Jan 08

Play, "Unknown"

[An unknown voice calls out from WYATT’s surroundings. It is monotone; a voice seemingly spoken without emotion whatsoever.]
            UNKNOWN

Welcome.

[WYATT looks around, trying to find the source of the voice. Yet he can see nothing but his own body. WYATT is confused, but responds to the mysterious voice in a soft tone.]

            WYATT

Welcome to where?

            UNKNOWN

To the place you’ll call home.

    [WYATT is confused again. WYATT responds, again, in a soft yet confused tone.]

            WYATT

Home? No, I have a different home.

            UNKNOWN

Not anymore, now this is your home. And you must choose. Heaven or Hell?

            WYATT

What kind of question is that? And how did I get here? Why can’t I remember anything?

            UNKNOWN

A question you must think on, because it will decide your future. You got here on your own accord. You can’t remember anything because I don’t want you to yet.

            WYATT

What do you mean? You can’t control what I remember or not. Tell me the truth. Nobody can control that.

            UNKNOWN

I control many things. Things you might not believe, but I assure you I can.

            WYATT

I don’t really understand. I do understand that I have a home somewhere other than here. How can I get back?

            UNKNOWN

I’ve already told you. This is your new home. There is no possible way to come back from this place, no possible way you could go back.

[WYATT becomes somewhat frustrated. He curls his fists and squeezes. He talks in a louder, faster, frustrated tone]

            WYATT

There must be a way.

            UNKNOWN

No. There is no way, no chance you could go back. Even if there was a way I could put you back, you wouldn’t be back for long.

            WYATT

What do you mean? Why wouldn’t I be back for long? That doesn’t make sense. I would love to be back, I wouldn’t want to come back here.

            UNKNOWN

I’m afraid it isn’t up to you whether or not you want to be here. This is a place where people come and stay. It’s better than the other place people go when this sort of thing happens.

            WYATT

What do you mean, “When this sort of thing happens”? Did I do something wrong?
            
           UNKNOWN

Not necessarily. It truly depends on the perspective. I’m not to judge whether you did wrong or not. That decision is up to you.

            WYATT

Well, if that’s the case. I don’t think I did anything wrong.

            UNKNOWN

Is that truly what you believe Wyatt? That you’ve done nothing wrong.

            WYATT

I didn’t tell you my name. How do you know my name.

            UNKNOWN

I know a lot more than just your name Wyatt. I know more about you than you know about yourself.

            WYATT

Whatever. I didn’t do anything wrong, I can promise you that.

            UNKNOWN

From the information you know right now, I can’t blame you for your ignorance. It should be soon when you begin to remember what happened. Maybe then you’ll change your opinion and outlook on life.

    [WYATT sighs. He breathes slowly and begins to calm down. He talks in a calm manner now]

            WYATT

Fine. Everyone messes up in their lives but why should I change my outlook because of it? I mean, I must’ve done some great things before; right? I’m just not remembering them.

            UNKNOWN

I suppose so. Yes, you’ve done some great things in your life. In a way, that is why you are here. Because of what you’ve done.

            WYATT

But where is “Here”? Where am I? And who are you?

[WYATT looks around again, to try and see if anything has changed in his environment. Nothing but emptiness.]

           UNKNOWN

“Here” isn’t a specific place. You are not in any specific location that I can describe. Me? I am called many different things by many different people. It depends on that person's perspective on life.

            WYATT

You’re speaking cryptically. I don’t really understand what you’re saying.

            UNKNOWN

That is because you are not yet accustomed to this place. In this place I speak much clearer than I do anywhere else. You should be grateful for where you are today.

            WYATT

I don’t feel grateful. This entire situation just doesn’t feel right. I don’t belong here.

            UNKNOWN

Everyone belongs here at one point in their life Wyatt. It’s different for everybody, but eventually everybody comes here.

            WYATT

I don’t think I’ve reached that point yet. I have an eerie feeling about all this.

            UNKNOWN

All of mankind feels that way at one point. It is only of human nature to feel so though. So don’t take it too hard. You are just scared of the unknown.

[WYATT clutches his stomach and bends over in agony. His face scrunches up and his eyes shut with pain.]

    UNKNOWN

The time has come. You will begin to remember now, Wyatt. First you will feel everything physically, than you will feel everything emotionally.

    [WYATT responds in a defeated tone. He is currently still in pain so WYATT stumbles over some of his words.]

            WYATT

Why-Why is this happening to me?

            UNKNOWN

I would say it has to do with the reason you’re here. Don’t worry, you haven’t even seen the worse yet. Your current rush of pain will soon pass, once it does you will continue your journey to be fully accepted by us.

    [WYATT stumbles over his words again.]

            WYATT

Who-Who is us?

            UNKNOWN

We are called many different things. By many different people, it depends on that person’s perspective on life.

[WYATT’s eyes open as he looks down at the spot where his hand is. He slowly lifts his hand away as the pain fades away from his eyes and face. Surprised, WYATT speaks his words with great surprise.]

            WYATT

It’s-It’s gone?

            UNKNOWN

I told you it would Wyatt. Unfortunately, this next part might hurt a lot more.

[WYATT clutches his head in pain. It is a sharp, searing pain. He closes his eyes as tight as he can and tries to scream. No sound is let out. Yet just as the pain appeared, it disappeared. WYATT opens his eyes and looks up. His face is a face of fear, excitement, yet sadness. WYATT begins to say his words with a faster rate than before.]

            WYATT

I-I was in the army. On the battlefield, the front lines. The deserts. I left my children and my wife.

    [WYATT wants to say more but cannot. UNKNOWN speaks before he can say anymore]

            UNKNOWN

What else Wyatt?

    [As soon as UNKNOWN has stopped speaking, WYATT regains his voice and begins to speak again.]

            WYATT

My wife was terrified about me heading to war. We didn’t live in the greatest neighborhood. I climbed up in the ranks and became the leader of my squad. I saved two troops but was scarred on half my face.

[WYATT slowly raises his hand to touch his face. He jerks his hand away, surprised. He reaches back again slowly and realizes his face is smooth.]

            WYATT

Why don’t I feel anything? No bumps, scratches, nothing. Why is it healed? What is going on?

            UNKNOWN

You have to be fixed to be able to come here. We can’t have people who are so broken physically come here, it just won’t work. They aren’t suitable for our lifestyle.

[WYATT feels the sharp pain again and quickly holds his head in his hands. He shakes his head in disbelief but soon releases his head from his hand’s grasp.]

            WYATT

I remember everything now. I was switched to a new project. Robots... in the sky, dropping explosives. I remember the casualties. The innocents. The children.

[WYATT pauses]

The children. I killed them.

            UNKNOWN

Yes, Wyatt. You killed many people, none of them your wanted target. Among those innocents with children. With their lives awaiting ahead of them. A possible bright future for them. You stole that future from them, an unfair exchange I would call it.

            WYATT

I was just following orders. I was told the target would be there. I was told there were no civilians.

            UNKNOWN

Yes, but here the messenger must be punished too.

            WYATT

A-Am I in hell?

    [A short pause]

            UNKNOWN

Some call it that. Some call it heaven.

            WYATT

What do you mean? They are two different places, aren’t they?

            UNKNOWN

No. It is just one place. As I said, based on people’s perspectives. You could either see this place you are in right now as hell or heaven. But in reality it is just one place, both perspectives are representations of the afterlife.

            WYATT

Which one am I in then?

            UNKNOWN

That is entirely up to you Wyatt. I cannot choose for you, only help you choose. Until then I am just someone unknown. I can be the devil, or I can be an angel.

            WYATT

I don’t want to suffer in hell, I want to be alive and happy in heaven.

            UNKNOWN

I want you to think more on that Wyatt.

[WYATT clutches his head again]

            WYATT

M-My wife. S-She’s gone. She died two years ago. My children. Motherless.

            UNKNOWN

How often do you see your kids?

            WYATT

Twice a week. But it’s because of work.

    [UNKNOWN’s voice becomes louder]

            UNKNOWN

That’s what you tell your kids and your brother. But you know the real reason. It’s because you stay in bars, hook up with other women to try and cope with the loss of your wife. To try and tell yourself that it wasn't your fault that she died. To try and cope with the feelings of guilt and agony. You drink your sorrows away, leaving your children almost parentless.

    [WYATT speaks in a fit of anger]

            WYATT

I should’ve been home! If I hadn’t stopped at that bar. She would be alive!

            UNKNOWN

But you didn’t. And you tarnish her life but spending the rest of your life in bars. The sole reason she is gone. You believe yourself responsible yet your solution is to only dig your hole deeper and deeper. How many people have you killed Wyatt?

    [WYATT’s anger quickly fades. As if his emotions were drained.]

            WYATT

F-Forty three people.

            UNKNOWN

How many people were innocent?

    [WYATT hesitates]

            UNKNOWN

How many people were innocent.

    [WYATT speaks reluctantly]

            WYATT

Eleven. Two children and nine adults. All innocent.

            UNKNOWN

In normal circumstances, you would be put to death. But since you did it under the government’s orders,  the government had to make sure their reputation wouldn’t be tarnished. So they fired you and if you ever told a soul what had truly happened, you would be tried and found guilty. So you kept that secret with you and have carried the weight of those eleven people who were unjustly killed.

    [WYATT is filled with anger again]

            WYATT

I didn’t know!

    [UNKNOWN interrupts with a louder voice than previously]

            UNKNOWN

Neither did they. In their last dying breaths they didn’t know why this had happened to them. They didn’t know why explosives had fallen from the sky and condemned them to death. They were just living their lives. Men should not dictate when someone’s time is. That is power that no man should have. But you’re world has been corrupted. By inhumane acts of violence and crime. Your world is filled with people who would not think twice about taking away another human’s life.

    [WYATT’s anger is drained again. He breathes heavily but soon discovers a slow calm breath.]

            WYATT

Of course, our world is messed up. But there is not much to do about it. We cannot control everyone in the entire world if we wanted to. We are powerful enough to take away lives, but we are not powerful enough to control everyone’s life.

            UNKNOWN

People die because they’ve expended all of their energy. That is how people are supposed to pass away. When somebody dies because of somebody else, all that unused energy is spat back into the world to create more evil. After every act of violence, there just follows more violence. Because all that energy was stolen from those victims whose time has not come yet, it spits back into the world only to cause more chaos. It is a never-ending cycle of life and death.

            WYATT

We’ve tried to stop murder. So many people have tried but failed. It’s a task that is impossible to complete.

            UNKNOWN

That is because the first murder let evil energy into the world. Murder used to never exist.

            WYATT

But it would become reality in time. Human nature is what decrees it. There was no way evil couldn’t be spread into the world. It is just not who we are. Whoever created us knew this. The world is supposed to be a balance of good and evil. Evil may always be with us, but so will good. Evil will never go away, but as long as it stays, good will also stay.

            UNKNOWN

It doesn’t matter whether or not evil is supposed to stay in this world. It doesn’t change the fact that others shouldn’t be able to dictate the lives of people. The human population hasn’t helped the world become a better place. You’ve only made it more dangerous, with all the new weapons of mass destruction. Guns were created to kill people, and that was the sole purpose of them. Then you have drugs that shorten the life spans of others. When the world was created, we expected death, we expected misery, we expected danger. We didn’t expect that people would willingly shorten their lifespans. That people would create tools that would end someone’s life. Weapons that could wipe a city out, and have an effect that would last for lifetimes.

            WYATT

We did it to save the lives of our people. We did it to end the war.

            UNKNOWN

At what cost? You’ve only ruined a relationship and let the world know your true colors. You’ve only let the world know that you are capable of destroying others lives if it means that your people’s lives are saved. Lives shouldn’t be treated like chess pieces. Sacrifices shouldn’t have to be made. There shouldn’t be trades that involve the lives of innocents. Slavery has tainted this world forever.

            WYATT

We’ve done many terrible things that many people regret. We regret things, we are human and we make mistakes. Terrible mistakes sometimes. But we shouldn’t be punished because of it.

    [WYATT sighs]

            WYATT

I did what I was told. I bombed the town because I believed it could save thousands. So there wouldn’t be another attack that ruined our country.

            UNKNOWN

You were willing to sacrifice people’s lives, without their knowledge or consent. So you could save American lives. Why are American lives so much more important?

    [WYATT hesitates again]

    [UNKNOWN’s voice booms]

            UNKNOWN

Why?

[WYATT looks down to the ground]

            WYATT

I don’t know.

            UNKNOWN

That’s your excuse? You don’t know. Why do you disgrace your wife’s death with reckless drinking and actions?

    [WYATT’s anger awakens again. This time he yells very loudly, with all the anger inside of him.]

            WYATT

You don’t know anything!

            UNKNOWN

I know everything. I know your children are in school right now, wondering if they’ll see their dad today for even a minute. I know your children pray every day. Hoping you’ll one day come home for dinner, or say goodnight to them. I know your children wonder why everyone else's parents come to pick them up.

    [WYATT puts his hands to his ears and yells]

            WYATT

Shut up! Shut up!

            UNKNOWN

Confess Wyatt. Where do you think you deserve to be Wyatt. Heaven or hell.

            WYATT

I-

    [UNKNOWN cuts off WYATT]

            UNKNOWN

Look how many people you’ve killed. Look at all the damage you’ve done to yourself and your family. Look at all the trauma you’ve caused your children because you’ve decided to disgrace the legacy of your wife with your alcoholism. You’ve ruined your life because you are weak and selfish. If you truly missed your wife and loved her, you would protect your children from all the harm you are putting them through. Now tell me, Wyatt. Do you deserve to be in hell or in heaven?

            WYATT

I deserve to be in he-

    [WYATT wakes up. His spine shoots up in a line as his entire body is sent straight up]

    [The BARTENDER is in front of him. A plump man with a very kind and caring face. The BARTENDER smiles as he sees WYATT shoot up.]

            BARTENDER

Good morning Wyatt. Didn’t think you’d wake up.

    [WYATT is disoriented. He speaks in a confused state]

            WYATT

What-Where am I?

            BARTENDER

The same place you go to everyday Wyatt. Maybe you should stop taking so many shots. I don’t want any liability issues.

    [WYATT’s eyes open widely. As if he has remembered something important. He talks in a mix of fear and sadness]

            WYATT

I was going to leave anyway. I. I need to see my kids.

    

[WYATT gets up, pays for his drinks and leaves the bar]

                    THE END
 
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