Short Play # 42: Salome

The play is set in the palace of King Herod Antipas, husband to Herodias and stepfather to her daughter, Salome.  Herod, largely at his wife’s insistence, has imprisoned St. John the Baptist, the prophet and “forerunner” of Jesus’s coming.  Salome has become obsessively, unnaturally attracted to him.

SALOME (disconsolate):  He will not love me.  He will not kiss me.

HERODIAS: Look, Salome, the moon is swollen with light!  It puts off its raiment in order to shine more nakedly upon you.

HEROD (lasciviously):  Perhaps Salome will join the lambent moon in its dishabille?

HERODIAS:  Don’t look at her that way!

HEROD:  What way, my jewel of great price?

HERODIAS: You gleam like the polished bone of lust!

HEROD: It is only the moon.

SALOME:   Why will he not love me?  Why will he not kiss me?

HEROD:  I love you, Salome…

HERODIAS (dismayed):  Herod!!

HEROD (backtracking quickly) “…like a daughter!  Will you dance for me, Salome?  If you do, I will give you anything you desire.

SALOME (suddenly less dejected):  You will?