3000 Frogs

by Brigette ReDavid

EXT. RIVER BANK - DAY
St. Gabriel is on the east bank of the Mississippi River. The plant’s in the background.
Tyrone dips a test tube into the river. Stands. Bottles it. Pockets it. He walks to another part of the creek. Repeats.
He stands. Looks around. There’s an OLD BLACK MAN, sitting in a beach chair, fishing. Tyrone waves. The man waves back. Continues fishing. Tyrone approaches him. Sits on the ground.
TYRONE
How’re they biting.
OLD MAN
Don’t bite like they used to.
Tyrone looks at the water.
OLD MAN (CONT’D)
I seen you puttin’ the water in test tubes. Why?
TYRONE
I’m testing them for a herbicide called atrazine.
OLD MAN
Plenty of that around here.
TYRONE
Do you work at the atrazine plant?
OLD MAN
Most of us do.
TYRONE
You got prostate cancer?
OLD Man chuckles sadly. Reaches in a cooler - pulls out a beer. Hands it to Tyrone.
OLD MAN
When I fist saw you I figured you for a corporate guy, but the way you was dressed -- Yeah. I got prostate cancer. Lots of the guys ‘round here do.
Tyrone sips his beer. Eyes an extra rod.
OLD MAN (CONT’D)
Go ahead.
Tyrone baits it. Stands and casts.
TYRONE
You know it’s three and a half time higher than the state average.
OLD MAN
Fishin’ was easier back in the day.
Tyrone nods.
TYRONE
So was eating a cob of corn.
OLD MAN
You one of them?
TYRONE
I was. And then I wasn’t. And you know what really pisses me off.
Old man sips his beer.
TYRONE (CONT’D)
The people who can least afford to be sick - the people who work in the fields, the plants where they make herbicides - are the ones who get the sickest.
Old Man smiles an ageless smile. Looks at the river.
OLD MAN
The thing about water is that it keeps runnin’ - and pretty soon it runs right into everybody. It don’t know nuthin’ about color, or how much money you got - it just keeps on - They don’t call this the Mighty Mississippi for nuthin’. It’ll push its way into little streams and creeks in places you n’ me never even heard of.
Tyrone shakes his head sadly.
INT. LOUISIANA DINER - DAY
Tyrone sits at a table in a dingy diner. He opens an agriculture magazine - reads. WAITRESS, not cute or perky, approaches with water. A few PATRONS at counter.
TYRONE
What a load of shit!
He looks at the waitress.
TYRONE (CONT’D)
Do I look cock-fixated to you?
She puts down water - looks at him. LADY at counter turns a bit to look at him - nervous.
WAITRESS
Want coffee?
Tyrone nods. Holds up magazine -
TYRONE
Listen to this! [read/talks] There are plenty of bad scientists like Dr. -- 
She walks away.
TYRONE (CONT’D)
-- Hayes in academia, bad scientists who have promoted flawed ideas for various perCalebal and profit reaCaleb.
She has returned with coffee. Puts it down.
TYRONE (CONT’D)
Mother fuckin’, lilly-assed bitch!
Lady at Counter gets more nervous. Looks at cook.
WAITRESS
You ready to order?
Tyrone stands. Waitress backs up. He pulls out bills. Tosses them on table. EXITS QUICKLY.


Writer's excerpt courtesy NYWIFT (NYWIFT.ORG)