EVERYMAN IN SCOTS

JOCKIE MANN:

An adaptation of the Mediaeval Morality Play, Everyman, in Doric Scots: by Bruce Gardner.

CAST (21):

1 JOCKIE MANN (Dressed for a night out as smart casual, with a jacket and jeans.)

 

2 GOD [VO (Voice OFF)]

 

3 DAITH (Dressed as the Grim Reaper)

 

4 ANGEL ENE (White robe and glittery hair) ♀ or ♂

 

5 ANGEL TWA (White robe and glittery hair) ♀ or ♂

 

6 M8Z (Sharply dressed in modern, street style)

 

7 AUNTIE MARGE (Plump, motherly and self-indulgently sentimental)

 

8 UNCLE CHAIRLIE (Brisk, podgy and no-nonsense)

 

9 PLASTIC (Tarty, credit cards on a strip, with £ and $ on a street-cred designer jacket.)

 

10 GUID DEEDS (White robe, with a nice big Tick √ on the front and an X and ☹ on the back.)

 

11 GRACE (White robe with a large thumbs-up sign inside or beside which is a 😊, on both sides.)

 

12 BEAUTY (Fashionable with dark glasses and a celeb complex, posing in case a camera is near.)

 

13 STRENGTH (A narcissistic gym-bunny, ♀or ♂, with muscular arms, tee-shirt and spandex.)

 

14 DISCRETION (Teacherly, strict and serious.)

 

FIVE SENSES:

15 GLAISSES    (Wears ridiculously big glasses, yet takes in very little.)

16 HEARIN        (Wears dangly earrings and has earphones attached to a device.)

17 NOSEY          (Wears silver specs on a chain and carries a perfume spray, used liberally.)

18 TACTILE      (Sensuous, like Marilyn Monroe, with a fur wrap around her shoulders.)

19 TASTE           (Elegantly cool, dressed like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.)[1]

 

20 CONFESSION          (Dressed as a monk, with cowl or tonsure as desired.)[2]

 

21 PASTOR                    (Dressed in black clerical clothes and long robe, with dog collar.)

 

***

PROLOGUE:

[The curtain opens to reveal a stage with a low grassy hump, mid-rear left. (It later becomes the grave). Behind it, is a staircase covered with a veil. As the play opens, the veil is not backlit, so the stair is unseen. Later, at the play’s end it will become visible. As the audience trickles in, so do the CAST (except GOD and DAITH) in their casual clothes, with costumes and props. When the lights go down to announce that the show has started, they go downstage for the Prologue.]

 

PASTOR:

Guid evening te ye, bonny audience.

We plead for patience…an a wee bit reverence.

 

AUNTIE MARGE:

Patience, for it’s an affa moral play,

[She dabs her eyes with a hankie]

Aboot foo JOCKIE MAN must dee ae day.

[She burst into sobs, comforted by GRACE.]

 

UNCLE CHAIRLIE (No-nonsense, but reasonable, appealing for cooperation.)

Te schaw some reverence, tee, freends, would be better –

For iss is serious  – it’s nae lauchin maitter.

 

GRACE (After patting and leaving AUNTIE MARGE):

We’ll learn ‘at an Eternal Soul is precious,

That Daith is real, but still, oor God is gracious,

 

GUID DEEDS:

The Bible sterts wi: “In the beginnin…”

But it warns ye, tee: d’a forget yer endin.

 

[FIVE SENSES come forward as a group.]

 

FIVE SENSES:

We’re the original famous five:

The senses that keep ye alive.

 

[GLAISSES comes forward and looks around curiously and short-sightedly.]

 

FIVE SENSES (Bar GLAISSES):

SICHT we caa GLAISSES, for she spies,

An nithin taks her by surprise.

 

[HEARIN steps out and tugs GLAISSES’ jacket from behind as if in Blind Man’s Buff. GLAISSES return to the group and HEARIN flashes her earrings and cups her ear.]

 

FIVE SENSES (bar HEARIN):

HEARIN lets nithin gyng unheard,

Nae car-horn, nor the sang o bird.

 

[HEARIN is so busy listening, she trips over NOSEY who wanders down to sniff. HEARIN returns to the group and NOSEY leans forward like a big bird, beakily.]

 

FIVE SENSES (bar NOSEY):

NOSEY here will smell an sniff;

Turns up ‘er nose at ony niff.

 

[TACTILE wanders laconically down in her Marilyn Monroe pose and lazily stretches arms skyward. NOSEY sniffs her armpit and reacts disgustedly, escaping back to the group coughing.]

 

FIVE SENSES (bar TACTILE):

TACTILE is TOUCH, fa likes te tickle;

She loves te dea it – jist a bit ower muckle!

 

[TACTILE starts by stroking M8Z’s chin but suddenly tickles him. He is not happy, as it spoils his image. He slaps TACTILE’s arm. She goes back aggrieved and flashes a #METOO badge.]

 

FIVE SENSES (bar TASTE):

TASTE is ene fa savours flavours.

An her fashion-sense jist nivver wavers.

 

[TASTE catwalks. GLAISSES comes forward with a tray of G & T. TACTILE drinks a glass but TASTE is unimpressed and refuses it, gets out a throat spray and uses it, to TACTILE’s disgust.]

 

FIVE SENSES:

We’re aa FIVE SENSES, fae the Senses Union.

This play says Daith shall hae dominion,

But Life’s a blast – ‘at’s oor opinion.

 

 

GLAISSES (pop-eyed):

Look at Life more visually!

 

HEARIN:

Wi ears, Life’s nae surprise te ye.

 

NOSEY:

Wak up! Smell e coffee! Sniff e skies!

 

TACTILE (caressing her shoulders in a Marilyn Monroe voice):

Be Touchy Feely an they’ll… sympathise.

 

TASTE: (Flashing a challenging look at TACTILE.)

Hae class: get taste an win the fashion prize!

FIVE SENSES (In Unison):

There’s nithin wrang wi us jist haein fun!

But Life can often eynd before it’s begun.

Sae oor advice, afore it’s ower late,

Is use yer senses – o-ri-en-tate!

 

Noo, here’s some ithers that are in oor play:

First, ‘ere’s M8Z – a “freend for life”, folk say.

 

M8Z:

(M8Z is a cool, cool dancer wi rapper style)

“Deain yer ain thing really feels sae sweet,

On the toon, see iss loon – sherp fae heid te feet!

 

FIVE SENSES (together):

Next comes PLASTIC – she’s a bisom,

Leads free folk on – till they eynd up in prison!

 

PLASTIC (flashing a string o credit cards)

“Gallus Loons and Quinies – seize the day!”

(An dinna buther ‘boot a “Judgment Day.”)

 

FIVE SENSES (together):

Next comes a looker, fas name is Beauty.

(She does for pleisure fit some dea for duty.)

 

BEAUTY: (looking at M8Z, using a breathless voice)

Ma looks wad fade if naisty Daith cam roond:

Mak-overs for Mortality must be found!

 

FIVE SENSES (together):

Iss ene thinks aa the day, as ye micht expect.

Her name’s DISCRETION – show her some respect.

 

[DISCRETION holds up her hand to show the party is over. FIVE SENSES and other cast members fade into the wings. DISCRETION waits, then turns to the audience.]

 

DISCRETION (Clearing her throat, indicating clear change of pace):

We noo begin oor sombre, moral phase,

Far JOCKIE MANN must eynd his wastefu’ days,

An ye will hear foo Hivven’s Michty King

Calls JOCKIE MANN te his ain reckonin.

 

[JOCKIE MANN steps forward, centre stage. DISCRETION looks at him and sighs. PASTOR comes forward and wags a finger at DISCRETION.]

 

PASTOR (Compassionately):

Nae doot, DISCRETION, ye are richt;

Puir JOCKIE MANN, there, is a sicht,

Nae in the obvious, far he looks quite guid,

But, deep within, his spiritual need.

 

Jock’s careless, selfish, wi nae a thocht

O the price Christ’s peyed sae be could be bocht

Christ’s bleed scale’t oot on Calvary’s Cross

So Jockie widna ken eternal loss,

But be set free fae a world o strife

An gien a chunce o Eternal Life.

 

Jockie’s claes present him outwardly.

Yet fit is in his hert nae man can see.

It’s God alene fa kens oor inner pairt;

It’s God alene fa unnderstauns e hert.

Judge not, discretion, lest ye, tee, are judged;

We’re here for forgiveness, nae to te bear a grudge

 

Kind fowk, heed noo fit the Great God says,

Then thank yer lucky stars…an coont yer days.

 

[Exeunt all bar JOCKIE MANN.]

 

 

END OF THE PROLOGUE.

 

 

***

Scene 1:

 

[Enter two ANGELS and DAITH who stand triangularly with JOCKIE MANN in the centre. Lights reduce to three spotlights on the ANGELS and DAITH, head bowed, waiting. JOCKIE MANN sits in frozen position in half-shadow. (When the ANGELS speak, they parade to and fro, examining the audience with cool dignity: they are not unsympathetic but their task is to speak for God and His Glory, not for themselves.)]

 

GOD (Off):

I look upon Ma Warld, in wounded Maijesty,

I, fa wis crucifyit for aa Mankind.

They live sae gallus in prosperity,

But, speeritually, they’re deif an blind.

For, droont in sin, they dinna ken their Lord.

 

ANGEL ENE:

They fear nae punishment, nor yet Yer Word,

Nor the Commaundments that Ye peyed for, fan Ye dee’d.

They forget the sheddin o Yer Cleansing bleed.

Fan Ye hung atween twa thieves, the hummlt Lord.

Te grant them life, Yer soul wis sold te daith,

Giein up the ghost te send them Hivven’s breith.

 

GOD:

I could dea nae mair than I’ve done aready;

But noo I see the warld’s folk, aa forsake me.

They sook up sieven deidly sins like damnable

Pride, Covetousness, Envy, Wrath, Adultery –

Aa that, in their warld, is caa’d commendable.

 

ANGEL TWA:

They turn’t their backs on Angels an God’s table.

Ilk’ man loves drunken pleisure’s empty soonds;

The lives they lead hae nae real solid foonds.

Look, Lord, tho generously Ye forbear,

They jist get waur, fae year te sinfu’ year.

 

ANGEL ENE:

Aye aa live in greed, in carelessness an waste,

Sae Lord, wi aa due speed, in haly haste,

Accordin te yer Word, because ye can

Bring furrit, noo, a reckonin for Man.

 

ANGEL TWA:

That wad be just, Lord: if aa live recklessly,

Pursuin drunken pleisures aimlessly,

They’ll droon in sin, as floods tummle the blind:

Indulgence pits te sleep the God-gien mind;

 

GOD (Off):

It braks ma Haly Hert te see Sin growin,

Like weeds that strangle flooers, aa-unknowin.

O Loons and Quines, made in ma image, tell

Yer bairnies te sik Heigh Hivven, an te shun Deep Hell!

For I, on Earth, fulfilled Salvation’s Story,

Sae ye could mak yer hame in Hivven’s Glory,

Love God an yer neighbour: dinna forget

That, on the Cross, I paid yer sinfu’ debt.

Yet ye despise the mony gifts I’ve sent

An dinna thank me for the Life I lent.

 

[ANGEL ENE and ANGEL TWA walk forward, and speak, in unison.]

 

ANGEL ENE and ANGEL TWA (Looking at the audience, wondering):

God poors oot vast reserves o Living Grace,

Jist a puckle kneel te drink, an seek His face.

They’re sae enamour’t o their goods an chattels,

They aye forget: He’s caa’d the God o Battles!

 

[The ANGELS turn and look upward and backstage.]

 

ANGEL ENE and ANGEL TWA

Lord, ye’ll judge JOCKIE MANN: Yer Wrath he’ll bear.

 

END OF SCENE ONE.

***

 

Scene 2.

GOD (Off, loudly):

Far are ye, Daith, ma michty messenger?

 

DAITH (from the back of the audience, loudly):

Almichty God, I’m here, te dea yer will:

Yer solemn summonses, I will fulfil.

 

 

[DAITH comes through the audience as the Grim Reaper. The ANGELS bow heads.]

 

 

GOD (Off):

Gyang noo te careless JOCKIE MANN

An show him, in ma Haly Name,

The pilgrimage that he must undertak,

Which naebody can jink an come richt back;

Tell him te mak his reckonin on the wey:

The explainin o his life, wi’oot delay.

 

DAITH (facing the audience while responding to GOD:

By Yer leave in this warld, Daith rules ower aa.

I’ll cruelly search oot sinners, great an sma.

Each ene fa lives by basic instinct, solely,

Ignores God’s laws an flounders in his folly.

Fa loves their riches, I’ll strike through the hert:

I’ll dull their sicht, fae Hivven te depairt.

 

ANGELS ENE AND TWA (interrupting to moderate Daith’s over-enthusiasm):

But aa fa trust in Christ – Man’s Freend, sae kind –

Gain Hivven – an shun Hell – warld wi’oot eynd.

 

[JOCKIE MANN moves around downstage guzzling fast food and drinkin Red Bull, satisfied.]

 

ANGEL ENE:

Look ower there: there’s JOCKIE MANN, oot waulkin.

We’ll watch him, for he winna hear us talkin.

 

ANGEL TWA:

His mind’s on Self an Lust an empty Treisure,

Though sic things bring great pains men must endure

Fan they staund afore e Lord, Great Hivven’s King,

 

[ANGEL ENE AND ANGEL TWA move backward offstage, take off their white robes and sit amongst the cast, squeezing in with good-humour and then watching].

 

DAITH (to JOCKIE MANN):

Hae ye forgotten God – an everything?

 

JOCKIE MANN (jolted, almost choking):

Fit wey d’ye speir sic an eerie question, Meester?

Sic fricht’nin words could gie me indigeesters.

 

[JOCKIE MANN, stops, belches, then skirts round DAITH, as if to go on eating.]

 

DAITH:

Ye hae a sense o humour, I can see.

But I wis sent te keep ye company,

By God, fa caa’s ye in his Maijesty.

 

[On the word ‘GOD’, JOCKIE MANN halts and looks round.]

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Fit’s aa this nonsense? God sent you te me?

 

DAITH:

Aye, God has sent me te ye, sure as Daith.

Though ye’ve forgotten him, file livin here.

As ye will shortly ken, wi yet last braith,

He thinks aboot ye in the Heavenly sphere.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Weel, Min, I see ye’re dress’t up for a pairty,

But ye’ll nae fear me, fa’s aye sae hale and hairty!

Awa! Fitivver wad God want wi hairmless me?

 

DAITH (peremptorily, then softening fan it has the desired effect.):

Staund still – for jist ae mintie – an ye’ll see:

 

[DAITH holds up a mirror to JOCKIE MANN who stares into it fascinatedly, first of all recognising things, then pleased, then horrified, then pleased again, in turn: fear begins.]

 

DAITH:

The reckonin o yer life has come – this day.

It’s unexpeckit, but ye’ll nae delay.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Ma reckonin o life? I’m ow’r young yet!

 

[The ANGELS stand before JOCKIE MANN. He staggers, suddenly seeing them.]

 

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Angels! iss maks nae sense! I’m aa upset!

Na! Surely aa this is jist makkie-on

Te spile ma nicht wi a ill-nattered con!

 

ANGEL ENE:

Behave yersel: noo comes yer judgment day.

Yer accoont o life te God noo ye must bring,

Nae turnin back! We’ve startit on e road.

Sae tak great care wi yer life’s reckonin.

 

ANGEL TWA:

An there, afore yer God, tell Him the truth,

About e bad deeds – an few guid enes – o yer youth;

 

ANGEL ENE and ANGEL TWA (in unison):

Foo ye hae spent yer life, fit wis yer plan:

Tell Him, the Great Lord fa’s the Judge o Man.

 

DAITH (appearing between them):

Ye’ll be yer sins’ sole amateur Attorney.

Sae be honest wi yersel file on yer journey,

 

JOCKIE MANN (rebelling, panicking):

I’m totally nae ready for that day!

I dinna ken ye. Fa are ye, gadgie? Eh!

 

[A drum roll again. The Angels veil their faces. JOCKIE MANN falls to his knees]

 

DAITH (authoritatively):

I’m DAITH, vain man – the DAITH ye nivver feart for.

For aa men I hae come, tho nivver speir’t for;

Te me, yer eynd is jist ae mair assignment,

It’s God’s Will. Ye an I must be obedient.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

O DAITH, ye come fan ye are least in mind!

But, can we mak a deal? Turn iss aroond?

O ma free will I’ll gie, if ye’ll be kind –

A heap o cash – a hunner thoosand pound! –

Jist leave iss business till anither day!

 

DAITH (with grim laughter):

O JOCKIE MANN, wi Daith, there’s nae sic wey.

I set nae store by siller, gowd nor riches,

Respect nae rank – priests, kings, queens, dukes or princes!

For, if I ivver wanted earthly things,

The warld is mine: the treisure-hoose o kings.

I dea God’s will: te Him new souls I bring.

Nae deal can cheynge ‘at, nae a sing’le thing!

 

JOCKIE MANN:

But leave noo? Nae time te pack? It’s ower quick!

I must say, ye dinna gie folk muckle warning!

Te think aboot it, maks ma hert feel sick,

For aa unready is ma buik o reckonin.

In 50 years, I bet, y’d hae yer pick

O guid deeds: charities I’d pile up clear;

Nae reckonin wad I hae need te fear.

I beg ye, for God’s sake an His great mercy,

Jist spare me, till some guid deeds I can dea.

 

DAITH:

It’s useless, here, te weep an wail an pray;

Ye’ve had some time te think upon yer wey.

Aa folk hae guid deeds an mak freends, if they can,

But they ken that time an tide bides for nae man:

Ilk’ craitur, great or sma, fite’er its strength –

An even Adam’s line – must dee at length.

 

JOCKIE MANN (Frustrated, seeking good news):

DAITH, since ye say this pilgrimage I’ll tak,

Wi iss grim reckonin, that ye say I’ll mak,

Tell me – is it, like some sci-fi writers say:

Tomorraw’s bairn is ene that dee’d the day?

 

DAITH:

Na, it’s the same for ivv’ry tribe an nation:

Souls dinna onward ‘flit’ in reincarnation

Man dees eence, says God; syne comes his doom.

Sae trust me, freend: ye winna ‘scape the tomb.

 

JOCKIE MANN (Looking up):

O gracious God, enthron’t in highest heicht,

Will naebody support me, as is richt?

In this ‘oor o trial, is nae help seen?

 

[He turns to DAITH, on having what he thinks is a brainwave.]

 

JOCKIE MANN:

I’ll dial a mate! Hey, can I phone a freen’!

 

DAITH (Pausing and smiling sceptically):

Oh, aye, if onybody’s that fuil, te dee,

Te gyang wi ye an bear ye company.

Kennin ye gyang te God’s magnificence,

Te gie yer reckonin afore His presence.

 

[Daith laughs and turns his back. The ANGELS move forward to either side of JOCKIE.]

 

JOCKIE MANN (Defiantly after DAITH):

I’ve got guid mates, an relatives an aa,

Sae lauch, but ma resources arena smaa!

I’m young, nae ill – I hinna got a wife!

It’s far ow’r early te be thieved o life!

 

ANGEL ENE (folding arms):

Fit? Did ye think yer life belang’t te ye?

 

ANGEL TWA (foldin arms:

An aa yer worldly goods an chattels tee?

 

JOCKIE MANN:

I damn-well did – it seem’t te staund te reason.

 

[The ANGELS throw up their hands, as if giving him up for lost. Exeunt ANGELS.]

 

DAITH (turning back to confront JOCKIE MANN:

Na, na. Yon things were lent ye for a season.

For men should ken, as soon as they hae dee’d,

In a gey wee file, since they winna be alive,

Anither man will tak their wealth, an thrive!

Ye’ll lose yer money, an yer life o greed,

For here on earth ye widna mend yer weys.

Noo, suddenly, Daith’s come te eynd yer days.

 

JOCKIE MANN (Panicking in soliloquy):

O JOCKIE MANN, ye fuil! Far can ye flee,

Sae ye micht yet escape an endless sorraw?

 

[His brief soliloquy ended, he turns to Daith.]

 

Noo, Daith, be kind an spare me till tomorraw.

Gie me some time a better man te be

Ene fa has sense an some kind o discernment.

 

DAITH:

Te sic requests, I aye with-hauld consent.

For nae man hae I ivver done ‘at, like;

Wi mony folk, I ding an dunt te strike,

Wi’oot nae soond advice or freendly warnin.

But, still, I’m a smart spirit i perception,

An sae I’ll leave ye noo…let’s see…till mornin.

 

JOCKIE MANN (In pure relief and renewed hope):

I’m as happy as e day that I was born,

Te hae ma judgment wait until e morn!

 

[He turns cupping his hand around his mouth, to the audience, aside)

 

It gies me time te see if I can beat it;

Te die sae young, I’d feel ‘at I wis cheatit.

 

[He turns back to DAITH, with false gratitude.]

 

O Daith, I’m affa grateful, like, te see

Ye makkin an exception – jist for me.

 

DAITH (Equally falsely, and mockingly magnanimous):

Nae buther. It’s a lauch. Daith’s nae aa murnin,

Beside, ma loon, ye’ll be a lang time burnin.

 

[JOCKIE MANN falls on his knees. DAITH points down at him.]

 

DAITH:

Tak tent that ye mak ready, by the wey.

Syne, I’ll be caa’in for ye, by and by.

Ye should be clear: the morn is yer last day:

For nae man ivver slipp’t ma net, I’d say.

 

[Exit DAITH]

 

 

END OF SCENE TWO.

 

 

***

Scene 3.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Oh God, I feel ma wound sae sair and deep!

I need some pal te gyng alang wi me,

Te help me on the road that seems sae steep.

Guid sakes, ma reckonin is sae unready.

Fit could I say? Fit sly excuses gie?

I wish te God I nivver had been born!

Te hae nae soul at aa wad profit be!

For, noo, I fear Hell’s pains will strike the morn!

Sun, dinna haste sae fast an oot o sicht!

Muin tak yer time as ye watch ow’r e nicht

Stars, dinna pit yer cheery glow te flicht!

 

[He calms downs suddenly and sneers ruefully at his dramatic mood.]

 

Fit a fuil! Iss Drama Queen’s nae eese ava.

The time gaes past. Lord, help! Forgie me aa!

The time gaes past an soon it will run oot;

I dinna ken foo te balance ma accoont.

Fa can I ask, te help me face iss fear?

 

[M8Z enters, swaggering, looking pleased. He waves cheerily to all onstage and off.]

 

JOCKIE MANN (To the audience):

Fit if I tell M8Z, fae brings guid cheer,

Shaw him aa this cock-eyed, grim mischance?

In him, I’ve ayeweys had great confidence.

We’ve waulk’t this warld thegither mony a day.

We’re best o freends, life-lang, in sport an play.

Look at him waulkin bravely, certainly.

Aye, surely M8Z will bear me company?

I’ll spick te him te soothe Daith’s deidly scorn.

Fit like, M8Z? I micht need ye sair the morn!

 

M8Z:

Tomorraw? Aye – nae problem, if I’m able!

But, freend, why be sae glum an miserable?

If onythin’s amiss, jist tell me aa –

I’ll chase the whigmaleeries aa awa!

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Oh M8Z, ye are the best – ‘at I can see!

The truth is, M8Z, I’m noo in jeopardy.

 

M8Z:

Ma guid freend, let me ken fit’s on yer mind.

I’ll nae forsake ye te ma ain life’s eynd!

Ye ken – I’ve ayeweys been guid company.

 

JOCKIE MANN (emotional):

That wis weel said, M8Z – an gey lovinly.

 

M8Z:

There, there. Tell me fit causes ye sic dour distress.

It braks ma hert te feel yer heaviness.

 

[M8Z taks out an imaginary sword and stabs the air to make JOCKIE MANN laugh.]

 

M8Z (Prisoner of Zenda style, with a posh, 1930’s English actor’s accent):

If any knave has done you wrong, I sweah,

I’ll take revenge. Though death lurks unaweah!

Ev’n though grim Fate would lay M8Z in the dirt!

 

[He drops the imaginary sword, clutches his hert and falls, legs up then splayed.]

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Oh bless ye, M8Z! Yer words cheer up ma hert.

 

[M8Z rises up breezily and dusts himself down]

 

M8Z:

Nae need te thank me – that’s fit freends aye dea,

Fit’s nagging at ye, pal? Jist you tell me!

 

JOCKIE MANN (Gratefully):

I ayeweys found ye solid te the core.

 

M8Z:

An ayeweys will, (mimics’ religious intoning) “both now an evermo-o-ore!”

For, truthfully, if ye even went te Hell,

I wadna forsake ma guid freend; that I’ll say.

 

JOCKIE MANN (Relieved):

We are the best o freends: ‘at’s plain te tell.

I’d bet guid money on ye ony day.

 

M8Z:

Weel, ‘at’s nae bragging, Min – it’s jist plain true:

The enes fa boast – but dinna follaw through –

I widna gie a button for ’em, see?

They’re jist nae worth keepin company wi.

Sae come on, fit’s sae hivvy on yer hert?

Jist lay it oot afore me – mak a stert.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Richt, M8Z, I will explain it noo: ye see,

I’ve been telt te gyng on this… lang journey –

An affa wey – teuch an dangerous for me…

….te gie ma Life’s accoont, wi’oot delay,

Afore the High Judge, an ma debt te pey.

An, as ye promis’t on yer soul e day,

Sae, noo, I beg ye: keep me company.

 

M8Z (In shock, reality setting-in, along with amusement at JOCKIE MANN’s naivete):

Wow, that’s a weird ene! Promises should bind,

But…consequences, tee, dea fill ma mind.

I’m affa sure some pain wad come wi it;

An that maks me some feart, I will admit.

Sae…, I must reconsider, as I can:

Yer words wad terrify the strangest man.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Ye said if I had ivver muckle need,

Ye wadna forsake yer freend, alive or deid,

Though it wis the road te hell, truly.

 

M8Z:

I said that, o course, an… I meant it fully,

But… I hae jobs te dea – aye, ene or twa.

But tell me – if we tak this “trip o pain” –

Fanivver wad we mak it hame again?

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Nivver, til Hivven an Earth hae pass’t awa.

 

M8Z:

Syne coont me oot! ‘at’s jist e shortest straw!

But fa wis it ‘at telt ye sic a thing?

 

JOCKIE MANN:

DAITH came te see me, sent by Hivven’s King

 

M8Z:

Ye’ve had it, Jockie Mann! Best say a prayer!

Daith ayeweys spicks the truth – nae flannel there!

Nae folk that’s livin, ev’n iss daft day,

Nae loon nor quine, nae bairn, nae auld folk grey

Escape cauld Daith! I widna gyng ‘at journey

For faither, mither, love – nor ony money!

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Ye promis’t aye te help me, ‘loyal’ mate!

 

M8Z:

Weel, that’s afore I kent ye’d met yer Fate.

Noo, if ye’re up for eatin, drinkin, deals,

Or hangin roond wi impty-headed chiels,

I’ll nae forsake ye on Life’s primrose wey,

Trust me: I’m up for that noo, an for aye.

 

[JOCKIE MANN texts desperately on his mobile phone.]

 

JOCKIE MANN:

I see, ye’re up for aa that, M8Z. Ye’re richt!

Sic daft-like ploys pit ma guid sense te flicht:

Brainless stramashes, bourachs ivery day –

Yer mind wad seener dea that, willingly,

Than keep faith in ma grim an final journey.

Sae woundit sair am I by iss coorse smert,

I’ll caa on ither freens te soothe ma hert.

Yer cauld words cut me, leave me sae perplex’t:

I’ve sent an S.O.S. te aa, by text!

 

M8Z (Unperturbed and in puzzled amusement):

Guid luck te ye but, face it, yer life’s dean,

It’s the worst predicament I’ve ivver seen.

I’m aye a help in ploys that fit ma style,

Ev’n things that land less clivver folk in jile.

If ye’d a contract oot on some loon, I wad kill,

Even murder, I could help ye wi guid will.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

I canna jink daith – takkin some guy’s life!

I’m desperate! Help me, M8Z, in ma necessity!

I loved ye langer than some love a wife;

Noo, in ma needfulness, ye abandon me!

 

M8Z (Hesitates):

Aye, we have ayeweys had a friendship, Man,

‘at coonts for something…. (Jockie looks hopeful) – Na! I’m still nae gaan!

 

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Jist come wi me a bittie o the wey!

 

M8Z:

Na! I’m aff te ma box-set o CSI.!

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Ye’d dea a thing sae callous and unkind?

 

M8Z:

You’re sherp, Min! You should be on Mastermind

It’s hard cheese on ye, Jock, but life’s a keeper.

Sae fareweel! Aa the best wi e Grim Reaper!

 

[M8Z EXITS.]

 

 

END OF SCENE TWO.

 

***

 

Scene 3.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Guid riddance, M8Z! Ye’ve cut ma hert in twa.

I canna believe I trusted ye at aa.

But te some ithers, for ma help, I’ll flee,

Ev’n though ma best freend abandons me.

AUNTIE MARGE, UNCLE CHARLIE! I’ll see them,

Ask faimily te help me wi ma…problem.

They’ll staund by me – o that, ‘ere is nae doot,

For kin staund fast, though pals micht chicken oot.

 

[Enter AUNTIE MARGE and UNCLE CHARLIE. She is sentimental and a bit helpless while he is no-nonsense and self-confident – even where he has missed the point.]

 

JOCKIE MANN:

I textit them an here they come, I see.

Fit like there, fowkies – foo’s the faimily?

 

UNCLE CHAIRLIE

We cam as soon as we picked up yer text.

Fit’s up? Wi ye, we’re nivver sure fit’s next,

But we drappit aathin, nevertheless.

 

AUNTIE MARGE (fussily and conspiratorially):

Keep warm, puir JOCKIE MANN. Oh, cousin Jess

Sends aa her best bit  – och,  her sare tae!

She’d come hersel, but, weel, she suffers sae.

 

UNCLE CHAIRLIE

Sae come on, loon, let’s hear it. True are we:

Hellfire or high watter, we’re here for ye.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Thank God, Charlie. It is sic a grand relief.

Afore ye cam, I wis near gyte wi grief:

I got a summons fae this…messenger

(Ye micht caa him a sort o royal officer).

He’s sent me on a road…a windin track,

I’ve got a feeling I winna mak it back.

 

AUNTIE MARGE:

Is it te Africa? Te Timbuktu?

Weel, dinna drink e watter – an dinna use e loo.

 

UNCLE CHAIRLIE

It soonds gey queer te me: a trip ye say?

But surely ye’ll come back anither day.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Okay, I’m desperate…I will tell ye straight:

I’m in a steer – och, fit an affa state!

I hardly ken fit wey te turn, ye see.

 

AUNTIE MARGE (reassuringly, pointing te Charlie):

He’ll sort things oot. I’m sure ye’ll be delightit.

 

UNCLE CHAIRLIE

Hmmm, but fit accoont dea they desire fae ye?

I’d like te ken. For maybe we can fight it.

 

[As JOCKIE MANN speaks, we realise that he knows the game is up, that his family don’t want to understand and that it is unlikely that he will persuade them to go with him.]

 

JOCKIE MANN (Thoughtfully, as if to himself only):

Foo I hae lived, an foo I spent ma days;

Fit folk I treated weel, enes I bad-used,

The reckonin o the life that God has lent,

The vices – an the virtues – I refused.

Sae noo, I ask ye: will ye come alang

Te help wi ma accoont, ma ain swan sang?

 

AUNTIE MARGE:

Michty! ‘at’s affa, that!

 

UNCLE CHAIRLIE:           Fit dea ye say?

Na, Loon, I’d rather eat girss ony day

Than leave ma golf an beer, iss life o bliss.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

I canna credit I wis born te dee like iss!

Ma time’s near up. Can things get ony worse?

 

AUNTIE MARGE:

Puir loon, I’ve got an aspirin in ma purse.

 

UNCLE CHAIRLIE:

Oh aye, if faimily forsake ye, Life’s a curse.

But, come on, Loon! Cheer up! Daith’s nae that bad.

Did I nae tell ye o the first wife I had?

File she wis living, life wis little worth.

Ae day she dee’d – then aa wis fu o mirth.

Noo she’s in Hivven, sortin angels oot.

It’s win-win on aa sides, wi’oot a doot.

 

AUNTIE MARGE (Conspiratorially to the audience):

She wis a bit sharp, an an ugly craitur.

Suspicious, girning, wi an affa naitur.

She dee’d o food-poisoning, the pathologist said.

Charlie proposed. Three month efter ‘at, we wed,

We got on like a hoose on fire, us twa.

We tied the knot fan she wis clean awa.

 

UNCLE CHAIRLIE

Noo, tak hert, JOCKIE MANN! Dinna complain!

But as for me, puir loon, ye’re on yer ain.

 

JOCKIE MANN (Hopelessly):

Can I convince ye, Auntie Marge, te gyng wi me?

 

AUNTIE MARGE

I’d get e cramp afore ow’r lang, ye see?

 

JOCKIE MANN:

It seems you twa are really o ae mind:

I’m gaan awa – ye choose te bide behind.

 

AUNTIE MARGE:

Oh, yer journey? Och, I couldna gyng upon it

Wi’oot ma medicine, and woolly bonnet.

Then there’s ma tablets (for ma wind) ye ken.

 

UNCLE CHAIRLIE

An I hae – for masel – a reckonin,

Which noo, I think, micht need some orderin.

Sae, be a guid loon an – jist, dee wi dignity.

[

Exeunt UNCLE CHARLIE and AUNTIE MARGE].

 

 

END OF SCENE THREE.

 

 ***

Scene 4.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Noo, Lord, I better ken oor sad fragility.

The finest words o fuils hae little worth.

Ma kinfolk made sic high-born promises,

But, pregnant jist wi wind, cam te nae birth.

Sae ilk’ ene fails te dea ev’n fit he says.

Look at them! Making gey haste, fast te flee.

Jist as ma fickle M8Z abandoned me.

 

[The ANGELS are at the back. Spots fade up on their faces, behind JOCKIE MANN.]

 

ANGEL ENE:

The clock ticks on toward yer final breath.

 

ANGEL TWA:

Ye maun find seen fa’ll gyang wi ye te daith.

 

[Fade spots on ANGELS.]

 

JOCKIE MANN:

They’re richt. This is nae time te lose e place.

Ma hale life lang, I’ve looed ma money best.

I ca’a trust, faimily, freens – the human race! –

Sae I’ll check the staundin o ma treisure chest.

Afore I find that things hae got ower drastic,

I’ll blether wi ma bendy blonde noo: PLASTIC.

 

[PLASTIC enters. She is cutesy, bendy and slippery, darting around and behind JOCKIE.]

 

PLASTIC:

Ye caa’d me, JOCKIE MANN?  I’m smert an clean:

The slimmest, neatest pal ye’ve ivver seen.

I’m better than gowd bars lock’t in a vault:

If ye lack cash, I’ll mak up yer default.

I slip inte yer wallet like a knife.

I’m like a mistress – better than a wife.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Plastic, come ‘ere, wee kist o sin unseen.

The best o times are fan ye’re near ma hert.

 

PLASTIC (Flirtatiously):

Jockie, like manna sent doon fae far abeen,

I’ll warm yer haunds an ayeweys tak yer pairt.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

I’m gled te hear that, for I’m on ma wey,

Te face God on ma personal judgment day.:

Ayeweys, ma greatest pleisures were wi ye.

I’ll fash nae mair gin ye will gyng wi me.

It micht be – jist afore ma fate is set –

I’ll turn the tables fan ye pey ma debt,

For money maks things richt, fan aa is wrang.

 

[He makes as if to embrace her, but she slips down and out of his arms.]

 

PLASTIC:

Whoa, Romeo! I sing anither sang.

I follow nae man in nae pintless enterprise.

Forbye, gin I left Earth for God’s Eternity,

Yer fate wad be eve’n waur on accoont o me.

It’s me fa dazzl’t ye ‘n confus’t yer mind,

I spile’t yer reckonin an made ye blind.

Yer accoont has fauts ye canna even see –

An aa because ye fell in love wi  – me!

 

JOCKIE MANN Bewildered):

Let’s gyng thegither, since ma credit’s sure,

For fit else wad ye dea but pey ma fee?

 

PLASTIC:

Na! Na! I’m fragile, there I’ll nae endure,

But naebody lasts in this warld quite like me.

Forbye, yer debt – though insubstantial stuff –

Is huge: nae Bunk could ivver pey enough.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Plastic, I’ve looed ye an we had great pleisure.

Aa ma days, I liked te tummle wi ma treisure.

 

PLASTIC:

That’s why ye will be damned te fires infernal.

Ma love runs clean contrair te love eternal.

For if ye had jist looed me moderately

(Te God, an te the puir, gien pairts o me)

Ye wadna be in sic a speeritual danger.

Here, I’m yer mistress; in Hivven, I’m a stranger.

Did ye kid yersel I wis yer love to share?

 

 

JOCKIE MANN:

That’s fit I thocht.

 

PLASTIC:     A loan I wis. Nae mair.

I wis the ene ye thocht on, daily day.

Did ye think ye’d get me in the family way?

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Maybe. Ye ayeweys made ma soul feel guid.

 

PLASTIC (Suddenly evil):

I’m a hoodie craw. Te me, yer soul was feed.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Ye, traitor, Plastic! Ye’ve turn’t oot a curse!

We seemed ae flesh – for better or for worse.

An noo ye’ve catch’t me in yer leein snare!

 

PLASTIC:

I telt nae lees – ye taught yersel te care.

Ye kent e score, but lust made ye run mad.

Ye ken, I hae te lauch that ye’re sae sad.

A guid, lang file ye poor’d cash doon e drain,

But noo ye’re feenish’t! Loon, ye’re on yer ain.

 

[PLASTIC runs giggling fae the scene shouting “Taxi!”. JOCKIE MANN slumps.]

 

 

END OF SCENE FOUR.

 

***

Scene 5.

 

[Enter the ANGELS, coming to either side of JOCKIE MANN. He sleeps exhausted.]

 

ANGEL ENE (Tenderly):

Fa’ll waulk wi him upon e judgment road?

Fit earthly freend will help him bear his load?

First, M8Z said he wad gyng, “warld wi’oot eynd,”

But let him dee. He said he’d gyang nae mair.

Sae, noo fa’ll heal his broken hert sae sair

An aa his broken dreams and hurts combined?

 

ANGEL TWA:

He trustit, syne, his faimily ‘ginst the Deil;

Fine soonds they spak an seemed te treat him weel;

There wis nae lack o threidbare promises,

But in the eynd they tauld a pack o lees.

 

ANGEL ENE:

He went on te the Money ye looed best:

He looked for comfort but she fail’t the test.

PLASTIC shairpen’t her cuttin-edge te tell

That she brings mony doon te wayward Hell.

 

ANGEL TWA:

Sae, noo, he’s desolate an feels asham’t,

Believin that he’s worthy te be blam’t.

His love o wealth has brocht him te self-hate.

An still he has his reckonin on his plate.

 

[ANGELS retreat. Music. GRACE goes to JOCKIE and touches him. He wakes]

 

 

END OF SCENE FIVE.

 

 

***

Scene 6.

 

[JOCKIE stirs and awakes.]

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Ma mind is clearer noo. Ma reason leads

Me te think on ma past GUID DEEDS.

Puir thing, I’ve done near nithin. She’s sae sick

That she can hardly waulk upright or spick;

Yet I will caa her, fa I treated shamefully.

GUID DEEDS, far are ye?  Are ye here wi me?

 

[Spotlight on GUID DEEDS lying on the ground. She can only crawl along.]

 

GUID DEEDS:

O JOCKIE MANN, I lie here on e grun.

Sin an neglect hae hinner’t me te run.

Even te waulk’s impossible, tyauve as I micht.

 

[JOCKIE MANN goes over to her and looks down distraught on his handiwork.]

 

JOCKIE MANN:

GUID DEEDS, I let ye doon! Ye’ve heard ma plicht?

 

GUID DEEDS:

Aye, JOCKIE MANN, I ken. I unnerstaund

Ye’re caa’d, yer reckonin te mak,

If ye’ll gie me a bosie, tak ma haund.

I’ll try to hirple on iss journey that ye tak.

But there’s ae source o strength afore God’s face:

GUID DEEDS must be accompany’t by GRACE.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Earth’s pouers, help me this guid grace te find

May GRACE an GUID DEEDS help ma fearfu mind!

 

GUID DEEDS:

This warld has nae discernment. Seek e Lord;

He sends His GRACE on aa fa seek His Word.

 

[She takes a Bible from beside her and lays it before him. He starts to read.]

 

JOCKIE MANN (distressed):

This buik should be God’s precious Word te me

But Sin sae blinds me that nae words I see!

 

GUID DEEDS:

There’s aye a panic in Man’s dire distress.

But look te God, fa offers richteousness.

 

JOCKIE MANN (clutching GUID DEEDS’ arm):

Richteousness? Me? O, help me in ma need,

Or else I am for ivver damn’t indeed!

Sae, GUID DEEDS, help me mak ma reckoning

Afore The Lord o Lords – Great Hivven’s King!

 

GUID DEEDS:

O JOCKIE, I’m richt sorry for yer plicht,

Gin I were able te, I’d pit things richt.

Yet – help me te ma feet – there’s ae redress.

But it needs a strength GUID DEEDS disna possess:

I hae a sister, GRACE, ye need as weel:

Wi her voice in yer hert, new pouer ye’ll feel.

Wi Grace, ye’ll be endued wi Hivven’s pou/er

Te help ye face yer reckonin’s dreidfu ‘oor.

 

[Enter GRACE.]

 

GRACE:

JOCKIE, I’ll gyang wi ye an be yer guide,

In time o greatest need be by yer side.

Wi me, GUID DEEDS is strang, an ye will learn;

We three will gyang: yer Destiny will turn.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

I feel some confidence noo, in ivv’rything.

I’m rarely warm’t; ma hert begins te sing.

Thanks be te God, ma Great Creator King!

 

GRACE:

Fan I bring ye te the foot o Calvary

Far folk are healed o aa their wounds o sin,

Ye’ll find the transformation o yer reckonin,

Yer mind an hert – even yer GUID DEEDS.

I, GRACE, will gie the joy yer hurt hert needs

Afore the Lord, the Blessit Trinity.

Sae noo we’ll gyng thegither, by oor LORD,

Te CONFESSION, at the cleansing river-ford.

 

JOCKIE MANN (Overcome wi relief):

For joy, I greet; I wish that we were there!

As I’m incapable o recognition, far

Oh far is that haly man, CONFESSION?

 

GRACE:

In the gracious Toll-Hoose o Salvation:

We’ll find Confession in that haly place,

Confession will comfort ye wi Gifts o GRACE.

 

 

[They Process around the stage until they see the light rise on CONFESSION’s place. There could be a longer procession with congregational singing or a musical accompaniment.]

 

 

END OF SCENE 6.

 

***

Scene 7.

 

[CONFESSION stands behind a stone of repentance that is in the shape of the stone in the Garden of Gethsemane, as JOCKIE, GUID DEEDS and GRACE approach.]

 

GRACE:

Here is CONFESSION. Kneel doon and ask for mercy.

Repentance finds e Wey te God Almichty.

 

CONFESSION:

On sic a stene as iss, hertbrokenly,

Christ sweited bleed in dark Gethsemane.

[JOCKIE MANN kneels to pray, leaning on the stone in grief and supplication. GRACE and Good Deeds touch fingers over JOCKIE MANN. To solemn music, they dance gracefully. but it is obviois that GRACE has to help and support her halting sister, GUID DEEDS.]

 

CONFESSION:

Dear Christ, fa’s cup o pain was breemin full,

Drank doon yer punishment, te dea God’s will.

 

[JOCKIE sits up on his heels, hands raised to Heaven. The dance stops, then GRACE helps GUID DEEDS to sit. GRACE then comes forward to touch JOCKIE MANN’s heart.]

 

GRACE:

I, GRACE, hae noo bestowed Christ’s pouer in ye,

Confess yer sin, an gie thanks graciously!

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Flow, glorious fountain o Christ’s richteousness,
Fae Jesus’ side, fa dee’d for aa ma sinfulness!

Wash me o vice and aa ma foul stains clean,

Sae, on ma soul, nae wickedness be seen!

I come wi GRACE for ma redemption –

Make pure ma hert, O God, wi deep contrition,

For I’m oblige’t a pilgrimage te tak:

Afore You, God, ma ain accoont te mak.

 

CONFESSION:

I ken yer sorraw weel, puir JOCKIE MANN,

But as ye come wi GRACE, sae pure an free,

She’ll comfort yer hert’s pains, as best she can,

Tell o yer Saviour, pierc’t upon e tree.

Abandon’t by His freends, mock’t by the lave

An scourgit; yet He triumph’t ower the grave.

By his Love’s wounds, He peyed for aa yer sin,

Sae time has come, by GRACE, yer soul te win.

Ask God for mercy an He will grant it truly.

Hold back nae sins, sae He may cleanse them fully.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

O Blessit God, in Highest Heicht Divine,

Forgie this sinner ivv’ry gross offence!

I beg yer mercy here in Christ’s presence,

Te ask that His Atonement micht be mine.

O Speeiritual Treisure, Ransom an redeem!

Ye are the Warld’s True Licht, fas steady gleam

Mirror’t in joy, reflects oor Faither’s mercy,

Brichtenin Heav’n an Earth, ow’r land an sea.

Te schaw I’m mair nor rebel, gypit, lost:

Yer bleed on Calvary has peyed the cost.

Oh, save me fae the pouer o The Enemy,

For DAITH assails me cruelly, pitilessly.

 

CONFESSION:

JOCKIE, Yer God, beyond aa Time an space,

Hansels ye Life ‘at’s foundit on a Rock.

Faith’s anchor on the Cross o Christ is lock’t:

Condemn’t by LAW, ye’re noo set free by GRACE!

Sin’s river, that had barred ye fae God’s nation

Ye’ll surely cross into His ain Salvation!

 

[EXIT CONFESSION. GUID DEEDS, who was sitting, stands up in sudden amazement.]

 

GUID DEEDS:

I thank God, noo, that I can rise an gyang:

I’m deliverit, an feel ma hert is strang.

Wi JOCKIE MANN I’ll waulk – hert licht as air! –

His guid works, dichtit by GRACE, I noo can share!

 

[GUID DEEDS twirls with joy, touching hands with GRACE and JOCKIE MANN.]

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Welcome, ma GUID DEEDS! Foo lovely is yer voice!

I hae the licht o God te guide ma sheen.

 

GRACE:

JOCKIE, ye’ll nae faa – but aye rejoice!

God sees yer hert’s need fae His Throne abeen.

Pit on this garment o free richteousness,

Earned by Christ’s bleed, weet wi ilk faain tear,

Ye’ll weir it in the Speerit o Contrition:

An by it, ye’ll get Hivven’s recognition.

 

[He puts on the white habit offered him by GRACE.]

 

JOCKIE MANN:

SISTERS, hae I a reckonin that’s clear?

 

GRACE and GUID DEEDS (together):

Aye JOCKIE MANN, indeed, we hae it here;

It’s fite as snaw: Christ’s bleed has made it clean.

He’s wash’t it in His bleed – nae sin is seen.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Then let His Perfect Love cast oot aa fear!

Guid freens, let us nae pairt, but gyng as ene!

 

GRACE:

Nivver fear, JOCKIE – we’re baith richt here.

 

JOCKIE MANN (enthusiastically):

The mair the merrier! There’s room for aa, abeen!

 

 

END OF SCENE SEVEN.

 

***

Scene 8. 

 

[GUID DEEDS, GRACE & JOCKIE stand together. Enter BEAUTY, STRENGTH, DISCRETION and FIVE SENSES. These are all confident but, like JOCKIE MANN, they lack foresight of what the journey entails. There is an air of unrealistic bravado.]

 

GUID DEEDS (Soberly, with a meaningful glance at GRACE, who returns it):

Five Senses say they feel at hame wi ye.

Discretion, Strength an Beauty say ‘at tee.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Syne, freens, come here te me an dea yer duty.

Discretion, Strength, Five Senses aa – an Beauty!

 

BEAUTY:

JOCKIE, farivver ye gang, we’ll follow ye!

Sae, tell us: fit wad ye like us aa te dea?

 

JOCKIE MANN (warming to the task):

Jist iss, freens! Let’s, thegither, tak the road

An on iss journey help te spread e load.

 

STRENGTH:

I’ll keep ye safe; wi me, ye’ll nivver tire!

 

DISCRETION:

I’ll be the shairpest iron in the fire!

 

BEAUTY:

I’ll mak ye look a star te aabody!

I’ll mak a special effort – look at me!

 

FIVE SENSES (in unison):

FIVE SENSES will pitch in as weel, pell mell!

We’d gyng te Hivven! (Aside) But nae thrilled wi Hell.

 

GLAISSES (pop-eyed):

I’ll look aheid an navigate oor wey.

 

HEARIN:

I’ll listen te fit the Haly Scriptures say.

 

NOSEY:

If there’s ony danger, syne, ye’ll hear me toot:

Nithin will threaten that I will nae sniff oot.

 

TACTILE:

Fan ye feel tire’t, I’ll soothe yer fever’t brou.

 

TASTE: We’ll eat and drink in style: I’ll fill yer mou!

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Strength, Discretion, Beauty, Senses Five!

GUID DEEDS an GRACE! Fit rare! I feel alive!

 

FIVE SENSES, BEAUTY, DISCRETION AND STRENGTH (in unison):

As lang as we waulk the hale wide warld wi you,

JOCKIE, yer hert will be strang, stracht and true!

 

[STRENGTH, BEAUTY and DISCRETION sit side-stage, watch and listen.]

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Ma freens, God bless ye fae His heavenly sphere.

Noo listen weel, aa that are staunding here,

For I will mak ma ain last will an testament:

Half o aa I hae, I noo present:

I gie’t te charity, wi a pure intent.

Let the ither half o fit I hae, remain

In trust for creditors, te restore again.

I’ll dea this guid te spite the fiends o hell!

 

GUID DEEDS:

That is weel done…but GRACE must spick hersel.

 

GRACE:

JOCKIE MANN, ma freend, hear fit I say:

Gyng te the Pastor o yer soul today.

Prepare yer hert for yer last day on earth,

Wi breid an wine an unction o great worth,

Wi aa the pou’er of grace that aucht may mention,

His gifts are gien as comfort in redemption.

                                                     

 

END OF SCENE EIGHT.

 

 ***

 

Scene 9.

 

[Enter PASTOR. Enter ANGELS with table an elements. They stand as assistants.]

 

PASTOR:

Here is the Sacrament o God’s Son seen,

For aa by faith te feed on Hivven’s Breid,

For God is Trinity an God is Ene,

An Christ has dee’d for sinners in their steid.

 

[JOCKIE MANN receives the Sacrament, fed by the angels and watched by GRACE and GUID DEEDS. The rest all dance on both sides of the stage, but individually and selfishly, almost irrelevantly, until the PASTOR speak, when they stop moving and pay attention.]

 

PASTOR (Speaking, chanting or singing):

God gied commaunds fae skies serene;

By the licht o graces sivven;

He rain’t doon manna fae abeen:

Men ate the breid o Hivven.

 

They ett the breid o angels there;

He sent them food te eat.

Syne sent His Son wi loving care

Te be oor Manna sweet.

 

[PASTOR anoints the kneeling JOCKIE MANN while the ANGELS remove the table]

 

PASTOR:

The Blessin o Oor Lord on aa

Come noo, an nivver cease!

Communion’s ended: gie God thanks;

Rise up, noo – gyang in peace.

 

In Nomine Patris et filii et Speeritus sancti

God, Faither, Son and Speeirit, bide wi ye.

 

[Exeunt PASTOR and ANGELS.]

 

 

 

END OF SCENE 9.

 

 ***

Scene 10.

 

[JOCKIE comes downstage. BEAUTY, STRENGTH and DISCRETION join him.]

 

JOCKIE MANN (enthusiastically):

I’ve noo receiv’t the sacrament o redemption,

Forbye the pure, warm oil o blessit unction,

Sae praised be GRACE, fa urged me te partak.

Noo, blest be God, iss journey I maun mak,

Sae, freends, haud gaan. God shows e wey!

I’m looking furrit te iss road te joy!

 

BEAUTY:

Guid JOCKIE MANN, we winna let ye gyang

Till ye hae deen iss gig, fooivver lang.

 

DISCRETION:

Discretion is aye faithfu’ te guid men.

 

GRACE and GUID DEEDS:

Although the challenges be ne’er sae strang,

Be certain sure: we’ll ayeweys gyang alang.

 

STRENGTH:

My strength will nivver fail, an that ye ken.

 

[They go boldly in procession with music until JOCKIE MANN sees the open grave. He stops. DRUM ROLL and CLASH of CYMBALS. Shock is on all but GRACE and GUID DEEDS as JOCKIE MANN begins to stagger. Only GRACE and GUID DEEDS draw near in concern.]

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Fit’s happen’t? I’m gey fint an hardly staund.

Ma limbs alow towards iss mound are drawn.

I’ll revel nae mair noo in pleisure’s hands,

Nor sins, for aa the warld’s collectit gowd,

But inte this cool place I’m caa’d te creep,

An turn te earth. Here, I maun welcome sleep.

 

BEAUTY:

Fit, inte iss? Nae wey! It’s sic a mess!

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Aye, here ye’ll be consumit, mair or less.

 

BEAUTY:

But… it means the ruination o ma dress!

Then fit? Will I jist lie an smother here?

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Aye, of course, an ye will nivver mair appear:

This bricht warld, you an I will nae mair see

But in Hivven’s Greater Glory, thanks we’ll gie.

 

BEAUTY:

You dea’t! Here I cross oot ivvery vow!

I’ll quickly pack ma stuff an tak ma bow!

 

[With a flourish, BEAUTY slings her shoulder bag, puts on her shades and leaves.]

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Anither freend has gane… fa can I trust?

Am I deem’t te sleep alene in this auld dust?

Te the warld’s fleetin joys, let Beauty flee.

Tho she promised by her man te live an dee.

 

STRENGTH:

Yer bad news isna feenisht – I’m afraid.

Graves dinna need nae strength for bodies laid.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Och, Strength! Will ye forsake iss ene an aa?

Sweet Strength, please bide te help, in case I faa.

 

STRENGTH:

Na, JOCKIE MANN, this game’s ower teuch, I see,

Sae dinna think harsh thochts aboot puir me.

Daith has a bad effect on musculature –

It staunds te reason; it’s the wey o Nature –

An I must skip oot o iss…. “Slimmin Plan.”

Sae – brak a leg! It’s fareweel, JOCKIE MANN!

 

JOCKIE MANN (Burlesquing an earnest voice):

“I’ll bide wi ye”, is fit I heard ye sweer.

 

STRENGTH:

I’ve done ma bit – I canna dea nae mair.

I’m sorry that ye ivver conned me here.

Besides ye’re auld enough, I unnerstaund,

Te tak Big Brither challenges in haund.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Fit are ye sayin, Strength, that I’m te blame?

That I hae swickit ye te come alang?

Ye made a promise – there ye pit yer name –

Te gyng on iss laist trip, fooivver lang.

 

STRENGTH:

There’s nithin mair te say, for aa ye weep,

Sae move yer carcase! In the grun, and sleep!

 

[Enter the ANGELS.]

 

ANGEL ENE:

The man fa trusts in his ain, fadin strength

Will be deceived by passin years, at length;

Baith strength an beauty falter in Daith’s shade

Fitivver early promises they made.

 

ANGEL TWA:

Nor is yer trial ower, JOCKIE MANN,

For nene but GRACE an DEEDS will by ye staun’.

 

DISCRETION:

Aye, aye, that’s richt. I hardly like te mention:

Daith pits me aff, despite ma guid intention.

After Strength an Beauty, I’m awa.

Ma job is dene, sae I’ll jist say, Ta-ta!

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Discretion, dinna leave! I need ye noo!

Te loyalty and mercy aye be true!

 

DISCRETION:

Na, na, ma JOCKIE MANN – it’s nae ma place.

The job’s noo up te yer GUID DEEDS an GRACE.

We’ve done quite weel thegither, as ye see.

But aifter Strength an Beauty I maun flee!

 

[Exit DISCRETION.]

 

ANGELS ENE and TWA (To each other and the audience):

Jist GRACE an GWEEDE DEEDS bide wi JOCKIE MANN,

For Beauty, Strength, Discretion hiv aa gaan.

They only bade till Daith gied his dreid blast,

Then they desertit him, te flee at last.               [ANGELS withdraw side-stage to watch.]

 

 

END OF SCENE TEN.

 

***

Scene 11.

 

[Enter the FIVE SENSES. They come forward nervously to JOCKIE MANN.]

 

FIVE SENSES (together, in unison):

JOCKIE MANN, we hardly like te bring this up…

But, like e rest, we’ll drink nae bitter cup.

It’s a decision that’s really hard te mak:

We like ye fine, but noo oor leave we’ll tak.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Five Senses, I had aye great need of you:

I jist assum’t that ye wad aye be true!

 

GLAISSES:

Discretion telt me ma decision’s richt;

In God’s Great Presence, there is Spiritual sicht.

 

HEARIN:

Listen: at last, ye likewise must depend

On hivvenly voices fan ye reach life’s end.

 

NOSEY:

Noo, dinna think I’m nae a freend in need,

But graves smell bad – ‘at pong can ne’er be guid!

 

TACTILE:

The grave is affa cauld an damp, I find

We dinna seem richt suitit, te ma mind.

 

TASTE:

It’s lower than the lowest but and ben.

It wadnae suit me either, ye should ken.

I hae ma reputation, ye must see.

An eatin dirt, ma loon – it’s jist nae me!

 

JOCKIE MANN (reaching out blindly):

I treatit aa ma senses weel – ilk ene!

 

[GRACE and GUID DEEDS move beside JOCKIE MANN, ready to support him.]

 

FIVE SENSES (together in unison, in a very shallow sing-song):

We love you… but on ithers ye maun lean.

 

[FIVE SENSES scatter and fly laughing, offstage, or through the audience.]

 

 

END OF SCENE ELEVEN.

 

***

Scene 12.

 

[JOCKIE MANN stands, eyes closed, hands feeling for help. GRACE and GUID DEEDS take his arm.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Kind Jesus, help me noo! I’m on ma ain!

Sic treachery could drive a man insane.

 

GRACE:

Na, JOCKIE MANN. Like Christ, forsaken fully.

GRACE is wi ye an GUID DEEDS: freens truly.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

It’s true: the rest hiv dene fit suits theirsel;

Sicht, hearin, touch an taste and even smell.

Beauty has snatch’t ma boony looks awa;

Strength turn’it weak; Discretion fail’t an aa.

O aa the things I thocht I had, sae free,

Jist you twa, lovin freends are left te me.

 

GUID DEEDS:

Aye JOCKIE MANN, we’re wi ye, sicht unseen.

I, GUID DEEDS will stick close by, like a freen’.

Ma sister GRACE, will even closer stey,

Forever true, upon yer pilgrim wey.

 

GRACE:

Think foo, wi pains an grace, Christ did ascend

Dark Calvary. your fear o Hell te end,

Except, for Him, that grace was nae gift gien

But in the hert o God’s ain Son was seen.

 

GUID DEEDS:

An guid deeds that for sinners are sae hard

For Him were perfect, an by nae sin marr’d.

Sae that by trustin in Christ Crucified,

Yer foul sins are wash’t fite: ye’re pure inside

And ye hae pou’er within, fa’s fate wis grim,

Te staund in His sweet Presence, be like Him.

 

JOCKIE MANN (hugging them both):

Wi Jesus Christ, ma Lord, Faith nivver ends!

Thank God for Calvary, which maks amends.

However, noo, I think, the time is near

Te mak ma reckonin, wi aa debts clear,

Noo te its close ebbs oot Life’s span sae sma;

Aa. fa I thocht had love’t me, run awa,

But GUID DEEDS an her sister, lovely GRACE,

Will gyng wi me te Hivven’s Eternal Place.

 

GRACE and GUID DEEDS:

Aye, earthly things are nocht but vanity:

Beauty, Strength, Discretion  – temp’rary,

Fuil freends deceive an even faimily;

Aa that bides then is God, the TRINITY.

 

JOCKIE MANN:

It’s true: hae mercy on me, God, an bless!

I staund here by the Cross o Christ, ma Lord!

Nae confidence in ma ain richteousness,

But only on yer Sacrifice an Word!

 

[GRACE and GUID DEEDS remain on either side of the blinded JOCKIE MANN.]

 

GUID DEEDS:

Dinna be feart, puir Man: we’ll spick for ye

We’ll be yer eyes an ears, yer nose an touch;

Assurit Peace the Lord will gie te ye;

Fa nivver loves ower little, nor ower much.

For He is Love, unstintinly, for aa

Lean noo upon His Cross an heed His Caa.

 

[JOCKIE steps forward. At the last, he panics and struggles back, but he is held firm by GRACE and GUID DEEDS.]

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Cry, Grace, for me! O Michty, I feel feart!

I dinna weel deserve sic lovin grace!

I fear the mony errors that I’ve made

Will keep me fae ma God an hide His face!

 

GRACE:

Oh that can nivver be, Belov’t o God;

Yer faither loves ye an has spar’t the rod:

For Christ on Calvary took aa yer sin,

Sae that, in Hivven, ye’d be welcom’t in.

Aa sin ye had wis punish’t on that tree.

The Work is dene: Ye are, by Faith, noo free.

 

[JOCKIE MANN ceases to struggle and finds relief in their comfort.]

 

JOCKIE MANN:

Lord, aa ma foolish doots I here resign;

Noo, I embrace the truth: that Ye are mine.

I’ve lived a slave te Sin: ye ken it’s true.

But I commit ma soul te Ye, richt noo;

There come te mind, by grace, words I learnt weel

Fae a kindly Minister fa cam te schuil:

In manus tuas – Faither, Speerit, Son –

Commendo Spiritum meum. Noo, the grun.

 

[JOCKIE slips into the mound that is the grave, his arms held out as in crucifixion. He is lowered gently into the grave. The CAST gather round.]

 

GRACE:

He suffer’t a convicted sinner’s shame;

Let’s noo sing o the Faith that led him hame.

 

 

END OF SCENE TWELVE.

 

 

***

Epilogue:

[PASTOR takes centre stage in the grave tableau. He, the ANGELS sing verse 1 of Psalm 23 in Doric. Other members of the CAST, singing, parade around the stage and/or audience.]

 

The Lord is ma shepherd. I’ll nae wint for nithin:

He couries me doon in the green girss o hame;

Like sparklin watters, He caa’s me te quietness;

He bosies ma soul back te life jist the same.

 

Stanza repeated as chorus:

The Lord is ma shepherd. I’ll nae wint for nithin:

He couries me doon in the green girss o hame;

Like sparklin watters, He caa’s me te quietness;

He bosies ma soul back te life jist the same.

 

ALL CAST, BAR JOCKIE MANN (loudly):

Haly Haly Haly, Lord God Almichty;

Hivven an Earth are full o Yer Glory;

Glory be te Ye, O God maist heigh.

 

[They turn towards the grave and stretch out their arms.]

 

GRACE AND GUID DEEDS:

Blessit is He fa comes in e Name o the Lord!

Hosanna in the Heicht! An praise His Word!

 

GUID DEEDS:

Noo that oor JOCKIE MANN has met his eynd;

I ken the angels songs fae Hivven will send.

 

[CAST awaken to sing verse 2 of Psalm 23 in Scots]

 

For His Name’s sake, He guides me by stracht and richt pathways.

Tho I gang by the Glen o Daith’s Shadaw, forbye,

I’ll fear me nae evil: Yer crummock will curb me,

But Yer crook will gie comfort, for Ye’re waulkin nigh.

 

Chorus:

The Lord is ma shepherd. I’ll nae wint for nithin:

He couries me doon in the green girss o hame;

Like sparklin watters, He caa’s me te quietness;

He bosies ma soul back te life jist the same.

 

[The CAST go around the grave part to help up JOCKIE MANN. He strides downstage, dressed in dazzling white, looking joyfully confident. He stands, smiling, between GRACE and GUID DEEDS, aware of them, but looking up. ANGELS come down either side of GRACE & GUID DEEDS, facing outward singing. The verse ends.]

 

GRACE:

They’re aa ready for the ceilidh in High Hivven;

Te JOCKIE MANN – a skellum – GRACE is given!

 

[The ANGELS step forward, turn and face the excited and happy JOCKIE MANN.]

 

ANGEL ENE AND ANGEL TWA:

Come hame te Christ, dear man, fae sin set loose!

Te live, forever loved, in Yer Lord’s Hoose.

Because Christ dee’d an took yer sins, we say,

Yer soul shall bide wi Him for endless days,

Noo ye are fittit for the Hivvenly sphere:

Yer reckonin is peyed, an crystal-clear.

 

[The ANGELS come forward, take JOCKIE MANN’S arms and walk toward the back of the stage where there is a staircase. A light appears, shining on the stairs.]

 

GRACE:

An, Sister GUID DEEDS, let’s gyang, haund in haund,

Te see Christ fold His airms roond JOCKIE MANN.

 

[They link arms and follow the ANGELS and JOCKIE MANN. The rest of the CAST watch in wonder. As they watch JOCKIE MAN ascend, they sing the last verse of the Ps 23.]

 

Ma tabil Ye’ve set oot afore aa ma faes, Lord;

Wi ile o anointan, Ye’ve blessit ma croon;

Ma quaich’s rinnan ower, an guid an love chase me

Aa ma days til Yer hoose, far, for aye, I’ll lay doon.

 

Chorus:

The Lord is ma shepherd. I’ll nae wint for nithin:

He couries me doon in the green girss o hame;

Like sparklin watters, He caa’s me te quietness;

He bosies ma soul back te life jist the same.

 

[As the psalm ends, the PASTOR comes forward and CAST all gather around him.]

 

PASTOR:

The moral o iss tale keep weel in mind.

Ding doon yer Pride, which hinners faith, ye find.

Tak it te hert, reflect on it at length:

Oor Beauty, oor Discretion, Senses, Strength

Will, at the last, puir folk like us reject.

GOD’s GRACE, wi GUID DEEDS, anely, we expect,

Can gyang wi us te Hivven as oor freens:

At Calvary’s Cross, these twa will aye be seen,

Sae, them fas Life’s accoont’s made hale an soond,

By virtue o Christ’s cross, by Christ are crooned.

An te that Joy may God bring YOU aa here:

Til, ae day, We see JESUS CHRIST appear.

He’ll tak ye inte Hivven, freed fae shame.

Jist trust in Him an bless His Haly Hame.

 

May God, the Faither, Speerit, Son, Unseen,

The Haly Trinity, bless ilk an ivv’ry ene. Amen.

 

ALL (loudly): Amen!

 

[Other Psalms, ‘weel-kent’ hymns or spiritual songs or Scottish tunes follow. As they are, the CAST bow, hug each other and go singing into the audience, hugging and/or dancing.]

 

 

THE END.

 

© Bruce Gardner, 2019.

 

[1] Without upstaging, TACTILE and TASTE could offer fun occasions for rivalry in their mutual guardedness.

[2] Where actors are limited in number, PASTOR and CONFESSION can be played by the same cast member.)