Autotomy: A Tragicomedy in Three Acts

I

The protagonist is introduced. Having recently suffered a terrible loss, the protagonist has decided that the appropriate course of action is to sever their emotional ties to the world. This is, of course, a ridiculous and incorrect conclusion obvious to everyone but the protagonist and is pointed out as such. There is no external antagonist. This a story of self against self.

Tragedy.

II

The conflict has escalated. The protagonist has moved from severing emotional ties to physical ones. Relationships are abandoned. Friendships are neglected. The protagonist moves on to eliminating its physical sensations in an ill-conceived and painfully forced extension of the central conceit. Those few friends who protest the protagonist’s attempts at self-desensitization and self-mutilation are brutally murdered by the protagonist. The protagonist explores their few remaining feelings in a rhyming soliloquy set suspiciously close to the tune of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Comedy.

III

The protagonist, bereft of all five classical senses at this point, exists in a state of abject darkness. The stage is only dimly lit for the majority of the act, and all dialogue is either monologue or soliloquy. The protagonist, being deaf, cannot technically hear the dialogue that the few remaining characters deliver, but this is unclear due to poor writing.

Comedy.

The protagonist, in a sequence clearly inspired by (and possibly directly lifted from) Johnny Got His Gun, delivers a genuinely moving monologue on the nature of loneliness and isolation, the futility of removing oneself from the affairs of the world, the redemptive potential of love.

Tragedy.

The monologue delivered, the protagonist abruptly dies.

Comedy.

In a jarring tonal shift, angels descend from on high and announce that they are taking the protagonist’s soul to its final reward. The protagonist is overjoyed up until the moment the angels reveal that existence is cyclical and it is the protagonist’s fate to repeat their life for all eternity.

Tragedy.

The play repeats.

Comedy.

The play repeats.

Tragedy.

The play repeats.

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