Old God, New Tricks

CHARACTERS

ZEUS: an Old World god without modern followers. Very jealous. Seduced FREYJA while her husbands Od and Odin are travelling.

FREYJA: an Old World goddess from Scandanavia without modern followers. Lives with ZEUS while her husbands, Odin and Od, are away. Wants to bake an apple pie for Chris Evans.

MICKEY: a cat.

IDUNN: Scandanavian Goddess of apples

SETTING
The kitchen of a house.

ACT 1

SCENE 1

ZEUS sits alone at an island counter. He stares into the distance, a cup of coffee next to him. He absently sips the coffee

ZEUS
What is this feeling that consumes my heart? As if something dares to challenge my majesty.

FREYJA enters stage left.

FREYJA
Are you brooding again?

ZEUS
I can’t help but feel as if I’m not as Olympian as I once was. It was so much easier when I could smite people at whim.

FREYJA
None of us is as we were. Mankind has moved on.

ZEUS
Yes. Moved on to idiocy. What can I do for you, love?

FREYJA
I want to make an apple pie. Can you help me?

ZEUS
An apple pie? For who? Why?

FREYJA
I want to make an apple pie for Chris Evans.

ZEUS
That human? Why?

FREYJA
He’s so…divine.

ZEUS
Divine? You’re an actual goddess and you think some human actor shares anything in common with the divine? He is nothing compared to the majesty of ZEUS. And Freyja.

FREYJA
Well, he is divine. Even a Greek like you can see it. He could be Michelangelo’s David.

ZEUS
Michelangelo was Italian.

FREYJA
And you totally snuck into that pantheon. You managed to stay relevant after the Greeks passed into history.

ZEUS
What can I say? The Romans were nearly as lusty as Greeks. But Chris Evans is neither!

FREYJA
How do you know? Look at him! He’s nearly as perfect as Thor.

ZEUS
Let’s not talk about your son right now. Let’s get back to this pie you want to bake for some human.

FREYJA
Listen to you! You’re notorious across the ages for buggering humans and gods. Are you jealous?

ZEUS
Why should I be jealous? I am Zeus. Let any human compete with that.

FREYJA
Well, you’re not as blessed as he is.

ZEUS
How? How is ZEUS less than any human?

FREYJA
He has more manhood than you. So much more.

FREYJA sighs and looks into the distance as ZEUS gapes at her.

ZEUS
Are you saying you want to bake a human a pie because Fate endowed him with a big…manhood?

FREYJA
Have you seen those shoulders?

ZEUS
Well, I suppose it’s better than you bedding him while you’re disguised as a water nymph or something.

FREYJA
Says the god who turns into animals to have sex with humans.

ZEUS
What’s the difference?

FREYJA:
Zeus. Will you help me make a pie or not?

ZEUS
No! The only manhood you should be considering is here, sitting at this table.

FREYJA
That’s less manhood and more godhead.

ZEUS
Thank you. It’s nice to finally be acknowledged.

FREYJA
But still, you have to admire a true work of art.

ZEUS
Are you kidding me right now?

FREYJA
Pie. Yes or no.

ZEUS
No. If all you want is a big cock, I can summon you a giant rooster.

FREYJA slaps ZEUS and storms off, exit stage right

ZEUS
Foolish woman! Of all things, to covet a human because of his endowments. Well, she can covet all she wants. I will not help her in her seductions.

MICKEY enters, stage left. He strides in, head high, with a countenance of self-satisfaction. His long hair flows in his wake.

MICKEY
Zeus, you have four thousand years reputation for seducing anything with a pulse. I don’t think you’re in a position to criticize Freyja, especially since you’re seducing her while her husband is away.

ZEUS
MICKEY! Have you been well in your journeys, my friend?

MICKEY
I caught a vole. The warm laundry is a nice place to nap. Thanks!

ZEUS
And I suppose we just have to live with cat hair.

MICKEY
Since you chose to live with a cat, yes.

ZEUS
At least you’re not enamored with a human.

MICKEY
A man who is particularly blessed, from what I understand.

ZEUS
You, too?

MICKEY
I don’t care one way or another. That’s one area of both the gods and man that I’m not equipped to understand. What’s the big deal?

ZEUS
No big deal. At all.

MICKEY
So, why do you care what Freyja thinks?

ZEUS
Because I am Zeus.

MICKEY
Look, if you have a problem with some human with an excessive endowment, just get rid of him.

ZEUS
Get rid of him.

MICKEY
Yeah, sure. You’re Zeus. Wait for him to go outside and smite him.

ZEUS
Hmmm. I’d like that. But times have changed. It’d have to be something…

MICKEY
More subtle

ZEUS
Exactly! More subtle!

MICKEY
Give him a poisoned apple. That seems to work in the old stories. No reason it won’t still work.

ZEUS
Apples! That’s it!

MICKEY
It is?

ZEUS
Yes! That’s a brilliant idea.

MICKEY
Thank you?

ZEUS
Whew. Good thing I thought of that.

MICKEY
What?

ZEUS
Can you go find Freyja?

MICKEY
No. Who do you think I am?

MICKEY yawns loudly.

MICKEY (continues)
I’m tired. I’m gonna go take a nap. Let me know when it’s time to eat.

MICKEY exits, stage right

ZEUS
Wonderful! I’ll help Freyja make her apple pie. It will be extra special!

FREYJA enters, stage left. She’s still mad, but now she’s carrying flour and butter. She sets the ingredients on the table, flour spilling.

FREYJA
You know what? If you’re not going to help me, I’m just going to make the pie myself.

ZEUS
You know, I may have overreacted.

FREYJA
Really. Is that so.

ZEUS
Yes. It’s actually really remarkable that Chris Evans should get a pie baked by a goddess. By you. It would be a one of a kind pie.

FREYJA
Well, now you’ve come to your senses, I see.

ZEUS
I’m still not as much of a cheerleader for this man as you are, but fine. If you won’t let this go, I’ll help you. Why don’t you get some apples from Idunn? She’s pretty good with those, might know the best apples to use.

FREYJA
Oh! Excellent idea, love!

FREYJA kisses ZEUS, exits, stage right, as ZEUS begins to speak

ZEUS
You could call her, woman. Nevermind.

IDUNN enters, stage right

ZEUS
Idunn! Just the woman I was looking for!

IDUNN
No, Zeus. I’m going to bed with you.

ZEUS
I wasn’t going to ask. But since you brought it up, let’s! While Freyja is away.

IDUNN
Freyja’s not here? I’m leaving.

ZEUS
Wait! I need to ask you a favor.

IDUNN
You want to ask me a favor? Does it involve changing shape into your newest sexual fantasy?

ZEUS
What? No. Need. I need to ask you for a favor.

IDUNN
What?

ZEUS
Apples. I need apples.

IDUNN
Go to the grocery store.

ZEUS
I need a specific variety of apple. Something only you could get for me.

IDUNN
What do you mean?

ZEUS
I need to deal with a human. In a very delicate manner.

IDUNN
And?

ZEUS
He needs to die.

IDUNN
And you want my help? With apples?

ZEUS
Yes.

IDUNN
What? You want a poisoned apple?

ZEUS
Several, actually. For a pie.

IDUNN
A pie? Are you serious? What about the whole lightning bolt thing?

ZEUS
Yes. Very. Smiting with lightning bolts is out of date. I need something a little more…subtle.

IDUNN
So what kind of poisoned apple do you want? The “turn black in the face and drop dead” kind? Or the “be sick for three or four days and then pass in the night” kind?

ZEUS
Oh, if you can make his face turn black, that would be wonderful! Can you make his dick fall off, too?

IDUNN
What?

ZEUS
Nevermind. The black in the face kind will be fantastic.

IDUNN
Okay. I’ll see what I can do. I’ll be right back.

IDUNN exits, stage right. ZEUS smiles and rubs his hands together.

ZEUS
Oh, boy! This is going to be good. I can’t wait to see the look on his face when he eats that pie. That’ll show him who can have the better looking cock.

FREYJA returns, stage left.

FREYJA
IDUNN wasn’t home.

ZEUS
She was here.

FREYJA
She was?

ZEUS
Yes. She was looking for you.

FREYJA
OH! Did she just leave?

ZEUS
Just.

FREYJA
Maybe I can catch her

FREYJA exits, stage right. MICKEY enters, stage left.

ZEUS
MICKEY! How was your nap?

MICKEY
Nap? What are you talking about? I’m hungry.

ZEUS
Go find a mouse.

MICKEY
Meh. I’m trying to cut down on fast food.

MICKEY sees the flour and butter on the table. He begins to sniff at them, particularly the butter.

ZEUS
Hey! Enough of that, cat! That’s not for you.

MICKEY
It smells like it’s for me. At least that butter does.

ZEUS
That’s for the pie.

MICKEY
The pie? Freyja’s really going to make a pie.

ZEUS
Yes, and I’m going to help her.

MICKEY
Really?

ZEUS
Just wait.

FREYJA and IDUNN enter, stage right. FREYJA is furious. MICKEY is fascinated by the display. He turns to the mirror and begins to groom himself, adjusting his hair and inspecting his face.

FREYJA
How dare you!

ZEUS
What’s that?

IDUNN
You asked me for poisoned apples for FREYJA’s apple pie, didn’t you? You tried to trick her into giving her human a poisoned apple pie.

FREYJA
Are you really that jealous of Chris Evans?

ZEUS
Of course not!
ZEUS takes a deep breath and smiles. He spreads his arms as if to hug both women.

ZEUS
Of course not! I wouldn’t do such a thing. I wanted your golden apples for FREYJA. Remember?

Both women look confused

FREYJA
You don’t want to kill Chris Evans because you’re jealous of his member?

IDUNN laughs

IDUNN
I have heard of this. Is it true?

FREYJA sighs as ZEUS looks annoyed. He steps into reach, placing his hand on the side of each woman’s face.

ZEUS
Darlings, I have nothing but love for you. IDUNN, please bring us both kinds of apples. Just don’t be aware you’re bringing poisoned apples. All you’ll see is beautiful apples.
(IDUNN nods)
And FREYJA. This has been a terrible misunderstanding. I’ll help you bake the most wonderful pie for your Chris Evans.
(FREYJA nods. ZEUS smiles.)
Good! Now, let’s all forget this nonsense about poisoned apples and bake a divine pie.

ZEUS releases his hold on the women and kisses FREYJA. IDUNN looks like she needs coffee. Then she focuses on ZEUS and FREYJA in front of her.

IDUNN
Do you two want me to leave and give you some privacy?

ZEUS
You don’t want to watch? You could watch.

FREYJA snorts.

FREYJA
Pie. Focus on the pie, ZEUS.

ZEUS
Of course. My pleasure.

IDUNN
Come, FREYJA! We have apples to pick! And not a moment to lose.

FREYJA and IDUNN run off, stage right, holding hands. MICKEY turns from the mirror.

MICKEY
You enchanted them? For an apple pie? Why not enchant them for a Bacchanal?

ZEUS
Who says I haven’t? But this is so much more fun.

FREYJA and IDUNN return, each carrying a bushel of apples. IDUNN’s apples are large, golden, and firm. FREYJA’s apples are dark and small. ZEUS claps his hands.

ZEUS
Wonderful, ladies! Thank you, IDUNN. Look at your golden apples. How tempting. We can make two pies. How can I repay you?

IDUNN
I’m not doing this for you, ZEUS. Keep your hands away from me. I’m helping FREYJA.

ZEUS
And what a help you are. Come! With two of you, we can make two pies

The three gods core, slice, and peel the bushels of apples. IDUNN prepares the golden apples while FREYJA prepares the poisoned apples. ZEUS points this way and that, directing the two goddesses like a traffic cop. The pies are baked in the oven while ZEUS smiles and each goddess removes her pie and sets it on the kitchen table.

ZEUS
It’s time to let the pies rest now. You can’t eat an apple pie if it’s too hot. Why don’t you two go rest yourselves? You’ve worked very hard.

FREYJA and IDUNN both nod and exit, stage right, hand in hand. MICKEY enters stage left. He sniffs the pies and recoils at the scent of the poisoned pie.

MICKEY
So these are the pies.

ZEUS
Indeed they are. Specially made by gods.

MICKEY
Won’t FREYJA be angry at you when she kills Chris Evans with her apple pie?

ZEUS
Does it matter? I am ZEUS.

MICKEY
Of course you are. I think I’m going to go take a nap.

MICKEY exits, stage right. ZEUS looks at the pies one more time, nodding to himself. ZEUS exits stage right.

MICKEY returns, stage right.

MICKEY
Ah. ZEUS’s poisoned apple pie baked to golden perfection. If I weren’t a cat, I would be tempted by these lovely delicacies. But no, I am a cat and a servant of chaos.

MICKEY switches the position of the pies

MICKEY
Let the lady FREYJA have her tryst and let ZEUS dine in Hell.

FREYJA enters, stage left. She sees the pies and smiles. She carefully feels each one, testing the temperature. She nods and picks up the golden apple pie, rushing out of the kitchen, stage right. MICKEY smiles and begins to groom himself. ZEUS enters, stage left. He strides up to the counter and pulls the poisoned pie toward himself. He grabs a small plate and a fork. ZEUS cuts himself a slice of pie. He sits down at the table and cuts into the pie with his fork. He raises a bite to his mouth, but stops when he sees MICKEY.

ZEUS
Well?

MICKEY
Freyja gave Chris Evans the pie. It should only be a matter of time.

ZEUS
Good. Serves that big-cocked bastard right for competing with a god.

MICKEY
I don’t think he went out of his way to grow a big dick just to make you jealous.

ZEUS
Doesn’t matter. Somebody really likes him, so I don’t. Though he might be the beneficiary of good fortune and the whim of the Muse, no man shall better the king of the gods.

ZEUS eats his bite of pie. As he reaches to take another bite, he falls from his chair, dead. MICKEY stares at the dead ZEUS and waits. After ZEUS does nothing else, MICKEY shrugs.

MICKEY
It’s not only human pride that can lead you to folly. Even as high as you sat, oh ZEUS, you could not see the mischief sitting at your own table. Such deception is fit for Loki, you miscreant. May you feast well at Hades’ table.

(Blackout.)

Written as part of a class exercise during Fall 2020.

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