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"Wings of Fire!"

by John Burkhart

Some Excerpts:

DELBERT: Ah! Nobody is here! Now to get those thermite bombs I stashed in here. (He proceeds to a cabinet and retrieves a parcel.) Good! They're still here! I knew these would come in handy some day when I stole them from that military surplus hangar in Broken Bow last year! Now to set one of them inside McCarthy's claptrap plane to go off at 250 feet. It will look like he has a broken fuel line and the crash will destroy the evidence of a bomb. Stop booing! He has a parachute so he should survive. That should take care of his act and allow me to win! And it's better than using the old sugar in the gas tank trick again. As for the rest of the competition, I'll just plug up those two stupid girl's carburetor with some tar so they won't be able to take off and will thus be disqualified. Two fires would be too suspicious. Then after I cash my prize check, it's goodbye Ursula and hello Rio! (He laughs maniacally as URSULA enters.)

URSULA: Is something funny, Delbert?

DELBERT: Oh! You startled me again! How many times have I told you not to sneak up on me like that?

URSULA: I slammed the door, but you were laughing maniacally too loud to hear it.

DELBERT: Laughing maniacally is a villain's stock in trade. We had to pass a test at school for it.

URSULA: A maniacal laughter test? What kind of school has a test for that?

DELBERT: Well, if you must know, I attended the Acme Academy for Arch-villain Activity in Broken Bow.

URSULA: No! I never would have guessed!

DELBERT: As a matter of fact, you may have heard of it by the initials, AAAA. I graduated summa cum laude and actually received an "A" in maniacal laughter. I majored in bank foreclosures on widows and orphans, with a minor in church fund embezzlement.

URSULA: I'll bet the alumni reunions are a sight to behold.

DELBERT: We do have a lot of fun, as a matter of fact. Lot's of practical jokes, like putting snakes in mail boxes and itching powder in hotel beds…but we seem to be having a problem locating a town willing to host them these days…..

URSULA: I can't imagine why. There's nothing like a villain reunion to ruin a town's reputation.

DELBERT: Our last one was in Lincoln. I'll never forget that giant bonfire using school furniture and church pews as fuel…too bad the townspeople didn't understand the joke…But I digress… Did you have any luck with McCarthy?

WENDY:  But it’s a real crowd pleaser, so we need to do it quickly while we are in front of the crowd. If we get it right, we should win first prize.

POPPY:  And one thousand beautiful dollars! Have you decided what to spend your half on? I’m going to buy a new dress….

WENDY:  Poppy, we need to win it first. Don’t forget, we have some great competition. First there’s the winner of the last contest, that Delbert D. Dorkmiester fellow with his slinky partner Ursula Undercarriage.

POPPY:  And I haven’t forgotten that handsome acrobatic pilot, Crash McCarthy. Boy, I’d sure like to take a long cross-country evaluation flight with him!

WENDY:  Well, I hear his flying is pretty impressive.

POPPY:  Are those two acts all of the competition?

WENDY:  Yes, but remember, they have both been winners before, which we need to do that transition perfectly while the planes in front of the audience if we want to win…got it?

POPPY:  Okey, dokey, pokey …anything else?

WENDY:  No, it went pretty well otherwise. We can smooth everything out when rehearse again early in the morning.

POPPY:  How early? I have a date tonight.

WENDY: Another one? Who is it this time?

POPPY:  That mechanic fellow…Raul. He’s Latin, you know.

WENDY:  Really? I would never have guessed.

POPPY:  And he has all of the attributes I find important.

WENDY: Friendly, witty and charming?

POPPY:  Tall, dark and handsome.

WENDY:  That’s what you say about all the men you date.

POPPY:  That’s because I only date men who are tall, dark and handsome.

WENDY:  Well, try to get in early. The contest begins at noon, and I would like to practice at seven.

POPPY:  That may not be a problem. Raul doesn’t speak any English, which means we won’t be spending much time with after-dinner conversation, so we should be home early.

WENDY: Poppy, if he doesn’t speak English, how do you communicate?

POPPY:  Very well, actually. We use our hands a lot.

WENDY:  I’ll bet.

POPPY:  Silly, I meant “hands” as in gestures…A gesture can mean almost as much as a word….