Characters: Mrs. Felder, Deputy Lowe, Mark, Bruce, and Narrator
Narrator: The morning dawns on the Felder home. Mrs. Felder is humming the tune to Roy Orbison's Only the Lonely as she bustles about the kitchen fixing breakfast.
Mrs. Felder: (Humming) Only the lonely knows how I feel this morning! (she smiles)
Narrator: Mrs. Felder reaches for a medicinal canister of leaves on the kitchen window sill. She dumps the entire can into the coffee filter and then adds the coffee grounds.
Mrs. Felder:(Humming) Only the lonely knows that this feeling ain't right. (she chuckles and loads a platter full of food)
Narrator: Mark and Bruce have moved close enough to the house to see inside the open window. They can hear Mrs. Felder humming and singing. They begin to whisper.
Mark: Do you think that's strange?
Bruce: What do you mean dad?
Mark: Mrs. Felder's attitude. She was scared and terribly upset last night after the deputy’s veiled threats.
Bruce: Yes, you're right. She should be worried; I hope she's alright.
Mrs. Felder:Deputy Lowe bring that platter of salty bacon, ham, and sausage please.
Deputy Lowe: Yes ma'am.
Narrator: Mrs. Felder and Deputy Lowe each carry things to the table outside to the patio table. She jogs back to the kitchen and gets the large pot of coffee and brings it outside as well.
Deputy Lowe:Mrs. Felder, do you normally fix this much food?
Mrs. Felder:(bats her eyes) Oh, Deputy Lowe, you just don't know how nice it is to have someone look out for me. Not since my Emil died several years ago have I felt so safe. Are you married, Deputy Lowe? Do you have a family, a son perhaps? Let me get you more coffee.
Narrator: She refills his cup not waiting for the answers to her questions.
Deputy Lowe:Mrs. Felder this is just an official visit, and I’m not married. I’m trying to make sure that you and your neighbors realize that the Willises cannot be trusted. I believe completely that even if Mark Willis is alive, he would say anything to protect his son.
Mrs. Felder:I'm sure you're right. Well I guess I just didn't want you to go away hungry, and quite truthfully, I forgot how much a man can eat. Please have some more if you would like. It must be a dreadfully lonely profession you are in. A life without family is terribly lonely. (emphasis lonely)
Deputy Lowe:I will need to be on my way this morning to the next house. I believe you understand the seriousness now. I'm glad that you do. I'd sure hate for anything to happen to you. (he gives her a deadly serious stare)
Narrator: She fills his cup again and places salty bacon on his plate. Then Bruce whispers to Mark.
Bruce: Dad, did you see her eyes snap, I wonder what she might have up her sleeve.
Mrs. Felder: Mr. Lowe, I mean, Deputy Lowe, may we talk about some other subject? You are frightening an old woman, and I do not want to run into the house and spend the entire day indoors just yet. That would be almost as lonely as you must be, driving around trying to protect everyone, all by your lonesome. (Emphasize bold words)
Deputy Lowe: Sure. Whatever. (he says with his mouth full)
Mark: She is about to blow her top! (he whispers)
Mrs. Felder:(takes a deep breath)What is your favorite movie of all time?
Deputy Lowe:I dun-no. (he says mumbling)
Narrator: She fills a large Styrofoam cup, as the Deputy begins to leave.
Mrs. Felder:(smiling) This coffee is for the road. And by the way, my favorite movie is one with Cary Grant. Don't you just love Cary Grant? I do. He was quite the lady's man back in my day. One of his early films was a comedy entitled Arsenic and Old Lace. Have you heard of it?
Narrator: The Deputy shakes his head no and takes a large drink of coffee which is immediately refilled by Mrs. Felder.
Mrs. Felder:Oh, let me tell you about it! (she claps)
Deputy Lowe:Sure (he says grumpily)
Mrs. Felder:Mortimer—that is, Cary Grant—has just gotten married, and he has to tell his two maiden, elderly aunts that he is married and leaving them. He discovers, however, that they are touched in the head. You know,(pause) crazy?
Deputy Lowe:Yeah, sure. (he mumbles and rolls his eyes)
Narrator: They begin to walk around the house towards his pickup.
Mrs. Felder:Mortimer discovers that his aunts have a pastime of killing lonely old men by putting arsenic in their wine and burying them in the basement. (she giggles) Mortimer thinks that maybe insanity runs in the family. He wonders how he will break that news to his new wife. The way they hide the bodies is so funny. Oh, well, you just need to rent it sometime. (her tone changes from playful to serious) I think you will find in interesting, a smart man like you. (she locks her own deadly stare to his this time)
Narrator: It dawns on the deputy that he's the only one drinking coffee and that she must've put something in it, so he throws it away. He doesn't wait to say good bye. He hurriedly drives away. Mrs. Felder smiles and waves good-bye, as she returns to the house she hums the Death March.
Bruce:Dad she couldn't have...
Mark:I don't think she could.
Mrs. Felder:Oh, boys, you can come out now! He's gone!
Mark:You go first.
Bruce: No, you go first. (they come out slowly together)
Mrs. Felder:Praise God! I have been praying that you two were all right. I just felt like you were close last night. This morning when the food was gone, I knew for sure. Come, eat, and tell me all about what's happened.
Mark: No coffee for me, Mrs. Felder, Thank you though.
Narrator: Mrs. Felder doubles over in laughter.
Bruce: Tell me; you didn't really poison him did you?
Mrs. Felder: No, dear child. I would never do anything like that. However, a few of my Senna leaves may have gotten into the coffee grounds and brewed with the coffee. How dare he threaten me! Doesn't he know that the only thing this ninety-year-old has to look forward to is death? He's going to wonder for a while, though, whether he has been poisoned or not. I hope he makes it back to town before he has to go to the bathroom. (chuckling and then laughing)
Bruce: Mrs. Felder, what are Senna leaves?
Mrs. Felder:Sweety, it is one of nature's laxatives. As much as Deputy Lowe drank, I'd say he should be clean as a whistle by tomorrow. (all erupt into laughter)