Miss Patty


Scene 1

(A boy of about 8 enters through a broken screen door and stands behind a woman of about 65 swinging on a swing throughout the scene in a beautiful green garden.)

PATTY

 Hello.

 

MATT

Hello Miss

 

PATTY

(Laughs softly) Not Miss, never Miss. You can call me Patty.

 

MATT

Hello Miss Patty.

 

PATTY

(Laughs again) it’s been a long time since I’ve been Miss.

 

MATT

(Not hearing what she said) Do you live in that house?

 

PATTY

One could say that.

 

MATT

One could say that?

 

PATTY

One could indeed.

 

MATT

(Looking slightly confused) Well, I’m your new neighbor.

 

PATTY

That means I’m yours too I suppose, doesn’t it?

 

MATT

I suppose so.

 

PATTY

Funny how one as old as me can still be new.

 

MATT

How old are you?

 

PATTY

(Waggles her finger in mock scorn without turning to face him.) Hasn’t your mother ever told you never to ask a lady her age?

 

MATT

Oh….

 

PATTY

How old are you?

 

MATT

8.

 

PATTY

Well how about this, I’m 8 times as old as you.

 

MATT

(Begins counting on his fingers and becomes totally absorbed)

 

PATTY

Do you like to swing? (Boy is too absorbed to pay attention) I love it! I used to think it was silly. Those girls on the playground, trying to go all the way around upside down, it’s impossible ya know.  Well now I’m one of them.

 

MATT

How do you know?

 

PATTY

How do I know? Know what?

 

MATT

Know it’s impossible.

 

PATTY

(Leans back and tilts her head back so she can catch her first glimpse of him.) I’ve tried.

 

MATT

So who does live in that house?

 

PATTY

I never said I didn’t.

 

MATT

But you wouldn’t say you did.

 

PATTY

Touché!

 

MATT

Touché?

 

PATTY

Français.

 

MATT

Who’s he?

 

PATTY

(Laughs) A friend.

 

MATT

Does he live in your house?

 

PATTY

You don’t give up do you?

 

MATT

Guess not.

 

PATTY

Can you keep a secret?

 

MATT

Sure can.

 

PATTY

I live there. (Points offstage.)

 

MATT

There? Where?

 

PATTY

There! 

 

MATT

The tree?

 

PATTY

The tree house!

 

MATT

The tree house!?

 

PATTY

I’ll give you the grand tour! (Hops off the swing and runs almost offstage with surprising agility.) Wipe your feet before you come in! (Runs offstage.)

 

MATT

(Pauses) 63!

 

PATTY

(From offstage) What?

 

MATT

You’re 63! (Follows laughing)

 

 

Scene 2

(The boy enters a living room that is rather bare and has boxes stacked up in several places. His mother, age about 34, is unloading boxes in one corner of the room.)

 

MOTHER

Hi, Matthew!

 

MATT

Hi!

 

MOTHER

How did the exploring go?

 

MATT

Good.

 

MOTHER

Well.

 

MATT

Well what?

 

MOTHER

It went well.

 

MATT

I already said that!

 

MOTHER

(Sighs) Make any friends?

 

MATT

Yup!

 

MOTHER

Really?

 

MATT

Yup!

 

MOTHER

And where does your friend live?

 

MATT

In a tree.

 

MOTHER

(Smiles) In a tree?

 

MATT

Yup!

 

MOTHER

Is your friend a squirrel?

 

MATT

Nope.

 

MOTHER

A bird?

 

MATT

Nope.

 

MOTHER

Well I’m a bit busy for twenty questions at the moment honey.

 

MATT

Okeydoke (Kneels down and begins drawing vigorously on a piece of paper on the coffee table. Moving men come in carrying more boxes and wearing U-Haul shirts. Mother directs them around. After a while the boy lifts up the drawing, holds it to the light, then turns it around and holds it to his chest. It’s a little girl on a swing set and it’s a very good drawing.)

 

MOTHER

Would you mind helping me unpack?

 

MATT

Nope. (Walks over and they continue unpacking together, as more men come in with more boxes.)

 

MOTHER

More!? Goodness Matthew we are not the lightest packers.

 

MATT

(Laughs) I was just following your example!

 

MOTHER

Following? Then how come you have about twice as many boxes?

 

MATT

Touché! (He cartwheels and then runs offstage smiling.)

 

MOTHER

(Laughs to herself.)

 

MOVING MAN

What was that about?

 

MOTHER

Matt has an imaginary friend. 

 

 

Scene 3

(5 boys of about 14 and 15 enter. One of them is an older version of Matt. Two of them are riding bikes and the others are walking alongside. They are all chatting raucously. They stop onstage and look offstage left.)

 

BOY1

Jesus that’s what I call a fixer upper! (Grins)

 

BOY2

Yea, hell Matt, you got a drunk livin’ next door?

 

MATT

No.

 

BOY3

What’s wrong Matt? ‘Fraid were gonna bother your buddy the hermit.

 

MATT

No.

 

BOY3

Then what’s a’ matter?

 

(Matt looks at his shoes.)

 

BOY4

I say we go on in and get a peak around.

 

BOY1

How ‘bout it Matt?

 

MATT

I wouldn’t do that.

 

BOY1

And why the hell not?

 

BOY2

Is it haunted? (Sarcastically making fun pushes his head down from behind.)

 

MATT

(Turns around and pushes Boy 2 in the shoulder.)

 

BOY2

Cool it!

 

BOY4

Hey Matt! (Picks up a stone and throws it offstage at the house, glass is heard shattering offstage.)

 

MATT

Stop! (All the other boys join in, laughing and throwing stones. After a few seconds Matt grabs Boy 4’s arm mid throw)

 

MATT

STOP!

 

BOY4

Chill!

 

BOY3

What the hell Matt!?

(The two boys that were riding bikes mount them and all the boys run/ride away.)

 

BOY1

Someone’s got some issues.

 


MATT

(Sits down in the street, puts his head in his hands and cries. After awhile Patty comes out and sits down next to him.)

 

PATTY

Ya know…. I’ve been meaning to replace that window.

 

MATT

(Smiles)

 

PATTY

No seriously! It was getting all foggy, I couldn’t hardly see through it anymore!

 

MATT

(Sits up and smiles)

 

PATTY

Ooooo and that darned tabby that lives next door always scratches at it, oh boy I’ll swear to ya Matty that cat is the devil’s agent in disguise, come to punish for my sins!

 

MATT

(Laughs) Your sins?

 

PATTY

Yes my sins! Ya know I wasn’t always your cute old lady that lives next door!

 

MATT

Sure Patty.

 

PATTY

You must a’ gotten that sass from somewhere! You been chattin’ with Millie?

 

MATT

Millie? Who’s Millie?

 

PATTY

(Looks up and covers her mouth. Her expression is a mixture of shock and surprise.) My daughter. (Runs offstage still covering her face.)

 

 

Scene 4

(Patty is sitting on the swing in the garden holding her head in her hands. She is not swinging. Matt enters.)

 

MATT

Patty? What’s wrong Patty? (She says nothing). Patty?

 

PATTY

(Smiles half-heartedly at Matt.) Nothing.

 

MATT

Who’s Millie? (She says nothing.) Is she really your daughter? (Nothing.) Patty? I didn’t know you have a family. (Still nothing.)  I don’t know what to say Patty. (He turns and begins to walk offstage).

 

PATTY

It was hers.

 

MATT

What? 

 

PATTY

The tree house, it was hers.

 

MATT

Millie’s?

 

PATTY

Yes.

 

MATT

Then where is Millie?

 

PATTY

Well that’s your million-dollar question, isn’t it?

 

MATT

How do you mean?

 

PATTY

I’ve been asking myself that for twenty years. The US army spent thousands of dollars asking themselves that question, or at least I like to think so, but none of that helped.

 

MATT

The US army?

 

PATTY

She went missing in action 20 years ago.

 

MATT

I’m sorry.

(Silence)

 

PATTY

Gimme a push.

 

 

Scene 5

(Lights come up on an 18 year old Matt with several luggage bags piled around him; his mother is standing next to him.)

 

MOTHER

Well, I guess that’s everything.

 

MATT

I guess so.

 

MOTHER

Are you ready to leave? College, so soon.

 

MATT

I have one last thing to do.

 

MOTHER

What?

 

MATT

I have to say goodbye to a friend.

 

MOTHER

Okay but hurry back!

 

MATT

I will. (Runs offstage)

 

 

Scene 6

(Lights come up on Patty and a 40-something year old woman. They are yelling at each other.)

 

WOMAN

(Yelling) Why?! That’s what I need to know, dammit, why!

 

PATTY

You left! You left, not me!

 

WOMAN

Really? Did I? Cause that wasn’t what it felt like!

 

PATTY

Stop fooling yourself. You left me alone. I needed you, and you ran.

 

WOMAN

Well you didn’t exactly send out a search party did you, you gave up on me.

 

MATT

(From offstage) Patty? Patty where are you?

 

PATTY

I would never do that!

 

(Matt enters but sees the two women fighting and stays to the side for a minute looking confused.)

 

WOMAN

Except you did, you know you did! You were gone the moment he died! I was the one that was on my own!

 

PATTY

(Beginning to cry) I just needed some time! We both needed some time!

 

WOMAN

And you took all the time you needed didn’t you!         

 

PATTY

(Crying) I just needed some time!

 

WOMAN

Didn’t you! I thought I knew you, but after he died, you lost it.

 

PATTY

(Crying harder) I just needed some time!

 

WOMAN

You went crazy! You’re crazy and you know it!

 

PATTY

I’m not crazy!

 

WOMAN

You are! You’re crazy! And yes, I left (swallows a sob), but you left first! (Runs offstage crying).

 

PATTY

Millie!  Millie! I’m not crazy! (Then more to herself than to the woman) I’m not crazy, I’m not crazy.

 

MATT

Patty? 

 

PATTY

(Amid sobs) I’m not crazy, I’m not crazy (sits down on the swing and starts to move back and forth on it) I’m not crazy….

 

MATT

(Walks over and stands for a minute, watching her, then reaches out to give her a push.)

 

 

(Blackout)       

 

 

 

Zachary Kligler
Age 13, Grade 8
Saint Ann’s School
Gold Key

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