Don't Kill That Cat | Teen Ink

Don't Kill That Cat

May 23, 2019
By Jk123 SILVER, New York, New York
Jk123 SILVER, New York, New York
6 articles 0 photos 28 comments

Scene 1

CHOCOLATE: A black nuisance of a cat.

MRS. GLORIA: A widow. Mid-fifties. She is a scrawny and tall. She tends to wear clothing that is black or blue, which represents her overall mood most days. She is cold and seems to have very little sympathy for other human beings, especially JACK. The love of her life is CHOCOLATE, her cat. She is JACK’s legal guardian, aunt, and only family.

LUCY: A girl who loves to do the right thing. Extremely caring for others. She wears a cardigan with jeans. She dresses casual. She is hired help to take care of CHOCOLATE and for dusting. She is around age sixteen. She attends Francis Lewis High School.

JACK: Wears a t-shirt with jeans. He dresses casually. He is in a lot of inner-turmoil. He is around age sixteen. He attends Francis Lewis High School with LUCY, and shares several classes with her.

(There’s a dim light set over the staged Living Room, casting an eerie look to the place. A few bookcases are staged on the Upstage Right, filled with books and glass jars containing plastic frogs and plastic eyeballs. A long, extravagant Persian rug lays on Upstage Center. A window with its curtains closed is placed on Stage Left, behind a crimson four-seater couch. A broom closet, litter box, and car bed are in Stage Right. Center Stage contains a fancy, antique coffee table and two elegant chairs. A vase of flowers rests on the coffee table, along with a matching set of a dark blue patterned teapot and two saucers.)

(JACK stands on stage right, holding a broom--mid-sweep--and looking a million miles away.)

MRS. GLORIA (enters): Jack, I have some news.

JACK (seizing the opportunity to mention): You’ll allow me to stay after school for the Academic Decathlon?

MRS. GLORIA (in a stern voice, eyes full of ice): No. They travel around too much--.

JACK: That’s the point.

MRS. GLORIA: That’s my point.

JACK (trying to hide his disappointment): Well, it was worth a try. Fun isn’t exactly in your vocabulary.

MRS. GLORIA (pointedly): Never mention it again. YOU’RE NOT GOING.

JACK: Got it. What’s the news?

MRS. GLORIA: I’ve hired someone--a lovely young lady, named Lucy--to help around the house and with Chocolate. You don’t do a good job. It’ll be nice to have a pair of extra hands.

JACK: Then why did you make me sweep?

MRS. GLORIA: This place can’t look like a pig sty before Lucy arrives. Besides, look at the floors. They’re still all dirty. (Points at the floor below JACK. Dirty gray, cat foot prints covers the floor).

JACK: “That damn Devil. I just swept.”

MRS. GLORIA: Watch your mouth, young man. Chocolate’s an angel. And clean the floor properly. (MRS. GLORIA exits).

JACK (muttering to himself, putting the broom away in the closet): Might as well just throw me in the oven already.

(Lucy enters, holding Chocolate to her chest).

LUCY: What a beautiful home.

JACK: It would be much prettier with that cat exterminated.

LUCY: Excuse me?

JACK: Nothing. Excuse my manners, my name is Jack. You look very familiar. Do you happen to be a freshman in Francis Lewis High School?

LUCY: Yeah, I think you’re in my English class. I’m Lucy.

(LUCY shifts CHOCOLATE around to her shoulder and extends her hand for JACK to shake. JACK stares hard at CHOCOLATE before accepting Lucy’s hand. LUCY smiles, in bewilderment)

I’ll be helping with Chocolate from now on.

JACK: Great. (Jack exits the room, leaving LUCY exploring the room excitedly with Chocolate in her arms).

Scene 2

(Same Living room, but a month later

LUCY enters, angrily. Her hair is a mess, looking like a bird’s nest. She is holding Chocolate in her arms. JACK enters, laughing.)

LUCY (standing down stage, an empty space near the antique coffee table): I have no words to describe you!

JACK (going near Lucy, down stage): Are you gonna start crying again?

LUCY (helpless): I need the money. My only job is to watch Chocolate and clean.

JACK (unfazed): So?

LUCY: Why are you trying to make me miserable?

JACK: I don’t think a cat trap is so miserable.

LUCY: A trap that could mutilate Chocolate is miserable! Mrs. Gloria would be devastated. Thank goodness I caught poor Chocolate before….

JACK (cutting in, a low voice): She loves you so much it wouldn’t matter.

LUCY (confused): That doesn’t matter? Chocolate is her everything.

JACK: I’m aware of that.

LUCY (getting into his face): Why are you such a horrible human being? Do you think hurting someone is impressive?

JACK (touched): No. I don’t know what I was thinking.

LUCY: Good. It’s not amusing to see other people suffer. Don’t you have a heart? It’s like pushing poor Briana Walker to the floor.

JACK: Briana? From school? What’s wrong with Briana?

LUCY: “She was just diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that causes the intestines to have ulcers and bleed. It’s very painful.”

JACK (Pursing his lips, nervously): Is that why she was absent this past week?

LUCY: Yes. See, Jack. Sometimes we don’t know the full story. What other people are going through. That’s why you shouldn’t try to kill Chocolate. It’ll kill your aunt.

JACK (breathing in deeply): Got it. (JACK exits).

LUCY (having a realization, talking to CHOCOLATE): I don’t know what he’s going through Chocolate. I’m the horrible human being. I’ve been bullying him for the past month. (LUCY puts down CHOCOLATE, allowing the cat to wander around).

LUCY (in an enticing, sexy voice): Oh, Jack!

JACK (enters, coming down stage again, near Lucy): What?

LUCY: Have you ever heard about the Academic Decathlon?

JACK: Yes.

LUCY: I was thinking I could ask the coach to let you join the team. We’re missing a member since poor Briana dropped out.

JACK: Really?

LUCY: Of course! I want to get to know you better--not here--in a school setting. That way we’ll be more comfortable.

JACK: Sounds good, except for the fact Mrs. Gloria will let me join over her dead body.

LUCY: That’s not good.

JACK: “Talk about it.”

LUCY: It’s so dark in here. (Going to stage left and opening up the curtains of the window located behind the couch).

JACK (staying down stage): Don’t do that. Mrs. Gloria doesn’t like the sunlight.

LUCY: Why not?

JACK: You know. Witches melt in the light.

LUCY: Don’t say that.

JACK: It’s true.

LUCY (sitting down on the couch, stage left): Why do you hate your aunt so much?

JACK: It’s not only me. It’s a mutual dislike between the two of us.

LUCY: Does your aunt like me?

JACK: I think so. She only talks about you and Devil. You’re her angels.

LUCY: What if I told you I’d convince Mrs. Gloria to send you to the Academic Decathlon with me?

JACK (hope burns in his eyes): I’d call you the Messiah.

(Jack goes to stage left and sits down next to Lucy on the couch)

Scene 3

(Same Living room, two weeks later. LUCY is wearing a skimpy, attractive dress. She’s sitting center stage at the antique coffee table across from JACK. An attraction is ever more palpable between them. A shared crush and desire. Two saucers are filled with an orange looking tea. MRS. GLORIA stands on the down stage right, an empty space, with her arms folded and a permanent scowl on her face)

MRS. GLORIA: You came home later than usual Jack.

JACK (smirking): I went to the library with Lucy.

MRS. GLORIA (her voice booming with anger): I’m not a fool. I know you’ve went to that Decathlon, without my permission. Chocolate has been onto you too--he pointed it out to me.

JACK: You both have no proof.

MRS. GLORIA: Oh, so it was out of the blue you went missing this afternoon when Lucy mentions the Decathlon to me for two weeks in a row?

JACK (trying to hold up his defenses): Well, when you put it that way….

MRS. GLORIA (threateningly, shaking a skinny finger at JACK): I’m calling the school and telling them you can’t join the team. If I catch you again, I’ll personally drag you home by the ear. I don’t care what your friends say. The embarrassment will teach you a good lesson. YOU DON’T CROSS ME, YOUNG MISTER.

LUCY (rubbing her finger against the rim of the saucer, a nervous gesture): Mrs. Gloria, I can explain--.

MRS. GLORIA (huffs): Just watch Chocolate, Lucy. It’s not your job to take care of my nephew. He’s my business. (MRS. GLORIA marches out).

JACK: That Devil pointed out to her that we were missing? That doesn’t make sense. I hate him.

LUCY (trying to stay calm): Jack--.

JACK (getting up from his seat at the table and searching for CHOCOLATE frantically despite the fact Chocolate is not the room): I hate him. And I need your help to take care of him.

LUCY (staying in her seat, center stage. Very tense): I don’t care. It isn’t right.

JACK: Please…it’ll be quick. I won’t kill him if he agrees. I’ll just put him in a box and ship him faraway. Then everyone will be happy.

LUCY: Jack, that’s not funny--.

JACK (peeking behind the couch in stage left): I’m dead serious. I’ll break his neck real fast. Won’t feel a thing. (No CHOCOLATE behind the couch. Jack goes to stage left, still in a frenzy)

LUCY: He’s a living being.

JACK: And he’ll stay that way as long as he gets into that box and doesn’t make a peep.

LUCY: He’ll suffocate in there.

JACK: Please, he’s the devil himself. He’ll live. (Jack kicks the cat bed in stage left, making it slide toward upstage left.)

LUCY: I’m telling you, you’ll have it on your conscious forever.

JACK: I already know I’m going to hell, so no worries. I’ve got friends down there waiting for me.

LUCY (acting dramatically): And how’d you feel if poor Chocolate was staring down at you from heaven, saying ‘that’s the guy who murdered me!’?

JACK: Trust me, he’s not innocent…I’ll drag Devil straight down with me into the burning fire.

LUCY (pursing her lips, struggling to find the right thing to say): That’s really not funny.

JACK: I’m not laughing.

LUCY (picking up her saucer): What did that poor cat even do to you to deserve such a gruesome fate?

JACK: I have an account that’s at least the length of one of the Harry Potter books.

LUCY: Jack--.

JACK: That Devil--.

LUCY (pointedly): Chocolate. (Lucy takes a sip of tea)

JACK (anger flaring up): No, Devil….Where should I start? Oh yes, he knocks things over just so Mrs. Gloria could scream at me. Sheds on the couch...especially, after I’ve cleaned it. He always manages to step into my dirt pile when I’m not yet done sweeping and spreads it across the floor. Mrs. Gloria has her hands at my neck when it’s all Devil’s fault!

LUCY (empathetically): Jack--.

JACK: The last straw was yesterday when I found the remainders of my homework in his litter box. No one messes with my schooling. It’s my best shot to get out of this hellhole. And the Decathlon was the mere cherry on top!

LUCY: So why do you need my help for? I think you’ll manage on your own.

JACK: I need you to distract Mrs. Gloria.

LUCY (surprised): Me?

JACK: You’re the only one who’s not afraid of my aunt.

LUCY: Jack, be honest with yourself. Forget about the Decathlon and your homework. The only reason you want to get rid of that cat is to get some affection from Mrs. Gloria.

JACK (nauseated): Blah. No, I don’t. She’s a nasty, old woman. Everyone’s afraid of her for a reason you know. And since I’m stuck living with her, I’m telling you, no one is wrong with their assumptions about her. Outright creepy.

LUCY (full of concern): Jack, she’s your only family—the only guardian you’ve know all your life. You want her to love you. You’re in pain. Be honest.

JACK: I hate Devil.

LUCY: You hate that Mrs. Gloria is so cold. That she doesn’t let you in.

JACK: Stop that.

LUCY: What?

JACK: Trying to get into my psyche. I hate when you do that.

LUCY (serious): You like that I care. And you know what? Chocolate cares for you too in his own weird, cat way.

JACK (sarcastically): Sure, my homework was really feeling the love. I’ve got detention for a week.

LUCY: He’ll miss you when you’re at detention.

JACK (hopeful): Will you miss me?

LUCY (full of affection): Yes. I love you, Jack. Please, don’t kill the cat.

(A minute of tension passes before JACK finally answers. JACK goes back to center stage, sitting across from LUCY at the antiques coffee table).

JACK: Fine. I won’t kill Devil as long as you promise me you’ll stay here. I want to have a chat with my aunt. It might get ugly, and I need your support.

LUCY: I understand. (LUCY gets up, goes to Jack, and pecks him on the cheek). I’m proud of you (LUCY sits back in her seat).

JACK (not able to contain his smile. He tries to mimic LUCY’S sexy, enticing voice): Oh, Mrs. Gloria! (coughing) How do you do that, Lucy?

LUCY (Shrugging, with a smile): It’s a talent.

MRS. GLORIA (entering with CHOCOLATE in her arms, and goes to the empty space in down stage left): Yes? Jack could you please dust the dining room. It looks horrendous and I’m allergic to dust. Also, the kitchen floor needs washing. Lucy didn’t do a good job.

(LUCY nods, as if she is used to MRS. GLORIA’S mean remarks.)

JACK: Just call me Cinderella.

MRS. GLORIA: Get on it.


MRS. Gloria: No?

JACK (trapped in his millions of buzzing thoughts): “I-I mean not yet. We need to talk.”

MRS. GLORIA (sounding paranoid): Why? Everything’s fine.

(JACK stands up from the coffee table and goes to stand near Mrs. Gloria on down stage, but not too close. There needs to be some distance).

JACK (smoothly): I want to kill your cat.

(LUCY raises her eyebrows, looking alarmed. She is still sitting in her seat.)

MRS. GLORIA (defensively): I’ll kill you first.

JACK: That’s not the point.

MRS. GLORIA: It’s my point.

JACK: Why do you hate me so much?

MRS. GLORIA (surprised): I never said I hated you.

JACK: Then why can’t I join the Decathlon? Or any team to make friends. I’m lonely, for Pete’s sake. Why can’t you let me go out?

MRS. GLORIA (stuttering): “B-because you won’t get home at a decent hour.”

JACK: You’re lying. I’m not a fool. Why is that so important to you?

MRS. GLORIA: Because...if you don’t come home on time who will remember to water the plants and sweep around here?

JACK: Isn’t that why you brought in Lucy?

MRS. GLORIA: She’s here to help you. To take most of the burden off your shoulders.

JACK: Since when did you care about my burden?


JACK: Exactly! You don’t give a damn about me.

MRS. GLORIA: Now, Jack--.

JACK: The only thing you care about is your stupid cat! I’m sick and tired of that damn Devil.

MRS. GLORIA: Is that what you really believe?

JACK: Hell, yeah.

MRS. GLORIA: Jack, I do care for you.

JACK: No, you don’t. I’m just another speck of dust you want to sweep away.

MRS. GLORIA (closing her eyes, seemingly in pain): “Hold it there, mister. You’re not a piece of dust, you’re my only family left.”

JACK: Then why don’t you let me go out? Why can’t I join the Academic Decathlon?

MRS. GLORIA: I-I’m terribly afraid of being alone. Without you, the house feels empty.

JACK: I didn’t know that.

MRS. GLORIA (Desperate): Jack, you can’t leave me alone.

JACK: You have Lucy.

MRS. GLORIA: And she is a pleasure to have around, but I need you near me also. I-if anything happened to you, I’d be alone in the world.

JACK: Why only tell this to me know?

MRS. GLORIA: I want you to understand why I don’t allow you to leave.

JACK: You care?


JACK: How about Devil?

MRS. GLORIA: Chocolate is just a cat...a cat that will die from natural causes of old age. If not, G-d so help you.

JACK (Smiling): I’m still want to go to the Decathlon.  

MRS. GLORIA: How about you join the chess club instead? You’ll make new friends and won’t ever leave on far away trips. Besides aren’t meetings within school hours?

(JACK is at a loss for arguments, still dazed from MRS. GLORIA’S revelations.)

LUCY (Butting in, with a new idea): You can help chaperone the trips! Therefore, Jack will never leave your sight and you won’t be alone.

MRS. GLORIA: Now, that sounds worthwhile listening to.

JACK (Eyes widening): I’m not sure about that.

MRS. GLORIA: Shut up, Jack. Let the young lady speak. How about the late after school hours he has to stay?

LUCY: I’m sure our coach won’t mind a helper….I’ll talk with him.

MRS. GLORIA: I knew I always liked you. Jack, you can go to the Decathlon thingy.

JACK: I have very mixed feelings on this.

(LUCY bear hugs JACK. JACK hugs her back.)

LUCY (shrieking): We did it! I’m going to go tell the coach about the conditions….

(LUCY runs out of the room, exiting.)

MRS. GLORIA: There she goes.

JACK (Shaking his head, with a small smile): We’re the weirdest trio.

MRS. GLORIA: Good. It spices things up a bit. Normal is boring.

JACK: You’re right.

MRS. GLORIA: Can I leave you alone with Chocolate while I go get groceries?

(MRS. GLORIA hands CHOCOLATE to JACK. JACK accepts the cat with open arms.)

JACK (smiling, petting CHOCOLATE): Yeah. I think Chocolate and I will be just fine.

(End of play.)

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