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Shard #11 - A Princess Tale - Empty's Screenplay
Written A Long Time Ago

A PRINCESS TALE
A production by Empty

Licensed for use to Shellville Elementary School

ACT I


INT. CASTLE DIMCHOWDER - MORNING

It's morning and the sunrise can be seen through windows and across turrets. Restless people and creatures rush up and down the great Cathedral halls. All of them have pained looks on their faces, as though they might be found guilty of some terrible misdeed. In the treasury vaults, a group of dwarves with large, archaic calculating machines are poring over great lists and comparing them against a small pile of jewelry. They are speaking in a dwarvish tongue. Rolls of parchment fly between them and stream through the air in a chaotic frenzy.

FORTON
Who would have the nerve to break into
the vaults of Castle Dimchowder?

KORTON
Trolls. Nasty trolls.

FORTON
Shut up, Korton. Do you want us to
lose our heads? Go get Morton,
but don't tell him anything. Let me
do the talking. Especially, don't say
anything about trolls.

We follow a small Korton in tattered robes as he runs through the halls and knocks on a heavy, wooden door.


INT. MORTON'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER

Morton, a thin and bony castle servant is roused awake and gets out of bed, hastily. He rolls to the floor, taking his covers with him.


MORTON
What's the meaning of this intrusion?
Korton, is that you? What time is it?


KORTON
(through the door)

Oh, ohhh.. Seven thirty, Sir. You must
come quickly. There's no time to explain.

Morton puts on his clothing, neatly, and combs his hair, patiently.


MORTON
(to himself)

Never a moment's sleep around here.

Morton storms out of the room, flattening Korton behind the door, who stumbles awkwardly to attention. Morton is followed down the hallway by Korton. Morton's pants fall down and he nearly trips over them. He pulls them back up and buckles his belt without stopping.

At this point, Keitoi, the Oriental halfling thief, emerges dressed in black. He's been hiding through the night. He has a large sack over one shoulder. As Morton and Korton pass by, he darts from one side of the hallway to the other. As they stop to meet Forton, we see the top of Keitoi's head as he slips quietly from the hallway to the castle window and drops out of sight. We hear a jingle-jangling in the distance as he hits the ground below and lands on his feet, running.

As Morton and Korton meet Forton, Korton runs alongside Morton and whispers into Morton's ear. He is anxiously looking back and forth to make sure nobody else is within earshot.


MORTON
(loudly)

Trolls of Amscoth, Korton? Bite your tongue or
I'll have you committed to the dungeons,
and let me never hear you speak of
trolls again.

Korton is desperately trying to hush Morton.


MORTON
God forbid, Grander Titan should ever hear
you utter something so ridiculous. There'd
be no saving you, then! What we have here is a
common thief. How could this have happened?
Who was watching Queen Dimchowder's
jewelry room? Grander Titan will
surely have his head for this.

FORTON
We are trying to figure that out, Sir.

KORTON
Yes, Sir. We'll find that troll.. err thief,
and have his head for you on a silver
platter.

Forton crosses his eyes and makes crazy motions at Korton.


MORTON
See to it, then. Bring me the head of
the thief.

Forton smacks Korton and they walk off down the hallway, stage rear.


FORTON
(to Korton)

Who told you to speak? How are
we going to find such a skilled thief? I don't
even know where to begin.

KORTON
Amscoth?

FORTON
Shut up!

Later that morning...

We follow Morton as he hastens down the hallway and we can hear him grumbling to himself.


MORTON
Trolls! I have a good mind to tell
Grander Titan about that one. Maybe
after those bumbling stooges are
beheaded, I will be assigned some
competent assistants. Lord! What have
I done to deserve such a fate? Surely
I must have been cruel and unjust in
a previous life.

CLOSE CURTAINS.


INT. QUEEN'S QUARTERS - AFTERNOON

Grander Titan and Queen Dimchowder are alone. They are unusually close and are on very friendly terms.


QUEEN DIMCHOWDER
Surely Titan, there must be some other
way.

GRANDER TITAN
No. A widowed queen can never re-marry.
The bishop would not allow it. And if
he knew that was our intention, he
would never allow me to marry Princess
Azalea. Surely, if it were to be that
way, I could never be King, and then we
could never rule Greater Dimchowder
together. Whoever Princess Azalea
takes as her husband, he alone will be
King. That is what is written. Believe
me, Majesty. If it could be any other
way...

QUEEN DIMCHOWDER
Aye. So it must be, Titan. Very well
then. I don't wish to wait any longer.

GRANDER TITAN
And neither do I. Therefore, this is
what I propose. You must decree a
period of courtship. As it is written,
in this time, any man may propose to
Azalea. But you must make it known
that if no-one comes forth, by default
I, as the High Guard and the defender
of Greater Dimchowder, will wed with her
and become her King.

QUEEN DIMCHOWDER
That would be fine if that should
happen, but what if someone does come
forth and proposes to Azalea?

GRANDER TITAN
We must make certain that doesn't
happen. You will set a number of
challenges. Anyone who comes forth to
propose must overcome these challenges
before they can be allowed to marry
the Princess. And if they do overcome
them, I will come forth and there will
be a duel to the death with me. Let it
be known that this is what Queen
Dimchowder has decreed!

QUEEN DIMCHOWDER
(laughing)

And who will come forth? Surely, no-one
would ever draw a sword against you.
You have laid waste to four other
kingdoms in the name of Dimchowder! You
have defeated the strongest, most
fiercest men and beasts in all of
known Balloonia!

GRANDER TITAN
It is highly improbable that anyone could
be so stupid.

QUEEN DIMCHOWDER
Titan, dear Titan, be candid with me.
Will it work? Can we really rule
Dimchowder together? Forever?

GRANDER TITAN
Of course it will work, my Queen.
Trust in me for I have never let you
down. Soon, I will be king, and Azalea
will be at our mercy. Together, you
and I will be an unstoppable force.

A knock at the door.


MORTON
Your Majesty!

Grander Titan goes to the door and swings it open, fiercely.


GRANDER TITAN
Who is there? For what reason are
we interrupted?

He looks out and no-one is there. He goes out into the hallway, looks behind the door, and drags a newly-bruised Morton inside by the ear.


GRANDER TITAN
Oh, it's you. Come, speak quickly, and
begone!

MORTON
Sir, it's.. it's.. you. I was
expecting Queen Dimchowder.

GRANDER TITAN
Be quick, grue-bait.

MORTON
(bowing)

Sir. And especially your Royal
Highness. It is with much grief that
I, your humble and devout servant must
be the one to come and break this
dreadful, appalling news to you.
Surely, no-one else wanted to come
forth. But I am always and forever
loyal, sir, Your Majesty.

Grander Titan draws his sword and puts it at Morton's throat.


GRANDER TITAN
'Be quick' I said, or be dead.

Morton gulps.


MORTON
Someone has broken into the castle
during the night and made off with
some of Queen's precious jewelry.

QUEEN DIMCHOWDER
My jewelry???

Morton is flattened against the wall as Grander Titan rushes out of the room. Queen Dimchowder follows closely behind, wailing.

Morton falls to his knees and looks to the ceiling for a higher power.


MORTON
Lord of Balloonia, surely I must have done
something quite dastardly in a past
life. Won't you ever have mercy upon
me? Am I not worthy enough that I
should not have been born the son of a
blowfly? Surely, somewhere, is a
delightful dung pile with my name on it.

CLOSE CURTAINS.



Cocaine Kiss
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All poems and stories on this web page are (C)Copyright 1996 - 1999 by Ronald Rand.

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