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So, I’ve been away.


 

Acolyte: You called for me, Master. (After expending much effort to close the uneven oaken door to the chamber, a short thin man in tattered rags speaks. The listener hasn’t a scuff on his fine red cotton manor robe)

Master: Yes. There is a matter I wish to discuss with you. You may have noticed. I’ve been away for some time.

Acolyte: Yes, Master.

Master: And you are not curious as to my location?

Acolyte: I have been troubled and have wished to know where the Master has been.

Master: And what does one do when one wishes to know?  (the acolyte thinks, his eyes come full circle, and then he speaks)

Acolyte: Where has the Master been?

Master: It’s funny you should ask, as I’ve spent the past…..well? I said it’s funny, didn’t I?

Acolyte: Yes, master.

Master: And what is your duty when I tell you something is funny?

Acolyte: I laugh, master. I laugh maniacally. so hard that I cry and cause the gods to think that I suffer from the most severe of pains. I laugh until my entire form bleeds with mirth and the giddiness of my spirit lifts me from the ground.

Master: …..yes.  That’s right. You do. …well?

Acolyte: … (maniacal laughing erupts from the thin man, filling the chill of the stone-laden chamber with an uncommon but, as the Master finds it, an enjoyable warmth. The man’s wan face bubbles and shakes and, as if possessed, his own laughter throws his frail form to the mildew surface of the stone floor, the shaking now rippling through this full body as further streaks of laughter ricochet around the space and through the air.)

(The man in red yawns and raises an arm, his palm open. The man on the ground silences and waits for the command to return to the accepted subservient manner. When the man has returned to his feet with his palms resting in one another, the man in red begins again.)

Master: I’ve spent the past month in a small well-structured town in Green Mountain Province. (The man in red begins to walk slowly around the room, one arm resting behind his back, the other hand rests on his chin, showing faux-contemplation.) There’s grass, well-made roads, wheeled vehicles, you know, all that comes with the makings of a modern hamlet.

(The acolyte makes vocal sounds expressing wonder and bewilderment – all, of course, requisite duties while the master speaks)

But the people there are unmercifully odd. (The Master wildly expresses the following) They tortured me! Made me speak in tongues and withheld my own mother language from my lips! (both hands at the sides of his head now, he bends at the waste and contorts his face into one expressing anguish) The knavish lot!

(the acolyte’s eyes are now wide and he is lost as to which verbal expression is most  appropriately ceded. The Master straightens, regains himself, and clears his throat).
Which, my dear Iggis, is why I’ve requested you here.

Acolyte: Yes, Master, your wish is, as always, my bidding.

Master:  Iggis, I want it dealt with.

Acolyte: (a bit confused) Emm..(unclear)

Master: Dealt with, Iggis, I want it dealt with, extirpated, dug up, burned, excreted from the bowels of this life, I want the town torched, dismembered, and damned. I want you to do your worst, am I understood?!

Acolyte: Ah, umm, yes Master. Yes.

(the master now calmed again, pauses)

Master: (an audible exhalation) Good. Bring me word when the task is complete. (The Master exits, leaving the acolyte behind. The cold of the room enters the chamber again as the sound of the closed oaken door dissipates).

 

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