Saturday, April 23, 2016

"The Dead Ones" dramatic Civil War duologue for 2 male actors

This was originally written as a short film but can be used as a stage production as well.  I tried to write it so it would all take place in one location, but the staging would be very challenging involving guns and dead bodies, very dramatic if successful, but providing a major challenge to producers.

For permission to use this script, please contact doug@freedrama.net and include the title "The Dead Ones" in the request.




"THE DEAD ONES"
by
D. M. Larson

EXT. BATTLEFIELD. DAY.


(A young soldier of the Confederacy, ZEB, is surrounded by the sounds of gun fire.  A fog surrounds him with a mix of clouds of gun powder.  He struggles with his old rifle, trying to get it ready to fire as bullet zip past his head.  He finally gets the gun ready to shoot but it backfires in his face and he falls to the ground screaming. Soon he passes out from the pain)


(A soldier from the Union, MAC, sneaks through the battlefield, checking dead soldiers for money and other things of value.  ZEB hears him and stirs.  MAC freezes)


ZEB
Is someone there?


(MAC is unsure what to do.  He looks around and sees a pistol.  He pulls it from a dead man’s hand and points it at ZEB)


ZEB (CONT.)
Please, I need help.  My gun… it backfired… I can’t see.


(MAC looks around and doesn’t see anyone else alive. He looks at the gun, points it, but can’t shoot)


MAC
I should put you out of your misery.


ZEB
It’s only my eyes… just my eyes… 


MAC
Geez, you’re just a kid.


ZEB
My daddy’s a general… I wanted to fight with him… I wanted to make him proud.


MAC
Instead you shoot yourself in the face.


ZEB
It’s not funny.


MAC
It’s a little funny.


ZEB
You gonna help me or not?


(MAC looks at the gun and considers. He raises it and shoots but it’s out of bullets)


MAC
Well, I tried.


(MAC throws the gun aside and starts to leave)


ZEB
Wait. Please. You can’t leave me here.


MAC
I think I can.


ZEB
Please, mister. I’ll do anything… my family’s rich.


(MAC pauses and considers)


MAC
So… what you want me to do?


ZEB
Get me to a medic.


MAC
They’ve all cleared out. Ain’t no medics around here.  I could sure use a nurse though.


ZEB
A nurse, witch doctor... anything.


MAC
Ain’t no witch doctors around here either kid. Let’s see if you can get on your feet.


(MAC helps up ZEB. ZEB can stand)




MAC (CONT.)
Just the eyes, eh?


ZEB
That’s right.


MAC
No clue where your camp is… or mine. 


ZEB
You from a different division?


MAC
Yup.


ZEB
There’s a town just south of here.  I have some cousins there.  They can help.


MAC
South eh?


ZEB
Something wrong.


MAC
Hang on…


(MAC lets go of ZEB and pulls off his jacket.  He grabs a jacket from a dead Confederate soldier and puts it on. He goes back to Zeb)


MAC (CONT.)
Ready?


ZEB
Thanks so much… I really appreciate this.  I’ll make this worth your while. 


MAC
You better.


ZEB
So where you from?



MAC
Here and there. I haven't really settled anywhere.


ZEB
Maybe one of sisters could get you to settle down.


MAC
Geez kid. First you offer me your money and then your sisters?


ZEB
I have a lot of sisters.


(They laugh)


ZEB (cont.)
I'm the only son. The only boy after a lot of sisters. My father cares a lot about me. He’ll be very thankful you helped me.


MAC
That's what I'm counting on.


ZEB
I'm so thankful for you. You're a gift from God. 


(MAC laughs)


MAC
I've never been called that before. God hasn't sent much good my way.


ZEB
God has been very good to me.


MAC 
Like making you blind?


ZEB
And then letting me live. How many men lived through that battle? You, me… Who else?


MAC
A lot of dead… A lot of killing.


ZEB
I've never killed anyone. This was my first battle.


MAC
You darn near killed yourself.


ZEB
I'm not the hero my daddy hoped for.


MAC
The only heroes you hear about are the dead ones. I'd rather be alive.


ZEB
I need to rest.


MAC
Geez kid. We only took like ten steps.


ZEB
Please. My legs are shaking. I need water.


MAC
I got whiskey.


ZEB
Anything.


(ZEB drinks some and coughs)


MAC
You ain't drink much either. You're quite the dandy.


ZEB
If I don't make it, can you take my body to my family?


MAC
You don't look that bad kid. I will get you home. Besides I don't think they'll be showing me with rewards if I deliver your dead body.


ZEB
I'll write a note or something.  


MAC
How you gonna do that blind boy?


ZEB
I don't know. I feel like I am losing my mind along with my eyes. The world is different when you can't see. It seems so much smaller… so much colder.


MAC
You need a blanket or something kid?


ZEB 
So cold.


MAC
Hang on kid. I'll get help. I'm going up that hill so see how close we are to a town or a camp or something.


(MAC runs off)


ZEB
Wait… I see something… Who are you? Are you here to help? Are you a nurse? Or an angel? I wish I could touch you… You look so warm… And I'm so cold. Please come closer… Hold me.


(ZEB falls - MAC returns)


MAC
I can't see nothing. Kid! You okay? Kid, wake up! Dammit! Don't die on me! I need that money and I need them sisters!


ZEB
It's the darkness again. I don't want the darkness again.


MAC
I thought I lost you for a minute.


ZEB
I wanted to be lost. I hurt so bad.


MAC 
We all hurt kid. All the time. That's how we know we're alive.


ZEB 
What's your name anyway?


MAC
Mac.


ZEB
Mac what?


MAC 
Just Mac.


ZEB
You can call me Zeb.


MAC
Zeb? That short for something.


ZEB
Yeah. Short for Zebulon. It's from the Bible.


MAC
Figured as much.


ZEB
You believe in angels?


MAC
I've met a few in my day. Them pretty ones that give you little look into heaven.


ZEB
I saw one. Just now. When you went away.


MAC
Don't you be seeing Angels. Get on your feet kid.


(MAC helps him up)


ZEB
She was so beautiful and so warm. I wanted so badly to feel her.


MAC
Nothing better than an angel on a cold night.


ZEB
Is it night? It feels like night.




MAC
It's the Middle of the day now - I hope we're still not out here tonight. I have no idea how far we have to go though.


ZEB
Thank you for helping me.


MAC
Don't thank me yet. I ain't got you home and I don't see nothing close. You better be really rich and your sisters better be really pretty or this ain't worth it.


ZEB
We’re very rich… But my sisters ain't pretty.


(They laugh)


MAC
I can live with that.


(They laugh more - (then Zeb starts coughing uncontrollably - he pushes MAC away and falls to his knees. He coughs up blood)


ZEB
I'm a mess.


MAC
I've seen worse.


ZEB
At least you see something. I can't see… Anything.


MAC 
We have to keep walking.


ZEB
I want you to help me write a note to my family, in case I don't make it.


MAC
I told you…


ZEB
I thought about that.  I will mention something in it that only I would know so they know it's really from me.


MAC
I can't write it… Cause I can't write - can't read neither. So focus on staying alive.


ZEB
Then let me give you something now in case I don't make it. If I give you this I want you to promise you’ll get me back to my family dead or alive.


MAC
Kid, you ain't gonna die…


(Zeb holds out a gold watch)


MAC
Is that gold?


ZEB
Hand crafted in Europe.


MAC
It's beautiful.


ZEB
It's yours… If you promise…


MAC
I promise.  


(MAC looks in amazement at the watch)


ZEB
Thank you, Mac. It brings me peace knowing you’ve made this pledge to me and are bound to deliver me to my family. We are a well known family in Virginia… 


MAC
This gives me an idea. You got anything else worth something I can trade and get us a horse. A horse would be a mighty nice way to get you home.


ZEB
I might have something. He pulls out some items from his jacket.


MAC
It's a picture - somebody drew - a pretty slave girl.


(ZEB reaches for it and MAC gives it to him)


ZEB
That's Aphrodite. Father always gives our slaves Greek names. She was my favorite. 
I fell in love with her. I know I shouldn't have but she was always so kind to me. She’d do anything I'd ask her. I knew it was wrong but I couldn't help loving her. I never knew if she really loved me though. She was obedient and attentive and kind but I knew she couldn't really love me… too dangerous, too forbidden. But I loved her just the same. I drew a lot of pictures of her. She was always happy to pose for me. That was her favorite thing to do she told me. And I loved it too. We were so happy then. I wanted to be an artist before the war. But the war changed everything. Father wanted me to be a great soldier like him but you see how that turned out. Why my eyes? It could have been my ears or my legs but why my eyes? I can't live without my eyes. They are how I live - they are everything to me.


(MAC sighs)


MAC
You got anything else in that jacket kid?


ZEB
Ah… Some coins.


MAC
That'll do. Thanks kid. I'm gonna go get us a horse.


ZEB
A horse, my kingdom for a horse.


(MAC feels a bit of guilt)


MAC 
Here's my flask - drink it - it'll keep you warm - here's an extra jacket too - I'll try to be quick.


ZEB
Thank you Mac - safe journey - I'll pray for you. 


(ZEB drinks then coughs - touches the picture)


My angel - my angel Aphrodite - I miss you.


Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me… You are with me… And comfort me my angel.


END OF SCRIPT


1 comment: