2017 Scene-Writing Challenge: Day 2
Scott Myers

Int. Elevator — Day

The elevator bank is in a regal, wood and marble-clad hall — a hall of Congress, as it turns out. Three suit-clad people walk into the elevator door — they are: Senator Patty Murray (60s, thin, mousy almost, betraying her spine of steel), Senator John McCain (80, a little awkward but it’s been 8 years since he’s given a fuck) and Senator Marco Rubio (young for this crowd — 40 something, a bit antsy and a bit dapper — at least he hopes so). A sign above the elevator reads “Members Only Elevator.”

They nod at each other slightly and turn heads away. McCain, closest to the key pad, presses the button. Neither of the others move to do so — the all know they are going to the same place. Murray glances up at McCain and then back down to her phone. Rubio then does the same. Murray and Rubio are both typing more rapidly. McCain stares straight ahead.

Rubio (glancing at his watch): What time do you have?

Murray: 10 of.

McCain: vote’s in 15 min.

The elevator jerks. And again. Then stops altogether. They all look at each other.

McCain (deadpan): Well that’s one way to delay the vote, Patty.

Murray laughs out loud.

Murray (sarcastically): I think it was Senator Rubio, here. He’s the one who has to face the aging population of Florida after he votes to strip their medicare. I’d want to dodge that too.

Rubio (pushing the call button): Hello? This is Sen — um SENATOR — Rubio. We are stuck in the elevator. (to no one) This is unbelievable.

Murray: What about you, John? Heard you haven’t announced your position.

Rubio perks up at this, paying attention to how McCain responds.

McCain: Don’t get your vote counts from Politico, Patty.

Rubio: John, what is your position? I understand the Vice President reached out.

Murray (astonishment, focus — and a slight smile — coming over her): Oh. So you don’t know, either, Marco.

Rubio (gathering himself, to Murray): I’m sure John will stand with the party. Repealing Obamacare is our top priority. He wouldn’t let us down.

Murray: Or maybe voting against it is the best way to save your party. (She turns to McCain directly) John, you know this would be a disaster. 22 MILLION PEOPLE would lose their healthcare, premiums for other would spike, women -

Rubio (cutting her off sharply): Premiums ARE spiking. The system is tanking! It must be repealed.

Murray (voice raised): The system is tanking because the President is sabotaging it — and why havent you held a town hall Marco to actually hear what people think of this proposal?

Rubio (voice raised back): I’ve heard for 8 years what people think -

Murray: You’ve heard what the talking heads on Fox News say -

The elevator jolts. A voice comes over the speaker

Speaker: Sorry about that — we are working on resolving the issue.

Murray: Thank you — how long will this take?

Only a crackle…

McCain: We cant even get the elevators in our own building to work — no wonder the American people dont trust Congress to fix their needs.

Murray and Rubio exchange glances — what does this mean about his position?

Rubio: John, did you speak to the Vice President?

Murray now just watching the two men. The elevator starts to move.

McCain: I spoke to him.

The elevator doors now open.

Rubio: And?

McCain puts out his thumb and points it down. Then walks out of the elevator.

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