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THE FAIRIES TOOK JUNIOR

by
J. A.
Ricketts

Workshopped, written and performed with the Performing Arts Group, Basement Theatre, Arts and Culture Centre, St. John's under the directorship of Patricia Andrews

Act 1, Scene 1

Full lights. Jane and Junior are hanging out. (Junior can run up the steps among the audience if he wants to)

Jane: Junior, stop running around like a crazy guy! This is supposed to be a quiet walk, not a race! You know we’re not even supposed to be out here on Fairy Island!

Junior: Ah, go on with ya! That stuff is for old folks. All our friends sneak out here once in awhile.

Jane: Well, let’s sit over here in the sunshine. I wanted to talk to you about helping with my arithmetic. I think I’m gonna fail it.

Junior: Sure I’ll help you, and you help me with my reading. You knows I can’t read worth a damn.

Jane: (big yawn) Oh my God, I’m some sleepy…..must be the fresh air…….(closes her eyes, leaning against Junior)

Music comes up and fairies come in…SL.  Bonfire Dance…chanting…

F1:    There is no better place to be

          Than here with us, beneath the trees

          Where sun is bright and grass is green!

          Come, and play with us!

F2:    Listen to our voices kind

          And let no thoughts be in your mind

          All sorrows and sadness be left behind!

          Come, and dance with us!

F3:    Join our laughter!

F4:    Feel no pain!

F5:    The sun is warm, there is no rain!

F6:    Let our music fill your ears,

          It’s time to play, we’ll have no tears.

          And here you’ll stay for years and years.

F7:    So eat and laugh and play with us!

F8:    Forever you will stay with us!

F9:    And ever joyful you will be, here with us, beneath the trees.

Golden Girl brings cake to Junior

GG:  For you, my darling.

Junior:       All for me?

GG:  Yes, my love, all for you.  Come, try some. You will never taste better.

All fairies: (urging) Yes!  Try some!  Just a little, it’s ever so good, (etc)

GG:  Please.

Fairies dance off SL. Junior follows them

Jane awakens

Jane: Junior! Junior! Where are you? (looks all around for Junior) Junior! You’re scaring me……..this isn’t fun anymore. Please…come out right now! My God, Junior! Where’d you go? How could you leave me on Fairy Island by myself? Oh God. Suppose the fairies took him! I have to get his mother. I have to get Miz Helen.

Jane runs off SR

Lights fade….scene change.  Add a table and bread pan, table and chairs, the bench, patchwork quilt, cushions, rug.  Tablecloth.

Have radio on sideboard, playing low….(Harry Hibbs tape)

Act 1, Scene 2

Making bread, three sisters present, Beulah, Philomena, they are playing cards.  Helen and Sister Mary Agnes are chatting.

Sister Mary Agnes: Mmmmm….Oh my! That bread smells good! We don’t get to smell that very often in the convent. It’s some good to be home again for a visit!

Helen: It’s good to have you home with us , Agnes. The girls don’t get to see their only aunt often enough. (aside, lowers voice) Even though I knows Junior is the apple of your eye.

Beulah:  I did not come all the way over here to get beat by you…hurry up and take your turn.  Gotta get home before dark….so the fairies don’t get me. Don’t rub the spots off the cards, come on!! Play!

Philomena:  Fairies, my arse…don’t be so damn foolish. They wouldn’t be long bringing you back once they saw what they got. 30 for 60!

Philomena slams hand down on the table.

Sister Mary Agnes: well, children, you haven’t changed. Still squabblin’, I see. And…Philomena….language…

Philomena: Sorry, Aunt Agnes….

Beulah:  Go for it girl, if you can, you had better have the five!

Loud Bang on door….

Mother: (goes to answer the door) Who in the name of God is that now banging at the door?

Jane: Ms. Helen, Ms. Helen, come quick, Junior is gone!

Mother: (takes Jane by the arm and comes to center stage) Calm down girl, hold your horses. What do you mean Junior is gone? Gone where??

Jane: Oh, it is all my fault, we weren’t supposed to be there…Mom always said not to go there…

Mom:  Go where…where, for the love of God?

Ann Marie enters.

Ann Marie:  What’s wrong?

Jane:  It was such a beautiful day, I said we would be back before dark, and we didn’t think there would be any harm in it. 

Philomena: (gets up) Any harm in what?  Sit down Jane and you start right at the beginning.

Jane sits down.

Ann Marie: Please don’t tell me you went “there” (she says this accusingly)

Beulah:  (blesses herself) Sacred Heart of Jesus, you don’t mean Fairy Island?

Jane starts to cry and nods her head.

Beulah:  Oh my God, my God, what are we gonna do?

Sister Mary Agnes: Hang on girls. Let’s not panic. Helen, what do you want to do?

Mother:  We gotta go out to Fairy Island and get ‘em before it is too late. (Sense of urgency in her voice) Ann Marie, get the crucifix off the wall. This has happened before, the old people say the only way to get him back is to pray and hold up the crucifix.

Philomena: Oh, for God’s sake, will ya give up with the fairy tales!

Mother:  Oh Agnes, thank God and the Blessed Virgin that you’re here. Michael is out in the woodshed. Will you go tell him something has happened to Junior?

Ann Marie comes back with the crucifix, Mother grabs it and turns to her other daughters.

Mother:  Philomena, stay in the house. Don’t stir out till I gets back. Watch that bread don’t burn. Beulah, Ann Marie, you come with me. Stay right behind me and do exactly what I tells you!

Mother: He never even put any bread in his pocket. I am always telling him to make sure that he has breadcrumbs in his pocket.

(Mom, Beulah and Ann Marie rush out the door.)

(Sister Mary Agnes puts her arm around Jane, who is sniveling with fright)

Sister Mary Agnes: Come on, my child, I’ll go speak to Mr. Michael and then I’ll walk you over to your house. It’s been a few years since I saw your mother.

(Sister Mary Agnes and Jane walk towards  SR. Sister Mary Agnes has her arm around Jane’s shoulder)

Jane: (sobbing) Oh, I hope nothing bad has happened to Junior. He’s my very best friend. Like, you know, I never meant to leave him by himself. I don’t know what came over me. Its like I blacked out or something. But, I promise, Sister Mary Agnes, I PROMISE, I’ll never ever leave him alone again – not for the rest of our lives!

Sister Mary Agnes: Hush, my dear. It’s not your fault. Things happen. Sometimes we don’t know why. We just have to have faith…

(They exit SR) Philomena is left alone to look after the house.

Lights down.

 

GREEN CLOTHS:Elaine SL covers rocker and Jr Chair. Heather and Tina cover tables, sideboard.

 

Act 1, Scene 3

 

Outdoors. Junior is on the fairy side of the wall…

Voices offstage: Mom, Ann Marie and Beulah, yelling for Junior.

Then… They see the fairy wall, music, colors.

 

Mom: (holding crucifix in her left hand, high above her head) Hail Mary, Full of Grace, pray for us sinners! Junior, leave that place right now and come to me! Sacred Heart of Jesus, deliver him. Junior, this is your Mother!

Ann Marie:  I can’t believe what I am seeing.   Oh, Mom, look, what’s that wall? (looks towards the audience) It’s beautiful, like rainbow glass! 

Mom:  Hail Mary, Blessed Virgin, make them let go of my son! Away fairies, release him!

Ann Marie:  That music, it’s beautiful, like something from a dream. I need to get closer. 

Beulah:  Ann Marie, don’t listen to that fairy music! Put your fingers in your ears now or they’ll get you, too, just like Junior!

Mom:  Kneel! Kneel down!

Annemarie and Beulah kneel, Mom stands behind them and they say the “Our Father” slowly building with urgency) 

Junior comes out backwards SL. He has a circle of leaves over his salt and pepper cap..…

Mom:  Take this Crucifix and hang onto it for dear life.(gives it to Beulah) Junior, my God, Junior.

(Annemarie drifts towards the wall. Mom pushes her back.)

Beulah:  Get that wicked thing off your head.(hauls off the leaves) Put your back against mine, Ann Marie. Mom and Junior will lead the way home and I’ll keep facing the wall and keep that crucifix between them and us.

They go offstage: Junior first, Mom behind with a good grip on him, Annemarie, Beulah, backwards, with crucifix held high.

Lights down, fairy music fades

 

Act 1, Scene 4

Kitchen. Junior is sitting, looking dazed, Jane is on the floor at his feet, Mom stands behind him. Philomena and Beulah sit at table. Dad stands near her.

Jane: Oh, Junior, I saw them coming up the garden with you and I just had to come on over! Junior, where’d you go? I got some fright!

Helen: Annemarie, get  him upstairs and make him take off them clothes and give ‘em to your father as fast as you can. (goes to SR) Michael, then you burn them clothes, every stitch that boy’s wearing. We’ll find Sister Mary Agnes. Where’d she go, anyway?

Jane: She’s over at my house having a cuppa tea with my Mom. I run over and get her.

exit Jane SR.

(Junior and Annemarier leave, stage right)

Michael:  For the love of God,(stands up) I’ll go light the damn stove. There’s six parts to a stove, you know - Lifter leg and poker…damper hole and scraper. Fairies! What nonsense!

(Michael leaves, stage right)

Philomena:  Will ya all stop talking about the music and those foolish fairies. What happened out there? Do not tell me that you got caught up in that superstition again. Dad’s thinks you’re all cracked! And so do I!

Beulah: Shut your mouth, Phil. Tis all bad enough.

Mom: (sits in rocker)  Your Nanny told me that a young girl disappeared years ago when your Father was a boy.  Now he says he can’t remember anything about it. I sometimes wonder if he is in denial. After all, he’s not saying it’s foolishness to burn the clothes.

Philomena: (gets up, clears table)  Now give it up, Mudder! You and Dad have a good marriage. Daddy has stood beside you through the birth of all of us. He loves us all and I know he loves you. When Junior came along, that was it! We realized how much he wanted a son. It is probably the same for every father.

Ann Marie enters

Ann Marie:  Mom, I have to tell you there is something wrong with Junior. I don’t think he can speak anymore, (Ann Marie is struggling to get her words out) and…and… there is something else, his eyes, there is no color left in them.

Philomena:  Mom, for God’s sake, what’s wrong with him? Don’t you think I should be getting a doctor instead of waiting for Sister Mary Agnes? 

Mom:   We have to have a holy person; a doctor can’t help us now! God and the Blessed Virgin got him back. Now the rest is up to us.

Enter Sister Mary Agnes.

Sister Mary Agnes: Jane said to come quick. She said The fairies took Junior but you prayed and got him back. Well done, Helen! Your faith is strong. Sacred Heart of Jesus and his Holy Mother is helping you.

Helen: Agnes! Thank God you’re here!  Help us please! This is where I need your strength and your prayers.

Helen and Agnes sit – rocker, Jr’s chair – hold hands and pray together in a low voice.

Beulah:  (beckons to Ann Marie) Now,  don’t speak a word of this to anyone. Understand?

Annemarie nods.

Philomena: For once we agree on some part of this fairy rubbish, Beulah. For God sakes don’t go talking about this outside the house.

 

Lights go down

Act 1, Scene 5

Lights back up. Beulah is at sideboard. Michael, Philomena, Annemarie sitting at table. Sister Mary Agnes in rocker. Junior is asleep in the chair… nightmares, Mom is trying to wake him up..  

Mom:  Junior, wake up, you are having a bad dream. Sacred Heart of Jesus! I can’t wake Junior!! Sister Mary Agnes, let’s put a drop of Holy Water on him. There it is, there on the table.

Michael pretends to take it and drink it, Helen grabs it ,gives it to Sister Mary Agnes, who shakes it on Junior. Junior wakes up and cries.

Junior:  (wakes up sputtering, wiping the holy water off his face) What’s goin’ on? What are ya all doin’ here. What are you shakin’ on me, Mom?

Mom:  (smoothes back his hair) we brought you home, Junior, you are safe. Take your time now, and tell us what happened to ya.

Junior:  Me and Jane went for a walk over across the sandbar. Jane said there was no harm in us going over there. It was such a nice day and all that. I found this good spot – see? – between two rocks, for us to sit down for awhile. I dunno what was wrong with Jane –she, like, dozed off or something. Then I saw this wall. It was kinda like…

Ann Marie: (interrupting)…like rainbow glass.

Junior:  (nods) I reached out and touched it and my arm went right on in through. Then, somehow, I was inside. I forgot all about Jane then.

 (He looks sheepishly at Jane) I didn’t mean to go in. Honestly! But on the other side of that wall it was something else! No where in Newfoundland is it that nice and warm and beautiful.

Beulah:  (leaning forward excitedly) And then what happened? 

Ann Marie: (jumps up)  Tell me what you saw! Did you see any fairies? What did they look like?

Dad:  (looks stern and angry) ANNEMARIE!! SIT!

Annemarie sits.

Junior:  There was a party going on or something. They had music and dances and laughing and talking! They were having a feast. The tables were piled with food like I never saw before. And the clothes they were wearing! (he shakes his head) I don’t even know if I can describe them, they were so beautiful. (He looks at the sisters, with his old Junior-grin) You girls would sure like to have clothes like that.

(Junior stops talking. His gaze is fixed somewhere mid point and his mind is back there with the fairies)

Junior: There is this girl, with long hair, like gold, and she offers me this big cake – all for myself. Oh my…………..(once more, words fail him)

(Dad turns away, shaking his head. He is having a hard time dealing with the fact that his only son is gone cookoo about fieries)

Philomena: Junior it's all in your mind boy... .There’s no fairies out there. I’ve been out there a thousand times and I never saw one.

 

Junior:  Then you called, Mom. My God, Mom, you really scared these nice people, shouting and praying in such a loud voice. They liked me and I wanted to stay with them for a bit. I thought I had myself a feast, but – no -  they wouldn’t let me take anything with me. One of them grabbed me and pushed me back out through the wall. I really, really wanted to stay.

Helen walks to SR, very agitated and upset.

 Junior: Why oh why couldn’t you just leave me alone? Everything is so bright there. The sky is more bluer. The grass is more greener. And the food looks different from ours. It got more colour or something.

Mother: Tell me the truth now, Junior. Did you eat anything while you were in the faerie world? Anything at all?

(Junior looks at her with those silver eyes. Tears spill out and run down his cheeks. He looks sad and miserable. He nods.)

Junior: Yeh. I spose I did eat a bit of that nice cake. I only tasted it……..

Beulah: There you are! He ate the something! That’s it! That’s it! Junior will never again be entirely in this world. A part of Junior will always belong with the fairies!

Crosses stage to Junior

Beulah: (Loudly, with emphasis) YOU  -  ARE  - NOT – SUPPOSED – TO – EAT – THEIR – FOOD.

 Every fifty years or so, someone disappears on Faerie Island.  Sometimes, with prayer, they come back. Most times, they do not. The old folks have their own ideas about the fairies. Putting bread in your pocket to appease them is one. Another is burning the clothes of those that make it back. The important one is about tasting faerie food. If you eat anything in the faerie world, you are lost forever!

Ann Marie:  Mom, will you tell me why you burned his clothes? And why would fairies want our plain old bread when they have all the wonderful food that Junior told us about?

Mom: (goes to rocker)   I really can’t tell you the reasons, Ann Marie. It’s got to do with faerie magic contaminating the clothes and apparently our bread is real and their pretty, colorful bread is not real. They try and capture humans every now and then to mix our warm blood with theirs. Prayers seem to work in getting a captured person back

 That doesn’t mean that fairies are evil. No one knows for sure if they are evil or real, or not.

Dad and Philomena: (interrupting, loudly) We KNOWS they’re not real!!!!

Beulah exits SR with clothesbasket under her arm.

Mom: Your great-grandmother and your grandmother told me and someone told them and I have to tell you.  It goes on from generation to generation. No one knows if all these things work or even if the stories are true, but we have to try. Even though I believe in God and the Blessed Virgin, I also have to remember the old ways!

Sister Mary Agnes: yes, Helen, remember how they would worry about us, if we went berypicking? My dear, our mother had us loaded down with so many medals and charms, that we could hardly walk! (laughs)

Michael: That’s enough! That’s enough! The boy needs to stop this talk and rest. Someone turn on the radio for him.

Mom:  For God’s sake Michael, what’s wrong with ya? You got no patience and you’ve been crooked all week since we rescued Junior.

Michael: (stands up)  Rescued Junior? Rescued from what? The boy didn’t need rescuing, its all in your head – look at this place, it is like a friggin shrine in here, enough to drive ya nuts!

Helen:  Why don’t you just give in and go see poor old Mrs. Abe Barker over in the cove. You were with her young girl Bridie when she went missing years ago. They got her back with prayer

Michael:  Prayer, my arse, I knows nuttin about it; I’ve had enough of this fairy foolishness.

Sister Mary Agnes: Michael, Helen. Please. Don’t let this come between you. You need to be strong together for the sake of your children

Michael throws up his hands in disgust and storms away.

Philomena exits too.

Sister Mary Agnes: Why did you suggest that to him Helen? You know there was always some things kept quiet about that time. I remember Mother would always shush us whenever we asked.

Helen: Because, Agnes, I think Michael has blocked it from his mind for all these years. It is what makes him so stern and harsh. If we could get him to open up to the idea, it would help him realize what Junior has facing him.

Sister Mary Agnes: Ah, Helen, nothing changes in this place. I’ve been all over the world; I’ve witnessed many things; worked with cardinals and bishops…..yet when I return to this little place it is like time has stood still. You know, I think there’s too much Irish in all of us!

Lights down

 

Act 2, Scene 1

Home of Mrs. Abe Barker: Tablecloth gets changed, flip charts with paintings, bottle of rum and glass, lights up. Mrs. Abe at the table – Michael knocks on the door.

Mrs. Abe:  Michael, my son, come in, come in. Sit down and have a drop of rum.

Michael:  (sitting down and sipping rum) Mrs. Abe, it’s been a long time, girl. You know how it is… 

Mrs. Abe:  Yes, b’y, news travels. I heard about your little boy. I spose thats why you might be here. 

Michael nods and has another swallow of rum.

Mrs. Abe:  Before we talk, have a look.

Michael:  My God Mrs., you’re some handy wit a paintbrush.

Mrs. Abe:  Wait now, me son. 

Mrs. Abe (yells out to Bridie)  Bridie, look who’s come to visit.

(Bridie enters)

Michael:  My God, how can it be? You haven’t aged one bit.  

Bridie:  Mikey, remember the rainbow glass? And we heard that music? I wanted to go closer and I did too, didn’t I Mikey?

Bridie walks up to Michael and touches his face and says

Bridie:  That’s okay, Mikey.

Bridie wanders offstage

Mrs. Abe: Do you remember, Michael? 

Michael:  Oh, I remember that day. Tell me what happened after.

Mrs. Abe:  When you came running in to your Mother and told her that Bridie had gone into the wall, your Mother summoned everyone she could. We all traipsed out there, armed with our crucifixes and prayer beads. The older folk had been through it before.

This thing goes back hundreds of years. It was a night and day vigil. Some would go home and others would take their place. There was constant prayer. It took a week, Michael. The wall stayed visible to everyone. We were all scared it would disappear before we got her out. But it never did. Once day, out popped Bridie. Just like that.

 (Mrs. Abe heaves a deep sigh)

I have cared for her ever since. Her poor father was worn down by it. Pneumonia took him one winter, leaving just Bridie and me. She would never eat if I didn’t coax her. She says that food got no taste. At first, she was desperate to go back on the island. That’s why we moved away.

Those paintings are what she says she saw while she was gone. She says she has nothing else, only her paintings, to remember it by. Maybe your boy isn’t as bad as Bridie, seeing as he wasn’t gone for so long. (She sits there ,shoulders bowed,  an old woman with a heavy burden) I don’t know, Michael. It’s too strange for me. All I can do is care for her. I wonder what will happen when I’m gone, too.

Michael:  I don’t know missus, I am starting to wonder the same thing myself.

Lights fade

 

Act 2, Scene 2

(Glenn is Junior, wearing a coat and has the same hat as young Junior.  Annemarie sits at kitchen table, playing solitaire. Junior comes in. He is slightly drunk. Has a beer bottle in his hand)

Annemarie: Hey there Junior. How come you’re home so early?

Junior: Ah, Jane and them are gone to the dance up in the Parish Hall, I couldn’t be bothered. (throws his coat on Jr’s chair, sits at the table with Annemarie)

Annemarie: Junior, b’y, you needs to get out more. Go to a dance, why don’t ya? Get yourself a girlfriend. (Scoops up the solitaire game and puts away the deck) You know what I think? I think you compare every girl with that fairy girl you saw when you were fifteen. You got to forget that, my love. That’s only going to drive you crazy.

 (gets up, picks up coat, muttering) ……..Speaking of driving you crazy……

Junior, Remember the time the fairies took you when you were fifteen?

Junior: Yes, I remember it, Annemarie. I’ll never forget it. I wish to God it hadn’t happened. I keep seeing the girl that gave me the cake. She looks just as young and beautiful as she did twenty years ago. I dream about her. She tells me to come back and promises that life would be happier for me in her world. I really believe that is where I belong.

(gets up) I feel empty and sad inside me all the time. No matter how much I drink and party, it never goes away. (Takes a deep swig of his beer bottle) I walked out there once, you know – when I was loaded drunk.(sits)

Annemarie:(sits) Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Junior! You never did!

Junior: (holds his beer bottle up to the light and gazed through the glass of it, as if he is seeing it all again) I stood on the sand for a long time – perhaps an hour. Faintly, I could hear the music but the wall never appeared. Somehow, I knew that if I took one step onto that island, the wall would come. I almost did, but I thought of Mom, and I knew I could not cause her any more grief. Perhaps one day, if she’s gone before me, I will do it.

(Junior drops the beer bottle, puts his elbows on the table, and sinks his head into his hands. Annemarie puts her hand on his shoulder.)

Ann Marie: Junior b’y, I believe you, I seen it too, but we gotta live in this world.

Lights down

Act 2, Scene 3

Kitchen. Philomena at sideboard with spuds, Beulah at table. Jane sits on floor.

Philomena:  Our only little brother, grown to be a man, yet still yearning after something that I never believed was real. Ann Marie still swears she saw the fairy wall.

Jane:  Well, he’s not short on girlfriends; girls say he is cute, even if his eyes are a bit disturbing, I think they are kind of mysterious. 

Beulah:  Our poor brother can’t seem to settle on any particular girl. But what about Ann Marie’s new friend Jennifer? She’s carefree and funny, she’s a great bit of fun, and I’d give anything to have that head of beautiful blond hair.

Jane: (get up) If you ask me, there is something strange about her. Junior needs someone more grounded, besides, she’s got fat ankles!!

Philomena:  Well, I think that Jennifer is the best thing since sliced bread. Junior has had so many miserable, unhappy years.

Beulah: It’s time that he straightened up and got himself a good woman.

Jane: he’s got himself a good woman, if he’d only notice her………..

(Lights down)

Act 2, Scene 4

(Outdoors. Annemarie and Jennifer are sitting on blanket)

Jennifer: Annemarie, I’m so glad we have become friends. Being new to this town, I never knew anyone. I was so lonely. But now, since meeting you and being included with you and your friends, I’m not lonely anymore.

Annemarie: I’m glad too, Jennifer. You’re different from the other girls. All they talk about is clothes, and movie stars, and makeup. You seem to see the magic in everything. You love flowers, sunsets, birds, and music. Things I never really thought about before.

Jennifer: (brushing her hair) You know, sometimes I feel like I’m from another world or something.(sighs) I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. (pins up her hair)

 Junior enters SL. He sees his sister sitting with someone. From behind, her hair reminds him of the fairy girl. He stops. He can’t believe what he sees. He puts his hands over his eyes for a moment, takes them away, and realizes that he’s not dreaming.

Annemarie: (turns and sees Junior) Oh Junior, there you are! Come over and meet my new friend Jennifer.

The girls stand up.

Jennifer turns. Their eyes meet. Junior is confused. Jennifer pauses. Some part of each recognizes the other..

Jennifer: (holds out her hand) Hi Junior. Annemarie talks about you all the time.

Junior : (takes her hand) Jennifer. Are you sure we haven’t met before? You remind me of someone.

Jennifer: Excuse me?

Junior: Er…er…nothing. Where did you say you came from?

Jennifer: Oh, I just moved here, from…from….. (Turns away, confused)

Junior: Perhaps you’d like to go to the dance tonight.

Annemarie: Well! Finally! Say yes, Jennifer.

Jennifer: (smiling) Oh, I’ll say yes, alright.

Lights down

Junior has a different shirt.

Act 2, Scene 5

Kitchen.  Rum bottle. Two glasses. Dad and Junior are sitting together, having a drink.

Junior: Dad, b’y, tis not very often that you and me gets  the place to ourselves without all the women around.

Dad: Yes, Junior, my son, I don’t know where time goes, I don’t. Seems like only yesterday me and your mother had babies crawling around the house.

Junior: Maybe there will be more babies soon, Dad. You’ll have grandchildren someday. (takes a large gulp of rum)

Dad, I know you’ve worried about me ever since that time out on the island. But now, I wants to tell ya that I’ve met a girl.

Michael lays downs his drink, gets up from the table, clutching his left arm. His face is all screwed up.

Junior: Dad? What’s wrong?

Dad: I dunno…..my arm feels funny and I’m sweatin’ like a bull…can’t get a deep breath…

Junior: (jumping up) Here sit down. Sit down. Have another sip of rum. (Makes him sit) You all aright, Dad?

Dad; (mops his face with his handkerchief) Yeah. I’m okay now. Must be something I ate. (Junior hovers over him, worried) I said, I’m okay now. Leave me alone. I’m okay. Gas, that’s all…….(swallows some rum. Smacks his lips) Now the, tell me about this girl. I knew you’d turn out okay.

Lights down.

Props: Cooking Pot, Teapot, mugs, carnation milk can, sugar basin purity biscuits,

Act 2, Scene 6

Kitchen: Helen in rocker, Sister Mary Agnes sits left of table, Annemarie on floor with head in Mom’s lap, Beulah behind Mom, Philomena doing a slow pace SL, Junior SR by sideboard.

Annemarie: Dad can’t be dead. He can’t! He was fine just this morning! He went off through that door to the sawmill, with his lunchbox in his hand, waving good-bye. Now they’re saying he dropped dead of a heart attack? That’s impossible. He just can’t do that! He can’t leave us! (Starts crying) Oh Daddy!

Philomena:(voice is tear-filled. Moves across SL, towards Annemarie) Hush, Annemarie. Hush! You’re only upsetting mom even more. People die all the time. It is just a new thing for us, that’s all. I know it’s hard but be strong. Be strong. (suddenly sits, as if her legs can’t hold her anymore)

Beulah: (crying too) Our Dad is with the angels now. I know he’s watching over us, wherever he is.

Junior: (sadly) Me and Dad never did have much fun together – except for when we went duck huntin’. I got no one to go shootin’ ducks with now.

Helen: (crying, wiping her eyes with a tissue. Blows her nose) Oh Michael. I wish I could’ve had a chance to say good-bye.

(Beat) I cooked your breakfast – like I do every morning – fish and brewis with lots of fat pork scruncheons – and you went off through the door,(gets up, moving towards SL) saying, “can’t wait to have the salt meat and cabbage for supper tonight.”

(Junior touches her shoulder. She shrugs him off.) There it is there in the pot, look. (Wails) You’ll never eat it now!

Sister Mary Agnes: Why don’t we say the prayer for departed souls together?

 (puts arm around Helen, heads her to the rocker)

(Philomena rises and walks SL. She wants nothing to do with prayers).

Sister Mary Agnes and Helen: (blessing themselves) Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy; our life, our sweetness, and our hope.

To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

(Philomena has a change of heart and kneels, blessing herself.)

Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the soul of your faithfully departed servant, Michael through mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Lights down.

Make changes for Mrs. Abe’s kitchen:

Flipchart

Different table cloth

Act 2, Scene 7

Mrs. Abe’s house. Same props. Sister Mary Agnes comes to visit.

Both onstage.

Mrs. Abe: Sister Mary Agnes! Nice to see you again after so many years.

Sister Mary Agnes: (reaches out and hugs Mrs. Abe) Martha, Martha.

Mrs. Abe: Oh my, no one has called me Martha in years and years. It is always Mrs. Abe this and Mrs. Abe that. I’ve totally forgotten who I am anymore. Come in. Come in and sit down.

Sister Mary Agnes: I’m sorry Martha but you were always Martha to me. (looks around)

Where did you get all the lovely paintings? 

Mrs. Abe: They’re Bridie’s, Agnes. You remember she was taken that time. It was just before you left for the convent.

Sister Mary Agnes: Yes, I do remember. We did a lot of praying that time. I sometimes think it was what swayed me towards my decision to  dedicate my life to the Church. I was so unsure for so long……….

Mrs. Abe: (sits at table) and…….did you ever regret your decision?

Sister Mary Agnes:  (sighs) Well, no(sits at table)…...and yes. It was a very fulfilling vocation – not easy, mind you. I especially resented having a shaved head. Itch! My dear, there was times that I wanted to rip off that veil and just scratch!

(sighs again) I got used to it after awhile. Just like I got used to having no husband, no children, but I had the the Church. I have university degrees, I have worked at the Vatican, I have traveled to distant lands, but…….

(Stops. Walks over to the paintings) There’s many mysteries in the world, Martha. This….. (gestures to the paintings) this thing that Bridie and Junior have experienced is only one of them.

Mrs. Abe: (shaking her head) That still doesn’t make it any easier, Agnes.

Sister Mary Agnes: I know. I know. (walks around restlessly)

Sister Mary Agnes: Martha……or Mrs. Abe, if you want……….I’ve made a decision. I’m not going back. I’m leaving the convent.

Mrs. Abe: (stands up. She is shocked) What, Agnes?(goes to her) Do you realize what you’re saying? Why? Why?

Sister Mary Agnes: Because there’s work here for me, Martha. Let someone else take care of the people of the world. I’m going to take care of my own people! Helen and Junior need me. Michael is not here for them now. I’ll get to the bottom of this fairy business. By hook or by crook.

Removes her veil slowly, and stands looking at it.

Mrs. Abe: ………….are you sure, Agnes?

Agnes: (still looking at the veil in her hand) I’m sure……….

Scene ends…….lights down.
 

Act 2, Scene 8

(Kitchen. Mom and Junior are sitting at the table, discussing who should get Dad’s clothes, his gun, tools, etc. 

Helen: Oh my, I can’t bear to think packing away all his things! I wants you to have it, Junior.

Junior: Yes, mom, I know. When me and Jennifer gets a place of our own, I’ll put it all there. You knows I’m not much of a hand with tools, even though I try. And his capelin net! No one could swing that out over the water like Dad! He taught me how to do that. He always said his gun was mine when he was dead. Oh my, the ducks he shot with that gun!

Enter Annemarie, Philomena, Beulah, who has a small book in her hands. Annemarie goes to sit at table, Beulah stands behind her, Philomena goes to Mom and Junior.

Philomena: Mom, Junior, we found something…... (pauses)

Annemarie: We were getting Daddy’s good suit ready for the funeral and we found it in his inside pocket………

Philomena: It’s a journal. In Dad’s handwriting. Dad kept a journal and we never knew………

Helen: Sacred Heart of Jesus……… (Raises her eyes to Heaven) Michael, old man, how many more surprises are you going to lay on me?

Beulah: (opening book) Mom listen to this. Dad wrote this! “I decided to write down some of my thoughts. I’m not a very good writer, but here goes. It hasn’t been a bad life, with Helen by my side. I don’t care what you say, you can have all the money and fame in the world, but without the love of a good woman, you might as well be as poor as a church mouse.

Me and Helen are pretty good together, you know. A little house, three beautiful girls, all grown now, and doing quite well for themselves, thank you very much!! No sir, not bad at all. That’s not to say now it wasn’t a bit tough on the nerves every now and then. I mean what with those boyfriends, and crushes and broken hearts, and engagements …well, let’s just say it’s a good bloody thing that Helen was around!”

(Beulah is, sobbing) Oh Daddy……we always wanted to make you proud.

Annemarie: (Taking the book) Let me read some, Beulah.

“And then, of course, (gets up, goes to Junior. Junior stands up. Annemarie hugs him) there’s Junior. Poor old Junior. My only boy. Never been quite the same since that time when he was fifteen years old. Helen and Beulah thinks the fairies took him. Fairies!  I got a hard time gettin’ my head around fairies.

(Philomena gets up)

 Helen nagged me to pay Mrs. Abe Barker a visit. I knew I had to do that to ease me mind. It took me a few days to get up the gumption to go over to the next cove to see old Mrs. Abe and her daughter Bridie. When I see Bridie, same age as me – with no grey hair, smooth young skin, I was frightened to death.(Annemarie sits on floor) Frightened to death! I needed a few belts of Lamb’s Rum to keep me straight. Sweet adorable Jesus…….but her eyes were just like Junior’s.” (crying uncontrollably) Ohhh, poor Daddy………

Philomena: (taking the book) Okay……… My turn now.

(sits)“Well, my mind started spiraling out of control and it took me to a time and a place long ago, when Bridie and I were young, that I thought I had put away forever, out at that little island.

Like Junior, we saw a rainbow wall, where, we knew none had stood before.

We were just kids, you know, carrying on, daring each other to go in. I’ll swear to this day on a stack of bibles that it was just an accident, but I pushed her a bit too hard and in she went. Right through the wall, it seemed to me. The only thing I remember after that is running back to get Mrs. Abe and to explain,(beat) as best I could at the time, what happened.

 It was an accident, just an accident. Mrs. Abe told me after that it took a week(stands up goes SR) before they found Bridie wandering around in the bush on the island, barely able to utter a word you could understand.

(goes to Junior. Junior stands up) Junior, my son, I’ve never told you any of this and looking back, I suspect if I did, it might have bridged the gap between us.”

(she passes the book to Junior) I can’t read anymore. Here, Junior. You have a go.

Junior: Boy! Who would have thought that Dad was such a writer!

 (starts to read) “I provided for Helen and the youngsters the best way I knew how. I put a warm and dry roof over their head, food on the table. An ordinary working man like me doesn’t go around telling people his young fella was taken by the fairies.

(Beulah gets up. Goes to Junior. She also tries to hold Philomena’s hand. Philomena pulls away and gets up SL)

 Sure, the boys down at the lumberyard would have said I was cracked. I love Junior like any father would love his son. I’m not sure if he fully realizes that. I should have helped him more…….”

That’s all he got written Mom. Poor Dad, tis never gonna be the same around here without Dad. (Passes the book to Helen) I guess you had better keep this yourself, Mom.

Lights down. 

 

 Act 2, Scene 9

Outdoors. Sister Mary Agnes and Jennifer are onstage.

Jennifer:  Sister Mary Agnes……

Agnes: Just Agnes now……..

Jennifer: …….. thank you so much for taking this little stroll with me. I need someone to give me a clear, unbiased opinion. Even though you’re part of Junior’s family, you’ve been away for a long time and you are able to view all this with less emotion.

Agnes: What is it, Jennifer? I have been watching you with the family. It’s like something is holding you back. You seem to be unable to give freely of yourself. Why is that?

Jennifer: Yes! That is exactly what I want to talk about! Junior and I have become close…but……I’m not sure………(stops)

Agnes: Not sure? Not sure about what, Jennifer?

Jennifer: Well…….I’m not sure about our relationship. He hasn’t said it exactly, but I think that it is in his mind for us to be married.

Agnes: And would that not be a good thing?

Jennifer: Sister Mary Agnes, I have to tell you the truth. I don’t feel as though I belong here. I love you all…..but….I want to be somewhere else…………….and I don’t even know where that somewhere is!!

Agnes:  Jennifer, you are aware of the incident in Junior’s younger years, where he disappeared. Did you know that his mother got him back through the intersession of God and the Blessed Virgin?

Jennifer: Well, everyone makes reference to it every now and then, but I never ever got the whole story. You say he disappeared. Where? Where did he go?

Agnes: (slowly) there’s some that say he went into the Fairy World, my dear.

Jennifer: (becomes agitated) What? What? How crazy is that? There’s no such thing! No such thing!

Agnes: Why does that upset you exactly, Jennifer?

Jennifer: (pacing back and forth) I don’t know. I don’t know. It was, like, when you said it……when you said Fairy World..…a sharp pain struck my heart. (sits abruptly) Where is it? Where is this Fairy World that you’re talking about?

Mary Agnes: My child, perhaps you need to ask Junior………

 Scene closes………lights down.

Same props - outdoors

Act 2, Scene 10

Scene opens outdoors. Jennifer and Junior are together. They are sitting on the bench. Junior has his arm around Jennifer. They appear very lovey-dovey. Jennifer gently touches Junior’s cheek.

From the bushes, unknown to them, Jane is listening, SR. She is so jealous and angry.

JUNIOR: Jennifer, something happens to me when I am close to you. It is hard for me to explain, but I can close my eyes and a memory comes back to me. I feel like it has haunted me for a long time and now, for some reason, it fills me with a kind of peace – almost like coming home. I wonder, is this what love feels like? I never felt it before. All I know I don’t want this feeling to stop. Do you feel the same way, Jennifer? Does any of this even make sense to you?

JENNIFER: Oh, Junior. It makes more sense than you will ever know. The feeling that you have - I have it too…when I close my eyes, I see beautiful people, dancing, celebrating. And the colors - they are the most vivid colors I have ever seen! Everyone is smiling, laughing…and I want us to be a part of that…I want to share that with you. You are the kind of man I have always wanted. I think a person’s eyes are windows to their soul and you have a beautiful shining soul.(gets up, walks) Oh Junior…..if only we could go away from here…..somewhere far, far away……..I know of so many beautiful places. You and I could go together……..

JUNIOR: (gets up SL) Yeah…. speaking of that….what secrets are you keeping. Aren’t lovers supposed to be open and honest with each other? You won’t even tell me where you’re from…… Well, I would like to know more …..if you love me enough, you’d tell me.

JENNIFER: (moving SR) Well, darling, you haven’t been completely open with me either. Your sisters say you had a weird incident happen to you when you were young. What’s up with that?

JUNIOR:Yeah………well….that……..I…….I’d rather not talk about that.

JENNIFER: My love, (takes Junior’s hands) you HAVE to talk about it. Open and honest, remember. Here’s a bargain: if you will tell me about that, I might tell you more about me. (hugs him)

Jane can’t take anymore. She runs out. Junior and Jennifer are shocked to see her.

JANE: (yelling, pushing Jennifer) leave him alone, you witch!

JUNIOR: Jane, what are ya’ going on with? You and me have been buddies all our lives. I care about you too. And Jennifer likes you. She even said so. (Turning to Jennifer) Didn’t you Jennifer?

JENNIFER:  (getting up from bench, walking away offstage) I think you need to work this out yourselves Junior. I’ll talk to you…. later….

Exit Jennifer SL

JANE:  Junior, what are you doing?

JUNIOR:  What do you mean, what am I doing? What are YOU doing? Coming in here like a savage, spying on me and Jennifer. What’s gotten into you lately?

JANE:  It’s you and that Jennifer that’s getting into me lately.

JUNIOR:  What in god’s name are ya’ going on with?

JANE:  I just can’t stand aside and watch this happen to you all over again…

JUNIOR: … all over again…?

JANE:  Junior, (takes him to the bench and sits) ever since that day, you know, when you and me were on the island, and you got taken by the faeries while… I…. Well, I’ve wanted so bad to have the old Junior back.

 You see, if I hadn’t fallen asleep, if I hadn’t left you alone, maybe all this wouldn’t have happened. I’ve tried so hard to be there for you ever since, to take care of you through all your troubles.

 We’ve went to dances, we’ve went fishing, we even went duck huntin’ after your father passed on…. Just regular stuff Junior. I’ve just been tryin to bring you back to reality, back to this world. (Junior rises. Walks to SR)

 After all you’ve been through, and how far you’ve come, I just feel like this Jennifer girl is hauling you back into a dream world again. (pauses)

(Junior comes back and sits down) I dunno Junior, there’s just something about her…I can’t quite put my finger on it…

JUNIOR: (takes Jane’s right hand in both of his. Kisses her hand.) Jane, you’ve always been there for me, you’re my best buddy...  I don’t blame you for what happened… But, (puts Jane’s hand back)  I’m with Jennifer now, and I think things are gonna be ok. She is amazing. Don’t you see that? (Junior stands up)

JANE: (stand up too, shaking her head) I can see clearly Junior, its you that needs to open your eyes… those beautiful eyes…. (Approaches Junior, places hand on face, sways towards him, as though to kiss him. Junior pushes her away)

JUNIOR:  (backing away) Let’s just pretend this never happened….

Scene ends…lights down.

Act 2, Scene 11

Anne Marie, Junior, Kitchen. Junior has a beer bottle.

JUNIOR: (pacing)  Where could Jennifer have gone? The last time I seen her was the other day when Jane stormed in on us and…. Never mind… I just don’t know what happened. She never said goodbye. It’s just like she… vanished off the face of the earth.

ANNEMARIE: (gets up)  Hold on, slow down Junior.(takes beer bottle from him) Did you have a fight with Jane or Jennifer or something? I know that you and Jane have always been very close.

JUNIOR:  Yeah a little too close …..(pauses)… did you ever think Jane was jealous of Jennifer?

ANNEMARIE: (sits again)  Well, Philomena and Beulah said something of the like,(Junior sits) but I never really thought much about it.

JUNIOR:  Well, me neither, but then again, you know me, always got my head in the clouds. She tried to kiss me you know.

ANNEMARIE:  Oh… oh my… in front of Jennifer?

JUNIOR:  No, she frightened Jennifer away first.

ANNEMARIE:  Well, how you feel about Jane?

JUNIOR:  I think a lot about Jane, she’s always been there for me, like you Annemarie, Jane is just like another sister. But Jennifer is different. You know how I’ve always tried to explain to you what it was like on Faerie Island? Well, Jennifer makes me feel the same way. (pauses) I dunno, it’s hard to explain.

ANNEMARIE:  It’s okay Junior, I understand.

JUNIOR:  I dunno Annemarie, I just can’t take anymore of this waiting around and not doing anything. It seems like my whole life is one thing after another, but nothing ever seems to work out. Then Jennifer comes along, and the world starts to make sense to me again, and now she is gone too. I’m gonna take control of things for once, I’m gonna march out there and find her, and I’m not coming back until I do.

 Junior grabs his coat and starts to put it on. Annemarie hurries over to him.

ANNEMARIE: Junior wait, just be careful….(she helps him button his coat)   I’ll wait up for you until you get home.

Junior exits. SR.  Annemarie busies herself folding a blanket.

Knock at door

ANNEMARIE:  Junior? (hurries towards door)

JANE:  No it’s just me, Annemarie, I wanted to talk to Junior. But he just barged on past me in the lane. Do you know where he’s gone?

ANNEMARIE:  He flew off the head, he went looking for Jennifer, but something tells me, he’s not gonna find her. She just disappeared. I’m afraid if Junior doesn’t find her, he might go back out to the island…

 JANE:  Oh no, what have I done, this is all my fault. I need to go find him before it’s too late.

 Scene ends….lights down

 Act 2, Scene 12

Outdoors. Junior, alone on the island

Enter Jane, looking for Junior, finds him

JANE:  Oh Junior, thank god you’re here. I thought I’d never see you again. I’m so sorry, c’mon, lets get out of here, you need to go home. (nervously)

JUNIOR:  I’m not going home; I’m never going home again if I can help it. This is my home. I’ve never been happy since I left here anyway. Now that Jennifer is gone, this is all I have.

JANE:  Junior, you still have me……(walks SR)

Junior stands up. Makes to follow Jane. Fairy music starts. Junior looks back over his shoulder. Sees fairy wall.

Jennifer appears, golden hair down, her back to Junior. (fairy music, lights)

JUNIOR:  Wait……wait…. Jennifer? (beat) Is that you?

Golden Girl turns around, revealing that it is indeed Jennifer, in fairy form; she takes Junior by the hand

JENNIFER:  It’s time to come home (smiling)

Exit Junior, Jennifer into the rainbow wall SL

JANE: (running over from SR to Center Stage) Junior, Junior, where are you? Junior you’re scaring me. Please come back.

Oh God Junior, where’d you go? Not again.

Fairy music Jane sinks to ground, in a fairy trance, like before ) Fairies dance out………

THE END... lights down.

 

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Copyright © 2008 JARICKETTS
Tuesday, 19 January 2010