Saturday, February 4, 2017

Monologue Mania Day #1088 Second Child (one-act) by Janet S. Tiger (c) Feb. 4, 2017

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Monologue Mania Day #1088 Second Child (one-act) by Janet S. Tiger (c) Feb. 4, 2017
       This a duo piece from two monologues Days# 626, 627 (Click on numbers to see as separate pieces)                                             
                                            Second Child  
                                                   (a mini-one-act)
                                                    by Janet S. Tiger)

(There are seven bowls indicating a Buddhist shrine, along with a basket.  Two figures are seen on opposite sides of the stage – one a man, the other a woman, they are at the shrine, but not able to see each other.  The Chinese man is in his 40s, looks older. He is dressed in modern clothing.  He looks at the bowls, bows and puts money into the basket by the Buddha statue.  Shakes his head.
The Chinese woman is in her 40s, she, too, looks older.  She is dressed in modern clothing,.  She looks at the bowls, bows and puts money into the basket by the Buddha statue.  She shakes her head.)

WOMAN - I was brought up to give the offerings, but when I do this now, it is with a bad heart.  I know I am supposed to make right the bad things I have done, or forget them, but how can I do that?

MAN -  My wife is sick.  I know.  We have been married many years.  We have a good life.  Not perfect, but a good son, he has a good job, a good wife.  Now a baby is coming to them.  But my wife is angry, the anger is eating her, like an animal chews at a bone that has no more meat.

This is bad.

She is mad at me.  I don't know why.  

WOMAN - Three babies, three girl babies.  My son was born when I was 18, and he is now a man, married, and his wife is pregnant.  He has a good job, and they will have a good life.

I am happy they changed the law so that my son and his wife can have two babies now, not just one.  Maybe one day, all these bad laws will be gone.  But I cannot forget.

MAN -  (Thinking back to happier times)  She was on the farm right next to my father's farm.   I saw her from when I was a boy, we were friends.  She was nice, I liked her.  She liked me.......I did what I had to do.  Always.  My parents told me I had to get married.  So we got married.  Our farms grew together.... all our ancestors are here with us.

WOMAN - And I cannot blame my husband anymore.....he had his reasons.  But three girls, all gone.  He killed, I could not watch.

MAN -  Everything was good until the ....other problems.....(Chokes a bit)  ....When you get bad luck, it always comes in three.  Three girls.....I had to kill those babies.  I did not want to, I had to...I thought she understood was the only thing I could do.

WOMAN - I cried, but could not tell anyone, not even my parents.  They were lucky, I was born before the laws changed, so they would not understand.

How could they understand what I do not understand?

But that is not why I am here.

I am here because.....I am pregnant.

MAN -  They were my babies, too.     I did it, because she cried too much.  The first one, I almost cried, too.  (Remembering, hard for him)  She was so beautiful....she looked like my wife.   The second one looked like my son, like they could have been twins.  And the third....I had my wife wrap the baby in a blanket so I would not see the face, so it would not be burned into my heart like the others.....I put her into the pail of water until there was no more movement, for a few minutes, and I sat with the spirit, and buried her body with her sisters, with her grandmother, so they could be together for all time.

        (He puts his face into his hands, drops to his knees)

WOMAN - I did not think I could be pregnant again, but I am.  All the signs are here.  And we could keep this baby now, and it would be a new generation.  But first I must let go of the other girls who died....who we killed.

I so much wanted a baby girl....and I begged my husband to keep one, we could hide her in the country, like I knew others did.  Hide her until she was old enough, and we could say she was from cousin who died.  You wait long enough, some cousin will die.

But no, he was afraid.

I hate him.  But now I carry another baby from him.  So I ask for help, to understand what I do now.

Do I stay with my husband or leave him?

MAN - I had no choice!  What could I do?  If we tell people about the girls, they would be taken away from us!  Maybe to people here in China, but maybe to other nations, where they would speak strange languages!  What if I met them years later and we could not speak!

WOMAN - Do I stay here, or move to the city to be near my son and his wife, so the babies will have each other to grow up with?

          (She bows her head, slowly rocking)

MAN – (In anguish) And what about the ancestors?  How do I tell them?  No!  Better dead with your family.... than alone in foreign lands!

        (He turns to leave, stops, looks back)

Better...I think.  I hope....I believe......

          (She finally stands up tall)

WOMAN - Same thing every day, no good answers.  But I will come back until I know....or until the baby comes......there is always an answer.....

           (She turns to go, stops, looks back)

But the hardest question - what if the a.... boy?

        (On either side of the stage, spotlight on both, then blackout)

Background -  In China, starting in 1980, families were limited to one child to stem population growth -  It is estimated over 200 million female babies were aborted as a result of this strictly enforced policy.