Monday, June 30, 2008

A Scene

A proscenium stage littered with characters: a poet, three ducks, a marksman, two ladies-in-waiting, one chef. There is an overwhelming backlight that transforms all of them into simple silhouettes. We distinguish each by their voice and outline alone. The poet is the first to speak:

How is it then that upon this most festive of occasions all eight of us have happened upon this place?

The ducks quack loudly in response and the marksman, growing frustrated by their quacking, shoots all three dead on stage.

My, my, mutter both the ladies-in-waiting. They were only just quacking.

The marksman turns to them and, in one slow but certain motion, raises his gun to his shoulder and shoots one of the two ladies. He lowers the gun and says, I wouldn’t, my lady, say such things if I were you.

Heeding the man’s warning, she nods her head as if in agreement.

The chef’s figure, meanwhile, has made its way across the stage and to the ducks. He picks up all three and carries them offstage, saying as he leaves, I’ll be back but shortly.

The poet, the marksman, and the lady-in-waiting all wait for the chef to reappear. Finally, he does. He hands each a plate, which to us appear as little more than thin black slivers against the light, and suggests that the please try some. They do, but before any of them has a chance to either compliment or denounce the chef the backlights are shut off and the scene, we presume, is over.

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