A blog dedicated to the creative output of R.P. Brown ryebreadcreative@gmail.com

A Full Deck of Cards

Curtain opens to an old theatre, all the chairs and tables are set but there is no audience. On the stage, a spotlight shines over an old woman and her microphone. A young man stands in front of the stage with prompt cards.

Miss Adelaide(singing):      

Lady Luck she would never smile,
As she dealt out my hand.
You think that once in a while,
The right card would land.

It was a fixed Deck of Cards,
I could never win.
It was a fixed Deck of Cards,
Cause gambling’s a sin.

Ain’t it strange…

For God’s sake George, would you hold up those cards straight? How am I meant to see the next verse when the lines are all askew?

George:     I’m sorry, Miss Adelaide but I can barely hold my hands above my head anymore. We’ve been at this for hours.

Adelaide:   My voice is still going strong George and we need the practice. One more time from the top.

George:     Please, Miss Adelaide. I would appreciate a glass of water.

Adelaide:   I suppose we could take five, if we must, but then it’s back to work.

George:     I appreciate that, Miss.

Both sit down at one of the tables. Miss Adelaide pours two glasses from a clear tumbler.

George:     (takes a drink) I’m not sure this is water Miss.

Adelaide:   No, I don’t believe it is. (Pause) You know George, you’ve been in my service now for five years and I’ve never had any reason to find you disagreeable.

George:     Thank you miss.

Adelaide:   Hush now. It’s rude to interrupt. As I was saying George, you’ve been in my service for quite some time. You’ve worked hard and my cards are always in the right order and there at the right time. I’d like to say it was my age, that makes me forget but the truth is I’ve always had trouble remembering lyrics and as you can imagine it is an unforgivable fault in a singer. I remember when I was your age, I’d have the lyrics written behind a fan, the boys always found it very seductive but honestly it was a necessity. I tried my arm but singing does cause a lady to perspire. (Pause) I’ve lost my train of thought now, again I wish I could say it was the age but I think I’ve just used to being listened to after all these years.

George:     I believe you were flattering my work, Miss Adelaide.

Adelaide:   Flattering? Don’t be silly George, I never flatter. Complementing, that’s word you’re looking for I was complementing your work George.

George:     I believe you were complementing my work Miss Adelaide.

Adelaide:   Yes. Not just to inflate your ego, far from it George. What I’m getting at is, I’d like to understand why you’ve stayed in my employment. I mean a young man in the prime of his life and he spends it chaperoning an old forgotten singer. What do you want out of life my dear boy?

George:     My mother always said to do what you enjoy, because life’s too short to spend it being miserable. Well Miss Adelaide, believe it or not this is what makes me happy.

Adelaide:   But why? You’re polite, as I said agreeable and hardworking, you’ve got some brains up there to. I’m always catching you with your head in a book. You’ve got potential George, I fear you may be squandering it.

George:     Squandering ones potential? Well if that isn’t a subjective matter I don’t know what is.

Adelaide:   For most, being my prompter, would appear to be objective.

George:     That may be but most would jump at the chance to travel the world with you. I’ve seen more than anyone my age has the right to, I’ve certainly not earned it. Despite that, I’ve been to Paris, Rome, Tokyo, New York. I’ve seen the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, the Himalayas. You’ve given me the world, Miss Adelaide and I’m very grateful to it.

Adelaide:   So it’s the sightseeing that attracts you? You know there is more to world, than just seeing it. Many have had full lives and never gone five miles from their cradle.

George:     I’m aware of that Miss Adelaide.

Adelaide:   Are you? I’m not sure you understand what you’re missing out on, spending all your time with an old gargoyle like me and what will you do when I’m gone? When I’m six feet under and rotting in a casket? God knows that I’ve no one else to leave my fortune to but he also knows I’ve no fortune left to leave.

George:     I wouldn’t take a penny, I didn’t earn Miss Adelaide. As for what I’ll do, it’s a bridge I’d rather only cross when I have to. If I’m honest, it’s a bridge I’d rather not cross at all.

Adelaide:   But you must cross it and soon. I feel it in my bones, I’m not long for this world.

George:     Nonsense. You’re as young as you feel Miss Adelaide and you’re the embodiment of youth as far as I’m concerned.

Adelaide:   You do not listen, George, I feel old and as for your flattery is for fools. I don’t flatter and neither should those I associate with.

George:     It was a compliment Miss.

Adelaide:   I’m not sure you know the difference. Compliments are based on facts, I just need to look at the wrinkles on my hands to see you flatter.

George:     With all due respect, I’m not sure you listen either Miss Adelaide.

Adelaide:   I’ve never had a talent for listening and I’m too old to start. You, however, don’t have that excuse, there’s time to change. Don’t you want to marry George? Have children, settle down. I don’t pay you enough or give you the time.

George:     I have no luck, in love Miss Adelaide. I have only one love in my life and fortune had dictated we were not meant to be.

Adelaide:   George, the Lord knows I have not had any luck in love. In fact, I’ve made a career singing about it but you still have time. Go to her, love can conquer all.

George:     Love can conquer all, except time. Time, I have too much, time is not what I need.

Adelaide:   I’m not sure I understand.

George:     The truth is I fell in love with you when I was a young boy. Your voice, awakened emotions within me and no other woman has ever come close. Your voice resonates within me and creates a chord, a perfect chord but time separates us and stretches out in front of me as a dessert I’ll never cross. I am no fool. We can never be but, if you would permit me, I would like to spend my hours alongside your last.

Adelaide:   Oh George, you are a fool. How different my life would be if I’d met you when I was young. You’ve brought smile to an old lady’s face and you’ve probably brought me my last surprise.

George:     You will permit me then?

Adelaide:   I should not but age has made me selfish.

George:     You sing of a pack of cards. Ever since we’ve met I feel that for the first time I’m playing with a full deck.

Adelaide:   We’ve taken our five, who knew it would be a five of hearts?

George:     Sing to me Miss Adelaide.

Adelaide:   Enough of this foolishness. A prompter should have a full pack of cards, let’s get back to work.

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This entry was posted on October 23, 2014 by and tagged , , , , .
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