The Arts


Yes!!  Our Gwenerrella has a spooky story to tell you!!

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Hi!  I gotsa spooky story ta tells ya!!  My friends wanna hear it too.

Theys Loodlelalla an’ Sassy. 

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Loodlelalla gotsa black eye from beatin’ up da bully dat was teasin’ Sassy.

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Sassy is one a my favouritest friends, she’s funny an’ smart, an’ she lissens ta me.

Once upon a time, there was a fam’ly that liveded by a semmaterry.  There was da Momma, Daddy, an’ three little kids.  One day, Momma askded da biggest one to go to da store an’ buy some libber for dinner.

 Da biggest one goed to da store an’ bought some candy, and toys for de kids, an’ then dinnunt have any money leftded for da libber. She was scareded to go home, but she knowed Momma was gonna be lookin’ for ‘em. 

So da kid stopded in da semmaterry and founded somebody that was dead but not inna ground .  Da kid tookded out they’s libber an’ took it home for Momma to cook for dinner. 

When dinner was already, da kid dinnunt wanna eat none, and said they tummy hurted.  Momma sended her ta bed and tol’ her ta feels better. 

Den she goed asleep and got waked up later, accause she heared somebuddy walkin’ and sayin’. “I want my libber!” 

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She getted real scareded, and hided under the blankets, and acted like she was asleep. 

But she could hear dem feets walkin’… 

Thump!  Thump!  Thump! 

An’ she could hear ‘em sayin’… 

“I want my libber!” 

It getted louder an’ closer.   

Thump!  Thump!  Thump! 

“I want my libber!” 

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Den she could hear de buddy she takeded da libber from walkin’ onna driveway. 

Crunch!  Crunch!  Crunch! 

Da girl feelded unner the piddow an’ feelded da candy unner there.  She getted even more scareded, an hollered for Momma. Momma dinnunt say nuthin’, an Daddy dinnunt, nobuddy sayed anything when da girl callded for ‘em.   

She getted up an’ peekded out da winnow and dere was da man hers takeded da libber from, comin’ up onnna porch. 

“I’s onna front porch, I wants my libber!” 

The door wented creeeeeeeeeeeeeeek an she could hear da man inna house!  She getted sooo scareded dat she started cryin’, real quiet.  

Thump!   Thump!   Thump! 

“I’s inna libbing room I wants my libber!” 

Den da girl heared da man onna first step goin’ up to da bedrooms.   

Groooooooaaaaaannnnnnnn!  Goed the loose bored.

 Gwenerella Playing Zombie

“I’s onna first step I wants my libber!” 

Thump!  Thump! 

“I’s onna second step I wants my libber!” 

Thump!  Thump! 

Da girl was snifflin’ by den, an’ the piddow was getting’ wet. 

Thump!  Thump! 

“I’s onna forth step I wants my libber!” 

Hers tried to holler but she counnent make any noise. 

Thump!  Thump! 

Thump!  Thump! 

Thump!  Thump! 

“I’s onna sebbenth step I wants my libber!” 

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Now da girl getted eben more scareded accause she knowed dere was onny ten steps to da bedrooms. 

Thump!  Thump! 

Thump!  Thump! 

“I’s onna las’ step I wants my libber!” 

Da girl was so scareded dat she wetted the bed and was cryin’ loud. 

Thump!  Thump! 

Thump!  Thump! 

Thump!  Thump! 

 “I’s at yous bedroom door I wants my libber!” 

Creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!   Now da kid could smell da man, an he smelded awful. 

“I WANTS MY LIBBER!” 

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But Daddy neber tellded us what happeneded to da kid.  He neber telleded us if da man getted his libber back ever. 

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Excorcising the Dog
an unusually short play
by yours Max Adams

The Players : Madison Cartwright: Madison speaks with a Southern drawl. Her bawdy attire, slow colloquial speech, and winsome smile mask an acute perception. She’s about twenty-nine.

Phillip Smith: Phillip is a rookie attorney dressed appropriately in a suit and tie. He considers Madison a bawdy con-artist and treats her accordingly. Madison is brighter than he is, something he’s vaguely aware of, but unwilling to acknowledge — this makes him prone to outbursts, which he attempts to control for George’s benefit.

George Davies: George is also an attorney, albeit an older, wiser attorney. Somewhat stocky, and very calm, he takes the ensuing conversation in stride — investigations are a matter of form for him. Unlike Phillip, George is careful.

The Set : The players sit at a wooden conference table. They may have cups of coffee or tea. A tape recorder sits on the table, recording the conversation for the attorneys’ benefit.

part iii : my dogs have all their shots

George: Who explained to you that Fred exorcised — performed an exorcism, on the woman in the park?

Madison: That would have been the Senator.

George: The Senator.

Madison: The lady’s husband. You know. Senator —

George: Yes, I know the Senator.

Madison: So you see, I didn’t say Fred had exorcised anybody. I just said this sick lady in the park started floating around, and Fred barked at her a few times, and she came down.

Phillip: And word just leaked out?

Madison: Well I guess it must have, because the calls started coming. First there was that lady with the little kid — the one with the long tongue. Then there was that man in San Francisco.

George: What seemed to be wrong with the man in San Francisco?

Madison: Well, I don’t rightly know, but the people on the phone were all fired up, so Fred and I went on out. We took Booker, of course —

Phillip: Booker?

Madison: That’s my other dog. Booker.

Phillip: Does Booker perform exorcisms as well?

Madison: Certainly not. Why Booker took one look at that woman in the park and wanted nothing to do with her. Booker is a very fastidious dog. He doesn’t like to get dirty.

George: Was there any particular reason you took Booker with you?

Madison: Well what do you expect me to do? Leave Booker all alone at home while Fred and I go off to San Francisco? Of course we took Booker.

George: What does Booker do, while you and Fred are performing exorcisms?

Madison: Now look, I never said I perform exorcisms. Fred just barks at people. Once in a while he licks them — usually the children.

George: What does Booker do while Fred is barking at people and licking children?

Madison: He just waits downstairs with whoever called — usually the family, but sometimes it’s just friends wanting to help out. Booker is a very outgoing dog. He likes people — but he doesn’t much care for people who fly and spit green stuff.

George: How many dogs do you have, Miss Cartwright?

Madison: Just Booker and Fred.

George: Would you say they’re ordinary dogs?

Madison: I love my dogs Mr. Davies. I wouldn’t call them ordinary.

George: But would you say there is anything unusual about your dogs?

Madison: Nothing strange, if that’s what you mean. Four feet, a tail, all the right stuff if you’re a dog.

Phillip: Are your dogs licensed, Miss Cartwright?

Madison: Well, I used to be kind of lax about that. But when all this hoopla started, I took them right down and got them registered.

Phillip: And when was that?

Madison: Right about the time you folks started nosing around. [Staring hard at Phillip.] They’ve got all their shots too.

to be continued….

exorcising the dog : part i
exorcising the dog : part ii
exorcising the dog : part iii
exorcising the dog : part iv

*originally published on seemaxrun and celluloid blonde, winner utah shorts theater competition, originally performed by theatre works west at babcock theater & salt lake city’s festival of the arts

 

Excorcising the Dog
an unusually short play
by yours Max Adams

The Players : Madison Cartwright: Madison speaks with a Southern drawl. Her bawdy attire, slow colloquial speech, and winsome smile mask an acute perception. She’s about twenty-nine.

Phillip Smith: Phillip is a rookie attorney dressed appropriately in a suit and tie. He considers Madison a bawdy con-artist and treats her accordingly. Madison is brighter than he is, something he’s vaguely aware of, but unwilling to acknowledge — this makes him prone to outbursts, which he attempts to control for George’s benefit.

George Davies: George is also an attorney, albeit an older, wiser attorney. Somewhat stocky, and very calm, he takes the ensuing conversation in stride — investigations are a matter of form for him. Unlike Phillip, George is careful.

The Set : The players sit at a wooden conference table. They may have cups of coffee or tea. A tape recorder sits on the table, recording the conversation for the attorneys’ benefit.

part ii : the pope, the senator, and the lonely guys

George: Then you do not, as a business practice, perform exorcisms?

Madison: Why no. I just go over to people’s houses with my dog. Sort of a social visit.

George: But you do charge money for these visits?

Madison: No, I don’t. You see, these people call me, and I’m not charging them anything. I just say, well, if you want me to bring Fred over —

Phillip: Fred?

Madison: My dog. That’s his name. Fred.

George: Please proceed, Miss Cartwright.

Madison: Well, I say, if you want me to bring Fred over, that’s fine. But I’m going to have to stay in a hotel, and that costs money. And I’m going to have to miss a little work, and that costs money too. So you see, I don’t charge people money. I just think, if I’m going to be missing work and staying in some hotel, someone else should pay for it.

George: I see. And how are you employed when you’re not performing these. . . “social visits”?

Madison: I work for the Lonely Guy Escort Service.

Phillip: Lonely Guy?

Madison: That’s the one.

Phillip: You’re a. . . ?

Madison: Escort. You know. Guys on the road, traveling, lonely. I show them around, make them feel to home. It’s a service we provide. Well, I used to, but lately I don’t seem to have time.

George: And why is that, Miss Cartwright?

Madison: Well, these people keep calling me up. Traveling around like that cuts into my availability.

George: Miss Cartwright, do you understand who we represent?

Madison: The Pope I guess.

Phillip chokes.

George: [raising a hand to placate Phillip] We’ve been retained by the local Arch Diocese to investigate claims being made by yourself.

Madison: I haven’t made any claims.

Phillip: It seems someone has.

Madison: Not me.

George: The Church is somewhat. . . astounded at the presumptuous nature of your claims.

Madison: I don’t claim anything.

George: Then you do not claim your dog performs exorcisms?

Madison: No I don’t.

George: What, exactly, do you claim Miss Cartwright?

Madison: Just what I said. People call me up and ask me to bring him over, and I do. That’s about it.

George: How exactly did you get into this . . . How exactly did you and your dog become involved in this round of “social visits”?

Madison: About a year and a half ago, there I was at the park. I was just walking my dogs, minding my own business, when this woman starts sort of floating through the air. Well, my dogs were exited. I mean, who could blame them? They’d never seen a person floating two feet off the ground before. I was sort of excited myself. So the dogs start barking, and here this woman is, zipping through the air like a flying pumpkin or something, and Fred runs up, barking like crazy, and sort of jumps the woman. Nothing vicious or anything like that. He just thought she was playing. Anyway, boom! The woman’s head starts spinning like a top! She’s spitting green stuff all over the place! And I’m just trying to get my dog out of there. I mean, it’s already obvious Fred is going to need a bath right away, which is no picnic, I can tell you. And suddenly, kapow! The woman’s exorcised! She’s got this nurse with her, who’s just about to pass out, what with all the excitement. And the woman’s kid is going crazy, crying and yelling, and the nurse shouting all over how it’s a miracle. So I decide that’s enough exercise for the day, and take my dogs on home.

George: As I understand it, you were in a rather affluent neighborhood at the time.

Madison: I don’t know about that, but it was a nice park, yes.

George: How did you come to be so far from home on that particular day?

Madison: I own a car.

Phillip: What Mr. Davies is trying to ascertain is, why did you choose that specific park?

Madison: Because it’s a nice park. What, you think I’m going to take my dogs to a crummy park?

Phillip: But why that park in particular?

Madison: It wasn’t that park in particular. It was that park in general. I go there a lot with my dogs, but I go lots of places with my dogs.

George: All right. So you took your dogs to the park, and an incident occurred. But that wasn’t the end of it.

Madison: Well I thought it was. But then the calls started.

George: What calls are those, Miss Cartwright?

Madison: Like I said, I was sort of disgruntled about the bath thing. I was glad for the lady, if my dog helped her out, but that was it. But then this woman called me up. I explained my dog didn’t do exorcisms. But this woman —

George: [Checking his notes] That would be Mrs. McClellan?

Madison: That’s the one. Well, she just wouldn’t give up, so finally I packed up Fred, and off we went, just to humor the lady.

George: And what happened then?

Madison: Well, there was this little kid strapped to the bed, which looked very uncomfortable to me, but not as uncomfortable as that tongue. I mean, the kid’s tongue was stretched way out, shooting all over and doing these loop the loops. Well, Fred just jumped right up on that bed, which, by the way, he isn’t supposed to do. Usually, he’s a very good dog, but I guess all the excitement, what with stuff flying around the room and all, just sort of overcame his good manners. So Fred jumps up on the bed and sort of plants his front paws on the kid. The kid’s tongue is going crazy, whipping all over and knocking stuff off the night table, but Fred doesn’t care. He just gives that kid a good lick and a few barks, and Boom! The kid’s exorcised. Can you believe it? Fred. I mean, he’s just a dog, not even ordained or anything.

George: How do you suppose Mrs. McClellan got your phone number?

Madison: Well, I’ve wondered about that myself.

George: You ascertain that you have at no time advertised yourself as an exorcist?

Madison: Certainly not.

George: Miss Cartwright, did you tell anyone your dog had performed an exorcism?

Madison: No.

George: Not at any time?

Madison: I might have told some of the girls at the service about that sick woman in the park.

Phillip: The service?

Madison: The escort service. I mean, it was kind of unusual, what with her flying around like that, but I didn’t say Fred exorcised her. I mean, she was in a wheelchair, so I didn’t even know she could walk, let alone fly. I didn’t even know what had happened till someone else explained it to me.

George: And who would that be?

Madison: Who would who be?

George: Who explained to you that Fred exorcised — performed an exorcism, on the woman in the park?

Madison: That would have been the Senator.

George: The Senator.

Madison: The lady’s husband. You know. Senator —

George: Yes, I know the Senator.

to be continued….

exorcising the dog : part i
exorcising the dog : part ii
exorcising the dog : part iii
exorcising the dog : part iv

*originally published on seemaxrun and celluloid blonde, winner utah shorts theater competition, originally performed by theatre works west at babcock theater & salt lake city’s festival of the arts

Excorcising the Dog
an unusually short play
by Max Adams

*originally published on seemaxrun and celluloid blonde, winner utah shorts theater competition, originally performed by theatre works west at babcock theater & salt lake city’s festival of the arts

The Players : Madison Cartwright: Madison speaks with a Southern drawl. Her bawdy attire, slow colloquial speech, and winsome smile mask an acute perception. She’s about twenty-nine.

Phillip Smith: Phillip is a rookie attorney dressed appropriately in a suit and tie. He considers Madison a bawdy con-artist and treats her accordingly. Madison is brighter than he is, something he’s vaguely aware of, but unwilling to acknowledge — this makes him prone to outbursts, which he attempts to control for George’s benefit.

George Davies: George is also an attorney, albeit an older, wiser attorney. Somewhat stocky, and very calm, he takes the ensuing conversation in stride — investigations are a matter of form for him. Unlike Phillip, George is careful.

The Set : The players sit at a wooden conference table. They may have cups of coffee or tea. A tape recorder sits on the table, recording the conversation for the attorneys’ benefit.

part i : the lawyers and the tape recorder

Phillip: The following is the deposition of Madison Cartwright —

Madison: [Pulling a tape recorder from her purse] Excuse me, Mr. Smith, you don’t mind if I record this?

Phillip: [startled] That’s highly irregular, Miss Cartwright.

Madison: Just the same, you don’t mind, do you?

Phillip shoots a confused glance at George, who shrugs and studies Madison appraisingly. Madison twinkles back at him.

Phillip: If you require, Miss Cartwright, we can supply you with a copy of the transcript —

Madison: Oh, no, I’ll just keep my own copy, thank you.

Phillip: But —

George: It’s quite all right, Phillip. If you’ll continue?

Phillip: [flustered] The following is the deposition of Madison Cartwright, taken in the law offices of Wilson & Braxton, in the City of Birmingham, Alabama, on [insert date of production]. Present are Madison Cartwright and attorneys George S. Davies and myself, Phillip G. Smith. [Turning to Madison] Miss Cartwright, you have agreed to these proceedings and are participating of your own free will?

Madison: Yep.

Phillip: And you understand you have the right to have an attorney present if you so choose?

Madison: I understand that, yes.

Phillip: Let the transcript show that Madison Cartwright has waived legal counsel and chooses to be here of her own free will.

Madison: I don’t need a lawyer, Mr. Smith. I haven’t done anything wrong.

George: Miss Cartwright, due to the serious nature of the allegations, it might be advisable.

Madison: I’ve spoken to several friends about the matter, Mr. Davies.

George: [Dubious] Very well, Miss Cartwright.

Madison: [Gently insistent] My friends are legal counsel, Mr. Davies.

There is an uncomfortable pause.

George: [clearing his throat] Miss Cartwright, could you please tell us the nature of your business?

Madison: What business are you referring to, Mr. Davies?

George: The business with the dog, Miss Cartwright.

Madison: Well, I don’t rightly call that a business.

George: What would you call it, Miss Cartwright?

Madison: I call it helping out.

George: Then you do not, as a business practice, perform exorcisms?

to be continued….

exorcising the dog : part i
exorcising the dog : part ii
exorcising the dog : part iii
exorcising the dog : part iv