Fish by Andrew

Characters*

First Storyteller- arrogant clown

Second Storyteller- arrogant clown

Vainamoinen (pronounced Vi-na-moi-nen)- stubborn old bard

Joukahaimen (pronounced Jo-ki-men)- stubborn young bard

River- older than the earth and wiser

Aino (pronounced I-no)- free young woman

Fishing Pole- joyous fishing pole with a southern accent

Knife- cruel knife

Fintan- a good man

God- A Wrathful God

 

*If casting for two actors, I propose the following character divide.

Person 1: First Storyteller, Vainamoinen, River, Knife, Fintan mac Bóchra

Person 2: Second Storyteller, Joukahaimen, Aino, Fishing Pole, God

 

 

Setting

On Stage: a bare stage

The Road to Pohjola: A well beaten path by the River

Puppet Theater: A screen large enough to obscure two actors. Has a glowing moon and stars

The River Bank- Two folding beach chairs

 

Time

Happening now. Happened a long time ago. Will continue to happen forever

 

 

 

Scene 1:   INTRODUCTION

Lights up on First Storyteller center stage

First Storyteller

Step right up Ladies and Gentlemen, for the greatest story ever told! Don’ be shy, gather round! Be amazed by feats of strength! Bravery! And Daring! I have for you today a story of the greatest man who ever lived. The Great Vainamonen!

 

Second Storyteller

Bullshit. Ladies and Gentlemen, don’t be sold by this cheap-

 

First Storyteller:

Cheap!?

 

Second Storyteller

Charlatan-

 

First Storyteller

Charlatan?!

 

Second Storyteller

Swindler. I have for you today a story even bigger, even bolder, and even more EPIC than you’ve ever heard before. The story of actually the greatest man who ever lived. The Wonderful Joukahaimen!

 

First Storyteller

She tells a pack of lies!

 

Second Storyteller

Ladies and gentlemen, is this the face of someone who would lie to you? –

 

First Storyteller

Yes. Ladies and Gentlemen, I will now tell you the story of how The Great Vainamoinen defeated joke-a-name-

 

Second Storyteller

Joukahaimen

 

First Storyteller

Whatever, in single combat-

 

Second Storyteller

Ladies and Gentlemen, I will tell you the story of how The Wonderful Joukahaimen beat Vainamoinen in an epic duel!

 

 

First Storyteller

Thief! You’ve stolen my story!

 

Second Storyteller

You don’t even tell it right!

 

First Storyteller

That’s it. I’ve had it up to here with you

 

Second Storyteller

Oh yeah, well I’ve had it with you.

 

First Storyteller

I challenge you-

 

Second Storyteller

No, I challenge you-

 

Both

TO A STORY DUEL.

 

Both hold up signs saying “A DUEL TO THE DEATH”

 

Scene 2: A DUEL TO THE DEATH

First Storyteller

Once upon a time, when the stars were bright, and gods stubbed their toes and stepped in shit, there was The Great Vainamoinen!

 

Vainamoinen

(Singing to the tune of I, Don Quiote)

It is I, Vainamoinen, the great story teller

My songs bellow forward to show

That the mountains and valleys

Will bow to my grandeur

And dash out the brains of my foe!

Maiden and virgins will know

When kneeled before me they blow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joukahaimen

(Singing)

Joukahaimen

 I’m Joukahaimen

I sing down the thunder and rain

Joukahaimen,

Yes, I’m Joukahaimen

I’ll sing fire

I’ll burn your balls

 

Vainamoinen:

(Singing)

Hear me, jack ass and dipshit

And talentless boy

Vainamoinen will give you your due.

For a man such as me, you are but a toy

Oh the things I will do to you

It is I, Vainamoinen, the great story teller-

 

Joukahaimen

HAIYA! FIRE BALL TO THE FACE

She sings low note

 

Vainamoinen

OOF that was a cheap trick! LIGHTNING STRIKE TO YOUR FOOT

He sings high note

 

Joukahaimen

Ow, fuck that hurt.  TIDAL WAVE TO YOUR ELBOW

She yodels

 

Vainamoinen

oooo, that feels really weird. CENTIPEDE ON YOUR BELLY BUTTON

He makes weird noises

 

Joukahaimen laughs hysterically

 

Vainamoinen

SALT LICK ON YOUR TONGUE

He trills

 

Joukahaimen

Ow, thas, ‘eally ‘eally ‘ross-

 

Vainamoinen

MUD TO YOUR KNEES!

 

Joukahaimen struggles to move

 

Joukahaimen

BOULDER GROWTH, LEFT TESTICLE!

She srunts

 

Vainamoinen

 …….. Sand. Twister. Right. Nipple.

He squeaks

 

Both Vainamoinen and Joukahaimen writhe

 

Second Storyteller

Hey Matt?

 

First Storyteller

Yeah, Kenya?

 

Second Storyteller

How about we just call it a draw?

 

First Storyteller

Yeah, I think that would be a good idea.

                       

Beat

 

Both

AND THAT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN IS THE STORY OF THE GREATEST MAN EVER!!

 

They both bow

 

Both

Thank you, thanks, no you’re too kind etc…

 

Both wait for applause to end if it has started

 

First Storyteller

Huh, you know, I don’t know what happened next.

 

Second Storyteller

I don’t actually know either.

 

 

 

River

I know what happened. My name is River. You have some name for me in your tongue, but for me, I am River. I always was River. I always will be River. I was there on the day the elements rose from their own paths of existence at the behest of two boys on my bank. There were so young. They were so foolish. They were so head strong. And they weren’t alone. There was a young girl. Let me tell you The Story of Aino.

Second Storyteller shows a sign saying “THE STORY OF AINO”

The Following is performed using shadow puppets

 

Scene 3: THE STORY OF AINO

River

Daughter, who are you? Why are you so sad?

 

Aino

Who….who are you?

 

River

My name is River. I always was River. I always will be River. Daughter, why are you so sad?

 

Aino

ummm… well my name is Aino. And I’m not sad! I am so happy! I am the luckiest girl ever! My brother is Joukahaimen and he sold me as wife to Vainamoinen. I am so so so so so so so so so so so so happy!

 

She starts to cry

 

River

Daughter, don’t cry. Don’t be sad.

 

Aino

I’m not sad! I’m happy! Can’t you see my grin?

 

She make a wide grimace

 

Aino

I will never have to be alone again! I will never have to stare at the sky and whisper my secrets to the moon! I will never have to brush my hair and hear the love songs of the stars to each other. I will never get to… have to enjoy the night alone. Oh, River, I am so happy. I could not be happier. I could just die from happiness. I could just die.

 

River

Oh my poor daughter, I am so sorry that you are so sad-

 

Aino

I’m not sad.

 

River

Daughter, I’m so sorry that you are so happy. Your happiness makes me sad. You sadness sinks like a stone in my depths. I would give you whatever you would have of me. I will flow to the moon and pluck it out of the sky for you, so you could always whisper your secrets to her.

 

The River shadow puppet leaves its banks and covers the moon

 

Aino

No, if you took the moon, then we would both be away from our homes. No, leave the moon in the sky.

 

The River comes back down

 

River

I would give you whatever you would have of me. I will flow up to the sky stars and gather them up for you so you could hear their love songs.

 

The River flows up to the sky and covers the stars

 

Aino

No, if you took the stars, they would only sing songs of homesickness. No, leave the stars in the sky.

 

The River comes back down

 

River

I would give you whatever you would have of me. Please let me give you something. Your sadness sinks like a stone.

 

Aino

River, do you promise to give me whatever I would have of you?

 

River

Daughter, yes, I promise to give you whatever you would have of me.

 

Aino

Then take me. Take me deep into your depths and let me sink deep in your depths and sleep on your bed.

 

River

Daughter, do not ask that of me.

 

Aino

River, you promised. Take me. Let me leave and never be happy with Vainamoinen or without moon or without stars. Please

 

Aino takes the shadow puppet theatre away

 

River

And that is the story of Aino. I took her into my depths and Aino slept on my bank until no more air drifted out of her. I am the River. I have always been the River. I will always be the River.  But when a River has lived as long as I have, a River learns a few magics of our own. Not the singing magic of angry little boys, but the old magic of flowing water on river stones.

 

River takes Aino and brings her back to life. They dance slowly. He slowly transforms her into a trout

 

Fishing Pole

But that isn’t the end of Aino! Nope! Not at all! It went on! I should know, I’m the fishing pole!  Mhmm, I’m the fishing pole of Vainamoinen that caught her again. Whoo boy, now that is a story that you should hear. Boy, it sure it a good one. Man, I think I’m gonna tell it. I’m gonna tell MY AWESOME FISHING STORY!

 

First Storyteller shows the audience a sign that says, “MY AWESOME FISHING STORY”

 

Scene 4: MY AWESOME FISHING STORY

 

Fishing Pole

My life is awesome. Just me, Vaino and my good friend, Knife

 

Knife

Hi. Name’s Knife.

 

Fishing Pole

Why, you’re looking sharp today.

 

Knife

Thanks.

 

Fishing Pole

Come on Knife, you don’t have to be so pointed. Don’t make me reel you out. I’m trying to tell My Awesome Fishing Story!

 

Knife

With Vaino?

 

Both

And the Beer?

 

 

 

Fishing Pole

Ya, that’s the one! Whooo boy, weren’t those some fun times? Remember the time we caught that bass?

 

Knife

Yup. Up it came. Down I went. Guts everywhere. Warm blood. Tasted sweet. It was nice.

 

Fishing Pole

Ya! God that was such a struggle getting that one up. But it was nowhere near as good as when we caught that whale! I pulled one way, he pulled the other. I nearly snapped in half! But boy, oh boy we got him up eventually. Took ten days!

 

Knife

Yup. Up he came, Down I went. Guts everywhere. Tasted old. And Krill. I hate krill. But the blood was good.

 

 

Fishing Pole

And there was the time I caught a mermaid! She was so pretty! Singing such a pretty song. She was like some sort of fishy angel, all naked and scaly, made me blush to look at her. And trust me, it’s hard to make a fishing pole blush! I pulled one way, she pulled the other. I pulled harder, she cried and started to plead. It was so much fun! Took hours and hours to get her up. But boy, oh boy we got her up eventually.

 

Knife

Yup. Up she came. Down I went. Tasted salty.

 

Fishing Pole

But then there was the best part! I finally caught her Aino! We’d been out there for, like, ten years looking for her. Man, remember how mad Vaino was when she ran off?

 

Knife

Yup.

 

Fishing Pole

But our man Vaino is so badass that he came right out with us and the beer and started fishing. It was nice being out and about and doing my job and hanging out with my friends.

 

Knife

And catching fish.

 

Fishing Pole

But then I caught her! I just could feel it in my rod. I just knew it was her.

 

Knife

I don’t think it was her.

 

Fishing Pole

What do you mean you don’t think it was her. I know it was her.

 

Knife

Too small.

 

Fishing Pole

She was a little girl!

 

Knife

Too dull.

 

Fishing Pole

She was turned into a trout!

 

Knife

Not pretty.

 

Fishing Pole

She was a trooooooooouuuuuuut!

 

Knife

Still don’t think it was her.

 

Fishing Pole

Yeah, and Vaino believed you. Totally unfair. I mean, you hang out with a guy for ten years and he doesn’t believe you when you tell him you’ve caught his bride? I mean, totally unfair. He took one look at her and threw her right back into the river! We were out there for another ten years and I never saw her again. It was an awesome fishing trip. But I never really found out what happened to her.

 

Knife

Probably eaten. She’s a fish. Ground up by a shark. Suckered by an octopus. Met another fisherman and another Knife.  We’ll never know what happened to Aino.

 

Aino

I know what happened to Aino. She grew up. She travelled the world and learned every language. She saw every wonder there was to see. She learned the River Magic, and the Ocean Magic and the Sky Magic.

 

Knife

And how do you know that?

 

 

 

Aino

Because I am Aino and I think it’s time I told The Last Story. I’ve heard a lot of stories, but I think this is my favorite.

 

First Storyteller shows the audience a sign that says, “THE LAST STORY”

 

Scene 5: THE LAST STORY

 

Aino

This story starts a long time ago. 5,500 years ago, there was a single Irishman in all the world and his name was Fintan mac Bóchra.

 

Fintan

My name is Fintan. I lived a goodly life, a Godly life, a life of prayer and solitude

 

Aino

Then one day God spoke

 

God

Bow down, ye Mortal. Feare the Lord, thy God! I send tidings of my Wrathe!

 

Fintan cowers on the ground

 

 

Fintan

But God, Am I not a good man?

 

God

Silence Mortal, Do no question to Ways of the Lorde. I send my Floods to Wipe away your race. Submit to the Ende of All Things

 

God creates a storm

 

Fintan

Lord God, why do you punish me? Spare me!

 

Aino

But the storm raged on and Fintan mac Bóchra sank beneath the waves. But as he sank, Ocean took pity on him and his skin became scale, his arms into fins and his legs into one long tail.

 

Aino transforms Fintan into a Salmon

 

Fintan

And for 5,500 years I’ve travelled the earth, watching and learning and teaching and looking for something. I never knew what. Figured I would know if I saw it

 

Aino

Hello

 

Fintan

Hello

 

Aino

You look like a salmon, but you don’t sound like a salmon.

 

Fintan

Well you look like a trout, but you don’t hear me making an assumptions about the way you speak.

 

Aino

I’m sorry. I don’t usually get to talk to any other fish.

 

Fintan

I haven’t always been a fish.

 

Aino

Neither have I! But I am now and I like being a fish. You get to travel more as a fish than as a girl.

 

Fintan

Have you seen the Great Coral reef?

 

Aino

No! Have you visited Atlantis?

Fintan

I’ve never been there before.

 

Aino

I love travelling, but it gets lonely without a friend. Want to swim together for a while? I only have one condition. You can never fall in love with me.

 

Fintan

How could a salmon fall in love with a trout? Let’s explore the world.

 

Aino

And for a hundred years, Aino and Fintan explored the world. They chased hurricanes in the Pacific and road turtle back in the Atlantic. They had too many adventures to count.

 

They dance the dance of exploration. They fall in love

 

 

 

Fintan

After a hundred years, I couldn’t hold it in anymore. Aino, I’m so sorry, but I’ve fallen in love with you.

 

Aino

I can never love you. I laugh at love. I will belong to no man and no fish. I was born with magic in my blood and freedom written in my heart. I will look at the stars and whisper secrets to the moon.

 

Fintan

And I could never convince you otherwise?

 

Aino

Not even if you lived another 5,500 years

 

Fintan

What if I were to stay by your side for all of my life?

 

Aino transforms into a bear

 

Aino

I would become a bear and gobble you up.

 

Fintan transforms into bear

 

Fintan

What if I bear walked beside you?

 

Aino transforms into an eagle

 

Aino

I would fly away on the wings of an eagle

 

Fintan transforms into an eagle

Fintan

What if I eagle flew beneath you?

 

Aino transforms into a mouse

 

Aino

I would scurry away as a mouse and hide from you

 

Fintan transforms into a mouse

 

Fintan

What if I mouse scurried behind you?

 

Aino transforms into a woman

 

Aino

I would walk as a women and would lie down and stay still, as still as in death.

 

Fintan transforms into a man

 

Fintan

And if I, lay down next to you and give my last breath?

 

Aino

You would rather be with me, even in death?

 

Fintan

Yes. To be with you always is all that I’d ask. Never to keep you to myself or hold you back or ground you or –

 

Aino

I love you

 

Gestus

 

Fintan

Lead on my love, I’ll be by your side forever.

 

Aino

And that is The Last Story. And if you look up at night, and the sky is clear, you might see us exploring together.

 

Fintan

The trout and the salmon.

 

Both

Whispering secrets to the moon.

 

            Lights go out

            End of Play

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