Joe’s Grill. Jocelyn arrives, takes off her backpack and sits on the steps. Joe and his wife Minny arrive in their van. Joe and Minny get out of the van, walk up the steps and open the door. All three enter.
Joe: Please stick your hair in the light socket to comply with our hairstyle policy.
(Jocelyn does as she is told. Customers start entering the restaurant. A bunch of people enter and sit down at a table. Jocelyn walks over to them.)
Jocelyn: Can I interest you in some of Joe’s special hash?
Customer 1: No thanks, man, we’re hungry enough as it is.
(Benny enters the restaurant.)
Benny: Hey, Joss, I’ll have an omlet and juice.
Jocelyn: Gee, I didn’t think you’d be up this early after last night.
Benny: Yeah, all that far out heavy stuff about whether the universe really exists, and whether existence is like a record, and death is just skipping from one cut to the next. I had to get up early, anyway. I went to mass this morning.
Jocelyn: Did you say a special prayer for your dead mother?
Benny: What? Oh, no, man. Mass is this group of people I’ve joined up with where we get together and worship the mass of our own bodies.
Jocelyn: Oh. Well, I’ll just go fetch your omlet from the grill. (She takes his omlet off the grill, puts it on a plate and sets it on the counter. When she turns around, Benny is gone) Hey, Benny didn’t stay to eat his omlet.
Joe: Just feed it to the obese man who lives in the shed out back.
Customer: I could have served the whole place French toast in the time since I ordered it.
Jocelyn: I wish you would have. Then it would have saved me having to do it when there are already a whole bunch of people here who need serving.
Second Customer: This pepper doesn’t appear to be the salt I wanted for my eggs, sweetheart. I better snort it up my nose to make sure, though.
(He snorts the pepper up his nose, sneezes and blows himself across the room.)
Joe: Where’s Gabe? That boy’s late for work again this month. (He picks up the phone and dials Gabe’s parents) Hello, it’s Joe down at Joe’s Grill. Gabe hasn’t arrived at work yet. Maybe I got his schedule mixed up. His hours are Saturdays from seven to noon. Maybe time has gotten rearranged and today’s Friday or something instead of Saturday. … You haven’t seen him either? … Well, I guess he’s disappeared without a trace.
The backyard. Jocelyn and Gabe, four years old, are leaning over the railing looking down at the water. There mothers are sitting on the deck, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes.
Jocelyn’s Mother: Hey, get down from there, you two. Wash that grime off your hands and you can have cookies.
(Jocelyn and Gabe go into the bathroom and wash their hands. Gabe blocks the door.)
Gabe: You can’t get out.
Jocelyn: Oh well, I have all the water I can drink.
(After a couple minutes, Gabe opens the door. Gabe and Jocelyn go into the kitchen and each take a cookie from the top of the wood stove. Their mothers are standing in front of the stove, taking deep breaths.)
Joe’s Grill. Jocelyn takes her uniform off and puts it in her locker. She walks out the back door. Benny is waiting on the back steps.
Jocelyn: Hey, Benny.
Benny: Hi, Joss.
Jocelyn: Wanna go down to the river?
Benny: I can’t.
Benny: If we go down to the river and start making out … In church this morning, I promised I wouldn’t make out with you so my sick mother can get better.
Jocelyn: But Benny, it’s perfectly natural that two people our age would want to make out.
Benny: I can’t, Joss. I made a deal with The Man.
Jocelyn: Come on. Please.
Benny: Well, OK.
(They start walking toward the river. The man shows up in his pink van.)
The Man: What do you two think you’re doing?
Benny: Oh no. It’s The Man.
(They run in the direction of the river. The Man chases after them. They run along the riverbank. The Man chases them and fires a laser at Benny and Jocelyn, missing them every time. The three chase each other through a K-mart and an autobody shop. Benny and Jocelyn pull out lasers and a fight ensues. The Man runs back to his van and speeds away.)
The backyard. Jocelyn and Gabe are four years old. Jocelyn is playing church in her backyard. She places a cookie in each of the doll’s mouths. She then unscrews the top from a bottle of homemade dandelion wine and pours some in each of the doll’s mouths. Father Warren enters.
Jocelyn: Oh, hi Father
I hope you’re not mad I’m playing church with my dolls. I’m pretending to serve
Father Warren: No, sweetie, I’m not mad. After all, every week I pretend to turn bread and wine into the body of Jesus. However, I will need to take that jar of wine from you.
(She hands over the jar of wine. Gabe, his father Mike and Gabe’s brothers, Timmy and Mathew, are repairing their dock.)
Mike: Gabe, go get me a Phillips screwdriver. (Gabe goes to the toolbox and returns with a Robertson screwdriver) That’s not a Phillips. Gosh, none of you have anything in between the ears. (Gabe goes back to the toolbox and returns with the right screwdriver. He starts to insert it into the screw) No, don’t screw it in. Hand it to me.
Gabe: I wanna do it.
Mike: When you’re bigger. Hand me the screwdriver.
Gabe: I can do it.
Mike: OK, tough guy. You think you’re so big. Hey Timmy, I remember the last time I tried to fix this bloody dock. (Gabe inserts the screwdriver into the head of the screw. It slips out.) See, told you you couldn’t do it.
Gabe: I’ll get it. (Gabe inserts the screwdriver again. He pushes down and turns it. The screw begins to go into the wood.) I did it. I did it. (Neither Mike nor either of Gabe’s brothers is paying any attention) Fine, I won’t become a big, strong, manly carpenter when I grow up. I’ll become a priest or something.
Jocelyn’s house. Jocelyn enters. Jocelyn’s mother is sitting at the kitchen table.
Mom: Hey, Jocelyn, come join us.
Jocelyn: Just a minute.
(Jocelyn goes into the bathroom and washes her face. She comes back out into the kitchen.)
Marja: Yeah, it’ll be so great when the feminists have finally taken over. Man, thirty-some years from now, women will do all the important jobs. Men’ll be left sitting at home on the couch. They’ll have to come out with a whole new line of movies for men. No more of these women doing anything to get a husband. All these
gals thinking their lives aren’t complete till they land a man, that’ll all
disappear when women take over. Wanna know something else, when the feminist
movement has finally done what it sets out to do, there’ll be an end to
pornography. The revenue of the porn industry will shrink till everybody
involved in it will have to flip burgers for a living. Listen to me, ladies,
thirty-five years from now there won’t be any money in making porn, and
there’ll be almost nowhere you can find it.
The backyard. Gabe and Jocelyn, four years old, are sitting around a table on the back deck eating ham and cheese sandwiches. Mike and Timmy are next door, watching “Seventy-seven Sunset Strip.”
Seventy-seven Sunset Strip …
Stuart Bailey: I love being a detective in
Los Angeles. Sure, you still have to face
murder, theft, human beings at their worst, but it’s in Los Angeles so it’s
Beatnik: Yeah yeah, doodacoodies. That jank be bonk
Stuart Bailey: You know, whoever you are, I hate everything you beatniks stand for. However, you’re useful to me for gathering information. I wish they could make a law putting you and everyone else like you in jail. By the way, the whole beatnik lifestyle went out of style two years ago.
Jocelyn: Mom, we’re getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. (Jocelyn’s mother comes out, drunk and holding a jar of wine in one hand. She lights a candle, sets her arm on fire in the process and runs back inside.)
Mom: Not gonna hurt till morning.
(The candle attracts moths. Some of the moths fly too close to the flame and die.)
Jocelyn: We should have a funeral for the moths.
Gabe: They can’t go to heaven.
Jocelyn: It would help us get rid of our sandwiches.
Gabe: They can’t go to heaven. They died by accident.
Gabe: Timmy told me that if you die by accident, like if you light a match in order to inspect your gas tank, or if you try to get your pit bull to bite you because your curious to see if your pit bull is vicious like other dogs and it tears you to pieces, then you can’t go to heaven. It’s the same with those moths. They can’t go to heaven because they died of stupidity.
Theresa’s car. Jocelyn and Theresa are driving down the road. Jocelyn is wearing extremely large bell bottoms. Theresa is wearing a short dress and saddle shoes.
Jocelyn: I don’t really want to go to Catherine Leblanc’s party, but maybe it’ll help us find out something about where Gabe is.
Theresa: Yeah, it’s weird, Gabe just disappearing like that.
(“You Sexy Thing” comes on the radio. The girls start singing along.)
Girls: I believe in miracles, I believe in miracles, I believe in miracles.
Anncr: That was the band Hot Chocolate with the song You Sexy Thing. I’m Casey Kasem. You know, I’m a young broadcaster in the prime of my career and yet I suck.
Theresa: So yeah, Gabe’s disappearance is weird. Maybe it’s like Patty Herst, and Gabe’s been kidnapped by some radical political organization, except he’s not being held against his will because he actually agrees with the groups mission and ideals.
Jocelyn: Somehow I don’t think so.
Theresa: Maybe he and Bernadette went to the city because he was pregnant.
Jocelyn: Did you just say he or she?
Theresa: I said she.
Jocelyn: I’m pretty sure I heard you say he.
Theresa: Oh. Anyway, that happened with Susan Hopkins. She and her boyfriend went to
to live after she got pregnant. Man, just think of Gabe and Bernadette riding
the subway all night.
Jocelyn: Yeah, that’s what Susan and her boyfriend did. They were mugged about every two stops. Also, Benny broke up with me today.
(Theresa puts her arms around Jocelyn.)
Theresa: Honey, that is so cruel. Why do you always go out with such cruel guys?
(The car swerves off the road and they crash into a tree.)
Pine Street. Jocelyn and Gabe, four years old, are standing on the street corner trying to sell flowers.
Gabe: Floweres. Flowers. Get your flowers here. Ten cents a bunch.
Customer 1: I’ll buy some flowers.
(Gabe and Jocelyn hand them some flowers.)
Customer 2: I’ll buy some flowers, too.
(Gabe and Jocelyn hand them some flowers as well.)
Customer 3: I’ll buy some flowers.
(Jocelyn and Gabe hand them some flowers.)
Gabe: All right. We have enough money to buy candy.
(They enter Ray’s Market and walk up to the counter.)
Jocelyn: Two pairs of wax lips, please.
Ray: Sure. That’ll be however much money you have on you.
(Jocelyn and Gabe each hand Ray fifteen cents. He hands them each a pair of wax lips. Jocelyn and Gabe put them on, exit Ray’s Market and run around on the streets kissing people. Mike comes up to them.
Mike: Hey, kids. Where’d you get those wax lips?
Jocelyn: We got them with the money we got from selling flowers.
Mike: And where’d you get the flowers?
Gabe: We picked them from Mrs. Cavannah’s garden.
(Mike takes off his belt, pulls down Gabe’s pants and starts hitting him.)
Mike: Don’t you ever steal flowers from Mrs. Cavannah’s garden again.
Gabe: Stop, stop. I know it was wrong to steal flowers from her garden. I’ll never do it again.
Mike: I’m not whippin’ you because it was wrong. Get money however you can I say. I’m beating you because when people find out you stole flowers from Mrs. Cavannah’s garden, it’ll reflect badly on your mother and me.
Gabe: Fine. I won’t sell flowers ever again. I won’t be a businessman when I grow up. I’ll be something where you get payed no matter how little you do or how lousy you are at your job, like a priest or something.
Catherine Leblanc’s backyard. Jocelyn and Theresa enter. Catherine’s father, Professor Leblanc, plays rock songs on his violin. Kids are standing around drinking and smoking pot. Two policeman enter.
Catherine: Oh no, everybody. It’s the cops.
Policeman 1: Hey, don’t freak out.
Catherine: Oh, I guess you’re just here to ask us questions about Gabe.
Policeman 2: No, we’ve given him up for dead. We just wanna join the party.
Catherine: Right on!
(Father Warren enters.)
Catherine: Hey, Father Warren. Are you here to join the party, too?
Father Warren: I sure am.
(Father Warren grabs a beer from the cooler and starts dancing.)
Jocelyn’s house. Jocelyn, seven years old, is playing on the floor with her dolls. Jocelyn’s mother is standing at the wood stove, taking deep breaths. Margo O’Niel enters. She is carrying a bag.
Margo: Hey. I just thought I’d bring over some stuff. (She opens the bag and pulls out a dress) This was Mary’s First Communion dress. I thought Jocelyn could use it.
Mom: Why that’s beautiful.
Margo: Should be. It cost me a pretty penny. (She pulls out a hat) And this is the hat that goes with the dress.
Jocelyn: You mean I’m going to have a fairy godmother?
Margo: You sure are. (She pulls a cross out of the bag) And this is the cross Mary wore as well.
Mom: Oh, it’s so darling. Mary looked so cute at her First Communion.
Margo: She’s a sweet child, when she’s sleeping. Of course me spanking her for every little wrong thing she does probably doesn’t help much.
Mom: Well thank you for all this. I’m sure Jocelyn will look as good as Mary.
Margo: You’re welcome
Mom: I haven’t the heart to tell her we’re not Catholic.
Before the opening of the story. Joe’s Grill. Joe is preparing to leave. Jocelyn and Gabe are standing behind the counter.
Joe: Well, I’m off to my Chamber Of Commerce meeting. I expect you two to hold down the fort.
Jocelyn: Isn’t it odd for a Chamber Of Commerce to hold its meetings on Saturday afternoons?
Joe: Yes, but it’s really an excuse for all of us to sit around getting drunk. See you kids.
Gabe: Bernadette’ll be here in a few minutes.
Gabe: What do you think of Bernadette?
Jocelyn: She’s kind of a slinky girl.
Gabe: What’s that supposed to mean?
Jocelyn: Relax. I just meant she likes bouncing down the stairs.
Gabe: Oh, yeah. She sure does like to bounce down the stairs.
Bernadette: Hi Gabe.
Gabe: Bernadette, do you know Jocelyn?
Bernadette: Yeah, I think so. Hi.
(Gabe and Bernadette retreat to a booth.)
Bernadette: I saw this leather prom dress in a store window. I think it looks really neat.
Gabe: Cool. So, last night, in the fifth inning of the Red Sox game, Ramerez threw the ball to Sanchez, who then threw it to Chavez, who was on second base at that time …
(The talk about the game bores Jocelyn and she falls asleep.)
(Jocelyn, three years old, is sitting on her mother’s lap. Jocelyn’s father enters.)
Dad: Hi Honey.
Mom: Hi. How was your day?
Mom: What, does Grade 12 not pay so good?
Dad: You got that right. I have a present here for Jocelyn.
(He takes a pine box out of his backpack and hands it to Jocelyn’s mother.)
Mom: Wow, a pine box. You can use this to bury me.
Dad: It’s to keep things in, keepsakes and such.
Mom: Oh, you made a box. You couldn’t have made something useful like a table so we didn’t have to eat off the rickety card table from Grandpa’s cottage.
Dad: Look, I don’t need this right now. I’m leaving.
Jocelyn: Daddy, don’t go.
Jocelyn: Daddy don’t go. Daddy, don’t go.
The Sunday school classroom. Jocelyn, seven years old, is sitting in Sunday school. Sister Louise is trying to teach. The boys are all running around and getting into mischief. A boy takes a girl’s Jesus colouring book. She bursts into tears. He takes another girl’s Jesus colouring book. She punches him.
Sister Louise: You will have to confess your sins to the priest, (quietly) before you make your first communion. Before you make your first communion, you will have to confess your sins.
Boy 1: Why?
Sister Louise: Because your souls are stained, dirty as coal.
Boy 2: What’s coal?
Sister Louise: It’s this stuff for heating people’s homes that they don’t use anymore. It’s dirty and black.
Boy 3: So anything black is bad?
Sister Louise: Yes, anything that’s black is bad and doesn’t have a soul.
Girl: That’s why some children can’t go to heaven. Their souls are stained so they have to float in purgatory.
Sister Louise: Correct. As Pat Benatar said, hell is for children.
Sister Louise: Yes, Jocelyn, you will have to confess, too. Now today, I want to talk about the time Jesus made fish and Wonder bread. So, Jesus performed a miracle where he made fish and Wonder bread, because Wonder bread has all the nutritional goodness growing boys and girls need.
(Gabe is drawing baseball plays on a piece of paper. Another boy collapses onto the table and dies.)
Jocelyn: I have a stomachache.
Sister Louise: Go wait for your mother on the swings.
(Jocelyn goes outside and starts to swing. Diane comes out.)
Diane: Sister Louise says you won’t be able to confess your sins and take your first communion if you don’t listen better.
Jocelyn: Sorry. I didn’t hear you.
(Jocelyn’s mother comes out.)
Mom: Jocelyn, what are you doing out here?
Jocelyn: If my soul is stained, will I have to float in purgatory, or will I …
(Jocelyn’s mother grabs her by the arm and they start walking home.)
Mom: God is love, Jocelyn. You don’t need a priest. You can talk to Him wherever and whenever you want.
The church. Jocelyn and her mom enter. They see Theresa and sit down beside her.
Theresa: Hey, Jocelyn, you came to church.
Jocelyn: Well, we more or less came to support the O’Niels.
Theresa: Oh, so you didn’t come to get back in the good graces of the Catholics?
Jocelyn: No. You know, Theresa, you’re a funny Catholic. I mean, you don’t strictly follow the pope and his laws.
Theresa: Well, I have a lot of respect for the Catholic church. It’s been around for, like, millions of years.
Jocelyn: And you didn’t confess to Father Warren about making out with Sam.
Theresa: It’s none of Father Warren’s business. Besides, what would he know about a healthy relationship anyway?
The church. Jocelyn, seven years old, is standing with the O’Niels, watching Gabe receive his first communion. Gabe goes into the confessional booth.
Father Warren: Now, tell me every sin you’ve ever committed.
Gabe: How should I know that?
Father Warren: True, true. Well, how about this. Sometime in the next few days, go into your mommy’s purse without her knowing and take out a five dollar bill. Then, bring it to me, and your soul will be white as Barry Manilow’s music.
(Father Warren and Gabe exit the confessional booth. Gabe’s brothers and sisters are jumping up and down in the aisles. Gabe’s father is giving them stern looks.)
Mike: You kids cut that out.
Mary: But it’s exciting, Gabe taking his first communion and all.
Claire: Don’t you find it exciting?
Mike: No, I’ve lost my ability to become excited about things.
Mary: When did that happen?
Mike: Oddly enough, around the time I had my first communion. Oh, hi Father
How did Gabe do with his first confession?
Father Warren: You have another fine boy here, Mike.
(Gabe is smirking from ear to ear.Mike: That’s good, I guess.)
Father Warren: (Addressing the crowd) God loves these children and will guide them in all that they do, that is as long as the pope, the cardinals, the bishops and church tradition say it’s OK.
(Father Warren pours a sip of wine into Gabe’s mouth.)
Mike: Hmm, that looks awfully like the jar of dandelion wine that disappeared from my shed last summer.
The O’Niels living room. Jocelyn enters carrying a pan of brownies.
Jocelyn: Hi there. I brought my famous chocolate chip brownies, made with my secret ingredient, chocolate chips.
Margo: (Sobbing) Thanks, Jocelyn.
Jocelyn: Will you not have one?
Margo: No! You can’t eat and cry at the same time.
Mary: It’d be easier if you’d cut these first.
Jocelyn: I’ll go get a knife from the kitchen.
Mary: All our knives were stolen.
Mike: Yeah, along with three more jars of dandelion wine. I just can’t figure it out.
Mary: Oh Gabe, oh Gabe, where could you be?
Mike: I can’t take anymore of this. I’m going to look for him myself.
Jocelyn: And I’m gonna go hang out with Benny.
The woods. Benny is chopping some wood. Jocelyn rides up on her banana seat bicycle.
Benny: Hi there.
Jocelyn: Hi there.
Benny: Look, Jocelyn, I told you we shouldn’t be together.
Jocelyn: Oh come on.
Benny: Well, I guess it’s OK, then.
(The Man appears.)
Jocelyn: Oh no, it’s The Man.
(The Man chases them with a saw like the one Benny was using to chop wood. He chases Benny and Jocelyn through a series of abandoned houses. The floors keep giving way unexpectedly. The man finally falls through a hole in one of the floors and disappears.)
The riverbank. Jocelyn and Gabe, nine years old, are looking for Jocelyn’s report.
Jocelyn: It must be here somewhere.
Gabe: Forget about it. We’ve looked all over. Let’s go to the bridge. (Jocelyn follows Gabe to the bridge) Help me up onto the railing. (Jocelyn boosts Gabe up onto the railing. Gabe extends his arms and starts flapping them.) Look, I’m flying, Jocelyn. (Gabe takes off. He soars over the bridge. He then crashes onto a tour bus. A scream is heard.) Oh no, I’ve killed Randy Rodes.
The kitchen. Jocelyn and her mom are sitting at the kitchen table, having dinner. Jocelyn’s mom brushes a cobweb out of Jocelyn’s hair.
Mom: What? Have you been running through abandoned houses today or something?
Mom: I haven’t seen Benny around lately.
Jocelyn: He’s been busy, what with his mom and all. He’s also looking for a summer job.
Mom: Did you see him today, Jocelyn. (Jocelyn nods) Where did you see him?
Jocelyn: And on his land. He was chopping wood.
Mom: I hope you’re being careful, Jocelyn. I hope you’re remembering what I told you. You don’t want to end up with a reputation like Bernadette’s. If you’re chasing after Benny, that’s the kind of reputation you’re going to get. (Jocelyn leaves the table and heads for the hall) I just don’t want you to end up like me, Jocelyn.
Jocelyn: I won’t. Like I really want to be a thirty-something with no job skills living in a subsidized house and eating Kraft Dinner every night.
Mrs. Moran’s class. Gabe and Jocelyn, nine years old, are sitting at their desks with the other students.
Mrs. Moran: Today a new girl will be joining us. She comes all the way from
Kid: Mary Land?
Mrs. Moran: Yes, Mary Land. It’s a very happy place. Now, let me pretend to consider who should be the new girl’s helper. This is such a difficult decision because you’re such a model class. How about Susan, my favourite out of all the rest of you loosers in this horrible class.
Susan: It’s an honour, Mrs. Moran.
Mrs. Moran: Yeah, quit milkin’ it. And now, here’s Anna.
Anna Beale: Thanks. My name is Anna Beale. I’m from
Baltimore. My mom’s a
housewife, and I don’t exactly know what my dad does, but I do know that it’s
got something to do with growing plants, and we left Baltimore and moved here
because Dad said the heat was about to get to him.
Mrs. Moran: Well, meet some of your classmates. This is Bernadette, this is Gabe and this is Jocelyn. Her parents are divorced.
Gabe’s bedroom. Jocelyn and Gabe, nine years old, are sitting on the bed.
Gabe: I think Anna’s in love with me.
Gabe: Well, I got her a puzzle for her birthday, and on the thank you note she wrote “I love my puzzle” and “Love, Anna.” And the word love was circled both times.
Jocelyn: Oh, that doesn’t mean anything.
Gabe: Here’s the note.
(He takes out the note and hands it to Jocelyn.)
Jocelyn: So are you two gonna get married?
Gabe: Of course not! Who needs relationships?
Joe’s Grill. Jocelyn enters. The place is full of people. Minny is cooking eggs on the grill.
Jocelyn: What are all these people doing here? I know I’m not late.
Joe: Well, actually you are by about two seconds, but the reason the place is full is they’re organizing a search party for Gabe. (To the crowd) Step right up, folks, it’s the Gabe O’Niel is missing special. Fried egg on toast, regular 35 cents, today 50 cents. Hamburger, regular 25 cents, today on sale for the special price of 75 cents. Hurry, hurry, hurry, folks, these prices won’t last.
(People flock to the counter. Theresa enters.)
Theresa: Hey, Joe, could I help serve today?
Joe: I guess I could let you, even though you’re a bleeding heart liberal.
Theresa: You’re a bleeding heart liberal, too.
Joe: Well of course I am. This is Massachusetts.
Customer: Hey look everybody. There’s a report about the search on TV.
Anncr: The search party for Gabe O’Niel has just come out of the woods, unfortunately without Gabe. We have Gabe’s father Mike here. Mr. O’Niel, do you have anything to say to your son in case he’s watching?
Mike: Yes, Larry.
Anncr: My name is John.
Mike: Gabe, when you come home, I’m going to give you the thrashing of a lifetime. I don’t care if you’re seventeen. The bloody nerve of going off like this. Your mother has been worried sick about you. I literally had to drag her to the stove and force her to make my ham and eggs this morning.
(The TV screen fades to black. )
The street. Jocelyn and Gabe, ten years old, are walking home from school.
Jocelyn: I’d just love to know what you and the other kids do at the cemetery after school.
Gabe: Well come along and you’ll see.
(They turn onto the road that leads to the cemetery and follow the other kids there. Once there, the kids start singing “Ballad Of The Green Berets.”)
Kid: (To the others) Now it is time to play capture the strawberry.
(The kid pulls a strawberry out of his pocket and throws it. All the other kids run after it.)
Willie’s Ice Cream Parlour. Jocelyn and Benny are sitting at a corner table.
Benny: I helped with the search today. I went with some of the ballplayers to look for Gabe at the base of
It’s hard. You keep your eyes down, hoping that you’ll find something. At the
same time you hope you won’t find anything: anything that’ll show he’s hurt, or
maybe even dead. I mean, everybody’s talking about the possibility of Gabe
being hurt, but nobody’s mentioning the possibility that Gabe might have been
murdered. Masons Mountain
Jocelyn: Gosh, Benny. Why would anyone want to murder Gabe? You’ve spent too much time in the big city. Did you find your medal?
Benny: (Shaking his head) No, but I saw Father Warren today. I asked him where I could find another one, like the one my mother bought me.
Jocelyn: What did he say?
Benny: He said that he would take me to a jewelry store in Keen.
Jocelyn: Why is Father Warren taking you?
Benny: Because there’s a Chinese restaurant next to the store where he can get drunk. He told me he was really looking forward to slamming down a few glasses of sake and then driving back here to Weaver Falls.
Jocelyn: Did you tell him how you lost the medal?
Jocelyn: You did! Please tell me, Benny, that you didn’t tell Father Warren about yesterday.
Benny: Jocelyn, it’s not like I have a choice.
Jocelyn: What do you mean you don’t have a choice?
Benny: Father Warren comes to my house. He talks to my mother. He gives her the sacraments. Then he talks to me.
Benny: He wants to know how I’m doing. He wants to know if I’m helping out. It’s hard to talk in front of my mother, so he asks me to walk with him to his car. The thing is, he walks over to our house and leaves his car in the driveway at the rectory. He always ends up asking me questions.
Jocelyn: What kind of questions?
Benny: Questions about everything. He wants to know how I’m getting on in
. He wants to know
who my friends are. Weaver
Jocelyn: And you’ve told him about me?
Jocelyn: And what does Father Warren say about me?
Benny: He reminds me of things.
Jocelyn: What things?
Benny: Well, his face reminds me of a frog that’s been lying in the sun during a heatwave for three days, but he tells me things. Like, he says I should stay away from you, Jocelyn.
Jocelyn: He said that! He said that you should stay away from me?
Benny: Yes. He thinks that I should get a job this summer. He thinks I should play baseball next year.
Jocelyn: Do you even like baseball?
Benny: Yes, as a matter of fact. Not that I’m great at it or anything.
Jocelyn: But other guys do those things and still go out with girls, right? (Benny nods) What exactly does Father Warren say about me? (Benny doesn’t say anything for several seconds) I’m leaving.
The woods. Jocelyn and Gabe, eleven years old, are walking through the woods.
Jocelyn: Let’s build a raft. We can be Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.
Gabe: OK. Hand me a log, N Word Jim.
(Jocelyn tries to pick up a log, but can’t lift it.)
Jocelyn: Oh, let’s just do something else.
Gabe: I know. Let’s go undee dipping.
Jocelyn: I don’t know if it’s right for us to go undee dipping anymore.
Gabe: Well, instead of going swimming in our underwear, we’ll dress up and go swimming.
Jocelyn: Great idea!
(Gabe pulls out a tuxedo and puts it on. Jocelyn dawns a ball gown. They both put on parkas. They jump in the watter and sink to the bottom.)
Theresa’s car. Jocelyn and Theresa are just pulling away from the Hammond Inn.
Jocelyn: That was a really nifty concert.
Theresa: Yeah, that guitar player was so good.
Jocelyn: Yes, I especially liked that song that went on for forty-three verses and made no sense.
Theresa: That was all of them.
Jocelyn: Oh. Where do you want to go now?
Jocelyn: That is my favourite convenience store.
Theresa: Yeah, I know. And what’s cool about it is they have it set up like a real farm.
Jocelyn: Yeah, you just wander around in there and pick your purchases off trees.
Theresa: Yeah, that is so neat. It didn’t work out though that time they tried to add a meat market section, though.
Jocelyn: Yeah. Pick an animal out of a huge pen and they’ll slaughter it and butcher it right before your very eyes.
Theresa: I’m just going to go in and pick up some lipstick. Do you want anything?
Jocelyn: Look! (Points to the car ahead of them) That’s Bernadette. Follow her.
Jocelyn: I said follow her.
Theresa: Are you crazy?
Jocelyn: She might lead us to where Gabe is.
(They chase after Bernadette’s car. Theresa’s car turns into the General Lee, then the car from Starsky And Hutch. The car suddenly takes off and becomes Magnum P.I.’s helicopter. It settles back on the ground and turns into something resembling the car from Nightrider, except the voice is a horribly robotic voice that just speaks in gibberish. Jocelyn and Theresa follow Bernadette’s car until it stops at the end of a dirt road.)
Gabe’s backyard. There is a party going on to celebrate Gabe’s brother’s graduation. Gabe, twelve years old, and his cousin Jay, who is the same age, are both up in a tree.
Gabe: Jocelyn, fetch me a rope, will you.
(Jocelyn goes to the shed, takes a rope off the wall and brings it to Gabe. He takes it from her, hooks one end to a branch and swings out across the river. He does the Tarzan yell. Carol Bernette swings by, doing the same thing. Gabe drops down into the river and swims around. He then gets out and rejoins the party.)
Mike: Who do you think you are, Mark Spitz or something?
Gabe: No, I just—
Mike: It’s not safe to swim in the river. It’s full of chemicals from the mill.
(A pitchman appears.)
Pitchman: Quite the contrary, my good man. Those chemicals are safe as mother’s milk. Those chemicals will lead to all kinds of new, exciting products that will make your future the most exciting thing you’ve ever seen. Mill brand chemicals: better living through large corporations.
(The pitchman disappears.)
Mike: This is Matt’s party. Why do you always have to be the centre of attention?
(Mike slaps Gabe in the head.)
Gabe: Like I’m not the centre of attention now that you’re making a big deal of this whole thing.
The dirt road leading to Bernadette’s house. Bernadette’s house is just a basement. Garbage is strewn all around in front of it.
Bernadette: Who are you? Why are you following me?
Jocelyn: It’s Jocelyn.
Dad: (Coming out of the house staggering) Who are you talking to?
Bernadette: A girlfriend, Daddy, just a girlfriend.
Dad: Did you bring me my cigarettes?
Bernadette: Yes. I could only scrounge up enough butts to make four.
(She hands him a pack and he staggers back into the doorway.)
Dad: Hey, there’s only three cigarettes here.
Bernadette: (To Jocelyn, adopting a posh English accent) Oy, you want a fag, guv’nor. I love those British shows on PBS.
Jocelyn: Yes please. (She takes a cigarette) So, do you know anything about where Gabe is?
Bernadette: At confession.
Bernadette: I mean, ask Father Warren.
Jocelyn: Oh, thanks.
(She gets in Theresa’s car and drives away.)
The backyard. Jocelyn and Gabe, twelve years old, are picking blackberries.
Jocelyn: Want to go down to the brook?
Gabe: OK, but you have to keep this a secret.
(He leads her into the woods to a little house built of sticks.)
Jocelyn: Wow! Did you build this?
Gabe: Well, I came upon it when Matt and Timmy were building it, so it’s mine, too. Step inside.
(They enter the house. It has pictures of fully-clothed women on the walls. Beer cans litter the floor. There are cans with candles in them.)
Jocelyn: It’s … nice.
Gabe: Yeah, my brothers and I are going to live in here, get away from our father.
Jocelyn: What will you eat?
Gabe: Timmy says you don’t need food as long as you have beer. Would you like a beer?
Jocelyn: Uh, sure.
(Gabe pulls out a case of beer, takes one and hands one to Jocelyn. They drink.)
Gabe: Ahhhh, life: live it.
The living room. Jocelyn’s mother, Gabe’s mother, Marja and some other women from the women’s group are sitting around. A knock is heard at the door. Seanie enters. Jocelyn enters.
Mom: Ah, Jocelyn. Come and join us. Seanie is going to use her psychic powers to find out where Gabe is.
(Seanie lays out her cards.)
Seanie: Ahhh, I see a little blue planet in this first card. It begins with the letter E.
Mrs. O’Niel: Earth.
Seanie: Yes, Earth. Gabe is here on planet earth.
Mom: That’s good. That’s good.
(Seanie turns over some more cards.)
Seanie: In these next cards I see some stuff, I’m not sure what it is. It’s a bunch of different things, but I can’t quite make them out.
Mrs. O’Niel: Well try. What do these images look like.
Seanie: I can’t tell. Anyone of these could be a fly or a truck. They’re that blurry. (She puts the cards away and puts them in her bag) Well, I must be going now.
Gabe’s house. Jocelyn, twelve years old, enters.
Margo: We have one unhappy boy here.
(Gabe whimpers and storms up to his room.)
Jocelyn: I’ll go talk to him.
(She goes upstairs to Gabe’s room and knocks on the door.)
Gabe: Go away.
Jocelyn: It’s Jocelyn.
Gabe: Go away.
Jocelyn: I have a question about our book reports. Look, I’m sorry Anna stood up in front of the whole class this afternoon and told you she was breaking up with you, and said you were the worst living thing to ever exist on this planet.
(Jocelyn opens the door and enters.)
Gabe: I’m determined to make her like me again. I can do it, too.
(Mike enters Gabe’s room.)
Mike: Stop ****ing crying. What have I told you about women? They are only useful to cook and serve. You’ll find another domestic.
Ray’s Market. Jocelyn is standing beside the aisle of newspapers by the checkout counter. Father Warren enters.
Father Warren: Hi, Jocelyn. Did you read the headline in the paper this morning? The Red Sox won last night. They might go all the way this year.
Jocelyn: Yeah, right. Not for another twenty-nine years. Have you read anything new about Gabe O’Niel.
Father Warren: No, that seems to have slipped onto the second page.
Jocelyn: Father Warren, … uh, do you know anything about Gabe’s disappearance?
Father Warren: Silence. (He pulls a device resembling a stun gun out of his pocket and fires at Jocelyn. She stands completely still for one whole minute) Well, it was nice talking to you, Jocelyn.
(Father Warren exits.)
The woods. Jocelyn and Gabe enter the house Gabe and his brothers built. A Led Zeppelin poster has been added to the pictures on the walls. Jocelyn stares at it.
Gabe: You like that poster? Those guys are called Led Zepelin. Matt and Timmy really like them. I think they’re stuff’s just commercial junk mascquerading as art rock.
(A noise is heard outside. Gabe and Jocelyn go outside to see what it is. Jay is standing there.)
Jocelyn: Hi, Jay. What are you doing here?
Jay: My mother is visiting Gabe’s mother’s dentist.
Gabe: Jocelyn and I were just trying to think of something to do.
Jocelyn: Let’s go undee dipping.
Gabe: No, let’s do that thing we did before where we dress up in a whole bunch of clothes and then go swimming.
Jay: Hey, I know. Let’s put wet pieces of paper on people’s pillows.
Dora’s house. Jocelyn is babysitting Dora’s four-year old son, Stone. Jocelyn and Stone are playing monopoly.
Stone: Uuuhhh, there’s no way to win this stupid thing. Could I have some cereal, some booberry maybe?
Jocelyn: No, your mom says you’re not allowed to have booberry. Too much sugar. You can have puffed wheat instead.
Stone: But the last time Mommy tried to make puffed wheat in the popcorn popper it exploded. I think I’ll just go to bed.
Jocelyn: Suit yourself.
(Stone goes up to bed. Jocelyn goes into the kitchen, grabs a gallon of chocolate milk out of the fridge and pours it into a pot. She then puts the pot on the stove, heats the milk up and takes the pot into the living room. She turns on the TV, which just shows snow, drinks the milk and falls asleep.)
Jocelyn’s bedroom. Jocelyn, twelve years old, is lying in bed. Flying moose appear. Flying fruit also appears.
Joe’s Grill. The place is crowded with kids. Benny is supposed to be working, but is sitting at a table chatting with some jocks instead. Jocelyn is the only one actually working and is trying to be responsible for everybody’s orders.
Jock: Hey, Jocelyn, are we going to get our toast?
Jocelyn: When I feel like it.
(Joe enters from the walk-in fridge.)
Joe: Jocelyn, that is no way to talk to the customers.
Jocelyn: That’s the way you talk to the customers.
Joe: True, but just because the owner does it doesn’t make it right.
(Steve comes up to Jocelyn.)
Steve: I used to play with you as a kid.
Jocelyn: I remember that day.
Steve: You stole my hat.
Jocelyn: Yeah, Gabe and I didn’t like that your mother had brought you over so we kind of ganged up on you and stole a lot of your things. Then Gabe’s brother Matt stole your mom’s car.
Steve: I’m Steve. We should play together again sometime.
Jocelyn: What would we play?
Steve: I play a mean game of monopoly.
Steve: Well then, we could play doctor.
Jocelyn: You mean you’d give me a magazine and I’d have to sit in your front room for an hour?
The high school gym. A basketball game is in progress. Jocelyn and Gabe, thirteen years old, are sitting in the bleachers with the other kids. The cheerleaders are cheering and waving their pompoms. Most of the girls aren’t paying attention to the game. Suddenly, giant orange birds and lizards enter the gym. Everyone runs in fear.
The mall. Jocelyn, Benny and Benny’s mother are strolling through the mall.
Mrs. Devikis: This was a great idea you had, Jocelyn, visiting this new shopping mall.
Jocelyn: Thank you, Mrs. D.
Mrs. Devikis: It’s just great. You can shop for clothes, get your hair done, have a meal, and do a whole lot more things.
Benny: Yeah, I think people are really going to like shopping malls.
Mrs. Devikis: Why wouldn’t they?
(A horde of teenagers enters and starts running around.)
The movie theatre. Jocelyn and Gabe, thirteen years old, are watching Fiddler On The Roof with the other kids. Onscreen, the characters are dressed in their traditional attire, sitting on their roofs and singing “Up On The Roof” by The Drifters.
The riverbank. Jocelyn and Benny are sitting side by side.
Benny: Look, Jocelyn, it’s like I told you before. We can’t be together or it’ll attract The Man. Taking my mother to the mall together is one thing, but we shouldn’t risk being alone together. You’ve seen The Man and fought him before.
Jocelyn: I’ve had enough of this. I’ve told you before that us being together and your mother’s sickness have nothing to do with each other.
Benny: She’s slipping, Jocelyn. She’s sleeping more and more.
Jocelyn: Still, the two things don’t go together.
Benny: They don’t go together. Here we are sitting alone on the riverbank and you have to start talking about romance. There’s also Father Warren to think of.
Jocelyn: What the heck does that mean?
Benny: I have to consider what he would think.
Jocelyn: Oh yeah, you tell him everything about us. I forgot.
Benny: Father Warren says your in partnership with Satan.
Jocelyn: Wow, just like Linden Johnson.
Thirteen years old. The movie theatre. The kids are having a party while the movie is still playing. There is a
New Orleans jazz band. A kid brings in two
cases of pop.
Kid: Here’re the Cokes.
Gabe: Perfect. A bevy of bevies.
(Jocelyn goes over to a girl who is reading in the middle of an impromptu tackle football game. During their conversation, Jocelyn and Theresa get shoved and tripped over.)
Jocelyn: How can you read in all this chaos?
Theresa: I don’t know. It’s easy for me. I have an amazing ability to block out the world.
Jocelyn: I see your reading Wuthering Heights.
Theresa: Oh yeah, it’s my favourite book.
Jocelyn: Mine, too. I’m Jocelyn, by the way.
Theresa: I’m Theresa. Wanna go outside and talk?
The kitchen. Jocelyn is on the phone.
Jocelyn: Hi Joe, it’s Jocelyn. I won’t be coming into work today. I’m sick.
Joe: You can’t take a day off. With Gabe gone I need you here as much as possible.
Jocelyn: I’m eaten up with cancer. The doctor says I’ll be dead in three weeks.
Joe: I don’t care what the doctor says.
Jocelyn: Besides, it’s Sunday. You could close the grill for one day in honour of Gabe.
Joe: There’s no way I’d close in honour of Gabe. He left the ketchup bottles on the table overnight one time.
(Jocelyn hangs up the phone.)
Jocelyn: Now off to see Father Warren and get this matter between Benny and me sorted out once and for all. Why am I explaining what I’m going to do? There’s nobody here.
The church. Father Warren is sitting in his office. Jocelyn enters.
Jocelyn: Father Warren, I was wondering if I could talk to you.
Father Warren: Jocelyn, sure, sure, come right in.
Jocelyn: It’s about Benny and me. I have some questions.
Father Warren: Well, that’s good that you want to ask some questions, because questions are such important things. Indeed, questions are the things that drive our civilization, nay, even the things which built our civilization in the first place. In fact--
Jocelyn: Benny says you think I’m in partnership with the devil.
Father Warren: Well, Jocelyn, I have to keep my conversations with other peritioners confidential.
Jocelyn: OK, fair enough, but do you think I’m wicked, Father Warren? Is my soul really stained?
Father Warren: I’ll answer that question in a minute, but first I want to tell you about some people who truly are in partnership with the devil, namely the members of specific rock groups. For example, there’s this new group called Kiss, standing for Kids In Satan’s Service.
Jocelyn: Actually, there called Kiss because they want to be a universal music group and the kiss is a universal symbol.
Father Warren: Then there’s another new group from
called AC/DC: Antichrist/Devil’s Children.
Jocelyn: No, that comes from a symbol off a vacuum cleaner: alternating current/direct current.
Father Warren: Well, I hope that addresses any problems you and Benny are having. Thank you. Come again.
The street. Jocelyn and Theresa are walking down the street. They stop in front of the church.
Theresa: Hey, let’s go in the church.
Jocelyn: I don’t know. Do you think we should?
Theresa: Of course. They keep it open all the time so folks can come in and pray.
(They enter the church.)
Jocelyn: Feels weird being back in here.
Theresa: Hey, cinnamon buns.
Jocelyn: Do you think we’re allowed to take one?
Theresa: Sure. They’re just sitting out here.
(Father Warren enters.)
Father Warren: Hello everyone except Jocelyn.
The woods. Jocelyn walks up to the house Gabe and his brothers built and enters.
Gabe: I thought you’d come here.
Jocelyn (Doing a silly dance) You’re alive. You’re alive, you’re alive, you’re alive. You’re alive.
Gabe: Yes, I’m alive and living in my new home.
Jocelyn: Your new home? That’s crazy. You’re family will be overjoyed to know you’re alive!
Gabe: Don’t do that dance again. Look, I can’t go back home. I know something about Father Warren.
Jocelyn: What? If it’s the thing I’ve been suspecting all along—
Gabe: I’m starving. Could you get me some food and then we can talk about it.
Jocelyn: Sure, I’ll be right back after this scene showing a part of my life from before this picture began.
The school. Jocelyn, Benny and the other kids are sitting in chemistry class. Mr. Godin is standing at the front of the class, giving a lecture.
Benny: (Whispering) Hey, Jocelyn is it, could I borrow your notes.
(Jocelyn slides her notes onto Benny’s desk.)
Benny: These look like hyroglifs. You’ll have to tell me what they say. (Jocelyn begins whispering her notes into Benny’s ear) I can’t hear you. Talk louder.
(Jocelyn begins shouting along with Mr. Godin’s lecture.)
The woods. Jocelyn enters the little house with fried chicken, potato salad and a thermos of tea.
Jocelyn: I found it at a nearby picnic area. It was just sitting there while some tourists were watching birds. So, what’s this secret about Father Warren.
Gabe: I think Father Warren is really The Man.
(Jocelyn gets a shocked expression on her face.)
Jocelyn: What are we going to do?
Gabe: I don’t know. It seems like Father Warren holds all the cards.
Jocelyn: Maybe not. Stay here one more night. Tomorrow I’ll come back here when I’ve thought of a solution.
Hedlock’s Pond. It is winter. Jocelyn and Benny are standing on the edge of the pond, holding hands. They step onto the ice. It moans and Jocelyn gets a worried look on her face.
Benny: The ice moans a lot in winter, but don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe. Look, those Eskimos over there are testing it with their harpoons.
(Robins, swallows and finches start flying through the air. “Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear” starts playing in the background.)
(The little house is shown abandoned with all its contents stacked in one corner)
The living room of the perish house. Jocelyn and Father Warren are sitting in chairs. Father Warren looks very angry.
Jocelyn: So then finally Gabe and I figured out that you were The Man. Draw your weapon.
Jocelyn: So then finally Gabe and I figured out that you were The Man. Draw your weapon.
(Father Warren and Jocelyn each draw out their lasers and begin to fight.)
Father Warren: What kind of ending is this.
Jocelyn: Not much of one, but at least it’s an ending.
Father Warren: Well it’s still horrible.
Jocelyn: Maybe, but at least I’ll have closure.
Based on “Stained” by Jennifer Jacobson.