Death’s Messengers

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La muerte

 Click here to read this playscript in Spanish: LOS MENSAJEROS DE LA MUERTE


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“Death stood behind him, and said:

‘Follow me, the hour of your

departure from this world has come.’”


Grimm Brothers














ACT I –  In the Forest




(The Giant enters from the right side of the stage.  Death enters from the left side of the stage and stands in front of the giant.  There is a big stone in the middle of stage).



DEATH:  Stop!.  Not one step further!.



GIANT:  (angry) What?.  YOU, a creature that I could crush between my fingers, you want to block my way? Who are you that you dare to speak so boldly?.



DEATH:  I am Death.  No one resists me, and you too must obey my orders.



GIANT:  I don’t obey orders from nobody!.  And if you want to fight with me, let’s fight then. 



DEATH:  You’ll loose your precious life, and that’s why I came here for!.



GIANT:  Don’t threaten ME!.  (The giant and death start to fight violently .  He knocks death down with his fist, causing her to collapse by a stone.)  This was the easiest fight I’ve had in my whole life.  So long, and next time think who you’re going to mess with. (he keeps walking and leaves stage.  Death tries to get up but she is too weak that she can’t get up)



DEATH:  And now what?.  If I stay lying here in a corner, no one will die in the world, and it will become so filled with people that they won’t have room to stand beside one another.



(A poor, but strong and healthy peasant enters stage singing and looking at both sides.  He sees death semi-conscious laying on the floor, and approaches her).



PEASANT:   God all mighty!  What has happened to you ma’am?.  Have you been assaulted?.   (he takes his bottle of water and hands her the bottle.  Death takes a few sips of water and gives him back the bottle)  Take my arm, I’ll help you stand up. 



(Death grabs his arm and stands)



DEATH:  Do you know who I am, and whom you have helped onto her legs again?.



PEASANT:  No, I don’t ma’am.  I don’t know who you are.



DEATH:  Yes, you know me.  Many people talk about me…a lot.



PEASANT:  I don’t recall you. 



DEATH:  I am death. 



PEASANT:  (scared) May the Lord protect me!.



DEATH:  I know you’re afraid of me, and you must know  I spare no one, nor can make an exception with you.



PEASANT:  Is it my time to leave this world?.



DEATH:  Not yet.  However, so you may see that I am grateful, I promise you that I will not attack you without warning, but instead will send my messengers to you before I come and take you away.



PEASANT:  Thank goodness!.   It’s good to me to know when you’re coming, and that I will be safe from you until then.



DEATH:  Just remember what I have just told you, and be prepared.  Now, go on your way, while I keep emptying the world.  See you later!. 



PEASANT:  So long!.



DEATH:  Even if it sounds ironic, I am the only sure thing you have in life. 



(The peasant leaves the stage.  Death remains in the center of the stage)



ACT II – At the Peasant’s House



(The peasant and his friend are in the living room)



PEASANT:  …And that’s how I made mu fortune, my friend.  I am extremely rich!.  I have traveled all over the world, and I have met many rich and famous people.  



FRIEND:  (coughing) You were always a good gambler.  I should have listened to you when you advice me to follow in your footsteps.  



PEASANT:  Now you regret it, but in those days you prefered to keep working in that old mine.  Now  look at you…you’re sick because of all that damned polluted dust you have breathed for so many years.



FRIEND:  And look at you… you’re rich and happy!  (sad) and I’m poor and sick. (he stands)



PEASANT(he stands)  Cheer up!.



FRIEND:  You can say that, because you’ve nothing to worry about.



PEASANT:  You know nothing about all the sickness and pain, which tormented me by day and deprived me of my rest by night. 



FRIEND: But you didn’t die!.



PEASANT:  (thoughtful) It is true, I’m still here.



(Both walk to the door.  The Peasant opens the door).



FRIEND:  See you later, and keep enjoying life… after all, we only live once.  



PEASANT:  So long!.



(The peasant closes the door, then he feels a chilly wind, and he trembles.  He feels a tap on his shoulder.  He turns around and sees death standing behind him).  



DEATH:  Follow me. The hour of your departure from this world has come.



PEASANT:  What?.  Are you breaking your word?.  You promised me that you would send your messengers before you yourself would come.  I have not seen any of them!.



DEATH: Be quiet, you’re talking nonsense!.   Didn’t I send you one messenger after another?.  Did not fever come and strike you, and shake you, and throw you down?.  Has not dizziness numbed your head?. Did your ears not buzz?.   Did toothache not bite into your cheeks?.   Did your eyes not darken?.  And furthermore, has not my own brother Sleep reminded you every night of me?.  During the night did you not lie there as if you were already dead?. 



PEASANT:  (takes a deep breath)  Yes ma’am…I have to surrender to my fate…I’ll go with you.



(Death and the peasant leave the stage holding hands).



The End



Author:  Adapted by K I D S I N C O based on a story by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm




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