LaurA! Force Scruggs

EMISSARY

A Story of Loss, Healing Love & Fairies

Cast of Characters

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA:  Free-spirited aunt who couldn’t love her nieces more.

DAKE:  MORA’s husband, DESTINY’s uncle; logical, loving and creative.

DESTINY:  A very smart young girl, who ponders things deeply and can be extremely serious as well as wild.

SADIE:  DESTINY’s mom, MORA’s sister, an amazing mother who teaches DESTINY to not be afraid.

Time

A happy time of healing & much love & funness

Place

Chicago, IL and Fairyland

(Opens with a bare stage; AUNT MORA is possibly wearing fairy wings)

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

And now, a tale of Destiny…

Kubiando!

Legend has it that 27 years ago, at the first Spoutwood Farm Fairy Festival, after a spiral dance, a two year old girl, nicknamed Sweet Pea, started saying,

Kubi, Kubi, Kubi, Kubiando! 

No one knew what it meant, but maybe a fairy whispered it to her and the people of the festival decided it means the bliss of home.

My five year old niece, Destiny, is a home of mine.

It is written by Dora Van Gelder in the book, “The Real World of Fairies,” that

The fairy can control their heart center, and that is how they get into touch with things around them, particularly living beings. When they want to respond to a plant, they make their heart beat at the same pulse as the plant.

I feel like Destiny and I’s hearts are in synchrony.

I love fairies and have taken Destiny to a few fairy festivals.

One night, my mom, sister Sadie/Destiny’s mom and I were going to watch West Side Story together.

Destiny asked,

DESTINY

Mommy, what is West Side Story about?

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

Sadie said, knowing her daughter could handle it,

SADIE

Well, it’s about people fighting and they shouldn’t have and Tony gets shot in the end.

DESTINY

Well, if they made the movie a little longer, a mermaid fairy could magic him back alive.

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

Destiny is one of the most alive people I know.

When Destiny is coloring at the dinner table, and is asked to close her eyes for prayer, she does, but does not stop coloring!

When Destiny was about two, someone asked her,

Destiny, can you say thank you?

She replied,

DESTINY

Yes.

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

I love how literal she is!

I aspire to be an Aunt Fun to Destiny the way Ted Frankel, former owner of a novelty toystore in Chicago, is an Uncle Fun to me and many others.  Like Steve Presser, owner of Big Fun, another fun toy store, says,

Ted doesn’t have any biological children, but I don’t know of anyone who has more kids.  It’s like the trouble with Tribbles, only there isn’t any trouble.

I want to be like Uncle Fun, always creating jokes, like putting signs on things like the Star Trek potato heads that say Starch Trek and Beam Me Up, Totty and telling you that the plaster people aren’t drunk, they’re just made out of plaster. 

And he is slow to anger.  Ted says that

‘I don’t normally get mad, but when I do, you know, it’s good.  My body knows what anger feels like. When I do, I think,

‘Oh, this is what anger feels like, and I don’t really want to go there, but I enjoyed it while I was there. So, thanks for visiting, bye!’ ‘

I will never forget when Destiny was born. 

She was born on Dec. 1st.

The next day, in the same hospital, my husband and I found out….that I had lost my baby.  I’d been pregnant for about three months – someone told me that Destiny is my lost soul coming back to me…I don’t know about that, but, I feel very strongly that she has some of my genes.

One time I was taking her to the bathroom at her house. I thought she might want some privacy as my husband was in the kitchen right by the bathroom – and so I shut the door behind us – and immediately, she just started laughing and running around the bathroom for several minutes – I thought, ‘Is she ok?’ and then realized that that’s what people say to me all the time,

Mora, are you okay?

Yeah, I’m just being myself.

I hope Destiny never loses her fearless sense of self, pure joy and sense of play.

Once it was time to leave our house and she said,

DESTINY

No, I didn’t play well.

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

I am inspired by Destiny to play well!  Dora Van Gelder says that there are only degrees of play in the lives of fairies.

Destiny was a lion for her first Halloween. For a while after that, every holiday was Halloween to Destiny.  Someone would say something about Thanksgiving or Christmas or any holiday and she’d go,

DESTINY

Oh, lion?

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

So, once, when she was being a lion, another adult said,

Destiny, you’re a girl.

DESTINY

I’m a lion. Raaaawrrr!!!

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

I hope she roars forever.

I feel like, instead of how other animals are surrounded by natural enemies, Destiny is surrounded by natural friends, as the fairies are.

One time when I was leaving Destiny’s house and had packed up my bags, Destiny put some of her toys on top of my bags.  I don’t know why she did that – but it made me feel good that she put her stuff with mine.

So, a few years ago, my husband and I moved from Rogers Park in Chicago (after being there for 12 years) to be less than a block from my sister, her husband and Destiny, in the Logan Square neighborhood.

One day, while we were watching Destiny, I felt bad because she had gotten an ouchie from falling off the rocking chair. Her mom/my sister, Sadie said,

SADIE

Destiny, what happens to ouchies?

DESTINY

They get better.

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

My husband, Dake and I are still recovering from our loss, but getting better, with Destiny’s help.

One day, Destiny asked my sister to draw a picture of our family growing up. So my sister drew a picture of my mom, dad, brother, herself and me in front of our house at 1409 Chadwick in Normal, Illinois. And Destiny asked,

DESTINY

Where’s Uncle Dake?

SADIE

Aunt Mora hadn’t met Uncle Dake yet.

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

So…Sadie drew Dake in the sky. 

SADIE

Notice, she didn’t ask where her father was!

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

One night, Destiny told her dad,

DESTINY

Now you be Uncle Dake and help me with my animals.

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

And then, 40 minutes later, she called out,

DESTINY

Uncle Dake, help me!

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

And one day, Destiny looked at Dake and said,

DESTINY

Desti – Dake!

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

One day, Dake and I were taking care of Destiny and she accidentally called him

DESTINY

Dada!

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

My husband is very logical and he responded,

DAKE

My name is Dake, Uncle Dake.

DESTINY

Dada, dada, dada!

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

Then, Destiny thought for a moment and said,

DESTINY

Uncle Dada.

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

We asked their real dada if this was okay with him and he’s all right with it.

Destiny also was teasing Dake one day, calling him

DESTINY

Uncle Pretty!

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

Dake didn’t care, he said,

DAKE

Yeah, I’m pretty.

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

and the name stuck.

And once, when Destiny was about two, we were babysitting her and Dake was going to the basement for some ice.

DESTINY
Where is Uncle Dake going?

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA
To the basement for some ice, he’ll be right back.

DESTINY
Ice with meee!

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

And she ran to Uncle Dake, took his hand and went to the basement with him.

I love her determination and assertiveness.

I am still recovering from my loss, but, with Destiny’s help, my ouchie is getting better.

Destiny told me one night, during her bath time,

DESTINY

This is a baby duck and my mommy is the mommy duck and sometimes you can be my mommy.

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

Someone told me my miscarriage experience has been like a falling star…a glimpse of things to come, that I will get the permanent star and that it’s a validation of what I want.  

I remember my sister once told me that Destiny had a new tooth coming in and she said,

SADIE

We decided to be excited about it.

NARRATOR/AUNT MORA

I don’t know what is next for me, but I have decided to be excited about it!

PDF of Play:

I feel like there is a stigma about therapy and I am very happy to have participated in it for several years now, both alone with my own personal therapists and with my husband with a couples therapist.  I infinitely appreciate this forum to address the topic of miscarriage, as I feel it is not talked about enough.  I had no idea until it happened to me how many people I knew had experienced miscarriages, and one of the things that has helped me the most in healing from mine has been to hear the stories of others.  Thank you for this opportunity to share my story.

My name is LaurA! Force Scruggs and I am a published, produced and commissioned Chicago playwright. My play, “Punk Grandpa,” was formerly published by Chicago Dramaworks (before it shut down) and is now published/licensed by PlayScripts Online (https://playscripts.online/shop/punk-grandpa). My short play, “Bossy,” (about teaching theatre despite the red tape of working at a big city government-run park system and a complicated relationship with a uniquely loving grandma) is in the process of being published and licensed by Stage-Write Plays. I am a 2020 Playwright in Residency at Three Cat Productions in Chicago, where I am writing a play about Jane Addams (and the impact of childhood upon her career and her work with children at Chicago’s Hull House), which will tentatively be produced in 2022 (postponed due to COVID-19). I have been produced by Three Cat Productions, Three Brothers, Unity Players, Vintage Theatre Collective, Chicago Fringe and Elgin Fringe in Chicagoland. I have also been produced by Orlando Fringe, as well as Planet Connections Theatre Festivity and FRIGID in New York City. I was commissioned to write an adaptation of Macbeth, from Lady Macbeth’s perspective, set in the context of the modern day American government, by Three Brothers Theatre. My adaptation, “The Magic of Ladie M.,” had readings at Three Brothers’ Waukegan Theatre Festival and Three Cats’ New Work Festival in Chicago, both in 2018. My play, “Heart of Fairy” (explored concepts of womanhood and motherhood through the unique lens of a fairy, challenging audiences to think outside the normal ideals of gender and identity) was produced as part of Three Cat’s season in Chicago in 2019 and is in the process of being published by Smith Scripts out of the UK. I am also a member of The Dramatists’ Guild, Playwrights’ Center, New Play Exchange, NYC TheaterMakers’ Studio, International Centre for Women Playwrights and a former Network Playwright at Chicago Dramatists.  Here is my link on the New Play Exchange:  https://newplayexchange.org/users/40322/laura-scruggs.

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