Today’s inspiration prompt was mythology. Enjoy! x
The Queen is Dead. Long Live the Queen.
2nd February 2017
Arthena (girl, 7 years old)
Lacy (girl, 9 years old)
Gwen (girl, 8 years old)
Perci (girl, 8 years old)
Megan (girl, 7 years old)
Magdalen (girl, 7 years old)
Melinda Fae (Teacher, 35-40)
Raine (Arthena’s mother 30-40)
Luther (Arthenas Father, 35-45)
Mr Guy (Teacher, 50-60)
Day time. The stage is set as a class room, year 2. Desks and a whiteboard. On the white board, in large black letters is written, ‘Myths and Legends’ Melinda Fae (Miss Fae) a kind woman, nursing and open minded is stood by the board, speaking to her class. Front centre of the desks, we see Arthena, head down and taking comprehensive notes. At the back of the class sit Megan and Magdalen, whispering, giggling and passing notes.
Miss Fae: And so, under the guidance of Merlin, Arthur had obtained a magical sword from The Lady of The Lake.
While Miss Fae is talking to the class, Megan and Magdalen throw a piece of paper at Arthena, it hits her on the head and drops to the floor. Arthena picks it up and reads it, she turns around, clearly hurt and on the verge of tears. The two girls laugh and point making faces at her.
Miss Fae (cont.): This sword was called ‘Excalibur” and with this weapon he vanquished many foes. So, can anyone tell me what this meant for Arthur?
Arthena’s hand shoots up, the girls burst into laughter.
Miss Fae: Did I say something funny girls?
The girls stop laughing and answer in tandem in the sing song way children do to their teachers. The tone is markedly sarcastic
Megan: No Miss
Magdalen: No Miss
Miss Fae looks at the girls, clearly not fooled or impressed.
Miss Fae: Arthena, you wanted to answer?
Arthena: Err, I think that (The bell rings)
Miss Fae: I’m sorry Arthena we are out of time for this morning. I want everyone to write five sentences tonight on Arthur and Excalibur, we will be reading them in tomorrow’s lesson.
The class don’t wait for Miss Fae to finish before they start to shift in their seats, clearly hungry and ready for lunch. All except Arthena who is back with her head down, writing away.
Miss Fae: Ok Badgers, off you go for lunchtime.
The class stands up and runs out happily, Miss Fae disappears into the supply closet. Arthena takes a little more time and as Megan and Magdalen pass her they bump her, hard. Arthena’s pen jolts across her notebook.
Megan: Oh, no did little miss perfect freak make a mistake?
Magdalen: I guess you have to start again. Weirdo.
The girls leave laughing, Arthena rips out the dirtied page and starts again. Miss Fae comes out of the supply closet.
Miss Fae: (gently) Go on Arthena, you won’t have any adventures cooped up in here. Off you pop, go get some lunch.
Arthena: Yes Miss.
Arthena gets up slowly, collects her things and leaves the class room.
Outside. The desks have been moved to the side and the stage is bare, children enter, playing tag, jumping rope and running around. Megan and Magdalen sit to one side, whispering to each other. Enter Arthena carrying her lunch box.
Magdalen: (whispering) Freaks here
Megan: She’s so weird! Let’s go say hi.
The girls descend on Arthena.
Megan: Hi Arthena.
Megan: We were just wondering, were you born a freak or do you just try really hard?
Arthena is stunned to silence, tries to leave. Magdalen trips her
Magdalen: Where are, you going weirdo?
Megan: Ha-ha look, she’s bleeding. I didn’t know freaks could bleed! (they laugh, Megan gets in her face) I think she’s going to cry.
Magdalen: What a baby, she’s so weird.
Arthena gets up slowly, her knee scuffed and bleeding.
Arthena: Please just let me go.
Megan grabs her roughly.
Megan: I’ll let you go. You shouldn’t even be here, schools for children not freaks like you. You are a mistake, you shouldn’t have been born.
Magdalen: Yeah, I bet your mum doesn’t love you, I wouldn’t love you.
Arthena starts to cry, tries leave, Megan grabs her but misses, with the force of the movement she falls over.
Magdalen: Oh My God! Megs are you ok?
Megan: Did you see that? She pushed me over, she’s trying to hurt me. Did you see it Mags?
Magdalen: Yeah, she pushed you really hard! Why would you do that? What’s wrong with you?
Megan: Freak!! You are just a little bitch!
Miss Fae walks onto the playground and sees the three girls, she immediately walks over.
Miss Fae: Girls! What is going on?
Magdalen: Arthena pushed Megan over miss. On purpose!
Megan: She said I was a freak!
Miss Fae looks dubious, sees Arthena with tears streaming down her cheeks, she notices her knee.
Miss Fae: I wonder if Arthena meant to hurt you Megan, why she has a cut on her knee and you do not?
Arthena: I tripped Miss.
Miss Fae looks at Arthena.
Miss Fae: Ok girls off you go. (they all turn to leave) Arthena, stay here please.
The two girls go off, giggling.
Miss Fae: Arthena, come sit down. Is your leg ok? It looks quite nasty.
Arthena: Yes miss, I’m ok.
They sit down.
Miss Fae: Can I tell you something?
Arthena: Yes miss.
Miss Fae: There are people in this world who shine very brightly, like stars in the night. They are so bright they illuminate everything around them. There are also people in this world who do not shine because they are scared or afraid. Do you know what happens when these people meet?
Arthena shakes her head.
Miss Fae: When the light meets the dark, it shines its light on all the things that are hidden within it. The people who live in the dark are suddenly engulfed in light and all the things that were once hidden are there to see. All the fear and the anger is clear as day. They can see it, everyone can see it and they don’t like it because they can see the things that are ugly and they can also see there are so many things they don’t have. Instead of going towards the light to try and learn how to shine and learn the things that make these people so bright, they retreat further and further into the shadows until one day they are so deep in the blackness no light can reach them. You are a light Arthena, keep shining. The world is always in need of more light and when it is dark you can be a star in the sky, guiding those that are lost.
Arthena is smiling now but speechless. Miss Fae puts her arm around her.
Miss Fae: Come on, let’s get you to the nurse and get that knee looked at.
Arthena: (still smiling) Yes miss
They walk off stage slowly, Arthena hobbling slightly. Miss Fae stops and looks at Arthna.
Miss Fae: Where’s your favourite place?
Arthena: I really like the woods at the back of my house, it’s always quiet in there.
Miss Fae: The woods? Well, why don’t we call your mum to collect you, I don’t think you can manage this afternoon on that knee. When you get home, if you can, why don’t you go sit in the woods? They have a lovely pond if memory serves?
Arthena: Yes miss
Miss Fae: Well why don’t you go sit by the pond and do some writing?
Arthena: Yes Miss, thank you.
Later that day. The stage is now set as a woodland scene. Arthena is sat on the bank of a large pond, writing. She sits there happily scribbling. A bird starts to sing as the sun peaks from behind a cloud. Arthena looks up, holds her head in the warmth of the sun and opens her arms to embrace the light. She stands up, bends down and grabs a pebble, she skims it effortlessly, she does it again and again. She starts to laugh. On her own she is happy. She bends down again but her knee gives out, she falls and lands with her hands in the water. She feels something, it is stuck under something. She starts to pick small stones out of the water, there are many. When she has finished removing the stones she pulls out a branch. The branch is shaped like a sword with a cross guard. It is a dark wood unlike the trees., it has a glisten to it. She holds it up to the son. We see the silhouette of her standing tall, with the branch extended to the sky.
The stage is set for Atrhenas living room. Two comfy arm chairs. In one sits Arthena’s mother (Raine). She is reading the newspaper. Arthena bursts in full of excitement. Raine looks up.
Mother: It looks like your knee is feeling better. Oh, my goodness your soaking and covered in mud! What happened princess?
Arthena: I’m ok mum. Remember I told you we are learning about King Arthur?
Arthena: Look what I found! (Arthena holds up the branch)
Mum: It’s a … branch?
Arthena: No mum you don’t understand! I pulled out of the pond! It’s not a branch its Excalibur!
Off: Luther: Raine do you want a cuppa love?
Mum: No thanks Luther, would you pop in here a sec.
Enter Luther, Arthenas dad.
Dad: What do you need lovely? Oh, hello princess, why are you so dirty.
Mum: She went into the pond in the woods and found Excalibur.
Dad: You found Excalibur?
Arthena: Yeah look!! I was just sitting there by the pond and then I started skimming stones,
Dad: You do like skimming your stones and you are so good at it, must be in the genes.
Dad: Sorry love, carry on princess
Arthena: I was skimming stones and my knee went and I fell over and I landed in the pond and I felt something with my hand but it was under lots of stones. I took the stones out and then I pulled this from the pond. It’s Excalibur!!
Raine and Luther look at each other.
Dad: You do know what this means don’t you?
Arthena looks at him bursting with excitement
Dad: That I was wrong. You are not my princess.
Dad: You are my queen.
Mum: (nodding) If Excalibur chose you Thena, your destined to rule England I believe!
Arthena: You really think it chose me? That I’m a queen?
Dad: These things don’t happen on accident my queen.
Mum: He’s right sweetheart but I’m afraid it’s time for your highness to take a bath and retire for the evening. You have court tomorrow.
Mum: Bath, bed and school in the morning.
Arthena: Oh! Can I take Excalibur to bed?
Dad: Well you can’t leave it unprotected, can you?
Fade to black
Stage is set for the school playground again, it is empty. Enter Arthena with ‘Excalibur’ sticking out of her back pack. She looks around to check she is alone, pulls out her sword and starts swishing it around. Enter Megan and Magdalen. They see her, look at each other. Megan nods, they slowly walk up to her an as she raises her branch they pull it out of her hands.
Megan: Oh, my God, what is this? Why you waving a stick around freak?
Magdalen: You are such a loser.
Arthena looks less afraid than yesterday.
Arthena: It isn’t a stick, its my sword. Its Excalibur, I pulled from the pond in the woods. My dad says that means I’m a queen.
The girls laugh at her. Megan holds up Excalibur.
Megan: You’re not the queen at school I am.
Arthena: (firmly) Give it back, its mine.
Megan: Come get it
Magdalen: Yeah come grab it weirdo
Arthena: Give it to me, it is mine. I found it. It chose me!
Megan: I can’t believe you think you are special, you’re not a queen. You could never be queen. Only queen you will ever be is queen of the freaks.
(Three girls walk into the playground from year 4, they are clearly friends. They see what is happening and walk over.
Arthena: It’s mine!
Megan: Fine, you want it so badly? Here!
Megan swings the stick as hard as she can, aiming it straight at Arthenas face. The tallest girl Lacy, grabs the stick as it swings back. Megan turns around, sees the girls and seems to shrink.
Lacy: What are you doing?!
Megan: Give it! (Megan yanks Excalibur free from lacy)
Gwen: You were going to hit her? That’s not nice, what’s wrong with you?
Perci: (to Arthena) Are you ok?
Arthena nods, the three girls are beautiful in every way and she is in shock they are protecting her and being nice.
Magdalen: What do you all care for, you’re not even in our year! She’s a freak, she pushed Megan over yesterday. She was just getting her own back
Megan: She thinks this stick is a sword, she’s crazy!
Arthena: (suddenly full of bravery) Its Excalibur, I found it in the lake, well pond and I had to pull out from stones!
Megan: See? She’s a freak!
Lacy goes to speak but Arthena is on a roll.
Arthena: Megan, When the light meets the dark, it shines its light on it. The people who live in the dark see all the things that were once hidden. They can see it, everyone can see it and they don’t like it because they can see the things that are ugly and the stuff they don’t have. Instead of going towards the light to shine, they go back to shadows until one day they are so deep in the dark there is no light. You are a shadow.
Megan and Magdalen look genuinely shook.
Megan: Fine, you think this is Excalibur? Let’s see if we can put it back in the stone!
Megan raises Excalibur high in the air and brings it down quickly, it snaps.
Megan: Oh no, it broke.
Off: Miss Fae: Megan! Magdalen! That behaviour is completely unacceptable, come with me right now we are going to the heads office
We see miss Fae’s head pop into view, the girls trudge off.
Arthena: (Sees her sword in two on the ground, she is devastated. She looks at the girls, tries to smile) Thank you
Arthena runs off.
Lunchtime, there are a higgledy piggledy selection of tables. In down centre stage, there is a round table with five chairs. Arthena sits in one, picking at her packed lunch. Enter Lacy, Gwen and Perci
Lacy: These seats taken?
Arthena: (Looking up, smiling) No.
The girls sit down.
Lacy: You ran off yesterday, so we never got to introduce ourselves. I’m Lacy
Perci: I’m Perci
Arthena: Oh, I’m sorry. I’m Arthena.
Perci: That was so cool how you told Megan and Magdalen off yesterday, you were so brave!
Arthena: Erm, thank you
Gwen: Do you mind if we hang out with you?
Arthena: No, I’d like that.
Lacy: Why was she picking on you?
Arthena: Don’t know she always has, she got really mad when I said having Excalibur made me queen, she said she was the queen.
Enter Miss Fae, holding something behind her back. The Head teacher walks past and bumps into her
Mr Guys: So Sorry, Melinda!
Miss Fae: Not to worry Mr Guys. (sees Arthena) Oh good, Arthena I was hoping I’d catch you in here. I’ve got you a little present.
Arthena open up the package, it is Excalibur, painstakingly fixed.
Arthena: Oh, thank you miss! Thank you so much! I don’t understand, how did you fix it?
Miss Fae: Oh, I just worked a little of my magic (she winks at Arthena)
Lucy: See, Megan’s not the queen you are!
Gwen: Yeah! The Queen is dead
Miss Fae sits down next to Arthena at the table.
Miss Fae: Long live the queen.
The Girls: Long live the queen.
*EDIT – I had a look over the play this morning and corrected a few errors and formatted it correctly, so it is easier to read.