THE OUTSIDE WORLD IS URGING ME
By Zhixin C.
CHARACTERS: Clear River, a river, 50 years old.
Pine Tree, her brother, 60 years of loneliness and selfish relationships.
SETTING: The forest. There is a little semicircle island separated from Australia. The island has many 100 meter tall mountains around it.
TIME: 3000 years after the beginning of the world.
AT RISE: PINE TREE and his sister CLEAR RIVER are beside one another.
CLEAR RIVER is daydreaming.
Outside world, how wonderful you are that urging me so much want to get out of this boring place. But my dad Strong Rock is blocking me from flowing out. I want to pour out and taste the fast-speed flowing in the salty Pacific and Atlantic Ocean, the freezing temperature in North Pole. I want to be part of the big wide and fresh ocean, not being a standing water and evaporate in the prisonal like forest. Since I heard the outside coming owl talk about walking on the wide green praire. If you have luck you could see the color rainbow. They described how wonderful the outside world is. If I could experience all of these, I will be very happy.
(Owls enter the forest talking about things they have seen in the world.
To Pine Tree)
Hey! Brother. Do you hear what the outside coming owls talk about how fantastic the outside is?
Yes, I do. I hear them.
(They both listen.)
It sounds great.
I never seen the rainbow, the prairie or the waterfall in here. I want to go out to see the outside.
(Excited) Yes, me too. I can’t wait to grow tall to see the mysterious world.
I envy you to be a tree. You have the potential to grow and see the farther views.
The big tall mountains block my views of the outside world. This big forest for me is like a trapped valley. I turn up my head only to see the big wide blue sky. Luckily, I have you beside me to support each other which is a little beautiful gift for us in this big boring forest.
(Worrying) Within this five years the forest’s temperature starts increasing. Animals tell me this five years I’m evaporating just has ¼ of water left. Right now I just have two days left before I disappear. (Sobbing) Brother! Brother! What should I could I do? I don’t want to disappear. I…
(Interrupting) Calm down. We will find a way together. I won’t let you die. Both of us will see the outside world.
(Worrying) But… I just have two days left.
(CLEAR RIVER pushes against her father Strong Rock who is blocking her path.
She strikes the rock. )
(She strikes again and again.)
(Bargaining) I’ll leave part of my body to continue providing water for the forest, and just leave here for two months.
Let me go!
(Pleads with the sky) Mother, Sweet Clouds, fall down a big heavy rain letting me have enough height to flow over my dad.
Clear River! Calm down!
(Afraid) Then tell me what is the way. He won’t move.
He doesn’t want you leaving without family.
I was hoping he would have pity on me and move and let me go. The temperature keeps increasing to a really hot level. I fear my body will evaporate before I get the chance to go out and see the outside world.
We will find the way together.
(Crying to relieve the worry.)
(Looking down to the ground and thinking) The grass near me is fading away because of lack of nutrition. Clear River is the only one providing water to us. She is the only one keeping us alive. I’m depending on her. I would fade away like the grass if without she providing water. Woefully, there only one of us could see the outside. (To Clear River) Sorry. Sister. You can’t go anywhere. You have to stay here.
What do you mean?
I’m standing on dad’s side. I’m discouraging you to go.
What about my goal?
(Serious) You are the only river here. I will die without you, the lives in the forest depend on you.
You know how I desire. I want to go. Have you thought of me?
Have you also thought of me? I will die. You want to see me die?
(Nervous) No! No! I don’t. But my wish…
Apologize, my sister. The whole forest needs you, and I need you too. I must be the one who sees the outside. Just stay right beside me help me grow and I will tell you how the world looks.
(CLEAR RIVER strikes rock.)
You cannot pass over our dad. He’s a big strong rock.
(CLEAR RIVER pushes the rock.)
I can’t grow without you.
(Pleasing with sky) Sweet Clouds, fall down a big heavy rain!
I’m begging don’t go outside.
(Pleading) Sweet Clouds!
If I didn’t have you loneliness would destroy me!
(CLEAR RIVER strikes rock again and again.)
(Shouting) You are staying here, not outside anywhere but here.
(Hateful) Oh no! How could you say that to me. We are not just brother and sister we also are close friends in this fifty years. How could you betray me? I feel like I never knew you. Go ask the wind to calm you down and find your own way to grow by yourself.
(CLEAR RIVER flows away and leaves.)
Life in the forest cannot see the outside world. If I am the only one who can see outside world, the knowledge will definitely make me the powerful pine tree and gain great respect from the forest. If they come to me to gain knowledge of the outside world, they will bring me the nutrients in order to keep me growing. If they don’t, they will never know anything about it. The knowing would push me to become the learned king of the forest. I have to become the tallest tree here. The other trees around me are stealing my nutrition letting themselves grow stronger so they can protect themselves from the wind destroying them. This is making me stay the same height. I’ll gradually die without any nutrition provided.
(PINE TREE is having a secret talk with owls.
But somewhere nearby hidden by the other trees,
a bear overhears what they are saying.)
Hey, owls. Did you hear about what my sister Clear River is saying? She wants to go outside to see the world. Luckily, my father wants the whole family to stay together, he won’t let her leave. I don’t want to lose my sister. You know my feeling because you had lost your sister too. Could you help me? Lie to my sister how terrible outside is. Then she won’t be so tempted to leave the forest.
(PINE TREE smiles. Owls fly near to Clear River having a talk with her.)
Yes. Really? Are you lying to me? How could that happen? Earlier today I heard you said the outside world is wonderful. How come now you say the opposite? No! No! No!
(CLEAR RIVER is running back to her brother with guilt.)
I’m so sorry. I know this is not easy to make this decision. Sorry. I say you are selfish but the real selfish one is me. I choose to sacrifice you to reach my goal. Brother, I will stay here.
(Hugging Clear River, smiling) Sister…
(Interrupting) I know. I know it, Brother… Tell me of the rainbow and of all other things no one ever mention before. I will drink what you tell me about the world what it looks like. Take my water for your wood so you can grow.
(The bear runs up to CLEAR RIVER.)
(To the bear) Hi, bear. I’m sorry I’m so low today. I’m feeding my brother. I’m giving up my wish to see the outside world by helping him grow tall. Because. He will die without me. It’s really hot in the forest now. Any second I could evaporate all up to sky. So hurry up and drink me before I get too low in the ground. Oh, you have a secret? About what? My brother Pine Tree? What is it? He told the owls to lie to me about the outside world? So it’s not true that outside world is a bad place?
Sorry. I’m so sorry that I told them to lie to you. But I’m doing all this for you.
For me! Don’t try to deceive me again! I won’t believe you.
(Deceiving) I’m just afraid you leaving me. I can’t live without you. If you stay here help me grow, you also can see the world. I would tell you everything I see.
But this is not my real goal. I tell you I’m leaving. (To the bear. Angry) Bear. Could you help me leave here by moving my dad away? Push him out of my path so I can flow out into the world.
(The bear nods yes.)
(The bear lifts up her dad Strong Rock.
There is no way to stop Clear River anymore.)
Brother. I’m leaving. Sorry.
(CLEAR RIVER is gone.)
Sister? I really miss you. Are you doing ok outside? I know I depressed you but there is one thing I never tell you. I love you. Sister, I hope saying this is not too late. I love you.
The wind blows through me makes me feel grief. I smell loneliness coming from inside my wood. Which smells like death.
(Suddenly, his mother Sweet Clouds is falling a big rain.
This is not rain, it is her tears.
But no one knows it, either Pine Tree or Strong Rock.)