We Are Scattering the Crows

Be it therefore enacted by the Oireachtas as follows:

Article 41 of the Constitution is hereby amended as follows:

Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.

— Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution (Marriage Equality) Bill 2015, ratified by constitutional referendum on 22 May, 2015.

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.


The Exodus of Calvita: Part IX

VERY SLOW FADE IN FROM BLACK: EXT. Night (VLS) The high Spurgolian plains are a constellation of campfires.

CUE 1 (Haunting female vocal, a capella). Very slow helicopter tracking shot takes us down into the campfires until embers cross the frame.

Tracking shot segues into POV. We are running through dark woods. SFX: twigs cracking, laboured breathing, distant shouting.

Fast cuts between POV and handheld running alongside. We see trees in fast parallax, flashes of flaming torches.

Soundtrack: Haunting vocal theme builds, introducing dissonant ethnic instruments and heavy, syncopated percussion.

POV: We are skidding downhill, losing our footing, crashing through trees. SFX: Shouting, closer now; war cries.

Handheld: The trees and torch flames are a blur. Moonlight flashes down a drawn sword. Soundtrack is now clamorous.

POV: We are cornered and desperate, spinning wildly, we leap. SFX: Thudding heart beat.

Fade to black. SFX: Slow heart beat, heavy reverb. Soundtrack goes silent. Hold for 48 frames.

SFX: Crashing sounds, distressed animal noises. Fade up. EXT. A plain at the edge of a forest. HOURLY stunned, a bemused yak.

HOURLY: Ah, for fecking Jaysus’ sake. For *feck’s* sake. I was nearly fecking away, ye fecking stupid cunt of a yak!

We pull out to MS. Warriors on horseback emerge in slo-mo from the forest, plumes of breath catching the moonlight. One dismounts.

KHAN approaches the kneeling HOURLY, crooks an elbow under his jaw and jerks him to his feet.

KHAN: Leetel queen. Why you run?

The Exodus of Calvita: Part VIII

INT. Day (MS): A shack in Sweatmire Province. O’RINGTONE is hunched over a makeshift workbench, gluing sequins to a loincloth. His candle gutters.

O’RINGTONE: The nits is gone, thanks be to Jaysus, so the apothecary is after clearing me to come back and model again. Happy days.

O’RINGTONE: And Trundlebert is coming around too. She did me a lovely juicy grub for the breakfast. Sets you up, so it does.

O’RINGTONE: Yeah, you take knocks. You get ejected from the Archimandrite’s apartments over nits. But you get back up, don’t you?

MVO: The news of his readmission has had a positive effect on Denis. But he still faces a battle to win the loincloth contract.

MVO: The Archimandrite is a shrewd negotiator, as well as a notorious sadist. Denis must prepare for a difficult day on the catwalk.

EXT. Day (LS) O’RINGTONE’s rickshaw has pulled over on a dirt track. A traffic cop with tusks and mirrored shades writes a ticket.

O’RINGTONE: He booked me for causing an obstruction. The fecking rickshaw trailer jack-knifed. Really did not need this today.

EXT. Day (MS) A roadside food stall. O’RINGTONE squeezes ketchup from a sachet onto a millipede burrito. The millipede crawls out.

The Exodus of Calvita: Part VII

INT. Night (MS): A dimly lit yurt. HOURLY lies awake. He is clamped in the colossal armpit of a snoring warlord.

Pulling out, we see that the bed is strewn with animal fur lingerie and gnawed bones. HOURLY appears afraid to move.

MVO: Michael has now been a concubine of Mughush Khan for six days. He has learned a great deal in this short time.

INT. (Night) The yurt. Khan is finally asleep. HOURLY extricates himself carefully from his grip and crawls quietly outside.

MVO: In the last few days, Michael has mastered ritual grooming, vulture egg omelettes and his gag reflex.

MVO: Today, though, Michael will face his biggest challenge so far. Mughush Khan’s mother intends to visit for supper and whist.

MVO: To enable Michael to speak freely, we have set up a camera in a nearby yak milking tent; let’s call it Yak-Cam.

INT. Night (CU): Yak-Cam.

HOURLY: Fierce fecking cold here at night. You’d think a yak skin catsuit would be some bit warm.

HOURLY: I’ve to milk these yokes here for the breakfast now. Getting the fleas out is a fecking curse.

HOURLY: You have to stay upbeat, though. Michael HOURLY is a fighter. Give us a hand with this zip.

The Exodus of Calvita: Part VI

EXT. DAY (LS) Rain beats on the rooftops of a swamp shanty town in Sweatmire Province. Midges blur the air above open sewers.

MVO: It is 5 a.m., and this is a big day for Denis.

MVO: Times are difficult in the loincloth business. Sales are down due to the recent invention of a rudimentary form of underpants.

MVO: To make ends meet, Denis must win a key contract supplying loincloths to the swamp world’s highly conservative theocracy.

MVO: To be in with a chance, Denis must make his way by rickshaw to the Archimandrite’s apartments to present his wares.

O’RINGTONE struggles in the rain to haul a tarpaulin over his badly-maintained rickshaw. It tears. He slumps in visible distress.

O’RINGTONE (to camera): I’d be lying if I said days like this weren’t tough. But, you get up and you do it.

EXT. (WS) A swamp, teeming with mosquitoes. O’RINGTONE makes slow progress on his rickshaw, his trailer piled high with samples.

MVO: The Archimandrite is a powerful figure here in Sweatmire Province. He is running the loincloth tender process his way.

MVO: The Archimandrite has insisted that Denis come to his apartments to model his loincloth range personally. Denis is nervous.

EXT. (CU) A roadside food stall. O’RINGTONE pensively nibbles a millipede burrito.

O’RINGTONE: A good breakfast. Sets you up for the day.

EXT. (WS) A crowded slum street. O’RINGTONE shouts and chases after a street urchin, who has stolen some of his merchandise.

EXT. (CU) O’RINGTONE shelters in the doorway of a Starbucks in downtown Sweatmire. He is breathing hard and muddied.

O’RINGTONE: The little fucker took the spangly one. I can open with the tie-dyed one, but that was the clincher. Fuck it, anyway.

EXT. (LS) O’RINGTONE’s rickshaw pulls up at the immense portcullis of the Archimandrite’s residence. He raps tentatively.

INT. (MS) A vestibule. O’RINGTONE is being hosed down by a eunuch.

O’RINGTONE: I have an appointment!

EUNUCH: Silence, wretch!

INT. (CU) An ante-room.

O’RINGTONE (seated on a hard bench, nude): They say I have to wait here until the apothecary clears me.

O’RINGTONE: It’s grand. I have the Big Book of Sudoko that Trundlebert gave me for Christmas. Keeps you sharp, you know.

INT. (LS) A crowded public office in the Archimandrite’s residence. O’RINGTONE is conversing agitatedly through a hatch.

EXT. (MS) The base of a drained moat.

O’RINGTONE (supine): They’re after fucking me out for nits. I’m totally gutted. I can’t–

MVO: The Archimandrite’s apothecary has pronounced Denis unworthy of entry due to infestation. He will not be modelling today.

O’RINGTONE fishes his sudoko book from a puddle at the base of the moat. He hugs his knees, struggling with tears.

O’RINGTONE: I’m sorry, I–can we stop rolling? I just need–

Fade to black.

The Exodus of Calvita: Part V

EXT. (LS) Night. A caravan of traders has made camp in the desert. Their tents are clustered around a fire. There is music and merriment.

Cut to MS of a tent on the edge of the camp. It is lit from within. We see two indistinct figures. We hear raised voices and laughter.

A figure emerges from the tent, veiled and clad in a long gown of pink, gauzy cloth. The figure appears to totter indignantly.

Another figure emerges. He is a heavily built trader, wearing an open nightshirt and a single boot. He appears drunk.

TRADER: Honey chile! Come back to Otto, eh? I ain’t fix your hem even. You look like is rape on prom night or some shit. Come on.

Cut to handheld alongside the figure in the pink gown, now scurrying. The veil slips, revealing CALVITA. He is clearly agitated.

CALVITA: Feck off, you. I gave you a priceless heirloom for this–for this ladies’ wear. I’m not interested in any sailor antics.

TRADER: Heirloom? You think is heirloom? This fucking snuff box I seen hundreds. Stolen from resort harem in Occident City, eh?

CALVITA (stopping and turning to face the TRADER): That snuff box was passed to my aunt on my uncle’s death bed. It’s pure rosewood.

TRADER (guffawing): Rosewood! Someone pass your aunt some wood on a bed, but was no priest around, eh?

Cut to MS. CALVITA’s silhouette, its progress somewhat impeded by tafetta, stalks away into the desert night.

EXT. (MS) Day. CALVITA, wearing the diaphanous pink gown and veil he procured from the trader, stands before an imposing tent.

MVO: Two days after receiving his eviction notice, Ivor is back in the village. Even in disguise, he is taking a considerable risk.

CALVITA (to camera): Does this yoke look alright? Can you lads check me behind? The dress isn’t caught up in me jocks again, is it?

CALVITA makes nervous last-minute adjustments to his costume. He uses a gong placed at the entrance to the tent to announce his presence.

MVO: If the Council of Elders should learn that Ivor has violated the terms of his banishment, he will face certain death.

A turbaned official emerges from the tent. CALVITA immediately prostrates himself in the dust before the entrance.

OFFICIAL: Good lord, madam. Are you overcome? Faint with the heat of the day? Did I startle you?

CALVITA (rising, dusting himself down): Eh, no, I’m grand. Just showing due respect for this, em, great civic edifice, kind of thing.

OFFICIAL: This tent you mean? Goodness. Well, I’m sure that’s a lovely gesture, but scarcely necessary. You have an appointment?

CALVITA: Ah yeah. Now, not exactly an appointment. But I’m here to see that nice man from the planning department. [Giggles coquettishly.]

OFFICIAL (suspiciously): Nice man? The Surveyor? Indeed? Does he expect you?

CALVITA, in response, raises a hand playfully to his veiled cheek, snagging a fingernail. He attempts an alluring titter, then sneezes.

OFFICIAL: Whatever it was, madam, that just occurred behind your veil, I wish to have no knowledge of it.

CALVITA: Ah, no. Game ball. Sorry about that. It’s just myself and the Surveyor, you know yourself. I lose the ould run the odd time.

OFFICIAL: The Surveyor, Madam, is not a man of tender passions. Nor, it would seem, is he fastidious in his appetites.

CALVITA: Sure, there isn’t a pick on him. I’d say he’d go for a week on a bag of dates and the suck of a camel’s ear.

OFFICIAL: Madam, I beg you. I will conduct you to the Surveyor. But please do not speak further. It perturbs me.

INT. The Surveyor’s quarters, an opulently furnished tent hung with animal skins and embroidery. Smoke curls lazily from censers.

The SURVEYOR reclines on a gigantic tiger skin rug, inspecting a necklace of shark’s teeth. He chuckles darkly at a private thought.

OFFICIAL (entering): I beg your forgiveness for the intrusion, Surveyor. A lady of your acquaintance is without.

SURVEYOR: Is without what, lady boy? If it’s underthings, I may be lenient with you.

OFFICIAL: Is outside, Surveyor. I would not presume to speak indelicately of a maiden you have favoured with your attention.

SURVEYOR (rising): If I had so favoured her, bootlick, she would no longer have claim to that honour. Show her in.

CALVITA enters. He looks around with bemusement for a moment, then hurriedly prostrates himself on the nearest rug.

CALVITA: Oh, noble Surveyor. God, you’ve a grand little set-up here. Anyway, I’m a meek young one, here to beseech your effulgence.

SURVEYOR: It may surprise you to learn that I dislike having deranged debutantes frothing on my wildebeest. Do please get up.

CALVITA: Is that what that is, a wildebeest? It’s some classy-looking yoke, anyway. I’d love one myself if you’re ever getting rid of it.

SURVEYOR (hurling the shark tooth necklace at CALVITA): This is not the haberdasher’s stall, you mindless hag. What is it you want?

CALVITA: Ah jaysus, yeah. Sorry, now. I could talk for Pyrexia, hah? Anyway, I have come, kind sir, for a favour curry.

SURVEYOR: A favour curry? I begin to see. The lodger of reason, I fear, is but occasionally resident at Madam’s address. Do go on.

CALVITA: Yeah, well, that’s the whole thing about it, you see. It’s all residence- and address-related, kind of thing. A friend of mine–

SURVEYOR: A *friend* of yours? Oh, I do love these. Continue.

CALVITA: Em. Yeah. So, this friend of mine. He has a bit of a planning permission, em, situation. Irrespective of a dwelling.

The SURVEYOR peers closely at CALVITA. He takes his pink nylon veil between thumb and forefinger and examines it with immense disdain.

SURVEYOR: Irrespective, no less? Why is it that you seem oddly familiar to me?

CALVITA: Familiar? To your excellency? Sure, we wouldn’t move in the same circuits at all. Ah, no. You must have me—

The SURVEYOR pulls CALVITA’s veil suddenly and with considerable force, ripping it from his face, which he regards with jaded recognition.

SURVEYOR: Mr Calvita, I presume.


SURVEYOR (pulling on a velvet rope): Mr Calvita. You knew a tolerable life once, did you not?

CALVITA (sobbing): Have you any ould meths or anything I could put on it? I’ll get fecking Dedalus. Me immune system wouldn’t stop a ball from Bray Wanderers.

Guards enter the tent. The SURVEYOR nods impassively at CALVITA. They seize him roughly.

SURVEYOR: Henceforth you will know only suffering.

The guards place CALVITA in manacles and drag him from the tent by his ankles. He shrieks.

CALVITA: Ivor Calvita will be back! Oh, yes! Don’t bother writing my epicentre! Mark my words! Yesterday is a hydrangea, tomorrow is a miscellany!

The SURVEYOR reclines calmly on a kidskin divan, the firelight playing over his smooth, tranquil features. He selects and inspects a grape.

Faintly now, we hear CALVITA. He screeches in elaborate pain. He attempts a Shania Twain ballad. Then silence.

The SURVEYOR crushes the grape. He wipes his fingers fastidiously on a scrap of pink nylon.

EXT. (LS) Night. The village is quiescent under the desert night. A single campfire gutters, the sparks tumbling upwards into the perfect darkness.