The Way Out: a modern re-telling of Exodus (a scene) | {story#19}

This is an original fiction piece written for StoryADay September. I’m usually very insistent that a piece should be able to stand on its own with no explanation, but this being a random scene from a play, I’ll tell you what you need to know. This is from an original play called “The Way Out”. It’s a modern re-telling of the biblical Exodus. “Christopher” is the Moses in this story, “Evan” is his brother Aaron, and “Joshua” is Yahweh. Even grew up a slave in the nation and Chris was raised in the King’s house. After killing a man, Chris was exiled and met his wife, before returning to help set these slaves free. Read more about StoryADay & follow here.


You have no idea what sort of state I was in back then! Do you know what it’s like to kill a man? To feel the part of you that awakens after watching the eyes of a man grow dim beneath the weight of your own anger? Your own hands? I was beside myself! I couldn’t look at my own reflection for a month! I had no idea who I was anymore. Heck, I still don’t even know half the time. There is no way you could have any idea what that time was like!


[Insulted] Are you fucking kidding me? No, I don’t know what it’s like to kill someone! But you want to know what I do know? I know what it’s like to die daily. Hourly. Moment by moment feeling your own eyes grow dim under the weight of someone else’s apathy! You can’t enjoy even those small moments that bring some bit of life to you. [He looks past Chris into the distance, growing nostalgic]

Every smile of your wife; every occasional movement of that dry arid desert air; even those little moments where you take some pride in your own labor are taken from you. I would at times stop and take note how well a particular block was laid. Perfectly lined with the one beneath it – almost seamless. I would step back and reality would start to resonate with me again. All my senses would heighten, all things around me growing brighter with their inherent beauty. I would begin to feel alive once more until the shout of either a man or a whip would remind me what true reality was. That which I thought was perhaps a reality I could have was really just a fantastic dream that I had no hope of ever knowing. This was my reality. This was life.

[Turning to Chris] So that was my life. While you went from privilege to privilege, your sister and I died out there! Where were you?




[Interupting] I know, I know. You needed to see that fucking flaming bush! But why did it have to come to that? Why did Joshua have to come and kick you in the ass! You knew who we were, you knew who you were! You were just traipsing around the desert looking for the first little whore whose dad would let you fuck her, while [shouting now] we were dying! We needed you! Why-, I-

[He stops, shakes his head, then continues slowly, thoughtfully, and deliberately] You dined in courts with kings; you danced until hours I’ve never seen; you saw the festivals and feasts that kept us up at night while we tried to sleep–even miles away; you- Wait . . .

[Thinking] I bet you actually know what it feels like to have more food in front of you than you can eat! To stop eating purely because you want to and not because you have to. You really know what that feels like, don’t you?

[He stops, ponders this, shaking his head, growing more and more bothered by the thought] No, Chris, I have no idea what it’s like to kill a man . . . but I will be damned if I let you use that as your validation for making me another victim at your hands. You will not watch my eyes grow dim. How dare you try and lord over me, making me a slave once more? How dare you? I’m ashamed to call you my brother.

Evan EXITS. Scene END.


Creative Commons License
This work by Paul Burkhart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


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