Smiley’s Choice

by

Tasheena B.

CHARACTERS:

Smiley the Jaguar, female, age 18 years.

Ratchet the Monkey, female, age 17 years, party animal.

SETTING:

In the wild, beneath a berry tree and a banana tree. You can hear the sounds of a little creek

in the background. The sun has just risen.

TIME: 5:45 A.M.

AT RISE:

Smiley is freshening up by the creek. Cleaning herself off from the berries she was eating

for breakfast. Ratchet is hopping over to Smiley to confront her.

RATCHET

So, missy, why are you up so early? (Eye balling Smiley) Have any plans?

SMILEY

I… uh, have to be somewhere. (She looks away)

RATCHET

Oh, can I come with?

SMILEY

No, no, what about your party?

RATCHET

Exactly what I’m saying missy. You’re still coming, aren’t you? (Staring Smiley down)

SMILEY

Oh yeah, that’s top of my list you know.

RATCHET

(Throws her hands in the air) Stop it already! I heard it all, miss I want to be an A.C.S.I. –

Animal Crime Scene Investigator! You were really serious about all that studying. And…

SMILEY

(Cutting Ratchet off) Yes, Ratchet, yes I was. You think partying is all there is to life. I

don’t even like to party, I hate really loud music, I hate large crowds, I hat it all! (She turns

away)

RATCHET

(Eyes wide, looking confused) Whoa, whoa! Where is all this coming from? You always

came with me. It’s not like I put a freaking coconut to your head, and said come with me or

else! (She smiles)

SMILEY

(Looking very serious) Oh, right, like you ever give me a choice. You always pulling at my

tail, literally. Jumping around, singing loudly. Dancing, dancing like some crazy monkey.

RATCHET

That one hurt! I am a crazy monkey, you know that. But, anywho partying is life. You

want to investigate death, but death could be right around the corner for you, or even me.

What can you say you’ve done, that’s fun, if your head is always in the books. (Pause,

then yells) NOTHING! If it wasn’t for me you wouldn’t have lived a little. You would be

very lonely under this tree.

SMILEY

And if it wasn’t for me you would be chopped monkey with that mouth of yours. (She

walks to the berry tree to get her books together.) You’re really messing up my morning

mojo, you still smell like banana splits.

RATCHET

Well, I’ve been up all night you know. (She sits down under the banana tree.) Stressing out

about your party that’s happening later. (She looks at Smiley.) You’ll be there won’t you?

SMILEY

(She looks at everything but Ratchet.) Ummm… If I, (her voice trails off) don’t pass.

RATCHET

Huh! What was that? It’s going to be great. The Dancing Dolphins, The Singing Chica

Hyenas, and get this, (in a high voice) they know, “Dance For You,” isn’t that great. I have

all the Crazy 8 monkeys coming. Also, lots and lots of banana splits, I even snuck some

berries when you were asleep last night to make Berry-licious cocktails. (Mumbling, happy

about her thoughts of the party.) It’s going down later! (She fist pumps) We can party all

night. (She lays down on the ground) For ever even.

SMILEY

(Thinking about how fun it kind of sounds.) Yeah… (Then she shakes her head with anger

and yells.) NO, NO, NO! Ratchet, that’s just it. I don’t want to party forever. I want to

earn enough pebbles and get my own hut. (She walks back and forth.) I’m tired of

watching over my shoulder every night, and yours. I want security. I want enough pebbles

to know I can get what ever I want, to feel independent. Don’t you get it?

RATCHET

But what about me? Aren’t you going to miss me? I don’t want you to go Smiley. You’re

my best friend. I’ve known you almost my whole life. If you leave, I will have no one to

pull by the tail to my partying. I will have no one to talk to. I will be alone.

SMILEY

(She looks at the ground) I care about you Ratchet. You’re right we’ve been friends for our

whole lives. I’ve partied with you. I’ve fought with you and for you several times. I’m not

saying I didn’t enjoy our time together. But my partying is over with, it’s time I made this

choice about me and my future.

RATCHET

So, investigating dead smelly animals is your choice for your future. What kind of a choice

is that? You should party everyday with me. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. I party every

night because if I should become “chopped monkey” as you say, I want to be able to say,

“Okay, I had a fun life.” I don’t want to die and say I didn’t live my life how I wanted.

SMILEY

Exactly, me being here partying, and living it up as you say is not what I want for my life.

Becoming an ACSI is what I want. Honestly, (she looks at the position of the sun) I’m up

this early because I have to take the ACSI test. It’s twelve hours away and I must be there

on time. I’m the oldest you can be to take the training. This is my one and last chance. (She

looks at Ratchet with determined eyes.) If I pass, I mean when I pass I will not be coming

back. I will immediately go into ACSI training. I’ve made the decision. (She stands firmly.)

RATCHET

Well… (she backs up with sorrow in her eyes) is this supposed to be it? Are we never

going to party again. (She smiles, then stops) You’re leaving me so soon. I know I

shouldn’t say this, but this is how I really feel. (Pause) I hope you don’t pass the test. (She

cries) Oh gosh, you’re really not coming. I paid, I paid bananas to have The Dolphins and

Chica Hyenas. It’s all a waste. I did all this for you Smiley, and now you’re not even

coming.

SMILEY

I’m sorry, but I have to do this. (She sits next to Ratchet to comfort her.)

RATCHET

Rat off Smiley! (She turns to walk away) Maybe I’ll be one of the bodies you investigate

on. Oh yeah, when you pass the test, I hope you freakin’ dance!

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