keep everything at bay; decisions, hard ones, sticky stuff. Shameful.
(lights up, dim)
(two women walk towards each other to stand side by side)
Belle: "Those sweet yellow curl toddlin down to the creek. Didn't we bother?"
Nell: "They didn't help either."
Belle: "Yellow halo..curls, sweet, shoulda taken care of..."
Nell: "Someone else coulda shoulda ..."
Belle: "She went out of sight, down to the creek, naturally assume someone..."
Nell: "Someone come along, pay attention before she ended up in there."
Belle: "Sweet chubby legs, yellow curls, save her. No one."
Nell: "Not our fault."
Belle: "Whose then?"
(lights slowly down)
Scene II- Thickly
Belle: "Any dings yet?
Nell: "Nope. Nobody. Don't care. "
Belle: "Waiting, waiting, phone to ring, door to knock, letter send."
Nell: "One track pony."
Belle: "'Trick', trick pony; get to work on your book, stop talking!"
Nell: "Harder 'n ever, used to be, get more decent ideas, free fallin stream of consciousness stuff ; so damn hard now. "
Belle: "Yeah, right, whining crap. When do you think they'll be back?"
Nell: "Don't know, don't care. We should think about moving again. Can't sleep, jittery, look at myself in the mirror for some reason. Need new scenery; stop waiting for ideas, men; long as not an axe murderer, don't really care."
Belle: "Can't leave. He might come back you know. Leavin like that in the middle of the night, why do you suppose? Me and him; had so much fun."
Nell: "Their fault, not us, had nothing to do with him leaving. I'm warm and loveable; you coulda been more affectionate, done things with him, stop sayin no, almost always; scared of everything you are!"
Belle: "Implying it's my fault, right? You had nothin to do with it ole warm and cuddly? We had dreams and hopes back then; you did things, risky stuff, nothin could stop you; can't take the first step now, scared to death; just do it, write that book! Get some guts. Neither one of us has any anymore. (quietly) "Do you think it would make any difference to him if he did know bout me?"
Nell: "You're talkin to me about bein scared? You who has trouble takin the garbage out, might run into someone, have to talk to them. Don't talk to me about bein scared. You're scared of living!"
Belle: (quietly) "I'm not scared, if he comes back ..."
Nell: (still railing) "I think you should wear a sign around your neck saying I did it, beat him senseless, I did, out in the open!"
Belle: (quietly to herself): "Looked the other way, they did, kept walkin by, they saw that baby...out walkin."
Nell: "Had nothing to do with that."
Belle: "No more drinkin, no more messes; when they come back, more hand holding, rose smelling, I love yous.
(lights down slowly)
Scene III- Denser
(one woman seated the other stands)
(well lit room)
Belle: (standing, looking out window) "don't'cha love when the sun come out, covers your legs, stomach, face." (she lifts skirt, drops it abruptly, arms coming to side, head falls back in ecstasy)
Nell (seated): "Like a man, right"? (shimmy shoulders slightly)
(Belle drops skirt and good mood)
Nell: (stands suddenly, starts walking around, clasped hands coming to her throat) "You know, I been thinkin"...
Belle: "Careful now."
Nell: "I think I'm ready. I think I could write a really good story now; you know the kind people sit up and take notice; I could tap into that part, my brain you know, big. Lift the lid. Onto the paper, shake things up, you know?"
Belle: (far away) "I like to dream. Dream about how things could be, 'gently down the stream'; more fun than real. Real is painful. Bad things happen. Things get screwed up when you make 'em real; people do things ordinarily don't do, not proud of, keep 'em in your head nice and safe, don't go out, might see something upsetting."
Nell: "Gotta take some risks sometime you know? Gettin all dusty up there in my head, my book. Gotta move forward, Let's stop waitin, stop bein safe, do things again, rattle our cage, connect those little synapsis, forget! We won't feel any better stayin home. Let's go to that party. Get us some fresh meat!"
Belle: (shocked)" Party? Meat? What party? You said you wouldn't bother me about those thing. Not gonna do it, you know that. Not gonna go, can't make me."
(Nell walks cautiously over to Belle).
Nell: "Here's your chance to explore the yes word. It'll be good for you, for us, nobody knows you're here, never know you did it. I'll make sure of that. Let's do something different, dress up. What you gonna wear?"
Belle: "Not gonna wear anything! Have to remind you, when I do get outside my natural habitat and meet up with those creatures in the wild, I say stupid things and embarrass myself. Disappointin. People don't like me when I'm like that, tense, stupid; no Cinderella tonight."
Nell: "You'll be fine. I'll be with you, don't worry. Nothin bad will happen."
Belle: "I'm afraid. Hadn't better go. "
Nell: "You were trapped, before, didn't mean to. Steer clear of utensils."
Belle: (shaking her head) "Yeah, that's why he left, built a good case of resentment, that's it, me always sayin no, that's why he left."
Nell: "Let it go, c'mon, move on, you'll never know why he left."
Belle: "Can't remember what it was like, can you? Sex, touch?"
Nell: "Anybody show you any tenderness you gotta beat 'em to death."
(both women walk away from each other to opposite sides of the room).
Belle: "Go yourself."
(head down talking to herself)
Nell: "Both go."
Belle: "Stop shoving."
(Belle quickly lifts shoulders up, then drops them with a thud)
(Nell wrapping skirt around self in mock fearful protective manner)
Belle: "Gotta promise we'll leave when I say so, promise. Hate these things. Just hate 'em; me and Cinderella."
(lights down slowly)
Scene IV - Creamy
A living room, evening, empty except for 3 people
Man wears black slacks white shirt
Nell, Belle in dresses
One black chair
The room is dimly lit. Nell is standing talking flirtatiously to an imaginary person. Belle is seated pretending to read a book, crossed legs kicking one leg energetically, self - conscious manner.
(Bill is standing watching Belle, walks slowly over to her)
Bill: "Pretty engrossing book, looks like. My name is Bill. What's yours? Want something to drink"?
Belle: (nervously) "No thanks. Name is Cinderella and I'm just fine; enjoying sitting here reading. Myself."
Bill: "You live round here, close by"?
Bill: "Oh, okay, haven't seen you before but then I haven't lived here too long myself; recently moved. Here."
(she resumes reading kicking leg)
"Not very friendly are you"?
Bill- "Don't know many people here; just thought we could talk a little.
(under his breath as he walks away)."Bitch."
Belle jumps up runs after him, pressing him quickly from behind, quickly releases him, then runs back to her chair and sits rigidly hands at sides of chair, looking straight ahead, scared. He immediately follows her back to her chair putting his hands on her throat bending over her.
Nell, oblivious to Belle, has been talking to someone (invisible) flirtatiously twirling around, in an inviting playful manner, playing with skirt.
(lights out abruptly)
Scene V- Viscuous
Next day, both women seated at table
Room moderately lit
One table one chair
Nell: (sitting tensely) "They're all talking, I know what happened."
(Belle walks urgently from one side of room to the other side, in straight lines, looking at Nell)
Belle: "You don't know anything"...
(Belle walks to back of room)
(Nell comes up behind Belle)
Nell: "Saw him talking to you, did you go into the back room, did you hurt him, make him pay?"
Belle: (rolling her forehead side to side on wall) "They ruined me, you know."
Nell: "They who, who they?"
Belle: "Them, back then, have to pay."
Nell: "Oh, them. Ruined. Right. Out to get even, right? Get your pure back, right?"
(Belle turns slowly around facing front, back pressed into wall facing Nell)
Belle: "Want to control me, they do."
Nell: "Where did you go? I looked for you. Shouldn't have gone, I guess."
Belle: "Had to set him straight, not get away with it, touching me."
Nell: (in her face) "Did you do something bad to that man like before? Hurt him bad? Always blaming you are; mixed messages. That man didn't do anything wrong, did he? Anyone show you any tenderness you gotta damn near kill em."
(Belle has started slow, rocking motion side to side then runs to Nell)
Belle- "Have to pay, ruined me."
Nell: "That baby was ruined, nobody looking out, letting her go on, by herself, down there, not be bothered, they saw, that's a crime, real one. Your run of the mill head bashin in crime is nothing, sittin watch tv, not thinkin, trying to forget, they saw; not do anything to help that sweetness, all was left above the water, star hand, sweet yellow curls!"
Belle: "Did you see her? I saw her, blouse open, throwing herself around, showin off, she wanted it; drinkin and all."
Nell- (walking slowly in a circle around Belle) "No responsibility, no help, blamin all the while, everybody else's fault, can't be bothered, that's a crime ; did you enjoy hurting that guy?" (feet thudding on ground as she walks)
(walking around Nell threatening crouch)
Belle: "As guilty as me, didn't do anything either to help baby, we saw; always gettin attention, being the center of it all. People know...they know, you did it, didn't help her either..."
(Nell breaks free, faces Belle, crouching, taunting)
Nell: "Afraid you're nothing special too, right, Belle?"
Belle: "You're the one who's scared. Filled with hate, you are too, not doin anything to help, that sweetness ... I like my life, my books, my music; you can't take those away, control me, try hard as you like. Nobody loves you, either."
(Nell's voice raises, pounding the floor with feet, elbows out in awkward manner holding her skirt)
Nell: "You're lyin, turning this thing around, blamin, pretending again only me saw!"
Belle-(taunting back) "No ideas, no fresh meat, no love neither, guilty as me!"
Nell: "Never shoulda gone, just like before; turned our backs, disappointin again."
(Nell slowly sinks down on chair, legs askew, quietly)
Belle: (far away) "I have things to say all mine, a good girl. He'll come back; won't be scared neither. That other didn't mean anything to me, they don't; just stayin here is good."
(Nell droops over, arms, hands between legs)
Nell: (to herself) "I'll be more interesting, later, get a hold of myself."
(Belle slowly looks over at Nell)
Belle: "You and me Nell, here, together. Since we were kids... you'll see. We'll get us some life; make our dream come true, you'll write a story, a good story, bout us, our adventures, you'll see. I'll go lotsa parties, people, adventures, stuff. We will, no doubt we will. Forget."
(Nell still seated grabbing skirt repeatedly, balling it up, releasing it)
Nell- "Apply myself. I can, stop waiting. Sweet."
Belle: (quietly to herself) "Not comin back..."
Nell: (faraway) "No doubt."
(stroking Nell's hair)
Belle: "We'll get a new look, cut our hair, be different, we will."
(lights fade to dark)
Neila Mezynski: ballet dancer turned choreographer, abstract painter turned writer found object sculpture/installation artist.