"Snappily Ever After"
(Music: "Wonder", Natalie Merchant, only for a few seconds. Castle Lane, the
great hall, has been decorated for the christening of the newest Prince Lane.
A sizeable crowd of royalty, commoners, and a few fairies has gathered,
milling about and admiring the sleeping prince in his crib. The elder Prince
Lane, Wind, who is about 10, stands at the door with a long list of names.)
Prince Wind: (to entering guest) Name?
First Fairy: Timothy of Lawndale Loch, Spirit of Good Feelings?
Prince Wind: (checking list) OK, you're clear. Go ahead.
First Fairy: (relieved) Good! (coming halfway in the door) What a wonderful
party! I'd like to congratulate the king and queen--could you tell me where
they are, please?
Prince Wind: (shrugs) Not in my job description. Are you coming in or what?
First Fairy: Um, yes, of course. (He darts past Prince Wind and into the
crowd. The 7-year-old Princess Penny, looking bored, comes up behind Prince
Princess Penny: How's it going?
Prince Wind: (scans list) There's just one more fairy to go. This is so
boring I'm about to scream. It's all old people. Well, there was that one
duke's daughter I tried to talk to, but she punched me in the nose and walked
Princess Penny: (smirking) Typical.
Prince Wind: So what've you been up to?
Princess Penny: Not much. I tried to sneak onto one of the carriages, but
they kicked me out.
Prince Wind: (smirking) Typical.
Second Fairy: (puffing up to the door) Hello! I hope I'm not late for this
Prince Wind: Name?
Second Fairy: Angela, Principal Fairy of Llllllllawndale Lllloch!
Prince Wind: (checks list) OK, go ahead.
Second Fairy: Thank you, young man. It's responsible young people like you
that this kingdom needs
Prince Wind: Ma'am, could you possibly hurry it up? You're holding up the
Second Fairy: (huffily) Well, excuse me. (She continues into the party.)
Prince Wind: That about does it. We may as well watch the ceremony.
(Prince Wind closes the door and rolls up the list; he and Princess Penny join
the crowd. All of the fairies have formed a circle around the new Prince's
crib for the gift-giving ceremony. The first fairy to step up to the crib is
Angela, Principal Fairy of Lawndale Loch, who looks a lot like a certain
Fairy Angela: I give you the gift of tenacity. Like I always say, nothing
gets a job done like refusing to compromise! (She steps back, and another
fairy approaches the crib. The second fairy, dressed in earth tones, is
Claire of Lawndale Loch, Spirit of Creativity.)
Fairy Claire: I give you the gift of artistic expression, one of the greatest
powers of humankind.
(She returns to the circle. The next fairy to advance is bright and chirpy;
her name is Diane of Lawndale Loch, Spirit of Well-Meaning Confusion.
Fairy Diane: I give you a gift that's hard to define; you could call it a kind
of inexplicable charisma. Something that makes everyone around you enjoy your
company, although they have no idea why.
(She steps back, and another fairy, dressed in fiery red, takes her place. It
is Anthony of Lawndale Loch, Spirit of Hypertension.)
Fairy Anthony: I give you a SHRED of COMMON SENSE, seeing as it's completely
ABSENT in your OTHER CHILDREN! (He seems about to launch into a tirade, but at
that moment thunder rolls and the doors of the hall burst open.)
Voice: WAIT ONE DAMN MINUTE! Why wasn't *I* invited to this party? It's a
conspiracy! You've all been brainwashed! (A fairy in too-tight ceremonial
garb storms into the middle of the circle, pushing the Spirit of Hypertension
aside.) Get out of my way, you man!
Prince Wind: (sighing aggravatedly, unrolling the list) Name?
Fairy Janet: Janet of Lawndale Loch, Spirit of Misandry! And I'm not on the
list because SOMEONE didn't invite me! I'll show YOU who has the real power!
(She steps up to the crib.) How adorable
too bad it never lasts! I curse you
to death--right at puberty, when you all become monsters! At the age of
fifteen you will scratch yourself on a guitar string, serenading your underage
"side project" while your unsuspecting wife slaves away at a thankless job to
support your lazy, cheating self, and die! (Another well-placed peal of
thunder. The Spirit of Misandry vanishes, laughing cruelly. Silence in the
Prince Wind: (rolling up the list again; to Princess Summer, next to him, who
is about 9 years old) Now I see why she wasn't invited.
Princess Summer: Oh yeah, she's a barrel of fun. Hey, fairies, is there
anything you can do about this? Our parents will be really ticked if we let
one of their kids get cursed to death while they're away.
Fairy Claire: We only get one magical gift per child.
Fairy Angela: But ONE of us hasn't given a gift yet! (She seizes Timothy,
Spirit of Good Feelings.) You! Do something!
Fairy Timothy: (extremely nervous) I don't know...how about if I just adapt
the curse? To something less disturbing? How about... Instead of, you know,
taking the (gesturing the quotation marks) "Big Sleep," what if he just falls
asleep for a while?
Fairy Angela: How long?
Fairy Timothy: Oh, I don't know
I guess since I'm the Spirit of Good Feelings,
it has to have something to do with that. (thinks for a moment) I've got it!
What if someone really, truly, sincerely wants to wake him up? It's all about
Fairy Angela: All right, if that's the best you can do. (to the Prince and
Princesses) I'm afraid that's all we can do for you. Good luck! (She hastily
herds the fairies out the door. Again, the crowd is dumbstruck.)
Princess Penny: Maybe I'd better follow them. (She starts toward the door;
Prince Wind stops her.)
Prince Wind: Not so fast. What'll we do about this curse? I mean, he's our
brother and all. We should do *something*.
Princess Summer: Let Mom and Dad sort it out. They should be back by the time
he's fifteen. (The other royal kids nod.)
(A large pile of guitars is being built outside the castle; we see it from a
window of the castle, and see only a shadow of the king and queen in the
Narrator: And so the King ordered every guitar in the land to be destroyed, so
that the Prince's fate might be avoided. (One of the people by the pile sets
the whole thing on fire. Music: "Purple Haze", Jimi Hendrix, as the flames
leap up against the sky.)
Narrator: Years passed, and Prince Trent grew to have at least most of the
gifts the fairies had given him. (Cut to Prince Trent's room in the castle; it
is frightening to behold, a masterpiece of mess. Prince Trent is sitting on
the floor, trying to tune a harp.)
Prince Trent: (unsuccessfully strums a few notes on the harp; mutters) This
just isn't doing it for me. (He tosses the harp aside and leans back
thoughtfully, accidentally sticking his hand into a pile of junk. He leaps
up, clutching his hand.) Ow! What the... (The prince starts to kick aside the
pile to see what's under it, but stops, yawning. Within moments he flops down
on the bed, fast asleep. There is a knock at the door, and ten-year-old
Princess Jane enters.)
Princess Jane: I know I heard something. (She spots something under the pile
and moves it aside, uncovering a guitar with a few broken strings.) Looks like
the fairy did it after all. We've got to start cleaning this room. (She looks
back at the sleeping prince.) It's not like you're going to put up much of a
fight. (She shrugs and leaves the room.)
(Outside of Castle Lane. Music: the intro of "Tropicalia", Beck.)
Narrator: Prince Trent slept for many years, and since there was no one with
the true intention of waking him up, the spell could not be broken. Castle
Lane became almost deserted; the only royalty left was the youngest, Princess
Jane. (A young heroine approaches the castle.) Until one day...
Dame Daria: Who are you?
Narrator: I'm the narrator. Just play along, will you?
Dame Daria: (shrugs) Fine. (She knocks at the castle door; Princess Jane opens
Princess Jane: (surprised) Hi.
Dame Daria: Hey. How's it going?
Princess Jane: Oh, the usual. Castle's deserted, brother's still under a
sleeping spell, the feudal economy's down the tubes. You know. ...So your
quests have brought you here, huh?
Dame Daria: (defensively) I'm not on a quest. I was just in the neighborhood.
Princess Jane: (smirking) Sure you were. (They enter the castle; Princess Jane
continues as they walk.) So how is the quest market lately?
Dame Daria: It's fine. But I'm not on a quest now.
Princess Jane: I heard you. (They are just passing the door of the sleeping
Dame Daria: So that's where your spelled brother is?
Princess Jane: Yep. Has been for what, six years now. (pause) You wanna see?
Dame Daria: (shrugs; not entirely convincingly) Not especially.
Princess Jane: Aw, come on. (She opens the door, and the pair enters Prince
Trent's room. It has somehow regained messiness of epic proportions. The
prince is sprawled across the bed, the same way he flopped there six years
earlier.) That's him. (Dame Daria says nothing, staring.) Yep, hasn't moved
for six years. (Still nothing.) Isn't likely to move anytime soon, either.
Dame Daria: (snapping out of it) So how'd this spell happen?
Princess Jane: We had a bunch of fairies give him magical gifts when he was
born. One got pissed and sentenced him to death, but another revised it to
sleep. Only someone who truly wants to wake him up can wake him up.
Dame Daria: Yeah, makes perfect sense. --So why hasn't anyone woken him up
Princess Jane: 'Cause we really don't care one way or another, I guess.
Personally, things are a bit more peaceful with him like this.
Dame Daria: (thinks for a minute; shrugs) What the hell. Mind if I try?
Princess Jane: Knock yourself out.
Dame Daria: Bad choice of words. (She steps up to the prince and shakes him a
little.) Hey, Prince Trent. (She steps back. Nothing.)
Princess Jane: Told ya. (Just then, the prince opens his eyes and sits up.)
Prince Trent: Janey? When'd you get so old?
Princess Jane: You've been sleeping for six years straight, Trent.
Prince Trent: Oh. Okay. So why did you wake me up?
Princess Jane: I didn't. Daria did.
Prince Trent: (to Dame Daria) Hey, thanks.
Dame Daria: (blushing) You're welc... (She trails off, realizing that Prince
Trent has fallen asleep again.) I guess the spell-breaking didn't work.
Princess Jane: Oh, no, he was always *this* way. But under the spell, he
never woke up looking for food or money. Some spell, huh?
Dame Daria: Um...yeah. So...my quest is over, then?
Princess Jane: I thought you weren't on a quest.
Dame Daria: (in her usual way) I hate you.
(The end. Music: "Day Sleeper", REM.)
THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES
(Empress Quinn's palace, one of the wardrobe rooms. Empress Quinn, dressed in
all her finery, is primping in front of a huge three-way mirror as the prime
minister looks on. Music: "Perfect", the Smashing Pumpkins.)
Empress Quinn: This dress is perfect for today's summit! What do you think?
Prime Minister Sandi: It's great, Empress. I mean, you don't want to look
*too* much better than everyone else. You can be a crusader for the commoners
and stuff, and set a fashion example that just anyone off the street can
Empress Quinn: (reddening) Yes, that's exactly what I was aiming for. (There
is a knock at the door.) See who that is, will you? (PM Sandi leaves. After
a moment she returns with Empress Quinn's two councilmembers, Tiffany and
Stacy, and a less fashionably dressed stranger who is very familiar.)
PM Sandi: Um, some...person is here to see you.
Councilmember Tiffany: She says she's a designer, or something.
Jane: I can speak for myself, thank you. (She steps away from the
councilmembers.) So you're the legendary Empress Quinn?
Empress Quinn: I am legendary, aren't I?
Jane: Also known as Quinn the Clotheshorse, the Stuffed Shirt of the Century,
Empress Quinn: (irritably) Do you have a point?
Jane: I was just getting to that. I've come to make you a very exclusive
proposition, Empress. I know the secret formula for the world's most unusual
cloth. This cloth makes the most incredible clothes in the world--so
incredible that they can only be seen by the terminally hip. (The Empress
looks a little interested, so Jane continues.) They would be the only clothes
of their kind in the world, Empress. You could be *the* cutting edge.
Empress Quinn: What's the catch?
Jane: I need cash up front. This stuff is expensive to make.
Empress Quinn: That's all?
Jane: That's all.
Empress Quinn: (getting a little starry-eyed) The only clothes of their
kind...*the* cutting edge... (to Jane) I want a full outfit by next week.
Jane: That'll be $2778.50 in gold.
Empress Quinn: Fine. (She lifts a huge painting of herself to reveal a wall
chest, and opens it as she continues talking.) Just get to work. I can't have
this stuff going out of fashion while you drag your feet. (She takes out a
huge bag of gold and passes it to Jane.)
Jane: Trust me, Empress, this is the one thing that never goes out of fashion.
Empress Quinn: I'll believe it when I see it.
(Montage. Music: "Lemon", U2. Night at the palace. Jane is seen in
silhouette through a window, setting up a loom. The Empress and her cabinet
listen through the door. Jane is seen through the window, weaving on the
loom. Empress Quinn poses in front of her wall of mirrors, daydreaming about
fabulous clothes. The cabinet is still eavesdropping through the workshop
door. Jane's silhouette is seen bent over a sewing machine. The
cabinetmembers are a little bored by now, filing their nails, yawning, and
reading magazines. Morning comes; the cabinet has fallen asleep on the floor.
Jane emerges from the room with a covered clothes hanger, and the cabinet
sulkily gets up.)
(The same wardrobe room. The hanger has been set up on a rail, still covered;
Empress Quinn can hardly contain her anticipation.)
Jane: (intentionally dragging out the suspense) And now for the ultimate in
Empress Quinn: C'mon, hand it over.
Jane: ...Visible only to the terminally hip, remember...
Empress Quinn: Yeah, yeah, whatever.
Jane: And without further ado, *the clothes.* (She whips the cover off the
hanger. It is completely empty. Empress Quinn gapes for a second, frozen,
Empress Quinn: It's...it's...beyond words. (quickly) Council! Get in here!
(PM Sandi and the councilmembers enter, and likewise stop dead for a moment.)
What do you think of my lovely new outfit, which is completely invisible to
PM Sandi: It's...uh...it's...uh...
Councilmember Tiffany: It's so...uh...cute.
PM Sandi: Cute. Really cute.
Councilmember Stacy: Yeah, totally cute.
Empress Quinn: (cautiously) It's very...modern, don't you think? And yet just
a little retro.
PM Sandi: Um, just retro enough.
Empress Quinn: How about that color? (The cabinet nods enthusiastically.)
Councilmember Tiffany: Oh yeah, it's really...colorful.
Jane: So it's satisfactory, Your Highness?
Empress Quinn: Sure.
PM Sandi: You know, Empress, I think everyone in the land should be able to
see your great clothes. How about a parade?
Jane: (jumping on it) Excellent idea! Sorry I can't see it. Nice doing
business with you, Empress. (She leaves.)
Empress Quinn: I don't know...
PM Sandi: Why not? You want everyone to see this, don't you? I mean, there's
no reason why you wouldn't.
Empress Quinn: No. Absolutely not.
PM Sandi: Tomorrow, then? A parade right through the middle of town.
Empress Quinn: (a little nervously) Tomorrow. Great.
PM Sandi: Come on, Council; we have to get ready for the parade. (They leave;
Empress Quinn looks at the invisible clothes and sighs.)
(Another montage. Music: "Fashion", David Bowie. The wardrobe room, next
morning. Empress Quinn, assisted by the council, carefully puts on an
invisible dress, fixes her hair, does her makeup, slips on some invisible
shoes, checks her reflection one more time, and leaves, as the cabinet holds
up her invisible cape.)
(Music continues. The main street of the city, leading away from the castle.
Empress Quinn, blocked strategically by the heads of the crowd etc., passes
regally down the street with the cabinet trailing behind. The people in the
crowd have similar nervous expressions, not wanting to look unhip. One of the
townspeople has no expression at all, however, and it is she who speaks up.)
Daria: Excuse me.
Empress Quinn: Yes, commoner?
Daria: Do you realize you're walking down a crowded street stark screaming
Empress Quinn: (defensively) Of course I'm not. These clothes are just
invisible to the unhip, which you obviously are.
Daria: Don't you have the sense to know when you've been scammed? Or is
everyone else's opinion of you more important than your every last shred of
dignity? (The crowd starts to whisper and giggle. Empress Quinn haughtily
continues down the street, with the cabinet scrambling to catch up.)
Councilmember Stacy: I still think it's totally cute, Empress.
Empress Quinn: Shut up and walk. (Prime Minister Sandi grins smugly.)
(The end. Music: "Dedicated Follower of Fashion", the Kinks.)