Ravished

Ravished, a longer three-character (2m,1w) one-act, takes place in the present “or not far from there,” on a simple unit set:  DR a small wooden table with a vase full of red roses, R a bed, DL a wooden table with chairs, DC a glow like the embers of a fire, UCL some sense of a garden.  Lights come up on Lucrece, sitting on the bed, with Tarquin drinking at the DL table and Coll standing RC looking at Lucrece who is looking at Tarquin.  Lucrece speaks in phrases of a man making love to her and Coll asks her what happened to her.  She asks if the friend he sent to her, John Tarquin, has talked about her.  Coll denies sending Tarquin to their home, but Tarquin speaks to Lucrece, saying that he promised Coll that he would come to see her.  He says Coll spoke of her, of missing her.  Lucrece wonders why Coll never wrote to her, and Tarquin says that personal communications are forbidden, that he and Coll work for a private company that does things for the government.  He asks Lucrece the color of her eyes, and as they look at each other Coll says he doesn’t understand what Tarquin was doing with her.  He says there was an explosion and that he was unconscious for a while and that there are memories he can’t retrieve, but he does not understand why he would have made Tarquin swear to come and see her.  He says that whatever Tarquin told her was a lie.  Lucrece then turns to Tarquin and asks him to tell her exactly what Coll said about her.  Tarquin says that Coll showed him a photograph of her standing in a hallway by some roses and that he and Coll would sit by the embers of a fire at night, waiting, and Coll would talk about her.  Coll has moved downstage and sits by the fire, telling Tarquin about Lucrece, and Tarquin tells her that Coll was terrified that he would forget her and described her over and over so he would not forget.  Coll describes how he made love to Lucrece and Tarquin tells her that they were in a dangerous and unnatural situation and that Coll needed to talk.  She asks him why he came to see her and then asks Coll the same question.  Coll denies sending Tarquin but admits that he might have said things he doesn’t remember.  Tarquin asks Coll what he thinks Lucrece does when Coll is not there and says he envies Coll’s certainty about her.  Lucrece asks Tarquin if he liked Coll and Tarquin says that Coll had some weaknesses, that people who talk too much and who don’t pay attention and who want things they can’t have are weak.  He tells her that she wants him to touch her because she spends her nights alone but that it’s all a game, violence and lechery, and nothing satisfies.  Coll tells Lucrece that he dreamed she was naked in bed with Tarquin and woke up wanting to kill somebody. He repeats that he never sent Tarquin to her.  Lucrece tells Tarquin that she doesn’t believe anything he has told her, that he is some random maniac.  Tarquin shows her a photograph of herself and Coll tells Tarquin that she is sometimes too trusting, leaving doors and windows unlocked and walking around naked with the blinds up.  Coll tries to talk with her but feels she is waiting for some lover who will be more exciting.  Lucrece tells Tarquin that something is wrong with him and asks if the place where he has been has changed him.  She asks him if he thinks he has some kind of power over her and says that men love war because it gives them the power of life and death over women.  Coll then asks Lucrece what has happened to her and she tells him that he has come home to somebody else:  “This is the other side of the looking glass,” she says.  “You’ve cast yourself in this role, so pay attention.  Learn your lines.  All the dead people in the audience are watching.”  Coll thinks Tarquin did something to her, but she says that nothing happened, that Tarquin stayed in the guest room.  When Coll asks Tarquin why he went to see Lucrece Tarquin replies that Coll asked him to go.  He says that he and Lucrece talked in the garden until it began to rain.  Time perspective switches back to Lucrece asking Tarquin about the lack of rain in the place where he was and he says he is a kind of messenger.  Tarquin tells Coll that Lucrece may not be sane and Coll then tells her that he has seen Tarquin.  She says Coll is stupid for believing Tarquin when he said nothing happened when he visited her.  Coll asks if Tarquin raped her; she asks Coll if “a man like that” would just stop in to say hello and wonders if Coll is excited by the idea of Tarquin forcing her.  Coll takes a gun from his bag and turns to Tarquin, telling him he’s going to kill him.  Tarquin says he should go back to Lucrece and ask her what happened, and whatever she says will be the truth.  Coll begs Lucrece to tell him the truth and she repeats that nothing happened.  Coll leaves and we hear a loud gunshot, then birdsong.  Tarquin asks Lucrece if she is all right.  She wonders if he wants to come home with her after the funeral so she can kill him.  “Well,” he says, “you can try.”

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