for the Academy of Bards Halloween Challenge
My thanks to
Claudia, Angelrad and Stephanie for the invitation.
I have taken
licence with characters from Xena: Warrior Princess as well as actual
human beings and classical myths. Enough to get me in trouble in so
many ways, but I swear I will make no money for this, nor am I claiming
any rights over these characters or persons.
For Your Approval
a standard fifties Greek Diner. Walls are blue and white with posters
of Greece and seascapes. A row of leather covered wooden booths run
alongside the windows, parallel to a stool lined counter. The far end
is taken up with round tables covered with blue checked tablecloths,
behind which is a full sized copy of Botticellis Venus Arising
From The Sea on the half shell. Beneath is a sort of altar lit by a
small flickering candle. Scattered below it on the floor, are various
trinkets; offerings to the Goddess. The sound of a jack hammer in the
street outside dominates, but underneath Come On A My House by Rosemary
Clooney plays on the juke box. A middle-aged woman (LETTY) is working
behind the counter, singing along with it, occasionally rushing into
the kitchen to check on the food. Two surly, beefy THUGS, sitting in
a booth are the only customers.
DOOR OPENS, and the
bell attached to it announces a customer (BUDDY). Young, well dressed
in suit and tie. He walks in, strides familiarly to one of the corner
tables and leans against the altar while digging for his cigarette package.
Camera cuts to show his leg knocking a large jewel out of pile where
it rests against his foot.)
LETTY: Hey Buddy! Give
me a minute and Ill see if I can find you a place to sit. (She
gestures ironically at the empty booths and tables)
BUDDY: Dont worry,
I think my usual place is still free. (He waves to the empty table
beside him.) Dont let me tear you away from the crowds.
LETTY: (trying to
whisper over the noise) Them? I think theyre killing time
waiting for a chance to stiff me. I doubt if theyve worked honest
since the war.
BUDDY: Lot of people
came out a bit strange, Letty.
LETTY: Its been
over five years. You were over there, you got a good job now.
BUDDY: Yeah, I gotta
great job. (Lights a cigarette.)
LETTY: Whatsammata now?
BUDDY: It was bad enough
when the station had me writing the copy for this quack remedy, but
now they want me to write the testimonials too.
a housewife in Oklahoma and thanks to Dr. Nostrums Cure-All, I
no longer suffer from arthritis and my fractured pelvis is as good as
LETTY: Can you do that?
Isnt that against the law?
BUDDY: No, thats
my job. I lie for a living. (Pause) Look Im sorry, could
we start again? (Rock at his feet glows slightly but no one notices.)
LETTY: Hey Buddy! Give
me a minute and Ill see if I can find you a place to sit.
(Buddy laughs thinking
shes joking, but looks for his cigarette and finds that it has
disappeared. He hesitates, looks about confused for a moment, but then
absent-mindedly, lights another.)
OFF SCREEN NARRATOR:
Meet a man who seems to have been caught in a skip of time. A man who
once thought of himself as a writer, but now only writes commercials.
Instead of the twinkling of stars, he has settled for describing the
sparkle of bathroom floors. A man whose belief in his or any other magic
has diminished as surely as his confidence in his own talent. For the
purposes of our story, well call him Buddy. And hes about
to rediscover that there are more things in heaven and earth than are
dreamt of in his philosophy, especially in
BUDDY: (Pointing at
the chair tucked into the shrine) Ill take my usual place
right here, if Aphrodite doesnt mind.
LETTY: (coming over,
wiping her brow) Im sorry, I can move those things out of
the way. You know George. When things go good, he gives an offering.
When things go bad, he gives more offerings.
BUDDY: (Looking at
pile of glass and statuaries) I take it things arent going
LETTY: It would be better
if the people doing the street work would finish sooner instead of later.
That greasy spoon across the street, I heard they gave a hundred dollars
to make them go faster. But George, he says, I came to this country
so I not have to pay money for special treatment. So we have no
sidewalk for a month, and across the street, they have customers all
BUDDY: Well, right now you have me, and my wifell be joining us
in an hour. I just wanted some time to work first.
LETTY: So youll
and a coffee
LETTY: No Cream
BUDDY: Took a lot of
time, but Im glad youre finally trained properly.
LETTY: Who trained who,
to the number one of the moment, Too Young. Door rings again and street
noise comes in with large burly man in a police uniform (AL). Two men
in corner booth tense at sight of police)
AL: Lo Letty
LETTY: Youre here
early, Al. The usual?
AL: Actually, Im
sort of here on business.
LETTY: Personal or official?
AL: Not sure yet. Is
LETTY: Nope hes
delivering food. He says, if they wont come here, we go
AL: He going to be back
soon? I was hoping he could help me out.
LETTY: You need help?
Better clear it with me first, you know that.
AL: We found this young
woman wandering around, bit of a mystery, really. Got no ID, handing
out a drawing to people on the street, but doesnt seem to speak
English. One of the boys thought she might be Greek
LETTY: That a criminal
offence now, Bobby?
AL: Dont start
on me, Letty. She seems like she may be a bit slow in the head, and
she dresses cheap, probably homeless, but she had a big wad of cash
on her. More than I make. Maybe she came to it honestly, maybe not.
So I thought maybe George could talk to her and find out whats
(THUGS in corner booth
had relaxed, but the words wad of cash make them perk up
LETTY: Where is she now?
AL: Shes waiting
in the patrol car
LETTY: Well, dont
that beat all? Have no money, and they pull you in for vagrancy. Have
money and they lock you in a police car.
AL: Letty, it aint
LETTY: You go out there
this minute and bring that poor woman in. She can wait in here and be
treated civilised until George gets back. He wont be but another
LETTY: (serves Buddy)
I swear, George is right. If you dont watch them every minute,
wed have Stalin running things and not notice the difference.
BUDDY: Als alright,
Letty. Give him a break.
(The stone at his
foot glows again, and engrossed in his writing, doesnt notice
that everything and everyone has frozen, and that the street sounds
have stopped. Door rings, as all motion begins again. Too Young finishes,
Patty Page clicks on. AL appears, behind him is a young woman. Slight,
with short blond hair, holding her hands over her ears to block out
sound of street work. Her clothes are ragged and too big for her)
LETTY: Now, arent
you a cute thing? What can I get you?
AL: Told you, Letty.
She dont speak English, and she seems pretty addled minded. We
only found out she could talk at all was because when we put her in
the car, she started yelling when we began to move. Like shed
never been in a car before. Fact, I dont think shes ever
been in the city. She keeps looking up at the buildings, very on edge
too. Should have seen her jump when the phone at the station house went.
LETTY: Well, she can
just sit here and relax for a moment before you start beating her with
LETTY: (to girl)
(Girl only looks bewildered,)
LETTY: Maybe I said it
AL: Or maybe shes
(The GIRL looks past
LETTY to see BUDDY at the table writing. She walks up to him. A little
nervous, BUDDY smiles)
BUDDY: Is she dangerous,
AL: Nots so far
as I can tell
BUDDY: Thats not
quite the reassurance I was looking for, Al. (to Girl) Hi!
(GIRL smiles, and
points to notepad.)
BUDDY: You want this?
(GIRL shakes her head.
BUDDY: (looks to Letty
and Bobby) Yes, Im writing.
(GIRL points to herself)
BUDDY: You want to write?
(GIRL points to him, mimics writing, and then points to herself.)
Oh, you write. Youre a writer. Really. Well, Im not a writer.
(She looks blank, so he mimics her writing, and shakes head.) No
(GIRL leans down to
look into his eyes, and he sees intelligence and compassion. GIRL smiles
sadly and nods, points to herself.) Youre not a writer, too?
AL: I told you she was
BUDDY: No, I think she
means she doesnt write, but she used to. (He mimics writing,
then makes a stop motion, then points to her. She looks sad and nods.)
Dont look so gloomy. There are worse tragedies. Better to know
what you are, than to keep dreaming about stuff that isnt going
AL: Youre seeing
stuff that isnt there. Shes retarded or something.
BUDDY: Says you. (GIRL
points to chair as if for an invitation to sit with him.) Ummmm
Im married. Married? (Makes sign of hand clasping. GIRL smiles
and again points to her own chest.) You too? Well, then I guess
its okay. Sit on down, then. We non-writers have got to stick
(GIRL sits, smiling.)
AL: Well, maybe youre
as nuts as she is, but you seem to have gotten more out her in a few
minutes than we have in the last couple of hours. Guess Ill have
that coffee, Letty. And maybe you might rustle her up something? I heard
her stomach growling over the sound of that jack hammer.
LETTY: Well, maybe theres
hope for you yet, Al. One number five coming up with all the trimmings.
(Pats GIRL on shoulder and leaves)
AL: (waiting until
LETTY is out of earshot) Well, if shes not Greek, then George
wont be able to help us, and I need to know where she got all
BUDDY: How much are we
(AL pulls out an envelope
filled with a wad of bills. Men in the corner booth see it)
AL: I counted one thousand
(GIRL reaches for
cash, but AL shakes head and lays it on the table.)
BUDDY: If its hers,
then she can buy all of us 10,000 coffees.
AL: I wanna know if she
came by it legally. (To GIRL) Now whered that come from?
(Indicates the money. BUDDY taps the bills, and points to her with
a questioning look. GIRL points to her mouth, imitates spitting, and
then rubs her fingers together. Both men look shocked.)
BUDDY: Well, you asked.
AL: An innocent thing
like her? Who would take advantage like that?
BUDDY: (looking at
the large stack of bills) And so many times?
burly, short man in a short-sleeved shirt enters. Letty waves and continues
to work on meal in kitchen. Sees Al, BUDDY and GIRL and strolls over.)
GEORGE: Now who is this
AL: This nice child,
seems to be in the service industry.
BUDDY: No. I dont
AL: Why not?
BUDDY: Because I dont
think shes feeble minded or immoral. You can see the intelligence
in her eyes.
AL: Probably how she
made so much. George, can you talk to her? We found her wandering around
and thought she might be one of your people
(GEORGE speaks to
her in Greek, and at first there are a only a few hesitant words exchanged,
then more. GEORGE: seems confused.)
GEORGE: The language,
it is Greek, but I only recognise some of the words. The way she speaks
it, it remind me of
old texts. Homer, very old texts. Maybe
(He speaks to the girl for a moment. She begins nodding) I ask
her if she teach herself to read. From Homer, Sophocles (GIRL says
something) Yes of course, Herodotus too. She must be raised in small
village away from cities. There are still such places. But how did she
AL: Dont ask me,
(LETTY brings in food.
There is the sound of a stomach growling.
LETTY: My goodness! Eat,
GIRL asks George a
GEORGE: Thank you
GIRL: (gesturing to
food, then to LETTY) Thank you
(She looks towards
the envelope of money, but Buddy shakes his head. She moves her tongue
a bit and spits out a small object. Wipes it carefully on the napkin,
and gives it to Letty. We see that it is a very small coin.)
GEORGE(in wonder): Mouth
money. Dinars. Thats how the ancients kept their money.
AL: Oh. Are they worth
GEORGE: It looks like
a real dinar, but its newly minted.
AL:But if she she had
a lot of them
(To GIRL) Is that how you got the money? GEORGE
AL: Who bought them?
(She puts out her
hand for the pad, and then when BUDDY gives it to her, draws a picture
of three balls.)
GEORGE: The pawnbroker
two streets over, has coins in his window. Ill bet she saw them
and managed to make a deal.
AL: I guess
in her hand): Now this is not a criminal, Al.
AL: Alright, Ill
admit that this hundred dollar a minute hooker is beginning to look
like a someone who put stuff in hock.
BUDDY: Uh huh
AL: But I still have
to run over there and check this out. Do you think you could keep her
here, just to keep her company, until I get back?
BUDDY: What about the
money, if its hers, honestly
AL: I suppose I can trust
the four of you.
LETTY: Now, Al. You cant
be leaving this temptation here with us. You know we could really use
some extra cash.
AL: Letty, I think I
know each of you well enough to know its safe. That money either
belongs to the police or that girl, and I dont think you would
BUDDY (examining coin)
You say this isnt the real thing? Maybe its just cleaned
GEORGE: Cleaning would
lose its value, and if a person was foolish enough to do that, theyd
never get the die marks so fresh.
BUDDY: You know a lot
of about this stuff?
GEORGE: Of course! We
Greeks sometimes feel as though we are drowning in our own history.
(He repeats this to the girl who nods. He then speaks slowly to the
girl, repeating the name George. LETTY understands and points to herself
saying Letty. BUDDY follows suit)
(GIRL speaks quickly
to George, who seems to ask her to slow down. With some frustration
she does so, and then brings out a drawing to show to George.)
BUDDY: So this is what
she was showing to people? What is it supposed to be?
GEORGE: She says it is
some sort of
treasure? No Jewel. Larger than a mans fist.
I am asking her where would we have seen this.
GEORGE: She says it would
appeared, just appeared. But it is a powerful
not know, I think, magic.
I thought you said no more writing. No stories.
GEORGE: She says, she
has lost her own stories. But she can tell you this one.
LETTY: A story! Coffee
(GEORGE asks GABRIELLE,
and she seems to demur.)
GEORGE: Shed like
LETTY: See! Shes
as normal as you or me. (LETTY grabs some cups and once they are
all served, Gabrielle begins to speak, as George haltingly translates.
As the story progresses, he becomes more sure of himself.)
this story is about magic and the Gods of long ago
BUDDY: Why does there
have to be magic? Why cant we have a story about ordinary people,
trying to work and survive? (GEORGE translates, GABRIELLE shakes her
stories are magic. They come from a place outside of our day and night,
our life, even when they are about our
BUDDY: What does that
they eat, sleep, they work. But stories, they are part
dreams? The beliefs, the wishes that are more than blood
and flesh and bone.
BUDDY: Yes, but you said
this story is about magic and long ago Gods. I dont want hear
about fairies at the bottom of the garden, or that Love is eternal,
that a chance moment in time can forever change your life. (GEORGE
translates. GABRIELLE shakes her head)
all those things are true.
BUDDY (Rolls his eyes)
that they are true, and some part of you does too.
BUDDY: Not those of us
who have grown up.
that be about the time that you stopped writing?
writing is magic, and all magic lives in belief. May I continue?"
(LETTY returns and
fills each cup before sitting down eagerly.)
time, long ago, a time of Gods and warlords, there existed a
jewel of great power. It was of time, and beyond it, and the person
who controlled it could control the movement of time.
LETTY: What does that
BUDDY: It was a time
It had been used and abused by both Gods and man and despite being destroyed
by Heracles when it was used to save him from the vortex
BUDDY: Hercules and the
Vortex. Must have missed that one.
LETTY: Let her tell the
reappeared in a temple to Aphrodite where it was given as an offering.
The Goddess recognised it, but was loath to destroy it because she was
unsure when it had come from.
had come from?
BUDDY: So its okay
for you to interrupt?
knew that it had been destroyed, but the stone could travel between
time and place. So that this might be the stone before it had been used
to save Hercules, and if she were to destroy it, that might set the
world back on the path where Hercules never escaped, and all that he
had done never
LETTY: I dont understand.
BUDDY. Can I try? I used
to love time paradoxes, but I dont remember them in Greek Mythology.
Aphrodite found the stone from before it made the changes. (LETTY
looks blank.) What I think shes saying is that we travel on
time like the water, but this stone
(He starts again) Imagine
a pond. You throw this stone into the water and the ripples from it
slowly spread. But the stone may pop up in any place, even beyond where
the ripples have spread.
was very good.
BUDDY: Its a poor
story that needs the audience to explain it
LETTY: Would you stop
being mean and let the girl tell her story?
he described it
very well. So, afraid to destroy it, but despairing
that Gods and Man might come to take it, fearing that her temples might
be endangered and not wanting the stress
BUDDY: Did she say Aphrodite
didnt want the stress? (LETTY glares at him. BUDDY subsides.)
she hid it by transporting it to a mortal that she felt could be trusted
with such power. A man who had proven himself immune to the greatest
of earthly authority. But once it was gone, she found that she had made
BUDDY: This Aphrodite
is a bit more of a flake than we are used to.
a slight grin) She can be, but she often means well
LETTY: So what was this
forgotten that the stone could travel to any point in time, and her
instructions were not very clear. Instead of going to the place she
had planned, it went far into the future, where this man no longer existed
and so it found another land and time. Now as the Gods are forbidden
by Zeus to travel in time, she was forced to ask a mortal. She choose
a friend, a Queen of the Amazons. For many reasons, but because the
stone would most affect her best friend, her soul
(Gabrielle closes her eyes, and then recovers) her friend that
would be most affected by the loss of Heracles
BUDDY: Okay, so where
did the stone end up?
I said, Aphrodite had sent it to a mortal who had turned down all worldly
power. He had become Dictator of Rome in a crisis, and when the crisis
was resolved by him in a less than a moon, he had spurned the power
and returned to his farm, and his temples.
GEORGE slaps his forehead:
BUDDY: Okay. I get it
finally. You were right, Al. I was wrong.
(The three stare at
the girl until BUDDY clears his throat.)
BUDDY: Were supposed
to believe this story is not a story, correct? Because here you are.
With freshly minted dinars in your mouth like the ancient Greeks, speaking
some form of ancient language
LETTY: Oh, dear. (LETTY
looks slightly disappointed )
(Silence except for
Frank Sinatra singing while the workmen outside pound away.)
BUDDY: Is this where
she got her money, from people who believed this
did you put her up to this?
LETTY: George is an honest
man! (GEORGE is translating furiously, while GABRIELLE motions with
her hands and shakes her head.)
GABRIELLE/GEORGE: I know
it sounds unbelievable,
BUDDY: Oh, come on. Thats
what you want us to think? Youre here, from ancient Greece? Queen
of the Amazons, looking for a magic stone, somewhere in Cincinnati,
USA. On a mission to find this stone to return it to your good friend,
the ancient Greek Goddess of Love, Aphrodite.
LETTY: Dear? Amazons
were big women, you know, six feet dark savages.
BUDDY: Gosh Letty. Remember?
She drinks tea, A sign of sanity if ever I knew one.
at them, accepting their disbelief. Her lips tighten.)
not help me. I will find it. It must be here. If only I could sort out
LETTY: (Trying to
change the subject) So this Aphrodite, did she look like her picture?
do you mean?
LETTY: Aphrodite, here.
(points to the Botticelli print)
supposed to be Aphrodite?(Giggles) Oh she would hate that. She
doesnt like talking about how she was
born. And shes
not easily embarrassed
BUDDY: You know Aphrodite
called me friend. So has Heracles
GABRIELLE becomes excited
and begins to make gestures. George tries to slow her down as he translates)
GEORGE: She says a moment
ago we knew who this Heracles was. She says that means ripples in time
have arrived here and she is running out of time.
Is this a shrine to Aphrodite? Because, thats where it was sent.
To Cincinnatus shrine. And then the stone
(As George translates,
she moves the table and ALL see it. BUDDY reaches to his foot and picks
it up. GABRIELLE trembles slightly, and she puts her hands out carefully.)
BUDDY: Gabrielle? Or
whatever your name may be. I dont know what your con is. But this
is not a magic jewel. It cant stop time and space and allow you
to go back to ancient Greece. You are not the Amazon Queen. Were
all grown up here and we know that there are no fairies at the bottom
of this garden. Love is not eternal, and a chance moment in time cannot
forever change your life. Go find someone else to buy your fantasy.
as what BUDDY says is translated. Then looks at him sadly.) GABRIELLE/GEORGE:
Then just please, give me my stone. I will leave you with the money
But you should think for just one moment
. How much happier you
would be, what it would be like to live in a world where all that might
(Suddenly, the two
THUGS from the booth are behind them)
THUG ONE: I think WELL
take the rock, lady. AND that cash on the table.
(Gabrielle and the
others turn to look at them, and one has a gun.)
Just in case you didnt know, oh Great Queen, thats a gun.
It shoots bullets that can kill people.
It does do that.
it has to be pointing at the person, right?
THUG ONE: YEAH. Like
this (Presses gun against GABRIELLES head) Aint that
darn educational? (Gabrielle looks and sees the fear in everyones
THUG TWO: No one be a
hero. Because maybe it would be better for us if there werent
any witnesses.(THUG ONE cocks the pistol)
BUDDY: Hold everything
for just a minute!
(The stone in his
hand glows and everything stops. All sound and, movement. BUDDY stares
at the stone in his hand, then at the frozen figures around him in the
sudden dead silence. He stands, runs his free hand through his dark
hair, and then waves it in front of Georges eyes, who is frozen
looking directly where he had been sitting. He breathes heavily for
BUDDY: Just a minute
(He looks at watch, but we see it too has stopped.) He reaches over
and carefully tries to pry the gun out of the hands of the THUG, but
the grip is too strong, or hes afraid the gun might fire.
BUDDY clenches the
stone and closes his eyes and says as if wishing:) Hold everything
for two more minutes!
(But the stone does
not glow. He stares at it aghast.)
BUDDY: What? It has to
recharge? (Pause) Okay. Lets say 30 seconds has passed
(all while counting
down, he gets behind the thug, and begins swivelling him away from Gabrielle.
The gun moves until its pointing at THUG Two.
(He starts trying to tip over THUG ONE when suddenly
he come to life. All motion begins again. The drill outside is heard
again. Music plays. The people frozen at the table who were staring
at the seat BUDDY was in, now look up to the spot he is standing. The
thug shakes loose from Buddy's hold and punches the back of his head
and BUDDY falls to the ground. Everyone seems stunned by the jump of
positions, except GABRIELLE. She pulls two small pitchforks from the
inside of her boots, hidden by her dress. The small urchin has suddenly
become a confident warrior, and she sweeps her weapon around and pulls
the gun out of the hand of THUG ONE as he is still turning. Her legs
knock his from out from under him and he crashes to the floor. THUG
TWO tries to grab her from behind, but she grabs his hands, flips him
over her shoulders and flings him across the room. GEORGE begins to
move to stop THUG ONE from getting up, but BUDDY, still on the ground
shouts at him.
BUDDY: Stay back! I think
the Queen has this under control.
LETTY is enthralled
as Gabrielle jumps over the THUG ONE while striking him down again,
then spins and waits for THUG TWO to rush her. She bends down as he
races towards her and picks the huge man onto her back. LETTY anticipates
that hes going to be tossed onto the main dish cupboard, and closes
her eyes. GABRIELLE sees this and drops him on his head. Even this causes
a dish to shake loose from the pile, and Gabrielle cartwheels over to
catch it before it strikes the ground. Beside her THUG TWO rises groggily,
and GABRIELLE uses her free hand and the butt of her pitchfork on the
top of his head. It has only taken a minute, and both men are unconscious
on the floor.
LETTY: The Queen of the
Amazons. Holy Moly!
places the dish on the stack, and sheaths her pitchforks. She helps
BUDDY to stand and points at the stone in his hand, grinning. BUDDY
BUDDY: Yes, I used the
damn thing, its for real. But we need to talk. (He looks to
GEORGE, who is still stunned from the fight. BUDDY looks at GABRIELLE,
BUDDY: This thing can
go to any time or place? (He looks at the stone still in his hands,
then Gabrielle) Then in all the billions of possibilities, there
must be a safe place where we can talk. (The stone begins to glow,
and he grabs at GABRIELLE. Both vanish.)
(BUDDY and GABRIELLE
are now alone. Standing in a single blue spotlight, with mist about
them. There is no indication how large the space they are in is.)
GABRIELLE: Where are
BUDDY: I asked it to
take us to a safe place where we could talk.
GABRIELLE: For a man
without any imagination, that was pretty good.
BUDDY: My imagination
just got a jump start.
GABRIELLE: No, I think
you have to have a certain kind of mind to work these things out. Why
did you stop writing?
BUDDY: It was like a
door had closed on me
GABRIELLE: You can unlock
that door with the key of imagination
BUDDY: I told you, even
I was able to write again, Id want to write about the everyday,
the Joe on the street.
GABRIELLE: And they cant
have magic in their lives?
I admit, Im reconsidering that idea (There is a long pause
as they both look at the stone in BUDDYs hand)
GABRIELLE: You have to
give me that stone.
BUDDY: Why would I want
to do that? (begins pacing)You dont think I have at least
enough imagination to figure out what I could do with this? I could
travel through time and find ancient treasures. Or just stop time and
walk into any bank in the world. What happens, if I do keep it?
GABRIELLE: It doesnt
belong here. If this is the stone that saved Hercules, then the changes
in time will sweep through your time. The darkness I told you about
will spread. Right to this era.
BUDDY: Darkness spread
to this era? You havent been around here quite long enough, have
you? We just finished a war against a madman who tried to rule the world.
He and his men took millions of innocent people, millions, and killed
them by the trainload because of their intolerance. Millions more died
fighting for and against him. Beauty and art were crushed under years
of horrendous battles. And did we learn anything? Oh yeah! Now we have
weapons that can kill a million people in a second, and our worst enemies
will have it soon. Together we can destroy all life in a few hours.
How can anything be darker than that?
GABRIELLE: That darkness
was created by men, and women. You have to believe that there is a natural
that there is always good, always hope in all things.
That mankinds evil can always be stopped by the acts of mankind. People
working for the greater good. The darkness Im talking about has
no such hope in it. There is no balancing good. You have to give me
BUDDY: What happens to
you, you personally, if I dont give it back?
GABRIELLE: I lose
everything. My balance. And if you must know, Aphrodite saw me being
BUDDY: On a cross?
GABRIELLE: Yes, but
Thats not important.
BUDDY: How can you say
thats not important? My God!
important is the Greater Good, my friend and all the things she and
I accomplish. The people we helped. Whatever our end, well meet
again in another life.
BUDDY: You sound very
sure of that.
GABRIELLE: I am. Ive
BUDDY: Ten minutes ago
I might have been more sceptical.
because you found something more important than the stone.
BUDDY: (smiles ruefully)
So I just give you this, and you pop off home?
send you back first. And that money, it was to pay for the stone when
I found it. Maybe you could give it to George and Letty?
BUDDY: Of course. But
there are so many questions I want to ask you
no time. (They both laugh at the unintentional pun) Theres
a certain shop owner, hed like this, (Hands BUDDY a silver bracelet)
Maybe you could give it to him for me, and keep the change for yourself?
BUDDY: (shakes head)
No, its alright.
GABRIELLE: Writing isnt
always a good way to raise a family. And you saved my life, and gave
up real power
Please, take the money. I think what you write might
be important, and its my gift to give.
the bracelet and handing over the stone)).Thank you
GABRIELLE holds the
stone tightly, preparing to send him back) .Remember, stories are
BUDDY: Some people are
as well (Smiles, and GABRIELLE does as well)
GABRIELLE: Yes, they
are. (Kisses his cheek)
BUDDY is back in the
Diner. Both George and LETTY rush him, asking questions when AL enters.
He stands looking about him is confusion.
AL: What the heck?
LETTY: Well finally!
If youd been here none of this stuff would have happened. Now
can you at least take these
things out of here? I
mean Really! Try to run a decent place
AL: George? Whats
going on? Wheres the girl?
GEORGE: These men, they
attacked us and try to steal the envelope.
AL: You willing to press
GEORGE: You bet! (AL
pulls out his gun and cuffs)
AL: Can you call down
to the station for me? Tellem to send another car and be ready
for some guests
LETTY: Who is going to
pay for this?
BUDDY: Actually, Gabrielle
said to be sure you kept the money. She did give it to you, remember?
AL: Someone going to
tell me what happened to the girl?
BUDDY: Do you need to
talk to her, AL?
GEORGE: No wanted circulars
for her and the money was hers. I talked to the pawnbroker. He says
that the coins were genuine, and in amazing condition. His very words.
Also, she sold him one half of a pair of bracelets, and he begged me
to ask her for the other half. Hes willing to pay as much for
the match as he did for all the other stuff combined.
(BUDDY fingers the
silver piece in his hands.)
AL: So what happened
to the girl? BOTH GEORGE and LETTY look to Buddy.
BUDDY: She went
AL: And did she get back
BUDDY: Well, I dont
know. George. What can you tell me of Heracles?
call him Hercules. Son of Zeus, the 12 Labours, (BUDDY waves at him
BUDDY: (Big smile)
She got home fine, Al. (One of the THUGS groans and AL is distracted
and begins to cuff them. To change the subject, BUDDY asks): So
what are you going to do with the money?
LETTY: Pay our bills!
GEORGE: We close and
make a proper nice restaurant. No more booths. With candles on tables
and maybe a place for musicians. Right?
LETTY: Or we could buy
a better car and keep doing the deliveries.
GEORGE: Well talk.
LETTY: You bet we will.
(The THUGS are led out by Al and another cop. LETTY smiles at them
and holds open the door.) Dont come again!
BUDDY: Now that its
all cleaned up, I think this place will be just perfect for my wife
and I tonight. Do I need to make a reservation yet?
GEORGE: You have special
BUDDY: Something weve
been talking about, but now I think its time to do more than just
talk. I think were moving to New York.
GEORGE: Why? What is
BUDDY: Television, George!
That huge maw is going need to lots and lots of plays and that means
lots and lots of writers. And guess what? I am one. Maybe we wont
leave today, but now that we have some money
GEORGE: So you found
your dreams again?
BUDDY: Yes, and dont
think Im going to forget what happened here. You make sure, if
you come to New York, you better look up the Rod Serlings, okay?
(BUDDY and GEORGE
shake hands and laugh.)
OFF STAGE NARRATOR: Perhaps
Mr. Serling based his decision in that Cincinnati diner on other forces,
on other dreams. Perhaps he was not directly inspired by an ancient
Greek Muse that day in 1951. But for those of us who believe in the
possibility of Fairies, Love and even ancient Greeks as muses, it can
all be quite possible
in the Xenaverse