**** Inhumanimal ****

Official website of Devin Hansen

The Red Oven (One-Act Play from 2013)


Characters:

  • AUNTIE JEAN: Woman in her fifties or sixties. Frumpy by trying to look glamorous. 
  • TIMOTHY: Thin young man who looks as though he rarely sleeps or eats.
  • JOHN WAYNE:
  • MAE WEST:
  • JAMES CAGNEY:
  • TINA: Young female who works the concession stand.
  • Extras: 3-4 people to play customers in the cinema. 

 

Setting:  One-screen cinema in 1987. The stage is split into two areas. Stage right is the projection booth (three cubicle walls painted red). It’s occupied by a “projector” and a chair and some action figures on small cocktail table. Stage-middle is a door that acts as entrance to the building. The “entrance” to the cinema itself can be imagined behind the projection booth. Stage-right is the concession area. A simple table covered with a cloth and some displays of candy. A popcorn machine. There is also a “Three Men and a Baby” movie poster hanging there, with “Opens March 13” above it. Another movie poster is of an old Cowboy film and it says: “Classic Matinee Every Sunday”. The “stairs” are actually behind the cubicle walls that will be behind the concession stand.

Plot:  Auntie Jean owns the theater and her nephew Tim works as the projectionist. It’s a mom-and-pop operation, with a projector that is on its last legs. Tim works from morning to night, and is always in the booth to keep it from breaking down. He likes to sneak drinks because he is so bored, and also suffers from insomnia. He rarely leaves the booth, and is often found sleeping there. At random times of the day he starts having visions of long-dead movie stars. They berate him at times, but usually try to convince him that Auntie Jean is stealing from the cinema and wants to sell it. So, she has to be stopped! James Cagney and Mae West try to coax him into taking over the cinema himself and save it. John Wayne tries to encourage Tim to leave the cinema for a better life. All the ghosts have personal, ulterior motives, however.  James and Mae want the theater to survive, because as long as their names are spoken, as long as they are on the silver screen, they’ll be alive in people’s minds and hearts. Thus, they will never “die.” They are too afraid of what might be after their current existence. John Wayne, however, wants Tim to leave the theater and for the Aunt to sell it and tear it down. In his mind, that’s the only way he’ll escape the silver-screen purgatory and move toward an after-life. The ghosts/visions can’t interact with the physical world – thus making the audience wonder if they are just visions concocted by an insomniac, or actual ghosts. 

 

SCENE ONE: Tim is sleeping on a chair in the projection booth.  Aunt walks in, turns on lights over Concession Stand. She cleans up some popcorn and candy wrappers. She turns on the radio, it’s “Thriller” from Michael Jackson. She grabs a broom and starts sweeping/dancing. The music awakens Tim, who is sleeping on a chair in the projection booth. He kicks over a bottle as he’s awakened.

AUNTIE: (approaching the booth with the broom ready to swing) Tim? Tim is that you?

TIM: (Puts his jacket over the bottle and smoothes his hair) Yeah, Auntie. (clears throat). Yeah, it’s just me.

AUNTIE: (Reaches the doorway of projection booth, looks him over for a second and then stabs him with the bristles of the broom – angry, but concerned) Hells-bells, you scare me half to death. I thought you were a ghost or something. What you doing sleeping in this booth again?! 

TIM: (starts to answer in a mumbled breath but is cut-off).

AUNTIE: You know you can’t be sleeping in here. (pause) That’s why I got you that cot in the storage room. Sleep in there if you have to.

TIM: But it reeks like bleach.

AUNTIE: (Lifts the jacket from his liquor bottle) Better than stinking like hell water.

TIM: (Rolls his eyes and shakes his head.)

AUNTIE: (Stabs him with the broom) All right now. You oil up that projector and get the movie threaded. Then you sweep up the theater. We got a matinee at noon.  

TIM: Yes, Auntie. (she starts to walk away). Oh wait, did you buy any projector oil? 

AUNTIE: Just keep using that stuff we put on the popcorn. 

TIM: It’s not going to run on butter forever.

AUNTIE: And, I can’t be wasting money on motor oil forever. 

TIM: We had like 200 people here last night. We practically sold the place out. 

AUNTIE: And everything worked just fine, didn’t it. 

TIM: Yeah, cause I’m sitting right here all night. If that thing runs out of oil its gonna grind to a halt or burn up.

AUNTIE: (pause) All right. I’ll get you some tomorrow. (walks to the concession counter). 

TIM: (Under his breath) That’s what you said last week. 

AUNTIE: (Cocks her head) I didn’t quite catch that… 

TIM: I said ‘Thank You, that’ll be sweet.’

AUNTIE:  All right then. But it’s coming out of your paycheck! (stuffs some money in her pocket from the register). I’m heading next door for a sandwich. Doors open soon. You get this place looking pretty. 

TIM: (Picks up the bottle and gives her cheers and takes a swig). 

AUNTIE: You hear me, Tim?

TIM: (coughs)

AUNTIE: What?

TIM: Yes, Ma’am.

AUNTIE: All righty then. (Exits). 

Action: Tim takes one more swig and then heads to the concession counter. He opens up one candy bar, eats a bite and then throws away the rest. He then then gets a broom and starts sweeping up popcorn in the audience. Mumbling funny things about how much he hates customers.

JAMES: (Appears in the projection booth as Tim is cleaning the floor in the audience. This way, the audience’s attention is away from the projection booth and James can appear from “nowhere”. – We are building a sliding door in the booth.) 

TIM: (Makes his way back to the stage, still sweeping.)

JAMES: (Sniffs the whiskey bottle. He tries to touch it but can’t. Sniffs and sighs with a longful aching.)

TIM: (Hears something and walks up to the booth hesitantly.)

JAMES: (Another aching sigh as he tries to pick up the bottle but can’t – this shows the audience that ghosts can’t interact with the physical world. It also makes them question whether it’s an actual ghost, or just a figment of Tim’s imagination. Make this comedic. James lets out a frustrated, comical cry.)

TIM: (Holds the broom like a weapon and moves hesitantly to the booth) Who’s there? Whoever’s in there, I’m armed!  

JAMES:  C’mon, I don’t fight, baby. I’m a lover! 

TIM: (Confused and readies the broom for attack.)

JAMES: (Steps from projection booth) You’re not gonna hurt this pretty face are ya?

TIM: (Stumbles backward.)

JAMES: (Moves forward as if to help him up.) Hey, hey hey. I didn’t mean to scare you, Sonny.

TIM: (getting to his feet) Are you here for a movie? 

JAMES: I guess you could say that. 

TIM: Well, you can come back and buy a ticket later. We’re not open yet. 

JAMES: Believe me. I’d blow this joint if I could. But I’m afraid I’m stuck here for long, long time. 

TIM: I’m pretty sure the police could get you outta here. 

JAMES: Oh, wanna call the coppers on me, eh?

TIM: This is my theater, mister.

JAMES: Your theater. Ha ha. That’s a good one.

TIM: Now get outta here before I pick up that phone

JAMES: (Slowly) Why you’re serious, you stool pigeon.

TIM: (Starts toward the concession stand and the phone.)

JAMES: You’re old man would’ve handled this like a gentleman, Timothy. Like a gentleman!

TIM:  (Looks at James and then walks to the door and holds it open). Listen, I don’t know who you are, or how you knew my father, but I’ll ask you this one more time. Please, leave. 

JAMES: (Slow and adamant) I told you. I would if I could. 

TIM:  Ok (lifts his hands in defeat heads to the rotary phone and picks up the receiver) Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

JAMES: (Follows behind him) You get them coppers here and they’re gonna think you’re daffy. 

TIM: (Turns his back to him and starts dialing) Whatever man. Like I said, I warned you.  

JAMES: (pulls his revolver) No, I warned YOU! Ya dirty rat. 

Action: Tim turns to him, James fires three shots at Tim’s gut. Tim clutches his body and screams out as James laughs his way back toward the projection booth. Commotion for a few seconds before Auntie walks in.

AUNTIE: (Carrying a sandwich bag and can of Tab.) What on Earth is wrong with you?

TIM: (Pointing at James who is in the projection booth entryway) He shot me! He shot me! 

AUNTIE: (Takes a sip of Tab as she looks in the direction Tim is pointing. James does some funny gesture, like fake shooting or doing a silly dance.) Who the heck are you talking about?

TIM: (Still pointing at James who is laughing quietly) Him! 

Action: Auntie looks toward the space where James should be, and then looks back at Tim. Tim then feels himself for gunshot wounds. Auntie shakes her head and walks behind the concession counter, pushing Tim out of the way so she can take a seat on her stool in front of the cash register. Tim runs his hands through his hair, bewildered. James goes into the booth.

AUNTIE: (Opens up her sandwich bag) You clean the theater yet?

TIM: (Pants) Yeah.

AUNTIE: (Unwrapping sandwich) Pardon?

TIM: I mean, yes, Ma’am. 

AUNTIE: (Speaks with a mouth full of food.) That’s better. You get the movie threaded?

TIM: No Ma’am. Not yet. 

AUNTIE: (Takes another bite.) Well hurry up, folks’ll be here soon.

TIM: Yes Ma’am. (Starts to walk toward booth, still clearly upset.)

AUNTIE: (Grabs him by the arm as he passes.) You ok?

TIM: (Wipes a bit of food/spittle from his face). I’m all right, Ma’am. Just uh…just need some sleep I guess. (Walks to projection booth.)

AUNTIE: (Calling after him.) You need to lay off that dang hell water too. Understand? 

TIM: (Waves her off as he enters the booth. Inside he sees James. Tim is surprised and backs up to the projector, pointing at James who is leaning against the wall with his arms crossed. Tim speaks in a whispered scream) I don’t know who you are, or what you are, but please, please just leave me alone.

JAMES: (Releases his pose.) Relax, Kid. Jeez. (Then walks causally up to the butter oil) Butter oil? So you’re running that thing on butter oil?!

TIM: (Shakes head in agreement.) Yeah, so?

JAMES: Hmph.  And to think, folks actually put that into their bodies?

TIM: (Pauses). At least it tastes good. 

JAMES: Hmph. I wouldn’t know. (He drops to the whiskey bottle and starts sniffing again.) But this, ahhhhh. I remember this like momma’s teat. 

TIM: (Takes the bottle possessively.) 

JAMES: (Laughs as he gets up) Trust me, I would’ve drained that long ago if I could, Sonny boy.

TIM: (Looks at the bottle and then takes a swig. James looks on longingly and comically)

Action: Tim threads the projector. People start coming in and buying tickets.

JAMES: Say, about earlier. You know, I was just trying to get your attention.

TIM: Well, you did a good job. 

JAMES: (Laughs) Ha. Yeah. I thought you were gonna have a heart attack and we were really gonna have to call the meatwagon.  

TIM: (Turns to him and sneers).

JAMES: So (claps hands together) it’s Friday, what’s the new picture? 

TIM: Who cares. Something about three guys raising a little baby. It’s probably gonna flop.

JAMES: (Leans out of the booth and sees people in line) Well, looks like all these folks want to see it. (Pauses) You always got good crowds at this place, don’t ya? 

TIM: (Ignoring him as he finishes working on the projector.) Usually. Not like the multiplex though. 

JAMES: Multiplex. Ha! They’ll never outgun a good old cinema like this. And they’ll never draw high-class dames like her. (Looks at sexy Extra. She’s eating some popcorn.). Oh wait, no. No! No don’t eat the popcorn, argh. 

TIM: (Still trying to ignore him, he grabs the butter oil and starts to funnel it into the projector).

JAMES: Chrimanently. You think these folks know they could run their automobiles on that stuff?

TIM:  I’ll have some regular oil soon. This is only temporary.

JAMES: Temporary. Sure. You now, that’s the same thing I hear about you? 

TIM: What? 

JAMES: Well, you know, I just heard your Aunt talking about a new projector yesterday.

TIM: (Doubtful) Oh really?

JAMES: Hey, I’m everywhere baby. 

TIM: (Scoffs.) Ppppsh.

JAMES: She was right over there on that phone talking to someone about a brand new 35mm projector. You know, one that won’t break down all the time.  A new, ‘Century 2000,’ she said. The finest projector on the market! 

TIM: That’s ridiculous. 

JAMES: She was flipping through a dang catalog. It had platters that could hold a double feature. Automatic transitions from scope to flat. Heck, there were four different lenses on that son of a gun. You could even change aperture plates like they were slides. I tell you. This is 21st century technology we’re talking about. 

TIM:  Projectors aren’t freaking robots. They still need people to run them. 

JAMES: I don’t know. I hear that Century 2000 would run pretty smooth. No fear of breaking down. No fear of fire! Shoot, she wouldn’t even need you sitting up here all day and all night, would we? 

TIM: What are you getting at?

JAMES: Folks are worried about the China-men taking their jobs. They better be more worried about the robots! It’s the robots! 

TIM: Will you please just go away.

JAMES: You never know, someday a projector might even run itself! Maybe they’ll have movies on little tiny records that you play on little tiny record players. I hear you can watch movies at home now, right? Well, pretty soon you could probably watch a movie in your car. Then what? What’s gonna happen to our theaters? What’s gonna happen to guys like you, like me?

TIM: (Laughs) Yeah a movie in your car. Maybe we’ll even watch movies on little contraptions we carry in our pockets. Jeez, what are you, omnipotent?

JAMES: (Acts like he’s taking his coat off to fight) Why, you dirty rat. You better take that back!

TIM: Huh?! I asked if you were OM-nipitent. Like, are you a god or something. Like, you know everything that’s gonna happen.

JAMES: Ah. Ok.  (straightens the lapels of his jacket).  I gotcha. No. I’m not “omnipotent,” I just know the way the world works, that’s all. And you gotta start watching your back. We all do.

TIM:  (Starts talking calmly and slowly gets more angry) You act like you’re telling me something I don’t know. Like you’re telling me something I’ve never considered. But listen, just cause you can walk through walls or rattle your spooky chains, doesn’t mean you know everything.  So listen here, Mickey or Bogey or whoever the heck you think you are. I know that, ok. I know. I know we’re gonna have movies running themselves some day. But right now. I’m here. I’m here and ready to work. You understand? 

JAMES: (Calmly, rubbing his chin) Mickey? (pause) Bogey? (pause) Have you ever watched a movie that wasn’t in color? (walks up to him) Lookie here, I’m just thinking about you now. I’m worried about you

TIM: Even if we did get a new projector, Auntie would still need me to build up these movies. You know, piece together the film. Tape it. Get it on the platter ready to spin. 

JAMES: Sure. Sure. But how long does that take Tim? Twenty, thirty minutes tops?

TIM: (Shrugs and walks away to the projector to fiddle with it, without answering.)

JAMES: Hey, I’m sorry, Kid. I’m just looking out for you… and my glorious cinema.

TIM: Auntie can’t even afford motor oil, I doubt she could get a new projector. 

JAMES: (Laughs) You said yourself, we had what, 200 people here last night? I think I just saw at least 50 people go through. (Tim looks) All of them buying tickets and all of them buying popcorn. You think about that, Sonny. You think about that. (Takes seat in the corner and crosses his legs).

AUNTIE: (Shouting from the concession stand) Hey Tim, get your tail out here and help me out.

TIM: Yes Ma’am! 

JAMES: (Calling after him) Think about it, Tim!

Action: Tim runs to the concession counter and sells a few things to patrons, but only Auntie handles the money. In the meantime, in the darkened projection booth James disappears and Mae takes his place as the audience’s attention is on the concession counter. Auntie and Tim have a little back and forth banter on getting popcorn and soda, and drinks, etc. Very short.]

AUNTIE: That’s good, that’s good. Now get your tail up there and start the movie (gives him a shove.) 

TIM: (Hurries to booth. Starts the projector. Then grabs the whiskey bottle. His back is always to Mae.)

MAE: You know, Ben Franklin once said that he drinks to endure the company of idiots. (Startled, Tim turns to her) Well, you drink alone, so what does that say about you? 

TIM: (Scared, backs up to the projector)

MAE: Careful now, you don’t want to get that pretty little shirt stuck in those gears. 

TIM: I’ve…I’ve seen you before.

MAE: Well that’s not a surprise. I’m pretty unforgettable now, ain’t I, Sweetie? 

TIM: (Swallows.) Yes, Ma’am. 

MAE: Ma’am?! 

TIM: I’m just being polite, Miss Monroe.

MAE: Miss Monroe?!

TIM: I mean. Ummm. Do you prefer Marilyn? 

MAE: Good lord, you show classic movies here every Sunday, but you’ve never watched a single one of them, have you?   

TIM: A couple…

MAE: Well, do you ever remember Marilyn having a pair like this? (Pushes out her big chest). 

TIM: (Giggles like a school boy) 

MAE: My name is MAE you drunken baboon. And you shall address me as Miss West. If you know what’s good for you (she cocks her hip). 

TIM: (Cradles his whiskey bottle, turns his back to her, and starts fingering the opening).  I’m sorry, Miss West. I didn’t mean anything by it.

MAE: It’s ok, Timothy. You’re too cute not to forgive. (Pause as Tim smiles) Anyway, Jimmy says you two had a good talk.

TIM: Jimmy?

MAE: Oh dear lord. Jimmy. (Does her impression) “You dirty rat…” You know, Jimmy! 

TIM: Oh, you mean the guy that SHOT me?!

MAE: (Laughs) Sure the man that “shot you” (she points at his chest) And you just look sooo terrible.

TIM: (Starts rubbing his chest.) 

MAE:  Enough about you. What about me, Tim? Do I look all right to you? 

TIM: (Rubs the back of his neck) Yeah, I guess so. 

MAE: You guess so? (Does a sexy stance) There ain’t nothing out there finer than this! 

TIM: (Shrugs ignorantly.) 

MAE: Really? I’m more than a woman, I’m a movie star, Tim. I’m better than anything you’ll ever see here. (Goes to booth door. Sees three girls at the concession counter.) Why, just look out there. That first one, looks like the only makeup she can afford is eyeliner. 

TIM: (Smiles.) 

MAE: And her. See that one? Her whole face is makeup. 

TIM: (Nodding.)

MAE: Or that one. She looks like her hair was teased with sandpaper! 

TIM: That’s kinda the style now. 

MAE: To look like a street whore?

TIM: I don’t know, I kind of like it. 

MAE: Boy, you don’t even know what it’s like to be with a real woman. 

TIM: A real woman, like you?

MAE: Yeah, like me. When men see me on that screen, I am imprinted in their minds forever. They think about me when they close their eyes on top of their wife. They think about me when they’re alone. I am the benchmark for every beautiful woman they will ever meet. 

TIM: (Takes a swig) 

MAE: I never age. I’m never forgotten. A son will see me the same way his father did. Up on that screen, just the way I am now, forever.

TIM: I suppose.

MAE: You suppose. You suppose. Well, I know you’re thinking about me right now, Timothy. And I could show you pleasures you haven’t even imagined. 

TIM: (Coughing fit.)

MAE: (Turns from him laughing) You silly little boy.

TIM: Oh yeah, I bet I could show you a thing or two, I could! 

MAE: I’m sure, Tim. (Laughs.) I’m sure a night with you would be something to remember. 

TIM: (Embarrassed.)

MAE: Have you even kissed a woman? Ten years in this little red oven, have you even sat in one of those theater seats with a girl? I’ve never seen it. 

TIM: Hey, I’ve kissed a girl. 

MAE: Cousins don’t count. 

TIM: I’m not talking about them.

MAE: Granny’s don’t neither. 

TIM: (Angry. Acts like he’s gonna say something, then can’t think of anything.) I. Well. You! I mean. Argh! 

MAE: I know you’re a virgin, honey. A  twenty-something virgin who hides away in his little projection booth memorizing comedy movies and making lingerie catalogs all sticky. 

TIM: (Can’t argue so he hangs his head and fiddles with the projector.)

MAE: You think some girl is just gonna walk right up here and throw herself at you. Just fall in love with your sweat and your stink and your stupid little movie quotes? 

TIM: (Doesn’t turn to her) I’ve got more to offer.

MAE: Oh yeah, I forgot. (Walks over to his shelf of action figures). You’re collection of Star Wars toys. I’m sure these little Jawa figures are just gonna make the girls wet. How much money did you waste on these things, huh? Probably enough to at least pay for a street whore. Cause that’s the only way you’re gonna get any, Timothy. 

TIM: Those are going to be worth a LOT someday. I’m gonna retire on those guys.

MAE: (Laughing) Ha, yes. I’m sure there are going to be a lot of grown men out there who are going to want to buy your silly little toys.  

TIM: (Grabs one and holds it tight.) 

MAE: Face it, all you know are toys, comic books and movie quotes. You have nothing to offer anyone. Especially you’re Auntie. She knows you’re just temporary. You’re just here till she can sell this place. 

TIM: (Holds his hands to his ears and shakes his head.)

MAE: It’s hard to keep up with the times isn’t it. There’s always some new technology. Always something new. Something better. Something a little bit skinnier? A little more “Technicolor”?!

TIM: (Turns to her and gives her a “what” expression?) 

MAE: Face it Tim, once people quit thinking about you, you’re dead. Once they quit talking about you, you’re DEAD. You get one day in the newspaper and a little epithet on your stone that no one will read. You’re forgotten. You’re unnecessary. You’re expendable. Sometimes, even while you’re alive. 

TIM: Not me. 

MAE: Ha. No. Not you. You’ve got Monty Python memorized after all. You’ve got Han Solo and Chewbacca action figures. You’re one of a kind!  

TIM: Listen, Miss West. I’ve been here since my Dad opened this place, alone. My worthless mother left so I had a crib right there in the corner. I cut my teeth on popcorn. I’ve never gotten raise and I sleep here practically every night. I work non-stop just to keep this place running. I barely even know what fresh air smells like! I can’t even tell you what time the sun comes up or goes down. (Growing more agitated) This booth, this theater, it is my LIFE. That projector would pull a Hiroshima if I wasn’t here watching it. I’m the only one that keeps this place running! 

MAE: (speaking softly, as she knows she’s gotten under his skin now) Ok. I see. I see.  Perhaps I was wrong. (He calms down a bit) But now think about how Auntie repays your loyalty. How she honors her brother’s memory? Your Father’s memory?! 

TIM: Exactly! I’m the one that installed the new soundfold. I’m the one that teetered on a two story ladder to paint the ceiling. I almost broke my freaking neck on this place. I’m the one that unclogs the toilets. I’m the one that waits here all day for the movie and candy deliveries. (sighs, exasperated. Calms down). It’s not supposed to be this way. It’s not. 

MAE: (Slowly) No, it’s not supposed to be this way. But the reality is, your father bequeathed the theater to her and not you. 

TIM: I was too young when he passed. 

MAE: Sure, but he could have figured something out. Gotten a lawyer or something to look after your interests. It would have been a lot better than what’s going on now.  

TIM: Why am I even talking to you. What are you gonna do for me, Miss West. 

MAE: Its time you started thinking about yourself. About your future. YOU should be running this theater now, Timothy. YOU should be the owner of our glorious cinema. Clean yourself up and it could happen. Listen to ME, and it could happen. Then, we could show movies for eternity.

TIM: (Looks at her intrigued.) 

MAE: I can help you, Tim. But remember, this cinema is piece of history, and you’d have to respect that history. To keep it, and us, alive. 

TIM: (Pause) I understand, I guess.

MAE: Your Aunt wants to sell this place. You have more to worry about than just losing your job, you’re about to lose a piece of your family history. A building that is a testament to your family name. Your Aunt will sell this place and it’ll be gone forever. She’ll bleed it dry and then sell it to some shark that wants a parking lot. 

TIM: She wouldn’t do that.

MAE: She would, and she is. And then what are you gonna do? What on earth could you do otherwise? What skills do you have? You’d be sleeping in the street. You’d be begging for quarters outside of the arcade. You have nothing, absolutely nothing to offer this world other than your skills in a movie theater.

TIM: That’s not true. I could work on cars or something.

MAE: What in God’s name do you know about automobiles? 

TIM: I know how to fix that projector. I bet I could figure em out. 

MAE: (Laughs) Sure. Ok. Let’s say you could. But do you want to, Timothy? You want to be a grease monkey for little old ladies and their Cadillac’s? 

TIM: It wouldn’t be so bad, at least I’d get outside once in awhile. It’d be a nice change of pace, really. 

MAE: (Growing angry) You said it yourself. You’ve lived your entire life inside this theater. You don’t know anything else. You can’t DO anything else. And Tim, no one else can do what YOU do.  Do you want to go out in that world and try to do something new? Or do you want to be a curator of the silver screen? 

TIM: (Confused) I don’t know. 

MAE: Listen, you know I’m right. If you ran this place, you’d have enough money for simple things like projector oil. You might even be able to afford that new projector Jimmy was talking about. Heck, then you could get out of this red oven for a bit, find a girl, and finally find out what’s behind that furry little triangle.

TIM: (Glares at her.) 

MAE: You wouldn’t be wasting your time collecting children’s toys. You’d have responsibilities. You’d be in charge,  making decisions, and hiring people. Hiring pretty girls? And making our theater as successful as it could be. 

TIM: (Intrigued.) 

MAE: She’s going to cook you in this little oven, Timothy.

(Pause)

AUNTIE: (Screaming from the concession counter) Tim! The movie is skipping. 

MAE: Ah! Speak of the devil. 

AUNTIE: Fix the projector!  

TIM: (Hurries to the projector).  

MAE: You know what you have to do, Tim. She’s never gonna turn this place over to you. You’re gonna have to TAKE it. 

AUNTIE: Tim! It’s froze up! 

TIM: (Continues fixing.)

MAE: Take back what’s rightfully yours! 

AUNTIE: Tim, please! 

MAE: Ha, ha, go ahead, dance for her you little monkey. 

TIM: (Still fixing.)

AUNTIE: TIM!

MAE: (claps and laughs) Dance, little monkey! Dance, dance!

Lights out.

 

SCENE TWO: Lights up. Mae West is gone. Tim is in the booth and Auntie is at the concession stand. Tim is nodding off in his chair with a bottle of whiskey between his legs. Auntie counts some money out of the drawer and puts it in her pocket. A girl named Tina appears to work the concession stand. They exchange some quick hellos and then Auntie pats her on the shoulder and then grabs her purse and coat and heads to the projection booth. 

AUNTIE: (Finding Tim asleep, she smacks him with her purse. He drops his whiskey bottle on the ground). Get your lazy rear up and pay attention. 

TIM: (Startled) What? What?

AUNTIE: Wake up you, donkey! (Grabs his bottle). Listen! Its’ eight  o’clock. I’m heading home. You hear me?!

TIM: Yeah, yeah, I got it. (rubbing his eyes)

AUNTIE: Tina’s here. We got two more movies tonight. You best wake up and pay attention. 

TIM: All right, chill out… 

AUNTIE: And I’m takin’ this (holds up the bottle).

TIM: C’mon, Auntie. How am I supposed to… I mean…How can I… C’mon.

AUNTIE: Fine. (gives him bottle) but you get down to the basement and bring up a case of popcorn. Now don’t go breaking your neck on them stairs, you donkey. (starts walking away) And don’t be sleeping in the booth tonight. Sleep in the storage room.

TIM: Yes, Ma’am. (Takes a drink). 

AUNTIE: (Calls to him). Remember, we got a Sunday matinee tomorrow. I want that movie ready to go and the theater cleaned before I get here.

TIM:  (Stepping out of the booth, says sarcastically) Yes, Miss Hannigan!

AUNTIE: (Storms back to him and shoves him into the wall) I’m serious, you ungrateful punk. 

TIM: (Rubbing his chest, he gives a glaring smile).

AUNTIE: (Smacks him) You wipe off that smile. (Catches her breath and then starts walking away. She speaks to the sky) Forgive me dear Brother, I just can’t take much more of that boy. I’m done with him. I’m done.

Action: Auntie leaves and Tim picks himself up and walks to the concession counter.

TINA: You shouldn’t talk back to her like that.

TIM: (Rubbing his cheek) What the hell did I do? 

TINA: She’s an old lady. Don’t be such a dill-weed.

TIM: (Shakes his head). You don’t even know what’s going on around this place.

TINA: (Shrugs) Whatever.

TIM: Anyway, do you really need more popcorn?

TINA: We can probably make it through rest of the night, you know, if you like can’t make it down the stairs. 

TIM: That’s cool. (Leans against the concession stand). 

TINA: (Shakes her head) Or, you know you could go down and get it so we’re prepared for–

TIM: (interrupts) Man, she drives me so crazy. I’m not her, dancing monkey, you know. 

TINA: (Bored) Mmm. Hmmm. 

TIM: I should be the one running this place. 

TINA: (Laughs.) 

TIM: I’m serious. 

TINA: Whatever.

TIM: (Sees she is totally uninterested) Oh, well. Screw it. She doesn’t bother me.  

TINA: Mmm. Hmmm. 

TIM: (Acts valiant) You know, the next time she treats me like this, (French Accent) I’m going to fart in her general direction. 

TINA: Oh my god. 

TIM: Or, I will attack her with my big pointy teeth. (makes point teeth action.)

TINA: Gag me.  

TIM: Monty Python and the Holy Grail? You ever seen it? 

TINA: (Bored) Nope. I must’ve like…missed that one.

TIM: Ah man. It’s a classic. I got it on Beta if you wanna watch it. I mean, you know, borrow it, and watch it at your house. Or… I wasn’t like saying watch it with me. I mean, unless you’d want to watch it together. Or not. Or…

TINA: Beta? We have VHS in the dorms.

TIM: VHS? (Laughs). Those tapes are like so big. Who’s gonna want to have a collection of those huge tapes? Beta is smaller and the quality is like ten times better. 

TINA: (Totally disinterested) Sure. Whatever.

TIM: Seriously. Tapes are just gonna get smaller and smaller. I bet we have movie tapes as big as our thumbnail someday. Like a whole library of movies that fit in your pocket.  And like little players for our cars or handheld movies for while you’re at the gym? Wouldn’t that be radical?!

TINA: I guess so. 

TIM: (Backstepping to the projection booth) Ok. Well, I guess I’m just gonna get ready for the next movie.

TINA: (Waves and starts picking at her cuticles.) 

Action: Tim makes a gunshot at her, like ‘catchya later’ and then goes into the booth, smacking his head. He doesn’t see John Wayne, who is sitting there with his feet propped on the table. 

JOHN:  You know Pilgrim, life is tough, but it’s even tougher when you’re stupid.

TIM: (startled) Damn, I wish you guys would quit doing that.

JOHN: I’ve had three wives, six children and six grandchildren and I still don’t understand women.  But I do know, you’re not gonna get ‘em to the altar that way.

TIM: (Goes to his whiskey) You’re not here, you’re not here, you’re not here…

JOHN: I always said I never trust a man that doesn’t drink. But I also seen plenty of good men fall victim to that stuff.

TIM: (Lets out a hot breath from taking a shot) Can’t you just leave me alone?!

JOHN: Tim, there are some things a man just can’t run away from. 

TIM: Yeah, I’m beginning to realize that. 

JOHN: I’ve come here to help you. You can take that help, or you can high-tail it down the road. But I think you’d be better off taking some advice from someone whose been on this trail for a long time.

TIM: Man, I don’t even know what’s going on anymore. 

JOHN: Not many of us do. But like I said, I’m here to help you, and maybe you might even be able to help me. But I reckon that’s to be seen. 

TIM: All right  Mr. Autry. So tell me what to do. Everyone else has.

JOHN: Mr. Autry? Mister. Autry?…Pilgrim, you really haven’t watched any of these classic matinees you show, have you? 

TIM: (Takes a drink)

JOHN: All right. First things first. Go back out there and talk to that girl. Talk low, talk slow and don’t say too much.

TIM: That’s your sage advice? 

JOHN: I ain’t met a woman that don’t like talking about herself. 

TIM: That girl, she hates me. 

JOHN: All the more reason to sit down and listen to her. People are their own favorite subject. 

TIM: What if she laughs at me? 

JOHN: Timothy, all battles are fought by scared men who’d rather be someplace else. And they go to battle nonetheless. You got a lot to offer her. You’ve got a lot to offer the world. You got a lot to offer me. Now, you go out there and treat her like a lady.

TIM: (Nodding) Ok. I’ll try it Mr. Autry. 

JOHN: Call me, Marion. 

TIM: (Looks at him weird) If you say so…

ACTION: Tim takes a deep breath, smoothes his hair and then walks from the booth confidently with a cowboy swagger and his thumbs in the loops of his jeans. Tina is flipping through a college text book. John disappears from the booth as the audience attention goes toward the concession stand.

TIM: (Leans on the counter, talks low and slow. Comically and clumsily) So… you’re… reading?

TINA: (Blows a bubble with her gum.)

TIM: You….like…reading?

TINA: I’m studying, Tim.

TIM: How is college…Tina. Do…you like it?

TINA: What do you want, Tim? 

TIM: I think…the question is…what do you…want, Tina?

TINA: You know what I want, Tim

TIM: (leans closer) No, Tina

TINA: I still want that (breathlessly) Popcorn, from the basement.

TIM: (Laughs and heads to the basement). I can do that. I can do that.

TINA: (Shaking her head and going back to her book).

TIM: (At the exit/entrance to the basement. Speaks low and slow.) Don’t you worry now, miss…(tips an imaginary cowboy hat) Timothy Armes is at your service.

TINA: (Smiles into her book and lets out a little laugh).

ACTION: Tim disappears into the “basement” and we suddenly hear sound effects of him falling and crashing. Tina rushes to the top of the stairs.

TINA: Tim?! Are you ok?!

TIM: (Straining) Yeah, it’s uh. It’s just a flesh wound!

TINA: (Leans back and laughs into her hand.) 

Lights down.

 

SCENE THREE: 

Tim is sleeping in the booth. The two ghosts come in and wake him up. 

JAMES: (Waving his arms). Didn’t I tell ya? Didn’t I tell ya?

MAE: (More calm than James) She said it herself, Timothy. She’s done with you.

JAMES: You heard it from her own mouth. You’re done, Tim. We’re all gone! 

TIM: She’ll get over it. She always does. 

JAMES: You willing to bet our theater on that?

TIM: Chill out. She does this all the time.

MAE: All the more reason to be worried. Her anger has been building for years, and she’s ready to explode. 

TIM: Fine. I don’t know what for, but I’ll apologize. 

JAMES: (Still upset – addresses Mae) He doesn’t get it. This guy’s a maroon. He just doesn’t get it. 

MAE: Timothy, listen. It’s not about you. It’s this place. Without you, it would crumble, and she knows it. She doesn’t want to do the work you do. She just wants to reap the fruits. But her appetite is getting bigger. She wants more. She’s not satisfied. 

JAMES: In more ways than one.

MAE: Imagine if she had someone ready to buy this place. Just write her a hefty check, raze this place, and Auntie Jean would beach herself on the French Riviera and you’d be left holding your little Star Wars toys. 

TIM: First you tell me she’s getting a new projector, then you tell me she wants to make this place a parking lot. You folks really need to get your stories straight.  

JAMES: Listen here, Kid. Who knows what this dame wants to do, all I know is she has something up her fat sleeve. Like you said, I don’t know everything, I ain’t impotent. 

MAE: What we know for sure though, Timothy, is if you don’t take over this theater. Life as you know it is over. 

TIM: Don’t tempt me.

MAE: You will have no job. You will have no place to sleep. You will have no history or memories. You will have NOTHING. Do you know what nothing is like? No end? A total and absolute nothingness? 

TIM: (Turns to her, and the truth finally hits him. He takes a minute to absorb it.) I hear you. I think… I’ll talk to her.

MAE: No. Don’t talk, Timothy…(whispers) Watch, listen and DO SOMETHING.

Action: Auntie Jean comes in carrying a Big Gulp soda, dressed in new clothes. You can tell she spent some money. Talking on an old brick cell phone. Tim is leaning out of the projection booth eavesdropping.

AUNTIE: No, come on in. I got you covered, don’t worry. No, you gotta see this movie. It’s hilarious. (Plops her stuff on the concession stand). Seriously, come on in. Ok? Ok. Great, see you tonight, Candice. Bye. (Hangs up and is giddy. She looks to see if Tim is looking. See’s he isn’t, but calls out nonetheless). Tim? You here?

TIM: (Ducks back into the projection booth) Yeah, Auntie. I cleaned the theater and I’m just finishing up some things in the booth. (Leans out of the booth after he’s done talking).

AUNTIE: (Opens up the cash register) Okie dokie, just making sure. Did you sleep on the cot last night like I told you? (Takes out some money and starts counting it.)

TIM: (Ducks back into the booth to reply) Um, yes, Ma’am. I sure did. (Comes back out and crouches down watch her). 

AUNTIE: That’s good, that’s good. (Makes sure he isn’t looking, and then puts money in her purse.) 

TIM: (Reacts to her stealing, angrily, but silently. He storms into the projection booth. The ghosts are not there. Takes a minute to compose himself.)

AUNTIE: (Humming to herself. Opens a candy bar and eats it.)

TIM: (Walks out of booth) Did you get the motor oil? 

AUNTIE: Good Lord, is that all you ever talk about. 

TIM: Well, it’s pretty important…if you want to keep this place running.

AUNTIE: (Glares at him) If you want it so bad, why don’t you go buy some yourself. I’m not stopping you.

TIM: I would if I ever got a day off.  

AUNTIE: You better watch how you talk to me, Timothy, or you’ll get your wish. 

TIM:  (Glares) Yes…Ma’am. 

ACTION: Tim backs his way into the projection booth. John Wayne is there. Auntie dials someone and starts talking on her brick phone. Tim quickly grabs a pair of scissors and fingers the blades.

JOHN: You know, I always said. A man ought to do what he thinks is right. 

TIM: (Looks at John over his shoulder.) 

JOHN: But what you’re thinking right now, that ain’t right.

TIM: (Takes a big drink. Bigger than normal.) 

JOHN: No good can come of that.

TIM: Oh, all right, Mr. Gunslinger is going to preach to me about right and wrong? You heard her, she going to sell this place and get rid of me. Then what? What am I gonna do?

JOHN: My ears may not be what they used to be, Pilgrim. But I didn’t hear anything of the sort.

TIM: She said enough.

JOHN: You’ve been talking to that gangster and his lady-friend again, haven’t you. What have they been filling your head with? 

TIM: They helped me figure out what’s been going on around here. 

JOHN: A lot of crazy notions, I reckon. 

TIM: They helped me see the truth. Not make a fool of myself, like you did.

JOHN: I know what they put in your head, and I tell you Tim, that would be a lot more foolish.  

TIM: Whatever, man.

JOHN: You know I’m right, Tim. 

TIM: (Shakes his head and takes a drink)

JOHN: You think you could run this place? Well, I don’t disagree with you. You’d do a fine job, Son.  But it’s not just something you can take. You can’t shoot you’re way to sheriff. You want somehing, you gotta work for it. Honestly. 

TIM: I HAVE been working for it. And she’s just gonna throw it all away and I’ll be left with nothing. 

JOHN: So what’s the answer, then Tim. Steal back what your Daddy built? Lay claim to your rightful property?

TIM: (Shrugs.)

JOHN:  I suppose in some ways you’re justified. But let’s say you were successful. Do you really want to be here for the rest of your life? I reckon that would feel like an eternity.   

TIM: That witch has made my life hell for ten years. TEN YEARS. This theater is my life. Without it, I have NOTHING.

JOHN: Now you sound like that loony couple. I suppose they feel just like you do, though. They don’t know what will happen to them after this place.  

TIM: And I suppose you do.

JOHN: No, I don’t. But I’m not afraid neither. I don’t know what happens after this place, but I tell you, I’m not scared. But you and that loony couple are both content and scared. And I tell you, nothing holds folks back more than those two things.  

TIM: (Takes a drink.)

JOHN: I don’t know what your Auntie is planning with this place, and neither do you. But whatever happens, you stay on the horse, you understand?

TIM: (Pauses.) I’d like to be alone now, if you don’t mind. I got work to do. (Starts threading the projector.)

JOHN: You get some shut-eye for once. It’s amazing how that clears the mind. 

TIM: (Nods as he threads.)

JOHN: (Tipping his hat) 

Lights Out.

SCENE FOUR:

The projector is running. Tim is sitting there drinking. Clearly wasted. Auntie Jean is at the concession stand, talking on her brick phone.

AUNTIE: …Yep, it’s in good condition. It’s a 81 Datsun. Uh huh. A little over seventy thousand miles. No rust, no dents. I’m asking $1000.00 cash. Its gotta be cash, though, I don’t want to deal with no checks. 

TIM: (Takes a drink, steps out of the projection booth. Slurring) The movie’s over Auntie. 

AUNTIE: (She covers the phone) Hush, you donkey. (Gets back on the phone) I’m still here. Yep. It’s a good deal, I wish I could keep it actually. Why am I selling? Well, I got my eyes on something new. It’s time to move on. You wanna come take a look at it tomorrow? Great. Great. 

Action: As she’s talking, Tim heads back to the projection booth, still looking back suspiciously. 

AUNTIE: Ok, I’ll see you around Noon. Thank you. (Hangs up, and starts thanking the people that are leaving the theater.)

MAE (Voice over): So what are you going to do, Timothy? 

TIM: I don’t know. (stumbling around.)

JAMES (Voice over): C’mon you, bum. Whatcha gonna do?

TIM: I don’t know!

MAE VO: You giving up, Tim? Just like that? 

JAMES VO: You dirty double-crosser! 

TIM: (Covers his ears) Leave me alone! 

MAE VO: Between two evils, I generally like to pick the one I never tried before.

JAMES VO: Whaddya hear? Whaddya say?! 

TIM: PLEASE!

MAE VO: You’ve got that oil, you know what to do, Tim. You know what to do! 

JAMES VO: Yeah, butter that old bag up. Ha ha ha. Butter her up, Tim. Send her down them stairs, Yeah.

TIM: Stop it! (Hurries out of the projector booth, covering his ears.) 

AUNTIE: (Looks at him like he’s crazy) Hells bells, what is wrong with you? 

TIM: (Panting. Composing himself) I’m ok. It’s just. It’s just getting hot in there. 

AUNTIE: Boy, you’re drunker than a hoot owl. Can’t you lay off that damn hellwater for one night. Just one night??!

TIM:(Backs away and smooths his hair) I’m fine, Auntie. (Then he barks at her for the first time in his life). I’m fine! 

AUNTIE: (Holds her chest like some insulted southern belle) Well, then.  I’m gonna let you settle down a bit and go check the theater now. You better change that attitude before I get back (Points at him.) 

TIM: (Sneers) Yes, Ma’am. 

Action: Auntie disappears and Tim grabs the butter oil and goes to the stairs, pouring out the last of it and then tosses the empty bottle down the “stairs”. A devilish grin crosses his face. He laughs to himself. Dances around foolishly.

AUNTIE: (Returning from the theater) Credits are still rolling and ain’t nobody in there. (Pause) What’re you so dang smug about?

TIM: (Composes himself) Glad we had a good crowd tonight. 

AUNTIE: Well, Tina called in saying she was sick, and I been here all day and I’m plum tired. I was thinking about having you run the place tonight. Actually, I’ve been considering it for a long time. But I don’t think you’re in any condition to do that.

TIM: Hold on, what? 

AUNTIE: I thought you could handle working a Sunday night alone. Ain’t hardly nobody gonna be here. I figured it’d be good experience. You could watch the stand and the projection booth at the same time if you were paying enough attention. If you did good, you might even do it more often.

TIM: But, I thought….

AUNTIE: From the looks of you right now, you barely even know your own name. I’m just hoping you can at least thread the movie properly for the last few shows. 

TIM: (Pushes his hair back. Still slurring.)  I can run this place, Auntie. You just give me the chance. I’ll show ya. I can do it. Please Auntie, c’mon.

AUNTIE: We’ll talk about it more tomorrow.  Tonight, you just oil up that projector and get her running. I could smell that thing burning all the way out here. (Heads toward basement). I’ll stock the candy.

TIM: (Pauses for a second. Then rushes over and stops here, still stumbling drunk.) No, Auntie. Please, let me get it. 

AUNTIE: You’ll nosedive down these stairs and I won’t have no one to start the show. Now get out of my way, donkey.

TIM: NO, Auntie. I’ll get it. 

AUNTIE: What has gotten into you, boy?!

TIM: I don’t want you to hurt yourself. Those stairs are awful steep.

AUNTIE: Well, you’re right about that.

TIM: Why don’t you go next door and get us a couple sandwiches. That’ll help sober me up. 

AUNTIE: (Backs away) Well…ok. But you got to clean up the theater too, hear me? 

TIM: I can do that, Auntie. 

AUNTIE: And don’t forget to turn off the lamp when the credits are over. It already smells like burnt film in here.

TIM: Yes, Ma’am.  Don’t you worry about it. 

AUNTIE: (Walking to the concession stand.) So, you want turkey? (Takes a ten out of the drawer).

TIM: Yes, please. 

AUNTIE: All right. Now you get to work. Folks’ll be here soon. (Exits.)

Action:  Tim grabs some paper towels from the concession stand and hurries to clean the stairs. James and Mae rush out of the projection booth. 

MAE: Fabulous, Tim. Fabulous!

JAMES: I’m on top of the world, ma. Top of the world! (Grabs Mae and spins happily.)

TIM: (Cowering) Wait, but, I didn’t go through with it. I thought you’d be pissed? 

JAMES: Are you kidding? You heard the old bag, she’s gonna give you a chance to run this place. She’s tired. She’s worn out. She’s ready to lay down and die! And we don’t have to do a thing! 

MAE: This is your big chance, sonny boy. You can do this. And you know, we’ll be here to help you every step of the way. 

TIM: Ok. Thanks, I guess. 

MAE: We’re gonna be here a long time, thanks to you Tim. My hero!

JAMES: All right, c’mon baby, Let’s go celebrate! (Pinches Mae’s butt and they hurry into the theater). Way to go, Timothy! (He calls back.)

TIM: (Goes back to scrubbing. Smiling.)

JOHN: (Sauntering out of the projection booth, with his hat in his hands.) Well, I suppose a congratulations are in order. 

TIM: (Gets up from scrubbing, stumbles.) You heard her, right? She’s gonna give me a chance, Mr. Autry! 

JOHN: (Looks back, and sees the projector smoking) I sure did. That’s sounds like a right good opportunity. (Walks halfway to the booth and sees it. Waves his hat a little to cover the smoke as Tim crumples up the paper towels and throws them away). You sure deserve it, Pilgrim. You sure deserve it. 

TIM: Thanks, it’s about time (heads toward the booth).

JOHN: (Blocks his way) Now I hope you’re not heading for that bottle of whiskey, are you?  

TIM: Well, you know — a little celebration wouldn’t hurt.

JOHN: Now? At your big chance?  No, Timothy (without touching him, herds him toward the concession counter) What you need is a nice, tall glass of water. Clear that head of yours.

TIM: (Nodding) Yeah, I suppose you’re right (Follows the herding of John, but then suddenly turns to head back to booth. Be sure neither actor touches each other) Oh, but the projector.

JOHN: . I was just in there. Don’t worry, the credits are still rolling. Trust me, everything is running — as planned. You got a little time. 

Action: Smoke is increasing (use a humidifier or dry ice. Maybe even one can light of orange revolving light on the booth.) 

TIM: All right, ok, giddyup. (Laughs as he grabs a cup of water)

JOHN: (Looks back and sees the smoke) Say, you know what you ought to do? Call that little Philly you’re sweet on and let her know the good news. 

TIM: Hey, that. That’s a great idea (He goes for the rotary phone, still stumbling). 

JOHN: No, no, no. Use that remote controlled phone of your Aunt’s. Go outside and talk. A man that’s courting a woman needs his privacy if he’s gonna say what he means.  

TIM: (Takes the phone and John is herding him toward the door.) Ok, good idea…Say, you smell something? 

JOHN: Smells like some burnt butter, it’s just the popcorn popper. Now go call your little lady. I’ll keep an eye on things.

TIM: (Turns as he exits.) All right, thank you. 

JOHN: My pleasure, Tim. (Tim stops in the doorway) But hey, I want you to listen to me for moment. If things don’t work out the way you hoped tonight, you gotta remember that you got a lot of potential. You got a lot of  talents. But you’re never gonna discover them rotting away in this purgatory. So no matter what happens tonight, you stay in the saddle, ok.  

TIM: Ok. Thanks again, Mr. Autry.

JOHN: (Laughs) It’s all, Tim. Just do me one more favor and watch a few black and whites too, ok?  

TIM: Ok, (Talks into the phone) Tina? Hey, its Tim. Guess what? —-

JOHN: (Puts his hat on and tips it to Tim as the door closes.) Good luck, Pilgrim.

Action: John goes to the concession stand, pushes his hat back and puts one elbow on the bar. Pretends to signal a bartender. Watches an imaginary shot be poured. Then he shoots it back and wipes his mouth with his sleeve. Orders another one. Shoots it. In the meantime, the orange lights have begun revolving around center stage and the “exit” door. John grins as he watches the flames. 

AUNTIE: (Off stage.) Oh dear lord. Tim! The theater! The theater!

TIM: (Opens door, covers his face as he starts coughing from the smoke) What happened? You said you’d (cough cough) (Auntie grabs him from behind and pulls him away, the door stays open voice falls off in the distance. Tim and Auntie disappear off-stage.)

JOHN: (Turns his back to the door, says this line when he sees that they’ve gone) Sorry, Tim. Some folks just have to be pushed in the deep end. 

Action: Mae and James come running in from the theater, they are half-dressed. 

MAE: (Punching John on the shoulders) You did this, You did this?! Why?! (then, she falls to the ground weeping.)

JAMES: (Points at him menacingly) You dirty rat. You dirty fricking rat!  (then he ducks down and holds Mae. She’s weeping.)

JOHN: It’s not what I did, it’s what I didn’t do.

MAE: What now, Marion? What’s going to happen to us now?!

JOHN: (Slowly) That boy didn’t want to be here, any more than me.  

JAMES: We could have lived here forever, Marion. 

MAE: Where are we gonna go? What now?!

JOHN: I don’t know Miss West. But I’ll tell you something. I’d rather rot in hell, than spend another day in this place. Eternity ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Action: Mae and James hold each other, drop to their knees. She’s weeping. John sites down. Puts his hat on like a “Mexican siesta” Entire stage goes up in flames. Lights out.

END


Categorized as: Fiction

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