Blue Pepper Literary Magazine published my flash play “Trio.”
ETHEL: You didn’t let me go last year. Now, I’m going.
#3: Look what she’s packing. Two bits of string – to wit, a bikini.
HANNAH: That’d look lovely on you, darling. It’s just your colour –
#3: That bulge-eyed Mr. Geil is ‘escorting’ these innocents!
HANNAH: …But if you’d just wait till April! I’ve almost saved enough for a new car. I’ll take you camping.
ETHEL: Why d’you need a new car? You’re only going to buy another thirdhand piece of shit. Mom, forget the car. Send me to camp. I’ve earned it.
HANNAH: True –
#3: She wants to go only because there’ll be boys. She’ll come home pregnant. As you did.
HANNAH: …No, darling. Once we’ve got the car –
ETHEL: Forget the car! You only want it so you can pick up a boyfriend. Aren’t you ashamed, at your age, gallivanting around with good-for-nothings?
#3: Doesn’t she realise you need a man around? She thinks living is free.
HANNAH: Ethel, that’s not fair. I slave all day, earning minimum wage. If I could save enough to go back to college –
ETHEL: And pick up a college-going good-for-nothing? Oh, you’d need a new car for that, for sure. So which is it, mom? Are you saving for a car, or for college?
HANNAH: Ethel, that’s not kind.
#3: Not kind! Belt the brat. As Dad belted you. And you turned out tough. Got me for your 12th birthday-present. This brat – you’ve spoiled. She’s 15, and still a child.
HANNAH: You’re lucky I don’t… You’re not going to camp. Go to your room.
ETHEL: No. I’m fifteen. I can’t even talk to you?
HANNAH: You’re always cursing at me, darling.
ETHEL: Because, you never understand me. Everyone’s going to camp!
HANNAH: Hmm… How much did you say it’d cost?
#3: You’re rewarding this idiocy?
HANNAH: …Whatever it costs, you’re not going. If you won’t go upstairs, I’m leaving.
ETHEL: Go! Run away. David’s coming over.
HANNAH: Hmm, David’s nice…
#3: I bet she thinks so, too! A boy coming over, this late – and Mrs. Kleinlich next door peering between her blinds writing her weekly report for Pastor Schafer!
HANNAH: …But it’s late.
ETHEL: He’s almost here. What’re you gonna do, turn him away?
#3: Yes. David’s nice, but he’s going nowhere. She’s fallen for a loser.
HANNAH: Who’s Jason dating now? Couldn’t you two make it up?
ETHEL: I like David. Fuck Jason. Fuck you, too.
HANNAH: Ethel, I understand you’re upset about camp –
#3: Don’t apologise. We made the right decision.
HANNAH: …You needn’t understand my decisions. You do need to respect them. I’m the adult.
ETHEL: You’re the adult? You don’t even know your own mind!
#3: She knows nothing. Don’t worry. I’ll teach your daughter. Soon, she, too, will start hearing me.
HANNAH: Ethel, someday you’ll –
ETHEL: I’ll never be like you. I’ll always do just what I want. (Storms out.)
HANNAH: I hope so, Ethel. I hope when you talk to someone, it’ll always be just you two.