Raising the Dead
Scene opens on Maggie, an eleven year old petite and confident young girl infatuated with witchcraft and 'cult magic'. It is the middle of the night, and the scene takes place in Savannah Georgia at Laurel Grove Cemetery and Maggie is in front of her parent's headstones. She is kneeling, facing the audience with books, papers, and candles scattered around. Next to her, she has portable speakers set up. Her iPod is plugged in and the song Raise the Dead by Phantom Planet is playing. She is dressed in dirty floral capri shorts, sneakers, and a black pullover hoodie. Her hair is in a low, ratty pony tail. She is swaying, arms flailing around the graves and books, humming to herself. Declan enters yawning and frustrated; he is twenty and a tall, skinny but stocky and slightly attractive looking guy. He is Maggie's older brother. He is in sweatpants, a white t-shirt, and sneakers. He looks tired and slightly upset. While Maggie is trying to perform this ritual, attempting to bring her mother back from the dead, he is standing behind her staring unbelievably at her motions. He kicks the speakers over, stopping the music. She freezes, and her eyes flash open, scared. They both have southern accents.
DECLAN: Maggie. Let's go.
MAGGIE: (She swings around, at ease now that she knows it's just her brother, and hits his leg. He barely flinches) Oh shut it. You know I have to finish this. You just screwed up my chantin'. Now it's gonna take longer. What do you want? (She turns forward again, sits cross legged, crosses her arms and pouts)
DECLAN: Oh come on. Let's go. Look Mags, I'm tired. Let's go home. Please? I don't need any of your chantin and prayin' and tryin'a to bring people back from, I dunno hell or wherever you think Mama is.
MAGGIE: Shut! It! (she jumps up, trying to get in his face but he is much taller than she is) How do you know Mama's in hell? She was a good lady! Ya know what. (She sits again) I don't need you.
DECLAN: Maggie. (Maggie closes her eyes and begins meditation) Maggie. (Maggie starts the music again) Maggie! (He kicks it over again and it stops)
DECLAN: You're ten! You know you need me now let's go! (He begins picking up her things and putting some candles out)
MAGGIE: (huge gasp) How dare you interrupt my process of bringin our mama back! You put that down now Declan! Or you're gonna be in trouble.
DECLAN: Maggie. I have work all day tomorrow at that god forsaken grocery store, and then I gotta help Uncle Rick with some old ladies roof once I get off. You got school too. Get your things now.
MAGGIE: I said no!
DECLAN: Mags, (he starts picking up her things again and blowing the candles out. Maggie plugs her ears, closes her eyes, and starts 'lalalaing' while Declan speaks) I'm tired. It's all moist out. It's late, and I can't believe you keep doin this. Every damn night, you're pullin these stunts. Get some real friends and realize mama is never, ever comin' back! (At this, she has stopped and hears the last words Declan says. Declan is almost done picking up the things) I'm sorry Mags. I didn't mean it. Well, I did But, but. It's just...
MAGGIE: (brief pause) She might. If I try real, real hard.
DECLAN: (putting the things down, looking at her) I don't think so.
MAGGIE: But. But it says here that...
DECLAN: Maggie. (Long pause, Maggie looks as if she is going to cry) That's not possible. She's probably in a better place.
MAGGIE: How can you say that? You even said it, she's probably in hell.
DECLAN: No Maggie, I didn't mean it (he is sitting next to her now)
MAGGIE: Yes, yes you did.
DECLAN: No I...
MAGGIE: (cutting him off) You did. (She begins crying)
DECLAN: Maggie, I'm sorry.
MAGGIE: (sniffling) Ya know, Mama wasn't that bad. And I mean. I know you had to deal with her a lot longer. And I know you were there when daddy died and I'm sorry about that. But it wasn't my fault he died, it wasn't. I was a baby how was I 'sposed to help him in a car accident, how? And I know you don't like me much cause of that. And cause of you havin a raise me and quit school and all once Mama died but, but. She was a good mama to me most days. And I just wish she stuck around a lil longer. Just a little. And maybe if she came back, even for just a lil, we could be happy. And she would be nice. And grateful that we worked so hard to bring her back. Then she could be nice. And stop drinking. Then she might not make you work and wouldn't yell all the time. And we could have dinner all together, and maybe she'd even cook it for us one more time. And I would wash all the dishes, I promise, and I'd comb my hair and we could all be happy. Even for a little bit again, that's all I want Declan. Really. Please? I can do it.
DECLAN: Maggie. Really, I love you. And you know she loved us. (Beat) and I understand. I do. But, I really don't think it's possible.
MAGGIE: Ok. (She nods, brings herself up and slowly started putting her things away in a backpack. as she does so, she is sniffling and holding back tears. Declan sees this and sits, waiting for her to be done until he really feels bad, and gets up. Sits down in front of the headstones and waits for a moment before speaking)
DECLAN: Ya know, I miss Mama a lot too. (Maggie slowly puts her things down and sits next to him) I know we never got along a lot, but sometimes, every once in a while, shed come in my room when shed think I was sleepin. Shed just kinda hover for a little, and then sit down at the foot of my bed, real quiet, and I just kept actin like I was still sleepin. And shed talk to me about everythin. Just, everythin. Things she was feelin, things she wanted for you and me, shed even cry sometimes real quiet like, and Id just lay there. I wanted to get up ya know? I wanted to hug her, and tell her everythin was gonna be alright cause I loved her…or somethin like that, but I dunno I don't think it woulda changed anythin. Mama was one of those people that doesn't change no matter what. You sure you wanna try and bring her back Mags?
MAGGIE: (staring, teary eyed at Declan) I really wanna try Declan. I'm telling you she'll be different. She really will. I'm telling you, she'll have seen Daddy and I think that's all she wanted really, that's why she got so sick and wanted to drink all the time. She just missed him like I know you must sometimes.
DECLAN: Yea maybe. Maybe Mags but I dunno.
MAGGIE: I do. I feel it Declan, I know it.
(Declan takes her speakers and begins playing the music again. She sees this, smiles, and they sit together in front of the headstone)
DECLAN: So, how do we do this? It's worth a shot. Right?
MAGGIE: Right. (She begins helping him make the motions she had been making earlier and begin humming/chanting)