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The Lioness Builds a Sand Castle

Scene One

The Lioness sits on stage in the sand.
Her tail flicks.
She yawns.
The Lioness scoops sand into a bucket.

SUN
What are you doing, Lioness?

The Lioness turns the bucket over onto the beach.

LIONESS
I am building a sand castle.

SUN
Why?

LIONESS
Because the waves created the sand from the rocks and the rocks from the earth and the earth from the sky.

SUN
You didn’t answer my question.

LIONESS
Didn’t I?

SUN
No.

The Sun looks worried.

LIONESS
Sun, you look worried.

SUN
I’m not.

LIONESS
Sun, you look scared.

SUN
I’m not.

LIONESS
Then I am scared for you because you lie to yourself.

SUN
Stop playing this game.

LIONESS
There is no game.

SUN
Stop building your castle.

LIONESS
I will not.

SUN
Stop flicking your tail.

LIONESS
Do I make you nervous?

SUN
No.

LIONESS
It’s just a little dance.

SUN

LIONESS
I’m dancing for you, Sun.

Scene Two

Afternoon, and the Lioness continues building her sand castle.
The water is a little higher on the shore and the Sun a little lower in the sky.

LIONESS
I spoke to your partner today.

SUN

LIONESS
I said, I spoke to your partner today.

SUN
What partner.

LIONESS
Don’t act dumb. The Moon, of course.

SUN
I did not see you talk to the Moon.

LIONESS, sighing
You do not see anything.

SUN
I see all.

LIONESS
You do not see anything.

SUN
We were friends once.

LIONESS
We are friends now.

SUN
No. You are horrible to me now.

LIONESS
I am not.

SUN
You are.

LIONESS
And do you still shine, Sun? Do you still shine?

SUN

LIONESS
I want you to see it, Sun. I want you to see it all.

Silence.

Sun?

The Sun has left.
It is now night.

Oh dear.

The Moon enters.

MOON
Hmmm, it is much too early…

LIONESS
Tell the Sun.

MOON
She’s left? Already? Oh no. Oh no.

LIONESS
What?

MOON
I’m not ready!

LIONESS
Of course you are.

MOON
I’m not!

Lioness sighs.

Hm. Who are you?

LIONESS
The Lioness.

MOON
But who are you?

LIONESS
You don’t remember? We speak every day.

MOON
We do not!

LIONESS
Moon, do not the waves create the sand? And does not the tide create the waves? So you see, I have met you every day, Moon. We have spoken every day.

MOON
You speak nonsense. You craft riddles.

LIONESS
There is no riddle, only truth.

MOON
Then why do you speak so certainly? Truth is never certain! And why do you create a castle so near the waves?

LIONESS
Because I want to. Because it is my castle.

MOON
You are mad, certainly! You are mad!

Moon exits.

LIONESS
Well.

She continues her castle.

A moment later, she pauses, and laughs.

Scene Three

Early morning.
The Lioness rests next to a finished sand castle, exhausted.

SUN
Are you happy with yourself?

The Lioness turns and smiles tiredly.

LIONESS
What do you mean?

SUN
Are you happy that you’ve won.

LIONESS
I haven’t won anything.

SUN
The tide will come soon to wash it away. You work for nothing.

LIONESS
The Moon does not scare me. I have seen him every day. I know him.

The Sun laughs meanly.

SUN
You don’t know a thing about the Moon. If you did, you would be scared of him.

The Lioness tilts her head.

LIONESS
Why be scared of what is known?

The Sun realizes.

SUN
You have built this castle before.

LIONESS
And you have not noticed.

SUN
You are mad, certainly.

LIONESS, sadly No, I am not.

Beat. The Sun moves forward.

SUN
Why are you on a beach, Lioness? Why did you build a sand castle so close to the waves, where it is fragile, where it is easily destroyed?

LIONESS
You don’t see, you don’t see.

The tide is pulling closer.

SUN
See what, Lioness?

Even closer now.
The Lioness is quiet. Gently:

See what?

LIONESS, a whisper
I built it for you, Sun. I built it allfor you.

The waves arrive.
One comes and eats a wall of the castle.
Another begins to swallow the whole thing up.

SUN
No!

She rushes towards the castle to protect it from the water.

LIONESS
Let it be, let it be.

SUN, teary-eyed & angry
How?! How do you do this every morning, let it all be washed away?
Everything you have?

LIONESS
It is not everything. It is just a small piece. And I am willing to sacrifice it.

The Sun sinks to the sand.

SUN
For what? For what, Lioness?

The world is very quiet.
The waves rush.

The Lioness reaches out a hand.
A breath. Two.Very slowly, the Sun reaches out hers.

Their fingertips touch.

End of Play.

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