FLORA & FAUNA–ALAN STOLZER

FLORA & FAUNA

A room in an unidentified area. Flora & Fauna (35), non-identical Siamese twins joined
at the hip, are on all fours as their father (65) reclines in a comfortable chair behind them, a leg
over each of his daughter’s backs. The twins wear an old, baggy, denim dress that covers them
both. A package sits on a table just out of reach.

FAUNA
Aintcha gonna let us …

FLORA
… Open it, papa?

FATHER
(Reading newspaper)
Plenty of time.

FLORA
But it’s been here …

FAUNA
… A month already.

FATHER
So?

FLORA
It’s got those materials …

FAUNA
… To separate us.

FATHER
So I hear.

FAUNA
Once we’re apart, why we …

FLORA
… Could just motor through life like everyone else …

FAUNA
… Vroom, vroom, vroom.

FLORA
People would never know …

FAUNA
… Our dilemma.

FLORA
Joined at the hip …

FAUNA
… Forever in need of each other … and, of course, you, papa

FATHER
Seeing you’ve been that way since birth, a little while longer won’t hurt.

FAUNA
(Straining forward toward package)

I can just about reach it if you pull with me, Flora.

FLORA
I’m trying.

FATHER
(Leans forward, grabs twin’s dress, holding them back)

Don’t get ahead of yourselves.

FAUNA
We never do that papa …

FLORA
Although we’d love to embark upon the road to independence.

FAUNA
Truly.

FATHER
Believe me, the first moment you were exposed to the outside world you’d disintegrate.

FLORA
What’s that?

FATHER
Turn to dust.

FAUNA
Oh.

FATHER
You two have gotten a little too big for your breeches since you sneaked that mail order in while
I was sleeping. Can’t have that type behavior, no sirree.

FLORA
Why not?

FATHER
Because I say so that’s why not.

FAUNA
We could get you a cup of coffee, papa.

FATHER
That’s more like it.

FLORA
Cream an sugar?

FAUNA
Or sugar and cream?

FATHER
Both.

FLORA
Fine and dandy.

FATHER
Just don’t open the package is all.

FAUNA
We wouldn’t think of it …

FLORA
… Without your permission.

FAUNA
Cross our one and only heart …

FLORA
… And hope to die.

FATHER
If you two were separate and gone from me who would brew my coffee, wash my socks and clip
my toenails I’d like to know? You’ll have to wait just a little while longer – like good girls.

FAUNA
Good as can be?

FATHER
If not better.

FLORA
Candy cane sweet?

FATHER
That’s how I like it.

FAUNA
Why don’t you lean back and …

FLORA
… Get some rest while we brew …

FAUNA
… The coffee.

FLORA
If we were separate …

FAUNA
… One of us could …

FLORA
… Fan you.

FAUNA
And the other …

FLORA
… Wipe your fevered brow.

FAUNA
(Father is nodding off)
Tickle your toes.

FLORA
Blow your ass up.

FAUNA
Ssssh!

FLORA
He’s out, dummy. Can’t you tell? Nostrils dilating, eyebrows twitching, skin wrinkling. The
whole disgusting mess.

(They carefully place father’s legs on floor, crawl to package, open it, withdraw a note and
read.)

FLORA & FAUNA
Here is the Liberation Kit you recently ordered. Be sure to use EVERYTHING herein in order
to succeed.

FLORA
Gee …

FAUNA
… Whiz

(They begin withdrawing rubber gloves, various plastic bottles containing liquids and a pair
of garden shears. There are also new clothes. Darkness. Moments later. The twins are now
separate, wear different outfits and stand, astonished, staring at each other.)

FLORA
(Holding 1⁄2 bra and panties)
Fauna, is that you?

FAUNA
(Holding other 1⁄2 bra and panties)
Flora?

FLORA
You seem so far away.

FAUNA
So do you.

FLORA
What shall we do?

FAUNA
(Trashing 1⁄2 bra and panties)
Burn these to begin with.

FLORA
I know! We could use the bathroom separately.

FAUNA
Privacy at last.

FLORA
(Peeks down dress)
There’s no pain … No scars either.

FAUNA
Just as they said: gardening shears are magical.

FLORA
And the dissolving fluid really worked!
(Father stirs)

FAUNA
Him.

FLORA
What now?

FAUNA
There’s still some dissolving fluid left.

FLORA
Beast.

FAUNA
The best years of our lives.

FLORA
Treated like oxen.

FLORA & FAUNA
(They take up dissolving fluid)

Who’d miss him?

(They are about to pour dissolving fluid over the Father when he wakes up.)

FATHER
Yes? Someone called?

FLORA
… Just us, papa.

FATHER
The two of you is it? Up to no good I see.

FAUNA
Separate at last.

FATHER
(Rising)
We’ll see who’s separate.

(Flora wields dissolving fluid, Fauna, the shears)

FLORA
We’re warning you, papa.

FAUNA
Before we go out that door …

FATHER
Warn away!

(Lunges for them. Darkness. A moment, lights to Flora relaxing in chair with coffee.
Fauna reads the newspaper. Another package is on table.)

FLORA
You’d think they’d be here by now.

FAUNA
What incompetence.

FLORA
Picking up papa shouldn’t be that difficult. He doesn’t weigh much anymore.

FAUNA
(Tossing newspaper in package)

We can’t actually leave until they come, can we.

FLORA
I don’t see how.

FAUNA
It’s been a month already.

FLORA
The road to true independence awaits and he’s still holding us up.

FAUNA
Maybe we could mail it ourselves.

FLORA
Then we could embark on our own.

FAUNA
Separately?

FLORA
Where would we go?

FAUNA
Around the corner to begin with.

FLORA
What’s a corner?

FAUNA
I heard someone talk about it once.

FLORA
And look, the newspaper is so full of terrible things: war, rape, child molestation …

FAUNA
Step out that door and who knows what might happen?

FLORA
We could look for things to do in the meantime.

FAUNA
By the time we find something maybe they’ll come.

FLORA
(Relaxing)
After all, we have return to sender option.

FAUNA
(Imitates sister)
Then we might as well enjoy the fruits of our very own independence.

FLORA
Indefinitely.

END OF PLAY

***

Alan Stolzer‘s plays have been performed throughout the U.S. including radioproductions and podcasts. He is a playwright in residence at Red Harlem Readers (New York City) and a member of the Dramatists Guild.