In Which the Jury Gives its Verdict and a Master Librarian is Consulted
(Queen of Hearts bangs gavel)
Queen of Hearts: Order! Order in my court!
Card Guard Spade: As I was saying your Majestic Honor, I call the Mome Rath to the stand. Mome Rath, do you swear that -
Mome Rath: *indignant Squeak*
Card Guard Spade: Pardon me, Nigel.
Mome Rath: *more indignant squeaking*
Card Guard Spade: Nigel? With a hard g? Are you sure that’s how to pronounce your name?
Nigel: *long tirade of squeaks*
Card Guard Spade: Whoa, whoa, calm down there little fella. Just tell us in your own words what happened.
Nigel: (settles down) *narration squeaks*
Card Guard Spade: Uh huh..
Card Guard Spade: uh huh…
Nigel: *conclusion squeaking*
Card Guard Spade: Uh HA! You see your Majestic Honor: guilty!
Nigel: *interrupting angry squeak, then more squeaking.*
Card Guard Spade: He made you a Get Well Soon Card?
Nigel: *proud squeak*
Card Guard Spade: Yes, I can see that it’s a lovely card.
Card Guard Spade: You wish to drop all charges?
Peri: Go Tristan!
Saffron: Ha! Arts and Crafts saves the day again!
Queen of Hearts: (pounds gavel) OR-DEEEER! I’ve heard enough. Miscellaneous Creatures of the Jury, you may now deliberate.
Peri: How does the jury look?
Saffron: You know what, I think they’re on our side. They really liked Tristan’s testimony on string, and that hand-made card won us a lot of points.
Peri: Will you call me the minute they come back out?
Saffron: For sure!
(Peri hangs up and calls Master Librarian Kyorinrin)
Kyorinrin:Ah, if it isn’t my old assistant librarian, Peri.
Peri: Hello Master Kyorinrin. How’s the library doing these days?
Kyorinrin: Splendidly! We just received a new shipment of scrolls last week. Rescued from The Great Library of Alexandria by one of the History Majors. A bit singed, but perfectly readable. They had to time it just right you see, to affect history as little as possible.
Peri: That’s so cool! I’ve got to pass by once this mess is behind me.
Kyorinrin: Mess? Anything I can do to assist?
Peri: No thank you, Themis is taking care of that mess. But there is another, separate mess Icould use help with.
Kyrorinrin: Please, do go on.
Peri: Well, I can’t say the word, um, begins with f, rhymes with hire. And Saffron can’t say wings.
Kyornirin: Could you try to say it now?
Peri: ____ ! See?
Kyornrin: Hmm…. it appears you had your word stolen.
Peri: Stolen? Words can be stolen.
Kyorinrin: I’ve only seen it once before, but the effect is unmistakable.
Peri: Who stole it? How do I get it back?
Kyorinrin: If this is a recent problem, then the thief must have been someone you talked to recently. And if Saffron suffers from the same plight, they must have spoken to her as well. Rest assured however, once you track them down, the retrieval of your words will be a simple process.
Peri: Well, I talk to people on the phone all day and Saffron chats with everyone she meets.
Kyorinrin: Ah, but who has the motive? They must be stealing words for a reason, Peri! Most likely for magical purposes, such as a spell or potion. Fairy wings and djinn fire are powerful ingredients, but difficult to come by due to the numerous anti-magical theft laws. Not to mention, the insurmountable danger involved in stealing from a djinn or fairy outright. If someone found a way to use the word, instead of the tangible, physical thing itself, that would save them a great deal of risk.
Peri: It still sounds illegal.
Kyorinrin: Oh yes, highly illegal. A hundred to life for word poaching, I would hazard.
Peri: Can you find out what kind of spell needs fairy wings and djinn____? Uh, djinn flames?
Kyorinrin: A few come to mind. If you know of anyone else who had a word of theirs poached, text me, and it shall help me narrow down the list.
Peri: I will. Thanks so much. Oh, and Master Kyorinrin? Have you been moving the library so Professor Vasilisa couldn’t get in?
Kyorinrin: What? Deny a knowledge seeker entrance to these sacred halls of learning? Never!
Peri: I just thought since she was kind of evil…
Kyorinrin: And what better place to exorcise evil than a library! Words can create empathy and compassion. They can open your eyes to all the beauty and kindness of the world, and make you long to be a part of it.
Peri: I hope that’s true. So if you haven’t been moving the library, who has?
Kyorinrin: It sounds like the work of the gargoyles. They’re responsible for guarding the actual library, while my domain is merely the books inside. The gargoyles must think the new professor is somehow a danger to the library. Or perhaps they simply don’t like her, they have been known to be spiteful in the past.
Peri: Gargoyles, huh? Okay, good to know. Thanks Master Kyorinrin.
(Peri hangs up)
(Peri's phone rings)
Saffron: Peri, the jury are coming back!
Peri: Oh wow. Moment of truth. Does Tristan look alright?
Saffron: He’s still talking to Bailiff Bun Buns! They’ve been yammering on for ages. What could those two possibly have in common?
Queen of Hearts: Order!
Juror: We, the miscellaneous creatures of the jury, find Tristan of the Ravenwood guilty of all charges.
Saffron and Peri: *Gasp!*
Juror: But he seems like such a nice young man and the mome rath forgives him, so we ask that he be pardoned, if it pleases your Majestic Honor.
Queen of Hearts: We are not pleased. His shoes match the color of my robes too closely and he still committed the crime. Off with his head.
Themis: You can’t do this!
Queen of Hearts: Take her away before I hold her in contempt of court.
Saffron: Oh no, Tristan! What do we do, Peri?
Peri: Find everyone and put me on speaker. We can still figure this out.
Saffron: You got it!
(Saffron teleports Themis and Tristan with a *magical sound effect*)
Themis: What was that? Oh, it’s you Saffron.
Saffron: Everyone present and accounted for, Peri.
Peri: Tristan, are you there?
Tristan: I’m…. (broken voice) I’m…
Saffron: Give him time.
Peri: So. Plans. We need them now.
Themis: We could go with plan A, which was to stage a coup and topple the Queen of Hearts.
Peri: We are not doing that.
Themis: We can set up a democratic republic in its place, declare this a mistrial, and then Tristan will get the fair hearing he deserves.
Saffron: I wouldn’t count on it. I’ve been catching up on Wonderland gossip in between testimonies, and the White Queen is just waiting for the right time to stage her own revolution and take Wonderland for herself. Oh, and the Red Queen is pretending to be her ally, but is totally going to stab her in the back in the chaos of a power vacuum. They got this whole frenemy thing going on. We’re talking full on civil war. So yeah, no chance of your plan working out Themis.
Peri: Told you.
Saffron: Plan B! Maybe Tristan can live a long and fulfilling life without his head?
Saffron: I used to date this guy who had no head, and he seemed fine. I mean, he kind of had this complex over it, but he smelled like pumpkin all the time, so that was nice.
Peri: I don’t think that’s a viable option for Tristan. Plan C… We fake Tristan’s death. He takes up a completely other identity.
Tristan: H-have my parents think I’m dead? Never see my family again? Give up on the Academy and- and never become a professional godparent?
Themis: That won’t work Peri. Even if we forge new identification for Tristan, what are we going to do for a dead body?
Saffron: Yeah, we can’t exactly make one out of paper mache.
Peri: Oh… right.
Tristan: Thank you everyone for trying, but this is all my fault. I broke a Wonderland law, even after I was warned. And because of me, an innocent mome rath got stepped on.
Saffron: Buck up, Tristan, what happened to your dopey can-do attitude? It’s not like we’re going to let anything happen to you.
Peri: Themis, isn’t there something we can do? Some legal loophole?
Themis: We could appeal, but I wouldn’t advice that.
Saffron: An appeal? An appeal sounds great! Why not appeal?
Themis: An appeal in Wonderland would mean opting out of a judge and jury, and submitting to a trial by combat.
Tristan: Trial by combat? But… doesn’t that just mean the deadliest criminals go free?
Themis: I know, this whole legal system is idiotic.
Peri: That gives us a better chance though, doesn't it? I mean, we have zero chance of Tristan
surviving a beheading, any odds would be better than that.
Themis: I think you’d just be exchanging a quick death for a more gruesome one. I don’t mean to offend, but if his terrible posture is anything to go by, I don’t think he has the makings of a warrior.
Tristan: No offense taken.
Saffron: I say we go for it! If you’re going to be kicked off the stage, you might as well bow out with style.
Themis: Maybe it will buy us enough time to think of something else.
Tristan: Okay. *inhales* I’ll do it.
Themis: I’ll speak to Card Guard Spade.
Saffron: I got this.
(Saffron teleports Card Guard Spade with a *magic sound effect*)
Card Guard Spade: Bandersnatch! my coffee! (spilling sound)
Themis: SPADE. We demand a trial by combat.
Card Guard Spade: Criminy, do you realize how much paperwork I’ll have to fill out for that? *groans* Might as well go hit the raven now. I mean writing desk. I keep getting those things mixed up. Bailiff Bun Buns, cancel the executioner and lock the perp up for the night.
Bailiff Bun Buns: tt ttt ttt
Tristan: I’ll be right there. Can someone make sure my cat gets breakfast tomorrow?
Peri: We’ll take care of it personally. What do you want us to tell your parents?
Tristan: It shouldn’t be a problem. They’re out of town again, at a sorcery convention.
Saffron: Bye Tristan, have fun in jail…. Okay, now that the goody two shoes is gone, how do we cheat at this combat thingy?
Themis: *sharply inhales* Cheating? Well. I suppose if it’s for an honorable cause...
Peri: Agreed. So how do we do it?
Themis: We could give a magical sword that will enhance his skill, and some magical armor that will enhance his _____. What just happened?
Saffron: You too??
Peri: You had a word stolen too! This is great!
Themis: How is this great?
Peri: Sorry, I mean… hold on let me text Master Kyorinrin “strength… from… a… titan”
(woosh delivery noise as Peri sends the text)
… okay, I only meant that you hardly talk to anyone, so it won’t take long to find out who stole your word! Who did you speak to recently?
Themis: All of you.
Saffron: We ain’t no word thieves.
Themis: Card Guard Spade, the Queen and the jury.
Peri: But I didn’t speak to any of them, so they’re out.
Themis: And a few high pitched voices called me during the trial.
Saffron: Did they sound like goblin paparazzi?
Themis: Well, they sounded like goblins at least.
Peri: I talked to goblins too! I have to put out a warning to everyone to not answer any calls from goblins. Themis, you can smuggle in that armor for Tristan. Saffron, you and I are on cat care.
Themis: Let’s all meet here first thing tomorrow.
(Peri hangs up)
Attention all employees
Your attention, if you please
If a goblin is to call
Hang up the phone, one and all
(theme music then record scratch)
Smock: Ring the ring! Ring the Ring!
Scoodie: We almost done!
(goblins "dial" Cassie)
Satchet: Shush, it’s ringing!
Smock: Hello Starry!
Andromeda: Cassiopeia darling, pray take care that it is not a goblin you’re conversing with. You heard the dire warning of the magic mirrors.
Cassie: Are you a goblin?
Cassie: It’s okay Andy, they’re not goblins. So what’s up?
Scoodie: Trick question?
Satchet: Say cloud! Cloud is up! No, kite! No, blimp! No, sky! Whole sky is up!
Smock: Uhhhh… can I phone a friend?
Cassie: You’re funny!
Smock: Oh, thankies. I call because… survey! Yeah, survey! What is most pretty part of wishing star?
Cassie: The fashion!
Scoodie: Uh… what do sailors use for navy gating?
Satchet: Um… what is brightest thing in sky?
Cassie: The sun?
Smock: At night!
Cassie: The moon!
Scoodie: Not working, not working!
Smock: (Panics) Umm… UMMM!!
Cassie: Will this take long? It’s getting dark and I gotta turn my starlight on soon.
Scoodie: Thank goodliness.
Satchet: Bye twinkle star!
(goblins hang up)