Mekko: An Excerpt by Sterlin Harjo

EXT. BRIDGE – NIGHT

Under the bridge – Mekko and Bunnie huddle near the fire at
the homeless camp. Mekko is holding the postcard that his
cousin painted. Bunnie is drinking – feeling good.

A man sings a Native song in the background. People stagger around like ghosts.

We hear Bill yelling around, drunk. He tries to start shit
with people in the camp; they are all used to it.

Back to Mekko and Bunnie –

MEKKO

(Motioning to postcard)

We grew up at these grounds. This
is how it looked. Arbors were just
like that, I can hear em sing, I
can smell that fire, bread
cooking…cabbage.

Beat.

MEKKO (CONT’D)

I miss my town. The way it used to
be. When people were there.
Bunnie swigs off the bottle.

BUNNIE

What about it do you miss?

Mekko thinks.

MEKKO

The one thing that I think of first
when I think of home is the main
street. I used to run down from my
house. I’d head down to the
drugstore and buy my mom

MEKKO (CONT’D)

cigarettes. It was there on the
right. There was a nice old man
that worked there. I’d always walk
down the sidewalk and just listen
to the old people talk.

Bunnie smiles, and his drunken head bobs.

MEKKO (CONT’D)

(Laughs)

Grandma thought I could see
witches.
When we’d walk into a place with a
lot of people she’d say, “You see
any?” She told me that the
sickness got into a person…
turned them into a witch. She told
me that in the old days the only
way to get rid of the sickness is
to find the witch in the village…
you had to take their heart out.
Put it in a river. It would wash
the sickness away.

BUNNIE

Damn….Mekko. You’re a holy man.
Beat.

BUNNIE (CONT’D)

I bet in the next life we’ll be
chiefs, Mekko. We will be chiefs.

MEKKO

You are a chief, Bunnie.

Bunnie smiles.

BUNNIE

You’re right. I’m a chief. Street
chief. I’m a king. I’m a Mekko.
Beat. Bill sits in the shadows. Listening.

BUNNIE (CONT’D)

I think back to when I was a little
boy. Playing at my parents’ house.
Not knowing what’s gonna happen.
Not knowing nothing. If I could
tell him the future I would’ve done it all different.
Bunnie has teared up. Fights back tears.

BUNNIE (CONT’D)

I wish I could tell that little one
something. That bad that you do…
it stays in you. Unless you get it out…annit?

Mekko nods.

MEKKO

You know what happened? Why I went to jail?

BUNNIE

Well…yeah.

MEKKO

No, I mean do you KNOW what happened?
Bunnie looks at him. Shakes his head “no.”

BUNNIE

I know what they said happened…I
didn’t believe them though. I
always thought probably fell or
something?
Mekko shakes his head.

MEKKO

I hit him. With a pipe. We were
fighting after he got kicked out of
the bar. I tried to get him to
leave. He started hitting me. He

MEKKO (CONT’D)

got on top of me. Busted my nose.
He blacked out. I tried to get in
the truck…he hit me again.
Beat.

MEKKO (CONT’D)

So…I grabbed whatever I could
grab from the back of my truck.
Swung it…just to get him off me.
Swung too hard. Hit him (slaps his temple) right there.
He just dropped.
Beat.

MEKKO (CONT’D)

My own cousin.
(Shakes his head)
My own cousin.
Beat.

BUNNIE

We’ve all done things we regret…
Bill steps out from the shadows.