SILENT NIGHT: A ONE ACT PLAY

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

This is my take on what exactly is happening in the world right now, the war in Syria and the recent attack in Paris. This is the way I see this continuing war or any other war for that matter. I hope people would actually read this one and look at the picture at a bigger angle. We already know this. I guess, we just need reminding.

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The stage would resemble that of a motel room, looking quite rundown but still livable.

There is a bed in the middle of the stage and a small writing table on one side. By the bed is a window that shows the sky.

Tahir is sitting on top of the writing table, a tattered baseball glove on one hand and a baseball on the other, playing catch on his own.

Sitting by the bed is Kole, a basketball on both hands, staring outside the window.

There is an old radio on the small table and Tahir would turn it on. It would start playing the song, Silent night.

Kole would sing along.

KOLE: (Sang)

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,

It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining.

Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.

Both Saif and Alec comes in, Alec in his Marine uniform while Saif is wearing a hooded jacket with an empty backpack hanging from his shoulder. Saif would look at Kole while Alec’s eye would land on Tahir.

ALEC and SAIF: (Shouting) What are you doing here?

Both boys would jump from where they are sitting.

Kole would stop singing and Tahir would immediately turn the radio off.

SAIF: I told you never to come here anymore.

KOLE: Come on, man! I was waiting for you. Besides—

TAHIR: I have nowhere else to go.

ALEC: Then you should just go home.

A loud explosion would be heard. All four would look out of the window, fear etched on their faces.

KOLE and TAHIR: Where?

KOLE: And you promised that we’d play hoops before you left.

TAHIR: I’ve been practising on my pitch too.

ALEC: This is not the right time to be playing games, Tahir. You do know that, right?

SAIF: It is not safe.

KOLE: You always say that.

TAHIR: You promised…

Both Alec and Saif look at the boys.

ALEC and SAIF: I’m sorry…

KOLE: Whatever, man!

TAHIR: I should go then.

Tahir and Kole would walk towards the doors on the opposite sides of the room but Alec and Saif would prevent them.

ALEC and SAIF: It’s not safe!

KOLE: Was it ever?

TAHIR: I am already used to it.

ALEC: Just stay here for a while.

SAIF: It will be over soon enough.

KOLE: You’re lying.

TAHIR: You do not have to lie to me all the time, Mr. Alec. I am not blind.

KOLE: I may just be a kid but I know that it will never end. You know that just as well as I do.

SAIF: You talk too much.

TAHIR: But no one ever listens.

ALEC: You’re getting good at this, playing the victim and all. It’s not going to work with me, buddy.

KOLE: Well, I could try, right? (Laughs) Where were you anyway?

SAIF: That is something that you do not have to know.

KOLE: Oh come on!

TAHIR: Do you fear that I would tell someone about it? I will never do that Mr. Alec.

ALEC: I know that, Tahir. It’s just better that you don’t know.

KOLE: That sucks! Why am I always the last one to know?

SAIF: It is for your own good.

KOLE and TAHIR: Do you really believe that?

SAIF: I do.

ALEC: I have to. Because if not—

SAIF: I do not even want to think about it anymore. If not, then—

All four would just stare at the floor. The sound of another explosion somewhere would be heard, further than the first one.

KOLE: (Excited) You went to see her! I knew it! That’s where you have been!

TAHIR: Is she going to be okay? Is she going to live?

SAIF: Maybe…

ALEC: The doctor said that she needs another operation. They did say that she is a fighter.

SAIF: She’s strong… Maybe stronger than all of us. She will survive.

TAHIR: Praise Allah!

KOLE: Of course she is! She’s my sister!

TAHIR: I hope she is well enough when Sahir arrives. He would want to hear her sing again.

KOLE: Of course, she would hug Alec. He would be blushing when she cries at the airport but would never let her go anyway. She’s our little princess.

SAIF: She is beautiful.

ALEC: You’re brother would be happy.

KOLE and TAHIR: I know.

TAHIR: It is all thanks to you.

KOLE: She would have died if you didn’t bring her to the hospital.

SAIF and ALEC: Please don’t thank me…

KOLE: Why not?

TAHIR: Saif have always said that we should say thank you to those who help us.

KOLE and TAHIR: You’re our angel.

ALEC and SAIF: I am not…

KOLE: Anyway, when are you leaving? You’re done with what you have to do here, right?

SAIF: It is better that you do not know.

TAHIR: I understand. I just wanted to be able to say farewell to you before you leave.

ALEC: You don’t have to do that, little man.

KOLE: I know. You will be okay, right? I mean, when you get back there. I heard that it’s worse. It’s all over the television two days ago.

SAIF: That is the reason why I have to go back.

ALEC: I hope everyone is okay at home.

TAHIR: You have a brother and a sister, just like me.

KOLE: Are they okay?

SAIF: I have no news about them since I left.

ALEC: But I hope they are alright. Oh, I just remembered, you would be the same age as Kole. You two would make good friends.

SAIF: Tahir is quite timid though, especially with strangers.

KOLE: Well, I can talk for both of us. Or we could just play a game.

ALEC: (Laughs) That’s true. It would be a miracle if he would let you speak at all.

SAIF: Tahir would just stare at you with his eyes wide if that happens.

KOLE: You should take him with you when you come back.

ALEC: That’s not possible…

TAHIR: Why not?

SAIF: It’s not safe.

KOLE: You always say that!

TAHIR: It is all that I ever here. Hide, Tahir! They are coming! Close the door, Tahir! Do not go out, Tahir!

KOLE: It’s tiring. You adults always make it sound as if it’s like the Game of Throne out there.

ALEC and SAIF: It’s for your own good.

KOLE and TAHIR: Then why does it not seem that way?

ALEC: You’re too young to understand, Tahir.

SAIF: Wait until you are older.

KOLE: That’s just ironic, you do see that, right?

TAHIR: If we ever grow old, that is what you mean, right?

ALEC: That’s the reason why I am doing this.

SAIF: Why do you think we continue to fight after all these years?

KOLE: I don’t know, maybe because you guys are morons?

TAHIR: Fighting a war that is never going to end.

KOLE: No one will ever win anyway.  It would just stop for a bit and there start again after a while.

TAHIR: You have a term for this but I do not remember. What was it again?

ALEC and SAIF: A circle of violence.

TAHIR: You remind me of my older brother.

KOLE: Alec talks like that all the time. You would like him.

ALEC: I’m afraid he’d kill me if he sees me, buddy.

SAIF: As I would if I see him.

KOLE: That’s stupid.

TAHIR: Is it really supposed to be like that?

ALEC and SAIF: We follow orders. We do not make the rule.

SAIF: Our beliefs are just too different.

ALEC: That’s just how things are.

KOLE: That’s why it’s stupid.

TAHIR: I do not understand.

SAIF: You will, when you are older. One day, you will believe in something and will fight for it.

ALEC: Even if it would mean putting your life on the line.

KOLE: Again, that’s just stupid.

SAIF: It is not.

ALEC: You will understand when you’re older.

TAHIR: Do you understand it?

Both Alec and Saif will not answer.

KOLE and TAHIR: How many people died today?

SAIF: You should not be asking those kinds of questions.

ALEC: It is better than you do not know.

KOLE: What’s better is if nobody dies at all.

TAHIR: A lot of people have already died, some are still dying.

SAIF: It is a necessary evil.

ALEC: It’s the only way to find peace. You do understand that, don’t you?

KOLE: Not really.

TAHIR: Maybe you are right. I am too young to understand such thinking.

KOLE: And you’re logic is quite stupid. How can killing ever solve anything. Why don’t you just talk?

SAIF: What do you mean?

TAHIR: That is what the missionary told us before. That there is only a need to talk.

ALEC: The time for talking is over, Tahir.

KOLE: No. It’s just that no one wants to listen. Everyone just wants to get what they want. And when they don’t, they destroy whatever it is that would go against them.

TAHIR: There is always time to talk, the missionary had said before. He said that it is the people who do not give the time to really listen.

KOLE: It’s I want this and I want that. You guys are acting more like kids. Worse actually.

SAIF: You do not understand how the world goes.

TAHIR: No. It is you who does not understand how it really goes.

KOLE: I mean, if you put eight babies on a big bed, they don’t actually try to push each other out of the bed so that they would have a bigger space.

TAHIR: They would just sleep peacefully, as long as they have their own space. Sometimes, they would even hold hands and smile at each other.

ALEC: It’s not as simple as that, Tahir.

KOLE: Well, it should be.

TAHIR: You adults just make it more complicated and harder.

ALEC and SAIF: You don’t understand!

KOLE and TAHIR: You always say that.

ALEC: Because it’s the truth.

KOLE: Your version of truth sucks.

TAHIR: Your truth kills people.

ALEC: They are terrorists, Tahir. And they have killed just as much people as I did.

SAIF: They claim our lands and pretend to protect it.

ALEC: They keep on yapping about their stupid beliefs.

SAIF: Forcing us to swallow their own sense of justice.

ALEC: They are the enemy!

SAIF: I am just doing this for the good of the many.

ALEC and SAIF: They deserve to die!

KOLE: For the millionth time, that’s just stupid.

TAHIR: Nobody deserves to die. Not for the reasons you have given me.

SAIF: They destroyed my home!

ALEC: They killed innocent lives!

KOLE: Just like you did.

TAHIR: Your actions are not so different.

SAIF: Do you expect me to just watch them as they kill my family?

ALEC: I do what I do to protect those who are important to me.

KOLE: So you kill to try save lives.

TAHIR: And they kill to try to save the lives that you intended to kill.

ALEC and SAIF: We do what we have to do.

KOLE: And those who die on the crossfire?

TAHIR: Those who have nothing to do with your endless war?

KOLE: Who fights for them?

TAHIR: Who would protect them?

ALEC: You don’t understand.

SAIF: There are sacrifices that need to be made.

KOLE: Sacrifices? That’s all that they are to you?

TAHIR: They are people. They deserve to live as much as you do.

ALEC and SAIF: Collateral damage.

SAIF: In every war, these things cannot be helped.

ALEC: It is the only way that we could have peace.

A loud explosion would be heard followed by the sound of sirens. None of them would speak until there is silence. All of them would just be staring at the window.

Tahir would remove the baseball glove from his hand and put it with the baseball on the table. Kole would put the ball on the floor. Both of them would walk towards the window and stare outside.

Alec and Saif would just watch them. The boys would both put their hands on their chest and blood would start oozing down.

Alec and Saif would look the other way.

KOLE: That’s quite a cold way to put it, don’t you think?

TAHIR: It almost seem like we do not matter.

ALEC: We have orders that we need to follow.

SAIF: Things that we need to do in order to continue the fight.

ALEC and SAIF: This is the only way to have peace.

KOLE and TAHIR: If you say so…

The boys would smile and would go lie on the bed, side by side. Both of them will close their eyes.

ALEC: You’re really good at this…

SAIF: Playing the victim…

<CURTAIN>

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