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--------------------------------------------------------------------------- Monologue Mania Day # 226 by Janet S. Tiger Sept. 26, 2014 Bertha’s story (for crime) A monologue by Janet S. Tiger © all rights reserved firstname.lastname@example.org
(A woman comes out onstage with a piece of pie on a plate. She is older, but very energetic, and glowing, but quietly so.)
I'm so glad you could come and help, dear. I know it must be difficult for you to understand me talking to you like this, considering I'm dead and all, but that's really what dreams are for.....to reach people when you can't phone.
Well, of course I'm Bertha dear, who else would I be? What a silly question! I'm Bertha, and this is my house....excuse me, was my house.
Wouldja like a piece of pie?
It's always nice to have a piece of pie when you talk with someone. Pie and a cup of hot coffee.
Of course I know who you are! You're the young lady who's been poking through all my things! I'm only kidding, I don't mind at all.
In fact, I think you're doing a bang-up job. I'm so glad you could come and help with all this. It was a big job, but I think you were the right person.
You've got a lot of questions I know, and I can help with some of them. Why did I let all these drifters stay? Didn't I know it could be dangerous, that something bad could happen?
Funny you should mention that....
(She sits at the kitchen table)
Do you know how many years people been asking me that same question? Friends, neighbors, even some of the young men who stayed here! Thirty-five years. Since my husband died. Amazing. And the funny thing was, that in the 15 and 17 years my daughter and son were alive, not one person said, Bertha, why do you take your kids in the car, why do you let them drive around? Don't you know some drunk could crash into them and kill them?
But no one asked that. Not one person. And before my darling husband died, I can't recall one person saying, Bertha, did you know that since your husband worked with asbestos druing World War II, he could get cancer?
So, I never really listened. Because after everyone was taken from me, I would lie awake nights and wonder why I was still alive. Why me? Didn't I deserve to die? Why did I have to have all this pain? The first years were the hardest, but everyone helped with the crops. Then people have their own problems, children are born sick, parents need help. Then a fellow stopped and asked if he could stay for a bit, in exchange for room and board, he could take care of fixing the fence, milking the cows.
And I said yes.
Because I needed help....and I was lonely, and these young men were all lost. And I could give them something they needed. The truth. Which is in pretty short supply, it seems.
They would sit and complain about their parents, and I would listen. Then I would ask, when did all this bad stuff happen, and they would answer....when I was ten, when I was fifteen, when I was four.....and I would ask, and how old are you now?
And they would say, eighteen, twenty six, forty-three......
And somehow, they would get the message.
If they worked hard, and they all did, I gave them the praise and the love they somehow missed out one somewhere........
(She takes a deep breath)
I don't remember all their names. But some of them stayed in touch, did well for themselves. I'm proud of them.
Others, I can just hope they're all right.
Even the last one, the one you're looking for, I don't wish him ill, I just want for him not to hurt anyone else.
Am I sorry? (Laughs) Oh, no! I'm very happy it turned out like this!
You see, my death did good. Better than an organ donation I think. Because you're going to find this poor man who killed me...because he will kill again......and I don't want that to happen.
So, have a piece of pie and some coffee....but first, please wash your hands.
(She gets up)
You think I'm silly? It's the first thing I learned from my momma, wash your hands before you eat. And I had to train these young men, too, sometimes......so, please, wash your hands.......the pie is worth it!
(She turns to leave, stops, looks back)
I may be silly, but who's talking to the dead person!
(She laughs as lights black out. She is gone, but definitely not forgotten)
-------------------------------------- Janet S. Tiger 858-736-6315 www.JanetSTiger.weebly.com Member Dramatists Guild since 1983 Playwright-in-Residence Swedenborg Hall 2006-8 --------------------------------------------------------