A very short one-act play
The Bad Son and the Really Bad Son
The scene: A large suburban home somewhere near you. A large living room is stage left. A staircase is in the middle and runs up towards the back. To the right of the staircase is the parents’ room. The entrance to the parents’ room is behind the staircase.
At the top of the staircase is a small landing that separates two bedrooms to the right and left.
Sparky, 11 year old son
Billy, 9 year old son
Two boys run from behind the steps into the living and up the steps. Each runs into his own room, slamming the door. Mom and Dad are arguing in their room.
Dad: I need you to go into Billy’s room and search for the missing .22 caliber bullets.
Mom: Why do you need me to do that? You can do it just as well. Besides you left your hunting jacket on the couch, not me.
Dad: I just got done doing all the yelling just a minute ago. It’ll be too confrontational if I go up there right now. It’s gotta be you.
Mom: All I’m saying is you had the heavy hand just now and you expect me to go up there and smooth things over.
Dad: No, I need you to go up there see if Billy has those bullets.
Mom: I still don’t see why you think Billy did it.
Dad: Did I accuse him when I had both of them here just now?
Mom: No, but if I go in his room he’ll know we suspect him over Sparky.
Dad: Billy's been getting into a lot of trouble lately. Besides, if Sparky took the rounds out of my jacket and if we, I mean, if you go into Billy’s room then Sparky won’t be able to stand it and will confess.
Mom: And if Billy has the bullets?
Dad: You’ll find them.
(Mom and Dad head towards the living room)
Mom: Fine, I’ll go up there and search his room but I don’t like it. I feel like yo are ordering me around. We’re equal partners here, you know.
Dad: Hey, who brings more cash into the partnership, anyway?
Mom: Who took a part-time job so that she could spend more time with the goddamn kids? Who’s at the office 60 hours a week?
Dad: I need to be at the office so I can pay for that SUV and afford to put fuel in the big bastard.
Mom (gets in his face, lowers her voice): I didn’t want to buy that “big bastard,” you dolt. I wanted a minivan.
Dad: Hey, if you think I’m going to drink and drive in a minivan, you’re crazy.
Mom (stares at her husband incredulously for a few seconds): Alright, I’m going up.
Dad: If you run into trouble, holler and I’ll bail you out.
Mom (moving towards the stairs): Don’t worry, John Wayne, I signal if there’s danger. (gets to the top of the stairs and taps on Billy’s room, which is on the right, by the way. There is no response to her tapping so she does it again.)
Mom: Billy, it’s your mother. Can I come in? I want to talk to you.
Billy (voice muffled by the door): Go away! Leave me alone!
Dad (yelling from the living room): Don’t talk to your mother like that, boy. If I have to intervene you’ll be goddamn good and sorry. (Mom waves franticly at her bonehead husband, trying to shut him up.)
Mom (turns back to her son’s door, speaks softly): Honey, I’m coming in, I just want to talk and look around, OK. (She enters the room, disappears for a moment and then sends Billy to stand out in the hall.)
As she shuts the door we see the older son, Sparky, who has been listening to all this through his door, open his door and look down at his father.
Sparky: I don’t know why you guys are worried about Billy (points at his brother). All he gots are some .22 bullets. I got some 30.06 bullets from some kids at Sunday school.
Dad: Shut your goddamn mouth and get back in your room.
Sparky (screaming): You don’t love me!! (slams the door and gives his father the finger through his walls and floor)
Dad (to himself): Little bastard.
(Mom exists Billy’s room, scoots her son back into his room, shuts the door and comes down the steps and stands in front of dad.)
Mom: I didn’t find any bullets in the boy’s room.
Dad: He’s hiding, I know he’s got them. We need to ground them.
Mom: Didn’t you hear me? I didn’t find your bullets in his room. He may not have them?
Dad: Was he cooperative?
Mom: He wasn’t uncooperative…
Dad: I knew it, he wasn’t helpful. He’s got the bullets. He’s grounded. No TV for two weeks.
Mom: Two weeks? Jesus Christ! Do you have any idea how long two weeks is to a child?
Dad: Listen, baby, I wear the pants around here, alright? What I say goes no matter if it makes sense or not. Two weeks, no TV!
Mom: I don’t agree with that. I think that is a too extreme.
Dad: To extreme?! Listen here, woman. We may be partners but I am in charge. You will do as I say and like it. I bailed you out of that first rotten marriage you were in. If it wasn’t for me letting you blow me at the company picnic you’d still be in that rotten marriage getting slapped around. All I do is yell. You got it made so you better just shape up…
(Mom kicks him in the balls, he hits the ground hard. Sparky steps out of his room and shoots mom in the stomach with a 30.06 rifle that is almost as big as he is. Billy rushes out of his room and throws a handful of objects in Sparky’s face.
Sparky: Ah, you’re not supposed to throw bullets!
(The tossed .22 bullets disorient Sparky and he fall over the banister. He lies still on the floor. Billy attempts to lift the rifle and it throws off his balance and he tumbles down the stairs. His face erupts in a fountain of blood-colored blood.)
Dad (lifting himself painfully from the floor): If you people had just done what I told you to do…things would have turned out OK.