Revisited: Red Hot Death
by Scott Sedar
Washington, DC. The centre of the scene represents a portico with
columns and a large double-door of the Palace. APOLLO AND HIS POSSE
enter. In his left hand he carries a large unstrung golden bow.
He moves slowly and majestically, turns, and raises his right hand
in salutation to the Palace. He speaks to his POSSE.
(Yelling!) Man, I can’t believe this! (He throws his fists
in the air.) Guess what happened? Zeus killed my son, Kenneth. Zeus
had the nerve to drive a bolt of lightning through Kenneth’s
chest. I was so doggone mad, I was gonna blow up Zeus’s house,
but I killed his bodyguard, Cyclops, with a .9mm instead. Then,
I came to the Parklands in southeast DC to help my friend out. Admetus.
I’ve been watching him, making sure ain’t nothing bad
happening to him..
enters another part of the stage he dials his cellphone.
I protect him, I paid his debt and I helped his family. I, Apollo,
the richest man on this earth, helped him when he had no food on
the table. (His cell phone rings.) Hold on, I got someone calling
Man, I got something to tell you.
Reaper said he was coming for me. But, don’t worry I got someone
to take my place.
Hold on, let me tell you the story. See, first I went to my parent’s
house and asked them. And you know what my father said? I’ma’
tell you what he said, “no, son, you need to take hold of
your responsibility.” So I said, “Man forget you”
and left. Next, I went to my wife and man was she easy. She said,
“Oh baby, of course, of course. I’ll die for you.”
Man, is she dumb or what?
HIS POSSE enter. DEATH knocks on the floor to awaken the people
in ADMETUS’ palace.
Nope, just loyal. Until this day Admetus, I have kept you from death,
you were supposed to go to the afterworld for all eternity. But
no, I will let someone that you love suffer and surrender her life
for you. You’ve tried your parents, and they wouldn’t
do it for you. You’ve asked the whole world, but your wife,
your dear sweet wife said yes because she loves you. (He sees DEATH
knocking) Now here comes Death coming to take her down to Hades.
Aren’t you gonna answer it, Apollo?
I gotta open the door?
Because it’s your house! (Hangs up phone.)
(Hangs up phone. Goes to hide himself.) Prima donna.
DEATH AND HIS POSSE, with a drawn gun in his hand, moves stealthily
towards the Palace; then sees APOLLO and halts abruptly. APOLLO
inching forward like a gunfighter steps in DEATH’S path. The
two Deities confront each other.
So if it isn’t my old friend Death. (Apollo has his hand on
Well, well, well, if it isn’t Apollo himself. (He oddly stares
at Apollo.) I’m sorry don’t mind me staring. I’m
just trying to figure out why you’re here. Didn’t you
already stop the death of Admetus? You cold went on the Fates. Now,
you have your pistol ready to play Captain Sav-a-lot for Alcestis
and break your deal with me.
I have to carry this with me all the time. Plus, Admetus is my homeboy,
stuff happening to him gets me all worked up. If he cries, I cry,
you get it!
So, you’re Admetus’s little guard dog. Man, is Admetus
Money is the last thing I need. It ain’t like that. He’s
my boy and he ain’t going out like that. His issues are my
You mean to take Alcestis’s body from me too?
What you mean “too”? I never took Admetus from you in
the first place.
Well, it sure does seem like it cuz if I had him he wouldn’t
have been seen at Iverson Mall yesterday. And he wouldn’t
still be above ground now.
Naw, his wife took the bid instead of him and you came for her early.
Man, you getting’ me guh!
I know, ha! I’m bringing her down to where the dead folks
Man, whatever, roll out. Just take her then. You won’t listen
to me anyway.
Look, I’m gonna kill, who I’m gonna kill. This is my
job. You have my word. Admetus is safe until it is his time again.
Ease up! You gon’ get him. Can you at least let them say their
last goodbye’s. And . . . wait, isn’t there a way for
her to get old?
I feel you. But I’m not really the patient type. I like to
speed things up.
So we can’t agree on this.
How about . . . no!
You drive a hard bargain.
Don’t get me wrong, Apollo. Behind the black robe and the
scythe, I’m a pretty decent and reasonable guy. I just try
to get a kick out of my career. Plus, the younger they are, the
Can’t you make an exception. If she dies old, she can have
an expensive casket and the biggest ceremony. She’s the King’s
wife, for goodness sake.
So, you saying help the rich? I don’t do favorites! Did I
make an exception for Elvis?
That’s new talk coming from you, trying to show off. When
did you become captain of the debate team?
Imagine how many times I’ve had to do this. If it was that
simple those who could afford to buy death would not die until they
Uh huh, I see. You’re not gonna look out for me, are you?
After all this rappin’ my answer still has not changed. You
That’s wrong man. You be loafin’. That’s why nobody
don’t mess with you. Hated by mankind and the gods.
That’s a-ight. They don’t have to like me, but they
have to give me their souls. You can’t always have it your
way, this ain’t Burger King!
You think you doin’ it real big, don’t you? Well, I
gotta cake baked for you. Somebody’s gonna put you in your
place. He’ll be stationed right here in Admetus’s house
and I’m sure he’ll be able to “persuade”
you to give Alcestis to him.
Faking will win you nothing. Talk is cheap and until any of that
happens, which is never, I’ll have Alcestis at Hades’s
spot and be done with this fiasco. I’m gonna take her and
introduce her to my sword. For all who are hurt by this blade’s
sharpness are sent to the god’s below. Now, move it or lose
it. And you know what “it” is!
aside. DEATH enters the Palace.
The hair salon
for the rich and famous of Washington. The co-owners of the salon
enter. CIVIC LEADERS enter.
Why is it so freaking quiet in Admetus’s house? Is there anyone
can tell us what’s going on? Did Alcestis get peaced or is
she still looking at the sunshine?
Did you hear anything, Police Chief Lanier? Has Death killed her
No, Ms. Johnson, and there’s no one at the gates. I thought
I heard a scream and a gun shot.
O, God, can you heal this disaster?
But if she was dead Representative Norton, there would be no silence.
Naw, she’s gone. R.I.P.
But, Ms. Douglas, they haven’t taken her from the house yet.
Why are you so sure, Eleanor? How could Admetus have a funeral for
her without the paparazzi around or her family there? She is too
But, Linda, here are the gates and I don’t see the signs of
a custom ceremony.
Ms. Johnson, I can’t see the coffin and there’s no sign
of people in black.
But this is her sentenced day to die.
Mayor Fenty, what are you talking about?
She must go below where Grandma and Pookie lay
Mayor, that hurts. You ain’t have to say it like that. I liked
Of course, Ms. Douglas. Those who claim to be called good men, men
from southeast, northeast, and even in Maryland, feel sad for the
There is no place on earth that can help Alcestis. Here is a lady
that is dying for her husband and she is the sweetest woman to step
foot in Hades. We are here for Alcestis who was so loyal to us.
For she is gone down into the gates of Hades. There’s only
one who can save her.
Look, the maid’s coming from the house. But why is she crying?
She might know about Alcestis’s death. (Speaking to the Maid.)
We would like to know, is Alcestis dead or alive?
From the Palace
come two women in tears. LILA is a maid, DORIS is of the personal
attendants on the Queen. A TV reporter speaks to the weeping women.
I . . . I . . . can tell you she is dead and alive.
How can she be both alive and dead?
Death is taking her slowly. Her life is fading right now.
I am mad that a good husband and wife have to be split apart. I
feel sorry for him to lose such a wife.
Admetus won’t see her death until it happens.
And she can’t live any longer?
No, this is the day of her destiny.
My, my, my, Admetus must be risking all he can for her.
Everything is all good. Admetus is going to bury her in style.
Let her at least know that she is dying as the most loyal and noble
woman below the sun right now.
Loyal and noble? So loyal, who’s gonna argue with that? Can
any wife show any more love and be willing to die for her husband?
The whole state of DC knows that. You will be shocked to hear what
she did before her death. It’s really gonna amaze you. She
dressed in her finest clothes and didn’t cry. She gave her
children and maids their last farewell. This is what she said:
speaks in Alcestis’s voice) “Since I am going to
this dark place, I kneel and pray for you to take good care of my
kids. Give my daughter a good, loving husband, and my son a generous,
loving wife. Please don’t let my children die like me. Let
them have long lives. Here I am in my house where I gave up everything
for my husband.” (She weeps.)
I bet Admetus is tripping that she’s ‘bout to die.
Yep, he cryin’. He is in so much pain. He holds his wife close
to his heart. He will keep feeling sorry too. It won’t escape
him. She is draining away. This is a great woman the house is losing.
She wants to look at the sunlight one more time since she won’t
see it again. Here she comes.
LILA go back into the women's quarters of the Palace.
From the door
of the Palace comes a splendid but tragical procession. ADMETUS
enters, supporting ALCESTIS. The boy a clings to his Grandmother,
JUANITA WADE. There is a train of attendants and waiting women,
who bring a low throne for the fainting ALCESTIS.
O God, is there anyway that people can get over their hurt and sorrow
some way? Will I have to cut my hair to honor and wear the black
to gather with others and sob? We have to still pray for her. God,
my savior let them have a chance. Give Admetus that wish. Turn her
away from death for now, away from the presence of Hades. Admetus,
what a loss. This can make a man kill himself. This is the worst.
But you two will be together again one day.
O look at the sky, the beautiful sun. (She sighs.)
Death sees us hurting. We haven’t done anything to the gods,
so why do they bring us destruction?
My beautiful house, my people, the place I was married.
Don’t be down, baby. It is not quite your time. Don’t
depart from me now. The gods have power and I would think they would
feel sorry for you.
up and gazing wildly in terror, chanting
I feel it’s my time to die. I can see him now waiting, the
pilot of Death’s ship, Charon, with his hand held out saying,
“What’s holding you? Hurry up now. You are keeping us
up.” Death is impatient. He’s taking me away, can’t
you see it? He’s frowning under those evil eyes. Come on,
it’s Death. Just turn me loose. I must walk the road to where
I will die.
It’s sad that I’ve made you die for me. It’s wrong
that it has to be us to have bad luck. Everyone will be so sorry
for you. Me and the kids are gonna be in pain.
Just let me go. I can no longer be happy. Death’s near. I
can feel him. He’s stalking me. Babies, I will no longer be
with you anymore. Y’all will be without a mother now. Don’t
cry for me. Just live your lives and be happy.
Don’t leave me and the children. Please! There will be nothing
left of me if you die. This is worse than my own death. Don’t
give in. Your love is more precious to us than anything. Fight,
(She tries to stand.) Admetus, you know I love you. I put
you first before everyone else. I could have chosen any man in this
country but I chose you. I don’t want you to grieve for me.
And without you my children will not be. Your mother and father
sacrificed for you to be here in honor. You are the only one they
had. And they would be hopeless without you. Keep my children by
your side. Please don’t marry a woman who is not as kind as
I am. ‘Cuz she’ll be so jealous of me . . . no, don’t
do that. I must die. Not tomorrow, not next month, or 1,000 years
from now. Today, I will be counted as one of the dead. So goodbye.
Now you can tell the world, my children, that your mother was brave.
Have no fear. Admetus will do all that you ask. If he doesn’t,
he will bring it on himself.
It will be done. Do not be scared. No one will ever be called my
wife except for you, my love. I will never find another lover that
is sweeter than you. I shall remember you everyday of my life. You
sacrificed and saved my life. I will end the partying in here. I
will have an artist make a statue of you. I’ll put it in the
house and hold it like it’s you. You can come to see me in
my dreams to comfort me. Wait for me in that place. I will have
them bury me at your side, so my heart can be against your heart.
Because we are friends, Admetus, I will help you bear with your
My dear children, you heard your father. Now make sure that he will
not hurt you by marrying anyone else and that he will always remember
I will keep my promise ‘till the end.
the children's hands in his
Just take the children. They are your responsibility . . . to keep,
I will take good care of them. They are very dear just like you.
And you must take care of them like I once did.
I will be both parents to them
I guess it is my time to go.
I don’t know what to do without you.
Time will tell.
Oh Lord, just let me go with you.
No, remember, I’m dying. That is enough.
Oh God, you are taking a beautiful wife from me.
It is true. It is my time, my eyes are getting weak.
But I am so lost without you.
There is no use in talking to me anymore. I am not here.
No, lift your head up. Please don’t leave your children behind.
I don’t wanna, but I have to. It’s farewell.
Just take a look at your children
No, no, there’s nothing else I can do.
Are . . . are . . . are you really leaving us?
This is the end of the whole banana as we know it.
(Falling back dead.) Good . . . goodbye.
(Staring at the body.) I’m doomed.
It’s over now. Admetus’s wife has gone.
(Standing.) Ohh, no! She’s gone grandma. She is not
here anymore. She was so mean to leave us here. Mommy, hear me,
I am crying out to you. Your little boy. I kiss and weep for you.
She’s dead, and she won’t be coming back. It’s
time to step up now.
I don’t want to live without a mother, and sister, I really
want you to feel the same. I feel your pain, Daddy. You need to
get a life. Your marriage is nothing, incomplete. You and Mom sure
didn’t last too long. The house is off the hook now that Mom
Mom is gone, gone!
Admetus, it’s time to stop being a punk and face your fears.
You are not the only one to lose your woman. Hey, don’t worry—death
comes to everybody. She exits with the children.
I understand. But all of this did not have to happen, not at this
time. But since we have to put all that stress behind us and bury
her, stick with me. Stand by my side, shout hymns. Let’s go
to Iverson Mall and get some RIP t-shirts, then go to the gogo and
party with CCB. I give her props. She died for me, and no one else
The body of
ALCESTIS is carried solemnly into the Palace, followed by ADMETUS,
With bowed head, holding one of his children by each hand. When
all have entered, the GRANDMOTHER speaks.
(Singing) Alcestis, I hope you have a good time in the
underworld. Let death and his people know that you are the bravest
woman ever to be carried down into that darkness. Make sure everybody
knows that you the fliest and you the stuff. No one can replace
you. If your husband tries to get married again, he will be hated.
His own mother and father wouldn’t die for him, and they were
already old. But you stepped up for him. I love you daughter. Good
From the left
HERACLES enters. He is black-bearded and of great physical strength;
he wears an athletic jersey. He speaks with former Mayor Marion
(With a gesture of salutation) Ay, ya’ll. Where Admetus
He’s here. But what brings you to Southeast . . . again?
I got a job to do, son.
What do you have to do?
Son, we about to do a UUV. I’m going to Virginia, to bring
Diomedes his Escalade.
Boy, stop faking. Do you even know Diomedes?
No, I don’t even know where he live.
You can’t do it. This is too hard.
It’s my job. I got to do what I got to do.
You gonna have to kill or be killed.
Chow down, chump. I been in fights before.
What good will that do? It ain’t easy out here in these streets.
’ll be taking home my prize.
No way, son.
It’s easy. Look, what’s hard for you is easy for me.
You think that but, um, they some hard core people round that way.
Sounds like my life. It is hard every step of the way. I have to
fight all the sons the war god ever got him. I have to master all
the horses. I am Alcamene’s son. And no man alive has ever
seen me break.
Here comes Admetus: the king of Southeast himself.
slowly on the Stage, preceded and followed by guards and attendants.
The King has put off all symbols of royalty, and is dressed in black.
ADMETUS dissembles his grief throughout this scene, in obedience
to the laws of hospitality, which were particularly reverenced in
Thessaly. Heraclles enters. He’s been drinking.
Heracles, you my dog for life. We all want to welcome you to our
Thanks. Much happiness to you.
I wish. But I know you mean well.
What is the matter with you all. Why is everyone wearing black?
Someone died, and the funeral is tomorrow.
It’s not one of your kids, is it?
Oh no, not them. My kids are at their grandmother’s house.
If it was your father, then it was about time.
No, he is still living. My mother too.
Not your wife, Alcestis?
Yes and no. It’s two ways I can answer that.
So are you saying . . . wait a minute, is she dead or alive?
She is. It’s just that she has gone away. It scares me.
I don’t understand you. Are you trying to be funny?
I know you know what’s happening, and what is going on. Don’t
I know that she is dying for you.
How can she live if she has promised to do that?
Don’t feel sorry for her before she dies. Wait for the right
The point of dying is . . . well, there is no point. Once you’re
dead, you are lost and gone.
Hold up. Lost and gone are two different things.
That’s your opinion, Heracles. Not mine.
Well, who are we feeling sorry for now? Is it in the family?
A woman. We are talking about a woman, aren’t we?
Is she blood or an outsider? Or a friend of the family?
Not a blood relative. She just meant a lot to me.
How she die up in your crib and she don’t even live there?
Her father died so she moved in with us.
I am sorry. I should have come to see you when you’re in a
What do you mean by that?
Um...maybe I’ll go stay with another friend.
No. You can’t do that to me. You’ll make me look bad.
Friends who stay with friends they feel sorry for are in the way.
The dead are dead. Life goes on. Get on in the house.
Boy, you trippin’. It’s wrong to party in a house where
someone just died.
There are separate rooms. You can sleep in the guest room.
Just let me go.
You will not stay with another friend.
the Palace; when he has gone in,
ADMETUS turns to a guard.
You, open the guest room across from the backyard. Then go to the
carryout and get him some food. And make sure you close his door,
so he won’t have to hear
The guard goes
into the Palace.
ADMETUS and HERACLES and guests inside the Palace.
Admetus, are you crazy? What are you thinking of? Entertaining guests
here and your wife just died.
Listen, Congresswoman, if I put my friend out, would you like me
better? No. I still would have been sad. This man is my best friend.
I got to give him props.
Okay. But if he’s your best friend, why did you hide the truth
from him? What’s up wit dat?
He would not have come inside if he knew the trouble he was getting
into. I know my house doesn’t know how to push friends away
and not treat them right.
Well, this is a very beautiful house.
He’s got a plasma t.v. and a jacuzzi in every room.
There’s silk sheets and gold doorknobs and a pit bull guarding
I guess if he’s that rich, he must know what’s right.
So, really, it was nice of Admetus to take Heracles in.
procession of ALCESTIS enters. The body, carried on a bier by guardss,
is followed by ADMETUS and his two children. Behind them comes JUANITA
WADE, a train of attendants and maids carrying the funeral offerings.
All are in mourning. ADMETUS calls APOLLO on his cellphone.
Apollo, the funeral is today. Are you coming? You have to do this,
cause this is my wife and you are my friends, and you have to support
me. So are you coming or not? Apollo? Apollo?
father of ADMETUS, enters, followed by attendants bearing funeral
Yeah, but hold up—I see your Daddy coming. He’s bringing
flowers and some nice jewelry to bury her in.
Son, I know how you feel, losing your wife. She was so fine. I brought
you these flowers and stuff cause I really appreciate her dying
so you could live. I like having you around. You know what people
say: Marry a woman like her or don’t get married at all.
his hand in salutation to the body of ALCESTIS.
(Furiously) Daddy, I never asked you to come here. Who
invited you to the funeral? And she will not wear any bling you
brought her. She don’t need nothing from you. If you like
having me around so much, you should have stepped up and taken my
place. You got nothing to cry for now. And stop calling me Son,
cause from now on, you ain’t my Daddy. If you want someone
to take care of you when you get old, you better get to work and
make some more babies, cause I ain’t no child of yours.
Boy, you trippin’. You better stop making a scene. We have
enough trouble already.
turns angrily to depart, but PHERES prevents him.
Those are some mighty strong words, Son. Don’t come off at
me like that. Who do you think you’re talking to? I brought
you into this world, and I can take you out of it.
Look, I never
asked you to die for me, and I never said I’d die for you.
That’s not how we do things around here. You weren’t
man enough to face it when your time came, so you let your wife
die for you. You’re the punk who killed her, not me.
So what are
you going to do, get married again, and let your new wife die next
time death comes for you? You’ll always find some girl dumb
enough to marry you, and then you’ll live forever. But don’t
be calling me names when you’re the one who’s a punk.
Hold up now, old man. That’s no way to talk to your son.
ADMETUS to PHERES
No, go ahead and talk. But I’ve got something to say, too.
I would have been crazy to die for you.
Oh yeah? You’re old and I’m young. How much time you
got left anyway?
As much as I can get. I’ve only got one life to live.
Well, you sure are stretching it out.
That’s no way to talk to your father.
I’m just saying, you must really like getting old.
Who are you burying here? Is someone dead, or not?
My wife is dead.
You can’t say I had anything to do with it.
Uh huh. I hope you need me some day.
Go out to the club and flirt. You’ll find another girl to
die for you.
It’s your fault. She did what you wouldn’t do.
Hold up now son-in-law.
No sir, not me. I love my life. I know when I got a good thing going.
You sound like a zombie talking, not a man.
Watch your mouth, boy. There’s a dead body listening.
I wish it was you. When you die, I’m gonna spit on your grave.
That’s no way to talk.
Go ahead. I don’t care what you do after I’m dead.
You’re so old you’ve lost you whatever sense you had.
I got enough sense not to give my life up for your sorry behind.
Get out of here. I got work to do.
(Turning away) Oh, I’ll go. You killed her, and you
can bury her, too. But she’s got plenty of family back home.
You don’t think her brothers are going to let you get away
with this, do you?
out by the way he entered, followed by his attendants. ADMETUS gazes
angrily after him.
Just get out, before I call the cops. Go back to your ugly wife
and you can both grow old and lonely. I hope I never see you again.
Now let’s go do what we have to do. Let’s take her to
the funeral home.
moves slowly along the stage, and is joined by the CHORUS. As they
pass, the DEATH salutes the body of ALCESTIS.
(Chanting) Bye, Alcestis. It’s been nice knowing
you. You sure were one fine woman. You’re gonna rock the underworld
down in Hades.
and MAID in mourning hurry out from the guests' quarters.
Man, I had all types of people come to this house, but I have never
seen anybody as ghetto as this one. He rolled up in here like he
own something, yelling, and don’t even know what happened.
Alcestis is gone, and I get to entertain this piece of paper.
This bamma don’t get what just happened. He turned down what
we tried to give him. Like that brand new PS3 we gave—he tried
to take my head off with it! And when we didn’t give him anything,
he punked us for it.
He got drunk and put a plastic crown on his head and started singing
Britney Spears off key while my peoples in mourning. I got to entertain
this busta who don’t even care about my home skillet biscuit.
He’s just being a unc and now he won’t let me say peace
out to my home girl. Ain’t I right to hate this dude for coming
in here while we still mourning?
enters. He is drunkenly merry, with a myrtle wreath on his head,
and a large cup and wine-skin in his hands. He staggers a little.
With drunken gravity,
Hey you with the sad looking melon head. What you trippin’
for? The maids and housekeepers who be with the guests are sposed
to be jive nice, and you’re all mean, muggin’ on me,
you know? I’m your boss best friend, and you’re giving
me dirty looks.
Listen up. Chill
out, man. Erebody dies, but you have to suck it up and stop trippin’.
Just enjoy life while it lasts, because you never know what might
happen. Get that chip off your shoulder and have some fun, homes.
Don’t be sad, because life is just a tornado of weird things.
I know that! But we got issues, and you actin’ all inappropriate.
Your boss and his wife are still alive. The dead lady was out of
the family. Don’t trip too hard off of that. The top dog’s
What you talkin’ bout, alive? Don’t you know what’s
Yeah, unless your boss lied to me.
You call him a liar? That’s what he gets for trying to be
Why shouldn’t I enjoy myself then, just cause somebody I don’t
know is dead.
Yeah, she was an outsider, and yeah, that’s true.
Is there something that went down that I don’t know about?
Just roll out, slim. This is family business.
These ain’t no outsider troubles, man.
If it was, it would be okay to enjoy yourself.
Yo! Am I being played by my homie?
You came at a bad time. You can see we’re upset. Can’t
you see we been crying?
I’m confused. Who died? The old man? It’s not one of
the kids, is it?
Man, Admetus’ wife died, dog.
What? And all this time I was feeling good up in here.
He ain’t want to turn you out from the house. He was too nice
to turn you away.
Poor Admetus. What a fine, fine woman you lost.
We all dead on the inside now. I feel dead.
I knew something was wrong when I saw him. But he convinced me it
was someone who wasn’t blood related that was being buried.
So I came in here and had myself a good time, and you just telling
me something like this? So where’s the funeral?
Go straight down the road until you see the graveyard. Returns
to the HOUSEKEEPERs' quarters.
Yo, I gotta save this girl. Bring her back to this house and pay
Admetus back for what I did. I gotta go catch the Grim Reaper and
crush his ribs till he gimme back the lady. If he refuses, I gotta
go to the underworld and ask the man in charge can I bring Alcestis
back. I’m gonna bring her back to my man Admetus, who didn’t
put me out, but took me in, in bad times, cuz he my home skillet.
I’ll prove that I’m as good a friend as he was to me.
ADMETUS and his attendants, followed by the CHORUS, return from
the burial of ALCESTIS. The Civic leaders arrive.
I don’t want to be here. There’s nothing to do. Now
that my snookums is gone, the house feels empty. What can I do?
Where can I go? What can I say? I’m jealous of the dead.
You’ve suffered enough, and now it’s time to go on with
your life. Keep your head up.
You have opened this empty box in my heart. What can be worse than
a wonderful man losing his gorgeous wife? I wish I never even had
a wife or kids, cause then I wouldn’t be going through this.
You’re not the only man that has lost a wife. I understand
it hurts, but everybody has their turn. It happens to everyone.
What’s the point of living if I can’t have my lady beside
me? I wish I had thrown myself down there in the grave with her
so I wouldn’t have to be alone. It could have been both of
us, but instead it’s just her. I wish I was beside her now.
There was a girl who lost her mother, because her mother was sick
and strung out on drugs, but she took it okay. I just want you to
know that stuff like that doesn’t just happen to you.
Matter of fact, there was a man who lost his son, which is the same
as you, except you lost your wife, but he moved on with his life.
How am I going to do this, tell me. My house is empty because the
butter to my toast is gone, and I don’t know what to do. When
I lost my wife, I lost my happiness.
You win some, you lose some. Your life with Alcestis was so good
you thought you’d never have any bad luck. Now that’s
the only kind of luck you have. This happens to other people—why
is it so new to you?
Boys and girls, I think my wife has it better than I do. It might
not seem like that, but where she is, she’ll have no more
pain. Everybody remembers her as the greatest wife that ever lived.
And look at me—all I have left is suffering. If I stay outside,
I’m reminded of her; if I go in the house, I’m reminded
of her. Tell me, what should I do? From now on, everyone who sees
me will say, “There goes the punk who let his wife die for
him.” What kind of life is that?
Your wife is gone forever. Nothing you can say will bring her back.
You loved her when she was alive, and you can still love her now
that she’s dead. When people see Alcestis’ grave, they
will honor her and know she died for the sake of her husband. Now
she’s a blessed spirit.
his head with his robe, and crouches in abject misery on the steps
of his Palace.
enters from the side, leading a veiled woman.
Hey look who’s coming! It looks like Heracles is back.
uncovers his head, and faces the newcomer.
Admetus, you should have told me your wife was dead. If you had,
I wouldn’t have acted the fool and got drunk. That was wrong,
man. You shouldn’t treat your friends like that. But I came
back because I bought a lottery ticket, and look what I won. They
sure have some great prizes in the Powerball. I want to give this
woman to you as a consolation prize for losing Alcestis. You can
keep her—I swear I didn’t kidnap her. The police aren’t
after her or nothing.
Look, I don’t mean no harm, but, could you find someone else
to give her to? We just laid Alcestis in her grave. What are people
gonna think? Where would she stay? I can’t just leave her
with the maids—they’re some hard core younguns. And
I can’t put her in my wife’s bed. That’s just
gross. I can’t even stand to look at her, because she looks
so much like poor Alcestis.
You just gotta take what life gives you, like it or not.
I just wish I was strong enough to bring your wife back to you.
I would do that for you, you know.
I know you would have. But why bother saying it? There’s no
way to bring her back.
Then don’t be so sad. Try to be strong.
That’s easy for you to say. Your wife didn’t just die.
If you want to be sad, go ahead. But what good does it do you?
Nothing. But I can’t help it.
That’s all right. Tears don’t help anything, but when
someone dies, people always cry.
Losing her just crushed me. I can’t explain it.
Yeah, she sure was fine. Erebody knows that. Bump fine—I mean
Fine. So fine that I can’t ever be happy again.
You’ll get over it. You just need to give it a little time.
Shake it off.
You mean the time it takes ‘til I die.
Naw. You’ll meet someone new, get married again, it’ll
all be good as it was before.
Man, shut up! How can you say stuff like that?
What, you never even gonna have another girlfriend, long as you
I’m not even gonna think of another woman. Not even Beyonce.
How’s that gonna help your dead wife? She’ll still be
Dead or alive, I’ve got to show her some respect.
Umm, that’s real good of you, but it’s dumb, too.
You can call me dumb, you just won’t call me getting married
You a-ight, dog. I respect you being faithful to your wife. I mean,
your dead wife.
Well, let the gods strike me dead if I do her wrong.
him the veiled woman's hand.
Okay, you such a big man—I know you’ll take this poor
woman into your mansion.
No, please. Oh Zeus, tell your stupid son NO.
You’re making a big mistake if you don’t. I mean, messing
up big time.
Stop playin’, before you give me a heart attack.
Just do what I say. This woman is just what you need.
I wish you never won her. Why can’t you lose the Powerball
every time, like everyone else?
Look, if I’m a winner, you’re a winner. You know I share
I heard that. But let the girl go, anyhow.
Okay, if you really think I should. But just get a good look at
her, and see if you think that’s right.
It’s right. Unless you’re gonna get mad at me.
I don’t mean to be a pain, but I know something you don’t
Then do it your way. But it’s not gonna make me feel any better.
Some day, you’re gonna thank me for this. Just do this one
little thing for me.
ADMETUS to his
Came get this girl and find someplace for her to stay.
I’m not giving her up to the housekeepers. Come on, now.
Then take her in yourself, if that’s what you want.
I’m giving her to you. Just you. No one else.
I ain’t gonna touch her. She can go inside by herself if she
Look, I don’t have all day here.
But I don’t want to!
Just suck it up and do what you have to do. Don’t be scared
of strangers. Just reach out your hand and...
aside his head
Aaaaaah! I feel like I’m on a blind date with Godzilla!
You got her?
Some day you’re gonna get down on your knees and say thanks
to your best friend. Just look at this girl. Don’t she look
even a little bit like someone you know? Don’t you feel kinda
lucky right now?
the veil and shows ALCESTIS.
Don’t you feel kinda lucky right now?
her hand and starts back
Wait a minute. What in the ------is going on here? Is this really
my wife, or is some fool playing tricks on me? Youngin, spill the
beans. What’s going on here?
You see what’s going on. Your wife came back.
But my wife died. Is this some kind of zombie woman?
I don’t do horror movies.
But I buried her myself. What did you do, dig her up?
Um, yeah. But just trust me, she’ll be just like her old self.
So, like, can I touch her? She ain’t no ghost or nothing?
Say something to her. You wanted her back, and now you’ve
(takes ALCESTIS in his arms)
Hey, Baby. It’s nice to see you again.
You got her back. I hope you’re happy now.
Yo, Heracles. You my dog for life, for real, for real. You the only
one who stuck with me when I was down, and I ain’t never gonna
forget that. But, um, how did you get Alcestis back from, you know,
I had to fight for her, son.
Hold up, now. You fought Death to get her back?
You better believe it. I jumped him in the cemetery, right next
to her grave.
But how come she don’t talk. That’s not like my wife.
She ain’t allowed to talk to you yet, not for three days.
She’s got to work off her time in the grave. So just take
her back inside, and from now on, you better think about how good
you got it. And keep on treating your guests right, cause I definitely
appreciate that. Now, I’m outta here. I got a job to do.
No, stick around for awhile. I’ll make you dinner.
Later, son. You know me, I got to work.
Well, good luck. Come back by here soon! (Heracles goes.)
Boy did I luck
out. Smack me, cause I must be dreaming. I can’t hardly believe
it. Now we definitely gonna party up in here. Live band, free food,
and we gonna burn up some sacrifices for the gods! From now on,
I’m gonna live it up and have a better life than before. Cause
I am one lucky fool, and I don’t deny it.
There’s a lot we don’t know.
And even more we don’t understand.
What we are expecting doesn’t happen.
And what we never even dreamed of comes true anyway.
I guess that’s just how it goes.
to student work