From Across the Pond (2015)
From Across the Pond by Carly Travers
Click here to watch “From Across the Pond” on YouTube.
(Danny, a young farmers son, is down by his favorite pond in the woods skipping stones, and playing by himself, he is not used to other kids his age, as his siblings are all much younger, and his fathers farm is in a remote area of south Carolina.
Abby the daughter of a wealthy British family has just arrived in America; her father, a colonel in the king’s army anticipates winning the war, and being rewarded with vast tracks of land. She is out in the woods exploring, though considered unladylike, she is captivated by the adventure that the new world holds.)
Abby: (seeing Danny from across the pond) Oh, umm, hello sir.
Daniel: (looking confused, he has never been referred to as sir) Why hello there… Ma’am, what’s your name?
Abby: My apologies, I did not mean to startle you, I am Abby
Daniel: Startle me? Nothing could startle me I’m the king…er… master of the woods…(awkward pause) the names Daniel, (pause) you can call me Dan? Sorry I’m just not used to visitors
Abby: Really? How odd, its just so beautiful here.
Daniel: (enthusiastically) Well not many people live around here you know, well maybe you don’t? (inspecting her) I’m guessing you’re new around here.
Abby: Really how can you tell?
Daniel: You’re not covered in dirt.
Abby: Yes I just moved here, from Britain with my mother
Daniel: Wow all by yourselves? Where’s your father?
Abby: I’m not sure, last I heard he was marching north, you see he’s a colonel in the king’s army…(no reaction) He fights for the crown…
Daniel: My dad’s in the army, well the militia he says its like the same thing he just doesn’t get a fancy blue uniform, better then wearing on of those redcoats though I supposed right?
Abby: (frustrated) Uh…sure
Daniel: You know my dad says none of this would have happened if the king didn’t treat us like property, cause property doesn’t have a say in things, it just sits there.
Abby: Well one could say you can only treat a child like a child, those who resort to acts of treason, and mischief like dumping the entire tea cargo into say the Boston harbor clearly are not fit for inclusion in civilized government.
Daniel: Yeah I suppose… but none of that would have happened if we didn’t get all these crazy taxes, and such.
Abby: (Louder) Well none of that would have happened If you didn’t…(pause, Abby realizes this is going to escalate out of control) I’m sorry, can we please stop talking about the war.
Daniel: Look the suns gunna be settin’ soon
Abby: (startled) Oh no I need to hurry home to mother
Daniel: Why leaving so soon? The lake is best at night (slaps the back of his neck) well except for the mosquitoes
Abby: (lets out a small laugh) Yes we should do this again sometime Daniel
Daniel: Well I’m here almost every day (Abby Exits) (yelling after her) I said you could call me Dan!
(Slide: “Several Weeks Later”)
(Daniel is center stage sitting down playing with a stick in the dirt, Abby sneaks up behind him and covers his eyes)
Abby: Halt! Who goes there?…(no response) I said Who goes there…(still no response)..I said
Daniel: Abby knock it off!
Abby: I’m sorry Daniel, what’s wrong?
Daniel: What’s wrong? The stupid king is wrong, the stupid laws are wrong, this stupid war is wrong, everything is wrong…(long pause, Daniel is debating whether or not he should say any more, he finally decides he should) My father’s dead. The news came from the post rider yesterday
Abby: Oh no! (realizing that Daniel’s father could very well have been killed in a battler against her own father) Daniel I’m so sorry, I don’t know what to say
Daniel: Say goodbye…I’m going to take his place
Abby: Daniel don’t be silly, they wont take you you’re too young!
Daniel: Too young for the regulars sure, but he was militia, they’ll take anyone, and right now they need someone to fill my fathers spot. I’m the head of the house now, its my duty.
Abby: But Daniel you cant, what if you get hurt, or killed, what happens then?
Daniel: Say goodbye Abby
Abby: No I wont, if you leaving then I’m going too
Daniel: (looking puzzled) To the militia? I don’t think they do knitting circles.
Abby: You said they will take anyone…I’ll cook, I’ll clean, I take care of the injured, I’ll do anything, just don’t leave alone Daniel…(corrects herself) Dan…(pause) you’re my only friend.
Daniel: Then say Goodbye
Abby: To who? You or my Family? Am I going with you?
(Lights go Dark, the answer is never revealed to the audience)