General Script posted November 21, 2021 Chapters: 1 1 -1- 1... 


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The Head-Cauldon of Teens

A chapter in the book The Challenge

The Challenge, Act 1, Scene 3

by Jay Squires

The author has placed a warning on this post for sexual content.


BIRDSEYE VIEW OF PREVIOUS SCENE: Phillip meets two of his high school acquaintances and what begins as reminiscences and “catching up” soon takes a darker turn when we discover that the two women were, nine years earlier, part of a group of seven senior girls who had a plan and were intent on carrying it out.


CHARACTERS:
(As they appear, or when they make a strong presence in other characters’ dialogue):


Phillip Dellaney: Age 26, a behemoth of a man, at a height of 6' 7", and pushing 300 pounds, having thick, muscular shoulders and hips, and with thighs like sinewy, coiled springs, not just capable of carrying such a load through life, but carrying it at a lively pace. A recent seminary graduate, he will be an odd duck as a priest. He is searching for something with all his heart.

Marcia Mackie: One of a group of seven girls who figured significantly in Phillip’s mind whenever he thought of his tender years at his Catholic high school. Still young, at 25, and attractive, something troubles her. She teaches Spanish in that same Catholic high school.

Barbara Smith-Jacobs: Also one of the seven girls whose life impacted Phillip greatly during high school. An investment broker, already successful at 25, her demeanor exudes sexuality and self-assurance, and she faces life head-on. Men tend to fear her without knowing exactly why.

Margaret Dellaney: Phillip's Mother, only a supporting appearance; of no consequence to this scene.

Arthur DelaTourie: Phillip's acquaintance, introduced indirectly; not an active part of this scene.

Setting: Phillip Dellaney’s upstairs bedroom, tidied in readiness for guests. Entrance to room, upstage, right. Furniture is sparse: a very long bed, centerstage, right; several inexpensive chairs, downstage, center. On the wall above the dresser, upstage center, Jesus still keeps watch over the room from his two-foot-tall, highly-polished, dark, mahogany cross.

Time: 1953

At Rise: PHILLIP faces BARBARA and MARCIA. Of the three, only BARBARA seems about to embark on a high adventure. PHILLIP and MARCIA appear a bit anxious.


BARBARA:
(Looking at the door, then back at them)
I wanted to give your mother time to get down the stairs.
(She rubs her hands together and smiles down at her open palms, then carries her smile back to them)
Are we ready, children?

MARCIA:
We agreed to let you tell it, but don’t make a mockery of it.


BARBARA:
Point made and taken. Okay … we left you, Phillip, snuggled in Marcia’s bed, the bedroom door closed. Innocent enough, no? Marcia, me, and the other five girls—we were in our sleeping bags and under blankets in the living room, giggling, whispering, doing girl things until probably about midnight.

(Beat)
We were all in agreement about the plan, though there were a few who were getting …
(smiling at MARCIA)
…cold feet.

MARCIA:
(Slowly shaking her head)
No … no, I’ve got to own up to being part of it. It’s only now, when I look back at it, that I wish—

BARABARA:
Oh, Bull—Loney! We’re not here to play the wishing game. 


PHILLIP:
But that’s okay, Barbara. In hindsight, maybe we all wish we’d have done differently.


BARBARA:
Even you, Father Dellaney?


PHILLIP:
Even me, Barbara.


[Both women’s heads whip to PHILLIP, who is blushing to the roots of his hair]

BARBARA:
How interesting! I guess I’m the only one who is perfectly happy today with my actions nine years ago.


MARCIA:
Just get on with the story, Barbara.


 BARBARA:
Yes … well … so, the plan was agreed upon. By midnight, a few were drifting off. I had my alarm, set for three AM; I was holding it deep in my sleeping bag, wrapped in a towel, but pressed tightly to me so that I would feel it go off against my belly …

(offering what seemed an oddly-timed smile to PHILLIP)
… so that only I felt its vibrations through my body.

MARCIA:
(With a bitter chuckle)
So it woke you up without waking everyone else! That’s all you’re trying to say, right?

BARBARA:
(Still smiling)
Yes, I was roused at three AM, and I set about waking the other six ... though most of them were easily awakened. I imagine they’d hardly slept at all. I don’t think you know the power of seven normal, socially suppressed girls when their inhibitions have been unleashed by their imaginations—and opportunity.

PHILLIP:
(Evidencing some agitation, his breathing is visibly heightened)
You are dragging this out a lot, aren’t you, Barbara?

BARBARA:
You want me to get to the juicy stuff, right?


PHILLIP:
No, I didn’t say that.


BARBARA:
It’s okay, I’m almost there. … So, with a lot of forefingers crossing lips, all of us were trying to keep each other from waking you up as we approached Marcia’s bedroom door, each in various … stages … of … undress. One, we’d noticed, had gotten out of her jammies and slipped into a very sheer negligee, she’d probably swiped from her mother. A few were in panties and bras… and one of us—I can’t remember who—wore nothing at all.


PHILLIP:
(clearing his throat)
So you got to the door …

[STAGE DIRECTION: At this point, the stage lights continue on the three characters while the rest of the view of the bedroom, formerly in full light, now goes into deep shadow. As the dialogue continues, seven females and one male, almost in silhouette, play out the character roles in and around PHILLIP’S bed, so they can do their parts without being completely naked (though the closer to the actual dialogue description, the more authentic will be the presentation)]

BARBARA:
… And very quietly opened it. You were too deeply asleep to hear our intakes of breath as we gazed down at your beautiful body. You had pulled the blankets down to your waist and you were curled up on your side, facing us—the only way your six-foot-plus body could sleep, given the shortness of Marcia’s bed. With the door closed the room would be pitch-black, so I turned on Marcia’s little kitty nightlight, which gave the room a very warm glow.


[PHILLIP is hunched forward, hands cupped together and pressed to his mouth, his eyes closed. MARCIA scowls at BARBARA, who merely rolls her eyes and smiles]

BARBARA (continues):
As luck would have it, Marcia’s bed was several feet away from the wall. It allowed us to approach him from either side. I can’t remember which one of us—maybe Sandra—who, from the far side of the bed, ever so gently pulled the blankets and sheets down over Phillip’s hips and down to his feet. Phillip frowned in his sleep. Dang, but you were so cute! Then, I had the honor of being the first to actually make a move. Sitting on the bed, I bent over your body and planted a very soft kiss on your cheek. Wait! I remember now … I was the one who was completely naked. I know because I was aware that my breasts brushed your arms that were hugging your body as you were curled up there.


MARCIA:
Oh, for the love of Pete, Barbara—there has to be a shorter version. I’m taking over.

(To PHILLIP)
This will be what happened as I remember it, Phillip. I’m not proud of my part in it, but I think it’s pretty close to what happened. It just may not be as sexy as Barbara’s. 

[PHILLIP sits up straighter in his chair, and nods]

MARCIA (continues):
I remember less about the details of how all seven of us set about to seduce you and more about how you reacted—what went on in your eyes. 


BARBARA:
And you accused me of stalling!


MARCIA:
It’s enough to say that seven girls, worked up to a—a frenzy of anticipation and the thrill of—I don’t know—naughtiness? were all over you like flies on honey. 

(Beat)
I remember more your eyes, though.

BARBARA:
Sure you do! Like you could see his eyes. But face it, Phillip … you were one strong kid as a senior. Big and powerful. You could’ve tossed us off like—well, we’d only have had honey on our feet. But … you … didn’t. Did you?


MARCIA:
Was I the only one who remembers the look in your eyes? First, there was the shock and bewilderment, but that was replaced by—you tell me—was it betrayal?

PHILLIP:
(Struggling)
I’ve replayed the memory a thousand … ten—ten thousand times over the years. The sudden shock and bewilderment were true. But betrayal? No, that came later when I could think. I remember—I remember feeling—God forgive me—feeling all those warm bodies … warm pressure-points here and there, moving … hot breaths … and it was not—unpleasant.
(Eyes brimming)
Precious Lord, it was not unpleasant!

MARCIA:
We had no right!


BARBARA:
Would you listen to him? Would you quit beating yourself up, Marcia? He was human. He was a kid. It … was not unpleasant! Besides if you weren’t spending so much time looking in his eyes, you’d have noticed something else.

(Smiling for a long moment at PHILLIP, until he looks at her)
Phillip was aroused!

MARCIA:
Barbara!


BARBARA:
It’s true! Do you want to borrow my copy of the Kinsey Report?¹

(Beat)
Phillip was hard as a rock, my dear.

PHILLIP:
(Exhaling loudly)
I was human. I was a kid. I—I think I felt somehow … flattered?

BARBARA:
And hard … as … a … rock.


MARCIA:
That’s enough! Shut up!


PHILLIP:
Barbara … You—There’s no rea… you’ve already made your point.


MARCIA:
And really, nothing happened—I mean, not really happened! A few girls climbed on the bed, some might have tried to steal a kiss ... cuddle you.


BARBARA:
Am I gonna throw up?! Cuddle? Steal a kiss? Like he was a big teddy bear you practice on at home.


MARCIA:
No … but I think we all realized, pretty much at the same time, how unsexual we were. And so, one by one we left the room, trying to cover ourselves.


BARBARA:
We see what we want to see, I guess. 

(Beat)
At any rate, I have to be the one finishing this, seeing as I was the only one left with you, Phillip.

PHILLIP:
Then, there’s no need to finish it now, Barbara. You were there. I was there. We both know what happened. Why do you need to air it?


BARBARA:
Why did you invite us, Phillip, if not to air it all? Did you only want to hear the tiny part about what passions there were raging in seven hot, tender bodies just up to the moment you awoke? I could have mailed you that in a letter. Was I wrong? I thought you were looking for some kind of personal absolution.


[PHILLIP
slowly nods]

BARBARA (continues):
With the bedroom door closed, you and I faced the ending of our little drama together. 

(Beat)
For nine years, I’ve been forced to examine my mind about what happened during the next five or ten minutes. The only conclusion I could come to was that as long as you thought of me as one of an explosion of passion, your body responded in kind. You see? But the moment you were confronted with the fact that it was just you and me … your mind and your conscience started niggling with it. And your body delivered to me the biggest insult it could …
(Beat)
I turned off the nightlight and slipped out of the room.

[PHILLIP drops his head, then peeks up at an angle to BARBARA, a pained smile on his face]

MARCIA:
… Wait! What are you saying? You’re telling me you didn’t?


BARBARA:
I’m telling you I … uh … couldn’t.


MARCIA:
That’s not what you told us when you came out! You created quite a story for someone who didn’t do anything. 


BARBARA:
I was embarrassed …. Okay?


MARCIA:
You were embarrassed …. That’s just great. You were embarrassed while six girls—now young women—carried nine years of shame and humiliation inside … thinking they—we—we were merely part of your foreplay.


BARBARA:
Oh, spare me the dramatics, Marcia. If my lie served any purpose, it was to close a circuit. All us girls felt humiliated and unfulfilled. And more. We were terrified that our parents, our teachers, the other kids would hear of it. We could be disowned by our parents, expelled by the school. Dreams of college would be dashed.

(Beat)
My lie forced us into an uneasy allegiance to our guilt. A kind of secret society. My lie closed the circuit.

PHILLIP:
(After a deep breath and a long exhale)
Ladies … Are we forgetting someone here? After the door was closed for the final time, one person remained in the dark.

MARCIA:
(Shamefaced)
I’m sorry, Phillip. I mean … I’m really sorry. For everything.

PHILLIP:
I know you are. And you too, Barbara. Though it may be harder for you to say it.

(Beat)
Until today, I’d never thought of it from your perspective. Over time … yes, I guess I did feel betrayed, Marcia. But I never considered the remorse that you girls felt. Never once. For days, weeks, months afterward … even into college, I was too busy questioning my own—I don’t know … my own—

MARCIA:
That’s okay, Phillip. You don’t need to explain.


BARBARA:
Let him explain. It’s obvious he wants to explain. I think he needs to explain. Isn’t that right, Phillip?


PHILLIP:
It might not be what you’re thinking ….


BARBARA:
What else could you be questioning? What else would I think?


[There is a light knocking on the door, which after an interval gets louder, and then, the door opens enough for MARGARET to stick her head in. She appears to intuit something of the mood in the room]

MARGARET:
Oh, dear … Am I …?


PHILLIP:
You’re fine, Mother. We just finished up.


BARBARA:
(Under her breath, and with little expression)
We have?

[PHILLIP looks at BARBARA AND MARCIA, and nods]

MARGARET:
Your other guest has arrived.


PHILLIP:
Arthur DelaTurie? Is he downstairs?


MARGARET:
(Opening the door a little wider and looking behind her)
No, he’s here.

[From behind MARGARET, a thin arm shoots up above her head and a handful of fingers, like tiny birds, suddenly released from a cage, flutter in a wave]

ARTHUR:
(Very musically)
Heh-looow, Phillip ....

[BARBARA and MARCIA, exchange knowing glances and scramble to their feet. MARCIA heads to the door, slowing to wait for BARBARA who takes a moment longer to smile back at PHILLIP, then leaves him with a wink]

 
END OF SCENE THREE
~     ~     ~

 
¹ The Kinsey Report was published in 1948 and became immediately popular by the scientific community in the field of sexology, and before long was widely read by the general population.


 



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