by Kasturi Pananjady, Age 17, India
Artwork by Journey Meyerhoff
The drama prompt for January was to write a monologue on “the beginning.”
THE SHADOW AND THE LIGHT
A man in a pub.
Two more, bartender. Don’t look at me like that, man; when all this is over, I shall pay you back in full and more. Or shall I put you down as––what is the word––unsympathetic? Good man. (drinks) Where were we, lad? Think me a fool? I have seen it. I have seen them stripped of the metal that brother bartender values so highly. I have ripped crowns off the brows of princes, spat their rubies back at them, and dared them to call themselves men. (drinks) Quiet, quiet I say! What say you, my men? (drinks) You there, by the door––yes sir, you; run after the royal scouts and assure them that those crown-less heads were still attached to their bodies when I left them, broken and weeping. (drinks) Enough! This is not a time to make merry. I––wait––I said wait! What is that sound? (drinks) Oh! ‘Tis the sound of tolerance. The King is come. Look eastward, my brothers. The fire of a hundred torches is come to quench the blaze of half a dozen suns. You stand at the threshold of the shadow and the light, and I will not presume to tell you which is which. (drinks) Bartender, my glass is empty.