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Miss Super Burrito! (Ch 8) Hump Around! Hump Around!

March 21, 2011

            

                                                        MISS SUPER BURRITO!

                                                                  A Novella

                                                                            By

                                                          Corona Cabronisimo  

            Inside a run-down high school gym, four adult “hunchbacks” sit
             in a circle.
 
             LAURA, the group hunchback leader, holds a clipboard.
 
             Alma enters, hesitates.
 
                                      LAURA
                           Welcome.
 
             Alma doesn’t budge.
 
                                      LAURA
                           Have a seat.
 
             She takes a seat next to Laura.
 
                                      LAURA
                           I’m Laura, the group leader.
 
                                      ALMA
                           I’m Alma.
 
                                      EVERYONE
                           Hi, Alma.
 
             Laura leans back, sees Alma doesn’t have a
             hunchback…
 
                                      LAURA
                           Are you sure you’re in the
                           right place?
 
                                      ALMA
                           Yes.
 
                                      LAURA
                           Okay, who wants to start?
 
             SAMUEL, who resembles Samuel L. Jackson, stands.  A
             softball-sized hump protrudes from his shoulder.
 
             Alma’s eyes bug out.
 
                                      LAURA
                                (whispers to Alma)
                           It’s okay.  A hump is a hump.
                           He’s one of us.
 
             Samuel pulls gum from his mouth, gathers his thoughts,
             clears his throat.
 
                                      SAMUEL
                           I am sick and tired of this
                           mothafrickin’ hump on my
                           mothafrickin’ shoulder!

                                      ALMA
                           Samuel L. Jackson!
 
                                      SAMUEL
                           Nah, Samuel K. Thompson.
 
             Alma sinks in her chair.
 
             Samuel shoves gum back in his mouth, sits.
 
             Alley, the lady with an attitude, wears a tennis
             ball-sized hump on her head, she raises her hand.
 
                                      LAURA
                           Alley?
 
                                      ALLEY
                           Let the new girl speak.
 
                                      EVERYONE
                           Yeah, let the new girl speak.
 
             Alma gawks at Alley’s hump-head.
 
                                      LAURA
                                (whispers to Alma)
                           Her hump traveled from her back
                           to her head.  Doctors still
                           can’t explain it.  Would you
                           like to share your…protrusion?
 
             Alma contemplates…slowly rises to her feet.
 
             Everyone stares except BIGGIE, who has a huge hump on his
             back.
 
                                      ALMA
                           I — I don’t have a — a
                           hump.
 
                                      EVERYONE
                                (bothered)
                           Huh?  What?
 
                                      LAURA
                           Shhhh, let her finish.
 
                                      ALMA
                           I have a — a calorie problem.
 
                                      BIGGIE
                           You’re fat?

                                     LAURA
                           Biggie!
 
                                      ALMA
                           No, no.  It’s okay.  Do you
                           know what it’s like to never be
                           asked on a date?
 
             Biggie doesn’t respond, stares at the ground.
 
                                      ALMA
                           Or to shop for blouses knowing
                           they won’t fit?
 
                                      SAMUEL
                           Or shop for shoulder pads
                           knowing they won’t fit?
 
                                      ALLEY
                           Or hats?
 
                                      LAURA
                           Let ‘er finish!
 
             Biggie doesn’t respond, stares at the ground.
 
                                      ALMA
                           Do you?
 
             Biggie shrugs.
 
                                      ALMA
                           Please look at me when you
                           answer me.
 
                                      LAURA
                           He can’t.  His hump won’t let
                           him.  He hasn’t seen a cloud or
                           a plane in years.  When he
                           prays he prays to hell instead
                           of Heaven.
 
             Alma instantly empathizes.
 
                                      LAURA
                           When he flies a kite he can’t
                           see the kite.  Kids cut the
                           string and the kite crashes
                           into his hump.
 
             Biggie deflates.

                                      LAURA
                           When it’s a starry night we hit
                           him on the head so he can see
                           stars.
 
                                      BIGGIE
                           Enough already.
 
                                      LAURA
                           But we usually knock him out
                           and he sees a black hole.
 
                                      BIGGIE
                           Enough!
 
             Biggie sniffles, wipes a…tear?
 
             Alma takes a knee in front of him.
 
             She looks him in his face, pats his hunchback in a caring
             way.
 
             The others don’t like the hunchback patting.
 
             Alma notices the glares, stops patting.
 
                                      BIGGIE
                           Take it off.
 
                                      ALMA
                           Huh?
 
                                      BIGGIE
                           If you really empathize, take
                           off your turtle-neck.  We’ll
                           empathize together.  I promise
                           we won’t laugh.
 
             Alma straightens, no way.
 
                                      BIGGIE
                           It’s now or never, Alma.
 
             No response.
 
                                      BIGGIE
                           I wish I would’ve faced my
                           fears a long time ago.
 
             Alma actually considers it now.

                                      SAMUEL
                                (chants)
                           Take – it – off!  Take – it –
                           off!
 
                                      EVERYONE
                           Take – it – off!  Take – it –
                           off!
 
             Alma thinks about it…chants surge.
 
             She stares at their faces, they really do care.
 
             She grabs her turtle-neck’s hem-line, and in one motion,
             yanks it off.
 
             The group erupts, cheers.
 
             Alma raises her arms in victory, hops in a little circle.
 
             Suddenly, cheers and claps lose steam…they spot her
             T-shirt, lose their smiles.
 
             Alma doesn’t notice, continues victory hop.
 
             She finally notices and stops.
 
             Her eyes follow theirs to a picture of a whale on the front
             of her T-shirt, topped in print:
 
                                       HUMPBACK
 
             Uh-oh.
 
                                      ALMA
                           I — I bought it a while ago.
 
                                      BIGGIE
                           She bought what a while ago?
 
                                      ALLEY
                                (whispers)
                           Her T-shirt.  It’s got a
                           Humpback Whale on it.
 
                                      BIGGIE
                           How do you know it’s a humpback?
 
                                      ALLEY
                           It says so — and I can see the
                           hump.  Yours is bigger.
 
             Biggie’s eyebrows lower, nostrils flare.

                                      BIGGIE
                                (chants)
                           Take – it – off!  Take – it –
                           off!
 
             Big uh-oh.
 
                                      EVERYONE
                           Take – it – off!  Take – it –
                           off!
 
             Eyes widen, mob’s chant grows louder.
 
             She inches her hands toward the T-shirt’s hem-line.
 
             Louder.
 
             She grabs the hem-line.
 
             Loud.
 
             She squeezes.
 
             VERY LOUD.
 
             But she can’t do it.
 
             Samuel hops to his feet, yanks off his shirt, shows off his
             shoulder-hump.
 
                                      EVERYONE
                           Ewwwww.
 
             Samuel freezes, embarrassed…falls back in his chair, slips
             shirt back on.
 
             Alma releases T-shirt’s hem-line.
 
                                      ALMA
                           I — I can’t.
 
             She sinks into her chair.
 
             Everyone deflates, disappointed.
 
                                        **
 
             Cruz flips through a sporting goods magazine at the kitchen
             table.
 
             She points…there it is, for sale,
             SUPER-DUPER POCKET BINOCULARS with “See better than ever!”
             printed beneath the picture.

             She grins; she’s gotta have it.
 
             PRICE TAG:
 
                                       $175.00
 
             Grin vanishes.
 
             But she remembers…glances at the vault pole against the
             table.
 
             She pulls a receipt from her purse.
 
             VAULT POLE RECEIPT IS FOR:
 
                                       $202.00
 
             Grin returns.
 
                                       **
 
             Back at the hunchback congregation,

             Alma carries turtle-neck sweater, still wears whale T-shirt
             except “Humpback” is blacked out.
 
             She takes a knee in front of Biggie.
 
                                      ALMA
                           I’m sorry, Biggie.
 
                                      BIGGIE
                           Little by little, don’t you
                           worry.
 
                                      ALMA
                           You’ll see your kite one day,
                           you watch.
 
             Biggie smiles, gives a thumbs up.
 
             Alma moves over to Samuel.
 
                                      ALMA
                           I’m sorry, Samuel.
 
             Samuel nods, but isn’t feeling it.
 
             Alma heads out, bumps into Beauty and her just-shy-of-a-
             clown make-up.
 
                                      BEAUTY
                           Leaving already?
 
                                      ALMA
                           I gotta check on my mom.

                                      BEAUTY
                           You’re gonna leave me alone?
                                (about hunchbacks)
                           With them?
 
                                      ALMA
                           They’re wonderful.  You’ll love
                           ’em.
 
             Lips bumps into Alma on her way in, smirks…Alma heads out.
 
                                      BEAUTY
                           See you at the restaurant?
 
                                      ALMA
                           Of course.
 
             Beauty eyeballs the group.
 
             Samuel spots her, points.
 
                                      SAMUEL
                           Hey look, everybody, a clown!
 
             Beauty snaps her head back.
 
                                      BEAUTY
                           Where?  I wanna see him.
 
                                      **
 
             Cruz and her pole are gone.
 
             A note rests on the kitchen table.
 
             The front door CREAKS open…SLAMS shut.
 
                                      ALMA
                           I’m home!
 
             Alma searches the kitchen, grabs the note.
 
             NOTE READS:
 
                     I went to return the pole.  Love mom.
 
             She slumps in a chair.
 
             THUMP!
 
             She sits up.
 
             THUMP!  THUMP!

             She focuses on the refrigerator.
 
             THUMP!  THUMP!  THUMP!
 
             She stands.
 
             THUMP!  THUMP!  THUMP!  THUMP!
 
             She eases open the freezer door…
 
             Pit Bull stands inside, trembles…icicles hang off his fur.
 
             Alma’s eyes go wide.

             To be continued…

*No part of this novella may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems without permission in writing from the author.    
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