Lights up to reveal Tula Downstage Center, in a meditative pose. All around are the people who are waiting to be seen by her. In the back, we sometimes see Tongue Twister hiding, making faces at Tula.
Well, it has been 100 years and the Tongue Twister is ready to fulfill the legend. It is said that there is one person in the Kingdom of Ma-Yi that can make the Tongue Twister’s blood boil – the peacekeeper and healer Tula.
: Tongue Twister is jealous of Tula because she is such a favorite of both gods and humans.
The more they love Tula, the bigger the hate that Tongue Twister feels for her/him.
: People of all races and color, young and old, rich and poor, come to Tula for spiritual guidance and healing.
Kings and queens consult her about what is just and fair.
Why, she’s just like Judge Judy on TV.
We see people come and pay tribute or ask for guidance. Adlib.
My name is Tula and I was born with a gift
She can heal with her words, give us spiritual lift.
I leave no stone unturned, and no song unsung
She leaves no stone unturned, and no song unsung
To bring peace and nurture Ma-yi’s native tongue
I can heal with my words, give you a spiritual lift
People often take for granted
The healing power of kind words
They don’t see beyond their hatred
Hear nothing but the clash of swords
Now, this may sound corny
This may sound trite
But it’s love, love, love, honey
That makes everything alright
Now, everyone, say aiiiiight
(Like they’re in a concert) Aiiiight!
We love you, Tula!
Tongue Twister making faces in the background.
(Mockingly) Love, love, love, honey
Who’s next in line?
Ms. Tula, I have a friend who stole a peach. How do I tell him that it’s wrong?
Your task is a difficult one. Let your friend acknowledge the truth, for the truth will set you free.
Gimme a break and kiss my hiney
Hmmmp. She thinks she’s so cool
More adlib. People pay for her services with fruits, veggies and meat. Trumpet sounds signaling the arrival of the King and Queen of Ma-Yi.
Make way for King Hari and Queen Reina and their new child Princess Ugat!
People clear the way to Tula. King and Queen approach Tula with their child.
We would like to present our daughter to you, people of Ma-Yi, and ask for the blessing of our esteemed babaylan, Tula.
People cheer. Tula does some prayers and blesses the child.
This child has a special gift that will reveal itself to you in time.
You mean, to compensate for her being born a girl and therefore not an ideal heir to the throne? Pray, tell, what is this gift?
(Tula gets something from her chest drawer.) Here, this is a little poem I wrote for her. Sing it to her before she goes to sleep so that she will grow up to be a strong and healthy child.
I cannot tell you now, for there are those who might want to harm her if they found out. But you will know when she is old enough.
King takes the poem and gives it to Queen.
Thank you, beloved Tula.
We would also like to thank you, Tula, for helping us keep the peace with our neighbors Boriqua and Azteca. In appreciation, we would like to give you this magic leaf.
People react. Whispers.
(Whispers) What’s so magical about a leaf?
(Whispers) Who knows, maybe it’s made of gold.
This magic leaf makes the sweetest music if you put it between your lips and blow.
Thank you, your majesty. I will keep this close to my heart.
Try it, Tula. Let’s hear the music.
Tula plays the leaf. Flute music. People are in awe. Queen and King sing the lullaby that Tula gave for Ugat.
This is a la-la-la-lullaby
For a child so special and sweet
So in her dreams she can fly high
Keep the candle of peace lit
This is a la-la-la-lullaby
To banish fear and uncertainty
No room for hate, say bye-bye
In your little heart, love only
People react to the beautiful music. Tula puts gift back in her pocket.
We’d best be going. We have a lot of work to do to maintain peace in this kingdom. Tula, please honor us with your presence at dinner tonight. The King and Queen of Boriqua are coming and they really would like to see you.
I will check my schedule, your majesty.
We hope you can come. Goodbye.
King and Queen leave.
Alright, who is next in line?
Me, Ms. Tula. Please help me. My ears are constantly ringing. It hurts. Can you please take a look at it?
Tula looks at person’s ear.
You must lessen the time that you listen to the morning news radio. All the negative energy is being filtered through your ear and now it needs to be declogged.
Did you say declogged?
Tula writes on a piece of paper.
Yes, here, read this poem when you wake up in the morning before listening to the news. It will dispel some of the negativity and allow you to listen with hope.
Thank you, Ms. Tula. Please accept this basket of eggs as a token of my appreciation.
Thank you, but you didn’t have to, you know. Anyone else?
A cloaked Tongue Twister went on next. He disguised himself as a townsperson.
Madam Tula, I need your advice. I used to be an important person, back then. I was honored and respected just like you.
Uhum, I’m listening.
Now, everyone thinks I’m an ugly, despicable monster, but really I only want people to love me. What should I do?
Beauty is but skin-deep. True love is blind, it sees beyond scars and bad posture.
(Takes off his disguise) Well, can you love this?
People scream and scamper.
(Remains calm) Who are you a lonely creature and what is it that ails you?
Shut up, you hallmark-spouting buffoon. I don’t need your so-called healing words.
I know who you are now, you’re the myth that wants to be real.
Tongue Twister grabs her and takes her away. People scream. Chaos.
Oh no, what are we going to do?
: They’ve taken Tula, the peacekeeper, what’s going to happen now?
Someone call security!
back | next page | top | about the author