Purpose

Act 1, Scene 1

(The lighting is dim and shining on the whole stage. The left and right living room walls were decorated with bullet holes connecting the inside to the outside. On the left wall was a flight of stairs leading up to the second floor. An open doorway was placed on the back wall to the right hand side. The faint sound of gun shots and bombs going off in the distance could be heard. As the lighting grew brighter the sounds dissipated. Time: year, 2003. Place: Afghanistan. Midday: An Afghanistan man stood at the foot of the stars facing towards the right wall. He firmly gripped a pocket knife in his right hand. He stood in a fighting stance, but his fear could easily be noticed. A US soldier in standard camouflage uniform with a hand gun stood in front of him. Both of the soldier's hands were on the gun, pointing at the Afghanistan man, in a ready-to-fire position.)

(The soldier shoots the Afghanistan man several times in the abdomen. The Afghanistan man, with a face half confused and half in pain, stumbles back, leans against the left wall, and lightly touches his blood soaked stomach. Then, he looks up at the soldier and slumps down to the floor with a thump, letting his knife roll out of his hand. The soldier throws his head back, letting out a long sigh, and letting his gun fall and hang at his left side. He had a troubled look on his face. Then, a pregnant woman with a head covering comes from out of the kitchen and slowly creeps up behind the soldier, with a sword in her right hand. She was wearing a long black dress. The soldier sees her reflection in the mirror hanging on the left wall and sharply spins around to his left. The soldier blocks the woman's sword with the barrel of his gun and heavily punches the woman in the shoulder. The woman lets out a shout as she drops the sword and falls to the ground. The woman scurries after the sword, but the soldier picks it up with his right hand and puts the sword to her neck, pinning her against the right wall. The woman looks up at him with disgust and hatred.)

Soldier: (Tilting his head at her) Oh, don't look at me like that. What? Mad cause you're husband's dead? Well, I haven't seen my wife in thirteen months! All this time I've done nothing but follow orders. Kill this! Shoot that! Blow this up! And y'know what? It's all your fault. (Applying more pressure with the sword on her neck) That's right, all your fault. If it weren't for you, (The soldier slowly trailed the tip of the sword down to her chest) I wouldn't be here. (A figure cloaked in black creeps from behind the soldier and slowly wraps its fingers around his sword hand. It guides the soldier's hand as the he steadily eased the blade into her chest. The woman groaned as she struggled to show no reaction. All of a sudden, she let out a painful cry. The likes of which, not even the soldier, has ever heard before. He immediately jolted and gasped in shock. The figure's hand flung back to it and the soldier dropped the sword and the gun.)

Soldier: (As the figure retreats from the stage) Oh, my God! What was? (He says in quick succession as he slides down to his knees by her right side.) No, no, no, no, no (The lighting focuses in on the two of them in such a way that it emphasizes his urgency. He firmly placed his left hand on the back of her neck and pulled her closer to himself with his right hand by her waist) you're gonna be alright (his voice quivered like his right hand that was now hovering over her deep, bloody wound). Woman: (While gasping for air, crying, and holding her stomach with both hands) Lilly! Lilly! Soldier: What're, wait, right now?! (The woman reaches up with her left hand and weakly grabs onto the soldier's vest, looking desperately into his eyes) Woman: (She shrieks weakly) Lilly! (She then throws her head back and grunts in pain. The soldier clasps her hand with his right one) Soldier: (He lowers her hand back down to her stomach, and says with more control) Okay, okay. (Then, he lays her carefully on the ground. Then he sits on his knees in between her feet, takes off his helmet, and sets it to the side. Then he reaches under her skirt with both hands, while peaking underneath) Soldier: Uh, push, no…idfa! Idfa! (The lighting dims, suggesting a time skip.)

(The lighting brightens back up, still focusing on the soldier and the woman. The soldier takes his knife out of his right holster with his right hand, keeps his left hand under her skirt, and cuts the umbilical cord. Dropping the knife, he pants as he pulls the baby girl from underneath the woman's skirt. The soldier cradles the baby in his arms and looks down at the baby) Soldier: (His gaze nervously alternating between the woman and her baby) Hey, she-She's not breathing! She, she's not-(He stares at the mother) Hey! Hey! Wait a minute. No, no, no, no, no, no you can't just die! (He starts to shake her left knee with his right hand. Then he says desperately) you can't just die; (bringing his right hand to the newborn's cheek) look at your beautiful little girl! You're her mother; you have to help-(he breathes in, looking off into the distance, while trying to hold back tears. He frantically looks around, like a cry for help. Then he hangs his head. The light dimly shines on the dead woman and man, but focuses more on the soldier and the baby. Then he starts to slowly shake his head while lifting it up. His eyes are about to burst with tears) Soldier: Behind me is death. In front of me is death. I'm holding a dead girl in my arms. Why? (He looks up, as if he's looking past the ceiling and into the heavens). Answer me, damn it! Why am I here?! (Then, all of a sudden, the baby's cries rang throughout the living room. The soldier's eyes shot down at the baby. All light focuses on the soldier and the baby, as if the baby's cries were filled with enough life to wash away the death surrounding the two. The soldier smiles weakly with tears streaming down his face. His body slightly folds into the baby, just how a mother would hold her own) Soldier: (He says softly) I remember now. How could I forget?

Author: So, what's a soldier's purpose? You tell me…