A play in three acts by Rosy Rivitir
Detective-Inspector Gee . . . . . . Rosy Gee
Sergeant Goat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brakly Goat
Arch-Criminal Brad Puffup . . . Brad Puffup
Dr. Snooty, Forensics . . . . . . . . Dr. Snarky
Queen of Police . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sassy Fat
King Overwood . . . . . . . . . . . . .Anyone who looks and sounds Kingly.
Narrator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A voice, mysterious and compelling.
(Actor and stage directions are parenthesized.)
- Act One -
- Narrator -
A rundown motel room, probably on the wrong side of town. The gangster, Grand Riddance has been murdered in a curious way. His body is pinned to the wall by a spear through his chest, leaving him dangling about half a meter above the floor. He wears a surprised expression. Inspector Gee enters the room followed by Sgt. Goat. Dr. Snooty is measuring how far the body is above the floor.
DI Gee: Well it looks like this gangster got murdered, eh, Dr. Snooty?
Dr. Snooty: Yes, the preliminary findings would seem to indicate murder most foul, but further tests must be done before any conclusions can be drawn. It could easily be suicide or even an accident.
(Sgt. Goat, examining the spear, turns and looks at Dr. Snooty with round, disbelieving eyes. Dr. Snooty does not notice.)
DI Gee: Uh, well it's sort of difficult to see this as a suicide. I mean, the guy is what, half a meter above the floor, put there by the force of the spear?
Dr. Snooty: Precisely. I'm glad you see what I'm seeing. Sometimes only I can see the truth.
DI Gee: Uh, what truth is that?
Dr. Snooty: The truth of this accidental suicide, of course. Hmmm, let me see . . .
(Dr. Snooty peers intently at the spear, then jerks back in surprise.)
Dr. Snooty: Dang! This spear is from a totally undiscovered tribe in the deepest and darkest jungles, somewhere in Mish, probably.
(Dr. Snooty looks at DI Gee with haunted eyes. Sgt Goat is surreptitiously examining the crime scene and looks over at Dr. Snooty.)
Sgt. Goat: What the heck, doctor? How could this spear get here from Mish? And just who are these undiscovered savages?
(Slowly Dr. Snooty turns and looks at Sgt. Goat with a round eyed, amazed expression.)
Dr. Snooty: It's the Umpalumpa Tribe! And this here shows just how far they can hurl spears!
(The orchestra plays some ominously threatening music. They all stare with unfocused, dazed expressions as the curtain falls.)
- Act One -
- Narrator -
The room resembles a rundown motel room but it is not. It is the Mayor's Office.
Mayor Morpork, apparent victim number two, is dangling about half a meter above the floor with a spear through his chest, pinning him to the wall of his own swanky office. He wears a surprised expression. Dr. Snooty is examining him as DI Gee and Sgt. Goat enter the room. Dr. Snooty looks up with a grim expression.
Dr. Snooty: Hello DI Gee, Sergeant. Only I can see the truth.
DI Gee: Uh-huh. It's that undiscovered Umpalumpa Tribe again, isn't it?
Dr. Snooty: We haven't got to that yet; we're still examining this mysterious copy-cat accidental suicide.
(He pokes the dangling corpse a couple times then bends over to measure the distance to the floor.)
DI Gee: I see. So what makes this an accidental suicide?
Dr. Snooty: Only I can see the truth.
(Sgt. Goat is examining the spear. He now looks over to speak.)
Sgt. Goat: This spear is exactly like the last one, the one that accidentally caused the suicide of Grand Riddance, the gangster. Didn't that spear go missing?
Dr. Snooty: Just so Sergeant, just so.
DI Gee: So where'd it go? And why would a prominent figure like Wantim Morpork, the Mayor for gosh sakes, accidentally commit suicide, using Umpalumpa technology to impale himself on his office wall half a meter above the floor? Accidentally.
(Dr. Snooty seems about to speak when DI Gee cuts him off.)
DI Gee: Yes, I know. Only you can see the truth. So maybe you could share it, you know? This is a police investigation, after all, and you are police, more or less, 'cause we gotta figure these mysterious accidental suicides out. So spill it! What is the truth?
Dr. Snooty: You are too close to my brilliance already, philistine.
DI Gee: Well, phooey then! I don't mind backing up. Come along Sergeant.
(DI Gee and Sgt. Goat exit in a huff. Dr. Snooty begins trying to pull the spear out, but it's pretty firmly stuck and he's straining.)
(Brad Puffup sneaks in silently from behind.)
Brad Puffup: Here, let me help you with that.
(Dr. Snooty is surprised, glancing briefly at Brad with a puzzled expression before resuming his pulling, as Brad reaches up and begins yanking and pulling on the spear with him.)
Dr. Snooty: Thanks.
(Just then the spear pulls loose and the body crashes to the floor. Brad brandishes the spear high, like a victorious warrior might do, laughing with pleasure. Then he threatens Dr. Snooty with the spear.)
Brad Puffup: Thanks sucker. And don't get any ideas, you understand? You've seen what my spear can do.
(Brad Puffup walks away, twirling the spear like a baton and whistling a stirring and patriotic melody. Dr. Snooty, dumbfounded, watches him go.)
(There is sinister villain music as the curtain drops.)
- Act Two -
- Narrator -
The room resembles a rundown motel room, but it is not. It is the police station.
Police Queen Sassy Fat is reading a paper as Dr. Snooty comes running in. He has seen the truth and is now hoping to evade his own misleading actions, actions that he'd done in his clearly misguided support of Brad Puffup.
Dr. Snooty: Queen Fat! I've solved the mysterious accidental suicide cases that have been plaguing our city for so long!
Police Queen Fat: Yeah? Howzat?
Dr. Snooty: It's Brad Puffup, pretty sure! He just grabbed that spear that got the Mayor like a victorious victor, a savage murderer, which means, of course, probably, that those unsolved accidental suicides weren't accidental at all and they likely weren't suicides either!
Police Queen Fat: A compelling case Doctor. Unfortunately, Brad Puffup is our new Mayor since Mayor Morpork, well, I guess now allegedly accidentally committed suicide.
(Just then DI Gee and Sgt. Goat enter the room.)
DI Gee: Did I hear that right? Brad Puffup is Mayor?
Police Queen Fat: Yup
DI Gee: How did that happen? He's a prime suspect in the accidental suicide cases which we now have reason to believe were,
(There is some tense, ominous music. DI Gee speaks slowly, emphasizing each nefarious word.)
DI Gee: Murder. Most. Foul.
Police Queen Fat: Gosh. Well, the acting Mayor appointed him.
DI Gee: Who's the acting Mayor?
Police Queen Fat: Brad Puffup. Appointed by the interim Mayor Brad Puffup who stepped up to take the job, temporarily of course, when Mayor Morpork, er, well, allegedly accidentally committed suicide. It's all quite legal, Inspector, plus it makes Brad look like an upstanding citizen, willing to take on the cruel mantle of government, when needed. And everyone knows the Mayor is above the law. Free of all faults and blemishes, that he may rule without bias. Amen.
DI Gee and Sgt. Goat together: No! We're not gonna take it!
- Narrator -
The situation did indeed look bad, with nepotism and graft seeming at home in the Mayor's office. Police Queen Fat ponders.
Just then Brad Puffup walks in carrying a bloody spear, just like the ones used to impale Riddance and Morpork. DI gee points angrily at him.
DI Gee: Brad Puffup! I accuse you of murder most foul!
Brad Puffup: You better be careful what you say, Inspector. Remember, I'm the
(Brad Puffup points the spear menacingly at DI Gee and is heard growling low in his throat. Then he turns and enters the Mayor's private office. Meanwhile, Dr. Snooty has disappeared, who knows where?)
(Ominous music plays. DI Gee, Sgt. Goat and Police Queen Sassy Fat all stare with horrified expressions as the curtain falls.)
҉ Intermission. Smoke 'em if ya got 'em!
La-la, la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la-ah! La-la, la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la-ah!
- Act Three -
- Narrator -
The room resembles a rundown motel room but it is not. It is a TV station.
Brad Puffup is preparing a press release to be broadcast to every single person in Elvenstead, even if they don't have a TV. He definitely has power and money behind him, somewhere. Now the broadcast begins and all TVs, no matter what, show the following pronouncement from a smirking Brad Puffup.
Brad Puffup: Hello you people! Yes, all of you, no matter what! That includes you, King Overwood! I hope you got your TV on because I am taking over and you need to know it. That's right! I'm now the Emperor of all Elvenstead, and soon the world!
(Triumphant music blares out as Brad laughs maniacally.)
- Narrator -
As the triumphant music blares from their TVs many get up to turn down the volume, but it is useless. Brad continues to laugh maniacally.
Brad Puffup: As of sometime this morning, pretty early in fact, I am officially the Emperor of Elvenstead, appointed by the Mayor. As Emperor I am even more above the law than ever. Way higher up than any of you puny elves and faeries can ever hope to achieve. So high that you'll never, ever see me, not once, never, but you'll surely feel my iron grip and the heel of my iron boot! You are powerless! Resistance is futile!
- Narrator -
Brad laughs maniacally as movie reels appear of marching elves with spears, bows and arrows, some with hammers, and all with fierce, determined expressions, all stalwart and true, marching off to war! There is patriotic music playing.
The movie reels are, in fact, from Elvenstead's last war, over a hundred years ago against the trolls, a detail that is curiously missing from this broadcast.
Brad Puffup: There! Even now my followers march, see them! Look at them! Millions armed and prepared to take what is mine!
(His eyes shine as he waves his arms, gazing skyward.)
Brad Puffup: Taking what has always been mine! For I am the brightest, nay, the most brilliant star in the sky, I whose wisdom transcends all understanding!
(He strikes a heroic pose, then glares into the cameras.)
Brad Puffup: And you better listen up, you little people! You'll never get it, see? I know more than all of you, combined! So don't even try to get me! Just obey and remember . . .
(The reels begin again, now including distant cannon fire and patriotic music, with Brad's stentorian tones dominating.)
Brad Puffup: Only I Can See the Truth!
(There is a disturbance to the side, then Dr. Snooty appears.)
Dr. Snooty: Darn it Puffup, that's my line!
Brad Puffup: Uh-uh, I thought of it first.
Dr. Snooty: Did not, I did! Plus I'm the brightest star in the sky! That's my line too!
Brad Puffup: No, I am!
(DI Gee appears, then Police Queen Fat. DI Gee speaks with force.)
DI Gee: Quiet you two!
(DI Gee looks at Brad Puffup.)
DI Gee: Sgt. Goat has checked the records you dastardly villain, and it's not legal for the Mayor to appoint the King.
Brad Puffup: Too late! I'm already Emperor. I'm even higher, and higher than that plus way more above the law and you can't touch me.
(Brad puffs up.)
Brad Puffup: Remember, Only I Can See the Truth.
(Dr. Snooty leaps forward and slaps Brad, then pushes him out of the way. He glares at the still rolling cameras before speaking.)
Dr. Snooty: Listen you people! That was my line! I invented it way before Brad! Clearly, I am the brightest star! Most brilliant too! I've always said that, long before this charlatan came along, which is why only I can . . .
- Narrator -
Sgt Goat was seen in the background approaching the alleged Emperor Brad Puffup with handcuffs ready, just as the cameras stopped, cutting off Dr. Snooty's impassioned plea and leaving the stunned audience to wonder just what it was that only Dr. Snooty could do?
When the TV image is restored, it is the alleged King Overwood speaking, alone at the podium.
Alleged King Overwood: People of Elvenstead! We are in a crisis. Right now there's confusion and no one knows for sure who's actually in charge. We, that is the King and I, believe Brad Puffup's claims to be specious. We have instructed the Royal Lawyers to look into it.
(Alleged King Overwood gestures to the side, then DI Gee and Sgt. Goat come into view. At the last minute Police Queen Fat squeezes into the picture.)
Alleged King Overwood: Meanwhile, people, Inspector Gee of the Elvenstead Coppers, along with Sgt. Goat, have captured the arch-criminal Brad Puffup, bringing him to face justice for murder most foul! This villain may or may not be your Emperor, time will tell, but for now let's just all give a hearty cheer for Inspector Rosy Gee!
- Narrator -
Everyone, pretty near, in Elvenstead gives a cheer, many quite hearty. Police Queen Fat steps forward and waves into the cameras so that most viewers believe her to be Inspector Gee. The last thing you see as the curtain falls is Police Queen Fat's grinning face, with the sounds of cheering in the background.
(The curtains close to triumphant and patriotic music.)
- Act Two -
- Narrator -
The room resembles a rundown motel room but it is not. It is the throne room at Gladheim Palace, the ancient seat of government in Elvenstead and the alleged King Overwood's ancestral home. Alleged Emperor Brad Puffup currently resides in the Royal dungeons, pertaining to other matters, but, nonetheless, screaming executive privilege over and over. Alleged King Overwood is seated on the throne as DI Gee and Sgt. Goat enter.
Alleged King Overwood: What'd you find out, Inspector?
DI Gee: Well alleged King, first thing we found out was that it was definitely not legal for Brad to declare himself Interim Mayor after murdering Mayor Morpork. Second, we learned that not only does the Mayor not have the power to appoint an emperor but that since the Interim Mayor was illegal all of that Mayor's appointments, including that of the alleged Emperor Puffup, are illegal, null and void.
Further, we found that the alleged Emperor Brad Puffup allegedly committed murder most foul not once, but twice, using the same spear each time. Then he allegedly tried to blame the innocent Umpalumpa Tribe, who are somewhere in Mish. Very difficult to meet with, I'm told, but they are clearly mad as hornets over these attempts to blame them for these two murders most foul.
You should know, alleged King, that the alleged Emperor's guilt in all these matters is easily proven with the solid evidence we already have in the vaults.
Sgt. Goat: And I'd like to add, if I may alleged King, that you can believe in the Umpalumpa innocence, because really, I know. Mish is much too far away to be throwing a spear from, and that's for sure.
DI Gee: Just so. I would add that the blood of both victims was found on Brad's spear, a spear that he got just last month through mail-order. Came with a powerful crossbow that could easily pin someone to a wall. Both are in the police evidence vault.
Alleged King Overwood: Good job Inspector! But why didn't the alleged Emperor Brad Puffup try to cover up his crimes?
DI Gee: Because he believed that holding high office, even illegally gotten high office, would place him above the law. He thought he could just spear whoever got in his way, then, based on his self-professed vast public support, claim executive privilege. A stupid, naive notion, yet his evil scheme almost succeeded, fooling a startling number of people. Until Sgt. Goat, that is, working tirelessly, uncovered an ancient rule, rule number one, in fact, stating that no one is above the law. A rule that, despite its antiquity, is still in force today.
Sgt. Goat: Soon as we got that rule, I arrested the nefarious Puffup. Got him at his own nefarious press conference.
Alleged King Overwood: Well, well now, that sounds just fine. That, uh, well that means I'm King, right?
DI Gee: That is the preliminary findings of the preliminary committee, alleged King. They will now forward it to the legal mumbo-jumbo department, who are sure to pass it on as well, so there is confidence, high ranking confidence, mind you, that your claim will be approved. In the happy occurrence of this blessed event I would remind you, alleged albeit quite likely King, to please remember: Rule Number One.
Alleged King Overwood: Yaaay! I can't wait to tell everyone. I feel like a King already!
- Narrator -
Within a short period of time the Royal Legal Department announced: Alleged King Overwood, hereditary monarch of Elvenstead, is hereby deemed the probable true ruler against the allegations of the alleged Emperor Brad Puffup, attempted usurper.
In further shocking news the recently deposed alleged Emperor, also known as the arch-criminal Brad Puffup, has been charged with double murder most foul. Sounds serious.
(Victorious patriotic music is heard as the final curtain falls.)
- finis -
The audience cheers and cheers, many are crying with joy as a huge standing ovation ensues. The actors come out and bow three times.