BIG NOSE

(A Modern Day Cyrano)

Rough Draft

by D. M. Larson

Copyright (c) 1994

All Rights Reserved*

 



* * *

 

ACT I Scene 1

 

(Lights come up on a poorly constructed set.

There is a balcony with odd colored cloth hanging

down and a backdrop that is supposed to be a

castle. Two men enter in Shakespearean type

dress. They are very bad actors who think they

are very good)

 

CAPTAIN

Look at yonder window, friend. She awaits me, she does.

 

FRIEND

Doth she?

 

CAPTAIN

She does.

 

FRIEND

But doth she love thee?

 

CAPTAIN

She does.

 

FRIEND

Did she telleth thou so?

 

CAPTAIN

She did.

 

FRIEND

So good for you.

 

MAN

(From audience)

So bad for us!

(He and friends laugh. The two actors take a

quick glance out in surprize then quickly get back

in character)

 

CAPTAIN

Uh... yes. She loveth me. She wroteth a letter.

(Takes it out. Sniffs lovingly)

Ah, doth though smelleth her fragrance? Doth though find it heavenly?

 

FRIEND

(Excited)

I smell. I smell.

 

MAN

You can say that again.

(He and friends laugh. The two actors try to hide

their anger, but they don't do it well)

 

CAPTAIN

Tonight, I shall go to her. Tonight. Tonight!

 

MAN

When?!

 

CAPTAIN

(Angry. Trying to be more dramatic)

Tonight!

 

MAN

(Mocking)

I can't hear you.

 

CAPTAIN

(Turns to run off the stage)

Now look here!

(FRIEND grabs him)

 

FRIEND

I can not let you go to her.

 

CAPTAIN

(One more look than back to play)

I must. Or my heart...

 

MAN

Will bust!

 

FRIEND

Stop! I can't let you.

 

CAPTAIN

Why doth thou stopeth me?

 

FRIEND

Because she is to be mine.

 

CAPTAIN

Thou must jest.

 

FRIEND

I jest not.

 

CAPTAIN

Then we must fight to our deaths.

 

MAN

We can only hope.

 

FRIEND

(They pull swords)

We fight for love!

(They dual. MAN sings "Love Boat Theme." He gets

others to join in. CAPTAIN is stabbed)

 

CAPTAIN

Oh, my heart. My loving heart. My heart is stabbed. I can love no more.

 

FRIEND

Oh, my captain. I have slain thee. But how?

 

MAN

What do you mean "how"? What's that in your hand, a butter knife?

 

CAPTAIN

I die now. I die. I leave thee to love for I can love no more. My heart is worn. My blood will pour this night no more. I leave my sword, my rank, my love. You have it all now. You have everything I desire.

(Cough)

I die and leave thee. I die and leave thee these words.

 

MAN

Will you just die already?!

 

CAPTAIN

(Jumps up)

I've had it with you!

 

MAN

It's a miracle. He's alive.

 

CAPTAIN

(Picks up his sword)

Come on, whoever you are. I've had it with you. One night is bad enough but three in a row!

 

MAN

(Runs up onto the stage)

Do you not know me?

(The man is CYRIL DE BURG, local jokester. He is

well known for his big nose)

 

CAPTAIN

Oh, yeah. I know you now. I've heard about you. You're the one with the big nose.

(Gasp from CYRIL'S friends)

 

JACK

(From audience)

You shouldn't have said that.

 

CYRIL

You're offended by my nose?

 

CAPTAIN

It is no stranger than a dog with two tails.

(He laughs but no one laughs with him)

 

CYRIL

There was a poem a read once. It goes something like this:

(Picking up a sword)

"Roses are red. Violets are fuchsia. What you dish out, comes right back to ya'.

(And CYRIL quickly unarms the CAPTAIN with a twist

of his sword)

 

CAPTAIN

(Looks at empty hand)

How did you do that?

 

CYRIL

New Mexico fencing champion five years running

 

CAPTAIN

(Backs away)

No hard feeling, huh?

 

CYRIL

None at all.

(CAPTAIN starts to go)

Oh, by the way.

 

CAPTAIN

(Stops almost off stage)

Yes?

 

CYRIL

I look forward to seeing your performance tomorrow night.

 

CAPTAIN

Oh, no.

 

CYRIL

Oh, yes.

 

CAPTAIN

Oh, golly.

(Exits)

 

LADY

(Comes out on balcony)

What's going on out here?

 


CYRIL

(To audience)

Now, for the moment you've all been waiting for. The farewell kiss. When we last left our hero, he was flat on the floor, bleeding and giving some terribly boring speech. But his fair lady comes out and sees him dying. She calls out to him:

(He points to her)

 

LADY

(She gives him a dirty look)

What is this?

 

CYRIL

And she says...

 

LADY

(Sighs. Speaks flatly)

Oh, but I must have one good-bye kiss.

 

CYRIL

And so our hero, though he is bleeding to death, uses his last bit of strength to climb up to her.

(He does these actions. The LADY looks very

annoyed. He is almost to her)

He wants that one last kiss. The kiss he has been dreaming of. But before he can reach her he tosses the mortal coil. UHHH!

(He dies and falls. Looks out at audience)

And dies.

(Sits up)

Finally.

 

LADY

That isn't how it ends.

 

CYRIL

It isn't?

 

LADY

No.

(She looks at him)

It ends with a kiss.

 

CYRIL

It does?

 

LADY

Yes.

 

CYRIL

Really?

(He climbs up again)

Could you perhaps... show me?

 

LADY

(She looks at him critically and then smiles. She

leans to almost kiss him)

In your dreams.

(She pushes him off. BLACKOUT)

 

 

Scene 2

 

(Lights come up on same theatre. Workers are

taking down the set as CYRIL and KELLY talk)

 

KELLY

It wasn't that bad of a play.

 

CYRIL

It wasn't?

 

KELLY

Those guys are professionals. I was lucky to even get them to come to my theatre. You know how hard it is to get anything to come to this town.

 

CYRIL

I think we're better off without them.

 

KELLY

That's easy for you to say. You don't have 6 hours to find something to take their place.

 

CYRIL

Well... Let's see. There must be something we put together in six hours. I know. We could bring in the National Guard troops and we could blow something up. That ought to get someone's attention.

 

KELLY

Yeah, my insurance company for one.

 

CYRIL

It was just an idea. The troops need something to do. The National Guard doesn't see too much action around here. The last time we did something was when some sheep were blocking I-40 and this semi�

 

KELLY

(Interrupts him)

If it would work I would do it. I'm getting pretty desperate.

 

CYRIL

You can't say I didn't try.

 

KELLY

I can't say you helped either.

(She paces angrily)

 

CYRIL

Okay. I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry. But that show was awful. And please don't tell me you thought otherwise.

 

KELLY

Fine. I won't. Yes, they were bad. I took a gamble when I booked them. Now I know that professional doesn't mean good. But Cyril, what am I going to do? I have two more days without anything booked. The payments on this place are killers. I can't leave the place idle.

 

CYRIL

I have an idea.

 

KELLY

What?

 

CYRIL

We'll have a community talent show.

 

KELLY

I don't think anyone has any talent around here.

 

CYRIL

Sure they do.

 

KELLY

Like what?

 

CYRIL

Well... uh... like you. You can sing... and act.

 

KELLY

There's one.

 

CYRIL

And I can recite poetry.

 

KELLY

I heard your latest last night. I'm not sure it was much better than the play.

 

CYRIL

I bet if you advertised right you'd get all kinds of acts.

 

KELLY

In six hours?

 

CYRIL

If you gave a prize, they'd come.

 

KELLY

I don't know about this, Cyril.

 

CYRIL

I'll help.

 

KELLY

You'd better.

 

CYRIL

Then we'll do it?

 

KELLY

(Sighs)

I guess. What else can I do?

 

CYRIL

You won't be sorry.

 

KELLY

I bet you I will.

 

CYRIL

Have I ever let you down?

 

KELLY

There was that time your National Guard guys blew up my garage.

 

CYRIL

You said there wasn't anything important in there.

 

KELLY

I didn't think you'd blow it up.

 

CYRIL

Try not to be so vague next time.

 

KELLY

Sometime you drive me nuts.

 

CYRIL

(Smiles and hugs her)

But you're still crazy about me.

 

KELLY

I think crazy is the right word.

(Then ROXY enters. She looks around curiously.

CYRIL becomes a frozen statue, staring at ROXY)

Cyril. What's wrong?

 

CYRIL

(Looking at ROXY)

Who is that?

 

KELLY

Huh?

(Sees ROXY)

I don't know. Maybe it's someone checking into the technical assistant job.

 

CYRIL

Hire her.

 

KELLY

What?

 

CYRIL

Please.

 

KELLY

Cyril. What's gotten into you?

 

CYRIL

Go talk to her.

 

KELLY

Why don't you?

 

CYRIL

I've gotta go.

(ROXY comes their way)

Bye.

(CYRIL exits quickly)

 

ROXY

(Goes to a confused KELLY)

Hi, my name is Roxy Carlton. Are you Kelly Hope?

 

KELLY

Yes, I am.

(She is still trying to figure out CYRIL)

 

ROXY

I'm here to apply for the technical assistant job.

 

KELLY

Huh? Oh, yes. Very good. You have any experience?

 

ROXY

Quite a bit actually. I graduated with a degree in technical theater from New Mexico State

 

KELLY

New Mexico State? That's where Cyril graduated from.

 

ROXY

Was that the guy you were talking to? I thought he looked familiar. He was in theatre, wasn't he?

 

KELLY

I think so. At least he was when he didn't have his nose in some great work of literature. Cyril is determined to be a Wordsworth or a Keats.

 

ROXY

I was a freshman when he was a senior. He never knew me. I remember him though.

 

KELLY

He is hard to forget.

 

ROXY

You two close?

 

KELLY

Sort of. Closer than I like to be sometimes. I married his brother.

 

ROXY

He seems very nice.

 

KELLY

If you say so.

(CHUCK walks by)

Hey, Chuck. Get out that old talent show banner and hang it over the stage.

 

CHUCK

Okay.

(He exits)

 

KELLY

What other experience do you have?

 

ROXY

(Hands over resume)

I spent two years with theatre in Seattle doing lights and sound. After that I got my masters from the University of Washington and taught some classes in technical theatre.

(CHUCK and another worker come in with sign. They

put up the sign during the following with moderate

success)

 

KELLY

This looks really good, but I have one question.

 

ROXY

Yes?

 

KELLY

What in the world brought you to Windy Rock, New Mexico?

 

ROXY

I hate big cities. To be honest I was hoping for a little bigger place than this...

 

KELLY

It may be small, but people here love theatre. And if you ever feel the need for city life, Gallup is right down the road. It has almost 30,000 people.

 

ROXY

(Joking)

30,000? Wow, that's big.

 

KELLY

I tell you, if it weren't for my husband's job I would be out of here. I'd take Seattle any day.

 

ROXY

It's over-rated. Trust me.

 

KELLY

Well, since you're determined to stay I may as well offer you the job.

 

ROXY

I have the job?

 

KELLY

The only other person who has applied is some guy who fixes tractors. You're a bit more qualified.

 

ROXY

Thanks. When do I start?

 

KELLY

Tonight. We have a talent show to put on.

(Sees CHUCK and worker's poor progress)

What are you two doing?

(They stop and stare)

Just leave it and I'll fix it.

 

CHUCK

Okay.

(They exit)

 

KELLY

How about starting now? I could use the help.

 

ROXY

Sure.

(And they start putting up the sign as the lights

fade to black)

 

 


Scene 3

 

(Music is 1812 overture. Lights come up on a the

Talent Show in progress. The stage is cleared and

looks nice. A girl in a weird outfit dances to

the music. Music ends. CHUCK holds up an

applause sign. Audience claps. She bows and

KELLY comes out)

 

KELLY

That was Star Angel with her dance routine to the 1812 overture. Let's give her another big hand.

(Girl exits)

We've had a great time tonight. I appreciate all of you that came out to support us tonight. And we had some surprisingly good acts too. So if all our contestants will come out.

(All the various talents come out. Everyone has

rather interesting get-ups and items they carry

out. The costumes should make you wonder what

they did on stage. For example, one guy might be

wearing a tux top with shorts, carrying a whip,

and dragging a stuffed animal by a rope. CYRIL is

among them)

Who will be the winner of our all expense paid trip to Grants, New Mexico with a two-night stay at Jose's Trucker Inn.

(Applause)

Here to announce the winner is our new technical director, Roxy Carlton.

(Applause. ROXY comes out in a stunning dress.

CYRIL'S mouth drops open)

 

ROXY

And the winner is:

(Opens envelope)

Cyril DeBurge!

(Wild applause. Someone pushes CYRIL forward.

KELLY guides him up. ROXY gives him a fancy

envelope and a kiss on the cheek. CYRIL is

speechless)

 

KELLY

You have a few words for us, Cyril?

 

JANE

(From audience)

Tell us some more jokes!

(Wild applause)

 

CYRIL

(Takes one last look at ROXY who smiles and

nods. He steps forward. Others clear stage)

I don't know what to say.

 

CAPTAIN

(Appears out of audience)

What's the matter? Cat got your tongue.

 

CYRIL

Oh? You're still in town? Did they leave without you?

(Aside)

I know I would.

 

CAPTAIN

Aren't you being a little nosey?

(Referring to CYRIL'S nose)

I guess you're probably always nosing around.

(CYRIL is mad. ROXY, KELLY and others reappear

on stage)

What's wrong? I guess nobody nose!

 

CYRIL

Is that all you can think up?

 

CAPTAIN

I'm sure I could come up with a few more.

 

CYRIL

I bet you can't.

 

CAPTAIN

Wanna bet?

 

CYRIL

Gladly.

 

KELLY

Cyril. What are you doing?

(CYRIL waves her down)

 

CYRIL

I challenge you to a dual of jokes. Whoever tells the most nose jokes...

(CAPTAIN is up on stage)

 

CAPTAIN

Yes?

 

CYRIL

(Thinks. Grabs ROXY who comes along)

Gets a kiss from the lovely lady.

 

KELLY

Cyril!

 

ROXY

No, it's okay.

 

CAPTAIN

(Eyeing ROXY)

I'll gladly accept.

 

CYRIL

(Motions to CAPTAIN)

Ladies first.

 

CAPTAIN

Ha, ha. Very funny.

 

CYRIL

I thought so. Shall we begin?

 

CAPTAIN

Okay, big nose.

(Laughs)

There's one.

 

CYRIL

That's it? But I guess I shouldn't expect much from someone who must use his nose to count to eleven.

 

FRED

(From audience)

One - one!

 

CYRIL

No, no. We are insulting my nose, not his. Let's see. Oh, yes. Aggressive: Sir, if I had such a nose, I would cut it off to please, not spite, my face.

(Looks at audience)

One - one.

 

CAPTAIN

Your nose is so big you must use a box of tissues a day.

(A few boos from audience)

 

CYRIL

Oh, let's give it to him. Two - one.

(Thinks)

Hummmm.

(Finds a glass at a on stage table)

Ah, here's one: Can you drink from a glass with a nose like that, or must you use a bucket?

(Tries to drink from it. Can't)

 

SALLY

Two - two!

 


CAPTAIN

(Frustrated. Then smiles)

I've seen a bigger nose. On an elephant.

 

CYRIL

Very good. Three - two.

(Thinks. Smiles)

Descriptive: It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a 747!

 

JANE

Three all!

 

CAPTAIN

(Annoyed)

Uh, your nose is so big you... you...

 

CYRIL

See the snot before you hear the sneeze?

(Some moans, some laughs)

 

JACK

That point goes to CYRIL.

 

CAPTAIN

He didn't let me finish.

 

CYRIL

Go ahead.

 

CAPTAIN

It's so big... you're always nosing around.

(Boos)

 

CYRIL

No point.

(CAPTAIN scowls)

I know. On exercise: I've heard of people developing their muscles, but you developed your nose?

 

CAPTAIN

Uh...

 

CYRIL

Gracious: How kind of you! How many people put a bird perch on their own face?

 

CAPTAIN

Now look here...

 

CYRIL

When you have a cigarette and blow out your nose, do the neighbors cry, "Look out! A chimney's on fire!"

 

CAPTAIN

Forget it... I'm through...

 

CYRIL

(Stops him)

But I'm just getting started. When you go to the movies, do they charge you twice?

 

FRED

Seven to three!

 

CAPTAIN

It is not!

 

CYRIL

Flippant: Oh, like wow! This must be a new craze! Clever, fashionable, and useful too. A man with his own coat hanger.

 

CAPTAIN

I don't have to stay and listen to this.

 

CYRIL

Wait! Only four more.

(Stops CAPTAIN)

When it bleeds, do you call it the Red Sea?

(Laughter)

Hey, that thing's nearly a house... and wow, what a view!

(Thinks)

 

SALLY

Two more!

 

CYRIL

Realistic: You can't tell me that's a nose. I know what that is. That's a potato.

(CAPTAIN is really ticked)

And for my final insult: Musical. Sing with me now:

(Audience sings)

Nobody NOSE the trouble I've seen. Nobody NOSE my sorrow.

(Wild applause)

 

CAPTAIN

I'm out of here.

 

CYRIL

Don't forget to write.

 

ROXY

You were wonderful.

 

CYRIL

(Blushes)

Thanks.

 

ROXY

And for your prize... a kiss.

(She kisses him on the cheek. CHUCK holds up the

applause sign. LIGHTS FADE TO BLACK)

 

 

Scene 4

 

(Lights come up on Cyril who is alone on stage.

He is in his National Guard uniform. He is pacing

and looking at his watch)

 

CYRIL

Where are they? I sounded the disaster alarm twenty minutes ago. Heaven forbid we have a disaster around here.

 

CHUCK

(Enters)

Hi.

 

CYRIL

Where have you been? Didn't you hear the alarm?

 

CHUCK

Uh-huh. It's real loud.

 

CYRIL

And don't you know what that mean when you hear that alarm?

 

CHUCK

I know it's something real bad.

 

CYRIL

And did this take you twenty minutes to figure this out?

 

CHUCK

(Thinks. Looks at watch. Counts figures)

Just about.

 

CYRIL

Just go. Just get out of here. We'll do this again another day.

(Sits. Tired)

I don't even know why I try.

 

FRED

(Enters)

Hey, howdy, sir. We got the troops ready for action.

(JANE, SALLY, JACK enter with FRED. They are in

full uniform, ready for disaster)

 

CYRIL

Where have you all been?

 

FRED

(Looks confused)

Been? We've been getting ready, sir.

 

CYRIL

Getting ready for what? The apocalypse?! I've been here for twenty minutes!

 

FRED

Weren't we supposed to get ready first?

 

CYRIL

We were to meet at the theatre to make our plan of attack. How can you know what equipment you'll need if you don't know what disaster we're facing?

 

SALLY

He's got a point, Fred.

 

FRED

Shut up, Sally.

 

JANE
I knew we should have come here first.

 

JACK

Can we go know? I have to be to town by five.

 

CYRIL

Oh, sure, Jack. I wouldn't want to interfere with your busy schedule. In fact, why don't I tell you when a disaster is coming a week in advance. That way you can plan ahead of time to make sure you're free!

 

JACK

(Pause. Meekly)

That would be nice.

 

CYRIL

But it's not going to happen, Jack! God doesn't call ahead to let me know when these things happen. They just do. And that's why we've got to be ready.

 

SALLY

I think we're getting tired of being ready. We do these stupid drills once a week and for what? Nothing ever happens. This has got to be the safest place on Earth.

 

CYRIL

Fine. Why don't you all go home. Take the day off. When there is an Earthquake or a blizzard and the people crowd into this little theatre looking for help, I'll take them there's nothing we can do, because we aren't prepared to help. You people need to know the drills...

 

JANE

Cyril. We know them, okay. We know them too well. I'm sorry we're late, but this is getting old.

 

FRED

You're a good man, Cyril, but this is getting to be too much.

 

CYRIL

Go home then.

 

SALLY

Hey, Cyril. Don't be mad...

 

CYRIL

I said go home!

(They back off. KELLY walks in)

I've been a failure socially. I might as well be a failure at my job too.

 

KELLY

(Motions everyone to leave)

You guys go on home.

(They go sadly)

 

CYRIL

Save your breath, Kelly. I don't need anyone's sympathy. I'm used to disappointment. I experience it every morning when I look in the mirror.

 

KELLY

Not have a good day, huh?

 

CYRIL

Some people have bad hair days. I have bad nose days.

 

KELLY

So all this glumness isn't about the Goof Troop?

 

CYRIL

If I let them get to me, I'd have to check into a sanitarium.

 

KELLY

Why'd you even try to have a drill if you were feeling so bad?

 

CYRIL

Oh, I thought I might as well ruin my day all together.

 

KELLY

Why are you feeling so down anyway?

 

CYRIL

It was last night.

 

KELLY

Last night? I thought you had a great time. I swear you and Roxy were here half the night talking.

 

CYRIL

And that's we did was talk. And that's all we can ever do, is talk. What else would a woman want with me?

 

KELLY

Don't tell me you've fallen for Roxy.

 

CYRIL

Okay, I won't.

 

KELLY

Man, you've got good taste. She's beautiful and smart...

 

CYRIL

And way out of my league. What is my league, anyway? Bearded ladies? The mail order kind?

 

KELLY

You never know, she might...

 

CYRIL

Don't even kid yourself. Someone like her is looking for someone a lot better looking than me. Someone like him would fit the bill.

(In walks CHRIS, a new recruit)

 

KELLY

Who's that?

 

CYRIL

Beats me. Shall we find out?

 

KELLY

Be my guest.

 

CYRIL

Hello, there.

 

CHRIS

Oh, hi. Someone said I'd find the captain of the National Guard here.

 

CYRIL

You're looking at him.

 

CHRIS

Oh, yes. I see. Uh...

(CHRIS is staring at CYRIL's nose)

 

CYRIL

Is something wrong?

 

CHRIS

Well, no. It's only I...

 

CYRIL

You can say it. I'm a big boy.

 

CHRIS

You... well they said... but...

 

CYRIL

It's a legend in itself, I know. It's been heard about for miles around. Or at least the sneezes have.

(KELLY laughs)

That was a joke soldier.

 

CHRIS

(Tries to laugh)

Very funny, sir.

 

CYRIL

What's your name?

 

CHRIS

Chris. Sgt. Christian Lofton.

 

CYRIL

Nice sounding name. Welcome aboard.

 

CHRIS

Here are my papers.

 

CYRIL

You have a place, yet?

 

CHRIS

No, I barely got into town.

 

CYRIL

Well, you've come to the right place. My sister-in-law here knows everyone there is to know in this town and she will make sure you are well treated.

 

CHRIS

Thank you.

 

KELLY

I'll call around and find you a place.

 

CHRIS

You don't have to do that.

 

KELLY

Hey, no problem. I like doing favors. That way I don't have to feel guilty when I ask you for one in return.

(KELLY exits)

 

CHRIS

She was nice. Too bad she's married.

 

CYRIL

Kelly? Yeah, she's okay. But you'll find there's lots of eligible bachelorettes around.

 

CHRIS

Like her?

(ROXY walks in)

 

CYRIL

Who?

(Sees who and gets worried)

Well, no...

 

CHRIS

Is she married too?

 

CYRIL

No, but...

 

CHRIS

What? Is she dating you or something?

(Laughs. CHRIS can't see CYRIL and ROXY together)

 

ROXY

Hi, Cyril. Who's this?

 

CHRIS

My name's Chris.

 

ROXY

Nice to meet you.

 

CHRIS

Nice to... meet you.

 

ROXY

Are you a new recruit?

 

CHRIS

Uh, yeah. How could you tell?

 

ROXY

I can spot a military man a mile away. My father was one.

 

CHRIS

So was my dad.

 

CYRIL

This is all very touching.

 

ROXY

Well, I have errands to run. Nice meeting you.

 

CHRIS

You too.

(ROXY exits)

Wow, oh, wow. What a babe.

 

CYRIL

I would appreciate it if you didn't address her that way.

 

CHRIS

What are you, her dad?

 

CYRIL

No, I don't think that kind of talk is appropriate for a soldier.

 

CHRIS

Then I guess you haven't been a soldier in quite some time. I'll see you around, sir.

 

CYRIL

(Grabs CHRIS)

You better watch yourself, soldier. You're new to this town and we don't warm well to strangers who don't understand our ways.

 

CHRIS

(Pulls away)

And you'll find I'm not so easy to push around.

(Mad)

Look, sir. I tell you the real reason I'm here. The New Mexico National Guard knows what kind of operation you have going here and they don't like it. They want to see some changes and I'm here to tell them what kind of changes they need to make. And if one of those changes needs to be you...

 

CYRIL

Get out of here.

 

CHRIS

What?

 

CYRIL

Get out of here before I do something that will give New Mexico National Guard something to talk about.

 

CHRIS

See you tomorrow, sir.

 

CYRIL

What a perfect end to a truly perfect day.

 

(LIGHTS FADE TO BLACK)

 

 

NOTES:

 

CYRIL can't find a way to persue ROXY, tries a letter, CHRIS finds it, wants it

CHRIS gets CYRIL to write notes in return for good reports

give you the top rating, they trust me

CYRIL-what do you get, Chris-a nice break, romance, I never can get this kind of chick, she has class and a body to match Cyril-I feel like a pimp Chris-price you pay, worth it? Cyril thinks-hands over letter

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

ACT II

Scene 1

 

(The second act takes place at the National Guard

Headquarters. The set can be as simple as green

or camouflage canvas as a background. CYRIL is

there alone half-pacing, half-marching)

 

CYRIL

All right, troops. It's half-past nine. The enemy rolled in at nine. I am surrounded. I have no troops. I have no way to escape. So my only course of action is to give the enemy your home addresses and let them hunt you down.

 

KELLY

(Enters)

You busy?

 

CYRIL

What's that? Quiet down, men. Someone's trying to talk. This might be important information. I wouldn't want any of you to miss it.

 

KELLY

They're late again?

 

CYRIL

I'm so glad we're not at war.

 

KELLY

But what if Mexico invades?

 

CYRIL

Gad-zooks. I hadn't thought of that. I guess we'll have to give them New Mexico.

 

KELLY

No great loss.

 

CYRIL

Aw. Come on. What's wrong with New Mexico?

 

KELLY

It's great if you like green chile.

 

CYRIL

Hamburgers wouldn't be the same without them. Well, enough about the wonders of New Mexico. What brings you here?

 

KELLY

I wanted to thank you for the talent show last night. It was a big hit. People are already asking when we'll do it again.

 

CYRIL

I'm ready.

 

KELLY

I don't think we could find another great prize like that one.

 

CYRIL

Yeah, you spared no expense with Jose�s, did you?

 

KELLY

He donated that prize.

 

CYRIL

I wonder if anyone actually pays to stay there?

 

KELLY

Oh, it's not that bad.

 

CYRIL

Have you stayed there? It gives new meaning to roach motels.

 

KELLY

The reason I came over here is Roxy.

 

CYRIL

(Turns away)

Who?

 

KELLY

(Seeing through him)

You know. The one who kissed you. The one who carried on about you all night saying how talented you are.

 

CYRIL

She said that?

 

KELLY

So you do like her?

 

CYRIL

Who said I liked her? I didn't.

 

KELLY

I'm not sure if it was the drooling or the panting that tipped me off.

 

CYRIL

(Annoyed)

Very funny.

 

KELLY

Well, anyway. I wanted to tell you that she went to college with you.

 

CYRIL

She did?

 

KELLY

She was a freshman when you were a senior. She remembered you very well.

 

CYRIL

(Frowning and pointing to his nose)

Who wouldn't?

(Scratches nose)

I wonder if she remembered my witty personality or my dashing charm?

 

KELLY

Oh, Cyril. She didn't say anything about your nose.

 

CYRIL

Most kind people don't. But they're always thinking, "I'm seeing one a the natural wonders of the world!"

 

KELLY

They do not.

 

CYRIL

I see it in their eyes.

 

KELLY

Don't be so paranoid.

 

CYRIL

I'm not paranoid. I'm realistic.

 

KELLY

I'm not here to argue. I though you might like to know that about Roxy.

 

CYRIL

Why?

 

KELLY

Because it means you have something in common.

 

CYRIL

So do cheese and mold. But we don't eat the mold.

 

KELLY

With an attitude like that, you'll never date anyone.

 

CYRIL

I've give up trying, Kelly. A person can only be rejected so many times.

 

KELLY

How many times have you tried?

 

CYRIL

(Hesitates)

Oh, I don't know. Lots of times.

 

KELLY

Cindy Thomas in the third grade doesn't count?

 

CYRIL

And why not?

 

KELLY

You haven't even tried, have you?

 

CYRIL

Sure I think about it. I think about it all the time. But I don't even know how to start. What do I say, "Hey, baby. How'd you like to date a man who can smell the bread baking in Albuquerque?"

 

KELLY

You've got to try, Cyril. You can't wait for it to happen. You've got to make it happen.

 

CYRIL

So she thinks I'm pretty talented, huh?

 

KELLY

That's all she talked about.

(Silence. KELLY smiles and leaves. CYRIL paces

again, but much more slowly)

 

CYRIL

Oh, Roxy. If only I didn't have such a nose, then I could talk to you... romance you. If only you could see beyond it. If you could just see what's inside...

(Sniffs. Rubs nose)

Well, then again.

(Knock at door)

Enter!

 

CHRISTIAN

Permission to enter, sir.

 

CYRIL

What's this? A well-mannered soldier?

 

CHRISTIAN

Yes, sir.

(Standing at attention)

 

CYRIL

You're only here on loan right?

 

CHRISTIAN

No, sir.

 

CYRIL

You're here to stay?

 

CHRISTIAN

Yes, sir.

 

CYRIL

Finally a real soldier.

(Looks up)

Thank you, God.

 

CHRISTIAN

My papers, sir.

 

CYRIL

(Teasing)

You didn't ask for permission to speak.

 

CHRISTIAN

Oh, shoot.

 

CYRIL

That's okay. At ease. Sit down. Let me look at these papers.

 

FRED

(Enters with SALLY, JOE, JANE, and JACK)

We're here.

 

CYRIL

You're late.

 

JOE
Better late than never.

 

CYRIL

Late for war and you're dead.

 

JACK

But we're not at war.

 

CYRIL

And I hope we never will be. We'd be in trouble.

 

JANE

Can we hurry this up? I've got a date tonight.

 

FRED

Who with? Bubba Joe?

 

JANE

Mind your own business.

 

JACK and FRED

Bubba and Jane sittin' in a tree...

 

CYRIL

Why do I even try?

(CHUCK enters unnoticed with a large paper bag

clutched to his chest. CYRIL turns to CHRIS)

Welcome to "Our Gang Comedy Hour."

 

CHRIS

Are they always like this?

 

CYRIL

They're behaving pretty well today.

 

SALLY

(Goes up to CHRIS)

Who's this?

 

CYRIL

Okay, everybody. I want you to meet our new soldier. This is Sgt. Christian Patterson.

 

JANE

Sergeant?

 

CYRIL

Yes, unlike most of you, Chris here has applied himself. He's here to show you what a real soldier is like.

 

JACK

He's too good looking to be a soldier.

 

SALLY

Why, Jack? You interested?

 

JACK

Shut up.

 

CYRIL

Since you all want to play around, I have the perfect duty for you today. Bathroom detail.

 

JOE

Again?

 

CYRIL

Yes, but this time you're in for a real treat.

(Pulls a tooth brush from his pocket)

This time you get to clean the bathroom with toothbrushes.

 

SALLY

Our last commander let us go on a picnic.

 

CYRIL

I'm not your last commander.

 

FRED

No kidding.

 

CYRIL

Where's Chuck?

 

JANE

Over there.

 

CYRIL

What you got in the bag, Chuck?

 

CHUCK

It's my special project for this week.

 

JACK

(Nervous)

Oh, no. What is it?

 

CHUCK

Shh. Listen.

(They hush each other up. They here tick, tick,

tick, tick. They stare at each other wide eyed)

 

JANE

Run!

(Everyone except CHUCK, CYRIL, and CHRIS clear the

room)

 

CYRIL

Are you crazy?

(CHUCK just laughs)

 

CHRIS

Okay, Chuck. Put it down, please.

(CHUCK shakes his head)

I'm asking you nicely.

(CHUCK looks at CHRIS suspiciously)

Put it down, nice and slow.

 

CHUCK

Okay.

(He drops it. CYRIL and CHRIS jump back. CHUCK

laughs and runs from the room)

 

CHRIS

Maybe it isn't a bomb?

 

CYRIL

We have to make sure.

(They go to it cautiously)

I'll open the bag. You pull it out.

(CHRIS nods and does. It looks like a bomb)

 

CHRIS

It looks real. What do we do?

 

CYRIL

Disarm it.

 

CHRIS

You know how?

 

CYRIL

Not really. Let's try cutting some wires.

 

CHRIS

I don't know about this. Maybe we should call a bomb expert.

 

CYRIL

The closest one just ran out of the room laughing. The next closest is a hundred miles away.

 

CHRIS

Here's a knife.

 

CYRIL

Wish me luck.

(Lights begin to fade)

 

CHRIS

No! Wait! Not the red one!

(BLACKOUT)

 

 

 


 

ACT II

Scene 2

 

(Lights come up on the same National Guard HQ. It

is the next day. CHRIS is alone. He looks like

he hasn't had much sleep. CHUCK enters R

laughing)

 

CHRIS

(A little annoyed)

Yes, Chuck. That was pretty funny. You did a good job dressing up that alarm clock. You're very creative.

(CHUCK exits L still chuckling)

 

JACK

(Entering R with JOE, SALLY, JANE, and FRED)

Reporting for duty...

(Doesn't see CYRIL)

Where's the boss?

 

CHRIS

He left me in charge. He said he had to go see someone named Roxy or ROXY or something like that.

 

JOE

(Winks)

Ah, yes. ROXY.

 

FRED

Man o' man is see something to see.

 

SALLY

You make you sound like a carnival ride.

 

FRED

That about describes her, yes.

 

JANE

You guys are so awful.

 

JACK

We're just human.

 

CHRIS

ROXY. I haven't see her yet.

 

JOE

You'd remember her.

 

SALLY

CYRIL doesn't have a chance.

 

CHRIS

Not with a nose like that.

(Everyone freaks out, hushing CHRIS and looking

around to see if CYRIL is near)

 

JANE

Careful.

 

CHRIS

What did I say?

 

JACK

You said the "n" word.

 

CHRIS

You mean nose.

(More freaking out and hushing)

What?

 

JOE

Never. I mean never mention his... uh...

 

CHRIS

Nose?

 

SALLY

He did it again.

 

JANE

He's dead meat.

 

CHRIS

What are you talking about?

 

FRED

CYRIL is a little sensitive about it.

 

JACK

Only a dead man talks about his nose.

 


SALLY

Or a very stupid one.

 

CHRIS

Come on. It can't be that bad.

 

JOE

Fine. Don't believe us. But you're digging your own grave.

(CHRIS laughs. CYRIL enters. Others scatter and

go about their business)

 

CYRIL

That's what I like to see. Eager beavers.

 

CHRIS

Have a good visit?

 

CYRIL

I did. ROXY and I have a lot in common.

 

CHRIS

I hear she's quite a looker.

 

CYRIL

Uh, well, yes. She very intelligent too.

 

CHRIS

Yeah, but we all know what makes a real woman.

 

CYRIL

(Annoyed)

And what is that?

 

CHRIS

You know. We like 'em built. Well endowed. Nice legs. Cute little nose.

(Small gasp from others)

 

CYRIL

Little nose, huh?

 

CHRIS

Of course.

 

CYRIL

I never get caught up in looks.

 

CHRIS

I wouldn't think so.

(Reaction from others. They start to clear the

room. CYRIL goes up to CHRIS)

 

CYRIL

And what is that supposed to mean?

 

CHRIS

(Not wanted to offend. He wasn't thinking before

he spoke)

I meant we... uh... I'm sure you look for other things.

 

CYRIL

That's not what you meant.

(Backing CHRIS into a corner)

 

CHRIS

I didn't mean anything by it. I didn't want to say anything that would offend you. I was just talking. Talking stupid. No decent person would say anything about your nose.

 

CYRIL

(Long silence)

I had a good morning. I was hoping for a good day, but there still may be time to salvage that.

(Walks away from CHRIS)

Besides, you're right really.

 

CHRIS

Huh?

 

CYRIL

(Sadly laughs)

Who'd want me anyway? Who'd want to wake up every morning and see a glorious nose.

 

CHRIS

I wasn't saying...

 

CYRIL

No, what you said was true. We all know that. Yes my nose is huge, enormous, vast! Hey, here's an accessory I should be proud to wear. I have been told a large nose is the sign of a large heart. It is a symbol of courage and courtesy. It makes me twice a man! It should. I have twice the nose. But what makes me great, unique, wonderful... makes me most undesirable.

(Looks off sadly)

 

CHRIS

You are a great person. I can see that.

 

CYRIL

All you see is my nose. That's all anyone sees. ROXY could never love me. You've helped me to see that now. I was a dreamer. Living in my mind. Flying to the moon and back. Riding on a moon beam. Skipping on clouds. I am a poet. A romantic. I shall always see the rose but never touch it.

(CHRIS is speechless. ROXY comes in)

 

ROXY

CYRIL. I...

(Feels that something is wrong)

Did something happen?

(CHRIS stares at ROXY. He sees how beautiful

she is. He knows CYRIL doesn't have a chance)

CYRIL?

 

CYRIL

(Trying to joke)

I... uh... had a bloody nose. It was a regular flood. I must tend to it now.

(Exits L without looking at her)

 

ROXY

He looks really upset.

 

CHRIS

(Pause)

Can I help you? I'm... Christian. CYRIL'S new man... recruit... you know.

 

ROXY

Nice to meet you.

(They stare a moment. Then she holds up a book)

I brought this for CYRIL.

(Hands it to CHRIS)

 

CHRIS

(Tries to read name of author)

See... Sirvan...

 

ROXY

Cervantes. It's Don Quixote in Spanish. CYRIL said he loved the story but had never read it in Spanish. I found my copy from college.

 

CHRIS

I'll... say hi.

 

ROXY

Make sure he gets it. Tell him I enjoyed having coffee this morning. Ask him to call me.

(Gives CHRIS paper with phone number)

And my address when he wants to return the book.

 

CHRIS

Nice to meet you.

 

ROXY

Good luck with CYRIL. I hear he's tough.

 


CHRIS

Okay.

(JACK enters. ROXY exits)

You were right. She is gorgeous.

 

JACK

What was she doing here?

 

CHRIS

She just dropped by.

(Holds up paper)

I got her phone number and address.

 

JACK
You did?

(CHRIS nods)

What's the book for?

 

CHRIS

It's garbage.

(Throws it in garbage can. JANE, SALLY return)

 

JACK

You are a lucky ducky, man.

 

JANE

Why is he so lucky?

 

JACK

He got Roxy's number.

 

SALLY

Don't tell CYRIL.

 

CHRIS

Why not?

 

JANE

He'll be out for blood.

 

JACK

Speaking of blood. How come you're not bleeding? The way you were talking...

 

CHRIS

People don't push me around.

 

SALLY

I guess not.

 

JANE

It's almost lunch time. Let's go get something.

 

CHRIS

You barely got here.

 

JACK

CYRIL doesn't know that.

 

JANE

And if he gets mad, we'll say you said we could go. You seem to know how to handle him.

(JOE and FRED enter)

 

JOE

You guys leaving?

 

SALLY

Chris is giving us a lunch break.

 

FRED

Cool.

 

JACK

See ya'.

(They exit R)

 

CYRIL

(Enters)

Is she gone?

 

CHRIS

Yeah.

(Looks at garbage can)

 

CYRIL

Did she say why she came by?

 

CHRIS

Uh, I think she wanted to meet me, that's all.

 

CYRIL

Oh. I suppose you two hit it off. Same body types and all. No unusual features.

 

CHRIS

Don't be so hard on yourself.

 

CYRIL

No, I guess nature has been cruel enough.

 

CHRIS

See, that was funny. You know how to joke.

 

CYRIL

I didn't know I was joking.

 

CHRIS

He have a great way with words. I always sound so stupid around women.

 

CYRIL

You're not... uh...

 

CHRIS

No, I'm straight. I do fine with dumb chicks, but ROXY. She's something.

 

CYRIL

Oh, if only I had your looks and you had my brains. We'd be irresistible.

 

CHRIS

(Takes out paper)

Maybe...

 

CYRIL

What's that?

 

CHRIS

I got her address and phone.

 

CYRIL

(Sarcastic)

Oh, good. Now you can write her a letter.

 

CHRIS

That's a great idea.

 

CYRIL

I was joking that time.

 

CHRIS

No, really. You could write her a letter and I'll sign it.

 

CYRIL

Now wait a minute. That isn't right.

 

CHRIS

But it's the only way. You do all the talking...

 

CYRIL

Yeah, and you get to do all kissing...

 

CHRIS

But you could swoon her...

 

CYRIL

And we could get in a lot of trouble.

 


CHRIS

Fine. Don't do it. But it's the only way you'll ever have anything to do with her.

(CYRIL takes paper. Sighs)

 

CYRIL

I guess you're right.

 

CHRIS

Great. You write it. I'll get it after lunch.

 

CYRIL

Only an hour? I can't do something that fast. I have to be inspired.

 

CHRIS

It can't be that hard.

 

CYRIL

You'd be surprised.

 

CHRIS

Fine. Take all the time you need. I'll keep an eye on the troops and you write the letter. Is it a deal?

 

CYRIL

(Sits at desk)

Anything to get away from the Kamikaze Club.

 

CHRIS

I'll get it tonight then. Where will you be?

 

CYRIL

It's Saturday, so I'll be at the theatre.

 

CHRIS

See you then. Bye.

(Exits R excited)

 

KELLY

(Enters R as CHRIS exits)

Who was that gorgeous hunk of man?

 

CYRIL

(Already into letter)

Huh? Oh, that's Christian.

 

KELLY

What a time not to be single.

 

CYRIL

I'm gonna tell my brother on you.

 

KELLY

He won't care. What are you doing?

 

CYRIL

(Turns letter over)

Nothing.

 

KELLY

(Aggressive. Goes after letter)

Let me see.

 

CYRIL

No!

(They struggle and she finally snatches letter)

 

KELLY

"Dearest ROXY!"

(He fights for it back)

"No poet can capture you in words."

 

CYRIL

(Gets it back)

Mind your own business.

 

KELLY

I thought maybe you'd fallen for her.

 

CYRIL

I haven't. I mean... she doesn't care for me.

 

KELLY

Oh, CYRIL. Don't be upset.

 

CYRIL

I am upset. I try to be nice. I try to be charming. But the minute she see a "gorgeous hunk o' man" she's done with old banana nose.

 

KELLY

You mean Christian?

 

CYRIL

Yes. You know, the one you drooled all over as you came in.

 

KELLY

I was only kidding, CYRIL.

 

CYRIL

Well, ROXY wasn't. She gave him her number.

(Holds paper up. KELLY takes it)

 

KELLY

Why do you have it?

 

CYRIL

I was jealous. I stole it from him. I told him I'd destroy all his military records if he didn't. I get him in so much trouble with the government he would... he'd sure be sorry.

 

KELLY

(Knowing CYRIL too well)

You didn't do that.

 

CYRIL

Well, I could have.

(Long pause. He takes address back)

 

KELLY

I'm waiting for the truth.

 

CYRIL

Would you believe he dropped it and I picked it up?

 

KELLY

That make more sense.

 

CYRIL

Good. Then I don't have to make up anything else.

 

KELLY

CYRIL. You are a sweet man, but you have to realize you will have trouble with women.

 

CYRIL

Don't you think I know that.

 

KELLY

I'll talk to you when you're in a better mood.

 

CYRIL

I'll be in a better mood when they invent pencil sharpeners big enough for noses.

 

KELLY

Good-bye, CYRIL. I'll see you tonight.

(On her way out R)

 

CYRIL

Don't count on it.

(KELLY exits. CYRIL looks at letter and throws it

away. Then he see something. He pulls out the

book ROXY brought)

What is the world?

(CHUCK wanders in from L)

Chuck, do you know what this is?

 


CHUCK

(Stops. Looks around. Thinks)

A book?

 

CYRIL

Thanks, Chuck. You're a big help.

(CHUCK smiles and exits R)

I wonder...

(Lights fade to black)

 

 

ACT III

Scene 1

 

(Lights come up on the theatre. The balcony from ACT I is out. The stage is empty because it is

Sunday. KELLY and ROXY are talking)

 

ROXY

Another good show last night.

 

KELLY

It was interesting.

 

ROXY

Everyone really like them.

 

KELLY

Who'd think "Diego and His Dancing Doggies" would be a hit.

 

ROXY

I loved the routine they did to "Achy Breaky Bark."

 

KELLY

As long as it brings in the money.

 

ROXY

We'll go for quality later.

(Looks at a letter)

 

KELLY

You have been reading that since we got here today. It can't be that long.

 

ROXY

It isn't. But it's so wonderful. I haven't had a love letter since Jr. High.

 

KELLY

(Trying to act surprised)

A love letter?

 

ROXY

"Dearest ROXY, No poet can capture you in words. No artist could touch your beauty..."

(Sighs)

It's too perfect. Except it isn't signed.

 

KELLY

It isn't?

 

ROXY

No. I wonder who it's from?

 

KELLY

I have an idea, but I probably shouldn't say.

 

ROXY

(Not listening to KELLY)

I wonder if it's Christian. I only met him yesterday, but it's possible.

 

KELLY

I wouldn't narrow it don't that quickly. There are a lot a guys around.

(Hinting)

Right under your nose, in fact.

 

ROXY

(Laughs)

Christian did seem pretty muddled when I met him.

 

KELLY

You probably do that to a lot of men.

 

ROXY

I wish I could finally meet a guy that could a conversation. But I could settle for letters.

 

KELLY

There's a guy or two around that hold their own around you.

 

ROXY

And whoever wrote this seems to know a lot about me. He doesn't outright say anything specific, but he seems to know me.

 

KELLY

That rules out Chris.

 

ROXY

Who knows? Maybe, maybe not.

 

KELLY

(Looks at watch)

I have to go. I say you think about it some more. I think you might be surprised at who it is.

(Exits R)

 

ROXY

(Absorbed. Wanders off L)

"The perfect lines of your form denote a magical geometry."

(Off)

 

CYRIL

(Leads CHRIS in)

We can talk here. It's Sunday. No one should be here. Kelly always gives her people at least one day off.

 

CHRIS

So why did you want to see me? Did you write the letter?

 

CYRIL

Yes.

 

CHRIS

(Excited)

Good. Show it to me.

 

CYRIL

We have some business first.

 

CHRIS

What?

(CYRIL pulls the Cervantes book from his bag)

Oh.

 

CYRIL

So you know about it.

 

CHRIS

Huh, no. Well, I've seen it in the stores of course.

 

CYRIL

I doubt it. It's pretty rare.

(CHRIS is silent)

And the funny thing is: I was talking to ROXY about this very book yesterday morning. Then after she dropped by at HQ I found this very book in the garbage. Pretty weird, huh?

 

CHRIS

Yeah, a regular mystery. Too bad Sherlock Holmes is in England.

 

CYRIL

So. Did you have anything to do with this book ending up in the garbage? Did ROXY come over just to meet you? Do you wish to live long enough to see the New Year?

 

CHRIS

Hey, wait a second here. I... I didn't know about any of this. Uh, Chuck was the one who said ROXY was there to see me. Chuck had a book like that. I remember now. Chuck told ROXY he'd deliver it. He must have thrown it away.

 

CYRIL

Chuck?

 

CHRIS

You know how Chuck is.

 

CYRIL

No, I don't. How is he?

 

CHRIS

(Pause)

Well, you know. Uh...

 

CYRIL

Either you're a better liar than I thought you were or you're being honest.

(CHRIS smiles)

Honesty doesn't seem to become you.

(CHRIS is nervous. CYRIL circles)

You look kind of like a dog who's piddled on the floor and doesn't want his master to beat him.

(CHRIS smiles again. CYRIL walks away)

I can't be cruel to lower life forms. It's against my better nature.

 

CHRIS

(One track mind)

What about the letter?

 

CYRIL

I sent it.

 

CHRIS

You did?

 

CYRIL

Yes.

 

CHRIS

Who's name did you put on it?

 

CYRIL

Why don't you ask ROXY?

 

CHRIS

I couldn't do that.

 

CYRIL

Then you'll never know.

 

CHRIS

(Upset. Whines)

Cy-ril.

 

CYRIL

(Mokes)

Chr-is.

 

CHRIS

This isn't fair.

 

CYRIL

All's fair in love and war, my friend.

 

CHRIS

I didn't know this was a war.

 

CYRIL

And I didn't know you were in love.

(Hears something)

Who's that?

 

CHRIS

Someone's here.

 

CYRIL

Hide.

(They run around the side of the balcony, peeking

out. ROXY comes out on balcony)

 

ROXY

Oh, Romeo, Romeo. Where for art though, Romeo?

(Silence)

 

CHRIS

I'm here ROXY.

 

CYRIL

(Whisper)

What are you doing?

(Holding CHRIS back)

 

ROXY

Who's there?

(CYRIL struggles with CHRIS. Has his hand over

CHRIS's mouth for a second)

Is it the one who wrote me the letter?

 

CHRIS

Yes.

(They still struggle)

 

ROXY

Who are you then? Do I know you?

 

CHRIS

Yes. We met...

 

ROXY

Yes, when?

 

CHRIS

Not long ago.

(Struggle, struggle)

 

ROXY

Chris? Chris, is that you?

(CYRIL tries with all his might to stop CHRIS)

 

CHRIS

(Finally)

Yes!

 

ROXY

Come out then.

 

CYRIL

(Gets hold of CHRIS)

No.

 

ROXY

Then I'll come down.

 

CYRIL

No, please no.

 

ROXY

You sound strange.

 

CYRIL

Because this is so difficult. Ow!

(CHRIS breaks free)

 

ROXY

Are you hurt?

 

CHRIS

I'm only hurting for your love.

 


ROXY

Your voice changes again. What's going on?

(CHRIS is frozen. Looks at CYRIL who crosses his

arms)

 

CYRIL

(Whisper)

Go on. Dazzle her.

(CHRIS mouth opens but nothing comes out)

 

ROXY

Chris. What's wrong?

 

CHRIS

I... I don't know.

 

ROXY

I loved your letter.

 

CHRIS

Thanks.

 

ROXY

Speak to me Chris. Say something romantic.

 

CHRIS

(Confused, then:)

I love you.

 

ROXY

Yes, talk of love.

 

CHRIS

I love...

 

ROXY

Tell me some of your love poetry. You must be a poet with the way you write.

 

CHRIS

Love is love.

(CYRIL rolls his eyes)

 

ROXY

More, Chris.

 

CHRIS

Love is love is love.

 

ROXY

Yes?

 

CHRIS

I love...

(She waits)

You love...

(Looks to CYRIL who sticks out his tongue)

Wouldn't you like to love too?

 

ROXY

Come on, Chris. This isn't like the letter. You write me candy and you speak liver. Tell me how much you love me.

 

CHRIS

A whole bunch.

 

ROXY

You've been stuck stupid. You might as well be ugly for the dumb words you speak.

 

CHRIS

But, ROXY... I...

 

ROXY

(Annoyed)

I know. You love. You already told me that. Good-bye, Chris.

 

CHRIS

No, ROXY. Wait.

 

ROXY

I'll lock myself in my tower until you find you words.

(Exits)

 

CHRIS

(To CYRIL)

You've got to help me.

 

CYRIL

Me? Ha, that's a laugh. Why should I help you?

 

CHRIS

You've got to.

 

CYRIL

No, I don't. Good-bye.

 

CHRIS
(Grabs him)

No, wait! Don't go!

 

ROXY

(Comes out)

Have you found your words?

(CYRIL and CHRIS hide)

 

CHRIS

(To CYRIL)

Please?

 

ROXY
Is this going to be another poor attempt...

 

CHRIS

Please, wait, ROXY. Give me a chance.

 

CYRIL

I'll feed you the words.

 

ROXY

Is someone with you, Chris?

 

CHRIS

Oh, no. I'm quite alone.

 

CYRIL

I don't know why. But I will. You owe me for this.

(CHRIS nods frantically)

 

ROXY

I'm going home this time.

 

CYRIL

(Whisper)

If you leave...

 

CHRIS

If you leave...

 

CYRIL

My heart turns to stone.

 

CHRIS

My heart turns to stone.

 

ROXY

(Stops)

And why is that?

 

CYRIL

You are...

 

CHRIS

You are...

 

CYRIL

The only thing...

 


CHRIS

The only thing...

 

CYRIL

That gives it life.

 

CHRIS

That gives it life.

 

ROXY

Now, I like what you say, but your delivery is strange. Why is your speech so broken.

 

CHRIS

I feeling a little sick.

 

CYRIL and ROXY

What?

 

CHRIS

I mean...

 

CYRIL

(Speaking to ROXY)

Every step you take away from me takes me closer to my death.

 

ROXY

Your voice? Is it still you?

 

CYRIL

I have finally broken free. This is my true voice. The voice in the letter. The voice you give to me.

 

ROXY

Oh, Chris...

 

CYRIL

I long to touch you. Your hair. It must be so soft, like a kittens.

 

ROXY

Come out where I can see you.

(CHRIS starts to go. CYRIL grabs him)

 

CYRIL

No!

 

ROXY

(Surprised)

Why not?

 

CYRIL

The mystery. Let us love the mystery. Only our words. Let them touch the night, let them caress our souls. Feel the kiss of tenderness, the touch of compassion, the embrace of passion.

 

ROXY

I can feel it, Chris.

 

CYRIL

And I feel you. Your touch. I have often dreamed of you. What it would be like to be with you. To look upon you is like staring into the sun. Your form is etched forever in my memory. Even now, as I close my eyes, I see you. I feel you. And you are trembling. A trembling leaf among shaken leaves. I feel the tender quivering of your hand upon me.

 

ROXY

Yes, I am trembling. I can feel your touch from so far away. I am yours.

 

CYRIL

Then let death come, for this is all I desire. I ask for nothing but this...

 

CHRIS

(Trying to sound like CYRIL)

Nothing but a kiss!

 

ROXY

(Spell is broken)

What?

 

CYRIL

No!

 

ROXY

Chris?

 

CYRIL

I go too fast.

(Punches CHRIS)

 

ROXY

You don't want a kiss?

 

CHRIS

I do!

 

CYRIL

Shut up, Chris!

 

ROXY

What did you say?

 

CYRIL

I told myself to shut up because I've gone too far.

 

ROXY

Have you?

 

CHRIS

(Whisper)

Don't stop now. Let's take advantage of this. We've got her in the mood.

 

CYRIL

(To both ROXY and CHRIS)

I have cast a spell on you ROXY. It would not be fair for me to ask for something even as simple as a kiss.

 

ROXY

Your magic is strong. I don't think I can resist.

 

CHRIS

Then don't say another word. I'm coming.

(Before CYRIL knows what is happening, CHRIS

climbs up to ROXY, kisses her and they disappear

off stage)

 

CYRIL

(Stares dumbly after them)

What have I done?

(Wanders off R)

 

CHUCK

(Enters L. He is sweeping)

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. It's a beautiful day for a neighbor...

 

CYRIL

(Falls from a somewhat high point off R)

Aaaah!

 

CHUCK

Oh, my.

(Runs to him)

What happened?

 

CYRIL

I have fallen.

 

CHUCK

From where?

 

CYRIL

The moon.

 

CHUCK

The moon?

 

CYRIL

Where am I? What time is it?

 

CHUCK

Did you hit your head?

 

CYRIL

(Grabs CHUCK)

What's going on?

 

CHUCK

Uh...

 

CYRIL

I don't know what happened. One minute I was on the moon, then pow! I was flying through space, like a shooting star.

 

CHUCK

You're pulling my leg.

 

CYRIL

I tell you it's true. I fell from the moon!

 

CHUCK

Okay. Whatever you say.

(To self)

I know he hit his head.

 

CYRIL

I have to know where I am! Tell me.

 

CHUCK

You're in the theatre. It's Sunday. 8:00.

 

CYRIL

I was not gone long then.

 

CHUCK

Since yesterday.

 

CYRIL

So right. And I am a mess. Look at me. All this moon dust. What they need is a good janitor on the moon. Dust everywhere.

 

CHUCK

Really?

 

CYRIL

And here's a comet hair on my shirt.

 

CHUCK

Comets don't have hair.

 

CYRIL

How do you know? Have you ever met a comet?

 

CHUCK

Well...

 

CYRIL

And I you mess my nose milk will come out!

 

CHUCK

Milk?!

 

CYRIL

From the Milky Way!

 

CHUCK

Good-bye, CYRIL.

(Exits L)

 

CYRIL

Alone again.

(ROXY and CHRIS appear hand in hand)

 

ROXY

Oh, I didn't know anyone was here.

 

CYRIL

Nor did I. Excuse me.

(Turns to go)

 

ROXY

(Goes to him)

CYRIL? What's wrong? You seem sad.

 

CYRIL

It's the news. I shouldn't watch it.

 

ROXY

What did you hear?

 

CYRIL

About the civil war going on that Pacific island.

 

ROXY

Giardia?

 

CYRIL

Yes. I'm worried they'll ask us to go as a peace keeping force.

 


CHRIS

You think they might.

 

CYRIL

We're on the list. I'm waiting for the call.

 

ROXY

How soon might it be?

 

CYRIL

A day. A month. Who knows? Politics muddle everything. Words can sometimes be as dangerous as anything physical.

 

ROXY

I see.

 

CHRIS

I'm sure they won't need us.

 

ROXY

Really?

 

CHRIS

Positive. I've been involved in these things before. Never ever becomes of them. I can promise you that.

(BLACKOUT)

 

ACT III

Scene 2

 

(Lights come up on FRED, JANE, SALLY, and JACK in

National Guard uniforms hiding behind sand bags.

The lights are low so nothing is seen but the

soldiers C [this provides an easy change back and

forth to the theatre. CHUCK runs on. Gun fire.

JANE shoots back. JACK screams)

 

SALLY

Where are they?

 

JANE

Did I get one?

 

FRED

No, but I think you killed a tree.

 

JACK

Is it over?

 

SALLY

Yes, Patton. They're done shooting.

 


JACK

Don't make fun of me. I never thought we'd be doing something like this.

 

JANE
What did you think we were doing all this time, preparing for the county fair?

 

JACK

I never thought we'd actually fight any body.

 

SALLY

Where's CYRIL and Chris?

 

CHUCK

They're okay.

 

FRED

What are they doing?

 

CHUCK

I don't know.

(They hear huge BOOM)

 

JACK

What was that?

 

SALLY

Something blew up over by the enemy's dugout.

 

CYRIL

(Off stage)

All clear.

 

JANE

(Stands)

It's CYRIL.

 

SALLY

Where's Chris?

 

FRED

What'd you do?

 

CYRIL

(Enters)

I threw a grenade and scared them off.

 

JACK

Did you get any body?

 

CYRIL

We're not here to kill any body, Jack. We're to keep peace and get food to people.

 

CHUCK

Where's Chris?

 

CYRIL

He was right behind me.

 

JANE

Look!

 

SALLY

What's he doing?

 

JACK

Looks like he's scored to me.

 

CYRIL

Chris! Get over here!

(CHRIS enters with beautiful NATIVE GIRL)

What were you doing over there?

 

JANE

Looked like mouth to mouth to me.

 

CHRIS

I found her hiding in the bushes. I was... uh... protecting her. I was afraid she'd get hurt.

 

NATIVE GIRL

Gon-wanna go?

 

SALLY

I think she wants some more protecting.

 

CHRIS

She wants me to walk her back to her village. I'd better. I wouldn't want a sniper to get her.

 

CYRIL

You go ahead and do that, Chris. We'll hold down the fort.

 

CHRIS

Thanks, boss.

(NATIVE GIRL and CHRIS exit)

 

JACK

Some guys have all the luck.

 

CYRIL

Replacement troops are coming from Australia. We should be going soon.

 

JANE
Thank goodness.

 

SALLY

I can finally take a bath.

 

JACK

You need it.

(SALLY slugs him)

 

CYRIL

Let's pack it up. We'll report in and be on a plane within a week.

 

FRED
I'm ready.

(They exit singing "Hi Ho, Hi Ho" or something

like that. LIGHTS FADE TO BLACK)

 

 

ACT III

Scene 3

 

(Lights come up on ROXY and KELLY in theatre

[sandbags are cleared]. They look like they have

been talking a while)

 

ROXY

He's sent so many letters. Each one is more touching than the last.

 

KELLY

I didn't know Chris had it in him.

 

ROXY

It's strange. He seems so simple when we're together. Other than that one night, he never says much.

 

KELLY

That's okay. He's fun to look at.

 

ROXY

Yes, I know, but I want to see more of what I read in the letters.

 

KELLY

Gee. It's almost like someone else has been writing them.

 

ROXY

You don't think. No, that's crazy.

 

KELLY

I hear they'll be back soon.

 


ROXY

Yeah, the United State decided to pull out as quickly as they went in.

 

KELLY

I wish we'd make up our minds.

 

ROXY

Well, we fed the people. We weren't there to fight a war.

 

KELLY

I hope they all made it out okay.

(CYRIL enters)

 

ROXY

CYRIL!

(KELLY runs and hugs CYRIL)

 

KELLY

How are you?

 

CYRIL

Fine.

 

KELLY

You look good as ever.

 

CYRIL

Thanks.

 

ROXY
Where's Chris?

(CYRIL is silent)

Did something happen to him?

 

CYRIL

Well...

 

ROXY

Oh, my word. I didn't think...

(Starts to cry)

I have to be alone.

 

CYRIL

No, wait, ROXY.

(She's gone)

 

KELLY

Did he...

 

CYRIL

He's fine. It's just that...

 


KELLY

What?

 

CYRIL

I don't know how to say this but...

 

KELLY

I'm dying here, CYRIL.

 

CYRIL

He found this native girl.

 

KELLY

Oh, no. I don't want to hear it.

 

CYRIL

I didn't think so.

 

KELLY

Poor ROXY.

 

CYRIL

I don't know what to tell her.

(Sighs)

It might be better to let her think he's dead.

 

KELLY

You can't do that. That isn't fair.

 

CYRIL

I guess not.

 

KELLY

Then she'll never get over him.

 

CYRIL

Why does that matter?

 

KELLY

CYRIL, I know all about the letters.

 

CYRIL

What do you mean?

 

KELLY

I know you wrote those letters to her.

 

CYRIL

Don't be silly.

 

KELLY

Chris doesn't have it in him. You have to tell her.

(ROXY enters)

 

ROXY

Tell me what?

 

CYRIL

(After a long pause)

Chris isn't dead, ROXY.

 

ROXY

He isn't? Was he hurt badly though?

 

CYRIL

No, he's fine.

 

KELLY

But he might wish he weren't.

 

ROXY

Huh?

 

CYRIL

Chris met this native girl. And well they really hit it off. They don't understand a word the other one is saying but...

 

ROXY

I get the picture.

 

CYRIL

I'm sorry, ROXY.

 

ROXY

But he wrote all those letters.

 

KELLY

No, he didn't.

 

CYRIL

Kelly!

 

ROXY

What?

 

KELLY

CYRIL has something to tell you.

 

CYRIL

Thanks a lot.

 

KELLY

It's the least I could do.

(She exits)

 

ROXY

CYRIL? Are you the one who...

 

CYRIL

(Reciting from one of his letters)

I have touched a star and will never let her go.

 

ROXY

It was as plain as the nose on my face. I can't believe I didn't see it before.

 

CYRIL

And my nose is hard to miss.

 

ROXY

But that night. The balcony. Was that you who spoke?

 

CYRIL

(Pause)

It was.

 

ROXY

Why?

 

CYRIL

I knew my words would move you, but I needed Chris's face for you to love me.

 

ROXY

Poor CYRIL.

 

CYRIL

Yes, that's me. Poor CYRIL. Full of sound and fury! But I will never be the one who will have the kiss.

(Silence. ROXY goes to him. Kisses him. After

a moment they break apart. CYRIL touches his nose

and turns away)

See I am still a toad. No, beautiful prince for you.

 

ROXY

You are more beautiful than you know.

 

CYRIL

Now you speak kind words and I... I am at a loss.

 

ROXY

Then there is only one thing to do.

 

CYRIL

Which is?

(They kiss. Lights fade to black)

 

 

END OF PLAY

 


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