Grandma's confusions

Grandma’s confusions

Story by: Ann-Kathrin Deininger

Act 1

Scene 1

A little room in an old people’s home in Belfast.
(Grandma, Patrick Shaw)

Grandma: ( singing in a low voice) m ... where, over the rainbow .... There’s a country ... (faltering) There’s a country ... country .... Oh (louder) There’s a land where ... (She’s suddenly silent)... (murmuring) I don’t know ... don’t know the text ... don’t know the text any more ..
She goes through the room and finally sits depressed on the bed. It’s knocking on the door.

Grandma: (shaking her head; in a very low voice) Don’t know any more ...
It’s knocking twice. Patrick Shaw opens the door for a gap, looking through it like a little child doing something not allowed.

Patrick: Hi Grandma!

Grandma: (looking at him, smiling) Come in, come in, little son!

Patrick: (enters end closes the door) Hey, I smuggled something in for you. (He takes something from his pocket and puts it on the table.)

Grandma: Gummibärchen! I love them. But only those from Germany, you know, they are my favourite.

Patrick: Well, I know, grandma, I know you like them best. And take a look: They are from Germany; “Haribo” !

Grandma: Oh yeah, they, they have such a nice slogan, you know, very nice slogan, I love it, I love it. But I can’t remember. Oh, come on, read it to me, it’s just right there, on that little plastic bag!

Patrick: ( reading the slogan from the “Haribo” packet; trying hardly to pronounce the German words) Haribo macht Kinder froh, und Erwachsne ebenso.

Grandma: Yeah, that’s it. Ah, once again, once again ...

Patrick: (He reads the slogan again and nods his head funnily into the rhythm of the words.)

Grandma: I love it. I just love it. (She takes the packet of “Gummibärchen”.)

Patrick: Well, Grandma, I came here to tell you something ...

Grandma: (stops within eating “Gummibärchen”, staring at her son with full filled mouth and wide opened eyes) Is it a secret?

Patrick: (laughing) You’re quite curious, for an old lady, aren’t you?

Grandma: Am I, little son? I’m just forgetting everything, you know?

Patrick: I’m sorry. I did not want to remind you of your illness. But, yeah, however, in some way, it’s a secret.

Grandma: (stops chewing, listening carefully)

Patrick: (leaning towards his mother) Nobody knows it, by the time. You’re the first.

Grandma: Oh, I understand, I understand. (She’s nodding her head.) Just tell old grandma, little son, and if it’s a secret, you know, I’ll forget it in a few minutes anyway.

Patrick: (in a low voice, but still enthusiastic) I’m going to leave Ireland, grandma. Going to Australia.

Grandma: Australia!

Patrick: Psst. (like a conspirator) Wonna come with us?

Grandma: Oh, no, no; what’s up with family? Do they know?

Patrick: No! Said you’re the first, remember? I’ll tell them when time is ready. We’ll be happy there! Mary teaching Australian kids through the radio, Joe studying in Sydney or Canberra or where ever he likes, and Eileen, well, there are many sheep and koalas and kangaroos. Well, I studied agriculture, you know? Dream of mine, going to Australia being a sheep farmer.
Oh, look at this. (He is taking some photos out of his pocket.)

Grandma: What’s this? That’s a very old fashioned sheep farm, think so!

Patrick: It’s romantic!

Grandma: It’s very lonely, in the middle of the bush!

Patrick: It’s silent. No roads. No cars.

Grandma: There’s nobody!

Patrick: Yeah, just me, my loved family and a few hundred sheep.

Grandma: There is nothing!

Patrick: Beautiful landscape, kangaroos, square- kilometres of land ... our land, grandma, our land.

Grandma: So I’m not able to talk you out of that?

Patrick: No.

Grandma: So you’ll buy this piece of desert land? When will you leave?

Patrick: Not desert land. Very fertile land. And, ähm, I already bought it.

Grandma: Oh, little son! So when do you want to leave?

Patrick: Why is that so important for you?

Grandma: (a bit to fast to be convincing) Not important! Really. Just a curious old lady, you know?

Patrick: I know you. And I do not trust you. You’re hatching something!

Grandma: No, I’m not hatching anything, little son. You came here to tell me, and now you’re charging me with such a ridiculous discovery!

Patrick: I do not want to impute bad intentions to you. I’m sorry. (looking at his watch) Well, grandma, I have to go now.

Grandma: Yes, of course, dear. Family’s waiting. Have a nice day!

Patrick: Yeah. See you soon!

(exit Patrick)

Scene 2

The same room
(Grandma, Eileen Shaw)

(Grandma stands at the opened window with the Back to the door, looking into the park. Nearby three big trees there’s a bench where somebody is sitting. Grandma waves, he waves back.)

Grandma: (for herself) They have no idea! (She giggles.) They’re completely unsuspecting. (She giggles again.) Oh, they’ll be surprised...

(It’s knocking on the door. Grandma closes the window fast and, as if she had something to hide, she draws the curtains half.)

Grandma: (now sitting on the bed doing some knitting) Come in!

Eileen: (enters the room, closes the door) Hi, grandma, hope I don’t bother you?

Grandma: No, dear, no! What should that be? A grandma who’s bothered by her grandchild! No. Come on, dear, take a seat.

Eileen: (putting herself into Grandmas big armchair) Are you knitting a pair of woollen socks?

Grandma: No, it should become a pullover.

Eileen: That’s a strange colour for a pullover, isn’t it? (She points at the piece of cloths in her grandmas hands)

Grandma: Yeah, ähm ... (She puts her knitting on the table.) So, what did you do at school?
Eileen: Och ... school! Don’t like it!

Grandma: No? But, what’s the problem? You’ve got no friends, that’s it?

Eileen: Of course I’ve friends! That’s not the problem! Most of my friends are Catholic, that’s it.

Grandma: And there’re more Protestants at school, right? And they fight the Catholic!

Eileen: No, grandma. We’re not fighting, but the boys ...

Grandma: Only the boys or one special boy?

Eileen: Grandma! I’m not in love with any boy!

Grandma: But you like him, don’t you?

Eileen: No. He’s protestant! His parents don’t want me to get close to him.

Grandma: You should go having a talk with them, hm?

Eileen: No! Don’t want to see any of them! My friends will be laughing! I don’t like getting laughed. I want to move far away, so there’s no need of seeing them!

(The two are silent and thinking for a long time.)

Grandma: Don’t be sad! Want to hear a secret?

Eileen: (She’s wiping a lost tear from her eyes) What is it?

Grandma: (signing the girl to come closer; whispering) Your father is going to buy a few hundred sheep!

Eileen: (also whispering) Sheep? Why sheep?

Grandma: He got a big piece of land, you know?

Eileen: Perfect for sheep? And other animals?

Grandma: (nodding) Many other animals, many strange animals!

Eileen: I get some little cats?

Grandma: You can also have little dogs!

Eileen: (excited) Little dogs!

Grandma: Psst, not so loud!

Eileen: (whispering again) Is it far?

Grandma: Oh no, I’ve already said to much.

Eileen: (louder, pestering her grandma to tell more) Grandma!

Grandma: Think you’ve to visit another school!

Eileen: That’s not a pity. That school is horrifying!

Grandma: Really? With ghosts and skeletons?

Eileen: Grandma! Ghosts are not frightening!

Grandma: So what is it?

Eileen: School’s not frightening, it’s terrible! If you want to know what is really frightening, you’ve to watch “The X-files” on TV!

Grandma: Of course! “The X-files”! (looking at the big clock on the wall) Well, it’s lunch time! I don’t think you would be pleasured by joining old people at lunch. Am I right?

Eileen: You are, you are. Bye, grandma, I’ll go now!

Grandma: Visit me again soon, dear!

Eileen: Oh, that’s a promise! Bye!

(exit Eileen)

Scene 3

Room’s the same again
(Grandma, Mary Shaw)

(Grandma sits in her armchair and is thoughtfully playing with her dead husbands wedding ring. It’s knocking on the door.)

Grandma: Come in, come in!

Mary: Hi, grandma! How are you?

Grandma: Fine, girl, fine!

Mary: (She takes a seat on the folding chair.) Is everybody here nice to you?

Grandma: Yeah, the nurses are quite nice and understanding, and there are many old gentleman who invite me for playing cards or chess with them. (She pauses.) And what’s with school?

Mary: (leaning her head on her hand) Oh, I did never know that small children can produce such a noise! Well, there are holidays soon, and they’re excited about that. It’s nearly impossible to teach them anything. And I can’t get them to remember the things I taught them last week. But, you know, I’m putting my shoulder to the wheel.

Grandma: You should relax for a time!

Mary: Well, don’t have the time to do that.

Grandma: I know, I know. You only have got the time to relax when you’re in an old peoples home. But then, I tell you, it’ll be to late. For myself, I think I’ve relaxed long enough. I need something to happen in my life!

Mary: Yeah, grandma. That’s what I came to speak about.

Grandma: Don’t know what you mean.

Mary: What did you tell to Eileen? She came home worried, talking about going away because Patrick has a piece of land. Is it right?

Grandma: I got it straight from the horses mouth.

Mary: So what did he tell you? A piece of land? Oh, he must have meant the land his uncle left him? But, it’s within the Republic!

Grandma: The Republic of Ireland is not bad. Nearly all our ancestors came from there. It’s a nice country, with nice landscape. You can do some farming there.

Mary: No, no, not Patrick. He was an IRA- member, you know? It’s to dangerous. The old IRA is not sending flowers to those who left them. For them, we’re traitors! They’ll do terrible things with the whole family. I cannot think about it!

Grandma: He would never drive his family into danger. You know that.

Mary: So why did he not tell us? Couldn’t he say that we’re going away? Oh... It must be something like a witness protection programme. We’re getting new identity, so he couldn’t tell us about it. That’s it! Poor Patrick. He had so much dreams. About Australia and sheep ...

Grandma: Well, that’s a pity ...

Mary: Oh, I’ll tell him that we will not leave you here alone. You’re coming with us. We will look for a nice flat in the area where we will live. Than we can always look after you.

Grandma: Oh no, I don’t want to go away!

Mary: Oh, It will become very nice. You know, our family has recovered from more than this. After a time, you’ll be happy, where ever we go. You’ll see!

Grandma: But, Mary, Patrick has not said, that ...

Mary: (interrupting grandma) Of course not! He couldn’t tell any of us.

Grandma: (suddenly lost in thought; her look far away; her fingers stroking the wedding ring again) We have got great plans. Want to go to Germany, walking on Kurfürstendamm...

Mary: (her eyes widened) I think I’ve to go now. Have to do a math test tomorrow. Bye. (She jumps from the chair and moves fast towards the door. )

Grandma: (uncomprehending) Bye, Mary!

(exit Mary)

Scene 4

The room did not change.
(Grandma, Joe Shaw)

(Grandma is sitting in her armchair, reading “Romeo and Juliet” from William Shakespeare. Suddenly she hears a sound from her window. She stands up and opens the window. A voice is coming up from the small terrace placed under her window.)

Voice: I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was... Methought I was - and methought I had,- ....

Grandma: Oh, that’s Shakespeare. But it’s not “Romeo and Juliet”. What is it? (She thinks for a minute) Oh, that’s “A Midsummer-Night’s Dream”!

Voice: Methought I had asked you for your hand.

Grandma: That’s no longer Shakespeare! Foolish old guy. (She shakes her head.)

(It’s knocking on the door. Joe enters.)

Joe: Hi grandma!

Grandma: (She’s turning around very fast, within she tries to close the window, but it nevertheless stands open for a gap. She folds her arms behind her back.) Nice to see you, Joe!

Joe: What did you do there, grandma?

Grandma: Oh, nothing, Joe, nothing. I was just looking out. The trees are so beautiful.

Joe: Grandma, there are no trees down there on the terrace.

Grandma: (full of thoughts) Right, Joe, right.

Joe: (He looks a bit sceptical.) Listen to me, grandma. There’s something that I would like to discuss with you.

Grandma: (happy, that Joe does not ask any more about what there is on the terrace) Fire away!

Joe: It’s what dad said to you.

Grandma: So, what did he tell me?

Joe: About moving away. I think he told you that he wants to move to Germany.

Grandma: He has never said that!

Joe: But mum did tell me, dad wanted to move to Europe.

Grandma: We’re in Europe! What else would you like to have?

Joe: But, grandma, my studies here don’t go very well. I want to go elsewhere.

Grandma: (not really meant to Joe, but more for herself) Oh, that’s why he spoke from Germany!

Joe: So dad spoke of going to Germany?

Grandma: No! Patrick did not want to go to Germany! Why is that, that you think Patrick wants to go to Germany.

Joe: But you said that.

Grandma: Me? I did not say something like this. That’s not my fault.

Joe: But what did he say, exactly?

Grandma: (wailing) Everybody talks about moving ...

Joe: What did he say?

Grandma: (just completing her sentence) I’m quite happy here.

Joe: (disappointed) That’s what I wanted to know. (He goes to the door without any further word.)

(exit Joe)

Grandma: But I could be happy everywhere else, when this nice old guy is with me...

(scene end)

Scene 5

The room’s as boring as before.
(Grandma, nice old guy)
later: (Patrick Shaw, Mary, Eileen, Joe)

(Grandma and the nice old guy are sitting together on the bed and holding hands. Together they read William Shakespeare. Grandma reads some verses of “Romeo and Juliet” than the nice old guy reads a passage from “The Midsummer- Night’s Dream”. Grandmas finger are playing with a new ring next to her dead husbands wedding ring.)

Nice old guy: Sorry for interrupting you. I think we should tell us to them.

Grandma: Oh, we needn’t go there. There were to much confusions in the last days, so I think they will all come here. There’s a little bit to discuss! (She is blinking her eyes.)

Nice old guy: They will be very surprised, won’t they?

Grandma: (doesn’t answer, just giggles)

(They’re laughing together. It’s knocking on the door.)

Grandma: Come in!

(The whole family enters the small room. They are discussing something with each other. They are mad with each other.)

Grandma: (smiling) Good afternoon, family!

Joe: I’m not going to stay here, dad, do you understand? I want to do my studies somewhere else, maybe in America or Australia. But not here in Belfast!

Mary: I always thought you were happy in Belfast!

Eileen: Dad, is that true with the sheep and the little dogs?

Mary: No, that’s not true, Eileen. Daddy has to go away with us, because there are some bad people trying to hurt him, ok?

Patrick: Tell me, please, what are you talking about? We’re not in danger.

Mary: It’s very considerate of you, that you did not want to tell this to the children. But you could have told me!

Joe: Mum, I don’t think that I’m a child any longer. And I don’t want to stay here.

Eileen: I’d like to have some dogs!

Mary: What’s that for a plan, to go to Germany? No one of us speaks German!

Patrick: I was never talking of going to Germany!

Joe: There it is! He never thought of going away. He wanted to stay in this little flat for his whole life!

Eileen: But in this flat there’s no space for a hundred sheep and little dogs.

Mary: A hundred sheep? We cannot afford a hundred sheep.

Patrick: I never said I wanted to stay here. I said we’re going to ...

Eileen: The farm in the Republic your uncle left you!

Mary: No, no! I’m not going to the republic. That’s to dangerous. Just think about the IRA

Grandma: If I’m allowed to say something, I’m going to marry this nice old guy.

Mary: Psst. Grandma, don’t you see, that this is an important discussion?

Eileen: In Australia there are many sheep!

Mary: We do not have any sheep!

Joe: What will we do with grandma, if we’re going to leave?

Patrick: We’re not leaving without a solution for that.

Joe: There you have it. We’re not leaving. But I am. I am going to Australia to a famous University in Canberra.
Mary: We cannot split up the family, Joe. It’s not possible to leave grandma alone!

Patrick: Than lets talk about a solution. Grandma, what did you think?

Eileen: They promised me to get some sheep!

Joe: Nobody is interested in your sheep and dogs!

Mary: It could be very funny to teach pupils over the radio. In Australia they do so.

Patrick: Grandma, what is this old guy doing in here?

Grandma: I’m going to marry this nice old guy next Friday.

Mary: We’ve to find a solution. I think it’s to dangerous to stay or go to the republic.

Eileen: But the sheep.

Joe: I’m going to apply at the University in Canberra for the next semester.

Patrick: I don’t understand ... (realising what is mother said) What did you say?

(Within the next minutes the silence in the room is nearly frightening.)

Nice old guy: She said that I’m going to marry her, next Friday.

Mary: Is that true?

Grandma: Yeah, it is. I’ll marry for a second time. And, to come to your problems here, I think it was my fault, you know, I’m an old woman, forgetting everything. I was so excited about going to marry for a second time, I forgot what Patrick told me. He said that he wants to move to Australia. He also bought a house and a piece of land there. It’s within the bush, but it’s more close to Canberra than Belfast. He wants to be a sheep farmer there, you all know, my son studied agriculture. It will be space for dogs and cats, and there will be another kind of school. And the solution with grandma: If you allow this, me and this nice old guy would like to stay with this confused family. But our wedding holiday will go to Berlin, first. I think we could altogether be happy in Australia.

(After a second they all fall in laughter. It needs a few minutes until somebody is able to speak.)

Patrick: Well, first: Congratulations for the coming marriage. I hope we’re invited. And yeah, grandma, that’s the solution we should choose. Going altogether to Australia.

(And so they did.)

(The end)
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Hui, ein Drehbuch!


finde ich ein prima Script zu einem Kurzfilm oder einem Theaterstück (das wohl eher). Habe selber mal mit zwei Drehbüchern in Englisch angefangen, nach einem Virus war meine Festplatte aber ziemlich unbrauchbar und somit auch meine Scripts gelöscht (zum Glück habe ich noch das Konzept).
Veröffentliche deine Geschichte doch mal auf einer amerikanischen oder britischen Shortstory- Page. Vielleicht springt ein Späher darauf an und macht eine echte Vorführung daraus.

Bis dann,
vielleicht, mal sehen

Danke für den Tipp, mal sehen, vielleicht mach ichs ja noch. Ich hab das Skript erst letztens auf meinem Rechner wiederentdeckt, ursprünglich hab ichs nämlich mal für meinen Englisch-GK geschrieben, da hatte aber keiner Lust es aufzuführen und irgendwie ist es in vergessenheit geraten. Als ich es wiedergefunden hab, wollte ich es erst in eine Kurzgeschichte umschreiben, weil ich dachte, dann haben vielleicht mehr Leute Interesse. Ich wollte aber erst mal hören, was andere von der Geschichte halten, bevor ich mir die Arbeit umsonst mache...

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