The Mysterious Messenger

Scene One

(Scene opens in Victoria Fitsburys’ lair. The lair is fairly dark. On one side of the room is a small cabinet for dishes. There are some books on top of the cabinet. She and Dominic are sitting around a table. Selena is clearing dishes from the table.) 

Victoria: Now that we are done with dinner, lets get down to business.

(Selena sits down at the table.)

Victoria: Selena, go get my botany book off of the cabinet.

(Selena goes, gets the book, and hands it to Victoria.)

Selena: Here you are, ma’am.

(Selena sits down.)

Victoria: So, as you all know, I have made Selena study botany, especially poisonous plants. But, what you don’t know is that I have made her do that so that I can poison the king and take the throne.

(Alarmed, Selena quickly stands up from her chair.)

Selena: What! Ma’am, I don’t think you said that quite right.

Victoria: Quiet, Selena!  Do sit down. 

(Selena sits back down in her chair.)

Victoria: I know what I’m talking about. Just listen and do what you’re told. 

(Victoria opens the book to a map of where plants grow in Klaymar) 

Victoria: Work on memorizing this map, Selena. We can’t have you getting lost while you’re looking for our berries.

(Selena takes the book and goes out side though a door.)

Victoria: (In the background as Selena leaves the room). Dominic, get my castle plans out and we’ll start to … 

(Door slams in background.)

Scene Two

(Scene opens in King Finnian York’s Court. The courtroom always has three chairs at the end with the middle chair marked as the king’s throne. In the middle of the room is a table.  Edward is in the courtroom by the table.)

Edward: (Singing.) It is the fifth! Oh, It is the fifth! The Fifth – of – May!

(Sarah comes into the courtroom.)

Sarah: (Smiling cheerfully) Edward… I hate to burst your bubble, but it is actually the second of May, and not the fifth. It’s Court Day! Hurray! 

(Sarah goes and sits on a chair to the right of the throne.)

Edward: (While going to sit down on a chair to the left of the throne.) Uh. Court Day is not my favorite day of the week. Why did you have to tell me that, Sarah? 

(Edward slumps in his chair and sighs.)

(King Finnian enters scene, walks to the throne, and sits down.)

King Finnian: Edward, solving disputes is part of our duty. We should not be all grouchy about it. 

Edward: (Sighing.) You’re right sir. 

(A bell rings and an announcer walks in the room.)

 Announcer: (Loudly.) The court is open! Please line up to bring your complaints to His Royal Highness King Finnian Alexander York of Klaymar. (Turning toward the door.) Jake Baker and Lilly Stout, you are first, please come forward.

(Jake and Lilly walk into the courtroom, quickly bow to the king, and stand straight.)

Lilly: Your Highness, I would like to plead for myself against this Jake. He stole all my dog’s food and I … 

(Olivana {servant} rushes in to the king and gives him a quick curtsey.)

Oliviana:  Sir, there is a lady outside who says that she has an important message for you and asks for an immediate hearing. 

King Finnian: (Startled.) Oh, oh, well then, if it is important, bring her right in.

(Oliviana runs through the door and when she returns she brings Selena with her.)

(Selena has a cloak on to conceal herself. She curtsies to the king and walks over to the table.)

Selena: Your Highness, I have been informed just last evening that my mistress plans to poison you. I have come to warn you. I don’t know when she plans on doing it, but she will attempt to do it soon. You must be careful. I must hurry and return now before I’m missed.

(Selena starts to leave.)

King Finnian: Whom, may I ask is your mistress, my good lady?

(Selena pauses from walking, looks at the king and takes a deep breath.)

Selena: My mistress is the former Lady Victoria Fitsbury of Leon, adviser to the king, Sir.

(The king’s brows furrow.)

Sarah: (Enraged.) That woman. We expelled her from the castle ten years ago! The nerve of the lady! I wish we had imprisoned her when we had the chance! 

Selena: (Startled by Sarah’s response.) I – I – I must leave now. You may keep this map.  

(Selena drops the botany map on the table and quickly walks out of the room)

King Finnian: We have an urgent matter at hand. Court is dismissed for now. Sarah, Edward, meet me in the counsel chamber.

(Everyone walks off the stage. As Edward is leaving he picks the map off the table and brings it with him.)

Scene Three

(Scene opens in the counsel chamber. The counsel chamber is a small room with a table in the middle of the room with three or more chairs around the table. King Finnian walks into the room and sits down in one of the chairs. Sarah and Edward follow close behind him. )

King Finnian: Ok. Let’s get to business. 

(King Finnian looks at Edward and Sarah.)

King Finnian: Do any of you already have ideas of what we should do?

Sarah: (Motioning at King Finnian.) We can’t let that Victoria come, she’ll find you, and try to assassinate you. We must stay here at the castle and find a way to outsmart her. We can …

Edward: (Interrupting Sarah. He is speaking loudly.)  Surely you, especially you, Sarah, would know that such a thing is not smart. A person cannot just sit in their homes and wait for danger to come! We must go out and find her!

Sarah: (She is speaking loudly and waving her hands.) You don’t just go and find someone without a plan. Also, we have not a clue to where she is. 

(King Finnian lifts his hand showing that he wants silence.)

King Finnian: Please, please. It does us no good to shout at each other. Obviously, you both have very different ideas of what we should do, (sighing) again. Let’s take a look at that map our mysterious messenger brought us. 

Edward: I have it, sir. I thought that it might come in handy.

(Edward brings out the map and unrolls it onto the table. Victoria’s lair is clearly marked. All three lean in to get a closer look at the map. Sarah points to Victoria’s lair. )

Sarah: Well, there it is. We should have thought that she would make her home close to the New Woods. But, what I never would have thought is that she would make her lair so near other people. 

(Edward shrugs.)

Edward: Maybe she’s undercover at the moment. Wait a second, why wouldn’t she be?

King Finnian:  Very true, Edward. Also, I agree with you that we should go and find Victoria. But, as Sarah said, we need to make a plan. 

(Scene closes as King Finnian, Edward, and Sarah start to discuss their plans and point at different places on the map. We cannot detect the exact words that they say.)

Scene Four

(Scene opens in Victoria’s lair. It is the next morning. On one side of the table Selena is standing by the cabinet. She has a jar of sugar next to her. The jar is labeled “Sugar”. There are also two vials that look exactly alike. One is full of a crystal looking substance. The other is empty. Selena scoops sugar into the empty vial. Then, she replaces the vial with the one similar to it on the shelf. As she is doing this, Victoria walks into the room with the botany book in her hand. Dominic is following her.)

Victoria: Selena, what are you doing?

(Selena quickly pushes the sugar jar away so that Victoria can’t see it any more, puts her hands behind her back, and turns around guiltily.)

Selena: Oh, well, I was just rearranging your poison shelf.

Victoria: I thought that you did that last week. But, that’s alright. I can never figure out which one is which.

Selena: Almost done, just a moment.

(Selena tucks the poison vile that was behind her back under/behind one of the pieces of furniture in the room to finish hiding the poison.)

Victoria: Ok. Hurry up. We have a lot of work to do today, because today is the day! It is the greatest day in all the history of my life. Today I poison the king! 

(Victoria waves her hands in the air to show her delight.)

Victoria: Your job, Selena, is to gather a fair amount of deadly nightshade berries for our good king’s breakfast. 

(Victoria flips through the botany book.) 

Victoria: First, you’ll need to take the botany map and … 

(Victoria stops flipping through the pages.)

Victoria: Have you seen the botany map, Selena? I can’t find it.

Selena: Um, not recently. But I can find the berries without the map. 

(Victoria waves her hand for Selena to leave.)

Victoria: Well, get going with you. We don’t have all day.

(Selena runs out through the door. Door slams and scene closes.)

Scene Five

(Scene opens in Victoria’s lair. On the table is an empty bowl, a spoon, a fork, and a bowl filled with yogurt off to the side. Victoria is standing by the table reading a cookbook. Selena comes in with a bowl of blueberries.)

Selena: Ma’am, I have the berries. 

(Selena hands Victoria the bowl. Victoria looks at the blueberries and then at Selena.)

Victoria: (With a puzzled tone of voice.) Selena, are you sure you have the right berries? (Pause as if to consider something.) Oh, never mind. You are the best with berries. My eyes must be fooling me. 

(Victoria sets the bowl down on the table, picks up the fork, and mashes the blueberries up. Then she mixes the mashed blueberries into the yogurt.)

Victoria: (While working on mashing and mixing the blueberries.) So, once this yogurt is ready, you are going to take it to the castle and sneak it onto the tray that is given it to the king for his breakfast. He always has yogurt.

Selena: Ma’am, how am I supposed to know which tray will be given to the king?

Victoria: (Frustrated) Goodness, Selena, that’s not my problem, but yours. Though, the same tray is always used to serve the king.  Also, the tray is clearly marked as the king’s. But, as I said, it’s your problem to figure out.

Selena: (Pointing at the bowl.) Ok, um, ma’am, I think that your yogurt is well mixed. 

Victoria: (Handing Selena the yogurt bowl.) Oh, yes. Go, now. It is almost time for the king’s breakfast to be served. I will be there shortly.

Selena: (Taking the bowl.) Yes, ma’am.

(Selena walks off through door. Door slams and scene closes.)

Scene Six

(Scene opens in the courtroom. There are four chairs around the table. The table has a tablecloth on it and Victoria and Selena are underneath. Oliviana comes in with a tray that is marked as the king’s. There is the blueberry yogurt on the tray along with a glass of water and a spoon.)

Oliviana: (While setting the tray in front of the king.) Here you are, sir.

King Finnian: (Smiling) Thank you, Oliviana.

Oliviana: Oh, sir, Sarah and Edward will not be able to join you for breakfast.

King Finnian: (Smile faded but still looking happy.) That’s ok. Could you tell them that we need to have a meeting after breakfast, please? 

Oliviana: Yes, sir. I’ll do that right away. 

(Oliviana quickly walks out of the room. King Finnian takes a drink of water and then dips the spoon in the yogurt and raises it to his mouth. The king pauses and sniffs the yogurt. Then he takes a small bite of the yogurt and tastes it.)

King Finnian: (Surprised) Blueberries?! I thought I told them last time that I don’t like blueberries. Oh, well. I’ll have this taken back to the kitchen and ask for something else. 

(King walks off stage with the tray in his hand. Victoria and Selena emerge from under the table. Victoria is half dragging Selena who is frightened.)

Victoria: (Enraged and partly shouting.) You! You tricked me, you little rascal. You knew that they were blueberries all along, didn’t you?

(Selena brakes free from Victoria’s grasp and steps away from her.)

Selena: (Emboldened by her escape.) Yes! Of course I know. Do you think that I would purposely poison the king? No, I would not. And I will not put up with you any more. I have been in your service long enough. I will not be helping you anymore. 

(Selena runs out through the door with Victoria in hot pursuit.)

Scene Seven

(Scene opens in the courtroom. The breakfast table is no longer there. Selena runs into the room panting and leans up against one of the chairs in at the end of the room. Sarah and Edward walk into the room talking to each other. )

Edward: Sarah, you know we are going to have to go to Victoria’s house. 

Sarah: Yes, I know. I just don’t like the idea – anything could …

(Sarah and Edward stop talking when they see Selena at the end of the room.)

Sarah: Oh, hello! I didn’t know you were here. Are you lost?

Selena: Oh, no, ma’am. I just stopped here for a rest. I’ll leave now.

(Selena starts for the door.)

Edward: Stop. Come here, please. Have I seen you before, miss?

(Selena stops and starts walking back toward Edward and Sarah.)

Selena: Well, I have been here before. I came to warn his highness about Miss Victoria.

Edward: Aha, I see. You, miss, are the mysterious messenger. (With an air of importance) Come, the king will want to meet you. You might be of some help to us for defeating you former mistress.

(Edward and Sarah start to leave the room. Selena acts hesitant to go with them. Sarah turns around to Selena.)

Sarah: (Questioningly) She is your former mistress, right?

Selena: (smiling) Oh, yes, of course. I fully see her true character. I could never serve her now.

(King Finnian enters through the door.)

Edward: Well, we won’t have to go far to find the king. He is right here. Sir, this is our mysterious messenger.

Selena: It is – a pleasure to see you again, your highness.

(Selena curtsies and looks from King Finnian to Sarah. Sarah motions for Selena to continue. Selena looks back at the king.)

Selena: My name is Selena, sir.

King Finnian: It is nice to meet you Selena -?

Selena: (Hesitantly) Fitsbury.

(Selena casts here eyes on the ground. King Finnian, Edward, and Sarah gasp in surprise.)

Edward: You’re related – to that woman?

Selena: (Looking at Sarah) Yes, she’s my aunt. But, have no fear. As I said just a minute ago, I can never serve her, now. 

King Finnian: After what you have already done, you have fully gained our trust. We are leaving in fifteen minutes for Victoria’s lair and I want you to come with us.

(King Finnian and Edward leave the room with Selena and Sarah following behind them.)

Edward: (As they are leaving) Sir, you are going to let her come, are you?

King Finnian: As I said, Edward, we can trust her. After Victoria knows that Selena has betrayed her, do you think that she would let Selena help her anyway?

Edward: Just be carful, I don’t want anything wrong to happen.

King Finnian: Don’t worry, I will.

Scene Eight 

(Scene opens in Victoria’s lair. In the middle of the room is a table. There are four chairs around the table. On the table is a teapot. Dominic and Victoria are sitting at the table.)

Victoria: So, now that our last plan failed we will have to try to poison the king some other way. It is just too bad. Now it is going to be awfully hard to get anywhere close to the king. (Counting on her fingers) The castle is probably surrounded. The king will most likely have a guard with him at all times.

(There is a knock on the door. Victoria walks to the door.)

Victoria: (While walking to the door.) And, it’s not like he’s just going to be walking around…

(Victoria opens the door. King Finnian, Edward, Sarah, and Selena are standing outside the door. Victoria’s mouth drops open for a moment then, remembering herself, welcomes them in and curtsies.)

Victoria: Your majesty. Will you please come in? Please, sit down.

(King Finnian sits down at the table.)

Victoria: Sir, I was just about to pour some tea for Dominic and I, would you like some. 

King Finnian: Yes, Please. May my companions have some as well? Oh, I’m afraid I don’t know you name.

Victoria: (Slyly) Oh, my name doesn’t mater. Are you comfortable, sir? And yes, I will bring tea for all your friends.

(Victoria and Dominic walk over to the cabinet and bring back six teacups and saucers. Victoria gets the sugar jar.

Victoria: Sir, would you like some sugar in your tea?

King Finnian: Yes, please.

(Victoria pours tea into King Finnian’s teacup. She sprinkles a pinch of sugar into the cup. Then, she hands one teacup to King Finnian.)

King Finnian: Thank you.

(Victoria starts to pour tea into the other teacups. She look at the king from the corner of her eyes. King Finnian looks at Selena who nods her head. King Finnian takes a sip of his tea and after a few seconds he flops down onto the table as if he is dead. Sarah and Edward gasp. Victoria laughs an evil laugh.)

Victoria: I got you all. Now that I have poisoned your king I can take the throne and there’s nothing you can do about it.

(Victoria chuckles once more before King Finnian sits up in his chair and starts to laugh. Victoria suddenly stops laughing and looks bewildered. King Finnian points one finger at Victoria and gestures to his companion with his other hand.)

King Finnian: Miss Victoria Fitsbury of Leon, I charge you with treason to king and country. And with my companions as my witness, I banish you from Klaymar for one hundred years.

Victoria: Dominic! Get my horse. I think we have overstayed our welcome in this horrid land.

(Victoria starts to run out the door with Dominic following her. Sarah grabs Victoria’s wrist and Edward snatches Dominic’s.)

King Finnian: Sarah, Edward, release them. Miss Victoria, if you don’t mind, my companions and I would like escort you out of our borders ourselves. Come on, every one, it’s time to get going.

(King Finnian leads Victoria and Dominic out through the door. Sara, Edward, and Selena follow behind them.)

Scene Nine

(Scene opens in the courtroom. King Finnian, Edward, Sarah, and Selena are standing in the center of the room.)

King Finnian: Good job, every one. I’m glad we were able to find Victoria and outsmart her. Selena, I thank you for your service to the crown. And as we have all seen, you are quite smart. So, Edward, Sarah, and I talked about it and would like you to join us and be my third adviser.

Selena:(Surprised) But, sir, I don’t deserve this honor. And, I don’t think there has ever been three advisers in the history of Klaymar. Is it aloud? 

King Finnian: Don’t worry. There is not law that that says that there can’t be three advisers. 

Sara: (Putting her arm around Selena’s shoulder) Plus, it will be nice to have another lady to talk with. Oh, sir, I almost forgot. I do believe we need to finish court day. Hurray!

(Scene ends.)

For His Great Name