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BULLETS TO HEAVEN
By
Robert Red-Baer

 


CAST OF CHARACTERS
Arthur
Menlow Marshall
Marge
Heavenly Lover
Lady
Hood
Man
Victim
3 or more women extras

The setting can be as little as a park bench. In the last scene of the play it changes to represent heaven.

 


Copyright 1978 by Robert Red-Baer

Robert Red-Baer offers individuals or theatre groups the production of this play royalty free (profit or non-profit)-- but they must receive permission from Robert Red-Baer.  If interested in producing this play, please click on the following box.

Recently performed.  Click here to see program and read comments. 


 

ARTHUR a young man in his early twenties, is sitting on a park like bench watching TV. MENLOW another man of Arthur's age stands behind him.

ARTHUR: That's it Hit'm again, harder, harder! That's it honey, jump up and spread'em again. Block that kick Block that kick. Kick that leg! Kick that leg! Whee'ewI

MENLOW: Hey Arthur.

ARTHUR: Menlow! bid old fart, haven't seen you in a long time. Whatcha been doin'? Where ya been? Sit down and watch the game. (Sits down and glues on the TV.) Fantastic! Terrific! What a play,' What a team!

MENLOW: Arthur, it's me. Menlow! Menlow Marshall!

ARTHUR: Menlow Marshall! Ya old fart, haven't seen you for a long time. What ya been doin'? Where ya been? Sit down and watch the game. (Sits down and glues eyes on TV.)

MENLOW: It's been many years, Arthur.

ARTHUR: We can talk during the commercial.

MENLOW: I just got out today. And I'd like to apologize. Arthur, listen to me! We loved each other. I had to kill her. I had to save her from the unbearable heartbreak of not being with me. Save her from the torture of living with you! Arthur, are you listening?

ARTHUR: Fourth and half a yard to go. Do you that they'll go for it?

MENLOW: They'll go for it. Oh yes They'll go for it. Just like I went for your wife. Went for her with all the passion and love a man can hold!

ARTHUR: Go! Go! Go!

MENLOW: What else can I do? It's over.

ARTHUR: Damn right it's over. They missed it by a foot. Shoulda passed. Now what can they do, only two minutes left in the game.

MENLOW: Two minutes! What's two minutes compared to Margaret's last two seconds. Her last words to me, the man that stabbed her helpless heart. "Menlow, I love you." And you, her husband, never saying one word about you She loved me, not you! (laughs)

ARTHUR (slowly turning): The steel belted radial tire commercial is on now. When Marge died, her last words to you were, "Menlow, I loathe you." L-0-A-T-H-E! She loathed you, Menlow. Her dying words.

MENLOW (move to TV): Hey, those are pretty neat tires. Hey, reasonable too.

ARTHUR: You were alone with her when you killed her. But she came back to me the next day, during the half-time of the Packers and Bears, one of the first games to be televised.

MENLOW: That's really a good idea. I think I'll get a set.

ARTHUR: Her ghost-like body emerged from between the baton twirlers legs. Came right out of the TV and plopped herself on my lap. (MARGE, a nice looking girl in cheer leader outfit enters and sits on Arthur's lap. She is twirling a baton.) And then she said,

MARGE: Menlow killed me last night, but before I died, I told him I loathed him.

ARTHUR: You see, there's a big difference between love and loathe...

MENLOW (turns from TV): I can see the difference! I can almost feel the difference. . Arthur, did you ever have steel belted radial tires. Man, what a difference between those and the old kind. Wow! What a commercial, too bad it's over.

ARTHUR: (glues eyes on TV): Come on! Two minutes! You can do it! You can do it! We want a fumble! We want a fumble!

MENLOW: Marge, it's so good seeing you again. It's been years. The last time I saw you, you...

MARGE: was when you were plunging your knife into my heart.

MENLOW: Ah yes. Sorry about that. I don't know what got into me. Good to see you back. Where have you been anyway? That was a fatal stabbing, almost immediate death, you know.

ARTHUR: Get him! That's it, kill em!

MARGE: I had a nice peaceful rest for awhile. Then I woke up to a new world. Something quite different and wonderful.

MENLOW: I've missed you so much. I love you, Marge. I killed you for that love.

ARTHUR: They just might do it. They just might.

MENLOW: So what are you now? I mean, are you a ghost or something.

MARGE: Ghosts are only in spook books. No, I've officially established my residency in heaven. It will be my home forever. And I owe it all to you, Menlow Marshall.

MENLOW: Do you love me, Marge.

MARGE: I loathe you.

ARTHUR: Go! Go!

MENLOW: Oh Marge. (cries)

MARGE: I loathe you as a man, but if you were a heavenly being it might be another story.

ARTHUR: Wow, what a game! Time for one more play! The play that can win the game!

MENLOW: Really!? You mean you'd love me if I were a resident of heaven.

MARGE: Things are different up there. Much different. (HEAVENLY LOVER enters. He is a handsome man.)

LOVER: Come on Marge. Time for us to get back.

MENLOW: Who's he?

LOVER: I am her heavenly lover.

MARGE: Oh yes, and this is Menlow Marshall.

MENLOW: Your lover? How come he's your lover? Besides, you're married to him.

ARTHUR: What a fake! Go! Go!

MARGE: Marriage ends at death. And he is temporarily my lover until my real lover from earth gets up there.

LOVER: Yes, that is my heavenly duty.

MENLOW: Then when I die, I get to be your lover,

ARTHUR: They won! They did it!

MARGE: Everyone makes it to heaven when they die, but there are a lot of districts and it Is impossible for one person in one district to communicate in any way with a person in another district.

ARTHUR: Did you see that sneaky wonderful play?!

MENLOW: How do I get in your district?

MARGE: Our district is made up of all the people that were stabbed to death by other people.

LOVER: We must get going.

ARTHUR: See ya Marge-., See ya Lover.

MENLOW: Bye See YOU soon.

MARGE & LOVER: Bye. (they exit)

ARTHUR (going back and turning off TV.): What a game.

MENLOW (thinking aloud): That's what I've got to do. Get someone to stab me. Hey Arthur?

ARTHUR: Hey Menlow. How are you. Good to see you again.

MENLOW: You know Arthur, that was real nasty of me. You know, stabbing your wife and everything. You must really hate me.

ARTHUR: Aw, forget it Menlow. It's all in the past. You spent your time in jail. You paid for it.

MENLOW: Don't you want revenge? Don't you want to stab-me, right here in the heart.

ARTHUR: No, of course not.

MENLOW: Do you have a knife with you?

ARTHUR (pulling knife out of his pocket): Just happen to have one.

MENLOW: Arthur, stab me. Kill me with it.

ARTHUR: I can't. Besides it's against the law.

MENLOW: I'll right a note saying I did it to myself. Come on Arthur.

ARTHUR: No Menlow. It's against my morals. And I faint at the sight of blood.

MENLOW: Please?

ARTHUR: No.- But I'll tell you what. You can have the knife. Just do it to yourself. You saved up a lot of strength in prison. You can do it. (Picks up his TV.)

MENLOW: You just don't understand.

ARTHUR: Nothing like watching an exiting football game out in the fresh air. See ya Menlow. Take care of yourself. (Exits, taking the TV.)

MENLOW (to himself): I can't do it to myself. Who wants to spend eternity in the suicide district. I'm sure everyone there is crazy. At least in the getting stabbed district you'll have a greater variety of people. I mean anyone can get stabbed, but it takes a certain kind of person to stab himself. Ah, I've got an idea! And this is the place for it. Right here in the park. Here comes one now. (Young lady approaches) I'm going to rape you! (holds knife at her throat)

LADY: Right here in the park?

MENLOW: What do you mean?! This is where every normal rapist does their raping.

LADY: Oh. What am I supposed to do?

MENLOW: Lay down on your back. Go on!

LADY (laying down expectantly): Oh my God. I'm getting raped.

MENLOW (jumping on top of her): Oh, I dropped my knife.

LADY: Where?

MENLOW: Right there by your hand. Oh man, am I going to rape you. (pause) Go on. It's right there by your hand.

LADY: I don't believe I'm getting raped.

MENLOW: Pick the knife up and stab me.

LADY: This has never happened to me before.

MENLOW: You can stop me if you stab me.

LADY: Hurry up and get this nasty thing over with. I have to get home and cook dinner.

MENLOW (puts knife in her hand): Oh my God. Now you've got the knife and now you're going to stab me.

LADY: Look mister, I didn't mean to steal your knife. I don't know how it got in my hand. Here. (hands him knife,)

MENLOW (standing up): Jeeze lady. What's your problem?

LADY: My problem? You're the one that can't get it up.

MENLOW: Don't you have any sense of moral dignity?

LADY: Look mister, I wouldn't talk about moral dignity. Look at you, calling yourself a rapist. (Standing up and brushing herself off.)

MENLOW: You don't understand.

LADY: I understand. You're claiming to be something you're not. You can't claim a title in life until you are worthy of it. You can't be a painter until you paint. You can't be a writer until you write. And you can't be a rapist until you rape. (starts to exit)

MENLOW: Maybe I'm not a rapist. But you're lousy rapee (pause) Now what can I do? I've got to be with Marge. (MASKED HOOD comes from behind and sticks a gun in his back.)

HOOD: You're money or your life.

MENLOW: What are you poking in my back.

HOOD: The steal rod of death.

MENLOW: A knife!?

HOOD: No, Jerk off. A gun.

MENLOW: Oh.

HOOD: A gun that will send a life eating chunk of steal sizzling through your body.

MENLOW: Did you ever think of using a knife? it's a lot more challenging, you know.

HOOD: Knives are too chancy. Bullets are convenient, easy to use, reliable and safe. Just right for this day and age. Only amateurs and perverts use knives.

MENLOW: I may be an amateur, but I'm no pervert.

HOOD: You've stabbed someone?

MENLOW: Dead.

HOOD: Did time?

MENLOW: Plenty of it.

HOOD: Did you ever meet a guy called Marty?

MENLOW: You must mean Marty Moonshine. Sure we shared the same cell.

HOOD: Then you must be Ripper Marshall?

MENLOW: And you must be Marty's brother, Slippery. (HOOD puts his gun away, they turn and hug each other.)

HOOD & MENLOW: I've heard so much about you.

HOOD: How's my brother.

MENLOW: Mean as ever.

HOOD: Just-like himself. Hey look, I wouldn't have stuck the rod in your back if I knew who you were. Just that everything's business nowadays. With quotas and daily reports and everything, there's hardly time for any conversation with the victims. Not like the old days when you could watch shaky lips say quivering words. They've taken all the fun out of it. They figure fun is to big a risk.

MENLOW: I guess you gotta be going then?

HOOD: No that's all right. I get a fifteen minute coffee break. You look like somethin's bother'n you. Need a job. We got openings. Course you'll have to start at the bottom. -Pocket books, lemonade stands, that kind of stuff. But you can move up...

MENLOW: I don't need a job. I need something else.

HOOD: I'll see what I can do.

MENLOW: I want to put out a contract.

HOOD: That's impossible. You gotta be way up in the organization to do that kind of thing.

MENLOW: This is different, though. I want it on myself. I'll-write a suicide note, have it notarized and everything.

HOOD; Oh, that's a different story. See, I work for the armed Robbery and Mugging Division. You need to see someone from the Mercy Killing and Slow Poisoning Division. They gotta clean record, too. Never been busted or even investigated.

MENLOW: They sound real good. How can I get in touch with them?

HOOD: They have twenty-four hour instant service. I'll make a quick call over there and their mobile unit should be here almost instantaneously.

MENLOW: Hey, that's great-' Thanks Slippery. HOOD; Don't think nothin' of it, Ripper. Anything for my brothers ex-cell mate. ,Well I gotta get goin'. Guess I won't be seein' you again. Good luck wherever you wind up. I'll make that call for ya.

MENLOW (shaking hands): I'll never forget this.

HOOD: Who knows what you'll forget. (exits)

MENLOW: Gee, I guess there's nothin' to do but wait. Wait to see Marge. The woman I love. The woman I killed. (SUICIDE MAN enters. He has an earphone and a microphone connected to some box.)

MAN: Your name Menlow Marshall?

MENLOW: Yes. Are you...

MAN: Alias Ripper Marshall in the pen?

MENLOW: That's right. Are you...

MAN: You called for the special division?

MENLOW: Uh huh. What are...

MAN: How do you want to be killed?

MENLOW: With a knife.

MAN: Instant or suffering?

MENLOW: I uh, well I don't ...

MAN: Instant or suffering?

MENLOW: Instant.

MAN: How do you want it to look? Suicide or senseless killing?

MENLOW: I guess, senseless killing is all right.

MAN: We don't allow time payments on Mercy killings. Do you want to pay with money or services?

MENLOW: I don't have mush money.

MAN: Services. Public or private.

MENLOW: Either.

MAN: What location would you like? MENLOW; Anywhere.

MAN: Okay, Mister Marshall. I'm going to call this into our computer center. I'll have all the details very shortly. So just relax for a few seconds. You don't have too many left, you know. This is your last chance to change your mind.

MENLOW: I don't want to change my mind.

MAN (into mic): B two six nine to computer. Thank you. Line zero five one. Marshall, M. Knife. As soon as possible. Instant. Senseless killing. Anywhere, public or private. Payment with services. Over. (to Menlow) I'll have a reply in just a second. Relax Mister Marshall. Ah, here it comes now. (Man nods his head and stuff as he listens to the short reply.) Okay, Mr. Marshall. There will be a rich man walking by , here very shortly. By the way, do you have your own knife.

MENLOW: Yes sir.

MAN: Good. When this man walks by you are going to rob him at knife-point. I will come to his rescue. We till struggle. I will get the knife and fatally stab you in the heart. Do you understand?

MENLOW: Yes-. Are you sure this will work?

MAN: Our division is the only division in the organization that has a perfect record. Is that enough?

MENLOW: Yes. MAN; Get ready, He's on his way.

MENLOW: How do you get your pay?

MAN: This man will think nothing of shelling out a ten grand reward.

MENLOW: Oh I see. All legal and everything.

MAN: Naturally. That's the way our computer is programmed. Here he comes. (VICTIM starts walking by.) Go.

MENLOW (with knife on Victim): Your money or your life.

VICTIM: I imagine my money would be a lot less painful to depart with than my being.

MENLOW: That's right. Hand it over. (Victim reaches in his pocket and pulls out a gun instead of a wallet.)

VICTIM: I'm going to shoot you in self defense.

MENLOW: No, please. Not with a gun. Use my knife. Not a gun, please.

VICTIM: A gun is the most painless. (He shoots Menlow.)

MENLOW: Damn guns! Damn them! They should be against the law. Good-bye Marge. Good-bye world. I'm off to the wrong division. (dies)

VICTIM: I'll have my secretary phone the police.

MAN: I saw the whole thing . I'll be a witness for your self defense.

VICTIM: Thank you kind sir. It's not easy to find an honest man that's willing to get involved in these messy situation. Here's a dollar (exits)

MAN: Thank you. (picks up his mic.) B two six nine to data processing. Data processing this is B two six nine. there was an error in the programming of Victim 254-58-3337. He carries a gun. That mistake cost us our perfect record. (Exits. Arthur enters with his TV and sets it down on Menlow's body, Marge enters behind him. They look at each other and smile.)

MARGE: Oh, Arthur. I love you.

ARTHUR: He really thought you were Marge visiting from BULLETS TO HEAVEN
 

MARGE: I guess Marge never mentioned me to him.

ARTHUR: Losing a wife isn't that bad when she has an identical twin sister.

MARGE: Can we get married now?

ARTHUR: Now that he's gone we can do anything. (They exit. Blackout if possible. When lights come up Menlow is sitting down with at least three girls wrapped around him.)
 

MENLOW: Man, I don't even have time to think about Marge here in the getting shot division. (Girls giggle and squeal.)
 
 

CURTAIN



 
 
 

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