Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Monologue Mania Day # 1537 The Devil Comes to River Bend (one-act) by Janet S. Tiger (c) May 2, 2018

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Monologue Mania Day # 1537 The Devil Comes to River Bend  (one-act)  by Janet S. Tiger (c) May 2, 2018       

                          The Devil Comes to River Bend (c) all rights reserved
                                            (one-act)  Scene 1 opening
                                              by Janet S. Tiger

(The set is simple, suggesting parts of a small Texas town - good lighting will be helpful.  
A man enters, the collar on the man's outfit shows he is a pastor, and he has a book, that he holds, looking out at the crowd.)

PASTOR -  It is a beautiful Sunday, isn't it, my friends?  Let's get a big thank you for the Lord on this one!           (He raises his hands high) Amen!  Let me hear you say!  
Well, I know God can hear you because he hears it all, but can't hear you......

          (He gets the crowd to join him)

PASTOR - (Very loud)  A......Men! 

          (He puts down his arms) 

PASTOR - That was better, I thank you, and the Lord thanks you.
For some of you who are starting to lean on their family members or the edge of the pew, I can tell you figure I am about to commence my sermon, so you have a few minutes to doze off until you hear the next amen.  Well, today is different.....there will be no sermon today.....because I want to talk about something very our little community, there was a tragic automobile accident, where two young boys were killed by a man who had had too much to drink.  And then that man who had too much to drink was person or persons unknown. 

Now when I say unknown, I mean unknown to the police. 

There are several people who DO know.  We all know that God knows.....that's why we are here.  And the person who pulled that trigger knows.........and there is a good chance that someone in this congregation knows something......but there is another entity who knows.....and we all know who I am talking about, because we are a very knowledgeable group! 

The devil knows. 

He knows because he has been here in this town!  He was next to the drunk man when he was taking another whiskey.....he was there when that drunk man....and we all know his name, but that fact is not important here.  The devil was the one who whispered into the drunk man's ear to get into a car and drive.......and now, the devil is havin lunch with someone in this town, someone who knows the truth about what happened. 

A man is in jail, and he is going to be convicted unless that person stops eatin with the devil!  I don't care if you are having breakfast or dinner, or just a cup of coffee with the devil, you hafta stop now!  And if someone is sittin here listenin to me thinking, that's not me, I don't do nothin with the devil, let me tell you, the devil is always sniffin around, lookin for the next person who has set a place for him.....and if that person is you, here is what I say.....(very loud)......DO NOT SET A PLACE FOR THE DEVIL!  TAKE AWAY THAT GLASS AND PLATE AND NAPKIN, BECAUSE THE DEVIL IS NEVER UP TO ANY GOOD! 

And if you know someone who is having dinner with the devil, or breakfast, or whatever, and you do nothin.....then you have set a place as well! 

We cannot be saved, we cannot be happy in heaven someday....if we set a place for the devil today! 

            (Takes a deep breath) 

And let us say.....Amen!        

    (He wipes his brow, nods) 

And now for a few words about our upcomin events, including our ice cream social, which is always must appreciated during these hot August nights!  Mrs. Lilliput....... 

          (He turns to walk off, stops, looks back)

 Although I know some of you nodded off somewhere  in the middle, I hope that the devil heard every word......and that his dinner partners understood every word.  Because justice is never the dessert of the devil, justice is the strawberry delight of the angels! 

         (He smiles and exits, with a very special look at one person as he leaves.  Lights on Maria Verduga, a hispanic woman, perhaps in her late thirties, slight accent, she is calm.  The lighting indicates she is in a confessional. She crosses herself)  

MARIA - Forgive me father, for I have has been,  how long?  Over one year since my last confession.  I just couldn't come after they arrested my husband.  It was too hard, too many things.  First the funerals, then the arrest.  No, I had a lot of doubts this year. 

        (She listens) 

Yes, father, we are the family in the newspaper. 

The trial is over.  That is why I come to see you now.   I knew they would not convict my husband ...... There are good things to living in a small town…….these are our friends on the jury.   

 They knew he could not kill that man.....even though that man killed my sons…even though that man was drunk, my Jorge is not a killer. 

       (She remembers, her eyes seeing that day) 

My sons were helping my husband right in front of our house, unloading the car of the groceries from the Home Depot, so they could plant the garden for me this year.  They were old enough now to help, to dig, to work hard.   Peppers, three different kinds……one caliente….very hot, another mild……some cilantro……a rose bush because I like roses…….they are pretty….. 

        (She takes a deep breath) 

My only sons.  Jose was only 10,  his brother only 7.  They were good boys... they were helping their father. 

The man who killed them was not a good man husband was horrified.... the car hit them so fast  they were dead  before the ambulance came ......we had to have ..(hard to say) … closed coffins..... 

        (She takes out a handkerchief and blows her nose.) 

But shooting the drunk man that killed our sons, that my husband did not do.
The police said it was him, but I knew it was not him.   They tested him for gunpowder, there was no gunpowder on him and there was no gun.  They never found the gun. 

That man that kill my boys ….  many people might want him to be dead. 

He had accidents before this, he was drunk many times.  But still he drives, still he drinks.
How many more good children would he have killed?  I am not sad he is dead, I do not cry for him….. 

        (She looks and nods.) 

What if he was drunk again, and driving near your city……would he have killed your brother, your sister?  Their children? 

I am glad that man is dead.  My husband is a free man now...... it only took the jury a few hours to decide because they know he would never kill anyone. 

How do I know that?   Because I shot that man.  

        (She listens) 

But I was raised to come to you, father, so I accuse myself....... of killing a bad man.   I kill that bad man and if I did the wrong thing then I will be having breakfast with the devil someday. 

        (She listens, then stands up to leave.  Turns back.) 

Thank you father.   I also accuse myself of lying to the police.  I did know where the gun was.  I put it in one of the coffins. 

       (She crosses herself.  Lights down on her, up on TIMOTHY JENKINS, he walks slowly, he is dressed in black, looks very much like an undertaker, probably because he is one.  He is carrying flowers, which he sets next to what we imagine to be a headstone, because that's what it is.  Then he removes his hat, which he holds carefully under one arm.)

JENKINS - (Texas accent)  Hello, Momma.  How are you doing, today?  (Thinks)  Probably the same as just about any day, I imagine.  You don't get to travel much, now do you?  (Thinks)  Or maybe you do, who knows?  Pastor Evans says the heat don't bother dead folks like it does the living, but I got to wonder about that.  If heat don't bother you folks when you're dead, what the hell is the purpose of hell?  I mean, if someone is goin to hell, wouldn't heat have to be an issue?

         (Tilts his head, listens, sighs)

I know I must be crazy, but I swear I can hear you sayin, (imitates mother)'Jimmy, you just think too much, that's your biggest problem.  Life is much easier if you don't think so damn much.'


I never heard you cuss before, Momma.  Maybe you already know what I'm here to talk about, who knows.  I like talkin to you Momma, better'n when you was alive.  We don't argue quite as much this way.

Yup, I'm here to talk about that funeral.  The two boys.  Very sad.  The whole town turned out, had to open the back doors and put up a canopy cover to keep em all from gettin the sunstroke.

Very sad.  Nice folks.  I don't care if their parents were not here legal,  no one deserves what happened to them. 

Which brings me to why I'm here.  I am not exactly sure what to do, so I thought I'd get your sage advice in this matter.

The mother, that'd be Mrs. Verduga she asked to be alone with her boys one last time.  Of course I said, 'Take as long as you like, Mrs. Verduga,  because I always give folks that last moment with their kin, and I left her be.  When I come back about an hour later, she was gone, and I went to adjust the coffins.....

          (Hangs his head, shakes it)

Two coffins in one family, very sad, I don't think I ever had to do that before that I recall.  Maybe Daddy told me about times when there was the influenza, but not like this.  This was bad.
And she can't have any more children either.


So I notice that she must've touched the boys a bit - that's not unusual, you remember.  The family ususally wants one last touch......

And I didn't think nothin of it until I went to move the coffins to the parlor for the viewin, and when I lifted the coffin to adjust it, I heard somethin shift.  I went to look, because sometimes people put in somethin extra, a book, a Bible usually, a toy when it's children like that......I just wanted to see what it was, and make sure it was secure, so it wouldn't roll around when we lifted the coffins.  No one likes to hear noises from inside those things, do they?

              (He walks around the headstone)

So I looked, and in the younger boy's coffin was Bible, just like I thought.  And I made sure it would not move around.

Bible's are good things for the other side I imagine, that's why we put one in  with you, Momma.  I wonder if you read it, or if you don't have to......whether you know all the things in it, without knowin why........

              (He shakes himself off)

Okay, Momma, I'll get to it.

So I check out the older boy, Jose, his name was.  Nice kid, very polite.  English was good too.

           (He takes a deep breath, illustrates by taking his hand and reaching, pulling out his arm and looking in horror.)

And I find a gun.  And I know right away what that gun was used kill the man who drunk drove his truck into those two boys.  You see, the police never found that gun, and that was a big thing  .......but I now knew where it was.

And I also knew Jorge didn't do it, he just ain't that kinda man.  But his wife, now, she's a steely one, you woulda liked her, Momma.


Okay, okay, I'm gettin there.  Pastor Evans tells us we all gonna be eatin dinner with the devil if we do bad things, but I dunno, how bad could dinner be after I been eatin' Amaleen's godawful cookin for, is it 36 years?, I think mebbe a dinner with the devil might be tastier.


Did I do somethin wrong?   Yeah, I know it was illegal to keep back that evidence, but, I ....I just couldn't do it.   Why not you ask?  I am not totally sure.  How much punishment does one person need?  Wasn't losing their only two children enough?  I know only Jesus can be the judge, and I shoulda told about that gun, and all right, yes, I guess, momma, you always could figure these things out, (getting loud) yes, I know it was wrong!

        (He is very affected by this, and shakes his whole body as if there was rain on him.)

Whew......I suppose that's why I keep on comin out here to talk with you, Momma, you always was good at figurin things out........Guess it's time to head back.  Everyone sends their love.  I'll bring the grandkids out next year, when they're a bit older.    Sleep tight, Momma, (laughs) don't let the bedbugs bite!

        (He turns to leave, stops, looks back)
I guess there was one thing I forgot to ask you.......if I'm so wrong.......why don't I feel guilty?

       (He stares at the headstone, then puts his hat back on and walks slowly off.  Lights down, end of scene)

Note: A few words about 'free' -  all these monologues are protected under copyright law and are free to read, free to perform and video as long as no money is charged. Once you charge admission or a donation, or include my work in an anthology, you need to contact me for royalty 

Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315      
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983

Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

1 comment:

Jennifer Silva Redmond said...

I think Tim West would be great in this--I want to read it with him!