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31 Plays in 31 Days, #28 - "What Choice"

I don't know why I try writing these very important moments from the far future of Mrs. Hawking. For the purposes of this challenge, I just don't have the time or preparation to do them justice, and I feel like I'm spoiling them. But got to write something!

This is from the sixth Mrs. Hawking story, and happens some time after #6 - Lead and I'll Follow. By this point Arthur's dealing with the fact that as a cop, he's bound by certain obligations, but the more he knows about Mary's work, the less plausible deniability he has. This starts because Mrs. Hawking is complaining about the limitations on him, and Mary coming to his defense opens a whole can of worms.


Day #28 - What Choice
By Phoebe Roberts

VICTORIA HAWKING, lady’s society avenger, late forties
MARY STONE, her housemaid and assistant, late twenties

London, England, 1888
~~~

MARY: Arthur wants to help. It’s only that he’s bound by things we aren’t.

MRS. HAWKING: Then he’s of no use to me. We are not here for the sake of his career.

MARY: That’s not what he wants! He’s trying to do the right thing.

MRS. HAWKING: I’m not certain that’s his first priority.

MARY: What do you mean?

MRS. HAWKING: Only that I think you concern him more than seeing justice done.

MARY: Even if that were true, he’ll help me. He’ll be what I need!

MRS. HAWKING: You seem very certain.

MARY: He’s always what I need. Why, he turned down a very good place that would take him all the way to America, just because— well…

MRS. HAWKING: Because what?

MARY: Because he’s asked me to marry him.

(Pause.)

MARY: Madam?

(Pause.)

MRS. HAWKING: I knew it.

MARY: What?

MRS. HAWKING: I knew, that when it came down to it, you would choose that man.

MARY: Choose him? What choice? I haven’t even answered him yet!

MRS. HAWKING: But you will, won’t you? And that will be the end of things.

MARY: Must it be?

MRS. HAWKING: Mary, ours is a life of late nights and rough work and shed blood. How do you intend to do that while… pushing out children and keeping house?

MARY: Madam!

MRS. HAWKING: Perhaps I should have expected this. I should have been prepared. This work, this life… of course that cannot complete with the validation of a man.

MARY: How can you say that of me? This has been my life for the last eight years!

MRS. HAWKING: If you didn’t want it, you would have already turned him down.

(Pause.)

MARY: I told you I couldn’t be like you, madam.

MRS. HAWKING: That’s clear.

MARY: You said you understood.

MRS. HAWKING: Mary, we are after a madman! This is not the time—

MARY: No! Arthur means a great deal to me.

MRS. HAWKING: You will hardly be the first woman to be caught that way.

MARY: He doesn’t want to take me away from my work! He’s staying here for my sake.

MRS. HAWKING: What a grand concession.

MARY: He’s not like anyone I’ve ever known.

MRS. HAWKING: Oh, they all are.

MARY: Yes! That’s why someone fell in love with them!

MRS. HAWKING: And so the trap is laid. You will be drawn in by promises, and before long, you find yourself boxed into being a man’s pet or servant or whatever else he decides you to be. But, Mary, you have a way to escape that life. To live in a way that is meaningful— to live the way you choose.

MARY: What choice is there? If I can only live it in just the same way you do?

MRS. HAWKING: Because that’s what it costs. To do something so difficult, so important. Things that other people can’t. Mary, you are doing something important!

MARY: That isn’t enough for me! I… I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life. Like you are.

MRS. HAWKING: I was alone. Until you.

MARY: You want that. I don’t.

MRS. HAWKING: Well. It looks like I’ll have it soon enough.

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About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:



MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3


at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM

and

Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

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