Little Reminders

Scene 1:

(Ext. Afternoon. Market place next to a pier in Sandakan, Malaysia. Gwen, theatrical Grandmother, 60; Wendy, fitness fanatic Daughter, 40; and Tabitha, terminally ill Granddaughter, 20, on a holiday to Turtle Island.)

SOUND: Three panting women drag suitcases on wheels through a busy Asian seaside market. There’s a hiss from Tabitha’s oxygen tank.

MUSIC: Fast-paced Asian market music.

WENDY:

Oh, God. We’re going to miss the boat.

GWEN:

Here, Tabitha, give me your suitcase, Sugar. Or we’ll miss seeing these turtles lay their eggs tonight.

TABITHA:

Thanks, Gran.

MUSIC: Fades.

SOUND: Boat horn signalling departure and labored breaths.

WENDY:

It’s too late. Oh my, the boat’s left the pier.

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Push

You push with palms flat to my skin,

and it stings.

 

You push till my heels meet an edge,

and I think to step on air.

 

You push with the cruelness

of a lightning strike.

 

But, in that final second, I step aside.

 

And it is you who descends into the chasm,

dumbfounded, and scratching the air at my feet.