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 Posted: Sat Dec 1st, 2012 09:10 pm
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RTurco



Joined: Wed Nov 19th, 2008
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 256
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Mana: 
Hello world,

I bring you once again just one of my latest pieces, titled "In the Valley of the Dying Stars". Comment on it, critique it, and email me at raymondturco@yahoo.com if you want more!

~

Principal Characters

Armand Degrand - a Frenchman in his twenties.
Herr von Steinhausen - a German man in his sixties. Doubles as “Father”.
Richard Hammond - an Englishman in his thirties. Doubles as “Cloutier”.
Pete Granger - an American man in his forties.
La renarde (“The Vixen/Female Fox”) - a French prostitute in her twenties or thirties.
Georgia Payne - an American woman in her forties. Doubles as “Mother”.
An Angel
A Pimp
Prostitutes
 
 
Place- Hell and Paris, France.
Time- 1968 in Paris, timeless in Hell.
Set- Minimalistic, unassuming, and rather sinister and seedy in this.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In the Valley of the Dying Stars

ACT I

SCENE 1

(Flames crackling. Lights up. ARMAND is on the stage, alone.)

Armand
Damn! I’ve lost it again. Where could it be? Fuck. It was here a moment ago. Funny… How things can disappear on you like that… I had a dream some time ago… Or was it so recently? Anyway, I was falling. Falling from the soil of the earth, down into the cracks. Down, down, down into the abysmal abyss. Right to the core. And I woke up here. In this place of a place where only God knows where I am, and I doubt even that… It is by turns cold and hot, hot and cold, freezing and at the same time… (Failing to find the words) Not freezing. It should be burning but it’s not. It should be raining, but it snows, thundering when it wills, and I know the sun shines a terrible light on the scorched earth above, but here there is not that light. Here in this place, I am too far down to be known. A face covered in soot. Drenched in ice. A body too mangled to be recognized. Yes, it’s better. Better than the pain of being alive.

(The ANGEL enters.)

Angel
Monsieur Armand? Monsieur Armand Degrand?

Armand
Oui. C’est moi.

Angel
Do you know where you are?

Armand
Why, would you care to enlighten me first?

Angel
You have died and gone to Hell.

Armand
Figures…

Angel
But you can still be saved. Provided you reach certain terms of agreement with the Lord. Is your soul eager to be saved?

(Pause.)

Armand
Yes. Very much so, yes.

Angel
Then you must follow a certain protocol and listen to my instructions--

Armand
Jesus, it’s so fucking hot in here, can we turn down the heat a bit?

Angel
No.

Armand
All right then. Hurry up. Can’t wait to get out of here.

Angel
For a soul to be saved, it must recognize the true nature of sin. This is not a Hell that seeks to punish you eternally. This is primarily a rehabilitation center. You will travel the depths of some of Hell’s nine circles to meet some of our most staunch patients. Those who refuse to renounce their sin and move closer to God. But I can see in you that you are not like them.

Armand
Uh yeah… I love God. And I never got to rehab in my lifetime.
 
Angel
Quite. So listen to the stories of the other souls and heed their messages well. Do not let them corrupt you, but instead learn from them what is to be learned so that you may one day in the future shed off your errant ways and be one with the Lord.

Armand
Cool. When does it all begin?

Angel
First there is some preliminary paperwork.

(The ANGEL removes some papers and a pen from his tunic.)

Armand
Uh…

angel
Name? Done that one. Place of birth?

Armand
Paris.

Angel
Place of primary residence?

Armand
Paris.

Angel
Place of death?

Armand
Paris.

(Pause. The ANGEL stops to review what has been transcribed.)

Angel
Let’s try this again. Be more specific this time.

Armand
Okay.

Angel
Place of birth?

Armand
A hospital in Paris.

(Pause.)

Angel (Cont’d)
Okay fine. Place of primary residence?

Armand
A flat in Paris.

Angel
Place of death?

Armand
A hotel room… in Paris.

Angel
Cause of death?

Armand
I’d rather not say.

Angel
It’s okay. You can tell me. I’m your friend.

Armand
I don’t have any friends.

Angel
But it’s still okay. I won’t tell anyone. I promise.

(Pause.)

Angel (Cont’d)
And your sin…? Well, that remains to be seen, I suppose. Good luck to you. Who knows? You might need it.

(The ANGEL exits. Pause. A syringe flies onstage. ARMAND goes to retrieve it.)

Armand
Hmph. Strange. It’s quite an orderly sort of Hell. Not what I would have expected. Where are the pits of fire? The screaming hords of infidels? The demons whipping the damned who crawl across the rocks and into the flames? Instead I find it all… bureaucratic. Sterile. Cold. Like this syringe. (Beat) I hate it. It’s teeming with the infernal, with the foul, with the decaying. But I’ll brave it nonetheless if it means I get to see the face of God. I’d do anything to reach the highest highs of heavenly delights, if it means getting out of this horrid realm. How I got here I… well… I don’t know. I… can’t seem to remember. But I’ll soon see my way out.

(Blackout.)
(END OF SCENE)

SCENE 2

(Lights up. There is a chair and a table onstage. ARMAND is sitting at the table. MOTHER and FATHER enter, singing “Happy Birthday”.)

Mother
Happy birthday, mon fils.

Father
Happy birthday, son.

Armand
Merci, maman. Merci, papa.

(MOTHER kisses ARMAND on the cheek and FATHER shakes his hand.)

Father
My God, twenty-four. What do you plan to do with yourself?

Armand
Get a job, I hope.

Father
That’s a good man.

Mother
Oh Horace, he’s got time.

Father
Well, not so much as he did before.

Mother
That’s true.
 
Armand
Yes, I’ll get a job. And a small flat of my own in the center of town.

Mother
Maybe he’ll find a nice girl--

Father
Maman, now, don’t rush things. He’s got to get settled first. Land a good-paying job. That’s important. Everything else will follow. You’ll see. This boy will be a respectable man one day.

Mother
A rich and famous painter! Hopefully he’ll have time to visit his poor parents once he’s got so many of those artist types buzzing around him.

Father
Oh now, Lilian, be reasonable. He’ll be far too busy for that. Still, we’ll have to be content with just his memory, no doubt. I see great things in your future boy. And don’t dally. Time is already wasted. Have you spoken to Marchand yet?

Armand
Not yet, father.

Father
Well, what are you waiting for? I bet he’s got a proposition for you just waiting to be picked up.

Mother
Let’s leave him now, Horace. I bet he’ll want to go and party with his friends.

Father
All right. The fox and the cat must play in the intervals of their work. Good night, son.

Armand
Good night, father.

Mother
Good night, son.

Armand
Good night, mother.

(FATHER and MOTHER exit.)

Armand (Cont’d)
Poor maman, poor papa. How I could I ever tell them the truth? That I had flunked out of art school months ago and that I now spend my days in the local saloon searching for the Prix de Rome in a shot glass?  That I’m a… No. No it would all be too horrible. Horrible. Especially after…

(ARMAND exits. FATHER and MOTHER enter.)

Mother
Why? Why did you have to push it?

Father
Push what?

Mother
You can’t let him move on at his own pace. You’re always doing that.

Father
Doing what?

Mother
Pushing him! He’ll find a job, you’ll see. And an apartment. And a nice, young girl too! Without you ordering him around.

Father
Lilian, I was only trying to point him in the right direction. The boy doesn’t need a push. Just a bit of road map of some kind.

Mother
You won’t let him try new things. You’re afraid he’ll fail.

Father
Preposterous.

Mother
Horace! He needs to be set free to grow and discover on his own time. He’ll get there. Don’t you worry.

Father
But he’s twenty-four years old, dear. I thought he’d be a little more independent by now. Why, when I was twenty-four--

Mother
But it’s not the same as when you were twenty-four. Things have changed. The students are rioting in the streets!

Father
When I was twenty-four I was already an assistant in my father’s factory, paying for my own baguettes, sipping coffee in my own living room, right in the center of Paris. I had everything a young man could want. A girlfriend, I even had a little dog. “Fifi” her name was--

Mother
You just don’t want Armand to end up like you. Stuck in a dead-end job making half of what you made in 1936.

Father
Of course!

Mother
You’re afraid he’ll be a total failure like… like…

Father
Don’t say it.

Mother
Like Margot!

Father
I told you not to say it… You just won’t let her rest.

Mother
All the pills.

Father
(Soothingly)
Shh…

Mother
Pills everywhere.

Father
Shh…

Mother
A sea of pills.

Father
Her brother will not end up like that. I can tell you that. Armand is going to be just fine. He’s a good boy. Come now. Let’s go to bed.

(FATHER exits, with MOTHER in his arms. Lights fade.)
(END of scene)
 
~

Let me know what you think. Email me for more!

Best,

RTurco

Attachment: In the Valley of the Dying Stars - excerpt.zip (Downloaded 2 times)

Last edited on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 04:33 am by RTurco