Play 3: Neighbors

31 Plays in 31 Days is a challenge for playwrights during August. The goal? Write 31 plays. Doesn’t matter how long or how good they are. I’ll be posting a few here as I go for accountability’s sake.

Completely dark — no lights. Rustling along the edges. A gasp of breath. Something sliding — being dragged. A faraway yell. Silence. Then:

JANE
Can we, please, can we get some lights on, I know…I know that’s silly, I know but… I can’t I can’t do this anymore I can’t

FATHER
Oh, oh, of course we should why didn’t we think

Stumbling as FATHER searches for a switch.

MOTHER
It doesn’t matter now. None of it fucking matters now.

MOLLY
I’m so sorry for

MOTHER
Don’t say it

Pause.

MOTHER
Don’t say anything.

FATHER
She didn’t… It… It doesn’t matter. I’ve found the lights

JANE
Wait

FATHER
What is it

Silence.

JANE
It won’t be here when you turn them on, will it

Pause.

MOLLY
I don’t think he’d’ve gotten to the lights if it was here.

MOTHER
It’s gone. It got what it wanted and left.

Pause.

JANE
Okay. I’m ready.

We hear the light switch. Lights do not come up.

JANE
What’s happening?!

MOLLY
Of course, damn shit stupid dumb fuck, of course

JANE
What?

FATHER
Your cell phones, of course

JANE
What?!

MOLLY
They stopped working when…

MOTHER
All the power, the electricity, the electronics

Pause.

JANE
It controls them.

FATHER
Maybe it only shuts them off

MOLLY
Maybe…

Pause.

MOLLY
Look, I can’t possibly

MOTHER
Shut up

FATHER
Honey/please stop

JANE
It’s not her fucking fault/how could she have known

MOLLY
It’s fine it’s fine it’s fine just

MOTHER
Listen

Pause. Dragging. MOLLY gasps. FATHER screams, we hear a kick or punch, a cat wailing, and a thud before skittering.

JANE
What is it?!

FATHER
Oh, god, I kicked, I kicked the

MOTHER
You kicked his cat

JANE
Brian’s?

Pause.

MOTHER
Well, not anymore.

JANE
God

MOTHER
Fuck you, you were all thinking it.

The lights flicker. MOLLY and JANE are on the floor clutching each other. MOTHER sits somewhere. FATHER standing close to the edge of the room.

FATHER
It’s gone.

JANE
What?

FATHER
Look, my phone’s working; it’s gone. It must be out of, out of range or something. I’m calling the… police. Stay here but…but we should call the police.

MOTHER
They can’t do shit.

FATHER
Look, I know… they’ll know who to tell. He can’t, we can’t be the first….

MOLLY
No.

JANE
Or the last…

MOLLY
No.

FATHER
I’m calling. I’m calling them, okay?

He calls. A conversation with the 911 operator while:

JANE
Molly.

No response.

JANE
Molly.

MOLLY
Yes.

JANE
I can’t help but feel….I mean, I know it’s stupid but…

MOLLY
Yes

JANE
It’s stupid, it’s stupid, I know, but I can’t help…I get scared so….I mean, this isn’t how they end, is it? Horror movies never end like this…

MOLLY smiles.

Lights flicker. Blackout.

End of play.