POISON ON MY PRETTY LIPS
POISON ON MY PRETTY LIPS
Published by PORPHYRO at Shakespir
Copyright 2016 PORPHYRO
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I. THE EDGE OF A MOST GLOOMY, GOTHIC FOREST
-Welcome to the Witch’s house. I hope you enjoy your stay. It’s not very big and it’s not very bright. But it’s invariably a magical dwelling. It has its super many variations! Tomorrow, the bathroom will be southside, though today it faces east. Little hut, ugly hut. But a very special place to be.
As for who lives here? Ah.
The Witch is worried she’s been found out.
And because she pose a serious threat….
But what am I on about? ‘Worried.’ Worried? Ha!
She laughs a cackled glee. may pose a threat. But the kingdom and its shitty army? Ptooey, ptooey. They can’t possibly harm her.
WITCH. Ptooey, ptooey! They can’t possibly harm me!
-But all of a sudden, the Witch hears someone at the door. The rusted knob turns and turns and turns and makes that metal sound. That awful sound like this: CACOPHONY! JINGLE, JINGLE! I’M COMING IN! And can you believe it? The intruder actually has the nerve to start kicking down the door. BOOM, BOOM! The wood makes that awful sound like this: CACOPHONY! CREAK, CREAK! I’M BREAKING WITH EACH BOOT!
But the Witch well knows the door won’t break. It can’t.
WITCH. You’ll never come in that way, you dunce!
INTRUDER. Then I’ll come in through the window!
WITCH. …a girl?!
A GIRL. A girl!
WITCH. A deception!
A DECEPTION (?). No! A girl!
WITCH. Something to throw me off-guard! So they’ve sent me a meek little lamb, eh? And under all that innocent fluff, some daggers….
A GIRL. I demand to be let it!
WITCH. Or perhaps it’s a decoy? A trap? I best go check the back….
-But can you believe the saucy girl? She begins to try and smash the door down again! BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!
WITCH. Enough! Enough! Come in!
-And with the snap of her fingers—thumb to that rigid joint—the Witch opens up the door.
At once, the girl comes tumbling in. She reeks of alcohol.
As she staggers about and stammers, the door shuts behind her with violence. She’s locked inside now.
WITCH. You’re locked inside now, girl! Are you happy? Is that what you wanted?
GIRL. I…! I…! <
WITCH. How vile! How crude!
GIRL. But your face!
WITCH. What about my face?
GIRL. How could you call bile and rude with that face?
WITCH. What’s your name, girl?
GIRL. Huh? Oh…it’s…ah…. <
WITCH. You’re so drunk you can’t even remember your name!
WITCH. Then what is it?
GIRL. Uh…. Ah….
WITCH. You obviously don’t care for it! Hmm. Then let’s change it for you, sweetness. <
HYPOTHESIS. Oh no, no, no, no. That’s such a stupid name!
WITCH. Why are you here, you belligerent girl? You have no respect.
HYPOTHESIS. I’m here to rob you of everything you’ve got! All of it goes! <
WITCH. It’s not very much, is it?
HYPOTHESIS. Oh…. Uh….
WITCH. Would you like the toenails cooking in the pot?
HYPOTHESIS. Oh! Gross!
WITCH. The eyeballs in the stove?!
HYPOTHESIS. No, no, no! Oh Lord, no! What are you making? Eggs?
WITCH. That smell? You wouldn’t want to know. You’re beautiful, girl.
HYPOTHESIS. Oh shush up! I am …. Well sort of. <
WITCH. Were I a weak man, you might be able to take the house from me with your looks alone. ‘Give it to me and sleep in the woods!’ And the fool would say, ‘Oh! Anything for you, my maiden!’ Boys are stupid. The more gallant they wish to be, the more they enjoy to suffer. You, girl…—
HYPOTHESIS. Don’t point at me with that awful finger!
WITCH. You are capable of making many men pleasurably suffer. But I’m no man.
HYPOTHESIS. You might as well be…! <> I’m sorry. That was mean.
WITCH. With what weapon do you plan to rob me with?
HYPOTHESIS. With one! <
WITCH. No, don’t! You’ll—!
-But the girl raises the bottle over her head. And SMASH! and SMITHEREENS!
The bottle shatters everywhere and all over the Witch’s hut purple smoke shrouds everything.
And when it finally dissipates, the girl has become a butterfly.
WITCH. Oh! I’ll be sure to pluck your eyebrows out for that! Hair by hair! And I’ll regrow them and pluck them twice, you insolent girl! How dare you?! You naughty little hooligan! You ratty brat! What demon gave birth to you?! You pest! You disease! <
HYPOTHESIS. …but what are you?! What was that?!
WITCH. Now tell me, girl! Why are you drunk? And why do you wish to rob me?
HYPOTHESIS. Oh please! Do let me go!
WITCH. Ah! I see! You didn’t know who you were messing with, eh? Thought you could just go on and bully anyone, eh? Did you really think robbing a stranger would be so easy?
HYPOTHESIS. You were isolated! Far away from anyone else….
WITCH. What are you gibbering about? What are you saying?
WITCH. Because what I’m hearing is that you intended to break into someone’s house without a plan. How stupid of you!
HYPOTHESIS. Please! It was something to do.
WITCH. A hobby? A fun little tryst?
WITCH. You’re an actress?
HYPOTHESIS. Or, well—I’m trying to be.
WITCH. Why the break in?
HYPOTHESIS. The part called for a thief. A real vixen, you see.
WITCH. And you wanted to gain real experience so you could play the part better? Is that it?
HYPOTHESIS. Yes, yes…that’s precisely it.
WITCH. But you were rejected.
HYPOTHESIS. So?! I thought maybe I’d steal back the part. It’s exactly what the character herself would do.
WITCH. Why the booze?
HYPOTHESIS. Because I’m I’m so !
HYPOTHESIS. Don’t tell me what I yearn to hear!
WITCH. Go on, my little pet! My little bird! Chirrup!
WITCH. It seems more than a mere ‘suspicion’ to me.
HYPOTHESIS. Even though everything went wrong at the audition, I felt the director got a glimpse into my soul. And I felt that upon seeing It, he knew everything else could be fixed. Mannerisms and lines can be learned. Stage-shyness can be overcome. But the soul of a star is ! You either have it, or you don’t! Ah! How dare that man not take a chance on me? Given the proper opportunity and the proper course of study, I could greatly improve in a matter of weeks. But the director isn’t patient. I see that now. He doesn’t want to cultivate a very garden like myself. He wants a ready-made shrub. And his production will be another mediocrity as a result.
WITCH. Unless you steal the part.
HYPOTHESIS. Yes. Unless I steal the part. You know, I’d bet you anything he goes on long, languorous strolls. And as he ambles about the prettified trees wearing their flowers, he sighs and thinks on lost love. And I bet you that as the feverish sun sets, he feels his heart will burst from lofty feeling! Well if only he .
WITCH. Knew what, my cherry blossom? Oh how I’d love to pinch your cheek, you precious creature!
HYPOTHESIS. If only he knew how many infinite aeons it took to develop the moon and the stars. How many years went into just of those trees he so admires on his walks.
WITCH. What went wrong at your audition, dear?
HYPOTHESIS. Everything! He told me beforehand to ‘prepare page 22.’ Well page 22 is large with small type. A lot of words back-and-forth. And then a speech; something of a coda tacked on to the end of a lively exchange. And so I memorized every word on the page! Even the other actor’s! And I was well prepared to deliver my reading in a furious flurry, a very frenzy to stir him all up and squuuuueeeeeze delight into his soul, as though I were lime and pepper. A burning, ardent sting! But when I went—it was just me in the room and him. Just gawking at me. Had me perform from three feet away from his beak-like nose. And when I started with the first line, there was an awkward silence. I expected him to say something. Preferably the line that was supposed to follow. But nothing! Just silence! And it took me out of the moment when I looked up at his peeking eyes, that pervert’s glance. And he said all buck-like, ‘Only the monologue!’ And I was in shock and I forgot it immediately. He had to feed me the first few lines and I stuttered and improvised my way through the rest. He told me afterwards I could have used the script. But I told him I had it memorized and he said I didn’t. But I do! I do! I can still recite it!
WITCH. Then do, then do.
HYPOTHESIS. Do…what? You mean, right here?
WITCH. Yes. Go on.
HYPOTHESIS. Oh…. <
HYPOTHESIS. Do I entertain you?
WITCH. Devilishly so!
HYPOTHESIS. Hmmph. Well…what will you do for fun once I’m gone?
WITCH. What I always do, girl! I’ve men’s eyeballs for a reason. Their hearts for a cause: my own!
HYPOTHESIS. But don’t you listen to music?!
WITCH. I make tunes of my own with their groans and their screams!
HYPOTHESIS. I suppose loneliness must give you an exceptional memory. You probably hang onto everything you hear, huh? And you probably play it over and over again in your head.
WITCH. If I ever feel a lack of song—
HYPOTHESIS. Which I imagine you do!
WITCH. —I can always conjure up an orchestra of toads at will.
HYPOTHESIS. How dreadful!
WITCH. What? Your ghastly dislike of diversity? Other people have other tastes than yours. Mine just happen to be wretched! <
HYPOTHESIS. Well at least you admit it!
WITCH. Girl, I’d like you to go to sleep now. You’ll need your rest. I suspect those self-important military dolts will be stopping by tomorrow!
HYPOTHESIS. Huh? But no! I want to leave.
WITCH. Well that’s too bad for you, little pet! You forced your way in! Now sleep. Tomorrow you’ll pay for your lodging.
HYPOTHESIS. No! No! I don’t want to sleep! Not here! No! Please!
WITCH. No sleep, you say?
HYPOTHESIS. No sleep!
WITCH. Then so be it!
HYPOTHESIS. Oh, I don’t need a reward!
WITCH. Oh, I believe you ….
HYPOTHESIS. No, no. It’s quite all right! Just as long as you let me leave….
WITCH. I’ve got something even better in store for you. You’ve always wanted others to gawk at you, right?
HYPOTHESIS. Or at least clap at my talents!
WITCH. Mmm…. Clap….
HYPOTHESIS. Cheer, whistle, swoon. <
WITCH. And if they gasped?
HYPOTHESIS. Oh. Ummm…good gasps? <
WITCH. What if they stare in solemn silence?
HYPOTHESIS. Well I’d prefer it if they made some noise, to tell you the truth.
WITCH. Yes, made some noise…. <
HYPOTHESIS. But there’s no need for any of this! Really! Just go on and open the door and I’ll be on my grateful way out.
HYPOTHESIS. Yes, Bitch? …Witch!
WITCH. How about I make you truly bewitching! Ha! Ha! Ha! Get it?
HYPOTHESIS. You’ll torture me for a pun?
WITCH. ? No, no, no. I’ll give you what you’ve always wanted. You’ll entrance anybody who looks on you as long as you’ll live. And people will be sure to take care of you, so expect to live a while. Art, they say, is a prize forever.
HYPOTHESIS. What are you—?!
-And with a finger snap, the Witch turns what’s skin into a canvas. The girl becomes a painting without so much of a scream.
II. THE NEXT DAY
-Thirty strapping men, all with swords and bucklers, make their fearsome way inside. Even more would have come in, but there simply ain’t the space for a hundred face. Thirty will do.
They’ve been warned to be on high alert. Witch could be a spider on the ceiling, size of a house.
ARMY MAN. But if she’s the size of a house, how could she cling to the ceiling?
ARMY MAN. Strong feets!
ARMY MAN. Strong web!
SOLDIER. But if she’s the size of a house, how could she even fit inside? Wouldn’t she be wearing this tiny hut like a skirt? How could she cling to the ceiling?
ARMY MAN. Strong feets!
ARMY MAN. Strong web!
ARMY MAN. Besides. She could be a spider the size of house. Not necessarily a house.
SOLDIER. So a spider the size of a room?
ARMY MAN. Sure.
SOLDIER. Then why not just say that?
ARMY MAN. Might as well say, ‘Spider the size of a walnut!’
ARMY MAN. Spider the size of a grape!
ARMY MAN. Spider the size of a spider! Ha!
SOLDIER. So what? A spider isn’t dangerous because it’s the size of a house.
ARMY MAN. That’s true. A spider might even be dangerous if it’s small.
ARMY MAN. Miniscule!
ARMY MAN. Imperceptible!
ARMY MAN. The size of a pea.
ARMY MAN. The size of a tiny hut.
ARMY MAN. The tiniest hut there ever was.
ARMY MAN. Watch out!
ARMY MAN. What is it?
ARMY MAN. <
ARMY MAN. The most beautiful portrait of the most beautiful girl!
-The thirty men stare in a shocked, solemn silence. It is almost heartbreaking knowing such a creature walked the Earth. Where is she now? Where did she go?
ARMY MAN. It is the portrait of the Witch in her youth.
SOLDIER. It is the portrait of a spider.
ARMY MAN. It is sinful to worship false idols.
ARMY MAN. Yes. You all stand in awed silence as though this goddess here were God, creator Himself of all magnificent things.
ARMY MAN. As do you with your gaping mouth!
ARMY MAN. We must remember this is merely of His magnificent creations.
SOLDIER. Why is it so hard to look away?
ARMY MAN. We are all under a spell.
ARMY MAN. We are all in grave danger!
SOLDIER. We ought to burn this evil painting!
ARMY MAN. Yes. Such perfect beauty should not exist on Earth. It is blasphemy.
ARMY MAN. But who of us will do it?
ARMY MAN. Burn it?
SOLDIER. Burn it.
ARMY MAN. We must get another.
ARMY MAN. Yes. One who has yet to be possessed!
ARMY MAN. But who of us can look away?
-The Witch appears in front of the reluctant worshippers.
WITCH. You fools would burn this painting?
ARMY MAN. The Witch!
ARMY MAN. The Witch!
ARMY MAN. The Witch!
SOLDIER. The Witch!
WITCH. And none of you men anymore!
-She snaps her fingers and, at once, the painting disappears.
But do not worry.
The Girl survives. She’s just no longer trapped inside a frame.
Instead, she finds herself as many different people. A crowd!
HYPOTHESIS 2. Ah!
HYPOTHESIS 29. Ah!
HYPOTHESIS 13. Oh my!
HYPOTHESIS 17. We’re the size of an army!
HYPOTHESIS 5. Well, the number of an army, yes.
HYPOTHESIS 1. But certainly not the girth of one!
-The multitude of girls erupt with laughter.
WITCH. Girls, girls! I will release you into the wild!
HYPOTHESIS 22. <
HYPOTHESIS 25. Yeah! It’s not fair!
HYPOTHESIS 3. Why are trapped in here?
HYPOTHESIS 20. This is too much! Am I annoying?
WITCH. Upon release, you girls will be wise to conquer the world!
HYPOTHESIS 4. We girls will be wise to separate.
HYPOTHESIS 7. I can’t stand any of you.
WITCH. Then so be it! Do as you will. Be gone!
-The Witch’s door flings out and all the thirty girls rush out to the wide forest like some plenty of bees after honeyful queens.