Liberation

excerpt Act I Scene II (missing stage directions are intentional.)

LANE is seated in her living room with a cup of tea. LEE enters front door without knocking. LEE stands and paces the room for the scene.

LEE I just killed someone! I think I just killed a kid and I don’t know why. I don’t know why I had a gun. I killed a baby.

LANE (whispers) No. Not again, Lee.

LEE What? I killed a kid before?

LANE Come in and sit down. Are you hungry?

LEE Lane, I killed a kid. Why am I hungry?

LANE It’s lunch time. Why wouldn’t you be hungry?

LEE I don’t want food. I want to know what happened. Why did I kill a baby? I pulled the trigger and watched a little boy take his last breath.

LANE Calm down, Lane. It’s not good to get so excited about this.

LEE If not murder then what should I get excited about?

LANE (whispers.) Can’t believe they gave you a gun.

LEE Why are you whispering? What are you saying?

LANE Nothing. Are you hurt?

LEE Why would I be? I killed one who wasn’t a threat to me.

LANE Lee, I sit here and tell you as your sister to calm down and stay calm. Do what you’re supposed to do. Do what feels right. Do not fight it or argue with it. I would like it if you have lunch with me. I can go make us lunch. Will you eat with me?

LEE Lane, I don’t want lunch. I don’t understand what you just said. Please hear me.

LANE I hear you. I don’t want everyone else to hear you.

LEE I’m not yelling so no one will.

LANE You don’t have to yell to be heard, Lee.

LEE I’m scared, Lane. I don’t know why I did that. I was there to kill him. I know that. He was no older than three. I knew things about him and I don’t know how I knew it. I know that he was alone, his parents were dead, and he was wrong. Like he was illegal, like he wasn’t supposed to be. I couldn’t control it. I didn’t want to but I shot him and he died. I heard him breathe. And then I heard him when he stopped breathing.

LANE Lane, this isn’t safe. You have to find control. You have to hold yourself together.

LEE How? I did something bad. Who do I tell? What do I say?

LANE You’ll be fine. Have you seen Cy today?

LEE What?

LANE Have you seen Cy today? Your brother, have you seen Cy today?

LEE No. I mean, I don’t know. Maybe I saw him. I don’t remember anything before the seconds it took me to pull the trigger and kill that boy.

LANE (whispers.)That was fast.

LEE What?

LANE Nothing. He came… Cy came looking for you.

LEE Why?

LANE I don’t know his purpose, Lee. You should find him.

LEE And how am I supposed to do that? I don’t know where he is. I don’t even know what he wants. Might not be worth looking for him.

LANE It might be.

LEE I don’t know. Can I go lie down for awhile, my head is beginning to hurt? Just wake me -

LANE You don’t live here, Lee.

LEE Yes I do. This is our parent’s house. My room is upstairs next to yours across from theirs, and Rocky’s room is at the end of the hall. Cy’s room is in the basement.

LANE You live in a five story building less than a mile away. You have your own apartment. You live there now.

LEE How long have I been there?

LANE It is not my purpose to tell you that if you cannot remember it on your own.

LEE I can’t remember but you won’t tell me? How do I know if I don’t know and you won’t tell me? Where’s Mama and Papa? Where’s Rocky? I’ll talk to them.

LANE They’re not alive. You can’t talk to them again.

LEE They’re dead? All of them? What happened?

LANE It was no longer their time.

LEE Is Rocky alive? Where are my brothers? Where is my family?

LANE Cy is on his way to you.

LEE Where is he?

LANE Working.

LEE I didn’t say goodbye, Lane. I’ll never see them again and I didn’t say goodbye to my parents.

LANE You said your goodbyes. You were there at their funerals.

LEE Why can’t I remember that?

LANE I’m not so sure why, Lee. I want you to calm down and go home. Cy will meet you there. I will tell him to when he comes back.

LEE No. And I don’t know where I live.

LANE When you walk out the front door you will know.

LEE Tell Cy to come here. This is where I will be.

LANE Lee, please don’t fight. Just go.

LEE I will be here. I am not leaving.

[A knock is heard offstage three times. LANE stands prepared. LEE falls unconscious. LANE guides LEE’S body to the floor. Two uniformed men enter from front door and back door. They stand and look at LANE holding LEE.)]

LANE Don’t touch her. Stay away from my sister.

MAN 2 She will be well, Lane. She is safe.

MAN ­1 Go stand over there somewhere. You’re in the way. You do your job better and we will never have to come here and handle her.

LANE You are killing her memory. What do you want me to do? You are taking away everything that would make her calm and comfortable. I can’t help her if she doesn’t remember me.

MAN 2 She will be well, Lane.

LANE (to MAN ­1) Don’t solve the problems you created by killing my sister.

MAN 1 You do better to watch your mouth and follow the rules.

MAN 2 Remain calm, Lane. Your sister isn’t in danger of death. You must step away from her first. We have to take her. She will not be harmed.

LANE I will be here when she awakens. (Looks at her sister) No guns. She can’t handle guns. She can be calm and better controlled if you don’t give her guns to kill children with. Let her deal with adults only.

MAN 1 She must to follow the same rules we follow. She has to do as she’s told. There are no options.

LANE You know she can’t. Free her and let me take care of her. You keep doing this to her she won’t have any memory of herself left. I can’t keep telling her, her parents are dead. I can take care of her, just don’t take more of her memory. Leave her with me.

MAN ­1 That is not your purpose nor is it ours. We all have rules. We live by them, you live by them, and she must live by them as well. You enforce them with her. She does not have options. She does not get to choose.

MAN 2 Do not concern yourself with her safety. She is in no physical danger. We will take her and you will see her again. She will be unharmed.

[LANE lay LEE’S body on the floor, moves and stand. MAN 1 and MAN 2 lifts her body)

LANE Be careful with my sister.

(MAN ­1 and MAN ­2 carries LEE’S unconscious body.)

BLACKOUT