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Cast of Characters

STAGHORN-WINGS: The Captain on the ship bound towards Tarshish.
LANCED-MOUTHS: Sailors on the ship bound towards Tarshish.
UNANTHROMORPHIC-WHEELS-WITH-EYES: The Sun that burnt Nineveh, the East Wind that burnt Jonah's skin and the Voice of the Lord that so loved his people.
GRANT-ME-WINGS-OH-LORD-GOD: The Kikayon plant.
CEASELESS-MOUTHS: Orgy participant and Nineveh resident 1, 2, and 3.
Jonah: Future mouthpiece / tool of the Lord's divine predilections.


ACT I

Scene 1: Prophet Pariah.

CHARACTERS: Captain, Sailors, The Voice of the Lord, and Jonah.

SETTING: Granular, limestone buildings neighboring litter the landscape, leading to the port of Joppa with its numerous ships. There are wistful Date palms darting the beachside. The sea is blue and serene. Jonah appears to be physically trembling as he pleads to the Captain to come along with his ship sailing to Tarshish.

Jonah: I implore you! I cannot stay here nor can I go anywhere else.

[Jonah takes one knee, folding both his hands in desperation.]

Captain: We cannot take another, our ship is full.

[The Captain sheaths its wings, gesturing to his crew. Several prepare the sails whilst others inspect the wines and spices. Many appear merry in mirth, imitating speech with to one another. Lances bind lips uncomfortably for they are not given lines. They appear human. The entire ship and its goods were made of whale.]

Jonah: Gold, I have many gold coins in this purse. I ask you again, please Captain, take me to where you do trade, take me to a place where I can become another, not named Jonah.

[The Captain takes a coin and bites it. Then takes the rest of the coin purse.]

Captain: Solid, so our compact is true. However, you must stay below deck.

Jonah: Thank you, merciful friend!

[Horns grow and fall apart as the Captain apes at legs and the action of walking. Jonah hurries in, descends down the stairs, finds the dingy and dark cargo hold, and locks himself inside.]


Scene 2: Nautical Nevermore.

SETTING: Cobwebs conquer every corner of the room. Candlelight blows out too soon and Jonah must settle with an uneasy rest on the matted floor. Meanwhile, atop the deck, a storm occurs. Roaring waves bombard the ship. Scared, some Sailors begin throwing cargo offboard while others pray to their heretical Gods. The Captain hammers Jonah's door.

Captain: How can you sleep? Get up, the Voice of God spins angrily like a hurricane in the sky! His many eyes bellow restlessly. Come out, come out, his eyes must see us fully so that we will not perish.

[The Sailors mouths open. They are provided lines]

Sailor 1: Tell us, whose God is it that brings us this trouble?

Sailor 2: Not mine! It must be him!

[All point to Jonah]

Jonah: No, it was not I who performed this work. I am not the Hebrew you seek and I am not responsible for the wrath of the Lord!


Captain: You would throw yourself away? Discard yourself to the dismal seas below?

Jonah: With no regrets.

Sailor 2: The Lord that he spake with tongues more than all our Gods. You were chosen, the prophet of Nineveh.

Sailor 1: Lord, O, God, if this one does not repent, we do. We bow only to you Lord.

[All kneel in prayer. Jonah stands. He shakes his head.]

Jonah: If only you saw what his repentance would take…

[The Captain points to the epicenter of the skies. Thunder vibrates air, lightning strikes the mast. Fire crawls down the mast, ropes, and sails.]

Captain: The Lord demands more! We must sacrifice more!

[Frantically, the sailors flung more whale blubber and ambergris and bone off the awnings. Thick grew their talons. The floorboards pulled Jonah towards the edge as the sailors flung more of the ship into the sea. When it was Jonah's time, talons clutched into both wrists, several into his inner thigh and one into his anklebone. He faced the undulating esophagus. Seas of corrosive brown mixed with mucus green. The waves were lips. The primordial mouth opened fore him.]


ACT II

SCENE I: Belly of the Beast

Setting: Ambergris walls confine Jonah. Pink, red walls pulsate. His skin is burning at the seems from acid. Not enough to end it all, but enough to keep him awake. Small kidney stones and hardened barnacle surfaces make up a bottom area for him to sit on. Twin suns saunter above, taunting Jonah, who is highly emaciated from starvation and dehydration. The Voice of the Lord — fluttering countless wings, spinning screaming wheels — is his only companion. A meal is prepared for him.

[Jonah throws away the wheat meal and blood paste meal given to him.]

Jonah: No more, please no more.

[The Voice of the Lord stares at him]

Jonah: Do you hear me?


Scene II: Belly of the Beast

[Jonah presents his hand to the floating construct. Three hundred tallies are tattooed to his right arm. Fresh bloody tallies are etched into his knuckles.]

Jonah: Please, it has been so long. So much longer than what you professed O, Lord. Have mercy.

[The Voice of the Lord stares at him]

Jonah: Three days, three nights, it— I know you say it has only been three days and three nights. But please, let me sail home to my family and my old life. The visions of fire crawl through my pores like ants. Is that the lesson Lord? To damn them? To dash the children across the rocks? Molesting the flesh of mothers, men smoldering from burnt fields; they toil no longer. What Lord, did they do to incur such wrath.

[The Voice of the Lord stares at him]

Jonah: I— I have not seen anyone, no one, no one real. Lord, O Lord, please Lord God, you have hurled me into the depths, and in the heart of the seas, it is lonely. I have not touched real skin for a very long time. O Lord, I have not held, kissed, lain, caressed, or cajoled with another. I feel clawing at the back of my eyes. The darkness conquers all here Lord, it is infinite.


Scene III: Belly of the Beast

[Jonah is shivering and praying. Bowls of half-finished raw flesh and fermented dairy product are stacked on top of one another. His clothing is worn and scant. His hands tremble clasped, his head bowed. Tallies have conquered all of his body below the nape of his neck.]

Jonah: In my distress, I forsook my duties to you, merciful Lord, and from the maw of madness, with hostile currents, and damning waves.

[Stomach acid washes over him. He cries out in pain, but never wavers from his prayer.]

Jonah: I pray to you, Lord, from below the world itself.

[Exposed nerve-endings and twisted burn marks are washed.]

Jonah: You dragged me into the heart of nowhere, drowning me in the sorrow of your lesson.

[His flesh begins to burn into steam.]

Jonah: I have been banished from your sight yet now I shall be the body, the temple unto the light.

[Bare teeth and mandibles hand from sinew]

Jonah: Lord, you have saved me from my sinfulness, purged me of doubt, burnt me of my skin. I shall embody your holy message.

[Joints and appendages fall apart into clumps and giblets on the ground, but Jonah still prays.]
[The Voice of the Lord stares at him.]

Jonah: Many cherish the false idol, and daily, they rape themselves with heretical phalluses, but I . I vow that I shall be the vessel of sacrifice, and unto those who turn towards your path, shall similar Salvation burn them away. Of all of it.

[The Voice of the Lord stares at him and is pleased. Light appears from unknown corners of the room. Jonah's remains are taken elsewhere.]

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