A Play by Iris C.

Performance: May, 2004
Hillcrest Juvenile Hall, San Mateo

Thunder is a 6 year old boy that is too scared to go out in the world. And wants the love of his dad.
Disaster is a 13 year old girl that runned away from home that has problems with her brother and wants to teach thunder the real world in the streets.
mid-afternoon, around 5-6 PM
Place: The street outside Thunder’s house. Outside in the street there is cars passing by, kids running around, people fighting, kids crying.
At rise: Disaster is walking by looking around and watching her back, when she sees a big window in a small house with a kid sitting there looking sad and thoughtful. As he catches her eye they know there is something wrong with them.


(aside) That boy looks so sad. I wonder what’s going on with him?


Girl, girl, don’t leave. Hold on.

Disaster: Are you talking to me?

Well, yeah. There’s no on other girl around. Girl, come closer to my window. Talk to me please! I’m bored.


O.K. What do you want to talk about?

Thunder: Well, I want to know how it is out there.

What do you mean by how it is out here? Don’t you ever come out of your house?

Thunder: Do you think if I did I’ll be asking you! Man, I don’t know why I even called you here. You’re just like everyone else. You don’t understand how I feel, and just assume I’m O.K. I’m not O.K. I’m sad ‘cause there are problems in the house. My dad’s always arguing and my mom’s never home. Plus I’m mad that I’ve never been out.
Disaster: What you mean I’m like everyone else? You don’t know how I feel and I’m not assuming anything. I also have my own problems. It’s not only you in the world. I’m my own person. I’m unique.
Thunder: Well, I didn’t mean by you not being unique. It’s just that I thought I saw something in you, something special! I thought I saw me in you.
I don’t know what’s wrong with people. It’s like they don’t even notice I’m always in my house. I’m six. I want to be out there and run, play, have friends, go to school like the kids walking by in the morning. I’m tired of sitting here in this stupid house, in this stupid chair, looking out this stupid window having to make my own movie about what’s going on out there. I’m just tired of all this. I’m tired of being locked up and having to listen to my parents argue and not being able to do anything about it. I feel weak. I feel like disappearing. I’m just tired of all this. I just want to run free!
Disaster: You really feel that way. Why are you even telling me all this?
Thunder: It’s like I told you before. I saw something in you, but I don’t know what that something is yet.

I think you’re right. What’s your name again?

Thunder: Thunder
Disaster: Thunder, there is something in me. You know what that something is?
Thunder: What?
Disaster: I can understand you. I do know what you’re feeling.
Thunder: Really, how?
Disaster: Well, I’m going through the same thing.
Thunder: What do you mean?
Disaster: I feel the same way when my family argues and I can’t do anything about it. Well, see, I just ran away from my house. It’s just usual stuff, like arguing and misunderstanding and well, anger against my brother.(pause) To tell you the truth it’s not usual stuff. Sometimes it goes over the line. He gets a little angry and we start fighting. Then he just screams and says stuff I’m sure he doesn’t mean –and when he says stuff like it make’s me feel so angry and scared, and well a little depressed. And well, I know he’s just looking out for me, but he make’s it seem like he hates me. And I want to listen to him and not go off because I know he’s right.
Thunder: Then why do you go off if you know he’s right?
Disaster: Now, you’re making me feel like you don’t understand.
Thunder: Well, I don’t understand. Explain it to me.
Disaster: I don’t feel like explaining right now.
Thunder: Why not? You want me to understand don’t you?
Disaster: Yeah but,
Thunder: But what?
Disaster: I go off because, well, it feels like I’m a genie in a bottle. Like I got to do everything he tells me to, and I’m sick of that. I want to do my own thing. It’s my life, not his and we all make mistakes. In my case, I just learn it the hard way. I don’t want to be the person I am. I want to be the person I could be.
Thunder: Well, I feel that way too. I want to be able to step out of this house. Can you help me please, pretty please?
Disaster: Are you sure you want me to do this?
Thunder: Well, yeah. But hurry before I back down.
Disaster: O.K. Just give me a minute. (pause) I got it. O.K. do you have a back door?
Thunder: Ummmm, yeah. It’s by the kitchen, in the right side of the fence, where the apple tree is.
Disaster: O.K. is it open?
Thunder: I don’t know. I never go there. But is usually open. Oh. One thing. Be really, really, really careful not to make noise.
Disaster: Why?
Thunder: Just don’t.
Disaster: What happens if I do?
Thunder: Just don’t. Listen to me.
Disaster: Whatever!
Thunder: What do you mean “whatever”? You know if you make a lot of noise and dad wakes up it’s going to be over for me and you. I don’t want to argue with him mad. Plus, if he finds out I’m getting out he’s going to think I’m running away. I don’t want him thinking I’m running away.
Disaster: O.K. I understand now. I’ll try not to make that much noise.
(she finds the door and goes in the house)
Thunder, thunder, where are you?
Thunder: You made it.
Disaster: Yeah, yeah come on let’s go.
Thunder: (Thunder is in the door way but he’s scared to go out)
No, I can’t do this. How about if I never come back? And never see my family again. How am I supposed to have a relationship with my dad if I leave. It’s not too late to start over. I want him to be there to teach me how to grow up.
Disaster: You are going to be back. I’ll make sure you get back. Come on! I also have to get on going. It’s getting late.
Thunder: What don’t you understand? I’ve never been out. I never been this close to being out in the world. What do you expect? I’m scared. I don’t know how to deal with the things that go out there. There could be big kids that pick on me. What about if somebody tries to force me to do what I don’t want to do.
Disaster: I don’t have time. Are you going to do it or not? I don’t feel like meeting your dad, mad if he wakes up. I got to find a place to stay for the night. So, you’re either going to come out here with me or stay in there by your self. (pause) Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound rude or like I didn’t care but it is getting late and you gotta make your decision.
Thunder: ( thoughts flying through his head)
What should I do, what should I do? Ahhh!!!!. I have to take this dare. Oh well about the consequences. O.K. Now if I go out I get what I want. I see what goes on out there and find people just like me. If there is any. And if I stay in here I’ll be too scared to ever go out and find what goes on.
Disaster: You’re dad is going to wake up any minute now. I could feel it. Come on.
Thunder: Shut up! Let me think for 1 more minute. Look, Disaster, how about if I can’t come back in the house and my dad finds out. He’s going to lecture me for years. And if he does find out my family won’t ever be peaceful, and they would even have more problems to argue about.
Disaster: (yelling) Thunder, look out, your dad’s light just went on!
Thunder: What? Where? How?
(he jumps right out the door)
Disaster: Come on let’s go!
Thunder: I can’t believe it. I made it. I never thought I’ll have the guts to go out. Hey!! I feel confident.
Disaster: Come on, let’s get going.
Thunder: Hold on. Let me enjoy the feeling.
Disaster: No, mister, you hold on. Now, hurry up before you really never get to see the world. Now come on! This is the plan, so listen carefully. We climb the apple tree and jump the fence that leads us to the alley and run as if a big pit bull is trying to eat you. Then wait for me by the gray apartment building by the garage. O.K.
Thunder: O.K. Just be there. Don’t diss me.
Disaster: I won’t. O.K., at the count of 3. 1, 2, 3, run. See ya in a little.
Around 1:00 in the morning
Place: The alley
At rise: Disaster is showing Thunder the world.
Disaster: Any problem in your way down the alley?
Thunder: No, not at all. You know what? I felt so good running. I felt so free and happy, like I had no problems. And in my way down here I saw a little girl about my age with what it seem a very loving and happy family.
Disaster: You won’t believe this, but that’s why I told you to meet me here separately. I wanted you to have a feeling of how others live. So, welcome to the world. Let’s take a walk and I’ll tell you a little about it.
Thunder: You think I’m ready.
Disaster: Well, it’s now or never. Come on let’s go. O.K. Our first stop is here in this lonely alley. What do you think of it?
Thunder: It looks quiet and boring.
Disaster: You’re wrong. There’s so many things going on. Look in that corner. See those two guys there selling drugs?
Thunder: Oh, I see. I heard of those in the T.V.
Disaster: Now, you see those guys over there.
Thunder: Where?
Disaster: By the low rider car. Those 10 guys.
Thunder: Oh, I see.
Disaster: Well, they’re gang members so we got to be careful by them. It looks like they’re planning something bad.
Thunder: Disaster, look, look!! That guy is hitting that poor young girl. She’s so young and he’s so old. What is she doing?
Disaster: SHHH!! Don’t be so loud. Look, she’s selling her body, to get money.
Thunder: How?
Disaster: Well, She’s having sex with people to get money.
Thunder: Why is he hitting her?
Disaster: I don’t know, but let’s not get into it. Look, Thunder, it’s getting a little late and around this time a lot goes on so we got to find a place to sleep for tonight.
Thunder: O.K. I think I know where we could go. When I was running through the alley I saw this abandoned laundry room.
Disaster: Where?
Thunder: It’s a laundry room by where we met in the apartment.
Disaster: All right. Let’s get going.
Thunder: (inside the laundry room)
BRRRR!! It’s so cold. Look, there are all kinds of people running.
Disaster: Be quiet. I told you a lot goes on in the night. Just go to sleep.
Thunder: I can’t I miss my family. I miss my bed. I never thought the world was so harsh.
Disaster: (aside) Why did I run away? What did I get this little kid into? He’s so young. He’s not supposed to know about all this yet. This is going to have a big affect in his life. I hope it’s a good one. I hope he doesn’t get involved in any gang or drugs or even by being a pimp.
I should of listened to my brother. Right now I could be home, nice and warm, not having to watch my and Thunder’s back. How about if those gang members come and attack us? Or those guys selling drugs offer me some? How about if the pimp finds out we saw who he is and that we know what he’s doing and beats me? This sounds just like one of my brother’s lectures. It could have been much easier just dealing with my problems rather than running from them.
Thunder, Thunder, wake up.
Thunder: Mmmm!! What’s wrong?
Disaster: Nothing…..Well, yeah there’s something wrong. We got to go back.
Thunder: No, I don’t want to go back right now. How about if my dad is mad?
Disaster: (yelling) He’s not going to be mad!
Thunder: You don’t know how he is.
Disaster: Let’s just go
Thunder: No, I’m too afraid. I don’t feel like going back. How about if I never come out again. And I have to be stuck listening to all the arguing. I don’t want to go back. I finally got what I wanted and I’m having fun!
Disaster: You’re not having fun! You think having fun is out here having to watch your back? Missing your family, not knowing what’s going to happen next. You’re too young. You’re not even supposed to know about all this yet.
Thunder: Well, look at you. You sound like you’re all grown-up. You’re not that old either.
Disaster: (crying) That’s why I’m telling you all this. I don’t want you to end up like me. Experiencing things we’re not even supposed to know about. I think I done a big mistake.
Thunder: Why?
Disaster: How about if you take the wrong way of life and you do one of the things I just showed you? Then I’m going to feel like it was my fault.
Thunder: How about if I take the good way and I never do any of those things?
Disaster: I guess time will tell but really I think we should get going.
Thunder: O.K. Let’s go.
(running back home through the alley)
Disaster: (out of breath) O.K. You got to do this. You got to go in.
Thunder: I don’t know if I can. But I’ll try.
(Thunder opens the door)
No, I can’t do it. The only way I’ll do this is if you come with me. See, I feel like I could do anything with you. I feel comfortable with you.
Disaster: No, I’m too scared to go with you. How about if they think I captured you and they shoot me
Thunder: Now you’re going too far. Please do this for me. Please
Disaster: O.K.
Thunder: One thing. Leave the door open in case we got to run out.
(Thunder walks in and the parents are standing in the kitchen door way.
(talking fast)
Dad, I didn’t mean to leave the house. I was just so anxious of knowing what was out there. Please don’t get mad. I didn’t run away. (crying) I love you. I love you. I didn’t want you to get mad.
Disaster: (crying) Thunder, it’s O.K. slow down. Look at him. He’s not mad. He looks more worried. I told you he’s not mad.
Thunder: Really, really!!! Dad, I’m sorry. I want to start a new relationship with you. I want you to stop arguing with mom. Is that so much to ask? I just want you to teach me the right way of life. I love you dad.
Disaster: He loves you too, Thunder.
    The End.