1A/N : Hello everyone. Sorry for not writing in a while, but with all of my homework, what I write for my Creative Writing class is all I really have time for. For the past month or two, that has been this play. We had to write a play, advertise it, create a playbill, and then film the movie. Now, let me just make this perfectly clear, anyone who is good at writing plays is absolutely amazing to me. This project sucked out my soul. I love writing, but dialogue isn't my thing, and since plays are all dialogue, do the math. But, on to the play. I based this play off of the song Gunpowder and Lead by: Miranda Lambert. It is one of my favorites and I hope you enjoy my ... interesting story about it. One last thing. I will be making my movie this weekend, so I am leaving this story unfinished until then and the third chapter will contain a link to the video. Hopefully, I will find a site by then to upload it. If you don't become violently ill because of my play, suggestions will be lovely so that the video will be up sooner. Thank you very much.

- Hopeful_Future

"Gunpowder And Lead"

Scene 1

EXT. WAYNE RANCH - MORNING

A man stands before the front porch of a house, watching the approach of two vehicles, a pickup truck and a smaller car. They stop in front of the man and a girl, about 22, exits the pickup truck and a boy of about the same age slides out of the car behind it. The man has a confident stature and smiles at the girl. The girl quickly closes the door and runs to the man, hugging him with a bright smile.

MR. WAYNE

Tess! How are you doing?

TESS

Dad! I'm great! How are you? Oh, it is so great to be back! San Diego has nothing on this place. (Deeply inhales) I can't believe it has been four years since I left.

MR. WAYNE

It's like you haven't even been gone. (Looks over Tess' shoulder) Well, this must be Jason.

TESS

(looking embarrassed)

Oh, right. Dad, this is Jason. Jason, this is my dad.

Jason's face quickly changes from one that has smelled some thing bad to a polite smile.

JASON

Mr. Wayne?

Mr. Wayne extends his well calloused hand and grasps Jason's skinny one.

JASON(cont.)

Jason, Jason White.

MR. WAYNE

Boy, that was one pathetic handshake.

JAKE

(nods)

I will work on that, sir.

Mr. Wayne studies Jason as Jason removes his hand and steps back next to Tess and looks around.

TESS

Well, we better put our stuff away. I'm sure that there's plenty of work to be done around here.

Mr. Wayne raises his voice and shouts after them as Tess and Jason head back to their respective cars and grab some of their bags.

MR. WAYNE

Tess, you will be sleeping in your old room. As for you, (gestures at Jason) you will be sleeping in the spare bedroom.

JASON

(under his breath)

Can't wait.

Mr. Wayne leads Tess and Jason into the house. Tess heads upstairs and Mr. Wayne stops Jason before his room.

MR. WAYNE

I just want to let you know that my daughter is the best thing that I have. In this town, everyone knows everyone, so you might want to think twice if you plan on crossing my daughter or anyone else around here.

JASON

(blowing it off)

I'm pretty sure that isn't true.

MR. WAYNE

Son, this is a small town. You can't go to church on Sunday without seeing everyone and their dog on the way.

JASON

Okay, so if I mess with you, it is like I am messing with the whole town?

MR. WAYNE

Well, if you put it that way, then yes.

JASON

Gotcha, but if you are trying to scare me old man, it isn't working. Tess and I will be out of this dump before you can say "yee-haw", (waves imaginary cowboy hat in the air) so don't waste your breath.

MR. WAYNE

(angry)

Now you listen here boy, I didn't....

Mr. Wayne is interrupted by Tess' footsteps coming down the stairs.

TESS

(calls)

Jason! Are you ready?

JASON

(eyeing Mr. Wayne)

Yeah, I'm ready.

Jason turns as Tess approaches.

JASON(cont.)

Finally, took you long enough.

TESS

Sorry, memories, ya know?

Jason nods and follows Tess out the door, leaving Mr. Wayne behind with a disappointed look on his face.

SCENE 2

EXT. WAYNE RANCH - NEXT DAY

Tess and some RANCH HANDS are leaning on a fence, surrounded by some dogs and watching a horse go around on a lunge line. Through the large amount of dust being kicked up, Jason is seen walking toward the group. He is clearly groggy and walking stiffly in brand new cowboy boots. He is also wearing jeans, a large belt buckle, and a new cowboy hat. Tess and the hands look up as they hear him approach, they begin to laugh, hard. One hand falls off his seat. The dogs run for Jason and he shies away, making the hands laugh even harder.

TESS

Nice boots! (Wiping her eyes) John Wayne your idol?

HAND 1

(laughing) Where did you pick them up? Cowboys R Us?

JASON

You know it, and guess what? They were even on sale.

Ranch hand turns his back and snickers. Tess takes Jason by the arm and walks away with him.

HAND 1

Wonder where she picked that one up.

HAND 2

(shaking his head)

Sure is a piece of work. Haven't seen anything as shiny as those boots since Uncle Bernie mistook Bubba's head for his rodeo trophy and spit shined it! Hoo, boy!

HAND 3

Looks like he's going to be hurtin' soon. Lookit the way he's walkin'. Boy needs to learn a thing or two about stupidity.

HAND 1

Yeah, like how not to be it. Wonder if he knows how he really looks.

HAND 2

Probably not, I don't know any man who would purposefully strut around like some drunk peacock the way he does.

HAND 3

Thank God for that.

At the same time, Tess has pulled Jason to the side and is conversing with him.

TESS

Okay, enough of that. Jason, are you ready? Where have you been? It is already 10:00.

JASON

(shrugging)

I needed to sleep. (shooing dogs away) But hey, I'm here now, so what's the problem?

TESS

Everyone here has been up and out here since at least 6:30. Why should you be any different? Didn't we agree that you were going to really try to fit in?

JASON

Yeah, so?

TESS

So, swaggering out here and making your grand entrance three hours late isn't going to make those guys like you any more than they do. And just to let you know, if you could have negative points in your name, to them, you would.

Both glance over at the hands that they recently walked away from and see that the three are looking at Jason. When they realize that they have been seen, the hands laugh and turn away.

TESS

(turns back to Jason)

See what I mean? You are a joke to them right now, and slacking off and dressing like that (indicating his outfit) is not what will change their minds.

JASON

(getting defensive)

What do you expect from me? I am used to working with my brain and working out my problems, not slinging bails of hay for a living. I probably have a higher IQ than all these guys put together, and I use it.

TESS

(angry now)

That is not fair. All of these guys are really smart, they choose to work here because they are friends with my dad. They trust him and are happy working here, where they can actually enjoy what they do.

Tess turns and stalks off angrily, Jason calls after her.

JASON

That's not what I meant! (exasperated sigh) What do you want from me?

Tess approaches the barn and sees her dad. She walks up to him and runs her hand through her hair.

TESS

Hey dad, need help with anything? Anything I can help with or get Jason to do? He is already lost.

MR. WAYNE

(smiling)

Yeah, I saw. Why don't you two go downtown and get some boards for the fence. Shadow knocked some down and it needs to be fixed, plus I am sure the Rogers would love to see you.

TESS

(smiling at a memory)

Yeah, okay. I would like to introduce Jason to them anyway.

MR. WAYNE

Alright. I'm pretty sure Mrs. Rogers just baked a strawberry pie, so don't forget to bring home a few pieces, you know how I love her pie.

TESS

Oh yeah, God forbid anyone get between you and Mrs. Roger's pie. I remember the last person who did, (pause)

Both Tess and her father simultaneously exaggerate a shudder, then catch each other's eyes and laugh.

TESS

It's great to be back. I missed you.

MR. WAYNE

We missed you too honey, now go and get me that pie, before you become just an over exaggerated shudder in a story.

TESS

Okay, see you soon.

Mr. Wayne only smiles a loving smile and watches Tess turn and leave the room. He then walks over to the window and watches with a sad, yet loving expression as Tess approaches Jason, who is standing with his hands on his hips, trying to look as though he knows what he is doing. They talk for a moment, then head for Tess' truck. Both get in and they drive away.

SCENE 3

INT. ROGERS' HARDWARE - DAY

Jason is seen following Tess through the window of Rogers' Hardware. They enter the store and a bell rings as the door opens. No one is at the counter and not a sound can be heard in the store. Tess turns to Jason and shrugs.

TESS

I guess they aren't .... wait a moment.

Tess walks behind the counter towards an open door. Once in the open doorway, Tess yells in a higher pitched, stereotypical New Jersey accent.

TESS(cont.)

Hey darlin! You miss me? Come 'ere, you just gotta 'ear 'dis.

A second after she yells this, a male voice yells a reply, followed by a female one.

MALE VOICE

(exaggerated horror)

Oh no! No more, please!

FEMALE VOICE

(laughing conspiratorially, excited)

Oh honey, chances are, I already know!

Noises are heard coming from the back coming closer. Tess backs up behind the counter and stands there, innocently smiling. Out of the doorway burst an elderly man, followed by a shorter, elderly woman. The man wears an apron covered in wood shavings that reads "Rogers' Hardware" while the woman has on a white apron obviously for baking. Tess' smile grows as she watches them file out.

TESS

Mr. Rogers! Mrs. Rogers! How have you been?

MR. ROGERS

(walks around counter and hugs Tess)

Tess! How have you been? (lets her go and looks at her) Have you grown? You look so much like your momma each day that goes by.

Mrs. Rogers elbow appears next to Mr. Rogers side and shoves him out of the way, making room for herself.

MRS. ROGERS

Bob! Move out of the way! (turning to Tess, smiling cheerfully) Tess dear, how are you? It's been so long. You look so thin, have you been eating enough?

MR ROGERS

Linda! Give the girl some space! She only just got here.

Mrs. Rogers waves him off, and Tess just smiles.

TESS

Oh, it's alright. But guys, (indicates behind herself at Jason) this is Jason, my boyfriend.

Jason steps forward as Mrs. Rogers gives Tess a conspiratorial look and Mr. Rogers looks at Jason thoughtfully. Mr. Rogers politely hold out his hand for Jason to shake.

MR. WAYNE

Well, hello son. The name's Bill, Bill Rogers.

Jason looks down at the outstretched hand. It is rough, calloused, and covered in dirt and grime from work in the store. A small twitch in Jason's face shows his disgust as he looks back up into Mr. Rogers' face and, without shaking his hand, answers.

JASON

(slightly condescendingly)

Jason White.

MRS. ROGERS

Well, that's nice dear. My name is Linda, I don't know what Tess has told you about us, but whatever it was, she lied.

JASON

(smiling and playing along)

Oh no, I don't think she did. You are just the way Tess described.

Mrs. Rogers and Tess lock gazes, and Tess shrugs.

TESS

So, what changed while I was away?

Mrs. Rogers' face visibly brightens at this and begins gushing.

MRS. ROGERS

Oh, you will never believe it. Mrs. Johnson went away for a month and comes back, married to some young guy. Thirty-two years old!

TESS

(exaggeratedly exclaiming)

32! No! (begins to lead her towards the back room) What about Jack?

Before Mrs. Rogers can answer, Jason interrupts.

JASON

(pleadingly)

Where are you going?

TESS

Oh, it's okay. Just get the stuff my dad asked for, I will be back in a sec. (turning back to Mrs. Rogers) Here, tell me about it while you get me some of that strawberry pie I hear just came out of the oven.

MRS. ROGERS

How did you know about that dear?

TESS

(giving her a pointed look)

My dad started to get hungry, plus I could smell it once I stepped in the door.

MRS. ROGERS

Oh, stop. Flattery will get you everywhere, except into my kitchen for another piece of pie.

Mrs. Rogers turns and goes back into the rear of the store, followed by Tess.

TESS

(pleading jokingly)

But Mrs. Rogers! That's not fair! You don't know the horrors that will befall me if I come home with anything less than half the pie.

The verbal jesting recedes into the background as Tess and Mrs. Rogers head farther into the back of the store. Once they are gone, Jason awkwardly looks at his shoes while Mr. Rogers goes and straightens some papers on the counter.

MR. ROGERS

(a bit forcefully)

Well boy, don't just stand there. What do you want?

JASON

(looks intimidated)

Well, Mr. Wayne wanted some boards to repair the fence.

MR. ROGERS

(pointing to the rear of the store)

2x4's are back there. How many did he say?

JASON

(a little more himself, cocky)

I don't know, he told Tess one of his stupid horses knocked down part of the fence.

Mr. ROGERS

(obviously annoyed)

Well boy, did he say how many sections?

JASON

How the heck should I know? One? Maybe two?

MR. ROGERS

(through partially gritted teeth)

I'll give you six then. Come here, I'll show ya.

Mr. Rogers leads Jason to the rear of the store, stopping before a pile of 2x4's. Jason begins to reach for the wood when Mr. Rogers stops him, making Jason turn with his back against the wood.

MR. ROGERS

(menacingly)

Now look here boy, I hope you ain't givin' any of that lip to our Tess. If you were, you know I would be doin' somethin' about it.

JASON

(cocky)

Oh, I guess you talked to Mr. Wayne?

MR. ROGERS

No, no I am just givin' you my own warning is all. You treat her right, understand?

Jason is about to spit back a reply when the voices of Tess and Mrs. Rogers are heard returning from the back of the store.

TESS

Jason! Mr. Rogers! Where are you?

Mr. Rogers straightens Jason up and yells back.

Mr. ROGERS

Back here! Just getting some wood.

TESS

Well, hurry up!

Mr. Rogers and Jason make their way to the front of the store, their arms filled with wood. They meet Tess and Mrs. Rogers at the counter, a pie resting in front of Tess.

TESS(cont.)

(teasingly)

Well, it took you long enough.

MR. ROGERS

Oh, stop your whining. We're comin', we're comin'.

TESS

Well, we have been here for a while. (turns to Jason) We better get going.

A man walks by the window, stops, and quietly enters the shop. He sneaks up behind Tess with a conspirators smile on his face and stops behind Tess. His hand comes up in an impression of a gun and pushes into Tess' back.

JOHN

(teasingly)

Stick 'um up! Give me your ...

TESS

(whips around and shreaks, hugging him)

John! Oh my gosh!

JOHN

(hugging Tess back)

Tess! Hey! How have you been Beanie?

Tess pulls back and punches John lightly on his arm, laughing. Jason watches with a dark, jealous look on his face while Mr. and Mrs. Rogers watch with looks of happiness.

TESS

Hey! That's Mrs. Beanie to you!

John holds Tess at arms length, looks her up and down as he inhales a deep breath, then exhales as he pulls Tess into a hug again.

JOHN

Oh, its been so long!

TESS

(laughing, pulls away)

Oh, come on. You call me almost every week. Taking the big brother role a bit too seriously?

JOHN

Well, someone has to, with you getting into so much trouble, it's good to have someone on the inside.

Mr. and Mrs. Rogers give each other a knowing look and quietly slip away.

TESS

Oh stop. (turning to Jason) John, this is my boyfriend, Jason. Jason, this is John, my (air quotes) older brother.

Jason gives Tess a questioning look as he reluctantly shakes John's outstretched hand.

JOHN

Yeah, you see, I'm not really her older brother. I grew up around here with Tess, but, making a long story short, when I was about thirteen, I started working at Wayne Ranch so much I was practically living there. Mr. Wayne took me under his very large metaphorical wing, and Tess and I became friends.

TESS

(interrupting)

And you became my overprotective , overbearing mommy.

JOHN

Well, someone had to, with you bringing home all of those jerks you fell in love with for a few days.

Jason gives John a dirty look as Tess replies.

TESS

I'm sorry mommy, but I have to go. Jason and I have to get back to the ranch, (picks up the pie) I'm not sure how much longer my dad can last without his pie.

JOHN

(chuckling)

Yeah, that sounds about right. Hey, lets get together later and catch up, alright?

TESS

Sounds like a plan. I will see you later.

JOHN

Yeah, okay.

Jake picks up the wood and follows Tess. Before they reach the door, John calls out and Tess turns around.

JOHN

It's great to have you back.

TESS

(smiles)

It's great to be back.

JOHN

Hey, Jason?

JASON

Yeah?

JOHN

If you even think about doing anything to hurt Tess, you won't be able to get away from me. Do you understand.

TESS

Oh, stop.

JASON

(looking hateful)

Yeah, I got it.

John watches as Tess and Jason exit the store. Through the window, Jason turns and gives John a dirty look, then keeps walking.

SCENE 4

EXT. WAYNE RANCH - 30 MINUTES LATER

Tess and Jason arrive at Wayne Ranch. They both exit the car and Jason immediately heads for the house.

JASON

I'm tired. I am going to lay down.

Jason walks into the house as Tess walks around to the back of her pickup truck and reaches for the wood. As she picks up a few pieces, her father calls to her from the porch.

MR. WAYNE

Honey?

TESS

(turning to look at her father)

Yeah dad?

MR. WAYNE

Can you come here for a second? I want to talk to you.

TESS

Sure, give me a moment.

Tess drops the wood back into the bed of her truck and strides up to the house. Quickly alighting the steps, Tess enters the house and finds her dad by his desk. He stands, removing his glasses and rubs his eyes.

MR. WAYNE

(gesturing to the chair in front of him)

Come here honey, have a seat.

TESS

Yeah dad? What is it? (sits down) What is wrong?

Mr. Wayne sits behind his desk.

MR. WAYNE

(sighs)

We need too talk.

TESS

About what?

MR. WAYNE

Jason.

TESS

(becomes serious)

Finally. So, what do you want to say?

Mr. Wayne looks a little taken aback.

TESS

What, did you think that I didn't notice? You all put on the same look whenever he is around, it wasn't hard to guess.

MR. WAYNE

Alright, fine. I don't approve of him, he doesn't treat you right. He is rude to my workers, he doesn't respect you, and he is so stupid he probably couldn't tell the difference between a white horse and a black horse. I raised you to know when you are being mistreated, and to do something about it when you are.

TESS

(defensive)

Dad! He is only like this because everyone here won't give him a chance! He came here because I asked him to and everyone is teasing him. All day I have seen the looks that people have been giving him and each other. If I was him, I would be careful about how I acted also.

MR. WAYNE

Tess, trust me on this. That boy is no good.

TESS

I have work to do dad. (gets up and starts to walk out)

MR. WAYNE

I just don't want you to get hurt.

TESS

(hand on the doorknob)

So stop hurting me.

Tess opens the door and leaves.

SCENE 5

INT. ROGERS' HARDWARE - ONE WEEK LATER

A week has passed since Tess and Jason arrived and things are beginning to settle down. John is in Rogers' Hardware, talking with the Rogers when Tess walks by and sees him

through the windows. She turns and enters the store, making the bell ring and alerting the gossipers to her presence.

TESS

(smiling)

Hey, how is everyone?

MR. ROGERS

We're all fine here, and you? How are things out at the ranch?

TESS

(stops at the counter)

Oh, all right. Jason and my father are starting to get along, it only took them a week. They are working on the fence, Shadow knocked some boards down again. I'm just getting some shopping done while the boys play, or rather, are politely at each other's throats.

JOHN

Well, welcome to your hideaway.

TESS

Thanks, it feels great to have some peace and quiet.

A voice mumbles over John's radio. John turns up the volume and the voice becomes clear.

DISPATCHER

Code 212, backup and emergency transport needed at Wayne Ranch. Hospital, be advised that there is a code 326 coming in. I repeat, code 212, backup and emergency transport needed ...

Everyone quiets in the store as they listen to the dispatcher. Tess' face drops and as soon as the dispatcher begins repeating, turns and rushes for the door. John stops her with a hand on her shoulder.

JOHN

Oh, no. You aren't driving. (holds out hand, palm up) Give me the keys, I am driving. And you, (turning to the Rogers) stay here, I will call when I know anything.

Tess hesitates, then relinquishes the keys and they both rush out of the store, leaving the Rogers watching them worriedly.

SCENE 6

INT. HOSPITAL - 30 MINUTES LATER

Breathe In, Breathe Out by: Mat Kearney

Tess and John rush into the hospital and find a ranch hand as well as Jason sitting in the waiting room. The ranch hand stands and begins talking to John. Tess stays beside John as Jason stays sitting with his head bowed. -TIME PASSES- All are sitting as a nurse appears. Everyone stands and the nurse says something, looking somber. John looks at Tess who, keeping a straight face, heads for the nearest swinging door. She pushes through it, followed by John. Once through the door, the door's swing reveals Tess' mask gone and Tess breaking down on the other side of the door. John quickly reaches her and tries to comfort her.

EXT. CEMETERY - FEW DAYS LATER

Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, Jason, John, and Tess are all clustered around a tombstone. They all are wearing formal, dark clothes and have been crying. John murmurs something and everyone but Tess moves away from the stone. Tess stares almost unblinkingly with red-rimmed eyes, holding a single rose in her hand. After a few moments, Tess bends down. She says a few words and touches the gravestone. After choking back a sob, Tess lays her single rose on the grave and turns, walking towards where the others have gathered around the cars. Once she reaches them, they all, one at a time, hug or give her a comforting touch. Then, the Rogers get into one of the cars. At the same time, Jason enters the back seat of the other, and John the driver's seat. Before Tess gets into the passenger's seat, she turns and looks sadly and almost longingly. Holding back another sob, she gets into the car and both cars drive away.