Sunday, January 19, 2014

Exposition in Vermont

Scene 1
SETTING: Interior, Exposition Family Cabin in Yingtongtington Vermont
Fireplace, rocking chair, exposed wood ceiling and cans of maple syrup arranged in pyramids. Mom is cooking at the stove.
TIME: The present.
SPACE: Local Arm, Milk Way Galaxy.
Sean enters, scratching his flannel shirt.

Mom: Who's there?
Sean: It's me, mom. Sean Exposition. My life is rewarding and happy now, but I have a dark secret. It's so secret, I've forgotten what it was. I see you're cooking there. Food was always a substitute for love in our family. Where's dad?
Mom: He's out in the barn soldering the dead horse together. Dad and his manly projects. He's always trying to prove he's a man on account of his deeply suppressed doubts about his own sexuality.
Sean: Well, that's all goes back to the day his brother killed himself. Billy Exposition, the track star, winning all those medals up at state. Big hero, he was. Called dad a queer. At least that's what dad says when he mumbles in his sleep ...
Dad walks in.
Dad: Oh, yeah. I remember. "Hey queer. Steal me a cigarette from Ma's purse." Yep. Uncle Billy was quite a character. Imagine my surprise when I found him hanging dead from the belt of his own bathrobe, swinging like a lamp. What's cooking?
Mom: Grits. 
Dad: Mmm. That's almost as good as love, in my book.
Sean: Do Vermonters eat grits?
Mom: They do if they come from North Carolina in the middle of the night under assumed names after burying the man who was blackmailing 'em alive. 
Sean: It was all so easy. Once we'd made up our minds.
Dad: Yep. Learning this stupid accent was the hard part. 
Doorbell rings.
Dad: Who the hell is that?
Opens door.
Mailman: Special delivery. (Extends package.)
Dad: What's this?
Mailman: A catalyst that will dredge up old secrets and change your lives forever, I reckon.
Dad: Always is.
Mailman: Sign here.
He does.
Mailman: Thanks a heap, Mr. Exposition. I should point out, you and your kind have always remained outsiders in Yingtongtington. We never accepted you in our community, or bought your story.
Dad: Always wondered about that. How come?
Mailman: That accent of yours. 
Dad: What's wrong with it?
Mailman: Nothing. If you come from Maine. Good day, sir.
Dad: Well, that's a hell of a note.
Sean: Open the package!
Dad: No. Me and my dependent/avoidant personality. I reckon I'll put it off and put it off until the whole thing blows up, like the time I knew your Ma was having an affair, but I refused to confront it, refused to put two and two together...until next thing I know, I'm looking at a heap of flesh and bones and the foot of the stairs that used to be a living, breathing man.
Sean: Well, least you got me in the bargain.
Dad: Some bargain.
They all laugh.
Sean: Now quit stalling and open the package.
Dad: No.
Sean: Sis would open the package.
Dad: We don't talk about her.
Sis walks on stage. Everyone freezes.
Lights off. Spotlight on sis.
Sis: No. They don't.
Go to black.
Mom: Grits are ready!

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