Excerpt from


by Barry Stewart Mann


      (Poseidon’s Sea Palace.  Before dawn.  Darkness.  Single light up on a face.  Wavelike movements in the background.  Water sounds.  Sound of a Dolphin.)

Poseidon:  Poseidon!  Earth Shaker, Wave Breaker
                     Poseidon!  Life Taker, Grave Maker
                     Ruler of the Seas
                     Cooler than the Breeze
She has insulted me!  She must pay.  Her cities empty garbage into my realm.  Her people endanger my beloved creatures.  (Sound of a Dolphin.)  They no longer travel my foam-covered highways.  Instead, they fly through the air with the arrogance of Bellerophon astride the glorious Pegasus.  They only sail my watery pathways in pursuit of idleness and gluttony, as vain as Narcissus.  Athens should have been mine.  But she won it with an olive branch, and she has let it become as dirty and noisy and wasteful as all the rest.  Transformed from shining Acropolis to seething metropolis.  When I confront her about this, she laughs at me.  She insults me.  She must pay!


      (A dock at Piraeus.  8 am.  Loela enters briskly, with Alexis trying to keep up.)

Loela (to audience):  Welcome aboard Poseidon’s Pride, one of the finest cruise ships of the entire Greek fleet.  We’re so happy to have all of you joining us on this three-day cruise to some of the near islands.  You will find that Poseidon’s Pride is a floating five-star hotel.  Oh, I see some families here -- hi, kids! -- so let me take this opportunity to introduce our Youth Activities Coordinator, Alexis Thompson.  Alexis, why don’t you say hello and tell us a little about yourself.

Alexis (sluggishly):  Hello.  I go to college.  My parents said I had to get a summer job.  This is better than working at Wal-Mart.

Loela:  Thank you, Alexis.  Alexis will be escorting your children to a variety of activities on board ship, such as the magic show, the karaoke contest, and a visit to the control room.  Fun, fun fun!  Well, here come some more arrivals.
      (The Sparks family arrives.)
Welcome aboard Poseidon’s Pride.  I’m Loela Cole, the Social Director for your cruise.

Jane Sparks:  Thank you.  Boys, say hello to Ms. Cole.

Loela:  Please, call me Loela!

Ian and Jack (trying to be polite):  Hello. . . Loela.

Loela:  And you are?

Jane Sparks:  My name is Jane.  Dr. Jane Sparks.

Loela:  Oh, you’re the famous archaeologist!  I understand you’re on your way to some important research sites.

Jane:  Yes.

Loela:  And how do you two like coming along for your Mom’s work?

Jack:  It’s cool.

Ian:  Yeah.  It’s better than last summer, when I was stuck at Camp Wagamacheechee.

Alexis:  That sounds like fun.

Ian:  Hardly.  There was this girl there named Monique.  I called her Dog-face.

Jane:  Ian!

Jack:  But, Mom, he likes dogs!  Dogs are cute!

Ian:  She made me miserable.

Loela:  Well everyone on Poseidon’s Pride is nice.  We’ll all work hard to make your cruise very pleasant.

Jane:  Come on boys.
      (They exit.)

Loela:  Aren’t they cute?

Alexis (half to herself):  Yeah.  As cute as dogs.

      (Rich, Angelina and Monique approach.)

Loela:  Welcome aboard Poseidon’s Pride!

Rich:  Thank you.  Rich Smith.  You’ve probably heard of me.  I own the Esplanade Resort in Vegas.  You know it?

Loela:  Sorry, I don’t, but I’m sure it’s lovely.

Rich:  Yeah.  You call this little boat a floating five-star hotel -- well, the Esplanade would make this look like a Motel 6.

Alexis (half to herself):  What’s wrong with Motel 6?

Loela:  Sounds simply marvelous.  And you must be Mrs. Smith?

Angelina:  Martinez.  Angelina Martinez.  I am his wife, but I’m not “Mrs.” anyone.  I hope our room has a bigger window than those little round ones there.

Loela:  Actually, the portholes are all the same size.

Angelina:  Rich!!

Rich:  Don’t worry, Angie.  I’ll take care of it.

Loela:  And you must be their daughter.

Monique:  Actually, his daughter.  She’s my stepmother.

Loela:  How nice.  Let me introduce you to Alexis, our Youth Activities Coordinator.

Alexis:  What is your name?

Monique:  Monique.

Alexis:  Monique?  Monique?  Feels like I just heard someone mention that name.

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