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Mike Gilson as Seth, Sarah Winsor as Nikki, Tracy Leigh as Kim. Photo by Dennie Chong.
Fall Of The Twilight Dove
Produced at the 14/48 Outdoors festival, 8/27/16. The randomly drawn theme for that night: "Count Your Blessings." My random actor draw: write a play for two women and one man. The play was later produced at Panel Jumper Live! Chapter 3, 11/18/16. KIM & SETH (parents) and NIKKI (teenage daughter) in their garage, surrounded by boxes. SETH: All right, all we have left are these boxes here in the garage. These are the boxes that we haven’t opened since the last time we moved. KIM: I say the plan is - we open each one, and if we’re not immediately captivated by what’s inside, the whole box goes straight to Goodwill. SETH: Or the dump. We should be merciless. KIM: Nikki, you on board with being merciless? Pretty sure one of these boxes has all of your dolls from grade school. NIKKI: Pretty sure I can get rid of a box of dolls, Ma. KIM: Even Beansie? You used to love Beansie. NIKKI: Ma - I can get rid of Beansie. SETH: I guess we’ll see, won’t we. They start opening boxes. Kim gets one open first. KIM: Okay, this looks like Grandma’s collectible plate collection. We could maybe sell this on Ebay. SETH: Straight to Goodwill. KIM: Seth, it might be worth something. SETH: Merciless! KIM: Fine. Seth gets a box open. It’s a box of CDs. SETH: Oh here we go, a box of CDs from back in the dark ages. Nikki, you ever seen one of these? NIKKI: Dad, knock it off. I know what a CD is. SETH: No, I mean one of these - we used to call this “progressive rock”. It’s what happens when rock musicians know more than three chords. KIM: Straight to the dump! SETH: We can send this to Goodwill. KIM: No one will buy that crap. We can spare Goodwill a trip to the dump and take it there ourselves. Nikki finally gets a box open, and is momentarily baffled. She first pulls out a costume mask, similar to a Catwoman style mask; then pulls out a superhero style body suit. NIKKI: What the heck is this? Kim and Seth freeze when they see what Nikki is holding. They exchange a long, pensive look. Then Kim crosses to Nikki, gently takes the costume away from Nikki, and starts putting it back in the box. KIM: I think we can just… pack this back up and forget we ever saw it. NIKKI: What are you even…? Pause. Seriously, what are you even? SETH: I don’t think your mother wants to talk about it. NIKKI: But you said be merciless. What even is this? KIM: Nikki… NIKKI: Mom? Another long, pensive pause. KIM: This… is the suit I wore back when I was a costumed vigilante, fighting criminals in a valiant struggle to clean up the streets of our city. Another long, pensive pause. NIKKI: I’m sorry, what? SETH: You heard what she said. Kim, I… I don’t think there’s a chance you’ll ever wear that suit again. I think enough time has passed that we can get rid of it once and for all. KIM: We’ll have to destroy it. I can’t risk any of my old nemeses tracing it back to me. Not after… not after what happened. Kim seals the box back up, moves on to a different box. NIKKI: Okay. You did not fight crime in a costume. Pause. Mom, come on. Pause. Look, I never heard of any vigilante fighting crime in the streets of our city. SETH: That was before we moved here. You were too young to remember when we lived in Alpha City. NIKKI: Where’s- KIM: You know, some days I miss Alpha City, more than I ever would have expected. SETH: Many good memories from Alpha City. KIM: And a few bad ones. A few too many. I should have gotten rid of that suit a long time ago. Seth and Kim exchange a heartfelt glance - then quietly embrace in a hug, consoling each other. NIKKI: What is going on with you guys? You’re being weird. More weird than usual. SETH: What do you think? Should we tell her? KIM: I guess it’s safe after all these years. Pause - she’s becoming emotional. You tell her, Seth. SETH: There’s no easy way to say this, Nikki. Your mother made some powerful enemies fighting crime in Alpha City, and eventually… a vindictive crime boss… KIM: He called himself… the Scimitar. SETH: The Scimitar discovered your mother’s secret identity and found our family. Before we could leave town, he… Pause. NIKKI: He what? SETH: He targeted your sister. NIKKI: What sister? Pause. I don’t remember a sister. Pause. I did not have a sister! KIM: Don’t you dare say a thing like that! Not ever! Nikki is stung. KIM: Sandra didn’t deserve what happened to her, and I’ll never forgive myself for not being there to protect her. Long pause. After we lost her, we did the only thing we could think of to do. We moved here. As far from Alpha City as possible. SETH: To keep you safe. Do you understand? KIM: You’re too precious to me, Nikki. I’ll never wear that suit again. Kim impulsively pulls Nikki close and embraces her. NIKKI: Mom… what was your vigilante name? KIM: I was… SETH: The papers called her the Twilight Dove. NIKKI: That’s a pretty name. Nikki takes the box with the costume. NIKKI: I’m gonna take this inside, and keep it with my stuff. I won’t tell anyone, I promise. Kim nods. Nikki exits. After a beat: SETH: Gullible kid, it’s like she’s never heard of Halloween. KIM: We should tell her the truth. SETH: Yes, we should definitely tell her the truth. KIM: That was pretty good though, huh. SETH: Still got it. KIM: Nikki! SETH: Hey Nikki... They exit. End of play.
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