The More You Gnome (2016)

 

8757 200x300 The More You Gnome (2016)
Lacey Zeller and Alivia Ruiz in
Paige Beck’s play “The More You Gnome”

 

The More You Gnome

by Paige Beck

Click here to watch “The More You Gnome”


ACT 1
AT RISE: The lights are off.
SFX: Door slam.
CARTER and MIA run onto the stage, panting.

MIA
Oh god, what are we going to do?!

CARTER
Just relax! It’s all good.

MIA
All good?! Look around!

CARTER
I can’t, it’s too dark.

MIA
It’s a figure of speech. You said Mr. Speck wasn’t home!

CARTER
He wasn’t! He just… got home. Right now.

MIA
Is… he still up there?

CARTER
Hold on, I’ll check.

SFX: Door opening and closing.

CARTER (CONT’D)
Yep! He’s watching an episode of “Say Yes to the Dress.”

MR. SPECK
(offstage)
OH MY GOD, JESSICA! JUST CHOOSE THE SECOND DRESS! IT’S OBVIOUSLY THE ONE!

MIA
Well, there’s no getting out of that exit for a while… Where are we? We just went down stairs… I think.

CARTER
I think it’s a basement. Hold on, I’ll check.

The lights turn on. CARTER and MIA are standing in the basement, surrounded by shelves full of garden Gnomes. In the corner of the stage, there’s a pottery wheel with gnomes-to- be, and mannequins wearing gnome clothing.

CARTER (CONT’D)
Woah! What the–

MIA
Gnomes?!

CARTER
…So thiiiis is what Mr. Speck gets up to in his free time…

MIA
Why does he have so many gnomes?

CARTER
Why do you have so many pokemon cards?

MIA
That’s different! Those are limited edition. They’re cool.

CARTER
Dude, I don’t know if you can put “limited edition” and “cool” in the same sentence.

MIA
Insults of my livelihood aside, this is getting really creepy, really fast. Let’s find a way out of here.

CARTER
Aye aye captain!

CARTER walks over to the gnomes and starts observing them.

CARTER (CONT’D)
Why don’t I start by searching his “collection”?

MIA sighs and begins to pace around the stage.

MIA
There’s nothing here! No doors, no windows, no exit!

CARTER
Hey, I think–

MIA
C’mon Mia, you don’t give up easily! What’s here that could bust us out? Gnome keychains? No. Gnome mugs? No. Gnome clothing? Definitely NOT.

CARTER
Well, I found a–

MIA
Think, Mia! There has to be something here that you could use Think!

CARTER
HEY!

MIA jumps in surprise and turns to CARTER.

CARTER (CONT’D)
I found something!

CARTER leads MIA over to an area of the stage where a pottery wheel and a lump of clay sit, surrounded by gnomes.

MIA
So he makes the gnomes himself?

CARTER
He’s a humble craftsman.

MIA
And you’re a humble moron.

CARTER
Ouch. Hey, doesn’t this gnome look… familiar to you?

CARTER holds up one of the gnomes on the work table.

CARTER (CONT’D)
It does! It totally looks like Eric, from our accounting class!

MIA
It even has his charming, side swept blond hair, and deep, crystal blue eyes.

Awkward pause.

MIA (CONT’D)
…Why would he have a gnome that looks like Eric, though?

CARTER
Life inspires art?

MIA
I’d hardly call this “art.”

CARTER places the gnome down and inspects the other gnomes. She and MIA search in silence for a moment, and then she gasps. MIA turns, obviously alarmed.

CARTER
Dude!

MIA
What?!

CARTER
He gnomed me!

MIA
He what?!

CARTER
Check it out!

CARTER turns, holding a gnome that looks exactly like her.

MIA
That’s horrifying!

CARTER
I love her!

MIA
It’s unsettling!

CARTER
She’s my child! Yes… my daughter, Carter Junior. CJ!

MIA
That gnome is not your child.

CARTER
(turning to the gnome)
She didn’t mean that, CJ. Daddy’s just scared right now.

MIA
Why am I “Daddy”?!

CARTER
Cause I’m the mom, duh.

MIA
It’s not your child!

CARTER
She can hear you!

CARTER cradles the gnome in her arms.

CARTER (CONT’D)
And she’s our child.

MIA turns to the shelf and looks at all the gnomes.

MIA
Oh my god.

CARTER
Not in front of the child.

MIA
These gnomes… they’re all kids from our school! This might be the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen.

CARTER
(shrugging)
Eh, I’ve seen worse.

MIA
We have to get out of here right now. What do we do?

CARTER
I have a plan… but it includes a tiger, and a really big rock. Or a really big tiger… made out of rock.

MIA
No.

CARTER
Okay, I have another plan. Check it out, gnome clothes.

CARTER approaches the mannequins covered in gnome outfits and picks up hat.

CARTER (CONT’D)
We put these on and pose like mannequins. Mr. Speck will just think we’re gnomes.

MIA
That’s an awful idea.

CARTER
Mia, trust me. Let’s put on the gnome clothes.

MIA
Cut it out! We’re stuck in our teacher’s basement. Take this situation seriously!

CARTER
I am serious! I think the tiger plan could work!

MIA
I’m the one actually trying to get things done! You always just goof off!

CARTER
I work every day from 7 am to 3 pm! Excuse me for wanting to relax when I get back!

MIA
You always do this! All you want to do is relax! Or you pull me into some dumb adventure and expect me to fix it!

CARTER
I did this for you!

MIA
If you were really doing this for me, you would get my consent first! Instead of just snapchatting me at 11pm outside of our teacher’s home!

CARTER
I thought you were worried about your test! Didn’t you want to break in and finish it?

MIA
I was joking! I never wanted to break into his house! This is all your fault!

CARTER
You never support me anymore! You always belittle me, and think that I’m not capable of doing things for myself! Well excuse me for trying to be a good friend!

MIA
If you definition of being a good friend is dragging me around to clean up your messes, then maybe we shouldn’t be friends anymore.

CARTER
Are you saying–?

MIA
I am.

CARTER
What about our child?!

MIA
That gnome is not our daughter!

CARTER
Who’s gonna have custody?

MIA
She’s a gnome! She’s not a child.

CARTER
She can hear you!

MIA
Gnomes don’t have ears! I- just shut up and help me get out of here.

CARTER
(mumbling)
I don’t want to.

MIA
What?

CARTER
I don’t want to get out of here.

MIA
…This is so typical. This is so like you! You did this to sabotage me, didn’t you? You’re just set on ruining my life for me!

CARTER
I didn’t-

MIA
First the Berkley application, and now this?! You just want me to get caught, and never go to college!

CARTER
That wasn’t my fault! You said you didn’t blame me!

MIA
Of course I did! I lied!

CARTER
Why do you even have to go to college?! There’s nothing for you there, anyway!

MIA
Nothing for me there?! Everything is out there, waiting for me! My life’s out there!

CARTER
What about your life right here, right now! In this basement!

MIA
In this basement… filled with gnomes.

CARTER
They’re fun and wacky.

MIA
No! I refuse to let you hold me back any longer! Just because you don’t have a future doesn’t mean I’ll let you destroy mine!

CARTER
Future, future, future! That’s all you care about! College, grades, and leaving! All you want to do is leave! Why cant you just live in the moment with me?!

MIA
Because whenever I try to, we get trapped in situations like this!

CARTER
If I don’t throw us into situations like this, then you won’t come! You don’t even care about me anymore!

MIA
Because I have a future to worry about now!

CARTER
Well I’m sorry for not realizing that future didn’t include me!

There’s a moment of silence. CARTER looks down at the gnome.

CARTER (CONT’D)
Look what you did. She’s crying now.

MIA
SHE’S A GNOME.

CARTER
She’s a gnome with feelings!

MIA
Well let me show you how I feel about that damn gnome!

MIA snatches the gnome from CARTER’s hands and throws it offstage. The audience hears the sound of the gnome shattering.

CARTER
My child…

MIA looks at the place where she threw the gnome, and then at her hands. She looks over and sees a look of pure horror on CARTER’s face.

MIA
Carter, I… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to.

CARTER
…It’s fine.

MIA
Fine? Why would it be fine? I just murdered your son!

CARTER
It was just a gnome, dude. What’s more important is that we get you out of here.

MIA
You’re not upset with me?

CARTER
I was just trying to have some fun before my buddy left for college! You’re leaving soon, and then things aren’t ever gonna be the same.

MIA
You’re doing all this crazy stuff because you’re afraid you’re going to lose me?

CARTER
Well duh. You’re like, my best friend.

SFX: Footsteps approaching the basement.

MIA
Mr. Speck! He’s coming! We’re dead!

CARTER reaches out to grab the gnome clothes.

CARTER
The gnome clothes! Put them on, he won’t see us!

MIA
That’s an awful idea!

CARTER
Mia!

CARTER puts her hands on MIA’s shoulders.

CARTER (CONT’D)
You have to trust me.

MIA
…I trust you.

MIA and CARTER throw on gnome jackets and hats and strike strange pose. SFX: Door opening, and a floodlight crosses the stage.

MR. SPECK
(offstage)
Who’s there?

There is silence for a moment while the floodlights sit on the stage. CARTER and MIA stay exactly still.

MR. SPECK (CONT’D)
(offstage)
Damn rats…

SFX: Door closing, and then floodlights turn off.

MIA and CARTER relax.

MIA
…It worked. Your idiotic plan actually worked.

CARTER
Just for the record, the tiger one would have worked too.

MIA
Listen… I’m sorry, Carter. I’ve been so caught up with applications, grades, Honor Society, and you know I’ve been wanting to go to Berkley my entire life, but I shouldn’t have put you behind everything else.

CARTER
I get it, Mia. I know your dad puts so much pressure on you, and your siblings set the bar so high… I just want to spend so time with you so you don’t have to worry about that for a little while. Instead of loser Carter and genius Mia, we can just be Carter and Mia.

MIA
…Thank you. You’re not a loser, Carter.

CARTER
It’s fine. That’s what friends are for.

MIA
Well, even when I go to college, I’ll still come back here. I would never forget about my best friend.

MIA walks over to the rows of gnomes and picks up a tag.

MIA (CONT’D)
…Hey, check it out. He has tags that say “Gnomes-R-Us.”

CARTER pulls out her phone and types on it.

CARTER
Woah! He has an Etsy shop where he sells all this gnome stuff! There’s even a picture of him wearing gnome clothes!

MIA
(looking over at CARTER’s phone)
I’m never going to see him the same way…

CARTER
So he sells all this stuff! What a smart business opportunity.

MIA
Hey… Does he do gnome commissions?

CARTER
I think so. Why?

MIA
I think… we should get back little CJ.

CARTER
Really?

MIA
Really.

CARTER
Oh my god! I’m gonna be a mother! Again!

CARTER hugs MIA in excitement.

MIA
(pushing CARTER off)
Not now, the gnomes are watching.

CARTER
I think I just heard Mr. Speck head upstairs. We could probably sneak out now.

MIA
Oh, thank god.

CARTER
Gnome formation!

The two strike gnome poses and shuffle offstage as the lights fade out.

BLACKOUT.

THE END

 

8785 200x300 The More You Gnome (2016)


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