Monday, December 7, 2009

Week 47, Day 323 - "Slow Walk With Limp In Echo"

“Slow Walk With Limp In Echo”

Written by Joe Janes


323 of 365


Henry, 60s

(In the dark, offstage, we hear a slow walk with a limp and an echo. We begin to see the beam of a flashlight. Henry, a security guard in uniform, enters. He stands in the doorway and sends his beam around the room slowly. He turns on an overhead light and turns off his flashlight. In the center of the room are two backless bar stools. One is upright, the other knocked over. He walks over and sets the turned over stool upright. He places his lunch box on one stool while sitting on the other. He opens the lunchbox and takes from it a roughly designed homemade Christmas cookie, slightly burnt and a thermos. He sets them to the side. He then takes out a small, empty stocking with his name written on it. He attaches this to the side of the barstool. He then takes out a small transistor radio. He turns it on and we hear a lovely instrumental version of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” The final thing he takes out of the very large lunch box is a portrait of a young family. It looks like a younger version of him with a wife and young child, smiling, wearing Christmas sweaters. He considers it before setting it next to the music box. He takes a bite of his horrible Christmas cookie. It starts off well, but we can see on his face that its charred bitterness is shining through. He takes the thermos and pours himself a small glass of milk. He’s about to take another bit of his cookie, thinks better of it, and puts it away in the lunchbox. With a sigh, he packs up the thermos. He throws the stocking back in there, too. He picks up the portrait one more time and looks at it with a mixture of fondness and sadness. He then notices something in the lunch box. He pulls the stocking back out, but this time, it has something in it. He reaches in and pulls out a beautiful, refined version of the Christmas cookie. He takes a bite of it and is in heaven. He puts the stocking back in the lunch box and closes it. He walks off with the portrait under his arm, carrying the lunchbox in one hand and nibbling on the cookie with the other. He gets to the door and realizes he left the music box. He decides to let it keep playing. He shuts off the lights with his elbow. “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” finishes playing, then “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” starts playing. Henry rushes back into the room. Turns on the light. We see he has a mouth overloaded with Christmas cookie. He storms towards the radio, snatches it up, knocking over the bar stool in the process, and throws the radio on the floor. He then smashes it with the foot of his bad leg. Lights fade.)