The Tale of Woe: The Musical! - Part Six
[The transformed townsfolk circle around Gilly, Bruno, and Sophie, sizing them up.]
Sophie: What have I done? I thought it would work,
But now the townsfolk have gone berserk!
Bruno: You lifted the spell that the Spirit cast,
But the effects of Krawley’s potion still last!
Sophie [to the transformed townsfolk]: I’m so sorry, friends! How could I have known--
I can’t deal with this. [To Bruno and Gilly] You’re on your own!
[Sophie covers her face in shame and runs off stage left.]
Gilly: Hey, don’t abandon us!
Bruno: Let her leave.
She needs time alone to grieve.
She thought she’d be the town’s salvation,
But only worsened their situation.
Gilly: OK, that’s all very well,
But we’re stuck here. [The townsfolk close in.] I guess it’s farewell.
[Now, with a sudden leap, the townsfolk completely enclose Bruno and Gilly. It seems that all hope is lost, until... Bruno bursts through, swinging one arm wildly to fend off the attackers while clutching Gilly to him with the other.]
Bruno [to Gilly]: Hurry, run, I’ll keep them at bay.
What are you waiting for? Run away!
Gilly: I thought I saw something in the dark...
An orange eye, glowing like a spark.
[Krawley emerges from the shadows and runs off stage right with a cackle. Gilly chases after him. The lights go down on Bruno fighting the townsfolk. Scene change: Meepit Oaks Sanitorium for the Psychologically Fragile, exterior. A tangle of vines lies over what was once a graveyard, in front of a large, run-down building. Krawley runs in from stage left and pauses at the doors. Gilly follows.]
Gilly: Go no farther, evil Krawk!
Tell us how to reverse your spell!
Krawley: You want to know? Then give a knock
On this door. Now listen well:
The answers lie within, my dear,
So if you wish to know,
Then step inside, swallow your fear,
And enter the chateau.
[Krawley vanishes. Gilly takes a deep breath to prepare herself, then opens the door of the Sanitorium, which protests with a loud creak. Gilly hesitantly enters. Once she is inside, the door slams behind her, and Krawley emerges from behind a tombstone and sings to the audience.]
Krawley: Why did I lead her here, you ask,
When the key to the antidote lies within?
Isn’t bringing woe my task,
And living a life of evil and sin?
It’s not that simple, my dear friends,
I’m a subtle type of fiend.
The story’s not over until it ends,
And it’s better now that I’ve intervened.
Chaos is of more interest to me
Than evil alone when all’s told.
I set events off, and then I see
How the tale unfolds.
It’s the drama that thrills me, that’s why I meddle;
I stir up the water to watch how it settles.
I guess I’m a stalker, but what’s bad about that?
Isn’t that the same reason you sat
Down in this theater? To watch others’ pain?
On stage, I admit, but it’s all the same.
By seeing others suffer, what do you gain?
So before you judge me, give yourselves some blame.
[With these words of condemnation to the audience, Krawley vanishes, for good this time. Gilly emerges from the Sanitorium holding a glowing pink flower.]
Gilly: Gosh, those doors were awfully rusty,
And overall, the whole building was musty.
That place was spooky! It gave me the creeps!
But I did find the secret that it keeps! [She holds the flower aloft.]
I’m sure this will help us in our quest.
I think going back now would be best.
[Gilly heads off stage left, returning to Neovia. Lights down. Scene change: interior of Sophie’s shack. Sophie slumps over a table, ashamed of herself for fleeing.]
Sophie: Why did I leave them? They needed my help.
Instead I decided to save myself.
But even worse is that fate that I gave
To the very same town that I swore to save.
[She suddenly snaps her head up, determined.]
Sophie: No more moping, I know what to do.
I’ll simply make another brew.
[She begins to pull bottles of ingredients from the shelves, naming them as she throws them in her cauldron.]
Sophie: We’ll start off with some Bagguss Pulp to make the potion strong,
Then sprinkle in some Bloodfern Loam and a bit of Sharpgrass too.
Crushed Jurpleberries go in next (this won’t take very long);
Some Spectral Essence to give it zest, just an ounce or two.
Bronze Sansam and Babaa Wool now, and keep the fire hot;
Platinum Mist, Anti-Gravitic Goo (a foul-smelling mix).
Nova Essence and Madvine Root are the next to go in the pot.
Now let it boil for a bit; not long, just a few ticks.
And now the potion’s almost done,
But no time to finish, I’ve got to run!
[Sophie rushes out of her shack holding a flask of the nearly-complete potion. Lights down. Scene change: Neovian street. Bruno has just sent the last of the town’s transformed inhabitants running, and leans against a wall, exhausted. Simultaneously, Gilly enters from stage right and Sophie from stage left. Sophie sees the flower that Gilly is holding and cries out.]
Sophie: The final ingredient for my brew!
Now throw it in, and quickly too!
[Gilly adds the flower to the flask. Sophie swirls the concoction, then pours it in the town’s well.]
Sophie: I’ll pour the mix into the well;
Tomorrow it will break the spell.
Bruno: Is that it, sister? Are we done?
Mayor [entering from stage right]: No, dear boy, we’ve just begun.
The other townsfolk were all weak, they didn’t understand
That vengeance is what we must seek to bring peace to our land.
Bruno brought this spell to us, and Sophie made it worse;
You two are as wicked as the Krawk that made the curse!
And though you may have found the cure, it happened far too late:
My need for revenge burns hot and pure; prepare to meet your fate!
[The Mayor throws his flippers in the air and lets out a loud, pained bellow. He suddenly transforms into a monstrous Bruce many times his original size. The Mayor-monster advances towards Gilly, Bruno, and Sophie menacingly, raising his fist. He swings his arm down, but seconds before he smashes them into the ground, he is zapped by Sophie’s staff. Surrounded by a blue glow, the Mayor lets out a hideous shriek, before turning into a harmless Moquot with a small “pop.”]
Sophie [spoken]: It looks like the Mayor won’t “bug” us any more!
[Bruno and Gilly groan.]
Gilly [spoken, to Sophie]: Really? That’s the best you could come up with?
Bruno: Come on, you two, don’t start a fight.
Let’s return when the potion has set things right.
Sophie: Yes, tomorrow’s a bright new day;
We’ll see if Krawley’s spell went away.
Let’s go to my shack, it’s getting late.
All we can do now its wait.
[Lights down. Lights up on the same set, the next morning. The townsfolk mill around, returned to their normal state and happily going about their daily business. Gilly, Bruno, and Sophie enter from stage left. When they see the change that has come over the town, they are ecstatic.]
Sophie: It worked, just like I thought it would!
Neovia is whole once more!
Those evil spells are gone for good
And things are as they were before.
Bruno: It’s my turn now to have a drink
Of the potion to return to my former state.
This truly is wonderful, don’t you think?
To be normal again! I can hardly wait!
[Bruno goes to the well, draws up a bucket, and drinks deeply. Nothing happens. After several seconds, Gilly speaks.]
Gilly [spoken]: Wow, Bruno, you didn’t look much different before Krawley’s potion, did you?
Sophie [spoken, rapping Gilly on the head]: You idiot, the potion didn’t work on him. He must have been under the curse for too long.
Bruno: So I’m to stay this way eternally?
Sophie: I’m afraid that’s how it seems to me.
Bruno: It doesn’t matter; I have learned
That we should all be unconcerned
With outward looks; and so I’ll stay,
Without regret, looking this way.
[One of the townsfolk, a young Aisha, has caught sight of Sophie and rushes to her.]
Aisha: It’s Sophie who saved us! Come and see!
Let’s thank her for setting all of us free!
[The townsfolk crowd around the three heroes, congratulating them.]
Townsfolk: Thank you, our saviors! You’ve brought us back!
(Sorry for last night. You know, the attack.)
And Bruno’s back too! We’re sorry we shunned you;
We hope that our praise is about the refund due.
Bruno: I accept your apologies, my old friends.
Let’s return to our old lives again.
[Edmund, Alice, and Reginald enter from stage right. Bruno and Sophie run to them, and they all embrace. Gilly wiggles her way into the group hug.]
Sophie: My family, back... what can I say?
Reginald: Just tell us that you’re here to stay.
Sophie [pained]: I’m sorry, my brother, but I can’t stay here.
I’m used to living in solitude, my dear.
I think I’ll return to my shack for right now,
But visit me often!
Reginald: You have my vow.
Gilly: A happy ending and no regrets!
Alice [to Gilly]: I’m sorry, miss, but have we met?
Gilly: Oh, I forgot! How very silly.
I’m your new houseguest! My name’s Gilly.
It’s fine with you if I stay here, right?
Bruno [to Alice]: You’ll have to forgive her, she’s not very bright.
Alice: Nice to meet you, Gilly. Of course you can stay.
After you saved us, what else could I say?
Sophie: All this reunion stuff is far too mushy.
I’d better leave now before eyes get all gushy.
Gilly: Oh, Sophie, you’re just being coy.
Come share with us our Tale of Joy!
[Sophie reluctantly takes Gilly’s outstretched hand and accompanies her family into their house. As the Neovian townsfolk mill about, we catch a glimpse of a blue Krawk, but he vanishes back into the crowd without saying a word. The curtain falls.]