Biographical Script posted March 15, 2017

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Prose Potlatch Challenge-My Hands

If These Hands Could Talk

by michaelcahill

Fade in
The view is of a baby in a mother's arms. The baby's hand stretches out and the focus is sharp on the hand until nothing but the hand is in view. It is small and pink ... perfect.

A voice speaks
The expectations are so unfair. Are fresh fingers, delicate and perfect a true yardstick to pin a family's hopes on? Will it restore your sanity, Mom? Will it make a decent man of you, Dad? Will it give the rest of you tolerance and wisdom? And why am I your savior? I'm just a baby in a crib. Shouldn't my wellbeing be the focus of all? This is how I begin life, as the hopes and dreams for all of you? What if I might have hopes and dreams of my own? What of them?

A New Scene
Fade in


Small hands, those of a child glide across piano keys. Minuet in G sounds through the house. We find adults in conversation at the dining room table.
Piano teacher
His hands are quite large. He'll be able to play Liszt and Rachmaninoff. Few are physically capable to even try. His ear and touch are exceptional. You musn't let this skill go to waste.
Very well then. If you say he has that potential, we can't turn our back on it. We see his future in acting, that's why we came to Los Angeles. But, playing piano can't hurt.
It can't hurt, no, it can't hurt. He's wonderful, listen to him. He's a star, my son is a star.
The focus becomes tight on the two small hands until that is all that is seen.
A voice speaks
So, my hands are large. Perhaps I have some talent. Is that the great hope for you? Why is it not something for me to enjoy for myself? I do enjoy it you know. I like the sound and the feel of my fingers striking the keys and their response. But that doesn't occur to you. Somehow, I'm more than special. I'm more than a talented little boy to encourage. I'm the hopes and dreams of the entire family. My success is your success. So ... it isn't mine at all, is it?

A New Scene
Fade in


A playground with grade school kids playing at recess. A bully picks on a smallish boy. They are ten or eleven-years-old.
Smallish boy
I don't care what you say. I don't want to fight. I could care less what you or anyone says.
You're just chicken. Everyone here knows it. They've known it all year. Just take a swing, punk. That's all you've gotta do. Take a swing.
The smallish boy turns and stares at the bully.
Smallish boy
You touch me again ... I'm going to hurt you. I keep telling you to lay off. I've told you. I don't want to fight. I don't care what you think.
The bully laughs and shoves his shoulder. The boy grabs his arm and smashes it down across his knee. He then punches the bully in the nose. It makes a sickening thud and the bully hits the ground hard. The boy just stands there as teachers rush to the scene.
Kid standing by
He grabbed his arm and broke it. I don't believe it. Then he smashed his face in.
Who started this?
Another kid
Well, he was teasing him. But he just kind of pushed him on the shoulder. Then this guy went nuts, man.
The focus becomes tight on a hand with red knuckles. It isn't injured. The red is blood from the bully's nose.
A voice speaks
I knew how much I hated violence right then and there. As much as that kid deserved it, I got no satisfaction from it. The other kids turning on me was a shock. These were the same kids telling me to not be a wuss. Yeah, I had long arms and huge hands. I hit hard. I didn't like it at all. I got a reputation though. I was grateful for that. A reputation means you don't have to fight. I got lucky with reputation throughout my life. I've always had one and I have no idea why. But I'm grateful for it. I hate fighting. I'm so thrilled people think I'm so dangerous.

A New Scene
Fade in


A young couple, high school age, walks in the park. It's early evening. He's quiet and seems to be ultra-cool. He's really ultra-scared, but he's learned that silence leaves some doubt. He stops and faces the girl he's been walking with. She looks at him intently. She is clearly nervous, but anxious to see what he is going to do. He leans forward. Her eyes close and he notices. He kisses her. The relief and the thrill of it is apparent. He reaches his hand up to her face and touches it gently. His first love. Her first love.
The focus is on a large hand as it gently touches the delicate features of her young face.

A voice speaks
She told me how safe she felt when her hand was in mine. Her hand was small and mine was so large. She also told me how she feared the size of it and my long arms and the strength she felt in me. She wondered how I could possibly be gentle if we shared so much passion between us. It never left my mind how much the need for me to be gentle meant to her. I never tried to find out if that was just her or if that applied to all women. It just became my nature. I like having that nature. Yes, I am the same man that broke an arm and smashed a nose. But I know that all too well. I always have that in mind even years and years and years later. I don't want to be him.

A New Scene
Fade in


The focus is on a pair of older hands. They aren't ancient, but they are old. It isn't clear where they are resting. They are just posed as if at the ready.
A voice speaks
Of course, there are many, many stories. Those are just a few. My hands cared for my dying mother and performed tasks no son should ever have to. My hands have labored at jobs to survive that were an insult to their talents. I seem to attract those who need care. My hands have given a lot of care and I've seemed to need little myself. I've been lucky enough to caress many a fair face in my day, laughingly lucky to be honest. Still, I have more caresses to give. I expect my extended hand will most likely be grabbed by someone who needs help though, that's my lot in life I suppose. But perhaps there is yet one more story of a sweet face that finds these overly large hands somehow intriguing.
The hands begin to move and Minuet in G plays throughout the hall.

The End


Story of the Month contest entry


Thanks so much to Giraffmang for the promotion. Wow. I'm speechless. :))

Prose Potlatch Challenge for 3-12

The topic is ... drum-roll please ... 'my hands'

this can be where they have been

what they have done

where they are going

or any related (or not so much) topic~DEbbie

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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