Life at 21 Lane
by Austin Mitchell
a play in one act by
This play is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons living or dead are entirely coincidental.
Other works by the same author.
The Duppy Tree Dwellers
Copyright © 2010 Austin Mitchell
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author.
If you purchase this book without a cover you should be aware that this book may have been stolen and reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher. In such case neither the author or the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”
For my late father, Evan Mitchell.
Cast of characters: Darlene, Priscilla, Wella, Mass Banjo, Miss Ruby, Scully, Tiny, Gwen, Meda, Naomi, Juicy Barnes, Pablo, Jonathan, Pedro,Sidney,Rupert, Sergeant Brent Wright, Corporal Sam Jepson, Constable Everald Notice)
(Description of Characters: Darlene, twenty three year old woman and basic school teacher. Priscilla, twenty five year old woman and small business operator. Wella, fifteen year old boy and gunman. Mr. Banjo, fifty three year old man, farmer and jack of all trades. Miss Ruby, forty nine year old woman, farmer and landlady. Scully, fifty year old man, body-man. Tiny, thirty year old barmaid. Gwen, forty five year old woman, small business operator. Meda, thirty three year old woman, betting shop worker. Naomi, forty year old shop assistant. Juicy Barnes, twenty year old gunman. Pablo, eighteen year old gunman. Jonathan, thirty year old bus driver. Pedro, thirty six year old bus conductor. Rupert, removal man; Sidney, removal man. Sergeant Brent Wight, forty five year old Sergeant of police, Corporal Sam Jepson, thirty six year old Corporal of police, Constable Everald Notice, twenty four year old police Constable.)
(In Priscilla’s living room. There are some couches, whatnot, entertainment centre. A big television set sits in the middle of the entertainment centre.)
Darlene(Sitting in a couch): I wonder where Wella is? How come he hasn’t come home from school as yet?
Priscilla: Are you sure that he went to school?
Darlene: From our mother died he has gone from bad to worse.
Priscilla: They have some new schools where bad children like him can go.
Darlene: Let us try and get him into one of them.(Enter Mr. Banjo)
Priscilla: Mr. Banjo, what are you doing here? You never heard that mummy died, look how long now?
Mr. Banjo: How could I hear? I was down in St. Elizabeth.
Darlene: She is dead and buried. We phoned you; we sent messages. Lord, Mr. Banjo, you could have treated her better than that.
Priscilla: It must be his woman, Gwen, who stopped him from coming. Look at what mummy did for you, Mr. Banjo.
Mr. Banjo: I lost my phone. That’s why you didn’t get me. Where is Wella?
Priscilla: It’s him we just finished talking bout. Look how long school over and he’s not home as yet.
Mr. Banjo: Are you sure that he went to school? All he’s good for is to keep bad company. The police will soon come for him.
Mr. Banjo: Anyhow, that’s not what I came here to talk about. Where is Roselyn’s bank book?
Priscilla: What you just said Mr. Banjo? Repeat what you just said. Are you asking us for mummy’s bank book?
Mr. Banjo: So what’s wrong if I ask both of you for it? It’s our name alone was in it and now that she’s dead I want it.
Darlene: (Starts to laugh) So you never knew that she took out your name and put me and Priscilla’s name in there.
Mr. Banjo: (Stands up) It’s a lie both of you are telling. I own the account and it’s I alone was putting money in it. It’s fraud both a you commit and took out my money. I must put both of you in prison.
Priscilla: Mr. Banjo, from mummy died six months now and it’s the first time we are seeing you, you dirty wretch. Where were you was all this time? About you lose your phone, it’s a lie you are telling.
Mr. Banjo: That’s none of your business, girl and I want both of you off the place too. How soon can you come off? I promised Gwen and my brother’s woman, Naomi, to move them up here by next week.
Priscilla: Darlene, it looks as if this man hit his head or something. Are you getting mad, Mr. Banjo? My mother will read and she left the place to me, Darlene and Wella. Go and call Aunt Ruby for me, Darlene.(Exits Darlene)
Mass Banjo: I am going down to Sammy’s bar and you see if by the time I come back the place not empty, a war and bloodshed going to be down here. And remember sey a only onnuh clothes onnuh have yah. A me own all the furniture and equipment them.
Priscilla: What a wicked man Mr. Banjo is turning out to be. Look how our mother looked after that man and in her hour of need he was nowhere to be found. God is going to give him his reward though.(Enter Wella)
Priscilla: Look at the time you are coming home from school, boy?
Wella: What’s that to you? Is that any of your business?
Priscilla : Who are you being feisty with,boy? (Boxes Wella’s face)
Wella: What you boxed me for? A you sending me to school? From my mother dead any a you business with me. (Enter Gwen and Naomi, they are Banjo’s and his brother Scully’s women. They carry brooms and other implements)
Priscilla: What are both of you doing here?
Gwen: A we who should ask you what you are doing here, Priscilla? Banjo told me that, you, Darlene and Wella move gone up to Miss Ruby’s house. He said he ran all of you off his place because none of you any have any manners to him and a we he wants to live here.
Wella: (Still has his hand over the place Priscilla had boxed him) What is she saying, Priscilla? Banjo told her that we don’t live here anymore?
Priscilla: Miss Gwen, I know that you have children for Mr. Banjo and you Miss Naomi, is his brother, Scully’s woman. Nothing like what Mr. Banjo told both you go so. I am begging both of you to just come out of my house. Both of you know me already and know that I don’t joke.(Enter Miss Ruby and Darlene)
Miss Ruby: Priscilla, what are Gwen and Naomi doing here with broom and brush?
Priscilla: I don’t know Aunt Ruby, you had better ask them.
Naomi: Banjo sent us down here to fix up the place to move in. We are waiting on Priscilla, Darlene and Wella to move out tonight so that we can move in.
Miss Ruby: But what a way you and Naomi bright. So it’s my nieces and nephew, Banjo wants to run out and move in his sweetheart and his sister-in-law. If I ever catch him tonight I must buck him down.
Gwen: We are not leaving here tonight until Banjo comes back. Priscilla, you Darlene and Wella go and pack up your things and call Sidney’s truck to move them up to your aunt’s house.
Miss Ruby: You know what, let us go and find Banjo. Come with me, Priscilla.(Exits Priscilla and Miss Ruby)
Gwen: I am coming with you too, Miss Ruby and Priscilla.(Exits Miss Gwen)
Naomi: You know what I’d better go too. Because it looks like war is going to break out and as I’m a war boat already, that can’t miss me. Wait for me, Gwen. I want to see the one Priscilla’s face when we throw out her things on the sidewalk.(Exits Naomi)
Darlene: I hear you, Miss Naomi and if you want bloodshed it can happen right now. For I’m worse than my sister. Everybody says that I’m quieter than Priscilla but I’m going to give all of you a surprise.
Wella(eating his dinner): Darlene what’s going on? I hear like Banjo wants to run us out of here, but how can he do that and it’s not his his place?(Enter two men. They are Barnes and Pablo. Both are masked)
Barnes: I want all the money that you have.
Wella: I know that voice. It’s Juicy Barnes. I must tell Dutch that you and Pablo came to my home and tried to rob me and my sister.
Pablo: I told you that it’s here so Killer lived and you didn’t believe me.
Barnes: Killer, everything okay, no harm was done. I will see you in the morning.(Exits both Juicy Barnes and Pablo)(Wella continues eating his dinner. Finally, Darlene finds her voice.)
Darlene: Wella, you are a gunman? It’s Killer they call you? You are out there murdering people?
Wella: So what if they called me Killer. That doesn’t mean that I ever killed anybody yet. They only call me that because they and I are friends.
Darlene: They say show me your company and I tell you who you are. If you are keeping company with gunmen then you must be a gunman too. (Enter Miss Ruby and Priscilla)
Miss Ruby: We didn’t see Banjo. The brute has gone into hiding. But if i did ever catch him tonight all hell would break loose.
Priscilla: Why are you looking so frightened, Darlene?
Darlene: Two of Wella’s friends just tried to hold me up.
Wella (Has finished eating his dinner now): How do you know that they and I are friends?
Darlene: They said so, Wella and you said so too.
Priscilla: You gave them any money, Darlene?
Darlene: It looks as if they and Wella have the same boss. When he said that he was going to tell the boss on them, they left. They had on masks, but from he heard their voices, he recognized them.
Miss Ruby: You don’t see that the boy is a gunman. Let us call the police and let them come and arrest him. Where is his school bag?
(Priscilla grabs Wella’s school bag which had been thrown in a corner of the room. She opens the bag. Wella is still seated around the table)
Darlene: You find any gun, Priscilla? (Priscilla is searching the bag)
Priscilla: No, it’s only his books I see.(Enters Scully)
Scully: Priscilla you and Darlene still around? But I heard that both of you moved out. I came down here to look for my woman, Gwen, Banjo and the children and now I find the two of you. So tell me Priscilla, Naomi don’t come down here?
Priscilla: I don’t know where your woman is, Scully. So all you want come down here to live?
Scully: I would be living on my brother’s land. I wouldn’t be living in anywhere belonging to you.
Miss Ruby: Scully, all you who don’t live no where feistying with people too.
Wella: Hey, Scully, it’s run you and Banjo want run me and my sisters off the place here?
Scully: Banjo told me that he got the place now and he is going to take the big house and I and my woman can get the small house. I come to sleep here tonight because I neither have taxi nor bus fare to go back to my yard at 21 Lane.
Miss Ruby: Your woman and your sister-in-law came here and left. They were looking for Banjo but didn’t find him. He’s hiding from them. He told Priscilla that he was going down to Samm’s bar, but when we went down there we didn’t see him.
Darlene: Scully, the best advice I would give you is to go look for your brother and find out what’s going on.
Scully: If I don’t find him I’m coming right back here and you boy, Wella, watch what I’m going to do to you.
Wella: It’s you who must watch what I’m going to do to you if you put back your foot up here tonight, Scully. (Scully backs out a knife)
Scully: Hey boy, you think because your daddy and I are brothers, I’m going to be afraid to do you something?
Wella: Hey, Scully, anyhow you cut me, I must go for my gun and do you something. (Scully rushes at Wella with his knife, but Wella rushes into a room)
Priscilla: Scully, mind you mash up anything for me.
Scully: You and Darlene must talk to him. He’s talking to me as if I and he are the same size. Everybody knows that he’s a gunman, but that’s not going to make me be afraid of him. I’m going to see if I can find Banjo.(Exits Scully)
Miss Ruby: They’ll soon return. They want the place, but what a wicked man Banjo’s turning out to be.
Darlene: Mr. Banjo I the wickedest man I’ve ever known. But we should know, look what he did to our mother. It’s a good thing my man, Lenroy is on farm work or else big fight would be up here.(Enter Wella)
Priscilla: Wella, you must have some respect for your uncle.
Darlene: He might have to help you out one of these days, you never can tell.
Wella: (Hisses his teeth) Scully is worse than Banjo.
Miss Ruby: You threaten to shoot him. He can report you to the police and let them arrest you.
Wella: He drew a knife on me and I didn’t do him anything.
Miss Ruby: Come, let us go down to the station to report the robbery.
Wella: Darlene, Priscilla and Aunt Rugy, you didn’t hear what I said. The men are going to say that I’m an informer and come to look for me.
Priscilla: Let them come, who told you to take up with gunmen?
Darlene: Stay here and watch the place until we come back.(Exit women)
Wella: It’s my gun I am going for to join those guys on a big move so all of you can stay there, about me watching place. When all of you come back Banjo might move in his family and Scully’s family.(Curtains)
Austin's blog: stredwick.blogspot.com