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Plays

Akshay Chalana

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Literary Thinking 2 with Ms. Luhrs

Murder in the Middle East – Act 4

Scene 1 – The Merchant Returns

Based on Scene 4.1 from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Summary of what has happened so far: In 2020, the United States Army still hasn’t left Iraq, and the soldiers are beginning to become restless.  When the General of the Army, Michael Smith, finds a way to ally with the Russian Military to defeat Al Qaeda once and for all, the highest ranking officers start thinking about what would happen if they were the ones to make that move rather than Smith.  This thought influences General Tyler Williams a bit too much, leading him to murder Smith with the aim of becoming General of the Army.  With his goal achieved, he and his partner, Lt. General John Jones, plot against other high-ranking officers who they suspect of knowing about their murder of the former General, including General Williams’ fellow soldier, General James Brown.  General Williams surely doesn’t want anyone taking his position because of what he did to the previous general.  The following scene occurs soon after General Brown’s murder, and is set in Baghdad, Iraq.

Enter three Merchants with stalls.

FIRST MERCHANT

شراء الخضروات الخاص بك هنا!   ( !eBuy your vegetables her)

SECOND MERCHANT

شراء الفواكه الخاصة بك هنا(!Buy your fruits here)

THIRD MERCHANT

(Buy your clothes here!) شراء الملابس الخاصة بك هنا

A note lands behind the first merchant’s stall and the first merchant goes back.

FIRST MERCHANT

[Aside] What’s this?  Ah, a note.  I shall show it to my fellow merchants.

Merchant goes back in front of the stall.

FIRST MERCHANT

Fellow merchants, I have found a note behind my stall.

[Reading note]The great General Tyler Williams will come to your market this afternoon.  When he arrives, you must tell him that he will receive three mysterious phone calls that will answer all his questions.”

 How interesting.  We shall do so.

Enter Tyler Williams with two bodyguards.

TYLER

Hello merchants, how are you? 

FIRST MERCHANT

We are doing very well, sir. 

TYLER

Once I became General of the Army after you told me I would, I have always been worried about whether something might happen to me as did happen to the previous General of the Army, General Smith.  Because you were the ones who knew of my promotion before it happened, you will also know how and from whom I should protect myself.

SECOND MERCHANT

We would answer your question, but we have a message for you, sir.  

THIRD MERCHANT

[Mysteriously] The answers to all your questions shall come to you soon. 

FIRST MERCHANT

[Mysteriously] Be vigilant and watch your surroundings.

TYLER

I shall, merchants.  [Aside] These men seem to know more than they reveal.  But I will remember their words well, since their advice has helped me before and could save me again.

Exit Merchants. Tyler Williams continues walking.  Remove Merchant’s stall.

Phone rings. Tyler stops walking and picks up.

TYLER

Hello.  Who is this?

PHONE CALL

General Williams, be careful of General Mathew Johnson, as he will harm you.  Goodbye.

Phone hangs up.

TYLER

But, wait, one more thing…  [Aside] This anonymous caller has sparked my fears, so I shall be very wary of Johnson. 

Tyler Williams continues walking with bodyguards.

Tyler’s phone rings. Tyler stops walking and picks up.

TYLER

Hello.  Who is this?

PHONE CALL

General Williams, my message for you is that you will never be harmed by a living person in your career. Goodbye.

Phone hangs up.

TYLER

[Aside] Is this so?  Ha, Johnson, you will not be able to take my position from me!

Tyler Williams continues walking with bodyguards.

Tyler’s phone rings again.  Tyler stops walking.

TYLER

Another phone call?  This must have been what the merchants had meant.

Tyler picks up phone.

TYLER

Hello.  Who is this?

PHONE CALL

General Williams, the only time you will be harmed in your career will be when the US Military bombs your Baghdad military base.  Goodbye.

Phone hangs up.

TYLER

But how is this possible.  The military base is owned by the United States Military, so why would they bomb it?  So I shall never be harmed.

Enter Christopher Michaels in an armed vehicle.  Christopher exits armed vehicle and salutes Tyler.

CHRISTOPHER

Reporting to duty, sir.

TYLER

At ease, General Michaels.  Why have you come?

CHRISTOPHER

I have brought dire news, sir.  General Johnson has run from Iraq to Pakistan, with the aim of going to a Taliban base. 

TYLER

Gone to Pakistan?

CHRISTOPHER

Yes sir.

TYLER

[Aside] Why would he go to a Taliban base?  Is he plotting with the Taliban against me? It is too dangerous for a general, but he is my sworn enemy.  Danger to him is support to me.  From now on, until the end of my life, I won’t hesitate on any action, no matter how awful it is.  My first shall be to kill his assistant, Lieutenant General Barry, who will know exactly what Johnson is up to.  Killing him will surely bring Johnson back here to see what happened, and then I will kill him to eliminate his threat for once and for all. 

They exit.