BACK

JONAH    9'3m0f Jonah and a whale of a tale

(Wind blows throughout first scene, Thunder clap)

CAP --- (effeminate wimp) Oh, dear! The storm is getting worse! 
Oh, dear! What are we going to do, Number One?!

MATE -- (competent, confident) You're the captain, Captain. You 
tell me.

CAP --- (Shouts) We're all going to die. (Screams) Aaaaaah!

MATE -- Get hold of yourself, Captain. We don't want the crew to 
get the wrong idea.

CAP --- The crew. Yes, of course.

MATE -- The men are standing by, Captain. You just tell us what 
to do.

CAP --- Oh, yes, that's right. I'm the captain. Let's see... 
(shouts) way anchor!

MATE -- (aside) The anchor is already up, sir. We've been at 
sea for five days. How about if we secure the starboard lines?

CAP --- (Shouts) Secure the starboard lines! (aside) How did I 
do, Number One?

MATE -- Starboard is on the right side, sir. 

CAP --- Oh, THAT starboard. (shouts) Starboard is on the right 
side, you swabbies!

MATE -- Very good, sir. You might try striking the mainsull, 
Captain.

CAP --- (Shouts) Strike the mainsull! (aside) Pretty good, 
huh?

MATE -- (aside) The mainsull is the big sail over there, sir.

CAP --- I knew that. (shouts) I said the mainsull, swabbies! 
(aside) That's telling them, huh, Number One?

MATE -- That's telling them, sir. Now, maybe, batton down the 
hatches, sir?

CAP --- (Shouts) Batton down the hatches! Move smartly, you 
swabbies! (aside) I'm getting pretty good at this, huh?

MATE -- Pretty good, Captain.

CAP --- Then, why is our ship still taking on water, Number One?!

MATE -- Well, perhaps we should lighten the load, if you know 
what I mean, sir.

CAP --- (aside) Yes! Yes, that's it! The cargo, yes, of 
course. (Shouts) Dump the cargo overboard! (aside) How did we 
do?

MATE -- Very Good, Captain. The ship is a lot lighter now, but 
she is still taking a pounding from the storm. She could still 
break up. 

CAP --- (Screams) Aaaaaah!

MATE -- Captain, please. What will the crew think?!

CAP --- (aside) The crew, yes. I have to remain calm. 
(Shouts) abandon ship! Abandon ship!

MATE -- Belay that order.

CAP --- (Shouts) Belay that order! (aside) Why did I just 
belay that order, Number One?

MATE -- Because we're nowhere near land, Captain. We'd all drown 
for sure.

CAP --- I knew that.

MATE -- Someone on board is incurring the rath of God.

CAP --- (Shouts) Someone on board is incurring the rath of God. 
(aside) Now, let's tell them who it is, Number One.

MATE -- I don't know who it is, Captain.

CAP --- But I just told them... They're expecting for me to...

MATE -- Could be any of us, maybe even our passenger.

CAP --- Our passenger. Where is Jonah, anyway?

MATE -- Jonah? Oh, he's below decks.

CAP --- What's he doing below decks during a storm? Is he hiding?

MATE -- No, sir. He's sleeping.

CAP --- Sleeping?!

JONAH - (high-pitched voice, wimp, yawning) Did I miss anything?

CAP --- Only the worst storm I've ever seen in my entire career! 
And that's almost two weeks.

MATE -- The ship is in danger of sinking, Jonah.

JONAH - Sinking?!

CAP & JONAH -- (Scream) Aaaaaah!

MATE -- Captain, get hold of yourself.

CAP --- Yes, of course. I'm the captain, I just got caught up in a 
little mass hysteria. I'm fine. I'll be fine.

MATE -- It's as if the Lord is angry with us for something. Or 
maybe he's just angry at ONE of us. 

CAP --- The Lord couldn't be mad at me. I've been at sea for 
almost two weeks.

MATE -- It can't be any of the crew, Captain. We didn't even take 
shore leave during the stopover in Joppa.

CAP --- We didn't have any problems until AFTER we left Joppa, 
where we picked up...

MATE & CAP --- Jonah!

JONAH - What.

CAP --- You booked passage to Tarshish. What business do you have 
in Tarshish?

JONAH - (Under his breath) None?

CAP --- What?

JONAH - None. I don't have any business in Tarshish.

CAP --- Then why are you going to Tarshish?

JONAH - So, I won't have to go to Nineveh.

CAP --- But that's in the opposite direction from Tarshish. Why 
don't you want to go to Nineveh? Are you a fugitive?

JONAH - Of course not. (Covers his mouth to muffle his voice) The 
Lord told me to go there.

CAP --- What?

JONAH - I said, the Lord told me to go there.

MATE -- The Lord God Almighty told you to go to Nineveh?

JONAH - To prophecy against them and to tell them to turn away 
from their sinful ways.

MATE -- But you disobeyed the Lord? You can't disobey the Lord 
and get away with it! 

CAP --- The Lord is punishing you and now we're all going to die!

CAP & JONAH -- (Scream) Aaaaaaah!

MATE -- Captain, please!

CAP --- Jonah, you must go to Nineveh!

JONAH - I know that now. But, how can I go to Nineveh now? We 
are being blown all over the Mediterranean Sea.

MATE -- Look, Captain, there is a huge fish swimming along side 
the ship. Maybe Jonah can ride to Nineveh in the belly of the 
fish.

JONAH - Right. You want me to ride to Nineveh in the belly of a 
fish. That's very funny. (panicked) Get your hands off me. This 
isn't right. You can't just....

(fall-away scream, splash)

CAP --- The fish swallowed him. Poor guy.

MATE -- Better him than us, Captain.

(fierce howling winds give way to soft winds, lapping surf)

CAP --- Well, what do you know? The storm stopped! Well.
(Shouts) Now, listen up, you swabbies, that's the kind of 
treatment YOU'll get on this ship if you...

MATE -- Land Ho!

CAP --- Excuse me, Number One. I was waxing eloquent to the crew 
here, when you rudely...

MATE --  Land Ho!

CAP --- There, see? That's exactly the kind of rude behavior I was 
just...

MATE -- Land off the starboard bow!

CAP --- It can't be! It looks like Tarshish. It IS Tarshish!

MATE -- Two days ahead of schedule! That was some storm!

CAP --- But... But, we can't go to Tarshish! Not now!

MATE -- Why not? That was our destination.

CAP --- We just threw their cargo overboard.

MATE -- We? It was you who gave the order to throw the cargo 
overboard.

CAP --- I can't face them in Tarshish! I just can't. 
(shouts) Jonah, wait for me!

(Fall-away scream, splash)

MATE -- Oh, what a shame. The captain is gone. That means I'm 
the captain of the ship. (softly) Man overboard. 

(wind noise stops, water gurgles, voices echo)

CAP --- Jonah, where are we?

JONAH - Where are we? Why do you keep asking "Where are we?"?
We've been inside this fish's stomach for the last three days.

CAP --- No, I mean the fish stopped swimming. I wonder where we 
are.

JONAH - I think we'll find out pretty soon.

CAP --- What do you mean?

JONAH - Can't you feel it? The fish's stomach is heaving. I think 
he's going to...

(deep groaning, spit: "PTUY")

CAP & JONAH - Wooooooo! Ugh!

(thud, thud, echos and water gurgling give way to birds chirping)

CAP --- ...spit us out.

JONAH - Thank you, Lord, thank you for sparing our lives.

CAP --- Jonah, these clothes were brand new when we left Joppa. 
Look what you've done!

JONAH - You just spent three days in a fish's belly, the Lord 
saved us both from certain death and all you can do is complain 
about a few stains on your clothes?

CAP --- A few stains? These clothes are bleaches white. Look at 
them!

JONAH - It wasn't my fault that we were swallowed by a fish, 
Captain.

CAP --- None of this would have happened if you had only obeyed 
the Lord's command and gone to Nineveh. Now get going.

JONAH - Don't push me! We're not on your ship anymore. You're not 
in charge here.

CAP --- If you don't go, the Lord will call down his wrath on us 
again. Get going!

JONAH - But...

CAP --- Besides, you stink. Get going.

JONAH - Captain, please. We don't even know where we are, let 
alone where Nineveh is. 

CAP --- Get going.

JONAH - Wait a minute. Those Ninevites are ruthless! They eat 
people like us for lunch! (Fading) Maybe tomorrow. Right now, I 
just want to find a place to curl up and take a nap. (Grunts) 
Excuse me, sir.

KING -- (confident and competent) I will not excuse you! You stink!

CAP --- See, I told you, Jonah. You stink. Say, mister do you know 
the way to Nineveh?

KING -- This IS Nineveh.

JONAH & CAP -- This is Nineveh?!

CAP --- Good. Jonah, here, has a warning for the King of Nineveh.

KING -- YOU? You, who smells like fish vomit, have a warning for 
the King of Nineveh?

JONAH - Well, maybe just an observation... 

CAP --- Jonah!

JONAH - Call it a mild caution.

CAP --- Jonah!

JONAH - Alright, I have a warning for the King of Nineveh.

KING -- I am the King of Nineveh.

KING and CAP -- (Scream) Aaaaaah!

JONAH - Please don't kill us!

KING -- Stop groveling. I hate it when people grovel. Get up off 
your knees and give me the warning like a man.

JONAH - Mind you, King, this warning is not from me. It's from 
the Lord. See, I didn't even want to come here. In fact, I tried 
to run away to Tarshish, then this storm came up and....

KING -- Spare me the details. Cut to the chase.

JONAH - Okay, here goes. (Clears throat)

"Because of the sins and wickedness of the people of Nineveh, 
the Lord will destroy your city in forty days."

Please don't kill us!

CAP --- Actually, King. Since it was Jonah's warning. Justice 
would be served if you just kill him.

KING -- Okay.

JONAH - Okay? You're just going to kill me?

CAP --- Good idea. See, I shouldn't even be here. This fish 
swallowed us and just spit us out on the beach here.

KING -- I said, Okay. I won't kill you.

CAP --- Can we clarify that? When you said "YOU", did you mean the 
collective you? You did mean you won't kill both of us, right? I 
mean, if I've learned anything in my two weeks as a sea captain, 
I've learned that you can't be too specific about how many 
people you will or will not kill.

KING -- I have decided that my people will repent in sack cloth 
and ashes.

CAP --- So, that means there will be no killings today? Zero. 
None. Zilch. Nada.

JONAH - He can't do that! 

CAP --- He can do that.

KING -- I can do that and I will. 

CAP --- See? He can do that.

KING -- We will turn from our sins and turn back to the Lord.

JONAH - Kill me, your majesty, kill me now.

CAP --- Listen, King, Jonah's not in his right mind. He just spent 
three days inside a fish's belly.

JONAH - You may as well kill me. My life is over.

CAP --- Mind you, king, he's not speaking for both of us. We 
didn't vote on it or anything.

JONAH - I'm a prophet and I promised that Nineveh would be 
destroyed in forty days. But, if the people repent, the Lord, 
won't destroy the city.

CAP --- That's a good thing... isn't it?

KING -- A good thing.

JONAH - No, it's not! If I say one thing, and the Lord does 
another, noone will trust a thing I say. What good is a prophet 
who can't be trusted? Kill me now, great king.

CAP --- This man is obviously a raving lunatic. I think you should 
discount everything he says, especially when it affects those 
around him.

KING -- No. 

CAP --- Now, you've done it, Jonah! We're as good as dog food and 
it's all your fault!

KING -- No. You shall not die. You shall live. 

CAP --- Alright!

KING -- Come along.

CAP --- Wait a minute. If you're not going to kill us, where are 
you taking us?

KING -- To jail, for stinking up my city.

(Fading)

CAP --- See, I told you you stink.

JONAH - Me?! You're no bed of roses either. 


2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
Do not sell any part of this script, even if you rewrite it.
Pay no royalties, even if you make money from performances.
You may reproduce and distribute this script freely,
but all copies must contain this copyright statement.
http://www.bobsnook.org  email: bob@bobsnook.org

BACK