The Rhythym to the Melody

 

 

by Jordyn “Jo Jo” C.

                                                                        

                                                                           Characters: Melody, a turquoise colored hummingbird.

Rhythym, an onyx colored hummingbird, Melody’s son.

 

Setting: The Garden of Alyon in Shangrila is a secluded world hidden within the Himalayan Mountains.

 

At Rise:  Imagine a beautiful land, that could grow year round cherry blossoms, watermelon, apple blossoms, lilies, zinnias, primroses, lychees, roses, redwoods, honeysuckles, palm trees, black berry bushes and lavender shrubs.  The garden contains a wide range of animals and creatures from all walks of life, such as elves, fairies, leopards, pandas and birds.

 

Melody

(Yawn) Good morning Nector, my beloved husband, how’d you sleep? (pause) Have you made the coffee?   I’m going out to gather some petals and sugar for breakfast.  Will you be coming along or would you like to stay?  (pause)  Okay, well I’ll be back shortly.  (Gasp) Ow!  I don’t know why but I have just the worst chest pain and it seems as if I’ve lost a few feathers.  Oh, my – I’ve actually lost quite a few.  How come I haven’t noticed?  I wonder what this could be?  Oh, well, I’ll live through it.  I’m going now, would you like anything while I pass through the honeysuckles and apple blossoms?  (pause)  Alright my love, I’ll make sure to pick some up.  I’ll stop by Rhythym

(Melody leaves the cherry blossom tree and enters a busy path.)

Ah, (Sigh) What a beautiful morning!  The leopards are drinking water, the panda’s are chewing bamboo, I smell the honey from the bees, and I can taste the fresh air.  Hello!  Good morning to you too!  Good morning!  Oh, I’m doing dandy!  I’m on my way to the honeysuckles.  What do you mean?  Oh, no I’ll be alright.  Have you seen Rhythym?  He’s still over at the lavenders?  Thank you.  I’ll be sure to tell him you said hello.

(Few minutes pass by)

Wow these lavenders have definitely grown a lot since I remember.  Rhythym!  Where are you Rhythym?

Rhythym

Hello Mother it’s wonderful to see you.  How are you doing?

Melody

I’m doing fine.  Just went to pick up some breakfast for your father and me and I thought it’d be a good idea to stop by.  How’s your girlfriend?  Is Lavey still singing?  Where is she?

Rhythym

She’s at the studio laying down some tracks.  And she’s not my girlfriend Mom, we’re engaged.

 

Melody

My mistake, my mistake.  Aren’t you all grown up now?  Fiancé, huh?  You didn’t think about telling me sooner?  When did you propose?  Tell me all about it!

Rhythym

(Sigh)  Mama, I already have . . . several times . . . many times actually.

Melody

I’d remember something this wonderful!  You most definitely have not told me!  Why I even remember when your father, Nector, proposed to me.

Rhythym

Mom . . . I hate doing this everyday.  You know I had to change shifts at work just so I could be here in the morning for when you come.  It’s like you get worse everyday.  I love you Mom and I’d take care of you and move in with you or move you in over here but me and Lavender are gonna have our twins any day now.  We simply don’t have the space and I have too many responsibilities as a father to take care of you all the time.

Melody

What . . . What are you talking about?  I’m so confused?  What are you saying Rhythym?  I’m very well capable of handling myself.  And if I needed help your father could help me.  What’s this about you changed your work schedule?  What’s going on?  You’ve never mentioned Lavender was pregnant till just now!?

Rhythym

Slow down Mom.  I’m sorry I didn’t mean to drop a bomb on you like that it’s just we go through this every morning.  You repeat the same thing every morning and I have to be the one to break your heart every day.  It’s exhausting.

Melody

Rhythym?  What are you . . .

Rhythym

Shhh.  Its okay Mama.  Come here.

Melody

Talk to me.   What’s going on?  Please, I’m confused.

Rhythym

Mom, Dad’s been dead for a while.  He became very ill and you had to take care of him and he hated taking your time away from me . . . he left the sacred grounds of the garden.  Everyone knows that immortality is the garden’s gift and if you leave you become mortal.  He turned to dust and flew away in the wind.  He sacrificed himself so you could be free.  So you would no longer go through the pain of seeing him struggle on the brink of death.  This garden may keep us from dying but it cannot protect us from disease.  He was very bad.  And you were depressed watching him this way.  He wanted you to spend time with me and put all your energy into raising me, not helping him prolong his misery.  I’m sorry Mama I wish I could tell you otherwise . . . This was over 5 years ago . . . Don’t you remember even a little?

Melody

Uh  . . .uh . . . I  . . . This can’t be.  Why can’t I remember?

Rhythym

After I left to live with Lavender you were struck with a memory loss condition called Alzheimer’s.  You were alright at first and it was just simple things like forgetting what you were saying or forgetting why you were heading in a direction.  It got much worse but your immortality from the garden prevents it from getting any worse.  Your body found a rhythm of waking up, talking to dad who isn’t there, taking a morning stroll, then coming here.  This has been going on for 3 years now.

Melody

How is it possible . . . I don’t understand.  Why would I  . . .

Rhythym

I don’t know Mom.  I’ve told you all I know.  I have a few hours till work and I’m glad to spend time with you.  I know this is hard to hear . . .

Melody

NO . . . I think I need some solitude . . . excuse me . . .

Rhythym

I love you Mom.  Please go back home and don’t get into any trouble.  Asking around won’t give you any answers . . .

Melody

I  . . . I love you too . . .

(Melody leaves and her son is left alone)

Rhythym

(Sigh)  I’m sorry Mom.  I’m sorry I have to break your heart everyday.  I wish I could give you company and support you but every time I tell you the truth you leave.  I want Dad back too. I wish you were in full health.  But there’s nothing I can do.  I have my own family to take care of now . . .

 

(Melody enters her home)

Melody

I vaguely remember now.  I remember the tears.  The pain.  Everyday I long for my husband or the attention of a family.  I miss him so much.  I miss me.  Why would you leave me you rathole!  Why does my mind play these games with me!  Why can I have these conversations with you when you’re not there!  I need you!  I need your touch!  I need the warmth of being under your wing.  I remember now.  Everyday we talk.  Everyday!  But never can my mind create the illusion of touch.  And that’s what I miss the most Nector!  I miss you holding me and kissing me!  Shut up!  Don’t bother speaking to me!  You’re not real!  You’re not here.  You’re not here . . .

(Melody cries to herself for awhile before she fixes her food and waits for the sun to go down so she can forget her pain.)

(Yawn)  Good morning beautiful world!  How’d you sleep my love?  (pause)  Me too.  I have a terrible headache but I’m sure it’ll pass.   I think today I’m going to go out to the honeysu . . . huh?  Whats this?  My feathers!  My beautiful feathers are falling off!  There’s so many in the bed.  What happened last night Nector?  (pause)  Sick?  I’m not sick.  I feel just fine.  Maybe I should go to the owl’s office today and see what’s going on.  Would you come with me?  (pause)  No?  Why not (pause) What do you mean you can’t help me?  If you don’t want to just say you don’t want to!  Don’t tell me you can’t!  I’ll go stop by Rhythym’s and see if he can take me!  (pause)  I’m sorry Nector I didn’t mean to yell at you.  I love you too.  I just wish you could be here for me.  Aren’t you gonna kiss me?  Or hug me before I leave?  (pause)  Fine!  Just hover there.  I’ll be back later.

(Melody travels through he garden pass the apple blossoms, pass the honeysuckles, and arrives at the lavender shrub.)

My, oh, my there’s a lot more lavender shrubs than I remember.  Too bad the shrubs are so small.  There’s so many you’d think they could’ve provided better shelter.  The population over here is so dense.  And I don’t recall this many birds flying on the corners.  I wish Rhythym didn’t have to move into this area but I know he loves that girlfriend of his.  Hmm . . . I’ve knocked on the door but no one’s answering.  Rhythym!  Rhythym!  Are you home?  Hmmm.  I wonder where he could be.  This is his house right?  Yes this has to be his house.  I remember this door.  I think.  Hello?  Helloooo?  Shoot.  Rhythym isn’t home.  Ugh!  I forgot to get Nector breakfast from the honeysuckles.  That’s what I was doing wasn’t I?  I can’t seem to remember.  Rhythym is always here.  That’s all I can recall right now.  I woke up . . . then I  . . . I think I was just on my way here to check in with Rhythym.  Why didn’t I remember to get breakfast?  Was I going to get breakfast this morning?  Ohh I have a terrible headache and my chest hurts.  What am I doing . . . ?  Where . . . Where am I . . . Lavenders . . . Oh!  I’m at the lavender shrubs I must be here for Rhythym!  Rhythym!  (*Knock*knock* knock*)  Oh well I guess he isn’t home.  I’ll just head back home.  Aggghh!  My chest hurts so bad.  Maybe if I rub it I’ll feel better.  Maybe I slept  . . . Agh!  My feathers.  Why are my feathers falling out?  I need to head to the towels I mean the owl’s office.

(Melody finds her way to the hospital for all the feathered

and winged animals of Alyon.)

Rhythym

Mother?  What are you doing here?  Are you okay?  You didn’t hurt yourself or get lost did you?  Did you forget to eat and faint?  Are you okay?  Dear God.  Why are you at the emergency?

Melody

Calm down Rhythym.  I’m fine.

Rhythym

Why are you here?

Melody

Well why are you here?

Rhythym

Mother, its wonderful . . . you’re now a grandmother of twins!  A baby boy and a baby girl.  I’m gonna name my son Beat and my daughter Melody.  Just like you Mama.

Melody

Oh, my!  Let me see!  Let me see!  When did Lavender give birth?  And when in the hell did you expect to tell me she was pregnant?

Rhythym

Mama, I love you.  I’ve already told you.  This will be hard to hear but it’ll be okay.  I have a plan so you won’t have to be alone anymore but . . . Mama you have Alzheimer’s.

Melody

I do not.  I remember just fine.  Why in fact I just came from the office and tests and I’m fine . . . There was something important they told me . . . What was it . . . ugh well I may be drawing a blank right now but I don’t have Alzheimer’s.

Rhythym

Tests?  What type of tests?

Melody

Enough Nector!

Rhythym

Rhythym.  Its Rhythym, Mom. You’re talking to your son and you’re at the birth of your grandbabies.

Melody

My grandchildren?  Out of the way!  Lemme see now!  When did you plan on telling me!  Is this why I’m here?  Did you bring me here?

Rhythym

No, Mom.  I  . . .

Melody

No?  What do you mean no I can’t see my grandkids?

Rhythym

I mean no, Mom, I didn’t bring you here.

 

Melody

Well I’m here now.  Is this the room they’re in?

Rhythym

Yes.

Melody

Oh my god!!!  They’re beautiful!!! Oh my Oh my my grandbabies!  Congratulations Lavender!  This is quite the surprise but surely a wonderful one!  Oh just how terrific!  I’m ecstatic!  What’s the little angels’ names?

 

Rhythym

My son is Beat and my daughter is Melody.  Named after you Mama.  I just told y . . . Never mind lets enjoy this moment.

Melody

Can I ask you two a question?  You don’t plan to raise these children in the shrubs do you?

Rhythym

Well Mom not everyone has the blessing of inheriting a cherry blossom tree like yours.  Lavey is from the lavender shrubs and she is a beautiful independent strong willed woman because of it.

Melody

But do you want to raise them in the shrubs?

Rhythym

We don’t have much of a choice Ma.

Melody

Aggh!  Excuse me my chest hurts I think I need to step out and get me some water.

Rhythym

You okay Mom?

Melody

I’m fine.  Let me step out.  I don’t wanna spoil your moment.

 

Rhythym

(Sigh)  Oh okay Mom.  Now that we outside whats the real reason you came here today?

Melody

I . . .I . . .I thought I came with you . . .didn’t I Rhythym?

Rhythym

Whats that paper in your wing basket?

Melody

Hm?  Oh I don’t know.  I just noticed it . . .Its dated from today.  What time is it?

Rhythym

Its 7:36pm Mama why?  Whats it say?  Let me see!

Melody

No!  Dammit you still haven’t learned not to read your mother’s paper after all these years!  If you really want to know what it says I’ll just read it aloud . . . Its says . . . Oh . . . Oh dear . . .

Rhythym

What Mama what does it say?

Melody

Nothing don’t worry about it.

Rhythym

Lemme see.

Melody

No.

Rhythym

Give it to me.

Melody

Hey watch out!

Rhythym

Mama!  Why did you just lose some feathers?  What in the hell is going . . .oh no.  Not you too.

Melody

Not you too what?

Rhythym

You have what Dad had don’t you Mama?

 

Melody

What in the world are you talking bout?  Nector doesn’t have anything but a damn pollen problem.

Rhythym

Mama.  Oh Mama . . . I would’ve taken care of you if I knew.  I’ve just been so busy lately preparing for the twins.  There’s so many expenses I’ve gotta worry about, I’ve been working day and night and  . . . Oh Mama

 

Melody

Oh Mama what?  What are you crying about?  And why are we at the hospital?  Is Nector okay?

Rhythym

Mom.  Let me see my paper back okay?

Melody

What paper?

Rhythym

(Sigh) You just accidentally put my paperwork in your bag.

Melody

Oh my bad here you go son.

Rhythym

(Sigh)  (Long pause)  Come here Mama give me a hug.

Melody

What’s wrong baby?

Rhythym

You have a illness Mama.  An illness that’ll slowly deteriorate your body.  And another one that attacks your mind.  There’s a wonderful retirement home I wanted you to go to but now I’m not gonna send you!  I’m gonna take care of you!

 

 

Melody

No!  You will not take care of me like I took care of your father!  You have kids!

Rhythym

Ma?  You remember?

Melody

Remember what dear?

Rhythym

Mama stay with me.  You told me you don’t want me to take care of you because of Dad?  What do you mean Mom?

Melody

Your father was my soul mate and I love him still to this day bless his soul but you don’t know what its like taking care of someone like that.  Your father is the bird who saved my life and taught me many valuable lessons and how to really live life to the fullest.  It was destroying to me seeing him slowly get weaker and weaker.  He got to the point where I couldn’t even feed him anymore.  He was so strong and out of nowhere he was thin as a twig.

Rhythym

I’m sorry, I never knew how bad it got.

Melody

Because you left before it got really bad.  And I’m glad you did.  I’ll never be glad you ran away to the shrubs every night and got yourself in so much trouble, but I’m happy to know you didn’t have to watch him slowly lose his life . . .

Rhythym

Mama I’m here now and that’s only because you saved me.  When Dad got sick and I went and ran from facing reality and got into so much I was over my head.  I lost myself.  And you helped me come back.  You and Lavender.  You’re my Mom, you raised me and never turned your back on me I’m going to do the same for you.

Melody

But you have no place to stay.  Not really.  The shrubs is no place for you to raise a family.  I need to know my grandchildren will be raised without all the crap I had to endure and your father did.  Lavender may have made it out alive like your parents, and you may have lived there for a few years but living there does something to your heart.  It hardens it.  You go through unnecessary struggles that a kid simply doesn’t need.   You ran there in your late teen years and now your early adulthood you’ve made it your place where you rest your head.  But don’t allow yourself to call the shrubs the home for my grandchildren!

Rhythym

What do you want me to do Ma?  What do you want from me?  All I’m saying is I want to help you.  Take care of you like you took care of me!

 

Melody

But I’m not your child.  You are my child.  I appreciate all you’re offering.  But tell me this – am I your baby?

Rhythym

Of course not you’re my mom?  I’d never . . .

Melody

Eh . . .Eh, eh.  You said it.  You are not the father of me.  But you are a father now Rhythym.  And you don’t have a baby.  You have two.  Two beautiful babies right there inside that room with the love of your life!

Rhythym

I know Mama but I need you.

Melody

No Rhythym!  You don’t! Its time to grow up!  I need to know you can put your grown bird wings on and flap the hell out of them dammit!  I know you love me and you’ll always need my love but you don’t need to take care of me.  You first take care of those two babies right in there.  Second you take care of you! Third you be the best damn husband you can be to that wife of yours!  Do you love those babies?

Rhythym

Yes, Mama of course!

Melody

Do you love your wife!

Rhythym

More than the world!

Melody

Do you love yourself?

Rhythym

Yes but I don’t know if I can do it by myself.

Melody

That’s not what I asked.  Do you love yourself?

Rhythym

Yes.  I do.

Melody

Then free yourself.

Rhythym

Mama . . .

Melody

Let go of your fears and put your beak high.  I didn’t raise a chicken or an ostrich or a damn penguin!  I raised a hummingbird!  The bravest hummingbird in all of Alyon!  Right?!

Rhythym

Right.  I love you Mom.

Melody

I love you too.  Now take these.

Rhythym

Your keys?  Why?

Melody

I’ll be home later.  Sooner than you think.

Rhythym

Okay but what do you want me to do with these?

Melody

First you promise that no matter what you will always put family first!

Rhythym

Okay Mom.  I promise.

Melody

Now take these keys and bring my babies back to a nice home okay?

Rhythym

The cherry blossom is so big.  Are you sure?  You know the babies will be awfully noisy at night?

Melody

I thought we got over the fact that you need to stop worrying about me.  Worry about them now.

Rhythym

Okay.

Melody

I have some catching up to do with Nector.

Rhythym

Mom – Dad passed remember.

Melody

Well I still talk to him you know.

Rhythym

That is just your mind playing tricks.

Melody

Oh I know, I know.  I’ll see ya later okay baby?  I mean my young bird!  Go do what you need to.

Rhythym

Okay Mama.  Thank you.

Melody

I love you . . .

Rhythym

I love you more Mama.  One more thing . . . Are you scared of this cancer?

Melody

No, I’m more scared of what happens after.

Rhythym

What do you mean.

Melody

I still have my strength my pride.  I’d like to stay this way.  I don’t wish to go the route your father went.

Rhythym

Mama you won’t die and you know it.  You can live forever it’ll be okay.

Melody

You’re right it will be okay.  I got to be going now.

(Melody leaves the hospital and flies to the only known exit from the hidden immortal garden of Alyon.)

Hello Nector.  So this is the small passage you escaped through huh?  I hope you knew what your were doing.  What was that you said?  Huh? (pause)  I’d maybe be able to have went on a bit longer but this brain of mine can’t replicate your touch.  All we can do is small talk and when you come to touch me it’s always cold and there’s nothing there.  Maybe here at the end of this dark tunnel leading to the outside world where a bit of light shines through at the end, maybe just maybe it won’t be the end.  I’m sure you knew what you were doing.  It’s time to come home.  Huh?  Oh my god Nector your touch . . . I can feel you?  You’re here?  Are you really here?  (pause)  I can?  This isn’t my imagination?  Are you alive?  Or am I dead?  (pause)  Neither?  Ha, ha, you would say that.  Well time to be free then baby . . .

The End



Poem – Rose in the Thornbush

Beautiful petals with a sweet scent

Surrounded by long thick thorns and spiderwebs

Rat holes underneath and dirty smelly soil

On the edge of a sharp cliff

Bears and mountain lions and coyotes roam the area

Eminence of an angel in the translucent pink

Vulgar devilish piercing thorns above and beneath

You can look and admire

But his flower shall never be picked

 

A rainbow sits on the light floating drops of water

The water flows in the sky like a cloud of mist

So beautiful and calm

Right above the last moments of one’s life

Right under the edge of a waterfall

The rainbow and the rushing water is mezmorizing

But to touch and be one with would be

terrorizing

maybe exhilarating for a moment as you

fall hundreds of feet in the greatest shower

and you pass through the rainbow and

plummet to the bottom of beauty

 

 

 

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