Journey’s End Story
It is a dark evening, some time in February. On the ground is nothing but sand, except for a small crevice, which has some wooden beams protruding from it. In the hole you can see a faint glow of ultra violet lights flickering.
Inside the hole, is a large dark room lit above by one large ultra violet light. To one side of the room are a couple of lockers made of wire mesh. These lockers contain assault rifles, magazines, grenades and body armour. Clothes and other miscellaneous objects are strewn about the floor. We see a solitary soldier sitting on a foldable chair. He is looking inside his ration box, pushing things aside, etc. The soldier is still wearing his helmet. He leans to one side and fumbles his hand along the floor until he finds a mess tin. He pours some substance from the ration box into the tin and places it on top of a lighter block. He swishes the baked beans around the tin, while humming a song.
Rick: Ooh eeh, Oooh ah ah, ting tang walla walla bing bang ….. I told the witch doctor …. doo dee doo doo doo.
All of a sudden we see a person climbing down the “supposed” crevice. Rick grabs his rifle and points it towards the person. The light illuminates the person’s face and we see that it is Mark Osborne, a short tubby guy with pale skin. He waddles in as Rick rests the rifle against his chair.
Rick: What’s up? When is the rest of your lot coming?
Mark: Soon, soon.
Rick: Great dude, wanna Bud?
Mark: Sure man.
Rick: Do you ever wonder what they put in this?
Mark: Nahh – it helps not to think about it.
[They down their drinks]
Rick: Oh yeah, look what I’ve got [Rick shows Mark his baked beans]
Mark: Whoa, those are some nice beans – Heinz?
Rick: Nope, HP!
Mark: Aah mate, I wouldn’t mind sinking my teeth into those.
Rick: Er right …. Oh yeah, by the way, Eric is looking after the new men, that is what I came down here to tell you.
Mark: Thanks. Hey man, last night I had one helluva gun fight, did you catch it on tv?
Rick: Dude, you were on tv?
Mark: Yeah, I was guiding one of the BBC crews to Western River and then out of nowhere, five gypsies popped out of this hole. I simply lobbed a grenade at them and boom! The explosion started some sort of chain reaction. Enemy fire came from all angles and we ran for cover into a derelict shop. I called for back up, which came in no time and within minutes; all the g’s were dead. BBC got it all on tape.
Rick: Weird things are happening man. I sense the final push is coming soon. More recruits are arriving day by day and each jeep has about 20 crates of ammo.
Mark: Jeez dude, relax yeah.
Rick: How can I? Eric has used all the morphine for his own personal use.
Mark: He downs those after shocks like they are apple juice, he’s one hell of a sic man!
Rick: They’re turning him into a freak show. They place bets to see how much he can down before passing out. – Bunch of pigs!
Mark: Yeah well … he is quite heavy
Rick: How you can like him is beyond me.
Mark: He downs one hell of a drink, that’s all I am saying.
Rick: He likes his e’s as well, don’t have a clue where he gets them from, mind you.
Mark: Any way, like I said, I came here because of Eric, he wants to know about the plans that you were given.
Rick: Right, Intel says that we got, a disturbance in the ground around 20 clicks North from here, they reckon it could be a cave. If so it could join other caverns etc. Plans are to send a batch of SAS down there and secure the area, hopefully before Friday. But, problem is that the SAS won’t reply, you know what it’s like. So they are thinking about sending one of our lot down there.
Mark: Ok, I will relay the information using the PDA, could you send it through?
Rick: Already sent it!
[We see Mark get out a small PDA, it lights up and beeps]
Mark: Got it, well I’ll call around later if I get a free slot.
Rick: OK, see ya man.
Analysis of Re-write
This is a reworking of a part of Journey’s End by R.C. Sheriff. I have adapted it so that it is better suited to a more modern audience; I did this by changing the language and the setting.
The setting has been changed from the front lines of France to the Deserts of
The East somewhere, which is now the scene of a large campaign, which is between the United Nations and “Gypsies” as they are known.
The names of the characters have been changed, as I believed that their names were too old fashioned. Hardy was changed to Rick Hardy and Osborne to Mark Osborne, a character that is not in my section but is mentioned is Stanhope, who is now known as Eric. I tried to keep their personality but developed them more; I made Rick less keen on Eric, to make the story more complex. Mark was made into a neutral, spectator like character, who gets on well with all.
The story was kept the same but a few elements had to be changed. For instance, Rick cooking baked beans instead of drying a sock. The same style of writing was applied. The scene was kept humorous. Instead of singing that old fashioned song, I decided to make him sing a bit of “The Cartoons” this idea worked well. The soldiers marvelling over the baked beans were like the marvelling of the damp sock, except that I expanded the “Amazing” beans scene.
The language was changed to remove it’s old fashioned sentences, for example on page 14 Hardy says “Oh, you sweet, sentimental old darling” this sort of language would be misinterpreted by today’s audience and would be considered very camp and may cause offence. The phrases were changed to a more casual slang with the use of “Dude” and “Man” and I distanced the characters feelings to make it feel more repressed, and soulless, just like a real war. Changes to every day words were essential in making the play seem more up to date because culture and regional differences all affect language, I tried to give a broad casualness to it.