©1985 G. Gordon Gordon
A Farce in Three Unnatural Acts

Scene 1:

(We open in a stone-walled Viennese cellar. The room is dark. A kerosene lantern at one damp end illuminates only a cheap lath chair & table. There is a figure in dark, shapeless clothing seated at the table; he is perched on the edge of his chair, cigarette hanging unlit from the corner of his mouth. He is cradling a long-barreled "broomhandle" Mauser machine pistol equipped with a 50 round "snaildrum" magazine. He is unshaven but serene.)

Gordon: Alone, the sole survivor of a good team. Here in a last ditch hole, like the familiar rat in a trap. (He looks up at the sound of distant hammering.) Now it begins. The representatives of the newly arrived brotherhood of harmony. Yes, here to bring us The Word.

(There is a loud crash overhead as the door caves in and heavy boots rumble back and forth. Gordon gets up and takes the lantern over to the stairway, where he hangs it high.)

Gordon: You hear it now, loud and clear. (He goes back to the far end, where we can vaguely make out his form) The tyrant's boot, the same damned thump that dragged the Jews off to Buchenwald and the sons of Mother Russia to the Gulag. They are the footsteps of fear, the sounds that rousted millions from their weary rest, thence to march off to some utilitarian end. (More thumps, clumps, and crashes as the stormtroopers upstairs trash the building) And even when the blood clots the gutters there's always those few who say, "Go peacefully." (Laughs like a cold, homicidal machine.) Look, all I've got is what lives behind my eyes...that intangible that's me, no matter what. I'm better than those thugs up there, but I can't tell you what to do... (We hear him cock the machine pistol as the upper cellar door begins to boom with the blows) ...all we have is what we are, and perhaps what we can borrow and steal, so... (He moves behind the table as the door splinters and crashes open, and feet come down the stairs) Make you ready! I'll pin the bastards where they stand! And never, never go like a bloody dumb animal! (The last is a scream, and on the final word he begins shooting at the figures on the stairway. His first two bursts bring a half dozen collapsing down the stairs and dying.) Fish in a fuckin' barrel, come on down you smarmy bastards, and see what the Doktor has for you!

(There is an incredible exchange of automatic weapons fire, slugs howling everywhere, ripples of muzzleflashes, but suddenly there's a cessation from Gordon's end of the cellar. The stormtroopers move slowly down the stairs. Their officer takes the miraculously unbroken lantern from the hook and holds it up high. We can see a dark shape, huddled on the floor in a big lump against the back wall. One of the soldiers fires a short burst into the shape... it doesn't move. They lower their guns a little and inch slowly forward, all six survivors.

There is a sudden scream of joy as off in the darkest corner the Mauser lets loose and cuts every last one of them down in a fuselade that lasts at least twenty seconds -- obviously a full drum. At last, there is silence and darkness. Then a figure moves forward to the front of the stage... boots, baggy shapeless slacks, and a sweater covered by a derelict's gaping ankle-length overcoat. Gordon comes to the very edge of the stage and laughs at the audience.)

Gordon (punctuating everything with waves of the machine pistol): So, you thought it was all over... just another hopeless gesture, hey? You see? You were suckered, too. You thought that because there were more of them and they had more guns, it was curtains for The Kid. Oh, grow up, goddamnit! It's a participatory universe, you can't just sit back and let them kill you -- you have to pick a side, choose a role. So the next time They come at you, just shoot the bastards, like I did. Helluva lot more fun than dying... (lights the unlit cigarette)