Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Death of the King



(A rose-gold pearlescence has gathered on the horizon, spreading across the skirts of the winter clouds as Pheobus Apollo sinks to his rest. A perfect time for the telling of omens. Jerome Kirkman walks towards the slaughterhouse, a weathered outbuilding on the edge of his property. Catullus follows in his father's footsteps, bearing, amongst other things, a slightly chipped clay amphora.)

Jerome: Good weather.

(Catullus surveys the snow-shrouded landscape. The weather is indeed good, but it is inadvisable to assume an auspicius outlook on the basis of pathetic fallacy. Jerome pushes open the slaughterhouse door and Catullus follows him inside. A goat lies in a small pen to one side, reclining on a bed of straw. Catullus put the amphora down atop a simple wooden altar and proceeds to rouse the goat.)

Catullus: Wake up. It's time.

(The goat raises its head and looks up, its eyes glazed with the effects of its last supper of red wine and barley. Catullus drapes a garland of winter ivy around its shoulders and crowns it with a wreath of yew. While he prepares the sacrifice, his father builds a fire beneath a large, shallow cast-iron cauldron which is suspended from the ceiling: a remnant of the days when the slaughterhouse was a maple-sugar shack. Once the fire is built, he takes down a sickle-shaped knife which is hanging on one wall and begins to sharpen it. Catullus lifts the goat in his arms and carries it to the altar.)

Jerome: Would you lead the prayers?