Abba and Maliki stand outside of an electronics store in downtown Berlin, 1941 watching a television set through the glass in a crowd of people.
Abba: This is absolutely absurd!
Tv: Within the past few weeks thousands of Jewish people and non-Aryan people have been executed, as well as thrown into what is believed to be work camps… [Trails off]
Maliki: Father, are we going to be away to work?
Abba: You’re not going anywhere, son.
Man 1: You better start running, sonny boy. The storm is gonna hit, and it’s gonna hit hard.
Abba: [covering Maliki’s ears] Do you really think that the secret police will invade?
Maliki: Father, is this man telling the truth?
Man 1: You better believe it. They’ll come. Soon. You better just DISAPPEAR [gestures in a rainbow motion in the air], you know what I’m gettin’ at, Mr. Cohen?
Maliki: What does he mean? Papa, what is he talking about?
Abba: Nothing, Maliki. Don’t worry about this man. Let’s get home before your mother worries.
In a small living room within the family house. Enter Abba and Maliki. Mrs. Cohen is folding clothes near the couch in the middle of the room.
Abba: Turns out that our Christmas vacation is going to be bumped up a little bit.
Mrs. Cohen: How soon?
Abba: Thursday at the latest.
Mrs. Cohen: That soon? Why, that’s only three days away. What’s come over you?
Maliki: Father is worried about the secret police making us go work for them. [sits on the couch beside Mrs. Cohen]
Abba: I would feel safer in America with our family, that is all. This ruler, this man, he is no good for our country. We must wait for the passion of this insanity. My family needs protection.
Mrs. Cohen: Do you really feel that it’s this bad?
Maliki: You said it was nothing to worry about!
Abba: The burden need not be on your or your mother. I will protect the both of you with my own life. You need to start packing immediately. Maliki, head to your room and get out your suitcase. [Maliki exits]
Mrs. Cohen: How bad is it getting out there?
Abba: [whispering so Maliki can’t hear] They say the secret police will move into Berlin before the end of the month. I want us long gone before they arrive.
Mrs. Cohen: Oh, I hope you’re right about this, Abba. I’ll phone Virginia and let her know we’ll be early. [she exits]
Abba: [aside] I plead with every cell in my body that my family be kept safe by my own hand. Please keep them safe.
In a small bedroom within the family house. Maliki is asleep on the bed. Next to his bed are two suitcases. Enter Abba and Mrs. Cohen.
Abba: Son, get yourself ready. Hurry so you can have a good breakfast before we go out for a few things.
Maliki: [barely awake] Where are we going, papa?
Mrs. Cohen: Your father and I need a few things before we go to the airport. You will go with him to pick it up so that I can get things done around here before it is time to go. Now get up and brush your teeth.
Maliki: [groans] Yes, mother.
Mrs. Cohen: You boys need be careful out there. I’ll clean up and get things around. The car is scheduled to pick us up at five.
Abba: I’m always careful, dear. It’s your son I’m worried about.
Mrs. Cohen: [laughs] You always find a way to make me laugh even in time of desperation.
Abba: I try my best.
Mrs. Cohen: Be safe. Hurry back. [kisses Abba’s forehead] [Abba exits] Keep my boys safe during their trip. What more does a mother have? [curtain]
Abba and Maliki are walking down main street after just exiting the market.
Maliki: Papa, what about my friends? And yours? What about your company?
Abba: You needn’t worry about my work, son. That will all be handled. Your safety is immensely more important than my business. As for your friends, I wish them well, and you should as well. Pray for them each and every day, as I’m sure they’ll be doing for you. I will do the same for my friends, and your mother’s.
Maliki: I will pray for your friends and business, father. I feel safer now, but I will miss my school and my friends.
Abba: That is natural. I can’t make that go away, but I can help it slightly.
Maliki: Thank you, papa. [hugs Abba]
Abba: Now, let’s head back home before your mother begins to worry too much. [they begin walking]
Maliki: FATHER!! [secret police enter]
Abba: Get over here. Right now. Maliki, get behind me and do not move nor make a sound. Do you understand?
Maliki: [nods and hurries behind his father] Papa, don’t let them get me.
Abba: Shh! I won’t. Now hush. When I tell you to run, you run home and don’t stop. Get your mother in the car and to the airport as planned, even if I am not there. Do you understand?
Maliki: I understand.
Nazi 1: You! Everyone! Get up against that wall! Right now!!!
[everyone shuffles to the wall; facing the police. Carlisle enters and stands behind Maliki]
Nazi 2: All of you, put your hands above your head. NOW!
Nazi 1: In a line, climb into the truck and sit down. Children, too. Let’s go! MOVE! Get on the truck! Anyone who wishes to rebel will be executed immediately. Orders of the man himself!
Abba: Not yet, son.
Carlisle: I can’t find my father. I’m scared.
Abba: Don’t worry. My son and I will protect you until your father turns up. Maliki, take him with you when I say the word, okay?
Maliki: Yes, papa.
Nazi 2: Let’s go! Everyone! On the truck!
Nazi 1: [pointing at Abba] Are you deaf? Get on the truck! Your children, too! NOW!!
Abba: [whispering] Stay where you are. When I point, get to that alley. [walks slowly toward Nazi 2]
Nazi 2: What do you think you are doing? The truck is not his way. Last chance!
Abba: Now, boys! [runs at Nazi 2 and tackles him]
[Maliki pulls Carlisle and runs into the alley and hides behind a trash can, still able to see]
[Nazi 1 shoots Abba. Abba drops to the ground, dead]
Maliki: NO!! PAPA!! [tries to run to Abba, but Carlisle holds him back]
Carlisle: You mustn’t get yourself caught. He wouldn’t want that.
[Maliki grabs Carlisle’s arm and hurls himself out of the opposite end of the alley, exiting]
[Maliki and Carlisle march quickly into the family home. Mrs. Cohen is setting down suitcases near the couch.]
Mrs. Cohen: What’s the matter? Where is your father? Who is this?
Carlisle: My name is Carlisle, Miss. I lost track of my father and your son brought me with him. The police must have taken him.
Mrs. Cohen: Oh, no! The police? Maliki, honey, what’s happened?
Maliki: Papa! He’s gone, Ma. He’s gone!! They killed him!
Mrs. Cohen: That can’t be. He’ll come home. We will just have to hold the car for him.
Maliki: No! Papa said that I was to make sure that you get on that plane on time! I’m supposed to protect you, mama!
Mrs. Cohen: [begins to sob] Oh, Abba, what have you done? You’ve gone and left me. What is a single mother and her young son to do?
Maliki: What about Carlisle?
Mrs. Cohen: He’ll come with us. If you father doesn’t show up, Carlisle can take his ticket.
Maliki: Papa is dead. He isn’t coming. I saw it with my own eyes!
Carlisle: Leave it be, Maliki.
Mrs. Cohen: Get the rest of your things around. We haven’t much time. Carlisle, I’m sorry, but you won’t have much to take with you. You’ll have to share things with Maliki as best you can. You two can figure that out once we’re gone. [she exits]
Maliki: Don’t worry. My father is watching over us.
[There is a pounding on the door. Mrs. Cohen enters and looks out the window.]
Nazi 1: [from outside the door] Mr. or Mrs. Cohen, please open the door immediately.
Mrs. Cohen: It’s them!
Maliki: Mother! Get into the chest and don’t make a sound. Carlisle, you can fit in there with her.
Carlisle: Where will you hide?
Maliki: Do not worry about me. Protect yourselves. [he exits]
Nazi 1: We are coming in! [busts open the door]
[Nazi 1, 2, and 3 search the room, exit, and come back]
Nazi 2: All clear!
Nazi 3: No one in sight, sir.
Nazi 1: They’ll be back. We will wait a little while and then go search his business for at least a trace of him.
Nazi 3: Where do you suppose they’re headed? [points at suitcases]
Nazi 2: Looks like they knew we’d be coming. [laughs] They were a little late.
Nazi 1: They won’t be taking a vacation any time soon.
Mrs. Cohen: [sobs]
Nazi 2: Hear that?
Nazi 1: Sounded like it came from over there. Come out, come out, wherever you are. [opens the chest] Well, look what we have here. Did you really think you could hide forever?
Mrs. Cohen: Please, no! I have a child!
Nazi 2: Don’t you worry, we’ll take perfect care of him for you.
[Maliki enters quietly behind the officers. He shoots Nazi 3]
Maliki: You leave my family alone!
Mrs. Cohen: Maliki!!
[Nazi 2 fires at Maliki but misses. Maliki tackles Nazi 2 and Nazi 1 fires at Maliki, missing and hitting Nazi 2 instead. Carlisle strikes Nazi 1 on the head with a bat]
Maliki: Mama, get out of there and grab out things and take them out front. The car will be arriving soon. We’ll meet you out there. If someone comes, hide in the shed.
Mrs. Cohen: [nods] Your father would be proud. [she exits]
Maliki: Let’s move these bodies to the basement. They’ll soon be coming in search of their missing officers. If they find them out here dead, they’ll be after us in no time.
Carlisle: You grab his legs. I’ll get the arms.
[They drag all three bodies to the basement]
[Mrs. Cohen, Maliki, and Carlisle are at the ticket counter at the airport with their things]
Airport clerk: May I see your passports?
Mrs. Cohen: Yes, M’am.
Maliki: [whispering to Carlisle] Do not panic. Act as if you are next in line and leave with us when we are done.
Airport Clerk: You two are all set. [to Carlisle] Sir, what about yours?
Maliki: Oh, he’s not with us.
Airport Clerk: Oh, I apologize, sir.
Carlisle: That’s okay, Miss.
Mrs. Cohen: Maliki, Let’s go. [they begin to walk away]
Airport Clerk: Excuse me, sir, you have to stop here before you go to the security line. Sir!!
Carlisle: I left my ticket in the car, I’m sorry. I’ll get it and be back. [he follows the others]
Airport Clerk: No problem, sir.
Adam(security guard): Okay, miss, step through the scanner. Okay, all clear. You, son, step through the scanner. All clear. Gather your things. Okay, step through. All set. Let’s keep it moving. [pulls Maliki close to him and whispers] I see your star. Watch your step around here. Lay low and keep your family safe and close. They may inspect your flight and take you off of it. Be aware of everyone around you, got it?
Maliki: I understand.
[Nazi 4 enters with Nazi 5]
Nazi 4: Any Jews that wish to board the plane, form a line in front of me and be ready to present proof of identification.
Adam: [whispering] Do not get in that line. There is a restroom around that corner. Get there as quickly as possible, but don’t make a scene or they’ll notice you. Try to keep the side with your stars facing toward the opposite way as them. Now, go! [Maliki, Carlisle, and Mrs. Cohen exit] You can’t be doing this here! Get out of my airport!
Nazi 5: Your airport? I do believe this is government owned. Hitler owns this entire place and he’s given us orders. If you’re not going to cooperate, I’ll send you in with the filthy Jews!
Adam: [scoffs] Those aren’t your orders, sir.
Nazi 4: I say throw him in. Or better yet, get rid of him!
Nazi 5: Leave him be. We’ve got enough dirt to worry about. Get lost, will ya?!
Adam: My pleasure. [he exits]
[Maliki, Mrs. Cohen, and Carlisle are in the bathroom with the door locked. Adam enters]
Maliki: Thank you for sending us here.
Adam: Right, listen, they will come for you eventually. I’ve got a private jet sitting in hangar 2. If we can get you to it, and fill it up, we can get you out of here safely.
Carlisle: How far away is that from this bathroom?
Adam: It will only take us a few minutes to walk there from here if we hurry. It’ll take me a little while to get it fueled up. I’ve got a few friends in the control center that will give me clearance without a formal flight plan. I’ll contact them as I’m fueling up. Any questions?
Maliki: Yes, where are we headed?
Adam: Where are you scheduled to fly to?
Mrs. Cohen: To the land of the free, as my husband would say.
Adam: You’re headed to America? Well, miss, I’ll get you there.
Maliki: Do you even have a pilot?
Adam: I am the pilot. No one flies her better than I.
Carlisle: [grinning] Awesome.
Maliki: Why are you being so nice to us?
Mrs. Cohen: Maliki! Do not be sure. He is helping us.
Adam: That’s alright, M’am. It’s hard to trust anyone in Europe this day and age. I understand your concern, son, but I really am trying to help keep you safe. What this man is doing is incredibly terrible. I want to help in any way that I can.
Mrs. Cohen: His intentions are good, Maliki.
Maliki: I needed to be sure. Papa would have.
Mrs. Cohen: I know, son.
Adam: Did you lose him recently?
Mrs. Cohen: Unfortunately, yes. To those terrible so-called police. My poor son saw the whole thing happen.
Adam: I’m terribly sorry to hear that, and sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine witnessing such an act of hatred, let alone it being against your own father.
Maliki: Let’s not discuss it any further.
Adam: Let’s get to that hangar, shall we?
[Adam, Maliki, Mrs. Cohen, and Carlisle stand in the jet]
Adam: As you can see, it’s quite spacious back here. Take a seat anywhere. I’m going to fuel her up and get in contact with the control center. I’ll be back briefly.
Carlisle: Wow! Look at this!
Mrs. Cohen: [emotionless] Yes, it seems we are flying first class.
Maliki: Mama, are you worried?
Mrs. Cohen: oh, dear, I’ve been worried for a long time. I pray that we at least get this thing in the air before more of his men come for us.
Carlisle: Say, what if he’s got his men up in the control center and they hear Adam and come for us right then?
Maliki: Hush. We must hope for the best. We’ve got to trust Adam. He’s all we’ve got right now.
Carlisle: But, how can we be sure that he is going to take us to America? We do not know this man.
Mrs. Cohen: Maliki is right. We must have hope and trust in him. He has saved our lives thus far.
Adam: [enters] We must hurry now. I’ve gotten confirmation with the control center, but I’ve been warned that they’re sending someone out to check on the activity out here.
Radio: Uh, yeah, this is Cal up in control, uh, can we get someone out to hangar 2 to check out what’s going on? I’ve got word of something suspicious involving Jews.
Radio: Copy that, I’m on it. I’ll check back in a few.
Adam: They may be here sooner than expected. I’ll need some help. I’m going to fire up the engine. Maliki, you and Carlisle need to go check and make sure the fuel pump is turned off and that the hose it put away. It needs to be at least ten feet clear of the jet and the runway. Think you can handle that?
Carlisle: We’ve got it. [they exit]
Adam: Mrs. Cohen, if you’d like, you can keep an eye on the boys through that window. Make sure you tell them and me if there is anyone approaching.
Mrs. Cohen: Of course.
Officer: [from outside] Hey! What are you two doing? You think you’re gonna hijack this plane?
Mrs. Cohen: ADAM!
[Carlisle and Maliki enter]
Maliki: Shut the hatch! He’s right out there!
Adam: We haven’t enough time for that. Hide back there! Now!
[the three hide. Officer enters]
Officer: What’s going on in here?
Adam: Nothing, sir. Just showing the boys how to care for a beauty like this one. [chuckles]
Officer: Right, where are they?
Adam: I’m not too sure. They must be around here somewhere.
Officer: And why is the engine fired?
Adam: Ya see, they wanted to see what it sounded like and how you start it up.
Officer: Are they Jews?
Adam: Well, sir, I don’t know the answer to that.
Officer: You better figure it out. Quickly.
Adam: Oh, come on, let it alone. Let the boys be.
Officer: I can’t do that. If you’re protecting Jews and planning on hiding them, you’ll receive just as much punishment.
Adam: Do you like this country, sir?
Officer: What do you mean?
Adam: I mean what I asked. Do you like this country?
Officer: Of course. Why?
Adam: You like Hitler? You like the way things are running?
Officer: Things are fine here. Just….. Can you…. THE BOYS?
Adam: Do you like America, sir?
Officer: Never been. Why?
Mrs. Cohen: [stepping out] Today’s your lucky day! [hits him over the head with a small cooler]
Adam: MRS. COHEN!
Adam: We must take his body with us, then. If he were to wake up and still be here, he may tell them we are headed to American and have us stopped once we land in America, or even shot down by the military here. Who knows what could happen. I’ll fetch some rope. Tie him to that chair. Disarm him as well. It looks like he’s headed to America. [he exits]
[Mrs. Cohen disarms him while Maliki and Carlisle carry him to a chair. Adam reenters with rope]
Maliki: Toss it here.
[Adam and Maliki begin tying him up]
Mrs. Cohen: My intention was not to jeopardize our flight. I’m sorry.
Adam: M’am, don’t be sorry. I’m just glad he didn’t have the opportunity to send back up. However, if we don’t get out of here quickly, they’ll send someone to check up on him.
Radio: Uh, this is control, we are checking on the status of hangar 2.
[all goes silent and still]
Radio: Again, I am checking on the status of hangar 2. Who was sent out there?
Adam: Okay, I’m going to begin taxiing out to the runway. We don’t have much time left at all. Buckle up.
[Adam, Maliki, Carlisle, and Mrs. Cohen walk through a terminal at a U.S. airport after a successful flight. Three policemen wait for them.]
Policeman 1: Did you just hop off that jet?
Adam: Yes, sir. Is there a problem?
Policeman 2: Only that you stole it, entered the U.S. airspace without permission, and landed at our airport without permission. You could have been killed or killed someone else.
Policeman 3: Come this way, please.
[they enter a room and are seated across from a desk where Mr. Huntington sits]
Polieman 2: Here they are, sir. Fresh out of the sky.
Mr. Huntington: Are you aware of the stunt you have just pulled? You’re lucky a swat team didn’t greet you as soon as that jet touched down!
Adam: Sir, let one explain….
Mr. Huntington: Son, I’m a reasonable man. Tell me why you snuck this jet and these people out of Germany and into the United States without following any protocol? Did you kidnap these poor people?
Maliki: Just the opposite, sir. He saved us.
Mr. Huntington: I beg your pardon?
Mrs. Cohen: Just what my boy said. This man saved our lives. He helped us escape an awful place.
Mr. Huntington: Is that so?
Adam: Yes, sir, it is.
Mr. Huntington: Elaborate, please.
Adam: Well, you see, they’re Jewish and the leader over there is persecuting Jewish people.
Mr. Huntington: Ah, yes, I am well aware of the problems evolving in Europe. Hitler is a made man that needs stopping.
Adam: Right, so I helped these people escape being tortured or killed.
Mr. Huntington: But, why the U.S.? Why not some place closer? And why illegally?
Adam: They showed up at the airport that I work at for a flight to the U.S. but when they arrived, Hitler’s army had already begun taking over the airport. There was no way that they would be allowed to leave the country safely. I took it upon myself to see that they did. I had a privately owned jet and a friend in the control center that could get me in the air.
Maliki: My father had arranged for us to leave Germany and stay with relatives here before the secret police got to us, but they came earlier than expected.
Mr. Huntington: Where is your father?
Mrs. Cohen: [emotionless] They killed him.
Mr. Huntington: Oh, um, I’m terribly sorry, miss. May I ask where your relatives live that you intended to stay with?
Mrs. Cohen: Here, in New York. New York City.
Mr. Huntington: Well, m’am, I’m going to see to it that you get there safely. Let these poor people father their things and then escort them to where they need to go. They’ve been through enough, I’d say.
Maliki: Thank you so much, mister!
Carlisle: Yeah, thank you. And thank you, Adam, for getting us here. And thank you, Maliki and Mrs. Cohen for taking me in during such a hard time. It means the world to me. I was lucky to meet such kind people. I would probably be at some camp by now, or worse.
Maliki: We’ll keep you safe, right mama?
Mrs. Cohen: We’ll keep you safe.
[Maliki, Virginia, Mrs. Cohen, Adam, and Carlisle sit around a living room listening to the radio and playing games]
Virginia: Dinner shouldn’t be too long.
Maliki: Hey, Aunt Virginia, catch! [throws a football toward her]
Mrs. Cohen: Maliki, behave!
[Carlisle and Maliki giggle]
Virginia: Hey, turn that up a minute.
[Mrs. Cohen turns up the radio]
Radio: The time has come. Hitler is dead. Germany has been invaded. Restoration and peace are to come. My heart goes out to those who have not made it and to those who have suffered through it. Europe needs us now more than ever. Let us help them and heal with them…[trails off]
Carlisle: It’s over!!
Maliki: Did ya hear that mama? We can go home now! We can stop being afraid!
Mrs. Cohen: [crying] Yes, son. I heard it.
Maliki: Why are you crying?
Mrs. Cohen: Oh, Maliki, I’m not sad, honey. I’m so happy.
Maliki: Did ya hear that, papa? [looking upward] It’s all over now. Mama is happy. Everything is going to be okay, daddy. I knew you’d keep us safe.
© Copyright 2016 thepretender. All rights reserved.