A Witchmas Coven - audiobook with transcript
Fairytale for a cancelled Xmas
SCENE 1 – STONSONS CASTLE - MIDDAY
(SOUNDSCAPE: WIND AND RAIN ON TILES, FIRE CRACKLING )
MUSIC: INTRO THEME--UP. ESTABLISH. FADE UNDER.
NARRATOR: It was yet another grey and grim Xmas Day in Sir Stonson’s Castle. This year, his drawing room contained but one piece of christmas décor: a red sock, which hung heavy from the mantelpiece, filled with dog treats. The dog in question perched in Stonson’s favourite armchair, half-glaring at the news
NEWSWOMAN: We’re sad to say this has been yet another dreadful winter.- Homelessness and crime has continued to rise, due to a fatal lack of proper housing. A report today can confirm 200 new cases of missing children nationwide. The government has failed to comment on the nature of these abductions, and opinions divide on whether to blame witches or aliens… As usual, there’s no need to pass on to Gary for the weather; it’s another week of storm, storm, storm.
STONSON: Always exaggerating, that woman! No, Betty... chin up, today is a very special day!
NARRATOR: Stonson was not referring to the birth of Jesus Christ. Rather, the date marks the 10-year anniversary of the Santa Roo trials, the court case against a drug-dealing kangaroo, which earned Stonson his knighthood. You see, in this world, ‘knight’ is not a word for courageous men in armor. Instead, it’s a title attributed to lawyers, like Stonson, as well as film stars, stockbrokers, businessmen… A well-known journalist would come by later in the day to get Stonson’s version of the historic event.
STONSON: A man and his dog – bringing law and order to chaotic times… We make quiet the team, don’t we Betty! – Now, do you think they’ll prefer red wine, or rose? I do wish the cook was here, I can’t really offer much in terms of refreshments…
BETTY: Woof! WOOF!
STONSON: Yes, yes, you’re quite right. Come on then!
SCENE 2 – OUTSIDE, LEAFY POSH NEIGHBOURHOOD
(SOUNDSCAPE: FOG, WIND AND RAIN)
MUSIC: INTERLUDE AND RAIN/WALKING STEPS.
STONSON: *scoffs* Warren is starting to go overboard with these Christmas decorations. I thought he’d spent enough this year on that third swimming pool… Doesn’t really make up for the ugliest decade in all of history, does it?
NARRATOR: Stonson and Betty were taking their regular route – a 20 minute walk around the leafy, gated community where they lived amongst mansions and ballrooms and bowling clubs. They went past the church, where, no doubt, all the Christians were hanging out on this grim and awful day
MUSIC: choir singing christmas hymns
STONSON: Poor bastards, believing God will save us! Bah! Silly children, aren’t they, Betty. No, as long as there’s criminals, trolls, witches and air pollution out there… what on earth is God gonna do about it?
SCENE 3 – OUTSIDE ON THE ROAD BY THE MOORS – EARLY AFTERNOON
NARRATOR: Betty stopped for her business at the far end of their route. The road trekked next to a gated fence, leading out on foggy moors. Stonson wasn’t superstitious, but the strange, and probably dangerous, wasteland put him a bit on edge.
STONSON: gah, these stupid doggy bags – impossible in gloves! - good gracious me – It’s too dark out here today – you wait up Betty -
*STONSONS PHONE RINGS*
STONSON: yes – uh, Hello? - Yes, this is sir Stonson.- Oh, hello! - Yes, Merry Christmas to you! - Yes, we’re all set on our end… 6 pm on the dot? Marvellous, I’m looking forward to it…
(MEANWHILE BETTY HAS SPOTTED COLE THE CAT, AND CHASES AFTER HIM)
STONSON: Oh, yes, there was one other thing – Do you prefer red or rose? - Jolly good. - I’m afraid I can’t offer anything more substantial, I gave my staff the day off you see… Yes, very well, we’ll see you soon!
STONSON: Alright, Betty, we’d better head straight back and give you a bath then… Betty? – Betty? BETTY! (echoes)
NARRATOR: Her pawprints led through the fence and out on the dreaded, dreaded moor…
NARRATOR: It was then 3.30. Stonson returns now – eh- 3.45, armed with his wellingtons, lantern and over-shoulder rifle. The daylight, meanwhile, disappears like by the knob of a dimmer light switch…
SCENE 4 – WALKING CROSS THE MOORS. FOGGY WASTELAND
(SOUNDSCAPE: OMINOUS ON THE EDGE OF URBAN LAND)
SOUND EFFECTS: STONSON WALKING THROUGH MUD/DARK
STONSON: Betty! Betty !! – Where are you Betty? Come back!!
HAMLET: Oi! Cut down the screaming, will ya? Some of us are tryina enjoy Christmas
STONSON: Sorry, I didn’t see you there, uh -?
NARRATOR: Stonson lifts his lantern to discover a wicked pumpkin head, sat in a tree smoking shisha.
HAMLET: It’s Hamlet, sir. (*breaths in*) You are, of course, sir Stonny (*breaths out*) Stonson, infamous for locking up the most punctual of dealers, Santa Roo.
STONSON: “Infamous?” I must have misheard him..
NARRATOR: Pumpkins are, I might add, not un-known for their proper use of English grammar.
STONSON: Are you – uh- a – eh – local to these… parts, then?
HAMLET: You might say so.
STONSON: Have you, or anyone you know, seen a dog – brown, big floppy ears - dressed in a tweed jacket, just like mine?
HAMLET: You know what - I saw’r a dog just like that running past here some 20 minutes ago! Chasing one of them black cats, it was!
STONSON: Thank god she’s still alive!
HAMLET: As a matter of fact, sir, and mash me in a pie if I’m wrong, I think I know where that cat was headed!
STONSON: Not the - the suburbs, I hope?
HAMLET: Nah, don’t worry my friend. That cat hangs at the Banana bread house.. it’s them by that light over there –
(*LIGHT SWITCH CLICKS FROM A HOUSE FURTHER OVER ON THE MOOR*)
STONSON: Oh… Banana Bread house? That doesn’t sound too bad I suppose. Thank you!
HAMLET: No need to thank me, sir. Uncle Hamlet is always at your service! - Oh, by the way; I would probably hurry if I were you. If your dog spends too long in that house, she’ll have her limbs yoga-stretched beyond recognition! Can’t have that on your big anniversary…
HAMLET: The clock is ticking, Stonson … Tick - tock…” (echoes, fades)
SCENE 5 – BANANABREAD HOUSE GARDEN – EARLY EVENING
NARRATOR: In the bananabread garden, a girl sits alone by a long, wooden table. She stirs a teapot and attends a miss-matched set of china.
WITCH 1: Welcome, Stonson! - Join us! -
STONSON: (*hesitates*) She seems harmless enough …
WITCH 1: Stonson, come! There’s tea – banana bread… fresh from our living room –
(*STONSON PULLS OUT CHAIR AND STARTS SIPPING TEA*)
STONSON: Uh, hello, sorry to disturb you miss...
WITCH 1: What piece of bread should we feed him, friends? Chandelier? – No? – TV remote? Noo… – Ohh! Of course. Doorknob !
(*THE WITCH PASSES HIM A PLATE*)
STONSON: Oh, thank you, too kind… Yes, as I was about to say, it’s about my dog, I dunno whether you have seen her…
(*STONSON STARTS EATING THE BANANA BREAD*)
WITCH 1: Dog? Oh, the dog… Don’t worry, Stonson, the dog is exactly where she’s supposed to be -
SCENE 6 – FLASHBACK TO STONSONS CHILDHOOD (OLD TIMEY XMAS MARKET)
MUSIC: BELLS AND BUSTLING CROWD
GIRL: Look! Walking snowmen!
BOY: Wow! And here, everlasting candy floss! Try some!
BOTH: YUM! *giggling and disappearing in the crowd*
PEDDLER: Tin Soldiers, talking tin soldiers!
TIN SOLDIERS: Hey, Stonny! Play with us, Stonny!
MRS STONSON: Don’t touch anything, Stonson!
YOUNG STONSON: But, mummy…!
MRS STONSON: You stupid boy! I’ve told you how witchcraft hurt families like ours. You want your own castle when you grow up, don’t you? – Come along now, Stonny. – thick as a troll you are…
HAMLET (echo): THICK TOCK!
(*MUSIC WARPS AND FADES OUT BACK TO THE GARDEN*…)
SCENE 7 – BANANABREAD GARDEN
WITCH 1: Oooh Stonson, you are spilling the tea!
STONSON: Spilling my.. ? Have you seen the bloody weather out here? I hardly think it matters if I spill your – did you call it “tea”? –
WITCH 1: Oh Stonson, if you don’t like the rain; go inside. - But I must stay and entertain our guests from beyond this realm… You, go, Stonson, and a Merry Witchmas to you!
STONSON: Yes, I, uh, think I will…
SCENE 8 – BANANABREAD HUT – HALLWAY TO KITCHEN
MUSIC: FOLK MUSIC FROM KITCHEN GROWING LOUDER AS SCENE PROGRESS
NARRATOR: Stonson was careful not to touch any of the delicious walls as he walked through the dark hallway.
STONSON: H-hello? Anyone there? I’m sorry to intrude...Excuse me, I’m sorry to bother you - you’ve got a lovely voice!
WITCH 2: *humming continuously*
STONSON: – Uh, what are you cooking in the cauldron there, is that rosemary? – uh – right, so, I’m your, uh, neighbour, and I want to apologise for disturbing you on such a celebratory occasion…
NARRATOR: Yes, indeed - the witches are celebrating! On every hob is a steaming pot of some Christmas food or another. Festive-looking pentagrams decorate the walls, and an evergreen grows in the corner. Under the tree is a most neatly wrapped Christmas present, and on the present a note - written in gold…
STONSON/WITCH2: “Merry Witchmas sir Stonson” – but, that’s me! – It’s addressed to me? – it goes on… “...wishes the Witch of Witchmas Present.. If I appear to be ignoring you, this is not out of rudeness, but out of necessity. I must always sing, or I will lose the present! This gift will help you find what you’re looking for” - Huh?
STONSON: (*hesitates*) Well, it is addressed to me, would be a shame not to –
*STONSON IS UNWRAPPING PRESENT*
SCENE 9 – BANANABREAD HOUSE KITCHEN
STONSON: Huh! A present within a present?
STONSON/WITCH2: And what’s this – another note! – ““Merry Witchmas sir Stonson, Wishes the Witch of Witchmas Present.. If I appear to be ignoring you, this is not out of rudeness but out of necessity. I must always sing, or I will lose the present! This gift will help you find what you’re looking for”
- Bah! This must be some kind of joke!
NARRATOR: Joke or not, Stonson couldn’t help but unwrapping and unwrapping, finding presents within presents within presents within presents...
HAMLET (echo): Tick tock, 5 o’clock!
STONSON: I don’t have time for this! This is not what I was here for… I was here for -
STONSON: - BETTY! What have you done with her, you foul creature?!
*Cole runs up the stairs* Stonson follows*
STONSON: Come back here!
SCENE 10 – BANANABREAD TOWER
STONSON: BETTY! *runs forward*
STONSON: Oh, Betty, I’m so sorry! What has happened to you?
WITCH 3: You can’t help her, Stonson. Not if you don’t first help yourself.
NARRATOR: The Witch of Witchmas Future sits in lotus with the black cat in her lap.
STONSON: It was you! You witch, you’ve murdered my dog!
SCENE 11 – CONTINUE AFTER OMINOUS MUSIC
WITCH 3: Relax, my dear. Betty is not dead, only bewitched…
STONSON: Un-witch her then! - I’m in a hurry here –
HAMLET (echo): Tick-tock, goes the clock!
WITCH 3: We’ve summoned you here tonight for a reason, Stonson –
STONSON: Did you? Well, I need to go, but should you wish to discuss anything with me on a later occasion, make sure to call my secretary and she will book you in. Here, have a business card – Uhm. I’ll make sure to compensate you for any distress Betty caused your cat –
WITCH: Don’t want your money, dear. Relax. We only ask that you help us save Witchmas.
STONSON: Save Christmas?! Save CHRISTMAS? I’m afraid I’m just a lawyer… I can’t change the weather.
WITCH 3: These mirrors are enchanted to show every possible future… Let me draw your attention to one future in particular…
NARRATOR: the mirrors turn to windows, and the view reaches all across the moor to the suburbs and central town. Stonson is amazed to see a future looking so clean and peaceful. Children will make snowmen in the sun, workers come home to wholesome dinners after a 4-day work week. At Trafalgar Square, hundreds of beings gather together for pagan winter rituals. Buckingham Palace will be a hospital for the poor, and homelessness is practically extinct.
STONSON: This all looks well and good, but I fail to see what I have to do with it!
WITCH 3: Ten year anniversary of your famous court case, isn’t it?
STONSON: Yes, which is exactly why I –
WITCH 3: Ten years ago today since the last snow day on this land, isn’t it?
STONSON: Yes- but I don’t see what my dog has to do with this!
WITCH 3: No? Have a closer look, Stonson…
STONSON: What? (pause) No… No, it can’t be?
NARRATOR: A red-clad figure bounces around from chimney to chimney, spreading joy and prosperity wherever he goes…
SCENE 12 – CONTINUE
MUSIC: “SANTA ROO” THEME
STONSON: Santa Roo!? That’s impossible!
WITCH 3: This scroll here requests the immediate release of Santa Roo and other mythical community leaders. All I need from you is a signature.
STONSON: I – I can’t do that! - Santa Roo might have been a charming- and unusually punctual- drug dealer, but he’s still a criminal! He belongs behind bars!
HAMLET (echo): TICK-TOCK GOES THE CLOCK
WITCH 3: Then leave, Stonson. Leave for your silly interview. But I can’t guarantee Betty will be the same when you return.
*STONSONS PHONE RINGS*
STONSON: Oh hello, um, I was just about to give you a call! – I’m running a little late, you see, stuck in traffic – How’s Betty doing? Yes, she’s.. I’m afraid Betty will not be able to-
NARRATOR: Stonson sees the windows turn into a different chain of events. Rain and cold and despair grows across the moors, and he sees himself - alone - without his trusted dog.
A sudden sense of clarity overwhelms Stonson, and he imagines a world where Betty is free to play with suburban kids and dragons. All he really wants is for her to be happy.
STONSON: Um- I need to go *Hangs up*
Alright. Where do I sign?
SCENE 13 – WRAP UP. OUTSIDE - MIDNIGHT
NARRATOR: Stonson and his faithful dog leaves the bananabread house a few hours later, their tummies filled with nutroast and their hearts filled with music. Warren is out in his garden then - packing down his decorations...
STONSON: Warren! Are you out enjoying the snow?
WARREN: Hey, Stonson! To tell you the truth - I got struck by the strangest realization! I thought; we don’t need all this plastic and lights to celebrate christmas – not as long as we’ve got each other!
STONSON: Indeed, you are right! Well, Merry Witchmas to you, Warren!
WARREN: Merry Witchmas, neighbour!
HAMLET (echo): And to all of you at home… A HAPPY, HAPPY NEW YEAR ☺
Written by: Lucy
Voiced by: Lucy, Joe, Masie
Music by: Maisie
also: Bea the dog as 'Betty'
Sound effects from: https://sound-effects.bbcrewind.co.uk/
“Gläns över Sjö och Strand” carol performed by Stella Vocalis
“Axel-F Ringtone” by Crazy Frog
About the author: Lucy is a hospitality worker and member of the IWW.
She is also a South London musician, barista, and proud union member. Check out her psychedelic rock band here