“Blasphemy!” she screamed.
“Not if I have my way!” he yelled back.
“You, you being as cruel as the icy winds of Uncle Summer!” her cry echoed over the vast empty space of the theatre.
“Who art thou, fool? How dare ye underestimate my power for compassion and pride combined? Nothing shall stop me! Not you, Galilea or the government or anyone whom so dares henceforth to threaten, to withhold my destiny, to—”
“Rich—” Talia attempted.
“To beat my good will, nor to hover over shoulders at midnights of secret plans and treasonously spoil the ideas of war craft that have planted themselves in my mind and shot forth from my fingers onto the maps and through the compass to the lands across the mighty river of Bibelot! Oh, no, no—”
“Rich, this doesn’t really—”
“Hail Mary! I would never have thought to make a plan that in decides you shall be the bait Tal, I mean, Galilea, but now that you have mentioned the idea—”
“RICHARD!” Talia burst and startled her friend out of his fantasy world. His face held a baffled expression, carved into his soft features like balsa wood. Talia let out a short chortle and then a sigh when Rich failed to see the amusement of it all. She sat down on the wide, empty stage with a thud and beckoned her ambitious companion who settled down next to her.
“Ritchie,” she began again, gentler this time, “Have you ever thought that maybe this play doesn’t really make sense?”
Richard’s baffled expression turned hopeless in an instant. Talia rushed to fix her error.
“It’s not really that,” she said quickly, flipping through the script, “It’s more like, you know what you’re talking about since the story is in your head, but the audience…”
“A narrator! You’re exactly right Talia. Genius!” Richard exclaimed. Talia tried to look supportive. That was not what she had meant.
“I’m going to do it this time, Talia, I’m going to break into this business if it kills me. I was born a playwright. It’s my destiny,” Richard spoke confidently.
“It takes years to become an overnight success,” Talia stated, her voice heavy with doubt. At that point, Richard leapt up and began to battle an imaginary foe in a sword fight with a rolled up piece of poster board.
“Bring it Broadway! I can swim with the big fish!” Richard hollered, lunging at his figurative enemies, “Come on critics, I can take the sting of your words! Give me all you’ve got!”
“It’s usually not good to challenge your reviewers to give you harsh ratings,” Talia retorted smugly.
“Touché mon ami.”
Talia couldn’t help it, she smiled. No one could say Richard wasn’t persistent. He continued to bounce around the stage, feinting and parrying the blows of his invisible enemies. Talia pulled her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them to watch the sword fight play out. Richard appeared to be surrounded.
“They’re everywhere!” Richard yelled, rolling across the dirty stage and springing to his feet ineptly; his hunter green sweater was coated in a thick layer of dust.
“Galilea!” he called towards Talia, “You must help me defend the land! For once, don’t be a lady! Grab your sword and join me in the counter attack!”
“Rich,” Talia replied, shaking her head, “Don’t you think it’s time we grew up a little?”
“Grow up?” Richard asked as he pivoted and stepped back to spear his opponent. He grunted and answered surely, “I’ve got the rest of my life to grow up. Why would I grow up now?”