Where's the Gold?

(Scene: a puppet booth. The PRINCE calls up from a pocket external to the stage of the booth.)

PRINCE.

Rumpelstilskin, Rumpelstilskin, let down your hair.

RAPUNZEL.

Oh, at last! At last! A prince. He’s come to rescue me!

(Lets down her hair.)

PRINCE.

I don’t know about this. That tower is very high. And I’m not in very good shape. I need to lose a pound or two.

(Calls up.)

Are you sure there isn’t an elevator somewhere? I don’t like heights. And I consistently failed gym class.

RAPUNZEL.

Hurry, hurry.

PRINCE.

Can’t you just climb down here?

RAPUNZEL.

That’s not the story. Keep to the text. The prince has to climb up to me, using my beautiful gold hair as his ladder. Then he kisses me, thus breaking the enchantment – and we run off together before the evil witch discovers that I’ve gone.

PRINCE.

OK, OK, I’ll try. Here goes –

(He starts to climb. The witch appears at a side door and watches, rubbing her hands.)

Oh, this is terrible. I’m a prince for fuck sake, not a window cleaner. Oh. Oh. I’m going to fall –

(He makes it to the top and Rapunzel pulls him into her window.)

RAPUNZEL.

What took you so long?

PRINCE.

What an ordeal.

RAPUNZEL.

I’ve been waiting for thirty-two years.

PRINCE.

I’ll never do that again.

RAPUNZEL.

Quick, quick, kiss me –

PRINCE.

Did you say thirty-two years?

RAPUNZEL.

Yes, yes. Now, let’s get going.

PRINCE.

I’m only eighteen. And you must be –

(He looks around.)

So – where’s all the gold?

RAPUNZEL.

Gold?

PRINCE.

There’s got to be gold. That’s the whole point. You’ve been locked up in this tower and you’ve been spinning straw into piles and piles of gold. So now that I’ve climbed up here I get the gold. That’s the story.

RAPUNZEL.

There’s no gold.

PRINCE.

So what’s my reward?

RAPUNZEL.

Me.

PRINCE.

Oh. What did you say your name was?

RAPUNZEL.

Rapunzel.

PRINCE.

Rapunzel. Rapunzel. Hey, you know what? Like this is kind of funny, in a sick way. There’s been a mistake. I must be in the wrong story. I always had trouble with names. And I thought you were – Rumpelstilskin. That’s who I was looking for. AS I SAID. If you’d been listening. Like I’m not looking for a princess, especially one who’s more than twice my age. I’m looking for money.

RAPUNZEL.

My father’s rich. He’s a king. Marry me and you’ll be king one day.

PRINCE.

Oh, I don’t know about that.

RAPUNZEL.

Why not?

(WITCH starts climbing up the tower wall.)

PRINCE.

I’m gay. And I’m not really a prince.

RAPUNZEL.

Oh, buddy. You are in the wrong story.

PRINCE.

So I guess I’ll be going. Sorry to bother you.

(Sees WITCH.)

Who are you?

RAPUNZEL.

But gay, straight: makes no difference. Kiss me and the curse is past. Quick, quick she’s here.

PRINCE.

(To the WITCH.)

You’re kind of sexy, you know that?

(WITCH pulls off her hat and wig and mask, revealing herself to be a handsome man.)

Oh.

RAPUNZEL.

Oh.

(The PRINCE and WITCH kiss.)

RAPUNZEL.

What about me?

END

SketchesA Printer's Son