Escape From Venice (2nd Lt J.S. Foster's First Interview with Marira Bentsson)
First Interview. 3:22 AM. August 14, 2025.
2nd Lieutenant J.S. Foster: [Ruffling sound as he sits in the chair.] Testing, testing. [On the recording, a “THUMP THUMP,” as he taps the microphone twice.] Are you comfortable?
Marira Bentsson: Yes.
2nd Lt JSF: I see you have a soda, that’s good.
2nd Lt JSF: Did the man outside get it for you? [Pause] You, you like grape flavored? I mean, I bet you didn’t have that on the island, did you? Or anything fizzy?
MB: Well, a few months ago, someone found a can of Coke that wasn’t opened. Some people thought that was pretty cool.
2nd Lt JSF: I bet you did. Did you taste some of it?
MB: No, I hate that syrupy stuff.
2nd Lt JSF: Isn’t this grape stuff sweet… Never mind. [He coughs. He reaches across the table and turning the straw in her soda back to face her.] So. Do you mind telling me how old you are?
MB: I thought all of you died.
2nd Lt JSF: All of who?
MB: All of you who didn’t let us leave.
2nd Lt JSF: Well, I never said I did not want you to leave. That wasn’t my choice. That was the decision of a lot of people. It was very complicated.
MB: But didn’t you all die? When the movie started?
2nd Lt JSF: When the… no. Do you mean the people in the boats?
MB: Yes. All of you. In the boats. And in boots. You don’t have boots on. What are those things on your feet?
2nd Lt JSF: Look, it doesn’t matter what I have on my feet. [Pause.] They’re called loafers.
MB: Are they comfortable?
2nd Lt JSF: Uh, yeah, they are.
MB: You don’t tie them up?
2nd Lt JSF: No, they just sort of slide on.
MB: They are ugly. I bet they don’t even stay on when you run. But it doesn’t matter. I bet you own those boots.
2nd Lt JSF: Which boots?
MB: The ones that the soldiers wear.
2nd Lt JSF: Yes, I do. I am a soldier too. Does that bother you?
MB: So why weren’t you there with the soldiers?
2nd Lt JSF: Well, I was here, sort of monitoring the situation. I was talking to the soldiers who were coming to help get you and the others off the island.
MB: And then they died.
2nd Lt JSF: Yes. And they died.
MB: When the sea rained. All of them?
2nd Lt JSF: Do you know how old you are?
MB: I’m about 19.
2nd Lt JSF: [He notices she is straining forward against the snug wrist and neck restraints to reach her straw with her mouth. He pushes the can closer to her.] Sorry, I hope that is better. You said “about”?
MB: Yes. About 19.
2nd Lt JSF: You don’t know how long you have been on the island?
2nd Lt JSF: How old were you when, when the island was closed off?
MB: I was 7.
2nd Lt JSF: That was five years ago. That means you are 12 years old.
MB: I don’t feel 12.
2nd Lt JSF: What is 12 supposed to feel like?
MB: I guess like this.
2nd Lt JSF: [Pause, as he stands up and takes two steps to the right.]I want to ask you something, if you can remember a long time back. Can you remember back what happened at first?
2nd Lt JSF: [He clears his throat, and sits back down.] When did you start skinning the dogs?
MB: When I was 7.
I.E.: Escape From Venice