“Welcome, one and all,” says Will Scarlet, with a broad smile and a bow, “to Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre!”
“Every other Friday—” says Allyn-a-Dale.
“Barring an influx of Kiss & Tell interviews or some such, evidently,” Will inserts.
“—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: ‘Burning Bridges’!”
[The curtain rises on a Japanese-style footbridge over a faux pond covered in water lilies. The backdrop is painted with colorful, Impressionistic strokes, and prop weeping willows sway in the breeze of offstage fans. Also weeping, Will Scarlet stands in the bridge’s center, clutching a small, ribbon-bound bouquet of flowers to his chest. Enter Allyn-a-Dale.]
Allyn [with a gasp, hastening to the bridge ]: Will! Whatever’s the matter?
Will [in between sobs ]: It’s Chelsea.
Allyn: Chelsea de la Cruz?
Will [theatrically struggling to keep it together ]: I was supposed to meet up with her, and I figured I’d do it here – since, y’know, we wanted someplace romantic, and Yves said it’d be cool if we used his little Monet-esque garden hangout spot from INSPIRED – and I was gonna give her flowers and tell her how awesome she is and how looking at her face just makes me wanna kiss it like she’s on my talk show…
Allyn: Yes, and? What went wrong?
Will [sniffling ]: Well… I may or may not have been flirting with this other girl on Facebook…
Allyn [mouth in a grim line ]: Meaning you definitely were.
Will [hangs his head ]: I never thought it would upset Chelsea! I mean, come on, I flirt with everything! Sarcophagi and people’s couches, manspreaders, the fine line between genius and crazy… You can’t take it personally! [hiccup ] But she obviously did, because she… she…
Allyn: She what?
Will [falls to knees, head thrown back in a howl ]: She JUMPED! She posted a picture of a bridge on my Facebook timeline, and said she was jumping!
Allyn: Oh, my word…
Will [clutching at Allyn’s shirt, voice gone completely tear-clogged ]: By boor, sweed Chelsea… Brovider of such brilliant Interactive Theatre skid brompts as Hobbid spoofs and Candy Dragons and the Buffwolf… and by rebrobate ways have destroyed her will do liiiiiive!
Allyn: Your lack of enunciation is having a similar effect on me. Get a grip, Scarlet! It may be there is yet time to forestall any drastic measures on Chelsea’s part. That photo she posted on your timeline – did she include a location?
[Making noises less intelligible by the moment, Will pulls his phone from his pocket and hands it to Allyn. A few taps and slides on the touchscreen later…]
Allyn: All right, there’s the bridge picture. [reading the caption ] “Hashtag am jumping”, “hashtag… for joy”?
Will [tears abruptly ceasing ]: Wait, what?
Allyn: Will, you idiot, she says she’s excited for your scheduled hangout, and she’s waiting for you! …On a bridge on her plane of reality, by the way.
Will: Oh. Right. I guess that makes more sense than a corner of Danielle’s novel, huh? Shoot, I’d better get moving before she thinks I stood her up. [leaps to his feet, vaults off the bridge and off the stage ]
[Shaking his head, Allyn begins tapping the phone’s touchscreen anew, narrating his online message aloud.]
Allyn: “Allyn here”… “Will on his way”… “$5 says he flirts with his own tear-puffed eyes.”
Will [calling from offstage ]: In my defense, they’ll be red! Hashtag hot.
“Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.
“Thank you to – appropriately enough – audience member Chelsea de la Cruz,” says Allyn, “for providing us with the inspiration ‘the Buffwolf’ and ‘bridges (especially the romantic kind)’. …Not to mention the true story upon which this skit was based.”
“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!”