Truly Great Songs, and All That

Truly Great Words, w text 5, JPG,bestMe: Outlaws 2.5 releases on Wednesday. I need something special to hype the book. But what?

Will Scarlet: I’ve got just the thing! Allyn, you know how our new flash fiction collection highlights 45 different archaic words?

Allyn-a-Dale: Yes…?

Will: Throw together a summary-song that includes every one of them.

Allyn: Wha— Now? Right off the top of my head?

Will: Just that! Can do?

Allyn: Well, I guess this is what Father trained me for. [takes up his lute] All right. Here goes… everything.

Truly Great Words (In Musical Summary)

With Weltschmerz, a tale of our Robin Hood’s woes,

While Simony minstrel philosophy shows.

Tautoosious tells us of two of a kind,

And Senocular means that you’ll six times less likely be blind.

*

In Ostent, a Scarlet autumnal display.

And Gant-o’-the-Lute sighs for days Cumber-free,

Then makes light of normalcy, Natural-ly.

And rather than Reverence, see Hood treat with kings his own way.

*

Though not what he’s used to, you’ll find Natheless

That Sir Gawain likes his queen’s version of chess.

Autological’s tale… well, it is what it is,

While Accismus fakes a concern with the lingerie biz.

*

Deja luDeja lu… Yes, that’s twice the word’s seen.

And next, Sagittipotent shows Robin’s quirk.

Barbigerous and Adoral are comparably themed,

But one’s semi-bromance; the other, not suited for work.

*

In Lumming, two lady friends dance down the sky,

Then one Coxcomb stays true to his legend’s brand.

And Rivelled’s the upside of wrinkles in plans.

As for freeing Scarlet from Durance, we do it – but why?

*

Sherwood Ecophobia? Nay, here dwells my heart,

Among Alderliefest friends ever I’ve had.

And not Tralatiously are these words said:

My Men are all music, and glad am I to play a part.

*

In Gapeseed and Fallow, we follow the Fey.

And where there’s a Countervail, there is a weigh

(Ludicropathatic as that pun may be).

And in Caeseious, see why a census makes no sense for me.

*

Will: THIS IS BRILLIANT! I wanna try!

Allyn: B-but you can’t—

Will: Can, and WILL!

Onto Erinaceous, which may miss the point.

And who needs the Ramage, with bards to throw shade?

To have Truck with us is to have your day made;

No Pandiculation, here! This is one happening joint!

*

Ne-moph-ilous or Nemo-phil-ous? Who knows?

Suffice to say forests are loved by the Hoods.

No place to Convive like the outlaw-filled woods!

…Now watch Allyn Bowdlerize my verses; that’s how it goes.

Allyn: Did I think that proper, I’d do it Amain.

Alas, though, I fear it would not be Condign.

In games of songmaking, the clear Boot is mine.

No need for your face to Incarnadine. Try it again.

*

Will: Well, as you’ll not Beshrew my tuneful Moiety

(A fact which, in truth, Obfuscate-s me like whoa),

I’ll Pore on how to best to end this melody.

…Mm, nope, you just take it. We want it to Fadge well, you know.

*

Allyn: Ultracrepdiarian, I see you’re not;

And thanks to your letting the expert be heard,

This well-nigh Montivigant song that we’ve got,

With its ups and its downs, has at last used the last of the words.

The End

Me [with wild applause]: Huzzah for my Merry Minstrel! …and for his plus-one. X) How could anyone say no to buying the e-book now?

Will: Priced at just 99 cents? They’d be mad not to. Pre-order today, people! If we move enough copies, maybe I can talk Allyn into writing a ‘Thanks for Making Our Author a Bestseller’ song.

Allyn [laughing]: Consider it promised. ^_^

Go Figur[in]e

“We interrupt what would have been your regularly scheduled Interactive Theatre skit,” says Will Scarlet, “to bring you something so, much, cooler!”

“What now?” groans Allyn, ever among the last to know.

“I’ll tell you ‘what now’. No, better: I’mma show it. Get a load of this!”

Will 'n' Allyn figures 02

“Oh!” Allyn brightens. “The figurines fashioned in our likeness, as gifted to our author by dear Chelsea de la Cruz.”

“Heck yes!” Will cheers. “I mean, it was awesome enough when she made the ones for the Wilderhark crowd—”

“As can be seen in the Wilderhark Art gallery on Danielle’s website,” Allyn inserts helpfully.

“Yeah, right, sure. But THEN – out of the blue – Christmas in September! Can we take a minute to analyze the perfection of these pieces? ‘Cause seriously.”

Will 'n' Allyn figures, Will

“First of all, let’s talk about my hat. That is a fabulous hat – all red and feathered and vaguely sparkly. And then you’ve got the complimentary redness of my shirt and sorta raspberry-swirlness of my nod-to-hose. Dat belt, tho. And – best thing of all – the 100% symbolic heart of gold!”

Will 'n' Allyn figures, Chelsea chat

And then there’s my little ALLYN! ^o^

“Down, D,” says Will. “We’re telling it. Allyn-a-Dale, your assessment, please?”

Will 'n' Allyn figures, Allyn

“Blue,” Allyn says happily. “A magnificent, marbled blue, like unto a windswept sky.”

“ ‘Like unto’?” Will repeats. “Isn’t that a little much?”

“You said we’re telling it, so let me tell it. Also of note, the cape. A fine, princely garment, that – particularly with its shining chain.”

“I’ll say,” Will agrees. “Mercy, when have you ever dressed up so fancy in real/fictional life, Allyn?”

“A rare occasion or two comes to mind.”

“Well, you look darling as all get-out. That FACE, man!”

“It’s all eyes.”

“Meaning Chelsea nailed it. Is she or is she not the absolute best friend of all time?”

“She certainly ranks in the upper echelons,” Allyn grants. “And we treasure the gift just as we do the giver.”

“Word. (#EverOnIt) Thanks again, Chelsea-babe! Likewise to all the blog readers who ogled these mini masterpieces with us. ‘Til next time, friends: Will and Allyn out!”

Will 'n' Allyn figures 01

The Three Happy Horses (Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre)

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“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.

“*cough* Give or take,” 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: ‘The Three Happy Horses’!”

<<<>>>

[The curtain rises on a stage right spotlight, shining down upon Robin Hood in an armchair, an ornate storybook in his lap.]

Robin/Narrator: Once upon a time, in a world where fairytales and Renaissance Faires collide, there were Three Happy Horses. Happy Horse Pony…

[A light shines on Allyn-a-Dale, his hat sprouting horse ears, and a silky tail hanging from his pants.]

Allyn/Pony [blandly ]: Such happiness is mine.

Robin/Narrator [cont.]: …Happy Horse Stud…

[Will Scarlet leaps into Allyn’s light, sporting horse ears and a tail of his own, in addition to a cool leather jacket.]

Will/Stud: It’s good to be equine!

Robin/Narrator [cont.]: …and the Happy Horse That Took Down Troy.

[Little John steps into the light, his ears stuck atop an ancient Greek warrior’s helmet, his tail red with the blood of his enemies.]

Little John/Trojan Horse [in his typical deadpan rumble ]: Neigh.

(I swear I don't actually have too much time on my hands...)

(I swear I don’t actually have too much time on my hands…)

[As the Three Horses exit stage left, the lights brighten to reveal a festive Faire backdrop, and the beribboned pole standing tall before it.]

Robin/Narrator: May Day upon them and feeling frisky with springtime, the Three Happy Horses thought it would be a lark to go dance around the ol’ Maypole – failing to take into account that the only Maypole within galloping distance belonged to the Queen of the May, a Faerie who did not take kindly to trespassing quadrupeds.

[A trapdoor beside the pole lifts open, revealing an elf-eared Marion Hood, a crown woven of flowers on her head, and a frightful scowl upon her face.]

Marion/May Queen: The local horses better not get any bright ideas today, or so help them all. [retreats back beneath trapdoor ]

Robin/Narrator [as Allyn re-enters the stage ]: Happy Horse Pony was the first to arrive at the fairgrounds, and frolicked ‘round the Maypole with merry abandon.

Allyn/Pony [skipping in resigned circles ]: Tra-la-la, la-la…

Marion/May Queen [bursting from the trapdoor ]: Who dares frolic around my Maypole?!

Allyn/Pony [stopping short with a whinny of alarm ]: Oh, spare me, I pray thee!

Marion/May Queen: Spare you? Ha! Give me one good reason I shouldn’t enchant you into a marble statue for the town square.

Allyn/Pony: Good Queen of the May, if a worthy landmark you desire, only wait until my stablemate appears behind me, for he is far grander a stallion than I.

Marion/May Queen: Is that so? Well then, if he is willing to stand in your place, I shall have him. Await in stone until he arrives, for I’ll not be denied my due!

[Marion throws out a handful of sparkles, and Allyn poses statue-still, a Happy Horse rampant. She returns below the trapdoor as Will Scarlet prances back onstage.]

Robin/Narrator: Not long afterward, Happy Horse Stud entered the fairgrounds, and frolicked ‘round the Maypole with unbridled gaiety.

Will/Stud [capering dizzily ]: Yippee-ki-yay, mare-mounters!

Marion/May Queen [bursting from the trapdoor ]: Who dares frolic around my Maypole?!

Will/Stud [skidding to a stop with a whinny of alarm ]: Don’t be mad, babe – I can change!

Marion/May Queen: Change indeed! Give me one good reason I shouldn’t enchant you into a marble statue for the town square, in place of your pony friend here.

Will/Stud [only just noticing his frozen pal ]: Holy oats! Well, listen, Your Spring Queenliness, I’d make a gorgeous tourist attraction, sure. But if you really want to bring in the sightseers, just wait ‘til my stablemate appears behind me, ‘cause believe me, he’s just like whoa.

Marion/May Queen: Is that so? Well then, if he is willing to stand in your place, I shall have him. Await in stone until he arrives, for I’ll not be denied my due!

[Marion throws out a handful of sparkles, and Will poses statue-still, with a bicep flex and an unmoving wink the audience’s way. She returns below the trapdoor as Little John steps back onstage.]

Robin/Narrator: Now at last, the Happy Horse That Took Down Troy made his way to the fairgrounds, and he stared in some dismay at his petrified friends.

Little John/Trojan Horse: What the neigh?

Robin/Narrator: Thinking quickly, the Trojan Horse sprang into action – which is to say, he first stamped hard upon the ground beside the Maypole, and then stood entirely still.

Marion/May Queen [bursting from the trapdoor ]: Who dares stamp beside—?! [double take ] Oh, my. And who left this positively magnificent statue on my doorstep? Those two Happy Horses spoke true – surely I could have no finer piece of statuary than this. The others are free to go.

[With another handful of sparkles, Allyn and Will return to mobility. …As does, to Marion’s dramatized surprise, Little John.]

Little John/Trojan Horse: CHARGE!

Robin/Narrator: And with that, the Three Happy Horses stampeded the Queen of the May…

Marion/May Queen [falling through the trapdoor ]: Ai-yeeeeee!!!

Robin/Narrator [cont.]: …Who disappeared into the earth, never to be seen again.

Allyn/Pony: Huzzah!

Will/Stud: Good show, Troy! Now, what do you say we get back to our dance? All in favor?

Allyn/Pony and Little John/Trojan Horse [in adamant unison ]: Nay.

<<<>>>

“Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.

“Thank you to audiences members Miranda McNeff and Steven Bourelle,” says Allyn, “for providing us with the inspiration ‘horses’ and ‘Maypole’.”

“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!”

WINGS OF RENEWAL: The Cover Revealed

“We interrupt what would have been your regularly scheduled Interactive Theatre skit,” says Will Scarlet, “to bring you ‘Wings of Renewal: The Cover Revealed’!”

“Wait, what?” says Allyn-a-Dale.

Will shoves a three-ring script binder into the minstrel’s hands. “Just run with it.”

“O… kay…”

<<<>>>

Allyn/Narrator: The future is vibrant, hopeful, and filled with dragons.

[Gant-o’-the-Lute – eyes bright through reptilian contact lenses, resplendent in full-body make-up set to stun – glides over the stage on kite-like dragon wings with an exultant, musical roar.]

Allyn/Narrator: In WINGS OF RENEWAL, twenty-two authors explore the exciting new subgenre of solarpunk through the lens of these majestic creatures.

[A full-length triple mirror unfolds, with Will Scarlet in the center. His reflections appearing to multiply into forever, he raises a megaphone-like device to his mouth, likewise multiplying his voice into that of a small crowd.]

Will/Authors: We are the ninety-nine! Or, the twenty-two, anyway. Behold, our names and short story titles!

[A sweeping score singing from various speakers, a slideshow of the list projects onto the stage’s back curtain, reading as follows:

Brenda J. Pierson – Lost and Found
C.B. Carr – Summer Project
Cj Lehi – Deep Within the Corners of my Mind
Caitlin Nicoll – Glow
Caroline Bigaiski – The Dragon of Kou
Claudie Arseneault – One Last Sweet
Danny Mitchell – Dragon’s Oath
Diane Dubas – The Witch’s Son
Gemini Pond – Fighting Fire with Fire
J. Lee Elloris – The Last Guardian
Jeanne LG – The Stained Glass Dragon
Kat Lerner – Community Outreach with Reluctant Neighbors (alternatively, How to Avoid Cults)
Kimberly Kay and A. N. Gephart – Solarium
Lyssa Chiavari – Seven Years Among Dragons
M. Pax – Wings of the Guiding Suns
Marianne Drolet – The Shape of the Sun
Maura Lydon – Wanderer’s Dream
Megan Reynolds – Petrichor
Mindi Briar – Refuge
Sam Martin – Morelle and Vina
Stephanie Wagner – In the Hearts of Dragons
Tobias Wade – The Quantum Dragon

The music continuing on, the draconified Lute returns to resume his aerial dance, while Allyn wraps up the narration.]

Allyn/Narrator: Whether they irrigate dry terrain or serve as spaceships, are mythic beasts come to life or biomechanical creations of man, these dragons show us a world where renewable energy overcomes gas and oil, and cooperation replaces competition. If you love fantasy/sci-fi fusion, this is an anthology you do not want to miss! So hop on solar wings and follow us into futures that—for all their witches and dragons—are far more possible than they might seem.

Will: And now… the cover!

[The back curtain rises on the larger than life, full-spread cover art, then zooms in on the cover’s front, complete with text – all as seen below.]

Wings of Renewal, full-spread art

 

Wings of Renewal, front cover

Lute: Magnificent, no? [grins and breathes a jet of fire ]

<<<>>>

 “Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.

“Thank you to editor Claudie Arseneault,” says Allyn, “for providing us with the information included in this anthology cover reveal production, and to Agata Jędrychowska for the creation of the cover art itself.”

“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!”

The Desecration of Smaug (Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre)

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“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.

“*cough* Give or take,” 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: ‘The Desecration of Smaug’!”

<<<>>>

[The curtain rises on a pair of theatre chairs, in which Will Scarlet and Allyn-a-Dale sit side by side, a tub of popcorn balanced between them. Their gazes, enhanced by old-school 3D glasses, are trained outward, as if a movie screen hovers over the Interactive Theatre audience’s heads.]

Allyn [in an aggravated stage whisper ]: Oh, for the love of all, get off the screen!

Will [mouth full ]: You mad, bro?

Allyn: We’re supposed to be watching a hobbit face a dragon, but we keep cutting back to a contrived Elf/Dwarf faux-mance that nobody asked for! Why do book-to-film adaptations always have to change everything?

Will: Everything? Oh, little minstrel, they could have changed so much more…

[The stage lights go out, and a projected title screen appears on the backdrop, reading:

THE HOBBIT: THE DESECRATION OF SMAUG

Desecration of Smaug

More or less like this.

When the lights return, Marion Hood is creeping across the stage on hobbit feet toward a pile of prop gold and jewels.]

Marion/Bilbo Baggins: No sign of the dragon. Maybe he’s long gone from the depths of the Elf king’s cellar after all.

Scary Dragon Voice: Think again!

[Out from the treasure pile thrusts the puppet head of S’more the Candy Dragon.]

Marion/Bilbo: S’more?! But what’s become of Smaug?

S’more: He was delicious. As will you be, little mouthful.

Marion/Bilbo: Not today, sugar lizard. [raises fist high, a band of gold gleaming on one finger ] Magic ring: Activate!

[The stage goes black.]

Marion/Bilbo[‘s voice in the dark ]: I’m… not sure that’s what I meant to happen.

A Distinctly Gollum-esque Voice [accompanied by a pair of eyes glowing ghoulishly ]: Who’s there, Precious? It’s been ages since any but goblinses have come this way.

Marion/Bilbo: Ages? But I was here just weeks ago. Unless… Say, Gollum – does the name Baggins mean anything to you?

Gollum: Baggins? Never heard of a Baggins before.

Marion/Bilbo: Ah, well, that explains it. Must’ve accidently set off the ring’s time travel feature instead of—

Gollum [shrieking, glowing eyes bobbing in agitation ]: Ring?! Thief! You stole it from us!

Marion/Bilbo: Whoopsies. Magic ring: Activate again! Back to the future!

[The lights return, but the treasure pile’s gone, replaced with the interior of a bachelor apartment’s living room. At the window – which conveniently frames an image of Big Ben and the Eye of London – robe draped over pajamas and violin balanced on his shoulder, stands Gant-o’-the-Lute.]

Lute/Guess Who [pauses violin music ]: John, what in the world are you supposed to be?

Marion/Bilbo: It’s for a case, Sherlock.

Allyn [bursting in the apartment door ]: All right, stop, just stop! This is an utter mess, Will, even for you.

Will [popping up from behind the couch ]: A bigger mess than the Elf/Dwarf faux-mance?

Lute and Marion [in unison ]: Easily.

Will: Well then, let that be a lesson in gratitude for you, Allyn. Things can always be worse.

Allyn: And let this be a lesson in plot construction for you.

Will: “This”?

Allyn [slaps tome into Will’s hands ]: A book. Sit. Read. I’ll get the popcorn. [exits through door as Will flips through the pages ]

Will [calling after him ]: Wait. Allyn? I think this book’s broken. The 3D glasses aren’t making the words pop at all

Marion [glancing at Lute ]: Should we tell him?

Lute [indifferently resumes playing violin ]: With what little we’re paid for this nonsense, we don’t owe him that.

<<<>>>

“Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.

“Thank you to audiences members Chelsea and Kelton de la Cruz,” says Allyn, “for providing us with the inspiration ‘Bilbo Baggins’ and ‘time travel’.”

“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!”

Burning Bridges (Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre)

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“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.]

Bridge

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!”

Hooray for the Scarlet, White, and Blue (Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre)

W.A.I.T. Button, 78 percent

“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: ‘Hooray for the Scarlet, White, and Blue’!”

<<<>>>

[The curtain rises on a backdrop showing the spires of Avalon Faire’s castle through the prop trees of “Little Sherwood”. Allyn-a-Dale enters and crosses to the center from stage left, Will Scarlet from stage right, both in their typical Faire garb.]

Will: Ah, Allyn! I was just coming to find you.

Allyn: And found me you have, on the way to my tent.

Will: Your tent? You can’t go in there – not today, of all days. It’s the 4th of July!

Allyn: Should that date mean something to me?

Will [scoffs like “duh” ]: Only if you’re going to call yourself an American.

Allyn: Which no one in Avalon is.

Will: Even so, this is a very important holiday. It all started centuries ago at midnight, when Paul Revere rode through the colonial American towns, shouting—

[Enter Marion Hood. Tricorn hat upon her head, stick horse firmly in hand, she gallops across the stage.]

Marion/Paul Revere: The British are coming! In stylish red coats! One if by land, two if by sea! TO ARMS, AMERICA!

[Exit Marion.]

Allyn [blinking at Will ]: I don’t get it.

Will: Oh, it was all to do with the Boston Tea Party.

[The largest of the prop trees rotates, revealing Robin Hood and Little John in its hollow, sporting waistcoats and powdered wigs, seated at a small table set with a fine china tea service.]

Little John [in an exaggerated British accent ]: More tea, Mr. Jefferson? I can offer you sugar and cream, as well, though sadly, representation along with your taxation is right out.

Robin/Jefferson: That’s outrageous! [throws down napkin ] As a patriot, I won’t stand for it! This means WAR!

[The tree revolves back into its original position.]

Will: After that, it was all kinds of revolution up in the streets – from Washington crossing the Delaware, to Ben Franklin flying kites in a storm, to a mysterious hooded man robbing the king’s men on the forest highway.

Allyn [eyelids lowered to sardonic height ]: You don’t say.

Will: True story. But in the end, the states united and came out on top, to much celebratory fireworks and barbecue.

Allyn: A fascinating history, Will. But I don’t see how any of this bars me from entering my tent.

Will: Erm, mostly because it kind of caught fire when I went in to surprise you with an Independence Day bouquet of sparklers.

Allyn: What?!

[Marion gallops across the stage again.]

Marion/Paul Revere: Those darn red-loving Brits, I tell you!

<<<>>>

“Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.

“Thank you to audience member Chelsea de la Cruz,” says Allyn, “for providing us with the inspiration ‘sparklers’ and ‘mysterious hooded man’.”

“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!”