A Christmas Play
by Ale Maraveles
There was a lot of movement at Lakewood’s mansion. People were lowering and raising the stairs
“ Look Out!” Archie said to Candy who has just stumbled over a few cloths that she was carrying
“ Ouch! I can’t see my feet with all that I’m carrying”
Archie looked at the cloths then smiled…
“Well, everything is going to be perfect!” Archie commented.
“Do you think?” Candy said.
“What is this?” Neal asked as he was coming out of the room, with a few red cloths in his hand and moving them around frantically at Archie’s and Candy’s faces.
Archie looked at him for a few seconds and then he looked the thing that Neal had in the hands.
“Little Cousin, that is your disguise” Archie clarified.
“A devil! Again?”
Candy looked at Archie with a note of complicity.
“It’s a fact! You fit very well in the Devil’s character” Archie said ironically.
“I’m not agree!” Neal answered very angry “this is the fifth time on a road.”
“I already told you why, you fit very well in the character” Archie repeated.
“Yes, we all believe that have done a fantastic job the past years” Candy added trying to arrange the situation.
But Neal didn’t even smile a little bit. He just looked at them very coldly.
“So, do you want to say that all of you agreed to give me this role again?” Neal finally exploded.
“No, Neal” Candy said a little bit scared “you misunderstood what I wanted to say”
“If it isn’t that …what it is?” He asked very angry.
“Well … I …” Candy babbled.
“She wants to say she believes that you are a magnificent actor” Anthony added.
He was dressed as a shepherd. He had listened the whole conversation from the next room where Neal had come out.
“So, if it is because of that. Why don’t you give ‘your highness’ Terry this role?” Neal asked with wickedness.
“Bah! You already know that he never appears to the rehearsals” Archie said in a contemptuous way.
“He is very busy” Candy excused him.
“It would be nice the angel appears occasionally to change” Archie said pungently.
Candy opened her mouth to answer Archie, but Neal interrupted.
“I insist that this isn’t fair”
Patty disguised as Virgin Mary, came out from the next room.
“What is happening? In the whole house we can hear you” Patty said.
“Insubordination!” Anthony said laughing.
“Again with devil’s part, isn’t it?” Patty asked with grandiloquent air.
“Yes” Candy answered with nuisance.
“Why can’t I be the angel?” Neal wanted to know.
“We already told you, you penetrate in the role” Candy repeated.
Anthony wasn’t saying anything. He was just smiling seeing how Candy’s and his cousin’s efforts were useless.
“Hello! What’s up?” Stear asked as he was coming from the corridor disguised as Saint Joseph.
“Trouble!” Patty answered plainly.
“Trouble? But, what kind of trouble should it be? It’s Christmas, time to love and to forgive” Stear exclaimed with happiness.
“Is not that kind of problem!” Archie said in a bad mood.
“Can somebody explain me then?” Stear asked as he was moving his tunic to fix it better.
“It’s all about Neal” Candy added
“Neal? Come on cousin, what happen to you?” Stear said in a paternal way as he passed his arm around his cousin’s shoulder.
“You all think I’m stupid, don’t you?!” Neal yelled as he was putting away Stear’s hand.
Then he walked out very angered in to the next room. Everybody followed him. In that room it was a platform installed a way of stage with curtains and scenery that was representing a field.
“What’s going on?” Elisa asked, she was dressed as a very provocative shepherdess.
“Nothing happens” Neal shouted.
“Are you angry?” Annie asked, she was also dressing with a tunic.
“He wants to be the angel” Archie said unwillingly as he was walking approaching to a table whit a few clothes on the top.
“Again with the same?” Annie asked a little be strange.
“Neal, don’t you ever learn?” said Elisa “every year is the same, you should already know that they aren’t going to give you the angel’s role”
“You are happy now, aren’t you? just because this time the second devil was eliminated, and they gave you another role”
“ Oh! I get it! You’re envy me” Eliza said with wickedness.
“For your information, it’s not envy” Neal mentioned doing a grimace.
Candy looked them both with air of weariness and before saying something, just looked at Anthony who kept on observing everything without saying very much. Archie took a few of the clothes and entered the contiguous room, whereas Candy also was choosing others.
- Hello “ Albert said in the minute he entered the room.
Extinguished "Hello" was listened.
“And now what is the trouble?” He asked.
“Neal doesn’t want to be the devil” Stear said while he was trying to place a false beard.
“Oh!” Albert said without showing any surprise.
“You still don’t want to perform. Do you?” Anthony asked.
“No, I’m here because you said me that you need a prompter”
“I thought you would change your opinion” Anthony observed as he was extracting a few wooden figures from a box.
“If I’m honest with you… Is a very attract offer, but I think that you’re doing an excellent work…”
“You can take my part because I’m not going to act” Neal said as he sit on a chair.
“Come on Neal! What kind of attitude is this?” Albert asked.
“I’m sick to play the same role over and over”
“But now it is different” Patty said “you have more lines because the second devil was eliminated”
“You right, now I seem crazier speaking with myself…” Neal answered very angry.
“Who speaks with himself?” Terry asked as he was entering the room. He was wearing a thick gabardine.
In that moment Archie came out from the next room dressed also as shepherd…
“Wow! You’re here….” Archie exclaimed with bitterness.
“For you information, I wasn’t scratching my tummy, at difference from others I do work” said sarcastically.
“I’m on a holiday” Archie answered him.
“In a permanent vacation?” Terry said with sarcasm.
“Are you ever hang a long?” Albert asked.
“I’m afraid they will never do” Candy answered at the time she was going into the room where Archie came out.
“Terry here is your disguise” Elisa said with flirtation, as she was approaching him.
Terry looked at Elisa and tried to smile. He took the disguise she was holding in her hand.
“Well … thank you!” Terry said without great conviction.
“You already know that for you I’m capable of everything.”
When Archie heard Elisa, he made a contemptuous noise he turned around and joined Anthony in his job of taking out of the boxes all the wooden figures. Meanwhile Patty was accommodating her veil in front of a mirror.
“By the way Annie, I‘ve never seen you studying your lines” Patty commented.
“I don’t need it, my lines are the poems from a carol” Annie said with presumption.
“Ok” said Patty.
“Where can I change my cloths” Terry asked Elisa.
“In that room” Elisa said with a smile.
Terry didn’t say thank you to Elisa. He walked in to the room and opened the door.
“Ahhhhhhh” shouted Candy “go out of here”
“What happens to you?” Anthony asked very angry “Don’t you see that Candy is changing her clothes??”
“I didn’t want to look” Terry answered. He seemed very amusing.
Candy came out of the room a few seconds later.
“You Pervert!!” She pierced Terry “why did you enter this way?”
“I didn’t know that somebody was in there” said Terry with a light smile in his mouth “I only wanted to change my clothes”
“Come on! Don’t fight! He didn’t mean to do anything wrong” Albert said trying to calm everybody
Terry decided to go into the room before faced Anthony and Archie they were very mad.
“I can’t stand him, but every time he takes part, he makes a formidable performance” Archie said.
“He isn’t a bad boy” Albert said “I think he is a lot like you…”
“He isn’t like me” Archie shouted.
“If you said so” Albert said. He was tired to hear so many complaints.
Anthony observed Archie and thought that his uncle was right. Archie and Terry were alike too much.
“Did you put in their place the sheep?” Candy asked after a few minutes.
“Yes, all is almost ready” Archie said.
“Almost” Anthony said looking at Neal who continued with his bad face
“Chairs!! We need to place them” Patty hurried them.
“Oh! It is true” Candy observed.
“Let’s do it!” Stear said who finally could have placed the beard.
Everyone but Neal who was still very angry began to place the chairs, while they were placing them Terry came out dressed as an angel.
“The floor is really cold, Can I wear some socks?” he asked.
“When have you seen an angel with socks?” Archie said.
“And you??? when have you seen an angel?” Terry answered.
“It would be easier for me to have seen an angel than you ever will see one” Archie said.
Albert breathed deeply before going to them.
“Stop fighting!! we have so little time and we still lack some details”
“Take this” Candy said to Terry. She gave him a pair of sandals
“Great!” Terry exclaimed.
“We remembered last year, you complaint about the same” Anthony said “we know! The floor is cold and we don’t want you got sick”
“Of course not” Elisa said as she hang at Terry’s arm.
“Why don’t you are the devil this year?” Terry asked as he was taking away Elisa’s arm.
“Because that role didn’t fit me” Elisa said with a smile in her face
“Seriously?” Terry asked pungently.
Candy and Annie looked at him hardly and he kept silence.
“So. Are we ready?” Albert asked
“Not Neal” observed Annie.
They all looked each other, Neal seemed like he didn’t want to take part of the play anymore. Then Anthony came closer where his cousin was and sat down next to him.
“Neal, you really should take part” Anthony said.
“Why do you care about me?” Neal answered unwillingly.
“Actually I could say I don’t care… but I would be a lie” Anthony take a breath “Did you know the devil’s role is the most important part on the play?”
“You just saying that because you want me to participate” Neal answered.
“No. I’m telling you the truth, and you just have to see, there are the shepherd, the holly family even the angel, but without a devil there is no plot, the play’s true meaning is lost. The story is about the faithful shepherds when they are going to adore baby Jesus, but the devil is not agree and he put temptations in their way. If the devil was missing the play would last only five minutes.”
Neal listened very carefully
“That’s why for this important role, we have chosen the best, and nobody else can do it. It’s a very difficult role, and you have played not once but four times. And every one of them you have been great, without you the play will suck.”
“Do you mean it?” Neal asked.
“Of course. Why would I lie to you? If I decided not to participate nothing would happen, I also think that nobody would notice my absence, some plays don’t even have an angel, but If the devil didn’t appear, everybody would notice.”
Neal’s face illuminated. Then he looked everybody working in the stage and placing chairs.
“So. Are you in?”
“Yes, I think I am.” Neal answered
“Ok, let’s do it.”
Neal got into the next room and Anthony smiled.
“What did he say?” Candy asked
“He is in”
“How did you do it?” Candy seemed amused.
“He didn’t even shout” said Archie.
“What did you say to him?” Stear enquired
“Just the truth, that without him we can’t do the play”
“Just that?” Candy looked Anthony with skepticism
“Yes” Anthony smiled widely
A few minutes later Neal came out of the room wearing his devil’s disguise, slowly people invited by great aunt Elroy took their places into the small theater. Finally the lights were off and only one light point to the stage stayed on.
Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph were looking where to stay. When the turn of Anny arrived, because she didn’t rehearsal her lines, she forgot what she had to say. Candy was nervous but with help from Albert she was able to finish her part. A mysterious star appeared announcing the baby Jesus birth, the devil tempt every one of the shepherds, Elisa with vain, Archie with laziness, Anthony with envy, and when everything seemed lost, the handsome Angel played by Terry appeared, fought with the devil and finally the shepherds arrived with Baby Jesus to adore him.
The play ended with a wave of applauses. Then the Christmas true meaning arrived to the hearts of each one, nobody care who had assisted to the rehearsals and who had had which role. The only thing that really mattered was that they were together celebrating Christmas making a little tribute to Jesus who came to salve the humanity, and together said.
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will”