I need honest critique on this… Urgent.

An Adaptation of the Short Story:
The Ransom of Red Chief
by
O. Henry

Cast of Characters

STEVEN: College Senior

CHRIS: Steven’s Room-mate

DELLA ’DEE DEE’ SMITH: The Lost Girl

Mr. and Mrs. Smith: Dee Dee’s Parents

Serena: Chris’ Girlfriend

Scene:

Steven and Chris’ Apartment Living Room

Time:

A Little After Sunset

A messy living room that looks halfway between

an artist’s garret and a study. The room is

essentially male, with T-shirts strewn about and

posters on the back wall. A table, left, is

covered with a black cloth. Art supplies and

books are scattered on top. Three chairs can be

seen, two on stage right and one near the table.

NARRATOR:

It started out as all boy meet girl stories do.

Sunset, and a casual bump-in on a lonely road while

walking back home. But this isn’t your standard boy

meets girl story. Love, after all doesn’t happen

between a 25 year old boy and a 10 year old girl.Then

what does? An act of human kindness? Or an evil

underlying motive?

 

As the curtain goes up, Chris is seen looking

intently on a painting he has been working on.

The door, L, opens and Steven enters with a

little girl holding his hand.

CHRIS:

Look what the cat dragged in

 

STEVEN:

(rolls eyes)

Oh, so now I’m a cat.

 

CHRIS:

(noticing the girl, incredulous)

Where did she come from?

 

STEVEN:

I found her.

(He sits down on one of the chairs.

The girl remains standing)

 

CHRIS:

(His eyes fixed on the girl)

Enlighten me.

 

DEE DEE:

I was lost.

 

CHRIS:

(Amused)

She talks.

(chuckles)

So she isn’t just some doll you bought on a shopping

frenzy.

 

DEE DEE:

I have a doll. Her name is Susie. See

(holds up a doll upside down)

She used to be pretty but I made Rover eat her hair.

Rover’s my dog. He got really, really, really sick

after…

 

CHRIS:

Kid, shut up.

 

DEE DEE:

Off with your head!

 

STEVEN:

(grins)

Guess who’s been watching way too much Alice in the

Wonderland.

(takes out his phone and dials)

 

CHRIS:

Who’re you calling?

 

STEVEN:

911. I need to report that I found this chipmunk on

5th Avenue.

 

CHRIS:

You’ve got to be…

(runs up to him and snatches the

phone)

Steve, my man, how can you be so daft? What we’ve got

here is the mother of all opportunities!

 

STEVEN:

No, no, no, no. Don’t even go there…

 

CHRIS:

Look at her! Just look at her! I can bet you my

entire collection her parents are loaded!

 

STEVEN:

(shakes his head)

You need help, honestly. We’re college students,

Chris. Not kidnappers.

 

CHRIS:

College students who are broke! Almost.

 

STEVEN:

College students in jail if we go through with this.

 

CHRIS:

Rich college students!

(A loud crash has them turning to

where Dee Dee stands in the middle of

fallen books)

What the..

 

DEE DEE:

(laughs loudly)

Someone’s head is going to roll for this!

 

CHRIS:

Yeah, yours, you little…

(lunges towards her)

 

STEVEN:

You know, you shouldn’t hurt her if you plan on

getting a ransom off her.

 

CHRIS:

Aha! You agree!

(rubs palms together menacingly)

STEVEN THROWS UP HIS HANDS AND EXITS

DEE DEE:

Where did Tweedledum go?

 

CHRIS:

Who?

 

DEE DEE:

Tweedledum. You’re Tweedledee. I’m the Red Queen and

I demand that you sing to me!

 

CHRIS:

Ohkaay… Hey kid, mind giving me your daddy’s phone

number? I bet you miss him and want him to come get

you.

 

DEE DEE:

NO!

 

CHRIS:

Err…

 

DEE DEE:

Curtsy while you’re thinking. It saves time.

 

CHRIS:

Whoa. You’re a real Red Queen fan.

 

DEE DEE:

Fan? I am no fan! I’m the Red Queen! Off with your

head!

 

CHRIS:

Okay, Red Queen, your daddy’s number please?

 

DEE DEE:

I’ll ask all the questions!

 

CHRIS:

(rolls eyes and answers sarcastically)

Yes, your Majesty.

 

DEE DEE:

Your nail polish is messy.

 

CHRIS:

(looks at his fingers)

Nail polish?

 

DEE DEE:

Here. Let me do it for you.

(picks up a paintbrush and bottle)

Pink would look pretty on you. Pretty in pink. Yay.

 

CHRIS:

(snatches his fingers away)

Stop it!

 

DEE DEE:

(fumes)

You dare! I… I… Off with your head!

 

CHRIS:

(turns and sits on one of the chairs)

You’re a riot, kid.

 

DEE DEE:

0011876534

 

CHRIS:

What’s that?

 

DEE DEE:

Daddy’s number. So you can tell him I don’t ever

wanna come home. I’m happy happy happy with

Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

STEVEN ENTERS

STEVEN:

You know, we aren’t really fat. I mean, us, the

Tweedles? You’re way off mark, kid.

(sits next to Chris)

 

DEE DEE:

But, but… You’re cute.

(blushes)

 

STEVEN:

(laughs)

(to Steven)

Didn’t you have a phone call to make?

 

CHRIS:

Yeah? Oh yeah! I did!

(takes out his phone)

So what was the number again? 0-0-1-1…

 

DEE DEE:

8-7-6-5-3-4… Tsk, what weak memory you have.

(shakes her head solemnly)

 

CHRIS:

(gets up, excited)

It’s ringing! What do I say, what do I say?

 

STEVEN:

Your headache, man.

 

CHRIS:

Hello?

Stage right shows Mr and Mrs Smith standing. Mr

Smith is listening to his phone while Mrs Smith

stands watching him with hands clasped.

CHRIS:

(clears throat, changes voice)

Your daughter’s with us. If you want her back safe

and sound, bring fifty thousand dollars in a black

duffel bag to Central Park, tomorrow at…

 

Mr Smith tries to speak at different points but

closes his mouth before he can. He then shares a

mysterious smile with his wife.

STEVEN:

Tomorrow! Are you…

 

CHRIS:

Sshhhh!

(into the phone)

Yeah, tomorrow at nine. AND don’t even think of

notifying the police.

(hangs up)

 

STEVEN:

You crazy, dimwit! Where in the world will she sleep

tonight?

 

CHRIS:

And what gives you the idea that Red Queen here

really does sleep.

 

STEVEN:

She’s a child, for God’s sake! Children sleep, Chris!

It’s the way of the world!

 

DEE DEE:

The world revolves around me

(spins)

That’s what Daddy says.

 

CHRIS:

(mutters)

No wonder it never stops spinning.

 

DEE DEE:

Tweedledee, Dinner. Now.

 

CHRIS:

Please, God. Have mercy.

Doorbell rings, Steven opens the door. Serena

storms in and marches right up to Chris

 

CHRIS:

(looking up at the sky)

I asked for mercy!

 

SERENA:

You do remember you were supposed to meet me tonight,

don’t you?

 

CHRIS:

Umm… I…

 

SERENA:

Well?

(taps her foot)

 

DEE DEE:

I. Am. Hungry.

 

SERENA:

(looks at Dee Dee)

And you are?

(turns to Chris)

And she is?

 

STEVEN:

The reason he forgot all about meeting you.

 

CHRIS:

(glares at Steven)

No, Serena, she’s…

 

STEVEN:

(trying hard to keep a straight face)

Dollars in a duffel bag.

 

CHRIS:

Aargh! May God annihilate all room-mates!

 

STEVEN:

That still doesn’t cover all grounds. I’m alive

still.

 

SERENA:

Will you guys cut it out?

(to Dee Dee)

How did you get here?

 

DEE DEE:

Tweedledum brought me

(points at Steven)

 

SERENA:

Tweedledum?

(to Chris)

And she called you Tweedledee, right? Fat boys.

(sniggers)

 

DEE DEE:

(giggles)

Are you the White Queen?

 

SERENA:

Err… No… Hey wait a minute.

(turns to Chris and Steven)

What is this little girl doing in your apartment?

 

STEVEN:

(shrugs)

Ask him.

 

CHRIS:

(grins sheepishly and whispers)

Umm… We kidnapped her.

 

STEVEN:

Ahem… You kidnapped her.

 

DEE DEE:

You didn’t kidnap me, silly. I was lost.

Phone rings, Chris fumbles in his pockets and

takes it out. A slow smile appears on his face

as he answers it.

CHRIS:

Hello?

Stage right shows Mr Smith sitting on a chair,

with his phone to his ear. Mrs Smith stands

behind him with a hand on his shoulder.

MR SMITH:

You say you have my daughter, how’s she treating you?

 

CHRIS:

How’s she treating me? You should be asking about how

we’re treating her.

(laughs like a old-school villian)

 

MR SMITH:

Oh no. I wouldn’t be worried about that. Just drop

her back home when you’re ready, alright? We’re in no

hurry here.

(looks at his wife and smiles)

 

CHRIS:

Hey! Wait!… He hung up on me

(looks at his phone and then at

everyone around him)

He hung up on me.

 

DEE DEE:

Was it Daddy? What did he say? Did he say you could

keep me? Forever and ever and ever? Yay! I’ll live

with Tweedledum and Tweedledee. And the White Queen

too!

(looks at Serena)

Do you live here too? The Red Queen doesn’t like the

White Queen but I like you.

(comes forward to hug Serena)

 

SERENA:

(backing off)

Ugh. Stay away kid.

 

DEE DEE:

Off with her head! Do as I command you my subjects!

Steven sits down with his head in his hands.

Chris lets out an exasperated sigh and moves

forward to stand in between Dee Dee and Serena.

CHRIS:

C’mon kid. I’ll take you back home.

(takes Dee Dee’s arm)

 

DEE DEE:

Unhand me, you fool! I don’t want to go! Aaaaaa! Let

me go!

(jerks out of Chris’ grasp and starts

running around the room)

 

CHRIS:

(Kneels down in front of Dee Dee)

Please Red Queen, your Majesty. Where is your royal

abode so I may drop you where your loyal subjects

await.

 

DEE DEE:

(Waves her arms to show the room)

Right here. Now, I’ll live right here.

(smiles)

 

Curtain down

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4 thoughts on “I need honest critique on this… Urgent.

  1. willowdot21 says:

    That will teach them to bring home lost children!! Looks like they may end up paying her parents to take her back!! Brilliant piece of writing I really enjoyed it ! Will there be more??

  2. asoulwalker says:

    I don’t have anything constructive to say. In fact I really liked it and hope there is more.

  3. NooRehman says:

    I might change the ending a bit. Have one of the tweedles faint and the other one fan him

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