Hero’s Folly by Phillip Muniz

Vincent: A wealthy nobleman who fancies himself a knight

James: A humble shepherd.

Isabelle: A fiery girl who’s been trapped in a tower.

Scene 1:

2 men in a wooded scene: one dressed in fine armor, one in a simple tunic.The knight calls out:

Vincent:

Ho there, young fellow! What brings you to these treacherous woods at such a young age? Don’t you know the schoolhouse is the other direction?

James:

Of course, I do. I’ll have you know I’m a grown man. I can watch after myself just fine.

Vincent:

Oh, I see. The little kitten is testing his claws for the first time? Well, don’t let old Vincent stop you. Just be careful, boy. Rumors abound of monsters within these woods. Be a shame to see a cub vanquished before he’s had a chance to become a lion.

James:

Stop calling me boy. My name is James Atherson, and I’d wager I’m twice the man you are (glancing down at Vincent’s ample frame) er… so to speak.

Vincent:

(bellows with laughter and wipes a tear from one eye) Oh, what a lovely jest. Come, friend, I’m on a noble quest through these horrible woods, and I would welcome the company of a fine young lad such as yourself for awhile.

James:

I’m on a quest of my own, but I wouldn’t mind traveling together for a ways. (glancing around) Safety in numbers, right?

Vincent:

True enough lad. Tell me about this mighty quest you’re on.

James:

There’s a legend about a beautiful princess who lives in these woods. I want to find and rescue her. See, most people think it’s just an old wives’ tale, but I’ve heard her singing in the still hours when there’s no one but me and my flocks out. Her voice has stolen my heart, and I want nothing more than to meet the true love of my life.

Vincent:

Truly a noble quest lad. Would that I could help you achieve your goals, but there’s a slight problem… My estate has fallen ill of fortune recently and to rebuild my home and restore my honor I’ve decided to pursue the fabled maiden of the wood.

James:

You can’t have her! I’m in love with her, and no one can stand in the way of true love!

Vincent:

Well boy, I do so hate for us to fight, and you seem a nice young man. Not to mention there’s no glory in the murder of a child. Much less a peasant shepherd boy like yourself. So, I’ll tell you what.. why don’t we travel together until we reach the princess and then we’ll let the lady decide?

James:

Well… that sounds like a plan. Do I have your word that you’ll honor this agreement?

Vincent:

As sure as my mother lives, I shall abide by this pact. And what of your word, son? (Extends hand toward the younger man)

James:

Deal

They shake hands. Neither man sees the other man has crossed their fingers behind their backs.

Scene 2:

This stage lights come up to reveal 2 figures squaring off at the base of a tower

Vincent:

Unhand me, knave. I shall have her hand! You shall not stop me from my goal.

James:

You only want her for her power. I truly love the Princess. There is nothing you can do that will ever make me back down from my goal to win her heart as she has won mine.

Vincent:

Ha! Do you think a petty wastrel like yourself has any chance with a dame such as her? Truly, I say the pigs would have a better chance at winning her hand than a poor shepherd boy like yourself.

James:

Better a shepherd’s boy with pure intentions than a lordly fraud like yourself. Your company is that of cowards and thieves and you yourself the greatest of them all.

Vincent:

Do you dare to insult my honor, boy? There shall be no mercy from me. Consider your days counted.

Vincent throws James against the tower, knocking him through the wall of the tower. Hearing the commotion, the princess comes to the terrace of her tower to find the cause of all the ruckus.

Isabelle:

Enough! I’m so sick of all these so-called knights with their so-called chivalry that come strolling to my Kingdom every other day trying to tell me what I need to do and how to live my life. Neither of you have done so much as ask me my name and yet you both have designs for who I shall marry. How dare you? Who the hell do you think you are? You think just ‘cause you lucked out in the gender department you can all of a sudden do whatever you want with whoever you want? No. I am Princess Isabel Gerard, and I’m done with heroes.

Stage lights fade. Lights come back to the Princess standing with the men who are wearing full armor.

Vincent:

Come now, princess. Don’t be ridiculous. Run back inside and take that silly armor off. I’ll handle the whelp and be inside shortly for our happy end…(cuts off sharply as the princess slams the pommel of her sword into his helmet. He falls to the ground and begins snoring loudly.)

James:

Yes! (turning away) I promise you won’t regret your decision, milady! I have a humble cottage, but it’s warm..(trails as the princess levels her sword at him)

Isabelle:

You don’t listen well, do you? I said. I’M DONE. Run along now. Before I lose my patience.

James:

(splutters) I.. But… He… You…

Princess:

(clears throat daintily, steps closer places sword against his throat) Yes?

James:

You know what? (backing away) I think I left my sheep in the field …I’m just gonna …  (turns and runs off)

Isabelle:

(She watches him leave and takes a deep breath) I’ve never been outside the tower before. Gosh, it’s so big out here. I never knew freedom could be a feeling. But I feel it inside me blazing like a comet. (Laughs) Well, here I come world! It’s time for the princess to have her chance at glory. (She looks down at the snoring knight) Sorry pal, but this girl is gone.

Stage lights fade as the Princess walks off stage