“Welcome, one and all,” says Will Scarlet, with a broad smile and a bow, “to Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre!”
“Every second Friday,” 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: ‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like World’s End’!”
[The curtain rises on a backdrop of fields of ice. A sign atop a candy-cane-striped post reads “North Pole, 0.5 miles”, pointing toward the copse of Christmas trees on the stage’s opposite side. Entering from the wings are Gant-o’-the-Lute as Loki and Allyn-a-Dale as Fenrir, the Antichristmas Wolf in Jack Snow’s body.]
Lute/Loki [voice forbidding, smile stretched wide ]: Now’s the day, an’ now’s the hour;
See the Antichristmas lour,
And the Trickster’s rise to power:
Allyn/Fenrir: A stirring preamble, Father.
Lute/Loki: Like it? Modeled it after some poem or another by that Scot fellow, Burns.
Allyn/Fenrir [lips curled back in a wolfish grin ]: Fitting, that. For presently, this frozen world will blaze.
[Meanwhile, among the Christmas trees, out peek Annabelle Gray and Sir Wilbur Lamb from INSPIRED, along with Will Scarlet as Jack Snow in the Mad Hatter’s body.]
Annabelle [stage whispering ]: This is it. The final boss battle. Sonic vs. Robotnik. Link vs. Demon Lord Ganon. Jack Snow vs. Antichristmas Beast/Wolf/son of Loki.
Will/Jack [turning to Annabelle in aggravation ]: What are you on about?
Annabelle [mumbling ]: Video game stuff. Sorry, I saw parallels.
Sir Wilbur: Never mind it, Jack. What’s the plan?
Will/Jack: Plan? I fear that’s a bit beyond me, at the moment. I’m Jack Snow in spirit, but Hatter in the head. What does his mad mind know of battle strategy?
Annabelle: Does this mean we’re screwed?
Sir Wilbur: It’s beginning to look like it. See there!
[The other side of the stage, Allyn has raised his arms high. Head thrown back, he speaks in a howling chant.]
Allyn/Fenrir: In the name of all evil things anti-Christmas,
I summon the fire of sky!
Flaming color, rain down ruin!
Raze and blaze, yon Northern Lights!
[A flickering green glow appears above, glowing redder the lower it descends. Lute’s cruel laugh has scarcely begun gaining momentum when Will plunges out of the trees, hand thrust up toward the lights.]
Will/Jack [rapidly, but with authority ]: Light of North’s nocturnal noon,
Ruin you shall not rain.
Heatless fire, arctic blaze,
In the sky remain.
[The reddening lights halt, then rise again, their harmless green hue returning.]
Allyn/Fenrir [with a snarling sneer ]: Counter rhymes, is it? That’s a game we could be at all day, Santa Claus. Unless you mean to sing my doom with carols as you did before?
Will/Jack: That depends. Would it work?
Lute/Loki [wagging a finger ]: Not so easy as that. Children of the Trickster were never fated to die the same way twice. It will take more than the power contained in a song to kill him. More than the power of Christmas itself!
Will/Jack [thoughtful, sober ]: Possibly so. But what of the power behind Christmas?
Allyn/Fenrir [eyes narrow ]: What do you mean?
Will/Jack [advancing ]: The first and greatest Christmas gift. A baby born to die. A saving sacrifice. This do I wield against you, Antichristmas: The sacrifice, made in the truest Christmas spirit, of Artifice Cheshirecott – a mad hatter who so loved his lost friend that he gave up his body to put an end to your wickedness one more time.
Allyn/Fenrir [ashen and wide-eyed ]: No… [clutches throat, choking and gagging ] Nooo…!
Lute/Loki: Fenrir! Son!
[But it’s too late. Allyn crumples to the ground, a thick haze of steam rising up around him. When the vapor clears, his body is gone. Dropping to his knees, Lute lets loose a shriek of anguish.]
Lute/Loki: A thousand curses upon you, Jack Snow! All I wanted for Christmas was vengeance! To destroy the legacy of the one who killed my son!
Will/Jack: Unfortunately, Loki, you’ve been a very naughty god this year. For that, you get the Shadow, black as coal. [arm raised skyward again, he calls out ]
Shadow of the hatter mad,
Fly to finish to Fenrir’s dad!
[A formless darkness with manic, cat-like eyes and a wide, crescent moon grin flits over the white backdrop.]
Will [voiceover]/Shadow: Ah, looky – it’s Loki! My own match in mischief! Now, what’s to be done about you?
Annabelle [stepping out of the trees with a noisy “ahem” ]: If it’s all the same to everyone else, I may have a solution.
“Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.
“Thank you to audience members Kelton de la Cruz and Tirzah Duncan,” says Allyn, “for providing us with the inspiration ‘Demon Lord Ganon’ and lyrics from “Scots Wha Hae’ by Robert Burns.”
“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!”