"A Modern Medieval"

By Eugena

It is the beginning of a workweek in an enormous marketplace. In the center, attention focuses on a medium-sized trading post; this is an economical and social stand in the marketplace.

Hog emerges from beneath the booth's cloth. He is pursuing a Young Maiden. A sparkle is trailing behind her.

Hog: Come back here, Maiden!

Young Maiden: Oh! My dear, sparkling fairy, help me, please!

Fairy: Be free, free Maiden! (Flies sporadically around Hog's head.)

The Young Maiden ducks out of the booth.

Young Maiden: (Under breath) Oh, sweet prince, why didst thou ever leave me?

Hog: (Grabbing Fairy's hair to slow her down) Annoying pip! (Back to the Young Maiden) Now where is she?

The Young Maiden reaches a nearby garden of a castle. The sleepy Court Jester stops her. His jester hat is pulled down over his eyes.

Court Jester: Halt! Who goes there? (Pulls cap above his eyes) Oh, the Young Maiden of the Prince! (Smirks uncontrollably)

Young Maiden: He is not…err…was not my boyfriend.

Court Jester: But rumors flew about the court!

Young Maiden: (Curt) You shouldn't listen to rumors.

Court Jester: How can I make that frown (Smiles excessively, using his index fingers to pull at the corners of his mouth) turn upside-down?

Young Maiden: (Thinks for a minute.)

Hog: (Yelling from a distance, interrupting Young Maiden's thoughts) Oh, Maiden? Where for art thou?

Young Maiden: (Urgently) Save me from him!

Court Jester: (Raises eyebrow expectantly.) And in return?

Young Maiden: (Angered, removes scarf) Here (Gives scarf to him)

Court Jester: (Points to his left) Go to the castle wall.

Young Maiden: (Further angered) I knew where that was!

Court Jester: He wasn't your boyfriend?

Young Maiden: Whatever. (Leaves to the castle wall.)

Hog approaches the Court Jester.

Hog: Where is she?

Court Jester: Who?

Hog: My lovely betrothed.

Court Jester: (Caught off-guard by the last sentence) Err…never heard of her.

Hog: (Suspicious) Fine. (Leaves to Court Jester's right to go around castle.)

This is the area of the castle wall. The Young Maiden, not looking, runs into someone else, knocking both of them down and breaking her fine, golden necklace.

Young Maiden: Sorry, sir. (Discovers the broken necklace and begins crying.) Oh, my necklace!

Man: (Not looking up) I'm sorry. Shall I buy thee a new one?

Young Maiden: Oh, no, thank you sir, but this was given to my by my beloved. It is the only thing I have of him.

Man: (Looking up) Not necessarily.

Young Maiden: (Realizing) My prince! (Runs to embrace him, but falls short.)

Prince: What's wrong?

Young Maiden: (Crestfallen) I have failed you.

Prince: No, you haven't.

Young Maiden: You found me unsuitable. That is why you left me.

Prince: That was my shortcoming. Please, fair maiden, do not shun my apology; it is from the bottom of my heart. No other lady in the entire kingdom has a place in my heart as you. (Pleading) I adore even the mention of your name.

Prince gets up and helps the Young Maiden. At the same time, he pulls something out of his pocket, concealed in his hand.

Prince: I've been meaning to find you and give this to you. (Opens palm to reveal a finely-crafted gold ring.)

Hog: (Coming around the wall from the other side of the castle to witness the scene) No, she is mine!

Prince: (To the Young Maiden) Who is this?

Young Maiden: The blubbering fool who has been following me even closer since we broke up.

Prince: (To the "blubbering fool") You were following her before we broke up?

Hog: (Nervous, no reply.)

Prince: (Angered) That's it! No one touches my girlfriend!

Hog: (Afraid.)

Young Maiden: (Clears throat) Ahem! (Directs a stare to the Prince)

Prince: (Corrects himself) That is, I am sure she can take care of herself. (Looks at the Young Maiden, who is still staring) What I mean to say is no one touches my girlfriend who she does not like. (Looks again)

Young Maiden: (Smiles)

Prince: (Relieved. To Hog) Now, get out of my sight!

Hog: (Demanding) Wait just a minute here! What ever happened to the frog turning into a prince?

Young Maiden: (Grins) I have my prince.

The Young Maiden and the Prince smile together.

Hog: (Pleading) Or finding a person who is in love with me, of all people, when that person could have had the pick of the entire countryside?

Young Maiden: Been there, done that. I guess you have a lot of work to do.

Hog: (Sarcastic) Oh, just swell. Picture Perfect.

Prince: (Looking at his girlfriend.) Exactly.