PLAY #337: IGNITE (NOV 27)

Fallujah, 2004.

ISAIAH (20s; African-American; male) lies on the ground – an American soldier, he is covered in dust & wounded.

HELEN (late teens; African-American; female) enters wrapped in a huge, tattered American flag, which seems to have come from the 19th century.

 

ISAIAH

What’s happening?

 

HELEN

Try not to talk too much: it’ll be easier that way.

 

ISAIAH

Who are you?

 

HELEN

Name’s Helen.

 

ISAIAH

Are you an angel?

 

HELEN

Oh, I’ve had far too much fun for that.

 

ISAIAH

A dream, tell me you’re a dream.

 

HELEN

Plenty of folks have called me that. I’m not one to turn down a compliment.

 

ISAIAH

Tell me I’m not dying.

 

HELEN

I’ve been known to lie – some people say that’s all I am – but myself, I believe in brutal honesty. There’s a tenderness to brutality once you’re clear about it, don’t you think?

 

ISAIAH

I am dying.

 

HELEN

It’s not so bad. Try not to talk or think too much: it’ll make it easier.

 

ISAIAH

Fuck!

 

HELEN

Or if you are going to talk, come up with some better last words. You could try ‘Helen.’ Focus on me and you’ll be fine.

 

ISAIAH

Who are you?

 

HELEN

I’ve told you: Helen. You can call me something else if you want. The name of a sweetheart. Or a sweet guy, I’m not fussed. Wrap whatever noun you want around me: Jamie. Billy. Freedom. Revenge.

 

ISAIAH

James was right. I should never have come here.

 

HELEN

Thinking is especially ill-advised.

 

ISAIAH

A phony war for a phony President. I should never have got involved in all of this.

 

HELEN

Focus on me: you’ll feel better.

 

ISAIAH

Whole war’s just another fucked up way to kill brothers.

 

HELEN

I’m the thing that makes all this horribleness acceptable. Look up at me and see that there is something worth fighting for, something worth dying for, and it’s something higher and elevated – that’s how I fancy myself now – not something down and dirty. Let your death be glorious and golden-

 

Sound of gunfire.

An explosion.

A geyser of oil erupts from the ground, drenching HELEN, the flag, and ISAIAH.

After the oil and gunfire has stopped, ISAIAH is dead.

HELEN shakes herself out, sits down beside ISAIAH.

 

 

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