The stage is dark. From what little light exists the audience can make out the silhouette of a dozen or more trees: this is our forest. The lack of light is our moonless night. The days are now shortest, soon to bounce back and head for those long forever sunlit hours; but along that path are the cold winter months. So it is an inward and anxious time, but for the lumberjack who turns his work to splitting fuel for yule-tide fires to stay burning.
From behind, then through the audience, our lumberjack hauls a heavy tree. The carrying is laborious, but he is quite strong. He takes rest in the forests’ clearing and sits upon his block, pulling a woolen blanket snug ’round his person.
All is still, erie almost in this way.
A dim blue light grows- here at last is our sunrise and morning.
G: With her light, so too rises a young anabaptist girl who in warmer months sells flowers further down, in town.
She rises; and stretches; and beams greetings to the sun. Bows and bends.
B: the lumber-jack sees and is struck by an immediate fullness of the heart; he looks and clasps at his own chest.
G: she looks down and notices a flower that has not yet lost its bloom to the frost. She kisses it softly.
B: Oh sweet love! Sound-less bellowing, reeling joy!
Dark night returns! Dawn and dusk are the same. She hardly breaks over the horizon before falling back south, our great wheel.
I: Dark shadows race in under the camoflauge of the of the blackness. The girl hides and the lumberer is bewildered.
D: The darkest and tallest night spirit, with body of midnight sky and head of tree and animal bones. He enters to smother the fires, those burning of wood and those of the inner vibrance that allows man and woman to carry through patiently these frozen days.
D: He sees the girl cowering behind a fallen tree. She will surrender to him this night. The lumber-jack attacks to defend but is caught and held by the night spirit in one hand as if his mighty strength was nothing mighty at all. With this boy tucked between his fingers he continues towards the flower girl, his body consuming, his free hand out-stretched towards this child.
G: She leaps up and begins to dance. Is it such fear to drive her to lunacy?
D: The great spirit, perhaps out of confusion, but with stoic nobility in his eyes and jowl, joins her dance- with a waltz of his own; leaving the boy from his grasp.
B: finding the flower upon the ground, boy kneels upon the hardened forests’ floor.
He looks up to the stars, distant suns, but too far away.
I: A small dark spirit walks through and between the tall birches and spruce; touching still bloomen flowers ’till they are frozen and dead.
B: The lumber-jack rises from his solitude and sadness and follows the spirit. He follows him through a thicket, over a river and to a meadow where he finds the great wicked phantom and the girl he loves
G & D: they still waltz, but it seems this shadow’s spells have begun taking hold of this pressumtuous girl. Her will is now fragile, and as they dance, he leads and she follows.
B: Our hero edges closer in a horror confused by disbelief.
D: RELEAVED! The dark lord takes hold of our boy!
More spirits scurry round. Prodding a jabbing.
Prodding and jabbing the man-child with icy fingers,
with hopeless thoughts
and with such notions of lonesome despair.
Round and round he struggles to hold on,
love for the girl his fire within,
but the attacks are relentless
and with all his will
and with all his love
he is still helpless under their powers.
Weaker and weaker; heavy eyes; tired limp arms and legs.
Falling, falling, this monstrous snowflake.
Fall into cold wintress embrace.
G: The girl is broken free from her trance, panicked and desperate, held back by imps and specters as she reaches for the dying man-child.
He is gone and she is without.
D: the dark lord takes her arm and forces her close.
K: A kind sprite hops up, one of the few who remain in this season. He looks with soft and caring eyes upon the boy.
And despite the boy’s size he takes him upon his back and carries him.
He carries him out of the meadow, and beyond the forest. He carries him past stars, which become suns and stars again.
He carries him past seasons and past time herself. Here there is no longer strength or weakness.
Love fills back through his heart; a robust fire.
He no longer sees shape. Only the many fires that could never burn through their fuel.
The thought of a star shoots across the sky,
and then another, a tear fallen
A thousand stars; all diamonds dropping from a grand tree
Pouring down into one bowl; into one round
Pouring down and filling up;
forming one sphere.
The sun; begins to rise; a new day; to be a few moments longer; longer than the last; only a few moments; but longer still.
Our lumbering boy walks back, journeying the same path he came by; returning to time and seasons; past stars and planets; again into the forest that he had spent so many years within and would spend so many yet.
G: his sweet girl is here, sitting in the meadow beneath the sun– oh but she is morbid and pale!
B: Boy shows himself, greeting her broad chested and tall. He is the companion of morning and of joy.
He dances with sweeping gestures, nimble and strong, performing for his princess.
G: But the dull glaze that has coated her expressions make no change.
B: Again, he leaps up, over and over, leaping up, so high he seems as though he were flying.
G: But her apathy shows no sign of breaking.
B: Put off, perhaps a little upset, but not losing any ounce of perseverance or hope; Boy reaches deep, a dance of his soul and of his spirit which runs together within and as the forest; her blood and her pumping heart.
G: She does not budge.
B: And to the boy’s horror an apparition,
a ghostly image of the night god hangs above her as her master and her prison,
Even here in the day light?!
And with that thought, day is gone and it is night again.
Boy falls back, broken for a moment by a terror found by this sudden unexpected.
Crawling back and cowering under the shadows illusion. He buries his face like a child under the covers.
G: The girl child comes to this broken boy,
she comforts him combing her long fingers through his hair
he looks up
and finds her smile; and surely contorted by confusion he lets a smile grow upon his lips,
his eyes plead for this to be real
she bows and offers her hand
he is unsure
she bows and offers her hand
he takes it
and they dance
a dark dance of the sinister night!
his pleading heart
sings to her as he leads a dance of a child’s love, playful and kind.
they come together
and she faints in his arms.
He looks upon her pale face
she opens her eyes, they are her own.
He holds her in his arms, kneeling on the frozen earth
the whistling winds of winter have come and bite at his face.
but he is calm and so peaceful with love
she is with him now
and together they wait.
the sun returns.