SCENES FROM THE GREAT ESCAPE.
SCENE 16. REG IS IN HIS GARDEN.
A ROBIN SINGS.
REG: (IS VERY WEAK NOW.) Snow is a beautiful thing, it wraps everything up and makes it look fresh, new. It gives us hope of a better future, cleaner, purer.
When I die I want it to be snowing. Well why not? This time I know it’ll all be over by Christmas...
I will sit out in the garden, leaning against the door of my shed. The snow will fall on me and I’ll watch as flakes land on my hands lying in my lap. The heat from my skin will melt them. But in time the snow will fall and it won’t melt; each flake will add to the last and join, build, cover. Until there will be no more of me to see.
You see, the snowfall changes everything. Roger Bushell remembered his training,
SOUND. FOOTSTEPS RUNNING THROUGH SNOW.
‘when you’re out in the open, whatever you do, don’t fall asleep in the snow, you’ll never wake up again...’
REG IS WHEELED OUT. SOUND, FOOTSTEPS DISAPPEAR INTO THE DISTANCE. CROSSFADE TO.
SCENE 17. HOSPICE
DAYTIME.JEN CRYS QUIETLY TO HERSELF. EMILY COMFORTS HER.
EMILY: It’s OK. It’s OK.
JEN: Oh Emily.
EMILY: I know. Well at least he wasn’t in too much pain at the end. He didn’t let it beat him. The nurse told me he had been joking with her about our great escape.
JEN: He was always such a happy man... such an inspiration.
EMILY: And he managed to escape, he was in control of his destiny, he went the way he wanted to.
JEN: But he left us without saying good-bye.
EMILY: He never liked making a fuss, he would have wanted us to get on with things, you know...
JEN: I can’t now, not now Reg has gone, I can’t carry on the story.
EMILY: But we can’t give up now. We’re almost there. Nearly free! We must finish the story, for Reg. It is our duty to escape.
SOUND. CROSS FADE TO OUTDOOR,
SCENE 18. A RIVER.
SET UP USING HOSPICE CHAIRS, A SINGLE ROWING BOAT ROWS GENTLY.
EMILY: By boat, you remember the film? Charles Bronson and the other one find a rowing boat and make it away.
JEN: Oh right…
EMILY: I’ll row. Danny trails his hand in the water.
MORE ROWING. A BIRD TAKES OFF FROM THE WATER. AFTER A MOMENT…
JEN: So, was it all worth it do you think?
EMILY: What, the story?
JEN: The escape.
EMILY: Well it was a great display of courage and fighting spirit.
EMILY: Maybe, but a bit of stupidity isn’t always a bad thing.
SOUND, MORE ROWING.
JEN: I couldn’t have done it.
EMILY: But you have Jenny, you have.
SOUND, MORE ROWING. SOUND OF THE WATER CHANGES SLIGHTLY INTO AN OPEN SEA, STILL CALM.
JEN: It’s a wide river this one.
EMILY: It’s the English Channel.
JEN: We’re not rowing all the way, are we?
EMILY: Don’t worry, we’ll get picked up soon…
SOUND, MORE ROWING, A DISTANT GULL IS HEARD.
SOUND, ROWING FADES TO END.LIGHTS FADE TO BLACKOUT.