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Aug 15

A Girl & Her Puppet

by Brian Fugett

The room is small and sparsely furnished: four walls, a window, and a bed. Moonlight filters through the crack in the curtains, casting a blue glow across the bed. The rest of the room is dark. Black dark.

The GIRL is tangled in the sheets on the bed. Sweaty. Restless. Pinned down by the gravity of a fever–105-degrees last time she checked.

She stares at the ceiling and listens to the blood rushing through her ears. It sounds like air-raid sirens. That’s what a fever is supposed to sound like, she decides. All her friends are calm hypochondriacs and tonight she was rehearsing to be one too.

A sudden thunderclap rattles the room. The GIRL bolts upright. She is stricken with the notion that there is poison in her socks. She yanks them off her feet, tosses them over the edge of the bed.

(Beat.)

The girl settles back into her pillow and takes a deep breath.

(Beat.)

A spotlight suddenly appears at the foot of the bed, illuminating a SOCK PUPPET as it slowly emerges like a snorkeling periscope. He has a large pair of eyes composed of construction paper that look like they have been frozen in a perpetual state of surprise.

GIRL: Where did you find them?

THE PUPPET: Find what?

GIRL: The eyes.

THE PUPPET: Oh, those! The local pre-school. Some three-year-old was giving them away for free. So I figured WHAT THE FUCK! They smell like Elmer’s glue. Wanna take a whiff?

GIRL: I’ll pass.

THE PUPPET: Whatever. Your loss.

(Beat.)

(Lightning flashes and thunder crashes. The GIRL and the PUPPET are startled.)

(Beat.)

GIRL: Tell me the truth, where did you find the eyes?

THE PUPPET: Okay-okay! I confess. I found them in your mother’s underwear drawer.

GIRL: Fuck! I knew it! She is such a Muppet-fucking whore!

(Beat.)

THE PUPPET: I was wondering if I could talk to you about something.

GIRL: Sure. (She pulls covers up around her neck, looks a bit nervous)

THE PUPPET: My torso bends in right angles and a calloused palm seems to be grafted to my esophagus. Is that normal?

GIRL: For a sock puppet? Yes….yes it is.

THE PUPPET: Really?

GIRL: No joke. I am being 100% serious.

(Beat.)

THE PUPPET: Okay, cool. Can I confess something else?

GIRL: Sure.

THE PUPPET: I had a bad dream last night.

GIRL: About what?

THE PUPPET: My voice.

GIRL: What about it?

THE PUPPET: I dreamt that it was out of synch with my mouth. Kinda like it was being projected from somewhere behind my head. Is that normal? Or am I just being paranoid?

(Lightning flashes and thunder claps.)

GIRL: You are definitely paranoid…I have five fingers and they are ALL IN SYNCH!

(Beat.)

THE PUPPET: I’ve spent some wild times in this bed.

GIRL: Yeah…Me too.

THE PUPPET: You wiggle real damn good sometimes.

GIRL: So do you.

(Beat.)

THE PUPPET: So this is it?

GIRL: Yes…No more puppet shows.

THE PUPPET: Bitch! (Slithers back beneath the bed.)

( Air raid sirens begin to wail.)

FADE TO BLACK.

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