In the 10 minute scripted scene Callings and Commandments, father/son Davison/Charlie discuss trying to fix their broken family. Drama. 2 Men.
- Download the free .pdf screenplay version: CALLINGS AND COMMANDMENTS
DAVISON leans against a wooden/wired fence observing the chickens.
CHARLIE enters the barn. He slowly makes his way over to his father and joins him at the chicken coop.
After a moment.
CHARLIE: Where are you?
Davison looks over at his son.
DAVISON: Just looking out.
CHARLIE: At what?
DAVISON: Life. My life. Life with your mother.
CHARLIE: What do you see?
DAVISON: Wondering if she’s happy…
CHARLIE: It’s been a year.
DAVISON: And three days.
CHARLIE: I think she’s doing what she needs to do, not what she wants to do.
DAVISON: What in the hell you talkin’ about, boy?
CHARLIE: I don’t believe mom wanted to leave us, Dad.
DAVISON: You drunk?
CHARLIE: Remember when you told me how you didn’t have a choice to take over the reigns from Grandpa and work the land? Remember?
DAVISON: That’s cause I didn’t have a choice.
CHARLIE: Maybe you didn’t want to take over things but deep down inside you had to, you needed to. It was inescapable.
DAVISON: I HAD to because if I didn’t we’d lose everything and when I say everything I damn well mean everything ever.
CHARLIE: But wasn’t there a part of you that made you do what you do, like a commandment.
CHARLIE: Don’t you know what I’m saying or is it because you don’t want to hear it?
DAVISON: Hear it? Ain’t nothing louder than a woman leaving you when that door closes shut. Ain’t no matter how quietly it’s done, there’s a ringing left in a man’s ears that never goes away, no matter how many lousy cans of beer he drinks!
CHARLIE: Why you wondering if Mom is happy?
DAVISON: Because I want her to be happy son because I hate her…
What sort a man let’s his wife leave for France to be a writer?
CHARLIE: The sort of man that understands what it’s like to have a deep calling.
DAVISON: Bet you think you’re smart, don’t ya?
CHARLIE: I’m just saying—
DAVISON: Shut your face before I put my fist in it.
Talkin’ bout callings and commandments…what, you a preacher now, boy? You gonna go off and start preaching along the bible belt? Telling people about how they should be living their lives and talking to me about forgiveness and love and sacrifice? Is that it?
This is real life, son. There ain’t no automatic fix! There ain’t no Goddamn prayer that’s gonna bring your momma back to us.
Talkin’ bout remedies…don’t talk to me about–I had no choice! Get that through your dim-witted mind. There was no commandment other than the fact that if I wasn’t up at 4a.m. each morning my Daddy would have given me the strap upside my head and a boot upside my ass to start my day.
A man has got to be a man or else he gets left behind, son. There’s certain responsibilities a man has got to face up to and must accept if he is going to have a decent way of living.
CHARLIE: So you never wanted to be a farmer?
DAVISON: Hell, no!
CHARLIE: But you told me you had a calling.
DAVISON: I had you and your mother to think about, ain’t no greater calling than that.
CHARLIE: But what did you want to do for you?
DAVISON: There was no me, only us.
CHARLIE: No! You didn’t have to do shit, pop. You could have done it differently.
DAVISON: And do what?
CHARLIE: Whatever it was that you really wanted to do in the first place.
I’m leaving to go to Paris…I’m meeting momma.
DAVISON: …When you going?
CHARLIE: You have a ticket.
DAVISON: What did you say?
CHARLIE: There’s a ticket for you, too.
DAVISON: Your momma ain’t gonna want to see me.
CHARLIE: She does.
DAVISON: What you been doing, son?
CHARLIE: I’m bringing my family back together.
DAVISON: I can’t just pick up and leave.
CHARLIE: Yes, you can.
DAVISON: What makes you think I would want to go to Paris?
CHARLIE: Because momma’s waiting for us.
DAVISON: I can’t go to Paris…not because I don’t want to…I can’t go to Paris because I don’t want to make it worse for your mother. I’m liable to botch the whole thing up. She’s a writer now and we’ve grown apart, two separate people and she’s probably met some french man who smells really good and wears nice suits and that just ain’t me, so—it’s not gonna work.
CHARLIE: I spoke to Mom and she hasn’t—it’s not about her meeting another man…it was about her doing what she needed to do for herself…she still loves you, Dad.
DAVISON: If your momma loved me she never would have left me.
CHARLIE: She never left you, Dad.
DAVISON: She’s on the other side of the Atlantic.
CHARLIE: I’m telling you something, if you could only listen without your pride and ego getting in the way of your reason. My mother, your wife, is in Paris, expecting the both of us to join her, so we can try and be a family again.
DAVISON: How in the hell is that supposed to work?
CHARLIE: She still loves you, Dad…
DAVISON: …Go on back inside the house…I’ll be there in a bit…go on…
Charlie looks at his father, before turning away and leaving the barn.
Davison looks back over the chicken coop.