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16+ Language

Blues

by Questio


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.

OUTSIDE THE ORACLE

ORPHEUS approaches the door, guarded by a BOUNCER on a stool. The musician carries many bags and cases. He is exhausted, and in a hurry.

BOUNCER

Sorry, guy. Can't go in this way.

ORPHEUS

No, I'm cool. I'm with The Hunters.

BOUNCER

(chuckles)

Nice.

An awkward pause. Neither looks away from the either. Neither moves.

ORPHEUS

I'll just squeeze past ya, then.

BOUNCER

Sorry, Hunter. Your name isn't on the list.

ORPHEUS

(an award-winning smile)

Excuse me, you must be confused. My name is Orpheus, I'm with the band that's playing soon. The Hunters. We're touring.

BOUNCER

You're touring? That's why you're at a dive?

ORPHEUS

(tightening smile)

Yes. I assure you, my name is on the list.

BOUNCER

What was it again?

ORPHEUS

(relaxing)

Orpheus.

BOUNCER

Let me check.

(doesn't move)

Nope, not on the list, sorry.

ORPHEUS

Listen, just let me in. I've been on the road all day and I need a drink.

2.

BOUNCER

You can't bring all that stuff with you.

ORPHEUS

I'm with. The band.

BOUNCER

No one told me we had entertainment tonight.

ORPHEUS sets down his bags. BOUNCER stands up with a grumble.

ORPHEUS

Then go get a manager. We've had this booked for like, three days.

BOUNCER

Three days? On your big tour? That's the furthest out you could plan?

ORPHEUS

(attempting a smile)

Yup. Listen, man, I've had my fair share of walking in places that people don't want me. I don't want to do this.

BOUNCER

(assuming a fighting stance)

Don't wanna do what?

LIGHTS focus on ORPHEUS. He takes a deep breath, and sings.

ORPHEUS

I BEEN WAY WAY DOWN

I CHASED THAT SPARKLIN' CROWN

OH I CHASED HER DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN

REACHED THE QUEEN OF THE UNDERWORLD

I SAW MY LOVE GIVIN' A LOVELY OLE TWIRL

BOY I'D FOUND MYSELF A PEARL PEARL PEARL PEARL PEARL

SANG A LITTLE SONG JUST TO WARM HER SOUL

SAW IN HER EYES THAT SAME OLE GLOW

TOLD MY DARLING DEAR TO GO GO GO GO GO

TRIED TO FIGHT MY WAY OUT WITH A PRETTY SONG

THOUGHT MY DARLING MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN DAWN

BUT MY LOVE, SHE WAS GONE GONE GONE GONE GONE

LIGHTS return to normal. BOUNCER is sobbing.

ORPHEUS picks up his things and steps past, through the door.

3.

THE ORACLE

Blues music plays.

ORPHEUS stumbles through the door, his bags tumbling. He is quite helpless until PYTHIA notices him and rushes to help.

PYTHIA

Oh my goodness? Do you need help with anything?

ORPHEUS immediately focuses all of his attention on her and flashes his smile.

ORPHEUS

Well, you can start by telling me your name.

PYTHIA

(immediately done with him)

Didn't you see the name tag?

She points to her name tag, pinned to her chest. ORPHEUS was already looking at her chest.

ORPHEUS

No, I was too busy admiring the scenery.

PYTHIA scoffs and slithers away.

ORPHEUS takes a long time to maneuver his bags to a corner. He sits at the bar. PYTHIA re-enters a moment later with a towel over her shoulder.

PYTHIA

Whaddya want?

ORPHEUS

If I tell you will you give it to me?

PYTHIA

To drink, asshole. If your ass is gonna take up my chair at my bar you're gonna order something expensive.

ORPHEUS

Your bar?

PYTHIA

Yes, my bar.

ORPHEUS

You're that nice lady on the phone?

4.

PYTHIA

What are you-

(her eyes narrow)

Oh my lord. You're with the band.

ORPHEUS

(winks)

So you can't kick me out, can you?

PYTHIA

You're early.

ORPHEUS

I like to get nice and drunk before the show. Makes the after party more fun.

PYTHIA

And where's the after party?

ORPHEUS

(leaning close)

Why do you want to know?

PYTHIA

(leaning closer)

Because whether or not it's here depends entirely on how well you tip.

ORPHEUS

(mockingly feigning being hurt)

Not how well I play?

PYTHIA swiftly leans her elbow on the bar, directly on top of ORPHEUS's hand. He remains silent for a moment, the pain clear on his face.

Then, in a pained voice:

ORPHEUS

Bottle of ouzo.

PYTHIA leans in more. ORPHEUS groans.

ORPHEUS

And a super expensive craft beer to wash it down.

PYTHIA smiles and walks away to get his drinks.

ZEPHYRUS and HYACINTHUS enter through the door.

ZEPHYRUS

What a nice guy. I hope his day gets better.

5.

HYACINTHUS

I wonder what his problem was.

Hey, Orpheus!

HYACINTHUS and ZEPHYRUS set their things down beside ORPHEUS's and rush over to him.

ZEPHYRUS

What are you doing here so early?

PYTHIA re-enters behind the bar and slams ORPHEUS's drinks down, making him jump. He rubs his hand.

PYTHIA

Gentlemen?

ZEPHYRUS

Porter for me.

HYACINTHUS

What kind of wine do you have?

PYTHIA

Two porters, coming up.

PYTHIA leaves to get the drinks.

ORPHEUS

Thought I would show my responsibility by arriving nice and early to help set up.

HYACINTHUS

You wanted to help set up, huh?

ORPHEUS

Yup.

HYACINTHUS

So what is it you're doing right now?

ORPHEUS

(grins and raises his bottle of ouzo)

Helping.

ORPHEUS takes a long chug of liquor. HYACINTHUS sighs and shuffles to the table with their bags and cases. He begins to set up their gear for the performance.

HYACINTHUS

(grumbling)

Come with us, Hyacinthus. It'll be fun. You'll get to enjoy all the sights and take it easy for a few weeks...

6.

PYTHIA arrives with two dark beers and places them on the bar. ZEPHYRUS flicks her a gold coin, and she slithers away.

ORPHEUS

It always this busy?

PYTHIA

(as she leaves)

Only when we have entertainment.

ZEPHYRUS brings both beers and sits beside ORPHEUS, who is pouring another shot.

ORPHEUS

Zephyrus, how the hell did we end up here?

ZEPHYRUS

We've got a hell of a manager.

ORPHEUS

We said six weeks. Six weeks on the road, then back to Thebes. The plan was-

ZEPHYRUS

The plan was to keep playing until we ran out of money.

ORPHEUS

(takes the shot)

And we still haven't?

ZEPHYRUS

Not yet. We keep getting invites to shows, so we keep going.

ORPHEUS

And Hyacinthus just keeps booking us on the way to the big gigs. I'm sick of these small-time shitholes.

ZEPHYRUS

It's not a shithole.

ORPHEUS

(raising his bottle again)

Trust me, I've been through enough shitholes to know-

In a rapid, fluid motion, ZEPHYRUS snatches the bottle away from him.

ZEPHYRUS

I know. How are you holding up?

ORPHEUS picks up and gazes into his beer.

7.

EURYDICE

Orpheus?

She is behind him. ZEPHYRUS cannot see her. ORPHEUS tenses up.

EURYDICE

Orpheus? Honey? Where are we? What's going on?

No answer.

Orpheus? Babe? I'm scared. Look at me, please.

EURYDICE disappears.

ORPHEUS

I'm fine.

ZEPHYRUS

No you're not. You're a mess. Tell me what's going on.

ORPHEUS

I'm just... dealing with a lot.

ZEPHYRUS

Listen. You lost your girl. I get that. When we didn't see you after the funeral we got all worried. Your dad just about went crazy wondering where you were. No call, no note, nothing. Then, you show up a month later in your clothes from the funeral, covered in burns and ashes, and next thing I know I've got Hy telling me that you and I are gonna be playing the biggest festivals of the summer back to back. What is going on?

ORPHEUS

Just moving on.

ZEPHYRUS

Are you moving on, or are you running away from something?

ZEPHYRUS picks up his beer and takes the other to HYACINTHUS. ORPHEUS reaches for the ouzo, but stops when he senses EURYDICE behind him again.

EURYDICE

Orpheus, why won't you talk to me? You spend all your time out with your friends hunting or playing music and don't even look at me anymore. Orpheus. Orpheus? Orpheus!

ORPHEUS spins in his seat, startling HYACINTHUS and spilling his beer.

The blues music stops, replaced by ZEPHYRUS tuning his saxophone with an electric keyboard.He sets up all the equipment, tuning as he goes. When he is finished, he replaces the music with a quick improvised solo.

8.

HYACINTHUS

Dude! What the hell?

ORPHEUS

Shit, I'm sorry man.

HYACINTHUS

Why so jumpy?

ORPHEUS

Pre-show nerves, I guess.

HYACINTHUS

(sitting next to him)

You? I don't believe it.

ORPHEUS

Believe it.

HYACINTHUS

You played with The Muses. How could a little crowd like this even phase you?

ORPHEUS

I was just backup vocals.

HYACINTHUS

Still. Better than I could do. I'm just here to get you and Zeph to the gigs.

ORPHEUS

I still don't see why we had to stop at this dump.

HYACINTHUS

It's not a dump.

ORPHEUS

I don't like it.

HYACINTHUS

That's because the owner doesn't like you.

ORPHEUS laughs and they both drink.

After a moment:

HYACINTHUS

Hey, I don't know if I ever told you...

He trails off.

9.

ORPHEUS

Don't leave me in suspense, what?

HYACINTHUS

I'm really sorry about Eurydice.

A cloud passes over ORPHEUS's face.

HYACINTHUS

I wish you could have been married longer. I've always- You've always been my best friend. Your dad is like a father to me. I've always looked up to you and I really- I'm glad you're my friend. I wish I could have been there for you after the funeral. And I know you. You never look back. You just keep moving forward and keep smiling and singing and I guess I just really like that you always put on a happy face. But if you ever need to talk...

He lays his hand ORPHEUS's.

I'm here.

ORPHEUS is motionless. He keeps his eyes dead ahead, staring straight at HYACINTHUS. EURYDICE is directly behind him, so close he could feel her breath if she had any. Now more than ever, we see her as what she is: dead.

ORPHEUS

Hy, I...

EURYDICE

Shhh.

LIGHTS focus on ORPHEUS, like earlier. There is complete silence. ORPHEUS opens his mouth to sing, but out comes:

ZEPHYRUS

Hey! Man of the hour! I've got everything set up!

LIGHTS return to normal, with slightly more emphasis on ZEPHYRUS. He has set up an amp for the keyboard, and a microphone with its own amp. Leaned against one is a sign that reads: THE HUNTERS. All of their cases lie open at the edge of the stage, and remain there until the audience leaves.

ORPHEUS shakes his head, snapping himself out of it. EURYDICE and HYACINTHUS have disappeared. He takes another swig of liquor, finishes his beer, wipes his eyes and says:

ORPHEUS

Hey everyone, how you doin' tonight?


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80 Reviews


Points: 684
Reviews: 80

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Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:06 am
Gnomish wrote a review...



Hello!

Some Greek mythology thrown into here with a contemporary story?

Anyways, let's get into it! The first time Eurydice appears I was a little confused. I I thought she was a physical person and Zephyrus just didn't see her for some random reason. Now this is probably just me being a little confused, and I'm sure it would make more sense seeing it, not just reading the script.

I really like the beginning when the bouncer is ready to fight and instead Orpheus just starts singing. I found that quite funny, especially when it worked (although I suppose this is his power in Greek mythology). I hope you're writing a sequel, and I'm interested in how Apollo will come into this. (I'm assuming he will as Orpheus, Zephyrus, and Hycatheus are all linked in some way to Apollo.

Anyways, great story, it was fun to read!
-Gnomish

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Points: 872
Reviews: 19

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Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:24 am
H.G wrote a review...



A hoy hoy,

I read your script and I really enjoyed it so here are some general comments;

First off, I love Greek mythology and so was so happy when I read the character names and realised what myth it was referring to, (Eurydice is still stuck in the underworld, right?) I didn’t know who Pythia was at first but after googling her I think she fits into this perfectly. Though the choices of Zephyrus and Hyacinthus as his mates did confuse me a little bit at first, but after a little background research I can see the connections. Are writing a sequel to this,(perchance involving Apollo?)
I thought the use of having the ghost Eurydice always standing behind Orpheus was clever and correct me if I’m wrong but it also seemed as if the weight of her death was hanging over him as well.
With dialogue, it was all clear and some of it paired with the actions would have been funny to watch. The song especially was good and would help with introducing Orpheus’s past for people who are not familiar with Greek myths. Also, Hyacinthus’s little speech to Orpheus before he goes on stage is probably my favourite part in the whole piece.

Now for some negatives, and there aren’t many.

I don’t really think Eurydice would say “babe.” Maybe it’s just me but I didn’t feel like it sat well with the rest of her character, I could be wrong though.
Secondly, I feel as though Hyacinthus would have told Orpheus he was sorry about Eurydice before then but the beat is so sweet don’t you dare change it.
Thirdly, it’s brought up slightly that Orpheus has already returned from the underworld but perhaps it could have been clearer, considering how some people might not understand the context of the myth.

Other than that, it’s all good. I’m bad at reviews but hopefully you should be able to find some useful feedback in this. Keep writing!

-





Doors are for people with no imagination.
— Skulduggery Pleasant