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WRITING  7'2m2f Daniel interprets the writing on the wall

ALL --  (mumble, clank dishes)

KING -- Aren't these lovely goblets that I stole from the temple 
in Jerusalem, my queen?

QUEEN - The god of Israel will be angry with you, King 
Belshazzar. Have you not heard of the terrible things that 
happen to those who defy the will of the god of Israel?

KING -- Nonsense, my queen. What was your first name again?

QUEEN - Do you have so many wives and concubines that you can't 
remember my name?

KING -- Of course not! Don't be silly. Just give me a hint.

QUEEN - You disgust me. I hope the god of Israel seeks vengeance 
upon you.

KING -- You dare to speak to me that way?! Why I am the most 
powerful ruler in the world. You should feel privileged to 
merely sit next to me at this sumptuous feast. Now drink to me. 
For I am more powerful than this god of Israel, whom you would 
flaunt in front of me.

Now, about your name, does it begin with A? B? C? D? Tell me 
when I get close. E? F? G?

QUEEN - You disgust me.

KING -- You'd better be nice to me or you'll lose your turn with 
me in b... (gasps) What's that?!

QUEEN - What?

KING -- That! Over there by the lamp stand!

QUEEN - It's a hand writing on the wall.

KING -- I know it's a hand! But did you notice that there's no 
body attached to it?

QUEEN - Your knees are shaking and knocking together, 
Belshazzar. Could it be that the greatest king in all the world 
is afraid?

KING -- (clears throat) Me? Oh, no. I'm shaking because... 
because it's just a little chilly in here. Are you chilly? 
(shouts) Guards! Close the doors and windows. It's getting 
chilly in here. Oh, and by the way, kill that hand!

QUEEN - You're too late, Belshazzar. The hand is already 
finished writing and disappeared.

KING -- So it has. (laughs nervously) Well, now it seems to be 
a trifle warm in here. (shouts) Guards! Open all the doors and 
windows. It's getting too hot in here.

QUEEN - Noone else is complaining about the temperature, my 
king. Are you sure you're not getting sick?

KING -- I'm fine. I'm fine. It's probably the wine.

QUEEN - Or maybe it's the wine goblets that you drank from. They 
WERE the property of the god of Israel, you know.

KING -- Do you have to keep reminding me of that?! I can't read 
what that hand wrote on the wall, can you, my queen?   

QUEEN - You can't read it because it's written in a foreign 
language, my king, probably the language of the God of Israel.

KING -- Will you please stop referring to the god of Israel?! 
Anyway, it's only four words. How hard could it be to translate? 

QUEEN - If it's the language of the god of Israel, there's only 
one man in your kingdom who can translate it. (fading) I will go 
and fetch him for you.

KING -- There you go again, with that god of Israel talk again. 
(door close) I never get any respect around here. Let's see, who 
do I know who can translate this message?

NAT --  (Romanian gypsy) Hiya, KinG, Baby.

KING -- (screams) Aah! Natasha! I've told you a million times 
not to sneak up on me like that!

NAT --  Humblest apologies, my KinG. I sensed that you veeshed to 
see me. I am your encanter, your astrologer, and your dewiner. 
Would you like me to dewine forrrr you?

KING -- No, I've had plenty of wine tonight, thank you.

NAT --  Do you mock ze vay I tock?

KING -- You sure talk funny.

NAT --  We dewiners always talk thees way. Do you veesh me to 
Trrranslate ze wrrrritinG on ze Vall, king Belshazzarrrrr?

KING -- No, I want you to translate the writing in the wall.

NAT --  Zat eez vat I asked. Let's have a loook. Uh huh. Uh huh. 
Uh huh. Uh huh.

KING -- Well, can you translate it?

NAT --  Uh uh.

KING -- Well, what I am I paying you for?

NAT --  Forrr about seeeex months. And my contrrract has 
expirrred. For a few morrre rrrrubles, I cooould come up weeth 
someseenG.

KING -- Now is no time for contract negotiations! Get out of my 
sight.

NAT --  (fading) As you weeesh, yourrrr majesty.

KING -- There must be SOMEONE in my kingdom who can translate 
those four little words.

QUEEN - (approaching) His name is Daniel. I summoned him while 
you were wasting your time with that Rrrromanian Dewiner.

KING -- Wary well. I mean, very well, then send him in.

(door opens, footsteps)

DAN --  (sings) Here I come to save the day.

KING -- Knock off the heroics, kid. Just tell me what the words 
mean.

DAN --  Mene mene tekel peres. Mene mene means god has numbered 
the days of your reign.

KING -- What does that mean?

DAN --  It means pack you bags.

KING -- Oh, oh.

DAN --  Tekel. Tekel means you have been weighed on the scales 
of justice and been found wanting.

KING -- What does that mean?

DAN --  It means pack light and leave fast.

KING -- Well, I can't leave before I hear the meaning of the 
last word.

DAN --  Peres. Peres means your kingdom will be divided and 
given to the Medes and the Persians. Well, king, I think it's 
time to bend between your legs and kiss your...

QUEEN - What Daniel trying so eloquent to say, my king, is that 
you should clothe him in purple and put a gold chain around his 
neck.

DAN --  Oh, that won't be necessary.

QUEEN - (quietly) It is to me. I'll explain, later.

DAN --  Oh, very well. Unaccustomed as I am to receiving public 
accolades, I hereby....

KING -- Knock of the rhetoric kid. Just take the robe and the 
chain and scram!

(door opens)

NAT --  (afar) Ahha! Therrre is KinG Belshazzar! Seize him!

KING -  But Natasha, why...

NAT --  (near) Because you didn't rrrenew my contrrract. So, I 
negotiated a three year, no cut contrrract weeth the Medes and 
Perrrsians. Now, boys, run him thrrrrough!

KING -- After all I've done for you. I took you off the streets 
and made you what you are today. You ungrateful.... (screams) 
Aaaaah!

NAT --  (shouts) Belshazzarrr is Dead. LonG live King Darius, 
KinG of the Medes. (aside) And now, Daniel baby, how about a 
leetle prrrivate lesson on TrrranslatinG.

DAN --  I'm sorry, I won't have time. I have already been 
appointed to run the new government of King Darius.

NAT --  Currrses foiled again. (fading) I shall slink off into 
the night.

QUEEN - My hero!

DAN --  Why, thank you your highness. I was just doing my duty.

QUEEN - (fading) Come with me, Danny boy, and I'll show you 
where you can hang your purple robe.


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