Nine Tenths

Slide16

31 PLAYS IN 31 DAYS: Play 8, Day 8 – Nine Tenths.

 

LIGHTS FADE UP on JARED, a boy about ten years old, in a prep school uniform. It’s works better is he’s Latino. He’s leaning against a wall, looking bored.  He kicks at something on the ground. It turns out to be a piece of dog feces. He grunts in disgust, scrapes his show against the pavement. He takes out an I-pad, fingers the screen, and grunts again in disgust.

 

                                                                                JARED:

“No service.” Still!

JARED extends his arm, raising the device to the sky, searching for wi-fi. He flips his wrist to view screen. Nothing. Again, over there. No luck. He sighs lightly, slumps his shoulders, and stares at the ground.

Suddenly, a soccer ball rolls in from stage right and bumps against his foot. 

JARED looks at it. It is dingy and scuffed, so that one can barely read the Magic Marker writing on it: “The 99%ers.”

 MAGGIE appears, from whence the ball came. She’s a feckled tomboy,  about the same age as JARED, perhaps older,  dressed comfortably, practically,  eclectically –dressed for  camping in an urban environment, which she is doing.

She stops, staring at JARED from a distance. JARED is a little taken aback.

 

                                                                                MAGGIE:

 “A little help?”

                                                                                JARED:

What?

                                                                                MAGGIE:

My ball.

                                                                                JARED:

Oh, sure.

JARED picks up the ball, but hesitates to throw it to her. This is more interesting than what he was doing before. He’s got a tiny piece of a power position here.

 

                                                                                MAGGIE:

My ball? Our ball.

 

She looks over her shoulder, offstage right. We hear a child’s yell, off.

 

                                                                                V.O. (off)

Get the ball, Maggie!

 

                                                                                MAGGIE:

What am I, your dog? Use the other!

                                                                                V.O. (off)

It’s not as good.

                                                                                MAGGIE:

USE THE OTHER!

MAGGIE returns her attention to JARED.

                                                                                JARED: (reads the ball)

“Nine-nine-oh-one-oh  E.R.S.” What’s that?

                                                                                MAGGIE:

“The Ninety-nine Per-Centers.” It’s our team. One of them. We have a whole league.

                                                                                JARED:

Who’s we?

                                                                                MAGGIE:

Can I have my ball, please?

                                                                                JARED:

“Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Law.”

                                                                                MAGGIE:

What does that mean, anyway?

                                                                                JARED: (flirty)

It means I’ve got your ball.

                                                                                MAGGIE:

And claim the law’s behind you.

                                                                                JARED:

What are you going to do about it?

                                                                                MAGGIE:

Get that group of kids over there to stop playing at FIFA for a minute and come over here and  beat your ass. Or maybe I’ll just do it myself and have them watch.

 

JARED tosses the ball past her, from whence it came.

 

                                                                                JARED: (calling off)

Here’s your ball!

 

JARED smiles at MAGGIE. MAGGIE regards JARED.

 

                                                                                MAGGIE:

I haven’t seen you before. Are you with the Acting Out?

 

                                                                                JARED:

What’s that?

                                                                                MAGGIE:

The theatre group. They’re doing a— What are you dressed as?

 

                                                                                JARED:

What do you mean?

                                                                                MAGGIE:

What’s your get-up?

                                                                                JARED:

“Get-up”?

                                                                                MAGGIE:

Don’t most of you guys wear pigs masks with that or something?

 

                                                                                JARED:

Why would I wear a pig’s mask?

                                                                                MAGGIE:

Exactly. My dad says, This isn’t a costume party. That you’re dilettantes, not serious protesters.

                                                                                JARED:

I’m not a protester at all.

                                                                                MAGGIE:

Then why the –?

                                                                                JARED:

It’s a school uniform. They make me wear it.

 

                                                                                MAGGIE:

Who’s they?

                                                                                JARED:

The school.

With the sudden realization, MAGGIE breaks into a broad grin.

 

                                                                                MAGGIE:

Oh, shit… You’re one of them

                                                                                JARED:

Them?

                                                                                MAGGIE:

The One Per-Centers.

                                                                                JARED:

So?

                                                                               MAGGIE:

So we’re Occupy Wall Street, dumb-ass. What are you doing here?

                                                                                JARED:

What are you doing here? My father works at G&S, okay?

                                                                                MAGGIE:

No, it’s not okay. That’s what this is all about. What’s this?               

(Jim Backus/Thurston Howell III voice)

“Bring-the-Young Gentleman-to-Work Day”?

                                                                                JARED:

He’s picking up court documents. He told me to wait in the car.  The car was too hot, so I got out.

                                                                                MAGGIE:

Didn’t he crack the window for you, boy?

                                                                                JARED:

He said call me on his cell if he was gone too long. But my cell’s not working. Cheap manufacture.

                                                                                MAGGIE:

My dad says possessions have a way of failing us. Why’d your dad bring you down here at all?

                                                                                JARED:

He’s taking me to my first day at the Prebble School. My parents managed to get me in. It’s like their dream or something, to send  their kid to this school.

                                                                                MAGGIE:

“The Prebble School.” That sounds grand! But you don’t sound too happy about that, Skippy.

 

JARED steps forward manfully, extending his hand an offering of friendship.

 

                                                                                JARED:

My name’s Jared.

 

Taken aback, MAGGIE takes his hand. 

 

                                                                                MAGGIE:

Maggie.

                                                                                JARED:

You don’t sound too happy about the costumed dilettantes in your own camp, Maggie.

                                                                                MAGGIE:

And you’re not happy about being packed off to private school with   a bunch  of snobs.

                                                                                JARED:

Where’s that leave us?

 

JARED glances offstage right at MAGGIE’s soccer team. MAGGIE glances over her shoulder, then offstage left over JARED’s shoulder. JARED turns and looks.

 

                                                                                JARED:

My dad’s coming. I’d better go.

 

                                                                                MAGGIE:

Bye.

                                                                                JARED:

Bye.

J

ARED jogs off, stage left. MAGGIE looks off after him, frowning. A filthy soccer-ball, seams split, spray-painted Day-Glo orange, flies in and hits MAGGIE in the head.

                                                                                V.O. (off)

Hey, who’s your boyfriend, Maggie?

                                                                                MAGGIE:

AW, GROW-UP!

 

MAGGIE retrieves the ball, and hugs it to her breast.

LIGHTS FADE TO BLACK. END OF PLAY.

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