TRIGGER WARNING



Written by Jacques Lamarre


57 Ridge Street, Manchester, CT 06040 JacquesLamarrePlaywright.com jaycuess@yahoo.com



SETTING:


The living room in the middle class home of the Murphy family in Plainville, Connecticut. The home should suggest a simple family where nothing exceptional ever happens. It communicates the basics of what passes for the American dream.


TIME:

Today and the days that follow.


CAST:

JACKIE - late 30s/early 40s. TRAVIS' mother. A realtor.


ANDREW "MURPH" MURPHY - late 30s /early 40s . TRAVIS' father and husband to JACKIE. A contractor.


AMY - Early 30s, TRAVIS' aunt, JACKIE's sister. CONROY BATTS - 50s/60s, attorney.

DALE PELLETIER - 40s/50s, FBI agent.

ACT I


SCENE 1


Stage is dark. We hear Elton John’s “Ticking” As the lights come up we see the living room of the Murphy family’s home. Upstage there is a wall with the front door leading to the exterior of the house and a picture window with curtains and blinds that are drawn up to let the sun shine in. Next to the front door, there is a waist-height little table with a bowl for keys. Next to it is JACKIE’s work bag. To the left, there is a window with matching drapes and blinds drawn up. To the right, a door that exits into the interior of the house (bedrooms, kitchen, basement, etc.) and a mirror on the wall. There is a couch and two chairs. Next to the couch there is an end table with a lamp and an Amazon Echo. There is a coffee table with a few magazines, remote controls, and a bowl of Hershey Kisses. Downstage there is a television.


JACKIE enters from the interior door dressed for work. She looks at her watch. She checks and adjusts her hair. She adjusts her outfit quickly, making sure she looks okay as she prepares to head out and meet a client for a house showing.

She grabs her keys and work bag.

JACKIE

Alexa, stop.


The song ends. She begins to open the door to the exterior and go outside. We hear her cellphone message tone. She puts her bag down and takes out her cellphone. She checks her message and gets a look of sheer panic.


JACKIE (CONT’D)

Oh God. Shit. Oh no. No no no.

She goes into her contacts and dials her husband.

Did you get a text from the school?


Beat.


Beat.


DID YOU GET THE TEXT FROM THE SCHOOL?


GO OUTSIDE WHERE YOU CAN HEAR ME. NOW! THE KIDS ARE IN DANGER!


She paces and frets.


Oh my God, let them be okay.



Beat.


Beat.


Beat. Beat.


Beat.


The school is on lockdown! I got a text saying there is an active shooter.


No, it’s not a drill! It says “active shooter!”


I have no idea. I’ll call Meghan. You call Travis.


Don’t you dare go down there. No.


I SAID NO. You could get shot! Just call Travis and make sure he’s all right. I will call Meghan and let you if I hear anything.


Oh, God.


She pulls the phone away from her ear and looks at it.


It’s Meghan, thank God. Call Travis, honey. Do it now.


She switches the call over, frantic.



Beat. Beat.


Beat.


MEGHAN! MEGHAN SWEETIE, IT’S MOMMY!

Are you safe? I got a text from...


I can’t understand you.


I SAID I CAN’T HEAR YOU! Take a

breath and tell me what’s happening.


Are you somewhere safe, sweetie? Find a place to hide.


Beat.


Good, stay there and be quiet.

(MORE)


JACKIE (CONT’D)



Beat.

The police are coming. You’re going to be okay, sweetie. Just do what Mrs. Mahler says.


I’m sure it’s going to be over soon. You’re going to be okay.


She pulls the phone away from her ear and looks at it.


It’s your father. I told him to make sure Travis was okay. Don’t hang up, sweetie. I’m here for you, okay? Don’t hang up!


She switches the call over.



Beat.


Beat.


He didn’t answer?! Oh, God. Did you try more than once?


Meghan’s okay. She’s hiding in the locker room. I could hear shots and screaming. I told her stay quiet and stay on the phone.


Call Travis again. Keep trying. Let me know when you hear from him. And for God’s sake, don’t you go down there.


She switches the call over with a little difficulty.

Oh, God. Dammit. Come on.

Puts phone back to her ear.


Meghan? You still there? Meghan? MEGHAN?! MOMMY’S STAYING ON THE PHONE, SWEETIE.


AMY enters without knocking. She is dressed casually as she is a stay-at-home mother.


AMY

JACKIE, DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE...



JACKIE

Yes, yes. I’m on the phone with Meghan.


AMY

Is she okay?

JACKIE

I don’t know. I got her on the phone, but now all I can hear are gunshots and screaming.


MEGHAN? CAN YOU HEAR ME? STAY DOWN.

(to Amy)

I think I can hear her crying.

AMY

It’s on all the channels.

JACKIE

(indicating the TV) Turn it on.


AMY races over to the coffee table. She is mystified by the different remotes and picks various ones and tries to turn on the TV.



Beat.

AMY

What the fuck? Which one is it?

JACKIE

HANG ON, SWEETIE! YOU’RE GOING TO BE OKAY.


DAMMIT!


We got disconnected! Have you been able to reach Tyler?


AMY

He has a doctor’s appointment today, so I kept him home, thank God. Dave’s with him now.


JACKIE feverishly tries to redial.


Pick up, sweetie. Pick up.



She waits, fretting. It goes to voicemail.

GOD DAMMIT.

She tries again.


AMY (CONT’D)

Which fucking remote is it?!


JACKIE hangs up and snatches one of the remotes from AMY. We hear the news broadcast. There are helicopter sounds and sirens. The occasional sound of distant gunbursts. JACKIE keens as she watches.


TV NEWSCASTER

(voice over)

...the school is currently in lockdown. A shooter that we believe to be a male, entered the school at 8:45a.m. and began shooting. The school resource officer has reportedly been shot and stories are circulating that the principal of the school has been shot, as well. One Plainville High teacher managed to evacuate her students by breaking a window in her classroom and guiding her students to safety. Unfortunately, we understand that this heroic teacher may have been shot before she herself could escape.


AMY tries to put a reassuring hand on JACKIE’s shoulder who shakes it away.


The police arrived approximately 20 minutes ago. They have surrounded Plainville High, but have yet to enter the building.


JACKIE’s phone rings. She mutes the TV and answers the phone.

JACKIE

Did you get Travis?! Shit. I got disconnected from Meghan and now it just rings and goes to voicemail.

We’re watching it on the TV. Do you think they’re okay, honey?


JACKIE begins to cry. AMY remains glued to the television.


But do you think they’re safe?!

(MORE)


JACKIE (CONT'D)

How could this happen? NO. DO NOT GO DOWN THERE, DAMMIT. Just keep

trying Travis and come home. Just come home.


JACKIE stands and tries dialing MEGHAN’s phone again. AMY’s phone rings.


AMY

What’s going on, Tyler? I’m at Aunt Jackie’s. No word on Meghan or Travis. Have you heard anything?



Stunned.


What? Are you...?


Well, you keep that to yourself. And don’t watch the television. Tyler, I said turn off the television. NOW. You don’t need to see that. Well, your father is an idiot. Tell him I said to turn off the TV. I’ve got to get back to your aunt. Just be grateful you had that doctor’s appointment.


She hangs up. JACKIE collapses back on the couch and turns the TV volume on again. AMY begins feverishly working at her phone.


TV NEWSCASTER

(voice-over)


...Although we cannot confirm any details at this time, reports from students that there are many casualties, possibly dozens of people dead or wounded. We can still hear gunfire and can report that the police have entered the building through the front doors.


AMY grabs the remote and turns off the TV.

JACKIE

Amy, what the fuck?

AMY

Jackie, look at this.

AMY hands her cellphone to JACKIE.



JACKIE

What the Hell is this?

AMY

Tyler said Travis posted it this morning.


TRAVIS

(voiceover)

Today’s the day. You asked for it. You deserve it. You have it coming. This didn’t need to happen, but you made it happen. You have no one to blame but yourselves. You could have stopped it, but instead you sealed your own fate. Today is the day you’re going to die, motherfuckers, and I’m going to love it. Peace out.


JACKIE is stunned.


AMY

Is that Murph’s gun?

No response.


AMY (CONT’D)

Is that Murph’s automatic?

JACKIE says nothing.


AMY exits the room through the interior door. JACKIE hits play again on the video.


TRAVIS

(voiceover)

Today’s the day. You asked for it. You deserve it. You have it coming. This didn’t need to happen, but you made it happen. You have no one to blame but yourselves. You could have stopped it, but instead you sealed your own fate. Today is the day you’re going to die, motherfuckers, and I’m going to love it. Peace out.


AMY

(off-stage) FUCK!


AMY runs in.



AMY (CONT’D)

The gun locker is open. It’s empty. All of it.



How?

JACKIE


AMY

Travis must have taken them out the bulkhead.


JACKIE is frozen.


We hear police sirens outside and flashing lights through the window. Pounding on the door. Helicopter noise. Lights out with noise and police lights still going.


SCENE 2


Sound out. Lights up on MURPH and JACKIE on the couch. JACKIE is wearing her same outfit. MURPH is wearing work clothes appropriate for a contractor: Carharts, flannel shirt, work boots. They are not touching; just looking forward. The TV is off. DALE PELLETIER enters in a suit carrying a small pad and a cellphone.


DALE

(into the phone)

Suspect’s room has been secured. No one is allowed in there until forensics has had an opportunity to do a complete investigation. I mean no one, got it? Keep me posted on any developments at the school. I’m with the parents.


He hangs up.


MURPH

(whispering to JACKIE) How can they be sure that it’s Travis?


(She doesn’t respond. MURPH to DALE)


How can you be certain that it’s our son?


DALE

I’m not 100% certain, but it looks highly probable.

(MORE)

Between the Instagram video and the missing firearms, our best guess is your son is the shooter. We’ll know more soon.


JACKIE

Is he going to be killed?

DALE

That’s entirely up to Travis. Latest reports are that he has barricaded himself in a classroom and is firing at the officers.


MURPH

It might not be Travis.

JACKIE

Murph...

MURPH

Can you bring us to the school. Maybe we could, you know, talk to him through a bullhorn or whatever?


DALE

Does your son have a car?

MURPH

Yes. A ‘96 Toyota Forerunner.

DALE

Color?

MURPH

Gold. It was his mother’s old car.

DALE

Do know the plate numbers?

MURPH

CVG-476.

DALE

I’m assuming Connecticut plates?

MURPH

Yessir.

DALE takes out his cell and pushes a button.

DALE

Do a sweep of the parking lot for a Gold Toyota Forerunner.

(MORE)

CT plates, CVG-476. Believed to be our shooter’s vehicle. No one enters the vehicle as it could contain incendiaries. Notify me when it is located.


DALE hangs up.


MURPH

Bombs? No fucking way.

DALE

Columbine, the two shooters detonated several homemade bombs. Aurora shooter booby-trapped his apartment with enough explosives to destroy the entire building. Santa Fe had homemade bombs. Kid didn’t do a good job,though the kid. None went off, thank God.


MURPH

Our son is not a bomb maker.

JACKIE

Any word on our daughter?

DALE

Until your son surrenders, we won’t know the status of most of the students. Only 30 of the kids have been evacuated. That leaves approximately 700 students and 60 staff in the building.


JACKIE

Are they going to kill my son?

DALE

I can’t make any guarantees of the outcome, ma’am.


JACKIE

I understand.

DALE

Our first priority is to end the stand-off without any further loss of life, including your son’s. I’m here to make sure you and your husband are both safe.


MURPH

From our own son?



DALE

Newtown, first person killed was the mother. These things are often personal.


MURPH

Our son doesn’t want to kill us. He’s a good kid.


JACKIE

Murph, just shut up.

MURPH

He’s talking about our son. Killing us. Travis wouldn’t...


JACKIE

You know what he’s capable of.

MURPH

Don’t say another fucking word.

JACKIE

Murph.

MURPH

Just don’t.

JACKIE

Stop being an asshole.

(to DALE)

Officer Pelletier?

DALE

Agent. Call me Dale.

JACKIE

Please call over to your team at the school...


DALE

It’s a very intense situation over there right now.


JACKIE

Call over to the school and tell them to shoot my son.


MURPH

JACKIE!



JACKIE

Do it, Dale.

MURPH

Don’t listen to her.

DALE

I...

JACKIE

He’s my son.

DALE

It’s really up to Travis, ma’am.

MURPH

IF it’s Travis.

JACKIE

You know it’s Travis.

MURPH

No, we don’t.

JACKIE

Please, Dale, call over and ask those officers to kill my son. Tell them. Let them know it’s okay.


MURPH (to DALE)

I’ll go over there. I can talk to him.


DALE

I can’t allow that.

JACKIE

Please.


I can’t. Fucking...

DALE MURPH DALE

We just have to wait.

JACKIE

Wait.

DALE

You know, see how this plays out.



MURPH

Meanwhile our children are in danger.


DALE

Not to be insensitive, but your child may be the reason people are in danger.



Fuck you.

MURPH


JACKIE

Murph, please.

DALE

Maybe it would be better...safer if we all went to the police station.


Sounds of shooting, screaming and yelling. Lights down. SCENE 3

Lights up on the living room as it was, however it is now empty. We hear a voice say, “Here they come!” We hear a car pull up, doors slam. Reporters barking out questions. Cameras click and flash. JACKIE and MURPH enter hurriedly looking worse for the wear. CONROY follows them in and turns to face the crowd of reporters outside.


CONROY

The family will not answer any questions at this time.


Beat.


(aside to JACKIE and MURPH)


Close the blinds.


MURPH quickly complies.


(back to the reporters.)


The Murphy Family acknowledges the tragedy that this community has faced and their thoughts and prayers are with the families affected. I would remind you that they, too, have lost a child at this time and had another child seriously injured.

(MORE)


CONROY (CONT'D)

They are entitled to their privacy. Thank you.


The sound of reporters shouting questions accelerates as CONROY closes the door.


MURPH

Motherfucking jackals.

Opens the door.


MOTHERFUCKING JACKALS!!

JACKIE

MURPH!

CONROY

CLOSE THE DOOR, MR. MURPHY!

MURPH slams the door.


Well, now we know what’s going to lead the 6 o’clock news.


MURPH

Motherfuckers.


JACKIE sinks into a chair with her head in her hands. She is exhausted and rung out.


MURPH (CONT’D)

Goddamned motherfuckers.

CONROY

This is going to be your life for the next several weeks, if not months.



Goddammit!

MURPH


CONROY

They are going to hound you and exploit this story for all its worth.


JACKIE

Oh God.


MURPH

Well, fuck them.



JACKIE

They’re doing their job.

MURPH

Getting ratings off our family?

CONROY

Your son killed 53 people and wounded dozens more. It’s the worst school shooting in the history of our nation. Of course the media is going to make this a big deal. It IS a big deal. You need to prepare yourselves.


MURPH

Can’t they see we’re suffering, too?


CONROY

They don’t care.

JACKIE

Honey, you’re making this worse.

MURPH

I’m making this worse? How am I making this worse?


JACKIE

I can’t even talk to you.

CONROY

That’s probably the wisest course of action. You’re only going to upset each other when you need to be unified. A team.


Silence from both of them.


You’ve been up for 24 hours. Your son died. Your daughter’s in the hospital. Your nerves are frayed, understandably. Maybe the best thing is to go get some rest.


JACKIE

How am I ever supposed to sleep again?


CONROY

Do you want me to contact your doctor? Get a prescription sedative?



MURPH

I don’t think more drugs is what this family needs.


JACKIE

I won’t be able to sleep until Meghan gets home.


CONROY

If you really want to take care of your daughter, you need to take care of yourself.


JACKIE

How can I? Fifty-three people died.

MURPH

Fifty-four.

JACKIE

You know what I mean.

MURPH

Travis died yesterday.

JACKIE

And whose fault is that?

MURPH

I don’t know. Ask God.

CONROY

Look, you’re going to get hit from all sides with people assigning blame -- and some of that is going to be aimed at you.


MURPH

People are going to blame us?!

CONROY

The FBI is going to have more questions. They’re going to tear apart your house. They’re going to ask you very personal questions.

They’re going to leave no stone unturned looking for answers. And then the media is going to dig into everything about your lives. They are going to talk to your friends, your neighbors, your business associates.



MURPH

Fucking jackals.

CONROY

If it was someone else’s kid, you’d expect the same thing.


JACKIE

It was our kid.

CONROY

Right.

MURPH

Goddammit, Travis.

CONROY

The FBI said they would give you 30 minutes to pack some things and go check into a hotel. My guess is that the hotels in the area are going to be crawling with out-of- town media. I’d advise you stay with a friend or relative. Someone discreet.


MURPH

I’m not leaving this house. It’s MY house.


CONROY

It’s also considered a crime scene. The FBI has already made that clear. Jackie, is there somewhere you can go for a few days where you can get some rest and be safe?


JACKIE

We could stay with my sister. She’s already offered.


MURPH

Jesus Christ.

JACKIE

Murph, this is what we have to do.

MURPH

I DON’T KNOW WHY WE ARE BEING TREATED LIKE CRIMINALS.


JACKIE

BECAUSE IT WAS OUR CHILD! YOUR GUNS AND OUR CHILD.



MURPH

YOU’RE BLAMING THIS SHIT ON ME?

JACKIE

THIS SHIT IS 53 DEAD KIDS, TEACHERS, A SECURITY GUARD AND THE PRINCIPAL.


MURPH

54 AND NEED I REMIND YOU WERE THE ONE WHO ASKED TO HAVE TRAVIS KILLED.



Beat.

JACKIE HE SHOT HIMSELF!



I know.

MURPH


JACKIE

WITH YOUR FUCKING GUN.

CONROY

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let’s just dial it down.


MURPH JESUS CHRIST!


MURPH (CONT’D)

I’m going to the hospital to check on Meghan.


CONROY

You can’t do that. All the other families are there.


MURPH

So I can’t see my daughter like all the other parents?


CONROY

You’re not like all the other parents. The media is going to be there. Your presence will cause a disturbance. As soon as Meghan is released, we’ll bring her right to Amy’s. And when the dust settles and the FBI gives the all-clear, you can come home.



JACKIE

Just go pack, Murph.

He fumes and then exits into the interior of the house.


How long should we expect to stay with Amy, Conroy?


CONROY

Agent Pelletier...

JACKIE

Dale. He said to call him Dale.

CONROY

Dale didn’t say. Maybe a week. I guess.



Beat.


Okay.

JACKIE

I apologize for my outburst.

CONROY

It’s to be expected; you’ve suffered a major tragedy.


JACKIE

Thank you for taking our call, Conroy. I didn’t know where else to turn.


CONROY

Why didn’t Sam want to represent you?



Beat

JACKIE

He represented Travis when he was caught lighting fires at camp and then when he was shooting out windows in the neighborhood with his BB gun. Sam said he just couldn’t this time. I understand.


It’s going to be terrible for you and your family.


CONROY

Don’t worry about me. Focus on you. And Meghan.



And Murph. And Murph.


JACKIE CONROY

JACKIE

You sure you want to do this?

CONROY

Of course.

JACKIE

The town will hate you.

CONROY

Hopefully they’ll see that I am just doing my job.


JACKIE

All of those parents are going to be burying their children when they were supposed to be getting ready for prom.


CONROY sits down next to JACKIE and puts his arm around her.

CONROY

You’re one of those parents, too.

JACKIE

Wasn’t any way Travis was going to prom. I’m sure there won’t be a prom now. How could there be?


Beat. She cries.


CONROY

You better go pack. Dale gave us only a few minutes and then it’s back in the van.


JACKIE


Beat.

Okay.


Okay.


She stands to exit and go pack.

Thank you.

CONROY

We’re friends. No thanks necessary.



She goes to exit.


Remember, Dale wants you out of Travis’ room.


She nods, exits. CONROY dials his cellphone.

CONROY (CONT’D)

Yes, Agent Pelletier. I just wanted to confirm that the Murphys will be ready to vacate the residence in ten minutes. Can you send the van to take them to Mrs. Murphy’s sister’s home? Remind the driver to do their best to make sure they are not being followed. We don’t want the press hounding them elsewhere. After that, the house is all yours.


Lights down.

SCENE 4


Once again, the sound of reporters and cameras can be heard as a car pulls up. We hear doors close and the front door open as MURPH, JACKIE, AMY enter carrying suitcases. CONROY follows. They are all in different, casual clothes except CONROY who is still in his suit.


CONROY (CONT’D)

Just ignore them. Don’t respond.

MURPH

Easier said than done, assholes.


JACKIE sighs as MURPH once again slams the door. The sound of reporters shouting questions fades out.


AMY

Murph, you promised.

MURPH

Jesus. I thought one of the benefits of coming home was leaving you at yours.


JACKIE

Honey, be nice. We owe Amy.

AMY

Yeah, honey, be nice to Amy.



JACKIE goes to hug AMY as MURPH snorts, collects the suitcases and heads to the interior of the house.


CONROY

If you don’t mind, Jackie, I’m going to just duck into the kitchen and make a quick call to the office.


JACKIE nods as CONROY exits.

AMY

You’re going to be okay.

JACKIE

No, I won’t.

AMY pulls out of the hug and stares directly at JACKIE.

AMY

Meghan’s coming home this afternoon. You need to be ready for her, okay?


JACKIE

Okay. I’ll try.

AMY

Good.

JACKIE

Please thank Dave for letting us stay with you. I know it was a major inconvenience.


AMY

No problem, sis. That’s what friends are for.


JACKIE

And please tell Tyler that...that...


She breaks down and begins to sob.

AMY

Hey, hey...


AMY guides JACKIE to the couch and puts her arms around her as JACKIE cries.


AMY (CONT’D)

Tyler’s a tough kid. He’ll get through it.



JACKIE

My son killed his friends.

AMY

He knows it’s not your fault.

JACKIE

I can’t stop feeling like it is my fault.


AMY

You’ve got to stop with that.

JACKIE

Thank God Tyler was home from school.


AMY

I’m sure Travis wouldn’t have harmed him. They’re cousins.


JACKIE

Didn’t stop him from shooting his own sister.


AMY

There’s that.

JACKIE

How is Tyler ever going to ever come in this house again?


AMY

Because I’ll make him.

JACKIE

He couldn’t even make eye contact with us.


AMY

He’ll bounce back. He’s a good kid. Don’t worry about him. That’s my job. Focus on your own family.


JACKIE

I will, thank you.

AMY

Good.

JACKIE

What was going through my boy’s head that day?



AMY

None of us will never know what was going through Travis’ mind, so it doesn’t make sense for you to second-guess everything.


JACKIE

I keep wondering what I could have done differently.


AMY

Nothing. You did everything you could for Travis.


JACKIE

Did I?

AMY

Of course you did.

JACKIE

I have no idea anymore.

AMY

And you’re still an amazing mother to Meghan.


JACKIE

How do I even...

Begins to sob again.


AMY

It’s not going to be easy. But she needs you.


JACKIE

I feel like with all of Travis’ issues, Meghan...


AMY

He was a tough, demanding kid. She was easy.


JACKIE

He terrorized her.

AMY

He terrorized all of you.

JACKIE

I should’ve seen it coming. I could have stopped it.



Beat.


AMY

You couldn’t. No parent could.

JACKIE

We could’ve not had all those guns in the basement.


AMY

I thought it was locked up.

JACKIE

It was, but Travis found the combination. He’s a smart kid.


Was.

AMY

You can’t second-guess everything now.


JACKIE

I told Murph to get rid of them. I said I didn’t think we were safe with them in the house.


MURPH enters.


MURPH

I knew it. You think this is my fault.


JACKIE had no idea MURPH was listening.

JACKIE

Were you spying on us?

MURPH

It’s my house, too.

AMY

Let’s not...

JACKIE

I told you over and over.

MURPH

I’m a responsible gun owner. I did everything I was supposed to.


JACKIE

Apparently not everything.



MURPH

Don’t you fucking lay this on me. DON’T YOU FUCKING MAKE THIS MY FAULT.


JACKIE

WHOSE FAULT IS IT THAT WE DIDN’T PUT HIM IN THAT GROUP HOME!?


MURPH

HOW WAS I GOING TO PUT MY SON IN A JAIL?


JACKIE

IT WASN’T A JAIL. DR. CONNOR SAID...


MURPH

IT LOOKED LIKE A FUCKING JAIL!

AMY

Guys...

JACKIE

DR. CONNOR SAID TRAVIS WOULD BE SUPERVISED, 24/7. BUT YOU JUST COULDN’T STAND TO ADMIT WE COULDN’T CONTROL HIM


MURPH

YOU THINK THIS HASN’T WEIGHED ON ME!?



Silence.

JACKIE

YOU JUST DIDN’T WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WE COULDN’T HANDLE OUR OWN KID!


AMY

STOP IT! JUST STOP NOW!


MURPH

Thank you for letting us stay with you, Amy. Now you can go home and get the fuck out of our business.


AMY begins to choke up.

AMY

I am not leaving my sister.



MURPH

Why don’t you go home to your son. You are fortunate enough to have one who’s still alive.


AMY

No thanks to your son.

AMY stands in a face-off with MURPH.

MURPH

Get out.

She doesn’t move.


GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!

CONROY rushes in putting his phone away.

CONROY

Okay, everyone.

MURPH

Don’t get in the middle of this, Conroy.


CONROY

The reporters outside will hear you. As your attorney, I advise you to bring it down a notch.


MURPH

(seething)

Fine.

(to AMY)

You, get gone.


MURPH exits into the interior of the house and we hear a door slamming. AMY moves to the door.


AMY

I’m staying as long as Jackie wants me here.


CONROY

It’s okay. You go home. I was planning on being here all morning.


JACKIE

Just go, Amy.



AMY

You sure? Dave’s home with Tyler.

JACKIE

Meghan’s coming home today. I’ll be...


JACKIE shoots a glance in the direction of the interior door.

We’ll be fine.


Silence.


CONROY

Don’t worry, Amy. I’ll keep the peace.


AMY

Okay.


AMY crosses over to JACKIE who stands. They hug.

JACKIE

I love you.

AMY

I love you, too, sis. Hang in there.


They separate. AMY exits. As she opens the door, we hear someone yell.


ANGRY RESIDENT BURN IN HELL!


ANGRY RESIDENT 2 FUCKING MURDERERS!


AMY

GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE, ASSHOLE!

CONROY

AMY, DON’T. THERE ARE CAMERAS.

AMY throws up her hands as she closes the door.

JACKIE

We can’t stay here. We’re going to have to move.


CONROY

Don’t make any decisions right now.



JACKIE

I can’t face these people.

CONROY

Things will calm down.

JACKIE

Did Newtown calm down? That was only what, like, an hour from here?


CONROY

I’m not going to say it’s going to get easier...just calmer.


JACKIE

Maybe that kid’s mother lucked out. He blew her brains out. She never had to know what he was capable of.


Lights out.

SCENE 5

Sounds of a television broadcast.

TV NEWSCASTER

One week since the horrific massacre at the Plainville High School and there are still as many questions are there are answers. As this small community continues to process the deaths of 43 children,

6 teachers, the school security guard, and two administrative staff including the principal, a picture of the shooter has begun to come into focus...


Lights up on CONROY entering holding the door open. Camera flashes.

Sixteen-year-old Travis Murphy, a Junior at Plainville High, entered the school wearing a black trench coat and a backpack. In one hand, he held a Bushmaster XM-15-E2s Automatic Rifle.


JACKIE enters with MEGHAN who is on crutches. MEGHAN is wearing jeans with a walking cast and a simple top. JACKIE gently steers her to a chair and guides her to sit.


In the other, a Remington 870 Express Tactical 12-gauge shotgun.

(MORE)


TV NEWSCASTER (CONT'D)

In his pocket, he carried a Glock

19 pistol.


MURPH enters, gives the finger to the reporters, and closes the door. He goes over and tenderly hugs MEGHAN from behind while JACKIE kneels and holds her hand. It’s actually a lovely tableau.


In his back pack, a TEC-9 semiautomatic and dozens of high- capacity ammunition magazines. In his car, parked on school grounds, they discovered three more automatic rifles and two homemade pipe bombs. The guns are believed to have been legally purchased by Travis Murphy’s father Andrew as part of a substantial private collection. Ironically, Andrew Murphy is a certified gun safety instructor for the NRA.


TV sound out JACKIE is crying at having her daughter home. MEGHAN seems to be numb.


JACKIE

Sweetie, I’m so happy you’re home now with Mommy and Daddy.


JACKIE tries to soothe her unresponsive daughter. MURPH kisses her cheek and breaks the hug.


MURPH

So good to have you back, Meggy.

JACKIE

Do you want something to eat?

MEGHAN shakes her head “no.”


Do you want a soda or something?

MEGHAN

No, thanks.

JACKIE

I’d let you go up to your room and lie down for a bit, but I’m afraid I haven’t had a chance to pick it up. The FBI tore the whole place apart looking for evidence and I haven’t really, you know...



MURPH (to CONROY)

We cool to start putting the house back together?


CONROY

Agent Pelletier said it’s fine, but we should be prepared in case they need to any further investigation. The only thing still off-limits are the gun safe and Travis’ room.


MURPH

Fine. Whatever. I have nothing to hide.


(to MEGHAN)


Meggy, I’ll go put your room back together.


JACKIE

Sweetie, I’m sorry, but they took your laptop.


MURPH

They took all of the computers and the XBOX.


MEGHAN

They took my cellphone.

MURPH

Ours, too. We’ll get you a new one. We’ll all get new ones.


No response.


Maybe that new iPhone you’ve been asking for.



Nothing.


Mommy will stay with you. You just take it easy.


MURPH starts to exit and gives his daughter another quick hug and kiss.


MURPH (CONT’D)

It’s good to have you back safe and sound, Princess.



MEGHAN is unresponsive. MURPH exits into the interior of the house.


JACKIE

Sure I can’t make you a sandwich or get you a yogurt or something?


MEGHAN doesn’t respond. JACKIE stands contemplating her daughter.


Aunt Amy stocked us up with all your favorites. I’m going to make you some soup. You know, just in case you want it.


No response.



Nothing.

You know what? I’ll make you a grilled cheese, too. I know how much you love grilled cheese and tomato soup.


But you don’t have to eat it. If you don’t want. Okay?


JACKIE hesitates.


Love you.

JACKIE exits through the interior door.

CONROY

I’m glad you’re home, Meghan.


Nothing.


CONROY (CONT’D)

I know you’ve been through a lot.

MEGHAN

You think?

I know. Sure.


CONROY MEGHAN

CONROY

Your parents have been worried sick about you.



Yeah.


MEGHAN


CONROY

You understand that I told them they were not allowed to visit the hospital.


No response.


We felt it would be too upsetting for the, uh, you know, victims and families. To see them. Do you understand?


No response.


It wouldn’t have been good for your parents to be there. Either. Seeing all of those people suffering.


MEGHAN

Whatever.

CONROY

Your Aunt Amy came to visit though, right?



Yeah.

MEGHAN


CONROY

That must have been nice for you.

MEGHAN

Everyone else stayed away.

CONROY

I’m sorry.

MEGHAN

I mean, who’s going to visit the sister of the asshole who shot up the whole school?


CONROY

I know.

MEGHAN

Have they said when we are going back to school?



CONROY

TBD. It’s still a crime scene.

MEGHAN

Why bother looking for evidence? They know my brother did it. They know how he did it. He killed himself. It’s like “case closed,” right?


CONROY

In theory, yes.

MEGHAN

Do I have to go back there?

CONROY

That’s up to your parents. And you. In Sandy Hook, they sent the students to Monroe and ultimately demolished the school. It’s too early to say.


MEGHAN

Travis would’ve loved that.

CONROY

What?

MEGHAN

That because of him they have to tear down the whole school.


CONROY

Why is that?

MEGHAN

Because he hated it.

CONROY

The school?

MEGHAN

Not so much the school. Just everyone in it.


CONROY

Didn’t he have friends?

MEGHAN

I guess he had some. Steve Buxton, but he ended up shooting him so I guess they weren’t, you know, that close.



CONROY

Did he hate you?

MEGHAN

I dunno. I guess, maybe. I dunno.

CONROY

What about your parents?

MEGHAN

Sometimes. He was just...mad all the time. Angry. He’d be fine and then he’d lose his shit.


CONROY

And then he’d...

MEGHAN

Sometimes it was just yelling and throwing stuff.


CONROY

At you?


Sometimes.

MEGHAN CONROY

And your parents?

MEGHAN

Sometimes.

CONROY

Would he hit you?

MEGHAN

Yes. A lot.

CONROY

Were you afraid of your brother?

MEGHAN

Yes. Even after Daddy put a lock on my door. In case he got too out of control. I’d just like go to my room and lock myself in until he calmed down.


CONROY

And did that help?



MEGHAN

Yes. No. I mean, he’d pound on the door and scream that he was going to kill me.


CONROY

Jesus.

MEGHAN

This one time, he was so mad, he put his fist through the door and Mom had to call the police. They took him away for the night.


CONROY

And how did Travis respond?

MEGHAN

He had calmed down when he came back, but when Mommy and Dad left the room he said he was still going to kill me.


CONROY

Were you afraid of your brother?

MEGHAN

Duh.

CONROY

Did you think he would ever do something like this?


MEGHAN

Yes. We all did.

CONROY

You all did?

MEGHAN

Yeah. We talked about it.

CONROY

Then why keep the guns in the house?


MEGHAN

It’s dad’s hobby. He gets a total boner over his guns.


CONROY

Did you mind having the guns in the house?



MEGHAN

I guess. I mean, they were always here. We grew up around them. Dad made us take a pistol safety class so we’d, you know, be responsible around them.


CONROY

How old were you?

MEGHAN

Eight, I guess. Maybe nine.

CONROY

So you and Travis were always around guns.


MEGHAN

Yeah, but they were, you know, locked up in the safe, so it wasn’t like they were out on the dinner table.


CONROY chuckles at this.


Some days I’d think Daddy loves those guns and Travis more than me.


CONROY

You know that’s not true.

MEGHAN

I think Mommy hates the guns, but she never said anything. Dad said he grew up in a gun household and it was his hobby, and blah blah blah. So, yeah. Whatever.


CONROY

Did he use them for hunting?

MEGHAN

Yeah, he’d go up to Maine to shoot moose and deer. Some of the guns he said were for “home safety.” Others, I think he just got to use at the range or because he thought they looked badass. Like they would make his dick bigger.


CONROY

AR-15s?



MEGHAN

Yeah. The ones crazy assholes use when they want to kill a fuck-ton of people.


She goes silent as JACKIE enters the room with a tray with a grilled cheese, soup, and a glass of water.


JACKIE

Here you go, Meghan.

MEGHAN

I had lunch at the hospital.

JACKIE

You could have told me that.


Silence.

Or not.


MEGHAN folds her arms.


Conroy, would you like a grilled cheese and tomato soup? No one likes a cold grilled cheese.


CONROY

I’m going to pass. I should get back to the office.


JACKIE

You could take it with you. Not the soup, but the sandwich. I guess I could put the soup in a travel mug and you could drink it.


MEGHAN

He said he didn’t want it.

JACKIE

I was talking to Conroy.

MEGHAN

And he said he didn’t want it, so get off his case.


JACKIE

Don’t be rude.

CONROY stands.



CONROY

I’m going to leave you two to get settled. Thanks for the offer, Jackie. I appreciate it.


(to MEGHAN)

Welcome home, Meghan.

CONROY exits to questions shouted from the reporters.

MEGHAN

Have they been here the whole time?

JACKIE

Yes. Well, maybe they left when we went to Aunt Amy’s. I dunno. I think they’ve been kinda staked out.


MEGHAN

How long are they going to be here?

JACKIE

I don’t know.

MURPH returns to the living room.

MURPH

I think I’ve restored some order up there. Well, except Travis’ room.

It’s off-limits.

MEGHAN

I was never allowed in there.


Beat.

When he was alive.


They’re all silent.

MURPH

And stay out of the basement, too. The gun safe is out of bounds.


MEGHAN

Duh.

MURPH

Your room, the bathrooms, family room, kitchen are all okay, though.


MEGHAN doesn’t respond.



Maybe tomorrow we can all go phone shopping.


MEGHAN

How are we going to get past those people?


MURPH

They can’t stop us. It’s our property.


MEGHAN

Tommy Jensen had an after-school job at the Verizon store. When he was alive.



Silence.

JACKIE

Maybe we can just pick out something on Amazon.



You gonna eat your lunch?

MEGHAN

No.

MURPH

Can I have it? I’m starving.

MEGHAN

Sure. Whatever.

MURPH sits on the couch and begins to dig in.

MURPH

Mmmm. Delicious. Good job, honey.

JACKIE doesn’t respond.


They didn’t leave any stone unturned up there, let me tell you. Looks like a bomb went off.


MEGHAN

Did Travis make it?

MURPH

You watch your mouth.



MEGHAN

I’m glad he’s dead.

JACKIE

Meghan Anne Murphy!

MURPH

He’s your brother.

MEGHAN

Not anymore.

MEGHAN struggles to stand with her crutches.

MURPH

He’s your brother and we still love him.


MEGHAN

I don’t. He ruined our fucking lives.


MURPH

Goddammit, I don’t ever want to hear that kind of bullshit come out of your mouth again.


MEGHAN stands with the crutches and moves toward the door.

MEGHAN

You can’t stop me from thinking it.

JACKIE

Meggy.

MEGHAN


She exits.

He fucking shot me. You’re probably sorry he didn’t kill me.


MURPH

MEGHAN, COME BACK HERE RIGHT THIS MINUTE!


She doesn’t.

JACKIE

Let her go.

MURPH shoves the lunch away.

MURPH

Now I’ve lost my goddamn appetite.



JACKIE

She’s angry. She has a right.

MURPH

I’m fucking angry, too. Don’t I have a right?


JACKIE

We’re all angry, Murph. We didn’t get shot.



Silence.


Dammit.

MURPH

You know this is not my fault, right?



I...

JACKIE


MURPH

It’s not my fault. It’s not your fault.


JACKIE

I feel like we failed.

MURPH

Well, don’t. We did the best we could with what we were dealt.


JACKIE

That’s not what you said earlier.

MURPH

Well, I’m sorry. About all that shit I said. I’m sorry.


JACKIE

He melted down when we brought up that group home.


MURPH

We couldn’t afford it anyway. The psychologists, the social workers, the doctors, Father John, Sam, the goddamned judge -- they all acted like they had the answer. But no one did. No one could figure out what to do with him.


JACKIE sits next to him.



I know.


JACKIE


MURPH

Now we have a dead son, a daughter who hates us, and I feel like I have a bullseye on me.


JACKIE rubs his knee.


All of these politicians and celebrities and other fuckers are sending thoughts and prayers to the victims. What about us?


JACKIE

Maybe we don’t deserve those thoughts and prayers. Travis killed

53 people.



Silence.

MURPH

Jesus, Jackie.


What are we going to do? How are we going to...to face anyone. Ever?


He begins to break down. She takes him in her arms.

JACKIE

I know, I know.

She rocks him.


I am, too.


We hear the sound of glass shatter as a rock is thrown through a window. JACKIE and MURPH sit bolt upright.


MEGHAN MOMMY! MOMMMMMMY!


ANGRY RESIDENT

(off-stage)


YOUR SON KILLED MY GIRL, YOU FUCKING ANIMALS!


Lights out abruptly. END OF ACT I



ACT II SCENE 1

Darkness. We hear a TV reporter’s voice.

TV NEWSCASTER

As the nation continues to mourn the death of 53 students, teachers and school officials, we have begun to learn more about the disturbed teenager that caused the worst school shooting in American history.


Isolated light on JACKIE as she sits on the couch with paper, pen and a lap desk.


Travis Alan Murphy had an extensive history of run-ins with the law both in school and at home where the police were called by his parents on two separate occasions. Murphy was on prescription medication for ADHD and schizophrenia. He was also in treatment for oppositional defiance disorder, which led this parent of one of Murphy’s classmates to say this:


Isolated light on MEGHAN sitting on the chair She is tapping on her new cellphone. She is no longer using crutches.


ANGRY RESIDENT

The school and this kid’s parents obviously knew his history. Why put a ticking time bomb in a public school with our children? And why in Hell raise a menace like that in a house full of guns?


Isolated light on MURPH in the other chair reading the newspaper. They look like a normal American family.


TV NEWSCASTER

The FBI is currently determining whether or not to release excerpts from disturbing videos and writings found on Murphy’s computer. On the day of the massacre at Plainville High, he had a photo of Adam Lanza on his person.

(MORE)


TV NEWSCASTER (CONT'D)

Lanza, of course, was the shooter who claimed the lives of 20 children, 6 teachers, his own mother, and himself in Newtown, Connecticut.


MEGHAN

Mom?

JACKIE

Yes, sweetie?

MEGHAN

Can I go to the rally up in Hartford?


MURPH

What rally?

MEGHAN

The gun control rally. At the Capitol.



No.

MURPH


MEGHAN

I wasn’t asking you.

MURPH

I don’t care.

MEGHAN

Daddy!


I said no. Mom?

MURPH MEGHAN JACKIE

Your father said no.

MEGHAN

But why?

MURPH

Because it’s going to be a bunch of gun-grabbers.


MEGHAN

And survivors. And victims’ families.



MURPH

Absolutely not.

MEGHAN

I’m a victim, too. I was shot, remember?


MURPH

You are not leaving this house.

JACKIE sets aside what she has been writing.

JACKIE

Sweetie, the press is going to be there. Conroy said we can’t talk to reporters. They’re going to ambush you.


MEGHAN

Everyone from school is going.

MURPH

Not everyone. Not you.

JACKIE

You won’t be safe.

MEGHAN

Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg from Parkland are going to speak.


MURPH

Then you’re definitely not going.

MEGHAN

You’re just saying that because you’re an NRA zombie.


MURPH stands furious.

MURPH

I AM NOT AN NRA ZOMBIE!

MEGHAN

Whatever.

MURPH

GO TO YOUR ROOM!

JACKIE

Stop it, Meggy.



MEGHAN

The NRA doesn’t even care about you. They fired you!


MURPH

THEY DID NOT FIRE ME.

MEGHAN

They told you to stay away from the range.


MURPH

That doesn’t mean I was fired. They just don’t need the attention right now from the media.


MEGHAN

That’s because they’re assholes.

MURPH

I said go to your room!


MEGHAN AND I SAID NO!


MURPH stands menacingly. MEGHAN shrinks a bit.

MURPH

You are going to your room.

MURPH crosses over, grabs MEGHAN and pulls her upright.

MEGHAN

OW! YOU’RE HURTING ME!

MURPH

YOU’RE GOING TO LISTEN TO ME.

MEGHAN

STOP IT! LET ME GO! MOMMY, TELL HIM TO STOP!


JACKIE

Sweetie, just listen to your father.


MURPH

ARE YOU GOING TO GO TO YOUR ROOM OR DO I HAVE TO DRAG YOU?!


MEGHAN pulls free.



MEGHAN

WHY DON’T YOU SEND ME TO THE BASEMENT? I’LL BE SAFE; THERE AREN’T ANY GUNS!


MURPH grabs her again.


POOR BABY. THEY TOOK ALL YOUR GUNS AWAY.


MURPH slaps her.


MEGHAN (CONT’D)

OW!


MEGHAN yells so anyone outside could hear.

CHILD ABUSE! HELP!

MURPH

WOULD YOU SHUT YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH!?

JACKIE springs up and attempts to pull them apart.

JACKIE

STOP IT, MURPH! BOTH OF YOU!


MURPH violently shoves JACKIE away and she falls to the floor. MEGHAN is crying and wrenches herself from his grip.


MEGHAN

I FUCKING HATE YOU! YOU’RE BOTH ASSHOLES!!


MEGHAN stomps on MURPH’s foot or kicks him in the shin. He yelps in pain.


MURPH

GODDAMMIT!


MEGHAN runs out the exterior door and slams it behind her.


JACKIE MEGHAN DON’T!


MURPH limps to the front door and throws it open.

MURPH

COME BACK HERE RIGHT NOW!

JACKIE struggles to stand up.



JACKIE

Let her go. Close the door.

MURPH just stares out the door.


Murph, close the door. Please.

MURPH

Fuck!

MURPH slams the door.

JACKIE

You really are something.


MURPH puts his hands on either side of his head and seethes. JACKIE plops herself back on the couch.


MURPH

I’m...I’m sorry.

JACKIE

She knows how to push your buttons.

MURPH

I know.

JACKIE

And you always take the bait.

MURPH

I know.

JACKIE

She’s very angry.

MURPH

So I am.

JACKIE

Of course you are.

MURPH

And you two keep hanging my guns over me like I’m not already beating myself up over it.


JACKIE

I apologize. I won’t do it again.

MURPH

I know how Travis killed those people.

(MORE)


MURPH (CONT'D)

I know how he killed himself. I don’t need it thrown in my goddamn face.


JACKIE

I’m sorry.


MURPH sinks into his chair.

MURPH

No, you aren’t.

JACKIE doesn’t respond.


I don’t know how he found the combination. He just did.


JACKIE

He was a smart kid.

MURPH

He was.

JACKIE

Like his father.

MURPH

I’m an idiot.

JACKIE

Sometimes, but the most of the time you’re pretty smart.


He manages a weak smile.

MURPH

Should we go after her?

JACKIE

She won’t get far. She has a bum leg and no iPhone charger.


He chuckles.


What’s going to happen to us?

MURPH

I don’t know.

JACKIE

Reliable has replaced all the for- sale signs on my listings.

(MORE)


JACKIE (CONT'D)

They removed me from the ads and website. Guess I’m no longer the face of Plainville.


MURPH

I’ve already lost two clients. Still have the Anderson deck project, but no one’s going to refer me at this point. I’m going to have to lay off the guys; can’t afford to pay them.


JACKIE

Should we move?

MURPH

You mean sell the house?

JACKIE

It’d give me one listing.

MURPH

You want to leave Plainville?

JACKIE

If we move tonight, Meghan won’t be able to find us.


MURPH chuckles again.


She hates us, you know. In case you haven’t heard.


MURPH

She doesn’t hate you. Just me.

JACKIE

She said we were both assholes.

MURPH

That’s true.

JACKIE

You’re a bigger asshole, though.

MURPH

That’s also true. I’m glad you’ve gotten your sense of humor back.


JACKIE

Do you think we should send her to live with Amy for a while? It’s got to be tough being here.



MURPH

I feel like I’d be giving up.

JACKIE

Not at all. And Amy would be fine with it.


MURPH

Meghan’s so miserable right now. Could be worth siccing her on Amy.


JACKIE smiles.



Honey? Yeah?


JACKIE MURPH

Did you love Travis?

JACKIE

Yes. I had to. It was hard.

MURPH

Huh.


Did you?

JACKIE MURPH

Yes. And then I wish he had never been born.

Lights out.

SCENE 2


Nighttime. The action moves to AMY’s house, but there is no need to change the set. Flickering light from the TV illuminates MEGHAN who is watching on the couch under a blanket. She’s crying.


TV TALKING HEAD

What we need now is better security in schools. We need to arm teachers. What we don’t need are liberals trying to dismantle the second amendment and our Constitutional right to arm ourselves.

(MORE)


TV TALKING HEAD (CONT'D)

Instead of taking away our guns, we need firearms to protect our families from people like that Plainville If the teachers at that school were able to defend themselves, who knows how many lives could have been saved?


AMY enters, turns on a lamp, and watches for a moment before she picks up the remote and turns off the TV. MEGHAN doesn’t debate. AMY sits next to her on the couch.


AMY

You sure you want to watch that?

MEGHAN

It’s on every channel. My goddamn brother is on every channel.


AMY

Maybe not Nickelodeon?

MEGHAN

I’m a little old for Nickelodeon.

AMY

Ooh! I think it’s Shark Week.

MEGHAN

I get that at home.

AMY

Touche.

AMY pulls MEGHAN into her and strokes her hair.

MEGHAN

Travis is, like, everywhere. He’s on the cover of TIME and People. On TV. The radio. He’s all over the internet. It’s all anyone can talk about.


AMY

What he did was horrible. It’s big news.


MEGHAN

I hated him.

AMY

I understand. He was a difficult, troubled kid.



MEGHAN

It was bad enough going to school and having people know I was related to him. They knew he was my crazy brother, but, like, I got a pass or whatever. Now I’m only ever going to be known as Travis Murphy’s sister.


AMY

I know it’s not fair, Meggy.

MEGHAN

The only one Mommy and Daddy cared about was Travis.


AMY

That’s not true. It’s just...a kid like Travis is a lot of work. Kids like you and Tyler, well, you’re easier. Easier to raise, easier to love. Meghans are what every parents wants. No one expects a Travis and when God send you a kid like that, you do the best you can.


MEGHAN

Do you think Travis is in Hell?

AMY

I think he’s finally at peace.

MEGHAN

I hope he’s in Hell.

AMY

You’re entitled.

MEGHAN

Sometimes, since that day you know, I wish he killed me.


AMY

No, you don’t.

MEGHAN

I do.

AMY

You can’t say things like that.



MEGHAN

Travis always told me to shut up. He would punch me, slap me, or bang my head into the wall. One time, he tried to push me down the stairs.

He was out of control. My parents said I should ignore him and not get him worked up.


AMY

They wouldn’t just let him beat you.


MEGHAN

No. They’d yell at him or threaten to call the police, but they’d also say shit like, “Just leave Travis alone and he won’t bother you.” Like I was responsible for his behavior.



Silence.


Silence.

AMY

Parents make mistakes, too. You may want to put yourself in their shoes for a little bit. Imagine what it’s like to have a kid like Travis.


MEGHAN

That day, in school, when he saw me, it’s like I was someone he didn’t know. He looked at me and it was like I could’ve been anyone. I yelled his name and told him to stop...but it’s like he was someone else and I was someone else. And then he shot me, just like all those other kids. I don’t know if he knew it was me. He didn’t say my name.


I think he knew it was me and shot me in the leg instead of the head to make sure I lived. He knew he was going to die that day and he wanted to make sure that he had one last chance to fuck with me.


(MORE)


MEGHAN (CONT'D)

My last memory of Travis is him looking happy for the first time since I could remember. And then he shot me.


AMY

You know he wasn’t in his right mind.


MEGHAN

He never was.

AMY

Want to know something?

MEGHAN

What?

AMY

Growing up, I really hated your mom.



Beat.


Silence.

MEGHAN

You’re lying.

AMY

It’s true. I always felt like my parents liked Jackie better and she was a big bully.


MEGHAN

It’s not the same.

AMY

No, it’s not. I’m lame at this parenting thing.


Travis’ brain was just more than anyone could handle.



You know what, Meggy?

MEGHAN doesn’t answer.


We’re going to that rally.

MEGHAN sits up.



I’ll take you, but don’t you dare tell your parents or Uncle Dave.


MEGHAN

Really?

AMY

Yes, I’ll drive you. We’ll tell them we’re going to have a spa day or some shit like that.


MEGHAN

Dad’ll freak.

AMY

I know, but for once Meghan gets to do what she wants.


THEY HUG. Lights down.


SCENE 3


Lights down. TV TALKING HEAD. We are back in the Murphy’s living room. During the segment below. JACKIE comes in and sits with her head down in a pool of light. MURPH enters and sits with his eyes facing forward in a pool of light. CONROY enters and sits with a pad and a pen in a pool of light.


TV TALKING HEAD 2

Why does the Republican Party hide behind the Second Amendment when they are, in point of fact, bought and paid for mouthpieces of the National Rifle Association?

Congress won’t move on gun control because they don’t want to cut off the money from the NRA and the gun lobby.


Listen, the Second Amendment does not entitle the average citizen to the private use of a tank, a bazooka or other weapons reserved for military use. An automatic rifle, with the very simple adjustments like a bump stock and a high-capacity magazine, can become the equivalent of a machine gun.

(MORE)


TV TALKING HEAD 2 (CONT'D)

Simply put, Travis Murphy should not have been able to get his hands on an AR-15 because his father should not have been able to get his hands on an AR-15.


Lights up completely.

MURPH

So what’s so urgent?

CONROY

Several of the victims’ families have announced their intent to file lawsuits against the Town of Plainville for not adequately protecting their children from Travis.


MURPH

On the day of the shooting?

CONROY

Of course, but also because there were multiple occasions where kids and parents went to the school because of Travis’ behavior. They were frightened of him and they feel that the town bears responsibility by not removing Travis from the school environment.


JACKIE

Jesus.

MURPH


Beat.

Our kid had a right to be there. It’s a fucking public school.


CONROY

But here’s the deal, and I don’t want you to freak out because nothing’s confirmed, but...


The same families are working toward a class action lawsuit against you.


JACKIE

Us?

MURPH

We are getting sued?



CONROY

It’s highly likely, yes.

MURPH

For how much?!

CONROY

Nothing has been filed yet, but I would guess that the figure will be in the millions.


JACKIE

Can they do that?

CONROY

Yes.

JACKIE

But we don’t have that kind of money. We barely have any money.


CONROY

I understand, but they’re angry and looking for compensation for the loss of their children.


MURPH

We lost a child, too!

CONROY

After Columbine, the victims’ families sued the parents of the shooters.


JACKIE

Did they win.

CONROY

Most of them settled.

MURPH

Jesus Christ! Jackie lost her job and my business is hanging on by a thread.


CONROY

I know this is difficult to take in, but you have to be prepared. It’s possible that some families may not sue. It’s also possible that some victims may not join the class action suit and file individual actions against you.



JACKIE begins to cry.

MURPH

We could be facing multiple lawsuits?


CONROY

Yes. From the families of the 53 people who died AND the 47 families of the people who were injured by Travis. They all could have a claim.


MURPH

We’re fucking ruined.

JACKIE sobs and runs out of the room.



Jackie!

She doesn’t respond.

CONROY


MURPH

What the fuck are we going to do?

CONROY

I would suggest you start inventorying your assets. Collect any documentation on Travis’ psychological issues and what the family did to address them.

Medications, doctor visits, any therapies. You need to portray yourself as responsible parents who made every effort to get your child help.


MURPH

We did. You have no idea.

CONROY

I am sure you did, but they are going to try to paint a picture of a child out of control...


MURPH

He was...

CONROY

And parents and a school who didn’t respond to the warning signs.



MURPH

We spent probably hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last six years. This is bullshit.


CONROY

Was Travis different, you know, from the beginning?


MURPH

No, he was a regular kid.

CONROY

Define “regular.”

MURPH

You know, regular. He was a beautiful baby. Not especially difficult. You know he cried and wet the bed and all that, but overall, he was a good kid.

Creative. Loved to draw. Not really into sports, but he seemed to enjoy the gun safety classes he took down at the range.


CONROY

So when did he change?

MURPH

I think when he was 11 or so. He started becoming withdrawn. Not really wanting to talk, just sorta grunted at us. He had been a good big brother, but then he started hitting his sister.


CONROY

A lot?

MURPH

Probably. Yeah. Probably.

CONROY

Did he hit you?

MURPH

He knew better, I’ll say that.

CONROY

And Jackie?



MURPH

Yes. He hit her. Kicked her. Bit her once. Drew blood.


CONROY

So when did you think the problem was serious enough to see a doctor.


MURPH

The school psychologist called us in and showed us some drawings he had done. Really disturbing shit. Lots of blood and stabbings and... guns. The art teacher brought it to the psychologist and she called us in.


CONROY

And then what?

MURPH

She met with Travis and then referred us to some specialists. The specialists referred us to psychologists. And then we got referred to social workers. And on and on. We tried all kinds of drugs and he just kept getting worse.


CONROY

How so?

MURPH

More withdrawn. Pulled away from us, friends. Wouldn’t bathe unless we forced him to. Stayed in his room on the computer or playing with his XBOX.


CONROY

What kind of websites would he visit?


MURPH

Didn’t really monitor it. Too hard. He started locking his room and pitched a fit if we went in there. And then we had to start locking our rooms.


CONROY

Because you were afraid of him.



MURPH

Yes. I started keeping my 357 Magnum in the bedroom. Told Jackie it was for safety against, you know, potential intruders. It was really to protect ourselves from my son.


CONROY

Back to his computer, what was he doing? Online gaming?


MURPH

Yeah. Started with Minecraft and then he became obsessed with World of Warcraft.


CONROY

And what did he play on his XBOX?

MURPH

A lot of that first-person shooter stuff. Halo, Call of Duty, uhhhh. What’s that one with the cars?


CONROY

Not really into video games. Sorry.

MURPH

It’s on the tip of my...Grand Theft Auto. Grand Theft Auto, that’s it.


CONROY

Did you play these games with him.

MURPH

A bit, but I was pretty crap at it. And then...


CONROY

What?

MURPH

He just didn’t seem to want me to play with him. He couldn’t stand to be around me.


CONROY

Just you?



MURPH

The family, but I think when you’re a dad and your own son doesn’t want to talk to you or whatever, it’s worse.


CONROY

I understand.

MURPH

You have a son?

CONROY

No.

MURPH

I loved my dad. I fucking idolized him - wanted to be with him and be like him. That’s where I learned to love -- and respect -- guns. I grew up with them. He bought me my first

.22. I intended to do the same thing with Travis. Go duck hunting, deer season, target shooting. You know, father-son bonding stuff.

But...

MURPH gets choked up.

CONROY

But what?

MURPH

Travis changed. He changed. I could see he hated me. He’d come home from being out wherever and just go straight to his room and lock the door. He wouldn’t come to the dinner table and if he did, he’d just have his head down with his greasy hair in his face.


CONROY

But you know that was his illness. It wasn’t personal.


MURPH

Of course, but how can you handle that kind of rejection as a parent? It’s fucked up. Everything in our lives began to revolve around this, I don’t know...monster that moved into our house.



CONROY

You came to see Travis as a monster?



Silence.

MURPH

Yes. Only a monster could do what he did, right?


CONROY

Did you love him?

MURPH

I did and then I didn’t. That’s the bullshit about these fucking lawsuits. They want to say we weren’t responsible parents? We were nothing but responsible for a child that held us fucking hostage. Our lives were trashed by Travis and now our family...Jackie is a trainwreck. Cries all the time.

Meghan resents Jackie and hates me. And I fucking hate myself. So, no, I don’t love Travis.


CONROY

Are you sad he’s gone?

MURPH

I was always thought he would run away and become a homeless person or end up in jail. I mean, that’s what happens to the mentally ill, right? Of course, I feared that he would hurt himself or someone else, but I never could have imagined...


I could not have imagined.

CONROY

I understand.

MURPH

Not if you aren’t a father. You expect to raise your kid, teach them to drive, send them off to college, get them married, give you grandkids, and then you die. That’s the deal. That’s the American dream, but not the one that I got.



CONROY

Those other families didn’t get that either. And Travis is responsible.


MURPH doesn’t respond.

Can I ask you the obvious question?

MURPH

Go ahead. I know what it is and I’ve asked myself it a million times.


CONROY

Why not get rid of the guns if you knew he was so prone to violence?


MURPH

The guns were family.

CONROY

I don’t follow.

MURPH

And now they’re gone. And those fucking families are going to sue us for what little we have left.


CONROY

You don’t seem to have too much sympathy for their loss.


MURPH

I can’t get past my own. Maybe I’m an asshole and I am responsible and I can’t face that. Because it will crush me.


MURPH’s cellphone rings. He looks at it, sighs, and answers it.


Beat. Beat.

Bill! How are you?


What?!


No. No way.

Beat.

It can’t be Meghan. I told her...



Beat.

What?


MURPH lunges for the remote on the coffee table.

Which channel?


Beat. Beat.


All of them. Fuck.


Thank you for letting me know, Bill. I’ve, I’ve gotta go.


MURPH hangs up.


JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!

CONROY

What’s going on?


MURPH JACKIE!! JACKIE!!!


CONROY

Murph, what’s happening?

JACKIE runs in.


JACKIE

What is it?

MURPH

Meghan’s at the rally. And she’s speaking!


MURPH presses the remote. Lights down to the three illuminated by the television, frozen gazing at the TV as we hear MEGHAN’s voice. MEGHAN steps out front with a speech in her hand. The audience cheers where indicated with asterisks.


MEGHAN

I want to thank the organizers for giving me a chance to speak. They didn’t know I was going to be here today and, to be honest, I didn’t know I was going to be here. And maybe I shouldn’t...because I am Travis Murphy’s sister. My name is Meghan Murphy and my brother is the reason we are all here and I am sorry for that. I apologize to you all today.

(MORE)


MEGHAN (CONT'D)

Some of you may be angry to see me up here, and I understand that. But please know that I am one of you. I was abused by my brother and on May 15th, I was shot by my brother. I was lucky enough to survive. I know many of you have lost someone who was not as lucky as me. Again, I’m sorry. They were also my classmates and my friends.


JACKIE

Is that Amy behind her?

MURPH

Yes, that’s your fucking sister.

MEGHAN

Do I believe Travis was responsible for the shooting at Plainville High School? Yes. Do I believe his severe mental issues were responsible? Yes. He was on every medication you can imagine. Mental health services failed my brother and fail millions of Americans every day. * We are a sick country with an insane, out-of-control government. * Our government is to blame for letting innocent people get shot over and over again. *


JACKIE

I told Amy she was not allowed to go.


MURPH

I think Amy put her up to this.

MEGHAN

They refuse to pass gun control laws that will make us safer in our homes, at concerts, in movie theatres and schools. * We need to make sure people do not have access to AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles. * And we need to vote anyone who does not stand with us out of office. If they will allow people shoot us down, then we will pull them down.* Fuck them, fuck thoughts and prayers, and most of all, FUCK THE N.R.A.! BLOOD IS ON YOUR HANDS, DADDY. ***



Lights down. Sinead O’Connor’s “Fire on Babylon” comes in at 2:08 mark at “FIRE!!” through 3:10 mark.


SCENE 4

Doorbell rings. JACKIE enters and looks through the window.

JACKIE

Go away.

AMY

(off-stage) Jackie.


JACKIE

I said to go away.

AMY

Jackie, please.

JACKIE

No.

AMY

I’m your sister.

JACKIE leans her back against the door.

JACKIE

Family doesn’t matter to you.

AMY

That’s bullshit and you know it.

JACKIE

Amy, just leave. Go home.

AMY

You’re not answering my calls. We need to talk.


JACKIE does not respond.

Please.

No response.

We need to talk.


JACKIE hangs her head. AMY rings the bell and knocks relentlessly.


JACKIE

Fuck.



AMY TALK TO ME!


JACKIE swings open the door.

JACKIE

Stop it! You’re making a scene!

AMY pushes her way in.


You have five minutes and then I want you out of my house.


AMY

Fine. This isn’t about me, anyway. It’s about Meghan.


JACKIE

I trusted you to watch her.

AMY

I know, I know.

JACKIE

Then why did you do it?

AMY

She had a right to be there. She’s in so much pain.


JACKIE

We all are.

AMY

I know. I’m suffering, too.

JACKIE

Pffft.

AMY

I live in this town, too, you know. People drive by our house and yell shit. Throw stuff on our lawn. My son could have been killed. Tyler’s best friend was killed and Tyler is heartbroken.


JACKIE

You think I don’t know that?



AMY

You think I can be happy when my sister and her family have been devastated?


JACKIE

Do you have any idea how much worse you’ve made things by taking Meghan to that rally? Do you?


AMY

I know, but she really needed to be there. All of her friends were going.


JACKIE

Her father forbade it and we trusted you.


AMY

Meghan is hurting. Like big time.


JACKIE OF COURSE SHE IS.


AMY

No yelling. I won’t let you yell at me.


JACKIE

Do you have any idea what has been going on? I’ve lost my job. Murph’s contracting business is filing for Chapter 11. We’re going to be sued for money we don’t have. I’m a prisoner in my own home. I can’t turn on the TV without hearing that my son, the child I carried for nine months and raised for sixteen years, is a mass murderer. The people that I thought were my friends don’t call, don’t visit. I can’t go to the grocery store without people staring. I can’t go to church. People put up crosses for the dead and someone pulled up and burned the one that had Travis’ name on it. I spend my days trying to figure out how to mourn my child after what he did. How to process the fucking guilt and pain. I started writing letters to the parents of his victims.

(MORE)


JACKIE (CONT'D)

Fifty three letters asking for forgiveness for something that is unforgiveable because my son killed their son. Or their daughter. And I have yet to mail one because, if I was that parent, I’m not sure I’d want to hear it from Jackie Murphy. I don’t know what I do if I got that kind of letter. I don’t even deserve their forgiveness. Our lawyer won’t let me mail them anyway because he thinks they will be seen as an admission of guilt on our part.


AMY

Look, I...


JACKIE

Aside from my husband, you and Meghan were pretty much all I had left. And then my daughter gets up in front of a crowd of what, ten thousand?



Fifteen.

AMY


JACKIE

WITH MY SISTER and lays waste to what little strength that we have left. Her screed has been on every channel, on social media, in the newspaper. Did you help write that speech?


AMY

She did. I helped her a little, but mainly to tone it down. The original would really have made your hair stand on end.


JACKIE

Great. Just great. So now, if I want to see my children, I have to turn on the goddamn TV. One’s a mass murderer and the other is fucking Jane Fonda.


AMY

I’m sorry.



JACKIE

Do you know her father has been officially terminated from his job teaching gun safety? And the NRA has revoked his lifetime membership.


AMY

So there’s a bright side.

JACKIE

Murph just got in his car and drove off this morning. No idea where he was going. He just left without a word. His family, his business and that gun club were what he loved most in the world, and now they’re pretty much all gone.


AMY

Meghan’s not gone.

JACKIE

Might as well be after that stunt. She reached into her father’s chest and pulled out his heart.


AMY

Meghan’s in the car. She wants to talk to you.


JACKIE

What?

AMY

She wants to talk to you, but she’s scared of Murph.


JACKIE

She should be.

AMY

Can she come in?

JACKIE

This is her home, isn’t it?

AMY

Is it?

JACKIE

Of course it is.



AMY

We both know Travis dominated this house.


JACKIE

That’s bullshit.

AMY

Please.

JACKIE

We did everything to protect her.

AMY

Apparently that wasn’t enough.

JACKIE

Jesus.

AMY

Do you want her to come in or not?

JACKIE

Does she want to move back home?

AMY

No. She just wants to see you. I told if we drove by and saw Murph’s car, we’d keep on driving.


JACKIE

I have no idea when he’s coming home.


AMY

Look, she’s scared and you’re all riled up. I would’ve called before coming over, but you wouldn’t answer my calls or texts.


JACKIE

Can you blame me?

AMY

You know what? Bye. I’ll bring her by some other time or, better yet, you can come to my house.


JACKIE

No.


AMY

No what?



JACKIE

No. Don’t leave. Bring her in.

AMY

You sure?


I guess.

JACKIE AMY

And you’re not going to blow up on her.


JACKIE

That’s Murph’s job.

AMY

I’m serious.

JACKIE

I’m kidding.

AMY

Promise me, you’ll just let her talk.


JACKIE

Yes, I promise.


AMY exits and JACKIE prepares herself. Looks quickly in the mirror to fix herself. There’s nothing she can really do.

MEGHAN tentatively enters. It’s extremely awkward.

MEGHAN

Mommy?


Meghan.


Do we hug?

JACKIE MEGHAN JACKIE

I don’t know.

MEGHAN

Are you mad at me?

JACKIE

These days, I’m mad at everyone. Most of all myself.


MEGHAN

Do you hate me?



JACKIE

No. You know I could never hate you. I am angry at you for going to that rally and, worse, getting up in front of all those cameras.


MEGHAN

Does Daddy hate me?

JACKIE

You’ll have to ask Daddy.

MEGHAN

I’m really scared.

JACKIE

Of me?

MEGHAN

To be here.

JACKIE

Because Daddy might walk in?

MEGHAN

Sort of, but really just being in this house.


JACKIE

It’s your home.

MEGHAN

That’s what I want to talk to you about.


JACKIE

You want to keep staying at Auntie Amy’s?



Yes.

MEGHAN


JACKIE

Did you ask her?

MEGHAN

She said it was okay with her and Uncle Dave.


JACKIE

Then I guess it’s fine. Give Daddy a chance to cool off.



MEGHAN

I want to live there.

MEGHAN looks down.

Like, permanently.

JACKIE

You don’t want to come back?

MEGHAN

No.

JACKIE

Even with Travis gone.

MEGHAN

This is his house.

JACKIE

Sweetie, it’ll always be your home, too.


MEGHAN

I can’t live in a house with guns.

JACKIE

There aren’t any, thanks to Travis. The police or the FBI or whoever is never going to give them back.


MEGHAN

He’ll get more.

JACKIE

You’re probably right. Your father loves his guns.


MEGHAN

More than me.

JACKIE

Give it a rest, Meghan. You know that’s bullshit.


MEGHAN is silent.


You know you destroyed your father by speaking at that rally, right? Do you know we are about to get sued by the other families? For millions? The town may sue us, too.

(MORE)


JACKIE (CONT'D)

We told you not to go and you basically told the world that your father is responsible for that shooting.


MEGHAN

He sort of is.

JACKIE

He kept those guns in a safe. He took you both to gun safety classes. You know how hard we worked to get Travis the help he needed. And now people think we’re a bunch of fuck-ups. We are going to lose everything. This house, probably, so maybe we can all go live with Aunt Amy. So I hope you’re happy with your 15 minutes of fame. While you look like a hero, we’re drowning.


MEGHAN

You only care about yourselves.

JACKIE

Do you really believe that?

MEGHAN

Yes.

JACKIE

Did you mean it when you said you hated us?



Yes.

MEGHAN


JACKIE

That really hurts. I love my children.


MEGHAN

Did you love Travis when he was hitting you?


JACKIE

Yes, I did.

MEGHAN

I think you’re lying.



JACKIE

I love Travis. I love both of my children.



Silence.

MEGHAN

You’re just saying that because you have to.


JACKIE

Doesn’t matter, right? One of my kids is dead and the other hates me.


MEGHAN

Just because people are related to you doesn’t mean you have to love them.


JACKIE

Thank you for letting me know where I stand.


MEGHAN

You’re welcome.

JACKIE

Maybe you should get out of my house.


MEGHAN

But I have to get some of my things.


JACKIE

I think it’s best that you come back some other time.


MEGHAN

But I need some stuff for school.

JACKIE

Not now. Get in Aunt Amy’s car and go back to your home.


JACKIE leads MEGHAN to the door.

MEGHAN

Mommy...



JACKIE

Maybe you should call me Mrs. Murphy. I wouldn’t want your friends to think we’re related.


JACKIE closes the door on MEGHAN.


MEGHAN MOMMY, STOP IT.


JACKIE sinks to the floor with her head in her hands, crying. Lights down.


SCENE 5


Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” on the Amazon Echo. MURPH is sitting alone in the dim moonlit room. The blinds are finally open again. He is drinking a beer and there are three empties on the coffee table in front of him. He half sings along.



No answer.

JACKIE

(off-stage) Honey?



Murph, is that you?

JACKIE enters in a robe and her sleepwear.



Jesus, you gave me a fright.

No answer.



Alexa, stop.

The music ceases. MURPH looks up out of his stupor.


I’ve been so worried about you. I had no idea where you’ve been all day.


MURPH

I went for a drive.



JACKIE

You’re sitting in the dark like a mushroom.


JACKIE turns on the light on the end table. MURPH winces.


Where did you go?

JACKIE sits on the chair looking at MURPH with concern.

MURPH

Went to the range to clean out my locker.


JACKIE

That wouldn’t take all day.

MURPH

No. I drove up to Bantam Lake.

JACKIE

Why did you do that?

MURPH

Remember when we used to take the kids swimming up there?


JACKIE

Of course.

MURPH

I just needed to be in a place that had happy memories. Not here.

Travis really loved splashing around and diving down to touch the bottom.


JACKIE

Meghan didn’t like the way the bottom felt squishy.


MURPH takes a swig of beer. JACKIE notices the bottles.

Looks like you’ve had a few.

MURPH

Huh? Yeah.

JACKIE

Why don’t you come to bed?



MURPH

Can’t sleep. Haven’t been able to since that day.


JACKIE

I know. If I didn’t take my Ambien, I probably couldn’t either.


MURPH

I guess we use whatever drug works.

He takes another swig. JACKIE stands.

JACKIE

I’ll put these in recycling.

She goes to bus his empties.

MURPH

Don’t. I’ll get it. You relax.


She sits close next to him on the couch. He points at the empties.


Jackie. Travis. Meghan.

He hoists his beer.


Andrew Murphy. One happy family.

He swigs again.


JACKIE

Meghan came by today.

He raises his eyebrows.

MURPH

Really?

JACKIE

Yes. Amy brought her over.

MURPH

What’d she have to say for herself?

JACKIE

She wants to live with Amy and Dave.


MURPH

Hmmph.



JACKIE

She thinks we hate her.

MURPH

Well, we know she hates us. We all hate each other. It’s a mutual admiration society.


MURPH picks at the label on his beer.

JACKIE

I don’t hate you.

MURPH

Do you think I’m responsible?

JACKIE

No more than anyone else.

MURPH

I’ve been trying to figure out exactly when we fucked things up so bad.


JACKIE

I have, too. I don’t think there’s an answer.


MURPH

Prob’ly not.

JACKIE

I keep telling myself we did the best we could. With both of them.


MURPH

Did we?

JACKIE

Prob’ly not. God has his plans, I guess.


MURPH

God fucked us over.

He swigs and puts the beer down. Silence.

JACKIE

We’ll come out on the other side.

MURPH

With nothing.



JACKIE

With each other. We’re a team.

MURPH

Sure.

MURPH leans in and they knock heads.

JACKIE

I love you. You need to know that.

MURPH

Yeah. I don’t feel like I deserve it.


JACKIE

Whether or not you deserve it, there it is. My love.


JACKIE stands.


Okay, pack it in.

Silence. He picks at the label.


Come to bed, honey.

MURPH

Conroy called this morning. They put out a warrant for my arrest. Criminal negligence. Because of the guns. Tomorrow I have to go to Hartford to turn myself in.


JACKIE

Shit. No.

MURPH

Conroy said this was to be expected.



Beat.

JACKIE

We’re totally screwed, aren’t we?

MURPH

We’ll talk about it in the morning.


I’ll be up in a bit.



JACKIE

You know I’m here for you.

MURPH

I know.

JACKIE


She exits.

I’ve got to go to sleep. This Ambien is knocking me out.


MURPH

Sleep well.



Alexa, play “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.”


ALEXA

Playing “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” by Elton John.


The music starts. MURPH rubs his face. He begins to cry. He takes a handgun out of behind/under a couch pillow. He cradles it for a moment, feeling the weight in his hands.

They shake a little. He exits into the interior of the house. In a few moments, we hear a shot. MURPH reenters crying, still carrying the gun.


MURPH

I’m so sorry, baby.


He sinks onto the couch, holds the gun to his head. Lights out. Bang.


END OF PLAY.