by MJ Gallagher
© 2004

"The Fieldtrip"


Characters
Sydney: Hands down the smartest kid around; affectionately called The Brain.
Bird: Sees the world the way maybe it ought to be seen.
Alex: Been everywhere and done everything.
Brett: A bit high-strung and something of a hypochondriac.
Sasha: From a far-off land.

FADE IN:

INT: THE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

V.O.
...and please be sure to keep with your tour group at all times...

ENTER ALEX, BRETT, SYDNEY, SASHA, AND BIRD, FIVE SCHOOL KIDS ON A FIELD TRIP.

BRETT
Are you sure this was the right way to go? I think weíre lost. I donít see anyone.
BIRD
I see someone!
SYDNEY
Who?
BIRD
Him!

BIRD CROSSES TO A SARCOPHAGUS WITH A MUMMY IN IT.

SYDNEY
He doesnít count as a "someone." Heís dead. Itís an Egyptian mummy.
SASHA
In my country, we wrap our dead in silk and wax.
ALEX
Ew! What a waste of fine silk!
BRETT
Dead?!? You see dead people?
BIRD
I see dead people!

SYDNEY CROSSES TO THE SARCOPHAGUS AND INSPECTS THE PICTOGRAMS CLOSELY.

SYDNEY
And heís not a him, anyway. Heís a she...I mean...Itís the Princess Ankhananka, if I remember my hieroglyphics correctly...
BIRD
A princess?? I think Iím in love...
ALEX
This has to be the right way to go! I always know where Iím going. The lady at the information counter said to take a right, then a left, then another right and weíd find the room with all the dinosaurs in it.
SYDNEY
I thought she said left, right, left.
ALEX
Really?
BRETT
Oh, god, weíre lost! Lost!
ALEX
We are not lost. Alex Van Chrysler does not get lost.
BRETT
Weíre lost, and Iím never going to see my mom again. What if my asthma acts up? Whoís going to take me to the hospital? None of you can drive yet!
SYDNEY
Brett, you donít have asthma.
BRETT
I could start! Oh, I wish I had never left my lunch on the bus. And I had a meat loaf sandwich in my lunch today, too!
BIRD
I have an idea. Why donít we split up? Alex can take one crew right left right, and Sydney can go left right left.
SYDNEY
I think Mrs. Stivers would want us to stay together.
ALEX
Well, I think itís a great idea. Whoís going to go with whom?
SASHA
I will go with you, Alex.
BIRD
Iíll go with the Brain!
SYDNEY
Brett? Which group do you want to go with?
BRETT
I donít know...Sydneyís really really smart, but Alex seems pretty sure which way to go...
ALEX
Well?
BRETT
Donít rush me! This is an important decision. If I go with the wrong person, we could get lost in this vast museum, and never be heard from again! Weíre going to starve to death. Then someday, theyíll find our bones in an out of the way room, picked clean by Museum Mice, and add them to the prehistoric man exhibit!
SYDNEY
There are no such things as museum mice.
BIRD
There could be...you never know...
ALEX
Oh, for heavenís sake --choose!
BRETT
Iím trying, Iím trying! Wait...what do you have in your pockets?
ALEX
Our pockets?

EACH KID SEARCHES THROUGH PANTS AND JACKET POCKETS AND PULLS OUT PROPS.

SASHA
I have my passport, three Petruskian rubles, a picture of my family, and kreplec.
BIRD
Kreplec?? Whatís that.
SASHA
Traditional breakfast paste from my homeland. Made of soybeans, peanut butter, goatís milk and cinnamon.

THE OTHERS REACT IN VARIOUS WAYS.

SYDNEY
I have my PDA, an energy bar, Capri Sun, my compass, my house key, and gum.
BIRD
I have a my favorite jellybean, a box of raisins, some Yu-Gi-Oh foil cards, and an extra shoelace.
BRETT
Alex, what do you have?
ALEX
The two most important tools for survival.

ALEX HOLDS UP A CREDIT CARD AND A PAGER.

BIRD
A credit card and a pager??
ALEX
Itís not just a credit card. Itís the Versa Titanium Card.
BRETT
Okay, Iíll go with Bird and the Brain. At least with them I know I wonít starve.
SASHA
Kreplec is highly nutritious and gives you energy for hours. Would you like to try some?

THE OTHERS REACT IN VARIOUS WAYS.

ALEX
Okay, letís go. You head your way, and weíll go the right way.
SYDNEY
Are you sure that you want to split up? I donít think itís the most prudent idea...
SASHA
Is Prudence here?
SYDNEY
No, she had the flu and couldnít come on the field trip. Why?

BIRD LAUGHS.

ALEX
Come on, Sasha. Weíre off to find Mrs. Stivers and the rest of the class!
SASHA
I am right behind, my captain.

THE TWO GROUPS SEPARATE, EACH STARTING TO GO THEIR OWN WAY.

SFX LOUD BUMP O.S.

THE KIDS FREEZE IN THEIR TRACKS. THEN BEGIN TO LOOK AROUND.

BIRD
(LOUD WHISPER)
What was that?
SYDNEY
(IMITATING BIRD'S LOUD WHISPER)
I donít know.
SASHA
Perhaps the Egyptian moomies are restless.
BRETT
(LOOKING BACK AT THE SARCOPHAGUS)
Do...do you think so?

BIRD WALKS OFF CAMERA AND BACK AGAIN.

BIRD
Nah...itís not the mummies. Just the door to this room. It swung closed and locked us in, izzall.
BRETT
Locked in?!?
SYDNEY
Are you sure?
BIRD
Of course I'm sure!

ALEX AND SASHA CROSS TO THE DOOR AND TRY TO PUSH IT OPEN.

ALEX
It won't budge.
SASHA
It is really stook.
BRETT
We're trapped, and now they'll never find us! We're doomed!
V.O.
Attention patrons: The Museum will be closing in half an hour.

BIRD PLAYS WITH A YU-GI-OH CARD.

SYDNEY
This is problematic.
(NOTICING BIRD HOLDING THE CARD OVERHEAD)
What are you doing?
BIRD
I'm using this foil card as a reflective signal. I'm surprised you didn't think of it.
SYDNEY
There's no sun in here!
ALEX
Does anyone have any paper? We can write a note and slip it under the door.
SASHA
We can write it on my ruble.
SYDNEY
Does anyone have a pen?

THEY ALL LOOK AT EACH OTHER AND SHAKE HEADS NO.

BRETT CROSSES TO THE DOOR AND POUNDS IT.

BRETT
Help! We're trapped in here and we're going to be eaten by ferocious Museum Mice!!!
SASHA
Are they really ferocious?
ALEX
Oh, please.
SYDNEY
(TO BIRD)
What're you doing now?
BIRD
Cat's cradle.
SYDNEY
How is that going to help get us out?
BIRD
It's not, but I was getting bored.
BRETT
ÖwallsÖclosing inÖ
(STARTS TO BREATHE IN SHORT BREATHS)
Iím...getting...asthma...
ALEX
Oh, for Peteís sake you are not.
SYDNEY
Brettís hyperventilating. Does anyone have a paper bag?
SASHA
I just have the baggy that holds my kreplec.
SYDNEY
Hand it over.

SASHA HANDS SYDNEY THE BAGGY, WHO PUTS IT TO BRETTíS MOUTH.

BRETT
...smells...weird...
SYDNEY
Just breathe into it!

BRETT BREATHES INTO THE BAG, AND STARTS TO BREATHE NORMALLY AGAIN.

BRETT
Itís beginning to smell kinda good now.

BRETT TASTES THE KREPLEC. TENTATIVELY AT FIRST, THEN TAKES WHOLE FINGERFULLS OF THE STUFF.

BIRD
He canít get enough of it!
ALEX
Gimme some of that. I just realized Iím hungry, too.

THE KIDS DIG INTO THE KREPLEC.

BIRD
Itís so good!
BRETT
I feel good!
SASHA
In my country we have phrase. "Stolinyavna."
ALEX
What does that mean?
SASHA
"I told you so."
SYDNEY
I feel really strong.

THE KIDS LOOK AT EACH OTHER, SUDDENLY GETTING THE SAME IDEA. THEY RUSH TO THE DOOR AND EACH WORKS TOGETHER TO PUSH IT OPEN.

BIRD
We did it!
BRETT
Weíre free!
SASHA
I see Mrs. Stivers and the class down the hall.

THEY RUN OFF THROUGH THE DOOR. BIRD HOLDS BACK.

BIRD
Darn. I was kinda hoping Iíd see some Museum Mice.

BIRD RUNS OFF AS WE

FADE OUT.


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