(A scene in a Vineyard blooming with ripe purple and green vines, it is a cool morning and a lazy zephyr sails through day).
Characters: Mrs Bell( Vineyard Owner)
:Ralph (Mrs Bell’s Brother)
Enters Mrs Bell;
Mrs Bell:(stretching). Ooooh what a fine morning this is a day worthy for I to kiss my kids. A joy in which all my labors slumber.(Picks a bunch of grapes kisses it and smells it).Tell me ooooh sweet kids, where did you borrow a scent so sweet. Scent that knows the language my nostrils speak?(Eats one) Ummm and where did you this sweet taste get, that touches my taste buds into a trance.
(Silence as she walks around, eating grapes slowly admiring them)
Enter Ethan and Maria:(speaks and Mrs Bell does not hear or see them yet)
Ethan: There strays our lady again, a lost soul. She again in her vine journeys journeys and gets lost. Lost soul ,lost soul.
Maria: Silence Ethan,(walking to him) for what is in a man’s heart to know why a woman rejoices unless if wise and witty.
Ethan: What wit and wisdom does one need to note madness,.It is sad that our lady strays, look at how she kisses vines and pace up and down like a long lost ram.
Maria: Poor Ethan, being a man really took your mind, look at how now you pick confusion than wit. Where is your wit to help you picture this. A love that a woman can’t even give to a man, Sweet Mrs Bell oooh is in love.(Recites lines loudly)
“Sweet Mrs Bell
Listen to your inside knell.
Let your soul fall,
Stretch this feeling tall.
Fall in immeasurable love,
Give it your loving halve.
Like a dove fly
If you can please try
Fall in love
And your heart to vineland take with”
(Ethan laughs out loud shaking his head, and Mrs Bell turns)
Mrs Bell: I command that laugh be quiet, for it is here that I find peace in my shrine. It is here that all worries halt. My man ails, I never felt the warmth of a child’s mouth on my nipple, nor have I ever sang or rock a toddler to sleep. I here have kids, my vines my comfort.
Maria: Here stands a fool that cracks at a sight soothing, a view that sight never turns down.
Ethan: (Feeling bad) Pardon me dear Mrs, It is the day’s fairness that fondles my joy. I smell in it love, It tickled the laugh out of me with its sweetness. Thus I am loving it Mrs please forgive my misbehavior.
Mrs Bell: Ethan never have I heard you mention love,.(Stares in surprise) I see, I see. (Loudly) So is it that you and Maria make love to the beauty of my shrine that now opens your heart.
(Walks to Ethan and whisper in his ear). :
“Now that love has you,
And pictures you see true.
Let your manly heart melt,
In Summers like these
Like a daffodil dance
To this day so sweet.”
(Holds Ethan’s hand)
Mrs Bell :Ethan my boy,
Embrace love’s touch.
Maria:(Blushing) If ever I am to make love in this shrine. I promise it shall be with the vines. The purple they wear touches me in places forbidden. I walk to it every day’s wake, for the sun’s shine on them plays sweet tunes to my soul. A sweet scent that them with me share is just but priceless..
Ethan: Never will I touch a woman who dreams I lack wit,.It is me who tenders these vines that now you give your souls. I saw them bud and now they fruit. I pour love, wit and charm in them, it is my sweat that these bad fields teal, It is through my hoe that this landscape is wrought.
Maria: I dream not such a dream, when I sleep in bed I don’t dream.it is from your tongue’s market that I buy such thoughts. I can’t help but fall in love here on a day that I reverie hard gazing at this endless yard, A haven of my dreams and of my madam too.(Walks to Mrs Bell) My Lady Mr Bell calls.
Mrs Bell: What desires my old man, where is he that we can this sweet scene share.? Now he sleeps there hopeless,(Silence) Memories of when we went to Nederburg with him ages. It is there where we fell in love with vines, two Souls lost in a love for vines. As they budded our love for them there budded. Loving Mr Bell wrote me lines I remember(Looks up)
Look at this field that buds,
A new life after the war ends
Let’s kiss and our feelings too
And walk green paths
Unending, and pray
So that we never part”
Maria: Such fine lines, how sweet and touching. It is from these wells(Mr Bell) that poor Ethan should go and drink. For I believe there you shall yield wit and charm in abundance.
Ethan: The measure you use for my wit and charm is crooked. My word can battle resistance and enslave loneliness. I have a mind agile and a tongue swift that can talk a tortoise out of his shell. It takes my mind to find fault in Mr Bell’s lines.
Mrs Bell: (surprised) How so?
Ethan: Never did he mention vines, never did he tell you how much he loves you. What is talk without specific meaning? Why just the green of the paths and not the vine’s colors. Why talk about parting when it shall never be an option in love?.
Mrs Bell: Do you scorn at lines that stayed in my soul for ages? Do you spit at lines that kept me going for ages as my man away with his cancer journeys? I stayed because of them, for I married all,,, my life, vines and all.( Holds face)
Maria:(Sensing the tension) Let’s to Mr Bell walk madam. He calls again. I hear his bedside bell cry.
Mrs Bell:( Walks away with Maria shouting loudly) Harness the horses in you Ethan. For when I come back we shall ride this terrain of my lines till we reach lands of agreements.
Ethan: What is this that I have done, my lips have lost course again. Who am I to find fault in my master’s lines. That from his heart bled like the Nile.
Ralph: Top of the morning Eth, why does my sister blast such a trumpet on this peaceful morning?
Ethan: My lips and tongue has poked her sleeping anger. It is raining in my palms and my body flows in uncomfortable ripples.
Ralph: Did you break a vine tree again young Eth?
Ethan: No sir I bend her reason to loving vines if I may say,.
Ralph: So help you God, for her curse shall be the song you hear in your sleep until you sleep to wake no more.
Ethan:(Pacing up and down)
(Enter Maria running and calling) Ethan make haste run Mrs Bell calls.
(Ethan and Maria both exit and walk into a room where Mrs Bell sits next to a sick Mr Bell)
Mrs Bell: Listen to my man’s tongue, for he says now he wants only you.
(Exists Mrs Bell and Maria)
Mr Bell:( in a sickly whisper) I hear you find fault in my lines, boy?(Laughs and coughs) I see old Juliet done did a good job with you.
Ethan(Leaning forward)Mom surely did, God Bless her Soul.. Now Father for your time is running out. When is she (Mrs Bell) going to know that I am your son?When? when now you like dust the cancer blows you away?I tend the field to keep her dream, but mine long failed.It is only after she knows that my ship will dock.
Mr Bell: Some things in life are best left covered. These are lines that will rip her being hood apart. I wrote all I need to write down and all is well and shall be. Let peace be and hate shall depart your doorsteps. Silence at times is a cure of a gangrene of pain and lifetime hate.(Mr Bell sleeps in silence)
Mr Bell: Now walk in peace and keep that head up,(Raises hand and gives him gesture to go, Ethan exits)
(Curtain closes and Opens on scene outside where Mrs Bell and Maria stand)
Ethan:(Walking to them) Forgive my foul tongue, I lack wit and reasoning at times. I have a fight with my soul.
“ I have known not love,
My mother departed early
Leaving for me a puzzle.
Which I solved and to
Share here is death.
I lived on word,
And still do.
Sadly it is now word,
That I just can’t stand
But the ship it uses to ferry us”
Maria: There walks away a good man,
Dressed in a wrecked being. If I could I would hammer him into shape like Keats. Love him if I could and make him know love like Shakespeare!(Smiles blushingly)
Mrs Bell: Love is a common song hearts sing. Tears are instruments to play and feelings are too. We know he is good but uncut. Here I dress in age dear Maria, I give Ethan to you as a diamond. Cut him and polish him to your desired shape.(Walks away a bit)
(Sobs) For it is to you that we plan to give to this dream.
Maria:(Surprised) Madam this is an honor my reveries never took me to explore.
Mrs Bell:(Wiping off tears)Walk with me Maria, let’s go milk the goats.
(Both exist, enter Randal walking by) What is it with this garden, that from it all who enter it exits sad.(Looks around) If only all these people knew how we buried my sister’s aborted child here..