First, please allow me to be the very first to wish you a very Happy Halloween. Today, I shall present to you selections from my Halloween plays. Below is a scene from ‘The Werewolf & His Problems’ (published by Playscripts, Inc). Set in the early 1800’s, it’s based on an old Detroit legend about a bride-stealing werewolf. Full play is available at Playscripts.com
(LOUIS sits sulking in his home. There is a knock at the door. JACK walks in.)
JACK. Hey, how are you feeling?
LOUIS GAROU. How do you think I’m feeling?
JACK. Really good?
(LOUIS just stares at him.)
JACK. I’m sorry, I’m not good at reading people’s emotions. Look, there are other women in this colony.
LOUIS GAROU. No there’s not. There’s like four. Oh Jack, if only I hadn’t gone off to war I would never have lost Gabrielle.
JACK. (Consoling:) Come on man, don’t talk like that. I’m sure you still would have lost her. You would have done or said something to make her leave you. And that Jacques Voleur, he’s hard to resist
for the ladies you know, I think even despite your best efforts she would have gone right to him and…
LOUIS GAROU. Stop it! You’re not making me feel better! I’ve carelessly chartered a course in my life that have led me to unknown waters.
JACK. Well think of Christopher Columbus. He carelessly chartered a course that led him to unknown waters and look what happened to him. He ended up where no man has gone before, right over the edge of the world, or so is my understanding of history.
LOUIS GAROU. (Pause.) I wish I was eaten by a catfish. I would be better off as a ghost.
JACK. I think it would be fun to be a ghost. When I’m a ghost I’m going to make it so the person I’m haunting can’t pull up their socks.
LOUIS GAROU. Yes, well, that really has nothing to do with anything.
JACK. Hey, I’m trying to cheer you up.
LOUIS GAROU. Thank you Jack, but I really think I just need some time on my own right now.
JACK. Alright. Well, if there is anything I can do, you just name it. If you need someone to talk to, or someone to hang out with, or if you want me to go home and finish off the ham my wife baked last night, I’ll do it for you.
LOUIS GAROU. Thank you Jack.
JACK. So you want me to do the ham thing right?
LOUIS GAROU. Whatever.
JACK. I’ll let my wife know. You’re a good man Louis.
(JACK leaves. LOUIS locks the door.)
LOUIS GAROU. Gabrielle is gone, my life has no more purpose. Why would God bring such an angel into my life, only to remove her cruelly? (To God; yells:) Why are you teasing me?! Is it fair that a man goes away to war only to lose everything he has at home?
(Enter THE DEVIL.)
Now she is in love with a man who is renowned for his trapping ability. I cannot compete with that. The sorrow I feel is deeper than any ocean. Except maybe the arctic ocean. Very little is known about that body of water in this day and age and I’m willing to bet…
THE DEVIL. I think I may be able to help.
LOUIS GAROU. (Startled:) Ah! Who are you?
THE DEVIL. Ha, ha, ha, there are many names by which I go, but you may call me Satan!
LOUIS GAROU. I don’t know any Stan.
THE DEVIL. (Angry:) Satan!
LOUIS GAROU. (Pause.) I think you got the wrong house.
THE DEVIL. (Annoyed:) I’m the devil!
LOUIS GAROU. Ah! How did you get in here? This place is locked tight!
THE DEVIL. (Proud:) I’m the devil, I possess many powers unbeknownst to you mortals, ha, ha, ha! (LOUIS just stares at him. THE DEVIL stops laughing. There is an uncomfortable pause.) I…I jimmy’d the lock on your back door.
LOUIS GAROU. What are you doing here?
THE DEVIL. My devil powers sensed a distraught soul. (LOUIS just stares at him again. There is another uncomfortable pause.) I was hanging out by your window and I overheard you talking. (He pulls a piece of pie out of his cape, and goes to take a bite.) You want some pie?
LOUIS GAROU. Is it evil pie?
THE DEVIL. (Annoyed:) It’s pie. Listen, I think I can solve all of your problems. I think you hit it right on the head about this Gabrielle thing. I mean you’re not a good trapper, no wonder she left you. If you became a better trapper, she’d probably come back to you.
LOUIS GAROU. You really think so?
THE DEVIL. Yes. (Takes a bite of the pie:) Ah!
LOUIS GAROU. What?
THE DEVIL. This pie is terrible!
LOUIS GAROU. You still haven’t told me why you’re here.
THE DEVIL. What if I told you I had to the power to grant you the ability to transform into nature’s greatest hunting creature whenever you want?
LOUIS GAROU. You would give me the power to turn into a stork?
THE DEVIL. No! How is the stork nature’s greatest hunting creature?
LOUIS GAROU. You know, it’s got that beak, and those wings and it can fly, any moment dropping down on an unsuspecting fish…
THE DEVIL. I’m talking about the wolf!
LOUIS GAROU. The wolf?
THE DEVIL. Yes.
LOUIS GAROU. (Disappointed:) Oh.
THE DEVIL. What?
LOUIS GAROU. Nothing.
THE DEVIL. What?!
LOUIS GAROU. Nothing. Nothing, it’s just, what about the tiger or the lion or something like that?
THE DEVIL. The tiger and lion aren’t native to your land. How do you even know about them?
LOUIS GAROU. I read.
THE DEVIL. Well the wolf is a much more…
LOUIS GAROU. Could I be a tiger?
THE DEVIL. No!
LOUIS GAROU. Why not?!
THE DEVIL. Because, this is a foreign habitat for the tiger. It would wreak havoc on the environment.
LOUIS GAROU. What do you care? You’re the devil.
THE DEVIL. I know, I know. You don’t want to be a tiger, trust me. You want to be a wolf.
LOUIS GAROU. What about a bear?
THE DEVIL. (Annoyed:) What about a bear?
LOUIS GAROU. The bear is more feared than the wolf.
THE DEVIL. No it isn’t!
LOUIS GAROU. Yes it is.
THE DEVIL. No it isn’t. Bears are big and gumpy.
LOUIS GAROU. But they’re quick. You release a wolf and you release a bear in town, people are going to be a lot more concerned about the bear.
THE DEVIL. No they’re not.
LOUIS GAROU. I guarantee they are.
THE DEVIL. (Dramatic:) Look! The wolf is quick, nimble and vicious! It can stalk its prey for hours undetected! One bite from the creature can mean death! (Pause, embarrassed:) Besides, I don’t know how to make a bear.
LOUIS GAROU. What?
THE DEVIL. I don’t know how to make bears. I only kinda know how to do wolves and even that, I don’t completely have down.
LOUIS GAROU. So all you can make is a wolf?
THE DEVIL. (Offended; angry:) Well what can you do that’s so great?! (Pause.) Louis, think about it. With these powers, there will be no greater trapper in all the woods than yourself.
LOUIS GAROU. (Hesitant:) I don’t know. It’s against my religion to enter into pacts with the devil.
THE DEVIL. What? What pact? There’s no pact. I’m simply giving you a gift.
LOUIS GAROU. (Touched:) Really? Aww, that’s sweet. (Skeptical:) Wait a minute, do I have to sell my soul?
THE DEVIL. Sell your soul? I wouldn’t dream of asking you to sell your soul. (Breaks into evil laughter:) Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.
LOUIS GAROU. Wait a minute, what’s so funny?
THE DEVIL. What’s so funny? Um. I thought you were talking about the soles of your feet.
LOUIS GAROU. Oh, ha, ha… (Skeptical:) Wait a minute, why would that be funny?! It doesn’t even make sense!
THE DEVIL. You can have this gift at no charge. You don’t have to trade your soul for it. (Pause.) Although, I’m sure you will one day. (Evil laughter:) Ha, ha, ha.
LOUIS GAROU. Wait a minute, what did you just say?
THE DEVIL. I said, ha, ha, ha.
LOUIS GAROU. Alright, that’s what I thought you said. Fine, I’ll accept your gift.
THE DEVIL. Alright, hold still while I transfer these powers upon you. (THE DEVIL dramatically flails his arm from his cape. Another piece of pie falls to the floor.)
THE DEVIL. Oops.
LOUIS GAROU. Why do you have so much pie in your cape?
THE DEVIL. Shut up and hold still. (He flails his arm again.) There you are. You now possess the power of the wolf. Oh, you’ll want to stay away from the following items, silver. That is all.
LOUIS GAROU. What?! All of my jewelry is silver!
THE DEVIL. Yeah, well. Farewell, Louis Garou. (He walks towards the front door.) I’m sure we will meet again. For now, I shall disappear into the night, for the devil’s mission to seek the ruin of men’s souls is never ending! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
(He turns the doorknob, struggling to get it open:)
The door knob is jammed.
LOUIS GAROU. You have to jiggle it.
THE DEVIL. I am jiggling it.
LOUIS GAROU. You’re twisting it, you have to jiggle it.
THE DEVIL. I am, I… (It opens.) Ah. Farewell! Ha, ha, ha, ha.
(He tries to shut the door, it swings back open on him.)
What…What’s going on here?
LOUIS GAROU. You have to jiggle it shut too.
(THE DEVIL tries several times to get the door shut. He finally does.)
LOUIS GAROU. Hey! He left his pie on my floor! Let’s see if his gift really works. Alright, I’ll just try to turn into a wolf here (He closes his eyes and concentrates.) Okay Louis, concentrate, concentrate, you are a wolf… Now! (He looks at himself in a mirror and groans.) Aww. Ok, I’ll just try again here. Let’s see, (Closes eyes) okay, I am a wolf as of… Now! (Opens eyes, shuts them again.) Now! (Looks at self in mirror.) Aww, I only kind of look like a wolf. Man, the devil is such a liar! He obviously just came here to waste my time, time I could have spent sulking over Gabrielle and her fiancé. Her fiancé? (He jerks back.) Ah! What was that? It felt incredible. (He jerks back again.) Aww, it’s just indigestion. (Looks at hands.) Wait a minute, I don’t recall fur on my hands. Well I guess I never really look at them a lot. (He jerks back again.) It’s happening.(He jerks once more falling to the ground. When he emerges, he has the head of a wolf. He howls.)
(The lights go down. The lights come back up after a short moment. It is morning. LOUIS is lying there. There are furs and stuffed animals everywhere. LOUIS wakes up, in a daze.)
LOUIS GAROU. Ugh, I feel like I just got hit by a ton of bricks, but then I somehow went back in time and yanked myself out of the way and fell asleep and woke up with a bad headache. (He struggles to get up.) Something’s not right here, I…(He looks down at his shirt:) Ah! I somehow snagged my favorite shirt! I… (He then looks around.) Ah!!! My gosh, animals must have broken into my home, ransacked it and left their furs behind. Wait, no! It worked! It worked!!
(He excitedly starts to gather his furs.)
End of Act I