At rise, MELISSA reads a love note. She is absolutely smitten.
...time matters not, nor space, nor age nor place. Moments are molasses as I wait to set mine tired eyes on thee. Even those shunned to scorch the earth are not as pleased for nature’s elixir as I will be pleased to absorb yournst soul. Forever yours but soon to touch, Todd.”
Oh, did he really write that? I am smitten. My love Todd arrives at any moment. My love, my true love, pitted against his best friend in sporting battle – forced to maul and maim his own trusted companion. Lord, I know I have spoken ill of Paul in the past, of his smarm, his gait, his general complexion and demeanor, the way he breathes with his mouth and it’s really wet, that thing he does where he slowly leans to the side if he’s standing in one place for a while, his breath, ugh just thinking of it makes me heave, the way he says “you know” every three words KILL ME -- but to hear of his defeat and horrific execution has – it truly has – put a tear beneath my brow. But now, t’will be marry, t’will and all! Happy happy endings with my true love Todd!
MELISSA My soul flares for its lost appendage, the appendage perhaps carried by this voice I hear yonder. YES MY LOVE! YES OH YES!
MELISSA Uhh -- what of the execution? Of the games? What of my love Todd?
Right. About that. So, Todd was beating me fair and square in the underground boxing match—and you know, it was “to the death”, so you know I was feeling pretty crappy, and – you know, I’ll be a sonofabitch, T-Money went ahead and tripped on the stairs, just tripped and fell face first, and like the steps went inside his face, like caved it in – BLAM – like, super gross, like seriously right in front of me, like this far away from me.
PAUL Dead. Super fucked. It was horrible, my lady. Really gross. Anyhoo, since he died, I won, and in his dying breath, he said I could – have you. So... yeah...
PAUL We are to be wed at once. Kiss me. Kiss me, you milky fool.
MELISSA Ahem – just – may I – an aside, please?
Oh churl! My hopes, my glorious dreams, dashed like a desperate rat in a storm-ravaged mead hall. My heart implodes. ‘Tis a pity for a love so strong to die, and fall betwixt the lap of such a sweaty, mouth-breathing oaf.
Damn. She still looks foiine. My lady did you receive mine letters?
MELISSA The letters? The love letters? Were from you? You?
PAUL My heart can’t talk sometimes, so I write. I didn’t want to rock the boat so I signed them as Todd. But they were birthed through my fingers. You know, sweaty, pulsating, moist fingerbirth.
(choking back disgust)
PAUL What say you? Elope amidst the gaming parlors? My mom and grandma are gonna live with us.
Another aside, my (gulp) darling?
PAUL You do you, girl.
‘tis hopeless. My disgust is only stifled by my crestfallen brow. Shall I end it? I’ll just end it. There, it’s settled, I shall end it all. One last glorious declaration of my jilted romance. Todd, I choke myself for thee.
She chokes herself.
PAUL My dear, before you do anything all girly and emotional, I must inform you ... of my family’s vast wealth. I hope to divide my kingdom among those most dear to me, you know. Those who truly love me for me. (he coughs, it’s gross)
MELISSA Vast wealth, you say?
PAUL Uncountable wealth. I’m, like, crazy loaded. Describe your boundless love for me, and the kingdom South of Market Street shall be yours.
I love thee no less, nor no more than my obligation to your lineage.
PAUL Is that all?
MELISSA That is all the love I am capable of giving.
PAUL Kind of a crappy declaration.
MELISSA ‘tis the truth, my Lord. ‘tis all I can offer you.
PAUL I see what you’re doing. You’re trying to manipulate me. Do you want me to lose my mind? Do you enjoy seeing me flushed with chaotic despair? I’m insane with anger! I made my feelings clear through those notes! I told my scribe you were super hot, and he translated that into characters of unrequited longing. Characters which you fell in love with!
MELISSA Your scribe? The words were not from you?
PAUL I mean, yeah, they were from me. My heart is pure. I didn’t kill Todd by cheating, either, no matter what anyone says. I’m the victim and I love you. Tell me you love me.
MELISSA I love thee as much as I must.
MELISSA I love thee with severe reservations.
PAUL KISS ME! Kiss me or I will stomp and shout and tell my Mommy and have you arrested as a witch!
MELISSA Is that still a thing?
PAUL It is if I say so!
(beat, change in demeanor)
I can see now there is no way to fight it. My true feelings. Because I’m scared to be hurt again. But I do -- want thee. Acne and all. I want to run my fingertips over your patchy back hair. I want groom the single brow beneath thine jagged hairline. Let me explore you.
PAUL Well, if you insist.
Close thine eyes.
PAUL Oh, shit yeah.
MELISSA How do you like it, my King?
As you wish.
He drops his drawers. MELISSA positions herself upstage of him, turns him to face her.
She removes a knife from her costume disappears sexily behind him.
PAUL Oh wow. I haven’t felt that before. It feels – pointy.
You like that?
PAUL I think so. It’s new. WHOA!
Melissa emerges with one of Paul’s severed hands.
PAUL Hey! I masturbate with that hand! Are you saying I’ll never have to touch myself again because you will always be mine?