In Praying Mantis, part of a trilogy of one-act plays, Steve and Laura are sitting on a back porch swing on a late summer night in 1994. Laura says she likes listening to crickets and watching the fireflies, feeling safe but thinking that something is waiting out there. She asks Stephen if he thinks she is unstable because her father and mother were unstable and abandoned her. He says nobody gets over anything. She says he is talking like he’s trying out rough drafts of his novel. She asks if the novel is about her mother and if there is a praying mantis in it. He says he married her mother because he loved her and Laura’s father had left them destitute. She wonders why Stephen stayed when her mother left and he tells her that her mother once told him that she would cut the hands off anyone who hurt her child. Laura tells Stephen that she has seen him trying to be good to her and she can’t help suspecting his motives. He says he will never hurt her, but she says he will hurt her because he loves her. She says she is cold and is going inside. She asks if he is coming inside. He says no but she doesn’t move as the light fades and goes out.