Novelle

Headquarters for Experimentalism

Two Cigarettes and a dead frog

Von Nina Kipke.

Characters:

Claudia, 24 years old

Alex, 22 years old

Mary-Joanne: 56 years old (Alex´s Mother)

Setting:

A small cemetary somewhere in New Hampshire. Early morning. Gravestones and a path in the background. Center, Alex is sitting down, leaning against a gravestone.


Alex: Today´s a good day. Today´s a glorious day. Today she´s coming. We haven´t seen each other in a very long time. I´m so excited I can’t contain myself.

I can show her the loons. (Pause) Yes! I bet she´d love that. Oh and we´ll go for a walk down to the lake. (Claudia enters the stage, Alex smiles, Claudia sits down crossed-legged next to him. They exchange glances.)

Alex: You look different.

Claudia: You look just how I remember you.

Alex: It´s been a while.

Claudia: Yes it has.

Alex: A year. (Pause) It´s been a year.

Claudia: I know.

Alex: You forgot to visit me over Christmas.

Claudia: I know. I´m sorry.

Alex: And Valentine´s Day

Claudia: Look-

Alex: Or Easter. You always visited me on Easter.

Claudia: Alex –

Alex: Were you sick ? Did you forget?

Claudia: (turning away)

Alex: Well, I´ve missed you.

Claudia: It hasn´t been easy!

Alex: It hasn’t been easy for me either. (Pause)

Claudia: Well, I´m here now.

Alex: At last. (Pause) So … can I get you something? Maybe a cigarette? I saved us two.

Claudia: Listen, Alex…

Alex: I’m sorry. I´ve been waiting to see you for so long. I don’t even know if you still smoke? Do you still smoke? Forget it, I’ll save them for later. (He puts the cigarettes on the tombstone). Tell me, how was your drive down here?

Claudia: Alex, I..

Alex: (interrupting her again, angry) I said how was your drive down here ?

Claudia: I dont want to talk about it.

Alex: Tell me!

Claudia: Fine, I´ll tell you… I killed a frog.

Alex: What? You killed a frog?

Claudia: It was out on the road and it jumped right in front of the tire. I felt a bump

Alex: You felt a bump?

Claudia: Yes. Thats what it feels like, right. What do you think? Would you even feel it?

Alex: Feel what?

Claudia: A bump. Running over a frog! Would you feel anything?

Alex: I don´t know. (grinning) Id imagine the frog might´ve felt it.

Claudia: That’s not funny!

Alex: C´mon Claudy. It´s just a frog.

Claudia: No it´s not. It´s not about the frog. You know why this bothers me!

Alex: Yes. You´re right. I´m sorry.

Claudia: I could´ve avoided it, but, I didnt want to end up like you..

Alex: (looking sadly at Claudia) I don´t blame you.

Claudia: Seriously, Alex, when are you going to tell me what actually happened that day?

Alex: (Upset with Claudia’s line of questioning) Oh .. so that´s why you came by – to interrogate me! I thought you might … I don´t know .. miss me.

Claudia: I´m here to say goodbye.

Alex: You’re breaking up with me?

Claudia: Yes. But before we do, I want answers. (raising her voice) I deserve answers.

ALex: You can´t do that!

Claudia: I want to know what happened!

Alex: You can’t be serious?

Claudia: I need to know what happened!

Alex: YOU CAN´T LEAVE ME!

Claudia: I have to let you go!

Alex: But the Loons. I wanna show you the Loons.!

Claudia: My family´s worried about me!

Alex: Just stay a little longer! – We can go for some ice cream by the lake!

Claudia(getting up): They think that I´m crazy. Sometimes I wonder the same thing myself.

Alex: They might have cotton candy as well!

Claudia: Would you stop that? Tell me what happened. Now. Or I´m not coming back. I mean it.

Alex: Okay okay. Please don´t leave. I´ll tell you.

Claudia: Go on?

Alex: You´d feel it.

Claudia: Feel what?

Alex: A bump. You´d definitely feel it.

Claudia: What are you on ab –

Alex: (Interrupting) I wasn´t even going that fast! I remember seeing his football roll in front of the car…. I tried to stop … I didn’t even see him .

Claudia: You mean-

Alex: I killed him.

Claudia: But it was an accident!

Alex: He was 5, Claudy.

Claudia: (Interrupting) It wasn´t your fault!

Alex: I was drunk,! I was drunk when I got into that car!

Claudia: You could´ve gotten help! We could have figured that out together!

Alex: I´m a murderer! No one could love a murderer.

Claudia: So you-

Alex (nodding): Yes.

Claudia: (crying): I want to go now!

Alex: Claudy! Dont go! Come to the lake with me one last time.

Claudia: Goodbye, Alex! (Claudia turns around and leaves)

Alex: Are you coming back? CLAUDY ARE YOU COMING BACK?

Alex gets up and tries to leave his tombstone, but he can´t move past his grave. After struggling for a minute, he sits down on it again. Mary-Joanna, his mum, enters the scene, carrying a flower bouqet. Alex waves at her, but she can´t see him.

Mary-Joanna: (Putting the flowers on the grave) Hello, son. (recognizing the Cigarettes): What´s this? Who put these there?

Alex: (whispering): Those are for Claudy! She´s coming back for me. We´re going to the lake. They got loons there now. I´m gonna show her! So, LEAVE THE TWO CIGARETTES!

Bildquelle: (c) DA

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