by Katie Gibson
Cast of Characters
JOSH : A delinquent, 12 year old boy. Tech-savvy and
KIM : A cautious 11 year old girl. Uses big words she
doesn’t entirely understand or know how to pronounce. She tries her best to keep her little brother TOMMY out of trouble.
TOMMY : An impish 8 year old, with a knack for leading
others into trouble. HELGA : An old woman.
Place Boston, New York
Time Halloween, 2017
SETTING: Halloween night, 9 p.m., in an alleyway behind a large house.
AT RISE: Creepy nursery rhyme music plays as the children run in. TOMMY
is running ahead of the group. KIM is trailing behind, irritated. JOSH is strolling between the two siblings. All the kids are dressed in tacky, homemade costumes and are holding trick-or-treating pillow-bags.
TOMMY(out of breath) Here! Here! This is the one!
(TOMMY tries to catch his breath while adjusting his costume.)
JOSH Whoa buddy, slow your roll. We’re not all peppy eight year olds.
TOMMY(points at house) This one! This one! Joey’s house! Screw Joey.
(TOMMY crosses his arms and sulks around.) Stupid Joey and his stupid legos.
(KIM and JOSH share a exasperated smile and Kim rolls her eyes.)
KIM Let me just talk to Joey’s mom and I’ll see if I can get your
legos back. (TOMMY marches over and gets in KIM’s face.)
TOMMY They’re not just legos, sis! This is the limited edition Eye of
Sauron lego set we’re talking about. Better than any of the stupid legos Joey owns. Screw Joey.
(KIM walks over to the door and knocks. There’s no response. She knocks again.)
No one’s gonna be home. Katlin said that Mary said, Joey and his family are at the McLafferty’s party.
KIM Why did you drag us all the way out here if you knew they
wouldn’t be home?
TOMMY(deviously) Well...I was thinking, there are other ways.
KIM We are not breaking into Joey’s house.
JOSH I mean, he did steal Tommy’s limited edition Eye of Sauron lego
TOMMY Yeah and if I don’t have it for my playdate with ChiChi tomorrow
she’s gonna think I’m a big fat liar.
JOSH(elbowing KIM) Your mom did say you’d be grounded if you brought Tommy back
crying again. Come on. It won’t be that hard. I’ll pick the lock, we’ll be in and out in a second.
KIM Geez, I didn’t know you were training to be a juv-ennn-nile
You got it, Josh!
(JOSH strolls to the door and pulls a multi- purpose tool out of his trick-or treating bag and starts fiddling with the lock.)
(KIM sighs) TOMMY
Not so much. (JOSH gives up on the lock.)
Doesn’t look like I can pick it without breaking it. Anyone got any other ideas?
TOMMY We could call the police pretending to be Joey’s cousins and say
we’re locked out!
KIM Any of you know how to act?
TOMMY Well, remember when I played a rock in the school play!
Yeah, that was...
So anyway, next plan?
JOSH KIM JOSH(pointing)
I could stand on that trashcan and hoist up Tommy to the window?
(JOSH climbs on top of the flipped over trashcan and beckons to TOMMY. TOMMY climbs up onto JOSH’s shoulders. They wobble around until TOMMY tumbles face first onto the ground. He smashes the window as he falls.)
I think I broke my dick!
KIM(appalled) Tommy! Language! How do you even know that word?
So that didn’t work.
KIM Are you idiots still committed to this B&E or are you ready to
TOMMY But my dick-I think something is seriously wrong.
This is your problem JOSH.
He’s your brother!
KIM(waving hands) But you’re the one with the-the...you know?
(TOMMY looks down his costume and gasps.)
I’m gonna die guys. You’re gonna be fine-
(TOMMY stretches out the pumpkin suit so JOSH
can see.) Oh crap, maybe we need to get you to the hospital.
KIM Can we just get out of here. I’m starting to reconsider my
choice in social circles.
JOSH There must be another way to get back at Joey.
JOSH We could spray paint the door or something?
KIM Yeah I’m real eager to add vandalism to my list of crimes.
JOSH Tommy, don’t you still have the whipped cream from the weird
house who gives out whipped cream?
TOMMY Sure, sure, yup. I’ve got that.
(TOMMY fishes the whipped cream out of his bag.)
KIM I will never think that lady is normal. Who gives out whipped
JOSH Try spraying it on the house.
(TOMMY wobbles over to the house, one hand still between his legs. He sprays the house.)
See, a natural.
Great another Josh.
Oh come on, it’s fun!
(JOSH plucks the can from TOMMY, fills his mouth with whipped cream and then sprays the walls of the house.)
Do something fun for once in your life!
(JOSH holds out the can. Kim hesitates, then takes it. She steps onto the trashcan and sprays whipped cream around the door. After a few seconds she gets into it, spraying the boys and hopping around.)
See I can be fun!
(Sirens are heard coming down the street.) TOMMY
Screw Joey. (End Scene)
SETTING: Halloween night, 10 p.m., at the end of a dark cul de sac. There
is looming doorstep at one end of the stage.
AT RISE: There is a pill a day container on the doorstep, next to a bag
of candy. The kids run on stage as the lights come up.
KIM Running from the cops is an actual crime! What are we doing?
We’re going to end up in jail!
TOMMY(prodding) Mom says your real dad is in jail, so it must be a pretty cool
KIM(shaking from cold) You have no idea what you’re talking about, Tommy.
JOSH Yeah, yeah, family issues and all that, but more importantly
where the heck are we? I’ve never been near this part of the neighborhood. I wish we’d left a trail or something.
With what? Candy?
(TOMMY notices the bowl of candy. He shuffles over. He picks up the pill a day container and inspects it.)
KIM(to JOSH) At least the cops didn’t follow us. I swear Tommy wants to get
us in trouble. This is way worse than the time he stole the neighbor’s cat.
JOSH(teeth chattering) This place feels weird. I skate all over this neighborhood, how
come I’ve never seen this street?
KIM(irritated) It’s not like you’re real-
(KIM has difficulty pronouncing observant. Meanwhile Tommy takes a handful of pills from the pill-a-day container.)
Guys! Taste this candy!
(TOMMY shoves pills into KIM and JOSH’s mouths before they have time to think. He eats one as well.)
JOSH This doesn’t taste like candy.
It’s like swallowing M&Ms!
(The lights become colorful and fairytale-esque music plays quietly. The kids look around in wonder. The world has become a magical place.)
JOSH(pointing) That tree is smiling at me!
Do you hear that music?
TOMMY This must be a fairy’s house!
TOMMY I bet she led us here to show us talking mice! Look there’s one!
(TOMMY scampers to the other side of the stage and kneels. He waves at nothing.)
KIM Okay this place is weird, we should try to find a way home.
TOMMY That’s no fun! Mom says if you’re always a grump Josh is the
only friend you’re ever gonna have.
JOSH Tommy! The mice don’t like it when you’re mean.
Don’t encourage his lies.
JOSH The mice don’t like it when you're mean either, Kim.
KIM There are no talking mice and there’s no fairy!
(KIM covers her ears.) I wish that stupid music would stop.
TOMMY(standing) I think we’re in candy land.
(JOSH uses his hands to lift up one leg at a time like he’s pulling himself out of the mud.)
JOSH Yeah. That would explain why the road is made of pudding.
Don’t be so stupid.
JOSH You ARE a grump. Usually I’d say fairies are a load of crap but
maybe this one can help us find our way back.
KIM I just want to get us home in one piece. I don’t feel safe here.
(In a clash of thunder HELGA enters onto the doorstep. She looms over the children.)
HELGA What are you children doing out so late?
TOMMY It’s not a fairy! It’s a witch!
HELGA I don’t mean to frighten you. Come in for a while. I’ll get you
children some warm soup and hot chocolate.
JOSH We’re not going anywhere with you witch!
HELGA(beckoning) Yes, yes little boy. I’ll give you some sweets and we’ll call
your parents. There are delinquents out at night. It’s not safe for little children.
(HELGA exits. TOMMY skips after her. JOSH and KIM are frozen in place.)
JOSH(struggling) I can’t move! I’m stuck in the pudding!
(JOSH keeps shouting as KIM starts crying.)
KIM He’s so stupid! Why can’t I move? Why couldn’t I stop him?
JOSH(bitterly) Maybe if you weren’t so mean all the time people would stick
KIM I just wanted to stop him from acting so dumb. I was trying to
protect him. Maybe if you hadn’t encouraged him-
JOSH Someone should encourage him, he’s eight.
KIM I was trying help him be good.
JOSH Well, what about that whole thing with catching more flies with
honey? And something about vinegar.
KIM I want a way out, not a recipe.
JOSH Maybe if you ask the the mice to help.
That’s dumb. (JOSH scowls. Kim sighs.)
KIM(cont.) Fine. Here mice, here micey-mice-mice!
(She look around for the talking mice.)
Please help us get out...and I’ll give you...cheese and candy and stuff.
(KIM and JOSH struggle against their imaginary bonds. As the struggle it becomes easier to move.)
Now let’s save Tommy! (JOSH and KIM race off stage.)
Scene 3 SETTING:
11 p.m., HELGA’s kitchen.
AT RISE: TOMMY is sitting on the ground playing with a toy. Occasionally
he sips hot chocolate. He is humming to himself. HELGA enters shaking the pill-a-day container.
HELGA Little child, did you take my medicine?
Why do you lie?
Well...it wasn’t just me.
Lying is a dirty habit.
It’s fun and fun is good!
(HELGA picks up the toy.)
HELGA No toys for liers. Now would you like some cake?
(JOSH and KIM rush in.)
KIM We’re gonna get you out of here Tommy!
HELGA No one is leaving. It is dangerous for children on the streets
You can’t make us stay!
I have cake. (JOSH’s feels his stomach.)
JOSH Well maybe a little. My mom can’t feed me all the time.
HELGA Don’t you want to be fun little girl?
KIM Well yeah, but getting kidnapped isn’t purr-size-ly what I’d
HELGA Kidnapped! We’re just sitting down for some tea and cake. I
promise you, my cake is so delicious, if you leave now you will regret this experience.
TOMMY Please, sis? It’s all I want! You’ll be my hero.
KIM I-I...I guess just a little cake won’t hurt.
Ah! I have an idea! Good little children deserve a special treat. I will return, children. Don’t eat your cake without me.
(JOSH and KIM sit down next to TOMMY. HELGA stalks off stage.)
TOMMY She’s the nicest witch I’ve ever met. And earlier she gave me
some gingerbread men that were talking to me! They told me to leave...but I ate them.
(HELGA shuffles around and lays out four pieces of cake.)
KIM Just one slice of cake and we’re out of here. Josh, do you have
any ideas? The walls are moving.
KIM Great. Well, what do people usually do in these situations? I
guess people don’t usually get in these situations.
TOMMY In stories they cook the witch.
KIM That seems a little inhumane.
JOSH She sure is taking awhile to get that cake. I bet it’s magic.
Like a cake that turns into a princess or something. TOMMY(giggling)
Maybe it’s poison.
Why would you say that.
TOMMY We ate her special candy. She told me she knows we did it and
she was NOT happy.
JOSH Maybe we can poison her piece of cake with magic?
(JOSH stands up and looks around. He picks up a salt shaker.)
This fairy dust might work! KIM
What if it doesn’t work.
JOSH(pouring salt on cake) Then I’ll distract her and you get Tommy out.
KIM But you have to get out too, Josh.
JOSH Then you’ll just have to believe in the fairy dust.
(HELGA renters carrying a box. She puts it on the Ground. She picks up her slice of cake and takes a bite.)
HELGA(chewing) Good children. You may eat now-
(HELGA starts to choke and falls down. The children scream.)
KIM Oh my god! She’s actually dying!
KIM I can’t believe we did this.
JOSH We need to get out of here!
Oh my god!
TOMMY Ahhh! I never should have lied to her! Lying is bad! Bad! She
can’t die! Dying is bad! I shouldn’t have brought us here!
KIM We need to turn ourselves into the cops! Oh my god.
(KIM squeezes TOMMY in a hug.)
I’m never calling you stupid again. If we get out of this I’m going to be the best sister ever!
(The children run out. HELGA sits up.)
HELGA Scares kids straight every time.
KATIE GIBSON is in her second year at the University at Albany. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree with a major in English and a double minor in psychology and education. She's never submitted her writing anywhere before so this is super exciting!