October 31 & November 1: Trick or Treat
JAMIE, a young woman in jeans and a hoodie
BYRON, a boy in a homemade superhero costume
Trick or Treat
A clearing. Autumn. “Spooky” music filters in from offstage. Jamie, a young woman in jeans and a hoodie, lies face down on the ground. After a moment, Byron, a boy in a superhero costume, wanders on, dragging a bag of candy.
Byron notices Jamie and stops. After a long moment he picks up a stick off the ground and pokes her. She doesn’t respond. A beat. He pokes her again.
JAMIE: (Without moving) Stop that.
Byron considers poking her again, but doesn’t.
BYRON: I thought you might be dead.
JAMIE: (Still not moving.) Well, I’m not.
BYRON: Because you weren’t moving. And it’s Hallowe’en.
JAMIE: Sorry to disappoint you.
BYRON: S’okay. (Beat.) Did something scary happen to you?
BYRON: You’re lying down with your hood up. When scary things happen to me, sometimes I lie down and pull the covers right over my face.
JAMIE: Does that stop things from being scary?
BYRON: No. But I feel better anyway.
JAMIE: I’ve lost my faith in the fundamental worthiness of humanity.
JAMIE: (Jamie rolls up to a sitting position.) See. I was supposed to meet Derek Eldridge outside the Haunted House, because we were going to protest how it’s a giant waste of electricity and all the masks are made from this non-biodegradeable plastic and how they never let girls operate any of the really scary puppets because the old guy who runs it thinks girls lack sufficient “oomph” to pull off scary and because really it’s just an excuse for teenagers to get drunk and chase each other around laughing and making out like the world is some fun amazing place and Derek and I don’t believe in that because we’re too smart and too ethical to condone it– only when I got there Derek was holding hands with Sylvia Brewer.
BYRON: You talk really fast.
JAMIE: And I wouldn’t even care except Sylvia Brewer was all “let’s go into the Haunted House” and all Derek said was “Sure.” Like he didn’t know any of the things he knew. Or like Sylvia Brewer’s lip-gloss was all it took to wipe them from his brain. (Beat.) How am I supposed to have faith in humanity if Derek Eldridge can’t even stand firm against the Haunted House?
This sits between them for a moment. Then, reluctantly, Byron rummages around in his bag for a candy bar. He holds it out to her.
JAMIE: Thanks. But I can’t. They use palm oil and it’s destroying the rainforest and killing orang-utans. (Beat.) You know that like twenty years ago, you’d have gone trick-or-treating and the ladies in your neighbourhood would have made candy apples and sugar cookies shaped like jack-o-lanterns. But before we got here, some jerk decided he’d put razor-blades inside the candy apples and strychnine in the sugar cookies and that’s why we have to have this stuff instead. (Beat.) How am I supposed to have faith in humanity when someone would do that? I bet he was married to some smiling candy company executive, and thought it was all alright as long as she was happy selling her pre-wrapped solutions to the razor-apple-strychnine-cookie problem.
She’s scaring him a little, but Byron rallies, and pulls a different candy bar out. After a moment, Jamie takes it. Byron carefully picks the same candy for himself, and they sit together, munching.
JAMIE: What superhero are you?
JAMIE: You don’t look like Superman.
BYRON: My mom wouldn’t buy me the one with the cape and the muscles. She made this with my pyjamas, and said I just have to tell everyone I’m Superman.
JAMIE: Well that sucks.
JAMIE: I know the feeling.