21st Century Greensleeves
A Fractured Fairy Tale


Brian Taylor

- - -

The year is 2099. The world has reverted to a feudal state, with former countries carved up into myriad small kingdoms, presided over by warlords too busy covering their own asses to worry about governing. Some things never change.

This is the story of one princess, who found out the hard way time and again that "Father knows best." Yeah, right.

It looks sort of like a combination of a house and a school, in that it's really quite large, has lots of rooms, and a flag out front. The flag is a blood-red M with a golden crown on top of it, all on a black background.

It's a massive thing, with a huge table resting in the middle of it. King Jake sits at one end, Queen Helen at the other, and Princess D - wearing glasses and a futuristic-looking green dress - in the middle. In the background, we see Q, the serving girl and D's younger sister, dusting out a corner.

King Jake: Today, that nice young Trent finally gave me the rest of your dowry, D. The wedding's in one week.

D: I don't want to marry that slacker musician, dad. I planned on marrying an Amway distributor. (Beat) Besides, I already have a boyfriend.

King Jake: Damn it, Helen! Did you hear that? An Amway distributor!

Queen Helen: Relax, Jake - D was only being sarcastic. We've talked about that, haven't we?

King Jake: Oh, yeah!

D: And after that, I plan on having an affair with a televangelist and posing nude for Penthouse.

King Jake: Damn it, D! That's it. You're grounded!

D: Grounded? What did I do?

King Jake: Oh-ho, playing head games with me, D? No one messes with the King. Off with her head!

Queen Helen: We can't do that to her, dear. She's the heir to the throne. (Beat) Besides, the headsman quit last week because you weren't paying him enough, remember?

King Jake: Gah!

King Jake thinks for a minute.

King Jake: I've got it!

King Jake and Queen Helen are standing in front of a doorway that's being bricked over by workmen. D's face can be seen through the food slot, as the workmen are almost done.

King Jake: This will teach you to mess with my head, little missy!

D: But... how am I supposed to go to the bathroom? Mom, can't you talk some sense into him?

Queen Helen (On portaphone): Hold on, Sir Eric. (Beat) Sorry, sweetie, but you really do need to learn that you can't keep taunting your father like that.

D: But... but... (Beat) If I die in here, who's going to take over the kingdom when he dies?

Queen Helen: Oh, probably your sister.

Zoom in on D's face.

D (To herself): I am so screwed.

She glances around the room for a moment.

D: Well, at least he forgot to take my digiphone.

J watches a holographic television set, when a box on the table in front of her begins to ring. she presses a button on the top of it, and we see a holograph of D.

J: Yo. What's shaking, princess?

D: I've been bricked into my room in the tower.

J: Ah. Taunted Him again, did ya?

D: Yep. But at least this time he didn't threaten to shave my head.

J: There is that. What'd you do to him this time - sneak into his room while he was asleep and leave notes hinting at a possible revolution?

D: No. He still doesn't know that was me.

J: Thanks be to the Gods for small favors, eh?

D: This was about me not wanting to get hitched to your slacker ex-brother.

J: And just what is wrong with my slacker ex-brother?

D: Well... he's a slacker. And there was that time I caught him naked with that bowl of Jell-o and your picture.

J: Ooooh... Right... I'd blocked that. Point taken.

A few moments of silence elapse.

D: So, are you going to come and bust me out, or what?

J: Or what.

D: Very funny, J. I guess I'll just have to wideband that picture I took of you during the castle Christmas party last year. You know, the one of you, the mango, and the Midget Monks of the Middle Miskatonic?

J: Whoa, hold on there, amiga. No need to be so hasty. I was just kidding.

D: Good. Now come and get me. (Beat) And bring T with you, too.

J: Awww... Do I have to? I can't stand him. He makes me feel... icky.

D: That's not what you said after last year's New Year's Party.

J (Suspiciously): Who told you that?

D: He did. To get me in the mood.

J: Oookay... That's a lot more then I needed to know.

D: What? How he got me in the mood to go the movies with him when I had that case of the flu?

J: Oh... uh...

D: Just bring guns. Lots of them. I'm getting tired of this every week, just for speaking my mind. I'm busting out for good, this time.

J smiles wickedly.

J: Can do, D. J out.

She presses the disconnect button, and smiles wickedly again.

J: Bring guns, eh?

J, T, and M stand around beneath one of the turrets, obviously armed to the teeth with all manner of explosives, heavy artillery, and sidearms. T is a young man with lanky black hair and greenish eyes. M is a big, tall guy who could probably play football if he wanted to.

M: I know D said to bring guns, J, but isn't this a bit excessive?

J: Who cares? Guns are fun.

She smiles again, and T and M back off from her just a little bit.

T: I can't believe D's been locked up, again. When will her father learn to let her speak her mind freely?

J: What do you think this is, T, the twentieth century?

A moment of silence.

M: So what's the plan?

J: We hit them where they live.

T: Their castle?

J: Exactly. We'll sneak in the West Gate.

M: Why the West Gate?

J: Because that's where Guards Thompson and Taylor patrol.

T: Thompson and Taylor?

J: They're new, and they're stupid. (Beat) This'll be a milk run.

Guards Thompson and Taylor are standing, having an apparently in-depth discussion. J, M, and T are standing in the bushes, watching this whole exchange.

Thompson: Hey babe, check out my gun!

Taylor: You look so cool, Kevie!

Thompson looks closely at the gun - a rather futuristic thing with all sorts of weird buttons and dials on it - before pointing at a bright red button.

Thompson: What's this button do?

Taylor: Why don't you push it and find out?

Thompson: Cool!

He pushes the button. A countdown begins, in an automated female voice (or A.F.V.)

A.F.V.: 3.

Thompson: Three what?

A.F.V.: 2... 1...

Thompson: Hey, this thing gives out football scores!

A.F.V.: Self-destruction commencing. Have a nice day.

The gun is atomized, taking Thompson and Taylor with it. J, M, and T emerge from the bushes, looking at the scorchmark on the pavement that is all that remains of the two guards.

J: Damn it! I didn't get to use the Super Fun Happy Ball!

T: What is it with you and that damned grenade, J?

J: You don't like the Super Fun Happy Ball? (Beat) I've got a friend I'd like to introduce you to.

T: No!

J: What? You don't want my friend M's telephone number? She's been dying to meet you, ever since I told her about you.

T looks warily at M.

M: No, man. It isn't me. I swear!

T thinks for a second.

T: Oh. That goth chick D likes so much?

J: Yep. (Beat) But enough about her. Can we just sneak in, grab D, and get the hell out of here before King Jake finds me? I sorta owe him fifty chickens for an incident last New Year's, and I don't want him to see me.

M: Oh, yeah. That thing about the monkeys?

J: Shut up, M! (Beat) You want to meet the Super Fun Happy Ball?

M: Hell, no!

J: All right, then.

J takes off through the now-deserted West Gate. After shrugging, M and T follow her.

There are no guards, curiously. J, M, and T gather around the bricked-up door.

J: Avon calling, here to bring you some lousy-ass cosmetics and your freedom.

D: It's about damned time, J. Get me out of here now, before I have to kill you for subjecting to me to MTV for an hour.

J: Hey, it could have been worse. (Beat) It might have been two. I'm going to have to ask you to hide in your closet for a few moments, my dear, while the Super Fun Happy Ball does it's wicked thing.

D: Fine.

J takes a yellow ball out of her pocket, and we see a smily face on it. She twists it twice, and it starts ticking. J drops it, and runs around the corner. M and T follow.

T: This better work, J, or I swear I'm going to sic my sister on you.

J: What's the worst E could do? Ruin my paintings? Ha! They're already made of lacquered elephant dung. You can't ruin them!

A massive yellow explosion can be seen around the corner.

M: Score one for the Ball.

D sneaks around the corner, joining up with her friends (and boyfriend).

T: D! I was so worried, I decided to come on a search-and-rescue mission with J to get you.

J: Very funny.

D kisses T once, and then turns to J.

D: I don't see what your problem with T is, J. I think you'd make a cute couple. (Beat) But only if I wasn't around, of course. Try anything and you'll get to see that damned Ball of yours in a whole new light.

She goes back to kissing T. M looks around, embarrassed, while J looks moderately irritated.

J: You know, D, I didn't come all the way down here and risk fifty chickens just to watch you suck face with your boyfriend. So if you don't mind, could we get the hell out of here before your father catches us?

D and T, flushing with a little embarrassment, break apart.

J: Good.

King Jake (Over the castle loudspeaker): Helen, quick, they're breaking her out!

Queen Helen (Also over the loudspeaker): Oh, for the love of - (Beat) Jake, why don't you just go down and talk to her?

D looks panic-stricken.

D: Oh, no. Not a discussion. Get me out of here, now, before he starts trying to bond with me all over again.

J: I think it's too late, D.

She points at King Jake, who is standing at the other end of the hallway.

King Jake: I'm sorry I locked you up again, kiddo! Come here and give your father a hug!

D looks up and the sky and screams.

D: No! Damn you, you bastard Gods! Why have you done this to me?! Why?!

Fade to black.

Jane is sitting in front of the computer, typing frantically.

Jane (narrating): The End.

She smirks evilly.



This is what you might call a QuickFic. Something done over the course of one afternoon, for the sole purpose of increasing my fic count. Well, not really, but it was fun to write, and done in about an hour and a half. Inspired by a Rainbow song, believe it or not - "16th Century Greensleeves." Never mind that I changed the tone of the piece, messed with everything, and tried to do it all in a very Daria-esque fashion. It's also my first attempt at a Fractured Fairy Tale, of any sort, so let me know what you think. For the record, I ripped the Super Fun Happy Ball off of an as-yet-unfinished fic by Erin Mills. So don't go thinking I invented it. But I did turn it into a grenade. You'll have to wait for "Burning Bridges" to find out what it used to be.

All characters copyrighted 1997 - 2001 by Viacom and MTV. All characters created by Glenn Eichler and/or Susie Lewis. All characters used without permission.