The Price of Lies
by Rebecca

(4 minutes)

      (Annie, a straight laced conservative young woman of about twenty two, has just told Bellah, in her late teens, that she used to be a very different person. In this monologue, Bellah relates her own childhood personality to Annie, and how it cost her the life of her own father. Set in the deep south of America - both women have heavy accents, though any other accent will work as well. About six minutes long)

BELLAH: Ha! Annie, my darlin', you think YOU was a bad child when you was small? You? Good Lord, woman, you aint never done anythin' worse than sneakin' outa sunday school once in a while! Don't you look at me like that, it's true! Me? Now, I remember, when I was a kid, oh, I was SUCH a little hellraiser! (laughs at the recollection)Yes, ma'am! I remember I would go outside, every mornin', regular as clockwork, with a big bag full of flamin' doggie business, Miss Annie, oh yes I did. And I'd leave it on our neighbor's front porch. Then I'd ring the doorbell and hide, real quiet like, so's he wouldnt see me. And he's come stompin out there in his raggedy blue robe, and EVERY MORNIN', Miss Annie, he'd step in it! Every Single Time! My, how I laughed at him, swearin' and jumpin' around tryin' ta get it off his shoe! He never learned. And he never suspected me either. I was such a little liar, there was nothin' I liked better than a good practical joke.

(Conspiratorially) You know, Annie, there was one thing I used to do...It annoyed everyone to their very wits end, it did! But I never got tired of it. Until...well...(trails off and suddenly comes back) Anyway, Miss Annie, what I'd do was, I go down to the woods behind my house, and I'd hide where no one could see me - and then, I'd take a deep breath (demonstrates), raise my voice, and scream: MURDER!!FIRE!! HELP!! HELP! SOMEBODY!!! and so on like that until my very throat was hoarse from yellin'! And all the people from the neighborin' houses'd come rushin' down there with guns, and pitchforks, all kinds of things, to help. But they'd only find me, sittin there on a fallen log, one hundred percent alive, and laughin' at 'em for bein' so dang stupid!

Well, Miss Annie, you can imagine, they were SO angry at me! And when my Papa found out he gave me the wallopin' of a lifetime - I couldn't barely sit down for a week! But it didn't stop me, Annie dear, not by a long way. I just kept on doin' it and doin' it and doin' it - "cryin' wolf" I s'pose you could call it. After a while they stopped believin' me. They'd all just call out to quit bein' so damn stupid an' come inside! Ha. I never did.

(her tone changes, becomes more serious) One day though, Miss Annie, when I was about eleven years old, I went down behind my house again. I was sitin on my log, an' gettin ready to scream the birds outa the bushes again, when I heard somethin'. Someone was comin' up the hill. And they was draggin' somethin' - or someone - behind 'em. They was big, strong, heavy steps, like this (demonstrates). I didn't want who ever it was to see me, so I hid behind a rock and watched. There was two men comin up the hill, and they was pullin' another man along with 'em - I couldn't make out any of their faces. But the way they was draggin' 'im got me real scared, Miss Annie. They looked like they meant business. They threw the man down on the ground and one of the pair held him down so he couldn't get away. (she is looking at something far away, reliving each part of the story as she tells it)They was talkin' and I couldn't hear 'em real good, but they didnt talk long. The one who was holdin him down pulled out a gun Miss Annie, I was more terrified then I'd ever been in my life, because I thought if they saw me there they'd shoot me too! He pressed the gun against the man's head... I went to shut my eyes, but I wasn't fast enough - he shot this guy in his temple!! I saw this big spray of blood hit one of the trees, an' I thought I was gonna be sick! I - I came to my senses, and ran back up the hill, screamin' HELP! MURDER! SOMEBODY! and cryin' an' shakin' like a baby, yellin just like I used to for a joke. But nobody came, Miss Annie - NOT A SINGLE SOUL!! They all thought it was another prank! No matter how much I cried and pleaded for help, no matter how many doors I banged on, nobody would even listen! I guess I couldn't blame them.

They found the body the next day. I didn't know until they knocked on my door. My mother was out - I was home alone. I opened up the door and - and they laid his body on the porch in front of me, bloody, with half his face gone - but I knew who it was as soon as I saw him. It was my father, Annie! (almost in tears) The man I saw get shot was my own daddy! And I couldn't move - couldn't speak... all I could think was that if I hadn't ever played those tricks in the woods that there might have been a chance we could save him!

(she sinks to her knees on the floor, crying. Her next words are much quieter, though we can still hear her)I was just like the Boy Who Cried Wolf, in a way. But he only lost his sheep - I lost my father. I guess I cried wolf one too many times... (she doubles over, sobbing quietly) (lights fade to black) THE END

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