fiction words weblog  
all sixfoot6 content copyright ryan d gantz



(Scene: The interior of a Wendy’s fast-food franchise. In the center we see the typical counter, with two cash registers, and a single microphone for relaying customer orders to the rear cooking area, which is mostly out of site. To the right of the counter sits a salad bar, and to the right of the salad bar we see the expected 5 table seating area. Stage right remains dark. The Wendy’s interior is dimly lit. April, an 18 year old girl, stands behind the counter at attention; she faces forward with palms down on either side of one of the registers. In the seating area, rag in hand, the 20 year old Pablo casually wipes down tables. Each actor is lit with a soft spotlight for the first half of this scene. Both April and Pablo are wearing appropriate Wendy’s garb.)

Pablo: Today is Tuesday, the day when he is expected to come.

April: I know, Pablo. Each day you speak of his coming. I know that before today is through your words shall leave me torn.

Pablo: Yet I speak again. (He sits down at in one of the seats, and gazes glassy-eyed into the table in front of him.) But it does no good to speak.

April: He will come. Sweet, sweet, Pablo, you are like no other employee. He shall not fail to help you.

Pablo: He must. I—we—have endured these things for too long. You cannot comprehend, April, the magnitude of the transformation I have witnessed in these walls—in these tiled floors—during my time here. Your employee training had not yet begun during that time when the great Thomas served as our manager… everything was so clean, April…. Everything glowed. The lettuce remained moist, but crisp. But that—that was a long time ago. (Pause.) Can you feel it? (Extends both arms and carefully gliding his hands across the surface of the table.) So many customers have dined on this surface. So many hungry citizens have sojourned here.

April: (Caressing the counter with her palms, and turning her head in Pablo’s direction.) But I ask you, Pablo: when will our customers return?

Pablo: (Rising firmly to his feet.) I wish I knew, April. We are trapped in a great darkness.

(Spotlights come up on the left third of the stage, to reveal a classical Greek Chorus, complete with masks and traditional dress. They move and speak in unison, gesturing with careful positioning of the arms when appropriate. The spotlights on April and Pablo fade to nothing as the Wendy’s side of the stage becomes a bit more bright. The two employees begin performing common employee cleaning tasks, moving freely around Wendy’s.)

Chorus: (singing)

Through light and night our voices call

To answer those afraid that all

This watchful time might come to naught:

For he who works this shift has fought

For seven years to reach this day,

And all that time has earned him pay,

Though not too much. With greasy fire

Does Pablo’s heart burn for that sire

Who can, with hands of grace, restore

The counter-tops and cracked tile floor.

Good Master Thomas, blind to fate,

Held the franchise sublime in state,

Until he rose to heaven’s gate.


strophe 1

Listen! They had their golden age of lunch,

But sunlight’s golden arch has sealed the doors

Against Americans whose mouths would munch

On tasty-treats produced in scalding scores.


antistrophe 1

Now witness, in this pregnant hour of night

A seed of strength inside this stagnant room:

For as they’d hoped, a visitor takes sight

Of April’s form, and enters while they groom.

(Chorus lights fade. Enter from right a 43 year old man wearing overalls, a tool belt, and a baseball cap. He carries a large leather bag in one hand. April and Pablo are both cleaning and do not see him. He walks to the middle of the Wendy’s, by the salad bar, and stares lewdly at the rear end of April, who is bent over the front of the counter, scrubbing. After several seconds of staring, he speaks in his scratchy voice.)

Man: I need to get me a piece of that.

April: (Turning around quickly, and assuming a soldier-like stance.) You—you have startled me. (Bowing her head momentarily, then raising it again.) You are the one, aren’t you? Have you come to help us?

Man: (Patting his belly, looking her up and down.) You better believe I’m willing to give you some help if that’s what you’re looking for, little lady.

April: I knew you would come. I never doubted it for a moment.

Pablo: (Walking over stiffly and somewhat nervously). April, are we saved?

April: Yes, Pablo. This man has come to help us.

Pablo: (Falling to his knees behind the man, who has begun looking up at the food menus.) Thank you, Thomas, wherever you are. Thank you. We have endured so much, but you have heard our call.

Man: Can I get… uhhh…. let’s see….

(April and Pablo nod wildly and begin to scurry behind the counter.)

April: Take anything you want, sir. Our resources are yours.

Pablo: Command us, and we will prepare you whatever you desire without charge

Man: Can I just get a burger with bacon and cheddar, and a couple of those baked potatoes? And a Frosty, please.

(Behind the counter, Pablo and April embrace each other for a moment, and then begin to whistle the Lone Ranger theme song over and over . They run into the rear kitchen area to prepare the food. After fifteen seconds, April reappears, still whistling, with two baked potatoes which she sets down on the counter. She smiles nervously at the man, stiffly turns around, and begins to operate the Frosty machine.)

Man: (Staring at her rear end again.) That looks real delicious, Miss. Real delicious.

(Lights come up on the Chorus, who raise their arms into the air and begin humming loudly along with April and Pablo’s whistling. The three chorus members closest to the audience confidently march in line to the right, onto the Wendy’s set. The first Chorus member walks over to the salad bar and picks up a bin of sliced cucumbers, turns toward the audience, and holds the bin directly in front of his body with arms outstretched. The second Chorus member produces a large red axe from his toga and swings it powerfully into Man’s back, killing him in one full swoop. Man lies covered in blood just in front of the counter. Meanwhile, the third Chorus member opens a trap door in the center of the Wendy’s floor, in front of the salad bar , close to where the first Chorus member stands. Once he has killed Man, the second Chorus member jumps into the trap door, still carrying his axe. He is followed by Chorus number one, who still holds the bin piled high with cucumbers. The third Chorus member closes the trap door and steps downstage, where he crouches to the right of the salad bar. All Chorus members have been humming during these events, but now stop. The lights fade on the remainder of the Chorus to the left. Pablo emerges from the kitchen holding a foil-wrapped burger.)

Pablo: April! Sweet April, where has he gone?

April: (Turning around with Biggie Frosty.) What—what? Where has he gone? Pablo, he was here only a moment ago! (From where they stand, April and Pablo look frantically around the restaurant. They do not see the Chorus member behind the salad bar. Slowly, April and Pablo come out from behind the counter.)

Pablo: (Seeing the dead and bloody man.) No! It can’t be! Great Thomas, how could you? This was our last chance…

April: Is he…. Pablo, is he…

Pablo: Yes, April. He is dead. All is lost. (Falls to his knees, clutching his head in his hands.)

April: Pablo, be strong. There will be another. We have each other, Pablo. (She falls to her knees beside the corpse, facing Pablo.)

Pablo: Yes, April. But even that may not last long. (They embrace in a passionate kiss. After ten seconds, the hidden Chorus member stands up, and with a great display of brute force, pushes the salad bar over, crushing April and Pablo as they continue to kiss. After poking them to make sure they’re dead, the Chorus member picks up a few carrot sticks. He munches casually, looking out at the audience, then back at the fallen salad bar, then around the room. Finally he takes of his mask and walks off stage right, humming "Whistle while you work" with a mouthful of carrot. Lights fade. In unison, the remaining Chorus speaks these three words: ANOTHER SOLEMN TUESDAY.