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 onetwothreefour and five.

The sound of a ringtone.

GIBSON MAGUIRE answers the phone.

Yes. Mr. Bruce, I appreciate you returning my call.

Pause.

No, I certainly won’t miss this place.

GIBSON laughs.

Flight looks to be on time; booked solid too. Glad to be getting back home, in six hours anyway.

Pause.

I need to run something past you now, so that you can consider it before you we meet Monday.

Pause.

I’ve been mulling over a problem and I think I found a terrific solution with open potential. I need conditional approval to add a new line item expense to my division budget. I sent you a breakdown of Annie Ellis. Do you happen to have that in front of you?

Pause.

Yes, yes. Terrific. She has been the point person for…

Pause.

Yes, that’s right. But, you’ll see her expansive history with us, well before this specific unit…

Pause.

Right. I knew you’d agree that her skills transcend the role, even though she’s been a comfortable fit until these recent trying times.

Pause.

Well, that is why I would like to completely reassign her instead and keep her in my division.

Pause.

And here is where I need you to assume with me that the P&L will benefit by a new unit.

Pause.

No, not necessarily based on the current stratagem. There is a new potential partner, I actually met with him directly; and there is an opportunity to go back to basics, back to the original intent with this unit.

Pause.

You and I have talked about that and I know that you see the mission drift that has been universally tolerated.

Pause.

Well, that’s the problem, isn’t it? At some point those of us who have been here since day one must admit the control we’ve testified to is gone. We haven’t been able to bring things back around. Our people — like Annie Ellis — our gifted people see that and they harden. The wrong-headed agenda cements.

Pause.

We have to trust, we have to have faith that if we release the grip we say we need to keep, well…maybe we’ll be able to see the tectonic plates actually move our mountain to a place that will benefit more people.

Pause.

Well, yes, of course I understand the numbers. That’s not…

Pause.

Yes, but to grow anything, you know, first a seed must die.

Pause.

Okay, yes. I do have some numbers for you. Hear me out, Mr. Bruce.

Please…

Seventy-six. That’s the age of a man named Reed. He died in your city, sir, last year…at the ripe ol’ age of seventy-six.

Nearly fifty. This man, this Mr. Reed, was almost fifty years-old when his wife finally learned his real identity: Willie Louis.

Eighteen. Willie Louis was a boy of eighteen, living in Jim Crow Mississippi, when he named names in open court, told of the kidnapping he saw and the beating he heard.

Fourteen. A young man traveled from your city, sir. A fourteen year-old boy named Emmett Till was visiting his grandfather in a town called Money. This boy was taken for evil questioning and beaten until he was no more.

One. There was only one Good Samaritan, only one Willie Louis. This young man spoke for Emmett Till and knew that if he answered the court’s questions it meant he would either have to flee his home or face a lynch mob. He answered.

Pause.

I know, sir. I believe you care. I believe you’ll  make the best call possible.

Pause.

The numbers tell the story. I understand that, Mr. Bruce.

Pause.

Annie Ellis is a pure designer of better states of possibility. Given the chance, and I think it’s arrived, I believe she can actually help some people; she can actually fulfill our mission.

Pause.

Sure. I’ll see you at the meeting. I’ll fine-tune the presentation on the flight and send you the next draft when we land.

Pause.

Of course. Always appreciate your time, sir.

###

Read what happens in Scene Seven “Escalation”.

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

(JSJ)

YHF13.06

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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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