This is something I did for Creative Writing a couple years ago. I leanred about Judas goats during a period when my parents liked to watch to farming channel, and the term just stuck in my mind. Then this two-scene assignment came up and it was perfect. My professor's only comment on this piece was, "Just twisted enough." From him, a high compliment. Please read and review.

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THE JUDAS GOAT

SCENE ONE

Characters:

Winston

Terri

(CURTAIN OPENS. LIGHTS UP.)

(The scene is the LIVING ROOM OF A SMALL APARTMENT. The couch is old and falling apart. There is a small, black and white TV, with rabbit ears. One end of the COFFEE TABLE is held up by a WOODEN ORANGE CRATE From OFF STAGE, there is the sound of someone KNOCKING ON A DOOR From the opposite side of the stage, WINSTON ENTERS. He is in his early-thirties and wearing clean blue jeans and white socks. He looks like he just woke up.)

Winston

Come in!

(TERRI, a young woman in her mid-twenties, ENTERS the scene. There are holes in the knees of her jeans and her hair is messy. She is carrying a small, WHITE PAPER BAG.)

Terri

Did I wake you?

Winston

I was up. Been up all night. (RUBS his right ARM) You're late.

Terri

Stopped for doughnuts. You like Boston cream, right? (takes a DOUGHNUT out of the BAG and hands it to him)

Winston

Such a memory for detail. From Mario's?

Terri

Always. (pause. eyes ORANGE CRATE) Nice orange crate. Tropicana? Classy.

Winston

Kip sat on the table and the legs gave out.

Terri

With all the money you pull down you'd think you could afford a new coffee table. A new apartment, too.

Winston

I like to keep my overhead low.

Terri

At least you dress decent.

Winston

That was backhanded, but thanks. (yawns)

Terri

What kept you up all night?

Winston

Townstead. Called at midnight needing a ride out to the docks. Had me there until five waiting for some guy who never showed up. If he ever does it again, I'll kill him.

Terri

Should've told him to walk. Asshole knows better than to call me.

Winston

You two were cute together.

Terri

Sadist.

Winston

(RUBS his ARM again)

Terri

What'd you do?

Winston

Had to talk to a couple guys about some missing merchandise.

Terri

Fun times.

Winston

Sometimes I really wonder if it's worth it. Seems like no matter what I get into now a-days, someone's standing behind me, twisting the knife. I should get out of this line. Start a family. Work in an office.

Terri

(fidgets with the empty bag) Somehow I can't see you with kids.

Winston

Yeah, me neither.

Terri

Amy want any?

Winston

Kids? What makes you think Amy and I are that serious?

Terri

You've been with her for over a year now.

Winston

(amused) Jealous?

Terri

Hardly. So what'd you want? When you called yesterday you made it sound like it was pretty important.

Winston

Ran into Paul a couple days ago.

Terri

(beat) He all right?

Winston

No. He's having financial problems. Trade-off went bad and he lost over ten grand worth of coke.

Terri

Poor guy.

Winston

Gets worse. He was buying it with borrowed money.

Terri

(wary) Who'd he borrow it from?

Winston

Me.

Terri

(long pause) He always pays you back.

Winston

He always screws me over, is what he does. I was looking at a two-sixty mark up on those bags and now I'll probably end up eating cost even if he does get me back the ten.

Terri

Shit happens. If you don't like taking risks you should work at a bank.

Winston

I am the fucking bank.

Terri

What are you gonna do?

Winston

You are going to pay me back.

Terri

I didn't have anything to do that deal.

Winston

I know. But you still owe me from last month. Collection time.

Terri

(with a mixture of anger and worry) I told you about that! What were we suppose to do when the cops showed up? If Paul hadn't dumped it all three of us would be

Winston

(interupts) I know. It was a mistake. Shouldn't have gone in with Paul. Should have watched your backs. You're sorry, and all that BS. Yeah, me, too. You and Paul have just been making a lot of mistakes lately.

Terri

If you think I'm screwing you over, just say so.

Winston

I know you wouldn't do that. You're too smart. But Paul

Terri

(interupts) He doesn't have the balls to try anything on you.

Winston

Balls or not, I know he's been screwing with my numbers, and it's over.

Terri

So what do you want me to do?

Winston

Do you know what farmers use to do to get their sheep into the slaughterhouse?

Terri

(looks at him warily)

Winston

They used a Judas goat. They'd train a goat to go in the slaughterhouse by baiting it with food. When it was time to kill the little lambs, they dropped the goat in the pen. Then they put a dog in with them. The dog barks, scaring the sheep. The goat, who knows that going through the dark doorway will lead to safety, runs. Sheep are flock animals. When they all see the goat running, they follow it, right through the doorway.

Terri

Interesting

Winston

Called a Judas goat. Because it betrays its little buddies to their deaths. Just like in the Bible.

Terri

(unsettled, trying to keep her tone light) Planning on being a Baptist farmer when you grow up?

Winston

Yeah. But for right now, I'll just practice training my little Judas goat.

Terri

(beat) You want me to set Paul up?

Winston

(smiles) Lead him right through the dark doorway. You'll be doing me a huge favor. And him. I'm not the only one who wants him dead, but I am the only one who'll be nice about it.

Terri

You're always nice about everything.

Winston

Always.

Terri

Is anyone else in on this?

Winston

I have a couple interested parties. Turns out Paul's been playing a lot of games with a lot of people.

Terri

Is this a job for someone else, or do you want him dead?

Winston

Little of both. Gotta make up my loses where I can.

Terri

Who's paying for the hit?

Winston

Do you really think I'm going to tell you that?

Terri

(pause) If I'm playing the goat, I want something for my time.

Winston

All right. What?

Terri

Half of whatever you're making off this.

Winston

(smiles) You got it.

(LIGHTS DOWN)