Son of Captain John Smith Meets Pocahontas in Burger King

A Scenario in One Act

by Ralph Schneider


The scene is a Burger King restaurant located at the far end of the "Cafe Court" section of a shopping mall. The place is filled to perhaps a quarter of its capacity: Three sub-teen boys in sagging shorts and backwards caps stand at the counter bantering choices, several shopping ladies with coiffed hair and spangled glasses sit at tables nursing miniburgers and small cokes, and a gaggle of girls huddle whispering in a booth. Other less distinctive customers drift in and out, fumbling for change at the cash register or dumping paper and styrofoam into trash bins. Muzak burbles softly in the background.

Enter Smith: he is a dark, almost sinister figure wearing camouflage BDU trousers tucked into Israeli desert boots and a tee shirt with a skull and crossed bayonets; the legend proclaims "Kill 'Em All--Let God Sort 'Em Out." The shirt is sweatstained and it reeks. His face is flaccid and sports a three-day stubble. He wears a blaze orange cap imprinted with "Born too loose." His belly hangs over his belt and vibrates softly; a Cold Steel brand tomahawk hangs in the belt.

Smith makes his way to the counter, and the other customers part in waves as he nears them. He orders three whoppers, two giant fries, and a large cherry coke; the working retiree behind the counter is visibly holding her breath, and her eyes seem to be watering. Smith pays at the register with a crumpled bill tugged from a side pocket of his BDUs. He fills four paper cups with ketchup and takes his tray to a table and sits down, tucking his belly roll under the table. He dumps the fries on the tray, scattering several on the floor, and begins to eat, dipping fries in the ketchup and munching blankly, reflectively.

Enter Pocahontas: she is a statuesque brunette clad in a curiously monochromatic buckskin dress and moccasins. Her eyes are dark and Luminous; at times they seem to glow with sparkling points of light; her hair is long and it seems to float behind her, as if it were a cape. At her feet is a raccoon, perky of demeanor; his eyes seem to glow with sparkling points of light. Abruptly his attention shifts to the floor and a smear of ketchup that leads to a french fry near the booth occupied by the whispering girls. He snuffles twice and gobbles it up, then casts about, evidently looking for more.

Pocahontas stands looking back and forth, evidently uncertain and perhaps bewildered in this environment. As she turns her head to survey one side of the room then another, her hair swirls behind her, trailing sparkling points of light. The raccoon has found the origin of the french fries and begins to clamber up the leg of one of the girls; she squeaks and shrinks away, beating the creature with a gold lame string purse. The sparkling points of light in his eyes condense to two red dots and he fixes his teeth in her thigh. She screams: "Like, Owwwwww!" A trail of blood streams down her leg and smears the seat of the booth.

At the scream, a seven-foot adolescent with terminal acne and a T-shirt proclaiming "Jordan Rules" emerges from the kitchen, brandishing a spatula. But Smith is quicker. He lumbers upright, overturning his table and scattering a chaos of whoppers, fries, ketchup, and cherry coke across the floor. In one practiced motion he draws the tomahawk from his belt and throws it spinning toward the raccoon; it thuds into the center of his target, pinning the raccoon and the girl's cutoffs to the booth. The creature begins its death throes, tail lashing; a curiously monochromatic stream of blood drools from its mouth.

This event draws the attention of Pocahontas. She turns toward Smith as he towards her, and sudden recognition seems to dawn in their eyes, which gleam with sparkling points of light. The Muzak swells in the background as they run towards each other in graceful slow motion, his belly bobbing in rhythm with his steps, her breasts betraying not the least jiggle. They meet and embrace between the trash bins and the condiment counter. His bulk bears her to the floor, spraying fries and ketchup in all directions; several fries land near the body of the raccoon, and it snuffles twice, teeth gnashing.

Pocahontas has by this time caught several whiffs of Smith, and she is trying to extricate herself from her position underneath him. He is snorting, tearing at her clothes: the buckskin dress comes off, detached by the small white tabs at her shoulders and waist. The body beneath is a featureless, monochromatic tan, and Smith's groping paws smear ketchup over the flat surface. He shakes his head in bewilderment, almost yielding to the attempts of the kid with the spatula to pull him off.

By that time the kid has been joined by three figures swathed in black ninja suits with "MegaMall Security" stencilled above breast pockets. They subdue Smith with a series of classic stick-and-pepper gas routines, and he is bundled up and wheeled away in a shopping cart. His howls and threats echo ever more distant as the crowd disperses and customers line up for the Wednesday whopper deal. A female custodian emerges from a nearby "Employees Only" door with a mop and a bucket on wheels. She returns the life-size cutout of Pocahontas to its upright position and puts the dress back on, folding the tabs over shoulder and waist. After swabbing up the worst of the burger-fries-ketchup-coke mess, she helps the trapped girl pull the tomahawk out of the booth seat and dumps the raccoon into a trash bin; its body thumps heavily to the bottom of the container. She turns to the "Employees Only" door, her eyes sparkling with points of light.