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a scene from

by Walter Wykes

[FAST EDDIE puts the finishing touches on his lemonade stand—then steps back to admire his work. JOY watches with fascination.]

JOY: So ... what happens next?

FAST EDDIE: Well ...

JOY: Our empire. What's the next step?

FAST EDDIE: [Taken aback.] Our empire?!

JOY: I've never built an empire before. I don't know what to do. Give me a task.

FAST EDDIE: What do you mean our empire?

JOY: I just want to help.


FAST EDDIE: Well ... all right. I suppose there's no harm in that. You can be my assistant.

JOY: Your assistant?! Really?!

FAST EDDIE: That's right.

JOY: What would my duties be?! I mean, what exactly would I do—as your assistant?

FAST EDDIE: Well ... you could ... ahh ... you could be in charge of advertising.

JOY: Advertising?

FAST EDDIE: That's right. You provide the customers. I provide the lemonade.

JOY: [Hardly able to contain her enthusiasm.] The customers! Oh! I want lots of customers!

FAST EDDIE: So do I. The more, the merrier.

JOY: I'm glad we agree! I think we should get started right away!

FAST EDDIE: All right.

JOY: What would you prefer—girls or boys?


JOY: You're right! What does it matter?! We'll have all kinds!

FAST EDDIE: Exactly.

JOY: But wouldn't it be nice to start with a little girl?

FAST EDDIE: What are you talking about?

JOY: I've always liked the name "Emmanuella." What do you think?

FAST EDDIE: Won't they come with names?

JOY: No, I think you have to name them. What if it's a boy? How would you feel about "Eddie Jr?"

FAST EDDIE: Now wait just a minute!

JOY: You're right. He should have his own name. We don't want him to spend his whole life trying to live up to your image. How about "Jack?"

FAST EDDIE: Are you suggesting that we ... make customers.

JOY: Well—how else? This beach isn't exactly teeming with life.

FAST EDDIE: I think it might be more financially viable to find customers we don't have to feed and clothe!

JOY: Yes, but think about it—they'll be customers for life! They'll be entirely dependant on us!

FAST EDDIE: That's what I'm afraid of! Look—I'm sure an attractive young woman like yourself can find some other way to entice customers towards our little stand.

JOY: What do you mean?

FAST EDDIE: Well ... you know ... I ... I don't ... look, this is a new operation. We'll have to sort of feel things out ... you know. Experiment.

JOY: Why do we have to experiment?

FAST EDDIE: Well ... for instance ... in your case ... to determine how best to utilize ... one's ... ahh ... one's assets ... or ... or rather ... to focus ... yes ... to focus one's ... one's advertising ... you know ... campaign ... to ... ahh ... to ... to one's best advantage.

JOY: You want me to utilize my assets?


JOY: How?

FAST EDDIE: Well ... off the top of my head ... and I'm just brainstorming here ... I'd say you should make sure to display them—your assets—in a prominent position, so as to attract as much attention as possible.

JOY: I'm not sure I understand.


JOY: Aren't they displayed now—my assets?

FAST EDDIE: Yes ... yes, they are ... but you could display them more prominently.

JOY: More prominently?

FAST EDDIE: That's right.

JOY: What does that mean?


JOY: You're not suggesting that I take off my—

FAST EDDIE: No! No! That's not what I'm suggesting at all! But it's a brilliant idea! I'm glad you thought of it! We can get you a little stool and put it—

JOY: Shame on you!

FAST EDDIE: What—I’m only thinking of the business!

JOY: What would the children think?! I mean, the customers!


JOY: What?

FAST EDDIE: You said children!

JOY: I meant customers.

FAST EDDIE: But you said children!

JOY: Don't change the subject! You want me to take off my clothes!

FAST EDDIE: That's completely beside the point!

JOY: Is it?!

FAST EDDIE: Yes! Because you're trying to manipulate me into some sort of weird domestic relationship!

JOY: I'm trying to manipulate you?!

FAST EDDIE: That's right!

JOY: Okay, who showed up on whose beach pushing lemonade machines like it was the end of the world and talking about "The eyes! The eyes! We've met before!"

FAST EDDIE: Oh, give me a break! Everybody's selling something! Buying and selling, that's what it's all about! It's obvious what I'm selling! What I want to know is—what are you selling, lady! What load of crap are you trying to push off on me?!

JOY: I'm not pushing any load of crap!

FAST EDDIE: No?! What assurances do I have?! I don't know anything about you—do I? You haven't told me anything about yourself! Why is that?! I don't even know your name!

JOY: Joy! My name is Joy! You're so self-centered you never even asked!

FAST EDDIE: And where are you from, Joy?

JOY: Where am I from?

FAST EDDIE: That's right! Where are you from?! What is your purpose here on this beach?!

JOY: It's ... it's none of your business!

FAST EDDIE: What are you trying to hide?!

JOY: Nothing! I'm not trying to hide anything! I ... I don't remember where I'm from! I don't know my purpose!

FAST EDDIE: Hah! What are you trying to pull?! Are you working for them?!

JOY: Them?

FAST EDDIE: Them! The tall men!

[Pause. FAST EDDIE recoils from her in horror.]

You are! You are! My god! You're trying to stall me until they arrive!

JOY: Why are you so afraid of these tall men?

FAST EDDIE: I'm not afraid!

JOY: Then why are you always looking over your shoulder, and ... and why are you wearing that stupid fake moustache?!


[His moustache falls to the ground.]


JOY: I hope they catch you! The tall men! I hope they catch you and ... and cut off your head! I hope they tear out your liver and feed it to the fish! You probably deserve it! You're not a nice person! You've probably done something awful! Something unspeakably cruel! I'm going to close my eyes, and when I open them I don't want to see you anymore!


JOY: Fine!

FAST EDDIE: I'll set up shop someplace else!

JOY: Someplace far away I hope!

FAST EDDIE: Don't worry!

JOY: I'm closing my eyes!

FAST EDDIE: Good! Close them! You won't see me again!

JOY: I hope not!

FAST EDDIE: Goodbye!

JOY: Goodbye!



[She opens her eyes, but he is gone.]

* * *

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Copyright © 2000 by Walter Wykes

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that Fading Joy is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author at sandmaster@aol.com



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