Click here for the Neil Gaiman short story upon which this script is based.
Click here for more information about the Mini Operas contest, and how you can participate with your own script, music, or video!
And without further distraction, allow me to present…
THE BROOM THAT SWEPT THE DREAMS
By: Nash High
I just want to dream of Richard,
I just want to see his face,
But instead I find I’m lifted
To this dank and dusty place.
I just want to dream of Richard,
I just want to meet his gaze,
I just want to throw him overboard
And drown him in the lake–
But instead I’m here.
In this awful room,
With nothing to keep me occupied
Except a table and a broom.
CLARA: Aah! …Richard?
BROOM: No… Clara… sweep with me….
CLARA: Sleep with you?!
BROOM: No… sweep with me, and I will tell you my story….
CLARA: You mean… like this?
I once belonged to the Sweeper,
Who cleans all dreams away,
Who sweeps them up with the powder and dust,
And burns them in the burnished light
That solders the night with the day.
The moss of ancient castle stones,
And the slick of alien steel,
They all have grazed my patient frame,
As my bristles inched them toward the flames.
I have swept the lines that so rudely define
What is from what isn’t real.
I’ve played my part in the genocide
Of countless enchanted beasts.
I’ve purged the world of demons,
Discomfort, and disease.
In the marble hands of my Master,
I dutifully managed my task.
I’ve swept away sets, props, and actors,
Hell, I’ve swept away entire acts.
For Ages I have sacrificed:
I’ve devoted my life to upholding my place,
And all was well,
And all was quiet,
But now I’ll tell you
Of how I’ve been–
Oh, I’ve been betrayed!
I’d been accused of residue,
Of what I’d left behind,
In the corners and the crevices
Of hazy waking minds.
But I’ve only done the finest work
That my fibers would allow,
And it always pleased the Master well–
At least… until now.
I don’t know what
Could’ve made him change his mind.
Now I’m not good enough
When I’ve been here all this time–
And suddenly he feels the need to improve,
So he hobbles off to find himself a better sort of broom!
Oh, I’ve been betrayed!
Now I’m divine among the staves;
There is no better broom.
Dusters just divert the dirt,
And besoms streak the room.
But imagine what grave countenance,
Encased my dark demeanor,
On finding that I’d been replaced
By a mindless vacuum cleaner.
Now I’ve been,
How I’ve been,
Oh, I’ve been betrayed!
But mostly, oh mostly
END ACT I
I don’t know what you want from me;
What can I hope to offer you?
I’ll try and stay to lend my ear–
But the bright of day will take me soon—
Enter the SWEEPER, who empties the contents of a vacuum cleaner onto the table and lights it aflame.
My timid reign has ended now:
I have no place to be.
Oh, Clara, find it in your mind,
To try and remember me–
Broom! You don’t have to do this!
You can come back and live in my home.
I’ll treat you as an honored guest,
Your life will finally be yours entirely–
Yours and yours alone.
No! I won’t hang over your fireplace.
I won’t gather dust in your shed.
My purpose decayed when you made your sick trade
Now your flames will put me to rest.
Your flames will put what’s left of me to rest!
So stand aside, my old keeper,
You know well the job you must do:
To purge in fire last night’s tired ideas
To leave the ground clear for the new.
So let’s leave the ground clear for the new!
BROOM casts himself into the fire.
END ACT II
CLARA is alone.
I just wanted to dream of Richard.
I just wanted to savor his fear.
But instead I dreamed of… something.
February 11, 2012
Sorry for the slow update–yesterday was a pretty busy day, and I was bad about getting this posted.
Anyhow, I have in fact launched my Coffee House Games Kickstarter project! If you like to write, or if you like coffee, or if you like neither but need something new to do with friends, check it out! We’ve been having loads of fun playing coffee house games for the past year or so, and I think you will enjoy them too! There’s a free demo game on the Kickstarter page.
February 9, 2012
Well, the day I’ve been itching at for months and months and more is finally here! My first album, The Night Wind, has launched and is officially available through Bandcamp. I’m releasing it under the moniker Street Nymphs, partially in the hopes that Street Nymphs will eventually become a full-on band and consist of more than just me. Until then, I’ll settle with my ethereal forest sprite companions.
I’m releasing The Night Wind with Bandcamp’s delightful name-your-price feature, so you may download it for free if you like. I figure, when it comes down to it, I would rather have many people listening than a few people paying. If this philosophy eventually makes a poor man of me… well, at least my album will still be on Bandcamp? Ah, we’ll figure that one out later.
In other news, the coffee house games are coming along quite well. I wish I had art to share with you, but I had something of a cross-hatching mishap the other day and have yet to retrace my earlier design. Tomorrow Renee and I will venture out to a number of our coffee shops to deliver flyers and take a few photographs, and I am doing my best to have the Kickstarter project launched by then. I will post another brief update as soon as that happens.
Best wishes, and I hope you enjoy the first ever Street Nymphs album!
February 2, 2012
I just wanted to keep you all updated on a few things as we tip over into this eerily warm February (at least here in the Midwest).
First of all, I plan to launch my second Kickstarter project sometime this weekend. This is another publishing venture, though I won’t be hand-printing these books.
Over the past year-and-a-half or so, I’ve been playing a number of simple writing games of my own invention with friends in coffee shops around the city. Now, it is my goal to bring these games out into the world, and to take the great coffee shops of Kansas City along with it. I’m putting together a book of my writing games and calling it The Coffee House Games, and I’ll be using Kickstarter to raise the initial funds needed to bring the book to life.
The book itself will feature fifteen different games as well as a variety of the wonderful coffee shops Kansas City has to offer.
The other news I have for you is perhaps equally exciting: My album is roughly 80% completed. It has taken ages and has transformed from the bottom up on several occasions, but I am finally putting together these songs in a fashion that I’m not only happy with, but fairly proud of. I’m currently tinkering with song 8/10, and it may require a bit more recording before I am ready to move on, but I should be tackling the remaining two either over the weekend or during the early days of next week. After that I’ll go back through and finalize each of the tracks, and then we’ll be just about ready for release!
Expect to hear more on both of these topics fairly soon!
January 10, 2012
I don’t think I have mentioned it on this blog yet, but I have been doing editing work for the past three-or-four months now. The first of my editing projects was a lovely little novel by a friend of mine, Ethan Bryan. In his novel, Run Home & Take a Bow, he attends something like twenty Royals games over the course of their last season in order to discover a space in which faith meets baseball. The result is quite extraordinary.
I’m something less than a faithful person myself, and I’m admittedly not a very big fan of baseball, but as I edited, I found myself enthralled by the world Ethan paints. Though I would recommend it most for fans of baseball and followers of Jesus, I still found it extremely approachable and quite enjoyable. I even found myself a little bit more interested in baseball. Maybe next season I’ll have to pester him into letting me join him for a game.
Now that the editing process is finished, Ethan is working toward bringing the book into its physical form. Right now he is in the funding stage on Kickstarter, so if you’re intrigued by the idea, I strongly recommend visiting his Kickstarter page for more information and a chance to get involved in this project at such an early stage!
Speaking of Kickstarter, I want to add that I am working on plans to launch another Kickstarter campaign of my own at the beginning of February. This project is for the publication of a book of Coffee House Games that I have been working on. These are quick, simple, and fun writing games that I’ve been playing with friends in coffee houses for almost a year and a half now. More details on that later.
November 13, 2009
This has been a very psychologically trying semester for me, and I realized that this struggle has been bleeding into my writing. I’m in Advanced Composition, which is an extremely open-ended writing class–though it is still my most challenging so far, perhaps for this very reason. So far I have produced three different writings: a short story, which is, by itself the longest piece I have ever written, a short play, and a narrative poem. The writings are completely separate in terms of plot and characters, but there are subtle ways in which they depend on each other and interconnect, so I am inclined to include them in the same collection. I was imagining this collection to be heading toward some cumulative point, until Wednesday. On Wednesday I realized what my writings really were. They are partial psychological profiles of myself.
It just so happened that in Advanced Comp. on Wednesday we were asked to write a short piece that develops one of our characters. Mine is probably a bit shorter than the requirement, but I don’t think I’m going to add much more to it, and I think I will use this as the introduction / preface to my collection.
Confessions and Regrets
It is through situations that we best see into the souls of characters; it is through characters that we best see into the souls of their authors.
Y’san in the Market
The marketplace stirred like the clouds of dust that follow the hooves of horses, but Y’san drifted about like an autumn leaf in slow descent. Ahead of him, two children tossed a stone back and forth between one another. When a failed toss left the stone at Y’san’s feet, the old man smiled at the children, picking up the stone, and returned it, nodding in respect to the child’s gratitude.
“Rolls today, Y’san?” hollered Pedro as the elder approached his bakery stand.
“Yes, please. Six coppers, correct?” Y’san replied, once he had finished walking to the booth.
“Six coppers. Here you are.” Pedro handed Y’san a basket of rolls.
“Thank you much, Pedro. And your coppers.”
Pedro took the coins and crooked his head. Just as Y’san was about to turn to leave, Pedro blurted, “Hey, we’re getting together for cards tonight—you should come join us!”
“No, no,” said Y’san, “I’m much too old for that.”
“Nonsense! You know that some of the finest cardsmen are the elders! And I’ve heard stories about when you used to play. Join us! It will be a good time.”
“Oh, no, no.” Y’san smiled, shaking his head slowly, and walked away. That night, the elder watched the wind blow through the ferns and imagined the jokes and stories that would be shared over that game of cards.