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THE SCRIPT page 2
(The music from Scooby Doo plays as HAL and BUBS disappear as a large cloud of smoke fills the cemetery. Mist and fog covers the ground as the “Prelude” from Sweeney Todd plays. The two BEST MEN dressed in long hooded black robes, enter from behind the audience and cross up the center aisle. They stand before the mausoleum. One of them pounds on the mausoleum door. It sounds heavy, hollow and metallic. ROD SERLING enters on the side of the mausoleum in the graveyard)
ROD SERLINGTonight's wedding is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. This, as you may recognize, is a graveyard; abandoned long ago to the ghosts that haunt the decaying stones and withered flowers of the once manicured lawn. At the center of this graveyard is the unmarked mausoleum you see before you. And the two hooded creatures who entered the mausoleum are the Best Men in a most bizarre ceremony. Why anyone would chose to hold a wedding on such a desolate night in such a disturbing place many people cannot fathom. But to those who know our protagonists well, there is no other place two twisted and depraved souls could more completely combine. In just a few moments the doors to the crypt will creak open and we will be invited inside where a dark and gloomy groom awaits his beautiful, gothic bride. For us it is a doorway into a creepy, disconcerting sepulcher. To Jonathan and Stephanie, it is a doorway to another world. However, as they will soon learn, this door only opens one way, and will only lead them … to the twilight years.
(The end of the “Twilight Zone Theme” plays as ROD SERLING exits behind the mausoleum. The mausoleum splits down the center and the BEST MEN open it like a pair of doors until the walls flatten out as a background. Inside is an altar. A FIGURE is sitting in an electric chair in the corner. The BEST MEN go to switches on the wall. One of them throws the switch and lights come on inside the mausoleum; glowing, eerie, haunting lights. The second BEST MAN throws his switch and there is a buzzing electrical sound and the figure in the electric chair shakes and vibrates as bright lights flash on and off. The BEST MAN drops his switch and the figure slumps over in the chair. A moment later he rises and crosses to the altar. When he touches it, the front of it lights up, illuminating his face. The figure is UNCLE FESTER)
UNCLE FESTERDearly beloved, friends, family, work related acquaintances, demons, imps, trolls, sprites, faeries and nymphs, good evening. We have gathered together tonight to celebrate the marriage of Stephanie and Jonathan, or as they are known in many circles, the Bitch and the Bastard. Many of us never thought we would see the day … consequently, the ceremony is wisely taking place at night. You are here tonight because you have shared, in some way, in the lives of Stephanie and Jonathan and have been invited to share in the celebration of their love and commitment. Many of you are here to witness their love. The rest of you are here merely to see them committed. But each of you represents, symbolically, all the people in the world who will be touched by this couple as they face life together. Those of you near the center of the aisle may get touched more than others and those of you in the front row might get downright fondled. All of you represent their family and friends not only in the present moment but forever. They are grateful you are here to celebrate their love. As we summon the groom and the bride to the altar I would like you to remember the immortal poetry of Alice Cooper, who wrote: “Welcome to my nightmare; I think you’re gonna like it; I think you’re gonna feel like you belong.”
(The “Theme from the Dick VanDyke Show” music plays as the GROOM enters. The music fades out as UNCLE FESTER welcomes him to the altar)
UNCLE FESTERJonathan, this path to matrimony is stony and lined with traps. Should you stumble it will lead you to an unholy place. Should you pass the trials, there your bride awaits. To ensure safe passage and that you’ve been paying attention to this ceremony, so that your lives together will be watched over by the faeries, sprites and nymphs of the forest, and avoid the demons, ghouls and specters of the dark and evil netherworld, when thou giveth your vows to the bride you must recite the words: Clatto Verata Nicto.
GROOMClatto Verata Nicto. Okay.
UNCLE FESTERWell, repeat them.
GROOMClatto Verata Nicto.
GROOMI got it! I got it! I know your damn words, alright?
UNCLE FESTERAt every wedding the bride is the centerpiece of attention; she is the ray of light in the black heart of bachelorhood; she is the goddess of love. To encase her form in flesh of any kind is a vulgarity to her boundless beauty. Except for gay weddings, and then all that stuff applies to one of the guys. This isn’t a gay wedding, right? You’re sure there’s a bride?
GROOMYes, I’m sure there is a bride.
UNCLE FESTERUh-huh. We’ll see who comes down the aisle.
(The wedding march song begins to play. The wedding march song gets an eerie quality and becomes more gothic and disorienting. Lights begin to flicker and flash on the coffin and smoke pours out from behind it. There are bright flashes of light on the altar and two flash-pots explode near the coffin, sending up puffs of smoke. The BRIDE enters from the coffin in a white cloak. Suddenly, there is the sound of a record scratching and the music changes to Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation”. The BRIDE throws off the white cloak to reveal a gothic black and red dress. She dances up the aisle and takes her place beside the GROOM as the music fades out)
UNCLE FESTER (Cont.)We are here tonight, in this damned and desolate place, enduring sleep-deprivation, evading mosquito bites, shunning spider bites, circumventing fire-ant bites, and laying the groundwork for the absolute certainty of wicked hangovers because these two star-crossed lovers have decided to flaunt their love and join their lives. We are here to witness the public expression of the commitments they have already made to each other in private. Their private expressions will be available on the internet for downloading in the morning. You guys are in room 917, right? We are here because if there is hope for these two twisted, warped souls to find each other in the murk and the madness and the mayhem , then there is hope for all of us. But mostly, we are here for the sweet treats. If everyone will please open your songbooks to Hymn #1.
(SONG #1 – “THIS IS HALLOWEEN” from ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ – accompanied by video of the song projected over the mausoleum.)
UNCLE FESTERStephanie and Jonathan met on the internet on September 20th, 2002. After reading his profile and checking out his web-site she sent him an instant message. Suspecting something momentous was occurring, Jonathan’s cat, Ramses, dumped a glass of root beer into his keyboard, effectively ending their conversation. However, the next night, a new keyboard in use, they picked up their conversation where it had left off and quickly discovered a common passion for horror movies and ghost stories. They met in person for the first time behind Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom intending to ride the Haunted Mansion ride. She wore a green and gold striped shirt which he hated. He wore a maroon golf shirt from the Gap which everyone hated. Overcoming immense fashion obstacles, a romance quickly blossomed and despite Jonathan’s many protestations, they fell in love.
(READING #1 – Neptune’s Fairy (For Stephanie on her 30th Birthday) by Jonathan M. Vick. Read by Anne Clark)
For Stephanie on her 30th Birthday
The tempest has shattered my tiny schooner
And washed me upon a thousand hostile beaches.
I fight the natives, and curse the storm,
And hurl myself back into the sea.
The tempest never wavers, and the storm never breaks
And the hostile beaches seem infinite.
Yet, I am not embittered, I am not exhausted.
The tempest is my friend – though I never see the sun.
It is not always my ally; not always my enemy;
But the constant companion that guides my days.
The tempest is my life.
A few days ago, I washed upon another hostile beach,
Cold and wet and battered by the sea
Prepared to fight the natives and wade back into the surf.
But on this day, I felt another tempest coming from the West.
The air from this storm was warm and dry,
The water clean and clear.
As I lifted myself from the swale and the sand
The rains of this new storm hit me where I stood;
Washed me of my trials; wetted my parched lips;
Warmed me and coddled me and broke the clouds.
For a moment, I saw the sun.
The murk and the din of the heavy heart of this new tempest
Split open and a gust of breath rushed to my face.
And I saw another soul, tossed in her own tempest;
Washed up on the very same hostile beach.
My eyes teared with disbelief at this siren of the sea;
Neptune’s fairy, come to taunt me.
But this nymph, who had broken the clouds and brought the sun
Did not engage me in battle, as I had feared.
Indeed, when the natives attacked (as they always do)
She fought alongside me;
The strengths of our tempests working as one.
The natives fought fiercely, and at the end of the day
It was not clear who had won and who had lost.
But I found myself clinging to Neptune’s fairy;
I found her clutched to me
And with arms wrapped around one another
We threw ourselves into the sea
Burgeoning with anticipation of the next hostile beach;
Praying to empty skies that our embrace would hold
And we would wash upon the same sands together once more.
The tempest is still my friend – still my life.
It is not always my ally; not always my enemy.
But now I have seen the sun.
Indeed, it follows us, always at our backs
As we gulp and gasp for air in the swales of the ocean;
Neptune’s fairy and myself.
I look forward to the battles ahead;
I am overwhelmed with excitement in this tempestuous embrace.
I cannot remember if we won or last that battle
On the hostile shore of the beach that day.
All I recall is that beautiful storm that swept me away.
That beach will always be my favorite.
It is where I met Neptune’s fairy.
It is where she broke the clouds and showed me the sun.
I hope we will wash together on the same shore often.
In her embrace, I look forward to the tempests of tomorrow.
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