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31 Plays in 31 Days, #9 - "Gravestones"

This is an odd piece, one I'm not sure where it would fit into the Hawking continuity. It grew partially out of the idea of visiting the Hawking family graves, and partially out of this musing on the Colonel's doings during the period in the marriage where he was spending a lot of time abroad without Mrs. Hawking in his military service to the empire. I thought it might be neat if the Colonel was offered a knighthood, but for some reason desired to turn it down. Mrs. Hawking never asked him why, which would really disturb Nathaniel once he found out. When I was struggling to find a reason why they would visit the family graves, I thought thinking about that might be a nice motivation.

Day #9 - “Gravestones”
by Phoebe Roberts

MARY STONE, housemaid and society avenger
NATHANIEL HAWKING, her partner in crime

(NATHANIEL stands in front of headstone. A tasteful bouquet rests on it. Enter MARY.)

NATHANIEL: Why, Mary, you’re here.

MARY: Clara told me. I thought I’d find you.

(MARY also regards the headstone.)

MARY: So there they are. I’ve never seen before.

NATHANIEL: I see that they’re kept up. And I like to visit every now and then. Have a chat with the Colonel. It’s coming on six years this November. And there is Auntie’s name, already inscribed upon it.

MARY: Oh, goodness. She must be delighted with that.

NATHANIEL: It was my father’s doing. And do you want to know something funny? He thought he was doing her a great favor. Acknowledging that the Colonel would want it that way. They put the stone here because of, well, the little one.

MARY: I suppose he was the first. “Gabriel Matthew Hawking.”

NATHANIEL: It’s always a melancholy thing. To see a grave with a lamb and only the one date on it.

(They stand in silence a moment.)

NATHANIEL: Imagine. Devoting your life to serving the empire, and turning down the knighthood they offered to thank you. Why would he do such a thing?

MARY: Perhaps he didn’t do it for the thanks. That’s something he and madam have in common.

NATHANIEL: To think, I thought I knew him so well. But I didn’t know him at all, did I?

MARY: Don’t say that, Nathaniel.

NATHANIEL: If I did, I might be able to understand. How could he? It isn’t often one’s good deeds are recognized. After all our work, I shall never see a knighthood.

MARY: Nor I, Nathaniel.

(He looks away, ashamed.)

NATHANIEL: He was always my hero. It tears me to think he… didn’t see himself that way.

MARY: That doesn’t mean he wasn’t.

NATHANIEL: There are so many things I wanted to ask him. Especially given what I know now, and now I never shall.

MARY: That doesn’t change what he meant to you. Just because there is more to people than we know.

NATHANIEL: There always is, I suppose.

MARY: You only must take what you can from him and move on.

NATHANIEL: You think that’s all right?

MARY: That’s what I do with Mrs. Hawking.

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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