The Parrot And The Knave

rating: +10+x

Scene I

An house at dusk in which Young Cimber sits over his bed, praying.

Enter Knave and their Parrot.

YOUNG CIMBER
Here, I lay me down to sleep.
To thee, O Lord, I give my soul to keep.
Wake I ever, or wake I never.

PARROT
Wake I never. Wake I never.

YOUNG CIMBER
To thee, O Lord, I give my soul to keep for ever.

PARROT
Keep for ever. Keep for ever.

Cimber looks up at Knave.

YOUNG CIMBER
Cheerful Knave, slumber I have but taken!
What bringst thou here at such an hour late?

KNAVE
Prithee, lay thine eyes to rest, Young Cimber.
Here I come only to speak to Father.

PARROT
Speak to Father. Speak to Father.

KNAVE
Silence, bird.

Cimber laughs.

YOUNG CIMBER
I bid thee well, Knave, and sleep I shall take.
Prithee, O Knave, on the morn come to me,
And tell me what say Father of thine ask.

KNAVE
Tis a promise.

PARROT
Promise. Promise.

Exit Young Cimber.

KNAVE
I hope it is a promise I can keep,
For Cimber may not be long on this plane.
Even though his Father accepts it not,
Cimber is afflicted gravely with rot.

Enter Father

KNAVE
O good Father, thee I have come to see.

FATHER
I am seeing that with mine own eyes, Knave.
I ask, what bringst thou here to mine own home?

KNAVE
I come only for thy blessing, Father.
The grip of Oizys has blighted this town,
And all its inhabitants afflicted
With deep suffering and melancholy.
In their hearts, they know not what to live for.
So they live for naught, and work for naught too.
And what, ask, do they at their end of life?
That all of them die for nothing as well,
Having not even truly lived a day.
O, this is a grave pestilence, Father.
A plague not of the body, but of the soul.
No healer can heal, nor man of science.

FATHER
What proposeth thou for healing this, Knave?

KNAVE
I seek to travel to the caves of East
Where once lived our ancestors long ago.
O, alas, all dwellers are long dead now,
But the ghost of their home may hold the key.
They knew things that in time man has forgot.
Methinks they might have a cure for the soul.

FATHER
I will not hear of it, Knave.
No blight can be healed by relics old.

KNAVE
Prithee, Father.

FATHER
May the Lord be with thee, Knave. Take thy leave.

PARROT
Leave. Leave. Leave.

Exit Knave and their Parrot.


Scene II

A courtyard at dawn in which Father sits crying.

FATHER
O Woe is the day. O Woe is the day.
O, tis a piteous, piteous day.
Lord, frigid Lord, my wills have reached nadir.
Would that I could return to yesterday.

Enter Knave.

KNAVE
Father, I have heard thy cries.
What afflicts thee, Father?

FATHER
Sickly Young Cimber has passed in his sleep.
When called the rooster, he lie still in bed.
When I went unto him, and touched his face,
His eyes were unseeing, his mouth was closed.
His skin was devoid of bright and colour.
His flesh was so cold, for he had long passed.

Father continues to cry.

KNAVE
Come, dear Father, let us walk round the stones
And take thy mind off this horrid event.
Thou deserveth not be saddened as such,
And as such these feelings will pass in time.

FATHER
But Knave, recover from this I cannot.
For little Cimber was my youngest son.
With Isadore long dead, no more children
Will be born in my likeness e'er again,
So I know not how to to keep living.
The rest of my days loom over like shade.
O, dear Knave, how I fear the tomorrow,
And thousand tomorrows to follow it.
I am so lost in this darkened abyss.
O, I would prefer damnation to this.

KNAVE
Father, do anything to help, I will!
Just give me the word, and it will be done.

FATHER
Thou spoketh to me about sick of soul.
I feel I am blighted, as thou sayeth.
Go in the crevices, bring me the cure,
So that I may live to see the next day.

KNAVE
Yes, Father, I will do as thou sayeth.
I will go at once, come back in a day.

Exit Knave.


Scene III

A dark cave as old at time, lit only by a series of torches that have lain burning for hundreds of years.

Enter Knave and their Parrot.

KNAVE
Come, bird.
Methinks these caves hold the secrets of old.

PARROT
Secrets of old. Secrets of old.

The two arrive at a gold alter in the middle of the room.

The Parrot flies down into the center of the alter.

A rumbling can be heard in the distance, and the Parrot freezes in place.

KNAVE
Bird, what afflict thee?

PARROT
I become the light of the mid-day sun.
I become every hair on thine head.
I become every breath thou draweth.
I become justice, and I become death.
All things come from me, and all end with me.

KNAVE
Bird, what meanst thou?

PARROT
Silence, human.
Look into mine eyes, and see who I am.

KNAVE
Nay, bird, I cannot. I am full with fear.

PARROT
Such foolishness. Take me to those who will.
I am the cure thou seeketh to the blight.
Thou seest? My careful gaze will heal their souls.
And bring back meaning into their sad lives.

KNAVE
If tis so, I shall bring thee to Father.
But I still cannot look, for I am scared.

Exit Knave and their Parrot.


Scene IV

A courtyard at mid-day where sits Father.

Enter Knave.

KNAVE
Father, Father, I come bearing a cure.
This bird has been blessed by the spirits old.
Bird, tell Father what sayeth thou to me.

The Parrot remains silent.

FATHER
A bird? I must believe thee just this once.

Father looks into the eyes of the Parrot.

FATHER
The bird say naught, but I understand now.
The bird is everything. All hail the bird.
I must spread the word to the people now.

Exit Father with the Parrot.

KNAVE
I somehow feel I made a grave mistake.
Is this bird the blessing that he has claimed?
Or is he a curse upon this great land?
Perhaps a beast by the Devil himself?
I must warn them before it is too late.

Exit Knave.


Scene V

A town square where many townspeople, including Father, are gathered around the Parrot.

TOWNSPEOPLE
The bird is everything! All hail the bird!
The bird is everything! All hail the bird!
The bird is everything! All hail the bird!

The townspeople continue shouting in the background.

Enter Knave.

KNAVE
Father, what has become of the people?

FATHER
They have seen the light now, Knave. They are cured!
No longer do they all live for nothing.
They live for the bird now, and it is good.
Thou wert correct, good Knave, we were all sick.
But now the bird has balanced our humours,
And now the blight afflicts us no longer.

KNAVE
This is madness, Father. I must stop it.

Knave runs into the crowd, and grabs the Parrot.

Exit Knave and the Parrot.

FATHER
Knave has betrayed us and taken the bird.
Run after them, for we must get him back.

TOWNSPEOPLE
Get him back! Get him back!

Exit Father and the townspeople.

The setting changes to a strange yellow hall lit by bright spirits in the roof.

Enter Knave and their Parrot.

KNAVE
What foreign place have I fallen into?
O, strange walls and sounds, I must be in Hell.
I know not how to return to me home.
And in these yellow halls, I fear I die.

PARROT
Die. Die. Die. Die. Die.

Fin.


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