A new play in ten scenes.  Our cast of characters: Annie Ellis, Garrett Molloy, Gibson Maguire; together in a Capra-corn for the millennial age.

New to FOUR BUCKS A NAME?  Read scenes one, two, three and four.

The sound of a door opening and closing.

ANNIE ELLIS: Thanks for coming back in, Mr. Maguire.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Where is he?

ANNIE ELLIS: In the front office while I worked up the names.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Tell me you haven’t submitted them.

ANNIE ELLIS: Of course not. That’s why I asked you to return.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: He brought you names from cent com? You’re certain?

ANNIE ELLIS: One hundred percent.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: How could you let the dragon into the castle, Annie?

ANNIE ELLIS: I think he’s one of the good guys.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Didn’t your mother teach you? Those are mythical creatures.

ANNIE ELLIS: Please, sit down. Sit down and look at this list.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: You do understand that this list will put us on a list, doncha?

ANNIE ELLIS: I don’t know what to do here. I came in to close everything down and…

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I shouldn’t be here.

ANNIE ELLIS: …he was waiting outside…

GIBSON MAGUIRE: You shouldn’t be here!

ANNIE ELLIS: …with all of these names, Gibson.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: He’s waiting here?

ANNIE ELLIS: Yes, he wouldn’t leave without the payment.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I need to speak with this man.

ANNIE ELLIS: I don’t see how that will help. He’s nobody special.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Then explain to me the names, Annie. If he’s just another guy from the suburbs, how did he possibly bring in this bomb?

ANNIE ELLIS: He’s not from the suburbs, that is for sure. But, I don’t think he’s setting us up. He’s sincere, Gibson.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: So, explain how he has these names in his possession.

ANNIE ELLIS: He happened upon them.

Pause.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: He…happened upon them.

ANNIE ELLIS: Yes. That is my understanding.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Come with me.

The sound of footsteps and a door opening.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Young man, I’m Gibson Maguire.

GARRETT MOLLOY: Uh, hello.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Sit down, let’s sit and talk for a moment.

GARRETT MOLLOY: Sure. I’ve been sitting here for a while now. Waiting, you know.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Ms. Ellis tells me that, yes.

ANNIE ELLIS: I’m Mr. Maguire’s direct report. I asked him to come into the office to help me finalize the list you brought. I need his approval here.

GARRETT MOLLOY: Sure.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: What is your name, son?

GARRETT MOLLOY: Garrett, Garrett Molloy.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: That’s a good name.

GARRETT MOLLOY: What do you need to know?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Well…assuming I sign off on this list.

GARRETT MOLLOY: The names are legit.

ANNIE ELLIS: Garrett, I’ve verified that.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: That is the least of our concerns, son.

GARRETT MOLLOY: Then I don’t understand what’s going on. You all asked me to bring a bunch of names. I brought ‘em. When will I get paid?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: What do you intend to do with the money?

GARRETT MOLLOY: What does that matter to you?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I’m curious.

GARRETT MOLLOY: With the money? I hope to survive.

ANNIE ELLIS: That’s a lot of money, but not enough to last very long.

GARRETT MOLLOY: I can stretch it.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: You can subsist.

GARRETT MOLLOY: Sure, I can.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: It’s just you, then? No one needing your support, no family?

GARRETT MOLLOY: Just me.

ANNIE ELLIS: Garrett, I told you the money may not be coming. Mr. Maguire is in town because this office is closing.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: The names you brought…

GARRETT MOLLOY: As many as I could.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: …Annie says each one is fairly peculiar.

GARRETT MOLLOY: Each one is just a name.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: And Guinness is just a beer. Why these names, Mr. Molloy?

GARRETT MOLLOY: Some of ‘em have it coming. The others can take care of themselves.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I don’t think you’re being honest with yourself, Garrett.

GARRETT MOLLOY: I don’t want to go ‘round with you.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Good thing. I’m late for my flight.

ANNIE ELLIS: Garrett, even if we could use your names, even if we weren’t closing…

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Your list is toxic the end client.

ANNIE ELLIS: This shop is a derivative of a derivative of a derivative.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: You brought us something of incredible value, Garrett.

ANNIE ELLIS: But this list is worthless to our superiors.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: The list is dangerous downstream.

GARRETT MOLLOY: I see.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Listen, I don’t know if I like you, son. But, I don’t much like anyone nowadays. Maybe, it’s just this heat. So, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you’re who you say you are.

GARRETT MOLLOY: I’ll return the favor.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Let me tell you both a little story. There’s a man named Satoshi Nakamoto living in California. An ordinary, normal person. Just an old man, not unlike me. His life gets turned upside-down when some journalist puts two and two together and tells the world and his magazine that his math has determined that this ol’ chap is really the secret genius behind a revolutionary crypto currency.

GARRETT MOLLOY: Was he?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: No, Garrett. He just…happened to have the same name as the mysterious force that designed a way to mine for butter and keep the black market liquid.

GARRETT MOLLOY: And his life was…

ANNIE ELLIS: …turned upside-down?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: And around and around. But, here’s the kicker. Living in this poor soul’s neighborhood is another gentleman, named Hal, who is battling ALS, paralyzed…and a crypto genius who actually could be the genuine article Satoshi.

GARRETT MOLLOY: Really?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Only, he’s not either.

Pause.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: It’s a small and darkening world. I don’t believe that, deep down, you want to make it worse. You should not be here, Garrett.

ANNIE ELLIS: You’ll end up like us. You begin on mission…but as the years pass, you begin to examine if the compromises are worth the venture.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: If it was not just you, Garrett. What would you do?

GARRETT MOLLOY: I don’t follow.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: If you were not alone, what would you do with the money?

Pause.

GARRETT MOLLOY: I would go back home. I would travel south, to the muck and try to start over. That would be worth it, if it wasn’t just me.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Annie, I have an idea. I need to smooth it all over with Mr. Bruce, but if you can keep the faith, I have an idea.

ANNIE ELLIS: I was hoping you’d say that. Since, it’s dissolving anyway…

GIBSON MOLLOY: Yes, perhaps.

ANNIE ELLIS: But, just the three of us? Is it possible?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Annie, my wife loves the story of three guys who are thrown into a furnace. Injustice and certain doom, of course. Only, when the executioners peer into the fire…they see four people. It’s not just the three of them anymore…and not a one of them are burning.

GARRETT MOLLOY: Is that true?

ANNIE ELLIS: True or not, those are words worth believing in.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: When push comes to shove, sometimes you get moved.

GARRETT MOLLOY: Really?

Pause.

GARRETT MOLLOY: You would help?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: My little granddaughter, she loves stories and fairy tales and nursery rhymes, you know?

GIBSON laughs.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: But, she can barely stay focused. We have to go back, again and again, because she laughs at the strange words or when I do the voices and then I, of course, can’t keep a straight face when she begins to giggle.

Pause.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: It takes forever to get through even the shortest bedtime story. We always have to do it again and go back to the start. Her favorite rhyme is “Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pale of water…”

ANNIE ELLIS: “Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.”

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Do you know what Jack and Jill needed?

ANNIE ELLIS: Indoor plumbing?

GARRETT MOLLOY: Cover.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Yes, that’s right. That’s right.

Pause.

ANNIE ELLIS: So, we’ll make a mess of this together?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: If you’re keen to finish what you’ve started, I’d say it’s worth a shot.

###

Read what happens in Scene Six “Interrogation”.

Spread the word about FOUR BUCKS A NAME to your amigos.  Please & gracias.

(JSJ)

YHF13.05

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About The Author

J. Stephen Jorge

Please, give my latest book a read. It's called AMIGO: Small Stories and Tall Tales of Hope. I'd love to hear what you think. Connect with me at http://www.jsjorge.org sometime. Gracias.

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