Drama

The Ghost of the Crying Widow-Aneela Saqib

“It is said that hate made her forget

her true nature as a mother.”

“Something wicked comes this way”

Persons and Places

Mr. Charles Blair (father)

Sophia Blair (mother)

Henry (son)

Annie Sawquin (the crying woman)

Hannah (Mr. Blair’s office colleague)

Mia (a child)

Pablo (a child)

Police officer

The whole drama is set in New York city, America.

Act 1

The most terrifying and unmerciful thing in the world happens when the siblings are burned out alive, infront of her mother. The whole world pays the cost of that alive, panic burning. That crying widow takes vengeance and avengement and returns with deep-seated and inflicted animus against the world.

Scene 1

     It is a queer and sultry evening of summer, just a day before Halloween in 2005 in New York, America. Mr. Charles Blair’s house is well-decorated with the theme of Halloween. Mr. Blair, in his mid-thirties, lives with his wonderful wife, Sophia and a promising seven years old son, named Henry.

It is the time of midnight, Henry is sleeping peacefully in his bed. At once, he awakes by some noise at the window. He gets up, puts on the lamp and goes to the window where a shadow is appeared and overcomes the boy. Henry gets terrified and runs to her mother who sleeps in another room.

Henry: Mom! There is something outside my window.     

Mother: Oh, baby, you are having a nightmare, huh, Okay let me put you back to bed.

Henry: I want Daddy to do it?

Mother: How about we wait for him together? Come on in. Bring bear. I got you. We will keep each other safe. 

It is late at night, professor Charles Blair is still working in his office. He suddenly distracted beep of his phone whose’ battery is gone dead. He watches the time, starts winding up all, comes to his house looks at his son sleeping with his wife, Sophia. He picks up the son in his arms and puts Henry into his bed. He kisses on his forehead. Henry wakes up.

Father: Hi!

Henry: Did you figure it out?

Father: What?

Henry: What you are going to be for Halloween.

 Father: But you have to wait until tomorrow to find out.

Henry: (wafts to his pirate dress) I’ll be a pirate.

Father: (looks at Henry’s costumes) Ah, good choice.

Henry: Mom helped me pick it out and after we got the pumpkin. Mom said she would carved it with me, but I wanted to wait for you.

Father: Well, we’ll do it tomorrow.

Henry: Promise!

Father: Okay, promise! Now go back to sleep. (kisses his forehead again)

Henry: Oh, Dad!

Father: Yes!

Henry: Can you check outside my window?

Father: Sure! (goes to the window) Nope, all clear.

Henry: I love you Dad.

Father: I love you too son. (puts off the lamp)

(Blair comes back to his room where Sophia is sleeping in the bed).

Blair: I am sorry for being late.

Sophia: (wakes up) I am going tired of going to bed without you.

Blair: If they are on the fence, I am going to have to publish another article as soon as I can.

Sophia: Are they on fence? I don’t know.

Blair: (lays down on the bed) Just seems like. I would have received a letter by now.

Sophia: Henry wanted to wait up for you tonight. I think, if you don’t carve that pumpkin with him tomorrow. He is going to disown you.

Blair: Can he do that?

Sophia: I think he’d have a case. Yeah.

Blair: What about you? Are you ready to disown me too? Can I take that as a no?

Sophia: I don’t want you to think I am not mad at you. Okay?

————————————————————————————————————-

The next day, Professor Charles Blair is delivering a lecture at his university. He is reading a poem.

“My darling, my darling,

I see it aright.”

It is the aged gray willows

 Deceiving the sight

I love thee

I am charmed by the beauty, dear boy!

And if thou at unwilling,

Then force I’ll employ

My father, my father, he seizes me fast,

For sorely the Erlking has hurt me at last

The father now gallops with terror half wild

He gasps in his arms the poor shudder child

He reaches his courtyard with toil and with dread  

 The child in his arms finds he motionless, dead (closes the book)

Pretty good huh, (a student raises the hand to question)

Student: Who is this, Erlking? And his creepy daughters.

Blair: We don’t know for sure. They might be creatures out of northern mythology. Or some Celtic Lore. To scare the living shit out of us. (Students laugh) Happy Halloween to all of you. (All of them clap for him)

————————————————————————————————————-

Scene 2

This scene sets at Charles Blair’s house where Henry is driving his scooty, wearing his pirate costumes. He looks happy when his mother enters into the house.

Mother: Hello, Hello, Hello.

Henry: Hi Mom!

Mother: Where is my little pirate?

Henry: (goes to her mother) Mom! Check it out. (fires the dart of his pirate’s gun)

Mother: Wow!That’s a great indoor activity. You look amazing. You are so excited. The pirate looks perfect. Happy Halloween!

Henry: When’s Dad coming home?

Mother: He should be on his way right now. Did you attend your art class today?

Henry: Yeah!

Mother: I want to see. (Henry shows a scary human image which he draws on in his art class) Henry! That is really scary. You want to tell me about that?

Henry: That’s the thing I saw outside my window.

Mother: I thought you told me you couldn’t see it?

Henry: I saw it. It just kind a looked like that. Can we go already? Where is Dad?

———————————————————————————————————-

Scene 3

This scene opens up in Charles Blair’s office where he opens the letter about his promotion as a professor. He feels happy and exalted to see this news and wants to share it with someone. So he goes and opens the door of his senior Professor Hannah.

Blair: Hi Hannah!

Hannah: O’ Blair, come here! Look at this. (shows him some Latin numerals written on a big slate on the computer screen) It washed ashore last week on Jones’ Beach.

Blair: What are these Latin numerals?

Hannah: Exactly it is ‘M’, ‘D’ and ‘C’ sixteen hundred. They used to engrave ships with the year they built, which means this piece of driftwood once part of the body of a ship that helped settle this city 400 years ago.

Blair: That is something quite weird, isn’t it? (gives her the letter)

Hannah: (Reads the letter) Dear Professor Charles Blair! Congratulations, Blair! You have come a long way from that. You have made a hard toil.

Blair: Thanks for recommending me Hannah.

Hannah: You deserve it more than anybody. (greets him)

Blair: I have to go, because I have a very important appointment with a pirate. (goes)

————————————————————————————————————-

In this scene Sophia returns back from the Halloween party with her friend and Henry as well. She discusses with her friend.

Sophia: God, it was the most incredible exhibition I have ever seen.

Henry: May be Dad called you and missed you.

Sophia: I will try him again. (calls Blair and suddenly, Henry looks upwards at the sky where a big black vulture appears and Henry halts for some moments. The vulture looks so terrifying and howls at him and flies to somewhere. Sophia looks back at Henry who stays and sticks there staring at the sky.

 Sophia: Hey! Are you okay?

Henry: Did you see it Mom?

Sophia: Did you see what?

Henry: The bird.

Sophia: No I don’t.

Mr. Charles Blair runs towards the house because he gets late to reach at home where he finds a written message attached on the door by Sophia. It says “gone! Trick or treat couldn’t wait.”

Henry: (talks to his mother, coming back to home) I think I will be Robinhood next year. He steals from the rich and gives to the poor.

Sophia: well, that is very noble my little man.

Henry: I bet he keeps a little extra on the side just to himself. (Sophia laughs)

Sophia: I see. (suddenly Henry gets noticed at the flowing carnival lights and music coming from the street.

Henry: Can we go to the Halloween Carnival please?

Sophia: No, not this year, my man. I am sorry, it is late and you have school tomorrow. Come with me, come on my prince. (both of them reach outside of their house where Blair is waiting for them.)

Henry: Dad! (shouts with happiness) You are a cow boy.

Blair: (wearing a costume of a cow boy) I couldn’t find my cow boy hat. But boy, you guys look great. You make a great pirate, Henry!

Henry: Where were you? Mom said you were going to meet up with us.

Blair: I apologize, my phone died.

Sophia: Come on let’s go to bed.

Henry: Mom! Can we go to the carnival please?  

Blair: Let me take him! Give us half an hour. Come on Sophia!

Sophia: Okay! But would you do me a favour and put him to bed tonight? And I have finished some clients’ designs tonight.  

Blair: Of course! Alright. I got it. (shows her his promotion letter)

Sophia: You got what?

Blair: I got tenure.

Sophia: (gets excited) Oh, my God! Oh, my God! I am so excited. (greets her husband) I am so proud of you.

Henry: Does this mean we can go?

Sophia: Yes, it means you can go. It means we will celebrate tonight.

Blair: Everything is going to be better now.

Sophia: You boys have fun tonight.

Henry: Let’s go Dad!

Both of them go to the Halloween Carnival. There are lot of people wearing various kinds of Halloween costumes. Henry gets so excited there and shoots a video with his handy camera. In a corner, he gets terrified by a horrible and a mysterious creature who appeared at once infront of his camera. It haunts him a lot. Blair wants to know, what happens to him. But Henry says nothing.

Blair: You having fun!

Henry: This is awesome!

Blair: You see these skeltons. Pretty scary, Henry! Are you okay? All right! I am sorry we didn’t carve pumpkins together.

Henry: It’s okay. I know you got a lots of work to do.

Blair: Not okay. I promised to be there and promises that Dad make to their sons are special things. You know you are the most important person to me in the world, right?

 Henry: Yeah!

Blair: Let’s get some ice cream! Henry, I really need you to stay close to me, and I need you to look where you are going ok? Let me take your camera. Come on! What kind of ice cream do you want?

Henry: Swirled cone with rainbow sprinkles. (both of them stop near an ice cream truck. Henry looks upwards again in the sky. The big black vulture appears again and sits on a nearby building. Henry keeps staring at the vulture.) Can we pay the ghost? (Blair looks at Henry in amazement about what is he saying.)

Blair: Pay the what??? (to vendor) Right, an ice cream cone with sprinkles please.

Vendor: Okay six bucks.

Blair: Yeah, keep the change. (but when Blair turns around, he finds Henry nowhere) Henry! Henry! Henry! (to vendor) Did you see where my son go?

Vendor: No, No, Who is next?

Blair: Henry, Henry, (searches him in whereabouts but all in vain, ice cream falls at the ground, at once he finds Henry’s hat near the ice cream truck) That is my son’s hat.(talks to police officer) The boy was wearing this hat? Did you see him?

Officer: Sir! Are you okay?

Blair: (goes panic) My son is wearing this hat. He is missing.

Officer: When did you see him last?

Blair: He was right here infront of the ice cream truck. He was right next to me. He is seven years old.

Officer: May be he just went home. (Blair listens this and runs to home)

Blair: (rushes back to home and shouts) Henry! Henry!

Sophia: Are you okay! What’s wrong? Where is Henry?

Blair: I was holding his hand. I looked everywhere.

Sophia: Are you saying you left him? Jesus Christ Blair. (Sophia and Blair both look for Henry but he is nowhere. Blair reports at the police station to find his son.)

Officer: Don’t worry, usually these cases are solved within 24 hours. We will be in touch. (comes back to home. Sophia gets angry at him.)

Sophia: How could you lose him? (cries for Henry. Blair repents on losing his only son and weeps for him, sits on the floor helplessly.)

(Blair have a dream in which he finds his son, Henry. Henry asks him.)

Henry: Dad! Did you see the window? (he looks at the window of Henry’s room again and again. Then he discovers a huge and dark shadow that horrifies him. At once, he wakes up from that haunted dream.

                                                 (To Be Continued)

About the author: Aneela Saqib is an M.Phil. Scholar currently enrolled in Riphah International University, Faisalabad.
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