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.

                                                            TOM
                                    I told you Iíd be on time.  Donít you
                                    trust me?

George spins around and sees Tom. 

                                                            GEORGE
                                    Sure.  I trust you.  Itís just that Iíve
                                    got a lot of deliveries to make today.

                                                            TOM
                                    But none as big as mine, Iím sure.

                                                            GEORGE
                                    Well, Iíve got lots of customers.

                                                            TOM
                                    I told you I wanted to buy all the fireworks
                                    you had on hand.  I told you Iíd pay top dollar.

                                                            GEORGE
                                    Yeah.  Iím glad you brought that up.  You
                                    owe me two thousand dollars.  In cash.

                                                            TOM
                                    Thatís a lot of money.

                                                            GEORGE
                                    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.

                                                            TOM
                                    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.

                                                            TOM
                                    HereTwo thousand dollars.  In cash.  Where
                                    are the fireworks?

                                                            GEORGE
                                    You sure youíre not a cop?

                                                            TOM
                                    A cop???

                                                            GEORGE
                                    Fireworks are illegal in this state.

                                                            TOM
                                    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.

                                                            GEORGE
                                    Okay.  Theyíre in the back of the truck.

George gestures up stage.

                                                            GEORGE
                                    Whereís your truck?  Iíve got thirty boxes.

 

                                                            TOM
                                    I didnít bring a truck.

                                                            GEORGE
                                    What are you gonna do?  Blow Ďem up
                                    here?

George laughs, to show heís joking.  Tom grins.

                                                            TOM
                                    One more question.  Are they safe?

                                                            GEORGE
                                    Safe?

                                                            TOM
                                    Yeah.  Safe.

                                                            GEORGE
                                    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.

                                                            GEORGE
                                    Hey!  Are you crazy?  Never start a fire
                                    around fireworks!

Tom puts the lighter away.

                                                            TOM
                                    Then how do you light the fuse?

                                                            GEORGE
                                    The only time you start a fire around
                                    fireworks is when you light the fuse.

                                                            TOM
                                    Iíll keep that in mind.

                                                            GEORGE
                                    You sure youíre not a cop?

                                                            TOM
                                    No.  Iím not a cop.  Iím a customer.  Iím
                                    surprised you donít recognize me.  Iíve
                                    purchased from you before.

                                                            GEORGE
                                    I got a lot of customers.

                                                            TOM
                                    Youíd have a special reason to remember
                                    me.  Five years ago.  You remember.

                                                            GEORGE
                                    I donít remember anything about five years
                                    ago.

                                                            TOM
                                    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.

                                                            GEORGE
                                    That wasnít me!

                                                            TOM
                                    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. 

                                                            GEORGE
                                    ButÖ youíre alive.

                                                            TOM
                                    No.  Iím dead.  But I came back, just for you. 
                                    Because thereís something I want you to see.

                                                            GEORGE
                                    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.

                                                            GEORGE
                                    Look, Iíve got deliveries to make.

                                                            TOM
                                    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
                                    explode.

                                                            GEORGE
                                    Iíve seen lots of fireworks explode.

                                                            TOM
                                    But this time, I want you to have a close up
                                    view.

Tom grabs George by the shirt from as he brings out his lighter.  

Blackout!   A spotlight picks up GUS.

 

                                                            GUS
                                    And then the fireworks seller learned that all
                                    men are cremated equal.

                                                          THE END

 

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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.