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by Nick Zagone

TODD & JACK – 30's military
HADIR – 30's Iraqi male
JUNAH – 30's Iraqi female
AKRAM – 30's Iraqi male

(Unknown location in Iraq. Small room, three chairs and a table. A bearded Iraqi man, HADIR, sits in the chair. Two men in military khakis are also present. JACK, with a laptop behind a table taking notes. The other, TODD, facing Hadir. The booming noise of a Blackhawk helicopter flying overhead and fading.)

TODD: All right, let’s move on Hadir, who were the men living with you in your apartment in Yusufiyah?

HADIR: You Americans are all infidels. Infidel pigs and deserve to die.

TODD: Don’t you think we’re all people and we need to get along?

HADIR: No. You’re all infidel pigs. I will behead you and you’re your infidel family.

TODD: You want some water?

HADIR: Water?

TODD: Pour us all some water Jack.

JACK: Sure.

HADIR: You waterboard me! I know your tactics. Someday I will cut all your heads off.

TODD: (Drinking water.) Mmm. I’m parched aren’t you? It’s Geneva Convention rules Hadir. To offer water. Let’s have a water break. (Hands Hadir water.)

HADIR: Okay. (Drinks.)

TODD: So Hadir, what were those men doing in your apartment?

HADIR: They were preparing for a mission. A glorious one. And you missed them. Infidels.

TODD: Suicide Bombers?

HADIR: Hmm. (To Jack) Can I have your Coke?

TODD: Sure.

JACK: My Coke?

HADIR: Yes! Coca-cola!

JACK: He wants my Coke?

TODD: Just give him the Coke will ya?

(They hand Hadir the Coke, Hadir gulps it down.)

JACK: I just opened that.

TODD: Jesus grow up. You’re lucky he didn’t take your smokes and behead you. Right Hadir?

HADIR: (Drinking.) You American infidels and your sugar water, I hate you.

TODD: So where were these suicide bombers going?

HADIR: You think I’d give that up for some Coca-Cola, American? I’ll behead you all.

TODD: Well we think you may give it up for this.

(Jack types into laptop, turns it towards them.)

We have your family here on Skype. Would you like to talk to them?

HADIR: My family? Where are they?

TODD: Yes. Your family. Your wife, daughter and youngest son. Your eldest son is there too with his wife and your grandson.

HADIR: You. You torture my family in front of me?

TODD: Well, it may be torture for you.

HADIR: How did you find them? Where are they?

TODD: Bay Lake, Florida.

HADIR: My family? What are you doing to them?

TODD: Well, you’ll have to see.

(Spot on Iraqi woman. There’s theme park noises and sounds of laughter and screams of delight.)

JUNAH: Hi Boobi! I see you. Here we are!

HADIR: Junah are you okay!? I hear screams of agony!

JUNAH: That’s because we’re at Disney World silly! Your son Anas is on the Star Tours, I think? And Lazim is on Kilimanjaro Safaris for the third time! How are you?

HADIR: You’re being tortured by the infidels! In their maze of consumerism of the horrible rat! I’m so sorry!

JUNAH: Oh it’s not so bad! Really. Safa and Namir too! They said we could stay. Have jobs here! Can you believe it?

TODD: If they wanted. Really we’ll get them a job anywhere.

JUNAH: With Health Care Hadir! And employee discount!

HADIR: What is this Health Care? And where’s your burka?

JUNAH: Well, you know Boobi I just felt a little out of place. And I didn’t want to, you know, get strangle-ulated on Space Mountain. So I bought this Juicy Couture instead! And jeans too. You like? Isn’t it fabulous? (A whistle.) Oh Boobi look, people here seem to like me.

HADIR: Because they can see how you are beautiful now, please put the burka back on!

JUNAH: But this is pink! The infidels make pink clothing, of all the crazy things!

HADIR: You infidels are godless. Make it stop.

TODD: Actually, your family is quite safe. We’re working on their citizenship, and got them a nice apartment in Orlando. They seem to like it.

JUNAH: We all just went on new Harry Potter ride!

HADIR: Aw. No… Harry Potter? I love… (Slaps his hands over his mouth…)

JUNAH: They know honey! I told them.

(Jack pulls out a book and shows it to Hadir.)

HADIR: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The final book. I haven’t been able to find it.

TODD: There’s more. Jack?

(Jack pulls out a stack of DVD’s.)

HADIR: Muhammad, praise be upon him.

TODD: All the movies. With director comments.

HADIR: Mark me, after I read the book and view the movies, I’m certain to cut off all your heads!

TODD: Sure Hadir, sure.

JUNAH: Oh Boobi why don’t you tell them what they need to know and come on over! You wouldn’t believe the food here! I won’t be skinny for long so hurry up will you?

HADIR: But. Don’t you want to be here with me and… and…

JUNAH: And do what Boobi? Do what? Al-Qaida don’t pay you enough. Here they have this thing called “a union.” You can live well! Look, Boobi you’re gonna kill yourself at some point for all those virgins and really then what do I have? I got to look out for myself. Look--Here they give you Christmas bonus!

HADIR: That is a Christian Holiday!

JUNAH: Oh so what! Did you see my shoes? Just like Carrie Bradshaw huh?

TODD: Okay, got more to do, have to go Mrs. Hadir! On a schedule ya know…

JUNAH: All right infidel! We still hate you!

TODD: Oh you big kidder!

JUNAH: I know, I know, just funnin’. Hurry up Hadir! Anas! Anas come here and leave that Goofy alone!

(Todd closes the laptop and slides it to Jack.)

TODD: Now. Are you going to tell us where the bombers were going?

HADIR: How do I know you won’t double-cross me?

TODD: Ah. You’re a smart man Hadir. Watching American movies?
You got him Jack?

JACK: (Intensely occupied by laptop.) Just about.

TODD: Well Hadir, we have one of your old captured colleagues. Perhaps you’ve been wondering about him?

HADIR: Akram? You have Akram? I thought he was dead? Or at your base in Cuba.

TODD: Well, he was, but we gave up torturing you guys. Statistics say it really didn’t work anyway. So we did something different with Akram. Well, let him tell you himself.

JACK: (spinning around laptop) Here ya go.

(Light on Akram in Postal Carrier gear, carrying a full mail bag.)

HADIR: Ach! Akram is that you?

AKRAM: Hi Hadir! How are you?

HADIR: What is that military uniform! Have you been brainwashed!

AKRAM: I deliver mail! Can you believe it?

HADIR: You… ha! Very smart Akram. I see. We knew you had lived up to your legend. You can now deliver mail bombs easily!

AKRAM: Heh! That’s funny. No, no, no. Not like that at all. This job is the best ever thanks to Todd there, you listen to him!

TODD: See? Thanks for this Akram I know you’re busy.

AKRAM: Yeah, right, busy… busy sleeping with lonely men who work from home! Busy with some afternoon delight maybe…

HADIR: Ach! AAAAch! Akram! You’re homosexual!

AKRAM: I hid it pretty well I have to admit. But really, like this is hard choice Hadir. Let’s see, deliver mail for union wages with benefits and a pension so I can retire early or live in fear and possibly get my pecker whacked off? If you give them what they want you can be over here before the weekend. Two buddies of mine are getting married down at Half Moon Bay, it’s beautiful!


AKRAM: Jeez, Hadir… it’s cool. I’ll take you to a strip joint then Okay? You really have to relax. It’s pretty diverse out here, you can do whatever you want! Look I gotta go, I want to make the gym by five.

TODD: Thanks Akram, don’t ignore the leg-work and the squats, you don’t want to get too buff up top.

AKRAM: Thanks Infidel Todd!

TODD: Don’t go changin’!

(Pushes laptop back to Jack and he closes it. Light out on Akram. It’s quiet now.)

TODD: I’m offering you one thing Hadir. It’s simple really.


TODD: Freedom. Like Akram said: you can do whatever you want. We think you’ll give it up for it. You like writing stories?

HADIR: How did you…?

TODD: We found your notebooks. Under your bed. Poetry. Short stories.

HADIR: No one has ever read them.

TODD: Well, there’s quite a few middle-east readers in the states I bet. Reading groups. Publications. Grants.

HADIR: Money?

TODD: Possibly. There’s a possibility. Is it possible here?

HADIR: Not… what I write. The subject matter is…

TODD: We know. Look, we messed up here. In your country. We really screwed the pooch.

HADIR: You criticize your country?

TODD: Just because I work for it, doesn’t mean I can’t have an opinion. Sunnis lost all their government jobs. Army’s disbanded. No law and order. So the Shia militias attack Sunni neighborhoods executing… Shit the economy is wrecked, now we got this Isis, which makes you Al-Qaida look like woossies. It’s going to be decades before all this humanity is fixed. So, were just gonna give it to ya-- What we have. And just see if that works. We’ll try anything at this point. Now. Who’s your boss? Who are you working with and most of all: Where are those bombers headed?

(Hadir thinks. Hard.)

HADIR: I write it down for you.

(Jack exhales. Smiles.)

TODD: Thank you Hadir. Give me your pad, Jack.

(Hadir writes in notepad.)

TODD: Can you show me where the bombers are going on a map?


TODD: Map, Jack.

(Jack tosses it. Todd Unfolds it.)

Go ahead and point, that’s all you need to do.

(As they look at the map Jack comes behind Hadir with a black hood.)

HADIR: (Before pausing briefly, he points with his finger.) Here.
TODD: You’re sure?

HADIR: Yes. There’s a market right here.

(Todd circles a point on the map.)

TODD: All right.

(Jack quickly slams the hood around Hadir’s head and ties it off. Hadir screams and shouts.)

(At the same time military rush in shouting and tie off Hadir’s hands and pull him out screaming. Todd gives the map to one of the men who immediately run off. A beat.)

(It’s quiet, Todd and Jack exhale.)

TODD: Think you got it? How do you feel?

JACK: (sighing, then…) Terrible.

(Todd puts his hand out. Jack shakes it.)

TODD: God Bless America.


Copyright © 2015 by Nick Zagone

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that New & Fresh CIA Torture Techniques is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author at zagonenick@icloud.com or www.facebook.com/nickzagone



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