Arts and Entertainment

‘Respect Your Elders’ is a prom night gone wrong

By Nick Geisler '14

October 31, 2013

Vincent and Grace, two teens living in the south, are driving home from their high school prom and get lost on a backroad. In this excerpt from Geisler’s play, they’ve stopped their car to get directions, when a stranger knocks on the window.

Vincent rolls the window down.

Vincent: Can I help you sir?
Man: Can I help you, boy?
Grace (whispering): Vince I think we should just go. Go. Vince! Go!

Vincent: We just stopped to get our bearings sir, didn’t mean to cause any trouble.
Man: Awful late to be carousing around the bayou kid. Ain’t natural.
Grace: Precisely why we were just leaving, isn’t it Vincent?
Vincent: It is. Heading back into town now, just have to turn the car around.

Man: Suit yourself, but you turn that car around now and you’ll be lucky if yer not gator food by sun-up.
Vincent (getting worried): Ummmm, excuse me, sir?
Man: No, I suppose I’m going to have to show ya’ll the way.
Grace: That’s so kind, very kind, but I think my Vinc —

Door opening, and shutting, as Man enters the car.
Man: No. No I suppose there’s no other way. I hope you don’t mind the stains. Gator hunting.
Vincent: Gator hunting... Oh well in that — Is that a gun?!
Man: You’d be correct young man.
Vincent: I’m not so sure we should have that in the car, safety concern and all. Sir.

Man: That so?
Grace: (Petrified) I have nothing wrong with guns, sir.
Vincent: No no no! Me neither. Shoot them all the time.
Grace: He once took me hunting with him and I hit an opossum and we killed it with a shovel!

Man: No fun in hunting opossum. Not much of a challenge, is it?

Vincent: Left or right? Left, right? It’s getting late, Grace’s Pops will be getting worried. This is Vince by the way. I mean Grace. I’m Vince. Vincent.
Man: Turn right Vince.

Silence as they drive for a while.

Grace (fighting hysteria): You know on Sunday’s we visit the old folk’s home and play gospel songs.
Vincent: Grace.
Man: God bless. Too many of ya’ll wasting your lives on sin. Not enough kids remember to ten’ to their immortal souls these days. Tending to the bodies. God knows though. Always knows. Gotta respect your elders.

Vincent: Praise Jesus!
Man: (Silence). Take this left Vincent.
Vincent: That doesn’t look like much of a road...
Grace: I think we should probably listen to him, you didn’t get us too far trusting those instincts.

Vincent: I think we should go straight. I’ve definitely seen this moss before. You know I think we’re about good, sir actually I can see the lights!
Man: You looking to head to the Pysch Ward, Vincent?

Vincent: Godamnit. No, I mean. Maybe? We could sing them “I’ll Fly Away.” Right Grace, that’d be nice. Pay some respects. For the elders.
Man: Turn left, Vincent.

Grace: You know sir, you should come by for dinner sometime. My Poppa’d be real happy you took the time to help us. It’s the Christian thing to do. You remind me of him, you know.
Man: Much obliged.

More silence.

Vincent: Thank God for four wheel drive, right?
Grace: Vince just shut up...

Man: Stop the car.
Grace: What?!
Vincent: Yeah I think we’re doing ju—
Man (cocking a gun):  Stop the car!
Vincent: I swear we weren’t doing anything amoral sir we were just stopping to get our bearing —
Man: Stop the car!
Grace: There’s a woman in the road Vincent!

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