Characters, in order of appearance:
1. Innocent, Unsuspecting Home Owner a.k.a. IUHO (pronounced eww-ho)
IUHO innocently goes through the piles of junk mail that have accumulated on what she and her husband call their “bistro table,” which is taller than most tables, attached to the wall, and necessitates stools rather than chairs. It is the perfect place to perch for breakfast when it isn’t covered in junk mail:
IUHO sighs. She vows to go through the mail more often than every three months.
Suddenly, a large creature lands on her Citibank bill. It has appeared from above. It is part spider, part grasshopper, part bat, part alien. Though it is probably only about an inch in diameter, it seems to IUHO to be as large as a basketball. She notes that he has striped legs, and wonders if he stole his tights off the Wicked Witch of the West.
IUHO emits a blood-curdling shriek that can be heard for miles around. Little does she know that things are about to get much, much worse.
Just as quickly as the creature arrived, he jumps toward her and…disappears. Though IUHO occasionally overreacts, she is a relatively logical person. She therefore knows that if she cannot see him, he has probably not actually disappeared, but, rather, he is ON her. Upon this realization, she goes utterly berserk, blind with fear. She convulses spastically, in the process kicking her knee into one of the bistro stools, so that it bursts into the air before toppling. Though pain shoots up and down her leg, she flies across the room on the wings of adrenaline, windmilling her arms with the force of 1000 turbines. In self protection, she rips off her long sweater and flings it to the ground.
Swatting at her hair and still in a panic, she looks around for her attacker but cannot see any sign of him. She bravely tiptoes back to the sweater and drags it a few inches. Aha, there he is. He leaps again in her direction then pauses. IUHO picks up her foot and aims, glad that she has sneakers on, as opposed to just socks or bare feet. She stomps once, twice. And a few more times, just to make sure.
When it’s all over, she slides down the wall, heaving, sweat pouring from her brow. Her kneecap is shattered (okay, just bloodied and a bit bruised). She is proud of herself: she has learned today that she is a survivor. On the other hand, she is also ashamed: she is capable of great violence. She knows her husband, for example, would have dealt with this matter calmly, and with a modicum of kindness. She never should have read The Hunger Games (or any Shakespeare, for that matter.)
She wonders if she’ll ever be able to walk again. If she’ll ever get the courage to go through her mail at the bistro table again. If she should burn that sweater, though its one of her favorites.
(Note: Since this play first premiered, there have been two other… “performances” with different, but identical creatures playing the part of the attacker. Fortunately, IUHO’s husband was “in the theater” both times, thereby dialing down the drama by several thousand watts, so she was able to obtain the above photo documentation perfect for the playbill…)
(On another note: DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT THIS CRAZY, BIONIC HYBRID OF A MONSTER IS? AND WHY WE HAVE NOW SEEN THREE OF THEM IN OUR HOUSE? PLEASE HELP!)
(Addendum: Commenter Kevin, below, does seem to have correctly identified this as a “cave cricket” – the photos do match up and so does the behavior…Wikipedia says, Given their limited vision, cave crickets will often jump towards any perceived threat in an attempt to frighten it away…Yup. Fortunately, though I scoured the fine print, it doesn’t say anything about blinding acid.)