“Verily”, is my response to Eiddwen’s question. She glides across the stage with a combination of grace and terror in her persona as the Fairy Queen, turning to those black eyes at Shirin, who plays Puck. Leave it to Eiddwen to manipulate a situation so that she ends up with a role where she gets to wear dresses, and with Shirin ending up wearing a brown sack around her body.
/Rune, you’re supposed to look jealous now./ And how do I do that?! /Remember when Erim hit on Nevena? Channel that feeling!/
I glare at Puck/Shirin, taking Verde’s advice at heart. Eiddwen puts one hand around Puck’s shoulder and they walk down the stage. The intensity of the light decreases somewhat on the stage, and in the silence that ensues I am reminded of the feel of the ermine cloak chafing against my skin. Supernatural sense aren’t always a boon- it feels like there are ants running laps around my shoulder.
The light increases, and a figure appears next to me. Samuel Marikson, wearing a toga and a bow made of a red-colored wood. I can make out the connecting band of a quiver under his left armpit, using the persona of Cupid. He kneels before me.
“THE MESSENGER OF LOVE“, the Chorus states in the background. Geez, could they speak any louder?
“You called, Great Lord. What is thy bidding?” /Tell him to go fetch you a pizza!/ I school my features, aiming for a dignified look; lips pursed, eyes intent. “The affections of my Queen… seem misplaced. I would like for you to humble my fair lady”, I state in a voice I’d like to think of as gravely. Grave as the grave. /Careful. You were almost funny there./
“And how”, he queries,” might I do that?” I turn towards the audience, our audience of one, Sara Eksjö. I raise one finger. “With an arrow of love”, I make a cutting-motion down,” shot true.” I sverve around and kneel. “Will you do this for me, Cupid?”
“Yes, Great Lord”, Cupid/Samuel answers. Darkness falls on the stage, and we quietly move back. Shirin, Eiddwen and some of the others stride onto the stage. In quick succession, a table, glasses, chairs and the like are placed. They seat themselves, and the light comes on.
“I had this urge to scratch my balls the whole time I was kneeling”, Samuel whispers to me./That is by far too much information./ “Tell me about it”, I mumble back, continuing to speak while watching the drama unfold. “This goddamn cloak is going to give me a rash before we have this play down.”
A stagehand makes a hushing sound in our direction, and while Samuel gives him the third finger, we stop speaking.
Eiddwen stands on the stage, quoting her monologue. Man, I wish I had a monologue./ You do remember that you told Isocrates, ‘no damn monologues’, right?/ Did I? / You did. Your exact thought was that it is a ‘melodramatic waste of time’./ Alright, then I take it back.
“How long has it been?” Eiddwen asks in voice that rings out. “How long since I last felt love’s burning embers?” She clutches her hands to her chest, looking small and lost. “Centuries? Millenia? Long years that have not been kind to me.”
“WHAT OF THE KING?” the Chorus cries.
“What of him?” Eiddwen wonders in a chill voice. She begins to pace. Her face darkens, emotions warring across its landscape. ” I was told of an eternity. An eternity of love he told me. Yet his eyes wanders….”
“What should I do?” Eiddwen poses the question openly. I wish I could bring a role to life the way she does it. There is something in her face, something mobile that allows her to showcase a range of differing emotions. I am afraid that I am too… wooden.
“WAIT AND SEE. WAIT AND SEE“, the Chorus repeat. Twilight falls on the stage.
“I am up”, Samuel says. “Don’t forget your part now”, he adds. “As if”, I say quite defiant. I watch as Samuel runs up on a hastily constructed deck. Simultaneously, people run out and set out plants and greenery which is supposed to be a forest. Another group idle around the stage, not sure of what they’re supposed to be doing in the interval.
The twilight turns into dawn and all is revealed; a forest, actors attempting to rehearse a play, the Fairy Queen watching them alongside Puck with Cupid above them.
“THE GREAT CRIME“, the Chorus intone. A ‘twang’ echoes across the stage and the Fairy Queen crumbles, a fletcher sticking out her right shoulder. Puck attempts to help her up, but she pushes him away. She gazes at one of the actors. One of her hands come up to her mouth and her pupils widen.
“I must go”, the Fairy Queen simpers. “Go where”, Puck asks, dismayed at her sudden change of mood. “Where? To my great love of course”, the Fairy Queen says, as if this is the most natural response.
Suddenly the light changes on the stage. Red, blue, green, orange, purple streaks makes the actors stumble. “Cut! Cut! Cut!” Isocrates’ order goes ignored and the light continues to do its rainbow dance.
“Ah for fuck’s sake”, someone calls out. “We were so close”, Eiddwen moans. I just sigh and remove the clasps on the ermine-cloak, allowing it to flutter to the ground./Rune. Check the upper left corner./ I follow Verde’s directive.
I swallow, slowly. Tam Linn stands in that very corner. How long has he been there?!/That is not important right now. Watch him, watch him carefully./ Linn beckons me to come with one hand. I glance left then right. Nobody will notice if I sneak away in this chaos.
I jump down from the stage, earning myself a glare from Eiddwen, then walk up, towards Linn. I stop when I am about a meter away from him. “Tell Hermann Schwartz that I got his message”, Linn says. I blink. “What… message…”I say, speaking to empty air. He is gone. Not a whisper, no smells, nada. Gone.
In that moment I know something. The light just now? That was Linn. He wanted an interruption so that he could tell me that message.