It seeems I can't blog and rehearse, so I am resigned to doing just the one blog per week until the production is over. I'd forgotten just how much fun doing live theatre is - and it helps to have a really competent cast about you. I do have concerns about a couple of the actors, but am reassured that all will be well on the night.
I am so happy to be a New Zealander. We noisily celebrate not winning a football game in South Africa, and then go all grumpy because we only beat a visiting Welsh rugby team by 30 points. The poor old All Blacks can't win. Well, they do win, constantly, but the nation's made up of Couch Coaches, all of whom know they could have got another 15 points out of what they see as being a very average team. Sigh.
A couple of months back I commented about a TV programme, some 20-odd years ago, making much of a stolen Ford Cortina. Now our media is banging on drearily about a few MPs spending a few hundred bucks on their Government credit card - and then paying the amount back before anyone found out about it. If that's the worst that can happen here, we're doing all right.
Mind you, I am not at all pleased that one MP booked up a bunch of porn on his card. I don't mind - as a taxpayer - paying for the odd Scotch and Soda, but I'm not at all comfortable paying for a man's orgasms. That is beyond tacky.
Have fun, one and all: I am going to read my lines again...
READING: "Strangers In Paradise" - a remarkable graphic novel series, written and drawn by Terry Moore. It's rare that a man can write about women this accurately and sympathetically.
LISTENING TO: Janis Ian, "Between The Lines". Great rainy Sunday morning music.
Time for more PAPER HEROES...
It was time to eat: time for the briefing.
5:00pm, Pacific Time, November 5th, 2386.
Charles raised his voice, encouraging all the Sleepers to eat and drink their fill. “This is the year 2386, gentlemen. But you’ll know that.” He can see in their eyes they do. He also detects puzzlement, mystification: they don’t know why they know what they know. Crayne has some idea, thinks Charles. All, then, is well. “There’s plenty of food and drink: your bodies need it. Especially water. You will be a little dehydrated. Please drink. Please help yourself.” He went and spoke quietly, urgently with Blunt, who shook his head, made a savage chopping motion with his hands. Charles spoke again, pleading. Crayne could see the dynamics in the room were changing: where all the power had been with the curious Charles, it was now shifting to the tall Rifleman. He smiled to himself: he could live with that. For the moment.
As the Sleepers went to the buffet tables, four more tables rose from the floor, with four chairs to each. Hanno filled two more plates, and sat and stuffed his mouth with ham. “Who’re you again?” he grunted.
“John Prester. Do you know what’s going on?”
“Crom! If only I did. Then I’d know who to kill!” The half-naked barbarian laughed, and shovelled more food into his mouth.
“Where did you die, John Prester?” asked the giant Cimmarion.
“Cambodia,” said John Prester. “Yes. At a monastery. I was laying gold leaf onto the Buddha. I think I fell. Yes. I fell. And you?”
“Yes. A jungle country. Gentle, and hot. Good for a man’s spirit.”
“Ah,” said Hanno. “This is not the first time I’ve died, you understand. I have known sorcerers who could do this sort of thing on a spare Moon Day. But I thought I was gone, this time! I was in the mountains, alone, and the Snow Gods caught me! Ha! Stupid!’ The big man laughed, spraying ham across the table.
“I’ve always thought you were more legend that reality,” said Prester.
The big man laughed again, drained a tumbler of water, and replied, “Some of my enemies thought the same. Until they died.” He slapped the table. “Eat! Drink! You’ll feel better.”
Charles turned from Blunt, then back again. Quite the little dance, thought Crayne. Blunt then shrugged his agreement, and clapped his hands for silence.
His voice, though low, carried to everyone in the room. Charles, Cienwyn, Adam, and Paulus stepped to the side of the room, crossed their arms, and listened.
“My name, as you know, is Andrew Blunt. My companion is Sean Whistler. Like you, we are dead, yet we are here. How this was done, I don’t yet know. Hanno – your gods would have been proud of this. Six dead men, all soldiers, warriors, brought together to some strange time. We have been given some knowledge and understanding of each other, and a little more to help us through these first hours. When we sleep we shall learn more. How this is to be done I do not know: our guardians assure me that it is so. I have been chosen to lead. We shall see. I do now know where I am being asked to lead you, or why.”
Prester was thunderstruck. Each passing second brought more memories, a cascade of memories and knowledge he couldn’t understand, a waterfall of data, most of which made no sense to him. Could he have killed like that? His mind was flooded with blood, the steel, eruptions of violence, and shattered bodies. He also saw, somewhere in the mist of incarnadine fury, a smiling face. Vast, wide, calm. A Buddha. He also saw things strange and terrible: his country, that he had invested so much in, had become a synonym for terror. Drums of horror beat at him, mingled with pictures of hope. He saw the past, and couldn’t understand it. He had been given a glimpse of the future, and he was now living beyond that time. Where he stood now was a place of terror, of fear, of – but every time the emotions threatened to overcome him, he calmed down, and stood distant from it all. He thought of the heroin highs some of the kids in his platoon had sought, and which he had experimented with.
Prester shuddered. He had seen so much. But nothing about this meeting had been hinted at.