Directed by Carmen Bush With Sarah David, Alexaendrai Bond, Laura Peterson & Anne Yumi Kobori
CAST OF CHARACTERS: RUBY – female – any age – any race – over-enthusiastic superfan awaiting a book
DESTINY – female – any age – any race – over-enthusiastic superfan awaiting a book reading.
LINDA – female – any age – any race - bookstore owner, event host, beleaguered, cynical, exhausted
SAVANNAH VON WOODBURNE – female – any age – any race -- self-published fantasy author, confident, diva-ish, acts more famous than she is
Lights up on an empty podium. Opposite it are a bank of 6-8 chairs, only 2 of which are filled. In the chairs are RUBY and DESTINY, two super-geek superfans. They hold several books each and can barely contain their excitement.
RUBY Shut up, it’s about to start.
DESTINY I didn’t say anything.
RUBY Seriously, shut up.
DESTINY Sorry. I’m excited. Oh man. Oh no.
She dry heaves and then starts breathing loudly into a paper vomit bag.
RUBY Destiny, shut up!
LINDA approaches the podium. DESTINY and RUBY seize up with psychotic anticipation.
Okay, this seems like everybody. Hello. My name is Linda, I own this bookstore. Today, it is my pleasure to introduce acclaimed local author Miss Savannah Von Woodburne. Savannah has spent the last decade writing an immersive, detailed and astoundingly robust series of fantasy books, all of which were self-published as e-books on her blog. Dubbed the “Adequation Neuftet” by her fan club—
RUBY Holy crap, that’s us!
LINDA -- her works have gained dozens of downloads and one honorable mention at the regional Selfie Awards for self-published authors. And now, she has agreed to grant her first public appearance in years. So, without further ado, here to read an excerpt from her newest, and rumored final entry in the Neuftet, entitled The Jar With a Bell in It, please join me in giving a warm, Book Mongers welcome to Savannah Von Woodburne.
SAVANNAH graces the podium, owning the room. She wears a long cloak over her shoulders and a wide-brimmed hat with large sunglasses. Super celebrity. DESTINY and RUBY freak the fuck out. SAVANNAH basks in the praise, then has them settle down. They’re both hyperventilating. DESTINY breathes into the vomit bag.
SAVANNAH Yes. Yes! Thank you! Thank you all – two of you. It’s a pleasure and a primal exhaltation to be treading these literary boards. Yes, feel me, I am Savannah Von Woodburne. Let us begin.
SAVANNAH pauses, annoyed. She looks up to Linda.
SAVANNAH Ahem. (impatient beat) AHEM!
LINDA moves to her, removes her sunglasses and wide-brimmed hat and opens the book on the podium.
SAVANNAH Thank you, Linda, my empowered canary dove.
RUBY YOU’RE THE GREATEST!
DESTINY BOOK SEVEN THE COLOR MAGENTA CHANGED MY LIFE!
LINDA Yes, I love you all.
DESTINY passes out for a moment. SAVANNAH reads.
“It had been seventy-three months since the last of the male species had died out in Quadrant Alpha Beta. The elders told us the extinction of the XY line would bring plentiful harvest and diplomatic harmony, but nothing could have been closer to being far away from the truth. The truth was very far away, indeed.”
RUBY Savannah! Savannah!
(trying to read through the commotion)
“My lifeforce replicator had been strained through authoritarian floggings. The smaller ones had come to call me the She-then (like Heathen)“
LINDA Please, girls, let her finish.
SAVANNAH Yes, what is it? What question couldn’t wait for Narnia the She-then’s backstory?
RUBY I’m sorry, it’s just – umm – we think you’re – you’re – oh, man, I’m shaking --
DESTINY I named myself after the character Destiny in Book Three: Handmaidens That Run with Foxes!
RUBY Savannah – Miss Von Woodburne – we – we wrote a play set within the Adequation Omniverse, we dedicated it to you.
SAVANNAH Honestly, I’m flattered, yet still remain mildly insulted over your flagrant disregard for my emphatic reading.
RUBY No – NOOOOO don’t be mad!
LINDA Can we take it down a notch, please?
RUBY We waited in line for three days!
DESTINY We haven’t eaten!
LINDA There was no line.
LINDA Ooookay, maybe it’s time to leave.
Linda tries to escort Ruby and Destiny off the premises. They protest, kick and scream
SAVANNAH Stop, mine Linda! They obviously hold me in high esteem, as they should. Allow them to present their arcane drama, if for nothing else than mine own amusement.
LINDA I don’t know if that’s a good idea—
RUBY and DESTINY immediately jump into character, starting with an elaborate, ridiculous handshake routine. RUBY rips off her clothes, revealing a shiny, skin-tight gold leotard thing. DESTINY pulls a helmet from her bag and puts it on. They both brandish crappy, homemade weapons.
DESTINY ‘Tis I, Velvet Salsa, the misunderstood villain from Book Five: The Ethical Hussy. I have returned from Space Prison to exact vengeance.
RUBY You’re no match for Keisha Thorax, protector of the harum, champion of the widows!
They engage in a terribly choreographed fight, knocking over chairs, making a horrible mess, maybe while singing their own theme song. LINDA reacts accordingly. SAVANNAH remains indifferent.
Ruby subdues Destiny, prepares to deliver the death blow.
RUBY Your censorship and pro-patriarchy views will spell your downfall, Velvet Salsa.
DESTINY But all I ever wanted – was to be loved.
RUBY drops her weapon, stands Destiny up, and they embrace.
DESTINY We can co-exist, peacefully.
They stand forward and bow. There is no applause.
RUBY So? What’d you think?
DESTINY We think – umm – it would make a nice companion piece for the middle sequence – books four through six – umm – we love you.
(long, indifferent beat, then a happy switch)
Yeah, that’ll work.
SAVANNAH Yes, really, mine fans. Mine children. Come. Embrace me.
They both pass out.
SAVANNAH An inspired ending to a whirlpool of emotion. Am I right, Linda?
END OF PLAY.