“Ashen Murder” – Act I – Scene 1

Hey folks! Long time no write, right? Wrong!

This is what I’ve been working on for the past three months or so. Well, not all of it, just a teaser. To keep it manageable for people who’d rather not have to read an entire play in one go, I’ll be posting the entirety of the text scene by scene. Keep in mind that this is not supposed to be the stage-ready version of the piece but rather a published variant.

Most of the inspiration for the play and the incentive to keep on writing it has been provided by my very close friend Linda Lobo, who is also responsible for all the artwork included in and affiliated with the play. More of her art can be found HERE.

 

 

“Ashen Murder”

____________

A Play in 3 Acts

by

Morvarth

CAST OF CHARACTERS

The Ravenlord: Appears to be a man in his 40’s. A perpetually dark and troubled individual; prefers to hide his unrest behind a smile – he’s very bad at it.
The Maiden of Ash: A woman in her early 20’s. Her thoughts always seem to drift elsewhere. She seems shy, but isn’t. She is regarded as naive, but she does not know the word.
Corax: A raven; one of Ravenlord’s advisers. Constantly seething, almost shaking with anger. Addicted to cigars.
Cornix: Another raven and adviser to the Ravenlord. Always in a jolly good disposition; never skips a chance to flirt with anything that moves. Wears a hat or a hood to hide the gruesome scar on his right eye.
The Matron of Ember: A few centuries old witch. To call her a bitter and venomous shrew would be a grave understatement.
The Lady of Matches: Also a witch; only six minutes younger than her sister, Matron of Ember; appears to be a tall and beautiful woman in her early 30’s. Her smile is a rare sight… but what a sight, indeed…
The Town Crier: An old man in his 70’s. As wise as a rabid dog; as eloquent as a drunkard on death row. He reeks of manure – and despair.
Simpletons: A collective of raggedy peasants, layabouts and overall morons – all that’s left of this god-forsaken village. Somehow.

ACT I

Scene 1

Atop The Ravenlord’s Tower. It is close to midnight and a storm is brewing. The Ravenlord is very bored today; he sits upon his elm throne sighing with every breath. Corax is perched cross-legged atop his elm roost with a cigar in his tattered beak, a small jest away from bursting into chaos. Cornix is leaning on the edge of the tower with a wing behind his back and another holding his hat from falling; he has never looked so heartbroken.

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CORNIX
And here I thought “no chance in Hell
That I’d toy with such a dame”
Such a flame inside her heart, oh well,
Such a pity, such a shame…
I only wish…

CORAX
Shut up, peacock, you’re to blame!

CORNIX
If the gentleman’s dissatisfied,
I suggest he joins the bride.

CORAX
When I’m finished with your hide,
You will wish that you had died…
Instead of…

CORNIX
Perhaps she’s not quite yet dead, love.

THE RAVENLORD
I beg of you both, leave me be;
I’ve no need for “remedy”
If your presence is involved –
And no more talk of peace and love.

CORNIX
Sire, we truly do sympathise –

THE RAVENLORD
Then leave the corners of my eyes!
I relieve you of your ties.

CORAX
But my lord, he’s right, for once –
The damnable deluded dunce.

CORNIX
Oi…

CORAX
We’ve all got poisons, what’s the fuss?

CORNIX
What will you do without us?

THE RAVENLORD
Ease your talons, ’twas a jest…

CORNIX
Our Ravenlord knows best.

THE RAVENLORD
Tell me, friends, do you recall
The day I stood atop this tower
For the first time, proud and tall
In my glorious darkest hour?

CORNIX
As if it were yesterday.

THE RAVENLORD
The day I soared with song and sorrow,
The first day my wings did sway…

CORAX
As if it were tomorrow.

THE RAVENLORD
I do not, I bring to light –
I’m not quite myself tonight.

[CORAX and CORNIX leave.]

THE RAVENLORD
But what is this?

“The Big Question”

Hey folks, been a while! I’ve started writing this like an hour ago.

Enjoy!

“The Big Question”

Leaning low, all weak and wary,
Gleaming, glowing bleak and scary,

My own limbs I lug and carry
With a struggle temporary.

I’ve prettied up, I’ve donned my clothes,
I’ve trimmed up all my frigid toes.

They stare in awe, the whole world knows –
I am frankly indisposed.

I’ve limped through this town far and wide
And all I see is black and white;

And everything I smell smells like
Roses and formaldehyde.

Far and wide, this I must stress,
For they surely seemed impressed

As I limped and crawled distressed,
Just to find your new address.

I long for your prolonged affection,
To spite your husband, I must mention

And though I’d stay for a dissection,
To ruin your evening’s digestion,

I kneel humbly ‘fore your mansion
With a most arduous question:

My sweet and fleshy Anne-Marie,
Will you bury me?

“Velvet – Donnie’s Statement”

This is the followup of a recent creation. A second chapter, if you will; you can find it HERE for your convenience.

Let me know what you think!

“Velvet – Donnie’s Statement”

It was sixty past eleven when
The thunder shook my sleep away,
Begging again and again
For me to find reasons to stay;

So I took my ragged duster
From the rack it solely reigned
And I drove faster and faster
On the streaming narrow lanes;

And there she bled, my paramour,
Hunched forth in her velvet car,
With velvet stains of Eleanor
In front of her favourite bar.

In her deathly grip I found
Words that echoed through my head
And upon the velvet ground,
I pried her fingers and I read:

“Dear Donnie, my dearest dog,
I might have hidden what was true,
I know you loved my latest song,
But it was not meant for you.

I’ve become somebody now,
I don’t need your sympathy,
I don’t need the velvet gown
That you’ve commissioned for me.

I’ve no time for pretty words,
Please don’t write me anymore.
You knew this was gonna’ hurt.”
Signed “Yours, Velvet Eleanor”.

…And there I stood besides her car
In the waning fading lights,
With velvet stains of Eleanor
Draining down the sewage pipes.

I wanted to burn that letter,
So a match I slid and struck,
But the velvet got it wetter –
I was sorely out of luck.

I never liked that witless song,
Yet it always made me smile,
Made the world just seem less wrong;
It got old after a while…

I don’t need no Eleanor
To jive and swing inside my heart.
I don’t need no velvet whore
To stain the concrete with my art.

I bought the bar where she performed
And every night I hear the song
That she sang to me before
I became her “dearest dog”.

With each echoing encore,
I dream in every shade of red.
Sometimes I miss my Eleanor,
But, frankly… I’m glad she’s dead.

“Chains”

“Chains”

Ancient notes hum once again –
Echoes through the deep,
Deathknell to forgotten friends,
Ode to my defeat.

I cannot remember when
I last shut my eye
Without dreaming of the end
I witness tonight.

They breathe around my gasping throat,
Mocking misery,
Whispering the pain I wrote –
The chains that bind me.

They drag my cadaver afloat
With a joyous clink;
Sweeter than the hearts I broke
Is the poison that I drink.

Tragedies don’t feel the same
Since my smile’s been sold,
For he, who is one with the flame
…Has never felt so cold.

Thought I’d fallen deep enough
Into the scarlet sea,
But there she spoke, she called my bluff –
The chains that bind me.

Vengeful are the ancient notes –
Echoes of my fear,
Whispering the pain I wrote
Back into my ear.

Rusted are my dying arts
In the scarlet sea;
Though vile and grimy, they are
The chains that bind me.

The drowning notes now wail among
The waning briny kelp,
Yet, this time, it’s no love song –
…It’s a cry for help.

“Nothing Speaks”

An incoherent mess that somehow made enough sense to me to decide to post it.

Enjoy.

“Nothing Speaks”

Speak to me, my nothingess –
What have we become?
Nothing stands, for nothing is
Like when we’d begun.

Scream into my ear, I pray,
Take me unaware.
To everything I fear I say,
Eat my heart laid bare.

I beg for only but a whisper,
To disturb the sand,
The silent suffering of winter –
The nothing that I am.

Just a breath, my nothingness,
A voice to call my own…
Nothing speaks, for nothing is;
And I stand alone.

“Velvet”

I wanted to write something a bit different in terms of setting. I had a story for this tucked somewhere inside my head but I could only draw out this static imagery.

Let me know what you think!

“Velvet”

I smell the freshly-sated rain
Gasp on the cold concrete floor,
Which in puddles does retain
Velvet stains of Eleanor.

Feint street-lights reveal the play
With a warmth no longer felt;
Actors have no words to say
Of the dreams that have been dreamt.

Wide eyes tell of seconds past
With an expression bizarre;
I smell the seeping seething rust
Inside of the velvet car.

Tremors of a fragile breeze
Whisper softly in my ear;
Shaking are my feeble knees
At the silence that I hear.

There I stand beside her car,
Under feint street-lights eclipsed,
Velvet painted on my heart,
Velvet on my trembling lips.

The rain again begins to pour,
Dripping down the vapid sight
With velvet stains of Eleanor
Smothering the fading lights.

Good night, Velvet Eleanor…
…Good night.

“Quill and Seal”

This piece makes references to some of the most valuable sources of inspiration I have been fortunate to rely upon in the past year or so. Not my proudest work, but something that has been trying to claw itself out of my head for a few days, maybe weeks.

Enjoy!

“Quill and Seal”

In the comfort of my hearth
Seven circles I have found,
One for each of my black hearts
Shackled under heavy crowns.

Circles of my own volition
I have carved upon my canvas –
Monuments of my ambition
Born of the most lucid stardust.

I have traveled countless minds,
Many dreamscapes I have wandered;
I awoke only to find
They’ve been calling me a monster

I wanted to tear down the sky
And bring the laughter to an end;
But before my bloodshot eye
Was a shadow of a friend.

I wanted to become my fear,
To subdue and to offend;
But thundering inside my ear
Were the whispers of a friend;

And my rivers graced no more
The venom that my hearts could foster –
Sometimes I crave the raging war,
Sometimes I wish I was a monster…

A warrior of quill and seal
And all of my circles smitten –
I am but everything I feel
And I feel all I’ve ever written.