I Won't Kill Deer
by George Romaine
A military man, Bric Robson comes from a long line of soldiers. His father received a medal for his heroism in WWII, and though bitter about not receiving a medal for his own courageous fighting in Viet Nam, Bric is determined that his son Willy will be recognized. Willy returned from the Iraq war missing a leg and paralyzed from the waist down. Bric continuously pressures his son to become a poster boy for the army, but Willy resists only wanting to adjust to his new life. Bric cannot let up, feeling guilt about forcing Willy to join the Army in the first place. Bric’s passive wife, Faith, and his staunchly feminist daughter, Hope, keep feeding that guilt with constant accusations, emphasizing that Willy yearned for his fathers love and approval. Obsessed with getting the very best for Willy, Bric storms the Veterans Administration demanding care for Willy’s Post-Traumatic Stress; he tries to gets Willy a job as a coach at his high school; and he lets Willy’s girlfriend Trudy know what she must do to be a good wife. Bric’s obsession goes too far. While hammering Willy about becoming a poster boy, Bric’s loud, aggressive shouting causes Willy to have a damaging flashback. Again, during a 4th of July celebration, the fireworks cause Willy to have another flashback, forcing Bric’s obsession to grow and compounding his efforts to help. Willy becomes anxious and depressed, and ultimately he cannot take his father’s pressures any longer. The two have an intense confrontation which leads Willy to suicide and changes his family’s lives forever.
EPILOGUE: Willy's family and friends are gathered at the family home after Willy's burial. Each speaks in brief eulogy. Trudy says that the relationship was working. Hope says, "We'll never know if it was an accident or suicide.” Ben, Willy’s friend as if speaking to Willy says, "You got the job, bro. You're the new Assistant Coach." Deeply saddened, Bric says, "I didn't want you to die. I didn't want to kill you." Hope plays a cassette of Willy reciting a poem he wrote for Bric one Father's Day showing his love for his Dad.
Cast of Characters
PLACE: Detroit, suburb of Detroit.
TIME: Spring, the present
The suburban family home: living room, a bed room and partial view of the kitchen. Down stage left is a door to Willy's room, Upstage center stage an arch leading to the recreational room. Upstage right an arch leading to the kitchen and a hallway, the stairway going up stairs. An open area down stage center facing audience used as a bay window. The décor in the living room indicates that a staunch military man lives there. · A suburban liquor store; college hang-out in Detroit.
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