~The Bicycle~{a Christmas tale}~Act III~

~The Bicycle~{a Christmas tale}~Act III~

Cut to exterior of two-story house in middle income neighborhood. The snowfall is heavier now, big flakes, half an inch accumulation on the ground. Larry’s pickup appears, stops, and he begins to back into the driveway. Laurie comes running outside in her bare feet and stands by the garage door waiting. She is wringing her hands and is obviously upset and worried. Larry parks the truck in the driveway, gets out and sweeps Laurie off her feet. He picks her up and carries her into the house. She is crying and trying to speak but Larry smothers her face with kisses, carries her around the living room in a couple of slow circles, then sets her down on the sofa. He goes to the fireplace and tosses in a couple of small logs, then comes back to the couch and sits down next to her.

Laurie: “Larry, what?”

Larry (playfully): “What, what? I love you, that’s what! I got our Lonnie a bike, that’s what what but it needs some work, what? I’ll be busy out in the garage for a couple, maybe three hours, gettin’ it ready. You should get some socks on, my silly girl. Out in the snow in your bare feet. Your tootsies must be freezing.”

Larry holds Laurie’s face between his hands and looks into her eyes. He smiles.

Larry: “I love you, girl. Why don’t you just snuggle up on the couch and wait for me?”

Larry gets up from the couch. Laurie leaps to her feet and hugs him fiercely. He strokes her hair and she buries her head against his chest. She’s crying. He dances slowly around the room with her in his arms. He sings softly as they cling to each other.

Larry: “Take this walts, take this waltz, take this waltz.”

He stops dancing and speaks softly into Laurie’s ear.

Larry: “Don’t cry, honey. Whatcha wanna go ‘n cry for, darlin’?”

Larry’s hands are on the back of Laurie’s head, stroking her hair. Her voice is muffled as she speaks into his chest.

Laurie: “I’m scared.”

Larry: “Don’t be. Everything’s gonna be alright, it really is.”

He begins to dance and sing again.

Larry: “Take this walts, take this waltz, take this waltz.”

Laurie (choking back a sob): “I’m happy. It feels like you’re back from that awful place and I don’t ever want to lose you again. I’m happy and I’m scared; that’s why I’m crying.”

Larry dances her back to the couch. They sit down next to each other.
Larry (excitedly): “I met this really cool ol’ guy at Wal~Mart. He hooked me up with a bicycle and mentioned I might be able to get a job there fixing damaged stuff and putting things together. I got some tricks up my sleeves, babe. Remember the ooga-ooga horn I had on that ol’ Harley o’ mine? Wait’ll Lonnie gets a load o’ that. He loves that ol’ horn.”

Laurie: “I’ve prayed so hard for this. Now I’m having a hard time believing it’s true. I haven’t felt like Christmas this year until the past few minutes with you.”

Larry takes Lonnie’s letter from his shirt pocket, presses it into Laurie’s hands.
Larry: “What did I say just before I left… that Lonnie was gettin’ a little bit old to be writin’ letters to Santa Claus… “

Larry buries his face against Laurie’s shoulder and cries for a moment.

Larry (speaking softly to Laurie, his face resting on her shoulder): “Our boy’s a writer, alright. That letter, the bicycle, ah damn!”

Laurie closes her eyes, turns her head, and kisses Larry on the forehead.

Laurie: “Merry Christmas, my darling man.”

Larry gets up from the couch, touches Laurie’s face lightly with his fingers.

Larry: “Merry Christmas. Okay, no more tears tonight. It’s time to go to work. I won’t be long, believe me. You just wait and save me some hugs.”

Laurie (softly): “We always did it together.”

Larry (nonplussed): “What, sweetheart?”

Laurie: “The toys, wrapping presents for everyone and putting things together. We always shared that.”

Larry claps his hands like a child, a true and genuine smile softening his young man’s tough leather face.

Larry: “That’s right, girl, we did! We do! You better get some jeans and shoes on. And don’t forget your coat! I’ll get us a fire goin’ in the garage.”

Laurie: “Just a minute. Wait for me.”

Laurie leaves the room for a moment and Larry studies the Christmas tree.

Camera zooms in on specific ornaments with the children’s names on them: Lonnie, Lily, Louie, and Lisa.

Laurie comes back into the room and stands next to Larry. She’s wearing jeans and warm winter boots. Her face is flushed and she speaks excitedly.

Laurie: “I’ll get the fire-truck I found for Louie. We have to put it together. And I found a few things to go with the girls’ dolls at a secondhand store, even a race car for Lily. We’ll have to clean them up a bit. There’s some other stuff from the Santa Claus Shop where I volunteered.”

Larry: “You are incredible.”

Laurie (embarrassed): “Oh stop it, you. I get carried away sometimes.”
He kisses Laurie on the mouth, long and hard, takes her breath away. They break the kiss and Laurie smiles shyly.

Laurie: “Larry, I’ll make some coffee and bring everything out to the garage. We’ll do it like before.”

Larry: “We’ll do it like forever, sweet lady, forever and now.”

Laurie opens a closet door and begins digging and setting out toys and packages.

Larry goes out the door. Camera follows him to his pickup. He drops the tailgate and unloads the bicycle. He unlocks the garage, takes the bicycle in and sets it on a large workbench. He throws some scrap wood into a stove built from a fifty-five gallon drum, uses some newspaper to get a fire started. He’s humming “We wish you a merry Christmas” as he works on the front wheel. He clamps it in a vise, uses a die to cut new threads into the axle, then bolts it into the frame. He stands back to admire his work, absently reaches into the front pocket of his jeans. A surprised look comes to his face as he pulls a bill from his pocket and stares at a hundred dollar bill.

Laurie comes into the garage carrying an armload of boxes. She sets them on the bench, then goes to Larry and puts her arm around his waist, appraises the bicycle.

Laurie: “Oh Larry, you didn’t just get a bicycle, you got the bicycle.”

Camera fades out as Laurie begins to take toys out of boxes and Larry uses steel wool to shine the chrome fenders of the bicycle.

Credits roll as camera reveals Christmas morning. Lonnie is admiring his chopper bike, especially the ooga-ooga horn. Louie is extending the ladder on his firetruck. Lily has a race car with barbie perched on top. Lisa, the last child shown, has a ‘cat that ate the canary’ look on her face. We see a glass blue eye in her hand and the empty socket in the doll’s face.

Camera pulls away and cuts to a winter palace in a faraway forest. We hear familiar laughter, follow it down a country lane, past a corral full of reindeer, through the window and into a spacious room with a fire roaring in the hearth. A sweet-looking grandma type lady comes through a door carrying a tray of freshly baked cookies. The man we heard laughing rises from a large chair (its back is to the camera) and takes a cookie from the tray. He kisses the lady on the cheek. Camera zooms in on his face and nick (from Wal~Mart) winks at us.

{the end}

Inquiries: tracy@traceliteraryagency.com
& wordwulf@wordwulf.com
©artwork & words conceived by & property of
Tom (WordWulf) Sterner©


About wordwulf

wordwulf@gmail.com website: http://wordwulf.com
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