Thursday, October 27, 2011

War Of The Worlds Radio Broadcast Part 1

The Raven by Edgar Alan Poe

I'm sort of busy, but I wanted to do something for Halloween. This was in the Public dominain.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore--
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visiter," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door--
Only this and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;--vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow--sorrow for the lost Lenore--
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore--
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me--filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
"'Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door--
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door;
This it is and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"--here I opened wide the door--
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"--
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping something louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is and this mystery explore--
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;--
'Tis the wind and nothing more.

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he,
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door--
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door--
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then the ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore--
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning--little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door--
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."

But the Raven, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if its soul in that one word he did outpour
Nothing farther then he uttered; not a feather then he fluttered--
Till I scarcely more than muttered: "Other friends have flown before--
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore--
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of 'Never--nevermore.'"

But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore--
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee--by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite--respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if bird or devil!--
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted--
On this home by Horror haunted--tell me truly, I implore--
Is there--is there balm in Gilead?--tell me--tell me, I implore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us--by that God we both adore--
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore--
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting--
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul has spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!--quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadows on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted--nevermore!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Can You Tell Me How to Be Like Sesame Street?

Sunny days were long away from this particular street. Ghouls and monsters ran unchecked and unafraid, mingling with children and adults alike. Buffy didn’t necessarily have a problem with such a practice. Heaven knew her romantic and personal life was checkered with such colorful characters. Not one, but two vampire ex-boyfriends, a saggy skinned demon for a poker buddy, a witch for a best friend, a sentient inter-dimensional key for a little sister. Buffy had absolutely no room to dole out judgement about which bedfellows these people chose. Buffy wasn’t even walking these streets in her Slayer capacity. The fiends and goblins on these streets taught children how to read and write, to do math and how to share. Meanwhile, everywhere else in the world they would be eviscerating the innocent and plotting to bring about the end of days. There was something about this place that turned horrible things into things benign and almost adorable. She could use something like that. It would mean a permanent end to demons looking for strange, new ways to wipe everyone else out. It would mean the end of fighting for her and her Slayer ilk. It was worth investigating at least.

The streets had been lonely and lonely streets put Buffy on edge. She kept her stake at the ready while she moved down the sidewalk. Her heels echoed off into the shadows and the shadows answered back. A trashcan rattled and shook around in a pile of loose pallets and garbage bags and beneath its rust speckled lid, a nasally groan sounded.
“What’s all that noise?” Buffy nearly staked a green furry thing with tangled, bushy brown eyebrows. His disproportionately large eyes lowered down to the position of the gnarled wooden stake, realized how close he came to having said stake puncture his insides and then shivered like a paint mixer and not metaphorically. His entire body shook violently and she thought he was having a seizure for a moment. He dropped back into his trashcan, slamming the lid shut behind him.
“Sorry!” Buffy cried, trying to reopen the lid. The thing inside had a good grip on the top and wasn’t about to let it go. She could have overcome him with her slayer strength, but that didn’t seem appropriate. She was hoping to gain secrets and she figured that terrorizing the locals didn’t seem a great way to do it.
“Can we talk? Just for a second?” Buffy asked. The lid shot up along with the green creature.
“No!” He cried before descending back into the trashcan.
“Please.” She said with a weaker tone. She was shocked that he would come from his hiding place just to refuse her.
The creature shot up again, cried ‘No’ and then shot back down.
Nice one, Buffy. She thought to herself. You find the one place in the world where demons and human live peacefully and you nearly kill the person you find. She decided to leave the furry, green creature to his can and then wondered if ‘Person’ was the proper term for a demon. People were people where ever you went. Even if they weren’t people. It felt dehumanizing to call something with a name and a mind and friends ‘a thing.’ If she called the thing in the trashcan a thing, it would almost be the same as calling her sister a thing. True, she looked more like a person than what lived in the can, but so didn’t Angel and so didn’t Spike. For that matter, so didn’t Glory, The Mayor and the First Evil… although that one was incorporeal and probably asexual.
“Oscar? Oscar? Why such a commotion at this hour? I heard one…two …two loud bangs in the night. Ah. Ah. Ah..” Buffy spotted a purple faced vampire at the end of the street. He was remarkably short and was dressed in a cape with an upturned collar. He had a monocle in one eye and tiny fangs in his mouth. Buffy reminded herself that she wasn’t here to slay.
“Hello.” She said, hurrying to the diminutive vampire. “ I’m Buffy Summers from Sunnydale. Can we talk for a moment.”
“Of course. Of Course.” The purple vampire said, sweeping his hands through the air in an unnecessary grandiose gesture that involved nearly his entire body.
“Thank you. I’ve come a long way and… wait!” Buffy said as the vampire began to walk away.
“Oh! Yes?”
“ I was talking to you.”
“Yes. You asked to speak with me for one…one moment. Ah. Ah. Ah..”
“Okay. You’re being intentionally ridiculous. Can I speak with someone in charge here?”
“I don’t know. Can you?” The green monster shouted from behind her. She turned and he slammed down the lid, disappearing into the can. Buffy rubbed her forehead and took a moment to lower her temper.
“May I speak with someone in charge? Someone who might know how the demons and humans coexist so peacefully here.” The purple vampire stroked his frizzy black beard, pondering the question.
“Possibly Big Bird. Ah. Ah.. Of all of us, he seems the most like an adult. Ah. Ah. Ah.”
“Okay. Can you bring me to him?”
“And then, there are the actual adults. They may know as well. Ah. Ah. Ah.”
“Okay. Can you bring me to them?”
“Then there’s Elmo. Not an adult at all, but everything seems to revolve around him nowadays. Ah. Ah. Ah.”
“Okay. How about this. Can you…Might you take me to someone, anyone who can answer my questions? Or that can answer any direct question?”
“Of course, of course. Ah. Ah. Ah. Well, I suppose I could answer that question. Ah. Ah. Ah..” Buffy felt a sting of anger, but she bit it back and offered the vampire a strained, toothy smile.
“Can you? So, how do the humans and the demons here maintain peace?”
“Powerful Sedatives. Ah. Ah. Ah.”