Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The Book of All Things New
Tomas' former housekeeper, the Old Woman has returned to us. And she has brought us the girl called Annie. Our juvenile, immortal chorus gathers 'round her. They sniff her and taste her warily, much as snakes examine anything organic. She laughs a little girl's laugh. It tickles. The Old Woman speaks. She says - I know you probably don't want much to do with me, but this one might be of interest. Tomas speaks - How did you get her? The Old Woman - Well, I wander the streets. I shelter where I can. So does she. So does this one. It was only a matter of time, maybe two million heart beats at the most till we laid eyes on each other. She needed a 'granny' and I was sorry, so sorry for any harm I caused when I turned my back on you and your... concubine. Tomas responds - She is not my concubine, you ruined, old hag. Leave the girl. Leave her. We will decipher her truth on our own. We will determine if she is an innocent blessing or a plaugue among us.... He beckons to the girl and she goes to him... Tomas - Now go. Just go. Give her some food and send her out. The 'children' have been cooking. I hope you like steamed chicken nuggets and toasted marshmallow shish kebabs?...An adorable, tiny, elf girl steps forward and hopefully offers her one. The Old Woman takes it, nods and eagerly begins to eat it.... Tomas - Now go.... But she looks up at him and he remembers her from former days. He remembers when he rescued her from the bowels of an Irish 'coffin' ship. She sees his reaction and says - Please, I come bearing gifts, or more rightly, restoring them... She takes a cloth bag out from under her woolen cloak and offers it to him. He passes Annie off to Sarah and takes it. He opens it, carefully examining the contents. It's his old, worn prayer book and his hand written vellum journal. He tenderly holds them close and breaks down into tears. I cry too. Zebulon is always a softy for scenes like this. But you must have sensed that by now. The Old Woman whispers - It's all right. I've done what I set out to do. I will go now.... She turns to depart. But Tomas clears his throat and says - You can stay..... The Old Woman silently mouths her thanks. Marianne (the eldest elf girl) reaches out for her cloak. The Old Woman gives it to her. They find her a seat by the heater and offer her a hot drink. She gratefully accepts. Sarah and Edith usher Annie into another room, where they help her clean up and change into some warm, dry clothes.. They brush her fine, though beautiful hair. Sarah whispers to Edith - I can't help it. I want to know who she really is inside.... Annie sneezes. Edith says - God bless you. Soon the vampires begin to settle down. Dawn approaches. Annie silently sits watching television with Edith, the Old Woman, and wilkravitz. She laughs at a cartoon.