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The Golden Gauntlet
[It’s Harry that breaks the oddly comfortable silence. It maybe something they both want at the moment but it is broken nonetheless.]
Harry: So.. Larry lad. What are we to do about this? I mean, Mommy will be home soon enough. Boy, she will be home soon enough.
Larry: Soon enough, yes. Mommy will be home soon.
Harry: So what are we to do about this? I know very well that it can’t just stay here, with Mommy so near to be here. Home I mean.
Larry: I know very well what you mean Harry. I just can’t think with all of this noise.
Harry: What noise? There isn't any noise boyo.
[Larry pulls both his hands to cover his ears as his face is pouted with agitation and apparent annoyance.]
Larry: You know damn well what noise I’m talking about.
[He points at the gauntlet between them]
It’s making an awful racket, it is!
Harry: I haven't a clue what you’re talking about Larry. What are we going to do with it? Mommy is in the drive, I’m sure of it!
[Harry stands abruptly, nearly knocking the cheap aluminum chair to the side, and rushes to the nearest window.]
Larry: Is Mommy here? Is she here? I do believe I heard her wagon in the drive!
[His eyes widen and his voice heightens to a squeaky, frightened peek.]
Harry: No she’s not in the drive.
[Grapples for the chair and slumps down. Stares at the golden gauntlet.]
Larry, we must decide what we are to do with this. We can’t just leave it here. Not like this. It will catch Mommy’s eye as soon as she steps foot in here. We must decide Larry! We must decide before Mommy get’s home! She’ll have both of our ears! [He drops his head on the table with a dramatic bang and moans with an exhaust of patience.]
Larry: Not my ears… not like last time. Not like when she took our noses! [He feels for his nose but his fingertips are lost.] Noooooo!
[Harry groans from beneath his arms]
Harry: We should never have taken it boyo! We should have just left it be. It was perfectly fine just where it was. Right where it was was just perfectly fine.
Larry: I don’t want Mommy to have my ears Harry. My ears allow me to hear and without my ears I cannot hear! Well.. [He swallows deeply] Well at least I won’t hear that awful noise anymore. [His naive eyes find the gauntlet and he just observes it.] It’s such an annoying buzzing. Like a hive. Just like a bee’s hive. Don’t you hear it Harry? Don’t you hear that awful, annoying bee buzzing?
[Harry never lifts.]
Harry: No, Larry, I don’t hear the awful, annoying buzzing. We are bad boys.
Larry: It’s so loud, I can’t hear myself think one bit. Not one bit at all. We are bad boys. Just like a hive. I can picture the little bees as well. Ohh… It’s so loud!
Harry: Mommy will be home soon enough. Soon enough is too soon. Larry what are we to do? [He raises.] What are we to do? [Eyes the gauntlet.]
[Looks up and eyes Larry suspiciously]
Larry: What?[Seeming bewildered.]
Harry: What do you mean, what? I’m asking you what we are to do with this gauntlet. [Immediately he slaps his hands over his mouth and his eyes widen in a mixture of both fright and shame.]
[Larry notices and squeals with horror.]
Larry: No! Don’t speak it Harry! It will curse us!
Harry: [loud and afraid.] Oh boyo! Don’t say such a thing! It just slipped! Don’t say that.
[Larry stands up and knocks his chair aside, pointing at the gauntlet.]
Larry: I can feel it too! You’ve cursed us both Harry! Mommy is going to come home and see that we are both cursed! She will surely chop our ear off now! From you! You cursed us you devil gauntlet! [He stopped breathing and backs away slowly toward the counter]
What have I done? I’ve surely cursed us now…
Harry: Larry, we are not cursed. Please we have to decide what we are to do with it. [He stands beside the table and peers down toward the gauntlet.] Before Mommy gets home. We have to decide what we are to do with it! She’ll have our ears!
Larry:[Quieted now]. My ears… [He feels for them.] The bees are so loud Harry. They are so very loud! They are so loud I can’t hear myself think! They are so loud I can’t hear myself speak! They are so loud my head hurts, but especially my ears! Oh god! Why did we have to take that thing with us my dear Harry? Why? It was perfectly fine right where it was!
Harry: Because we are bad boys. [He speaks with discomfort and shame.] We were always very bad boys.
Larry: We are bad boys and Mommy is going to have our ears like she did our noses and our lips.
Harry: Like she had our teeth and our toes. [Backs away with a building fright]
Larry: And our pinkies and our thumbs!
Harry: And half our tongues.
Larry: And half our tongues! [Feels behind him on the countertop.]
Harry: Mommy will be home soon. She should be here. [He rushes over toward the window.] She’s here… Mommy’s here! Mommy’s here! MOMMY’S HERRREEEE!!!! MOMMMYYYYYY!!! [Hysterical now, breaks for the gauntlet.]
Larry: I’ll have my ears before Mommy does! The buzzing! That damned hive! I’m mad Harry.[ Grabs a large knife from behind him and slices off his right ear.] I’ve gone mad Harry! Won’t she be proud! Won’t Mommy be ever so proud of her mad son?!
Harry: I can hear the buzzing now! It’s awful! It hurts! This gauntlet much die! Must Die! DIE YOU HORRID GAUNTLET!! [Angrily as ever, Harry grabs the golden gauntlet and throws it to the floor.]
Larry: [In hysterical laughter, he bellies over and falls to the floor dead.]
Harry: [Starts to laugh hysterically also and finds the shattered gauntlet in fleshy pieces on the floor. He can’t stop laughing. His breathing is gaining in forceful gasps of breath and he, too, falls to the floor dead.]
[In walks Mommy.]
Mommy: Oh no, my gauntlet. [The gauntlet was the first thing she saw as she walked into the kitchen. She steps over her first son, and then her second and reaches down to the floor.] Oh. You bad, bad, Harry and Larry. What am I going to do with you two? I see you have already cut your ear off Larry. You’ve beat me to the punch. Ah.. what a mess you bad boys have made.
[She reaches down and starts to pick up the bloodied pieces of teeth, thumbs, lips, noses, tongues, toes and pinkies.]