21 January 2008

Complete first draft synopsis of "The Four Faces of Carles"

The Four Faces of Carles
By Nathan Everett
Time: October 1969-June 1970.
Genre: Occult Fantasy
October: Theatre major WAYNE Hamel wakes up in Dr. REBECCA Allen’s cultural anthropology class at Indianapolis City University to discover that all the rest of the students have been dismissed and he is alone with the hard-as-nails professor. After listening to his story, REBECCA agrees to switch WAYNE to independent study on condition that he complete a 50 page paper by the end of the term. He rushes out of class to meet British transfer student and fencing master JUDITH Harmon, his new love interest. She is very interested in his research assignment and agrees to a first date with WAYNE for the cast party of Hamlet.

Halloween: WAYNE and JUDITH go on their third date in a week for a Halloween costume party. JUDITH feigns drunkenness and WAYNE takes her home. When they part, JUDITH breaks into the library to plant research notes she knows WAYNE will find and include in his report for REBECCA. While there, she witnesses REBECCA go to the roof of the building to conduct the Samhain ritual. JUDITH escapes, setting off the alarms. REBECCA sees her run away, but doesn’t know who it is.

December: REBECCA declares WAYNE’s paper to be based on a fraud. She passes him because he did honest work, but recognizes at once that the materials he based the paper on were planted. She gets the message that was left in the source documents for her. The task she has sworn to undertake could be fatal. WAYNE and JUDITH, now blossoming in romance go to Christmas dinner and exchange gifts. He gives her a sword that he has made. She gives him her necklace, a star with her name-sign on it. JUDITH decides not to return to England yet.

Over Christmas break, Wayne visits his Uncle BERT, a former spy now retired in West Virginia. Bert initiates Wayne into the craft and gives him a name, a Book of Shadows, and a knife that is an ancient tool of power. Somewhat bemused by his BERT’s secrecy, WAYNE still agrees to study the writings and keep them secret.

February: WAYNE and JUDITH finish setting lights for the winter performance and find a spot in the costume closet to make out. While there, they witness a break-in and flee. WAYNE reads in BERT’s book and has a dream. Waking, he finds JUDITH and they go to the theatre to find out officially about the break-in. The theatre director warns them of dire consequences if drugs are found in or around the theatre.

Disturbed by what he has been reading and unable to sleep, WAYNE stops at his favorite late-night haunt, Donut World, where the waitress LISSA become his confidant about what he has been reading.

Strike night horseplay after the show ends with JUDITH asking WAYNE to come to England with her for spring break. WAYNE readily agrees, but at the cast party they are told that their production of Hamlet has been chosen for summer performances in England. WAYNE receives a message from an Ouija Board game to Beware Litha. His friends say the board has a lisp and it is LISSA he is being warned against. He turns down a disappointed JUDITH’s invitation for spring break because he will only be able to afford one trip to England.

March (Equinox): WAYNE takes JUDITH to the airport and discovers REBECCA is on the same flight. JUDITH avoids her. In England, REBECCA goes to Carles Castlerigg stone circle to perform the summoning spell to gather together the four sacred tools of the coven which have not been seen together since World War II (25 years earlier). This is the task that REBECCA has taken on that is to prove so dangerous. JUDITH joins REBECCA in the circle as a coven sister without revealing her identity. Together they raise the power and perform the summoning. Back in Indiana, WAYNE decides to experiment with the spells in BERT’s book and raises a small tornado. BERT shows up to quell it.

April: Acting as a campus delivery-boy, WAYNE delivers a package to REBECCA that is IƤpetus, the sacred staff of Carles. It has come to her from a dying friend who wanted to place it in her hands. WAYNE agrees to carry some boxes for REBECCA’s evening class and to pick them up after class. As they talk, REBECCA reveals that she must return to England in June. WAYNE invites her to join the cast of Hamlet for their tour. When she goes to an after-rehearsal outing to meet the director of the show, she comes face-to-face with JUDITH for the first time and recognizes her as a sister from Cobhan Carles. Tensions between the two women are electric and each accuses the other of recklessness.

WAYNE works on new props for the touring production of Hamlet and we discover how important it is to him that the craftsmanship of the props make them exact reproductions of historic items. He tests the throwing of Hamlet’s knife when JUDITH walks in. She demonstrates how to throw a knife while offering a veiled threat to WAYNE if he doesn’t watch his step in their relationship. Rehearsals are not going well, complicated by the fact that WAYNE must do a mimed love scene with REBECCA. There are obvious conflicts between WAYNE, JUDITH, and REBECCA.

May: There has been another break-in in the theatre. REBECCA decides to scry the perpetrator using evidence she has found. She goes to her rooftop sanctuary to perform the ritual, but is interrupted by a knife thrown into her circle. She is unable to catch the perpetrator before she has been locked onto the rooftop. WAYNE, in the meantime, decides that he will use his new-found power to place a ward around the building to prevent further break-ins. Rebecca has to fight against it to leave the building.

Rehearsals at last are going well, so the cast calls for a party day at Brown County Park. Things have been rocky between JUDITH and WAYNE as she spends more time with CHUCK, the actor playing Hamlet. WAYNE offers to give REBECCA a lift to the park. Once there, they encounter JUDITH and CHUCK rehearsing a knife-throwing scene. It serves to heighten the animosity between REBECCA and JUDITH, which WAYNE mistakenly assumes is over him. REBECCA cuts WAYNE a walking stick for their trip to England and WAYNE offers to repair the charred handle on REBECCA’s knife. She agrees.

June: The night before they leave for England, WAYNE arrives to repair REBECCA’s knife. When the job is finished, they take REBECCA’s ritual items to the scene shop to pack them in the crate of props. WAYNE includes his own walking stick in the crate. They kiss, flooding WAYNE with confusion. WAYNE and JUDITH decide to stay up all night before they leave and go to the school park to lay out blankets on the turf. They interrupt a dark ritual in the park and are chased out. A mysterious blade has been thrown at them which WAYNE recognizes as a missing saw blade from the shop. It has been decorated with symbols and WAYNE spends the rest of the night sleeping on the crated props to protect them.

The rest of the book (part 2 of the synopsis) all takes place over about two weeks in June in and around the village of Keswick in northern England, ending at summer solstice.

June 3, the cast arrives in Keswick. Props and costumes are held up in customs. WAYNE and REBECCA are sent back to London to get the crate out of customs. They get back to the theatre in Keswick 45 minutes before show time to find a disaster. WAYNE enlists JUDITH’s help to get the show up. They open on time. After the show WAYNE and JUDITH, with friends GAIL and GLENN go out for a walk to smoke a joint. WAYNE falls into a trance sleep and JUDITH abandons him. WAYNE has a dream. (content to determine what happens next. May be guided by Lissa.) GLENN gets him back to hotel and Rebecca wakes him from the trance.

June 11, the cast starts a four-night run at Ambleside. The theatre has better lighting, but the ropes holding up the batons are a tangled rat’s nest and there is only one dressing room for the forty performers. The knife-throwing scene having failed at Keswick, WAYNE has sharpened the blade and warns CHUCK to be careful with it. During the performance, CHUCK’s throw goes wild and severs a rope, dropping a heavily loaded baton and catching REBECCA on the back. Dr. MCBRIDE arrives and JUDITH identifies him as the high priest of Cobhan Carles. He claims the knife that was used on stage was Creus, the Athame of the circle. They both deny it and say it was a prop. When REBECCA sleeps under the painkiller, MCBRIDE suggests to JUDITH that they let REBECCA finish her task and then wrest the power of the tools from her together.

REBECCA has feverish dreams and awakes to find WAYNE caring for her. In an effort to patch things up between them, JUDITH shows up for an early outing with WAYNE to the lake. On the lake, WAYNE slips into a trance again and JUDITH wakes him by pouring wine down his throat. Recognizing that JUDITH did not have a corkscrew, WAYNE dives into the lake and swims away. He avoids contact with both JUDITH and REBECCA, believing they have been using him for some sinister end of their own.

Solstice: In the market, WAYNE rescues an old woman from a runaway lorie. She places a small leather pouch in his hands with the instructions to give it to REBECCA. WAYNE now believes the conspiracy extends to a great part of the village and determines to go completely undercover. Arriving early at the show tent, he sabotages the light board so the final show has to be canceled. While in the tent, however, he meets MCBRIDE, who has stolen the prop knife from the crate. He tells WAYNE that he has been used by both REBECCA and JUDITH in a private power struggle they are having over control of the tools of power. He tries to get WAYNE to hand over the pouch he has received, but the act triggers a deja vu experience for WAYNE and he escapes from MCBRIDE.

After the show has been canceled, with no sign of WAYNE, REBECCA and JUDITH finally meet together. JUDITH tells REBECCA that her mission has been to protect REBECCA and that MCBRIDE is in the midst of trying to use both of them to grab all the power. They promise to act together to prevent his success and to protect WAYNE, whom they have realized may hold the key. At that point they see the witch’s fire bloom from Skiddaw and realize that they have been called to the circle by someone else.

Back at the hotel, WAYNE waits until he sees GLENN’s light come on, then shoots a note through the window asking him to bring his suitcase to Walla Crag. He has misjudged the position of the windows, however, and the note comes through REBECCA’s window. She quickly packs WAYNE’s suitcase and rushes off to meet him at the rendezvous.

WAYNE is about to flee when he sees REBECCA, but she pleads with him to let her explain. The discussion is heated and when he accuses her of using sex to control him she slaps him. Something inside snaps and WAYNE fully enters another character. He flees, grabs his knife and robe from the suitcase and begins climbing the crag. REBECCA pleads with him to come down before he falls, but he manages the escape, dropping the leather pouch to REBECCA before he disappears into the night.

WAYNE stumbles off into the night and in his delirium he stumbles and slides into a river. Scrambling to get out and dry, WAYNE hears a female laugh from the river. He is enticed into the water and swims with LISSA who continues to instruct him on what he will have to do in order to truly believe in his magic. When he awakes from sleeping by the water, he dresses in his black robe. Holding his tools and the sacred knife of Carles, he climbs the hill toward the firelight at the top.

In the circle, the gathered priestesses of the circles that comprise Cobhan Carles challenge MCBRIDE’s right to call the gathering. He declares that he has the right because he can and no one else in the circle can. JUDITH releases REBECCA from her partnership and REBECCA faces off with MCBRIDE to raise fire from the Cauldron. The explosion that she creates knocks all of them back. MCBRIDE takes the opportunity to grab REBECCA and force her to the altar where he threatens to kill her if she refuses to help him forge a new Athame for the circle. Skilled in self-defense, REBECCA forces MCBRIDE backward and over the altar stone. When they land, the knife is shaken out of MCBRIDE’s grip and is launched across the circle.

When WAYNE reaches the top of the hill he sees REBECCA being threatened by MCBRIDE and charges to her aid. He is caught in the wards of the circle and can only watch helplessly as the knife dislodged from MCBRIDE’s hand sails directly toward him. In a last burst of effort, he moves his staff between himself and the knife, blocking the blade and bursting into flames as he breaks through the wards. Flinging off his robe he launches himself toward MCBRIDE with his own knife raised. He is stopped by REBECCA and JUDITH who declare that it is not their way, then realize that the knife WAYNE is brandishing is the missing Face of Carles. MCBRIDE is expelled and WAYNE joins REBECCA as a vagabond priest to complete the solstice ritual and scry in the great cauldron.

WAYNE realizes that REBECCA has become caught in the infinite possibilities of the future and in a supreme effort lifts the cauldron from the fire and smashes it against the altar, thus releasing REBECCA from the trance. In the steam that rises from the broken cauldron, they see LISSA materialize to congratulate them all on their task well-done. She always likes a theatrical entrance.

The next day, WAYNE is unsure how much of the previous night has actually occurred. He boards the bus and sits with JUDITH as they head off to tour Edinborough. On the way, JUDITH points out her own cottage and repeats her invitation for WAYNE to stay in England for a few extra weeks with her before returning to school in the fall. WAYNE agrees. After all, he’d really like to stay for Lugnasad (August 4).