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ACT 1, Scene 1/5

(Stage lights to two senior in college boys, stage left. A girl, unmistakably under the age of ten, sits on a bed back stage right. The taller, more bulky student keeps looking back at the younger girl, while the other lankier one keeps frowning and looking at his fingers. They both speak in quiet voices.)

FREDDIE: (in a hushed tone) There’s no way.

PETER: (loudly whispering) Yeah, dude. She looks old.

FREDDIE: (frowning again) Do you think it’s some kind of practical joke?

PETER: (raising an eyebrow) Can someone “borrow” a kid like that for a joke?

FREDDIE: I guess not. (excitedly) But her hair is red! No one in my family has red hair.

PETER: Was she a redhead?

(beat)

How old were you?

FREDDIE: I must have been, what? (counting on his fingers again) Fifteen?

PETER: (quietly) That’s gross…

FREDDIE: (closing eyes) There is no way that’s my kid.

PETER: How do you know?

FREDDIE: I don’t. But that’s not my kid.

PETER: Well what are we supposed to do with it? You can’t just leave it there.

FREDDIE: (looking at PETER) Really?

PETER: You have to do something.

FREDDIE: S***.

LAURA: S***?

BOTH: No!

FREDDIE: Uh (turning toward the girl-who got up to join them front stage left- running a hand through his hair) Ship.

LAURA: Like battle ship?

FREDDIE: (relaxing a bit) Yeah, like battle ship.(not looking, but reaching for PETER) We…have that game…don’t we, Pete?

PETER: Uhm. I don’t think so.

FREDDIE: Dammit.

LAURA: Dammit.

PETER: (nudging FREDDIE and whispering loudly) Nothing rhymes with ‘dammit’.

FREDDIE: (glaring at PETER before continuing to speak) So. (waving awkwardly at LAURA) Hi, I’m Freddie.

LAURA: (curtly) I’m Laura.

FREDDIE: (squatting down to meet her eye-level) Nice to meet you…Laura. Uhm. How did you get here?

LAURA: A car.

FREDDIE: What kind of car?

LAURA: A Honda.

FREDDIE: No, I mean. (leading on) Like your mom’s car…

LAURA: No, it was Aunt Lory’s

FREDDIE: (to himself) Lory…

LAURA: Her car always smells like feet.

PETER: (proudly) Yeah, that happens when you stink up a good pair of Jordans after working out.

LAURA: (pointing at PETER) Is this yours?

FREDDIE: Don’t mind him. (shaking his head) Anyway, Laura. So, this might sound like a weird question. But what are you doing here?

LAURA: (simply) Mom said it was time for me to spend time with my dad.

FREDDIE: So, she just sent you here.

LAURA: Yep.

FREDDIE: When is she coming back to get you?

LAURA: (shrugging) I don’t know.

FREDDIE: (turning to PETER) WTF?

PETER: I don’t know, man.

LAURA: That means, “Where’s The Food”.

BOTH: What?

LAURA: (sighing impatiently) WTF means Where’s The Food. Obviously. Mom said so.

PETER: (ignoring FREDDIE’S glares) What about “FML”?

LAURA: Feed Me Lobster

PETER: “STFU”?

LAURA: Seasoned Turkey Fills Us.

PETER: “LOL”?

LAURA: Laugh Out Loud. You’re really stupid.

FREDDIE: (pushing PETER out of the way) Laura, is there a number I can call your mom at?

LAURA: (looking through her backpack, handing FREDDIE a piece of paper) Yes, but she won’t answer.

FREDDIE: (taking the crumpled piece of paper and pulling out his cell phone) I’ll try anyway.

LAURA: Whatever you say, (pausing) Pops.

FREDDIE: (staring at LAURA) Get her something to eat, Peter.

PETER: Like what?

FREDDIE: Anything.

PETER: (under his breath) I’m giving her Jack.

(FREDDIE glares back at PETER before bringing the phone to his ear)

Fine, I’ll get some Goldfish. God.

(FREDDIE walks front stage right, the phone ringing off the hook. Eventually the answering machine comes on)

ANSWERING MACHINE: Hey, it’s Angela Bernardi. I’m not available right now, but please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. (Beeps)

FREDDIE: (coughing) Hey Angela. Uh, it’s Freddie Bradley. It’s been awhile. I need to talk to you as soon as possible…(clearing his throat) about Laura. Please call me when you get this. Okay, bye.

PETER: …”OMFG”

LAURA: (sighing) Oily Mushrooms For Garlicbread.

PETER: (playfully to FREDDIE) We should keep her.

FREDDIE: (rubbing his face with his palm) I have no idea how to take care of a kid, Pete. (annoyed) So no, we shouldn’t.

LAURA: (in a low voice) My mom said you’d say that…

FREDDIE: (looking down and clasping his hands together, speaking to himself) I don’t know what to do.

PETER: (looking at the empty bag) Well, we have no goldfish so that’s a start.

FREDDIE: (sighing) Yeah.

(They both start to leave)

PETER: (looking back) Is she coming with?

FREDDIE: (glancing at LAURA for a long time, eyes holding her gaze for a few minutes. She remains unmoving and quiet. Her hands stay at her sides. Finally, with some certainty) Yeah…she’s coming with.

(They all slowly and awkwardly walk stage right)

PETER: …”LMAO”

(Blackout)





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