Playella | The SS Officer by Poet Marmalade

Playellas are Descent’s series of tiny plays for your new writing quick fix.

The SS Officer

The SS Officer by Poet Marmalade

A small town in German-occupied France, 1942.

Ten hostages, including Marie-Claire, are lined up in the town square awaiting the arrival of the German SS Commander. There are German guards at either end of the line, armed with rifles.

1st Hostage: Why have they brought us here?

2nd Hostage: Who knows. I haven’t done anything.

1st German Guard: Silence in the line.

The SS Oberleutnant enters. Both guards stand to attention and salute.

Oberleutnant: (salutes) At ease gentlemen.

He begins to pace up and down the line. Beat.

(Matter of factly) Ten of you hostages are to be shot.

2nd Hostage: Shot! But Herr Oberleutnant. We have done nothing.

Oberleutnant: (ignoring the question) But I have decided I will spare one of you.

Beat. He grins sardonically.

The one who will shoot the other nine.


Marie-Claire steps forward from the line.

Marie-Claire: I will, Herr Oberleutnant. 

Oberleutnant: (bemused) How old are you little girl?

Marie-Claire: Fourteen Herr Oberleutnant.

3rd Hostage: Do it Marie-Claire, don’t think about it. Save yourself.

A defiant cheer breaks out from the rest of the line.

Oberleutnant: Very well… So be it.

He removes his pistol from its holster and turns to the 3rd Hostage.

You will be first.

Marie-Claire takes the gun and holds it to the 3rd Hostage’s head, hands trembling.

Marie-Claire: (whispers) Adieu…

She turns and shoots the Oberleutnant dead.


You can read more from Poet Marmalade here.

Illustration by Guy Warner.

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