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Episode 1: An Honest Puck
Episode 120th June 2021 • A Midsummer's Quarantine • Faustian Nonsense
00:00:00 00:40:04

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In which Puck prepares to meddle, Hermia plans to move in, and Oberon and Titania make a wager.

For the full scripts, check out the show notes at: https://a-midsummers-quarantine.captivate.fm

For more Faustian Nonsense shows, or info about the network, check out faustiannonsense.com.

To contribute to the FN Patreon, go to patreon.com/faustiannonsense.

Episode One:

An Honest Puck

Cast

(In Order of Appearance)

Puck -- JOE CRUZ

Oberon -- TREVOR SCHECHTER

Helena -- AMELIA KINCH

Demetrius -- TONY WOODS

Hermia -- JACLYN SEELAGY

Lysander -- GREG CARROBIS

Titania -- AVALON WILLOWBLOOM

Scene One

Setting: Puck, Oberon, and Titania’s penthouse apartment in Manhattan. 

PUCK


[Directly to mic/audience]


Hey Mustardseed, Musty darling! Thanks for agreeing to edit this together for me! I mean, you haven’t agreed yet, but I know you’d never refuse me--so thanks!


[Chuckles to himself]


It is for a good cause. The best cause, really. You know how nice our place is, right? I mean, it’s a penthouse in Manhattan, so obviously it’s gorgeous. And you were here for that Halloween party, right? I remember you commenting on the gas stove. Something something plumbing renovations in New York are a nightmare, something. It was super boring but you seemed into it! And you know I support your boring interests heart and soul, Musty. 


 But did you know, it’s also rent controlled? We’ve been here for, what, fifty years? Oberon was in a deep cut v-neck and platform shoes when we moved in, so it’s been a hot minute. 


So, rent controlled. Started in the 70s. You do the math. Tally it up in your head. Got it? Ready? 


Cut it in half, Musty. Titania was on a streak, all about ‘charming humans out of their wits for fun and profit, not to mention style.’ I’m pretty sure the documents have a bit of the landlord’s drool preserved in the paper. Horrific, but hey. 


Now Puck, you say, it sounds like things are great! What could you possibly need my help for? Well, it’s Oberon and Titania. You know how they are. No sense of respect for things! Remember that time Obie smashed Jimmy Hendrix’s guitar after Tiddy slept with him? They scold me, “so materialistic, Puck!” Meanwhile they’re leaving Dior this and Gucci that on the floor for the cat to nest in. 


 So you see, if I leave them to it, they’ll destroy this beautiful, beautiful oasis in their next knockdown, blow-out break up. It would honestly be a sin. It’d be a literal crime. But me? I would cherish this place, Musty. I would treat her like the lady she is.


So what I’m doing--what we’re doing, sorry darling--is saving the day, if you think about it. We’re going to get this baby the parent she deserves. Someone committed, someone clever, someone handsome - that’s right! Good ol’ Puck. Mr. Robin Goodfellow. Me. 


Oh, and you! Of course. Whenever you get time away from throwing pollen about or whatever it is you do these days. And all I need is a teensy tiny favor... 


[Pause to appreciate his genius, get smug]


When Oberon and Titania pack up and leave in a whirlwind of drama, we just need evidence to show that they left. Then once they’re gone to weep crocodile tears at the JW Marriott or wherever, I’ll have the rights as the Sole. Renter


And it’s only a matter of time. They’re overdue, actually, it’s been a month longer than their longest streak without a split. 


We only have to fool the human courts. They’re always on and on about this “evidence” crap. So I figure, I’ll record Tiddybell and Obie-Ron until I have what we need. And then you’ll put it together to paint a lovely picture of two people breaking up...with their penthouse.


[Chuckles]


Oop, shh! Here comes Obie. The show’s starting. 


Scene Two

Setting: Puck, Oberon, and Titania’s penthouse apartment in Manhattan. 



[A door opens and closes as OBERON comes into the room. Room doors opening and closing. Kitchen clattering sounds as OBERON gets ready to bake.]



PUCK


Baking? Already?



OBERON


Puck! Hey! I didn’t realize you were home! 



PUCK


Don’t we have four loaves in the freezer already--?



OBERON


It goes fast with Titania around. 



PUCK


Isn’t she on a no-carb diet? 



OBERON


[Fake innocently]


Oh, is she? That would be so tragic then, if I had a freshly baked loaf out and ready to be cut when she finishes recording.



PUCK


[Flatly]


What’d she do this time? 



OBERON 


You mean aside from collaborating with thirty other ASMRtists? After insisting she preferred to  “keep her brand a solo thing” when I asked? 



PUCK


Yikes. 



OBERON 


Mmhm. I saw her @’ing and cosying up to the whole community on Twitter. It’s like she actually wants to hang out with the humans. We eat them, Puck. It’s gross. 



PUCK


[Solemnly]


Revolting. But you’re not going to really put human ...bits… in the bread, are you? 



OBERON


What? Ew. No. Just emotions.



PUCK


But we’re stuck in the apartment, so the only source of emotions is…


[Realizing gasp


Oh, you’re bad.



OBERON


I mean, the timing is perfect. She’ll be going live as we speak.



PUCK


[sighs]


Ah, young people nowadays and their artificial sounds of pleasantry. I remember a time when the greatest aural pleasures could be derived from such simplicity as wind through lush foliage, the soft babbling of a sparkling brook...And the shrieks of the villagers as they awaken to find I’ve turned their children into Mongooses…


[questioning voice]


Mongoose? Mongeeses? Oberon?



OBERON 


What?



PUCK


Mongeeses?



OBERON 


I don’t know!


[Turns on a speaker, connects his phone to play a podcast


Honestly, we’re lucky we live where we do. There are only so many places with neighbors that broadcast their feelings over the internet.



[Turns on Helena in a Handbasket, intro starting live



PUCK


[Talking over the Podcast intro


What’s it called again? I can never remember.



OBERON


[Lowers the volume


What? 



PUCK


What’s the title? I can never remember. 



OBERON

 

If you listened to the opening, you’d know it was Helena in a Handbasket. 


[Unpauses it



PUCK


[Talks over it again


Helena Handbasket?



OBERON


[Pauses it again, getting annoyed



Helena in a Handbasket. Are you done?



PUCK


I could be.



OBERON


I’m trying to listen. Come on, they don’t have live episodes that often. I can’t concentrate on her and you at the same time, and you know that the bread is best when I know in real time what I’m absorbing. If you have anything else to say, say it now before I unmute it. 



PUCK


Like what? 



OBERON 


I don’t know! You ask so many stupid questions.



PUCK


It’s not my fault Dmitri is so hard to follow. 



OBERON 


Demetrius. 



PUCK


Oh right, and that’s her brother?



OBERON


No! They’re roommates!



PUCK


Oh my god they were roommates.



OBERON


[Long breath in and sigh. Mentally counts to ten.



PUCK


What’s the point of this show, anyway?



OBERON


It’s just a reality show, an experiment that got popular. She records her life, and her network, Fair Athens, releases it. And no, I’m not a fan, it’s just a really convenient way to feed on their emotions. 



PUCK


Exactly what is it about self-quarantining that makes for such fascinating listening? Such emotional energy?



OBERON


Come on, you know what fools these mortals be. It’s always drama. Demetrius has it bad for Helena, she likes him back, and she hasn’t noticed either of these things, even though it’s painfully obvious. It’s a classic will-they/won’t they sort of deal. 



PUCK


I remember a 16th Century Duke and Lady that was like that. All pretty favors and glancing looks. Oh! The chatter of the Aristocracy about them was famous at the time! Too bad I turned ‘em all into cats.



OBERON


Good gods Puck...No, this is a more modern...Less Hexen love story. It’s more akin to--



PUCK


Ross and Rachel?



OBERON


[surprised]


Yes! Except neither of them are insufferable. But that tension, that obliviousness, the aching… It makes a good show. Fair Athens really struck gold on this. And for us, it’s really convenient.



PUCK


Because of the food thing?  



OBERON


Right! Obviously. A steady, reliable diet. Any more questions? Because I’m going to turn it back on and bake the damn bread if not.



PUCK


One more question: do the other bakers on your forum think that using magic on your bread is cheating? 



OBERON


[Loud sigh]


Last chance. If you interrupt, I’ll strangle you. 


[long pause as he waits for Puck to annoy him again]


I’m turning it back on in three… Two… One… 


[Oberon turns it back on



PUCK


I’ll be silent as a mouse.


[Clatter of dishware being thrown at Puck thrown dish, and Puck’s laughter. The fae’s home sounds slowly fade out]


--- Listener tunes in to Helena in a Handbasket with them ---



Scene Three

Setting: Puck, Oberon, and Titania’s penthouse apartment in Manhattan. 



HELENA


[She’s in the middle of talking


--third complaint from the building about Demetrius’s roof-garden beekeeping. If he doesn’t control it better they’re gonna make him remove it, and I don’t know what happens to the bees when you do that… With my luck we’ll end up with a beehive in our closet. 


So, I’m gonna have to argue with the management company again. Riveting listening, eh folks?


[sigh]


It’s just that I could do so much more than this. I’m more than this, you know? I sent auditions to a bunch of audio dramas, and zilch, nada, nothing. And I haven’t finished off my own scripts yet, so… I’m stuck with a stupid reality show. 


N-Not that reality shows are stupid! Oh, god, please don’t be offended. I’m going to be a real scriptwriter someday, is all I’m saying. You know I love you all. This show is like doing diary entries, except your diary talks back to you and--yep, right on time. Requests nudes in the live chat. I can always count on you, earperv1972. 


[DEMETRIUS knocks]


Come in! Hi, what’s up? 



DEMETRIUS


Oh, you’re recording! I can come back--



HELENA


No, no, it’s fine! It’s good when you’re here. I mean, listeners keep commenting that it’s good when you’re here. With me. When I’m recording. That sounded way creepier than I meant it to. 



DEMETRIUS


[laughs fondly


Well, sure. Anything for earperv1972.



HELENA


I mean, you’ll get a cut of ad revenue as always! It’s only fair. 



DEMETRIUS


That’s not--



HELENA


Why am I so nervous all of a sudden? Oh. Wait, you want to talk about something private? You do, don’t you. Oh man, and here I’ve basically given you the least discrete introduction ever. I can pause recording for a second, hold on. I’m such an ass--



DEMETRIUS


No, no! It’s fine! Really, nothing scandalous. I was just ordering some lunch, was in the mood for a sandwich. 



HELENA


McBeth’s?



DEMETRIUS


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