Sunday, January 7, 2018

Godiva Nun

            INT.  LOCKED CHAMBER

            Rose sits opposite Tina.  Tina is dressed formally.  Rose is
            in prison clothes.  Rose is crying.  Tina is going through
            her bag.  A few moments pass.

                                TINA
                      I'd appreciate it if you'd stop crying.

            Rose continues to cry.

                                TINA (contíd)
                      You have only thirty minutes, so let's
                      spend it productively.

                                ROSE
                      Productively?

                                TINA
                      Yes.  We should talk.

                                ROSE
                      What is talking going to do?

                                TINA
                      Look, I've done fifteen of these in the
                      last three years.  It's becoming a
                      regular thing.  Flying back and forth
                      between Florida and Texas.  It's mostly
                      Florida and Texas.  Florida and Texas.
                      It's something about the warm weather
                      that gets these states to well, you know,
                      do what they're doing to you.  So,
                      anyway, I'm getting very good at this.

                                ROSE
                      Good at what?

                                TINA
                      Talking.  Oh, by the way, I can't stay
                      for the whole thirty minutes.

                                ROSE
                      You can't stay?

                                TINA
                      Flight.  Back to Florida.  Pensacola,
                      mind you.  It's not even Miami or
                      Orlando, someplace with a little
                      entertainment.  The panhandle.  Dreadful.
                      Consider yourself lucky.

                                ROSE
                      Lucky?

                                TINA
                      A car service is coming is twenty
                      minutes.  So we don't have much time.

                                ROSE
                      WE don't have much time!

                                TINA
                      The way this works is that you talk about
                      what you did, confess it all, get it off
                      your chest, clear the old conscience, ask
                      for forgiveness, cry a little...a little
                      more than you have been, that is, and
                      then go to the gas chamber.  Now look,
                      we've wasted five minutes with all this
                      orientation stuff, so can we get started?

                                ROSE
                      Didn't you read my case?

                                TINA
                      I have your file right here.

                                ROSE
                      I'm innocent.  The file shows that I
                      claim to be innocent.  So I have nothing
                      to confess.  I have nothing to get off my
                      chest.  I have a clear conscience.

                                TINA
                      Yes.

                                ROSE
                      So we have nothing to talk about.

                                TINA
                      Yes...well, usually this "I'm innocent"
                      thing gets dropped by now...I mean
                      really, they're dropping that little
                      cyanide pill in a bucket of acid in 22
                      minutes.  For chrissake, don't you want
                      to go to your grave with a clear
                      conscience?

                                ROSE
                      I have 22 minutes, and I'd like to be
                      alone.  I'd like to...I'd like to try not
                      to feel hate...I don't want to feel hate
                      while they're bringing me to the the...so
                      could you just leave and leave me alone.

                                TINA
                      Oh, I can't do that.  Alone is bad.

                                ROSE
                      I can't believe this.  Who picks the
                      people who do what you do?

                                TINA
                      I have a present for you.

                                ROSE
                      A present?

            Tina pulls out a small box.

                                TINA
                      Chocolates. There from Godiva.  Very
                      expensive.  It's there small box, only
                      four candies, which is usually sufficient
                      given the time constraints.

                                ROSE
                      You think I have an appetite?

                                TINA
                      I'm known as the Godiva Nun.  Funny,
                      isn't it?  Would you like one?

                                ROSE
                      OK, so now I get it.  Sitting in a room
                      with you is worse than sitting in a gas
                      chamber.  That's the service you perform.
                      Is that it?  Is that your technique?  You
                      make the inmate beg to be taken to the
                      gas chamber because they can't stand
                      another second being alone with you.

                                TINA
                      You don't have to get nasty.

                                ROSE
                      Do you have a degree?  Do they require
                      some kind of training for what you do?
                      Does Pope John Paul know he has nuns like
                      you running around destroying the last
                      moments of someone's life?

            Tina looks at Rose's file.

                                TINA
                      Listen, Gloria, I have never had to deal
                      with such an attitude.

                                ROSE
                      My name is not Gloria.  My name is Rose.

                                TINA
                      Poor thing.  You are in such deep denial
                      that you've changed your name from Gloria
                      Vinson to Rose.

                                ROSE
                      My name is Rose Mittleman.  Gloria Vinson
                      is down the hall.  She's scheduled in two
                      weeks.  Don't tell me you're supposed to
                      visit her too?

            Tina looks in her bag and pulls out another file.

                                TINA
                      Oh.  Oh jeez.  I've never done that
                      before.  Sorry.  Jet lag.  So you're Rose
                      Mittleman.  Yes.  Yes.  Oh well, you
                      won't be needing me anymore.

                                ROSE
                      I never needed you.

                                TINA
                      Here's your pardon letter.  I forgot.
                      Silly me.  I get things so confused
                      sometimes.

            Rose takes the letter and reads it.

                                TINA (contíd)
                      Running around from state to state.
                      Never getting any sleep.  And you know
                      the food is just the pits on those big
                      jets.  Just nuts and soda.  Thank god you
                      can buy a gin and tonic.

                                ROSE
                      Is this a joke?  I've been pardoned by
                      the Governor.

                                TINA
                      Yeah.  One of those last minute things.
                      They just gave it to me before I came
                      in...

                                ROSE
                      How could you forget such a thing?

                                TINA
                      Well, you know, those gin and tonics can
                      really screw up your short term memory.

            Rose hugs Tina.

                                TINA (contíd)
                      OK.  OK.  It's OK.  So I brought you good
                      news.  That's my job.  That's my job.

                                ROSE
                      Thank you.  Thank you God.

                                TINA
                      My name's Tina.  But it's God's will.
                      God's will is what it is.

            Rose releases Tina.

                                ROSE
                      Thank you Tina.

                                TINA
                      Listen, can I have those chocolates back.
                      They don't have a Godiva store in
                      Pensacola and I didn't plan ahead.  So
                      this pardon thing really works out for
                      the best.

            Rose laughs and hands Tina the box of chocolates.

                                                                THE END.

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