When last we left them, in the room in Deptford, Thomas Kyd stood trembling over an unconscious Kit Marlowe, his heavily wrapped right hand on his dagger hilt.
Ben Jonson and Edward de Vere, quaffing ale, watched and waited. Would Kyd kill his good friend Kit, they wondered.
``Well, Thomas,'' said Jonson, ever the pragmatist, ``what will it be? Do not leave us in suspense.''
``I do love him but he has doomed us both with his heretical electronic missives and bloggings, and if he is allowed to live and talk . . . '' said Kyd, transferring the dagger to his left hand, also heavily wrapped, the cloth dark with dried blood.
``Aye,'' said DeVere, ``he be reckless, pushing the send button at the slightest whim.''
``He meant to warn Southampton the Queen's forces be closing in on us for his heresies and spying and other crimes,'' said Kyd, ``but he mistakenly addressed the electronic missive not to Southampton, but to the Queen! – and her council! And he named ME as friend! – and look, you see they broke my hands yesterday and will do me much worse ere long.''
``You do be dangerous men to know since the day Kit purchased his top lap machine,'' said Jonson. ``I warned you both, did I not? Why can you not write a passable good play on an electric type machine? Did you not write `The Spanish Tragedy' on one such old machine?''
``Aye,'' said Kyd mournfully, ``but I did go dry as did Kit and we both be tempted by word processing, and that leads to the cursed internet . . . and . . . and . . . '' and his voice broke and his tears fell and splashed on Marlowe's handsome, still face.
Jonson paused, then turned his head and said: ``What say you, Will?''
Will Shakespeare looked up from his new laptop as if from a fog, his eyes glazed over.
``What is it, Ben? Did Kyd kill Kit?'' he asked calmly.
``He considers it still,'' said Jonson.
``Well, it would be fair play, would it not, as Kit's wild electronic missives and bogs – ''
``Blogs not bogs,'' corrected Jonson, always a stickler when it came to useage.
``I spoke descriptively as is my wont,'' said Will, stung. ``Kit's electronic missives and careless blogs – since you insist on the word, it will never last verily – certainly appear to spell the end for our Thomas was my thought.''
Thomas Kyd moaned. He knew Will was seldom wrong
Ben Jonson looked from one to the other, then said cooly, ``So, Will, you say we should let it play out?''
``What else is to be done? We are but snacks for the gods,'' said Will, then responding to a bing sound, he looked down at his lap, puzzled, then with relief realized the sound had come from his laptop and not his actual lap. His relief was short lived. ``Here! Look! Another electronic missive from friends! . . . Oh, dear! The Queen's men, we are warned, are looking for Kit and Kyd as we speak – as well as kith and kin of both! Dangerous times! They sent the same message to you, Edward, to Edward DeVere, Esq.''
``Oh, wonderful, wonderful!'' said DeVere sarcasticaly, the whites of hs eyes showing fearfully. ``I too am doomed then. And unless I be wrong, I think we be kith to Kyd and Kit. ''
``It depends on what kith mean,'' said Jonson, worried. ``Maybe it means else.''
``I pray so,'' said DeVere.
``Go leave, you both, be safe,'' said Will, typing in a spritely manner. ``None will kill me, I am Shakespeare, and I must bog, or blog, on this for my next tragedy, or history, or comedy – tis yet to be seen.''
Jonson looked at Shakespeare with suspicion and a touch of hate. ``Must you? Must you blog now at this terrible time? And must you blog on a fellow artist's tragic end – and to what end?''
``You know the answer to that, my dear Ben, tis always the answer – the art of theater! Remember, I blogged `Hamlet' in Denmark and `Macbeth' in Canterbury – ''
``No, it was in Glasgow I blogged `Comedy of Errors.' In Venice I blogged – ''
``You've never been in Venice!'' snapped Jonson. ``You've never been anywhere but that cowtown Ipswich.''
``Shut up, all of you,'' cried Thomas Kyd, in tears. ``Oh, my dear Kit!''
At that moment the Queen's men rushed in and, swords drawn, circled the writers.
The Captain of the guard looked at Will: ``We will, Will, have that laptop! And pray, do not push the be-gone button!''
Will stared at the be-gone button. He knew he had only seconds to decide . . . DeVere, Kyd and Jonson watched Will's poised index finger as the Captain moved closer, his hand out to take the laptop. . . Then Kit stirred and all watched as he said, as if in his sleep, ``Where be Doctor Faustus when I need him?'' It was at that moment Will knew what he had to do . . .
(To be continued, when the writer decides where he is going with this.)
Causes Steve Hauk Supports
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