This short play takes place in a mountain town located in the Andes mountains. The characters are few, namely two young visitors, a supposedly older man, and several seemingly helpful locals. We will pick up the story halfway through the young couple's stay in an enchanting bed and breakfast. Our protagonists' name, shall we say, are Seth and Crystal. (purely coincidental)
(All dialog takes place in spanish unless in bold type. Thoughts are written in Italics )
Seth - Do you happen to know of any good hikes in the nearby area?
Local - Yes, there are several good hikes right around Huaraz. One that I would recommend is a hike to the archeological ruins up the mountain and then down to the hot springs located just a few kilometers below.
Seth - Is it safe?
Local - Yes, it is relatively safe, just be careful of dogs.
Later that day
Seth and Crystal - Could you show us a map of how to get to the ruins?
Local #2 - Sure, would you like to go with a guide?
Seth - Is a guide necessary?
Local #2 - (Handing map to young and unsuspecting Seth) I would recommend it. You may run into some dogs or a robber.
Seth - Ok, we will think about it.
Seth and Crystal are seen hiking through mountain villages, enjoying the scenery but not the lack of oxygen. Both are beginning to wonder where the escalator could be found.
Crystal - Are you sure we are going the right way?
Seth - Who knows, this map isn't to scale.
Crystal - Maybe we should go back?
Seth - Don't worry, it gets better ahead.
Crystal - (I think I have heard that before, and I don't seem to remember it ever getting better.) Maybe we should go this way?
Seth - Ok, but only to prove that you are wrong.
Several minutes later they come upon the ruins thanks to Crystal's expert navigational skills. They spend an hour or so going through the ancient burial grounds of a Pre-Incan civilization. They then realize that now is the time to make the decision to get a taxi to the hot springs and therefore evade possible dangers or to walk to the hot springs, enjoy the scenery, and save a few bucks. They decide to ask another local.
Seth - Ma'am, is the walk from here to the hot springs safe?
Local #3 - Sure! I have walked it myself. It is fine. Very calm.
Seth - Are you sure?
Local #3 - Yep
Seth and Crystal work their way along the mountain trail, admiring the scenery, talking about what they are learning, and enjoying each others' presence. Coming down a rocky part in the trail, Seth comes to a sudden stop, and Crystal follows suit. Thinking that they had come across someone using the restroom in the bushes, Crystal turns away but quickly realizes it is much different.
Shaky Steve - Moe-Ny! Moe-Ny! I want your Moe-Ny!
Seth - (startled at masked man waving pistol at him) I don't understand what you are saying. What do you want?! (Seth uses this time to regroup, stop shaking, and evaluate the situation. Meanwhile, Crystal pulls of her wedding ring and sticks it in her mouth. Several kilometers back, the couple had just been talking about what they would do in this exact circumstance.)
Shaky Steve - Money!
Seth - (Pulling out small coin purse and tossing it on the ground) This is all I have.
Shaky Steve - I want all your money. Give it to me! (More shaking of the pistol. Seth ponders the irony of getting shot because the robber never took gun safety.)
Seth - That is it! We are walking in the mountains. You don't need money to walk in the mountains! (Plus we are missionaries. They never have any money!)
(Looking at waving, rusty gun, Crystal thinks Dear Lord, please don't let him shoot my husband! Tomorrow is our first anniversary! as she is shaking beyond control.)
Shaky Steve - What is in your pocket?
Seth - (Seth thinking to himself Oh no, that is our camera! I just took some good pictures for our blog! And then pulling out the map) It is just a map. (You can have it! It's not to scale anyway.)
Shaky Steve - What about the other pocket?!
Seth - It is a Bible and notebook (You should read it sometime, buddy!)
****Intermission**** (Canned music, time to buy popcorn)
Act 3: Part 2
Shaky Steve - Come down here and give me your backpack! (More waving of the pistol in reckless fashion. Crystal slowly comes down and Seth takes her backpack.)
Seth - Look, there is nothing in here that you would want. There is no money here! (Seth pulling out a tract from Crystal's bag.) Here, you need to take this. This is more important than the money we are giving you. This tells why we are showing you love. (Seth is not really sure how they are showing him love, but it sounded good)
Shaky Steve - I want all your money.
(Crystal- Seth is sooo brave!)
Seth - Listen to me, WE GAVE IT TO YOU.
Shaky Steve - Get out of here then!
Seth - (looking down at what was taken out of Crystal's pockets) Um, sir, we need that antibacterial soap back. You probably won't ever use it. (Seth reaches down and picks it up. Maybe I should leave it? He probably should be using it!) Oh, and I need a piece of paper that is in my coin purse too. Can you give that to me? (Seth hoping he can get the copy of his passport back)
Shaky Steve - (Sticking pistol in front of waistband, empties out the coin purse of all the money, tosses it back to Seth. Seth again wonders how these people don't end up shooting themselves!) Leave!
Seth - Oh, don't forget this. (picking up tract off ground, walking over and handing it to Shaky Steve) This is VERY important.
Shaky Steve - Leave!
(Crystal- He is just as nervous as we are! And if he tried to shoot his gun I think it would blow up in his hands it looks so old!)
Seth - Um, one more thing, how do we get to the hot springs?
Shaky Steve - Oh. Just down the hill and to the right.
Seth - Thanks
(Seth and Crystal hurry down the hill. Shaky Steve looks out over the rock ledge and shouts-)
Shaky Steve - Don't go tell the police!
Seth and Crystal - (with sarcastic tone of thoughts - Ok, this will be our little secret! We won't tell on you!)
Crystal - I can't believe he didn't take anything else!
Seth - Yeah, he almost got your hand soap.
Crystal - And my Avon chapstik! No, for real, God really protected us. He could have shot you! I was praying so hard!
Seth - Yep, even if he wasn't trying! Thank the Lord that nothing happened!
Seth and Crystal find the hot springs thanks to Shaky Steve's helpful directions. The attendants are surprised to hear that the two sightseers still had their backpacks, rings, camera, and some money that was hidden in Crystal's backpack.
Hotel clerks - Just a few months ago, a foreigner was robbed and they took everything!
Seth and Crystal - Thank the Lord that He protected us!
The Moral of the Story
As Dad Grotzke always said, "A good story is worth $100!" But even better if you can barter him down to $40.
(True story. 12/15/2007)