Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Broken Funeral, Of Sorts: A play in four acts. Act 1, Scene 5.

Daniel, Mortel, Caroline, and Melody sit in the living room after the dinner party guests have abandoned the manor. The storm continues to rage outside. Daniel looks his sickest yet. Caroline holds candles in both of her hands. Melody has something she's hiding under the coffee table that she clearly wishes to surprise the others with.
Caroline: I'm so sorry, Daniel. I thought for sure the party would make you feel better.
Mortel: I told you it wouldn't.
Caroline: Well, you're not a doctor so I don't see how your opinion mattered.
Mortel: The doctor said to keep him resting in his room.
Caroline: That is neither here nor there. Melody is clearly uncomfortable with all this.
Melody: The storm sounds as though a million tiny feet were trampling over the estate!
Daniel: Good Lord, truly?
Melody: It does.
Daniel: The feet of what?
Melody: Faeries or goblins, I suppose. Daniel grabs Mortel's arm.
Daniel: We must ward them off somehow.
Mortel: Ward off what?
Daniel: The goblins.
Mortel: Oh, of course.
Caroline: I never understood the goblin philosophers.
Mortel: Denser than Kant, that's why.
Melody: Do they teach them at the university?
Daniel: They offer a single course. Sometimes they are brought up in other classes. Usually only as footnotes.
Mortel: You took the course?
Daniel: I took many courses. Courses. Plural. You know it's plural because I added an "s" at the end. I don't enjoy doing that. I did it for your benefit.
Mortel: My sincere apologies. What do the goblins think?
Daniel: On what?
Mortel: On anything.
Daniel: That's vague.
Mortel: It's meant to be illuminating.
Daniel: Then ask what do they think on metaphysics. Or morality. Or logic. Or some branch of philosophy. Melody reveals she's been holding a crystal ball underneath the coffee table.
Melody: This allows one to communicate with the goblins.
Daniel: That is only necessary when they're in Arcadia. They're trampling over the estate now.
Caroline: No, you misunderstood. That is only the rain.
Daniel: Goblins disguised as raindrops.
Caroline: What is wrong with Daniel?
Mortel: His senses are beginning to fail him. Even metaphor is beginning to fail him. Soon he will exist only in pataphor.
Melody: Condemned to be twice removed from reality. Is it insanity?
Mortel: No. It's an unique linguistic skill that for whatever reason only the French value.
Daniel: Time is a river. I am in time. I sink into the river. I'm drowning. Help! Help! Daniel begins flailing his arms as if drowning. Mortel and Melody go to help him. Caroline puts the candlesticks down.
Caroline: He'll have to be committed.
Mortel: To France?
Caroline: To an insane asylum.
Melody: Nonsense. We'll take him to a French University. Daniel knows French.
Daniel: Truth is beauty. I and all those around me are hideous. Monstrous.
Caroline: We should use the crystal ball.
Melody: To contact the goblins?
Mortel: I'd like to know more of their philosophy.
Daniel: Goblin philosophers stand on chessboards when they argue. They make spacial movements similar to chess pieces that best represent whatever statement they just said. A goblin rhetorician is one who regardless of what he says moves instantly - or sometimes subtly - towards checkmate always. Other goblins are more noble and will concede defeat in debate on the chessboard.
Caroline: Is that true or is that pataphore?
Mortel: I have no idea.
Daniel: I know. I have all ideas. I am idea. I am words on page. Nothing more.

The stage lights go dim. End of Act 1, Scene 5.