Home Alarm

HOME ALARM

 

July 18, 2016

Janet

 

Characters:

Nancy (homeowner)

Diane (neighbour)

Chad (alarm company phone operator)

911 Operator

Police Officer

 

(Spotlights on Nancy and Diane, standing a little apart. This will all happen as a series of phone/shouted conversations, with spotlights on anyone participating in the conversation. There is an annoying alarm sound throughout, but not so loud as to drown out the dialogue. Nancy must constantly try to be heard over it.)

Nancy

(Answering her phone, clearly exasperated) Hello?

Diane

Nancy, hi, it’s Diane next door. I just wanted to tell you that your house alarm is going off again.

Nancy

(Impatiently, shouting over alarm) Yeah I know, I’m here. I can’t remember my damn code-

Diane

I tried to see if there was anything going on, but ever since you planted those big cedars along the fence I’m finding it really hard to keep an eye on things, you know.

Nancy

No, it’s fine. It was me. I’m getting a call on the other line-

Diane

You know, I did see something suspicious a little while ago. Some of those kids were walking around the neighbourhood. Now I’m not racist, you know, but they did look like they were up to no good.

Nancy

Diane! Can you even hear me? You are racist, and I’ve got a call on the other line. (As Diane keeps prattling on, Nancy switches to the other line.)

(Spotlight comes up on Chad, a nervous and inexperienced young call centre employee.)

Nancy

Hello?

Chad

(Having a hard time reading from his script) Hello sir/madam, my name is Chad and I’m calling from George’s Home Security to inform you that your home alarm has been activated.

Nancy

Yes, hi, I’ve been trying to reach you. I’m the one who set it off.

Chad

Wh- wait, you set off the alarm?

Nancy

Yes, I don’t know the damn code. Can you make it stop?

Chad

Wait I think I have the wrong script. Um, hold on…Uh okay, so here it is. Um. INTRUDER. IDENTIFY YOURSELF.

Nancy

Jesus…

Chad

I don’t think the Good Lord is breaking into many houses, ma’am. INTRUDER. IDENTIFY YOURSELF.

Nancy

Nancy! This is Nancy Miller! I put the wrong code in!…Dammit, YOU just called me!

Chad

Oh, uh…Wait, that’s not in my script. Uh, (reading) EMERGENCY PERSONNEL ARE BEING DISPATCHED.

Nancy

(Resigned) Chad…it’s Chad, right? Is this your first day?

Chad

Third day, ma’am. Uh…hold on I need to call 911…

(Dials 911. Light on Nancy goes down, light on 911 comes up.)

911 Dispatcher

911, what is your emergency?

 

Chad

Oh uh, hold on, where’s my script?…There! Sorry! Um, Hello I’m uh Chad…I’m calling from George’s Home Security to report an unauthorised entry at ‘address’. I mean at, uh, 217 Daffodil St.

911 Dispatcher

Okay Chad, have you established contact with the homeowner?

Chad

N-, uh, yes?

911 Dispatcher

And are they at home?

Chad

Oh. Uh, I’m not sure. Let me put you on hold.

(Rummages through some stuff, finds phone number and punches it in. Light up on Nancy, light down on 911.)

Nancy

(Answering) Chad let me speak to your manager.

Chad

Hello sir/madam, my name is Chad and I’m calling from George’s Home Security. May I speak with Nancy Miller?

Nancy

I’m. Nancy. Miller.

Chad

Oh! Hello! Uh, I’m supposed to ask if you’re at home.

Nancy

Yes. That’s what I was trying to tell you. I am at home and my alarm is going off. I would like to speak to your manager.

Chad

Um, sorry, one second, there’s someone on the other line. (Changes back to 911 line. Light down on Nancy, light up on 911.) Hello George’s Home Security, Chad speaking, how may I help you?

911 Dispatcher

This is 911. You had me on hold. Is the homeowner at 217 Daffodil at home?

Chad

Oh! Uh, yes.

911 Dispatcher

(All business.) Okay, please remain calm, police have been dispatched to the scene. (Into radio) Be advised, potential hostage situation at 217 Daffodil. Over.

Chad

(Switches back to Nancy’s line. Light down on 911, light up on Nancy.) Hello George’s Home Security, Chad speaking, how may I help you?

Nancy

Chad, listen to me and don’t say a word. My name is Nancy Miller. You phoned me and then put me on hold. I am the homeowner of 217 Daffodil and I accidentally set my house alarm off because I forgot my code. A bunch of police have just pulled up outside of my house. Do you understand what I’m saying?

Chad

(Pause, slow realisation) Uh…oh…

(Light up on Police Officer, with Diane fussing next to him.)

Police Officer

(Into a megaphone.) ATTENTION. WE HAVE THE HOUSE SURROUNDED. PLEASE REMAIN CALM.

Nancy

Oh. Great. (Hangs up on Chad. Light down on Chad.)

Diane

(Tugging at Police Officer’s arm) I can provide you with a full description, I’ve been keeping an eye on those kids. I’m not racist, you know, but I could tell they were up to no good.

Police Officer

(To Diane) Okay thank you, ma’am. If you could just tell that to the sergeant over there…

 Nancy

(Shouting outside) This is Nancy Miller! Can you hear me??

Police Officer

Oh! (Into megaphone) MS MILLER! PLEASE REMAIN CALM, THE SITUATION IS UNDER CONTROL. ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?

 Nancy

I’m fine! Everything’s fine! Please believe me!!

(Confused pause.)

Police Officer

(Into megaphone) PLEASE ASK WHOEVER IS HOLDING YOU IF THEY ARE WILLING TO NEGOTIATE WITH US.

Nancy

There’s no one else here! There are no bad guys here!!

(Police Officer hesitates. Diane tugs at his arm.)

Diane

You don’t seriously believe that, do you?? (Shouting) Nancy! Nancy, it’s Diane from next door! Don’t worry, sweetie, everything’s under control! If you hadn’t planted those enormous cedars, you know-

Police Officer

(Into megaphone, suspiciously) NANCY! IF EVERYTHING IS FINE, WHY IS YOUR ALARM GOING OFF?

Nancy

I set it off!

(Police Officer hesitates again.)

Can I come out now??

Diane

(Triumphantly) Listen to me! I’ve solved it! That can’t be the real Nancy! The real Nancy is the only one who knows her alarm code.

Police Officer

(Considers for a moment. Mutters into his radio) We’re elevating to a Code Orange, over. (Into the megaphone) IF YOU’RE THE REAL NANCY, WHY DON’T YOU TURN YOUR ALARM OFF?

Nancy

I don’t know the code!

Diane

Aha! There you have it!

Police Officer

(A look of steely resolve washes over his face. Into his radio) We have a Code Red. Repeat, Code Red. Prepare to move in.

(Nancy’s spotlight goes out, followed by the rest of the lights.)

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