This was an assignment for college. We had to write a short scene for two people, that involved a potentially controversial issue. I chose to write about European control usurping Britain, our perceptions and our morals. You have to read it very carefully, especially the last line.
It is the present day. A trapezoidal brick-walled room, about 12' along the back wall, 18' along the front, and 12' deep. The bricks are painted white. Two bunk beds are on the STAGE LEFT wall Along the STAGE RIGHT wall is a simple but large table, with two wooden chairs at it. In the middle of the STAGE REAR wall is a heavy metal door with a small grille in it. An empty picture frame is on the same wall. Above the table is a dartboard, facing the wall. On the back of it is a picture of Hitler - it has darts in it. In front of the bed are two wooden lockers. Lying on the lower bunk is TONY (early 20s), he is reading "Mein Kampf". The door opens and BEN (late 30s) is shoved in by an unseen hand. He is carrying a duffel bag with difficulty. As the door slams shut, he drops it and runs to the grille.
Ben (Shouting) Even animals have rights!
TONY stops reading and sits up. While BEN is still at the door:
Tony You'll soon find out that we're worse than animals in here.
Ben Oh really? Why?
Tony I'm Tony Piril, 453476. Who're you?
Ben (Sitting) Ben Shammas, 821933.
Tony A Jew? (BEN nods) That's why.
Ben So why are you worse than an animal?
Tony Why am I here? I was caught "committing an act against nature".
Tony I'm gay. But don't let it worry you, they've "cured" me. I should be out in a few weeks.
Ben I thought it was legal nowadays?
Tony With a fifteen year-old? Nah - it's time for the suit with the arrows. How long are you going to be here for?
Ben Until the gas chamber's ready, I suppose. I'm here on a false double-murder charge.
Tony Sign of the times.
Ben Yeah. Real embezzlement charge, though.
Tony Embezzlement? Ooh, do tell.
Ben A couple of security guards caught me altering accounts records. I was supposed to have grabbed one of their guns, shot them both and fled in panic.
Ben They shot each other in a crossfire. I ran anyway, and got as far as the main gate where there was SWAT team waiting.
Tony (Shaking his head) Bad move. Very bad move.
Ben I was only saving up for a holiday!
Tony Well, now you've got one - all expenses paid too.
Ben (Stunned) You're right. I never though of it like that.
Tony Like what?
Ben Even if I get out, no-one's going to want to employ me.
Tony Of course you'll get out, the govorner's not that bad.
Ben (Not listening) I mean, no-one wants an embezzler.
Tony Except the police.
Ben (Ignoring him) I'll either end up in a dead end job...
Tony No you won't.
Ben (Still ignoring) ... because I'm the only one available, and they'll fire me as soon as they can...
Tony Depends how good you are.
Ben (Ignoring) ... or I'll have to join a crooked operation and watch my back all the time!
Tony You're not Public Enemy Number One. The descendents of Ronnie and Reggie aren't going to snap you up just because you got wrongly convicted.
Ben (Pleadingly) You reckon?
Tony I reckon. How many years have you been... accounting, or whatever it was you did?
Ben (Relaxing a little) Accounting, yes. Twelve years at ICI, in various posts.
Tony There you are then. You've had loads of experience in a top firm. A smaller firm - like the local gas board - will vet you, and you can work for them, under supervision, until they trust you.
Ben You think so?
Tony I know so. When you get out in twenty years, you'll have a job.
Ben (Stunned) Twenty years. I'll be nearly sixty. Unemployable.
Tony (Giving up) So you've heard the rumours about this place?
Ben About the governor having a thing for Hitler? Who hasn't?
Tony Understandable really. (He sighs, lies back on his bunk, with hands behind his head) He promised order - of a sort. Have you got your copy yet? (He passes BEN his copy of "Mein Kampf", who looks at it briefly then puts it on the table) Everyone gets a copy. "A necessary education", is what the governor calls it.
Ben A necessary evil, more like.
TONY gets up and pulls the darts from the picture of Hitler, sits on the lockers, and starts throwing them at Hitler. BEN moves his chair out of the line of fire, toward the STAGE REAR wall. When TONY runs out, he retrieves them and starts again. He repeats the action until the end.
Tony No, that's the governor himself.
Ben (Laughs) Or Hitler.
Tony Not allowed to say that. (He sighs) Just think how different it would be if the outcome of World War II had been different.
Ben Yeah. There wouldn't be as much crime.
Tony (Laughs) Yeah. The government wouldn't be in such a mess.
Ben Government? What government? It's all done from Europe.
Tony True. But it wouldn't be such a mess.
Ben Inflation wouldn't be as steep.
Tony There wouldn't be as much unemployment.
Ben There wouldn't be any drug barons and suchlike.
Tony Yeah. The Cold War might not have happened.
Ben Hmmm. Who won that anyway?
Tony We did, I think.
Ben All that, and probably more.
Tony And all if Hitler had won the Second World War.
© Brian Wakeling