Get Off My Flowers (2018)

(Zanzy Rice-Reeves (Death), Milla Steilmann (Life) in Isabella Hosey’s Get Off My Flowers


By Isabella Hosey

Ross School

Click here to watch Get Off My Flowers 

(The lights go up. Life is planting flowers in a garden. Death comes over and walks all over

flowers. Life gets up slowly with a look of disgust on her face.)

Life: Excuse me Death but would you please get off my flowers. You seem to be, (pauses and

looks down at flowers) crushing them.

Death: Oh I’m sorry Life. Is this bothering you?

(Death begins to stomp on flowers.)

Life: Please stop! You’re killing them! Why are you being so vile today?

Death: Oh isn’t that funny. Life telling Death that Death is killing something. Sorry sunshine,

that’s my job if you haven’t heard.

Life: Yeah I get that. But please get off my flowers.

Death: Why do these stupid flowers mean so much to you?

Life: First, they are not stupid. And second, they might be small or “nothing” but they mean

something to me.

Death: And why is that?

Life: Because they’re the little things. The little things in life that we have to learn to appreciate.

Death: Whatever.

Life: Now please go away and go kill something other than my flowers.

(Life begins to wave her hands to tell Death to move. Death doesn’t flinch.)

Death: Sorry to burst your bubble, but I’m done for the day. I’ve checked off everyone on my list.

Life: You actually keep a list? How crude.

Death: And you don’t?

Life: Well I keep a neat file of all the people born, their lives, and what I have planned for them.

But eventually files disappear. I never know where they go.

(Death looks guiltily at the ground.)

Life: So you’re the one who takes them! Why? Why steal someone’s life?

Death: Because there comes a time when everyone must pass. And I need to keep records of

when the appropriate time to go is. I mean you keep your office unlocked so it really isn’t hard.

Life: You are so despicable.

Death: I don’t like to think I’m despicable.

Life: Well you are. Can you go back to hell or something? You’re really bothering me.

Death: I actually live in the desert. You know? Nothing really lives there. I’m not the devil.

Life: I don’t care. Just leave my garden.

Death: Wow. Life is getting mad. I guess that gives me more reason to stay.

Life: Now I see why people hate you. I try to think there’s more to you than just evil but I guess

there isn’t.

Death: People hate me?

Life: Yeah isn’t it obvious.

Death: Well it isn’t that obvious.

(Pauses for a moment to think. Life walks away and starts to fiddle with other plants in the

Garden of Life.)

Death: Why do people hate me?

Life: I don’t know. They love me.

Death: Am I really that bad?

Life: I think people are scared of you.

Death: But you’re just as scary.

Life: But you’re the unknown.

Death: The unknown?

(Life begins to slowly walk back to Death.)

Life: Yes people like to know about everything. Nothing can go unexplained.

(Death picks up dead roses. She begins to pull pedals off.)

Death: But isn’t mystery good? I mean sometimes it’s a good thing to not know everything. If

people knew everything then they would try to change the future, and eventually change history

and everything would be off balance.

Life: I guess mystery can be good. (She thinks) Do people hate me, Death?

Death: In this world, there are many people who hate me and there are many people who hate

you. You see the ones that hate me love you because they love how there life’s going, and the

people who love me aren’t happy with what you’ve given them. Hate is a strong word.

(Life begins to walk away angrily. Death follows her.)

Life: But why? I make people happy. You just hurt people. People shouldn’t hate me.

Death: Well they do. You can’t always make people happy. Not everyone is going to agree with

what you want to give them. While you might think something is good they might hate it. Not

everyone is going to like you. That’s just the way it is.

Life: But I want to heal people from the scars you give them.

(Life keeps avoiding Death’s eyes and motions. Death still follows her.)

Death: But you can’t heal scars. Time heals scars. You try to fix everything but you can’t.

Life: Why are you acting like you know everything? How do you know anything about a person’s

life? You cause their end and I give them rebirth. I don’t understand how anyone can love you.

(Life becomes more frustrated which causes Death to be more frustrated too. Death grabs Life’s

arm and looks her in the eye.)

Death: You just won’t accept it will you. You can’t accept the fact that you aren’t perfect. Nobody

is perfect Life. You can’t please everyone.

Life: But you can’t seem to accept it either. You were so upset when I told you people hated you.

Death: I wasn’t upset. I was confused about how you’ve never heard about Life being hated.

Life: Why are you being so defensive?

(Death releases her grip and walks away and back to the roses. Her back is to Life.)

Death: You will never understand. Yes, people hate you but more people hate me. I’m the one

everyone dreads. I’m the end. I create loss and grief. You make people happy. It hurts me that

you don’t understand what you do for people. If I were you I’d appreciate all the love given. But

that’s the thing. You don’t seem to.

Life: Death. I’m sorry. I didn’t know you felt this way.

Death: I don’t have friends. Death isn’t so easily liked.

Life: I consider you my friend.

Death: And why is that?

(Life puts her hand on Death’s shoulder.)

Life: Because you inspire me.

Death: How do I inspire you? I’m Death and all I do is hurt.

Life: Everytime you hurt I work harder to heal. Who would have ever thought that maybe you

and I aren’t as different as we thought?

Death: How is that?

Life: While you bring hurt and sorrow, but you also bring closeness and support. You bring love,

which is something I also give, but I also bring sorrow. When someone dies I can’t control it

because that’s Life.

Death: So you and I are like a team?

Life: Yeah, I guess so.

Death: So without you I would be nothing

Life: And without you I wouldn’t be able to do my job properly. You see, if there was no death life

would be boring and drab. Death doesn’t bring excitement but it brings people close and they

come together as one. When I bring disaster people join hands and unite as one. No differences

and no separation. People realize what’s really important. They begin to stand together.

Death: Ok that makes sense. Thanks for the pep talk.

Life: Anytime. (Pauses) Would you like to come and visit me sometime, here in my Garden of


Death: Um…

Life: As friends. You seem lonely and I’d like to be your friend.

Death: Are you sure you want to do that?

Life: Well after today I think I understand you more and I think if we’d work together more we

could make the best life for people.

Death: I guess that could work.

Life: I want to try at least.

Death: So, Friday?

Life: Friday sounds good. Then the friday after I could make my way to your wasteland.

Death: Desert. Not wasteland.

(Life smiles and gives Death a hug. Death awkwardly stands there. Life pulls away after

realizing that it’s awkward. They both sit down and Life puts her head on Death’s shoulder.)

Life: Death,

Death: Yes Life.

Life: You’re still on my flowers.

L to R: Milla Steilmann (Life), Izzy Hosey (Playwright), Autumn Coard (Assistant Director) Zanzy Rice-Reeves (Death)

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