Mary's Boarding House and the Art of War, Episode Five for Podcast

Reads: 236  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
The continuing sage of Mary Thornberg and her very interesting boarding house tenants. Narrated by Ryan Running Dog, from the Cedar Valley Goshute Band of Western Shoshone Indians.

Submitted: June 05, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 05, 2016

A A A

A A A


Mary’s Boarding House and the Art of War (a podcast script)

Adapted for a podcast from the original series of the same name by Jim Pack

Original Copyright date March 19, 2015

(Episode Five)

Mary Thornberg (reading)

“We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbors”.

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

As the episode begins the intro instrumental “Shamanistic” by Kevin Macleod is heard in the background.  Then “Ryan Running Dog the narrator” speaks: 

Ryan Running Dog (the narrator)

Mary’s Boarding House, and the Art of War, Episode five by the long knife writer Jim Pack.

My name is Ryan Running Dog.  I am your host and narrator.  This episode is entitled:

“We Need to Talk”

Smith

That’s it?  Nothing about you being a Western Shoshone of the Cedar Valley Goshute Band of Indians, and that you refuse to use the term “Native American”?  And nothing about the need for a host and narrator to paint pretty little pictures in our pinky white, long knife brains?  Aren’t you going go through all that rigmarole again?

Narrator

Why should I, long knife, when you already have? 

(If the recording is made in front of a live audience the following will occur).

Narrator

Sound long knife.  Start the theme music again.  The name of this instrumental long knives is Shamanistic, by the long knife composer Kevin Macleod.  It’s on iTunes. 

(Theme starts over from the beginning, and as it does Ryan Running Dog, AKA The Narrator, starts dancing to it, as if he it was his personal ghost dance.  He picks out an attractive female member of the audience and encourages her to dance with him. Hopefully she will comply.  If she doesn’t he will shrug and continue his dancing alone.  Then he will sit down as the instrumental continues). 

Narrator (sitting again)

Now picture this long knives, it is now several days later; the good looking female long knife, Mary Thornberg, is dusting and tidying up in the parlor of her boarding house.  She hears a door from the upper landing quietly open (sound effect of door opening).  She then conceals herself in a door jam, laying in wait for her quiet and obscure long knife tenant, Louis Donaldson, a painfully shy and reclusive shadow of a man, as he is trying to sneak out the front door of the boarding house unnoticed.  But before this shadow is able to make good his escape, Mary intercepts him.

Mary

Hello Louis.

Narrator

At the sound of her voice, the timid long knife freezes in place, his hand now clutching onto the doorknob, of the yet unopened front door.

Louis

Am I in trouble?

Mary

No honey.  Sit down.  We need to talk.

Narrator

The timid long knife then releases his grip on the doorknob and faces Mary, but is just too defensive to sit down.  He remains standing, in case he needs to beat a hasty retreat, much like Custer attempted, unsuccessfully, so many years before. And as with Crazy Horse, Mary has the timid long knife, Louis, equally out maneuvered; although unlike Crazy Horse, she means him no harm. 

Louis

About what?

Mary

I, we, rarely ever see you anymore.  I’m just wondering how you are doing?  I know your are a bit of a recluse, but seriously Louis sometimes you need to peek from out your self imposed exile and say “hello” every once in a while. 

Louis

I’m doing fine.  I need to go now.

Mary

Louis, please don’t be like that.  I promise you.  You are not in any trouble.  You are never in any trouble here under my roof.  You are without a doubt one of the least troublesome tenants I have ever rented to.  You are so unproblematic, it is almost like you were invisible, like a very, very quiet ghost. 

Louis

I don’t like hanging out in the common areas.  I just like being left alone in my room.  I never cause trouble. 

Mary

Yes I know.  That has already been stipulated that you never cause trouble.

Louis

So why are you stopping me from going outside?  I have places to go.  The library is closing early today because it’s Saturday. 

Mary

I’m just trying to reach out to help.

Louis

I don’t need any help.(Now whispering) Where’s that Harry guy.  Is he around here somewhere?  He’s always hanging around somewhere.  Where is he?

Mary

Is that why you’ve been hiding in your room for so long?  You’re worried you are going to run into Harry Landers?

Louis

Ah Yeah!!  The last time I saw him, he said he was going to pound me into ground like a tent peg.

Mary

How long ago did he say that to you?

Louis

Sometime in the spring of 2013.

Mary

That was three years ago Louis!!  And you’ve been hiding, tucked away in your room ever since?

Louis

Yeah!!  I don’t want to get pounded into the ground like a tent peg.  Anyway, I leave my room all the time.  I just don’t hang around here when I do.

Mary

Yes, evidently when you think the coast is clear and no one is looking, especially Harry Landers.  Correct?

Louis

What’s your point?  I’m not doing anything wrong.

Mary

We all know that honey.  Nobody who is presently in the house is saying you are doing anything wrong.  You’re as quiet as a church mouse and you always pay your rent exactly on time.  And don’t think that isn’t greatly appreciated.  Direct deposited right into my business account, the first of each and every month, just like clockwork I might add.  However, I can’t help but think that you do it that way so you won’t have to interact with me personally, face to face.  You don’t even come into the parlor to celebrate at Christmas time.  It’s no good to cut yourself off from the rest of humanity like this Louis.  No man is an island.

Louis

What does that mean?  That doesn’t make any sense.  Of course men aren’t islands.  Duh!!!  No man’s is peninsula or isthmus either.  

Mary

It means you should not cut yourself off from others.

Louis

Then why not say, “No man should cut himself off from others?”  “No man is an island?” Which island, Catalina or Balboa?  Nobody is cut off when they go to Catalina or Balboa.  They both have ferry services!!  And Catalina even has an airport.

Mary

It’s a symbolic way of saying that people should not be alone.  Not that they are literally land masses, surrounded by water. 

Louis (now looking around warily)

Where is Harry at the moment?

Mary

Harry is gone Louis!  He hasn’t lived in the house for over three weeks!

Louis

Seriously?

Mary

Ah, yeah!!

Louis

I was wondering why I haven’t heard his voice threatening anyone in the hallway lately. 

Mary

Louis, I want you to start taking your meals with the rest of us from now on.  You might as well.  There is no more Harry Landers to hide from anymore.  This house is now officially a bully free zone.  So are you going to have dinner with us tonight?

(Pause, while Louis is thinking).

Louis

Are you sure Harry is really gone?  He isn’t coming back?

Mary

He is never, ever, coming back.  Louis, I promise.

Louis (suddenly very relieved and happy)

WELL OKAY THEN!!  WHAT’S FOR DINNER?!!  (Pause)  By the way, who owns those two horses out back?

(The sound track Shamanistic reprise begins again)

Narrator

It is now Friday Morning, next.  Look through your minds eyes long knives and you will see the two Mormon Missionaries, “Smith and Wesson”, in their daily routines in and about the neighborhood.  Doing the typical things any pair of Mormon missionaries might be seen doing.  Riding their bicycles, going door to door, politely greeting strangers they encounter on the sidewalk and/or at local parks; handing out copies of the Book of Mormon, etc.  You can not hear them speak yet.  Besides, what they are saying is not as important as to what they are going to be doing. 

At one point they are riding by Mary’s Boarding House.  They do not dismount from their bicycles to pay a visit, however.  They just pause out of curiosity to watch Henry Larond exercising his recently returned mare, Annabel, in the exercise ring that he and Mortimer Spangle have just finished constructing.  Bluebell, Henry’s other pony is in her stall watching her friend and companion, Annabel, being put through her paces by Henry Larond.  Mary, Joni and Mortimer are watching off to the side, standing just outside of the ring. 

Then the Mormon long knife Smith, a very observant young missionary and Afghanistan/Iraq war veteran, notices the glint of sunlight reflecting off the lens of a distant rifle scope.  He then looks slightly alarmed and motions Wesson to follow him.  Both Mormon missionaries quietly pedal away.

Now picture this long knives, as we now see the same scene from a different vantage point; the crosshairs of a riflescope.  The cross hairs train on Mary Thornberg’s head first, as she stands off to the side to watch Henry Larond work his mare, but the shooter elects not to pull the trigger on her.  Then the crosshairs shift to train on Mortimer Spangle’s head.  But again, whoever the shooter is, he once again decides not to pull the trigger.  Finally the crosshairs of the rifle scope train right on Bluebell as she stands there watching from the inside of her stall. 

Harry Landers

Nobody can charge me for murder, if I accidently shoot a horse.

Narrator

Now hiding in some reeds, a good 250 meters away, the long knife bully, Harry Landers chambers a single round into his Remington 700 bolt action deer rifle, so that he might take his shot.  (Sound effect of a round being chambered) Once again we see what the long knife bully can see through the crosshairs of his scope, which is now centered right between Bluebell’s eyes. 

Harry Landers

Bye, bye little horsey.

Smith

Excuse me Sir, please pardon the interruption.

Narrator

Suddenly Interrupts the long knife, Mormon Missionary, Smith, just before bringing the head of a shovel down hard upon Harry Lander’s skull.  (sound effect of a shovel hitting something hard) Knocking the long knife bully and would be horse assassin out cold; saving Bluebell’s life in the process. (Shamanistic soundtrack stops abruptly) When long knife bully finally comes to, he will find himself hog tied with a clothesline that the two long knife missionaries just happened to have handy, riding with them in one of their backpacks. 

Harry (groaning)

What happened?

Smith (very politely)

You have been struck in the head with a very large garden tool Sir, one which I borrowed from a neighbor’s yard.  I wouldn’t try to move about too much if I were you; as you might have sustained a serious concussion.  You have also been restrained with heavy 9 gage clothesline cord for your and our own protection. 

Harry (still very groggy)

Who hit me?

Smith

It was I, Sir.  I had no choice, as you were about to shoot a poor, defenseless, domesticated animal.  So please remain calm while we await the arrival of the proper legal authorities.

Harry

You mean the cops?!!!

Smith

Representatives of county sheriff’s department to be more precise Sir; they shall be arriving directly.  So please try to remain calm and relaxed.  Head injuries of this nature can be very dangerous.

Harry

LET ME GO!!

Smith

I’m afraid we can’t do that Sir. By the way, allow me to introduce ourselves, I am Elder Smith and this is Elder Wesson of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints and you Sir are our prisoner.  May I inquire as to your name?

Harry

SCREW YOU!!

Smith

I shall take that as a “No”.  (pause)  Nevertheless, while we are awaiting the arrival of the said sheriff deputies that are now, at this very moment, coming to our aid so that we might remand you into their custody, I should very much like to take the opportunity, in this wondrous and auspicious occasion, to read to you a few well chosen passages from the Book of Mormon.  Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Perhaps you have heard of it?

Harry

LET ME GO YOU STUPID PUNKS!!!

Wesson

There is just nothing quite like the full, undivided, attention of a captive audience, eh Elder Smith?

Smith (thumbing through his copy of the Book of Mormon)

Right you are, Elder Wesson!  How very right you are!!  Let’s see, how about First Nephi, Chapter One?  But first, why don’t you do the honors and lead us all in a little prayer Elder W. 

Wesson

That will be my most happy duty Elder S. (they now both bow their heads) Dear Heavenly Father….

(The sound track instrumental, Shamanistic is reprised again faintly in background.  As the action progresses, it builds in volume).

Narrator

It is now 24 hours later white eyes, and the long knife bully, Harry Landers is being released from custody, on his own recognizance, a few days before his scheduled arraignment.  He is standing in front of a counter, while being processed out of jail by a deputy sheriff/clerk. 

Deputy (now read by the actor who usually portrays Wesson)

Here are your personal belongings.

Harry

What about my rifle?

Deputy

You mean the one that you like to shoot horses with, that rifle?  It’s being held for evidence.  Here is your release information.  Please note your arraignment date, indicated above the signature line.  Sign here.

(Sound of effect of papers being shuffled and signed).

Harry

I’ll be wanting my rifle back after I’m acquitted.  Don’t lose it. 

Narrator

The long knife bully and would be horse killer now leaves the front desk area and exits the building; where he immediately notices a tall young man, mounted on a bay mare, watching him from across the street.  That young man is Henry Larond, sitting atop Bluebell, the very same horse that Landers was attempting to execute. 

(Soundtrack, now looping, continues to build slowly in volume)

Now suddenly we see the long knife bully trying to avoid Henry Larond and his horse, but to no avail as Henry and Bluebell calmly follow Landers at the trot. 

The bully, still trying to evade his pursuers, at one point begins to run.  Again to no avail as Henry and Bluebell continue to bear down on him; still at the trot. 

(At this the Narrator gets up from the table and starts chanting while doing another impromptu ghost dance, then after emitting a war hoot, stops himself and sits down again).

Narrator

Eventually Henry and Bluebell run a very frightened long knife bully, Harry Landers, plum out of town.  Right past the city limits sign, in fact. But not before counting coup on the coward’s backside, with a braided buggy whip.

 (Sound effect of a whip crack, followed by Landers yelping in pain).

Narrator

You have been listening to Episode of Five of Mary’s Boarding House and the Art of War, by the long knife writer Jim Pack; with excellent narration and impromptu ghost dancing delivered by yours truly, Ryan Running Dog from the Cedar Valley Goshute Band, of the Western Shoshone Indians. By the way, I’m available for commercial voice over work in case anybody is interested.

(Then the narrator yelps a war hoot before reading the rest of the end credits, as the Shamanistic instrumental continues in the background, still on a loop if necessary).

 

 

 


© Copyright 2017 Jim Pack. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments: