“Welcome, one and all,” says Will Scarlet, with a broad smile and a bow, “to Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre!”
“Every Saturday,” says Allyn-a-Dale, “Will and I and our friends from the story world of ‘The Outlaws of Avalon’ trilogy—”
“Coming one of these days to a book retailer near you!”
“—Will take at random two of the suggestions gleaned from you, our gentle audience, and incorporate them into… well, the sort of tomfoolery Will calls entertainment.”
“So make yourselves comfortable,” says Will, “as we now present to you: ‘Loose Beaks Sink Snow’!”
[The curtain rises on a Dutch door (y’know, the kind where you can open the top half while the bottom half stays shut) squarely facing the audience in front of a forest backdrop. A large figure draped in hooded cloak, facial features obscured behind heavy scarves, enters from the wings and crosses the stage to the door. At a rap of the mystery character’s knuckles, the top of the door swings open, revealing Allyn-a-Dale.]
Mysterious Stranger [in a low, gravelly voice ]: Good day to you, young sir. Have I the pleasure of addressing the lad they call Jack Snow?
Allyn/Jack: Indeed you do. What brings you to the safe house of the dwarves?
Mysterious Stranger: Why, rumor of you. The little birds speak of your beauty throughout the land, praising your hair black as ebony, blush red as the rose, and skin white as the snow for which ‘tis said you’re named.
Allyn/Jack [blushing a hue indeed most rosy ]: The birds exaggerate, and would in any case do better to keep their twittering gossip to themselves. How safe is a safe house with its location and habitants broadcast all over land and sky?
Mysterious Stranger: Oh, but in what sort of danger would one such as yourself be? Surely no one would wish to do you harm.
Allyn/Jack: I am told otherwise. My dwarven keepers say I was brought here in my infancy by a goodhearted guardian to hide me from a great Beast who wishes my life as the price for zucchini.
Mysterious Stranger: A strange tale.
Allyn/Jack: A thing may be strange and yet all too gravely true.
Mysterious Stranger: Wisely said, Jack Snow. Have you in your wisdom thought to take stronger precautions against this Beast of which you speak?
Allyn/Jack: What precautions do you mean?
[The stranger’s hand as yet unseen within the folds of his cloak now extends to display a bright red apple.]
Mysterious Stranger: I bring you a gift, beautiful child: A magic talisman! One bite will render you invisible to the searching eye of the Beast.
Allyn/Jack: Such kindness! However could I begin to repay it?
Mysterious Stranger: No payment needed. It is enough to know you shall be well taken care of.
[Smiling in gratitude, Allyn opens the bottom half of the door and steps out to accept the stranger’s gift. No sooner has he bitten and swallowed than he drops the fruit and clutches his throat, his eyes gone wide and mouth gaping in a breathless O. Laughing nightmarishly, the stranger casts his cloak and scarves aside, revealing himself as none other than Little John, portrayer of the Beast.]
Little John/Beast: It is done! Sleep well and long, little fool, and never rise again to stand against me.
[The words have scarcely left his lips when an arrow whizzes in from offstage, narrowly missing his horned head. The Little John Beast flees, vanishing a split second ahead of the appearance of Will Scarlet, reprising his role as The Woodsman, bearing a bow strung with another arrow.]
[Casting the weapon aside, Will vaults to Allyn’s side and seizes him for a hasty Heimlich maneuver. With a cough, Allyn’s breathing returns to normal.]
Will/Woodsman: I was just in time. A moment longer lodged in your throat, and that apple’s poison would have been the end of you, and of your great destiny!
Allyn/Jack: Great destiny? Me?
Will/Woodsman: Oh, yes! While you’ve grown up here in safety less safe with every jabbering bird besotted with your face, I’ve been searching the world over for information on the Beast’s true purpose. This thing goes deeper than zucchini. And that Beast is more than just a beast: He is the Antichristmas!
Allyn/Jack: The— wait, Antichristmas? But what has that to do with me?
Will/Woodsman: Everything, Jack! For you see, I have discovered your destiny. You are the chosen!
Allyn/Jack: The chosen what?
Will/Woodsman [eyes burning with intensity ]: The chosen Santa Claus.
“Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.
“Thank you to audience member Miranda McNeff,” says Allyn, “for providing us with the inspiration ‘scarves’ and ‘Santa Claus’.”
“If you enjoyed yourselves,” Will says, “(or if you didn’t, but you totally did, right?), don’t forget to leave suggestions for future productions in the comments! Words or phrases we’ve got to include, a prop to use, a prompt to run with… anything goes! Until next week, friends! Will and Allyn out!”