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, 

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

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 

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 

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 

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 

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 

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 

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

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.


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

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

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