Older Testaments - Encounters on The Way by William Thomas


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PROLOGUE

AT RISE:
Scenes of traditional markets are projected while the sounds of a market are heard

Accompanying these scenes is traditional Middle Eastern music and the voices of
hawkers and street vendors

The sounds and voices become quieter and one voice rises out of the cacophony,
proclaiming the words of Jeremiah:

The words are projected as they are spoken:

'The Lord declares that the days are coming when I will make a
new covenant with the people of Israel and the people of Judah.
I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their
God, and they will be my people.'

As the music becomes louder it transitions to a more traditional Oriental style and the
images being projected transition to that of caravans moving through mountains and
desert. Images of people and animals moving across the terrain

(BLACKOUT)

(END OF PROLOGUE)

Scene 1

SETTING:
A courtyard outside The Imperial Archives.

AT RISE:
A single female figure stands outside the door

Two figures - one male, one female - enter speaking to one another

One of them carries a large scroll.

QING SHAN
You see. I told you she would be here. And if Yu Yan is here then The
Master is inside.

RU SHI
Well, call out to her and let's see if we can speak to Lao Tzu. I
think he will find our story and, particularly this scroll most
interesting.

QING SHAN
(calling out)
Yu Yan, do you have a moment for an old friend?

YU YAN
Qing Shan? When did you return? I was told just last week that you had
traveled to Tianzhu with a group of traders.

QING SHAN
I returned just yesterday but we traveled much further. We crossed The
Indus River and continued to a grand city, filled with marvelous
markets, called Ninevah.

RU SHI
The markets were overflowing with merchandise and livestock and
produce. And we found some lovely spices and fragrances ...

QING SHAN
(interrupting Ru Shi's recounting)
But, more importantly we acquired this scroll from a faithful sister.
It contains the words of one of their prophets, Jeremiah. I thought
the master might find some interest in it. Yu Yan, do you think we
could speak with him,
(hesitating)
for just a moment?

YU YAN
Lao Tzu has been working on the archives for much of the day. Perhaps
he could be convinced to take a short break. But, you will have to be
brief.
(turning to Ru Shi)
I didn't catch your name.

RU SHI
Ru Shi, my parents desired for me a soulmate so they ...

YU YAN
(turning towards the door)
I will see if The Master is available.

(Yu Yan disappears inside the doorway and
emerges with Lao Tzu)

LAO TZU
Qing Shan and
(hesitating)
Ru Shi is it?
(Ru Shi nods)
Yu Yan tells me you have returned from your journey with a scroll that
you think might be of some interest to an old man.

QING SHAN
Yes, Lao Tzu, while in the city of Ninevah we acquired this scroll
...

RU SHI
(interrupting Qing Shan)
There was a man standing on the street corner and he was addressing
the crowds, speaking the words from this scroll and ...

(Lao Tzu holds up his hand to stop Ru Shi
and turns to Qing Shan, who looks at Ru Shi
in frustration.)

QING SHAN
We were drawn by the words the man was speaking and he told us they
were the prophetic words of a Hebrew prophet, named Jeremiah. The man
was accompanied by another, a sister Magi, Sheba. She too, like us, is
a Zoroastrian, although she is of Persian descent. Sheba gifted us
with one of the scrolls and knowing the work you are doing here at the
Imperial Archives, we brought the scroll to you.

LAO TZU
Thank you Qing Shan, and you as well Ru Shi. I will gladly accept this
scroll from you, with gratitude and much anticipation. I will study it
with great care.

(Lao Tzu bows towards Qing Shan and Ru Shi. They bow in return. Lao
Tzu and Yu Yan turn and enter the door to The Imperial Archives. Qing
Shan and Ru Shi exit in the opposite direction)

(BLACKOUT)

(END OF SCENE)
[End of Extract]


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