Scene Detail

"If I'm killed in the line of duty, three Marines will come to my parents' house."

From: Leave, or The Surface of the World
2 Characters
Gender Age Character Name
Male 20s NICHOLAS
Male 20s SETH
 
Setup:
Seth is a young Marine serving during wartime. Nicholas is his civilian longtime companion who waits back home. In addition to the strain on their relationship caused by distance and absence, they must hide their love for one another behind code words and secret identities because of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the United States military.

This scene is a flashback to just before Seth was deployed for the first time after completing boot camp.

The full script is available at

http://www.lulu.com/shop/matthew-everett/leave/paperback/product-14933121.html

part of Matthew's online script store

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/matthewaeverett
 

Scene

Copyright 2011 by Matthew A. Everett








Emphasis shifts as --

NICHOLAS and SETH appear, both in civilian clothes.

A moment from their past.


SETH

Take my hand.

NICHOLAS

In public? Aren't you the rebel.

SETH

I'm home from boot camp. They're about to ship me out for the first time. Fuck Big Brother.

NICHOLAS

This is going to be one of those We need to have this conversation, but I really don't want to have this conversation kind of conversations, isn't it?

SETH

Well, up to now, we could put it off. We were more concerned with me just getting through boot camp.

NICHOLAS

Alive.

SETH

Done, and done.

NICHOLAS

So now we get to talk about all the other ways you could die, since that's pretty much a permanent part of your job description going forward.

SETH

You will be spared a visitor in a Marine uniform showing up on your doorstep with bad news.

NICHOLAS

And how do I manage to avoid that one?

SETH

You're not next of kin. That'd be my Mom and Dad.

NICHOLAS

Right. Because as far as the military's concerned, I don't exist.

SETH

So if I'm killed in the line of duty --

NICHOLAS tries to pull away.

SETH holds NICHOLAS hand tighter.


SETH (contd)

-- we only have to get through this once.

NICHOLAS

OK.

SETH

If I'm killed in the line of duty, three Marines will come to my parents' house.

NICHOLAS

Three.

SETH

Two come to the door, one stays in the van and keeps the motor running.

NICHOLAS

In case they decide to hold up a bank later?

SETH

They're unarmed.

NICHOLAS

I should hope so.

SETH

So the only option, if something goes bad, is to retreat.

NICHOLAS

What would go bad?

SETH

Would you want to be the one to tell my mother that her only son has been killed?

NICHOLAS

I see your point.

SETH

People don't always take the news well.

NICHOLAS

So the whole don't kill the messenger thing...?

SETH

Sometimes the messenger needs to duck.

NICHOLAS

Well, I never thought there'd be an upside to having no legal standing as a couple, but...

SETH

You don't have to fear other Marines. If my Mom shows up, unannounced, looking like a wreck, then you should be worried.

NICHOLAS

So I guess she and I should get a system down, so we don't inadvertently freak each other out on a regular basis by accident.

SETH

Might be a good idea, yeah.

NICHOLAS

Horrible conversation over?

SETH

Horrible conversation over.

SETH and NICHOLAS walk off together.






Copyright 2011 by Matthew A. Everett

© Matthew A Everett
www.matthewaeverett.com