by: Luke Sorge

HUTCH: A cowboy.
MOONSHOT: A younger, more annoying cowboy.

THE SETTING: An arid, desert landscape. Isolated. One big tree and thats it. The Wild West. The olden days. 

A rope hangs from the branch of the one big tree, its noose wrapped around HUTCHs neck. He is sitting on MOONSHOTs shoulders. Both mens hands are bound. 

If MOONSHOT walks away, HUTCH will fall and be hanged. 

Theyre silent for a long time. 

MOONSHOT: Ythink hell bring some water with him when he comes? (pause) I hope so. Its damn hot. I never been so thirsty.  (pause) Ythink he will, Hutch? Bring us some water? Or some apples?! Oh, boy. That sounds good, dont it. A big, red apple. Dont that sound good, Hutch? (pause) Yknow what I like? I like it when you bite into an apple, and its real crunchy and juicy and the juice run all down your chin and your beard gets all sticky and all day youre tastinapple in your moustache. Dont you like that, Hutch? Dont an apple sound real good right about now? (pause) I sure hope he brings some apples. He might, too. Right? He said hed bring some food, so it might well could be apples hes bringin, huh, Hutch?

HUTCH: Hes not bringing any apples. 

MOONSHOT: Why dyou say that?

HUTCH: Because hes not coming. 

MOONSHOT: He said he was. He said hes gonna / come back and–

HUTCH: I know what he said. But hes not. Why would he come back here, huh?

MOONSHOT: Gee, I dunno, Hutch. Maybe cuz he left us out here.

HUTCH: Thats exactly the point, kid. 

MOONSHOT: What is?

HUTCH: To leave us out here! Dont you get it? Hes punishing us. Thats why he said hes bringing us food. To make us hope. But having hope when theres no hope, its torture. Hes not coming. 

MOONSHOT: Nah, Hutch. Hes just tryinto put a scare in us, is all. He aint gonna just leave us out here. Its a misunderstandins what it is. A big misunderstandin

HUTCH: Misunderstandings get men killed. 

MOONSHOT: When he comes back, Ill explain to him / that–

HUTCH: Hes not coming back!

MOONSHOT: Well now, I think youre wrong, Hutch. I aint known him for long / but–

HUTCH: I have. 

MOONSHOT: –Ill explain to him that we didnt mean no harm. 

HUTCH: Theres no talking him out of it, kid. This is Big Frenchie were talking about. 


HUTCH: So? Hes one of the most psychopathic stone-cold killers in the west, you idiot!

MOONSHOT: That may be so, but

HUTCH: But what?

MOONSHOT: That dont mean he aint still reasonable. 



HUTCH: LOOK AT US. Does this look like the work of a reasonable person?!

HUTCH nearly falls off MOONSHOTs shoulders from yelling. MOONSHOT shuffles sideways and balances HUTCH to keep him up.

MOONSHOT: Whoa, now! Careful, Hutch! Take it easy. What happens if yfall offa me, huh?

HUTCH: Id die. 

MOONSHOT: Yeah, and we aint gonna let that happen. Alright, Hutch? (pause) Alright, Hutch? (pause) Alright, Hutch? (pause) Alright–


MOONSHOT: Yreally oughta watch that temper, Hutch. All that anger nthat? Itll make you sick, yknow. (pause) Ywanna play a game?


MOONSHOT: Cmon, itll be fun. Its called these eyes in me.I usedta play it all the time when I was a kid. 

HUTCH: Youre still a kid.  

MOONSHOT: Im talkinwhen I was just a wee little guy. Couldnt even hold a gun. So ywanna play?]

HUTCH: I already told you. No. 

MOONSHOT: Well, seeinas how we aint got much else to do, I say we should. Its real simple, see – I say these eyes in me, what is it that you see?And then I give you clues as to what Im lookinat and you tryn guess it. \

HUTCH: If Im supposed to guess, why are you talking to your eyes?

MOONSHOT: Cuz thats how you play! Why yalways gotta question everything, Hutch? Why yalways make me feels stupid about everything? Im just tryinto pass the time, is all… (pause) Okay, Ill start. These eyes in me, what is it that you see? We seesomething brown. 

HUTCH: The tree. 

MOONSHOT: Yes! First try! Good. Now its your turn.

HUTCH: (looking around) Nothing else out here

A long pause. MOONSHOT shuffles his feet, discouraged. 

HUTCH: Ive got to pee. 

MOONSHOT: Nah, you should tryn hold it, Hutch. I heard you can get real sick if ypee too much. You could die. They even call it that – Die-hydration or somethin.

HUTCH: Its dehydration, kid. And it wont do any good to hold it now. Its already the last stop. 

MOONSHOT: Dont say that, Hutch. This aint the last stop for us. Were gonna–

HUTCH: For the piss, I mean! Its already gone through me. You dont get dehydrated from peeing too much. You get dehydrated from not drinking enough. 

MOONSHOT: Oh. Alright. SoWell, I guess you should drink it then.

HUTCH: My piss?! 

MOONSHOT: Yprobably should, right?

HUTCH: Im not drinking my piss!

MOONSHOT: To keep from die-hydratin.

HUTCH: Oh, see, I thought you meant because it tastes so good. 

MOONSHOT: Does it?

HUTCH: Ive never tasted my piss, dummy, and Im never going to!

HUTCH again has to steady himself from falling. Pause. 



MOONSHOT: We shouldnt waste it. I dont wanna die-hydrate either.

HUTCH: NO – You cant drink my pee! 

MOONSHOT: For survival, Hutch!

HUTCH: Were not going to survive, dammit!

Beat. MOONSHOT deflates. 

MOONSHOT: Fine. I wont drink your pee. 

HUTCH: Face it, kid. Were goners.

MOONSHOT: You dont know that. 

HUTCH: This is how Big Frenchie gets revenge. Its not enough to put a bullet in us. He wants us to suffer. If the thirst doesnt kill us, itll be the heat. If the heat doesnt do it, itll be the coyotes. And if the coyotes dont do it, wellitll be the rope. Once you finally smarten up and walk the hell away. 

MOONSHOT: And let you hang?

HUTCH: Better than both of us dying. 

MOONSHOT: That aint happenin, Hutch. Im the one got us in this mess. 

HUTCH: No, Big Frenchie and I go way back. This was a long time coming, kid. Its more about me than it is about you. 

MOONSHOT: Well, but still– You vouched for me. 

HUTCH: Which I knew was stupid, but I did it anyway. What I didnt know is what a terrible shot you are. 

MOONSHOT: I was nervous. My hand was shakinand–

HUTCH: Thats part of being a good shot– 

MOONSHOT: I had sweat in my eyes. 

HUTCH: Your reputation is as a good shot. 

MOONSHOT: Hell, I thought I was a good shot, Hutch. Honest I did. 

HUTCH: Well, youre not. And now look at us. 

MOONSHOT: And anyways, I didnt know she was Big Frenchies daughter. So. 

Pause. HUTCH shakes his head, defeated.

HUTCH: Just go, kid.

MOONSHOT: I cant.   

HUTCH: Yes you can. Its easy. Just start walking in whatever direction you choose and dont look back. Or better yet, start running. Just run and dont think. That should come pretty easy to you. 

MOONSHOT: You can go ahead and pee now, Hutch.

HUTCH: Youre still young, kid. Youve got your whole life ahead of you. 

MOONSHOT: It aint like youre old

HUTCH: No, Im finally getting whats coming to me. 

MOONSHOT: I aint gonna kill you, Hutch. 

HUTCH: You wouldnt be killing me, kid. Youd be setting me free. This is the price I pay for the life Ive lived. See, the wicked man and the good man die just the same. Only the wicked man is wicked no longer. 

MOONSHOT: Whats that mean?

HUTCH: Dont think of it as killing me. Think of it as saving yourself. Im a goner either way. But youyouve got the chance to–

MOONSHOT: Im a goner, too, you stupid son of a bitch! (pause) Shit, Hutch, even if I wanted to leave you – I dont¸ but even if I did – I dont know where hell we are. We was blindfolded a long time. And I dont recognize one single bit a this landscape. I start walkinnow, it could be days fore I see another soul. And then it might be Injins or coyotes or a rattler or somethinlike that. I wouldnt get far, anyhow. My hands are tied and my feet already hurt somethinfierce. And what direction would I even go in? Nah. I can just as easy starve to death right here with you as I can out there on my own. So stop tellinme to go. I aint goinnowhere. 

Pause. HUTCH nods. 

HUTCH: So what are we going to do, then?

MOONSHOT: These eyes in me, what is it that you–

HUTCH: Not that, kid!

MOONSHOT: Well, Hutch, I dunno. I guess we just hang out and– Whoops. Sorry. I guess we just stay right here and wait for Big Frenchie to come back. 

HUTCH: Hes not. Coming. Back. 

MOONSHOT: Maybe not, but ygotta have hope, Hutch. 

HUTCH: But I just told you – Hope without hope is torture. 

MOONSHOT: Yeah, wellwhat else we got?

Pause. The kids got a point. 

HUTCH: Hey, kid. What if he does come back What if Big Frenchie comes riding up in that little carriage of his right now and whistles at you and pats the empty seat next him?


HUTCH: You say youre not going to go off on your own and leave me here. Well, what if he offers you, and only you, a safe ride back home? 

Beat. Quite a long silence follows. 

MOONSHOT: But what if he brings apples?


HUTCH: Yeah, youre right, kid. An apple does sound pretty good right now. 

MOONSHOT: Real juicy ones

HUTCH: Running down your chin

MOONSHOT: That loud crunch as ybite into it

HUTCH: As many of them as we can eat

MOONSHOT: Hell, hell be here any minute now, Hutch. He will. I just know it. 

HUTCH: Sure, kid. Any minute now. (pause) Might as well hope. 

Another long silence. 

MOONSHOT shuffles his feet, looks around. HUTCH sighs. 

Lights fade.

Luke Sorge is a Denver-based playwright, whose work has been seen at Benchmark Theater Company, the University of Colorado Denver, and the Starz International Film Festival.