Written by Joe Janes
135 of 365
(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.)
ROGERIt’s quiet out there.
KENTYeah. 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.)
ROGERHey! Are you crazy?
KENTNo, are you stupid? They might see the flame or the smoke. Or smell it.
ROGERYeah. Okay. I wasn’t thinking.
KENTNo. You weren’t. Here. Have some chew.
(Roger takes some, but clearly doesn’t enjoy it.)
ROGERSee anything out there?
KENTNo. Not for half an hour or so.
ROGERMaybe it’s safe.
KENTIt’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?
ROGERYeah. They should give us guns.
KENTGood idea, until a student knocks you flat on your ass, takes it from you and blows a third nostril into your skull.
ROGERJesus, they’re just junior high school kids.
KENTThe worst. Blood thirsty little bastards. You ever look in their eyes?
(Margaret bursts in and joins them on the floor.)
KENTWhere have you been?
MARGARETBroke 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.)
KENTPick up any intel?
MARGARETDetention hall emptied ten minutes ago. Parking lot’s clear. I think we’ve passed the threshold.
KENTThe time of day where they are more likely to shoot one another than a teacher.
MARGARETWe can probably make it to our cars. How’s that taste?
ROGERLike cherry-flavored beef jerky. Aw, man, I rode my bike!
MARGARETAre you crazy?
ROGERNo. Just stupid.
MARGARETA bike. You may as well charge them fifty cents to take shots at you. You’re a shooting gallery on wheels.
KENTListen 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.
ROGERI can’t stay here. I can’t sleep here. I need my earplugs.
MARGARETI’ll give you a ride. I’m a sucker for pathetic cases.
KENTGuess it pays to be pathetic.
MARGARETIt’s just a ride, Kent. Let’s go, kid.
ROGERMy name’s Roger.
MARGARETWhat do you teach?
MARGARETWell, let’s see if your ass can find its way to my car in one piece. You coming?
KENTYou go ahead. I’ll keep on eye on you from here.
ROGERThanks, Kent. Thanks for all the advice.
KENTDon’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.)