(It is late at night. The moon is full. An owl hoots in the distance. The wind whistles through the trees. A man sits amongst a group of disheveled soldiers, resting on an tree, and writing something on a piece of paper with his knees pulled up. He is balancing the paper on a backpack on his knees. The forest seems happy, and soldiers laugh and joke sleepily, while others are napping, using their coats and bags as pillows, even though the scene suggests that a war is going on.)
YASHA (sticks his tongue out as he tries to hold a flashlight in one hand and write with the other)
(He exclaims as the flashlight slips and falls onto the ground, then looks up at the following voice)
ALEXANDR (walks up to YASHA and stretches his arms behind his back, smiling)
(He says in a low voice)
ALEXANDR (goes to sit beside YASHA and leans his head back on the tree trunk)
You got a special someone at home?
(He tilts his head at YASHA and winks.)
YASHA (smiling wistfully, looking down on his letter.)
My girl, and my little daughter
ALEXANDR (humms in acknowledgement)
YASHA (glances up to meet ALEXANDR’s gaze)
I’m the only one they have
ALEXANDR (studies YASHA, and starts, noticing how young the man is)
I’m sure they’ll be excited to see you again. (Beat.)
(He nods towards the letter.)
And read the letter.
Anya’ll love it. (Beat.) She’s just turned two, and she loves stories. (Beat.) They’re in Moscow now.
Used to live in Leningrad, but…
(there’s a short silence. An dog barks in the distance. Both men look around them. The word (Germans) is thrown around. The lights dim and the shadows seem longer. Rain starts to fall, and the wind starts to howl lowly.)
YASHA (eyes wide, letter forgotten.)
ALEXANDR (scrambling up, hand on his army hat to keep it from falling.)
They’ve found us.
YASHA (breath catches)
Th- The Germans?
(his voice trembles)
ALEXANDR (looks closely at YASHA)
What’s your name, soldier?
(He stands up. The letter flutters to the ground.)
( ALEXANDR Nods sharply. He glances at a general who beckons to him, and he salutes stiffly. He runs over to his bags and unstraps his rifle. YASHA follows close behind, hoisting his pack over his shoulders. Around them the soldiers are falling into formation and the sound of distant yelling can be heard. Gunfire echoes in the woods and a man falls down behind them, clutching his leg. A medic ducks and scrambles over to help.)
ALEXANDR (Whips his head towards the popping of the guns, then back and YASHA who looks frightened and is clutching his rifle hard)
What are you, nineteen, twenty? (Beat.)
You're old enough.
(he hands YASHA a extra magazine.)
What ever you do, YASHA, stay down and do NOT run out of bullets.
(He grabs YASHA by the arms, shaking him gently.)
You hear me?
YASHA (nods, stammering)
ALEXANDR (claps him on the back, giving him a little push)
(loads his own rifle and runs into the fray.)
(lights dim even more and the shadows creep around the stage. Gunfire can be heard and men are falling down, medics are helping those they can, orders are being yelled. YASHA disappears into the darkness with clenched jaws, determined look and tears shining in his eyes, and breath coming in short gasps. The wind picks up and is now screaming along with the chaos. Leaves are blown around the stage)
(Lights go out as the noise fades away.)
( A few moments pass)
(A spotlight shines on ALEXANDR walking though the fallen. There's blood on the ground, and the soldiers are slowly starting to clean up. He is streaked with grime and there are a few small cuts under his right eye and on his right cheek and a gash bleeds under his chin.?)
(An acoustic version of Katyusha starts playing in the background. A lone voice without music, instead, the wind sings along instead, and the song starts out very low and distant)
(A voice reading out the dead can be heard. YASHA SMITLOV is among them. From here the voice dims away and the song grows louder with the wind.)
(The spotlight is still trained on ALEXANDR, who reaches the tree where YASHA had been sitting. He picks up the letter, which had been torn and trampled, but was in one piece. The forgotten flashlight contrasts sharply against the dirt- bright green. ALEXANDR bends over to pick the letter up. He looks at it for a moment then fold it over once and puts it into his breast pocket, shoulders shaking with tears. He starts to leave, casting a last look at the place where they had sat. ALEXANDR then turns to look at the audience for a moment, eyes shining with tears, and two clean tracks amongst the grime on his face. He then ducks his head and heads towards the back of the stage as poppy petals start to drift down from the ceiling. The lights go out as he reaches the back and the last lines of the song is sung.)
(The curtains close and the play is done)
That was a trip to write. I have never ever written a play before, like ever. This is literally my first ever script I made. And it was fun!
I want to do it again ;).
Let me know what you think, because I really have no clue if this is how it's supposed to be done.