Slow-Cooked Sentences

My life as a screenplay, Act One

Rachael Conlin Levy

Revised March 27, 2012

ACT ONE:

FIVE MINUTES OF AFTERNOON

FADE IN:

INT – KITCHEN/LAUNDRY ROOM/LIVING ROOM – AFTERNOON

MOM is transferring a load of wet clothes into the drier. At the kitchen table is a mountain of clean clothes. A toddler, IVAN, roams nearby. A daughter, CHAJA, stands at the stove, cooking Top Ramen as she practices her upcoming solo at the fifth-grade music concert. Off-stage are two sons, SAM and MAX. MAX is at the computer.

CHAJA
(singing “We Shall be Free” by Garth Brooks)
When the last child cries for a crust of bread …

(SAM enters, wiggling his tooth. He carries a long string of dental floss and walks over to MOM, who is bent over the drier.)

SAM
Look at my tooth. Do you think it’s ready to come out?
MOM
I don’t know. Can you twist it?
SAM
(twisting tooth)
Yeah. See?
MOM
(looks up from drier and shudders)
Yep, it looks ready.
SAM
(holding up the dental floss)
Can you tie this around it?
MAX
(off-stage, yelling)
Mom! How do I reserve a book from the library on the computer?
MOM
(tying the dental floss around the tooth)
I’ll show you in a minute, Max.
(to SAM)
There you go.

(SAM exits with a long string of floss dangling from his mouth followed by MOM and IVAN.)

CHAJA
(singing and stirring soup)
When the last man dies for just words that he said.
(pauses)
Hey, Mom how do I sound?

(Mom enters. She turns on drier and begins folding the mountain of clothes on the kitchen table.)

MOM
You sound great, honey. Remember, just sing loud and sing strong.
MAX
(off-stage)
Mom, what’s our library password?
SAM
(off-stage, speech hampered by the dental floss)
Mom, Ivan’s bothering me! Can you come shuth the thoor?

MOM
Coming, Sam! Max, the password is the last four digits of our telephone number.

CHAJA
(singing at the stove, louder)
When there’s shelter over the poorest head …

SAM
(off-stage)
Mom, the thoor!

MAX
(off-stage)
How do you spell Olympian?

MOM
(folding clothes, sighs heavily)
O-L-Y … I’m coming, Sam! … M-P

SAM
(off-stage)
Mom, Ivan pulled out my tooth!

(SAM enters the kitchen. He’s grinning. Mouth is filled with blood and hand is outstretched, showing a small white tooth. IVAN follows SAM.)

SAM
Look! He just grabbed the string and pulled!
CHAJA
(still singing, even louder)
… we shall be free!
FADE TO BLACK.
+
Act Two: Ten Minutes of Table Conversation
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One response to “My life as a screenplay, Act One”

  1. Dylan says:

    this is funny rach. I like how you wrote Sam’s voice with the floss in his mouth.

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