Saturday, April 3, 2010

Gift of the Gods


Gift of the Gods

Ancient Greece.

Village square.

People walk the streets. They are preparing for a festival.

STRANGER enters. He is not strange to these parts.

He walks up to a MAN.

STRANGER
Excuse me Sir. May I ask you a question?

MAN
Why yes you may! Do I know you?

STRANGER
I am a stranger to these parts.

MAN
I could swear I knew you.

STRANGER
I must just have on of those faces.

MAN
Yes, you must. You had a question?

STRANGER
Yes. It appears you are setting up for a festival. I’ve never seen any decorations such as these. I’ve never heard of a festival this time of year.

MAN
It’s a local holiday. Our biggest of the year. The birthday of Chrysander, son of Zeus.

STRANGER
I have never heard of this Chrysander.

MAN
He is a local man. Technically a youth – but this birthday shall mark his transition to manhood. We’ve celebrated every year since his birth, but this, this shall be the greatest festival yet!

STRANGER
You’ve known him since birth?

MAN
He’s of local blood, stranger. Taught him the bow and arrow myself. His mother be of village flesh – pure, devoted, never a more virtuous woman will you meet.

STRANGER
And his father?

MAN
Zeus my good man! Did I not say?

STRANGER
You did. You did indeed.

MAN
They say he came to her in the dead of night, in the form of a wolf, hobbling and weakened. Any normal woman, should a wolf knock on her door, she would cry in panic, but our women are brave women, and her the best of the best, so she let him in, and her heart swelled for the poor thing so she bandaged his wounds and Zeus was so impressed with her kindness and strength he gave her – and us – Chrysander as a gift of gratitude. He’s a fine young man – strong, brave, intelligent, a true blessing upon us all. He will be a hero someday, mark me: a hero for the epics and ages.

STRANGER
He sounds like a fine man. And she sounds like a fine woman.

MAN
Ademia is only the finest. Second only to the immortals – and always humbly subservient.

STRANGER
Excuse me, what did you say her name was again?

MESSENGER
All attend for the entrance of Ademia, mother of Chrysander!

ADEMIA, a beautiful woman, enters.

ADEMIA
People of Macea, fellow followers of the gods, friends. It has been eighteen years nine months since Zeus knocked upon my door, clad in the skins of a wounded wolf, and one day to eighteen years since I birthed his son. Tomorrow, Chrysander becomes a man, and with his ascension to manhood comes his undying gratitude for the kindess and piety of the people of this village.

VILLAGER
Where is Chrysander?

ADEMIA
He is deep in the forests of the Lingering Hill, praying to the gods for fortune for this town. But he has sent me with news that he will graciously provide you all with wine for this eve.
(People express delight and thanks.)
Thank me not. Thank Chrysander not. Thank the gods, who have so generously endowed us all with breath, and Chrysander’s presence.
(People murmur thanks.)
Our deepest thanks for the festival, people of Macea. Your love makes Chrysander strong.

She exits, brushing past the STRANGER. She does not see him.

MAN
What a woman!

STRANGER
What a woman indeed. 

MAN
Long live Chrysander, son of Zeus!

PEOPLE
Son of Zeus!

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