Blood by the River: the love of my father

Written by Madeline Walls Characters Daneila: an ex soldier Alfonso Reyes: a commander of a rebel army Eduardo: father of Daniela Miguel: a Colombian child soldier Diego: a member of the Colombia army Maria: mother of Miguel Antonio: a future solider Anna: a eight year old lost because war and greed Love (Man standing over a young girl who is cooking a meal) Daneila Hola papa Como estas Eduardo: How am I! Look at you; you are nothing but an unloved puta. Not even your little brother loves you anymore. Why are you still here you should just leave before you cause any more damage. I thought I loved you once but I was blinded by my love for your mother. Your nothing like her, she would never be such a little spoiled bitch. That’s right that is what I think, hell what I know about you. You’re a bitch, a dumb angry bitch that needs to get out of this house now. You don’t know how to love that’s why your mother died. You’re nothing, to common to be considered worthy of living in my house. Your dead to me so get out. I am no longer your father and I will never love you. Daneila (Defeated) But papa I love you. What did I do wrong I’m so sorry. (Eduard slaps his daughter in the face) Eduardo You don’t love me. You cant love, you never have your heartless, worthless, just trash. I said to leave so you better go before my hand rises again and you wish you had died with your mother. (Daniela runs off scene ends) A chance (A young girl sits on the stage with torn cloths and dirt everywhere. her face wears adult struggles and it looks as the all the weight of the world are weighing down on her.) Daniela: Sir please can you spare just a little. Please sir I just want to eat tonight please... Oh hello sir please can you spare anything I really.... What you want me to come live with you but where... Look sir please don’t hurt me I don’t understand want you want from me. If it’s my body sir I can’t give it to you. I don’t you to hurt me... Yes sir I do love my country. I love it cause it is my home sir. But what does that have to do with this... You would give me food cloths and a bed. All I have to join your group... So I can show my love to my country and have a home. What will I have to do... I have to fight for the rebel army... I promised my mom that I never would. That would hurt her so much I just don’t know... You really think it would make her proud... Well okay I guess I’ll try it. Fear (A Colombian soldier stares his children captors in the eyes pleading for his life.) Diego: Please son look at me look I’m a person just like you. You can set me free you don’t have to listen to them. I can help you I can bring you all home to your mothers I can... You know I have a mother too who loves me we can all go home to our mothers together. Me, you, your friends here we can shot them and run. Run right back to our lives we don’t have to stay here anymore. You don’t have to shot me... What no please don’t point that at me please don’t do this? I’m sure your a very smart boy which means you know this is a bad idea that you should not be acting “click”... I just wanted to make my family proud I only joined this army to make my father proud. I don’t want to take away from you I don’t want to put you down I’m so sorry I’m so sorry please I... I'm a person, I'm a person no please don’t, don’t pull that trigger. Look at my eyes look at my eyes look at me please. Look at the light that shines inside of me. Do you really want to end that light? Do you really want to lose your soul “click”... You say your fighting for freedom and to make people have better lives. But look at 3the damage this has caused. All the families who now don’t have homes the young innocent boys like your self who are on the streets begging and then have to come and fight for What put them there? You being here is helping put more boys on the street and out of school. You could get out you know. You could go to school... Look around at the men your friends have killed I know you want money I'm sorry but why. I didn’t want to hurt people like you I was brought into this. Look I know we could all just go to our homes and be happy... What do you mean I didn’t kill your family I'm sorry that their dead but I didn’t kill them. I'm sure someone can take care of you just give me a chance to try. I'm just a pawn in this just like you. I'm just their pawn don't shot me don’t shot me... I don’t want to die please. Please. (He watches as the finger moves onto the trigger) God please forgive m... “Click” Grief: (There’s a fourteen year old boy center stage staring at a pair of shoes that he can't stop scrubbing while tears run down his face. a child soldier who just made his first kill. he is in torn clothing and has blood on his hands.) Miguel: I scrub! I scrub these blood stained shoes. The pain! The pain these hands of caused. I hope! I hope that tonight I have ended my last life. I wonder! What my mother would think. What would she say about her little boy, her baby, her Miguel? What would she think of all the awful things he has done, I have done I cry! I cry for my childhood the one that I lost hungry on the streets. My soul! My soul is it lost was it lost when I pulled that trigger, when the light left his eye. Blood! Will this blood ever leave these shoes, will the stains on my eyes that follow me everywhere one day free me. Do I want to fight is this my chose. I want to think that it is. I was told I was going to make my country proud. I was going to make my mother proud to call me her son but I don’t think anyone should ever be proud of me ever again after this I am such a horrible person. I killed him! I killed him! Lost! So lost could this all really be my 14th birthday. Here I sit, here I stay, Longing for the days I played. I’ve tried to scrub the blood away. When will every thing be okay? Chosen (A man standing in front of a crowd of children he looks proud and proper.) Alfonso Reyes: (A kind and proud voice) I’m so proud of all that we have accomplished in our fight, but we so far still to go. You all of you are the future of this army this united brotherhood against this sad excuse of a government. We will take them done and we will rise to power. When we gained our independence against Spain. I am not going to say this fight is not going to be hard I’m Saying you are strong. You make me proud, so proud that smart brave soldiers have joined this fight for a nation. This fight for power, for freedom as a people. (Voice gains anger and strength) I am proud so proud but I need to be prouder you just coming here is not enough this is your first day of training and you must work hard to prove your love for our country. (Voice rises in fury) I have people come into this fight and prove that they are nothing but weak cowards. Are you going to disappoint your self, your family, hell your whole fucking country. I am telling you that now you’re in and I’m glad that I got such a strong group, but I will not be disappoint again. The weak will be ended. Now go get your training started show me your strength. (Crowd starts to clear a few children straggle behind) (Voice lowers and becomes calmer) Hey you boy what’s your name. (Points to a young boy in a light blue t-shirt) Antonio (Suturing) Me I am Antonio sir (A boy stands in front of a tall man whose face is stern.) Alfonso Reyes: Yes you (Now a smile made is face inviting) Antonio! That’s a nice name it means your worthy of praise. I want you to prove that you deserve that praise. You want know something interesting son. You remind me of another boy that came through this camp. He was a little bit older then you, but that face lord knows you have his face. I have never told this to anyone before but that boy Miguel and his friend Danelia they were the best soldiers I had ever seen. Or so I thought because you see they both let me down more then you could ever understand. You see it was two years ago now since the last time they truly served me what had happened that day proved to tested the bonds and minds between all the members of my elite group. But god they were machines. See at first they were spies, our little humming birds. See because who would doubt an injured child who wouldn’t take them in and at least give them a drop of food. Or even less complicated then that. Who would stop a conversation because a child was around? Who even cares what they think who are they going to tell. Now that's the thing they’ll tell me. They were the best of the best raked in so much information that it shocked even me. Then we one day they captured a few prisoners and got as much information as we could. I ordered them to put them down. One by one the birdies put them down the gun looked natural in Danelia's hand she was at peace with it. Her trigger was pulled back with no thought at all and bam he was dead. She was the perfect soldier I had so much pride. But then Miguel when I looked at him I knew he wasn't as strong as I gave him credit for. He was shaking letting the man talk to him. He pulled the trigger it was sloppy. I chalked it up to his first kill but he changed and it was random to because it was days after. All he seemed to do was wine and wine. A disappointment he failed me. He failed. The others in the group the true soldiers started to get nervous so something had to Be done. Then they found him in the river. Problem solved. I thought I really thought those bastards could get back to the fight but with out the boy the girl was weak spineless brat and she ran. Two others went with her. We were never able to catch them I thought I had soldiers. I think I have a solider in you. Antonio I will not be disappointed again you understand. Never again. Stuck (An interview a teenage girl who was in the rebel army. they are sitting at a table there’s a woman recording what the girl says. she’s in jeans and a t-shirt) Daniela: (Talking with attitude. face pure business) Why, you ask me why we killed those people. You ask why we joined this army. Why did we leave our homes? You asked us why left our families… Ha what family are you talking about the one that's dead or the one who got rid of me. And a home didn't have that for years, I lived on the streets, I lived alone. I had no money for food so I begged and I begged and then one day begged him... (A sarcastic smirk which now matches her attitude.) What who did I beg? Well I think you know the answer to that, but you want me to answer you now, want me to say his name. Fine his name was Alfonso Reyes who was the commander of our group. He found me and made me an offer food shelter family and all I had to do was join him in the fight. Back then I didn’t know how much I would regret my decision. But my family was a missed placed family, my mom had died and my dad got remarried and couldn't afford to take of me so at least I would eat and sleep in a bed again. I was 12 when I was sent away to training I didn’t know what to... What was Alfonso like well he wasn't that bad until after Anna... look it doesn't matter what Alfonso was like it doesn’t matter what he was like before or after anything. It doesn’t change where we were or what we were doing. (Anger fills her faces and fades fast) All you need to about Anna was she was his daughter. I’m not talking about this move on now! Did I always hate it? No I’m not going to say that I never liked it. (Pride on her face shine through her voice) It was nice feeling like I was useful like I had something that I could do, something I could change. We could fight against the Colombian government for our freedom. The fight for freedom weighed heavy on all our minds to have a free country would feel like a victory... When did feeling change? Well it wasn’t until after training when we left the camp and went to actually join this fight. (Smile fades business look reappears.) I was in a group with a boy who became my closest friend ever he was a great boy. (A single tear falls, and all evidence of it then fades.) His name was Miguel, we enjoyed each others company until that day... (Panic takes over.) Do I have to tell you what happened? You promised me when you took me away from there I would never have to go back. And that is what your doing now... (She takes a minute to regain herself.) Fine, we were all happy until the day we captured those men and killed them. Me and the others in our group were fine afterwards really shaken up but fine. Miguel on the other hand, well in broke him he wasn’t the same after that... How so? (Her voice breaks) That’s hard to say because as an adult you wouldn’t have known anything was wrong. But me as his friend, his sister, I knew, (Face now sad and lost.) First he started to spend as much time alone as possible. He stopped talking to me. He cried at night. He thought no one could hear but those cries they hurt. Days later he started eating less and less and his crying came more. (Silence takes her for a minute.) (Deep breath.) Others now started to notice and the commanders were getting mad. A week after that we found him in the river... (Tears falling from her face) What happened? (Anger now comes with tears.) You really want to know huh? Truth is so do I. he was floating in the river a bullet through his head a gun in his hand. And I still don’t know why he didn’t jut talk to me. Why didn’t he just talk to…. (The sobbing overcame her) (Crying ends her wall rises back up) Life in Columbia was hell. When developing minds foundation came in to pull us out it was like well I don’t know. It wasn’t happy it wasn’t sad it was just um... No I don’t need to talk to you, I don’t need to let any thing out. I don’t need to listen to anyone any more, I don t need anyone. (Starts shaking muttering.) I’m free. I’m free. I don’t need. I don’t... (Wall shattered eyes red and cold.) (Emotionless.) Thanks for getting me out of there but I’m done talking to you. Now can I go back to my room? Regret (There is a man on his knees next to a mattress on the ground he looks as if he has given up.) Eduardo: lord please hear my prays. Please God forgive me for all I have done. Forgive me for what I have let happen to my family, my children, my poor little girl. God Why. Why must you make it so hard on all of us down here? I once tried to follow all your rules and live by your way but you did nothing but pound us down so that we couldn’t even find our way up again. When you took away my wife after having that war move us from our home. You took away all I had of my past life except my son who I fear will never be the man I want. At least you have given me my new wife she has much learning to do but have given a new son and will soon give me more. My heavenly father I have heard words that say my sweet Daniela has joined the war that has destroyed our lives. That she started to fight for them. Of course we all want change but why do it this way. I remember the day her mother died and she looked up at me and told me she would never forgive them for what they have done. She said that taking away their home and their food killed her mama. But now thinking about it who was she talking about. It hurts to know she is out there right now hurting people. She is taking people away from their families. But I guess that’s my fault it’s my fault for kicking her out of my house for telling her live on the streets for food. But what was I supposed to do. My new wife hated her. I didn’t want to lose my wife and we couldn’t feed every one. But still they’re having our children fight for them. Why must are children fight our battles. Why must families suffer this much. Danelia each day I think of you my daughter and I hope god carries you my love and keeps you safe. I am so sorry that I wasn’t there for you. Lord hear my prays amen Longing (A girl sits a bed in a room filled with children she is dressed simply but her cloths are in great condition) Daniela: Miguel I miss you more then you could ever know. I sit in this room filled with so many other kids like us and I pray one of the faces that stare back at me will be you. But Miguel they never are and they never will be. People keep asking me if I regret joining the army. I never know what to say to them because if I had never joined the army I would have never gotten you. You were the first person I truly loved and who truly loved me since my mother died. Do you remember Miguel what you always said to me at night when I missed her. Do you remember want it meant to me? You would say: “Sweet sweet Daniela god smiles at the sound of your name. When you cry god cries. So no more tears my love.” We were always there for each other, always. You promised you would never leave me like my father did that you would always me there. Why did you lie to me? You’re a liar like him. Remember Miguel the all the times we would go on missions together. Remember what fun we would always together how you would fall asleep on my lap singing your mothers song. You really wanted to make her proud, but you know if you didn’t make he proud you made me proud. I was proud ever day for knowing you for teaching me how to be loved again. What doesn’t make sense to me is the last thing you ever said to me. For months now I’ve been trying to figure it out. What were you trying to say to me that night before you... before you... Look Miguel I need a sign to know what to say what to think. When I left this is what I thought you wanted but was it the opposite. Today I decided I’m going to write your mother I’m going to tell her how proud of you she should be. Maybe that will let me know what to do next. Look Miguel I need you to understand that I would have you know what I still would do any thing for you. You leaving me hurt more then you will ever know because you can’t know. Sometimes I can’t even understand your dead, I felt like what you said that night was hope. Why would you say that to me if you weren’t going to say alive with me? Why would you promise that we were leaving together if we would never see each other again? You promised we would live together in America you said we would be together forever. Why did this happen. Sorrow (A woman sits in a small room with a couch and stove she’s holding a letter hands shaking tears rolling down her face.) Maria: I don’t understand. I can’t understand why any one would send this cruel joke to me. When I went to Church this morning and I received this letter I was happy and hopeful that I would hear from my son again. But then I read this. This is a load of shit. My son couldn’t be dead he would never join the army he went with his father to find work or school. He went to find a better life not to die. He couldn't be dead that's ridiculous this is a lie. It has to be a lie. Wait I’ll read it again maybe I read it wrong I must of read this wrong Dear Maria It’s been two and a half years since you have last seen you husband and son. I don’t want to be the one to tell you this but I know some one has to. You need to know not to wait for them to come back. I can’t speak for your husband but I know what Miguel thought of you. He would sing your song every night. He told me that he did it all for you so I need you not to be mad you have to not be had. Well here it is Miguel joined the army it was two months after his father got sick and well shut his eyes for the last time. I didn't know Miguel back then so I wasn’t there but I had heard the story many times. That’s how I know your name that was the last thing he said. He had the fever for a month and couldn't fight it anymore. Miguel said it was the hardest day of his life. As his father shut his eyes for the last time the only thing Miguel could see was the face of you and your daughters. That’s why Miguel decided to do it, he knew that now more then ever the family would need the money to survive. He really loved you, all of you so much. Daneila: I'm Daneila (The light shines onto Danelia that sits in the corner of the stage reading her words) I meant your son on our first day of training and we became best friends. He was an amazing soldier smart, strong, and brave. He died my hero, and he should be yours too. The day before he died he said something to me about you that was beautiful. Its been 6 months now since that day so I can’t tell you exactly what he said, but it was proof of his love for you. I need you to be strong now. Be strong for your two brave men that died loving you. Don’t let this destroy you, keep fighting for your family like they did. In this envelope I sent you Miguel's necklace and the money I brought from Columbia. I hope it will help your family and I hope you actually get this. I sent this to the church Miguel said you went to and pray you still go. Danelia and Maria: (In unison) With my all my heart Daneila Guilt (Alfonzo is sleeping inside his a head a whole seem is unfolding) Alfonso: (a little girl is running ahead of him in the woods she fade behind the mist) Anna where are you Anna come back to daddy don't go to far away. CRASH! Anna! Baby are you okay why won’t you answer me I love you come back. (His walk breaks into a frantic sprint into the woods after her) Daddy didn't mean to lose you he loves you he’s so sorry (he approaches a river bank where he sees the outline of two young children.) Anna who’s that with you sweetie. Can you come over here daddy doesn't want u near the water. Its dangerous I don't want you to... to... Get hurt... Miguel? What are you doing here look at me I'm talking to you. You disrespectful peace of shit. Oh sorry Anna daddy didn't mean to say such mean words daddy has just been a little cranky since you... You... Hey wait where are you taking her? Anna get away from him come back over here come with daddy please. Not again I wont let this happen again get away from there. The river isn't safe it has never been safe I shouldn't have let you go down there Anna I'm sorry I shouldn't have let them shot you. I shouldn’t have followed him that night I shouldn't have the same thing to his father that they did to me the night they took you. But war is war. War is for the strong willed not those faint of heart. That’s what my father said your grandfather. The night the killed you Anna I swore the government would be stopped and would pay for taking my Anna. But they didn't take you; a monster like me took you. A monster like me looked at a child and pulled the trigger. I'm sorry Anna I'm sorry Miguel, I'm so sorry I'm so... (He wakes up picks up the gun next to his bed. lights fade. a prayer is heard. a gun shot ends the scene) The end (An eight-year-old girl sits center stage she looks pale large bags under her eyes she is playing with a doll. She is wearing all white her clothes are torn. She is a ghostly image. Speaks to the audience) Anna: (Child like) Well hello there have you come to play. No, no don’t answer I know that your not here for that. No one ever comes to play with me. You want to know what happen to all of them don’t you, well I could tell you but then you would leave me all alone again. I’m always alone! “Sigh” well I guess I could tell you I mean you came all this way and mommy said to never be rude to your guests. I’ll start with my name I’m Anna. I am well I was eight. Ten years ago when I was only a baby my daddy became a commander in the rebel army of Columbia. Those he commanded were children. MY father loved his job and he was a great daddy even though he couldn't be home often. He always sent great gifts and letters my mommy would he to me. Yes I know my daddy hurt people but, people aren’t perfect and he thought he was doing what was right for him, his family, and his people. Three and a half years ago many daddy got a new group of children to lead. In this group were to children that he loved enough to write about to me. He said the girl was named Danelia and beautiful like me then there was a boy Miguel that was strong and brave like a night that from my favorite fairy tales. I used to dream about these to running through Fields together chasing bad guys and saving the day. Daddy made a lot of people angry but unlike the other men he worked with he was never cruel to the children he commanded. Well at least he wasn't until the men came to our home. Two and a half years a month past my eighth birthday three angry men with guns broke down the door to my home. They shot my uncles, suffocated my grandparents and beat my mommy until she didn’t open her eyes anymore. Then they found me I will not say what happened cause I only kinda know but what I do remember was standing by the river and seeing my floating in it the men were standing around watching me float there. I tried to speak to those cruel men and tell then to get me out but they could not hear my voice, they could not feel my hands, they could not see my eyes. When my daddy got the news he wasn’t the same, after that for the next year all he did was yell at and harass those who were under him the only ones he didn’t make shake when he enter the room was the knight and his princess. They were so shiny and great I followed them on each mission and watched as even through his sadness and anger he was proud of those two. Then my daddy had a new kind of mission for his little humming birds, that mission was to end a life. I saw the princess’ face was emotionless bare as she pulled back the trigger she was unshaken by the loss of life. The knight pointed the gun at the man his face was lost hands trembling he took longer heard the man’s name Diego. When he pulled the trigger he almost fell over blood was everywhere he was shaking my daddy wasn’t happy he was disappointed in Miguel kept saying how he was failing him. A week later my daddy heard he was trying to run away. And daddy was so angry and betrayed he went down to the river after Miguel one night and made the brave knight float like I did. After that the knight joined me and together me watched the lonely princess run away without her knight. The knight and I watched both the princess and daddy for year go through ups and downs… mostly downs. Six months ago we sent my daddy a message he’s gone now. He didn’t join me I live in the land of the children lost by war. The princess has a new home now. She lives in America with a happy looking family. The princess isn’t happy without her knight but writes to his mother every knight. I live in the land of kids lost by war. Will your children join me?