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Goddess of Cancer – Scene 3

Excerpt from Goddess of Cancer and Other Plays by Gabriel Constans.

Goddess of Cancer – Scene 3

Characters

GODDESS: Multi-cultural woman of no particular age. Face painted a variety of flesh tones. Hair a mixture of blond, brown, red, black and gray. Long rainbow-colored robe. Changes persona frequently.

VICKI: Asian-American woman in her twenties. Casual dress. Animated. Angry. Anxious. Scared.

WENDY: European-American woman in her thirties. Conservative dress. Quiet. Shy. Fearful.

JENNIFER: African-American woman in her forties. Business suit (beeper). Intellectual. In control. Avoids emotion.

LENNIE: Mexican-American woman in her fifties. Flowing skirt, flowery blouse. Insightful. Compassionate.

BARBARA: Arab-American woman in her sixties. Gray skirt and sweater (wearing a cross). Strong. Survivor. Dogmatic. Angry. Tired.

CHANTALL: Jewish-American woman in her seventies. Slacks and blouse (gray wig, in wheelchair). Humerous. Matter of fact. Sarcastic. Worried.

Setting

Living room. White couch center stage facing audience. White chair next to couch, stage left and black coffee table in front of couch. Large green plant on floor between couch and chair. Flowers in a vase on table. White door stage left. Three large pictures with red frames on wall behind couch. One picture is of the Grim Reaper, one is of an angel and the other an hourglass. Black bar facing audience stage right, with potted plant on its corner. A light switch is on the wall by the bar. Closed cupboard behind bar is full of cigarettes.

A slide-projector (with a color slide of each actor’s face shown at beginning of each scene) is placed on one end of the bar for the Goddess to operate or in front of the stage and controlled by a stage member.

Time: Afternoon or early evening. Present.

ACT I

SCENE 3

(Stage is dark. Picture of Jennifer appears.)

GODDESS: Jennifer. Forty-three years on this chaotic planet. Physician. Married to Jeremy. Two young children – Zack, age ten and Delia, six. Breast cancer. Mastectomy and radiation two months ago were successful. No sign of me now. Another great opportunity to multiply cut short.

(Goddess turns off projector and switches on lights. Doorbell rings. he goes to door, opens it slightly, looks out apprehensively, then opens door all the way.)

GODDESS: I’ve been expecting you. Here to rub it in, right? Come on in and gloat.

JENNIFER: (Puzzled.) What on earth are you mumbling about? I just came to figure you out.

GODDESS: Really? You mean you didn’t come to show me up?

JENNIFER: Show you up? What on earth for? It’s not like we were playing a game or anything. I had no choice and neither did you.

GODDESS: Could have fooled me. Let me get you a martini.

(Goddess goes to bar as Jennifer sits on couch.)

JENNIFER: Thanks. I deserve it.

(Goddess hands her drink and sits on chair.)

GODDESS: You sure do. Won fair and square. All is fair in love and war they say. You have to admit I messed you up a little though?

JENNIFER: Just a touch. I knew it was a fluke. One or two flaws in my genes, something in the environment and wham!

(Jennifer claps her hands.)

JENNIFER: There you are.

GODDESS: That’s me all right. They don’t call me invisible lightning for nothing! Actually, I’d been hanging out for some time. Lucky chance you felt me in the shower that morning.

JENNIFER: Chance had nothing to do with it! I examine my breasts frequently. I caught you just in time.

GODDESS: (Talking to herself.) There’s that time thing again.

GODDESS: (She turns back towards Jennifer.) Yep, you spoiled my party, but I took part of you with me.

(Jennifer looks down at her chest.)

JENNIFER: Can you tell?

GODDESS: Not really.

JENNIFER: (Relieved.) Good. I paid a lot of money for that surgery. (Jennifer sits up straight.)

GODDESS: Had you scared, didn’t I?

JENNIFER: Not in the least! Well . . . maybe a little. Dying did cross my mind a time or two. There was one night, two weeks after the surgery and my second radiation treatment, when I couldn’t sleep. I found myself wondering, ‘What if they didn’t get it all? What if it comes back? What if I die? What about the kids? What if . . . what if . . .’

GODDESS: (Smiles.) You lost control.

JENNIFER: No, I didn’t lose control. It was just a momentary lapse. I got over it. (Pause) By the way, how do you decide who you are going to attack?

(Goddess goes to bar and gets herself another drink.)

GODDESS: Well . . . I don’t really decide, I just react. Smokers are a cinch. I usually single them out first. After that I look for those being effected by environmental chemicals and toxins . . . you know – gas, lead, pesticides, radiation. And some folks get the privilege of inheriting me straight from their relatives’ DNA.

(Goddess walks back to chair and sits.)

GODDESS: (Continued) Far and away my most prized possessions are those I select for no rhyme or reason. I love to see the shock on their faces. Especially those who think death doesn’t apply to them.

JENNIFER: You can’t keep killing us forever.

GODDESS: Why not? You think you’re woman enough to stop me!

JENNIFER: Every day we’re closer to discovering your secrets. Once we do, you’re history!

GODDESS: Dream on Doc. If it makes you feel superior to believe that propaganda, be my guest. Sure, technology can see me more clearly, but I break through anyway. A few of my forms have been lessened with chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and diet; but all in all I still get my share. And some treatments are worse than the cure. All you scientist types are still hung up on the symptoms, not the cause.

JENNIFER: You’re full of it. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

GODDESS: So, now you’re resorting to stupid old cliches. Must be getting pretty desperate, huh?

JENNIFER: (Angrily) You think you’re so hot! (Stands.) Better watch your back! We’re not through with you yet!

GODDESS: (Feigning fear) Oh no. I’m soooo scared! (GODDESS shouts suddenly) Watch out!

(Jennifer jumps and looks behind her.)

JENNIFER: What?!

GODDESS: (Points her finger at Jennifer and laughs.) Got ya!

JENNIFER: (Smiles and points back.) Pretty cocky, aren’t you?

GODDESS: Look who’s talking.

JENNIFER: See you around.

(Jennifer turns and walks towards door.)

GODDESS: I sure hope so.

(Jennifer exits. Goddess turns towards audience.)

GODDESS: (Acts like she’s boxing.) Damn! I love a good fight.

(Goddess goes and turns off light.)

Goddess of Cancer Continued – Tomorrow Scene 4

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