Scene Twenty-Four:

Only a Matter of Time: Set Finds Osiris' Cave

 

 My Fur is Up MUSIC continues from previous scene as SET and ANUBIS KHUs journey toward Osiris' Cave. SET is in his CHARIOT, ANUBIS in dog form trotting alongside or above SET. LIGHTS fade up on Cave as the others approach.

ANUBIS:

Set had to pick up the scent of Isis. He had a much keener nose than his brother--

SET:

Anyone does! Osiris didn't know the scent of his own wife. He couldn't smell the differ- ence between a lotus and a cow's back foot. He once tried to peel a ball of bread, think- ing it smelled like an orange.

ANUBIS:

It isn't true.

SET:

I could tell some stories that would make you howl.

ANUBIS:

(To CELEBRANTS:) He's lying again.

SET:

Who cares? All right, I exaggerate. The last part isn't true. I like a joke twisted so it springs back with a pop. But the meat of the story, in your stomach you know it's true, you've already seen it, says Osiris had a nose of stone. He couldn't smell trouble the first time, and right now, look, he's posted what? Maybe a mosquito to guard the entrance to his cave? Can you see anything standing watch? Would you be such a fool?

By now SET has arrived at OSIRIS' Cave, and enters. THOTH KHU flies overhead. Cries of river birds. ANUBIS and THOTH KHUs exchange greetings, then ANUBIS vanishes.

 

OSIRIS:

I've been expecting you

SET:

I know. How was your trip?

OSIRIS:

Byblos was pleasant. The people were kind. I had no room to move around.

SET:

And nothing to read.

OSIRIS:

Yes.

SET:

(Looking up:) Thoth? Is that you? (Bird cries louder.)

OSIRIS:

No, Set. (Louder, also looking up:) He is not here!

THOTH KHU flies away, disappears. ISIS enters on the other side of the Space with her basket, turns toward Cave for a moment, then goes back to picking herbs.

SET:

Well, here we are again.

OSIRIS:

Yes, so we are.

SET:

And this brings no reaction from you at all.

OSIRIS:

None, other than that I'm happy to see you again. You've been well?

SET:

This is what makes you so . . . I can't find the word. I've come to kill you, and for all anyone might tell, I'm here to serve you some dates and melon juice.

OSIRIS:

I love melon juice.

SET:

(Draws axe out of its case:) This gives you no feeling at all, the thought of this awful sharpness slashing your meat, breaking your bone causes no--

OSIRIS:

Oh, but it does provoke the richest feeling. Death is the most enriching thing a body can do for other life. I'm not afraid. Kill me this time, and the green surge in the Earth and the roaring in the seed will be unstoppable. From under the ground I will drive every shoot and stalk up through the mud, I will throw every trunk up into the Sun until I change this whole planet from red to green. Sooner or later I will pull the world up away from you. Enjoy yourself while you can.

SET:

No. Every animal knows to run or turn and fight. Even the lion throws a rage of dust when the second arrow hits him. Every animal's a thrill--except for you.

OSIRIS:

I'm not going to drip fear to entertain you. Have fun with your toy there. After you're done you can melt it down into some little victory statuette, I don't care. (He is Born music, faint.) Whether I'm above the ground or in it, Set, one way or another, my wife and I will have our way. The whole Earth will be a green except for a few places that men clear for ceremony and art, and we'll do our best to overrun them too. Give us the green, and more green, and fat, giggling babies to play in the mud. Life will win.

SET:

Death will decide that.

OSIRIS:

Do what you have to do. My soul and the divine intelligence of my body give you permission to proceed.

SET:

This doesn't work! Can't you offer any resistance at all?

OSIRIS:

No! Wait. Maybe you'll feel scarier if I make some noise. Let's try this. (Picks up crook from table, uses it to hit the walls, couch, table.) Aggh! Ow! Oh! Don't kill me, Set? Ahhh! Oh, no!

ISIS starts, begins to run toward Cave, then stops, looks down. She knows.

SET:

You mock me!

OSIRIS:

Yes! How's this? (Whacks SET.) Defend yourself, you pigeon! (OSIRIS dissolves in laughter as he keeps hitting SET.) I forgive you, and I love you, Set.

SET heaves a shout of frustration and disgust, and lifts his axe high. BLACKOUT. ISIS screams. He is Born melody continues, shifts into minor, percussive, then with an OBOE over the following narration.

NEPHTHYS:

   The story of what happens now will be very well known. Set cut the body of Osiris into 14 pieces and scattered them all up and down the river. So Isis and Anubis went out at once in a boat to find the pieces of Osiris' body, and wher- ever they found one, they buried it under a new temple that they built to the ever-living glory and power of Osiris. Or at least this was the story they told in each place. And Set believed the story, and left them alone. To tell you what Isis was really doing, we shall have to ask you to help us again. Anubis?

 

 

Where would you like to go now?

 

You can go to the next scene, Picking Up the Pieces

 

You can go to the Neter News Gossip Report, For Mature Audiences Only

 

You can help Isis Dedicate a Temple to Osiris

 

Or See How Isis and Osiris bring in Horus

 

Or you can Choose from other Scenes

 

Or go to Stories of Thoth and Ma'at or the Playbill 

 

Copyright 2002 Dan Furst

 

 

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