I’m a law abiding citizen. Or, rather, I used to be until I fell into a world where fairies, werewolves and people-sized, white rabbits seem to march to the beat of their own lawmaker. But who says our human laws work so well? Everyone loves to say, “It’s the best system we’ve got, so…” So? So what? Isn’t there room for improvement? To my mind, family law needs improvement. My basis for this is the long line of newly single mothers, a line stretching as far as the eye can see, who got a raw deal. In my personal life, alone, I know of more than a handful of sad, sad stories about how the court system let these women down. And I’m not saying these are perfect women. I’m not saying they are saints or never did anything wrong. But they are deserving of dignity and a fair start in their new lives. This isn’t about getting a little extra cash so they can get their nails done. (But, just for the record, what’s wrong with a little good grooming? Especially when the ex can afford trips to Europe and the Caribbean.) However, for most mothers, this is really about keeping a roof over their heads, putting food on the table and the stark reality of survival as they re-build their lives.
So imagine my dismay when I find I am in charge of preserving the life (and reputation) of my sorry-ass attorney who has “talked” to me a lot, but who has done nothing measurable of value for me…yet. (See the hope I still harbor?) In the meantime, haven’t I done enough for him by adding thousands of dollars to his already-cushy bank account? Yet, at the end of the day, it IS my fault for turning him more completely into the ass he is. Now he has full, stereophonic braying to match his bowtie. Of course, I only did this to protect him from my cat-demon, landlady who seemed to be going into heat on top of him during happy hour at The Catch (our local fish shack and bar). I was trying to point my wand at said demon, cat-lady to turn her into something less deadly. Under pressure, donkey was the only thing that came to mind. From the little I know about my fairy skills, I am limited to using the natural world of plants, elements and animals. Also, there’s some kind of rule like a doctor’s. “First, do no harm.” Maybe I should’ve created a strong wind to blow her off of him. What can I say? I’m a little wet behind the ears with this fairy thing. Now Chip’s brother, a Federal judge, is on his way to pick him up. To my knowledge, his brother’s golf cart doesn’t accommodate full-grown donkeys who’ve had a few too many shots of tequila. And I am not sure I want to be explaining to a judge that I’m really a newbe fairy and it was an accident that I turned his brother into a beast of burden.
Plus, someone or something put MY golf cart on top of the lighthouse. I still haven’t figured out that one. Thank goodness for friends is all I can say.
[Nighttime; the sidewalk in front of The Catch (a local seafood shack and bar); The streets are crowded; Loud music wafts from the roof-deck bar, where twinkly lights are strung around the railings; the full moon is rising over the ocean; In the distance, on top of the silhouette of the lighthouse, sits the silhouette of a golf cart—Phoebe’s golf cart; In the middle of the sidewalk is a surprised-looking donkey wearing a bowtie, who is really Chip, Phoebe’s lawyer; standing around him are Phoebe, Lucy (friend), Cooper (friend), Thor (evil fairy, surf-shop owner), Clementine (a member of the tiny fairy tribe on the island; they are trying to teach Phoebe how to use her skills by putting her through a perplexing and seemingly pointless process called “The Exam”—Clementine is not Phoebe’s biggest fan), Ernesto (Phoebe’s alien-from-an-unknown-planet housecleaner and self-appointed protector), Cindy (the wife of a mysteriously, murdered man) and Julian (Phoebe’s love interest who only wears black and appears only at night); Sheila (Phoebe’s landlady and the town’s mayor who also seems to turn into a panther at times) has disappeared completely, as though into thin air when Phoebe zapped her]
Chip stubbornly sits on sidewalk in front of The Catch just as one of those fancy 6-seater golf carts pulls up, gleaming ruby-red under the street lights, its shiny bumpers screaming, “judge”–or maybe, “stockbroker.” And, since Chip’s brother was a fancy DC judge, who Chip had just recently described as a whiz at day-trading–back when his voice was more human–Cooper, Lucy and the others create a human shield to hide Phoebe and the donkey wearing Chip’s bowtie. Julian stands in the shadows and seems to be keeping an eye out for some unknown danger.
The man in the fancy, sedan-style golf cart is wearing loud preppy shorts and polo shirt. He is steering with one hand and carrying a mixed drink in the other): Hey! Anybody seen my brother? Probably the only guy wearing a suit and tie? Hilton Beauregard, here, nice to meet you. (he extends a hand to Cooper)
Phoebe (hisses at her friends): That’s the last of the garnish! What do I do now?
Chip chews on a handful of parsley and seems content.
Cooper (smiles and waves at Hilton but directs a comment out of side of mouth to Phoebe): He did scoff down some chicken wings, so maybe he’s just not hungry.
Lucy (eyes Cooper and whispers back to Phoebe): Have you scratched his ears?
Lucy (stage whispers): Just a suggestion!
Ernesto: Maybe if he got lost in swamp, it would not be your fault, you know?
Cindy (pouts): I don’t understand what just happened. I mean, first we are all dancing and then there was a woman in a cat costume, and…a panther? And now this donkey. Am I missing something?
Lucy (looks sympathetic and pats Cindy’s arm): It’ll be okay. I think there was a costume party somewhere on the island.
Cindy: The costume was so….realistic! It looked just like a real panther.
Lucy: I’m sure you’re tired. Let’s get you home. We just have to figure what to do with the…(Lucy looks at the donkey, who brays).
Thor (rolls his eyes): If it were me, I’d just break off a stiff twig and give him a nice whack.
Phoebe (to Thor, while pulling the bowtie around the donkey’s neck in an attempt to get Chip to stand again): Your “help” is not needed here. Move along now. (she makes a shoo-ing motion with her hand)
Thor (scoffs): You can’t “shoo” me. Honestly, you have no idea who I am, little girl.
Phoebe (stops tugging on bowtie and puts her hands on her hips): Little girl?! I am 50 years old, you twit.
Thor (smirks): Oooo. Scary language from the old hag. Watch your manners.
Phoebe (scowls and pulls her wand out): Why you…
Phoebe barely flicks the wand before a blue lightning bolt flashes from Thor’s wand (where did that come from?) and sends her wand flying into the bushes.
Phoebe: Hey! That hurt!
Thor laughs. Phoebe narrows her eyes at him and retrieves her wand, which is smoking.
Cooper is talking to Hilton, who still seems to be shaking hands with Cooper (how long is too long for a person to shake hands?) Cooper is clearly trying to talk hardware store talk to keep Hilton busy. The donkey brays.
Hilton (crans his head to see around Cooper and Lucy jumps in front of him): What was that?
Now Lucy engages Hilton in conversation to keep him diverted.
Phoebe (perks up): Ooooo! I just remembered something.
Phoebe strips off her shirt. Julian, Ernesto, Thor looked shocked but not unhappy. Phoebe wraps her shirt around Chip’s head, covering his eyes. Chip promptly stands and begins to walk with Phoebe.
Phoebe (notices the men staring at her and shrugs): It worked in Gone with the Wind, so I figured….you know, if it could get a horse through a burning film set, it might get a donkey away from a bar.
Just then, Cooper glances back and catches sight of Phoebe wearing only a bra.
Cooper (forgetting himself): Whoa!!! Phoebe! What the…?
He is so stunned he forgets to keep Hilton diverted and now Hilton sees shirtless Phoebe with donkey-Chip.
Hilton: Phoebe? You were, um (takes in her appearance) just the person I was looking for. Hilton Beauregard here (extends hand). So….(stares at her bra and then the donkey) where’s Chip?
Phoebe: Chip? Oh, he…he’s…at my house (she adlibs). Uh…taking a shower!
Hilton (makes expression like he understands all too well what has detained his brother, sort of leers and winks): Well, you just tell him that WHATEVER he’s up to, I will leave the key under the mat and he can let himself in when he’s, uh, finished, as it were.
Phoebe (her smile plastered on and speaking through her teeth, she crosses her arms awkwardly to conceal her bra): Great! That’s great. I’ll, um, let him know.
Hilton (squints at the donkey): Is that….? It’s just that the bowtie looks like…..
Phoebe (looks at donkey): Oh. Yes….we had a few at happy hour, you know. Craziness ensued (Phoebe gestures in general direction of the noisy roof-deck bar. Deep in the woods behind them, there is a sound that resembles an angry cat.)
Hilton (looks towards the wood and nods vaguely then looks back to Phoebe): Well, I guess that falls under attorney-client privilege. Forget I asked, just forget I asked.
Phoebe fake laughs like she’s at a fancy cocktail party and wearing a fancy dress. Hilton jumps back into his sporty golf cart, takes another look up and down Phoebe and salutes with his drink as he rides off.
Cooper, Lucy, Ernesto, Clementine, Cindy, Thor and Julian look at Phoebe.
Phoebe (points): Oh look! A clown! (everyone looks and Phoebe takes the opportunity to point her wand at her cart, which is sitting on top of the lighthouse like a weathervane. A wind kicks up. The wind lifts the cart and carries it to the ground. Everyone turns back around to Phoebe mumbling that they didn’t see a clown anywhere.)
Phoebe (holds shirt over Chip’s eyes and begins to lead him toward her cart): Cooper. Can we use your delivery truck to take Chip to, to….um. Where should we take him?
Julian (steps out from the shadows): My place. We can take him to my place.
Phoebe (smiles at Julian): Thanks.
Thor (rolls eyes): Well I’m out of here, then. Party’s over. Can’t even enjoy my little prank anymore (he gestures toward Phoebe’s golf cart).
Phoebe: That was you? Of course it was.
[They leave. Ernesto drops off Cindy. Thor and Clementine disappear. Ernesto, Lucy, Cooper, Julian and Phoebe go to Julian’s house with Chip in tow. They pull up in front of what looks like a castle.]
Julian: Here. Let’s take him around back…to the veranda.
They walk, Phoebe holding her shirt over Chip’s eye, around the house to the veranda. Julian pulls a jacket, seemingly out of nowhere, and puts it around Phoebe’s shoulders. They exchange a smile.
Cooper (sees Julian’s gallant gesture): I was going to do that…
On the veranda, it’s peaceful. The moon glitters on the ocean. The breeze blows the dune grass and makes a gentle swishing sound. Waves crash on the beach. Crickets chirp every so often.
Phoebe (pulls out wand): If I have this right, I think all I have to do is visualize him the way he was and, you know, poof.
Cooper: I just have to ask…is poof a good thing here?
Phoebe (holds her wand in front of her face and wiggles it. The tip begins to glow): Okay. Stand back guys.
Phoebe concentrates and points at the donkey. The donkey, Chip, begins to glow a brilliant orange. Cooper and Lucy look nervous.
Phoebe (still pointing the wand at Chip): And……Bingo!
Chip is Chip again, only now he is wearing Phoebe’s shirt on his head. He pulls off the shirt, looks at it, looks at the others on the veranda and faints.
Cooper (laughs): You know it’s funny because the last time we were here Sheila fainted and there were werewol…..
Just then, a chorus of snarls sound in the dune grasses.
Cooper: Just like that. (then, to Julian) Are they, like, your pets or something? Because I am having some major deja vu.
Lucy (looking alarmed): Right there with you.
Phoebe (peers into dune grasses): But they were so sweet, really.
Everyone looks at Phoebe like she’s crazy.
Julian: They may like you, but I think they want to kill the rest of us.
Phoebe: Really? I think they just want love.
Chip moans from the lounge chair where they have placed him.
Phoebe: I can’t let him wake up, after everything that has happened and let him see these bad boys (she glances at the gigantic, red-eyed dogs that emerge from the grass.)
Everyone else shrinks back.
Phoebe (looks at Julian): Can you?
Julian: I’ll take care of it.
Phoebe (to the rest of them): Okay guys, I’ve got this. Don’t worry. (she turns to the dogs and talks to them like they are puppies and the horrible beasts begin to whimper at Phoebe like they are puppies.) Come on! Follow me. Phoebe begins to run into the dunes toward the ocean.
Cooper: Are you crazy? They’ll rip you to shreds! (on giant dog turns and snarls at Cooper and snaps at him)
Phoebe runs off and the dogs follow.
Chip (opens his eyes and looks around): That was some party.