And Sew It Begins – Hope Walborn

 

CHARACTERS:

HAZEL: An elderly woman who owns a yarn shop. She knits frequently and lives in an apartment above the shop with her four cats. Everyone who knows her considers her a “feisty cat lady with a concern for everybody’s health.”

OLIVIA: An intern for the local police department. She is a technology obsessed sixteen year old and an aspiring blogger. She’s easily excitable and very determined, though she may not be the sharpest tool in the shed.

ROGERS: A soft spoken, middle aged officer at the local police department. He is very laid back and not too concerned about his work. He does not like much attention, nor does he like being around people. Rogers is the type of man who prefers to blend into the background.

 

Scene: A small table sits stage left with a large book and pen sitting on top. A box sits beside the book, and a ball of yarn lays on the floor nearby. An elderly woman in pajamas named HAZEL walks in, looking around. There is a knock at the door, and she walks over and opens it, revealing a middle aged police officer, OFFICER ROGERS, and a teenage girl, OLIVIA ST. CLAIRE. They both step farther into the shop.

 

ROGERS: (Speaking softly as he continues to do so throughout the play) Officer Rogers, nice to meet you. (Holds out hand for a handshake from HAZEL, who does not take it. He retracts it after a moment) What seems to be the problem, Mrs- (He stops, not knowing her name)

HAZEL: Hazel. My name is Hazel. And I am not a Mrs!

OLIVIA: (looking around the store excitedly) Was there a murder? I’d love to investigate a murder in a yarn shop! Do you think yarn soaks up blood? I bet it’s pretty absorbent. I’m Olivia St. Claire, by the way. I’m an intern.

HAZEL: Murder? No no, I was burglarized.

ROGERS: How do you know? (Looks around) I don’t see any sign of a break in.

HAZEL: What? Speak louder, dear.

OLIVIA: (Leaning close to HAZEL and raising her voice) He says there’s no sign of a break in. Are you sure you heard someone?

HAZEL: I’m positive. I was sleeping upstairs with my four cats when I heard a crashing noise down here. It must have been very loud for me to hear it from upstairs.

ROGERS: (Makes a note on notepad) Did you catch a glimpse of anyone who could be a suspect? Any characteristics you could give us?

HAZEL: I didn’t see anyone, if that’s what you’re asking. You really must speak up, young man.

OLIVIA: Don’t you have security cameras in this place? If not, I could get you some. I know tons about cameras, especially the one on my phone. (Pulls out phone) In fact, I could be getting some great footage right now for my YouTube channel.

HAZEL: (Glaring at the cell phone) I don’t trust all those gadgets you kids have these days.

ROGERS: So you don’t have any suspect tips?

HAZEL: Why would you want chips? It’s the middle of the night! Don’t you know it’s not healthy to eat after eight p.m.?

ROGERS: (Makes a short note)

OLIVIA: (Holds cell phone out as if filming using the front camera) Hey guys! Olivia here. Can you believe I’m actually on the set of a crime? I’ve been waiting for this! Time for interviews! (Points camera at HAZEL and ROGERS)

ROGERS: Please, Olivia. This is no place for your games. (Yawns) Let’s get our information and get back to our homes. It’s too late for this.

OLIVIA: But my vlog! (Sighs and turns off phone)

HAZEL: Dear, there’s no fog. It’s a clear night! You’ll be able to get home safely once you find my burglar.

ROGERS: What exactly is missing from your store? Money?

OLIVIA: Yeah, where is your cash register anyways?

HAZEL: Cash register? I don’t trust those things. I keep all the money in that locked up box over there, and it hasn’t been touched since yesterday.

ROGERS: Then what was stolen?

HAZEL: What was that, dear? Are you concerned about mold? There’s definitely none of that here!

OLIVIA: He asked you what was stolen.

HAZEL: Yarn, of course. My new shipment of sheep’s wool yarn is suddenly missing. That costs fifteen dollars a ball! It was exported from France!

ROGERS: (Scribbles in notepad while frowning) I think we’re done here.

HAZEL: I need that yarn back. I had several clients waiting on it! Plus, I have four cat sweaters to knit. It’s going to get chilly soon. I can feel it in my knee.

OLIVIA: (Gesturing around the store) You have tons of yarn here. Why not make your sweaters out of this? (Backs up, tripping over yarn ball and falling, hitting head lightly against table)

HAZEL: Oh dear! Are you okay? I’ll go get some ice, one minute. (She rushes off stage)

ROGERS: I really do think we should be going now…

OLIVIA: (Pulls phone out of pocket while still lying on ground. Begins filming) We’ve just had a tragic accident in Hazel’s yarn shop! First a burglar came, stealing her goat yarn, and now I’ve fallen. My head, my head! (Rests back of hand against forehead dramatically) I feel faint. There must be tons of blood!

HAZEL: (Rushing back onto stage with bag) I got you some frozen celery, dear. Put it on your head and raise your feet in the air!

ROGERS: I really don’t think this is all necessary…

OLIVIA: (Presses bag against head while looking into phone camera) Am I going to die? Is this the end?
ROGERS: (Rolls eyes) I think I should get you home, Olivia. Your parents are probably wondering where you are.

OLIVIA: (Shouting) This is a crisis here! Call your ambulance friends, officer.

ROGERS: That really is not needed. You barely even hit your head…

HAZEL: I’m still waiting to get my yarn back! Some detective you are! (Glares at ROGERS and picks up yarn that OLIVIA tripped over, throwing it weakly at him)

ROGERS: Hey!

OLIVIA: (Stands up excitedly, holding out phone) That was great, let’s reenact that for my viewers. Maybe throw it a bit harder, though, and aim for the face!

ROGERS: That was not necessary, Hazel.

HAZEL: Hm?

OLIVIA: (Puts phone away) So now what? I’m bored.

ROGERS: We go home, Olivia. It’s late and your parents aren’t going to be happy with me. There’s nothing else we can do here tonight.

HAZEL: What was that? You can’t leave! What if my burglar comes back to kill me? I’ll never hear them, and my cats certainly are not capable of saving me. I’m hard of hearing, if you haven’t noticed!

ROGERS: (Mumbles) Oh, we’ve noticed.

OLIVIA: You said you heard a crashing noise from upstairs. Let’s look around to see if there’s anything broken.

HAZEL: (Nods) Alright. But no touching the yarn!

ROGERS: (Rolls eyes and walks farther stage left, searching around the store)

OLIVIA: (Pulls out phone again and walks towards back of store) Olivia St. Claire again! Tonight we’re live on the scene of a crime. Hazel from the yarn store was robbed, and now I’m searching for evidence. Oh look! A ball of yarn. That must be a clue!

ROGERS: You do realize this is a yarn shop, don’t you?

OLIVIA: (Ignoring ROGERS) Let’s keep that in mind, guys, and search around some more…

HAZEL: (Walks over to table with book and pen and opens book)

OLIVIA: (Rushes over to HAZEL with camera) Hazel, tell my viewers what you’re doing. What are your thoughts and feelings on this crime?

HAZEL: I’m flipping through my ledger, dear. You can never trust computer systems. What is that you’ve got in your hand? (Squints at phone) Turn that off!

OLIVIA: My viewers want more footage of the crime, though! Say hello to them. They’re very curious about what’s happened here.

HAZEL: Those devices are dangerous. I bet that’s how the government watches you. You oughta turn it off. You’re invading my privacy!

ROGERS: (Walks back over to HAZEL and OLIVIA) I didn’t find anything.

OLIVIA: (Puts away phone) Some detective you are!

ROGERS: I’m only an officer! Detecting isn’t even my line of work. We can’t get an actual detective in here until sometime tomorrow

HAZEL: (Shaking head) Some help you are! Both of you! Do you realize how long it’ll take me to get a new shipment of sheep’s wool yarn? And how much money I’ll lose?

ROGERS: I’m sure the detective will find the culprit and your yarn if you just give them time and-

HAZEL: No, I need it before opening tomorrow morning. Mrs. Salvatore needs that yarn to knit her new son a scarf. Do you want that baby to get hypothermia? (Walks over to stage right, making a gesture that implies she’s locking the shop door) There. You’re stuck in here, now. No one is leaving until my yarn is recovered.

OLIVIA: Oh, a sleepover! This sounds fun. Hazel, do you have any popcorn? Let’s watch a movie! Have you guys seen Mean Girls? I can quote the whole movie! Like, for example, there’s this one scene where Damien-

ROGERS: You can’t detain us in here; it’s illegal. I already feel like a hostage. Give me that key right now!

HAZEL: (Shoves key into shirt pocket)

ROGERS: Fine, I’ll come get it myself. (Walks over to HAZEL)

HAZEL: (Slaps his arm and screams) Elder abuse! Elder abuse! Someone call the cops!

ROGERS: (Stepping back) I didn’t even touch you!

OLIVIA: (Pulls out phone and dials number. Holds it to her ear) Don’t worry, Hazel. I’m calling the police right now!

ROGERS: (Pulls out his phone and holds it up for OLIVIA) I’m the police, Olivia. And I’m right here!

HAZEL: What was that? I can’t hear you over the noise of your stupidity!

OLIVIA: (Hangs up and puts phone away) Hazel, do you have any food? I’m starved, and this can’t be a slumber party without popcorn.

HAZEL:  What?

OLIVIA: (Speaking loudly and slowly)  Popcorn. Do you have any popcorn?

HAZEL: Of course not! I already have high blood pressure, do you want me dead?

ROGERS: (Mumbling) Yes, I do.

OLIVIA: Well, what do you have to eat?

HAZEL: Dear, don’t you know that you shouldn’t eat before bed? That’s just awful for your digestive track. My doctor told me so!

OLIVIA: I’m young. I don’t have to worry about that. Besides, if we’re going to be staying up all night I’ll need the energy.

ROGERS: No one is staying up all night.

OLIVIA: But my friends and I always pull all nighters at sleepovers! Come on, let’s live a little. We’re young! (Pauses, looking between ROGERS and HAZEL) Well, one of us is anyways…

ROGERS: Hazel, if you don’t give me that key I’ll have you arrested as soon as we get out of here.

HAZEL: Did you say you need to get tested? For what? Heart disease? That’s the number one cause of death, you know. You could stand to lose a few pounds, too. All that fat around your heart will surely kill you!

ROGERS: I don’t need to get test-

HAZEL: You should listen to me. I know things. My doctor has taught me well over the years. Do you eat a lot of salt? You really should cut sodium from your diet if you want to live a few more years.

OLIVIA: (Nodding in agreement with HAZEL) My grandpa had high blood pressure and died in his sleep!

ROGERS: I am not going to die in my sleep.

OLIVIA: Poor man never knew it ‘til it hit him.

HAZEL: Listen to the girl, Officer! Unless it isn’t heart disease. Is it something more serious, Officer? Does your mother know about this? She certainly should! I don’t see why young people avoid talking to their folks. Your mother would be so heartbroken if you had heart disease! Or stomach ulcers!

OLIVIA: Stomach ulcers are the worst! You should really get checked for those, Rogers.

ROGERS: For the last time, I do not need to get-

OLIVIA: My uncle’s neighbor had stomach ulcers. Poor lady had to live on bland mash potatoes and bread her whole life.

HAZEL: That’s just awful! Isn’t that awful, Officer? See, this is why you should get tested!

ROGERS: That’s it. I’m calling one of the other officers to come break us out of here. (Pulls out phone and dials number. Pauses and waits, frowning) There’s no dial tone.

OLIVIA: Oh.. um.. I think someone spilled juice on your phone earlier. I don’t know, but I think it was Officer Jones…

ROGERS: (Puts phone away and glares at OLIVIA) It was just working not too long ago!

OLIVIA: (Laughing nervously) I guess it’s an on again off again kinda thing.

HAZEL: I guess you’re stuck in here, you fool!

A muffled crashing noise is heard from offstage, and everyone turns towards the noise.

HAZEL: By golly, there’s someone in my closet! They’ve been stalking me! They’re probably from the government. I knew I shouldn’t have trusted them!

OLIVIA: Or the CIA! Or a cult!

ROGERS: Don’t be ridiculous. Something probably just fell.

HAZEL: Well someone go look! They’ve probably tapped our phones and recorded our conversation by now! Officer Rogers, you go open the door. You’re a policeman, surely you can take the bandit.

ROGERS: (Nervously) I.. I think Olivia should do it. She’s in training after all. She could use the experience.

OLIVIA: I’m not opening that closet! Hazel’s probably right and there’s a killer inside! You’re the trained officer, anyways!

ROGERS: (Rubbing back of neck anxiously) I really don’t think-

HAZEL: Go in, you fool! This is your job.

ROGERS: (Yelling for once) I never wanted this job!

OLIVIA: What..?

HAZEL: He speaks! Good job, dearie. I can hear you now!

ROGERS: I wanted to be a culinary artist, not a cop! My father forced me into this job, and I am not opening that closet door!

OLIVIA: Fine, you wimps. I’ll do it! (Looks around and grabs the book sitting on the table, wielding it like a weapon. She nervously walks off stage)

ROGERS: (Looks at HAZEL, scared)

HAZEL: Look at what you’ve done! Put a child in danger! What an officer you are. Your name will be all over the papers tomorrow when she doesn’t come back alive!

OLIVIA: (Walks back on stage holding up a ball of yarn) I think I found your robber, Hazel. He was napping in the closet and must have knocked over a broom. (She sneezes) And I’m allergic to him.

HAZEL: (Disbelieving) It was Buttons? I thought all my cats were sleeping upstairs with me!

ROGERS: Well, case solved! I’ll let the others know in the morning. We should get going now. Hazel, if you’d kindly give me the key now…

HAZEL: (Patting pockets) I.. I seemed to have misplaced it. At least Olivia found my sheep’s wool yarn, though!

ROGERS: Well find it!

OLIVIA: Don’t be rude to her! You’re the detective here, after all!

ROGERS: Once and for all, I am not a detective.

HAZEL: (Looking around) I must have dropped it somewhere. I’m always dropping things.

ROGERS: I cannot stay here with you two any longer. Please, Hazel, I beg you to find that key. It couldn’t have gotten far. Just think!

OLIVIA: Maybe Buttons swallowed it.

HAZEL: Nonsense! Buttons has no teeth.

OLIVIA: Well, I guess our slumber party is back on!

ROGERS: (Falls to knees overdramatically) Nooo!
END

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