Sunday, May 6, 2018

Monologue Mania Day # 1541 The Devil Comes to River Bend (one-act - scene 5) by Janet S. Tiger (c) May 6, 2018

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Monologue Mania Day # 1541 The Devil Comes to River Bend  (one-act - scene 5)  by Janet S. Tiger (c) May 6, 2018       
This is Scene 5 (or maybe earlier)  from a one-act THE DEVIL COMES TO RIVER BEND - if you want to read them in order - please click here for scene one  Day # 1537    scene two  Day # 1538  scene three Day #1539  scene four  Day # 1540

                          The Devil Comes to River Bend (c) all rights reserved
                                            (one-act)  Scene 5 - but it might come earlier 
                                              by Janet S. Tiger

(Armando -Manny- Rodriguez is looking out at the river, skipping stones.  He is in his 30s, but looks older, a little beaten.  But the motion picks him up a little.  He doesn't notice Alma watching him from the trees.  She is pretty, about 17, but looks- and acts - older.  Manny throws one stones and it skims nicely and he finally smiles and she comes out of the trees, carrying a shovel.)

ALMA - (Southern accent)  Well, I’ve seen worse, and I’ve seen better, but, considering the
stress you’re under, that was a good one, where'd you learn to get so good at that?

MANNY -  (Slight Spanish accent)  I was a boy, my uncle showed me...

ALMA -  Not your Daddy?

MANNY -  My Daddy, he, uh, he wasn't around......

ALMA -  Me, too.  I know how that you feelin' now, Mr. Rodriguez.....

MANNY -  I'm....all right.

ALMA -  I know it can't be easy.

MANNY -  I think it's harder on Maria, a woman loses her babies, and  she can't have any

ALMA -  At least you got outta jail...

MANNY -  Everyone is very nice, paying that bail for me, but I don't care if they let me stay.....

ALMA -  Did they treat you ok?  I mean, did anyone know.....bother you?

MANNY -  I was the only one, except for the Sheriff, you know it's a small town....

ALMA -  Oh, I know!

        (They laugh- it's a small town, all right!)

MANNY -  What are you doing out here, Miss Alma?

ALMA -  I brung you something Mama thought you might be able to use....

        (She holds out the shovel)

MANNY -  Why do I need a shovel?

ALMA -  You bury things you might not want anyone to find…. Mama said that it's
not a good idea to throw things like...guns into the river. they sink and the divers can find 'em, just like those detective shows she watches on the TV.

MANNY -  I don't have anything to hide… gun.....

ALMA -  Well, just in case...

MANNY -  I didn't kill that man......

ALMA -  Even if you did, people wouldn't be mad at you...Calvert was a mean drunk, and he did
run over your boys and kill them and all...

MANNY -  I don't have the I don't need the shovel...

ALMA -'ll find the gun....

MANNY - Then I'd give it to the police...

ALMA -  Would ya?  I mean wouldn't that mean you done it?

MANNY -  OK, maybe I wouldn't give it to them.  But it doesn't matter. (Bitter) Nothing matters

ALMA – Don’t talk like that, a lotta people are worried about you….and you know, what’s goin’
on, didja hear? There’s even a reporter come to town!  From New York City!  And she’s been pokin’ around askin’ a lotta questions!  She might even have a big story about you!

MANNY -  I know…

ALMA -  You know?  Whadda you know?

MANNY -  She wanna talk to me, but I don’t wanna to her.  I got nothing to say…

ALMA -  (Excited )  I bet she wants to take pictures of you and Maria!  And you might even get
to be famous!

MANNY -  What do I wanna be famous for?  That I was in jail?  That people think I mighta shot

ALMA -  (Concerned)  Oh, Mr. Rodriguez, I didn’t mean to get you upset….look, if that reporter
makes trouble for you….don’t worry, some of the boys I know, well, they can help you cause they ain’t afraid of nothing….

MANNY -  You gotta be careful with boys like that, Miss Alma….you a pretty young lady now,
you gotta be smart…
ALMA -  You always was good to me, Mr. Rodriguez….

MANNY -  (Embarrassed)  I know you been good to Maria….when she gets sad, has to cry, she
told me you take her tables and you even give her the tips…’re a good girl Miss Alma….

ALMA -  I do it cause you always was nice to me…I remember when my mama was gonna hit
me that one day…..with that big old spatula….God, I think it was still greasy….and you just took it from her and you was real kind, told her maybe we needed a break from each other…..she never hit me after that, not even with her hand.  She would get mad and say…maybe we need a break…..I never forgot that…..

MANNY -  That was nothing….

ALMA -  Not to me…..look, I know it’s been tough for you….and I wanna help you too.  I
mean, I brung the shovel, and maybe you don’t need it now, but, I can help other ways…..

MANNY -  Thank you, Miss Alma….that’s nice….

            (She goes over to him, touches his arm, he pulls away)

ALMA -  You know what ways I’m talkin about, doncha?  I know Maria’s been mighty torn up
about the boys, and she been mean to you, I can see…..and sad, and…..I know how it is for men when they just need someone to be nice to them….

MANNY -  (Worried)  Miss Alma, I don’t think this is a….

ALMA -  You can call me Alma, I am almost 18, and I ain’t a baby no more.  I loved you ever
since you stood up for me.  And I love you now.  (Takes a deep breath)
And I…I can have babies still….you know what I mean….

MANNY – (Horrified)  Miss Alma….

          (She kisses him and he pulls away, wipes his face)

MANNY -  Don’t do that!

ALMA -  It’s been awhile, ain’t it?  I can always tell with a guy…..and no one has to know.  I
can use those pills, if you don’t want a baby right away…

MANNY -  How do you talk like this?  This is talk for grown up people!  I love Maria!

ALMA -  (Doubtful)  Do you really?  Still?  I mean, she is cracking up with all this stuff with
you in jail and some days, why, she can barely add up tickets for coffee and a piece of pie……you deserve better, Mr….Manny.  You deserve….a real woman…..

MANNY -  Are you  loco…crazy?  I am on trial for killing a man!  Do you know what you’re

ALMA -  I do.  I’m no baby!  You ain’t my first you know….

            (He throws up his hands)

MANNY -  Stop!  What are you trying to do?  I mean, this is no game you play!  Do you have
any idea what is going to happen if I don’t win in the trial?  I will go to jail!  Do you know what that means?

ALMA -  I know what that means.  Does Maria?  And what happens if you get convicted, is she
gonna stand by you, with no kids together no more? ….With me, you got a future, a             future with more kids…..and you’re still young…..

(He turns away and goes to lift up the shovel)

MANNY -  Funny, I always liked to work in the garden.  My boys, they were helping
me, and….(he can barely talk about it, it’s still too difficult)  and it happened so fast!  (Sees it happening in his memory)  My back was turned, and I could hear Calvert’s old Mustang speeding, like he always did, when he was sober, when he was drunk, he was always speeding……and then….I turned and I watched it happen and I couldn’t do anything, nothing!  Just like in a movie!  And I can see it in my head, playing over and over….just like in a movie…..only you can walk out of a movie……And they were gone!  (Takes a deep breath)  And …Maria….she’s a different person now…’s like, we don’t even know each other!  I can’t even move away, we have our families near, where do we go?  You can run from your neighbors, but never from your past!  Never from the things you have seen!  I close my eyes, and there it is, a movie I can't escape from…..

(He takes the shovel and goes to dig a hole, then lifts the shovel and throws it, falls to his knees and is trying not to cry.  Alma goes and puts her hands on his shoulders.)

MANNY -  I always try to do the right thing.  In my church the father tells me if you do the right
thing, good things happen.  I could have done some bad things when I was
young.  Some friends, they wanted me to be a mule, it was a lot of money.  But I said no. 
And a man I work for, he wants me to mix in something with the cement.  But I know it will make the cement weak, and maybe the building will fall down, so I say no.  And he fires me.  The fathers in church, they say the devil is always whispering in your ear, and you must always tell the devil –‘no’.  But where are the good things for me for not being bad?  How come the bad people, they get the money, and I get ….the pain!  Why is that?  (In anguish)  Why?

(She is still rubbing his shoulders, now puts her arms around him)

ALMA -  I think that the devil is just a way of getting people to listen….to get their attention,
like maybe how you do with children  ….but maybe, just maybe, there ain’t no heaven or
hell, maybe it’s just right here and now.  I mean I don’t the pastor what I think, but, maybe, God doesn’t care as much about alla us as everyone wants to think. Maybe there’s just too many people to worry about on earth and he can’t watch all the channels at the same time…… Maybe, I dunno…..we just gotta figure it out for ourselves…..

(She stops holding him and he turns around and looks at her, then takes her shoulders and kisses her.  When he stops, he shakes his head)

ALMA – That wasn’t so bad, was it? 

MANNY -  I’ve seen worse….

ALMA – And  I’ve seen better….

MANNY -  (Smiling in spite of himself)….So, .when did you grow up like this?

ALMA -  Maybe when God was takin’ a holiday…..

MANNY -  I don’t think you have any idea what you’re getting into….M….Alma….

ALMA -  Well, if I don’t know, and God don’t know, maybe the devil does……

            (She kisses him, then takes his hand and they go to walk off.  He stops, goes to the shovel and lifts it up)

MANNY -  Who knows?  Maybe I will need it……

            (They exit. The end….for this day. )
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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