Fourteen-year-old Gowdie and her older sister, Bun, live alone in a house surrounded by dark and mysterious woods. One day, when she was supposed to have been out harvesting potatoes, the adolescent Gowdie falls under the charms of the lustful spirit, the Love Talker, and a companion spirit, the Red Head. Bun, realizing Gowdie is under the spirit's influence, sets magic charms about the house for protection. But Gowdie is completely enamored of the Love Talker and resists Bun's efforts. Bun tries to tell Gowdie that their mother fell prey to the same spirit, which seduced her and caused her death, but Gowdie refuses to listen. Instead she breaks Bun's charms and calls the Love Talker into their home. Bun runs from the house and spends the night hiding under a quilt in the yard. In the morning, however, she spies the Red Head, catches her and forces her to divulge the Love Talker's true name, which Bun can use in a spell to drive him away. Bun ties Gowdie up, then goes out into the woods to wait for the Love Talker. Meanwhile, the Red Head unties Gowdie and makes her believe that Bun wants the Love Talker for herself. When the Love Talker appears Bun finds she is unable to complete the spell, and instead, kisses him. Horrified, she runs home and replaces her charms. But Gowdie, under the Red Head's influence, kills Bun, and the Love Talker appears in the doorway, having claimed another member of the family.
THE LOVE TALKER is an eerie and sensual play—set in an age when strange spirits walked the earth and magic was all around—which seems to have emanated from the darkest reaches of the Grimms' fairy tales. Originally presented at Actors Theater of Louisville's Eleventh Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays, it was included in The Best Short Plays of 1988.