Rubble

by L.M. Wetzork

2nd Place: Flash 405, April 2016: “Fault”
Stageplay


CHARACTERS:
AGAFYA: Female, in her mid-30’s, her name means “good, kind.” A fighter, tough.
DONAL: Male, in his early 20’s. His name in Gaelic means: “world mighty.”
JAZMIN: Gender fluid, 20’s, the name means the flower, Jasmine.
JAKE: Possible male, Jazmin’s twin / or close-in-age brother/sib.

TIME and PLACE:
The future; after world-wide earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, melting of the icecaps, and rain-caused floods. Crazy-making viruses destroyed most mankind. Setting is somewhere on the plain below what was once Mt. Baldy, in Southern California.

 

AGAFYA’s camp/fortress, built out of rubble. There is a jury-rigged water still, sleeping areas, and a campfire.

AGAFYA holds a knife to the throat of struggling camp intruder: DONAL. HE finally holds still.

AGAFYA
Swear the heart and give name to stay!

DONAL
Swear! Above an’ always! I swear! Donal!

AGAFYA releases DONAL, steps back. He crumples sideways, then, struggles into a prostrate bow. She nods approval. Her knife at ready, she goes to a food bin, returns with a bowl of soaked grains, sets it on the ground. He eyes her, but doesn’t eat. She smiles, motions him to go ahead, but slowly. He eats cautiously.

DONAL
Thank ye…speak?

AGAFYA
Speak.

DONAL
I come from the hills in the now past, and in the before past came from the town / named —

AGAFYA
No speaking of the before past

DONAL
The before past. Before the hills exploded an’ burned all the most to death.

AGAFYA
The before past. Before the earth shook all the most to death.

DONAL
The before past. Before the rains drowned all the most of the rest to death. Agreed.

AGAFYA
Agreed. Dangerous, the before past.

DONAL
Dangerous. Aye. The now past?

AGAFYA
Speak. The hills, many anger clusters?

DONAL
First, many anger clusters. Soon only few. Old mansions, old hotels, broken, most. All those clusters…no meaning left.
(points to his own head, meaning, they had no intelligence left.)
Strictures only. They say ‘look to sky, next help’ — but no help in sky. No answers, no food, just fights. But, no fever, chills, so no screamers. But no kindfulness. So down I come. I come down to look, to find no anger voices and maybe look up at sky, close eyes…forever. Now maybe…no end. You. You have kindfulness.

AGAFYA
No. No kindfulness here. Survive. I want…Survive. Need scavengers.

DONAL
Kindfulness.
(sees her loneliness)
Kindfulness.

They reach out, very cautiously, touch each other’s faces. Perhaps they kiss or hold each other. Then, a NOISE startles them apart. JAZMIN and JAKE crawl in from near the edge of camp and stop.

JAZMIN
Smelled water. Food. Need

JAZMIN moves forward, catlike, sensual. AGAFYA and the knife shake.

AGAFYA
Names.

JAZMIN
Jazmin.
(points)
That Jake. I…please.

AGAFYA
Name skills.

JAZMIN
Clean. Order. Countings. Digs. Finding together. HE —
(nods to JAKE)
Only listens. Same skills. We please. Pleasure you…

DONAL spits on the ground.

DONAL
Scavengers needed, not pleasure cows.

JAZMIN
I scavenge. We scavenge.

She slithers forward, caresses AGAFYA’s leg. AGAFYA stumbles back. JAKE leaps up, wrestles the knife away, while JAZMIN fights DONAL. DONAL stops when he sees JAKE has AGAFYA in a choke hold.

DONAL
Stop! I stop. No killing. Kindfulness there!

JAZMIN
No such thing! Fault!

DONAL
No, no fault. Truth. Kindfulness. Please.

JAZMIN
Kindfuless?…
(with hunger:)
Kindfulness.
(eyes AGAFYA questioningly: if we let you go, will you not harm us?)
No harm, we scavenge. But no harm here. No harm, or harm….

AGAFYA nods her agreement. JAZMIN motions for JAKE to step away from AGAFYA. JAKE releases her, holds out the knife, bows. AGAFYA grabs it, raises her arm to strike — DONAL reaches out to her, pleading. She cries out — slashes the air near them, they leap away. AGAFYA stabs the air, dances about in ANGER…slowly, the anger dissipates. She eyes the blade, puts the knife in her belt.

AGAFYA
Trust, no. Harm, no. But kindfulness? Time first. Earn first.

DONAL
That not kindfulness.

AGAFYA
So?

JAZMIN and JAKE drop to their knees, crawl forward, touch AGAFYA’s feet. DONAL bows his head.

LIGHTS fade to BLACK.

End of Play.

 


L.M. Wetzork currently divides her time between stage, screen, and consulting projects. Her latest stage play, Blueprint for Paradise, will premiere in Hollywood late summer 2016.

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