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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1516561
Rated: E · Script/Play · Romance/Love · #1516561
One-act play adaptation of my original story The Oracle's Ring.
(Curtain rises, revealing a a bathroom on stage right, open to the audience.  On stage left is a kitchen and dining room, with a young lady pacing agitatedly back and forth across the stage.  She is speaking into a cell phone as she paces)

SARAH

You won’t guess what happened next, Mags!  Her nephew actually accused me of being some sort of gold digger!  I mean, come on.  Do they still use that word?


(Single light comes up on the side of the stage to spot a seated woman, clearly on the other end of the phone)


MAGS

(Mockingly, ala Robin the Boy Wonder, sidekick to Batman)
Golly jeepers, I don’t think so!
(Snorting laugh) 
All sarcasm aside, what did you do?  The nephew is clearly a baboon.


SARAH

You may not believe this, but I actually held my temper.  I bit my tongue doing it, and I may not be able to taste anything for a week, but I didn’t say a word. 
(Smugly) 
I just gave him “the look”.


MAGS

(Laughing) 
Oh, no!  Not “the look”!  That’s been known to peel paint and curdle milk!  You used it on a human?


SARAH

Ha!  Not only did I use it, but the lawyer used it as well!  Not that it made a difference.  The nephew must have a hide like an armadillo.
(She moves to the counter and gives a crock pot a stir)


MAGS

Well, what happened next?  Did he melt away into a steaming puddle?  Crawl back into his hole?


SARAH

No. 
(Sigh, then a bit dreamy) 
He just pouted, like a cute little boy. 


MAGS

(Pause) 
Oooh. 
(Sarah stops pacing)


SARAH

(Suspiciously) 
Oooh?  Oooh?  What does that mean?  What are you thinking?


MAGS

(Innocently) 
Oh, nothing.  Much.  But you did mention that he was cute.


SARAH

Well, yeah, but did you miss the “little boy” part?  Besides, I’m not looking for a date, for crying out loud.  Now do you want to hear the rest of the story or not?


CMAGS

Sure, sure.  Go ahead.  I’m all ears. 
(Sits back and leafs through a magazine, bored).


SARAH

The lawyer gave me an envelope with a letter from Miss Abigale.  It was a really sweet letter, handwritten on vellum of all things, telling me that I may not have been a flesh-and-blood daughter, but I was a daughter of her heart.


MAGS

What a lovely thing to say!  You know, I think modern language has lost so much romance.  We should go back to the old-fashioned way of speaking.


SARAH

(Exasperated)
When you’re done with the English 101 lecture, let me know.  I haven’t reached the really weird part yet.



MAGS

Cool!  There’s a weird part?  Do tell!


SARAH

Well, the letter went on to say that Miss Abigale knew I really didn’t want or need anything from her, and that I had been a good neighbor and friend to her over the past couple of years.  But she did have something that would be of no use to her nephew, and meant so much to her that she wanted me to have it.


MAGS

(Excitedly)
That can only mean one thing: jewelry!  Oh, but wait. 
(Pouts) 
If he has a girlfriend, he could use the jewelry.
(Waves hands in the air) 
Okay, okay, okay!  Sorry!  Sorry.  Keep going.


SARAH

Thank you.  Anyway, the lawyer then gives me this ancient box.  Just to get a rise out of the nephew, I took the box over to the window and opened it where he couldn’t see inside.


MAGS

Can hardly wait!  What was inside?  Tell me!  Tell me! 
(Moves to end of seat in anticipation)


SARAH

(Pulls a necklace from under her shirt and dangles the ring at the end in front of her eyes) 
A really old, nondescript ring.


MAGS

What’s it look like?  Tell me more!


SARAH

I did say nondescript, didn’t I? 
(She keeps dangling it in front of her) 
It might have had some sort of design on it at one time, but it’s so old that its been worn off. 
(She shudders and drops the chain down the front of her shirt again)
Here’s the weird part.  Miss Abigale left another letter, this one in the box, and tells me not to say anything to her nephew.  There’s a big stipulation about never letting men in on the secret of the ring.  Supposedly, this ring has been passed down from mother to child, older woman to younger, for more than just generations.


MAGS

(Confused) 
What do you mean by that?


SARAH

(Plops down in a chair at the dining room table) 
I mean that it has supposedly been passed down, woman to woman, for thousands of years


MAGS

(Draws word out) 
Oo-kaaaaaaaay.  So what is it?  Magic or something?


SARAH

Or something.  According to Miss Abigale’s letter, it’s supposed to tell me who my – get this – “true love” is.


MAGS

(Brightly)
Right!  And how’s that supposed to work?


SARAH

I have no idea!
(A strong knock offstage is heard) 
Oops!  Gotta run.  Someone’s at the back door! 
(She rises and heads to the back door)


MAGS

Don’t go!  I want to hear more!


SARAH

(Peeks out the window then draws back quickly and whispers into the phone) 
Good grief! You want more?  Get this: the nephew is here!  I have to go! 
(She hangs up on a protesting MAGS, then straightens her clothes before opening the door.  She blocks the door, not letting the visitor in.  light fades to black on MAGS.)


SARAH

You appear to be lost.  Can I help you?


LUKE

Well, I figured if I used the front door, you might slam it on me and never hear my apology.  Oh, and you would miss out on the flowers.
(He hands her a vase of flowers he had been holding behind his back)


SARAH

(Melts a little)
You brought me flowers?  How lovely! 
(She takes the vase and places it on the table) 
They’re gorgeous.  Thank you.  Come on in. please.


LUKE

Don’t forget the apology.  I, uh, I’m afraid I didn’t come across as a gentleman today at the lawyer’s office.


SARAH

Gentleman?  No.  More like a pig.  Or was it baboon?


LUKE

(Winces) 
Yeah, that, too.  I was unkind.


SARAH

(Corrects him) 
You were an idiot.  But that moment has come and gone. 
(She looks at him a moment then makes a decision) 
Have you eaten yet?


LUKE

No, actually.  I was hoping to ask you to dinner and apologize more formally.


SARAH

Oh dear.  I seem to have ruined that idea. 
(Motions to crock pot) 
Well, would you like to join me here?  It’s only stew, but I always make a ton.  I didn’t feel like cooking yesterday, and since I can live for a week sometimes on one pot, there’s more than enough for two.


LUKE

Stew, eh? 
(Walks over and sniffs the pot) 
And homemade as well? 
(Pause) 
Well, maybe I could stay.  If you twist my arm. 
(Gives Sarah puppy-dog eyes and best charming smile)


SARAH

(Smiles back) 
Consider it twisted.  Why don’t you wash up?  Bathroom is down the hall, second door on the right.

(As soon as Luke leaves the room Sarah grabs the phone and dials.  Spot up on MAGS.)


MAGS

Hello?


SARAH

(Dramatic loud whisper) 
Luke is staying for dinner!


MAGS

Who’s Luke?


SARAH

The nephew!


MAGS

Uh oh.



SARAH

Uh oh?  What is uh oh?  It’s only dinner!


MAGS

It’s not the dinner.  You’ve upgraded from
(Makes quote signs with her hands
“the nephew” to
(More quote signs)
“Luke”.


SARAH

But that’s his name!  And the ring…


MAGS

(Interrupting) 
What?  He gave you a ring?


SARAH

(Almost shouting) 
No! 
(Looks quickly towards the hall doorway and whispers) 
No!  Miss Abigail’s ring!  It’s, it’s very…warm. 
(Places her hand over the ring still under her shirt.  She pulls her shirt out a little to look inside, does a classic double-take, then smacks a hand against her chest) 
And glowing!  Oh my gosh, it’s glowing!


MAGS

  The magic ring, which is supposed to tell you who your true love is, is warm and glowing?  But wasn’t earlier?  Like, beFORE Luke stopped by?  Wow!


SARAH

  What do I do now?
(Spoken quickly and worriedly)


MAGS

What else?  Have dinner with the man!  You two might discover you actually like each other! 
(Picks up another magazine and starts thumbing idly through the pages) 
Where is the nephew, oh, sorry, Luke, now?


SARAH

He’s in the bathroom washing up.  I better go, he should be coming out any minute!


MAGS

Call me back a.s.a.p.! 
(Spot fades as Sarah hangs up.  She puts the phone down and starts piddling around in the kitchen; stirring the stew, getting out bowls and silverware, a pitcher of lemonade, salt & pepper, etc.)


(Meanwhile, SPOT up in the bathroom…)


(LUKE pulls out his cell phone and punches in a number.)


LUKE

Come on, Zach.  Pick up!


(Spot up on Zach, opposite side of stage from MAGS.)


ZACH

Hello.  Zach Taylor.


LUKE

Zach!  You won’t believe what I’m doing!


ZACH

Luke?  Where are you?


LUKE

Zach, I’m having dinner with Sarah!


ZACH

(Incredulous) 
You’re what?  Luke, have you lost your mind?  After what happened in the office this afternoon?


LUKE

That’s why I stopped by her house.  I had to apologize for being the south end of a north bound horse.  And it’s really strange how she changed.


ZACH

Her house?  Apologize?  Oh, Luke! 
(Covers eyes for a moment) 
As your friend and lawyer, just let me go on record stating the fact that you.  Are. crazy. Period.
(Pronouncing the last 4 words seperately for emphasis.)


LUKE

(Snorts) 
That’s always been a given.  But here she isn’t the ice queen she was in the office.  She actually smiled at me.


ZACH

(Dryly) 
Probably picturing the lawsuit she is going to slap you with for harassment.


(In the kitchen, SARAH puts candles on the table, then removes them, then puts them back)


LUKE

Ha, ha.  Very funny.  No, really.  In the office she was all ice, and snooty.  And I gave her good reason, acting and talking like I did.  But she accepted my flowers…


ZACH

Flowers!


LUKE

…and invited me to eat with her…


ZACH

Better check for rat poison.


LUKE

(Exasperated) 
Cut that out!


ZACH

All right, all right!  Just let me say one thing.


LUKE

What?  “Have the poison center on speed dial”?


ZACH

Noooo,
(Drags word out)
but that’s a good thought.  No, as your friend, just let me wish you good luck.


LUKE

Thanks, buddy.  I better go!  Talk to you later.


(LUKE  hangs up on ZACH, quickly washes his hands, then dries them on the towel, turns and leaves.  He enters the kitchen)


(SARAH is toying nervously with the ring.  As she sees LUKE she suddenly drops her hand with a yelp, shaking it as if it were burned)


LUKE

(Slightly alarmed)
What happened?  Are you okay?


SARAH

I’m fine!  I’m fine.  You just startled me. 
(Turns slightly and drops ring back down her shirt.)


LUKE

You didn’t look startled.  You looked like you’d burned your hand.  Let me see.   
(He holds out his hand expectantly).


SARAH

(holding out hand.) 
See?  No burn.


LUKE

(Takes her hand, looks at her palm with a serious expression, then gently lets go) 
Weird.


SARAH

Now that the reading of palms is over, are you hungry? 
(She moves briskly to the stove)


LUKE

Sure.  I’m male.  That means food is always a priority.


SARAH

(Laughs)
Sounds like I have a lot to learn about the male of the species. 


(They sit down at table, but before Sarah can dip up stew, Luke grasps her hand again)


LUKE

I’d like to offer my services as teacher.


SARAH

(Leaves her hand in his and places other hand over ring inside her shirt. Speaks with a hint of flirting) 
You know, I just may take you up on that offer!   
(Hesitates, then starts dipping bowls of stew for LUKE and herself)
So. 
(Clears throat)
Were you very close to Miss Abigale?


LUKE

(Shrugs and eats)  Fairly close, I guess.  She was my only living relative.  I tried to visit her at least once or twice a week.  Make sure she was okay, fix the plumbing, hang pictures, keep her company, that sort of thing.


SARAH

(Frowns) 
I wonder why we never meet.  I was over there for a little while almost every day.


LUKE

(Shrugs again) 
Different schedules, I guess. 
(Eats more)
Man, this stew is delicious!  Better than any restaurant.


SARAH

Thank you.  If you think this is good, you should try my meatloaf.


LUKE

(Hopefully) 
Is that an invitation?  I’ll even bring my own fork!


SARAH

Sure, why not? 
(Laughs)
But I’ll supply the eating utensils.


LUKE

It’s a date!  But I still owe you a dinner first.  To make my apology official.

SARAH

(Waves a hand at him.) 
You don’t have to do that.


LUKE

Yes, I do.  It’s a three part process.  I’m sure it’s in the Man Guide someplace: Apology, Flowers, Dinner. 
(Scratches chin.) 
Or is that the Woman Guide?  I get confused.


SARAH

(Laughs)
Wait.  The Man Guide?


LUKE

Sure.  You females have the Woman’s Guide that you use to drive us men crazy with all the stuff we’re supposed to know and do.  Only fair we men develop our own guide out of self-defense.


SARAH

You know, that makes total sense.


LUKE

(Salutes.) 
Thank you! 
(Holds bowl out hopefully, and Sarah dips out a second helping) 
So how did you meet Aunt Abigale?


SARAH

It was shortly after I moved in.  I was out front weeding when she stopped by to introduce herself.  One minute she was complementing me on my green thumb, and the next thing I knew I’m planting window boxes and shrubs for her.  I really have no idea what happened!


LUKE

Don’t worry.  You’re not losing it.  She’s always been able to…I don’t know…maneuver people?  Get them to volunteer to do things that they hadn’t planned to do initially.


SARAH

Exactly! 
(Hurridly, afraid of insulting Luke about his aunt)
Oh, but not that I minded or anything!  I really enjoyed doing things for her.


LUKE

Don’t worry.  She was a master at it.  I know she liked you, and that the feeling was mutual from the way she talked about you.


SARAH

Really?  She hardly ever mentioned you.  I mean, I knew you were her nephew, and you’re a “medical professional”, I believe was the term she used.


LUKE

(Pronouncing carefully) 
Vet-e-rin-ar-i-an.  She had hoped that I’d go into the human part of medical practice, but she was never critical of my choice.  In fact, her Yorkie Gizmo was my very first patient.


SARAH

When did she have a dog?  I never saw one.


LUKE

Oh, he died a few years ago from old age.  Tiny thing: couldn’t have been any bigger than a half loaf of bread.
(Measures out size with hands)   
Weighed about as much, too.  Cute little guy with black button eyes.  When we first met he ran right up to me, all excited.  He waited until we were eating lunch together, then peed on my shoe.  Took me a moment to realize what was happening.  Tiny thing had a bladder the size of Texas! 
(Sarah laughs.) 
Anyway, I let out a bellow, and that dog ran right to Aunt Abigale and leaped into her lap, then up onto her shoulder!  I didn’t know who’s eyes were bigger; the dog’s or Aunt Abigale’s!


SARAH

No way! 
(Laughs) 
Really?


LUKE

Cross my heart! 
(Crosses heart.)


SARAH

Ah, the exciting life of a vet.


LUKE

You think that was something, I have some real horror stories!


SARAH

(Shaking head.) 
Luke, I really have to ask you something.  If you knew Miss Abigale liked me, and that I liked her, why the big scene at the lawyer’s office today?  You just don’t come across as the type to act like that.


LUKE

(Sheepishly) 
Jealousy.  Idiocy.  A combination thereof.  Annoyance, maybe, that I was no longer the “only child”.


SARAH

That’s just…silly!


LUKE

A friend tells me it’s a man thing, whatever that means.


SARAH

Probably the same as a husband thing.  A gal I work with says she can tell her husband something, and three weeks later he acts like it’s his own idea.  Drives her nuts.


LUKE

Want to know a secret? 
(Leans in close and looks quickly around as if making sure no one else can hear.) 
Drives us nuts, too!


SARAH

Maybe that’s the secret to relationships: both men and women are crazy!


LUKE

(Holds up drinking glass in toast) 
I’ll drink to that!
(As glasses clink SARAH grabs front of shirt directly over hidden ring.)


LUKE

(A little alarmed) 
Are you okay?  What’s wrong?


SARAH

No, I’m fine.  I…uh…splashed some lemonade. 
(Rises) 
I’ll, uh, be right back.  Excuse me! 
(Leaves kitchen)

(Enters bathroom and pulls cell phone from pocket, quickly dials.  Light up on Mags.)


MAGS

(Sing-song voice) 
Hello!


SARAH

I don’t know what to do!


MAGS

Sarah?  What’s wrong?  What’s happened?


SARAH

Everything!  Nothing!  I don’t know!


MAGS

Oh, okay.  Sounds like everything is normal.  I’ll just go back to my reading. 
(Rattles magazine pages)


SARAH

No, wait! 
(Takes deep breath) 
I just don’t know what to do!


MAGS

Good, good.  Breathe.  Now tell auntie Mags what’s happening.


SARAH

I think I could fall in love with Luke.


MAGS

Really?  And this is a bad thing how?


SARAH

I don’t want to be influenced by an inanimate object!


MAGS

Inanimate…the ring?  What happened?


SARAH

We just made a toast; something silly about men and women, and the ring went supernova!  Didn’t burn me, just…I don’t know how to explain it! 
(Frustrated.)


MAGS

So the ring showed approval, and you freaked.


SARAH

You’re giving it human attributes!


MAGS

No, YOU are giving it human attributes.  You probably just flushed like you do around men, and super-heated the ring yourself.


SARAH

(Hopefully) 
You think so?


MAGS

Doesn’t that sound more reasonable?  The ring is a round piece of metal; no heart, no brain.  You need to take responsibility for your own thoughts and actions.




SARAH

(Heaves big sigh.) 
You’re right.  I’m…projecting things.
(Confidently) 
I control myself.


MAGS

There you go.  Feel better now?


SARAH

Yes, actually.  I better go.


MAGS

Good luck!


SARAH

Thanks! 
(Hangs up, then starts trying to wet down spot on shirt.  Meanwhile….Luke stops eating and pulls out cell phone and dials.  Lights up on ZACH)


ZACH

Zach Taylor.


LUKE

Hey, Zach.


ZACH

Luke?  What’s wrong?  Need me to drive you to the hospital?


LUKE

Ha, ha, very funny.  No, things are actually good.


ZACH

Why are you calling me, then?



LUKE

I think I may be falling in love, but I’m not sure.


ZACH

(Throws arms in the air.) 
Well, what am I supposed to do about it?


LUKE

Nothing, I guess.  I just wanted to tell someone.


ZACH

Thanks for thinking of me, buddy.  Now what?


LUKE

I really have no clue.  I’m an educated man, and have no idea what to do.


ZACH

How about going with the flow, see where you drift?


LUKE

That might work….if I were a piece of driftwood.


ZACH

(Patiently) 
Pretend you’re a piece of driftwood and see what happens.  You don’t have to analyze every little thing.  Loosen up, Luke!


LUKE

Okay.  Okay.  I’ll just…drift…see what happens.


ZACH

(Brightly)
Good idea.  Keep me posted.



LUKE

You bet!  Gotta go. 
(Hangs up just before Sarah comes into room.  Lights down on Zach.)


SARAH

(Dabbing at shirt with small hand towel.) 
I got most of it off.  Sorry about that.  I hate being so clumsy. 
(Sits back down at table.)



LUKE

No problem.  I must have clinked your glass too hard.  Entirely my fault.


SARAH

(Teasing) 
You better be careful.  They might revoke your membership in the Man club.


LUKE

Nah.  I still scratch my belly, drink beer and eat nachos while watching football.  That’s a paid-up lifetime membership.


SARAH

You’re a funny man, Luke.  Not too many men have been able to make me laugh so much in so short a time.


LUKE

Aunt Abigale always said, ‘Where there’s laughter, there’s hope’.


SARAH

(Cocks head) 
I like that.


LUKE

Now.  About the dinner part of the official apology.  Where would you like to go?


(Lights fade on LUKE and SARAH, rise on ZACH and MAGS.  ZACH calls MAGS on phone.)


ZACH

Mags is probably busy painting her toenails or something…


MAGS

Hello?

ZACH

Hey, Mags.  How’s it going?


MAGS

Not bad.  Not bad.  Catching up on some magazine articles I’ve been wanting to read.  What’s up?


ZACH

Oh, nothing much.  With me, anyway.  By the tone of the calls I’ve been getting from Luke, though, something might be in the air.


MAGS

You, too?


ZACH

Uh, oh.  Let me guess.  You’ve been getting calls from Sarah?


MAGS

Yup.  How is there possibly anything happening with those two if they’re both on the phone?


ZACH

Well, the old saying is “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”.  Miss Abigale was a strong-willed woman, and as her lawyer, I should know.


MAGS

Did we do anything wrong here?


ZACH

What’s this “we”, woman?  Miss Abigale did everything on her own!  It was her will, her property, her right to dispense it any way she wanted.


MAGS

True.  I wonder if she realized you and Sarah knew Luke and I.


ZACH

Who knows?  It all boils down to six degrees of Kevin Bacon.


MAGS
:
Six degrees of what?


ZACH

Okay.  Uh, you know, like the movie Six Degrees of Separation?  You know someone who knows someone else who knows…um, never mind.


MAGS

Whatever.  Now what?


ZACH

Well, I was thinking dinner sometime.


MAGS

You’re on!  I’m hungry!


ZACH

(Panicked)
Wait!  What?  Now? 


MAGS

Sure.  Pick a place, I’ll meet you.


ZACH

Uh, how about that new Hawaiian café?


MAGS

Great.  See you there in 20 minutes! 
(Hangs up.)


ZACH

(Staring at phone.  As lights slowly die)
I wonder if Miss Abigale planned that?


(Lights die down.)


THE END
© Copyright 2009 Aratena (aratena at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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