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The Greatest Gift

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The Greatest Gift

 
Malcolm Gets and Will Chase
CD  ·  DVD  ·  Sheet music
The Greatest Gift ALVIN
The Greatest Gift.
A story about Alvin and Thomas.

THOMAS
Alvin and his father lived on the second floor above his father's bookstore.



ALVIN
It was called The Writer's Block - New and Used Books.

THOMAS
One Christmas Eve,
Alvin and I made snow angels and watched Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life.

ALVIN
Our annual tradition.

THOMAS
Then Alvin took me downstairs to the bookstore. We were eleven.

(They take a step into the past.)

ALVIN
Trust me.

THOMAS
What are we doing?

ALVIN
We're going to pick out a book for your Christmas present.

THOMAS
Cool. Which one?

ALVIN
I don't know, but it's somewhere in this mystical place.

THOMAS
Mystical place?

ALVIN
Mystical place.

THOMAS
It’s a bookstore.

ALVIN
No. It’s a great and powerful force capable of extraordinary feats.

THOMAS
Alvin's father was known for having the uncanny knack
of finding the perfect book for each of his customers.
Of course, Alvin saw things... differently.

ALVIN
EVERY DAY
PEOPLE COME INTO THIS BOOKSTORE.
NEVER KNOWING IT WAS BUILT
ON SACRED HOLLOWED GROUND.

THOMAS
Don't you mean “hallowed”?

ALVIN
THEY TRAVEL HERE FROM ALL AROUND.
POOR SOULS LOOKING FOR STORIES.

THOMAS
Where's my present?

ALVIN
These desperate pilgrims enter this shrine. My father says...

“GOOD AFTERNOON,”

Or “morning” as the case may be.

“I’M THE OWNER OF THIS BOOKSTORE.
CAN I HELP YOU PLEASE?”
AND THEY SAY, “NOT RIGHT NOW SIR, THANKS A LOT.
BUT I’LL PERUSE THE BOOKS YOU’VE GOT.
I’M JUST LOOKING FOR STORIES.”

SO DAD ALLOWS THEM TO SEARCH THE STACKS.
AND THEY HUNT AND BROWSE
AND THEY READ THE BACKS.

BUT EVENTUALLY,
INEVITABLY,
THEY ASK FOR DAD’S ADVICE.

They talk a little.

THEN HE GETS THIS LOOK ALL DAZED AND QUEER.
AND HE MUMBLES THINGS I CAN'T QUITE HEAR.

(Alvin imitates his father’s mumbling.)

THEN, LIKE A SHOT,
HE GOES RIGHT TO THE PERFECT SPOT
AND FINDS THEIR SPECIAL BOOK,
THE ONE DISTINCTIVE BOOK,
THE STORY THAT WILL CHANGE THAT PERSON’S LIFE.

You see?

THOMAS
See what?
ALVIN
This store speaks through my father. He's a conduit. He's an instrument.
He's a vessel. And I am his son. I too hear the prophetic whisper of the bookstore spirit.
I will now attempt to use my ancestral gifts to guide you to your present.

(Alvin listens intently for the prophetic whisper.)

THOMAS
You couldn’t just get me a model airplane?

ALVIN
Shhh!

SPEAK TO ME
NOBLE SPIRIT OF THE BOOKSTORE.
THIS IS ALVIN HERE.

THOMAS
And Thomas.

ALVIN
IS THERE SOMETHING YOU CAN RECOMMEND
AS A GIFT FOR THOMAS, MY BEST FRIEND?
CAN YOU FIND HIM A STORY?

(Alvin listens again.)

THOMAS
Do you hear anything yet?

ALVIN
No.

Wait! It needs... something. It needs both of us.

THOMAS
What do we do?

ALVIN
NOW WE STAND UP STRAIGHT LOOKING SHY AND MEEK.

THOMAS
NOW WE STAND UP STRAIGHT LOOKING SHY AND MEEK.

ALVIN
AND WE HUMBLY WAIT FOR THE STORE TO SPEAK.

THOMAS
AND WE HUMBLY WAIT FOR THE STORE TO SPEAK.

BOTH
SOON WE WILL HEAR THE ANSWER
THAT WE'RE PREPARING TO RECEIVE.

ALVIN
NOW THE NEXT PART’S NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR.
IT’S THE PART WHERE DAD GETS DAZED AND QUEER.

THOMAS
I think you nailed that part.

ALVIN
I see... I see... I see a guy wearing cardboard wings,
a coat hanger halo, carrying a bell and a homemade book...

WAIT!
HOLY COW!
I KNOW WHICH BOOK TO GIVE YOU NOW.

THOMAS
Well.

ALVIN
YOU’LL BE GRATEFUL THAT I INTERCEDED.
AND FOUND THE BOOK YOU NEVER KNEW YOU NEEDED.

THOMAS
Come on.

ALVIN
THE STORY THAT WILL CHANGE MY BEST FRIEND’S LIFE.

(Alvin plucks a book from the shelf and hands it to Thomas.)

THOMAS
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
By Mark Twain.
A book report by Tommy Weaver.
Sixth grade.

(Thomas addresses his sixth grade class.)

I got this book from my friend Alvin.
It's a really good story but my favorite part is in the pre-face. It goes like this.

(He opens the book and reads.)

“Part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves,
and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in. The author. Hartford.
Eighteen seventy-six.”
(He closes the book.)
CD  ·  DVD  ·  Sheet music
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