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 scene one.

The sound of heavy footsteps as GIBSON MAGUIRE paces back and forth…

GIBSON MAGUIRE: So, you see it.  Right?

ANNIE ELLIS: Yes.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: You see my problem.

ANNIE ELLIS: Yes, I see.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: So, you understand. Understand where I’m coming from?

ANNIE ELLIS: Of, course.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Understand my position, our predicament?

ANNIE ELLIS: Yes, Mr. Maguire.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: This is from on-high. This comes from Mr. Bruce.

ANNIE ELLIS: Sure.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Everything is hot all over.

ANNIE ELLIS: I understand.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Now. You know I would if I could, Annie.

ANNIE ELLIS: But, things–

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Things are out of control. Letters from the AG. Reporters asking questions. Things are crazy.

ANNIE ELLIS: Things used to be different.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Things were different.

ANNIE ELLIS: Seemed different, then. Then, we had a purpose.

Pause.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: But, that’s the trouble with success, isn’t it?

ANNIE ELLIS: Things go right, demands go up.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Pressure makes a mess of all our good intentions.

ANNIE ELLIS: That’s right…

GIBSON MAGUIRE: It’s not your fault. No one is to blame here.

ANNIE ELLIS: I want to fight this.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Now, please don’t get that way. Don’t take it that way. Don’t take it personally.

ANNIE ELLIS: No, no, no, no…

GIBSON MAGUIRE: You’re going to be fine. You’ll move around a bit. Slide around the system.

ANNIE ELLIS: I’ve been with you for–

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Don’t worry. You’ll find your new spot. Find a niche that suits you better.

ANNIE ELLIS: So, there’s no chance…

GIBSON MAGUIRE: No. This office is to dissolve.

ANNIE ELLIS: I’m not sure I understand the reason I’m being singled out.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: It’s not that way. It’s not that way at all.

ANNIE ELLIS: I think it is that way, Gibson. I think so.

Pause.

ANNIE ELLIS: Is Heather’s operation facing this too?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: This isn’t about performance. It’s about the whole of the company and where we are headed. We’re trying to build something lasting here. You know this. Our mountain matters! Mr. Bruce is taking a high-level view of it and protecting our growth.

ANNIE ELLIS: This “mountain” didn’t fall from the sky…came up from the dirt. Wealth is dug out from the base of a hill, from the ground up–by the very people who will never experience–

GIBSON MAGUIRE: You’re losing me, Annie.

ANNIE ELLIS: Oil too; sucked up from the bowels by men who risk their lives to– What riches drop from on-high, exactly? I’d really like to know.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: The point is–

ANNIE ELLIS: Treasure. It rises like heat.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: The. Point. Is. Your office has been on a slippery slide

ANNIE ELLIS: This entire “business” is one awfully slippery slope.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: And I’ll drink to that. But, see: Now, I know you’re taking this personally.

ANNIE ELLIS: What are you talking about?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: You think of this as your business. That’s what you think, isn’t it? Is that what you think, Ms. Ellis?

Pause.

ANNIE ELLIS: Ridiculous. How can I take ownership of something, when the work is so distant as to make it all meaningless?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: If you want to see the cards, just ask me. I will lay them flat on the–

ANNIE ELLIS: We are not doing this right now.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I’ve always been up front with you, up to your level of readiness.

ANNIE ELLIS: I know that much.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Your blinders are your blinders.

Pause.

ANNIE ELLIS: After this news, I think I need them more than ever.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Fact is.

Pause.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Fact is, paranoia is setting in all over. Everyone knows they are being watched, by everyone. Our work has to change shape again, so as to stay effective.

ANNIE ELLIS: I can deal with the ambiguity. You know that, Maguire! I’ve been tested before.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Then treat this as another test.

Pause.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: You did your job. You’ve done good work. Now, just move over and we’ll slide you around.

ANNIE ELLIS: Just like that.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Just like what? How would you like it?

ANNIE ELLIS: A sign of sympathy would be appropriate.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I’m not paid to offer gestures.

The sound of a desk phone ringing.

ANNIE ELLIS: You’re right, you’re right. I get it.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Do you? Do you really?

Ring.

ANNIE ELLIS: I do. I’m no idiot.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: You’ll slide right in…

Ring.

ANNIE ELLIS: If you’ll excuse me: I need to take this call.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Why? You’re closed.

Ring.

ANNIE ELLIS:  My doors aren’t shut yet. There’s still good work to be done.

GIBSON MAGUIRE: Uh-huh.

Ring.

ANNIE ELLIS: Why not go out with a bang?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: You’re giving me gray hair, Annie. I need to be certain you can wind this one up well. I gotta be able–

ANNIE picks up the phone, her hand placed over the receiver…

ANNIE ELLIS: Trust me. You can, Gibson.

…To voice on the other end of the phone…

ANNIE ELLIS: How may I help you?

GIBSON MAGUIRE: I trust you, baby. You’re not my problem.

###

Read what happens in Scene Three “Affirmation”.

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

(JSJ)

YHF13.02

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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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