Friday, November 13, 2009

Chapter IV. The Rescue

C 2004 By Gracie Prior
(In our last installment, the Scribblers has just gotten Mary as a new member. We'll see how that plays out.)
At Terry's house, Terry, Butch, Mary, and Billy sat in an unfinished basement around a long rectangle table with papers spread all over. Rusty shelves with glass jars holding summer produce provided diversion to the drone of Jimmy's voice. He was reciting the outline of the latest play of the Scribbler's Society. Terry was very interested at first, when Jimmy talked about the pirates and how they would be collecting gold and jewels off ships on the high seas. Then Jimmy started reading about the prisoner and how he or she would be kidnapped, taken aboard and treated roughly if the report of treasure didn't come forth. Terry's mind drifted to his dad who had been sick the night before. He and his mom had been up all night nursing him so he could get some sleep, an occurrence that had been happening too frequently lately.
"'So you'll have to walk the plank,' Redbeard yelled, 'unless you tell us what we need to know.'" Jimmy's voice was threatening, as threatening as Jimmy could make it that is. "Um, right here, Terry. What do you think?"
"Huh?" Terry said.
"I mean, could Mary be the victim and walk the plank? Then, in a scene or two, just when all is lost, Ponce Virle will run from offstage, grab her and take her to the other side. The scene will end. The curtain will come down. There will be intermission. Only nobody will be able to eat, or talk. They will be so excited to see what happens. What do you think, Terry?"
Terry yanked his head away from the fruit jars and looked at Jimmy. "What? Oh, read that last line again for me, so I can get its full effect."
"I'm not asking about the line. I was telling you about the dramatic rescue of the victim and wondering if you think Mary can pull it off?"
Terry's mind had re-engaged. "Of course she can. Well, there's only one way to find out. Scribblers, take ten and let's all write the rescue scene where Mary walks the plank. Don't hold back guys. Put it all in the first time, as they say. O.K. It's 9:50. At l0:00, we'll see what everyone has down. Ready, you have paper and pencils; that's good. Start."
They all began writing. At ten o'clock, each Scribbler read their dialog. Butch had Mary yelling and screaming and fighting to the end, just before the rescue. Jimmy had Mary recite a sterling soliloquy about not forsaking her parents or her inheritance. Mary had her character walking bravely to the end of the plank and diving in, the cowards. Her hero would have to splash in to rescue her. Terry had Mary walk gloomily to the end of the plank, look at the sun coming up in the East and calling out, "O God, send a deliverer."
"At this point," Terry reads "Ponce rushes in from stage left, runs up the plank, grabs Mary, and throws down her scarf, a signal for the pirates to come in. Then, holding her in one arm, and swashbuckling with the other, he fights off two or three pirates at a time. He runs off stage yelling, "Deliverance!" Terry felt Mary's eyes on him as he delivered the lines.
Everyone agreed on Terry's script (though Jimmy was verbal about the merits of his.) "Everybody up," he said. "Jimmy, you and Butch are pirates. Mary, you stand here." He directed her up on a chair. "Now Ponce, (that's me) is coming. Mary, you look that way as if you were walking the plank. Say your line, the one I wrote and let's see how it works." Terry ran off stage, which was into a side room of the basement.
He pulled a blue tablecloth over his shoulders and tied it. He found some black chalk on a tray by a chalkboard and gave himself a moustache "Now, Mary, be bold and say your lines. Pirates, be ready to fight, over on the right. Now!"
"O God, send a deliverer!" Mary called with just the right stress in her voice. Terry ran into the room pulling Mary off the chair. He paused only a second, looking at her startled face (for she was looking away from him,) gave a hoist, and ran over to the left side of the room.
Terry put Mary down and looked at her. Her eyes were wide and looking directly at him. He felt some unknown emotion, but it didn't last. He heard a ruckus. Jimmy and Butch came at him like maniacs, swishing their arms back and forth, back and forth.
"What's gotten into you guys. That was great."
Butch glared at Terry. His hand gave one last thrust directly at Terry's midsection. "You didn't grab the scarf. You forgot the pirates. Take that and die, Ponce Virle De Polo."
(How will this play turn out? Will the Scribblers get it all together? Come back next Friday and we'll have a great time together. Nancy)

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