Notes from New Sodom

... rantings, ravings and ramblings of strange fiction writer, THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Nowhere Town: Act ONE Scene VII

Act ONE Scene VII: The Here And Now Again

Back at the No Exit Lounge and Bar, JACK and CHORUS sit, drunk and maudlin. CHORUS is flipping a coin and catching it.

CHORUS: I sometimes think that Death is like a jealous lover. For those he loves, he’ll let them have no other.

JACK: I just… we had three days. Three days. How can you fall in love in three days? How can you know that that was the person you were meant to be with… I mean – in three days. How can you know someone in three days? Like they’re you… and you’re them.

CHORUS: That’s what love is… chance. Just like death. [He drops the coin] Except with death, at least, [picks the coin off the floor] you can always be sure of the outcome. People talk about true love; funny. I always thought you can be much more sure of death.

JACK [bitter and angry]: True love! How many fucking cliches are there about love?

CHORUS: “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”? I always liked that one.

JACK: Oh, yeah, it’s like “You can’t have your cake and eat it.” How fucking twisted is that? What’s the fucking point of having cake if you can’t fucking eat it? What’s the fucking point of – I mean, what’s the fucking point of love, if… if Death can just walk into your life and tear your fucking heart out? Man, I’m sick of all the fucking cliches and the fucking platitudes. The good die young… He’s gone to a better place… He’s dead! And there’s nothing… nothing… [tails off] What’s the fucking point?

CHORUS: There is no point. Heaven? Hell? Heaven is just our memory of what we had-

JACK: Or some happy-ever-after we imagine for ourselves.

CHORUS: And Hell is where we go when our loved ones die.

JACK: You do know, don’t you?

CHORUS: I’ve been there, my friend. I’ve been there.

JACK: … Do you know the way out?

BARMAN: That’s time! Finish up your drinks and move outside!

CHORUS: I know where we can get another drink, anyway. If you want one.

BARMAN: Your time’s up, people! Come on, now.

CHORUS [shakes his head]: I don’t know. The way out? Death and I go way back. Old friends. [lights a cigarette] You… can’t just walk away from him. Or you could, but you’d be turning your back on… the truth? And Death, he’s the truest lover, you’ll ever have [takes a slug of absinthe]. He’ll follow you wherever you go.

SONG: Tango For The Dead

Tom Waits does tango. Nuff said.

CHORUS:

Death, alone of all the gods,
Requires no persuasion,
No gifts, no invitations.
Death, alone of all the gods,
Has no devoted preachers,
But always He can reach us,
No matter what the odds.

CHORUS wanders round the bar, going from REGULAR to REGULAR.

But if you can face
His cold, dark embrace,
There's no other love as true
As when Death walks with you.

Chosen, alone of all His fools,
To sing His inspiration
In tears and lamentations.
Chosen, alone of all His fools,
To take Him as my muse,
To pay His awful dues,
To praise him as he's cruel.

But if you can face
His cold, dark embrace,
There's no other love as true
As when Death walks with you.

CHORUS removes the flick-knife from his pocket during the next verse.

Death, when I was seventeen,
You took my heart completely,
Cut out clean and neatly.
Death, when I was seventeen,
You claimed me as your own,
This rag of skin and bone,
To see what is unseen.

But if you can face
His cold, dark embrace,
There's no other love as true
As when Death [flicks the knife open] walks with you.

Death, the enemy of hope.
Death, the chair, the rope.
Death, the heart of every life
Death, cut open with a knife

CHORUS stabs the knife into the table in front of JACK.

Death, destroyer of all lies,
Who crushes all delusions,
All merciful illusions.
Death, destroyer of all lies,
Who opens up the mind -
No longer am I blind
With pennies on my eyes.

For if you can face
His cold, dark embrace,
There's no other love as true
As when Death walks with you.

As CHORUS sings the final verse the REGULARS depart. Only JACK, CHORUS and the BARMAN are left on stage, the BARMAN standing at the door, waiting for them to leave to lock up for the night.

Death, alone of all the gods,
Accepts no celebration,
Offers no consolation.
Death, alone of all the gods,
To Him no glass is raised,
For Death will take no praise;
He only takes our lives,
Our husbands and our wives,
Our sisters and our mothers,
Our fathers and our brothers.
Our enemies and lovers.
Like Him there is no other.
The rest are only frauds.
Death...
Alone of all the gods.

JACK looks at the BARMAN, holding up a finger – one more drink? The BARMAN shakes his head. CHORUS beckons – follow me - puts his arm around JACK’s shoulder and leads him towards the door.

But if you can face
His cold, dark embrace,
There's no other love as true

CHORUS looks over his shoulder at the audience.

As when Death walks with you.

[Curtain. End of Act ONE]

***

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2 Comments:

Blogger Tamaranth said...

This rocks! When's the soundtrack album coming out?

(Oh, and congratulations on Locus shortlist appearance! Vellum still fermenting in my head. Liked it very much indeed.)

1:41 pm  
Blogger Hal Duncan said...

(Stealing the blog back temporarily from these wayward fictitous characters) Thanks, Tamaranth! I'm afraid the music needs to be, well, gotten out of my head and onto paper, so it will be a good wee while before any soundtrack album makes it out into the world. I do have mad plans for an Edinburgh Fringe show at some point though.

1:39 am  

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