A play in one scene
September 26, 2020
Late fall, 2020, early morning
Edward’s small bookshop, situated in a two-story red brick building on the courthouse square of a small midwestern county seat college town.
A few brightly lit, modern shelves near the front house recently released books, while the rest of the shop is shelved floor to ceiling with used copies of classics and random literature.
Edward is leaning bodily forward onto his sales counter, his face hovering over a huge and visibly steaming mug.
Scene I-1: Hillary risks her life
(EDWARD rests on his elbows on his salescounter, cupping his hands and drawing the steam from his mug into his face as HILLARY enters, wearing a black facemask and bundled in an enormous coat, which she struggles out of, fails to fold over her arm, and finally throws on the floor near the door.)
My first customer…
Good mor… Hey! You’ve got to wear a mask you know.
(EDWARD groaningly straightens to a standing position, reaches under the counter, produces a white mask and hooks it over his ears)
That’s the way. Good morning. Sorry about the coat. If anyone else comes in, I’ll pick it up.
Not to worry. Not to worry.
Anything I can help you find?
A book about…
(HILLARY gives a cursory look at the front shelves, then wanders deeper into the shop)
Lord. I’ve risked my life to come here and find… something… and I… I have no idea what to look for!
You’re sure to find something. Just take your time.
Yes, I… I’m sure you’re right.
Risked your life because of the virus you mean?
Of course! It’s everywhere, they say. You’d better keep that mask on… people coming in and out of here… You’ve no idea where they’ve been or who… or what they’ve touched…
You haven’t been going out much, I take it? More of a stay-at-home strategy in these… strange… times?
Love! A book about love, for God’s sake.
Yes? I suppose… I mean not just a romance novel, no. Something… epic, classic… classy, you know?
I’d say… look on the back wall there… They’re alphabetical. I’d say look for… Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
prompted by and submitted to the Be All Write campaign