The King and I

 

The King and I

Short screenplay by Victoria Allwell

The king and I is a script I find apt, though short, it shows the beauty of making decisions with the heart beyond the calculations of the head. 

A king disguises himself as a servant to search for a queen with a great heart who would not love him for his kingship but his personality. He has heard richly of the amazing worth of a fair maiden in the palace and summons the courage to visit her. His visit to the palace brings him to meet a stubborn and rigid dark maiden whose past haunts her deeply; hence, she rejects his kind visit. Would the king find the love and mission partner he greatly desires in his search for a queen in the Lambano palace or kingdom?

 

FADE IN:

INT. PALACE – DAY

CAMERA opens with the compound of the Lambano palace. The compound is serene. We see guards standing rigidly in different sections of the compound. We see the silhouette of a small man figure as he holds on to his staff and walks in calmly. He looks at the beautiful buildings scattered across the large compound and smiles as the guards greet him with a bow. The camera takes a close shot on him as he slowly looks around the compound, not sure of the exact apartment to visit. He walks to the door of one of the buildings, his heart beating in wonder as he knocks.

SOUND EFFECTS: SOUND OF A- THREE TIME SOFT KNOCK ON THE DOOR

 

WOMAN

Who is it? What can I do for you, please?

SHE STANDS CLOSE TO THE DOOR TO HEAR, BUT DOES NOT OPEN IT TO SEE HER VISITOR.

WOMAN

Speak up or I shall leave you standing there until your legs can bare it no more. 

 

HE SCRATCHES HIS HEAD A BIT, CLEARS HIS THROAT AND SPEAKS UP

MAN

I hear of a fair maiden who lives here. Her worth rings beyond the shining brightness of diamonds. Daily, men speak of her beauty and the treasure of her crown. Hence, I have come to seek her in person.

 

WOMAN

I think you have come to the wrong apartment. There is no fair maiden in this house.

MAN

(SURPRISED)

Oh my! I am sorry. Perhaps, I have the wrong address.   

WOMAN

Yes, you do. The owner of this house is a dark dazzling beauty.

MAN

(LAUGHS)

Interesting! I would love to meet with her. Do you mind opening the door so I can see the dazzling beauty that I speak to?    

WOMAN

I am sorry; she doesn’t meet with strangers, neither does she regard any man.

MAN

Ouch!

WOMAN

So, I would advice that you go to the fair maiden that you came for. Selah!

MAN

It might interest you to know that the king sent me to you. Besides, I am not a stranger but the king’s servant.

         CAMERA CUTS TO THE SITTING ROOM:          

WOMAN

Tell the king to come to me. He should know better than to send his servant to me.

SHE MOVES AWAY FROM THE DOOR AND PACES AROUND THE SITTING ROOM IN WONDER.

MAN

You want the king to come to you by himself? You should know better than to repeat history. The likes of Vashti never end well. You may lose your chances of becoming a queen.

WOMAN

LAUGHS HYSTERICALLY AND SEATS ON A GOLDEN CUSHION CLOSE TO HER

You must know nothing about me to have said that. Can a crowned queen lose her chances of queenship? Her price and life is royalty. No one and nothing can take that away from her. 

 

MAN

The king seeks to know if there is a king in your court plus I have a gift for you from the king, my queen. Shall I also take that back to the king?

WOMAN

Trouble me not, please. Your king sure does have some guts. Tell him that I have a king in my court and if he would like me to send my servant to attend to his servant squarely, then, he would have to send a note to me. I cannot be carefree in a time as this.

MAN

(SIGHS)

Well, contrary to what I said earlier, I am a king, yet a son and servant to my father. My father is the owner of Heaven and earth. And I am on a mission to find a worthy queen to help me manage my father’s kingdom.

WOMAN

(FURIOUS)

Please leave! I hate to speak with men full of deceit. I see that you re no different from all the lying men who break the hearts of golden queens.

MAN

I am not a man of deceit, neither can I be equated to all the men you know or speak of. I have only disguised myself as a servant in the past years to avoid attracting the wrong woman into my life. All I seek is a wise and discreet queen. Though, I cannot tell the appearance of the woman behind the door, yet I perceive that she is the worthy queen that my heart and kingdom seeks. Will you marry me?

WOMAN

(SHOCKED. HER HEART STOPS TO BEAT FOR A SECOND) What?

SHE RUSHES TO OPEN THE DOOR AND MEETS A SIMPLE, CHOCOLATE SKIN, CUTE AND CALM MAN ON HIS KNEES

MAN

HE GAZES AT HER ELEGANCE, DARK BUT SHINING COLOUR, LONG AND SILKY HAIR AND BRIGHT CREAM LONG GOWN AND SMILES

You are just as beautiful on the outside as you are within.

WOMAN

You must be a joker to ask me to marry you. If I were you, I would be up on my feet, heading back to my kingdom in no time for declaring a foolish and blind proposal.

MAN

(SMILES)

This is not a blind proposal, my queen. I cannot wait to show you my heart of love and take you to my father’s estates as I am quite confident that you are the perfect queen that would help me to manage them all.

WOMAN

I am certain that I can wisely manage the estates and kingdom of kings. Yet, I do not know why I should choose you amid other kings.

MAN

It is your choice to make, dear queen. There are many kings, but not all crowns fit your royal head.

WOMAN

Hmm! My kingdom has many queens; wouldn’t you want to take a tour around the palace? You just might find another queen that catches your fancy. Besides, I am the meanest of them all. I wonder how you have managed to stand my trouble this long. No one has ever dared. They say I am mean and too hard for a woman. They say that I am broken and pride is my unending curse. 

MAN

(SMILES)

Perhaps, I should be awarded because I perceived that behind the hardness you flaunt is a soft heart crying for justice and order, seeking to be relieved from its pain and a heart of love for people. I know that you have a golden heart. A trait many queens in your kingdom do not have. So, my queen, would you choose me as your king?

WOMAN

Let me think about this. 

TURNS TO SLAM THE DOOR, BUT LOOKS AT HIM AGAIN

Have you not come in search of a fair queen, why have you decided to settle for a dark queen?

MAN

I am more driven by the colour of the heart than the colour of the skin. How soon would I get a response, my queen?

WOMAN

(SIGHS AND LOOKS CLOSELY INTO HIS EYES)

You seem great with words. Perhaps, you should go through my father, the royal head of my kingdom. He is in the best position to decide if you are worthy to marry any of his queens, let alone a queen so dear to his heart – me.

MAN

Not to worry, my queen. Before I dared to approach you, I spoke to Him. He is aware that I am speaking with you now. You need not to be afraid at all. Your father is my father.

WOMAN

    Really? Then you must be my brother. How can I marry my brother?   

MAN

(SMILES)

Well, the mystery of this kingdom is that we marry our kindred. This may be contrary to some other kingdoms. But, you must know that in our kingdom, we do not become unequally yoked. To preserve the king’s mission on earth, will you marry me?

WOMAN

Come back in two weeks time and I would have an answer for you. Let me have an intense talk with my father on this matter.

MAN

Thank you, my queen 

SHE WALKS INTO HER APARTMENT AND CLOSES THE DOOR WHILE HE WALKS AWAY WITH A SMILE

                                            FADE OUT

 

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