JUDGE sits behind bench at CENTER STAGE.
WITNESS, slightly lower, sits at STAGE LEFT.
PROSECUTOR stands FACE FRONT, UPSTAGE CENTER, placed between JUDGE and WITNESS, arms behind back, head down, looking thoughtful.
DEFENSE sits at STAGE RIGHT, profile LEFT, level with WITNESS.
PROSECUTOR: (looks up, head tilted slightly toward WITNESS)
What was that, Miss Westmoreland? I didn't quite hear you...
could you please repeat it for the rest of us?
WITNESS: (frustrated) I said yes!
PROSECUTOR: (turns, faces WITNESS) So, you admit it, then?
WITNESS: (confused) What? No... I didn't admit to anything! All I said was–
PROSECUTOR: (interrupting, intently) It was YOU, wasn't it? That night in the chicken coop!
DEFENSE: (rising, pounds notebook on table) OBJECTION!
WITNESS: (still confused) Huh? Chickens?
JUDGE: Miss Barker, may I remind you what case we're on?
PROSECUTOR: (turning to JUDGE) What? Oh!
(checks file, looks at watch) Uh... What day is it?
DEFENSE: (sits back down, rolls eyes) Your honor, please!
WITNESS: (looks back and forth between all others, shakes raised index finger slightly)
Uh... excuse me?
JUDGE: (sighs, drums fingers) Short recess while the prosecution gets her affairs in order.
WITNESS: (excited) Recess? (turns to JUDGE) Do we get to go outside to play?
DEFENSE: What? Who's having an affair?
JUDGE: (throws up hands, tosses gavel over shoulder) I give up. (Exits RIGHT)
WITNESS comes down CENTER; DEFENSE and PROSECUTOR join
PROSECUTOR: So, how'm I doing?
DEFENSE: What was that mess about chickens?
PROSECUTOR: Just wanted to keep you on your toes.
WITNESS: I think Ms. Maynard is getting a little tired of your antics.
DEFENSE: (crosses arms folded over chest) Yeah, I think I'm getting pretty sick of it, myself.
PROSECUTOR: (hands on hips, leans forward, shaking head) Oh, you're always--
JUDGE suddenly returns RIGHT, conspicuously carrying a bottle of Bayer.
JUDGE: (interrupting) Okay. Can we just please try to be a little more serious
so maybe we can get through this last half before I retire?
(sighs, pops a couple of aspirin)
DEFENSE: Yeah! (thumb on nose, sticks out tongue and wiggles fingers at PROSECUTOR)
DEFENSE and PROSECUTOR glare at each other, eyes squinted, lips pursed.
All return to original positions.
JUDGE: (nodding to DEFENSE) Miss Aschenbrener, I believe it was your turn.
PROSECUTOR: (indignantly) But, I wasn't finished!
JUDGE pulls glasses down to end of nose, looks over lowered frames at PROSECUTOR,
with raised eyebrow and intense frown.
JUDGE: (strained) Yes, you were.
DEFENSE: Hmph! (throws nose in the air)
PROSECUTOR, pouting, swinging arms wildly, stomps to seat RIGHT, drops files dramatically on desk
and flops loudly into chair, folds arms across chest in a overly dramatic huff, and sticks out lower lip.
PROSECUTOR: (under breath) It's not FAIR.
WITNESS: (anxious) Can we please just get ON with it?
DEFENSE gathers papers, crosses LEFT.
DEFENSE: Alright, then. (straightens shoulders, clears throat) Now, Miss Westmoreland,
(gently) could you please tell us all, in your own words,
exactly what really happened on that fateful night?
PROSECUTOR: (muttering) No pressure or anything.
JUDGE: (sternly) One more peep out of you, Council (shakes finger at PROSECUTOR)
and you're out of here! (points to the door)
PROSECUTOR: (mouthing, out of sight of JUDGE) PEEP! PEEP, PEEP! PEEP!
WITNESS: Oh, I give up! I did it! I'm guilty!
DEFENSE: (astounded) What?!
PROSECUTOR: (amused) What??
JUDGE: (annoyed) What!!
WITNESS: Yes, that's right, you heard me! It was me, I did it!
I was the one who stole the erasers, wrote on the bulletin board, and ate all the chalk.
PROSECUTOR laughs maniacally. JUDGE shakes head wildly, eyes squeezed together tightly in a dramatic grimace, and plants a facepalm, then shakes both fists heavenward, mock crying and mouthing incoherent gibberish in the general direction of the ceiling, some of which is clearly “WHY ME”.
DEFENSE: Amy, what are you saying?
WITNESS: Look, I'm tired okay? I can't take this anymore! I just want to have my snack
and take a nap and forget this whole thing.
DEFENSE: (desperate) But, we worked so hard! We all know you didn't do it...
don't you care about that? Don't you care about your grade?
PROSECUTOR: (loudly) Ha! Ha-ha! HA!!
(holding stomach with one hand and pointing at DEFENSE with the other)
You lost, sucker!
PROSECUTOR moves in closer. JUDGE watches tentatively.
PROSECUTOR, with thumbs in ears, waggling jazz-hand fingers around, sticks out tongue, scrunches up nose, crosses eyes at DEFENSE, and sways side to side, bending at the waist.
PROSECUTOR: (mocking) Nyah, Nyah Neh-Boo-Boo!
DEFENSE: Shut up! This is all you fault! You had this whole thing planned out
just so you could make us all get a bad grade!
(also moves in closer)
PROSECUTOR: Oh yeah? And just what do you plan to do about it?
(pokes DEFENSE in chest on “You” “Plan” and “Do”)
DEFENSE: This! (shoves PROSECUTOR)
PROSECUTOR falls backwards with a shriek.
WITNESS: (excited) Alllll riiiight! (rubs hands together with glee) Now, THIS is more like it!
WITNESS jumps down from witness stand.
JUDGE pounds gavel on the bench.
JUDGE: (alarmed) Girls, Girls!!
PROSECUTOR gets up from floor and shoves DEFENSE.
DEFENSE comes back to pull PROSECUTOR's hair.
PROSECUTOR screams, holding head with both hands; while in the process of being yanked sideways by the hair, PROSECUTOR’s foot goes out and kicks WITNESS in the stomach.
WITNESS doubles over in momentary pain, then lunges at PROSECUTOR.
WITNESS: (offended) Hey!
WITNESS, with a dramatic wind-up, kicks PROSECUTOR in the back of the knee.
PROSECUTOR: (angry) Why, you!
PROSECUTOR breaks free of DEFENSE's hair-hold, turns and socks DEFENSE in the jaw, then spins around and attacks WITNESS, wrapping hands around WITNESS’s throat and shaking violently.
WITNESS claws at PROSECUTOR's arms, trying to break free, eyes rolled back in head, making small gurgling sounds.
JUDGE: (pounding gavel harder) Ladies, please!! CALM DOWN!
DEFENSE gets up from floor and jumps on PROSECUTOR's back.
PROSECUTOR lets go of WITNESS, swings around, groping and hitting upwards at DEFENSE.
A stunned WITNESS, momentarily dizzy, holds her head for a half-second, then shakes herself silly before jumping down to the floor on all fours at the feet of PROSECUTOR, and, growling like a crazed pit-bull, grabs PROSECUTOR's knee in one hand and PROSECUTOR's ankle in the other, pulling PROSECUTOR’S pant leg up from the ankle to the knee.
JUDGE stands abruptly, slamming gavel viciously on desk until it breaks, the head goes flying and hits a spinning DEFENSE in the butt.
JUDGE: (screaming madly) STOP IT!!! Stop it, all of you, or you'll ALL get a bad grade!
All stop suddenly, turn to stare at JUDGE.
JUDGE is breathing heavily, mouth open, teeth bared, lower jaw jut forward, chest heaving, eyes blazing, fuming all over, clinging so tightly to the broken gavel her knuckles are white and her fist is shaking.
DEFENSE is attached to PROSECUTOR's back, one hand under PROSECUTOR's arm and holding on tightly PROSECUTOR's outstretched ear, the other hand under PROSECUTOR's other arm with two fingers pushing up on PROSECUTOR's nose, both legs wrapped tightly around PROSECUTOR's waist.
PROSECUTOR is standing precariously on one foot, the other is shoeless, outstretched and teetering back and forth; both arms raised back over her head, grasping at DEFENSE; one hand holds a large chunk of DEFENSE’s hair upwards, the other hand grasps DEFENSE’s face, with two fingers poking in DEFENSE’s squeezed-shut eye, and two hooked inside and stretching DEFENSE’s mouth out of shape, and her thumb in DEFENSE’s ear.
WITNESS is sitting on her butt on the floor, one knee bent with the heel positioned to pin PROSECUTOR's standing toes down, the other leg outstretched with knee pinned tightly against the back of PROSECUTOR's standing heel; one hand triumphantly holds PROSECUTOR's empty shoe, the other holds PROSECUTOR's pushed up pantsleg at the knee. WITNESS has been proudly chewing on and ripping apart PROSECUTOR's sock, and is frozen with a mouthful of torn and shredded sock, still dangling on PROSECUTOR's foot.
Hold freeze position for a soundless count of seven, then all return to fighting with much hissing and screeching.
JUDGE hangs head in hands, sobbing, shoulders drooped; tosses gavel-handle over back as exiting RIGHT.
JUDGE: (defeated) That's the last time I try to teach Civics to second-graders!
LJ Idol | Season 9 • Week 9 - Topic: KEEP CALM
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