Dark Horizons

Alright here’s the first chapter of my version of Pilgrim’s Progress 3. I should note that this is a script, not a book–hence the formatting. Also I’ve left all my notes intact so you can kind of see what went on behind the words so to speak.


P.S. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten Hardwired =)

Pilgrim’s Progress Part 3

©2007-2011, CGI Studios, Ltd.

Dark Horizons by Jaron Belboda


Pilgrim’s Progress Part III Marianna

Chapter One: Dark Horizons


Narrator:   My friends, much time has passed since I have endeavored undertaken[J2]  to bring to light those things hidden in the darkness of night, and the season of dreams. I have related with intricate detail the story of Christiana and her children’s dangerous journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City in my former work. As you may recall, near the end of their journey, Christiana and her band met up with a man named Stand-fast from the town of Stupidity in the province of Dark-land. Formerly the duke of Stupidity and by his own words, “a bull-headed drunkard,” [J3] Stand-fast had been transformed by the Word of Life. Yet, behind in the town of Stupidity remained his wife, Marianna, and five children, whose unwillingness to accompany him on pilgrimage had been a great pain to his heart. For some time now I have been impatient to learn the fate of Marianna and her children, but time did not permit such enlightenment. Finally, as Providence would have it I was able to return to that familiar place of dreams, where I once again became drowsy and laid me down to sleep. And, as I slept I dreamt once more.

Scene #1

Narrator:   In my dream I saw Marianna standing on the wall of her castle, dressed in the opulent apparel of her office as duchess of Stupidity. But her face was turned away from the comforts and luxuries of her castle, and she bore a look of loneliness and misery; and being alone, she spoke thus with herself.

Marianna:   (softly musing) Why didn’t I listen to my husband? Was what he said so wrong? He pleaded with me as if for his own life for me to join him on pilgrimage. It’s as though he were trying to save me and our little ones from this life and take us to a better one; but all I could see was the dangers and forfeited pleasures. But could he be so wrong? He had real joy since he began following this Lord of his. What was He called? The Lord of the…the…the…

Michael:  (still small voice) Hill.

Marianna:   That’s it! (Bingo) He was called the Lord of the Hill. (Softly musing) Hm, I wonder why following this Lord gave my husband such joy. Humph! All I have is the fugitive pleasures of this life. But is that all there is to it? A few brief years on Earth, spent trying to smother the pains of life? Obviously my husband thought differently. I wonder how following the Lord of the Hill made such a difference in his life. Why, (amazed) before he did, he was drunk more than sober. [J4] (Regretfully) How I wish I had not been so stubborn and sent him on his way alone! Not just for my sake, but for my poor children’s sake! Look at their lives now. How miserable they are! (Awful realization) In hindsight I see now what I did not see then: I robbed not only myself, but also my children of the way to Life; and have needlessly wandered in this way of death!

Narrator:   Now, as she stood [J5] thus with tear filled eyes, and looking over the dark, swirling clouds of ash form the nearby volcano which obscured the horizon, her five children came to her.

Rachael:   (grave concern) Mother, are you all right?

Marianna:   (pensive) I was just thinking. A…about your father.

Amos:   (comforting) Mother, father has been gone for some time now. (Distressed) Why can’t we rid ourselves of our sense of loss, as with others who have lost a loved one?

Marianna:   (grieved) Because I have sent him away with a broken heart through my wretched behavior towards him. (Sorrowfully) For me, the depth of loss only grows with the passage of time.

Asahel:   (sympathetic) Oh, Mother, is there nothing we can say to comfort you?

Marianna:   (sadly) Nothing. (Remorsefully) My distress is intensified by the thought that I deprived not only myself, but also you, my children, of the way to Life! (Despairingly) Your blood is upon my hands!

Micah:   (concerned/confused/fearful) I don’t see any blood, Mother.

Esther:   (confused/fearful) Me neither.

Amos:   (softly) It’s proverbial blood.

Esther:   (more confused) Prah-verby what?

Amos:   (louder) Proverbial. (Flatly) The blood on Mother’s hands is emblematic in character.

Esther:   What? (More confused/totally unsatisfied)

Marianna:   (mournfully) It means that I’m held accountable for your remaining here.

Esther:   Oh. (Enlightened)

Rachael:   (tenderly) But Mother, isn’t there a chance that we might follow after Father?

Marianna:   I wish there might be. (Longingly)

Amos:   But Mother is there hope? (Desperately)

Marianna:   I don’t know. (Despairingly)

Children:   Oh. (Miserably)

Scene #2

Narrator:   I saw next in my dream, that Marianna and her children slept the inconstant sleep of the condemned. And as they slept there came to Marianna a dream. In her dream, she saw her husband engaged in a death duel with a most evil opponent. As the sword-fight continued, his opponent ceased to use only the sword and began to hurl many daggers, clubs and stones at him so as to defeat him through unfair advantage. Feeling quite acrimonious she seized the attacker, knowing it would mean death to her when he turned around. But when her husband’s assailant turned around…

Marianna:   (gasp) No! (Surprise/shock/horror)

Narrator:   She saw his enemy to be none other than herself. Moreover she saw that each of these weapons was made of words, sharp words, mean words, bad words; words that she had spoken to her husband when she wanted to hear [J6] no more of his pleadings. Therefore did she awake with a start!

Marianna:  (horror/remorse) Ahhhhhh!

(The children hear it from far away, more like an eerie howl.)

Esther:   What’s that? (Surprise/fear)

Amos:   Easy, Esther. (Reassuringly) It’s only our dear Mother—experiencing yet another nightmare.

Esther:   Oh. (Calmed)

Asahel:   Another nightmare? (Puzzled/concerned)

Rachael:   Aye. (Sympathetically) She can’t sleep when thinking of her evil treatment of father. (Sadly) And to be honest, I must confess that I can’t either.

Asahel:   Oh, come on. (Chiding) Surely all of us aren’t feeling the sting so deeply.

Amos:  Nay, but I feel it as deeply as anyone else. (Deeply moved)

Asahel:   Yeah, me too. (Assent)

Amos:   What’s your take on it Rachael?

Rachael:   Huh? (Mildly startled form reverie)

Amos:  Do you infer that there’s even a slim possibility that we might still enter the way? (Earnestly)

Rachael:   I don’t know. (Sadly) I wish there might be, but since we sold ourselves to evil, I don’t see a single reason for our father’s Lord to look upon us with any favor.

Amos:   Hm. (musing)

Micah:   Long way to say no, Rach.

Rachael:   I know, but what else can I say? (Choked up) We’ve totally devoted our lives to the enjoyment of sin. (Remorse) How can he accept us? (Deep distress)

Amos:   Oh, Rachael. (Sympathetically)

Rachael:   It’s more likely that he intends to kill us for our disobedience. (Despairingly)

Asahel:   Why are we in this frame of mind? (Annoyed)

Amos:   You know of a better intellectual state in which to reside? (Indignant)

Asahel:   (argumentative) Look, I’m only saying that all this moaning and groaning is highly unnerving.[J7]

Amos:   (disgusted) Oh, we’re to commence rejoicing now? What next?

Asahel:   How amusing. (Sarcastic) All I mean is that since death is obviously coming, why not face it? (Flatly)

Rachael:   (annoyed/irritated) Oh, stop it before you put your whole foot in your mouth.

Asahel:   What? (Indignant)

Amos:   (frustrated) Leave it to you to turn cold dead facts into modus operandi.

Micah:   Hey, Asahel, you need to start cognating pre verbalism.

(They all laugh at Micah’s best attempt at eloquence)

Amos:   That’s cogitating prior to verbalization, Micah.

Esther:   Yeah, think before you talk.

Amos:   (undertone) That’s what I just said.

Asahel:   Everybody’s jumping on me now. (Hurt)

Rachael:   Think about it, Asahel! (Frustrated) I don’t want to die, they don’t want to die, and I frankly doubt that you do either.

Asahel:   And what makes you think you know my feelings so well? (Defensive)

Rachael:   (exasperated) Because I know you! Good grief, Asahel! We’re sisters! We live together, and you don’t think I know you by now?

Asahel:   (defensive) Can anyone of us truly know each other or even ourselves?

Micah:   What? (Confused)

Asahel:   (defeated) Never mind.

Esther:   That sounds pretty messed up to me.

Rachael:   (annoyed) Ah, keep still, will you? I’m trying to get some shut-eye.

Asahel:   (amused) Well, since you said you can’t sleep, why bother trying?

Rachael:   Ugh! Would you please get away from me? (More annoyed) Medloche!

Asahel:   Aw, come on Sis; don’t call the maid, what’s bothering you?

Rachael:   (upset/frustrated) I told you before!

Amos:   (quietly) Look, Asahel, Rachael, we… (Sigh)

Asahel:   Have you ever tried to ignore it?

Rachael:   (quite upset) Yes, of course I have, but it doesn’t do any good!

Asahel:   (frustrated/nettled) No matter how hard you think about it, it won’t get you out of this hell hole, so why do continue to you think about it?[J8]

Amos:   (quietly indignant) Hold on.

Rachael:   (mad) What? I don’t believe it, how can you be so insensitive?

Asahel:   (mad) Well, I don’t understand why you think that…

Rachael:   (irate) Shut up!

(Rachael slaps her soundly on the mouth)

Asahel:   (pain) Ow!

Medloche:   Did you call mistress? (gasps) Oh, my!

(Rachael turning over in bed)

Amos:   (horrified) Rachael!

Asahel:   (mad/humiliated) No, she didn’t call. I’m going to get you Rachael!

Rachael:   (smug/still mad) Really? I’d like to see that in writing.

Medloche:   My lady, are you sure you don’t need help?

Asahel:   (irate) Letter one!


Rachael:   (pain) Ugh!

Amos:   No thanks, just Get our mom! (horrified) Asahel!

(Rachael tries to turn over and avoid more blows)

Medloche:   Yes Master. (deeply concerned, she runs off)

Asahel:   (exultant) Squirming to escape my wrath, huh? That’s no problem; I’ll just sit on your shoulders.

Amos:   (extremely horrified) No, no!


Rachael:   Ow!

Esther:   No Asahel, no! (Latches onto Asahel’s leg.)

Asahel:   Get away from me! (Bangs Esther into the foot of the bed)

Amos:   (indignation) Okay, that’s it! (More quietly) Are you going to restrain yourself now?

Asahel:   (pure anger) No!

(Amos grabs Asahel and wrestles her to the floor)

Asahel:   (astonished) Let go of me! What are doing?

Amos:   Stopping you!

Esther:   (indignant) That’s it, I’m calling Mom! (calls) Mom!

Rachael:   Hold her down, Amos, while I get this oar out of hand.

Esther:   Oh great! (louder) Mom!

Asahel:   (scared but trying to hide it) Hey, give that back!

Rachael:   I have it! Now you’re really going to feel something! Hah!


Asahel:   (pain/remorse) Ow!

Amos:   (pure horror) Rachael, no! I didn’t help you so you could hit her back!


Asahel:   Ow!


Esther:   (long and loud) Mom!

(Marianna who has been walking quickly down the hall breaks into a run and bursts into the room.)

Amos:   (horrified/indignant/fearful) Rachael cut it out!

(Amos lets go of Asahel and wrestles Rachael to the floor successfully blocking her next blow. Marianna arrives, glances briefly at Micah and Esther who are huddled in the corner, then speaks, bringing an abrupt end to the noise and battling)

Marianna:   (very sternly) Children! 


Rachael:   (Gasp!)

Amos:   Uh-oh.

Marianna:   (pure horror) Rachael, what are you [J9] doing with such a dreadful club? Give me that paddle, young lady.

Rachael:   But…

Marianna:   Give it here.

(Vocal Foley)

Rachael:   No! Asahel deserves…!

Marianna:   (firm) To be beaten to death? Let it go!

Rachael:   (defensive) I’m eighteen.

Marianna:   (firmly) Rachael!

Rachael:   (Sigh. Sigh.)

Marianna:   Thank you. (Sternly) Okay, spill. What’s the story?

Rachael:   Uh…ah…it was Asahel’s fault.

Asahel:   (defensive) No it wasn’t it was Rachael’s fault.

(Rachael protests, Asahel defends herself, ad lib)

Marianna:   No, no, no, no, no. We’re not playing blame game tonight. Tell me whole story.

Rachael:   Well, you see, we were talking about how father’s departure has left us feeling, and um, we had different ways of looking at it. So, um, we argued…

(She stops and looks at the floor leaving her sentence unfinished)

Asahel:   And then it escalated.

Marianna:   (just as I feared) Uh, huh. (Calmly) So you decided to settle your argument with a fight, is that what you’re telling me?

Rachael:   Um…

Asahel:   (hesitatingly) Ah…

Rachael:   Yes, Mother.

Marianna:   (sigh) Girls, I may not have listened well to your father when he was alive, but since he is gone I have been reading in his book, and…

Asahel:  (incredulously) But surely nothing in father’s old book could apply to us right now.

Marianna:  Oh? What about this? ‘Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.’

Asahel:   (chagrined) Oh.

Marianna:   You see, ‘a soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger…A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.’

Rachael:   (understanding) Ah.

Marianna:   Rachael, the best way to deal with the situation, would be to hear Asahel out, and then leave it at that.

Rachael:   I know, Mom. (ashamed)

Marianna:   And you, Asahel, don’t beat up your sister. Understand?

Asahel:   Yes, Ma’am. I’m sorry, Rachael.

Rachael:   I forgive you, Asahel. And I’m sorry too, for taking revenge on you. Please forgive me.

Asahel:   My fault. But sure, I forgive you.

(They hug each other and Marianna smiles approvingly)

Marianna:   (Sighs wearily) And now let’s all try to get some more sleep. (yawns)

(They all agree, and once again return to their beds. Marianna starts to leave, then turns back to Rachael and Asahel)

Marianna:   Oh, don’t think you’re off the hook for fighting. I’ve been learning much from father’s book and I think following as much of it as possible will at least make our lives here better.

Rachael:  I sense another quote coming.

Marianna:   There is and it says, ‘Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.’

Rachael & Asahel:   Yes, Mother.

Marianna:   Now, bed! You have a tough day ahead of you.

Asahel:   Yes, Mother.

(They resume pulling their covers over themselves)

Rachael:   (puzzled) A tough day? Hm.

Scene #3

Narrator:   I saw next that there came to Marianna another dream which, at first, made her very afraid indeed. In her dream she had just stepped out into her luxurious banquet hall to address her guests, when the entire room suddenly became a dark pit into which she descended, and then completely lost sight of any light as she began to fall at a terribly great speed!

Marianna:   Ahhhhhh! (Terrified)

Caluvaar:   Marianna. (icy)

Marianna:   What? (Startled/terrified)

Caluvaar:   It’s over Marianna. (icy/exultant)

Marianna:   Where am I going? (More terrified)

Caluvaar:   You are falling into the pit of death. (Provoking fear)

Marianna:   Why? (Abject terror)

Caluvaar:   Because of the evils you committed against your husband and your children in keeping them out of the way! (Sinister)

Marianna:   No! I want to get out! (Desperation/abject terror)

Caluvaar:   (laugh) There is no out! Your time is up. (Gloating)

Marianna:   Let me go! (Struggling/desperation/abject terror)

Caluvaar:   And now, Marianna, your last breath is at hand. (Acid from every word)

Marianna:   No! (Struggling/desperation/abject terror)

Michael:   Marianna! Take My Hand. (Commanding/full of hope)

Marianna:   (startled) Who are you?

Michael:   I AM. (Assuring)

(Marianna grasping His hand/vocal Foley)

Caluvaar:   No! I won’t let you take her away! (Infuriated)

Michael:   Leave her be. (Firm/commanding)

Caluvaar:   Ahhhhhh! (Defeated)

Michael:  Hold on tight now….here.

Marianna:   Thank you. Where am I? (Somewhat calmed)

Michael:   In your room. (Assuring) Marianna, do you wish that there was hope? (Probing)

Marianna:   Oh, yes! Not just for myself but for my children as well! (Longingly)

Michael:   I will send you a messenger; he will tell how to find the way to Life. (Divine assurance)

Marianna:   (gratefully) Thank you, sir, I… (Yawn) Oh, (surprise) it was dream. (Hope dawning) Could the Lord of the Hill really want me to come to His City, after all I’ve done? It must be so! Otherwise he would not have sent me a dream of hope.

Narrator:  Thus was Marianna much encouraged, and was able, for the first time in months, to enjoy a peaceful sleep.

This chapter is either based on, or directly quotes these references: Proverbs 30:33; Proverbs 15:1, 18; Proverbs 22:15; Proverbs 4:19; James 4:1; Proverbs 4:18.; The New Amplified Pilgrim’s Progress.

 [J1]Ironically, I was 16 when I wrote this chapter, and here I am having a 16-year-old proof read it. Most interesting! Also a matter of interest: this is the only chapter among the ones I sent you that I’ve changed the least since the original writing.

 [J2]It was a good idea and I did try it, but the line in modern English would read: “It’s been a while since I’ve taken on the task of sharing my dreams with you all.” For me “undertaken” brings across this message more than “endeavored.”

 [J3]This is a direct quote from the Pilgrim’s Progress audios by Jim Pappas.

 [J4]“He was” is implied.

 [J5]Keeping in mind that this is going to be audio, the listener will have Marianna’s voice fresh in their minds. If this is made into a book I probably will reinforce that this is Marianna but putting her name in the place of “she.” We’ll see.

 [J6]I decided to go with this one, just to make it clearer.

 [J7]Asahel does not talk as “scholarly” as Amos. I want to make the distinction between the two of them more apparent.

 [J8]At this point Asahel is exasperated and not yet as polished as she was in Shady Lair, so at this point I feel having her make a blanket statement like that, is fitting. I did, however, supply emphasis on do, as that works better than what I had before.

 [J9]Ouch, that would have been embarrassing. Thanks!

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