The Exodus of Calvita: Part X

INT. Day (MS) A corridor. O’RINGTONE, wearing a loincloth, is limbering up, ignored by an imposing priestess with a headset and clipboard.

MVO: Having convinced the apothecary that he is now nit-free, Denis has been readmitted to the Archimandrite’s palace.

MVO: He will have precisely five minutes on the catwalk to model his loincloth range. He is nervous but upbeat.

O’RINGTONE: The thing with me is: what you see is what you get, you know? Heart on my sleeve. Take it or leave it.

MVO: Denis must await his cue from the Abbess Lachryma, the Archimandrite’s powerful PA and Head of Purchasing.

O’RINGTONE: All you can do is give it your all. You only get one shot. Gotta lose yourself in the moment. Be all you can be.

LACHRYMA: I am Abbess Lachryma. Shut fuck up. No further yip-yap. O’RINGTONE takes a seat on a bench, toys with a safety pin.

LACHRYMA (to headset): What I fucking know? Sushi is fucking sushi, no? Make decision, crying baby man.

O’RINGTONE silently traces his routine on the bench with his fingertips. LACHRYMA doodles a crucifixion on her clipboard.

LACHRYMA (to headset): Da? All is prepared? Da. Good, I send him in. (To O’RINGTONE) Nappy man! On feet! Cue is coming!

LACHRYMA: Obey all instructions. Do not look Archimandrite in eye. At all times smile. Is shark pool under runway.

Enormous, gold-inlaid doors swing open.

LACHRYMA: And we are on in five, four, three– She holds up two fingers, then one.

INT. Day (LS) An immense and opulent ballroom, dominated by a pool traversed by a narrow, glass catwalk.

At the far end of the catwalk is a huge dais surmounted by an elaborate throne fashioned from bones.

The Archimandrite, a stupendously obese man wearing chiffon ecclesiastical robes, is seated on the throne of bones.

A piece of music is played on the PA system. It is Whigfield’s Saturday Night. O’RINGTONE sprints onto the catwalk.

O’RINGTONE drops to his knees in a long disco slide. The Archimandrite yawns and summons a eunuch. O’RINGTONE begins his routine.

O’RINGTONE boogies and sashays, now and then holding out the fabric of his loincloth for inspection. The Archimandrite belches.

O’RINGTONE rips off his loin cloth to reveal another sequinned one underneath, timed to a track change (Dollar’s Oh L’Amour!).

The Archimandrite nibbles a kitten canapé and has a eunuch fellate him. A dorsal fin appears in the pool, then a second.

MVO: Denis’s routine has been technically faultless, but the Archimandrite’s reaction will be unpredictable.

The Archimandrite strikes the floor violently with his crozier. The music stops. O’RINGTONE skids and falls over with a squeak.

ARCHIMANDRITE (over the PA, his voice is a chilling, dessicated whisper): How amusing you are, filthy pedlar. Get up.

O’RINGTONE stands uncertainly. ARCHIMANDRITE: Come. You may approach. O’RINGTONE tiptoes slowly to the end of the catwalk.

ARCHIMANDRITE: The truth, my scantily clad little ragamuffin, is that I have not the slightest interest in loincloths.

ARCHIMANDRITE: As you see, my own sartorial tastes run to the, shall we say, unrestrained. And these aren’t even my night things.

ARCHIMANDRITE: Nonetheless, we do require a reliable supplier of loincloths for these…these pitiful geldings.

ARCHIMANDRITE: And as you have not entirely suffused me with ennui, I may look favourably upon your bid.

O’RINGTONE trembles.

ARCHIMANDRITE: However, you must first indulge me a little further. Does this sound agreeable?

O’RINGTONE nods mutely.

ARCHIMANDRITE: Splendid. Abbess Lachryma! Retract the catwalk, if you please.

The catwalk is slowly retracted from the doorway. When it stops, there is a gap of about eight feet. LACHRYMA appears at the doorway with a bucket of bloody chum.

LACHRYMA begins tossing bloody chunks of fish into the pool below. From the ceiling a tiny scooter is lowered.

ARCHIMANDRITE: Even for one of your meagre gifts, peasant, your task can scarcely require elaboration, I think.

O’RINGTONE hesitantly sets the scooter upright, places one foot on its platform. He looks questioningly at the Archimandrite, who nods.

O’RINGTONE peers at the end of the catwalk. LACHRYMA has emptied her bucket. The water froths with blood and fins.

O’RINGTONE scratches his crotch and makes the sign of the cross. He turns and bows briefly to the Archimandrite, who is masturbating.

O’RINGTONE steadies the scooter, looks determinedly at the doorway, and begins to push furiously. There is loud, periodic squeaking.

O’RINGTONE hurtles towards the end of the catwalk. LACHRYMA smiles almost imperceptibly and stirs a Bloody Mary with celery.

O’RINGTONE shoots off the end of the catwalk on the scooter. He cries out Trundlebert’s name. We go to slo-mo, track him halfway.

CUT to black and silence. Hold for 2 seconds.

CUE: Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey.

END CREDITS.

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