A Pair of Heroes

BELLA walks into her home with her best friend HANNAH.

Entering.

Bella: Put that old greasy bastard in check next time you—(noticing her rug in the living room) what in the he–what in God’s glorious name did—(she sees Greggie) WHERE is Bushy?
Greggie: (nervously) He in the weeds.
Bella: Now you go get that boys ass out them weeds this instant. Talking ’bout setting my rug on fire. I’m a bust his ass!
Greggie: I get ’em. I get ’em now fo ya but he scared a what he done.
Bella: What he done? Burnt my rug to ash! How he do such a thang?
Greggie: We was playing soldiers and he let off a grenade with umm, matches and umm, yeah just matches.
Bella: He did what?
Greggie: He threw the match there at the enemy and that’s when things catch fire and ummm–
Bella: Greggie?
Greggie: Mmm-hmm?
Bella: Go get that boy before I kill you where you stand…

Greggie runs out the back porch doors.

(to Hannah) Hannah, I’m done had it. I’m a crack that boy as hard as I can upside his empty head—
Hannah: Now, now, Bella dear, they just boys.
Bella: Boys?! Don’t you be taking his part. Not today girl, not today.
Hannah: You goin’ on like that rug come from Africa. That rug four dollars and thirty-five cents Bell. They about two hundred more in the store.
Bella: Don’t give me that. Don’t you see this ain’t just about the rug? Rug was much more than that by the way. Where is that boy?! (walks to porch doorway) Greggie?! Bushy, I’m a bust yo ass. The longer you take the more it gonna hurt son. Now get yo–
Bushy: I’m right here Gramma.
Bella: What I tell you ’bout sneaking up on me like that? I’m old! WHAT did you do to my rug?
Bushy: What rug?
Bella: Boy, you see that square black stain center of my living room?
Bushy: Yes.
Bella: That used to be where the rug lay.
Bushy: Okay.
Bella: As you see it has gone up in flame. (beat) Why did my rug go up in flame?
Bushy: I ain’t know nothing about it.
Bella: Boy. Don’t you lie to me.
Bushy: I ain’t burn your rug Gramma.
Bella: Wheeewww Lordy. I am gettin’ hot up in here boy oh—I’m about to get possessed by my dark spirit. You tell me the truth this instant before I go demon on yo ass! What happened to my rug?
Bushy: Greggie lit a match and threw it at my soldier and then the rug when up in flames Gramma. I’m sorry.
Bella: Greggie?! Greggie tell me YOU the one who threw the match.
Bushy: No, it was Greggie threw the match.

Bella looks at Hannah.

Hannah: Now Bella, just stay calm, we just come back from Sunday mass.
Bella: (softly) Go get Greggie.
Bushy: He in the weeds hiding.
Bella: Go get Greggie!!

Bushy runs out the porch.

Somebody be lying up in here!
Hannah: Now, now, they both scared stiff.
Bella: I’m a give them something to be scared of, tell you that.
Hannah: Just talk calmly, be calm, if you calm they tell you the truth is all.
Bella: Did you see it?
Hannah: See what dear?
Bella: My eyes went crossed. I got so angry felt my eyes cross.
Hannah: Honey, you want some water? Shot a Jameson?
Bella: Water, please. Thank you. (beat) Them two boys taking way too long.
Hannah: (from kitchen) They gotta come home sooner or later.
Bella: This is what I get for watching my daughters kids. I’m too old for this.

Hannah brings water to Bella.

Thanks Hannah. (downs glass of water and hands it back)

Bella walks over to the porch doors.

Bella: You two boys ain’t here in half a minute, I’m coming out to them weeds myself and that the last thing you want me to do!!
Hannah: Why don’t you take a seat and breathe.

Bella sits.

I’m fine. I can’t stand recklessness. Carelessness. They old enough to not be so, so, so—
Hannah: Negligent.
Bella: Ewww, that’s a good word. I like that. Negligent.

Greggie and Bushy come into the living room.

There, there, there. Now. You both be blaming one another and I want the real man to step forward and speak the truth. Who’s responsible for burning my rug?

(same time)

Greggie: It was me.
Bushy: It was me.

Bella: Look what we have here. A pair of heroe’s. Each one claiming that he did it in order to not be the one caught. I see. Very slick boys. Clever game. Well, since you both are so heroic, you both will take the punishment. I want you both to go upstairs to your room so I can think long and hard about how I’m gonna best serve your punishment. As of now, there won’t be any dinner tonight. When you are both ready to tell me the truth, I am ready to hear it. Now go upstairs.

Both Greggie and Bushy go upstairs.

Hannah: You handled that well.
Bella: I’ll take that Jameson now.

Joseph Arnone

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