THE FIRE

by D. M. Larson

Ten Minute Drama Play Script

From the published play "Secrets of My Soul" ISBN-13: 978-1493533589

by D. M. Larson

Copyright © 1991, 2003




Cast of Characters

 

TANDE – lost person with only an address and no memory of anything else

 

SLEEPER – a person to be feared who is the only one who can guide TANDE

 

TERRY – a friendly and concerned person who befriends TANDE

 

SHOUTER – an angry individual who is annoyed easily

 

HYPE – quick to get into other people’s business

 

WHINER – complains about everything and everyone

 

SWEET – an overly friendly person who is upset by harsh words

 

DOWNER – willing to cast a dark shadow on any situation

 

 

 


Scene 1

 

(Lights in this play are dim to show darkness. A

blue tint to the lights might add to the effect.

On stage are several cots with people sleeping on

them. TANDE enters cautiously among the sleeping

people. He reaches about center and is distracted by

a sudden loud snore behind him. This causes him to

run into a cot, C)

 

SLEEPER

Who that? What's with knockin' my bed?

 

SHOUTER

Quiet!

 

SLEEPER

You quiet yourself.

 

TANDE

I'm sorry. Please go back to sleep.

 

SLEEPER

Don't you start tellin' me what to do. You done plenty already.

 

TANDE

It was an accident.

 

SHOUTER

Will you shut up?!

 

HYPE

Who's yellin'?

 

WHINER

Hey, man. Go to sleep. There's other people around here ya' know.

 

SLEEPER

Yeah, I know. So shut your trap.

 

TANDE

Please, all of you, go back to sleep.

 

TERRY

Who's the fancy talker? I bet he wears a tie?

 

SLEEPER

I don't see none on him. He lucky. I would a used it to strangle him.

 

TANDE

I'm sorry. I just need a place to sleep.

 

SLEEPER

There ain't none here.

 

TERRY

You got two cots. Why don't you give him one?

 

SLEEPER

What with you? You take a likin' to him?

 

TERRY

Well, he ain't got no tie.

 

SLEEPER

And I ain't got no cot. So go somewhere else.

 

TANDE

I'll go. It's okay.

 

SWEET

You can always sleep with me, honey, I got lots of room.

 

DOWNER

What're you talkin' about? You're the one who needs two cots.

 

SWEET

Careful what you say, I might cry.

 

WHINER

Oh, man. Last time she cry, she wouldn't shut up all night.

 

TANDE

Everyone, please. I didn't mean to cause so much trouble.

 

SLEEPER

You too late. You already did. Now, you have to pay.

 

SWEET

(Almost a whisper)

Be gentle with him.

 

SLEEPER

Shut up, woman!

 

SHOUTER

Why don't you?! I'm tryin' to sleep here.

(Silence. SLEEPER crosses to SHOUTER's bed, DR. He

stands over him a moment)

What do you want?!

 

SLEEPER

No one mouths off at me.

 

SHOUTER

Too late, I already did.

(In a quick motion, SLEEPER tips the cot, kicks

SHOUTER, and pins him to the floor with his foot.

TANDE tries to escape L during this but is caught

by HYPE and WHINER. HYPE and WHINER

push TANDE roughly into a sitting position on

a cot, DL. Once again everything is still again)

 

SLEEPER

What you say to me, boy?

 

SHOUTER

Nothin', nothin' at all.

 

SLEEPER

And what you say to me later?

 

SHOUTER

Nothin'.

 

HYPE

(Holding TANDE)

We got this one.

 

WHINER

What you gonna do with him?

 

SLEEPER

(Crosses to TANDE, grabs his face roughly and

makes TANDE look up at him)

Does I scare you?

 

TANDE

(Softly)

Yes.

 

SLEEPER

(Smiles, still holding him, looking into his eyes)

It's that look I love. I loves it more than women. And you's got it.

(He roughly releases TANDE. Others leave him

alone and go to the corners to converse. SLEEPER

sits on his cot. TERRY goes to TANDE)

 

TERRY

Hi, there.

 

TANDE

Hi.

 

TERRY

My name's Terry.

(Holds out hand. They shake)

 

TANDE

Tande.

 

TERRY

I think Sleeper likes you.

 

TANDE

I think you're wrong.

 

TERRY

He's not as bad as he looks. He's really a pussy cat deep down.

 

TANDE

Yeah, with long claws, long teeth, and rabies.

 

TERRY

Oh, you’re funny. I like you.

 

TANDE

(Brushing off the unwanted intimacy)

Where am I?

 

DOWNER

(Joins them)

You're down, man. You're at the end of existence.

 

TERRY

He exaggerates.

 

DOWNER

You eg-za-der-dates if you's sayin' otherwise.

 

TANDE

I was told to come here. At least, I think so.

(Takes out paper)

Here's the address.

(TERRY is silent when he sees paper)

 

DOWNER

That's bad man. Real bad.

 

TANDE

What is?

 

DOWNER

That place.

 

TANDE

Then this isn't it?

 

DOWNER

This place is far from it, man. This is Disneyland to that.

 

TANDE

Maybe I shouldn't go.

 

TERRY

You have to.

 

TANDE

Who will take me there, then?

 

TERRY

(No longer cheerful)

Sleeper can take you.

 

TANDE

Sleeper? Why him?

 

DOWNER

That's a bad place. Only Sleeper goes there.

(To TERRY)

They say he's from that neighborhood.

 

TERRY

If that's possible.

 

TANDE

Can it be that bad?

 

DOWNER

Where you comin' from, man? Don't you know nothin' about this neighborhood?

 

TANDE

This is all new to me.

 

DOWNER

It better be unnew and fast or you's gonna lose yourself here.

 

TERRY

That place where you're going...

 

TANDE

Yeah?

 

TERRY

It's dangerous... cops don't even go there.

 

DOWNER

And when Sleeper goes, he don't bring no one back.

 

TERRY

You didn't have to tell him that.

 

DOWNER

It's the truth, ain't it?

 

TANDE

I'm free, aren't I? I just won't go. I'll stay here. That's easy enough.

 

DOWNER

You forget. Sleeper won't let you. You're stuck.

 

TANDE

Damned if I do, damned if I don't.

 

DOWNER

Hey, he catches on quick.

 

TERRY

Not quick enough I'm afraid.

 

TANDE

Won't Sleeper help me through?

 

DOWNER

Sleeper? Help? Those words don't go, man. Sleeper would sooner see you hurt than helped. That's his way.

 

TANDE

I may as well go alone then.

 

TERRY

Sleeper would go anyway. It’s his job. You may as well go with him.

 

DOWNER

You stick with Sleeper in that neighborhood, man. You'll be glad you did. With them the way they are there, he'll be your best friend.

 

TANDE

I don't understand any of this. What is this stupid address? I don't want to go, but what else can I do? There's nothing behind me. There's nothing here. The only thing I have is this address.

 

DOWNER

Keep what you got. It could be worse… but not much.

(Moment of silence. SLEEPER gets up and puts on a

jacket. SLEEPER crosses over to them. DOWNER sees

him and crosses away. TANDE and TERRY notice

SLEEPER when DOWNER leaves)

 

SLEEPER

(To TANDE)

You comin'?

(TANDE looks to TERRY pleadingly)

 

 

TERRY

You'd better go.

(TERRY gets up and crosses away)

 

SLEEPER

Show me your paper.

 

TANDE

Paper?

 

SLEEPER

(Louder and sharper)

The address!

(TANDE quickly gives it to him)

 

SLEEPER

(Laughs darkly)

Bad place. What's a fancy talkin' little wuss like you doin' in a neighborhood like this?

 

TANDE

Someone gave me the address. I don't remember them saying anything else.

 

SLEEPER

Probably better that way.

 

TANDE

What is this place anyway?

 

SLEEPER

That depends on you.

 

TANDE

What is that supposed to mean?

 

SLEEPER

(Laughs)

You see. What that they say. "Patience is a..." What's that word?

 

TANDE

"Virtue."

 

SLEEPER

Yeah. You got to get yourself some of that.

 

TANDE

I thought I had plenty before this.

 

SLEEPER

You find you got a lot less after.

(Starts R)

It's time.

 

TERRY

(Goes up to TANDE)

Keep safe.

 

SLEEPER

I ain't got the time!

 

TERRY

You'd better go.

 

TANDE

Good-bye. Perhaps I'll be back this way again.

(TERRY smiles sadly)

 

SLEEPER

You comin'?

(TANDE follows SLEEPER off R. TERRY watches

sadly. DOWNER glances reluctantly, but turns away.

Lights fade to black)

END OF SCENE
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