The (Mis)Adventures of Jack and Cilian

(Note: The picture shows a young Irish teenager yelling at a British soldier (the picture could not be included here).

 

scene i: The actors begin in the above stance, frozen.

                                                The picture is projected behind them. OFFICER #1 holds

                                                the gun while OFFICER #2 is looking out. The actors

                                                remain frozen for an uncomfortable amount of time. Finally

 

CILLIAN

(yelling as though in protest)

I said would you like something to drink? Perhaps a Guinness?

 

OFFICER #1

I’d prefer something a little harder, actually.

 

CILLIAN

(still yelling)

Perhaps some gin?

 

OFFICER #2

Hurry it up, boy.

 

CILLIAN

Alright. Gin it is.

 

CILLIAN exits. OFFICER #2 helps OFFICER #1 up.

                                                            OFFICER #1 removes her helmet. This should be

                                                            the first time the audience realizes she is a woman

                                                            with short hair.

 

OFFICER #2

We ought to tell him.

 

OFFICER #1

Time’s not right.

 

OFFICER #2

Time’s running out.

 

CILLIAN returns holding two glasses with mixed

                                                            drinks for the OFFICERS. For himself, he has a can

                                                            of Guinness. The OFFICERS take the drinks and

                                                            OFFICER #1 sets her gun down.

 

OFFICER #1

Your room clean, Cillian?

 

CILLIAN

Just about.

 

OFFICER #2

And you’ve kept up with your school work?

 

CILLIAN

I have. “Bout how long will you be back?

 

An uncomfortable pause. Just as the OFFICER is

                                                            about to say something, gun shots fire.

 

CILLIAN

So he’s back then?

 

The officers nod.

 

CILLIAN

Right.

 

JACK enters. He wears combat pants and

                                                                        boots but just a white tank top. On his arm,

                                                                        he has the Union Jack tattooed. He also

                                                                        holds a rifle.

 

JACK

You found him? Good. Ready Cillian?

 

CILLIAN

Not quite.

 

JACK aims his rifle at CILLIAN. The

                                                                        projection goes out and now “The Rifle

                                                                        Song” is projected. OFFICER #1 pulls

                                                                        out a flute and OFFICER #2 takes out

                                                                        a bag pipe. JACK still aiming at CILLIAN

                                                                        begins singing.

 

JACK

You take a bit, you break a bit, and daddy’s got your back

Give a little, take a little, daddy’s right here, day and night

We’re all alright.

 

OFFICER #1

(singing)

Little bit of smoke

 

OFFICER #2

Little bit of trouble

 

JACK

And daddy’ll shake the fucking ground for you

So long as you come along, come on back home

Blow you up if you won’t. Give a little, take a little.

Daddy’s here.

 

Music stops.

 

CILLIAN

(sarcastically)

Hello mate.

 

JACK

(setting his rifle down)

Cillian. You can’t keep this up. You know you can’t.

 

CILLIAN

Want a drink, mate?

JACK

What are doing, Cillian? You’re not thinking this all the way through.

 

CILLIAN

This is my home now, dad!

 

JACK

Your home is where I fucking say it is.

 

JACK picks up his rifle.

 

JACK

This is my land, son. Mine. And you—

 

OFFICER #2

Take it down a notch, dad.

 

JACK lowers the rifle.

 

OFFICER #2

Give us a minute, yeah?

 

OFFICER #1 and JACK exit.

 

CILLIAN

There’s nothing you can say, you know. I’m not going to cross over. This is who I am.

 

OFFICER #2

Dead’s what you are. We’re blow up the entire ground before he lets you walk away.

 

CILLIAN

Blow me up then.

 

OFFICER #2

What’s it matter? No one cares about it as much as us. It’s a flag, Cillian. That’s it.

 

CILLIAN

It’s an identity.

 

Another gunshot fires and screaming is

                                                                        heard in the background. OFFICER #2

                                                                        exits. CILLIAN is alone on stage. A

                                                                        projection displays the words “Cillian’s

                                                                        Inner Monologue.”

 

CILLIAN

I’ve been here. The entire time. This is my room, my space. I can’t go anywhere now. I have to stay. Alone. And on my own.

 

OFFICER #1 re-enters. The projection

                                                                        changes and now says “A Mother’s Plea”

                                                                        A piano plays in the background.

 

OFFICER #1

(singing)

Cillian, please. Listen to reason, listen to your mother

It’s only a flag. It’s only fabric. It’s nothing much.

And no one would ever argue you’re anything other

Than true green, white, and orange, just let go

Don’t let this be the reason you die, please, don’t say no

It’s only a flag, just a piece of fabric

Come on darling try, Cillian, just try

 

CILLIAN

(singing)

This is all I’ve known, this is who I am

It’s more than a flag. So much more than just a piece of fabric.

 

 

OFFICER #1

No Cillian, no. It’s just a piece of fabric, don’t die over this

A piece of cloth, a hanging sheet, live the way want but don’t die over this.

 

The music stops. OFFICER #1 notices

                                                                        and it takes a toll on her. She leaves the

                                                                        stage. JACK returns.

 

JACK

You gonna die over this boy?

 

CILLIAN

Just might.

 

JACK

You’re mine, boy. Always have been.

 

JACK hits CILLIAN with the blunt of his

                                                                        gun. CILLIAN falls to the ground.

 

 

CILLIAN

Got anything else, Jack?

 

JACK aims his rifle. He is about to shoot but

                                                                        the actors freeze. Another projection comes

                                                                        up.

                                                                        “And then JACK has a change of heart,

                                                                        doesn’t kill CILLIAN. Instead he shoots him

                                                                        in the foot. JACK storms off, shouting “It’s

                                                                        a bloody flag, you prick.” CILLIAN limps

                                                                        toward the bar. END OF PLAY”

                                                                        CILLIAN and JACK unfreeze and read the

                                                                        projection. They look at each other confused

                                                                        and then look to the audience.

 

JACK

(pointing to the projection, talking to the audience)

Not quite.

 

CILLIAN

That’s not how it happened. Mighta been a nice ending though.

 

JACK

(turning to CILLIAN)

Ah, I don’t think so.

 

CILLIAN

We could’ve ended up in the bar.

 

JACK

(aiming his gun)

No, mate. You could’ve ended up in a bar.

 

JACK kills CILLIAN.

 

JACK

That’s how it happened.

 

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