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18+ Mature Content

Extract: Messenger

by Tenyo


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for mature content.

(Background: After his brother was publicly executed for declaring his love to the princess during the ceremony of her arranged marriage to the prince (now king) Artemis, the orphan Moru set out on a quest for revenge and by playing the loyal fool he has worked his way up to the role of hand-servant to Artemis' younger brother.)

(Moru and Artemis are in the kings dressing room. There is a full length faux mirror, a fabric screen, and a wardrobe next to a sofa with a set of clothes laid out over it. Artemis stands in front of the mirror and starts taking off his outer robes.)

Artemis: I heard you have a fondness for my wife and brother.

Moru: That I have your majesty. For a beautiful woman and a wise young man. You should be proud.

Artemis: Most. Don't blush boy, surely you've seen another man's torso before.

Moru: The charred and scarred skin of farmers and smiths, maybe. I'm impressed.

Artemis: All to please a pretty lady. He moves to where his clothes are laid out and turns to Moru expectantly. Moru hurries to his side and carefully lifts the clean shirt. What about you boy, do you have a young girl of your own?

Moru: I have only my duty sir.

Artemis: And what is that?

Moru, forces a smile: Whatever is asked of me. He starts to do up the buttons of Artemis' shirt, but keeps his head turned away from him.

Artemis, smirking: Are you really satisfied with that?

Moru: I'm satisfied with every deed I do that pleases my master, who today seems to be you, your majesty.

Artemis: And you would do anything to please me, boy?

Moru, hesitates: Anything, your majesty.

Artemis, raises a hand to Moru's cheek. A daring thing to say.

Moru, flinches. He's been backed against the wardrobe and bumps into it: Your wife is still waiting for you, your majesty.

Artemis slides his hands down Moru's chest: She will wait longer.

Artemis continues his advances, moving closer to Moru in a sexual and aggressive manner. Moru loses his fake composure and has nowhere to escape.

Artemis: You pretend you're not scared, but inside you're shaking. I can see it in your eyes; their blue betrays you. Just like it betrayed your brother.

Maru: What?

Artemis: Don't act so surprised- you're hardly the most inconspicuous looking creature. My wife tells me that even in your homeland those eyes of yours are foreign.

Maru: If you knew all along, then why keep me around? Why not have my head like you did my brother!

Artemis: Because you're debted to us now. If you leave, you'll be deemed a traitor, and all who conspire with you. Your Uncle, Denzel, Sofia. Who knows what charges might be brought upon them?

Maru: Why are you doing this?

Artemis: Haven't you figured it out yet? Sofia is my wife. She came to this country as my fiance. Then your brother stole her heart from me, left her like a beautiful, empty box. No matter what I do she will never love me. He took from me the thing I loved, and he defiled her and left her to weep for the rest of her days. He leans in closer to speak quietly into Maru's ear. Revenge is a mind possessing thing, isn't it. (A tear runs down Maru's cheek. He tries to move but Artemis pushes him back against the wardrobe and lifts his chin so that their faces are almost touching.) Mark my words; these won't be the only tears you'll cry at your brothers expense, my little blue eyed friend.

Maru: whimpers in Vriasian: Lavi, sana lavi.

(Artemis lifts his hand to run his fingers through Maru's hair, then takes hold and slams his head against the wardrobe with a loud bang. Maru drops straight to the floor.)

Artemis: My brother should know better than to let wasteland rats into the palace.

(Artemis sweeps up his jacket and walks across the stage towards the right exit. Maru clambers to his feet. He's crying and stumbling as he tries to follow towards the exit, but vomits on the floor and after a few more steps he falls to his knees and bends over, crying.)


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Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:36 am
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Morrigan wrote a review...



Hi Tenyo!

This hooked me. I really like what you did here. The situation is tense and has a nice, terrible little ending.

However, I feel like I need more of a context about the characters, especially regarding their relationships. I felt a little lost. Also, the audience isn't going to have that background paragraph up at the top, so I'd maybe add a scene about the brother's execution or something. I think it would be lovely to start with the wedding, and also have the execution at the wedding. As a traditional comedy ends with a wedding, it would be great to have this tragedy start with one.

I've never really seen a fantasy play done before. It seems like it would be a difficult genre, as there isn't much opportunity for worldbuilding within dialogue. I think you could add a little more about the foreign land that Artemis mentions in there.

I was a little confused about the predatory way that Artemis advances on Maru. I wasn't confused about that, but rather that there was no follow up. That kind of intimidation is extremely effective, and I feel like the king would have taken it a little farther than just pushing him against the wall. I had a nice image of the king holding his face and kind of breathing on his neck. That would be nice and creepy.

Make sure you're putting parentheses around all the stage directions, not just the ones in between the lines.

Altogether, I enjoyed this. Nice job. If you decide to develop this further, let me know! Happy writing!




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Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:18 am
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Elinor wrote a review...



Hey Tenyo!

I really enjoyed this. Is this supposed to be a stage play? If so, I like it. The conflict that your characters face is interesting, and this specific excerpt does its job of drawing me into the world of the story. I'm already imagining not just the actors but also the art department having a blast with bringing this particular story to life. It's certainly vivid in a visual sense, and I hope that you eventually decide to post more of this.

I would like to see more world building, but I don't know how much of that is in the rest of the story. I do get the sense that you have a good handle on the world that your characters are living in, but I don't get a sense of it myself. On top of that, the dialogue felt a little bit stilted to me. I can't imagine actors saying those sorts of line with a straight face, and while that kind of thing can work, it doesn't mean it works for something that's meant to be performed. I'd also like to see the relationship between Artemis and Maru be a little more clearly defined. Right now I don't really feel like I get much a sense of who the characters are and what their motivations are. Artemis (confusing name, by the way, since Artemis is a female in greek mythology, but up to you) is clearly a menacing figure, but he almost feels cartoonish to me. I feel like it could work, but it could also go wrong. I like Maru, but I'm not sure what his motivation is.

But this is really good, and if you do post more give me a shout! Best of luck!





Writing is my soul made tangible on paper.
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