by Stephen Chinlund
2006 All Rights Reserved

Summary of play:
"Lily on Black", "Last Chapter Best Chapter" and "The Chase Goes On" are three versions of a play about a widow and a widower, in their seventies, who fall in love. They also face end of life issues.
It runs a little over an hour.
the following is a text of the first scene which is similar in all three versions.

Cast

Travis “Coach” Jackson, 28, convicted of murder, ten years before, of Angela Hill. Charming without being slick, Wiry, tough, intelligent, centered, energetic. If cast as Black, Frank Carter must also be Black.

Michael “Bull” Howard, 40, also convicted of murder. Victim was a drug dealer. Fat, less intelligent than Coach. Bitter, angry, restless, white.

Frank Carter, early 50’s, trim, serious, conflicted, yearning, Mediator of the process. A mensch and a dreamer.

Mary Carter, Frank’s wife, late 40’s, pragmatic, matter of fact, no nonsense. Appealing.

Diana Hill, mother of Angela. Not glamorous, but very warm, generous, sensitive, 50.

Rick Hill, father of Angela. Tough, bitter, angry. Couch potato, early 50’s

Tamika Jackson, sister of Travis. Pretty, 16, vulnerable.

John “Train” Anderson, 24, strong, big, white. Energetic, tormented..

***

Act One, Scene Four.

A prison cell. 7’x12’  Steel toilet at upstage with no seat. Roll of paper on back edge. Double steel bunks with thin mattresses, no pillows. Magazines and paper back books on the floor. Steel table juts out from wall at foot of lower bunk. Clothes hanging from upper bunk to dry. Jackson is seated at the table on lower bunk. Howard is pacing, gesticulating.

HOWARD
You  an idiot! You gonna get nothing but more fucking misery from this whole pile of shit!

JACKSON
You don’t know nuthin’ what this all about. You don’t wanna know.

HOWARD
I do know. I know you had to sign the fucking paper that you gonna get no commutation, no delay, even. No trip to no TV studio.

JACKSON
Trip to a TV...Bull, you a nut.

HOWARD
All I got is crazy dreams. I gotta do it while I’m awake, cuz the ones when I’m asleep be all nightmares.

JACKSON
So, the latest one?

HOWARD
That we got a new Warden and his daughter was fucking gorgeous and hot and wanted to tour the prison...and saw me...

JACKSON
And she just lost it!  Love at first sight...

HOWARD
What’s wrong with that? It start my motor running..

JACKSON
Better than the one about the new nurse who couldn’t keep her hands offa you...

HOWARD
You jerkin’ my chain, Coach?

JACKSON
No way    I got my own...

HOWARD
Whatever help me get it on...

JACKSON
Just so you’don’t be too noisy about it.

HOWARD
You always got to stick some little bossy shit into it.

JACKSON
They don’t call me “Coach” for nothing. I wish  when I was 18  somebody had... Maybe I’d a not be into this mess.

HOWARD
And you want to talk with the mother of the girl you...

JACKSON
You’re damn right, man! Tell me, Bull, what in the world  I gonna do with the three months I got  left before they blow me away that  be better than looking at her and saying, “I’m sorry”?

HOWARD
I tell you, Coach, it’s just gonna make you miserable. You  gonna come back to this fuckin’ cell ready to hang up..

JACKSON
Maybe you be the one on suicide watch. You gonna be so miserable about me being miserable.

HOWARD
Not me, man! You want to hang up, that’s your problem. I don’t give a shit except my next cellie gonna be even worse than you.

JACKSON
I’m not gonna be happy when they give me that injection, but I be better if I can look at her Mom or Dad and say that I feel bad ...  she is not alive... they cannot like, you know... enjoy her.

HOWARD
(More angry) Well, you know what? I do not want you to go through with this thing! You have totally already fucking screwed up my time in this miserable hole. I had forgotten my own story...so long ago...nine fucking years. It was gone...thick wall...and now it be all coming back, man! Horrible! What did I do wrong to you that you puttin’ me through this shit?!

JACKSON
(Getting up) I’m doing nothing to you. It is your choice to get all into it. Build your fuckin’ wall again. ...Bull, I will never say nuthin’ about any of this stuff unless you ask me. That’s a promise.

HOWARD
How far away can I get from you inside this fucking toilet? You are all excited about all your shit. How can I build my wall again when you are sitting there doing your...

JACKSON
I’ll just cover my workbook when I am not writing. You don’t need...

HOWARD
I can smell you, man. You are different from the assholes in this place. You are like shooting sparks and it is fucking messing up my life!

JACKSON
You sound, man,  like you want it too...

HOWARD
Now you really tore it, sonofabitch. I”m not going to kiss anybody’s ass! I don’t know if fuckin’ Mason even had a family. He snitched on me and I was going away anyway...  so before they came for me, I iced him. And I’m glad! I’m still glad. One less fucking snitch in the world.

JACKSON
Don’t tell me no more. You never told me that much before in the five months we’ve been here. We kept a lid on it and we can put the lid back on.

HOWARD
I’ve said that much. I’ll tell you the rest. Mason got greedy. Put three guys out to mug me as soon as he gave me my bags. They were from Manhattan. Wore masks. Took my bags back to Mason so I had no stuff to sell. Owed the cocksucker $500. I was fucking desperate; talked too much. One of the guys I was planning to sell my stuff to had the same thing happen to him. We went back to Mason’s place and he was alone. Nothin’ like that  never happened to me. We had no idea what the fuck we were going to do.

JACKSON
Oh, shit!

HOWARD
It was strange that he was there alone. Never happenend before when I went.  I rushed him, knocked him out.  so mad. Tied his hands with his belt. Put my belt around his neck... other end to the bed post. Woke him up...  asked him where the stuff was.  We could see him look at the bottom drawer. We got it all.  And some money. But the other guy sat on Mason while we both got high. Then we left. Didn’t even know Mason be dead.

JACKSON
Oh, man!.

HOWARD
We were too twisted. Had too much stuff ...  too much money. Police on us in a minute. All over. All fucking over.
                                                                                      
JACKSON
You told me a lot.

HOWARD
The whole fucking thing.

JACKSON
Yeah. (Long silence.) If I’d a been out there a few more years, I could’ve done...

HOWARD
You not like... the type. I’d a never trusted you. (More restless silence. Jackson physically uncomfortable.)

JACKSON
I got a favor to ask.

HOWARD
As long as it don’t take me back...

JACKSON
No. Nothin’ about that.

HOWARD
Go.

JACKSON
I got a boil on my ass. You know I had them before, but they were always where I could see them.

HOWARD
I’m not a doctor

JACKSON
Just do the best you can. We got nothing to pop it but the plastic fork. That be good enough.

HOWARD
Can’t you just...

JACKSON
If I try to do it, I be scared it gonna be  infected. Just pop it, squeeeze it and wipe it with my shirt.

HOWARD
I don’t like this shit.  maybe I puke all over you. Then you would really get infected.

JACKSON
I’ll take my chances.  (Takes down his pants, pulls up his shorts, lies on the table. Howard looks.)

HOWARD
That there a bad piece of shit.

JACKSON
Just fuckin’ do it.

HOWARD
But...

JACKSON
I’m gonna be dead in three months anyway. Just do it ... get it over with.

HOWARD
OK. You asked for it. (Takes the fork, does it.  Much grunting from both of them. Hands Jackson the shirt.)

JACKSON
Thanks man. (Pulls up his pants.)

HOWARD
No problem.



End of Act One, Scene Four