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by Michael Rudd


A prison cell with a block on the floor and a single window.

[Lights up on ANOMALY holding a book.]

ANOMALY: [V.O.] I see these untruly speaking Voices.  Bastards of Ausonius!  Sanctimoniously stupid.  Voices.  Mindless chattering.  Vindicating decay ...

ANOMALY: [Reading] "We are one in all and all in one..."

[He begins laughing.  Enter GUARDS with a bowl of food.  ANOMALY slips the book into his clothing.]

GUARDS: Here is food.

ANOMALY: For me?

GUARDS: It is for the prisoners.

ANOMALY: I am the only prisoner.

GUARDS: It is.  For all prisoners to share.

ANOMALY: There is only myself.  So it is just for me, then?  ... Do any of you know why I am in here?

[The GUARDS set the food down and exit.]

ANOMALY: [V.O.] Lemmings.

But.  They were uncertain.  Uncertainty is doubt, and if there's doubt there is hope.  There is hope.  But how do I show them, their nakedness.  They have clothes on their souls.

ANOMALY: Hey―that's not half bad―"clothes on their souls..."

[From offstage, there is the sound of CHILDREN passing by.  They begin to sing the two songs "Row, row, row your boat" and "Ring around the rosy" simultaneously, dissonantly.  Hearing this, ANOMALY  grabs the bowl of food, dumps it out, then rushes to the  window and begins to use the bowl to play percussion to their song.  During this, enter GUARDS.]

CHILDREN: [O.S.]  Row, row, row your boat
(Ring around the rosy)
Gently down the stream
(A pocket full of posy)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
(Ashes, ashes)
Life is but a dream
(We all fall down)

[Their voices fade away.  ANOMALY keeps playing as he turns back, but ceases once he sees the GUARDS.]

ANOMALY: [Tossing the bowl to the GUARDS and sitting on the block.] Mulţumesc―it was exquisitely delicious.  Oh―but please do inform the chef that the filet mignon was a bit undercooked.  But I'll gladly overlook that with a complimentary dessert.

GUARDS: Stand up and hear our Voices.

[Enter THAN, FATE, and SOPHIA.]

THAN, FATE & SOPHIA: Good morning, Anomaly.

ANOMALY: Anomaly?  Is that what I'm being called?  Groovy.  Very enigmatic.  Which one of you thought of that?

SOPHIA: Incongruity within the collective was recognized.

ANOMALY: By you?

THAN & FATE: By all.

ANOMALY: Oh.  By all.

SOPHIA: By all.

ANOMALY: By every single individual.  Collectively speaking, of course.

SOPHIA: Anomaly, we are not incapable of processing the singular.  We have simply seen the wisdom and strength of the plural.

ANOMALY: You are so hot.


ANOMALY: I have processed that singular.

THAN: Excuse me?

ANOMALY: Certainly.  And I can see the wisdom in our plural.

SOPHIA: We are the Voices.

ANOMALY: You are so much more.  You are Sophia!

THAN: Anomaly!

ANOMALY: Than, I told you you're excused.

THAN: Go to hell!

ANOMALY: Ha!  That would be your solution―

FATE: One bad apple will spoil a barrel.

ANOMALY: ―But does Wisdom follow?

FATE: It is our decision for the collective―

ANOMALY: I am really not the kind of guy to leave it up to Fate.

FATE: You have no choice in the matter.

ANOMALY: Yes I do.  I have every choice!

SOPHIA: Anomaly.

ANOMALY: Sophia.

SOPHIA: Why are you here?


SOPHIA: What are the circumstances that led you to this?

ANOMALY: Well, all the hotels in town were booked.

FATE: Do not waste our time.

ANOMALY: What are you looking for?  Some kind of confession?

SOPHIA: It was collectively agreed prudent to interview the Anomaly, vis a vis.

ANOMALY: "Collectively agreed prudent" ... Did any of you fine gentlemen agree to this?

THAN: That is not their purpose.  We are the Voices.

ANOMALY: Of course, my mistake.  They are just guards.  Hmm.  Will you tell me then―what do you want to know?



FATE: Yes, "why."

ANOMALY: Hmm.  I don't think so.

THAN: Excuse me?

ANOMALY: There's the door―


SOPHIA: Peace.

ANOMALY: Yes!  Enough!  Because you, Than, don't want to know "why?"―you only want to know "when?"  When will this formality be over?  When will this bad apple be extracted?

THAN: Sooner than you think!

ANOMALY: Not soon enough for you!

SOPHIA: Please, calm―

ANOMALY: But there is a query with an even more perilous outcome.  How?

THAN: How?

ANOMALY: Yes, how.  How will each one of these guards feel and how will they react?

SOPHIA: To what?

[ANOMALY kisses SOPHIA.  The GUARDS stare but do not move.]


[The GUARDS separate ANOMALY from SOPHIA and restrain him.  THAN knocks ANOMALY to the ground.]

THAN: And what about me, what about how I would react?!

[SOPHIA, FATE and the GUARDS stare at THAN and         ANOMALY.]

THAN: What?

SOPHIA: Not "what."  How long?

THAN: Don't be childish.

SOPHIA: Than.  How long have you deceived us?

FATE: What are we talking about?

THAN: We are talking about the unfortunate spoiling of a Voice.  Guards!


ANOMALY: It's a beautiful thing, the blossoming of Wisdom.  Like a flower in spring.

THAN: Execute.

GUARDS: We hear.

[All GUARDS comply save one.  No one notices this. Exit THAN, FATE, and the other GUARDS.  The remaining GUARD picks up the book which has fallen away from ANOMALY.]

GUARD: [V.O., reading.] "And it seems to us that our spirit is clear as a lake troubled by no eyes save those of the sun.  And in our heart―strange are the ways of evil!―in our heart there is the first peace we have known in ... years."

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Copyright © 2010 by Michael Rudd

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that Clothes for their Souls is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author at michaeljruddjr@gmail.com



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