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"The Straight, the Light, the True"

Written by Daniel Williams, assisted by Bruce Warren, and Jeff Nyboer
(c) Copyright 1996 White Stone Productions

Characters

Sir Richard of Warrick
The Black Knight
Nymph

ACT ONE

A forest. A WHITE knight is walking on a path. admiring the sword in his hand. Glances at the woods to the right and left.

RICHARD: The woods are thick...and dark. (looks ahead) As a knight of the king's realm, my duty lies this way. The straight, the light, the true.

He hears giggles. Stops. Listens. He squints into the woods.

RICHARD: Halloo!!

A small lithe figure darts behind a tree.

RICHARD: A maiden? Out here? Such a thing is not normal.

The NYMPH pokes her head out. Then hides again.

RICHARD: Fair maiden! Those woods are dark and sinister. They are not a place for you. Show yourself.

The NYMPH pokes out again.

NYMPH: Oh, brave knight. These woods only appear dark to you.

RICHARD: Who are you?

NYMPH: An admirer. A humble admirer...of a brave handsome knight.

RICHARD: Why are you out here in the woods?

NYMPH darts from tree to tree.

NYMPH: Oh... do come closer... you are much too far away for us to make conversation.

RICHARD: I cannot. My duty is along this way. Come forward.

NYMPH: You needn't go far. Just come a little closer to me.

RICHARD: That would not be wise.

NYMPH: You have nothing to fear, you being of such noble stature. I will not harm you. I wish, merely, to converse in a more delicate manner. Surely you are not afraid...

RICHARD: No...I must stay on the path.

NYMPH: Oh, handsome one. I long to hold your hand.

RICHARD: Please... don't go! It dark and treacherous further on!

NYMPH: No. Once you are here, it is not dark. And you have nothing to fear from me.

RICHARD considers, looks at NYMPH, who beckons him further.

RICHARD: I will not stray far. I will keep the path always in sight. (he moves forward) It does appear lighter. Perhaps the young maid is correct. I have nothing to fear.

The NYMPH continues to move, enticing. She exits. RICHARD continues slowly, and exits after her.

ACT TWO

The NYMPH enters stage right, and goes behind a tree. She check over her shoulder to see if SIR RICHARD is following. She sees him (still off-stage) and moves a little further along. SIR RICHARD enters stage right, searching for the NYMPH. He moves around several trees and then spots her.

RICHARD: Slow down fair maiden

NYMPH beckons a bit.

RICHARD: Stay still. You said you wanted to talk.

NYMPH: We can.

RICHARD: You're playing with me.

NYMPH: Don't you like games?

RICHARD: (smiling) Some games. Do you have a name?

NYMPH: Maybe...

RICHARD: Tell me.

NYMPH: What is yours?

RICHARD: I am Sir Richard. They call me "The White Knight" I hail thee in the name of the Great King of whom I serve.

NYMPH: I, am called the maid of the woods.

RICHARD: You live here?

NYMPH: Oh, yes, brave knight. Isn't it wonderful?

They continues to move around trees, bantering with each other.

RICHARD: It is very pretty. Just as you said.

NYMPH: Yes. I told you. Only now do you believe me.

RICHARD: Yes... (hesitates) But there is something strange here...

NYMPH: There is nothing to fear, Sir Richard. There is no one here but me and these trees...

Then, the NYMPH moves behind a tree, beckoning again. RICHARD stops, as her demeanor changes slightly.

NYMPH Although things are not always what they appear to be... Come closer...

She is behind the tree, but doesnít emerge from the other side. Instead, the BLACK KNIGHT appears. It look as if the NYMPH has transformed herself into the BLACK KNIGHT

BLACK: Oh, how easily a fool is lured...

RICHARD: {stares, unable to believe his eyes}

BLACK: Deception is a two-way street. Now you will pay for your lack of insight.

BLACK charges, and RICHARD barely has time to pull out his sword - one slash over downward towards his head... Stumbles back in disbelief...

RICHARD: Who are you? {trembling in his voice}

BLACK: {mocking} An admirer... a humble admirer {mock bow} of a brave handsome knight! {short laugh} {Slash down the other side of RICHARD}

RICHARD: What do you want from me?

BLACK: Why, Richard, I want to hold your hand!! {mocking - to the audience} {big long laugh and then suddenly lunges out with another slash across the middle of RICHARD}

BLACK: What is the matter, WHITE KNIGHT, have you lost your way or is it cowardice that causes you to quake?

{BLACK bashes down RICHARDís sword as he attempts to volley a slice at BLACK. Richardís Sword is thrown to the ground at his side and BLACK runs in for the kill... Holds the point near to RICHARDís throat and then abruptly turns to the audience}

BLACK: Where exactly is that path of yours that you love so dearly? Is it over here? {looking away off the other direction from RICHARD. RICHARD lunges at this point to make a wild overhead slash at BLACK. BLACK easily counters the move}

BLACK: Now that is more like it!

{RICHARD is looking all the time for the pathway... quite distraught and disoriented at not being able to locate. RICHARD slashes out wildly at BLACKís belly and thrusts forward while BLACK is saying the previous lines}

BLACK: Come, come now Richard... even my most gentle maid could muster a greater challenge than that!!

{RICHARD - Overhead slash, side and other side knock-down by BLACK} BLACK: I have not even yet begun to perspire yet... shall we try again?

{RICHARD - wild rage straight shots overhead X 3 - pushing BLACK to the far corner of the stage}

BLACK: Well, I am finally tired of this cat and mouse thing...

{BLACK - OH, GOLF, Side, Belly Slash, and Thrust - RICHARD counters each move and bangs BLACKís sword to the ground on the last thrust - look of surprise on BLACKís face}

BLACK: Not a bad move... for a dying man...

{four scissor combo, head slash by RICHARD / Shoulder Roll by BLACK - they have changed sides on the stage - 1-2 combo OH - Back up to centre stage - RICHARD thrusts and BLACK counters by jumping out of the way and slashing the sword into the dirt much like the last move by RICHARD}

BLACK: And now, all good things must come to an end... and so you have come to yours!

{three raging blows straight down aimed at RICHARDís head, Head slice/Block/Lock swords and BLACK kicks RICHARD back to end the lock. RICHARD is on the ground in a total mercy position}

BLACK: You have trespassed on my land. You have no power here and...

{RICHARD breaks off in the middle of this and runs for it}

BLACK: RUN, COWARD!! There is no place for you to hide in my kingdom. I will find you soon enough!!

{BLACK runs offstage and exits}

ACT THREE

RICHARD enters, looks around, panic in his stance.

RICHARD: It's here, it has to be.

He looks behind a tree

RICHARD: I kept it in sight... I am positive. Oh, how could I be so easily tricked. I do not deserve to wear this righteous armor.

He continues looking, and almost accidentally, finds the path.

RICHARD: Here it is!! I'm saved. Such a thing to happen to me. What a fearful situation. But I should not have left. It is my fault that such a thing happened He disguised himself. He deceived me, and I didn't even realize, until it was too late. A knight must be ready for everything, not be lured away from the straight path by prattle and silly lies. (looks around) It is good to be back. It is safe. This is the king's realm, where there is protection.

RICHARD re-sheaths his sword and maintains a faithful guard position.

RICHARD: The king is very forgiving. I will ask for a demotion for my actions, but I know he will be merciful.

RICHARD stops again, and hears more giggling. He stops, and listens.

RICHARD: Again? I will not be tempted this time. Although it could be real nymph this time and not a deceiver. No. I have strayed once, I refuse to willingly do it again.

The giggling is heard once more. RICHARD merely ignores it. Then, slowly, from behind a tree, the BLACK KNIGHT appears. RICHARD doesn't see him at first, and when BLACK gets closer, RICHARD does take notice. They stand, facing each other.

BLACK: I said I would find you.

They continue to look at each other.

RICHARD: You are trespassing on the King's lands. Leave now or you will pay dearly.

BLACK: Who will make me pay this price? You? Have you forgotten our most recent encounter? I do recall having soundly routed a weak, pathetic excuse for a knight!! This same knight having run away in fear!!

RICHARD: This is your last warning... leave now or suffer the consequences.

BLACK I look forward to the challenge.

VOLLEY # 1 - BLACK strikes out with OHís aiming at the shoulder of RICHARD starting with RICHARDís left shoulder. RICHARD easily hops to the side blocking the downward blow. RICHARD is very confident in his actions. BLACK returns another blow aimed at the right shoulder this time and the same counter as before by RICHARD. This happens for five blows total with the fifth one being a complete miss by BLACK and RICHARD swatting him in the butt with the flat of the sword. BLACK, furious charges straight into RICHARD who side steps and smashes BLACKís sword down to the ground easily.

BLACK: You fight now, coward.

RICHARD: I have new strength.

BLACK: Is that so? You are still the same weakling that wandered off so easily..

RICHARD: Don't lie to me. You are aware of this strength. That's why you tremble.

BLACK: Strength?! Weakness, is what it is! My strength is stronger!!

RICHARD: My strength is the King's.

VOLLEY #2 - RICHARD goes on the attack now. He drives two criss-cross hits (above shoulder) and the third hit is a lockup and RICHARD pushes BLACK off causing him to lose his balance a little. He look worried and confused and angry! Two more criss-cross at the top again and then right side belly slice by RICHARD. BLACK smashes it back so that RICHARD swings his sword around in a full circle at waist height. BLACK blocks from a kneeling position and drives RICHARDís sword down. RICHARD now launches Golf Swing combo from second swing and BLACK barely defends and on the final thrust falls through and gets hit on the butt again. BLACK makes a weak single handed thrust and RICHARD easily bashes the sword down and rages overhead twice with the second being a double handed block on BLACKís part driving him to the ground. RICHARD moves in with the point of the blade.

RICHARD: Know this. The King stands behind all his Knights, no matter what. Also, these are the King's lands. You have no business or power here. Leave, or the King himself will deal with you.

BLACK hastily rise, and fear-stricken, races off.. RICHARD sheath his sword, his breathing deep. He look to where BLACK has vanished. Then satisfied, he looks around, and into the woods. He continues his walk.

RICHARD: I am a knight of the Kings' realm. My duty lies this way. The straight, the light, the true.

RICHARD walks on, and then off stage.

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