(exterior – single story ranch style house with front porch. flat tin roof. weathered appearance. rusted car frame on cinder block)
(interior – wood walled, various wires trailing from gadgets and gizmos alongside the corner of the living room. door leads to exterior. window gives view of degraded fence with patches of tall grass. copper colored curtains trim the window. living room has three desks, one flush against each wall. flickering computer screens. lazrus, teoc, and fray idle away.)
(enter antigone, an exceedingly thin young girl of twelve)
chorus. there are clouds on the horizon. they speak of the war in distant observations. people who know that there is a present danger, that taste scarcity but do not feel the threat of death so as to linger. tell them that in four years they will know death, they will obliterate and you would see them fall over laughing themselves.
choragus. lazrus is the oldest boy. he was born under a crescent moon to a mother that baptized him with faith and fury. he walks as though the reeds will bend to greet him. fear quakes at his voice, deep and full like thunder in the distance. too serious by half, too sure. he will die in a blaze of fire. unfulfilled. empty.
lazrus. 'bout time.
teoc. you come to bother us?
chorus. Oh teoc, the survivor. the one whose fate will outlive the images on the screen. that will commit to a life that sees knowledge and power but does not farm with blood and sweat. he knows kindness. he will have a daughter and she will be our hope. he will have a son and he will be a disappointment. he will see past the days four years to present, when -
antigone. no one helped me to bring up the wire. sold another scrap of copper. what you working on?
fray. come here. i'll show you.
(fray waves and she moves to stand behind his shoulder. they stare at the screen as he keeps typing away. they make no sound, basking in the glow of the screen. his key strokes play out like a symphony. he clicks one, two, three, and then - a laugh).
choragus. they know too much for being so young. but this is their answer. to poverty. to endless machinations at playing in the factories, tidying at circuits and wasting away. life that has hope, to be smarter than the machines, to be a prize to be sought after.
antigone. you devil you! you're going to get us all in trouble someday.
chorus. he has the map of the district. all the roads, all the houses, all the sewers and all the life. all neatly tucked into a grid of lines and imagines but he has pulled it up like magic. how she will always find fray - magic. he will convince her that they are to be rebels. he will keep her fighting long after the world has turned to ash and dust. he will die, and she will not mourn him.
fray. their security is shit. all of it is, really. nothing worth really having though. but we can find it, if they have it. this'll help out folks who are wanting to make their way around here.
(antigone looks closer at the screen, hands on both of his shoulders)
antigone. you ever think that we might just keep it for ourselves?
lazrus. yah, okay. this is all fun and good for you to say, you out there puttering around and not learning how to do it yourself. you want to keep away in the factory and burning into circuits your whole life like ma and pa or you want to learn something real?
fray. she's got time, lazrus.
lazrus. eh. you tell me who has da time, i ain't seen it. aside from that i was already a million miles ahead at her age.
antigone. i'm trying, teoc. you don't make time to teach me.
(lazrus swivels around in his chair)
lazrus. because you don't want to learn! you spend so much time outside this house laughin' and carryin' on i feel like you'd rather be like da rest of them, eh?
(antigone crosses her arms across her chest. she is quiet. a bird atop the tallest branch)
antigone. i'm not like anyone else. i'm just myself.
lazrus. (waves to her, and turns back to his screen) you have your good times then. you want to learn, you stay here. you take those books we lovingly borrowed and kept and learned from and you can join us. or you can follow what you want to do. like you always do.
choragus. they fall quiet, because lazrus speaks the truth. antigone loves her brothers, she loves her family, but she loves herself more. and she will be taught time and time again not to love herself. to love herself is vanity. to love another is her duty.
(antigone kneels and plies one of the books from the pile. she sets down on the hardwood and begins to go through the pages)
(interior. daybreak. kitchen set: short plywood table with metal folding chairs. silver gas burning stove with a pot holder hanging off the handle. stainless steel fridge with assorted photos of the children. window looking out onto the yard. bars cross over to give a sense of foreboding)
(enter delilah. forty-seven. sepia brown skin glistens from a long day of work. dressed in overalls and white slip-on sneakers. hair tucked underneath a headscarf. she opens the fridge and pauses to stare down at the few odds and ends. she takes out a beer and holds it in her hand. she thinks better of it. she sets it back down on the interior of the fridge and moves to the cabinets. she pulls a glass and goes to the spigot for water. she finds the radio at the end of the sink and turns it to a station playing slow acoustic guitar and quiet brass. she turns off the water and moves to have a seat at the table. she lets out a quiet sigh as she leans back in her chair, elbow on the table, chin in the palm of her hand).
chorus. how mothers dream when the world is quiet. her body aching from a shift from the factory but still she's awake to catch her children before they go to school. this will be the only time she'll have to see them each day until saturday. haemon her husband has already gone to work. they navigate shifts as though they are running a race, and neither has stopped yet. he'll be home for them for supper before taking in the wash off the line, ironing what needs ironing, and seeing the kids to sleep. he'll kiss her once on the forehead if he wakes her up, and call her his beauty, but age has brought a tiredness he won't recognize.
choragus. she will try to see him as a young man, the one that used to take her out in an automobile, and drive fast out on one of the old dirt roads of the district. before gasoline got scarce the car in the front of the yard used to take them everywhere. she remembers a time when they drove right outside the border, over the crossing and onto the old roads that brought them to the wilderness. she remembers them stopping somewhere - they called it nowhere, the land between districts - and letting her voice carry out in every direction. they had a wild freedom then that she imagined could never be lost, because freedom like that is less like coins in your pocket and more like the air she breathed.
chorus. she used to say that they would go down to the coast and get a boat, and sail across the ocean. not that she knew how to swim, but she wanted to go as far away from her life as she could with haemon. he was keen to egg her own and call her foolish, but would listen with wide eyes at all the places they'd sail to. things she'd read in old books, before the world turned on its head. and he loved her, so he could believe nothing else.
(lower scrim behind, enter two shadow figures - man twenty-four, woman twenty-two. they begin to dance a merengue. delilah smiles and begins to hum along to the music)
choragus. there was a time when their whole life felt like a song. days that she is certain were never quite as good as she imagines them to have been. she likes the thought of his chin pressed against hers, or the way he'd hold his hand on her lower back. that they'd be in the middle of a dance hall and the music would be too loud for either of them to speak, but she didn't need him to. she just needed him to look at her, to see her, to love her.
(enter antigone in a nightgown. she stops in the open doorframe and looks at her mother with sleepy eyes.)
(delilah doesn't rise from her chair, eyes stay closed)
antigone. are you making us breakfast?
(the radio cuts to a voice, speaking - )
radio. fourteen more casualties outside of district eight. this marks the fourth skirmish between district and capitol forces this month.
(antigone is takes a step onto the linoleum of the kitchen. she stops to cross her arms across her chest.)
radio. the president declined to give a statement, but the defense minister noted that all those that were captured have been executed. The interim mayor of district eight could not be reached for comment -
(delilah lets out a defeated sigh and stands. she pushes back the chair, which lets out a shriek scraping across the floor. she turns off the radio and starts to pull things out of the cupboard)
delilah. (still humming) bonjou, antigone.
(antigone twists one hand on her arm as she watches her mother. she takes a couple of steps but waits by the table.)
antigone. mamá, could i stay home with you today?
(delilah adjusts the burner to produce a blue flame, and holds up a box for inspection.)
delilah. you want cinnamon in your oatmeal or plain?
antigone. plain. you think it would be all right with you if i stayed back?
(delilah, at the cupboard again, ignorant.)
delilah. out of sugar again. didn't i tell fray to pick up another bag with you yesterday?
antigone. today's the aptitude tests for the upper levels and i just don't think i want to do it. i mean, i don't know if I'm going to be as good as fray was, or even teoc. definitely not lazrus. and they say that if you don't do well then you just wind up in the factory soldering things together for the rest of your life.
delilah. mmhmm. you know i think i may have some vanilla that'll make this taste better...
antigone. they told me yesterday they want me gone. that's the nickname they gave me. sebastian and roland. they said a girl like me couldn't hack it and i just - i don't know if i can. but i don't want them to be right...
delilah. (tasting) mmm.
antigone. you spend your whole life building up to this, and you think, this the most important thing that i'm ever going to do, and then you fail and you wind up the laughing stock and i just can't do that to myself. i can't!
(antigone pulls out a chair and flops down, head on top of the table, buried in her arms. delilah pours out the oatmeal for herself and antigone. she puts spoons in each bowl and places them down. she's slow to pull out her chair, and stares over at her crestfallen daughter. she shakes her head and slowly starts to eat. antigone peeks up to look at her mother, but hides her face again when they meet eyes.)
delilah. you going to pitch a fit every time life don' work out the way you want it?
antigone. (muffled) you wouldn't understand. it wasn't like this for you.
delilah. you're right. you don't have it like we did.
(she moves to put a hand on antigone's arm, and strokes it. antigone looks up, again.)
antigone. (in tears) i just feel like i'm running a race to do everything i'm supposed to but i never know where i'm going. and i just want to listen to someone who'll tell me where i'm supposed to be.
delilah. it's okay, it's just a bit ah stress. nothing you can't handle. you're tougher than that, antigone.
antigone. but i have to -
delilah. you have two things you need to do, and that's breathing, and living. one comes before the other. and sometimes people forget to breathe before they try to live, and no one wants to see that.
antigone. i'm sorry.
delilah. you don't have to be sorry for not knowing. just don't turn around later and be sorry for where you wind up.
choragus. delilah tells her daughter of how proud she is; that she's leaps and bounds ahead of her in every way. she's not her brothers, or her classmates. that whatever the test would show her meant nothing more than the paper it was printed on. she'd go on to do more than she could imagine, if she didn't let herself be limited by what other folks had told her.
chorus. she'll live the longest out of the boyés, even longer than teoc. her husband will get sick this year, at his worst when antigone is taken from them.
(the lights fade as the two laugh of nothing of consequence.)
(interior - refuse piles up as far as the eye can see. bits of old technology glitter the landscape. each mountain seems to host a calvacade of metal and glass, of pieces no longer viable and forgotten. the sky is gray and glitters with flashing light in the distance.)
(enterfray with antigone behind. he is older now, dressed in a military outfit, she just a hair over thirteen, still in school clothes.)
fray. that was when lazrus told us not to talk. he started speaking the old language with me and said that there were two of them out in a marsh.
antigone. and then? (her voice is soft but impatient. she stares at her brother, who looks far too old for his sixteen years)
fray. he pulled me closer to him and nodded at me. it was like one of those movies we saw when we were kids, back when they still ran things up at the cinema. (he paces in front of her) then we went to the brush and waited for them to move along, and were walking, we held our breath. (he holds up his hands as though he's holding a rifle) and then we took aim to make sure that we could get our sights on them. yeah. so that we could make sure that they didn't get to draw another breath.
antigone. (breathless) fray. so then you...
fray. (he keeps his imaginary weapon cocked, and takes aim) pop, pop. all it took was two shots. right in the back. (he lowers his weapon, slowly, eyes drawn down. the smile on his face waivers as he watches the figures in his mind waste away. He looks back at antigone.) We did what we had to do.
antigone. is it always like that out there? i heard that some of the girls are thinking of joining. Yejide and - i heard her mother was helping. a lot of them just...
fray. they've had too much. we've all had too much.
antigone. i don't know if i could do it.
(fray walks along to an overturned washing machine and takes a seat. he taps the space beside him for his sister, who takes a moment to sit.)
fray. you know they just treat us like cattle here. like the whole world's going to keep moving on for them while the rest of us just get the scraps. you know they don't want you, or teoc, or any of us to have an ounce of freedom. antigone. i know. (she looks down at her knees) i miss you, you know. it's not the same with just teoc here. i hardly see mom or dad, and he's off chasing some girl's skirt. you know they made him a foreman? he's head of his shift, twenty-one. dad's been working there for years and he's getting promoting... sheesh. all these boys running off and the rest of us...
fray. girls are running off too.
antigone. (she shakes her head and looks back over her shoulder) lazrus would say that i was too small.
fray. well he's not the head of the rebels, so what does he know?
antigone. ma and pa would say i'd have to wait until i was sixteen.
fray. i'm not going to try and pull you out here. but you ain't been happy here in a long time.
chorus. antigone thinks that this is a lie. just last week she was happy to have a moment with her mother in singing a song together. or that she and her father spent a moment cooking. or that she'd taken in a stray from the street, to give it a home in the cool of the coming autumn. but she loves her brother; she knows that a good young girl has a duty to her family. and now, she wonders if she has a duty to her country.
antigone. i wish i was that brave. but i think the truth is that i'm afraid.
fray. this is for history, antigone.
antigone. is it? or did you just get tired of wiring circuits in the factory?
fray. isn't that the same thing?
antigone. but how do you know what you want, if a part of you is telling you you wouldn't know?
chorus. she's a tempest, all wind and howl, the world a blur. she won't ever know, won't ever settle. (the sounds of distant rumbling. lights in the sky signify planes, and thunder.)
fray. what if i was tired of it being lazrus and me?
antigone. my world doesn't revolve around how you feel, fray.
fray. really? (he smiles) i had thought that you'd been trapped in my gravity for a while.
antigone. i couldn't leave ma and pa alone. ma would never forgive me if i signed up now. and pa - i think it'd kill him.
fray. the world's never going to ask you what you want, antigone.
(a siren sounds, and fray and antigone stand. fray grabs his sister's hand and pulls her off stage left, toward one of the piles of refuse. he stacks metal over them. bangs roll out, and shards of refuse fly across. dust rises, along with smoke. a fire burns atop more than a few of the fires. a siren continues to ring in the distance. after a moment, the siren dies, and the refuse shifts to reveal the two of them.)
antigone. (shaking) are you okay?
fray. yeah. yeah. i think so.
antigone. (hugging fray) i just want it to stop, fray. i just want it to go back to how it was.
fray. (he pulls her in tight, and moves a hand beind her head) i know 'tigone. i know.
(exterior – a thicket of deciduous trees. outside of a district, possibly five, smoke stacks on the horizon. there are signs of an encampment. tents, gray and green, a circle of stools and a fire pit.)
(sound – clip of gun fire. blast that rattles the trees and sends a wave of sound. shouting indecipherable words. more clipped gun fire. yelling, commands, steady. a whistle. a shot. another shot. silence. there’s a cheer. silence sits for another minute of nothing.)
(enter lazrus, fray, and antigone. they’re dressed in rebel fatigues, in helmets and boots. guns slung over their shoulder. three other men idle at the periphery, one speaking with lazrus. the other two with one another. they move out of view, further into the treeline.)
fray. can’t stop us. fuck yeah! (he gives a fist bump to antigone, all of fourteen, who returns it with a grin) fucking kill the capitol scum, yeah!
antigone. they didn’t even see it coming, did they?
fray. that’s what happens when you think the world bends to you. (he takes off his helmet and drops it onto the grass) motherfuckers think they can keep us down, fucking blow them apart. oooahhhhh!
chorus. she never felt so a part of their lives as she does now. it’s strange, watching him celebrate the death of men who have families. people who could have brothers or sisters, mothers or fathers who’d be checking a list to see their child’s name on it. but she doesn’t care. she’s started not to think about what war brings; she thinks only of how she loves seeing her brother so happy, that all of them are together. and that for now, they have a purpose other than serving the capitol.
choragus. she signed up not long after the bombing of three. they took her classmates, girls that were just starting life. boys that she hated in class but mourned on a wednesday afternoon, their bodies torn apart by shrapnel. she believes ms. sho and thinks that this war has torn part the best of humanity. she wonders if children are the ones that will always pay for this, since their bones can still bend. since they can still hope, and believe in something more.
chorus. she is a natural. she discards her feelings because she is with fray, and she buries her fear, because of lazrus. she slips out in the middle of a night with a note to her mother and father, to say that ‘there are some things more important than watching the world change. i have found my voice, and i am determined to raise it against the capitol.’ but it’s not true, so much as that she wrote in on a slip of paper and left it for them.
choragus. she doesn’t care about the capitol, much less the district. she cares about the chance to be something other than the girl studying in a crumbling school that could, at any moment, but burst in a hailstorm of fire and flaming metal. she wants to – for the first time – make a choice her own, if it’s the last choice she’s to make. but most of all, she doesn’t think about a year or a month from then, only that she will be happier with all of them.
antigone. what are you supposed to be? (she crosses her arms across her chest) are we supposed to be afraid of you?
fray. oh yeah, baby, you ought to be afraid. this is the guy who put holes in their chests, who’ll be the first out of the brush, even if they have their guns pointed at me. you think you shouldn’t be afraid of me? i’m a monster, i’m –
antigone. you are full of yourself.
fray. (nods) oh, oh, okay. little girl thinks she’s hot stuff because she got a few lucky shots.
choragus. she is a natural sniper. a set of steady hands, perfect vision. she takes a breath, and –
antigone. bullets through both of their temples when they ran away. fucking cowards.
choragus. she doesn’t smile, but inside, she’s warm and full, pride lacing through her bones like fire. this she’s good at – shooting from a distance, taking down the faceless enemy – better than any of the men twice her age. and she finds it all exhilarating, the moments when she’s high up, looking down on a canyon, watching for the little flecks of men, how they scatter and run when she takes the first shot. because she doesn’t miss.
fray. that a girl. pretty soon they’re going to give you a nickname, all the cap scum you wipe out.
chorus. they do have a name for her, they will. the witch. half because of the magic of her shot, the other because she is a girl. it is easy to slander a girl, and so they will.
(lazrus finishes with the man and he departs; lazrus moves to face his siblings.)
antigone. (smiling) pretty soon they’re going to make me captain.
lazrus. excuse me?
(they tense. antigone looks back down at the ground, then her boots.)
fray. hey laz, what’s the movement for 0600?
lazrus. no, no, don’t let me stop whatever this celebration was. did i miss the champagne.
fray. hey come on, that was a close one back there.
lazrus. you’re fucking right. it’s sloppy. that could’ve just as been our graves and you all are acting like we walked out of there heroes.
antigone. can’t we have a minute to just… feel something other than how we’re on edge all the time? don’t you ever just want that, lazrus?
lazrus. (scoffing) i know you’re the kid but i know you’re smarter, too. this has been going on five years. and in case you haven’t noticed, we haven’t done a whole lot of winning, lately.
antigone. but we won’t if you keep pressing so hard.
lazrus. you know what? i’m going to go for a walk. when i get back, i want the both of you to have your heads on straight.
(lazrus exits, off into the bush and across the brook.)
fray. (watching him go) he can be a real bummer.
antigone. i don’t fucking care.
fray. well, that’s not true. you care a little bit, ‘tigone. otherwise you wouldn’t have come here.
antigone. (taking a seat by the fire pit) for the first time i think we get along, but maybe i’m wrong. but these past few months, i feel like it’s the happiest we’ve ever been.
fray. he hasn’t been happy since the doctors slapped him at birth.
antigone. he doesn’t think i should be here.
fray. come onnnn.
antigone. i thought i was going to be afraid, but you want to know the truth? i fucking love it. i love marching. i love finding a tight place to hide. i like how the gun feels when i put in down and look through the scope. i like pulling the trigger. i don’t have to think about who’s on the other end. i just – i think about how i get to sit out under the stars, that there’s never one day that looks like that last. no one telling me what the future’s going to be because unless it works out the way it should, it won’t.
choragus. he is quiet for a good while, listening to his sister. he doesn’t see the little girl that he found on his return to the district. just one the war has already taken and brought out someone new.
fray. remember what we’re fighting for, antigone.
antigone. (she fidgets with a canteen, and struggles to open it. as she twists it in frustration, carries out a response) freedom.
choragus. this will be the peak of their resistance. a minor victorious skirmish that will bring some news to neighboring rebel troops. but the tide has already started to turn. lazrus knows that there are marshalling troops from the capitol, that the districts are uneasy, restless with scarcity. cracks form in the foundation, and that time is their enemy.
(interior – concrete gray bunker. minimal rectangular windows that let in a scarcity of light. benches flush back against the concrete. a heavy concrete door with a vault like mechanism marks the front.)
(heavy gunfire marks the sound outside. blasts shake the structure, with dust coming down and through the windows. shouting can be heard, followed by another explosion, and yells.)
(the door mechanism shifts, and turns. enter antigone first, followed by lazrus slung around fray. blood covers both of them)
antigone. fucking shit!
lazrus. get down. flush across the ground. concrete won't keep them out forever.
(another explosion rattles the bunker, and antigone screams. she moves to the corner, knees to her chest, head buried)
fray. come on, man. come on. focus.
lazrus. they took out the second squad. there wasn’t anyone following. i think we lost luce and babcock. shit (he hisses)
(pinging of bullets against the bunker, and antigone yelps again)
fray. it’s pretty bad, it’s – on your side, is it?
lazrus. yeah. yeah.
fray. all right then. what do we do?
(another blast further away shakes the dust from overhead, scattering rocks on the ground)
antigone. fuck. shit. oh god, oh god.
chorus. he knows what must be done.
choragus. a part of him thinks that it would be better the three of them died together. he knows the future will be darker, worse for them even if they managed to survive.
chorus. he knows he will be dead by dawn.
choragus. he knows that hope is not as easy as hate; if he is to love them, he must let them go.
lazrus. (unwinds himself from fray. he puts his hands atop his brother’s and gives a nod) you see that one? (he looks to antigone, still shaking in the corner) i’m going to give you cover. you go and you run, you fucking get as far away from here as you can. i don’t know if either of you will make it, but I don’t want to drag you both down to hell with me.
fray. (grips his hands tight, and give a nod) all right. okay. (he takes a deep breath). ‘tigone. we gotta get the hell out of here.
antigone. what?! no. no, no, no. i can’t. lazrus! please. (she puts up her hands, but her brother is already on her, pushing her away)
fray. this isn’t a time i’m going to let you pitch a fit. shut the fuck up and move.
lazrus. ey. you two. (they move to the exit, as lazrus pulls up to the wall, gun in his hands) run like i'm after yah. fight until you can’t. and see you in hell, huh? (he smiles, and gives a laugh)
(another blast shakes the shelter, and fray gives a salute. antigone steadies, and gives a salute as well. they move toward the heavy door. fray gives it a turn, and readies)
lazrus. fucking. go!
(lazrus fires his weapon in a spray of gunfire, over and over. he doesn’t look over as fray and antigone exit. he fires and fires, until he empties. he reloads and starts again, still yelling, crying out in vain. a loud blast lights up the front of the structure, and the roof collapses)
(exterior – a smoke filled haze with orange sky. sound of water running in the distance. rattle of rain but more mist. mostly a rocky outcropping, with a sparse amount of brush. a crumbled wall flushes behind)
(antigone enters first in a run, splashing across the little creek. she stops to bring her hands to her knees and to catch her breath. fray follows, pushing in front of her then circling back around)
fray. move. fucking move. we got to go, antigone, come on, come on.
antigone. i can’t breathe, i can’t. i can’t breathe.
fray. they’re going to find us, they fuck – fuck. you fucking (he clenches both hands in a fist and turns around. she still has her hands on her knees) kidding me?
antigone. please, please just go. please. i can’t, i can’t do this, fray –
fray. you have to go, i can’t without you. please. please, antigone, i’m sorry.
(fray kneels with her, and she looks at him, tears in his eyes. she keeps breathing in and out, and comes up out of her crouch)
antigone. we have to run, we can’t stay here, oh god – we can’t stay here.
fray. he died for us. lazrus, he died. antigone…
antigone. stop. fucking, don’t do it. i won’t go through it, i can’t, fray...
fray. they blew him to bits. they fucking blew him to bits… (he looks back into the fog)
antigone. we have to move, (quiet) why is it so hard to see…
fray. i’m going to blow up their whole goddamn world. i’m going to find that imperiosa and blow that rusty cunt to bits!
antigone. i don’t know which way north is here. why can’t i see anything?
(a quiet passes between them, antigone looking to make heads or tails through the fog, and fray getting up from his crouch. he walks through the rocks and back toward where they’d come)
fray. we have to go back. we should go back. there’s got to be more people…
antigone. fray. what? what the actual fuck?
fray. we got to go back, antigone, we have to go back, please, please we have to go back (he grabs her shoulders, and she stares, his face wild) we can’t just leave him like that. we can’t leave laz, he wouldn’t leave us like that.
antigone. he would’ve been the first, fray. you know that, you can’t… we can’t. we have to go, we have to find a way out of this fog.
(a spray of gunfire in the distance. more yelling, and the both of them duck down)
fray. if we’d gotten up a few minutes earlier they might not have gotten the jump on us.
antigone. (she places her hands on his cheeks) listen to me. listen. they’re fucking nuts. they had us walking in circles and they knew that it was over, fray. we knew it was over. it was over weeks ago but no one wanted to say a thing. they turned off the radios, you remember that? you remember when they said they didn’t want to give away our location?
fray. no. no. it’s not. you don’t know what you’re talking about.
antigone. i didn’t want it to be over, fray. i didn’t want to let it end. (she lets out a snort-laugh, almost soundless) how mental is that? wanting this to go on forever.
fray. it’s not. we could have kept fighting. they deserve to be torn apart. the districts can’t be under their boots, we just, we need to regroup.
antigone. fray, listen to me: we have to go home. there’s nothing for us out here. there’s nobody left we have to report to. we’ll just, we’ll turn around, and we’ll go back to district three. or we’ll find a way to get to the coast and disappear into the jungle. i don’t fucking know. but we can’t keep fighting.
fray. don’t you care about any of this? you can’t go back to district three. you can never go back. they’ll hang you.
antigone. i don’t care. i care about you, and me. i don’t care about them.
fray. how can you fucking say that?
antigone. because i’m not an idiot!
(gun fire splits through the rocky outcropping, through the fog. they both crouch down. another blast rattles the wall behind them)
soldier. drop your weapons!
antigone. (she grabs his arm and pulls) fucking go!
chorus. it’s the last thing she’ll say to him, and she’ll regret it. not, goodbye, and i love you. or that they’d meet again. it’ll echo in her dreams and underneath her eyelids. all because she’d been the first who wanted to stop. if only she’d kept running.
fray. go ahead and run.
(he turns away and walks into the fog. she can’t see him then, and looks left, then right. antigone exits, alone)
(exterior – the same tin roofed house, worse for wear. low lights burning through the windows. car still on cinderblocks in front of the home)
(antigone stands watching the front door at a distance. she can see her mother in the window, tending to the morning chores.)
chorus. what would you tell her, antigone? if you had the moment to freeze, free of consequence? would you hug her, and tell her that nothing had changed? or would you crumble and let her put you back together? would you bathe in the smell of crushed earth and coconut, the same scent that brings you back to being knee high?
choragus. and what would she say to you? her daughter, that left them all alone? the one that flew off to her brothers rather than to live a modest life with the rest of them? or that they are one of the few families who’s home has not been blown to bits, or burned, or ravaged by all manner of things. aside from losing the ones that they love.
antigone. i miss you, mamá.
(she moves to sit behind the car and closes her eyes. she starts to sob into her hands, overcome. she tries to laugh and wipe away the tears, but it feels as though someone has ripped a hole in her that can’t be repaired)
choragus. she wonders why she’d come home at all. she knows she can’t walk through the door without breaking her mother’s heart. not just from the loss of lazrus and fray. but from the fear that she’ll have to own all the mistakes, the weight of her depression, if she were to tell the truth. and she has never been the one to own her own mistakes; she’d rather cast them off and start anew. that was how life became easier. and in the end, would make it easier for her mother and father, too.
(she wipes away the tears and sits for a good while, staring off into the distance. when she stands, she looks back at the windows)
antigone. we never would’ve understood how to go on, anyway.
(she disappears into the black of night, the last time she’ll see her home)
(exterior – dark of night, outside of the town square. shops are closed, the roads are empty and all is dark.)
(antigone has made her way shrouded in a cloak.)
choragus. when the world started to piece itself back together, she found a home for runaways and orphans that was willing to take her in. they didn’t care if she was a rebel, and wouldn’t have told the truth either way. it’s another type of freedom, the mask that she starts to wear.
chorus. it’s almost a comfort to be someone else, a girl that no one’s ever heard of, but whisper about. they say she must’ve been a rebel soldier, or her family died in one of the bombings, and she’d come from another district.
choragus. she doesn’t speak much, aside from that she’ll take over all the chores of the house. she’s curt and mean, and at night she’ll wake screaming in a cold sweat. the other children avoid her, the adults want nothing to do with this burden. it helps, in a way, that no one wants to love her.
chorus. she sees the first games. she sees the girl she once knew storm the keepers, only to be crushed. she thinks yejide was stupid for ever doing anything other than fighting. she thinks that ambrose is worse, getting so close to the end and falling apart. she hates all of it, the spectacle, and the fear that the games creates.
choragus. she’s irritable for all of it, and some time after, too. so much so the boardinghouse keeper says that if she doesn’t calm down, they might ask her to leave, even if she’s done all the cooking and cleaning for months.
chorus. it’s not what breaks her.
choragus. there is news, that the capitol heard rumblings throughout the districts of rebels, and anti-capitol sentiment. that no matter how strong their hold, there are still those who whisper out their feelings on the capitol. people who are brave enough behind closed doors to say foolish things to the wrong people.
chorus. and so they execute rebel soldiers that have been missing, in hiding, and taken. horrible executions that draw and quarter the victims, separating their bodies into pieces, broken as though they were just playthings. they are marked in the center of the town square, their body left to fester and rot for the world to see.
choragus. it is a message to all of them, that they have no power, and that all that stand in the way will be torn to shreds.
chorus. fray boyé’s name was in the paper, and on television, for the whole district to see. she saw it while she was washing dishes, and dropped a plate onto the floor. it shattered into a dozen pieces, causing such a commotion that one of the younger girls asked if antigone was all right.
choragus. she spent the afternoon in her room, atop her bed, staring at the ceiling.
antigone. i hate him.
chorus. she lies.
antigone. he got exactly what he deserved.
choragus. she doesn’t believe.
antigone. i hope he knows how foolish he was.
chorus. she has survived, to live a life that will be one small chore to the next, to the next, to the next. she could spend another twenty years in this house, until she got sick with the same cancer that had taken her aunt. a waste of a life, with little happinesses, but not enough to kick free of the sadness that pulls her back underneath.
(antigone sits up in her bed, and begins to wrap herself. she moves to the door, to exit and reappear, center stage)
antigone. hello, brother.
chorus. she says, as though she expects to hear him say something back.
(antigone kneels. his body is a patchwork of limbs, a torso and head and a leg, other sections scattered in a pool of blood. she moves to press down his eyelids, to close them forever. she holds a hand to her mouth and shakes)
chorus. we think – so many years after – that war is a distant memory. that the men who fell are bones and dust. but war is thick with consequence. antigone sees the price of death. she hates the boy that is scattered before her. she hates that there were enough to convince him to give his life for something so easily lost. she wishes that she’d never joined them, even if the outcome would’ve been the same a hundred times over. but most of all, she knows that despite the little life she’s clung to, she has to give it all away. because her love is to her duty.
(antigone begins to grab thick handfuls of dirt, and stands to scatter them over her brother)
choragus. she buries him throughout the night. it is not for the rebels, who she sees as shattered and broken. it is not against the capitol, who she believes should be burned to the ground.
chorus. it is for dignity, for a world that would see the value in fray’s death.
choragus. it is for her love, for herself, for him.
chorus. morning will come, and she will still be tending his shallow grave.
(lights come up, and antigone sits, hands in her lap)
choragus. the peacekeepers will come to find her. she will confess to her crime, and they will beat her and drag her to be taken care of. locked away, until – some months hence – her name will be read from a strip of paper, to enter into the second hunger games.