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31 Plays in 31 Days, #10 - "As My Guest"

Took a crack at further developing an idea I have for Mrs. Hawking part 5, where in taking on Mrs. Hawking's nemesis Mrs. Frost, Nathaniel gets kidnapped and held captive by the villain for information. The idea came to me in thinking that Nathaniel's special power is his ability to talk, so wouldn't it be interesting to place him in a situation where he has to try desperately NOT to talk?

I don't know the circumstances of how he gets captured, because I don't know the larger plot of this story yet. But I'm intrigued by the scenario of a captive character in a dangerous situation who has to figure out how to stay alive and keep from betraying the mission long enough for his friends to rescue him. So here's an idea for an early part of that journey.

This scene would take place chronologically before Day #1 - "A Separate Battlefield" when Clara learns what happened to him.

"As My Guest"
For Mrs. Frost
By Phoebe Roberts

London, England, 1886

NATHANIEL HAWKING, early thirties, Mrs. Hawking's nephew and assistant in her society avenging
ELIZABETH FROST, late forties, criminal mastermind
~~~


(Nathaniel slumps in a chair, unconscious, in a handsome room with no windows. Slowly he comes to. He takes in his unfamiliar surroundings and is startled to discover he is tied to the chair. He grows horrified as the realization dawns that he’s been captured.)

NATHANIEL: What…? Oh, no. No.

(He struggles against his bonds but can’t escape. He stops abruptly when ELIZABETH FROST enters, with the air of a gracious hostess. She sits at the table nearby him.)

MRS. FROST: Mr. Hawking! I’ve heard so much about you. It’s so lovely to finally make your acquaintance.

(NATHANIEL stares warily, but attempts to maintain composure.)

NATHANIEL: Forgive me, madam, but you seem to have the advantage of me.

MRS. FROST: We’ve a mutual acquaintance. I’m an old friend of your aunt.

NATHANIEL: Ah. I take it I’m addressing Mrs. Frost, then?

MRS. FROST: Clever young man! It seems you’ve become caught up in our little disagreement. I am sorry about that, but some circumstances can’t be helped.

(Pause.)

MRS. FROST: My goodness. It’s like seeing a ghost. You could be Captain Hawking fresh arrived in the colony again.

(NATHANIEL’s attention is piqued at this. He tries to hide it, but of course she catches it.)

MRS. FROST: Forgive me— Colonel. He was Captain when I knew him.

NATHANIEL: You knew him?

MRS. FROST: Indeed. The man he was before she broke him.

(Beat.)

MRS. FROST: It seems you’ve fared better with her than the Colonel did. She never did know what to do with him. But it seems she’s found a use for you. Perhaps she thought she could surprise me, by sending you. Her prejudices regarding your side of the family are quite clear. But I’m afraid it’s only played into my hands.

NATHANIEL: I can’t see what help my company here will be to you.

MRS. FROST: Oh, but it shall be a great help. I know Mrs. Hawking means to come for me. It seemed prudent to do what I can to divine how.

NATHANIEL: And you’re hoping I might be of use to that end.

MRS. FROST: I am certain of it. In due time, of course.

NATHANIEL: I’m expected at home for dinner tonight. When I don’t arrive, there are quite a few who’ll wonder what’s become of me.

MRS. FROST: A man of your position, I’m sure. They’ll become quite frantic for you.

NATHANIEL: They’ll come looking.

(Pause.)

NATHANIEL: She’ll come looking.

MRS. FROST: I very much hope so. And every moment they waste searching will be a moment they shan’t be working against me. And in the meantime, I shall learn everything I need to divert her when she does come. Until then… you’ll stay as my guest.

(NATHANIEL’s resolve crumbles a little.)

NATHANIEL: I— I shan’t tell you anything. I shan’t talk.

MRS. FROST: Oh, dear boy. From everything I’ve heard, you shan’t be able to help yourself.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
in_water_writ
Aug. 11th, 2016 05:20 pm (UTC)
When you do the staged reading for this, I want to audition for Mrs. Frost. I love to hate her already.
breakinglight11
Aug. 11th, 2016 06:52 pm (UTC)
You got it! You have no idea how happy that makes me.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:



MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3


at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM

and

Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

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