A dialogue between a gaunt woman and a child called Nora. But does Nora actually exist?
(a women is sitting on a bed folding the sheets. Her hair is untied, her face looks unhealthy. A doll is placed on her side. Her movement is stiff and slow, and she is singing.)
Through a veil of bygone years
Through the mother's hidden tears
One dear vision oft appears
Out in the mist of my day......
Waters break on rocky shore
Sea winds signing as of yore
Sea birds crying as they soar
Over the mist of my day...
(starts walking to a chair which is placed in front of the bed) What day is it today? December--December 30th? 31st? Isn't today a Saturday? Aren't I--aren't I supposed to be on a weekend break? Aren't I? (pulls a chair and sits down, putting the doll on her knees and the bottle on the floor) Hi. How are you? What's your name? (listens then starts to smile) Nora Williams? Nice name, child. Who named you? (listens) Your mother. And her name is......Juliet. Juliet Williams, what a beautiful name. Are you having your weekend break now?
(nodding) How lucky you are. Me? I don't. There's no break here--yes, it is boring. sometimes people do bring me little snacks, candy--(counting) green, yellow, red, look colorful and sweet but taste really strange. (points at the bottle down her feet and shrugs) Sometimes they take me out for a walk--you should have a look at those neat little path, sometimes there are flowers, but they don't let me go out too often. Yeah, I know, I know. I had a window next to my bed and I tried to get out from there, but they find me anyway and moved me to another room with fences outside the window. How did they find me?
Well...well...no, I can't remember. I really don't know why I'm here, I don't know what my name is...start with letter...letter...I cannot remember. (looks at her feet, then spot something from the ground. She picks it up) Oh! Look at this! What is it? Look how neat--it is. (place it next to her cheek) It's a comb. (frowns) How come you don't know what is a comb? Where are you from? Brooklyn? What an coincidence! I was from there too, and there's a little store down-stairs...of course, before I came here...a small, small store. They did sell combs, don't they? How come you don't know? They also sell all kinds of other stuff, (start moving the comb along her neck like she is cutting it with the comb. Note: here shows the character's tendency of suicide) I go there a lot...everyday...yeah I go there a lot times...they had everything I needed. They sell baby clothes for 10 dollars, they sell diapers for 8, and milk feeders for 6...why am I remembering all those stuff? Ooooh! (drop the comb, smiling happily, speak with a mysterious voice) I have a baby!
(looking down at her belly, touching it as if there's a baby inside) I have a baby...I have a baby...she is so--pretty. so--pretty. (picks up her doll and raises it above her eyes, looking up at it) Look at her hair! Aren't they soft and beautiful? Look at her eyes! Aren't they clear and shiny? (lowers her arms and puts the doll next to her face) do we look alike? (starts chuckling) thank you. Yes, she is such a sweet little thing, she is... two, she was two a long time ago...a long time...her name is...(her face slowly changes from happy to frightened, patting her head) I'm such a terrible mother! (drops the doll, swipes her hands from her forehead to her chin) Oh yes! It's Nora. Isn't that your name too? How funny! (became upset, played with her hair) no, I haven't seen her for a long time, I don't know...all of a sudden she is not there, they said she is gone. I mean, what kind of answer is that? She is only two, how far do you suppose a two years old can go by herself? I kept asking and asking and... suddenly I'm here.
(looked down at her hands) No, I'm not her only parent. She also has a father, a fa..ther. I was seventeen, then...(she takes down a flower from her hair) did he give me this? (smiles again) yeah, he is a perfect human being. He is tall, he has blue eyes, he sing songs to me...he disappeared, too. They said he left, so I asked them whether he is gone too...they said it's different. what's the difference between gone and left? Aren't they mean the same? Maybe it's him who brought my daughter away. But why did he leave me? Why did he leave me? Does he--does he love me no more? He would not! He promised. He promised he will marry me, he promised he will never--well, let's let this (raises the flower) tell us. (starts taking off petals from the flower) love me, not love me, yes, no, yes, no, (hesitates, frowns, then continues) no, yes! He still loves me! Don't you think he will come back to me, with my little Nora, and get me out from here? Oh--my baby will be grown up by that day! She will have black hair as me, and she will be this tall? (reaches out one of her arm, then her expression changes to suspicious) How is this real? How come you and her look so similar? Who are you? Nora...Nora Williams... No! She is Nora, you can't have the same name...you can't have the same hair...same eyes...(stands up, then walks forwards and squat on the ground, reaching her arms forward, smiling with surprise happiness) you are her, aren't you? You are my daughter! Can't you recognize me now? Do I look not like your mother? Come here, come here! Look at you, look how beautiful you are...
Are you here alone? Where is your father? Is him with you--is him down stairs, maybe? Are you coming for me? How did you get in here? They put me here because there's no windows for me to get out, no windows, only endless white walls...I hate them. People in white coats came and left...they locked the door...here they come! Listen, they are very, very wicked people, they don't let me talk much or eat much, they just let me sleep, sleep, and sleep... They don't care what you want, they always want to make people sleep...Sometimes I just simply tell them that I don't want to sleep, but then they push needles in my arms, needles with smelly liquids inside: they called it injection. Can you understand? Don't let them see you, I will not let them see you, cuz then they will drag you away from the door, push you into one of those narrow little rooms, and you will never have a chance to break out. They will take you away from me and let me drink bitter liquids...I can't let them see you. They will never let me see you again... Quick, Nora, hide under here! (stands up again, pointing to the chair) Come on! Your mother will protect you. I will protect you. I will not let anyone else take you away from me again...Now I'm going to sit back, sit straight...(Sits down, but start shivering) I can trick them. I can make them think I'm good and then they will not prick me with the needle...(looking down, waits for a few seconds, and relaxed) Thank god they are not coming in here! You can come out now, my child, come out, (stands up, and kneels beside the chair) it's safe now. (reaching her arms down the chair, but there's nothing.) Nora?
(she leans her back backwards, looking around at the audiences with a expression of sadness and confuse.) Nora?
(she creeps on the ground, reaching for the bottle, takes the pills out and put them into her mouth. She keeps eating them without having any expressions on her face until the bottle is empty and she throws it away. She puts her head on the chair, reaches for the doll again, finally pulls it's arm, drags it towards her, and starts to sing again.)
let the memory home to me
never more thy face I'll see
let the memory home to me
lost in the mist of my day
(she closes her eyes, the doll drops from her fingers. Note: if possibly, let some tears run down)
1 Note: the song Juliet is singing is 'the mist of Isley' by Hayley Westerna.