Questions of the Executioner and the Victim

Sequential Monodrama in Two Parts

By: Sabah Alanbari



Part I:

The Executioner

{The stage forming half of a green dome constructed carefully, and glazed with pieces of bright glass. The dome has one gate built in the form of jaws, the lined long pointed fangs are stained with blood.. The gate is open throughout the show time and in front of it at the center there are strung metal bars tied the victim.. The bars look like a big window which is with the victim seem, to the audience, as if they are inside the predator's mouth, or that the mouth is about to devour them.. In front of the bars and the victim there is a wooden chair stained with blood and surrounded by cutting and various torture tools. The executioner sits on the chair and his back to the audience.

On the inner wall of the dome we see the ghost of executioner whipping the victim enjoying her torture and screams. The man sitting on the wooden bloodstained chair raises his hands as a signal to stop the ghost from the movement and to leave out of the place.. the ghosts of the executioner and victim disappear. A circle of vertical lighting concentrated on the rails, the victim and the man sitting on the chair. The man gets up from his chair .. He turns toward the audience.. The similarities between him and the victim appear to be very large, but he is wearing different clothes with exaggerated elegance.. He became close to the victim hanging between life and death by

a fine thread.. He catches her bloodstained hair.. pulls back her head, which is difficult to identify its features because of the blood.. When he releases it the head reverts to its former condition.. He takes the water hose.. Puts one end in one fank of the predator jaws.. Pick up the other end of the water hose and directed it to the head of the victim.. Blood colored spray rushes out of the tube - touches the face of the victim to begin with her slowly waking up the monodrama of the executioner}

Executioner  :  (Throwing the water hose close to the chair and directing his words to the victim); How strange you are woman.. You wake up only by the spray of blood (he moves around her) thousands of years ago and you are on this case (Continuing in his moving around her asking the victim question after the other) not enough for you what you have suffered? You never satisfied with pain yet? What astonishing lust controls your feelings? (He pauses for a moment and then continues to ask his questions and rotation. With each question he widens the circle of his rotation) Are not you a human being? If I were you I would give up the world and what is in it  for even a single day of my life .. the more you tormented the more you insist and suppress? (He pauses. Yells at her) Why? And for whom? (Quietly and slowly) Tell me who deserves all this suffering? (Silence. He screams again) Answer me. (No answer) Are not you a human being as any human being? (He moves away quietly) Well .. You are not human being. (He sits on the chair) To assume this, at least, and also assume that you have ethics and principles .. Now the question is, are you the only one on the earth who has ethics and principles? Where are your predecessors who have the principles and manners? Isn't their fate under the earth? What will you get of being dead with a stay of execution? (Warning) Heh .. you are dead now .. and the dead do not taste life (He stands up. Approaching her) Believe me, I know this better than you (He looks in the eyes of the victim), never look at me as if I were from those who torment you and do not know why, they are doing it just as it is.. (Withdrawn mischievously) I torment you and I know why.. but what I do not know is why you have to bear the meals of pain I give you every day and night? Shouldn't you be procuring your affairs instead of waiting for meals of subsequent pain? (He pauses for a moment and then as if he heard the victim accuses him of cruelty) I cruel? Hahahahahah.. Yes, I also will not be other than this.. do not you see that endurance and compassion are my career (He re-examines the victim) surprising? You are right, I feel pity for everybody except you (Silence for a while. He comes so close to her that his face almost touches hers) Maybe you ask yourself why? In spite of being the closest to me (He stops suddenly and angrily) ..listen, no matter  you looked at me or not this will not change my opinion nor will affect my feelings, and the case will not turn to be my executioner and I will not be your victim, the executioner will still be the executioner and the victim will stay a victim since the beginning of Creation ..Wasn’t Cain the executioner of his brother for a passing lust? So what is your lust? Is it the lust of pain? Or is it the blood lust? (Explaining) I do not mean exchanging our two lusts because I am since Cain blood lust grew in me.. The sad thing is that you did not know this and you will not until you reach the lust of the end.. tell me, do you really claim that the lion is the sum of the digestible sheep? (She does not answer. He moves proudly and proudly like a peacock , answering himself by himself) I'm the lion of this forest you called life, you’d better say: The executioner, me, is the sum of the digestible victims (surprised by a sound so he is terrified in a way inconsistent with the alleged courage he pretend so he speaks confusedly) IIIIIIIII I'm not a coward, as you know, but I was just surprised by the sound .. I do not accept the surprise nor stay where I am.. but you accept everything in cool nerves (changing the subject) I mean you do not mind to be a one of my victims to devour you all at once? (He leaves her, heading to the front of the theater, but then he stops and turns towards her) personally.. I do not know why but that life has given me strength enough to devour you all! (He completes the walk to the front of the stage) I decided with myself once to give you the freedom that you want (silence and then confirm) and I did that virtually.. but  instead of planning to get rid of me you helped me to kill yourselves and swallow you one by one.. a few of you got rid of me with my approval and chose the exile instead of me.. and when I asked why you did not leave? You answered because of love, dignity and redemption.. if we did not sacrifice who will do? You surprised me, and I started to ask myself why? What did I do to them to be converted into such strange creatures? I did not ask them this.. I did not ask for anything at all (He leaves the audience and returns to the victim) .. before I came.. you did not like the way you were so you decided to have a full being of me to satisfy the lust of living to live with me in your souls.. you draw a form of me, you put a face, features and limitations for me, you agreed that I should be your holy cemetery.. and your similar did the same in every place and in every time. We agreed on devouring you as long as there is strange pleasure but later I felt weary.. I am sick and tired of you.. and your strange continuance of what you are in.. whatever I ask you do it.. whoever I order to come he comes at once, whenever I decide for any of you to die he dies in my hands. With my nonstop lust, and my never end thirst for bloodshed I found you come submissively (He moves away a few steps heading towards the audience remembering) At first you were happy to death.. excited bitterly .. and whenever I hurt you your insistence increased to achieve the lofty goals (He laughs) .. Hahahahahah is how you call targets!.. lofty! What dreamers par excellence.. Do you remember the day when three heads of you hanged by ropes of death? (Three dolls land in the space of the theater by hanging ropes. He takes a look at them reverently and then back to the audience) Well.. I hanged them to death. Was death a victory for you? (He repeats attention between the public and the victim waiting for someone to say something. As they continue in their silence he bursts out laughing in a low voice gradually increasing until it turns into a high chuckling) ha ha ha ha huh... (The gallows go up during his laugh and disappear in the space of the theater. He stops the chuckling abruptly.. casts the victim with a harsh outlook) you all changed me into a tool tasting pleasurably your fears.. devising ways to torment you so that it can sleep comfortably and in contentment until we accustomed to each other, and we became two sides of the same coin .. executioner and victim (confessing as one who admits to the audience) Yes I am the executioner (refers to the public spectacles) and you are the victims.. each one of us have known his role, but I am fed up (He stops a bit) with being an executioner.. but you boring never knows its way to you (angrily) what kind of human beings you are?! Abel knew he would die by the hands of his brother, but he went to death with a comfort heart when he knew that his death would turn his brother into an executioner (emotionally) a real executioner.. executioner of flesh and blood (a little bit and then he pauses) he did not mull much because he had thought much about his parents more than concerning about himself and this is a big mistake .. They were the world and life for him, life that must continue forgetting he is who should continue and beget good offspring fighting evil and injustice left by Cain.. he had a completely different lust contradicted with the lust of his brother .. lust you agreed to transmit its genes to you, be inherited to you .. but I refused.. strongly rejected because I do not want to authorize my fate to misery, suffering, and death.. and I will remain so until the thereafter I will not allow what it brings to us of fear and confusion.. I've known a lot of people, they were mostly standing at a distance from that fear.. some of them invented ways to make them forget death and its hot pursuit and keeping away its horrible ghost.. and those who like me were purified from him by him (he turns to the victim), and this is exactly the reason for your staying as victims, and the reason for my staying as I am .. Well I've talked too much and you did not say a word (sarcastically) if you will be on my side for sure.. look.. I do not want you to be on my side at all.. Just as we were found we will remain like this so that the world retains its balance always (he turns to the audience) life and survival for me, and you die and disappear.. this gives us a precise answer to what we are now: You with your killing silence, and me with my wondrous  gossip, but though (He turns to the victim) I insist that you confess about what you have.. to say a word in your seeking salvation from the horror that has no end (He comes close) listen and let me confess to you - and I am not obliged to confess- I mock at your philosophy, and your claim for struggling for a beautiful life, and for the lost paradise of the poor as life has no limits to get happiness if you are good in making trivialities.. life is trivial and fragile enough to ridicule.. or let’s say that is what I want from you to be rejoiced in what you have but you always choose what makes life difficult, bitter, and deadly.. you all my children, but I do not like those who are similar to you.. I'm not evil, as some of you thought, you who have created evil in the hearts of my children through your claim that you are the best and the finest and I have to educate the way that I see it is convenient to save what I should save from from vanishing (He turns around the victim) It is time for telling the full truth so tell me who are you, you who fasts from talking (A few things move on the glazed wall of the dome then some voices come out)

- We who you gave birth to listen to your tedious gossip.

- Who are you and who allowed you to storm the place?

- We did not storm the place we are always in.

- (Looking for the sound source) Where .. where are you?

- We are inside you .. even closer to you than the jugular vein.

- (He laughs) hee hee hee hee hee hee huh. So.. you are the mirage of the soul and the vapor upward toward the Calvary.. get away from me, you have no place between the barracks in my records.

- We will not move.

- (He screams) get away.

- We will not move.

- (He screams more) Get away.. get away, get away (He stops yelling, his features change) who gets away? Why do I shout what? Or.. by who? (He turns to the victim) Hey you have you heard anything or anyone, or calling for the.. or (He pauses for a moment) no.. consider that I did not ask you a question. (for himself) Have I imagined their voices?.. But who are they? Why do they direct their speech to me specifically? Do I have to include them in the list of the sufferers on my land or on the wide land of God? There is no difference.. torture is torture when it is in my hell or in the hell of God (He goes to the audience) These wretched think that I want them suffering to convince my lust and to disperse them from each other, forgetting that they are all from my loin, and I am the cruel father, and the kind custodian who is not be relentless or tolerate before their curious ingratitude.. I heard from a fellow that his sons wanted to construct a beautiful world where all live in brotherhood and equal in rights and duties. I laughed fill my mouth.. and when he asked me the reason of my laughing, I told him: Because your children have strange anomaly.. he said, echoing after me emotionally "Strange anomaly.. strange anomaly", what do you mean by saying this? Breaking the norms and every breaking the norms is considered an anomaly, I said.. I did not understand, he said, what anomaly you are talking about? Cain killed his brother, I said, so he deviated from the base of God, and inherited deviation to his descendants until the Day of Resurrection.. Did you see the good victorious someday? Maybe this happened once, but evil was and still victorious since Cain to this day.. Why? Because his construction is the strongest and the most powerful in building the human being.. my fellow shut up as if he was trying to introspection itself alone and he left me, the astonishment holding his tongue (He turns to the victim .. moving towards her, pointing to her by his index finger) You are the building block of Abel and that is why you bear the suffering and death coldly .. You won’t see victory only when each one of you get rid of his Abel that lies in the depths of the abyssal.. Abel did not resist.. did not defend himself .. and consents for the good inside him to be his deadly fate and since then I try to grab the good from you so that you will be stiff against injustice (He pauses a bit, then) Have you seen how much I affectionate to my children and those who fast to speak like you, you dead buried in the coffin of life? Â.. Let me tell you what another fellow said to me, claiming I was wrong.. He said: Prophets of Goodwill have triumphed always lit up the universe with the light of truth and righteousness, why do you turn your back to these victories? I told him: You are right in this, but tell me what happened to them after every victory? Didn’t people kill each other? Did not they conspire against each other?.. I mean, did the bad guys leave the good guys to enjoy the victories of the prophets’ Goodwill? Didn’t the riot intensify after the death of the Prophet Mohammed? Didn’t the people conspire to his successors in power until toppled the four of them? My daughter evil has become a norm dominant on the norm of good so be kind to yourself a little and get rid of what Satan inspired you of enmity of yourself against yourself and follow me toward the life I want to you not the life you want to me, you the vulnerable (the victim does not talk) listen .. for the last time I say it and you have no other choice after that.. Confess to get my contentment otherwise I’ll call the executioner to let you  taste the bitterness of humiliation (He wants to go out.. stops in the middle of the road. .turns to the victim) now I’ll come out of that gate (He points to the gate he came from), If  I left.. and closed the door behind me .. be informed that the executioner is coming to you with the whole lust to get rid of you and throw you away to the nearest garbage in the city (Heading towards the gate.. stands at the entrance. .turns to the victim waiting for her reaction, and does not see the reaction of her, smiles mischievously and then comes out of the mouth of the gate with iron fangs. The executioner’s ghost enters and starts torturing the victim, as in the beginning of the play.. the victim resists more and more, and the executioner intensifies the force in the beating and torture with awful hysteria until the tormented loses her consciousness again, and the color of the dome turns to the color of blood and gradual dark declares the end  of the executioner’s monodrama to start the monodrama of the victim).


Part II:

The victim

{The same previous view on the stage: the green dome, the ravenous jaws, the chair, and the tools of torture. Darkness fades gradually and we see the tormented victim regaining her consciousness.. .. .. She gets up and gets rid of the bars…She moves a few steps towards the front of the stage.. For the audience she looks like the executioner himself, but in the victim's clothes

The Victim  :  He went out of that blood gate (She refers to the predator mouth) and he will not be back, only when I am a corpse rotten and torn by the fangs blood.. There are many people before me have faced the same fate, and left, leaving behind a history of blood and waiting, as if waiting and blood are our inevitable destiny throughout the ages.. All their fault is that they chose free life and they rewarded with death or went away when they adore the magic of the land and its soil.

Since the dawn of the ancestries and perhaps much before that they have been victims of their deep affection.. Since then, he had been torturing them professionally (She pauses and then begin by asking a barrage of questions) Do you think that he is an actual executioner? Did you ask yourselves, even once, why does he feel we came out of his loins? Is he the father from whom our descendants came from? Maybe you have asked yourselves.. perhaps you discussed the answer or you decided to access it .. But before this and that, let me tell you: prove the truth by doubt as doubt is the way to truth.. do not believe what he said about me and my lust for pain and suffering. What he said is only half of the truth.. He always ignores the other half, intentionally or unintentionally.. I love life and do not want death to be equated to it although I am fully aware that they are twins and I should not hate anyone of them, but in spite of that, I hated death.. I hated it with all the power I have of hatred perhaps because of the large number of the dead people I saw on the road, or in the corridors of hospitals, or in hearses or in houses or on television, or.. or... (suddenly stopped as if she remembers something. She moves absent minded, slow-paced, then lopped strongly after a terrible thunderous explosion and laid her body on the ground lightly and briskly. She talks still lying on the ground) that was the last blast hit me in the last hours of the day.. I did not know at any hour, all I exactly know or remember.. is that I found myself immersed in a pool of blood .. I was buried under the fragments of flesh and bones and covered with heads, legs, and hands cut or not cut. (she puts away fragments, bones, and what accumulated of the of chopped human organs) A pregnant woman was lying there (indicating to the place) her bowls spilt out and she hold them to prevent her baby from falling.. she realized that she was close to death, and despite the deadly pain she tried to postpone her death until one may come to receive her baby but no one came in that difficult moments .. She looked at me begging and imploring.. I tried to come close, I told her: I'm coming to you, be brave, I am coming.. do not suffocate the fetus and open your legs .. more.. if you can bear the pain a little more for him .. when I reached her crawling and caught the top of her baby a speeding car passed in front of us and shot us with a hail of bullets broke through our bodies, turning us into lifeless bodies covered with blood (we hear the voice of the bullets, and see the shivering of the lights, and their strong reactions. She got a gunshot wound. She puts her hand on the wound and gets up relying on her other hand) I have been shot, good fortune, it is not lethal enough to embrace the dead in their plight disastrous.. the woman died, and her baby drowned in the basin of her blood before leaving the darkness of the womb to birth, where the light of life, the warmth of the sun .. from the womb to the grave .. oh what infringed innocence .. the newborn baby died.. everyone is dead at random .. and I am the only one that survived, however, I did not feel happy to be survived because I know they will come back again, and a again, and again to end whoever still alive .. perhaps the same group returns and possibly another groups who are practicing murder against us under various names, such as Al-Qaida or the ISIS, the sectarians, gangsters with silence guns, hired groups, militias, professional from the government.. and.. etc. (She stops talking and then goes on again) in any case they all could not prevent me from what I want to access but him .. Whenever I come close to the goal, he comes to deprive me of the lust of reaching thinking that I am making a tremendous rift in the balance between life and death or as he claims between the executioner and the victim. (She pauses. She hears the sound coming from out of the place.. approaches the predator mouth. She listens for a while. She hears the sound of screaming and appeal for help) They brought another new victims and that will accelerate inevitably ending me quickly (to the audience) remember please.. He is right in what he said that his existence is associated with my existence because it is me who had given him a name, a title, limits, identity and a holiness which is second to none .. No matter how angry or reacted, I cannot prevent him from practicing against me all his methods in punishment and reward, whatever that punishment individually or collectively, (Some confusion in the hall or it may be heard from a recording device. She moves here and there in an attempt to stop the confusion) Please.. please do not surmise badly, I am not the one who enjoy the torture, or relish by it in order to quench their bizarre and strange desires.. I'm exactly like you, distinguished only by my stubbornness and my determination to build a new life which does not controlled by the hands stained with the blood of the innocent people (The confusion continues.. she tries to control the noise) Ok, Ok, I’ll tell you the truth if this is compatible with what you want, but please rest assured that he is not a terrorist, and he is not the one who licks the blood of innocent people, and he is not the bearer of the virus of political, or religious, or sectarian terrorism, or of what their hands possess of different viruses .. He is the closest to us, and the most merciful on us, do not be tempted by his talking about torturing me because he never did .. At the end of the day he would leave me free to lie eternally between his merciful arms (intense objection and boos) Believe me (they do not listen to her so she raises her voice higher) Believe me, I'm not defending him never (the noise stops) I just want to tell you the truth: his truth, my truth, and your truth, and you have the right to suspect this or that fact, because as I said uncertainty is the way to certainty, and be informed .. I am not the only one who suffers from his horrible cruelty and love.. there are people (boycotted by someone who asks her and she repeats his question) Where? Well.. They are in exile in very distant countries sleep on the live coal to come home, waking up on the fire of nostalgia.. and when they die they wish to be buried near it .. near the uterus, from which they came out in the birth .. Do you ever wondered why do they want that? Why do they had been tormented for his sake? (Silence) because their roots extended here in the depths.. I mean in the depths of the earth upon which I stand now (she points to the ground), let me tell you this story (She about to speak but stops. She looks at the chair and the instruments of torture) Sorry.. I have to get rid of this obnoxious waste first (She carries the chair and throws it away in the predator mouth) We do not need you in this place anymore (She picks up the instruments of torture. She throws them away in the predator mouth also) go to hell, O fascist lethal tools (She backs to her first position) well.. I can now start from the beginning of the story:

(She imitates the storyteller) It had been told in the legends of Mesopotamia, ladies and gentlemen, that the great gods felt lonely and useless of staying without a creature similar to them, or different from them to waste their loneliness, and take care of the celestial affairs on the vast land so they decided after giving and taking, and an extensive talk to create a new creature from the dust of the earth and its water and they entrust the job of creation to the great God who took a handful of dust of the earth.. mixed it with drops of water and when the mixture became soft he chewed it a little, and when he threw the embryo out of his mouth the human being born. Thus, his feelings associated with the land that have moved its genes to that creature carrying the water energy and the tyranny of the earth.. At first the gods  thought that the new creatures will render a serve to them, but when they grew up they became thinking day and night to use the power of the gods, their influence, their dominance in the extension and harness of everything that moves on the surface of the earth, in the name of the gods, for their own interests.. and so declared the kings, having pulled the rug power from under the feet of the priests completely, that they are the shadows of God on earth, and they left the clergy the mission to give them the sacred power of attorney to represent the divine power.. I did not want to make you sick of this bizarre and strange story, I just wanted to emphasize on the link between the human being with his first soil and nothing whatsoever.

I know you are surprised in my behavior, and deny my acceptance to all forms of torture he afflicted on me, and what he poured on my head of the blaze. You deny these words of mine because I never showed him the spirit of hostility and hatred reacting naturally to what he has committed against me.. Can the daughter hate her father? To bring him down to status of the arch-enemy? I know he is my only executioner whom I will not leave whatever he exaggerated in torturing me.. do not think I am masochistic as some may imagine so I like the pain between his hands, and he is not the executioner that tampering with us as he wishes or laugh at his victims as others do .. Do you imagine what happened to my brother who was a prisoner for some of the black rats? They let him sit in front of one of his companions and then they ordered them to slap each other on the face calling him as apostate. If any one of them did not slap hard his companion or was been slapped hard, they kick him so severely to force him to do that strongly.. He was hurt the most harm not only because of the blows he receives from the companion, but from the weight of humiliation, and the violation of the sanctity of humanity in them together, while the rats laugh and joke and call their names with atrocious insults. When they fed up the game, they were doubling the number until the slaps tuned on the faces of the prisoners.

I'm tormented and I know why as one who is burned by the fire of love he always burned by it.. I work hard tirelessly to make his life is what they have not chosen for his confused and troubled self or on the contrary to what they wanted him or planned to throw him in the quagmire of the stinking and strange retardation. (Some sounds come from a very distant place like coming from the depths of the universe. She listens a bit, lays her head inside the predator mouth. She turns her head to the right and the left. She screams strongly while retreating tossed back and fallen on the ground as if a hidden power kicked her with a tremendous force.. she stands up.. imagines that there are ghosts or a hidden power following her steps so she moves backward.. vague sounds attack her yet she does not distinguish but the tumult and the whining as if they were coming from the depths of history). Stop O dead sounds, tens of the slaughtered are waiting at the gates of absence.. Cain did not satisfied from his brother's flesh.. he is still in a voracious hungry to human’s flesh .. stop and listen to the voice of the suffered people on the ground (She listens to the coming moan sometimes like  a choral church murmuring and in other times like a hymning and then she sings or repeats a sad song putting to sleep then the hymns begin to die down gradually .. She bursts into tears at the end of the song and then stops) I did not cry on myself and my state.. I cried on those queuing in the lines of death light and heavy.. and on the bereaved and those who laid under the claws of barbaric death .. Abel was killed and you blamed me, you blamed the woman.. that loved by Cain and decided to possess whatever the consequences.

  In front of the desire of reckless possession taboos lose their deterrent ability and this is exactly the reason for murder.. the reason that has nothing to do with me from near or far.. to blame me  O people.. You did not understand, nor did that who calls himself an executioner understand that I refuse to turn these people's lives to eternal hell, to an executioner and a victim, to a killer and dead, I also reject the idea of trivializing life and flattening it as he wants naively and in excessive goodness (her words went directly to the public) for the god’s sake.. do not you see that these tormented people deserve that we sacrifice with all the precious and the expensive for them? Do not they deserve that we bear much of what we endured for them? Do not these voices coming from the depth of history with their moaning and sorrow deserve to be lulled to sleep quietly at least? Do you see? I did not enjoy torment, and did not turn off by it the lust of the desires of our lives conducive to the extinction? He will come soon, and let me taste much of his agonies.. and he will let you bear so much pain the mountains cannot carry, however you will remain love him deeply.. and until that time comes (she goes to the predator mouth) we will close this dreaded mouth (She closes it firmly) hoping that by closing it we knock on the doors of a new world.


The End

* Sequential Monodrama : An innovative serious project posed theoretically by the director Farouk Sabri in an attempt to break the rigid rules from the traditional Monodrama. This play is a leader in this project, on which Sabri is working on directing it hoping to present it as avant-garde applied model on “Sequential Monodrama”.

Translated by:

Soheil Najm