On Wed, Mar28, 2018 2:23pm America/Phoenix
[We open on the balcony of a massive black/grey mansion. The full moon is high in the sky, slightly obscured by a couple of clouds. The balustrade of the balcony is highly decorated with poison ivy chiseled out in the stone. The door opens and Tanno Waters slowly walks onto the balcony, wearing a black pinstripe suit and a red shirt, complemented with a grey tie. He puts his hands in his pockets and stares out into the distance. Behind him, his beautiful wife Emily appears, wearing a black silk robe.] EMILY: Kiara's gone to bed. TANNO: I know. [Tanno takes a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and takes one out. He puts it in his mouth and lights it up.] EMILY: That bad? TANNO: Yeah. EMILY: You know, you had a good life before you returned. It's not too late. [Tanno takes a puff and shakes his head.] TANNO: No. [He takes another puff and drops the cigarette off the balcony. A raven lands on top of the balcony railing. Tanno walks over to it. He starts petting it.] TANNO: The raven... was a creature feared by many. He represents death in so many cultures. In others, he represents doom. That is what I am. EMILY: But as time has gone on, people have wised up. The raven's effects have become mere superstition, ridiculed by those who understand that things are no longer the way they once were. TANNO: They merely speak out of subconscious fear. They mask their fear with rationale, denying its existence to themselves. But the fear for the raven still lingers... They fear he'll bring disease with him. His caw is still a warning sign to them. Speak of the raven... and you speak of death. They try to outrun it. They flee. But no train can escape the inevitable. EMILY: Not even a Hype Train? TANNO: No. No matter how fast the Hype Train can go, no matter how many belts grace its engines, it cannot outrun the raven. It can criticize it, it can denigrate it, but it can never outrun its fate. [The raven caws and flies away. Tanno looks at it, his hand resting on the railing.] TANNO: Look at how it flies. Its wings carrying it to another's fate. A fate far worse than mine shall ever be. EMILY: But there are more ways to go up against a raven. One might battle it. TANNO: There are tales of pixies going toe to toe with a raven and winning. But in doing so, they merely delayed their ultimate fate. But right now, there is no pixie in sight. She may come... But she is notable in her absence. Which leaves... the turtledove. Symbol of love and devotion. But love withers, and then... [Tanno falls silent. An uncomfortable silence fills the air for a few seconds. Finally, Emily swallows.] EMILY: [softly] It dies. TANNO: Exactly. Like the train, the turtledove attempts to outrun its fate. It retreats to the wet parts of the planet, pretending to enjoy it, pretending that its withered feathers can still carry its love. But even in its disbelief, even in its denial of the raven... It knows its fate when the raven caws. EMILY: But what if the raven doesn't caw? TANNO: The raven always caws. It merely stops cawing when it meets its own fate... In the form of another raven. [A raven lands on the balustrade in front of Tanno. He caresses its feathers.] TANNO: And that day, my love, will never arrive.