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BLACK CLOUDS
by Shahbaz MS

TO RICHIE

RICHARD
(1993- 1998)

SCENE 1 THE JUNGLE
A jungle, the kind of setting used in children’s plays. All animal
characters should wear cartoonish outfits and will walk on two legs

Enter the Lion
LION: (scratching the back of his head) Where the fuck is everybody?
Enter the Tiger
TIGER: Man, What you doing still here?
LION: what do you mean, this – this is my cave!
TIGER: you didn’t know?
LION: know what?
TIGER: everyone left. The whole forest is now up in the Northern Hill. I
actually, I only came back to get some of my stuff.
LION: what? You serious?
TIGER: yeah man, how come you didn’t know? It was like last week.
LION: wait, wait, wait. Why is everyone up there on that hill? What the
fuck are they all doing there?
TIGER: there’s a flood coming. There was meeting, someone suggested that
we go to the Northern Hill and stay there and, we all agreed
LION: what the hell do you mean a flood is coming? It’s been months since
anyone has seen a single cloud. It’s practically a drought here!!!
TIGER: well, the Old Gorilla predicted it would come
LION: the Old Gorilla? Man that old dude is nuts. His predictions and shit
are all such bullshit, remember that that ‘prediction’ about the volcano
last year?
TIGER: that was just once; he was actually right about the earthquake and
the landslide. They both happened exactly like he said they would
LION: He was just lucky maybe. I don’t know. How does he know all this?
Huh? You just bought his, his prediction? Did you even ask how he knew it?
TIGER: man, some animals can actually sense disasters way ahead, it’s an
actual documented scientific fact.

LION: what about us? How come we don’t ‘sense’ these impending disasters?
TIGER: look man, I ain’t got the time for this. I gotta get back soon, you
do what you like. Peace
Tiger walks away
LION:

wait, where you going?

TIGER: to my cave, I need to get my weed. Left it all there when we left.
LION: uhm..Well, could you sell me some? I am all out
TIGER: sure, but the price is double now
LION: what?
TIGER: I’m sorry. It’s a supply and demand kind of thing. Supply is short
right now and the demand- I can’t really help it
LION: fuck, give me for a 20 then. It’s all I got. Haven’t had even a
fucking drink for a week.
TIGER: I don’t have it on me right now, I told you, it’s in my cave. I
need to go get it
LION: alright, I’ll go with you then
Lion and Tiger exit
lights fade out and fade in immediately
enter Lion and Tiger smoking
TIGER: so you are not coming? You’re staying here? Alone?
LION: aah, I don’t know man. I’m pretty bored with nobody being here and
all. Is Bear up there? Is he there too? That bastard
TIGER: yeah he’s there. Everyone’s there, except you
LION: that son of a bitch. He didn’t even tell me when he left
TIGER: I think, I think you weren’t even here that day
LION: when was it again? Maybe it was that day I went to see my Mom
TIGER: must’ve been it. Someone would have called you. I mean you’d have
known right.
LION: I think this whole flood prediction thing is a load of crap

TIGER: why would the Gorilla do that? I mean, what’s in it for him? And
anyway who’s going to take a chance here. Besides its quite fun up there.
It’s like a summer camp or something. Every night we all sit around a fire
and tell stories and sing songs and everything.
LION: well… (rubs the back of his head) I guess I’ll come. I just gotta
bring my stuff. I’ll go get it, you wait right here
TIGER: cool, I’ll be right here and - hurry
LION: yeah, yeah I’ll be back in a flash
exit Lion
Tiger sits down on the floor, takes out a phone and starts playing
something on it.
30 seconds or so pass in real time
Enter the Lion with a few bags
LION: I’m sorry I took so long. I couldn’t find the damn computer. It was
under my pillow.
TIGER: oh it was fine, so you all set then? Let’s go? Huh?
LION: yeah, let’s go
SCENE 2 THE MOUNTAIN
The same jungle setting used in Scene 1 is sufficient for this scene as
well. There’s a big tent where all the animals are temporarily staying.
There’s a rabbit reading a book, a Bear and a Fox playing Chess, an Old
Gorilla on an armchair smoking a pipe. A Kangaroo, a Bison, and a few more
of any random animals. All engaged with something
Enter Lion and Tiger
Every head turns to their direction
BEAR: (walks up tp the Lion with outstretched arms) Lion!!Ah come here you
bastard! God, where have you been man?
LION: Don’t- Just Don’t talk to me!!!
BEAR: what’s wrong? (Looks at Tiger and back at the Lion. Arms still
outstretched)
LION: why didn’t you look for me when you all left?

BEAR: we looked for you everywhere! Called you and everything, you didn’t
pick up
LION: and you just gave up? What did you think, I was dead?
BEAR: come on now, it’s not uncommon for you to just disappear for weeks
on end. We thought, you were gone someplace or something.
There’s a brief silence
LION: whatever, my phone was broke. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry

I was just upset was all,

Lion and Bear hug
Fox: (to the Bison and Kangaroo, Lion can’t hear) what the fuck is that
son of a bitch doing here? How did he know we were here? We’re running low
on food already!!!
Kangaroo: Damn that Tiger! Why the fuck did he bring thatFox: hush, hush- he’s coming this way
Lion walks towards the Fox, Bison and Kangaroo
LION: heeey, Fox! Kangaroo! Bison my man! You little fuckers. I missed you
all. Thought I was dead didn’t ya?
Fox: (unemotionally) what’s up? You alright
LION: yeah yeah. I’m great, I’m great. You know what- I’m so fucking
hungry. I could eat a whole fucking deer right now
A deer gives out a quick yell of surprise
LION: you got something I could eat?
BEAR: somebody show this guy to the kitchen. We’ve already had lunch. But
I’m sure there’s something left
Lion walks into the tent, he’s out of sight
FOX: Tiger! What the fuck! Why did you bring that son of a bitch here?
TIGER: I only went back to get my weed, but I stumbled upon him- and I
told him the truth. I forgot and then I couldn’t leave that poor son of a
bitch there all alone to die…
FOX: we’re all going to die now, that guy will eat up all we have in two
hours
TIGER: you’re exaggerating. He isn’t gonna- you disgust me!He can have my
food then. God! You guys!

SCENE 3 NIGHT, THE SAME MOUNTAIN
There’s a fire in the middle and all the animals are sitting around it.
There’s no light except that coming from the fire. There are stars the
moon in the sky. Rabbit is playing a guitar and singing a song as the
curtains open
Rabbit finishes his song. There’s applause
FOX: you sang pretty good rabbit
LION: yeah I didn’t know you could sing so well! you littleBEAR: who’s next, who wants to sing a song….. or
OLD GORILLA: (solemnly) the rains will start pouring tomorrow, it will go
on for two weeks, and the waters will start falling from the third week.
We can all go back in a month
FOX: another month! But we don’t have enough supplies for another month!
LION: Mr.Gorilla, Sir, I got to ask how you come to know all this so
precisely
OLD GORILLA: our species have been gifted with ability to foresee weather
LION: I know, but how so accurately. Like how do you know that it will
rain for exactly two weeks? Huh?
KANGAROO: if you don’t believe him then why the hell are you even here?
BISON: yeah, why are you here then? Why don’t you just leave?
LION: I was merely asking, come one, doesn’t anybody here think there’s
something up with this guy telling everything that’s about to come so
overprecisely? I know that yes some animals can sense natural disasters
but not like this- it’s more like a feeling that something’s about to
happen and nothing more
TIGER: ah come on man
FOX: (angry, loud and relentless) Hey! Hey! That’s enough, you won’t say
another word. We are here because we believe what the Gorilla says; no one
is holding you back here. If you don’t believe him you can just clear off
BISON: that’s right
Other animals agree we hear them mumble ‘that’s right’ and ‘yeah’. Except
the Bear and the Tiger who sit there with their heads hung in shame and
embarrassment

LION: (ashamed, looking down on the floor as he can’t look at their faces
anymore) I- I just wanted to know. I’m sorry

SCENE 4, MUCH LATER THE SAME NIGHT
The stage is dimly lit, the Lion walks slowly across crying and holding
his bags
Enter Tiger and Bear
TIGER: what the fuck are you doing?
LION: I’m leaving
BEAR: where to? You can’t go back down to the forest!!! The rains will
come down tomorrow
LION: (crying, taking quick breaths in between) I’m sorry guys. I am a
loser. I don’t fit in anywhere, it’s not like I don’t try- I don’t think I
can ever change. The best thing I could do is to probably leave you all
and die alone. Please don’t try to stop me. I mean it, like don’t
TIGER: (almost crying) I-I-I really don’t know what to say, beyond a
certain point I don’t compel anybody to do anything. You are an adult; you
know what you’re doing
BEAR: (to Tiger, he cannot believe what the Tiger has just said) what? You
are letting him die? (to Lion) what-? You can’t just kill yourself like
that!
LION: it’s alright. I’ve had a more or less happy life so far. I don’t
think we must live for as long as we can, sometimes we should be able to
just say ‘alright, that was all very good- I think I’ve had enough fun.
I’m tired now, let me go to sleep’ I really don’t know if the flood is
actually coming tomorrow. Maybe it is, maybe the Gorilla is right, maybe
he can tell exactly what is going to happen- I don’t know how someone can
possibly predict the future like that- maybe they somehow just can. I am
going anyway.
TIGER: wait, there’s something we got to tell you
BEAR: (crying) we didn’t really call you that day, when we all left, when
we didn’t see you, everyone said we should just never call you. I’m so
sorry Lion. Please don’t go
TIGER: we shouldn’t have. We’re so- (cries)

LION: it’s alright; I’ve done things like that too sometimes. I am so glad
that I can die like this. Thanks for telling me, it’s made a big
difference. Maybe if I live longer I’ll hate life. I’ve got to go guys

Lion walks away. Bear and Tiger cries bitterly with their heads on each
others shoulders, they continue crying until loud sound of thunder and
lightning is heard. A strong wind begins to blow and soon it starts to
rain

CURTAIN


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