Kuruk here for the second time today.
This is for a challenge on The Village Square Forum, it's a challenge about what would happen if the villagers held a play. The play in question here is 'Romeo and Juliet', but you need not have seen or read the play to understand.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harvest Moon or 'Romeo and Juliet'.
Hope you enjoy!
It was on a hot Summer day that Mary had an idea.
Mary often had ideas, and she would often keep them to herself, simple being a librarian, and all... But since this concerned the entire town and would benefit everyone, she decided to tell someone.
And that someone was Mayor Thomas, who thought that Mary's idea was 'fabulous' and that he would hold a town meeting to discuss things the next day.
Mary was so excited that she spent the whole night picking out an outfit to wear the next day, but then she grew nervous about what she was going to say and she thought maybe she could rehearse but by the time she was starting it was time for the meeting and she reluctantly went to the Church and joined Mayor Thomas at the front.
The whole town was gathered there, chattering idly in the pews. Mary felt her heart hammer in her chest and wished that she could be among them. That would make her feel much better...
When the Mayor cleared his throat Carter made his way down the aisle, shushing everyone. In moments the Church was deathly quiet, and Mary fidgeted at her place beside the Mayor, who was beaming at the assembled townspeople without a care in the world.
"Hello, everyone!" Thomas said happily. He was replied by a chorus of greeting; he beamed even wider, "You all must be wondering why I called all of you together. Well, let me just say that this time Claire's cows haven't broken free and aren't camped out in front of the Inn!" the blonde farmer blushed as everyone else chuckled in memory, "This time, our very own Mary has thought up an idea that I wish to share with you all!" everyone looked at the librarian, who flushed scarlet and ducked her head, "Mary wishes to put on a play!"
There were gasps and squeals of excitement and the chattering started up again before Carter shushed everyone again. "And I think this is an excellent idea!" Thomas said when everyone quieted down again, "Mary has decided to do a rendition of 'Romeo and Juliet', so without further ado let's take a vote. All in favor?" virtually everyone's hand went up. Thomas smiled, "That's a clear majority! In that case, Mary will hold casting here in a few moments!"
Mary jumped, startled. "I-I a-am...?" she squeaked.
But Thomas had already stepped down and a mob of townspeople had jumped towards the front, jabbering away at the same time...
Mary was sitting at a makeshift table Carter had made her. She was fidgeting in her seat when Elli cleared her throat and Mary looked up, a blush on her cheeks.
"O-oh!" Mary stuttered, "Hello Elli!"
"Hello, Mary," Elli said with a kind smile, "I'd like to try out for a part."
Mary nodded and handed her a list. "Here you go," the librarian said.
Elli's big brown eyes scanned the paper a few times before they widened and the nurse jumped a little in excitement. "Ah! Here, here!" she showed Mary the paper and pointed at a name, "It says 'Nurse'! I'll be the Nurse!"
Mary nodded, thankful that Elli chose a small part that no one really wanted. She waved her through to the back, where the nurse cheerfully skipped, happy with her part.
Next in line was Karen, whose green eyes shone happily. "Hey Mary," Karen greeted. Before Mary could reply Karen put both hands on the table and looked at her endearingly, "I'll play 'Juliet'."
Mary was about to nod when an indignant cry came from the back of the line and Claire, white with fury, rocketed to the front. "No!" Claire protested, "I want to be Juliet!"
Karen guffawed and turned, anger written all over her face. "Shut up Claire! I was first in line! You can be the 'Nurse', or something!"
"That old hag!?" Claire shrieked in mortification.
Elli raised her hand politely from the back, clearing her throat to get some attention. "Actually, I'm the Nurse," she said proudly.
She was ignored as Claire and Karen continued bickering. Eventually Popuri skipped to the front of the line and said that she wanted to be Juliet, since she was the youngest. Karen and Claire proceeded to team up on her and the fight got more and more out of control until Rick and Kai came up to try and break it up, but since they were Rick and Kai started fighting when Kai put his arms around Popuri and Rick started screaming at him to get his hands off of his sister.
Poor Mary was at a loss for what to do... until Claire jumped up on the desk and glared at everyone. "Okay, shut up!" she shrieked. Everyone did, looking at her indignantly, "I'm Mary's assistant," Mary blinked-- this was news to her, "So I decide who's who! Right Mary?" poor Mary nodded, a bit dumbfounded, and Claire beamed, "Right. So I'm Juliet," Karen cursed angrily and Popuri let out a little cry of annoyance, "Karen's Rosaline and Popuri can be, err..." she looked at the list, "Lady Montague."
Popuri let out a squeal of excitement and Karen scratched her chin thoughtfully. "Who's this Rosaline chick?"
"She's Romeo's first love," Claire said idly, waving the girls through to the back.
Karen, impressed by this, nodded and joined the others at the back, satisfied with her role. "Um... Claire...?" Mary dared to utter.
Claire didn't look up from the list. "Yes, Mary? What is it?"
"W-well... Rosaline isn't actually in the play... she's only mentioned... you see..." Mary pointed out, trying to be civil and polite.
Claire glared at Mary from over the paper. "Well, we can just write something in for her."
Mary looked at Claire in shock. "B-but..."
Claire waved her off. "Karen, write yourself into the script!" Claire called, and Karen nodded excitedly, "There. Problem solved..." she beamed at Kai, "You can be Montague since Popuri is already Lady Montague... but there aren't enough people so you can be, um... Mercutio." Kai smiled at Popuri who giggled like a schoolgirl. Rick turned white with fury, "Rick, you're Tybalt."
The chicken farmer retreated to the back where he glared at Kai and Popuri who were cuddling while Popuri chanted 'We're married!' over and over happily.
The Doctor stepped up in line and Claire gave him a look. "You're the Friar," Tim nodded seriously and joined Elli in the back. Stu and May came to the front, "You guys can be, the um... serving men..."
The children nodded and let out cries of delight as they skipped to the back. Manna was next in line. "You know Claire, I've always wanted to be an actress! I simple have loved acting since I was a little girl! My mother told me I had so much talent and I did, I know I did but then I got pregnant and no one likes a star with stretch marks and it's all Duke's fault the good for nothing-,"
"Okay," Claire said simple, cutting her off, "You're Lady Capulet..."
Manna nodded excitedly and went to the back, where she proceeded to chat up a very scared looking Stu and May. Ann was next, a shy and mortified looking Cliff right beside her. "Give us parts," Ann demanded.
Claire raised an eyebrow. "Oops. We have no more parts left for girls, sorry."
Ann puffed out her cheeks in annoyance. "Listen Claire," the redhead huffed, leaning in and whispering to the blonde, "I'm trying to get Cliff to get over his shyness issues, okay? The only way he'll go on stage is if I'm there with him... so, just get us both a part, okay?"
Claire sighed as if what she had been asked to do was a big deal, but Mary beat her to it. "W-well..." the librarian started, "Well, the characters Abram and Balthasar have a scene together-,"
"We'll take it!" Ann said, an almost evil smirk on her face, "Thanks Mary!"
As they went to the back Claire gave Mary a glare and she stuttered a sorry and the blonde turned to Carter. "Carter, you can be the other Friar... this John guy..." the preacher nodded and joined Ann and Cliff, "Um... well, I guess you can be the Prince," Claire told an expectant Won, who smiled at the farmer and ran to the back.
"W-we're o-out o-of people-," Mary stuttered.
"I can see that!" Claire interrupted her, livid.
Mary nodded. "Y-yes... W-we're missing a Paris and a Romeo... not to mention a Benvolio..."
Claire scowled. "Cliff! You can be Paris too!"
"B-b-but...!" Cliff stuttered.
Claire ignored him. "Where's Gray?" Claire asked herself, looking around the Church, "He should be Romeo..." she got up and ran off, leaving Mary alone for a few minutes. Just when Mary was gathering the strength and planning what she would say when she took control of the play again, Claire slammed through the doors, dragging a murderous looking Gray behind her, "Sign him up!" she demanded of Mary.
"I'm not doing anything in this stupid play!" Gray snapped.
"Yes you are!" Claire snapped back.
They argued ferociously as the librarian watched on, conflicted in putting Gray in as Romeo since, well, Claire was Juliet... but she thought of how good they looked together and that Gray would never ever love her... so Mary interrupted and gave Gray a pleading, saddened look. "Please, Gray."
Gray's blue eyes stared into Mary's dark ones and he nodded, sighing.
Claire beamed and started shouting orders but Mary was already gone, out the door and back towards the Library...
A week had passed. A week of rehearsal and preparation for the actors and actresses in the play. A week in which Claire shouted orders and had Gray practice the kiss scene over and over again.
A week in which the librarian spent in her Library.
It had all gone awry.
Her idea for the play. Mary had wanted to do something for the town. Everyone else seemed to except her, and she had wanted to share her love of the arts with everyone... but now Claire was in charge... and Mary left in the shadows.
When the night of the play came Mary did not plan on going, but when her mother flat out insisted that she go, she did, taking a seat towards the back with her family.
Gotz had built a stage for the occasion. It stood in the middle of Rose Square, sturdy and proud. Ellen had no doubt sewn the costumes and Claire was front and center on the stage, claiming that she was to thank for the play.
"And without further ado," Claire said with a smile, "Let's begin!"
She ran back behind the curtain and Ann and Cliff appeared instead. Cliff was noticeably nervous, stiff as a log in his costume. Ann was his opposite, relaxed and with a big smile on her face. The crowd laughed... probably because Ann was in men's clothing, a mustache drawn on with black marker on her lip.
Ann began speaking confidently, but when it was Cliff's turn to speak he didn't, looking at the crowd with eyes as wide as dinner plates. "Cliff!" Ann snapped, shoving him, "Your lines!" the traveler did not react. Ann kept shoving him until the crowd began to grow restless and Ann pulled him off the stage.
There was the sound of arguing from behind the curtain, and poor May appeared, looking at everyone with big, wide eyes. "Um... Due to problems... we're improvising..." she then darted behind the curtain again, leaving the crowd chattering in confusion.
Gray appeared on stage, looking very awkward in his costume which involved tights and a feathery hat that was not his cap. He was followed by Karen, looking absolutely beautiful in a flowing dress.
"Romeo!" Karen cried, striking a dramatic pose, "I cannot love you! You're... just not... um..." she paused, "Not my type!" she then made another dramatic pose and walked further away from Gray, who crossed his arms over his chest and looked around uncomfortably.
"Oh no," he said, voice a monotone, "My heart is breaking into many little pieces..."
Kai and Stu appeared on stage. Mary assumed Stu was Benvolio. "Oh Romeo," Kai said, scratching at his head of black hair, "I feel your pain..."
"Not as much as you'll feel this!" came an angry voice. The crowd gasped as Rick jumped out on stage and shoved Kai, who fell face first onto the hard wood. Stu squealed and ran away and into the crowd.
Kai got up and glared at Rick in fury. "Dude! You're not supposed to do that yet!"
"You kissed Popuri!" Rick accused, pointing at Kai angrily.
The traveler crossed his arms. "Goddess, Rick, it was just a good luck kiss! When are you going to figure out that I love your sister and I'd never do anything to hurt her!?"
"You tell him Kai!" came a voice from backstage, unquestionably Popuri's.
Rick grew white with fury and jumped on Kai. They then proceeded to roll around, fighting. Mary gasped along with the crowd, especially when Karen jumped into the fight to break them apart and Popuri, half dressed, jumped out from backstage and began to scream at Rick.
Tim and Carter rushed out and succeeded in breaking the fight apart and laid an injured Rick far away from a still angry Kai. Popuri cried at Kai's side and Karen fawned over Rick before smiling at the crowd and returning to the front of the stage.
"W-well..." Karen exclaimed, apparently back in character, "I can set you up with my cousin, Juliet!"
Gray faked a gasp. "You mean the most beautiful girl in all of Verona?" he asked, still in that same monotone.
"Yes!" Karen said, posing dramatically again, "Oh my Goddess! There she is now!"
Ann ran out on stage, set down a stereo, tinkered with it a little, then ran back behind the curtains. Trumpets blared from the speakers and Claire walked on stage, stunning in a beautiful black dress. Her hair was in curls and there was makeup all over his face, supposedly seductively. "I am Juliet!" she announced, making a pose.
Elli followed her out. The nurse was dressed like a nun, and after clearing her throat and smiling sweetly, she proceeded to sing a song. "She's Juliet! So pretty and smart, the envy of every woman in town! She's beautiful and pretty!" with each verse Claire and Karen struck a different pose, "Every man wants her!" as if on cue, all the men on stage fell to their knees.
Gray was the only one left standing and after looking around for a few seconds, he let out a sigh and fell on one knee. "Oh Juliet," he intoned, "You're so beautiful. Marry me, please!"
There was a dramatic pause as Claire scratched her chin and considered, but she nodded and everyone on stage cheered. Claire ran over and grabbed Gray, then dragged him towards Tim and Carter. "Marry us!" Claire told Tim, who nodded. Claire faced the crowd, posed again, and then Karen and Popuri pulled at her black dress, which ripped apart, leaving a very short and revealing white (off-white, Mary noted) dress.
Tim cleared his throat. "Do you, Juliet, most beautiful woman in all of Verona, take Romeo to be your husband?"
Claire nodded and shouted out an excited 'I do'.
Tim repeated the same for Gray and the blacksmith nodded, then paused and nodded again... and again... then he sighed and finally said. "I do," loudly.
As if on cue Kai and Popuri pulled at Gray and Manna appeared, beaming like a schoolgirl and pulled at Claire, who dramatically tried to get away and to Gray. Gray stood still. Rick was otherwise incapacitated to fulfill his role as Capulet...
"Juliet!" Manna boomed, making a dramatic pose of her own, "How dare you marry that ruffian without consulting us!? Plus, he is a Montague! I would much rather have you marry Paris..."
Ann pushed Cliff out on stage, who stared at he crowd absently again.
"No mother!" Claire cried, "I love Romeo!"
"Mom, no," Gray mumbled, Popuri and Kai looking as if they had just been slapped in the face by Gray's words, "Juliet is my bride..."
The curtains were pulled back and out came Won in a kimono, a girly tiara on his head. "I am the prince!" he screamed, pushing Carter and Tim out of the way, "And I would like the audience to know that goods are on sale after the show."
Claire screamed, broke free from Manna's grasp and pushed Won back behind the curtain. Then, noticing that she had an outburst in front of the whole town, she giggled nervously and spoke. "Romeo! You must fight Paris for my love!"
Gray was let go of by Kai and Popuri and he walked towards Cliff, who was still staring at the crowd. "Die," Gray said plainly, pushing Cliff down to the floor, "Oh look he's-,"
Just then Rick jumped up and looked around. "Oh Goddess! My lines!" he ran over beside Manna, then noticing Kai, scowled and ran at the traveler, who was ready for him. They fought like before Popuri began screaming again and Karen once again jumped into the fight.
The crowd gasped again and Mary got up, mortified at how they had massacred a classic like 'Romeo and Juliet'. Tears in her eyes, the librarian made her way out just when she heard Gray scream in frustration.
"Goddess!" Gray snapped, "This is the stupidest play I have ever seen... or been on!" he bunched up his cap and threw it to the ground, "It sucks!" the crowd gasped and Claire let out a shriek of mortification, "You know, when Mary thought up this idea," Mary paused at her name, turning and looking at Gray in shock, "It was to give us a night of enjoyment! All we've done is make it a night for our egos to run loose!" everyone looked ashamed, except Claire who had let out another shriek and had run off behind the curtain.
All eyes were on Mary now at Gray's words, who was crying freely now. "Mary..." Gray said, sounding gentle, "The only reason I did this thing was because you asked me to..." the crowd gave a collective 'aw' and Gray jumped down from the stage, "I'm sorry this happened... I just wanted to make this special for you..."
Mary flushed scarlet and ran towards Gray, who accepted her with open arms. The crowd cheered at this, and Mary buried her face into Gray's shoulder, embarrassed and joyous at the same time. When they pulled apart Mary giggled at Gray's hat, still crumpled up on the stage. "I... prefer your 'UMA' hat..." she said, giggling giddily.
Gray scowled at her. "Shut up," he hissed playfully before pulling the librarian in for a kiss that was no rehearsed several times over.
The crowd cheered harder than ever all the same.
Mary was surprised to hear that the Mayor had decreed that day the annual 'Comedy Festival'.
It appeared that even though Claire's version of 'Romeo and Juliet' was horrible, the townspeople had laughed so hard that the next day, at another town meeting, they had voted in favor of the Mayor's proposal on creating a new festival... and Mary was put in charge.
The librarian naturally worried about this new reponsibility, but the blacksmith who she was happily dating reassured her as he always did, and they lived happily ever after...
Well, sort of...
A/N: Well, there you have it. XD Hope you liked it. Review?