Monday, January 29, 2018

Monologue Mania Day # 1447 Crime - Erica and Bertha by Janet S. Tiger (c) Jan. 30, 2018

Welcome to Monologue Mania- one new free* monologue a day- -and still going!
Today is Day # 1447!  To look at the other 1446 titles - click here
  first   year -  Feb. 13, 2014 - Feb. 12, 2015  second year -  Feb. 13, 2015 - Feb. 12, 2016  third year -  Feb. 13, 2016 -  today!                 
I've continued with a monologue a day until the spirit moves me to stop - if you have any ideas for a monologue you want me to write, please let me know at
Get  more great award-winning monologues -
If you'd like to write your own monologues, I happen to have a book for that -   
Thank you for your comments - and for liking and sharing this site on Facebook, Google - with friends.  Wishing you much success!
Monologue Mania Day # 1447 Crime - Erica and Bertha by Janet S. Tiger (c) Jan. 30, 2018  

Because the play Crime is due on Feb. 16., I am using my monologue time to put together the pieces.  If some of these repeat, it's because I'm trying to make the pieces fit into the puzzle.  Here's a section from the middle-end of the play.  Thank you for understanding!

                                                Crime- Erica and Bertha
                            A monologue by Janet S. Tiger   © all rights reserved                                                                                    

          (Lights up on Erica, the Crime Scene Investigator)

ERICA - Dead ends.  You think you figured it all out, and, no. You hit the blank wall again.  Everyone here in this audience understands.  The only people who don't understand are the family and friends of the deceased.  What can you tell them?  You have a photo of the killer, excuse me, (says it with a touch of derision) the alleged killer, and it is of about the same value as a photo of a ghost.

What could I do?  I had no time to go through that barn full of Bertha's life...again.

My flight was the next day.  I couldn't put it off anymore, there was no more money, and no more time.  

            (She walks around the stage as if looking at a room)

I had grown to know Bertha Johnson's home, especially her kitchen, because that's where I spent a lot of time.  I think she had, too.  My last night.....packed, ready to job finished.... yet not completed, a very unsatisfying feeling......

I was exhausted and irritated and tired.....and yet, all I could think of for some reason was...a nice cup of tea and a warm piece of pie.  Funny how food can affect your life!  There was only a little milk and a donut left in the refrigerator because I was leaving, so I went to sleep ......and had a dream ....that Bertha was in the kitchen....

         (We see Bertha in the kitchen)

BERTHA -  How about a nice piece of apple pie?  And some you can wind down after all the work you've done.....

ERICA -  I've seen photos of you, so this is just my mind....making you into a real person.....

BERTHA -  I am a real person....and this is real pie......and it's real good.  My pies are always good....

ERICA -   Was a real person.....

BERTHA -  No, honey, I'm still real.  And I'm not going away until you have some of my pie...

ERICA -  All right....

BERTHA -  Good girl, now you go wash your hands before you eat......

ERICA - Wash my hands?  In a dream?  So I won't get sick in the dream?  That is funny!  Wait a minute, it’s a metaphor, right?  In a dream, everything means something else……I have to learn how to wash my hands of this whole thing.  Get over that I haven’t helped solve it.  Like a hundred others where my work didn’t have any value in catching a criminal…….

             (She looks at her hands)

ERICA -  Out, out, damned case!

BERTHA - Honey, I really don’t like cussing in my kitchen.  Outside, when someone gets kicked by a horse, or a full pail of slop falls on your toes, maybe.  So please, watch your language….

ERICA -  Sorry, Bertha.  I won’t do it again.  I love your kitchen.

BERTHA -  So do I.  I always liked feeding people when they were hungry.  They get this happy look on their face, like you handed them a plate of gold.  It makes all the work and washing up…worthwhile.

(Very serious)  But everyone has to wash their hands before they eat.  That was the first thing my momma taught me, and I had to teach a lotta those boys that came through here.  Some a them had no training at all, so I guess that's what I was here help them learn.....  some of them learned, but some of them didn't, and I had to keep reminding them...wash your hands.....

ERICA -  Amazing what the brain does!   Wash your hands.  Wash your hands.....

            (She stops laughing and looks at her hands.  Bertha laughs as she exits)

ERICA - That pie in the dream was delicious.......but is was really only there for one get me to see what I hadn't thought about.....a man who didn’t follow directions, a man with dirty hands.....

           (She lifts up an enlarged photo)

We had tried to get a better look at the killer's face, so we had blown up the video.....enough so we could see the man's hands, too, to see that he had no scars, no tatoos.....but his hands were dirty?

           (She goes to the pile and picks up the receipt)

The Sheriff had dusted this place for fingerprints, but over the years, there had been dozens, maybe hundreds of people through here.  It was not possible to figure out who was who.....but when a person's hands are dirty, sometimes......

          (She takes a magnifying glass and examines the receipt)

The dirt can make for a fingerprint......

           (She lowers the receipt, disappointed)

But not here. 

          (She turns to shout out the door.)

I’ll be ready in a minute, Sheriff!.......Then I thought of what he had paid with....she hadn't sent cash, she may have been trusting, but she wasn't stupid like that....Bertha always wrote a check.....

          (She goes to another box and removes an envelope.)

Her returned checks from the last statement......

          (Takes out a check that is in a plastic bag)

The final check to pay her last water bill.......she had used ink that was thicker, older people often like that, it reminds them of ink wells, and sometimes just like in the old smudges.....and there might be fingerprints  left behind on the back.....

          (She turns over the check and smiles)

All you need is one......and this one was the one.......the Sheriff sent it through CODIS, and as I got on the plane, he told me....we're going to find him.....and when I landed at home, I got the call....

        (She is very affected by this)

The same fingerprint had turned up in no less than five different locations.....involving five murders.........the most recent, in a town four states away.......

          (She shudders)

If I had figured it out sooner, would that last person still be alive? 

          (She looks at the audience, singling out faces)

Would one of your family members still be with you?  One of your friends……I guess I can't be too hard on myself, because of some small things I did, he was caught....finally.....         
            (She turns to leave, then looks back and reaches out her arm to the man sitting on the side)

And that was definitely not the end.....but the beginning of another story.....which I will leave to my friend.

Detective, would you please let them know what happened next?

          (Lights down on her, up on the Detective.  End of scene, not the end of the story)


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 

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

Swedenborg Hall 2006-8