My short story adapted into a play.
Somewhere in time and space, some sort of neutrality, maybe it's an afterlife or a parallel universe. One thing is for certain, it is a place absent of good and evil. (Use a box to indicate a ledge for the performer to sit on.)
The Youth (Could be a boy or girl)
The lights open up to the YOUTH sitting on the box, pondering something he see's out in the distance.
YOUTH: Calm visions yet exotic, Magenta with a swirl, bright orange and a brown and-oh but yellow mixing fairly with the blue, bright-eyed red as dead as my head when I try to think of what to do. Everywhere that greenish purple sucking up the air, as the cosmic clash of lime and time keep seeping through my pores as if to cry out and say just what am I doing here? Can I think of a solution, to which I may water down this oversaturation of my problem? Or will it stay there, forever in my gaze, dried on this canvas that I call my existence. The browns the oranges, the yellow spotted greens, they all seem too much, I NEED TO THINK. But oh the grays they slosh and the purples they bubble, black winds and spotted turquoise lift up the warm tickle-me-pink. Do I want it, do I fear it, do I hate it, do I love it why I oh why have I been so indecisive all this time? God, If you can hear me, If you really exist, tell me why I have such doubts, why I have such problems, why do you not guide me here and now and let me remove all apprehension from my soul? (A pause) I guess I'll never know.
The lights dim as the YOUTH sinks its head down. A moment passes as they light up again. This time a MANNEQUIN comes up from behind the YOUTH, it is holding three silver orbs, it is curious, the MANNEQUIN sits and observes the YOUTH a little bit before it sets the orbs down and begins to speak.
MANNEQUIN: Excuse me.
YOUTH: Huh? Who's that?
MANNEQUIN: Over here young one.
YOUTH: Oh, hello there. (Looks forward again)
MANNEQUIN: Might I ask what you're doing here all by your lonesome?
MANNEQUIN: Yes I can see that but how long have you been sitting here on this ledge?
YOUTH: I can't remember.
MANNEQUIN: Why is that?
YOUTH: I've been sitting, thinking on this ledge for so long, I don't even remember when I got here. What's a Mannequin doing here anyway?
MANNEQUIN: That's not really important, I'd like to know what thoughts have you in such a quandary?
YOUTH: I asked you first.
MANNEQUIN: No technically I asked you.
YOUTH: What's it to you anyway? You're of no help to me.
MANNEQUIN: Well excuse me for asking a simple question! I was just passing by is all, you assume too much.
YOUTH: No I...sorry I didn't mean it like that. Look (Points toward the audience) you see those colors over there?
MANNEQUIN: Indeed. Quite a sight.
YOUTH: All I can think about, all that I ever think about now and have been since as long as I can remember is if I should face those colors I see before me, or should I stay here on this ledge and remain in my safe neutrality. (Looks at MANNEQUIN) And that's it.
MANNEQUIN: Indeed? Is it really that hard of a decision?
YOUTH: I don't expect you to understand.
MANNEQUIN: And what's that supposed to mean?
YOUTH: No, I-I didn't mean it like that either it's just...look, I understand there is nothing wrong with my current situation, but (pause) there is nothing good as well. It's weird, I have a calm sensation right now, a safe one, here in this neutrality. I look and I see those colors in the distance and I feel so beyond them (makes a dismissing waving gesture) But at the same time a very small part of me does wish to experience those colors, to mix with them, to blend. And that, stranger, is my problem. And that is why I have remained a spectator in this for as long as I can remember
The MANNEQUIN sits next to the YOUTH.
MANNEQUIN: What's there to ponder about? Just jump right in and mix with those colors! If you haven't experienced any of it then now is as good a time as any!
YOUTH: (points in one direction) Look, I can see the best of what those colors offer, this is true. (points in another direction) But I can also see the worst. I dread to fall into there, that would be an existence of misery.
MANNEQUIN: But you do long for that bluish-yellow over there right?
YOUTH: Yes but-
MANNEQUIN: Look I will not lie to you, the chances of becoming mixed up with the bluish-yellow are just the same as the reddish brown that you fear so much, as are your chances of mixing with all the other combinations in the spectrum. But I would urge you to go forth regardless of your chances because sitting here is rather boring don't you think? Wouldn't it be more interesting and memorable to mix it up with all those colors? And yes you may fall astray unfortunately (puts hand on the YOUTH'S shoulder) but what will it matter in the end? Those colors over there are temporary at best while this...neutrality is (pause) eternal. No matter how clean or messy things get once you return here it is all washed away, diluted, cleansed from your very being and you will have only the fading memories of what used to occupy your canvas. (MANNEQUIN points toward YOUTH'S chest) And besides it's not as if you can't return there after you come back. I say take the gamble as many times as you can, bring back as much colorful experience as your mind will allow.
YOUTH: You're really passionate about this huh?
MANNEQUIN takes its hand off the YOUTH'S shoulder and proceeds to walk around the YOUTH looking in all directions.
MANNEQUIN: It's very boring here, seriously, just look at this place. It could do with a bit of color , even indirectly. Just some form of stimuli would be wonderful in this boring eternal neutrality, don't you agree?
YOUTH: I haven't given it much thought in that regard.
MANNEQUIN: No, no you haven't. You've only been thinking of yourself this whole time, never paying any attention on what's around you.
YOUTH: Why don't you just go then? Experience it for yourself if you're so passionate.
MANNEQUIN: Are you seriously asking me that question? You do realize that I am made of wood? A construct of higher beings such as yourself? A bloody Mannequin! I mean the colors would interact with me yes but I would feel nothing regardless as I am a permanent part of this neutrality and thus I cannot interact with anything out there. You on the other hand, you are sentient, you are complex, you have a power I will never have! You, my dear young one have the potential-no-the privilege of being able to matter out there. That's got to count for something right?
YOUTH: What the hell are you talking about? You seem just as sentient as me, seeing as we're having this conversation.
MANNEQUIN: Young one, you're dodging the question. We both know that this neutrality allows for impossibilities, that's obvious. But what I mean is that in that spectrum over there, certain laws are given to everyone, and everyone has to follow them no matter what, it is impossible to break them, you have yours and I have mine. But mine are, well a little constricting in comparison. We are not all made the same unfortunately. Honestly I envy you.
YOUTH: You don't have to envy me, not while I'm so conflicted.
MANNEQUIN: Don't give yourself so much credit. I don't envy your problem, I envy your potential. (pause) Look, the way I see it you have three possibilities not two. And within one of those lies three more.
The MANNEQUIN picks up the orbs and presents them to the YOUTH.
MANNEQUIN: You can sit in the neutrality forever, you can jump right in and mix with those colors, or you may take one of these orbs with you into the spectrum. You see my young one, each one of these orbs holds a specific property, one orb will attract all the bright colors and nothing more, one attracts an equal amounts of colors across the spectrum, and another attracts all the dark colors you will ever come across.
YOUTH: Which one has the good property?
MANNEQUIN: The good property?
YOUTH: Well they're all identical, how can I tell?
MANNEQUIN: I haven't a clue myself! Ha ha ha ha! Besides I didn't make them. Oh wait, I see, you're apprehensive of taking the one that attracts dark colors right? Because you believe dark is bad for some reason right?
YOUTH: Well, yea, yea I do.
MANNEQUIN: And why? Who told you that? Who's to say that the bright colors are bad and the dark are good?! You don't know anything for sure, you just made those assumptions on your own without any firsthand experience. That's very immature of you. (pause) Look it's not as if I'm forcing these on you anyway, like I said before I am only presenting you with options. These are merely handicaps, crutches, unfair advantages, whatever you want to call them, I only thought that they might be an interesting option.
YOUTH: How would I know if they would even work out there?
MANNEQUIN: You would have to take my word on it, and I have no reason to lie to you. (sighs) But I can see that you have no love of other opinions so I guess I'll leave you be. Such a shame, it would have been so nice to see a change around here.
The MANNEQUIN leaves. The lights go dark. A moment passes and the lights turn on again, the YOUTH is standing on the ledge now, the orbs placed neatly beside the box.
YOUTH: A hundred voices, a thousand options, all swimming in my head. A cacophony of motivations snuffed out by rationally irrational fears. What does that even mean? Am I losing grip on my own logic now? Did I even have logic in the first place? Damn that mannequin for making me feel even more confused. How long has it been since he left? It's so hard to keep track of time around here. Damn it! Damn that mannequin! It only presented me with more options, but I need more than that, I need guidance!!! Is there a right way or a wrong way? Damn this neutrality! This eternally boring place where nothing ever happens. And to think that I was so beyond all those colors over there, what a fool I am, so weak, so weak! Is it this weakness that is making me indecisive or is it my indecisiveness that makes me wea-(pause) or is it a cycle?
The MANNEQUIN appears stage right leaning against a wall, its words go unheard by the YOUTH, instead being aimed at the audience.
YOUTH: It is isn't it! I've been caught in a cycle of uncertainty! But how to break it?
YOUTH: Maybe all I need is some humility. Where did that word come from? Doesn't matter I guess, it's just- just-just who am I to pass judgment on such colors, to feel beyond them, when I cannot validate my own actions?
YOUTH: If I were to truly have some sort of respectable judgment and decision making I would need a basis for which to judge and decide things on. And the only place that would provide such an opportunity is-(looks out towards the audience)
MANNEQUIN: There you go!
YOUTH: That silly piece of wood was right all along. He was right, he was so right.
The YOUTH looks at the orbs.
YOUTH: No, no handicaps, no special exceptions. If I'm going to do this I'll do it right! Yea that's it, I decide that this choice is the right one! It is, it has to be!
MANNEQUIN: You can do it!
YOUTH: I'm still apprehensive as hell but, something has to change, it just has to! I'm tired of being tired, this time my canvas will fill, it will fill like it never has before, this time I come out head first and screaming and that's all there is to it!
The YOUTH jumps off the box and lights go out.