|War and History Script posted November 11, 2013||Chapters:||-1- 2...|
A 30 minute stage play.
A chapter in the book Depleted Uranium
(A FAMILY HOME ON WICKHAM ROAD, BROCKLEY. THERE IS A LARGE OPEN-PLAN DINING ROOM/SITTING ROOM AREA, ADJOINED TO A KITCHEN. ON THE WALL IS A LARGE FLAT-SCREEN TV.)
(HARRY LAING, IN HIS EARLY FORTIES, IS SIFTING THROUGH A DRESSER, WEARING A DRESSING GOWN. HE TAKES OUT SOME BOXES AND PLACES THEM ON THE FLOOR, SITS BESIDE THEM. STARTS THROWING THE CONTENTS INTO THE RUBBISH BIN. AFTER A WHILE DEBBIE LAING, HIS WIFE OF THE SAME AGE, WALKS INTO THE ROOM BEHIND HIM, DRESSED IN A NIGHT GOWN. SHE WATCHES HIM IN SILENCE. HE SEARCHES THE DRESSER IN A FRANTIC MANNER, AND THEN PICKS UP A CD. HE PUTS IT IN THE DVD PLAYER AND PUSHES A BUTTON ON THE REMOTE CONTROL. HE STARES BLANKLY AS AN IMAGE OF A WAR-TORN LANDSCAPE APPEARS ON THE SCREEN, WITH A YOUNG SERGEANT PICKING HIS WAY THROUGH UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE AND BOMBLETS IN FULL COMBAT GEAR. HARRY PUSHES A BUTTON ON THE REMOTE AND THE IMAGE DISAPPEARS.)
What are you doing up this early?
Go back to bed.
Is something wrong?
No, go back to bed.
I wish you'd just tell me what's wrong...
I'm just clearing out a few things; that's all.
At four in the morning?
Look at all this junk. It's just cluttering the place up.
This is our life.
This was our life. It's history.
(THE BIN IS FULL.)
Do you want to empty this?
I'll sort it out. Just go back to bed.
(GETTING UP, STIFF AND TIRED.)
The sooner we get rid of this, the better.
(HE GOES TO THE BEDROOM AND CLOSES THE DOOR. DEBBIE TAKES THE RUBBISH AND EMPTIES IT INTO A BIN BAG. SHE LOOKS AT IT FOR A WHILE, AND THEN HIDES IT IN A CLOSET. WE HEAR THE SOUND OF BIRDS IN THE TREES. LIGHTS FADE. SHE SWITCHES THE TV ON WITH THE REMOTE, AND PUTS A DVD ON. SHE LISTENS AS WARREN LAING APPROACHES A LECTERN. BEHIND HIM IS A SLIDE-SHOW OF IRAQ IN 2003, WITH A WAR-RAVAGED LANDSCAPE AND RUINED BUILDINGS.)
(READING A DOCUMENT.)
At the end of the bombing campaign, we invaded Iraq, picking our way through the unexploded ordnance and shells. We didn't know at the time that the military were using depleted uranium shells. There was no time to think of things like that. Keeping alive was of more importance to us in the heat of battle. That was when it all started to happen. I heard the shells whistling through the air. One of them hit a building to my right, and I was knocked to the ground by the force of the explosion. I tried to move my legs, unsure if I still had them. Disorientated and couldn't coordinate myself. I could move my arms, but felt nothing. I was numb all over. I took a deep breath and sucked dust and smoke into my lungs. My clothes were on fire. I tried putting it out, but it was useless.
(SLIDE OF A MAN WITH BURN SCARS.)
These are the scars that I'm left with, but the worst ones are the emotional scars. I can still see men running about now, killing and getting killed in return. The dust and smoke started to clear, and I could see blurred images all around me. I could feel the swelling on my face, and I started to get cold. My eyes were almost closed shut because of the swelling. That was when everything started to get black. It was like it was happening to somebody else. I passed out, and woke up on a hospital bed.
(THE SCREEN GOES BLACK AND THE LIGHTS GO OUT.)
I would like to dedicate this to all who have served, and especially those who have died on the battlefield, or are suffering as a result of their experiences.Pays one point and 2 member cents.
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