PLAYHOUSE OF THE DAMNED
"The Rocketís Dead ScareĒ
by Richard Nathan
The spotlight is up on our host, GUS THE GHOUL. Gus speaks to the audience:
GUS THE GHOUL
Our next story is about the Fourth of July.
Youíll get a big bang out of it. And if by
some weird chance you donít like it, would
you say you did anyway? Would jíyou lie
for me? Would jíyou? Jíyou lie for me?
July Four? You may not like listening to
it, but I have to say it! I call this story,
ďThe Rocketís Dead Scare.Ē
Gus exits. Lights come up on GEORGE, pacing the empty stage. Enter TOM, unseen by George. George looks at his watch.
I told you Iíd be on time. Donít you
George spins around and sees Tom.
Sure. I trust you. Itís just that Iíve
got a lot of deliveries to make today.
But none as big as mine, Iím sure.
Well, Iíve got lots of customers.
I told you I wanted to buy all the fireworks
you had on hand. I told you Iíd pay top dollar.
Yeah. Iím glad you brought that up. You
owe me two thousand dollars. In cash.
Thatís a lot of money.
Well, Iíve got a lot of fireworks. And if you
compare my prices with what the other guys
charge, I got the cheapest stuff in town.
I donít doubt it.
Tom reaches into his pocket and brings out a huge wad of cash. He holds it out to George, but George doesnít take the money.
Here. Two thousand dollars. In cash. Where
are the fireworks?
You sure youíre not a cop?
Fireworks are illegal in this state.
I swear Iím not a cop. You can search me if
want. Youíd find I donít have any hidden
recording devices, no transmitters, no gun.
All Iíve got it two thousand dollars.
George grabs the money.
Okay. Theyíre in the back of the truck.
George gestures up stage.
Whereís your truck? Iíve got thirty boxes.
I didnít bring a truck.
What are you gonna do? Blow Ďem up
George laughs, to show heís joking. Tom grins.
One more question. Are they safe?
Theyíre fireworks! They explode! But if
you follow the instructions, Ö
Tom takes a pack of cigarettes and a lighter out of his pocket. He puts a cigarette in his mouth and starts to light it.
Hey! Are you crazy? Never start a fire
Tom puts the lighter away.
Then how do you light the fuse?
The only time you start a fire around
fireworks is when you light the fuse.
Iíll keep that in mind.
You sure youíre not a cop?
No. Iím not a cop. Iím a customer. Iím
surprised you donít recognize me. Iíve
purchased from you before.
I got a lot of customers.
Youíd have a special reason to remember
me. Five years ago. You remember.
I donít remember anything about five years
A faulty fuse. A cheap skyrocket that blew
up prematurely. Two kids and their mother
with first degree burns. And the fatherÖ
the father killed.
That wasnít me!
No. It was me. I was the father. The one who
died. The one you sold the faulty fireworks to.
The one who was killed.
ButÖ youíre alive.
No. Iím dead. But I came back, just for you.
Because thereís something I want you to see.
Something you want me to see?
Tom walks over to George, puts his arm around Georgeís shoulder, and starts to lead him upstage. George resists.
Look, Iíve got deliveries to make.
No you donít. Itís time for you to take a
look at what youíre selling. A look at
your fireworks. A look at how they
Iíve seen lots of fireworks explode.
But this time, I want you to have a close up
Tom grabs George by the shirt from as he brings out his lighter.
Blackout! A spotlight picks up GUS.
And then the fireworks seller learned that all
men are cremated equal.
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© 2007 by Richard Nathan. All rights reserved
The author grants all internet users the righ to print these scripts for their own, personal, non-commercial use. No other use may be made without the author's permission. Without limiting the foregoing, the plays may not be staged without the author's express permission.
Send e-mail to the author at Richard-Nathan@att.net.