A One Act Play Concerning Mendelev the Kacheek
Tilquet: Green Eyrie; The Judge.
Mendelev: Blue Kacheek; The Accused.
Gavin: Red Yurble; The Witness.
Naril: Blue Aisha; The Other Witness [Friend of Mendelev].
Vint, Karns, Lorn, Tiln, and Raul: The Jury.
Setting: Neovian Town Square
Act I; Scene I
I doubt that you have ever heard
Of a Kacheek named Mendelev;
The oddest story, actually,
That nobody has ever read.
Poor Mendelev had found himself
On trial for some unknown crime;
And no one had been kind enough
To say for what he must do time.
So poor, confused, old Mendelev
Sat in the Neovian Square,
Waiting for his makeshift trial,
As a crowd quickly gathered there.
[Enter Tilquet, Mendelev, Gavin, Vint, Karns, Lorn, Tiln, Raul, and Onlookers]
Order! Order! We must have order to begin the proceedings! First, I shall call out each name of those who are directly involved with this trial, and we shall begin.
Mendelev, the Kacheek!
Here, sir! Though, no one has yet to tell me why...
None of your lip, boy; you know perfectly well why you're here!
Gavin, the Yurble!
Oh, present, sir! Present! Here I am!
Very well, yes, I see you there, Gavin, thank you.
And the jury: Vint, Karns, Lorn, Tiln, and Raul!
All here, sir!
Four, five... Good! Yes, it does look to me like we are all here. Very well, then. Everyone please take your seats and we shall begin. Alright. First off-
I'm sorry, sir, but I still don't know why I'm here. I was told by a Gelert only this morning I was needed in the town square to attend a trial. Only when I got here was I told that I was the one to be put on trial! But my question is why?
Why? 'Why?' he asks, the hardened criminal of the day! Yes, yes, I'm sure you have your speech planned out to the last innocent plea. 'Let me play the wrongly accused, let me pretend to not even know what crime I have committed,' you have said, as I am sure you have, to yourself. Well, let me assure you, this nonsense will do you no good here. We have brought together the brightest people in Neovia to serve on this jury, and they will not be fooled by your pitiful pleas of innocence!
Right you are, Tilq!
Yes, erm, thank you, Tiln. Right, then, to begin. Before we hear Mendelev's story, I'm sure a very well rehearsed one, at that, let us first call up another witness, Gavin, the Yurble.
Oh, yes sir, if you say so, sir! I will say the truth, all of it, if you want me to, only I won't, if you don't want me to. Really, sir, really I will, or won't, whichever you prefer.
I think I'm drowning in an excessive use of commas.
Watch your sarcasm, Mendelev! I'm not in the mood to deal with your attitude at the moment. Please tell us, Gavin, all that you remember about seeing Mendelev here on Taramore Street two days ago.
Yes, sir! Well, I was walking down Taramore Street at about ten in the morning, when I saw Mendelev skulking about in the shadows next to a second-hand store-
Skulking!? I was not skulking next to a second-hand store! Try waiting patiently for the shop keeper to open up two hours la-
Erm, well then, I saw Mendelev standing by a second-hand store. Now this really wasn't anything suspicious, but then, just as I was passing by, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked back and saw Mendelev make a precise three-quarter turn to the left, stop facing exactly west, and walk down to the corner of Taramore Street!
But 'e just said 'e seen 'im do it, didn't 'e?
Darned good evidence, I say.
What?! I'm being put on trial for- what was it?- making a three quarter turn to the left, stopping facing west, and walking down the street! Since when is that a crime?!
Insolence! It's not the act itself; it's what the act implies, though I'm sure you very well know that!
Imply?! What does it imply, because, let me assure you, I certainly don't know! And, whatever it implies, how can you be sure that I turned an exact three-quarter turn to the right-
Actually, it was to the left-
Whatever! How can you be sure that I did exactly what he said I did! How do you know he's not the one making it all up?
Are you implying that he was lying, then?
Oh no, sir, I certainly was not lying. If I had been lying down, it would have been awfully hard for me to see Mendelev make his three-quarter turn, wouldn't it have been, sir?
No, Gavin, that's not quite what I meant- but that's not the point! [To the Jury] You have heard Gavin tell his account of the story, and now I must allow you the privilege of asking Gavin any direct questions you may have yourselves.
[Enter Naril off to the side]
Gavin, how can you assure us that Mendelev was standing facing exactly west when he turned around?
Well, you see, I know because on the ground at the intersection of Taramore and Main Street, there is a small compass rose, a very pretty one, actually- laid into the stonework of the road. I just looked at the compass, you see, and I found that Mendelev was facing exactly west! If you doubt any other details, sir, I can assure you, too, of those.
Actually, Gavin, there are five of us in the jury, not two, mate!
Yes, uh, thank you, Tiln, I believe Gavin is aware of that. Do any of the other jurors have questions for Gavin, here? No? No one? Well then-
Naril: [Coming forward]
Actually, sir, I have a question for Mr. Gavin, here.
Naril: [Aside to Mendelev]
You just keep quiet!
Wha- Who are you?! You're not part of the jury!
Maybe not, sir, but I believe I have a right to ask Mr. Gavin a question all the same, do I not?
Now you listen here-
Oh, come now, Tilq, let her ask her question!
If you call me that one more time- ! Oh, fine, go ahead and ask your question, then!
Mr. Gavin, though I fully believe your story and all the facts you have related, I just have to ask: Do you know at exactly what time Mendelev left his house this morning?
Yes, that is a good question!
I 'ad forgotten about t'at!
What?! Why, what difference would it make what time I left my house this morn-
Naril: [Aside to Mendelev]
I mean... Yes, Gavin, do you know what time I left? [Aside] Because I certainly don't...
Well- uh- no, I don't. Like I said before, I only saw him outside that second-hand store, you see.
Well, then, let me offer my insight on the subject. I happened to be on Lithum Street in front of Mendelev's house when he walked out this morning, and I can tell you for certain that he exited his house at exactly eight seconds past eight o'clock.
Are you quite certain of your facts there, now, miss? Are you absolutely positive about what you are saying?
Without any shadow of a doubt, I am certain.
Well then, um, I guess there isn't any other business to take care of. Now it just remains for the jury to decide on their verdict. Unless, of course, you, Mendelev, would like to add something?
Er, no, I think I'm pretty good over here, thanks.
Right, then! Now, the jury may leave to make their decision-
Actually, Tilq, we've already talked amongst ourselves over here and have come up with our decision splendidly without no bickering at all!
Yup. And we've all decided that Mendelev here is...
Yes poor, confused, old Mendelev,
Had found, by some great stroke of luck,
Himself to be deemed not guilty,
Although he still knew not for what!
At any rate, Naril had saved
Mendelev from a certain doom,
With her wise look at circumstance,
Which swayed the jury (we assume).
So now our story must soon end,
Though leaving the reader confused,
But really nothing can be done,
Because this story's end has come.