In the early 1980s I had heard some rumors that there was once a witch in the Redwood area of Franklin County.  I finally persuaded two elderly women in that area to talk with me about the alleged witch.  The information that they provided assisted me in the creation of Mrs. Tate, the central character in Wicca.  Roddy Moore, the Director of the Blue Ridge Institute, also assisted me with books and other materials from its archives.  And finally, my daughter, Janice Lynn, who knew a white witch that could blow fire, helped me draw the character of Mrs. Anderson.  Some of the plot of the drama comes from the English Ballad “Little Massie Grove.”  


Production Notes:
            Wicca is an extremely versatile play that may be done as a simply staged play; however, it can also be staged as elaborately as the theatre can afford.  A variety of levels and partial sets can enhance the mystical nature of the production.  Furthermore, the use of fog machines, strobe lights, and a mirror ball will all aid in creating a magical quality to the piece. 

Cast of Characters

Craig ……………………………….an unsympathetic orderly in the nursing
Mrs. Tate……………………………an old women at the opening of the play who
turns into the young witch, Susanna
Dr. Simpson……………………….a psychologist who is in charge of the
                                                            nursing home
Rachel………………………………a girl of thirteen who visits Mrs. Tate
Anderson…………………………..a young white witch in Mrs. Tate’s
recollections and an elderly patient, Mrs. Anderson, in the nursing home
Lord Darnold……………………… a tall, handsome Virginia aristocrat who
           loves Sara
Sara…………………………………an attractive, flirtatious young woman
Carrie………………………………. a friend of Sara’s
Little Massie Grove………………. a short, but appealing young man


R. Rex Stephenson
(Mrs. Tate is sleeping in a wheelchair, center, with her back to audience.  Craig enters, and crosses to her.)
CRAIG:                 Mrs. Tate, it’s time for your afternoon nap.  Are you awake, Mrs. Tate?  (He shakes her arm.) Time to wake up.
MRS. TATE:         It’s 1:30.  Rest period isn’t until 2:30.
CRAIG:                 (Checking his watch) That’s true and I realize that changing time schedules on the elderly always causes confusion.  However,…
MRS. TATE:         I’m not confused.  (She swings the wheelchair around and rolls it over his foot.  Craig screams in pain.) And why is it, whenever you say “elderly,” you make it sound four heartbeats away from death?    
CRAIG:                 I need to wheel you off for your naptime.  I have some medication that will put you to sleep and make you feel better.  Okay, Mrs. Tate?  (He begins to wheel her off, but Mrs. Tate puts on the right wheelchair brake, causing the chair to go around in a circle.).
MRS. TATE:         No! No! No!
CRAIG:                 Now we need our nap. (He unlocks the brake.)
MRS. TATE:         Are you going to take one, too?
CRAIG:                 Let’s not be difficult.
MRS. TATE:         Yes, I am going to be difficult!
CRAIG:                 (Crossing around in front of the wheelchair)  We all have rules and we must all obey them.
MRS. TATE:         I obey all your silly rules.  I get up when you say so. I eat when you say so. I even go to the toilet when you say so, but my rest period is not for another hour.  (She puts the wheelchair brake on again.)
CRAIG:                 Flexibility, Mrs. Tate.  We should all learn to flow with the tide. (He takes the wheelchair brake off again.)
MRS. TATE:         You flow! I’m dropping anchor. (She puts on the brake again.)
CRAIG:                 Now, now, we’re being feisty today, aren’t we?
MRS. TATE:         I will not go until 2:30. I am expecting someone.
CRAIG:                 Isn’t everyone around here always expecting someone?  After our nap, if someone comes, you can visit all you want. (He takes the brake off again.)
MRS. TATE:        Nope.  I’m waiting for a child.  She’s coming to visit me today.                   I feel she’s on her way.
 (Mrs. Tate and Craig fight back and forth over the wheelchair brake.  Dr. Simpson enters stage right and crosses towards them.)
SIMPSON:           Some trouble?
CRAIG:                 No.  Well, Mrs. Tate just feels “something” again.  It’s awful
when senility sets in.
SIMPSON:           Is that the problem?
CRAIG:                 Yes… No.  Not exactly.  I was trying to get her to take her nap.
SIMPSON:           It’s a bit early, isn’t it?
CRAIG:                 I thought she could take her nap early.
SIMPSON:           Well, Craig, wait until 2:30.  Aren’t you always amazed at how these old folks have such an accurate sense of time?  And most of them don’t even own a watch.
CRAIG:                 Yes, weird, isn’t it?  (Dr. Simpson exits; Craig crosses back to Mrs. Tate.)  I’ve persuaded Dr. Simpson to let you stay up an hour longer.  I hope your visitor arrives in time.
MRS. TATE:         (She mumbles an incantation; sound effect.)
CRAIG:                 (He grabs his leg in pain.)  Oh, there’s that pain again!
MRS. TATE:         Damned nursing home orderly! They’re all alike!  Treat you like you were twelve years old.  Well, if I had my full powers, I would turn that boy into a toad.  A big, ugly, brown, warty toad. (She addresses the audience.)  I could, you know…or at least forty years ago I could have.  I live here in the Sunny Acres Home for the Aged.  We are called senior citizens, veterans, mature adults, old timers, the elderly.  Why don’t they just say old people?  When people ask, I say I’m 85 – I’m older than that, but 85 is enough.
 (Lights fade; Mrs. Tate freezes; spot up on Dr. Simpson. The following speeches are said to the audience.)
SIMPSON:           Gerontologists would say that the elderly suffer from disengagement from society and decreased interaction.  Many have retired to nothing and need useful activities to occupy their time.  These activities make them want to live.
CRAIG:                 We provide painting by numbers, crocheting, jigsaw puzzles, checkers, television, and Bingo!
SIMPSON:           It is difficult for the elderly to make changes in their living arrangements.  They need help in establishing new friendships and assuming a new role in society.  Social interaction is the key. (Mrs. Tate comes out of the freeze.)
MRS. TATE:         You understand nothing!  All your studies and all your sociologists’ big invented words are about two things: to be needed, that’s one; and to be able to share, that’s the other.
CRAIG:                 We used to try to have dances here, but the old people kept falling down, and then it really wasn’t fair to those in wheelchairs.  But Bingo is something challenging; they can all do it and win candy bars!
MRS. TATE:         What they don’t understand is that even though I’m old, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel young again.  The body is wrinkled and the hair is silvered but some part of every day, I feel eighteen again. (She freezes.)
SIMPSON:           Our most pressing problem is that of senility. The state is caused by increasingly accentuated sclerosis of the organs…the body becomes mummified, so to speak.  The memory begins to suffer lapses, intellectual effort produces fatigue, and the imagination becomes blunted. (Simpson and Craig freeze.)
MRS. TATE:         (She moves toward Dr. Simpson.)  Oh, there are things I could tell you, Doctor.  Things that would mummify your heart and other things that would terrify your imagination.  (To the audience)  I know Rachel will visit me today.
RACHEL:              (She enters.)  I hope, Mrs. Tate, that you don’t mind me dropping in on you unexpectedly.  Mrs. Tate?  (Rachel touches her gently and she unfreezes, as do Simpson and Craig.)  I said I hope you don’t mind me dropping in on you unexpectedly.
CRAIG:                 (He crosses to them.)  Why, how nice, Mrs. Tate. You have a visitor. 
SIMPSON:           (She crosses to them.)  Just what the elderly need: interaction with the young.
MRS. TATE:         Delays senility!  And generally is much more exciting than Bingo!
CRAIG:                 Remember, forty minutes until naptime.
MRS. TATE:         (She mumbles an incantation; sound effects.)
CRAIG:                 Ouch, that hurt! (He grabs leg in pain. Craig and Simpson exit.)
MRS. TATE:         Stay with me, child.
RACHEL:              I came back today for you to tell me more old stories.
MRS. TATE:         I will.        
RACHEL:              Don’t laugh at me or think that this is silly because I’m so young, but I think you can teach me things, things that I want to learn from you. I think that they are evil, and I know that I shouldn’t want to know…
MRS. TATE:         No, you shouldn’t.  But you can’t get them out of your mind, can you?  You have to know what I know.
RACHEL:              Yes. Are they evil?
MRS. TATE:         Evil, like beauty, is in the mind of the beholder.
RACHEL:              My mother says I’m already pretty wicked.
MRS. TATE:         Shall I teach you?
RACHEL:              From the book?
MRS. TATE:         What book?
RACHEL:              The book that’s always by your side.
MRS. TATE:         What an observant child you are.  (She holds up a small, tattered leather bound book) You have the gift for it, you know.
RACHEL:              Will you teach me from the book?
MRS. TATE:         Once we start, there’s no turning back.
RACHEL:              But I have to know.
MRS. TATE:         Yes, you do.  The book has all powers.
(Rachel kneels by Mrs. Tate and takes her hand. Both freeze)
SIMPSON:           (Spot on Simpson) Therefore, senility causes the most brilliant intellect to flounder.  However, in some of the elderly, intense concentration throughout a lifetime tends to expand the powers of that mind, giving it a more defined focus and, in rare instances, awesome powers… freakish, one might almost say. (Simpson exits)
RACHEL:              Tell me about the book.
MRS. TATE:         It’s the Sixth and Seventh books of Moses.
RACHEL:              From the Bible?
MRS. TATE:         They were in the Bible, but they were taken out.
RACHEL:              Read to me from Moses…
MRS. TATE:         I will, but first…
RACHEL:              But first you must show me things.
MRS. TATE:         Yes. You do have the gift for it. We must show them all. (She points to the audience)
RACHEL:              (She’s oblivious to the audience.) All?
MRS. TATE:         Yes, we are never alone! They have all come to see… to judge… to learn the power of Moses.  Some of you are thinking -- don’t tell her -- it’s wicked.
VOICE:                 (Offstage) Wicca. W*I*C*C*A. Old English word meaning wicked; also derived from the word, Wicca, is the noun, Witch.
MRS. TATE:         (To the audience.)  She has the gift.  If not from me, from somebody. (To Rachel)  Child, believe with me.  Concentrate. Extreme concentration.  Let me show you what I know. (Lights dim; Rachel rises and begins to spin Mrs. Tate’s wheelchair around slowly.)  We’ll go back, back in time, to when I was a young girl, not much older than you.
(Explosion goes off and then a blackout. Magical color lights spin. During the darkness Mrs. Tate takes off wig and shawl and becomes a young woman.)
VOICE:                 (Offstage)  The Sixth and Seventh books of Moses were revealed by God to his faithful servant, Moses, on Mount Sinai, and in this manner they also came into the hands of Aaron, Joshua, David, Solomon, and their high priest, Shadrock.  They provide the procedure to invoke the aid of demons and to cast hexes and spells.  They are the mystery of all mysteries.
MRS. TATE:         It is the mystery of all mysteries.
RACHEL:              And are you going to teach me from the book, now?
MRS. TATE:         First, I must show you the story of Little Massie Grove.    
RACHEL:              Is that a person or a thing?
MRS. TATE:         He was a young man.  But this is not really about him; it’s about Mr. Darnold.  They always called him Lord Darnold around here.  He was very handsome, so gallant with all the ladies.  Why, there wasn’t a girl in Franklin County that didn’t wish to be his wife.
RACHEL:              Including you?
MRS. TATE:         You shall see.  He was especially attracted to Sara.
DARNOLD:          (Rachel and Mrs. Tate fade back into shadows. He enters following Sara.)  Sara, why do you tantalize me so?
SARA:                  I tantalize you?  The most sought after man in the entire county?
DARNOLD:          Sara, please, will you accompany me to the picnic?
SARA:                  (She bows sarcastically.)  Me, my Lord Darnold? Poor Sara Carpenter?  Why, if I accompany you, there would probably be so many females about you, that you would hardly notice me.
DARNOLD:          Why do you toy with me? You are well aware that I care for you more than any woman in Virginia.
SARA:                  Perhaps it’s because you are always so sure of yourself.
DARNOLD:          It is true that I am confident in all aspects of my life but one, and you, my pet, are that one. 
SARA:                  My Lord (teasing), if a man can have his pick from all the women, can one woman ever be sure she completely has his heart?
DARNOLD:          Sara, you have my heart. You could make me the happiest man in this Commonwealth if you…
SARA:                  Oh, now.  I bet you say those things to every woman.  I mean, there’s always so many of them fluttering about you.
DARNOLD:          Sara, you are a profound mystery to me.  I am ready to spend my entire life with you and you won’t even accept an invitation to a picnic. 
(They pantomime action as Mrs. Tate and Rachel step forward.)
RACHEL:              Mrs. Tate, I don’t think you have much of a chance.
MRS. TATE:         We’ll see.
RACHEL:              You wouldn’t use the book, would you?  Not magic?
MRS. TATE:         Pay attention, my child.  There are things to be learned from this story.  Things I learned. 
(Mrs. Tate and Rachel step back into the shadows.)
SARA:                  If only I could be sure, Lord Darnold.  To speak of love is easy; to commit to love -- that is the test.
DARNOLD:          Sara, if you only knew how much I love you.
MRS. TATE:         (She crosses between them.)  Oh.  Am I interrupting something?
SARA:                  No, not really.  I never seem to be able to talk to him without some feminine interruption.
DARNOLD:          Please leave us alone, Susanna.
MRS. TATE:         I didn’t want to interrupt anything.  Actually, I wanted to talk to Sara. 
DARNOLD:          I beg your pardon, ladies.  (He bows.)  I’ll excuse myself.  Sara, I will return shortly.  (He exits.)
SARA:                  I’m surprised, Susanna.  You’ve never sought me out before.
MRS. TATE:         I thought it was a good time.
SARA:                  It wasn’t a good time.  I think he was about to ask me…
MRS. TATE:         To be his wife?  He had pledged undying affection.
SARA:                  (She is confused) Yes.  I…I didn’t see you standing near.
MRS. TATE:         And are you going to accept his proposal of marriage?
SARA:                  Yes.  He’s so tall and handsome, and let me tell you the silliest thing.  He has the most adorable chin.  I have always loved that chin.  Oh, he has those silly whiskers on it now, but he’ll shave for me.
MRS. TATE:         I somehow thought you’d like shorter men.
SARA:                  My goodness, why would you ever have thought that?
MRS. TATE:         I don’t know.  You are not attracted to short men?
SARA:                  I’m attracted…Oh, no.  It’s more than that! I’m in love with Lord Darnold.
MRS. TATE:         Isn’t that the way of the world?  I came over purposely to tell you that I am also in love with Lord Darnold.
SARA:                  My dear, I am afraid that Lord Darnold and I will wed.
MRS. TATE:         This is a foolish thing for you to do.
SARA:                  I am being foolish?  I have received gifts, letters and innumerable visits from him, and I don’t recall Lord Darnold ever paying you any mind at all.
MRS. TATE:         That’s because you have enchanted him.  He’s never been aware of me.  You never gave the rest of us a chance.  Oh, you were clever.  You played the part of the coy woman until he could stand it no longer, and then you, you snatched him up.
SARA:                  Susanna, I cannot see any need for the continuation of this conversation.  If Lord Darnold asks me to marry him, I will, and there is no doubt in my mind that he will be faithful only to me.
MRS. TATE:         I have no doubt about that, either.  He will be faithful to you, but this is a dangerous thing you do.  You should relinquish his heart, and give it to me.
SARA:                  Why dangerous?
MRS. TATE:         There are certain things in this world that are beyond the grasp of most mortals.  Things old that can bring misfortune and doom on those who try to take what is not rightfully theirs.
SARA:                  Are you threatening me?
MRS. TATE:         Threatening?  Threatening the feline who possesses Lord Darnold’s heart?  No.  A pledge!  The path upon which you tread can lead to your destruction and maybe to your death.
SARA:                  Are you trying to scare me?  Make me believe that you are a witch?  Well, I’ve heard all those stories about you, but I don’t believe them.  Lord Darnold loves me and you don’t have the power to destroy that love.
MRS. TATE:         I, lack power?
SARA:                  I’m not afraid of your books or your magic!
DARNOLD:          (He enters.)  Have I returned at a bad time, ladies?
SARA:                  (She crosses to Darnold and takes his arm.) Oh, no.  As a matter of fact you have arrived at the perfect moment.
DARNOLD:          For what, my dear?
SARA:                  I think you were about to ask me, before Susanna arrived, to be your wife.  If that is the question you were going to ask, I will.
DARNOLD:          It was the question, Sara.  At this moment, I must be the happiest man in all of Virginia.  (They embrace; Mrs. Tate mumbles something; sound cue -- Sara gets pain in her leg and jumps away from Lord Darnold.) Susanna, isn’t this wonderful news?  (Darnold crosses to Mrs. Tate.) And you are the first to hear it.
MRS. TATE:         Yes, how fortunate.  Sara has selected a most interesting path.  When will you be wed?
SARA:                  As soon as possible.
MRS. TATE:         I must be leaving.  I have innumerable “deeds” to do.  I must announce that the captivating, flirtatious, irresistible, (She takes a strand of Sara’s hair and pulls it out.) enticing Sara has set her destiny in motion.
DARNOLD:          Yes, and her destiny is mine, too.  Come, dear. We have wedding plans to make. 
(Lord Darnold and Sara exit. Rachel steps out of the shadows.)
RACHEL:              You’re not really going to do this?  It’s evil what you’re planning.  It’s wicked.  You can’t use Moses to do her harm just because Lord Darnold doesn’t love you.  It’s not right.
MRS. TATE:         You are forgetting that she really does like short men. (She plays with the strand of Sara’s hair.)
RACHEL:              Be serious with me.  I’m here to learn.
MRS. TATE:         And learn you shall.  Learning is a process that never stops.  Consider, my dear child, that maybe Sara doesn’t know what she really wants.
RACHEL:              Do you know what she wants?
MRS. TATE:         We shall see.
RACHEL:              But if Moses contains the power, couldn’t you just enchant Sara now?
MRS. TATE:         That is too easy.  It lacks style.  Nothing would be learned.  The body grows slow but the mind quickens. 
(Simpson and Craig enter. Mrs. Tate and Rachel freeze.)
SIMPSON:           Senility often distorts the perceptions of our elderly.  They lose touch with reality and dwell in the past.  What happens today, they may not remember, but they can, in fact, be able to focus on events that happened in their childhood.  These events will become crystal clear.  To help counteract this loss of reality, we have learned to rely on the most modern theories of psychology.  We dissipate this loss of reality with group therapy.  (She freezes)
CRAIG:                 Basically, every Friday afternoon I have to wheel all these old people into a circle and talk about how they feel about themselves.  But every time I get one of these sessions started, someone has to go to the toilet.  It happens every damn time.  It’s not like they don’t know on Friday it’s group therapy.  And what do they talk about?  Mostly they complain about the nursing home.  If I was running Sunny Acres, I’d eliminate group therapy and add more Bingo!
(Craig and Simpson exit.)
MRS. TATE:         We must go.  Now, you will learn your first lesson from Moses.
(Mrs. Tate and Rachel move into shadows.)
SARA:                  (Sara and Darnold enter hand in hand.)  And you have not tired of me yet?
DARNOLD:          Woman, will you always tease me?
SARA:                  We have been married for a week.  For seven days I have teased you and loved you.  You can’t have one without the other, my Lord.
DARNOLD:          Sara, I would not change one thing about you.  You are the perfect lady for this lord.
SARA:                  Are we a perfectly matched couple? 
(They embrace.  Little Massie enters.)
MASSIE:              Uh.  Uh…excuse me, Lord Darnold, Miss Sara…
DARNOLD:          Yes, Little Massie.
MASSIE:              I’m sorry if I came when you were…I mean…well, I could…
DARNOLD:          Get to it, Little Massie. What do you want?
MASSIE:              I have a letter for you, The postmaster said it was urgent.
(Darnold crosses to him and takes the letter.)
SARA:                  Is it bad news?  Is there some problem?
DARNOLD:          I’m afraid I have to go to King’s Mountain.  I must leave today.
SARA:                  I don’t understand.  Why did you do this,  Little Massie?
MASSIE:              It wasn’t me…you see the postmaster told me…
DARNOLD:          Sara, it has nothing to do with Little Massie.  Don’t be angry with him.
SARA:                  Little Massie, you have done more than enough damage for one day.  Please leave.
DARNOLD:          Maybe you’d best be going.  She’s just upset now.  (Massie exits; Darnold crosses to Sara.)  Sara, you must try to understand.
SARA:                  Surely you could postpone the trip.
DARNOLD:          No, it is impossible.
SARA:                  How long will you be gone?
DARNOLD:          A month, maybe more.  If there was any way, my dearest, you know I would be here with you.
SARA:                  And will you be faithful while you’re away?
DARNOLD:          You should know better than to ask that question.  I love no one else but you.  But I swear, as Jesus is my Savior, to be faithful.
SARA:                  Please don’t go.  There is something… almost ominous about your leaving.
DARNOLD:          Nonsense.  I’ll hurry back to you as quickly as I can. 
(As they exit, Rachel and Mrs. Tate step from the shadows.)
RACHEL:              Is this the magic?
MRS. TATE:         What?
RACHEL:              You caused him to leave?
MRS. TATE:         Nonsense.  He was called by another.
RACHEL:              And when you do this thing, will he love you?
MRS. TATE:         There’s more to it than that.  Listen and you will learn.
RACHEL:              Are you going to conjure for his love?
MRS. TATE:         No, for conjured love is not lasting love. This enchantment is for Sara and for Little Massie Grove. (Wondrous lights fill the stage.)  I conjure thee, spirit Ofel, that ye will obey and appear before me and fulfill my desire, thus in and through the name Elion, which Moses named, which Moses named.
RACHEL:              Will it work now?
MRS. TATE:         First, we must return to Sunny Acres.(They exit.)
CRAIG:                 (Craig enters and meets Dr. Simpson.)  I can’t find Mrs. Tate.
SIMPSON:           What?
CRAIG:                 I left her with this young girl and when I came back she had disappeared.  Her wheelchair is here but she is gone!
SIMPSON:           Ridiculous!  Mrs. Tate hasn’t been out of that wheelchair in ten years.
CRAIG:                 Do you think that girl could have helped her escape?
SIMPSON:           Who would want to leave Sunny Acres Rest Home? Mrs. Tate is perfectly happy here.
ANDERSON:        (She enters using a cane.)  What’s all the commotion?  It’s nap time.
CRAIG:                 Mrs. Tate has disappeared!
SIMPSON:           HUSH!!
ANDERSON:        The old woman vanished?
SIMPSON:           She hasn’t gone anywhere.  The little girl probably took her out on the grounds…
ANDERSON:        The devil has been whispering in her ear again, and she’s teaching another young one.  But she’ll be back.  She can only stay away a little time now.
SIMPSON:           Thank you very much, Mrs. Anderson.  You have enlightened us all immeasurably.  And now, Craig, I think Mrs. Anderson is tired and needs a nap. 
(Craig guides her out quickly and then returns.  Dr. Simpson points in several directions as if giving instructions.  Several others, dressed as orderlies, enter and join in the search. There is a grand commotion. Mrs. Tate and Rachel enter and start watching the general ruckus.)
RACHEL:              They’re all worried about you.
MRS. TATE:         Not about me.
RACHEL:              Yes, they are.  See how they run about?
MRS. TATE:         No, it’s called liability.  It’s an invention of the twentieth century.  They’re all worried that I have a long-lost cousin who’s a shyster lawyer and he’ll sue them for every Medicaid cent that they’ve managed to obtain.
RACHEL:              Then we are not going back?
MRS. TATE:         We can stay a little longer.
ANDERSON:        (Mrs. Anderson enters.)  I tell ya she can’t stay away too long.
CRAIG:                 I thought somebody took her to her room. 
(All exit except Rachel and Mrs. Tate)
RACHEL:              Who is she?  Why is she so interested in you? 
MRS.TATE:          She’s always where she doesn’t belong
RACHEL:              Then you know her?
MRS. TATE:         And now for Little Massie Grove.
                              (Mrs. Tate and Rachel move into the shadows as Sara enters and meets Massie.)
MASSIE:              Sara, I have a letter from your husband.  I knew you’d be anxious to read it.
SARA:                  Why, Little Massie, that was so sweet of you to bring it to me.  I haven’t heard from him since he left.  (She reads the letter.)  He is well.  Had a nice trip and he misses me very much.  Oh, Little Massie, can’t you just picture him standing there so tall with that forceful chin saying those things to me.
MASSIE:              Lord Darnold is a handsome man and he is tall.
SARA:                  Yes, tall and handsome.  The most desired man by every woman in Franklin County, but he’s mine, Little Massie, all mine.
MASSIE:              Well, I guess I should be going now.  I’ll probably see you at church.
SARA:                  Don’t go yet, Little Massie…
VOICE:                 (Offstage.)  WICCA, WICCA, WICCA.
SARA:                  You know, it’s funny, Little Massie. I have known you all my life but it’s like I’ve never been aware of you… until this moment.
MASSIE:              A lot of girls don’t pay me much mind.  (He looks at his feet and rocks up on his toes.)  Probably it’s ‘cause I am so short.
SARA:                  But you are sort of handsome.  Some girls might find someone as short as you very appealing.
MASSIE:              They’d probably have to be shorter than me.  I keep lookin’ for a short woman.  Honest I do.
SARA:                  Now, Little Massie, don’t deride yourself so.  Why, you’re a nice looking boy.  I bet lots of women find you very attractive.
VOICE:                 (Offstage.)  WICCA, WICCA, WICCA.
SARA:                  I…seem strangely affected by you.
MASSIE:              (Nervously.)  So.  When does Lord Darnold return?
SARA:                  A month maybe. (She crosses to him.) Maybe two.
MASSIE:              (Very nervously.)  That long?
SARA:                  (She touches Massie’s chin.)  You know, Little Massie, you have an adorable chin, too.
MASSIE:              (He backs away.)  I think it might be best if I go now, Sara.
SARA:                  No, stay…No…go! Little Massie, please go.  (Massie exits.)  This feeling is like nothing I have ever had before.  For some strange and unnatural reason I can’t seem to get Little Massie out of my thoughts.  I try to busy myself with things around the house.  I mend garments that don’t need mending, I cook meals for people who aren’t here, and I think thoughts of love for the wrong man…Little Massie.
                              (She exits. There is a pause. Little Massie enters and begins to hoe.  Sara slowly crosses to Massie. He pauses to wipe his brow and notices Sara; he jumps.)
MASSIE:              What ya doin’ all the way over here at my house?
SARA:                  Oh, I was just passing by.
MASSIE:              That wasn’t you who’s been standing up on the hill watching?
SARA:                  Yes, it is so interesting.  What you were doing.
MASSIE:              Hoeing corn?
SARA:                  Well, it was…unusual.  I mean, you’re so little and the hoe is so big.  I mean, you look so adorable, Little Massie.
MASSIE:              Can I get you a glass of cold cider?  You must be tired and hot after that long walk.
SARA:                  No, I should go.
MASSIE:              Suit yourself.  I reckon I’ll see you at church.
SARA:                  Maybe so.  But, by chance, we could meet sooner.
MASSIE:              We sure have chanced to meet a lot this week.  Why, I declare, Sara, I’ve seen you more the last few days than I think I have in my whole life.  You sure are a pretty lady.  Lord Darnold is a lucky…
SARA:                  Oh, do you think I’m pretty?
MASSIE:              Yes, as I said, Lord Darnold is really…
SARA:                  Do you think -- I mean, if I wasn’t already married -- that you would have wanted me for your wife?
MASSIE:              Well, if you don’t want some cider, I think I could sure use a glass.
SARA:                  Little Massie, please…
VOICE:                 (Offstage)  Wicca, Wicca, Wicca.
SARA:                  I’ve got to be going.
(They exit in opposite directions; Rachel and Mrs. Tate step from the shadows.)
RACHEL:              You have conjured something powerful.
MRS. TATE:         True.
RACHEL:              The only other answer is that she really is attracted to short men.
MRS. TATE:         Which is more logical, child?  Could a woman’s heart be that fickle?  Or is it that you’re scared to accept that Moses can be that powerful?
RACHEL:              Don’t confuse me.  I’m here to learn.
MRS. TATE:         And learn you shall.
                              (They fade back into the shadows; Sara and Carrie enter.)
SARA:                  Carrie, I can only say this to you because you are my best friend.  I cannot leave him alone.  Yesterday, I visited him three times.  Each time it was hard not to touch him.  He’s so adorable.
CARRIE:               Sara, this is unnatural.  Where is Lord Darnold anyway? 
SARA:                  He went to King’s Mountain.  I think there is going to be a battle.
CARRIE:               There hasn’t been a battle there in 50 years.  This is Susanna’s doing.  You are married to the most sought after man in Franklin County.  Be satisfied with what you have.
SARA:                  I know.  If I don’t stop, people will start talking.
CARRIE:               They already have.
SARA:                  They’ve noticed?
CARRIE:               You follow him around like a lost puppy.
SARA:                  What should I do?
CARRIE:               You must see the old woman.
SARA:                  The White Witch, Anderson?
CARRIE:               She has potions.  She can cure unnatural things.
SARA:                  I don’t believe in witches.
CARRIE:               The devil whispers in some ears and only a White Witch can defeat the devil.
ANDERSON:        (She suddenly appears. She, too, is younger)  This unnatural desire that you have, Sara, could it be caused by an enchantment?
SARA:                  It must be, Susanna Tate…
ANDERSON:        Susanna Tate?
SARA:                  She warned me.  Threatened me, if I married Lord Darnold.
ANDERSON:         And you never noticed Little Massie until Susanna “threatened” you?
SARA:                  Well, I always thought he was kind of adorable.  Did Susanna Tate hex me?  Is Susanna a witch?
ANDERSON:        Do you think she’s a witch?
SARA:                  She has a book and people say she has powers.  Does she have the evil eye?
ANDERSON:        You said you didn’t believe in witches.
SARA:                  Did I say that to you?
ANDERSON:        Never mind.  Do you believe?
SARA:                  I guess I do.  Something has to explain the way I feel about Little Massie.  If you don’t do something to help me, I’m afraid I’ll break my marriage vows.  I love Little Massie with such a burning passion that he’s all I want.
ANDERSON:         And this could not be a natural desire?
SARA:                  No.  I am married to the tallest and handsomest man in Franklin County.  Could you but bring Lord Darnold home, I know I could ward off this enchantment. 
                              (They exit and Rachel and Mrs. Tate step from the shadows. Shape Note singing is heard. )
RACHEL:              Will the magic work now?
MRS TATE:          It is time.  Time for Moses.
RACHEL:              But why at a church?
MRS TATE:          Think back.  It was to happen here all along.  Look, Little Massie, for some strange reason, has left the church service early.
RACHEL:              And Sara will follow?
MRS TATE:          This is the true power of Moses.  The mystery of all mysteries.
                              (As Rachel and Mrs. Tate fade into shadows, Little Massie enters; Sara chases him.)
SARA:                  Little Massie, please don’t rush off so quickly.
MASSIE:              Oh, Sara, I didn’t see you.
SARA:                  Yes you did; you are avoiding me.
MASSIE:              No, honestly.  It’s just…
SARA:                  Little Massie, that’s no way to get to heaven, (Flirting)  to tell a lie in front of church.
Massie:              Sara, you’ve got to stop meeting me like this.  People are beginning to talk.
SARA:                  What do they say?
MASSIE:              They think that there is something going on, you know,  between you and me.  Don’t laugh.  I’m just telling you what folks say.
SARA:                  Why should I laugh?
MASSIE:              Because you are Lord Darnold’s wife.  You’re a fairy-tale matched couple.  He is the handsomest, tallest man in all of Franklin County and you are the fairest and smartest girl in all these mountains. And me -- I’m just Little Massie Grove.
SARA:                  Little Massie, you are something wonderful.  (Carrie enters.) I desire you.  I desire you as I have desired no other.
(Sara crosses to Massie and takes his hand; Carrie quickly crosses to them.)
CARRIE:               Sara, I need to talk to you now.
SARA:                  Not now, Carrie.
                              (Massie moves away from them.)
CARRIE:               It must be now. Everyone in the church saw you follow him out.
SARA:                  This is none of your business.
CARRIE:               It is because you’re going to destroy your marriage.
SARA:                  It has no value now.  This passion that I have for Little Massie --it’s like a thirst I cannot quench, like a sleep that gives no rest.  I must have him.
CARRIE:               Susanna Tate has a hex on you. She is making you do this evil thing.
SARA:                  (She sees that Massie is leaving.)  I’ve got to go to him.  I must have him this day.
VOICE:                 (Offstage) Wicca, Wicca, Wicca.
SARA:                  Little Massie, come home with me, share my house and share my love.
MASSIE:              Sara, do you know what you are saying?
SARA:                  Yes.
MASSIE:              But what about Lord Darnold?
SARA:                  He’s at King’s Mountain. He won’t be back for at least a month, maybe two.  Come home with me and let me prove my love.
(They exit; Rachel and Mrs. Tate emerge from the shadows.)
RACHEL:              You’re pleased with yourself, aren’t you?
MRS. TATE:         Wouldn’t you be?
RACHEL:              Yes and no. I mean, if I had that power to change people…but you used it to destroy Sara.
MRS. TATE:         She doesn’t seem destroyed to me.
RACHEL:              But how’s Lord Darnold going to feel?
MRS. TATE:         I’ll grant you, he may somewhat hurt Rachel…but how will Little Massie feel tonight?       
RACHEL:              How will he feel?
MRS. TATE:         Like a man possessed.  There’s no enchantment made by man or devil that could cause him to love her any more.
RACHEL:              How is that possible?
MRS. TATE:         That, my child, you will learn when you are a woman.
                              (As they fade into the shadows, Little Massie and Sara enter and sit on a bench.)
MASSIE:              I should leave now.  It’s almost morning.
SARA:                  No, don’t leave.
MASSIE:              I must.
SARA:                  Do you want to leave?
MASSIE:              Of course not.  I never want to leave.
SARA:                  You are consumed by that same passion that I have felt.
                              (As Sara and Little Massie embrace, Rachel and Mrs. Tate step out of the shadows.)
RACHEL:              They seem so happy.
MRS. TATE:         They are.
RACHEL:              Then it will turn out all right?
MRS. TATE:         You shall see.
                              (There is the sound of a horse.)
RACHEL:              Who’s that?
MRS. TATE:         It should be Lord Darnold.
RACHEL:              But he’s not due till next month.
MRS. TATE:         That’s what Sara thought.
RACHEL:              Will he discover their love?
MRS. TATE:         Not yet.  First, I must show you the real power of my enchantments.
                              (Mrs. Tate and Rachel return to the shadows and Anderson and Carrie enter.)
CARRIE:               You’ve got to do something.  Lord Darnold has arrived.
ANDERSON:        You want me to cast a spell?
CARRIE:               I’ve heard you have that power.  My grandma always said…
ANDERSON:        But to cast such a spell, without the person’s consent, can be  dangerous.
CARRIE:               Are you afraid that your magic isn’t as strong as Susan’s ?
ANDERSON:        I have recipes.  Recipes to blow out fire, recipes to provide safe journeys, and recipes more powerful than anything a black witch can conjure…I think.
CARRIE:               You think?  Your magic is with the Lord, hers is with the devil. Shouldn’t yours be more powerful?
ANDERSON:        I have never tried my magic against a black witch.  It will be exciting.  I have the recipe for it.
CARRIE:               Then you’ll do it?
ANDERSON:        If I fail…
CARRIE:               You must act quickly, Lord Darnold…
ANDERSON:        Come! 
(They exit. Darnold enters; he sees Sara and Massie.)
DARNOLD:          I take it, Little Massie, that you have grown quite fond of my house while I have been away.
MASSIE:              Lord Darnold, (He rises.) I didn’t mean for this thing to happen.
DARNOLD:          And I guess, from what I have been hearing in town, that you have grown quite fond of my wife.  (Pause.)  You’re not going to deny it?
MASSIE:              I love her, Lord Darnold.  I love her more than anything in the whole world.
DARNOLD:          (He grabs Massie and pushes him down.)  More than your life, Little Massie?  For that’s what it’s going to cost you!
SARA:                  (She runs to Darnold, trying to grab his hand.)  Don’t hurt him.  I can explain.  (Carrie and Anderson enter.)
DARNOLD:          (He shoves her back.)  Stay out of this.  I’ll deal with you later.
MASSIE:              Don’t hurt her, Lord Darnold.  (As he rises, Darnold hits him and again he falls back.)
DARNOLD:          (He pulls out his gun and points it at Massie.)  Little Massie, you have shamed me in this community and you have shamed the name of Darnold.  I shall kill you and then she can love you no more.
 (He cocks the gun.  Sara runs to Darnold and grabs his hand, pulling it toward her so that the gun is pointing toward her chest.) 
SARA:                  I beg you, Lord Darnold, don’t kill him.  If he dies, I too must die.
CARRIE:               Quickly.  You must do it now! 
ANDERSON:        (As he crosses to the group and begins his enchantment, they freeze.)  Three false tongues have spoken for thee.  The first is God, the Father, the second is God the Son, and the third is the Holy Ghost.  They will give you blood and flesh, strength and wisdom.
                              (Rachel and Mrs. Tate step forward from the shadows.)
RACHEL:              Will she break your enchantment?
MRS.TATE:          Never!!  For my conjures are stronger!!  I will win this contest between the White and the Black Magic.  (She crosses to the group and positions herself opposite Anderson.  They circle, mirroring each other’s movements and chanting at the same time.)  I conjure thee, Spirit Ofel, that ye will obey and appear before me and fulfill my desires.  Thus in and through the name of Elion, which Moses named.
                              (The witches become silent as action between Sara, Darnold, and Little Massie resumes.)
SARA:                  If he dies, I too will die.
DARNOLD:          Do you really want him that much?
SARA:                  More than anything.
DARNOLD:          (To Massie) And you? Do you want her more than life itself?
MASSIE:              I love her, Lord Darnold.  The Lord knows we fought it.
DARNOLD:          Then why shouldn’t you have her? If I live to be a hundred I will always regret this marriage, but I don’t want to be damned for eternity because I ended your miserable lives.  Take her, (He puts gun away.) Little Massie. I hope she makes you as happy as she has made me miserable. I mean that sincerely. (He exits, as do Sara and Massie.)
ANDERSON:        I did it! I stopped him from killing Little Massie.
CARRIE:               But she’s still in love with Little Massie.
ANDERSON:        That’s because she always was.  That love was made in heaven. (They exit.)
MRS. TATE:         I did it! Our Little Massie and Sara will always be together and now I can have Lord Darnold for myself.
RACHEL:              But the white witch said…
MRS. TATE:         Pshaw!  White witches will say anything.
RACHEL:              But what if their love was made in heaven?
MRS. TATE:         Made in heaven? You saw the conjure. Sara has Little Massie and Lord Darnold is free.
Rachel:              Are you going to marry him?
MRS. TATE:         I don’t know.  He’s a bit tall for me.  You know, Massie is a nice height.
                              (When Mrs. Tate and Rachel exit, Simpson enters.)
SIMPSON:           I think the most tragic thing about senility is the disorientation. People and events somehow get confused in the deep catacombs of our senior citizen’s memories.  (Rachel wheels Mrs. Tate, now old onto the stage.) Mrs. Tate, where have you been? We’ve been looking everywhere for you.
MRS. TATE:         I…uh…It’s hard to explain.
SIMPSON:           (To Rachel) Young lady, did you take her someplace? That is strictly against the rules.  She has missed her nap. I should forbid you to ever return here.
MRS. TATE:         It wasn’t the child’s fault, it was mine. I took her away with me.
SIMPSON:           Reality, Mrs. Tate. You cannot get out of that wheelchair by yourself.
CRAIG:                 It’s time for Bingo.  Everybody head in the direction of the recreation room. Mrs. Tate, let’s have another go at Bingo!
(He starts to wheel her off; she puts brake on as before.)
MRS. TATE:         I don’t want to play Bingo.
ANDERSON:        (She enters, also old again.)  She’s back.  I told you she’d be back.  I knew she could only stay away so long.
SIMPSON:           It’s time for Bingo!
ANDERSON:        I’m tired of Bingo.
RACHEL:              (She points to Anderson.)  Isn’t that…
MRS. TATE:         Yes, damn her.  She’s plagued me my entire life.
ANDERSON:        Can’t stay away long, now, can you Susana?  Losing your touch?
MRS. TATE:         Why don’t you find a nice toad to enchant ?
SIMPSON:           (Firmly.)  Ladies, It’s time for Bingo.
MRS. TATE:         I don’t want to go to Bingo!  I want my nap now.
CRAIG:                 They’re all like children.  Bad children.
ANDERSON:        Evil.  She’s evil.  Not as evil as she thinks she is, though.
MRS. TATE:         One of these days I’m going to turn her into a cat.  A black, mangy, flea bitten cat.
CRAIG:                 It’s off to Bingo.  Heigh ho!
MRS. TATE:         No! No! No!
SIMPSON:           Let her stay!
CRAIG:                 But it’s expressly against the rules, Dr. Simpson.
SIMPSON:           I’m at the end of my rope.  If she wants to stay, we will allow her to miss Bingo, this once.  But, tomorrow, Mrs. Tate, you will follow the schedule just like everyone else.  (As she exits, sound effects; she grabs her leg in pain.) Oh, my leg!
RACHEL:              Can I come again?
MRS. TATE:         Yes.
RACHEL:              And will you teach me from the book?
MRS. TATE:         No, child.
RACHEL:              Never?  I’ll never learn any of your spells?
MRS. TATE:         Maybe I could teach you one or two, if I’m feeling well.
RACHEL:              Next week?  Will that be too soon?
MRS. TATE:         I might be in the mood tomorrow, if you can come by.  I do have the book, you know.
RACHEL:              I’ll be here.  (She exits.)
MRS. TATE:         (To the audience)  I’ll tell you the truth, and I’ve told this to no one before.  I’m just a lonely, old woman who wants to be loved and who has things to share…(She jumps out of wheelchair) who also happens to be a witch!!!  (She laughs witch-like, as colorful lights fade to black.)

R. Rex Stephenson