Yesterday Mrs Trefusis said to me that if today was as uneventful as yesterday, I would be practically writing Waiting for Godot. I said that Wednesday was more like a Jacobean revenge tragedy. So of course being literal minded and in need of inspiration, I thought I should write Wednesday up in the manner of a Jacobean revenge tragedy. You recall how much I hate Wednesdays. They can only be improved by rivers of blood and slaying and revenge. Right? Right.
The Empress of Uccle: A Flanders Tragedy in One Act
The Empress of Uccle: A Flanders Tragedy in One Act
Act 1, Scene 1
Castello Mutualité, Morning. The Empress of Uccle is in her bedchamber, with the covers pulled up concealing her imperious features. The Count of Chelonia strides in, stage right, and pulls back the curtains.
EU: Cover my face, mine eyes dazzle. I was up until three gchatting with that dinosaur girl.
CC: Mistress, I have much need of the car this morrow. I must to Charleroi, where his liege, the commercial director of Carpet World attends.
EU: Fie, sir. It is Wednesmorrow and I have sore need. The Dauphin must to the graphomotricienne and the Screech Owl is pained by the travails of walking to bricolage.
CC: Know, Mistress, who pays the road tax. I fly. The groomsmen of Taxi Bleu must suffice. Mind that thy allocations familiales papers are despatched with due speed.
Exit Count of Chelonia. Enter the princes who arrive in the bedchamber and sit on the Empress's head.
ScreechOwl: Sweet mama, why dost thou lie abed in foul distemper? I need Cheerios.
Dauphin: My doublet and hose resist discovery. I left them at the gulag.
EU: Ah, my pretties, quiet thy prating and away thee to the kitchen. You can get a packet of biscuits each. Prithee do not return until seven of the clock.
The Hound is audible offstage
Dauphin: Dost thou hear the chirrup of the Hound, mama?
EU: The hound! 'Tis the very hound of hell come to drag me to my ruin. Can you put him in the yard?
Exeunt the princes. The Empress turns to the Holy Tortoise
EU: Would that this day would take on the shroud of endless night where all my dark imaginings take on wraithlike forms and dance techtonik. At least it's Apprentice later.
HT: I misdoubt it. The Count is sore displeased at thy black deeds watching tv late into the blackest canopy of night.
EU: How tedious is a guilty conscience, thou wretched shelled creature that creepeth. Thou shalt see my will before this day is out.
The Empress takes a penknife from her desk drawer and hides in in her corsetry.
Act 1, Scene 2
The Empress and the Dauphin are in a Taxi Bleu
TaxiDriver: Prithy Mistress, the roads are much importuned this morrow.
EU: It matters not a whit, my humour is a black as it could be. Blacker still would laugh in the face of reason. 'Twas ever thus in these low lands. Take the Avenue de Fré.
Dauphin: Mama, wouldst thou be much displeased if the new coat that thou hast procured for me from Zara last weekend were to have flown the nest, I know not wither?
EU: Thou art much distracted of late. If I have to buy you another one I will be taking it out of your pocket money, I vouchsave thee.
TaxiDriver: Madam, the crone's dwelling fast approaches. Twenty guineas is my entreaty if it please your grace.
EU: Twenty guineas! 'Tis a dark entreaty to be sure.
TaxiDriver: the way through the forest is dark with badger, ermine, hawk and big trousered circus performers with those stupid diabolo things. 'Tis perilous.
EU: I will teach thee the ways of darkness and peril, wretch.
She stabs him.
TaxiDriver: I die. 'Twas a poor thing to take the Avenue de Fré.
Dauphin: Mama? What ails the wretch?
EU: 'Tis but a moment's slumber my pretty. Let us away to the crone.
The crone's hovel
Crone: Fie, Empress. Thy tardiness displeases me greatly and thou shalt pay a great price in pearly tears for thy trespasses. Come, Dauphin, we must away to build paper lizards and tell sad stories of the use of the pencil.
EU: A curse on your house, wretch. I can hear no more of thy insolence*. Though hast twiddled thy last lump of playdoh.
She stabs her.
Crone: Oh blackest mistress, the guardians of the very doors of hell would turn thee away such is thy calumny. The spiky pelted Seigneur Milinkovitch of the gulag shall hear of this.
EU: You may await him in hell, foulest succubus. Come Dauphin, we must abstract our fetteloques from this sinister place.
Castello Mutualité. The Empress is lying prone in the bedchamber in a pool of blood under a pile of Grazia magazines as the hound licks her face. The Count of Chelonia enters stage left.
CC: A pox upon the usurious lepers of Charleroi.. But what fresh hell is this? Glitter? Sellotape? Heavy shiny paper carrier bags? The hound in the bedchamber? Empress, I see your foul and treacherous hand in this, you impudent snake. Where are the Dauphin and the Screech Owl?
EU: Gone to meet their maker. They did love Nintendo Pokemon Diamond and Pearl not wisely but too well. Now they dance with Jigglypuff.
CC: All my little ones? Pray god, not the holy tortoise too? Didst thou make a mess on the rug?
EU: What care is it of yours? Know only this: as sure as the bats in the bat cave hang by their silken claws, I shall fan the flames of the fiery furnace afore I wear slippers.
He stabs her. She stabs the Holy Tortoise. The Hound eats their corpses. Exit the Hound.
(*I like the crone. Dramatic licence only here. )