TIME IN THE LONG GRASS
/ revenge play / scene / incomplete /
written by jack richardson
LYLE, a young man
ANITA, his younger sister
Sunset, a rural train platform, surrounded on all sides by fields of corn. A man and a pregnant woman wait on the platform. A train whistle is heard off in the distance, growing closer.
LYLE I was thinking, which is to say, I’d had a thought, that perhaps it is going to be a colder night than I was first led to believe, and that if it was, I might have left you with a little more money to buy yourself a warmer lodging for the night, and perhaps
a hot meal, and that I feel, in light of it all, with the night coming on now and a chill mist convening on the lake, a little guilty
that I haven’t. I suppose you’ll not talk with me as punishment. Suppose you’ll scold me with a cold shoulder.
ANITA looks at her pocket watch.
ANITA I shall endure.
LYLE And I suppose you think me daft, what with thinking, as I do, of some madcap course as this upon which to rest our
fortunes, and I suppose in that thinking you wouldn’t be wrong, because I think something like it myself, only less so, out of
fear. You see, I am afraid. I’m not so stupid as to not think to be afraid. Do you believe me in that feeling? Anita, I say, do
you believe me?
ANITA I believe you, Lyle. If it’s what you need.
LYLE I am afraid. Don’t mistake me about that. There’s nothing on this green earth that makes me fear more than that fear of
losing you. And if this is what is required, what needs doing in Father’s name, then so help me God, I need do it. Do you
ANITA Father believed it, Lyle. That need be enough.
LYLE No it’s not, not hardly. Do you believe it? Do you? If you don’t Anita, if you don’t think so, I’d turn round right this moment
and summon a coach to take us home. I’d not have you cold for… for… for what you don’t believe in.
ANITA takes LYLE’S arm.
ANITA I believe in you, Lyle, if that makes all the difference. If it’s cold, I will endure, and if belief is what you need, then I will
believe in you.
ANITA hands LYLE a revolver in a handkerchief.
LYLE Night’s coming on quick now, making stars there, out of your eyes. You got his, those pair of eyes, and don’t you half know
it. They’re bad men, Anita, all of them, to a man. I don’t pretend to take no pleasure in doing what needs to be done. In fact,
I plain revile it. It’s a dirty business, with no one clean. But a man must make something out of darker deeds, even if that
thing is less against his liking. It’s what Father would have wanted. It’s his right way of feeling.
ANITA looks off into the distance. The train is fast approaching.
ANITA Kill them all, Lyle. And enjoy it while you do.
The train whistle shrills.
END OF SCENE ONE