The Scheme By: Claire Lanham
Moira O’Callaghan-a fifteen year old Irish girl
Lewis O’Callaghan-Moira’s brother
Caera Brennan-Moira’s friend
Callahan O’Healy-Lewis’s friend
Carrigan Collins-an adult friend of the children
Aislinn O’Farrell-the antagonist
Bowie O’Farrell-Aislinn’s husband
Aiden Duffy-orphan leader
Lynn the Maid-Aislinn’s maid
Brigit-a rich girl at the party
Kathleen-another rich girl at the party
Mrs. Cloda-the baker
Stage divided into three sections. Stage right is an alleyway. Filthy boxes and garbage scattered around. Middle is expensive storefronts. Stage left is Mrs. O’Farrell’s house. Working door in front. Street sign for Craic Road down-stage. Several finely dressed people walking around.
(Lights fade in. Lewis and Moira run on stage right. Moira clutches bread. Mrs. Cloda follows, labored, soon after)
Mrs. Cloda: You! Stop! (Mrs. Cloda chases Lewis and Moira around a bit and then falls over. Lewis and Moira hide in the alley. Mrs. Cloda stands and goes to talk to one of the civilians)
Lewis: Moira, we can’t keep doing this.
Moira: (sarcastically) stealing or running?
Lewis: Both. I hate this life Moira. It’s terrible. Why can’t we stop? (Sits down)
Moira: We can’t. We don’t eat, we don’t live. The two of us will keep going until we can get out of Valentria.
Lewis: How much longer will that be?
Moira: I don’t know. (The two eat their bread. Silence for a moment or two) It’s gotten worse and I’m sorry.
Lewis: It’s not that bad. I was over exaggerating.
Moira: Lewis! We stole from the baker! I stole from Mrs. Cloda! (Pulls cross necklace out from under her shirt and starts rubbing it)
Lewis: (gently pulls necklace from her hands) Moira, Moira, stop. It will get better. I promise you.
Moira: Thank you Lewis. (half smiles and puts necklace away)
Lewis: (happily) Shall we leave? Head back to the Bridge?
Moira: I think so. I’ll carry the bag. (Moira puts bread in an old bag and puts it on shoulder. Both head out onto street. Walk a short distance. The O’Farrells enter stage left. Moira grabs Lewis on the arm. Both freeze, O’Farrells get closer. At the last moment, Lewis drags Moira back into the alley. The two peer around the corner at the O’Farrells. Mrs. O’Farrell stops Bowie.)
Mrs. O’Farrell: I’m saying dear, they don’t need to be here. Valentria should only be for the rich. They’re only crowding the streets.
Bowie: What do you want to do about it?
Mrs. O’Farrell: We can drop them off in another town. No one will know the difference and life can go on as it is.
Bowie: I suppose I could arrange for something to pick them up at the end of the month. Are you sure you want to do this?
Mrs. O’Farrell: Yes. I’m sure. When we have children, I want them to live in a clean, bright city.
Bowie: I’ll arrange for it all to happen. (The O’Farrell’s exit stage left and Lewis and Moira come to down-stage)
Moira: Lewis, were they talking about us?
Lewis; I think they were.
Moira: (wringing hands) what are we going to do? I don’t want to leave here. It’s not the best living circumstances but it’s not terrible. I don’t want to get dropped somewhere where one of us could get hurt.
Lewis: We’ll figure something out. I promise. You do know what we have to do though?
Moira: We have to tell the other orphans. Maybe all of us can figure out some way to end all this.
Lewis: Look. There’s Aiden now. (points at a girl who enters from stage right with several other girls clustered behind her)
Moira: Aiden, I need to talk to you. (Callahan and Caera enter)
Aiden: What is it? Is someone hurt?
Lewis: We overheard Mrs. O’Farrell talking about moving the orphans to a different town. She thinks we belong somewhere else.
Aiden: Why would she want to move a mere fifty of us when there are hundreds of towns all over Ireland that don’t have any orphans? Why doesn’t she just move?
Moira: She’s the richest woman in this town. She wouldn’t jeopardize her title when she could just shift all of us.
Aiden: Listen, this is nothing. You probably misheard something. Just forget about it. (Pushes past Lewis and Moira and the other girls follow)
Caera: You. Did you say that the O’Farrells are trying to get rid of us?
Moira: That’s what we heard. Why?
Callahan: Well, we believe you.
Moira: (amazed) You do?
Callahan: Of course. Why would you lie?
Caera: You two listen to the talk of the rich more than anyone else does. From what I’ve heard, you are honest people.
Lewis: And just who exactly are you?
Callahan: I’m Callahan Healy. This is Caera Brennan.
Moira: I’ve never heard of you.
Lewis: Yes you have. They’re the two who leave at dawn in the morning and don’t get home until the moon’s been up for hours. They go out to the edges of town to do things, filch food and money off travelers.
Caera: (to Moira) You’re Moira O’Callaghan. Fast Mouth Moira. The only girl in all of Valentria who could convince the mayor out of his home if she wanted to.
Moira: That may be true, but right now it’s not our concern.
Caera: You’re right. Do we have a plan?
Caera: We want to help. All the orphans here are a family. We have to protect each other.
Lewis: Do you have a plan, Moira?
Moira: Well. I have a thought. More of a scheme really.
Callahan: A scheme? What sort of scheme?
Moira: Well, I got to thinking. Mrs. O’Farrell thinks we’re unfit to live in Valentria. If we were rich, this wouldn’t happen. If we were anything like the rich youth that live here she wouldn’t give a second thought about us. If we could prove to her we can be just like the others then she’ll realize she doesn’t need to move us.
Caera: That’s a good idea but where in the world are we going to get the money we would need to pull this off? (Lewis, Callahan, and Caera look at Moira who is looking at the ground. Moira finally looks up, shamefaced)
Lewis: (aghast) No. No, Moira we can’t!
Moira: Lewis, you and I both know that we can’t pull this off if we don’t steal. I don’t like it anymore than you do, but it’s what we have to do.
Callahan: If it means saving everyone I’m all for it. It’s not something I want to be doing, but it’s what has to be done.
Caera: What needs to be accomplished?
Moira: We need a pocketbook. Clothes and washing water too. Lewis, take Callahan and get some clothes from the store down on Black Street. Caera, get water from the well and bring it back. I’ll take care of the pocketbook. (Callahan and Lewis exit stage left. Caera stage right. Clothes and bucket of water should be available in wings for pickup by groups. Moira heads into the alley. Ava and Evelyn enter stage right and join her.)
Ava: Moira! Aiden told us you were telling lies about things going on. Is it true that the orphans are being removed?
Moira: It is. Aiden just doesn’t want to believe it.
Evelyn: Then what’s happening?
Moira: Mrs. O’Farrell wants to move us all. She thinks we shouldn’t be in the city. Listen Ava, it’s dangerous out here for you two. Go back to the Bridge.
Ava: I don’t want to go back home! I want to help. So does Evelyn.
Moira: (looks behind her, as if to check for people listening. In a hushed voice) If you really want to help go and find out everything you can about Mrs. O’Farrell. Ask everyone questions, figure out as much as you can and don’t forget a single detail. Find me when you’re done. (Ava and Evelyn nod, excited, and run off stage left. Moira pulls out cross and looks at it) Father, please help me through this. Please help me and the others to save the orphans. I know we may look insignificant but if anyone could help us it would be you. (Starts toward a woman with a large purse to pickpocket but trips over a crate. Inside is an old pocketbook. Caera enters with bucket of water)
Caera: I got the water you asked for. (Puts bucket down) You got the pocketbook.
Moira: Here. (hands pocketbook to Caera) I hope the boys get back soon. We need to get started.
Caera: (opens pocketbook) Moira! There must be nearly five hundred pounds in here! (Moira grabs pocketbook in amazement and looks inside) Where did you get all this?
Moira: I found it. Someone must’ve dropped it and it ended up under a crate. I had no idea there was this much money inside.
Caera: Well now we’ve got it. Let’s go spend it. (Starts to run off but Moira grabs her arm)
Moira: No. We have to wait for Lewis and Callahan. (Mrs. O’Farrell and Bowie enter from stage left) Caera, look. (Points to Mrs. O’Farrell)
Mrs. O’Farrell: Darling, we can’t move the orphans then. That’s the night of our party. We can wait one more day. Just until the party’s over.
Bowie: If you insist. It will be nice when we can raise our children without all these ragamuffins running around. (Points towards Caera and Moira who are watching in awe. Moira’s face goes stony and she makes an advance towards Bowie. Caera grabs her arm and stops her. Bowie hurries Mrs. O’Farrell along. Lewis and Callahan enter as the O’Farrells are leaving.)
Lewis: (carrying bundles of clothing) We got what you asked for.
Caera: Your sister stole five hundred pounds.
Moira: (slaps Caera) CAERA!
Lewis: You didn’t.
Moira: I didn’t. Caera doesn’t believe me. I was praying like you wouldn’t believe. I found it under a crate. Someone must have lost it one day. There’s no time to talk about all this now. Hand me the clothes. (Bundle handed to her) There’s a party that Mrs. O’Farrell is having soon. We have to get ourselves into that event.
Callahan: I know what that is. It’s her big beginning of spring annual ball. It’s in five days.
Lewis: Five days? We’ll never have enough time!
Caera: We have to work with the time we have. Listen, I know of a party that will happen tonight. We have an hour before it starts. We could go to that.
Moira: Well, let’s get to work. (Moira takes a rag from the bucket and washes off her face. Everyone pulls on their fancy clothes) Well, I say we could pass for the rich. (Evelyn and Ava re-enter from left. Bump into Moira who is coming out of the alley)
Ava: Pardon me miss. (Moira grabs Ava by the shoulders)
Moira: Ava, it’s me, Moira. Hurry, we don’t have much time. Tell me what you know.
Evelyn: We couldn’t find anything useful. The only information anyone had was about her parties.
Ava: There’s no information about her past life anywhere. Not a scrap of detail or hint of a secret to be found.
Lewis: Moira, we need to go.
Moira: Thank you for looking. If you want, you can continue to tell me if you find anything out. Go on now. Get back to the Bridge. (Ava and Evelyn exit)
Callahan: We need to get to the party. (All exit stage left and lights dim out. Just enough time with no lights to give the illusion of several hours passing is needed.)
(Lights fade back in. Caera, Lewis, Callahan, and Moira enter stage left talking to Mrs. O’Farrell)
Mrs. O’Farrell: (to Moira) Oh yes dear, it was lovely. I’m so glad you’re staying here for schooling. You and your friends are such lovely people. If you’ll excuse us, my husband and I must be going. (Bowie and Mrs. O’Farrell walk across stage talking to each other and stop to look at shops along the way. Exit stage right)
Callahan: (hushed) They bought it! They believed our story!
Caera: I knew they would. When Moira started talking about us being here for part of our schooling, I knew they would believe it wholeheartedly. It was a pure stroke of genius!
Moira: Thank you, thank you. I just made something up best I could. Now, we need to figure out what we’re going to do about the next party which is at the McLaughlin’s. There’s a lot to be accomplished before the dance tomorrow and we need to think of something else to fool Mrs. O’Farrell with, more of a back story perhaps. (Carrigan, a finely dressed, rich woman, enters stage left. Walks over close to the orphans)
Carrigan: (muttering) Not all this orphan talk again.
Moira: Excuse me, what did you say?
Carrigan: Oh, I beg your pardon. I overheard you talking about Mrs. O’Farrell. I knew her once, but we’re no longer speaking to one another.
Caera: You were? What happened?
Carrigan: When I was much younger, I was a friend of Mrs. O’Farrell’s, but my parents died and she treated me differently then because I was an orphan.
Moira: (amazed) Really? (pauses) We aren’t really wealthy. We’re street orphans. Mrs. O’Farrell wants to get rid of us, move us to a different town because she thinks we shouldn’t be around crowding the people and such.
Callahan: Has something like this come up before?
Carrigan: Yes. Aislinn’s wanted to get rid of orphans for as long as I can remember. When she and her sister were little, they were orphaned by their parents. They just got up one day and left town. Valentria was a much harder place back then, and people were cruel. No one wanted to help the sisters or have anything to do with them so they turned to begging on the streets. A couple found Aislinn half frozen to death one day and took her home. She was sick for a very long time, no one quite knew what she’d contracted. There was no one to tell the couple that her sister was still on the streets so she was left there. Finally, when Aislinn talked about her sister, it was too late. They went back and searched for her but they never found her. She’d disappeared into thin air. Aislinn never quite returned to normal, she somehow got it into her head it was the orphans’ fault that her sister died. That’s why she’s wanted them out of the town for so long.
Moira: That’s why she wants us all gone? Because of her sister?
Carrigan: Yes. If you don’t mind my asking, would you allow me to join you? I would very much like to help prove to her that orphans aren’t bad, being one myself.
Lewis: (pulls the others off to the side) I don’t know about this. It makes me nervous.
Moira: We need the help, Lewis. This woman could be a great asset. She’s one of the few people who knows Mrs. O’Farrell well enough to convince her that we aren’t damaging to city.
Callahan: I agree with Moira. It’s a good idea to have her as an ally.
Caera: Me too. Come on, Lewis, you’ve got to think big.
Lewis: (irritated) Alright. She can help.
Moira: (to Carrigan) We’d like it very much if you assisted us.
Carrigan: Thank you. My name is Carrigan Collins.
Moira: I’m Moira O’Callaghan and this (gestures) is my brother Lewis. The other boy is Callahan Healy and the girl is Caera Brennan.
Carrigan: It’s a pleasure to meet all of you. (O’Farrells re-enter and Carrigan spots them) Now, I suggest we get to business. It seems like we would want to test our plans. See if the results are working at all? Why don’t two of you take off your fancy clothes and see if Mrs. O’Farrell recognizes you without them. Maybe we’ll be able to change her mind in one night.
Moira: I’ll go. Caera, I’d like you to come with me. (Moira and Caera duck behind Lewis, Callahan, and Carrigan. Dresses are taken off and orphan clothes are still on underneath. The two walk over to the O’Farrells and accidently bump into Aislinn)
Mrs. O’Farrell: EXCUSE ME! WATCH WHERE YOU’RE GOING ORPHAN! YOU DON’T HAVE THE STREETS TO YOURSELF! (Shoves Caera out of the way “like a girl” and hurries across with Bowie to a store where they huddle talking to each other.)
Moira: Are you alright? (Carrigan, Lewis, and Callahan come over)
Caera: Yes. I’m fine. I guess our plan didn’t go as well as we thought it would.
Carrigan: I apologize for doing that. I should’ve known she couldn’t be swayed this easily. Are you hurt in any way?
Caera: No. I’ll be fine. Carrigan, it wasn’t you’re fault. You couldn’t have known that this would happen. There’s a lot to get done, let’s not dwell in the past.
Carrigan: There is one thing I’d like to ask. Would you allow me to tell Aislinn the secret? Maybe I can work something out.
Moira: (looks at the others, who nod in resignation) Yes. Maybe you’ll have a better chance than us. (Group exits stage left. O’Farrells exit stage right. Lights fade out.)
(Lights fade in. Civilians walk the streets again. Mrs. O’Farrell talking to Mrs. Cloda. Carrigan comes in.)
Carrigan: (behind Mrs. O’Farrell) Aislinn?
Mrs. O’Farrell: (turns to Carrigan. Words angry) You. What do you want?
Carrigan: We need to talk. (Pulls Mrs. O’Farrell in front of Mrs. O’Farrells house) There’s something I need to tell you.
Mrs. O’Farrell: What is it?
Carrigan: I know that you don’t like the orphans but you need to let that go. You and I were friends once and I don’t want to see this eat you away. The orphans are scared, Aislinn, scared that they’re going to lose the only home they’ve ever known.
Mrs. O’Farrell: What would you know about all this?
Carrigan: (calmly, as if talking to a young child) Aislinn, there’s been a group of orphans pretending to be rich to show you that they don’t need to be moved. If you just give these orphans a chance-
Mrs. O’Farrell: What? What are you talking about Carrigan? What’s going on?
Mrs. O’Farrell: (infuriated) Come with me. (Grabs Carrigan and drags her backwards into her house)
Carrigan: Aislinn, wait no. Aislinn! AISLINN STOP! (Door closes. Lights fade out. Curtain closes.)
(Stage divided. Most of stage starting on right is an apartment. Last quarter is a bedroom. Apartment cheap with scant furnishings. A chair and tables, maybe a relaxing chair. Bedroom has only a bed and side table. Callahan, Caera sitting at table. Lewis is in relaxing chair. Moira is in the bedroom getting dressed. Curtains open. Lights fade in.)
Moira: (comes out putting on shoes) Where is Carrigan? She was supposed to be back an hour ago. It’s almost time for Mrs. O’Farrell’s party. If we miss this, the past four days will have been a waste.
Lewis: Moira, she’ll be here. I promise. She’s probably just running late.
Moira: (snaps) By an hour! (sits down at the table)
Callahan: She’s right, Lewis. This isn’t like Carrigan. I think we should go looking for her.
Lewis: Now? What if we don’t get back in time? Then it’ll just be Caera and Moira.
Callahan: We’ll be back in time. (grabs jacket off the back of the chair) Come on, we need to find her. It’s the right thing to do.
Lewis: Why? She’ll be back.
Callahan: Lewis, she rented us this apartment. She bought us clothes for tonight. All the food we’ve eaten has been from her. We have to do this. (Lewis stands, grumbles undistinguishable words, then exits stage right with Callahan.)
Caera: It’s so odd isn’t it? How she came into all this money.
Moira: (confused) How she came into it?
Caera: Her uncle died about nine years ago. He had an enormous fortune left behind and she inherited it all.
Moira: I never knew about that. No wonder she has all this money to spend on us. (pauses) Do you think they’ll find her?
Caera: Of course they will.
Moira: I don’t know, this isn’t like her. She’d never miss a thing like this unless she was in trouble.
Caera: Then what do you want to do?
Moira: (pauses) Pray.
Moira: It helps more than you could ever think. (Pulls out cross necklace)
Caera: What’s that?
Moira: It was my mum’s prayer cross. It’s the only thing I have left from her. She gave it to me before she died.
Caera: Can I pray with you?
Moira: Of course. Come here. (Caera scoots her chair closer, both close eyes and Moira begins) Lord, I need you to help Carrigan with whatever she’s going through right now. Protect Callahan and give him strength and please, please Father, keep my brother safe. I wouldn’t be able to go on if he wasn’t around like he always is. And Lord, please help Mrs. O’Farrell. Give her your love and your strength and help her to love others like you do because I know she is a good person. She just needs the right guidance to help her. (Moira opens her eyes and Caera does a moment later. Moira puts the cross back into her dress)
Moira: (pauses) You know what I think we should do? We go to the party. It’s almost time for it to start. I’m sure Lewis and Callahan found Carrigan and they’re there with her already.
Caera: Alright. (Moira and Caera stand, dust off clothes and exit stage left. Lights fade out. Flowers and a fancy blanket or pillow added to bed. Tablecloth added to table along with flowers. More chairs added and all are lined against the walls. Carrigan sits in a chair in the center of the room. Lynn, Mrs. O’Farrell’s maid, is arranging the flowers on the table. Lights fade in.)
Mrs. O’Farrell: Why would you lie to me?
Carrigan: I’m not lying to you. Aislinn, why won’t you believe me? This is important.
Mrs. O’Farrell: There are no orphans posing in my community. I would know.
Carrigan: But you don’t, Aislinn!
Mrs. O’Farrell: Is this because of what I did to you when we were younger?
Carrigan: (confused) What? No.
Mrs. O’Farrell: Of course it is. I still don’t understand why you were so upset about all of that. It’s what I had to do.
Carrigan: Aislinn, you were my best friend before my parents died! When they did, and I was dubbed an orphan, you hated me. From then on you hated me because I didn’t have parents. I am not one of the orphans who were around when you were young and I am most certainly NOT responsible for your sister’s disappearance. Don’t you see? There’s nothing wrong with orphans. I’m one and look how far I’ve made it! If you would just give these children a clean set of clothes, a home and food they are no different than the children of the wealthy.
Mrs. O’Farrell: You’re wrong. There’s more to it than that.
Carrigan: No Aislinn, there really isn’t. The orphans aren’t bad, they’re good people. You have to give them a-
Mrs. O’Farrell: SILENCE! (Bowie enters) Bowie, take her to the bedroom. Keep her there, lock the doors, do whatever you have to. (Bowie takes Carrigan and drags her to the bedroom and then locks the door)
Carrigan: NO AISLINN! STOP! YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT’S GOING ON! YOU LEAVE MOIRA AND HER FRIENDS ALONE! YOU-(she covers her mouth with her hands, shocked. Mrs. O’Farrell smiles cruelly from outside the door.)
Mrs. O’Farrell: (mock sweetness) Thank you dear for slipping up on that one little detail. (to Bowie) Find them. Bring them here. We’ll have this sorted out in no time and they’ll all be gone by tomorrow. (Bowie exits stage right. Aislinn sits down. Shouts are heard offstage and then Bowie brings Lewis and Callahan onstage, holding each by the arm.)
Bowie: I found them out on the street. They were looking for your (sarcastically) dear friend Carrigan.
Mrs. O’Farrell: (calmly) Put them in the bedroom. (Lewis and Callahan thrown in the bedroom.)
Carrigan: Lewis. Callahan! Are you alright?
Callahan: What’s going on?
Carrigan: It seems I might have let your names slip when I was trying to explain to Aislinn what was going on. I’m so sorry. Lewis, where’s your sister?
Lewis: She’s back at the apartment with Caera. They’re safe there. I’ll figure out a way to get back to them.
Carrigan: I hope you do. (Guests begin to arrive on the other side of the door and Mrs. O’Farrell greets them before leaving stage right. Bowie sits down in a chair while the others mingle. Carrigan, Lewis, and Callahan, hearing the noise, press themselves to the door. Lewis looks out the “keyhole”. Moira and Caera enter a moment later. Bowie stands quickly, shocked, and then walks out hastily to find Mrs. O’Farrell.)
Moira: (whispering) Do you see them?
Caera: No. Do you? (Brigit and Kathleen come up to them)
Brigit: (overenthusiastically) Hello! Are you new around here?
Moira: (disturbed) Yes. Who are you?
Brigit: I’m Brigit. This is my cousin Kathleen. We absolutely love these parties don’t we?
Kathleen: Oh yes. It’s so much fun to see everyone in their clothes and dance with everyone. Where are you from?
Caera: Originally, we’re from Dublin but we came to…visit our Aunt. (Moira jabs her with her elbow) I mean for schooling. Schooling to. (hastily) We’re staying with our Aunt.
Kathleen: That sounds fun. It’s quite lovely here isn’t it?
Moira: Yes. Mrs. O’Farrell has a wonderful home.
Brigit: Oh I know. It’s so beautiful. I wish I could live here.
Caera: Don’t we all? (Looks at Moira desperately)
Moira: If you’ll excuse us, we must be going. There are many people to talk to.
Brigit: Oh, I was enjoying your company.
Kathleen: Me too. Stop by sometime and see us over by the Mór Glas Hotel. We’re the large blue house right next to it.
Moira: We’ll be sure to visit. (Kathleen and Brigit wave and then walk on to talk to other party goers)
Caera: They were too happy.
Moira: I agree. If that’s what all the youth is like, I’m surprised no one’s figured out we aren’t really wealthy. (Both girls laugh)
Caera: Where do you think they are?
Moira: I’m not sure. Do you have any idea where they could be?
Caera: No. (Both sit down in chairs defeated)
Moira: What happens if we don’t find Lewis and Callahan?
Caera: We’ll find them. I promise. (Lynn, who has been dusting close by, comes over to them)
Lynn: (to Moira) Excuse me, Miss, but I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation. Are you looking for two young boys around your age?
Moira: Yes. Have you seen them?
Lynn: Yes, as a matter of fact I have. They’re-
Caera: Hold it. (To Moira) I don’t trust her. She could be just another one of Mrs. O’Farrell’s pawns.
Moira: You’re right. (To Lynn) Excuse me but who are you?
Lynn: I’m Mrs. O’Farrell’s maid. She is a cruel person who does cruel things. Last week, I was pouring the tea and I spilled a drop on the carpet. She nearly fired me because of it. I’d be happy to tell you where your friends are.
Moira: (To Caera) She’s telling the truth. I don’t think she’s one of Mrs. O’Farrell’s people.
Caera: Where are our friends?
Lynn: In the bedroom, Miss. Right through that door. (Moira and Caera stand quickly and head over to the door)
Moira: Thank you. Thank you very much. (Caera starts fiddling with the door, as if she’s picking the lock, and just as the door opens, Mrs. O’Farrell and Bowie enter stage right.)
Moira: Lewis! (Rushes to Lewis and hugs him)
Lewis: Moira! You saved us! How did you find us?
Moira: The maid told us where you were. I prayed like I never have before for you to be safe. (To Callahan and Carrigan) Are both of you alright?
Callahan: We’re fine but we need to get out of here before-(Mrs. O’Farrell and Bowie enter the room and close the door)
Mrs. O’Farrell: (sarcastic) Well, isn’t this lovely? Family reunited again.
Moira: You’re a terrible woman. (Lunges at Mrs. O’Farrell but Bowie grabs onto her)
Mrs. O’Farrell: What did you say?
Moira: (enunciates each word carefully) You’re a terrible woman. (Mrs. O’Farrell slaps Moira across the cheek. Bowie releases Moira and she sinks to the ground. Lewis pushes Mrs. O’Farrell over and she falls to the ground, appearing hurt. Bowie rushes to help.)
Callahan: (yelling) You are terrible. You would hit a fifteen year old girl because she’s an orphan. An orphan that has nothing to do with your sister disappearing. I understand what it’s like to lose a sibling. My little sister died when I was nine and the loss is unbearable but you have to keep living your life. You can’t stop and think about all of the people responsible. Life is too short to only think about the awful things. You have to let go of your sister and get some help. You have to accept life as it is because there’s no going back. (Turns and offers a hand to Moira who takes it and stands. Everyone rushes into the main room and lock the door behind them)
Moira: Excuse me everyone! (Everyone turns to look at Moira) There’s something we need to tell you about. I know there are people in this town who think orphans shouldn’t be around because we’re crowding the city and making it a bad place to live but they, we, aren’t bad people. My name is Moira. This is my brother Lewis and our two friends Callahan and Caera. We’re orphans who live under Green Bridge in the middle of town. Mrs. O’Farrell wanted to move us and all of our friends to a different town so we weren’t bothering everyone in the city anymore. I didn’t want to move and neither did my brother or our friends so we dressed ourselves as wealthy people and tried to show everyone that we’re just as good as you are, we just haven’t had the same privileges. (pleading now) Please, if not for me, for the Lord, help these orphans. They need someone to care and you can be those people. All they need is a chance, just one chance. (Lights fade out. All people exit except for Moira, Lewis, Callahan, Caera, and Carrigan. Lights fade in.)
Carrigan: Well, I think the orphans have a chance. That was a lovely speech Moira. I heard several ladies as they were leaving talking about opening up their houses for a few orphans to stay the night. And another man talked about opening a place where they could go to a school. And several woman talked about a clothing drive. You’ve given them something to think about Moira.
Caera: Not only that, you’ve given the orphans something to believe in.
Moira: I hope I did. But what about Mrs. O’Farrell, I don’t think she’s ever going to truly change.
Callahan: Don’t worry about her. She and Bowie left to go see a doctor about her depression over her sister and I saw her through the window giving some money to Ava and Evelyn.
Moira: So we really did save them?
Lewis: Moira, don’t you understand when you have us, and you have God, we can do anything?
Moira: I do now.
Caera: What are we going to do about us? We can’t keep pretending to be rich, everyone knows our secret. I don’t want to go back to the Bridge for sure either.
Callahan: So what’s that leave us with?
Carrigan: Well, I was thinking of moving to England. There’s a new school opening there. I could find a job there and then enroll you in school. Maybe next summer, if you keep your grades up, we can travel a bit, maybe go to France or Italy, or even Greece!
Moira: Carrigan we can’t ask you to do that.
Carrigan: You’re not asking, I am and I’d like it if you said yes. (Lewis, Callahan, Caera, and Moira look at one another)
Moira: I’d love to come.
Lewis: I guess I’ll be coming to. Someone has to keep Moira in line.
Caera: I can’t wait to get out of here. I’ve wanted to go somewhere bigger all my life.
Callahan: No one’s leaving me behind by myself so I’m coming too.
Carrigan: Alright. It’s settled. We’ll leave as soon as I get everything arranged. Shall we head back to the apartment? (There’s nodding from the other four and then Carrigan exits stage right followed by Caera and Callahan. Lewis starts to leave but sees Moira is still standing in the middle of the room.)
Moira: I just can’t believe we saved them.
Lewis: You did it Moira. You saved the orphans of Valentria.
Moira: (shakes head) No. We did it. (Holds out hand and Lewis takes it. The two walk offstage together. Lights fade out.)
Copyright (c) 2012 This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.