1 From First-Person Shooter, 17, 17, and have been friends since middle school. Before middle school, however Charlie used to bully Tad. In this scene, Charlie has snapped and is trying to enlist his friend in a school shooting. You hear about Garrett? No. The Orioles drafted him. Really? Offered him something like eight hundred thousand dollars as a signing bonus. Just goes to show: act like a jerk, take steroids, abuse girls life works out great for you. Terrible. It s a shame, you know? All the crap he s pulled? It s like he has impunity. His actions have no consequences. I know. It s not even that, his actions are endorsed. Right. This is supposed to be our education, you know? This is what they re teaching us. That there are certain people who are glorified, ignorant people who are glorified, and the rest of us, who are forced to slave and live by a different set of rules.
2 Ridiculous. In the meantime you can t even afford to go to college. And you didn t even get into college. I mean what kind of travesty is it that your family can t even afford to send you to the school of your choice, but had you been able to shoot a basketball or some nonsense you d be fine. Is that the point? Is that what we re doing here? You can t think about that Charlie - What are we even capable of doing about it? I don t know. I guess we just roll over, right? This is how it works. You ll take it and you ll like it. It sucks. You re not going to do anything about it, right? What do you mean? Like if there was some way to get back at them you wouldn t even be capable of doing that. What are you talking about? You ever think about it?
3 Think about what? You know what I m talking about. No I don t. Yes you do. We were just talking about it. What were we talking about? That stuff about the electricity. I was just kidding around. I mean you talk about that What are you talking about? I m just saying that if you had the opportunity for action, would you be the kind of person to take the action? What action are we talking about? What action do you think we re talking about? (Pause.) Are you talking about doing something crazy? You know what s crazy? Getting beaten on again and again, and doing nothing. That s crazy. That s like being a slave, you know? Like let s say if every day at recess someone was bashing your head in, and every day at recess you kept going outside that s crazy. That s the act of an insane person, right?
4 Charlie I don t like talking about this. Or is it crazy to be the person bashing someone in the head? ( can t say anything.) You think I don t know what you did? You think I didn t remember you? That was a long time ago. Just hoping I d forget? Forget that you hit me in the head every day at recess for a month? Forget that you were going along with the rest of them - I was a stupid kid. I m sorry. I m sorry. I thought you were one of the smart ones. I was just going along. I m just saying that when I come up with an idea to stand up for ourselves, you re saying that s crazy, but when it comes to inflicting damage on some geeky awkward fifth grader, you were fine with that. What do you want? I want you to tell me who you are. I m sorry I did that to you. Okay? I don t know I don t know why I went along with them. Yeah you do. I mean yeah I know why I went along I didn t want to be the one getting hit. I was glad that at least I wasn t at the complete bottom there was at least one person beneath me so yeah
5 You enjoyed it. No. You did. Just admit it. I didn t want to do it. Man, I was there. I remember this. I didn t want to. You were usually the first one. That s not true, Charlie. Just admit that I don t understand how you can sit there and try to reframe the past like you weren t a complete jerk and a bully and a tormentor how you can sit there and think your conscience is clear of this stuff Fine. Fine what? Fine I tormented you. And I enjoyed tormenting you. But I was eleven years old. Kids are evil. Right. And now you re civilized. What are you even talking about?
6 I want to show you something. ( goes to a closet door.) You think I don t think about this stuff? You think I don t regret that I was a jerk when I was in fifth grade? Of course I do. But it s survival. You know that. It s become one of them, or be destroyed by them, that s the only equation. And yeah, I made a terrible choice but if you had the opportunity you would ve done the same thing. No no no. You would ve. If it was me getting hit every day, you would ve breathed a sigh of relief and joined in. ( returns with a case. He sets it down on the table.) What is that? ( opens it. The assault rifle is not visible.) Jesus. This was my Dad s. He was a big hunter. Why are you even showing this to me? (Pause.) Charlie. Why are you showing this to me? You want to get back at them? Get back at who? Everybody. No, man. This is sick. You keep saying things like that. I mean this is sick.
7 It s just a weapon. I mean that s the point of a gun, right? Before guns, it was brute physical strength. The guy who fought best ruled the day. I don t even know what you re talking about And so if you were pathetic or skinny or weak or all those things they hated about you you had no choice. Right? Eleven-year old you had no choice. There was no option. They were bigger, they were stronger, and as a result, they were in charge. But with something like this I m not even talking about this, Charlie. Yes you are. You re still here. You need to get help. That s why I m talking to you. What? I want you to help me. Like talk? (Pause) I m not I want you to help me. I want you to come along. This is messed up, man. This is your whole life you re talking about you re gonna go crazy and - You re the only friend I ve got. That s why I m asking you.
8 No. You think they re gonna love you some day? You think magically the world is going to change and someone like you is going to be accepted and loved? You think there s a girl out there that s going to talk to you like a human being? It s Always Going to Be Like This. That s what s messed up. Not me. I m not doing it. They re gonna keep after you every day they re gonna tear off a little chunk of you and you re gonna go along and you re gonna smile, and you re gonna cower in the corner and hope they don t pay too much attention to the freak I gotta go, Charlie. You re going to help me. No I m not and you need to get help. You ve talked about this for years. This was your idea. This was not my idea! I have notes from you. About revenge. That s what we talked about. So? So what? So if the police come I know what to tell them. Wait a minute? What? If the police talk to me, I know what I m going to say. I ll tell them who started it.
9 I didn t start anything. I gotta go, man. ( starts to leave.) Are you sure? Are you sure you didn t start this? To read the rest of the play, visit
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