Friday, June 16, 2017

HAUNT OF THE MIDNIGHT ORCHID






SCENE 1: BIRTHDAY.



NARRATOR: “Inside us all is a carnal hunger. A desire that springs from the deepest fountain within our souls. Reason… Logic… Understanding… all earthly commitments become obstacles to overcome in pursuit of the grand appetite.”




THE SOUND OF RUSTLING AND CLINKING BOTTLES CAN BE HEARD AS IF SOMEONE IS MOVING OBJECTS OUT OF THE WAY.


DAVID: "Please forgive me."




DOOR SWINGS OPEN VIOLENTLY. A GIRL GASPS.


GWEN: (UNSETTLED) "Dad! What are you doing?"


DAVID:
"I'm sorry, Gwen. I have to..."



GWEN: (BEGGING) "No! You can't! Put down the knife and get out."


DAVID:
"Just one cut..."



EXAGERATED SMACKING/LICKING OF LIPS



GWEN: "You'll ruin everything!"



THE GIRL’S TONE INTENSIFIES A WITH A WIMPER AND CRYING.



DAVID: "No one will care. It's my birthday. It's my cake."


GWEN: “Are you serious?! Be an adult for once. I swear, it’s like you’re turning 5 instead of 50.


DAVID: “C’mon. It’s only one piece.”


GWEN: "No!" The girl demands. "Get out of the fridge, go back in the living room, and wait. Uncle Eddie will be here with the food in 15 minutes."


DAVID: “You sound like your mother.”


GWEN:
“Well one of us has to be the adult. And I don’t want to be worrying about you and your health when I’m back at college in a few weeks.”





SCENE 2: DINNER.


CLANKING OF FORKS AND MUMBLED CONVERSATION.



GWEN:
“Dad tried eating the cake again, Uncle Eddie. I swear he has no self-control.




EDDIE AND DAVID LAUGH


EDDIE: “He always had a hard time waiting for cake. I remember at your parents wedding he tried sneaking a slice before the ceremonial cake cutting. Isn’t that right, David.


DAVID: “Mhmm.”


GWEN: “Oh my gosh, Dad!


EDDIE: “He left this huge hole carved out of one of the tiers. I don’t know how you thought you were gonna get away with it.”


DAVID: I didn’t plan to get away with it. It was my wedding and my cake. I shouldn’t have to wait for someone to tell me to eat it.


EDDIE: “Amanda had a fit. I thought she was gonna kill you.”


DAVID: “Your sister was always too serious for her own good. Her idea of fun was sorting receipts.”



DAVID, EDDIE, & GWEN CHUCKLE


EDDIE: “Yeah. But somehow you got her to loosen up more than anyone else. “



TONE SHIFTS FROM LIGHTHEARTED TO SINCERE/TENDER


“You were always good for her. I don’t know if I ever thanked you for that.”



DAVID: “Can we not do this? We all miss her… but not now. Please.”



EDDIE: (CLEARING HIS THROAT TO GAIN COMPOSURE) “You’re right. I’m sorry. Um. Change of subject…. I brought you a gift.”


DAVID: “You didn’t have to do that…”




TALKING OVER ONE ANOTHER.


EDDIE: “Yes I did. I figured you two are cooped up in this apartment all day and I thought it’d be nice to have something bright.




SETS DOWN POTTED PLANT


DAVID: “You got me flowers? Was the store out of motorcycles or something?”


GWEN: “Dad, don’t be rude. They’re beautiful orchids. Thank you, Uncle Eddie.”


EDDIE: “You’re welcome. But they are mostly for your dad. I ordered them online. Lucky for you they delivered this morning.



DAVID: (APPREHENSIVE) “Lucky… right. You say you got these online? Is that why there’s all this… Mumbo Jumbo on the pot?



GWEN: (SPOKEN AS THOUGH READING A POEM OFF A CARD)
“By midnight bloom
An orchid’s dream
to bend the world of what;
To joy or pain
Within your reign
Lest paradise be cut “


DAVID: (UNAMUSED AND SOMEWHAT ANNOYED) “Oh, so this is one of your Hocus Pocus spiritual healing things.”


EDDIE: “Gwen told me you were having a hard time sleeping lately and then I found these. The listing said that these were ancient Chinese orchids and that if you keep them near your bed you’ll feel calm and might even have sweet dreams. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try.”



DAVID: (SPOKEN WITH LIGHTHEARTED SARCASM) “Well Gwen shouldn’t have told you that… but thank you for the fortune cookie flower plant.”





SCENE 3: SLEEPLESS.

SOUND OF KEYBOARD BEING WORKED INTENSELY.



GWEN: “Dad? What are you doing awake? It’s 2:30 in the morning.”


DAVID: “Oh. Hey. Yeah. I’m just finishing up some paperwork I haven’t gotten too.”


GWEN: “Is that Mom’s stuff? You really shouldn’t be doing that now.”


DAVID: “I’m almost done. I just wanted to get to it while I was thinking about it.”


GWEN: “I’ve been thinking about her too. But you need to get sleep.”


DAVID: “I will. Goodnight, Gwen.”


GWEN: “Goodnight, Dad. Happy birthday. And don’t forget your flowers.”





NOISE OF POTTED PLANT BEING SET DOWN.


DAVID: (DISINTERESTED) “Yeah… Yeah…”




DOOR CLOSES.
TYPING RESUMES.
A COLD WIND BLOWS TURNING PAGES.
MYSTICAL MUSIC BEGINS



AMANDA:
(OFF) “DAVID…”



DAVID: “Amanda? You’re… Here. And you’re young again. No. This can’t be.”


AMANDA: “I am here. And WE are young. We have the world ahead of us again.”


DAVID: “But you’re dead, Amanda. Am I dead? Did Gwen finally have enough of my nonsense and poison the cake?”


AMANDA: (LAUGHS) “No. You’ve done a wonderful job taking care of her. Just like you did a wonderful job of taking care of me. And now, I’m here to take care of you. “


DAVID: “Where are we? How did we get outside? The night is so bright here. And those flowers. Those are like the ones Eddie gave me.”


AMANDA: “You are in the joy of paradise among the midnight orchid.


DAVID:
“I’m so confused right now. This isn’t right. None of this makes any sense.”



AMANDA: “The charms of the flower’s dreams have brought me to you, and have brought you to me. Stay with me David and I’ll give you rest. We can dream together.”






SCENE 4: THE NEXT DAY/PRUNING


SCISSOR CLIPPING NOISE


GWEN: (YAWNING) “Hey”


DAVID: (WHISTLING) “Good morning.”


GWEN: (STILL WAKING UP) “Wow. You’re in a good mood for someone who fell asleep at the computer again.”


DAVID: “I did… but I had some really good sleep last night. Best in a long time. Maybe even the best I’ve had ever.”


GWEN: “So… Uncle Eddie’s plant worked?”


DAVID: "Either that or you put something in the cake.”


DAVID AND GWEN CHUCKLE


"But maybe your uncle Eddie was on to something. The dream was so vivid and real, as if I were really there.”



GWEN: “Maybe you were drugged. You didn’t eat the plant did you? Get a little of Uncle Eddie’s LSD tricks.



DAVID AND GWEN CHUCKLE


DAVID: “No… No…”


GWEN: (SAD/SERIOUS) “Did you dream of Mom?


DAVID: “Yeah, actually. I did… She’s still as beautiful as ever.”




CUTTING SOUND CONTINUES



GWEN: (MOCKING) “Well, if you’re planning on getting another good sleep like that you might not want to go destroying that plant just yet.”


DAVID: “I’m not destroying it. I’m pruning it. It’s good health for a plant, right? And I don’t know what to believe about this little guy…I mean, it was only one time. BUT, I’m not gonna be ashamed to have the pot on the dresser next to my bed tonight.”


GWEN: “Well, I’m glad. You deserved some rest.”




SCENE 5: UNREST


SOUND OF DISTORTED TV IN BACKGROUND WITH INTENSE MUSIC SWELLING



GWEN: “Dad…. Dad! Are you okay?”


DAVID: “Huh? What? Yeah?”



TV TURNS OFF



GWEN:
“You’re glazed. You weren’t even watching the TV. Ever since your birthday you’ve been looking thin and even more tired than you did before. Have you still been getting good sleep?”



DAVID: “Yeah… I think. I don’t really know. I think I’m sleeping. I see your mom every night. But now she doesn’t talk to me anymore. She just stands in the dark…. Watching… staring at me. I think she’s mad at me.”


GWEN: “That doesn’t sound right. I think you need to have a night without the plant. It might be making you sick.”


DAVID: “Maybe you’re right. I just… I see her face. She's there. Your mom is really there. I don’t know… “


GWEN: “Are you sure you're okay? I can cancel plans with Hazel tonight...”


DAVID: “No. I’ll be fine. You have a good time at the movies. “


GWEN: “Okay. I won’t be out too late. I’ll check on you the moment I come home.”


DAVID
: “Sounds good, sweetheart.”




SCENE 6: THE NIGHTMARE.


MYSTICAL MUSIC PLAYS DISTORTED



AMANDA: (whispers) “David…”


DAVID: “Amanda. You can’t be here. You’re just a dream. I must be sleeping again.”


AMANDA: “Oh, David. Is that all you see when you look at me? This face I put on for you? You haven’t slept in a week and still, I stood by you the entire time. And how did you treat me? You cut me... over and over again.”


DAVID:
“No. That's not true. I'd never hurt you.”



AMANDA:
“Look at me. You cut our leaves. Each day you pulled more of our pedals. And now you put us out in another room... “



DAVID: “The Orchid?”


AMANDA: “It didn’t have to be like this, David. You were warned. You read the pot yourself. You saw the words.”


DAVID: “The pot? You mean that riddled gibberish on the side?”


AMANDA: (HYPNOTIC TONE)

“By midnight bloom
An orchid’s dream
to bend the world of what;
To joy or pain
Within your reign
Lest paradise be cut “

“We could have been so happy together. But you had to ruin it.”


DAVID: “I’m sorry. I didn’t know. Forgive me, Amanda. Please.”


AMANDA: “Why did you do it?”


DAVID:
“I was trying to keep you healthy. Prune you. Cut out the bad parts.”



AMANDA: “Bad parts? I see... Take these.“


DAVID: “I don't understand. Why are you handing me scissors?”


AMANDA: “Show me David. Take these scissors and cut out your bad parts.”


DAVID: “On me? I can't. People aren't like that.”


AMANDA: “I said 'show me, David.' Do what you did to me. Now. Cut it all out.”


SCISSORS SNIPPING/SOUND OF CUTTING MEAT
MAN WHIMPERING
DOOR SHUTS



GWEN: “Dad! I’m home.”


DAVID: (PANICKED) “No…Don't come in here… Please.”



CUTTING SOUND CONTINUES



GWEN: “Dad? Are you okay? What are you doing? Oh MY GOD! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? Where is your nose? Where are your ears? Your eyes! DAD. NO... PLEASE!


AMANDA: “We could be happy again. All of us… Together. You need to cut out the bad parts. All of them. Even on her.”


DAVID: “Amanda, I can’t. Not Gwen. She’s our daughter. She’s our baby.”


GWEN: “Dad? There’s no one there. You need help.”


AMANDA: (DISTORTED) “PRUNE HER!”




FOOTSTEPS DRAWING CLOSER


GWEN:
“DAD! Don't come any closer. No. Get away. You’re sick. You need help”




DAVID:
“I’m so… tired, Amanda. Will you help me? Please!”




STUMBLING NOISES. ITEMS BREAK



GWEN: “Dad, stop it. You’re scaring me. JUST STOP!”


AMANDA: “This is how it has to be.”


GWEN: “I’m calling Uncle Eddie.”



DOOR SLAMS
PHONE BUTTON NOISES FOLLOWED BY RINGING



EDDIE: (D) (WAKING UP VOICE) “Hello? Gwen? What is it?”


GWEN: (PANICKED) “Uncle Eddie! Something is wrong with Dad. He cut everything off with scissors. His ears, his, nose, his lips... even his eye lids. There's chunks of meat and blood everywhere. He doesn't look human anymore."



POUNDING ON DOOR/WALL


EDDIE: (D) "Lock yourself in a room.”



GWEN: “I did.”


POUNDING ON DOOR/WALL CONTINUES



EDDIE: “Good. Now call the police. I’m coming right over.”


AMANDA: (WHISPERED) “You know what you have to do.”


DAVID: (OFF) “I have to fix her so we can be together... “


GWEN: “He’s sick, Uncle Eddie. He's scaring me. Please hurry.’”



POUNDING ON DOOR/WALL BREAKS INWARD


GWEN SCREAMS



AMANDA: (WHISPERED) “C’mon, David. Cut out the bad parts.”


GWEN: “Dad? Dad? Oh my God.



SOUND OF SCISSORS SNIPPING AIR


DAVID: "Please forgive me."


GWEN: (scared) "Dad! Please don't?"


DAVID: "I'm sorry, GWEN. I have to..."



BANGING AND STRUGGLING NOISES (OFF) GIRL SCREAMS

URGENT KNOCKING. A WOMAN SINGING/HUMMING ‘HUSH, LITTLE BABY’.



EDDIE:
“Gwen? David? Open the door!




KEYS RUSTLING. DOOR OPENS


DAVID: (OFF)“I had to do it.


EDDIE: “What did you do, David? Where’s Gwen?"




SLOSHING STEPS LIKE ON WET CARPET


“Oh my God. David! What did you do? Where’s Gwen?"



DAVID: “She’s with Amanda. We can be together now. All of us. Forever. Without the bad parts.”


NARRATOR:
“Inside us all is a carnal hunger. A desire that springs from the deepest fountain within our souls. Reason… Logic… Understanding… all earthly commitments become obstacles to overcome in pursuit of the grand appetite. For some, the desire for love collapse the foundation of reality, permitting even the unthinkable. We all seek to cut out the bad parts, and eventually, the deepest longing wins.”






END



Friday, June 9, 2017

WHERE DO DADDIES COME FROM?





Did you ever wonder
'WHERE DO DADDIES COME FROM?'
Well, I'll tell you all a secret
That is only known by some.

Deep within the forest,
Atop a craggy hill,
A factory makes daddies
Within it's noisy mill.

His joints are fixed with levers.
His gut is made of stone.
His skin is made of Leather
With metal for his bones.

He's powered by big batteries
With gasoline for blood.
Wise and full of mastery
His fingers dipped in mud.

His chest is wrapped in plaid
His boots with rubber soles
You might be shocked that every dad
Has sawdust in his soul.

Every breath a gust of valor
Strong enough to push a sail.
His fists like iron hammers
with screwdrivers for nails.

Truly tough in every sense
And he's stronger than a buck
But when it comes to flatulence
He exhausts just like a truck.

He always knows the weather.
He's brave inside the hunt.
Whenever there is danger
He always stands in front.

He's made to guide in every way
With a compass for his nose.
He comes equipped with hockey sticks.
And different balls to throw.

Inside every daddies brain
Is implanted the grandest plan.
He's full of rules and wisdom
To make his boy a man.


So when daddies leave the assembly line,
From the factory that they're made,
They are Daddies who love their children
Each and every day.



Friday, May 5, 2017

FIELD OF DRAGONS






By beauties burn in emerald fields,
Ravaging dragons rise.
They split and choke and tare the ground
Consuming the earth from inside

They have thorns for their claws and serpent tails
Bleeding the bodies they're by.
They hide for a season... They hide for a reason...
The moon turns their gaze inside.

No mouths on their heads, No fangs in their face
A secret of how they get by.
In golden crowns within lion's manes
Their prayers to the sun makes them thrive.

Such is their plague of white seed decay
Can't cut out their crimson spines.
The field of dragons must be torn from their cave. 
Or their head will return each time.




Friday, April 28, 2017

THE SIXTH WORLD




     I was in a library searching for a book. The school year was ending and it was crucial that I finish my Ancient American History class paper before Final exams next week. My knees were locked to keep me from falling as I traced my finger over the rows and rows of endless spines, hoping to match the reference number to the thick catalogue card I was holding. It felt like it had been days since I slept and I didn’t want to pass out again. Especially not here. Especially not now. It was late and the building was mostly empty.


      The library was old. It had been built in the 1800s and had gone through some restorations; the most recent being in the 1970s. Everything had heavy oak trim and there was a fragrance in the wood and a musk that spoke of age and wisdom in the broad body of the massive archive. The books assembled here had come from all over the world, even from before the building was originally built.



     I kept hearing people talk. One said..."Yeah...Dave is over there". And the echo of the word "there" repeated off the hollow dome that stretched over… “There…. there… here… ere.."


     I found what I needed. Mythical Toltec of MesoAmerica: An ancient civilization so unknown they aren’t even sure if it existed at all or if it’s a land of fantasy. The Aztec Atlantas. I brought the book to the long table where I had my belongings and set it down, but there was a book laid out in my spot already. The cover was a form of canvas pulled tightly across a heavy board with five decorative suns engraved. I ran my fingers over the details, finding four of the five which had been blacked out, filled in with a dark chalk that emitted the aroma of ash.


     I picked up the book to open it, only to find that the yellowed pages were mostly blank... that is except at the very bottom were words were hand written as if penned from a quill in fresh ink... "Yeah...Dave is over there."



     The sight was unsettling. Was someone watching me? Had someone been in the library, recording what was going on? It wasn’t beyond reason that someone would hear the phrase, same as I had, and decided to write it down. But why in this old book? Why did they leave it at my seat? Why did they write the phrase over and over and over on hundreds of pages and how could they do it without smudge or smear so fast? The more I thought about it, the more it rattled me. I freaked out. I had to show the group that was talking and ask if they knew how the hell did this get here.


     “Hey.” I said as I approached the group. The two guys sat across from each other, and three ladies crowded near the head of the table. They stopped their conversation to look up at me.


     “Hey.” Said a guy with a sip of his large water bottle. “What’s up?”


     “I found this book over there and wasn’t sure if one of you left it there on accident.”


     “No. I don’t think so.”


     “Okay. I was asking because I thought I overheard one of you say ‘Dave is over there.’ and I saw it written in the book so I wasn’t sure if one of you was Dave or if that’s a thing I don’t know about... Like a quote from a movie or something”


     “Yeah, I’m Dave.” The second guy joined in. “Can I see that?” He asked putting down his book on Evolution, holding his hand out. I handed him the book and he thumbed through the pages with an air of concern on his face.


     “Yeah, that’s not my book. Looks like it hasn’t been opened in decades. Weird though.”


     “Yeah. I thought it was weird too. I’ll put it over there in case someone comes looking for it, okay?” I said, motioning towards a table near where they sat, but far from where I was camped.


     “Why not keep it at your table where the person left it? The lady with the cat printed on her shirt said. The group nodded along with her. She had a point.


     I felt uneasy about having the book close to me for some reason; almost like someone was playing a prank. I mean, it made sense. If the person was looking for their book, they’d probably start where they left it.


      “Yeah. I guess that’s not a bad idea.” I said squeakily. “Okay, I’ll keep it at my table if anyone comes back for it.”


     As I walked back to my seat I heard a thumping noise, only to look back and see that a handful of books had fallen because part of the shelving rack was coming down. The group at the table sprang up to make sure the books wouldn’t fall.
I took note of the sign that read World History before pausing in contemplation, thinking about whether or not I should help. But before I could decide to act, the group seemed to have the situation under control. The ladies picked up the books while the guys stabilized the shelf, and as sudden as it collapsed it had been fixed.


     I sat down, setting the book on the far edge of the table before sinking into my studies. The PreAztec culture was beyond fascinating. No records exist from the Toltec people themselves, but had been referenced and even used as a source of inspiration for the Aztec concept of cyclical eras, where the future becomes the past and a new world begins. The only legend that remains is of Tecciztecatl. The gods had made and destroyed the earth four times before Tecciztecatl's world due to man’s corruption. First destruction came by ocelots devoured men. Next man’s ignorance transformed them into monkeys. After that the world was destroyed for lack of devotion by fire, and earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. And finally the last world was destroyed with a flood, drowing the very sun and plunging mankind into darkness. But in this new world of darkness it was Tecciztecat who volunteered as a sacrifice to start the new sun. He stood atop a pyramid, dressed in feathers for his funeral pyre. But his courage was weak, and he was too afraid to jump into the flames. Seeing the man’s weakness, the god Nanautzin, draped in  ahumble garment, entered the fire himself. Ashamed, Teccitztecatl threw himself into the fire after the god. It was then that the new sun rose into the sky giving light to the fifth world.



     Hours went by before I looked up from my schoolwork. The scent of ash had grown stronger, almost as if incense had been lit. I looked over that the crazy book to see that a small stream of smoke smoldered from the cover. My heart pounded as the thought of a fire in a library had manifested. I turned to see if the group was still there, hoping that the guy with the water bottle had some left, but they were gone. Everyone was gone. I approached the book, deciding that if I couldn’t put the fire out, I could at least take the book outside and keep it from igniting the tinder that surrounded a hungry ember. The cover had changed. The final sun had filled in with thick black char, scarred with coal's carbon. It was cold to the touch but I was compelled to see what the heck was going on. I picked the old book up again and opened it. The pages no longer said “Yeah...Dave is over there”. It now read...."You should have helped with the shelf"....on every single page. The ink still fresh and bleeding down the curled edges of the aged paper.


     I dropped the book in disbelief, and as it hit the ground it tore through as a lead weight through wet tissue, opening a vast chasm to a blackened pit below. Smoke began to pour out and rise into the library. It was then that a creature appeared from the void. His body was small, pale, and bony. It looked like a man, but he was inhuman in how viciously he crawled hand over foot in his approach. He was horrifying, His misshapen form was covered in scabs and torn cloths that were soaked, dripping with warm blood. He spoke in a language I didn’t know, crazy sounds and looking at me with a deep sense of anger. I tossed the book at him as hard as I could.


     He looked at me displeased and ran his finger over the cover of the book, creating an engraving of a new sun.


     “What do you want from me?” I pleaded.


     His eyes lit with intellect as he found the words in a language I could understand. “It’s your turn.” He grunted painfully at me with a sense of justified anger. My bones had turned to stone within my body. I was paralyzed in the presence of a force beyond this realm. I knew who he was. He was Nanautzin, the Toltec god, come back from within the 5th sun. The sun that would soon go black like the others. His time had ended and a new time was about to begin. There was nothing left to do but pray as I was dragged away to be the sacrifice for the light of the 6th World.








If you are interested in the Toltec legend of the 5 Worlds, CLICK HERE