November Writing Challenge #20
An aging woman: short graying hair, glasses, unfashionable clothing (Mom jeans, etc.)
The curtain is open. A small rosy-red room with three walls.
Right wing: three shelves attached to the upper part of the wall with brackets. On the top shelf, old dolls and stuffed animals: Raggedy Ann and Andy, a gray satin elephant, a woolen lamb with a pink ribbon around its neck and a worn place on the nose where the straw stuffing is visible, a baby doll in a yellow bunting, several handmade Waldorf dolls. The downstage half of the middle shelf is also filled with dolls: mostly homemade fabric dolls and one old Ginny doll in a red dress, and one Beany Baby airedale sitting next to a Waldorf doll in orange leggings and an apple-print dress. A figurine of a mother holding a baby. On the same shelf, extending upstage, books, held up by a bookend and on the upstage side by a stack of bricks. Up against the upstage wall, a large fabric doll wearing a rhinestone necklace in her black hair. On the bottom shelf, downstage, more dolls for about a quarter of the space: a German bisque baby, a ballet dancer in a blue felt cape, an old walking doll with tangled yellow hair and a blue dress, a Madame Alexander “Meg” doll in a dress of the same blue, a Russian nesting doll, several Polish dancers. And then books, separated with bookends, an earthenware turtle playing a harp, and a blue bowl fill of stones with a pelican bone on top. In front of the books, a mantle clock and a worn hammer. On the upstage end of the shelf, a tiny doll on a little rocking horse and a basket. Beneath the shelves, a large dollhouse with a red roof sits on an old black steamer trunk. There is a dulcimer in the corner.
Left wing: In the middle of the wall, a white bookcase, full of books and notebooks and papers. On the top of the bookcase, a mug full of colored pencils, a basket full of hats and mittens. Above the bookcase, a glass plaque of the Lord’s Prayer in German, held up by a chain. In the upstage corner, a green stool with a black battery charger on it, above it, a print of Utrillo’s “Eglise de Strine” framed in green.
Upstage center: a double window with filmy curtains on either side, framing a view of bare trees. Centered before the window, a black paymaster’s desk with silver hardwear. In the center of the desk, an old, large desktop computer, a keyboard and a mouse on pads of red closed-cell foam. The screen saver is a photo of a smiling baby grabbing the face of a gray-haired, bearded man. On the back shelf of the desk, left of the computer a brass lamp with a green “Orient Express” label, a black and white photo of a young man in a parka with his hands in his pockets, standing in a forest. An old rolodex. On the right side of the shelf, a blinking modem. On the left side of the desk proper, a brass bucket containing a eyeglasses case, a DVD of “Tai Chi for Arthritis,” a list of Polish vocabulary words, and a notebook. Also a chunk of limestone, a Hummel figurine of two children praying under s shrine, a stack of postcards from Mexico and dated 1945, a pottery cup holding eyeglasses, a brass candlestick with a half-burned orange candle, a ceramic coaster featuring Santa Claus knitting a sock.
There is a big black desk chair in front of the desk with a purple shawl draped over the back.
The aging woman enters with a green pottery mug of coffee which she sets down on the coaster. She sits down in the chair.