Free Scenes - Deme and Romulus

From Rumors of Polar Bears (one-act)


A blighted landscape in the near future.  Deme, late teens, looking like something out of a Mad Max movie.  Nearby, a squatter tent dwelling that has the feel of having been patched and mended repeatedly. Romulus, 15 or 16, enters. His clothing has the same survivalist streak, with a hint of punk in his boy next door wear. He has a bag slung over his shoulder.

(Warning: Using this scene without permission is illegal, as is reproducing it on a website or in print in any way.)

ROMULUS
Sun’s down.

DEME
And?

ROMULUS
Friday night.
(Beat.)
Friday night!

DEME
Don’t know how you even keep track.

ROMULUS
(Singing it like a jingle:)
Friday night is party night.
(Points at his watch:)
It’s magic. The magic watch that never stops.

DEME
It will.

ROMULUS
Sourpuss.
(Singing again:)
Friday night is party night. Make your work week come out right.

DEME
Speaking of work...

ROMULUS
Let’s not speak of it.
(Once more singing:)
Friday night-

DEME
If you sing that one more time...

ROMULUS
You’ll what.

DEME
Don’t push me.
(Romulus pushes her super gently, just to be annoyingly literal.)
You know that’s not what I meant.

ROMULUS
(Singing:)
Friday night-

DEME
Don’t-

ROMULUS
(Continuing:)
is-

DEME
Romulus, I mean it.

ROMULUS
(Beat.)
Here.
(He pulls a bunch of cans out of his bag.)
Tuna. Garbanzo beans. Creamed spinach. Creamed corn. Cream of wheat. Score or what?

DEME
You always do this.

ROMULUS
I didn’t know cream of wheat came in a can.
(Beat.)
I always do what?

DEME
You always hold a few back until I’m mad, and then they pop out, peace offering.

ROMULUS
I come in peace.
(Beat.)
Is it working?
(She hauls off as if to hit him. He flinches, but she runs her hand through his hair gently. Then she grabs his hair hard.)
Ow!

(She kisses his hair and lets go.)

DEME
How many cans are left down there?

ROMULUS
Dunno. It’s dark.

DEME
More or less.

ROMULUS
Probably less. Come on - it’s Friday night. Can’t we wait and be end of the world again on Monday?
(Beat.)
What?

DEME
That’s such a Mom thing.

ROMULUS
Yeah?
(Beat.)
I think I remember less each day.

DEME
(As their mom:)
Don’t be all end of the world, Deme.

ROMULUS
I write in my book, but it just feels less and less real.

DEME
Dad had no sense of humor.

ROMULUS
I don’t remember him at all.

DEME
You were three.

ROMULUS
Three should be good for something.

DEME
That was a crowded year.

ROMULUS
I hope he doesn’t hate me for not remembering.

DEME
(Beat.)
Why are we talking like this? It’s Friday night.
(Singing:)
Friday night is party night.

ROMULUS AND DEME
Make your work week come out right.

ROMULUS
I’m goin’ in head first this time.

DEME
Ha.

ROMULUS
One of these days I will. Dive bomber!

DEME
You ready?

ROMULUS
You got the stuff?

(Deme pulls a shoulder bag of her own from inside the squat.)

DEME
Do you have to ask?

(Romulus howls, as if sending a signal to distant friends. He’s answered by cawing and barking and howling from elsewhere in the area.)

ROMULUS
To the party pool!
 
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