Saturday, 10 July 2010

Friends in low places 3

The Fourth Murderer was understandably peeved. When he’d signed on for Macbeth he’d been assured of his place at Number Three. But some footling friend of the director had turned up, all lace and pomade, powdered and primped like a Bishop’s favourite in a Molly House. This posturing Ganymede had spent but ten minutes closeted in the director’s cubbyhole, and Third Murderer had slipped down to Fourth Murderer, with scarcely a please and thank you.

He sat sulking in the wings as the gentry and the groundlings massed the other side of the curtain, the orange girls plying their trade, oranges now and hot fumblings later. A burly stagehand eased him to one side as he clambered on stage with a chunk of wayside tree under one arm. Then noticing his forlorn aspect, stopped to enquire, “What’s awry with you, you big Jessie? Someone stolen your hairnet?”

The Fourth Murder tried to maintain a dignified silence, but dejection got the better of him and in a flurry of exposition, he filled the stagehand in on his dwindled fortunes.

The stagehand was a kindly man. “Which one is it?” he whispered, peering into the knot of players as they gathered off stage, ready to depict Banquo’s untimely demise.

“The one with the fat legs and smug expression,” replied the Fourth Murderer spitefully, following that with a stab of his finger.

The stagehand disappeared back stage again and returned with a sturdy length of tree trunk to complete the set. Passing the Third Murderer, he inadvertently caught him a crashing blow to the back of the head with it, felling him instantly and comprehensively.

“What have you done?” the Fourth Murderer stared down, aghast, at the insentient form at his feet.

“A slight rewrite,” muttered the stagehand. “Now make the most of it.”


Oscar Grillo said...

Sorry about the delay, Chips. With weather like this I didn't fancy to seat in front of a very hot computer. And besides I was doing some posters for Ireland. Badly paid, naturally.

Chips said...

Worth the wait, Oscar. And a top of the mornin' to you.

Good luck with the poster business. I'm not sure the Irish have any euros left to cough up.