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A Long Time Ago

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A Long Time Ago

by Floyd Dell

Genre: Drama
Setting: Fantasy
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely


The sailor again, staggering.

THE QUEEN. What, has the ship not gone?

THE SAILOR. Gone, and left me behind. Gone, and left me. . . .

THE FOOL. Here is still wine in the flagon.

THE SAILOR. Good. Good. Give it to me.

THE QUEEN. (to the fool) First bring it to me. (She takes off a ring, and dips it in the wine. To the fool)–I have spoken lightly of poisoning today. Now I think I will try it. I would like to see a man die. It will ease me a little. Come!

The sailor comes and takes it from her hands, while the fool stares fascinated.

THE QUEEN. How does it taste?

THE SAILOR. (suddenly straightening up, no longer drunk) Bitter. What was in it?

THE QUEEN. The bitterness of my heart. It will kill you.

THE SAILOR. I have been poisoned. (He puts his hand to his side.) I am dying. But first–!

He draws a short sword, and runs at her. The fool starts up, but the Queen motions him away, and waits. When the sailor is almost upon her, he stops, throws up his hands, drops his sword, and falls in a heap.

THE QUEEN. (after a moment, going up, and touching the body with her foot) Dead. So that is what it is like?

THE FOOL. (trembling) Do you find it so interesting?

THE QUEEN. No–my heart is already aching with its emptiness again….


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