Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Week 20, Day 135 - “Where There’s Smoke There’s Smoke”

“Where There’s Smoke There’s Smoke”
Written by Joe Janes
6/2/09
135 of 365

CAST
Kent, 30s
Roger, 20s
Margaret, 30s

(Lights up on Kent looking out towards the audience. He looks tired. He squats down and opens up a small canvas sack. Roger, younger, but also exhausted, approaches.)

ROGER
It’s quiet out there.

KENT
Yeah. Too quiet.

(Kent pulls out a pouch of chewing tobacco and puts a wad in his mouth. Roger takes out a cigarette, puts it in his mouth and strikes a match. Kent hears the match and quickly grabs Roger, dragging him down to the floor.)

ROGER
Hey! Are you crazy?

KENT
No, are you stupid? They might see the flame or the smoke. Or smell it.

ROGER
Yeah. Okay. I wasn’t thinking.

KENT
No. You weren’t. Here. Have some chew.

ROGER
Thanks.

(Roger takes some, but clearly doesn’t enjoy it.)

ROGER
See anything out there?

KENT
No. Not for half an hour or so.

ROGER
Maybe it’s safe.

KENT
It’s never safe. Bobby Litchfield thought it was safe. Bobby Litchfield is just meat in a can, now. Like Spam. Spam with a bullet hole. Buried in the dirt. It’s never safe. This your first teaching job?

ROGER
Yeah. They should give us guns.

KENT
Good idea, until a student knocks you flat on your ass, takes it from you and blows a third nostril into your skull.

ROGER
Jesus, they’re just junior high school kids.

KENT
The worst. Blood thirsty little bastards. You ever look in their eyes?

ROGER
Yeah. Soulless.

KENT
That’s right.

(Margaret bursts in and joins them on the floor.)

KENT
Where have you been?

MARGARET
Broke into the nurse’s office to check the back of the building. Here. I brought lollipops.

(She hands them each one. Kent stashes his in his bag. Roger unwraps his and tries to have it and his tobacco together.)

KENT
Pick up any intel?

MARGARET
Detention hall emptied ten minutes ago. Parking lot’s clear. I think we’ve passed the threshold.

ROGER
The threshold?

KENT
The time of day where they are more likely to shoot one another than a teacher.

MARGARET
We can probably make it to our cars. How’s that taste?

ROGER
Like cherry-flavored beef jerky. Aw, man, I rode my bike!

MARGARET
Are you crazy?

ROGER
No. Just stupid.

MARGARET
A bike. You may as well charge them fifty cents to take shots at you. You’re a shooting gallery on wheels.

KENT
Listen up, Rookie. You ride your bike home and you may as well have a “Kill Me” sign taped to your back. Should make you stay here the night to learn your lesson.

ROGER
I can’t stay here. I can’t sleep here. I need my earplugs.

MARGARET
I’ll give you a ride. I’m a sucker for pathetic cases.

KENT
Guess it pays to be pathetic.

MARGARET
It’s just a ride, Kent. Let’s go, kid.

ROGER
My name’s Roger.

MARGARET
What do you teach?

ROGER
Geography.

MARGARET
Well, let’s see if your ass can find its way to my car in one piece. You coming?

KENT
You go ahead. I’ll keep on eye on you from here.

ROGER
Thanks, Kent. Thanks for all the advice.

KENT
Don’t worry, Roger. You’ll be all right. The first day’s always the toughest.

(Margaret and Roger exit. Kent takes another wad of chew and looks out. He tries it with a lollipop and decides he likes it. Lights fade.)

3 comments:

GarinT said...

Call my taste one dimensional but clash of context days are always my favorite.

It might screw up the good pace you have but I wanted to know a little more about how the teachers interact with the kids.

Joe Janes said...

Clash of Context is one of my favs. Maybe there's a follow-up scene down the road.

Chris said...

"ROGER - No. Just stupid." [Add: I gave them home work, too!"

Good first draft, but I think you could even heighten this some more. More war and school references. Maybe the teachers would have a challenge and response, binoculars and radios, talk about the "Battle of Corn Dog Friday," things like that.

You might want to make Roger even more pathetic than he is, too.