(Abel's room again, and precisely as in the first scene, Abel is lying on the catafalque with the tapers burning. Arriving onstage are Eualalia, Malachi, Lilith and the Chief Judge. They are in a jolly mood, and as they come on from offstage. Eulalia is speaking)

EULALIA: Oh, that was a delightful party. Such wonderful food, and such speeches Hermann I didn't know you could be so eloquent-(She sees Abel lying there)

MALACHI Look, there's Abel

EULALIA: It is happening again

CHIEF JUDGE: There's something in his hands--

EULALIA: It's probably the Certificate of Appearance to the Qualifying Board.

LILITH: No, it's the Voucher for the League of Options

MALACHI: No, it's the subpoena for the Chamber of Degrees.

CHIEF JUDGE: It's the Warrant of Office of the Chief Executioner.

LILITH: I have it. It's the Permanent Season Pass.

EULALIA: Nonsense, it's the Order of Execution.

CHIEF JUDGE: No, it must be the Mother of the Millennium Award.

LILITH: It's the invitation to the Award Reception

MALACHI: Why not just read it--(takes the Scroll from Abel's hands)
Why it's a suicide note!

ABEL: (Rises from catafalque) Yes, it's a unique suicide note…about the only suicide ever done for the sake of an audience. (Takes Scroll from Malachi and reads)
Mother, Father, Stepfather, Lilith--and all of you out there, the audience…please forgive me for this little hoax, but there is an audience out there that deserves to know the real purpose of this exercize--a set of variations on a theme.
(ALL IN UNISON): A theme?

ABEL: Yes, a theme. But that's what you (Pointing to the audience) have to discover. It should be fun to decide what the theme really is, and we don't want to deprive you of the fun of discovery. What's more, while the author has his own ideas about the what the theme is, he freely admits he might be wrong. So you decide. Maybe the scroll has the answer (Holds it up) But you can't look at it--that would be cheating. But even if we can't give you a definite answer about the thing is sure: the play is over, and you can go home now--and if you want, say a small prayer for the ambitions of Abel Cain.


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