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'Sunflowers Behind a Dirty Fence – Scenes 1 & 2', Angella Emurwon

Posted on 08/04/2013
By Commonwealth Foundation

field-of-sunflowers
SCENE 1: INT. GRANDPA’S BEDROOM. EVENING
LABOURED BREATHING INTERSPERSED WITH BOUTS OF COUGHING.
SFX: NEAR EMPTY PLASTIC BOTTLE SHAKEN THEN FLUNG AT A DOOR.

GRANDPA: (WEAK) Yakobo! Mama Yakobo! Filthy dogs panting for a bone you had no part finding or burying. I tell you I won’t die, I won’t.

LABOURED BREATHING INTERSPERSED WITH BOUTS OF COUGHING.
SFX: BEDROOM DOOR OPENS, DOOR HINGES SQUEAL. FEET SHUFFLE IN.

YAKOBO: Grandpa?

GRANDPA: You forgot to bring me water again.

YAKOBO: But the bottle is still full.

GRANDPA: What bottle?

YAKOBO PICKS UP A FULL PLASTIC BOTTLE FROM THE BEDSIDE TABLE.

YAKOBO: This one Papa.

GRANDPA: It wasn’t there before –

YAKOBO: Yes it was… mummy says you’re missing Grandma.

GRANDPA: What does she know? Busy counting acres, dates, hospital visits, and capsules. What type of person prepares so well for another’s passing without wishing for it? Yes, I miss Grandma; I miss Mumbejja, my flower. Soon I will also take that journey. Soon I too will rest (COUGHS) Water.

SFX: YAKOBO UNSCREWS THE CAP AND POURS GRANDPA A GLASS OF WATER.

YAKOBO: Here.

SFX: RUSTLING BED CLOTHES AS GRANDPA DRINKS. NO RELIEF, GRANDPA’S BREATHING IS STILL RUGGED AS HE LIES BACK DOWN.

YAKOBO: I’ll bring another bottle when I finish my homework.

GRANDPA: (SNORTS DERISIVELY) Such good manners but you’re a little thief aren’t you?

YAKOBO: No.

GRANDPA: I know you stole it.

YAKOBO: I haven’t stolen anything.

GRANDPA: Liar! I suppose there’s nothing missing from this window, eh. It wasn’t here yesterday, it isn’t here today.

YAKOBO: Did you check…

GRANDPA: I checked – nothing under the bed; nothing outside the window. It’s you.

YAKOBO: I… I… didn’t. I swear.

GRANDPA: (WEAK) I swear he says. Always so quick to swear, but children have time I suppose. Time slides by like a snail for a child. What does it know of wisdom but the fragile burden on its back? What does it know of trouble but the silver trail fading away in the noonday sun? (WHEEZING) Old people have a time too I suppose. Whatever the hour, it is always dusk. Good or bad, the feeling is the same. Always regret. I spent half the time not knowing I was in the good, then much too much time wallowing in the bad. Ah… I should have spent more time behind that dirty fence. That was the good. Lying there the earth warming my back, listening to a Sunflower tell her secrets (BOUT OF COUGHING) Look me in the face Yakobo….Yakobo.

YAKOBO: Grandpa.

GRANDPA: Where is the photo your grandmother gave to me? The one with the sunflowers… (COUGHING) Answer me!

YAKOBO: I…I… took it to school.

GRANDPA: And?

YAKOBO: It got lost.

GRANDPA: No. You lost it.

YAKOBO: I didn’t mean to.

GRANDPA: Yes you did. You took something that did not belong to you, something important to me, and you lost it. Then lied about it. (WHEEZING) Go away!

SFX: IN B/G: A SLOW STEADY DRUM BEAT.

YAKOBO: I wasn’t going to keep it. I was telling my friends the story –

GRANDPA: Enough! It wasn’t your story to tell, Yakobo. Go outside, make your own stories. I want my PHOTO! (BAD BOUT OF COUGHING) Aah, aah …

YAKOBO: I can get another photo Grandpa. I know where the sunflower farm is.

GRANDPA: Aah…Go… call… your Mama.

YAKOBO: Please Grandpa. I’ll take Mummy’s camera. I’ll get you another one. I promise.

GRANDPA: My chest…Yakobo…. Bring your Mama. Aah… Mumbejja… I should have liked to see my sunflowers one last time.

SFX: IN B/G DRUM SEQUENCE STOPS SHARPLY.

YAKOBO: GRANDPA!

SFX: AMBULANCE SIREN AS GRANDPA IS TAKEN TO HOSPITAL MIXED IN WITH INTERLUDE MUSIC.
 
 
SCENE 2: EXT. ENTEBBE ROAD. EARLY MORNING
SFX: MORNING SOUNDS INTERSPERSED WITH TRAFFIC: CARS WHIZZ PAST, CAR HORNS BLARE.

C/SELLER: Gwe yanga! Where is my money? No more chapatti until you pay for this week.

TONNIE: Nawe, I eat the burnt ones, you can’t sell them anyway.

C/SELLER: Hah, you don’t talk about burnt when you come here crying every day. Give my my money or I’ll tell people you’re a girl.

TONNIE: Eish don’t be angry, nawe, I’m doing a little business. I’ll pay you. I told you that as a secret.

C/SELLER: I don’t care. Girl, boy, I want my money!

TONNIE: Aha, you see, there is a customer. I’ll pay you just now. (TONNIE WALKS TOWARD YAKOBO). Gwe Mani, I can sell you something. Look at this watch. Nice, eh?

YAKOBO: It doesn’t even work.

TONNIE: Who says? It needs only battery and it will be OK.

YAKOBO: Did you steal it? My mummy says street children are thieves.

TONNIE: Because I don’t wear a uniform like you, Mummyboy? Anyway, you’re lost. Entebbe Primary is that way.

YAKOBO: I’m going to Kampala.

TONNIE: Eh maama… Kampala! Have you ever gone there before?

YAKOBO: Yes.

TONNIE: So you know you’re on the wrong side.

YAKOBO: Wrong side? But taxis stop anywhere.

TONNIE: You have money for a taxi?

YAKOBO: Two thousand. To go and come back.

TONNIE: That’s nothing. Going to Kampala used to be one thousand shillings one million years ago.

C/SELLER: (SHOUTING OFF) Gwe Tony! My money!

TONNIE: Oh! Eh, maybe I can help you. Come on.

YAKOBO: Where are we going?

TONNIE: To find you cheap transport. Come on!

SFX: BUSY ROAD, HORNS BLARE, CARS SWERVE.

TONNIE: Listen, I know a guy who can give you a good deal to Kampala. Two thousand is very little but I will talk to him.

YAKOBO: But it’s all I have.

TONNIE: Do you want to go to Kampala or not? A taxi is going to be more. This guy can help you.

SFX: YAKOBO UNZIPS HIS BAG, PAPER MONEY RUSTLES.

YAKOBO: Here.

TONNIE: Nice! Now wait here. (CALLING TO SOMEONE) Gwe Mani!

YAKOBO: But…

TONNNIE: (OFF) Just wait!

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