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Mistaken

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ACT I
SCENE I
(A well-maintained apartment with several
flowers, half-wilted. It’s foggy and gray.
The date is June 17th.)
(MARIA walks to door, rings bell)
HENRY
(walks to door leading outside, opens it)
You’re here! I’ve been waiting for you. Come on in, it’s cold.
MARIA
I brought the cake that you like, as well as your favorite appetizers.
HENRY
Excellent! Let’s get started; I’m starving.
(MARIA and HENRY walk into the apartment)














SCENE II
(A luxurious living room, containing
elegant couches, a rug and a fireplace,
with yellow walls and a bowl of
pistachios on the coffee table.)
(HENRY and MARIA enter)
HENRY
So, what do you think? My interior decorator didn’t do it quite as well as I would have liked, though.
MARIA
It’s wonderful! You said you’re hungry, so do you—
HENRY
It’s fine; I think I’ve got it, thanks.
(reveals a turkey)
What’re you waiting for? We’ve got the food, now let’s eat.
(HENRY and MARIA sit down on the couch)
HENRY
(eating pistachios)
Maria, remember when we met? You are still as pretty as you were that fine day I met you in Whole Foods, maybe more so.
MARIA
Well, thank you. Henry, how’d you like to go hiking sometime?
HENRY
That sounds fine. Are you busy next weekend?
MARIA
No, I don’t think so. Have you ever thought of, perhaps, trying to find your family?
HENRY
My family, Maria, was in the past. I don’t live in the past. I am not my parents.
(cutting turkey)
Here, do you want a piece?
MARIA
Sure, that sounds good. Dear, would you like to take a vacation sometime? Maybe a sunny destination would be nice.
HENRY
Not right now. I have a lot of work, and my interns do nothing. You have no idea!
MARIA
(clearing plates)
How much cake do you want?
HENRY
Not much. Maria, who do you hope you are in ten years?
MARIA
Um, I don’t know. I hope that I’ll get my Master’s degree, maybe have some kids.
HENRY
(muttering)
Wow . . . a kid . . . that’s an interesting idea, one that I will probably never want to delve into.
MARIA
What, you don’t want to? By the way, I have to leave early; I work as well.
HENRY
Well, maybe in the future. Thanks for the cake.
MARIA
(breezily and playfully)
Bye, see you next weekend!
(MARIA leaves, carrying cake)





















SCENE III
(A black bedroom, with
long dark curtains. In the
corner rests a big mahogany
dresser, next to the bed.
Henry is in bed currently,
in silk pajamas.)
(the doorbell rings, HENRY walks over and opens the door)
HENRY
Who is this, to call me at such a late hour?
MRS. SCOTT
It’s Mrs. Scott, Maria’s mother. Henry – something bad has happened. Maria . . . I don’t know how to put this—
HENRY
Madam, what happened?
MRS. SCOTT
Well, you see, I called Maria to ask her about which eggs I should buy at the supermarket, and to tell her goodnight. I always do that, you know.
HENRY
(irritated, tense)
Mrs. Scott, what happened?
MRS. SCOTT
So, I called Maria and the phone rang three times. I called again, for I wasn’t sure if she was with you, or with some of her other friends. I decided to go over to her apartment, to make sure that she was all right, and . . . and . . .
MRS. SCOTT
(breaks off sobbing)
She . . . . she . . .
HENRY
Mrs. Scott, what is the matter? What happened to Maria?
MRS. SCOTT
I went over to her apartment to check on her, and she was there, but . . . She died, Henry. My daughter is no longer living.
HENRY
How do you know?
Are you sure?
MRS. SCOTT
Do you think that after all of these years I don’t know my own daughter? You’ve only known her for what? A year?
HENRY
Well, let’s go over there and check. You have keys to her apartment, I presume?
MRS. SCOTT
Yes . . . Oh, Maria . . .
HENRY
Let’s go, then. Otherwise, it may be too late. I’ll drive.
(MRS. SCOTT and HENRY walk out of the apartment and drive to
Maria’s apartment.)




SCENE IV
(Maria’s apartment
is pristine and dark,
with the shades down.
Maria is unseen.
MRS SCOTT and HENRY
frantically look for her.)
HENRY
Where is she?
MRS. SCOTT
She’s right ---- (screams)
HENRY
Where is she?
MRS. SCOTT
(pointing and slowly backing away)
She’s right there. On her bed.
(MARIA is lying on her
BED,which is next to the desk
and chair, pale and unmoving.
Her eyes are open.)
HENRY
(gasps in shock)
Have you called the police?
MRS. SCOTT
(sitting down on the chair next to Maria’s bed)
No, I haven’t. I thought you would do that.
HENRY
I’ll call right now, I suppose.
(dialing phone for police station number)
Hello, I’d like to talk to the police chief.
POLICEMAN (V.O.)
And why would ya like to do that?
HENRY
We’re dealing with a murder here!
POLICEMAN (V.O.)
Why, may I ask, would you be calling at three in the morning? You plumb interrupted my Dunkin’ Donuts run.
HENRY
I told you – someone murdered my girlfriend! Are you unable to grasp that? It’s rather simple. I could get you fired. Do I have to flash my surgeon’s badge in order to talk to someone who isn’t a foolish robot?
POLICEMAN (V.O.)
Well, you don’t have to yall at me all angry like that. Suure, I’ll let ya talk to the Chief in an hour. That is, if you bring me some doughnots. And coffee with skim milk will be helpful as well, mind you.
HENRY
(hanging up the phone, the dial tone ringing)
That man was so infuriating! He made us bring him pastries to simply talk to someone whose job it is to work with cases like that. That idiot, I hope he doesn’t get promoted, I’ll just say that. We’re not bringing him any doughnuts today, I’m sure of that!
MRS. SCOTT
Should we hold a, a . . . service for poor Maria Rose?
HENRY
Well, I suppose so. We will after we talk to the police chief and get a plan.
MRS. SCOTT
I guess y’all are right. Goodness, I haven’t been this much of a mess since I lost my Harvey two years ‘go. He was such a good man, I know Maria was mighty inspired by him.
HENRY
I didn’t really know that before. I’m sorry. That’s such a tragedy. Now, Mrs. Scott, how about you call Cremation Elimination and Company? They sell coffins and earth plots. I hear they’re nice, though. Very, very nice.
MRS. SCOTT
Oh, well, all right. I’ll git on that now.
HENRY
(sitting down on Maria’s desk)
That sounds fine.

MRS. SCOTT

Now, Henry, if you don’t mind me askin’, what exactly are you doing right now to help out Maria or her . . . funeral! There, I said it. Just makes it seem so real, sometimes. Know what I mean?

HENRY
Well, that’s a good question. I, madam, am thinking about what kinds of, of . . . flowers to get for her, as she passed and all. Does she like carnations? I happen to think that poppies would go nicely with her makeup, provided it was well done. Do you have an opinion? Well, you know, she always reminded me of lavender. They’re so calming and they smell very good.
MRS. SCOTT
Do you know what that means?
HENRY
No, I can’t think of a reason why I would.
MRS. SCOTT
(slowly, as if speaking to a child)
Henry, I am a proud subscriber –proud, mind you- to Gardens for America, We Heart our Florals, and Blooms Forever Weekly. I think I’d know my flowers!
HENRY
Well, what would the right flowers be?
MRS. SCOTT
Oh, orchids, with some yellow roses and carnations.
HENRY
Yellow? Doesn’t that symbolize friendship?
MRS. SCOTT
Of course! “Your relationship” was nothing more than that, I’m sure!
(Silence)
HENRY
So, I think it’s about time for me to go meet with the police chief. You should go home. I’ll call you afterwards.
MRS. SCOTT
(Quavering)
Well, if you really think it’s best . . .
(HENRY leaves, slamming the door)
(a minute later, MRS. SCOTT gets up from the chair and leaves Maria’s room as well.)
























SCENE V
(The chief police officer’s office.
It’s gray and mostly unfurnished,
except for a desk, two chairs,
and a phone. The POLICE
CHIEF, a big, rectangular,
middle-aged man, is sitting behind
the desk, waiting for HENRY.)
HENRY
(runs in, breathing heavily, and sits on the chair)
Sorry I’m late, Doc. Er, I mean, Chief. What am I supposed to call you?
POLICE CHIEF
“Police Chief” would be fine. “Oh, high and mighty one of the gods” works, too.
HENRY
What?
POLICE CHIEF
(laughing to himself)
Oh, nothing.
HENRY
So, about the reason why I’ve come to talk to you . . .
POLICE CHIEF
Oh yes, the murder. Augusta, the police officer you talked to earlier, mentioned that to me. He also said something about doughnuts.
HENRY
His name is Augusta? Now, I understand.
POLICE CHIEF
Yes, didn’t you know that? Well, he probably wouldn’t tell you. He calls it a dark secret of his, though I’ve no idea why. If he had been named Betsy, then . . . Well, we have more important subject matter to turn to.
HENRY
You are absolutely right, sir, we do.
POLICE CHIEF
So, about those doughnuts . . . I thought you were bringing them, though. That’s why I let you in, past the fierce Augusta. They don’t give us enough doughnuts anymore.
HENRY
(getting mad)
Why are damned doughnuts your priority? They’re globs of dough, for God’s sake. If you’re so concerned about your idiotic doughnuts, then buy a doughnut-maker for your lunchroom next month, or something. If you’re still around by then. I thought you, of all people, would help me, but no! I say, the whole lot of you should be fired!
POLICE CHIEF
Now, Henry Watson, you needn’t throw a fit. Thank you for the marvelous doughnut idea –I must try that sometime- and now. Why did you come here? To put it directly, who was murdered?
HENRY
Well, Mr. Police Chief, it was my girlfriend. But she was very close to me. We were going to get married in a few years or so, or . . . that is what we had planned to do, anyway. But I guess we can’t now. What more would you like to know to help me make my decision?
POLICE CHIEF
(scribbling on his college-ruled paper)
Interesting . . . what decision?
HENRY
Don’t you “interesting” me! I’m 32, and in all my years I’ve never found that “interesting” is a good comeback. It is practically never appropriate you should say to someone who’s bereaved. It isn’t interesting that they’re dead! It’s tragic! I think you need to spend a little more time with your dictionary!
POLICE CHIEF
(looking up at Henry with an expression of interest, for the first time)
Wow, you are bereaved! Though you may be lying about other things, you certainly aren’t lying about that. Yes, Mr. Watson, it is tragic, but to me it’s commonplace, as I encounter bad situations almost as much as I breathe. It’s sort of like a sixth sense to me. I wonder why.
HENRY
(hotly, his face turning almost terra cotta)
You know, I’m changing my opinion of you. You’re a fool if you think I’m your psychologist. The whole reason why I came to talk to you today was not to be your damned psychologist! I came to talk to you about the death of Maria Rose Scott.
POLICE CHIEF
(in a slow, blasé manner)
Specifically?
HENRY
(fiercely)
Someone killed her. I want to find out who, and make them suffer. Nobody messes with my RiRi! Nobody, I tell you!
POLICE CHIEF
That’s your, um, pet name for her? Lame as it is, you can’t use it. Rihanna has trademarked it.
HENRY
No, she hasn’t!
POLICE CHIEF
(sadly)
Yes, she has. I checked seven minutes ago . . . Don’t ask, okay?
HENRY
Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Who would be a good detective to help me find—
POLICE CHIEF
Where Rihanna’s nickname is trademarked? That’s easy, man. Twitter! Don’t you live in the twenty-first century like the rest of us?
HENRY
No, what are you talking about?
POLICE CHIEF
(sheepishly)
Well, you see, we were talking about Rihanna, and she happens to be one of my style, as well as life, idols, and so . . .
HENRY
What I meant was, who would assist me in finding the murderer and making sure he gets what he deserves?
POLICE CHIEF
Well, that one’s easy, too.
HENRY
Would you mind telling me who, exactly?
POLICE CHIEF
Oh! Right. Detective Angela DiBacci will be good for the case. She does a lot of these.
HENRY
“These”, meaning?
POLICE CHIEF
Err, murder cases.
HENRY
Alll right, then. I guess I’ll go with her, given that hers is the only name you’ve given to me.
POLICE CHIEF
(scribbling more on his notepad, tearing it out)
Okay, here it is. Angela DiBacci, Murder Detective, San Francisco Bay area. Her address is 1315 California Ave.
HENRY
(taking piece of paper)
Well, thanks. Can I call you in the future if any problems arise?
POLICE CHIEF
Certainly, Mr. Watson. That’s my job.
HENRY
Thank you. For everything. And another thing: if it works out well, I may come back, that time bearing doughnuts. What kind do you like? Sugar, sugar coated, chocolate, jelly-filled, or sugar filled? Oh wait, they’re all sugar-filled!
POLICE CHIEF
Well, glazed is my favorite, but I’ll settle for any kind you got. My next favorite is sugar-jelly-filled Deluxe with sprinkles and Canadian walnuts with chopsticks, straight from Antarctica.
HENRY
They don’t sell sugar jelly filled—whatever those doughnuts you like in Antarctica!
POLICE CHIEF
Oh yes they do, young Padawan.
HENRY
How many times do I have to tell you? I’m not from Star Wars. Well, I must leave now, to find that detective.
POLICE CHIEF
Remember the sugar-jelly-filled Deluxe with sprinkles and Canadian walnuts, harvested on the full moon, with chopsticks! It’s from Palace of the Penguins, on Adlardok Street. Remember that, searcher Watson!
HENRY
(walking out of the door, offstage)
Well, that was interesting. I guess I should call Mrs. Scott now.
POLICE CHIEF
(scribbling, talking quietly to himself)
Hmmm. That guy seemed very unusual. He’s a bit too bereaved for my taste, but ah well. If only he didn’t get so angry. Let’s see, what was his name? Ahhh, that’s it. Henry Watson, San Francisco resident, seeking revenge. I think Detective DiBacci will be able to help him. Plus, she is on the prettier side, which is weird, since she’s a murder detective, but oh well.

POLICE CHIEF
(pauses, chuckles)
That guy, well, I don’t think he really knows how to take a joke –unable to take jokes- but maybe he’s just very upset. At least now I know who to call if I need a therapist!





















ACT II
SCENE I

(HENRY was standing outside of

A big brick building, looking
At the door.)
HENRY
(dialing phone)
Hello?
MRS SCOTT (V.O.)
Hi, Hanry, how’d yer meeting go?
HENRY
It went well, although it took a lot longer than I would’ve thought. Mrs. Scott, I have an announcement to make.
MRS. SCOTT (V.O.)
Yes? What is it?
HENRY
The chief police officer gave me the name of a detective. I strongly suggest that you stay out of this murder business, because I don’t want you to get hurt and someone needs to plan the funeral. I am planning on tracking down the detective and having her help—
MRS. SCOTT (V.O.)
So you’re saying because I’m an old woman, I can’t choose? Poppycock!
HENRY
What I was saying was, I’m planning on tracking the detective and having her help me find out who murdered Maria. If you went, Mrs. Scott, many things could go awry.
MRS. SCOTT (V.O.)
An’ I suppose if I was just you, they wouldn’t?
HENRY
I’m not saying that! Just please, I’m imploring you, do not come. You will find out many things you did not wish to know, I’m sure.
MRS. SCOTT (V.O.)
Oh, fine. I’da had to get someone to help Alfred out, anyway.
HENRY
Who’s Alfred?
MRS. SCOTT (V.O.)
My Persian, ball-of-sunshine cat who’s the best handsome cat in the world! His full name is Alfred Perkins Esquire III.
HENRY
You’ve had three Alfred Perkins Esquires?
MRS. SCOTT (V.O.)
Well, naw. I just liked the sound of it. Has a nice – ring to it, you see?
HENRY
To be quite honest, no. I must meet the detective now. I wish you the best of luck with your, errr, Alfred Esquire.
MRS. SCOTT (V.O.)
Why, thank you, Henry!
(HENRY turns off his phone and walks offstage)




SCENE II

(HENRY enters the office. Its walls are

maroon, and decorations are sparse.

There are two chairs, as well as a Harvard

degree certificate on the wall.

ANGELA DIBACCI, a very pretty,

smiling blonde with

green eyes greets him.)
ANGELA DIBACCI
(extending her hand for him to shake)
Hi, I’m Detective DiBacci. Would you like to take a seat?
HENRY
(shaking her hand)
Sure, that would be great.
(HENRY and DiBACCI sit down on the chairs)
DIBACCI
So, why are you here? I assume that you have a murder on your hands?
HENRY
Yes, I do. It was my girlfriend. Her name was Maria Scott. She was murdered sometime last night or this morning, early. I need to find the murderer and seek revenge.
DIBACCI
(taking notes)
Do you know what time, Mr . . .? Oh, I forgot to ask your name. What is it?
HENRY
I do not, Detective, and my name is Henry Watson.
DIBACCI
Do you have any evidence that she was murdered?
HENRY
Well, she was alive last night when she was at my house, and now she isn’t, so what does that tell you?
DIBACCI
I’ll take that as a no. Let’s go over to her apartment, and see if we can find any clues.
HENRY
That’s a fine plan. I have the keys. My overbearing, would-have-been mother-in-law gave them to me.
DIBACCI
All right, let’s go as soon as possible. Otherwise, it may be too late.
(HENRY and DIBACCI leave and go offstage)












SCENE III

(Maria’s apartment, this

time with Detective

DIBACCI. The curtains

are closed, and it

seems darker than ever.

The atmosphere is somber

and intense, with lots

of sorrow.)
DIBACCI
Well, let’s see. According to your statements, you saw her last night, and then she was killed this morning, correct?
HENRY
Yes.
DIBACCI
Now I’m going to examine the corpse and figure out how she died, and if there were any DNA samples –not matching hers— that I would be able to take and bring into a lab for some testing, if that’s all right with you.
HENRY
(rigidly)
Yes, that would be fine.
DIBACCI
(taking notes)
Okay, well, there aren’t any marks on her throat, so the murderer didn’t strangle her. . . Hmm. I’ll test the blood to make sure that he or she didn’t drug Maria and then give you the results. I will swab various parts of the skin to see if (cont) (cont.) the murderer left DNA on her skin. Are there any other procedures you’d like to suggest?
HENRY
No, that sounds fine. My phone number’s 415-145-0991.
DIBACCI
All right, then. Let’s leave, and I will call you if I have any updates or notifications that need to be addressed.
HENRY
That sounds like a plan.
(HENRY and DIBACCI leave the apartment)
















SCENE III

(HENRY is in his bedroom,
about to go to sleep,
a week later. It’s
ten-thirty at night.
Suddenly, his phone rings.
He picks it up, hurriedly.)
HENRY
Who is this?
DIBACCI (V.O.)
It’s Detective DiBacci.
HENRY
Oh, I thought it was my, er, former-future mother in law.
DIBACCI (V.O.)
So, Mr. Watson, would you like to hear the bad news or the good news first?
HENRY
(weakly)
Err, I’ll take the bad news first.
DIBACCI (V.O.)
All right, then, here it is: We don’t know how Maria died.
HENRY
And the good news?
DIBACCI (V.O.)
We know what Maria didn’t die from.
HENRY
Such as?
DIBACCI (V.O.)
Well, we –myself and several assistants- have determined (by the lab work on the corpse) that she didn’t die of a heart attack. There was a wound on the back of the neck.
HENRY
Great.
DIBACCI (V.O.)
So, there were no fingerprints left that could help us determine the person who murdered her. However, there was a pair of men’s gloves under her, which we discovered after we picked her up to carry her to the science lab where we did our testing. We also found a red hair on her shirt, and there have been sightings of red-haired criminals in this area.
HENRY
What radio station do you listen to?
DIBACCI (V.O.)
The news, ever heard of it?
(DIBACCI pauses)
Well, anyway, I should get back to my work. I’ll call if anything more comes up. Feel free to give me a call, and by the way, I’m checking out the red-haired criminals in the Bay Area. I’ll keep you updated, does that sound good to you, Mr. Henry Watson?
HENRY
Yes, that sounds all right.
(HENRY hangs up the phone.)


HENRY
(dials the phone, dial tone ensues)
Hello? Well, Mrs. Scott, this is Henry. Detective Dibacci, is it?, gave me some information about Maria’s death. Meet me tomorrow at my house, at nine A.M. sharp. Don’t give me any excuses—unless you don’t care about Maria more than your cat. Soon, the search will finally stop! It’s only been nine days, but it feels like I’m in a bottomless abyss where time has stopped and without Maria! The agony. Why am I revealing my soul to you, as you care more about idiotic cat names than what many people care about? You’re just an old woman.
(HENRY hangs up the phone)
HENRY
(sighs)
Why am I doing this? She doesn’t understand, nor does she care about anything more than her cat! She’s crazy! There, I said it! Crazy! Maybe I’m crazy. . .
(HENRY turns off the light and goes to sleep)












SCENE IV
(HENRY’s in his luxurious living room,
containing elegant couches,
a rug and a fireplace, with
yellow walls. He is currently pacing.)
HENRY
Where is she? If she doesn’t show up in the next few minutes, I will want very much to kill her cat. What is it that I hate so much about cats? Maybe that she owns one.
(doorbell rings, HENRY answers it)
HENRY
Hello, Mrs. Scott. Do you see what time it is? It’s 9:31. You’re sixty seconds late.
MRS. SCOTT
Well, henry, I didn’t think ya’d be punctull. Anyways, I did have my darling little Esquire the third to care for. He gets his breakfast at 7:30 now that … that Maria’s gone. Before, he got it at 8, because Maria came before him.
HENRY
(muttering)
And I don’t? Oh wait, nobody would want to.
MRS. SCOTT
Oh, and for his food, he gets Pure Purina Deluxe Cat-lovers’ Still-made-with-bad-ingredients, whenever I see that on the wrappers, I can’t figure out for the life of me what it means, Deluxe We Car About Cats edition, in salmon and filet mignon flavors. Maria used to tell me not to care so much about him, but I don’t see why not. Afer all, he likes me, ain’t it? (cont)
(cont) And he’s just the warmest, prettiest cat I’ve ever known, I do declare.
HENRY
Mrs. Scott, this is not a cat-lovers-are-us meeting. I’ve never cared about your cat and never will. I thoroughly detest them.
MRS. SCOTT
Oh, but have you met my darling? He’d change your mind, quick ‘s anything.
HENRY
Mrs. Scott! Get back to the darned matter at hand, for God-forsaken once!
(HENRY pauses)
Mrs. Scott, we’re dealing with your daughter’s murder here. If you have your priorities in check and are sane, then she actually matters more than cats, believe it or not. So, what the detective said was—
MRS. SCOTT
Hanry, ya’ll think you know everything, but maybe when you’re old and a cat’s the only thing you’ve got left, you’ll think about your words. Mark my words, I swear on the grave of my dear, luvly Alfred Perkins Esquire III.
HENRY
Mrs. Scott, that it exactly the problem I’m talking about! Do you not, understand, woman?
(HENRY sighs, pauses)
So, Mrs. Scott, what the detective, Detective DiBacci, said was that she didn’t die of a heart attack, and that there was a wound at the back of her neck.
MRS. SCOTT
Oh, Lord!
HENRY
What she also said was that she had found a red hair on Maria’s sweater, as well as a large pair of men’s gloves, and that she will keep looking for red-haired criminals around the San Francisco area.
MRS. SCOTT
Oh, the poor dear, what has happened to Maria?
HENRY
That’s what we’re trying to find out.
MRS. SCOTT
It sure is, it sure is, Hanry.
HENRY
My name’s Henry. Well, you probably have to go pet your stupidly-named cat right now, and I have work to do.
MRS. SCOTT
Well, bye, Hanry. I’ll be praying for Maria.
(MRS. SCOTT leaves)
HENRY
Thank goodness that’s over.
(HENRY leaves the room)







SCENE V
(HENRY is walking to Detective DIBACCI’s
office, as his phone rings.)
HENRY
Hello?
DIBACCI (V.O.)
Hi, Henry. I got more information about the possible suspects. So, it seems that one around here who specializes in killing people by way of neck injury is “Big Bubba”, or Reynold Johnson. Another one is “Performer”, who likes thinking homicidally, and the third one who I’ve heard about is “The one who must Not Be Named”.
HENRY
Isn’t that from Harry Potter or something?
DIBACCI (V.O.)
Yeah, but I guess he must have thought that it fits him or something. So, Henry Watson, do you have any questions?
HENRY
No, I think you’ve covered it all. Thanks for the information, Detective DiBacci.
(HENRY hangs up the phone)
HENRY
You know, I should probably go home now and work with the information that Detective DiBacci has given me. I’ll do a Google search right when I get home.
(HENRY walks offstage)



ACT III
SCENE I
(HENRY is in his living room, the yellow,
elegant room. He is sitting on a couch
with his computer on his lap.)
HENRY
Darnitall! Why won’t this computer turn on? I should really upgrade. This is simply way too slow, and I don’t have much time.
HENRY
(slamming keyboard buttons)
Turn on, you stupid computer! Oh, finally. Now what did I want to do? Oh, that’s right, Detective DiBacci told me to look up the criminals by the names of –I think it was- Big Bubba, Performer, which sounds like an odd, old circus-troupe name or something—Why would a guy choose that name for himself? Oh, and the last one was The One Who Must Not be Named. Weird names, but anyways . . .
HENRY
(mumbling to himself, while typing on his computer)
All right, so I should go to Google (doing that), and type in Biiiig . . . (got that) and now Bubba. Hmm, no related search results for Big Bubba. Maybe I should try Big Bubba, criminal. That should bring up more relevant search results. No search results? Google is very badly run. Maybe I should send a complaints email to their Chief Executive Officer. I think I’ll do that . . . tomorrow. How about, um, Big Bubba, Reynold Johnson? Okay, Google is clearly horrible at displaying search results, and shouldn’t even be a company, let alone the mega-giant which they are today. Ooh, Reynold Johnson-images. He lives in Kansas and has brown hair? That must be a fake. Now I’ll try searching Performer. Hmmm . . . it is a circus troupe? Who are these clowns, to so insolently put out wrong (cont.) (cont.) information. Crime is a very serious matter, and should be recognized, without all of these fake avatars and Photoshopped pictures. Who does that? They must have way too much time on their hands.
HENRY
(grimacing)
All right, I’m getting a headache and I haven’t even found search results? Okaaaay, I’ll try He Who Must Not Be Named. No, I am not talking about Harry Potter World in Orlando, Florida, okay? What is the problem with Google?
(HENRY is puzzled)
Wait . . . could Detective DiBacci know? I haven’t heard any reports of red-haired criminals around here. Maybe she made a fallacy. That’s plausible. All right, what’s her name . . . An-gel-a Di-Bac-ci. That better turn up some search results or I am suing Google as soon as the empty page loads!
(the doorbell rings, HENRY goes to the door)
HENRY
Hello?
MRS. SCOTT
Hi, Henry. Do you know if I left Alfred Perkins Esquire the third’s deluxe Purina cat food over there? He gets very hungry, and . . .
HENRY
Why would you have brought it over to my apartment?
MRS. SCOTT
Why, I bring it everywhere, and you know why? Well, what if I got sick, the Lord knows why, and Alfred was getting hungry, and then I’d have it so Alfredo would never be hungry, and I wouldn’t have to worry about him losing weight, y’ see? So, Henry, do ya’ll have the premium cat food?
HENRY
No, I do not have it. What do you not understand about my perhaps having bigger fish to fry than your petty cat? I’m on the verge of a discovery, ma’am. And from what Maria has said about your paltry cat, it seems like he could stand to lose some weight. Mrs. Scott, please go, as I’ve better things to do.
MRS. SCOTT
You don’t have to be all mean like that, Henry. Won’t do you no good in the afterlife, oh no! Jist wait, Henry. I may not have much, but the one thing I do have –besides my Alfred Esquire- is my faith! You can trust me on that. God has a plan, Henry.
HENRY
Oh, like killing my girlfriend?
MRS. SCOTT
Oh no, God would never do that.
HENRY
Then who would?
MRS. SCOTT
Oh, Henry . . .
(MRS. SCOTT leaves the apartment.)
HENRY
(reading aloud, talking to himself)
Angela DiBacci Wikipedia page. Has red hair, uses Angela DiBacci for an alias. Her real name is Leóna Rugiente. She has been in espionage for several different accounts, and harbors grudges. Her personal life is very secret, and she is now stationed in *** ********, as a “detective”. The rest of this post is censored. Rate this article: trustworthy, objective . . .
(slams computer)
I’m going to find that girl even if I die trying.
SCENE II
(HENRY is standing in front of DETECTIVE
DIBACCI’s office the next morning,
holding a gun, raging
and waiting for her to get there.
She comes in, and they start conversing.)
DIBACCI
Sorry, I’m late.
HENRY
You’re right; you should be!
DIBACCI
Wh—why are you so angry with me?
HENRY
I have a right to be. Why did you do it?
DIBACCI
(nervously)
What are you talking about?
HENRY
(plops a Bible on the table)
You know what I mean. Here, swear on it, promise to tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It’s my mother-in-law’s, so you can be sure it’s official.
DIBACCI
(right hand on Bible)
Okay. I promise to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, all right? Why are you so irate? Henry Watson, it’d be nice to get some answers. Come on, just tell me.

HENRY
Why did you kill my girlfriend? We were engaged! She meant the damn world to me. And you ruined it. You lied to me, and gave me red shrimp—
DIBACCI
I think you mean red herrings.
HENRY
(brandishing shotgun)
And tried to pretend you were someone you weren’t. I need answers—now, unless you want to get shot!
DIBACCI
This is going to make me sound like I’m crazy, but I’m not.
HENRY
Are you sure you’re not mistaken?
DIBACCI
What do you want first, the reason why I hate your girlfriend, the one why I dislike you, or the one why I loathe your would-have-been mother in law? The answer to the last one’s easy; she talks way too much about her cat.
HENRY
Great, Einstein! Go on, or I’ll shoot.
DIBACCI
Isn’t there a law for handguns in this state? There should be—case in point.
HENRY
Tell me your reasoning by the time I count to five . . . one, two, three, four, fi—
DIBACCI
How much did you truly know your girlfriend, Maria? You may have thought you did, but you didn’t grow up in Wheatland, city boy. She was always in my class, and she was not who you would’ve thought. She didn’t volunteer at nursing homes or bake cookies for the homeless. Ha!
HENRY
Then what did she do, tell me that?
DIBACCI
She was the mean girl, the one that mothers caution their daughters against being friends with, and the one that the boys all secretly –or not secretly- have crushes on. She hated people like me, but she liked my sister because she was shallow. In kindergarten she threw sand in my face. From there on she excluded me, hated me, and had her cronies make me look foolish. She stole my boyfriend for prom, so she could make me look bad.
HENRY
First of all, she didn’t do that, and secondly, what do you have against me?
DIBACCI
You still think you truly knew her? Fool! The thing I have against you, besides your bad judgment for liking her as a person, is that I have a grudge against you. It was something you did a long time ago, in college maybe, and you’ve never told anyone. It was something people could shun you for, and might make them hate you forever. It was horrible—almost like murder.
HENRY
(pales)
How’d you know?
DIBACCI
People close to getting shot always know other people’s secrets. No, idiot, the person who you killed was my brother. I mourned for a full day. He meant a lot to me, so now I’ll get revenge. Hand me that gun! By the way, where are you from, Henry?
HENRY
No, why would I do that? I’m a fool, but not as much of one as you believe me to be! And I’m from Seattle, but why am I telling you that?
DIBACCI
Hand over the gun, Seattle boy! See, that sounds better than ‘city boy’, know what I’m saying?
HENRY
Not on my life!
(DIBACCI attempts to wrestle the gun away from HENRY)
DIBACCI
If you think you’re going to win this one, you are a true fool, as much as I think you to be!
HENRY
But that won’t happen! Anyways, it only has one bullet, so there!
DIBACCI
Well, Henry Lawrence Watson, (I found out your middle name from a Google search, by the way) as I’m not a crazy cat lady like Maria Scott’s delusional mother is, that’s fine by me!
(DIBACCI shoots herself)
HENRY
The words of a dead man are modified in the guts of the living. That’s from damned W. H. Auden, by the way.
(HENRY walks offstage)



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