All Our Red-Reds

ALL OUR RED-REDS
by BJ Crisostomo

Characters
Den
Prilly
Doll
Ball

The stage opens as Den
plays by the edge of the stage
He is humming something—
a song reminiscent of childhood games.

DEN:
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Again and again. Tick. Tock. Tick. Again and again. (Stops his little dance) Look. There’s one! And another and another. I see it all making a beautiful sparkle of different shades of red! Tick. Tick. Tock. Tickity tick. Always this beautiful sea of red-red.

Den stops and picks up a shard from the pile.
DEN:
I wonder who’s this is. They all kind’a look a like but not really. No not really. Boys’ red-reds are sharp and jagged. Girls’ red-reds are round and carved. (Den throws the shard back to the pool) No matter. I wonder where they are. (Den Stops to call his friends). Ball! Doll! Prilly! Where could they be? I wonder where they could be. Wonder. Wondering. Wondering wonderful thoughts.

PRILLY:
Never again. Again but not now, maybe. I don’t want to. I lost it somewhere here. Well I don’t know. The river flows all over. Over here and over there. I lost is. No. We lost it. I is not we. But the bottom line is that I lost it. Where is it? I’ll lose it never again.

DEN:
What did you lose Pretty Prilly in her pretty Prilly pink dress, my little look-and-see?

PRILLY:
Lose? Me? No we lost it. Didn’t we? We lost it it and I can’t find it.

DEN:
What did we lose then?

PRILLY:
Something red and pretty. Red. Red. My pretty red-red.
DEN:
My pretty Prilly’s red-red, we lost? When did we lose it then?

PRILLY:
I don’t remember. Maybe yesterday. Or the day before that. We’re always here. Remember. We’re always playing here. That I remember but I don’t remember where I lost my red-red. I don’t remember.

DEN:
What were we doing? Do you remember? Maybe it’ll help if you knew what we were doing.

PRILLY:
Tickity-Tickity. Playing Tickity-Tickity-Tock. Always playing Tickity-Tickity-Tock you and me.

DEN:

(Taking out a red-red from the river)
Is this it?

PRILLY:
No. Not that one. Mine is small a circle. Circle a small a Prilly pretty. Round pretty Prilly me.

DEN:
This one maybe?

(Takes another one from the river)

PRILLY:
No. That one’s all broken. Broken all over. Mine’s only a bit chipped.

(Points to her chest and mimes chips and cracks in meticulously chosen spots)

A crack may be here—tiny, tiny, and a blotch over there just tiny, tiny. I’ve been taking oh so good care of it.

DEN:
Maybe Doll and Ball would know. It’s so many. Many many red-reds pretty like Pretty Prilly but not pretty like pretty Prilly. It’s impossible we find your red-red in all of this alone, just the two of us. Doll and Ball they’re late.

PRILLY:
No one’s late around here. Never ever late around here. We’re all on time. Everyday on time to play Tickity-Tickity-Tock.

DEN:
Then let’s wait. They’ll come. We always come here to play Tickity-Tickity-Tock, the lot of us. They’ll come and we’ll be complete. A happy group to play a game of Tickity-Tickity Tock.

PRILLY:
But waiting’s boring. Nothing ever happens when we wait. Waiting is equal to nothing happening. Boring.

DEN:
Then let’s play Tickity-Tickity-Tock, the two of us.

PRILLY:
But mine’s lost. How can we play Tickity-Tickity-Tock without my red-red?

DEN:
Then let’s use mine— We used yours the day before and the day before that. Mine’s as good a red-red to play Tickity-Tickity-Tock as pretty Prilly’s.

PRILLY:
Are you sure?

DEN:
Surely sure.

PRILLY:
It might get a wack here. But only tiny tiny—and a blotch maybe there—only tiny tiny. We’ll take care won’t we?

DEN:
Then I’m not sure if I’d like to play if it could get scratched and blotched.

PRILLY:
It’s not fair.
(Goes to a corner and sulks)

DEN:
If it’s only a little then maybe it’s ok.

PRILLY:
Yup. Yup. Only a tiny tiny little bit. I’ll be careful I promise.

DEN:
Ok then. Here’s mine. Be careful. Be sure.
(Takes a red-red and throws it)

PRILLY:
I know. I know. Close your eyes already.

(The two play a game of Tickity-Tickity-Tock. The game is actually simple. They throw a red-red in the river, close their eyes and try to find it again amidst all the other red-reds.)

PRILLY:
Come on close your eyes.

(Throws the red-red into the river)

DEN:
Ok.

DEN and PRILLY:
Roses are red. Violets are blue. One thing’s for sure is that I’ll always love you.

PRILLY:
Okay open your eyes.

DEN:
Is that it?

PRILLY:
No not that one.
(Kisses DEN on the cheek—lipstick stays on DEN’s cheek)

DEN:
What’s that for pretty Prilly?

PRILLY:
I don’t know. (Thinks) Because you made a mistake.

DEN:
Pretty Prilly—is it that one?

PRILLY:
Wrong again.
(Kisses DEN on another cheek)

DEN:
Stop it. No new rules for Tickity Tickity Tock until everyone gets here.

PRILLY:
Ok. Ok. I promise.
DEN:
You promise?

PRILLY:
Cross my heart.

DEN:
Sure.

PRILLY:
Cross my heart hope to die.

(Crosses her fingers behind her back)

DEN:
Is it that one? No the other one? Tickity Tickity Tock where is it?

(PRILLY kisses twice on the cheek, once on the lips)

DEN:
Wait where is it? I don’t know where it is.

PRILLY:
Don’t worry, you’ll find it. You’re mostly red.

DEN:
You promised you wouldn’t lose it. I’ll never believe in you again.
(Goes to a corner)

PRILLY:
You lost mine the day before or the day before that.
(Goes to her own corner)

(A silence fills the stage as DOLL and BALL enters)

BALL:
Gosh we’re late.

DOLL:
How can we be late? We’re always here.

BALL:
Yep, but look! The river seems to be going up a little.

DOLL:
I don’t notice anything new with the river.
BALL:
It’s only small, Doll.

DOLL:
But Ball, I don’t notice anything wrong with the river.

BALL:
Only tiny. Tiny. Two red-reds higher maybe. Look—
(He points. Stops when his finger reaches DEN sitting glumly by a corner and then looks the opposite direction to see PRILLY in a similar position)
Not again.
(A silence. BALL and DOLL look at each other. Nods and then play a game Rock Paper Scissors. No one seems to win as they are only stalling. In the end BALL points to PRILLY and walks towards her. DOLL then does the same for herself and points to DEN.)

BALL:
Why so glum?

DOLL:
Something wrong?

BALL:
For upside-down smiles one never gained in fun and games.

DOLL:
Come one smile a right-up-side smile.

(DOLL and BALL fancy PRILLY and DEN to smile.)

BALL:
See there you go. Wide, big and happy.

DEN:
Stop it. The both of you. You’re not helping. Not helping my lost Red-red to be found and lost no more. (to Prilly) Scratched and Botched! We’ll find all right, scratched and botched!

BALL:
What happened?

DEN:
Happening.

BALL:
Happened? Happening. What’s the difference? Happy. That may be the right word.

DEN:
She lost my red-red.

BALL:
What’s wrong with that? Doll always loses my red-red.

DOLL:
And he never ever gets mad.

BALL:
Because we’d always find it the next day or the next. Imagine if we had a million red-reds.

DOLL:
The no one will ever be glum-gloomy upside-down smiley.

BALL:
Sure. That’s for sure.

DEN:
I’ll never find again.

DOLL:
Never say never ever. Forever never say never ever.

BALL:
Surely-doodle-doo.

PRILLY:
Come on. I promise I’ll find it. Cross my heart
(She crosses her fingers again.)
BALL:
See.

DOLL:
She’s sorry.

BALL:
¬¬Rightside Upside the upside-down smile.
(They do it)
Isn’t that all better? Now shake hands.
(Den and Prilly stand up to approach one another)

DEN:
Promise?

PRILLY:
Cross my heart. Two pinky promise.

BALL:
Yehey! Hooray!

DOLL:
Now what do we do, Ball?

BALL:
Doll, I don’t know.

PRILLY:
We can play Tickity-Tickity-Tock.

DOLL:
That sounds fun.

BALL:
Really fun.

DEN:
But we’ve no more red-reds. How can we play Tickity-Tickity-Tock?

BALL:
I’ve still got mine.

DOLL:
Me too. Got mine right here.
(Points to her chest)

DEN:
You sure? It might get lost, like mine. Down the river it went.

PRILLY:
Don’t be such a sour puss. I promised I’d find it didn’t I?

DEN:
Maybe we should never ever play Tickity-Tickity-Tock again. We always lose our red-reds.

PRILLY:
No!

DOLL:
That’s the only never ever that should be. Forever never ever to stopping Tickity-Tickity-Tock.

BALL:
Then what’ll we do if we stop? There’d be nothing to do but Tickity-Tickity-Tock everyday.

DEN:
We could always do something else. Another game with our red-reds. Maybe we could just hide them away and never ever show them to anyone else.

DOLL:
Never ever?

DEN:
Yep. Forever never ever. We can’t keep playing with our red-reds so rough and clumsy-like. One day, they’ll break and never ever with our Red-reds can we play again.

DOLL:
That’d be boring. A playing played broken red-red is better than not doing anything which is boring.

BALL:
Deadly dead boring. We’d be doing nothing,

DEN:
Nothing’s nothing Ball. Don’t we try it just this once?

BALL:
Okay. Sure. Just this one time. And we’ll stop if it’s deadly dead boring.

DOLL:
You sure Ball?

BALL:
I’m sure Doll.

PRILLY:
This doesn’t sound like fun.

DEN:
Come on guys, for me. Just this once. You still owe me for losing my red-red.

PRILLY:
Okay.

DEN:
Okay. Ball, Doll, since you two are the only ones left with red-reds, me and Prilly will try to find them. We’ll close our eyes then count to ten. You’ll hide your red-reds and we’ll try to find them.

BALL:
(Unsurely) Sure.

DOLL:
(Agreeing with BALL) Sure.

BALL:
Close your eyes.

DOLL:
And count to ten.

DEN: PRILLY:
1 1

(BALL and DOLL cross each other, trying to find a place to hide their red-reds.)

DEN: PRILLY:
2 2

(They still can’t find a place to hide them. They stammer and scamp.)

DEN: PRILLY:
3 3
4 4
5 5

(BALL and DOLL start to panic. Turning to the left, the right. Moving forward, backward.)

DOLL: BALL:
Where? God, where?
Please? Where, God, where?

PRILLY: DOLL: DEN: BALL:
6 6
7 Aha! 7 Aha!

(DOLL and BALL crosses the stage, meeting at the center, exchanging red-reds again and again.)

PRILLY: DOLL: DEN: BALL:
8 8
9 Oh no! 9 What’ll we do?

PRILLY: DEN:
10 10

(On the last second Ball and Doll throw their red-reds to the river.PRILLY and DEN catches them as they take off their hands from their eyes.)

DEN:
What did you do?

PRILLY:
It’s Tickity-Tickity-Tock all over again.

BALL:
Well your game was boring. Nothing was happening.

DOLL:
Nothing could ever happen if we hide our red-reds forever.

DEN:
Nothing’s nothing. Everything even nothing is something.

PRILLY:
Well what can we do if the red-reds are missing? All our red-reds are missing. Forever ever missing.

BALL:
Well we can play Tickity-Tickity-Tock.

PRILLY:
Sure. Is that yours Ball?

DOLL:
No I think that one’s mine.

DEN:
Well if we’re going to play Tickity-Tickity-Tock, the least we can do is to do it correctly. Else we shouldn’t do it at all, should we?

BALL:
Okay.
ALL:
Roses are red. Violets are blue. But one thing’s for sure is that I’ll always love you.
BALL:
That one’s yours Doll. Isn’t that yours?

DOLL:
Maybe it’s a part of mine.

BALL:
I don’t know. It kind’a looks like mine.

DEN:
Hey Prilly, I think that’s mine.

BALL:
No that’s Doll’s.

DEN:
All of the red-reds look alike.

PRILLY:
All blotched and scratched.

DEN:
Some are even broken.

PRILLY:
Broken to pieces.

DOLL:
But won’t you always know which red-red is yours?

BALL:
Yes I agree. I know Doll’s red-red by heart.

DEN:
Are you sure that wasn’t my red-red or another’s red-red?

BALL:
No I’m sure. But I have to touch it and feel it.

DOLL:
I know. Why don’t we do swimming in the pool of red-reds?

DEN:
Won’t that hurt?

PRILLY:
I don’t know. Maybe if we tried—

DEN:
No.

PRILLY:-
Ok no.

BALL:
Well I’m not sure whose red-red is who’s anymore. Can’t we try and find them?

DOLL:
Maybe it’s too late. The river went up a little.

DEN:
Isn’t pretty all the re-reds together scratched, blotched and broken forever ever?

PRILLY:
Maybe that’s mine. That would be yours. And that yours. And that by the other side of the shore might be yours.

BALL:
We won’t know if we touch won’t we?

DOLL:
Tomorrow we’ll find it. Tomorrow we will else there’d be nothing to do anymore.

BALL:
Why not now?

DOLL:
The river won’t open up. It’s too late to find our red-reds and play another round of Tickity-Tickity-Tock.

DEN:
You’re going home already?

BALL:
The river won’t go away. We can try to find all or red-reds tomorrow. It’s late. The river went up tiny tiny— maybe two red-reds high.

DEN:
I don’t notice it. Do you my pretty Prilly?

PRILLY:
I think I do. Two red-reds. That’s for sure. Forever sure.

DOLL:
It’s too late. I think I’m going to go home.

BALL:
Me too.

PRILLY:
Yes me too.

DEN:
Tomorrow then we’ll find our red-reds and play another round of Tickity-Tickity-Tocky.

PRILLY:
Yep, Den. Tomorrow we’ll play another round of Tickity-Tickity-Tock but for now we have to go home. It’s getting late.

DEN:
Goodbye then.

PRILLY:
Won’t you go home too?

DEN:
It’s too early for me to go home. I’ll stick around and try to find your red-red. I lost it yesterday or the day before that. Don’t you remember?

PRILLY:
Don’t be too late then.

DEN:
We’re never early never late. We’re just here or there. Don’t worry I’ll find your red-red and we’ll play Tickity-Tickity-Tock again tomorrow.

PRILLY:
Ok. Good bye, Den.

DEN:
Bye Prilly. Ball and Doll remember to be here tomorrow.

BALL:
Sure.

DOLL:
Sure. We’ve nothing else to do anyway.

PRILLY:
Come it’s getting late.

(PRILLY, BALL and DOLL leave.)

DEN:
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Again and again. Tick. Tock. Again and again. Look there’s one! And another! And another! I see it all making a sparkle of different shades of red! Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tockity. Always this beautiful sea of red-reds.

(The light dims as DEN is doing his little dance.)

-CURTAIN-

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