Sunday, January 28, 2018

Monologue Mania Day # 1446 For Crime by Janet S. Tiger (c) Jan. 29, 2018

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Monologue Mania Day # 1446 For Crime  by Janet S. Tiger (c) Jan. 29, 2018   


                                        For Crime
                          (Not)  A monologue by Janet S. Tiger   © all rights reserved                                                                                              tigerteam1@gmail.com

            
            (The detective is speaking close to the beginning of the play)

DETECTIVE -   I remember the first day we met. 

        (Lights go up on a group of the other actors, backs to the audience, they are talking quietly with each other.)

DETECTIVE - It was a neighborhood you don't usually go to for a questionable death.....middle class, trimmed lawns.  But I'd been a detective long enough to learn death is a virus that can strike in any place, so when I arrived, I did what I usually did. 

        (He walks up and looks at the group from a distance)

DETECTIVE -  I parked off to one side, and I take a look at the crowd.  There's always a crowd.  People come like vultures when there's a death....or maybe flies to rotting meat.....

        (We hear the crowd murmuring - 'who died?  Who did it?  Our neighborhood is no longer safe......)

DETECTIVE -.....and very often, if there is a killer, the killer is in that crowd......

So I watch. Who is standing to one side?  Who looks uncomfortable?  Who is very excited by all the excitement - and is anyone crying?  If someone is crying that tells me the dead person was loved by someone.  That's important to know.  Because often, we kill the ones we love.

And then, along comes .......

          (He indicates a woman in the audience, who comes up onstage)

DETECTIVE - She walks right up to me and says,

ERICA- Are you the detective on the case?  Or is he inside already?

DETECTIVE - 'Why would you ask me that?'

ERICA - Because you're not from this neighborhood - I know everyone here.  And you have on a suit, and.....I'm sorry, I thought you were the detective.......'

DETECTIVE -   I am.  Detective Joe Halton.

ERICA -  Mrs. Erica Walton

DETECTIVE -  So, did you used to work with a police department?

ERICA -  (Laughs)  Not exactly.  I was an archaeologist before I got married....so I've seen a lot of dead bodies......

DETECTIVE -  Did you know the lady inside?

ERICA-  Mrs. De Palma?  Yes.  She was a sweet lady, always gave the children good candy on Halloween.  Nice presents at Christmas.  A nice person.  Her husband died , oh, I think it was three years ago.

DETECTIVE -  Do you know the son?

ERICA -  Ricky?  (She is hesitant)  He's ...got some problems......drugs.....it's been worse since his father died.  Mr. De Palma could keep him in tow,  but since he died, well.....

DETECTIVE - (Thinks)  Do you have a minute, I'd like you to come inside, take a look around.....

ERICA-  Me?  Why?

DETECTIVE -  I dunno.  Just a feeling.  I've learned to go with my gut.

ERICA -  I suppose.....the kids are with my husband.....I didn't think it was a good idea for them to see this....

              (He leads her over and points at the ground)

DETECTIVE -  You're right......if this bothers you....

ERICA -  Not really, it's a little fresher than I usually get, much more flesh.....

            (She looks around, he hands her gloves)

DETECTIVE -  The photos have been taken, you can touch with these.....

             (She kneels, pats the body)

ERICA -  She was a nice lady....

DETECTIVE -  Do you think....the son could've done this?

ERICA -  Oh, no, not at all.

DETECTIVE -  Really?

ERICA -  Well, she was hit from behind, and, my instinct tells me that, if he hurt his mother, it would have been in a rage, fueled by the drugs.  Face to face, he would hit or push.....and, it looks like the killer took money from her purse, am I right?

DETECTIVE -  Looks like it.

ERICA -  I think -  if he'd killed her -Ricky would have been too upset to think about money.  And if he took money, he'd have no need to kill her.  He did love his mother.  He may have hurt her in a fit of passion - which I doubt, too - but never from behind, and never to rob after.  No, I would imagine this was one of his meth head friends, and the friend will not care if Ricky gets the blame.....

DETECTIVE -  What if  little Ricky has confessed?

ERICA -  (very sure)  Then it was tricked out of him, he was never too bright, and the drugs certainly did not help his IQ......no, if he confesses, he's just feeling guilty, and he knows who did it, when he sobers up, he'll remember....

           (He watches as she goes to sit, he faces the audience again)

DETECTIVE -  It was good I'd talked to her, because Ricky had confessed, and if she hadn't explained, Ricky would've ended up in prison.....but because of her, we got the right guy.  That time.  But one time is all we have.  Each case is its own horror story for the family and friends.  You get it right, and.....it feels good.

So that's how an archaeologist got to be a police consultant.....and how I got a friend that has helped me figure out some very tough cases. So, with that very long introduction, may I present...Mrs. Erica Walton......

       (She comes onstage and they hug.  He turns to exit the stage, stops, looks back)

Why did I ask a housewife with no CSI experience to come into a crime scene?  Because the truth is - in all the years - before and since - she was the only who came up and knew I was the detective.

       (Spotlight switches to her. 
 She is dressed for a presentation - professional, not too flashy. She is rolling a cart of carefully organized papers)   

ERICA - Thank you for that lovely introduction......and please forgive the big pile of files.....but I'm going to need them to illustrate a point.....if I don't get too nervous, that is!             

           (She brings out one of the folders and looks at it, straightens her shoulders.)     When I was asked to present this case, I was a little hesitant, not just because I am not fond of public speaking, but also, this was a very unusual case, one that I did not expect to have a good ending. 

ERICA -  Unlike television, where virtually every case has the team solving the crime, we all know that  success rates for these older cases are very low.   I remember when I first started doing this work, you said.....

           (She turns to the detective)

DETECTIVE - If we don't find the killer in the first 24 hours, the odds go down exponentially every day, until they are almost zero.' 

ERICA -  'Why do you keep trying then?'  

DETECTIVE - Because almost is not an excuse.  And the victims are never almost dead....they remain dead, and their families are in a kind of purgatory until something is definite.'   

ERICA -  So I was introduced to the real world of Crime Scene Investigations - a world not seen on television.  When I tell people what I do, their eyes light up, until I inform them that most of what I do is beyond tedious, that the TV shows they watch cram thousands of hours of work into 48 minutes. I let people know that I have never been threatened, nor have I had my family kidnapped to stop me from  doing a case,.....and I am sure to tell them...that where I work is often very smelly 

Detective Walton mentioned that I started in archeology, which has been a huge help.  On a dig, there is a deep need to be meticulous, and to follow hunches, and to keep very exact records.  The same in this field.  Only, in archeology, everyone is dead, which means if you make a mistake, it only affects history.  But  with real life crimes, the dead have lives, and real families, and .........people cry.  

So, with this cheery introduction, I would like to tell about how I came to be on this cold case, a case that I took on AFTER I officially retired......so, if you will, please get comfortable, and Jody, hit the lights......


       (W  e see shadows of a man attacking a woman)

ERICA  - ......as we head to the small town of Reynolds, Nebraska......

       (A younger man and woman now come to the 'house' knock and then enter the house)

ERICA -  ....where, on a blowy Sunday morning, one of the favorite inhabitants.....was found in her home.......murdered.            

            (They find the body and the woman screams silently.  Lights down, end of scene) 

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Note: A few words about 'free' -  all these monologues are protected under copyright law and are free to read, free to perform and video as long as no money is charged. Once you charge admission or a donation, or include my work in an anthology, you need to contact me for royalty 

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Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315                CaregiversAnon.org
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983

Playwright-in-Residence
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

1 comment:

Jennifer Silva Redmond said...

Very intriguing. I like her!