InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Tales of the Inu-Hamlet ❯ Act One, Scene One ( Chapter 2 )
Disclaimer: "Inuyasha" (all characters inclusive) doesn't belong to me (they belong to Rumiko Takahashi). "Hamlet" (all characters and script inclusive) doesn't either (that belongs to the immortal William Shakespeare). However, I am taking ruthless creative and artistic license of both for the sake of entertainment. Gomen nasai, Bard-sama! This was just begging to be done!
Author's Forward: The story is divided up based on the scenes in the play. Some chapters will be shorter than others because the scenes are short, and some will be even shorter than they really might seem like they should, because the scene is so straightforward that there isn't much room for messing around.
If you are interested in this play, there are many, many websites out there hosting the full text of the script; I also highly recommend that you watch the theatrical version done in 1996 by Kenneth Branaugh. It covers the entire play, cutting out a bare minimum of lines (this is a very long play; about four hours all told). The theatrical version starring Mel Gibson (done in 1990, or thereabouts) is also good, but much shorter (it cuts Fortinbras entirely out of the story, which is a shame in my book). You can find out lots of information by visiting the Internet Movie Database at imdb(dot)com and searching for "Hamlet." Both movies appear at the top of the search results.
Please leave a review if you read this! Even a simple "OMG I loved it!!" will help encourage me to write. Knowing I have an audience waiting helps keep me focused. And if you have any ideas or suggestions, by all means let me know! This story is still very much in the developing stages and I really hope that I can do the story and its inspirations the proper justice they deserve.
Okay? Now, on with the show!
NOTE: This is written in present tense -- a format I almost never use -- because it's meant to portray things as they happen, rather like outtakes from a filming session or what-have-you.
Tales of the Inu-Hamlet:
Inuyasha, Prince of the Denmark!
or, What the Hell Are You Making Us Do?
Act One, Scene One
Setting: Elsinore. A platform before the Castle
Characters: Francisco, Bernardo, Marcellus, Horatio, Ghost
Things are not going well.
It is the first day of rehearsal, and already there are unforeseen problems... problems that should have been foreseen and taken care of. The directors and producers are all currently cloistered away in a boardroom, frantically trying to iron out this latest twist.
"Who's brilliant idea was it anyway?" the head producer rages. "The Inutaishou is a movie character, not a TV character! We have no pull over the movie casts!"
"Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time," the casting director's assistant mutters. "I didn't know he wasn't under contract anymore."
The dilemma is quite astounding, really... the part in question is a small one but extremely important.
They haven't bothered to secure a contracted person to play the Ghost of Hamlet's Father.
Some idiot thought that they could get Inutaishou, whose only appearance has been in the third movie, to play the character. The brainiac obviously didn't think clearly enough to realize that a movie character isn't under contract to promote the television series.
"Well, we're going to have to figure out who we can wrangle into the role," the head producer says acidly. "Suggestions?"
"Toutousai?" suggests one assistant. "He hasn't been cast yet, and I'm sure his contract is the same as the others' are."
"Yeah, I mean, we were able to snare four of the Shichinintai on a technicality in their contracts!"
The casting director rolls his eyes. "Toutousai can't remember his own lines on a good day. There's no way he'll be able to pull off the long speeches of the Ghost. We're having enough trouble as it is with the cast we've already assigned. Let's just keep Toutousai as a non-speaking role and leave well enough alone. There have to be others we haven't tapped yet."
"Nikosen," suggests another.
The art director shakes his head; "Too new. We haven't gotten him under contract yet. Same goes for Numawatari."
"Byakuya isn't under contract either," one of the camera directors points out. "We didn't know about him at the time the show went off the air. He hadn't been introduced yet."
The head producer raises an eyebrow. "Actually, he is under contract. It's part of Naraku's contract, but it still binds him. All of the bunshin are bound to the contract just like Naraku is."
"Except Mouryoumaru," the art director mutters. "He'd've made a good Ghost, but he's got a damned good agent. He wriggled out of that little clause."
"And Housenki's contract is done," another assistant says. "So who does that leave us?"
"Can we cast Sesshoumaru in two roles? I mean, Fortinbras and the Ghost are never in the same scene."
"Bad idea," one of the costume directors says. "He's annoyed enough as it is about being forced to do Fortinbras. He seems to be favored by Takahashi-sensei; if he breaks contract now, we can kiss the show goodbye. Then it all becomes pointless."
"Yeah, and since he's not a title character, he's a lot harder to threaten."
"Well, what about Entei?"
Unamused glares focus on the mentally-challenged camera director who has just suggested this.
"The Ghost speaks, baka. Entei doesn't speak."
"Besides," one of the promotional directors points out, "his contract is done too."
"If we try to force him into that role, we'll probably end up with the Humane Society, PETA and the SPCA crawling up our collective rectum," the head producer states. "Bad idea."
"We haven't cast Kirara yet."
"And we won't," the producer retorts. "Her contract doesn't have this clause, or did you not read it?"
"Then who's left?"
The casting director looks down at his list in front of him, dismayed at the growing list of names he has had to cross off.
"The only one I can see at this point..." he massages his forehead wearily, realizing how difficult this is going to be to pull off, "...is Myouga."
Out on the soundstage, the cast of the first scene are warming up. Jii-chan is exchanging spirited conversation with Miroku, while Kikyou resists the costume changes.
"Come on, Kikyou," the costume designer goads, "you can't use a bow and arrow; you're a guard."
"See, these ofuda are superior to yours," Jii-chan exhorts, "because they have five hundred years worth of testing behind them. They'll slay any demon!"
Miroku thinks to himself that ofudas only work if the user has spiritual powers enough to make them work, that five hundred years of testing have nothing to do with it for the ofuda, but chooses to play along with Jii-chan's pipe-dream just to humor him.
Kikyou, on the other hand, is not amused. "You want me to play a man, and you take away my best weapon?"
The costume designer sighs heavily. "Once again, you're just a small part, you won't be here long. You don't have many lines. Now be a good sport, will you?"
Kikyou finally sighs and hands over her bow and arrow, taking the spear offered to her.
"Okay, and ACTION!" the director shouts enthusiastically, trying to get the cast to wake up.
Kikyou cocks an eyebrow at him and rolls the opening line off her tone in a complete deadpan monotone. "Who's there."
"CUT!" The director roars. "Come on, Kikyou! A little more lively!"
Kikyou gives the director a dirty look and says with some more oomph, "Who's there?"
There is a silence. Jii-chan has forgotten already that it is his turn.
Kagome, who is standing behind the curtain, grabs Tetsusaiga from Inuyasha -- sheath and all -- and pokes it through the curtains to prod Jii-chan with the butt of the sword's hilt. "Jii-chan! Stop sleeping!"
"I'm awake!" Jii-chan says indignantly.
"It's your line, Jii-chan!"
"Oh.... uh... what is my line?"
"Okay," the director says as he gets up from his chair. "We'll start over. Jii-chan, try to remember your lines! Use your script if you have to, this is just a rehearsal."
"Oi, Jiiji," Inuyasha says testily from behind the curtain as he snatches Tetsusaiga away from Kagome. "You only got eight lines. Try to remember them!"
The director fumes while Miroku offers Jii-chan his script book for a moment, to refresh his memory. Then he and Sango exit the stage and wait for their cue.
Kikyou taps the butt of the spear against the stage as she walks across. Jii-chan comically pauses and looks around suspiciously.
"Who's there?" Kikyou says with little oomph.
"Nay, answer me! Stand and unfold yourself!" Jii-chan bellows, sereptitiously looking at the script book.
Kikyou rolls her eyes and taps the spear one more time against the stage floor. "Long live the king."
Kikyou grinds her teeth as she says her line: "Himself." She hates playing a man, clearly. "'Tis now struck twelve. Get thee to bed, Francisco."
Jii-chan grins. "For this relief much thanks. It's bitter cold, and I am sick at heart."
"Have you had quiet guard?"
"Not a mouse stirring."
"Well, good night. If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus, the rivals of my watch, bid them make haste."
"That's our cue, houshi-sama," Sango says to Miroku as they step out onto the stage.
Jii-chan looks genuinely disappointed, thinking he has to hand over the script book already. "I think I hear them. Stand, ho! Who is there?"
Sango fires off her line. "Friends to this ground."
Miroku is right on her heels. "And liegemen to the Dane." He holds his hand out for his script book, trying to hide a vindictive smile as Jii-chan squirms.
Jii-chan resists giving the book back. "Give you good night."
"O, farewell, honest soldier!" Miroku says enthusiastically. "Who hath reliev'd you?"
Jii-chan raises an eyebrow at him. "Bernardo....er....what's my line? Lemme see!....Bernardo hath my place. Give you good night."
Miroku takes back his script book and tucks it into his robes as Jii-chan clumps off the stage in defeat. "Holla, Bernardo!"
"Did he just say Holla?" Kagome snickers from behind the curtain. "Next he's gonna give a shout-out to Hachi!"
"Read your script, Kagome, it's in there," Inuyasha snorts. "Not the shout-out whatever, though."
"Nevermind. It's over your head."
Kikyou eyeballs the monk and says "Say... what, is Horatio there?"
Sango is slightly embarrassed, but gallantly says her line. "A piece of him. You don't want to know what piece though."
The director glares at Sango for throwing a line in.
Kikyou smiles at Sango for the unprompted stab at the lines that make them me. "Welcome, Horatio. Welcome, good Marcellus."
Miroku, unable to resist a good double-entendre, says conspiratorially "What, has this thing appear'd again tonight?"
Kikyou sniffs and looks away from him. "I have seen nothing."
Miroku leans in, enjoying the gag. "Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy, and will not let belief take hold of him, touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us. Therefore I have entreated him along, with us to watch the minutes of this night, that, if again this apparition come, he may approve our eyes and speak to it!"
"That's quite a line," Kouga says from where he's also hiding behind the curtain with Kagome and Inuyasha. Inuyasha glares at the wolf but Kagome glares warningly at the hanyou, reminding him that she still has the command of "Osuwari" over him, even though the cameras for the anime aren't rolling.
Sango, meanwhile, is repeating her lines with some embarrassment. "Tush, tush, 'twill not appear." Miroku's zeal is making her uncomfortable. "But let us hear Bernardo speak of this."
Kikyou takes a deep breath and recites her longest line so far... "Last night of all, when yond same star that's westward from the pole, had made his course to illuminate that part of heaven where now it burns, Marcellus and myself, the bell then beating one -- " she pauses dramatically.... looking over at the stage entrance where a few stagehands are pushing an empty suit of armor, rigged with wheels, onto the stage. Until a suitable Ghost is found, they are using props for now. Kikyou rolls her eyes even as Miroku starts to wind up.
Miroku says, "Peace! break thee off! Look where it comes again!"
Kikyou maintains a monotone. "In the same figure, like the King that's dead."
Miroku grabs at Sango's sleeve. "Thou art a scholar! Speak to it, Horatio! Looks it not like the King? Mark it, Horatio!"
Sango refrains from rolling her eyes and tries to inject some fear into her voice. "Most like. It harrows me with fear and wonder."
Kikyou looks over at the suit of armor with some disdain... "It would be spoke to."
Miroku is having the time of his life. "Question it, Horatio!"
Sango is trying to be a sport about it, but the houshi is making it hard for her to keep her concentration. "What art thou that usurp'st this time of night, together with that fair and warlike form, in which the Majesty of buried Denmark, did sometimes march? By heaven I charge thee speak!"
"It is offended. See, it stalks away!" Miroku is pulling out all the stops. Even Inuyasha, behind the curtains, is shaking his head.
Sango tries to match him, but is losing interest. "Stay! Speak, speak! I charge thee speak!"
The stagehands quickly roll the suit of armor off the stage.... and promptly send it tipping sideways to the ground with a huge CRASH! The suit of armor scatters into all its little pieces. Inuyasha and Kouga roar with laughter and Kagome hangs her head in frustration. Sango and Kikyou sigh with disgust as Miroku takes it all in stride, running to the dismembered suit, decrying its untimely death.
"CUT!!!" screams the director. "Clean up that mess! All right, you bakas, take five... hours. Go get lost. But don't leave the set!" He turns to the script book in his hands and sighs. "Oh, Kami-sama, this is going to be the death of me!"