Et tu, Antonius?
By Alexander Barsher
In a town of about 20,000 in the rural part of any state, a water park is being built. The park will bring jobs and new residents to the town. The project is being funded by Jackson and Co., a large construction firm. A group of male construction workers have just gotten off work. It’s Friday night. They are looking for something to do.
ANTHONY: Outgoing, louder, impulsive.
TYLER: Quieter, smarter, has some sense.
MOM: Mother of Tyler.
JACOB KREIS: Friend of Anthony and Tyler, dropped out in 5th grade.
MR. JACKSON: CEO of Jackson and Co., wealthy, mid 60’s.
ANNA JACKSON: 18-23 years old.
POLICE OFFICER 1: Early 50’s.
POLICE OFFICER 2: Mid 40’s.
BODY GUARD: Mid 30’s.
SECRETARY: Mid 20’s.
Tyler and Anthony enter stage left. They stop at Anthony’s car (5 chairs in the middle of the stage).
ANTHONY: You got any deodorant?
TYLER: No, why?
ANTHONY: I stink, and I don’t want to go home and take a shower.
TYLER: You going to go out?
ANTHONY: Yea, I want to.
TYLER: What are you thinking about doing?
Anthony is rummaging through his bag. Anthony looks up.
TYLER: What are you doing tonight?
Anthony puts on a new but dirty shirt.
ANTHONY: I think me and a few other of the guys are going to the bar? You wanna come with us?
TYLER: Yea, but I got to stop home to see my mom and shower. We did work today.
ANTHONY: What time is it?
ANTHONY: How long are you going to take?
TYLER: An hour and a half.
Tyler gathers his belongings and starts walking backwards towards stage left.
ANTHONY: Why so long?
Tyler is moving quicker.
TYLER: I’m bussing, and the main highway is closed.
ANTHONY: You’re right. Anyways 8 at the bar?
TYLER: Sounds good.
Tyler sees passengers getting onto the bus and yells, “Hold that bus.” He sprints off stage left.
Tyler enters stage left, into his and his Mom’s living room.
TYLER: (Tyler shouts) Mom?
Mom enters stage right.
MOM: Yes, honey?
TYLER: How are you?
MOM: I’m fine.
TYLER: What did you say you needed help with?
MOM: When did I say that?
TYLER: You called an hour ago saying you needed help with something.
MOM: Ohhh, right, right, I need you to fix the roof.
Tyler gives her a confused look.
MOM: The roof.
MOM: It’s been leaking for weeks.
MOM: I just don’t have the money to pay a repair man.
Mom leads Tyler to the other side of the living room.
MOM: I just don’t have the money. Oh, your father left me nothing.
Mom stumbles on a creaky floor board.
TYLER: Are you ok?!
MOM: While you’re at it you should fix the floor too.
Mom smiles and lifts up the defective floor board and takes out a wad of cash.
MOM: For helping me. (She smiles)
Tyler, stunned, laughs under his breath.
TYLER: C’mon mom I don’t need that. Let’s go fix this leak.
The two walk up a few more steps and move a couch. Mom shows Tyler the puddle, Tyler takes a look around and begins to chuckle.
MOM: What is so funny?
Mom looks around like she’s thinking really hard.
TYLER: MOM! (Annoyed, but laughing)
Looking down at the ground there is a puddle of water and there are a couple glasses on the floor.
TYLER: I think you just spilled some water.
MOM: What? No! There’s a leak, I swear.
Tyler picks up glasses, gets a nearby towel, and kneels to clean up the water.
ANTHONY: I think this whole thing is a ploy to get me back over here.
TYLER: I think this was just a ploy for you to get me over here.
Mom looks away embarrassed.
TYLER: Ok, well, I have plans tonight.
Mom looks defeated.
Tyler gives a quick kiss to his mom and walks stage left from where he entered. He pauses before he exits, and looks back at his mom.
TYLER: You know I love you.
MOM: I know, I know, I love you too, it’s just.
Mom looks at the ground and shuffles her feet. Tyler takes a few steps towards her.
MOM: It’s just hard to see you grow up, that’s all.
TYLER: When you have actual problems call me (Tyler says while chuckling and rolling his eyes).
MOM: Have fun tonight!
TYLER: I always do.
Tyler exits stage left. Mom hurries over and calls after him.
MOM: Make good choices tonight!
TYLER: (Tyler from of stage) Love you too mom.
Blackout, mom exits stage left.
Tyler wakes up at his mom’s house in the living room on the couch. He turns on the television.
TELEVISON: And in other news last night, Anna Jackson, daughter of construction tycoon Jack Jackson, owner of Jackson and Co was found unconscious on the side of the road. She is thought to have been raped and left for dead. Not until later did authorities find her at around 2 am and take her to the hospital.
Tyler looks incredulously at the TV and begins to get nervous. Mom enters from stage right with a tray.
MOM: Good morning, honey, how was last night? Fun?
TYLER: Yea…yea, it was good.
MOM: I made you breakfast.
Tyler stands up and looks nervously out the window.
MOM: I made you breakfast, honey. Is something wrong?
TYLER: Thanks. (Defensively) No, mom. I’m fine.
There is a brief pause. Mom looks out the window uncomfortably. She puts the tray on a coffee table in front of the couch.
MOM: Honey, are you sure you’re ok?
Tyler looks at his mom annoyed. Even more defensive than his first response.
TYLER: Mom, I’m fine!
Tyler looks away, annoyed, then back at the television.
Mom shakes her head and looks at the television.
MOM: Did you hear what happened to that poor girl?
TYLER: Yea, I did.
MOM: Awful, absolutely awful. How could someone rape her and then leave her on the side of the road like that? I just can’t believe someone could do that. Can you Tyler? Can you believe that?!
TYLER: Yea, it’s horrible.
Mom shakes her head, and exits stage right. A few seconds later the phone rings. Tyler picks it up from the coffee table. It’s Anthony.
TYLER: Hey……yea……yea……yea, I saw it…….it said she got-…….I know……do you think…..yea Jackson and Co……..yea Mr. Jackson……his daughter!……Thank god………..yea, if she was dead we would ……yea……. I think it’s better you stay home today………I’ll call you later……yea, I’ll see you Monday.
Blackout, End Scene
It’s Monday morning and the workers are preparing for work. This can be portrayed by them standing in line punching their work tickets. Anthony, Tyler, and Jacob are in line together.
JACOB: Hey, did you guys see the weekend?
Tyler and Anthony look at each other, and then look at Jacob.
JACOB: What did I say?
ANTHONY: You said “you guys see the weekend.”
JACOB: Man, I’m so nervous. Y’all don’t even know.
A brief second pause, the three look at the ground remembering Friday’s happenings.
TYLER: So, y’all see the news this weekend?
JACOB: Man, I just said that!
ANTHONY: (Anthony talking under his breath) Guys, we gotta calm down!
They are now at the front of the line and about to check their work tickets. They put on their helmets, walk out the work place, and await instruction. They sit down center stage.
ANTHONY: I’ve been thinking. (A brief pause) Maybe it’s better we tell Mr. Jackson we know who it is, but we want something in return.
Tyler and Jacob look at each other.
JACOB: Man, I don’t know, I think I’d be better to stay away from this.
Jacob and Anthony look at Tyler.
ANTHONY: What do you think Ty?
Tyler mulls over both ideas in his head.
TYLER: I kinda like Anthony’s idea.
JACOB: What?! It’s his fault we’re in this situation in the first place.
ANTHONY: Well suit yourself. Ty and I will go after work.
JACOB: There is no way I’m going.
Tyler shrugs his shoulders.
TYLER: It’s your choice.
Jacob, obviously irritated that his idea wasn’t used stomps off and exits stage left.
ANTHONY: Let’s go talk to him now. He’s probably around here somewhere.
TYLER: Yea, let’s get it over with.
Blackout, end scene.
The scene starts as Anthony and Tyler are led in from stage left by a secretary. They sit in two large expensive looking chairs.
SECRETARY: Mr. Jackson will be in shortly.
As the secretary exits stage left, Anthony and Tyler look at each other.
ANTHONY: She is so hot.
Ensuing conversation is under their breaths.
TYLER: Dude! We haven’t thought about this at all! Who are we even gonna say it was?!
ANTHONY: Calm down and let me handle this.
TYLER: How am I supposed to let you handle this when you have given it zero thought? You’re checking out his goddamn secretary and you’re a fucking idiot to begin with!
Anthony looks at Tyler distraught.
ANTHONY: Just calm down and let me handle it.
Mr. Jackson enters stage right flanked by a police officer, a secretary, and a body guard.
MR. JACKSON: My People tell me you have news about my daughter, but make it quick. I have a flight to catch in half an hour.
Anthony stands up to shake Mr. Jackson’s hand, body guard walks over and forcibly places Anthony back into his chair.
MR. JACKSON: You have five minutes.
ANTHONY: Well, Mr. Jackson, we know who raped and nearly killed your daughter.
Tyler looks at Anthony surprised, knowing no rape occurred.
MR. JACKSON: You have four minutes! Or the whole water park operation goes to Burnsville and this place goes back to being a ghost town!
ANTHONY: It was Jacob Kreis.
The Police Officer rushes out stage right. Tyler, stunned stares at Anthony, who has a smug look on his face. Mr. Jackson has a satisfied look on his face.
MR. JACKSON: Well, thank you for your time, escort yourselves out.
Mr. Jackson, body guard, and secretary exit stage right. Anthony and Tyler are left in the room.
TYLER: How…how…how could you!?
TYLER: You turned Jacob in! He’s going to go to jail! Maybe even for life!
ANTHONY: It was either you or him.
Anthony gets up and exits stage left. Tyler is left on stage alone stunned and infuriated.