free solo stage play script monologue

BORDERS

by D. M. Larson


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CAST OF CHARACTERS

 

LEROY: Old Texas rancher

MOLLY: His quiet wife

REGGIE and MOON: A couple of hippies who come along to give Leroy a hard time about his habit of shooting things he shouldnít

 

PLACE and TIME

 

A ranch in modern day Texas.

 

 

 


* * *

(Older Texas rancher makes angry entrance into the kitchen of his home. His wife MOLLY quietly does housework and hardly reacts to his anger)

 

LEROY

(Drops rifle onto table. Out of breath)

I had to kill another one of them! This one broke down my fence. Usually they just hop on over, but this one actually busted up my fence. Had to shoot it. Wanted the water. Barely got enough water for the cattle. Canít spare it.

 

MOLLY

(She speaks in an unenthusiastic monotone)

Youíll get fined again.

 

LEROY

I know it. But I just canít sit there and let them take my water. This is the dessert. My animals need that water. I canít go sharing it with every thirsty thing that thinks it needs some.

 

MOLLY

What was that last fine?

 

LEROY

$4,000! Can you believe it? The judge told me it was just a gentle reminder. There was nothing gentle about it. That was a slap in the face.

 

MOLLY

Now you killed another.

 

LEROY

Iím one step ahead of Ďem this time. Buried it so nobody will know. No witnesses this time neither.

 

MOLLY

You sure?

 

LEROY

Sure, Iím sure.

 

MOLLY

What if somebody finds it?

 

LEROY

They ainít gonna. And if them liberal yeh-hoos snoop around here again, Iíll bury them too.

 

MOLLY

(This gets her attention. She stops her kitchen work. She gives a very slight hint of surprise)

What if it was the sheriff? Youíd bury the sheriff?

 

LEROY

(He says the work liberal like itís a dirty word)

You bet I would. Whoíd thought heíd take up a liberal cause like this? Whatís this world coming too when you canít even count on your sheriff to uphold the good family values our good nation of Texas was founded on.

 

MOLLY

(Back to her monotone and her kitchen work)

Itís a shame.

 

LEROY

My family has been on this ranch for generations. This is my land. I worked hard to make it what it is. Now these liberal commies come in here and try to tell me how to live on my land. Might as well give in. Just build me an expressy stand on the highway out there and sell sandals. And Iíll get me some of that tofu. Tofu and sprouts.

 

MOLLY

You donít like tofu.

 

LEROY

(Frustrated)

I know I donít like tofu. Iíz making a point, woman.

 

 

MOLLY

What was it, dear?

 

LEROY

(Thinks then gets angry)

I donít know. Iíz just making a point. Stupid liberal, squash loving, tree lovers. Just let them take a step on my land. Iíll bury them too.


(Dogs barking. Sound of car driving up)

Now whoís that?

 

MOLLY

(Looks out window)

I think itís the liberals, dear.

 

LEROY

Say, what?

 

MOLLY

(Still looking)

Itís one of them Volkswagen vans like they like to drive. Got all kinds of stickers on it. Looks like a billboard.

 

LEROY

(Tries looking out)

I canít see nothing.

 

MOLLY

Get your glasses, dear.

 

LEROY

(Pats around on his shirt and pats)

Whereíd I put them?

 

MOLLY

Thereís two of them getting out of the van. Got funny clothes on. Lots of colors.

 

LEROY

(Finds glasses then looks out)

Holy J Spirit! Itís them hippies from town.

 

MOLLY

What hippies?

 

LEROY

They came here after that article was in the paper about my trial. They say I shouldnít have been fined. They say I should have been put in jail. You know itís a sad day when you canít defend your own land. What do they want me to do? Put up a sign that says free water.

 

MOLLY

Theyíre almost to the door.

 

LEROY

My gun ainít loaded! Where you keep the shells now?

 

MOLLY

In the cookie jar.

 

LEROY

(Rushes to cookie jar. Knocking at door)

Donít let them in.

 

 

MOLLY

Okay.

(More knocking)

You want me to tell them youíre not home.

 

LEROY

Iíll shoot first and talk later.

(Open cookie jar)

Weíre out of bullets?!

 

MOLLY

Maybe I moved Ďem.

 

LEROY

(In a panic)

Where?

 

MOLLY

(Shrugs. Unconcerned)

I donít know.

 

REGGIE

(REGGIE and MOON enter and are on the porch. Knocks and calls out)

We know youíre in there. We want to talk to you.

 

 

 

 

LEROY

Get out of here! Youíre trespassing!

(To MOLLY)

Call the sheriff.

 

MOLLY

Okay.

(Exits kitchen)

 

MOON

(Knocks)

Let us in or else!

 

LEROY

Or else? What kind of lame excuse for a threat is that?

 

REGGIE

Did he just insult you?

 

MOON

I believe he did.

 

REGGIE

Donít insult Moon. Sheís sensitive.

 

LEROY

Moon? What kind of name is that?

 

REGGIE

Itís the name of a powerful woman who believes in herself.

 

LEROY

Do you mean the moon in the sky or the moon you get when you pull your pants down?

(Peaks out)

Judging by the look of you Iíd pick the second.

 

MOON

Thatís it!

(She backs up and runs at door)

 

LEROY

(Pulls open door and MOON sails in and runs into table)

Donít bust my door!

 

REGGIE

(Enters and heads for LEROY who backs away)

I wouldnít have talked to Moon that way.

 

MOON

(LEROY backs into MOON)

I can make a real mess when I want to.

 

LEROY

What do you want with me?

 

REGGIE

(Pulls out a chair)

Sit.

(MOON shoves him down onto chair)

 

LEROY

(Rises)

I donít take orders in my own house.

 

MOON

(Shoves him down even harder)

She said sit.

 

LEROY

(Rubs shoulder)

Okay. Iím sitting.

 

MOLLY

(Enters)

I canít find the number for the sheriff, dear.

 

LEROY

Itís 911!

(Tries to get up and is shoved down)

Run, Molly. Get out of here!

(REGGIE makes a move toward MOLLY, but stops when MOLLY casually heads toward them)

 

MOLLY

I got your lunch in the microwave. Itís getting hard sitting in there.

 

LEROY

I donít care about my lunch!

 

MOLLY

See, you get all fussy when you donít eat.

(Pulls container out)

 

REGGIE

(Sniffs)

What is that?

 

MOLLY

Tripe on toast.

 

MOON

Tripe?!

 

REGGIE

Isnít that?

 

MOON

Uh-huhÖ I mean a burger is bad enough, but tripe? UhÖ

 

 

LEROY

You two let me go or my wife will feed it to you.

 

MOLLY

You ladies hungry? Got some lettuce and tomatoes. I could make a salad.

 

REGGIE

No, thank you. We just ate.

 

MOLLY

Tea maybe.

 

MOON

Tea would be nice.

(MOLLY precedes getting iced tea)

 

LEROY

(Gets up)

Molly, what are you doing?

(Shoved down)

Donít offer them nothing. These here folks are criminals.

 

REGGIE

The only criminal in here is you, my friend.

 

LEROY

You break into my home and you call me a criminal.

 

MOON

You opened the door and let us in fair and square. No breaking in.

 

LEROY

You were going to break down my door.

 

REGGIE

Moon was only going to knock forcefully.

 

LEROY

(Rises)

Give me my gun and Iíll show you forceful.

(Shoved down)

Stop doing that.

 

MOON

Then stop getting up.

 

MOLLY

(Hands them glasses. Friendly and not so distant)

Hereís your tea, ladies. Care for a slice of lemon.

 

REGGIE

Sure, that would be lovely.

 

LEROY

Stop being nice to them.

 

MOON

Shut up, you or Iíll shove you on the floor.

 

LEROY

See, Molly. Theyíre threatening me.

 

MOLLY

Yes, dear.

(Smiles as she gives them lemons)

There you go ladies.

 

LEROY

So what do you ladies want?

 

REGGIE

Can you believe it, Moon? He doesnít even know.

 

MOON

Amazing. Heís clueless.

 

LEROY

What a waste of foodÖ

(MOLLY snickers then tries to hide it as a cough)

Molly! Did you just laugh?

 

MOLLY

No, dear. Just got a tickle in my throat.

 

LEROY

You better not laugh at me or Iíll smack you so hard youíll have to take a bus back from Albuquerque.

 

REGGIE

Weíll be doing all the smacking around here.

 

 

LEROY

See, they just threatened me again.

 

MOLLY

More iced tea?

 

MOON

No, Iím fine.

 

REGGIE

You can top off my glass. Thatís wonderful tea. How you make it?

 

LEROY

I canít believe this. Iím getting tortured and youíre discussing tea.

 

MOLLY

(Smiles a little)

Itís moon tea.

 

REGGIE

Here that, Moon?

 

MOON

(Laughs)

Uh-huh.

(LEROY crosses his arms and scowls)

 

REGGIE

I heard of sun tea, but moon tea?

 

MOLLY

Old family recipe. Learned it from my grandma.

(Brings over pitcher)

 

MOON

Very nice.

(I think Iím ready for some more)

 

LEROY

I canít believe youíd give these pinko skirts our moon tea.

 

REGGIE

Did he just call us skirts?

 

MOON

I think we just stepped back into the 1950ís.

 

LEROY

Oh, God. What did I do to deserve this?

 

MOON

Still clueless.

 

REGGIE

You know. This is kind of fun watching him squirm. I could do this all day.

 

MOLLY

You want me to make that salad?

 

MOON

(Laughs)

Maybe later.

 

LEROY

Later? Canít we get this over with?

 

REGGIE

That all depends on you.

 

LEROY

On me? Whatís this all got to do with me?

 

MOON

Only everything.

 

REGGIE

You are the root of all evil, my friend.

 

LEROY

What are you talking about?

 

REGGIE

Shall we clue him in?

 

MOON

It is getting tiresome.

 

MOLLY

Is this about that newspaper article?

 

REGGIE

Give the lady a prize.

 

LEROY

Oh, that stupid article written. I got my punishment. I donít know why everyone has to make big news out of it.

 

MOON

That was no punishment.

 

REGGIE

That was only a little slap on the hand.

 

LEROY

It was four thousand dollars! You call that a slap on the hand? It was an insult.

 

MOON

I feel ill.

 

REGGIE

Whatís wrong?

 

MOON

How can he not see how horrible this all is?

 

REGGIE

Thatís why weíre here, Moon. To educate the man.

 

LEROY

The only education I need is how to kick you big butts back to Santa Fe or Taos or wherever theyíz growing hippies nowdays.

 

MOON

Now heís talking about my butt.

 

REGGIE

Moonís very sensitive about her butt.

 

LEROY

She must be real sensitive, cause itís a big one.

 

MOON

Can I kill him?

 

REGGIE

Letís put it to a vote.

 

 

MOON

Sounds fair.

 

REGGIE

All in favor in letting Moon kill this here gentleman.

(MOON and REGGIE raise hands)

All opposed.

(LEROY raises his hand. MOLLY doesnít)

Two to one. Kill him, Moon.

 

LEROY

(Angry at MOLLY for not voting with him)

Molly!

(MOON sits on LEROY)

Ahh!

 

MOON

(She hops up and down on him)

How you like that big butt now, boy?!

(MOLLY is trying not to laugh)

 

LEROY

Stop! Stop! Iíll do whatever you want, just stop.

 

REGGIE

Okay, Moon. Lay off a minute.

(MOON gets up)

 

MOON

Plenty more of that coming your way.

 

LEROY

(Rubs knees)

Oh, Holy J. Spirit. My legs is murdered.

 

REGGIE
Now, we expect a little more cooperation out of you.

 

LEROY

Sure, whatever.

 

MOON

I believe the correct reply is yes, maíam.

 

 

 

LEROY

(Mumbles)

Yes, maíam.

 

REGGIE

I can’t hear you.

 

LEROY

Yes, maíam.

 

MOON

Much better.

 

REGGIE

Letís get something straight. You think four thousand dollars is to high a price for taking a life.

 

LEROY

A life? You call that a life. I did it a favor putting it out of its misery. All hungry and dried out. It wouldnít have made it more than a couple more miles past my place.

 

MOON

Listen to him. Calling a living soul an it.

 

REGGIE

This is just too wrong.

 

LEROY

And youíre a couple of she-its.

 

REGGIE

Maybe Moon should sit on you again.

 

LEROY

What do you want from me?

 

MOLLY

Can I say something?

 

REGGIE
Of course, maíam.
Go right ahead.

 

MOLLY

(Reluctantly goes up to LEROY)

Now, Leroy. Canít you see why these ladies is upset?

 

LEROY

Cause we donít have any cookies and ice cream?

 

MOON

Thatís it! Heís dead.

(REGGIE holds her back)

 

MOLLY

Leroy. What you did was wrong?

 

LEROY

What did you say?

(He rises threateningly. REGGIE pushes him back down)

OwÖ

 

REGGIE
She talks. You listen.

 

MOLLY

Leroy, killing ainít right.

 

LEROY

But I wasnít killing nothing worthwhile.

 

MOLLY

Maybe not to you.

 

LEROY

What are you saying, Molly? You saying you think Iím wrong.

 

MOLLY

Maybe.

 

LEROY

I donít believe I know you anymore. Who are you and who took my wife? Who took my quiet little woman who cooks and cleans and gives me foot rubs?

 

MOON

Foot rubs?

 

REGGIE

(Disgusted)

Ugh.

 

MOLLY

But youíve never done anything that horrible before.

 

LEROY

Whatís so horrible about what I did? I was merely taking out the trash and cleaning up this sorry society of ours. Iím sick and tired of hearing about tolerance and equality. Where does that leave me? Whereís the tolerance for me? Whereís my equality?!

(Breaks down. Rests his head in his hands a moment. Then looks up)

Life used to be so much easier when I was a boy. We knew who to like and who to hate. We knew which ones was the right ones to marry and which ones to avoid.

 

REGGIE

Things change.

 

LEROY

But I donít what them to change. Donít you get it? I like things the way they are.

 

MOLLY

But some of us donít like it, Leroy.

(MOLLY leaves crying)

 

LEROY

(Rises to go after her)

Molly, wait.

(No one stops him, but then he sits down upset)

Why do things have to change? Why canít they stay on their side of the border?

 

MOON

They want what you donítÖ change.

 

REGGIE
They are trying to make better lives for themselves.

 

MOON

And they come here expecting a chance to start a new life.

 

REGGIE

Instead, they find hate, prejudice, and violence.

 

MOON

Still, they are willing to risk their lives and cross miles of desert.

 

REGGIE

And a few of them come to you, asking for water. Water. Not money, not a jobÖ just water.

 

MOON

And what do you do?

 

LEROY

(Quietly)

I kill them.

(Then angry)

I kill the trespassers.

 

REGGIE

I believe the word is murder.

 

LEROY

Look. Iíve already been on trial. Why donít you take it up with the judge?

 

MOON

Heís next on our list.

 

LEROY

So what are you going to do with me?

 

REGGIE

Weíd leave you with your conscious to torture you, but since you donít seem to have one, we have this.

(Hands him a paper)

 

LEROY

(Squints)

What is it?

 

MOON

A boycott on your cattle.

 

LEROY

What?

 

MOON

We are calling for a nationwide boycott on your cattle. Any meat packing company that buys your beef will also be subject to a boycott.

 

LEROY

You and what army?

 

REGGIE

Us and Oprah, thatís who.

 

LEROY

You wouldnít?

 

MOON

We would.

 

REGGIE

So farewell, Leroy. Nice talking to you.

 

MOON

Weíll say hi to the judge for you.

(REGGIE and MOON exit)

 

LEROY

Molly? Molly, come here. We got to call and warn that judge.

(Upset)

And we got to call Charlie. Got to make sure they didnít get to him. Heís my biggest buyer. Iím sure he wouldnít stop buying my cattle cause of this little thing.

(Yells)

Molly?! Where are you?

 

MOLLY

(Enters with her hand in her apron)

Leroy, is it okay to kill?

 

LEROY

What kind of stupid question is that?

 

MOLLY

Is it okay?

 

LEROY

Sure, when itís some useless, godless creature thatís a waste of food.

(Looks around)

Where do you hide them phone numbers? I swear youíd lose your head if it werenít screwed on.

 

MOLLY

LeroyÖ

 

LEROY

Shut up and help me look.

 

MOLLY

Listen to me.

 

LEROY

Not now, woman. I need to make them calls.

 

MOLLY

No, listen to me now.

(She pulls out a pistol from her apron)

 

LEROY

(Angry. Fists clentched)

I told youÖ

(Turns to her and stops)

Molly, what you doing with that gun?

 

MOLLY

Itís my daddyís gun. He gave it to me as a wedding present. Said I might need it if I was gonna marry you.

 

LEROY

Give that here before you hurt yourself.

 

MOLLY

(She cocks the pistol)

Donít, Leroy.

 

LEROY

Molly, this is insane.

 

MOLLY

It is. My whole life with you has been. And I put up with it. The yelling, the fooling around, the drinking, the gamblingÖ even the hitting.

 

LEROY

I donít hit youÖ

 

MOLLY

You donít remember.

(Waves gun precariously)

You donít remember!

 

LEROY

Careful, Molly.

 

MOLLY

When we lost the baby, you were so upsetÖ so was IÖ I wanted a baby so badÖ I was so sadÖ I couldnít cookÖ I couldnít cleanÖ you got so angry with meÖ you hurt meÖ

 

LEROY

That was so long ago.

 

MOLLY

It doesnít matter how long ago it was. It still hurts.

 

LEROY

Iím sorry, Molly. I really am.

 

MOLLY

Sorry, just ainít enough for me anymore.

(Aims pistol)

 

LEROY

Molly, no!

(BLACKOUT. Silence. Then after a moment, TAPE. On the TAPE are sounds of the night and people running, calling out: ďVaminos, Rapido, Cuidodo hombre, Este rancho es muy peligrosoĒ)

 

END OF PLAY


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