(Lights up. A modest kitchen with yellow cabinets, white walls, a fridge, a stove, and a sink with a window above it. Yellow and white curtains frame the window, and there’s an island in the middle of the stage with two bar stools. Various nick-knacks make this a well-lived in area. A large, plain box sits in the middle of the island
(PENNY enters from the left door. She’s dressed in business attire and juggling keys, a purse, and the mail as she enters the room. She places her stuff on the counter and glances at the box before moving to the other entrance)
Hey honey! I’m home.
(FRANK enters through the archway. He’s casually dressed and wiping his hands on a tea-towel)
Hey hon. How was work?
(rolls her eyes)
As exciting as usual. Hey, what’s in the box?
What do you mean? I found it on the doorstep a few hours ago and figured it was something you ordered. You do enjoy your online shopping.
No, that’d be you.
(examines the box)
You didn’t open it?
I didn’t have time to. I’ve been fixing the bathroom sink like you asked.
(inspects the box)
Well, if I didn’t order it, and you didn’t order it, where did it come from?
(PENNY and FRANK stand on either side of the box. They lean down in unison and place their ear to the box. A loud Tick-Tick-Tick is heard. They both jump back)
It’s a bomb! Oh god, oh god!
Calm down! Who’s going to send you a bomb? It’s probably a clock or something. I’ll open it and see.
NO! Don’t touch it. I’ll call the police.
Let’s not get them involved until we know for sure. Besides, if it hasn’t gone off by now…
That’s what I’m afraid of! If it hasn’t gone off by now, how much time do we have left? Oh god!
(PENNY is pacing. FRANK comes around the island and grabs her by the shoulders)
Penny! Stop this. It’s not a bomb.
It could be! I’m a lawyer, Frank. I piss people off all the time.
I know, honey, but you’re a small claims lawyer. No one from small claims is sending you a bomb. Just let me open it an I’ll prove it to you.
NO! What if you lift the lid and it explodes? I should call the cops. Detective Morgan will know what to do.
Penny! IT’S NOT A BOMB! Christ, why don’t you ever listen to me?
Maybe because you’re ALWAYS WRONG! You were wrong about investing our savings in the stock market, you were wrong about how easy it would be to flip this house, and you were wrong about letting our daughter join the military. YOU’RE ALWAYS WRONG!
Don’t you dare blame me for Charlotte. You helped her fill out her application! You took her to the meetings when she couldn’t drive! Her death isn’t on me…it’s on both of us.
(Silence prevails as PENNY and FRANK think about what’s been said. You can hear ticking in the background. It ticks five times and then goes quiet. They turn to the box)
Why’d it stop?
(FRANK goes to the box and opens it. PENNY gasps and braces herself for an explosion)
Penny, come here.
(PENNY slowly opens her eyes and goes to the box. FRANK pulls out an ornate clock)
I told you it wasn’t a bomb.
(PENNY pulls a letter from the box and begins reading it as FRANK inspects the clock)
Dear mom and dad,
I found this clock while on patrol and immediately thought of you. It’s a little old-fashioned, you’ll have to wind it up on occasion, but it’d be the perfect addition to the living room. I’m not sure when it’ll arrive, the postal system out here is pretty simple, but, with any luck, I’ll be there when you unbox it.
I miss you guys! Can’t wait to see you this Thanksgiving.
(PENNY and FRANK stare at each other as the lights fade to black.)
The prompt for this play was to “Pick an object and create a three-page scene based on that object.”
This is my interpretation. What’s yours?