Everything is Fine
Playwriting Summer Camp
ATLAS: Male, 22, English, working in a national park in a watchtower.
NATE: Male, 26, American, works in the same park but he patrols.
Small room in a watchtower. Night.
Atlas enters sighs and sits at his desk before speaking into his walkie-talkie.
ATLAS: 1, 2, Atlas signing on for the night, anyone copy?
NATE: can hear you loud and clear man.
ATLAS: thank god, someone on patrol who isn’t boring.
NATE: don’t let Joe hear you say that.
ATLAS: Nate, Joe’s as old as the goddamn trees outside my window, I’m pretty sure he couldn’t hear me calling him boring if I screamed it at him.
NATE: Yknow, that’s a safe assumption.
Atlas chuckles and kicks his feet up on his desk.
ATLAS: Well, Nate, talk to me. How are you? How’s the kid?
NATE: I’m up to my eyes in paperwork since the incident last week and the babysitter cancelled out of the blue meaning I had to leave Lyra with my borderline senile neighbour so I’ll let you be the judge on how I’m feeling.
ATLAS: you’re just a little on edge then
NATE: I feel like ‘on edge’ is an understatement, Atlas.
ATLAS: What’s the deal with the paperwork?
NATE: stuff about last week.
ATLAS: were you on patrol that night? Chief said you only had to pick up the sheets if you had anything to do with what happened.
NATE: I was the one who found him, dude.
Silence for a few beats.
ATLAS: dude I… I’m so sorry. Why didn’t you tell me?
NATE: it’s not exactly a conversation starter. Besides, I-I’m fine, it’s not like I’m losing sleep over it or anything.
ATLAS: mate, you don’t need to lie if it upset you. You found your friend dea-
A loud bang comes from outside as a flare lights up the sky.
ATLAS: Nate, is that you?
NATE: definitely not.
ATLAS: is anyone else on patrol for the night?
NATE: there can’t be, they’d have tuned in on the radio channel by now.
ATLAS: unless they lost their radio…
NATE: heading towards the source now.
ATLAS: I don’t know something about this isn’t sitting right with me.
NATE: look, it’s probably just some teens that’ve snuck into the park after hours and they’ve decided to mess around with some flares thinking nobodies around to see them.
ATLAS: just… take it easy out there, please.
NATE: I’ll try.
ATLAS: you better.
Silence for three or four seconds.
ATLAS: come on, man, don’t leave me with dead air I’m bloody terrified up here.
NATE: why are you scared? You’re in a tower with a locked door, a bed and a kettle.
ATLAS: and? Everything in here is either broken or on its way there, I’m pretty sure the phone doesn’t even work anymore. This place is made out of like 200 year old wood, one wrong move and it’s gonna collapse on me.
NATE: then you’ll have broken legs AND be outside in the scary dark woods all on your lonesome.
ATLAS: mate, don’t even start. I’m gonna have a heart attack up here.
NATE: right, scaredy cat, what do you want to talk about to fill the spooky silence?
ATLAS: …tell be about last week.
NATE: dude, come on-
ATLAS: look, it’s the elephant in the room here. Besides I want to hear it from you and not a grumpy co-worker or a gossip spreading newspaper.
NATE: I was on patrol for the night last Wednesday with Kyle. He was in the other tower, the one in Perdition woods, and I was over by the lake closer to the tower you’re in now. He said he was heading out to take a leak but was gonna leave his walkie on his desk in case he lost it. I didn’t think too much about it until like fifteen minutes after the silence started, it wasn’t like him to be away from the tower for so long ‘cause he’d always complain about the bugs and the cold. Perdition isn’t exactly the most pleasant place to be in the dark either. I decided to loop around and make my way back to the tower. I crossed through Perdition just in case and… I found him
ATLAS: Jesus dude
NATE: He was just lying there face down in the middle of the trail. I didn’t know he was gone at first, then I turned him over and saw his shirt and I knew it was too late.
ATLAS: was… was it bad?
NATE: I didn’t look at the wound but there was a lot of blood on his clothes dude. Papers said it was a bear that did it but I’m pretty sure bears also don’t steal a park rangers’ equipment.
ATLAS: wait, his stuff was stolen?
NATE: yeah; his rope, torch, flares, fire buzzer, everything.
ATLAS: wait, his fla-
Loud ringing cuts him off.
ATLAS: what the hell?
NATE: is that the alarm?
ATLAS: yeah, Jesus Christ, did you hit your buzzer?
NATE: no it’s strapped to my backpack.
ATLAS: well either you hit your fire buzzer or a bloody ghost did it for you, Nate.
NATE: Atlas, I. Didn’t. Hit. It.
ATLAS: what’s your serial number? It’ll tell me who’s buzzing in the fire.
NATE: number is 5589
ATLAS: machine is saying the number is 8874, but that’s impossible. It’s only me and you out here tonight and the rest of the gear is in the storage or locker room…
NATE: look, Atlas, it doesn’t matter. Like you said it’s only the two of us in the park tonight and I can’t see any fires, can you?
NATE: one of the buzzers probably just fell over in storage.
ATLAS: is none of this worrying you at all?
NATE: Atlas I really don’t…
ATLAS: …Nate? Nate do you copy?
NATE: I’m here; just…
ATLAS: where are you? What’s going on?
NATE: I’m at edge of Perdition woods, I… I thought I heard something. Crap this goddamn torch keeps flickering I can’t see swat.
ATLAS: you thought you heard or you heard?
NATE: not the time, Atlas.
ATLAS: why are you near Perdition?
NATE: this is where the flare came from.
ATLAS: oh my god, Nate, don’t even think of going in there.
NATE: why would I not when an obvious distress signal came from there?
ATLAS: are you serious? Have you been paying attention to anything that’s been happening? Fires are being buzzed in when they shouldn’t be, flares are being shot from Perdition when we’re the only ones here, one of our CO-WORKERS was KILLED last week in those bloody woods and his equipment was never found. GUESS WHAT WAS IN HIS EQUPMENT? HIS FIRE BUZZER AND HIS FLARES. Everything is pointing at you not going in there, Nate, don’t be a dumbass.
NATE: Atlas, someone’s going to be in there scared and probably hurt, I can’t risk not checking.
ATLAS: …fine… but I’m getting the cops on speed dial.
NATE: Rodger that.
ATLAS: and for the love of god stay on the trail and don’t try to be a hero.
Silence for a few seconds.
ATLAS: what did I say about dead air Nate?
NATE: can you shut your trap I’m trying to listen.
ATLAS: what are you listening for?
NATE: I think I can hear someone’s voice up ahead on the trail.
ATLAS: I can’t believe you’re still going through with this. You’re mental, like, actually men-
NATE: I-It… it sounds like Kyle.
Pause for a few seconds.
ATLAS: …what? What do you mean t-that’s impossible.
NATE: I swear on my life, Atlas, it’s his voice. Oh my god- what the hell-
ATLAS: Nate calm down now’s not the time to-
NATE: I’m walking ahead to check.
ATLAS: no you’re not; you’re turning around and bloody leaving.
Silence for a few seconds.
ATLAS: It’s not Kyle, Nate, he’s dead.
ATLAS: look; it’s late, you’re in the place where you’ve had a horrible experience and you’re stressed. You’re not in the right mind, Nate. Loop back to the tower and I’ll call chief so you can go home.
NATE: I-I… I don’t know Atla- HEY. HEY YOU OVER THERE.
ATLAS: Jesus Christ Nate don’t just start shouting like that!
NATE: SIR, YEAH I SEE YOU BESIDE THE SIGNPOST, STAY WHERE YOU ARE, LIFT YOUR HEAD AND STATE YOUR NAME PLEASE.
ATLAS: Nate what the hell is going on?
NATE: there’s a guy here, dumbass, just say quiet I can handle- SIR, PLEASE, STAY WHERE YOU ARE… DON’T COME ANY CLOSER. SIR-
Nate shouts and cuts himself off. Sounds of a scuffle can be heard on his end.
ATLAS: Nate? NATE! Crap-
The walkie talkie line fills with static before going silent.
ATLAS: that’s it, calling the cops. Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ.
He picks up the phone on his desk and tries to dial it but the line seems to be dead.
ATLAS: oh my god, you’ve got to be kidding me. Not now you old piece of junk.
There’s more static. Breathing can be heard from Nates end.
ATLAS: Nate? Can you hear me? What the hell happened is everything okay?
Nates voice is monotone.
NATE: Everything is fine. Nothing happened. I am on my way to the tower now.
ATLAS: what do you mean nothing happened? Where did the guy go? The phone up here is dead I-I can’t call the police.
NATE: everything is fine. I am on my way. Don’t call anybody.
ATLAS: Nate you… you don’t sound like yourself…
NATE: everything is fine.
The walkie-talkie makes a crackling noise signifying Nate has turned his off. Atlas looks up and out his window as the light above him flickers before turning off entirely.
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