[SCENE I. Outside MELISSA and SARAH’s house. CELESTE is knocking on the door loudly, accompanied by KELLY, who is looking around nervously.]
KELLY: Look, I don’t think they’re home.
CELESTE: Yeah, great. Way to disappear entirely after telling me you need to talk to me, Melissa. (She tries the door. It’s locked.)
KELLY: It’s not like it’s hard to break in. (She steps around to the side, climbs onto some conveniently placed piping of some variety, hits the window in just such a way, then slides it open and climbs through the door. She looks like she’s done this before. CELESTE follows shortly after.)
CELESTE: Not even going to ask how you know about that.
KELLY: Nick showed me.
CELESTE: Way to spread the creepy around there, Kel. (She produces a flashlight and heads upstairs, and roots around for a while, before returning with the box containing the Mushroom of Perpetual Flame, and the bell.) I can’t tell if she was trying to hide these or if she just accidentally buried them in old clothes. (Shrugs, pockets them.)
(KELLY, meanwhile, has been looking at the REVEREND’s treatise.)
KELLY: Check this out. ‘On the Dark One.’ That’s you, right?
CELESTE: Apparently. Bring that, too.
(They leave through the front door, get in the car, and drive out to a run-down looking mansion with a hedge maze. CELESTE leads them through the labyrinth to a fountain. She dumps a handful of loose change in the well, which begins to glow green.)
CELESTE: Good, it still works. Just follow me. (She steps into the water. KELLY follows hesitantly. Eventually the water bubbles and fades back to a normal-ish color.)
[SCENE II. The court of the GOBLIN KING. CELESTE and KELLY are being brought before the GOBLIN KING, an enormous man dressed in hide, wearing a set of enormous antlers–or perhaps they have simply grown from his head.]
FIRST GOBLIN: The Dark Lady returns, my lord.
GOBLIN KING: So I see. I don’t remember sending an invitation.
CELESTE: You didn’t. But I brought gifts. (They present bell, book, and mushroom.)
GOBLIN KING: So you’ve chosen, then?
(CELESTE looks at KELLY, who gives a ‘how the hell should I know?’ shrug.)
CELESTE: Um, yes. Yes I have.
GOBLIN KING: (Looking pleased.) Oh, the Queen won’t like this at all. You know she was going to try to recruit you herself. (Shaking his head.) You made the right choice. Hold on to those.
CELESTE: (Aside to KELLY.) I think maybe this was ill-considered.
KELLY: (Aside to CELESTE.) Don’t look at me.
GOBLIN KING: But come! You’re hardly dressed for the occasion. (Claps. Some GOBLINS appear.) Take our guests off to be dressed. Victory is at hand!
[SCENE III. The Goblin Market. MELISSA and SARAH are walking through the streets, arguing.]
MELISSA: I’m just saying, you shouldn’t eat something if you don’t know where it came from.
SARAH: Do you know where that awful cheesy salsa you’re so into comes from?
MELISSA: No, but that’s–
SARAH: I rest my case.
(At this point, there is a loud fanfare and the din of the market goes silent. The GOBLIN KING arrives in style atop a giant moth-creature, with CELESTE at his side, dressed all in shadow, and KELLY behind, in a dress apparently made of actual flowers. They are trailed by several GOBLINS.)
MELISSA: So, the Goblin King I expected. Celeste, not really a surprise. But Kelly?
SARAH: You can’t win them all.
(The procession stops not far from MELISSA and SARAH.)
GOBLIN KING: You brought more friends, Dark Lady?
MELISSA: She didn’t bring us.
CELESTE: (Simultaneously.) I didn’t bring them! (Beat.) What are you doing here?
MELISSA: Oh, just trying to figure out why your priest friend wants us to destroy you. (Beat.) Did we figure anything out, Sarah?
SARAH: Yes! It turns out–
CELESTE: Figured it out myself, thanks.
(The procession continues.)
MELISSA: Well, that was . . . different.
SARAH: I think they’re giving a speech or something!
MELISSA: This ought to be good.
(They follow after the procession. The GOBLIN KING is already speaking from atop his moth thing. KELLY, behind them, is reading the REVEREND’s treatise.)
GOBLIN KING: . . . and so, I give you a woman who needs no introduction, a legend among us–queen of the guitar and of darkness, the Dark Lady Celeste!
(Uproarious applause. This goes on for a while, but eventually the timbre changes. A part of the crowd has been invaded by EVIL FAIRIES, led by the FAIRY QUEEN. The crowd murmurs with disapproval as they force their way to the front.)
FAIRY QUEEN: Well, you’ve certainly grown bold. Are you telling her sweet lies about her future? Promising her glory?
CELESTE: Well, not really–
FAIRY QUEEN: Hush, child. The grown-ups are talking.
(CELESTE glares, and digs around in her bag.)
GOBLIN KING: She came to me of her own volition.
(CELESTE takes out the box that contains the Mushroom of Perpetual Flame, and begins working the lid.)
FAIRY QUEEN: Amazing how her own volition is exactly like the one you planted in her brain.
CELESTE: God, just shut up! (She takes out the Mushroom and holds it aloft. She looks uncertain for a moment. The crowd falls silent, expectant.)
KELLY: (Whispering to CELESTE.) Okay, now eat it.
CELESTE: What, really?
KELLY: Just do it.
(CELESTE eats the Mushroom of Perpetual Flame. For a moment nothing happens, then CELESTE’s shadow-dress begins to glow with a strange light. She begins to sway atop her moth-steed.)
FAIRY QUEEN: Where did you get that? Where did she get that?
MELISSA: Hey! That was in my bedroom! You broke into my house!
SARAH: Proportion, Melissa.
(KELLY hands CELESTE the bell, which she rings vigorously. It makes a tiny tinkling sound. Nothing seems to happen at first, then it continues to happen–none of the assembled fairies or goblins are doing anything but stare at her. It’s impossible to tell where her shadow-dress ends and her shadow begins, but she now casts a vast, unnaturally dark shadow that mostly covers the FAIRY QUEEN and her followers.)
KELLY: (Stage whisper.) I think you’re meant to say something.
CELESTE: (Whispering back.) Like what? ‘Shut up and go away?’
(At this, the FAIRY QUEEN and her attendants seem to recoil and file out through the crowd as fast as they can. The GOBLIN KING and the gathered goblins let out a ragged cheer.)
KELLY: Yeah, that seems to have worked.
GOBLIN KING: Truly inspired, Dark Lady! And not to be forward, but I think there’s a recent vacancy in the office of Queen.
CELESTE: I–wait, really?
KELLY: We have a group project due next week, Celeste.
CELESTE: Shut up, Kelly.
GOBLIN KING: No one would dare oppose you if you wanted it.
CELESTE: I’m listening.
(KELLY slips off the giant moth-thing and makes her way towards MELISSA and SARAH.)
MELISSA: (By way of greeting.) What the hell are you doing here?
KELLY: I was bored.
(SARAH and MELISSA’s GOBLIN companion arrives.)
GOBLIN: Exciting times! Are you ready to go?
MELISSA: (To KELLY.) I think Celeste is about to get crowned queen of the fairies. You want to blow this popsicle stand?
SARAH: Did you really just say ‘let’s blow this popsicle stand?’
MELISSA: I’ve had a long day, all right? You coming or not?
KELLY: Eh, she can find her own way home.
MELISSA: That’s the spirit.
SARAH: (To the GOBLIN.) I think we’d like to go home now.
GOBLIN: Of course! If you’d follow me . . . .
(They set off through the market.)
MELISSA: So, out of idle curiosity, what’s the etiquette for telling your friend his girlfriend isn’t coming home because she’s the queen of the fairies now?
SARAH: Hand-written letter and a bottle of good wine.
MELISSA: Maybe only decent wine. The mushroom will wear off eventually and she’ll want to go home.
SARAH: Fair point. But not cheap wine.
KELLY: Do you think maybe I should stay and make sure she’s okay?
(They walk off into the distance. Fin.)