"Djinn Rummage" © 2002 Matthew John Gallagher
. All rights reserved. For production information, contact the author.


Sam, her friend
The Djinn, Servant of the Lamp
Rabid Fans
Moon Creatures


Scene:    A rummage sale.

A large table stands just right of center, covered in doodads, crafts, clothing, toys, and the detritus of someone’s life.

Two kids enter, DOREEN and SAM.  Both are dressed in “thrift store chic.”  Sam carries a large goody bag.

Doreen sifts through the stuff on the table unceremoniously.

Doreen: Gawd.  This stuff is all crap.

Sam: But you love rummage sales.

Doreen: Yeah, but where’s the treasure?  This is just other people’s junk.  There’s never any treasure anymore.

Sam: Yeah, all the good stuff’s been taken.

Doreen: It’s like you have to get up at five a.m. before all the antique dealers get-- (Spying a copper pot underneath a pile) Ooohh... what’s this?

Sam: It looks old.

Doreen: Yeah, ancient.

Sam: Like from the seventies or something.

Doreen: I thought it was an old planter, but it kind of looks like a teapot.

Sam: It’s kind of strange for a teapot.

Doreen: Who’s the treasure hunting expert here?  Look, it’s a teapot.  I wonder how much she wants for it.

Sam: Gosh, it’s awfully dirty.

Doreen: (Commandingly) Treasure cleaning kit.  (Sam pulls out a small pouch from the goody bag and hands it to Doreen.  Doreen pulls out a chamois polishing cloth from it.  She begins to polish the object.)  I bet I can get it for a dollar.  Let’s just see what it looks like under some of this dust....

As Doreen polishes the object, fog swirls around the stage and the lights change to green and purple hues.  Both Sam and the table disappear slowly into the fog and offstage.

In their place a small person appears, dressed in little else than green and purple vest, pantaloons, and slippers.  The creature moves oddly, slowly and fluidly, as if made of liquid and having difficulty getting its limbs to remain stationary.

Djinn: Greetings and felicitations, O Great Mistress.

Doreen: What the ???  Who are ???  Where am ?????

Djinn: You have the great fortune of releasing, for a time, the Servant of the Lamp, O My Mistress.

Doreen: Lamp?  Ha ha ha ha ha!  Oh, I get it!  Great joke, Sam!  Sam?  Come on out now, Sam....

Djinn:The Wishes thou now hast

        Number in three

        Ask what thou wilt

        To set me free

Doreen: Where’d all this smoke come from?

Djinn: All that you see comes from my existence between the different worlds.

Doreen: Okay, this is totally crazy.  You are so goofin’.

Djinn: A Servant of the Lamp endeavors only to serve, not “goof,” O Mistress.

Doreen: Okay, let me see if I get this... This...this thing is a lamp.

Djinn: And old and precious doorway between all that there is and all that there could be.

Doreen: Yeah, yeah, whatever.  And you’re the genie of the lamp....

Djinn: Your powers of observation are beyond par with those of the most learned scholars of old, Great Mistress.

Doreen: You were saying something about wishes.

Djinn:   For payment, this servant

        Which you have set free

        Will grant thee wishes

        The number of three

Doreen: No way.

Djinn: Way, O Great Mistress.

Doreen: I don’t believe you.  You can’t prove it.

Djinn: Look around you!  Where do you think__??can it be that you actually doubt my powers to distort time and space to my very bidding??  I am a DJINN, spirit of the Fifth House of Amethyst and Jade!  Your life is but a spark to my roaring flame!  You have barely begun to learn to walk upright and yet??(calming down) of course the Great Mistress requires proof.  It is proof she shall have.  (Waving arms in a strange fluid motion) ABUL KELAH!

Partitions open up behind the pair to reveal a large rear-projection screen.  Slides appear upon the screen to evidence the vast powers under the Djinn’s control.  The first slide shows an underwater scene, replete with whales and exotic fishes.

Doreen: It’s, like, a TV.

Djinn: It is a window into the worlds I can offer you, O Mistress.  Behold!  All the creatures under the oceans could be yours to command, should you so desire.

Doreen: I don’t want to talk to fish.

The next few slides appear, showing the expanse of the galaxy, moving from planet to planet.

Djinn: Great Mistress, you could traverse the Universe, exploring the wonders of all the known worlds...

Doreen: Uh-hunh.... Okay, what else have you got?

The next slides display a fortune in jewels and gold.

Djinn: The standard first wish is for riches beyond imagining.

Doreen: I like that!

Djinn: I thought you would.

Doreen: Would I get a big house??like a mansion?

Djinn: Of course.

Doreen: And be driven around in a huge limousine?

Djinn: Naturally.

Doreen: Oh, I’d love to be rich...but not just rich.  I want to be famous, too, and have people recognize and adore me wherever I go??just like a movie star!

Djinn: Do you so rich it?  I mean, wish it?

Doreen: I do!!

Djinn: As you have wished it, it shall be so!  ABUL KELAH!

Once again, waving arms strangely, causing the set to change into Rodeo Drive in L.A.  Doreen pulls off her sweatshirt to reveal a fashionable top, and pulls off her jeans to reveal a trendy skirt.  Sunglasses suddenly adorn her head.

Doreen: Wow!  Look at all this!  No more rummage sales for me!  Where are we?

Djinn: Beverly Hills.

Doreen: Wait till everyone back home sees this!  Let’s go shopping!

A Rabid Fan walks up.

Fan: Omigawd?? You-- you... do you know who you are?!?

Doreen: Well, yeah, I??

Fan: Doreen Markham!  You’re Doreen Markham!!!

Doreen: Markham?  But my name is --

Djinn: Lefkowitz wasn’t getting you anywhere so you changed your name to Markham.

Fan: I love you!!!  Can I have your autograph?

Doreen: Sure.  Anything for a fan!  I don’t know if I have a pen...

Fan: (Calling off stage)  Hey, everyone!  It’s Doreen Markham!!!  Over here!

Several Rabid Fans rush the stage, surrounding Doreen.  They take pictures of her, flashing the light in her face, and scream at her.  They begin to pull at her clothing, which comes off in Velcroed® strips.

Fans: We love you, Doreen!  I’m your biggest fan! No, I am!!!  This is so exciting!  I need a souvenir of meeting you!

The Fans begin to beat her down to the ground.

Doreen: Hey??What are you?? OW!  That’s my hair!  OW!  Stop that!  Get off me!  Genie! Genie!!!! OW!!!

The Djinn steps up and waves her arms.  All the Fans freeze in place.


The Fans slowly spread out and fade from stage, revealing a Doreen in tattered clothing which resembles rags.  Her hair is atrocious.

Fans: Wow, I can’t believe I got to meet Doreen Markham.  She wasn’t as nice in person as I thought she would be.  Look, I got some of her hair!

Doreen: Look... look at me.  The clothes aren’t even good enough for a rummage sale now!

Djinn: You can buy more, now that you are rich and famous.

Doreen: I hate being famous!  If this is what it’s like, I hate it!  I hate it!!!

Djinn: (Helping her to her feet)  Oh, you haven’t given it a chance.

Doreen: (rubbing her leg)  Ow... I think one of them bit me.

Djinn: Another wish perhaps, O Mistress?

Doreen: People just suck!  How could they do that to someone?  I need to get away from everyone.  I wish I could live on the Moon or something.

Djinn: As you have wished it, it shall be so.  ABUL KELAH!!

Once again, fog rises on stage, as Doreen is transformed into a space alien, with blue tentacled headdress and a blue alien outfit.

The background slide changes to that of the Moon’s surface.

Doreen: Now wait a minute! I... (She begins to bounce around on the Moon’s surface.)  Hey, this is kinda cool.  It’s really peaceful here.

Djinn: (Putting on suntan lotion)  Many people in the Solar System find the Moon to be the ideal vacation spot.

Doreen: How come I can breathe and talk up here?

Djinn: You have adapted to your environment.

Doreen inspects her body.

Doreen: Eewwwwwww!  AAAAHHH!  What have you done to me!  I have?? tentacles growing out of my head!!!!

Djinn: They create the portable atmosphere that allows you to breathe and speak.  And, if I may say so, they are rather fetching on you, O My Mistress.

Doreen: Blue.  You’ve made me... blue.

Djinn: It is the natural colour of the Moon creatures, Great Mistress.

Doreen: (Pointing through the house)  They’re not blue.

Three Moon Creatures, in similar costume to Doreen’s but in vibrant red, enter through the house, jibbering and gesturing excitedly.  The Leader waves a ray gun.

Djinn: Well, nobody’s perfect.

Moon Creatures: Jib!  Jib!  Bleetak krig!  Jib!

Doreen: Greetings.  Uh, we mean you no harm.  Uh...take me to your... leader?

Moon Leader: (Menacingly)Jib!  Bleetak!  Bleetak Krig!  Jib-jib!!

The other two Moon Creatures advance on Doreen.

Doreen: Oh, no, not this again!

The Moon Leader fires at Doreen’s feet, which cause her to jump in slow motion.

Moon Leader: *BRZZZZZZZRT!*  Jab kree... Bleetak!  JIB!  Jib-jib!!

The other Moon Creatures grab Doreen by each arm and begin a game of slow-motion tug of war with her.

Doreen: Genie, you screw-up!  This wish isn’t any better than the first one.  In fact, it’s worse!  Do something!


The three Moon Creatures “float” away.

Doreen: How long have you been at this wish-and-genie game, anyway?

Djinn: Ten thousand seasons have passed since first I became the Servant who travels through the portal of the Lamp, O Great Mistress.

Doreen: Well, you aren’t very good at it.

Djinn: Perhaps you would like to take some time to reflect before making your next wish....

Doreen: I mean, you have all these powers, right?  You can go anwhere, do anything.  How hard could it be to grant three little wishes?

Djinn: Well, there are of course all the quantum calculations... folding time and space...

Doreen: (Not listening)  I bet even I could do a better job!  And, I’d be able to do anything I want.

Djinn: (Not listening)  ...then of course one must keep up with the current crazes and trends....

Doreen: No one would hassle me.

Djinn: You sort of have to be a psychologist and personal shopper, all rolled into one.

Doreen: All right.  I wish it.

Djinn: Wish what?

Doreen: I wish to trade places with you.  I want all your powers, and you can have my dull, boring life.

Djinn: Really?  You mean it?  That is, take my hand, O Great Mistress!  (They touch palm-to-palm)  As you have wished it, it shall be done! ABUL KELAH!!

They spin around as the blue and green fog swirl up.  Doreen’s headdress and alien skin are replaced with a vest and pantaloons.  The Djinn dons Doreen’s old sweatshirt and jeans.  The fog begins to recede as the rummage sale table returns to right of center.

Doreen: Rad!

Djinn: These vestments are funky cool and comfy.  No more shivering in that skimpy outfit for me!

Doreen: I think I’ll go to Hawai’i first, for a vacation.

Djinn: You have to work some before you deserve a vacation.

Doreen: Abul Kelah! (Nothing happens.)  I’m still here.  I feel... stuck.

Djinn: You are now a Servant of the Lamp.  You’re only free to employ your powers in the service of one who frees you from the prison between the worlds.

Doreen: Prison!  You never told me that!  You tricked me!

Djinn: People who don’t listen often trick themselves.

Doreen: I feel like I’m being sucked inside that lamp!

Djinn: The spacial rift is opening and you are being called back home.

Doreen: Help!  Stop this!  Change me back!

Djinn: Sorry.  Can’t.  Like, soooo not a Djinn anymore.  See ya.

Doreen swirls offstage with the rest of the blue and green mist.

Sam walks up to the table.

Sam: Oh, Doreen!  There you are.  I’ve been looking?? Hey, you’re not Doreen.

Djinn: No, I’m not.

Sam: Hi, I’m Sam.  I was looking for my friend.  She has a sweatshirt just like that.

Djinn: I’m... I’m Jen.  Yeah, she traded me something for it, and then she... took off.

Sam: Just like her.

Djinn: (Rummaging through the goods on the table with reverence)  Many treasures can one find here...

Sam: Oh, I love rummage sales, don’t you?

Djinn: I’ve never really... shopped at one.  I wonder why people throw all their things away like this?

Sam: They just get rid of stuff they have no use for, I guess.  But a lot of this stuff is really cool.  Like treasure.  Doreen found this weird teapot ??

Djinn: You know, I’m starving.  I feel like I haven’t eaten in a thousand years.

Sam: Me, too.  Do you like Bongo Burger?  It’s just a few blocks from here, and today’s free fries day!

Djinn: Sometimes “free” can be pretty costly.  I wonder if I have any money. (Checking pockets) Hey, I do!

Sam: (Grabbing the Djinn’s arm and pulling her offstage) And they use real barbecue sauce on their hamburgers.  They’re sooooo good.  You’ll love ‘em!

They exit together, smiling and laughing.

"Djinn Rummage" © 2002 Matthew John Gallagher. All rights reserved. For production information, contact the author.