Big Slide

Laura Clark

Scene opens with a man walking towards a podium seen in the distance. He pauses to take in other characters in the scene a woman climbing high above his head, a girl on her bike, a couple setting up for a picnic. He continues to stride forward. As he approaches the podium, there is a crew already setting up for the protest.

Crew man 1: Sorry ma’am, you’re going to need to get down from the truss. We’re setting up for a protest this afternoon.

Woman climbing on the wooden truss descends and sits in the grass to observe the crew hanging white sheets onto what was previously her jungle gym.

Man 1 heads over to a man hunched over a projector.

Man 1: Got my email? You were able to open the files?

Projector operator: Yup! All of the images should be up and running shortly. I’m just waiting for those guys to set up the projection screens and then I can test them out.

Man 1: Sweet, thanks man!

Man 1 takes a couple steps back to take in the whole structure, with its multiple trusses and imposing concrete mass, punctuated by a bright yellow slide. He watches on as a father coaxes his two young daughters down the slide. They’re both wearing pink outfits. Oh, to be young again he muses. Before him, the entire scene begins to change before his eyes.

Cut to the same podium, several hours later. Man 1 is waiting anxiously behind one of the trusses, holding a megaphone. All three trusses are covered in a semi-translucent, white cloth. Anti-fracking images are projected on the surfaces. We see Man 1 giving a speech to a large crowd of people. Though we can’t hear what he is saying, we see him heavily gesturing and speaking into the megaphone. After several seconds of this, he finishes his speech and the crowd begins to occupy the podium. The woman who had been climbing on the trusses earlier approaches him.

Woman: Wow, that was great! You totally got the crowd going.

Man 1: Really? That’s good to hear I hate public speaking. Someone needs to get the anti-fracking message across though.

Woman: I mean totally, you’ve totally convinced me.

Woman leans closer to Man 1

Woman: stage whispers you’re very persuasive.

Man 1: Whoops, gotta go!

Man 1 runs from his speaking position up the third and highest flight of steps. He catapults himself down the bright yellow slide, briefly thinking of the young girls in pink from earlier. He emerges from the back of the podium, hidden from view. He runs across the podium playground, occasionally pausing until the coast is clear. Finally, he gets to his car, puts the keys in the ignition, pushes the clutch to the floor and gets into gear. He speeds away leaving behind a plume of smoke from the rusty, red Toyota Camry.

Man 1: Man, good thing that well-placed slide was there!