Act 2, Scene 4 - The Secret Office

- Stage: The secret office
- Setting: The attic of the castle. In section A: A large wooden desk, file cabinets, a row of video monitors and recording equipment. In section B: Trapdoor entrance from below. Old Furniture in storage. Cobwebs. A part of the section is covere with a thin white cloth (an old curtain?) lit from behind.
- Section: A, B
- Puppets: Mika, Butler, Lionel
- Props: Trapdoor, huge knife, lots of folders
- Music:
- SFX:


AMB-06 - Control Room Ambience

SFX-0701 - creaking noise, steps on a ladder, opening trapdoor sound

Trapdoor opens (behind the curtain), lets butler in, closes

The butler emerges behind the curtain. (Only his shadow is visible!). While he talks, he slowly walks from the entrance to the side of the curtain, but never goes beyond.

Butler (whispering to himself): "He he he! Very good! They're all sound asleep! My little actors! And they're playing along so nicely! Very good! Veeeery good! Hehehe ... Everything is going like I have planned! Just one more day, and I will be ... he he he ... I will be ... he he he ... Oh, what did mama say? Never call a dream by its name. Oh all those years I've been waiting, and now it all seems so close! Now where did I leave that folder ... I still need to fill in the names ... a there! I shall ..."

SFX-0702 - steps on a ladder

Butler (still whispering): "What is that? Someone is coming? Uh oh! This is not good! Not good at all! Noone may see this! Nobody!"

The Butler hides below

SFX-0703 - opening trapdoor sound

Trapdoor opens, lets Mika in, closes

Mika emerges behind the curtain.

Mika: "Hello? Is anybody here? Hello?"

Mike walks towards the desk, stepping gree of the curtain, plainly visible.

Mika (to herself): "I could swear the footsteps came from up here ... what is .. WOW!"

looks at the monitors in disbelief and whistles.

Mika: "Look what we have here! Now that's interesting! Surveillance monitors ... this one shows the dining room, including the dead Lord! And this one ... the kitchen! And that one ... our bedroom? Who is the pervert that set up all this?"

walks around and looks at the file cabinets

Mika: "And what are all those files about? There are so many of them! Either they're keeping track of their tax expenses since the middle ages, or ... I don't get it."

Mika picks up a single folder lying on the desk, and reads it, standing near the curtain, facing away from it.

behind her, while she talks, the butler's shadow emerges, with a large knife in his hand. He prepares to strike.

SFX-0704 - Suspense music von "Psycho"

Mika: "Hmm... it looks like a script. For a movie ... hmmm ... oh, no, it's an episode of 'The Hounds of Blackwhite Castle' . I wish Lori was here. I'm pretty sure she could tell me exactly which episode it is, how it ends, and if it's the gardener or not ... and I ... "

SFX-0705 - Sneeze

Mika: "What the ..."

Mika turns around and shrieks!

Lionel jumps from the trapdoor with a ROAR, pouncing the butler. They fight behind the curtain. The butler flees.

SFX-0706 - Roar and Fighting noises
SFX-0704 (STOP)

Trapdoor slams shut.

SFX-0706 (cont.) - Trapdoor Slam

Lionel pants

Lionel: "Mika! Mika! Are you alright? Did he hurt you? Mika, answer me!"

Mika (shaking): "I ... I'm fine. Just a little shaky. I feel like I've just lost three of my nine lives ..."

Lionel hugs Mika, and gives her a kiss.

Lionel: "Thank God you're all right! I woke up, and you were missing. I had a very bad feeling, so I got up and followed your scent. What are you doing here?"

Mika: "I heard someone sneaking around in the hallway. I tried to wake you up, but you were fast asleep. I stood up, and followed the footsteps ... which led me here. Did you see who attacked me?"

Lionel: "No, everything went so fast! All I know is that he had white and black fur. I couldn't even smell what species he was. To bad he ran off before I had the chance to hurt him, because I had loved to hurt him badly!"

Mika (hesitant): "So ... Do you believe me now?"

Lionel: "Yes, I do. I think we just met the real murderer. He was obviously afraid you might see something you were not supposed to see."

Mika: "That means it must still be here! Come on, let's see what we can find!"

Lionel: "No. We should wake up the others and run away as fast as we can. We're no longer safe here. I managed to scare him off this time, but unless he's a complete idiot, he will return soon ... most certainly with a more effective weapon."

Mika ignores Lionel, and starts searching.

Mika: "But this might be our only chance! That guy just tried to kill me! We must have stumbled on something incredibly important! If we run away now, he will come back and destroy all evidence. Lionel, it might be something that proves my innocence! We must find it!"

Lionel sighs.

Lionel: "You're right. But let's be quick. You check the desk, I check the files".

Mika: "Aye, aye, Sir!"

Lionel walks over to the filing cabinet

Mika turns to the desk

Lionel (humming to himself): "This cabinet contains a bunch of scripts of 'The Hounds of Blackwhite Castle'. It's all sorted by title. It starts with 'Alien Anteaters Anticipating Ample Alliances' and it ends with 'Zacharia's Zombie Zapping Zebra Zone'."

Mika giggles

Mika: "I always knew it's a stupid series ... but those titles beat everything I've ever heard."

Lionel: "Say, if you were the producer of a show ... wouldn't you want to sort your paperwork chronologically? I mean, it's a series with more than a thousand episodes. What sense does it make to have them all lined up by title?"

Lionel pulls open a drawer, and takes out a folder.

SFX-0707 - File Drawer

Lionel: "A ha. There's a stamp on the cover. "REJECTED". The Author is 'Abe M. Y. Carters Jun'. July 1965."

Lionel throws the folder away, and takes out another folder.

Lionel: "Another rejected script. Same author. August 1965."

Mika (giggles): "Mr. Abe Carters was not a very successful screenwriter, was he?"

Lionel throws rejected files to the floor

Lionel: "Obviously not. And it goes on like this. They're all rejected... rejected...rejected. From Anteaters to Zombies. And they are all from the same author."

Mika: "Why would anyone who got rejected so often bother submitting even more and more of the same crap?"

Lionel: "Only a true fanatic would do that, I would say. We should be glad Lori wasn't born 40 years earlier."

Mika giggles, turns to the desk again

Mika: "Oh, look, there's another script ... and it looks rather new. The title is, 'Nine Lives are Not Enough'"

Lionel: "Wow! A non-stupid sounding title? Is it from the same guy?"

Mika: "Yes! It's the same name. But it has no stamp on it. And it's dated ... this year? Now this looks interesting!"

Lionel and Mika start reading the script

Lionel: "Hmm ... From what I can see, it's a work in progress. Some of the characters don't have names. There are just placeholders, 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D' ... Here, listen to this!"

Lionel (citing): "Charakter 'A' looks around and says 'I must admit, this place actually looks quite neat. It's a large island. Maybe I'll be able to avoid Charakter 'B' and Charakter 'C' long enough to spend some quality time with my favorite partner. Ah, just Charakter 'D' and me, in a four-poster bed, undisturbed ... ahhh ... and this wonderful silence'. Suddenly, Eight Gunshots rip through the silence. Someone calls for help. A blunt hit can be heard. Then silence. Character 'A' shrieks, then paces up and down in panic. Then she sees the window, and decides to climb in ..."

Mika: "Now wait a minute! That sounds familiar!"

Lionel: "What do you mean?"

Mika: "Yes! That script precisely describes what happened to me this afternoon! Those Characters A, B, C ... that's us! Turn some pages!"

Lionel turns some pages

SFX-0708 - paper rustling

Mika: "Yes! Here! Listen!"

Mika (citing): "'It's Lord Hesketh-Fortescue. And he's dead.' - 'Oh no! The good Lord! I was his biggest fan!'"

Lionel: "Wow! That's Poke and Lori!"

M ika: "Yes! Did you notice the surveillance monitors over there? This place is rigged with hidden cameras! Whoever the murderer is ... he has been filming us! This is ... sick! Just sick!"

Lionel: "And spooky. Someone has been planning all this! We were supposed to witness the gunshots and find the body! But ... how ... could he know that we would act like he had scripted?"

Mika: "He carefully planted clues for us to find. He made sure that all the evidence would suggest that I'm the murderer. That's how he manipulated us into acting like he had scripted. And look here, in the later chapters! Lots of blank lines! I bet, when I surprised him, the murderer was just about to review today's recordings, and fill in those blanks with what we had actually done and said!"

Lionel: "Wow. Just wow."

Mika: "I admit it's a pretty weird thesis."

Lionel: "Yes, weird but plausible!"

Mika: "I have no proof. Yet. But let's assume that I'm right ..."

Lionel: "That would mran the rules of the game have just changed. We had nothing to fear as long as we were his actors. But now he will be after us! If we don't get out of here, we'll soon share the fate of Lord Hesketh-Fortescue ..."

Mika: "We need to find a place to hide until the storm has passed!"

Lionel: "But first we must wake up Poke and Lori ... and get the hell out of this castle! Take the script. It's our most important piece of evidence!"

Mika: "Okay, I've got it. Let's run!"

Lionel and Mika leave through the trapdor.

Trapdoor opens before and slams shut after them

SFX-0709 (HOLD) - Trapdoor open
SFX-0709 (RELEASE)- Trapdoor close

Lights out

End of Act 2 - 10 Minutes Break