(LIGHTS UP on the lair of the Gray Women. The three of them are huddled in a corner, rapidly passing their eye around. It should be made of a bouncy ball or something that can be thrown and bounced easily. Woman 2 has it.)
WOMAN 1: It’s my turn!
WOMAN 3: No, it’s not, you just had it.
WOMAN 1: Did not!
WOMAN 3: Did too!
WOMAN 1: Did not!
WOMAN 3: I know you did!
WOMAN 1: The eye doesn’t know anything! It’s not alive!
WOMAN 3: (shouting) Give it to me.
WOMAN 2: You don’t have to shout, I’m right next to you.
WOMAN 3: You are?
WOMAN 2: Yes.
WOMAN 3: Where are you?
WOMAN 2: Right here!
WOMAN 3: I can’t see you, you fool. You have the eye.
WOMAN 1: I thought you had it.
WOMAN 2: I have it.
WOMAN 3: Well, pass it along. It’s my turn.
WOMAN 1: Well, I say it’s my turn.
WOMAN 2: Let’s take a vote.
WOMAN 3: Fine, all in favor of the fact that it’s my turn, say “aye.”
WOMAN 3/WOMAN 2: Aye.
WOMAN 3: All opposed, say “nay.”
WOMAN 1: Nay.
WOMAN 2: The ayes have it.
(Woman 2 hands over the eye to Woman 3. Perseus, Evander, Linus, the Dame, and Hermes enter.)
HERMES: Here it is, gentlemen.
DAME: And ladies.
HERMES: Are you sure about that?
DAME: Well, I never!
HERMES: This is the liar of the Gray Women.
LINUS: Boy, I love what they’ve done with the place.
EVANDER: Yeah, it really has a, “we’ll kill you with meat hooks and string you up from the ceiling” sort of look.
LINUS: They could use a few throw pillows.
PERSEUS: So what do we do now, Hermes?
HERMES: The Gray Women are the only ones who can help you find the nymphs that keep the sword, so you have to get it from them.
PERSEUS: All right. I’ll go ask.
(Perseus starts to move forward, but the others all grab him and pull him back.)
DAME: You can’t just waltz up to them and ask.
PERSEUS: Why not?
EVANDER: You have to coax it out of them through some clever and coercive means.
EVANDER: That’s how these stories go.
PERSEUS: All right. Hermes, what do I have to do?
HERMES: You have to get the eye from them. If they lose it, they’ll do anything to get it back.
PERSEUS: Of course. Why can’t you get it?
HERMES: Well…er…I sort of have a bad history with the Gray Women.
DAME: Bad history?
HERMES: Don’t ask. Good luck, Perseus. You’re on your own. I… (struggling) I have to go…change my diaper!
PERSEUS: Well, Hermes is helpful.
DAME: In an indirect, frustratingly cryptic sort of way.
LINUS: What do we do now?
PERSEUS: We have to find a way to get the eye.
EVANDER: I wonder what they do with it all day in here.
WOMAN 3: I spy with my little eye something that is green.
WOMAN 2: All right, let’s play.
(The Gray Women spread out to center. They begin an elaborate game of tossing the eye back and forth between them. People should be on hand backstage to toss the ball back on if it goes awry. As each gets the eye, they guess what the something green is.)
PERSEUS: That’s it!
PERSEUS: That’s how we get the eye.
PERSEUS: All we have to do is catch it. Spread out boys; see if you can get the eye.
(Evander, Linus, the Dame, and Perseus all attempt to get into the game. Eventually, Perseus manages.)
WOMAN 3: What? No more guesses?
WOMAN 2: Hurry up with the eye; it’s my turn to guess.
WOMAN 1: What are you talking about? You have the eye.
WOMAN 2: No, I don’t.
WOMAN 1: Yes, you do.
WOMAN 3: Well, one of you must have it, because I don’t have it.
WOMAN 1: I don’t have it.
WOMAN 2: I don’t have it.
PERSEUS: I have it.
WOMAN 3: Who’s there?
WOMAN 2: A stranger?
WOMAN 1: Sounds like a man.
WOMAN 2: Is he cute?
WOMAN 3: There’s no way to tell. He’s got the eye!
WOMAN 1: Give it back!
PERSEUS: I will ladies, I will. But first, I need to get some information from you.
WOMAN 3: Information?
(Perseus moves around, casting his voice.)
PERSEUS: I need you to tell me where the nymphs are.
WOMAN 3: Nymphs?
WOMAN 2: Which kind?
PERSEUS: There’s more than one kind?
WOMAN 1: Of course.
WOMAN 2: There are wood nymphs and sea nymphs and nymphomaniacs and Fraggles.
WOMAN 3: Which kind are you seeking?
EVANDER: (simultaneously with Linus) Nymphomaniacs.
LINUS: (simultaneously with Evander) Fraggles.
PERSEUS: Wood nymphs. We’re looking for the sword that can kill a Gorgon.
WOMAN 3: Kill a Gorgon? Why would you want to do that?
DAME: The King wants the head of a Gorgon.
WOMAN 1: What for?
EVANDER: An interesting conversation piece?
LINUS: A paperweight?
EVANDER: A doorstop?
LINUS: Oh, maybe his coffee table wobbles.
WOMAN 2: Hunting after Gorgons is a serious matter, young man.
PERSEUS: Well, I have no choice.
WOMAN 3: No choice? How can you have no choice?
PERSEUS: It’s a plot device.
(They all groan.)
WOMAN 1: You too, huh?
PERSEUS: Afraid so.
WOMAN 3: We can relate.
WOMAN 2: Yeah.
WOMAN 1: It’s so annoying to have only one eye.
PERSEUS: So, you’ll help me, then?
WOMAN 3: Of course.
WOMAN 1: The wood nymphs live in the blessed country of the Hoochie Coochies, at the back of the north wind, of which it is said: “Neither by ship nor yet by land shall one find the wondrous road to the gathering place of the wood nymphs.”
PERSEUS: Neither by ship or land? So how are we supposed to get there?
WOMAN 2: By ship or by land.
WOMAN 3: Really, you can’t believe every myth you’re told.
PERSEUS: Well, all right then, we’ll travel by ship.
WOMAN 1: Be careful. Those nymphs are not a fun lot.
WOMAN 3: Watch yourself.
PERSEUS: Thank you for all your help.
WOMAN 2: You’re welcome.
WOMAN 3: Now give us back our eye.
PERSEUS: Of course.
(Perseus tosses it to them. Of course, they can’t see so it bounces away. They stand there, arms out stretched, eagerly awaiting the return of the eye.)
PERSEUS: Oh dear.
DAME: Now what?
PERSEUS: Er…time to get a move on. Come on!
(Perseus, the Dame, Evander, and Linus hurry out.)
WOMAN 3: Any time now…
(LIGHTS RISE on the sea shore. Nestor is tying Andromeda to a rock.)
ANDROMEDA: So explain to me again how this plan works.
NESTOR: Well, it’s rather simple.
ANDROMEDA: You tie me to this rock?
ANDROMEDA: Which lures out the sea creature.
ANDROMEDA: And then?
NESTOR: And then the sea creature devours you and is satisfied with virgin blood, so he leaves the rest of the kingdom alone.
ANDROMEDA: Yes. (beat) Wait a minute!
NESTOR: And then I can finally stop mixing up that special Kool-Aid the king is obsessed with.
ANDROMEDA: Come back here and untie me!
NESTOR: I can see it’s wearing off already.
ANDROMEDA: I’ll scream until someone comes to rescue me!
NESTOR: I suppose I’ll just have to gag you then!
(Peggy Sue comes rushing on, charging Nestor.)
ANDROMEDA: Get him!
(Peggy Sue chases Nestor out.)
PERSEUS: (offstage) Peggy Sue! Come back! What are you doing, you silly horse?
LINUS: (offstage) Look, I can see the docks!
EVANDER: (offstage) Do you think we’ll be able to get a ship, Perseus?
PERSEUS: (offstage) Well, I don’t know.