Ibex

United States

Christian
as in Presbyterian Church in America
Female
Writer
Novelist
Poet!
Reader
Ambivert or something
Band nerd + Drum Major
Planet Earth nerd
etc, etc
Joined September 10, 2019

Message from Writer

Sometimes I tell stories. Most of the time I rattle my soul until I break and my heart spills out onto the page.

"I cannot jump the distance. You'll have to toss me!"--Gimli, LOTR

I am a complete nerd. I got the Ring of Power for my birthday.

Book recommendations:
The Oath--Frank E. Peretti
Lord of the Rings--J.R.R. Tolkien

Song recommendation: "Awake" by Beckah Shae

I'm going to meet the King someday!
And I'm super pumped!

The Cave

October 20, 2020

FREE WRITING

5
This short play is based on a story I wrote a couple months ago; I wanted to change things up a bit and write it as a script. I originally pictured this as working for a short film, but it could probably be adapted for stage. I have to admit, though, it loses much of its original power when written as a script. Dialogue seems a lot less impactful. But perhaps this still tells a story worth telling in a new way.


CAST
Narrator--Real-time thoughts of the protagonist as she moves through the scene
Protagonist--Speaks only for dialogue, acts as the main character
Adder--Villain, appears several times to tell protagonist something about herself that encourages (or perhaps forces) her to keep going
Rescuer--Rescues protagonist when she epicly fails

ACT 1
SCENE 1--one scene interspersed with flashbacks
(Enter PROTAGONIST; stands outside cave, looking in. There is fear in her eyes, and she is dreadfully alone. As she stares at the darkness, ADDER appears, accompanied by a terrifying whir of magic and sparks like lightning and dark thunderclouds.)

ADDER: Go in.

PROTAGONIST: (looks up at him) Adder, it’s dark.

ADDER: Just like your soul. Trust me, you’ll find it soothing. It’ll hide those scars.

PROTAGONIST: (looks down at her arms, which are crisscrossed with endless scars) We don’t talk about the scars.

ADDER: Sure we do. I know how you got that one. (points to the longest one)

PROTAGONIST: (shudders) Especially not that one.

ADDER: Did his heart tremble when you drove your sword into it?

PROTAGONIST: (glances around, afraid someone will overhear) No! No…

ADDER: (rolls his eyes) Sure, darling. Spill your lies like you spilled his blood. Go fetch that ruby, or your heart will feel the same pain.

(ADDER vanishes in a whir of magic. PROTAGONIST stares at the open cave. It looks much wider, much deeper now that there is no choice but to go forward.)

NARRATOR: I used to have a name. (Pause as PROTAGONIST starts walking forward.) It’s gone now, gone like the spring rains and summer flowers, gone like good harvests and seasons of plenty, gone like clear rivers and crystal springs. The world has fallen into darkness. (Pause as PROTAGONIST descends into the darkness of the cave. We hear ragged breathing and footsteps.) I guess the darkness is soothing; it does hide the scars. One can almost forget them. (beat) But no matter how hard I try, they’re still there. They never do heal, do they? (beat) I don’t deserve a name. (PROTAGONIST gasps as she slips… at this point the camera has “adjusted” to the darkness and shows her in better lighting.) I’ve fallen too many times.

(PROTAGONIST clambers through the cave. There is a strange glow now, like dreams of fire and molten earth. The heat is intense.)

NARRATOR: I live a life of lies. I used to steal to feed myself, to keep myself alive for another day. But now I steal to become something, because thief is the only title I have left. How must I earn my respect if not by wanted posters or chases through the darkness of the city streets? It’s not a gratifying lifestyle, but at least I’ll be remembered. (PROTAGONIST shudders and wraps her cloak more tightly around herself.) Even if it is at the gallows.

NARRATOR: I’m tired. So tired. Someone rescued me from Adder once, led me out of his prison, but he’ll never come back for me. Not now.

(PROTAGONIST is so close. She sees the ruby now and approaches it slowly, wrapping her hands around it as her thoughts ramble on.)

NARRATOR: I have to stop. This is the end. This is the last one. It must be! Things still have the potential to change, don’t they? (PROTAGONIST stuffs the ruby into her satchel.) I can move on, become something, be someone. I will build myself from the ashes, write my story in stone, change for the better. I am my own, I’m free. I’m never going back into Adder’s cave.

(There is a whir as PROTAGONIST turns to leave. She glances up at ADDER, who now towers above her. He is terrifyingly tall and wreathed in the fury of magic and horror. PROTAGONIST seems to sink into herself.)

PROTAGONIST: I got it, sir. (she holds it out for him)

ADDER: (taking the gem in his hands and studying it) It’s a beautiful specimen. You did well, thief. (he turns to leave)

PROTAGONIST: Wait! Aren’t you going to pay me?

ADDER: Ah yes… Your wages. Yes, I have something quite valuable for you. You deserve it after all you’ve stolen for me. (he slips his sword out of his sheath and studies it)

PROTAGONIST: What are you going to give me?

ADDER: (beat, then thrusts his sword into her heart) Justice, darling, justice. (beat) You know the King wants you dead. I’ll make it quick. (he yanks his weapon back and glares down at her without sympathy as she gasps and stares at him) Your heart trembles like your victim’s did. How fitting. Farewell, thief! Farewell!

(ADDER snaps his fingers to signal his exit, and the set goes dark.)
(beat)
(The set starts to glow. We see PROTAGONIST’S face, eyes shut as the light flickers about her. She glows gold. Her eyes flutter open, and then she gasps, looking at someone else. camera follows her gaze to show RESCUER beside her.)

PROTAGONIST: You… you came for me?

RESCUER: I told you I’d never leave you.

PROTAGONIST: But… Where were you this whole time?

RESCUER: Don’t you remember? I led you through the dark.

(Flashback: PROTAGONIST is alone in the darkness of the cave, scrambling past rocks. When she stumbles, we vaguely catch another hand grabbing hers and steadying her.)

PROTAGONIST: (eyes widen) But… How did you bring me back? Adder… he… he killed me. (beat) The King wants me dead. Justice says I should be dead. I stole, I killed… (she shudders) I deserve death… The King will come for me now, to end my pitiful existence! (breaks into sobs riddled with the words, “I don’t want to die”)

(beat)

RESCUER: Hannah. (beat as she stares at him, suddenly recognizing her own name and wondering how he ever could have known it) Hannah, I am the King.

(Set goes completely silent for a moment as the shock sets in. It stays silent as PROTAGONIST sinks to her knees, pleading for her life, that he give her a chance to live and be better. She promises to be better. Sound returns as she breaks into sobs, still pleading [improv] with him to spare her.)

RESCUER: (Comforts her, says her name gently again and again until she quiets.) I’ve dealt with your past. You’re free of it.

PROTAGONIST: How? The law demands death.

RESCUER: And the law allows for sacrifice.

(He takes her hand and places it on his left side. Flashback: RESCUER and ADDER circle one another in the darkness of the cave; ADDER drives his sword into RESCUER’S side. RESCUER falls, set goes dark, beat, then all glows bright white. Return to PROTAGONIST, who has started to cry again.)

PROTAGONIST: (she looks somewhere between shock and doubt) You… you died for me?

RESCUER: Do you trust me?

(PROTAGONIST nods. RESCUER offers her his hand, and she takes it.)

NARRATOR: (as they exit) Maybe there’s hope after all. Maybe one day I’ll find myself dressed in white and singing. Maybe there’s a new dawn rising over the forest, dawn breaking and shattering darkness. Yes, indeed, there is. The dawn walks beside me.

(Lights dim until dark.)
 

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5 Comments
  • daisiesonfilm

    this was absolutely amazing! had me hooked right away. i love your style.


    4 months ago
  • Stone of Jade

    this is AMAZING! you tell the story so beautifully in this style!! Really well written!!


    4 months ago
  • ANSON REYNOLDS

    AWESOME!!!! aaaa this is legit good job - and I love how you wove the biblical story/promise in there so well! I wish I was good enough at special effects to make a short film worthy of this but.... I'm not. I wish tho XD Good Job!!


    4 months ago
  • Busssy.Beee

    I'm with author Anne. Love this so incredibly much. Though, I suck at acting. Anyway, if you ever were to actually make this into a film, I would watch it!!


    4 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    OH MY GOSH I LOVE THIS!!! I remember reading this as a short story, and I think the short film could be as/even more powerful than the story. Like I actually really need to see this performed (or act in it myself ;P).


    4 months ago