Worlds: The Library Beneath the Streets, and the Garden Beneath the World
Picture the place where the first stories were grown. Think of it as a park, or a garden. The grass is neatly trimmed, and trees thick with the pages of books dot the landscape. Between them weave smooth silver paths, walked along by a somber looking girl holding the leash of a black, floppy-eared dog. Every tree they come to is whispering just too low to hear clearly, save for the occasional phrase. The dog sniffs each tree, indicating which stories are ripest, and the girl plucks the pages and takes them deep underground, where they will grow backwards into the world to give it its stories.
This is the setting I envision for my next play, “The Death Of The Garden Beneath The World,” a prequel of sorts to my story “How To Join The Library Beneath The Streets.” Now, I haven’t shared that with you as I’ve been trying to find a magazine for it to call home, but let me give you the setting.
Picture tunnels deep beneath the cities; crude holes bored through bedrock, deep and dark with nothing to signify them. Nothing, that is, except the distant sound of clicking, and frenzied whispers. The clicking goes on and on, unceasing, and the whispers are many, the sound of a massive congregation trying to get the words out of their heads. You can try to go and look for them, if you like, but you’ll never find them. The tunnels go deep, and they curve every way they please.
The deeper you go, the more terrified you’ll be, the more you’ll long for something…anything…to pierce the dark. And that’s when the Librarian will loom from the darkness, a sickly pale, stick-thin figure staring you down for intruding into her realm.
The Garden was where the stories were grown. The Library is where the stories are written. Now, ask yourself: what could have happened between times?
That, I think, is a story for another time.