March 4, 2007

A Play A Day #325

Scene Of The Wreck


Setting: Bare stage

(Lights up, enter Barry and Salia together, talking)

Salia: What do you remember?

Barry: I remember... a big red car, everything about it was a deep, deep red, exterior, interior... that whole car seemed to be this living red... like the car itself was alive. Except... it wasn't... the car had crashed, a fire had started, the side of the road was bare, a bleached strip of asphalt, no life anywhere... for miles around, just this vibrant red car in flames, no bodies, either. I stopped my car and got out; it was like stepping into someone else's violent, desperate dream. I tried to get closer, but the flames pushed out at me, like it was personal... like the fire wanted to burn me in particular, or maybe the red car was trying to extinguish its burning by setting me on fire instead. It was never clear. I tried approaching from all different angles, front, you know, head on, directly... I was singed... I tried from behind, somehow, though, the fire shot at me in that direction... same thing happened when I tried coming around the side... It seemed like the fire wasn't actually anchored to its source of fuel, more like I somehow was the target of this flame's incineration. Come to think of it, I don't even think the car was actually on fire...

Salia: Yes, it was on fire.

Barry: ... maybe, but it seemed like it was a honeypot, and I was the ant... that I had been lured to that place by a device that was of the car's making. That I was a victim of someone else's deliberate accident, and by trying to help, I was only stirring the scene of the wreck. When I finally walked away and sat in my own car, the flames died down almost entirely. There wasn't even any smoke. I had to see if someone was trapped in that car. I jumped from my car and ran toward the accident again, the flames licked higher with each step closer. I stopped and backed up; and it lessened. I realized that, in some impossible way, I was what made the car burn.

Salia: I wonder why.

Barry: Eventually, a compromise was reached. I sat a certain distance from the car, and the flames stayed low; then, very slowly... very, very slowly, the car seemed to trust me, I was able to move closer. Then, eventually, I was able to touch the car and check to see if anyone was trapped inside. But... there was no one there. The car was empty, and it didn't look like it had ever been burned.

Salia: Maybe it had been born again through fire and torment. It was renewed.

Barry: What?

Salia: And, maybe, the car was not empty, but filled with loss.

Barry: You're not making any sense.

Salia: Forget it. (pause) Is that all you remember?

Barry: Yeah. That's it.

Salia: That's not all you remember.

Barry: Ummm... yes, it is.

Salia: No, no, no... I remember what you remember.

Barry: You do?

Salia: Yes, and I remem...

Barry: Astounding!

Salia: And I remember what you don't remember too.

Barry: Sure.

Salia: Sometimes, a car is not just a car.

Barry: Ooo...kay?

(they start walking off, lights fading)

Salia: Did it look like a car?

Barry: Yeah, just red... very red...

Salia: Like a heart?

Barry: Ummm...

Salia: Like my heart?

Barry: I don't know. I've never seen your heart.

Salia: Yes, you have; you certainly have.

(exit, lights out)


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