Hope leaps to her feet (aka skates) and reaches to Mickey's BACKPACK.
HOPE: Holy shit, that's heavy!
MICKEY: DON'T touch that!
HOPE: What d'you have in there, rocks!?
MICKEY: No. Give it back.
HOPE: What, you have water there? Don't tell me, it's a twelve pack of Guinness!?
MICKEY: It's...PRIVATE. Leave it alone!
Mickey holds on to his backpack for dear life.
HOPE: Okay. Fine. Thought we were... friends.
MICKEY: We are. Friends trust each other.
HOPE: Friends don't keep secrets.
MICKEY: Friends don't leave each other behind.
HOPE: Friends accepts apologies.
MICKEY: Why do you want to burn a man?
HOPE: Why do you want to know?
MICKEY: Why are you answering with a question?
HOPE: Why... are you so fucking annoying all the time!?
MICKEY: Why are you so angry?
HOPE: Aaaahhhh! Why are you so.... Why do you get under my skin like that?
MICKEY: Where are you from? You never said.
HOPE: Why DO YOU KEEP ASKING!?
Hope skates away. Leaving Mickey to trail slowly behind her.
Mickey turns to the audience:
MICKEY: (to the audience) My old man always said God appears like an enigma. Shows up unexpected to restore our faith in him. Some people see it on a toaster, or in a cloud. Some in people. She is no doubt a messenger. Why else would she be so enigmatic? Why would she leave me so confused and stranded, trying to hold on to my mind. I am falling for her. Like, for real. I am falling for her heart. For her secrets. For her anger. For her... freakiness. But how do I stop pushing her away. I don't know. I don't know.
Hope stops in her tracks. She spots something.
HOPE: What the hell? D'you see that? Like, that's for real right? I'm not imagining this little blue cabin in the middle of nowhere...am I?
MICKEY: Must be abandoned.
Hope removes her skates and checks out the cabin. She circles it twice.
HOPE: Where's the door?
MICKEY: In the back?
MICKEY: Huh. No windows?
MICKEY: What about the roof?
HOPE: Sealed shut.
Hope TAPS on the cabin. There's an ECHO of the tapping sound.
HOPE: What the hell is this thing? Isn't this area 51!? Is this covering some spaceship or something? Or is this like a portal to another dimension? Or a time travel machine, holy fuck!
MICKEY: So... you don't believe in God but you believe in UFOs and time travel?
HOPE: NOT the same thing.
MICKEY: You either believe in what you don't see, or you don't.
HOPE: Okay, well I believe... I don't know. Okay? All I know is that we are in the middle of nowhere and some cabin or whatever this is shows up out of the blue without any way to access it. So it must be hiding something inside it or it's some UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT or I'm losing my mind completely.
The Burner, dressed this time in an Alien costume, appears suddenly, seated on the unidentified cabin.
BURNER: Yoo-hoo! You called?
HOPE: For fuck sake you scared me! What, why are YOU here?
BURNER: Ask yourself. You summoned me. I am entirely YOUR doing. And this whole thing is getting quite old, if you ask me.
HOPE: So ask YOU or ask MYSELF!?
BURNER: Now you are confusing me. Oh, I get it. You must be confused right now. That's why I'm here. To get some clarity in that thick of head of yours. SO HERE YA GO BEFORE I'M GETTING ROASTED IN THIS HEAT AND THIS OUTFIT: You are not losing your mind. But you are gonna lose that sweet man behind you if you keep being a fucking bitch to him.
HOPE: Do you have to use a sexist word?
BURNER: I'm in your mind remember? You might be more sexist than you think. Personally I prefer 'jerk' or 'dummy', but 'bitch' its what you ordered, so 'bitch' it is!
HOPE: He's following me like a puppy, nothing I will do will make him dislike me.
BURNER: You sure about that? You sure you know what is in that head of his? He is hiding something in his backpack, you know. He must be hiding other things. And he's following you because he wants to get out of here as badly as you do. But who says he'd stick around once you get to town? He and his dog may go off and leave you all alone to figure out how to get to Burning Man without a truck and without a penny to your name.
HOPE: I can fix the truck. He said it can be fixed.
BURNER: And who's gonna pay for it?
Mickey comes closer to Hope.
MICKEY: This could be an art installation or somethin' like that. Every once in a while some artists from Hollywood drive over here and do their 'art' things in the desert. I don't know the point but it seems to be a thing for those people.
HOPE: Yeah, that could be it. Totally. You're right.
BURNER: Now THAT'S a much better way to talk to a man.
HOPE: (to The Burner) Did you really just say that?
BURNER: Told you. You are a sexist bitch.
HOPE: (to the burner) FINE!
MICKEY: What's that?
HOPE: Nothing. I was just talking to myself.
To Be Continued...
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman