Chapter Four

In Which There Is A School Play



“But even though we are split personalities, Fitey and I don’t get along.” Ilinana was saying. “That’s why, when our parents split up, we decided to live in different towns. It’s all for the best. She’s a whiney little weasel wimp anyway. And she talks in third person.”

“Right.” Tyrael shifted away from Ilinana, only to have Tails grab his arm.

“This is gonna be great!” she said. “Holli told me that Miss Ligeia was going to let us perform the Odyssey this year. I’m trying out for Circe. What about you, Ty? You should be Odysseus.”

Before Tyrael could reply that he really wanted to be the Cyclops, Miss Ligeia stepped onto the stage to begin auditions. “Attention boys and girls. I know that many of you found out that I was thinking about the Odyssey this year. However, I have changed my mind. We will instead be performing the great Shakespeare classic….Hamlet!”

There were various sounds of complaint from the students gathered in the auditorium, but Miss Ligeia waved her hand to silence them. “Now, now, students. Don’t think I would make you act out something so boring. I am the music teacher, after all. We will be performing Hamlet, yes, but it will be the musical version. Isn’t that a great idea?”

She paused as there was some scattered applause. “Right then. Let me introduce our assistant director, Holli. She will be handing out copies of the scenes for auditions today, please come get one for your favorite character.”

“Well, that does it.” Ann said, watching the rush on the stage from her seat in the back. “I’m not going to be singing on stage. Ever. Let’s go ask Miss Ligeia if we can be the set designers.”

“I’m with you.” Roses agreed, and stood up to talk to the music teacher. “Rosey?”

“Nah, you go ahead,” he said. “I want to be the star.”

Roses laughed. “Whatever you say.”

After getting an approval from a distracted Miss Ligeia, the two girls returned to the back row to watch the auditions. Tails joined them, as she had also decided not to sing and was going to help Holli behind the scenes.

***

“Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Ooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh” TAS sang.

“Excuse me,” Miss Ligeia interrupted. “What part are you trying out for?”

“The ghost,” he answered. “It’s good, right?”

***

“Next, we have Roseidous, trying out for the part of Hamlet.” Holli announced a little while later.

Roseidous walked to the middle of the stage and struck a pose, then sang:

“Master of Denmark
I’m tired of my life.
My uncle killed my father,
Now my mom’s his wife.
To be or not to be’s the question.
Just what am I supposed to do?
A ghost appears at night,
A war we’re going to fight,
And I think that crazy girl might like me, too.”

Silence filled the room, broken only by someone struggling not to laugh and failing.

“Very nice,” Miss Ligeia smiled at him. “Not quite what I was going for, but it’s a catchy little song. Who’s next?”

Holli looked at her list. “Ebony. She’s trying out for the part of Ophelia.”



The Music and Theater Department at EVIL Elementary is proud to present…

Hamelt! The Musical!

November 18-20 7:00 pm School Auditorium



All tickets $3.00

CAST
     
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK     
CLAUDIUS, KING OF DENMARK     
THE GHOST     
GERTRUDE, THE QUEEN     
POLONIUS     
LAERTES     
OPHELIA     
HORATIO     
ROSENCRANTZ     
GUILDENSTERN     
TWO CLOWNS     

LORDS/LADIES/ETC     






John T. Crawford
Nothlit Adams
Tobianthes A. Shamtul
Ilinana Skylark
Tyrael Knoteville
Roseidous J. Moonn
Ebony Trester
Yoda Greene
Ian Hain
Jim Dixon
Paul McGyver
George George
Chris M. Sydney
Katherine Donahoe
Draco Malfoy
Kit Majere
Tamara Hoyle
Cait D. Sith
Todd Redgoate


CREW
     
DIRECTOR     
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR     
SET DESIGN/BACKSTAGE CREW     

SPECIAL EFFECTS     
LIGHTING     

PROGRAMS     
SOUVENIERS     
COSTUMES     
Miss Ligeia
Holli Penne
Ann Moonn
Roses Moonn
Tails Vicksen
Mr. Crayak
Mr. Sauron
Mr. Randall Flagg
Professor Severus Snape
Mr. Fred Rogers



***

“Nervous?” Roses asked Ann, as their foster parents parked the van in the school parking lot.

“Nah,” Ann said. “We don’t have to act and sing. So there’s no reason to be.”

“That’s right, dear,” Teresa told them, encouragingly. “Tom and I are looking forward to seeing all of your hard work on the sets. You stayed after school to work on them so often, I’m sure they’re great.”

Roses and Ann glanced at each other. Half that time, they’d been in detention, not working on sets. Usually, it was John or Roseidous’ fault, but what Tom and Teresa didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them.

The girls climbed out of the van and hurried to the back entrance of the auditorium. There, it was chaos.

Two corners backstage had been curtained off, for the dressing rooms. John was currently half in costume, complaining to Miss Ligeia about not having his own room, as he was the star. Meanwhile, Ian and Jim were being yelled at by Professor Snape for trying to sneak into the girls’ dressing room. Nothlit, Yoda, and Cait were definitely not in costume yet and seemed to be arguing with Holli about something while Draco watched them, smirking. Tails was putting TAS in his safety harness for the flying stunt.

Roses and Ann made their way through the crowd, towards the stage to check on the set up.

“…peace and quiet to warm up my singing voice! I can’t do that unless I have a private dressing room!”

“You could use the broom closet, but I think Mr. Gollum is hiding in there…”

“…completely irresponsible!”

“But, Mr-I mean, Professor-Snape! We were just…”

“…will not wear tights!”

“Me either!”

“You have to! It’s part of the costume and Mr. Rogers said…”

“…Ouch! Tails, that’s really tight!”

“You don’t want to fall down, do you? Now hold still and…”

“What is Professor Snape wearing?” Roses paused to stare.

Ann giggled. “Mr. Gates said he had to. He’s responsible for selling t-shirts and stuff to the parents for fundraising. I overheard Mr. Gates saying something about any excuse to get more money. I guess that’s one of the shirts.”

Professor Snape looked even more unpleasant than usual in the bright yellow shirt that read “HAMLET! THE MUSICAL!” on the front and “Something’s rotten in Denmark, but it’s not our play!” on the back.

The two girls turned their attention to the stage. The cardboard towers with their painted stone walls were set up against a black curtain to simulate the top of a castle wall at night. Katherine and Tamara ran through the set, chasing Chris and Todd with their own fake, cardboard swords.

Miss Ligeia appeared from stage left, apparently tired of arguing with John. “Katherine! Tamara! You give those back!” she yelled, and then approached Ann and Roses. Before she could say anything, there was a loud crash on stage right.

“I’m alright!” Roseidous shouted. “I’ll fix it!”

Miss Ligeia closed her eyes and counted to ten. Then she smiled at the two girls. “As stage managers, I trust that I can leave everything to you? It’s time for Severus and I to get out of here-I mean, open the doors for the parents to get seated.” And without waiting for a response, she left, muttering something about a headache.

***

John was looking for something. A place of his own. As the star of the play, he deserved a private dressing room. With a star. That had his name on it. Okay, so he’d have to tape it to the door himself, but one day he’d have people to do that for him! One day! They’d all see!

Anyway, he considered asking Mr. Gollum if he could use the broom closet, but he was scared of the creepy voice and-no, wait. The broom closet wasn’t big enough. Yeah, that sounded right. He needed a whole classroom.

And that was how he found himself standing in front of the potions, or rather, the chemistry lab. He had his hand on the door, ready to open it, when someone from inside the room flung it open.

“Sorry Professor Snape! I was just getting some water! I didn’t know you were in here! I wasn’t sneaking into the lab, I promise! I-“

“John, stop!”

“Ebony?”

“Yeah. Did you think I was Professor Snape?” she giggled. John noticed how her laughter was like birds singing and how her eyes sparkled and how her white dress was the perfect costume and-“John?”

“Oh, sorry. What were you saying?” he forced himself to pay attention.

“I was just saying that Professor Snape is out front selling t-shirts and stuff. So you can use this room to practice in if you want. I’m already warmed up.”

“Um…yeah…okay.”

“Well, guess I’ll see you on stage, huh?”

“Er…on stage…sure.”

“Five minutes!” Ann yelled, somewhere around the corner. “Nothlit, Todd, Chris, all you guys, put on the costumes. Right now. If you don’t, Roses, Tails, Holli, and I can, and will, make sure you’re in full costume.”

John winced. “At least I don’t have to put up with that.”

Ebony smiled at him. “You were brave enough to put on your own tights without threats?”

“There you are!” Ian rounded the corner and walked up to them. “Roses told me to make sure you hadn’t run away because you were scared. She said all the tickets are sold out.”

“I would never get scared and run…sold out?”

“Yep. And Holli said to get in our places. It’s time to start.” He and Ebony left John standing in front of the potions lab and headed for the wings, talking excitedly.

“Sold out?” John asked the empty hallway.

“Yeah,” the hallway taunted him. “You’re gonna sing in front of them.”

“Remind me why I agreed to do that.”

“John! Come on!” Ebony stuck her head back around the corner. “We’re waiting for you! We can’t start without the leading man.”

“Oh, that’s why. And because I deserve to be the star.”

“What?” she asked. “Who are you talking to?”

“No one at all.”

They joined the rest of the actors backstage and Roseidous walked over to them. “Good evening, fair and beautiful Ophelia.”

Ebony giggled. “Thanks, Rosey. You look very nice in costume, yourself. Like one of those Musketeers.”

Behind her, John scowled. “Fair and beautiful…can’t believe she’s falling for that…I should have said…”

“What, John?”

“Oh, sorry. Talking to myself.”

***

“Why did Miss Ligeia put us in charge?” Roses asked Ann. “I mean, we don’t know the lines or anything. We just have to change the sets around.”

“We’re not really in charge. Holli is. We’re just here to help her. I think.” Ann watched Holli, who finally grabbed the swords from Katherine and Tamara, handed them to Chris and Todd, and shoved the two boys on stage. “Doesn’t seem like she needs much help.”

“Let’s hope so. My goal is to work as little as possible and enjoy watching everything go wrong.”

“Go wrong? Did you do something and not tell me?”

“No. Look at the cast. I didn’t have to do anything.”

“I see your point.”

“Be quiet! Miss Ligeia’s introducing the show.” Holli said, suddenly turning off the lights backstage. She had a reading light attached to her clipboard and copy of the script. Roses and Ann ran behind the curtain to the right side of the stage, followed by half the cast. Everyone took places in the wings so that they could see what was going on and wait for their cues.

In front of the curtain, Miss Ligeia stepped up to a microphone. “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I am Miss Ligeia, head of the music and theater department here at EVIL Elementary. This year, we decided do something truly unique with our school play. All of our talented cast and crew have worked very hard to write their own script and make this production happen. I also want to quickly thank the other faculty who helped make this possible, especially Mr. Gates, Mr. Flagg, Mr. Rogers, Mr. Crayak, Mr. Sauron, and Professor Snape. We also want to apologize for the misspelling of the title in the program. Mr. Flagg says it is entirely his fault, but that he was distracted at the time. He invites those who have a problem with it to see him later. With all that being said, I’m proud to present Hamlet! The musical!”

The audience applauded and she stepped down. The lights dimmed as she took her seat in the back row next to Professor Snape. “This had better not be a disaster. The critics from the newspaper are here. Mr. and Mrs. Kjos.”

“Have you seen the cast list?” he raised one eyebrow.

“Yes. And now I regret it.”

“Too late.”

***

(OOC notes: This is my version of Hamlet. Enjoy. Dialogue is all meant to be sung. And no, none of it rhymes. At least, I hope not.)

Backstage, Holli signaled Tails, who pushed play on the music system. The opening chords of the musical filled the auditorium. Holli then nodded at Ann and Roses and they pulled the rope to open the curtains.

Chris and Todd, or rather, Francisco and Barnardo, pretended to be walking around as guards on the castle walls. Neither of the boys appeared to be paying attention to the other, but walked backwards until they collided. The audience laughed at the appropriate time and Miss Ligeia relaxed just a little.

“Who’s there?” Chris asked, spinning around.

“Just me.” Todd responded.

“Barnardo?”

“Yep. Having a quiet night?”

“Nothing happening out here. How about you?”

“The same. If you see Horatio, tell him I said to hurry up. I’ve been waiting for him.”

Yoda, as Horatio, entered from stage right. “Hey, guys, what’s up? Have you seen that thing again tonight? I doubt it even exists.”

“Well, no, I haven’t.” Chris told him. “But I have seen it before!”

“Horatio thinks we’re seeing things.” Todd elbowed Chris. “He won’t let himself believe that there’s a ghost.”

“That’s because there’s not one.” Yoda waved a hand dismissively.

“Oh, sit down. We’ll tell you about it again and maybe you’ll believe us this time. Or maybe it will show up.”

The three boys sat down, and Chris and Todd began telling about the ghost. Backstage, TAS and Tails prepared for his entrance. They, along with Ann and Roses had constructed a pulley system that would allow him to hang from a harness and be moved around the stage by Tails. He climbed a ladder so that he could jump off. Tails grabbed the rope. On cue, he leapt out of the curtains.

From the audience, it looked impressive. TAS just appeared from stage left, already in the air. However, no one had realized that Tails would actually be holding him up.

“Help!” she yelled, as she was dragged across the floor and TAS dropped closer and closer to the boys on stage. They did a suitable job of looking terrified of him.

“Hey, they’re pretty good.” Ann was watching them.

“Nah,” Roses pointed out the problems on the other side of the stage. “He’s about to fall on their heads.”

Just in time, Holli and Roseidous both leapt for and grabbed the rope. TAS stopped right before he crashed into Yoda. Out in the audience, Miss Ligeia took some Tylenol.

The scene continued uneventfully. Chris, Todd, and Yoda tried to talk to TAS, who only responded by singing “Ooooohhhhhh.”

It finished with Yoda, “Let’s tell Hamlet about this. He can come out here tomorrow night and talk to the ghost. It does look like his father, after all.”

Roses and Ann ran out on stage, dressed all in black. They grabbed the castle wall scenery and turned it around. The other side was painted to look like the inside of the castle. Tails lowered a curtain behind it that represented a blue sky. Ann ran offstage again, and then came back with a large wooden table on wheels. Roses pushed out a platform with the king and queen’s thrones.

Nothlit as King Claudius, Ilinana as the Queen, Roseidous as Laertes, John as Hamlet, and Cait as a random servant took their places. Tyrael, as Polonius, also walked on stage, but with his back to the audience and the rest of the cast.

“What is he doing?” Holli whispered. “And where has he been all afternoon, anyway?”

“I don’t know.” Tails shrugged. “What’s he doing now?”

On the other side of the stage, Roses, Ann, and Ebony could see him, and were laughing hysterically. “She’s gonna hurt him!” Roses managed.

“You know how our country was fighting with Norway? And how my brother killed their king?” Nothlit addressed the group, who made various positive responses. “Well, his son, Fortinbras sent me a message. He says that he’s going to come and win back all the lands that they lost.”

“But why?” Ilinana asked.

“I guess he thinks that since my brother died, our country isn’t stable and can’t fight him. But I’ll teach him a lesson. He’s not really in charge of Norway, his uncle is. I’ll bet his uncle doesn’t know what he’s doing. That’s why I’m sending you,” he pointed at Cait, “to let him know what’s going on.”

“Yes, sire.” Cait bowed and left.

Nothlit turned to Roseidous, “And now, Laertes, how are you? I know you came here for my brother’s funeral, but you were able to see my wedding, too. What do you want now?”

“I do thinkest, my lord, that I am prepared to maketh my return to France, from whence I came.”

Everyone in the entire cast, including those backstage, rolled their eyes. Roseidous had insisted from day one that Laertes would speak as if he were in a true Shakespearian production.

“I have no problem with you going back. What does your father say? Polonius?”

Tyrael turned around. The audience was silent for about two seconds before they started laughing. Miss Ligeia covered her eyes. Tyrael, who really wanted to be the Cyclops in the Odyssey, was wearing a Cyclops mask.

“He can go if he wants to.” Tyrael nodded.

“Um…well….okay.” Nothlit tried to keep going, but gave up and turned to John. “So, Hamlet. My new son. What’s wrong with you? Are you still grieving for your father? If so, you should stay here and get over it instead of going back to school. I’ll be your father now, instead of your uncle.”

“Yeah, whatever.” John said, and sighed dramatically.

“Oh good. Now let’s all go do something!”

Nothlit let the way offstage and everyone followed except John. He sat down on the throne. “My father’s only been dead two months and his brother already married my mom. No one even seems upset about that. Maybe I’ll just go kill myself. Or-“

Yoda walked into the room, accompanied by Todd.

“Hey, Hamlet!”

“Oh, hey Horatio. Haven’t seen you for a while, even though you’re supposed to be my best friend. How’s school? Why are you here?”

“I was here for your father’s funeral, remember?”

“You mean, my mother’s wedding?”

“Yeah, there was that, too. Anyway, I saw your dad last night.”

“WHAT?!”

“Well, okay, so it was a ghost. But it looked like your father.”

John stood up. “Where was it?”

“Out on the tower.” Todd pointed.

“Well, let’s go. I’m talking to him tonight!”

***

“It wasn’t that bad.” Snape whispered to Miss Ligeia. “You can look now.”

“It wasn’t bad? Did you see the Cyclops mask?”

“So it was bad. At least John wasn’t wearing the Jar-Jar mask.”

***

Ann and Roses dragged out another large piece of cardboard, decorated to look like Polonius’ house. Ann rolled the platform with the thrones away and Roses put two chairs at the table. Roseidous and Ebony came out and sat in them.

“I believest that it is time for me to make my journey henceforth to France, my dearest and most beautiful sister, Ophelia.” Roseidous sang. “I do hopest that thou wilt write to me, your brother.”

“Write to you about what, Laertes? There’s not much going around here anymore.”

“I thinkest that the prince Hamlet is in love with thee. Or, perchance, it is only an act. He has not been himself since our fair and noble king died. Be wary around him, my sister.”

“Yeah, sure, I’ll watch out.” Ebony said, and Tyrael entered from stage right. “Welcome home, dad.”

“Good morrow, father.” Roseidous walked over to him. “I have completed my preparations and will now bid you both farewell.”

“You want some advice from your father before you leave?” Tyrael asked.

“From thou who ist wearing the mask of the Cyclops? I am aware of your love of theater, father, but perhaps thou hast taken thy affections too far?”

Holli glanced at her clipboard. “What are they doing?!” she whispered frantically to Tails. “This isn’t in the script! Tyrael is supposed to make a speech!”

“Okay, then.” Tyrael continued. “My advice is probably just an excuse to make some jokes anyway. I’m a funny guy, you know.”

“Certainly, father. Now I’m off!” Roseidous left, leaving Tyrael on stage with Ebony. Holli smacked him when he walked by.

“So,” Tyrael sat down at the table. “What were you two talking about?”

“Nothing, really.” Ebony said. “Just Hamlet.”

“What about Hamlet?” he leaned back in his chair.

“That he’s in love with me, that’s all.”

“What?!” Tyrael’s chair fell over backwards. He climbed to his feet, but had difficulty seeing through the one eye of his mask and tripped over the chair again.

“Um, yeah. He said that.”

“He’s crazy you know.” Tyrael finally made it to his feet. “Don’t talk to him anymore. It’s not a good idea. We don’t need him hanging around the house.”

“Yes, father.”

“Excellent. But if you’ll excuse me, I still have some papers to read for the king. It’s hard work, being his top advisor,” he made his way back offstage.

Ebony sighed and put her head down on the table. The lights faded to almost black. Ann and Roses quickly changed the scenery again, back to the castle wall. Yoda, Todd, and John walked out, looking around for the ghost.

“What time is it?” John asked.

“Around midnight, I think,” Todd said. “It usually shows up about this time.”

While they talked, Ann, Roses, and Tails grabbed TAS’s rope. They were going to be prepared this time.

“Ready?” he whispered.

“Go for it.” Tails nodded.

“Oh, there it is!” Yoda pretended to see TAS offstage, and he jumped.

The pulley system worked perfectly. The girls maneuvered TAS across the stage, towards the boys. John stepped closer to talk to him, and Yoda warned him to be careful. After assuring Yoda that he wasn’t afraid of death, John began speaking to the ghost. Suddenly, something behind the girls crashed.

“I didn’t know it was a real mirror! I’ll fix it!” Roseidous apologized.

“I’ll kill him!” Roses shrieked and ran towards Rosey, letting go of the rope. Unfortunately, Ann had done the same thing.

“No!” Tails yelled. “Come back!”

But it was too late. TAS crashed on top of John during the middle of his speech.

“Ouch.”

“Um…hang on!” Todd told the audience, and he and Yoda dragged the two boys offstage. The cast and crew rushed to gather around them.

“Are you okay?” Tails asked TAS.

“Hey, mommy!” he said, happily. “Did you bring cookies?”

The group laughed. “He’ll be fine.” Cait said.

“John! Get back out there and do something!” Holli demanded.

“But he broke my leg and-“

“Is everyone okay?” Ebony arrived from the other side of the stage.

“And I’m fine! I’ll go back on! What do I say?”

“I don’t know! Anything! Hurry!” Holli flipped through her script.

John limped back on stage. “Er…hi. Everyone is fine. We’re just going to pretend like I’m talking to the ghost. So…um…here goes…”

“Is that you father?…Yes, I know mom got remarried…What? Uncle Claudius poisoned you?…You didn’t die of natural causes?…He wanted to be the king?…I thought so!…Yes, I’ll make sure to avenge your death…I know! I’ll act like I’m crazy!…I don’t know, seems like a good idea. They all think I’m crazy anyway…Yeah, they’ll see. I’m the only one who knows what’s going on around here…Oh, I’m fine. Just having some personal issues…Yeah, since you died, life around here is very odd…But, no worries, I’ll kill him before I kill myself…Yeah, see you later!”

He turned to address the audience again. “And…um…now it’s time for Act Two! Bye!”

Everyone backstage sighed as he limped off. Ann and Roses closed the curtain.

“Can it get any worse?” Miss Ligeia said.

“At least it wasn’t me…Dumbledore…fairy godmother…stupid…” Professor Snape mumbled.

“What was that?”

“Nothing.”

* * *

The curtain re-opened a few minutes later on Polonius’ house. Tyrael, still in the Cyclops mask, was joined by Draco, as a servant.

“Hey, Reynaldo?”

“Yes, Polonius?” Draco sounded bored.

“Go to Paris and spy on my son for me. Spread some rumors about him doing illegal things.”

“But, why?”

“You’ll see. And don’t ask me why, just do it.”

“Okay, whatever. You are paying me. But my father could afford to buy this whole school. I told him I should be the lead and he needed to make sure I got it, but no. He said I have to be inconspicuous around you Muggles for one more year and-“

A tall man with long blond hair and a cane stood up in the audience and cleared his throat.

“-And now I’m off to Paris!” Draco finished quickly. The man sat back down.

“I’ll kill him myself.” Professor Snape said.

“What?” Miss Ligeia asked. “And what’s a Muggle?”

“A made up word, I suppose. You know children.”

On stage, Ebony had entered the scene. “Hey, dad, guess what!”

“What?”

“I was in the sewing room today and Hamlet came in. He just sighed dramatically and stared at me. Then he left. Either he’s pretending to be crazy, or he is actually crazy.”

“No!” Tyrael leapt up from the table. “He’s acting like that because he’s in love with you! That really is what’s wrong with him! We must go tell the king! Come on!” He grabbed her hand and dragged her offstage.

The scenery was switched back to the throne room. Nothlit, in his dark blue robes and gold crown sat down on the king’s throne. Ili, wearing a green dress and smaller, less elaborate version of the crown, sat in the other one. Ian and Silent Jim approached the two and bowed.

“Welcome, Guildenstern and Rosencrantz.” Nothlit told them.

“Dear, you’ve got them backwards again.” Ili pointed at Ian. “That’s Rosencrantz and the other is Guildenstern.”

“Oh. Well, whatever. I sent for the two of you because I need you to do something for me.”

“Anything you command, we shall do, sire.” Ian said. Silent Jim nodded helpfully.

“My new son, Hamlet, is acting very strangely. He talks about seeing a ghost and he seems depressed. I want you two to find out what’s wrong with him. You are his friends, right?”

“Yes, your majesty.”

“Then you won’t have any trouble watching what he does. Report back to me.”

“Consider it done!” They left, heading towards stage left and almost crashed into Tyrael, who was on his way in.

“Watch out!” Tyrael complained. “I’m the king’s advisor!”

“Well, excuse us.” Ian said, sarcastically.

Tyrael ignored him, still heading for the king. “Claudius! Dawg! I mean, sire! I know what’s wrong with Hamlet!”

“Do you?’ Ili asked. “Well, I’d be glad to know. I think he’s still just grieving for his father, but if you know anything else…”

Tyrael started to speak, but was interrupted by Cait’s entrance.

“Busy today.” Ili commented.

“Back from Norway, my good servant?” Nothlit asked. “What does Fortinbras’ uncle say?”

“He said that he would tell Fortinbras not to attack us. But he wants permission for the army to safely pass over our lands to go home.”

“Sure. If he promises not to attack, we’d be glad to let them,” he waved a hand to dismiss Cait. “But back to Hamlet, what’s wrong with him, Polonius?”

“Hamlet is in love with my daughter, Ophelia.” Tyrael announced proudly.

Ili started laughing. “What?”

“I’m serious!”

“So says the guy in the Cyclops mask.”

“You’ll see. Hamlet usually hangs around here this time of day. I’ll talk to him and find out. See, there he is now! Go!”

John entered from stage right, reading a book. Nothlit and Ili quickly made their exits. John walked right past Tyrael, ignored him, and sat down on the king’s throne. He casually turned the page in his book.

“What are you reading?” Tyrael asked.

“Hmm? Oh, nothing really,” he continued to read and ignore Tyrael until Tyrael finally got bored.

“I’ll see you later, Hamlet.”

“Mhmm.”

Ian and Silent Jim came back onstage, almost crashing into Tyrael again.

“How many times must I tell you to watch out?!”

“Always.” Ian said. “Have you seen Hamlet?”

“Yeah, he’s right there.” Tyrael pointed at the throne.

Ian started to walk over to John, but Silent Jim pulled on his sleeve and gestured behind them, offstage. “Oh. Jim…I mean, Guildenstern…says that some acting troupe just got here. You wanna go greet them?”

“Of course! As the king’s top advisor, it’s my duty!” Tyrael said, and left.

“Glad he’s gone. Right Jim, I mean, Guildenstern?”

Jim nodded and both boys turned to John.

“Dude! What’s up?!” Ian yelled across the stage.

“Hey, guys! What are you two doing here?!”

“Um…well…visiting you?”

“No, really. Let me guess. You are here because my uncle-no, sorry, my new father-thinks that there’s something wrong with me. He thinks I’ve gone insane. And you are here to figure out what is going on.”

The two boys looked at each other and shrugged. “Yep, you’re right. So what’cha been doing?”

John sighed and went back to his book. Ian looked to Jim for help. Jim seemed to be thinking, and then he lit up with an idea. He pointed over his shoulder.

“That’s a great idea! Hey, Hamlet, there’s some actors here. That could be fun. What’s his name, the advisor, went to go talk to them.”

“Yes, and I’ve invited them to perform.” Tyrael led Katherine, Draco, Tamara, Kit, and AniDog onstage. “Hey, if they perform the Odyssey, maybe they’ll let me the Cyclops!”

“No, I have a better idea.” John put down his book and gestured to Katherine, who walked over to him. “Can you act out a play with a king and a queen who are very happy ruling their country? Then, the king’s brother murders him so that he can marry the queen and have all the power? How does that sound?”

“Sounds good to me. I like violence. I’m sure we can work something out. Want to help us write it?”

“I’d love to.” John started to walk off with them, but Ian stopped him.

“Where did that idea come from? It sounds strange to me.”

John nodded. “It is strange. But that’s because I’m the crazy one, right? Tell the king that the play will be tonight. On with the show!”

Roses and Ann closed the curtain on Act Two. After a few minutes, it opened again. The scene was back inside the castle and Nothlit and Ili sat on the thrones. Ian and Jim stood in front of them.

“So, what do you think?” Ili asked. “Is he really insane?”

“We can’t tell.” Ian said. “Sometimes he acts normal and sometimes not. But he is really excited about the play tonight for some reason.”

“Well, maybe he’s cheering up. You are dismissed.” Nothlit said, and watched them go. “And now, my wife, you may go get dressed for the play. I’ll see you there.”

“And what are you going to do?”

“I must speak with Polonius. Business stuff.”

Ili shook her head sadly and walked offstage. Tyrael came out from behind the thrones.

“Ready!” he announced. “It’s time to spy on Hamlet and Ophelia. I told her what to do.”

Ebony also walked around from behind the thrones. “Yes. I just stand here and wait for Hamlet. Then I ask him if he likes me. And so on. I’m ready, father.”

“Great!”

Tyrael and Nothlit ducked behind the thrones. John started to walk on, but Holli grabbed him when Nothlit didn’t say the right line.

“Polonius, you know you’re my most trusted friend and advisor, right?”

“Yes, sire.”

“They’re making this up! I’ll kill them!” Holli said.

“Can the king give you some advice?”

“Of course you can, sire!”

“Take off that ridiculous mask. That’s an order.”

“I’m afraid I can’t, my lord.”

“Why is that?”

“It’s stuck.”

“Oh. Um…Look! There’s Hamlet!”

Holli sighed and shoved John onstage.

“To be or not to be. That is the question. Should I stay here and suffer or kill myself? Suicide sounds good to me! Oh! Ophelia! What light through yonder window breaks?”

“What?” Ebony asked.

“Hey! You look nice today!”

“Oh, thanks.”

“No problem. But I have to tell you that I’m not in love with you. In fact, you should avoid men at all costs. Just look at Ian. I mean, men are horrible. Go be a nun.”

“Wait. You don’t love me?”

“I might. I might not. But it doesn’t matter if you’re a nun.”

“I’m confused.”

“Me too! Must go now! Things to do! And those two idiots are probably looking for me! See you later!” He ran off in the opposite direction.

Nothlit and Tyrael came out of hiding. “Doesn’t sound like he loves her to me. You’re wrong, Polonius. But he’s definitely unbalanced. I can’t have him hanging around my kingdom…finding out things…causing trouble. Ah, well. I’ll figure out somewhere to put him. Time to go get the wife. See you at the play.”

Tyrael and Ebony walked off, stage right, while Nothlit went to the left. Ann and Roses moved the table and put a platform in its place as a stage for the play. The actors then came onstage, led by John. Draco was wearing a costume exactly like Nothlit’s, and Katherine’s was a replica of Ili’s.

“You remember what I told you?” John instructed Katherine.

“Yeah, we got it. No worries.”

There was a sudden trumpet fanfare and the rest of the cast filed onstage, some carrying chairs to sit in. Ili had changed for the play, but it was not, in fact, the costume Mr. Rogers had created. She was dressed in a long, black dress, with sleeves big enough to fit another person inside. She also had a blood red, velvet cape tied around her shoulders. She was a very effective vampire.

Out in the audience, Mr. Lestat leaned forward to talk to Mr. Rogers. “Great job on that costume.”

“Hey, Horatio,” John took Yoda aside from the group of people as they settled into place. “Watch my uncle during the show and see how he reacts.”

“Why? Did you do something? I know I haven’t talked to you lately, but what have you been up to?”

“Just watch.” John returned to the others. “Where to sit, where to sit…”

“Sit by your mother, dear,” Ili pointed at the floor in front of her.

“Nah, I think I’ll sit by Ophelia,” he did so, and put his head in Ebony’s lap.

“Told you he likes her.” Tyrael said to Nothlit.

Everyone watched as the silent play began. Katherine walked across the stage with AniDog, pretending to be out in the gardens. AniDog gestured that he was going to take a nap. Katherine nodded, and kept walking offstage while he lay down. As soon as she was gone, Draco rushed up to AniDog. He took out a bottle and poured something in the sleeping king’s mouth. He hurried away, just as Katherine returned.

Katherine tried to wake up AniDog, but he was dead. Tamara and Kit dragged his body away. Katherine acted as if she was crying until Draco re-appeared and presented her with a necklace. She smiled at him and gave him the king’s crown from where it had fallen off.

“Stop!” Nothlit shouted, standing up. “This play is over!”

He ran offstage and everyone followed him, except John and Yoda.

“Did you watch him?” John asked.

“Yes,” Yoda said. “He seemed almost afraid.”

“Not afraid.” John smiled. “Guilty.”

“Guilty? What do you-“ Yoda was interrupted when Ian and Jim returned.

“Rosencrantz? Guildenstern? What is it?”

“Your mother wants to see you Hamlet.”

“Yeah, whatever. Go away.”

“Hamlet, we’re your friends. What’s really going on with you? You can tell us.”

John picked up a flute from the stage. “Play this, Rosencrantz.”

“I can’t.”

“Play the flute.”

“I don’t know how!”

“I said, play it!” John forced Ian to take it.

“Hamlet, I can’t!”

Jim shrugged, grabbed the flute, and started playing a song. Everyone stopped to stare, and then turned back to each other.

“You’ve been playing me since you got here, I thought maybe you could play a flute, too.” John said to Ian. “You’ve been spying on me for the king and queen. I know exactly what the king wants you to find out about me, but I’m not telling. In fact-Polonius?”

“Um, yes, sorry to interrupt. The queen wants to see you.” Tyrael told him.

“I know. You see that cloud up there, Polonius? It looks like a camel, doesn’t it?”

“It sure does.” Tyrael nodded.

“Nah,” John thought about it. “Maybe it’s a weasel.”

“Yes, a weasel.” Tyrael agreed.

“Or maybe a whale.”

“That’s it, a whale.”

John stopped to consider something. “Okay, tell my mother I’ll be there soon. I need to be alone now.”

When the stage was otherwise empty, he said to himself, “They’re all working against me. My uncle wants to find out what I know about my father’s death. He probably thinks that’s why I’m acting crazy. And, after his reaction to the play, I know that the ghost is telling the truth. Sure, I’ll speak to my mother. I’ll tell her exactly what she needs to hear.”

As soon as he left the stage, Ian, Jim, and Tyrael came back with Nothlit.

“Okay, here’s the deal,” Nothlit said. “Hamlet is a threat to my kingdom. The two of you will take him on a trip to England. You can meet the king and give him this letter. But don’t read it before you get there.”

“Oh, a secret! We can keep a secret!” Ian said. “Can’t we, Silent Jim…I mean, Guildenstern?”

Jim nodded and took the letter. They left to presumably get ready for the trip.

“Where is Hamlet now?” Nothlit asked.

“He went to visit his mother.”

“What?! Go stop him---no, wait. Go listen to him. If he says something treasonous, let me know.”

“Yes, sire! I’ll hide behind the curtain!” Tyrael hurried away.

“This can’t be happening.” Nothlit sat down on his throne. “Hamlet has to know the truth; the play proves that. He’s probably telling his mother right now. I have no choice but to send that letter to England. Better to have him dead than here.”

The curtains closed. When they re-opened, the scene was set in the queen’s room. The lights dimmed to indicate nighttime. Then they brightened. Darker. Lighter. Darker. Lighter. The audience heard yelling from the control room in the back of the auditorium.

“The script says night!” Mr. Sauron yelled. “It’s time to cover all the lands in a second darkness…I mean, the stage!”

“You suck!” Mr. Crayak yelled back. “They can’t see if it’s that dark! And we need more red light!”

“I don’t suck! You and your red light suck!”

Something large crashed into the hallway. Randall, Mr. Satan, and Mr. Gates ran out of the auditorium. They returned a few moments later and the stage lights resumed an even balance.

“Sorry about that,” Mr. Satan told the audience. “Technical difficulty.”

The stage held a small table with a mirror. Or at least a mirror frame. There was a piece of cardboard taped to it with MIRROR in large letters. Ilinana sat down in front of it and pretended to brush her hair. Tyrael rushed onstage.

“Okay, he’s supposed to be on his way. Yell at him for ruining the play. I’ll hide behind this curtain.”

“Mother!” John called.

Tyrael tried to jump behind the curtain, but again, the mask prevented him from seeing clearly and he tripped. He grabbed the curtain for balance, which was only stapled to the background. It fell down around him. Tyrael and Ili paused for a moment, and then he shrugged and crawled under it.

John entered the scene. “Hey, mom? Your curtain fell down. You should get someone to fix that.”

“Shut up,” Ili glared at him.

“Yes, ma’am. Why did you send for me?”

“Hamlet, you offended your father tonight, telling those people to what play to act out.”

“My father? My father is dead. And I’m afraid you’re the one who offended my father-the day you married his brother!”

“That’s right, I did. Do you think you can do something about that? Kill me, maybe?”

“I might!”

“No!” Tyrael tried to get up, but he was tangled in the curtain.

“A rat! In your room! I’ll kill that for you!” John pulled out his cardboard sword and stabbed Tyrael.”

“Ouch! I’m dead now!” Tyrael stopped moving.

Pause.

“What have you done?!” Ili shrieked.

‘I don’t know!” John unbent his sword and put it back. “What that the king? Hopefully?”

He yanked on the curtain until Tyrael moved off it and he could throw it aside. “Polonius! A spy working against me, anyway. No big loss.”

TAS walked on stage.

“Father!” John waved at him. “Not flying anymore?”

“No, that took way too much energy. But I see you’ve made a good start in avenging my death. Now you have something to tell your mother, I’m sure?”

“Oh…Mom? There’s Dad!” John pointed for Ili.

“Hamlet, I don’t see anything. Are you sure you’re not insane?”

“I’m sure. I’ve seen father’s ghost before. He told me that Uncle Claudius poisoned him. Then, he married you so that he would be king. That’s where I got the idea for the play.”

“Son, that doesn’t make any sense.”

“Doesn’t it? Didn’t you see the way he reacted?”

Ili thought about it. “You may have a point there. But what are we going to do? There’s a dead body in my room!”

“Don’t worry! You go tell him I killed Polonius. He thinks I’m crazy anyway. Don’t let him find out that we know his little secret. I’ll take care of the body, then I’ll be on my way to England.”

“Yes, the plans are arranged for your trip. Are you afraid it’s a trap? That he’ll kill you?”

“Already thought of that. No problem, mother. I’ll be back sooner than you think and I’ll avenge Dad’s death.”

They ran off in opposite directions. Roses and Ann changed the scenery to the throne room.

“I’m tired of this,” Ann complained.

“Yeah, but just think. We won’t have to do it anymore after tonight.”

“Roses, it’s only opening night.”

“Have you seen this disaster? There won’t be any more shows.”

“That’s true.”

Nothlit, Ian, and Jim gathered in the throne room. They leaned over a piece of paper on the table, discussing something. Ili rushed onstage.

“Out! The two of you, get out!” she yelled at Ian and Jim.

“What’s the matter? Did Hamlet do something to you?” Nothlit asked, once they were gone.

“Yes! No! Not to me! He killed Polonius!”

“What?! Why?”

“He said he thought it was a rat behind-um, under-the curtain!”

“Well, let’s go find him! We can’t wait around here!”

They hurried off to the left and John casually strolled in from the right. “All taken care of,” he said to himself.

“What is?” Ian appeared behind him, with Silent Jim.

“Oh, nothing. Just a dead body.”

“You killed someone?”

“Polonius.”

“Where’s the body? We have to tell the king!”

“Of course we have to tell the king.” John reassured him. “You are working for him. But I expect he’ll be looking for me.”

“Hamlet!” Nothlit came back onstage. “There you are! I’ve been looking for you!”

“Told you.” John nodded.

“Where’s the body?” Nothlit demanded.

“At dinner.” John smiled.

“But you killed him!”

“I didn’t mean he was eating dinner.” John kept smiling. “The worms will be eating him.”

“Yes, but where is the body?!”

“In heaven, maybe. If not there, you can go to hell and find him yourself.”

“Hamlet!” Ili gasped.

“Oh, fine. Go look around the stairs in the entrance. You’ll smell him eventually.”

Ian and Jim ran off, apparently to find the body.

“You see?” Nothlit said to Ili. “This is why I have to send him away.”

The curtain fell on the scene, and Holli gathered the cast backstage.

“Where’s your clipboard?” Todd asked.

“I threw out the script. Now, listen up. This play is horrible. The audience seems bored. I don’t care what you do; just do something to make the final act better. And no more disasters.”

The curtains reopened again on the throne room. Ili, Nothlit, AniDog, and Yoda were in place.

“I’m certainly not talking to her.” Ili said to AniDog.

“But someone has to. Her father was killed by the man who was supposed to be in love with her. Your son, my lady.”

“Fine. Whatever. Let her in.”

Ebony wandered onto the stage, ignoring everything else and singing to herself. “He’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead.”

“Um, Ophelia?” Ili tried to get in front of Ebony, but Ebony kept turning in a different direction.

“Pretty flowers! I wanna flower!”

“Okay, then.” Ili gave up and looked at Nothlit.

He sighed. “The death of her father has driven her insane.”

“Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.” Ebony told him.

“That’s good. How about you take a walk in the gardens? We have flowers by the lake.”

“I wanna flower!” Ebony spun around a few times and danced offstage.

“Go with her, Horatio. Make sure she doesn’t hurt herself. Or anyone else.” Nothlit watched Yoda go and turned back to AniDog. “Is there anything else? You’re still here.”

“Er-yes, your majesty. Are you sure you want to know?”

“My brother died, my new wife is angry with me for some reason, my son is an psychotic murderer who killed my most trusted advisor, and now Ophelia needs medication or something. What else could go wrong? Just tell me.”

“Yes, sire. Well…Laertes is home. Here at the castle, actually.”

“For his father’s funeral, yes.”

“He…um…he has a bunch of people with him. They’re all angry. And they’re saying that he should be king.”

“Oh. Then it’s bad.”

Roseidous entered the scene, followed by Draco, Todd, Cait, Tamara, Katherine, and Verdan. They all had swords in their hands, and Katherine held a sign that read, ‘Laertes for King.’

“Hello, Laertes. I wish you could have come home for a better reason.” Nothlit said, calmly.

“Where hath thou placed the body of my father?” Roseidous demanded.

“Don’t worry. It’s being prepared for the funeral.” Nothlit paused. “Do you hear singing?”

“You are singing, dear.” Ili offered.

“No, I meant a woman.”

Ebony danced back onstage, twirling in circles. “I got a flower! A pretty flower!”

“Uh-oh,” Nothlit said, but Roseidous had already run over to her.

“Ophelia! I have returned!”

“They’re gonna bury him. He’s dead, dead, dead,” she sang, ignoring him.

“What matter hath afflicted my sister?” Roseidous glared at Nothlit.

“I don’t know! None of this is my fault!”

“Is it?” Ili muttered.

“We’ll see.” Roseidous guided Ebony off; the others followed. The back of Katherine’s sign said ‘Roseidous for President.’

The lights dimmed. AniDog was the only one who remained onstage. He waited a few moments, and then Yoda joined him. He handed Yoda some letters and they both left silently.

The lights brightened again to simulate a new morning, and Roseidous and Nothlit walked on, talking.

“I see now that these incidents which hath occurred in my absence are not thy fault. But why dost thou not punish Hamlet here?”

“His mother would be upset. Besides, I sent a letter to the king of England and it says that he’s supposed to-“

Yoda interrupted their conversation. “A letter for you, sire.”

Nothlit took it and read it aloud. “Yo, uncle, what’s up? Not much here. Looking forward to seeing you very soon. Hamlet.”

“According to my letter,” Yoda waved his, “the ship he was traveling on got attacked by pirates. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern managed to stay onboard and are sailing to England, but he says that he was taken prisoner by the pirates. He escaped from them and is on his way here.”

“I’ll kill him!” Roseidous yelled. “He is the one who hath destroyed my family!”

“Hang on,” Nothlit said. “I know you have to avenge your father’s death, but let’s think of a sneakier way.”

“You want to murder thy own nephew?”

“He’s a threat to the kingdom, Laertes. And mentally unstable. It would be for his own good. Poison, maybe?”

“I shalt consider it.”

“Good. In the meantime, I need someone to take your father’s place. Someone to be my top advisor. Do you think you would-“

“Help!” Ili yelled from backstage.

“What is it now?” Nothlit asked, as she ran up to them.

“It’s Ophelia! She’s drowned in the lake! Come help us get her out!”

“Dead?” Roseidous pulled out his sword. “This is Hamlet’s fault. If he steps anywhere near this castle, I shalt kill him without warning!”

***

Roses and Ann moved all of the sets offstage, leaving only the black curtain. They set up some fake gravestones and trees. Two older men dressed in clown costumes appeared from the wings, carrying shovels.

“Who are they?” Roses asked Holli.

“I have no idea. I thought Draco and Cait were supposed to be the clowns. Maybe Miss Ligeia changed it?”

The two clowns pretended to dig up a grave. They tossed a skull towards the other side of the stage. It rolled to a stop at John’s feet. He picked it up while Yoda joined him. “Ah, Horatio. It’s Yorrick.”

“Who’s Yorrick? Did you know him?”

“No, not really.” John stared at the skull.

“My ^#&*@ name is not Yorrick! What kind of *&&^$ name is that? I’m Murray! With an A!” the skull shouted.

John shrieked and dropped the skull, but it didn’t fall. It floated in mid-air, eyes glowing red. Yoda and John backed away, knocking over gravestones. The clowns were already gone. The rest of the cast crowded into the wings, trying to see what was going on.

Suddenly, a figure in a black trenchcoat leapt onstage from the audience. He held a long, pointed stick. He ran over to the skull and hit it as if it were a baseball. Murray flew over to the left, and the people on that side scattered. The figure followed, saying something about staying in the attic.

“Who was that?” Holli demanded.

Ann shrugged. “Looked kind of like Umar. Maybe he’s back.”

“Oh.” Holli surveyed the scene on stage. “John! Keep going!”

On the other side of the stage, Roses was talking to Tails. “That was a great special effect. How did you do that?”

“I didn’t do it.” Tails told her. “But it was great. I wish I had. Did you see the look on John’s face?”

“So…anyway…” John said nervously, walking towards the front of the stage again. “I’m glad to be back, Horatio.”

“You might not be.” Yoda picked up some of the fallen gravestones.

“You know, my uncle was going to have the king of England kill me? That’s what his letter said. Good thing I opened it and replaced his letter with one of my own. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern will definitely be surprised when the king reads it. But they won’t be surprised for long.” John grinned evilly. “So what did I miss?”

With that cue, Roseidous, Nothlit, Cait, and Todd carried out Ebony. She was lying on a board, ready for her burial.

“You missed that.” Yoda pointed.

“Ophelia?!” John rushed over while the others set her on the ground.

“Hamlet! It is you!” Roseidous stood up and pulled out his sword. “I will now avenge my family!”

John ignored him and tried to pick up Ebony. “You can’t be dead!” he said, shaking her.

“Let. Go. Of. Me. Now.” Ebony whispered, trying not to move her lips.

“Thine hands helped to kill her and my father. Now I shalt have revenge!” Roseidous tried to yank him to his feet, but John didn’t move. He tried again. “Thou must release my fair and beautiful sister!”

“John, what are you doing?” Ebony asked. “Get up!”

“I’ll show him fair and beautiful. And I’ll make the last act more interesting.” John said. Then he quickly spun around, stood up, and punched Roseidous.

“Um…that was real.” Roses said. “Sibling rivalry, I suppose.”

Both boys were on the floor, trying to hit each other, but mostly missing. Ebony tried to casually move away. The audience wasn’t sure if it was part of the play or not, but assumed it was. Miss Ligeia covered her eyes again. Finally, the other boys on stage were able to separate them.

“Hamlet! You are not welcome at this funeral. Leave.” Nothlit pushed him offstage.

”And I challenge you to a duel!” Roseidous shouted. “Tonight!”

“Fine!” John yelled. “I’ll see you later!”

The scene finished up quickly with the rest of the funeral. Ann and Roses changed the sets to the throne room for the final time. John and Yoda stood in the corner, talking.

“So you have to fight him?” Yoda asked.

“Yeah, in just a few minutes, actually.”

“They’re probably planning something, you know.”

“Of course they are. But I can take him!”

The remaining members of the cast filed onstage, taking their places. Nothlit held two goblets, but set them on the floor by his throne. Then he signaled for Roseidous and John to get started. The two boys circled each other. John finally jabbed his sword at Roseidous, who blocked it.

“You’re supposed to let me hit you!” John said, when his back was to the audience. Roseidous just grinned at him.

John tried again, but Roseidous stopped him. In fact, Roseidous hit John with his own sword.

“Hey! Ouch!”

“Rosey! Stop it!” Holli tried to whisper loud enough for him to hear. This distracted him long enough for John to stab him.

“A hit!” Nothlit said. “Finally! Take a break, guys. Hamlet, come have a drink with your father. You are winning, after all.”

“Oh, no thanks!” John told him. “I’m not thirsty.”

“I am. You didn’t offer your wife anything.” Ili reached down and took the goblet intended for Hamlet.

“No! Wait!” Nothlit tried to stop her, but it was too late. “You drank the poisoned one, dear.”

“What?!”

“Yes.” He sighed. “But Laertes did hit Hamlet with his sword. It was poisoned, too. So no big deal.”

“Oh, yeah? You poisoned your wife and it’s no big deal?” Ili marched over to the unsuspecting Rosey, took his sword away, and stabbed Nothlit. “That’s no big deal, either.”

“You just killed me!” he looked at her, shocked.

“It’s about time I got some attention around here. Die, already!”

Nothlit shrugged and threw himself out of his chair and onto the floor.

“Hey, mom?” John asked. “Did you just drink poison? Shouldn’t you be dead, too?”

“No, son. I’m not stupid. I only pretended to drink.”

“Oh. Well, I don’t feel so well. I think the poison on the sword is killing me now.”

“Not before you kill him!” Ili forced John to take the sword.

John turned and hit Roseidous, who was watching the whole scene, confused. But he immediately acted as if he was hurt. He staggered around the stage, holding his side and making various ‘dying’ noises. He eventually fell down, twitched a few times, and froze.

John also collapsed on the stage, dead. This left Ili standing with the remainder of the cast, minus Todd.

“None of this is in the script. Ili is definitely not supposed to be the winner.” Holli giggled with the other girls, and then gestured for Todd to get on stage.

“Who are you?” Ili demanded.

“I am Fortinbras! I know my uncle said I wouldn’t attack you, but the king was stupid enough to let my army pass over your lands. I have your castle surrounded! You must surrender!”

“He was stupid.” Ili agreed. “But he’s not the king anymore! The queen is in charge!”

She walked carefully around the bodies on the floor until she reached John. She took the sword from him and pretended to but off Todd’s head.

“Hey! Paper cut!” Todd complained, then, “Wait! Sorry! I’m dead!”

He fell to the floor. Ili glared at the rest of the cast. “Anyone else?”

Getting no response, she turned to the audience. “And so ends our play.”

The curtains closed.

“Well?” Snape asked Miss Ligeia.

“Well, what?”

“It wasn’t so bad. At least the audience is clapping.”

“They just feel sorry for them. Wait for the review in the paper tomorrow. My teaching career will be over.”



“Hamelt Deserves to Melt”
November 19, 1993
By Mr. and Mrs. Kjos




When we say that the EVIL Elementary play deserves to melt, we mean in hell. The musical interpretation of the Shakespearian classic (yes, that is an unfortunate misspelling in the program) is only a reflection of paganistic ideas and values. Not all blame, however, lies with the school and young writers. After all, the original by the infamous writer himself promotes lying, murder, and suicide. It leads young children to the occult, a fact made obvious by the production.

In the first scene, the audience was introduced to the character of a ghost. As all good Christians know, people’s spirits do not remain on earth after death. The soul either goes to heaven or hell and most certainly does not encourage family to kill other family members. Speaking of family, the star of the play is often disrespectful to his parents, whether through his actions or words. This behavior clearly breaks one of our Lord’s commandments.

A little while into the play, we meet a character who does not speak. The young boy playing Guildenstern is obviously afraid to participate in the occult production. He was no doubt forced into doing so by his peers. Children leading other children to the occult is truly a tragedy in our society. These children simply need counseling and love from us. And maybe a trip to church every Sunday.

Other factors in the play show that his school, and this teacher, are showing our children the ways of sin. The vice principal even dressed up for the event as the devil himself. What are they teaching the children at this school? Not the ways of Christianity, that’s for certain. One girl, who couldn’t have been more than six years old had to say the line, “I like violence!” And we will not fail to mention the character of the queen. The costume designer must have thought murderous vampires are what children should desire to become when they grow up, rather than servants of our God.

The floating skull near the end was perhaps the final insult. Obviously, it was possessed by the devil. We do applaud the one boy who had the courage to stand up and defeat evil.

In summary, we do not recommend that anyone else in our community see this play. It should be shut down immediately, and the teaching methods of EVIL Elementary should be questioned by the parents. We will happily take any students who wish to transfer to our own private, church-based school. Please contact us for further information.



“And there you are.” Ann finished reading the article to the theater class.

“What did Mr. Gates say?” Holli asked Miss Ligeia.

“Oh, he said that they always have bad things to say. It’s actually a compliment to be attacked by one of their articles.”

“So that means our play is really good?”

“Yes, Tyrael. And how is the mask coming along?”

“It’s better. The doctor says we should be able to get it off this weekend.” The mask was in shreds around his face, but at least he could see. Unfortunately, the rest of it was still stuck to his head.

“I liked him better as a Cyclops.” Tails said, and the rest of the class laughed.

“Guess what!” John opened the door.

“Where have you been?” Miss Ligeia asked.

“I had to be the hall monitor for a few minutes. Mr. Flagg said so.”

“I suppose that’s okay, then. What did you want to say?”

“It’s snowing!”

(There you are, John and Holli…ready for the snowed-in, Lord of the Flies storyline?)