A Play by DeAngelo C.

CHARACTERS:

RAY Bae Bae the Sting Ray, 500Years Old  Uncle HANDLES the Treasure Chest, 1000 Years Old

SETTING:

Deep depths of Atlantic Ocean, far, far under the tide, far away from all human nature. Still undiscovered by humans, sharks.  It lives in what’s left of the Titanic. It sees untouched treasure, dusty rooms, it hears the occasional squeaking of adoor that was abandoned.  It smells and tastes rust, salt, and algae.  Everything it touches is fragile from sitting in the salt water for so long.

TIME:

A cold December Christmas Eve at exactly 12 am.

AT RISE:

RAY is up with his Uncle HANDLES when the security breach alarms by the alarm fish flapping his gills.  They both look and then look at each other in shock.


HANDLES
Don’t even think about it!

RAY
Uncle!  I told you its time for me to be a warrior, these damn sharks killed my father!  You hear me, he killed my father when I was just a little crumb snatcher!  I seen the great white as it took a huge chunk out of his tail, I watched hopelessly as the cock-tailed shark ate my damn father.  (crying and yelling)  You know what kind of emotional stress that put me through?

HANDLES
Think about your unborn ray, do you want her to grow up without a father?  (caring tone)  You got to use that flat head of yours sometimes and think.

RAY
(Ray puts his head down)  How in the hell do you know about my unborn child!  I hope that eel chasing ho’ didn’t tell you. Did she?

HANDLES
It doesn’t matter if she told me, you should of told me.  I’m your family.  I would have been understanding.

RAY
No, you don’t understand.  It’s not about the baby, it’s about my Baby’s Mama, I’m ashamed that I am going to have a child by her, she’s a eel chaser.  I try and try to give her my heart but she’s on some other eel tail.  I give her everything, gold, love, big eel, faithfulness, protection but she continues to be on some eel chasing fish hooks.

HANDLES
(Shocked expression) And now you tell me this? Why was it so difficult for you to tell me this?

RAY
It ain’t about her right now, it’s about my father…there’s been a security breach and the sharks are less then 7 minutes away, and I want to go to war.

HANDLES
Man, you’re tail chompin’, you’re on one, you think you can just go into the middle of a battlefield, untrained?  And with a baby on the way, damn, what’s wrong with you.  Do you want to get ate up like your father?

RAY
Slow your roll, you getting ahead of yourself

HANDLES
I’m your uncle, I’m not bustin’ on you I’m keepin’ it guttah ya dig?  You just like yo father, and look where he at.  Trust me I know, I been at war with the sharks and it tough, you got a legit reason to go to war, but it’s not what you think.  You have a humungous school of rays to take care of your dirty work for you.

RAY
Yea, I know.  I’m just confused.  I want the best of my daughter, I want to give her the life I never had as a baby ray.  I want to be able to take her to fish camp and, I want to be able to share some of that fatherly love with her, you know?  Take her out to fish rallies, to go ride on whale backs and all that stuff that baby rays love.  And if I go into this war I know the odds will be against me.  It’s just, I’m in pain, deep pain, it feels like fish hooks rippin’ me from within.  Do you know what it’s like to grow up without a father…It’s painful.  Everyday I got to wake up, to that empty void in my heart, it cold, it dark and I hate to admit it but , sometimes I come to tears.  And if I go into this war and get killed then my daughter is going to grow up with that same feeling.  Unc,  I’m confused we’re down to 5 minutes and I haven’t made a decision.  Help me out here.  I’m stuck between a rock and a big ship.

HANDLES
I hear you Nef, I hear you.  I always look at you as my son.  I love you more than I love my life, and I don’t want to see you in pain like this.  I know it dark, and cold, and maybe even a little lonely, you probably feel abandoned too, but let me say something that might help you out.  When life gets hard you got to push your way through, even when it feels like its burning its way through, through, through your heart, through your soul, maybe even through you shark proof vest.  Through, the cold, through the dark, through the shadows of death…you got to put it to rest.  You got to be strong, or you’re going to get ate up from the inside out.

RAY
I’m in the dark and cold.  I feel like I’m bout to fold, I reach out but there’s no one to hold, so I gotta be big and bold.  What you told me, has almost sold me, but I gotta free myself from this tight, tight hold, now here’s my chance.  I can finally advance, but here I am right back to square one, I gotta choose between, my unborn and, this hold, it’s unfair and almost too much to bear.  How do I choose between life or death?

HANDLES
Only you can answer that question even though your heart is in me all I can do is show you the light, it’s up to you to cross over now.  I love you and you are my life but Nef I don’t want you to fight.

RAY
(stressed and crying) I have to DO it.  I HAVE to FIGHT!  I got to cross over and feel the light

HANDLES
You’re not going to be in the light if you FIGHT and kill, then your pushing yourself further into the dark.  I killed, I led an army that killed over 1000, I know every night.  I have flashback and regret, I regret killing and you will too.

RAY
(now with an angry face)  Then how bout we both go into war

HANDLES
Your head headed and if you go to war, as family I’m with you 100 % but don’t do it it’s not worth it.  It’s not worth the pain, the misery, the possible burdens.
(Ray gets ready for battle, while strapping on his shark proof vests, Handles gives it one last try to save his nephew.)

HANDLES
This war is going to be the biggest war known to stingrays, this is a last ray swimming war, it’s real life.  It’s either you or him.  (crying)  So, I love you and if we never see each other again, then just know I love you.

RAY
Now you’re making me feel guilty

HANDLES
I’m sorry it’s just (sniff, sniff) I look at you as a son and I want more for you.  I just wish you would listen.  Trust me it’s not what it seems, even though you just think taking out this shark will relieve your stress it won’t!  This is just going to add, and trust me, that bad.  You think you’re hurt now, trust me you ain’t seen hurt, think about this if you kill, you’re not only killing one, but you’re killing a family, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally.  You’re going to make a daughter, a mother, a father miserable.

RAY
So they made me, my family miserable, I would look at it as pay back

HANDLES
You’re talking out of your gills now!  Now I’m not your father but I know you were raised well than that!  I don’t ever want to hear you talk like that!  You say you want revenge, but that’s not how you get it, you’re starting to sound like the sharks, be bigger!  Be better!  Make me proud, you want to be respected not feared.  Trust me you’ll live longer.  You should already know this. You have your own kingdom, don’t ruin our family name, and don’t lower yourself to that kind of level.  Now like I was saying before I can see how you want to murder the main shark but to want to cause pain to his family is something I’m not going to tolerate.  Remember you’re a ray, and a real ray respects family.  That includes your children and your baby’s mama.  Real rays don’t kill with stingers; they conquer using their mouthpiece.

(Ray has his head down and is in deep thought and Handles goes in for the kill.)

Now I can see and feel that you are actually thinking about what I just said, but, there’s no need to dwell in it, now the sharks are damn near 3 minutes away.  The army is in their positions, now instead of you going out in the middle of everything and getting yourself killed, and losing everything you worked for in life, such as your kingdom, your unborn baby, your Baby Mama, and  me…maybe I can order the army to capture the main shark and bring him to you and, you two can battle it out, then you can settle your ego, and be a hero to your colony.

RAY
(suddenly he looks up and for the first time smiles)  Good thinking, let’s do it, put in the order, and we’re going to go head to head.

HANDLES
That way you get what you want and I get what I want but Nef, just know it’s either you or him, but I know you’ll get him cause he’s too old and not as strong as you are.

RAY
Look, the alarm fish is back.  I’m going to give the signal for the army to capture the main shark.

HANDLES
Oh, look the rays got the main shark, but damn…look at all the rays getting killed.  Look, the sharks are leaving, yeah we won this war fa’ sho’.  (sad tone) Too bad we only got about 500 rays left.  
(HANDLES gives the signal to free the shark into their chambers).
Ok now, well good luck it’s just you and the shark. 

RAY
(To the shark) Look here, you damned murderer, I’m going to free you, not because I like you but because I know if I kill you, it would just put me deeper into my misery, and as I look into your cold eyes, I can see my father, my father that you killed.  You’re lucky I have a heart, or I would kill you wear you lay.  You killed my father when I was a crumb snatcher, but I forgive you.  (Big pause)  Whew!  I feel like a million pound weight has been lifted off my shoulders, a huge burden, after 455 years of pain and suffering I feel, like I’m at rest in my body, soul and mind.  (The shark is freed)  For the first time in my life, I feel different, I feel at rest from within.  Who knew, that on this cold Christmas Eve, I would get a present like this.  I finally see the importance in life and in bring a new life into this sea, I finally found myself, and most of all I finally found a new relationship, and that’s with the sea god, good thing I got my uncle, cause I was about to risk my life, for more pain, but he showed me the way and I forever appreciate him for that.

THE END

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