About the Author…
Merrie Haskell grew up half in Michigan, half in North Carolina. She works in a library with over 7 million books, and finds this to be just about the right number.
Merrie’s first novel, THE PRINCESS CURSE, was a Junior Library Guild selection. HANDBOOK FOR DRAGON SLAYERS is her second novel.
About the Narrator…
Amanda Ching is a high school teacher turned freelance editor and writer. Her work has appeared in WordRiot, Candlemark & Gleam’s Alice: (re)Visions, and every bathroom stall on I-80 from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis. She’s currently posting free content for Clarion West Write-A Thon at her blog, Panda-monium. If you desire to read about how Grandma got mauled by a plastic reindeer, please visit her at amandaching.wordpress.com.
Zebulon Vance Sings the Alphabet Songs of Love
By Merrie Haskell
I am Robot!Ophelia. I will not die for love tonight.
The noon show is the three-hour 1858 Booth production. The most fashionable historical war remains the First American Civil. Whenever FACfans discover that Lincoln’s assassin played Horatio, they simply must come and gawk at this titillating replica of their favorite villain playing no one’s favorite character.
FACfans love authenticity. To the delight of Robot!Hamlet, today’s clients insist that Edwin Booth stride the stage beside his more famous brother. Most performances, Robot!Hamlet remains unused in the charging closet, for the first law in our business is _Everybody Wants to Play the Dane_.
Today, Robot!Hamlet is afire with Edwin Booth’s mad vigor, and runs his improv algorithms at full throttle; he kisses me dreamily, and rips my bodice in a way that would never have been allowed in Victorian America. The FACfans don’t look hyperpleased about this; it tarnishes their precious authenticity.
Robot!Horatio also loves the 1858 Booth. It’s the only time anyone comes to a performance for him alone. But what about the rest of us, the remainder of the AutoGlobe’s incantation of robots? We bear with it, as we bear with all the other iterations of our native play.
The FACfans barely notice me when either Booth is on stage. I clutch my ripped bodice; exit Robot!Ophelia. I get me to a nunnery.
Act 4, Scene 4. I wait for my cue and check the callsheet for the six o’clock show.