Duff Thinks Things Through

From Knights of Faith

(A round room inside a castle. Will is sitting on a low stool. Duff is pacing.)

DUFF

You wanted to come.

(pause)

I don’t understand all this silence. I don’t understand anything, frankly. And I don’t understand why I don’t understand. God knows I’ve tried. God knows I’ve put a great deal of effort into this whole affair. No one can argue with me about that. I’ve quite exhausted myself with these proceedings, in truth. And yet – I have given in to neither cynicism nor despair. There’s something to be said for perseverance. There’s something to be said for hope. There’s something to be said for eating a good breakfast.

(pause)

Why would a king invite us to his castle and then simply ignore us? It’s downright rude, if you ask me. I don’t care if he is a king. Rude is rude. I have a mind to just up and leave this place. I mean it. I see no point in sitting around waiting for Your Royal Highness to grace us with his presence when we could be out wandering around the countryside getting into trouble.

(pause)

And yet, he must have asked us here for a reason. Something must be brewing. Affairs of state. Rebellion. Revolt. Unrest of whatever nature. Events are no doubt unfolding as I speak. That’s it. I’ve hit upon it. He cannot come. He cannot come because of the volatility of the situation. If he loses his grasp for one instant – one crucial moment – all will be lost. Potentially. But it’s not worth the risk. The feelings of two slightly overwrought knights – under the circumstances – take a back seat to political expediency. That is only to be expected.

(long pause)

On the other hand–

Footsteps are heard approaching.

Listen!

More footsteps, growing louder.

Oh, thank heaven. Will! Someone’s coming! Someone’s here!
And not a moment too soon!

The footsteps are very near and then begin to recede as if someone has simply walked past the door and continued along the corridor.

But– But– We’re in here! Come back!! I won’t stand for this! Enough is enough! Will! Do something! Say something! I’m counting on you. I’ve always counted on you. Now is not the time for resignation. Now is not the time for calm! We must think, we must discover, we must seek out–

(yanks on the door and it opens)

Oh. It’s open, Will.
(shrugs)
I think I’ll take a gander down by the moat, if it’s all the same to you. Back in a giffy.

(exits)

[from Knights of Faith]

© Elizabeth Anne French 2017

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