Prisoners of War
A Play in one act
By Amber Blevins
Elizabeth Gardner- a WASP
Henry Thompson- a fighter in Mobile Infantry, drove a tank.
2 German Guards
1 German commander
Several American soldiers
Scene: a German prison
Time: World War II, 1943
The Setting: A small prison cell, with nothing in it except one man trying to rest.
At Rise: We see HENRY THOMPSON trying to get rest in his prison cell, when two guards open the cell door and throw in a badly beaten female pilot.
Me: This play is dedicated to the many women who gave their lives while serving in WASP, and the many brave men and women who are giving their lives in Iraq at this time in our history. Thank you and please enjoy.
Elizabeth: (gets thrown roughly into the cell, and falls face down on the floor. She tries to push herself up, but is too weak and her arms give way. She groans slightly, and breaths heavily.)
Henry: (rushes over and gently turns Elizabeths' body over. He takes off the button shirt covering his tank and places it under her head, trying to make her as comfortable as possible; then speaks in a soothing tone) It's alright, just take it easy.
Elizabeth:(weakly) Thanks. Who are you?
Henry: I'm Henry Thompson. Are you alright? Do you feel any broken bones at all?
Elizabeth:No I don't think so...just bruised up. (Smiles weakly) I'm Elizabeth, Elizabeth Gardner(Slowly props herself up on her elbows; extends left hand)
Henry: (grabs hand and shakes it; smiles back) Pleasure, It's nice to see someone else besides the guards.
Elizabeth: I bet! (Sighs as Henry helps sit her up with her back against the wall;) So, what are you here for? (she asks, groaning slightly and wiping off the blood on her lip and tears of pain in her eyes)
Henry: (sees her in pain) Here, let me help. (Takes button shirt, tears a strip off of it and starts wiping blood from a small cut on her arm) Well, I'm part of the Mobile Infantry, I drive and operate tanks. My Squadron was about to attack a German army base, located in Kiel. We were about half way there when there was an ambush and we were taken over. They killed everyone else I'm the only one they took alive. (Starts bandaging her arm)
Elizabeth: (sharply intakes breath from arm) I'm sorry...
Henry: It's alright.(clears throat; tries to keep composure) They died for what they believed in, and there was nothing I could do about it. I just keep telling myself that. (Inhales deeply) Now, how did they get you?
Elizabeth: Well, I'm part of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP, and my job was to carry cargo over from the States to here. The kind of cargo I carry is mostly medicine, but the real reason behind it...(takes quick glance at cell door; lowers voice) is so we can sneak weapons over to the troops we have stationed here.
Henry: (slightly surprised) Really? What kind of weapons do you smuggle over?
Elizabeth: (voice still lowered) Everything. Guns, grenades, ammo, bombs...anything they tell us to. And when I got caught, I was carrying 10 small crates of medicine, ammo, and hand grenades in a B-26. I carried them from a military base in Washington DC to a small American base hidden just east of Bremen. (Voice turns to normal) Anyway, I was flying over the North Atlantic, when I saw a German Aircraft Carrier about a mile and a half ahead of me. They saw me and three Junkers came up, and circled around me. Now, my B-26 does have gun on it, but nothing fancy, and I was able to shoot one down before they hit my gas tank. But, as my plane was going down, I ejected myself and parachuted in the water. The Germans saw me land and sent out a small boat, picked me up and pulled me over to the aircraft carrier. Then they locked me in the brig, and brought me here.
Henry: So how long have you been here?
Elizabeth: About two hours. Cause once I got here, they brought me to a interrogation room and started (pauses for a brief moment) questioning me.
Henry: (nods) Yea, it was the same when was brought here a couple days ago...after they questioned me they told me they wanted to keep me here as a POW.
Elizabeth: At least the didn't tell you the same thing they told me.
Henry: Why, what'd they tell you?
Elizabeth: Well when they interrogated me I didn't tell them anything. But then they started beating me, and (Pauses) Oh Henry you don't know how close I was to telling them everything. Every part of my body felt like it was on fire and the pain was...overwhelming. (Gets teary-eyed) But I couldn't...just, it was like something was holding my tongue. So, they told me that I wasn't any use to them anymore and...they were going to...shoot me. They told me I was gonna die...(closes eyes as tears run slowly down face)
Henry: (takes deep breath) Let's just take it a day at a time. They were probably just threatening you. I've been told the same thing numerous times...
Elizabeth: (talks immediately after Henrys last sentence) Henry, they weren't warning or threatening me. And...I don't think they even gave me one day.
Henry: (voice is quieter) Elizabeth...I don't know what to say...(voice trails off)
Elizabeth: (far away look in eyes) I remember one time, I was in my uniform, and I had a little girl stop me on the street. And she looked right up at me with a big smile and said, "I'm gonna be just like you when I grow up!" And I remember after that, I never felt more encouraged in my life. And, right now, that same little girl just keeps running thru my mind.
Henry: (opens mouth to say something, but before he can say a word, 2 German guards and the German commander, burst in the room.)
Guards: (walk over to her, yank her to her feet and tie her hands behind her with rope.)
Elizabeth: (Grunts in pain)
Henry: (stands up; starts to move towards the guards)
German commander: (points gun at Henry so he can't do anything; shouts in German "Don't move!") Bewegen sie nicht!
Elizabeth: (stumbles as they pull her out of the cell.)
Guards: (each grabs Elizabeth by an arm; shoves her out of the cell shouting in German, "You, move! Let's go!") Sie, bewegung! Lassen sie uns gehen!
German Commander: (once Elizabeth is out of sight, lowers gun; 2 gun shots are heard; starts talking in English with heavy German accent) What a pity for a girl as beautiful as her to have come to...such a tragic end.
Henry: (voice turns careless) Why? That's war, we all do what we have to.
German Commander: Stop talking like that, Adel, you sound like a dummkopf! (Fool)
Henry: (Accent turns German) It was getting old, but we got the information we need, we know where the weapons are coming from and we know where they're going to. All I need to do now is report it to Allgemein Adelbrecht...(stops as American soldier burst in the room)
American Soldiers: (before he finishes his sentence American soldier burst in room; all shouting at once) Put your hands up! Don't move!
Henry, German Commander: (Put their hands in the air)
Henry: (American accent) Thank goodness! You guys came here just in time! (Begins to put his hands down)
American Soldier: (Points gun at him) Put your hands back up! Now!
Henry: Wait! I'm an American! Just like you!
Elizabeth: (walks into room) No your not...
Henry: (shocked expression) Elizabeth...? Your alive! Listen, tell these men who I am!
Elizabeth: (shakes head) We heard everything...Adel. I uh, guess I learned something.
Henry: (German accent) What's that?
Elizabeth: Never trust a prisoner...no matter who they say they are. (turns around and goes with American soldiers)
Henry, American Soldiers: (Henry get escorted out by two soldiers)