mine own king [open] Dec 7, 2019 9:16:50 GMT -5
Post by cameron on Dec 7, 2019 9:16:50 GMT -5
He’d spent years wandering the woods, between the same trees, crunching the same scattered pine cones in the same worn-down boots. His legs grew tired as his hair grew long. His performances had altogether stopped.
He kept to himself.
Sometimes he flipped through scripts, reliving the tales he’d loved from his mother’s lap, but the hope to bring them alive had no wick left to burn. Before they’d called him to stage (or to bartop), the chorus of the greats’ best works chanting his refrain, but their voices now were absent, lips sewn shut like that one tribute, the girl from - oh, shit, he didn’t know, ten games past? Eleven? Years were muddled like the dirt both under his feet and smeared across his skin. Time was more and more elusive as the bright, just-out-of-reach future slipped further and further away, as its flame dissipated to nothing, to dark, to empty. Too empty. He shoved most scripts back into his satchel before ever reading the first line.
The last attempt at showcasing his passion was... ill-received. “None ‘a that shit,” he’d barely heard over “what fire is in mine ears? Can this be true? Stand I condemn'd for pride and scorn so much,” accompanied by a quick shove. Duke fell off the bartop, left boot sticking in leftover gin, twisting as he fell into the table of a particularly burly bargoer and her various suitors who all took to swinging, and fists were flying overhead as he crawled out the back door and out of the edges of district nine.
It took weeks to walk off that twisted ankle, and in that time, he sank into the mud, into himself.
Months passed, and he kept walking. Kept sinking. Kept to himself.
The routine was monotonous and drawn-out. He was free, and in his freedom he chose to wither.
And Duke Friendly died.---
He was reborn one day late autumn, when his worn-down boots crunched different pine cones past different trees, and for what felt like the first time in ages he saw something new. Something exciting. His tired legs stopped and he pushed his long, disheveled hair behind one ear.
Great stone steps overgrown with grasses and dandelions and wildflowers in a full semicircle led down to a clearing, and his mouth slipped into an unfamiliar grin. He blinked, twice, checking his vision and his mental state, before dropping his bag at the top and lunging down steps two at a time till he reached the stage of this forgotten amphitheater.
He would perform again, he decided. Right then. Right there.
Words filled his head, hundreds he hadn’t used in forever, but they were all still there, had merely been sleeping, dormant in the darkness, and the wind seemed to pick up around him. The sun shone directly on him, in the light of early afternoon, but he didn’t care if he was caught by whitecoats when his life had just begun again. Duke spun, his hair falling from behind his ear and his arms outstretched. Warmth mingled with the words.
He planted his feet and parted his lips. “All the infections that the sun sucks up from bogs, fens, flats, on Prosper fall and make him by inch-meal a disease!” Eyes were wide, staring off into the sky. “His spirits hear me and yet I needs must curse. But they'll nor pinch, fright me with urchin—shows, pitch me i' the mire, nor lead me, like a firebrand, in the dark out of my way, unless he bid 'em.” He crossed stage left, the warmth finally filling his core, staying lit wickless. This was what he needed. This was what he needed to stay alive. “But for every trifle are they set upon me; sometime like apes that mow and chatter at me,” he was alive, “and after bite me, then like hedgehogs which lie tumbling in my barefoot way and mount their pricks at my footfall,” he was alive, “sometime am I all wound with adders who with cloven tongues do hiss me into madness.” He was alive.
And he wouldn’t go back to the meaningless meandering he’d festered in, he swore it. There could be nothing worse.
Sound shocked him, coming from the top of the stone steps, what could be either cheering or alerting others of his presence. But his heart was still full and his mind still teeming with words. This island’s mine.
“Who the fuck are you?” were the words he so carefully chose. He was a performer, not a playwright, for good reason.
ooc: title and quotes from shakespeare's the tempest and much ado about nothing