| Mystery and Crime Script
posted October 14, 2017
A Caleb script.
Charlene's Dilemma Act IV
That evening Caleb and Aleyde are having dinner.
Aleyde: Charlene's husband is coming to town in a few days. She's worried about what he might do to Lionel.
Caleb: Lionel's a big boy. He can take care of himself.
Aleyde: Charlene says her husband is a big guy, almost as big as you. She said he's real jealous and a good fighter.
Caleb: How jealous can he be? He's been gone for three years.
Aleyde: Three years don't mean much when a man wants his wife back. If you went away for three years, I'd fight for you.
Caleb: How about you, Bonnie. Would you fight for me?
Bonnie: You bet, Daddy. I'd even beat up Mr. Quartermain.
Caleb laughs. I guess I've got myself a couple of terrors.
Bonnie: Are you goin' away, Daddy?
Caleb: No, baby. I'm here to stay.
Bonnie: Good. Don't forget, we're gonna get married someday.
Caleb: How could I forget? Mommy's gonna be our flower girl.
Aleyde: I'm gonna be the bridesmaid, too. And when you're not lookin', I'm gonna push you out of the way and marry Daddy again.
Bonnie: That's alright. I'll still be your little girl.
Caleb: Not if I sell you.
Bonnie: That's not funny, Daddy. Mommy make him stop sayin' that.
Aleyde: Okay, no more teasin'. Let's talk about somethin' else.
Caleb: What's Charlene's husband's name?
Aleyde: I don't know. I guess we'll find out when we meet him.
Three days later is the day. Caleb and Dothan are having breakfast at the diner. Charlene is pacing back and forth and ringing her hands.
Charlene: Will you keep an eye on me, Aleyde? I'm as nervous as a cat. I haven't gotten anybody's order right.
Aleyde: You're doin' fine. I'll take this hash out. Who gets it?
Charlene: I don't know. See what I mean.
Aleyde: I'll just walk around and ask who ordered hash.
Aleyde rolls her eyes as she walks by Caleb.
Aleyde: I'll be glad when this day's over.
Charlene rushes to the window.
Charlene: There he is. He just got here.
Charlene's husband walks in the diner. Caleb pokes Dothan.
Caleb: Give me one of your twenty-five-cent assessments.
Dothan: I'd say, five-foot-seven, a hundred and forty-five pounds.
Caleb: That's what I'd say. This is the guy that's gonna beat up Lionel?
Dothan: I'd like to see that. Lionel's six-foot-four.
Caleb waves for Charlene.
Caleb: Is that the guy you said is gonna beat up Lionel?
Charlene: I remember him bein' a lot bigger.
Caleb: Does he have a brother?
Charlene: No. that's him.
Caleb: I just meant he's gonna need a brother and a sack lunch if he's gonna tangle with Lionel. Maybe a couple of cousins, too.
Charlene: Maybe he shrank.
Caleb: That or he's got a new girlfriend who's not feedin' him right.
Charlene: He better not have a girlfriend. I'm his wife. I'll scratch any woman's eyes out that comes near him.
Caleb: I thought he was the jealous one.
Charlene: That's not jealous. That's just protectin' what's mine.
Caleb: I better go warn Lionel that King Kong's in town, and he's come to claim his woman.
Charlene: Leave Lionel out of this.
Caleb: That's gonna be difficult. He's walkin' across the parkin' lot.
Charlene staggers back and forth as if she's getting ready to run away.
Charlene: What am I gonna do?
Dothan: Why don't you start by introducin' everybody.
Dothan and Caleb stand as Charlene's husband approaches.
Dothan: Hi. I'm Dothan, the Sheriff, and this is my detective, Caleb. This fella walkin' in is Lionel, my deputy.
Charlene's husband: Hi, I'm P-P-Percy.
Lionel fights back a snicker.
Charlene: What are you laughin' about?
Lionel: I'm not laughin'. I swallowed a bug. Hi, Percy. I'm Charlene's boyfriend.
Everyone is quiet for a moment.
Percy: Charlene never t-t-told me she had a b-b-boyfriend. This m-m-makes thangs awkward.
Charlene: How was I supposed to tell you? You've been gone for three years. Now you think you can waltz back in and pick up where we left off? Well, it's not gonna happen, mister. Charlene don't forget that easy.
Percy: Is t-t-that what you t-t-think this is about? I'm n-n-not tryin' to g-g-get you back. I'm t-t-tryin' to divorce you.
Charlene: Oh, why didn't you just write?
Percy: I w-w-wanted to tell you in p-p-person. I thought you d-d-deserved that.
Charlene: Charlene deserves a lot more than that. What about three years of child support?
Percy: Did you have a b-b-baby?
Charlene: No, but you told Charlene you wanted kids. I'm countin' those ones.
Percy: That d-d-don't make sense, but a lot of thin's you come up with don't make sense.
Charlene: See, that's why it'll never work. You just got back and we're fightin' already.
Percy: I guess we'll j-j-just have to call it quits.
Charlene: That's right. Just don't forget it was my idea. No man's gonna come back after three years and tell me what to do.
Percy: It's always your way. It was nice to meet you fellas. Lionel, I hope you and Charlene are happy. Hey, I've been separated for two seconds and my stutter's gone. I never stutter except when I'm around her. Thanks, Charlene.
Lionel: What was that about?
To be continued:
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