Puppet Land

Act I Scene 1-
It is June Johnson’s 12th birthday. She wakes up and starts running around her house.

JUNE
Mom! Dad! Do you know what day it is! It’s the day you take me to Purple Mountain!
Calvin, 17, June’s older brother – He wears thick old fashioned glasses and he’s holding an x box controller in his hands. He has long flowing red hair and an eye patch. He’s eating a pop tart

CALVIN
June! Gosh. What are you screaming about? Be quiet! I’m trying to play Call of Duty, Black Ops II and eat this Pop Tart in silence.

JUNE
But, Calvin – don’t you know what day it is?

CALVIN
Yeah, it’s get away from me day. And have you seen my hairbrush. My hair is gnarly.
Calvin exits. Martha, June’s mom enters

MARTHA
Honey, calm down. What day is it?

JUNE
(Yelling) Are you kidding? Don’t you know? It’s March 5th, mom!

MARTHA
Damn it, June. It’s your birthday! I’ve been so busy at the Raspberry office. It’s jam season, June. Try to understand. I’ve been up to my elbows in raspberry sauce. I completely forgot. Also lower your voice, young lady!
Josh, June’s father enters.
JOSH
Martha, have you seen my puppets?

MARTHA
Oh, you mean the puppets we’re going to give to June?

JOSH
What? (Through his teeth) This is no time to make jokes. I need those puppets for the kids at school Martha. Today I’m going to teach them how to dance. I don’t want to lose my job the dance instructor. Now tell me where you last left the puppets.

MARTHA
(Through her teeth) It’s you-know-who’s birthday again, darling. We forgot about her again this year.

JUNE
You both forgot my birthday AGAIN. Something I look forward to all year! And now you’re trying to pawn off Dad’s cheap old stupid puppets on me? Face it, you can never give me back my birthday. You took it and threw it away. Like I don’t mean anything to you. Like the moment I was born – I was a mistake! Sometimes I feel like I’m not a part of this family. You promised after last year’s “incident” that you’d make this really special. That you would take me to Purple Mountain, that we would frolic together as a family is supposed to. We would eat jam sandwiches and dance with the puppets and you would celebrate me.

MARTHA
I’ve been swamped, June! You know how it is this time of the year. I’ve been working around the clock. It’s freakin’ jam season. The busiest time of year.

JOSH
And now that my students have been so disobedient, I need those puppets to get them excited about school again. Where are the puppets?
JUNE
Excuses, Excuses. Don’t you remember I’m your ONLY daughter?! I’m going to run away to a Hobo’s house. He’ll give me more love and attention then you two ever have and I’ll find a place where I’m not ignored! A place where I’m LOVED!
She runs out.

Scene 2-
That evening. June is in her bedroom.
JUNE
Stupid family. Stupid life. I’m just invisible here.
Josh enters, holding his puppets.

JOSH
Hey there, sport. I-we felt really bad about this mess. I want to know your mom and I love you. Please understand how stressed we’ve been with work. It’s really stressful being a dance teacher and the kids have coordination. Maybe these guys will make you feel better. They always make me feel better.
Josh places the puppets on her bed then exits
JUNE
(Sarcastic) Gee, thanks, Dad. Puppets.
Suddenly one of the puppets opens it’s eyes. This is Freddy

FREDDY
(In a creepy voice) Happy birthday, June. I’m Freddy.

JUNE
Finally someone remembers my birthday…..wait a second….Who said that? Where are you?
The other puppet TEDDY speaks.
TEDDY
We got you a present. An exciting present.
June looks down realizes that it is the puppets who are talking. June screams and falls of the bed.

FREDDY
Finally, she notices us.

JUNE
Does my Dad know that you can talk?
TEDDY
No, he just makes us dance. And it’s always either “Call Me Maybe”, or “Gangnam Style”.

FREDDY
At least it’s not the Macarena. Remember that phase.

TEDDY
I hated that dance with the arms and the twists….
TEDDY starts to do the Macarena.
Help me, I can’t stop.

FREDDY pushes TEDDY off the bed.

JUNE
HELLO? We’re supposed to be talking me. I have the worst birthday ever. No one remembered. Well you guys did. You can be friends. Yeah, I’m going to have cool talking puppet friends. That really sounds weird when you say it out loud.

FREDDY
(beat) We trust you June. We know your parents, and sadly your brother. And they would just throw us out. You mustn’t tell anyone that we can talk. Oh no. That would be the worst thing you could do. It would make us go away. But you wouldn’t, June, you’re special.

TEDDY
Anyway as we were saying, we got you a present.

JUNE
A present? WHAT IS IT TELL ME NOW!!!!!!

FREDDY and TEDDY
We’re taking you to Puppet Land in the happiest place on earth… PURPLE MOUNTAIN!!!!!!!!

JUNE
OMG OMG!! Wait, but how are we going to get there?
FREDDY
That brings us to our second present…

TEDDY
Your dad’s credit card!

JUNE
Ummm… Well I’m not sure how I feel about that present

TEDDY
(Whining) But June. your sooooo cooool. (Back to creepy voice) We want to learn more about you…

JUNE
That seems (beat) a little (beat) I don’t know (beat) creepy.

FREDDY
What Teddy this crazy clown meant to say was… WE WANT TO BE BFF’S!!!
CALVIN is heard walking up the stairs. He enters June’s room. Puppets pretend not to be alive

CALVIN
Hey June! You cool? Wanted to ask if you wanted to play Black Ops or Just Dance. Are you still super sad that nobody loves you enough to remember the date you were born? Are you sad? (reluctant) I’ll let you play Assassins Creed 3.

JUNE
Calvin, I don’t have time for your stupid video games I’m (embarrassed) playing with the puppets dad gave me.

CALVIN
Why did dad give you his puppets? That’s freakin’ crazy. Those puppets cost a lot of money (beat) like 40 bucks or something. Oh well, have fun with your (trying not to laugh) dancing puppets. Who’s going to want to dance with you.

JUNE
You love me and you know it.

CALVIN
It’s complicated
CALVIN exits and starts laughing.
FREDDY
Well, that was, odd. As I said earlier “sadly we know your brother”

TEDDY
Anyways, get your toys and your dolls and get ready, darling, we’re going to Purple Mountain tomorrow! We’re going to hit the town.

SCENE 3-
JUNE is getting all of her stuff ready for the next day.

JUNE
Good morning, Freddy! Good morning, Teddy!

FREDDY and TEDDY
Good morning , June. How did you sleep? Are you ready to go to Purple Mountain!

JUNE
I was so excited I hardly slept a wink. I had this crazy dream – where I met these talking puppets and….. wait that was real. I forgot. I have puppet friends now. And of course I’m ready to go to Purple Mountain. All my life I’ve been ready. I’m ready to frolic in those fields. But how are we going to get to Purple Mountain?

FREDDY
We’re going to transport there. All I have to do is say a few magic words and we’ll be there!

TEDDY
And you’ll always be taken care of! And your birthdays will always be celebrated!

FREDDY
Here we go… (melodic) 1…2…3…
Don’t forget before the trip to pee,
Boys can pee against the trees,
Girls cannot. They’re not built the same.
It’s time for us get on the plane.
Wait the plane is not for us to take
For we have powers for God’s sake.
We’ll fly through air like a big bird
And we’ll see many a cow heard.
Take my hand, little girl and close your eyes
I will wear my blue tie and sigh.
Before you know it, we’ll be on the Purple Mountain
And splash and giggle in the fountain.
We must just go to Miami to visit my friend, Joe
Who is a shmoe
Because he has a bow… tie
Let’s Go.
Don’t say No!

SCENE 4-
JUNE, FREDDY and TEDDY have just made it to Purple Mountain where they’re right in front of a ticket machine.

TEDDY
Here we are! (Creepy voice) The place where everyone is always happy (beat) (excited) Purple Mountain world! Now all you need to do is use your dad’s credit card to buy us the tickets.

JUNE
But why can’t you poof us in?

FREDDY
Purple Mountain World is a magical place. Puppets like us can’t get in unless we get tickets. You see Purple Mountain has a magical shield that doesn’t let magic carriers come in unless they pay an entrance fee. Which means: USE YOUR DAD’S CREDIT CARD NOW!!!!!!!!
June enters the info into the machine puts the credit card in and gets a ticket for herself and the puppets.

JUNE
Now what do we do? I’ve never been to Purple Mountain before because my parents always forget my birthday.

TEDDY
We go to that man with the red jacket. (points to MR.REKLAW)
June walks over to Mr. Reklaw. He is obviously blind and he has a seeing eye dog named Junior. His seeing eye dog is a poodle.

JUNE
(Whispering to FREDDY and TEDDY) That man’s blind? That so sad he can’t see the beautifulness of you two. He can’t see the beauty of the Purple Mountain? Wait I’ve got an idea! (Taps MR. REKLAW)

MR. REKLAW
Who are you? I’ll hit you with my seeing eye dog. Junior sic ‘em! Please don’t tell me you’re pulling a stupid trick on me!
JUNE
No sir I’m not pulling a trick on you. My name’s June. These are my puppet friends and you look lonely. Do you want us to take on all the rides?

MR. REKLAW
Little girl. Leave me alone. This park is dangerous. You shouldn’t be hanging out with puppets. Remember heed my warnings. Those puppet will be the ruin of you.

JUNE
I was trying to be nice but you’re crazy and a bitter blind bat. These puppets are my best friends. They’re my new family now. And I have super tickets, which mean I don’t even have to wait in lines. I was going to share it with you but you’re just a jerk. So you and your stupid poodle can suck it! Come on Teddy and Freddy. We are so out of here. Last time we try to be nice to an old man.

MR. REKLAW
Little girl, I was once like you. I once was able to see until my Papa gave me a puppet. The puppet became my only friend. I stopped being friends with other boys and girls in the village. I played with my puppet constantly. I danced with my puppet. I sang to my puppet. I became obsessed. And then one night my puppet crawled into bed with me and he gouged out my eyes!

JUNE
Well my puppets think I’m cool. Your puppet obviously hated you.

Scene 5-
In the luxury suite JUNE is looking all around.

The maid comes in. June is wearing a white robe and she relaxing in a big chair. And she is sipping a cocktail with a long straw.

JUNE
You can leave the Lobster de Mayo over there by my bed. And I don’t want to be disturbed anymore. They call this a luxury suite? Can’t get a moment of peace. Damn it.
The maid leaves.

FREDDY
WOW!!! Spending every last penny on your dad’s credit card was totally worth it.

JUNE
I’ve never been so happy. Spending days with you at Purple Mountain. Never so happy in my ENTIRE life. Just days and days of eating and drinking and playing games and drinking cocktails and frolicking in the meadows. I never want to leave.

FREDDY
You don’t have to ever leave. You haven’t even gone to Puppet land yet.

JUNE
True. So true, little Freddy. Now allow me some rest.
Freddy climbs into bed together and put the sheets over their head so June can’t listen.

TEDDY
(Back to her creepy voice) Now all we need to do is get to Puppet land and then every one of your worries will be solved an-
FREDDY
(Doesn’t want TEDDY to tell the plan) Well look at the time. It’s almost time to go to bed and in the morning we’re going to Puppet Land! And then we’re going to turn her into a puppet forever.

JUNE
(Beat) Damn it. That maid brought Lobster de Mayo when I specifically ordered more cocktails. I will have her job by morning.
(June exits to go put her pj’s on and brush her teeth)

FREDDY
Teddy, you idiot we can’t tell June our plan. It has to be a horrible surprise.

TEDDY
Shut up! I’m not an idiot! (Whispering) It’s kinda fun to scare her. She’s really going to freak out.
(JUNE comes back into the room)

JUNE
I’m sooooo excited for tomorrow! I can’t wait for puppet land! Good night, besties!

FREDDY and TEDDY
We are too June! Now good night

SCENE 6-
In the Johnson house. The Johnson’s are searching for JUNE

JOSH
Has anyone seen June?

MARTHA
I think I saw her a few days go. Probably still all mopey about missing her birthday.

JOSH
Where are my puppets?

MARTHA
Oh you don’t think she destroyed them to spite you.

JOSH
God I hope not. Where is my credit card, Martha? Did you go on the home shopping channel again.

MARTHA
Not since last week. And WE needed a giant diamond ring. It looks pretty.

JOSH
My card is gone? Oh no!

MARTHA
June is missing. The puppets are missing. The credit card is missing. It doesn’t add up. Josh, we need to worry about June? What if she was kidnapped or murdered?

CALVIN
Well… actually dad’s puppets were talking to her or something. Right when I left I sat at the middle of the staircase and listened to her and those puppets talk.

JOSH
Why didn’t you tell us earlier?

CALVIN
‘Cause you guys don’t pay attention to her. You don’t LOVE her. I mean didn’t you hear what dad just said. Also those stupid puppets were talking to her about Purple Mountain.

MARTHA
I told you, you shouldn’t of bought those puppets from that voodoo woman in California. She warned you that they were cursed but you didn’t care. NOOOOOO….all you were concerned with is having dancing dolls for your precious students and now the curse has come true and now our daughter is gone. Once again you failed me. You duped us for the last time. At least we still have Calvin. At least the dolls took the annoying one. What am I saying? She’s not annoying – she’s just chubby and troubled and complains a lot but she’s our daughter and we should probably save her. After we watch the home shopping channel and then Monkey Trauma Center. No what am saying? We don’t have a credit card, we can’t buy anything. We are so screwed. (beat) You only listen to yourself!

CALVIN
What about Purple Mountain? Maybe you guys should go to the park and just bring her back.

JOSH
Yeah, in just one second.

CALVIN
ONE SECOND! ONE SECOND! You know, this is why June ran away. Because you would rather argue about nothing, than save her! Know what? I’m going to save June!
Calvin grabs the car keys and jumps in the car. And drives.

Scene 7-
That morning. June Freddy and TEDDY are walking to Puppet Land.

JUNE
Wow! This place is huge. Look at all the puppets hanging on the wall. They look so said. I just want to with them all. How are we ever going to make it to Puppet Land?

TEDDY
(looking at map) Go straight until we reach Princess Peach’s castle and then take a left.

JUNE
(Suspicious) Hmmm… TEDDY you sure know your directions to Puppet Land. I’ve been walking for a long time and I could really use a cocktail and a massage.

FREDDY
You were born with legs so you better use then. Just a little bit further. Believe Puppet Land will change your life forever. Before your dad bought us from California, we had a owner named Madame Snookie who took us here all the time.
JUNE
What happened to her.
TEDDY
(Creepy voice) We don’t know. Maybe you could help us find out.

Scene 8-
June, Freddy and TEDDY enter Puppet Land. A man called the Puppet Master is at the ticket booth.

PUPPET MASTER
(Super Creepy Voice) Hello Ms. June. We’ve been awaiting you.

JUNE
What do you mean? So this is Puppet Land. It smells like Hobo sewers. This isn’t beautiful at all. And where are all the children. This building looks abandoned. And sir, you are very scary looking. We should head back and have cocktails and go on the home shopping network and spend more money. (To Freddy & Teddy) Come on, friends, let’s go. (She pauses and slowly turns back to the Puppet Master). How do you know my name?

FREDDY
We sent the Puppet Master a message and told him you were neglected. When he sent a message back, he told us to help you on your way here.
PUPPET MASTER
(Creepy voice) Well Shall we start the ride? You’ve travelled so far. Don’t let my outward appearance scare you. I’m called the Puppet Master and I have made the most exciting ride that you will ever take. It will change everything about you. Come take my hand, little girl.
JUNE
I don’t know. Freddy, this old man is scaring me a bit.

FREDDY
We’ll go with you, June. We’ll both hold your hand.
June enters the Puppet Land ride.

Scene 9- Calvin buys a ticket for Purple Mountain. And gets in. He is running around.

CALVIN
(Calvin stops running) (Talking to himself) June, where could you be? I’m sorry I didn’t buy you a present. I swear I’ll make it up to you!
MR. REKLAW and Junior walk by.
CALVIN
Excuse me! Sir! Do you know how to get to Puppet Land?

MR. REKLAW
Yes I’ve worked here for thirty five years. I may be blind but I can give you directions and advice. First of all where are we?

CALVIN
(In a rush) The sign says we’re at Teacup Street.

MR. REKLAW
Head east until you get to DK’s Fruity Smoothie’s then take a right.

CALVIN
Oh really. Awesome! Thanks Mr…

MR. REKLAW
Fred! Fred Reklaw! And boy, stay away from them puppets. They’ll eat you for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.

CALVIN
Wait, have you seen a chubby little girl with two creepy puppets.

MR. REKLAW
I didn’t see anything, but my poodle, Junior, did. Nasty little girl she was. And she’s done for now. Those puppets have seduced her. They now control her. She thinks she’s controlling them but she’s the puppet.

CALVIN
I have to save my sister! Oh no!

Scene 10-
Back at the Johnson house. MARTHA and JOSH are having an argument

JOSH
So I lost Calvin. I didn’t get to the car fast enough. He’s desperate to find June. He’s a really big brother. I hope he finds her at Purple Mountain.
MARTHA

Great. He took the car? How are we going to get to work. You should have stopped him

JOSH
We can walk. We’re bad parents. We deserve this punishment.

MARTHA
Sounds like a plan.

Scene 11-
The water is very still. The sounds are echoy. There is a slight song going on in the background.

SONG
Today is the day you change your ways
Today is the day that you pay you pays
Tomorrow you will see nothing but sorrow
Tomorrow you will be so very sad and low
For we will take your human skin
And we will stick it on a pin
For you will have no need of it
For you go into a giant black pit
And come out a doll made of wood
You will not be Robin Hood
You will be a puppet held by strings
And will fly without wings

JUNE

That is one creepy song.
FREDDY

We thought it was scary, the first time we heard too. It was more than a hundred years ago. My sister Tederina and I ran away from our beloved Grandmother and came here. We were not children and we were puppets by the Puppet master. We were led her and we experienced a ritual like no other.
JUNE

No. I want to go back to the luxurious suite. What are you doing? I can’t move my arms.

PUPPET MASTER
Is the girl ready?

TEDDY
She’s more than ready, Puppet Master.

JUNE

I’m not ready for anything! Help! Calvin! Some one save me! Oh dear God no!

The puppet master comes down a rope. He takes out a bottle of cocktails and slams over June’s head. It knocks her out. The puppet master lifts her body and walks to the black pit. He drops her body into the pit with a thud. June wakes up screaming. She claws her skin.

I’m burning. It’s burning. My skin! Help!

June pulls off all skin with her hands. It’s disgusting. Underneath her skin is pale hard white wood. Her eyes fall out and are replaced with two marbles. Her hair falls out and is replaced by yarn. Calvin runs in!

CALVIN

Oh no. I’m too late. I’m sorry, June. I’m so sorry. I couldn’t get here faster.

END OF PLAY

Walker Ames, Age 12, Grade 7, MS 51 William Alexander, Silver Key

This entry was written by NYC Scholastic Awards and published on September 17, 2013 at 10:00 am. It’s filed under Humor, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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