Tea Party

Scene One from an absurd two act play I wrote years ago in sleep deprived states, with a bit of fantasy in Act 2. Enjoy!

Act One

Scene One: In Patricia’s backyard. A table is set up with five chairs around it. A garden hidden by bushes is nearby.

Beatrice: Could someone get the kettle?

Calvin: Where would we find it?

Amelia: The kitchen, of course. Where else would it be?

Rupert: The closet.

Patience: Don’t be stupid, Rupert. Why don’t you get the kettle? Otherwise we’ll have no tea for our tea party.

Amelia: Oh, no! Turn off the oven when you get the kettle. I think I just burnt the cookies.

Beatrice: How could you do something like that?

Amelia: Well, I did tell you I can’t bake. So it’s not my fault.

Calvin: You should get going, Rupert.

Rupert exits and returns a few minutes later with a pot of tea and dark brown cookies.

Patience: Well I suppose we could get some crackers instead of cookies. If that’s okay with you, Amelia.

Amelia: That would be a better idea. I don’t even know if the cookies are edible.

Calvin exits and returns a few minutes later with a roll of crackers.

Beatrice: You’re hopeless, Amelia.

Amelia: (indignant) Why am I hopeless?

Patience: She doesn’t mean it like that, Amelia. She just means you’re no good in the kitchen.

Amelia: Gee, thanks.

Calvin: Crackers, anyone?

Calvin holds up a roll of crackers, which is immediately taken by Amelia.

Amelia: Thanks, Calvin. (puts crackers on the table beside the cookies) You and Rupert get the crackers. Patience, Beatrice, and I will have the cookies. I’m sure they’ll taste just fine.

The five of them sit down. Beatrice pours the tea and Amelia passes around the cookies and crackers.

Rupert: Cookies taste like they came from a shoe in a closet.

Amelia throws a cookie at Rupert. Rupert dodges the cookies and throws one back. Patience stands and grabs the cookies away.

Patience: That’s enough. This is a tea party. We will act civilized now. Later, you can throw the cookies at each other all day, for all I care. But right now, you will act like decent people with very good manners.

Rupert: And how do you suppose we go about that?

Beatrice: (shaking her head) You’re an idiot, Rupert.

Calvin: Maybe you should have just invited girls, Pat.

Amelia: You know Patience is too kind. She’ll always invite you and Rupert along.

Calvin: (looking around) You know, I could have sworn I saw a shadow moving.

Beatrice: Well, of course shadows move! When the sun moves, so do the shadows! You’re hopeless, Calvin.

Calvin: (scathingly) That’s not what I meant, Beatrice. I thought I saw the shadow of a person moving around in the bushes.

Amelia: You’re hallucinating, Cal. (she bites into a cracker.) Are you dying?

Calvin: No, I’m not dying! And I know what I saw. There’s someone around here.

Rupert: Now why would anyone want to be here? I know I don’t.

Patience: Then you can leave! I’m sick of your attitude, Rupert. Just go.

Rupert: (standing) Fine. I’m going. See you all later.

Rupert turns to leave. A gunshot is suddenly heard and Beatrice tumbles from her chair, dead. Amelia and Patience are immediately at her side. Calvin stands up quickly and attempts to find the person who shot Beatrice.

Amelia: Well don’t just stand there, Rupert! Call 911!

Rupert hurries inside and makes the call. Calvin is searching through the bushes, muttering angrily to himself about his incompetent friends.

Patience: Is she breathing? I can’t feel a pulse.

Amelia: No breathing. Hurry up, Rupert! Get a stack of towels and then go keep an eye out for the ambulance!

Rupert’s voice from inside the house: Okay, okay! Stop yelling at me!

Amelia: Then hurry up!

Calvin: (voice from behind the bushes) Got you!

There is considerable noise coming from behind the bushes in Patience’s garden. Apparently, Calvin is fighting someone who is fighting back.

Patience: What on Earth is going on back there?

They hear a loud groan and then everything is quiet. Sirens can be heard in the distance. Patience turns to her garden and gasps.

Patience: (aghast) My garden!

Calvin emerges from behind the bushes, very dirty, but otherwise all right.

Calvin: You’re worried about your garden and I could have died back there.

Patience: (sighs) Sorry, Calvin. But you know I’ve spent countless hours working on my prize flowers.

Calvin: Yeah, I know. Hey, I just knocked out the guy who killed Beatrice. Are the police coming?

Amelia: You can go ask Rupert. Oh, here come the ambulance men.

Two paramedics enter with a policeman. Beatrice is quickly taken away with Amelia explaining what had happened. Calvin talks to the policeman and leads him to the unconscious man. Patience stands by the table, dazed. Rupert sits down at the table and starts eating the crackers and tossing the cookies around.

Patience: Oh, Rupert, stop that. One of our best friends has just died! Poor Beatrice.

The policeman awakens the murderer and leads him off in handcuffs.

Exit all.

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