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Winner of 7 major Pacific Northwest Theatre Awards, including Best Original Musical!

The website for all things Ablaze!

A b l a z e

an a cappella musical thriller

 

book, music, and lyrics by

Matthew B. Zrebski

(based on his play)

 

© 2010-2013

 

 

 

 

 

THE LIBRETTO

(for the World Premiere Professional Production at Staged!

Version Two: February 2013)

 

 

CHARACTERS

 

THE TRAPPED

LISSA – female, a rule follower, holds deep secrets

TESS – female, a dark rebel, a broken spirit

RILEY- female, a free spirit, open

VEA – female, a beauty queen, a frustrated object

DAVIN – male, an athlete, wants to be the alpha

CHAZ – male, obsessive / compulsive, lonely

MANNY – male, feels small, bullied

SAUL – male, an intuitive observer, in love

 

THE WATCHERS

JENNIFER – female, an academic, All-American

CASSIE – female, a quiet skeptic, full of reason

BEN – male, deeply emotional but hides it, in love

ZEEK – male, an underdog, razor sharp mind

 

THE FIRE

a vocal orchestra of ten to twelve

 

All characters are between 14 and 18 years old.

 

TIME

Now.  Then.  In between.

 

PLACE

Suburban America, trapped in the ground, watched from all sides…

 

NOTES

--THE WATCHERS mostly remain outside the main playing space – on the corners, or above, from a place where they can always observe.  They also play all percussion.

 

--THE FIRE is never given specific stage directions.  It is an omnipresent chorus, both on and off the stage, always affecting the tone and action…a force of nature…an explosion of the psyche.  Sometimes, highly physical.  Sometimes, eerily still.

 

--If strong language is an issue for certain producing organizations, permission is given by the author to devise alternate words and use them.  Permission is not, however, given to cut content altogether or to change/alter/subdue story lines.

 

In 2011, an earlier version of Ablaze, an a cappella musical thriller, was performed by the Wilson High School Drama Department in association with Playwrights West.  This amateur production premiered on November 10, 2011 at the Cosgrove Auditorium in Portland, OR, with the following cast and production team.

 

THE TRAPPED

LISSA Lindsay Spear

TESS Madison Shanley

RILEY Natalie Lyons

VEA Anna Breuer

DAVIN Jacob Orr

CHAZ Nathan Palmrose

MANNY Noah Kaufman

SAUL Ethan Conroy

 

THE WATCHERS

JENNIFER Sally Loughney

CASSIE Carmen Dant

BEN Colin Scannell

ZEEK Daniel Crumrine

 

THE FIRE

Shayda Ansari

Tristan Comella

Camille Cote

Nick Diaz-Hui

Francesca Fontana

Ian Magill

Austin Mahar

Alex Metz

Firenze Rodriguez

Carter Wallace

Kevin Zumwalt

 

PRODUCTION TEAM

Matthew B. Zrebski, Director and Choreographer

Jamie Miller, Producer and Scenic Design

J.D. Sandifer, Lighting Design

Leah Gibbon, Costume Coordinator

Matthew B. Zrebski, Sound Design

Toscane Luckett, Stage Manager

Alex Diaz-Hui, Assistant Stage Manager

 

Ablaze, an a cappella musical thriller, is based on the play, Ablaze, by Matthew B. Zrebski, which was produced by the Lincoln High School Drama Department in association with Stark Raving Theatre and premiered in February 2004.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT ONE

The Igniting

 

 

(Lights dim, a pause, then suddenly a plunge into darkness as blood curdling screams, coughs, struggle, and the angry crackle of a fire invades the space.  And then… from the darkness…)

 

FIRE

 

THE FIRE

The Fire!

 

THE TRAPPED

It’s coming.

 

THE FIRE

The smoke!

 

THE TRAPPED

I’m choking.

 

THE FIRE

The fire!

 

THE TRAPPED

It’s everywhere.

 

THE FIRE

Blocked!

 

THE TRAPPED

No way out!

 

(repeating….then…)

 

LISSA

I can’t see.

 

MANNY

Smoke in my lungs.

 

TESS

Be careful.

 

SAUL

Heat on my tongue.

 

CHAZ

Oh God!

 

VEA / LISSA

I’m scared that we’re done for.

 

DAVIN

Over here!

 

MANNY

Hurry!

 

RILEY

Is that a trap door?

 

TESS

Is that a hole in the floor?

 

SAUL

Jump on in!

 

DAVIN

Grab my hand!

 

THE FIRE

Fire!

Walls are crumbling in!

 

DAVIN

Give me your hand!

 

TESS / LISSA

Hurry!

 

DAVIN

I’ve got you!

 

CHAZ / MANNY
Have to hurry!

 

THE FIRE

Ceiling’s cracking,

tumbling down!

 

RILEY

Anybody left?

CHAZ / MANNY

Look around!

 

VEA / DAVIN

Do a count!

 

(A bare, dangling bulb begins to dimly illuminate the lonely, dank space.)

 

THE FIRE

Fire!

 

THE TRAPPED

One two…

 

THE FIRE

Smoke!

 

THE TRAPPED

Three four…

 

THE FIRE

Dove into a hole in the floor

as the fire above roars!

 

THE TRAPPED

Five six…

 

THE FIRE

Fire!

 

THE TRAPPED

And seven,

eight of us.

We have all eight,

escaped the fire

before it was too late.

 

(They all look around and have a deep, nearly paralyzing realization.)

 

THE FIRE / THE TRAPPED

Trapped.

 

VEA

Are we…?

THE FIRE / THE TRAPPED

Trapped.

 

MANNY

Where are we?

 

THE FIRE / THE TRAPPED

Trapped.

 

CHAZ

No way out.

 

THE FIRE / THE TRAPPED

Trapped.

 

DAVIN

Can’t climb up again.

 

THE FIRE / THE TRAPPED

Trapped.

 

LISSA

One way down.

 

THE FIRE / THE TRAPPED

Trapped.

 

RILEY

What is this place?

 

THE FIRE / THE TRAPPED

Trapped.

 

SAUL

The darkness hides our faces.

 

THE FIRE / THE TRAPPED

Trapped.

 

TESS

Or else we’d see each other’s fear…

 

THE TRAPPED

That no one knows we’re here…

 

(THE TRAPPED reach up towards the light bulb, as if trying to find help…then collapse in exhaustion.  They are engulfed by darkness as THE WATCHERS appear.  A time shift. They are calling each other.)

 

PICK UP

 

JENNIFER

Pick up.

Pick up.

 

BEN

Pick up the phone.

 

JENNIFER

Pick up.

Pick up.

Pick up.

 

BEN

Pick up the phone.

 

JENNIFER

Pick up.

Pick up, Cassie.

 

BEN

Pick up, Zeek.

 

JENNIFER

Pick up the phone.

 

BEN

We have to speak.

 

CASSIE / ZEEK

Hello.

 

JENNIFER / BEN

It’s me.  D’you hear?

 

CASSIE / ZEEK

Hear what?

 

JENNIFER

The news.

 

BEN

It’s everywhere.

 

ZEEK

Ben!  Tell me!  What?!

 

CASSIE / ZEEK

Did they find them?

 

JENNIFER / BEN

Yeah!

 

BEN

It’s true.

 

JENNIFER

No lie.

 

CASSIE / ZEEK

And where?

 

BEN

At old McCauley High.

 

JENNIFER

That abandoned school on the

edge of town.

 

ZEEK

But I thought it had…

 

CASSIE

Didn’t it…

 

ZEEK / CASSIE

just burn down?

 

ZEEK

Like three weeks ago.

 

JENNIFER

Yeah. 

 

JENNIFER / BEN

But they didn’t hear a sound.

 

ZEEK

The firemen?

 

CASSIE

The police?

 

BEN

They were deep underground.

 

JENNIFER

The guy had dug, like, his very own compound.

 

JENNIFER / BEN

They were found in a hole.

 

CASSIE / ZEEK

A hole?

 

JENNIFER / BEN

In a pit.

 

ZEEK

Shit.

 

JENNIFER / ZEEK

I can’t wait to hear from him.

 

BEN / CASSIE

I can’t wait to hear from her.

 

THE WATCHERS

I hope we can talk to them soon.

 

BEN / JENNIFER

There’s a press conference.

 

CASSIE / ZEEK

When?

 

BEN / JENNIFER

Tomorrow at noon.

 

ZEEK

Cool.

 

CASSIE

Wait!  Jennifer, did they all survive?

 

ZEEK

Wait!  Did they make it?  Are they still alive?

 

JENNIFER

I…well, they didn’t…they said…

 

BEN

Yeah, I mean…it was stated…

 

ZEEK / CASSIE

What?

 

BEN / JENNIFER

That they were no longer missing.

 

CASSIE / ZEEK

Not missing…

 

BEN / JENNIFER

But not that they were living…

 

(They hang up and sink into worry.  They fade as THE TRAPPED are revealed and engage in direct address.)

 

COUGH

 

THE FIRE

Nineteen days.

Now in a smoky daze…

 

SAUL

I haven’t gone back to school.

It may be hard to

face the others.

But now it smothers me.

And all that I can see

is what happened in the end…

playing over and over again.

(SAUL cont.)

And I cough.

 

(All cough.)

 

THE TRAPPED (no SAUL)

Stuff comes out.

 

SAUL

And I cough.

 

THE FIRE

Cough!

 

(All cough.)

 

THE TRAPPED (no SAUL)

The dark comes out.

 

THE TRAPPED

Nineteen days.

Now in a smoky daze.

 

THE FIRE

And nothing’s gonna ever

let you forget.

 

THE TRAPPED

Never forget.

 

RILEY

Mama?  Mama?

Do I look different today?

 

LISSA

Today is the first time in court.

The reports all say it’s a

slam dunk case.

 

MANNY

I pace back and forth,

staring at the ground.

A neighbor pours gas

on an ant mound.

 

 

LISSA

Dad says, no needle,

tie a rope around his neck,

 

RILEY

I suspect…

 

LISSA

hear the neck snap.

 

RILEY

I am trapped forever, here

in the mirror with a different face.

 

MANNY

I pace some more,

staring at the ground,

wonder how far the ants will go down

before they meet their fate

and suffocate.

 

LISSA / RILEY

And I cough.

 

THE FIRE

Cough!

 

(All cough.)

 

THE TRAPPED (no MANNY)

Stuff comes out.

 

MANNY

And I cough.

 

(All cough.)

 

THE TRAPPED

The dark comes out.

Nineteen days.

Now in a smoky daze.

 

THE FIRE

And nothing’s gonna ever

let you forget.

 

THE TRAPPED

Never forget.

 

TESS

My tenth interview.

Whatcha wanna ask me?

I doubt that you even care.

 

CHAZ

It is rare, but I hear sometimes in a

life or death disaster,

a baby’s blood-type can change.

 

TESS
You’re insane if you really think

that I’m gonna tell you

what you wanna hear.

 

CHAZ

What’s unclear is

can it happen when you’re

just a little older?

A way for us to survive?

 

TESS

Like a teen revival where we

live to thrive all high on

drugs and sex and

venom for our teachers.

 

CHAZ

To be a different creature;

anything but this.

 

TESS

Now I’m pissed.

You’re missing the point -

we were bored.

(clearly lying…)

We went to hang out,

nothing more.

 

DAVIN

But then…

don’t forget to tell…

we all got sent to hell…

THE FIRE

Fire.  Smoke.

Fire.  Trapped.

Fire.  Smoke.

Fire.  Trapped.

 

CHAZ

And I cough.

 

THE FIRE

Cough!

 

(All cough.)

 

THE TRAPPED (no TESS)

Stuff comes out.

 

TESS

And I cough.

 

(All cough.)

 

THE TRAPPED

The dark comes out.

Nineteen days.

Now in a smoky daze.

 

THE FIRE

And nothing’s gonna ever

let you forget.

 

THE TRAPPED

Never forget

as stuff comes out.

So much doubt

and doubt and doubt…

 

(They collapse in a fit of coughing. VEA rises in her own pool of light, still in direct address.)

 

FUNERAL

 

VEA

We were all asked to speak

at the funeral.

(VEA cont.)

But I don’t know what to say,

for what happened to us in those

nineteen days was collective,

of one heart,  not separate,

so where would I start

to explain?

 

It feels like a game,

like a roll of the dice

where one of us was sacrificed.

Could have been anyone.

And now, this pain…

this sacrifice…

What has been gained?

I don’t know what to say…

 

SAUL / CHAZ / MANNY

I don’t know what to say…

 

VEA / RILEY / LISSA / TESS

for what happened to us in those

nineteen days…

 

VEA

…was collective,

of one heart, not separate,

so where would I start to explain?

 

I’ll try to say something nice,

but I want to scream,

“Why this sacrifice?

Why this sacrifice?”

 

When that coffin gets lowered,

we’ll stand there all agape,

knowing it lands in the ground

from which seven, not eight…

escaped…

 

But before…this funeral…

It began as a sort

of a ritual…

 

(THE TRAPPED begin to circle.)

 

(VEA cont.)

In the midst of someone

deranged…

We have all been forever…

changed…

 

(They breathe together.  Time shifts, and they are back in the pit. Impatience begins to rear its head.  TESS begins to wiggle.  Looks shoot her way.  She is still.  Impatience.  She wiggles some more.  More looks, then…)

 

INITIATION

 

TESS

How much longer?

 

CHAZ

Don’t talk.

 

TESS

Why?

 

DAVIN

He didn’t say we couldn’t talk.

 

LISSA

He’s right, be quiet.

 

TESS

Start a riot!  Fucking asshole!

 

CHAZ

Stop!

 

MANNY

It might put all of us in danger.

Let’s take some deep breaths.

 

TESS

If he’s gonna hurt us anyway—

 

CHAZ

Let’s not make any bets.

If he is spying, we don’t

(CHAZ cont.)

want to be heard.

 

TESS

Who cares?

 

DAVIN

Don’t start.

 

VEA

Let’s all stay focused just to make sure.

 

TESS

Who ask you?

 

DAVIN

Tess!

 

TESS

Go screw a pig!

 

SAUL

Can’t we all just get along?

 

TESS

Wait!  You do that with your girlfriend.

 

LISSA

Now that is just wrong.

 

DAVIN

Don’t worry.

Not about Tess;

she’s trash.

 

TESS

You wanna start!?

 

DAVIN

Last I heard, she even takes cash.

 

(TESS charges DAVIN.)

 

SAUL

Please don’t fight.

 

CHAZ

You can’t fight.

 

LISSA

Let’s not fight.

 

MANNY

Don’t start—

 

TESS

I’ll do what ever I want!

 

SAUL

But you don’t now.

None of us can…now…

 

(They look around.  A realization and fear hits TESS.  She sits.)

 

VEA

Read it again.

 

(DAVIN pulls out a crumpled note.)

 

DAVIN

“Circle up.  Sit there.  Be still.  If you care about anyone, be still...or I might be forced to…”

 

LISSA

Forced to what?

 

TESS

Empty threats.

 

CHAZ

Like I said before,

let’s not make any bets.

 

MANNY

Deep breaths.

 

VEA

Deep breaths.

 

 

RILEY

(beginning to struggle)

But I can’t…and it hurts…

When I try…it burns…

 

MANNY

Does it help to cough?

 

LISSA

All that smoke and dust…

 

VEA

It might help to clear your lungs.

 

RILEY

My chest is gonna bust.

 

MANNY

Give it a try.

 

LISSA

Give it a try.

 

VEA

Give it a try…

 

(RILEY manages a wheezing deep breath and coughs.  It goes out of control and her breathing becomes more labored.  She starts to panic.  Total freak out!)

 

ATTACK

 

THE TRAPPED (no RILEY)

Oh, my God!

 

RILEY

No air!

 

THE TRAPPED (no RILEY)

She can’t get any air!

Staring!

He’s staring!

Watching!

He’s looking!

CHAZ / MANNY

Oh, my God!

 

TESS

Someone help her!

 

LISSA

Oh, my God!

 

DAVIN

Try and pound her back!

 

(VEA does – twice.)

 

MANNY

Nothing?

 

DAVIN

Again!

 

(VEA pounds twice.)

 

VEA

Something?

 

THE TRAPPED (no RILEY)

Oh, my God!

 

RILEY

No air!

 

THE TRAPPED (no RILEY)

She can’t get any air!

 

SAUL

Staring!

He’s staring!

Watching!

He’s looking!

 

DAVIN

Why do you say that?

 

SAUL

A plan has been cooking.

 

DAVIN

That’s all in your head.

 

TESS

Your stupid imagination!

 

VEA

What if he’s right?

 

SAUL

A careful calculation.

 

(RILEY begins to really struggle.)

 

DAVIN

Shit!

 

(VEA pounds four times.)

 

LISSA / CHAZ

What?!

 

(VEA pounds four times.)

 

DAVIN

Does she have asthma?!

 

SAUL

A deadly calculation.

 

(THE TRAPPED surround RILEY, helplessly trying to assist her.)

 

THE FIRE /

THE TRAPPED (no RILEY)

Oh, my God!

No air!

Can’t get any air!

Staring!

He’s staring!

Watching!

He’s looking!

Pacing and peering,

a plan long time cooking!

 

 

LISSA

Maybe an inhaler.

 

TESS

(looking up)

Do you want to kill her?!

 

THE FIRE

Staring, enjoying,

licking these moments,

tasting the fear!

 

MANNY

Vea, check her pockets!

 

RILEY

(struggling for words)

In my…

 

(VEA pounds three times.)

 

Jacket!

 

(VEA pounds three times.)

 

LISSA

We don’t…

 

(VEA pounds two times.)

 

TESS

Goddamn it…

 

(VEA pounds two times.)

 

MANNY

He took all our clothes!

 

CHAZ

We don’t have it!

 

(RILEY gasps desperately again.)

 

THE FIRE

Oh, my God!

No air!

THE TRAPPED (no RILEY)

She can’t get any air!

 

THE FIRE /

THE TRAPPED (no RILEY)

Staring!

He’s staring!

Watching!

He’s looking!

Pacing and peering,

a plan long time cooking!

 

SAUL

All of his making.

 

DAVIN

Pound her back harder!

 

LISSA

Yeah, don’t stop trying…

 

(VEA keeps pounding as TESS looks up again.)

 

TESS

You son of a bitch!

She could be dying!

 

VEA
What do you want?

 

MANNY

What do you want?

 

LISSA

What do you want?

 

DAVIN

Why are doing this?

 

TESS

Why are you doing this?

 

THE FIRE

All of the reasons…

 

SAUL

There is no reason…

 

THE FIRE

…will come up short.

 

SAUL

This is sport!

 

(The lights go out.  They scream.  Blackness.)

 

CHAZ

Don’t anyone panic.

 

VEA

Riley, keep trying to breathe.

 

LISSA

What are we going to do?

 

(TESS gasps.)

 

TESS

Someone touched me.

 

DAVIN

It wasn’t me.

 

TESS

Someone just brushed by me.

 

MANNY

Is Riley breathing?

 

(The lights go on.  In the center of the circle is RILEY’s inhaler.  They look around, stunned. VEA hands it to RILEY.)

 

SAUL

Any reasoning

will fall short.

Like I said…

this is just sport.

 

THE TRAPPED (no RILEY)

Breathe, Riley, breathe…

Breathe, Riley, breathe…

 

(They settle around her, terrified.  SAUL rises in his own pool of light.  Time shift.  Direct address.)

 

BAPTISM

 

SAUL

A note appeared,

stuck to the wall,

soon after we took our fall

into hell.

I’ve kept it on me

at all times,

like on that wall,

stuck on my mind

with a nail.

 

(He takes a crumpled note from his pocket and reads.)

 

It said:

“Hello children.

Remove your outwear.

Remove your shoes and socks.”

 

THE TRAPPED (no SAUL)

We are stripped.

We are bare.

 

SAUL

“Remove all jewelry.

Hand over what you own.

All that’s in your pockets.”

 

THE TRAPPED (no SAUL)

We are taken.

We are stolen.

 

SAUL

“I’ll know if you deceive.

I’ll know if you lie.”

 

DAVIN / CHAZ / MANNY

He sees all…

 

VEA / RILEY / LISSA / TESS

He knows all…

 

SAUL

All by his design…

 

A second note

stuck to the wall,

soon after we took our fall

into hell.

The lights went out,

then back on.

Left was a basin of water,

our own little well.

 

(He removes another note and reads.)

 

He said:

“Wash each other’s feet and hands.

Run water through your hair.

Rid the smoke from your face and eyes.

 

THE TRAPPED (no SAUL)

We were being baptized.

 

(THE TRAPPED engage in an almost religious ritual of memory.)

 

THE FIRE / THE TRAPPED

Alleluia.

Alleluia.

Welcome to his lair.

 

THE TRAPPED

We’re caught in his lair.

 

THE FIRE

Alleluia.

Alleluia.

Feel his fiery stare.

 

THE TRAPPED

We feel his fiery stare.

THE FIRE / THE TRAPPED

Alleluia.

Alleluia.

 

THE FIRE

You belong to him!

 

THE TRAPPED

We belong to him.

Save us from this man!

 

THE FIRE / THE TRAPPED

Alleluia.

Alleluia

 

THE FIRE

He will taste your sins.

 

THE TRAPPED

He…will…

He will taste our sins.

 

THE FIRE

He will eat you.

 

THE FIRE / THE TRAPPED

Alleluia.

 

THE FIRE

Now that you’re clean.

 

THE FIRE /

SAUL / MANNY / RILEY / TESS

Alleluia.

 

DAVIN / CHAZ / VEA / LISSA

God help us!

 

THE FIRE

And in his belly.

 

THE FIRE /

SAUL / MANNY / RILEY / TESS

Alleluia.

 

 

DAVIN / CHAZ / VEA / LISSA

God save us!

 

THE FIRE

Nothing’s as it seems.

 

THE FIRE /

SAUL / MANNY / RILEY / TESS

Alleluia.

 

THE FIRE / THE TRAPPED

Nothing’s as it seems.

 

THE FIRE

Alleluia.

 

THE TRAPPED

Alleluia.

 

(THE TRAPPED return to their circle. Time shift.   They are back in the pit.  They sit and wait and contemplate…)

 

WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE?

 

DAVIN

What do you think he wants?

 

TESS

How do you know it’s a “he”?

 

CHAZ

It probably is.

Studies have shown that

ninety percent are a

“he” not a “she”?

 

TESS

Ninety percent of what?

 

MANNY

What are you trying to say?

 

CHAZ

Of kidnappers, murderers,

serial killers.

LISSA

Shut up!

That’s enough for today.

 

SAUL

He wants us on edge,

scared and raw,

to toy, to play with us.

 

CHAZ

But will he kill us?

 

SAUL

He wants to wait,

to sharpen his claw,

so he gave the inhaler back just in time...

keep us alive and in our prime.

He wants to read us like a book,

a drama where only he can look.

 

LISSA

You’re scaring me.

 

DAVIN

Saul, that’s enough.

 

MANNY

Stop sharing!

 

DAVIN

We have to stay tough and strong!

 

CHAZ

But…

for how long?

 

(They look around with dread.  VEA goes to RILEY.)

 

VEA

Riley, you doing okay?

 

RILEY

I’m better.

And you’ve been so nice.

 

DAVIN

Well, he’s lucky this time,

lucky you’re better,

or I would make him

pay the price.

 

TESS

Oh really, big guy?

You’re so full of shit.

 

MANNY

Tess, put a lid on it.

 

TESS

Eat me, you shrimp.

And what are you doing here, anyway?

Davin, don’t you have something to say?

 

DAVIN

Wait, what you doing here, anyway?

For a moment, Vea, let’s steal away.

 

VEA

Wait, what are you doing here, anyway?

I’m waiting for Manny.

 

MANNY

Waiting for what?

Wait, what are you doing here, anyway?

Lissa had written me.

 

LISSA

Written you what?

Wait, what are you doing here, anyway?

 

MANNY

The note in my locker.

 

LISSA

Chaz, needed to talk.

 

CHAZ

Wait, what are you doing here, anyway?

I came for Saul.

 

 

SAUL

No, not at all.

 

CHAZ

No?

 

SAUL

No.

 

CHAZ / LISSA

Oh.

 

MANNY

Oh, my God.

 

SAUL

This wasn’t random.

We were chosen.

 

TESS/DAVIN

What?

 

VEA

He chose us?

 

SAUL

He knows us.

 

DAVIN

Shit.

 

SAUL

He wanted us,

hunted us!

 

TESS/MANNY

How do we get out of here?!

 

LISSA/CHAZ

How do we get out of here?!

 

VEA/DAVIN

We have to get out of here?!

 

 

 

THE FIRE

Never.  Never.  Never.  Never.

Never.  Never. 

 

DAVIN / VEA

What are we doing here?!

How did we get us here?!

We’re terrified!

 

SAUL / CHAZ / RILEY

What are we doing here?!

How did we get us here?!

How did he find us?

We’re terrified!

 

MANNY / TESS

What are we doing here?!

How did he find us?

We’re terrified!

 

THE TRAPPED

What do you want?

What do you want?

What do you want?

What do you,

what do you want from us?!!!

 

(The lights go off.  They scream.  They come back on quickly and a note is crumpled on the floor.  DAVIN picks it up and reads.)

 

DAVIN

“I love you.

I really love you.

I want to know you.

Through and through.

So I chose you, except Riley.”

 

VEA

What?

 

RILEY

I heard the stories of the kids,

the hanging out, the fun,

I came to see.

DAVIN

“But I’m glad she’s here. 

Of this I’m sure.

She seems so beautiful.

And pure…”

 

THE FIRE

He loves you.

He loves you.

 

(They freeze with fear, then are engulfed by darkness as CASSIE and ZEEK appear.  A time shift.)

 

GHOSTS

 

CASSIE

It could have been me.

 

ZEEK

But it wasn’t.

 

CASSIE

But see, I got a fake message too.

 

ZEEK

From who?

 

CASSIE

Supposedly from Vea.

(clearly enamored)

It even smelled of her perfume.

Not a text, handwritten;

McCauley High’s forbidden,

so nothing should be traceable…

I wish this was all erasable.

The death.  The lies.

But no, not at all…

 

ZEEK

Just like Saul.

His note was from Davin.

You and Saul had that in common.

 

CASSIE

Had what in common?

ZEEK

Come on, don’t pretend.

 

CASSIE

Shut up, be my friend.

 

ZEEK

Well, why didn’t you go?

 

CASSIE

I always get caught

when I try to sneak out…

do anything wrong…

or break the rules.

 

ZEEK

Well this time, that’s good.

You weren’t one of his fools.

Did you tell the police

about your note?

 

CASSIE

I won’t be another media quote.

I won’t become a ghost

like the rest of them.

Seven may have escaped…

 

ZEEK

But he still got the best of them.

 

(Beat.)

 

CASSIE

Have you seen them?

Walking dazed and pale

and mumbling mostly.

 

ZEEK

I want to help,

and I watch them closely,

but they’re all so different

now that they’re out.

Like scabs ripped off.

But I have my doubts

of how I can support.

With Saul,

(ZEEK cont.)

I know I’d pull up short.

 

CASSIE

Lissa grabbed me,

pulled me,

begged me

wanted me to listen to her.

 

ZEEK

Well, what’d she say?

 

CASSIE

I’m not quite sure.

 

ZEEK

What do you mean?

 

CASSIE

She talked of a cure.

 

ZEEK

A cure for what?

 

CASSIE

What’s dead inside.

 

ZEEK

That’s what she said?

 

CASSIE

She tried to confide.

Desperate and hoping

to find purpose for the fire.

 

ZEEK

I’d share that desire…

to understand why…

 

CASSIE

and what…

 

ZEEK

and who…

 

 

CASSIE

and where…

 

ZEEK

I can’t imagine being

in that lair.

 

CASSIE

Forever changed.

 

ZEEK

Different minds.

 

CASSIE

I miss my friend.

I wish I could find

a way to make her

see me again.

But Lissa’s gone.

 

ZEEK

They’re ghosts…

 

CASSIE

She’s nothing but a host for

fear and anger and pain.

It’s like she’s opened a vein.

 

ZEEK

There must be something to gain…

something to set them free…

 

CASSIE

She tried to make me see…

her new found wisdom…

The story…of a dragon…

 

(ZEEK fades into darkness… A light hits LISSA.  She connects with CASSIE and tells her story...)

 

ORANGE

 

LISSA

On any given day,

if you were to walk up my driveway…

(LISSA cont.)

say it was a Sunday,

maybe a Thursday,

a time when the sun hangs low

if you look through my window…

 

Mother likes the curtains slightly drawn.

Shadows are stretching over the lawn.

As the day is dying,

we are always lying,

‘cause we have to pretend,

and the rules will never bend.

 

And the orange from

the sunset slices right

into our dining room.

Mother says orange

erases any thoughts of

gloom and doom.

 

Mother likes orange.

It stimulates happy thoughts.

Mother likes orange.

It blinds us from the rotting.

Does she know that I’m rotting?

Does she care that I’m rotting?

 

On any given day,

if you were to walk up my driveway…

say it was a Monday,

maybe a Friday,

a time when the sun hangs low,

if you look through my window…

 

The image is always the same…

 

THE FIRE

Like a painting…

 

LISSA

a family, calm and tame.

 

THE FIRE

We are feigning…

 

 

LISSA

Father in mid laugh at

what Brother said.

Mother making sure that

we are properly fed.

 

And all the while we wear a smile

or else we crimp her style.

She’ll part the curtains wider,

so our lives will be worthwhile

 

from the orange.

It stimulates happy thoughts.

Mother likes orange.

It blinds us from the rotting.

Does she know that I’m rotting?

Does she care that I’m rotting?

 

THE FIRE

Doesn’t care that you’re rotting!

Doesn’t care that you’re rotting!

No one cares that you’re rotting!

No one cares that you’re rotting!

 

LISSA

When Mother parts those drapes

and the sinking sun starts to harass.

I feel like an ant trapped under the hand of an angry child,

holding a magnifying glass.

 

And how long will I survive

‘til the heat overtakes me?

Do I even want to survive?

Would the catching fire cure me…

save me from the rot

of Mother’s happy thoughts?

I’m forever torn,

caught in a red, hot net.

 

THE TRAPPED (no LISSA)

(waking up – a memory)

Never forget.

 

CASSIE

Try to turn back time

(CASSIE cont.)

as though this never happened.

And what about your Mother?

Sure, mine can sometimes smother,

but what exactly did she do?

I want to know. 

I’ll help you push through.

But you have to tell me. 

Lissa, where are you?

Where’d you go?

 

LISSA

To the orange.

I’ve traveled to the end

in the orange…

 

THE TRAPPED (no LISSA)

We’ve all been to the end.

 

LISSA

where for me, the burning sun

is controlled by my mother

the dragon…

 

THE FIRE / THE TRAPPED

For nineteen days…

trapped in a smoky daze.

 

THE FIRE

And nothing’s gonna ever

let you forget.

 

(THE TRAPPED go to sleep except for LISSA.  Time shift – the pit.  LISSA realizes MANNY is awake and slowly approaches him.)

 

LITTLE MANNY

 

LISSA

Manny?

Manny?

 

MANNY

Yes, I’m awake.

 

LISSA

The others, so quiet.

 

MANNY

Sleep is an escape.

 

LISSA

I can’t hear them at all.

Like they’re home in their beds…

dreaming sweet thoughts.

 

MANNY

Or like they’re already dead.

 

LISSA

What?

 

MANNY

It must be said.

 

LISSA

No, it mustn’t.

Get that out of your head.

 

THE FIRE

But it’s in all of your heads…

 

(LISSA and MANNY stare at the others as they sleep.  CASSIE and BEN appear.  Time shift.)

 

BEN

…Manny’s first day back

to walk the halls.

And it was like nothing

had changed at all.

 

CASSIE

I heard they tripped him,

knocked him down.

 

BEN

They smashed his head

into the ground.

And then the fists,

and then the spit.

CASSIE

Did you try to stop it?

 

BEN

Yeah, but they wouldn’t quit.

And as they kicked

and slapped and shoved,

I thought, he just wants

to be loved.

Cheesy, I know.

 

CASSIE

But true.

 

BEN

I didn’t know what to do…

to protect him…

to help him feel strong…

to give him a place to belong…

 

CASSIE

Why are they all so mean?

 

BEN

But then…

 

CASSIE

What?

 

BEN

It changed - the scene.

I’ve seen nothing like it, I swear.

I think something happened,

transformed him down there.

 

(CASSIE and BEN fade into darkness as time shifts back to the pit.  MANNY awkwardly moves closer to LISSA.)

 

MANNY

You called to me.

 

LISSA

I did?

 

 

MANNY

You said Manny…Manny…

 

LISSA

Yeah…

 

MANNY

You hoped that I would answer.

 

LISSA

So?

 

MANNY

Admit it, you want me.

 

LISSA

I called to you.

 

MANNY

You did.

 

LISSA

I said, “Manny…Manny…”

 

MANNY

Right.

 

LISSA

Because your eyes were open.

 

MANNY

Oh.

 

LISSA

Get over your fantasy.

 

(MANNY looks down.)

 

You were serious?

 

MANNY

No way.

 

LISSA

I think maybe…maybe…

 

MANNY

No.

 

LISSA

I get it now.  You like me.

 

MANNY

Please.

 

LISSA

Wow.  Yes, definitely.

 

MANNY

You called to me.

 

LISSA

You’ve said that.

 

MANNY

‘Cause you’re mired in desire!

 

LISSA

Don’t think because we’re trapped,

I’ll fall for a guy so full of crap.

 

(He looks down.)

 

I was kidding,

sort of joking.

 

MANNY

It’s okay,

I’m used to all the

endless poking fun everyday.

 

LISSA

It’s just I never really thought,

you know…

 

MANNY

You never really thought about me

in that way.

 

THE FIRE

Little Manny, small!

Little Manny, nothing!

(THE FIRE cont.)

Really not a man at all!

Hiding in a bathroom stall!

Dodging sharpened tongues!

Dodging punching fists!

Hiding where the boys all piss!

‘Cause that’s all that you’re good for,

you’ll never be kissed!

‘Cause that’s all that you’re good for,

you’ll never be kissed!

Never standing up, not tall,

but small, so small!

Little man, sissy man!

Not-a-not-a not a man!

Little man, sissy man!

Not-a-not-a not a man at all!

Not a man at all!

 

MANNY

It’s like I fell forever in the dirt…

 

THE FIRE

Little squirt!

You’re gonna hurt!

 

MANNY

a bully’s toy, always a boy.

Even if you

couldn’t ever like,

you know…

 

LISSA

I’m not sure what I

like or not ‘til Mother says it’s so.

 

MANNY

Oh,

well, while all of them are sleeping…

let me think it’s possible.

Lissa, will you hold me?

 

(She opens her arms; he falls into them.)

 

THE FIRE

Little Manny, small.

Little Manny, nothing.

(THE FIRE cont.)

Really not a man at all.

 

LISSA

Your name…

 

THE FIRE

Little Manny.

 

MANNY

It was Emmanuel.

 

LISSA

Don’t you mean “is”?

 

MANNY

No, I am just a shell.

I’m not a man.

 

THE FIRE

Little Manny.

 

LISSA

Emmanuel, that’s crazy, because

I can feel your heart…

against the palm of my hand.

Oh, your heart is

determined and strong…

declaring you have been

Emmanuel all along…

 

(CASSIE and BEN appear.  Time shift.  As they speak, MANNY is back on the ground after having been beat up.  Through the following, he slowly gets to his feet and stands tall, a new identity…)

 

BEN

He was crumpled on the ground,

blood running from his eye.

 

As he crawled, he said,

“do not tell a lie.”

 

CASSIE

Wow, he busted through his cell.

BEN

He stood and said,

“My name is not Manny.

I’m Emmanuel.”

 

(They fade again into darkness.  Time shift.  The pit.  MANNY turns to LISSA.)

 

MANNY

You called to me.

 

LISSA

I did.

 

MANNY

You said Manny…Manny…

 

LISSA

And I’m glad you answered.

 

MANNY

I’m thankful.

 

LISSA

Please hold me, ‘cause I’m scared,

my mother and the sun.

I’m scared my mother is a dragon.

 

I’m barely aware

of the day or time.

I swear… everything’s askew,

my thoughts, old and new…

 

MANNY

(taking her into his arms)

I’d do anything for you…

 

(A moment of gentle comfort, then VEA bolts awake, screaming a bloodcurdling scream.  The rest bolt awake in terror and scatter to see what’s wrong.)

 

BELLY OF GLASS

 

THE FIRE

Nightmares from a gnawing gut!

VEA

I dreamed that I was

eating broken glass.

 

THE FIRE

Tearing like a belly cut!

 

SAUL

How long since we ate?

 

RILEY

How many hours passed?

 

THE FIRE

Nightmares from a gnawing gut!

 

CHAZ

It’s been at least two days

since we’ve seen any scraps.

 

THE FIRE

Tearing like a belly cut!

 

TESS

(looking up)

Look, you shithead,

we’re starving!

 

VEA

(also up)

About to collapse!

 

THE FIRE

Nightmares from a gnawing gut!

The tearing like a belly cut!

 

TESS

But aren’t you

used to it, Vea?

You don’t eat,

don’t dare to display a

bit of fat where you sat!

Admit that your mirror wouldn’t

know what to say

if you gained a pound one day.

 

DAVIN

(to TESS)

It would say that you are a bitch.

 

SAUL

Be nice!

 

DAVIN

But she’s not!

She’s a bitch!

 

SAUL

There’s a price

if we turn on each other!

 

TESS

Too late!

 

LISSA / MANNY

We need one another!

 

TESS

(to DAVIN)

I HATE YOU!!!

 

THE FIRE

Nightmares from a gnawing gut!

The tearing like a belly cut!

 

(CHAZ rises to hold court.)

 

COPING

 

CHAZ

I have an idea!

 

(They glare at him.  He does not give up.)

 

I have an idea!

 

TESS

You’re such a tool!

 

MANNY

Chaz, what is it?

CHAZ

Here’s what we should do!

 

RILEY

What’s that?

 

CHAZ

Let’s all think of something happy!

 

TESS

You’ve gotta be kidding!

 

CHAZ

I know we all feel crappy,

but focus on a positive.

 

VEA

Tess, it doesn’t hurt to give

Chaz a chance.

 

RILEY

(dancing in her own unique way)

I could use a little happy dance.

 

DAVIN

That sounds really lame.

 

SAUL

It does, but we could

use a little hope.

 

CHAZ

It will help us all cope!

Nope?

 

(They sigh and concede.)

 

We came here on a Friday, right?

 

THE TRAPPED (no CHAZ)

That’s right.

 

CHAZ

Go back to that day in your minds…

Name something that was fun,

a little ray of sunshine.

TESS

“a little ray of”—

 

DAVIN

Tess!

 

TESS
Fine!

 

CHAZ

Something sublime!

 

THE FIRE

Back in a time

before this time

when you were free from

smoke and grime.

Back in a time

before this time

when you were free from

smoke and grime.

 

CHAZ

Davin?

 

DAVIN

My coach says my serve is the

best in the state,

that many a scholarship will

fill my plate.

 

SAUL

That’s great!

 

TESS

Who cares?!

 

SAUL

I care.

 

TESS

(referencing DAVIN)

Oh we know.

We’ve seen you stare.

 

 

CHAZ

(avoiding the awkward moment)

Lissa?

 

LISSA

Mr. Todd found it in the cafeteria,

my purse!

Not stolen,

so no need for my hysteria.

 

MANNY

Nice!

 

TESS

Big cheer!

 

MANNY

Don’t mock.

 

TESS

Who needs a purse

when we’re down here?

 

CHAZ

Manny.

 

MANNY

English paper, got a B!

 

CHAZ

Vea.

 

VEA

On the ballot for Prom Queen.

 

CHAZ

Saul.

 

SAUL

Getting published in a local journal.

 

CHAZ

Riley.

 

RILEY

I finally named my pet turtle.

THE TRAPPED (no RILEY)

What?

 

RILEY

Colonel.

Colonel Turtle!

 

CHAZ

See!

Better to cope than mope

so we have some hope,

surrounded by our normal lives.

Stay grounded ‘til the help arrives,

sharp in our minds.

Keep away the panic.

Stay calm and kind.

No need to be manic.

 

THE TRAPPED (no TESS)

They will find us!

Better to cope than mope

so we have some hope,

surrounded by our normal lives.

Stay grounded ‘til the help arrives,

sharp in our minds.

Keep away the panic.

Stay calm and kind.

No need to be manic.

 

TESS

STOP!!!

I’d like to tie ropes

around your necks!

You need to get your

heads all checked!

Wake up to reality.

 

SAUL

She’s right.

In actuality,

I doubt that he’s done.

 

(The lights go out.  They scream.)

 

THE FIRE

This has just begun.

(THE FIRE cont.)

Hearts ramping up.

Beat-beat.  Thump-thump.

Beat-beat.  Thump-thump.

Hearts feeling heat.

Thump-thump.  Beat-beat.

Thump-thump.  Beat-beat.

 

(repeating)

 

MANNY

Fingers just ran

through my hair…

 

LISSA

The smell of his breath

in the air…

 

CHAZ

Stay surrounded by our lives…

 

SAUL

We’re caught in his hive…

 

(VEA screams.)

 

VEA

A slimy tongue

just licked and stung…

 

TESS

Wake up to reality…

We can’t cope with this…

 

MANNY / LISSA

There is no hope.

 

CHAZ / VEA

I cannot cope.

 

DAVIN

Is there any hope?

 

SAUL

He’ll never be done.

This has just begun.

(The lights go on.  RILEY is curled up, stunned and frightened.)

 

RILEY

What else will he demand?

 

TESS

Riley?

 

LISSA

What is it?

 

VEA

Riley?

 

RILEY

He slid between…

 

SAUL

Oh, my God.

 

RILEY

I felt his hand…

 

(VEA, LISSA, and TESS surround her.)

 

THE FIRE

Thump-thump.  Beat-beat.

Thump-thump.  Beat-beat.

 

(THE TRAPPED fade into darkness as THE WATCHERS appear.  Time shift.)

 

INTERVIEW

 

CASSIE

Hey, Jen.

 

BEN

What’s up?

 

ZEEK

How are ya?

 

 

 

JENNIFER

(clearly upset)

Hey.

 

CASSIE

Is it true?

 

JENNIFER

What’s true?

 

BEN

Did they call you

for an interview?

 

JENNIFER

That’s right, from KVU.

 

ZEEK

What did they ask you?

 

JENNIFER

Just what I knew.

 

CASSIE

About what?

 

JENNIFER

Mostly smut.

 

BEN

Did they ask you about

how they’ve all gone nuts?

 

JENNIFER

That and…

 

CASSIE

And what?

 

JENNIFER

And “Would you have described

Tess as a slut?”

 

ZEEK

Shit.  What a cheap cut.

 

JENNIFER

Straight into my gut.

 

CASSIE

So they only wanted dirt.

 

JENNIFER

Just dirt.

 

ZEEK

Did they care that maybe

that would hurt?

 

JENNIFER

To them it’s all dessert.

 

BEN

We can’t let them pervert

everything!

 

JENNIFER

I just want to cling

to a better time.

 

BEN

What they do is a crime.

 

CASSIE

All these stupid reporters.

 

ZEEK

The mindless news.

 

BEN

They feed the heartless supporters

all that skews our memories.

 

CASSIE

They wanna destroy

our memories of our friends.

 

JENNIFER

(pointed)

Of my friend.

Of my boyfriend.

 

CASSIE
Oh, Jen, we know—

 

JENNIFER

Do you?!

Do any of you?!

 

(Beat.)

 

BEN

Well, do you-

 

JENNIFER

Do I what?!

 

ZEEK

Believe it’s true.

 

JENNIFER

Who’s gonna tell me the truth?

Are you, Zeek?!

Did you know, Cassie?!

 

CASSIE

No!

 

JENNIFER

You, Ben?!

 

BEN

Whoa, I—

 

JENNIFER

Or Tess?!!!

Or Davin?!!!

Who should I be believing?

It’s all lies now, and deceiving.

And all I know is grieving and

the media and their thieving of

WHAT WAS MINE!!!

 

(She begins to weep.)

 

BEN

We don’t…

 

CASSIE

We don’t know what to say.

 

JENNIFER

I’m sorry, guys.

 

ZEEK

Don’t be.

We were being insensitive.

 

JENNIFER

And in my sleep I have to relive…

 

BEN

Relive what?

 

JENNIFER

This nightmare; it’s on repeat.

But the puzzle?

It may be complete.

For in the back of my mind,

I know...I knew.

I’m sure there was many a clue.

I see him in that pit

as he rambles on,

all guilty and torn.

 

CASSIE

Rambles on about what?

 

(CASSIE, BEN, and ZEEK go dark.  JENNIFER stares at DAVIN as he stands.)

 

JENNIFER

Of all things…popcorn.

 

(DAVIN looks at JENNIFER and addresses her.  The rest of THE TRAPPED are frozen in a sleep.)

 

POPCORN

 

DAVIN

Pop-pop-popcorn.

All I think about is popcorn.

(DAVIN cont.)

Pop-pop-popcorn.

All I think about is popcorn.

It’s irrational,

maybe unnatural,

due to the stress.

I must confess,

I think it’s all about Tess.

Been a year since I

broke up with her.

Now I am with Jennifer.

 

JENNIFER

That’s me.

 

DAVIN

That’s you.

 

JENNIFER

That’s me.

 

DAVIN

I love you.

Pop-pop-popcorn.

All I think about is popcorn.

Pop-pop-popcorn.

All I think about is popcorn.

It’s bizarre.

But so far…

Tess can’t handle that

she doesn’t light my candle

with her scandal.

I broke up with her.

Now I am with Jennifer.

 

JENNIFER

That’s me.

 

DAVIN

That’s you.

 

JENNIFER

That’s me.

 

DAVIN

Should I have told you?

(THE TRAPPED awake and taunt DAVIN.)

 

THE TRAPPED (no DAVIN)

Pop-pop-popcorn.

All you think about is popcorn!

Pop-pop-popcorn.

All you think about is popcorn!

 

THE FIRE

Popcorn!

All you think about is popcorn!

All you think about is popcorn!

 

(THE TRAPPED go back to sleep.)

 

Popping, popping, about to pop.

Pop-pop-popping in the popping pot.

 

(repeating)

 

DAVIN

There’s water in the kernel.

That’s what makes it puff

when heated, it gets exploded,

and what if I cheated?

Would our love be eroded?

Been a year since I

broke up with her.

Now I am with Jennifer.

 

JENNIFER

That’s me.

 

DAVIN

That’s you,

and I miss you down here.

 

JENNIFER

Tell the truth!

Tell me what I am owed!

 

(THE TRAPPED awake and taunt DAVIN.)

 

 

DAVIN

Will I explode like popcorn?!  Popcorn!

 

THE TRAPPED (no DAVIN)

Pop-pop-popcorn.

All you think about is popcorn!

Pop-pop-popcorn.

All you think about is popcorn!

 

THE FIRE

Popcorn!

All you think about is popcorn!

All you think about is popcorn!

 

(THE TRAPPED go back to sleep.)

 

DAVIN

It’s nonsensical,

purely whimsical.

but water’s in me,

and could it be

the fire will set me free?!

 

THE FIRE

Popping, popping, about to pop.

Pop-pop-popping in the popping pot.

 

(repeating)

 

DAVIN

Put me in the pot,

set me aflame.

It’s worth a shot

to kill the shame.

 

I dumped her…

Now I am with Jennifer.

 

JENNIFER

That’s me.

 

DAVIN

That’s you.

 

JENNIFER

That’s me.

DAVIN

I wronged you.

 

(DAVIN rejoins the others and sleeps.  JENNIFER weeps all alone.)

 

JENNIFER

I don’t know what to do.

 

(Her light goes out.  Time shift.  The pit.  TESS wakes.  She stands and makes a decision. She goes to a sleeping DAVIN and nudges him with her foot.  He stirs, but does not awake.  She kicks him.  He bolts up.)

 

EASY

 

TESS

You told everyone

that I lied.

 

DAVIN

Don’t go there,

not down here!

 

TESS

You mocked and you shunned,

‘til I died inside.

 

DAVIN

Don’t pretend you didn’t

know the deal.

 

TESS

Don’t go there,

not down here!

 

DAVIN

You freaked and you squealed.

I don’t care how you feel!

 

TESS

It’s easy to get down when the

the girlfriend’s out of town.

It’s easy; call the ex

(TESS cont.)

when you wanna little sex!

Pop some popcorn,

watch a movie

on the couch,

then baby, “soothe me”.

 

DAVIN

I was there,

and I regret it.

Won’t you shut it,

just forget it?

 

TESS

That’d be easy,

 

THE FIRE

Easy.

 

TESS

‘cause you think I’m easy,

 

THE FIRE

Easy.

 

TESS

and a little bit sleazy.

 

THE FIRE

Easy.

 

TESS

You can’t say…

 “please me”

then leave me all alone…

bare to the bone.

 

DAVIN

Don’t even act like

you complained.

 

TESS

Don’t go there,

not down here!

 

 

DAVIN

You moaned and you wanted.

Now this pain? 

You’re insane!

 

TESS

You knew I still loved you,

wanted more.

 

DAVIN

Don’t go there,

not down here!

 

TESS

But you left me like a rag,

wadded up on the floor.

 

DAVIN

It’s easy to play victim once you’ve

done your part and then some.

It’s easy to make drama,

but it’s your fault you’re a dirty slut!

Popcorn and a movie,

then your shirt came off

to tease me.

 

TESS

I was there,

and I regret it.

 

DAVIN

Shut your hole

and just forget it.

 

TESS

That’d be easy,

 

THE FIRE

Easy.

 

DAVIN

You seduced me!

 

TESS

‘cause you think I’m easy,

 

THE FIRE

Easy.

 

DAVIN

I know you’re easy!

 

TESS

and a little bit sleazy.

 

THE FIRE

Easy

 

DAVIN

You wanted the chance

to please me!

 

TESS

You can’t say…

 “please me”

then leave me all alone…

 

DAVIN

You deserve to be alone!

 

TESS

…bare to the bone…

 

DAVIN

This shit is your own…

 

THE FIRE

Popping, popping, about to pop.

Pop-pop-popping in the popping pot.

 

(repeating)

 

TESS

Would you believe me

if I told you

there had been a kernel

in my belly

about to pop?

 

Would you believe me

if I told you

I had them take it out,

(TESS cont.)

that baby kernel…

I had it stopped?

 

It was too easy,

 

THE FIRE

Easy.

 

TESS

but not at all easy.

 

THE FIRE

Easy.

 

TESS

It made me feel sleazy.

 

THE FIRE

Easy.

 

TESS

My actions disease me.

 

THE FIRE

Easy.

 

TESS

Davin, don’t make me own

this burden alone.

 

(DAVIN spits on her.)

 

DAVIN

You’re a drama queen,

gross and obscene,

and you lie about

absolutely everything!

Maybe you lied about being on the pill!

Maybe you didn’t.  Who knows?!

But still you make it easy to swear,

you’re not fat and pregnant now,

so I really don’t care.

 

(TESS crumbles and weeps.)

 

(DAVIN cont.)

You’re not fat

and pregnant now

so I really don’t…

care.

 

(He walks away as she cries…lights fade away...)

 

END OF ACT ONE

INTERMISSION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT TWO

The Reaching

 

 

(Darkness.  A wailing, crying, breathing.  It is SAUL.  Lights reveal him huddled on the ground.  ZEEK watches, helpless, but trying…)

 

NO ONE KNOWS ME

 

ZEEK

I can’t--

I can’t--

Saul…if you won’t tell me--

How can I--?

What can I--?

I know it’s been hell, we

have to get on top of this.

At least give me the gist.

Help me understand.

Help me lend you a hand.

 

SAUL

You can’t empathize.

You don’t even recognize

who I am.

 

ZEEK

You’re my friend.

 

SAUL

What I am.

 

ZEEK

You must try to mend.

 

SAUL

You cannot defend…

You cannot pretend

I’m not like him.

 

ZEEK

Stop with the riddles.

 

SAUL

I’m just like him!

 

 

ZEEK

Help me a little!

 

SAUL

Help you what?

To see that my

heart was cut?!

To see that my

soul was shut?!

To see that my

light went dim.

That I became just like him.

 

ZEEK

What are you talking about, Saul?

You’re nothing

like him at all.

 

SAUL

Yes!

From the beginning,

I knew him so well,

his motives and his planning.

The moment we fell,

something was granting me a

window into his mind.

And now you can see

I’m losing mine.

 

ZEEK

You’re brilliant, so smart.

It’s no surprise you could chart

his every move.

You’re an empath,

not a psychopath.

 

SAUL

You don’t know me.

No one knows me anymore.

You don’t know me.

There’s a truth I can’t ignore.

 

(ZEEK fades into darkness as SAUL begins wanders away.  As he does, CHAZ wanders in.)

SAUL

You don’t know me.

 

CHAZ

Someone talk to me.

 

SAUL

No one knows me anymore.

 

CHAZ

Someone, try to know me.

 

SAUL

You don’t know me.

 

CHAZ

Will you know me?

 

SAUL

There’s a truth I can’t ignore.

 

CHAZ

Tell me, what am I for?

 

(SAUL is gone.  JENNIFER is suddenly watching CHAZ.)

 

JENNIFER

Oh…hey Chaz.

I’d love to chat sometime.

It’s just where I’m at…

Since the crime

I’ve been so thrown,

I need to be alone.

 

CHAZ

Another time.

 

(She is gone.  CHAZ has a realization.)

 

I’m running out of time.

Only eight minutes before the test.

I must do my best.

No time to rest.

 

(His legs begin to go out from under him.)

 

No time for talking.

No time for thinking.

But I think I’m sinking.

 

(He slaps himself hard in the face.)

 

Get up!

 

(He slaps himself again.  Twice.)

 

YOU FUCK UP!!!

 

(He bolts out as CASSIE is revealed trying to get VEA’s attention as VEA dashes away from her.)

 

CASSIE

Please don’t walk away from me.

 

VEA

You can’t empathize.

You don’t even recognize

who I am.

 

CASSIE

I wanna help you.

 

VEA

What I am.

 

CASSIE

What can I do?

 

VEA

Come on, last I checked.

Girls like you just want me wrecked.

I’m an object.

 

CASSIE

Stop with the riddles.

 

VEA

I’m your object.

CASSIE

Help me a little!

 

VEA

Help you chase

dreams that you’ll

break my face?

Dreams that I’ll

be displaced?

Dreams that I’ll

lose my value…

as you tear down this statue?

 

CASSIE

I would never hurt you.

I…like you.

 

VEA

Oh! 

Well, I’ve always been beautiful,

it’s been my claim to fame.

“Stunning” and “Desirable”

aligned with my name.

Whether boy or girl, you’re terrible.

Don’t you see?

With lust or with your jealousy,

you all wanna screw me!

 

CASSIE

You’re so brilliant and smart.

And I know you have a heart.

Yeah, there was a time when I hated,

but you, I’d never reject.

You’re not just an object.

 

VEA

You don’t know me.

No one knows me anymore.

You don’t know me.

There’s a truth I can’t ignore.

 

(CASSIE fades into darkness as VEA begins wanders away.  As she does, CHAZ wanders back in.)

 

You don’t know me.

CHAZ

Someone talk to me.

 

VEA

No one knows me anymore.

 

CHAZ

Someone, try to know me.

 

VEA

You don’t know me.

 

CHAZ

Will you know me?

 

VEA

There’s a truth I can’t ignore.

 

CHAZ

Tell me, what am I for?

 

(VEA is gone.  BEN is suddenly watching CHAZ.)

 

BEN

Oh…hey Chaz.

I’d love to chat sometime.

It’s just where I’m at…

Since the crime

All I hope…and I know it’s not likely…

But I’m dying to hear from Riley…

 

(He is gone.  SAUL and VEA wander back in as CHAZ sinks to the ground.)

 

SAUL / VEA

No one knows me…

 

CHAZ

No one talks to me.

 

SAUL / VEA

It’s all different than before.

 

CHAZ

No one wants to know me.

SAUL / VEA

No one can know me…

 

CHAZ

No one knows me.

 

SAUL

There’s a truth I can’t ignore.

 

VEA

I’m an object, nothing more.

 

CHAZ

And what is living for?

 

SAUL

There’s a truth I can’t ignore.

 

VEA

I’m an object, nothing more.

 

CHAZ

And what is living for?

 

SAUL / CHAZ / VEA

No one knows me anymore…

 

(Time shifts.  The pit.  THE TRAPPED all wander in and sink to sleep, except SAUL.)

 

THE FIRE

Alleluia.

Let him enter

into you.

You must surrender.

 

SAUL

(looking up)

I know you’re listening.

You’re sweaty and glistening

from getting off

on watching us cough

our shit out.

What we’re about.

You wanna be a God,

(SAUL cont.)

but you’re a fraud!

You’re no leader,

but a feeder,

getting fat from our fear,

fat from our lives,

fat from our hopes.

That’s what drives and drives you.

You need us to feel alive…

Fuel so you can thrive!

 

(DAVIN stirs.)

 

DAVIN

Dude, we’re trying to get some

shut eye…

 

SAUL

I apologize…

 

(DAVIN goes back to sleep.  SAUL looks at him longingly and approaches, staring down at him.)

 

ARM’S LENGTH

 

SAUL

My love for you

is more than I can bear.

The view of you

blurs anything else

that might be there for me.

But how do I let go?

 

THE FIRE

How do you let go?

 

SAUL

Because I do not know…

 

THE FIRE

How do you know?

 

SAUL

if you’ll ever be

more than half there,

(SAUL cont.)

less than an arm’s length away,

and it seems I still want to stare

into my fantasy.

And when I catch your sweet eyes

piercing through me gently…

I wonder if you see

what I see in you…

in me.

And how do I let go?

 

THE FIRE

How do you let go?

 

SAUL

Oh, do I wanna know?

 

THE FIRE

How do you know?

 

SAUL

I don’t think so.

Let me wonder about you…

Let me wonder…

today…

Let me wonder…about you.

Let me kiss you in my dreams

anyway.

 

(VEA stirs and watches him.)

 

But how do I let go?

 

THE FIRE

How do you let go?

 

SAUL

Because I do not know…

 

THE FIRE

How do you know?

 

(SAUL kneels and puts his hand in DAVIN’s.  DAVIN remains asleep.)

 

 

SAUL

if you’ll ever be…

more than half there,

less than an arm’s length away.

My love for you…

should it stay?

 

Let me wonder about you…

Let me wonder…today…

 

(DAVIN stirs and rolls over, his hand leaving SAUL’s.  SAUL rises and  looks up.)

 

OBJECT

 

SAUL

You get fat from that?

You get off on that?

You’re not empowered.

Like me, you’re a coward.

 

(VEA approaches him.)

 

VEA
What about me?

 

SAUL

You were awake?

 

VEA

I’m used to it.

 

SAUL

You heard?

 

VEA

I don’t object to

being his object.

 

THE FIRE

A statue!

 

VEA

Somewhere down the line,

I became that and it’s fine.

(VEA cont.)

I don’t object to

being his object.

 

THE FIRE

A statue!

 

SAUL

And me.

 

VEA
I was awake.

 

SAUL

I’m not used to it.

 

VEA

I heard.

 

SAUL

(referring to DAVIN)

I’d not object

to being his object.

 

THE FIRE

They hate you!

 

SAUL

Somewhere down the line,

I became this, it’s not fine.

I’d not object

to being his object.

 

THE FIRE

They hate you!

 

VEA

That’s not true.

Be you for you.

 

SAUL / VEA

If you only knew

what I go through.

 

SAUL

Are you serious?

(SAUL cont.)

You’re complaining

that at school you’re always

on the red carpet?

 

THE FIRE

A statue!

 

VEA

And you’re pretending that it’s

still a secret?

Do you really think you’re still

in the closet?

 

THE FIRE

They hate you!

 

(A moment of silent tension, then they laugh at themselves – a tender. light moment.   And then suddenly are both overtaken with deep sadness.)

 

VEA

But see...

You have to know…

 

SAUL

I’m sure I know.

And I see that you’re

lonely, so lonely,

performing your one woman show.

 

VEA

You’re lonely, so lonely, and

(referring to DAVIN)

praying that no one will know.

You’re lonely, so lonely.

Whether out there or deep down here.

 

SAUL

Whether out there

or deep down here.

 

VEA

I am lonely.

 

SAUL

I’m lonely, so lonely,

 

VEA / SAUL

I wish someone could know me….

 

(She looks up.)

 

VEA

I bet he’s lonely too.

I wonder what he will do?

 

SAUL

I think he wants us to survive,

‘cause he needs us to feel alive.

 

SAUL / VEA

He watches from his own heaven,

from his own created star.

 

VEA

It’s been a while since we’ve had water.

Does he know how thirsty we are…?

 

SAFE TO DRINK?

 

THE FIRE

Swallowing sand!

His giant hand!

Your mouth, it pries!

Scrapes your tongue dry!

 

VEA

Is he here?

 

SAUL

Yeah, his breath is near me,

like he wants to whisper to me.

 

THE FIRE

Stuffing your mouth with dust!

Making you lust for water!

Hard to swallow!

Hard to speak!

 

 

VEA

You’re hard to follow.

Your voice is weak…

Saul?

Saul?

 

THE FIRE

Don’t test him,

not at all!

 

(The lights go on.  There are a few bottles of liquid on the floor.  The liquid is blue.  SAUL is crumpled on the ground, a piece of paper stuffed into his mouth.  VEA rushes to him.)

 

VEA

Oh, my God.

Did he hurt you?

 

(She pulls the paper from his mouth.)

 

SAUL

Read the letter.

What’s he want us to do?

 

VEA

(reading)

“You don’t know me.

You’ve no idea what’s in my cup.

Here’s some water.

Drink it and shut up

or else you’ll find out who I am”

 

SAUL

(looking up)

Will we anyway?

 

VEA

Be quiet!

 

SAUL

(still looking up)

Is it time to slaughter your lambs?

 

(The others stir and wake up, seeing the bottles.)

 

THE FIRE

So thirsty.

So thirsty.

(repeating)

 

CHAZ

Is that…?

 

LISSA

Is that…?

 

RILEY

Oh, my God,

I’m so thirsty.

 

DAVIN

Blue.

 

MANNY

It’s blue.

 

TESS

That’s new.

 

LISSA

Maybe someone test it first.

He may have done something…

 

RILEY

Tainted!

 

CHAZ

Who would test it?

 

MANNY

If they fainted,

then we’d know it’s poison.

 

TESS

He’ll moisten our throats…

just before he cuts ‘em.

 

 

CHAZ

Tess!

 

DAVIN

I’m sure that it’s fine.

 

TESS

Then show a little spine.

Have a drink of his wine!

 

THE TRAPPED

Our mouths full with dust, like

swallowing nails covered in rust.

He scrapes his nails

over our tongues.

But if we drink…?

 

THE FIRE

Will you be hung?

 

DAVIN

Saul? 

 

SAUL

I’m not sure.

 

VEA

Tell him.

 

DAVIN

Tell me what?

 

SAUL

It might not be pure,

but no difference.

He shoved a note in my throat,

and it makes it pretty clear

we must do what he wrote.

 

TESS

What?  No vote?

 

DAVIN

What’s it say?

 

 

VEA

(reading)

“Drink it and shut up

or else you’ll find out who I am.”

 

TESS

(looking up)

And who’s that?

 

RILEY

The one who showed me his hand…

 

SAUL

We’re not getting anything

unless we drink.

Nothing more is gonna pour.

 

RILEY

Will you Davin?

 

DAVIN

Test it out?

 

TESS

Go ahead, Davin,

don’t make me doubt

your manhood.

 

DAVIN

Should we make it the plan?

 

CHAZ
Maybe we should wait.

 

LISSA

Don’t jump right out the gate.

 

MANNY

This could seal our fate.

 

DAVIN

Just mine.

I’ll walk this line.

 

 

 

SAUL

(grabbing DAVIN)

Davin, I don’t know.

 

DAVIN

It’s cool,

let’s do this.

(shrugging him off)

Let me go!

 

SAUL

But if it’s poison…

 

DAVIN

Then we’ll know.

 

(DAVIN grabs one of the bottles and slowly opens it.)

 

THE TRAPPED (no DAVIN)

Is it safe, safe to drink?

We can’t face it, bear to think:

he will test it just for us,

then he might…

 

TESS

That’d be a plus!

 

THE TRAPPED (no TESS)

Tess!

 

DAVIN

Ignore her.

Bottoms up.

It’s anybody’s guess.

 

(He drinks the water.  DAVIN then freezes.  A time shift.  The others go into direct address.)

 

COUGH (2)

 

MANNY / LISSA

We stood there waiting…

 

 

SAUL

hoping, praying…

 

RILEY

that nothing really bad would happen…

 

VEA

And for a while it seemed

he hadn’t schemed

to poison us after all…

 

CHAZ / TESS

We drank and stood up tall…

 

RILEY

And we sighed.

 

(DAVIN and the others intermingle, friendly, grabbing bottles and drinking.)

 

THE TRAPPED

Relief came out.

 

MANNY/LISSA

And we laughed.

 

THE TRAPPED

Some joy came out.

Ten days in, alive,

not meeting our end.

 

SAUL

So for a while it seemed

he hadn’t schemed

to poison us after all…

 

(CHAZ curls up crying.)

 

MANNY / LISSA

Then Chaz began to bawl and shake.

 

VEA

For all of us,

the ground seemed to quake.

 

 

SAUL

Our vision blurred.

Our eyes dilated.

 

RILEY / TESS

We’d had the water,

taken his bait.

 

THE TRAPPED

Fed into the mouth of the beast,

we waited and coughed.

 

THE FIRE

Cough!

 

CHAZ

The dark came out.

 

THE TRAPPED

How we coughed…

our souls ripped out

for him to see,

 

THE FIRE

He will see!

 

THE TRAPPED

drugged and playing out his fantasy…

 

THE FIRE

You’re his fantasy!

And nothing’s gonna

ever let you forget….

 

(Time shifts.  The pit.  All begin to hallucinate…focused on their own worlds…their own nightmares.  CHAZ’s vision reveals itself to him.)

 

CLOCK

 

THE FIRE

Tick tock

Tick tock

(repeating)

 

CHAZ

Why are you staring,

the face of a clock?

Why are you glaring?

Riley, help me block it!

 

RILEY

(backing away from her own vision)

Chaz, I can’t,

its jaws want to snap…

my angry plant,

my pet Venus Fly Trap.

 

CHAZ

Someone!

 

THE FIRE

No one!

All in your cells…

All fighting demons

in your personal hells!

 

TESS

Something’s coming!

 

LISSA / MANNY

The floor is moving!

 

DAVIN / VEA

The air is swimming!

 

SAUL

Our bodies, he’s juicing!

 

THE FIRE

Blood, he drinks

as you float on the brink.

He’s peering, leering!

 

THE TRAPPED (no CHAZ)

Now we can’t think!

 

CHAZ

Why are you staring,

A melting clock?

I need my time.

(CHAZ cont.)

Don’t hand me the shock of

missing minutes,

seconds dissolving,

hour hands bending!

My world is devolving!

Riley, help now!

 

RILEY

I can’t be your provider.

I’m caught in the web

of my angry pet spider.

 

CHAZ

I must cling to my day, my routine;

it brings stability and tranquility.

Without it I’m lost

Without it, I’m tossed into chaos…

Time is my boss!

 

THE FIRE

Now he’s your boss!

 

CHAZ

I’m always on time,

get out of bed on time.

I study in a timely manner.

 

THE FIRE

Tick tock.

 

CHAZ

Make the bed: twenty seconds,

eat breakfast:  nine minutes.

I’m nothing if not a perfect planner.

 

THE FIRE

Knock. Knock.

 

CHAZ

Trek to school:  eighteen minutes

test review:  seven minutes

twelve minutes to eat my lunch.

 

THE FIRE

Time calling.

CHAZ

Maybe I should eat more slowly,

but I have to catch a lowly power nap,

or else my brain will crunch!

 

THE FIRE

You’re falling!

Falling behind!

 

CHAZ

Where’s my time?!

 

THE FIRE

Melting into the grime;

he’s laughing at you!

 

CHAZ

No, I can do this!

 

THE FIRE

Tick

 

CHAZ

I can—

 

THE FIRE

tock!

 

CHAZ

I can—

 

THE FIRE

Tick

 

CHAZ

I can—

 

THE FIRE

tock!

 

CHAZ

I can do—

 

THE FIRE

Tick

 

CHAZ

this!

 

THE FIRE

tock!

Tick tock!

Melting.

Ticking tocking

melting melting.

 

CHAZ

No! I can do this!

 

THE TRAPPED (no CHAZ)

Tick tock tick tock

tick tock tick tock!

 

CHAZ

Journal time:  half an hour.

Homework time:  three hours.

Ten minutes to prep for bed.

 

THE FIRE

Heart knocks!

 

CHAZ

Then staring at the ceiling,

my mind is always reeling.

I wonder if I’d like being dead!

 

THE FIRE

You said it!

 

CHAZ

Nothing more would be said.

Just silence.

The clock and I’d be dead…

 

(Time shifts.  CHAZ is alone and begins to reenact his suicide attempt – by hanging.)

 

THE FIRE

Tick tock.

Tick tock.

 

CHAZ

Melt away…

 

THE FIRE

Tick tock.

Tick tock.

 

CHAZ

Far away…

 

(CHAZ “steps off” and “falls”.  He gasps for air and sways. THE WATCHERS appear.)

 

ZEEK

The news said

the face of his watch was bashed in,

every clock smashed when

they found him.

 

BEN

His dad came in

just in time,

his face about to burst,

all red.

 

CASSIE

My mom said

the rope had been cleaned, polished,

that it, like, gleamed all white,

reflecting the light all the way

up to the beam at the ceiling.

 

JENNIFER

Like his only healing would be led

by this pure thread up to the sky.

Dead, he’d no longer have to

privately cry.

 

BEN

It makes no sense.

He escapes the pit,

makes it out alive,

but then devises his own end?

 

 

JENNIFER

Well, tell me,

are you really his friend?

 

BEN

Sure, I…

 

JENNIFER

Really.

 

BEN

Uh…no.

 

JENNIFER

Cassie?

 

CASSIE

No.

 

ZEEK

Me either.

 

JENNIFER

And I’m not.

I always swatted him away like a fly.

 

BEN

It’s no wonder he wanted to…

 

(The all look at each other…)

 

CASSIE

What hospital is he in?

 

(THE WATCHERS fade into darkness. CHAZ gasps as “the rope” disappears.)

 

CHAZ

Alone in the silence

is better than the ticking clock,

or my heart that bangs and knocks…

When perfection is your only friend,

who wouldn’t want to meet his end?

 

(Time shifts.  The pit.  CHAZ looks around at the rest who are sleeping.  He curls up, alone…  Time shifts again.  BEN and CASSIE appear.  RILEY stands alone, staring at BEN.)

 

TOO OLD FOR YOU

 

BEN

I’d gently approach her.

 

CASSIE

Her response?

 

BEN

None.

 

CASSIE

And when you’d show up at lunch?

 

BEN

She’d run.

I finally tried chasing her,

but the girl is fast.

 

CASSIE

Get to the point.

Tell me!

 

BEN

Chill.

 

CASSIE

Well?

 

BEN

Last night…at last...

 

CASSIE

Riley talked to you?

No one’s had a clue how to

get her to open up.

 

BEN

She showed up late,

threw a rock at the glass.

I woke up, and she was

staring up at my window,

(BEN cont.)

barefoot, feet all wet from the dew on the grass.

 

CASSIE

Were you able to tell her

how you really feel?

 

BEN

I would always conceal that –

before the pit –

never had the guts,

could never admit to her that I--

 

CASSIE

And now?

 

(Beat.)

 

BEN

She already knew.

I mean I had been chasing her

like some puppy.

It’s why she’d run from me.

She didn’t want to do

what she had to do.

 

CASSIE

What’s that? 

 

(Beat.)

 

Ben?  You okay?

 

(CASSIE fades into darkness.  RILEY and BEN lock eyes.)

 

RILEY

Your eyes are wide,

and I wonder, what do you see?

As I stand at your window,

what’s your image of me?

 

BEN

You’re beautiful.

 

RILEY

“Mama”, I say,

“am different today?”

She says, “No.”

but I know anyway.

The woman in the mirror,

hair all white,

a ghost crying in the night.

 

And hey, Ben,

I wish you’d send me

back to a time, before this time.

We’d have time for our lights to shine

on each other…

 

BEN

We still can.

 

RILEY

And hey, Ben,

what could have been

if we’d had the time before this time, your hand in mine? Our lips might have

found each other…

 

BEN

I don’t understand.

 

RILEY

But I’m no longer new.

I wish I never knew

that moment in his private cage…

 

BEN

What do you mean?

 

RILEY

I’m a different age.

I wish it wasn’t true…

I’m too old for you…

 

BEN

That doesn’t make any sense.

Please let down your defenses.

What happened to you?

I’m here for you.

RILEY

Like cobwebs in my blood,

why can’t you see?

The fire, it charred

and made an antique of me…

 

BEN

No it didn’t.

 

RILEY

Ben, I say,

am I different today?

You say, no,

but I know anyway.

The woman in the mirror,

face all cracked,

like shattered glass,

and I can’t go back.

 

And hey, Ben,

I wish you’d send me

back to a time, before this time.

We’d have time for our lights to shine

on each other…

 

BEN

We still can!

 

RILEY

And hey, Ben,

what could have been

if we’d had the time before this time, your hand in mine? Our lips might have

found each other…

 

BEN

Help me understand…

 

RILEY

We’re at different stages,

turned to different pages.

I wish it wasn’t true.

I’m too old for you…

I’m too old for you….

But I wish I could know

if I’d have loved you…

(RILEY fades into the dark. CASSIE reappears.)

 

CASSIE

Sounds intense.

But, you know…

We may have to let them all go.

 

BEN

Oh, really? 

You ready to give up on Lissa?

Or…how about Vea?

 

CASSIE

Don’t be an asshole.

 

BEN

We all walked away from Chaz,

played an awesome role for him.

Turned out great!

 

CASSIE

Stop it!

You’re being hateful.

You know what I meant.

 

BEN

I’m…I’m just so spent.

She called herself old.

And when she walked away,

I have to say it looked that way.

Her face all drawn.

And our chance to be together…

gone…

But why…? 

 

(They fade into darkness as ZEEK and JENNIFER appear.)

 

STATUE

 

ZEEK

Did you read that blog?

 

JENNIFER

I don’t have time to slog through

(JENNIFER cont.)

some fan page for Vea.

 

ZEEK

Well, I asked her.

She said most of it was true.

When he drugged them,

Tess flew into a fury, came after her.

Vea worried she’d kill her.

 

JENNIFER

Tragic.

 

ZEEK

She didn’t want that public,

was protecting Tess for some reason,

but the blogger stole her journal

from her purse.

 

JENNIFER

It’s a curse being so popular.

 

ZEEK

Evidently that’s what Tess thought.

 

JENNIFER

What?!

Are you comparing me to Tess?!

 

ZEEK

No, I--

 

JENNIFER

And I love how you

follow Vea’s fan page and all.

Your blatant crush on her is the

only thing stopping rumors about

you and Saul.

 

ZEEK

You know…

You’re turning into a real bitch.

 

JENNIFER

Ohhhh, that is rich!

 

ZEEK

The comparison is perfect!

I know this has been hard for you,

but you project your shit onto me

and everyone.

 

JENNIFER

Screw you!  I’M DONE!!!

 

(She goes dark.  ZEEK yells after her.)

 

ZEEK

Oh yeah, wallow in it!  Walk away!

But we’re lucky!

We weren’t the ones

down there for nineteen days!!!

 

(ZEEK fade into darkness.  Time shifts.  The pit. THE TRAPPED continue to hallucinate.)

 

THE TRAPPED

Mouths stuffed with dust like

swallowing nails covered in rust!

 

SAUL

Maybe we shouldn’t…

Maybe we shouldn’t…

 

VEA

Saul, is that you?

 

SAUL

I can’t think…

Maybe we shouldn’t…

 

DAVIN

What is he saying?

 

SAUL

Maybe we shouldn’t keep drinking.

 

VEA

But thirsty, so thirsty…

 

 

DAVIN

(grabbing a bottle)

Don’t worry I’ll get you more.

 

(TESS begins approaching VEA and DAVIN.)

 

VEA

My mouth is dry and sore.

 

DAVIN

(handing her the bottle)

Drink it all down.

 

(She drinks.  He stares at her.)

 

I could drown

in your beauty.

Do you want to kiss me?

 

TESS

I don’t mean to be nosy,

but you two look kind of cozy.

Don’t forget I’m the whore.

She’s cold to her core.

 

DAVIN

Are you done?

You’re such a bore.

 

(TESS slaps him in the face.  He recoils.  VEA stands, frozen, scared.)

 

TESS

I can see my handprint

spreading on your face,

reaching through your teeth,

to replace your air…

Stealing your air…

 

(DAVIN begins to choke, as if he can’t breathe.)

 

That seems only…fair…

 

 

SAUL

Davin, is that you?

 

DAVIN

I can’t…

 

SAUL

Davin?

 

DAVIN

breathe!

 

SAUL

(going to him)

I got you.

 

(SAUL takes him in his arms.  DAVIN calms.  VEA remains frozen, terrified.  TESS turns her attention to VEA.)

 

TESS

And you,

I see you as a statue.

What if I could

preserve your beauty?

Oh, wouldn’t that be delish?

The boys would kneel at your feet and make a dirty wish.

 

And the girls like me

would be free from the “V”

that’s sealed on the

flesh of your followers,

blinded by your beauty

and failing to see

that you’re icy and vain.

You’re a borrower!

There’s nothing in you that’s true,

because you’re a statue!

 

(A ritualized processional commences, ending with VEA being presented to TESS as a sacrifice.)

 

I wanna take a hammer

and crush your bones into dust,

(TESS cont.)

then mix it with water and fire.

Pour your essence into a mold,

forever hold the face of their desire!

 

Beautiful.  Exquisite.

Standing there forever.

But I’ll have one consolation

as I watch the boys all gather.

You will only be statue,

and your followers will be fed,

but in truth I will have killed you.

The real Vea will be dead!

 

(TESS begins to go mad.)

 

The real Vea will be dead.

You’ll finally be dead.

(going to DAVIN)

Do you know what he said?!

Have you heard what he’s said?!

(to SAUL)

Don’t even think he’ll lie in your bed!

(to VEA)

I want you and Jennifer dead!

All of you, all of you,

all of you dead!

 

VEA

STOP!

I don’t believe what he said.

 

(TESS is stunned.)

 

And I heard you before

when you were fighting.

I heard you say you were pregnant.

And I believe you...if you said it…

 

(TESS sinks to the ground and cradles her lost child…)

 

LULLABY

 

TESS

Lullaby.

(TESS cont.)

Lullaby.

Lullaby.

Sweet baby, good-bye.

 

TESS  / VEA

Lullaby.

Lullaby.

Lullaby.

Sweet baby, good-bye.

 

(The others join – DAVIN is genuinely realizing the devastation.)

 

THE TRAPPED

Lullaby.

Lullaby.

Lullaby.

Sweet baby, good-bye.

Lullaby.

Lullaby.

Lullaby.

Sweet baby, good-bye.

 

TESS

(releasing her baby to the ether)

Sweet baby, good-bye.

 

VEA

(taking TESS into her arms)

Go ahead…and cry.

 

(VEA hugs TESS as if to save her very life, kissing her head with love and compassion.  DAVIN collapses into tears as well.  And then…the lights go out.)

 

THE FIRE

Soon, you will all cry…

 

(Time shifts.  BEN and JENNIFER are on the phone with each other.)

 

 

 

 

JEALOUS

 

BEN

What if I’m jealous,

wish I was them?

JENNIFER

I think you just miss Riley.

 

BEN

But would we find we

have a better story?

 

JENNIFER

What?

To bask in the glory of

forced celebrity,

to drown in the gory

details, collectively

walk around lost.

 

(ZEEK and CASSIE appear on the phone with each other.)

 

BEN / CASSIE

But there’s some line they have crossed.

 

(BEN and JENNIFER fade into darkness.)

 

CASSIE

And I think I’m jealous.

They have a “before and after”.

But we’re in the middle.

I’m caught with no answer.

 

ZEEK

You think they have the answer?

They have scars and death;

it’s like poison, like a cancer.

I think you just miss Vea.

 

CASSIE

And you don’t?

 

 

ZEEK

Fine - I like her too, but I won’t—

 

CASSIE

And Saul?

 

ZEEK

But I won’t hit my head against a wall

trying to break through. 

This is theirs.

 

(BEN and JENNIFER appear.)

 

CASSIE / BEN

But no one cares about us.

 

(ZEEK and CASSIE fade into darkness.)

 

BEN

And I think I’m jealous.

 

JENNIFER

You’re really envious?

 

BEN

All we can do is watch.

But in their lives,

they now have this notch, this mark on their timeline that matters.

 

JENNIFER

Yeah, but it shatters.

 

BEN

At least some attention’s

been on you.

 

JENNIFER

Ben.  Grow up.

If you only knew.

You want this crap?

 

(ZEEK and CASSIE appear.)

 

JENNIFER / ZEEK

You wanna be strapped

(JENNIFER / ZEEK cont.)

by the grief, be trapped?

 

(JENNIFER and BEN fade into darkness.)

 

ZEEK

Maybe you don’t feel jealousy.

I think…I think you feel guilty.

 

CASSIE

He chose me.

I had that note from Vea.

 

ZEEK

From him, Cassie.

Not Vea.  He stalked you.

 

CASSIE

But I was supposed to be there too.

He chose me.

 

ZEEK

We don’t want to know their journey.

We don’t need to envy.

And you don’t need to feel guilty.

 

CASSIE

I…I know.

 

ZEEK

And besides haven’t you been preaching

we “have let to them go”?

 

CASSIE

Maybe I lied.

 

ZEEK

Cassie, we tried.

 

(BEN and JENNIFER appear.)

 

JENNIFER / ZEEK

And we’re alive.

None of us died.

 

(ZEEK and CASSIE fade into darkness.)

 

BEN

I’m sorry.

You’re right.

Of course, you’re right.

But I can’t stop thinking about Riley…

that night…

 

(ZEEK and CASSIE appear. JENNIFER and BEN fade into darkness.)

 

CASSIE

You’re right.

Of course, you’re right.

 

ZEEK

It will all take time to play out.

There’s no need to be jealous

or overzealous to figure out

what this is all about.

 

CASSIE

And it has been wonderful to watch

Manny stand up, to fight for a place.

And Lissa seems better,

there’s less fear on her face.

 

(BEN and JENNIFER appear.)

 

JENNIFER / ZEEK

We all need to breathe.

 

(A collective breath.)

 

CASSIE / BEN

Thanks for the call.

I was so stressed.

 

JENNIFER / ZEEK

No trouble at all.

Try to get some rest.

 

(THE WATCHERS fade into darkness.  Time shifts.  The pit.  THE TRAPPED

are sleeping, except for MANNY who looks at LISSA.)

 

FIRST KISS

 

MANNY

Lissa?

Lissa?

Can you hear me?

 

(She begins to wake and listen.)

 

Lissa,

Lissa,

You’re so near me.

I wonder if the fire that we all fear…

is also here to help us all appear…

so clear to each other.

I want to kiss you…

I’ve never kissed a girl before…

If we should die right here on this floor,

I will have kissed you…

Let me drown that orange burning sun.

Let’s toss our fears and be done

as I kiss you.

 

And if this is the time

when we should die…

I’ll have seen my eyes in yours

reflected back…to mine…

as I kiss you…

 

THE FIRE

Little Manny, tall.

Little Manny, something.

Never again is he small…

 

(They move in to kiss each other when SAUL lays a hand on his shoulder and stops him.)

 

SAUL

Manny.

 

MANNY

What?!

SAUL

Don’t, Manny.

He’s watching all of this.

 

LISSA

He’s right.

Manny, we shouldn’t

share our very first kiss…

Not with him…

 

(A horrifying scream pierces the space from somewhere outside the pit.  They jump and look around and realize…)

 

VEA

Oh, My God.

Where is, Riley?

 

(Another scream and then the lights go dim.  The screams become muffled.  RILEY is heard sobbing from the darkness.  Time shifts.  Split time.  ZEEK and BEN appear. BEN is visible upset.  The sounds of RILEY’s crying continue throughout as THE TRAPPED watch the walls, following her weeping.)

 

FIRST KISS (2)

 

ZEEK

I can’t believe she kept it in,

that she actually lied.

The paper says the others

tried to tell, but she denied it

in her police interviews,

in the statements she’d written,

that she kept this hidden…

 

BEN

So much shame…

she’ll never be the same…

 

ZEEK

Ben…will you be okay?

 

 

BEN

All I can say

is I wanna make him pay…

make him scream and cry

and finally die

as I rip off his limbs

one by one…

for what he put her through…

for what he’s done.

 

ZEEK

I’d help you…

 

(BEN begins to weep.)

 

BEN

Really though…

I just want to wrap around her…

give her someone safe to hold.

No wonder she feels so old…

(All lights go out.  Time shifts. The pitch black pit.  RILEY continues to cry.)

 

THE FIRE

He loves you.

He loves you,

how he loves you.

He loves you so much.

He kisses you,

and kisses you,

how he kisses you…

 

(The lights come on.  RILEY stands there in shock.  She stumbles forward, step by step…not in her right mind.)

 

RILEY

Someone…

anyone…

can you hear me?

 

(VEA goes to her.  RILEY screams, throwing her off.)

 

GET AWAY!!!

(No one knows what to do.  They stand in horror.)

 

(RILEY cont.)

Can you...see him?

He’s still on me…

 

I wonder if forever I’m his bouquet…

his skin like rotting tissue paper,

wrapping me as I decay.

He said, “I will kiss you...”

But I’d never kissed a boy before…

He took me down to his floor

and said, “I will kiss you…”

And his breath, it blistered my skin.

Then I felt the pain of his sin

as he said, “I will kiss you...”

 

And now that I have had

my very first kiss…

I wonder what the fire has stolen.

What will I miss from his saying,

“I will kiss you…”?

 

(RILEY collapses.  All go to her.  DAVIN pulls SAUL aside.)

 

THAT GUY

 

DAVIN

I’m supposed to be the one.

I’m the one who takes the fight,

finds the monster in the night,

takes his head off with my might.

 

How’d this happen on my watch?

How’d I let him steal her out?

I can’t let him make me doubt

who I am, what I’m about.

 

SAUL

We were drugged and seeing things.

He’s the master of his game.

You are not the one to blame.

You don’t need to feel ashamed.

 

DAVIN

I don’t feel a thing at all.

All I’m good for is the fight.

I know how to use my might.

Act don’t feel, my fists in flight.

 

SAUL

But you do feel!

Herein my sight,

someone caring is standing there…

 

DAVIN

Let it lie.

 

SAUL

Show something else…

You’re more than fists.

 

DAVIN

I’m not.

 

SAUL

You’re the guy I hope …

 

DAVIN

Don’t.

 

SAUL

…one day might share…

 

DAVIN

I’m not that guy.

 

SAUL

What guy is that?

You made me your friend…

 

DAVIN

It’s fun to hang, but Saul…

 

SAUL

I’m tired of hitting your wall,

‘cause how do I let go..

if I do not know

if you’ll ever be…

more than half there?

DAVIN

I’ve never been there…

 

SAUL

…less than an arm’s length away?

 

DAVIN

not that way…

 

SAUL

My love for you…

 

DAVIN

Don’t say it.

 

SAUL

…should it stay?

 

DAVIN

Saul, walk away.

 

SAUL

But I wonder…

 

DAVIN

Wonder nothing…

 

SAUL

about you…

 

DAVIN

Do you know who I am?

 

SAUL

I wonder…

 

DAVIN

Shut it, just forget it.

 

SAUL

Davin, Davin, Davin, please!!!

 

DAVIN

I’m the guy that beats up FAGGOTS!!!

 

(DAVIN shoves him to the ground.  SAUL is stunned.)

 

I also knock up my ex-girlfriend,

tell everyone she lied.

So don’t you play the victim.

All I’ll do is shrug and sigh.

‘Cause I don’t feel a thing at all.

All I’m good for is the fight.

I know how to use my might,

act don’t feel, my fists in flight.

 

(He looks ups.)

 

Next time I’ll be ready.

And I’ll hunt you like a shark.

(sotto voce)

If I knew when he was coming…

If I could see in the dark…

 

(The lights go out.  Screams.)

 

RILEY

Don’t let him touch me again…

 

THE FIRE

He loves you…

He loves you…

He’d never harm you…

He wants to hold and kiss and keep you.

He wants to know you…

through and through…

He’ll never leave you…

 

(LISSA screams.  After a moment, the lights come back up.  A single bottle of red water is now in the pit...)

 

LISSA

(note in hand)

He handed me a note.

“Again, you are thirsty.

I see your thirst with my eyes.

The first to sip gets a prize!”

 

 

THE TRAPPED

The water is red like blood.

He wants us dead!

 

(SAUL rushes and grabs it.)

 

THE TRAPPED

NO!

 

SAUL

Bottoms up.

It’s anybody’s guess.

 

(SAUL drinks.  They stare, frozen, waiting…)

 

ATTACK (2)

 

THE FIRE

Hearts ramping up.

Beat-beat.  Thump-thump.

Beat-beat.  Thump-thump.

 

DAVIN

Saul?

 

THE FIRE

Hearts feeling heat.

 

VEA

Saul?

 

THE FIRE

Thump-thump.  Beat-beat.

 

LISSA / MANNY

Saul?

 

THE FIRE

Thump-thump.  Beat-beat.

 

RILEY / CHAZ

Are you okay?

 

(SAUL grabs his throat and collapses on the ground, gasping for air.)

THE TRAPPED

Oh, my God!  No air!

Oh, my God!  No air!

Oh, my God!  No air!

 

SAUL

I can’t get any air!

 

(They rush to help him.  DAVIN runs around the perimeter looking for a way to break out.)

 

THE FIRE

The blood!

 

THE TRAPPED

It’s starting!

 

THE FIRE

His game!

 

THE TRAPPED

He’s choking!

 

THE FIRE

Your death!

 

THE TRAPPED

He’s killing us!

 

THE FIRE

You’re trapped!

 

THE TRAPPED

No way out!

 

(repeating, growing…)

 

SAUL

Davin!

 

DAVIN

Yeah?

 

(SAUL grabs DAVIN and pulls him close to him.)

SAUL

Be ready.

 

DAVIN

What?

 

(They all freeze as TESS breaks out and approaches JENNIFER who appears.  Time shift.)

 

TESS

(quite intoxicated)

And he was ready,

determined to be steady,

and do what he knew to be true.

He doesn’t feel a thing at all.

What he’s good for is the fight.

He knows how to use his might.

 

JENNIFER

But he didn’t win this fight.

 

TESS

But he tried to make it right,

fix all that he’d done to us.

You, me, Saul – to win our trust.

Take a stand and be the man.

 

JENNIFER

But he’ll never be a man.

Tess, have you been drinking?

 

TESS

Yes, and I’ve been thinking

that I need to say

I’m sorry for my part,

sorry for my stupid heart…

 

JENNIFER

I forgive you.

And I’m sorry for

all you’ve been through.

 

 

 

 

TESS

(wandering away)

He was ready to do

what he knew to be true…

 

(JENNIFER fades into darkness.  Time shifts back to the pit..)

 

SAUL

Stay steady.

Be ready to fight him

when the lights go out.

 

(The lights go out.)

 

GET HIM!!!

 

THE FIRE

The blood!

 

THE TRAPPED

Get him, Davin!

 

(Sounds of fighting, scuffling break out.)

 

THE FIRE

His game!

 

THE TRAPPED

Fight him, Davin!

 

THE FIRE

Your death!

 

THE TRAPPED

Kill him, Davin!

 

THE FIRE

You’re trapped!

 

THE TRAPPED

We’ll get out!

 

(repeating, growing…)

 

(DAVIN lets out a scream.  All stops.  Sounds of his suffering; crashing debris from the darkness.  Then silence.   The lights come on.  DAVIN’s shirt is in the pit, soaked in blood.  SAUL goes to it and picks it up, shaking.  The others collapse into tears and devastation.  Time shifts.  SAUL looks out in direct address.)

 

ALLELUIA

 

SAUL

(direct address)

A note appeared

stuck to the wall,

soon after he took his fall into hell.

 

This note I threw away,

but in my head

forever, his voice will stay…

This letter said:

 

THE TRAPPED

(no DAVIN, SAUL)

“Your water wasn’t poison.

They’ll all know that you lied.”

 

SAUL

I lied, and as a result I killed my friend.

 

THE TRAPPED

(no DAVIN, SAUL)

 “He died, he met a bloody end.”

 

SAUL

By faking, I thought I could lure him.

And I thought Davin could take him.

But now I question my motives.

(looking down at the bloody shirt)

In that moment I really did hate him.

I hated Davin.

But I loved Davin…

 

(RILEY goes to him.)

 

RILEY

Saul, no.

We all know…

You must let it go…

 

(SAUL lets the shirt go…)

 

Now that we’re here

a year after the fear,

we have to show that we sing:

 

THE TRAPPED (no DAVIN)

Alleluia.

Alleluia.

We escaped his lair.

Alleluia

Alleluia.

Now we can share…

that although he had us

under his eye for nineteen smoky days,

we’ll move on with a different fire,

for we’ve been set ablaze

from the inside.
Never again will we have to hide.

There’s always an eye

watching, hunting,

someone protecting,

strangers expecting.

But we’ve cut through the haze…

We’ve all been set ablaze…

Set ablaze…

 

(The sit in a circle.  They are silent.  They meditate.  They fade into the darkness.)

 

END OF ACT TWO

TRANSITION TO EPILOGUE

 


 

 

EPILOGUE

Friends

 

 

(THE WATCHERS appear.)

 

A YEAR

 

ZEEK

A year…

 

BEN

Yeah…

 

JENNIFER

To the day.

 

CASSIE

Do you think things are better?

 

BEN

I think they’ve begun to find their way.

 

ZEEK

And us?

 

BEN

Maybe…

 

CASSIE

We’ll see…

 

JENNIFER
I have started feeling

a bit more like “me”.

Whatever that is.

 

(They laugh.)

 

ZEEK

Have you been online?

It came out.

 

JENNIFER

Yeah, for the anniversary,

the “tell all” book.

 

BEN

Did you get a look?

ZEEK

(searching on his smart phone)

There’s that excerpt.

 

CASSIE

It’s been all over the news.

 

JENNIFER

And all the “talking head” views

of what really happened…

 

BEN

How it all went down.

 

ZEEK

Do you think it’s possible?

 

CASSIE

The way they were found?

 

ZEEK

Here…the summary…

“An evil like no other

set out to smother

his victims in a well

planned horror show…”

blah blah

“No one would know

where they were.

Using a GPS scrambler and

well placed sound baffling…”

blah blah

“…phones destroyed.

His laughing

rang through their heads.”

 

CASSIE

That’s not what any of them said.

He never laughed, but claimed to love.

 

BEN

He wanted their devotion.

JENNIFER

But you gotta make it a sensation,

change the facts.

BEN

Yeah, take a look at the end.

 

JENNIFER

It lacks credibility.

 

BEN

You don’t believe the new claim?

 

JENNIFER

The author just wants fame, visibility.

 

CASSIE

The defense claimed he made the call…

turned himself in.

 

ZEEK

After he killed Davin,

he chose to face his sins.

 

BEN

But it didn’t really sound like him,

that 911call.

 

CASSIE

The experts couldn’t make the call

if it was really him at all.

 

ZEEK

The voice did seem younger, like Davin,

not at all older.

 

BEN

The voice also seemed injured,

but also somehow bolder.

 

JENNIFER

So you think somehow Davin

got to a phone

before he bled out?

His last moment, alone,

was righting his wrongs,

was rescuing his friends?

 

(Beat.)

 

BEN

I’d like that end.

 

ZEEK

Me too.

 

CASSIE

(to JENNIFER)

And you?

 

(Beat.)

 

JENNIFER

Yeah.

I’d…I’d be all right with that.

 

CASSIE

Both Lissa and Vea called to tell me

they’re breaking the rules.

 

BEN

Emmanuel and Riley told me

they’re going to the school.

 

ZEEK

What?

 

JENNIFER

McCauley High?

 

CASSIE

Yeah. Before they tear it down.

 

BEN

To take a last look around.

 

THE WATCHERS

(a deep understanding)

To claim it as their own ground.

 

(Silence.)

 

BEN

Why the silence?

 

 

CASSIE

Are you thinking…?

 

ZEEK

Just…contemplating…

Maybe.

 

JENNIFER

Yeah…?

Going to their gathering?

 

(The fall silent…slowly, they each leave as THE TRAPPED looks around…)

 

WE GATHER

 

THE TRAPPED (no DAVIN)

We gather

on this ground,

take one more

look around

in our burned clothes,

claim this story as our own,

but only seven of us gather.

 

DAVIN

(entering)

It doesn’t matter, because

I can feel your heart

in the palm of my hand.

Oh, I’m sorry

for all of my wrongs.

But in this year I’ve been

with you all along…

 

FRIEND

 

DAVIN

So hand me countless smiles.

Catch me until the end.

 

THE TRAPPED

And I promise I’ll

be there, your forever friend.

 

(THE WATCHERS come in, beating their drums…witnessing the ritual.)

 

Go ahead and beat your drum.

I have got you all the way.

March into the darkness

until the light of day.

Anybody harms you,

there’s gonna be hell to pay.

I’m at your shoulder.
Listen! 

We all say:

forever is a long, long time

but it’s something you can count on.

Bet every dime,

‘cause I’ll recognize you.

Not just your face,

but by the grace

of somethin’ unspoken,

not to be broken.

So hand me countless smiles.

Catch me until the end.

And I promise I’ll

be there, your forever friend.

 

VEA / RILEY / DAVIN / SAUL

I’m your friend.

 

LISSA / TESS / CHAZ / MANNY

Your forever friend.

 

VEA / RILEY / DAVIN / SAUL

I’m your friend.

 

(JENNIFER approaches DAVIN and they embrace.  Forgiveness.  TESS approaches DAVIN and they embrace.  Forgiveness.  SAUL approaches DAVIN and they embrace.  Forgiveness.)

 

THE TRAPPED

Go ahead and beat your drum.

Go ahead and beat your drum.

Go ahead and beat your drum.

Go ahead and beat your drum.

I have got you all the way…

(THE TRAPPED cont.)

I have got you…

I have got you all the way.

Oh…

 

THE FIRE

Oh, let me wrap around you.

Oh, let me hold you.

God, I love you.

(repeating…)

 

VEA / RILEY / CHAZ / MANNY

Let me wrap around you.

Let me wrap around you,

like a blanket in the night.

 

LISSA / TESS / DAVIN / SAUL

Let me wrap around you,

like a blanket in the night,

cover your fright. 

Hold tight!

‘Cause I’m never gonna let go.

Oh, no!

 

VEA / RILEY / CHAZ / MANNY

I’ll wipe your tears with laughter!

Gone with laughter!

 

LISSA / TESS / DAVIN / SAUL

I’ll wipe your tears with laughter,

even in the midst of disaster.

 

THE TRAPPED

‘Cause I’ve got your back,

and you’re never gonna lack

the feelin’ in my heart!

Oh, the feelin’ in my heart!

You are beatin’ in my heart!

No, this feelin’ won’t depart,

whether if miles away,

or sitting beside you on a

sunny or rainy day!

 

THE FIRE

Go ahead and beat your drum.

(repeating…)

LISSA / TESS / CHAZ / MANNY

Go ahead and beat your drum.

I have got you all the way.

March into the darkness

until the light of day.

Anybody harms you,

there’s gonna be hell to pay.

I’m at your shoulder.
Listen! 

We all say:

forever is a long, long time

but it’s something you can count on.

Bet every dime,

‘cause I’ll recognize you.

Not just your face,

but by the grace

of somethin’ unspoken,

not to be broken!

 

VEA / RILEY / DAVIN / SAUL

Go ahead and beat your drum.

I have got you all the way.

March into the darkness

until the light of day.

Anybody harms you,

there’s gonna be hell to pay.
Listen! 

We all say:

forever is a long, long time

but it’s something you can count on.

Bet every dime.

I’ll recognize you.

Somethin’ unspoken,

not to be broken!

 

THE TRAPPED

So hand me countless smiles.

Catch me until the end.

And I promise I’ll

be there.

I’ll be there, because

in your heart, I’m inside.

And you won’t have to hide.

‘Cause I am forever and ever

your forever friend!

 

(THE WATCHERS begin to leave, a silent understanding to allow THE TRAPPED to close their ritual.  DAVIN begins walking out.)

 

THE FIRE

And nothing…

And nothing…

And nothing…

And nothing…

And nothing’s gonna

ever let you forget…

 

THE TRAPPED (no DAVIN)

Never forget…

 

(DAVIN is gone.  They stare up and after him….forever…)

 

END OF PLAY

 

BOOK, MUSIC, AND LYRICS BY

MATTHEW B. ZREBSKI

Background Image by David Kinder  - kinderpics.com