• TOUCH Act II, Scene 2

    TOUCH Act II, Scene 2

    (Lights up on the alley. Another siren goes off. The SEEKER sneaks around a corner, glancing over her shoulder to make sure she isn’t being followed. The ENFORCER enters while her back is turned, making his rounds, and notices the SEEKER.)

    ENFORCER: Hold it right there, miss. What are you doing out here?

    SEEKER: Please, sir. I got lost. I didn’t mean to be out here so late. I know it’s after curfew.

    ENFORCER: Got lost, you say?

    SEEKER: Yes, sir.

    ENFORCER: How did you get lost?

    SEEKER: (Hesitantly) Well, sir, I was walking along East Street when it started to rain. The sky opened up. You remember that, don’t you? (He nods.) Right. So. When it started pouring, I went running for cover. And I don’t know how it happened but… Somehow I got all turned around. (Pause.) Now I don’t know where I am. I want to go home.

    ENFORCER: I’ll take you home. Where do you live?

    SEEKER: Corner of Red and Stanton. Big brownstone complex.

    ENFORCER: Yeah, I know it. I’m the parole officer for a woman who lives there. (He studies her for a moment.) Hey, have we met before?

    SEEKER: Not that I can remember.

    ENFORCER: You sure about that? (There is a long pause.)

    SEEKER: I never forget a face. Lead the way, officer.

    (They start offstage. Lights fade.)

    To Be Continued…

    touchfooter

    Thanks for reading my work!

    Come back tomorrow for another installment of Touch, which I’m updating every weekday, and make sure you’re following along with the blog and on Twitter so you don’t miss an update!

    If you enjoy my writing, consider reading my novel Blood and Water–you can read more about it here.

    -Briana Morgan

  • TOUCH Act II, Scene 1

    ActIIScene1

    (Lights up on apartment, an hour or so later. The SEEKER is sitting up on the mattress, clutching a blanket to her chest. The DEALER, dressed only in his boxers, rummages through a stack of books.)

    SEEKER: Are you so sure it’s in that pile?

    DEALER: It may look like chaos, but it’s organized chaos. I know where everything is. It’s got to be here.

    SEEKER: What about the books you pushed off the mattress?

    DEALER: No. I haven’t had it that recently. (He continues rummaging through the pile of books. The SEEKER leans over and picks a book up off the floor.)

    SEEKER: I think I found it.

    DEALER: Where?

    SEEKER: On the floor like I told you. (She reads the title.) “The Holy Bible.” Wait. This can’t be real. I thought these were all destroyed?

    DEALER: I bought a copy from an art dealer several years ago. Do you know why it was destroyed? (He goes over to the mattress and sits back down beside her. She pulls the blanket over both of them.)

    SEEKER: Objectionable content. Is there touching?

    DEALER: Oh, yes. (He takes the Bible from her, flips to a passage, and begins to read aloud.) “And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind Jesus and touched the hem of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, ‘Who was it that touched me?’ When all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you.’ But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.’ And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.’”

    SEEKER: She wasn’t supposed to touch him.

    DEALER: No, but he still healed her.

    SEEKER: She didn’t even ask. All she had to do was touch him.

    DEALER: Contact, my dear, is a powerful thing. Don’t you agree?

    SEEKER: I do. (She leans in and kisses him. The contact is gentle, not rushed. When they pull apart, the DEALER strokes the SEEKER’s hair.) Why are you looking at me like that?

    SEEKER: Like you think I’m beautiful.

    DEALER: Maybe because I do.

    SEEKER: I bet you say that to all of your customers.

    DEALER: Some of them, but never here. I told you, you’re different. You’re special to me. (The SEEKER gets up from the mattress, dresses, and begins to gather her belongings.) Hey, what’s the rush? Where are you going?

    SEEKER: Home. My mother is going to freak out if I stay with you another minute. The last thing we want is her calling the police.

    DEALER: Can’t you stay a little longer?

    SEEKER: No way. I’m sorry.

    DEALER: I have more books to read to you.

    SEEKER: I wish I could stay. I have to get home. (She stoops to kiss him.)

    DEALER: Will I see you again?

    SEEKER: Do you usually set up appointments for this?

    DEALER: Sweetheart, there’s nothing usual where you and I are concerned, believe me. Now give it to me straight–would you be willing to do this again?

    SEEKER: This?

    DEALER: Us.

    SEEKER: Oh, yes. Most definitely yes.

    DEALER: Then I am most definitely looking forward to that. Until then, beautiful.

    SEEKER: (She starts toward the door, pauses in the doorway, and turns back to him.) I know you said this one was on the house, but next time, how do I…?

    DEALER: (Shaking his head) There won’t be a need.

    SEEKER: I’m your customer. I want to pay you.

    DEALER: Given what you do to me, I should be paying you. (He winks.) If you’re so insistent on paying me… Well, you could always bring me a book.

    SEEKER: I wouldn’t be able to get you one that hasn’t been edited.

    DEALER: Doesn’t matter that much. I have several of those. Most of the time I can guess what they’ve taken out, anyway, so it’s almost like they haven’t taken out anything at all. They can take away what turns us on, but they can’t take away arousal. It’s human nature, sweetheart. (A siren goes off nearby. The DEALER and SEEKER freeze, exchanging nervous glances.) Must be getting close to curfew. They’re looking out for stragglers.

    SEEKER: Oh my God, curfew. I completely forgot. It’s going to take me half an hour to get home if the buses have stopped running. What am I supposed to do?

    DEALER: Have you ever violated curfew before?

    SEEKER: Before you, I never so much as jaywalked.

    DEALER: Okay, then, you’re set. Just say you got lost or held up or something. Pretty girl like you… They’ll give you a warning. “Just don’t let it happen again” and the like.

    SEEKER: You sure about that?

    DEALER: I break curfew all the time. I’ve learned all the tips and tricks to avoid getting charged. Unfortunately, you can only ever get one warning, but you don’t need to be worried about that. There are other ways around the law. I hope you’ll never need them.

    SEEKER: I already do.

    DEALER: Yeah, I guess you’re right.

    (He walks over to her and kisses her again. The embrace lingers, no longer just business. Then, before she can second-guess herself, the SEEKER slips out of his arms and out the door. The DEALER locks it behind her, smiling. Lights fade.)

    To Be Continued…

    touchfooter

    Thanks for reading my work!

    Come back tomorrow for another installment of Touch, which I’m updating every weekday, and make sure you’re following along with the blog and on Twitter so you don’t miss an update!

    If you enjoy my writing, consider reading my novel Blood and Water–you can read more about it here.

    -Briana Morgan

  • TOUCH Act I, Scene 2

    act1scene2 (1)

    (Lights up on a dark street. The SEEKER sits on a bench, waiting for the bus. An ADDICT wanders onstage, groping along a wall. She is blind. She runs into the bench. The SEEKER laughs and covers it with a cough.)

    ADDICT: Who’s there?

    SEEKER: (Anxious) No one. I’m waiting for the bus.

    ADDICT: I’d like to catch the bus as well. (She feels along the top of the bench then down to the seat, finding it empty.) Do you mind if I sit?

    SEEKER: No. Go ahead.

    (The ADDICT sits a little too close to the SEEKER. She scoots over. The ADDICT follows her lead until they’re touching. The SEEKER leaps up, horrified.)

    SEEKER (CONTINUED): What do you think you’re doing?

    ADDICT: I don’t know what you’re talking about. Why don’t you sit back down? (She stretches her hand toward the SEEKER, who shies away from the contact.) What’s wrong? Is there a policeman around?

    SEEKER: That doesn’t matter.

    ADDICT: Do you see a policeman?

    SEEKER: No.

    ADDICT: All right. (She scoots. The SEEKER eyes her warily before sitting down. The ADDICT sits with her hands in her lap, humming. The SEEKER stares straight ahead, obviously unnerved by their interaction. The bus pulls up, engine humming. The SEEKER stands. The ADDICT scrambles to her feet, loses her balance, and grabs the SEEKER’s arm to steady herself. The SEEKER supports her. The two of them freeze.) Thank you.

    SEEKER: You’re welcome. (She steps away from the ADDICT and watches her get onto the bus. She decides not to get on. The ADDICT gets off the bus.) What’s going on?

    ADDICT: I changed my mind. I think I’ll walk. Want to walk with me?

    SEEKER: (Beat) Okay.

    ADDICT: Don’t let me run into anything.

    SEEKER: I’ll try not to.

    (The ADDICT takes her arm. She is startled but does not resist.)

    ADDICT: We should go to East Street.

    SEEKER: Why? What’s on East Street?

    ADDICT: Let’s just say there’s someone I think you should meet.

    (Lights fade as they exit, the SEEKER leading the ADDICT.)

    To Be Continued…

    touchfooter

    Thanks for reading my work!

    Come back tomorrow for another installment of Touch, which I’m updating every weekday, and make sure you’re following along with the blog and on Twitter so you don’t miss an update!

    If you enjoy my writing, consider reading my novel Blood and Water–you can read more about it here.

    -Briana Morgan

  • TOUCH Act I, Scene 1

    TOUCH: A Play in Two Acts

    (Open on a woman, the SEEKER, sitting on a bed, looking embarrassed. Another woman, the CURED, her caregiver, reads from a diary. As she speaks, the SEEKER hangs her head in shame.)

    CURED: (Reading aloud) “I’ve never been hugged before. I don’t know anyone who has. For as long as I can remember, the world has been full of people shying away from physical contact. There are no accidental touches without immediate apology, shame, and a little bit of fear. I wonder if life has always been this way. I wonder if the history of the human race is nothing but a list of ‘thou shalt not’s scribbled onto massive stone tablets. Did people ever touch? Maybe even on purpose? I wish I knew. I’d like to know. Even if I never get to touch someone myself, I think I could be happy just knowing that somewhere, long ago, someone else had been touched. (She slams the diary shut and tosses it onto the bed.) Well, young lady? What do you have to say for yourself?

    SEEKER: I didn’t mean anything by it.

    CURED: Then why did you write it?

    SEEKER: I don’t know.

    CURED: You don’t know?

    SEEKER: That was meant to be private. (The CURED stares at her sternly without saying another word.) It’s my diary, all right? No one would have read it.

    CURED: I found it.

    SEEKER: That’s different. You know what I mean.

    CURED: Honestly, after everything I’ve been through… what were you thinking writing something like that? You know what could happen if it fell into the wrong hands.

    SEEKER: Of course I do. I’m not an idiot.

    CURED: You’re acting like one.

    SEEKER: (Sighing) I had a lot on my mind the other night. I couldn’t sleep because my thoughts were driving me crazy. One of the girls at school said writing in a diary can help–

    CURED: What girl at school?

    SEEKER: Why does it matter?

    CURED: Three of your classmates were arrested last week. How can you be so blind?

    SEEKER: I’m not blind, Mother. I just choose not to see.

    CURED: I don’t see the difference.

    SEEKER: The difference is choice. (Beat) Those arrests were awful. They pulled the girls out of class and handcuffed them in the hallway. One of the other students fainted. I wanted to cry. (Pause) I’m sorry you think I’m stupid. I’m not stupid at all. I can’t help noticing what’s going on around me and I need some way to cope. The diary isn’t hurting anyone. I think I should be allowed to keep it.

    CURED: You can’t keep it.

    SEEKER: Why not?

    CURED: We’ve been over this. Too dangerous.

    SEEKER: I keep it in the house. No one besides you and I has ever seen it.

    CURED: That doesn’t mean they never will. (She sits down beside THE SEEKER) It all starts with thinking. Then writing. Then the next thing you know, you’re embracing a hug dealer and trying to explain to the police that you stumbled and he caught you–which, by the way, did not work for me.

    SEEKER: Mother, that won’t happen.

    CURED: You don’t know that.

    SEEKER: I’m not you. (She picks up the diary and holds it against her chest) I want to meet my donor.

    CURED: You know that isn’t possible.

    SEEKER: Doesn’t City Hall keep records?

    CURED: I don’t even know who your donor is. It could be anyone. (Beat) If you’re not going to give me the diary, at least stop writing in it. Maybe tear out that last entry. I want to keep you safe.

    SEEKER: I’m sorry. (She gets up from the bed and crosses to the door. The CURED stands.)

    CURED: Where are you going?

    SEEKER: Out.

    (Lights fade as the SEEKER exits, leaving the CURED alone.)

    To Be Continued…

    TOUCH: A Play in Two Acts

    Thanks for reading my work!

    Come back tomorrow for another installment of Touch, which I’m updating every weekday, and make sure you’re following along with the blog and on Twitter so you don’t miss an update!

    If you enjoy my writing, consider reading my novel Blood and Water–you can read more about it here.

    -Briana Morgan

  • Cover Reveal: TOUCH

    There’s a lot going on in my life right now. I’ve been living in my new house for a month, I just got back from Chicago, I’m working on finishing the first draft of Reflections as fast as I possibly can, I did a photoshoot last week, I’m booking editing clients for March and April already–basically, I’m busy, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone.
    I’m doing what I love and I couldn’t be more pleased.

    While I was in Chicago last week, I had the opportunity to see two excellent plays, Cocked and Cabaret. These productions entertained me, made me think, and rekindled my love for theatre (not that it had been dormant or anything, as you can attest to if you’ve seen my Hamilton fangirling). More importantly, they made me realize how much I want to see my play Touch (which you can read for free here) produced someday. Of course, the next step is getting it published.

    I’m tweaking the play again to make sure it’s how I like it. I’ve also gone ahead and created a new cover for it, which I’m thrilled to share with all of you today. It’s not as exciting as a novel, but it’s still pretty big, yeah? Keep scrolling to check it out!

    TA-DA!

    Cover Reveal: TOUCH

    I still can’t believe I designed this bad boy myself. Actually, I can’t believe I designed it myself and am happy with the results. It took a lot of time for me to find something I felt reflected (there’s that word again) the overall tone of the play, and I think I found a winner. If you’ve read the play already, you’ll definitely have to let me know if you agree.

    As I’m still revising the play (again), I don’t have a full-fledged synopsis for you yet. Nevertheless, here’s the tagline:

    In a world in which physical touch is illegal, one young woman seeks to discover what all the fuss is bout.

    It’s mostly just a premise, but I hope to have an eloquent, in-depth synopsis out with the polished product. Here’s a little excerpt to tide you over if you want to wait to read the whole play until it’s been published:

    CURED: You can’t keep it.

    SEEKER: Why not?

    CURED: We’ve been over this. Too dangerous.

    SEEKER: I keep it in the house. No one besides you and me has ever seen it.

    CURED: That doesn’t mean they never will. [She sits down beside the SEEKER.]It all starts with thinking. Then writing. Then the next thing you know, you’re embracing a hug dealer and trying to explain to the police that you stumbled and he caught you–which, by the way, did not work for me.

    SEEKER: Mother, that won’t happen.

    CURED: You don’t know that.

    SEEKER: I’m not you.

    So, yes! Big things are happening every day over here! In the coming months, I expect some even bigger things to materialize, and I can’t wait to share every part of my journey with all of you. Thanks again for the support, encouragement, and motivation. I love you all so much.

    You rock. Never change.

    What do you think of the cover for Touch?

    Tweet tweet:

    What if physical touch were illegal? Check out the cover for @brianawrites’ play TOUCH, which explores this idea. (Click to tweet)