“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: ‘A Trick of the Titan’!”
[The curtain rises on a rocky wall stretching all across the stage. At the wall’s mid-height, two ramps diverge – the one leading higher obscured with a hazy screen covered in faux-cloud fluff, the one leading lower being approached from the ground level by Allyn-a-Dale as Jack Snow, Will Scarlet as the Mad Hatter, and Annabelle Gray and Sir Wilbur Lamb repping for the characters of INSPIRED. At Scarlet’s insistence, everyone is wearing ancient Greek-style tunics, while he’s adorned his top hat with golden laurels.]
Annabelle [walking in the lead with Allyn ]: So. Jack Snow, chosen Santa Claus, huh?
Allyn/Jack: That’s right.
Annabelle: Chosen by whom? The Man in the Moon, like a “Rise of the Guardians” deal? Wait, you’re not any archetypal relation to Jack Frost, are you?
Allyn/Jack: Not to my knowledge. And I don’t know that anyone in particular chose me. It was simply my destiny.
Annabelle: Huh. I’d always thought of Santa Claus as a sort of primordial force; like Tom Bombadil.
Allyn/Jack: [gives Annabelle baffled look ]
Annabelle: How else do you explain him? As far as my headcanon’s concerned, Bombadil’s like the Santa of Middle Earth. Say, did I hear you guys have been to Middle Earth?
Will/Hatter: Of course we have. Where do you think we recycled this mountain set from? But eyes ever onward, Genre-nauts! We’re in Greek mythological territory, now. Where are we headed first, Navigator Gray?
Annabelle: I figured we’d check out Atlas.
Will/Hatter: Oh, we’re going to consult a map? How unpredictably practical.
Annabelle: Not an atlas. The Atlas – titan of astronomy, bearer of the sky! Also said to have taught human sailors the art of navigation, which would account for why we’ve named directional charts after him.
Sir Wilbur: Bearer of the sky? How does that work?
Annabelle: We’ll see at the top of the mountain. Going up!
[As the group ascends the lower ramp, the cloud screen slowly rises. By the time they reach the wall’s midpoint, it’s gone altogether, revealing Gant-o’-the-Lute at the upper ramp’s top, standing braced beneath a weighted curtain of all the skiest shades of blue.]
Sir Wilbur: The whole of the sky, borne up by that little fellow?? [calls ahead ] Pardon me, but is that as heavy as it looks?
Lute/Atlas [cheerfully ]: Oh, no. Far heavier. Give it a try?
Annabelle: Don’t do it, Wilbur! It’s a trap! He’ll try to escape!
Lute/Atlas: I’m not escaping, I’m showing off. Borrow my place, if you think yourself such a Hercules.
Will/Hatter: I’ll do it!
Annabelle [aghast ]: You’re mad!
Will/Hatter: I admire your grasp of the obvious. C’mon, Atlas, let’s trade off!
Lute/Atlas [eyes shining blue to gray to green in wicked amusement ]: As you will. [hefts the curtain up to the height of Will’s shoulders ] Ready?
Will/Hatter [stepping in beside Lute ]: Ready.
[When Lute dances aside, Will and the curtain promptly collapse.]
Allyn/Jack: Oh, no!
Sir Wilbur: Are you hurt?!
[Both rush forward to haul ineffectively at the curtain, which does not budge.]
Will/Hatter: Oof! [struggles ] How… [gasps ] do you even… [grunt ] This weight is impossible!
Lute/Atlas [laughing ]: Quite impossible, yes. But then, so am I! And I count it no burden to shoulder the sky, for I love it with all of my being.
Will/Hatter [panting hopefully ]: You’ll be eager to return to your post, then?
Lute/Atlas: Oh, I am most responsibly at my post, my darling dupe. I only agreed to hold up the sky for Atlas long enough to have my fun in finding a gullible replacement.
Annabelle: Wait – “hold up the sky for Atlas”? If you’re not Atlas, then who—??
Lute/??? [blowing Annabelle a kiss ]: Call me Loki. [vanishes behind the curtain of the sky ]
Annabelle [gaping, while the others continue straining to free Will from the weight of the sky, to no avail ]: That… is not Greek mythology.
“Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.
“Thank you to audience members Chelsea de la Cruz and Beth de la Cruz,” says Allyn, “for providing us with the inspiration ‘Rise of the Guardians’ and ‘Bombadil’.”
“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! ‘Til next time, friends: Will and Allyn out!”