• Mark Blickley

"Troupe 621"


SOUL CHARACTERS:

EUGENE-- Executed Texan Thanksgiving Day serial killer, dressed in his exterminator's overalls but with his prison number taped across his chest, # 6-21. The seat of his overalls have black burn marks from the juice of the electric chair.

SISTER SALLY-- A Nun who choked to death due to premature transubstantiation during administration of sacred sacrament. She wears a nun’s habit, conservative skirt.

DIDI-- A Dominatrix who died in a car crash when she mistook severe whiplash for a broken neck. She’s dressed provocatively in black with long boots clutching a riding crop or some sort of whip-like object.

RALPH-- A Chubby High School Cutter killed by a festering infection from hidden, self-inflicted stomach wounds. He’s dressed like a nerd.

TIME: ETERNITY

PLACE: REINCARNATION HOLDING CENTER

The stage is dark but we hear agitated and frightened whispering of three souls destined to become bed bugs, bewildered by their new location. One by one a darkened soul, wearing a white light necklace, wanders across the stage. The audience sees individual lights until they all bump into each other, creating a collective unit of light, a Soul Cluster of translucent bulbs. When this is achieved EUGENE’S boom voice shouts:

EUGENE’s Voice

(Off stage mimicking Soul Train’s opening TV theme including musical riff.)

It’s a SOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUL Cluster of Light!

Lights come up on the three souls destined to become bed bugs, huddled together. When they see each other they quickly react to this accidental intimacy. DIDI pulls away, ashamed of having her fear exposed. SISTER SALLY pulls away in horror at being hugged by Ralph.

RAPLH

Who said that?

DIDI

What the hell is a soul cluster?

SISTER SALLY

(Drops to her knees, crosses herself)

Saints save us that hell is not where we are!

DIDI

(Looks down at Sister Sally, smirks.)

Get up, honey. I didn’t command you to kneel….(snaps whip) yet!

RALPH

Please don’t hurt her!

DIDI

Are you telling me what I can or cannot do, Chubby!?

SISTER SALLY

(rises)

Leave the lad be.

RALPH

(cowering)

Shouldn’t we be friends?

DIDI

Where the fuck are we?

SISTER SALLY

Judging by your foul mouth I would expect it would be the inside of a toilet.

DIDI

Hey sister. Stop being so uptight. I got a riddle for you to calm you down—what’s black and white and red all over?

RALPH

A newspaper?

DIDI

Nope. A menstruating nun.

RALPH

(Extends hand to Sister Sally.)

My name’s Ralph.

SISTER SALLY

Pleased to make your acquaintance, Ralph. (Shakes hand) I’m Sister Sally. I work…worked as a lay sister (Didi giggles, Sally turns to her) watch it! I

worked as a lay sister at the convent of St. Joseph the Betrothed Church of Perpetual Martyrdom.

RALPH

Pleased to meet you, Sister Sally. What’s a lay sister?

SISTER SALLY

A lay sister serves the physical needs of cloistered nuns, cook and clean for them, so they can spend their time praying for humanity.

RALPH

How generous of you!

SISTER SALLY

It’s a humbling avocation, Ralph.

DIDI

We got something in common, Sister Sally. Name’s Didi but I’m known professionally as Mistress Mischief (snaps whip) and my avocation is humbling men. I once worked at a joint called Our Lady of Perpetual Misery, but I wasn’t nobody’s lay sister.

RALPH

I’m a….was a senior at Theodore Roosevelt High in the Bronx.

SISTER SALLY

You didn’t graduate, Ralph?

RALPH

I was supposed to this Spring.

DIDI

(Sneers)

You dropped out? Couldn’t cut it, Ralphie?

RALPH

I keep telling everybody my name’s Ralph, not Ralphie. And I cut it fine. Real fine.

RALPH pulls up his shirt to expose the red lined cutter’s scars on this fake pillow belly. SISTER SALLY gasps, but DIDI walks over and admiringly runs her finger across this red scars.

DIDI

Hmmmmm……You are a fine cutter, Ralphie —these are strong, lovely lines.

SISTER SALLY

(Crosses herself.)

Saints alive! What kind of pain could cause you to hurt yourself like that, Ralph?

DIDI

I suspect it was the pain of pleasure, Sister.

SISTER SALLY

For the love of sweet Jesus, don’t go mocking this poor lad’s affliction, Didi!

RALPH

No, Sister Sally. There’s some truth to what Didi says. (SISTER SALLY crosses herself again.)

DIDI

Come of it, Sally! If anyone can understand the beauty of exquisite torture it’s gotta be a nun. Don’t you girls spend most of your day kneeling in front of a hot, totally buff near naked man oozing blood you love to swallow in cups? What the hell’s more erotic than that?

SISTER SALLY

(Waves hand in disgust at Didi)

You’re one sick strumpet, Didi. You could never understand the difference between love and lust. Explain this truth of yours, Ralph.

RALPH

Cutting myself does make me feel good. My shrink said it releases addictive endorphins. And put me in control of my pain instead of the bullies who tormented me every day.

DIDI

Of course it does.

RALPH

You know, Sister, bloodletting is an ancient practice. People used to do it to cure themselves.

SISTER SALLY

Pagans and barbarians did that, Ralph! Not the children of God!

DIDI

Hahahahaha! You’re a virgin who wears a wedding ring married to a naked dead man with multiple wives that you kneel down in front of, how many

times a day, so he can come inside of you? And you got the balls to call others barbarians?

RALPH

Stop trying to bully and belittle Sister Sally, Didi! Stop being cruel! This must be hell because even in death I can’t escape the bullies!

SISTER SALLY

(Pats Ralph)

Don’t let her kind upset you, dear. She’s so drenched in sin you can smell her fear.

DIDI

That stink isn’t my fear. It’s your bullshit!

SISTER SALLY

(Turns her back to Didi)

How did you die from these cuts, Ralph? Those scars don’t look that deep.

RALPH

I hid my wounds from everyone except at my final visit with my shrink, but it was too late. The infection festered to the point that antibiotics were useless.

I was in coma for weeks.

DIDI

Talk about smell!

SISTER SALLY

What was it like being in a coma that long before the Lord called you?

RALPH

I discovered one really interesting truth

DIDI

Which is?

RALPH

The shock of birth is much greater than that of death.

SISTER SALLY

(Crosses herself)

Blessed be the Lord. It’s the comfort of the Holy Mother at the time of our death. Ah, then it must mean you weren’t a homosexual, right son?

RALPH

I wasn’t anything, Sister Sally except a victim of brutality. Guys beat me because I was weak and girls ignored and humiliated me because I was fat and quiet. I would have accepted love anywhere it was offered, Sister.

SISTER SALLY

Be careful, Ralph. Don’t let the evil of others sprinkle the words of sexual deviancy onto your tongue. When I was a child I was told I was filled with beauty and enough talent to become a Broadway star. But I renounced all material reward in service to my Creator. But no one acknowledges the contributions of religious women. And our numbers are dwindling. We can’t reproduce so we must recruit and are unable to replenish our ranks in this time of wickedness.

DIDI

“They can’t reproduce so they must recruit.” Isn’t that a gay slogan, Sis?

SISTER SALLY

May the devil cause you to choke on the filth spewing out of your mouth. The last nun standing will be the one who shall turn off the light of truth. (She holds her hand over her cluster of light).

RALPH

Did you die quickly, Sister?