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FINAL CURTAIN
PROLOGUE
In a spotlight, JAKE, a young teenager, meets with CLARISSA, perhaps a bit older. Jake is a somewhat sensitive boy, Clarissa seems very dark, ominous.
In the course of the scene, Clarissa will give Jake a bulky cloth bag, and a large, old, tattered book.
JAKE
This is the game?
CLARISSA
Yes. 
(hands him the bag)
You have a place to hang this?
JAKE
What is it?
CLARISSA
It’s a curtain. Like for a show. And you get this, too.
(gives him the book)
JAKE
What’s in the book?
CLARISSA
Just read it when you play the game. It tells you everything you need to know.

Okay. And what’s the game called? 
CLARISSA
It’s called...FINAL CURTAIN.
JAKE
Sounds like a play you’d produce just before Halloween.
CLARISSA
I think...it’s my masterpiece...
(beat)
Are you sure you want it?
JAKE
Yes.
CLARISSA
You understand what happens when you play the game?
JAKE
Yes. I do.
CLARISSA
Are you sure?
JAKE
Well...I think...
CLARISSA
You have to be sure!
JAKE
Okay! Yes! I’m sure. I’m ready.
CLARISSA
Have you signed the agreement?
JAKE
Yes. 
(hands her a piece of paper)
CLARISSA
(looks at the paper)
This clears me of all liability. Regardless of what happens.
JAKE
I understand.
CLARISSA
You’re absolutely positive you want to do this?
JAKE
I’m absolutely positive.
CLARISSA
No matter what...happens.
JAKE
No matter what happens.
Clarissa steps away into the dark. LIGHTS hold on Jake a moment as he holds the book and the cloth bag, then go OUT.
SCENE ONE
We are in Limbo. The stage is dark.
Each character speaks on a cell phone. Ideally, each character or pair of characters is in a spotlight when speaking.
In the dark, a cell phone rings.
LIGHTS UP on...
FREDDIE
(a bit effete)
Hello?
LIGHTS UP on...
ELLIE
(a bit oblivious)
Did he call you?
FREDDIE
No. SHE called me.
ELLIE
Pepper?
FREDDIE
Who else? She does everything for Jake.
ELLIE
He’s really doing it? Jake is really having the Halloween party?
FREDDIE
Did she call you?
ELLIE
No. HE called me. 
FREDDIE
Pepper let him use his phone?
ELLIE
Yes!
FREDDIE
That’s unprecedented!
ELLIE
Yes!
(beat)
What’s that mean?
FREDDIE
Forget it.
ELLIE
(happily)
Okay!
FREDDIE
So, I guess the party is happening.
ELLIE
I guess it is.
FREDDIE
You heard it from the horse’s mouth.
ELLIE
No, I heard it from Jake’s mouth.
FREDDIE
Right.
ELLIE
Does Jake have a horse?
FREDDIE
Never mind.
ELLIE
I thought he had a beagle.
FREDDIE
Never mind.
ELLIE
Maybe his horse is named Beagle!
FREDDIE
There is no horse! There is no beagle! There’s just this party!
ELLIE
I know! I can’t believe it!
FREDDIE
It is going to be awful. Jake is just asking for trouble. It’s gonna be dangerous. And scary. Will Lemire is gonna crash it with his stupid girlfriend Brenda and they’re both gonna rip Jake to shreds. This is bad. This is terrible. This is horrendous. This party is gonna be the worst possible way to spend Halloween. I don’t know why anybody in their right mind would go to this party.
ELLIE
So you’re not going?
FREDDIE
Are you kidding? I wouldn’t miss it for the world!
LIGHTS OUT ON Freddie and Felicia. Another CELL PHONE RINGS.
LIGHTS UP on...TESSIE and JESSIE. They are sororal twins. Tessie is a ball of nervous energy. She answers the phone, with some difficulty. Jessie sits nearby thumbing through a magazine. She has everything under control.
TESSIE
Uh...Uh...Uh...Oh, boy...I...I...uh...uh...uh...
JESSIE
Hello.
TESSIE
Hello?
LIGHTS UP on...
PEPPER 
(business-like)
Tessie?
TESSIE
Uh...Uh...Uh...Oh, boy...I...I...uh...uh...uh...
JESSIE
Did she say Tessie?
TESSIE
Yes.
JESSIE
Then say yes.
TESSIE
(to Jessie)
Yes?
JESSIE
Yes.
TESSIE
(into phone)
Yes?
PEPPER
It’s Pepper. The party is on.
TESSIE
(a bit distressed)
Oh, really? 
(to Jessie)
It’s...it’s...P...P...P...
JESSIE
Pepper?
TESSIE
Yes! About the...p..p...p...
JESSIE
Party!?
TESSIE
YES! It’s...it’s...uh...uh...uh...
JESSIE
On?
TESSIE
ON! YES!!!
PEPPER
Are you in?
TESSIE
Uh...Uh...Uh...Oh, boy...I...I...uh...uh...uh...
JESSIE
Gimme the phone...
(takes it from Tessie)
Pepper? It’s Jessie.
PEPPER
You gotta stop letting her answer the phone.
JESSIE
He’s really gonna do it?
PEPPER
Yes.
JESSIE
And you’re gonna let him?
PEPPER
He won’t listen to me.
JESSIE
That’s unprecedented.
PEPPER
Tell me about it.
JESSIE
And he’s gonna play that game he found at the yard sale?
PEPPER
That’s what he tells me.
JESSIE
He knows what’s gonna happen, right?
PEPPER
He knows. He’s going through with it anyway.
JESSIE
If Will Lemire finds out about the party, he’ll never stay away. 
PEPPER
I know.
JESSIE
He considers Jake is own personal punching bag.
PEPPER
Jake knows that. He’s hoping nobody tells Will about the party. 
JESSIE
Yeah. Good luck with that. Our school is like a living and breathing Facebook page.
PEPPER
So are you guys in?
JESSIE
Sure. What are friends for?
TESSIE
Oh! Friends! Well, you know, they’re for...for...you know...being...you know...
JESSIE
(to Tessie, shaking head)
Rhetorical question.
TESSIE
Oh! Are those the questions that...that...don’t need...you know...an...an...
JESSIE
(to Tessie)
An answer.
TESSIE
Ah. Then I should...?
JESSIE
Yes. 
(into phone)
We’ll be there.
PEPPER
Great.
JESSIE
I only hope he knows what he’s doing.
PEPPER
Jake? He never knows what he’s doing. Fortunately, I do.
JESSIE
Are you sure?
PEPPER
No. Come anyway.
JESSIE
Okay.
PEPPER
Okay.
LIGHTS OUT on Pepper.
TESSIE
Will...Will Lemire...if he comes to this party...he’ll just...he’ll...you know...you know...he’ll just...he’ll just...
JESSIE
I know.
TESSIE
Jake is...is...is...Oh, boy...Jake is...Jake is...
JESSIE
Toast. Jake is toast. 
LIGHTS OUT on Tessie and Jessie.
In the dark, ANOTHER CELL PHONE RINGS.
LIGHTS UP on...
WALTER
(he’s just a guy)
Felicia?
FELICIA
(somewhat put upon)
Walter! I told you to stop calling me.
WALTER
Too much, you think?
FELICIA
Three times a day? Six on weekends?
WALTER
I can just come over to your house, if you want.
FELICIA
NO! No calling! No visiting! No texts! No IMs! 
WALTER
I can get pigeons.
FELICIA
LEAVE ME ALONE!!!
WALTER
I just wanted to know if you’re going to Jake’s Halloween party.
FELICIA
Why do you want to know if I’m going to Jake’s Halloween party?
WALTER
My mom says I can go if you’re going. She says you’re mature.
FELICIA
And you’re not?
WALTER
That’s my assumption.
FELICIA
Well, I am going, but I am going by myself. I am not going with you. We are not friends, Walter. We are next door neighbors. That is not my fault. I am not, I repeat, not going to Jake’s party with you. Is that clear?
WALTER
It’s gettin’ there...
FELICIA
Good.
WALTER
(beat)
So that’s a no?
FELICIA
WALTER!
WALTER
What?
FELICIA
Are we through?
WALTER
I didn’t know we started.
FELICIA
Ugh!
WALTER
Do you think Will will show up?
(starts chuckling)
FELICIA
What’s so funny?
WALTER
I said “will” twice.
FELICIA
Ugh! Do NOT talk to me during the party, either.
WALTER
I’ll be subtle.
FELICIA
NO! NO TALKING TO ME! NO!
WALTER
If you say so.
FELICIA
I do!
WALTER
Okay.
FELICIA
Goodbye!
WALTER
Stay mature, babe.
FELICIA
Ugh!
(hangs up)
LIGHTS OUT on Felicia and Walter.