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by Laura Elizabeth Miller


[As the lights rise AMY can be seen twirling slowly, enjoying the swish of her skirt. LIZZY plays with a doll and GLADYCE reads a book. HARRY watches.]

AMY: When I was eight, I was murdered.

LIZZY: I was only seven.

GLADYCE: I was ten and should have known better.

AMY: I was wearing my favorite blue dress.

LIZZY: And playing with Disco Barbie!

GLADYCE: I was reading Nancy Drew.

AMY: I didn’t know it then.

GLADYCE: I later found out—

AMY: He was watching me from his window.

GLADYCE: For days he watched me from his window.

AMY: Sitting in his yellow chair.

LIZZY: He sat in an old yellow chair. And he had a kitty on his knee.

AMY: One foot pressing against the floor.

GLADYCE: Rocking.

LIZZY: Rocking.

AMY: But before he started watching—

GLADYCE: I found out later before he started watching—

AMY: He dug lots of little holes.

LIZZY: Holes and holes and holes!

GLADYCE: He dug hundreds of holes.

AMY: Under the house.

GLADYCE: In Mrs. Stuart’s flowerbed where he saw his cat take a shit.

LIZZY: Around the roots of my daddy’s pecan tree!

AMY: And in these holes—

GLADYCE: One little piece at a time—

AMY: He buried me.

LIZZY: And me.

AMY: First my hands.

GLADYCE: Then my neck. I didn’t know you could separate the head from the neck and the neck from the shoulders.

AMY: But you can.

GLADYCE: He buried me and forgot.

AMY: He buried me and forgot.

LIZZY: And me.

AMY: But first—

[The girls scatter to their original positions. One girl twirling. One girl playing with her doll. The other reading.]

HARRY: Hello, Amy.

AMY: Hello.

HARRY: Hello, Lizzy.


HARRY: I’m Harry. Isn’t your name Gladyce? I’m a friend of your mom’s.

GLADYCE: I’ve never seen you before.

HARRY: I’m an old friend.

GLADYCE: What’s her name then?

HARRY: Julie.

AMY: Well, bye now.

HARRY: Where are you going Amy?

AMY: I wasn’t going to say anymore.

GLADYCE: I was going to run.

LIZZY: But then Harry said—

HARRY: I have some kittens. I found them. They’re in a box in my garage. Would you like to see them? You can take one home if you want to.

LIZZY: Kitties?

HARRY: That’s right.

LIZZY: Really?

HARRY: I found some kittens. They’re in my garage. There’s four of them. Would you like to see them?

AMY: What color are they?

HARRY: One is white. Another is an orange tabby. My favorite is the black one. Do you want me to show you?

GLADYCE: I don’t think my mom would like me talking to you. I need to go home.

AMY: I should have gone home.

LIZZY: I didn’t think of going home.

HARRY: She said it would be okay if you came over. I could show you my parakeet.

GLADYCE: When did you talk to her?

HARRY: I called her this afternoon. She said you could come over and see my pets because you love animals. You love animals, don’t you?

AMY: Yes! I sure do! I have a dog. His name is Chew Toy!

HARRY: I know. He’s a big black dog.

LIZZY: He’s a lab! You’ve seen him? Out your window?

HARRY: I sure have.

GLADYCE: I don’t have a dog. And I thought you had a cat. Not a bird.

AMY: When did you call my mom?

HARRY: Today.

AMY: While she was at work?

HARRY: That’s right.

LIZZY: You called my mom?

HARRY: I found her number in the phone book.

LIZZY: Okay.

AMY: He took my hand.

GLADYCE: He was wearing gloves.

LIZZY: He had on funny gloves.

GLADYCE: They were made of rubber.

LIZZY: But they weren’t yellow like mommy’s. They were black.

GLADYCE: Up here—

AMY: From up here—

GLADYCE: You see a lot from this view.

AMY: You see a lot that you can’t see when you’re below.

GLADYCE: He was smiling.

AMY: And I don’t know why, but—

GLADYCE: I felt a little sick inside.

LIZZY: Let’s go see the kitties, can we?

HARRY: Of course. Here. Hold my hand.

LIZZY: Why are you wearing gloves?

GLADYCE: It wasn’t cold.

AMY: It was warm.

HARRY: Because my hands get cold.


AMY: But somehow kitties made up for everything.

GLADYCE: Kitties made me curious.

LIZZY: Kitties!

AMY: I thought, maybe, just for a second…

GLADYCE: I thought I would leave, after a minute.

LIZZY: I wanted to go. He had kitties.

GLADYCE: Why do you have dirt on your knees?

HARRY: I’ve been working in my garden.

LIZZY: Your knees are really dirty.

HARRY: I’ve been digging.

AMY: What for?

HARRY: It’s like a little grave.

LIZZY: Did something die?


GLADYCE: I should have run. I might—

AMY: If only I had run—

GLADYCE: Instead—

LIZZY: A kitty?

HARRY: I think it was sick. Do you still want to see the others?

GLADYCE: Are they sick too?

AMY: The cats are sick?

HARRY: No. I don’t think so.

GLADYCE: Why was I so concerned about cats?

AMY: Well, okay. I want to see them.

GLADYCE: Never mind. I don’t want to see them.

AMY: We walked on the sidewalk together. He held my hand and gave me a piece of candy.

LIZZY: He gave me candy and we were friends.

GLADYCE: I tried to walk away but—

AMY: He started squeezing my hand.

LIZZY: He petted the top of my head like this!

GLADYCE: Let me go!

HARRY: This is my house.

AMY: You live really close to me.

HARRY: Let’s go inside.

AMY: My tummy twisted.

GLADYCE: Intuition.

LIZZY: You said the kitties were in the garage.

HARRY: I made a little coffin for the one that died. It’s in my kitchen.

AMY: Intuition.

LIZZY: I’m scared.

GLADYCE: Stomach twisting.

AMY: I think I should go home.

HARRY: Help me bury her.

LIZZY: No! I wanna go home.

HARRY: Alright. I’ll bury her later. Let’s go to the garage.

AMY: It was a girl?

HARRY: Yes. A little girl. Are you sure you don’t want to see her?

LIZZY: I’m sure.

AMY: He grabbed my hand.

GLADYCE: He dragged me around the corner.

AMY: I tried to walk faster to keep up.

LIZZY: Wait for me.

HARRY: Here, you go in first. I’ll turn on the light.

LIZZY: I’m scared of the dark.

AMY: Where are they?

HARRY: In the corner. Can’t you hear them crying?

AMY: There was nothing.

GLADYCE: Just my heart pounding in my ears.

LIZZY: Kitty? Kitty?

AMY: A light snapped on.

GLADYCE: I was blinded.

LIZZY: I can’t see!

AMY: I turned—

LIZZY: He held me tight.

GLADYCE: He slapped me across the face.

AMY: The brass chain from the light bulb danced above his head.

GLADYCE: The brass chain from the light bulb danced above his head.

LIZZY: Look at the chain dance!

AMY: Too late.

GLADYCE: I was too late.

LIZZY: He pushed me down.

AMY: I don’t want to see them!

LIZZY: Mommy!


AMY: He pushed me into the wall.

LIZZY: I want my—

GLADYCE: He hit me again.

AMY: I couldn’t move.

LIZZY: Stop! Please!

GLADYCE: I saw a flash.

AMY: Something flashed.

LIZZY: I saw silver.

GLADYCE: Oh my God!

AMY: Please God!

GLADYCE: A knife.

AMY: A blade.

LIZZY: What are you doing?

GLADYCE: I’m dying.

AMY: I’m dying.

HARRY: Close your eyes.


HARRY: So it won’t hurt.

AMY: And it was over.

GLADYCE: It came so quick.

AMY: He kissed me.

GLADYCE: Then he put the knife here.

AMY: Here.

LIZZY: Here.

AMY: I was gone.


LIZZY: Gone?


AMY: I was so small.

GLADYCE: I never realized how little I was.

LIZZY: Look. A little girl. It’s me.

AMY: It is you.

GLADYCE: I’m Gladyce. This is Amy.

LIZZY: My name is Lizzy.

AMY: Hold my hand.

LIZZY: Why is he kissing me?

AMY: I think he’s saying goodbye.

GLADYCE: He kissed my nose.

AMY: My lips.

LIZZY: What will he do with me?

GLADYCE: He buried my knees next to my mother’s front step. He did it in the middle of the night.

AMY: He’ll put you away.

LIZZY: In little holes?

AMY: In little holes.

GLADYCE: In damned little holes!

AMY: Then he will forget.

GLADYCE: He will forget.

LIZZY: His memory is broken?

AMY: He’ll look out his window.

GLADYCE: He’ll forget and look out his window.

LIZZY: Out his window…

AMY: Again.


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Copyright © 2004 by Laura Elizabeth Miller

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that Fugue is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author at elizabethnelson817@gmail.com



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