Act 4 Scene1
Cecilia Green’s first day at the Virgin Woods drama academy for cute and attractive children.
Miss Lookaway in the classroom of Virgin Woods drama school just before the students enter for an English lesson. With a shaking hand and tears in her eyes she takes out a bottle of pills from her bag, takes one and swallows it, then considers for a moment and takes another. She closes her eyes for a moment and the shaking seems to stop. But suddenly a slight muscle tick in her right eye is apparent. She looks over a piece of paper with a set of instructions on it, she glances over it then quickly puts it in her bag. She cleans the tears from her eyes and applies powder to cover the redness. She takes a deep breath and readies herself for the entrance of the next class.
Miss Lookaway: Come in my dears! Right eye muscle tick.
The class file in and stand behind their desks.
Miss Lookaway: Sit down class! The students all sit down quietly. Now my dear dears, the first thing I would like to say today is that we have a new student coming to join us another tick. Please stand up Miss Green! At that moment, on cue, Mr Hands walks into the room and engages Miss Lookaway in a fatuous and pointless conversation leaving Cecilia standing up awaiting whatever announcement Miss Lookaway intended to make.
Mr Hands and Miss Lookaway hold their conversation just within earshot of the class, their conversation has been carefully managed to be more or less indecipherably except for a few choice words and sentences which include the phrases ‘very disadvantaged’…. ‘she has some real problems’ ‘what a pity’ ‘hopeless’. All this while Cecilia is still standing, the aim of course is for the students to overhear the conversation and with Cecilia still standing up, for them to draw the conclusion that it is she they are discussing.
Cecilia then makes a decision that she is bored of standing up and is about to sit down, at which point Miss Lookaway turns to her and Mr Hands promptly vanishes out of the room.
Miss Lookaway: Very sorry about that Cecilia. Do forgive me for keeping you standing there, you must be feeling pretty silly. Turning once again to the class Now where was I? Ah yes, little Miss Green.
There are a few titters of amusement at the term ‘little Miss Green’ as Mr Hands and she has anticipated, they had worked hard coming up with a likely nickname they could subtly encourage the students to use, ‘little Miss Green’ with a strong accent on the word ‘little’ and name green was neither too obviously offensive but just slightly ridiculous enough to become something which they anticipated would catch on with the other students.
Miss Lookaway: Now my little Miss Green…. The door now opens a second time in as many minutes and Mrs Woods herself now enters, upon which all the other students stand up.
Mrs Woods: Primly Please be seated.
Cecilia Green herself has also decided at this point to sit down, and as a result Miss Lookaway now enacts the scenario which she had planned for this event, had she remained standing there would have been another, though different contingency used in an attempt to embarrass Cecilia.
Miss Lookaway: turning quickly to Cecilia just as she had sat down Miss Green, not you Miss Green. UP UP UP! There are further titters from the class as Cecilia is once again made to stand up.
Mrs Woods gives Cecilia a critical look, then whispers some unheard nonsense to Miss Lookaway to give the clear impression that she is talking about Cecilia.
Mrs Woods: Our dear little Miss Green, I do hope you’re not too with special emphasis ‘disordered’ by your first day at your new school…. Mrs Woods gives Cecilia a look as if she expects an answer.
Cecilia who smiles sweetly and opens her mouth to reply when Mrs Green talks right over her, revealing after all, that she didn’t expect or require an answer after all.
Mrs Woods: A rhetorical question my dear little Miss Green! A rhetorical question. A question which does not require an answer. Turning to Miss Lookaway Of course, your class are familiar with such terms, but perhaps for Miss Green it might be wise to give her a bit of learning support.
At which point Cecilia interrupts:
Cecilia: No Miss, I know what a rhetoric question is of course I do.
Miss Lookaway frowns and stony faced tries to stare down Cecilia. Mrs Woods makes a public show of turning her whole body from Miss Lookaway, like a Dalek rotating on its wheels, to address Cecilia, if Mrs Woods were armed with an exterminator then it would be pointing at Cecilia and waggling menacingly.
Mrs Green: You must excuse me Miss Green but I was in the midst of a conversation with Miss Lookaway here. You may tell us what you do and with special emphasis know and do NOT KNOW, at a later interval.
At this point Cecilia starts to feel mildly embarrassed.
At which point Mr Hands comes back into the classroom and along with Miss Lookaway and Mrs Woods, make a point of staring at Cecilia in order to produce a sense of discomfort. The students also follow their lead and start to star at Cecilia. This continues for ten seconds in total eerie silence.
Cecilia starts to feel extremely uncomfortable and starts to turn red and she senses a slowly building sense of scorn toward her, building up in the other students. The room starts to seem to buzz with static and she almost sees strange shapes floating around the corner of her eyes like shadows.She suddenly feels very weak indeed and quickly realises that she is in some strange sort of danger and must do something to subvert what is clearly a very bad turn of events for her and a pretty bad way to start her first day.
Cecilia then has a brain wave, she knows that if she sits down now she will be asked to stand up by Miss Lookaway, so she makes a pretence as if to sit down, but she anticipates Mrs Lookaway by a split second and makes a show of suddenly jumping up to attention before Mrs Lookaway has the chance to get her words out. Cecilia then manages to do exactly the same thing a second time, making a show of sitting down, then suddenly springing up again, leaving Miss Lookaway spluttering and confounded and the class laughing riotously. Cecilia looks a picture of innocence.
Cecilia: knowingly as a final provocation May I sit down now? She then turns to the rest of the class milking her moment of glory for all she is worth and putting on an exaggerated cockney accent Y’see I’m gettin’ a bit ‘disordered’ standin’ up ‘ere all on me own.
At which point Cecilia goes from being a new girl and becomes a new class hero. Mr Hand’s plan has badly backfired. Miss Lookaway is beaten but Mr Hands and Mrs Woods try to continue their pretence but the classroom laughter has made them look ridiculous, Mrs Woods is keen not to make an out and out enemy of Cecilia but they also realise that this encounter has been lost so Mrs Woods lays on the charm and bows out gracefully.
Mrs Woods: I’m so sorry Cecilia. We’ve been unforgivably rude, please do sit down, you can tell us about yourself at another time. We had no intention to cause you any discomfort you poor girl, ‘up and down up and down’ like a yoyo. At which point Mrs Woods turns to Miss Lookaways and squarely lays their defeat on her shoulders How can you have this poor girl jumping about on her first day Miss Lookaway?
Cecilia: Innocently That’s a rhetorical question isn’t it miss? I learned them at school. Fellow students smile and Miss Lookaway tries not to appear flustered or angry.
Mr Hands: whispering to Mrs Woods It didn’t work, she’s too strong, Time for plan B.
Mrs Woods: Cecilia, would you go to Mr Hand’s classroom after this lesson. He has your timetable for you. I’m sure you’ll really enjoy it here once you settle in. You have a strong character and that is something we deeply admire here.
Act 4 scene 2
Mr Hands’ classroom.
Mr Hands’ classroom Cecilia knocks on the door accompanied by Miss Lookaway. Waiting outside they hear a command of ‘don’t come in’ The radio is on and playing the present hit by the self styled Prapper, or ‘pop-rapper’ Dr Fresh Prawn. They hear the lyrics coming from Mr Hand’s computer.
Frothing at the mouth, will you eat my oyster? euuuughh
I know you’re young but I am too
And tonight I really want you…
Baby to eat my oyster.
Down in one, like a slow one
I’m the Fresh Prawn, with a little slice
Of lemon, take it down nice
Baby will you eat my oyster?
The radio is abrubtly turned off and the music stops. There is the sound of a zipper being pulled up.
Sweetly from within: ‘Come in’.
Mr Hands: Excuse me, just enjoying one of my favourite little boystar friends. He sure was a very flexible young man a genuine desire to give pleasure and also so willing to take advice on how to succeed, despite initial reluctance to perform. We soon put him right though, and now he can be depended on to perform anywhere anytime and anything.
Cecilia: What kind of things?
Mr Hands: What a question to ask dear Cecilia? Why his songs of course. He was, let me assure you despite your apparent lack of enthusiasm, he was, may I say, a real pleasure to work with here at our little stella nursery here. As I hope you will be too young Cecilia. Addressing Miss Lookaway How sisterly of you Miss Lookaway to chaperone this young innocent. Addressing Cecilia Now I have your new timetable here and a few other bits and pieces for you. Hands a printed sheet of paper to Cecilia. Would you just read through this and sign and date it at the bottom? It’s just a standard school contract which we use here.
Cecilia: reading aloud I agree to wear the mandated Virgin Woods drama school uniform… I agree to be present at school from at least 8:30am each day and to remain on school grounds until 3:30pm. I agree with not to use the IT labs to search for pornographic material… I agree not to disclose information about the Virgin Woods drama school to non students and other members of the community… What does this mean?
Miss Lookaway: Don’t worry about the details Cecilia, you can just sign it. It’s a standard student agreement contract. I’m sure you’re a good girl so you needn’t be too concerned about the details.
Cecilia: Um ok. Signs the contract.
Mr Hands: No, you must sign in blood. I have a pocket knife here somewhere.
Cecilia stares at him.
Mr Hands: chucklng Just a joke my dear Cecilia. You must learn a sense of humour, it’s the key to survival here.
Cecilia. Slightly sardonically Riiight. Starts looking around the classroom at the posters on the walls. Those pictures look good, can I have a look?
Mr Hands: Of course Cecilia, make yourself at home, with dodgy Godfather accent mi casa es su casa, as the Italian Mafia say.
Cecilia: Do they indeed. Well thanks. Cecilia stands up and starts to inspect the children’s pictures on the walls. She goes from one picture to the next, then from one wall of the classroom to the other and starts to become slightly puzzled. Why are all the pictures about aliens. Why are the students drawing pictures of aliens? What lesson is that? What’s that got to do with George Steinbeck and Shakespeare?
Mr Hands: raising his eyebrows, surprised by the question. Well Cecilia, you pull no punches I see. Well let me ask you a question in order to answer yours: you don’t for one second think we’re all alone in the universe do you?
Cecilia: I don’t know sir, but I don’t see what that has to do with GCSE’s.
Mr Hands: With a slightly confidential tone Well maybe you should start thinking about it Cecilia. You see that’s what sets our school apart from the usual bog standard comprehensives from which you have just lately been delivered. We aim to give our students not just an academic education but also a universal one. The world is not a world of paper and ink but of real phenomenon. Mysterious as they are. The universe is full of all sorts of life, we are aware of only the tiniest portion of what is really out there. On our little blue green ball there is all sorts of different animals and all sorts of people, just think what kinds of things are out there in the rest of the universe. Maybe there are even aliens here on earth but they’re hiding so we can’t see them.
Cecilia: incredulously Hiding?
Mr Hands: Warming to the theme But of course. Hiding. Perhaps showing themselves only to those who are can put aside their prejudices and accept them for what they are and are willing to learn from them. They would have so much to teach us wouldn’t they? If you think about it. Only someone rooted in insularity and prejudice would ignore the existence of alien beings and would reject their existence. The ultimate form of racism perhaps the only real racism which can exist because the human race is after all, only one race, but an alien race of different beings….wouldn’t tolerance of them and an attempt of ‘rapprochement’ be the ultimate sign of one having the correct outlook and not being prey to racist attitudes and bigotry?
Cecilia: How do you know they would want to teach us anything? Maybe they’d just come and eat us.
Mr Hands: Well, maybe they would eat some of us. But other people would make themselves useful to them and they wouldn’t eat those people. That’s the way to do it Cecilia.
Mr Hands: If you stick with me I’ll guarantee that it won’t be you who gets eaten.
Cecilia: Raising a single eyebrow Are you ok Sir?
Mr Hands: Just a little joke Cecilia. I keep telling you, you need to seriously develop a sense of humour, it’s the only way to survive.
Cecilia: You keep saying that. It’s a bit creepy.
Mr Hands: It’s only the truth my dear Cecilia. One is entitled to fear the unknown but under no circumstances is one permitted to fear the truth. Pause. Would you like to meet an alien?
Mr Hands: Why not? Prejudice, fear?
Cecilia: Dunno, just seems a lot of hassle. I like simple things.
Mr Hands: You like Simple things eh? Well I’ve got just the thing. How would you like to meet one of our illustrious alumni, a lady by the name of Naomi Spence, better known perhaps as Player Attitude.
Cecilia: You know her?
Mr Hands: My dear girl, I was her mentor. We’re very good friends. Though it seems my alien friends will have to wait then until you have got over the simple things.
Cecilia: So I can meet her?
Mr Hands: Any time. All I have to do is call her.
Cecilia: Awestruck Wow!
Mr Hands: Imperceptibly shaking his head in disguised and surprised contempt. Simple things indeed. Well, I’ll make that call presently. When are you free? This evening?
Cecilia: You can arrange things just like that?
Mr Hands: Of course, we’re best friends. Though Mohammed will have to come to the mountain, she’s staying out in the country, just 20 minutes out of London. There’s nothing I can’t handle or manage, you’ll discover sooner or later that my arm is very long indeed.
Cecilia: quizzically What about your hands Mr Hands?
Mr Hands: You’ll find out all about my hands soon enough you little minx.
Act 4 scene 3
Cecilia is sat next to Miss Lookaway in the back of Mr Hands’ car which is making its way down the Western avenue, out of London.
Cecilia: Where are we going to anyway?
Mr Hands: Why, we’re going to see my dear friend Naomi Spence of course.
Cecilia: Yes I know that, but where does she live?
Mr Hands: Live? Oh my dear child, Naomi Spence she doesn’t live anywhere, she’s an international pop-singing sensation, the world is her home. But for your information she is presently sojourning at rather a nice country house just inside Buckingham, and that is where we shall find her this afternoon.
The car pulls up outside a Palladian country mansion, in the gloom of early evening with a mist rolling in, the house appears to be more like a pagan temple and the double colonnaded façade seems to suggest strongly the temple of Queen Hatshepsut, if you squint.
Cecilia: Wow, what is this crazy place?
Mr Hands: This Cecilia is Felchester Abbey: the magic doorway to another world.
Cecilia: I’m a bit old for fairy tales Mr Hands.
Mr Hands: One is never too old for fairy tales, particularly when they are true. This particular fairy tale young Cecilia is the story of a remarkable man who changed the world and became one of the greatest free thinkers of his, or any generation. As befits a fairy-tale, it centres on a member of the chivalrous orders, a knight by the name of Sir Reginald Runford and his mission to destroy superstition and stricture and restore the light of liberty to this country and many others. This brave knight then became the very first Grand Master of my own order.
Cecilia: Your order?
Mr Hands: caught out Oh, well, I belong to this special club, we all do, successfully, important people. One day I’m sure you’ll be a member too. Your friend Naomi Spence is a member of our woman’s chapter, the Seamstresses. My order is called the The Tailors. We shape and cut the accoutrements of civilization itself.
Cecilia: Tailors huh? Stitching people up?
Miss Lookaway gives Cecilia a look.
Mr Hands: Now now Cecilia, if you’re going to cynical then we can’t be friends. Friends like the same things don’t they? I’m just like you really Cecilia behind this silly old man’s body, I like pop-music and being with young people just like you do. I also enjoy my little Tailor’s club, call it a gang if you want. A tough gang that nobody can mess with or tell what to do, in fact we’re the ones who tell people what to do. We’re the bosses. We can do anything.
Cecilia: sweetly That’s nice.
Mr Hands: Nice isn’t really the word my dear, but we’re not just here, but in the next world.
Cecilia: Next world?
Mr Hands: Higher dimension, the astral plane, have you heard of such things?
Cecilia: I heard that geometrically, all dimensions are just like tessellations of the previous dimension. The true source reality is in the first dimension, the first minute single point in space, something like the universe before the big bang. Everything which then came out of the universe were only tessellations of this single point in space. And so our universe and all the matter are just ‘reflections’ of a single infinitely dense and information rich, point in space, rotated around an infinite axis and spread out into the universe. But consciousness is in dimension 0, it can experience the dimensions but does not exist within them.
Mr Hands: raising his eyebrow quizically Oh? Who taught this parrot to speak? Smiles to himself. So what about those other dimensions? Those other dimensions? Those other parallel universes where there is another you and me having a similar conversation to this one, at this very instant, except in the parallel universe, there’s a girl called Cecilia Green and she’s very eager to be best friends with the debonair and powerful Mr Hands. What do you think of that Cecilia, would you Cecilia Green, in this dimension admit that Mr Hands is debonair and powerful?
Cecilia: You’re quite wrong. The universe is actually ordered, as Einstein said, God does not play dice. Infinite Earths would make no sense, it would assume that the universe is chaotic and random, but it isn’t, the fact that life exists at all is beyond all probabilistic calculation. Sounds like whoever told you that is trying to create a sense of alienation from your own dimension and reality and confusion about others. Garbage science.
Mr Hands: visibly surprised Is that right Cecilia? Looking at her strangely How did you work all this out?
Cecilia: Also momentarily caught out Oh, me dad was watching it on the telly and I just remembered what they said. I don’t quite understand it really. Smiles a sweet smile
Mr Hands: Well now Cecilia, I’ve been accused of many things in life, but noone’s ever said I’m alienated from my own dimension. I have these things on good authority. It would be rather nice if you could accuse me of being debonair and powe… cut short
Cecilia: in her best proletarian pose Daybo what?
Mr Hands: With an exaggerated French accent ‘Deboanair’ to have a good air.
Cecilia: As opposed to what? Having a bad wind?
Mr Hands: Shaking his head You really are a rough old stone aren’t you Cecilia. We’ll have to work on you a bit, make you a bit more square otherwise you won’t fit in at all. Considering In fact we could just go back to London now if you’re not going to make at least a small effort to be amenable. An actress lives their life behind a mask you know. How successful do you think Angelina Jolie would be if she went to the UN and did nothing but talk about trumping while rolling her eyes and smirking to herself all the time? Mr Hands appears to be getting himself worked up.
Cecilia: measuring Mr Hands then adopting a mollifying tone Oh don’t say that Mr Hands, I’m sorry, I can’t help it, it’s the way I been brought up. I’ll try to fit in honestly I will Mr Hands. I’m sorry I was disrespectful, I really want to meet PlAttitude. Looking disarmingly at Mr Hands I’m not very good with sophisticated people.
Mr Hands: Well Cecilia, that’s better. And so you shall. This way. But this Cecilia is a little irreverent for this evening’s meeting. For tonight you will change your name to Kora.
Cecilia Stares at him. Mr Hands smiles.
Mr Hands: Cecilia look over there! He points to one of the arcades on the second floor where what appeared to be a man with a strange long snout-like mask was capering and waving his arms in the air while raising his legs from side to side. Far from being a figure of mirth this character was profoundly menacing and Cecilia suddenly felt cold.
Mr Hands: breaking her attention Cecilia! Look here, he produces a small book which he hands to her. Cecilia opens it and sees an image of a strange, non human face of such unpleasant strangeness that she felt lightheaded. When she looks up she sees that Mr Hands and Miss Lookaway are now wearing a mask of the very same horrible and inexplicable strange image.
Cecilia can hardly get a word out before what is just about recognizable as a single eye in the mask starts to flicker with light and make a strange high pitch modulated buzzing sound.
A sudden film seems to come over Cecilia’s eyes and she stares blankly and placidly at Mr Hands wearing his mask.
Mr Hands: Don’t worry Kora, we’ll get you one too. But first you’d better get out of those clothes and be dressed to meet the Queen.
Cecilia: Is the Queen here?
Mr Hands: Oh yes Kora, the Queen is always here. This way.
Kora is pulled In a trance across the lawn and into the house which suddenly lights up with fire as a hundred oil torches are simultaneously ignited. Her clothes are removed by Miss Lookaway and she is dressed in a blue robe. She will rest now.
Mr Hands: Now you shall meet Naomi Spence as promised, except we know her as Songbird. You shall also know her as such
As they go through the house and enter a great stone amphitheatre with a small entrance way, from out of which comes a bawling Johnny St Vile.
Johnny St Vile: Rubbing his hands with glee and clowning. All these lovely girls for us Mr Hands. What a lucky old man I am!
Miss Lookaway: under her breath dirty
Johnny turns to her suddenly: Coarsely Oh yeah princess? Think you’re still clean eh? I’ve got a job for you princess. His eyes flash momentarily black and he instantly hypnotises her. Come with me.
Act 4 scene 4
Cecilia is lying a bed in one of the rooms of the Felchester Abbey mansion. She is dreaming and finds herself in an oddly distorted version of her present reality inside the mansion.
Cecilia: It’s so gloomy, where are the lights?
The sound of flies buzzing seems to grow louder and Cecilia swats around her eyes. She tries to find the front-door but as she makes her away from her room the darkness around her thickens dramatically until she can only see the bedroom door and a staircase going up.
Cecilia looking up: Seems to be light upstairs.
She makes her way up some spooky creaking staircase towards the light.
Cecilia: It seem to be brighter up here, maybe if I climb to the top of the house I can get on the roof.
She walks up the stairs and arrives upstairs but instead of being nearer the light she seems to have come upon a damp stone lined corridor which she follows and after a flight of mossy stone-steps, finds herself in what is unmistakably a stone cellar. Bewildered, she looks around in confusion. Then she spies a an old iron grill behind which a dim candle light flickers.
Cecilia: If I take this I’ll be able to find my way out of the house. Cecilia moves towards the candle which flickers as she approaches and changes shape, it’s not a candle at all! What is it? She peers closer and focuses her eyes Why, it’s a little person!
Cecilia tries to open the iron grill which bursts with electricity as she touches it.
She now sees what appears to be a small cube of highly charged electricity which is a prison box for a small bright young woman, it is Naomi Spence.
Cecilia: It’s the soul of Naomi Spence. Why’s it in this box?
She smiles sadly at the spirit of Naomi Spence trapped in the box.
Suddenly there are noises and the sound of footsteps on the stone steps leading up to the cellar.
Cecilia scampers off the one side of the cellar and quickly hides behind a row of wine bottles reaching up towards the ceiling.
Into the cellar walk the vague forms of Mr Hands. St Vile, the Grand Master and other members of the Trouser Knights. They appear dark and ghostly and their faces appear to be Dorian Grey portraits of their human faces, showing all the evil which is so well hidden by façade which they successfully erect in real life.
The group moves towards the trapped spirit of Naomi Spence and kneels down in front of it.
Grand Master: We approach you, O’ Oracle, for guidance and strength for our cause.
The other Knights then mumble the same formula.
Grand Master: We come to you for help. We complete our plans we need more power. You must help us with the girl Cecilia. We need her power.
Naomi-Spence in a weak tired voice: It is only possible to take her if you complete the ritual successfully.
St Vile: turns to the others Where is the little girl anyway? She might be here right in this cellar somewhere.
Hands: I don’t think so Johnny.
St Vile: But she might be.
Hands: Forget it Johnny she wouldn’t have ventured down here.
St Vile: Well I’m going to take a look. Johnny gets up to venture towards Cecilia’s hiding place
Cecilia is terrorized with fright at the thought of being discovered here with these demons spirits who now appear infinitely more evil and threatening than their merely physical form. Cecilia prays for Johnny not to find her and as if answering her prayer he continues.
St Vile: Maybees you’re right Mr Hands.
Cecilia breathes a stifled sigh of relief.
St Vile: But then again! I wouldn’t mind one of those wine bottles right over there, isn’t that where they keep the Petrus? My oh my, Petrus and a big fat cigar! What a little treat for all my exertions.
Cecilia is again terrorized as she senses Vile move toward her.
Johnny St Vile: Ahh, it can wait….
Cecilia now, almost delirious with terror finds little relief or sense of safety or relief, merely a sort of animal reprieve from being immediately preyed upon.
Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, the darkness of Johnny St Vile moves straight towards her hiding place.
Johnny St Vile: sniffing I’m pretty sure I can smell something here Mr Hands, it smells distinctly like ‘little girl’ over here to me and I know very well what little girls smell like.
Hands: Come come Johnny, you’re imagining things…. All those little girls of yours have gone to your head. It’s probably all you can think of.
Johnny St Vile: It may be you are right there Handy Hands. Laughing a joyless cackle.
The malefic spirit of Johnny St Vile is directly above the place where the essential spirit of Cecilia has gathered herself.
Johnny: Hmmmmm, maybe I’m imagining things in my dotage.
Mr Hands: I expect so.
Cecilia senses a reprieve as Mr Hands and Vile’s attention moved away from her and now appears to focus on the spirit of Naomi Spence, or what they call ‘The Oracle’.
Mr Hands: Hmmm, now I think of it Johnny I can smell ‘little girl’ smell in here too.
Cecilia’s peace of mind is suddenly shattered.
Vile: Indeed Mr Hands, indeed indeedy Mr Handy Hands.
Mr Hands: laughing Cecilia, you didn’t for one second think we didn’t know you were there all along you very silly little girl.
Vile: We’ve been playing with you. Oh what fun to sense this frantic little mouse with thundering hammering heart as it scurries from one paw of the cat to the other, thinking it has a chance of escape.
Mr Hands: Game over for you little Miss Green.
Mr Hands and Johnny approach her in their discarnate forms. Cecilia cannot clearly see Johnny or Hands, so much as ‘sense’ them, completely invade her mind and reality field.
Cecilia: trying to hold on to some accusative authority What are you?
Johnny: We, young lady, are ‘the darkness’.
Cecilia tries to observe Johnny and pick out the colours of his shell-suit but can see only a shiny shimmering blackness. The form of Johnny St Vile seems to be undulating and moving, she looks closer and sees a sort of constant scuttling of something small and vicious swarming over the forms of Mr Hands and Johnny.
Mr Hands: Yes Cecilia, this is our true form. We have cast of the ghost machines and hear you see our ghosts. Just like you Cecilia, though we will readily admit that you are a lot prettier and brighter. That’s why we need you Cecilia. We need your brightness. With that the darkness containing the Grand Master, Mr Hands and Johnny St Vile comes closer, scuttling and slowly swarming in a million buzzing and clicking little mites of malice.
Cecilia: Hey stop it you creeps! As the darkness moves closer light from Cecilia starts to get drained and drawn off as if slowly being pulled into a black hole.
Cecilia finds herself looking around a darkened void dominated by the figures of Hands and St Vile and the legion members of the Knights of the Sacred Trousers, as she looks further out into the darkness she can perceives a multitude of the souls captured by the Brotherhood, every wear she looks they appear as small darkened blobs with the suggestion of individual human faces and even hair. Some appear as vague female shaped blobs with long dark hair, others, larger, clearly male figures. She saw one with glasses, old ladies’ glasses, the face a darkened oval. The darkened mass of human souls seemed to recede beyond the walls of the cellar, which indeed, no longer seemed to exist and instead Cecilia looked around at an infinite darkness filling the universe.
She saw the darkened spirits of the dead spread out through creation, from billions upon billions of planets, the multifarious inhabitants of hell, representing every advanced species capable of being consciously mislead into tumbling into this reality. She hears Mr Hand’s voice echoing from the void.
Mr Hands: Do not despair Cecilia, at least not yet. Allow us to entertain you.
With that, the void is suddenly populated by all the crazed Gods of the ancient mysteries along with their victims. A huge Zeus thunders into view with a tiny pre-pubescent Ganymede attempting vainly to run from Zeus’ attentions. Kronus with his scythe, slicing at his children and eating the pieces of their bodies. The rape of Persephone follows in closely as the previous sight disappears. Cecilia’s vision is suddenly filled with simultaneous images of murder, rape and the pederasty of Greek legend.
Cecilia screams, but produces no sound and has no effect on the horror around her.
St Vile: Come come dear young lady, don’t make a fuss, it’ll be your turn once we get you in the box.
Cecilia sees herself pulled into a high energy electrical container similar to the one in which Naomi Spence appeared to be trapped. Despite her best attempts to run away she is slowly surely pulled in, and finds herself trapped on all sides by powerful bars of pure energy containing her in a small 6 foot square container. She screams soundlessly one more time and suddenly she wakes up.
Act 4 scene 5
Cecilia looks around in the eerie unlit room she finds herself in. She seems to be herself but is very shaken by the terrible dream.
Cecilia: What was all that about? Kora…. I don’t remember anything, just a name. What does it mean? This is getting seriously creepy and more than a little bit dangerous.
Cecilia looks around in the darkness trying to detect any sounds in the house. She can hear nothing.
Cecilia: I wonder what time it is?
She sees that her bag and is on the table beside the bed and she takes her phone.
Cecilia: No signal? But we’re just outside London, how can there be no signal?
Cecilia moves over to the window and sees in the faded light of the late midsummer dusk a stone church atop a hill, with a high tower and a strange ornament of a golden ball.
As Cecilia looks out curiously in the deepening darkness a she feels suddenly something touching her neck. Without a sound she spins round, only to see nothing. Searching through the darkness of the room for any clues she moves around the room wondering if perhaps a large moth or Daddy long legs is pointlessly fluttering about. She finds nothing except the door to the room which she tries to open but which is locked.
In the silence she hears a voice which initially seems to be nothing but the sound of leaves shaken by a summer breeze outside, but Cecilia listens hard until she can hear clear words distinct from the surrounding darkness.
Voice: indistinct Miss. Miss.
Cecilia looking around.
Cecilia: Am I still dreaming? Nervously What’s with this house of ghostly goofs?
Voice: still more indistinct Miss, Miss.
Cecilia: Just the wind I guess. Quoting Midas has asses’ ears.
Voice: clearly Help me Miss.
Cecilia stares into the darkness searching the darkness with a mixture of curiosity and fear.
Voice: Don’t be afraid miss.
Cecilia: uncertainly Who’s there?
Voice: It’s little Suzy Miss. Don’t be afraid. I used to be afraid miss and they got me. Done me in proper they did. They found my poor body in the Thames at Maidenhead, it travelled all the way from here after they sent it down the Styx. I wont a Maiden no more though Miss, not after these hooded men got a hold of me. That was a long time ago though Miss, I’ve been trapped here a long time now. There are so many strange things I don’t recognize out there, nothing much has changed here though, this horrible old house, the caves and the men in them at midnight with their children. Everything is just the same here, maybe it’s always been here like this, doing strange horrible things in the night with strange masks and robes.
Cecilia: uncertainly Little Suzy?
Little Suzy: Aye Miss. That’s me, except I haven’t got a body anymore Miss. I’m dead now.
Cecilia: Adapting quickly to the situation: I’m sorry to hear that. When did you die Suzy?
Little Suzy: Under the reign of the third King George Miss. It was the time they rediscovered the old caves under the hill, they found a lot of skeletons from the Roman times and people said it was a Roman plague pit and it should be left alone, but Lord Runford did some more digging and made it into something, something horrible, it’s a pit alright Miss, a pit to hell.
Cecilia: uncertainly: I must say I do feel a bit odd here talking to a ghost.
Little Suzy: Don’t feel odd Miss. It’s perfectly normal, at least it is for me Miss. It’s just one of those things.
Cecilia: Why are you trapped here Suzy?
Little Suzy: The hooded men did something to me under the hill, horrible things, and then they killed me but they did it in a special way so that my spirit can’t escape.
Cecilia: Do they know you’re here?
Little Suzy: They used to, then they forgot all about me.
Cecilia: Can’t they see you?
Little Suzy: I’m good at hiding Miss.
Cecilia: Can you recommend a good hiding place for me Suzy?
Little Suzy: Well it’s harder for you Miss because they haven’t forgotten about you so they’ll look everywhere for you until they find you. There’s nowhere for you to hide, and you can’t walk through walls like I can which makes hiding a lot easier.
Cecilia: What do they want me for?
Little Suzy: I don’t want to scare you Miss but they usually do very bad things under the hill, if they want to take you under the hill you can be sure they will do bad things to you. That’s where they took me.
Suddenly there is a tiny ghostly scream and Little Suzy vanishes.
Little Suzy’s disembodied voice: They’re coming.
There is the sudden sound of the lock of the door opening. There is no further sound. Slowly she stands up and soundlessly takes her phone.
Cecilia: Still no signal? She looks out from the window at the hill about 500 metres from here window. Maybe it’s that hill blocking the signal or something.
She looks up at the church on top of the hill. I bet you get a good signal up there.
Little Suzy: You don’t want to go over there Miss, not if you can help it.
Cecilia: I’ve got to, it’s the only place I’ll be able to make a phone-call.
Little Suzy: Oh Miss, you have one of those talking boxes. So you have to be facing in the right direction with the talk-box before you can hear the voices?
Cecilia: Something like that…I think. Why have they opened the door?
Little Suzy: I expect they want to play some game with you Miss. They’re a rum bunch for gaming people and confusing them and make them so befuddled that they no longer know up from down and will do anything they are told to.
Cecilia: They won’t get me confused so easily.
Little Suzy: Begging your pardon Miss but it looks to me that they’ve already got you this far.
Cecilia: sardonically Oh thanks for the encouragement I must say. So I’m doomed and done for, gonna end up stuck with you walking through walls and hiding for the rest of my, er, life.
Little Suzy: Oh I do so hope so Miss, then we can play together.
Cecilia: humorlessly Well it wasn’t quite the life I planned for myself but then again I guess it pays to be flexible in this day and age. Well since they’ve had the kindness to open my little door I might as well get some night air. Are you coming Suzy?
Little Suzy: No Miss, I’m hiding if you remember Miss.
Cecilia: Oh, so you are. Don’t you want to come play with me.
Little Suzy: Begging your pardon Miss but I don’t think you’re going to have very much fun.
Cecilia: Maybe you’re right. But I’ve got to make a phone-call and I reckon on top of that hill would be a good spot.
Cecilia cautiously and slowly opens the door, which opens into a lit hallway and a descending staircase which leads down to an open front door. Cecilia leaves the mansion and checks her phone which still has no signal. She makes her way out of the house and up to the top of the hill. She arrives after half an hour at a church on the top of the hill with the curious golden globe on top of the tower she saw from her room.
She takes out her phone and is surprised to notice that there is still no signal.
Cecilia: What the? No signal, that’s impossible, I must be 200 feet above ground level.
She looks up at the church tower before her and the golden globe on top and the wind vane crackling and swaying in a light summer’s night breeze. The door to the church is open and she cautiously makes her way over to It and enters the church. She looks up at the church tower towards the golden globe and notices a long metal structure apart from the dome.
Cecilia: Looks like a transmitter. Funny I can’t a signal with that there.
Cecilia’s face suddenly changes.
Cecilia: Unless, it’s interfering with my phone signal. I wonder if I can turn it off.
She goes into the church, it church is lit by two large candles at the altar, which Cecilia instinctively makes her way towards. She sees a door up into the tower which Cecilia takes. She finds herself on the roof looking at the antenna. She finds a cable running from the metal antenna to the a small metal box on the roof which she opens and sees a pull lever with two lights, a red and a green one. The green button is presently lit.
Cecilia: So I guess if I pull this the transmitter will be disabled.
She pulls it. Suddenly there is an explosion, a dozen explosions in the sky and coloured fire raining down. Cecilia suddenly feels completely exposed as there appear to be no hiding places on the roof, except the golden globe, which has a door in its side.
Cecilia: Cecilia is dumbfounded. Fireworks! She tries her phone now hoping for a signal. A signal sign with 5 bars suddenly appears, as it does her phone suddenly rings with an ‘caller ID withheld’ number.
Unknown caller: Where are you going to go now Cecilia?
Cecilia is too shocked to respond or even switch off the call, after a moment she finds some new resolve: Well I’m not so bad at hiding myself, if that’s what it takes. She shins quickly up the antenna and opens the door of the golden globe.
She goes inside and is greeted by Mr Hands who was himself also hiding.
Mr Hands: Well done Cecilia. We knew you’d figure it out.
Cecilia: sardonically I play a lot of Half-Life. So I guess you’re the best at hiding eh? Figures.
Mr Hands: proudly Well yes I am good at hiding and you’re good at Half-Life, well Half-Life is quite appropriate in the circumstances.
Mr Hand: You are a bright spark though, and a fearless feisty one too. We knew you’d want to talk to one of you face-friends, or say something silly to someone about your holiday here.
Cecilia: Holiday? What are you talking about, I thought I was going to meet PlAttitude. I want to go home NOW Mr Hands.
Mr Hands: Ok, let’s go.
Mr Hands releases a hand crank and the golden sphere suddenly seems to be moving down. The panel in the roof moves underneath the golden ball as it descends the interior of the tower on a chain down a hidden chute. The globe continues its descent through an opening in the stone floor of the tower and continues its way underground below the church along a deep tiles passage. The walls of the passage are lit by small discrete electric lights.
Mr Hands: Look through the hole Kora.
Upon hearing the name ‘Kora’ Cecilia immediately loses her personality and becomes the mind controlled slave Kora.
Kora looks through the hole
Mr Hands: Welcome home Kora. To himself Lovely tile-work, always makes me think of being on the Central line, except on a train going down.
Kora: laughing Yes it does rather.
Mr Hands: I always do so enjoy coming here and playing little games with the girls before we sacrifice them.
Kora: completely unperturbed I’m glad you enjoy it. That’s what we’re all here for after all.
Mr Hands: How right you are Kora. It’s so agreeable that you can finally see things from my perspective.
Kora: My pleasure sir.
Mr Hands: ‘Sir’ as well, my you have improved your character! The wonders of hypnosis. Our mutual friend Johnny St.Vile is the master of course, he taught the Tailors, or rather helped them to remember what they used to know. The art of hypnosis. It’s not just a form of entertainment for the herd of chuckling tipsy Friday night baboons. It’s a weapon, our weapon, and no one ever sees it coming. Laughs indulgently to himself. Tale Vile tells is that found out about it after the war. Started talking to this sleeping girl for a laugh, pretending to be her mum, then her boyfriend. Asked her what she was doing in bed with her clothes on. Suddenly the sleeping girl stood up and stated taking her clothes off. You can imagine the fun Johnny had with that. That was him made on that day. From then on he was the king of the world. He could have anything he wanted. A bit like Crowley I suppose, master of the will, hypnotizing people to do their bidding. That’s the name of the game Kora, and you my dear are the living proof.
The Golden ball comes to the end of its journey; they are now 300 feet below the church on the hill. The golden door opens into a darkness punctuated only by the light from a dozen candles.