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Y'ello, fellow! The voice cut through the forest's underbrush like an impatient jerk in a slow-moving line. A split second later, a bush burst apart in a flurry of foliage as a dark gray Lupe came bounding through, skidding to an exaggerated halt and theatric bow. Course, I di'n't rightly know if you were one. A fellow, that is. Bushes don't make it easy to tell, you know! She looked normal enough for a Lupe, except that her face was hidden behind a white skullish theater mask. The eyes beamed as much as blank black insets could, and the mask's mouth was pulled into an incorrigible grin.
H'anyways, Comedy's my name (although I go by Comedy, Com, and "Oi, you!" in equal measures), and comedy's the game, she continued brightly. Lot easier to remember that way, after all! If Tragedy was comedic an' I were tragic, we'd never keep things straight. It's confusing enough for most people that we happen to employ the same body for the general endeavor of living. If it weren't for the masks, you'd never tell us apart except by which of us was ticklish. (Or, of course, 'bout three an' a half seconds of conversation.) Contrary to what Tragedy would have you think, it's her. Hee hee... she says that's not funny. But that ain't exactly her area of expertise, now is it?
But you probably want to hear a bit about us! If you didn't, you shouldn'ta sat there listening all this time when you had a perfectly good opportunity to run away. We're the representative h'embodiments of theatrical tradition- the names ain't just for show, y'know- they're for shows. Tragedy has a particular fondness for the Shakespearean tragedies, whereas I find myself partial to those inestimable works of Sirs Gilbert and Sullivan. As you mighta gathered through astute attention to detail, I'm the more outgoing of the two of us. (Not to mention the good-looking one!) I love talking to folks, or more rightly, talking at folks. What they have to say is generally of merely marginal merit. Better than that, though, is a good joke, prank, or insult! I am a great connoisseur of just desserts, a purveyor of puns, and more trouble than I'm worth.
Well, I know the majority of you are slobbish Philistines (or worse, critics) who'll just skip to the summary, so fine- here you go.
Audience (Forced, and Otherwise)
Ha… Mo is a laugh 'n a half. No kidding- except, you know, it is kidding and all, but whatever- she's somebody who can actually appreciate an honest-to-goodness joke. She's also willing to make a reckless, madcap dash down the stairs simply because somebody calls a race. Right proper upbringing, that is!
Now her sis, Lydia (or Vera, as she was incorrectly named- I shall have to take it up with her parents), is h'another matter entirely. She makes people laugh less, which in my mind is downright unforgiveable. Still, I lay off a bit more than she deseves. Even I can tell Mo worries about her. (Okay, so Traj pointed it out- whatever.) Still, I'm not one to resist some humorous poking and prodding at anybody who takes themselves too seriously. That said, she does have a sole redeeming trait: she can play "Modern Major General" at full tempo on the piano. As sole redeeming traits go, it's a pretty good one.
Her… whatever… (I don't think she even has a name for it), Mr. Leon Wickham, is much more fun to be around. Not that he's any better, mind you- he is a piece of prose, and probably worse than she is- but what can I say? You love to hate 'im! If there's one thing I enjoy more than picking on somebody in good humor, it's picking on somebody who really deserves it. He is a Wickham with no Darcy, and as a great connoisseur of just desserts, I do so enjoy that look of disgruntled disbelief he gets on his face from extended conversation with me. Or that girly shriek when I ran the cold tap when he wasn't expecting it… priceless.
Exha is a saint among Lupes. If anyone should doubt it, they need only note that she never sent her daughter Lydia to Mongolia via express mail. She used to be a bit of a sourpuss- couldn't laugh at herself to save her life. Luckily for her, she was never put in such oddly specific circumstances, and has lived to learn to live and laugh a little, and likes such literary likenesses as I love to lend to her family. More to the point, she took me to see "Pride and Prejudice!" The one with whats-her-face. It's a pity there aren't any roles left to her other than Mrs. Bennett, but she does plan parties for a living.
Then there's Raw, the flutterbat. Or butterflat, I forget. She seems to know just about everybody. She showed up in Shukumei one day, an' went an' lost her head of a little thing like being trapped in a strange place with with more moons than she was used to. You'd think somebody who does fancy-schmancy neuro-whatnot-'n-stuff surgery without opposable thumbs would be a little more level-headed, but there you go. She's nice enough once she stops hyperventilating and threatening to pass out.
|There are buttons for navigation, and you can click the Comedy and Tragedy masks to switch between pages. Scrolling like this spoils the effect.|
Use the masks to your left and right to switch pages.
Good evening, the voice sounds from behind you. I hope Comedy hasn't sent you to try and cheer me up, the Lupe continues, stepping around you in a deliberate motion and turning to face you while settling down into a sitting position. She means well, to be sure, but sometimes I'm not sure she understands she shouldn't put people to the trouble. I do try to keep track of her, but sometime I get a bit... preoccupied. The Lupe's face is concealed behind a bony mask, the holes for the eyes drooping and the mouth turning down in a theatrical frown. Tear drops are etched symetrically on either side of the false face, giving the impression of mourning.
You'd think it would be easier to pay attention to yourself, but I do try to avoid meddling too much. She pauses, her features hidden behind those of the mask. But I suppose I ought to start with introductions. I'm Tragedy, if the mask hasn't already given it away. Comedy's listening in at the moment, and says she didn't do it this time. If that's the case, thank you for dropping in. If it isn't, I apologize that she roped you into this.
Perhaps it's best to explain before you get the wrong idea about the two of us. We're not the irreconcilable opposites you might expect. Tragedy and Comedy go hand in hand. They each serve different purposes, of course, but they're not exactly opposites.
A tragedy doesn't have to have an unhappy ending. They generally do, but that's because a tragedy is a serious look on life, meant to make you think. They show the dangers of hubris, the self-destructive pride that has led to the downfall of countless great warriors, leaders, and heroes. Their aim is catharsis, a cleansing of emotions by experiencing them. They show the crumbling of nobility, bravery, and wisdom in face of fate and choice. Sometimes they show redemption, but sometimes it is simply left to the audience to learn the lesson taught.
Comedy, similarly, does not always end happily. It concerns itself with the everyday man, and teaches by making light of things. Its lesson is to the foolish, not the proud, and the actors subject themselves to chance and fortune rather than choice and unyielding consequence. They are laughed at, sometimes for their good luck and sometimes for their pain. If Tragedy strives for wisdom, Comedy aims for cleverness.
Well, I believe Comedy's getting a little bored, though she won't admit it. If you care to stick around and say hello, please do.
Hide Your Sorrow
I would be remiss if I didn't provide support for other tragic individuals like myself. If you're the sort who sees the big picture, takes solace in art, or just likes peace and quiet, feel free to take a mask. Just make sure to send people back here. If you'd like a personal touch to it, let me know, and I'll see if I can manage it.
Fei Von Tuzkar was… (is… sometimes, it is hard to tell…) a Caesar. His tale unfolds along the same script, with the same actors. I do not, as a rule, interfere in such matters, but an opening was left me, and I took it. The part of the Soothsayer, Act I, Scene II. Like Hamlet, I set a tale within the play, so that the actor might know what lines were to be fed him. Whether he plays the part or forges his own path… well, what part we are given is only given.