Fireflies by David Mauriello


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This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author’s PRIOR consent


      CONNIE stops in her tracks
   
      THEY are all quiet as Ray enters

      There is an awkward silence.

      RAY: (sensing the mood) What? Youíre like the cat that caught the
      mouse. You boozing it up. How we gonna talk if youíre boozing it up?

      CONNIE: Iíll make coffee. Did you show off the car?

      RAY: I was going to. But then I found myself driving to the cemetery.
      I got out and left the door open so Pa and the boys maybe they could
      see the inside too. And then as I drove back I realized what was
      wrong. It was the thing that kept us going all those hard years. Her
      garden. Maybe Iíll hire some boys. Or maybe, (he turns to PETER) If
      you could find some time.

      ANGIE: Peter might have other things to do.

      RAY: Itís not like heís married or something. So he takes some
      time off.

      CONNIE: Maybe he canít take time off.

      ANGIE: Or maybe, maybe Peter you have some friend.

      PETER: AngeÖ

      ANGIE: Some friend who might like to take some time too. Summer is
      coming, be outdoors, helping you and Ma.

      PETER: You mean, bring him?

      RAY: Whoís him? HIM!

      ANGIE: Thatís what he said. Him.

      PETER: AhhhÖ

      CONNIE: Kevin, Ray, Kevin.

      RAY: Kevin, thatís a manís name, isnít it?

      ANGIE AND CONNIE nod

      ANGIE: Connie, pour Ray a drink. (CONNIE doesnít move)

      RAY: Oh Saint Joseph and Mary too. The one thing we never had in this
      family. Drunks, drugs, and dice. But we never had a QUEER!
      There is a dead silence. RAY paces, grabs the whiskey bottle. Starts
      to exit. RAY turns and looks at them.

      RAY: TO HELL WITH IT! Now weíre perfect!

      RAY raises the bottle in a salute and drinks. ANGIE and CONNIE cheer
      and hug PETER.

      Suddenly PETERís cell phone RINGS. CONNIE and ANGIE break away from
      PETER taken by surprise, both sputtering.

      ANGIE: What the Cris..

      CONNIE: Ohhh.

      RAY: What the Hell is that?

      RINGING continues as the THREE look at each other and then at PETER.

      PETER: My cell phone.

      ANGIE: I think I peed my pants.

      CONNIE: Me too.

      RAY: Cell phone? Who the Hell is calling at a time like this.

      ANGIE and CONNIE stare at each other.

      RAY: (looking at them) What? You both look stunnato. No more
      drinking.

      CONNIE: Are you thinking what Iím thinking?

      RAY: ANSWER THE DAMN THING!

      ANGIE: ITíS HIM. (she practically tackles PETER, taking him the
      shoulders) Itís Kevin. (triumphantly to CONNIE) Itís Kevin.

      CONNIE and ANGIE huddle like schoolgirls excited over some juicy
      scandal.

      PETER: (looks at phone) Yes..but.

      RAY: ANSWER IT. Che sta succedento huh? Everyone gone crazy?

      PETER: Iíll take it in the other room

      ANGIE: NO. YOU donít answer.

      CONNIE: He doesnít?

      ANGIE: No. Ray does. Peter give the phone to Ray. (she tries to take
      the phone, he holds it from her, she reaches for it) Heís your older
      brother.

      PETER: So?

      RAY: Yes, SOOOOO?

      ANGIE: Itís like youíre the father.

      RAY: Huh?

      PETER: HUH?

      ANGIE: OF THE BRIDE!! You got to give the blessing.

      CONNIE: OH MY GOD. SHEíS RIGHT. Ray, do your duty. Welcome youíre
      brother in law into the family.

      RAY: (skeptically) ďbrother- in lawĒ?

      PETER: Ray, Ray no remarks.

      ANGIE grabs for the phone catching PETER off guard. SHE races around
      the room. CONNIE steps between ANGIE and PETER. PETER stops,
      defeated.

      ANGIE: (the ďstarĒ getting ready for a close up, voice low, sexy)
      Hello. Is this Kevin?

      SPOT UP on Kevin

      KEVIN (OS): Hello. Yes, this is Kevin.

      ANGIE nods to CONNIE and RAY a huge grin on her face.

      KEVIN: Who is this?

      ANGIE: (Holding phone away) He wants to know who I am.

      RAY: Well tell him. But heíll regret it the poor fool

      PETER: Angie, give me the phone.

      ANGIE: (into phone) This is..(starts to cry) , this is, (starts to
      blubber) this is your sister Ė in Ė law Annnnnngie.

      PETER grabs the phone. CONNIE and ANGIE hug. RAY paces, biting his
      knuckles.

      PETER: (on phone) KevinÖI

      CONNIE and ANGIE scream as if a screen idol just came into the room

      KEVIN (OS): Whatís that noise?

      PETER: Ah, itís..

      RAY: (grabbing the phone) Itís my crazy wife and Peterís crazy
      sister. This is Ray. Now you listen to me. We got a sick old woman on
      our hands and I expect you and Peter to do your duty and help out with
      the situation, Capice! And I donít want to hear anything about you
      and, my baby brother. Thatís between you and him and God. All I know
      is, and I speak as the older generation, the ďgreatestĒ
      generation, this sex thing between human beings is overrated anyway.
      When you get to my age you want someone who loves you not only when
      youíre young and full of it, but when you canít get it up for love
      or money. Because they love YOU and not a fantastical something
      youíre not. Now if thatís OK with you, you are welcome to be part
      of this family. What do you have to say?

      KEVIN (OS): Itís OK with me.

      RAY: What did you say?

      KEVIN (OS): Itís OK with me.

      RAY: (holding the phone down) This guy doesnít talk much does he. He
      says itís OK with him.

      ANGIE: Thatís what you wanted him to say you Damn fool. (grabbing
      the phone) This is Peterís beautiful sister Angie again.

      KEVIN (OS): Hi Angie. I saw a picture of you when you were younger.
      You reminded me of a young Sophia Loren.

      ANGIE: Really. (aside to the others) This guy is smooth. (into phone)
      You got one more person to talk to too. Sheís the only sane one in
      the room.

      ANGIE hands phone to CONNIE.

      CONNIE: ME? (takes phone as if its going to burn her) (shyly) Hello?
      Iím Connie, Peterís sister-in-law.

      KEVIN: Hi Connie. Guess you and me are the in-laws. When do I get to
      meet you all?

      CONNIE: (to the others) He says weíre the in laws, him and me. He
      wants to meet us.  (she blubbers, composes herself) Do you like
      meatballs?

      PETER puts his hands over his head. ANGIE guffaws.

      KEVIN: Yes I do.

      CONNIE: Well I make mine extra big and youíre invitedÖ

      PETER: (taking the phone) Kevin.

      KEVIN: Yuh?

      PETER: I think you get the message.

      KEVIN: They knew all the time. Didnít I tellÖ

      PETER: Alright wise guy. Iím going to drive over to see my Mother.
      Ray thinks thereís something wrong. Iíll call you when I leave there.

      KEVIN: I hope everything is OK. I love you.

      PETER: And I loveÖ(he stops, shy about saying it) And I love you.

      He puts the phone into his pocket. He stands quietly but slowly the
      impact of what has transpired overwhelms him. He begins to cry.

      A GROUP hug ensues.

      ANGIE: So when do we meet the HOT one. (tickles PETER at waist line)

      RAY: Angie, cool off.

      CONNIE: Iíll cook.

      PETER: (totally thrilled and excited) Tomorrow!

      RAY: Huh?

      PETER: Celebration day! Weíll have dinner at Maís and Kevin will
      be the major attraction (grabs cell phone) Let me see if he can make
      time.

      CONNIE: Wait. Why donít you go see her first?

      PETER: Iíll see her tonight.

      CONNIE: Ray, what do you think?

      PETER: Whatís there do think?

      ANGIE: What she means is you may find Maís not up to it.

      PETER: (his excitement curbed) Oh.

      RAY: Oh nothing. Thing to do - Connie pack some food - go see her, see
      how things are, we told you, sheís not been eating like she should

      PETER: (excited again) Thatís all? You make it sound like itís
      starvation. So sheís a bit off. You said I can get her to do things.
      Tonight she eats, I promise. Connie pack it up. Especially the meat
      balls.

      CONNIE: Ah.

      RAY: Heís right

      ANGIE: Címon, Iíll help.

      CONNIE and ANGIE exit. RAY and PETER exchange glances, RAY paces.

      PETER: What?

      RAY: Nothing.

      PETER: Something.

      RAY: Nothing (RAY shrugs his shoulders, shakes his head)

      PETER: (slight concern) Ray?

      RAY: I think sheís been lonely.

      PETER: Well now she wonít be.

      RAY: Good. (shakes his head)

      PETER: What?

      RAY: Just thinking, poor.

      PETER:  Poor, who ďpoorĒ?

      RAY: Poor Gina Bonfanti, here sheís been waiting.

      PETER: GINA BON!!! You, you dog. I thought you, I mean, Ma. (silently
      asking, sheís ok right?)

      RAY: Hey, just…just goÖslowÖweíre all, just human.

      LIGHTS DOWN

      ACT TWO Ė SCENE ONE

      Later that day, dusk. The Garden. In the gloom the various shrubs and
      bushes are amorphous shapes.

      PETER (OS): (his voice sounds from different areas of the house) Ma,
      Hey Ma. Iím home. How about some biscottiís and coffee? Ma. You
      upstairs? MA. Youíre getting lazy, thereís dirty dishes in the
      sink. Hey Ma. You down in the cellar. MAAA. Ma, are you out? Itís
      almost dark, are you out in the yard?

      PETER steps into the garden area.

      PETER: You out there?

      CARMELA (OS): (weak, tired voice) Who there?

      PETER: (peering across the yard) Ma. You there? MA.

      CARMELA enters tiredly dragging a pitchfork.

      PETER: MA. (He gasps at her haggard appearance)

      CARMELA: Oh, Dio. Is it you? (Recognizing who it is she drops the
      pitchfork and cries out) Ahhhh, Pietro, Pietro. Yes, you come. Ahhhh.

      PETER: (sheer panic as he realizes how she much she has deteriorated)
      Ma! Whatís happened to you?

      CARMELA shrieks a tiny sound of sob and excitement and takes a few
      steps towards him. She doesnít see the old watering can in her path
      and she kicks it with one foot and struggles not to fall.

      PETER is with her in a flash, catching her, supporting her and then
      realizing what a worn out, defeated old woman he is holding, He throws
      his arms around her as if trying to hold her from falling off a steep ledge.

      PETER: Ma. God Ma. (embraces her, his face to the sky as if praying.
      He calms, looks at her) Ma, are you, OK?     

      CARMELA: Si, Si. (she steps back from him, fingers to her face as if
      she is trying to see what he sees there)

      PETER: You look, so, (he scrutinizes her, pats her hair into place)
      YourÖ

      CARMELA: Che? What my sweet figlio? (She stares at him embarrassed)

      PETER:  Nothing, Ma..nothing. Are you OK?

      CARMELA: (Self conscious under his troubled scrutiny, touches her hair
      and her face)  Oh, I work in the yard all day. But now you are home. I
      can rest.

      PETER: Yes Ma, you can rest. 

      CARMELA: Sometimes Peter I see smoke, blue smoke.

      PETER: What do you mean?

      CARMELA: There is no fire, no smell, but something, like a dream. When
      the blue smoke comes I am not sure where is the dream and where is the
      real. (Suddenly she steps aside as if looking for someone behind him)
      Did your Papa come too? And Roberto and Benito?

      PETER: (He turns to look behind unnerved by the look on her face) Ma!

      CARMELA: Shhh. Shhh.  (She listens, then shakes her head) No, that is
      the dream. (she sits wearily in an old lawn chair) Peter, my baby
      Pietro. Yes, yes. I remember now. You didnít want to be born. You
      wanted to stay where you could dream. Lazy boy. In the dream Peter, no
      one is gone.

      PETER: Maybe we should go inside. (pats her hand) Maybe huh, (forcing
      a smile) Go inside and rest or YOU will be gone.

      CARMELA: I am fine when there is no blue smoke.

      PETER: You are not fine.

      CARMELA: What you say? Look how I work. (she points to a section of
      the garden) I dig the earth, make soft bed for the seed.

      PETER: Youíre the one that needs a bed. Come inside.

      CARMELA: (shrugging him off) Time to plant.

      PETER: No. Time to rest. To, to clean yourself.

      CARMELA: Huh? (looking down at herself) What you say? (growing
      irritable) Why you talk so fresh.

      PETER: Iím not fresh. I just think you should rest.

      CARMELA: No.

      PETER: Ma, yes.

      CARMELA: Doan be fresh.

      PETER: Alright I will be fresh. You canít do all this alone, not
      anymore. Why donít you just ask for help? You donít look well.

      CARMELA: I ask Ray to send you the picture.

      PETER: You couldíve called me on the phone.

      CARMELA: You donít remember with the phone. When you see the picture
      the memory comes.

      PETER: A phone call wouldíve done the same thing.

      CARMELA: Ah, phone, phone, like weeds, all mixup. But the picture,
      aha, makes you stop your life.

      PETER: Alright. I stopped. Iím here. Now you stop. Ma, maybe if you
      stop the blue smoke will go away.

      CARMELA: (hopefully) You think? Hokay. You are here. There will be no
      blue smoke. (pats his hands) Ah Si, already I feel better. You make me
      strong, just with your touch. (reaching up to his face, as if seeing
      him for the first time) Look at you, I remember you this big, (holds
      her hands out indicating a small baby) Now look, like God.


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