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Author: Michael J. Ahlers
Title: The Adventures of Polly Wingnut and the Talking Moose
Type of Work: script
Source: CMv1 #44, 50, 51, 66, 67; CMv2 #6

Copyright 2002, 2003 Michael J. Ahlers

[Act I, in which we meet the principal characters of our tale.]

[Scene 1: Elk Gully, Wyoming. July 1944.]

<Polly and her younger brother Jon step out of Mama Joe's Candy Shoppe.>

Polly: You're just being greedy!

Jon: Dad said I could buy whatever I wanted. He didn't say nothin' 'bout buyin' you nothin'!

Polly: Well you're just a little piggy and I'm not going to the park with a little piggy!

<Polly turns the corner and starts walking purposefully down the alley.>

Jon: Well fine! Just go away!

Polly: I am!

Jon: I hope you never come back!

Polly: Maybe I won't!

<Jon storms off down the street.>

Polly, under her breath: Little piggy!

<A hole appears beneath Polly's feet and brightly colored lights shine thru the hole even as Polly is falling thru it.>

[Act I, Scene 2: Exile's Grove, The Dark Forest, Bingo-Bango World. Fruit-Day, Indigo's Third, Year 2 of the Blue Triad.]

<A ball of fire burns about three lengths off the ground. Without warning, it explodes. Out of the cloud of smoke, a girl, perhaps eight years old, appears and falls to the ground. She gets up and brushes dirt and leaves from her high-waisted dress.>

Polly: Jon, when Dad finds out you pushed me down he'll ... <Her voice trails off as she realizes she's not in the alley anymore.>

<Polly looks around. The trees around her are quite unusual. Their branches loop and spiral, split and rejoin. The leaves are dark, greens and teals, navy blues and royal purples. Polly spins in a circle as she takes it all in. The sky is flame orange with clouds the color of banana bruises.>

Polly: I think I'm gonna be late for supper.

<She sees a man and starts towards. Seeing a wooden sign, she stops, reads it, then continues on. She stops walking again when she realizes that the man isn't moving at all.>

Polly: Hmm.

<She takes a step closer. The man still doesn't move. Polly keeps inching forward until she is right in front of him.>

Polly: Excuse me, sir, why am I not supposed to talk to you?

Man, suddenly animated: Because it will break the spell!

<Startled, Polly steps backwards, trips over an exposed root (or perhaps it's a really low branch, it's so difficult to tell), and falls down, banging her head on a rock.>

Man: Oh, bugger.

[Act I, Scene 3: Later that afternoon.]

<Polly wakes up and starts as she realizes that there's a REALLY big moose looking down at her. She rolls onto her hands and knees and scrambles several lengths away before turning to face the moose. It is easily three lengths high at the shoulder, three times Polly's height.>

Moose: Are you alright? That's a mighty big bump you have on your head.

Polly: You're a moose. Moose don't talk.

Moose: Then one of us has a problem.

Polly, smiling: Oh, sorry. I mean, well, moose don't talk where I come from. <She looks around.> But I don't think I'm there anymore.

Moose: If it makes you feel any better, this isn't where I come from either, so I'm probably the only talking moose around.

Polly: If we're not in Wyoming, and we're not where the talking moose live, where are we?

Moose: We're in Exile's Grove on the north edge of the Dark Forest.

Polly, with all the sarcasm that an 8-year old can muster: Well that just clears everything up.

<The moose laughs, a rather startling sound.>

Moose: I've been here too long. I've forgotten what it's like to not understand this world.

Polly: World? So we're not ANYWHERE on Earth, are we?

<The moose shakes his head.>

Moose: Welcome to Bingo-Bango World.

[Act I, Scene 4: Occurring immediately after Scene 3, if not sooner.]

Polly: What's Bingo-Bango World?

Moose: This could take a while. Before I start, you should meet some people.

<The moose steps to the side. For the first time Polly sees three people sitting around a fire. Beyond them is a group of somewhat ramshackle buildings with a dozen or more people walking between them.>

Moose: The man in the black cape is Nightshadow, formerly of the Hawkmaster Guild of Thieves. He was exiled for stealing from the Guild, though he claims it was a trumped-up charged after he was caught making lo- <The woman clears her throat.> er, kissing the Guildmaster's daughter.

Nightshadow: Hi there Wingnut.

Polly: My name's Polly. Why'd you call me Wingnut?

Woman: The man who brought you into town didn't say what your name was, and with your hair sticking up in those two pony tails, the Mayor said you looked like a wingnut, whatever that is.

Nightshadow: So your name is now Polly Wingnut.

<Polly frowns.>

Moose: The woman is Houston. The Elves exiled her for killing the three-horned horror-beast that was rampaging through the Circle of Trees.

Polly: I'd be lying if I said that made sense. And I don't like to lie.

Moose: A nice trait. The other man is Raizar. He's an exile from the Gnome Kingdom but he never tells us the real cause.

Raizar: Oh, I'm sure they had an excellent reason.

<The moose rolls his eyes. Polly giggles.>

Moose: The bag that Raizar's playing with is a magic pouch. It only works for him and even then it doesn't work well.

Raizar: You're just upset about the rain of kittens.

<Moose ignores him.>

Moose: My name is Nebukalazarthian son-of-Onuschaldolbax son-of-Muzakutios of the Clan Fildathariot. For some reason they insist on calling me Moose.

<Polly giggles.>

Moose: You're our new roommate, Polly Wingnut. We'll look after you the best we can, because it looks like you're an exile now too.


[Act II, in which Polly starts adapting to her new life.]

[Scene 1: Exile’s Grove, the Dark Forest, Bingo-Bango World. Wind Day, Indigo’s Fourth, Year Two of the Blue Triad.]

<Polly and Houston are sitting on a large boulder in the middle of a river fishing. Polly is frowning. Houston looks concerned.>

Houston: How are you doing Polly?

Polly: OK.

Houston: Come on now...

Polly: I miss my Mom and Dad. And Grams and Popa. And I miss my room and my goldfish. <She Pauses.> I don’t miss my brother though. He’s a little piggy.

Houston, confused: Your brother’s a pig?

Polly: Oh, not really. I just call him that when grownups aren’t around cuz I know it upsets him.

Houston: And I’m not a grownup?

Polly: Well, you are, but you’re more like a friend.

<There’s a bite on Polly’s line and she quickly and expertly lands the fish. It’s blue with a bright orange spot on its tail. Polly works the fish off the hook and looks at it for a moment.>

Polly: Blue one’s poisonous, right?

Houston: Very good.

<Polly throws the fish back into the river, then sticks her tongue out in its general direction.>

Polly: That’s another thing. The fish at home aren’t poisonous. I miss that too.

[Act II, Scene 2: Polly’s bedtime, later that same day.]

<Nightshadow stops and turns just as he reaches the door of the room that Polly and Houston share.>

Nightshadow: Goodnight Wingnut.

Polly: 'Night 'Shadow. <She giggles at her word play.>

<Polly climbs into bed as Nightshadow closes the door. Houston sits down on the edge of the bed.>

Houston: You're turning out to be quite the little fish-catcher.

Polly, very self-assured: You just have to know how to out-think the fish.

Houston, smiling: Well you're very good at it.

<Polly wiggles into a comfortable position, closes her eyes, then opens them again.>

Polly: Houston?

Houston: Yes.

Polly: Tell me a story.

Houston: About what?

Polly: How about a story about that monster you killed.

Houston: I'm not so sure that that's a good story to tell you right before bedtime.

Polly: Well I'm already thinking about it anyhow.

Houston: Well, OK. This was about twenty-five years ago--

Polly, interrupting: Wow! You don't look that old!

Houston: Thank you. Elves age slower than other people. Now shush.

Houston's Tale: Now then, nearly twenty-five years ago, that would have been year 2 of the orange quad, and as happens every 30 years, the horror-beasts migrate north to their, um, ... well, to make baby horror-beasts. Now most of the horror-beasts avoid populated areas. Oh sure, they occassionally rampage through a farm or even a smallish village, but almost never major communities.

But this time we had one of those strange exceptions. This was a three-horned horror-beast, and he was old. Which also meant he was big. Big enough that even a Dragon would have though twice about taking him on. He tore into the Circle of Trees like an unexpected spring storm.

The Elvin army was mobilized by the time he got to the second town. But what you have to understand is, Elves have this Code. They don't kill lesser creatures, and the only higher creatures they'll kill are Goblinoids. That's all fine and good, ... until you're faced with a 20,000 stone horror-beast that's immune to magics and shakes off plant-based sleep-poisons even as he continues to destroy fields and homes and kills people.

But no one was willing to suggest that the Code wasn't designed to cover this situation. So on he went, bypassing or destroying every trap, blythly ignoring every scheme to divert it, until it was at the very walls of the Capital City. I was in the last line of defense, standing there holding a blunt-tipped spear smeared with proven-ineffective sleep-poison.

He didn't even pause when he saw us. Three thousand Elvin warriors armed with every non-lethal weapon at our disposal. He charged. I watched twelve of my friends die that day. When he breached the wall, something from my training years before came back to me.

"You must be very careful when attacking a horror-beast from underneath," my teacher had said. "There are gaps between the cable-like muscles in their chest where a weapon could penetrate and do real, permanent, damage. Whenever possible, it's preferable to attack a horror-beast's legs or backside."

So I jumped onto the rubble of the wall just as the horror-beast was starting to walk over it. I planted myself firmly in the rubble and threw all my weight behind the spear. My teacher was right. I could feel the spear slide along the hardened breast-plate, slip between two of the muscle bundles, and right into the horror-beast's heart.

It was dead before it even started to fall. If it hadn't fallen on its side it would have crushed me. Perhaps that would have been less painful. Hundreds had seen what I had done. Not even my surviving friends would speak in my defense. I was exiled before the horror beast's body was even cold.

Polly: That's mean! You saved a whole bunch of people!

Houston: I know that, and you know that, but the Elvin High Council and my friends and family don't see it that way.

Polly: Well they're just a bunch of piggies!

<Houston and Polly laugh.>

to be continued???
(it mostly depends on if I can find the notebook where the rest of Act II is written)