Passing the Baton

Veronaville Literary Journal - Winter 2007
Chester Gieke

Act 2.1 Socializing Class at Gossamer's Party Central

One winter morning, the air was crisp and dry. As the hour approached nine in the morning, folks began to stream into the Summerdream estate, where Oberon was hosting a socializing class. Being friends with both the Monties and the Capps, Oberon and his family were caught right smack in the middle of the muddle. The socializing class was their idea of promoting a little bit of peace and quiet, and perhaps social etiquette in this small, literary town called Veronaville.

Having been awoken by two toddlers asking for diaper change and milk in the middle of the night, Oberon, of course, overslept, and ended up rushing downstairs in his pajamas to perform his duties as the host of the event. 'It does not matter, what counts is his determination to make peace, right?' Oberon made his way to chitchat with Goneril Capp, "How do you do this fine Saturday morning?" To which Goneril responded sourly and curtly, "Cut that social etiquette crap. I thought you invited only Capps. I would not have come if I know any of the motley crew of Monties are going to be here....."

For those who have labored long and hard in conflict resolution know peace is hard to build, and very easy to break. Long streams of insults, many rounds of shouting matches can build a layer of misunderstanding, like the layer of scum precipitated over the years along the rim of the toilet bowl. So it went Goneril Capp quickly found her sour grape in the way Isabella Monty gossiped about her family. WHAM WHAM, there they went ramming at one another with untrained punches and kicks, pulling one another's hair, and filling the pauses between punches with verbal insults. "Loser", Goneril scoffed after she threw her opponent landing butt-first on the ground.
Such skirmishes between the Monties and Capps broke out here and there during the entire socializing class, punctuated only one short moment of truce between Bianca Monty and Regan Capp enjoying the hot tub, and by gossips of how Romeo rejected Juliet's request of going steady that had been circulating all over Veronaville.

Act 2.2 Capp Mansion: Little Boats

At dawn, the ground of the Capp mansion is glistening with fresh snow from yesterday's snow storm. Juliette stayed awake for most of the night, listening to the wind howling like a lone wolf looking for its partner. It was exactly like that many years go, when grandpa Consort, walked through the door with snow and ice in his eyebrows and eyelashes. He whispered something to grandma who then crashed on the floor, sobbing. Because of the snow and ice, Juliette could never be sure whether there were tears in Consort's eyes. Her parents did not come home that night. Then grandma followed her parents' footsteps soon after.

After that particular winter storm, Juliette felt that everyone seemed to be walking around the mansion with holes in their hearts. Grandpa, especially. Grandpa did not speak or smile much to begin with, and even less after the accident. Juliette remembered being afraid of him when she was a child. When did Grandpa seize to be the towering giant that she remembered? He seems frail and lonely now, wanting to talk to Juliette, Hermia, and Tybalt about this or that all the time. Will Grandpa be okey without her around?

Consort Capp follows Juliette out of the main door. While resting his hands on the icy metal door handle, he watches her descend the slope towards the taxi waiting at the gate of the Capp mansion. How many years has it been since the girl lost her mother? Was it because of such a loss that she became so desperate for love, so desperate that she would get involved with that good for nothing Monty boy, what is his name again? Rameo? Nothing good ever comes out of the Monty style of upbringing. What could she be thinking, crying over a Monty for rejecting to be in a committed relationship with her. Yet the girl pulled through like a Capp and got a scholarship for La Fiesta Tech. Youngsters nowadays are a different breed, though, speaking different languages and thinking different things...

Consort closed the door behind him and headed upstairs to find Tybalt. 'Kids do grow up so quickly. Tybalt is even taller than me now. ' Consort has recently taken over the Debateau Business Enterprise at Bluewater Village as the business tycoon, and gotten a job for Tybalt as an executive assistant. "Don't worry, son. Just because you do not have a college diploma does not mean you can't make it to the top. Remember that you belong to the Capp family and hold your head high", Consort spoke while brushing off a loose thread off Tybalt's shirt. "I know, Grandpa, I will make you proud."
One night, Consort dreamed of his wife and did not wake up the next morning. He passed away as a content man, having already achieved his dream of being THE business tycoon of the Mandala Kingdom. Tybalt does not cry easily, especially not in front of his baby sister Hermia. Yet on his way to get milk in the fridge, he remembers Grandpa's last words of encouragement and can no longer hold back his tears. To Tybalt, Hermia has only simply been an annoying brat constantly blocking his way. Yet with Consort recent passing and Juliette moving away to college, her presence seems somewhat comforting now.
Hermia feels unsure about a lot of things. Even though having lost her parents, she is used to being taken care by grandpa Consort and Juliet as the baby of the family. Now they are both gone, and her big brother Tybalt, although an adult now, seems to need being taken care more than she does. Then, there are boys. Relationships seem to become a lot more complicated than just fighting and making up with friends she grew up with. Does she really love Puck? If she does, how could she not stop herself edging closer, and closer to Mercutio when they were working together at his store? How can she be so shameless? Can she ever be as good as her sister who seems warm, caring, faithful, and intelligent, who is also the only one who makes it to college among the three of them? Is her cousin Miranda making a pass at her boyfriend? What can she say to her cousin, when herself is already sitting on the fence? Hermia feels as if she is rowing a tiny boat the dark hours of the night, by herself, and the waves seem to be picking up in speed and strength.

Act 2.3 Albany and Goneril Capp's residence: Deceptions

Miranda returns home to find Juliet already at her house, on winter break, she supposes. Miranda sometimes feels like a wallflower standing next to Juliet who is graceful, smart, and composed. Juliet herself does beam in the attention of Goneril, whom she seems to cling to as a mother figure. Yet despite of Goneril's attentiveness to Juliet in public, Miranda is confident that Goneril will take the side of her own flesh and blood if she ever gets into a fight with Juliet. Miranda knows what Goneril really thinks of Juliet - a naive and silly girl who is easily deceived by the likes of Romeo. Miranda herself has also made friends with one of the Monty boys, Mercutio. Yet she would not speak of it in front of Goneril. While Miranda is very aware of her mother's thoughts and feelings, she sometimes is envious of her younger siblings, still innocent of the small deceptions in the adult world.

Hal Capp had been a content and happy kid, and now he remains relatively carefree as a teenager. Life is good. The family has moved to the new house with a loan from Grandpa Consort before he passed away. Then the family got substantial inheritance money when Grandpa passed away as well. There is room and money for a synthesizer. Now he kept himself busy playing with the synthesizer to his heart's content. There is this one little glitch in Hal's seemingly perfect life. No one remembered to pay the bills and the repo-man showed up to collect the debt one morning. Fortunately, the debt was minor so Hal's favorate synthesizer was safe.
Act 2.4 Local Grocer: Cutting
To get away from the unpleasant feelings of having been visited by the repoman, Hal and Desdemona take their younger sister Ariel to the local grocer. Even though the ground is covered by nearly two feet of snow, it is fairly warm, and many folks are taking the opportunities to get some fresh air outside. While her sister and bother chitchatted with the rest of the town, Ariel concentrated on building the snow man. She was so focused that she did not even notice that a young man was watching her from behind. Hal seems to have the protective instinct of the older brother for his younger sister, and quickly comes over to check on Ariel.
Mercutio has also taken the opportunities to get some fresh air. His life seems to be moving too fast for his age. He was purely entranced by the little girl building the snowman. Many memories flashed by while he watched the little girl. How long ago was it that he himself built a snowman? When did he stop being a child and begin his life as a teenager? Now he is no longer a teenager. Tomorrow he is getting married to a woman who now bears his child. Even though he is not sure about marriage, he does not want to disappoint Grandma Isabella.For this brief moment, he stops and mourns for his lost childhood before celebrating a new beginning.
What Mercutio did not expect is bumping into Hermia at the grocer. He has not told her that he is getting married tomorrow. He is not sure how he ends up in this messy situation. Hermia is supposed to be in a steady relationship with his best friend Puck, but they went behind his back. Now he needs to hurt and reject her enough to end things.
"Do you not love me anymore?", Hermia asked.
"I am very sorry, Hermia. You are a dear friend. Yet it was only physical between us. I am marrying Amer tomorrow. Have you met her? She wrote a good review for my store and we really hit it off. She is going to give birth to my child. And you should know that it will not turn out well between us with many of our family members hating one another."

Hermia's shoulders slouches and remains silent.

"We are still friends, right?", Mercutio asks as carefully as he can.

Hermia nods in silent agreement, feeling more alone than she has ever experienced in her life.

"Then I will see you in the store a couple of days from now", Mercutio pats her shoulder and walks off.
Act 2.5 Theatrical Trailer: Expecting

Mrs. Amber Monty is taking a walk around Veronaville. She stops in front of the Theatrical Trailer and rubs her growing belly. The weather is getting warmer and most of the snow has already melted. She reads in the newspapers that taking regular walks will help the delivery. She admits to herself that she was not thinking straight when she tried for a baby with Mercutio, unwed. She liked traveling around Mandala region for her job writing reviews of stores. Yet as the baby in her belly grows, she seem to be growing naturally into the role of a mother as well, each day growing ever more eager to meet her new baby face to face.

Inside one of the apartment at the Theatrical Trailer, Romeo Monty is having a blast. He has made friends with William Williamson playing chess at the grocer. William has only graduated from Academie Le Tour and moved here two years ago. At Theatrical Trailer, William's friends from college, Sam Thomas and Blossom Moonbeam are preparing Romeo for his very semester of school, including one-to-one personal instructions of sports cheers. He hasn't seen Juliet a lot lately for they were busy preparing for college entrance. He has been thinking about her a lot and misses her. Yet at the trailer, Romeo is living the moments of his life, and expecting nothing more and nothing less.

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