Cali is a young woman in her early twenties who puts a lot of work into her paintings. We see her painting in the opening of the scene, to watch her double over in pain from the ringing in her hears. She is deaf. Through her story we find out that she is, as her mother always told her “slow.” When her mother gives birth to a little boy Cali get so be the big brother, but she also has someone she can play with that is on her same level. She loves playing with him. She is the best big sister she has the ability to be. Through a series of flashbacks, we see her younger playing and bonding with her little brother, but we also see her in her world. She is behind on things, his mind doesn’t work as it should at her age but she never lets that slow her down. One day she is playing cops and robbers and she is the cop. She fills her water gun in the sink and begins to look for her brother and in her mother’s room under the bed she finds a gun and decides that it would be so much more fun to play with Mom’s gun. She finds her brother, shoots him, and doesn’t understand why he is all red. The close shot of the gun takes her hearing and she regains her ability to communicate by learning sign language. She now paints pictures of all red. The memory of what her mind sees on that day. The constant ringing in her ears reminds her of what happened but also of the presence of her brother, even if it’s only through the pain and the paint he will never be forgotten as one of best friends. Within the piece the actor transitions between being an adult and being a child at different ages in her memory. (*Performance may be done by any gender student with the permission of the writer. The actor will have to do sign language throughout, but amount is up to the performer.)

Blood on These Hands

  • (Scene opens with Cali, a young woman in her late teens. She is painting something. While she paints, she moves a little as if there is music playing. She steps back to look at her work, she laughs, it’s terrible but she doesn’t care she’s having fun. She begins to go back to painting but there is, what looks like a pain in her ear, she tries to shake it off, but then she puts the paint brush back and removes her hearing aids from both ears and taps her ears, yawns, trying to get the ringing in her ears to stop. She puts the hearing aids away and addresses the audience. She speaks with affected speech; she is partially deaf but also uses sign language to communicate. *Actor/ actress may sign as much or as little as they choose within the performance.)


    I can deal with being deaf, but it’s the ringing in my ears that I hate. I could never get use to the ringing. It comes and goes. Sometimes I will go for days, nothing, just silence. But today I’ve tried everything, recharging the hearing aids that aren’t really aides at all, more of a pain in my ass than anything else. (The ringing hits her hard again, it looks painful.) Damn it! (Beat) I’m sorry. I would honestly rather have pain anywhere else but in my head. It feels like someone is rearranging my brain, literally moving pieces around, shaking me whenever the feeling hits 'em and falling asleep again. Those are the moments of normalcy. When the ringing stops. (Looking back at her painting.) As normal as life can be, I suppose. (Really dissecting the picture) I haven’t decided if I’m being punished or if I’m just living in a world of “Constant reminders” of the things that I’ve done. (Smiles) No I wasn’t some felon; I didn’t rob banks or bully some poor innocent soul in high school. (Laughs, that changes) No, nothing like that. I’m not as together as I appear. I’m (Beat) “on the spectrum” as they say now. Sounds like I’m about to take flight (Posing like a superhero) “Jump on Mickey Manover, we are on our way to the spectrum!!!!!” (Laughing) It’s the nice way of saying I’m “slow.”