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Each One Reach One at Juvenile Justice Center, San Francisco

February 10, 2018

ALMOST FRIENDS

by Baruwk R.

 


 

Characters:

Genesis, the Lion, male, a teenager, 16 years old

Marisol, a Taurus (Bull) Cow, female, 26 years old

Setting:

A very dry savanna. In the middle of the savanna lies a very small oasis, but this oasis isn’t a vacation from the dry country around it, for this oasis is almost as dry as the country, but contains just enough resources to survive, but not thrive. The Lion family, being as strong as they are have territorialized the oasis and they try to keep other animals from trespassing. The only part of the savanna that is not under Lion rule is the Jungle. The jungle has many resources but it is infested with hunters who kill lions just for sport.

At Rise:

Genesis is awakening by the water hole.


 

GENESIS

(yawning)

Why is it always so hot! I was so hot last night I could feel my sweat frying on my skin. I’m tired of this darn oasis. I’m tired of waking up feeling ants crawling on me and fleas biting me and wasps drinking my water. Wasps! I hate wasps! They sting and frighten and sting and drive a feline mad.

(as Genesis swats away at a trio of wasps hovering over the water hole he notices his reflection)

Hey, it’s growing. My mane. I have a mane! Hey I have a mane, Dad! Scratchy! Leo! Hey you guys!

(Genesis realized his father and cousins have left him there alone)

Cub of a canine! They’re always leaving me. First, it’s you’re too loud. Then it’s you wake up too late. Then he says I can’t hunt. Then he say I’m still a cub. I’m starting to think they don’t want me around. I try to help, I even tell them when I see a nice piece of meat, but that’s all I am to them. A look out. Not a son, a brother, a cousin, not a friend. Just a partner. a survival partner. They don’t need me. Well, I don’t need them.

(Genesis suddenly notices another animal at the oasis. A full grown cow is drinking from the murky green water.)

Ha! Who does she think she is? Doesn’t she know who owns this land? Doesn’t she know whose water she’s stealing?

Not a hunter huh? Still a cub, huh? I’ll show them.

(Genesis blindly starts to run after the cow and when she sees this she takes off running for her life to not get caught. Blind with adrenaline and the vision of having a successful first hunt Genesis runs her out of the oasis, across the savanna, and they enter the jungle. He corners her)

(panting) You’re fast, but I got you now. I can’t wait till the guys see what I drag in. A whole bull. WOW.

MARISOL

(panting)

Please don’t hurt me. I wouldn’t be nearly enough to feed you, let alone your whole family.

GENESIS

Well, I guess there’s only one way to find out. Any last words?

(as he closes in for the kill he notices his surroundings)

Wait, Where are we?!?

MARISOL

In the jungle. (pause) DEEP in the jungle.

GENESIS

Oh no, Oh no, Oh no. Where’s my home? How do I get out? The catchers are going to get me. I am so dead.

MARISOL

Hey calm down. It’s not that bad.

GENESIS

It’s not that bad? This is a lion’s worst nightmare. I’m going to be drugged, then killed. They’re going to skin my dead hide, then use my fur as a rug. My head as a trophy. My dad told me it happened to my mother and now me.

(he starts to cry)

MARISOL

(cautiously)

Hey, are you ok? Hey? What’s your name?

GENESIS

(sobbing)

Genesis.

MARISOL

That’s a nice name.

GENESIS

Thank you. My mom gave it to me. Yours?

MARISOL

Marisol. Won’t your dad come and find you?

GENESIS

Are you serious? They’re probably all back at home having a great time without me, laughing at me. No one has time to find me. Especially here.

MARISOL

Tell you what. You seem sweet. I like you. If you promise not to try to eat me, I’ll help you get home.

GENESIS

Really? You mean it?

MARISOL

Yeah, I guess. But it’s getting too late to travel, the hunters start to roam around now.

GENESIS

Ok, but this doesn’t mean we’re friends. We just need each other to survive.

MARISOL

(aside) Wow, he’s rude.

(to Genesis) That’s fine with me. But since this is my first time talking to a predator; what’s it like being a predator?

GENESIS

I thought I said we weren’t friends!

(pause)

It’s a little hard. It wouldn’t be as bad if I was real lion I guess.

MARISOL

What do you mean ‘real lion’?

GENESIS

(aside) I don’t know if I should really be talking to her. What is she trying to do?

(to Marisol) My dad tells me all the time I’m not a Lion. I try to show them different but they don’t see what I try to do.

(Genesis sees that Marisol is listening deeply. He smiles slightly)

I want to hunt with him and my cousins but they say I’m not scary enough and the animals would just laugh at me. So when they leave I try to take care of the oasis, even though it’s not much. Dirty water, dry grass, a couple boulders, but it’s all I got.

MARISOL

Where’s your friends?

GENESIS

Friends?

MARISOL

Yeah, friends. Everybody has friends.

GENESIS

Well, sometimes I try to talk with the birds but they just fly away. And then when I see a lizard it just crawls into a hole. I even tried talking with a cockroach. After my cousins caught a wild pig I gave some of my share to a roach but he just took it and ran. I don’t understand. I’m not even scary.

MARISOL

Well, you are a lion. How do you expect animals to see you? You’re scary. You scared me.

GENESIS

You really think I’m scary? (he smile) At least you do. (pause) Marisol, why are you here? I’ve never seen a bull cow in the savanna.

MARISOL

I’m not originally from here. I grew up on a farm out in the country but then mi mama wanted to live closer to the city. I like the city a lot but I worked at a factory. All the milking made me sick and I wanted a change. I ended up finding a group of circus performers that took care of me. I like to entertain people, so I stayed. This was our first stop on the tour. I was just exploring, getting a drink.

GENESIS

When do you leave for the next town?

MARISOL

Tomorrow morning.

GENESIS

Tomorrow?!

MARISOL

Yes, so we have to wake up early if I’m going to help you get back home to the oasis.

(Genesis starts to speak but she cuts him off)

Good night.

(As Genesis and Marisol sleep they are ambushed by a group of Lion hunters. Marisol wakes first and manages to run. Genesis awakes to see her fleeing as he is captured by the hunters)

MARISOL

I really wish I could have helped him get home, he was kind of nice. Wait till the rest of the Constellation hears this. Ha! A nice lion. Was I actually going to take him back to his home? As soon as he’d seen his way home he would turn on me.

I don’t know what I was thinking. That I could change his nature? His savage ways? Ever since I fell form the sky I’ve been trying to get back home, but first I have to show them I’m worth being a part of the group. They only gave me so much time to show I’m ready, and tonight’s the deadline.

They gave me any choice I want but I had to help the hardest case. I could have chosen a bunny, a cute little bunny, but no I chose a lion. Now I’ll never leave here!

I guess maybe if he would have been like me we could have been together, but he’s so different. Maybe this is the type of challenge that makes a star shine so bright. And hey, even if I don’t get my wings, at least I’ll know he’s safe.

I know I’ve some things I was forgiven for. Here we go.

(Genesis is tied up by a large tree near the hunter’s camp)

GENESIS

Why did I even trust her. Now I’m going to be just like my mother. Hung out to dry. I should have finished her when I had the chance, and if I ever get out of this I will too. I really thought she was my friend. Friends. What was I going to do? Take her home, introduce her to my family, hope they don’t attack her? It’s whatever. I’m done now. No point in thinking about it.

(Marisol appears, helps him out of the bondage and they run from the hunter’s camp)

MARISOL

(panting)

That was close.

GENESIS

(panting)

Yeah, that was close. But it wouldn’t have been if you would have warned me before you left.

MARISOL

What are you talking about, warn you? I’m your mom now?

GENESIS

No, you’re not my mom, but all I’m trying to say is we would have both been going our separate ways by now if you wouldn’t have been so selfish.

MARISOL

You know, we both would have been going our separate ways if you would have never chased me to the jungle in the first place.

GENESIS

Why are you bringing up something like that. I thought we were survival partners.

MARISOL

Yeah, but I have a better chance of survival without you around. And if I remember correctly, we’re not friends.

GENESIS

We’re not friends!

(A pause.)

MARISOL

I’m sorry but I can’t take you home. If you would have not got caught we’d have had time, but now we don’t. So it’s either you or me and I choose me. The…the…the…circus caravan is leaving. Anyway, you never planned on letting me go home so now’s a better time than any. (Marisol starts to walk away)

GENESIS

Wait. (Marisol turns around) So you’re just going to leave me?

MARISOL

We could have never been friends anyway. We’re just so different.

I gotta go.

(Marisol turns to walk away again and expects to be pounced on. She braces herself for impact but it doesn’t come)

GENESIS

You don’t know what it’s like for me. You have family, you have friends. But for me, I only use other animals. I use them to get by each day, just like they use me. I don’t expect you to understand, you haven’t had my background, my experiences. You’ve probably never been scared for your life. (Marisol give him a look) Imagine that, a lion scared, but I am. Scared of what the next day brings and how I’ll have to handle it by myself.

I didn’t actually think I was getting out of the jungle. Not alive anyways. But then I thought, who would actually care if I never came back. Honestly, you’re the only animal whose ever helped me and/

MARISOL

Have you ever thought of just leaving the savannah? I mean why do you want a life so hard and hopeless? Why do you want to hurt yourself everyday? There’s so much in the world besides one little oasis.

GENESIS

Because that’s who I am. I’m a lion. I can’t change that.

MARISOL

You may not be able to change where you came from, but you can change where you’re headed.

GENESIS

I’m a lost cause. I can’t do anything right. I might be better off being caught by the catchers.

MARISOL

Is that what you really want, Genesis?

GENESIS

I don’t know, but what I do know is I want you happy.

You should go; your circus caravan is leaving soon.

MARISOL

So you’re saying I can go?

GENESIS

Yeah, go.

MARISOL

You know, I understand what you’re saying. I really do. When I left home I didn’t know what to expect. I was challenged to be different and adjust. But honestly, the thing that got me through all my troubles was knowing I am a daughter of Taurus.

GENESIS

Taurus?

MARISOL

Yeah, Taurus. Mi Mama always told me that there’s a bull in the sky watching over me, and He will always be there when no one else is. I don’t know if there’s a lion in the sky , but the idea still applies.

GENESIS

(smiling)

You’re crazy.

MARISOL

(smiling)

That’s what they all say. Just keep that in mind, but for now, let’s get you home.

GENESIS

(surprised)

Really?

(Marisol nods.)

Marisol and Genesis walk through the jungle until Genesis starts to make out the outline of his oasis. He turns to say his goodbyes to his new friend but finds her vanished. Little did Genesis know that Marisol was in a caravan, but not the caravan he expected. Marisol needed Genesis to get home just like he needed her. She needed her wings to fly up in the sky, for she was a star, a part of the constellation of Taurus. Genesis reached the oasis, sad for his loss and found his family had left permanently. He now was the new owner of the oasis. Alone. But as the day turned to night and as Genesis the Lion felt at his lowest, he looked upon the stars and finally saw the lion in the sky and knew he’d be OK.

(Genesis lets out a mellow roar as he looks at the sky)

END OF PLAY



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