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Guest of the Night

Chapter Text

(The setting is 18th century France. A disheveled looking young Sir wanders the filthy streets.)

Tarrare: Mine own stomach is in knots. I cannot survive on garbage high-lone, I might not but findeth some sustenance to keepeth me through the night.

(Enter Baron Percy, dressed in night attire.)

Percy: Who is't art thee young sir, and wherefore art thou slith'ring on mine own porchstep liketh a w'rm? Thou art filthy, and thin. Thy skin is whey-face beneath the moonlight. Cometh f'rward so I might gaze upon thee clear.

(Tarrare comes forward.)

Percy: Agh! Thy visage is covered in blood and dirt! Prithee, wh're has't thee been this bitt'r night?

(Enter Gluttony, who begins to pull young Tarrare’s hair.)

Gluttony: Wh're has't we been? Wh're has't we been the young fellow asks! Bid that gent wh're thee has't been mine own Tarrare! We has't been in the woods, eating the fowl of the earth and the creatures yond crawleth! But we wanteth m're! M're!

Tarrare: Prithee kind gent, has't m'rcy on me, f'r mine own young mind is full of troubles and woe! A beast yond liveth in mine own stomach, yond demon craves f'r sustenance, yet can nev'r beest did sate! I has't been in the woods hunting f'r birds, and eating those folk raw out of want of woodstove.

(Percy, misunderstanding and thinking the young Tarrare is simply of mortal hunger, invites him in.)

(A woman of young years dressed in flowing scarlet robes follows Tarrare and his Gluttony into the stead of Baron Percy.)

(Her name is Love.)

Percy: Doth thou has't a nameth, mine own guest of the night?

(Percy begins to prepare bread and cheese for young Tarrare, as well as a goblet of milk.)

Tarrare: I am Tarrare. And thou art a surgeon. I am illit'rate, yet i did behold the symbol of valorous health and pharmacy in thy window, though I doth not knoweth thy title.

Percy: I am Monsieur Percy, and thou art right, I am forsooth a surgeon.

(The Lady Love wraps her scarves around the neck of demon Gluttony, and chokes him to death.)

Tarrare: Thy eyes art quaint Percy. Thy visage is soft liketh yond of a mistress.

(Enter Percy’s own demon. Woe.)

Woe: What shall thee sayeth Percy? To this man of filth and lacking valor company. Shall thee bid that thee cannot guaranteeth his salvation? Bethink of the countless souls thee has't hath lost Monsieur Percy. Thou art pathetic, and undeserving of the love of this saint of the streets, this-

(Woe is silenced with a yelp as the fair Lady Love’s scarves gag him, and suffocate him slowly.)

Percy: Monsieur Tarrare, although mine own knowledge of the human corse is sharp as a blade, mine own wit is as dull as stone. Forgive mine own boldness of charact'r, dearest Tarrare, but thee seemeth to lift mine own woes from my shoulders. Nev'r before has't I heard such tender words grace a sir's lips.

(Tarrare seems to have no reaction, save his fearful gaze softening.)

(Percy reaches out to gently touch the young Tarrare’s cheek, numb with cold, to which Tarrare coils away from.)

Percy: Tarrare, mine own dearest guest, wherefore doth thee stiffen at mine own touch? I assure thee, though I am artful in my craft, tis not my wont to hurt thee!

(Baron Percy chuckles warmly.)

Tarrare: Alas, Percy, my host, I am ashamed for mine own visage is coat'd in the blood of wild fowl, and impure creatures that crawleth upon the dirt…

(The demon Woe and the demon Gluttony are now lifeless at Percy and Tarrare’s feet, and Lady Love surrounds the two lonely souls, basked in golden lamplight.)

Percy: Then thee shalt bathe and rest thy weary feet in mine own hospice, Tarrare, my guest of the night.

(Exit Percy, arm rested around Tarrare.)

{End Scene.}