The Bus Stop - Part 2
Here's another excerpt from a young adult play I'm working on that explores one girl's quest to embrace her own super power. In this scene, our protagonist begins to forge bonds with other people waiting at the bus stop.
The bus stop - Act 2 Excerpt.
Tomoko - 13-year old Japanese-American girl
Lee - Late 20’s Asian-American software developer
Bernie - Late 70's African-American Male with slight southern accent
All scenes take place at a bus stop in a charming residential area. There is one bench and a simple bus stop post with one route listed on it. It is springtime and the street is lined with budding cherry trees. This scene picks up one week later. Tomoko and Lee are at the bus stop. Tomoko is playing a game on her phone and Lee is sitting on the bench, working on his tablet. Bernie approaches with a cane.
(Lee gets up and offers Bernie his seat.)
Bernie: Thank you kindly. This old geezer could use some sitting time after that walk.
(Lee nods respectfully and Tomoko turns around to see Bernie.)
Bernie: Well hello dear. What do they call you?
Tomoko: (barely audible) Tomoko
Bernie: Well that’s a pretty name. Where’s it come from?
Bernie: Land of the cherry blossoms. So beautiful in the springtime. You know these here are cherry blossom trees.
Tomoko nods and looks up a little to see Bernie’s smiling face.
Tomoko: That’s why my parents picked this street. It reminded them of home.
Bernie: When did y’all move here?
Tomoko: I don’t know. (shrugs) Like 2 years ago maybe.
Bernie: I got you beat, I just moved in a few days ago. I’m staying with my daughter down on Aloha. Gettin’ too old to live on my own these days. You know she has five TVs in that house, but barely any books. I refuse to become one of those old people that watches old reruns of Jeopardy all day, drooling on myself. So, here I am. Heading to the library. Where you headed?
Tomoko: Piano lessons.
Bernie: That’s nice. My mother used to play piano for the church choir. Every Sunday I’d go to listen to her play. Afterwards we’d settle in for a big family dinner. There’d be coleslaw, blackened catfish, homemade rolls and my grammie’s signature lemon slush. Mm, mm, mm--gettin’ hungry just thinking about it.
(Tomoko nods her head, a small smile creeping onto her face.)
Bernie: (turning to Lee) How about you? What’s your story?
Lee: (looks up from his tablet, a bit surprised) Uh, my name is Lee Yang. I moved here about four years ago from Vancouver. I’m a software developer at Amazon and work on the Platform Excellence Team.
Bernie: (chuckles) Platform excellent - that sounds like some kind of dance competition?
Lee: (smiles and loosens up a bit) No, I wish. I spend most of my day trying to make web pages load faster. Amazon found that every 100 milliseconds of latency costs them 1% in sales.
Bernie: Hmm. People are impatient these days. They should spend more milliseconds petting their cats or playing with their kids.
Lee: Yes, that would be nice. Instead I get hundreds of messages a day about bugs in our latency based routing.
Bernie: (Chuckles) So what are you up to today? Seems a bit late to be going into work.
Lee: Oh no, I worked from home today. I’m actually headed to a developer meet-up. Me and some of my friends get together once a week to work on a new game we’re building.
Bernie: Now that sounds like more fun than working on late web pages. What kind of game?
Lee: Well it’s loosely based on this Japanese video game series called Yo-Kai Watch.
Tomoko: (Looking up) Oh, I love Yo-Kai Watch! It’s awesome.
(Lee and Bernie both look over at Tomoko.)
Bernie: Let me guess, this is nothing like a board game.
Tomoko: This girl Fumika has a watch that helps her find Yo-Kai that are haunting people or causing mischief. When she finds them, her and her cat Jibanyan have to figure out whether to make friends with them or beat them up in battle. It all depends on whether they’re good or evil.
Bernie: But how does Fumika know?
Tomoko: That’s the tricky part. Fumika uses her special powers to outwit them.
Bernie: I see, she has special powers.
Tomoko: Oh yes. Her and her cat. They lure the Yo-Kai in with their favorite foods.There’s this one spirit that loves tako-yaki and another one that loves strawberry cream puffs.
Lee: I always loved the cream puff spirit. If you become friends with that one, the pastry can be turned into a pink cloud that rains down miniature cream puffs. The game we’re building tries to adapt the concept of ghosts and spirits to an American audience. We’re playing around with this whole idea of nature spirits. Like a water spirit that is happy when it rains or angry when someone tosses a plastic bag in a lake.
Tomoko: Or like a tree spirit that’s happy when children swing on her branches, but mad when the power company trims back her limbs?
Lee: Yes, exactly. I like that one.
Bernie: So what does the main character do in this world of natural spirits?
Lee: She’s there to make peace. She has to find ways to bring balance to nature using her superpowers and the tools she earns in the game.
Tomoko: That sounds awesome.
Lee: You should try it. We have a prototype of the first level done. It would be great to get some real player feedback.
Bernie: You know, I used to be quite the parcheesi player back in my day, but I have a feeling that wouldn’t help here.
Tomoko: What’s parcheesi?
Lights out as you hear the bus approach.