Ink Never Dulls — One Act Play

16 Jan

INK NEVER DULLS
By Talia Green

CHARACTERS:
VYKTORIA SUSANS, 17 year-old poet, abused by her mother
EMILIA SUSANS, mother of Vyktoria, abuser, dangerously bipolar, looks like the ideal mother – beautiful, delicate-looking
JOSH, new friend and confidant of Vyktoria
ROB, boyfriend of Emilia, looks like a straight-laced, conservative businessman.
MR. LORETI, English teacher
CHORUS (optional)

TIME
Present, fall

PLACE
Kitchen, classroom, and library

(Lights up on an empty kitchen. There is a large cherry wood door stage right and a circular wooden table just left of the door. There is a long white counter a few feet left of the table, with two or three compartment cabinets below. It is not sleek nor old fashioned, neat nor disorganized. Just normal.

VYKTORIA SUSANS enters through from stage right through the door, a backpack slung over her shoulders and her arms filled with two bags of groceries. She stands hesitantly in the doorway, as if expecting something to happen. Really take in the tense silence.
After a moment, VYKTORIA stalks to the counter onto which she places the two grocery bags. She walks back to the table and drops her backpack. After a couple more moments, she seems to relax in the silence, zips opens her backpack, and takes out a spiral notebook and Pre Calculus textbook, when she begins her homework.
She stiffens when she hears her mother’s (EMILIA’s) voice from a place in the audience.)
EMILIA:
Vyktoria!
(Her voice is almost too sweet. She stands and makes her way from her seat in the audience to the stage.) Vyktoria, sweetheart!
(Ad lib to other audience members: excuse me; I’m sorry; Hi, How are you? Enters through the door. Suddenly her façade falls.)
Would you care to tell me where the fuck you’ve been for the last fifteen minutes?

VYKTORIA:
At the country store.

EMILIA:
And why were you at the country store?

VYKTORIA:
Because you told me to buy groceries today… I stopped by on my way back from school.

EMILIA:
Oh. Well… It shouldn’t take you fifteen minutes to restock the fucking refrigerator.
(Silence.)
And what are you going to do, just leave them on the counter? Wait for them to grow legs and walk themselves into the pantry?
(VYKTORIA stands silently and walks over to the counter. She begins to unload the groceries into the pantry under the counter.
EMILIA sits and lights a cigarette.)

EMILIA:
So did you get everything straightened out with that teacher giving you trouble? Greenson or something?

VYKTORIA:
Yeah, everything’s fine.

EMILIA:
Good. He better not call me again with some bullshit allegations ‘bout your isolated behavior or whatever. They’re just not used to a kid being so well-behaved as to never causing any trouble.

VYKTORIA:
Yeah, just a misunderstanding, Mom.

EMILIA:
Aren’t you going to ask me how work was?

VYKTORIA:
How was work?

EMILIA:
Tedious. Insufferable. The new guy ended up getting that promotion I deserve because my boss is a misogynistic bastard.

VYKTORIA:
I’m sorry about that.

EMILIA:
Yeah, me too. You’re lucky to have me to pay for your livelihood.

VYKTORIA:
I know I am. Thanks.

EMILIA:
Speaking of which, you’re welcome.

VYKTORIA:
For paying for my livelihood?

EMILIA:
For the money I gave you to fill your stomach, Vyktoria.

VYKTORIA:
You told me to use my money.

EMILIA:
You didn’t earn shit. Your money is my money.

VYKTORIA:
I earned it from babysitting Nora’s kids last week.

EMILIA:
What are you talking about, babysitting for Nora? When did that happen?

VYKTORIA:
Last Sunday.

EMILIA:
Last Sunday? Where the hell was I?

VYKTORIA:
With Rob.

EMILIA:
You’re telling me you just walked out and babysat for our neighbor without asking me?

VYKTORIA:
You weren’t home… I didn’t think it mattered.

EMILIA:
(Stands.)
Yeah, it fucking matters! You think you can just walk out and do whatever you want? Who do you think you are?

VYKTORIA:
She needed my help last minute; I thought it was okay. I’m sorry.

EMILIA:
You’re a disrespectful little brat is what you are. Walking out, like my word means nothing.

VYKTORIA:
I’m sorry. It won’t happen again, I swear.

EMILIA:
Yeah, it better not happen again. Happens again and I won’t forgive you so easily.

VYKTORIA:
Okay.

EMILIA:
(Sits back down)
I’m glad your father didn’t stay long enough to see the little brat you grew into.
(VYKTORIA stays silent.)
Rob’s coming over tomorrow night. Ready to meet your potentially new daddy?

VYKTORIA:
I guess.

EMILIA:
You guess?

VYKTORIA:
I mean, yeah, of course.

EMILIA:
And make something special for dinner, will you? Something he’ll like. What did you get from the store?

VYKTORIA:
Same stuff I always get.

EMILIA:
That tells me nothing. What did you get?

VYKTORIA:
Um, some vegetables. And chicken. And water.

EMILIA:
That’s it? That’s all you got?

VYKTORIA:
I only had twenty-five dollars.

EMILIA:
Vyktoria, that’s not nearly enough for a decent meal. Go back and get more. Oh, get ingredients for that tortellini you make. He loves anything Italian.
(Silence)
…Well?

VYKTORIA:
What, now?

EMILIA:
Did I stutter? Yes, now.
(Takes out her wallet, tosses two twenty dollar bills onto the table.)
Here’s forty bucks. Get going.

VYKTORIA:
But, mom –

EMILIA:
Don’t put me in a bad mood, Vyktoria. I said go and buy more ingredients for dinner. You won’t have time after school tomorrow.

VYKTORIA:
You know the type of guys that hang out there at night. Last time –

EMILIA:
You think I give two shits about what happened last time? We need to prepare a nice dinner for Rob. That can only happen if you buy the food. Get it? Go.

VYKTORIA:
Mom, please –

EMILIA:
(Strides over to VYKTORIA)
I said get out of my house! What, are you deaf? Slow? What is it?

VYKTORIA:
I just don’t want to go alone.

EMILIA:
(Grabs VYKTORIA’s arm)
I am your mother! You do what I say! Do you understand me?

VYKTORIA:
Yes, but –

EMILIA:
Disrespectful little bitch!
(Pushes VYKTORIA to the ground and pulls back her arm, prepared to beat VYKTORIA. VYKTORIA coils. Right before EMILIA’s arm comes down, a vague blue light shines on the two and both EMILIA and VYKTORIA freeze. They remain a couple moments in that position.
VYKTORIA breaks the freeze and turns to the audience.)

VYKTORIA:
(In a monotone voice.)
They hurt me last time I went alone.

EMILIA:
(EMILIA’s phone rings, and with this, she breaks the freeze. She answers, in a sweet tone.)
Hello? Yes, Rob! Hi, darling, how are you?…
Wha – Oh, I thought we agreed to 7:30, but that’s alright. I’ll be there in ten minutes. …
(Rushes to grab coat and purse from table)
Oh is that so? … Susan started telling me about that yesterday… Hold on just a minute, honey…
(Covers the receiver with her palm and looks to VYKTORIA still on the ground, and still staring out into the audience)
Get the fucking groceries.
(Goes out the door, and exits through the audience and out the back)

(VYKTORIA remains on the floor in silence for a couple more moments before pushing herself off the ground and walking to her backpack)
(She takes out an older-looking leather journal and a pen. She sits back on the floor, center. She opens the journal and reads aloud)

VYKTORIA:
‘Skin upon bone, stain upon skin,
Transparency inscribed in every tissue of her youth.
With strength threaded by callused fingers,
Voice flows with color only when pricked by her own pen.’

(Looks up.)
It took me three months to scratch out those four lines, and I still can’t make it sound right. The flow’s not there. The flow needs to be there. Then again… It’s not like anyone will read enough of it to make any judgments. Or read any of it for that matter. I’m not insecure about my writing or anything… It’s just that my words are mine, you know?
It’s nice to say that. ‘My words are mine’… ‘my words are mine…’ Looks down and begins writing:
‘Sketching delicate words that are mine’…
(Scratches out the line furiously, writes again):
‘Sketching with delicacy words that are mine’…
(Scratches out the line furiously, writes again): ‘
‘Mine are the words that are delicately sketched’…
(Scratches out the line furiously. Thinks for a second… writes again):
Voice flows with color only when pricked by her own pen, sketching in delicacy words that are … mine?’.
(Scratches).
Never mind then.
I often find myself wishing for a different source of inspiration than… this. Not searching, just wishing. I suppose it’s because I’m truthful when I write, so writing always seems to remind me of the inevitable ugliness of truth. Of the “grey” inspiring the colors I have stored somewhere in me. They’re definitely there; I guess I just wish for less painful occurrences to fish them out. Like I said, not searching, just wishing. I know better than to search. So I fantasize, and wait, and write about what I can until something different happens.

(Suddenly, a bell rings loudly and the sound of bustling conversations is audible. This changes the setting to a high school hallway.
JOSH sits down SL. There is a professional camera strapped around JOSH’s neck. He is organizing papers.
VYKTORIA stands and ambles to her backpack where she puts back her writing journal and retrieves a small stack of papers. She checks the time, swings the backpack over her shoulders, and hurriedly walks down SL. She is reading over the pages in her hands.
Not looking, she accidently collides into JOSH. She falls, her papers scatter. JOSH’S papers scatter as well)

JOSH:
Mother F –

VYKTORIA:
Shoot, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry.
JOSH:
(Does not realize she has fallen. Reaches to help her up.)
Oh shit, are you okay?

VYKTORIA:
I’m fine, sorry.

JOSH:
(JOSH helps to gather her papers. VYKTORIA gathers his.)
No, no, don’t worry about it. Any broken bones? Torn ligaments? Wounded egos? Don’t worry, nobody saw.

VYKTORIA:
No, I’m fine. Sorry.

JOSH:
(To VYKTORIA’S papers)
What is this? A study guide?

VYKTORIA:
Um, yeah. For physics.

JOSH:
Oh yeah, Mr. Cromward, right? I think we’re in the same class.
(Looks at guide)
Wow. This is, uh… this is elaborate.

VYKTORIA:
Yeah.

JOSH:
(VYKTORIA hands him his papers)
Thanks. Sorry for dropping the F bomb before; time constraints kill me.

VYKTORIA:
You didn’t drop it. You almost dropped it.

JOSH:
The mental F-bomb dropping still burned through the actual action of saying it. I commend my mother’s attempts at making a gentleman out of me.

VYKTORIA:
Well, you stopped yourself. I wouldn’t have minded much, anyway. A curse is just a word, and a word is just a sound we make. Same as any other sound.

JOSH:
Yeah, exactly.

VYKTORIA:
(Motions to her papers)
Well, thanks for helping.

JOSH:
Don’t mention it. I try extensively to prove that chivalry still exists.

VYKTORIA:
That’s good. Your mother succeeded in that part of gentleman-training.

JOSH:
I like to let myself think so.

VYKTORIA:
That’s good.

JOSH:
(Pause.)
Could I take a picture of you?

VYKTORIA:
What?

JOSH:
Wait, yeah, this is perfect.
(Removes the camera slung around his neck, gets into the right position to take the photo)

VYKTORIA:
…What is?

JOSH:
Stand still.
(VYKTORIA stands uncomfortably tense)
‘Flustered shy girl who I’ve somehow never bumped into before at school’. Perfect.
(Snaps the picture)

VYKTORIA:
Oh, um… thanks. I think.

JOSH:
(Laughs)
Sorry if I was a little too foreword. Habit. This really is a great picture though. Maybe black and white, lightly softened. And you’ve got the perfect look of discomfort on your face.

VYKTORIA:
Thanks again. I’m assuming you’re into photography?

JOSH:
Oh, yeah. If such thing exists as one’s calling, I’ve found mine.

VYKTORIA:
Good for you. You clearly have an eye for inspiration. Anyway, I’m going to go to class.

JOSH:
Yeah, me too. See you around, stranger.

(A booming voice is heard from the back of the audience.
An older professor strides down the isle to the stage, holding a manila folder.)

MRS. LORETI
You’re late! You’re all late. You’re out of your seats, it means you’re late. Come on, come on, to your seats.
(VYKTORIA hurries to the back of the room [upstage right], JOSH rushes upstage left)
(MRS. LORETI is pacing back and forth, as if lecturing)
“Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Lenore –
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore – Nameless here for evermore.”

Edgar Allan Poe. An American poet, author, editor, critic. The king of literary horror and gore, in my opinion. You think ‘Paranormal Activity’ is terrifying, read “The Tell Tale Heart”. You’ll all be working in pairs to provide an argument as to what extent Edgar Allan Poe influenced American literature. I know, it’s a pretty vague prompt – be creative.
Okay, pairs. Let’s see here…
Alyssa Cromwell and Mary Lin.
Jakub Shire and Tara Goodman.
Vyktoria Susans and Josh White.
(VYKTORIA looks up to where JOSH is standing. MRS LORETI keeps naming off pairs as JOSH makes his way to VYKTORIA)

JOSH:
Hello again.

VYKTORIA:
Well hey. Today is just full of coincidences.

JOSH:
Seems like it. I’m Josh, by the way. I’m assuming you already caught that though.

VYKTORIA:
Formalities are always nice. I’m Vyktoria.

JOSH:
Ah. I have a cousin named Victoria.

VYKTORIA:
Oh, do you?

JOSH:
Sure I do. Well I’m not sure if it was exactly Victoria. May have been Victor. Or Val. Or Beatrice or something. There are so many cousins I haven’t met, I’m sure I could find one named Victoria.

VYKTORIA:
Ah. Good to know.

JOSH:
Forgive my horrible jokes. They have their own mind. Anyway, Poe. Do you know anything about him?

VYKTORIA:
I do actually. I know a lot about him.

JOSH:
YES! Not only is she inspiration for great photography, but she’s a literary genius. Lucky me.

VYKTORIA:
Well, I’m sure we could incorporate some kind of photography into the project, so the pleasure is mine.

JOSH:
Listen, I know class is almost over. Would you want to stay with me after school? Work on the project for a bit?

VYKTORIA:
I can’t, I’m sorry.

JOSH:
I mean, we could work for half an hour maybe. I’m sure your parents would be cool with it.

VYKTORIA:
I need to get home after school, sorry. Anyway, I don’t like walking around late by myself, and it’s a pretty far walk to my house.

JOSH:
I could drive you home, if you want.

VYKTORIA:
(Smiles)
Maybe another day.

(The bell rings and JOSH exits. VYKTORIA remains standing until she’s alone in her house again. The lights around the stage dim, indicating a time change. She places her backpack on the table and walks to the counter. She retrieves from the cabinet a cutting board, knife, and lettuce. She begins chopping, when loud, obnoxious laughing is heard off stage right.
EMILIA and ROB stumble on stage right, just outside the door of the house. They are clearly drunk. VYKTORIA does not notice or hear anything yet.
ROB presses EMILIA against the door and starts kissing her roughly.)

EMILIA:
Come on, baby. We’ll be out in a minute; I just need to change.

ROB:
Make it quick.

(EMILIA opens the door from behind her back and they stumble in, laughing. VYKTORIA is startled)

VYKTORIA:
Oh, hey. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Rob.

ROB:
You must be Vyktoria. Beautiful, just like your mother.

VYKTORIA:
Thank you. I was just making dinner for us.

EMILIA:
Us? What are you talking about, Vyktoria?

VYKTORIA:
You told me to make dinner.

EMILIA:
We’re going to Rob’s place. I wouldn’t let Rob get anywhere near your cooking.
Robby baby, I’m gonna go and change. I’ll be right back.
(Stumbles past VYKTORIA and off stage left.
Rob is staring silently at VYKTORIA. VYKTORIA uncomfortably returns to cutting the lettuce)

ROB:
Looks like you were making a nice meal.

VYKTORIA:
Yeah, that’s all right. I’ll enjoy it myself.

ROB:
I’m sure you will.
(Walks closer to VYKTORIA, who tenses.)
Did anyone ever tell you that you have your mom’s body?

VYKTORIA:
Um… no.

ROB:
No, even better. Younger. Really beautiful.
(Pulls her body against his)

VYKTORIA:
(Screams, tries to pull away.)
Stop, what are you doing?!

ROB:
Shut up.
(Starts kissing her neck)

VYKTORIA:
I’m serious! Get the hell off of me!

ROB:
(Tightens his grip)
I said, shut the fuck up. I’m going to be spending a lot more time here from now on. We should start getting used to each other’s company…
(EMILIA’S voice is heard off stage. ROB backs off.)

EMILIA:
I’m coming, sweetheart!

ROB:
Hurry up.

EMILIA:
Coming, coming.
(Enters)
Ready?

ROB:
Yeah, let’s go.
(EMILIA strides to grab ROB’s hand, gathers her coat and purse, and they leave through the door.
VYKTORIA sinks to the floor and stares out, expressionless, for a few moments. After some time, she retrieves her journal from her backpack, and opens it.)

VYKTORIA:
(Reads aloud again.)
‘Skin upon bone, stain upon skin,
transparency inscribed in every tissue of her youth.
With strength threaded by callused fingers,
Voice flows with color only when pricked by her own pen.’

(JOSH rushes onto the stage, along with two or three other students. )

JOSH:
Hey, you. Sorry I’m late. I was just helping Marcus with his physics homework. The textbook is a useless object, let me tell you.

VYKTORIA:
It’s fine.

JOSH:
You alright there? You look upset.

VYKTORIA:
I’m fine.

JOSH:
You sure?

VYKTORIA:
Yeah, I’m fine.

JOSH:
You say that a lot.

VYKTORIA:
Yeah, because I’m fine.

JOSH:
(Sits next to her on the floor)
Alright… well. Let’s start. Just, heads up, I’ve got to be out by five. Gotta help the madre clean the house.
(Takes out his laptop; She flips to another page in her notebook, the same notebook that holds her poetry.)

VYKTORIA:
Okay. So, um, I did some research on my own time, just so we could be on top of everything.

JOSH:
Oh, awesome. Let’s see what you got.

VYKTORIA:
Okay well he was born in October of 1849. He was known mostly for his stories of mystery and macabre, which focuses on grimness and symbols of death. And he kind of invented the detective fiction genre.
And I got a bunch of other stuff over here…
(Points to the page)

JOSH:
(Takes journal from her)
Wow. This is insanely developed. Practically a report on its own.

VYKTORIA:
Thanks.

JOSH:
I mean, my cumulative senior essay is equivalent to these notes.

VYKTORIA:
I enjoy literature.

JOSH:
I can tell… (Flips the page)
Hold up; is this a poem?

VYKTORIA:
Wait, no, give that back.
(Reaches for the book)

JOSH:
(Begins reading loud and obnoxiously, to pull her leg)
‘Skin upon bone, stain upon skin…
(Trails off and becomes serious as he reads silently)

VYKTORIA:
Josh! I’m serious, Josh. Give it back, right now.

JOSH:
(Looks up to her)
This is amazing, Vyktoria.
(VYKTORIA stays silent)
It is. You really have a talent in this.

VYKTORIA:
Thank you.

JOSH:
Vyktoria… can I ask you what it’s about?

VYKTORIA:
(Defensively)
Just personal stuff; nothing important.

JOSH:
Are you sure?

VYKTORIA:
Josh, nothing’s wrong. Everything’s fine. Really. Can we go back to Poe?

JOSH:
(Pause)
Can I show you something?

VYKTORIA:
Is that a no?

(JOSH Removes the camera from his neck and turns it on, and turns to show her a picture)

VYKTORIA:
Oh wow. It’s beautiful. Kind of… sad.

JOSH:
It was the first picture I took after my dad died.

VYKTORIA:
Oh…

JOSH:
It was also the first picture I took on this camera; it was his. His camera, I mean.

VYKTORIA:
I’m so sorry, Josh. That must have been so hard.

JOSH:
It was, for a while. For all of us, especially my mom. He was such an amazing guy… to his core. Just a good man, you know? There are only a handful of people you meet that you can tell are just genuinely good. I’ve concluded that the worst things happen to the best people.

VYKTORIA:
What happened? If you don’t mind me asking.

JOSH:
Leukemia. The unbeatable villain of the circulatory system. Last year.

VYKTORIA:
Oh Josh. I can only imagine… I’m so sorry.

JOSH:
So am I.

VYKTORIA:
(Pauses)
But there are some things in life that are just… out of our control. Unfixable, you know? Regardless of how hard we try. I mean, you’re lucky you were given the chance to know your father.

JOSH:
Yeah, I know I am. I’ll never stop being grateful for having a man like him as a dad. Did your father pass too?

VYKTORIA:
For all I know. He’s dead to me anyway.

JOSH:
Did you ever meet him?

VYKTORIA:
No, he ran out on my mom when she was pregnant with me.

JOSH:
Shit, that’s tough. Must have definitely been a struggle for her.

VYKTORIA:
Sure… You could say that.

JOSH:
I mean, I can only imagine how difficult it must have been, as a single mother.

VYKTORIA:
(Agitated)
Yeah.

JOSH:
What?

VYKTORIA:
What do you mean, what?

JOSH:
You seemed tense when I mentioned your mother.

VYKTORIA:
I wasn’t tense.

JOSH:
Listen, I didn’t mean to push any buttons. I was just saying how difficult it must have been to raise a kid on her own –

VYKTORIA:
(Bursts)
It’s not like that justifies anything!

JOSH:
What are you talking about?

VYKTORIA:
(Realizes her blunder.)
Nothing, never mind.

JOSH:
Try to tell me, Vyktoria. I won’t judge, or comment if you don’t want me to. I’ll just listen.

VYKTORIA:
(After a moment.)
She’s in pain, I guess. I get that. But that doesn’t give her any right to… I don’t know. Never mind.

JOSH:
Doesn’t give her any right to do what?

VYKTORIA:
Josh, can we go back to our project? Please.

JOSH:
(Tentatively)
Does… are you… are you hurt? Is someone hurting you?
(VYKTORIA stays silent)
Is your mother hurting you?

VYKTORIA:
I don’t know. Whatever, it’s fine. She just has a temper is all. I trigger it most of the time, anyway.

JOSH:
Vyktoria… if she does, nothing is your fault. For a mother to be able to do that to her child… to dump her pain on you in that way…

VYKTORIA:
It’s okay. I’m okay. Like I said, there are just some things that I can’t change.

JOSH:
It’s not okay that she does this. Tell me your realize that. It’s not okay. And it can be fixed; there’s an answer for everything.

VYKTORIA:
Stop, it Josh. There’s nothing that I can do about this. Okay? Nothing. My only lifeline at this point is the thought that in two years, I’ll never have to see her again.

JOSH:
You can get help, Vyktoria, if you reach out. You shouldn’t ever have had to deal with…abuse… and you shouldn’t have to tolerate it for the next two years. I can help you find someone to tell. Just let me.

(Blue light shines down, JOSH freezes. VYKTORIA turns to the audience.
At the same time, EMILIA walks on stage. She notices a paper on the floor – VYKTORIA’s poem. Curios, she picks it up.)

VYKTORIA:
It took time. A lot of time.
EMILIA:
(Reading)
Skin upon bone, stain upon skin…

VYKTORIA
Three months and six days, to be exact, if I count by the clock.

EMILIA:
(Screaming furiously)
Vyktoria, what is this? What the fuck is this?

VYKTORIA:
A couple dozen bruises, if I count in beatings.

EMILIA:
Stupid piece of shit, do you know what’ll happen if someone reads this?

VYKTORIA:
I tried to sustain my silence. I tried to acquiesce to the situation to which I was born. I tried to continue finding strength in denial.

EMILIA:
You think you’re fucking good? You think anyone will want to read this piece of shit poem?
(Continues pantomiming her slur of verbal abuse over VYKTORIA’S text. EMILIA rips up the poem and storms off stage.)

VYKTORIA
I gradually opened myself to him: a friend, a confidant. With that, I began listening to his words, little by little recognizing the logic behind his urgency. He encouraged me to open my eyes to the bold possibility of escape. And I did.
(Blue light fades off, and MRS. LORETI walks on SL, organizing papers.)

JOSH:
(Turns to VYKTORIA)
You can do this, Vyk. I’ll be right outside.

VYKTORIA:
I know. Thank you, Josh.
(JOSH walks off SR)

MRS. LORETI:
Vyktoria. What a pleasant surprise. What can I help you with today?

VYKTORIA:
Um… hi, Mrs. Loreti. I was recommended that I could go to you for this.

MRS. LORETI:
Is something wrong, Vyktoria?

VYKTORIA:
I’d like to – I need to report abuse. Regular abuse.

MRS. LORETI:
Oh my gosh… Okay. Thank you for speaking up about this. I’m going to help you. But I need you to tell me a couple things, Vyktoria. What kind of abuse are you reporting?

VYKTORIA:
Um… physical. And emotional. At home.

MRS. LORETI:
Is a family member hurting you? A parent?

VYKTORIA:
Yes. My mom. You’re not going to call her, right?

MRS. LORETI:
No, no, of course not. What I am going to do is I’m going to call the State Central Registry and report your case.

VYKTORIA:
Wait, what’s going to happen after it’s reported? I just… don’t want to her find out. She can’t find out I’m saying anything.

MRS. LORETI:
We’ll do everything in our power to prevent her from hurting you again. But first, the State Central Registry is going to ask you a couple of questions, regarding frequency of the abuse, where it occurs, things like that. After that, an investigator will begin formal analysis of the situation. Within 24 hours.

VYKTORIA:
What will happen to me?

MRS. LORETI:
That depends on certain factors, Vyktoria, and will be explained to you in depth by the SCR. You may live with another family member, or family friend since you’re so close to the age of eighteen. And you won’t be alone; I will be here, Josh will be here. You’re safe now, Vyktoria. She can’t hurt you anymore.

VYKTORIA:
(LORETI pauses, VYKTORIA turns to the audience)
Skin upon bone, stain upon skin… (VYKTORIA smiles: she is free.)

Blue light fades to black. LIGHTS OUT.

END.