A Very Tiny Pay #15

More in my fantasy universe. Gotta have a small town tavern scene!

(The scene is a lively pub, The Copper Cup. Tables are full of people laughing, drinking, and sharing stories. Downstage right is Tybalt, sitting alone at a small table, which has no other chairs around it. Lucy enters right behind Tybalt with a tray full of big mugs of beer.)

HOLSTAFF: ‘Ere’s to the Dragon! For keepin’ us all warm and cheerful on this sombre night. To Lucy!

ALL (except Tybalt): To Lucy!

SOMMER: D’you jus’ call ‘er the Dragon? Wot fer?

HOLSTAFF: On accoun’ a’, ye get too Drunk, she be Dragon ye outta here!

LUCY: Holstaff, you ol’ flatterer. We’re gettin’ ’round to closin’ time, folks –

(General cries of dismay)

Now, now, quit yer whinin’. This last round is on the house!

(General cries of celebration. She starts handing out mugs and pointedly ignores Tybalt.)

TYBALT: Hey! Wha’bou’ me?

LUCY: You’ve had enough, dear. Head on home.

TYBALT: I’ve had enough when I’ve had enough! Gimme one o’ them –

(On this last sentence, Tybalt stands up, and cuts himself off when a couple of other men between him and Lucy stand up as well. The bar turns silent on a dime.)

LUCY: Now Tybalt, go home before ye regret somethin’.

TYBALT: I regret comin’ here! You! (pointing theatrically at Lucy) You never loved my brother – yer all smilin’ an’ celebratin’ like you’re glad ‘e’s gone! Like ‘e was holdin’ ye back!

(One of the large men near Tybalt starts to move toward him.)

LUCY: Stanforth, no. I need to talk to this man. What do you know about my Jozan? Hey? You left to seek your fortune! Five years he’s had to mind the forge single handed. I loved him, and he loved me. He loved me for my smiles and my celebratin’ so I’m gonna keep smilin’ and celebratin’ in his honour and if you don’t like it you can pack up and slink on back to that big city o’ yours.

(There is a loaded silence.

SOMMER: Oh, ‘s at Jozan’s brother?

HOLSTAFF (smacking Sommer on the head): Quiet!

(Tybalt sits down.)

TYBALT: Sorry, Lucy. I just wish I could honour ‘im like you do.

LUCY: All right, folks, I think we can take this last round outside, whaddaya say? Come on, move it, grab a flagon on yer way out!

(The bar empties. Lucy sits down next to Tybalt.)

TYBALT: Why’re you –

LUCY: I know what’s botherin’ you.

TYBALT: Tch.

LUCY: Jozan never wanted you to become a bounty hunter. But you did it anyway. Now ye’ve got nothin’ and ye think maybe he was right. ‘Sat it?

TYBALT: Last thing I said to ‘im was I… I didn’t need ‘im.

LUCY: Oh, Tybalt….

TYBALT: He was the only thing I could count on in all Dracana, and now I lost ‘im too. If I hadn’t gone made a fool o’ myself in every damn tavern in the city, I could’ve protected him – I could have saved ‘im! I wish… I just wish….

(He weeps. Lucy puts her arm on him. He settles down a bit.)

LUCY: Tybalt. If you know Jozan like I do, you’ll know he doesn’t want you mopin’ about ‘im. He would want you to move. To get up, dust yerself off, and do somethin’. Dun matter what. That’s why I’m hostin’ like ain’t nothin’ wrong. I got a hole in my heart the size o’ this town and the only way I can fill it is by livin’ my life. Hey! Listen. Old man Maloney has been takin’ over at the forge, but he could use a hand. Why dontcha stay here an’ work the forge?

TYBALT: Thanks, Luce. I will. But… just for a bit. Yer right, I gotta live my life. I’m not about to live Jozan’s. I’m gonna be the best damn bounty hunter around, but… not for the fame. I’m gonna make the highways safer. I wanna stop people dyin’ for no good reason.

LUCY: Atta boy!

TYBALT: Thanks Luce.

LUCY: Come outside for another round, yeah?

TYBALT: Hah! Naw. Had enough. Gotta get up early an’ start work. I’ll be a little rusty, pun intended.

LUCY: Suit yerself. Bye now.

(He tips his hat and stumbles out. She had stood up to wave him good-bye, and she sits back down and cries as the lights fade.)

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A Very Tiny Play: #14

A couple of philosophical frogs is what spoke to me today. Or, maybe just one philosophical frog.

(Griselda is waiting on a lily pad admiring the stars. Johnson swims up and climbs on the adjacent lily pad.)

JOHNSON: Hey Griselda.

GRISELDA: Hi Johnson! What’s up?

JOHNSON: Nothing.

GRISELDA: Mhm. Yeah.

(They sit in silence for a bit. A fly comes into view. Johnson throws his tongue at it three or four times but then it disappears from view. Another fly comes in from the opposite side and Griselda catches it in one try.)

JOHNSON: Frog damn it.

GRISELDA: What?

JOHNSON: Everyone else is – I feel like everyone is just way much better at catching than me.

GRISELDA: Why?

JOHNSON: You caught that one on the first try!

GRISELDA: So?

JOHNSON: Could you just catch some for me?

GRISELDA: Uh, I could…. How do you catch flies?

JOHNSON: Don’t patronise me.

GRISELDA: No, I mean, what’s your strategy?

JOHNSON: What do you mean, strategy, I just throw my tongue at them.

GRISELDA: See, what I do is I wait for the right moment. The best times are when they stop moving, or when they turn either away from you or toward you. As long as they are the same angle from you for half a second you’ll get them.

JOHNSON: They like, never stop moving. I could catch them if they stopped moving.

GRISELDA: I know, but really it’s about reading their movements and predicting them.

JOHNSON: Fine.

(Another fly comes on.)

GRISELDA: Go ahead, try it!

(Johnson waits and watches the fly until it goes out the other side.)

JOHNSON: AUGH! See? I had no chance! I’m just going to froggin’ starve.

GRISELDA: Really? I… there were like, at least three or four times I could have caught that guy.

JOHNSON: Well, I guess you’re just a champion.

GRISELDA: Johnson, if you think and act as if life is conspiring against you then, yeah, it’s going to feel that way. Carl Tongue believed that the universe is responsive. It listens to your intentions, that it’s not just stuff that’s there, but it is like, a conscious entity which treats you the way you treat you treat yourself. Or something.

JOHNSON: Frog, you sound like one of those Croakists.

GRISELDA: They’re just misguided! Their ideas are based on a perversion of genuine amphibious spiritual experience.

JOHNSON: Okay, you lost me at spiritual experience. See you later.

GRISELDA: Bye.

(Johnson hops back into the water and swims away. A fly enters.)

GRISELDA: Do you have philosophers?

(The fly rests on a flower. After a moment, Griselda catches it.)

GRISELDA: Hehe. Flylosophers.

(The lights fade on Griselda’s satisfied croak.)

A Very Tiny Play: #13

Is that unlucky? Numbers are weird. Here’s the play. Hopefully this arcane academy I’m developing won’t make people think I’m trying to rip of Harry Potter. Hahaha! #plagiarism

(Zelda is working in the school’s resplendent garden. She is wearing ordinary townsfolk clothes. Ferdinand, with a gardener’s apron over his shoulder, approaches her.)

FERDINAND: Zelda! You are almost finished!

ZELDA: Yep. What do you think?

FERDINAND: Wonderful. I am ecstatic not to have to do that myself.

ZELDA: You know? It’s not so bad once you get into it! I actually found it cleared my head. It’s nice when you’re so swamped in books.

FERDINAND: Yes. It is.

ZELDA: I couldn’t help but notice we don’t have any Fireweed.

FERDINAND: Fireweed doesn’t grow in this climate.

ZELDA: Oh! Right.

FERDINAND: Why were you looking for Fireweed?

ZELDA: I just, it’s so beautiful, I wanted to decorate my desk, you know?

FERDINAND: Zelda. I don’t know you very well. But I know of you. Are you being exceptionally gracious toward me in hopes of acquiring some Fireweed?

ZELDA: What? No!

FERDINAND: Why do you want the Fireweed?

ZELDA: It’s pretty! Do I need a better reason?

FERDINAND: Please, Zelda. Don’t disappoint me.

(They have a stare-down.)

ZELDA: … Sorry.

FERDINAND: Apology accepted. Will you answer my question?

ZELDA: I want it for a love spell.

FERDINAND: Obviously.

ZELDA: You knew?

FERDINAND: Fireweed is very rare and its flowers are used in two spells. I didn’t think you would go to such lengths for a tinting spell.

ZELDA: Heh. Yeah. No.

FERDINAND: Surely you must know magic is not the way to someone’s heart.

ZELDA: It’s not. I’m not really after someone. It’s … a guy from class, Leopold, he found out something about me, a secret, and …

FERDINAND: Your parentage?

ZELDA: I guess everyone knows now. So, yeah, I want to get back at him.

FERDINAND: I see. I’m impressed.

ZELDA: You are?

FERDINAND: A love spell is an excellent revenge tool.

ZELDA: It is?

FERDINAND: I will give you the Fireweed. In one week.

ZELDA: What? Why?

FERDINAND: Do you want it?

ZELDA: Yeah, but I was hoping …

FERDINAND: See you next week! Thanks for doing the weeds!

(He exits. Blackout. Lights up on Ferdinand lounging in his office reading a book. Zelda knocks.)

FERDINAND: Come in!

ZELDA: Hi, Sir.

FERDINAND: Please, Ferdinand will do.

ZELDA: O-oh. Okay.

FERDINAND: I have your Fireweed right here.

ZELDA: Thank you. But actually, I don’t want it.

FERDINAND: Really?

ZELDA: I did a lot of thinking over the last week. I kind of visualised every way the love spell could turn out, and it all kind of sucked. In all my fantasies, I just ended up … meh. Except for in one part. See, my plan was to cast the spell on Leopold’s girlfriend. He would walk in on us making out at some point and just be so disgusted. Hahahaha! But then, she would be mad at me. She would hate me. That’s what makes me most afraid. I realised I care about her way more than blasted Leopold. So I’m still going to steal his girlfriend, but I’m doing it for me. Not because of him!

FERDINAND: That’s the spirit!

ZELDA: Thank you. You knew this would happen. Didn’t you?

FERDINAND: Something like it. Here.

ZELDA: Oh, wow! It’s amazing!

FERDINAND: Perhaps you need not burn it for your spell. Flowers are often well-received by ladies, I’m told.

ZELDA: Thank you, Ferdinand. Maybe I’ll come by this week to work in the garden again.

FERDINAND: I will be happy to see you.

(Zelda leaves the office and Ferdinand returns to his book with a smile.)

A Very Tiny Play: #12

This one’s a Doozen! Get it? Doozey + dozen? Oh, fine. Read the play!

(Thierry, a priest, is walking from stage right to stage left. He is very old and takes his time, for he’s got plenty. Leopold comes in from stage left and almost walks right by Thierry.)

THIERRY: Hello, young man.

LEOPOLD: AH! Holy, what the – where did you come from?

THIERRY: I reside at the chapel on the corner of this land. Have you seen it?

LEOPOLD: No. Sorry.

THIERRY: I see you have a lot of tools there. Might I inquire as to their function?

LEOPOLD: Sure. They’re for farming.

THIERRY: Farming? Where are you farming?

LEOPOLD: Well, hey! You’re the old pastor aren’t you?

THIERRY: Yes, I am.

LEOPOLD: Okay, great. Folks in town told me to find you and ask about making a farm here. See, I find myself unsuited to city life. I’m sure you understand. When I heard about an enormous battle that took place here long ago, I thought, hey, that land must be really fertile! So I came around to… farm!

THIERRY: Farming is indeed a noble occupation. What will you do with this farm?

LEOPOLD: Oh… grow vegetables. And fruits. Other farm things.

THIERRY: I will be happy if this land goes to good use. Please let me know if there is anything you need.

LEOPOLD: Thanks!

(Leopold turns to go.)

THIERRY: If you are lying, however, I must regretfully promise you a fiery voyage directly to the infernos of hell.

LEOPOLD: Uh… okay. Bye.

THIERRY: God be with you.

(Leopold goes out right. Thierry continues walking on his way. After a very long beat, France, in her park ranger outfit, rides in from stage right.)

FRANCE: Father!

THIERRY: My dear, how are you?

FRANCE: Cool. Good. Um, I found some… people. Digging.

THIERRY: Digging?

FRANCE: Ya. A big operation. Like, serious digging. I would call it a dig. I think they’re after… um…

THIERRY: Oh, my. Sounds bad. Did you notice a fellow carrying a lot of tools?

FRANCE: Yeah. There were a lot of tools.

THIERRY: Ah.

(Thierry transforms into a monstrous demon.)

DEMON THIERRY: Take me to them.

FRANCE: Ya. Over here.

(They leave out the way France came.)

A Very Tiny Play: #11

It’s like #1, but with a 1 in front! I’m currently building a high fantasy setting for a D&D campaign. This is my first piece of drama set in that realm.

(Center is a glorious roadside shrine to the Silver Dragon, the patron deity of the province Argentum, which is populated mostly by elves. Sitting on the base of the shrine, naked, and with head hanging between his knees, is Pluoc, a half-orc. Pluoc is nearly 7 feet tall, with pale green skin and lean musculature (for a half-orc). Enter Senser from right. Senser is a half-elf, 5’5”, stout (for a half-elf), carrying a large back pack, and seems miffed. Senser is dressed well, but not too well. Like someone with a great fashion sense shopping at Value Village. Senser crosses to left, trying his best not to glance at Pluoc, but failing once or twice. He stops before exiting. He turns around to look at Pluoc. He turns around again, takes a step, and physically struggles in an attempt to take another. He sighs. He walks towards Pluoc.)

SENSER: Hey!

(With impressive slowness, Pluoc lifts and turns his head to look at Senser.)

PLUOC: …

SENSER: What, are you, doing here?

(With impressive slowness, Pluoc drops his head back to its original position.)

PLUOC: …

SENSER: Look, you can’t just sit there all day under the sun like that.

PLUOC: …

SENSER: Fine.

(Senser walks away. He stops before exiting.)

THE ELF IN SENSER: What are you doing? Help him, by Argentum!

THE HUMAN IN SENSER: What? I tried!

THE ELF IN SENSER: You told him not to sit there. You didn’t even offer him sun lotion.

THE HUMAN IN SENSER: He doesn’t even have clothes, how do you expect him to pay for it?

THE ELF IN SENSER: It’s called charity! Have you forgotten how your ancestors were liberated from slavery and given their own province?

SENSER: Yeah, yeah….

(When Senser says this, Pluoc lifts his head enough to be able to peer at Senser.)

THE ELF IN SENSER: He’s naked, alone, and sitting under the eyes of the Silver Dragon herself. Go!

THE HUMAN IN SENSER: How did he get so naked? Eh? Maybe he’s dangerous!

THE ELF IN SENSER: He’s a half-orc – they’re all dangerous if you get them mad. They don’t just get mad at anyone! You help that fellow or I’m going to guilt you for years.

THE HUMAN IN SENSER: Aw, there you go playing the guilt card again.

(Senser turns again toward the half-orc and wanders over.)

SENSER: Listen. My caravan isn’t far. Why don’t you come with me? I can… I can give you some sun lotion.

THE ELF IN SENSER: Food and water!

SENSER: And food and water. If you’re thirsty. Or hungry. Or something.

(Pluoc is now staring at Senser. A long beat until Pluoc stands up, with impressive slowness.)

PLUOC: You do not know me. Why do you help?

SENSER: B-because. Because you need it. Don’t you?

PLUOC: … … … … yes. Thank you.

SENSER: Will you tell me why you’re sitting there?

PLUOC: To commune with Dragon.

SENSER: Argentum?

PLUOC: All.

SENSER: Need answers? The clerics at the temple in Elgon are the wisest in the land, if you ask me – and I’ve been all over!

PLUOC: No. Need answer from Dragon.

SENSER: Ah. Well. Good luck with that. Now come along, my caravan’s this way. Do you – want clothes?

(Pluoc looks down at his junk and back at Senser with impressive slowness.)

PLUOC: Loincloth.

SENSER: I’ve got just the thing. Come.

(Senser plods out and Pluoc follows with impressive slowness.)

A Very Tiny Play: #10

This one’s bad! Oh, well….

(Inside a deranged playwright’s mind. Travis is lying on a La-Z-Boy playing with a paddle ball. Travis’ Self-Imposed Responsibility slinks up.)

TRAVIS’ SELF-IMPOSED RESPONSIBILITY: What are you doing?

TRAVIS: Nothing. Relaxing! It’s my day off.

TRAVIS’ SELF-IMPOSED RESPONSIBILITY: You are an independent artist. You don’t get time off!

TRAVIS: Yeah, whatever.

TRAVIS’ SELF-IMPOSED RESPONSIBILITY: You said you’d write a play every day. So, do it!

TRAVIS: Nah.

TRAVIS’ SELF-IMPOSED RESPONSIBILITY: You’re going to do it.

TRAVIS: No I’m not!

TRAVIS’ SELF-IMPOSED RESPONSIBILITY: Okay.

(Travis’ Self-Imposed Responsibility crawls to the foot of the La-Z-Boy and curls up like a dog for a nap.)

TRAVIS: What are you doing?

TRAVIS’ SELF-IMPOSED RESPONSIBILITY: Taking a nap.

TRAVIS: Go away!

TRAVIS’ SELF-IMPOSED RESPONSIBILITY: Why? You used to like it when I –

TRAVIS: It’s my day off, okay?!

TRAVIS’ SELF-IMPOSED RESPONSIBILITY: I’m just taking a nap!

TRAVIS: AUGH You’re so annoying FINE I’ll write a stupid play.

TRAVIS’ SELF-IMPOSED RESPONSIBILITY: Yes!

TRAVIS: What do I need?

TRAVIS’ SELF-IMPOSED RESPONSIBILITY: A beginning, a middle, and an end.

TRAVIS: That’s it?

TRAVIS’ SELF-IMPOSED RESPONSIBILITY: Yes.

TRAVIS: Are you sure? I feel like there’s a lot more to drama craft than that.

TRAVIS’ SELF-IMPOSED RESPONSIBILITY: Well, there is. But that’s sort of, the minimum.

TRAVIS: So, what you’re saying is it’s going to be a bad play.

TRAVIS’ SELF-IMPOSED RESPONSIBILITY: Yes.

TRAVIS: Oh. Hm. I’m okay with that.

TRAVIS’ SELF-IMPOSED RESPONSIBILITY: Great. Let’s get to it!

TRAVIS: Hmm… on second thought, I’ll write a bad play tomorrow.

TRAVIS’ SELF-IMPOSED RESPONSIBILITY: Hah! Too late.

TRAVIS: OH! Hey! It’s a play! Nice.

TRAVIS’ SELF-IMPOSED RESPONSIBILITY: Another job well done.

(Travis’s Self-Imposed Responsibility slinks away full of satisfaction and Travis continues paddle-balling.)

A Very Tiny Play: #9

Here’s one about archaeology and love and finding your true self. Let it inspire you!

(Deep underground an ancient temple. Zelda runs in and stops suddenly in front of a huge set of doors with runes inscribed overtop it. Simon runs in after her and stops for breath. Simon is carrying a large backpack, and Zelda holds only a satchel.)

ZELDA: This is it.

SIMON: What?

ZELDA: This door. It’s gotta be behind here. I fuckin’ know it. I can feel it. Can you feel it?

(She tries to push the door open.)

Yeah, didn’t think so. Here, give me the Rosetta Stone.

SIMON (through heavy panting): Nah, it’s okay, I’ll, I’ll do it.

ZELDA: Come on, Simon, the sunlight is fading! We don’t have time! You’re tired, give it to me.

SIMON: Nah, it’s fine. I’ll do it. I’m better at translating anyway.

ZELDA: Get the damn book out, Simon.

SIMON: I got it!

(He sits down with it.)

ZELDA: Tsk!

(She tries to take the book from him.)

SIMON: Zelda, what the hell!

ZELDA: You’re taking too long! Give me the damn book!

SIMON: Hey!

(She wrests the book from his hands.)

ZELDA: Thank you!

SIMON: Zelda! What the hell is wrong with you?

ZELDA: What?

SIMON: Ever since we got here you’ve been in such a goddamn rush! You almost got us killed twice!

ZELDA: How the hell was I supposed to know there would be traps?

SIMON: Research!

ZELDA: Pff.

SIMON: I’m sick of this. Keep the damn book, I’m out of here.

ZELDA: What? Simon, fuck, come on, we’re right at the end, the crown is through here!

SIMON: You don’t know that! And the sun is going down! I don’t want to end up mummy food!

ZELDA: There’s still time! Look. We’ll find out what’s through there and then quit for the day. Here, you can translate the runes. Okay? Is that what you want?

SIMON: Fine. Okay. So that’s negating… face of light… transform, with a negation… into sun… in the second person. So, without a face of light you’ll never become the sun. What the f – any ideas?

ZELDA: Nope. Fuck. Fuck!

SIMON: Well, let’s go. We’ll come back in the morning

ZELDA: AUGH! No! I’ve come so far! I can almost fucking taste it, Simon. It’s calling to me. I know it. I feel it. It’s in me. It’s calling to me. I’m going to take it. It’s gonna make me… Simon. Sun. Could that also be star?

SIMON: Yeah.

ZELDA: Of course! These guys are all about the stars! It’s a transcendence thing! This is a temple, right? It’s the ultimate test! They want to make sure you believe in yourself, that you emit the light of the heavens, the face of light, and when you do, the doors will open! You hear that, door? I fucking solved you! I am the greatest archaeologist in the world and I’m gonna go down in the books with a big fat picture of you next to my big fat smile! You hear me! Open the fuck up!

(Silence.)

FUCK!!!

(A beat.)

All right, let’s go. Fuck.

SIMON: No.

ZELDA: What?

SIMON: I think… I think my face needs to… be a face of light. Also.

ZELDA: What are you talking about?

SIMON: Maybe you noticed, I’ve been distracted on this expedition.

ZELDA: Yeah. Got us lost a couple of times. I noticed.

SIMON: Well, it’s because… I don’t really want to be here.

ZELDA: What…?

SIMON: Not that I don’t want to be with you! I just, I’ve never really wanted to be an archaeologist. I just did it because you were doing it, and, well, we were like this inseparable pair, this dynamic duo or whatever, and I didn’t want to break it up! And I love you and want to protect you, and help you reach your goals, but they’re your goals. Not mine. Mine are more… I don’t know. I just… fuck. No. I have to say it. My goal is you. I love you. Like, love love you. I want to kiss you. I want to dance with you. I want to… fuck, I want to rip your clothes off right here and take you on this floor! You’re so… you’re my Zelda. My princess. And I want to marry you.

ZELDA: Simon… you swore!

(The door thuds and creaks all the way open, revealing a brilliant threshold.)

SIMON: Well… shall we?

ZELDA: No.

(She kisses him.)

There’s no time. We have to get out before the mummy wakes up, we have to fuck all night, get up, fuck some more, and make our leisurely way down here tomorrow. I’m not in a rush.

SIMON: Oh kay!

ZELDA: Race you out!

SIMON: Oh, come on!

(She runs out, he runs to follow her, doubles back for his back pack and exits.)