(Oppressive music floods the air upon the blackened stage. Slowly, red light comes up upon the DRAGON who stands at C stage, all in red, and glistening from the light. The DRAGON spins around an, megaphone in hand, screams at the top of his lungs.)
DRAGON. GRENDEEEEEL!!! (the music immediately cuts and the DRAGON begins to crack up, rolling around on the floor.) Hehehe! You should have seen the kids' face when I did that! (Still chuckling, he rights himself, plops into a chair, and lights up a cigarette.) Lemme tell ya, that Grendel kid was pathetic. PA-THE-TIC with a capital ! So, I decided to help him. (He leans back in his seat, puffing thoughtfully.) I mean, really, this kid needed all the held he could get! I had wondered if maybe I just should have suggested he do something about the mange, or maybe that nasty under bite. But no, I sent him out to boost his confidence! It was all in the name of fate really.
(The DRAGON shifts around a bit and fills the gap with a deep drag.) I gave up on trying to trick fate millennia ago, back in the day when I was a mere snip of a dragonette. In those early, naïve days, I had hoped to make a brighter future for everyone. Ya know, one with peace, love and happiness man! And, fool that I am, I thought that I could.
Why you ask? Well (he draws himself up from his chair and poses most importantly) I can see into the future! I know EVERYTHING before it happens! The evolution of vertebrates, the industrial revolution, even the evolution of boy bands (shudder.) everything.
I think it was back in the days where the life-giving primordial soup was little more than carbon-based phlegm that I appeared. About four billion odd years ago. I myself am not clear about my own origins, but I never thought to question the past. I looked on to the future, filled with excitement for I, with my PHENOMINAL COSMIC POWERS was going to save the world from total catastrophe! I would stop global warming! I would bring world peace. I would see to it that everyone appreciated Arbor day! I would stop Britney Spears from ever setting foot on a stage! (Throughout this spiel, he rise up to stand atop his chair with excited fervor) But (he sinks back down to sit) I was wrong.
Here's a scenario for you, one day, I walk up to old Mr. T-Rex when he's chowing down on some hapless and currently indistinguishable dinosaur, and I say, Hey pal, y'know, you might wanna get ready for a tough winter. There's gonna be this MASSIVE meteor that'll come HURTLING down to earth and produce this NOXIOUS cloud of dust that'll circle the WHOLE planet and kill all the plants and then al YOUR prey. So, I think you ought to stock up some food and hide underground for five to ten years, eh?
And then HE says (waves arms about in the air) RAH-RAH-RAH! (makes an indignant harrumph) I mean, really (makes a second mockery of the T-Rex) the NERVE of some giant land reptiles.
I gave this changing the world thing a few more tries, only to have it blow up in my face. One night, in a great fury, I ran out to a high cliff, the tallest point I could find and, staring upwards towards the stars I cried out at the top of my lungs. Why the god-like gift if I can't change anything with it?! (subdued, whispering purr) and then, on a divine wind that seemed to rise from the depths of the chasm, I heard a teasing, whispering reply of (faintly, seeming to only mouth the word) .
Fate, puh, I grew to hate that word The word that can explain all social, physical, mental and emotional ills. Why are these people always at war? Fate. Why must these two lovers denounce their love for the honor of their family? Fate. (As he speaks, he rises in stature and tone until he finishes in a mighty roar.) Why is this man poor and that man rich? Fate. Why was this man born a cripple?! Fate! Why am I the witness to the future of the world and when I try to change it I can't and I'm left all alone?! FATE!
(Finally, he calms down, sitting himself upon his chair and trying to relax with a few drags off his cigarette.) It's a lonely business, being little more than the bringer of bad tidings. To be mocked for your predictions and hated when they prove to be true so that's why chose this cave. Nice cave. Sturdy, wind resistant, very tasteful stone that matches the afghan. Yes, I've been rotting here for a few centuries, waiting for my own fate. A fate where I will rise in a glorious burst of gold and silver edged red and sail off into combat against the might warlord! Claws glistening like rubies and teeth hot as fire!
The sword against the fang and claw
the flame against the shield.
In the end which one would win?
Who's fate would soon be sealed?
It's a sobering thought knowing the exact day, time, and precisely how you are going to die. Perhaps even more sobering than knowing how this civilization will end and how the other one will steal it's goods and kill it's memory. Perhaps even more sobering than the end of the world you'll never be alive to witness first hand, but see over and over again every night in your nightmares
(There's a long pause as he attempts to sort things out in his head, thrown off by his thought process.) When Grendel came before me, I was tempted to tell him how things were all going to work out. About his fight against the inebriated sword-slinger Beowulf and about his own end they were right on the tip of my tongue, just waiting to pop out. What stopped me (a helpless shrug) fate? After all, not everyone should have to suffer with my gift of enlightenment. (He flicked the butt of his cigarette in disgust and exits.)