Troubles on the Enemy's Moor

Reads: 394  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This piece is a reworking of Shakespeare's Othello. I have chosen to tell the story from the eyes of Iago within the setting of a Northern Irish courtroom during The Troubles that plagued the area during the late 20th Century.


                                                           ENEMY'S MOOR

               INT. LAGANSIDE COURT, BELFAST 1985 - DAY

               We find ourselves in a court room, full of people and
               bustling with noise. A man, (Paddy O'Thello 30), sits on the
               right hand side of the docks, with two policemen to his left,
               a solicitor to his right and a further two policemen to the
               right of them. He has short black hair and piercing blue
               eyes. He sits in shackles staring blankly ahead.

               On the left hand side of he docks sits a much thinner man,
               Ciann Callighan 31, with darting eyes and just one solicitor
               sitting to his left and a policeman to his right... A hammer
               bangs three times and the court is called to order. 

                         This court is in session regarding
                         the  brutal and seemingly
                         unprovoked murder of Dierdre
                         O'Thello, wife of Paddy O'Thello
                         and daughter of Barry st. Michael,
                         the ulster unionist, a pivotal
                         figure in relations between
                         Northern Ireland and the Mainland.
                         The first witness to be called
                         forward is Ciann Callighan; former
                         friend of the accused and
                         recognised kingpin in various IRA
                         linked terror attacks.

               Ciann steps up and is put under oath… on the King James
               Bible. A contradiction in itself. Paddy writhes in his
               shackles in the dock.

                                   JUDGE (CONT'D)
                         For the benefit of the court, Mr.
                         Callighan, could you please
                         reiterate your relationship with
                         the accused, Mr. O'Thello?

               CIANN smirks

                         I have known the accused for the
                         best part of ten years, Your
                         Honour. We met in a bar in Dublin
                         one week after the 1974 car
                         bombings that killed 33 people. A
                         five month old baby was among the
                         victims along with pensioners.
                         Either way, the only thing
                         connecting the random victims was
                         innocence. An innocent woman, too,
                         was Martha O'Thello , mother of the
                         accused whose family had only a
                         severed, nail riddled thigh and
                         some blood stained tufts of hair to
                         bury and grieve over. 

               Ciann casts a nervous glance at his former friend, companion
               and soldier. His glance is met by fierce eyes before
               continuing with his story.

                                   CIANN (CONT'D)
                         I'd never met a man with so much
                         fire and hatred in his eyes. He
                         looked rough, haggard and sat in
                         the corner drinking straight
                         whiskey all day long. When I
                         approached him he asked if I wanted
                         to live or die…

                         Objection, Your Honour. The witness
                         is transgressing from the matter at
                         hand. What has this got to do with
                         soliciting the murder of Mr. St.
                         Michael's  daughter?

                         Objection observed Mr. Callighan,
                         you digress. Please tell the court
                         how and why you convinced this
                         political soldier to murder his
                         wife, as she slept?

               A stifled cough from the court.

                         I acted out of jealousy, your
                         Honour. I was jealous of the power
                         wrought by Paddy in the North. I
                         was envious of his position too. 
                         We are both southern Catholics. We
                         should have been equal. I soon
                         became lieutenant to Paddy; his
                         second and inferior. Not only was I
                         merely the laughing stock and
                         henchman of the operation, Paddy
                         wronged me in ways he could have
                         never imagined. Rumour has it he
                         slept with my wife. I planted seeds
                         of doubt in his mind. I wanted to
                         crush him. I wanted him to feel my

               Quick shot of Paddy sitting in the docks, a single tear
               running down his cheek which falls of the end of the crucifix
               hanging round his neck

                                   CIANN (CONT'D)
                         I set up his 'new best friend',
                         Connor. Fecker thought he could
                         take my place. I had him falsely
                         accused of murder and Paddy
                         disowned him as a liability to 'The
                         Of course Connor tried to regain
                         favour through Deirdre, begging her
                         to ask Paddy to reconsider. The
                         Cause was after all our purpose in
                         life. Paddy grew suspicious of
                         always bumping into Connor. He was
                         under the impression his wife had
                         been sleeping with him. Far was it
                         from me to either confirm or deny
                         his thoughts, but sit back and
                         watch them fester and grow.

                         Are you saying you actively
                         encouraged doubt in your friend and
                         superiors head?

                         He is no friend of mine. He is an
                         animal. A barbarian. 

               Paddy rises in an attempt to attack Cain but his shackles
               hold him back.

                         Answer the question.

                         I did, your honour. I twisted and
                         manipulated him beyond repair. I
                         used the guilt born in every
                         catholic to crush him. It was his
                         own doing. He came to his own
                         conclusions. I merely… pointed in
                         the wrong direction.

                         Judge: Is it also true that you
                         suggested Connor had links to the
                         Ulster Volunteer Force?
                         Those suspected of having
                         perpetrated the 1974 Dublin car
                         bombings? And that you insinuated
                         that Deirdre O'Thello, wife of the
                         accused, had been passing
                         information from Paddy to Connor
                         regarding attacks and names of

                         I let slip that Connor's brother
                         was heavily involved in the trial.
                         I never suggested anything solid… 

                         Did you or did you not say that
                         Connor was honest? And you planted
                         an Ulster unionist's flag in
                         Deirdre's room, did you not, also?

                         Planted? I misplaced it. But to
                         O'thello, it was living proof of
                         her disloyalty, and as for Connor,
                         I suggested his honesty but never
                         confirmed it… Your Honour, all I
                         have done is to speak timidly. I
                         barely fuelled his curiosity and
                         played on his naiveté. He has
                         undone himself, I think.

                         Mr Callighan, Thank you, you may
                         step down.

               Callighan is led away handcuffed by policemen towards the

               Paddy O'Thello is brought into the docks, shackled like an
               animal. He too, reluctantly swears upon the King James bible;
               an oath that means nothing.

                         Oh monstrous! How have I ended up
                         here? That man is evil. (Points to
                         door) pure, incarnate evil! Here I
                         stand shackled and humiliated like
                         an animal. A foreigner and outsider
                         in my own occupied land. A
                         barbarian, manipulated to commit
                         the ultimate sin and murder my
                         love. That man! That sorry and
                         lowly excuse of a man is the real
                         criminal. He fights not for the
                         colours of orange, white and green,
                         but only green. He is a bitter and
                         envious soul. I stand here before
                         you on trial for murder at the end
                         of a journey I started out of
                         passion. Am I the barbarian for
                         fighting against the unlawful
                         killing of my people and family? Am
                         I the barbarian for wanting to
                         unite the peoples of a divided
                         country that share the same
                         language, literature and history?
                         Am I the barbarian for trusting my
                         best friend and putting faith in
                         him? Now my wife and love lies
                         buried. That lewd minx.  I
                         smothered her in her sleep…

               Paddy O'Thello, looks into the court and see's Connor alive,
               peering out from behind two big men, that look like
               bodyguards and begins to sob as the camera slowly pans out
               and the shot switches to Ciann Callighan alone in a cell

                         He got what he deserved. All the
                         boys are waiting for me to take his
                         place when I get out. I'm going to
                         be the leader. The instigator of
                         the reunion. The lone soldier
                         fighting the loyalists. No longer
                         will I be second place. I crushed
                         that man. I hate him. I hate him…

Submitted: October 02, 2012

© Copyright 2020 aaronmoore2231. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

More Literary Fiction Scripts

Other Content by aaronmoore2231

Short Story / Literary Fiction

Script / Literary Fiction