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Characters: STORYTELLER, WALT, MARGOT, DUSTY, BOBBIE, RICO, RALPHIE
(It’s early in the morning, and WALT is frantically trying to clean and straighten up the cabin and surrounding area in anticipation of the arrival of his sister today.)
STORYTELLER: (she takes a sip from her travel coffee mug) So . . . you’re probably wondering what was in that letter that Walt received yesterday. Well, let’s find out, shall we? (she opens her notebook and begins to read) OPERATION ARCTIC, CHAPTER 3, A WELCOME CHANGE. The next morning Walt is up early frantically cleaning his cabin and straightening up the area. Why? Because an unexpected guest is coming to visit and it’s got him all in a tizzy . . .
WALT: You can say that again! I didn’t sleep a wink last night.
STORYTELLER: Aw . . . I’m sorry to hear that.
WALT: Yeah, well, it’s your fault.
STORYTELLER: My fault?
WALT: Sure. I mean, everything was going just fine, and then you had to ruin it by having my sister come for a visit.
STORYTELLER: Walt’s sister. Remember her? The intimidating, highly successful, no-nonsense president of Wonder Crunch Cereal Company?
WALT: Yeah, why her of all people? It makes no sense. No sense at all.
STORYTELLER: How do you know? You have no idea where the story goes from here.
WALT: She’s probably coming to insist that I return to Wonder Crunch. But it’s no use! I’m not leaving!
STORYTELLER: Or maybe she’s on an Alaskan cruise and just decided to stop by for a friendly visit.
WALT: Friendly visit . . . yeah, right. Trust me, her visits are anything BUT friendly!
(Then the sound of a bush plane arrival [sfx] is heard.)
STORYTELLER: Well . . . maybe things are about to change.
WALT: Hmm . . . they’re about to change all right.
(DUSTY and MARGOT enter from the rear of the auditorium and proceed partway down the aisle.)
DUSTY: YOOHOO! ANYBODY HOME??!! (to MARGOT) I always yell in case there are any bears nearby. It helps keep them away . . . hopefully. (to WALT) MR. WONDER!
(WALT doesn’t answer right away.)
STORYTELLER: (to WALT) Well?
WALT: (to STORYTELLER) Maybe if I don’t say anything, they’ll go away.
STORYTELLER: That’s terrible. You should be ashamed of yourself.
WALT: (grudgingly to STORYTELLER) Oh, all right. (halfheartedly) Who’s there?
STORYTELLER: (to WALT with sarcasm) Nice. Love the enthusiasm.
DUSTY: It’s Dusty and a very special guest.
STORYTELLER: (to WALT, discreetly) Listen . . . while you and Margot get reacquainted, I’m going to slip out and warm up my coffee, but I’ll be right back.
(DUSTY and MARGOT proceed toward the stage.)
DUSTY: Looks who’s here.
WALT: (to MARGOT) Oh . . . hi.
MARGOT: (a bit nervous) Dusty said . . . you got my letter?
WALT: Yes, I did. Just yesterday, in fact.
MARGOT: (shocked) Yesterday?! But I . . .
DUSTY: Sorry . . . that’s totally my fault.
MARGOT: (embarrassed) I’m so sorry. I hope I’m not . . . intruding.
WALT: It’s okay. You’re here now.
DUSTY: (trying to break the awkward silence) My . . . what lovely weather we’re having.
MARGOT: (pulls a cereal box out of her luggage) Oh . . . I, uh . . . brought you a box of Wonder Crunch. Thought you might have trouble getting it up here. (hands the box of Wonder Crunch to WALT)
WALT: Thanks. So, how are things at the company?
MARGOT: Oh, uh . . . they’re fine. Just fine.
WALT: That’s good.
MARGOT: Yes. Yes, it is.
WALT: People are still buying breakfast cereal then?
MARGOT: Uh . . . yes . . . I guess they are. (short pause) I mean, they must be. First quarter sales were up 8% over last year.
MARGOT: Yes. And, uh . . . return on equity has been rising steadily as well. Our stockholders are very pleased.
(Suddenly, WALT’S dogs start whining for food [sfx].)
WALT: Glad to hear it. Excuse me for a minute.
(WALT exits behind the cabin to tend to his dogs.)
DUSTY: (to MARGOT with sarcasm) Wow . . . first quarter sales and return on equity. What an interesting conversation you two are having. I haven’t had this much fun since I fell down the stairs and broke my collarbone!
MARGOT: So, what should we talk about?
DUSTY: C’mon, you’re brother and sister. Is it really that hard?
MARGOT: But, you don’t understand. We haven’t seen or spoken to each other in over two years.
DUSTY: Well . . . then you have a lot of catching up to do.
MARGOT: True. But, it’s not that easy. As you can see, we’re not very close.
DUSTY: Then you have to change that.
MARGOT: How? It’s obvious that he doesn’t want me here.
DUSTY: Listen, you and I talked all the way up here about what God is doing in your life. How about asking Him?
MARGOT: Hmm . . . that’s a good idea. Would you pray?
DUSTY: I’d be glad to. Dear Lord, what a privilege it is to pray to the one true God. Please help Margot and Walt get along great over the next few days. You’ve done an amazing work in Margot, and I pray you’ll do the same in Walt. Thank you for hearing my prayer. Amen.
DUSTY: Well, I have to get going. Gotta pick up some backpackers in Coldfoot. But I’ll be praying for you all the way back.
MARGOT: Thanks. I’ll need it.
DUSTY: Don’t worry, everything’s gonna be okay. You’ll see.
(As DUSTY exits toward the rear of the auditorium, MARGOT begins to look around. Soon, WALT enters from behind the cabin holding an armful of firewood. MARGOT doesn’t notice as she has her back to him. When he drops the pile, it startles her.)
MARGOT: (startled) Oh! You scared me!
WALT: Sorry. (pause) Did Dusty leave?
MARGOT: Uh . . . yes, she just left. Had to pick up some backpackers. (pause) I really like her.
WALT: Yeah, she’s a good pilot.
MARGOT: So . . . did you build all this yourself?
(STORYTELLER enters with coffee mug refilled.)
MARGOT: I’m really impressed.
WALT: It’s kept me busy.
STORYTELLER: (to WALT, discreetly) Seriously? You’re still standing outside in the cold? Where are your manners??
WALT: (to MARGOT) Oh, uh . . . you’re probably cold. Would you like to come inside?
MARGOT: Sure. That would be great.
STORYTELLER: (encourages WALT discreetly) C’mon, you can do this.
(WALT opens the door to the cabin for MARGOT to enter, then he follows right behind.)
MARGOT: Hey, this is really nice. (as she looks around)
WALT: Well, it’s not very big, but it serves my needs pretty well. Would you like some coffee?
STORYTELLER: (gives WALT an inconspicuous “thumbs up”) That’s it. Keep it up.
MARGOT: I’d love some. Thank you. (then she sees the fish mounted over the fireplace) Wow! Is that a king salmon?
(WALT pours MARGOT a cup of coffee.)
MARGOT: I’d love to hear how you got it.
WALT: Really? (short pause) You know . . . you seem different.
MARGOT: Well . . . that’s . . . because I am different. But I want to hear your story first. Then I’ll . . . tell you mine.
WALT: All right, well . . . let me see . . . . (pause for effect) It was a dark and stormy night . . .
MARGOT: Haha! (WALT relates the story to MARGOT silently in the background as the STORYTELLER continues.)
STORYTELLER: (reads) So with Walt and Margot having “broken the ice” between them, they begin to get reacquainted. Walt tells the story about how he got the salmon. And just like any good fisherman, he exaggerates the details a bit to make it more interesting. Then, it’s Margot’s turn.
MARGOT: So you want to know about the new Margot Wonder, huh? Well, it’s interesting. What caused the change is something that you left behind—Father’s Bible. For a long time it just sat there on my coffee table, but then one day I asked myself, “What was it that Father found so interesting about it?” I had to know. So I started reading. And I read . . . and read . . . and read . . . and read. For 3 whole days, I did nothing but eat, sleep, and read that Bible. And at the end of the third day, I had read it through from beginning to end. And by then, I could tell the change was on. I thought to myself, “This is no ordinary book . . . this is the Word of God and I need to obey it.”
STORYTELLER: (reads) Jesus said in Matthew 7:24,
whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them,
I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the
rock.” Margot realized that just as a house needs a strong
foundation to stand on, her life needed one as well. And
there’s no better one than God’s Word!
Meanwhile, as Walt and Margot continue to talk, Rico, one of the treasure hunters, returns to check on his brother who’s been hiding like a spy nearby.
(RICO enters stealthily from the rear of the auditorium as RALPHIE peaks out from behind a tree and attempts a wild turkey call [sfx].)
RICO: (quietly) What are you doing??
RALPHIE: (pulls a turkey call diaphragm out of his mouth) Just using my new turkey mouth call. Wanna try it? (as he offers it to RICO)
RICO: No, thanks. You’re supposed to be watching the cabin.
RALPHIE: I am, and when something happens, I’ll signal you with a turkey call.
RICO: But what if he hears you?
RALPHIE: Don’t you see? That’s the beauty of it. He’ll just think it’s a turkey.
RICO: How do you know they even have turkeys in the Arctic?
RALPHIE: Well, that’s silly . . . everybody has turkeys.
RICO: No, they don’t.
RALPHIE: Yes, they do.
RALPHIE: Okay, smarty pants . . . if they don’t have turkeys, then what do they do for Thanksgiving?
RICO: How should I know! And who cares anyway?
RALPHIE: I do! I mean you gotta have turkey for Thanksgiving!
RICO: No, you don’t.
RALPHIE: Yes, you do . . . and stuffing . . . and mashed potatoes . . . and gravy . . .
RICO: (annoyed) Stop it.
RALPHIE: And cranberry sauce . . .
RICO: I said stop it! You’re making me hungry.
RALPHIE: . . . and pumpkin pie.
RICO: (irritated) Oh, man! Did you have to say, “pumpkin pie”? I LOVE pumpkin pie.
RALPHIE: So you see, there’s gotta be turkeys. (as he pretends to put the turkey call back in his mouth and blows a turkey call [sfx], then pretends to pull it back out) C’mon, don’t be a chicken. Give it a try . . . it’s fun. (as he holds out the slimy diaphragm)
RICO: Eeuuuww . . . it’s wet.
RALPHIE: Oh, yeah . . . sorry. I’ve got a clean one in my pocket. (as he pulls one out and brushes it off) Well . . . pretty clean. Here you go.
(RALPHIE hands a turkey call diaphragm to RICO.)
RICO: What do you do with it?
RALPHIE: You just put it up against the roof of your mouth and kinda hold it in place with your tongue.
(RICO, with his back to the audience, pretends to put the diaphragm into his mouth.)
RALPHIE: That’s it. Now blow.
(RICO tries several times to make a sound.)
RALPHIE: It takes awhile to get used to it. Just keep blowing.
(RICO suddenly gets a horrified look on his face.)
RALPHIE: What’s wrong?
RICO: I swallowed it!
RALPHIE: Oh . . . that’s okay. I’ve got more.
(Then BOBBIE, wearing a backpack [with the metal detector inside], catches up with them as RICO coughs a few times.)
BOBBIE: (to RICO) What’s wrong with you?
RICO: Nothin’, boss. I’m . . . fine.
BOBBIE: (to RALPHIE) Okay, so, what’s the report?
RALPHIE: The report?
BOBBIE: Why’d you signal us?
RALPHIE: Oh! The turkey call! Did you like that? I can do a chicken, too. Want to hear it?
BOBBIE: No! I don’t want to hear bird calls, I want to know if you saw anyone!
RALPHIE: Saw anyone? Oh, uh . . . oh yeah, I saw the helmet and his sister.
RICO: (rolls his eyes) It’s hermit . . . not helmet!
RALPHIE: I didn’t think that sounded right.
BOBBIE: So, where are they now?
RALPHIE: Oh, uh . . . inside the cabin.
BOBBIE: Hmm . . . so how are we going to get them out so we can get in?
RICO: Wait! They’re coming out!
(BOBBIE, RALPHIE, and RICO duck down while WALT and MARGOT emerge from the cabin.)
RICO: Wonder where they’re going.
RALPHIE: Probably to a movie.
RICO: (just looks at RALPHIE and rolls his eyes) A movie? Don’t be ridiculous.
RALPHIE: Well, what else is there to do around here?
(WALT helps MARGOT onto the dogsled.)
MARGOT: Well, this is a first. Imagine me riding a dogsled. So, how do you get them to go?
WALT: Oh, it’s easy. You just say, “MUSH!”
(Immediately, the “dogs” spring into action [dogsled exit sfx] and MARGOT disappears behind the cabin, laughing and screaming at the same time, with WALT running after her.)
WALT: Oh, no! Wait! Stop!
RALPHIE: Aw . . . I want to ride on that!
BOBBIE: C’mon, this is our chance! Let’s go!
(BOBBIE, RICO, and RALPHIE quickly and carefully walk toward the cabin.)
STORYTELLER: And with that, Chapter 3 comes to a close. (as she closes her notebook) So, what do you think? Will the treasure hunters find what they’re looking for? There’s only one way to find out . . . come back tomorrow!