Cursed- a short play

[6:25am, Jeji village]

Hunter: (smiling, walking towards the woods, with chewing stick in mouth)

Tis duty, old and tired

 Of luck and trial

Tis morning still

Fresh as the spring on the hill

Green as the stick in my lip

Renews my faith and limb

Of a certainty..

Today’s catch is big (smiles broadly)

Lo! Voices sing to me

From the woods deep

Could they be seducing me

To a generous feast?

[A bird sits on a large tree, overlooking the mountains and thick jungle in the distance]

Bird: It’s such a beauty indeed

This place beyond the hills

With it’s lush, green leaves

And big, old bounty trees

That together protects itself

It’s cozy branches and juicy fruits

It’s wild creatures, carnivorous beasts

From the world and intruders

From domestication and hunters

They remain, hidden away

Nuzzling in the safety of cover and distance

Hunter: (sees bird on a tree)

Such a delicious beauty

Idle and innocent

Calls me to her scent

Oh, I can already

Smell the aroma, brew

Her delicate flesh

All spiced and garnished

In a pot of stew

(Cocks gun, focuses it on bird, about to pull the trigger; but stops as bird turned to face him)

Hunter: (dazed, lowers gun)

Those eyes… those eyes

Are not birds eyes

BOOM! [Gunshots. Bird fell off branch, dead..supposedly]

Hunter: (agitated, rushes to where body laid, scoops bird in his palm gently, sees it’s still breathing)

Stranger: (comes out from hiding)

Hey you!

Give it, would you?

Hunter: (shushes him)

It’s not dead

Let me, I pray thee

Make a bed

I must save it

Stranger: (amazed)

O..kay

Do as thou may

For its still day

I must away (vanishes)

Hunter: (carries bird home; treats it wound and lays it down to rest)

Bird: (stirs awakes, realizes she’s changed back. Looks out the window, sees its dark)

Oh no, I must not be found

Yes! The kind hunter

I shall thank later

He mustn’t see me now

(Ties a clumsy shawl over her unclad body. Opens door an bumps into the hunter with a squirrel in his hand)

Their eyes lock..

Hunter: (lazily strides home; dead squirrel in hand)

For a big day I’d set

But tis what I get

A meagre meal

And a bird to heal (stops short as the door before him flew open to reveal a woman..in his shawl!)

Their eyes lock..

Bird/woman: My name is Jemima

Daughter of Pa Amah

I am under a curse

A crime I know not the cause

A human from dawn to morn

A beast from morn to dawn

Hunter: As little as my faith stands

To bear this tale a small chance

This I knows for sure

Your beauty remains pure

Both in bird form

And human form

Jemimah: Tis not a common joke

Look where the bullet sunk

I admire your method of flatter

And though I delight in this banter

There exists a weightier matter

A short while and I shall cease to suffer

Hunter: (confused) You..you have me lost Mima

Forgive me that I stutter

I still don’t get this matter

How shall you cease to suffer?

Jemima: I wish not to bother

You kind hunter

Bye Sir..

Your deeds I shall forever

Live or die to remember

Till we meet again yonder

Hunter: No no, we haven’t met by chance

Let me now pledge allegiance

To bear your case on my hands

And join in your quest for answers

Jemima: Then must we make haste

Our journey is far west

The cure lies in a buried casket

Must be dug before tomorrow’s sunset

[01:08am. Forest of Jeji]

Jemima: (weak, slurring words)

Let’s make we a camp I plea

For my body is a tired and hungry

My eyes also are dim and weary

At first crow, we’ll wake to journey

[Also tired, he yielded; they found a shed and slept]

[05:50pm. Next day; Jeji west]

Hunter: Alas! We’ve found it

But there’s no time left

I shall begin digging this tomb

For therein shall you find freedom

(Begins shoveling Sand off tomb)

Jemima: (holds his arms, stopping him)

Dig no more my love

Lo! The sun’s no more above

My strength is failing, I’m dying

Let’s not spend my last moment digging

Hunter: (teary-eyed, sobbing)

Nay nay, my Mima

Please, speak no longer

Thine words plunge daggers

At my souls scars

(He pulls her into his arms, weeping like a child)

[They stay that way for minutes that seemed like forever; then she lifted her tearstained face, touched his lips with hers and breathed her last into his mouth before she closed her eyes]

Hunter: Mima! Mima!

No! No! Noooo..(wailing, loudly)

Don’t do this Mima, come back!

Should I cry you the oceans or blood?

Shall I call on the winds or God?

I’ll do whatever, please come back!

[Sits beside her, crying all through the night. Then buries her the next morning]

Hunter: (to himself)

I knew, but couldn’t help falling in love with you Mima

You will continue to live in my heart forever..

~[THE END] ~

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