Risen (A Short Play)

31 Plays in 31 Days #25

(A sidewalk at night. A TEENAGER hangs by his foot upside down from above the ceiling.)

(A HOMELESS person walks by.)

HOMELESS
What the Jesus?!
Shit, son, what happened to you.
You upside-down.
You upside-down, son.
YO I SAID YOU UPSIDE-DOWN.

(The TEENAGER snores.)

HOMELESS
Shit, you sleepin?
Shit maybe I oughta try that someday.

(The HOMELESS person looks around suspiciously.)

HOMELESS
Hey uh if there a camera or somethin up in here y’all gotta let me know. I officially submit for full closure. Y’all gotta let me know.
Shit.
Hail Mary full of grace.
YOU UPSIDE-DOWN.
The Lord is with y’all; blessed about women.
WHO AROUND HERE? Hey WHO AROUND?
And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy shit you Jesus.
You come down outta the sky.
YO MARY YOU UP THERE?
YO MARY. CUT THE CORD, LADY. CUT THE CORD. HE HANGIN’ ON. HE HANGIN’ ON.
Aright I gotta getcha down I guess. Gotta getcha down. Can’t be takin no naps in the middle of the air, son.

(The HOMELESS person prods at the TEENAGER to try and figure a way to get him down; the TEENAGER snores more loudly. The HOMELESS person starts reacting as if some invisible people are grabbing him/her.)

HOMELESS
Stop it. Shut the fuck up. Lemme alone. Said, stop. Said, stop. Fuck you. FUCK Y’ALL.

(The HOMELESS person collapses into a heap under the TEENAGER.)

(The TEENAGER wakes up.)

(The TEENAGER moans as if woken up for the first day of school.)

TEENAGER
Eeehhhhhhhhhhynnnnnnn.

(The TEENAGER tries to “roll over” as if in bed, but realizes he is caught by the foot.)

(The TEENAGER tries to untie himself.)

HOMELESS
(quietly)
Don’t. Naw.

TEENAGER
Ffff.

HOMELESS
Don’t. Naw naw. Fall, son. You gonna fall, son. YO KID, YOU UPSIDE-DOWN.

(The TEENAGER notices the HOMELESS person for the first time.)

TEENAGER
Who are you?

HOMELESS
You upside-down, son. I just come down the alley and, “Shit!” “Mary Mother of God!”

TEENAGER
Let me go!

HOMELESS
Fuck. Shit.

TEENAGER
HELP.

HOMELESS
Aw hell no.

(The HOMELESS person gets up and tries to shuffle away, but is plagued again by invisible attackers.)

TEENAGER
What is wrong?

HOMELESS
Said, stop. Said, stop.

TEENAGER
Let me down.

HOMELESS
Dammit.

(The TEENAGER looks up the rope.)

TEENAGER
Where does it go?
HEY WHAT AM I HANGING FROM?

HOMELESS
I can’t see. Can’t see.

TEENAGER
I WAS AT A PARTY.
SHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUN. JEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENNNN.
What was in that fucking pill. I WILL KILL YOU SHAUN. JUST LET ME DOWN FIRST IT’S NOT LONGER FUNNY.

Hey! HEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

HOMELESS
Party.

TEENAGER
WHAT? What? Oh. Yeah. Yes! Party! Were you at the party? Did you kidnap me? Where’s my cellphone?

HOMELESS
Naw naw naw. Let me go. LET HIM GO.

TEENAGER
What’s wrong with you?

HOMELESS
Shit.

(The TEENAGER winces.)

TEENAGER
All the blood’s in my head.

HOMELESS
Crown a thorns.

TEENAGER
What?
Okay.
Okay.
Uh listen.
Why don’t you call the police?
For me?
You won’t get in trouble. Go call the police. Say there’s this dude stuck up…
A rope…
In the sky…

HOMELESS
They ain’t let you down yet. Earth’s not ready.

TEENAGER
Maybe on second thought say you heard someone screaming, come look, and they’ll see for themselves…
Go on!

(The HOMELESS person prods at the TEENAGER again.)

TEENAGER
I SAID GO GET THE COPS.
I COMMAND YOU.

HOMELESS
Naw. Naw.

TEENAGER
Go.
Go.
Go.
GO.
GO GET THE COPS.
GO.
GO.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
COPS.
POLIIIIIIIIIIIIICE
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Please?
GO.
Jesus.

HOMELESS
Jesus! Praise- Praise Jesus.

TEENAGER
Fuck me.

HOMELESS
What I do? I didn’t do nothin. Shit.

TEENAGER
YOU DON’T MAKE ANY SENSE.

HOMELESS
WHAT YOU EXPECT? I BEEN WAITIN FOR JESUS. You gotta touch Earth. But they ain’t let you down yet.

TEENAGER
Do you want me down or up?

HOMELESS
Shit.

TEENAGER
WHAT’S YOUR NAME?

HOMELESS
Shit.

TEENAGER
Your name isn’t “shit.” What. Is. Your. Name.

HOMELESS
Martins.

TEENAGER
Martins.

HOMELESS
Saint Peter.

TEENAGER
What did your parents call you.

HOMELESS
Fish.
“Want some fish? Fish? Fish? Want some fish?”

TEENAGER
What?

HOMELESS
Fish!

TEENAGER
Hi, Fish, my name is-

HOMELESS
JESUS. You gotta be him, man. You Jesus, son.

TEENAGER
I got it. I’m Jesus of Chevy Chase.

HOMELESS
Naw man, he an actor.

TEENAGER
Fish, I command you let me down.

HOMELESS
You hit your head.

TEENAGER
Do it careful.

HOMELESS
Naw man. Naw.

TEENAGER
Look I gotta get down before my head like explodes.

HOMELESS
You Jesus.

TEENAGER
Yes. Right. But I’m stuck. You got to bring me to Earth.

HOMELESS
Mary still birthin you. Ain’t done yet.

TEENAGER
No, look, bits, pieces, arms, legs, all here. I’m done. Just… cut the cord.

(The HOMELESS person is suddenly teary-eyed.)

HOMELESS
Jesus make them go away.

TEENAGER
What?

HOMELESS
Shit. Fuck. Said, stop. Said, stop.

TEENAGER
Woah woah woah.

HOMELESS
Dammit. Said, stop. Lemme be. Prasin Jesus. Lemme be.

TEENAGER
Nobody is touching you. Relax.
I’m telling a crazy person to relax.

HOMELESS
Can’t see. Dammit.

TEENAGER
PRAY TO ME, CHILD, AND I WILL BANISH THEM.

HOMELESS
Who say that?

TEENAGER
JESUS IN THE SKY. PRAY TO ME AND I WILL RID YOU OF YOUR TORMENTORS.
Fuck my head hurts.

(The TEENAGER tries again to reach up but can’t manage to affect the ropes tying him.)

HOMELESS
Praise Jesus.

TEENAGER
Yes. Good. MORE.

HOMELESS
Hail Mary full of grace. The Lord is with y’all; blessed about women. And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me, now and when I die. Amen.

TEENAGER
Good. Now I-

HOMELESS
Shit. Fuck. Naw naw naw they worse. Said, stop. SAID, STOP! JESUS PLEASE!

TEENAGER
You uh-
TRY AGAIN!

HOMELESS
I try-

TEENAGER
You said the words wrong.

HOMELESS
Words?

TEENAGER
You said them wrong. Try again. “Hail Mary-“

HOMELESS
Hail Mary full of grace. The Lord is with y’all-

TEENAGER
With “thee.” “Thee” like the Bible.

HOMELESS
Hail Mary full of grace. The Lord is with thee-
Please-
Blessed about women-

TEENAGER
Among women-

HOMELESS
Among women-

TEENAGER
Art thou among women-

HOMELESS
Hail Mary full of grace. SHIT. FUCK. The Lord is with y’all- Blessed art thou among-

TEENAGER
No no no. You have to do it right and then the demons will flee thee. Child, pay attention! GIVE YOUR MIND TO GOD!

HOMELESS
Give-
God-

TEENAGER
YES!
And for heaven’s sake do it before I pass out again.

(The HOMELESS person stands up straight suddenly and speaks in a calm, measured voice [though still with an accent].)

HOMELESS
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

TEENAGER
Good… good job…

(A white light beams down above the rope. The rope slowly lowers and lands the teenager on the ground, releasing him.)

TEENAGER
OWWWWWWW ow my head… fuck… help me…

HOMELESS
Thank you, Jesus.
(crying)
I praise you forever, Jesus. They gone for good, I know it. I goin home. I goin home Jesus.

TEENAGER
Sure that’s lovely but drop me at a hospital along the way could you?

HOMELESS
Anything you need, Jesus. You back, now. Anything you need. Got you some McDonald’s on the street one block over there. Come on.

(The HOMELESS person picks the TEENAGER up to his feet. The TEENAGER moans.)

TEENAGER
I- Uhhhhhhhhhh- Awhhhhhhh-

(The TEENAGER faints and falls.)

HOMELESS
Yo you hey. Get up.
Get up, Jesus.
Son.
Son a God.
MARY?
HOLY MARY.

(Pause.)

(The HOMELESS person expertly checks for a pulse. There is none.)

HOMELESS
(more perplexed than anything)
He dead?

(The light appears on the rope again and starts raising it up. The rope pauses.)

HOMELESS
I supposed to? I got to?

Okay. Shit. Alright.

(The HOMELESS person ties the rope back onto the TEENAGER’s foot and helps guide him upwards as the rope lifts him back up into the sky and out of view.)

HOMELESS
Just for me?
Just for me this time? Just for me this whole time around for you? Shit.
That’s too much. That’s too much.
You too good for me Jesus.
I make good on it. Shit. Y’all see. Y’all see.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
See, y’all?
Aright. Aright. I goin’ home.

(The HOMELESS person exits.)

(End of play.)

writing time: 1:00 or so

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One comment

  1. […] a lot of time to write something, and probably having read something about the Mars mission 25) Risen – a homeless man encounters a teenager hanging upside down in an alley Came from having NO IDEA […]

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