“Welcome, one and all,” says Will Scarlet, with a broad smile and a bow, “to Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre!”
“Every second 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: ‘Losing the Thread of It’!”
[The curtain rises on what appears much like a forest of tall, narrow walls of faux stone, all shifting back and forth, side to side, seemingly at random. Weaving through the walls are Allyn-a-Dale as Jack Snow, and Annabelle Gray and Sir Wilbur Lamb of INSPIRED.]
Annabelle: A petting zoo in the center of the Labyrinth, huh? Inspired. Thank goodness Hatter’s got the Ariadne’s Thread app on his phone, or we’d be hopelessly lost.
Sir Wilbur: Speaking of lost… [slows to glance around ] …where, exactly, is Hatter?
[Everyone stops, looking in all directions and ‘round the stilled walls’ corners.]
Allyn/Jack: Oh, for Christmas’ sake… [raises voice ] Hatter? Artifice Cheshirecott, what are you playing at? I swear, if you don’t show up in short order, I will kick up a kerfuffle of which you’ve never seen the like!
Sir Wilbur: He can’t be far. I mean, he’s got the phone. Surely he wouldn’t abscond with our only chance of getting in and out of here in one lifetime.
Annabelle: You’re awfully trusting of a madman, Lamb. Still, it doesn’t seem in his character to fall back and shove us into trouble. He’s more the type to dive in headfirst and drag us along behind him. Reckless inanity, yes. Malicious mischief, no. Wait… [eyes narrow ] Mischief. Trickery. You guys don’t suppose this is the work of…?
[She’s cut off by a low growl echoing off the walls.]
Sir Wilbur [on knightly high alert ]: What was that?
Annabelle [nervously optimistic ]: Maybe even miniature Minotaurs make mega-sized sound?
Allyn/Jack [dubious ]: Maybe.
[A massive horned shadow looms black on one of the walls.]
Annabelle [inching back to stand behind Wilbur ]: Maybe that shadow’s size is just a trick of the light?
Sir Wilbur [grimly ]: Maybe.
[The massive shadow’s maker appears around the corner – a terrifying vision of fur and claws, hulking muscle, a glare of pure malevolence, and those aforementioned horns.]
Annabelle [squeaking ]: That’s no Minitaur.
Allyn/Jack [paling ]: And that’s no Minotaur.
Terrifying Horned Creature [in deep, menacing, all-too-familiar tones ]: Well, well, well. If it isn’t the chosen Santa Claus.
Allyn/Jack: The Antichristmas Beast.
“Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.
“Thank you to audience members Chelsea de la Cruz and Laure Estep,” says Allyn, “for providing us with the inspiration ‘abscond’ and ‘kerfuffle’.”
“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!”