(We open on the road to the castle again. It's dark and spooky. The full moon casts shadows over every tree and plant. It's now spring, and the trees rain petals when the wind blows across them.)
(A cart makes its way through the forest. Sally and Louie sit at the head of the cart. The other three girls are in back.)
Rachel: This road is kind of creepy.
Marsha: Kind of creepy? I thought it was springtime, not Halloween!
Sally: I'm sure we'll be there soon.
Jane: I hope so...
Louie: Me too. This is so scary. (There's a howl in the distance.) What's that?
Marsha: Calm down, Father! I'll bet it was somebody's dog.
Louie: Or maybe a (gulps) werewolf?
Sally: Father, there are no such things as werewolves.
Louie: I used to think there were no such things as giant ape-men and rabbit-men, too.
Sally: I don't think they're really animals. Those fairies have something over them. Probably something about the castle.
Marsha: I wonder what they really look like, then? Are they cute? You already said they were rich.
Sally: Well, as cute as they can be with quills and feathers and fur and cotton-tails. (Thoughtful) Terrence...the prince from my dream...said something about not trusting appearances, that appearances can be deceiving.
Rachel: Why would he say something like that?
Sally: I don't know. I do know that the boys aren't animals. I doubt they were born that way. Slip, too. (Frowns) And someone's been hurting Slip. He's shown up a couple of times almost literally black and blue. Last week, he came out in the morning barely able to walk.
Marsha: Poor guy! Who would do a thing like that to a nice ape?
Jane: How horrible!
Louie: How could someone beat up a guy - or gorilla - that size?
Sally: They could if they were holding something over him. (Growls) I'll bet it's those fairies. They know Slip and Chuck are brothers, and they're very close. They're probably using Chuck to... (thinks) ...to keep Slip under control. (Half to herself) Terrence said that, too. The prince from my dream. He said someone was holding him and his brother prisoner, and was using his brother to keep him hidden away.
Rachel: What a coincidence!
Jane: Maybe too coincidental...
Louie: You know, I think so, too. There's definitely somethin' going on here.
Sally: (Nods) I'm wondering... (But that's when the full moon comes out and reveals the castle dead ahead.) There it is.
Marsha: (Gasps) Wow!
Rachel: Oh my goodness!
(Louie just shudders.)
Sally: (Frowns as she stops the carriage) It's quiet. It's too quiet.
Louie: Good! That means there are no monsters that aren't your friends.
Sally: I think there's something wrong. (An owl hoots - Louie jumps into Rachel's arms.)
Louie: A monster!
Rachel: *Smiles* That was an owl, Father!
Louie: (He jumps down) Right. (Nods) It looks awfully dark in there.
Sally: (She tries to open the door...but it's locked) Damn it! Why would they lock the door? They're in the middle of the woods!
Marsha: Maybe they're busy?
Sally: We have to get in!
Rachel: We can't exactly break down the door.
Sally: We could try around back. There's service entrances in the kitchen.
Jane: It couldn't hurt.
Sally: Follow me. (She leads them all to the back of the castle. She pulls at a smaller, less auspicious wooden door. It opens.)
Louie: (Pokes his head in) Coast is clear. No monsters. Just good, solid kitchen furniture.
Sally: (She leads the group inside. Louie's right about the kitchen. It's a rather large room with a huge fireplace and a big fat stove. There's all kinds of vegetables, fruits, and herbs hanging from the ceiling. A big oak table and several chairs sits in the middle.) Hello? Boys? Slip? Sach? Chuck? Ladies? Anyone home?
Rachel: Surprising there's no one in here...
Marsha: Wow, there's enough food here to feed an army!
Mama: (She appears at this point. She wears a plain green gown with a lacy apron and matching cap. Louie grins, his eyes widening) Damn demons, eat everything in the castle. (A chair bumps up against her - she pats it) You're doin' what you can. Those demons are worse than Sach ever was!
Louie: That's the most attractive cat I've ever seen.
Mama: (Grins back at Louie, purring) You're not so bad yourself, short guy.
Sally: Mama! (She runs to her and hugs her)
Mama: Sally! Dear girl, we all thought you were never coming back!
Sally: Mama, I was only gone for a week. Just long enough to take care of my father. Slip knows that. He suggested it himself!
Mama: That's all Slip went on about all week, that he thought you wouldn't come back. Everyone else told him you'd never abandon us. (Grins at the girls...and Louie) And you brought such charming guests!
Sally: Where is everyone? Where's Slip, and all the boys?
Mama: (Let's out a hiss) They have him, Sally. Those...those witches came here two days ago. They took Slip and Chuck, and imprisoned the other three boys in the dungeon.
Sally: I have to rescue them!
Rachel: How awful!
Jane: Oh dear.
Mama: And she brought a whole army of demons with her! They're wrecking furniture with their noisy games and eating us out of castle and home!
Louie: (His eyes just about bug out of his head) D...d...dd...DEMONS!
Mama: I can't leave the kitchen. They'll suspect something's up. (She nods at the chairs) Take all the furniture you'll need. I do need for the table and utensils to stay here, but I can spare the chairs, the smaller tables, and some of the pots and pans I'm not using.
Sally: Well, all right... (But just as she's about to pick up a chair, the chairs all run over to the door and line up, like they're ready for a drill.)
Louie: That chair just moved.
Mama: Oh, they do that all the time. You should see what they're like when Butch blows reverie.
Sally: Well, then...march! (She points out the door. The chairs do, indeed, march. They're followed by numerous pots, pans, utensils, a cabinet, and three small tables.)
Louie: I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.
Marsha: We need to get our pots and pans to do that.
Mama: Sach, Whitey, and Butch are in the dungeon. That's all I know. (Makes a face) Be careful. The dungeon is heavily guarded by demons. They're big and strong, but they're also dumb as posts. You just have to avoid their fists and outsmart them.
Marsha: (Nods out the door) Shall we follow the army, girls?
Louie: (Takes Mama's hand) Are you sure you can't come with us?
Mama: (Shakes her head) I'm sorry. (She squeezes his hand) But I'll bake you a special cake for when you come back with the boys. How does lemon cake with chocolate icing sound?
Louie: (Grins) It sounds marvelous. (He kisses her hand.) I'll be back for you.
Sally: Father, if you're quite finished, we're on our way out.
Louie: Yes...I mean, I am. (He nods at Mama again, still smiling...and trips over one of the departing chairs as he leaves. We hear a crash in the hall, and then, off-camera) I'm fine! I'm just fine! I think I'll lay here and bleed to death for a while...
(Cut to the dungeon. It's the same dungeon set used in countless stories set in fantasy worlds or castles or manors. Sach, Whitey, and Butch sit behind one of the cells. Sach and Whitey are trying to saw through the bars with Whitey's quills, but Butch shakes his head.)
Butch: Guys, you've been trying for two days. It's just not gonna work.
Sach: Well, it might, if we could just saw harder!
Butch: I wish we knew what they did with Slip and Chuck.
Sach: Those bad fairies have them. It can't be anythin' good.
(Cut to the staircase above the dungeons. Sally, Marsha, and Jane come in first.)
Sally: (Points to the boys) There they are!
Whitey: I must be hearin' things. That sounded like Sally.
Sach: (Looks up; grins) It is! It's Sally! I knew she wouldn't leave us!
(But Sally makes "shh" noises, waving her hands. The room is guarded by three demons, with two more sitting at desks, throwing back issues of Cosmopolitan at each other.)
Sally: (Turns to the other two) We'll let the furniture in to distract them, then get the keys.
Marsha: I'd say moving furniture could distract just about anybody!
Louie: (He comes in riding a chair) Ride 'em cowboy! (Jumps off the chair as the line of furniture enters the dungeon, followed by Rachel) That was the most fun I've had in ages.
Sally: Goodness, you're frisky for a man who just got over illness, Father!
Louie: I feel frisky! I feel like I've had a new lease on life!
Marsha: (Points as the pots and pans sneak up behind the demons and hit them in the head) Look at them go!
Rachel: They sure look like they're having fun.
Sally: (The chairs scoop up demons and throw them out windows; a torch lights up and reveals the keys around the neck of one demon) We've gotta get those!
Louie: Why don't we let the furniture...
Sally: We're gonna help! (She runs downstairs, grabs one of the pots, and starts hitting demons in the head with it.)
Louie: Someone find the demon with those keys!
Butch: (He's eyeing Jane) Wow, look at that little one. She's so cute. I hope she isn't taken.
*Whitey sighs, staring at Marsha.*
Sally: I have an idea. Whitey, can we borrow some of your quills?
Whitey: *Snaps out of his haze, sort of* Hm?
Marsha: (She grins at Whitey) Thatís right! They come off! I read that somewhere! (She grins) And you're cute whether you have them or not.
Whitey: I am? *turns* Guys, she said I'm cute! *turns back to her* Take all the quills ya want!
Marsha: Thanks! (Pulls some off his back.)
Jane: (She runs over to Butch, breathless and grinning) Gosh, you're cute. You're the cutest dog I ever saw.
(Butch turns to Jane and hands her one of his bones.)
Butch: Here! Take a bone. Take many bones! They hurt when you bonk someone on the head with them. Just ask Sach.
Jane: Thank you! You're a sweetie!
Butch: She says I'm sweet!
Sach: What am I, chopped liver?
Whitey and Butch: Yes!
Marsha: (She sticks a demon in the back...then sees something flash against his neck) I think this is the one who has the keys!
Sally: (Grabs a knife that was poking a demon) I'll get those. (She cuts the leather rope with the keys on them from around the demon's neck as Jane hits him over the head with a heavy frying pan, knocking him out.)
Sally: Nice hit there, Jane.
Jane: *Grins* Thanks, Sally.
Sally: (Holds out the keys to her and Marsha) How'd you like to be the heroes and rescue your boys?
Marsha: Oooh, I've always wanted to be a hero!
Jane: Me, too! Come on! *They run over to the cell*
*The girls open the cell, letting the three guys out.*
Butch: (He blushes, taking Jane's hand) Ummm...thank you. You're cute, too.
Jane: You're welcome.
Marsha: I'd hug you, but you're prickly. So I'll do this instead! (Gives Whitey a great big kiss.)
Whitey: She kissed me! She kissed me!
Sally: (Laughs) See? You're not so horrible!
Louie: You really like them, don't you?
Marsha: (Grins at Whitey) Uh-huh.
Jane: *Sighs* Yeah...
Louie: Well, I suppose fathers have given their daughters to worse men than a porcupine and a dog.
Sally: (She looks around. There's plenty of splintered furniture...but there's also demons laying all over the place) I think we'd better get out of here. (She turns to the other guys) Do you know where they're holding Slip and Chuck?
Sach: We dunno. Probably Slip's rooms, I guess...
Whitey: They took us away first.
Sally: Or maybe the garden?
Sach: Let's try there first. You know Slip loves the garden. 'Sides, that's the last place they attacked us.
Sally: That makes sense. (She waves to the remaining furniture) Come on, everyone! We're going to save Chuck and Slip! (The furniture lines up again and marches out. The girls, boys, and Louie follow them.)
*We switch over to the garden. Zelda leans over a rose bush and picks a single flower, keeping the long stem intact. She walks toward a flowering tree, rotating the rose between her fingers, but being careful of the thorns. She smirks, stopping in front of the tree where we see Chuck tied to it.*
(Chuck growls, but can't say anything else. He's been gagged, and there's a collar and leash around his neck. )
Zelda: The rose is such a beautiful flower, isn't it? But under that beauty lurks danger. Those sharp thorns! Ever prick yourself on one of these? *Holds it in front of his face.*
(Chuck nods, but he turns his face away from the rose's thorns.)
Zelda: Thought so. *Moves the flower back in front of his face.*
(He shakes his head and turns away again.)
Zelda: *Chuckles and follows his face with the flower's stem, getting closer* Are you afraid of the thorns?
(He shakes his head...but still turns away.)
Zelda: No? Then why do you keep turning away? *Follows him again. This time, she touches the stem to his cheek, pricking it.*
(He winces as a pinprick of blood appears on his cheek.)
Zelda: Would you look at that? Clumsy me, I got too close! *Moves the stem down to the side of his neck and lightly drags it against his skin* Maybe I won't be so clumsy this time.
(He winces as she draws a small trickle of blood.)
Zelda: Oh drat, I did it again! Just call me clumsy. *Twirls the rose in her fingers again* You could simply agree to be my husband, and we can stop messing around like this. *She takes a hold of the leash and pulls on it slightly.*
(He shakes his head angrily and struggles against the leash and the ropes. )
Zelda: *Leans in close to his face* Stop being a rascally rabbit. You know you have no choice. You disagree, and Mother will do something to your brother. You don't want that.
(He frowns. No he doesn't want them to hurt Slip...but he doesn't want to marry her, either. He just shakes his head again.)
Zelda: You must choose. You can't have both.
*She gives the leash another tug.*
(He shakes his head and struggles harder, glaring at her. )
Zelda: You're being a naughty boy again! Looks like I need to tell Mother you still haven't learned to behave. You need to start thinking of your brother and not yourself.
(He frowns. He doesn't want her to hurt Slip, but he knows they're not really after them, just the kingdom and their magic.)
Zelda: It's too late. You've already been naughty. I have to tell Mother. You brought this on yourself. You think about what you've done to your brother. *walks away, smirking*
(Chuck shakes his head angrily and struggles, but to no avail. We fade out on him trying to break free of the ropes binding him to the tree.)
(Cut to Slip's rooms. He lays on his bed, now wearing a collar and leash like the one Chuck had. He's unconscious...and black and blue. Sheila emerges in a filmy black robe and her wings, smirking. She tugs on his leash.)
Sheila: Awaken, my pet.
*Slip groans first, then his eyes open. He winces and lets out a long moan.*
Sheila: (Slides next to him on the bed) I'm sorry I was so rough with you. I had to teach you a lesson.
Slip: No, you ain't sorry. Why don'tcha just finish me off and get it over wit'?
Sheila: (Strokes his head) Finish off my pet? Why would I do that? You're too much fun to play with.
Slip: I want Sally, not you.
Sheila: But she won't be coming back.
Slip: Sally...she liked me...why won't she come back?
Sheila: Perhaps she doesn't like you as much as you think. What would a lovely girl like her see in an overgrown ape with a nasty temper?
Slip: Dunno. She's too good for me. *groans* I'm gonna be like this forever!
Sheila: Not if you, your brothers, and your court marry my daughters and me.
Slip: It's still forever!
Sheila: (Runs her hands over his chest) I don't think being married to a fairy would be that horrible.
Slip: *Whacks at her hands* Ain't it bad enough I'm a walkin' bruise?
Sheila: You don't seem to understand your position. If you marry me, I'll return you, your brother, and your friends to their human forms. If you don't...well, I suspect your brother's delicate skin bruises very easily.
Slip: Don't touch 'im! *Tries to push himself up* You stay off him!
Sheila: (Strokes his face) I won't touch him. Zelda, on the other hand, is quite fond of him.
Slip: She needs to stay off 'im and you off me!
Sheila: (She continues to stroke him) Why don't you calm down, my pretty pet?
Slip: *Tries to pull away and get up* Why should I? *He smacks her hands away.*
Sheila: Because you belong to me. (She picks up her wand and waves it over him.) Don't forget what I can do to you.
Slip: *Tries to fight against it, but he's forced back down* I don't belong to you!
*He manages to reach down to the floor where a partially broken vase lays. He quickly throws it, sailing past her head.*
Sheila: (Slaps his cheek) Stop that! That was rude, not to mention childish.
Slip: *Winces* No! *He tries to reach for something else to toss at Sheila. He comes up with a candlestick this time and throws it.*
Sheila: (Manages to duck it) Do you want me to bind you?
*Slip responds by throwing a metal cup.*
(Sheila runs her wand over him. There's a black light, and he's now bound with stout rope from head to toe.)
*Slip struggles, fuming.*
Sheila: (Smirks, running her wand up and down his body) Relax, my pet. Just relax. You belong to me now. Your Sally will never be returning to you.
Slip: *A short sob escapes* No!
Sheila: (She runs her fingers down his neck, pressing hard into it) Make no mistake, little prince, I'm going to have you for my bridegroom...and your kingdom will be mine.
Slip: Over my dead body!
Sheila: (Yanks at the fur on his head and pulls hard) That can be arranged! I don't just have your brother, you know. I can order my demon daughters to kill your three friends in the dungeon...or do worse things to them.
Slip: *Winces, his eyes watering* Not them! Leave 'em alone!
Sheila: The little porcupine and the eagle are innocents, and the dog is barely more than a pup. (Smirks) They wouldn't be when my girls get through with them. They're quite...lively.
Slip: No, they don't deserve it. I lost Sally. What've I got to live for?
Sheila: Me. (She pulls him closer to her)
Slip: *Tries to wiggle away* No...I can't!
Sheila: Yes, you can. (She tugs on his leash, pulling him even closer.)
Slip: I just want Sally.
Sheila: You'll never have her...and why would she want you, a fat little gorilla?
Slip: I know...I...I'll be...I'll be yours...
Sheila: (Smirks) That's a good boy. (She runs her wand over him again.) Now you'll be mine forever.
Sheila: That's right. (We fade out on her smirking and stroking the back of his neck while he sobs helplessly.