Act 2, Scene 1: Bird in a Cage [Knife in Basket]

%HND% Curtain - open

%AMB% 0501 - Inside Ambience

%LIG% Lights on (small room with window)

%ACT% Aurelia sits in her room on her bed, some piece of cloth on her lap. She's apparently sewing something.

%SND% 0502 - Sound of flapping bird wings

%ACT% A raven lands on the windowsill in [2], carrying a capsule on its leg

%SND% 0502 (cont.) - Raven: "Caw! Caw!"

Aurelia: "Oh! Hello, my little friend. I hope you're bringing good news!"

%ACT% Aurelia puts down thread and needle, and walks over to the window. She fiddles around with the capsule.

Aurelia: "Hold still ... there we go."

%SND% 0503 - Raven: "Caw! Caw!"

%ACT% Aurelia takes a miniature parchment scroll from the capsule.

%ACT% Unrolls the parchment, reading it.

Aurelia: "Hmm...hmmm..hmmm..."

%ACT% Aurelia lets out a long sigh, hugging the parchment to her chest.

Aurelia: "Oh my dear sister ... I've been waiting for this day for so long. Will we ever be together again?"

%ACT% Aurelia takes out a little piece of coal, and starts scribbling a reply on the backside of the parchment.

%SND% 0504 - Footsteps from outside

Aurelia (gasps): "Fly away my little friend, someone is coming! Shoo! Shoo!"

%ACT% Aurelia waves her arms and the raven flies away, protesting.

%SND% 0505 - Raven: "Caw, caw!" (flies away)

%SND% 0506 - Lock unlocking
%SND% 0504 - STOP

%ACT% Aurelia quickly hides the scroll under her bed and sits down again.

%SND% 0506 (cont.) - Door in [7] opens

%ACT% Caius Gavius Rufus enters from [7].

Gavius: "Aurelia, my little turtledove! How are you doing today?"

%ACT% Aurelia does not look at him

Aurelia: "If you're coming to fuck me Gavius, why don't you just do it, and spare me your soft talking?"

Gavius (vicious): "How dare you speak to me like that!"

%ACT% Gavius grabs Aurelia, forcing her to look at him

%ACT% Aurelia winces

Gavius (vicious): "And look at me when I'm talking to you!"

Aurelia (defiant): "Ouch! You're hurting me!"

Gavius: "I don't like it when people try to take the piss out of me!"

Aurelia (trembling) :"What do you mean?"

Gavius: "You know perfectly what I mean, don't you? I'm talking about that little whore of a sister of yours. Tell me what she's up to!"

Aurelia: "I'm locked up here all the time, how am I supposed to know?"

Gavius: "Just after the beginning of the games, one of my best men, Scipio, was found in his room at the amphitheatre ... in a pool of his own blood, butchered like a pig. And at the same moment, your sister suddenly vanished without a trace. Now isn't that a peculiar coincidence?"

Aurelia: "And what do I have to do with that?"

Gavius: "Well, it's not like your sister murders people left, right and centre all week, is it? And still you don't seem to be the slightest bit surprised."

Aurelia: "Maybe I just don't believe a word you say?"

%MUS% 0507 - Suspense Rising

Gavius (getting louder towards the end): "Yes maybe you don't. Maybe someone else killed Scipio. Maybe you just don't believe me. And maybe the knife found its way into your sewing basket all by itself?"

%MUS% 0508 - Suspense Peak 1
%MUS% 0507 - FADE

%ACT% Gavius pulls a large knife from the basket, and puts it against Aurelia's cheek

Aurelia (gasps with fear): "No! No, please!"

Gavius: "Did you really think a fine knife like this wouldn't be missed in the kitchen? My little turtledove, suddenly out to kill her Master, all on her own..."

%ACT% Aurelia sinks down to her knees

Aurelia (sobs): "I'm sorry, master Gavius! I'm sorry!"

Gavius (overacting ironically): "Aurelia, I am so disappointed in you! Don't you know how much I love you? It breaks my heart to see that you hate me so much! My life is worthless without you! Here, take the knife, and put it all to an end."

%ACT% Gavius turns around the knife, taking it by the blade, offering the handle to Aurelia.

%ACT% Aurelia just sobs very loudly

%MUS% 0509 - Suspense Peak 2
%MUS% 0508 FADE

Gavius (commanding): "I said, TAKE THE KNIFE!"

Aurelia: "NO!!!"

%ACT% Aurelia collapses to her knees, covering her face in her paws, crying.

Gavius (laughs): "And there is the next mystery. Why would you steal a knife if you're not ready to use it? What gave you the idea? Or should I ask... who?"

%ACT% Gavius puts a paw under her chin, pushing her head up to look at him

Gavius: "You're either the best actress I have ever seen - or someone else somewhere is telling you what to do. I'll be watching you very closely. And don't even think of doing anything stupid like this again."

%ACT% Aurelia collapses and cries

%ACT% Gavius turns around and leaves the room to [7], locking the door from the outside

%SND% 0510 - Close Door + Lock

%ACT% The raven appears at the window again

%SND% 0511 - Fluttering Wings.
%SND% 0511 (cont.) - Raven: "Caw! Caw!"

%ACT% Aurelia sobs, picking herself up from the floor. She trembles.

Aurelia (to the bird, still shaken): "Oh, you're still waiting for my answer, aren't you?"

%ACT% Aurelia takes out the parchment from under her bed, and quickly finishes her answer.

%ACT% Aurelia walks towards the bird, rolling up the parchment.

Aurelia (to the bird, sighing deeply): "You can't imagine how much I envy you."

%SND% 0512 - Raven: "Caw! Caw!"

Aurelia: "I wish I could spread my wings and fly away wherever I want, just like you."

%ACT% She attaches the message to the capsule, strokes the raven gently

Aurelia (sighs): "Take good care of yourself, little raven. It's a dangerous world out there. Now fly from this terrible place."

%ACT% The raven flies away

%SND% 0513 - Raven flies away
%MUS% 0514 - Ending Music
%MUS% 0509 FADE
%AMB% 0501 FADE

%LIG% Lights out

%HND% Curtain - close