If the world was a giant clock that God had wound up -- a Language & Writing assignment
|A town in the eighteenth century. A clock tower can be seen on the background; its needles move awkwardly and its ticking fills the stage. A group of people are talking to one another in a CHORUS of confusion, until a woman (VOICE 1) and a man (VOICE 2) walk to the middle of the stage.|
VOICE 1 : Ah! Do you see what I see? The clock is at the verge of death! When the clock stops, the world shall stop, as well.
VOICE 2 : So many things I have not done in my life! So many spiteful crimes I have committed. Alas! So little time remains. Forgive my sins, brothers, and I shall forgive yours.
CHORUS : Such a thing never happened before. Will it be the end of the world, as it was prophesied at the beginning of time? Because, when the clock stops, the world shall stop, as well.
VOICE 2 : Lo! Here comes the priest.
(PRIEST comes into the stage. The chaos of voices dies upon his arrival.)
PRIEST : What is it you are so anxious about, my children? Have you not got enough food in your dwellings? Does starvation spread when I was asleep? Alas! It should not be. I would be informed if you are in misery.
VOICE 1 : No, Father, it is not food we are concerned about. If it is about personal gluttony, we shall not disturb our neighbours’ dwellings. No, Father, it is the clock tower. Twice today we saw it stop moving, and even the bell ceased to ring when both needles struck twelve. The clock is broken! And it was said: when the clock stops, the world shall stop, as well.
PRIEST : I do not understand what you mean, my child. If the clock is broken, so be it! We shall call someone to fix it and the clock will be back running on the morrow.
VOICE 1 : No, Father; that is not how it is! It was said that the Earth works like a clock, with a perfect mechanism of events that have been woven together at the beginning of time. Alas! Even the best mechanism will come to an end. And when the clock stops, the world shall stop, as well.
CHORUS : The end of the world, as it was already prophesied. Time is limited. Hurry! Take the last breaths before the needles come to a stop. Find the last joy before the judge comes.
PRIEST : Enough of this balderdash. You have been blinded by your fear! No world will end because of one clock! Calm down, take a deep breath and think clearly. You shall see that your days are still open in front of you—
(Before PRIEST finishes talking, everyone on the stage gasp altogether. All eyes are on the clock tower. The needles stop for a few seconds but resume moving very slowly. The voice of the ticking fills the stage.)
(The clock stops to move, leaving a gap at the end of the scene.)