Dramatic Texts >> Richard Kalinoski >> Beast on the Moon
BEAST ON THE MOON by Richard Kalinoski

Beast on the Moon was first workshopped in April of 1992 in a semiprofessional production at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York. It was directed by Mr. Kalinoski (Holly Valentine, stage manager) with the following cast:
ARAM - Mark Almekinder
SETA - Sarah Frank
VINCENT - Ryan Gravelle
GENTLEMAN - William Weyl

PLACE
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1921-1933.

CHARACTERS
A GENTLEMAN
ARAM TOMASIAN
SETA TOMASIAN
VINCENT: A BOY

 
Act I
Scene I.
Milwaukee. 1921.

An interior space; clean and rigorously spare. To one side an imposing easel. In the space is an old-fashioned wooden camera resting on a tripod. There are uniform pedestals for props that appear later. A thick and plain wooden table with five hard wooden chairs. The table has four sturdy legs.
 
In the darkness an old GENTLEMAN walks into the space and lights a single candle on the table. THE GENTLEMAN holds a large framed photograph (creased and worn) of an Armenian family, circa 1914. The family is a mother, a father, two young teen boys and a young daughter. The heads of the family have been cut out, leaving conspicuous holes. A discreet photo of the head of the youngest son (now19) occupies the hole made from the cut-out head of the father.
 
In soft light, the old GENTLEMAN walks slowly toward his audience taking ample time for them to see the portrait he carries. A faint hint of a smile forms on his face and he places the photograph on the easel as he speaks.
 
GENTLEMAN
Gar oo chugar. There was and there was not. Armenian.
 
(Beat. He looks hard at the picture, then looks out.)
 
I was born in the year 1921; yes, I am old—it was the aftermath of the Great War; six long years after Turkey, under the roar of guns and fire, began to dispose of some of its people. People we call Armenians. Maybe you know; the Turks distrusted these infidel Christians. Resented their striving and their success; so they pushed them out into the desert. Into nowhere where they starved in their clothes and withered next to their things. Some never made the trip; they were just killed—shot or hanged—or otherwise disposed of. A few of them, through chance, or luck—or will—survived. This play is about two of them. Mr. and Mrs. Aram Tomasian. A boy and a girl. I am their witness.
 
(THE GENTLEMAN sits in an old chair, on a far side. Bright afternoon light pours down. A YOUNG MAN enters boldly with a rude suitcase and moves to the table. He is lean and dark. The YOUNG MAN stands by the table and calls out.)
 
YOUNG MAN
Seta! Seta! Come in, please…come in!
 
(Around a corner, a YOUNG GIRL peeks, then giggles.)
 
YOUNG GIRL
Really? Really?
 
(She goes out. He pursues.)
 
YOUNG MAN: Seta. It is all right. Come back. This is where you’re going to live.
 
(She giggles off. He finds her and brings her in.)
 
SETA
Really, Mr. Tomasian?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Come in.
 
SETA
Me?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
You. Yes, of course, you.
 
(SETA is dressed formally but her clothes are rough. MR. TOMASIAN is dressed in the American Fashion of 1921.)
 
SETA
Here?
 
(She stares about, her eyes shine.)
 
Thank you! Thank you!
 
(She jumps to the floor and kisses it.)
 
Thank you, Mr. Tomasian. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Okay. Okay. Please, Seta.
 
(She kisses his outstretched hand.)
 
SETA
I’m just shocked—you must know.
 
(He moves her to a chair.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Please sit down.
 
(She sits.)
 
SETA
Thank you.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
I have a gift for you. Upon your arrival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The United States of America.
 
(He finds a neatly wrapped package.)
 
For Mrs. Aram Tomasian.
 
SETA
Who?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
You.
 
(She takes the gift. She weeps.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Seta. It’s okay. Seta, you already cried all through the train station in Chicago. You’re all right now.
 
SETA
I don’t know…I know…I mean…I don’t know…I mean….America, Mr. Tomasian.
 
(Blowing her nose.)
 
How is it I came to be this lucky—you chose me, Mr. Tomasian.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
I think it was a good choice. Your gift, Seta.
 
(She works at the wrapping.)
 
SETA: I’m shocked. That’s what I think I am. Shocked. Oh, Oh…(Looking at the wrapping.) It’s so pretty. Everything is. I’m going to save this.
 
MR. TOMASIAN (Smiling)
Seta, open your gift.
 
SETA
Yes, Mr. Tomasian. It is a day of gifts, I think.
 
(She unwraps the bow and puts it around her neck.)
 
Pretty. Yes. I’m opening. A mirror? A mirror! Oh, look…look.
 
(She stands with it.)
 
Oh, isn’t it fancy? This is for me? The wood is like glass…
 
(She has uncovered a fine hand mirror, finished in a shiny hardwood.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN: (Smiling)
And there’s an inscription.
 
SETA
Oh, yes. Look.
 
(beat)
 
I can’t read it.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
I had it inscribed in English. It’s from an expensive American Shop.
 
SETA
Thank you, thank you.
 
(She looks at the writing on the back of the handle.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN (Beaming.)
It says, ‘For my wife, my picture bride from Armenia. 1921. Aram Tomasian.’
 
SETA
It says all that?
 
MR. TOMASIAN (Cheerfully.)
It says all that.
 
SETA
I am a picture bride? What’s a picture bride?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
You know, don’t you?
 
(He takes a picture from his suit coat. He shows it to her.)
 
This is the picture they sent me from the mission in Istanbul. I chose you from a total of 37 pictures. You haven’t seen this?
 
SETA (Giggling.)
Mr. Tomasian. Mr. Tomasian. Oh, oh, please, I apologize. Mr. Tomasian, my…
 
MR. TOMASIAN
What? Tell me.
 
SETA
(Trying to restrain her laughter.)
That isn’t me. It isn’t.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
It isn’t you? How can that be?
 
SETA
I’m sorry, that is a picture of a dead girl—she’s dead—she died nine months ago of disease, but they must have used her picture. They put my name on the back, I think. Here.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
But you wrote to me. You said you were you.
 
SETA
I am me.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
But this girl looks like you.
 
SETA
I’m sorry. I’m ashamed. I had my picture taken, but I never saw it. Maybe they used this girl’s because of my sores.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Sores?
 
SETA
I had sores on my face from bedbugs.
 
MR. TOMASIAN (Confused)
They sent a dead girl to me? My bribes went for a dead girl? Who are you?
 
SETA
Please, please—we look almost the same—but that girl didn’t have sores on her face in the picture—so they just sent it—it was over a year ago—I was hardly fourteen years old. All the myrigs, they just wanted to save as many as they could.
 
(He has turned away.)
 
SETA
Mr. Tomasian. Mr. Tomasian. I wrote to you. I am the same girl who wrote to you.
 
MR. TOMASIAN (Confused, then pouting)
I paid a bribe to the mission, to the orphanage—to a man in Istanbul to buy your ticket, to a man in New York at the immigration. I paid everyone. I ordered the girl in this picture and they sent me someone else. We are married. Married. Three months ago, by proxy—you know this.
 
SETA
Yes. But about the picture, I didn’t know…I was just so glad to get your letters. I thought they used my picture. Pictures, names, they mix them up.
 
(Long pause. She looks at herself in the mirror.)
 
Thank you for the gift. I can see that my sores are gone.
(He sulks.)
 
SETA: (Eager and cheerful)
I think I am prettier than this other girl.
 
(She looks at the picture.)
 
I apologize, Mr. Tomasian. Mr. Tomasian.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
You didn’t know about this picture? About this dead girl?
 
SETA
I was a girl dying in an orphanage. You wrote to me.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Let me see.
 
(She hands him the picture. He stands next to her and compares. He holds her face to the light.)
 
Okay, okay, open your mouth, Seta.
 
SETA
Open my mouth?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Yes.
 
(She does. He looks at her teeth, holding open her mouth.)
 
Close.
 
(She does. He looks at her eyes.)
 
You had trachoma?
 
SETA
A little bit. I was cured.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Okay, good. Good teeth. Clear eyes. Strong face. I see that you are a pretty girl.
 
(He stands back.)
 
SETA
Thank you.
 
(She waits as he looks at the picture.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
All right, I can forget this picture. I want to take a new one. Sit and try a small smile. Small one.
 
(He moves to behind the camera.)
 
SETA
A new picture?
 
MR. TOMASIAN (A given.)
Our life should be recorded.
 
(He is busy with the camera. She digs in her suitcase and pulls out a crude doll.)
   
MR. TOMASIAN
No doll.
 
SETA
…something to hold. It’s…it’s what I have. My mother…my mother made it.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Seta, no doll.
 
SETA
Please.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Seta.
 
SETA
Mr. Tomasian, please.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
We are legally married. Put the doll away. You act like a child.
 
SETA
It’s how I feel…
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Stop feeling like a child.
 
(She puts the doll at her feet.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
(Pause)
Americans…they smile. Smile now—a little and hold.
(She smiles.)

SETA
Hold what?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Hold the smile. The light must soak in. Hold. Hold. Hold.
 
(Her smile is fading.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Seta, it’s gone.
 
SETA
I don’t feel like smiling.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Ah! You’ve ruined it. I must get a new plate. Seta, smile. No grim looking Armenian girls.
 
SETA
Mr. Tomasian. I apologize, but it doesn’t feel natural.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Pictures aren’t natural, pictures are posed. Now smile.
 
(She does, and looks like a monkey.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
That’s too big!
 (She withers.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
That’s too small.
 
SETA
I don’t know. Too big, too small.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Look at me. Practice smiling. Smile.
(She does.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Good. Fine. Now stay like that. (He prepares the camera.) Stay like that. Stay like that. Okay. Hold!! Hold! Hold, hold, hold, hold, hold, hold, hold, hold, hold, hold, hold, hold, hold. Holllllllllddddd. Good.
(He presses a bulb.)
Done.
 
(She grabs the doll. He takes the new plate out and exits. She stands and notices the portrait on the easel. ARAM enters.)
 
SETA
Why are the heads gone? Mr. Tomasian—the heads are gone. Except this one. Your picture is in this one. Who is this?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
My father.
 
SETA
You put your head where your father’s was?
 
MR. TOMASIAN (Quietly)
Yes.
 
SETA
Oh.
 
(Pause, she waits. ARAM has a Bible in his hand. He puts it on the table.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Please sit down. I want you to listen.
 
SETA
You’re still angry.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
This is the first day of our life together.
 
(She sits and clutches the doll.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Seta, put the doll away.
 
SETA
The picture’s over.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Seta, a man can’t have a wife who clutches a doll. Put the doll away.
(She hesitates)
You can put it on the table.
(She looks at him and does this slowly.)
You are 15 years old. A woman. A woman doesn’t hold dolls. (Pause.) Seta, you have no reason to be afraid. Hold my hand then.
 
(She does this, hesitantly. She looks at his hand, then finally takes it. Awkwardly, they stand together.)
 
There, is that better.
 
SETA: (Slowly)
Maybe. Yes.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Good.
 
(They face out, side by side. She is self-conscious. Long pause.)
   
MR. TOMASIAN
So. So lucky and such a great day. I have a wife…and she is in America…with me. (Pause.) My life can start now. My life…you know…it can start now.
 
(He breaks.)
 
My father would never imagine. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Me, a wife.
 
SETA
We’re both…alive.
 
MR. TOMASIAN (Abruptly)
So, it’s time for reading.
 
SETA
It is?
 
MR. TOMASIAN (Pleasant veneer)
Do you have a question about everything?
 
SETA
It’s just that I don’t know very much. It’s a new country.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
The man reads. So, I am going to read.
 
SETA
Umm, Mr. Tomasian, may I be permitted, excuse me, to ask why? Is that what is done with new brides who come from trains?
 
MR. TOMASIAN (A given. Inspecting her.)
My father read at all important events. At meals. At funerals. At weddings. It’s in my plan.
 
SETA
Oh.
 
MR. TOMASIAN (Matter-of-fact.)
Nothing happens without planning.
 
SETA
Oh.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Why do you say ‘oh’?
 
SETA
Mr. Tomasian, forgive me, it’s just that things, everything, seems to happen all the time without planning.
 
MR. TOMASIAN: (Looking for patience)
Seta, I am going—
 
SETA (Blurting)
Here I am in Milwaukee, no one ever planned that I was to live in America—and then the myrigs sent the wrong picture—then the big thing is I’m alive and I certainly didn’t plan on being that—because everyone else is just dead—my parents—
 
MR. TOMASIAN (Patiently)
Stop talking now, Seta.
 
SETA
Oh.
 
(She puts her head in her hands.)
 
 
MR. TOMASIAN
What are you doing?
 
SETA
Nothing.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
This is from Timothy. Open up your ears.
 
(She raises her head and pulls on her ears.)
   
MR. TOMASIAN (Simply)
“Women shall adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety. I suffer a woman not to teach, nor usurp authority over the man.” There, now tell me what it means.
 
SETA
It means…I don’t know…it means what it says.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Yes, Seta. What is that?
 
SETA
It means…you’re the man and you make the rules. I’m a girl—I mean a woman—and I’m to be quiet and serious. Except I’m not?
 
(He looks at her.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
What?
 
SETA
No…thing.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Yes—something. Seta, say it.
 
SETA
I’m not…quiet…I have never been quiet. Mr. Tomasian, I am sorry.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
It will take training.
 
SETA
Oh.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
A lot of training.
 
SETA
Oh.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
So…the second reading. You like your mirror?
 
SETA
I love the mirror.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Good. You may hold it.
 
(She picks up the mirror.)
 
Hand-rubbed. American.
 
SETA
Yes, Mr. Tomasian.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Do this. Hold the mirror out and look into it. I’ll read from the Proverbs.
 
(Uncertain, she does this—but awkwardly)
 
It concerns the ideal wife. That’s you. “Her husband,” That’s me…(Smiling.)
 
SETA
I know.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
“Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize.”
 
(Mr. Tomasian smiles and awaits a response. Seta is caught in her pose.)
 
Well? (He stares.) Now tell me about Proverbs.
 
SETA
Well…it says that, that I am your prize. How do I be a prize?
 
(He regards her.)
   
MR. TOMASIAN
What did your parents teach you?
 
(She looks at him. She lets the mirror down.)
 
SETA (Quietly)
I don’t know. They loved me.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Good, and what did they teach you?
 
SETA
They were just…just my parents. My mother sang.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
She sang…in a theatre?
 
SETA
In the kitchen.
 
(Wistful.)
 
When she sang, the whole house shook and the neighbors came out into their yards. (Glad.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
When my mother married my father she was not allowed to speak for a year. One whole year.
 
(SETA opens her mouth in awe. He watches her.)
 
You don’t understand. You grew up in a city.
 
(Smiling warmly, speaking gently.)
 
This one is special and important.
 
(He sounds it out carefully.)
 
“She brings him good and not evil all the days of his life.”
 
(He awaits her response.)
 
Well?
 
(She is in thought.)
 
Seta?
 
SETA
Oh, uh, what did she do?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
What did who do?
 
SETA
Your mother, Mr. Tomasian, a whole year! She did not speak for a whole year.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Haven’t I asked you about Proverbs?
 
SETA
Yes. I’m a prize. I mean, I’m your prize.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
And the rest?
 
SETA
I’m supposed to bring good, not evil.
 
(He tries to discern the intention.)
   
MR. TOMASIAN
So, you understand.
 
SETA
I used to read the Bible to my father.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
You read the Bible? To your father? When?
 
SETA
Before. Before the Turk. I was a child.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
He didn’t read it to you?
 
SETA: (Giggling)
It put him to sleep.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
It put him to sleep?
 
SETA
Oh yes, he loved it. He would start out sitting very straight.
 
(She postures.)
 
And I would read and he would go very softly…dead…uh, to the world. It was a gentle music for him, I think.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
In my house the man reads.
 
(He effects a dramatic pose. She holds the mirror up.)
 
Chapter Six, The Canticle of Canticles. “Your hair is like a flock of goats…
 
(She spurts.)
 
…streaming down from Galaad.”
 
(She giggles and then represses it.)
 
This is the Bible!
 
(She quiets.)
 
“Your teeth are like a flock of ewes which come up from the washing, all of them big with twins, none of them thin and barren.”
 
(Her laugh explodes.)
 
Seta, Seta, Mrs. Tomasian.
 
SETA
My teeth are like pregnant sheep?
 
(She laughs)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
These are compliments from the Bible. You laugh?
 
(She holds herself in.)
 
Seta, the Bible is not funny.
 
SETA
Yes.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
The Bible speaks of beauty.
 
SETA
Yes, Mr. Tomasian.
 
(She bursts.)
 
Oh, oh, I’m sorry, but I started to see all the goats, a thousand goats got into my head—they were jumping around and bleating in my hair—Oh, I can’t stop!
 
(Exploding again.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN:
The Bible is the breath of God.
 
(She finds control. He watches her, waiting for another burst. He finds the mirror and thrusts it at her.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Look at you, Mrs. Tomasian. What do you see?
 
(She takes the mirror, sobered.)
 
SETA
Me?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Of course you. Who is you? Who?
 
SETA
I don’t…I don’t know.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
When you look, I want you to see a woman.
 
(She looks)
 
Well, Seta? (Slowly) Do you see a woman?
 
SETA (Pause)
I’m sorry. I see me.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
And who is that?
 
SETA (Looking)
She’s just a girl.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
‘She’s just a girl?’ ‘She’s just a girl?’
 
SETA
Thank you for this mirror, Mr. Tomasian.
 
(He fumes.)
 
I do very much want to see a woman, but I don’t see one. I thank you for the mirror. And for my life.
 
(He paces. She gets the doll from the table.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
In marriage you don’t clutch dolls.
 
SETA
I just want to hold it. Just for now.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Do you know the business of a man and a woman?
 
(Pause.)
 
Do you?
 
(Pause.)
 
SETA
Yes. I only ask permission for the doll.
 
MR. TOMASIAN (Simply)
No.
 
(She fingers the doll. He holds his hand out to take it. Very slowly, she hands it to him.)
 
Good. I am going to wash. You say that you know about marriage. I think it’s time for us to realize our marriage.
 
SETA
Um…I.
 
MR. TOMASIAN (Easily)
I’ll wash, I’ll come back. I’ll bring you in with me.
 
(He exits, doll in hand. She looks up, watching him leave. She begins to grasp the meaning of her husband’s words. She stands, looking around. She finds her coat and dons it. Finally, she sees the table and the chairs around it. Wary of MR TOMASIAN, she creeps under the table and quietly pulls the chairs around her, forming a barricade. Momentarily, MR. TOMASIAN enters, bare chested, carrying a towel. He finds her under the table.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Seta! Seta, come out. Come out. This is embarrassing. You look foolish.
 
SETA
Please don’t make me.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Seta, you look like a child.
 
SETA
I am a child.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Seta, this will not hurt you. Did you forget that you are lucky?
 
SETA
I’m afraid.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Okay. Okay.
 
(He gets an idea. Quickly, he exits. She looks around. He returns.)
 
Okay, Seta. I have something for you.
 
SETA
What is it?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Do you think I will tell you before you come out.
 
SETA
I can’t come out before you tell me.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Fine. I am counting to five. One…two…three…four…five. (Pause.)
 
SETA
Why did you count to five?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Huh? You don’t know why I counted to five?
 
SETA
No.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
You are serious? I am giving you a warning.
 
SETA
What do you have?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Okay, okay, it’s gum.
 
SETA
What kind?
 
MR. TOMASIAN (Exasperated)
Gum. Wrigley gum. Mint. Spearmint.
 
(There is a pause and then a small voice.)
 
 
SETA
May I have the gum?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
First you come out.
 
SETA
Can I see it?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Huh? Seta, this is a child’s game. All right, I’ll play.
 
(He holds it up for her inspection.)
 
Come out.
 
SETA
I can’t.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Come out and you can have the whole package.
 
SETA
Wrigley gum?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Yes.
 
SETA
Throw a piece to me!
 
MR. TOMASIAN
You are amazing me.
 
SETA
Forgive me, Mr. Tomasian. I can’t come out.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
What did you think? Before we came here.
 
SETA
I thought I was safe.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Safe? Safe? God in heaven, I am your husband! Seta, you are safe.
 
(He sits.)
 
I will wait, then.
 
(A pause.)
 
SETA
May I have the gum?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
No.
 
SETA
Mr. Tomasian.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Yes.
 
SETA
I don’t…I don’t know you.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
What do you need to know?
 
SETA
I don’t know who you are.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
I am practicing great patience with you—only because you came to me on a train alone and you don’t know America.
 
SETA
May I have the gum now?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Fine. Here. My second gift to you.
 
(He throws a piece of gum under the table.)
 
Now will you take your place with your husband? Seta?
 
SETA
Oh, this is good. This is so good. Thank you. Americans are so clever, I think, don’t you think, Mr. Tomasian, so many things they make and all the cars, I can’t believe even the toilets they have, even their toilets are pretty—
 
MR. TOMASIAN
God is not happy, Seta.
 
SETA
He isn’t?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
God is not happy when a woman hides from her husband.
 
SETA
Please, I’m sorry.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Don’t beg, Seta. Fine. I am counting to ten and if you don’t come out I’ll come and get you.
 
SETA
Wait, Mr. Tomasian, Mr. Tomasian, oh, I don’t know you, no I don’t…
 
MR. TOMASIAN
One…two…three…four…five…
 
SETA
I don’t even know how you survived, how did you survive, you must have been very brave, yes, brave—
 
MR. TOMASIAN
six…seven…eight…
 
SETA
and clever because so few men survived, I know because so few—
 
MR. TOMASIAN
nine…ten.
(Pause)
 
SETA
No.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
You are having your last chance. What do you think? Do you expect me to be someone else? Not a man?
 
SETA
No. No.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Do I drag you out then?
 
SETA
Wait. The picture. The picture!
 
MR. TOMASIAN
What picture?
 
(Reaching for her)
 
What? What picture?
 
SETA
Behind me. Up there. That is of your family, right? Of your family?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
I don’t explain that picture.
 
SETA
The heads, they’re gone. Who cut them out? Who cut them out?
 
MR. TOMASIAN
This is not your business.
 
SETA
I am your wife. Maybe it is, you see, excuse me, Mr. Tomasian, my business.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
No, it is my family! Now come! Come! Now!
 
SETA
No no no no no, please no…
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Be calm, Seta. I won’t hurt you. We have to start, come—Calm, Seta. Calm. Calm.
 
(He reaches and pulls her by her leg as she grasps a table leg and clings, he pulls and the table comes with her. She gasps from the effort but doesn’t scream. Instead, she fights fiercely, kicking wildly.)
 
You don’t fight me. Ahh!!!
 
(She has kicked him, hard. He pulls her with care, evenly, dragging her by both legs. She kicks free. She scrambles and ducks under the table, grabbing a chair as defense, then gives that up and protects her body behind a table leg, clutching it. He lurches after her and in a massive heave, yanks the table away. She tries to escape, but he catches her leg and holds her. She hesitates, looks into his face, and then screams.)
 
SETA
No!!!!
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Calm yourself, Seta. I won’t—
 
(She wrenches free in a panic, and holds her hands up, and shaking, curls into a ball. He sees her fear and watches her.)
 
What? What? Tell me.
 
(She shudders. Pause. She quiets.)
 
SETA
A Ttttur…a Ttturk! I saw a Ttturk. Oh no, I saw a Turk.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
A Turk?! Me?? A Turk! Me? Me? No. No. Seta. It’s me, Seta. Aram Tomasian. How could you…How could you?
 
SETA
It was in your face.
 
MR. TOMASIAN
Did a…did a Turk…were you…did a Turk???
 
SETA
No, my sister, my older sister…in my place, she did it for me, for me, but I saw him, I saw him just then, oh I saw him on your face I saw him on you, in your eyes I saw him.
(shaking)
 
MR. TOMASIAN
You saw a Turk in my face…in my face??
 
SETA
I’m very sorry. I’m sorry. You are the one who saved me. You saved me, I’m sorry.
 
(He holds his face. He grabs the mirror. He looks in the mirror.)
 
MR. TOMASIAN:
Me? My face?
 
(He stares into the mirror. BLACKOUT.)
 


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