Rest Your Eyes

Rest Your Eyes is a short period piece script for 2 actors.  BERNARDO returns to a town seeking revenge on a woman named MRS. EMILY.

Rest Your Eyes

Bernardo:  You told me I would be nothing.  You told me that I was just some loser born on the wrong side of the tracks.  A peasant as I recall it.  A low life peasant.  Racist against me cause I’m Italian.  Thinking I’m in the mafia.

You never looked me in the eyes and observed my character, my make up as a man; you judged me and criticized me and never gave me a fair chance.  Had I not had olive skin, you would have given me that loan for my business…but I digress.  Perhaps you still would have laughed and waved me off as you did, unless there was some large piece of the pie for you.  Too large, I’m afraid, always too large indeed.

All that unnecessary stuff, for what?  To prove what, Mrs. Emily?  To prove you are the stronger one, the dominant one, the one who calls the shots…hmmm.  Maybe you do, may you call all the shots.

One thing is certain…this visit is not just ‘a visit’.  No.  I’m a busy man these days…this is a business trip.  You see, Mrs. Emily…I am making a purchase today.  (beat)  I am buying the entire town and everything in it, from the buildings to the land they stand on.  You see?  I have swept the carpet out from under you, you old hag!

And I hope you live another fifteen years to see what I’m going to do next!  You wretched old bat!  You evil, crooked, spiteful woman!  I’ve taken over your world and everything in it and there is not a single thing you can do!

THIS, this is your destiny my dear Mrs. Emily.  For all those people you’ve ousted and put into ruins, they are all coming back.  I have my men out there, locating each and every one of them and their families.  All the wrong you have done has come to an end and will be set right by me so help me God.

The evil tyranny you have displayed during your rein has come to its final day.  I am the new king around here. You have been dethroned…

Mrs. Emily: Is that all?  (she bursts out laughing uncontrollably)  Boy, for a moment there I thought you were going to actually say something with some meaning, some dignity.  All the same coming from the likes of you.  Do you really imagine, in that tiny brain of yours that I wasn’t already prepared?  You do not become who I am today without looking over your shoulder.  I’ve always seen you in the rearview mirror.  Always panting and coughing, trying to catch up!  I commend you for that Bernardo.  I do. I do.  But, I’m afraid that things aren’t always as they seem.  I’m an old toad, I know a few things about the law and I wish to encourage you to continue on as you are doing.  Buy everything up.  Have your men, as you called them…so sophisticated, aren’t we?  Have you men, the little ants scatter around as far and as wide as you must.  It all means nothing!

Bernardo: I have you right where I want you.  You will be tied to this, this home of past glory.  Going nowhere!  Just rotting and withering away into cobwebs.

Mrs. Emily: Such poetry.  You must have been reading all these years.  Literature or just the funny papers?

Bernardo: We’ll see who will be laughing when you receive your papers—

Mrs. Emily: What papers? (she takes folded up documents out from a nearby cabinet) These papers?  These papers?  I’ve read them through.

Bernardo: Good.

Mrs. Emily: Yes, I have read them through.  All, the, way, through…they are useless.  You can’t do anything with them Bernardo.  I don’t know what lawyer you have working under your green thumb but these papers have no power.  The land and buildings that you plan on purchasing, or should I say, wish to purchase will only lead you to a dead end.

Bernardo: That’s preposterous.  Everything is already bought and paid for, it’s—

Mrs. Emily: Thank you for the deposit.  It was a hefty some I placed into my coffers.  Much obliged.  Now, if you will excuse me, I must be—

Bernardo:  What the hell are you talking about woman?!

Mrs. Emily: I’ve taken your fortune.  You see, the money you paid for the property and the buildings has been given to me but in return you are left with dust.

Bernardo: How is that even remotely possible?

Mrs. Emily: I own this town and everything in it!  You think you can pull the wool over my own two eyes?  I have every judge, lawyer and pony working for me and my family for the last three hundred years.  Do you really think a peasant such as yourself is going to actually come into the picture and take what doesn’t belong to you?  It’s never belonged to you, Bernardo…and never will.

(Bernardo chokes Mrs. Emily)

Bernardo: I will have proof and I will kill you before you think you can take what’s—

(Mrs. Emily stabs Bernardo with a knife at his side – he releases his grip on her and steps back)

Mrs. Emily: There you are.  There, there.  I got you good and this will be all over soon enough.  You didn’t pass the final test.  In business, it’s the man who can smile with false teeth that wins.  Apparently, my false teeth are shining brighter than ever and I am the better man.  Yes, yes, yes.  Sit down, sit down.  Here, let me help you, Bernardo.

(She helps Bernardo to the couch)

You see, I never disliked you…well, not completely that is, but well, I know your kind. Never liked your kind, really.  Something missing I just can’t quite put my finger on, even after all these years.  Sad, but certainly true.  There, there.  Nice and easy.  Steady she goes. Rest your head, rest your eyes.  There, there.

Yes, I guess I owe you this…you had me.  Completely.  But that temper of yours, that weakness in men, yes, there in lives your biggest crime.  Good job Bernardo.  You would have won but I outwitted you.  No one has that much power but now that you are just about gone, you will have nothing.  I will plead self-defense.  I allowed you to choke me long enough for bruising to show and that’s about it.

I will retain my crown…


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