SONG OF SEA AND SKY
BY: HUNTER WILSON
(Apollo stands over his fiery stallions attempting to settle the reins over their glowing heads, and across their smoldering manes. He walks over to his lead horse and stares into its shining black eyes. In them he can see his own reflection and imagines himself part of the team with the same wild chaos that burns within them. He steps back to see Zeus approaching with a stern look cemented to his face.)
(His voice is deep and booming causing the pillars to rattle like that of a cobra giving its last warning before it strikes.)
Zeus- I hope you’ve remembered what today is.
Apollo- I Assume you’re going to remind me anyway.
Zeus- Right you are my son.
Apollo- Make it fast. The sun doesn’t rise without me.
(Zeus nods in agreement)
Zeus- As you may recall today is the first day of winter. When all birds take up flight and head south, when Persephone returns to the underworld to be Hades’ bride, and more importantly when the sun is lowest in the sky. You should understand how serious this is.
Apollo- Yes! I’ve been doing this for centuries, and I don’t need you reminding me how to do my job!
(With that Apollo climbs into his chariot and with a quick snap of the reins is off.)
Zeus- (Zeus whispers to himself.)Please, be careful brother
(Distracted by his earlier conversation with Zeus, Apollo has made it half way across the horizon when tragedy befalls. It only takes seconds and half the ocean is drained, and by the time Apollo realizes what is happening it’s too late.)
(Apollo returns to Olympus to find a furious Poseidon yelling in a voice as menacing as the sea itself. Zeus sits upon his throne obviously upset with his hand on his forehead. After another spell of threats Poseidon catches sight of Apollo standing near the entrance. He turns and points in Apollo’s direction.)
Poseidon- You! You’re the one who dares to deface my kingdom.
(Zeus finally becoming aware of Apollo’s presence stands.)
Zeus- I warned you of this
Apollo- Do you think I meant for this to happen?
Apollo- What happened was…
Poseidon- I don’t care how it happened. All I know is that if you don’t find a way to fix this there will be war.
(With that, Poseidon hammers his trident on the stone floor causing small tremors and bits of ceiling to crumble. He then walks out brushing Apollo aside.)
Zeus- Do you have the slightest idea of what you’ve done?
Apollo- It doesn’t matter. If its war he wants, I’ll give him all hades has to offer.
(Orpheus sits by a small brook and strums his instrument letting a peaceful note ring out that hangs in the air for a time. As the last of it’s marry tone becomes mute a thundercloud approaches at a rapid pace. From it descends Zeus, god of thunder, who comes up to Orpheus who at which point is kneeling in respect.)
Zeus- Rise lad, I have a task for you.
(Orpheus, smart enough not to turn down a god’s request, accepts.)
Orpheus- I wish not to displease you mighty ruler of Olympus, but may I ask what the purpose of my task at hand may be?
Zeus- War between the god of noon and rolling sea is fast approaching and sure to devastate the land. Take this incantation out to sea when the sun meets the horizon and recite it.
Orpheus- I will go now with haste.
Zeus- We will do our best to guide you on your journey. Now be on your way.
(With a nod, Orpheus turns east and is on his way.)
(Hades stands smiling over an open flame smiling devilishly as he watches the realm above his own day unfold.)
(Persephone, Hades wife and the daughter of Demeter, sits nearby.)
Persephone- What’s perfect. Everything about this accursed realm is awful. Good thing I’m only here for another week.
(Even his wife’s sly remark doesn’t faze him as he is fully entranced by the flame’s prophecy.)
(Orpheus, fully exhausted from his trip to the sea, sits leaning against a nearby tree, and begins to strum his instrument. He snaps to attention when he hears a branch snap.)
Orpheus- Who’s there!
(He looks around and sees nothing. Soon the adrenaline wears of, and he’s left even more tired. Within moments he is deeply asleep.)
(Orpheus awakes to find himself bound by a tightly knotted rope.)
Orpheus- What is the meaning of this!
(A man appears from behind a tree, and walks up to where Orpheus lay incapacitated.)
Man- I was sent to deal with you by Hades himself.
Orpheus- What would he want with me?
Man- Way he sees it there’ll be a nice new kingdom and chariot for him if the two gods destroy one another.
Man- Now to get down to business. Sorry kid nothing personal, but Hades has made it worth my while and besides, He’d have me killed if I refused.
(The man unsheathes a dagger and raises it overhead, intending to do away with Orpheus. Orpheus turns his head and shuts his eyes awaiting the blow silently praying to the gods for help, but the blow never comes. He opens his eyes to find an arrow protruding from the man’s skull. The man buckles beneath his own weight landing as stiff and unmoving as the tree that binds Orpheus. He searches for the source of the arrow to find a man with bow in hand.)
Perseus- Need some help?
(He kneels down cutting the rope from around Orpheus. After releasing him he extends his hand. Orpheus, still unsure of his rescuer, hesitates before accepting the aid.)
Orpheus- Thank you, I’m Orph…
Perseus- Orpheus, I know.
Perseus- Zeus anticipated Hade’s foul play and sent me to intercept the assassin.
Perseus- My name is Perseus.
(He then bends over pulling the arrow from the man’s skull, wipes it clean of blood, and sheathes it.)
Perseus- The Ocean is about a quarter mile away. Let’s move.
(Without another word they set of again to finish their quest.)
Orpheus and Perseus break through the thicket and onto the beach. It was only now they considered a new unthought-of problem. They had no boat.)
Orpheus-No, no this cannot be! All is lost! Dear father of the cloud, please help us!
Perseus- Orpheus, look!
(To their left sat an overturned boat that had recently washed ashore.Upon inspection they found a note from none other than Hade’s wife herself.)
I’ll spend another six months down here before I let him stop you.
Perseus- It’ll only fit one you go.
(With a nod, Orpheus climbs in the small boat and Perseus pushes him out to sea. It is there he comes upon a dreadful yet magnificent scene. The sun dipped blood red into a black ocean, while sharks circle a small rock of coral protruding from the ocean, letting their fins glide mysteriously back down into the deathly still ocean only to emerge again somewhere else. Orpheus begins his song.)
(When Orpheus returns to Mount Olympus he is rewarded with applause from all. The party has already started and Apollo and Poseidon are merrily drunk,while Perseus is jousting in the far corner. Zeus also rewards Orpheus with a new instrument, with which he goes around playing music for all to hear.)