(Here is a poem from JQ’s upcoming book of poetry, Escaped Energy, which will be released on Amazon on September 4th, 2020)
Quiet down now, beautiful little bygones.
Your melancholy harmony was your greatest allure.
When I walk away like a cowboy into the sunset, you’ll miss
The point, and that’s something I’ll have to live with.
I’ll throw around words of distaste like boulders,
Looking for the golden ruling, but I’ll never be able to speak my heart.
Down by the water hole, I have reflected more than a man does in a
And I’ve found just as much, because there is only one answer,
The past is Four Roses on the rocks, and after a few,
I’m drunk in memories, though it’s easiest to forget.
Strangers will gather and help me sing this song,
That digs me deeper, closer to my grave.
The aces of life I laid on the table doubled its value,
But the dealer knew better and rigged the river,
And all that time wishing for the jackpot,
Left me with nothing but kindly banter from the others being played.
Yes, the fear of untimely change can make a man’s paunch ache,
Biting fingernails, sleepless nights, snappy judgment, blind eyes,
Rest assured, everything will be all right.
But first things first, get through the night alive.
Today I’ll ponder mortality; tomorrow I’ll fight it.
And that’s the answer, every time.
Today I’ll drink and toast. Tomorrow I’ll find a new town,
And call it my own, until it’s time for my sunset again.
This is a Journey, This is a Test
Comrades, marauders, vagabonds,
This is a Journey!
We’re all welcome to join,
But I must confess-
The mind can mimic a field of crickets,
Chirping in unison.
The mind can mimic a field of mines,
Combusting all at once.
Nomads, wanderlust-ed, and all who are curious,
This is a test!
We’re all destined somewhere,
Whether we like it or not;
The soul in good hands finds a home with company to rest anew.
The soul in bad hands finds no home, no rest, and tries again from learned mistakes.
Many times, I’ve lost a friend, and many nights I’ve cried,
Pulling petals from daisies just to let myself know I tried.
I’ve burned a lot of flower stems to bring flame to a candle,
So I can see the past’s picture, though it’s one that’s hard to handle.
And still I can’t sleep until, the slow, heavy rain,
Has hit the rooftop, and carried sounds, that help me drift away.
I’ve walked on many cobbled roads, and maybe hitched a ride,
But still and will I walk along until I’ve aged and died,
All my life I’ve been alone, with hopes of friends to share,
And some have joined, temporarily, now they travel roads of theirs.
And still I can’t sleep until, the slow, heavy rain,
Has hit the rooftop, and carried sounds that help me drift away.
I think about the things I’ve done, and wonder if I’ve tried,
If there was something I could have done, to stop the teared goodbyes.
But the golden rule I’ve learned from life, is people come and go,
I can only hope our paths cross again,
Someday, while I walk with flowers in my hands along the cobbled roads.
Still I can’t sleep until, that solemn, heavy rain,
Has hit the rooftop, and carried sounds that help me drift away.
– Jasper 9uince
Cold and Golden, Act 1 Scene 1
Within the heart of Ajo, Arizona, outside thermometers reach temperatures climbing above 100 degrees. Children stay inside from parents’ fear of dehydration and heat stroke. Constantly humming throughout town, air conditioners, dials clocked on Ice, keep their owners refreshed inside most houses. 114 Newbury St. five-year-old Danny watches cartoons from the floor. Still in his pajamas, he shovels the last of his lunch into his mouth without looking away from the T.V. The father, David Blaisdell sips his beer, sprawled on a recliner in boxer shorts and a grey undershirt. His mouth hangs half open, as he is obviously lost in thought. Danny grabs the remote off the coffee table and turns up the volume loudly.
DAVID: (Mouth snaps shut, and head twitches from the sharp noises of the T.V.) Dan… Danny, Ugh. (rubbing eyes) Turn it down. Turn it down, I said. (fumbling his beer, but regaining composure)
DANNY: But Daddy, (hurriedly) Professor Roboticus’ Whacky World of Robot Mucaannix is on…
DAVID: Mechanics. Do you even know what Mechanics means, Danny Boy?
DANNY: (shrugging) I dunno…
DAVID: Well, sit on my lap and Daddy (slams his empty beer on the table, not realizing his own strength) will tell you what mechanics means so that maybe you’ll understand your (emphasis) cartoon a little better and maybe you’ll understand what Daddy does for a living.
DANNY: But Daddy (whining, fists banging the floor) it’s gotta wait… Professor Roboticus is never on, and I hardly get to watch it ever.
DAVID: (offended) You don’t want to know what Daddy does to keep this (sarcasm) wonderful roof over your head and food on the table?
DANNY: (ignoring father’s last question) Daddy can I have pudding now? I almost finished all of my lunch.
DAVID: (Voice rising) Danny! Come over here and listen to what Daddy has to say. He’s got a lot on his mind. You don’t want to make him angry. You really don’t.
(The phone rings)
DANNY: I got it! (jumps up and runs down the hallway, into the kitchen, still seen in the background, his voice echoes into the living room. David throws his arms in the air and let’s them fall to his lap)
Hello? (pause) Mommy! (pause) unh-uh. (pause)Okay. (pause) I built a dinosaur out of Legos today! His name is David after Daddy because he’s a daddy and Daddy dinosaur has (counts on fingers) two baby dinosaurs…(Long pause) Okay Mommy! Love you too!
(David sits up and grabs the remote. Punching in the numbers, the television fizzes to Women’s Beach Volleyball. David rubs his stomach and the thought of another beer runs through his mind. Every so often he shoots glances down the hallway at choice words Danny says.)
(Danny stomps in excitement back to the living room)
DANNY: Mommy’s gonna be home soon! Yay!
DAVID: (Sarcasm) Splendid.
DANNY: (Upset when he sees his T.V show has been replaced) Wha… what happened to Professor Robotic()
DAVID:(Grinning) Shows over Danny boy. Wanna watch some (emphasis) real grade-A Television Danny boy()
Danny begins to cry.
DANNY:(Through tears and choking) But Da-ad-ddy… You’re being a big jerk today!(folds arms across chest)
DAVID: I’m not liking this behavior from you son. I taught you better than to whine about the itty- bitty things. If everyone cried about every problem in the world, we’d be in for one hell of a flood.
DANNY: (Mumbling) You sweared…
DAVID: (voice raising) And I can swear in my hellhole of a house if I want to Danny boy. It’s part of being the grownup. It’s part of (Wondrously) Mechanics. (Shifting his ass around in the recliner to get comfortable) Hey, I got an idea, want to see what Daddy has been up to in the basement these past few weeks, our little secret from mommy. It’s a surprise for her; mechanics at its finest.
DANNY: (wiping away the wetness from his eyes) Okay.
DAVID: (places a hand on each arm of the recliner, pulls himself up,) I’ll be right back. You just wait. (and wobbles out of the room)
(Danny smiles to himself, grabs the remote from the recliner, and changes it back to Professor Roboticus)
Moments later, David comes back balancing in both hands a large blanket covered mystery. As he walks down the hallway, he trips on a toy block(Orange fruit slice) Danny left earlier. David takes a tumble, his prized possession glides for a half second in the air, and comes to a fateful crash. David falls in an attempt to save the blanketed mystery.
DAVID: (Face deep red) DANNNY! Mother fucker!
The front door swings open. In walks Lenora, his wife, carrying a worker’s suitcase and a coffee and keys in the other hand. She walks in right on time to hear the utter discourse. Danny strays his eyes away from the Television and directs his attention to the accident. Fear induced, the boy gets on his legs, places his hands on his bottom, and bites his lips.
LENORA: (Shrill, sharp tongue) David!(huffs) That’s it! You’ve been drinking again. You’ve been swearing with Daniel around again. Dr. Lipchitz infers that acts of violence can cause permanent social damage to children at Daniel’s age! Do you want our son to fail in life like your sorry behind? (struts over to the mess) You smell like booze (Sigh, as she helps David up) What is wrong with you lately?
DAVID: (Still very flustered) So many hours. So much goddamn money…
LENORA: (interrupts) What money…
DAVID: Now’s not the time to talk about it, Lenora. Just help me pick up this mess our (Looking over to Danny) Son has made.
LENORA: Our Son, didn’t do anything! It’s you David. Always has been. Always will. You know I’ve been thinking…(Monotonous voice)
DAVID: Don’t do this Lenora. Not now. These pieces (Holding shreds of wires attached to plastic blocks) are the essence of my existence. This was going to get us that million dollar house Len. That circle pool in the backyard with a slide for Danny and a diving board! Len, a diving board. Oh and brand new cars. (looking down at the mess) But…
LENORA: (monotonic)Fix it.
LENORA: Well, what(Voice raising)
DAVID: Baby, can we maybe talk in private about this…
LENORA: Danny, go to your room. (Hesitance from Danny)Now. (Forefinger points away up the stairs to the opposite end of the hallway)
Danny hustles out of the room. The sound of the t.v. still reverberates through the hall. Lenora, remains silent, arms folded against her chest. David slowly places the rest of the mess on the floor.
DAVID: (Quietly, hands motioning towards the couch) You might, uh, want to sit on the couch for this one.
LENORA: Oh Jesus David! Just tell me already!
DAVID: Alright, so. (Hands rub together) You know that little trust fund we’ve been saving up for Danny… Well it’s about two- thirds smaller than originally.
LENORA: (Utter shock) David No! NO! Goddamn it David. Get the fuck out of this house. I don’t want to see you for a while. At least give me the night to clear my head. You fucking idiot. You fucking, fucking idiot.
DAVID: You want me to leave like this… I’m like four beers deep Len.
LENORA: David, get out. I’m not going to say it again, and if I do then we’re going to have some unwanted visitors to pay you a visit.
DAVID: So that’s how ya do me, Len. I yell at the boy for being a boy and you kick me out.
LENORA: Yeah, that’s how I do ya David. Please, this is your wife pleading you to go out for the night. I’ll give you money to rent a hotel. Go out to the bars. I just can’t see you right now.
DAVID: I don’t want your money. I’m starting to think Danny and you are teaming up against me to kick me out. Well if you want it that badly, I might as well go die in the fucking desert. (Ideas click in David’s brain) Haha, yeah. The desert baby! I’m going to the fucking desert. You like that… I might even die while I’m out there. That’d just put the ice in your cognac, huh Lenny…
LENORA: Don’t say things like that David. On the count of ten I’m going to call the cops. Don’t think I won’t. I have before and I will again if I feel my son is endangered. (Looking deeply into his eyes)1…
DAVID: (First smile in awhile) Can I at least pack my nighttime apparel for such an occasion…
DAVID: FINE! Have it your way. Tell Danny I love him.
(David leaves the mess and walks out the door. Before leaving, he turns around and looks at Lenora)
You know Len. You can be a supreme cunt.
(The door slams shut)
Curtains close with the crying of Lenora.
Cold and Golden Act 2, Scene 1
At the local supermarket/ alcohol depot, David searches for a celebratory drink in the wine aisle. There are a few others filtering through his gaze as he eyes his choice of beverage. Another man in his late forties takes a stand parallel to David.
DAVID: I’m not selective about my wine, I never understood the delectable tastes of it aged, however, I don’t recall ever trying cracking open a real old chianti.
The man looks at him a if David threatened him and walks away.
David: (To himself) Some people these days don’t like to brush up on the basics. Screw him. (Gives the man the middle finger behind his back)
A teeny bopper slinks down the aisle in a short black skirt, rugged jeans beneath with holes near the knees. She has her white-blonde hair down, but in no way is it taken care of. As she walks closer to David, we see the bags under her silver flecked, stone eyes. She stops next to David and stares down the wine bottles.
David: If you’re interested in a really good cheap wine… This one here is one of my favorites. If you’re in the celebratory mood, like most wine drinkers are, then I think you’ll find this one, (Emphasis) supreme.
David grabs a white wine off the shelf and hands her the bottle; grinning all the while. She looks at him as if he had done something wrong. Swiftly, she places her hand near the neck of the bottle and yanks it away from David’s hands. The bottle leaps from hand’s grasp and falls to the ground exploding in a fit of miniscule shards all jutting upward like a geyser; the smell of alcohol pungent. She shrieks, hands rising towards her face in defense as the collected droplets of wine splash upon her jeans, skirt, and tank top. Silence, the focus on the accident from eyes everywhere. David looks down.
GIRL: (Spitting like a snake) What the hell were you thinking! Fuckin’ crazy people sometimes. I mean, c’mon… What the fuck, man!
David: Listen, (trying to defend himself) mistakes happen. I’ll just go…
Girl: (Interrupting) Yeah, you’ll go, and leave me with this mess. (huffs)
Suddenly she storms off, without letting David utter a response, leaving him with the damage. A grocery clerk comes around the bend at the end of the aisle with a mop and bucket.
David: (Pacing back and forth around the mess) Use a broom first to pick up the glass shards. Believe me, it helps expedite the process.
The clerk looks up, shakes his head, and then continues to mop. David changes his mind about wine and decides to get a 30 pack of Schlitz stacked for display at the end of the aisle.
David: (muttering to himself) Gotta have my blood.
Act 2, Scene 2
The evening’s air is hot and dry. From the corner of David’s eye, the girl originating from the supermarket smokes a cigarette near two large bins of whole seedless watermelons, or so the sign above them says. Piqued by their earlier confrontation, David saunters over. When David reaches within twenty feet of her, she shoots a stare intimidating as a bear. David continues unperturbed.
GIRL: You come within five feet of me, I’ll mace the fuck out of you.
DAVID: Listen, I just wanted to (emphasis) apologize for what happened earlier.
David Halts and standing there for a moment, attempting to collect ideas to make this situation right. She stares at him and inhales her cigarette.
GIRL: Well… (Coughs vehemently) Out with it.
DAVID: I guess(Pause) that’s all I have to say. (Slides hands into pockets and looked down at the ground)
GIRL: (First casual voice since we met her) Want a cigarette?
DAVID: No thanks, I quit about a year ago.”
GIRL: Wanna split on a bump?
DAVID: (Looks up, quick as a bullet) Excuse me?
Her stare at David finally breaks as she whips her head to the left, dark hair fluttering about around her.
GIRL: (Mouthing off to the watermelon) I won’t repeat myself. But since you didn’t get it the first time, you should get the fuck outta here. (Without taking a breath or second to break thought)Want me to call the cops?! You one of those guys… (Coughs again. The cigarette in her left hand falls to the ground. Her hands clench to fists.) Go on. Scram! (Makes a scene by screaming at the top of her lungs like a barbarian)
David turns away, never looking back, feeling a little afraid for the first time tonight. He opens the truck door from the passenger’s side and slides the 30 pack of beer in. He then closes the door and walks around the truck to the driver seat, where he gets in and drives away.
DAVID: (Echoing) What a fuckin’ night…
Cold and Golden Act 3 Scene 1 (Run for your life)
This part may be filmed and played on a white screen for purposes that this probably could not happen on a set.
David’s truck ambles on down the edge of the desert. Cacti of various sizes, tall, small, stubby and exceptionally prickly dot the torrid blanket of sand in the evening. The full moon is a cat’s eye yellow, glaring down, lighting the whole desert as if it were dawn. David has his windows down, Don’t Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult blaring as loud as possible. His passenger has been opened already, a crumpled can on the floor, and high spirits for David.
DAVID: (Singing loudly) Come on, baby! We’ll be able to fuckin’ fly! (Laughs to himself)
His foot applies pressure to the gas pedal and the truck leaps to life. Rolling approximately 55 MPH, David has a great grin on his face, enthralled by the danger he has put himself into.
Haha! I feel (Emphasis) ALIVE, Dammit! (Punches his chest with his right hand. Punches again, and then twice more, more rapidly)
As the end of Don’t Fear The Reaper fades away, the sounds of many birds shrilly cawing can be heard, but cannot be seen.
DAVID: What the hell is that…(Pauses the next song as it begins. The chirping continues even at the high speed that David is going. He lets off on the gas pedal and pops his head out the window, hands still on the steering wheel, looking for an origin.)
Suddenly, a small humanlike black shadow is directly in front of the truck approximately 100 feet away. David stomps on the brakes, his heart leaps into his throat, face contorts in fear. The truck bends slightly to the right, sliding along the sand. The silhouette still stands there, the truck by no means being able to stop in time to avoid the hit. And when it does, the left front headlight clips the thing approximately 25 MPH. The blackness detonates into a clouded mass of wings from presumably crows fluttering up to the moon like bats. Hands clenched to the steering wheel, David convulses in his seat for a moment. The truck finally stops and the echo of birds from far away can still be heard.
DAVID: (Gasping) Whatthefuck, whatthefuck, AHH, JESUS! (Head rests on the steering wheel)
The film ends and the curtains open, or whatever. David’s head rests on the steering wheel like before, except now we’re in real time. The setting is similar to what we saw prior to the film ending, desert, the moon, and cacti in the distance.
(From offstage, the whisper of Danny’s voice, heard well by everyone, including the audience and David)
David’s head jerks up to the absurdly loud whisper.
DAVID: (instinctively) Daniel!
In the distance away from David and the audience, the black silhouette again stands just within eye’s sight illuminated slightly by the moonlight, but by no means revealing any identity. The voice, though, seems to emanate from it.
DANNY:(Still whispering)Dadddddddy, I know what mechanics is!
David grabs a beer from the case and opens the door. His feet land on the sand, but his eyes never leave sight of the dark shadow.
DAVID: Danny! What are you…(chugs a bit of his beer) doing out here all alone. Come here and see your pops.
The shadow does not move.
DAVID:Danny boy, do as your father says, you don’t want him to be angry at you…
DANNY: (Chortles in an uneasy way) But Daddy, I have to (Emphasis) show you what mechanics is!
The shadow begins to get smaller and smaller as it starts to walk further beyond sight.
DAVID: (Looking back at the truck and then to the shadow) Nonono, Danny. Just come here and everything’ll be all right. (He begins to walk toward the shadow) Just. Wait. There so I can… GODDAMN it! Daniel Joseph you get over here right now! I’m coming to get you, and it’s not going to be pretty when I catch you!
David starts to run toward the shadow, but the shadow keeps within a steady distance, laughing like a demonic child.
DAVID: (Angry scream) DANNNNNNNNY!
The shadow leaves dark imprints in the sand and David follows. Behind, the truck gets smaller and smaller until it is just as tiny as the silhouette was originally. Then David stops.
DAVID: This cannot be real. What the hell am I chasing()(Finishes the beer and crumples it up, tossing it to the sand)I’m in the desert, it’s almost night time, I just need some rest after a long ass day. (The shadow is still within eye’s distance. Always is.)
DANNY: (whispers) Daddy, come play…
David looks away for the first time. He begins to backtrack, but his foot kicks something in the sand. David looks down expecting to see the can he had recently crumpled, but what lies there instead is the toy that he had tripped over earlier in the day, the orange slice block.
DAVID: What. (Disbelief, he picks the toy up. His fingers trace the wood to make sure it is real. He smells it. Then immediately his eyes dart to the shadow.)
DANNY: Daddy, can we please play. I wanna show you what Mech…(cuts off, and silence)
DAVID: (Running as fast as he can) Danny! I’m sorry! Let’s play; let’s play all the games you want to play. Hey, (gasping) how about we build with your blocks! I have one right here! (huffing and puffing)
DANNY: (the voice sounds flat) Why are you mad
DAVID: (Hesitates out of shock but keeps running) I’m not mad. See, Daddy’s happy! See!(Forced Grin)
DANNY: You made mommy mad… (The voice trails off. Then laughter again, that evil laugh. David continues to run, looking at the tracks, the shadow still so far away. Then the laughs turn into screams. Danny’s flat laughter cut off and replaced by a deep monotonic scream.)
DAVID: NO! (David runs like he never has before. The tracks in the sand are now muddled with red splotches, and as he continues, the splotches fill the imprints. The scream stops. The shadow has stopped moving, and David finally catches up to it.
The scene is mortifying. Danny’s body lays crumpled to the ground, his head turned at David, eyes grey and foggy. Three black turkey vultures sit atop his body, tearing the flesh off his body and arms, ripping it maniacally, throwing their heads in the air and cawing. Blood is everywhere.
David, eyes in sheer rage, clenches his fists and dives at the vultures. Fists flailing, he manages to frighten the birds, who rise, their wings stretching to great lengths. Their aggressive caws, feel like a warning to get away, but David spits and yells, frothing at the mouth. They begin circling David.
DAVID: YAHH. AHH! NMPHH! (Swatting his arms over his head.)
The vultures lose interest in him and fly up toward the moon, where they get lost from sight. David looks down at Danny’s body, which has bleed thoroughly, creating a crimson puddle all around.
DAVID: Danny, no. This isn’t real! Nononono…(looks at his hand which has the toy block inside. The corner of it has punctured a small wound in David’s hand. His blood leaks, staining the wood block. David drops it.)
David goes to lay a hand on Danny, his face in such surprised denial, one may say he is witnessing his own funeral. But when he goes to touch Danny, the blood all over and around Danny rises like a mini tidal wave and swallows the remains. Spotty pieces of flesh near the body have their own way of getting swallowed. The blood settles and remains. And so, with just the large blood puddle left, David recoils in fear. His brows raise high, eyes wide as an owl’s. And he runs away back to the truck, screaming in a primordial bellow.
Act 3, Scene 2 “Mother May I”
Curtains open. David has slowed down from great lengths. He now walks at a fast pace, holding his head with his hand that isn’t bleeding and stumbling every few feet, following the tracks back. The desert night swallows most of the cacti around and almost swallows the moon. Dim lights.
DAVID: Oh my God. What just happened. I need to sleep. That’s all. Mother’s medication for everything… Sleep on it. (Half laughs to himself)
After about a minute of walking, just so the audience gets a generalization of how far David ran, the truck begins to come into view. The closer he gets, the more vivid the truck becomes, looking like a foul beast from the deep depths of a sandy hell. The driver door is open, and if the audience has been paying attention, they will realize that David had shut it, prior to the chase.
When David gets within twenty feet of the truck, he notices there is a dim aura enlightening the inside of the truck.
DAVID: Fuck, I hope my batteries not dea…
LENORA(Voice): (Interrupting) David… baby, I’m so glad to see you. Come here!(Her head protrudes from the thick illuminated aura. She looks beautiful as the first day that they met. David’s eyes widen once again, but for a different reason than before.)
DAVID: Lenny, is that you… My god, thank my fucking stars. Len, I’m so sorry for earlier. I had a nightmare…
LENORA: Hush sweetie. I know what happened. Just come here and everything will be alright. You, me, the desert, I think this can work out, (seductively) if you know what I mean.
DAVID: (Rubs his hands together) Len, it was awful. I saw Danny(stepping forward, small steps) and he was… dead, covered in blood. My god, the blood Len.
LENORA: It was all a dream David. Like the ones you have every night. Danny is at home asleep in his bed, tucked in and all. Now come here.
DAVID: (Hesitant to continue) My hands bleeding. I need something to bandage it up. I think there’s a…(looks down at his hand. The blood and cut are not there). Okay, never mind Len, don’t worry about it, I guess it was the dream.
LENORA: Of course it was just a dream. David…(David takes a step forward. Her voice is dry) I’m sorry about our tassel earlier, let’s get in the truck and go home.
The closer David gets, he begins to witness an expedited age process in the span of moments. Lenora’s fresh peachy cheeks begin to wrinkle then sag. The color in her hair begins to grey. Her voice cracks like a whip now.
LENORA: DAVID, why must you always be so stubborn. Give me a kiss hunny. Give. Me. A.( David is just outside the open door. Lenora’s teeth begin to drop like rain, until there is no more.
DAVID: My god, Len! What’s happening! ( Turns to the side and begins to upheave)
LENORA: (Seductively) DAAAAVID, I… (long pause) HATE your guts!( She screams like the birds, the vultures, but intensified by a large multiple) YOUUU are the reason why I look like this. David, you’re the reason why Daniel is dead. YOUUU! (She cackles madly)
DAVID: I didn’t do anything wrong!
LENORA: Oh but yes you (Emphasis) did! Every living day of my life is worse than hell because I married you. I used to be so beautiful, the boys would look at me and dream they could carry my bags just so they could talk to me, and now. (Short Pause, then bursting out in anger, her voice still the same despite her missing teeth) Now I decay like the dead, only I’m still alive to feel it!! I slave every waking hour of my life at the Law firm so I spend less time with you. I’m gonna give you back the love that you gave to me and (Emphasis) my son Daniel.
David looks into her eyes. Like swirling orange cyclones, he is magnetically drawn to them until he’s within breathing distance of her. Despite the heat of the night, he shivers.
DAVID: (Closes his eyes tightly) You aren’t real! I’m dreaming again. Get the fuck out of here you bitch, you banshee! (He hits his own head)
Lenora laughs at him, inches away. Her gums begin to bleed, and drool down the side of her face. Lips curl inward, and three grotesque, black thin tongues escape from between. She still laughs even though her face does not make the gesture. Wagging like a dog’s tail, the tip of all tongues lightly brush the top of David’s lip. He screams in fear, and once again convulses for a short moment, until he opens his eyes. Her hair has fallen off her head and to the floor. Lower jaw hangs like a wide door hinge, swinging slightly back and forth. The cackling getting louder and louder, until David covers his ears screaming for the madness to stop. Then she is cut short, like a clogged bagpipe.
LENORA: (Voice deflating) You know David, sometimes you can be a supreme fucker. (And with that, she deteriorates into a friable dust, and blows away altogether, hair also, with a random gust of wind.)
The night’s warm air returns and David sits in the sand near the entrance to the truck, rocking to and fro, arms crossed, hands tucked in his arm pits.
ACT 3, Scene 3
It is almost midnight. David has no grasp of reality, stumbling around the truck like a dog searching for his tail. The moon is directly above now, however, it can hardly be seen because of the mass fog that has accumulated. David’s head darts left to right to left, over and over, expecting some sort of danger, but only a deadly silence. ABSOLUTE SILENCE, besides his breathing(Which should be loud enough for the audience to hear well).
He pulls himself up, using the door as leverage, grunting the whole way.
DAVID:(Half believing) I’m going home. I am going home.
He fiddles in his pocket madly, searching for something, until he pulls out his keys.
DAVID: Daddy’s coming home, daddy’s gonna change. He’ll work on that new invention. He’ll make mommy happy. Changed man, lemme tell you. I gotta get out of here.
David gets in the truck from the passenger side, slides over to the driver and puts the keys in the ignition. The truck sputters to life. Pedal pressed firmly, the tires kick a fit of sand in the air, before it begins to go.
DAVID: Fuck, fuck, fuck, I need the radio.
Like a crazy person, he slaps the radio, near the knob to turn it on and music bombs the car, Gimme Three Steps, by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Screeches in fear, raises hands in the air, jumping from the loud sound, David attempts to turn it down, looking at the stereo. But when he looks up, he sees a very large cactus, thick and tall, protruding from the ground. He tries to avoid it, but whacks into it, like a piñata. Pins and cactus flesh explode and cover the windshield. The headlights bob up and down. The truck smacks into another cactus, spraying water everywhere (If ever possible, spray the crowd with water). Losing control of the truck, it follows up a sand dune, David trying hard to correct the steering, but the truck is lifted into the air, not too high, but high enough to come back down nose first, diving into the sand, burying itself, the only light, and David in the ditch. His head smacks the steering wheel, engine cut, all lights off. A quietness for 20 seconds, except the sound of the wheels spinning and grinding sand in the axles.
Finally, a loud elongated grunt. The truck lights flicker on, causing a dim light around only because they are buried, but the engine doesn’t turn over. The lights flicker dimmer for a moment, but then turn back on. The driver door creaks open and out from the rubble, David pulls himself up and out. His head is bleeding badly at this point, dripping onto his clothes. As soon as he is out, he lays on his back in the sand, groaning in agony.
From offset, after a long moment of David writhing in pain, the girl from the supermarket’s voice pierces the silence.
GIRL: (Monotonic) God is cold, death is golden, kiss his ass and go to heaven.
DAVID: (Pleading, crying, hands up to his face, palms up) No, no, no… no more. Just kill me already, take me the fuck away.
GIRL: That’s not how it works, David.
DAVID: (Whimpering) Why are you torturing me…
GIRL: Why do you torture yourself…
The moon disappears into the night. And falling from the sky, the three turkey vultures, their eyes a sable black, sharp beaks chop like scissors, land next to David, and caw madly, cocking their heads rapidly left to right.
GIRL: (Sternly) Get up.
David, Sobbing, flips his body over, now laying flat on his stomach.
DAVID: (Gritting his teeth) I said, take me away.
GIRL: I cannot do that David… but you can. I can enrich your life with infinite age, leave you here to wallow amongst the grains of sand that make this dessert. I can snap your bones, and make you slither like a snake what you think is home. But I cannot take you away from here. In fact, if I could, I still would not.
DAVID: I just… I just don’t know what’s going on! (Starts to pull himself to his knees, ever so slowly, the blood drizzling down his nose and dripping off the tip every few seconds)
GIRL: Want a cigarette…
DAVID: What kind of question is that at a time like this… If you’re not gonna kill me, then help me! I’m bleeding to death, dammit! (On his knees, he swats the birds away in a lackluster manner)
GIRL: Suit yourself.
David stands, the birds take steps back, and fall into vertical queue. The middle one’s wings stretch wide. The front one’s head bows down low. The headlights turn off and all is black. Three SOLID seconds, no more. The headlights flicker back on. The birds are gone, leaving David by himself in the desert.
DAVID: YOU forgot me! Take me away. TAKE me AWAY! Take me away, take me away. Takemeaway…
David looks around him. The desert stretches beyond the eye can see. He looks at the truck for a moment, then the sky, then the ground. And sits. The moon begins to come out again, its fullness illuminating the desert and once again, everything can be seen.
A long pause, that silence that keeps the audience on the edge of their seat. David stares aimlessly at the horizon. The blood drips onto is hands, and he looks down at them.
DAVID: (Murmuring to himself) I’m never gonna leave here…
With that said, David looks up. From the distance, a tall dark mass that can hardly be seenenvelopes everything in its way. David winces.
DAVID: When will this stop…
The girl’s voice once again whispers, for the final time
GIRL: Whenever you want it to.
DAVID: (Arms in the air) I want it to stop now!
The dark mass creeps closer. As it gets closer and closer, its form can be seen; a dark tidal wave, washing over the sand dunes, cacti, and sporadic rocks that jut out from the sand. The wave is as tall as a three-story house, and is continuing forward to David. David hardly moves, but his eyes tell more than his actions.
David Screams bloody murder (not to be cliché)
(Now we can see that this tidal wave is not so ordinary, but a crimson wave of blood, splashing and spurting in infinite directions, consuming all in its path.)
David snaps, his attitude changes, eyes staring into nothingness, digs his hands in the sand, and grabs a handful. Shoving it into his mouth, he adds more and more, screaming arbitrary sludge talk the whole time. He chokes , but still is screaming. The wave is closer than ever, he shovels more sand down his throat. As the wave finally hits him, he writhes around, legs flailing as if he is flipped and turned by the tidal wave, however, the wave disappears immediately when touching David. Without much left, David still thinks he is inside this blood tidal wave until, still trying to shove sand down his throat, until he bemoaningly stops moving and dies.
The curtains close.
We are back at David’s house. His wife is at home, three days after the death of David. Lenora is in the kitchen making Danny lunch.
(The doorbell rings)
(Lenora Hastily stops what she is doing, walks to the living room and opens the door. An officer stands, hands clasped together near his groin area, head bowing a tad.)
LENORA: (unsurprised) Hello.
OFFICER: Hello, Mrs. Blaisdell…
LENORA: Yes, that is me.
OFFICER: I’m Officer Rick Fronan from The Ajo Police Department. Do you mind if I come in…
LENORA: Of course… Does this have to do with my husband…
The two step inside but don’t make it much past the door.
OFFICER: It seems we found your husband, and I’m sorry to be the one to deliver the news, but he is dead.
Lenora spills a tear from her eye.
LENORA: I had a feeling… How did he go…
OFFICER: Well…(Taking off his hat and scratching his head) your husband was 20 miles deep into the desert. We call that area no man’s land. His truck was found nose first in a ditch. Your husband must have pulled himself out, and died from a fair amount of sand in his stomach esophagus, and mouth. We found a case of beer in the passenger seat. We speculate that to be the cause, however, we have to wait for the autopsy.