“Alexa, Play . . .”

A family room, furniture pushed up against the walls.

A couple in their 60’s enter, woman first, feeling her way into the room, taking baby steps. Her husband behind her, covering her eyes with his hands. Both giggling.

Stopping in center of room.

John: “Alexa, play ‘Time in a Bottle’” by Jim Croche.

They hug and dance. Lip syncing. <to the song that isn’t playing, because this author can’t afford royalty, copyright infringement fees.>

Amy: “When did you get her?”

John: “This morning while you girls were shopping.”

Amy: “Craig’s going to love it.”

John: “Craig’s not coming over tonight, is he?”

Amy: “Of course, he is. He got home from Vegas last night.”

John: <scowls>

Amy: “Our daughter is happy. They’re going to have our first granddaughter. It’s time for you to make peace with Craig.”

John: “Alexa, play ‘I Can’t Stand It’ by Eric Clapton.”

Amy: <mock hits John’s chest, smiling, while they dance, then tracing her fingers down his chest> “Are you wearing a bullet-proof vest? “

John: “Yeah, Stony texted me today. He’s been wearing his every day for three hours. He said it reminds him to suck in his gut, and he swears he’s getting his six-pack back.”

Amy: “Stony? Isn’t he retired from the P. D.?”

John: “He’s Vegas P.D. now, working vi — -

<Interrupted by doorbell>

Couple exits the room, back in a moment later with pregnant daughter and son-in-law.

John: “Alexa, play “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” by Maurice Chevalier.

<father and daughter laugh and dance, her on his feet.>

Bonnie: “I’m too big for this, Daddy.”

Craig: “That’s actually a pretty creepy song, John.”

John: “Alexa, play ‘Get Lost’ <directed at Craig> by Eric Clapton.”

Craig: “Alexa, play, “Angel” by Shaggy.

<Craig and Bonnie dance>

<Couples sit to play poker, drinking — rum runners — rum for the men, pineapple juice for the ladies, and eating pub mix.>

<Women leave to get sushi and something that so does not work with it (like pickles and ice cream).>

Final scene:

John: “Alexa, play ‘Wooden Ships’ by Crosby, Stills, Nash — — “

Craig: “Alexa, play, ‘Way Too Real’ by Too Short.”

John: “Alexa, play, “Love the One You’re With” by Stephen Stills. <John stands and walks over to bookshelf, picks up a gadget and turns toward Craig, pointing it at him.>

Craig: <startled, getting up drunkenly from his chair> “Is that a tazer?”

John: “No, it’s a bola wrap.” <Shoots Craig at his legs and arms, binding him to the chair>

Craig: “Mother Fuc — ”

John: <picks up second gadget from shelf, approaching Craig who is struggling with bola wrap. > “You remember Stony Hellman, don’t you?”

Craig: “Who the fuck’s –”

John: “My partner for 20 years on Reno PD. He works vice in Vegas now.”

Craig: <struggling with bola wrap>

John: “He saw you Saturday night entering Room 176 with a known call-girl. Alexa, play — ”

Craig: “It Wasn’t Me.” <Shaggy & RicRoc>

John: “Now, THIS is a tazer.” <Shooting Craig in the chest. He then sits down at a distance from Craig to watch his convulsions, downing a shot of rum.>

<Craig manages to free himself and they both run for a cabinet drawer. Craig reaches it first and pulls the revolver on John, shooting him. Over John’s still body, Craig says: “Alexa, play ‘I Shot the Sheriff’>

Without prompting, would Alexa play Bob Marley or Eric Clapton’ version?

<Craig runs from room.>

<John sits up a moment later, digging out the bullet from his vest, he says> “Alexa, call 9–1–1.”

“Nine-one-one operator. What is your emergency?”

“This is Sheriff John Brown. I’ve been shot.”

Her writing muse lurks in the volcanic hills amidst mustangs, marmots and jackalopes. While hiking with her dogs, Ann stumbles upon stories of dark humor.

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