“Culvers” Play

CHARACTERS:

LOGAN, a 26-year-old labor working man, husband

NIKKOLE, a 26-year-old student in community college, wife

SETTING:

In a 2011 Kia Soul (car)

TIME:

Present

In the middle of a crowded city, surrounded by traffic; the camera lights above the top of the silver Kia Soul sedan. A young woman in the passenger seat with curly brown hair sits restlessly in the seat and is staring out the window in contemplation of something. A young man is driving with a red mohawk and is looking out the rear-view mirror in annoyance.

NIKKOLE: Ugh! There’s nothing to do in this town!

LOGAN: (tapping his fingers on the steering wheel, then gripping it tight.) You’d think as many restaurants we have here there’d be something to do.

NIKKOLE: We could go eat I guess. (she looks at Logan in thought.)

LOGAN: Mhmmm. (he stares deep into the traffic in front of him.) COME ON! (he yells at no one in particular. Nikkole jumps in her seat in surprise.)

NIKKOLE: Is that a yes or a no? (she frowns at him)

LOGAN: (clears his throat and looks over at her as they are at a standstill in traffic.) Yes. We can get something to eat, but that brings us to a problem. (he smiles unexpectedly)

NIKKOLE: (she scrunches her face in confusion) And what problem might that be?

LOGAN: You can never decide on where to eat. It’s always a game. I give you three options and you say “no” to all three. I give you four more and you choose one of the first three. (he stares back into traffic waiting for her reply. He can’t look her in the eye even though he knows he’s right.)

NIKKOLE: (huffs in disapproval) Fine. Give me three options and I’ll pick. (she crosses her arms in anger. It’s not a game. It’s not her fault nothing ever sounds good and she’s so indecisive.)

LOGAN: Okay. So do you want a sit down restaurant or do you want to just pick something up.

NIKKOLE: (looks out the window again and lets out a heavy sigh) I don’t know…

LOGAN: (rolls his eyes) Here we go…

NIKKOLE: Fine. Let’s go sit down somewhere.

LOGAN: That narrows our options. Fazoli’s, Dairy Queen, or Culvers?

NIKKOLE (lets out a smile) Are you craving ice cream or something? (she giggles)

LOGAN: I never turn down ice cream.

NIKKOLE: (looks back out the window at the mall. Thoughts swarm into her head. None of those places sounded that great.) I’m tired of the same old places here.

LOGAN: But you have so many options! Just pick one!

NIKKOLE: Ugh! Okay. Culvers… I think.

LOGAN: No! There’s no “I think” about it. It’s either yes or no!

NIKKOLE: Yes, Mr. Bossy. Let’s go to Culver’s.

(they drive in silence for the next five minutes. “Bulletproof” by Godsmack whines through the car speakers. When they arrive and park at Culver’s, they walk to the door and Nikkole reaches over and grabs Logan’s hand. They interlock their fingers in between their hands. They walk up to the entrance. Logan holds the door for Nikkole. Nikkole giggles quietly.)

LOGAN: What?

NIKKOLE: Nothing. (she laughs out loud.)

LOGAN: Tell me! (Logan is irritated.)

NIKKOLE: (so matter-of-factly) Man, I was really craving Dairy Queen. (Nikkole smiles up at Logan as they stand in front of the counter to order.)

(Logan rolls his eyes and starts telling the cashier his order.)

(Fade to black.)

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[2] Short Story Series Saturday: Continued! “Derek”

I reach a gas station, just south of town. I see a beautiful girl working at the counter. She’s about my age. She has long, flowing black hair with a red streak down the right side. As she’s checking out the person at the cash register, she stops and notices me. As much as I don’t want to, I find myself walking towards the gas station.

It’s a Circle K gas station. A big red and blue K is above the gas price which currently shows $2.65 for unleaded. That information would be useful to me if I had a car. Instead, I rely on these two legs to get me where I need to go. There’s a reason I don’t have a car.

You see, I got put on house arrest because I totaled my dad’s car. It was an accident. Well, more of an accident waiting to happen. I was at this party…

My friend Kyle lives on the east side, the rich side, of town. He lives in a bi-level house with lots of windows. Inside there are lots of people holding red cups in their hands, dancing and talking. I was sitting under the table in the kitchen slamming down some beers.

“You good down there, bro?” Kyle laughed. He was an athletic kid; on the football team. He could have any girl he wanted, and he did. He was a spoiled brat, but he let me get in on the money he made off selling his Xanax. His parents were divorced so he used the “I have anxiety” card and his doctor believed him. Put him on Xanax, just like that.

Everything was spinning. I looked at my phone. 1:46AM. I laid there on the floor struggling to remember what day it is. I look at my phone again in my drunken stupor. Wednesday.

“Shit, dude! It’s a school night! I gotta go!” I raised up from the floor and slammed my head on the table. I knew deep down my dad wouldn’t notice I was gone. He really didn’t care how late I was out, even if it was a school night. I just knew I had to get home. Unfortunately, I had driven my dad’s 2015 blacked-out Jeep to the party. I felt comfortable enough to drive home. I did just that.

On the way home I noticed a white car following me. I didn’t know it, but I was swerving all over the road. Soon enough I saw the red and blue lights behind me. I put my foot on the accelerator and tried to get away. While I was looking out my rearview mirror trying to get away, I struck a light pole. That’s when shit hit the fan. I passed out cold as soon as I wrecked the Jeep.

I remember waking up the next day in the hospital. My dad nowhere to be found. My phone, M.I.A. No visitors. Just nurses pacing the hall floor and me in my room, all alone. I look over from the hospital bed and notice an IV in my arm. I lay there with my face scrunched in confusion, trying to figure out what happened.

An older nurse comes in and starts to make notes on my chart at the end of the bed. I watch her carefully.

“Excuse me,” I ask. She looks up from my chart. “Why am I here?” She smiled and showed her perfectly aligned, white teeth.

“Baby, you got in an accident. You were rushed here in an ambulance. They didn’t think you were gonna make it,” She looked at me in all seriousness. “Have you looked at yourself?” She asked. I wasn’t sure what that was supposed to mean. She helped me to the bathroom so I could assess the damage.

My face was pretty banged up. I had about 5 stitches in my forehead. A lot of bruising. I was missing some of my teeth. I still wasn’t sure what happened. All I did know, is that I wished I could’ve died in this accident so I could be with my mom again.

As soon as the nurse got me back into bed, my dad comes storming into the room. He throws my cell phone at me and it hits my sternum in my chest.

“Good job, asshole.” was all he said and he walked right back out. I had a feeling this was the beginning of a great conversation that would come up later.