WILLOUGHBY AND THE PROFESSOR #13

"SHE MUST'A BEEN SOME KIND OF SCOUT" OR "A KIND OF HATCHERY"

©1992, 1994, 1995 ROBERT CIRASA AND JOSEPH BEVILACQUA

 

SUDDEN SOUND OF A SHARPLY OPENED DOOR (OF A TRADITIONAL LOCKSET, HINGED, AND WOODEN TYPE) USHERING IN BYSSHE'S BOMBASTIC DECLAMATION.

BYSSHE: LET BELL TOWER RING AND TRUMPET SOUND IN JOYOUS CELEBRATION OF THY MIRACULOUS POWERS AND THE BOON THEY SHALL VEST UPON MANKIND!

WILLOUGHBY: HUH? (RECOGNIZING BYSSHE WITH LOATHING) OH, IT’S YOU.

BYSSHE: (FEIGNING HURT) OH, THY WORDS DOTH WOUND ME LIKE A RAPIER POISON-DIPPED! RECOGNIZE THEE NOT THY FATHER’S VOICE?

WILLOUGHBY: FOR THE LAST TIME, YOU COOKY POET: YOU’RE NOT MY FATHER.

BYSSHE: (TO HIMSELF) OH, SISYPHUS! WHAT IMPORT "POETIC LICENSE" WITHOUT AN AUDIENCE TO REVEL IN ITS PLEASURES. DEAR BOY, LEARNED THEE NOT YET THY FIGURES? TRULY THOU ART A RECALCITRANT. I SPEAK IN LOCO PARENTIS--AS PATER POESIS--AS YOUR LITERARY "PA-PA" (PLEASED WITH HIS PLAY OF P’S).

WILLOUGHBY: HEY! STOP MAKIN’ THOSE SOUNDS, WILL YA’? I DON’T TALK ANY OF THAT BUB-BUB STUFF! AND KEEP THAT LITTLE DEVIL BABY OF YOURS OUTTA MY DRAWERS. IF I CATCH HIM IN THIS LAB ONE MORE TIME, I’M GONNA SICK THE SKEETERS ON HIM!

BYSSHE: THE BABE IS AN INCUBUS--BEGOT UPON THE WITCHWAY AND BESTOWED UPON ME, HIS BIOLOGICAL PROGENITOR--A PERPETUAL PRETERNATURAL (VENOMOUSLY) BRAT WITH BUT THE SINGLE SYLLABLE OF HIS NAME UPON HIS ALWAYS WAGGING TONGUE--"BUB-BUB-BUBBING" HIS SWADDLED SELF FOREVER UNDERFOOT, A HOPELESSLY MONOSYLLABIC MORON OF A POET’S PROGENY. ALAS, HE IS MY SON. (TURNING BRIGHTLY HOPEFUL) BUT YOU ARE MY POETIC POSTERITY--THE PROSPECTIVE POST-MORTEM VESSEL OF MY POETIC PROWESS--(ENTREATINGLY) WOULD YOU BUT APPLY YOURSELF.

WILLOUGHBY: I AIN’T GOT TIME TO APPLY MYSELF. I GOTTA DRESS THESE SKEETERS. NOW ‘SCUSE ME! (WITH ANNOYED FOCUS) HMMMM....

BRIEF BEAT IN WHICH SOME SKEETER BUZZ BECOMES FAINTLY AUDIBLE TOGETHER WITH LIGHT SOUNDS OF RUBBING CLOTH.

BYSSHE: AH, ERATO! LOOK YONDER UPON MY PRODIGAL--ENGULFED IN MINUTENESS AND NE’ER COGNIZANT OF MY LARGESS. AH! (BEAT FOR REFLECTION AND INSPIRATION) HMMMM... ER, MIGHT I... SHARE YOUR PREOCCUPATION?

WILLOUGHBY: HUH? (SUSPICIOUS BUT WELCOMING THE INTEREST) WELL, IF YOU’RE REALLY INTERESTED. (SUDDENLY GROWING EXCITED) YA SEE, THIS ONE’S A COWBOY. AND THIS ONE’S A POLICEMAN--BUT YOU’LL HAVE TO USE THE MAGNIFYIN' GLASS TO SEE HIS BADGE. HERE--LOOK.

BYSSHE: HMMM... SUCH MINIATURE PERFECTION. AND EVERY BUTTON EMBOSSED IN BRASS. PRAY TELL--DOST THOU HAVE ANYTHING OF AN ELIZABETHAN CUT AMONG THESE MANY THOUSAND ADMIRABLY COSTUMED MOSQUITOES?

WILLOUGHBY: WELL THAT WOULD BE SILLY, WOULDN’T IT? NOBODY DRESSES LIKE YOU ANYMORE.

BYSSHE: (HURT) OH, UNKIND CUT. I HAD HOPED THAT YOU WOULD ONE DAY DON THIS RAIMENT OF MY--OF OUR--PROFESSION.

WILLOUGHBY: AW, QUIT KIDDIN’ AROUND, WILL YA?

DOOR OPENS AND PROFESSOR ENTERS CALLING FOR WILLOUGHBY.

PROFESSOR: WILLOUGHBY?

WILLOUGHBY: (WHISPERING TO BYSSHE) UH-OH. DITCH THE MAGNIFYIN’ GLASS, WOULD YA’?

PROFESSOR: AH, MISTER... UH.... WITCHWAY. ARE YOU LOOKING FOR SOMETHING?

BYSSHE: (GUILTILY) OH, NO, NO. JUST INSPECTING THE PREMISES--ACCORDING THE PROVISIONS OF YOUR LEASE. A LANDLORD’S WORK IS NEVER DONE, YOU KNOW.

PROFESSOR: WELL OF COURSE, I DO RECOGNIZE YOUR PRIVILEGES AS THE HUSBAND OF THIS PLACE’S PROPRIETRESS. BUT I WOULD REMIND YOU THAT MY PARTICULAR PARLORS ARE RESERVED FOR SCIENCE.

BYSSHE: BUT OF COURSE. FORGIVE MY TRESPASS. MY INTEREST SEEMS FOREVER MISPLACED. FAREWELL, GOOD BOARDERS, UNTIL WE SUP.

SOUND OF BYSSHE EXITING THROUGH DOOR.

PROFESSOR: (WITH MOCK STERNNESS) WILLOUGHBY--YOU’VE BEEN DRESSING THE SUBJECTS AGAIN, HAVEN’T YOU?

WILLOUGHBY: (GUILTILY) WELL, YEAH. IT’S A LOT O’ FUN, YA’ KNOW.

PROFESSOR: WELL PLEASE CONTROL YOUR MORE PLAYFUL NATURE IN THE FUTURE, WILLOUGHBY. AN INADVERTENTLY CLOTHED SPECIMEN MAY VERY WELL JEOPARDIZE THE ENTIRE PROTOCOL. NOW COME ALONG WITH ME. I NEED YOUR BRAWN IN THE BEDROOM. OUR PROTOTYPE AWAITS.

WILLOUGHBY: OH, ALL RIGHT. (TO THE MOSQUITOES) FAREWELL YOU GUYS. SEE YA’ AFTER SUPPER!

SOUND OF MOSQUITO BUZZ GROWS SLIGHTLY LOUDER IN RESPONSE. WILLOUGHBY AND THE PROFESSOR BEGIN TO EXIT THE ROOM WITH APPROPRIATE FOOTSTEPS UNDERNEATH THE PROFESSOR’S NEXT LINE.

PROFESSOR: (ANNOYED AT THE RAPPORT BETWEEN WILLOUGHBY AND THE MOSQUITOES) WILLOUGHBY--YOU ARE TO UNDRESS EVERY ONE OF THOSE MOSQUITOES BEFORE YOU GO TO BED TONIGHT. AND PLEASE DON'T DOTE UPON THEM SO. THEY'RE INSECTS, WILLOUGHBY--NOT PLAYMATES.

AMBIENT SOUND CHANGES UPON WOODEN DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING AS THEY EXIT TO THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF CAVERNOUS SPACES. FOOTSTEPS THROUGHOUT THE PASSAGE.

WILLOUGHBY: HEY, NO FAIR, PROFESSOR. YOU SLEEP WITH THE "PROTOTYPE." AND IT'S A 'SKEETER TOO, AIN'T IT?

PROFESSOR: MY ACCOMMODATION OF THE PROTOTYPE IS A MATTER OF PHYSICAL NECESSITY, WILLOUGHBY--NOT AFFECTION. YOU SEE THE PROTOTYPE IS A GENETIC WONDER, WILLOUGHBY--ONE THAT WILL BE THE CORRECTING CATALYST IN THIS PHASE OF OUR EXPERIMENT. WHEN LAST WE PUCKERED, WE MERELY TRAVELED WILLY-NILLY THROUGH TIME AND SPACE, MAKING IT ALL BUT IMPOSSIBLE TO IMPLEMENT EVEN THE MOST WELL PLANNED WORLD CURE. AS YOU KNOW, MY SPACE PUCKERING DEVICE WORKS IN MUCH THE...

CLANK AND SQUEAL OF AN IRON GATE OPENING AND CLOSING ONTO DIFFERENT AMBIENT RESONANCE.

PROFESSOR: ... SAME FASHION AS BROWNIAN MOTION. THAT IS, BY THE RAPID ACTION OF INNUMERABLE ATOMS COLLIDING WITH THE BROWNIAN PARTICLES--I. E., US. IN ANY RANDOM PROCESS, THE RELATIVE FLUCTUATIONS FROM AN AVERAGE VALUE IS INVERSELY PROPORTIONAL TO THE SQUARE ROOT OF THE NUMBER AND SIZE OF THE PARTICLES. THE SMALLER THE SAMPLES, THE BIGGER THE FLUCTUATIONS. FOR SMALLER PARTICLES SUCH AS US, THE FLUCTUATIONS IN THE NUMBER OF IMPINGING...

HUMMING SOUND OF ELECTRONIC DOOR (PERHAPS LIKE AN OVERHEAD GARAGE DOOR) OPENING AND CLOSING ONTO ANOTHER AMBIENT SPACE, LARGER THAN THE LAST.

PROFESSOR: ...ATOMS IS SUFFICIENT TO PROPEL US IN AN ALWAYS UNPREDICTABLE DIRECTION... THOUGH WITH A PREDICTABLE FORCE, OF COURSE. IT FOLLOWS, THEREFORE, THAT A LARGER PARTICLE WILL PROPORTIONATELY STABILIZE ITS AMBIENT ATOMIC PRESSURE AND THUS, ITS ULTIMATE TRAJECTORY. DO YOU SEE WHERE I AM LEADING NOW, WILLOUGHBY?

WILLOUGHBY: (PUZZLED) I DON'T THINK SO, PROFESSOR. THESE NEW HALLS OF YOURS ALWAYS MAKE FEEL LIKE I'M IN ONE OF THOSE CHINESE MUSEUMS. YA' KNOW--EACH ONE GETTIN' BIGGER AND EMPTIER THAN THE NEXT. I KINDA LOSE TRACK OF WHERE I AM.

PROFESSOR: YOU ARE IN A KIND OF HATCHERY, WILLOUGHBY--NOT A MUSEUM--AN ARENA OF CATALYZED LIFE RATHER THAN TAXIDERMIED DEATH. AND GIVEN THE SCALE AND AERIAL NATURE OF THAT LIFE, A CERTAIN LARGENESS OF SPACE HAS BEEN NECESSARY. FLIGHT TRAINING, AFTER ALL, IS AN IMPOSSIBLE FEAT IN TOO TINY A ROOM. EVEN SO--AND TO ANSWER FINALLY YOUR ORIGINAL CHARGE--I HAVE RECENTLY HAD TO CONFINE THE NOW FULLY GROWN SUBJECT TO MY OWN RATHER CRAMPED PERSONAL QUARTERS SO AS TO PREVENT IT FROM FLIGHT ALTOGETHER, SO GIANT HAS IT BECOME AND SO CERTAIN THE PROSPECT OF ITS AERONAUTICAL SELF-INJURY WITHIN DOORS.

SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS STOPS AS THE TWO COME BEFORE THE PROFESSOR'S BEDROOM PORTAL.

WILLOUGHBY: YOU MEAN WE'RE GOIN' TO YOUR BEDROOM AGAIN--RIGHT?

PROFESSOR: IN FACT, YES, WILLOUGHBY. YOU STAND NOW BEFORE ITS PORTAL.

WILLOUGHBY: (INCREDULOUS) THAT? I DON'T REMEMBER YOU HAVIN' A STEEL HATCHWAY FOR YOUR "PRIVATE" PLACE.

PROFESSOR: A PRECAUTION AGAINST THE EVER MORE TRESPASSING MR. WITCHWAY.

WILLOUGHBY: YEAH--I THINK THAT COOKY POET'S A BURGLAR!

PROFESSOR: MERELY A MEDDLESOME PROPRIETOR, WILLOUGHBY. BUT ONE THAT MUST BE KEPT AWAY FROM SUCH AN EXTRAORDINARY SPECIMEN OF LIFE AS WE HOUSE WITHIN.

AS THE STEEL DOOR RAISES, BONES, WILLOUGHBY’S SICKLY DOG, CRAWLS IN FROM THE OTHER ROOM, HIS FRONT PAWS DRAGGING HIS EMACIATED BODY ALONG, HIS BACK LEGS LIMP AND USELESS BEHIND.

BONES: GAG-GAG. (HE COLLAPSES WITH THE CRUMPLE OF A DEAD WEIGHT HEAP.)

WILLOUGHBY: (THRILLED, RUNNING TO HIM) BONES!!! IT’S BONES, PROFESSOR!!! HE'S ALIVE!!!

BOY AND DOG HAVE A TOUCHING HOLLYWOOD-STYLE REUNION, WILLOUGHBY GRABBING BONES AROUND THE NECK AND SHAKING HIM PLAYFULLY, BONES WHINING IN DESIRE AND STRAINING TO REACH UP AND LICK WILLOUGHBY’S FACE.

WILLOUGHBY: (AFFECTIONATELY, SCRATCHING THE DOG'S SCRUFF AND JINGLING HIS TAGS) AW, HOW YA DOIN', BONES. GEE, IT'S GOOD TO SEE YA. (DOWN, PRIVATELY TO BONES) I THOUGHT FOR SURE I LOST YA' AFTER THAT FIFTH PINT OF FORMALDEHYDE. (UP, TO PROFESSOR, WITH EQUAL MEASURES OF IMPRESSED CURIOSITY AND GUILTY UNEASINESS) UH, HOW'D YA EVER GET HIM BACK, PROFESSOR? I MEAN, YA KNOW, UH, WHERE'D YA... WHERE'D YA FIND HIM?

PROFESSOR: I DISCOVERED HIM IN HIS PRESENT "UNEARTHLY" STATE IN THE BOX OF MY ALL-QUANTUM POLARIZATION DETECTOR. I HAD JUST SET MY METER OPTION TO AN ATTRIBUTE, CONJUGATE TO A HORIZONTAL/VERTICAL ATTRIBUTE... IN ORDER TO MEASURE THE DIAGONAL POLE OF MY PROTOTYPE. BONES, WHO LAY INSIDE THE BOX IN A WELL-DEFINED "DEAD" STATE, INADVERTENTLY PASSED THROUGH THE FILTER. ACCORDING TO THE "SCHRODINGER PRINCIPLE," IF HORIZONTAL EQUALS DEAD AND VERTICAL EQUALS ALIVE, THEN BONES IS NOW SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THE TWO: "A DIAGONAL DOG," AND THEREFORE NOT FULLY ALIVE.

WILLOUGHBY: (ANNOYED, TOUGH) WHATTA YA MEAN? SURE HE’S ALIVE!! (QUIET, SWEETLY) AREN’T YA, BONES?

BONES: GAG-GAG.

PROFESSOR: CLASSICALLY-SPEAKING, HE IS ALIVE. HOWEVER, HIS QUANTUM REALITY DICTATES THAT HE IS BOTH ALIVE AND DEAD.

WILLOUGHBY: HUH?

PROFESSOR: WILLOUGHBY, YOUR ERSTWHILE PET IS NOW AMONG THE UNDEAD -- A CANINE ZOMBIE, AS IT WERE.

WILLOUGHBY: A ZOMBIE?!! OH, WELL, YOU LOOK LIKE THE SAME OLD BONES TO ME, BOY. (SUDDENLY REGISTERING THE IMPORT OF THE PROFESSOR'S ACCOUNT, THEN EXPRESSING INDIGNATION) HEY, WHATTA YA MEAN EXPERIMENTIN’ ON MY DOG???

PROFESSOR: WILLOUGHBY, I ASSURE YOU, BONES IS SIMPLY AN UNTOWARD SIDE EFFECT... ALTHOUGH I HAVE PUT HIM TO USE AS A WATCHDOG. I AM NOT CONFIDENT THAT A STEEL HATCHWAY WILL ENTIRELY THWART THE COMPULSIVE TRESPASSING OF THE OFFICIOUS MR. WITCHWAY. NOW COME ALONG, WILLOUGHBY. LEAVE BONES HERE TO HIS WORK, AND HELP ME LASSO THE PROTOTYPE.

WILLOUGHBY: "LASSO?!" YOU MEAN WITH A ROPE?! LIKE A COWBOY?! OH BOY! WAIT HERE, BONES. AND KEEP GUARD. WE'RE PLAYIN' RODEO!

BONES: (PLOPPING DOWN IN AN EXHAUSTED HEAP OF WEIGHT AND WITH A PATHETIC SOUND OF CANINE ASSENT) GAG-GAG.

PROFESSOR: PLEASE, WILLOUGHBY--RESTRAIN YOUR SPIRITS. WE MUST NOT SPOOK THE CREATURE, LEST IT LAUNCH ITSELF IN A PANIC AGAINST THE WALLS.

WILLOUGHBY: (PSEUDO-WHISPERING) RIGHT, PROFESSOR. THE OLD SNEAK'EM UP.

PROFESSOR: A MODERATE CALM WILL SUFFICE, WILLOUGHBY. NOW PLEASE PROCEED AFTER ME.

THEY ENTER THE NEXT ROOM, PROFESSOR LEADING THE WAY. THE SOUND AMBIANCE IN THIS ROOM IS VERY "TIGHT," LIKE THAT OF A SMALL BEDROOM. A LOW, EERIE, DEEP-PITCHED HUM PERMEATES THE ROOM, COMING UP LOUDER AS THEY PENETRATE THE SPACE.

PROFESSOR: (IN SOMETHING OF A HUSH, FULL OF GENUINE AWE AS WELL AS SIMPLE TACTICAL QUIET) THERE, WILLOUGHBY, IS THE FRUIT OF MY LABORS: "SABETHES CYANEUS!"

THE PROFESSOR FLICKS ON A SPOTLIGHT, EXPOSING THE GIANT-SIZED MOSQUITO, HUM INCREASES IN VOLUME.

WILLOUGHBY: WOW! THAT’S THE BIGGEST BUG I’VE EVER SEEN.

PROFESSOR: A MOSQUITO OF THE TROPICAL VARIETY.

WILLOUGHBY: IT’S DRESSED-UP LIKE THAT COOKY POET. (ANGRY) HEY, HOW COME YOU GET TO DRESS YOUR MOSQUITOES???

PROFESSOR: THE BEAUTIFUL ILLUMINATION OF IRIDESCENCE YOU SEE IS NO COSTUME, WILLOUGHBY. IT IS THE MALE MATING PLUMAGE OF THE SPECIES. (WITH APPRECIATION) YOU WILL NOTE THE PARTICULAR PROMINENCE OF VIOLET, BLUE, RED, SILVER, AND GOLD--A SHIMMERING DISPLAY SURE TO CATCH THE ATTENTION OF ANY FEMALE.

WILLOUGHBY: YEAH.... IT’S BEAUTIFUL!

PROFESSOR: NOW, TAKE THIS ROPE AND LASSO THE CREATURE.

WILLOUGHBY: (STILL IN STAGE WHISPER) YOOOOU BET. YIPPEE-YI-OH-KI-AY. IT'S SKEETER RODEO.

PROFESSOR: (STERNLY) PLEASE, WILLOUGHBY. THIS IS NOT A RODEO, NOR IS THIS CREATURE A CALF. EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE. THE AERONAUTICAL DESIGN OF MY CYANEUS MAKES IT SOMETHING OF A DIRIGIBLE, ESPECIALLY IN CRAMPED QUARTERS SUCH AS THESE. AS IT IS, THE INSUPPRESSIBLE BUOYANCY OF THE CREATURE HAS ALREADY BOUNCED IT ABOUT THE ROOM, CAUSING CONSIDERABLE DAMAGE, JUDGING FROM THE FLORESCENT SMEARS UPON THE CEILING. WITH YOU AS BALLAST AT THE END OF ITS TETHER, WE WILL BE ABLE TO DRIVE OUR PROTOTYPE THROUGH THE CRAMPED CORRIDORS LEADING BACK TO THE LAB WITHOUT TOO MUCH MORE DAMAGE TO ITS PLUMAGE.

WILLOUGHBY: YA MEAN LIKE A CATTLE DRIVE! YIP-EEE! I’M GONNA BE REAL COWBOY! (DOWN, SUDDENLY REALIZING THE DIFFICULTY OF HIS TASK; WITH SOME TREPIDATION) UH, BUT, UH, YA KNOW, NOW THAT I THING ABOUT IT, I DON'T THINK ANY COWBOY'S EVER LASSOED ANYTHING WITH A STINGER THAT BIG.

PROFESSOR: NO NEED TO FEAR ITS STYLET. IT IS MALE.

WILLOUGHBY: OH. (NOT FULLY COMPREHENDING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DISTINCTION, BUT ACCEPTING ITS REASSURANCE ANYWAY) WELL, IN THAT CASE... YEE-HAH!

WILLOUGHBY SWINGS LASSO OVER HIS HEAD. ROPE SWOOPS AS WILLOUGHBY MAKES A FAILED ATTEMPT TO CAPTURE THE MOSQUITO, WHICH ELUDES HIM WITH APPROPRIATE DOPPLER EFFECTS OF ITS BUZZING. WILLOUGHBY MAKES NOISES INDICATING FRUSTRATION.

PROFESSOR: CAREFUL, WILLOUGHBY. YOU’RE NOT LIKELY TO PULL ANYTHING DOWN BUT THE CHANDELIER FROM THAT ANGLE! TRY BOUNCING UPON THE BED TO GAIN A PERIODIC HEIGHT ADVANTAGE.

WILLOUGHBY: YA MEAN LIKE A TRAMPOLINE!! OH BOY! THANKS!

WILLOUGHBY CLIMBS UP ON THE BED AND BEGINS BOUNCING UPON IT WITH THE SOUNDS OF BED SPRING BOINGS AND THE MOSQUITO CONTINUING TO ELUDE THE WOOPING LASSO.

PROFESSOR: WILLOUGHBY! NOT SO ENTHUSIASTICALLY! YOU’LL CRACK THE CEILING WITH YOUR HEAD.

BANG, CRACK, OH!, OF WILLOUGHBY’S HEAD HITTING THE CEILING, HITS THE BED, BOUNCING AND TUMBLING ONTO THE HARDWOOD FLOOR.

WILLOUGHBY: OH! OW! OH!

BEAT. THE MOSQUITO SLOWLY FLOATS DOWN AND LANDS UPON THE BED.

PROFESSOR: (SOTTO) JUST AS WELL, WILLOUGHBY. IT APPEARS TO RESTING.

WILLOUGHBY: I THOUGHT THAT WAS YOUR BED, PROFESSOR.

PROFESSOR: (SOTTO) CAREFUL NOT TO ALARM IT, WILLOUGHBY. NOW, APPROACH IT SLOWLY, AND GENTLY COLLAR IT.

WILLOUGHBY: (WHISPERS) O... K.

SOUND OF WILLOUGHBY GETTING UP AND SLOWLY APPROACHING THE BED.

PROFESSOR: NOW. HOLD THE LOOP OPEN... PULL IT OVER THE STYLET... AND CINCH IT... TIGHT!

SOUND OF THE MOSQUITO BUZZING WILDLY AND LIFTING WILLOUGHBY UP OFF THE BED.

WILLOUGHBY: WHOA!!!!!!!!!

PROFESSOR: PERFECT!

WILLOUGHBY: YEAH, PRETTY NEAT! I’M A BALLOON!! WEEEEEE!

PROFESSOR: STOP WIGGLING, WILLOUGHBY. HE KNOWS HOW TO FOLLOW ME. JUST FLOAT ALONG LIMPLY WITH HIM--LIKE DEAD WEIGHT.

WILLOUGHBY: RIGHT, PROFESSOR. LEAD THE WAY.

PROFESSOR, WILLOUGHBY, AND THE PROTOTYPE EXIT THE ROOM WITH APPROPRIATE MOVEMENT OF THE SKEETER'S BUZZ ACROSS THE SOUND SPACE AND CROSSING THE THRESHOLD IN A SECOND OR SO, AT WHICH POINT WILLOUGHBY CALLS BONES ALONG.

WILLOUGHBY: (STILL WHISPERING, NOW SOMEWHAT POINTLESSLY) COME ON, BONES. FOLLOW US. "LIKE DEAD WEIGHT."

BONES: AAAAAAAAAAAGGG.

BONES STRUGGLES TO GET UP WITH A TAG-JINGLING SHAKE OR TWO, WHINES WITH EFFORT AS HE DRAGS HIMSELF OUT BUT CANNOT CATCH UP, FALLS BEHIND IN THE STEREO LANDSCAPE AND PLOTS HIMSELF DOWN IN EXHAUSTION. SOUND OF STEEL DOOR COMING DOWN.

PROFESSOR: YOU SEE, WILLOUGHBY, IN THE MISGUIDED FIRST PHASE OF MY EXPERIMENT TO CURE THE WORLD, WE MERELY PUCKERED AWAY THE SELECTED AGENTS OF ILLNESS BEGINNING WITH A GOODLY NUMBER OF ROACHES. REALIZING NOW THAT ANY LONG-TERM MODIFICATION OF AN INFECTIOUS VECTOR’S BEHAVIOR...

DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES AS THEY ENTER INTO A DIFFERENT AMBIENT SPACE, SMALLER THAN THE LAST.

PROFESSOR: ... REQUIRES A WHOLE ALTERATION OF THEIR GENERIC POOL ITSELF. I HAVE CREATED HERE A SUPER-SPECIMEN OF THE SPECIES SABATHES CYANEUS, EMBODYING EVERY CHARACTERISTIC FAVORABLE TO THE WELFARE OF MANKIND. NOW, FOR THE SECOND PHASE OF OUR EXPERIMENT, IT IS ONLY...

DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES AS THEY ENTER INTO A DIFFERENT AMBIENT SPACE, SMALLER THAN THE LAST.

PROFESSOR: ... NECESSARY TO PUCKER OURSELVES ABOUT THE PLANET, OFFERING OUR CYANEUS MATING OPPORTUNITIES WHEREVER THE MOSQUITO-BORNE PLAGUES OF MANKIND ARE ENDEMIC. WE SHALL BEGIN IN THE TROPICS.

SOUND OF PNEUMATIC DOOR OPENING.

BYSSHE: (STARTLED) UH, WELL, UH, HELLO, GOOD SCIENTISTS!

WILLOUGHBY: HEY! WHATTA YOU DOIN’ IN HERE AGAIN?

BYSSHE: WHY, MY BOY, I WAS MERELY IN SEARCH OF MY PERDITIOUS OFFSPRING. WHAT SORT OF FATHER WOULD’ST I BE TO LET THE CURIOUS BABE ROAM ABOUT THE DANGEROUS PRECINCTS OF THY LABORATORIUM UNCHECKED. (ASSUMING A HISTRIONIC POSTURE AND TURNING AWESTUCK WITH THE SKEETER'S BRILLIANCE) BUT LO! WHO COULD CHECK SUCH CURIOSITY AS MUST ATTACH TO THIS MOST AWESOME OF CREATURES AS IS APPENDED TO THY WRIST... AS WONDROUS AS THE SUNSET... AND AZURE SUBLIME! DID EVER SUCH SPLENDIDNESS FLOAT IN SUCH A COMMON SPACE. (SUDDENLY SOFTLY, AS HE LEANS IN ON THE PROFESSOR AND PUTS HIS ARM AROUND HIS SHOULDERS -- CLEARS HIS THROAT) UH, GOOD SCIENTIFIC TENANT, I TRUST WE MAY SPEAK IN CONFIDENCE, BROTHER TO BROTHER. I WOULD BE MOST CURIOUS TO LEARN THE ARCANA OF YOUR DISCIPLINE AND IN EXCHANGE WOULD OFFER YOU RARE KNOWLEDGE OF... VERSE-MAKING.

PROFESSOR: UH, PERHAPS ANOTHER TIME.

BYSSHE: BE NOT SO RASH, MY NEW-FANGLED ALCHEMIST! IS ELOQUENCE A BAUBLE? IS PROSODY A PITTANCE CHEAPLY GIVEN? NAY!! RATHER HOARDED AS TREASURE! AND AFFORDED SOLE BY HE WHO WOULD’ST STUDY AT A HOARDER’S KNEE -- SUCH A HE AS ME, UH, I, WHO AT THE VERY SHAKESPEARE'S FEET HAVE RECORDED EVERY SPEECH HE SPOKE--WHO WEAR HIS VERY CLOTHES! POSE I NOT A RARE THING TO YOU?

PROFESSOR: UH, YES, BUT--

BYSSHE: AH, WELL SAID! AND DONE THEN! I SHALL INSTRUCT YOU IN THE MYSTERIES OF METAPHOR! THE SECRETS OF SYNECDOCHE!

WILLOUGHBY: (IN BACKGROUND) HEY! WHAT HAPPENED TO BONES?!

PROFESSOR: WHAT? UH, BONES, UH...

BYSHHE: THE MAGIC OF METONYMY!!

WILLOUGHBY: BONES!

SOUND OF WILLOUGHBY JUMPING DOWN AND RUNNING OUT OF THE ROOM. INCREASED BUZZING OF GIANT MOSQUITO AS IT IS SET LOOSE, MOVING IN THE STEREO SPACE BACK AND FORTH AS IT FREELY CIRCLES THE LAB, BOUNCING ABOUT THE WALLS AND CEILING.

BYSHE: AND YOU SHALL TEACH ME THE MANIFOLD WAYS OF... THE BEEKER! THE BURNER! AND THE BEVATRON!

PROFESSOR: UH, NOT TODAY, THANK YOU. WILLOUGHBY? WILLOUGHBY!!? WHERE IS MY CYANEUS?!!

SOUND OF BUZZING BUG OFF IN THE DISTANCE AS IT IS ABOUT TO LAND UPON THE PUCKER PAD. THE BUZZING BEGINS TO MERGE WITH THE SOUND OF THE PUCKER PAD HUM.

PROFESSOR: OH, NO. NOT THERE! NOT YET! SHOO! (BEAT) SHOO! FLY AWAY! (CALLING FOR EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE) WILLOUGHBY! (BEAT AND AUDIBLE SWALLOW OF ANXIETY) OH MY! QUICK TO THE PUCKER PAD! (HE RUNS DESPERATELY TO THE PUCKER PAD.)

THE PROFESSOR RUNS TO THE PUCKER PAD. BYSSHE FOLLOWS EXCITEDLY, STICKING TO HIM LIKE GLUE.

BYSHE: SO QUICKLY TO THE P’S? OH, MOST PALAVERING PEDAGOGUE. I AM YOUR PUPIL! PROCEED!

PUCKER NOISE FULLY UP.

PROFESSOR: NO! MY CYANEUS!

A MOMENTARY BRISTLE OF INTENSIVE PUCKER.

BYSHHE: NO, MY CYANEUS! ART THOU BUT GOSSAMER? BUT A EFFERVESCENT DREAM OF BEAUTY? WHOSE COLORS RUN WITH THE TRANSPARENCIES OF MERE AIR? COME, LET ME CLUTCH THEE! (BEAT WITH PUCKER PUNCTUATION) I HAVE THEE NOT, AND YET I SEE THEE STILL!

PROFESSOR: GRAB HOLD OF IT BY THE ANKLES! QUICK!

BYSSHE: AH! I SEE THEE! IN FORM AS PALPABLE AS MY OWN! OH RETRIEVÉD BEAUTY!

PROFESSOR: (WITH STUNNED CALMNESS AT THE IRONIC SUCCESS OF HIS SUGGESTION, REALIZING THAT BYSSHE NOW TOO IS DISAPPEARING) OH NO. (BEAT, THEN UP IN URGENCY A STEP) OH MY. (BEAT AND UP ANOTHER LEVEL, TURNING TO CALL WILLOUGHBY) WILLOUGHBY! (UP AGAIN) WILLOUGHBY!! (IN FRUSTRATION) OH... QUICK! GIVE ME YOUR ANKLES, MR. WITCHWAY. WE MUST FORM A LADDER OF MATTER!!

BYSHHE: AN EXCELLENT FIGURE! I SHALL FETCH THE RUNGS FORTHWITH!

PROFESSOR: NO! DO NOT LET GO OF MY CYANEUS! THE BALLAST OF OUR COMBINED BODIES MAY BE JUST ENOUGH TO OVERRIDE THE TRANSLATIONAL DYNAMICS OF THE PUCKER!

ANOTHER BRISTLE OF PUCKER.

WILLOUGHBY: (BREATHLESSLY BURSTING IN WITH BONES, DRAGGING THE GAGGING SEMI-CONSCIOUS DOG ALONG) I FOUND HIM, PROFESSOR! HE WENT A LITTLE HORIZONTAL BACK BY THE BEDROOM. COME ON, MOVE YOUR FEET A LITTLE, WILL YA, YA MUTT?! YOU'RE TOO HEAVY TO DRAG!

BONES GAGS AND ANOTHER BRISTLE OF THE PUCKER PAD.

BONES: AAAAAAAGGGGG....

PROFESSOR: QUICK WILLOUGHBY! GRAB HOLD OF MY ANKLES!

WILLOUGHBY: OH BOY! HUMAN LADDER! WAIT HERE, BONES!

SOUND OF WILLOUGHBY TAKING A RUNNING LEAP ONTO THE PUCKER PAD AND GRABBING HOLD OF THE PROFESSOR'S ANKLES.

WILLOUGHBY: WHEE!

PROFESSOR: UMPH! OUCH! NOT SO HARD, WILLOUGHBY!

SOUNDS OF THE MOSQUITO, THE PUCKER, AND OUR HEROES CRESCENDO AND OFF THEY GO.

WILLOUGHBY, THE PROFESSOR, AND BYSSHE: WHOOOOOOAAAAAA!

THEY PUCKER AWAY WITH DOPPLER EFFECT INTO MOMENTARY SILENCE AND THEN EMERGE INTO THEIR DESTINATION WITH EQUAL WHOOAA'S, MINUS ONE (BYSSHE'S).

WILLOUGHBY AND THE PROFESSOR: (MINUS BYSSHE) WHOOOAAAAAA!

SOUND OF W AND P WHISTLING IN A SLIDE DOWN A GLACIER AND FLYING UP (OLYMPIC SKI STYLE) INTO THE AIR AND LANDING WITH TWO SUCCESSIVE SOFT IMPACTS AS THEY EMBED THEMSELVES IN ANTARCTIC SNOW, ONE RAPIDLY AFTER ANOTHER. EACH INDIVIDUAL VOICE IS SILENCED ACCORDINGLY IN A SPLIT SECOND INTERVAL, AFTER WHICH THE FAINT SOUNDS OF ATMOSPHERIC STATIC AND WHISTLING TUNDRA WINDS SIGNAL AN ANTARCTIC LANDSCAPE. BEAT. THEN SOUND OF PROFESSOR SHAKING FREE OF HIS THE SNOW AND IMMEDIATELY BEGINNING TO SHIVER WITH THE COLD. UNDERNEATH HIS SOUNDS ARE THE MUMBLED NOISES OF THE STILL SNOW BURIED WILLOUGHBY.

PROFESSOR: (SURFACING FROM THE SNOW WITH A SHAKE AND SHIVER) WOOOHHHHH. (BEAT AS HE SURVEYS THE SCENE) WILLOUGHBY? CAN YOU HEAR ME, WILLOUGHBY? (SPEAKING CLEARLY WITH EMPHASIS TO PENETRATE THE SNOW, AS THOUGH CALLING INTO THE DISTANCE) LET... GO... OF MY... ANKLES! (BEAT, THEN MORE ANNOYED) STAND UP, WILLOUGHBY!

SOUND OF WILLOUGHBY RISING UP OUT OF THE SNOW WITH A SHAKE AND SHIVER OF HIS OWN.

WILLOUGHBY: PA-TOO-EE! TOO! TOO! (BEAT, WITH SHIVERING CHEEKS) SORRY, PROFESSOR, BUT I AIN’T NO HOUDINI, YA KNOW. IT’S TOUGH TO WRIGGLE OUT OF A ROPE IN THE SNOW. BRRRR... HEY, PUH, PUH, PUH, PROFESSOR--WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LADDER? WHERE'D EVERYBODY GO?

PROFESSOR: WILLOUGHBY, YOUR GRIP IS FIRMER THAN MINE; WE HAVE BEEN SE-SE-SE-SEPARATED. WHOOOHHH.... THE LASSO OF YOUR ENCU-CU-CU-CUMBRANCE IS, I AM AFRAID, ALL THAT REMAINS OF OUR EXPERIMENT. I ASS-SU-SUME THEY HAVE GONE OFF TO THE TROPICS OF OUR ORIGIN-GIN-GINALLY PLU-PLU-PLU PLOTTED DESSS...TIN-TINATION, WHILE (ALMOST WITH ENVY) WE... (SHIVERING AGAIN) WHOOWWHH... HAVE SOMEHOW CAROMED OFF HERE INTO THIS DARK PU-PU-PU-POLAR PLACE.

WILLOUGHBY: AW IT'S NOT SO DA-DA-DA-DARK, PROFESSOR. THERE’S A FULL MOON SITTIN ON YOUR SHOULDER. AND LUH-LUH-LUH-LOOK AT ALL THOSE LIGHTS UP IN THE SKY! VIOLET... AN-NN-NN-NNN' GREEEEEN... ANNNNN' ORAAAANGE... ALL GLOOOOWIN' .... AND SHIIIIMMMERIN' LIKE THAT.... OOOOLD.... LAAAAA..VA LAMP... YA-YA-YA GAVE ME. I CA-CA-CA-CAN SEE FINE--(RAPIDLY, AS THOUGH HE’S RUNNING INDOORS WITH HIS LANGUAGE) ALTHOUGH THEY DO MAKE YA LOOK A LITTLE MORE BLUE THAN USUAL.

PROFESSOR: (RECOGNIZING THE TRULY DANGEROUS CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE COLD CLIMATE AND SPEAKING WITH A URGENT SHIVER BUT NOT QUITE STUTTERING IN THE COMIC MANNER OF WILLOUGHBY) THOSE LIGHTS AND MY COLOR ARE NO ILLUSION, WILLOUGHBY. WE WOULD APPEAR TO BE SOMEWHERE IN THE ANTARCTIC UNDER THE AURORA AUSTRALIS--AND IN IMMINENT DANGER OF FREEZING TO DEATH. WUH-WUH-WE MUST QUICKLY PROCEED TO BELOW THE HORIZON, WHERE THE RISING SPRING SUN REVOLVES UNDER THE MOON, AND WHERE THE THAWING TUNDRA MIGHT SUPPLY US WITH BIOMASS TO BURN.

WILLOUGHBY: I GEH-GEH-GUESS I SHU-SHU-SHU-SHOULDA BROUGHT BUH-BUH...BONES, HUH? HE’S A GREAT SLED DOG. WE COULDA GUH-GUH-GOT THERE IN NO TIME.

PROFESSOR: A FUTILE REGRET, WILLOUGHBY, GIVEN THAT WE DO NOT HAVE A SLED. WE SHALL HAVE TO RELY UPON THAT GLACIEROUS SLOPE ONTO WHICH WE WERE LAUNCHED BY OUR WAYWARD PU-PU-PU-PUCKER. I SEE THAT IT RESUMES ON AN EVEN MORE PRECIPITOUS INCLINE JUST BELOW THIS SNOW BANK. COME WILLOUGHBY; WE SHALL PUT MR. HINCHCLIFEE’S MOUNTAINEERING LESSONS TO GOOD USE. TIE THIS ROPE ABOUT YOUR WAIST, AS I TO MINE, AND TRUDGE THAT WAY.

WILLOUGHBY: OH-WO-WO-WO-KAY. I’LL USE THE MANROPE KNOT MY DAD TAUGHT ME. HE’S GOT A BOAT, YA KNOW.

PROFESSOR: (WITH JUST A HINT OF JEALOUSY) FINE, WILLOUGHBY: AS LONG AS WE ARE SECURELY ATTACHED. NOW PLEASE PROCEED.

SOUND OF THE TWO TRUDGING LABORIOUSLY THROUGH THE SNOW, WITH THE PROFESSOR COACHING WILLOUGHBY LIKE A SKI INSTRUCTOR AS THEY BUMBLE ALONG AND AS THEIR TRODDING STEPS GROW HEAVIER WITH THE WEIGHT OF ICE AND THE IMMOBILITY OF THEIR INCREASINGLY NUMB LIMBS, THE PROFESSOR ULTIMATELY BUMPING INTO WILLOUGHBY.

PROFESSOR: CAREFUL, WILLOUGHBY. NOT SO HEADLONG; YOU’LL TIP OVER. LIFT YOUR KNEES HIGHER. AND PLACE ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER. AND MAKE BIGGER STRIDES. I NEED TO FOLLOW IN YOUR HOLES... UMPH!

SOUND OF MILD IMPACT AS THE PROFESSOR BUMPS INTO WILLOUGHBY.

WILLOUGHBY: HEY, DON’T PUSH... WAIT TILL I GET OUT OF ‘EM, WILL YA ?

PROFESSOR: WE MUST HURRY, WILLOUGHBY. NOT TOO MUCH LONGER AND WE SHALL BE IMMOBILIZED WITH HYPOTHERMIA.

GRUNTS OF THEIR CONTINUING LABOR, UNTIL WILLOUGHBY COMES TO THE PRECIPICE AND THE TWO SUDDENLY GO SILENT IN AWE AS THEY LOOK DOWN OVER THE SLOPE AND THE WIND CHANGES FROM A THIN HORIZONTAL WHISTLING TO THE RESONANT HOLLOW RUSH OF THE SLOPE’S VERTICAL DOWNDRAFT.

WILLOUGHBY: (ECHOING THE NEW RESONANT SOUND WITH HIS FIRST SHIVERING AND NEWLY ANXIOUS PHONEMES) HOLE-EY..... SLOW-PES! THAT’S... SOME... DROP! JUST LIKE THE OLYMPIC SKI JUMP!

PROFESSOR: (WHISPERING LIKE AN ENCOURAGING COACH) PRECISELY, WILLOUGHBY--BUT WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF SKIS.

WILLOUGHBY: YOU MEAN WE’RE GONNA TOBOGGAN DOWN THIS THING?

PROFESSOR: IN A MANNER OF SPEAKING, WILLOUGHBY.

WILLOUGHBY: (NERVOUSLY, NOW UNDERSTANDING) OHHHHHH... I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THIS, PROFESSOR.

PROFESSOR: YOU CAN DO IT, WILLOUGHBY. JUST BEND YOUR KNEES SLIGHTLY. JUST LEAN YOUR HEAD A LITTLE FORWARD OF YOUR PELVIS... AND PROTRUDE YOUR BUTTOCKS A BIT. NOW--CONCENTRATE. READY?

WILLOUGHBY: NUH-NUH-NO!

PROFESSOR: I WILL HELP YOU. WAIT FOR ME BE-BE-BELOW.

THE PROFESSOR EXHALES IN A PUFF OF LABOR AND KICKS WILLOUGHBY IN THE ASS. WILLOUGHBY FLIES OFF WITH A BELLOW.

PROFESSOR: (YELLING INSTRUCTIONS AFTER THE FLYING WILLOUGHBY) EXTEND YOUR LEGS... AND SLIIIII--WHOOOOOOOAAA! (WITH A CANYON’S ECHO EXTENDING THE WORD AS THE PROFESSOR HIMSELF IS PULLED ALONG WITH WILLOUGHBY)

SOUND OF WILLOUGHBY AND THE PROFESSOR ZOOMING DOWN THE SLOPE TO THE SAME CARTOON WHISTLE AS BEFORE, LANDING IN DOPPLER ON THE TUNDRA WITH THE SLUSHY SPLASH OF THE THAWING LANDSCAPE.

PROFESSOR: (A BIT BREATHLESS BUT SURPRISED AND PLEASED WITH THE EXHILARATION OF THEIR JUMP) HMMM... AN EXCELLENT--AND EXHILARATING--JUMP.

WILLOUGHBY: (WHISPERING IN CAUTIONARY TONES) DON’T MOVE, PROFESSOR. SHE’S ARMED.

PROFESSOR: (AWESTRUCK) EXTRAORDINARY.

WILLOUGHBY: WHAT AN AMAZON! SHE MUST BE SEVEN FOOT TALL. AND LOOK AT THOSE CALVES. THEY MUST BE AS THICK AS MY HEAD!

PROFESSOR: (WITH A SMALL NOTE OF SARCASM) INDEED. SHE IS CLEARLY OF PRIMORDIAL PROPORTIONS. AND JUDGING BY THE SHARPENED BAMBOO SHE HOISTS ABOVE HER HEAD AND BY THE SCANTY ANIMAL SKINS ABOUT HER TORSO, SHE IS IN FACT OF TROPIC ORIGIN.

WILLOUGHBY: NO WONDER HER CALVES ARE SO BIG. THAT’S A LONG WALK.

PROFESSOR: SHE IS NO MIGRANT, WILLOUGHBY. OBVIOUSLY SHE IS A CYROGENICALLY PRESERVED ARTIFACT OF A BYGONE GEOLOGIC TIME, WHEN THIS TECTONIC LAND MASS UPON WHICH WE NOW SIT WAS MORE EQUATORIAL IN ITS LOCATION. NO DOUBT SOME TOPOGRAPHICAL UPHEAVEL HAS THROWN UP HER FROZEN CORPUS TO THE MELTING WARMTH OF THE ANTARCTIC SPRING’S PERPETUAL SUNLIGHT. WONDROUS, REALLY. I CAN ONLY MARVEL AT THE FORTUITOUS SIGHT OF SUCH A SPECIMEN.

WILLOUGHBY: YEAH, SHE’S A LOOKER (RUSH, TO ALLOW SOME INCIDENTAL MISHEARING OF THE WORD AS "HOOKER"), ALL RIGHT. CHECK OUT THOSE RAINBOWS JUMPIN' OFF HER SHOULDERS!! BLUE! GREEN! RED! YELLOW! AND THE DROPS MELTIN' OFF HER ELBOWS FLASH JUST LIKE SPARKS!

PROFESSOR: MERELY A PRISMATIC EFFECT OF HER ENCASING ICE PATINA, A FEATURE CHANGE WHICH, DESPITE THESE SLIGHTLY MORE TEMPERATE CONDITIONS, WE TOO MAY TAKE ON IF WE DO NOT SOON SET OURSELVES A FIRE. UNFORTUNATELY, THERE APPEARS TO BE LITTLE TO BURN HERE BUT LICHEN, WHICH LIKE ALL LIVING THINGS, IS TOO POOR A FUEL FOR OUR NEEDS.

WILLOUGHBY: YOU MEAN YOU’RE WANNA BURN THE DEAD LADY?!

PROFESSOR: NO, WILLOUGHBY--I WOULD NEVER DESTROY SUCH A RARE SCIENTIFIC SPECIMEN AS SHE--NOT EVEN FOR MY OWN PRESERVATION. AS SCIENTISTS, WE MUST ENSURE THAT SHE SURVIVES FOR STUDY. BUT WE MIGHT KNOCK OFF A BIT OF THE WOODY DETRITUS YOU SEE STICKING OUT AT THE MARGINS OF HER ENCASEMENT. ONCE WE HAVE WARMED OURSELVES AND RESTED, WE WILL LASH HER ABOUT WITH OUR ROPE AND DRAG HER AWAY TO THE POLAR SCIENTIFIC FACILITY THAT IS ALMOST CERTAINLY TO BE SOMEWHERE ABOUT HERE, IF THIS WORLD IS ANYWHERE AS NEAR TO OWN AS IT APPEARS TO BE.

WILLOUGHBY: OH BOY! OFF YA GO, MANROPE; HELLO, LASSO! YA-HOO!

SOUND OF WILLOUGHBY WHOOSHING THE LASSO HIGH OVER HIS HEARD AS THE PROFESSOR SEEKS EXCITEDLY TO RESTRAIN HIS IMPULSIVE ACTION.

PROFESSOR: NO, NOT YET I AM STILL TETHERED! WHOAAAA!

PROFESSOR WHIPS INTO THE MOSQUITO MOTHER WITH A SHARP CRACK OF A HAMMER HITTING ICE AND A GROAN, FOLLOWED BY THE BLOCK TIPPING OVER ONTO THE SODDEN GROUND.

PROFESSOR: (PAINFULLY, WITH HIS HANDS COVERING HIS FACE AND MUFFLING HIS VOICE) OH, MY FACE.

WILLOUGHBY: HEY, NICE WORK, PROFESSOR--YA CRACKED IT RIGHT OPEN! WE GOT PLENTY OF DEAD STUFF NOW--JUST LOOK AT ALL THE WOOD AND GRASS IN HERE!

PROFESSOR: (STILL MUFFLED) OHHHH..... I NEED TO LIE DOWN, WILLOUGHBY. I’M... (BEAT; NOW UNMUFFLED)... DIZZY. OH....

WILLOUGHBY: SURE, PROFESSOR--YOU JUST LIE DOWN RIGHT HERE WHILE I GET THE FIRE GOIN’. I’LL GET YA ALL TOASTY IN NO TIME--THIS LADY’S GOT A BAG FULL OF FLINT AND TINDER. SHE MUST’A BEEN SOME KIND OF SCOUT.

PROFESSOR: (STILL STUNNED) OHHHH....

SOUND OF WILLOUGHBY STRIKING FLINT A FEW TIMES, FOLLOWED BY THE CRACKLING OF RAPID COMBUSTION.

WILLOUGHBY: THERE YA GO. JUST SIT BACK AND RELAX. (BEAT) AH, AIN’T THAT NICE AND WARM, NOW? (YAWNING) MAKES YA WANNA TAKE A NAP, DON’T IT? HMMMMM..... (YAWNING)

PROFESSOR: (SLIPPING INTO A KIND OF HALF YAWN, HALF SNORE HIMSELF) OHHH... HMMMM... HMMMMMM....

THEIR HMMMS OF RELAXATION SOON DEVELOP INTO A MOMENTARY DUET OF SNORES OVER THE CRACKLING FIRE, UNTIL AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, A NEW SOUND BEGINS TO EMERGE--THE AWAKENING GRUNTS OF MOSQUITO MOTHER COMING OUT OF HER CYROGENIC STUPOR, BRUSHING THE CRUMBLED ICE OFF OF HER, LOOKING ABOUT IN MOMENTARY DISORIENTATION, AND THEN FINALLY RECOVERING HER WITS WITH THE INSTINCTUAL DECISION TO "CONSECRATE" THE SACRIFICIAL GIFTS (W AND P) AT HER FEET WITH A RITUAL SONG AND DANCE BEFORE SPEARING THEM WITH HER BAMBOO STYLET.

MOSQUITO MOTHER OF THE SKY: HMMMM... GRUNNNNN.... GRUNNNN?... URGGGG... HMMMMM.... (ON INTO SONG AND DANCE)

SONG.

PROFESSOR: (COMING TO HIS SENSES JUST AS MOSQUITO MOTHER IS ABOUT TO STRIKE) HMMM.... HMMMMMMM???!!!!! OH, MY! WILLOUGHBY! ROLL OVER!!

THEME MUSIC UP AND OUT.