Scene Detail

"Dang. Nuclear winter is a bitch."

From: Blight
3 Characters
Gender Age Character Name
Either Young Girl or Boy SOLDIER CHILD
Male 50s SWARTHY MAN
Male 50s PALE MAN
 
Setup:
This is the beginning of the play. Read on...

NOTE - This is primarily a two person scene. The soldier child has only one line at the end, but a key purpose.

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The full script of "Blight" is available for purchase as part of "Short Plays, Volume 1" (in hard copy or download form) at

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/short-plays-volume-1/5949581

Part of Matthew's online script store

http://stores.lulu.com/matthewaeverett
 

Scene

copyright 2003 by Matthew A. Everett


A charred and barren landscape.


The sky is boiling.


A rain of ash occasionally billows across the terrain.


The wind wails through what remains of the buildings and trees.


After a few moments of wind and emptiness, a line of 8 ADULTS in military uniform - 4 men and 4 women - march on. One man and one woman each are African, Latino, Asian and Native American.


A line of 8 TEENAGERS in military uniform - 4 male and 4 female - march on and join the other soldiers. One male and one female each are African, Latino, Asian and Native American.


A line of 8 CHILDREN in military uniform - 4 boys and 4 girls - march on and join the rest. One boy and one girl each are African, Latino, Asian and Native American.


They all stand, impassively, watching.


They are all armed with weapons.


After a moment or two of the wind whistling among the SOLDIERS, and another gust or curtain of ash passing through, the PALE MAN stumbles into view. He is in his fifties, the gray beginning to encroach on his hair.


They watch him.


He looks around, seeing no one but himself.


The PALE MAN is dressed in a tattered business suit and cowboy hat.


Though the sky is bright red, he rubs his arms to ward off a chill in his bones.


PALE MAN

Hello?

No one answers.


PALE MAN (cont'd)

Mommy?

No one answers.


PALE MAN (cont'd)

Pappy?

No one answers.


The CHILD SOLDIERS begin to weep, silently.


The TEENAGE SOLDIERS begin to smile, silently.


The ADULT SOLDIERS begin to laugh.


The PALE MAN looks around, sharply. He sees no one but himself.


PALE MAN (cont'd)

Hello?

The ADULT SOLDIERS are silent. The TEENAGE and CHILD soldiers continue to smile and to weep.


The PALE MAN shivers.


PALE MAN (cont'd)

Dang.

The PALE MAN rubs his arms against the chill.


PALE MAN

New-cue-ler (nuclear) winter is a bitch.

[ACTOR NOTE: The PALE MAN always mispronounces the word "nuclear" as if it had an extra U and no E - New-cue-ler.]


A hearty laugh (the SWARTHY MAN) is heard from off in the near dark.


The PALE MAN and ALL SOLDIERS turn toward the source of the laughter.


The SWARTHY MAN enters. He wears a different military uniform, in spotless condition. He smiles broadly. He is a robust and healthy man who knows no fear.


SWARTHY MAN

Greetings!

PALE MAN

You! Stay back!

SWARTHY MAN

Is that any way to greet an old friend?

PALE MAN

You are no friend to me.

SWARTHY MAN

Be sensible.

PALE MAN

How did you get in here?

SWARTHY MAN

In? There is no "in" anymore. There is only "out."

PALE MAN

This is my home.

SWARTHY MAN

I like what you've done with the place.

PALE MAN

This is the greatest, the most powerful --

SWARTHY MAN

Keep telling yourself that, my friend.

PALE MAN

I am not your friend.

SWARTHY MAN

I'm all that you have left. You don't want me for an enemy.

PALE MAN

That's all you've ever been to me.

SWARTHY MAN

This was a lovely place. I can tell, even now.

PALE MAN

This is still the place where all good things begin.

SWARTHY MAN

And who is left to begin them? You?

PALE MAN

There are others.

SWARTHY MAN

Where?

PALE MAN

Hiding.

SWARTHY MAN

From me? Or from you?

PALE MAN

Waiting for you -- for you to make a mistake. And now you have. Here you are, out in the open.

(he raises his voice, giving a cue)

Why, AT ANY MOMENT, THE OTHERS COULD LEAP OUT AND --

SWARTHY MAN

Why are you yelling?

PALE MAN

THE OTHERS COULD LEAP OUT AND --

Nothing.


SWARTHY MAN

They must be hiding somewhere else right now, eh?

The ADULT SOLDIERS laugh.


The PALE MAN whirls around.


PALE MAN

There! Did you hear that?

SWARTHY MAN

Those last bombings must have effected your ears.

PALE MAN

Those were not the last bombings. There will be more.

SWARTHY MAN

Really?

PALE MAN

And then me, me and my many friends, not you -- me and them will rebuild all this. It'll be better than it ever was before. Because now we can start over, and do it right, do it the way I always thought it should be.

SWARTHY MAN

And how is that?

PALE MAN

Well -- you know, the way I always thought.

SWARTHY MAN

You think?

PALE MAN

I went to Yale.

SWARTHY MAN

Oh this again.

(a mocking imitation of the Pale Man)

"I have a degree. I went to Yale."
And what have you done with this piece of paper? What have you built? Who have you killed?

PALE MAN

I've killed plenty.

SWARTHY MAN

Not your soldiers, not your toys. You. With your bare hands. Who have you killed, my friend?

PALE MAN

I am not your --

SWARTHY MAN

You couldn't even kill me. You send others to do the things you want to do but have no strength or skill to do yourself.

PALE MAN

I have advisers.

SWARTHY MAN

Where?

PALE MAN

I'll get more.

SWARTHY MAN

How?

PALE MAN

Stop asking so many dang questions. This isn't your home!

The PALE MAN shivers and rubs his arms.


SWARTHY MAN

Ah, the nuclear winter. She is a bitch.

PALE MAN

Yeah. Hey. Aren't you cold?

SWARTHY MAN

I am always hot. My blood burns brightly.

PALE MAN

Yeah, well, mine's blue.

SWARTHY MAN

Shall we test that?

PALE MAN

You stay away, you hear me?!

SWARTHY MAN

I am all you have left.

PALE MAN

Stop saying that! There are others! Somewhere there are others!

SWARTHY MAN

Yes, but they are not with you, they are with me.




(there's more, but the conclusion to the story is no longer available for viewing on this website)

copyright 2003 by Matthew A. Everett

© Matthew A Everett
matthewaeverett.com