The Latest Arrival
On a bus, train, plane, truck, taxi and perhaps even on a bike, you can practice the short play with your fellow passenger. The first scene is a dialogue between Zero and Fall. The second scene is a dialogue between Moss and Turn. They are in the same space and same time, very different circumstances.
Scene 1. In a first class train carriage.Zero
ZeroHow long since we’ve been waiting here?
Hm. 45 minutes.
Crossing borders. They always change the engine of the
End of the train?
No, engine. The engine and the driver.
How would you know?
I’ve been here before.
Zero steps out onto the platform to walk from the front of the train to the far end. Zero sees people asleep inside the carriage, some others climbing down too. Zero spoke to a few people who wore uniforms. There were two different kinds.Zero also sees two men across the platform, lying on the cement floor, closed eyes, relaxed arms. They must be basking in the heat. Zero looked about himself for a moment, and got back on board the train.
Zero It’s not moving.
Fall No, we are not.
Zero What do we do?
Zero I know, but what if someone attacks us? Someone walking throughthe tunnel? All sort of people try to come through this way, youknow.
Fall Train’ll move.
Zero You don’t find this tedious?
Fall We wait.
Zero But we are in their territory. They checked everyone’s papers
Fall You never know.
Zero (frown) Idiots.
Fall I need some sleep. It will move eventually.
Zero I mustn’t drift off. I’d better be awake to see what’s happening. Fall It doesn’t matter, we are already on our way.Fall closes his eyes. Long pause.
Zero I can’t tell if we’re moving.
Silence. The bell of a church rings twice in the far distance. Fall stands up to stretch.
Scene 2. In a dark train tunnel.
Turn How long since we’ve been waiting here?
Moss 45 minutes.
Moss On the border now, they change the head of the train. Turn Head of the train?
Moss Yes, with engines and driver. Turn How do you know this?
Moss I crossed these borders before. Turn What happened?
Moss I failed.
Turn tries to follow Moss closely, balancing on the edge of the rail. Turn thinks if he continues to walk without falling, he will make this journey. Turn puts his finger into his nose. Black gunk comes out.For the two people he left behind, he tries to shake his head to forget about them. By the end of this tunnel, there will be light, there will be a pond, there will be a heap of trash with fresh fruit in it, there will be pieces of fabric so I can cover myself at night, he thought.
Moss Come on.
Fall I can’t hear.
Fall It’s not moving.
Moss No, we are not.
Turn What do we do?
Turn I know, but what if someone attacks us?
Someone tries to do away with us? Moss We will have dinner somewhere.
Turn You don’t find it tedious?
Moss We wait.
Turn I am hungry, I am tired, I am angry, I am sleepy.
Moss I know.
Turn (frown) idiots.
Moss We better carry on. We are not going back.
Turn When can I go back to my room again? I left my notebook there. Moss We will never go back there, Turn.
Turn (following Moss closely again)...
The bell of a church rings twice in the far distance. Moss puts his dusty hand to Turn’s shoulder. A hint of light started to shine somewhere out ahead of them. There’s no way of knowing whether it’s a threat or a hope.