(A/N: Greetings, readers! This is my response to Jean Cooper's challenge from The Village Square forum, the one going, "The town puts on the play of snow white...cast them as you wish, but Won, real or disguised, has to be the one to deliver the apple to Snow White." This will take place, but for now… Oh, just enjoy part the first.)

Chapter One: Casting

Elli had had one of her ideas again.

This was the sort of thing that typically scared the other girls of Mineral Town, especially Mary, because Elli's ideas never went well.

The last time she'd had an idea, Doctor Timothy had been in hives for a week. Mary had sprained her ankle during this week, and had to endure bedrest enforced by her mother because Doctor was unable to comment on the issue or supply her with a splint, due to the fact that the hives had particularly affected his tongue. Elli insisted that she hadn't known about the Doctor's allergy, and that she just wanted him to enjoy some chocolate.

The idea before that had resulted in the entire town half-starving for the winter. Elli maintained the alibi that she really thought a bit of mining would be good for Jack, and that she hadn't known that he would take this hobby to such an extreme that he forgot to take care of his chickens and cows, hence depriving this town of a good deal of their supply of eggs, milk, and cheese. Ann would have included mayonnaise in the list of things they were deprived of, but she was the only one that cared enough about mayonnaise to do so.

And the idea before that one…

Mary didn't like to think about the results of that idea. At all. No, she was the type that preferred to release her emotions by doing things along the lines of writing about extremely bad things happening to characters with names such as Clarice, Calla, and 'Aire.

But for once, Mary thought that maybe Elli's latest idea wouldn't go so badly. After all, the basis of the idea was culture, was it not?

That, really, is for the reader to decide…

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"I have an idea!"
This was the phrase that Elli had chirruped on Friday in Karen's bedroom.

The girls of Mineral Town had a habit of gathering together on Fridays, as girls are wont to do. Typically, they gathered in Karen's room, as it was the most spacious room out of all the girls' dwellings. The girls would sit in a circle on the floor in Karen's room, gossiping for hours before sitting back, watching a romantic comedy, and falling to sleep as the credits rolled.

But tonight, Elli, instead of initiating a heated conversation about the latest piece of juicy gossip once they were all present, said, "I have an idea!"

"Oooooooh! What is it, Elli?" Popuri squealed, leaning closer to the nurse.

"Weeeeeeeell," Elli began, "You know that for the most part, we make our own entertainment in this town, right?"

All the other girls nodded.

"So, why shouldn't we try to create a little culture here, right?"
"Define 'culture', Ells." Karen said.

"Enlightenment and discipline acquired by mental and moral training; civilization; refinement in manners and taste. 1913 Webster's Dictionary." Mary reflexively answered, before adjusting her glasses and blushing. "Sorry. Ha…."

"It's cool, Mary." Karen grinned good-naturedly. "Anyway, Ells? Culture?"
"We're going to put on a play!" Elli beamed.

"That sounds so awesooooooome!" Popuri cried, clasping her hands together beneath her chin, eyes shining with excitement.

"What play, Elli?" Ann asked.

"I'm not quite sure yet, but probably a fairy tale; definitely one with singing, and a Disney version, and a handsome prince."

"Cinderella?" Claire suggested, twirling her long blonde hair around her finger.

Inwardly, Mary sighed. During the times that Claire didn't talk, Mary could forget about the results of the idea before the idea before Elli's last idea.

"No, no, no," Elli said, "Something else…."

"Sleeping Beauty?" Claire tried.

"Not that, either- so cliched…"

"Rapunzel, maybe?"

"Hmmm… I don't think so… Any ideas, Karen?" The way Elli said this seemed to be as if she was giving some sort of cue.
Karen grinned.

"How about… Snow White." she said.

"That's a GREAT idea!" Popuri enthused.

"I like it," Ann agreed.

"Perfect! I think I have a script or two for that lying around somewhere!" Elli realized happily- or did she already know this?

"Aw- the musical numbers in that one are sooo lame, Elli!" Claire whined. "Can't we do something else?"
"No, I think Snow White will suit our purposes fine…" Elli mused.

"Well, who'll be who?" Ann asked. "Any ideas, Elli?"

"Let's see… I'll be busy directing-"

"And there's no way you'll get me into Snow's dress-" Ann added.

"And I don't want to sing the song that ruined half of a generation-" Karen continued.

"And I have better things to do than memorize tons of awesome lines!" Popuri concluded.

The four girls stared at Mary and Claire. Silence reigned in the room for a few moments. Then Claire smirked.

"Well, I guess that leaves me to do Snow White, then? Great. I did acting back home, you know, this'll be great-"

"Ah, actually, Claire, I was really considering Mary more for the role," Elli pointed out. "I mean, she does have skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony, doesn't she?"

"Uh huh!" Ann agreed.

"And besides, Mary's sweet, just like Snow White is. She'll do great."
"Well," Mary automatically corrected, "And… do you really think so? It has been forever since the last time I act-"
"I know so," Karen insisted. "C'mon, are you game?"
Mary exhaled.

"Ooooooh… I'm game."

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"Men, Elli has an idea again."
This was what Doctor said to the other young men of Mineral Town as they gathered in the Inn. Like the young women of Mineral Town, they also sought each other's company on Friday nights. Unlike the young women of Mineral Town, this consisted mostly of drinking a lot of wine… and talking about what had happened that week. So, in a way, their rituals weren't so different from those of their female counterparts.

But anyway, it was time to discuss Doctor's statement he had made just now. This was, for one thing, unusual. During the summertime, as it was now, Kai started almost every conversation. The rest of the time, you would get something out of Rick. So, Doctor's beginning the chatter of tonight was not usual by any standards.

"She has an idea again?" Cliff looked, to say the least, scared. "I nearly poked my eye out during that week you had hives! I could have gone half-blind!"

"Yeah, and the idea before that, I lost all my livestock. That was bad." Jack added.

"Hey, at least one of us isn't sad about the outcome of Elli's ideas, eh?" Kai elbowed Gray, grinning suggestively. Gray continued to look sullen. Kai frowned a bit, trying to wonder why Gray didn't perk up at the mention of his girlfriend, but his typical laid-back expression quickly returned.

"But, what is this idea, Tim?" Rick asked.

"Elli has decided that we're going to put on a play."
"So you're telling us now so we can decide what roles we want before she assigns them to us?" Gray contributed, expression unchanging.
"Yes; that's exactly the plan." Doctor nodded.

"Well, you're obvious enough, Doc!" Rick laughed a bit. Nobody else did.

"I see… Perhaps you can be the woodsman, Richard?"

"Who's he?"
"The man who tries to kill Snow White for the queen, but can't because she's too pretty to kill."
"Oh, him. Yeah, I can do that." Rick nodded.

"And Cliff is bashful, Kai is happy…"

Jack sneezed.

"Ha, I suppose my role just became obvious!" he joked. Rick laughed. Nobody else did.

"Um, what about the prince?" Gray pointed out.

None of the young men noticed, but in the bar, there was suddenly silence.
"The prince?" Doctor looked confused.

"Yeah… The prince. Don't we need one?"

Doctor looked at the men at the table. His lips moved silently, clearly counting off the roles under his breath.

"That's correct. And… I believe that Jack, Rick, Kai, Cliff, and myself already have roles. You're the only man left. So…"

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"Gray is going to be the handsome prince?" Claire was, to say the least, shocked. "You can't put my boyfriend in that role!"
"Oh, I have a hunch that he'll be absolutely perfect." Elli looked at Mary as she said this. Mary felt odd inside, as if she had swallowed a butterfly and it was fluttering around inside her stomach.

"Well? Any objections to Prince Gray, Mary?" Ann looked at the librarian eagerly. "'Cause I really wanna put the cast list together, 'kay?"

"Ah… Sure, he can be the prince. I-I don't mind." Mary adjusted her glasses nervously, trying to deny to herself that a crimson tinge was tainting her cheeks.
"Great, Mair. Spectacular." Karen grinned, like a Cheshire cat.

"And the three of us?" Ann asked, putting one arm around Karen's neck and the other around Popuri's.
"Yeah, I wanna role!" Popuri cried.
"So do I," Karen added.

"But make it snappy, Elli. I'm tired." Ann yawned.

"Oh, suck it up," Karen snapped. "It's, like, seven-thirty."
"And I don't want too many lines!" Popuri crooned.

"Sleepy, Grumpy, Dopey," Elli decided, pointing at Ann, Karen, and Dope- uh, Popuri.

"Well, what will I play, then?" Claire protested.

"I think we can think of something…" A mischievous glint appeared in Elli's eye.

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In the end, this was the cast, in order of appearance:

Anna- Snow White's mother

Basil- Snow White's father

May- Young Snow White

Claire- The Evil Stepmother

Mary- Not-Young Snow White

Gray- The Prince

Rick-The Woodsman

Doctor- Doc

Karen- Grumpy

Kai- Happy

Cliff- Bashful

Ann- Sleepy

Jack- Sneezy

Popuri- Dopey

And, of course, we can't forget… Won The Peddler!

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"This is gonna be one helluva play," Kai said, as he and his roommates sat in their beds just before falling asleep.

Cliff and Gray could only nod, a lump forming in the latter's throat.

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Fin.