What if death makes thou nightmare grow worse?

Drama scene from a period play entitled, “Bounty of the Sun”, where Rensho wishes to repent for his sin against Atsumori.

Rensho (breathing heavy): Finish thy task upon my head, cut me away from all this dread.

Atsumori places his sword back in its sheath.

Atsumori: ‘Twas a terrible day we shall always remember.

Rensho: Thou speaketh?!

Atsumori: Hath I no tongue to speaketh from?

Rensho scrambles to his buttocks.

Atsumori picks up the Rensho tokkuri from the sand and stares affectionately at it.

Rensho: If thou cannot restore my life…what shall become of me? Am I to walk through this never ending swamp? Ever sinking lower with each step, drowning but never dying? Alone with my memories of thou; repeatedly playing over in my mind those seconds, merely seconds that altered the path of our lives, forever. (on his feet) ….I no longer wish to be…can’t thou see? (beat) Art thou a reason to stare at me? Not say a word?! What say thou? Speaketh once more I implore thee!

Atsumori sits on the nearby rock, uncorks the tokkuri and drinks the sake within.

Atsumori: I have been quite parched. (drinks again) Ah, yes, removeth my scars upon my neck.

Atsumori gestures for Rensho to take the tokkuri from him and drink.

Rensho moves toward Atsumori apprehensively.

Rensho: …For what purpose should thou have stepped into battle on that fateful day?

Rensho takes the tokkuri and drinks. He then hands it back to Atsumori, who in turn drinks.

Atsumori: I was performing my duty.

Atsumori hands Rensho back the tokkuri and gestures he wants no more.

Rensho: I have been praying for thou, as sworn by oath. I hath since become a devout follower of Hōnen and Jōdo-shū.

Atsumori nods.

The wind howls. Thunder cracks.

Atsumori: And tell me, what thine discovered by being a monk?

Rensho: I have spread the doctrine, but remain concerned with the afterlife.

Atsumori: Hath you been guided?

Rensho: Only when I recite the Nembutsu.

Atsumori: And when you don’t?

Rensho: My scars continue to bleed.

Atsumori (like a statement): Thou seek death as remedy?

Rensho: By day and night, ’tis the only way left for my restoration. My soul hath thus been blemished by the stain of a dark crows claw and thine only potion to cure it.

Atsumori: Ah. (beat) Dost thou suppose that by dying at my hand thou life shall be restored?

Rensho: That with death shall bring me life, ay.

Atsumori: What if death makes thou nightmare grow worse?

Rensho: Worse?

Atsumori: There is no worse cry than the eternal haunting of thyself.

Rensho: …Thou hath vexed my soul…

Atsumori: (laughs)

Rensho: Why dost thou laugh at my curse?

Atsumori: Ignorant fool.

Rensho: Taketh back.

Atsumori: What will thou do…kill me? (laughs louder)

Rensho: Stop! Stop thy laughter!!

Lightning strikes.

Atsumori: What will thou hath me do, Rensho?

Rensho: Wash me clean, restore my life.

  • To read the full one-act play, find purchase link below:

Bounty of the Sun by Joseph ArnoneIn the one act eplay Bounty of the Sun, Renshō returns to the beach where he killed Atsumori 16 years to the day, in order to find forgiveness with one more final battle.  2 Men.  Drama.  Period Drama.

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Joseph Arnone