Lighten Up: Another Comedy In Two Acts
This is a sort of sequel to my previous “short story” play, By Word Of Mouth: A Comedy in Two Acts, although reading it first is not necessary. Enjoy!
ACT I: (The scene is a formal dining room in a plushy Faerieland neohome owned by ACE, a white Aisha. His good friends NEIL, a striped Ixi, and PENNY, a faerie Lenny, are seated next to ACE at the table. It is roughly 10:00PM NST and the light from the lamps cast a warm glow across the room. As usual, the walls are adorned with flashing squares of avatars carefully earned through ACE’s hard work.)
PENNY: Why did you summon us to your neohome so late at night? I’m not waiting around with you so you can play Deadly Dice later.
NEIL (yawns): Indeed, what are we doing here? I need to get back to the Haunted Woods and I hate walking around there at night. Plus all these flashing avatars are giving me a headache.
ACE (ominously): This is much more important than your headache, Neil, or your sleep, Penny. I called you both here for a reason. It’s quite a dire situation. It is a dark time in my life, if you will.
NEIL: Ah, but it should brighten up by morning (he laughs).
ACE: This is no time for jokes, Neil! I'm positively done for, for real! I've been dealt a losing hand, my time is up, and my luck has run out! Alas, my Lenny is cooked!
PENNY: Hey! Watch it!
ACE (grins sadly): Oh, sorry, Pen.
PENNY (ruffling her feathers): Well, what's all the fuss about, then?
ACE: Hmm, you see, I don't quite know exactly. The event I’m about to tell you about was pretty obscure but obvious as well. And if something is both these things, it’s clearly terrible.
PENNY: Obscure and obvious? Well, that doesn’t make sense at all!
NEIL (dubiously): Your logic is a bit fuzzy, pal.
ACE (dramatically): Fuzzy Logic? May it tickle you to death, then! (He gets up and paces about the room) I don't have time for this with my life flashing before my very eyes! (Raising a paw to his forehead) Oh!
NEIL and PENNY (shouting together): What happened? Tell us! Tell us!
ACE: Whoa! Hold your Peophins, you guys! It was a random event but... I KNOW I was targeted somehow! (He widens his eyes)The awful, awful Black Pteri saw me! And you know what it did to me? You want to know? It was SEEING me with its beady eyes!
PENNY (raising her eyebrows): Oh really?
NEIL: Of course it was seeing you with its eyes. What else would it possibly use?
ACE (darkly): It gave me an icy stare and said a 'SHADOW WILL FALL UPON YOU!' A shadow! (To himself) What do shadows even do to you? I’m sure it’s something horrible and unstoppable. Oh my oh my oh my.
PENNY: A shadow you say? (Dryly) Now that sounds super dangerous.
ACE: YES, I do say and it IS dangerous! (He adjusts his hanging avatars nervously) Whatever will I do? Shadows are notoriously shady characters!
PENNY: True, true. It would be a shame if you were pulled over to the dark side. But how can you stop a shadow?
NEIL (struck by an idea): To stop the shadows, we must flood this room with light! Quick, Penny, Ace, the lights!
ACE (doubtfully): I don't think my flood insurance covers light... I’m afraid I must have cheaped-out in that department.
PENNY: He means turn on all of the lights, Ace.
ACE (shifty eyes): Well YEAH, of course I knew he meant that. Hello! Duh!
(PENNY and NEIL start flicking on more lamps until the room and the rest of ACE’s expansive neohome is filled with bright light.)
NEIL: You can't have shadows if you fill everything up with light. It's a bright as the Lost Desert at high noon... on a particularly sunny day. No there’ll be absolutely no room for shadows.
PENNY: And if any buggers try to sneak up on you, you’ll be sure to spot them in all this light!
ACE: What a bright idea! (He grins broadly) I guess there really isn’t any worry now.
PENNY (suddenly): But you can't hide in the light for the rest of your life, Ace. How would you sleep in this brightness?
ACE (his grin fading): How? Oh, how? I don't know! There are always problems!
NEIL: We'll have to see a light faerie about this! Since she specializes in, you know, lightness. It's the only way we can shed light on your dismal fortune. I’m sure she can enlighten us.
ACE: If you remember correctly, faeries haven’t been much help to us in the past. The Library Faerie had no idea how to improve my last Neopian Times article!
PENNY: We'll just have to go to a light faerie and see if she will help. Light faeries usually have sunnier dispositions than most.
NEIL: Exactly, Pen. Let’s get over to the Wheel of Excitement and ask the faerie there.
(NEIL and PENNY gathered up bottles of Steam of Light, pouring the contents over ACE until he glowed as bright as the symbol of Altador.)
PENNY (shaking out the last drop of liquid light onto ACE): There you go! No shadows would dare put a damper on such a sunny neopet as yourself. (She nods) Let's roll.
(PENNY, NEIL and ACE exit Stage Right.)
(A flashy wheel looms up behind a small desk formed from clouds. A light faerie is seated at the desk accepting neopoints and spinning the wheel and awarding prizes.)
(PENNY, NEIL and ACE enter Stage Left and walk up to the faerie.)
LIGHT FAERIE: 150 neopoints, please. One spin every 2 hours!
NEIL (rambling): Err- we really hate to call on a faerie such as yourself for help as you are so busy and all, but Ace here is in danger of shadow and darkness!
LIGHT FAERIE (her eyes flicking up from her papers on her desk quickly): Really? A threat of impending doom and darkness?
ACE: Yes! I need to surround myself with light to stop shadows from creeping up on me, but I can't do this forever.
LIGHT FAERIE (lightly): Don’t be so gloomy! Here, take a spin on the Wheel. It’s on the house.
(The LIGHT FAERIE pulls the lever and the wheel spins and flashes, slowly rolling to a stop. The small arrow tick ticks it way around the wheel and finally lands on SECRET ITEM. A hidden door slides open and a mysterious object falls out right onto ACE’s head with a thud.)
PENNY: Oh no, Ace! What is that?
NEIL (slowly smiling): My, my, my.
ACE (scrambling to his feet): This is-is... is this what I think it is?
PENNY: It is! A Shadow paint brush!
NEIL: The Black Pteri was right, Ace. (He chuckles) A shadow did fall upon you today.
PENNY: There was nothing to worry about after all!
ACE (unexcited): Right... I guess so...
PENNY: This works out perfectly, Ace. An evil shadow wasn’t ever going to swallow you whole like you thought! You got a shadow paint brush! That’s good!
ACE (glumly): It was a pretty lackluster adventure, I must admit.
NEIL: Only you would find something bad about winning a paint brush. Hand it over if you don’t want it.
ACE (clutches it to his chest): No way! I think I’ll sell it!
PENNY (sarcastically): Well, there’s a stroke of pure genius. Sell a paint brush! What an idea!
ACE: It’s to pay for avatar items! You do know I love avatars, right? Because I do, Pen. Very much so.
PENNY (dryly): No! I would never have guessed, what with you avatars dripping off your walls!
NEIL (to ACE): You know how she gets when she doesn’t get enough sleep... like when-
(LAVA GHOUL enters Stage Left.)
OFFSTAGE NARRATOR: Something Has Happened! The Lava Ghoul floats on this page and looks at you menacingly! I think you were lucky this time...
(The LAVA GHOUL glowers at ACE for a few long moments, his eerie glow lighting up the surroundings even more than the Stream-of-Light-drenched Aisha had and his heat rolling off his flames like waves. The trio of neopets stands frozen to the spot in fear.)
(LAVA GHOUL exits Stage Right.)
LIGHT FAERIE (to ACE): And here I thought white pets couldn’t get any paler. All the blood has drained from your face!
ACE (frightened): Light d-d-doesn’t seem all th-th-that nice all of a sudden!
NEIL: I s-s-see what you mean! Th-That Lava Ghoul...
PENNY (pouting): I want to go home!
ACE: Hurry! Before it gets light out!
NEIL: Yes, let’s! I’d rather face Count von Roo after a rather unfortunate incident with a pricker bush than see that Lava Ghoul at us again!
ACE (he blanches): Like they said, next time we may not be so lucky!
(ACE, NEIL and PENNY exit Stage Left, happy for the now comforting shadows which slowly wrapped up the neo trio in the velvety night as they rushed deeper into the darkness. Each of them returned to their respective neohomes, flicking off the lamps, lying down and basking in the quiet shadows.)
OFFSTAGE NARRATOR: And so, ACE. NEIL and PENNY found out that darkness really isn’t so bad. Isn’t it touching?
THE END! Thanks for reading!