Papa, I Love You

Character Page

 

Eduardo
A seventeen-year old boy living in Colombia. Son to Andres and Mother. Grandson to Abuela.

 

Andres
60-year old man, father to Eduardo and husband to mother. Son of Abuela. Head of terrorist organization ELN or The National Liberation Army.

 

Mother
Woman in her late 50’s, early 60’s. Mother of Eduardo, wife to Andres.

 

Abuela
Elderly women in her 80’s or 90’s. Mother to Andres. Grandmother to Eduardo.

 

Oil Man
Wealthy oil company owner whom Andres in is great debt to financially. 

Scene l

(A large, dimly-lit room appears. It is the office of Andres Santos, leader of the terrorist group the ELN, or The National Liberation Army. It is in Colombia, it is 1983. The National Liberation Army is a Communist, or Marxist organization that supports the ideas of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. The room is full of dangerous objects, torture weapons and gruesome books. Andres’ son, Eduardo, who is five at the time, scampers into the room by accident while playing with his grandmother, and he is suddenly filled with curiosity and inquisitiveness in this room. He looks around in it, and gets stuck in the small space between the wall and the large black desk that sits in the far left corner of the room)

 

 

Eduardo

Abuela! Abuela! Help me, please, I’m stuck! Abuela! Under this big black desk, Abuela! I am all alone, Abuela, help me! 

 

Grandmother

Eduardo, what did I tell you about meddling with your father’s possessions, about impinging on things that do not belong to you?! No one is supposed to be in this room except your father, anyway! Look what you have done, you obtuse child! For the sake of Our Heavenly Father, a five year old in his father’s office, and who knows what instruments he has lying around here…guns, the book of Chinese Communist Torture Techniques, those iron branding plates that are meant for cattle, cattle I tell you! Your father is such a troublesome man, he reeks of peril!

 

Eduardo

Abuela, stop your hurtful talk of Papa, he is a wise, caring Papa! And do you not see that I am stuck, Abuela!  Help me, por favor! I am stuck, I am stuck!

 

Grandmother

Stop your whining! I am helping you, child, I am helping you!! My decrepit limbs, how they plague me….

 

(The grandmother pulls the small boy out from the crevice with leisure, her extremities shaking)

 

Eduardo

Abuela, Abuela!….What is this long, ebony instrument? It is very cold, and I found it in Papa’s satchel…I do not know what it is, Abuela…

 

Grandmother

Ay dios mio, child! Put it down, throw it out, it is a gun, Eduardo! I have seen too many in my life, yet I am not ready to see one in the hands of a five-year old!! Why did I ever marry into this family, why did I ever succumb to the life my mother picked out for me, why I ask you, why?!? Why does our National Liberation Army have to turn into a group of torture, of barbarity! Yes, yes it is only a gun, but when it gets in the hands of my grandson- what then, chiquito, what then?!  And you know your father is the barbarous one, the one doing the torture! The awful man!

 

(Eduardo looks up at his grandmother, unnerved and petrified)

 

Eduardo

Are you disrespecting our family, or disrespecting Papa when you say these things?! Please stop, Abuela! Papa will surely hear your troublesome banter, he will hurt you for sure, Abuela, if he hears what you say!

 

Abuela

His own mother, I doubt it! Beat me, you say, Eduardo?Listen to me, chiquito, perk up your ears. You will never aid your disgraceful, heartless father, or your uncle, or the thousands of men that wait to listen to our order, our orders of Marxism. No longer is our group an administration that supports the ideas of Che! It is a strength that just yearns to kill, kill, kill. We no longer support equality, we support terrorism! You will leave this family, you will go out of Colombia, you will leave your abusive father, the father that doesn’t even love you!  You will go out and lead a life that brims with virtue and creed, and leave this unscrupulous, disgusting country that your father created! 

 

Eduardo

You say he does not love me Abuela?! He loves me, it’s not as if he doesn’t know how to love another human! Stop speaking of Papa in such a way, Abuela, as if you hate him! He is your son, and he is doing his job in this country, he works for his country, Abuela! I am his boy, his child, and I will not let you say these things about him!

 

Grandmother

Oh you misguided child…

 

(The grandmother smirks, looking down upon her grandson in a haughty manner)

 

 

Do you even know what he is doing, Eduardo, out there in Colombia? Do you, chiquito? He kills. He kills innocent people, Eduardo, simply to show he has power. He orders men to go to there homes, and shoot them. He drops bombs on towns as if he were modestly kicking aside a stone on your driveway. What do you feel of your father now, Eduardo? Are you still “his boy” as you say, do you still love him? Will you still defend him Eduardo, do you love him now?

 

Eduardo

I….Stop speaking of my Papa in this way, Abuela! You are a grumpy old lady, and your death is near, that is why you speak in this way!! Papa says you are about to die, that is why you are always cross!

 

Grandmother

Oh who cares what your father says?!? Those are probably the only words he spoke to you this whole month, Eduardo, am I right?! He doesn’t love you! He hates you as much as he hates me! He is not a human, Eduardo, he is a killing machine!! If he cared for you at all, he would know that your birthday is June 7th, that your favorite desert is flan! he does not love you, you are not “his boy”!! None of us have his love, so stop crying about it, you insignificant boy!! He does not love you!

 

(The Grandmother wears a hard, cold look on her face. She strides out of the room, her shoulders back. She flings her shawl over her shoulder)

 

Eduardo

Don’t you love me, Papa?

 

(Eduardo whispers to himself, barely more than a breath as he tilts his head toward the big black desk, as if he is speaking to his father)

 

Scene ll

(It is in the office of Andres Santos again, yet it is a few months later. Papers are scattered about the room, and lengthy reports crowd Andres’ desk. Andres is covered in sweat, perspiration dripping from his neck. He is very involved in the papers in front of him, paying no heed to the flies that linger about his slicked-back hair. His 5-year old son, Eduardo, runs into the office, tears streaming down him oval face. He is screaming, and his mother trails hims, running. Pieces of her hair creep out of her bun, and tears are rolling down her face as well)

 

Eduardo

Papa! Papa! It is Abuela, Papa!

 

Andres

Is it not evident that I am in the middle of working, you troublesome child? Please, leave me in peace, I am working! Who let this child into my office, who deemed it okay for such misbehavior?
 

Mother

I am sorry, Andres it’s just.. Andres, it’s your mother….she is-

 

Andres

I am dealing with finances at the moment, so if either of you want a morsel of food in your mouth ever again, or want your country of Colombia to succeed, then you better get out of my office at this moment-
 

Eduardo

She is dead, Papa, she is dead!

 

(Eduardo cries this out, as if he can barely contain himself, then stifles a sob. The mother has tears cascading down her face, and looks down at her toes. Eduardo curls up in a ball and sits on the dingy floor of the cool, dimly-lit office. Andres hesitates for many moments, and a small hint of grief passes over his face, which he hides by glancing at the opposite wall)

 

Mother

Are you…are you okay, Andres? Please do not just brush us aside, we want to share our sorrow with you….she meant a lot to us, as well, Andres..

 

(Andres still looks at the opposite wall, his jaw hardening)

 

Andres?

 

Andres

Leave. Leave my office. And get that grungy child off my floor!

 

Mother

Andres, I understand you’re upset but that is not way to speak of your son! Please, show sympathy dearest, he is only but a young boy! your mother is dead, and you treat your two remaining family members as if we’re scum!

 

Eduardo

Abuela!! Abuela,  I miss you, I love you, Abuela! Do not leave me with just my parents, Abuela! Please!

 

(Andres gives the Mother a cold, hard gaze)

 

Andres

Leave. Now.

 

(The mother returns the look with a col, piercing stare, then slowly picks up Eduardo, and walks from the room, her head held high.)

 

Scene lll

(Two men from the oil company have come to gate their money from Andres, and are continually torturing him. It is in a small, brightly lit room. The linoleum floor is yellowed, and small mice creep in and out of the rotting areas in the floor. A whitish liquid foams from the ceiling of the room. The room smells oddly like rotting broccoli. The two men stand menacingly over Andres, who is huddled in a corner. The men carry heavy, sinister weapons)

 

Andres

Only a month, and I will give you the money! Only a month, please!!

 

(The men punch him once again, their hands colliding with his portly stomach, making him shriek in anguish)
 

Ahhhhh!!!!! Please, it is only a month I am asking for! I need to feed my family, supply my soldiers with ammunition! I only need to get my bearings, find the money I need and then I will pay off my debts! Please!!!

 

(Andres is hit again, this time with a thick, slate colored pipe in his lower right shin. It is with such a powerful blow that Andres’ leg is twisted to the side unnaturally. It is broken, and Andres screams out in pain, his yell piercing through the silent of the night)
 

Andres

Help me, Lord!!!HELP ME!! Stop them from crippling my limbs, and spraying my blood across the room, stop them Lord, make them stop!! 

 

(Andres is screaming higher now, flailing his few working limbs. The two men from the oil company give him a final blow to his left temple, crimson liquid spraying everywhere. Andres screeches in torment, and falls to his side on the floor.)

 

Oil Company Man

You have one month, you foul excuse of a man!

 

 

Scene lV

(It Is 9 years later. Eduardo is now 17 years old, and his mother getting older, more frail. In the house of Andres Santos, a woman who looks as if she is in her mid-sixties slouches over a boiling pot on the stove, steam pervades the room. Eduardo, who has a thatch of black hair, reclines on a crudely made wooden chair, his legs spread open apathetically and his feet sprawled out on the floor.)

 

Eduardo

 I am fatigued after listening to Papa beg those oil men for more time to pay off his debts, pleading for more money! Why would he need more money, the filthy, cheating man, filled to the brim with lies and deception-

 

Mother

Do not speak of your Papa in such a way, Eduardo! You barely understand what happens when he speaks of The National Liberation Army, or when he speaks about politics, finances. You are only 17, Eduardo, you can’t comprehend any of the prodigious work he does! You are merely a boy.

 

Eduardo

Oh for the love of God, Mama, I understand what goes on in there better than you could any day! It’s all about Communism, Marxism- I am sick of it, any mention of Papa, or what he does, my stomach quivers and I get queasy, as if even the thought of Papa’s 

doltish, wit-less face makes me sick. His only interest is killing Americans, Mama, to show that he has power! He is only interested in “the group, the army”. What about us, Mama, when’s the last time he said a word to you? When’s the last time he wasn’t focused on the company?

Mother

Eduardo he is…he’s very busy… he is a very preoccupied man! I’m sure that he would spend time with you, it’s just I think he’s been engaged in very consequential things at the moment-

 

Eduardo

Mama! You are creating excuses for his behavior, as if there is an excuse he is constantly ignoring us! Well I’ll tell you the reason Mama, I’ll tell you why he has been brushing us aside for the past seventeen years, as if we are flies that nag him constantly: he doesn’t care, Mama, he doesn’t care about us!

 

(Eduardo appears as if his eyes on fire)

 

Mother

Stop, Eduardo, stop!! He is a world leader-do you expect him to always be there, cradling your hand in his, laughing with you?! You are too arrogant a boy to realize that he doesn’t have time, he doesn’t have time for you, Eduardo!

 

Eduardo

That’s your excuse for why Papa hasn’t said a word to me for the past 3 months, why he’s never looked me in the eye, much less looked at me?! You are pitiful, Mama! So he’s busy? Is that why he doesn’t know how old I am, why he never comes into the parts of the house we’re in? And don’t you dare refer to him as a world leader, Mama-no, he is a terrorist! A man of filthy actions, filthy words!

 

Mother

He works hard for this country of Colombia, you will not disrespect him to my face! Your father and I both have worked very hard to get to where we are-

 

Eduardo

Oh yes, and how was it that you got so far, Mama? Washing dishes, cooking…all very tedious work. I’m sure it’s taken you very far in life…

 

(Eduardo smirks, his tone sarcastic. Mother gazes at him, stunned, a glazed look on her face. The look crumples and turns to a look of anguish, and hate)

 

Mother

Why… Why do you talk to me in such a way?! It is not me that has been beating you, torturing you…ignoring you! Leave! Go to your room and do what you usually do: pray to yourself that one day your father will love you! Maybe if you weren’t so superior and needy it would come true!

 

(The mother strides out of the room quickly, very obviously wounded by Eduardo’s sarcastic remark)

 

Eduardo

Neither of them has “worked hard” to get to their position; my mother or my father! My father certainly would never distress himself over something too difficult…such as his son…..

 

(A smothered scream is heard above, follow by the hollow yells of men, men with different accents, yet they are still speaking in Spanish)

 

Mother

EDUARDO!!! HELP ME, PLEASE SAVE ME, THERE ARE MEN-

 

(The mother shrieks and a loud thump is heard. Eduardo looks to see his mother’s crumpled form on the ground, unconscious.)

 

Eduardo

Mama!!!

 

(The men hesitate, their breath slowing down and getting quieter as they realize there is another voice. Eduardo quickly scampers to his room and locks the door, frightened of what these men might do to him.)

Scene V

 

(Eduardo kneels on the floor alongside his bed, his head slanted up towards the ceiling, his eyes full of woe, dejection. When he speaks, it is to no one in particular, only heavens above. His father, Andres, speaks in the the room above, yet the two are on stage with each other, and both face out to the audience. Andres is on his knees as well, his face hysterical, as if he is slightly insane from the fear of the oil men coming up the stairs)

 

Eduardo

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name….

 

Andres

I am not ready for death.

 

Eduardo

God…..my father does not accept me….he believes that my opinions aren’t correct, he cannot understand why I worship the American government so. But you know, God. You know that I rebel against my father. I rebel, because… because for seventeen years he has ignored me, and the times he chose to speak to me, few hat there were, it was only to give me a good pounding for disagreeing with him.

 

Andres

Heavenly father, protect me from these men. You know that I do not deserve the torturous behavior of the oil-industries, of the men that will come from the drug cartels and maul me before they kill me, cutting off my right ear, then my foot….stabbing out one eye, then the other…You know I do not deserve death!

 

 

Eduardo

I rebel because I resent my father. I resent him for loathing me, for not taking his place as father! I am only a seventeen-year old, boy, God. Why did you put this burden on me of having my father detest me, God? What did I do to deserve his hatred?

 

Andres

Please, good Lord! I have not lived a full life yet, I am not ready for the cruel reality of death!

 

Eduardo

I wish to go to America, God. To break free of this veil of Communism and Marxism that afflicts Colombia. If my father chooses to not love me, to not cherish me as most fathers do, then why should I stay in Colombia? To support his efforts in rebelling against America? To have him constantly agitate me, then ignore me for weeks on end? 

 

Andres

I will offer you anything, anything at all if you spare me, Lord! I will go to Mass from now on, I will every day get down on my knees and pray to you! I will find a way to pay my debts, I will! If you could please save me, save me from these hostile men, Lord!

 

Eduardo

Send me to America, God! Why stay here, in this blackened hole of hatred that my father has created around me? Why remain in Colombia when I will continue to wake up with welts on my extremities from my father’s aggressive blows? Take me to America, God, save me from this environment of terror my father has created!

 

Andres

I will offer you my house, my country of Colombia! Take me away from the land where I am threatened by savage, bloodthirsty death!

 

Eduardo

Am I that worthless? From my childhood my father never took notice of me, never took into my account my presence. If he did it was only to exasperate, and point out my faults! All I ever wanted was to spend time with him, for him to love me!

 

Andres

Take my possessions, my hostages, the American hostages that I torture! Take all of the things that I enjoy doing away from me, Lord, as long as you snatch me away from this terror!

 

Eduardo

The concept of loving his child is foreign to him! Papa does not love me, he does not care! I am through with asking for his love!

 

 

Andres

Set me free, Lord, I can hear their muffled breathing as they come up the stairs, the soft clunk of their metal-tipped boots-

 

Eduardo

If he refuses to love me, if he refuses to notice me….I will make him notice me! I hope to travel to America, and I will promote the ideas of a democracy! Not Communism! Take me me there! I cannot leave the country, our borders are protected  by my father’s troops-please, take me to a place where I am considered to be a human being, where I am loved, unlike this world that I live in now!

 

Andres

I will give you anything if you cease their attack on me, anything! I will give you my family, Oh Lord, I will give you my wife! I will give you my son, Oh Lord, if you spare me!! Please!

Eduardo

He will never love me, no. But one day he will sit in mercy at my feet.

 

Andres

My wife, my son! Take them, kill them, if it mean that I will live to see the glorious light of tomorrow, them kill them, my son! Take anything away from me, Oh Lord, as long as I please do not die!

 

Eduardo

Amen.
 

Scene Vl

(Andres is on the floor, blood smothering his face, seeping into his halfway open mouth. The oil men have beaten him up, and he is close to death. They did not kill him this time, however. Most limbs in his body have been split, broken by their thick metal pipes. Scarlet liquid seeps from his throat, and his left temple. His body has slackened, his muscles relaxed. The house of Andres Santos is silent)

 

Andres

Where…..are the men still here? Are they?! Lord you promised you would help me, aid me in my fight against these men, and yet you let me suffer here with blood on my temple, most every extremity in my body mangled! Why, God, Por que?

 

(A message is printed on the wall in a burnt vermilion, almost brownish colored liquid. The message reads “We have taken your family. We are coming for you))

 

Andres

We have taken your family. We are coming for you.

 

(An eerie silence of the vacated house follows. Andres is alone, his family gone. His confusion from this note and the pain from his wounds cloud his mind, and he begins to speak to himself, out loud. His body trembles, and his voice is quavery, as if the words are difficult to form in his bloodied mouth)

 

Andres

So my family is gone…..d..do I leave? Do I flee Colombia, so these men do not f..find me? My family is dead by now…surely…they have been killed by now…I must leave Colombia…yes… shouldn’t I be dead, now Lord? I might as well be, with my body broken, crumpled. With most of my hair yanked out of my skull, with chunks of my leg missing and pus oozing from my eyes. Make me able-bodied, Lord, so that I may flee Colombia, and escape these men. They are coming back for me, Lord! My family is probably dead-no, they are dead, yes, those men must have killed them. They are dead, so why do I need to stay in Colombia, Lord? No, there is no reason. I will flee if you will let me, Lord. My family is dead by now, surely. I will leave Colombia, you must help me, Lord.

Scene Vll

(Eduardo and mother sit in a dark, moldy room. They have been taken by the oil men, and sit in their headquarters in Venezuela. It has linoleum floors that are yellowed from aging, and mice creep in and out of the rotting holes in the floor. A thick, steel door padlocks Eduardo and his mother inside the rotting room, which smells of decaying broccoli. Eduardo has violet bags under his eyes, and his face is pale and swollen. His bones creep out of his arms, jutting out at strange angles due to his lack of food. Eduardo’s mother sits huddled in a corner, sobs racking her body. She is frail, and her greying hair is adhered to her face by her tears. Her fingers linger on the linoleum floor for a moment, yet pull away when a mouse nibbles on her ring finger)

 

Mother

Ay! Where is your Papa, Eduardo? Where is he so he can cease this endless torture! 

 

Eduardo

Oh! You know in your heart he is not coming Mama, how many times do I have to tell you that he does not love us! He is the reason we are here in these prison camps of the oil company, he is the reason we’re famished, and the only liquid we’ve had to drink is that which drips from the ceiling, which is full of grit and chemicals! It is all his fault, we’ve had to pay for his faults! We have to take the blame for him not paying these men for the last nine years!

 

Mother

Your father always payed all his debts, Eduardo, he would never owe anyone money! He was a very responsible man! The only reason we’re here is because these men are intimidated by your father; scared of his power! That is why they brought us here, to lure your father! They are scared of him, so they want to kill him!

 

Eduardo

Mama, I don’t know what deranged ideas are in your head, but we are here because Papa didn’t pay the oil men! Ay, all I want to do is be free of Papa’s perilous lifestyle, of Papa himself! How can he leave us in this mess, it is not fair Mama!

 

Mother

I miss him, chiquito...oh how I miss your father! Where is he now, do you think he is well? Or is his body lying mutilated in an alleyway….his body parts severed and scattered about….his blood oozing into the corners of buildings..all alone..what if he is dead, Eduardo?! What will we do then, who will save us?

 

(The mother seizes fistfuls of her silvery hair and wrenches them from part of her head. She screams out, yet softly, and tears begin to travel sown her cheek, seeping onto her  shreds of remaining clothing. Her eyes dart around the room, her body shaking hysterically. She has not eaten in days, and her brain is muddled with confusion)

 

Eduardo

Let him be dead, then he will not cause any more havoc in our lives! He’s killing us, Mama, with his awful behavior and ways of dealing with our country of Colombia. I will rejoice the day Papa dies!

 

(Eduardo’s mother is rolling on the floor, hunched in a fetal position. Her voice cracks when she speaks, and her eyes are blank,and stare straight in front of her,yet tears trickle down her nose, her cheeks)

 

Mother

Andres… Andres, where are you, my love?!
 

Scene Vlll

(It is in Colombia, in the home of Andres Santos again, yet several days later. A trail of dried brown blood leads from the bedroom to the kitchen. The floor is littered with chewed pens, pens that have been taken apart, pens whose jet-black ink is spattered on the floors. All along the walls, in minute, scraggly writing, are messages. Andres is sitting on the floor, his legs still bleeding copiously, talking to himself and writing his intricate messages on the walls. He has drawn detailed maps of places like Mexico, Venezuela, and America. Calculations line the baseboards of the walls, and small personal messages are scattered throughout his scribbles.)

 

Andres

It is so nice to be out of Colombia now, isn’t it Eduardo? I do enjoy traveling in the colder months. Oh yes, very nice here….It’s good I am alive, yes?……

 

(Andres cocks his head to the side, his eyes milky, his breathing heavy and labored)

 

 Mama…you think Eduardo is dead, for sure? Both of them are dead, Mama?  Did the oil men indeed kill them? Are they up there with you, Mama, in heaven?……I should have saved them, Mama….Neither of them respected me though, Mama, Eduardo or that repulsive woman I married! Stop speaking to me in such a tone, Mama, I couldn’t have saved them… I didn’t want to!

 

(Andres begins to wail like a small child, whimpering and crying on his knees. The message he is writing becomes indistinct, no longer able to be read)

 

I miss you Mama! I miss you! Please, I never meant to show you any disregard, I love you so, Mama! Do you forgive me for never listening to you, never really saying a word to you? Please, Mama, memories from my childhood haunt me, and all I want is for you to forgive me! Forgive me for not saving my child or my wife from those men! Forgive me for pretending to hate you, Mama! I love you, I love you! Mama…

 

(Andres stops sobbing, and looks up confused, with an innocent look on his face. He glances at the message he has been writing, and a dark look of recognition passes over his face. He continues writing his messages on the peeling walls of the kitchen)

 

Andres

No, Eduardo! Go! Leave me in peace, you imbecile of a child! I am working, can you not see that? You cause me so much stress… Stop! Stop bothering me!

 

(Andres’ head softly clunks to the ground, and his mouth begins to foam slightly. His body trembles, and his plump figure causes the floor below him to quake slightly. With most of his limbs broken, and the side of his head bashed in, Andres is near death.)

 

Andres

Please, God, tell me they are dead. Tell me they are dead so that I don’t have the guilt of not saving them. Tell me that God, tell me they died on the account of the oil men, and not me. Tell me they’re dead God, so I do not have to save them…tell me….

 

(Andres’ body falls still, pen still in hand. His last message on the wall reads: They are dead by now, surely.)

 

Scene IX

(It is in the Oil Company headquarters, in Venezuela. Only the mother and two Oil Company men are on stage, and the mother sits on her knees, which have become blistered and rubbed raw due to their constant contact with the floor. She is weeping, and judging my her bloodshot eyes or the contours that have formed on her forehead, she is beyond exhausted and under great amounts of stress. The Oil men have been interrogating her and torturing her for the past 13 hours, and she is near her breaking point. One man sits back in a chair, his face masked by a shadow, The other circles the mother, never letting his eyes peel away from her tiny, crumpled form.)

 

Oil Man

I will repeat myself, Ms. Santos; Where does your husband keep his money?

 

Mother

I don’t know, I’ve told you, please, I can’t answer, I don’t know!

 

(The Oil Man leans in, breathing into the mother’s ear. His voice is menacing, hostile, like cut glass)

 

Oil Man

Ms. Santos, if you don’t answer this painfully straightforward question, I will make you stand on the balls of your feet again for the next four hours, like I did before. It’s your choice Ms. Santos; let the muscles in your legs no longer work due to physical exhaustion, or simply respond to this question.

 

(The mother keeps her bloodshot eyes trained on the floor, never daring to look up at the malicious, putrid-smelling man that stands directly above her. The oil man crouches down, and looks the mother directly in the eyes as the mother looks up to peer in his face. She keeps her mouth firmly shut.)

 

Oil Man

Ms. Santos, maybe I should explain myself a bit more. You see, Ms. Santos, your husband owes us money, Oh yes, does he owe us money. For the past nine years, Ms. Santos, we have sat here, our funds slowly dribbling away, due to your husband’s lavish spending for his “country of Colombia”, as he liked to say. So we openly lent him the money, as long as your husband promised that all oil other than ours was outlawed in Colombia, and that he eventually payed off his debts to us. The first of these happened, he only allowed our oil to be sold in Colombia. However, we arrive here, nine years later, with our pockets considerably lighter. 

 

So answer me, Ms. Santos, tell me which hidden accounts your husband kept his money in. Ms. Santos, if you don’t answer…..I will begin to sever your pinky finger, then your ring finger, your middle finger…..blood will overwhelm you and spatter on your clothes, your tatters…it’s funny, with all the money your husband leeched off of us, you would expect him to have bought you better clothes…

 

(The Oil man takes the mother’s face, grabbing it  with one hand and squishing her frigid cheeks together)

 

Tell me, Ms. Santos. Where did your thieving, grungy mule of a husband keep his money?

 

(The Oil Man still has Ms. Santos’ cheeks smushed together with his one hand, his gaze mocking and almost suggestive, yet in a jeering manner. The Mother looks straight into his steel-cut like eyes, her stare intense and venomous. They stare at each other for a few moments longer, the loathing and tension growing by the second. Suddenly,m the mother collects a great wad of spittle in her mouth, and hurls it at the oil man’s face. He stumbles backwards, wiping the clump of saliva from his face, disoriented.)

 

Oil Man

So you want to play dirty, do you, you filthy vermin, then we will. You will experience a pain beyond any other, you will cringe and writhe at my feet!! I will not stand for your behavior, and I will be answered when I ASK A QUESTION!!!

 

 (He roars this, spit flying through the air. He pulls out a large hammer, one that is definitely not used for any works of construction, and drags a light that appears as big as a stadium light. When he turns it on in the mother’s petrified eyes, she wails and shrieks, her vision immediately blinded. She cannot move due to the shackles, and the large hammer comes down upon her left arm, breaking its bone to fragments, mere shatters)

 

Mother

Please!!!!! Have mercy, have mercy, I do not know!!! I DO NOT KNOW HAVE MERCY!!! I am only his wife, he did not tell me, please!!! MERCY!!!

 

Scene X

(It is back in the cell of the Oil Company Headquarters, Venezuela. Eduardo sits hunched over, leaning against a wall. His eyes are dry, as if all his tears have already been cried. He has listened, for the past 14 hours, to his mother being tortured by one of the Oil Men. She is abruptly thrown into the room, her frail body shivering due to shock, not the muggy, balmy Venezuela climate.)

 

Eduardo

Mama! Oh, Mama…the Oil Men have brought you so close to death, Mama….

 

(Eduardo takes his now blind, shaking mother into his arms.)

 

I swear…I will go out there and wring their necks, I will gash their faces so that they no longer have faces, I will pull out every tooth in their head with a wrench until they crumple in mercy at my feet! I will-

 

Mother

Eduardo!…..Be a good boy to your Mama…help her…..

 

(The Mother struggles to form these words, and coughs them out as if she is retching.)

 

Eduardo

Mama…there is nothing I can do to help you…You are not in a very healthy state, Mama…I know you are delirious, I can tell by the way you shiver and your mouth dribbles. It is okay, I am right here….

 

(The mother grips Eduardo’s shirt suddenly, so tightly that she pulls Eduardo down towards her face.)

 

Mother

I wish your Papa were here, Eduardo. How I wish your Papa were here!

 

Eduardo

Why, Mama? So he could cause us to go to yet another Oil Company to take us away as hostages, and torment us daily? Ay, no, I will be much happier if I spend my life disintegrating in this cell, or traveling to America, so I do not have to have Papa punch me one more time, or pay me no heed for weeks on end. Or..or point a gun at my face when he is drunk, and then sock me in my jaw!…Or make me kneel on the floor and promise to die for Colombia….I will never miss him, I will never wish for him to be with us!

 

Mother

Oh, Eduardo, please, get me your Papa, your Papa, please! My arm, chiquito……Por Favor, tu padre! Rapido, rapido, mis brazos!
 

Eduardo

Mama, Papa is not here, I am here! Please, Mama, let me help you. I could tie up your arms with a rag if you would like, please, Mama, I am right here, I will help-

 

Mother

Andres! Andres, please help me! I need your help, my arms, they ache! Please Andres, help me take care of my arms!

 

Eduardo

He is not here, Mama! Andres is not here! Please, look at me, he is not here, do you understand?!

 

(The mother looks confused for a moment, the turns her head towards the direction of her son’s voice, as if hearing him for the first time.)

 

Mother

Where is Andres? Where is my husband, my love, where is he?

 

Eduardo

He is not here, Mama.

 

Annabel Young
Age 12, Grade 7
MS 51 William Alexander
Gold Key

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