On that subject, I have completed the W1S1 story for this month and will be submitting it somewhere soon. I've also completed another chapter of 'Apollo the Thirteenth' in which God sits down to dinner and a DVD of Galaxy Quest with Mae, Carla and Alan and talks about time travel. Igor hasn't made much of an impression in this book so far, but he will.
The play in which I get killed twice has reached a staging point: we've finally finished blocking the play so we know where and when we stand and how to move around the stage. Now all we have to do is make sure our lines are perfect, get into character and perform the play. We've got a whole month and ten two-hour rehearsals. Easy.
We're up to scene 7 of the play I am writing, which I present to you for consideration and any comments. At the end of scene six, Elena got shot.
Scene 7 (A room at an inn)
Elizabeth sits in a chair, crocheting, but getting frustrated with her errors. Elena is offstage (right), in bed and being attended by her mother.
Elizabeth: (Shouts in frustration and throws her crocheting on the floor) I'll never get the hang of this.
Elizabeth stands up and paces towards stage right, stops, walks another couple of steps and returns to the chair. John walks in from stage left and Elizabeth stands up.
John: Any news?
Elizabeth: The doctor's still in there.
John: Why are you out here?
Elizabeth: They told me to leave. Said I was in the way and interfering too much?
John: Were you?
Elizabeth: Of course I was. Elena's my sister and she might die. I want to hold her hand and hug her. She's my sister.
John walks over and puts a comforting arm round her shoulders.
John: Did the doctor say anything?
Elizabeth: He wasn't sure if he could get the bullet out, but he's trying.
Elena screams in pain. The two of them look towards the door as the screams subside and are replaced by crying. The doctor enters stage right, rubbing blood off his hands.
Doctor: I've got the bullet out and placed some linen over the wound. There's little else I can do.
Elizabeth: Will she live?
Doctor: I don't know. I've given your mother some poppy juice to give to the girl to help with the pain, but it's up to her now.
John: Thankyou Doctor. Can Elizabeth go in?
Doctor: Yes. Providing she's careful and doesn't cause any problems.
Elizabeth runs into the bedroom. The Doctor and John watch her go in, then the Doctor approaches John.
Doctor: Mr Maynard, your daughter...
John: She's not my daughter.
Doctor: Your step-daughter...
John: She's the daughter of my housekeeper. I look after my staff.
Doctor: No matter. The girl may not survive. The bullet went quite deep into her back. I've seen stronger men die from such wounds after battles.
Margaret enters unseen from stage right and keeps quiet.
John: This wasn't a battle, she's not a soldier and you have attended to her far more quickly than any surgeon would do in war.
Doctor: All the same, in my experience people with this kind of wound die most of the time. It may take a few hours or a few days. She will be lucky to live.
John: Then let's pray that God wants her to live.
Doctor: It is all that's left to do.
Margaret: Elena's asleep and Elizabeth is lying next to her to help keep her warm.
Doctor: And I suggest that you get some sleep also. It has been a difficult day for you all. I shall get my bag from the room and take my leave.
The doctor returns to the bedroom.
John: She will live.
Margaret: That's not what the doctor says. I heard him.
John: I have seen many people recover from wounds such as that. After a highwayman has shot them. He is an ex-military surgeon and while he may be good at what he does, he doesn't know everything.
The doctor re-enters with his bag and coat.
Doctor: Mrs...Margaret. I bid you good day.
John: I shall see you out, doctor, and pay you for your services.
The doctor leaves stage left, followed by John. Margaret walks to the chair, slumps into it and starts to cry, asking 'why' several times. John returns within a minute and stops when he sees Margaret, then slowly walks over to her.
John: (Kneels beside Margaret) She will live.
Margaret: Will she? How can you know? How can anyone know? (Cries again) Why us? Why has all this happened to my family? First it was the Millers violating me, then the villagers killing my husband. After that no one my home town would take us in until you came along, and now those villagers have shot my youngest daughter. Why? What have I done to God to offend him?
John: (Puts a consoling hand on hers.) I don't know that God has much to do with the evil that men do to one another. The only promise he makes is to help us in times of trouble, not protect us from it. As for the villagers, they are both dead by my hand and their bodies are feeding the creatures of the forest.
Margaret: Will you be hung for their murder?
John: No. The magistrate has sent a group of men to find the bodies and has accepted my story. Though he may change his mind, it is unlikely. We can continue onto Oxford. All four of us.
Margaret: (Smiles weakly.) Can you afford for all of us to stay here?
John: Easily. (Stands) Now why don't you go and sleep alongside your daughters. It's been a few days since you were last in a bed.
Margaret: And what of you?
John: I have a room further down the corridor. I shall come by later with something to eat and drink for you, Elizabeth and Elena. Now go and sleep.
Margaret: (Stands) Thankyou. You have shown me such kindness. And my daughters. (She steps towards him) Is there anyway I can repay you?
John: You can be my housekeeper.
Margaret: Is there nothing else you desire? A wife maybe?
Margaret: Are you sure? (She places a hand on his chest)
John: (Steps back) I am perfectly sure, Margaret. The memories of my wife are still with me as are those of my children. I stayed in that town too long after their deaths and until I can think of them and not weep I shall not remarry. (He walks to the door, stage left and stops. Without facing Margaret he speaks) I understand your desire to marry again. This is not a world for unmarried women, especially those who have children. But please rest assured that I will not throw you out and if I do ever decide to marry again, it will be to you that I turn. Unless you have married someone else.
John exits stage left.
Margaret: But who would want me? (She sits down in the chair, thoughtful and resigned to fate) Old men want young women who can breed children and young men want young women for life. Old women who are still desired are not wooed for their fading looks, but their wealth. I have neither youth or wealth. My children will marry, but who will marry me and care for me when they are gone?
(Fade to black)
On that note, I bid you adieu and I shall see you on Wednesday when I'll talk about rousing the muse when YOU need him/her.