Triumph of the Ghoul

Dennis L. Siluk

(The ghoul of the lake, the lake is in the Mantaro Valley of Peru, beyond the Andes, which cuddle it; the ghoul is in a tree twenty feet from the lake, and because there are several ghouls in this lake, we shall call this one the Tree Ghoul. It is dark out, perhaps Midnight, or later. It is the 13 of July, 2004.)

(The play is preceded by music; thus, the curtain is drawn, and slowly a lake appears, a large tree, and a dark mass on the upper part of the tree extending outwards and blending into the environment, but more pronounced; next to the mass ((which is the ghoul)), is where the leaves are shaking with the branches of the tree, as if it could be by the wind or ghoul. There are several ghouls, but this tree ghoul is the one we see, a bull ghoul and the serpent woman ghoul are near by. They show themselves, but quickly and disappear, as if to say hello, but looking at the tree ghoul: as the music does the talking for the unspeakable moments I’m describing; the ghoul is left here for the moment to evoke the audience.)

The Tree Ghoul


Who’s there? I was asleep in this tree—voices, yes indeed, I hear voices. What voices are you?

(Only those humans with second insight can hear of course)

(Looking up)

(Says the Ghoul, talking to himself) I see a human looking up at me, a gringo, with five Peruvians, must be a relative by marriage, the little lady hangs on to him like glue. He seems not to be scared of me and even can discern these leaves, and my dark mass; he knows I’m a ghoul; I’ll be darned, not sure if I like this. Quite staring goofball; I’ll shake the leaves some more scare him.

(The dark seems to overhang everything, a gloom settles in, and there is a mist now descending around the lake, you really can’t see a thing: the headlights remain on in the car, and thus you do get shadows though.)

(The Tree Ghoul, is calling his other spirit friends, the bull and serpent lady, he calls them with a glance of his eyes, from the misty lake near by.)

O brothers and sisters, look here what we have, six humans standing around our tree, chatting like bugs out of the laguna. One is a gringo, and he’s with a Peruvian family, like us...~!

The Bull

(Half Sleeping)

You woke me up for this, called me from the middle of the Lake to look at tourists?

The Tree Ghoul

(Shaking the woman viper serpent spirit to wake up)

A foe is near, the gringo
Has some kind of second sight,
He can tell I’m a ghost! By sight.

The Bull

(Shaking his head)

Pay him no heed, Serpent woman
And he should pay the gringo no
Heed, likewise; waking us all up;
I think the dark is getting to the
Tree Ghoul, I want to go back to
My dreams.

The Tree Ghoul

(Shifting away from the tree, to the lakes embankment)

They can see me!

The Bull

So be it, scare him away, he’ll
Leave; make him believe you’re a demon,
Not a spirit or ghost—he’ll go; throw
Some leaves on his head, see what
He says...he’ll jump back in that car
And go by to Huancayo, or San Jeronimo!

The Viper Woman

(Addressing several spirits that have gathered down by the edge of the lake ((six humans still talking by the tree, and the Tree Spirit has joined the pack by the edge now))

‘T is wise indeed to avoid these humans, lest we give them something to write about, and we get all the curious, and goofballs down here and we’ll never get peace and rest. For a ghost’s sake, do we want this to be a tourist hot spot, everyone in the lake trying to find the sunken city, by Jove; this would be the last thing we want? Then they’d try to raise the sunken church, and we’d be sucked into some of their new technological tubs for experiments; I just can’t take it—just thinking about it makes me want to find a calm down pill; brother Tree Spirit just calm down, and come down here, stay with us, avoid the humans.

The Tree Spirit

For sure, the gringo has heard about
The sunken city—and about us as well,
And has no pity, he does not fear us,
And that I suppose annoys me...!

The Serpent Woman

(The ghouls all start to sing, as the Serpent Woman leads them into the song)

Song of the Ghouls Like the gods that ruled Olympus
We ghouls from de Paca –rule this lake
Make no mistake, make no mistake!
We are the spirits of the Laguna?
The primal inhabitants of Jauja!...
  (“Now leave us sleep: Tree Ghoul”)) Says the Serpent Woman))

The Tree Ghoul

Ah yes! Yes indeed, my fellow ghouls,
Go back to sleep (he burps out: creeps).
Yes, yes...go back to sleep, I have no
Reason to fear of this menacing human,
Close and near; formless he looks from
Up here, yet baffling, I still find him nervy.

The Bull

(Fire comes out of the bull’s nostrils, it is as legend has it, the bull from the Laguna de Paca, scorches the hillside and thus, nothing has ever grown there, and now he is about to fulfill his duties, his destiny according to legend)

Fire! I must go now (he says to his ghoul friends); it is time to scorch the hill with fire; I’ve done it so often I almost forgot...

(The spirits all cuddle tightly together, leaving the Tree Spirit linger about the top of the tree, as he has now returned to watch the humans out of curiosity. The Bull has taken off to the hill over by the city, to scorch it, his nostrils aflame. The other spirits stand down by the bank watching the six humans, the Tree Spirit, and the Bull with excitement, no one sleepy anymore, if anything they have woken up the quietness inside their depressed peacefulness.)

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