VI Meets the Bright Angel of Death

Photo Richard Termine

Photo Richard Termine

(Performed as a participant piece at the National Puppetry Conference in 2018, and again as a cabaret piece at the Puppet Homecoming/ Green Mountain Festival, with Jeremiah Bartram as Vi and Geoffrey Jones as the Bright Angel of Death.)

VI.

Hi everybody. My name’s Vi. Do you like my feather? It’s veautiful, like me. And I have news for all you spurious spellers. The word ‘veautiful’ doesn’t start with a boring little ‘b’. It starts with V! Because V is for Victory, and vivacious and VOLUPTUOUS and vlamorous and veauty, veauty, veauty—and for ME.

(Sings.)

Very very Vi,

I’m very very Vi

Don’t ask why

Just comply—

With very very Vi.

(Sees Bright Angel.)

Who are you? (To PUPPETEER) I don’t like the look of him.

BRIGHT ANGEL.

I’m looking for a puppet named Vi.

VI.

Oh Mister Silver Head, you’re in the wrong place. No puppets here. And Vi? I never heard of anyone who goes by that name.

BRIGHT ANGEL

But someone was singing, and whoever was singing—

VI.

Wasn’t me.

BRIGHT ANGEL.

Whoever was singing called herself—and I quote—‘Very Very Vi.’

VI.

It couldn’t have been me. Unless—Maybe you have a gift for Vi? Maybe she’s won some fabulous lottery or some aunt she never knew has left her a whole lot of money and she’s rich rich rich rich! Who are you?

BRIGHT ANGEL.

I’m the bright angel of death.

VI.

Did you say death??

BRIGHT ANGEL.

Yes.

VI.

I just bought my subway pass. I’ve paid my insurance. I’ve been accepted at the O’Neill! You can’t touch me.

BRIGHT ANGEL.

You’re on my list. I come to everyone, sooner or later. It makes no difference, in the long run. And you’re sooner.

VI.

Backstage. Try backstage. There are dozens of puppets out there in the dark, all lined up and waiting for their big moment out here. Oh Mr. Bright Angel, I promise you, the Vi you seek is there for sure. Off you go. That’s right. She’s waiting just for you. I promise.

(Angel pretends to leave.)

That was close.

(To PUPPETEER.)

And YOU were no use at all. You just stood there while that fucking bright angel of fucking DEATH attacked me. He wants to —KILL—me. But now he’s gone. I’m safe. No thanks to YOU.

(Sings.)

I win, I win,

I always win the game,

I’m much too smart for the angel of death

(BRIGHT ANGEL returns, unnoticed by VI.)

VI.

He’s gone to pick on somebody else

And he’ll never be back again.

(Sees the BRIGHT ANGEL OF DEATH.)

BRIGHT ANGEL.

Vi.

VI.

(BRIGHT ANGEL approaches.)

This is an outrage. You can’t just wander around picking on a helpless harmless PUPPET. It makes no sense.

BRIGHT ANGEL.

There’s never a reason for anything, Vi.

(BRIGHT ANGEL opens its arms.)

VI.

Wait a minute. Wait just a minute.

I have a thought.

Puppets aren’t alive. Anyone knows that. Until this guy picks me up and inserts his hand deep into my body and –see, see, that’s not me, that’s his arm, that’s his hand, that’s him, not me. So if you want Vi—take him. That’s right. Him. HE SANG THAT SONG.

(Angel of death looks the puppeteer over.)

I never did like him anyhow. I keep asking for a new puppeteer.

(Angel of Death touches puppeteer, who falls dead. ANGEL Departs. VI pops up.)

VI.

Very very Vi,

I’m very very Vi

Don’t ask why

Since puppets never die.

END

SketchesA Printer's Son