Theater Apprec Play 7
(Abby runs frantically through the woods, searching for a way out. She trips and falls and finally gives up)
Abby: It's no use, why did I ever run away? I can’t survive out here, what was I thinking leaving home? Something is probably going to eat me…but that would still be better than what I was going through at home.
(Jarrett enters, walking on all fours like a canine, looking at her, Abby looks up in shock and backs away trying not to make herself noticeable by the wolf. She trips over a fallen tree limb and the wolf spots her. Abby gasps in fear.)
Jarrett: Don’t be afraid, I’m not going to hurt you.
Abby: Y-you can talk?!
(Jarrett cringes at her scream, covering his ears)
Jarrett: Yes, please don’t scream like that. I have very sensitive ears. I said I'm not going to hurt you.
Abby: S-S-Sorry…but how can you talk, you’re a wolf.
Jarrett: I’m not a wolf, I’m a person just like you.
Abby: What? You don’t look like me...(she mutters) I must have fallen and hit my head. This isn't real, it can't be real.
Jarrett: I know this is hard to believe, but this is no dream..I am a man turned wolf. Have you ever heard one of the stories about stuck up people that are punished for not helping someone in need? That is what happened to me, only the person I didn't help was a spirit and they put a curse on me turning me into a wolf for my selfish acts. My name is Jarrett Connors.
Abby: Oh, I’ve heard of you! Aren’t you like some billionaire or something? (Jarrett nods) But you disappeared sixth months ago...
Jarrett: Like I said, I was cursed. I’m stuck like this until I do enough good deeds and the spirit that I ticked off decides I’ve made up for the selfish things I did. To be honest, I’m real sorry for the things I did…anyway, how did you get yourself out here in the middle of nowhere?
Abby: (nerviously) Oh...I was just...I was just walking my dog and he got away from me. Yeah, I've been running around looking for him. I haven't been able to find him anywhere.
(Jarrett senses somethings not right and sniffs her clothes)
Abby: Why are you smelling my clothes?
Jarrett: Because I think it's strange that I can't smell your dog's scent on you at all...how about you tell me the real reason for you being out here?
Abby: Okay...I really don't have a dog. I...I was just walking...and um, I got lost.
Jarrett: What are those bruises on your body from? I sense there's something that you're not telling me.
Abby: Oh those? Yeah, that's nothing really...I am constantly getting hurt. Don't pay attention to those, no one ever does.
Jarrett: And what is that other human scent on your clothes? I smell this person is angry and aggressive.
(Abby starts to cry)
Jarrett: Are you hurt? Do you want me to help you find your way home?
Abby: (wiping tears from her eyes): No! I don't want to go home! That's the reason I'm out here, all right! (crying)
Jarrett: I wasn't trying to upset you...I was just simply trying to find out why you were out here in the woods by yourself.
Abby: (crying) I told you I was lost...why couldn't you just leave it at that?
Jarrett: I'm sorry. What could have been so terrible at home that you ran away?
(dead silence, Jarrett and Abby are looking at each other not speaking)
Abby: …My dad, all right.
Jarrett: Your dad?…Was he the one I smelled?
Abby: (nodding) Yeah…yeah probably. My mom died a few years ago, they say she killed herself but…
Jarrett: You don’t, do you?”
Abby: (shaking her head, still crying) No, I don’t…no one wants to talk about it and I was too young to remember anything. So there isn't much I can say about it, my dad has always been really strict on me, even before her death, but mom would always stop him…from getting too far out of control. After she’s died, no one was there to stop him.
Jarrett: What do you mean stop him? Don't you have neighbors or relatives, anything?
Abby: They’re all too afraid of him. When he’s not hurting me, he’s on the porch with a shotgun threatening anyone who steps on the lawn. I am not sure why he is like this all i know is that he has been this way for as long as I can remember.
Jarrett: That’s terrible…if you don’t mind me asking…what did he do to you?
Abby: Beats me almost every other day, for the stupidest things. I think he’s just looking for an excuse to hurt people. He’s one of those people who when you look at them, you just know they’re bad news. He’s got these emotionless eyes, like there’s nothing but hate behind them…
Jarrett:…Did he just beat you?
Abby: (shaking her head) No…he treats me like his personal slave and makes me do everything. I feel like Cinderella before the ball, when her stepmother forced every bit of work in the whole house on her…and that’s not the worst of it…
Jarrett: (shocked) You don’t mean…(Abby nods, breaking down in tears again) What a horrible person…and I thought I was terrible…if it makes you feel better, I kind of know how you feel…
Abby: Y-you do?
Jarrett: Well my dad wasn’t the greatest man alive. Everything had to be absolutely perfect with him. If I got an A- on a test, he’d beat me with the ring on his right hand. If my mom made his eggs wrong, he’d do the same to her.
Abby:…Why are there people like that?
Jarrett:…Because there are other people like that. I think my grandfather was the same way to dad. He said that the ring he used was his dad’s, who used it for the same reason. He said he expected me to do the same. He left it to me in his will, but I didn’t want to be like him. The moment I got it, I threw it off a bridge into the ocean as far as I could…
Abby:…I don’t blame you…Don’t know if my grandfather was the same way as Judas, that’s my dad’s name by the way…but all I know is Judas is a monster and I hate him.
Jarrett: Don’t blame you for that…look, I have a retreat cabin about a hundred miles west of here, no one really knows about it. It’s where I go to get out of the limelight for awhile…well when I was human anyway…that’s besides the point. It’s well stalked, isolated, and safe. I can take you there and you can stay there until you can think of something else to do. Ok?
Abby: (in awe) R-really? You’d let me stay in your cabin?
Jarrett: Yeah…I’m trying to make up for the selfish jerk I used to be to everyone, it’s the least I could do.
Abby: T-thank you…
Jarrett: It’s no big deal, it’s the least I could do. You’re the only human I’ve had to talk to for months, it reminds me that I’m at least a human.
Abby: Still, it’s really nice of you…(hugs Jarrett around the neck)
Jarrett:…You’re nice too…(he slowly looks up and sees movement in the woods) Abby…someone’s coming.
(Judas emerges from the woods, carrying a shotgun)
Abby: (Abby is terrified and backs away from her evil father) Dad? What are you doing here?
Judas: Catching a rotten little girl who decided to run away from her daddy. You have any idea how worried I was? I thought I’d have to vacuum the living room by myself.
Abby: (giving a growl) I knew it, you don’t care about me at all, you only care about yourself!
Judas: (smiling) Got that right, sweetheart. Now come on, your chores are piling up like mad and I’m missing my shows.
Abby: (Looks down at Jarrett then back to Judas) No.
Judas: No? (gets enraged) No?! You don’t tell me no, you little brat! I own you! You’re my property and nothing is going to change that! (raises his shotgun and aims it at her) You’re coming home with me, or you’re not coming home at all, got that you little monster?
(Jarrett leaps in front of Judas and snarls furiously at the evil man, causing him to backpedal in surprise)
Judas: What in the world?!…Oh, I get it. Little Abby got herself a mangy varmint for a pet. (Lowers the shotgun at Jarrett) I can fix that real quick.
(Abby, fearful for Jarrett’s life, reaches down and picks up a rock, throwing it and striking Judas in the hand, causing him to cry out in pain and drop the shotgun)
Judas: You little monster! I’m going to kill you for that!
(Jarrett pounces on Judas arm and begins to fight him. While the two fight, Abby picks up a tree branch. Judas manages to knock Jarrett off, only to be smacked in the face by Abby)
Judas: (staggering to his feet) Don’t you dare hit your father!
Abby: You’re not a father, fathers are kind! (hits him again) They protect you! They make you happy and comfort you! (smacks him a third time) Judas, you’re no father. I’ve only know Jarrett for a few minutes and he’s more like a father than you’ll ever be! (hits him in the face a fourth time)
Judas: (dazed and startled from both the blows and shock that Abby had stood up to him) Jarrett? Who the heck is Jarrett?! That mangy wolf?! I’m your blood! You’re a part of me!
Abby: No, you’re nothing by a cruel, nasty man who likes controlling people. That’s all you are and that’s all you’ll ever be! (Smacks him again)
Judas: (Manages to get to his feet, but is clearly hurt) You’re right, I do love controlling people…but you know what I like more? (pulls a knife) Killing them, just like I did to your rotten mother!
(Abby is stunned by this, allowing Judas to charge and try to stab her. Jarrett, however, leaps in the way and is stabbed in the back)
Judas: (Looks up at Abby, smiling psychotically) Your turn.
(Judas slowly approaches with the knife and prepares to stab Abby. However, a badly wounded Jarrett pounces on Judas, forcing him back. Judas stabs Jarrett several times but when he finally gets him off, Judas staggers back offstage and screams. Abby runs over, watching as Judas falls off the cliff. Jarrett collapses from his wounds)
Abby: (panting heavily) He’s…he’s gone…No one could survive that fall, he’s dead…I’m free…wait…Jarrett!
(Runs over to Jarrett and tries to raise him, but he seems dead)
Abby: Jarrett…Jarrett! Don’t die! You can’t die now!…You’re the closest thing I’ve ever had to a real friend…a real father…you can’t die now! Not now that Judas is gone and I’m free! (sobs, resting her head on his body) Please don’t die.
(The Spirit enters stage right)
Spirit: What’s wrong, child?
Abby: (turning to face the spirit) My friend…he’s…he died saving my life…
Spirit: Yes…but I can fix that.
Abby: Y-you can?
Spirit: (nodding) I am the spirit who cursed him all those months ago. (approaches) Giving ones life for another’s is the greatest deed one can ever do. He’s made up for his own wrongs and then some. I cannot allow such a deed to go unrewarded. Please move, child.
(Abby slowly moves out of the way and the spirit walks over, kneeling over him)
Spirit: One whose heart was once black as coal, your kind act has redeemed your soul. From man to beast, from beast to the grave. Return now, noble soul, I remove the curse I gave.
(Jarrett groans, slowly rising and dropping off any clothing used to denote his wolf form)
Abby: Jarrett! (runs up and hugs him) You’re alive!
Jarrett: (confused, but hugs her back) I’m fine…I’m glad you’re ok…what happened to Judas?
Abby: He’s dead, he fell off that cliff over there…notice anything different?
Jarrett: (blinks and slowly looks himself over, realizing the curse has been broken) I’m…I’m human again! The curse…what happened?!
Spirit: You gave your life to protect this girl. There is no deed more good than that. As promised, I’ve broken the curse I put on you. You’re now free to go.
Jarrett:…Thanks…to be honest, I have to thank you for cursing me in the first place. Without that curse, I’d still be a selfish, vain, jerk.
Abby: And I’d be back with Judas…or worse…thank you.
Spirit: To be honest, I was seriously considering intervening and turning Judas into a shrew. What a terrible human! I can still bring him back to life and do that as a freebie, if you want me to.
Abby: (shaking her head) I’d rather not risk it. Thanks though….that reminds me, what are we going to do about it? I mean the guy is dead…we can’t just you know…leave him there.
Jarrett: Call the ranger station and tell them he got attacked by a wolf? Wouldn’t be a lie?
Spirit: My offer to turn him into a small rodent is still valid.
Abby: I’ll just go home, call the police and tell them he fled the country when I told him I’d called social services on him. I did that before I ran away.
Jarrett: Good idea…I have one too…you said none of your relatives were interested in helping you, right?
Abby: (nods) Yeah, why?
Jarrett: Well I live alone, and in all honesty, I’m getting tired of it. Now that I’ve changed, it feels like living alone is a bad idea. What if you came and became my daughter? I could have the adoption papers ready by morning.
Abby: R-really? (Jarrett nods, prompting Abby to hug him and cry tears of joy) Thank you! I’d love that!
Spirit: I will assist in this endeavor. (snaps his fingers) The police will locate several video tapes of the abuse that Judas put you through locked in a safe in the backroom of your house.
Abby: How did you…
Spirit: I’m a spirit, helping people improve their lives is my job. Anything that can help me do that is within my power. Considering Jarrett is no longer a wolf anymore, I’d best help you to the cabin, shouldn’t I?
Jarrett: You can…never mind, stupid question. Ok, send me there and Abby home so she can show the cops those videos.
Spirit: As you wish. (waves his hands and lights dim, Jarrett and Abby exiting the stage. Spirit turns to the audience) Abby was taken by social services and Jarrett, after returning a claming to have been on a spiritual retreat, took her in. First as a foster child, then eventually adopted her as his own daughter. Both lived happily ever after, father and daughter. (bows) Fairwell, may your journey have an equally happy ending. (exits stage)