An Ephemeral Deal – Episode 1 – Coming to Collect


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Below we present the complete text of ‘Coming to Collect’; episode 1 of An Ephemeral Deal.

Fantasy Noir - FN003 - An Ephemeral Deal

Fantasy Noir – FN003 – An Ephemeral Deal

Parental Guidance Recommended: May contain content some parents may feel is inappropriate for younger children

Parental Guidance Recommended: May contain content some parents may feel is inappropriate for younger children

AN EPHEMERAL DEAL

EPISODE #1 – COMING TO COLLECT

by Philip Craig Robotham

Cover Illustration by Miyukiko

Edited by Margaret Wilkins

Copyright 2013 Philip Craig Robotham

Creative Commons Attritubution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Edition .

CC by-nc-nd 4.0

CC by-nc-nd 4.0

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Serial #3: An Ephemeral Deal

Things are slow at the office of Tony Wells, Private Eye, when crime reporter, Claire Templeton, turns up with a business proposition. Someone is trying to kidnap her and she needs Tony’s help and protection. When the kidnappers turn out to be Rock Golems in the employ of a faery queen, Tony finds himself once more plunged into the intrigues of the fae courts. When the squabbles of the faery realm escalate the fallout in the mortal realm can be dire and, with Claire’s life on the line, Tony must sort through all the double dealings and attempt a dangerous deal of his own. Can he succeed in saving Claire from this new immortal threat? Tune in to “An Ephemeral Deal” and listen as the mystery unfolds.

Episodes in the Host Your Own “Old Time Radio Drama” series are designed to provide a fun dinner party experience for 6–8 participants. Read along, taking on the role of one or more of the characters in the story, and listen as the exciting drama unfolds. This is the theater of the mind, where the special effects are only limited by your imagination, and your participation will build a memory that you’ll treasure for years to come.

AN EPHEMERAL DEAL

CAST LIST

TONY WELLS: Private Detective

CLAIRE TEMPLETON: Crime Writer

FRED: The Magical Sword

FAE THUG#1: A Rock Golem

FAE THUG#2: A Rock Golem

MRS TEMPLETON: Mother of Claire

YOUNG CLAIRE: Claire as a young girl (11 years)

QUEEN OF WINTER: Fairy Queen of Winter within the realm of light and twin sister to the King of Summer

SFX: SFX operator (1 required)

ACT 1

SCENE 1: INT. — OFFICE OF TONY WELLS, PRIVATE EYE — MIDDAY (TONY, CLAIRE)

  1. MUSIC: [1] OPENING THEME — LET IT FINISH.
  2. TONY WELLS: (NARRATING) Another lunchtime and business was really slow at the official headquarters of Tony Wells P.I. Actually, business was at a standstill. I’ve seen statues with better form.
    The movies would have you believe that the life of a P.I. is all glamorous dames and dodging bullets. Frankly, the reality involves large amounts of time spent staring at your own name viewed backwards through the frosted glass of your office door and, when working, snooping around bedroom windows.
    But, as bad as things tend to get, they can always get worse.
  3. SOUND: DOOR OPENS IN A RUSH — LET IT FINISH.
  4. CLAIRE TEMPLETON: Heya, flatfoot. Miss me?
  5. TONY: (DRYLY) With every bullet so far… and I’m a shamus now, remember, not a flatfoot, or did you mistake these palatial surrounds for my old digs at police headquarters.
  6. CLAIRE: Well, clearly you got out on the wrong side of the universe this morning. What’s up?
  7. TONY: This is my usual cheery disposition, Claire, or hadn’t you noticed?
  8. CLAIRE: Well, I’d hoped a paying customer might bring out something a little better than your usual Neanderthal grunts.
  9. TONY: I save that for the suckers who can afford my twenty-five dollars a day plus expenses.
  10. CLAIRE: Well, sign me up, kid. I’m here to give you a paying gig.
  11. TONY: What?
  12. CLAIRE: (NARRATING) There aren’t many things in this world that can catch Detective Tony Wells P.I. (formerly of Star City Police Department) by surprise but, judging by the not-so-bright expression currently creasing his beefy brows, I’d have to say this was one of them.
  13. (TO TONY) Yeah, that’s right. Claire Templeton, ace reporter, wants to hire you. There just aren’t many people I can think of who could help me out of this jam… or even understand it.
  14. TONY: Assuming this is on the level — and I won’t be convinced it isn’t some kind of joke until I’ve got your signature on a contract and a three-day retainer…
  15. CLAIRE: Three days!
  16. TONY: … not until I have a three-day retainer — standard up-front payment with the difference refunded if the work is finished sooner than the three days — sitting in my expense account.
  17. CLAIRE: You mean that four-legged china monstrosity you keep on the shelf behind you.
  18. TONY: The one with the curly tail, yes!
  19. CLAIRE: Ahuh. Well, I’ll say it again, Wells. Sign me up. I’ve got a job for you.
  20. TONY: Then you’d better sit down.
    (NARRATING) It wasn’t like Claire to play the damsel in distress. In fact, having seen her in action, I was beginning to worry what could be so bad she would be wanting my help. I gave her a careful once-over. The leggy blonde looked no less calm and collected than usual, but still…
  21. CLAIRE: Are you gonna quit leering at me and start listening, bub?
  22. TONY: What? Yeah, sorry.
  23. CLAIRE: Where’s the sword?
  24. TONY: What?
  25. CLAIRE: C’mon shamus, keep up. You aren’t gonna inspire confidence if you can’t follow along.
  26. TONY: Cute. Alright, since you seem determined to travel the distance between point A and point B by the longest available route, I’ll humor you: the sword is in the cupboard… at home.
  27. CLAIRE: At home!!? What on earth is it doing there?
  28. TONY: The Lindy-hop for all I know. (BEAT) What? You don’t think a honking great sword sitting in the corner of the room is likely to disconcert my potential clients?
  29. CLAIRE: No, I don’t. It’s the only magic sword in this city and the darned thing is invisible to everyone except those who were present when it was found.
  30. TONY: Okay, so it disconcerts me. The damn thing can talk after all. And it’s got a smart mouth and an attitude… especially lately.
  31. CLAIRE: I told you that you shouldn’t have named it Fred.
  32. TONY: We were going to die and there wasn’t much time. Fred was the first name that came into my head.
  33. CLAIRE: Well, I’d be giving you a bit of attitude too if my cousins had names like “Sabriel the Soul Reaver,” and “Lightbringer the Sword of Runes,” and you went and called me “Fred.”
  34. SOUND: [17]FEMALE FOOTSTEPS CROSSING TO THE DOOR AND OPENING IT — LET IT FINISH.
  35. CLAIRE: Alright, tough guy, time to go.
  36. TONY: Wait a minute, what?
  37. CLAIRE: Keep up. I need protection from these kidnappers and for that I want your sword.
  38. TONY: Kidnappers? (BEAT) (FRUSTRATED) Claire, up until now our relationship, though hardly cordial, has always made a certain amount of sense. If you don’t start filling in the blanks here I’m gonna call you a doctor.
  39. CLAIRE: Alright. It’s simple. A bunch of goons has tried to nab me twice in the last twenty-four hours and I’m hiring you to protect me for the next forty-eight. As such I want that sword in my corner, got it?
  40. TONY: Well, it’s certainly nice to know you want me for my skills and expertise. But putting that aside, why haven’t you gone to the police?
  41. CLAIRE: I made a bad deal with some even badder guys and they’re coming to collect.
  42. TONY: C’mon, Claire, you know better than to mess with the leg-breakers. The best advice I can give you is to pay up.
  43. CLAIRE: I can’t pay, Tony. I just have to get through the next forty-eight hours and…
  44. TONY: Forty-eight hours? What happens in forty-eight hours? Just what kind of trouble are you in, Claire?
  45. CLAIRE: Please, Tony, let’s just get the sword, okay? I’ll tell you all about it once we’re a bit safer.
  46. TONY: Alright, but you better tell me all of it, and soon! I’ll grab my coat!
  47. MUSIC: [3] (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 2: EXT. — TONY’S APARTMENT BUILDING — LATER (TONY, CLAIRE, FAE THUG#1, FAE THUG#2)

  1. SOUND: [8] (WALLA) STREET SOUNDS, TRAFFIC, ETC. — ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
  2. SOUND: [18] FEET (MALE AND FEMALE) WALKING TOGETHER AND COMING TO A STOP — LET IT FINISH.
  3. TONY: Well, we’re here. I hesitate to invite you up but I’m not sure it’s terribly safe for you out here.
  4. CLAIRE: I’m willing to take it on trust that you’re basically a gentleman… at least for today.
  5. SOUND: [19] GALLOPING HORSES’ HOOVES — FADE IN AND CONTINUE UNDER UNTIL 56.
  6. CLAIRE: Where’s the noise coming from? It sounds like horses’ hooves!
  7. TONY: That car… the one that’s racing towards us. I think it’s coming from that.
  8. CLAIRE: That’s not a car. It’s a carriage in disguise…
  9. TONY: Some kind of spell — the edges look indistinct…
  10. SOUND: [20] NEIGHING CLATTER AS THE HORSES’ HOOVES COME TO A HALT — LET IT FINISH.
  11. SOUND: [21] RINGING MAGICAL CHIME — LET IT FINISH.
  12. FAE THUG#1: Alright, youse guys. We wants the girl. Give her up and there’ll be no need for violence.
  13. FAE THUG#2: Yeah, no need for violence.
  14. TONY: Sheesh! Is that the best you can do? What are you under those glamors? Trolls? Goblins?
  15. FAE THUG#2: We ain’t no trolls or such like… er, bub! We’re rough, tough, wise-talking, no-nonsense, gangster-types.
  16. FAE THUG#1: Yeah, gangster-types. And we wants the girl.
  17. TONY: (NARRATING) It took a moment for the weirdness to sink in. These guys weren’t real gangsters or my name’s not Tony Wells. Heckle and Jeckle were something else. They looked like street thugs in pin-striped suits but underneath I was willing to bet they were denizens of Faery. It was never less than amazing how these creatures, all but eternal in terms of lifespan, could watch humanity for millennia and still be essentially clueless about our ways. Fortunately, I knew how to deal with a minor incursion from their world — even without my magic sword — and I reached into my coat pocket.
  18. SOUND: [22] NAILS — CLATTERING ON THE GROUND — LET IT FINISH.
  19. FAE THUG#2: (SCREAMING IN FEAR) Nails! Cold Iron!
  20. SOUND: [23, 19] HORSE NEIGHING IN PANIC THEN GALLOPING AWAY INTO THE DISTANCE — FADE OUT.
  21. TONY: That’s right. Since I started running into you folks I always keep a bag of cold iron nails handy — and it looks like I managed to scare your ride away too.
  22. FAE THUG#1: (WARILY) Who are you and what do you want, mortal?
  23. TONY: Just think of the iron as my way of getting your undivided attention. I’m the mortal protector of the Covenant and this woman is under my protection. As such, I suggest you follow the weird horse-car-thing’s example and get lost.
  24. SOUND: [24] CRACKING AND GRINDING NOISES — UNDER FOR A SECOND OR TWO.
  25. TONY: (NARRATING) Before our eyes, the human facade gave way and a pair of large creatures made entirely from stone and rock emerged.
  26. FAE THUG#1: (WITH A DEEP GRAVELLY VOICE) A protector of the Covenant? Hmmm! (TO CLAIRE) You have done well so far, changeling daughter, and you have chosen a powerful ally. Very well! We’ll leave you be… for now. But we’ll be back, and next time we’ll not be so courteous… nor so direct.
  27. SOUND: [21 x 2] RINGING CHIME FOLLOWED BY A SECOND RINGING CHIME.
  28. CLAIRE: (RELIEVED) Thank goodness! They’re gone.
  29. TONY: I think you’ve got some explaining to do. Come inside.
  30. MUSIC: [3] (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 3: INT. — TONY’S APARTMENT — MOMENTS LATER (TONY, CLAIRE, FRED)

  1. SOUND: [25] DOOR OPENS, FEET ENTER, THEN DOOR CLOSES — LET IT FINISH.
  2. TONY: Well, this is it. Don’t look too closely in the corners… the roaches are rather shy.
  3. CLAIRE: What a charming little place. Did they forget to put up the condemned notice?
  4. TONY: Oh, ha, ha! Business hasn’t been that good since I switched to P.I. work. I’ve had to move to smaller digs.
  5. CLAIRE: Yeah? Well, I’ve been in shoe boxes with more floor space than this.
  6. TONY: Do I come to your place and comment?
  7. CLAIRE: My apartment complex wouldn’t let you past the door.
  8. TONY: Ahuh. Just a moment while I find the sword.
  9. SOUND: [26] SHUFFLING AND BANGING AS TONY SORTS THROUGH STUFF — LET IT FINISH.
  10. CLAIRE: I thought you could do that “call it by name and it comes” thing.
  11. TONY: Yeah, it doesn’t like it.
  12. CLAIRE: What, the sword doesn’t like it?
  13. TONY: Yeah, it’s still cheesed with me for calling it “Fred.”
  14. CLAIRE: You’re kidding. I was only joking when I said that stuff about its name before.
  15. TONY: …That, and I’ve been keeping it locked in a trunk most of the time.
  16. SOUND: [26] MORE SHUFFLING AND BANGING — LET IT FINISH.
  17. TONY: Ah, here we go!
  18. FRED: So, something must be up for you to come crawling back for your old pal Fred.
  19. TONY: I could put you back in the bottom of that trunk if you want?
  20. FRED: Underneath those socks of yours? No way. What’s the job?
  21. CLAIRE: Protecting me.
  22. FRED: Oh, hey, toots, I didn’t see you there, on account of being smothered in one o’ the great detective’s sweaters.
  23. TONY: Alright, that’ll do. (TO CLAIRE) It’s time you did some of that explaining we talked about, Claire.
  24. CLAIRE: Well, it’s like I said, I’m being hunted by kidnappers and need protection for the next forty-eight hours.
  25. TONY: Ahuh. Except you forgot to mention that the kidnappers who are chasing you just happen to be from the immortal realms of Faery.
  26. FRED: Whoah. So they’ve finally come for you, have they, kid?
  27. TONY: What? You know about this?
  28. FRED: I’ve had my suspicions. (TO CLAIRE) You’d better fill him in on the whole thing, kid. He’s gonna need to know it all, if he’s gonna be any use to you.
  29. CLAIRE: (SIGHS) Alright. It was years ago, when I was still a girl…
  30. MUSIC: [4] (BRIDGE) DREAMY FLASHBACK MUSIC — LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 4: INT. — THE KITCHEN OF THE TEMPLETON FAMILY HOME — DAY (YOUNG CLAIRE, MRS TEMPLETON, ICE QUEEN)

  1. SOUND: [9] (WALLA) POT BUBBLING. SOUNDS OF CHOPPING, ETC. — ESTABLISH AND FADE UNDER.
  2. YOUNG CLAIRE: (ENTERING AND TEARFUL) Mama! Mama! The Cameron boys took our grocery money!
  3. MRS TEMPLETON: (SNARLING) They what! You let those little punks take that money.
  4. SOUND: [27] SMACK OF CLAIRE BEING STRUCK ACROSS THE FACE — LET IT FINISH.
  5. YOUNG CLAIRE: (CHILD’S CRY OF PAIN AND FEAR)
  6. MRS TEMPLETON: That money was to last us a week. What did you do? Did you provoke ’em? Huh? Did you?
  7. YOUNG CLAIRE: No, Mama! No! They were waiting for me. They know I always do our shopping on a Wednesday.
  8. SOUND: [27 x 2] TWO SHARP SMACKS IN SUCCESSION — LET IT FINISH.
  9. MRS TEMPLETON: Don’t you talk back to me, you little monster. I knew I shouldn’t have left it to you to do the shopping. You’ve always been useless.
  10. Alright, I’ll have to go out and get it back. And you better hope those little punks haven’t spent it yet. Regardless, you can forget about eating any supper tonight.
  11. SOUND: [28] IMPATIENT WOMAN’S FOOTSTEPS LEADING TO THE DOOR — LET IT FINISH.
  12. MRS TEMPLETON: (AT A DISTANCE) I don’t know why I ever bothered keeping you. I shoulda had a boy. At least a boy woulda been some kind of use around the place.
  13. SOUND: [29] DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES AS MRS TEMPLETON LEAVES — LET IT FINISH.
  14. YOUNG CLAIRE: (WHIMPERING SOFT CRYING FOR A MOMENT OR TWO)
  15. SOUND: [21] MAGICAL CHIME — LET IT FINISH.
  16. ICE QUEEN: (LOW, FALSELY SYMPATHETIC, ALMOST WHISPERING) Claire? Come, child, what ails you so?
  17. YOUNG CLAIRE: Who? Who are you?
  18. ICE QUEEN: I’m a friend, Claire. See me? I’m in the corner.
  19. YOUNG CLAIRE: You are? (BEAT) Oh, you are! And you’re beautiful.
  20. ICE QUEEN: I am, aren’t I? … but I’m also more than that. Can you see what more there is, Claire?
  21. YOUNG CLAIRE: Y-yes. You’re scary too. Hard and cold.
  22. ICE QUEEN: That’s right, Claire. Can you imagine anyone pushing me around the way you are pushed around?
  23. YOUNG CLAIRE: No, ma’am. I can’t.
  24. ICE QUEEN: Do you know why that is, dear?
  25. YOUNG CLAIRE: No.
  26. ICE QUEEN: Power, dear! People with power are never pushed around. Would you like some of my power? I can give it to you.
  27. YOUNG CLAIRE: W-what’s the catch?
  28. ICE QUEEN: Nothing you can’t afford. (BEAT) Now, now, dear. Don’t look at me like that! Everything has a price. And some prices are so very worth paying, aren’t they?
  29. YOUNG CLAIRE: I guess. But I should still know what the price is, shouldn’t I?
  30. ICE QUEEN: What a clever girl you are. Of course you should know. (BEAT) My power… my help… would cost nothing now… a fair bit more later… say, when you’re twenty-five.
  31. YOUNG CLAIRE: When I’m twenty-five?
  32. ICE QUEEN: Yes, and that’s such a long way away, isn’t it? You’d be positively ancient by then, wouldn’t you?
  33. YOUNG CLAIRE: (DREAMILY) Yes, yes I guess I would.
  34. ICE QUEEN: So, you want some of my power, don’t you, child?
  35. YOUNG CLAIRE: (DREAMILY) Yes, yes I do… but no… (BEAT) what was the price?
  36. ICE QUEEN: (LAUGHING) Oh, nothing to worry about. The power I give you would make you a changeling, and at twenty-five, you would cross over.
  37. YOUNG CLAIRE: Cross over?
  38. ICE QUEEN: That’s right. You’d cross over and become one of the fae, like me. You’d like to be like me, wouldn’t you?
  39. YOUNG CLAIRE: (MUSING) Yes? But what are you?
  40. ICE QUEEN: I’m a queen, dear, a queen from the realm of light, an immortal.
  41. YOUNG CLAIRE: An immortal?
  42. ICE QUEEN: That’s right, dear; an immortal. That means I cannot die.
  43. YOUNG CLAIRE: I don’t want to die.
  44. ICE QUEEN: No, I don’t suppose you do. Do you want my help?
  45. YOUNG CLAIRE: Yes, yes. Please help me.
  46. ICE QUEEN: Do you enter into this bargain freely and of your own choosing?
  47. YOUNG CLAIRE: Yes, I do.
  48. ICE QUEEN: And without compulsion or coercion? This is very important, dear.
  49. YOUNG CLAIRE: (STILL DREAMILY) Yes. Yes I do.
  50. SOUND: [21] MAGICAL CHIME — LET IT FINISH.
  51. ICE QUEEN: Good, good! Now take this amulet and put it around your neck. Yes, that’s it. Can you feel its power?
  52. YOUNG CLAIRE: Yes, it’s almost hot against my skin.
  53. ICE QUEEN: That’s right. Never take it off. While it’s against your skin you need never feel afraid. That’s what you want, isn’t it? To never be afraid again?
  54. YOUNG CLAIRE: Yes, that’s right.
  55. ICE QUEEN: Alright, Claire. I’ll say goodbye now. And I will see you again… when you turn twenty-five.
  56. SOUND: [21] MAGICAL CHIME — LET IT FINISH.
  57. YOUNG CLAIRE: (AS IF WAKING UP) She’s gone. Was I dreaming? No, wait. I’ve got the amulet.
  58. SOUND: [30] IMPATIENT FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING, DOOR OPENS — LET IT FINISH.
  59. MRS TEMPLETON: Still here, are you? Typical shiftless brat. It’s just as well I was able to get the money back.
  60. YOUNG CLAIRE: You aren’t going to hit me again.
  61. SOUND: [31] SCRAPE OF KNIFE BEING PICKED UP — LET IT FINISH.
  62. MRS TEMPLETON: What? I’ll beat you into next week for talking back to… (SCARED) now Claire, put that knife down, honey.
  63. YOUNG CLAIRE: You’re not going to hit me again… or call me names.
  64. MRS TEMPLETON: Now, just put the knife down, sweetheart. We can talk about this.
  65. YOUNG CLAIRE: (WITH IRON RESOLVE) You know why you’re not going to hit me? Because if you do I’ll wait until you’re asleep and then I’ll come into your room and I’ll cut your throat.
  66. MUSIC: [4] (BRIDGE) DREAMY FLASHBACK MUSIC — LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 5: INT. — BACK IN TONY’S APARTMENT — DAY (CLAIRE, TONY, FRED)

  1. CLAIRE: [CUE] My Mom never hit me again after that, but she never went to sleep again without locking her bedroom door either.
  2. TONY: I’m sorry, Claire, I didn’t know. (BEAT) But you were just a kid. They can’t think that agreement was binding.
  3. FRED: (BLOWS RASPBERRY) Wrong! Thanks for playing. The fae don’t have any truck with your mortal notions about age of responsibility. If you make a deal, you’re bound by it, period.
  4. TONY: (TO FRED) So, is there any way out?
  5. FRED: Sure, she could die. That’s always an option. They can’t extract payment from a dead body… most of the time…
  6. CLAIRE: Let’s rule that out for the moment.
  7. FRED: …or she could hide until after her twenty-fifth birthday.
  8. TONY: Which I’m guessing is over in forty-eight hours?
  9. CLAIRE: Uhuh.
  10. TONY: And how likely is that to work?
  11. FRED: I’ve never heard of it being done, but you never know.
  12. TONY: Do we have any other options?
  13. FRED: Claire could just pay her debt.
  14. TONY: And what would that involve?
  15. FRED: No idea. But that was a noble fae that Claire made her deal with and those guys are only in it for the high stakes. I’m guessing it wouldn’t be pretty.
  16. CLAIRE: Hey, Claire’s still here you know.
  17. TONY: Sorry. I think our only option is to hide somewhere and try to wait it out.
  18. CLAIRE: You’re darn tootin! But how do we manage it?
  19. TONY: I’m gonna try and take you somewhere safe.
  20. CLAIRE: Safe?
  21. TONY: Yeah, there’s a warehouse I know.
  22. CLAIRE: But what good is a warehouse? They’ve been able to find me all over the city. They’ll find me there.
  23. TONY: And on that subject, how have you managed to keep out of their clutches so far? Those looked like big bruisers.
  24. CLAIRE: They’ve only been escalating their attempts slowly. First they sent an emissary to ask me to come nicely. I refused and he went away peaceably enough. The next time they tried to grab me at home and I ran for it. Most recently they sent the guys we saw outside. Next time I imagine they’ll up the ante again.
  25. TONY: Fair enough. It just makes it all the more urgent that I get you to the warehouse.
  26. CLAIRE: But they’ll be able to find me there.
  27. TONY: Yeah, but it’s made, floor to ceiling, of iron. It should give us our best chance.
  28. CLAIRE: (PLEASED) Oh! Then, what are we waiting for?
  29. MUSIC: [5] (BRIDGE) TIME PASSING SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH.
  30. MUSIC: [2] CLOSING THEME AND CREDITS – LET IT FINISH.

CASTING SHEETS — MAJOR CHARACTERS

TONY WELLS: I used to work as a detective in the City Police Department. Now I’m a private detective in a city full of liars, cheats, killers, and con-men. You’d think that would have made me a cynic. And I guess it has a little. But underneath the hard-boiled exterior I actually give a damn. I do this job because I want to keep people safe from the animals and predators who roam the dark side of the city. I believe in heroes, or at least I want to believe in them.

CLAIRE TEMPLETON: I’m the crime reporter for the Star City Tribune. I know everyone in this town from the mayor down to the guys who pick up your garbage at four in the morning. I’m good at my job too, which is why I get myself into so many scrapes and tight corners. I’m fearless, determined, and always get my story — even when there’s no one with the courage to print it!

MAGIC SWORD (FRED): I’m a magical sword and I inherit my personality from the world around me. I’m a wise-talking smart alec who’s always laughing at the expense of my owner. Possibly because I can’t be destroyed — magical remember — I see myself as superior to ordinary mortals. Nothing bothers me particularly and I love giving advice. I will probably be advising my new master on the proper etiquette for being swallowed by a dragon while he is being munched upon.

QUEEN OF WINTER: I am hard, cruel, and beautiful. But, aside from the turning of the seasons, there is little that changes in my world. What I wouldn’t give for an end to the eternal cycles and repetitions. Or even a nice thousand years of war!

I have learned to entertain myself at the expense of those foolish inhabitants of the mortal realms…and the mortals interest me so. They can lie and they can be so unpredictable. Maybe there is an opportunity to be seized here as well.

CASTING SHEETS — MINOR CHARACTERS

FAE THUG#1: I am a Rock Golem. For my queen I do what I must, but disguising myself as a human? Ah, well. I will feel compensated if I can grind one or more of these humans into powder.

FAE THUG#2: I am a Rock Golem too. I think like rock. I feel like rock. And I am as patient as a rock.

MRS TEMPLETON: What are you looking at? My husband left me with the brat. So what? He was always a weakling. You think I care what you think? I’ve got enough trouble with this ungrateful parasite hanging at my apron strings. The things I could’ve done with my life… and instead I’m stuck here with her. You can just #!$$ off!

YOUNG CLAIRE: I’m afraid all the time. I’m afraid of Momma. I’m afraid of the other kids. I’m afraid of the dark. I wish everyone would just leave me alone. Sometimes I dream that Momma isn’t my real Momma. That somewhere out there is a real family that I belong to who will one day come and find me. Am I wicked for having those dreams?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Craig Robotham grew up in a house full of books and has held numerous jobs as a teacher, computer programmer, graphic and web designer, e-learning consultant and, most recently, writer. He currently lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and two sons. When he was younger and fitter he enjoyed martial arts, but in recent years his hobbies have tended towards more sedate fare (board games, movies, books, and role-playing games).

He is extremely grateful for the encouragement he receives from his biggest fans — his wife and two boys — all of whom read and enjoy his scripts and in general make his life worth living.

You can contact the author regarding performance rights (or simply to say hello) through his website: http://www.weirdworldstudios.com.

Don’t forget to check out the free sample portions of our titles at http://weirdworldstudios.com/product-category/our-products/ .

This post and all its content is copyright © 2013 Philip Craig Robotham and has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license. This play cannot be reproduced, shared, or performed commercially without the written permission of the author. The production of derivative content, merchandise, or creative works and materials is expressly forbidden under this agreement. However you may share, reproduce, and perform this play freely so long as authorship is acknowledged, no money changes hands, and the play is not modified in any way.

An Ephemeral Deal