|The Muscadine Trellis by Werner Trieschmann
Lights up on a bright, soon-to-be
hot July morning.
BARRY, sifting at the table, is
staring at his laptop computer.
He hits the enter key on his
computer. (The computer should
speak in a slow but easily
understood voice. It shouldn't
Some ... say ... the ... world ...
OLIN, wearing work clothes,
walks in from the left pushing a
wheelbarrow that's filled with
plants and tools.
... will. . . end ... in ... fire.
OLIN pulls a sprinkler out of the
wheelbarrow and puts it on the
(Muttering to himself)
Only so many hours in the day ... acres of work ... acres of work.
we're burning daylight.
OLIN now sees that BARRY is
(Now seeing BARRY)
Hey, you. Computer. Tell me when this comes on.
OLIN then picks up the
wheelbarrow and exits off to the
right. SARAH, also wearing work
clothes and work gloves, walks
in from the left.
Oh. Barry. I thought Anna was here.
Is it on?!
Olin left this sprinkler. He forgot it. Look.
BARRY doesn't look.
He left this sprinkler.
BARRY doesn't respond.
That's that old sprinkler. That's the one that's broken. The water
just shoots out of one end I think. It shoots out in one long stream.
Yeah. That 's that old sprinkler. It's gonna be hard to water the
whole garden with one old, broken sprinkler. We'll have to use the
BARRY doesn't respond.
All of Anna's tools are old and rusty.
Is it on now?!
I thought you'd be working on your house today.
ANNA, wearing casual clothes
walks, in from the left. She has
mail in her hand. She sits down
at the bench.
Did she send another letter?
Is it on?!
(Looking at BARRY)
He can't tear himself away from that computer, can he?
It's gonna get to a hundred today.
What am I supposed to do with Olin? He has to come out here,
Anna. To keep him in the house is dangerous. He tries to fix
things that aren't broken and he ends up breaking them. I had a
curling iron that worked fine until he took it apart. Now he has his
eye on the washing machine.
Don't stay out here all day.
We have to water or everything will bum up. That old sprinkler
won't work. It just shoots out one stream of water. We'll have to
use the hose.
OK, use the hose.
It would be better if the sprinkler worked.
We're gonna pull weeds in that garden by the birdbath.
That garden might as well be dead, Sarah. There's no reason to
work it because nobody cares.
It isn't dead, Anna. It's hardly dead. Did you know there are wild
strawberries growing down there? You ought to take a walk and
OLIN walks in from the right.
Damn it to hell! I've been screaming my lungs out.
Well Olin, you could walk up here.
Is the sprinkler on?
No. There's no hose attached.
(Goes over and picks up the sprinkler)
Can't do this all by myself ... got acres of work. . .
OLIN walks off with the sprinkler
to the right.
I better go.
I wouldn't read the letter. I don't know what good it would do.
Anna. I'm worried about this trellis. The vines are getting so thick
in there. You can't walk through anymore. You gotta go all the
way around the hedges. Aren't you worried?
Your dad was so proud when he built that. I remember that day. It
was a hot day like today. I think it was June. But it could have
been July. Your dad was beside himself and he so wanted your
mother to be impressed.
There was no hope for that.
Well, she had her mind on higher things. But look at the trellis
now, Anna. We ought to try to do something. We ought to try to fix
I could fix it with a bulldozer.
Anna. I'm serious.
If you and Olin want to take it on as a project, I guess can't stop
you. I won't spend one minute on it. It's beyond help.
ANNA opens up the letter.
AURORA steps out of the trellis
and talks directly to the
Hey Anna, the only paper I could find was from the Gideon Bible,
so I thought I'd write on the edges. Mother would be so proud.
Tomorrow is July Fourth.
There's a parade in town. What are you doing?
Staying away from town ANNA
The church is havin' a social. A picnic. That's at noon before the
parade. They haven't seen you at the church in a long time.
Sarah. They haven't ever seen me at your church.
Oh. Right. They'd like to see you.
No they wouldn't.
Anna. What an awful thing to say. Why wouldn't they want to see
I can't imagine anything worse.
ANNA continues to read the
I knew you were cold and heartless but I guess I had to get this far
away to find out how cold.
Oh Anna. Anna.
I had to get this far away to find out how cold.
There's a new minister at church. He's young but you need to
ANNA stops reading the letter.
What did you say?
He wants to see the garden and to meet you. Anna, you can't just
stay up here alone. They talk about you in town. They talk about
you like you're a ghost.
I'm busy, Sarah. I'm busy.
ANNA, crumpling up the letter
and throwing it on the ground,
gets up and walks off to the left.
OLIN walks in from the right. He
is obviously looking for
What is it?
Where the hell is ... the sprinkler ... the sprinkler ....
Didn't you just pick it up?
SARAH and OLIN walk off to the
left. BARRY gets up and picks up
the letter that ANNA has thrown
to the ground. He reads it.
I'm only your flesh and blood little sister. Part of the house is mine
you know. Wire me money. Yeah, I'll buy drugs but I need food,
too. It's hot here and dark. I don't have AIDS. Wire money to
Tulsa. I went to a cockfight. The roosters really fight to the death.
No, I'm in St. Louis. Please, Anna. No, I'm in Tulsa. Please,
BARRY walks over and sits down
at the table. He hits enter in his
Some... say ... the ... world... will... end... in ... fire.
Lights dim to blackout.
End of One