Eleven (A short Play)

By vinylpoetclassics All Rights Reserved ©

Drama / Children

Chapter 1


CHARACTERS

Eluve, Iya, Husband

FADE IN::

EXT . IYA’S HUT.. NIGHT..

Two women share a conversation.. One of them is visibly distraught and dissolutioned,, her name is ELUVE.. She is 11 . The other woman isn’t.. She is IYA.. She is in her (5os)).. IYA’S hut is minimally lit by a three - stone fire place situated right at the center of the hut.. There is a pot cooking on the fire place.. ELUVE is lying on a brown straw mat on the floor.. IYA sits on a tree stem watching the fire burn away.. She stands up and starts pacing . She exits the hut and comes back holding something..

DISSOLVE TO::

FADE IN:: A wide shot of IYA standing between Eluve’s legs.. She gives Eluve a square foam to bite on.. She is holding a curved wire and a wipe..

IYA

Take this …

put it between your teeth..

Bite on it if you must..

It will hurt,,

but … you have nothing to worry about..

I got you..

I can do this..

Let me … let me take care of you..

It will hurt a little

and I will wipe a little

( ELUVE TAKES THE MOUTH GAG WITH SOME RESERVATION.. SHE STICKS IT IN HER MOUTH.. SHE STARTS WAI LING.. TEARS RUN DOWN HER EYES ONTO THE MAT.. I YA STICKS THE CURVED WIRE IN HER AND BEGINS TO SEW UP HER TEAR.. SHE TOO SUBS AS SHE SOWS . )

IYA (CCONT’D))

… it will hurt a little

and I will wipe a little..

Hurt a little,,

wipe a little..

My voice ( her voice breaks ) … listen to it..

I am here..

Hurt a little,,

Wipe a little..

DISSOLVE TO :

FADE IN:: Focused medium close - up of IYA doing a monologue..

IYA (CCONT’D))

I am woman..

I love being a woman..

My long bushy kinky hair,,

my wide hips,, ovaries,,

my woman parts,,

those monthly menstrual cycles,,

my baby making abilities..

Me in all my pink and soft and delicate subtleties..

I love being a woman,, the mother of man and woman alike..

Being uniquely blessed and chosen to harbor gods greatest gift to mankind,, children..

I love being a woman even in the pain of child birt h..

The enigma I am to men,,

this body I reside in and its wondrous abilities..

My strengths and resilience and its growing powers …

The point is,,

I love being a woman

but I loathe being a woman for what he does to me..

I loathe being a woman for the bits and pieces he has taken from me

I loathe being a woman for each night he puts his hands on me against my will,,

I loathe him for the sons and daughters I have lost because of him,,

I loathe him for not seeing me,,

for the ornament I have become,,

fading away to du st with nothing left to call my own,,

with no one left to call my own

the scars I wear

the sacrifices made

the hardship I have endured

the looks I get form the other women,, all of it..

I never recovered from what he did to me that night,, 41 - years ago..

I feel no sensation,,

no dexterity

( in tears )

It disappeared

Everything stopped..

I stopped..

I lost me..

I lost all of me that night …

I love being a woman

but I hate being a woman because of him..

( IYA WALKS AWAY FROM BETWEEN ELUVE’S LEGS.. ELUVE PULLS DOWN H ER GOWN.. IYA PULLS HER UP FROM THE MAT AND USHERS HER TO A TREE - STEM CLOSE TO THE FIRE - SIDE.. SHE SITS ON IT AND IYA DISAPPEARS .))

DISSOLVE TO::

TWO MINUTES LATER

( IYA REAPPEARS HOLDING A LEAVES - FILLED CALABASH IN HER RIGHT HAND .))

INT.. IYA’S HUT.. NIGH T .

IYA takes a seat by the fire - side next to Eluve.. She puts the calabash between her legs and begins to squeeze the leaves it contained..

ELUVE

Thank you……

IYA

She speaks … ( she gives Eluve what looks like a smile )

IYA (CCONT’D))

( softly )

You are the new one

ELUVE

Eluve . ( she says her name faintly as she watches the burning fire )

IYA

Eluve,, the river that floweth south..

( hesitant )

Yes , the new one..

Yet another one to add up to his list of …

( SHE IS INTERUPTED BY ELUVE )

ELUVE

Yet another one,, me??

IYA

Dear child , ( she pauses ) do you see any other person in this room??

yes,, you.. I don’t keep names it is of no use here.. You all come and go awe so quickly.. Why should an old woman go through the trouble of learning names when you were brought here to compete,, take my place and push me out??

ELUVE

I just…… ( but she stops )

IYA (CCONT’D))

I… I was his firs t . I have been here much longer than you can imagine,, seen many moons and suns.. I have seen maidens come and go.. Some died during child - birth.. They were all still babies themselves when they got here.. I was a child too when I got here,, you know.. And now I am fading a way into

oblivion... he calls me ornamental.. Yes,, that’s what I have become..

ELUVE

You too , you came here at 11??

IYA (CCONT’D))

T his girl MOJOKO,, she was 12.. She was brought here screaming against her will.. She fought.. She tired.. Nothing.. Absolutely nothing could be done.. It was too late.. An exchange had been made.. Cows and goats and cattles for an innocent young virgin.. That was he r price.. That’s all she was worth.. That’s the price he paid for her head,, for yours,, for mine.. And now,, he will have your body like he had hers,, like he had mine.. MOJOKO,, she killed herself.. I saw her depart.. She whispered and said “IIya,, I no go fit do dis moon after moon again and again.. I no fit give yi pikin when me I still dey pikin … how did I get here,, how did I end up here,, why??”” (ssilence a pot cooks)) Her death changed me.. Before that I didn’t know what or who I was..

ELUVE

What are you??

IYA

I am wom a n.. Y ou , you are woman too..

ELUVE

Yes we are , women … ( she hesitates and then says

softly ) What a fucking curse!!

DISSOLVE TO :

BEGIN FLASHBACK::

FOURTY MINUTES BEFORE

INT.. HUSBANDS HUT.. N IGHT..

A red clay hut stands majestically tall into the heavens.. A man lifts open a straw mat to usher a girl into his hut.. They both get in.. The hut is lit by a kerosene lamp..

HUSBAND

Young,, beautiful … you are truly my bride.. You are..

ELUVE

I do not know .

( SHE STANDS WITH HER RIGHT THUMB IN HER M OUTH )

HUSBAND

You don’t know what??

ELUVE

I don’t know,, sir ( she says faintly and then starts tearing up )

HUSBAND

No tears,, child.. This is a happy place.. All of this belongs to you.. You can have them all,, the huts,, the cattles.. I am sure your Mame told you what this is.. I am your husband,, your master.. You belong to me.. You are my wife..

ELUVE

But… I am a child,, sir ( faintly ) I don’t know about wifely duties .

HUSBAND

I will show you.. Come here.. ( he gestures it to her with his left hand )

( SHE STAYS PUT AND DO ESN’T MOVE AN INCH.. SHE STARTS CRYING AND SO BBING IN FEAR OF TH IS UNKOWN TERRITORY SHE HAD GO TTEN HERSELF INTO..HHE STARTS WALKING TOWARDS HER DIRECTION )

ELUVE

No sir,, no … don’t do this,, I beg you.. I beg.. ( she cries )

( HE WALKS UP TO HER AND GRABS HER BY THE WRIST.. SHE RETALIATES AND TRIES TO LOSEN HIS FRIP.. HE SPANKS HER AND SHE FALLS TO THE GROUND UNCONCIOUS )

CUT TO::

( ELUVE WAKES UP ALONE IN A POOL OF HER OWN BLOOD AND TORN GENITALIA.. SHE IS STILL BLEEDING.. SHE SCREAMS AND CALLS FOR HELP.. NOT TOO LONG AFTER HER PLEAS,, IYA ARRIVES.. SHE TAKES ELUVE BY THE WAIST,, SUPPORTS HER ON HER SHOULDERS AND TOGETHER THEY LEAVE HUSBANDS HUT .))

END.. FLASHBACK::

CUT TO::

EXT.. IYA’S HUT.. NIGH T..

The two women arrive at IYA’s hut . A pot stands on three - stones in the middle of the room.. The hut is empty except

for two stems which have been worked into chairs and a mat on the floor..

IYA

Sit here child .

Eluve takes a sea t but she still bleeds . Iya disappears.. She returns with a calabash of herbs.. She drops a few leaves into the cooking pot in the middle of the room.. Then,, she squeezes and che ws the rest and gives Eluve the charf to pla ce between her thighs..

IYA (CCONT’D))

Take this,, put it between your thighs.. It will burn but it helps.. You need it.. Tomorrow,, I will take you to where I harvested the leaves.. ( touching her hand she says ) You shall be needing them more often than you anticip ate until your body gets used to his body..

ELUVE

Body.. This body.. My body will get used to his ( her voice breaks ) … body??

IYA

I don’t know,, child.. But after a while you will become numb to it . A routine.. It will become a norm.. Just another thing you must d o to get through daily life.. And then you will stop feeling.. When you get to that place,, you will know you are about to get used to it.. You will know your body is beginning to …

( ELUVE CHIMES IN AND FISNISHES IYS’S DIAL OGUE .))

ELUVE

Get used to his body……

IY A

Yes.. You will know then..

You will know when you cross that line..

ELUVE

Did you,, stop feeling??

IVA

Yes.. No.. yes…… I think I did..

( ELUVE LOOKS AWAY.. SH E LOOKS IN TO THE FI RE.. SHE DRIFTS .))

IYA

You must pretend you like it.. Pretend you like what he does when he touches you.. Pretend you care.. Pretend you are not afraid of him.. It will keep you alive.. It will make him treat you gently.. It will make him not hit you again.. Pretend child,, pretend.. It is what you do when you stop feeling.. That is what I did in my day.. That is how I survived..

ELUVE

Pretend I like it and survive or not pretend,, fight and die.. ( looking up to Iya,, she says softly ) What is worse??

FADE OUT :

THE END

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