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MY WONDERLAND by Deanie Vallone
This play won third place in the first annual Metro Milwaukee Young Playwrights Competition. The author, Deanie Vallone, attends Thomas More High School. The play was directed by Patrick Holland of Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Cornerstone Theatre, and Bialystock and Bloom, assisted by Madeleine Major, Pius XI High School student.
Contact the author via e-mail
The original cast is as follows:
MADELINE: Stephanie Le Gant, Pius XI High School
NATHANIEL: Sam Kishline, Pius XI High School
CAT: Kim Haas
HOLLY/SISTER: Katie Higgins, Pius XI High School
HOLLY’S FRIEND: Carissa Fuchs, Thomas More High School
OLD MAN/DAD: Clare Zempel
WOMAN: Regina Cooper
By Deanie Vallone
MADELINE FROST: Age 16. Level-headed and curious.
NATHANIEL MCKENZIE: Age 16. Mysterious, but friendly. Looks exactly like Madelineís childhood friend, Xavier.
HOLLY MORGAN: Age 7. Shireís owner.
KALEY: Age 16. Hollyís friend.
OLD MAN: Age about 60–70. Grandfatherly and kind.
WOMAN: Age about 30–40.
SHIRE: Large gray tabby with unnatural grin. Belongs to Holly.
MADELINE’S FATHER: Age 40.
MADELINE’S SISTER: Age 7. Mature for her age.
Madeline voice over. My little sister used to say that there would be times in my life where it seems as if the world has tipped over, and when that moment did come, I wasnít to worry or panic or get scared, but I was to just imagine myself in Wonderland. Just in Wonderland where mice sang and playing cards talked and everything that seemed scary or strange wasnít; it was just different. For my entire life I had dismissed her common saying with a laugh, telling her she was too wise for her years and she should just stop thinking about the future for a minute and live in the present before she grew up too fast. I guess I never really thought one day Iíd be living by her words.
Scene i. A dense forest.
[The stage is totally dark until the lights gradually come on, showing a young girl with shoulder length dark blonde hair, MADELINE FROST, lying on her back in a clearing of a thick forest. It is early morning outside. The birds are chirping and the sun is shinning down on her between tree branches.]
Alice voice over. I wonder if Iíve been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if Iím not the same, the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, thatís the great puzzle!
[MADELINE sits up, groaning softly. She rubs her neck and back. To her right, some bushes rustle and MADELINE glances over. Out of the clearing steps a large gray tabby, SHIRE. It stares at her with huge, lamp-like eyes and she stares back.]
Alice voice over. But I donít want to go among mad people.
Cat voice over. Oh, you canít help that; weíre all mad here. Iím mad. Youíre mad.
Alice voice over. How do you know Iím mad?
Cat voice over. You must be, or you wouldnít have come here.
[SHIRE turns around and slinks back into the forest. MADELINE stares after it a moment, then goes back to looking around at where she is.]
Madeline. Where am I?
[MADELINE looks around a bit more, then slowly stands up on shaky legs. She holds out her arms to steady herself, and when sheís reassured she wonít fall over, she lowers them.]
Madeline. [Warily] Okay, Madeline, now where are you?
A forest. Okay, Madeline, youíre in a forest. Now how did you get in this forest? Think, Madeline, what was the last thing you were doing before this?
[Stands still for a moment, thinking. Suddenly she remembers.]
The party. Oh my God, the party. Karaís Sweet Sixteen. How could I have forgotten?
[She glances around at the forest.]
Oh, yeah. I woke up in a forest and had more things to worry about. Thatís how I forgot.
[Pauses for a moment. Then walks around a bit, ears perked, listening.]
Come on, there has to be people around. Someone. A stream. Anything to tell me where I am.
[Listens some more. All you hear is birds chirping. MADELINE sighs heavily and runs her hands through her hair. When she pulls her hand back, the palm is streaked with blood.]
[Breathless] Oh my God.
[MADELINE runs her other hand along the right side of her forehead and through her hair. No blood. She does the same with the left side of her head and come up with more blood on her hand. She then slowly moves her fingertips along her forehead and finds a large cut running right along the hairline on the left side of her head. She touches it, removes her hand, then pushes hard on it, and removes her hand, puzzled.]
[Confused but relieved.] Okay, it doesnít hurt. Thatís got to be a good sign, right?
[She bends down and tries to wipe her hands on her jeans. When she gets most of it off, she straightens up again and glances around.]
Okay, Madeline, letís get out of here. Now which way to go?
[She glances around, turning slowly in each direction, surveying. Then she stops suddenly, sticks out her arm with forefinger extended, and spins quickly in a circle. She stops, her finger pointed to the left side of the stage. She sighs and shrugs.]
Any direction is as good as the next, right? [Sighs.] Letís hope so.
[Lights dim as MADELINE exits.]
Scene ii. Same forest.
[Stage is lit. Seconds later MADELINE comes ambling in, looking lost. She pauses in front of a tree.]’
Madeline. I know Iíve seen this tree before.
[Sighs heavily again and leans against the tree.]
This is getting me nowhere. Everything looks exactly the same. Its all trees and branches and leaves and dirt and grass and forest, and it all looks the same. I swear Iíll be wandering this wooden labyrinth until I either go mad or die oró
[A branch snaps near her, cutting her off short. MADELINE whips around, scared, only to see SHIRE standing amongst the trees.]
[Releases a sigh of relief.] Thank God itís only you.
[She closes her eyes and lightly smacks herself in the forehead.]
Nice, Madeline. First youíre talking to yourself, now youíre talking to a cat. Whatís next? The trees?
[MADELINE opens her eyes to see the cat staring at her. It cocks its head to the side and gives her a funny look.]
[SHIRE turns around and slowly begins walking back into the woods. It stops suddenly and turns around to look at her. MADELINE stares at it bemused.]
What do you want now?
[The cat continues to stare at her evenly.]
You want me to follow you?
[The cat stares.]
Okay, if you insist.
[MADELINE goes after it and SHIRE turns back around, leading her out of the woods.]
Madeline. I swear, if I ever get out of this place, Iím checking myself into a mental institute.
Narrator voice over. In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.
Scene iii. Same forest.
[MADELINE is still walking after the slow moving cat.]
Madeline. How long do you think weíve been walking? Ten minutes? A half hour? An hour? A day?
[Cat continues walking.]
Madeline. Yeah, I agree. Way too long.
[Suddenly SHIRE stops and MADELINE does too. The cat perks his ears for a moment, and then suddenly takes off sprinting.]
Madeline. Hey! Where are you going?!
[MADELINE sprints after SHIRE and the two disappear off the stage.]
Scene i. A busy 17th century European village. On one side of the stage are a few trees, the very edge of the forest.
[SHIRE bursts out of the forest, closely followed by MADELINE. MADELINE stops short when she sees the village, but SHIRE keeps on running until he reaches a little girl about the age of seven with long white-blonde hair. The girl, HOLLY MORGAN, turns around and sees the cat.]
[HOLLY bends down and begins to pet the cat, nuzzling it and murmuring loving sounds. Sheís clearly pleased to find the cat. MADELINE, however, lingers by, looking out of place. HOLLY glances up and sees her. She stands up and SHIRE winds himself around her ankles.]
Holly. [Smiling] You found Shire.
Madeline. [Slightly confused] Shire?
Holly. [Giggles] My kitty.
[HOLLY smiles again as if MADELINE were amusing.]
He kind of found me.
Holly. Iím Holly. Holly Morgan.
Madeline. Madeline Frost.
Holly. [Glances down at SHIRE] Iíve been looking for him for days now.
[HOLLY dusts loose cat hairs off her Renaissance style dress, then glances up at MADELINE.]
Madeline. [Grasping for words] Iím… glad I could help.
Holly. [Smiling] Are you coming to the party?
[MADELINE looks taken aback for a moment and suddenly she thinks of something.]
Madeline. Karaís party.
Madeline. [Ignoring her question] What kind of party is this?
Holly. The tea party, of course.
Madeline. [Confused] Tea party?
Holly. [Rolling her eyes] Obviously. Why else would the town be all riled up?
[MADELINE and HOLLY glance around at all the people bustling about and chattering.]
Holly. [Laughing] Oh, indeed. [Pauses and looks at MADELINE] So, are you coming?
Madeline. Yes. [Stops suddenly] No. I canít.
Holly. [Frowning] Why not?
Madeline. I have other plans. I have somewhere very important to be. Another party, actually.
Holly. [Confused] There arenít any other parties today.
[MADELINE stands there dumbfounded for a second, but then shrugs it off.]
Madeline. I really have to go.
Holly. [Smiling, a little more cheerful] Okay. Thank you for my cat, Madeline.
[WOMAN and HOLLYíS FRIEND, KALEY, enter.]
Kaley. [Annoyed] Come on, Holly. [Links arm through HOLLYíS.] Weíre going to be late.
[MADELINE walks away, but turns to wave. HOLLY is walking away from her, but SHIRE is still sitting there, staring at her. On his face, he has a huge, almost creepy, grin. MADELINE stopped short, surprised and a little freaked out. The cat turns around and follows closely behind HOLLY. MADELINE stands where she is, a little nervous.]
Narrator voice over. The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good-natured, she thought: still it had very long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt it ought to be treated with respect.
Holly. Come along, Shire!
Scene ii. Same crowded village.
[MADELINE is working her way through the crowd. Dozens of people are milling around her, but none are giving her even a second glance. Theyíre all bustling about, chattering to each other. No one even notices her. MADELINE is clearly lost; sheís looking about for some direction to go. Exasperated, she stops.]
Madeline. Way to go, Madeline. Now youíve gotten yourself lost again. Maybe if youíd have been a little smarter, you would have asked Holly for directions or something.
[Glances around a bit more. Faces left side of stage.]
[Faces right side of stage.]
[Faces left again. A teenage boy, NATHANIEL MCKENZIE, walks up behind her. Heís handsome, with curly black hair and blue eyes. Heís dressed plainly, not too modern, but not as old Renaissance as the rest of the townsfolk.]
[MADELINE whips around and smacks right into him. She yelps as sheís knocked backwards, but NATHANIEL reaches out and grabs her before she falls.]
Thanks. Sorry about that.
Nathaniel. [Laughing] Donít worry about it. Iím used to catching you when you fall.
Madeline. [Whispers] What?
[MADELINE stops and stares up at the boy as he steadies her on her feet and lets her go. Recognition sparks in her eyes.]
Madeline. [Suddenly happy] Xavier?
[NATHANIEL takes a step back, now a bit confused.]
Nathaniel. No, you must be mistaken. Iím Nathaniel McKenzie.
[MADELINE shakes her head, even more confused as he is. She turns away from him, trying to think.]
Madeline. [Aside] Xavier Halafol. I think Iíd know my best friend when I saw him. [Pauses] Or maybe not.
[NATHANIEL walks up behind her and puts a hand on her shoulder.]
Nathaniel. Iím sorry. Are you alright?
[MADELINE turns around and stares at him hard.]
Madeline. [Aside] He looks just like him.
[NATHANIEL stares hopelessly at her.]
Madeline. [Smiling shakily] Iím okay. I just thought you were someone I knew.
Nathaniel. [Smiling again] Donít worry about it. Where were you going in such a hurry, Miss…?
‘Madeline. Madeline Frost. Iím looking for someone.
Madeline. [Quickly] No. A different friend. Iím going to a party.
Nathaniel. Oh, the tea party.
Madeline. [Exasperated]’ No, a birthday party.
Nathaniel. [Confused and a bit sorry] There are no other parties today, especially birthday parties. I would have known.
Madeline. [A little worried] Are you positive?
[NATHANIEL nods solemnly and MADELINE turns her face away, getting annoyed.]
Nathaniel. Why donít you come to the tea party, then? Maybe your friend will be there.
[MADELINE looks up at him, as if considering.]
Madeline. Okay. [Smiles] I guess it wouldnít hurt to try.
Nathaniel. [Smiling] Well, come on, then.
[NATHANIEL holds out his hand to her. MADELINE is reluctant a second, hesitating, then reaches out and takes it.]
Madeline. [Looks to NATHANIELíS hand] Are you okay? Youíre icy.
Nathaniel. [Shrugs off the question] Iím fine.
[They start walking through the crowd.]
So youíre the one who found Shire.
Madeline. You heard? Good news must really travel fast.
Nathaniel. Hollyís the sister of a friend of mine. She was very grateful. Shire runs off a lot and she usually canít find him for weeks.
Madeline. Well, Iím glad I could help out. Actually, though, Shire found me.
Nathaniel. [Laughing] Did you trip over him?
[MADELINE shoots him a questioning glance.]
Shire has a habit of getting in the way. Sometimes, accidents happen that really change peopleís lives.
[MADELINE sends him another weird stare.]
Madeline. No, I didnít trip over him. I just saw him and followed.
Nathaniel. [Shrugging] Itíll affect you more than you think.
[MADELINE stares at him, wondering what heís going on about. NATHANIELE, however, just keeps walking. MADELINE ignores it and begins to look around at everything. Lights dim as they walk offstage.]
Scene ii. Open part of the village with many little cottage-like houses lined up.
[NATHANIEL and MADELINE keep walking towards the edge of the houses.]
Madeline. [Glancing around] Where is everyone?
Nathaniel. Theyíre all in the town getting ready. So no oneís around here. Besides, the partyís starting soon.
Madeline. What time is it, anyway?
Nathaniel. [Responding precisely and quickly] 8:23.
Madeline. How are you so sure?
Nathaniel. [Laughing] Itís always 8:23.
[MADELINE opens her mouth to question him, but NATHANIEL suddenly stops right outside the edge of the houses.]
Madeline. [Curiously] What are we doing?
Nathaniel. Before we enter the community, we must light a candle.
[NATHANIEL points to the houses, which all have a candle burning brightly in their window. While MADELINE is staring at them, NATHANIEL shoves a small, lit candle in her hands. He, too, is holding one. He starts walking past the houses.]
Madeline. [Still looking at the houses] Why are all those candles there?
Nathaniel. Theyíre keeping a vigil.
Madeline. A vigil for what?
Nathaniel. [Glancing sideways at her and smiling] You ask a lot of questions.
Madeline. I have a right too.
[NATHANIEL smiles, then looks forward again and keeps walking.]
Madeline. So why are they keeping a vigil?
Nathaniel. [Smiling] Weíre going to be late.
[Lights slowly begin to fade as MADELINE and NATHANIEL begin to walk offstage.]
Alice voice over. Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to walk from here?
Cat voice over. That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice voice over. I donít much care whereó
Cat voice over. [Interrupting] Then it doesnít matter which way you walk.
Alice voice over. [Continuing] Ėso long as I get somewhere.
Cat voice over. Oh, youíre sure to do that, if you only walk long enough.
[MADELINE and NATHANIEL are completely offstage and lights have dimmed all the way.]
Scene iii. Right out of the community of houses in another forest.
[MADELINE and NATHANIEL walk out of the community and NATHANIEL stops them in a clearing in a forest. A large tree stands in the clearing, but itís dark over by it, so you can only see the outline and not detail.]
Nathaniel. Okay, hereís where we put our candles.
[NATHANIEL and MADELINE walk over to the tree and the lights come on. MADELINE stops dead when she sees it. In the trunk of the tree, a few feet up from the bottom, is a huge cut in the tree. It looks like something had ripped off a huge slice of the bark and the cut goes down a few layers. MADELINE sucks in some air in a gasp, covers her mouth with her free hand, and turns away from it. NATHANIEL places his candle at the base of the tree with tons of other candles and glances at MADELINE. Sheís holding her stomach and looks like sheís going to be sick.]
Nathaniel. [Worried] Are you alright?
[MADELINE shakes her head quickly. NATHANIEL walks besides her and takes her candle, and places it with the others. MADELINE removes her hand and takes a few shaky breaths. Sheís okay.]
Nathaniel. We should go. Can you walk?
[MADELINE takes some deep breaths and nods. NATHANIEL smiles and takes her hand again. NATHANIEL leads her offstage and the lights dim.]
Scene iv. Another clearing in the forest where a long table seating a couple dozen is set up.
[MADELINE and NATHANIEL walk onstage. A long table is set up seating a couple dozen people. Everyone is talking and crying and drinking tea. Everyone is also brightly dressed in loud colors. People keep getting up and moving to new empty seats, while their old seat is taken by a new person.]
Madeline. This is the tea party?
Nathaniel. [Leading MADELINE to the table.] This is it. Come on, sit down.
[MADELINE is reluctant, but NATHANIEL drags her forward and pushes her in a seat between a short OLD MAN and a sobbing lady. NATHANIEL soon disappears offstage. MADELINE turns around to say something to him, but heís gone. She stands up suddenly, a bit panicked.]
Old man. Are you looking for someone?
[MADELINE glances down at the OLD MAN to the left of her. Heís very short with graying orange hair and a pointy nose.]
Madeline. Iím looking for my friend.
Old man. Iím sure heís around here somewhere. He probably went off to talk to someone. Heíll be back soon.
[MADELINE continues to look around for NATHANIEL.]
Come sit and have a cup of tea.
[MADELINE looks back at the OLD MAN, who smiles hugely at her. She sighs and takes a seat. The OLD MAN then begins to pour her a cup of tea into a very large purple teacup.]
Madeline. [Glancing around at everyone] Why is everyone crying?
Old man. The death has taken a toll on them.
[The OLD MAN puts lemon and sugar into her tea.]
Madeline. [Confused] The death? Who died?
[The OLD MAN pushes the cup of tea in front of MADELINE and she automatically takes a gulp, then immediately spits it back into the cup when she realizes itís hot.]
Old man. We do not talk of the dead. But do not fret over it. He is in a better place.
[MADELINE nods her head in agreement, even though she doesnít know whom heís talking about.]
Yes, his death was a tragedy. He was so young.
Old man. [Interrupting] Time to move.
[The OLD MAN quickly stands up, dragging MADELINE along with him. As they move down the table, you hear the voice overs.]
Alice voice over. Is that the reason so many tea-things are put out here?
Mad Hatter voice over. Yes, thatís it. Itís always tea-time, and weíve no time to wash things between the whiles.
Alice voice over. Then you keep moving round, I suppose?
Mad Hatter voice over. Exactly so, as the things get used up.
Alice voice over. But when you come to the beginning again?
[The OLD MAN leads MADELINE to two empty seats and the two sit down.]
Old man. Now, dear, what were you going to say?
[MADELINE glances across the table to see HOLLY sitting there, chatting enthusiastically with KALEY. SHIRE is standing on the table over the butter dish, lapping tea out of HOLLYíS cup. He stops and looks up at MADELINE. He still has the huge, creepy grin on his face.]
Old man. [Poking MADELINE in the arm.] Would you like some more tea?
March Hare voice over. Take some more tea.
Alice voice over. Iíve had nothing yet, so I canít take more.
Mad Hatter voice over. You mean you canít take less. Itís very easy to take more than nothing.
[A WOMAN stands up on her chair, clinking her spoon against her teacup. Sheís brightly dressed and her eyes and cheeks are red from crying. Everyone turns their attention to her.]
Woman. [Loudly] Attention! [Quieter] Thank you all for coming today. Would anyone like to make a speech?
[KALEY, SHIRE, and HOLLY all jump up and begin to argue loudly over who gets to give their speech first. They canít seem to figure out who gets to go, so everyone just sits there.]
Old man. Time to move.
[The OLD MAN grabs MADELINEíS arm and drags her up again. They move to two new seats further down the table, away from the bickering group. The OLD MAN picks up a large teapot and holds it out to MADELINE.]
Old man. Tea?
[MADELINE sighs, frustrated. The OLD MAN glances worried at MADELINE and gently pats her shoulder.]
Old man.’ Donít worry; everything will be alright from now on.
[MADELINE turns and stares at him. He smiles calmly and MADELINE begins to relax a bit more. She leans back in the chair and listens to the arguing group. Out of the corner of her eye, she spots movement. Itís NATHANIEL, whoís entered from the left side of the stage, and is lingering at the edge of the forest, watching them. When he catches MADELINEíS eye, he smiles at her. She jumps up quickly, knocking over her teacup.]
Woman. [Angrily] You should be more careful!
[The WOMAN immediately goes back to watching the arguing. SHIRE strides across the table and begins to lap up the spilled tea. MADELINE, meanwhile, runs over to NATHANIEL, who walks offstage. MADELINE follows.]
Scene v. The forest.
[MADELINE and NATHANIEL are back in the forest, away from the tea party. One side of the stage is dark and you canít see a thing. NATHANIEL stops and turns to MADELINE.]
Madeline. Where have you been?
Nathaniel. [Smiling] Have fun?
Madeline. [Laughing] Absolutely not. [Seriously] Who died?
[NATHANIELíS face hardens and MADELINE stares at him hard, wondering whatís wrong.]
Nathaniel. [Seriously] Nathaniel McKenzie.
Madeline. Nathaniel McKenzie.
[MADELINE is frozen. She stares at NATHANIEL, but he wonít meet her gaze.]
[NATHANIEL lifts his deep blue gaze to meet her identical one.]
Nathaniel. Madeline, Iím not joking.
Madeline. But youíre Nathaniel McKenzie.
[NATHANIEL nods solemnly. MADELINE takes a step back.]
Madeline. But youíre not dead.
Nathaniel. [Grinning] Oh, Iím not? And how would you know?
Madeline. This doesnít make any sense.
Nathaniel. [Laughing] And what does make sense here?
[MADELINE turns away from him, trying to make sense of everything.]
Madeline. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
[MADELINE whips around again, angry.]
Madeline. Tell me what is going on here.
Nathaniel. [Straight-faced] Iím dead.
Madeline. [Sarcastically] Yes, I got that part.
[NATHANIEL turns around and begins to slowly walk away. MADELINE chases after him and grabs his arm sharply, stopping him. He doesnít turn around.]
Madeline. What did you mean when you said, ďIím used to catching you when you fallĒ?
Nathaniel. I am used to it.
Madeline. When else have you caught me?
[NATHANIEL quickly turns around and stands close to MADELINE, staring straight at her.]
Nathaniel. The day I died.
[MADELINE tries to take a step back, but NATHANIEL grabs her wrist to keep her from walking anymore. He raises a finger and gently touches the cut on MADELINEíS forehead.]
The day you got this.
[NATHANIEL suddenly turns around the darkened side of the stage lights up, revealing the tree MADELINE had seen earlier, the one with the scar and the candles burning beneath it. MADELINE covers her mouth again and turns away from it.]
Madeline. ‘[Between gasps of air] What happened?
Nathaniel. There was an accident.
[MADELINE is on the verge of crying; sheís gasping for air and trying to calm herself down.]
You have to go now.
[MADELINE slowly turns around and calms herself.]
You have to go home, Madeline.
[MADELINE straightens up completely and wipes away the tears forming in her eyes. NATHANIEL walks behind MADELINE and holds out his arms.]
[MADELINE glances back at him, worried, but NATHANIEL smiles.]
Donít worry; Iíll catch you.
[The lights go out just as MADELINE falls backwards into NATHANIELíS arms.]
Narrator voice over. Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went to look about her, and to wonder what was going to happen next.
Scene i. Madelineís house.
[MADELINE is sitting on the back patio of her house at a white wrought-iron patio table. A young girl, about seven, with white-blonde hair is playing in the grass of the backyard. Sheís having a tea party, and sheís talking to her stuffed animals and laughing. Itís MADELINEíS little sister. MADELINE leans back on her chair and picks up the old newspaper article lying on the table.]
Madeline voice over. Two Teens in Car Accident: One Dead, One in Coma. Article by Judy Rayland. At exactly 8:23 last night, two teenagers, Xavier Halafol and Madeline Frost, got into a car accident just off Elm Street. They were driving to their friendís house for her sixteenth birthday party, when a large tabby cat ran in front of the car. Xavier, driving, swerved out of the way, and ended up running the car into a large oak tree. Police came within minutes to rescue the teenagers when residents on Elm Street, who had witnessed the accident, called 911, and Madeline was rushed to the hospital. Xavier had died on impact. Madeline suffered a cut to her head and the trauma put her in a comatose state. The doctors said that Xavierís body had been found on top of hers, and if he had not blocked her from the initial force of the crash, she would have been dead too. Students from Madeline and Xavierís high school are keeping a vigil by putting candles in the windows of their houses until Madeline wakes up from her coma…
[MADELINE lifts her head at the sound of the sliding screen door opening behind her. Her DAD walks out, smiles at her, and takes a seat next to MADELINE. He brushes a strand of hair out of her face and tucks it behind her ear.]
Dad. How are you hon?
[Her DAD takes the article from her and frowns when he realizes what it is.]
Dad. Iím sorry, Madeline.
Madeline. [Taking his hand] Donít be.
[MADELINE turns from him and watches her sister laugh and play with her animals.]
Madeline. I like watching her.
[Her DAD turns to her, watching his older daughter.]
Sheís just off in her own little world. [Smiles] It helps me remember my own once upon a time. My Wonderland. It keeps me from forgetting.
[Her DAD leans forward and lightly kisses her on the top of her head.]
Dad. Donít worry; everything will be alright from now on.
Madeline. [Smiling and still watching little sister] I didnít need you to tell me that to know itís true.
[Lights slowly begin to fade.]
Narrator voice over. So she sat on, with closed eyes, and half believed herself in Wonderland, though she knew she had but to open them again and all would change to dull reality…
[Lights fade completely.]
(Quotes are taken directly from Aliceís Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll)
Copyright © Deanie Vallone. This work may not be reproduced without express, written permission from the author.