Child Soldier – Monologue (Destiny – 2)

A monologue from the play by J. Thalia Cunningham

DESTINY (early twenties)

Destiny is a former female child soldier from Liberia who has come to the United States as an undocumented refugee.

She struggles to navigate the battlefield of an inner-city high school while keeping her past a secret and striving for an education.

Here, she tells the story of her past and the three spirits that haunt her.

Ya. My brother Matthew first. He was my
best friend as well as my brother.
I helped him with his schoolwork; he fought the
older children when they teased me.
The rebels attacked our village.
One of them tied a rope around my mamma, my
younger brothers and sisters, and me.
It bit into our flesh.
Then the kerosene.
They held a gun to Matthew’s head and told him to
light the match.
His eyes met mine, looking at me as a big brother
should look at his little sister.
Gentle. Protective.
His hand shook as he tried to light the match.
Then, suddenly, he threw the flame at the rebel
who held the gun, while lunging at the knot in the
ropes to free us.
It was over in seconds.
I felt the shot, rather than hearing it.
The back of Matthew’s dear head exploded, and
my lap became warm and sticky, as his blood and
brain matter flew around us.
The rebels looked at the group of us, still knotted
together with the rope.
I was the next oldest.
As they pried me out and re-tightened the rope,
Mama squeezed my hand.
It was the last time I ever felt her touch or heard her
sweet voice.
She whispered one last thing to me.
Then the rebels gave me the same chance they gave
What could I do?
I was warned not to cry.
Oh, mama! I’ll hear all your screams in the flames
for the rest of my life.
(she stifles her crying)
Please! Don’t tell General Machete Mouth. I’m
sorry, I’m sorry.
Mama told me, “You’re my strong, smart girl.
Make us proud.” Such love in her voice.
(crying again)
Papa was out in the bush.
I prayed they’d take me and leave, but they waited
for his return.
How stupid I was when they asked, “Is this your
Then they handed me a machete.
Like butchering a goat.
Papa! Please forgive me!

Scroll to Top