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, four, five and six.

On the other end of the phone, GIBSON MAGUIRE: Annie? Annie. Is he there with you?

ANNIE ELLIS: Yes, that’s right.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Please, then, put me on speakerphone.

ANNIE ELLIS: Alright…you’re on.

Through speakerphone, GIBSON MAGUIRE: Hello, Mr. Molloy?

GARRETT MOLLOY: Yes, sir. I can hear you.

ANNIE ELLIS: We can all hear you, Gibson. How did it go? Did you get a chance to…

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Yes, I did. Sadly, yes I’m afraid I spoke to Mr. Bruce and I don’t have the best of news to share.

ANNIE ELLIS: He wasn’t receptive to your idea?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I don’t doubt he’s going to consider it, but his tone of voice told me everything.

Pause.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: It’s what I anticipated. Given the current climate, I was pushing him in the wrong direction.

GARRETT MOLLOY: I don’t understand. What does that mean?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Son, it means I could not do what I thought I could do.

ANNIE ELLIS: But, there is still a chance, right?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I’m not going to lie to you, baby. I don’t see this plan taking shape.

ANNIE ELLIS: So, I need to close up shop then.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Let’s not rush to judgment, Annie. There are other ideas.

ANNIE ELLIS: I’d be happy the world over to pursue some new ideas, Mr. Maguire. But, I certainly don’t want to cast about in vain.

GARRETT MOLLOY: Well, thank you both for at least giving me the time of day.

ANNIE ELLIS: Garrett, Garrett…I’m sorry.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Mr. Molloy, you’re visiting the office was like throwing a wrench into a broken machine.

GARRETT MOLLOY: What do you mean?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I think you actually are the tool needed to fix what’s wrong here.

GARRETT MOLLOY: Uh, okay.

ANNIE ELLIS: I’m sure Gibson means that as a compliment.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Of course, I do.

ANNIE ELLIS: Garrett, you came in at just the right moment to raise my expectations and I fear we’ve raised yours . But the office is closing and…

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Not necessarily, Annie.

Pause.

ANNIE ELLIS: What you are talking about?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I don’t think I can reassign you, but I do have the authority to make a different call on which one of the offices in my division folds.

ANNIE ELLIS: What are you thinking now?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Your office would remain open. Instead, I would close…

ANNIE ELLIS: Heather’s office?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Yes, I think so.

ANNIE ELLIS: Really.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I actually think she would transition better to another division than you would, Annie.

ANNIE ELLIS: She’s still a true believer.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: She appears so, yes.

ANNIE ELLIS: Only, I don’t see how that will work.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Sure, you can.

ANNIE ELLIS: Sure, I could yesterday; but, now…

GIBSON MAGUIRE: But, now you’ve released that idea.

ANNIE ELLIS: It’s gone.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I understand.

ANNIE ELLIS: I just can’t…I know I can’t continue the operation.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I don’t want you to.

ANNIE ELLIS: I can’t pretend anymore.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I’m not asking you to.

ANNIE ELLIS: If not that, then what?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Garrett, are you still there?

GARRETT MOLLOY: Yup.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Would you please tell Annie that it’s not going to be alright, but it will be something better?

GARRETT MOLLOY: He says…

ANNIE ELLIS: Yes, Garrett, thank you. I’m listening, Gibson. I’m hearing you.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Good, good. I think the office should remain open under a new directive…your original directive. You would work to recruit whomever you see fit. You can bring the best out of people and I’m confident you will.

ANNIE ELLIS: I could stay here. Is that what you’re telling me?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Yes. No, there is no reason to relocate your family. We just need to revise your work.

ANNIE ELLIS: Well…I wasn’t expecting that, sir.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: It wasn’t in the works; but, I think it will work.

Pause.

ANNIE ELLIS: Garrett, you said you would go back home, if you had the money, if you had the support.

GARRETT MAGUIRE: Sure, I would.

ANNIE ELLIS: Where’s home?

GARRETT sighs.

GARRETT MOLLOY: You can take sixty over to four-forty-one and then…well, if you look at the map, it’s pretty much the town that Lake Okeechobee squats down on. It’s like the stool of Okeechobee. About six thousand people. It’s a city called Pahokee.

ANNIE ELLIS: Pahokee?

GARRETT MOLLOY: Pahokee.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Mr. Molloy, if you returned home, what exactly would you do?

GARRETT MOLLOY: Well…I would…wow, I don’t see how it’s worth saying.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I need you to say. We need you to crystalize your thoughts here and speak them.

ANNIE ELLIS: If you had the money and support, Garrett. Please, tell us.

GARRETT MOLLOY: I would farm the muck.

ANNIE ELLIS: You would farm the muck?

GARRETT MOLLOY: If I could, I would.

ANNIE ELLIS: Garrett, you get more and more intriguing to me.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Do you have some experience with this? We don’t do much farming where I’m from.

GARRETT MOLLOY: Some, yes. Most of it, well, I spent quite a bit of time shadowing an ADT in Afghanistan. I worked on increasing yields. I would need help to get started. But, I know, I think, I could do it there.

ANNIE ELLIS: Gibson, I can get him help.

GARRETT MOLLOY: But, I have no way to go down there, nothing. And I know I’m not going to see a dime from the names on my list. Right?

ANNIE ELLIS: You’re right, Garrett.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Your list won’t be the payday you expected, Mr. Molloy. That’s true.

GARRETT MOLLOY: So, since that is true, why are we dreaming up some imaginary future? This is bunk, isn’t it?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: It is if you’re not serious. It is bunk, if you’re not in this.

ANNIE ELLIS: Garrett, sit down. Please, Garrett, look me in the eyes.

Pause.

ANNIE ELLIS: You opened up and you weren’t wrong to do so. Forget about the names for a minute. If you believe you can act on this dream, you were right to tell us. You’re allowed a dream.

GARRETT MOLLOY: There is good soil there. There’s gotta be.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Good, Garrett. Good. Then we’re all in agreement and I will fund the inception myself.

GARRETT MOLLOY: What?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I’ll make sure you have seed money. Annie will manage the resources with you.

GARRETT MOLLOY: Why? Why would you do that?

ANNIE ELLIS: Garrett…

GARRETT MOLLOY: Why would you stick out your necks for me?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Because…when you assume the worst about someone, you kill.

ANNIE ELLIS: You kill off hope.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Sure Annie, but you quite literally kill. Why, Jonathan Ferrell was shot ten times for nothing more than crashing his car in the wrong neighborhood in the middle of the night! Renisha McBride was gunned down for knocking on a door. For what? Because people are scared and they close off, hearing only the beat of their deceitful hearts, assuming the worst and shooting in the dark.

Pause.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Because, I believe that if we help each other, well then, Garrett…we’ll guard our hearts instead of our ground.

Pause.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Because when someone needs help, you give them help, not hell.

Pause.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I’m sorry. But, that is our business, isn’t it? Is it not?

ANNIE ELLIS: It’s the business I signed up for, that’s certain.

GARRETT MOLLOY: Thank you.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: No need, Mr. Molloy. No need. Annie, going forward, any discussion about this project should be handmade correspondence.

ANNIE ELLIS: I understand.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I’ll make sure you have a check on Tuesday morning.

ANNIE ELLIS: I’ll take care of provisional items until then.

GARRETT MOLLOY: What will happen with the notebook?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: We can trust Annie will realize the best course of action for the names. Listen, I’m about to board. Listen to me: whatever worries bubble up, you need to shape them into prayers and let them go.

The sound of a dial tone and the click of a disconnection.

ANNIE ELLIS: Well, I’d say he’s serious about this plan of action, Garrett. I am too. You need to know that, ya’ know?

GARRETT MOLLOY: I have no doubt about that. But, does it matter? I’ve seen enough to doubt it will work.

###

Read what happens in Scene Eight “Introspection”.

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

(JSJ)

YHF13.07

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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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