A Play by Leslie

CHARACTERS:

SWIMMER, the FIGHTING FISH,  Female, 16 years old SHINE the MOMMA FIGHTING FISH,            Female, 33 years old

SETTING:

They live in the sea, their home is a clam shell. Little siblings swimming around and things thrown all over the place. Other neighboring clam shells are exactly the same, just more calm. Fishes swimming in the clear blue sea, with coral swaying side by side making sounds of a harp. Music notes in the back.

TIME: 8 o’clock at night
AT RISE:

Swimmer and big brother Stress are bubbling, then Momma Shine comes in and starts to have the talk with Swimmer.


SHINE
I am getting so sick and tired of you two bubbling all the time.

SWIMMER
You makin’ it seem as if I’m the one always startin’ it!?

SHINE
I never said that, its just why cant you have more patience like your brother and understand he only gets on your tail so you can do things better.

SWIMMER
No he doesn’t, all he does and ever wants to do is put me down so he can make himself look like an angel fish.

SHINE
What are you talking about? He doesn’t try to act like an angel fish. He’s just himself.

SWIMMER
Mom I don’t even want to argue with you, I just need to talk.

SHINE
Since when do you need to talk to me? What do you want? (Suspicious…more calm, hearing out)
Please don’t tell me this is about the sharks.

SWIMMER
If you can just see my side of things, how I feel.

SHINE
I know what you’re feeling. I was a Fisha before too.

SWIMMER
But you just don’t get it. (Becoming irritable)

SHINE
Well then tell me. (Very eager to listen)

SWIMMER
Mom, I love you and my Fishies but I’m growing tired of having to take care of them all the time. (Starting to look sad) It sinks having to wake up, get myself ready for school, then make sure everybody else has gotten up and good to go swim to school. Then pick them right back up.

SHINE
Swimmer, I know what you’re feeling, I work so hard to keep this clam shell for you fishies and sacrifice all of the things I want to do too, but we’re a family. Those are the things we do for each other and that’s what makes us stronger.

SWIMMER starts crying out of frustration

SHINE
Swimmer, I just want what’s best for you and I want you to understand where I’m coming from also. These sharks are not the right species to be swimming around with.

SWIMMER
Psh! How would you know, you never swam with them or seen who they are. I go to school with them everyday and never have they caused me any harm.

SHINE
You’re just a young Fisha. You don’t even know what the real water is like. You might think they never caused you any harm but really you just don’t know…(Swimmer cuts her off)

SWIMMER
I don’t know? I do know! I’m getting more and more irritated with how you always think I don’ know anything. Yes, the sharks may have made a few mistakes in the past but that doesn’t make them bad creatures. Why can’t you, Stress and everybody stop being so judgmental?

SHINE
 (Helpless) Sweetie, there’s going to be a lot of things you’re not gonna’ like and you won’t be able to change them. Once you get older you will see how the sea gets. The sharks turn their tails on each other all the time.

SWIMMER
 (feeling defensive) Not all sharks are like that though.

SHINE
I know not all but majority of them are.

SWIMMER
 (feeling a little more relieved) Thank you for seeing that and I’m not going to be with that “majority of them.” I know who to associate with and who not to.

SHINE
It only sounds so easy and well planned but you’re going to want to swim deeper at one point and before you know it you gon’ be with the big sharks in the dark sea doing bad things.

SWIMMER
 (gets sassy) I know how to handle myself, having to take care of your fishies and still do good in school. I can do it.

SHINE
Okay, but watch if you go and a big shark wants you to take a swim “just one time.” What are you going to do then, when you’re getting tired of the same sharks in the dim sea?

SWIMMER
I already said I’ll stay with what I feel is right. There you go not listening to me, or are you just not trusting me!?

SHINE
Stop being so hammer headed. I trust you. Its just too cold out there!

SWIMMER
 (determined) I’m ready to go pack. I love you but this isn’t going nowhere. Its time for me to have my way. I’m the best swimmer in the sea and I want to be recognized as that, not some stupid Fisha you and Stress always make me feel like! Barnacles, I don’t need this. I’m gonna swim to the bottom of the sea and all the sea creatures will know who I am.

SHINE
 (feels overcome with defeat) This is the one thing I feared the most, but since you seem to think you are so ready, I don’t want to stop you from your dreams.

SWIMMER is packing her things. She packs a pearl her father gave her.

SHINE
I never wanted to have to tell you this but since you’re leaving, its time for you to know. (Mournfully. Swimmer becomes attentive)

SWIMMER
I’m still going, but what is it?

SHINE
Your father was not caught on a fisherman’s hook. He was once the best swimmer in the sea and tagged along with the sharks, they were so close no one thought anything came between them. But I guess things weren’t so good one day. (Takes a moment to collect herself)

SWIMMER
And they what?

SHINE
The sharks can get very competitive and if you swim better than them, they gonna’ want you out. Doesn’t matter what it takes.

SWIMMER
What are you getting to? If you’re going to say what I think you’re going to say, its not gonna work. These sharks are my animals, they ain’t eva gon do such a thing to me!? (Feeling confident)

SHINE
That’s exactly what your father thought. I’m not trying to make you stay any more as much as I want you to just think about it.

SWIMMER
 (A moment of silence) Alright, I’ve made up my mind and I’m ready to go.

SWIMMER swims out of the shell. SWIMMER returns by midnight. SWIMMER knocks on the clam shell. SHINE opens the door.

SHINE
 (relieved) Swimmer! I thought you weren’t going to come back.
SWIMMER
 (remorseful) Mom I shoulda listened to you. We weren’t even at the deep dark sea yet till…

SHINE
Swimmer, what happened, are you hurt?

SWIMMER
No, just everyone started bubbling and I thought it was nothing big and I didn’t think what happened to my dad was true till I saw it for my own eyes.

SHINE
I never wanted you to ever see anything like that happen.

SWIMMER
I know but now I feel like its too late and I can’t do anything right no more.

SHINE
Don’t say that. You can still go back to school. Everything can go the way you want as long as you really strive for it. Swimmer, I never want to hear you say that…Its never too late.

They hug and close the door.

THE END

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