Knight of Faith

 

Characters:

Renaldo
Tersius
Sir Gabriel Whitershield
Fair Maiden
John Maiden

Daytime in a jungle valley dotted with small villages. Renaldo and Tersius on a cliff side overlooking rolling hills, sitting. Renaldo is an older looking frail man, wearing what once was a white flowing shirt under a stitched up vest. Tersius is dressed from head to toe in armour, which doesn't quite fit him correctly in places and has years old dirt stains in numerous places. Bird-like creatures wander around aimlessly below them.

 

Silence, a bit uncomfortable. Renaldo and Tersius look around a bit, clearly thinking of something to say.

 

Renaldo: (clears throat) Lovely grass we're having today.

Tersius: It's been raining lately.

Renaldo: All soft and green and blanket-like, covering the world in its fresh lushness.

Tersius: Although not today.

Renaldo: What did you say?

Tersius: It's not today.

Renaldo: What isn't?

Tersius: Rain.

Renaldo: Rain isn't?

Tersius: Yes.

Renaldo: (pausing briefly) Well, I've never really considered the philosophical implications of whether or not rain is or isn't, but I suppose it's as worthy a subject as any in these times.

Tersius: (looking askance at Renaldo, obviously trying to figure this out) Rain is?

Renaldo: Well, my friend, you really must make up your mind. So which is it, is it rain is or isn't?

Tersius: (truly bewildered now) Rain is or isn't what?

Renaldo: Ah ha! Now I see what you mean!

Tersius: You do?

Renaldo: Yes, exactly. I have often wondered the same thing many a night while lying awake in Maggie Grimgraw's loft.

Tersius: Uh-huh… (pause) What were you doing in her loft?

Renaldo: Sleeping. What else would I be doing? Sometimes Tersius, you really are quite dense. Now, where was I?

Tersius: In the loft.

Renaldo: What?

Tersius: You were in the loft.

Renaldo: In the… Well, I suppose I was. However, I meant in what I was saying.

Tersius: Oh.

Renaldo: Quite alright, quite alright. You do make a lot of mistakes after all. It is good for you I am so understanding. (Expelling a short breath ) Now, back to the formation of my argument. I too have often wondered what is and isn't what. Say, for instance, take that creature down there. (gesturing below him to the bird people.)

Tersius: (peering down) What about it?

Renaldo: Exactly. Perhaps you do have more brains than you let on. What's it about? Why is it, when I turn my attention down there, a strange creature walks back and forth, back and forth. What purpose is it serving?

Tersius: (tries to think) Well, I'm not rightly sure. Maybe it's looking for worms?

Renaldo: Well, to you perhaps it would be doing such a mundane task as that. However, suppose for one brief moment… Are you supposing?

Tersius: I think so.

Renaldo: Good. Suppose that instead he really doesn't serve a purpose at all. In fact, that creature down there doesn't actually exist at all.

Tersius: (looking down the cliff side intently ) This supposing business is hard work.

Renaldo: Yes, for you it very well might be. But the point I'm trying to make here if you'd kindly let me finish, is that that strange creature down there doesn't actually exist at all, and is in fact a figment of imagination which my brain is supplying.

Tersius: (in all seriousness) You have a very active imagination.

Renaldo: Yes, it knows I am prone to boredom. So prone in fact, that it fills in the entire world around me with objects just to entertain me.

Tersius: I wish mine would do that.

Renaldo: Oh, I'm sorry, but that really wouldn't make much sense at all. You see, you too are just a figment of my imagination as well. It wouldn't be fitting at all for you to think up your own images for my world.

Tersius: (highly confused, slaps self on chest) I'M a figment of YOUR imagination?

Renaldo: (now confused himself) Why, you must be. (now pondering) Unless of course a possibility exists of a figment gaining its own autonomy, in which case I suppose you could then think up your own objects.

Tersius: (pause) I don't like this game.

Renaldo: What game would that be?

Tersius: You calling me ‘maginery and stuff. (In a fit of inspiration) How am I to know you're not just a figment of my imagination then by your own reasoning?

Renaldo: Well, I didn't really think of it that way.

 

(both pause and look around some more)

 

Renaldo: The grass is pretty soft.

Tersius: Is it?

Renaldo: Yes, can't you feel it?

Tersius: (waves hands in air – covered in armor) No, not really.

Renaldo: Well, I didn't tell you to go gallivanting around in that silly suit of armor.

Tersius: (obviously offended) It's not silly. It's protection.

Renaldo: From what? Mosquitoes? Gypsies?

Tersius: No. From Them.

Renaldo: (pause) Them?

Tersius: Yes. Them. Up there. (he points upward)

Renaldo: (Renaldo looks up for a while and finally shrugs, confused) Who?

Tersius: The watchers. The ones who make us do things. The ones who make Decisions.

Renaldo: I'm afraid I really don't see what you mean.

Tersius: They control everything we do. They decide everything we will do. In fact, they decided I should come here to talk with you today.

Renaldo: (wary now) Did they?

Tersius: Yes, they decide everything you should do. Everything I should do. Everything that thing down there should do. (gesturing to bird)

Renaldo: Well, that sounds pretty boring. Why would you attend to such a theory?

Tersius: (shrugs) Usually it doesn't bother me. Makes life easier, I'll tell you. Sometimes though…they make me do things I don't like.

Renaldo: …Uh-huh.

Tersius: (agitated now that he's said so much) Well, it really doesn't matter. (pause, clears throat) You should get protection too.

 

(The two are interrupted by the arrival of Sir Gabriel Whitershield, dressed in shining new armor, cape flowing behind him grandly. He arrives signing an inane marching song)

 

Gabriel: I say, good sirs, is this the way to Yon Evil Monster's lair?

 

(Renaldo and Tersius ignore him and continue to stare out across the hillside)

 

Gabriel: (clears throat, and speaks louder, enunciating each syllable distinctly) I say, good sirs, is this the way to Yon Evil Monster's Lair?

Renaldo: (sighs loudly) I can hear you quite well, thank you.

Gabriel: Oh wonderful. Well then, is this the way?

Renaldo: (to Tersius) The nerve! Kids these days. Barging in on other people's conversations with their own inane and off topic gibberish, without even the common decency to introduce themselves first!

Tersius: (nods his head gravely­) Indeed. It is a scary thought to think that in these is held the future of our generations.

Renaldo: Rightly spoken.

Gabriel: (looking thoroughly abashed) I do beg your most humble pardon – I must have forgotten my knightly manners in my eagerness. I am but a knight of three hours, and am prone to forget these things. (flourishing) I am Sir Gabriel of Whitershield of the order of the White Mantle, at your service.

Renaldo: Well then, Whiteshed, now we are getting somewhere. I am Renaldo Montero Alejandro Castillo De La Vega. This is Tersius. Say hello.

Tersius: Hello.

Gabriel: A pleasure. Now, back to the matter at hand. Would you two fine gentlemen happen to know the location of Yon Evil Monster's Lair?

Renaldo: (thinking) Well, it depends. Which Evil Monster would you be speaking of? (to Tersius now) I am of course assuming that this is a monster already provided by my imagination and is not one out of yours.

 

( Tersius nods agreement)

 

Gabriel: It is no imaginary monster at all! It has captured Fair Maiden, and I have been charged to find the beast, slay it, and rescue Lady Fair. It is of the utmost importance that I locate it immediately! To fail on my first Quest, I would be the laughing stock of the entire regiment.

Renaldo: No need to get so worked up about it, kid. There's plenty of monsters and ladies around to be had by all. Now what did you say your monster looked like again?

Gabriel: Witnesses claim it was covered in oily feathers, and towered at 10, no, 15 feet above them. Its eyes glowed with fire, spit lightning from its beak, and single-handedly killed an entire village using just one pinion.

Tersius: Don't you think that might be a little bit much for a 3 year old knight?

Gabriel: Three HOUR old knight.

Tersius: Ah yes, how could I confuse it.

Renaldo: He has a point. But if you're intent on this, is that perhaps the monster you're looking for? (points out over hills to a group next to a small mountain. There is a large glowing bird like creature) .

Gabriel: (squinting) Why, yes, yes I think it is! At least, I believe it matches the description from here…I could be mistaken up close. They had to take my glasses away when I joined the knighthood – something about appearances to keep up. Thank you sirs, I shall make certain to mention your name to my bard when he writes his epic song about me.

Tersius: You do that.

Renaldo: Good luck, WhiteHouse. (waves)

 

(Gabriel runs off toward the monster, singing a marching battle song at the top of his lungs that grows quieter with distance, but is still audible. Renaldo and Tersius watch from their cliff side. )

 

Renaldo: (pause) So how long do you give him?

 

(Before Tersius can answer, the large monster chops down Gabriel in one hit.)

 

Tersius: I…oh.

Renaldo: Well, the nerve. He didn't even have the common decency to wait to die before we placed our bet. These kids today, it's all about me, me, me, now, now, now. I say, this culture of instant gratification is killing the gentler ways of life.

Tersius: Agreed. Although who can say, perhaps They wanted him out of the way for some greater plan. (shivers)

Renaldo: Oh, not this again.

 

(An older, grumpy man comes up behind them, muttering to himself)

 

John: Good morrow. You two didn't happen to see an idiotic knight run by here a few minutes ago? Bad singing voice?

Renaldo: (eying the man suspiciously) We might have.

John: Oh good. The name's John, John Maiden. I sent that puppy after my daughter, after I received a note saying she had been kidnapped. The damn girl just returned home, apparently having gotten bored already faking her own kidnapping. I need to find that knight and stop him so I don't need to pay him his damnable fee. Good for nothing page boy charges enough to run a mill for a month.

Renaldo: Well, my good man, I believe you'll find you won't have any problems on his account.

John: Oh? (Tersius points out at the body of Gabriel, lying still at the monster's feet). Ha, serves the idiot right. I'd be off then, need to thwack a girl upside the head. (he leaves, mumbling to himself once more)

Tersius: See, that proves I'm right.

Renaldo: What proves what?

Tersius: John Maiden. It's clear that They wanted to help him, as the poor man is obviously in poor wealth. So They returned his daughter to him and killed the knight. No more problems.

Renaldo: (groans) There are no people in the sky making life or death decisions for us! If there were, they would have killed me long ago out of sympathy.

Tersius: Nope, it just goes to show that They're not done playing with you yet. (looks up at sky) Hopefully you didn't just anger Them. If They decide to smite you down with lighting, let me know so I can jump out of the way first.

 

(continues quietly to himself as Renaldo begins to speak:) Then again, perhaps They have some use for me and not you but They'd kill me by accident by taking you out, so maybe my being here is only prolonging your life. That could be. Or then again, maybe They are out at the john and haven't been noticing what's going on so much and will deal with you after a short break for lunch. Or afternoon tea. Maybe They're not in the same time zone as we are….

Renaldo: (not listening, speaking over Tersius) Imagined. This is all imagined. Exactly. A nightmare. I'm having a nightmare. A long-winded, idiocy driven, narcissistic nightmare. Wake up!

 

(Cut immediately to black. End)

 

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