Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Luggage (08/15/05)
- TITLE: The Arrows and The Cross
By Emil Bradford
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Demone (a lesser demon) is standing slightly left of center stage, impatiently rocking back and forth, and checking his watch, looking first in one direction then the other.
Mary (a woman in her mid-twenties) enters from stage left. She is dragging a very heavy suitcase. Mary stops downstage, wipes her brow, and sits on the suitcase. She sighs and starts to cry.
Demone walks down to stand behind Mary.
DEMONE: Excuse me, are you all right, I can't help but notice... You appear to be in some sort of difficulty. And the suitcase looks very heavy.
MARY: No, thank you, I’m all right. I’ll manage. It’s just that... Never mind, you don't want to hear it.
DEMONE: Ahh, but you're wrong; I am very interested in whatever is bothering you. Look, I’m waiting for someone and while I wait, maybe I can help. I've spent a lot of my time helping people just like you sort through their problems and find happiness. So go ahead, tell me.
Mary stands up and strains her neck to see if there is someone coming from (stage left)
MARY: Really, you'll just think I’m being silly. It’s just that I don't think I can handle any more criticism. From the time I was a little girl and my dad would tell me how pretty I was and then, well, you know he would want to do things with me that felt wrong, like they were dirty. I would say no but he'd tell me I wasn’t being very smart or I wasn't being obedient. If I still resisted, he'd hit me. I just didn't want to be hurt. I don't think you really want to know about me. You wouldn't think much of me if you really knew me. So, I don't think I’ll get into it. Say, is this the road to the cross? I've been there before but this all looks different somehow.
Demone looks up and down the road. Checks his watch again.
DEMONE: Mary, may I call you Mary?
MARY: How do you know me?
DEMONE: That's not important. What is important is that someone needs to take care of you, give you a little direction, you know, help you get happy, live life, have some fun. You are taking this criticism thing way too hard. I know your dad was a beast, your mom was blind to it all and only wanted everyone to get along, and your sister, don't get me started on her, pleezzee!
MARY: How do you know all these things? Why are you saying all this? Who are you? You scare me! Now go away!
DEMONE: You scare easily don't you Mary. Even in school when you'd go out with the boys, you were too afraid to say no. You pretty much let them have their way with you. And the talk. Everybody knew about Mary. (Ad lib)
Mary starts to cry again and lashes out at Demone
MARY: (Screaming) Stop it! Please don't hurt me. You're just like everybody else... Just go away. Leave me alone... (Sobs)
DEMONE: That what you want really? Mary, is that what you want, to be alone? I don't think so. All your life you have craved the attention of men. There was your father, then the boys in school, and how bout Guy your (sarcastically) significant other. (With pride) there was a real work of art, if I do say so myself. (Pausing, realizing he’s losing her) Sooooo what brings you on the road to the cross?
MARY: I don't really know. I’ve done this before, I thought I could get some peace if I gave my life to Jesus but I pray and pray and it’s still the same. Each time some one has lied to me or left me it’s been like an arrow going through my heart and the wounds never healing. I've gone to the cross repeatedly but I still can't find peace.
DEMONE: I can see that you really want some peace. Look, Mary, if its peace you want, I can give you that but peace isn’t free. You’ll have to give something up to get my peace. You really want to do that? It’s not much, but it’s pretty permanent. It’s your choice, I can't make you. What do you say?
MARY: What do I have to do?
DEMONE: It’s not really very much, but you will have to turn away from this Cross road you're on.
MARY: Like I’ve never done that before...
DEMONE: Now I assume you have all your troubles and sins collected in that luggage, most people like to collect it in one place. May I look?
MARY: Yeah, I guess so, why not.
DEMONE opens the suitcase but does not reveal the contents to the audience.
DEMONE: Yep, they’re all here, the broken relationships, the tears, the pain, the shame, the... Whoa, what's this? A Bible? What’s a bible doing in here?
He holds it up to her
MARY: Oh that. I read it once and it said that I should submit all my troubles to the Lord and L really haven't had much luck with that. So L just put it in with all the other stuff. I guess I could keep it if you think I should.
Mary reaches for the Bible; Demone pulls it away and drops it back in the suitcase
DEMONE: No-no, I think we should just close it up with all this other junk. You won't need it anyway. Where you're headed, we don't have much use for the Word of God. So, you ready?
MARY: You know, I think I would like one more look at the cross.
DEMONE: Sure, no problem. It’s right there… If you squint your eyes and look through the trees there… you. you can just see it.
MARY: No, I think I would like to get a little closer, you know, like it says in the Bible, lay your troubles at the foot of the cross...
DEMONE: I don't know… The boss doesn't like us to deviate from the program. But
your pretty beat up; I guess it will be all right this once. Go ahead.
Mary starts up the road with suitcase in hand. Demone tags along. They arrive at the foot of the cross
The shot is on a platform with a shadow cross, projected on the screen (actors have taken just a few steps to get to their mark.)
DEMONE There it is, the "old rugged cross" not must to look at. So let's get on with it. Do the thing. (Mockingly) please forgive me blah, blah, blah. Take my sins, blah, blah, blah. Come on let’s go, no need to hang around here, it give me the creeps.
Mary sets her suitcase down at the foot of the Cross. She looks up at the Cross, looks at her suitcase, then at Demone.
MARY: I guess you're right. Ok let’s go, I’m ready.
Actors turn away from the Cross and start walking, Mary a few paces ahead of Demone.
Demone looks back at the Suitcase, returns to it, opens it, removes the Bible, closes the suitcase, and sets it upright.
DEMONE: Wait, don't forget this. Can't just leave it here; someone might take it. We can't have that now can we?
Mary returns to the Cross, picks up the suitcase, looks up at the Cross and turns away
MARY: I suppose not. I've never left it here before.
Demone tosses the Bible at the foot of the Cross and turns away from it while he smiles sardonically He catches up with Mary.
DEMONE: (dancing and laughing) We are gonna have so much fun...
Actors exit stage left.
Thirty second pause while light s narrow to a single spot light on the Bible at the foot of the Cross.
Mary returns, running to the Cross
MARY: I’m sorry, I just can’t leave it; I don’t know why but I just can’t.
Mary sets down her suitcase, picks up the Bible, holds it to her chest, looks up at the Cross, turns, and hurriedly walks off stage right clutching her Bible to her chest smiling.
DEMONE: (Screams from off stage left)
Lights fade to a single light on the cross.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.