Episode 5: The Dark One’s Own Luck

[SCENE I. The Jaded Old Crone. CELESTE and GAVIN are having dinner. They are apparently at a pause in the conversation.]

CELESTE: So, you said you needed to talk to me about something.

GAVIN: (Sighs.) Yeah, all right. You remember the time the Goblin King tried to marry you?

CELESTE: Yeah.

GAVIN: Melissa says he told her you were some sort of . . . important figure in fairy legends. The Dark One.

CELESTE: And?

GAVIN: And apparently there’s some priest who is hunting you down because you’re supposed to bring about the apocalypse or something.

CELESTE: And you’re sure she’s not just off her meds?

GAVIN: Probably. (Beat.) I mean, I met the priest, and she was talking to the Goblin King a lot at that party.

CELESTE: So why are you telling me this?

GAVIN: She said she wanted to see you. I don’t really know what about. (Beat.) And, well, I’d rather you not be killed by some angry priest.

CELESTE: I guess I can give her a call. (She pulls out her cell phone and calls MELISSA. After a while she gets a voicemail box: “Hi, this is Melissa. I’m not here, so leave a message and I’ll get back to you if I ever feel like it.”) This is Celeste. Call me. (Hangs up.) She’s not answering. Does she usually answer?

GAVIN: Pretty much always.

CELESTE: Whatever. (Beat.) Was this priest the one that helped me lift the curse my coven put on Melissa?

GAVIN: I think so. He said something about the Truffle of St. Alex.

CELESTE: I knew it. That bastard’s always been out to get me. Ever since I made that deal with what turned out to be fairies.

GAVIN: What actually happened there?

CELESTE: It’s . . . kind of a long story.

GAVIN: I’ve got time.

CELESTE: All right.

(Wavy flashback lines take us back to a younger but otherwise basically identical-looking CELESTE, talking to the REVEREND in some sort of office. Or rather, being talked to by the REVEREND. She has adopted the universal unhappy-to-be-here teen slouch, and is staring out the window, not responding.)

CELESTE: (Voiceover.) My parents decided that I was a troubled teen, so they hired him as a guidance counselor, after the ones at PHS didn’t really help.

(The same office, later. She actually looks somewhat engaged in the conversation this time, though she isn’t entirely happy.)

CELESTE: I even sort of liked him after a while. Not that I’d have ever admitted it. You know how it is.

GAVIN: Not really.

CELESTE: Whatever.

(Still later, the same office. CELESTE is playing guitar for the REVEREND, who is dutifully listening.)

CELESTE: I played for him once or twice, and he pretended to like it. He told me the things you’re supposed to say, about having potential and all that.

(Cut to CELESTE at Portland High School, talking to VICTORIA and RAVEN. They look about as excited as goths ever get, passing around a poster of a “Battle of the Band’s!!”)

CELESTE: I told him about the Battle of the Bands we were going to enter, and he said I should go for it. None of us thought we’d win, but I knew that Melissa won that writing contest when she was about sixteen, and–

(Record-screeching return to the present at the Jaded Old Crone.)

GAVIN: What?

CELESTE: (A little annoyed and embarrassed.) I kind of thought she was the best person ever. I don’t think I ever even met her but she was sort of a legend, and I wanted to be just like her. Especially when we found the photos of her as a goth. Anyway. It was really important to me to win the competition, so . . .

(Wavy flashback lines take us back to the past. This time, a younger CELESTE is performing a ritual at a stone well. A fairy wearing a demon mask emerges.)

FAIRY DEMON: Who dares–sorry. (Clears throat, speaks in a growly voice.) Who dares summon me?

CELESTE: Um, me. I want to win the battle of the bands at my high school.

FAIRY DEMON: I see. And are you prepared to sacrifice to achieve this victory? For in order to serve the Gob–I mean, my dark lord and master, you must change–forever!!

CELESTE: What do I have to give?

FAIRY DEMON: I will give you superhuman powers if you will sacrifice–uh, hang on. (Furtively checks something on a scrap of paper, then rallies.) You will never be able to enjoy the things which your people love most!

CELESTE: Not–not clove cigarettes?

FAIRY DEMON: What? No. Stupid American comedies that feature unlikeable man-children as the main character and rely entirely on crude humor! And . . . the music that dominates the Billboard Top 40 lists!

CELESTE: . . . are you sure you don’t mean clove cigarettes?

FAIRY DEMON: If it’s too much for you, I can find someone who would be willing to give up all that and more to my dark lord and master!

CELESTE: (Hurriedly.) No, no, it’s fine. Where do I sign?

(The FAIRY DEMON produces a contract, which looks very over-the-top Satanic, and hands her a quill pen and a bottle of red ink.)

FAIRY DEMON: We’ve provided the blood for you to save some time.

CELESTE: Doesn’t it have to be my blood?

FAIRY DEMON: It is! We fair–servants of the Dark Lord Satan, who is the devil, are very resourceful when it comes to blood. (Gives her a hard look.) I notice you are looking quite pale today. Perhaps you’ve been feeling a little anemic from loss of blood?

CELESTE: . . . sure, why not? (She signs. The ink does look quite a bit like blood.)

FAIRY DEMON: Excellent. (Cackles madly and vanishes back into the well.)

(Cut back to the REVEREND’s office. CELESTE looks truly excited, and has a cheap-looking trophy of a guy playing guitar.)

CELESTE: Reverend, we won the Battle of the Bands! I just wanted to–

REVEREND: (Looks at her sharply.) You have the stench of the Dark One about you! Have you sold your soul to win this bauble?

CELESTE: I just–

REVEREND: Depart from my threshold, demon! Begone!

(CELESTE withdraws, in tears. Wavy flashback lines return us to the present once again.)

CELESTE: I tried talking to him a few times after that. He eventually built up wards to protect against me.

GAVIN: And they worked?

CELESTE: Well, I didn’t go back anymore. (Sighs.) He tried to exorcise me a few times, though my parents were having none of it. Now he’s trying to destroy me. I thought I was done with him. (Stands up.) Well, I know who to talk to about this. Are you coming?

GAVIN: I’ve got work, and–

CELESTE: Fine. (Rises and departs.)

GAVIN: (After she is gone.) Please don’t do anything too stupid.

(Fin.)

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