A Muse's Gift
By: Medaea




The arena was packed with men and women, children and the servants of those who would allow them to attend. Light shone down from a sphere suspended high above. The raised stage was empty, yet to be filled by the actors who fill the audience with laughter and tears, groans and sighs. The murmurs and whispers from the crowd provided a back ground noise until the stage-caller strode out from behind the curtains to address the attending people and begin the play.

He stood still before their attention for a moment only, allowing the tension and excitement to build to higher peaks, before he began.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, today you are privileged beyond all others, be they Kings, Queens, Emperors or even the mightiest of warriors. Today you are all equal and today you are equal to the Gods. Today you are honoured beyond the champions of this great city. Today you are as lucky as those blessed by the great God Ritea, from whom all receive fortunes and wealth."

Here he paused, waiting. The crowd waited with him, not knowing what they waiting for. Where before they whispered and thrilled amongst themselves, now they stood silent and still. None would move, such was the spell the stage-caller had cast over them with his eloquent speaking.

And when the stage-caller raised his head and looked towards the sky, the people followed suit and raised their eyes to the heavens. And, once all heads were turned upwards facing the sky from whence the gods gave and took away life, the clouds gathered and a gentle rain fell onto the crowd's shoulders.

The stage-caller raised his arms heavenward.

"A blessing from the Gods," The crowds whispered to each other and rejoiced in their hearts, for they would soon be seeing the worlds most renowned play, which would only be shown if the Gods showed their approval. The light rain falling from above was a sign from those heavenly creatures, and as it touched the ground, each individual drop sent up a mist of different colours and scents. To each person it was their most favoured shade and the scent each breathed in was from their most favoured memory. It enshrouded each person for a moment only before whisping away back to the Gods and their heavenly home.

The stage-caller smiled down on them all benevolently, glad to his heart that the gathered would know the story and treasure the memory of this event to the depths of their being. And feeling so, he continued.

"Good people, this great play you have come to witness shall soon begin. I will not remain much longer in procrastination. There are few things left for me to say. Only hear me now. This play is no legend or fanciful myth, it is beyond those spritely dreams which visit sleeping souls in the night. This play is no made up story. This play is beyond any story any being on this earth could imagine. This play is no Godly memory from years before whose people are nothing but dust and ashes, people from many years ago."

The stage-caller lowered his voice and the audience of mortals leaned in closer, not wishing to miss a word.

"This play is a true event. The characters are people who have lived while you all have lived, have loved while you all have loved and have felt the touch of ghostly death, the realm of those who have breathed their last, just as you good people gathered here in this twilight have felt that cold shiver of the unknown beyond. This is a re-telling of events which have occurred not too long ago. Feel proud you should be privy to such a thing as the Gods do not always allow it."

The crowds smiled gently to themselves, be they the most hardened brawny soldiers, the most sensitive and passionate of writers and dreamers or the most uncaring digger of unfriendly graves. Each was proud to their core to be witness to what would soon be seen.

"I will dally no longer, putting emotions into words, the good people waiting to begin on this hallowed stage can do that too much better than I. It is time to begin this great play, this great story of tragedy and comedy, deceit and betrayal, romance and love. It is time to begin "The Prince And The Showgirl."

The crowd cheered louder than any great army could, louder than any war-cry ever heard. Only the Gods could have raised a greater noise. The stage-caller bowed low and walked off the stage as the lights shining down from candles dimmed and only the light shining from the quiet pale moon and the small brilliant stars lit the planes of each waiting face.

The audience quietened and waited to be witness to the greatest story ever told.

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Act 1
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