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