A Play by Kevin O.

Performance: May 2003
Hillcrest Juvenile Hall, San Mateo

Time: Early summer, at night.
Place: In a panther house. It’s cold and foggy and it looks like a crazy night. It’s windy. There’s a lot of animals outside, but then it’s silent.
At Rise: Leslie, a black panther, is laying down, filing her claws. Cypress, the black panther, walks into the room, drinking juice out of a coconut.


(to the audience)
Whassup. I’m having a problem with Leslie. Ya know, She don’t want me to go out. She don’t want me to do the one wish I have. Remember, I told you about me going to the cemetery. Hoop-de-de-hoop. To find out if the spirits are real or not. Well, she’s sayin it’s too dangerous. And I might get hurt of something like that. But you kow I’m still gonna go no matter what. Cuz I’m curious about if the spirits are real – good or evil. And if they are real, they’ll probably tell me the future. Man, I’m just interested. What’s gonna happen?


(to Leslie)
Whassup? How you doin’? You lookin’ good. Would you like to go out tonight?
(He walks up to her and licks her on the cheek.)

Leslie: Go out where?

Oh well, you remember that one plan I was telling you about?


Oh no, not that one! We’ve been through this already!

Cypress: Yeah, I know, but I think tonight’s the night. Look sweetie. Look out there. When I was a kid, I was reading a story about ghosts. I don’t know, since then my heart just told me I gotta go. I gotta prove it to myself. If they’re real or not. The spirits.
Leslie: I know how it looks out there, but I still don’t wanna go out there. You know how I feel about that. Freaky and scary.

Well, Puppy Girl, I need your company. You’re the only one I have.
What am I doin’? She probably thinks I’m just using her. I’m gonna talk about her mansion a little bit.
(back to Leslie)
Plus, we could ask the spirits about our life. And see if you’re gonna get the mansion you were talking about.

Leslie: You always say that. How come you don’t get that off your mind?
Cypress: I can’t get it off my mind. That’s what I been wishin’ for my whole life. Come on, let’s go. I promise you it’ll be fun.
Leslie: If it was fun or not, I wouldn’t want to go because it’s too scary. And I wouldn’t want to risk my life there.
Cypress: You’re not gonna risk your life. We’re gonna go there and talk to them. And we gonna find out and we’re not sure if they’re real or not. And you’re makin’ it sound like you know about it already.
Leslie: I don’t have to know about it. How would like it if somebody goes to your home when you’re resting in peace. You’d probably attack them or something like that. . . .How come you never think about my mansion? How come we don’t check one out?
Cypress: Because we don’t have the money to go get one.
Plus, a mansion. These females are goin’ nuts. A mansion! Tzzzz.

Yeah, that’s true. But I’m still gonna keep tryin’ like you’re tryin’ about your little cemetery thing.

Cypress: Little! This is some serious stuff. This is not some little thing. We can ask them about your mansion or stuff that’s gonna happen that we don’t know. Like the future.
Leslie: No. No. I don’t want to know about no future. Little Hairball, I’m telling you the truth. I’m not scared, paranoid, none of that. I just think it’s stupid. I didn’t want to hurt your feelings. I’m sorry.
(Cypress throws his coconut drink on the floor.)

I didn’t know you was gonna go this far. I only wanted to go out there and see and check. I just wanted your company.
(Aside, turns away with a smile on his face)
Damn, I’m good.
(Cypress walks away to his room.)


(aside)What have I done? Oh my God. He’ll come back and talk to me. But it still bothers me.
(Thirty minutes go by.)
(Leslie walks into the room and sees Cypress packing up flashlights and putting them in a kangaroo bag.)


What are you doing?


What does it look like I’m doing? Look, I’ve been dreamin’ for this my whole life. This is the one chance I got. I read in the book before if it’s foggy and quiet and cold it’s because the spirits are out. So can you please come with me. Please. I’m begging you.

Leslie: Why do you need me again? Why can’t you just go by yourself?
Cypress: Because I’m scared of the dark. I’m scared of going by myself. And if they are there I need somebody by my side.
Leslie: Okay, Okay. Let’s go. Only cuz I love you.
(Leslie is getting her stuff ready too. She takes a sip of coconut juice and they out the door. Leslie stops Cypress.)
Leslie: You know why I didn’t want you to go. I’m scared of you dyin’. I don’t want you to die. That’s why I need you. You’re the only one I got.
Cypress: Sugar Pie, you’re the only one I have, too. I’m scared of you going away, too. I’m scared of you dyin’. How you need me, I need you in this moment. This very second. I love you.
Leslie: I love you too.
(They walk a few more blocks and they get to the cemetery.)
Cypress: Here we are.
(All of a sudden it gets more windy. And they find themselves in the middle of the cemetery. And he sees two Spirit Lions.)
Cypress: Oh my God! They are real.
(to Leslie)
Look, they are real. They are.
(He starts jumping up and down.)
Spirit Lion: Yeah, we know what you’re here for. Yes, we know the questions you’re giong to ask us. Yes, we can read your mind and we know how you been playin’ your girlfriend. Well, open your hairy ears cuz here goes everything you want to know: you’re not gonna die young. You’re gonna have a pretty good life. And Leslie. I can’t tell you much about your mansion. And see, we’re not so bad. We’re not evil. Now go on and don’t come back here again! We’re tryin’ to rest! Next time we won’t be so nice!
(Cypress and Leslie are walking away. They are in shock.)
Cypress: I told you they weren’t bad. They’re real! The book is true! The book is true!
(Cypress keeps jumping up and down all the way home.)
Cypress: Why you so quiet? How come you haven’t said anything? Why?
Leslie: My time will come.
Cypress: Yeah, It will come.
(He licks her on the cheek.)
(A few months later Leslie got her mansion. They had beautiful cubs together. And they happily ever after.)
    The End.