Friday, May 4, 2018

Monologue Mania Day # 1539 The Devil Comes to River Bend (one-act - scene 3) by Janet S. Tiger (c) May 4, 2018

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Monologue Mania Day # 1539 The Devil Comes to River Bend  (one-act - scene 3)  by Janet S. Tiger (c) May 4, 2018       
This is Scene 3 from a one-act THE DEVIL COMES TO RIVER BEND - click here for scene one  Day # 1537    scene two  Day # 1538

                          The Devil Comes to River Bend (c) all rights reserved
                                            (one-act)  Scene 3 opening
                                              by Janet S. Tiger

First posted Day # 201 Sept. 1, 2014      
               (Carrying a box of papers, a man dressed in a sweaty sheriff's uniform takes the box and drops it on the floor.  He is irritated, but Diane Walters is unfazed by this.) 

SHERIFF - There.  All the paperwork involvin' the Novak can go through them right now.  We close in two hours.  And we will be closed until Tuesday because Monday is Labor Day. And no, we don't have anythin' online yet, not until the state fundin' comes through next year.

WALTERS -  You're telling me there's nothing more than...this?

        (She pokes at the box with her toe, making sure he pays attention to her high heels.  He smiles)

SHERIFF 0 You want more than this here box of papers?  More than the official statement?  All right, here's the news - Calvin Novak was drunk, which was not an unusual occurrence, and while driving drunk, hit and killed two boys, the only two sons of Mr. and Mrs. Jorge Rodriguez.  Then Calvin was shot, and died, and Jorge Rodriguez is gonna be on trial for Calvin's murder.  

WALTERS  -  (Laughing)  You've got to be kidding!
SHERIFF - You people from the newspapers and the TV are all the same, you come here for what, a day or two, maybe if you have some extra money, a whole week, and you talk to a few people and you stand in front of the courthouse and get some video feed, and you decide what the story is gonna be before you even arrive here.  But you still say you want more.  All right.  You want more?  All right.  Here's more. 

I been here as sheriff for 40 years, and I know these people, not just as neighbors, but some of 'em as friends, too, and I got to make sure that justice is done.  It ain't easy doin' that when it's quiet, but it don't get easier with all you breathin' down our necks. 

         (He indicates the boxes) 

This is Labor Day weekend, and you can run around as much as you want, it'll be hot, and you'll get sweaty, just like all of us, and you'll call home and complain how you hate small towns, especially ones in Texas, but after you leave and write your story, and have it broadcast and get your paycheck and drink it, we will still be here, watching our high school team get ready for football season, goin' to church, getting a drink at the local bar, .....burying our dead. 

WALTERS -  So, you knew these boys that were killed.....

SHERIFF - Yeah, I knew the Rodriguez boys.  Nice family.  Quiet.  Had a small place out on Old Ranch Road.  And I knew Calvin Novak, too, his daddy, Casper, and I went to school together.  Calvin was taught to drink by his daddy.  His daddy died in a crash, too, but no one else died in that one, except maybe the tree he hit. 


No, maybe the tree made it.  But his son, Calvin, he did not do well in the brains department, he got cut from the military after Iraq, and everyone thought he'd kill himself on a cycle, but then he got that big ole truck, and when he hit those two boys, they didn't have a chance. 

But that didn't mean someone had to kill him.  The state of Texas is the only one got the right to decide that, and someone took that right away when they shot Calvin, and my job is to find out who that someone is.  And I know it's Jorge, because Jorge had a 45 caliber, just like the one that shot Calvin.  And the wife sayin that they give the gun away when the boys were little, for safety.  But then why did they still have the bullets? 

Jorge did it.  I know it.  I can smell it.  And one day, I'm gonna find that gun.  Now Clark, the District Attorney, he's a go-getter, wants to be mayor someday, so he's gonna prosecute before I find that gun.  And so, who knows what's gonna happen. 

And that, my dear reporter friend, is off the record. 

So you can go send in your story on the Internet, and people all over will read it, and make faces and talk about drunken Texans, and they will be right, and they will be.....wrong.

Labor Day.  I'll be workin' Labor Day, too.  And so will you, I suppose.  (Remembers, smiling)  Don't belabor the point, my momma used to say, just the day.   She loved to laugh at words, my momma did.  If a woman was havin' a baby right around Labor Day, she would laugh about it for a month before 'n after. 

Belabor Day.  You have two hours.

         (He turns to leave, looks back)

Two hours. Not one minute more. 

First posted Day # 206 Sept. 6, 2014          

          (He exits.  Lights down on scene, then there is the sound of fire engines, and the stage lights up, and then the sound of a fire being extinguished, and lights up on a bar, Western. 
The sheriff and the reporter are sitting at the bar together, both have had a couple drinks and are more relaxed.  The sheriff turns to her and looks at her very carefully, then lifts his glass) ) 

SHERIFF - I lift my glass to you, young lady, because I have to say, that of all the news people who have graced our fine town, you are the one who has lasted the longest, dug into things the deepest, who now has an official enemy here, a person or persons unknown, who wants you very desperately to stop digging. someone I must protect you from because that is my job.  And in spite of knowin all this about you, you are still the biggest mystery I have. 

        (She laughs and raises her glass) 

SHERIFF - Yes, you are the mystery.  I have done a little bit of research into you, my friend from New Yawk.....murders are not your usual interest.  Usually, you write about happy endings.  Like that piece you did on the twins who were separated when they were only two months old, and adopted by different families.  And then they found each other after 54 years, and they both had married men named Mike,  both had two children, a boy and a girl, and they wore their hair the same way. 
That was a nice story.....and then you did that one about the dolphins from Katrina, and how they survived.....I liked that one, too. 

But no murders, I didn't see one story from you about a murder.  Nothin close either, no missin children, no suspicious deaths or drug deals gone bad and restrainin orders that don't work.  Nope.  Just happy stuff.  Any sad had very feel good endings.......and that brings me to my original question, because there is no way that is case is evah gonna have a happy endin.....not when it starts the way it did with two deaths of children and a murder of the killer......and now, now that Jorge was acquited, and you are pokin your pretty little nose into places it shouldn't go, we have a new set of problems. 

Was I wrong?  Was there another killer?  I don't think so, even if it wasn't Jorge who pulled the trigger, he knows who did, which makes him an accessory at best.  But with the trial over, and no definite end, we have a small town askin each other, 'who is the killer here?' 

Is it my friend, that I have known for forty years?  Or my neighbor, here only 15 years?  I'm sure you heard the expression....'once the seeds of doubt are sown......'
          (He takes out a  cigarette and lights it while saying the rest) 

It's almost as if we had a balance here, and then the devil comes in.....not that I believe in things like that you understand, but the devil comes in and all the devil has to do is a couple of things and people are lookin at each other different than before.... I'm sure you heard the expression....'once the seeds of doubt are sown......'  

        (He takes a deep breath of smoke and blows it out slowly.) 

So, my question still stands, Miz Walter.......... why the hell are you here? 

            (The lights shift to the reporter.) 

First posted Sept. 7, 2014 

         (The reporter, Diane Walters, listens as the sheriff speaks, and then takes a cigarette and lights it, smiling)
WALTERS - Well, Sheriff, I am impressed.  Sometimes I forget that people can put me under a microscope, maybe because no one ever does.  

         (She puts her head back and starts to laugh, coughing a bit as she does.)

But you have, and you have done a damned good job....for a sheriff.  And as for being the devil, why do you think I wore this blue dress?

         (They laugh together, and she reaches over to touch his hand.)

Did you, by any chance, find out anything about my childhood, too?

Wait, don't tell me, it was hard to find.  Well, that is a bit intentional, too.  I really don't like people knowing too much about me.

But you are right, this is not my usual story interest.  And I truly doubt if the family-type publications I usually sell to will have any interest in this I may have to peddle it to a bigger place, the New Yorker, for example.  I will give them the chance to turn me down yet again.

That's not answering your question, though, is it?  What brought me here?  All right, after saving my life, or at least my possessions, I think you've earned the right to know a bit more about Diane Walters.

No, my real name is Walters, which is perhaps why you found it hard to find some of my past.  Even on Google, spelling sometimes counts.

My father was killed when I was fifteen.....

        (She nods)

I’m sure you found that, didn't you?  Simple story.  It was foggy, he was out late, drinking.....A car ran him over, and he died.  He was a decent guy, not much in the way of compliments, but he loved me, and I knew that.

Funny thing about death, sometimes it makes life suddenly clearer, like when the optometrist  adjusts one little thing, and everything up on the wall comes into focus.
It wasn't hit 'n run, the man stopped, he was not charged because ......

         (Takes a deep breath, hard to say)

My Dad had on dark clothing, so it was hard to see him.....with the fog and all.  And my Dad was a little he probably wasn't as alert.  Very clearly….an accident.  Nothing to investigate, nothing to wonder about.

         (Takes another draw on the cigarette.)

But I had a feeling, a funny feeling ....from the very beginning, when I saw my mother and the police officers.  I mean, she did cry, and she was upset, it was all very....normal.  But for me, there was a strange note about it, like she was acting.
The man who hit my Dad, who ran him over, he was a stranger.  My Mom had never met him before.....but he was nice, and after a respectable amount of time, they started dating, and....they got married.

I graduated and left home to go to journalism school at Hunter......and I wondered.  Did he know her from before the accident?  Why would I think this?  Was there anything concrete?  Anything I had heard or seen?  I never understood why I wondered, but I did wonder why I never did any research.  I suppose, I didn't really want to know.

          (Crushes out the stub)

So when I saw the article in the paper about the poor Rodriguez family.....yes, I do read a lot of weird papers because I never know where I'll get a good idea.......when I saw this, I knew.  Just like you are sure it's Jorge, I'm sure it wasn't him that pulled the trigger.  I spoke with Jorge, and this man is not a killer. 

          (Holds up her hand)

Now, you could be right about him knowing who it was, but I am putting my money…… on his wife knowing more than she lets on......  I will bet good money she knows everything, including where that gun is.......and I'm just as sure she had nothing to do with someone trying to burn out my motel room.  

 She won't talk to me much, even with an interpreter.......and that is a tip off.  People who don't want to talk, are afraid of what they'll say...which is why I'm gonna shut up now, Sheriff, before I say something I will regret tomorrow.

          (She stands up, takes her purse.)

But I will take you up on that kind offer to stay at your house for tonight.  I really do not want to go home to that motel.....not for a day or two.

        (She tilts her head to listen then laughs) 

I said I didn't want to say something I would regret - but I certainly don't mind doing things I regret!  That's why I have had such a memorable life..... 

        (She takes the sheriff's hat and puts it on her head, then takes his hand and they exit.  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

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