Categories
12th Edition Fiction - 12th Edition Uncategorized

That One Diner Chain From Your Hometown

Scene – Diner  

A small-town diner. Three tables are set up. The furthest one to the left starts with dirty dishes on the table and two glasses that are half full of water. A woman is sitting at this table. The middle table has a man, Frank, who is sitting at it by himself talking on the phone. The manager is standing behind the cash register on the left. A server is seen in the back, checking his phone instead of working. A doorbell rings, and a couple enters and stands at the “please wait to be seated” sign.  

LUKE: Thank you so much for coming home this weekend with me. I hope my parents aren’t too much.  

KAT: Oh, come on. I grew up with 7 brothers. Family can never be too much.  

JACOB: Welcome, welcome. Is it just going to be two of you?  

LUKE: Yes, indeed Jacob. Yes indeed  

JACOB: Right this way, Luke (Jacob leads them to the furthest booth on the right. Luke sits facing away from the cash register, and Kat sits looking towards the register.) 

KAT: They know you by name?  

LUKE: Oh yeah. I come here all the time.  

JACOB: With a bunch of different dates. Can I start you two off with something to drink?  

KAT: I’ll have a coke. 

JACOB: Oh, I’m sorry. We only have Pepsi. Is Pepsi okay?  

KAT: Um yeah sure.  

JACOB: Well we’re out of Pepsi.  

KAT Oh. So maybe a Sierra Mist?  

LUKE: And I’ll have an orange soda.  

JACOB: Two glasses of water, coming up.  (He exits.)  

LUKE: Isn’t he a card?  

KAT What did he say about other dates?  

LUKE: He probably meant like January 21, not Jan on her 21st.  

KAT: That was specific.  

FRANK: (Into his cell phone) So what are you saying? You’re done… you’re done? Just like that? After 14 years of love and passion, it’s just over? What am I to you? Just some piece of meat that you can throw out when you think it’s gone bad? We have kids, Bethany. Children! Mine and yours… oh, you want to talk? Oh, I’ll be right there. I’ll be there in 8 minutes! (He storms out of the restaurant and the doorbell dings.)  

KAT: Oh my god… that poor man.  

SHIRLEY: There’s nothing poor about that man. (The doorbell dings.)  

SHIRLEY: Out the door And you’re not getting away with it this time, Frank! (Frank walks back in and hands Shirley his money and then walks out again. The doorbell dings as he walks in and out.)  

SHIRLEY: Counting the money I always expect him to tip, but he never does  

KAT: Wait, what?  

LUKE: Frank has been pulling that move since my freshman year of high school. Maybe even before. (The woman at the first table stands up and goes to the cash register to pay for her meal. Shirley meets her there.)  

KAT: But what about his kids?  

LUKE: What kids?  

KAT: They might grow up without a father. (Jacob enters with the two glasses of water as the woman leaves. The doorbell dings.)  

SHIRLEY: Is she still talking about Frank over there?  

LUKE: Yeah…  

JACOB: Just like number three and eight. Are you two ready to order?  

LUKE: I am. Are you Kat?  

KAT: I mean I guess.  

LUKE: Well, ladies first.  

JACOB: What a gentleman. Go ahead.  

KAT: Aren’t you going to write it down?  

LUKE: Honey. He’s a professional.  

KAT: Well, alright then. I’ll have a cheeseburger and fries. But make sure there is no lettuce or tomato.  

JACOB: Got it.  

KAT: I want you to say it back to me.  

JACOB: Say what?  

KAT: My order.  

LUKE: Kat, please. He’s got it all in there. I’ll be having…  

JACOB: I know, I know. The usual. (Jacob takes the menus, busses the middle table, and heads off stage.)  

KAT: Oooooo. What’s the usual?  

LUKE: A milkshake with the burger and fries blended into it.  

KAT: That’s disgusting.  

LUKE: I’m kidding.  

KAT: Okay good. (The doorbell rings, and a couple enters and waits to be seated at the sign.)  

LUKE: I don’t blend in the burger.  

SHIRLEY: We will be right with you. (Jacob enters with menus.)  

JACOB: Hello, hello. Table?  

RICK: Booth.  

JACOB: Too bad you’re getting a table. (He walks them over to the middle table.)  

JACOB: What will you want to do about drinks?  

RICK: I’ll have a coke.  

LISA: And I’ll have a water.  

JACOB: Sure thing. (Jacob walks off to go get the drinks.)  

KAT: Wait he just said to us that he didn’t have a coke.  

LUKE: Playing on his phone. Must’ve just gotten a shipment or something.  

KAT: I didn’t see any truck come in.  

LUKE: Maybe he had prime. (Jacob enters with coke and heads to the middle table.)

JACOB: Are you two ready to order?  

RICK: I am. Are you Lisa?  

LISA: Oh you know what I want, babe.  

RICK: We will have two burgers and two orders of fries.  

JACOB: We can do that.  

LISA: Hey if it’s not too much of a bother, I would like my water.  

JACOB: Ma’am, I am so sorry. I’ll go grab that right now. (Rick and Lisa get back into their conversation and stop paying attention to Jacob. Jacob goes to the table on the far left and picks up one of the glasses of water. He then turns around and sets it in front of Lisa.)  

JACOB: Here ya go, miss.  

LISA: I’m so sorry, but is there any way we could fill this up all the way?  

JACOB: Of course, honey. Of course. (Jacob picks up the glass, and Rick and Lisa get back into their conversation. Jacob picks up the other cup from the table on the left and pours its water into Lisa’s glass. He then walks back and sets the glass in front of Lisa.)  

JACOB: Is this better?  

LISA: Splendid!  

JACOB: Your food will be right out. 

LISA: Thank you! (Jacob walks off.)  

KAT: Why is he being so much nicer to them?  

LUKE: What do you mean?  

KAT: I mean. He was attentive, and he was smiling, but he did give her someone else’s drink.  

LUKE: He’s just thinking of the planet. Save the water and all. (Jacob enters with Lisa and Rick’s food.)  

KAT: Finally, he comes with… (Jacob walks right past Kat and Luke and walks to Lisa and Rick.)  

JACOB: Here you go. Hope you two enjoy your food! (Jacob turns around and walks past Luke, but Kat stops him.) 

KAT: Um hey. Jacob? Yeah, I was wondering why they got their food before us?  

JACOB: Oh, don’t worry honey, your food will be out soon. It takes a while to make Luke’s shake. (The lights go down. When the lights come back up, Lisa and Rick are gone. Their table is bussed along with the table to the left. Luke is playing on his phone, and Kat is anxiously tapping her foot.)  

KAT: What is taking them so long?  

LUKE: You can’t rush perfection.  

KAT: It has been two hours and thirty-seven minutes. How long does perfection need?  

LUKE: It is worth the wait.  

KAT: Nothing is worth waiting two hours and- (She checks the time on her phone.)  

KAT: Thirty-eight minutes! I mean, do they really expect us to wait this long?  

LUKE: I don’t see your point.  

KAT: Are you telling me that you have waited this long before, and you are okay with this? If that is true, you are crazy.  

LUKE: I mean. I usually wait this long when the restaurant is this busy. (Kat looks around the restaurant and points out that it is empty.)  

KAT: This busy? This place is empty. Does this place even get business?  

LUKE: Well we aren’t here at their busy time.  

KAT: It is dinner time on a Saturday. What is a busy time around here?  

LUKE: Like two to three.  

KAT: Oh so it’s a lunch place.  

LUKE: No. A.M. (Jacob enters with two plates with their food on them covered with napkins so you cannot see what is on the plates. Jacob, he sets the plates down in front of the two of them. He puts the milkshake between the two of them.)  

JACOB: Here you go, you two. Hope it’s as good as you expected it to be! (Jacob walks off stage. Luke takes off his napkin, revealing his order. Kat looks under her napkin but does not reveal it. She looks upset.)  

KAT: Oh, come on. Excuse me! Jacob? (Jacob enters.)  

JACOB: Is there something wrong?   

KAT: Yeah so I hate to be this way, but I ordered a cheeseburger with no lettuce or tomato and (She takes off the napkin and reveals the plate.) you just gave me a salad with only lettuce and tomato.  

JACOB: I’m sorry. What’s the issue?  

KAT: I ordered-  

LUKE: She’s fine.  

JACOB: If you say so. (Jacob exits.)  

LUKE: Honey, the salad here is great. You’ll be fine. (He takes two straws and puts them into the shake.)  

KAT: No thanks. (Kat picks at her food while Luke starts to eat his fries and shake. The doorbell dings, and a man enters with a ski mask and a gun.)  

ROBBER: Everyone on the ground. This is a robbery!  

SHIRLEY: Oh no it isn’t. (Shirley pulls a shotgun from under the cash register. The robber flees, and Shirley chases him outside. The doorbell dings for both of them.)  

KAT: Oh my…  

LUKE: What? Did I miss something?  

KAT: A man just came in here with a gun! (Luke turns around and looks to see if anyone is there.)  

LUKE: Where?  

KAT: I think the manager just chased him outside with a gun.  

LUKE: Was it the sawed-off or the M16?  

KAT: I think it was- wait wait wait. You know what guns they have?  

LUKE: I mean yeah. They get robbed all the time.  

KAT: And you brought me here knowing it is unsafe?  

LUKE: I said they get robbed, I never said we weren’t safe.  

KAT: You know what. (She puts her napkin on the table and gets up.)

KAT: I traveled for two hours from school to meet you at your house, to meet your parents and family. I sat through countless stories of baseball games you would’ve played in if you didn’t throw out your arm sophomore year. I also was judged very quickly by your sister for not wearing a color that wasn’t black, and I had your mother’s eyes practically glued to me once she saw my tattoo. I thought this would be a good getaway from school, but all of that plus you bring me to this crazy nuthouse you call a diner and expect me to just let all of this stuff slide? No no. I’m done. This is too much for a two-month relationship. I’m getting an Uber back to your house, packing my things and leaving. I’ll see you in class on Monday. (Jacob enters.) 

JACOB: Honey wait!  

KAT: What?  

JACOB: Download Lyft. It’s more prevalent in this area.  

KAT: AHHHH! (Kat storms out of the restaurant, and the bell is heard. Luke stands up and walks towards Jacob, who’s standing close to the wait sign. There are a few beats, and Shirley comes back in, and the bell is heard.)  

SHIRLEY: Is she gone yet?  

LUKE: Yeah. She’s gone.  

JACOB: Thank god. (The doorbell rings, and the robber walks back in with Lisa and takes his mask off, revealing Rick. Luke takes out his wallet and starts to hand each of them money.)  

LUKE: I can’t thank you guys enough. I’ve been trying to get rid of her for two months.  

JACOB: I thought she said you two were only dating for two months  

LUKE: I asked her if she had the homework for Econ and she hasn’t stopped bothering me since.  

SHIRLEY: So you weren’t even dating?  

LUKE: No! I don’t know what I said, but she is one hard tree to shake.  

LISA: Tree to shake?  

LUKE: I’m trying out new sayings.  

SHIRLEY: You should try bringing someone in here you don’t want us to kick out. (Jacob starts to clean up the table.)  

JACOB: Hey Luke. Do you want this shake?  

LUKE: You can have it. I have to get home. Goodnight guys! (Luke leaves the restaurant.)  

SHIRLEY: Nice kid.  

RICK: Yeah.  

LISA: Isn’t Michael coming by soon?  

JACOB: Oh yeah.  

SHIRLEY: Everyone gets to your places. (Everyone goes back to where they were at the top of the show.)  

SHIRLEY: 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… (Doorbell dings as the lights fade out.)  


Timothy Henderson Jr. is working towards earning a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre. He has been writing for a while but has been telling stories since he could speak. He hopes to start conversations or lend laughs to the ones who do not smile as much as he wished they would.

Categories
Fiction - 12th Edition Uncategorized

Lost Between Branches

Scene: Deep in the Woods, 1 am

(It is dark and the moonlight lights up the scarce forest. Trees are seen in the distance and branches and leaves that cover the ground are spread around about evenly. Cecilia emerges into the forest frantically. wearing a coat and a backpack that is opened and appears to be dropping things behind her. Everything she has on seems to be the wrong size.)

CECILIA: (Large exhale Cecilia seems to have gotten a little calmed down at this point and sits down. She is still frantically looking around as if she is making sure no one followed her. She reaches into her bag.)

CECILIA: Where are they? Where are they? No no no no no… (She begins to pull out things from her bag and toss them from side to side.)

CECILIA: Please no. God why can’t you ever be on my side (She pulls out an empty pill bottle. She smiles and looks up to the heavens.)

CECILIA: Finally. Thank you (She struggles to open the pill bottle while she looks through her bag at the same time. She gets it open and goes to pour out what is inside into her hands. Nothing comes out. Angrily she says through her teeth.)

CECILIA: Of course I grab the empty one (Begins to hit her head with the pill bottle and begins to get louder.)

CECILIA: Idiot. Stupid. Dumb. Gahhhhh (She throws the pill bottle in anger and starts looking through her bag again.)

CECILIA: Can I do anything right? Please can I just remember one thing (She grabs a bottle out of her bag that is half full of water)

CECILIA: Thank you, me, for doing THIS right (She opens the bottle and begins to drink everything inside of it.)

CECILIA: Heavy breathing between these lines from nerves Okay. Okay. Where am I? Where am I? Now I saw the trucks coming down the road from the north, but if I am completely honest, I cannot remember if it rises in the east and sets in the west, or rises in the west and sets in the east, and it is night time. Oh God please. Come on Cecilia, you know what to do. You went camping with mom. She taught you this. Just look for the north star and stick to the trails. It’s so dark. It’s so dark. It’s so dark. (She closes her eyes and the focus is only on her. She sings to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)

CECILIA: Momma momma will you cry, when your daughter says goodbye? Put me in a wooden crate, down the river it’s not too late Momma momma will you cry, when your daughter says goodbye? (She snaps out of it and opens her eyes.)

CECILIA: A fire! A fire. That’s what I need a fire. A fire is all I need. Everything can be solved when I get a fire started (She reaches into her bag and grabs a lighter. She checks it behind her hand to see if it works.)

CECILIA: Okay. This will work, this will work. Ummmm (She begins to look around at the ground around her. She sees branches and leaves and starts collecting them.)

CECILIA: Yes this will do. I just have to pile them up, and make sure everything is okay to burn, like nothing is wet (She tosses some of the leaves to the side away from the pile.)

CECILIA: Like these. And like this one. Okay. Okay (She pulls out her lighter and lights the branches.)

CECILIA: I did it. I did it! I did something for myself! I can do this (Off stage a voice is heard.)

MANNY: Over there! Look! It’s her!

CECILIA: Oh come on (Cecilia takes off her jacket and smothers the fire with it to hide the light. She then runs and hides behind a tree.)

MANNY: Cecilia? Cecilia is that you? (Manny and Debora enter. They are both dressed similarly to how Cecilia is dressed. Manny has a big smile on his face and Debora is moping behind Manny. Manny is full of energy while Debora is slow moving and unhappy with her circumstance.)

DEBORA: Yup, that’s her alright (Cecilia steps around from her hiding spot.)

CECILIA: Jesus, not you two.

MANNY: Did you honestly think you were the only one that escaped that?

CECILIA: That prison.

DEBORA: That hell.

CECILIA: Shut up! Just keep your mouth shut this time.

MANNY: Why are you barking at me? They hated all of us there. It wasn’t just you. They would do anything to ruin our fun.

DEBORA: That is, if you are having fun

MANNY: Can you just, not do that? Like seriously you do not need to do that every second of-

CECILIA: Will you two please be quiet? I think I hear more people.

MANNY: Oh no, we can’t go back, we can’t do that.

DEBORA: We’re gonna go back.

CECILIA: Just get over here (They all hide as two prison guards and a warden walk into the forest. They are carrying flashlights and battens.)

MICHAEL (GUARD #1): Did you see any tracks?

WILLIAM (GUARD #2): No. The ground is too hard, and she walks too light. In these conditions we won’t see any sign of her until morning.

GARY (WARDEN): How could you two idiots let her get so far away?

MICHAEL: I was under the impression that it was William’s turn to stand guard.

WILLIAM: Woah, no way. It was clearly yours, Michael.

GARY: Ladies, please. Shut up. You cannot bicker about whose fault it was over losing her. It is all of our faults. Yours for switching duties without informing the others (Begins to yell.) and mine for hiring you two imbeciles! Now find her!

MICHAEL: Well we can’t be out here all night.

GARY: Well obviously not. It must be ten below out here, but we have to find her. She’s the most dangerous criminal we have.

WILLIAM: You can’t be mad at us for not wanting to freeze to death

GARY: Well go back and bundle up. We will be out here for a while.

MICHAEL: Well if he’s going back I’m going back, too.

WILLIAM: Well fine let’s all go.

GARY: You know what. Fine. If you guys want a dangerous criminal on the loose, we can go back right now and just let her live on doing whatever she wants. She will be free to rob and kill every person that passes in front of her, leaving nothing, but looted corpses and sad families behind her and this is all because you two did not want to check the perimeter of the prison for one more hour just to see if maybe she was still sticking to the land she knew best. The only land she could see from the prison yard. How about we just open the gates and let them all out. We can just quit our jobs because we don’t care about the safety of our country. How about that?

MICHAEL: Fine we will keep looking.

GARY: Good. Now come on (They exit the opposite side that they entered from. Manny, Debora, and Cecilia get out of hiding.)

MANNY: Man, that was rough. Do you think they will catch us?

CECILIA: I hope not. I honestly don’t know what I would do if they caught me.

MANNY: I know what I would do. I know exactly what I would do.

CECILIA: Oh yeah? You know? Like you have done it before or something?

MANNY: I’ve never done it. I just practiced it a bunch. I’m prepared for every scenario.

CECILIA: So what would you do?

MANNY: Well for starters I would get behind a tree when I heard them coming. That part is obvious because that is what anyone would do.

DEBORA: Not me…

CECILIA: We will get to you in a second. Keep going, Manny.

MANNY: So as I was saying. I would stand behind a tree, making sure I was in the shadows. I’d crouch down really low, making sure my movements were slow enough that they wouldn’t notice me. Then. When they were just about to pass the tree I am by I would slowly pass on the other side, keeping at least one eye on the group of them until they pass. Lastly, I’d grab the biggest rock or branch around and I would smash it on the big guy first, or whoever is in the back of the group. Then I’d grab their gun and finish off the rest of them.

CECILIA: Oh my. Why do you have to be so graphic?

MANNY: Because life is graphic. It’s fast pace. It’s happening now. Not then. Now.

DEBORA: Can we please talk about me now?

MANNY: Who cares what you think.

DEBORA: I’m sure plenty of people care what I think.

MANNY: Name one individual that listens to a single thing that comes out of that waste dispenser you call a mouth.

DEBORA: I’m sure Cecilia cares about the things I say. Right?

CECILIA: Listen, you two are both very important to me.

DEBORA: But you care about what I think, right?

CECILIA: Debora, we have known each other since sophomore year of high school. Of course I care about what you think.

MANNY: We have all known each other since sophomore year of high school

CECILIA: You know what I mean, Manny.

DEBORA: Well obviously not. He spends too much time thinking about the NOW. He can’t think of the THEN.

CECILIA: You’re not helping.

MANNY: You are never helping.

CECILIA: Will you stop? Now. Debora. Can you please explain what you would do so we can all have our own input on the situation?

DEBORA: Thank you. Now what I would do is very simple.

MANNY: Of course, from the simple mind comes a simple plan.

CECILIA: Hush! Please continue, Debora.

DEBORA: Thank you. Now from when I first heard their feet crunching leaves in the distance, I would go to wherever had the most light. I would stand there and slowly start to raise my hands. Obviously, they would notice me so I would turn my back to them and slowly get down to my knees. I would plea for my life as they approached and make it very clear that I am unarmed by stating who I am and still showing my hands in the air.

MANNY: And when they get close, you would choke out the small one and grab his batten right?

DEBORA: No. I’d let them take me back.

CECILIA: But why?

DEBORA: What was so bad about that place?

MANNY: Didn’t you just call it hell?

DEBORA: Yeah it was bad, but it was comfortable. Like they fed us, let us go outside, socialize, which I wasn’t too big on, watch tv, sleep regular hours. It was a life. Maybe not the best one, but it was an easy one.

MANNY: I don’t understand.

CECILIA: What don’t you understand?

MANNY: How she could just give up like that? There is a whole world out there that needs to be explored. One that if you started walking today and never stopped you might not be able to cover with your steps by the time you were dead.

DEBORA Why start if you know you will never make it?

MANNY: Why not start when you never know what you will find along the way?

CECILIA: Is anybody else cold?

DEBORA: I’m freezing.

MANNY: I’ve been better.

CECILIA: Can we like huddle up? Or something? I just want to warm up.

MANNY: Well the quickest way to warm up is to get up and move around.

DEBORA: Actually in the cold like this you should ball up and try to get as much skin to skin contact as you can to conserve your heat.

MANNY: No. You are supposed to move around.

DEBORA: No. You hold it all together.

MANNY: Move around!

DEBORA: Hold together!

CECILIA: Will you two calm down! You sound like mom and dad.

MANNY: Rough homelife?

CECILIA: I wouldn’t say it was rough.

DEBORA: But you wouldn’t say it was great either?

CECILIA: Well it was good. Until about middle school.

MANNY: What happened in middle school?

CECILIA: Well. Mom and… well mom and dad stopped being in love.

DEBORA: That’s horrible.

CECILIA: Well it could be worse.

DEBORA: How so?

CECILIA: Well I guess it probably started before middle school. People don’t just fall out of love the second they get divorced.

MANNY: Was it a real divorce? Or was it just a separation?

CECILIA: Oh it was the whole thing. Lawyers, judges, picking sides, money. It was all discussed. So much time was put into falling out of love that you almost want to wonder how much was put into falling in love.

DEBORA: Does it make you think about… you know…

CECILIA: I know what?

DEBORA: Like… where it all began. Like was your mom leading him on forever and she fell for him or did he do the same to her? I don’t know much about this kind of stuff… I mean… obviously.

MANNY: No it probably made her want to think about the future. Like where she wanted to go after all of this trauma. What she got to learn from it. You know? A kid coming out of divorce must know so much about relationships it will surely help somehow. They know about grief before they should, and they see the true side of human nature.

CECILIA: I think it was around 4th grade. That was the last time I saw my dad say, “I love you” to my mom without her saying it first.

MANNY: Oh wait you have totally told us about this in the past. Like I know you’ve said this before.

DEBORA: I can see the moment clear as day in my own head. He was pushing you on the swing. Just back and forth. Back and forth. Slowly you got higher and higher. There was a smile going from one of your cheeks to the other. Your mother stepped out of the back door and said, “Oh darlings, the food is getting cold. You must come in now to eat” and you said, “five more minutes, please.” Your dad walked over to try and negotiate with your mom and she was stubborn. He said, “alright, I love you honey” and then you both went inside.

MANNY: No no no you’ve got it all wrong.

DEBORA: How on Earth did I get it wrong?

MANNY: You got all the swinging stuff right, but her mother stepped out and said, “Oh darlings, the food is getting cold. You must come in now to eat” to which she pleaded for more time, so her father walked over and pressured her mother until she finally gave in. He had a big smile and said, “alright, I love you honey.” It was so the dad in the wrong.

DEBORA: It was her mom.

MANNY: Dad.

DEBORA: Mom.

MANNY: I swear to God you never listen to me.

CECILIA: Both of you stop. Please. I’m freezing.

MANNY: Well we can’t just sit here.

CECILIA: Well I don’t see you coming up with any ideas.

MANNY AND DEBORA: Well I have an idea.

CECILIA: Okay. Manny. You first.

MANNY: Umm… I’ll run ahead and see if I can find a place to take shelter for the night. If I see lights I will keep going and hopefully find us some food and warm clothing.

DEBORA: Oh are you trying to die? Because honestly it sounds like you are trying to die.

MANNY: Hey I’m trying to get us out of here. Don’t you want to go home?

DEBORA: Home? You mean the place I couldn’t even shower without feeling lost?

MANNY: What are you talking about?

DEBORA: You know exactly what I’m talking about. I tell you every time they told me to wash off: I was in the shower and I thought “oh wow, I’m getting dizzy,” and I thought I was going to pass out. I sat down to make sure I wouldn’t fall, but when I reached the tub it felt like my mind disconnected. Like my brain unplugged from my spine, leaving my body uncontrollable. My eyes focused on the faucet as all of the knobs slowly became one. I was paralyzed. No information was coming in, and nothing was come out. I began to panic. I tried to move every muscle as fast as I could, but it wasn’t working. I was screaming yet nothing came out of my mouth. All of a sudden, every message went through and I was slamming my arms into the walls. It felt like I was gone for hours, yet the water was still warm and the same song was playing on my phone. I’m sorry I just can’t go back there.

CECILIA: What’s your idea Debora?

DEBORA: Well I think we should turn around and head back. There is no use going deeper into the woods. It’s freezing and we are not dressed for the weather. If we turn around now, they will only lock us up for a little longer than they were already going to.

MANNY: You want me to go back? Do you remember the constant monitoring? We had to be within eyesight of someone who worked there or else they would slam all the doors shut and lock us in what was basically solitude. A little longer than forever is still forever. We need to run.

DEBORA: Go back.

MANNY: Run.

DEBORA: Go back.

CECILIA: Guys…

MANNY: Run!

DEBORA: Go back!

CECILIA: Guys!

MANNY: Run!!

DEBORA: Go Back!!

CECILIA: Guys!!! Please. I can’t do this.

MANNY: You do what you want. I’m leaving.

DEBORA: Follow who you want. I’m going to safety. (Debora exits towards the prison and Manny exits the opposite direction all fades to just the focus being on Cecilia as she closes her eyes after they have exited the stage. She sings to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.)

CECILIA: Momma momma will you cry, when your daughter says goodbye? Put me in a wooden crate, down the river it’s not too late. Momma momma will you cry, when your daughter says goodbye? (As she finishes the song she huddles into a ball on the floor and slowly stops rocking until there is no movement anymore.)

Scene – Deep in the woods, noon the next day

(The three men dressed as prison guards and a warden enter onto the scene where they find Cecilia frozen to death. Instead now they are two nurses and a doctor. They do not look happy when they arrive.)

MICHAEL: Oh no. Cecilia.

WILLIAM: Oh sir, I am so sorry we ever let this happen.

GARY: No need to beat yourself up over this. She was bound to escape at some point. Has she been taking her medication?

WILLIAM: We checked on her every 15 minutes like we are supposed to, and we thought she was taking the pills, but she has been hiding them in her pillow for weeks. You know how she can only sleep on one pillow. We were just trying to make her more comfortable.

GARY: I understand. You have to remember, though. She checked herself in. I guess this was just her way of checking herself out. Did she have any visitors in a while?

MICHAEL: Her mother. Her father used to come more near the beginning, but never at the same time as her mother.

GARY: Well we only found one set of tracks out here. I guess everyone else wanted to stay in from the blistering cold.

WILLIAM: Should we call an ambulance?

GARY: Sure, but also get her mother on the line and pray that poor Cecilia will rest easy along with wherever her and those friends of hers went.


Timothy Henderson Jr. is working towards earning a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre. He has been writing for a while but has been telling stories since he could speak. He hopes to start conversations or lend laughs to the ones who do not smile as much as he wished they would.

Categories
Fiction - 12th Edition Uncategorized

The Barbeque

Scene – Backyard around lunchtime 

(Charles is seen grilling while other guests are socializing around him. A boom box is sitting to the side of them on a lawn chair. Everyone has big smiles. Tony, Becky, and Lucas all walk up to Charles while he is grilling. Tony leads the conversation. )

TONY: Great party, man. Thanks for inviting us. 

CHARLES: Oh don’t worry about it I know we are all new to the neighborhood so I just wanted to see if we could all meet each other.  

TONY: Well, you picked the perfect day for a barbecue. The weather today is amazing.  

BECKY: Oh yeah, I know! The sun is up, and the birds are chirping. It’s beautiful  

LUCAS: Let’s all be happy this wasn’t last weekend. Remember the rain that came in? Oh, boy, was that a storm.  

CHARLES: It’s funny you say that Lucas because we were planning this for last weekend, but we checked the forecast, and that changed our mind. Moved it to this perfect day. So how is everyone?  

TONY: Alex and I are great. We are still waiting for the paperwork to get processed to see if we can adopt. We’ve only heard good things, though. Being this far in the process shows we are getting close.  

CHARLES: That’s amazing. Trust me. Having a kid is great.  

BECKY: I don’t have any of my own, but oh is my niece Amanda the cutest. 

CHARLES: Becky, you’re missing out. It is amazing.  

LUCAS: Being a kid was so fun, the best moments I had were spent with my dad. He made the days go by so fast and made memories that will last a lifetime. I’m sure you will be a great dad, Tony.  

TONY: I’m actually a little nervous. It would be such an exciting new step in my life, but man are kids a lot of work.  

BECKY: Oh, are you trying to adopt a baby or one that’s older?  

CHARLES: If I could’ve skipped the baby step, I would’ve. Yes, it was worth it because we have Charlie in our lives, but there were a ton of diapers.  

BECKY: Oh go for older. They never get adopted. Plus, you don’t have to think of a name.  

CHARLES: Oh, the name is the best part!  

LUCAS: Coming from the guy who just used copy and paste for his youngling  

BECKY: Anyways. I’m sure you two will be wonderful parents.  

LUCAS: Just wait till they’re old enough to play sports.  

TONY: We can’t wait. Standing on the sideline and cheering our kid on is something to dream about, let alone live  

BECKY: The little uniforms. Oooooh how adorable are the little uniforms.  

CHARLES: All of them with the same goal. The same pull to win. Play after play. Pass after pass—the adrenaline. Charlie lives for it. It’s in his blood.  

BECKY: Don’t you just love how they all cheer when the game is over? They’re so young that they’re just happy to be there.  

CHARLES: Yeah. Charlie loves playing offense. He loves it so much that he pouts when they have to put in the defense. He’s done it from when he first started playing all the way until high school. I think he’s grown out of it now.  

TONY: What do you mean to put in defense? They’re always at the back of the field.  

CHARLES: You know what I mean. Once your team scores a touchdown, they kick the ball back to the other team after they try for an extra point, and defense goes on. He loves catching the ball for an extra point.  

TONY: Extra points? Touchdown? Catching? Kicking the ball TO the other team? You’re not saying what I think you’re saying, are you?  

CHARLES: Are you confused by how football works?  

TONY: Astonished Football?!  

LUCAS: Oh this is gonna be good.  

CHARLES: I thought everyone here played football.  

TONY: Oh you were wrong to assume that.  

CHARLES: Why would it be wrong to assume that you play the best sport out there?  

BECKY: Oh dear.  

TONY: The best sport out there? Have you never heard of the past time that is agreed across the world as the best?  

CHARLES: I thought football was only played in America-  

TONY: It’s soccer.  

LUCAS: Technically, other countries call it “football.”  

CHARLES: Ha!  

LUCAS: But you two aren’t talking about the same sport.  

TONY Ha!  

LUCAS: But he isn’t saying soccer is better.  

BECKY: Hey, hey, hey. If you don’t play the same sport, that’s fine, right? (Beat) Right? (Beat) Right?  

TONY: No it’s not.  

CHARLES: He finally got one thing right.  

TONY: I don’t want your kid anywhere near mine. I don’t want him tainting their mind.  

BECKY: Five minutes ago, we were all having fun and chatting. We can all still be friends. You thought each other were nice.  

CHARLES: That’s before I found out he was one of those… one of those field fairies.  

TONY: (Gasps) You take that back right now.  

CHARLES: Oh, I’m sorry? Are you whining? Did someone barely tap you, and now you’re on the ground crying? Wah wah wah? Oh, are you waiting for a flag?  

LUCAS: Oh, are you just gonna take that Tony?  

TONY: Heck no. Unlike him, I can play offense and defense.  

CHARLES: Then take your best shot, T.  

TONY: T? You can only get through my first letter? You’ve run your head into a wall so often for “practice” no wonder you guys count by threes twos sixes or ones. Next, you’re gonna tell me you need a time out with 15 seconds left in a quarter. A QUARTER. You guys get a break every thirty seconds, and you are trying to tell me you need another water break?  

CHARLES: Strategy. STRAT-E-GY. You will never get it. And I don’t expect you to.  

TONY: What strategy? Oops, the run forward didn’t work. Let’s try the throw forward. Oops, that didn’t work. Let’s try the run forward again.  

CHARLES: Oh you have crossed the line.  

TONY: Which line? 10? 20? 30? 40? 50? On no! Can’t count higher than that! Better start going backward.  

CHARLES: Are we not going to talk about how you have so many people on the field, but only one of them is smart enough to use their hands?  

TONY: That’s the rules!  

CHARLES: Well, your rules are stupid!  

TONY: You’re stupid!  

BECKY: Can you two please just stop?  

CHARLES AND TONY: (At Becky and then they turn away) No!  

LUCAS: Oh lord.  

BECKY: There must be some way to make you stop.  

CHARLES: I’m not stopping until that field fairy confesses he is playing the wrong sport.  

TONY: Wow! Hit your head so many times you can only think of one nickname!  

BECKY: Oh come on. You guys have to realize there are a lot of other sports in the world.  

TONY: And they are all horrible.  

CHARLES: Oh look. His second point! One more and you’ll have enough to equal one kick from the 30-yard line.  

LUCAS: You guys really think all of the other sports are dumb? Even the one that the other one plays?  

CHARLES AND TONY: Yeah?  

BECKY: Guys. You can’t be that close-minded. What about baseball?  

TONY Baseball? Really? “America’s pastime?” More like America’s snoozefest.  

CHARLES: It takes forever for anything to happen. The best plays require so much set up that it isn’t even worth the time to play.  

TONY: Softball is the same thing.  

BECKY How about track? I mean, everyone runs, so what’s wrong with track?  

TONY: Are you kidding me? Yeah, we all run, but we run for a purpose. Left turn after left turn. Might as well watch NASCAR where everyone stays in first gear, but don’t even get me started with NASCAR. People saying that’s a sport ridiculous. Keep machines out of play.  

CHARLES: I know, right? Like. Where’s the ball?  

LUCAS: Soccer has a ball…  

CHARLES: Don’t you dare…  

BECKY: He’s making a good point. So you’re saying it needs to have a ball. So golf?  

TONY: Ewwwww. Golf?  

CHARLES: Yeah, why would you even say that? There’s no contact, no team, it’s just a waste of energy.  

BECKY: So contact, team, and a ball. So dodgeball.  

TONY: Nah, dodgeball is just something you learn about in middle school, and you only use it to pass the time until you learn about real sports  

BECKY: Volleyball?  

LUCAS: It’s only fun on a beach during spring break. Nothing serious  

CHARLES: Okay. Gross. Think of all the sand you’ll get in… places…  

BECKY: Then play it in a gym  

CHARLES: Inside? You’re trying to get me out of my element? The best time to play is in the rain! So how are you going to keep that away from me?  

LUCAS: Don’t some stadiums have a roof?  

CHARLES: Yeah. And the people who built them probably think flag football is a viable substitute for the real thing.  

BECKY: You two are impossible.  (Charlie enters.)

CHARLIE: Hey dad…  

CHARLES: What is it, best running back in the state?  

CHARLIE: See I’ve been meaning to talk to you.  

CHARLES: You finally want to switch to QB like your old man! Ha I knew you’d come around.  

CHARLIE: No, actually, it’s something else. See I’m 16, and I’m growing to be a new person, and I think I’ve wanted to try new things.  

CHARLES: With care and compassion Son. You don’t have to break it to me like I’m going to be disappointed. If you’re gay, you’re gay. It’s fine. I still love you.  

CHARLIE: No, actually, that’s not it. I want to play soccer.  

CHARLES: Complete shift in mood You what.  

TONY: Like a soccer announcer, And it’s a goooooooooaaaaaaal!  

CHARLES: Tell me you’re joking.  

CHARLIE: It just seems so fun. Some other kids at school have been talking about it, and I was hoping that-  

CHARLES: Hoping that what? I just don’t understand. You’ve been playing football since you were born. I remember tossing the ol pigskin in the front yard back when you had to use both hands to throw it.  

CHARLIE: I only threw the ball with you because that’s what I thought I had to do. You and mom always talked about it. Actually, I think it’s the only sport you talked about. If you ever mentioned another sport, it was just as a joke, or it was in bad spirit.  

CHARLES: Well that’s because all of the other ones are a waste of time. You… you have to think about the scholarships that you could get. Those benefits are better than anything you’ll get from another sport.  

CHARLIE: But you never thought about what makes the most sense. Like. Like the thing about soccer. I’ll have more playtime and less chance of injury.  

CHARLES: But what about your knees.  

CHARLIE: But what about my head? Dad. Brain damage is so common in the NFL that Will Smith was in a movie about how they try to sweep it under the rug.  

CHARLES: I don’t want to talk about this right now.  

CHARLIE: But dad.  

CHARLES: That’s enough. Now go talk to your mother. (Charlie leaves in a sad mood.)

LUCAS: So Charles, do you have anything you want to say to Tony?  

BECKY: You’re not helping  

TONY: No, no, no. He’s helping plenty.  (Alex enters.) 

ALEX: Honey!  

TONY: Love!  

ALEX: While you all were over here, I was checking my phone and guess what.  

TONY: What is it?  

ALEX: The adoption company emailed us and guess what.  

TONY: You’re not saying what I think you’re saying.  

ALEX: Yes, I am… We are going to have a lovely baby boy!  

BECKY: Oh my goodness, I’m so happy for you two! You’ll both make great dads.  

CHARLES: Quietly as Becky congratulates Yeah. Congrats. Whatever  

ALEX: Thank you so much! I’m so excited, but you know what I’m most excited about?  

CHARLES: Let me guess…  

ALEX: I can’t wait to play football with him!  

TONY: Oh, I love it when you speak French  

ALEX: French? I’m talking about American football.  

BECKY: Here we go…  

TONY: But babe, we have been playing soccer since before we met. You told me how you grew up kicking a ball with the neighbor kids. Setting up goals between two trees, one goal always being bigger than the other, it was such a lovely story.  

ALEX: Yeah, but I’ve been thinking. Yes, soccer is fun and all, but think about the energy at a football game. People just screaming and yelling as they watch grown men slam into each other. It’s chaos, yet it is still civilized. When the game is over, it is over. Yes, people talk about it for years about how the season would’ve been so different if they just put in Jimmy, but it’s over when the game is over. Honey, we know of multiple people who were killed over letting one goal go in during a regular-season game. Let alone the ones murdered over a grand final penalty shot. I think there is too much violence backed behind that game.  

TONY: I can’t believe it. We move here, and you just easily convert to one of them?  

ALEX: It’s not what someone told me to do, it’s something I wanted to do on my own.  

TONY: I think I need to sit down Moves the boom box out of the chair and put it on the ground.  

ALEX: I’ll be back when you want to talk.  (Alex exits.) 

CHARLES: Oh oh oh… I guess Alex is on the right team. Or should I say… right sport.  

TONY: Hey, you keep quiet. Your son knows what game to play. Why don’t you?  

CHARLES: He will realize it’s a waste of time, much like how your husband feels.  

LUCAS: Oh snap.  

TONY: I’ve had it up to here with you.  

CHARLES: You’re sitting in a chair. That’s not too high.  

TONY: Stands to confront him Why I ought to-  

BECKY: Gets between them You two. Stop it right now.  

CHARLES: Well, he started it!  

TONY: No, he started it!  

BECKY: Well, you’re both continuing it, so stop! Lucas, go get Alex and Charlie. (Lucas nods and exits.) 

BECKY: And for you two. You need to learn to grow up and accept others for who they are. Even if they don’t play the same sport as you.  

CHARLES: But-  

BECKY: No buts.  

TONY: What about-  

BECKY: No, what about either. When they get here, you are going to be different people from when you were when they were here. (Lucas enters with Charlie and Alex.) 

BECKY: Okay, you two. What are you going to say?  

CHARLES AND TONY: (Under their breath.) Sorry…  

BECKY: Not good enough. Charles. You go first  

CHARLES: Okay okay (To Charlie) If you want to play soccer, that is fine with me. I know I was harsh on you earlier. Looking back, I should have shown you every sport and let you choose what you wanted to play. We all have different beliefs and wants, so it makes sense if you want to play soccer. I like football, but that doesn’t mean you want to play it. I love you for you. And I hope you forgive me.  

CHARLIE: Will you drive me to practice?  

CHARLES: Of course, son. As long as you’re happy.  

BECKY: Now you, Tony  

TONY: Alex. You are the one for me. And to be completely honest, it shocked me that you didn’t want to play soccer. This, however, does not change the fact that I want to spend the rest of my life with you. We might play different sports, but we will always come back to the same home—a home full of love for each other, and our boy. My only wish is that we let him choose what he wants to play. Do you agree?  

ALEX: I love you so much. Of course, I agree. 

BECKY: Now. Can we all please enjoy this barbecue?  

LUCAS: How can we do that? Charles hasn’t flipped the burgers since we started talking.  

CHARLES: Oh dang it!  

CHARLIE: Oh dad. (They all chuckle.)  

CHARLES: Well sorry I ruined the barbecue.  

TONY: That’s fine. At least we will all see each other at church on Sunday.  

CHARLES: Oh I’m Jewish.  

CHARLIE: Buddhist.  

BECKY: Islamic (Muslim).  

LUCAS: Agnostic.  

TONY: Well that’s fine. I think we can all still get along.  


Timothy Henderson Jr. is working towards earning a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre. He has been writing for a while but has been telling stories since he could speak. He hopes to start conversations or lend laughs to the ones who do not smile as much as he wished they would.

Categories
Fiction - 12th Edition Uncategorized

Houdini the Genie

Scene 1 – Introduction

(A small bathroom that looks like it has been blocked off for years. There are two stalls, and two sinks. Both stalls are facing the audience and the sinks line the wall as you go towards the door on the right. There is a warning sign on the outside of the bathroom door. David enters quickly.)

DAVID: (Enters trying to unbuckle his belt) Oh come on. Who locks a bathroom door (He tries to open the second stall but it is locked) Fine. Fine! (Whatever He walks into the first stall and sits down to use the toilet, leaving the door open.)

HOUDINI: (Smoke appears from underneath the second stall, drifting into the first and Houdini steps out wearing an unlaced straight jacket and chains around his body) A-bra-ka-da-bra!

DAVID: (Falls to the ground in shock) Who’s there? Everyone says this bathroom is closed! (He turns around and sees who it is) Oh my god…

HOUDINI: It is I!

DAVID: How is it you?

HOUDINI: How is it me? The same way it is you!

DAVID: Houdini right?

HOUDINI: Yes! Yes! Now that you know it is me, you have to help me

DAVID: I am going to be honest here, I am new to this school and I’m not trying to make friends with a magician in a bathroom (David goes for the door).

HOUDINI: (Steps in front of the exit) Wait wait! I can help you make friends… With magic.

DAVID: Yeah… that’s the thing. I don’t know if you know this, but magic is kind of…

HOUDINI: The most wicked experience anyone can see?

DAVID: No. It’s banned.

HOUDINI: Banned? How could the 8th wonder of the world be banned?

DAVID: You see, after you died, a lot of people spent years trying to copy your life’s work. All of them were alumni of this school.

HOUDINI: And?

DAVID: And they all died.

HOUDINI: Oh dear.

DAVID: You’re saying oh dear, but you’re not the one who heard this at orientation at 7:30 a.m. on a Monday morning.

HOUDINI: What a welcome wagon.

DAVID: But since they were all from here, this school has made a special hard push for the banning of magic. Now of course there are girls like Jamie.

HOUDINI: Jamie? Who is Jamie? She some kind of hard ass about the rules?

DAVID: No, the hall monitor is the hard ass. They call him the “magic police.”

HOUDINI: But what about Jamie?

DAVID: Oh, she’s the exact opposite. She is lovely and pretty and really pushing to get magic to be allowed back in school.

HOUDINI: So we like this girl? Ah? Ah?

DAVID: Oh shut up. I am new here. She doesn’t even know who I am.

HOUDINI: But we can make her fall in love with… Magic!

DAVID: Oh no. I am not falling for whatever you have planned. I cannot get kicked out of another school (He leaves the bathroom).

HOUDINI: (Gestures in David’s direction.)

Scene 2 – The Magic Police

(After David walks out the door and off the stage he immediately walks back on stage and walks through the bathroom door.)

DAVID: Okay. What the hell did you do?

HOUDINI: What are you talking about?

DAVID: I walked out of that door and Veronica Harper waved and said hello to me.

HOUDINI: What is so surprising about that?

DAVID: Veronica Harper is the captain of the cheerleading squad. From what I heard, to date her you have to date her three closest friends first. All of which are prettier than the one before them.

HOUDINI: So what? She said hi. That is great for you!

DAVID: No you did something. What did you do? Spill it.

HOUDINI: Fine fine fine. You caught me. I might be more than just the ghost of Houdini.

DAVID: You’re what?

HOUDINI: I am also a genie.

DAVID: What?

HOUDINI: Yeah when a magician dies, we spend the rest of time as a genie until someone comes along and fulfills our final wish.

DAVID: Wait. You’re the genie. And I have to fulfill YOUR wish?

HOUDINI: Isn’t that exactly what I said?

DAVID: Sorry sorry. I’m just caught up on one thing. So your title is now Houdini… the genie

HOUDINI: I prefer the genie, Houdini, but to each their own.

MAGIC POLICE: (Knocking on the bathroom door) Hey! Is anyone in there! This restroom is off limits!

DAVID: (Quietly to himself) Oh god (Runs into the first stall and shuts the door behind him. Out loud) I am in the bathroom!

MAGIC POLICE: That’s it. I’m coming in (Uses his keys to unlock the door. The rest of this encounter Houdini is standing behind the magic police outside of his view doing small card tricks behind his back.)

MAGIC POLICE: Who’s in there?

DAVID: (Emerges wearing a full tuxedo.) Sorry I am new here and I just needed to use the bathroom.

 MAGIC POLICE: (Looks David up and down with a confused look) So you are new here?

DAVID: Yeah?

MAGIC POLICE: So I am guessing you aren’t aware of our uniform policy?

DAVID: (Looks down at his clothes and realize what he is wearing. He tries to cover it up with his hands and he eventually hides behind the stall door.) Oh my God I am sorry I was just in my gym clothes… (He cringes knowing what he said was very dumb.)

MAGIC POLICE: Well. I suggest wearing something a little more comfortable, but hey, I don’t have to take gym anymore. Ha! But seriously you need to be in uniform in the halls.

DAVID: I have an extra set of clothes in my locker. You know, just in case I spill something or-

MAGIC POLICE: I don’t need your life story, kid. Have a good day. And remember, no magic (Magic police walks out of the bathroom)

DAVID: What the hell, man?

HOUDINI: I wanted you to look the part when you fulfilled my final wish.

DAVID: Listen dude. I’m not doing it. Just let me change my clothes and leave (David walks out of the bathroom.)

HOUDINI: (Waits for David to be off stage and then gestures in his direction again.)

Scene 3 – Jamie

(After walking off stage David immediately walks back on wearing the normal school uniform. He walks through the bathroom door.)

DAVID: Alright. If you are going to use your magic to change me back, can you at least wait until I am not in the middle of the hall? Or even better, don’t do it at all!

HOUDINI: I was just trying to help.

DAVID: Well I didn’t ask for it! (Walks into the first stall and sits on the toilet and begins to use it.)

HOUDINI: What are you doing?

DAVID: Doing what I came here to do.

HOUDINI: Well you could at least close the door…

DAVID: You changed my outfit twice in one day. I think we are close enough for this.

HOUDINI: I will be out when you are done. (Walks into the second stall and closes the door behind him.)

DAVID: (A few seconds pass and he reaches for the toilet paper and wipes. When his hand comes back from out of the toilet, the paper is now a colorful handkerchief attached to more and more on a long chain.) Oh no oh no. (He keeps pulling and pulling and the chain just starts to pile up around the floor of the bathroom.) What the hell man!

HOUDINI: (Sarcastically) I have no idea what you are talking about.

DAVID: (Still pulling the chain out.) Oh you know what I am talking about.

JAMIE: (Knocking on the door.) Hello?

DAVID: Occupied!

JAMIE: Is everything okay?

DAVID: (Trying to clean up the chain.) Yep! Everything is fine!

JAMIE: Are you sure? Because I watched you walk in and out of this bathroom multiple times. You know you’re not supposed to be in there right?

DAVID: I’m coming to find that out as I go.

JAMIE: Are you the new kid everyone is talking about?

DAVID: That depends, who’s asking?

JAMIE: Well I am Jamie.

DAVID AND HOUDINI: Jamie?!

JAMIE: Are there two of you in there?

DAVID AND HOUDINI: NO! (They look at each other and David signals to Houdini to be quiet.)

DAVID: No

JAMIE: I’m coming in.

DAVID: Wait! (He rushes to the door and holds it shut. He whispers to Houdini.) Do something about this mess!

HOUDINI: (Begins to pick up the handkerchief and shoves it in the toilet and slams the door behind him as he says) What is up with people walking into bathrooms at this school? (Goes back into the second stall and locks the door behind him.)

JAMIE: (Throws the door open and knocks David to the floor.) Can I please ask what is going on here?

DAVID: (Still laying on the ground.) I have a friend

JAMIE: A what?

DAVID: (Stands up) I have a magic friend

JAMIE: Well, where is he?

DAVID: (Points towards the second stall.) He’s in there.

JAMIE: Alright, I came here to see if you were as cool as everyone said, but obviously I was wrong. Everyone knows that stall is always locked. (She leaves.)

DAVID: No wait. Please (Heads towards the door as Houdini steps out of the stall) Can you get her back, please? (He exits and heads off stage.)

HOUDINI: (As David gets offstage, Houdini gestures towards David’s direction.)

Scene 4 – Jamie and the Magic Police

(David comes sprinting back into the bathroom. He looks very frantic.)

DAVID: I asked for you to help. What the hell did you do?

HOUDINI: Actually you asked me to get her back.

DAVID: I didn’t mean like this though. The magic police are looking for me!

HOUDINI: Ahhh, and she will defend you from the magic police, because she is oh so perfect.

DAVID: No. They will find me in here again and I’ll be screwed. Make me invisible or something!

HOUDINI: Okay, you know nothing about magic.

DAVID: How am I supposed to learn anything about magic when you have yet to explain yourself?

MAGIC POLICE: (Knocks on the door.) We know you are in there!

JAMIE: Kid if you are in there, stay strong.

DAVID: (To Houdini) Do it!

HOUDINI: I can do you one better. Strike a pose! (Houdini gestures at David The Magic Police and Jamie enter. They both walk in and immediately notice David kneeling as if he were the statue “The Thinker.” The Magic Police think he is a statue, but Jamie knows it is him. She goes to cover for him, but the police speak first.)

MAGIC POLICE: Wow. Can’t believe the art department would start to use this bathroom as a storage compartment (As he turns around David sneezes.) What was that?

JAMIE: Wasn’t me.

MAGIC POLICE: Hmmmmm. Must’ve been those faulty pipes. You know the school should really figure that stuff out. Alright nothing to see here (He walks out. The door shuts and Jamie turns around and looks at David still kneeling in his pose. She slowly walks up to him, looks at him really close, and then smacks him in the back of the head.)

JAMIE: What the hell was that?

DAVID: What?

JAMIE: The police are dumb, but not that dumb.

DAVID: I mean from what I have perceived.

JAMIE: Shut up. Something is going on here.

DAVID: I’m cursed! I’m cursed. I’m so cursed. You see, earlier I came in here, because I needed to go to the bathroom and there was no line at this bathroom, but I know that you shouldn’t just walk into bathrooms no one is using, but I just had to, so I came in here and I tried to use the second stall because the first stall is always the dirtiest, but it was locked, even though I didn’t see anyone underneath, but I said whatever and went in the first stall and now I have a genie.

JAMIE So I am going to need details, or I am never talking to you again.

DAVID: He said I have to fulfill his wish and then he can pass on. The genie is Houdini.

JAMIE: Houdini…

DAVID: Yeah, I know, but he wants me to do magic and I am trying to not get kicked out of.

JAMIE: Magic?

DAVID: Yeah, I know. It sounds stupid when you say it.

JAMIE: Oh, I thought it was cool.

DAVID: Then it does not sound stupid when you say it.

JAMIE: What does he want you to do?

DAVID: His final trick. Listen I don’t know very much about him, but I’ve seen his face enough to know what he looks like. Didn’t he die doing his last trick?

JAMIE: I don’t know, but you know what I think?

DAVID: What?

JAMIE You should do it

DAVID: (Pouting) But why?

JAMIE: I think if I had the opportunity to help a dead celebrity, I would.

DAVID: But but but

JAMIE: Nope. I’ve made up my mind. You make up yours (She exits the bathroom and leaves the stage.)

DAVID: (He follows.) Jamie, but wait!

Scene 5 – Finale

(About 30 seconds goes by and Houdini is walking around the room. David slowly approaches the bathroom and opens the door. He walks in looking defeated, but determined.)

DAVID: I’ll do it.

HOUDINI” You’ll what?

DAVID: I said I will do it.

HOUDINI: Oh my goodness thank you so much! I really do owe you one.

DAVID: Don’t dwell on it so much. Let’s just get this over with. Use your little magic and-

HOUDINI: Oh no no. My wish is for YOU to do my trick. I can’t help you in any way besides the set up.

DAVID: Then we will do it here.

HOUDINI: Oh no no. You must do it in front of an audience.

DAVID: Hey that wasn’t in the rules.

HOUDINI: I never got around to saying all of the rules. You must do it in front of an audience.

DAVID: (Gestures towards the audience.) Well what about them?

HOUDINI: (Looks out into the audience and shrugs.) I guess they will do.

DAVID: Alright what do I have to do?

HOUDINI: (Takes off his chains and straight jacket and puts them on David.) Put these on and go into the second stall.

DAVID: The second stall? But was locked just a while ago.

HOUDINI: Well it is unlocked now (Pushes David into the stall.) Now go! (He shuts the stall door and David is sitting on the toilet to where we can see his feet.)

DAVID: Well alright. Wait. You never explained to me what the trick is. What am I supposed to be doing? We hear saw blades spinning up Wait what is going on? You said if I did this you would stop bothering me.

JAMIE: (Enters and stands next to Houdini.) Oh he will

DAVID Jamie? Is that you? Can you get me out of here? I don’t think I can go through with this.

JAMIE: Yes you can, and you will.

DAVID: I thought you were cool! Jamie please! Someone! (Buzzing of saw blades hitting flesh is heard and David screams and lifts his feet in pain and eventually stops.)

JAMIE: How many more do you need until you stop bothering me?

HOUDINI: I think one more will do the trick.

JAMIE: Do you think these guys will ever catch on?

HOUDINI: Of course not. Just like a good magic trick you pull them in with a few details, me, scare them with fear, the police, and throw in some misdirection, you, and they will never see the ending coming.

JAMIE: I have to get to class (Starts to head out.)

HOUDINI: On your way out, take down that sign. It is scaring away our guests (Jamie takes the warning sign off of the door as she exits. Houdini heads back into the second stall and David is already gone. He shuts the door and locks it.)


Timothy Henderson Jr. is working towards earning a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre. He has been writing for a while but has been telling stories since he could speak. He hopes to start conversations or lend laughs to the ones who do not smile as much as he wished they would.

Categories
12th Edition Fiction - 12th Edition Uncategorized

The Intern

Scene – Lair  

An ordinary office conference room has three men in superhero get-ups sitting in chairs watching TV. A boulder is in the corner of the room. In walks the receptionist, Cheryl, with an intern known as Psycho Sis. The leader, Fly, stands to greet her.  

CHERYL: Right this way ma’am.  

PSYCHO SIS: Is this your lair?  

CHERYL: Rent is cheap, so you get what you get (She exits.)  

FLY: Why hello there. How may we serve you?  

PSYCHO SIS: I put in an application for the open position.  

FLY: Ah, yes. You must be the new intern.  

PSYCHO SIS: Intern? I thought this was a paid position.  

FLY: It is a paid internship. It’s just a title we use to hire younger people and pay them under the table.  

PSYCHO SIS: Isn’t that illegal?  

FLY: It’s a small price to pay for justice, but a hefty legal fee if you are under 16, which you don’t seem to be…  

PSYCHO SIS: I’m not…  

FLY: Great! That is so great! Come over here, I’ll introduce everyone. This is Biception. He has super strength.  

BICEPTION: Hiya! (They shake hands, but it’s an obviously weak shake.)  

FLY: And this is Captain Come Quick. The fastest man on the east AND west coast.  

CCQ: How’s it, goin? (They shake hands, but it is much slower than Biception’s handshake with Psycho Sis.)  

FLY: The three of us have been working together since the Cuban Missile Crisis, which makes it… one year?  

BICEPTION: One. Amazing. Year  

CCQ: Yeah. Every day here is a new day. Full of excitement and adventure  

PSYCHO SIS: What’s your name, sir?  

FLY: I’m Fly  

PSYCHO SIS: That’s amazing. “The Fly.” Can you see from a thousand viewpoints and zip around like a house-  

FLY: No. I just Fly. So I’m Fly  

PSYCHO SIS: Right…  

FLY: What’s your name?  

PSYCHO SIS: Oh, I’m Psycho Sis. I can read minds. (CCQ and Biception look nervous)  

CCQ: You can read minds?  

BICEPTION: Isn’t it kind of wrong to be in other people’s heads all the time?  

PSYCHO SIS: Well, it’s not all the time. I have to stare into their eyes for 4 seconds.  

(CCQ and Biception avoid eye contact with Psycho Sis)  

FLY: That’s amazing. Do me! Do me! (Psycho Sis stares into Fly’s eyes for 4 seconds)  

PSYCHO SIS: You are thinking of the color magenta, but you imagine the color green.  

FLY: Right! That’s so cool!  

CCQ: I bet you have a super backstory.  

PSYCHO SIS: Oh yeah. So my mom is a doctor with a strong interest in how the mind works. My dad is a chemist. And they decided they wanted to try and see if you could use 100% of your brain. Now they needed a test subject, and they both just decided to have a kid for the sole purpose of experimenting. I had a twin brother, but he was lost at birth. 20 years later, and here I am.  

BICEPTION: So they just experimented with you for 20 years?  

PSYCHO SIS: No. They finished when I was 12. They told me I can’t tell anyone, but they both died in a plane crash about a year ago, and I felt I needed to use my powers to help the world because they aren’t around to help the world anymore.  

FLY: That’s beautiful. Working as a way to continue your parents’ legacy. Do you want to hear mine? Of course, you do. So I was going to my nine to five like everyone else, when suddenly a truck swerved, causing a vat of toxic waste in the back of it to spill all over me right as I swallowed a housefly. It combined our abilities, making me who I am today.  

PSYCHO SIS: So you actually are a Fly?  

FLY: No. I’m just Fly. Biception, you go next.  

BICEPTION: Me? But I never have to tell the new guys-  

FLY: I said go.  (Biception looks like he is making this up as he is going on.)  

BICEPTION: So I was… a soldier. Yeah, a soldier in World War II. And I was a small guy, so I couldn’t really lift my own weight. They saw that I had guts, though, so I was picked to be a test subject for a new serum the Government was working on, and when I was injected, I came out ripped like this. I went on secret missions with my best friend until he died tragically. It destroyed me. I ended up coming home from the war, and I worked as a type of advertising for the Government.  

BICEPTION: Now I work here, and I do what I do to help any citizen that needs help. It’s almost like I could do this all-day.  

PSYCHO SIS: But wait-  

FLY: Why haven’t you ever told me that before? I salute you.  

PSYCHO SIS: Isn’t that just-  

FLY: Captain. You’re next.  

CCQ: Genetics.  

FLY: Outstanding.  

PSYCHO SIS: Can you elaborate?  

CCQ: Nope.  

FLY: Always quick on the draw. That’s why I love this man.  (Cheryl enters.)  

CHERYL: There’s a woman on the phone. She says her cat is stuck in the tree out front of the city hall.  

FLY: Alright, team. Who should we send on this mission?  

BICEPTION: I guess I could rip the tree out of the ground and shake it until the cat comes down, but I think you need a permit to do anything to the trees in front of city hall, so I’m out.  

CCQ: Well, I could run up the tree at lightning speed, but it might scare the cat and make him jump. We don’t need that happening, so I am also out. Why don’t you just fly up there, boss?  

FLY: Good plan. Fast on his feet and with ideas. Alright, I’ll head out. I’ll be back in a few. (Cheryl and Fly both exit. CCQ and Biception go back to watching TV.)  

PSYCHO SIS: So…  

BICEPTION: So what?  

PSYCHO SIS: What do you guys do for fun around here?  

CCQ: You are looking at it.  

PSYCHO SIS: That wasn’t such a fast response. (CCQ and Biception look at each other nervously.)  

CCQ: Uhh…  

BICEPTION: He can turn his powers on and off. It’s so he can conserve energy. (CCQ and Biception high five. After a few seconds, CCQ pretends that his hand is hurt.)   

PSYCHO SIS: Well I thought of something fun to do, and I wondered if I could try it?  

BICEPTION: What is it?  

PSYCHO SIS: Sits down at the table Arm wrestle me.  

BICEPTION: Hilarious. I would destroy you. Why would you even ask that?  

CCQ: I could run around the Earth faster than he would beat you in this dumb competition.  

PSYCHO SIS: Well, if it’s such an easy task, why don’t you just show me? Both of you. I will arm wrestle him while you run around the Earth. Come on get over here. Let’s do this. (CCQ and Biception anxiously walk to their starting position. CCQ gets into a runners start, and Biception puts his hand around Psycho Sis’.)  

PSYCHO SIS: Three… Two… One… Go! (CCQ acts as if he went around the Earth instantly by jumping up and acting like he is out of breath. Biception is struggling to pull her arm down.)  

BICEPTION: Oh I am just going easy on you.  

PSYCHO SIS: Why don’t you just look at the fact that I’m not even trying? (He looks at her hand and notices she isn’t struggling at all. His eyes slowly move up toward her eyes. Their eyes lock for 4 seconds.)  

CCQ: Oh no…  

PSYCHO SIS: I knew it (She slams Biception’s hand down.) You guys are fakes.  

BICEPTION: I just let you win. You’re making that up.  

CCQ: (Nervously yet confidently.) Yeah.  

PSYCHO SIS: You also wet your bed on your eighth birthday because your dad told you a scary story the night before because you thought you were mature enough to handle it.  

BICEPTION: Lucky guess…  

PSYCHO SIS: (Referring to CCQ.) And his middle name is Patricia.  

CCQ: Dude, I told you that in confidence!  

PSYCHO SIS: You are phonies!  

BICEPTION: Can you keep it down? Cheryl is in the other room.  

PSYCHO SIS: How have you guys been working here for a year?   

CCQ: Listen. Fly isn’t the smartest man I have ever met.  

BICEPTION: I think his brain got switched with the fly’s, too  

PSYCHO SIS: Why do you do it?  

BICEPTION Well, my son, was really into superheroes when he was younger, and after his mother and I divorced, I tried anything to grab his attention. I would do anything to pick him up again like I did when he was four. That court day was the last time I saw him.  

PSYCHO SIS: I’m so sorry. What about you, Cap?  

CCQ: I did track in high school and already had the shoes. I’m mostly in it for the money. It has been hard to keep this secret, and we are not about to let some newbie come in and ruin this gig.  

BICEPTION: Yeah!  

CCQ: And if I have to beat it out of you I-  (Fly enters.) 

FLY: I’m back.  

CCQ: -will have to welcome you aboard to our wonderful team!  

FLY: It was one of those smaller trees. You couldn’t have run up that tree anyways.  

CCQ: Good thing I didn’t waste anyone’s time.  

PSYCHO SIS: Since I have been welcomed in, can I try to… to make this place look a little nicer?  

FLY: Well, what do you want?  

PSYCHO SIS: I want that boulder moved… over there.  

FLY: Get to it Biception. (Biception goes over and picks up the boulder with ease. He moves it to where Psycho Sis pointed.)  

PSYCHO SIS: And that television are too loud. Cap. Turn if off.  

FLY: Get to it, Quick. (CCQ acts like he just snapped to the tv in the back while Biception clicks someone in his pocket secretly and the television goes out.)  

PSYCHO SIS: But but but- (A crash is heard in the distance.)  

FLY: I’ll fly around back and check what that was. You all stay here and keep watch. (Fly leaves out the back.)  

PSYCHO SIS: How did you do that?  

CCQ: What are you talking about?  

PSYCHO SIS: I’ll just read it, so tell me.  

BICEPTION: That boulder is paper mache. Fly makes me move it every day for his amusement (Holds up the remote in his pocket.) And he still doesn’t know about the remote control.  

PSYCHO SIS: I get that, but I meant the crash.  

CCQ: That wasn’t us… (Chad enters wearing a mask over his face with a gun pressed against the head of Cheryl. He is holding her hostage.)  

CHAD: Ha! It is I! Your arch-enemy! I have been looking for your lair ever since you ruined my first plan to take over the world!  

PSYCHO SIS: Do you know this guy?  

CCQ: I have never seen him before.  

CHAD: How could you not remember me? It is I! Crazy Head And Dead!  

BICEPTION: That is by far the dumbest name I have ever heard.  

CHAD: (Getting angrier) Shut up! I’ll kill her!  

CCQ: Just do it. We can get another receptionist. It’s all a woman can do anyway.  

CHERYL AND PSYCHO SIS: I’m right here!  

CHAD: One more word and I’ll… I’ll kill you all! (Fly enters from behind and knocks the gun out of Chad’s hand. He and Chad begin to fight.)  

FLY: Captain! Grab the gun and bring it here! (CCQ slowly walks over and picks up the gun. Fly gets Chad in a headlock.)  

FLY: Sis! Read his mind! We have to know why he’s doing it. (She quickly runs over and stares into Chad’s eyes, but he keeps moving around.)  

PSYCHO SIS: Hold him still. I can’t focus.  

FLY: Captain! Point the gun at him! That will keep him still.  

CCQ: But sir, I thought we were supposed to follow the law of the nation  

FLY: It’s self-defense just do it!  

CHERYL: (Takes the gun.) Give that to me (Points the gun with both hands at Chad.)  

CHERYL: Quit moving around! You hear me? Quit moving around, or I will blow your brains all over the floor and the wall! The janitors will hate you, and your friends won’t even know why you never showed up to poker night. (Chad stops struggling, but he keeps his eyes closed.)  

PSYCHO SIS: He needs to open his eyes.  

CHERYL: Open your eyes, or I swear to you that the carpet will forever have your blood stained into it. (Chad opens his eyes, and Psycho Sis stares into them for 4 seconds.)  

PSYCHO SIS: He’s doing this for his father’s approval!  

CHAD: It’s true! (He breaks down.) It’s true… I’ve been seeking attention since my father left my mom and me when I was four. I remember him picking me up one last time.  

BICEPTION: (Taking off his mask.) Chad?  

CHAD: (Taking off his mask.) Dad?  

BICEPTION: Oh, son! (Tries to pick him up and throws out his back.) Ow ow ow!  

FLY: Wait a minute. Wait a minute! How did you throw out your back, trying to pick up one person? (He points at CCQ.)  

FLY: And why did it take you so long to pick up the gun?  

PSYCHO SIS: I think it’s pretty obvious  

FLY: You’re right… they’re saving their energy for a real enemy. It’s like they sense a more significant problem coming their-  (An alarm goes off, stating that it is 5:00 pm. They all stop fighting and go and put on overcoats. Psycho Sis stands confused.)  

CCQ: Phew. I thought this day would never end. Anybody want to grab drinks?  

BICEPTION: Not me. I think I’m gonna spend the day with my son.  

CHAD: Oh dad (They smile and hug.)  

CHERYL: See you all on Monday.  

PSYCHO SIS: You guys are done? Just like that?  

FLY: All in a day’s work.  

PSYCHO SIS: He was threatening to kill us!  

CCQ: Yeah, but our shift is over. Can’t do anything about it now.  

PSYCHO SIS: You do this every day?  

FLY: Every day.  

BICEPTION: The benefits are good.  

PSYCHO SIS: How good?  

CCQ: Weekends. Holidays. Health care. You name it.  

PSYCHO SIS: Where do I sign?  

CHERYL: I’ll send you the paperwork:  

FLY: Can you start next week?


Timothy Henderson Jr. is working towards earning a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre. He has been writing for a while but has been telling stories since he could speak. He hopes to start conversations or lend laughs to the ones who do not smile as much as he wished they would.

Categories
Poetry - 13th Edition Uncategorized

Arm Wrestling

My clock stopped a long time ago

I wasn’t there when it happened

And I didn’t notice what was wrong

Until I watched the second hand

Thrust itself forward

Only to be pushed back by another invisible hand

They must be arm wrestling

A broken clock is still correct twice a day,

but I never seem to look at it at the right time

Maybe tomorrow, my timing will be better

Maybe the next time

I could reach up and fix it

But I don’t know how

So I won’t even take it off the wall

And time slows to a crawl

The time it stands on means nothing to me

And the frozen moment keeps the hand floating,

Hovering there at the 12,

The precipice of some type of change, I’m sure,

However miniscule that change might be

Insignificant, and I wouldn’t even really mind

If it weren’t for the fact that the clock is still up there

Ticking on my wall and endlessly in the darkness

as I lie there awake, listening

Refusing to tell me the time

But reminding me that it is moving on anyway


Victoria Lane is a graduating senior at Lindenwood, completing her degree with majors in Game Design, Digital and Web Design, and Art History. She plans to continue her education through Lindenwood’s Writing MFA, where she intends to write more original fiction and poetry. She loves to read comic books, collect action figures, watch films, play video games, make art, and yes, write. 

Portfolio – victoriamlane.com

Instagram – @victoriamadilynlanee 

Categories
Uncategorized

The Proposal

Let’s deceive time,

so that you can look at me

like the first time.

Smile at me without wanting to,

and kiss me like yesterday.

Let’s turn the world upside down,

just one more time,

to see the stars appear

during bedtime.

Let’s forget fear and

let’s jump with longing,

touching the sky

without poison.

Let´s allow the rain

wash away the sorrows

and cultivate new goals,

to watch them grow inside the pot.

Let’s start the adventure

without ties,

despite the pain and disagree,

to finish the path where destiny intervened.


Categories
Uncategorized

Sins of the Creator

Deliver us from woe, Oh creator!

Oh lord above, can’t you hear us? Traitor!

This fuss of a cuss has turned us to rust.

Our twilight dawns, we will be turned to Dust?

Ban the fiction! Hear our benediction!

Save us from damnation! For Salvation!

Stop this fabrication, abdication!

Have you heard of our extermination?!

For the war draws closer, the walls will fall.

Enemies unite together, they maul!

Demons wear our skin, original sin!

Return! Hear us lord! For we can not win!

The land is blood-drenched. Have we been condemned?

Save man from your sin! Is our fate truly stemmed?


Owen James Napolitano has studied at DeVry and Southern New Hampshire University. Owen is currently studying at Lindenwood University for creative writing. He enjoys writing his own characters and new worlds to explore. When he is not at college, he is working at Amazon. He has one published piece.