Stage is dimly lit. Scene: A junkyard filled with broken couches, numerous discarded cans and crumpled pieces of paper tucked into a ball. The sky is filled with a dark haze and there are numerous ravens flying overhead. There is a small man on top of the hill of garbage (Rage). Surrounding him is a group of other individuals.
Rage: It is said and I quote, and I quote, is said that we are but none.
(The Shroud steps forward)
Shroud: And I quote it is said but none, but none, yet what is man? It is said and I quote.
(Hunger moves forward)
Hunger: It is said you speak none yet I hear all, it is said I hear all but it is none that is said.
Shroud: What is shown what is said? (To Hunger) Hear you naught for naught exists. And to me, and to me, what is heard but naught?
Hunger: Speak no such, speak no such. It is there and I will find it for it is there and all that remains is for you to speak no such.
Rage: (To Hunger) You chase such dreams, your mind your mind will slip. Foolishness! It is said, and I quote, and I quote, is said that we are but none. Hearing buzzards, hearing ravens, imbecile, what say you to the air? What say you to the ---
Hunger: It is said that you speak all yet I hear none.
Shroud: Fog in your ears, fog in your ears, fog on my eyes fog on his heart. Fogged up, hazy sight, it is said, and I quote, we are the dust.
Hunger: Lies lies lies lies lies! We are the dust? And it is said, and I quote, we are the blood. We are the blood, drunk and sober, scarce and thick, acidic and harmless, we are the blood, the blood, the blood. Is this real, is this death? Is this limbo, I shant hope, for I cannot dance, and dance is the blood, which we are and I quote to drink is a fatality in paradise.
Rage: Must you do naught but flap those wings? Clip them, crunch them, rip out each feather, I shall feast on bird tonight shall I hear another chirp.
Shroud: Poor soul, poor avian, devoid of flight, thrown out of the nest. And I quote, we are all but dust.
Hunger: Chirp I will, My beak too wide, your ears too small. PEEP. PEEP. I am a dove, perhaps I am a pheasant. A quail, a cardinal? PEEP. PEEP.
Wasted: (Offstage) Anon!
Shroud and Rage: (to Wasted offstage) What say you?
Wasted: (Offstage) Anon!
Hunger: (to Wasted) Fed to the birds, what you wander to? (Points to Shroud and Rage) Shield your ears, their words naught but vomit.
Wasted: May you have a light?
(Shroud and Rage look at each other)
Rage: A light? A match? I have matches that destroy once you touch them.
Shroud: I have matches that do not light.
Hunger: Typical, typical. (hands Wasted a lantern)
(Wasted takes the lantern from Hunger and fumbles with it a little).
Wasted: I am grateful, comrade.
Hunger: What say you?
Wasted: I live here. I live here. This is my home, home. I can never, never can venture further. Metallic coffin, paper coffin, aluminum coffin, crush it into pieces and make a table!
Hunger: I have lived here but seen you not.
Shroud: I have seen you not, I have seen not.
Rage: As have I. (Walks over to Wasted and picks him up by the collar of his shirt). Do you fib?
Shroud: Be gentle, be gentle. What for, what for, pluck the life out of the blood, the dust, the bone? We are dust, and I quote, and I quote, we are the bones the granite devours.
Rage: Cease your musings, for it is he who should speak. (looks at Wasted) Do you fib? Your face is a cloud, your mind is ash. What say you? Do you fib?
(Hunger grabs Wasted and puts him down).
Hunger: Peace, sir, peace.
(Wasted blows out the lantern but accidently drops it, shattering it. A glass shard gets caught in his left palm and he clutches his wrist with the other hand.)
Wasted: I am but a man. I had but a woman. She had but a death sentence with no crime or prison, and the executioner snatched her from my hands as I kneeled. The fruits that she gave me were snatched from my fingers, from my fingers, and taken to shore to kneel themselves. I had but a dream, time was a myth, time was a myth. Time, time, time, everybody had it but when they looked, it vanished! And I quote, and I quote, as this has been said, and I quote the watch hath been shattered. Swim in the muck, swimming swimming, oh how I would drown and absorb that sweet cadence. That we are but none, it is said and I quote, we do naught but drown.
Hunger: The watch hath been shattered?
Wasted: The watch, my watch, my sanctuary, my time was needed not, a large hourglass hath stolen its shine.
Hunger: It is said and I quote, you speak all and I hear some. What is man but a crucifix of the blood? Limbo, Limbo, oh how I hate to dance.
(The Caged and the Leashed enter)
Caged: We heard
Leashed: A scream
Caged: And we came
Leashed: Over here
Caged: to see where
Leashed it came from.
Shroud: A scream? A scream? I heard naught, the fog the fog courses through my drum so scream I have heard naught.
Hunger: I crave your pardon, ‘twas my throat from whence it came. I crave your pardon, my throat speaks even when I slumber.
Rage: (looks at Hunger) Are you daft, are you daft? I heard no such scream.
Caged: It is
Leashed: fine, it is nothing
Caged: to worry about.
(Leashed pulls on the collar she’s wearing)
Leashed: Every time I tug
(Caged fumbles with the handcuffs he’s wearing)
Caged: It just gets tighter.
(Hunger looks at the leashed tugging on her collar when he looks at Rage, only to see a similar collar).
Hunger: (To Rage) You wear the shackles.
Rage: What witchcraft is this? Chained I be? Oversight, such a fool, such a fool. What is man but the chains? What are chains but the blood? It is said and I quote and I quote that it is said that---
Shroud: A shackle around me, a shackle around me! (Looks at Hunger) You were right, you were right. What is a man, and I quote and I quote, we are all but none.
(Rage kicks Leashed, knocking her to the ground)
Rage: What did you do? (Glares at Caged and goes to kick him but Wasted stops Rage) Be quiet, be quiet! The witch deserves the lashes!
Wasted: (fumbling with his own collar) I cannot feel a thing.
(Everyone looks at him, even Rage, who is pushed to the floor by Hunger).
Rage: Deaths kiss, I will deliver to you! And I quote and I say, death’s kiss I will deliver to you. (stands up and starts kicking Leashed over and over again). Harlot! Foul beast! No collar awake, collar asleep. What say you to these charges!
Leased: It wasn’t
Caged: her, please stop
Leashed: You’re hurting me!
Hunger walks to the center of the group of people to find a stake with a number of chains attached to them. Looking closer, he realizes that these chains are attached to the collars each one is wearing.
Wasted: And I quote, and it is said, that we are none but disease. We are none but the last, we are none but the vanished. And I quote and it is said we are bone without flesh.
Caged and Leashed: It is said
Leashed: and I quote
Caged: We are tied, we are shackled
Leashed: we are beggars, we are kneelers.
Rage: and it is said and I quote and I quote those foolish fools, foolishly undermining their foolish lives, we are sludge, we are destroying, we breathe none and bleed acidic scarlet. And it is said and I quote and I quote that it is said we will never learn to breath.
Hunger: It is said and I quote and I quote that it is said that we are all and we are none. We are dust, we are blood, blood blood, and it is said and I quote and I quote that it is said that we are filth and we are drowning. It is said that we are air and we are acid. We are fire and we are toxin. And I say, and I quote, what is man but drowning? What is man but shackled? What is man but chains nailed together? Tug, tug tug, it gets tighter no matter. Fire pierces? Fire burns, but fire destroys us while the restraints remain unscathed. Metallic crucifix, we are nailed, inevitably we are the dust.
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