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"Flowers in the Desert"
by D. M. Larson


Cutting copyright (c) 2005

This scene is from the published play "Flowers in the Desert" ISBN-13: 978-1494806217. Buy a low cost PDF of the play at https://sellfy.com/freedrama/p/1uSu/


Cast of Characters

 

JIMMY: A drunk kid in love with SHELLY

 

SHELLY: A troubled girl who isn't sure she likes JIMMY any more

 

JAMIE: Shelly's friend

 

SARGE: One of the caretakers of troubled kids at a group home in the desert. Former army sergeant.

 


Scene 1

 

(Lights come up on the front of an old farm house.

It is very early morning but the moon is full and the

scene is well lit. As the scene opens, JIMMY comes

stumbling on drunk. He drags on a ladder that he

puts against the house JIMMY climbs the ladder. For staging purposes, the ladder can be put against stage R and the door to the house can simply be coming in from off stage])

 

JIMMY

Where's my sweet little chicky? She's gone and I'm all alone. Like Rodeo and Juliet, split up by their ma and pa, left with aching hearts. I got an achky-breaky heart baby and I'm coming for you.

(Knocks on window)

I can hear you now. "Oh, Rodeo. Oh, Rodeo. Where fartest you, Rodeo."

(Laughs at his own joke)

Oh, Juliet.

(Knocks)

Juliet! If you don't come out, you gonna see yonder window break.

 

JAMIE

(Appears at door below ladder. She is sleepy and cranky)

What do you want?

 

JIMMY

Can Shelly come out and play?

(Comes down ladder)

 

JAMIE

She's asleep like I was before you started banging on the window.

 

JIMMY

(Tugs on JAMIE's nightgown)

Can't you wake her up?

 

JAMIE

No!

(Smacks him)

 

JIMMY

OW!

 

SHELLY

(Sleepy at door)

Who's out there, Jamie?

 

JAMIE

 

A sick loon.

(Goes inside)

 

SHELLY

(Comes out)

Jimmy?

 

JIMMY

Oh, hi, Shelly. Gosh, you look perdy.

 

SHELLY

What are you doing out there? You're gonna get me in trouble.

 

JIMMY

I need you, Shelly. I'm feeling lonely.

 

SHELLY

You've been drinking. You know I don't like you when you're drunk.

 

JIMMY

Oh, come on, Shelly. I've got needs you know.

 

SHELLY

So do I and I need sleep. Now go away.

 

JIMMY

I ain't leaving.

 

SHELLY

Well, I ain't coming.

 

 

JIMMY

I feel my heart about to break.

(He starts a sick howl)

Owoooo!

 

SHELLY

(Covers his mouth)

Stop that! You'll wake Sarge.

 

JIMMY

(Pulls her to him)

I got you.

 

SHELLY

(Pushes him)

Quit playing around.

 

JIMMY

(Starts to fall over)

Look out below.

(SHELLY grabs him)

You do care.

(Throws his arms around her)

 

SHELLY

(Pulls away)

Stop it.

 

JIMMY

Why are you being so mean?

 

SHELLY

Me?

 

JIMMY

I just want a little love.

 

SHELLY

What you need is a cold shower and some coffee.

 

JIMMY

You're what I need, Shelly. Don't you need me?

 

SHELLY

What I need is a big club.

 

JIMMY

But Shelly. I'm hurting inside. Don't you care?

 

SHELLY

Not when you're like this.

 

JIMMY

(Angry)

Fine. I'll go. Give me my ring.

 

SHELLY

What?

 

JIMMY

Give me my ring.

 

SHELLY

You don't mean it.

 

JIMMY

If you don't want me around, then I don't want you. Give it!

(SHELLY sadly takes off ring)

 

SHELLY

(Gets a mischievous look)

Fetch boy.

(She throws it off R)

 

JIMMY

Oh, man.

(Runs off R)

 

JAMIE

(Pokes her head out)

Is he gone?

 

SHELLY

(Sad)

Uh-huh.

 

JAMIE

Are you okay?

 

SHELLY

(Sits and rubs her finger)

No.

(Holds out hand)

I gave him back his ring.

 

JAMIE

You did?

(Crawls out)

 

SHELLY

Maybe I should have gone with him.

 

JAMIE

But he was so drunk. He smelled like a sick skunk.

 

SHELLY

Oh, he always smells like that.

(They laugh a little)

I really love him, Jamie, but sometimes... sometimes he can be such a creep.

 

JAMIE

There's a lot better guys in the world. Once you get out of here, you'll see that.

 

SHELLY

But that's just it, Jamie. All the guys I've met are creeps. I attract them like flies to manure.

 

JAMIE

Don't say that. You're a lot better than manure.

 

SHELLY

Thanks, I think.

 

JAMIE

That didn't come out right.

(Sound inside)

What was that?

 

SHELLY

Get down.

(They hide as SARGE comes out)

 

SARGE

Is somebody out here?

(Sees girls)

What are you girls doing?

(SHELLY turns with a smile to face SARGE)

 

SHELLY

We got up early to see the sunset.

 

JAMIE

Sunrise.

 

SHELLY

Sunrise. I've been bragging to Jamie so much about it she just had to see it.

 

SARGE

And how would you know how nice they are? You're never up this early.

 

SARGE

Do I see a ladder? How did that get there?

 

SHELLY

A ladder? Gee, I don't know. Did you know there was a ladder there, Jamie?

 

JAMIE

Come on, Shelly. I'm tired. Let's go back to bed.

 

SARGE

Sounds like a good idea to me.

(JAMIE goes inside. But SHELLY won't budge)

 

SARGE

Shelly?

 

SHELLY

What is this, a prison camp? Can't a girl have a few moments to herself?

 

SARGE

Inside... now.

 

SHELLY

But Sarge...

 

SARGE

Back inside now or I might find out the real reason you're up so early.

(SHELLY looks worried and heads inside)

 

JIMMY

(JIMMY enters R with a bag on his head)

Now, Shelly. You said you didn't want to see me anymore. With this bag on my head I can't see you so does that count?

(Goes up and hugs SARGE)

Come on. You can forgive me, can't you?

(Pause)

Did you put on a little weight or something?

(Backs up and feels SARGE's arms)

You've been working out too.

(SARGE pulls the bag off JIMMY's head)

Oh, no.

 

SARGE

(Pointing at steps on porch)

Sit.

(JIMMY does. SARGE stares at JIMMY a minute)

 

JIMMY

Are you gonna kill me, Sarge?

 

SARGE

I'm thinking about it.

(Pause. JIMMY is very nervous)

What were you doing up there? And don't lie to me. I was once a pretty good liar myself, so I know one when I see one.

 

JIMMY

I guess I had a little too much to drink.

 

SARGE

Right under your parent's noses...

 

JIMMY

Man, they don't care. You should see them sometime. Talk about drunk.

 

SARGE

But you're just a kid.

 

JIMMY

I'm almost 18. And I only have two years of high school left.

 

SARGE

You may not make it to 18 if you keep this up.

(JIMMY gets quiet)

What were you doing over here?

 

JIMMY

I was looking for Shelly.

 

SARGE

I thought so.

 

JIMMY

Then why'd you ask?

 

SARGE

Don't get mouthy.

 

JIMMY

Sorry. It's the booze talking.

 

SARGE

Well, it better stop talking or it's going to get dunked into the water trough.

 

JIMMY

We didn't do nothing, Sarge. Shelly didn�t want to.

 

SARGE

She didn't?

 

JIMMY

She didn't want to get in trouble. Man, was she mean to me.

 

SARGE

She was?

 

JIMMY

(Mad)

All we did was fight. I made her give my ring back.

 

SARGE

The promise ring?

 

JIMMY

Yeah. But she threw it somewhere. Now I can't find it.

 

SARGE

(Walks out and gets ring)

It's right over here.

(Hands it to JIMMY)

 

JIMMY

Maybe it's a sign. Maybe SHELLY and me is supposed to make up.

 

SARGE

Maybe so. Maybe not.

(Pause)

I'm not sure I want you around Shelly anymore.

 

JIMMY

Oh.

 

SARGE

But she really likes you and if she wanted to be with you she'd find a way.

(Paces)

The more I'd tell Shelly she can't see you, the more she'd find times to sneak away.

(Studies JIMMY)

So maybe we can take care of this some other way.

 

JIMMY

(Nervous)

Uh... like how?

 

SARGE

Growing up, I did a lot of stupid things too. My mother died when I was real young and my pappy didn't want to take care of me. So my family sent me around, hoping somebody could handle me, but I only got worse. My big moment was in a barn. I burnt it down. That's when my Aunt Minnie took me in. And for the first time somebody loved me no matter what I did wrong. Even though I didn't change over night, that love stuck with me. And as I grew older, that love became more and more a part of me until all the hate was gone.

 

JIMMY

So what's your point?

 

SARGE

The point is, Jimmy, that you need some love. Not the kind of love that involves sex, but a caring kind of love.

 

JIMMY

Don't get all sappy on me, Sarge.

 

SARGE

I want to help you, Jimmy. I want to help you be a better person.

 

JIMMY

I want to be good. I always want to, but it's hard. Was it hard for you?

 

SARGE

It took more than 30 years to learn to be a good person.

 

JIMMY

Thirty years?

 

SARGE

More probably. I stopped counting.

(Frowns at the memories)

I used to have some awful habits. Drinking, smoking, gambling. Gambling was the worst. I gave up the other things with no problem, but gambling... I still can't even look at a deck of cards.

 

JIMMY

How did you finally give it up?

 

SARGE

I don't know that I have. A few years ago I was caught up in it again. Some old friend invited me over and they thought what I'd love was a game of poker cause that's what we used to do together. Of course they talked me into playing. What a terrible night.

 

JIMMY

You lost big, huh?

 

SARGE

No, I won.

 

JIMMY

How much?

 

SARGE

Several hundred dollars.

 

JIMMY

Really? Cool.

 

SARGE

No, it wasn't. I felt the old desires coming back. I was secretly planning to sneak away to a casino. I never did spend any of the money though. I couldn't.

 

JIMMY

Do you still have it?

 

SARGE

No. I felt too guilty. I did the only thing I could think of to make up for it.

 

JIMMY

What?

 

SARGE

I gave it to our church.

 

JIMMY

All of it?

 

SARGE

All of it.

 

JIMMY

Too bad.

 

SARGE

So are you willing to give something up for Shelly?

 

JIMMY

Like what?

 

SARGE

Drinking maybe.

 

JIMMY

But all my friends drink.

 

SARGE

Maybe you need different friends.

 

JIMMY

Everyone will think I'm a total loser.

 

SARGE

Shelly won't.

 

JIMMY

(Sighs. Looks at ring)

I guess I could give it a try.

 

SARGE

No. Either you will or you won't. There's no "in the middle."

 

JIMMY

(Thinks)

Okay. I will. For Shelly.

 

SARGE

Go home and sober up. Then we'll talk some more.

 

JIMMY

Okay, Sarge. And thanks...

 

SARGE

For what?

 

JIMMY

For not killing me.

(JIMMY exits and SARGE chuckles)

 

END OF PLAY

This scene is from the published play "Flowers in the Desert" ISBN-13: 978-1494806217. Buy a low cost PDF of the play at https://sellfy.com/freedrama/p/1uSu/




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