Chapter 5: Edward

Mathematorium; late evening. Large glass windows allow narrative moonlight to shine through, but half-closed curtains carefully cut off the moonlight before it illuminates more than a sliver of the table, center. Silence.

A pause, long enough for the reader to wonder if this paragraph really has a point. It does.

ELAINE enters through the large, creaky, ornate polished wooden door U.L., followed by EDWARD. They walk quietly, but the previously mentioned silence seems quite shattered. EDWARD allows the door to slam shut as he passes through; the sound echoes magnificently.

ELAINE: You–! She cuts off as she hears her voice break the stillness

EDWARD normal voice: What?

ELAINE throwing her arm down or something to show both annoyance and the lessening of tension: Never mind.

EDWARD moving to curtain, D.L.: Man, it’s dark in here. He pulls the curtain aside businessly

Light illuminates a much larger area of the stage, but still leaves the back half of the table in the dark. A (hardcover) book is lying open and face-down next to a chair, a binding-breaking position. Paradoxically, light from *both sides of the stage has gotten more noticeable. A cool, Fellowship-of-the-Rings-Lothlorien-at-night light is what we’re going for here.*

ELAINE fake British accent, slight smile: Hallo, what’s this?

EDWARD groans slightly. ELAINE picks up the book and the lights flare a bit more. EDWARD glares upward, presumably at TECH PERSON. The lights dim back to their previous intensity. ELAINE appears not to notice.

ELAINE: I can’t even read this.

EDWARD not very supportively, bordering on downright sarcastic: Apparently.

With nothing else to do, EDWARD wanders over to the last window (U.C.) and opens the curtain. A shaft of clear light illuminates the rest of the table, upon which there is…nothing.

EDWARD: Huh. Beat. Why did we come here, anyway?

ELAINE looking up: We’re looking for where the flyer came from.

EDWARD: There’s no one here. He waves an arm only slightly animatedly.

ELAINE mildly exasperated, raising an eyebrow or two: I realize that.

EDWARD: Well, then, why are we–hold on, what’s that? He strides over to ELAINE and pulls a piece of paper out of the book.

ELAINE: Let me see that. She leans over his shoulder as he holds the paper up to the moonlight, facing the audience. (Audience?) It’s a receipt.

EDWARD immediately: A receipt?

ELAINE immediately: A receipt.

Hold for laughs.

ELAINE disgustedly: It’s just a receipt, EDWARD.

EDWARD: Why are you shouting?

ELAINE confused: I didn’t…your name’s just in caps all the time.

EDWARD: Oh. He lapses into silence, letting ELAINE take the paper from his hand. Small town, isn’t it?

ELAINE distracted: Hm?

EDWARD louder: Small town, isn’t it? Pause. I mean, if everyone’s gone at this time of night. He looks at ELAINE and sees the back of the paper. Hey, what’s that?

ELAINE: What’s what?

EDWARD: What?

Pause.

EDWARD: On the back, there. Points. It says “Identity of One chosen not verified.” In green pen.

ELAINE: Hey…

EDWARD annoyed; she doesn’t consider his discovery interesting: What?

ELAINE: This paper is the same color as the flyer…isn’t it?

EDWARD: Um… He takes out the flyer, finds that in the moonlight all of the neon orange has faded. I guess you’re right. A bit disappointed.

ELAINE: Then that means… She gasps. OHMYGOD!

EDWARD winces.

ELAINE: The person who sent us that note was the same person who took the person who disappeared here this afternoon!

EDWARD: Whoa-whoa-whoa, wait. How do you get that?

ELAINE hurriedly: It’s too long to explain right now. We’ve got to find him!

EDWARD: Isn’t it more likely that whoever sent us the paper was reading the book and just used this as a bookmark?

ELAINE firmly or synonym thereof: No.

EDWARD getting into it: Come to think of it, since this is a receipt, why do we assume the paper is related to the person who had the receipt?

ELAINE purposely not listening but not really “ignoring”: It’s a fresh job for us, maybe we’ll get paid if we find the guy. Either guy. Come on!

EDWARD interrupted: What? Where?

ELAINE: Where else can we get information?

EDWARD long-sufferingly, and ELAINE enthusiastically…or so: The tournament!

ELAINE dumps the book back on the table, front cover down, and opens the door.

EDWARD to himself, TECH PERSON, or WRITER: Now we’re mercenaries? This story gets worse all the time.

The two of them exit through the door, U.L. Just to have something happen specifically on the other side of the stage, a rabbit hops from U.R. to D.R. and exits (D.R.)