Posts Tagged "kate elliot"

My Voice is in My Sword

by on Feb 5, 2013 in Short Fiction | 2 comments

by Kate Elliott   We knew we were in trouble when Macbeth insisted on seeing the witches first. You know the bit: Banquo and Macbeth enter and Banquo says, ” ‘What are these, so wither’d and so wild in their attire?’ ” That’s his moment, when he points out the three witches to Macbeth and Macbeth sees them for the first time, those three terrible hags who will hail Macbeth as king when of course he isn’t king yet and will only become king by murder most foul. Have you heard about actors who won’t let any of the other actors have moments on stage that are theirs alone? “Hey,” said Bax to Yu-Saan, who was playing Banquo in drag, “I’ll see the witches first, and then I’ll tap you on the shoulder and you see them and say the line.” I propped my feet up on a stool and looked at Octavian and Octavian looked at me, and we both sighed. No doubt you’re asking yourself where the director was, who might correct this little bit of scene-stealing. Well, he was right where he ought to be, sitting at a table staring at the taped-out stage where the five actors walked through the scene. He didn’t say a word. How could he? So they went on. The witches say their lines and Macbeth and Banquo say a few more, and just before the witches vanish, Bax got in a feel to Emmi’s breast, just grabbed it, and Emmi went all stiff in the face and twisted away from him, and for all you could tell from El Directore’s face, he hadn’t seen a thing. But Emmi did double time off to the side, looking like steam was about to pour out of her ears. Enter Ross and Angus. I’m Ross, by the way. The big joke is that I always have to play Ross in the Scottish play because my real name is Ross. By the time rehearsal was over, Bax had managed to grope another witch and twist King Duncan’s arm so hard while offering fealty that it actually brought a tear to old Jon-Jon’s good eye. We retired to nurse our wounds, en masse to the hostel where we were sleeping, and Bax made a grand exit with his three lamias—one in each shade—to wherever it was a star of his stature stays on an alien world with a limited number of oxygen-rich chambers in which humankind can breathe. “Lady Christ in Heaven,” said Emmi, massaging her bruised breast while Jon-Jon examined his wrenched wrist with bemused interest. “I don’t think I’m going to survive four more weeks of this. Where’d he get you, Cheri?” Cheri—Second Witch—shrugged. She’d probably endured worse, back when she was a hootch dancer on Tau Ceti Tierce. “Crotch. What a pig.” “But Cheri, my dear,” said Octavian quietly, “he’s a Star.” Kostas—who should have been playing the lead but was playing Macduff instead—peered down from his bunk. “Why is it that Stars have to prove their legitimacy by doing theater? Can’t they stay on their holies and interactives and leave us to do what we’ve trained for? I still can’t believe Bax began directing during the damned read-through. And El Directore didn’t say a thing.” “Oh, well,” said Emmi. “I’m sure it’ll get better. It certainly can’t get worse.” Emmi, we all had to agree later, would not be auditioning for the role of Cassandra in Troilus and Cressida anytime soon. We took two days more to block out the rest of the play and Bax behaved himself, except that he ate sandwiches and drank coffee every time he was on stage, walking around with the cup in one hand and his script in the other. When he fought and killed young Siward for the first time, he ate a sandwich during the fight scene and dribbled crumbs onto poor prostrate Ahmed—who was doubling as Donalbain and young Siward—while he said his lines. At the end of the first week, the diplomat Phan-Yen Caraglio arrived to give us the official tour...

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