CROSSWORDS AND SWISS ARMY KNIVES

CROSSWORDS AND SWISS ARMY KNIVES

A Play by Linnea Rose

Lights up on a figure on stage. One is significantly older than the other. This is PARENT. PARENT sits at a table with two chairs holding a newspaper. When onstage, OFFSPRING is constantly moving throughout the space. There is wilted yellow rose living on the table.

PARENT

One across. “A masked figure”

OFFSPRING

(Enters) Am I supposed to sit around and wait for them to come around come around and take me away take me away from this place I have known known for all of my life. It’s cold and their hands are on me. They strap me down and shove me into a dark vehicle. One of those emergency vehicles. There are strangers around, not a familiar face in sight.

PARENT

Five down. “___ and Abel”

OFFSPRING

They were always more pretty and popular popular and cool. Always so in tune with who they were in their own shoes, me struggling until the world ends. I—I wanted what they had. I wanted something. I wanted some damn recognition!

PARENT

Ten across. “Temptress’ lair”

OFFSPRING

“I didn’t seduce him, he seduced me”. I struggle every day every day I struggle. Getting by often feels like the hardest moment of my day to overcome.

“I didn’t seduce him, he seduced me”. Action repeated. Every day for a week. Every day for a month. Every day for a year.

“I didn’t seduce him, he seduced me”. Words repeated. Every day for a week. Every day for a month. Every day for a year…and still disbelief.

PARENT

Fourteen down. “Large section of an atlas”

OFFSPRING

Disbelief. “I am going to leave you now”. Knapsack in hand. I am ready to leave—leave you. Leave this house. Leave this life. As far as the state boarder, sitting down in the grass was better than spending another night under those sheets—the sheets that reeked of sweat and blood.

PARENT

Fifteen across. “Parental unit, masculine”

OFFSPRING

That thing. That creature. That monster. To consider him blood is disheartening. One day, he entered my room and made me aware I wasn’t aware of how much disappointment I was bring to this family until now now he tells me, after fifteen years he tells me, after years and years of tucking me and kissing me goodnight.

Who does he think he is?

Who does he think?

Who—

PARENT

Sixteen across. “The burden”.

OFFSPRING

Then there is his wifeypoo, the woman he committed his life to, the woman who sat by him when he was diagnosed, the women he decided to take to bed. Each one a “close friend” or “business partner”. I spoke up. I was silenced by the woman he committed his life to, the woman who sat by him when he was diagnosed, the woman who loved him.

PARENT

Seventeen down. “Young love”.

OFFSPRING

They came into my life at a time when I needed them most—a time when everything was heightened, every emotion, every breath, every step. No one approved. I loved. I lost. Because of him. Because of him I am now alone. Because him I am broken inside.

PARENT

Nineteen down. “Botanical family Rosaceae”

OFFSPRING

This moment. My first performance. You were there. You were here. He as absent. Figures. In your hand, a bouquet of yellow roses. You know they are my favorite. I am on stage mid-poem. The crowd is getting rowdy. A slanderous comment is heard. Repeated. Repeated. Continuing, I see you up and leave. In your seat remain the yellow roses. (Picks up the yellow rose from the table. Twirls flower in hand like a baton.)

PARENT

Twenty across. “Swiss Army Knife synonym”

OFFSPRING

(Stops in tracks. Drops rose on the floor.) Action. Take action—make a strong movement. This will show prove to them how better you are. You don’t need the vampires in your life. (Taking out Swiss army knife. Opening the blade.)

Make them jealous. Stand out.  (Bringing the knife to her wrist)

Make them want you. Everyone. Stand up. (Slices her wrist horizontally).

PARENT

One down. “A cry for help.”

END OF PLAY

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