king kwik

Gi60 UK is up this weekend at the Viaduct Theatre in Halifax, and my piece “Possible Opening Lines” opens the show.  Hoo ha.  Here’s my piece from last week’s show in Brooklyn.

King Kwik

Scene: ISAAC – middle-aged – speaks to the audience, off to the side of the stage.

ISAAC
King Kwik was the greatest store on Earth.  It had everything you could possibly need:  comics, candy, pizza, 25 cent airplanes, a big spy mirror, and, of course, Icees.  But more than anything, King Kwik had Margaret. 

Lights come up on MARGARET, 60, thin, white-haired, chipper, behind a counter.  She speaks to an unseen child.

MARGARET
Is that candy?  Oh, that’s a lot of candy.

ISAAC
Margaret was dependable and not at all complicated.  At exactly 3:05 p.m. hundreds of kids would race the two blocks from school to see who could be first to victimize Margaret.

A horde of kids, including IZZY and TIM (both 11), come onstage and huddle around the counter, shoving food and items at Margaret and yelling orders at Margaret.

KIDS
Heat my pizza, Margaret!  Icee!  Icee!  I want change!   Stop pushing!  Take out my pizza!  Icee!  I dropped a quarter!  Where’s the bathroom?  He hit me, Margaret.  I want change!  Heat my pizza! 

MARGARET
Okay!  Settle down!  Settle down, honey!

ISAAC
She liked the girls best.  Called them “honey.”

She spots a boy in the corner.

MARGARET
You!  Over there!  I saw that!  Out for a month!  I know you, now!  Out for a month! 

ISAAC
That was her punishment for delinquents.  No King Kwik for a month. 

TIM, a tough kid in a white t-shirt, grabs something, sticks it under his shirt and bumps Izzy.  He starts to exits.

MARGARET
You!  Alright!  I saw that!  Empty your pockets!

Tim turns, angry and defensive.

TIM
I din’t do nothin’!

MARGARET
Oh yes you did.  I saw you in the spy mirror.

TIM
DID NOT!  DIN’T DO NOTHIN’!

MARGARET
…Oh!  Out!  And don’t come back for a month!

TIM
Aw, bite me, ya’ bitch!  I’ll come back tomorrow!

The kids are stunned.  Tim storms out.  Margaret is shocked, hurt.  Tears well up in her eyes and she turns and covers her face with her apron.  All the kids leave but Izzy.  He watches her, compassionately, and approaches the counter. 

IZZY
C’n I have an Icee?

Margaret shaking, makes the Icee.

IZZY
Are you okay?

Margaret nods.  She hands him the Icee.  He pays, starts to leave.

MARGARET
Those Pop-tarts are eighty-five cents.

Izzy stops, frozen.  He backs up, sheepishly, puts the pop-tarts and change on the counter.

MARGARET
And I’m sorry, but you can’t come in for a month. 

Izzy runs off, head hung low.

MARGARET
(calling after him)
Don’t forget your Pop-tarts!

ISAAC
But they’d only have a bitter taste.

A girl comes in, puts a piece of candy on the counter.  Izzy, off to the side, presses his face to the glass, watching – a sad criminal.

MARGARET
Thirty cents, honey.

BLACKOUT

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