River Walk Waterfall
a new play for one actress, in draft form
by Charles Raffetto
Original Production Team:
River Walk Waterfall
by Charles Raffetto
Mid-morning. An office. Sparsely furnished. A desk, a soft cushioned office chair, and a hard backed chair for guests. Behind the desk aimed at the guest's chair is a video camera. Janice picks up a case file and leafs through it. She drops it on the desk, leans back in her chair and sighs. The phone rings.
Janice Lauden. Hey honey. Yeah it went well. I am just going to start reading this case file. I don't know when I'll be home, so could you keep some dinner in the oven for me? I know I told you that with this job I would stop having so many late nights and I will, but until I get through this case I need to be here as late as necessary. The trial starts next week and the prosecution needs a full examination of the defendant as well as time to prepare their case after I give them my evaluation. I'm sorry, but I have to. Love you too. Bye.
JANICE hangs up phone and sighs. She picks up case file, opens it, begins to read.
Cate Fincher. 26 years old. Arrested April 23rd for the murder of Dr. Daniel Caru, her psychologist. She is pleading insanity. Of course she is. Fine then. Well then Cate, how did we murder Dr. Caru? The night of April 22nd, patrons of the Hive saw them leave the bar together around midnight. Around 12:40 AM witnesses along the River Walk saw Miss Fincher and Dr. Caru walking and talking. A heated discussion elevated into an argument, whereupon Miss Fincher ruthlessly beat Dr. Caru with his own cane. Due to Miss Fincher's viciousness, they were too scared to intervene. Miss Fincher was arrested around noon of the 23rd for murder. Upon examination of the victim the coroner found that the beating continued post mortem. So I guess we can rule out accidental death. Shit what time is it...11:25...time to meet Cate I guess.
(JANICE picks up phone and calls her receptionist.)
Lauren. I am ready to see Miss Fincher. No I don't need an orderly in session. Thank you, yes I know, just have her sent in and have him remain outside my office. Thank you.
(Hangs up phone.)
Thank you Henry. Yes just outside the door. Hello Cate, I am Dr. Lauden. I am going to be asking you some questions today about many different things, so if you could be honest with me I promise to be honest with you. Do you mind if I tape this session?
(She presses record on the camera behind her.)
Yes, I do have to. So just for the record, what is your name and age?
The actress playing JANICE at this point stands up, walks around desk to other chair shedding her glasses and lab coat. She speaks, now as CATE...
Cate Fincher. 26 years old. Any other information you need before we begin? I was born in Forked River, Tennessee. Way up in the mountains. My family were the only people around. I lived with my mom, Dorothy, my dad, Frank, and my two brothers, Jim and Raymond. Can I have a cigarette? Thank you. Next door, 2 miles away, my grandparents. 2 miles in the other direction, my uncles lived in a large run down farmhouse. The nearest non family member neighbor was 5 miles on the other side of my uncles. Did I have any friends? No, not really. The only kids I saw were at school, and my parents kept me at home a lot. I didn't need school though. I turned out just fine, well with the exception of...you know. I had a dog though. But I didn't like him. He bit me. My parents said that he ran away after that, but I know that's not true. My dad killed him. He took a stick and kept hitting my dog until he had died. They think that I didn't see, but I did. But it wasn't just the bite. He was always getting me into trouble. Like the time that he knocked over the radio. No one ever believed that I hadn't done it. Punishment? Yeah, I got punished. Thanks. I was spanked as a kid, but wasn't everybody? Sometimes worse than others. The worst? I don't remember.
Try harder? Fuck you, She was trying. You think this is easy. You probably can't even remember what you had for dinner last night let alone something that happened 14 years ago. I remember though. You know what I remember?
(Burns arms with cigarette and tosses it away.)
That's what I remember. Pain and
Nothing. Nothing. Who am I? My name is Hush. Cate had a normal childhood. She laughed and played with her family and her dog. She loved her family and they loved her. She baked cookies with her grandmother and went fishing with her grandfather. Her mother helped her dress her dolls and her father made a treehouse for her. It was the best family in the world. That was the extent of her childhood. Right now Cate is tired and is going to go to sleep. You may stop asking her questions now.
Transition from CATE to JANICE.
Well I can see that we aren't going to get anywhere right now so if Cate could return I'll have Henry return you to your room for awhile, okay?
(JANICE walks to door.)
Henry, could you take Miss Fincher to her room for lunch and a rest please. Thank you.
JANICE turns off camera and sits in her chair
Well that was interesting. Multiple personalities huh?
(Picks up phone and dials)
This is Dr. Janice Lauden from the Satis Institute. Yes, I would like to talk to Aaron Wilson please. Its in reference to the Cate Fincher case. Thank you. Aaron. Hello. Janice Lauden. Yes. You would not believe what just happened when I interviewed Miss Fincher. Two other personalities showed up. No they aren't real. It's a foolish attempt to evade prosecution. Don't worry. She won't be able to maintain that level of commitment for very long. I just wanted you to be kept in the loop. Right now she is a very sane, but a very creative woman. Yes, I'll let you know if anything further develops. Thank you. Goodbye.
...first interview marked the creation of two alternate personalities. One calling herself Hush and the other yet unnamed. This 'Hush' most likely will be a hindrance to unlocking the events of the night of the murder. The unnamed alter burned Cate and seems to have the potential for further harm to Cate or any interviewer, but at the same time seems to be interested in talking. This alter made references to pain and, by association with the cigarette, burning.
Well, lets see if a second interview will clear anything up.
(Picks up phone and dials receptionist)
Lauren, could you please call the nurses station and have Henry bring Miss Fincher down to my office please. Thank you.
Hangs up phone. Lights fade to half.
Afternoon. CATE sits in her chair.
Sorry about yesterday. I don't know what happened. I guess I was tired. I remember sitting here talking to you about my dog and stuff, but then the next thing I remember was waking up in my room. I don't even remember getting in bed. It happens to me sometimes. Not remembering kind of freaks me out. I'll just be someplace, and not remember what I am doing there or how I got there. I used to think it was just the same thing as when you drive and forget the past couple of miles, but then it started happening more and more. That's one reason I started going to see Dr. Caru. Yeah. That's him, Dr. Daniel Caru. I don't know why they think I killed him. He was a good man who was trying to help me. I would never hurt him. But I don't remember that night at all. I was home watching TV...and I wanted ice cream, but was all out...so I put on my coat and went to the store...I remember locking the door and walking down the stairs...then the next thing I remember is waking up on my couch with the TV on...still in the same clothes. I thought that perhaps I had fallen asleep...dreamed about leaving for ice cream, but then I noticed...an empty container of vanilla and a little bottle of colored sprinkles laying on the floor. I know I went out, but
9:52.12 AM. Switch from Cate to Syncronicity. She really doesn't remember anything. I know this, because I know when she switches. I am her calendar, and time keeper. I remind her to take her meds, I remind her of her prescriptions, and appointments. And no, I have no idea what happens when the others take over, I just record that it happens. Yes, she did switch three times during the evening in question, at precisely 10:05.47 PM right when as both feet touched the pavement she switched. Once at 12:34.32 AM. Cate returned at 7:07.35 AM.. By the way the schedule you have Cate on for her medication is interfering with the good schedule that Dr. Caru put her on. Red pill with breakfast, White with lunch, and Blue at dinner. Easy to remember. Just like the flag. Now I have to deal with this schedule that seems to bear entirely on your whims. How am I supposed to set up a routine if you keep changing the kind, time, and delivery system of her medication. You are destroying a perfectly good and logical system for governing Cate's medicine. Are you purposely trying to make my life harder?
Was Syncro bitching again? Bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch. Bitch! All she does is whine, about us taking control of the body, what the hell else are we gonna do. Do you know how boring it gets in here sometimes. All Cate wants to do is sit at home and watch TV. Feels its safer at home. I hate being at home. Where do I like to go? Anywhere. Bars, truck stops, anywhere I can grab a guy. Or at least the only part of him that interests me. Speaking of...Haven't I seen you before? I never forget a face. Oh yeah. It was yesterday before I was rudely shoved back into my room. I was telling you about her childhood. Not today, though. I not gonna even give Hush an excuse to crawl out from under her bed. So no childhood questions, okay? 'WithOut,' before you ask. My name is WithOut. Capitol W. Small I. T. H. Capitol O. Small U. T. I generally don't tell men my name. They seem to like it and me better when we just fuck. I like it better too. I don't even want to know your name. I only gave you mine 'cause you most likely wouldn't quit asking me anyway. So what else do you want to know about? 'The night in question.' Fine. I can tell you about that. Cate was feeling all lonesome after watching some movie on TV and needed some goddamn support. But shit, since we were headed out why couldn't I go have some fun. Lord knows she's no fun at home, not even a casual boyfriend for me to play with. So she left and I took the opportunity. So, I went to my favorite place, The Hive. It's a little place down on Eisley Street. Lots of characters hang out. I particularly enjoy the pool tables. I get off knowing that men are watching me bend over the tables. Unfortunately there was nobody interesting there. I had a few drinks and flirted with the bartender. He's kinda cute, but he reminds me to much of Uncle Jim. Yeah, he lived a few miles away from me growing up. He always paid too much attention to me growing up, especially when I got these. They all did. Every single one of those filthy mother fuckers that
had nothing to do with anything. Uncle Jim was the fun uncle who took us walking in the woods and taught us how to clean the fishes that we caught together. We had lots of fun play times together.
(deep voice from the bowels of her body)
LIAR! HE IS NOT EVEN WORTHY FOR THE SUNLIGHT TO HIT. HE DESERVES TO LIVE IN THE DARKNESS THAT HE HELPED CREATE AND SUFFER AS ONLY THE MOST HATED SHOULD. I WILL TAKE HIS HEAD AND MOUNT IT ON TOP OF
10:29.16 AM Syncronicity takes control. Isn't it time for some medication. Or perhaps some lunch. I recorded three switches while I was gone. Who switched in, was it Hush, WithOut or one of the others? Silk perhaps, or even little Tela? Tell me so I can record it. I rarely get the chance to know who comes when. WithOut first, at 10:01.34 AM okay...then Hush at 10:24.21 AM...and then who???Oh my...Oh No...Not...10:33.46 AM Synchronicity switch to Cate.
What...am I...Oh...Hi. I did it again, didn't I. Sorry. What time is it? How long have I been passed out? Oh. Well you should have woken me up. I'll try to stay awake from now on. What were we talking about? Oh, yeah. The night that Dr. Caru was killed. I don't know...I left for ice cream, I remember that, and then I remember waking up on the couch.
The characters transition. JANICE turns off the camera and walks to the door.
Thank you Cate. That's enough for today. I'll have them bring you down tomorrow for another session. I still have a few more things that I want to ask you.
Lights fade down but don't go to a blackout.
Lights fade up. The next morning. JANICE is pacing around the office, case file in one hand. The phone rings.
Hello, Janice Lauden. I'm sorry, he has switched offices. No, its alright. Do you want his new extension? Its 8652. Not a problem at all. Goodbye. I wonder how many more of those I am going to get this week. You'd think that Dr. Stevenson would have notified his contacts of his change of office. Hell, he got promoted, it not like he didn't get new business cards made. Oh that reminds me.
Hello. Janice Lauden. Yes, I called earlier. I want to know what the hell is going on. No, no...my title is spelled wrong. There are two esses in associate. Well, it's not acceptable, I have to give these cards out. Do you know how unprofessional it would be to have my title spelled wrong? . I expect a significant price reduction. That's right. I am not paying full price for a service that was done incorrectly. I have people to deal with and I need these new cards. End of story. Fine. I'll be there on Tuesday with half payment.
(Hangs up phone)
God, I hate having to be a bitch.
My god, can I get any work done? Hello. Janice Lauden. Oh...hey Mike. Yeah, I did page you earlier. I just had a quick question. You know what I have had to deal with today. You know how those idiots at the business card place spelled my title wrong? They almost refused to fix it. Something about it not being clear. You're damn right I have good handwriting. So now I have to wait until Tuesday to pick them up, but I am only paying half price. They offered that in compensation. Oh, my question? Sorry. You want me to pick up dinner? Chinese okay? I'll get a movie too...no...I promise...at least three explosions...big ones...yes with fire and people flying through the air. I know I said I would last time and I'm sorry...the title was misleading...I'll even ask the guy at the counter...promise...alright see you after work...love you too.
(Hangs up phone)
Alright, so WithOut was in control when Cate left her apartment, but something tells me that it wasn't WithOut that killed Dr. Caru. WithOut is aggressive, but not violent, at least not towards others. In fact I bet she only burned Cate to make a point. So we have one host and four alters so far, including a violent one. One that snapped when Cate saw Dr. Caru, perhaps. But what could have triggered the murder? What the hell am I talking about? She is faking. Isn't she?
Hello. This is Dr. Lauden from Satis Institution. Yes, that's right. Captain Rogers. Cate Fincher is under my supervision, and in order to more completely work with her I need Dr. Caru's notes. Yes, I know I have her case file, but it only contains the notes that he transcribed onto the forms. Doctor-patient confidentiality! She killed him and she is now my patient. What harm could there be from me having his notes? Well, could you talk to your supervisor, and call me back up. Thank you. Yes, I'll be in all afternoon. The direct line into my office is 752-8657. Thank you very much.
(Hangs up phone)
Asshole. I need his detailed notes of the hypnotic regression sessions. If I knew what happened in her youth, I could approach from that angle. Caru found it. I know he must have. But until then
(Picks up phone)
Lauren, I am ready to see Miss Fincher. Thank you.
Lights fade down.
Lights fade up. CATE is sitting in her chair. It is later that afternoon.
Is it time for lunch yet? No, okay. I'm sorry? Oh. I was going to Dr. Caru to deal with my spacing out. At first it wasn't bad. Just a few minutes here and there. I assumed that I was just tired, but then the times that I was missing got longer. What really made me scared was the time that I ended up in a hotel on the opposite side of town. After that I went to Dr. Caru. I just flipped through the yellow pages.
Let your fingers do the walking.
I guess. Can I have a cigarette? Oh. I'm not gonna...I see. So. We talked about all kinds of stuff. About how I avoid people and why I live alone. We talked, of course, about my childhood. Growing up, college, and leaving home. All the normal stuff. Normal enough I guess. I even spaced out in his office once. Not for long, but I think it took him by surprise. I don't think he believed me until then. Because all of a sudden I had to increase me meetings with him. We went from once a week on Wednesdays to three sessions, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at one o'clock. After two weeks of the new sessions we started doing hypnosis on Mondays. I am not sure how scientific it is...It seems like a party trick. Either way I don't like it. It was like he was forcing me to space out. It scares me that it happens, and I don't like it. I really didn't like that he was forcing it. All it did was make me space out more in the other sessions. Long ones. I think we were making progress, at least that's what Dr. Caru said. I don't remember much of the sessions around the time he...I killed him.
Can I, please, go back to my room for awhile? Dr. Caru? Didn't I tell you about him? Well...aside from the hypnosis...he was a nice man. NO, we never met outside of the sessions. He expressly said that we couldn't. Not that I would have wanted to. He wasn't my type. My type? Oh I don't know.
Well hell. I know my type. Anonymous. She doesn't know it, but that her type too. She doesn't need intimacy from familiar people, She has had enough of that. That's why I take us to the Hive. Plenty of people that no one knows and who know no one. At least it used to be. Till that fucker started poking around in her head. He was asking about shit he shouldn't have and I came out to protect Cate, like I always do. He got me talking and I mentioned the Hive. I didn't think the dumb ass would show up. It was months since I had brought it up. So imagine my surprise when he walks in. Makes a big deal out of not seeing Cate not in session and then comes into my bar. He deserves what he got for that. Did I talk to him? You bet your ass I did. I went right up to him and tried to get him to leave with me. Why not? He obviously wanted it, why else would he have been there. He knew that Cate wouldn't have given it to him, so he sought me out, right? He seemed nervous though. Then again, he should have been. We walked down to the river and strolled along the River Walk. He didn't say much. It was like he was waiting for something, or somebody. He wasn't responding to me. I checked. He must have been gay. I got annoyed and left. No, I didn't walk away. I left. Let one of the others deal with him. I don't know which one. I bet it was Syncronicity. She probably bored him to death with all of her numbers and schedules.
1:26.56 PM Syncronicity takes control. Three minutes till we should get our medicine. Was I where what night? Heavens no. I thought I told you. I don't lie, its against my nature. Lying doesn't help us stay on schedule with medication. What I told you is that she switched several times that night. But none of them were me. That I can assure you. What else do I keep records of? Names. I keep track of all the names of the alters. Would that be useful? Well there's Cate, the host, Hush, WithOut, Myself, Silk, Tela, and Franklin. We never know what Franklin or Silk are doing. Neither of them talk and won't share information inside the commonwealth, like the rest of us do. Tela is just a little girl, she is left over from when Cate needed a playmate in her youth. She still tries to play every once in a while, but mostly she just stays in her room and colors. WithOut is the protector. But she has been taking her role a bit to seriously recently. She also has expanded her role to take care of certain physical pleasures that she feels Cate needs to experience. 1:32.13 PM It is two minutes and 15 seconds past our medicine time. I need a committed schedule. How am I supposed to keep track of this stuff when you cannot be consistent. It is important to be punctual. Cate couldn't learn that so I had too. Well if you can't be helpful than neither will I. 1:34.22 PM Syncronicity switch out.
God. What were we talking about? Oh yeah. My type. Oh I don't know. Can I go to my room now? I'm very tired. Thank you.
Caru must have uncovered one of the alters by accident! That of course would have led him to hypnosis regression in order to find the need for the split! God if only I had his real notes. I hope Captain What's-His-Fuck can get me those notes. What ever the doctor uncovered is the key to understanding why one of the alters would have killed him.
Lights fade down.
Lights fade up. The following morning. JANICE is reading Dr. Caru's personal notes.
...over the course of the past few weeks Cate has begun to display different personalities in session. These alters started appearing when I began pushing for details in her childhood. First came the a silencer, Hush, who refused to let me into Cate's past. But after a few more insistent questions a strong female personality appeared. Named WithOut, she had taken the role of the protector. She was strong bold and strong enough to answer a few of my questions, before Hush took over again. I took Cate of the medication in order to see if these personalities were connected to the meds. It was only then that Synchronicity appeared, in apparent response to the lack of medication. It was only after a few stalled sessions that I opted to use hypnotic regression. After three weeks of hypno-therapy I came upon the cause of the trauma. Cate had been sexually and physically abused by her family in her youth. Her father and uncles would repeatedly rape and beat her. The mother would often contribute to the beatings and never take a stand against the rape for fear of being beaten and raped herself. Cate dealt with the abuse by beating animals. First it was her dog as a self defense reaction to a bite, but the reward and the cathartic release enabled her to survive the constant beatings she would receive. Cate would set traps and capture wild animals only to beat them after she was beaten. When she was old enough to leave home she left the traps behind. She no longer needed them, and consequently out sight out of mind. Recent sessions have showed an increasing sense of desire for returning to violence. I fear that the violent one that WithOut and Synchronicity speak of, Franklin, will take control and hurt someone that WithOut may meet while she is out. I have only met Franklin once and he scared me. Very deep voiced and full of threats. Without proof of his appearance outside of the session, I cannot recommend commitment. A psychiatrist's instincts aren't enough anymore. Proof of a substantial danger is necessary. I have decided to put in an appearance at the Hive every night this week in the hopes of witnessing an appearance of Franklin and stopping him before can start...
JANICE puts down Caru's notes and picks up the phone.
Lauren, is Miss Fincher in the waiting room? Yes, thank you. Send her right in. And could you please have Henry stand right outside the door? Thank you again.
Hangs up phone. Transition into CATE.
More questions? Man. Okay. Talk to who? Franklin? Who is Franklin? I don't know what you are talking
WHAT DO YOU WANT? YOU WANT TO KNOW IF I KILLED THE DOCTOR? I'LL TELL YOU WHAT I DID DO. I KEPT CATE ALIVE ALL THOSE YEARS. SHE WOULD NEVER HAVE MADE IT THIS FAR WITHOUT ME. DO YOU HONESTLY THINK THAT CATE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN THROUGH THAT SHIT SHE CALLS HER CHILDHOOD WITHOUT A STRONG ALTER LIKE ME? WHAT ABOUT THE TRANSITION FROM LIVING AT HOME TO LIVING ON HER OWN IN A CITY. SHE WOULD NEVER HAVE SURVIVED. CATE WAS DOING FINE UNTIL THAT MIND-FUCKER STARTED STICKING HIS NOSE IN HER BUSINESS, DRAGGING OUT MEMORIES THAT WE WERE PROTECTING HER FROM. HE HAD NO BUSINESS. JUST LIKE HE HAD NO BUSINESS AT THAT BAR. YEAH, I KILLED HIM. WHEN WITHOUT GOT BORED I TOOK OVER. HE TOUCHED CATE'S SHOULDER AND THAT WAS ALL IT TOOK. I GRABBED HIS CANE AND BEAT HIM UNTIL HE STOPPED BREATHING. THEN I WALKED HOME. NO, I DIDN'T STOP. THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE TO DO I HAD BEATEN HIM UNTIL HIS BLOOD RAN LIKE A WATERFALL INTO THE RIVER. TELA? NO YOU SHOULDN'T COME OUT. THERE IS NO ONE TO PLAY WITH. KEEP COLORING IN YOUR BOOK. FINE, BUT YOU WILL SEE THAT NO ONE WANTS TO TALK TO YOU. STAY IN YOUR ROOM! NO DON'T COME OUT, GET BACK IN
hi, my name is tela. i am only six years old. do you have anything to color with? i like to color. my favorite foods are hot dogs, and vanilla ice cream. i like it because i can put sprinkles on it. i talked to the doctor too. he wasn't very nice. he looked like my daddy. he wanted to talk to me like my daddy did. about stuff that i did that was wrong. but i didn't want to talk to him. i just wanted to play with his cane. he gave it to me and then he turned into a doggie. yes a doggie. he leaned over and put his paw on my shoulder. i know what that means. paws on shoulders means that the doggie is gonna bite. daddies too. daddies bite, but it doesn't hurt after i punish the animals, like daddy punishes me. but i wouldn't let him this time. i punished him first. i kept punishing him just like i punished all the animals at home. i punished until all the redness came out. once the redness is out the punishment is done. it is the redness that makes them bite. then i went to get ice cream. that's all i wanted from the beginning. i got vanilla just like i like it with sprinkles on it. ones with lots of color. i like colors. i watched tv too. way past my bedtime. i watched until cartoons started but i was too tired to watch them. that's when i fell asleep. are you sure you don't have anything to color? i like to color. i have a coloring book in my room. it has pictures of animals. i think i want to go color in my room now. bye-bye.
Dr. Lauden? What happened? I spaced out again, didn't I? Sorry. I am really tired. Can we stop now? Thanks.
(Picks up phone and dials)
Hello. Aaron Wilson please. Dr. Lauden. Aaron? I know I told you differently, but she is here to stay. What happened? You'll never believe this...
Fade to bright white, then blackout.
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