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31 Plays in 31 Days: #3 - "For Her"


Today's piece goes to that source of inspiration that served me so well the first time around, drawing from the backstory of The Stand. This is an attempt at doing a better job at a scene that would have appeared in Sally and Deadeye, my original thesis piece that for whatever reason wasn't working the first time I tried to write it. (As you'll recall, I ended up abandoning it in favor of writing Mrs. Loring.) But I think it could still possibly be salvaged, especially since I'm no longer morbidly depressed. So, without looking at my original draft, I redid this scene from whole cloth. This is rough and rushed, but it's a stab.

This is extremely spoilerly for The Stand, just as a warning. It follows sometime after No Clean Break, a ten-minute I wrote in my first semester of grad school, which has had several readings now and is considered to be one of my more successful pieces.

Also, surprising no one, it features of one my more common Author Tropes.

Day #3 - "For Her"

FLORA JOHANSSON, formerly an outlaw, now seeking refuge in a convent
SISTER ESME, a nun at the convent

(FLORA sits up in bed, still tired and disheveled from giving birth, holding her newborn baby. Enter SISTER ESME.)

SISTER ESME: How is the little one?

FLORA: She’s sleeping now.

SISTER ESME: She is a pretty little thing.

FLORA: She is. God bless her. More than I deserve.

SISTER ESME: And how are you, miss?

FLORA: Tired is all.

SISTER ESME: Glad to hear. We’ll talk after you’ve had a rest.

(She turns to go again.)

FLORA: Talk? About what?

SISTER ESME: About what your plans are.

FLORA: My plans?

SISTER ESME: Now that the baby’s come.

FLORA: Oh. I reckon you’ve got rules about keeping babies here.

SISTER ESME: It’s only… there’s a great deal a baby needs besides a home.

FLORA: No mistake. I suppose… I haven’t thought so much of it.

SISTER ESME: You know, we’ve helped many a fatherless baby find their place in the world.

FLORA: What are you saying, marm?

SISTER ESME: We’ll talk when you’ve rested.

FLORA: No. We’ll talk now.

(The sister sighs.)

SISTER ESME: It is a shame for a child to go without a family. We could find her one.


FLORA: You want me to give her up? Let you… find her some nice mama and papa to take her away?

SISTER ESME: It’s a choice you might consider.

FLORA: She’s my baby. I’m her mother!

SISTER ESME: Just as you say. And as her mother, you’ve got to do the best for her.

FLORA: How can I do that if I give her up?

SISTER ESME: There are decent people you could trust her to. Them who won’t trouble if she hasn’t gotten a father or a name or a place in the world. For they have them to give to her.

FLORA: You folks do that a lot? Find respectable wedded couples to raise babies?

SISTER ESME: Very often. We’ve saved many unwanted babies that way.

FLORA: She ain’t unwanted!

SISTER ESME: I know, child. But you must ask yourself what you can provide for her.

FLORA: I can care for her. I can love her.

SISTER ESME: So you can. But it’s a hard world for a little one with no home and no father to look after him.

FLORA: And a mama what lived how I lived.


FLORA: And you think that what I ought to do?

SISTER ESME: It’s your decision. We’ll abide by it.

(FLORA begins to cry.)

FLORA: You don’t understand, sister. I gave up… everything. My whole life.

SISTER ESME: You were right brave.

FLORA: I need something to hold to, sister. Something to make it not all some crying waste. She’s all I got now. Sure I
mustn’t… give her up too?

SISTER ESME: Flora, what did you do it for?

FLORA: Why, for her. Why else?

SISTER ESME: Why else, indeed?


SISTER ESME: You needn’t decide anything now. You best get your rest. We’ll talk more later.

(Exit SISTER ESME. FLORA holds her baby close.)

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


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

Latest Month

April 2017


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