By Victoria Ntuli

When a murder is reported, Casey Rogers becomes a suspect. Her own father doesn’t believe her, can she prove her innocence?




(Casey pulls her hoodie up, puts on sunglasses, lights her cigarette and smokes. She is seated outside a coffee shop reading a newspaper) 



30 October 2022



(She quickly closes the newspaper after turning to the next page to read the entire article. She throws the newspaper in the dustbin and leaves the coffee shop without making any eye contact. When she arrives at home, Layla runs to hug her.) 

LAYLA: Hey. My big sister is here. I missed you so much.

CASEY: (frowns) I’m not your sister. Now go! Go to your room (Pushes her and takes the remote that was laying on top of the table to switch on the television)

REPORTER: It is suspected that the suspect has fled the country. The young man was brutally stabbed to death at his apartment and was later thrown to the most dangerous river the ‘Horizon’. Friends and colleagues are being questioned by detective Smith. Anyone with information can…

CASEY: (Clicks her tongue and switches off the television.)

MR ROGERS: I’m still watching.

CASEY: (panics and looks back to find her father standing holding a cup of coffee) Dad you are here, I didn’t notice.

MR ROGERS: This world has become something else. Do you know the Horizon River? There are crocodiles there. Whoever killed Alex is cruel. I mean the person stabbed him to death in his apartment, there was absolutely no need for them to move the body to the Horizon River.

CASEY: You can say that again, but maybe he deserved it.


(Casey walks to her room and lies with her back on the bed holding her teddy bear tightly. There’s a knock on the door) 

CASEY: (shouts) What?

MR ROGERS: Is that how you talk with your father? Open the door!

CASEY: What do you want?

MR ROGERS: I’m leaving now. Can you please keep an eye on your little sister? I will be back shortly.

CASEY: (mumbles) Where are you going?

MR ROGERS : (sighs) To fetch Sarah, she will be having a dinner with us.

CASEY: You mean to sleep over?

MR ROGERS: I won’t let you disrespect me in my own house. Sarah is my girlfriend, it’s time you get used to that. I’m leaving, now make sure you lock the door. This world is no longer a safe place. (shouts) Take care of Layla.

CASEY: (Shouts) Whatever!


(It's 19:41 Layla walks to Casey and finds her burning photos and few clothes behind the yard) 

LAYLA: Sister, what are you burning? Dad and Sarah have arrived.

CASEY: (looks at her and looks down again) Oh, everything is a mess.

LAYLA: Are you crying? Are you OK?

CASEY: (sniffs) I’m not crying, big girls don’t cry. Don’t you know that?

LAYLA: It's okay to break down, I do sometimes when I miss mom. Do you miss her too?

CASEY: What? What mom? You mean Maya? She is not my…

(Mr Rogers clears his throat) 

MR ROGERS: Ladies come inside, dinner is ready.

(They all sit at the table, Sarah prays and they all eat silently) 

LAYLA: Dad, can I ask? Are you going to marry Sarah?

(Mr Rogers and Sarah laugh looking at each other) 

CASEY: (rolls her eyes) that will never happen, not when I’m still alive.

MR ROGERS: I will do as I please. If I want Sarah to be my wife, I will marry her and no one will stop me. I think it’s time you return to your apartment.

CASEY: Dad, you are throwing me out? This is my mother’s house and I’m not going anywhere.

MR ROGERS: This is my house too. Your mother is never coming back, accept that; let her rest in peace.

CASEY: You always want to see yourself with a skirt, aren’t you supposed to be mourning? Layla’s mother died 6 months ago but you have guts to bring a new girlfriend. What are you teaching Layla?

MR ROGERS: (looks down) I cannot mourn forever. Life goes on.

CASEY: So, six months to you is forever?

SARAH: I think I should leave.

CASEY: Yeah you do that.


MR ROGERS: You are not going anywhere babe. Let me get that.

(Stands up to open the door) 

MR SMITH: Good evening, is this Mr Rogers’ house?

MR ROGERS: Of course, what can I do for you at this time?

MR SMITH: I’m Detective Smith, I’m looking for Casey Rogers.

(Mr Rogers looks at Casey and their eyes meet. He quickly looks at Mr Smith) 

MR ROGERS : Can you come tomorrow maybe? We are in the middle of something.

MR SMITH: This cannot wait, I have few questions for her regarding the death of Alex Robinson.


(Casey stands up) 

CASEY: That’s me, how can I assist?

MR ROGERS: How is my daughter involved in the murder of Alex?

MR SMITH: It will be better if I talk with her. If you don’t mind maybe, can you give us some privacy?

(They all stand up to go to their respective rooms leaving Casey and Mr Smith behind) 

CASEY: It’s just you and me, what do you want? Oh sit (points) 

MR SMITH: (sits) Thank you. I did some investigation and I found out that you were in a relationship with Alex. Tell me how was the relationship?

CASEY: (rolls eyes) Uhm I was no longer in a relationship with him. You know what? You should be asking Selina questions, not me.

MR SMITH: Who is Selina?

CASEY: Oh please, Alex’s girlfriend. I thought she is the one who is a prime suspect, definitely not me.

MR SMITH: OK, tell me where were you on the 29th of October 2022, Saturday?

CASEY: At my apartment I think.

MR SMITH: You think? Where do you actually stay? At your father’s house or your apartment?

CASEY: Both.

MR SMITH: When last did you have contact with Alex?

CASEY: I don’t know.

MR SMITH: You are not saying anything. You can check your phone. Perhaps you called him once. I don’t know, you tell me, did you go visit him by mistake to check on him?

CASEY: (shouts) I don’t know what the hell you are talking about. Alex and I broke up two months ago. Why the hell would I contact him? He chose the bitch over me.

MR SMITH: Miss Rogers calm down. Now that you are angry we can’t continue, but I have one last question then I will not bother you.

CASEY: (sobs) I loved him so much, he cheated on me now he is dead (wipes her tears). Sorry I didn’t mean to cry. I don’t understand why I’m even doing this.

MR SMITH: (hands her a tissue) You are not going to jail, it’s just an investigation. Why did you guys break up? How did you react? Did you still love him before his death?

(Mr Rogers enters the room, very furious) 

MR ROGERS: You are still here? Why is she crying? My baby girl knows nothing about the death of Alex. Now can you please leave my house?

MR SMITH: I’m so sorry, I was leaving. (takes out his business card) Here, call me if you need to talk.


(The following day Casey is sleeping, Layla runs to open the curtains, the whole room lights up then she runs to Casey’s bed, jumping up and down) 

CASEY: (moans) Get out.

LAYLA: Let’s play with toys.

CASEY: I said get out of my room. I don’t want to play with you, I’m old for toys.

LAYLA: Black roses?

CASEY: (rubs her eyes) What are you still doing here? (Points) and that?

LAYLA: I found them here in your room.

CASEY: (confused) Roses? Give them to me (takes the roses)… no card.

LAYLA: (smiles) You have a stalker, big sister.

(Layla runs to the sitting room, Casey follows her dragging her feet) 

SARAH: Good morning girls. (Switches the television on to watch news) 

LAYLA: Can’t we watch cartoons?

CASEY: I was going to ask the same thing.

SARAH: SHH! (Turns the volume up) 

REPORTER: Police declared that they have found a bunch of black roses in the deceased’s apartment. The investigation continues.

CASEY: No! No! No! This can’t be happening. I found black roses in my room and yesterday I was questioned for murder.

SARAH: What honey? You found what?

CASEY: Where is dad? (screams) Where the hell is he?

(Mr Rogers quickly enters the sitting room) 

MR ROGERS: I’m here, what’s wrong?

CASEY: (cries) Dad I think I’m in deep trouble. Some weird black roses landed up in my room.

SARAH: (panics) Maybe she is next, maybe they want to kill her.

MR ROGERS : Shut up Sarah. Casey, why was the detective here? Start talking. I’m so confused right now but let me tell you one thing, I don’t have money so I can’t afford a lawyer. Whatever it is, you are seriously in trouble.

CASEY: Alex was my ex-boyfriend. We broke up two months ago.

MR ROGERS : You had a motive to kill him, didn’t you? If you did kill him, hand yourself in maybe you can get a lighter sentence.

CASEY: (shocked) My own father thinks I’m capable of murder? You think I did it? I can’t believe this.

(Casey runs away and bangs the door) 

MR ROGERS: She will cool off.

SARAH: Do you think she…?

MR ROGERS: Stop worrying about her, come here (hugs her), when will you move in with me?

SARAH: Hey slow down.

[They both giggle]


(Casey is seated on the bench at the park smoking) 

BOB: Hello, uhm can I keep you company, you look stressed. Everything ok?

CASEY: (looks at him) I wish everything was ok, I’m afraid it’s not.

BOB: What’s bothering you?

CASEY: Long story. Who are you?

BOB: I’m Bob and you are?

CASEY: (smiles) I’m Casey.

(They both shake hands. Casey’s phone rings and she answers it) 

CASEY: What do you want dad?

MR ROGERS: You need to get here now. The police are searching the house.

Casey: (shocked) What!?




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