BY THE FIRELIGHT
series of short plays
Lost in Transliteration
Next night, same wooded camping area. Same characters.
Middle of the woods, around 8-PM. Same setting, characters. Parents are asleep early again. The children sit around the camp fire, telling stories.
Who's turn is it to tell a story?
I think it's Ian's?
No! It is my turn!
(hands him the flashlight)
Okay, don't needa be hasey.
I am not– What does that word mean, little pony?
It does not matter! I shall tell my story now!
So, a little boy, who we–
Why's it another boy?
–who we know as the name of Ilya.
What's an eel-yuck?
Not eel-yuck, or whatever, Ilya! It is a Russian name, from my native language.
Uh, oh? Okay?
Oh, you are from Russian! That's why you talk funny!
I do not talk funny. . . And I am not from Russia. Russian is the langauge I speak; I am from Serbia.
Where is Serbia?
It is. . .
Oh, well. . .I do not know. But–No matter; on with the story! So, this little boy, Ilya, was walking along the woods–
Why is he wandering around the woods alone?
Why do girls have to interrupt always?
(continuing, before anyone can respond:)
So, Ilya is walking through the woods. It is pretty dark, and he is trying to get home. Then he sees a rainbow in the distant.
This isn't very scary. . .
Ilya follows the rainbow trail until he gets to the end of the rainbow. There is an 'X' at the point where the rainbow meets the ground.
(cocking head confusedly)
I don't get it.
Ilya gets to the 'X' in the ground, and decides to dig it up. Or, dig where the 'X' is. So, he grabs a shovel and starts–
Waitaminnit, waitaminnit, where did he get the shovel?
It does not matter! Just listen to the story! So, Ilya takes the shovel and starts digging. He digs for hours. It's getting real dark, and he knows he should go home. When he hits something in the ground, he stops, and looks at it. It is something buried in the ground.
(quietly, to IAN:)
Gee, I hope so, then this whole "digging" thing would be useless. . .
Okay, does not one want me to finish the story? I guess I could just go to sleep!
(glaring at BRENNAN)
No, Alijosa! Please tell the rest of the story. Ignore the other boys.
Yeah, boys are annoying.
BRENNAN and IAN
Okay, but not more interrupts!
others nod agreement)
(clears throat, continues:)
Okay, so as I was saying, Ilya started to dig, and he came to something buried in the ground. He dug around it, and, after several hours, managed to get the thing out of the ground. It was a chest! He opened it, and inside–
Sorry, Alijosa, how did he open it?
(glaring at IAN and BRENNAN)
Thank you for apologizing; he broke the old, rusted lock off with the shovel. Anyway, he opened the chest, and inside was a bunch of gold and treasures.
(excited, eyes wide, clapping:)
He closed the chest of treasures and was just about to leave to home with it, when a strange, leopard-color, ghost appeared in front of him.
(puts the flashlight to his face; in creepy voice:)
"Ilya," it said, "you shall not take the buried treasure! You shall die!"
HAYLEY, and RYLEY
(gasp in fright)
The ghost became bigger, expanding his size. He pulled a sword from his belt, with a clover-shaped. . .those things on the handle. . .and swung at him. Green and leopard-color followed the ghostly blade.
HAYLEY, and RYLEY
"What are you?" Ilya asks, backing away and clutching the chest of gold and treasures. "I am the Leopard-con! the guardian of the buried treasure! Boo!"
HAYLEY, and RYLEY
What are you talking about? What's a Leopard-con? Is that some. . .Russian monster thing?
No, silly American, it is Irish. . .or Scottish. I think Irish. The Leopard-con. It is the small, two-foot-tall green man that wears leopard-color clothing. And guards buried treasure.
No, no, I think I know what you mean. But, it's not Leopard-con, weirdo! It's a 'Leprechaun!' A small man thing that wears green! And they don't guard the treasure; they make the gold and leave it at the end of rainbows!
(pause; ALIJOSA thinks)
Wow, a 'Leopard-con.' Ha ha!
So what? English is my second language! I did not know!
(stands; drops flashlight; angrily:)
I am going to sleep now! You are too mean!
(scoffs, as everyone leaves)
Ha! 'Leopard-con'! What a silly kid!
1. ALIJOSA thinks the folk-being 'Leprechaun' is actually a 'Leopard-con,' like an Irish version of the Russian 'kladovik,' an evil spirit that guards buried treasure.
2. "Hasey" is the four-year-old 'slang' for "hasty."
3. maya'pahdru'ga means "my (female) friend" (according to a website, not me).