Poster: Raul Valdez
Post # 1
It was a balmy night, window open to let in the warm breeze. There was
something unnatural in the air or perhaps it was the scene Raul was
going over. They still needed a script lady, actress as well if they
were lucky. So he was playing both parts, hitching his voice somewhat
higher though he couldn't really get to sound feminine. No matter,
maybe that was a blessing. Poet's shirt hung open down the front and
half was untucked into the black pants. He was barefoot at the moment in
relation to the scene he was rehearsing up on the stage. "Come, now
a roundel and a fairy song; then, for the third part of a minute, hence;
some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds. Some war with rere-mice for
their leathern wings, to make my small elves coats, and some keep back
the clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders at our quaint spirits.
Sing me now asleep; then to your offices and let me rest."
Emulating Titania to her fairies following her.
Rachel had been curious about the theater and hadn't seen Raul since
that first night of her arrival in Heathfield. She made her way inside,
stopping so that she was still in the shadows and smiled as she watched
him on the stage. An impish grin appeared and she sang out.
"You spotted snakes with double tongue, thorny hedgehogs, be not
seen. Newts and blindworms, do not wrong. Come not near our fairy
queen." Her voice was clear and sweet and carried well
from the back of the theater to the stage.
Raul near stumbled a step, certainly not expecting to hear another
voice in the quiet of the theater. One not really known to him but
something trickled in familiar? He wasn't certain but her voice was
good, he waggled his brows as he moved more into the light, lanterns
strategically placed on the stage. "What thou seest when thou dost
wake. Do it for thy true-love take, love and languish for his sake. Be
it ounce, or cat, or bear, pard, or boar with bristled hair. In thy eye
that shall appear when thou wakest, it is thy dear. Wake when some vile
thing is near." Acting as if putting drops in the sleeping
Titania's eyes, casting the spell on her. Raising up his hand before
dipping away to the shadows before discovered.
She laughed as she finally emerged from the shadows. "I'm not
certain if I should continue or not since you were doing both parts so
well. How are you this night, Raul? I hope I haven't interrupted or
startled you." She paused, tipping her head as she thought a
moment. "And I hope you haven't forgotten me or I'll feel quite
foolish." She was dressed for the warmer nights in a skirt of deep
green and a lighter peasant style blouse. A white lace shawl was draped
around her shoulders. Her dark hair was gathered at the crown of her
head and fell in a cascade to her back.
He set the papers with the scenes on them aside to a chair before
he was over to take up a seat on the edge of the stage. "Ah, it is
you Rachel. It has been a while. I've been well, busy with the theater.
We do different skits each week for the entertainment of those who come,
many more come each time so we must be entertaining, si?" Smile was
winsome that followed for he was proud in their work and in his
siblings. "I have not forgotten you though I had wondered if you
continued on. How are you doing?" Setting a hand to the space next
to him in invitation she take a seat, relax, and they could talk if she
had some time.
She had time and was over to the stage to join him. "I've been
doing well. Exploring a little, taking care of some business that needed
tying up. I think I'm going to stay for a while." She smiled as she
tipped her head slightly so that she could look at him. "It sounds
like you've been very busy with everything."
"This is good, si, that you stay. It is a special place that has
called to many and most stayed!" Realizing that last was just so as
with her taking up the seat next to him he got to see her up close. She
was a beauty he realized, classic features that would do very well for
an actress if one wished that calling. "You recited the scene very
well. You have done acting before? Tell me about you if you no
mind?" He was genuinely curious and interested in getting to know
her better. One never knew what opportunity knocked or walked into the
room any given time.
"So I've been told and I can see why." She smiled again at the
compliment. "Only in school I'm afraid. Miss Cottan's finishing
school for young ladies to be precise." She laughed softly.
"We put on plays for our classmates, for our parents. And I enjoyed
it but things changed and after school, I decided it was time to see the
world. I went home for a time, and decided it wasn't the place I wanted
to be. So, here I am." She gave him an impish look. "Not much
of a story."
"You are of higher birth to have been sent to a finishing school?
Your family, they are here or are you on your own?" Questions
seemed to flow, "do you like performing or only a passing fancy? Si,
you are out to see the world but you are traveling alone? This is no
good for a young lady." His accent Spanish though his English had
improved since moving to the lands a half decade ago with his family.
"No, they're not." She looked away, toward the back of the
theater. "I've been estranged from my father for some time and his
wife refuses to acknowledge me." She gave him a side glance to see
his reaction. "My mother died when I was very small and he
remarried rather quickly. So, here I am." So much more to the tale
but it still stung to talk about it.
He noticed her look away while picking up on emotional pain. "Soy
afligido, por favor perdonar me. Yo tenían no deseo ocasionar
dolor." It came natural to speak in his native tongue and he had
forgotten she would not understand him "You are in a good place,
the people are kind and you can adopt a family, si? Do you need
She looked at him again, slightly confused. "Is that what you said
in Spanish?" Asking that first before nodding. "Yes, I
could use work. I don't like to sit around for too long though it was
nice for a little while." The smile returned, a little brighter.
"Are you offering?"
That's when he realized he had slipped into his native tongue,
"What I said translates to: I am sorry, please forgive me. I had
not wish to cause pain." Pausing a second before continuing, "I
had a script lady a year or so ago," which he realized he no longer
remembered exactly how long ago, nor did he look towards the back of the
stage. Perhaps those weeks following the departure of the one he would
have but the door was closed in his heart since. "We have need of a
script lady and if you can play any of the parts, another actress would
do well. It is hard for me to kiss one of my sisters on the lips."
Adding some humor, or so he hoped she would find it so.
"The memory fades in time, so does the pain. Some day I may give
thanks for what happened. I am glad things did before I was forced to
marry." She wrinkled her nose. "I wasn't considered much of a
prize because I can be stubborn so be warned." She did laugh at the
last. "Yes, I could see where that would be a problem." She
looked out over the theater again. "I think I could act in front of
a large crowd without too much panic." Stage fright might be
"Si, I almost married one but it was not to be. The pain has gone
and life goes on. It is best, though I realized the pain might have been
more from setting my mind on having a love and a family one day. That
can still be but it is not a criteria to life, to live. You would make a
good Shrew in Taming of the Shrew?" Glancing out over the rows of
empty seats, "it is no bad, you don't really see the faces unless
you want to. You hear instead with the low lights out there and the
brighter ones in your eyes. You can hear laughter, or a tear, the oh and
the ah, you can feel the audience as a whole if they come with you to
the land of acting, another world and time. Lives of people some know
about before they walk in while others, it is their first time. Many
come back to see certain plays over and over, to capture the moment
again of a good writer."
She smiled as she listened, nodding. "You are a poet as well as an
actor then." Standing, she took center stage, looking thoughtful.
"Fie, fie! unknit that threatening unkind brow, and dart not
scornful glances from those eyes." She moved about the stage as if
addressing other women. "To wound they lord, thy king, thy
governor: It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads, confounds thy
fame as whirlwinds shake fair buds, and in no sense is meet or amiable.
A woman moved is like a fountain troubled. Muddled, ill-seeming, thick,
bereft of beauty; and while it is so, none so dry or thirsty will deign
to sip or touch one drop of it." She walked over to Raul, looking
at him with loving eyes. "Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy
keeper, thy head, thy sovereign, one that cares for thee, and for thy
maintenance commits his body ... to painful labor both by sea and land,
to watch the night in storms, the day in cold, whilst though liest warm
at home, secure and safe;" She paused and laid her hand over her
"And craves no other tribute at thy hands But love, fair
looks, and true obedience-- Too little payment for so great a
debt. Such duty as the subject owes the prince, even such a woman
oweth to her husband; and when she is forward, peevish, sullen, sour,
and not obedient to his honest will, what is she but a foul contending
rebel and graceless traitor to her loving lord? I am asham'd that women
are so simple to offer war where they should kneel for peace; or seek
for rule, supremacy, and sway, When they are bound to serve, love, and
obey. Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth, unapt to toll
and trouble in the world, but that our soft conditions and our hearts
should well agree with our external parts? Come, come, you forward and
unable worms! My mind hath been as big as one of yours, my heart as
great, my reason haply more, to bandy word for word and frown for frown;
but now I see our lances are but straws, our strength as weak, our
weakness past compare, that seeming to be most which we indeed
least are. Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot, and place
your hands below your husband's foot; in token of which duty, if
he please, my hand is ready, may it do him ease."
she finished she turned away from him, as if to look at the other woman
before offering her hand.
"Why, there's a wench!" He was up right after her as he caught
up her hand, twirling her in close. He was very impressed with her
rendering of Katherina, that was there in his eyes as they met hers so
close, "come on, and kiss me, Kate." Though his part was small
compare to the one she just recited, there was a devil's dare to light
hazel green eyes coupled with the commanding words.
She was startled but didn't show it, as if they were truly before an
audience. Leaning into him, she put her hand up to his cheek, and tipped
her head up, eyes closing as she pressed her lips to his. Of course,
there would be others here if it really were a show.
Raul easily got caught up in a scene, taking on the persona of Petruchio
as his lips burned over hers in the passion of the moment. A kiss to
remember, a kiss that had become famous for that passion. A passion that
fueled the minds of many, especially women, since the play was written
and acted out. Be there others in the audience or none at all as it was
presently, the passion was in the acting.
Rachel was caught up in that now, returning the kiss before she pulled
away, nearly breathless. She didn't move out of his arms, just looked up
at him. "I believe this would be where we would exit?" Her
voice was low, husky and she could see how well Raul became the
He broke from the character and back to the actor on the scene played
out, "si, I should lift you in my arms and carry you away. It would
not have been the same to kiss un de my hermanas." Catching
himself, "one of my sisters." Reflecting back to the humorous
comment and it was true. "You are hired if you accept. Script
lady," though she might realized he had not moved from the embrace,
finding it comfortable and maybe wistful in there too, "helps in
picking out which actor or actress fits certain characters. Making sure
all have their scenes and correcting them when rehearsing as needed and
she is also actress if she wishes. I am actor and writer, my brother
Demian is painter, prop man and actor, my sister Brigidia is singer and
actress and so forth of my family." They should get another male
who was not related for his sisters in certain scenes. To be fair he
realized. Way over due in what was proper, he realized he still had her
in his arms but she had swayed, or so he would give that excuse if one
was needed. She would note his voice had dropped a few octaves also.
Eyes intent on hers in searching, was she really a novice when she could
play such a part so well? A treasured find in the least as he finally
eased from the embrace.
She had acted in every play from the time she had been sent off to
school, even before finishing school, and loved every minute of it.
Perhaps even sneaked off to try out in a play or two though she hadn't
mentioned that yet. There were parts of her life she was unwilling to
share. While she spoke, she watched his face and when he finally
released her, she felt heat rise into her cheeks. "I do accept. It
sounds like something I would enjoy." She smiled again, the impish
sparkle in her eyes returning. "And it will keep me from trouble, I
believe." Though if there was some to be found, she would find it!
"Si, only trouble will be on stage?" Or would it? One never
knew what Fate would play out and a far better director than human
imitation. "There is a flat here you can use, it is near my
sisters' rooms. All is proper and there is a living room all can share
upstairs, like a house separate from the theater though all on one
floor. Each room has its own privy and bath, hearth with couch and
chairs, there is a large kitchen for all to use like the living
room." They had all found the arrangements to their liking.
"If you no like, prefer a place of your own, I can speak to Laird
McDonough on a small cottage that is close."
"Perhaps." In answer to his question though she was smiling.
She considered for a moment, then nodded. "I think the flat will be
fine, providing your family doesn't mind. If so, then the cottage will
do. I would rather have them comfortable with the idea then just move
right on in, Raul." Being she was a stranger to them all.
"They will no mind, my sisters will fuss over you and tease."
So she was prepared. "I will see you back to the Thistle as the
time has gone late." Very late but it had been one of the most
interesting nights here since his arrival. "Tomorrow I can help you
move your things," and his siblings would be informed. He was the
don of their family so he could use that but he knew they would be
thrilled. Another, talented at that, to join them, meant more
versatility. He used the steps instead of jumping down from the stage as
his usual, way of invitation of the proposed escort.
She had made friends in school, so now she had something else to look
forward to -- new friends. Following him down the steps, she found she
was still smiling. "Thank you, Raul. I'm looking forward to this
very much." And she was hoping she'd work out. Oh how scandalous!
The theater! But she knew that it wasn't as bad as her parents believed.
In fact, it was becoming more and more acceptable as a profession. She
adjusted her shawl as they started for the door knowing it would be
cooler than when she had come in.