I Am A Pear

CHARACTERS:

KIERAN HARBER-GLASSLEY: A teenage boy, a senior in high school.

AVERY HARBER-GLASSLEY: Kieran’s younger sister. An eighth grader. Has a pentagram somewhere on her.

DANNY PIERCE: Kieran’s boyfriend, also a senior in high school.

JOHN GLASSLEY: Kieran and Avery’s dad.

MELANIE HARBER: Kieran and Avery’s mother.

Lights go on. KIERAN, AVERY, JOHN, and MELANIE are onstage. They are dressed semi-formal, and are setting up the dinner table for a semi-formal occasion. KIERAN is pacing around, fretting.

AVERY: (Jumping up and down) When is he coming? When is he coming?

KIERAN: Bug off, Avery, I’m already nervous as it is.

AVERY: I’m so excited! My brother has a booooooyfriend!

KIERAN: Shut up, Avery. As if I need my weirdo witch sister bothering me at a time like this.

AVERY: You don’t know what you’re talking about! I am not weird! I am good at being a witch!

MELANIE: Kieran, be nice to your sister.

Doorbell rings. KIERAN jolts. AVERY’S glee increases. KIERAN adjusts his shirt, brushes back his hair, and answers the door. AVERY giggles behind him. DANNY enters. He is brings a bouquet of flowers with him. No one notices it, but there’s a beat when AVERY sees DANNY. The light goes gray over her, and her entire attitude completely changes. 

KIERAN: Oh, Danny! That’s so sweet of you, come in, come in! Mom, Dad, this is Danny.

DANNY shakes MELANIE and JOHN’S hands.

DANNY: Hello, Mrs. Harber, Mr. Glassley. Great to meet you.

JOHN: Oh, please, call me John.

MELANIE: Call me Melanie.

The family is laughing together with DANNY, making small talk. AVERY is off to the side, sulking. The light darkens around everyone else except for her. 

AVERY: My brother should not be dating that boy.

Lights go back to normal. She joins the family as they start to eat dinner. AVERY sits next to KIERAN, and DANNY sits on the other side of him. The parents sit on the other side. As the conversation goes, AVERY proceeds to annoyingly and aggressively poke her brother in the arm.

KIERAN: — And then I told, Danny, well, if the Neutral Milk Hotel albums on vinyl are out of stock at — Avery, please stop poking me — then you should — Avery, please stop poking me — probably — AVERY.

AVERY makes her best begging dog face, as well as her best I-need-you-to-listen-to-me flail as possible. KIERAN simply glares at her.

JOHN: Please do not bother your brother, Avery.

KIERAN: Actually, I think I need to go to the bathroom, anyway.

KIERAN walks over to the side. AVERY follows him. The lights darken over DANNY and the parents, who are no longer paying attention to KIERAN or AVERY, and they continue a conversation as the two siblings talk to each other. 

Avery, what is your deal? I thought you were happy about my boyfriend. I thought you were happy about Danny. But now you gotta go and act all weird on me. Do you realize how much this means to me?

AVERY sulks, not answering her brother. She opens her mouth to say something, but instead looks down on the ground, and mumbles something unintelligible.

Avery.

No answer. KIERAN raises one eyebrow.

Avery, am I not the only one attracted to Danny here? Might I add, that he is a twelfth grader, and you are an eighth grader?

AVERY freezes. She blushes hard, and then panics, trying to hide it. KIERAN shakes his head.

AVERY: I don’t — you don’t —

KIERAN: Alright, then, Avery, just don’t start anything funny here. Especially not anything witchy. Be normal for once and keep this to yourself.

KIERAN turns to return back to the conversation with the family, but AVERY does not return with him. An idea spreads in her head. Lights go back to the rest of the family.

MELANIE: Avery? Are you going to join the family back again right now? We are having a very lovely conversation here, I daresay, your brother is dating a very wonderful guy.

AVERY: Coming, mom, I just think I’ll get the dessert.

AVERY leaves. She returns with pear cobbler, and serves it to the family. As she returns to her seat by KIERAN, a suspicious smile starts to form across her face that no one notices.

JOHN: Oh, pear cobbler! What a treat. Thank you, Avery. Danny, did you ever know that Kieran’s sister is absolutely fantastic at baking desserts?

The family starts to bite into the pear cobbler. They are all enjoying the food. Suddenly, KIERAN jolts. Something inside of him has changed, and he is most certainly not himself.

KIERAN: I am a pear.

Beat. MELANIE, JOHN, and DANNY exchange looks. AVERY’S grin widens.

DANNY: I’m sorry, what?

MELANIE: Kieran? Are you okay?

JOHN: Son?

KIERAN stands on the table, his movements oddly robotic. As he speaks, he begins kneel down, taking the shape of a pear. 

KIERAN: I am a pear. I have a stem on top. I have a green body which is narrow on the top. My bottom is very plump.

The family stares at him in stunned silence.

DANNY: Um … Okay …

MELANIE: I — I —

JOHN: Son, first you come out to us as gay, and now you are telling us that you are a pear. Any more secrets that you are hiding?

There’s a beat. Everyone except for KIERAN turns to look at him.

AVERY: What?

DANNY: Your own son is behaving this way, and that is honestly your response? I am ashamed of you.

MELANIE: John, what on Earth?

DANNY: You find your son being gay equivalent to him being a pear? That doesn’t make sense.

MELANIE: John, I —

KIERAN: I am a pear.

MELANIE: Well, you what, son, that is fine. (Turns around to JOHN, her voice quieter) Honey, what the hell.

DANNY: (Swallowing) For real, though.

As soon as DANNY swallows, KIERAN whips his head to stare at him. There is an awkward silence, and DANNY awkwardly coughs. AVERY’S mood starts to shift. She doesn’t say anything that gives it away, but she slowly starts to realize that this joke isn’t funny anymore.

KIERAN: You’re eating me, Danny.

AVERY and the parents stare at DANNY.

DANNY: What?

KIERAN: My body. You are eating me. I am a pear and you are eating me. In the cobbler.

DANNY awkwardly realizes what is going on. He vomits. 

My family is eating me.

KIERAN snaps his head back to staring in the original position.

I am being eaten. I am nothing more than a fruit to consume in your dessert.

DANNY: Kieran, I’m sorry, I’m really sorry, I didn’t realize —

KIERAN: I am a pear.

AVERY: Kieran —

KIERAN: I am a pear.

JOHN: Son, the thing I said was ridiculous of me, and I’m —

KIERAN: I am a pear.

MELANIE: Kieran, you know better than —

KIERAN: I am a pear.

Beat.

DANNY: Is all that you are going to say is that you’re a pear?

KIERAN: I am a pear.

MELANIE slowly starts to stare at AVERY. There’s a very long silence, but, eventually, JOHN starts to catch on, too. DANNY is confused.

MELANIE: Avery.

JOHN: Avery.

There’s a beat. AVERY curls up into a ball. DANNY cocks his head to the side, not understanding.

MELANIE: Did you lace your brother’s cobbler with potion again?

AVERY: (Quietly) Maybe.

MELANIE facepalms. JOHN shakes his head.

JOHN: You know the drill. You can’t use your magic on family members.

DANNY: What’s going on? I don’t understand.

AVERY: (Looking down, almost to a whisper) Let’s just say, whereas magic is a very regular practice for me, I think we all know that I’ve taken it too far this time.

DANNY: What?

AVERY stands up. She turns around to DANNY for one short moment, and smiles sadly at him.

AVERY: In order to free him, I must take on the curse I have given him.

The lights get very dark, except for at the table, where a very red light shows. She eats the last of KIERAN’S cobbler. KIERAN falls to the ground, limp. DANNY grabs him to make sure that he is okay. AVERY walks onto the table, and stands there, robotically still. The lights go off, and then go back. They are the normal way that they were before. 

I am a pear.

Lights go off. End of play.

 


Mercury Marvin Sunderland is a transgender autistic gay man who uses he/him. He attends The Evergreen State College, and his dream is to become the most banned author in human history. He’s been featured in five magazines, including The Dollhouse and Marathon Literary Review. He’s @RomanGodMercury on Instagram and Facebook.

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