An Illegal Start by James Harris


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This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent


ACT ONE

SCENE ONE

Inside an abandoned merry go-round in the rural western Colorado town
of Grand Junction, about 9:00 p.m.; An early spring night, 1986

The room is black, haunted by the sound of a thunderstorm outside

Quickly roaring in from a distance, the sound of a vehicle is heard

Lights flicker, shedding light through the windows and across the
dormant carousel horses. The sound braking of wheels skidding above
rain-soaked asphalt overshadows the sound of the storm

And is followed by a horrific CRASH

Then silence

The storm retains its precedent droning sound until interrupted by the
click and creak of an opening car door, then a few hard footsteps slosh
upon muddied ground.

PETE WILSON, 18, pulls ROBBIE ZAMORA, 18, through the window into the
building and to center stage

Blood trickles from Pete's nose and onto his denim jacket

Robbie is wearing a genuine, GI army helmet

PETE
Shit!
Shit. Shit, shit, shit! Where did that telephone pole come from?

He is answered only by rain.

PETE
Robbie! Robbie?

Pete thinks Robbie may be dead.

PETE
Jesus Christ! Robbie! Robbie, you alright?

Robbie comes to, slightly.

He helps Robbie to the carousel horses - a place to safely sit down.

ROBBIE
What happened?

PETE
We crashed!

ROBBIE
Huh?

Pete pulls the helmet off of Robbie's head.

PETE
Crashed. I hit a telephone pole, man! I tried to turn, but we slid.
Hit it, head on. You okay?

ROBBIE
(Groggy, out-of-it) Where are-?

PETE
Old Wyatt's Fun Park.

ROBBIE
(Groaning) Wy-y-y-at's…

PETE
Yeah, remember the old merry go-round? We're here! I broke us in so
that I could get you out of the rain. You okay, man?

ROBBIE
The river…

PETE
The river? No. We're nowhere near the fucking river. We're at
Wyatt's! Here, look at the horses!

He turns Robbie's head toward the merry go-round.

ROBBIE
Home.

PETE
Huh? No, we're at-

ROBBIE
I want to go home.

PETE
Oh. Oh! You got it! As soon as the rain stops, I'll get the truck
running and I'll take you home. Where do you live?

ROBBIE
The river…

PETE
The river? Shit! Way down there? I think the truck will get us to
Davidson's house, but that's about it.

ROBBIE
Davidson's?

PETE
Yeah, yeah. It'll be cool. We can knock the dent out of my truck
there. Everything will be like new again. Right?

ROBBIE
Right.

PETE
Okay! You ready? Let's go.

He grabs the helmet, stands and holds his hand out to Robbie.
Robbie stares straight ahead, suddenly wide-eyed.

ROBBIE
Grandma?

PETE
Grandma?

He looks around to see who Robbie's talking to.

ROBBIE
No, Grandma, I-

PETE
What? What're you talking about?

Robbie snaps to, turns to Pete, suddenly a lot more coherent.

ROBBIE
Let's go.

PETE
Yeah.

ROBBIE
Yeah.

They reach the window when, suddenly, blue and red lights start
flashing.

PETE
Oh shit. It's a cop.

ROBBIE
Uh oh. What should we do? I don't want to go to jail!

PETE
I don't know. You stay back. Hide somewhere. I'll talk to him.

Robbie cautiously disappears behind the horses, and just in time as a
bright spot light shines in through the window. An offstage police
officer calls in through a bullhorn.

COP (O.S.)
Raise hands where I can see them and state your name.
Pete raises his hands.

PETE
Hi Officer!
My name's Pete Wilson, sir!

COP (O.S.)
Please come outside, slowly.

PETE
But the rain!

COP (O.S.)
(Aside, but accidentally audible over blow horn) Smart-ass kid.
(Now, intentionally) Yes, I know that it's raining.

PETE
That's why I'm in here. I hit that telephone pole out there with
my truck, then came in here to stay dry before going to get help.

COP (O.S.)
Are you injured?

PETE
No.

COP (O.S.)
Have you been drinking?

PETE
Um. No.

COP (O.S.)
You expect me to believe that?

PETE
Uh. Yes.

COP (O.S.)
Bring your driver's license please.

Pete crosses to window and hands out his driver's license.

COP (O.S.)
Just a moment.

Pete retreats toward horses again, fidgeting.

COP (O.S.)
Come to the window, please.

Pete hurries back to the window.

COP (O.S.)
A tow truck is on its way. When it gets here, whether it's raining
or not, you must vacate the premises.

PETE
Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.

COP (O.S.)
Your license.

Pete reaches through the window to retrieve, then quickly retreats
back toward the horses.

PETE
Thanks!

COP (O.S.)
And citation.

Pete notices the additional piece of paper.

PETE
Yes, sir.

COP (O.S.)
Be smart, kid.
(Again, accidentally) Goddamn rain.

A car door slams. The blue and red lights stop flashing. Pete stares
at the ticket out in front of him, reading it silently. Robbie from
backstage, winding through the horses until he reaches Pete, a bandage
around his head. He approaches Pete.

ROBBIE
What's it say?

PETE
I don't know.

ROBBIE
You don't know?

PETE
No. I don't get it.

ROBBIE
Get what?

PETE
I don't know what I got.

ROBBIE
Looks to me like you got a ticket.

PETE
Yeah, it's a ticket.

ROBBIE
So, what's it for? Speeding, reckless driving?

PETE
No. Nothing like that.

ROBBIE
Crashing?

PETE
No.

ROBBIE
What is it, then?

PETE
An "Illegal Start".

ROBBIE
A what?

PETE
An "Illegal Start".

ROBBIE
Start? What start?

PETE
Read it - "Illegal Start". Says so right here.

He shows the ticket to Robbie.

PETE
See?

PETE &ROBBIE
"Illegal Start". Seventy-five dollars.

ROBBIE
Seventy-five dollars? Ouch!

PETE
Ouch?

ROBBIE
Yeah. That's some serious cash.

PETE
No, you idiot. It's an "Illegal Start".

ROBBIE
What's an "Illegal Start"?

PETE
I don't know!

ROBBIE
All we did was stop.

PETE
I know.

ROBBIE
Fast.

PETE
I know.

ROBBIE
I hit my head.

PETE
I know.

ROBBIE
What are we still doing here?

PETE
Waiting for a tow truck.

ROBBIE
Oh.
Hey, are your ears ringing?

PETE
A little, yeah.

ROBBIE
My ears have been ringing like crazy.

PETE
Yeah?

ROBBIE
Yeah. And my grandmother keeps talking to me.

PETE
Your grandmother?

ROBBIE
Yeah. Problem is, she's my dead grandmother.

PETE
Whoa.

ROBBIE
Yeah.

PETE
That's bizarre.

ROBBIE
No kidding! And she keeps trying to tell me something, but I can't understand.

PETE
Why not?

ROBBIE
I don't understand Spanish.

PETE
What?

ROBBIE
I don't speak Spanish.

PETE
You're kidding me.

ROBBIE
Nope.

PETE
But, you're Mexican.

ROBBIE
I'm a Mexican in Colorado.

PETE
And you don't speak Spanish?

ROBBIE
Nope.

PETE
Why not?

ROBBIE
My parents wouldn't teach me.

PETE
Why?

ROBBIE
I guess they just wanted me to be an American.

PETE
Huh.

ROBBIE
Yeah. Huh.

PETE
You live down by the river?

ROBBIE
Yeah, between the river and the railroad tracks.

PETE
Wow.

ROBBIE
There's a lot of us down there that don't speak Spanish.


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