Jar

A playwriting exercise given on the fly via Twitter by Kristoffer Diaz. (@kristofferdiaz) His charge: “write a short or longer play about sending rain to hell. Seriously.”

The result is below. Fun to do. Thanks, Kristoffer. Cheers sir.

————————————–

Jar

Exterior of a small Oklahoma farmhouse. An expanse of the Plains. The sky here is dark. Thunder. Threat of a storm.

VY, around 18, thin, hair dyed the kind of black that doesn’t come naturally. She’s a dark kid. And she’s on the ground here, with an empty mason jar, big one. And she waits.

Thunder.

BEN appears. Also around 18. He’s wearing the red polo and khakis of a QuikTrip employee, but he’s a little slovenly, and he’s slapped a worn grey hoodie over it.

She knows he’s there. But she ignores him.

BEN
What the fuck are you doing?

Okay, you don’t have to talk me. Whatever. It’s fine. But, it’s gonna rain. Like. Major. You just gonna sit out here and get, what? Like…

Everyone’s inside, Vy. They moved the whole thing inside. And you’re… on the ground. They’re in there, looking at you —

VY
I don’t care.

BEN
His mom is freaking out.

VY
I don’t care about his mom.

BEN
Our friends —

VY
I don’t care, Ben. And if all you’re here to do is give me some bullshit speech about going inside and not embarrassing you —

BEN
That’s not —

VY
Then go.

BEN
— what I’m trying to do.

VY
This is not about you.


Thunder. Ben looks back at the house. Back to Vy. Resigns. Joins her on the ground.

BEN
Ryan was a total dick.

VY
He’s always a dick.

BEN
Yeah, but like… what am I supposed to do? Dude, you manage a QuikTrip. I’m gonna be gone for two hours. What is gonna happen? I’m not leaving babies unattended. Kieth is there. Harlan is there. And it’s a gas station, Ryan. Not… I don’t know, some important place. Can’t think of something now.

VY
Debra shouldn’t have made him manager.

BEN
No, that’s the bullshit part. He’s exactly who should be manager. Managers of gas stations should be sort of dickwad people. That’s the whole point of dickwad people, isn’t it? To manage things we need but don’t care about.

VY
He’s gonna write you up.

BEN
Fuck him.

VY
And I’m totally gonna hear about it tomorrow.

BEN
“I’m gonna put this your file, Ben. Debra’s gonna see this.”

VY
Debra doesn’t care.

BEN
Yeah, she’s cool. She’s gonna be, “Don’t worry about it, Ben. I’m not gonna be dick like Ryan because you wanted to go to your friend’s memorial thing.”

VY
There’s this guy yesterday, he came into the QT and I was at the register. The second he walked in, he was looking right me. Like… eyes. Immediately. And that’s weird because, who does that? Mostly everyone’s just invisible to everyone. But he was right away, just… eyes.

And he went over to the coke machine and fixed him this big coke and he walked over to where the taquitos are but he wasn’t getting any. He was just standing there with his big ass coke and watching the taquitos roll on the thing. But like… eyes. At me. Every time I’d look up to where he was — Eyes.

Register clears, and he comes up to me, and he has the coke, and I already rang it up and I’m about to tell him how much he owes me and he says, “He’s in Hell. Your boyfriend. For killing that kid. He’s in Hell where he belongs.”

And he walks out. Leaves his fucking coke. And I’m…

Whatever.

BEN
It’s like, I want to hate him. Because he did a fucked up thing. Josh was a cute fucking kid. Like, he has the cutest fucking little brother.

VY
That kid was amazing.

BEN
And like, I don’t want to sound like I didn’t care about Noah, but you wanna kill yourself, then kill yourself. Don’t —

VY
I hate it, but yeah —

BEN
Yeah. Don’t take an innocent fucking kid with you. Out of, like, revenge. Or whatever to your parents. And oh my god, have you talked to his mom? She is so fucked up.

VY
She was weird as shit before.

BEN
I know. And now she’s batshit. Just —

VY
I know.

BEN
Like it was cool when we all were gonna be out here, saying goodbye. There’s the entire Great fucking Plains to be in. But in there. Holy shit, her crazy up close is… I mean…

VY
Crazy.

BEN
Yeah.


VY
He was good, you know. Noah was… good. But like… totally not. Totally horrible. And that dude’s right. Eyes. He’s right. Noah’s…

He’s where he belongs. And the good doesn’t matter.

But I still think he’s good.

Of course she’s fucking crazy. Of course she is.

Thunder. Then, the first drops of rain. Over the next few lines, the rain gets heavier. A downpour is coming.

BEN
Let’s go in. It’s about to fucking pour.

VY
I’m staying.

BEN
You’re gonna get drenched.

VY
I’m. Just go.

Seriously, just go. I’m good.

Ben takes a second. Then goes. Vy is alone.

The rain starts to really come down. Hard. She takes the mason jar and hold it up, catching the rain and filling the jar.

As the rain continues, she sets the jar down and digs a small hole in the now muddy earth.

VY
It’s raining here. Typical right? I wish you could feel it, Noah. It’s a cool rain. Like you like.

She takes the jar and turns it over into the hole, pouring the water down into the ground. She’s sending the rain to where he is, in hopes he feels it.

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