Unicorn City: The Baron and the Witch

I could use the “I’ve been real busy” excuse for why this blog has been so quiet, but it’s not quite right. The real reason is “I’ve been real busy on stuff that isn’t particularly conducive to posting.

Unicorn City is done, or at least the non-music part of it is. The trouble is, the non-music part of a musical isn’t generally extraordinarily good for excerpting.

There is one scene that I’m going to share here. It’s a meeting between the baron of Unicorn City and the town’s “wicked” witch. Enjoy.

BARON BRANGE is sitting in his throne room, watching (and being bored by) his JESTER’s juggling routine. WAJIDA appears behind BRANGE; the JESTER sees this first, and in terror drops his balls and runs off. BRANGE sees this and can guess who is behind him.

BRANGE

(Without looking up) What do you want, Wajida?

WAJIDA

Baron Brange. My lord. (She gives these words and her accompanying curtsey, with a detached sarcasm; she doesn’t recognize the Baron as his lord and she is more than her equal.)

BRANGE

(Still not looking at WAJIDA) What do you want, Wajida?

Possible Song: Coming Home, by Wajida, singing of how she wants to be able to return to Aathenar. It would be short and cut off by BRANGE.

WAJIDA

(Amused at having earned BRANGE’s annoyance.) The usual, My Lord. I humbly beg My Lord to permit me to return to the village of Aathenaar as a productive member of society. (She punctuates this with another, more elaborate, sarcastic curtsey.)

BRANGE

Wajida the Wicked Witch? Impossible!

WAJIDA

I’m not wicked, I’m just a witch. Why does everyone think I’m evil just because I took the advanced classes in school and learned the secrets of the universe?

BRANGE

You turned me into a ferret!

WAJIDA

I was sixteen, you broke my heart, and I overreacted. (beat) I changed you back.

BRANGE

After eight days! By which time I had found a colony of ferrets to live with. Then, poof! I’m human again. Stark naked and covered in rodents. I had to walk back to town with only a poison oak leaf to protect my modesty.

WAJIDA

And the trip is still immortalized on outhouse walls throughout the land. Can’t we let bygones be bygones?

BRANGE

I never let bygones go by gone go by… Look at it from my side. Do you know how valuable it is to have a wicked witch outside of town? Keeps the peasants terrified. Keeps them loving me, their mighty protector. (He growls in self-love.)

WAJIDA

They love a lie.

BRANGE

It’s not a lie, it’s politics. I am, first and foremost, a politician.

WAJIDA

You’re not a politician! You’re a baron! It’s a hereditary title! And you’re only a baron because you murdered your older brother.

BRANGE

My brother died in a terrible accident.

WAJIDA

You can’t call it an “accident” just because you cut off his head with an axe.

BRANGE

I’m the Baron. I can do whatever I want. For example…

BRANGE grabs a sign that’s resting against the wall. It reads “Welcome to Aathenaar”, but Aathenaar is crossed out and hand-painted over it is “Unicorn City.”

BRANGE

I’m changing the name of this two-bit town.

WAJIDA

“Aathenaar” has history! It’s the name given to this place by the ancient woodland sprites. It means “Valley where the single orchid struggles.”

BRANGE

Yeah? Well in the tongue of the ancient meadow nymphs “Unicorn City” means “Place where they have unicorns, so you should spend your money to come look at the unicorns.”  I’ll be rich!

WAJIDA

And your people will continue to be taxed to within an inch of their life.

BRANGE

Look around! I’ve only got one servant, a jester. He has to double as my guard, even though he’s a giant chicken. I need money.

WAJIDA

Why don’t you earn it by making the lives of your people better?

BRANGE

What would a wicked witch know about that?

WAJIDA

I daresay I’ve done more for this town than you and your unicorn stables have. I took care of that dragon that was eating the town’s cows and children. I give money to the orphanage, and the widow’s hospital, and I personally made new uniforms for the Aathenaar Maiden Scouts. And, you know, I’ve never even tasted one of their cookies? They’re all too afraid to knock on my cottage door to sell to me. And that’s a shame, because I love shortbread and peanut butter and mutton, so I think that the Lambalongs sound delicious.

BRANGE holds up a box of Lambalongs and grins evilly.

BRANGE

They’re yummy. (He eats a cookie, in as disgusting a manner as possible)

WAJIDA

You foul, evil little…

BRANGE

(Mocking) Temper, temper, wicked witch. You wouldn’t want to waste youw weputa… Reputation… (He clears his throat and starts again.) The decision to banish you from Unicorn City stands. Leave. Do not return. My jester slash guard will show you out.

JESTER

(from offstage, terrified) No I won’t!

WAJIDA

I know the way, My lord. But mark my words: (With ever-growing intensity) Aathenaar will know the treachery that you represent, and the people shall rise up against you just as flames rise to consume the mighty oak, and you shall wind up burnt and toppled!

BRANGE

(Affecting a bored demeanor.) Is that a spell? Because it’s terrible. I’d have expected a toad to appear or something.

WAJIDA

No need. There’s already one here.

WAJIDA turns and exits before BRANGE can respond.

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