No Barrel Required: A One-Act Play About Being Clueless

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Tempest and Thunder are climbing down the stairs to Luna Island – the overlook right at the edge of Bridal Veil Falls and the American Falls.  Looking outward toward the Falls, it’s pretty obvious just how fast this water is moving as it heads toward the top and rushes over.

The base of the staircase drops Tempest and Thunder onto Luna Island – a large square, flat promontory sitting in between the very edges of the top of the Falls. There is a metal railing that begins at the bottom of the stairs on the left and edges the water around the square. At the base of the stairs on the right, the railing ends and a paved path upward begins along the rushing waters of the rapids just before the falls. The path is approximately 6 feet wide with a grassy embankment that slopes downward to the rapids approximately 10 feet below.

See how calm this area is?

Tempest and Thunder reach the bottom of the stairs. Thunders moves forward into the square, headed for the overlook. Tempest…pauses…and inches toward the path on the right. Suddenly from behind her, Tempest hears:

Get. Back. Over. Here. Please.

Te: What? I was just going to look at it. Maybe…

Th: No.

Te: …just slide down…

Th: No.

Te: …the bank to the spot…

Th: No.

Te: …where the water is calm and touch it.

Th: No.

Te: I just want to pet it. The water isn’t rushing here. Look it’s a little pocket off to the side – look at how calm the water is here!

Th: You are less than 30 feet from the Falls! Let’s face it: you are the only person alive who could be standing in the middle of this path and still somehow end up in the middle of those rapids out there. What do you think will happen if you just “slide down the bank to the spot where the water is calm and touch it?”

Te: No, really, it’s very easy to climb down right over here. And see how the water is so calm right here…

Th: “Mr. Thunder, exactly where were YOU when your wife ended up in the rapids and ultimately over the Falls, ending in her untimely death?”

Te: The police are not going to think you pushed me in – look at all the witnesses…

Th: “Mr. Thunder, whose idea was it to walk all over the state park this morning, and, once tired and weary, end up with your wife in this unguarded location?”

Te: The water is just lapping at the edge here, even the birds are bathing in it…

Th: One more question, Mr. Thunder, why do you have a passport and a large roll of money on you?

Te: Just because you won in the casino and you have your passport so we can visit Canada doesn’t mean anything sinister.

Th: Let’s write that in a note, put it in a plastic bag, and pin to your shirt so the police will understand when they pull your body out of the water down there, okay?

Te: They would understand if you told them, no?

Th: Hell, no – I’ll be in Canada by then – I can see the bridge from here. But here’s a thought: Why not avoid the whole mess by coming back over here with me and we’ll go see the Falls up close.

Tempest, looking across the square at the rushing water that disappears suddenly from view, and now realizing that the Falls are really close to the edge of the square, moves toward the low metal railing at a quickened pace.

Te: Hey, look how low the railing is over here!

Th: (muttering under his breath) Running toward the falls…nope, nothing could go wrong there…

This is all that separates you from Destiny

May 6th, 2012

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