adelineloh

Singapore

writing

Message to Readers

Added more details and sound + light design!

Vessel's Voice

June 21, 2016

(Lights go on to reveal a metal cage on centre stage. It is filled with sand. A creature crawls into the scene from upstage left while wailing in pain. Their lower body resembles that of a female primate, while their upper body appears to be a male’s torso. The creature is evidently injured with lashes all over their body. As they enter the cage, the wailing subsides into a pitiful whimper.)

NAMELESS: (evidently struggling to speak) T-t-to-day was my first -

(NAMELESS keels over in their cage and continues to whimper.)

NAMELESS: My Registration Number is 2319 with two ZEE-ROS. I am 12 years old on today. I am ready.

(There is silence as NAMELESS rolls over onto their back and rocks from side to side.)

NAMELESS: The purple man taught me to ABC. He t-t-oo-k me from the table...he told me to forget Ma (choking) Ma. The purple man beats me if I don’t milk. Today he gave me a TREAT! He didn’t dra-a-a-g me today. But white man was mean. The-e-y (sniffling) pushed the long things inside me. It was PAIN! Something was wriggly- wriggling in my tummy. They say no man for ME.

(NAMELESS pauses and rolls towards the front of the cage. They sit up and abruptly lurch forward to clutch the bars of the cage.)

NAMELESS: ME! Only ME! No more GURL-LEES. Man and man!

(BEAT)

NAMELESS: (disappointed) But no MAN for ME. Only tube. AND meh-SHIN (machine)

(Distant wailing begins in the background, with occasional shrieks of pain. Hushed whispers can also be heard along with high pitched giggling and the slow dripping of water from a pipe.)

NAMELESS: THEY told me to kill Ma Ma. They said. I was better than Ma Ma. I remember day. Days. They said good job, I was finally part of them. You will, MUST replace Ma Ma. The white man need me. NEED ME. (NAMELESS pants and clutches the bars tighter) Man didn’t tell me he would take my he-A-A-A-A-D. He cut my head. He take my head. Ma Ma is dead. I am Ma Ma. MA!

(BEAT)

NAMELESS: Ma Ma was last. The man was ready. All man (inhales sharply). All Ma Mas were gone. I was hap-pee. Man said we should be hap-pee. No more lee-tle sisters too. Only MAN! MA-AN! We don’t need Ma Ma. I am Ma Ma.

(NAMELESS loosens their grip on the bars of the cage and settles into a more relaxed sitting position.)

(A harsh green light turns on gradually increases in brightness and is reflected by the cage in all directions and onto NAMELESS's body)

NAMELESS: They told me to be Ma Ma. So now I am Ma Ma. They cut my leg too. I don’t remember. White man gave me a tummy. New leg. Hairy. VERY HAIRY! Man tell me, ME, ME! I am doing good job. I am okay. But MAN, no!

(NAMELESS redirects their attention to the sand in their cage. They grab at the sand with their hands and appears to be cradling it.)

NAMELESS: But man says I am not man. I am (obviously having difficulty with the pronunciation) IN-fuh-uh-REE-ee-ER (inferior). Man said another word. Cannot remember. They give me food in bowl. Thursday we get carrots, I like. But when we turn 12 we get no bowl. Must not eat. Carrots will spoil the baby-man. There is baby-man in me! IN ME! I told you I was Ma Ma.

(NAMELESS flings the sand around the cage. They are giggling and appear to be slightly hysterical. They squat and their head nearly touches the top of the cage. They attempt to dance in the limited space of the cage.)

NAMELESS: White man has white hands. White hands put long white jelly in me tummy. I have jelly in my tummy! YUM YUM! (rubbing their stomach) I can feel baby-man HERE. Jelly is baby. Baby in me. HAP-PEE. Man says I must be hap-pee. No pain. Jelly is NOT pain.

(NAMELESS suddenly sits still and smiles. They gazes into the audience wistfully.)

(The wailing in the background subsides and the giggling increases in volume. Static sounds slowly begin to overlap the giggling and gradually crescendos until it is all that can be heard. Meanwhile, NAMELESS drops back to the ground into a foetal position and begins to rock back and forth. The green light begins to strobe rapidly, as though it is in tune with the static. After several moments, the sounds stop abruptly and NAMELESS unfurls himself, albeit with a slightly more deranged facial expression. The green light gradually fades away.)

NAMELESS: (pointing to their torso) I have milk for baby-man! Purple man won’t beat me now. baby-man will come out soon after he has milk. Then I will get second baby-man. I did well. Purple man will feed me. I want veggie. Veggie is good.

(NAMELESS lies down again facing the audience. They begin to stroke their lash wounds, slowly, almost sensually, and the friction is evidently painful and causing more harm. They whisper inaudibly and frantically, as if trying to comfort themself. A stagehand dressed in a purple polo tee and white cargo pants enters the stage from downstage left holding a metal bowl of salad. He approaches the cage briskly and roughly slides the bowl in via an elongated opening. NAMELESS squeals in joy and puts the bowl to their face and begins to eat.)

NAMELESS: (mouth full) Baby-man is good. White man can give me more. I am okay. No pain. I get FA-VER-RITE veggie. I do good job and man is good to ME!

(NAMELESS turns their attention back to their salad and devours it hungrily.)

(LIGHTS DOWN)
 
This is a one-act play set in a dystopian utopia in which all females have been eradicated. The society's most pressing problem is reproduction, and this is resolved by rounding up men who are deemed weaker (i.e. physically/intellectually disabled, ageing etcetera). They are operated on and fused with the genetically modified lower body of a functioning female animal. Such mutants are termed Inferior Vessels and are bred and raised in zoos specialising in reproduction. This play features the perspective of a Vessel who has reached the age that is suitable for reproduction (i.e. modified body is stable enough) and experiences their first pregnancy. The play explores the implications of the Vessel's new life through their reduced cognitive capabilities.

(Haven't fully worked out the details and specifics of this world, but the play roughly expounds on how it came to be and how it works.)

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