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No Stories About Grunts
No Stories About Grunts

No Stories About Grunts

simmonsvVictor Simmons

Act I. National Space Agency Guard

Persons
Narrator — An omniscient voice in the dark.
Soldier 1 — Englishman, father. Mildly paranoid.
Soldier 2 — Scotsman with a strong accent. Laid back.

Narrator
There are many stories told to us — by our grandparents, our teachers, storytellers and alike. Stories about great deeds, stories about legendary heroes. Funny stories and sad stories. We've heard them all. Everyone of them has a character, with which the reader can identify and create a bond. A character who feels pain, overcomes his difficulties and experiences the joy of winning.

Narrator
This isn't such a story. This is a story about grunts, the unnamed, the nurses and the simple workers of the world.

OUTSIDE. NIGHT.
Distant planet in the Delta Remus system. Trenches in a desolate wasteland. Two soldiers are hiding. Sounds of explosions and lasers, screams and beastly screeches can be heard in the distance.

Soldier 1
They don't write stories about us, you know?

Soldier 2
What?

Soldier 1
They never do. They never write stories about the grunts — those who die out here in the trenches. You get what I'm saying? You and I — we'll die out here in vain.

Soldier 2
Ah— Shut your mouth, lad. They're counting on us, remember? The success depends on us, you know? They'll be writing songs and poems about us, you'll see. I swear on me momma, that we'll be the heroes of the entire space agency.

Soldier 1
They don't give a damn about us! The marines with their fancy Liberty Armours will be here any second! They'll wipe the floor clean with these damn bugs and leave this god-forsaken planet in minutes.

Soldier 2
So tell me this then: why would they send us here, huh? To die? No, we're holding them off until general Marcus gets here and crushes these bastards. We are essential to securing fort Stonehenge.

Soldier 1
That may be true, but we're nothing compared to these... These monsters! They're not human, they don't bleed like you and I. They don't fall down after being shot! This is hell — I'm telling you. This damn Empire caused all of this! They caused all of this suffering! This... War — if you can call it that. I don't even know how it got this far any more. As if the Golden Emperor wasn't rich enough... I spit on him and his half-breed—

Soldier 2
Covers his comrades mouth. Shut your mouth, if you want to come out of here alive. Looks around. Whispering. You know very well that the secret service are always listening. Words like that get you killed. Or worse...

Soldier 1
Mark my words; we're not getting out of here alive. Sobs. My little girl is never gonna see her daddy again.

Soldier 2
Aye. That may be true. But why bother whining?

Soldier 1
Gets up angry. Are you out of your f—

Soldier 2
I'm serious, lad. If you can't influence the outcome of this — why bother? Just sit down like me and relax, laddie.

Soldier 1
You're unbelievable, you know that, right? And I hate your guts, you bloody Scotsman.

Soldier 2
Here. I have something that'll cheer you up. Pulls a bottle of fine scotch out of his bag.

Soldier 1
Excited. Where did you get that from?! How did you smuggle this all the way here?! It's a miracle, we're saved!

Soldier 2
Takes out two glasses and pours some whisky into each. To you little girl, err—

Soldier 1
Katie!

Soldier 2
To Katie! Both raise their glasses and drink. Pours some more.

Soldier 2
To Katie's daddy! Both raise their glasses and drink. Pours some more.

Soldier 2
To the bloody Golden Emperor! Oy, don't give me that look. Courtesy requires. Both raise their glasses and drink. Pours some more.

Soldier 2
To the marines, who'll come here and kick those darn bugs' asses! Both raise their glasses and drink. Pours some more.

Soldier 2
To, err—

Soldier 1
To Scotland, land of the finest drinks on earth! Both raise their glasses and drink.

Soldier 2
Well said, laddie.

The sounds of combat are getting louder. Lightning can be heard in the distance.

Soldier 1
And you? Do you have anyone waiting for you in Scotland?

Soldier 2
Distressed Aye, my sweetheart — Fiona. She's waiting for me. I'm marrying her as soon as I get home, you know! You should come and be my best man!

Soldier 1
Visibly excited. I'd love to, mate! Sighs. My lady — she passed while giving birth to little Katie.

Soldier 2
I'm sorry, laddie. Gives him a clap on the back.

The thunder is getting louder. Rain begins falling down. Sounds of combat are getting louder.

Soldier 2
Ah, cuntybuggeryfucktoleybumshite. Flips off the clouds. That's what we were lacking — fucking God pissing on us.

A hissing sound approaches.

Soldier 1
We should take cover, the rain here is tox—

A missile explodes nearby.

Soldier 2
Fucking wankers! Take cover, laddie!

Soldier 1
Give me the mortar!

Soldier 2
What for?! You don't even know where those scunners are!

Soldier 1
Just give it to me!

Another missile hisses as both soldiers are looking around and finally explodes inside the trenches.

Soldier 2
Screaming. Eat shite twally-washers!

Soldier 1
Approaches his comrade. It's gonna be alright mate, I've got a medkit right here!

Soldier 2
Moaning. No, it's as you said. Throws medkit away. We're not coming out of here alive. These twats got us.

Soldier 1
Don't say that. Think about your sweetheart, about Fiona. You're gonna get married in Scotland and I'll be your best man.

Soldier 2
Fiona's dead! She had a tumour! I enlisted to pay the bills, but the day I got on the bloody ship, I got the letter. She died! Fiona died! She's gone and there's nothing I could do, you understand that? Can you understand the misery behind losing the only thing in live that you ever loved, the only thing that made you not — fucking — kill yourself, and never being able to say goodbye?! Fuck Scotland, fuck earth, fuck the Piss Emperor and fuck the bugs! —

A third missile interrupts his scream and sends the trenches into silence. After the smoke clears, both bodies can be seen lying down.

Act II. No scroungers allowed. Go.

Persons
Narrator — An omniscient voice in the dark.
Vagabond — Smells bad. Dressed poorly. Stutters occasionally.
Businessman — A nervous, self-confident soulless office worker.
Skater — Leader of his group.
Female Teen — Skater's girlfriend, punky, freakish appearance.
Skinny Teen — Tall, skinny with a thievish appearance.
Overweight Teen — Brutish, overweight.
Police Officer — Arrogant. Has a vile look.
Mother — Single mother. Religious.
Child — Religious. Curious.
Bus Driver — Presumptuous.
Chef — Arrogant. Hard-working. Italian accent.
Mobster 1 — Aggressive. Skinny. Italian accent.
Mobster 2 — Aggressive. Large. Italian accent.

Narrator
Stories rarely follow those who've done nothing wrong, nor nothing bad. Hollywood makes you think everyone has some qualities. Books make you think everyone can achieve something. Songs make you think anyone can find love. This isn't always true. There are some, who have nothing, who achieved nothing, who have no skill, no friends, no love and nothing to hope for.

OUTSIDE. MORNING.
Large park in a metropolis. A vagabond is sleeping on a bench. People are walking by avoiding the bench and its smelly inhabitant.

Businessman
To his mobile phone. This city is going down. I'm telling you! Our grandparents would have never allowed things like that to happen.

Skater
Laughing. To his friends. Look at that loser!

Female Teen
Pointing at bench. Hey look! He left his life savings right there. I dare you to take it!

Skinny Teen
Alright, challenge accepted! Goes by the bench and takes a cup full of change. Notices a stuffed animal on the bench and grabs it too. Look! The hobo has to cuddle himself to sleep! Throws the stuffed animal away.

All four
Run away laughing.

Overweight Teen
Trips over, while his friends laugh at him.

A police officer approaches and grabs the overweight teen.

Police Officer
What are you doing here? Have you been causing trouble again, Tommy?

Overweight Teen
Stuttering. No, sir.

Police Officer
Well, what about Scott? Tell that little punk his mother is worried sick. He hasn't shown up last night.

Overweight Teen
Stuttering. Yes, sir. Thank you, officer Marcus. Stumbles away.

Police Officer
Muttering. Punks... To Vagabond. What have we got here? Say mister, are you cold? Stabs him lightly with his baton.

Vagabond
Wakes up. Confused. Yes, sir. I am. I haven't had a warm food in my mouth for days.

Police Officer
Smiles. Well, my friend, I might be able to help you out.

Vagabond
God bless you! What is it that you have for me? Food, drink or a blanket perhaps? God bless people like you for helping people like me! You're a godsend.

Police Officer
To himself. A godsend, indeed. Still smiling. To the vagabond. What I have for you is a warning. Smile wears off. Get out of here, you dirty skunk! This isn't the place for your kind! Don't come to my park ever again, you fucking hobo! Starts beating the vagabond with his baton.

Vagabond
Gathers his few belongings and stumbles away.

Vagabond arrives at a bus stop. He stops besides it.

Child
Mum, does God love all of his children?

Mother
Yes, sweety. Just like a mother loves her children.

Child
As the vagabond approaches. Does he love that man too?

Mother
Takes her child and steps away. Gives the vagabond a vile look. Stop asking questions, honey.

The vagabond sighs and stands back. After a short while a bus arrives. The mother and child get on it. After they're done, he tries to go in.

Bus Driver
Whoa, whoa. Step back!

Vagabond
No, wait! I have money for a ticket! Looking around his pockets. I've got it somewhere! Maybe here?

Bus Driver
Step back, or you'll get hurt!

Passengers
Go away! We don't want you here!

The vagabond stumbles away. He hears his stomach rumbling. As soon as he finds a place to sit down, he does so. He takes out what looks like a sandwich out of one of his bags and eats it. The vagabond notices something. He drops his sandwich and looks around his pockets and bags.

Vagabond
Distressed. Where is it? Bargaining. He's gotta be here, he couldn't have gotten away. No, no, no! Where is it? Where's Mister Fluffy? Mister Fluffy! Falls down crying. Hits the now wet sandwich on the ground. Gasps in pain, as his fist reaches the cold, hard surface.

The police officer appears in the distance. He's holding his baton and rhythmically hitting it on his palm. The vagabond, noticing his warning, once again grabs his belongings and goes away. He finally stops by an alley, where he lays down a large piece of cardboard and lies on it. There he sleeps for a while.

A chef goes out the door with a bin bag. He kicks the vagabond waking him up.

Chef
What're doing here? Scroungers like you aren't allowed here. You know what this is? This is a 5-star restaurant. You're ruining the image here.

Vagabond
I'm sorry, sir. I've just laid down here, in the back alley. Surely I'm not disturbing any of the guests? Looks at the bag. This bag... Is that food waste? Surely you don't have to throw it away, there might be something for me in there! Please, I haven't eaten all day!

Chef
Forget it. It's waste and it goes in the bin! Now get out of here before I call the cops on you.

The chef throws away the waste and goes back inside. As the vagabond is gathering his bags, he hears a commotion inside.

Chef
Inside the kitchen. No, please gentlemen! I pay, I just need two more weeks! A week! I'll pay the Don in a week! Please!

Mobster 1
Inside the kitchen. Late is late. What do you say, Louie? Shall we, ah... Take out the garbage?

Mobster 2
Inside the kitchen. Mm.

The chef is thrown outside. He kneels before the mobsters. Meanwhile the vagabond hides behind a bin.

Chef
No, please! I've got a business to run! You understand how it is, you're businessmen as well!

Mobster 1
We're your, ah... Private security. We made sure your competition didn't ruin your business. Ain't that right, Louie?

Mobster 2
Mm.

Mobster 1
As businessmen, we take calculated risks. The Don took a risk in offering you his protection. You on the other hand took the calculated risk in laying off your payments for 2 months. Now, we warned you. Twice. And as businessmen, we can't continue betting on a dead horse.

Chef
Please, I have a family. A daughter!

Mobster 1
What a coincidence! So does the Don. And little Anne has been asking her daddy this: Daddy, daddy. Why are you such a good businessman? And the Don answers this: Because I help people. I protect my own men, and in return they offer me nothing but their service and a little monthly payment. Little Anne than said: Daddy, you're so good! Now, the thing is; children don't lie. They can't lie. Their little hearts are too innocent to lie. So tell me, why have you been so bad to the Don? All this time he's been protecting you, and you keep ignoring him, like he's some worthless junk?

Chef
No, I didn't—

Mobster 1
Take out the garbage, Louie.

Mobster 2
Mm.

The large mobster shoots the chef in the head. The vagabond holds back his scream.

Mobster 1
Did you hear that?

Mobster 2
Mm.

Mobster 1
Go check it out.

The large mobster goes around the bin and finds the vagabond. He picks him up. The vagabond is too scared to do or say anything.

Mobster 2
Vinnie, what to do with him?

Mobster 1
Well, what do you think, Louie? Take out the garbage!

As the vagabond opens his mouth to scream, the large mobster puts a gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger.

Act III. Nurses should avail graciously.

Persons
Narrator — An omniscient voice in the dark.
Nurse — Young, ominous nurse.
Matron — Matured, experienced nurse.
Dr. Marcus — Abusive. Genius. Invents theories that support his views.
Mr. Brown — An elderly patient. Main investor of the hospital. Pervert. Has dementia.
Mr. O'Neil — Another patient at the hospital.

Narrator
The servants never get what they want. They're underpaid, abused, overworked. But they can never quit. For various reasons--- Because they're obliged to their families, because they fell in love with their boss or simply they would die on the streets otherwise.

INSIDE. DAY.
An early 20th century hospital. The young nurse is rushing to the reception desk. There sits the old matron.

Nurse
Breathing heavily. You called for me, matron?

Matron
Looks at her with disgust. Speaks after a short while. Mr. Brown dirtied his bed. Go clean it up.

Nurse
Disappointed. Yes, matron.

Matron
Wait. Dr. Marcus is not happy with your performance in the latest surgery.

Nurse
I'm sorry, matron. I'll do my best to improve.

The young nurse goes on. She comes to the bed of an elderly patient.

Nurse
Hello, Mr. Brown. How are we doing today? Did you have an accident again?

Mr. Brown
I'm so sorry. Smiles.

Nurse
I have to ask you to stand up, and sit right over there while I clean your bed up. Helps him stand up. That's right, we're doing it. Great job, Mr. Brown!

The nurse takes the sheets and throws them into a basket. While she's leaning, Mr. Brown pinches her butt cheek.

Nurse
Jumps up to a standing position. Mr. Brown! Holds back. Please refrain yourself. I'm gonna have to clean you up now. I'll bring the necessary utensils.

The young nurse goes behind a door. She goes around a corner and runs into Dr. Marcus.

Nurse
Scared. Dr. Marcus! I'm sorry, this won't happen again. Blushing.

Dr. Marcus
Ignoring what she said. I'm going to need you in a surgery in 30 minutes. Don't be late. Don't disappoint me like last time. Don't run into me again. What if I was holding a blade? What if I was carrying blood samples? Do you even think about what you're doing when you're in here? Be careful what you do. You already got your second chance. Grabs a lock of her hair carefully. And cut those. These are getting too long to be safe for the patient during surgery. Sniffs. What's that smell?

Dr. Marcus looks at his shirt. It has a brown stain on it. He then looks at the nurse and notices a similar stain on her apron. His face twists in disgust. The nurse's face turns from affectionate to terrified.

Nurse
Stuttering. I—

Dr. Marcus walks away quickly. He goes into his office, where he undresses and changes his shirt. While he is shirtless, the young nurse is seen walking by and sighing affectionately, unnoticed by the doctor. After Dr. Marcus is done, he walks out of his office and comes over to the reception desk, while the nurse continues with her chores.

Dr. Marcus
To the matron. Your niece already got her second chance. She just dirtied my best shirt with faeces. How do you expect me to not fire her? She almost killed my last patient. If this next one survives her, I'll personally give her a reward. But it's not gonna happen, because that— That ugly thing is worthless. If you won't teach her to do better, I'll fire her by the end of the month.

Matron
Mr. Brown likes her. Besides, where do you want to find a better nurse? They've all gone to that catholic hospital. The funding they have is astronomical.

Dr. Marcus
Slides his hand over his mouth. What are we going to do once he dies? Will you continue writing his checks for him after that?

Matron
Looks away. We will have to take care of Mr. Brown for as long as we can. We're very lucky to have the last heir of a fortune here and with dementia.

Dr. Marcus
Yelling. You're not thinking straight! Now holding back. This hospital won't go on for long! We will get sucked by those damn Catholics as soon as he stiffens up! I can already see the pearly gates opening for him.

Matron
We will do whatever it takes to keep this institution going. We'll find a new Mr. Brown if we have to. That drug of yours is working miracles.

Dr. Marcus
Teach that ugly thing of yours how to work for me properly. You know very well what my father used to say. Goes back to his office.

Matron
To herself. Nurses should avail graciously.

Dr. Marcus soon thereafter leaves the his office holding a file. He goes by the young nurse.

Dr. Marcus
To the young nurse, pointing at a patient in the corner. Bring him to the theatre at once. Goes into a large, open room with elevated seats on one side and a big window on the other.

Nurse
Shouting to the doctor. I'm almost finished with Mr. Brown now!

The nurse covers Mr. Brown with a fresh blanket. She then goes to the bed in the corner and begins rolling it into the theatre.

Dr. Marcus
Mr. O'Neil, you will now be sedated. In a matter of seconds you will begin feeling a numbness in your body. After a short while you will fall asleep. Once that happens, we will begin your surgery. Once you wake up again, the abdominal pain will be gone. Nurse, please begin.

The nurse slowly and steadily injects the patient with a drug. The lights fade and the curtain falls.

INSIDE. EVENING.
The nurse is kneeling with her hands covering her face. She's crying. Minutes pass and her weeping only get stronger. After minutes Dr. Marcus enters.

Nurse
Doctor—

Dr. Marcus
Say no more. Leave. Find someone better than you. Pause. Your aunt supports my decision. You have time until Friday.

The nurse continues weeping. Dr. Marcus turns around. The nurse stops him, puts her hands on his face and kisses him. At the first second of their kiss the doctor shows compassion and love, but then he immediately pushes her away.

Dr. Marcus
Go away! Goes away. You're not welcome here.

Epilogue

Persons
Narrator — An omniscient voice in the dark.

A PLACE WITHOUT TIME.
Empty space. The Narrator stands in the middle of the space in a suit.

Narrator
The Scottish soldier — died in an attack without being able to save his beloved. The old vagabond — died by a gunshot because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The young nurse — died of cold and hunger because she couldn't do better.

Author Notes: I've written many short stories before, but never showed them to more than a couple persons. This story would mark my second drama and first published work.

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About The Author
simmonsv
Victor Simmons
About This Story
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Posted
1 Jan, 2018
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