Chalice And Prince

EXT: FORM CLASSROOM – MORNING

DIANA, 14, stands outside, nervous. She sings 'Don't Let Me Get Me' by P!nk.

DIANA V.O.

Made some mistakes

And paid greatly

The scratches on my face

Aren't from playing

I really fucked up

This time I'll keep my mouth shut

It's a fresh start

No more broken hearts

My parents told me that this school would try to help me

But can it save me from myself

I'm criminally dumb

Don't let me get me

I just ask for my beatings

I'm a masochist at heart

Pain's only fleeting

Sticks and stones will break my bones

And words are not enough

The media told me

Be who you are

But in the movies

It's not so hard

You don't get spat at

By your first love

Cos you kissed her

OK that was my bad

But can you blame me for falling for my best friend

Come on, it happens all the time

And I'm like everybody else

Don't let me get me

Trying to make my own decisions

And wind up ruining my life

Why do I need it

Sticks and stones will break my bones

And words are not enough

So can I turn over a new leaf in this place

Please God don't let me say a word

I'll try and stay out of trouble

Won't let me get me

Keep my head down, my eyes open

Locked in my own bubble

Just for the moment

Sticks and stones will break my bones

But words will have to be enough

She walks inside. The classroom is full of girls who look up as she enters.

TEACHER

Oh, we weren't expecting you until…class, this is, um…

DIANA

Diana.

TEACHER

Yes, of course. Class this is Diana. She's here all the way from, um…

DIANA

Just down the road.

TEACHER

Right, yes. Anyway, why don't you sit over there beside, um…

Diana follows the direction of her hand, stopping on ARTEMIS, 14, who has her legs up on the desk beside her. Diana stares at her, awestruck.

ARTEMIS

Missy. And she can't sit here; Mandy –

TEACHER

Could do with getting a bit of space from you, I'm sure. Diana, sit next to Artemis.

Reluctantly, Diana does. Artemis raises a hand in greeting and her sleeve slides up, revealing the scars of a cutter. Diana stares and Artemis quickly pulls the sleeve back up.

ARTEMIS

Collateral damage.

She holds out a fist.

I'm Missy. Artemis to my so-called superiors. What's your name?

DIANA (bumping it uncertainly)

Diana.

ARTEMIS

And what do people call you?

DIANA

Diana.

ARTEMIS

Seriously? Surname?

DIANA

Prince.

ARTEMIS

Right.

DIANA

Don't bother, I've heard it all before.

ARTEMIS

Oh, I doubt that. I can be very creative.

TEACHER

Artemis! Pay attention.

ARTEMIS

Aye aye, captain.

Diana giggles.

ARTEMIS

What the Hell are you laughing at, retard? (at Diana's face) I'm joking.

CATHY

It's OK Di, she's got kind of a twisted sense of humour. Missy, be nice.

ARTEMIS

I should have known you'd stick your big nose in. Di, this is Cathy.

CATHY

In case you didn't guess from her verbal abuse, we're friends.

ARTEMIS

And just who said we were friends? Quit confusing the new girl; she'll have a hard enough time as it is.

DIANA (slightly panicked)

Why do you say that?

Artemis taps the edge of Diana's glasses.

ARTEMIS

Take a wild guess, Four-Eyes.

CATHY

Pay no attention Di, glasses are cool.

ARTEMIS

There's no crying in baseball.

CATHY

What?

They were cool – until mainstream stopped being cool. Keep up with the times, Cathy. You know we can only be friends if you maintain some semblance of fashionable. Which reminds me: untuck your Goddamn shirt.

TEACHER

Artemis!

ARTEMIS

I got it, I got it. Can we go? We're late for Assembly.

TEACHER

Oh, um…yes, off you go.

The girls stream out of the classroom.

INT: MAIN HALL – MORNING

The HEAD stands on stage.

HEAD

Welcome back everyone. I trust you had a very productive summer? Good. And I'll bet my hat that you're looking forward to getting back to lessons. However I don't know if this term has gotten off to the best start already…I've heard some complaints from the locals that there was rather a row outside the gate this morning. Now I know you're all excited but this building is first and foremost a residence and must be treated as such. On a lighter note, the start of school means the start of the clubs! We have a number of presentations before morning lessons, but I must ask for you to hurry it up. Over to you, girls.

There is a notice about Gym Club, Anime Club, Creative Writing Club – and then MINNIE, 16, and LISSIE, 16, walk onstage.

ARTEMIS (whispering to Diana)

I can't stand these stupid dykes.

Diana stares at her hands.

MINNIE

Sup? For those of you who don't know us, we're the LGBT Society.

LISSIE

We've got a meeting today in the Black Box, 1:10, bring your lunch. Newbies welcome and regulars, always good to see you.

MINNIE

Thanks for your time.

They walk off and the Head takes the stage again.

HEAD

Dear me, look at the time…let's hurry it along girls. (hastily as everyone stands) Not all at once!

She starts decanting them row by row – but after the first three gives up and lets them all leave.