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Dust Bowl – Chapter 6

Posted in erbooker by erbooker on 02/10/2014

dustbowl

The great Dust Bowl of the 1930′s strikes and Oklahoman Woody Loggins and his Mexican friend Pepe pack up shop and head West.

Chapter 6– The Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd

(Charles Floyd wakes up in a hotel bathtub in a pool of blood…)

Floyd:  Oh God, what the hell did I drink last night?

(Charles — better known as “Pretty Boy”, a nationally-wanted bank robber — glances down at his belly and finds an open bleeding wound…)

Floyd:  Gadzooks, black market kidney thieves!

(He fingers the gouge and breathes a sigh of relief…)

Floyd:  Phew, just a stab wound.

(Floyd manages to climb out of the tub, dresses his wound and wraps gauze around his stomach. He makes his way out of the bathroom and finds a girl fast asleep on his bed…)

Floyd:  (smirks)  Charles, you old dog.

(Floyd turns her over and her lifeless eyes stare back at him, a grisly gash running down the length of her chest, as if she’d been ripped open from the inside…)

Floyd:  Well this day just keeps getting better.

(A knock at the door…)

Officer:  Charles Floyd. This is the police. Open up.

Floyd:  (sighs)

~~~

(The spring day is dark as night in Los Angeles as Dust Bowl clouds from the Midwest have rolled towards the ocean, shrouding the day in constant night. Presidential hopeful Franklin Delano Roosevelt is giving a stump speech to citizens in a downtown park…)

Roosevelt:  This country has been led down a wrong path and I’m here to right that ship.

(Roosevelt waits for an applause break as President Hoover and his Chief of Staff Reginald Thorngood look on from a stagecoach across the park…)

Hoover:  Look at this Jew. Mixing up his metaphors. He couldn’t run for President his way out of a wet paper bag.

Thorngood:  Sir, again. The Jewish remarks–

Hoover:  You’ve got the polio needle?

Thorngood:  Yes, sir.

Hoover:  Go get behind the stage. When the speech is over I want you to prick this prick.

Thorngood:  Yes, Mr. President.

(Back on stage…)

Roosevelt:  I propose a New Deal.

(FDR pauses and frowns as he hears a faint “Booo!” from a distant stagecoach…)

~~~

(Los Angeles County Sheriff Sully Sutherland is reading Pretty Boy Floyd his rights as his Deputy handcuffs the criminal…)

Sheriff:  Charles Arthur Floyd, you are under arrest for the murder of this “good-time girl”.

Floyd:  I ain’t no murderer, cop. I’m a bank robber. Um…allegedly. I’ve never even seen this girl before this morning.  (squints out dust cloud-darkened window)  Is it morning?

Sheriff:  Unfortunately the Feds couldn’t get you on all those bank jobs. But I’m sure we’ll be able to make this call girl murder charge stick.

Floyd:  I’ve been framed!

Sheriff:  Maybe so. Gonna be a hard time provin’ it though, Pretty Boy.

Floyd:  I don’t like that nickname.

Deputy:  He isn’t very pretty, Sheriff.

Sheriff:  How many times have I told you, Deputy: Beauty is subjective.

~~~

Roosevelt:  We’re gonna put this country back to work again.  (applause break)  The President wants you to think everything is just fine the way it is. Well, I’m not fine!  (applause break)  Those farmers who lost their livelihoods to the Dust Bowl aren’t fine!  (applause break)  It’s time to start fresh. It’s time to start anew.  (lowers glasses, leans into podium)  A New Deal, that is.  (winks) (uproarious applause, flashbulbs flashing)

Hoover:  (mutters a string of unrepeatable racial slurs under his breath)

~~~

(Woody, Pepe, Max and Rose are sitting in the holding cell of Los Angeles County Federal Prison…)

Woody:  Why are we going to federal prison? Isn’t that a bit extreme?

Max:  Once we crossed state lines with a known fugitive, our fates were sealed.

Woody:  You’re not a very good lawyer, Weinberg.

Max:  It’s Eisenberg and I don’t normally do criminal law.

Woody:  What other laws even are there?

Rose:  (sits down next to Max)  Guard says I’ll be transferred to the women’s prison soon.

Woody:  Women’s prison? That sounds so–

Floyd:  Sexy.

Rose:  Excuse me, that’s–

Floyd:  Listen, I’m fixin’ to escape this place before they toss us in gen pop. Could use a couple extra hands if y’all are interested.

Woody: I’m in.

Pepe:  Si. Me too.

Rose:  Just like that? We don’t even know this guy.

Floyd:  (doffs cap, holds out hand)  Charles Floyd, at your service?

Max:  As in Pretty Boy Floyd? The bank robber?

Floyd:  The same. Although I don’t care for that nickname. Anyway, I’ve been wrongfully accused of a crime and I don’t care to stick around much longer.

Max:  Wrongfully accused. Sure. That’s what they all say.

Woody:  That’s what you shoulda said, Dummy Lawyer.

Max:  (shoots up off bench)  I am not a dummy!

Rose:  Boys.

(Rose points Max and Woody to the now-opened holding cell door and they race after Pretty Boy Floyd…)

~~~

(Backstage, Reginald Thorngood makes his way towards FDR and reaches out to shake his hand…)

Thorngood:  Heckuva speech, Mr. Governor.

Roosevelt:  (frowns)  My legs feel all…noodly.

~~~

(Pretty Boy Floyd and the foursome are sprinting through a downtown alleyway…)

Max:  I can’t believe we got outta there.

Woody:  I can’t believe the way we got outta there.

Rose:  I’ll never see something like that again for as long as I live.

Max:  Never knew a fire could spread that quickly.

Woody:  And where’d all those horses come from?

Floyd:  We’ll head into Chinatown and get lost in the crowds.

Sheriff:  Not so fast, Pretty Boy.

Floyd:  (turns)  I told you I hate that nickname, cop.

(The foursome hide behind a dumpster as the Sheriff approaches Pretty Boy, pistol drawn and grinning…)

Sheriff:  Stop resisting arrest.

Floyd:  Whaddya talking about, I’m not–

(A gunshot rings out and Woody starts to scream before Rose claps a hand over his mouth…)

Rose:  Forget it, Woody. It’s Chinatown.

~~~

Send all hate mail to ethanrbooker@gmail.com

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