(Pact was originally staged by the New Theatre in Miami as part of the Miami 1-Acts Festival.)
Even numbered scenes present John and Sam at 8 or 9 years old, odd numbered scenes present them as 17.
(Sam enters and sits. John enters a moment later. Both are dressed simply, casually. Evening, maybe night. They are outside, somewhere.)
Sam: Did you bring yours?
John: Yes, of course.
(Both produce guns, which get placed in the grass between them. Sam deposits backpack on ground.)
Sam: Are you ready?
John: Yes. (Pause) Are you?
Sam: Of course.
(A beat. Sam begins to open pack.)
Sam: John… We’re here. We’re going to do this.
John: I know. I love you.
Sam: I love you too.
(We are in a playground. Empty except for swings and a sand box. Maybe a slide or something.)
(John doesn’t hear, continues to swing. Sam waits a moment, then steps in front of the swing. John stops abruptly, stares.)
John: Um… hi.
Sam: Who are you?
Sam: I’m Sam. I’m new.
John: Umm. New?
Sam: Yeah, new. I just moved in.
John: Oh. I’m old, I guess.
(Both swing. Sam stops; she has noticed a small ant hill in sand box.)
Sam: Oh cool! Look, an anthill!
(John stops swinging, moves toward Sam to look. Both watch. Sam wipes out hill.John is slightly alarmed.)
Sam: It’s so stupid! You can make them all go back in, but they won’t come back out.
(Sam steps on the ant hill. Begins digging with stick.)
Sam: Hey John.
Sam: Do you know what an abortion is?
Sam: Do you?
John: Um… no.
Sam: It’s when they take the baby out before it can be born.
Sam: ‘Cause the mom doesn’t want it.
John: Oh. I think that’s what happened to me.
John: I’m pretty sure I had an abortion. They had to cut me out of my mom’s stomach.
Sam (laughing hard): No no no! That is not an abortion, it’s a C-section. My mom had one too.
John: Oh. I kind of like it though.
John: I kind of like being born early.
Sam (smiling): Me too.
(Both continue stabbing the anthill with sticks.)
(Same set as Scene I. John smiles hugely. Sam reaches for bag.)
Sam: Let’s see what we have, shall we? Six white candles. A lighter. My gun. Yours. One note…
John (Producing his own): Two notes.
Sam: Two notes. A knife. And… (Reaching for wildflowers) two flowers. There, is that everything?
John (takes out pack): Last cigarettes.
Sam: Good. So. Let’s get started.
(Still stabbing ground with sticks)
John: I saw an anthill on TV once that was like ten feet tall.
Sam: That wasn’t an anthill, it was a termite mound.
Sam: But that’s cool though!
Sam: What’s your first memory?
John: um… I don’t know.
Sam: Oh, come on.
John: Um. I remember… my birthday. When I turned four I think. There was a party, with our neighbors. And wait, I remember my back yard. I don’t know.
Sam: Hm. (Silence.) Well?
Sam: Aren’t you going to ask me what mine is?
John: Oh, yeah. What’s yours?
Sam (significantly, almost a whisper): I remember the womb.
Sam: I remember being in my mother. Before I was born. (…) Well, I remember… it was warm, and soft. Like being asleep. And safe. Really safe.
John: Like being asleep.
Sam (Smiling): Yeah.
(Sam produces the cigarettes from pack. Hands cigarette to John. Lights her own, and his.)
John: Do you want to read your note?
Sam: Sure. Yes.
John (smiling): Go ahead.
Sam (Reading): “Goodbye. I loved a few of you. Don’t cry, I won’t hear it. Furthermore, for those of you who will condemn me, you’re right; this is a selfish act. However, there is nothing wrong with that. I’m not doing this for you. Best of luck, assholes. Sam.”
(Pause. John is smiling or laughing.) Well?
John: That’s good. They won’t know what to do with that.
Sam: I hope not. Will you read yours?
John: Yeah! It’s not quite as clear as yours, so I don’t-
Sam (Puts her hand on his kindly.): Relax. Let’s hear it.
A leaf fell lightly
and I caught it as it dropped.
It dried, I was fine.
Now the sigh is all;
Pull in, and push out lazily
of anything here.
Sam: Beautiful. Although I’m not sure it means anything.
John: Hm. Yeah.
John: So do you remember being born?
Sam: No. I wish I did, though.
Sam: But my mom says I cried a lot, so maybe I didn’t like it.
John: Still, though.
Sam: Yeah. I remember when my sister was born though.
John: You have a sister?
Sam (rolling her eyes): Ugh, yeah. She’s the worst, though. I wanted a brother.
John: Hm. I don’t have any siblings.
Sam: Don’t worry, it’s not that great.
John: Really? I’ve kind of always wanted one.
Sam: Hm. Oh, I know!
Sam: I’ll be your sister!
Sam: Wait here, I’ll be right back.
Sam: So. Are you ready?
John: Yeah. (Smiles.) I can’t believe we’re here.
Sam: We are. We’re doing this. (The two embrace, laughing softly, tender. When embrace ends, Susan lines up candles, three before her and three before John.) Okay. (She produces lighter and holds it to her first candle.)
First. I was born on July 12, 1994, after a restful nine months in the womb.
John: (Takes lighter and lights first candle) I was born on December 23, 1994. Removed after eight and a half months. (Lighting second candle.) We met at the swing seven years ago.
Sam (Taking lighter): I was precocious and full of shit. You were just shy and sweet. She picks up last candle and lights it. She pauses and looks up at John, handing him the lighter. There is a beat as it is passed. They kiss passionately but briefly.) I love you. Are you ready?
John: Yes. (They kiss again.) I love you. (Lights his candle. During next moments they each blow out first two candles.)
Sam: And in a moment, we were never born. We never met. (She picks up her gun and holds it to John’s head. John follows suit.)
John: We’re gone.
(They pull their triggers.)
Susan: Okay, I got it.
John: Got what?
Sam (Secretively.): My pocket-knife. Give me your hand.
John: Um… why?
Sam: Just trust me. (He gives her his hand) I’m going to be your blood sister.
John: I don’t-
Sam: There. (She cuts his hand. He reacts in pain and she cuts her own hand as well.) Here. (She holds his hand.) Now repeat after me. Now you are my sister.
John: Now you are my sister.
Sam: And I will be with your forever.
John: And I will be with you forever.
Sam: Good! Now you’re my brother and I will be with you forever. (John smiles.) Let’s go have lunch at my house.