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Characters: King Christopher, Prince Richard, Prince Robert, Sir Gavin (knight), Ida (matron), Gwendolyn (former lady-in-waiting)
(Scene begins with RICHARD sitting at the breakfast table reading from the large Bible in the Great Hall. At the same time, SIR GAVIN enters from the rear of the auditorium and proceeds toward the stage, en route to the front door of the castle. When he starts up the stage steps, he begins to speak to the audience.)
SIR GAVIN: (to the audience) Well, it sure has been an interesting week, hasn’t it? It started off with the Princes up to their usual immaturity and then The Evil Queen Morinda paid us a visit and almost succeeded in overthrowing the kingdom. I was really surprised how the Princes reacted in the face of danger, weren’t you? I’ve had my doubts about them all along, but now it looks like real change is taking place. Just look over there (as he points to RICHARD) Prince Richard is actually reading the Bible!
(ROBERT enters and sits down. Then IDA enters with their breakfast.)
IDA: Good morning, boys.
PRINCE ROBERT: (very pleasant) Morning.
PRINCE RICHARD: (sincere, as he closes the Bible and turns his attention to IDA) Good morning, Ida. And how did you sleep last night?
IDA: (surprised by his kindness) Uh . . . better than . . . usual . . . thank you.
PRINCE RICHARD: That’s good . . . I’m glad to hear it. (notices ROBERT eating his porridge) Hey, Robert . . . shouldn’t we pray first?
PRINCE ROBERT: (with his mouth full) Oh . . . right. (he promptly spits his food back into his bowl, then apologizes for his bad manners) Sorry.
PRINCE RICHARD: Dear Heavenly Father . . . thank you for this food. May we receive it humbly . . . realizing that everything we have is from You.
PRINCE ROBERT: And Lord, I just want to thank you for not giving up on us. I know we haven’t been living like we should. And thank you for Ida, and Sir Gavin, and our father, the king, but mostly for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
IDA: (amazed) Amen. Wow . . . that was . . . really nice.
PRINCE RICHARD: Mmmm . . . the porridge is especially good this morning, isn’t it Robert?
PRINCE ROBERT: Yes! My compliments to the chef!
IDA: (puzzled by all the kindness) Well . . . I’ll . . . tell Brom that you like it.
PRINCE RICHARD: Yes . . . please do that. And thank you for serving us, Ida. I know we don’t tell you enough how much we appreciate all you do for us.
PRINCE ROBERT: That’s right . . . thank you for everything!
PRINCE RICHARD: Now, is there anything we can do for you?
IDA: (skeptical) All right, that’s it. What’s going on?
PRINCE ROBERT: What do you mean?
IDA: Well . . . you may LOOK like Richard and Robert. You may SOUND like Richard and Robert. You may even . . . (as she sniffs them) SMELL like Richard and Robert. But the problem is . . . you don’t ACT like Richard and Robert. So . . . you’re not leaving this room until you tell me what you’ve done with them!
(SIR GAVIN rings the castle doorbell [sfx].)
PRINCE ROBERT: Oh . . . that’s Sir Gavin.
(The PRINCES both get up from the table, quickly cleaning up as they go.)
PRINCE RICHARD: Sorry, Ida, but we’ve got to go. We don’t want to keep him waiting. Can you please tell him that we’ll meet him in the chapel? Thank you so much.
PRINCE ROBERT: Yes . . . thank you!
(The PRINCES exit the Great Hall.)
IDA: (to herself) This has got to be a dream or something.
(As IDA leaves to answer the castle door, SIR GAVIN turns back to the audience. Then IDA emerges from the front door while SIR GAVIN is still talking to the audience.)
SIR GAVIN: (to the audience) Sorry I had to interrupt their breakfast, but we need to keep things moving along. See what I mean, though? The change in those two has been nothing short of remarkable!
IDA: (rolls her eyes) Oh no . . . don’t tell me you’re talking to those imaginary people again.
SIR GAVIN: Well . . . uh . . . yes . . . I mean . . . no. They’re not imaginary. I can assure you.
IDA: (with a skeptical look) Uh huh . . . well, you can go on in. The princes are waiting for you in the chapel . . . if you can believe that.
SIR GAVIN: Thank you, Ida.
IDA: (to herself) Either he’s losing it or I am.
(IDA grabs a broom and heads out into the courtyard to sweep, while GWENDOLYN enters from the rear of the auditorium and proceeds cautiously down the center aisle toward the castle. When she gets near the front of the stage she ducks down to hide. Although she’s heard that SIR GAVIN and the PRINCES have returned, she’s not sure what has happened to MORINDA, and if the castle is safe. Then, she tries to get IDA’S attention.)
GWENDOLYN: Pssst! Pssst!
(IDA stops abruptly to listen.)
GWENDOLYN: (loud whisper) Ida! Over here!
IDA: Gwendolyn? What are you doing here?
GWENDOLYN: Is it safe?
IDA: Is what safe?
GWENDOLYN: Is the Queen still there?
IDA: Are you kidding? She’s probably all the way to China by now.
GWENDOLYN: (hopeful) Really?
IDA: Yeah . . . which is where you should be, if you know what’s good for you!
GWENDOLYN: But I want to stay here.
IDA: Stay here? You don’t understand, sweetheart. You see, Sir Gavin figured out that your precious “Queen Linda” was really The Evil Queen Morinda. Of course, I suspected something all along . . . but, no one listens to me. (short pause) Anyway . . . the fact that you were her lady-in-waiting doesn’t exactly make you welcome around here.
GWENDOLYN: But I’m not her lady-in-waiting any more. I quit.
(KING CHRISTOPHER, wearing a hooded cloak, approaches the castle from the side and hides near the dragon chamber.)
IDA: Still . . . I suggest you leave before Sir Gavin or the Princes see you.
GWENDOLYN: But I don’t want to leave. I’ve changed. Really, I have! You’ve got to believe me! I’m ashamed of what I was, but now I just want to serve a good king! King Christopher is good, isn’t he?
IDA: Well, of course, he’s good.
(KING CHRISTOPHER clears his throat loudly.)
IDA: (hearing the noise, she freezes, then speaks in a loud whisper) What was that?!
GWENDOLYN: What was what?
IDA: (loud whisper) I heard someone. Quick! Grab that stick!
GWENDOLYN: (she picks up a twig that’s laying on the ground) This one?
IDA: (loud whisper) Yes . . . give it to me. (she holds up the twig and then calls out) All right, who’s there? Just so you know . . . I’ve got a stick, and . . . I’m not afraid to use it!
KING CHRISTOPHER: (as he steps out into the open) It looks more like a twig to me. It’s okay, Ida. You can put it down. (as he lowers his hood)
IDA: Your Majesty!
(IDA bows. Then GWENDOLYN bows, staying down until she’s introduced by IDA.)
IDA: Oh, your Majesty, forgive me . . . I didn’t know it was you. We’ve been so longing for your return! (seeing that GWENDOLYN is still bowing) Oh . . . uh . . . this is Gwendolyn. She was just leaving.
KING CHRISTOPHER: Hello, Gwendolyn. I am King Christopher. Welcome to King’s Manor.
GWENDOLYN: Thank you, Your Highness (as she bows again).
KING CHRISTOPHER: I didn’t mean to frighten you. But after being away for so long, I felt it wise to approach cautiously. These are treacherous times, you know.
IDA: Yes, Sire . . . they certainly are. Even more than you realize, I’m afraid.
KING CHRISTOPHER: (concerned) Why do you say that? Did something happen while I was away?
(SIR GAVIN emerges from the front door of the castle.)
IDA: (hesitates to share the news) Uh . . . well . . . .
SIR GAVIN: (interrupts) Sire! I’m so glad you’ve returned! (as he bows to the king)
KING CHRISTOPHER: Rise, Sir Gavin. Tell me . . . what happened while I was away?
SIR GAVIN: My lord . . . The Evil Queen Morinda was here.
KING CHRISTOPHER: (shocked) What?!
SIR GAVIN: She was informed of your absence, somehow, and used it as an opportunity to take the throne. But, she failed, of course.
KING CHRISTOPHER: Inconceivable! (anxious) Is everyone all right?
SIR GAVIN: Rest assured . . . everyone is fine.
KING CHRISTOPHER: Good. (regret) I knew it was a risk for me to be away . . . it just proves the fact that you can’t let your guard down. (pause) So, where is she now?
SIR GAVIN: We’re pretty sure she’s left the area.
IDA: (interrupts the conversation) Ha!! I should say so! I saw the whole thing. Flame scared the stuffing out of her and she took off like a shot! (FLAME grunts [sfx] then she slaps the king on the shoulder) You really should have been there! (realizing she got carried away, she apologizes) Uh . . . (clears her throat) . . . excuse me . . . Sire.
KING CHRISTOPHER: (thinking) Hmmm . . . I’m afraid to ask, but, uh . . . how did Richard and Robert fare?
SIR GAVIN: Well, believe it or not, by the time I arrived on the scene, they had already defeated four of her henchmen. You would have been so proud.
KING CHRISTOPHER: (astounded) My . . . sons??
SIR GAVIN: Yes, Sire. Your sons. You know, if you had returned even two days earlier I would have said that this little experiment was a failure. But, this incident has caused them to finally wake up and take life more seriously. God has done an amazing work in their hearts.
KING CHRISTOPHER: (grateful) Gavin, I tell you . . . I’ve never prayed so much for something in my life! I am forever in your debt, my friend.
SIR GAVIN: Give the glory to God, Sire. We’ve both been praying for this moment.
KING CHRISTOPHER: Well put, Sir Knight! To God be the glory! (pause) So, where are the Princes? I want to see them.
SIR GAVIN: If you’ll come into the Great Hall, I’ll send them to you.
(SIR GAVIN enters the front of the castle to fetch the PRINCES. He’s followed by KING CHRISTOPHER who proceeds to the Great Hall. Then IDA starts to follow, when GWENDOLYN calls out to her.)
IDA: What is it?
GWENDOLYN: I’d really like to stay. I know King Christopher will believe me. I just know it.
IDA: Well . . . okay. But don’t blame me if they lock you in the dungeon.
(IDA and GWENDOLYN enter the castle on their way to the Great Hall. Then the PRINCES barge in to the Great Hall to greet their father. KING CHRISTOPHER turns around, and they kneel in respect.)
KING CHRISTOPHER: (emotional) Rise, my sons. (then he embraces them)
PRINCE RICHARD: Oh, Father . . . we’re so sorry. Our behavior has been inexcusable!
PRINCE ROBERT: Will you forgive us?
KING CHRISTOPHER: I have so longed for this moment. (short pause) Of course, I forgive you. You’re my sons.
PRINCE ROBERT: Did they tell you what happened?
KING CHRISTOPHER: You mean about Morinda? Yes, Robert. And I’m sorry that I was away. But, now, do you realize how important it is to stay alert? Our Enemy is very sly.
PRINCE ROBERT: We do, Father.
PRINCE RICHARD: And we also realize there’s more to life than just seeking our own pleasure all the time.
PRINCE ROBERT: Now we just want to serve God with everything we’ve got!
KING CHRISTOPHER: Yes . . . because when the King of Kings returns to this earth someday, and you stand before Him, you’ll want to be confident and unashamed and hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (pause, then turns to SIR GAVIN) Sir Gavin, I know this may be a bit irregular, but I do believe they’re ready.
SIR GAVIN: Yes, Sire. (SIR GAVIN leaves the room.)
KING CHRISTOPHER: (as he’s waiting for SIR GAVIN to return) My sons . . . this service is a solemn occasion and one that I am very proud to perform. If you’ll stay where you are, Sir Gavin will return in a moment.
IDA: (dabbing her eyes) Oh, isn’t this wonderful! I just love happy endings!
(SIR GAVIN returns with two capes and two Bibles. He hands the Bibles to KING CHRISTOPHER.)
KING CHRISTOPHER: My sons . . . I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Therefore, it is my honor to present each of you with your own copy of the Scriptures. (as he hands a Bible to RICHARD and then to ROBERT) Read it, study it, and most importantly . . . obey it.
PRINCE ROBERT: (surprised) Thank you, Father! I will cherish it always.
PRINCE RICHARD: As will I, Father.
KING CHRISTOPHER: Just remember what someone once told me, “The Bible will keep you from sin . . . or sin will keep you from the Bible.”
(KING CHRISTOPHER opens a small scroll from which he reads an oath to the PRINCES.)
KING CHRISTOPHER: Kneel, sons of the king.
(PRINCES kneel while KING CHRISTOPHER reads the oath, and SIR GAVIN presents capes and ties them over their shoulders.)
KING CHRISTOPHER: Now, Prince Richard and Prince Robert, having turned from your sins and joined the family of God, do you acknowledge the age-old battle between right and wrong, good and evil, truth and error? Do you, therefore, promise to guard your heart and your mind, to be self-controlled and alert, and to avoid every kind of evil? Do you promise to be careful how you live, making the most of every opportunity? And, finally, do you promise to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power, to put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes?
PRINCES: We do.
(KING CHRISTOPHER proceeds to dub them knights with his sword.)
KING CHRISTOPHER: By the power vested in me, I, King Christopher, king of this good land, do dub thee knights of King’s Manor and all its territories. Rise, Sir Richard and Sir Robert!
(The PRINCES rise and slowly turn to face the audience. Then IDA and GWENDOLYN applaud, causing everyone to begin clapping. Then the lights fade, and the last recorded audio segment of the king writing in his journal is heard.)
KING CHRISTOPHER: King’s journal, 15th day of September, in the Year of our Lord, 1451. Great evil came against the kingdom this week while I was away and my sons were preoccupied with selfish pursuits. But, by God’s grace, what was almost a disaster, He used to open their eyes to their folly. It is indeed true that God works all things together for good for those that love Him. He has now given me the desire of my heart . . . two sons who fear the Lord and want to do their best to serve Him.
(Then a slide appears on screen: “
Choose For Yourselves This
Day Whom You Will Serve.” Joshua 24:15)