High School Play: Heroic Vandal (Scene 8-10: Blasted Culprit)

To start from the first scene, click here.

Click here to go to the previous scenes.

Note: In celebration of women’s month, I decided to post this play that I wrote when I was in second year high school. My groupmates helped me come up with ideas, but I was the one who was largely responsible for the conceptualization of the story and the writing of the script. In this play, I talk about two sisters who are awoken to the plight of women and are moved to fight oppression. I also slightly touch upon the issue of honor killings, specifically how raped women (usually in the Middle East) are killed because they have brought “dishonor” to their family. Our group was assigned to write about Pakistan, but in this script, I changed the name of the country into a fictional country because the depiction of this world is not an accurate depiction of Pakistan. I also changed “Allah” to “Azlah” because the god described in this story and the religious practices depicted are not accurate depictions of the Muslim faith.

Scene 8:

It is night. The servants are headed for the flea market. They are following Anwaar and Fareda. Saameira and Imtithal are whispering about being scared.

Maisa: Quiet, you two. Darkness may have overpowered the skies, but it has not made noises inaudible.

Saameira: Why are we headed for the flea market during the night?

Maisa: See those shadows? Those are Ms. Anwaar and Ms. Fareda’s shadows. I know how Ms. Fareda’s brain works, and I am sure that she has yet again persuaded her sister to participate in some crazy thing. Now we are here to make sure that they won’t be harmed. So, are you with me?

Imtithal and Saameira: Yes.

Saameira: Wow, it’s the first time we’re actually working together.

Imtithal: It’s the magic of having a common goal.

(Lights out. They exit.)

Scene 9: It is night. Anwaar and Fareda are alone in the flea market. Fareda is vandalizing a grey brick wall with blood red paint.

Anwaar: Are you finished yet?

Fareda: In a while, sister.

Anwaar: I hear footsteps!

Fareda: Okay. I’m done. Let’s go.

(Anwaar and Fareda exit through the right side of the stage while the Uncho, Ragheb and Haamid enter at the left side of the stage.)

Uncho: What’s this?

Ragheb: (He reads the message that is written on the wall.) “Long have women been oppressed by the Public Court. Open your eyes and put an end to this injustice.” What is this rubbish?

Haamid: (Points to the left side of the stage.) I see a shadow! If we hurry, we might be able to catch the criminal.

(The soldiers exit to the left side of the stage. After the soldiers leave, Anwaar and Fareda enter from the right side of the stage.)

Anwaar: See, I told you. We could have been caught.

Fareda: But we weren’t. So everything is fine.

Anwaar: You’ve soiled your hands! You better wash it off before anybody sees it.

Fareda: I can’t wash it off. It takes two days before this kind of paint washes off.

Anwaar: What?

Fareda: Don’t worry, sister. Nothing will happen. Our stature will protect us from any investigation. Come let us sleep.

(Anwaar and Fareda exit. The servants enter.)

Maisa: I never knew that—

Saameira: They weren’t doing anything foolish after all.

Imtithal: They were doing something heroic.

(Lights out. The servants exit.)

Scene 10:

It is morning in the house of Najiya. General Najiya, Anwaar, and Fareda are about to have breakfast. There is a small table in the middle of the room. The table is surrounded by large pillows that function as seats. General Najiya is seated at the left side of the table. Anwaar and Fareda are seated next to each other. The servants enter bringing the breakfast. After serving the family, the servants will stand behind Anwaar and Fareda.

General Najiya: Blasted culprit! I have never been so humiliated n my life!

Fareda: What’s wrong, father?

General Najiya: Someone had the nerve to vandalize the market walls with words of insolence. Worse than that, the culprit was able to escape my three guards. Then again, what can I expect? They are mirrors of incompetence. But today, I shall redeem myself. It won’t be hard to capture this vandal, for he’s an idiot. Can you believe that he used a kind of paint that can’t be washed out for several days? So whoever we see with markings on his hands will be charged guilty. The king even ordered that the whole city be searched before midnight.

Anwaar: So we shall be searched?

General Najiya: Do not be silly, my child. I wouldn’t permit such a dishonorable act. Even the king will not dare insult our noble household. By the way, where is your mother?

(Mother enters.)

Mother: My dear husband! The king! The king is here!

(Genaral Najiya, Anwaar and Fareda stand up as the servants retreat to the right side of the stage.)

Anwaar: Father, I thought you said that we wouldn’t be searched? Why is the king himself here?

General Najiya: Do not worry, my child. I‘m sure he has a valid reason for coming.

(The king enters. Everyone kneels. The king positions himself at the center of the stage.)

King: Rise, o noble household of Najiya.

(Everyone stands up.)

General Najiya: Why does your greatness visit this humble house? Is it about our previous meeting?

King: As you all know, I am a young king who has been looking for a wife. It has been five moons, and only now have I found the lady who is worthy to be my queen. I have come to ask for the hand of the lady (pause) Fareda. I have met with your parents earlier this week, and they have agreed. So will you marry me?

Fareda: No!

(Mother, General Najiya, and Anwaar look horrified.)

King: What have you said? Surely you are kidding.

Anwaar: Yes, she was surely kidding, your highness.

King: Woman, were you spoken to?

Fareda: Stop making excuses for me, Anwaar. I said no and I meant it.

(Fareda faces the king.)

Farreda: I will not marry you heard that? I will not let you kill my spirit.

King: How dare you! You shall be mine no matter what!

(King grabs Fareda’s hands and sees the red paint.)

King: What are these?

Fareda: These are nothing.

King: Look General Najiya, is this the same paint that you saw on the market wall?

General Najiya: Yes, your highness, but how—?

(Mother, General Najiya, and Anwaar look more horrified than ever. King releases Fareda’s hand.)

King: Do you know your punishment little one?

Anwaar: Please, your highness, forgive her. She was just lost in—

(Mother, looking defeated, restrains Anwaar.)

King: Woman, were you spoken to? Or maybe you want to share in your sister’s punishment?

Fareda: Leave her out of this! She has done nothing.

King: (Faces Fareda.) Little one, are you ready to die?

(Mother sheds silent tears. Anwaar bursts out crying.)

Anwaar: No! Please no! Don’t kill her!

(Anwaar tries to go towards the king. Mother restrains Anwaar.)

King: Do not worry, fair Anwaar. Your sister will not die if she agrees to marry me. So will you marry me, Fareda?

Fareda: Never!

King: Then say hello to death, my dear, for you will spend eternity with him. General Najiya, you have sworn an oath to my kingdom, I presume that you would not forsake it for a mere woman?

(General Najiya looks down at the ground for a few seconds)

General Najiya: (Slowly) Yes…yes… your highness, I know my duties. (More resolute) I will not go against you, my lord.

King: Very well. Take her away.

Anwaar: No!

(General Najiya, holding Fareda, exits with the king. Anwaar tries to go after them. Mother restrains Anwaar.)

Mother: (Still shaking) She has gone against tradition, my dear, so she must pay the price.

Anwaar: Mother, how can you stand there knowing that your child will be killed? How can you bear the thought of forever loosing a child?

Mother: We live in a harsh world, Anwaar. More so, we are women, we cannot fight against men especially the king. (Wipes away her tears and stops crying) Crying your eyes out will not change reality. Come…come let us burn offerings to Azlah so that your sister may die in peace.

Anwaar: I do not want to offer sacrifices. I want to be alone.

Mother: I understand. Come slaves.

(Mother motions to the servants, but they hesitate to leave Anwaar.)

Anwaar: (To the servants.) Go, I need to be alone.

To go to the next scene, click here.

For all posts about Heroic Vandal click here.

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Note: For some entries in this blog, a few names and details have been deliberately and willingly changed by the author. This is a personal decision made by the author for specific reasons known to her and is not an endorsement for censorship.

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