SCIENCE FICTION BLAST-OFF THEATER

"Abe Lincoln"

                                                               by Richard Nathan

(Please note:  I wrote this after I wrote "Warning From The Future."  If you are performing "Warning From The Future," you should probably not also perform "Abe Lincoln" as part of the same show, as some of the elements are too similar.)

Before the lights come up, a voice announces the title of the story:

                                                            VOICE
                                    "Abe Lincoln"

It is April 15, 1865.  A TRAVELER approaches the TICKET-SELLER at Ford's Theater. 

                                                            TRAVELER
                                    Excuse me.  This may seem like an odd
                                    question, but is today April 15, 1865?

                                                            TICKET-SELLER
                                    It's not odd at all.  Yes, this is April 15,
                                    1865, and, assuming you were going to ask,
                                    this is Ford's Theater.  Would you like
                                    to purchase a ticket?

                                                            TRAVELER
                                    It's vitally important I purchase a
                                    ticket.

                                                           TICKET-SELLER
                                    Sorry, we're all sold out.  You'll have to
                                    come back a week ago.

                                                            TRAVELER
                                    What????

                                                            TICKET-SELLER
                                    Let me check again.  No, sorry, the records
                                    now show you'll have to go back at least a
                                    month ago to get a ticket.

                                                            TRAVELER
                                    I don't understand....

                                                            TICKET-SELLER
                                    You're a time traveler, aren't you?

                                                            TRAVELER
                                    How did you know?

                                                            TICKET-SELLER
                                    Everyone with a ticket tonight is a time 
                                    traveler, other than the Lincoln party,
                                    and I'm not sure about some of them.

                                                            TRAVELER
                                    I thought I was the only one who knew how....

                                                            TICKET-SELLER
                                    To time travel?  The only one from all of time? 
                                    You thought only you could figure it out, out of
                                    every human who ever lived or will live???  
                                    That's a little egotistical, isn't it?   You wouldn't
                                    believe how many time travelers I've met.  And
                                    they all insist on coming here.

                                                            TRAVELER
                                    You seem to be taking this awfully calmly.

                                                            TICKET-SELLER
                                    I was shocked when I first realized what was
                                    going on.  But after meeting my first hundred or
                                    so time travelers, I began to get used to it.

                                                            TRAVELER
                                    Did they tell you why they've come?

                                                            TICKET-SELLER
                                    Oh yes.  Most of them want to save Lincoln. 
                                    And some want to kill him. 

                                                            TRAVELER
                                    Kill him?  Doesn't Booth do that?

                                                            TICKET-SELLER
                                    How would I know?  It hasn't happened yet. 
                                    But the way some of the time travelers tell it,
                                    a time traveler saves Lincoln, but the
                                    assassination attempt drives him insane with
                                    fear, and he starts a ruthless monarchy.  I'm 
                                    told it won't be pleasant. 

                                                            TRAVELER
                                    So everyone with a ticket is either going to
                                    try to save Lincoln or kill him.

                                                            TICKET-SELLER
                                    Except for the scalpers.  They came back to buy
                                    tickets, and then sell them to other time travelers. 
                                    Most of them have already sold their tickets, but
                                    there might still be some available, for several
                                    million dollars.

                                                            TRAVELER
                                    Why should I pay a scalper if I can just go back
                                    in time and buy a ticket when they were available?

                                                            TICKET-SELLER
                                    If you go back one month, someone else could
                                    go back two months.  There's still a lot of time
                                    traveling going on.  The past is now in a constant
                                    state of flux, thanks to people like you.  I expect by
                                    now, ... wait, let me check....

The Ticket-Seller checks his records again.

                                                            TICKET-SELLER
                                    Yes, my records have changed again.  They now
                                    show we sold out the day the tickets went
                                    on sale.  Hmmm.  It says the buyers were lined up,
                                    camping out, weeks in advance.  Do you want to
                                    camp out on the street for weeks?  The only
                                    other way you'll get a ticket now is to pay a
                                    scalper.

                                                            TRAVELER
                                    I don't think I can afford that.  Besides, if there
                                    are so many others who'll try to save Lincoln....

                                                            TICKET-SELLER
                                    Or kill him!

                                                            TRAVELER
                                    .... or kill him, they don't need me, do they?

                                                            TICKET-SELLER
                                    No, not really.  You might as well go back home.

                                                            TRAVELER
                                    When I get back, I wonder if it will turn out that
                                    Lincoln was killed or survived.

                                                            TICKET-SELLER
                                    Well, it doesn't really matter any more, does it?

                                                            TRAVELER
                                    How can you say that?

                                                            TICKET-SELLER
                                    If you don't like it, just wait.  Someone is
                                    bound to change it.

 

Blackout!    

 

THE END

 

 

Click here to go to more
 SCIENCE FICTION BLAST-OFF THEATER
 science fiction scripts

2003 by Richard Nathan.  All rights reserved

The author grants all internet uses to print these scripts for their own, personal, non-commercial use.  No other use may be made without the author's permission.  Without limiting the foregoing, the plays may not be staged without the author's express  permission.

Send e-mail to the author at Richard-Nathan@att.net.