Zombie

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“ZOMBIE”

Written by Joss Whedon for Equality Now’s 20th Anniversary event in NYC on April 19, 2012.

The Woman: Debra Winger
The Girl: Eliza Dushku
The Man: Dan Mersh

The WOMAN stands to the left. The MAN stands near the cot, on which sits the GIRL, near the center of the stage. The light on the woman is bright, the light on the other two dimmer. More intimate but not too pretty. (When he turns to the woman, the man will be in the brighter light.) The girl buttons her dress as the man buttons his shirt. His jacket hangs on a chair by the cot.

MAN
I’m not a bad guy, you know.
More buttoning.

MAN (CONT’D)
Once you get to know me.

GIRL
I know you.

MAN
(ironic affection)
You might be the only one who does.
You’re very beautiful. You could
have been a model, I bet.

GIRL
They told me I was gonna be a model
when they brought me here. Then
they took my passport.

MAN
(uncomfortable)
I don’t know about that.

GIRL
When I was seven my best friend and
I hid under her older brother’s bed
while he was watching a zombie
movie. She screamed when the
zombie ate a baby’s brain and he
heard her and chased us out of the
room. Followed us all around the
house, arms out, trapped us in the
basement with the lights out,
moaning, grabbing at us –

MAN
(bit impatient)
He touched you, right? This is
about, he does something to you and
that’s why you’re --
(finishes by gesturing
vaguely at the room)

GIRL
This is about Zombies. I was
afraid of Zombies.

MAN
(putting on his jacket)
They’re just pretend.

GIRL
And now I’m afraid of pretend.

MAN
The dead don’t walk. Is this to
get extra money? They’re dead --
they don’t shuffle about.

GIRL
No. They just lie there.

WOMAN
(to the audience)
There are millions of women and girls in prostitution. Almost ten million, are victims of sex trafficking sold into bonded sexual servitude. Into slavery. There are likely many more sex trafficking victims who are simply not recognized - their chains are less visible but just as real. The UN estimates that the human trafficking industry is worth approximately $32 billion a year.
(MORE)
(turns to the man without
pausing:)
-- How was your trip? You look
beat.

MAN
(smiles wearily)
Why do they send us on these
things? Team building exercises --
what’s the point.

WOMAN
To build teams.

MAN
Are the kids asleep?

WOMAN
(as he turns back to the
girl)
They wanted to stay up...

GIRL
(unbuttoning her dress)
How do you want me?

MAN
(taking off his jacket)
On your belly. I don’t want to
look at you.

WOMAN
Women and girls in prostitution are beaten regularly. They are subjected to unprotected sex hundreds of times a year and many of them will contract HIV. The average age for girls entering into prostitution in America is 12-14. The number of men, worldwide, who will purchase a prostitute: about one in ten.
And now the man and the girl are back at the start,
buttoning. He’s less sympathetic here.

MAN
I’m not such a bad guy, you know.

GIRL
(seductively)
But you’re a very bad boy...

MAN
Don’t do that. That was for then.

GIRL
So no more “mommy”?

MAN
Shut up about that. I walk out of
here. This is just a thing. I
have a life, I have a job -- you’re
just here, waiting.

GIRL
Waiting for you.

MAN
You say that to everyone.

GIRL
(coldly)
You are everyone.

MAN
You’re on drugs.

GIRL
When I’m lucky.

MAN
You could get out.

GIRL
They find me, they kill me, I
starve, or withdrawals, or it’s
jail. Or I taste fresh air and
then back here is worse.

MAN
Excuses. You love this.

GIRL
I love this.

MAN
You want it.

GIRL
You’re so big.

MAN
I could hurt you.

GIRL
You always do.

MAN
(a bit of steam)
You brought me here. You lie here,
smelling of it, pulling me in,
because men have needs and you play
on them, you wait, you make me do
this. You try to make me small.
A beat.

GIRL
Do you like movies about Zombies?

WOMAN
(as he turns to her)
She screams every night. Someone’s
chasing her.

MAN
Who’s chasing her?

WOMAN
She doesn’t know.

MAN
It’s that horror crap you let her
watch.

WOMAN
I let her watch?

MAN
I’m sorry. I’m tired.

WOMAN
Come to bed.

MAN
(turning to the girl)
I’m not a bad guy, you know.

GIRL
I think about killing you every
time you fuck me. You’re a good
guy. Family man. My savior. I
love you. I wanna kill you every
time you call me baby.

WOMAN
Angel.

GIRL
Sweetheart.

WOMAN
Bitch.

GIRL
When you’ve got me in your car and
you say

WOMAN
“Don’t use your teeth”

GIRL
I think about using my teeth.
Zombies use their teeth. They
don’t care. They got nothing.
(standing)
They’re not afraid, they’re not
depressed, they just wanna rip you
apart and there’s millions of them.
Of us. Walking around, dead.

MAN
You’re not dead.

GIRL
And what happens to you when we
figure that out?

MAN
(to the audience)
Through campaigning, pressure and legal action, Equality Now has ensured the passing of the
strongest anti-trafficking law in the US. It has helped shut down sex tour operators Big Apple Oriental
Tours, Video Travel and Jump Off Destinations, and ensured that the Uniform Code of Military
Justice was changed to specifically prohibit the solicitation of prostitution. It continues to work
with grass-roots organizations in countries around the world to end the commercial sexual exploitation
of women and girls. He goes and sits on the bed as the girl stands and crosses to the woman. As they speak, he lies down.

WOMAN
Hey, honey, what are you doing up?

GIRL
Couldn’t sleep.

WOMAN
Nightmare?

GIRL
(small smile)
Just thought I’d watch the sun come
up.

BLACKOUT