General Script posted April 8, 2020

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Speaking ill of the dead

My Conscience is Clear

by Elizabeth Emerald

This is a monologue in two acts. The speaker, Lisa, is the granddaughter of the deceased. As the play opens, Lisa is in her bedroom, sitting on her bed. There is a large jewelry box besides her.


Well! That was the third time. I'm definitely not imagining it. After all, you'd think that at my own grandmother's funeral they'd be pouring tea-and-sympathy in this humble mug of mine. Instead, I've been frozen-out and stared-down -- my cup runneth thrice over with glare-ice.

Obviously, she had to have told them something. Plenty-something. Every one of those three stodgie stooges, her crone-y old cronies from Hag-Town or witch-ever city spawned them, who'd never even met me, though they knew her quite well. Squatter numero uno was she, at the Obesity-Barn, AKA the Triple-X- Plus Pen, the only pathetic place that would hire any of those fat cows.

These bovine bozos roly-poly-ed themselves right in my face, spat out their cud, and moo-moo-mooed, one after the other, a trio of decrepit drama cows in fierce competition, in a last-ditch over-the-top audition for Most-Outrageously-Outraged:

"So...YOU'RE the granddaughter!"
"'re THE granddaughter!"

So...OK, now I get it! I am the granddaughter. Du-uh. Thanks for telling me something I don't know.

I can just imagine what she must have told them as she shop-shop-shopped her big-big butt off, once-or-thrice-a-day. I can hear the roster of complaints, loud and clear as a cow-bell, bellowed to her bovine buddies:

Ungrateful. Check. Spoiled. Check. Lazy. Moody. Rude. Check, check, check.

And the beat goes on.

Only, not any more, it doesn't. She dropped dead Tuesday night.

Tuesday night, January 31, 10:14 pm. She dropped dead, dropped dead right here in the house.

Right at my feet.

Don't look at me like that! I'm no monster. I didn't just leave her there, for Chrissake. I called 9-11, immediately, I did. Swear-to-God.

They came inside of four minutes. Sure enough, hard to believe, but under four minutes it was, when I checked the clock. For some reason, I guess since on TV they always seem to want to know precisely when, I took note of the time when she went down.

Everything I'd ever learned about CPR went right out of my head. Figures.

At least I knew she hadn't choked on anything, so I skipped step one 'clear airway.' As for giving breaths and compressions: I got it backwards. I thought you were supposed to give five breaths then one compression.

It was the other way around. Figures.

When the paramedics arrived they took over, worked on her as they loaded her in the ambulance, worked on her all the way to the hospital, where they worked on her for another half hour, till they finally decided to 'call it.'

That's what the doctor in charge says on TV, when he gives orders to quit the 'bagging' and 'zapping' and whatever else they do when they're fighting the clock and the clock's beating them. 'I'm calling it.'

Tuesday night, January 31, 11:48 pm, they pronounced her dead.

Me, I'm sticking with the original 10:14 pm, which was the actual time she went down. Dropped right at my feet, she did.

Dead on the spot they'd assured me, afterwards, massive coronary, damage to the heart was devastating, nothing could have been done.

She may have told you -- indeed she told everyone-who-would-listen-and then some -- that I broke her heart. But don't you believe it.

My conscience is clear.


(Lisa facetiously pretends to be directing a movie)

Dead and Buried: "No Frills" Version.

Tuesday, January 31, 10:14pm; First Take: She drops: five feet horizontal at my two.

Friday, February 3, 12:36pm; Final Take: She drops: five feet horizontal under six.

It's a wrap.

Now, back at the ranch: I've shooed away the sundry over-oozing extras who'd stampeded the cattle-call. Who had lingered, hopefully, hinting at scooping a small souvenir "to remember her by."

Not a chance. Vultures, all of them, circling the carrion. She was my grandmother. She would have wanted me to have it, have it all.

My just deserts, after all. Helluva week, it was, all the drama/slash/trauma of her dropping dead as she did. Right at my feet.

So now, finally, I can kick back and dig in. I can skip step dig up: lucky for me she kept her treasure chest above ground.

Well above ground. She kept it, in fact, in a "mausoleum" of sorts: that is, on her rose-grey, marble-topped vanity.

(Lisa gestures to the jewelry chest besides her)

This chest is magnificent: polished cherry, ornately carved, lined with scarlet velvet. Like a miniature casket. Not like her casket: I buried her in a plain pine coffin. She would have wanted it that way.

So, say I, on to the spoils!

(Lisa opens the jewelry chest, and paws through its contents)

Her "Bling Box," she called it. And rightly so: Bangles and baubles, sequins and sparklers, gewgaws and gaudies of all sorts.

She adorned herself to-the-nines-to-the-power-of-ten. Her chest would be draped in heavy metal, chain-upon-chain; or hung with string-upon-string of multi-stranded bead-ery. Twin crystal chandeliers would dangle from her earlobes. Her arms would rattle fiercely with serpentine bracelets that slid sinuously in sync with her gyrations; ever belle-of-the-ball was she.

Such vivid memories; haunting me almost, as I sort through her stuff.

Her stuff-and-nonsense, I should call it. Because, let's face it: she was an embarrassment; she really was. Who did she think she was fooling, for Chrissake, wearing this cheapo crapola? What a bunch of junk; I should have let her old biddie buddies take the lot, save myself the trouble of tossing it in the trash.

But, then, let's not be hasty. I've got to bide my time, be patient; it's bound to pay off. There's got to be a golden needle or a diamond in this stack of dross. Several, I'm sure of it. Certainly, even our late-lamented Miss Faux Ho Ho must have acquired something real during her many years of deck-the-halls-adornment. I've just got to bear with it, keep searching till I find my reward; whatever jewels there be that must await me.

I am her granddaughter, after all: Surely she must have left me something of value.

Thanks to Moonillow for artwork: Gold, Gems & Stones

Sad to say, this was inspired by the death of my friend Joyce, who had raised her granddaughter Lisa from infancy. When Lisa turned 14, she turned on Joyce, spurred on by her jealous step-mother. Lisa treated Joyce with contempt up until the day Joyce died; Lisa was 28 at the time.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by MoonWillow at

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