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Pope's Thing

and the Gays of Vienna

A Play in One Act
by Matti Paasio

When Mehmet saw
what Vlad had done
he couldn't get home fast enough.
Suck on that, skinheads.

Forest of the impaled: 20 000 stakes driven through human bodies, the other end stuck to the ground. Some remains hang higher, some lower. Every one in an advanced stage of decomposition.

An empty bottle rolls to the stage. Enter VLAD and MATTHIAS. The latter is drunk.

MATTHIAS Gimme some money.
VLAD Haven't got any.
VLAD You got the money.
VLAD Cocksucker.
MATTHIAS Hey, hold your horses. Who do you think paid for last night? Man, it was awesome! Lemme ax you a question...
VLAD (looking around) We barely got started.
MATTHIAS What's inside of 16 pale virgins, when you open 'em up, one after another...?
VLAD What?
MATTHIAS Take the Russians, Turks if you must. What's inside? Open 'em, like a letter, and...
VLAD Yeah.
MATTHIAS Pope's pennies.
VLAD What?
MATTHIAS It's a conundrum. A mystery wrapped inside a riddle within a labyrinth. He was here, in spirit, at least, and cash, and now he's gone. With the wind. As is his mind, evidently, so is his money. What should we do?
VLAD Take him down? Put him up?
(They consider this.)
VLAD Why not? I'd love to see his saggy powdered face turn purple red as we inched the pole into his uptight high strung old maiden asshole. Safer than his safe, it must be, and just as highly regarded. Guarded, I mean.
MATTHIAS No. I don't think it's a good idea.
VLAD Why not?
MATTHIAS Finns wouldn't like it.
VLAD Excuse me?

MATTHIAS Their leader is a Catholic. The Finns? The Northern Allies...
(Vlad gets more confused every second.)

Never mind. Come on, let's go. We'll figure out something. Come! There are great things ahead of us.
VLAD You sure?

MATTHIAS They'll talk about us some day. Sing songs, get together... because of this.
VLAD Forget it. You, maybe. They'll remember you... a king, a philosopher.
(Matthias goes, walking backwards.)
A philosopher king. Can't even say it. Me, I'm just a bricklayer... a gardener, really. I tend the forest.

The forest of my own making, the forest of my dreams. Can you even see it from up there? You fly so high... like a raven. A raven king. Who likes too see things diminish. Get smaller, vanish. Me, I like to see things grow. Like the Pope, for instance. If I could just see, witness his composure being shattered by the stake. The truth. Pushed up so high it comes outta his mouth.
(Spits.) All right. Enough of this.
(Vlad wipes his mouth on his sleeve, follows Matthias. Fade to black.)

Mark Lanegan Band - 4AD Session

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