Speedy Solstice Stichomither



home page

t h e  l o n g e s t  d a y

the shortest day

project developed at

by Alan McDonald

Speedy Solstice Stichomither:
A One Act Play for Two Characters

@ (Shady) - a murky looking character in a Stetson
# (Dusky) - a darker, somewhat balder character

@ appears at the pier, peers under it, begins to slide down the bank.

@-Hey! Dusky! Ya down there? It's me. Shady. What happened? One minute we was together and the next...

#- How much darker does it get? Flaming bushels on account of hidden candles, Shades, why are we down here?

@-stumbling forward
I'm just glad we got away from those mad cows! But what will the Big Stick say? We get driven off the road and...

#-Simmering boils, why did no one warn us there'd be all those crazy women protesting down at the docks?

@-I meant da cattle, Dusky. Remember? I sometimes wonders why Stickie brought you in on this heist.

# picks shingle from between toes, throwing findings away between pillars.

#- What will BS say when he hears? More words I shouldn't wonder. Sling them all back in our impaled imaginations - who wants any more words from us?

Well, we wouldn't be so pale if we got any sun. The Big Stick is always having us pull the night shift. No wonder our words moulder like sulky white bread.

#-Look, you warned me there'd be waiting. I used to drive get away chariots, way back whenever. Waiting was the top shelf of the oven then. But how many hours do we have to roast here at old wielded Stickie's beacons and callings?

@-Don't know how to break this to ya, Dusk. But the get away driver's got away. Just busted loose and headed for Margaritaville and there ya are. We gotta wait for dark and make a run for it on our own. He, Lios, can't see us then.

#-whispers despairingly
Have you any idea how long that one day will last? It's barely light yet and I'm feeling fried. Sizzling barbed wire undergrowths on groynes, why me?

@-Oh, go soak your head. The ocean's right there. That'll cool ya off.

#-The light's our funeral pyre, Shady. Our own personal damp wash-day accident with a one-bar electric heater, coin meter fed. Besides, I'm only wearing SPF 5.

@-That ain't even worth the effort of slathering it on. Might as well have kept it for barbequing the steaks.

#-Moot point, Shaders - do I need to remind you we failed to lift the herd? The Big Stick is going to grill us if we ever get back.

@-Moooooooo -t , indeed. D'ya have to rub it in? I wonder if all them cows have run off back home to greener pastures. He, Lios, trains his beasts as well as his staffs, ya know.

Soft plopping sound as of hooves in sand.

#-You're right about Lios. He'll expect us to lose our cool. I need to grow a thicker skin rather than rely on this sun protection racket.

Further suspicious soft plopping sounds. @ & # hold their noses.

@-Look Dusky! It's a....

....Cow! We're saved! All we gotta do is lasso it and get it back to Stickie!

#-One cow?

It's not exactly a summer season at Blackpool, is it?

@-It's more than we had a minute ago. And we don't got the truck anymore, remember? It skidded off the road and into the gooseberry bushes.

A sheet of litter flies past in scant breeze.

#-Bury me on the beach if we don't make it, babyface. Let's do it! But don't, in the names of all of Sunny's gang, touch that light blue paper. Go, go, go!

@ & # start to push on the withers of the cow to turn her.

DIng-dinG-ding-DING. DIng-dinG-ding-DING.

@-Wait! What's that? Who's up there?

# & @ freeze (perspiring buckets, spades & small plastic windmills).

I think there's something up there. Right above us.

@-You don't think it's.....

#-The Sun?

Three white drops drip down between the boards. @ leans forward and touches right forefinger to one in sand and then to tongue.

French Vanilla Bean Supreme! An ice cream van bell - we're saved!

#-Shades, worship whichever cooked up way you like in your own time, but just how does an ice cream van equal salvation?

@-All we gotta do, Dusk, is get the cow up the bank, into the back of the van, knock out the driver and we're home-free!

#-Shed it, Shady. This is no joke. You wouldn't be taking this so lightly if that really had been old Hellio up there.

@-Well, I wouldn't copter to it, that's for sure. But give old Bessie a good push on her rump now. Time to get going!

#-placing hands gingerly flat against flank of Bessie
If we actually survive this conflagration then remind me to ask who kindled this whole excuse for a plan.

@ bends over, picks up his Stetson, brushes the sand off and puts it back on his head.

#-pausing in pushing
Can I give you a few words of advice?

@-Sure. Fire away. I can take some of those.

#-Don't give up the day job, sunshine. We're not really cut out for cattle rustling, are we?

(Everdeen & Mazzy)
21 June 2000

Stichomither: an unlikely form with exactly 116 rules, none of which have been invented yet; derived from 'stichomythia' and 'mither'.

dramatic dialogue, as in a Greek play, characterized by brief exchanges between two characters, each of whom usually speaks in one line of verse during a scene of intense emotion or strong argumentation. (RHD, 1983.)

= moider
1. trans. 'To confuse, perplex, bewilder; to worry, bother, fatigue.' (E.D.D.). Chiefly pass. and refl. Also in passive, to be overcome or stupefied with heat.
2. intr. 'To talk incoherently or foolishly; to be delirious, to wander or ramble in one's mind'; also, 'to wander about aimlessly or confusedly' (E.D.D.).
3. intr. 'to labour very hard' (Halliwell). Also quasi-trans. with away. (OED2, 1989.)


copyright © the authors, 2000