SCENE 1 (Setting: Living Room)
VOICE: What is truth? That is a question with many answers. It is an
undeniable fact that all fairy tales have happy endings, but when
measured against real life we see a different truth. A real Truth. That
life’s stories have tragic endings. For once conceived, man lives
to die and others are left with the pain of his passing on. That
is the true cycle of our present existence.
LIGHTS UP TO DIM
[A doorbell sounds once. A male enters the living room to greet a female who has let herself in. They mime having a heated argument. The male takes her hand and she withdraws it.]
VOICE: Truth is as solid as the existence of the sovereign God. No man can bend it, Distort it, twist it, conceal it or ignore it without paying the ultimate price. Thus, our story begins and ends with death; because death is the ultimate price of sin.
[The scene builds in intensity. The male tries to hold the woman, but she struggles with him. He wrestles her to the ground and holds her there, struggling, trying To free her throat from his grip. Another male enters, not expecting such a scene. The other rises to meet him. They argue intensely, gesturing towards the body lying on the floor. They realize that the body doesn’t move. The male who strangled the woman starts to fidget nervously as...]
SCENE 2(Setting: Living Room)
[Pauline walks to the window and looks out. Her face brightens. She steps back from the window and waits. Charles enters and is greeted with a hug. But to Pauline, something feels awkward about the moment. She pulls away from him and examines his facial expression]
PAULINE: I thought you’d be happy to see me, after all these months.
CHARLES: I am.
PAULINE: So, what’s wrong?
PAULINE: You’re sweating like a mule, Charles. I know you.
CHARLES: I’m not at liberty to discuss my troubles with you. No offense.
[Pauline considers this, and then decides to let it go]
PAULINE: Want something to drink?
CHARLES: Yeah. Sure.
[Pauline exits. Charles walks to the window and stares out nervously. He backs away and checks a few more times before Pauline returns with two glasses of lemonade on ice. She hands one to Charles and sits him down]
CHARLES: How’s everyone?
PAULINE: Jack is at work as usual and John, well he said he’d be back before nightfall.
CHARLES: Has he landed a job yet?
PAULINE: Nope. Don’t know if he’s over -qualified or just plain lazy. He hardly talks to me about his personal life anyway, so I’m guessing.
CHARLES: I think he got that from his father.
PAULINE [smiling]: He sure did.
CHARLES: I’m happy how things worked out...between you and Jack that is.
PAULINE: It was a long time ago Charles. We’re past that.
CHARLES: The past has a way of catching up sometimes.
PAULINE: I’m not worried and you shouldn’t be either.
[They stare at each other in silence for a moment]
PAULINE: You look good.
CHARLES: You too.
PAULINE: Where have you been...all this time?
CHARLES: I went to the country for a while. I thought the cool air would do me good.
PAULINE: It did.
CHARLES: All things considered, I’ll take that as a compliment.
PAULINE: What’s on your mind, Charles? Really?
CHARLES: I don’t know much about death, Pauline. I have no idea what it feels like or how it’s supposed to look or what signs to look for that tells me it’s coming..
PAULINE: None of us do.
CHARLES: Death is certain and unpredictable at the same time. It just seems to sneak up on you at the most inopportune time.
PAULINE: What are you trying to say?
CHARLES: I cannot die carrying this secret inside.
PAULINE: Oh no. Don’t even go there.
CHARLES: John has to know. He has to know the truth.
PAULINE: We’ve been through this before. Many times. Why do you always bring it up again?
CHARLES: Because it’s killing me.
PAULINE: You should kill it.
CHARLES: Twenty years I’ve carried this burden, Pauline. I want to be released from it.
PAULINE: You can’t.
CHARLES: I have to. I know John and we’ve kept him in bondage long enough. He needs the truth.
PAULINE: Not now.
CHARLES: The truth will set him free.
PAULINE: Charles, think about what you’re saying.
CHARLES: I have. Everyday for twenty years.
PAULINE: Haven’t we been through enough.
CHARLES: I’m not ungrateful, Pauline. I mean, it’s good that you and Jack have come to some understanding about the whole thing...
PAULINE: Yes we have, and we have put it behind us.
CHARLES: I’m not convinced you have. Something like this, it just never goes away.
PAULINE: It has, for us.
CHARLES: Then why is Jack hardly home?
PAULINE: He works hard to provide for us. You know that.
CHARLES: Work is just an excuse. He wants to be away. Everytime he looks at John he sees and remembers and it hurts him.
PAULINE: No Charles...we got past that a long time ago.
[They stare at each other. A tense moment that is broken when John enters. John’s face lights up when he sees Charles]
[Charles stands to greet him]
CHARLES: Hey yourself.
[They clap hands together and wrestle a bit]
JOHN: Ha. I’m still stronger than you.
CHARLES: You sure are. So what’s going on?
JOHN: The usual.
CHARLES: Any plans for tonight?
JOHN: Not really.
[Pauline stands to address John]
PAULINE: The church is planning to do some hospital visits all of this week.
JOHN: Good for them.
PAULINE: They wanted you to...
JOHN: No way. You know how I feel about hospitals and the like.
CHARLES [butting in]: There’s a new movie opening tonight.
JOHN: What time you coming to pick me up?
CHARLES: Say around 7:00.
JOHN: I’ll be ready.
CHARLES: You can bring a friend along...if you want.
JOHN: No...I would prefer it be just us guys.
CHARLES: No problem. Seven then.
[John gives Charles the thumbs up and exits. Charles watches him go. He then turns his attention to Pauline, whose smile has faded.]
PAULINE: Why’d you do that?
CHARLES: He’s young, Pauline. He has his whole life ahead of him. There’ll be time enough for church stuff.
PAULINE: Is that what it is now. ‘Stuff’
CHARLES: You know how easy it is to get burnt out. A young man has to have balance or he’ll run himself to a wreck.
PAULINE: He’s already a wreck.
CHARLES: Well, I beg to differ. Anyway...I need the chance to talk to him.
[Pauline holds his arm as he turns to leave. He meets her eyes]
PAULINE: Bury the past, Charles. We’re far better off without it.
[The sound of sirens start to echo in the distant. Cold sweat wash over Charles forehead. He starts to fidget and stammers when he speaks.
CHARLES: I have to go.
PAULINE: Are you in some sort of trouble, Charles?
[Charles meets her eyes in silence. He turns and exits quickly without another word. Pauline is puzzled. The sirens grow louder and louder as..]
Copyright Cleveland McNeish, all rights reserved.
This is not the complete script. The entire script can be obtained by contacting the author, who may require a small royalty. Any payment can be discussed with him. He may be contacted at email@example.com
Other scripts by this author may also be found at his web site, http://cabcom2004.tripod.com