Macbeth, Updated For The Twentieth Century, Part IISubmitted by Quartermain at 2004-05-06 10:29:43 EDT
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For Part I see: http://www.ubersite.com/m/32147
SCENE CHANGE: ANONYMOUS is sitting half in and half out of an alleyway, outside an Irish pub-themed bar called ‘The Blasted Heath.’ Outside it is dark and cold and windy. There is one streetlight giving off a fitful, sparky kind of light. There is litter blowing along, and puddles on the asphalt and you can hear sirens in the background.
But through the windows it can be seen that there is warmth and light and conviviality. There is a fire going in a fireplace at one end of the bar. The sound of a (good) live band can be heard, along with glasses clinking, people laughing and talking and just generally enjoying the hell out
of themselves. It is a very ‘clean’ sounding enjoyment too, with none of the hints of desperation or trying-too-hard-to-have-fun that such places sometimes have.
ANONYMOUS seems to not notice their surroundings, either inside or outside. They are laying out a series of old, tattered, Tarot cards. These cards have a very old look to them, like they might be actual mediaeval antiques. ANONYMOUS looks at them, picks them up, shuffles the deck, and then starts all over again. They do this two or three times. Every time they do, both the Death card and whatever Tarot card has a King on it show up. As windy as it is, it doesn’t seem to move the cards or blow them around, like you’d expect. As ANONYMOUS does this, they rock back and forth, muttering to themselves again.
Again the freeze-frame and a title scroll that reads THE BLASTED HEATH IRISH PUB
3rd Voice: (old and reedy) …Like a rat without a tail, I’ll do and I’ll do and I’ll do.
1st Voice: (young and breathy) Show me, show me, show me.
(The sound of the drum solo from the song ‘Tequila’ escapes from the pub, along
with various noises of approbation from the audience, ‘wooo’, cheers, etc.)
2nd Voice: A drum, a drum, Macbeth doth come!
A door opens and two men come out. They are early middle-aged, reasonably fit. They’re not dressed as well as DUNCAN, but better than the CLERK. They are finishing shrugging into trench coats and adjusting scarves, like people do when they leave the inside for the somewhat inclement outside. The tall, fair-haired man is WILLIAM MACBETH. He is a Sean Bean/Kenneth Brannagh looking kind of guy. Your general Scots/Irish type. He stands about 6’2, and is fairly in shape, with
broad shoulders, and a general ex-college football player sort look to him. As you look at him though, you can see where the long hours and hurried meals of take-out are starting to soften and round his edges. His six-pack is on the verge of turning into a twelve-pack, in other words. He looks very confident and self-assured, but there is a hint of insecurity and trepidation lurking in his background, like he’s always subconsciously waiting for the other shoe to drop.
If you think that the shorter, darker man next to him looks Sicilian, you’d be right. This is EDUARDO BANQUONETTI, scion of an old Sicilian banking family. Due to the twin incentives of this twist of familial fortune and his name, he is known to his friends and a multitude of bartenders, maitre’d’s, bouncers, and ushers as ‘BANCO.’ BANQUONETTI has been in the city for a couple of years. In Sicily, in his youth, he was a little wild for his family’s comfort and the good
of their business, which, given the accounts they handle, (coughCosaNostracough) relies on discretion. So he was sent on ‘temporary assignment’ to MACBETH’s firm to pursue his family’s interests here in The City. He is a good friend of MACBETH’s, as they share common interests and pursuits. Unlike MACBETH, however, there is no wedding ring on his finger and he likes it that way. He pushes the ‘Latin Lover/Italian is the language of romance/ah, cara mia, I die without you’
stereotype as far as he can and never lacks for takers. He has the look and feel of a contented man who enjoys his life immensely. Physically, he is an Al Pacino in Godfather II looking kind of guy.
They are both a little tipsy. Not drunk by even the strictest standards…but just sort of…relaxed.
WILL: (general N.E./New England type accent) Damn it got cold all of a sudden.
(Pulls his coat around him, shakes his head)(A little wistfully, the tone of a
man vaguely regretting the death of summer and the oncome of winter) And it was
so nice this morning too. I’ve not seen a day change from one to the other like
this in a long time.
BANCO: (Sicilian accent) How far is it to the hotel from here? (Sees ANONYMOUS)
Whoa, check this guy out here, Will. (ANONYMOUS finishes his shuffle and once
again begins to lay out the grimy and tattered Tarot cards.) Hey, Tarot cards, maybe they can tell us about the future.
WILL: (snorts sceptically) I don’t need cards to tell you your future, buddy.
Your future is to go home alone tonight; you keep using those cheesy lines. I
can’t believe you asked that one chick if you followed her home, would she keep
you. (Gives BANCO a pained look) Man’s got to have his pride, after all. I
remember when I was- (ANONYMOUS interrupts him)
ANONYMOUS: 1st Voice: Macbeth! How do you like your private office?
2nd Voice: Macbeth! How do you like your executive suite?
3rd Voice: Macbeth! How do you like heading your firm?
The two men are a little startled, both at the three-in-one voice, as well as at
what the voices are saying, and then the sound of a car horn breaks the
BANCO: (snickers, cuffs WILL on the shoulder, buddy-fashion) Hey, Will, remember
not to forget the little people when you get all high and mighty. (To ANONYMOUS)
Anything in those cards for me, signor? (Lays down a couple of dollars near
ANONYMOUS looks up at him and starts a little, like he’s surprised to see to him
there. He then nabs the money, reshuffles his cards, lays them out and then
looks down to read them.
1st Voice: Not as good as your friend, but better.
2nd Voice: Not so happy, but happier
3rd Voice: Successful, but with children more so
WILL: (sarcastically humouring, doesn’t believe a word of it) I don’t know,
that’s a little too clear for me, could you vague it up a little? (To BANCO)
Last I checked, buddy, all the executive spots were filled by executives.
Anyway, how are you supposed to tell the future from playing cards? Wait don’t
tell me (beat) it’s my destiny to become the Ace of Spades.
All of sudden the wind gusts up and it blows some dirt into MACBETH”S and
BANQUONETTI’s faces. When they can see again, ANONYMOUS is gone.