October 21 & 22: Radha Menon

October 21 & 22: 731

Radha Menon

CHARACTERS:

Owl
Bear
Wolf
Eagle
Puppy
Old Cat

TIME & PLACE
Set in the future.
In the ‘black lands’- an area surrounding the 731 miles
Of proposed pipeline in Western Canada.

NOTES
~ denotes the point of interruption

731

A full moon lights up a gathering.

An ancient OWL is perched upon the stump of a blackened and dead tree, addressing a motley crew of creatures and at the same time daubing their faces with thick black paste. It has a sacramental air to it. Dialogue is overlapping.

OWL: A blacking for you not to forget.
A blacking for you too-oo.
Tonight’s the night not to forget.
A blacking for you-oo.

ALL: Not to forget. Not to forget.
Tonight’s the night. Not to forget.

A young PUP nips an old CAT playfully.

PUP: Not to forget- what?

CAT: Shut up an’ listen kid, you may learn somethin’.

OWL: A blacking for you not to forget.
A blacking for you too-oo.
Tonight’s the night not to forget.
A blacking for you-oo.

ALL: Not to forget. Not to forget.
Tonight’s the night. Not to forget.

PUP: I am listening~

CAT: You ain’t kid.

PUP: Not to forget not to forget but what not to forget?

CAT: It’s all yap yap yap with you.
Yap yap yap. Can someone shut this damn dog up?

PUP: No one listens to me.

CAT: Get used to it kid. No one likes a yappy little dog.
Ya lucky those wolves ain’t eaten ya.

WOLF: Ignore that mangy moll; we’d never eat our little cousins…
but cat? That’s a different matter.

Owl anoints himself and all animal faces are now smeared black.
Overlapping dialogue ends.

OWL: Curl up comfortably.
That’s it go on turn tread and settle you all.

All the creatures sit solemnly in a circle.

OWL: We are gathered here today in these forsaken black-lands,
home to our Ancestors, be it bird beast bush or bug to remember
all life that was blackened and lost many many moons ago.

PUP: Blackened and lost? Blackened like this?
[Scared] I don’t want to be lost.

CAT: Shut up kid.

Owl places a wing around the quivering Pup.

PUP: I don’t want to be lost.

OWL: You won’t be young one. This blackening is symbolic.

PUP: Ah?

CAT: It means bad luck kid for all of us, you ain’t goin’ no where.

WOLF: Will you leave the pup alone?

BEAR: Yeah, who invited you here? You’re not a real animal.

CAT: The hell I ain’t! I’ll take our eyes out.
You think I an’ I’s ancestors weren’t blackened?
We lost more than all of youse.

OWL: Whist! Hush up. The cat is correct.
Domestic cats and dogs lost the most.
They were blackened by the million but they also lost their
masters- the humans who cared for them.

BEAR: Slaves.

PUP: What’s a human?

OWL: They lived here once… but they were wiped out by the blackening.

CAT: I heard humans caused it.

OWL: Nonsense. The sea boiled suddenly one day and awoke a monster living in its depths. That angry beast spewed up a huge tide of black-death that surge upon land and blackened every thing as far as the eagle’s eye can see. Nothing survived…not even humans.

SILENCE.

PUP [Timidly]: What were humans like?

WOLF: I heard they walked on two legs.

BEAR: Gobbled up everything in sight.

CAT: Most had no fur but pink skin.

OWL: Rather awkward looking creatures.

[Beat]

EAGLE: Real turkeys then.

END.