Another Day in the Jungle – A tale of suspense


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Below we present the complete text of Another Day in the Jungle; episode 2  of Experimental Tales.

Voice Actor by Miyukiko &copy 2015

Parental Guidance Recommended: May contain content some parents may feel is inappropriate for younger children

Parental Guidance Recommended: May contain content some parents may feel is inappropriate for younger children

EXPERIMENTAL TALES

EPISODE #1 – ANOTHER DAY IN THE JUNGLE – A TALE OF SUSPENSE

by Philip Craig Robotham

Cover Illustration by Miyukiko

Unedited Draft

Copyright 2013 Philip Craig Robotham

Creative Commons Attritubution Non Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Edition .

CC by-nc-nd 4.0

CC by-nc-nd 4.0

This play is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) International license. This play may not be commercially reproduced, performed, or sold.   Non-commercial production, performance, and reproduction is allowed under this license so long as attribution is maintained.  No derivative content or use is allowed.  It can be freely shared in its current form (without change) under this license.  If you would like to purchase one or more copies of this work (for your own personal non-commercial use, or to help financially support the author) then please return to http://www.weirdworlstudios.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Other works by this author can be found at the author’s website: http://www.weirdworldstudios.com or through select, online book retailers.

Episode 1: Another Day in the Jungle – A Tale of Suspense

Unwatched explosives, curious monkeys, and laughing children are an explosive combination.  Can Paul and Jake manage the situation without anyone ending up dead?

ANOTHER TWIST OF THE TALE

CAST LIST

PAUL: Military intelligence officer

JAKE: Soldier recuperating from a recent injury.

CORPORAL: Corporal – unloading a truck of explosives

BOY 1: Village boy – hanging around in the hope of doing odd jobs for the soldiers

BOY 2: Village boy – hanging around in the hope of doing odd jobs for the soldiers

BOY 3: Village boy – hanging around in the hope of doing odd jobs for the soldiers

JEEP DRIVER: Mail delivery driver

REBEL: Participant in local civil war

SFX ARTIST: Minimum one required

ACT 1

SCENE 1 :    (EXT) MILITARY BASE – MID AFTERNOON
(PAUL, JAKE, CORPORAL, BOY #1, BOY #2, BOY #3, JEEP DRIVER)

  1. MUSIC: OPENING THEME – LET IT FINISH.
  2. SOUND: (WALLA) DISTANT JUNGLE NOISES, BOYS KICKING A BALL AROUND – ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
  3. PAUL: It’s too damned hot Jake.
  4. JAKE: Aw, stop your whining.  Your supposed to be an intelligence officer.
  5. PAUL: Yeah, but I’m no James Bond.  I just read reports at a desk for a living… preferably at a desk with air-conditioning.
  6. JAKE:
  7. PAUL: Hey, it’s not everyone that’s cut out to be a hero.  What will it be this time, anyway?  Your third purple heart?  And how’s your arm coming along?
  8. JAKE: The arm’ll heal eventually.  This African humidity’s the worst.  An infection here is lethal.  As for the rest.  I don’t want the medals.
  9. PAUL: C’mon.  You’ve earned them.
  10. JAKE: I did what I’m paid to do.  I killed a bunch of men.  Killing is killing.  I don’t want a pat on the head.
  11. PAUL: But you saved a bunch of our guys too, when you took out that nest.
  12. JAKE: Look, just leave it, okay.  If you’re gonna keep yapping at me like this I’ll go wait for the mail jeep somewhere else.
  13. PAUL: Sure Jake, don’t get sore.
  14. JAKE: (DISTRACTED) Aw, will you look at that!
  15. PAUL: What?
  16. JAKE: Over by the armory.  That corporal’s not supposed to be unloading the shipment alone.
  17. PAUL: Yeah, the lieutenant came by earlier and pulled his partner off the detail.  Are those boxes of grenades he’s got stacked out in the open?
  18. JAKE: Yeah… the idiot.
  19. PAUL: The corporal or the lieutenant?
  20. JAKE: You decide!
  21. PAUL: Don’t be too hard on the Corporal.  He’s actually a good guy, if a little wet behind the ears.  And it’s not like the grenades are going to cook off, even in this heat.
  22. JAKE: You really haven’t spent much time in the field have you? Who’d you tick off to get posted to a U.S base in the middle of an African Civil War anyway?
  23. PAUL: Hey, no need to get personal.
  24. JAKE: Look, it’s not the heat I’m concerned about.  See those kids by the gate, the ones from the village who keep hanging about hoping to get an odd job or two from the soldiers on base?
  25. PAUL: Sure, I see ‘em.  The eldest is called M’kenga.  He’s got half a dozen brothers and sisters at home that he helps support by doing these “odd jobs”. But I don’t think they’ll be getting any work today. Too hot.
  26. JAKE: Yeah, and way too close to the truck. If the boredom gets to them and they wander over while the corporal’s inside the armory… and those grenades are unattended…
  27. PAUL: Ok, I see your point.
  28. SOUND: DISTANT DOOR CLOSING – LET IT FINISH.
  29. JAKE: Aw hell, he’s gone inside with a crate of ammo and left the grenades just sitting there. (WEARY AND RESIGNED) Come on.
  30. PAUL: Yeah, yeah.  Let me weight this paperwork down so it doesn’t blow away.
  31. JAKE: You even do paperwork when you grabbing a smoke?  Sheesh!
  32. SOUND: BOOTS WALKING AWAY.
  33. PAUL: Here I come.
  34. SOUND: BOOTS AGAIN – FADE UNDER.
  35. SOUND: CURIOUS MONKEY CHATTER – LET IT FINISH.
  36. JAKE: Hang on… don’t come any closer.
  37. PAUL: What?
  38. JAKE: (VOICE EVEN) A chimp’s come in from the perimeter.  It’s sitting on the grenade box.
  39. PAUL: Oh hell. (BEAT) Jake, can you back away.  It’s picked up a grenade.
  40. JAKE: It’s already pulled the pin.  The only thing stopping it from going off is the chimp’s grip on the safety lever.  Hang on, I’ll try to move toward you.
  41. SOUND: AGITATED MONKEY CHATTER – LET IT FINISH.
  42. JAKE: Nope, I don’t think it likes that.
  43. PAUL: You’re way too close.  If that goes off, you’ll be caught in the blast.
  44. JAKE:    If the grenade goes off while the chimp’s sitting on top of a crate of explosives like that there isn’t going to be enough left of me to care.  You, on other hand, are pretty safe where you are.  Just don’t come any closer.
  45. SOUND: MONKEY CALLING TO IT’S COMPANIONS – LET IT FINISH.
  46. JAKE: Oh no.  Here come some more.
  47. SOUND: CHATTERING MONKEYS – LET IT FINISH.
  48. PAUL: I count three, no four of them.  Three have picked up grenades and…
  49. SOUND: MONKEY SCREECH – LET IT FINISH.
  50. PAUL: …two of them have pulled out the pins.
  51. JAKE: Yeah, I can see that.  Now tell me something I don’t know.
  52. SOUND: DOOR OPENS – LET IT FINISH.
  53. SOUND: MONKEYS SCREECH – LET IT FINISH.
  54. CORPORAL: Oh, excuse me sir, I…
  55. JAKE: Corporal, go back inside… (URGENTLY) quietly.
  56. CORPORAL: (WHISPERING) Yes, sir. (HESITATES) Sir? The armoury is full of explosives?
  57. JAKE: I can see that soldier.
  58. CORPORAL: Yes, sir.
  59. SOUND: DOOR CLOSES (QUIETLY)
  60. PAUL: Okay, what now?
  61. JAKE: What do you mean?
  62. PAUL: I mean… what’s your plan?
  63. JAKE: Stay very still and try not to get blown up.
  64. PAUL: You’re kidding?
  65. JAKE: You got a better one?
  66. PAUL: .. no.
  67. BOY #1: Hey, look at the monkeys.
  68. JAKE: Oh, no no no no!
  69. PAUL: (WHISPER YELLING) Boys, stay where you are.
  70. BOY #2: Ha ha, look at them?
  71. BOY #3: It’s monkeys! (Ad lib excited chatter).
  72. JAKE: No, boys! Stop!
  73. SOUND: MONKEY’S SHRIEK THREATENINGLY – LET IT FINISH.
  74. BOY #1: Hey, they’ve got bombs.
  75. JAKE: Don’t any of you make a sound.
  76. BOY #1: But Mister…
  77. SOUND: MONKEY SHRIEK – LET IT FINISH.
  78. JAKE: Not… one… sound.
  79. BOY #2: (STARTS WHIMPERING) I’m scared…
  80. JAKE: (LOW AND CALM) I’m going to make my way over to you, alright.  Just don’t panic.
  81. SOUND: MONKEY’S OOKING QUIETLY – UNDER
  82. SOUND: FOOT STEP CRUNCH – LET IT FINISH.
  83. JAKE: One…
  84. SOUND: FOOTSTEP CRUNCH – LET IT FINISH.
  85. Jake: Two…
  86. SOUND: JEEP APPROACHING FROM DISTANCE – FADE IN.
  87. PAUL : Jake, don’t do anything stupid…
  88. SOUND: FOOTSTEP CRUNCH – LET IT FINISH.
  89. JAKE: (TO PAUL) The grenades will rip those boys to pieces if I can’t get between them and the chimps.
  90. SOUND: FOOTSTEP CRUNCH – LET IT FINISH.
  91. SOUND: MONKEY GETTING MORE AGITATED – UNDER.
  92. SOUND: LOUD HONK OF HORN AS MAIL JEEP ARRIVES – UNDER.
  93. PAUL: It’s the mail jeep!
  94. JAKE : Boy’s get down.
  95. SOUND: BOYS ARE TACKLED TO THE GROUND – UNDER.
  96. SOUND: MONKEY’S SQUEAL IN FRIGHT AND CHITTER OFF INTO THE DISTANCE – FADE OUT.
  97. PAUL: Oh, thank God.  They’ve gone.  (BEAT) Jake, are you okay.
  98. JAKE: Okay boys.  We can get up. (GRUNTS) Now get out of here.
  99. BOYS: (OVERLAPPING) Thank you mister.  Yes, thankyou. Thanks. Etc.
  100. SOUND: BOYS RUN OFF – FADE AWAY.
  101. PAUL: What about the monkeys?  They ran off towards the jungle but…
  102. SOUND: BOOM OF GRENADE FOLLOWED CLOSELY BY THREE OTHERS ALMOST ON TOP OF EACH OTHER – LET IT FINISH.
  103. JAKE: I think that takes care of them.
  104. PAUL: (ALMOST ACCUSING) You threw yourself on top of those boys to protect them.
  105. JAKE: Huh?
  106. PAUL: I’m just saying.  I don’t think you just do what you do ‘cause you’re paid to.
  107. JAKE: Just drop it, will ya.
  108. SOUND: JAKE WALKS AWAY – LET IT FINISH.
  109. SOUND: DOOR OPENS – LET IT FINISH.
  110. CORPORAL: The monkeys.  Are they gone?
  111. PAUL: Yes, corporal… they’re gone.
  112. JEEP DRIVER: (AT A DISTANCE) Hey! Hey, does anybody want this mail?
  113. MUSIC: SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 2:     (EXT) SOUND TRAVELLING THROUGH THE ETHER – SOME FUTURE DATE
(REBEL)

  1. SOUND: MORSE CODE BEEPING – FADE IN UNDER
  2. REBEL: Be particularly vigilent approaching American bases of operation.  Our enemies are training monkeys to help patrol and guard their camps.
  3. SOUND: MORSE CODE BEEPING – FADE OUT.
  4. MUSIC: CLOSING THEME – LET IT FINISH.

CASTING SHEETS — MAJOR CHARACTERS

PAUL: I ticked someone off big time to get sent here.  I’m from Olympia (not all that far from Vancouver) so believe me when I tell you, we don’t do hot where I come from.  I like my comforts.  When I signed up as an analyst, I didn’t expect to be stuck out in the field in the middle of the heat of an African war zone.  Yep.  I ticked someone off big time.

JAKE: The wound’s not bad and I’m happy to talk with you over a beer.  Just lay off that hero stuff will you.  Heroes are nothing more than survivors who did what they had to do in order to walk out on two legs.  There’s nothing special about ’em. And there’s nothing special about me.  So don’t get it into your head that I’m going to be the source of some exciting yarn you can share with your friends.  If that’s what you’re after you can drink alone.

CORPORAL: Hurry up and wait. That’s the army way.  And if the job I had help with is made twice as hard because the other guy is ordered away by the Lieutenant then that’s just the way it is.  I could grip about it, but it wouldn’t change anything.  But it’s against regulations to unload explosives this way.  If anyone cares, I’ll be the one on report.  Not the lieutenant.  Damn, I’ll be glad when my tour is over.

BOY 1-3: We’re from the village.  We play soccer (and marbles if we can trade some off the soldiers).  We hang around the army camp for money.  The soldiers send us on jobs.  “Get us beer”.  “Get us cigarettes”.  That kind of thing.  They give us money, so they don’t have to do it themselves.  They are very lazy, but we don’t mind.  We give the money to our families.

 

JEEP DRIVER: It’s hot and dusty work, but at least it’s appreciated.  Everyone wants news from home and I get to bring it.  Mostly it’s good news.  Sometimes it’s not.  The only thing I’ve really got to worry about is running into the occasional rebel patrol.  They don’t like us very much on account of them thinking we provide intelligence to the government.  They’re right of course, and I kind of understand it.  There’s not a lot of difference between the thugs in power and the thugs who want to be in power.  But Uncle Sam likes peace and quiet, so he’s siding with the current government… which means I need to keep my head down and my sidearm handy.

REBEL: I’m a signalman.  I transmit messages for my commander.  Sometimes those messages are ordinary.  Sometimes they are coded.  Sometimes, however, they are just plain weird.  I transmit them anyway because that is my job.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Craig Robotham grew up in a house full of books and has held numerous jobs as a teacher, computer programmer, graphic and web designer, e-learning consultant and, most recently, writer. He currently lives in Victoria, Australia with his wife and two sons. When he was younger and fitter he enjoyed martial arts, but in recent years his hobbies have tended towards more sedate fare (board games, movies, books, and role-playing games).

He is extremely grateful for the encouragement he receives from his biggest fans — his wife and two boys — all of whom read and enjoy his scripts and, in general, make his life worth living.

You can contact the author regarding performance rights (or simply to say hello) through his website: http://www.weirdworldstudios.com.

THE END

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This post and all its content is copyright © 2013 Philip Craig Robotham and has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license. This play cannot be reproduced, shared, or performed commercially without the written permission of the author.  The production of derivative content, merchandise, or creative works and materials is expressly forbidden under this agreement. However you may share, reproduce, and perform this play freely so long as authorship is acknowledged, no money changes hands, and the play is not modified in any way.