Sharon’s #3DNC: Scene 1

Sharon wrote an entire play over the Three-Day Novel weekend! Here is scene one of Love’s Labours Happily Ever After

 

ACT [1]

SCENE [1]

(The field surrounding PRINCE KIT’S castle. The entrance to the castle is UR. PRINCE KIT is preset gripping a glass slipper. PHILIP and EUGENE enter dejectedly. PHILIP is helping the blind EUGENE, who is holding a long braid of golden hair. They take a few steps, unbeknownst to KIT, and EUGENE’s feet gets tangled in the hair, causing him to trip and fall to the ground. The noise gets the attention of KIT.)

PHILIP:

(helping EUGENE stand)

Are you alright?

EUGENE:

Fine, fine. Who’d have known something so pretty could get you so tangled up? Must be why people tell you to stay out of their hair.

PHILIP:

I wish you’d let me carry it for you.

EUGENE:

No. No, thank you. I can manage, but maybe we should wrap it round like a scarf or something.

KIT:

Welcome, travelers. Where do you come from?

EUGENE:

Who’s that?

PHILIP:

Prince Kit if I’m not mistaken. It’s an honor to meet you, Your Highness. I am Prince Philip, son of King Hubert.

EUGENE:

Eugene.

KIT:

You look worn and weary. What brings you to my kingdom?

EUGENE:

Philip.

PHILIP:

We seek refuge, Your Highness. Strange things are happening in our lands, and we both have suffered great loss. The entire castle of my betrothed has been put under an enchanted sleep. Rumor has it that she has hired an evil fairy to cast the sleeping spell so that she would avoid marrying me. I met Eugene as I tried to search for her. He was stumbling in the forest from a newfound blindness that had been inflicted upon him for pursuit of the woman who once bore the weight of that hair.

KIT:

Why do you not go to the land of your father?

PHILIP:

He too is under the spell.

(PRINCE FERDINAND enters carrying an apple with one bite taken out of it.)

FERDINAND:

Well met, gentle friends! It is beyond hope, but is there any chance that you know the whereabouts, the most glorious whereabouts, of my true love whose beauty is beyond compare? Lips red as the rose. Hair black as ebony. Skin white as snow.

PHLIP:

What is her name, sir?

FERDINAND: (pause)

In truth I don’t know. I was so caught up in the life changing moment of meeting her, that I didn’t ask her name.

EUGENE:

But she’s your true love?

FERDINAND:

The moment I saw her one love possessed me, thrilling me, and now my heart keeps singing of my one love, constant and true, only of her.

EUGENE:

How come you don’t know where she is if your love is so constant?

FERDINAND:

(holding up the apple)

Do you see this?

EUGENE:

No.

PHILIP:

It’s an apple, with a bite taken out of it.

FERDINAND:

Yes. A dreadful, fateful bite has taken my love from me. After our hearts joined across the stone courtyard, she disappeared. I’ve been in search for her ever since. Finally, I heard of a woman with lips red as the rose, hair as black as ebony, and skin white as snow that was enshrined in a coffin wrought by skilled dwarves, waiting for a prince to break an evil spell cast upon her. A long journey lay ahead of me, but I was spurred on by the hope that she – my true love – was waiting for me to free her.

EUGENE:

Let me guess, she wasn’t waiting for you.

FERDINAND:

Alas, no. When I arrived the Dwarves told me that she and the coffin had disappeared. The only thing they had left was this apple, the cause of her demise.

KIT:

It was a ruse. A ruse to wound you and leave you alone.

FERDINAND:

A ruse? Who are you to say such slander against my true love?

KIT:

Prince Philip has a tale of a woman going to desperate tactics to prevent wooing. I too could tell my own tale of feminine jilting, and I imagine this man has a similar story –

EUGENE: (interrupting)

Women don’t jilt me. They can’t resist the smolder.

KIT:

It is clear to me that we have been dealt cruel blows under the guise of damsels in distresses. Fate has brought the four of us together to give us an opportunity to learn from our weak-hearted ways. Together, let us forgo the profitless war of love and make war over our passions and desires.

FERDINAND:

A noble quest perhaps?

KIT:

We will devote three years to live in the living art of contemplation.

PHILIP:

But what if the maidens are in fact damsels in distress? Doesn’t it seem strange to you that all the women we have sought after have been unexplainably taken from us.

KIT:

There is nothing unexplainable about a woman running away from you, leaving nothing behind but a glass slipper to haunt you. No, friends. There is no magic involved to explain away the answer.

PHILIP:

And King Stephan’s castle? It may be true that the Princess Aurora herself used magic to keep me away, but what about my father and the other innocents trapped behind the wall of thorns? Do we leave them to their fate?

KIT:

Make this pact with me and I swear we will find a way to free them. Finding a way to overcome the thorns will be a part of our study.

FERDINAND:

I have yet to go on a true quest with companions of valor. I swear to follow you…

KIT:

His Royal Highness, Prince Christoph Henry Edward the 4th. You may call me Prince Kit.

FERDINAND:

I swear to follow you Prince Kit. Till death.

EUGENE:

Three years of contemplation and study isn’t likely to involve dying.

PHILIP:

If you promise to help me free my father from the spell, I’ll give you my oath.

KIT:

(to Eugene)

And you sir?

EUGENE:

Why not?

KIT:

There will be strict rules. No pursuit of romance, no seeing of women, fasting once a week, and little sleep so that we can dedicate ourselves completely to remaking ourselves.

EUGENE:

I hope you mean we’ll be feasting once a week.

FERDINAND:

No, indeed. There is no growth of gallantry without attacking the vice of gluttony.

PHILIP:

It does seem a bit hard. What is the end of this stringent study? Fasting won’t break a spell, will it?

KIT:

To know which else we should not know if we did not study. To be our own masters, free from the torments of women.

EUGENE:

Well then, I swear to study to know the thing I am forbid to know; such as food, sleep, and the torments of women.

FERDINAND:

Will you take back your word? You swore against these things. Have you no sense of honor?

EUGENE:

The way I see it, I swore to three years of contemplation, Kit the 4th here added all the other things afterwards, so I didn’t give my word to any of it.

KIT:

Women, food, and sleep hinder study.

EUGENE:

You need to not put all your arrow in one quiver. Are you really going to give up on love because one woman lost her nerve and a shoe?

KIT:

I won’t be made a fool again. She left me at the ball where I was to choose my bride, the clumsy thief who could not steal a woman’s heart but instead was robbed of his own heart. She left this glass slipper on the steps of my palace as a hope that I would be able to find her again, but the search proved to be a torment.

EUGENE:

Isn’t that a bit dramatic?

PHILIP:

And harsh.

FERDINAND:

Whatever it is, it was beautifully said.

PHILIP:

If you are so intent on forsaking women, why do you keep the slipper with you?

KIT:

To remind myself of the pain that I can avoid by focusing on to pursuit of knowledge rather than the pursuit of love.

EUGENE:

Mind if I hold it? I’ve never heard of a shoe made out of glass before. It’s beyond me how anyone can wear that and not get shards of glass stuck in their foot. I’d like to feel it if you don’t mind.

(KIT hands him the slipper. EUGENE slowly runs his fingers around it.)

Amazing. Not a single sharp edge. This etched design is very intricate.

(He rubs the sides several times trying to get a sense of what the design is)

It feels like… A sword… Maybe?

(There is a poof and a flashing of light. The FAIRY GODMOTHER enters and plops to the ground to sit.)

FAIRY GODMOTHER:

Fairy dust! Give me a moment for my head to stop spinning, then I’ll help you. Right now there are four of you. Best wait until I only see one.

PHILIP:

But Madam, there are four of us.

EUGENE: (whispering)

Who’s there?

PHILIP: (whispering)

A fairy.

FAIRY GODMOTHER:

Oh. In that case.

(she stands and brushes herself off. When she catches sight of the glass slipper she snatches it out of EUGENE’S hands.)

Where did you get this?

EUGENE:

From Kit the 4th.

FAIRY GODMOTHER:

And where is this Kit that I may inquire of him?

KIT:

I am Prince Kit. Tell me who you are and how you came to be in my kingdom.

FAIRY GODMOTHER:

I am a Fairy Godmother and was brought here by the rubbing of this glass slipper, which I demand you explain your possession of it.

KIT:

Do you know the woman who wore this slipper?

FAIRY GODMOTHER:

Know her? I gave her that slipper to attend your ball. What have you done to her?

KIT:

Nothing, besides dance with her. Barely ten minutes had passed before she ran away. This is all she left behind.

EUGENE:

That and his broken heart.

KIT:

I would you were mute instead of blind.

FAIRY GODMOTHER:

You must have done something to frighten her off.

KIT:

Nothing, I swear.

PHILIP:

Perhaps you can help us, Madam. We’ve all been separated from our true love.

FAIRY GODMOTHER:

Where are they?

 

PHILIP:

We lost them.

FAIRY GODMOTHER:

Lost them?

PHILIP:

We’ve lost our true loves.

FAIRY GODMOTHER:

Women don’t vanish into thin air.

PHILIP:

But ours have. We each of us have searched for his true love, but all we have left are these trinkets of remembrance.

FAIRY GODMOTHER:

A slipper, a bitten apple, and long rope of hair. What is your trinket, sir?

PHILIP:

A walk, once upon a dream.

FAIRY GODMOTHER: (sighing)

 

Let me see the apple.

(FERDINAND hands over the apple to her, and she examines it closely.)

FERDINAND:

Hold it gently, I pray you. It is a precious reminder of her whose lips are red as the rose, hair as black as ebony, skin –

EUGENE:

We know, we know. Snow white.

FAIRY GODMOTHER:

This apple is poisoned.

(going over to EUGENE and examining his eyes.)

And your blindness is not natural. At least that can be easily fixed.

(She waves her wand in front of his eyes)

EUGENE:

(Catching sight of KIT first)

You look as pretentious as I imagined.

PHILIP:

A long time ago, an evil fairy roamed the lands of King Stepen named Malificent. She hasn’t been heard from for sixteen years, but I could believe she is behind these strange happenings.

FAIRY GODMOTHER:

That is a name I hoped to never hear again.

(Beat)

Well, come along then. Let’s go find your lady loves.

KIT:

But our vow.

EUGENE:

Your vow.

FERDINAND:

We all vowed.

PHILIP:

Surely our vow to chivalry negates a misinformed vow taken in haste.

FAIRY GODMOTHER:

What vow?

KIT:

To forsake the company of women for three years.

FAIRY GODMOTHER:

Fairy dust. What prompted you to that foolishness?

KIT:

I thought we had been jilted. Perhaps I was mistaken, but a vow is still a vow.

FERDINAND:

There may be a way to fulfill both our vows. If our illustrious Fairy Godmother will bring the maidens to us, we can protect them here in your field without needing to interact with them. Thus, being both chivalrous and free to focus on study.

PHILIP:

What do you say milord?

EUGENE:

I say it will never work.

KIT:

Very well. Bring the maidens here if they are willing, and we will protect them if they are indeed damsels-in-distress.

FAIRY GODMOTHER:

I’ll see what I can do. If I was them, I wouldn’t want to be protected by men foolish enough to forswear love. (She exits)

EUGENE:

I’m telling you, once the women arrive our vow will be forgotten.

FERDINAND:

I will elicit the help of the Seven Dwarves to keep guard over them! (Exits)

BLACKOUT.

 

 

 

 

 

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About Sørina Higgins

Sørina Higgins is a writer, English teacher, and Inklings scholar. Sørina serves as Chair of the Department of Language and Literature at Signum University and teaches English at King's College and Lehigh Carbon Community College. She has published two books of poetry, "The Significance of Swans" and "Caduceus."

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