APPOINTMENT IN SAMARA
Adapted by S.V Howard from the Fable for the Stage
SCENE- Late morning in the Baghdad market. People in sepia clothing go from stall to stall, looking and speaking without sound. MASTER stands out from the crowd in rich robes, debating silently with a stall owner over his merchandise, when SERVANT enters at a run from stage right.
SERVANT: Master! Master! He halts at MASTER's side, doubled over.
MASTER: There you are, you lazy servant, but what of my horse? The day is short and my hours are as filled and busy as the Euphrates. Come, speak. What demons hold your tongue and robs your breath?
SERVANT: It was her! It was her!
MASTER: What, Parrot, whom? Her? The maid, the governess, my wife? Speak without that infernal repetition. Tell your story plain.
SERVANT: Good my Master, I did as you asked and sought out your stallion from the horse master. I rushed the task, by chance knocking some woman to the side. I turned to see, as I passed by, with that uncaring curiosity to see her face. I wish to the heavens I had not! For though her form and face were fair enough, her eyes cut me at the knees with terrible trembling. And all the world around me seemed to slow and wither and grey, and she all the more quick and supple and magnified, til' at last her face came clear; I saw with my eyes Death! And from her gaze, I know she saw me.
MASTER: You mock my religion, heathen.
SERVANT: Master, I swear I do not. See my arm, where she has brushed me- He bares his right arm, which is marked with strange discoloring, much like a cow's skull.
MASTER: By the heavens!
SERVANT: Merciful Master, have I not served you well? I beg you: let me take the horse and ride as far as he will take me. To Samara, where Death cannot find me. I would serve you all my life and my sons besides. I pray you, Master, have mercy on this prey!
MASTER: I am at my limit. Go! Fly, while I have my conscience. Take my stallion and ride hard to Samara. I pray for your deliverance.
SERVANT bows and exits stage left.
MASTER: And may your poison be drawn as venom from my flesh.
The LIGHTS dim and the ambling people freeze. MASTER is startled, wringing his hands and shuffling in place.
DEATH enters stage right in the typical flowing black robe.
DEATH: Ah, my merchant. Good fortune to you.
MASTER: Bows low, groveling. My mistress, you have startled my servant on your rounds this morning.
DEATH: Amused. Yes, and he was bold to startle me.
MASTER: Startle Death, my mistress?
DEATH: Yes. Seeing him in Baghdad gave me a turn.
MASTER: In Baghdad?
DEATH: Mocking. What, Parrot? Baghdad? We are meeting this evening in Samara. I should be early- I have gathered men who had committed days to the agony a broken neck can birth. And there are worlds of pain found in a good trampling. But you know what the philosophers say; Good things come to those who wait and Death to those that rush.
Blackout. Curtain. Scene.
Please let me know what you think! When I wrote this, I started to have all these amazing ideas for novels and such just from this fable. It's pure gold.
Thanks for reading!