By sean mcnulty
Crispin Collins is like a curious frog in the background, circle-hopping the assembled party, barely noticed. Finally he arrives beside Devin and Imogen looking per normal a little out to dry, and not a little nosy and bug-eyed.
CRISPIN: I have been around the world. I have marched with the students in Paris. But I missed what happened here. I prayed and signed records at the most famous Shinto shrine in the Far East. But failed to participate here. Yes, I might have ridden this morning in the helicopter. But it wasn’t the first time. After all, as this decade began, I was flown in at no cost for the festival on the Isle of Wight. Did I not share a word or two with Jimi Morrison himself? And yet...I missed all of this whatever it was just happened. Fool is me, fool is me.
IMOGEN: Don’t wilt on us now. They’re talking outside of their necks with all that cancer nonsense.
DEVIN: It’s not that. (he glances at the men in raincoats) Peelers of all coats give me the willies.
IMOGEN: I don’t think they much care for your imaginary crimes against the state.
DEVIN: It’s true--I haven’t a terrible lot to be guilty about.
IMOGEN: Sure aren’t you an angel.
DEVIN: Now. Let’s not exaggerate.
CRISPIN: (coquettishly) You two are too good to be true.
IMOGEN: My thoughts precisely.
DEVIN: We’ll stay together until she bores of me, Mr Collins. And if we ever break up, I hope you’ll write that song.
CRISPIN: I will. I’d be more than happy to.
The men in raincoats surround the bog man and unfolding a large grey pouch they begin the careful process of packing the body. MacKenna flits around them like the floor manager of a mid-level department store.
MACKENNA: Easy. . . easy does it.
Boru turns to a ruin-rodded Elder.
BORU: Have I thwarted your plans?
ELDER: Of course.
BORU: Good. I won’t say there is no pleasure in shitting on you, Elder, but I should add that this discovery is greater than either of us. We should hold onto every one of these we find. The Danish have been ahead of us from jump in the excavation of prized cadavers. It’s in our national interest to preserve and exploit these bodies. The nation simply cannot afford fanatics like yourself getting their mitts on such things.
ELDER: Do you even know who he is---or was?
BORU: I’m quite sure he wasn’t a saint. Brennan mentioned you figured him for one of the druids.
ELDER: Yes. I’m sure of it. The others will attest to having heard his voice in their heads.
MacKenna nods quietly.
SASDY: (to the minister) You’d like his rhetoric. He sounded like a Fine Gael man. Near positive he’d be a hit in the Oireachtas.
There is some commotion from Sullivan and Abby. Sullivan is on his back in the mud, shivering.
ABBY: What’s wrong with you?
SULLIVAN: Out of sorts. (looking over at the bog man being packed up) Is he up? I can feel him around us. (sniffs) I smell the porky too.
ELDER: You chopped his head off, man. Would that also have severed his pathway to this world perhaps?
SULLIVAN: No, he’s here. He doesn’t want to leave. He wants back in the bog.
Abby jolts. The carrier bag, on the ground beside her, clicks, and a voice is heard. Low. Knox grabs the bag and takes out the Ferguson tape recorder. The Play button has been pressed down. More than one voice emerges as the tape plays back – they are hard to identify.
(rustling) Why the tape? Are you recording us? (rustling) No. Look the button for Record needs to be on. Don’t need tape anyhow. Nice. (rustling) (silence) Hssssssssss I would enjoy seeing you naked.
Sullivan’s eyes widen, whiten.
ELDER: Jesus, stand well away from him. He’ll shower us all.
Convulsions for a second. In Sullivan’s eyes you can see the last gasp for reprieve. Then his eyes close and it’s all over.
BORU: (to Elder) You’ve lost one, so? Or is this the transcendence you were after?
Abby weeps into her sleeve.
Knox checks the air over Sullivan’s body as if to catch a glimpse of his spirit leaving.
FRANCES: Poor wretch. I can’t say I’m surprised he’s gone but I can’t say I’m pleased about it either. He was an unfortunate human being. No putting dumpty back together again as they say.
MOLONEY: He wanted out. He’d a lot going on up there.
ABBY: (sobbing) His family. He never forgave himself. . .for what he did to his family.
MOLONEY: It’s no small thing what he did. And hard to forgive.
ABBY: That’s subjective, I suppose.
MOLONEY: We suppose.