WitchFynder: Time -Lost /“Thermidor”: Vol 1. ‘Epoch’/Act I: Tussaud’s Workshop: /
Marie of Baker Street Bazaar:
“Rescuing Gedmar’s Sister”
The following voice over narrative, is accompanied by dialogue*.
Synopsis: The Time-Lost crew, and Captain Veeryna encounters a pitiful troglodyte, and the crew finds a way to prevent his sister from being guillotined.
* ( Parts written for 4 different voice actors)
Introducing the ‘witchfork’ concept. The Time-Lost crew return to the date and time preceding the execution of the 16 Carmelite nuns, to see if their intervention worked, they discover the Benedictine nuns were beheaded instead. They warn the Benedictine nuns, and return to see if they prevent their executions.
As part of a series of WitchFynder: Time-Lost (Time Travel adventures), where the protagonists, encounter historical situations, and try to alter the outcome, to save lives.
Generally rated Pg-13.
Genre: Mystery, mild horror, suspense, thriller, and historical fiction/ fantasy adventure ( sci -fi: like the “Quantum Leap” TV show of the 1990’s).
Original Fiction Concepts: WitchFynder: ( a time travel artifact) Pronounced: “Witch- Fynder ( as in fender). Time-Lost : the name of the team of protagonists, who travel in time – like “Quantum Leap” to change history for the better.
This segment of WitchFynder: Time-lost series: Thermidor Saga: Act I.“ Tussaud’s Workshop” Scene 3: based on the true story of the Martyrs of Compiegne:
Dialogue is in quotations ( bold face black) – other roles greyed out
Veeryna: ( female; calm Captain) 38 Pronounced: Veer ( as in beer) yna ( as in geena – like Geena Davis)
Teenuh:( female; peevish, Lieutenant) 26 Prounounced: Teenuh as in tea – nah ( as in Tina)
Delsun: ( male; Co-Captain, peace maker)28 Pronounced: Dell – son
Jahon: (male; engineer; type A personality) 21 Pronounced: Jay hon ( as in crampon)
Dekron (M 76) Mardath(M 52) , and Kelsinaya (F 34) : Overseers of the Time-Lost travelers, who keeps watch over the Witchfynder, while the crew enter the continuum; by linking his observation chamber to the tangent- potentiality; so that they are able to return to where they started.
Gedmar: ( male, homeless, 48; the pitiful troglodyte, whose sister Laice is executed)
Laice: ( Lay ee scha 39) Gedmar’s sister – who was guillotined by the tribunal.
Beheaded: ( BEE ( Maybe) Hed ( Ned))
benedictine: Ben·e·dic·tine | \ ˌbe-nə-ˈdik-tən
Witchfynder: Witch–’Fin’ (as in dorsal ‘fin’)- der.
Chief Narrator: * The ‘witchfork‘ is a ‘tangent/potentiality’ – created by the witchfynder; through the ‘continuum/intervention’ of the Time Lost.
Chief Narrator: “ The Time Lost encounter a troglodyte, and the crew finds a way to prevent his sister from being guillotined. “
19 words: subtotal 35
Dekron: “Alright you guys, we’re sending you back to see if your intervention worked. I hope you got it right this time. Each trip, there is a risk, you won’t come back. Be careful.”
Chief Narrator: “The Time-lost arrive 15 minutes before the 16 Benedictine nuns were guillotined to see if they prevented it. “
20 words: subtotal 55
Jahon: “This doesn’t look good.” ( points to a cart with prisoners headed to the guillotine.)
Veeryna:“ Things were so bad,… this was some form of entertainment?”
Chief Narrator: “ Solemnly, trailing off, to a life-less whisper – the captain of the Time Lost reflects on the atrocities of the Reign of Terror.
Riders in the horse drawn cart vacillate between fanning hysterically, and making an effort to appear dignified. The wheels of the cart over the cobblestone, drown out any conversation from the anxious women. “
A grizzled looking bumpkin shouts: “ Off with her head!” – Six feet from the Time Lost.
75 words: 130 sub
Veeryna:“ Rude! ”
Chief Narrator: ” A hearty smile, reveals missing teeth. His right hand, wrapped in dirty rags, held to his mouth – amplify his jeers*. In his lefthand a pike with a severed head. “
*definitions: jeer:make rude and mocking remarks, typically in a loud voice.
30 words: 160 sub
Veeryna: (Steps to the heckler, slapping him cold and hard. He looks speechless, but unrepenetant) “ Troglodyte! Didn’t your mother teach you any manners?”
Chief Narrator: “ Off with her head!” he says again, with the aplomb of a shameless huckster. “
Having seen aristocrat after aristocrat, royal upon royal – beheaded, by the so-called humane invention: the crowd is impatient and not easily impressed. indifferent to dread of the current prisoners on their way to the The guillotine .”
53 words: 183 subtotal
Teenuh: “ What if that were your mother?
(Standing next to the Captain – when the stocky Delsun and fiery Jahon come to stand by her, Gedmar covers his head, expecting blows. )
Gedmar: “ ,uhh, “ ( he looks confused, acting like squeamish, apprehensive, and wincing, as if anticipating being beaten) “,..what, you mean?,.. mah, ma’s dead,..”
Jahon: “ What if that were your sister?”
Gedmar: “, (his eyes are wide, like a deer in the headlights, terrified, assuming the Time Lost are some sort of police come to drag him to the guillotine ) “,..they chopped off me sistuh’s head, 7 months ago,..” ( he tears up, looking away, as he says it, giant jowls, and underbite, from missing teeth, quavering) .”
“.. fer counter revolutionry activitees,… bu, she was jus a honuss le brarian,..”
( he sounds like her misses her, looking, down, as his face reddens, and a tear escapes, his weather beaten face. Clearly, now, a haunted visage; of a man drunk with profound grief, and still trying to make sense of the senseless loss of his admired sibling).
Chief Narrator: “ Off with her head!”
A loud cry from the crowd – drunk with bloodlust.
Drummers are seen waiting to play a drum roll before each head is chopped off. The weighted blade is drawn up, dripping with blood from previous executions. The guillotine has been executing prisoners for hours. The cart bringing the daily prisoners, is slow, and somber.”
60 words: 243 sub
Teenuh: ( Looks over her shoulder, annoyed at the incessant chants, – like someone upset about the neighbors rock music. She looks down at the troglodyte, not sure how to react, now that the old heckler appears pitiful. Her eyes widen -walking back her righteous indignation a notch)” oh,..I’m sorry.’ ( genuinely consoling)
Delsun: “ Where did you get that ? ( he says incriminatingly, like a detective pointing out a legal offense- to skewer the troglodyte’s pity act – not satisfied that he is worthy of the compassion of his more nurturing peers)
Gedmar: ( looks up with a dour expression,- taking a deep sniff. Attempting to answer, his jowls quaver, while looking at the head, which appears to be taxdermied, of a middle aged woman with a brunette pony tail, he breaks down – the sobbing breaking up his speech,..dirty, bandaged hands rising to bury his face into,..) “ it, me -sistahz,..– “
Chief Narrator: “ Off with her head!”
Bloodthirsty calls, demand.
Colorfully dressed rabble, a cacophony of raucous voices -juxtaposed with the gravity of the situation; underscore the callous ennui of the vulgar crowd.
The roaring bustle, a devouring force, that has swallowed, people of all walks of life, during the Reign of terror. “
“ The Time-lost navigate the crowd, hoping the next execution will be averted by their intervention.”
67: sub 310
Jahon: (looking still unmoved, demands) “ Why do you keep it?” ( insinuatingly, like disapproving officers, probing for a crime)
Gedmar: “ ( he is bawling in abandon, and fear for his life, from the interrogation by the Time Lost, who to him, could easily be secret police of the Revolutionary Tribunal) “ ,.. ( snuffling) ,.. it’s all I have left of uhr,.. sniffled , my sistuh twuz me owhle family,..” ( He sobs for a few minutes, the two Time Lost men seem unmoved, and look toward the women, rolling their eyes, certain they are feeling pity).
“Despite the morbid spectacle, a festive ambiance is present.
“ In another cart, fancily dressed women in provocative outfits festooned with colorful bowties, French maids outfits – are brought to the scaffold. “
“ The cart rounds the corner, the scaffold appear the cart passes a crowd of angry peasants, who heckle, jeer, and chant angry epithets, some kicking the ground, and throwing fruit. As soon as the cart passes, a young grade school aged boy is seen smiling, and kicking his heels together, like a jester. And younger kids are seen holding their mouths, giggling. “
[ the effect, is to show the relative disinterest of the crowd, and their participate as a role in a passing parade; they heckle the prisoners, but aren’t really emotionally invested beyond the momentary participation opportunity – conveying the state fair like quality, of a crowd, waiting around, for a public spectacle, and the almost blaise attitude of the general audience; to the everyday event].
95 words: 405 words
Gedmar: “ When de trowed,.. “ ( he wells up in tears again, face squinching up, a beet red face, from being in the sun all day; skin leathery, homeless exposure) her head toward the cart, it was overloaded, and fell out. I dunno, what took me, .. I was angry,… “
Chief Narrator: “Kids run and skip, smiling – like bored visitors at a state fair, waiting in line, to be entertained,..babies are either sleeping, or crying for attention. The parents want to be part of the event, showing their kids, pointing – some covering the eyes of the very young.
But in the atmosphere of ‘revolution’, the time honored vestiges of religious principles, are more readily shirked; and the irreverent behavior of the rabble foments the atmosphere of ‘terror’.
77 words: sub 482 (-29) apply to end
Gedmar: “ I didn’t want them to take my sistuh, , (‘snuffle’)_,.. ( looking wide eyed, telling a story of nerves, and adrenaline) – when I picked up her head; one of the assistants from up on the scaffold tole me to ( he musters a guttural impression, revealing a phlegmy rattle ) ‘get away from there!’ ,.. I wrapped in me jacket, see,… un I a runs all duh way over to where’s I sleep – “
Veeryna: ( looking compassionate, seeing the frown of disapproval from Teenuh) “ ,..where do you sleep?”
Gedmar: “Tussauds, behind the garbage bin. “
Jahon: “ If you said she had her head chopped off 6 months ago ( he is heavily elbowed by Teenuh, who frowns in anger at his callous interrogative cross examination) then how comes it’s not rotten.”
Gedmar: “ The Ma’dame, ,… she comes out, sees me wit duh head, bloody, still,… leaking,… ( he sobs again for a minute: Veeryna putting a hand on his shoulder to comfort the pitiful troglodyte),.. and takes it,.. I dunno why, but I trusts her,.. ( he gestures with his hands, which are still caked with dried blood) , .. Den one day ma’dame brings back my sistuh,… all cleaned up,..” ( he looks up at it, pursing his lower lip, trying not to cry again. )
Chief Narrator: “Nearby rabble shout: “Off with her head!”
A procession of prisoners are carted across the courtyard of scoffing onlookers.”
The time lost are crestfallen: The cart is taking 16 cabaret dancers to be beheaded. Not the Carmelite nuns, or Benedictine. But the same exact number.”
47 words: 529 sub
Chief Narrator: “ 16 Martyrs of Compiegna are saved, but 16 others take their place. A new problem, the Time-Lost are faced with, when trying save lives, in the continuum of potentialities:
Preventing the beheadings of sixteen women of the convent, their intervention enables the beheadings of sixteen women from the dance troupe. They have not found the ‘witchfork’, the moment and form of intervention, must be elsewhere. “
Chief Narrator: “ The Time lost realize their victory is pyrrhic. “
74 words: 603 words
Veeryna: “ In the place of the Benedictine nuns – the dancers from across the storefront of Tussaud’s are going to be guillotined. “ ( soundtrack, highlighting , melodramatic suspense)
Jahon : “ This doesn’t make any sense.”
Chief Narrator: “ The executioner standing by the guillotine pulls the weighted blade up.”
11 words: 614 sub
Veeryna: ( winces, turns away to avoid the ghastly sight)” Ugh, .. this is barbaric. This is not what we had hoped would happen. “
Chief Narrator: “ When the Drum roll stops, the blade falls: “Thunk” A woman’s head is cut off. Relocated to a basket – the assistant dumps the woman’s headless body from the bascule* – quickly, the next woman in line is locked in the lunette, and the blade falls again; chopping off her head. Just like the Martry’s of Compiegne, but this time, a different 16 women are guillotined.
* definitions: bascule ( pronounciation)
The moral quandary the Time-Lost now face, is : it sufficient that the nuns were saved, to justify allow the dancers to be beheaded. Dekron has given them sufficient Ethical studies, to trust their judgement. It is left to the captain, and first mate; Veeryna, is not pleased with this potentiality.
117 words: 731 sub
Veeryna: “We wanted to save lives, not cause others to be taken. There must be a more Ethical alternative.” ( Sounding perturbed. Reasoning there is hope for a better outcome).
Chief Narrator: “A third assistant steps up to the basket to pull out the most recent head; a young woman, with a bouffant, which he holds up, and displays for a few seconds, in three directions for the assembled crowd.
The clothes which were the sacred relics of the Benedictine, grabbed hastily, to preserve them – in the previous potentiality, are those, now, of the dancers.
Veeryna: ( looks distressed) “ Lets get out of here Delsun,.. ( looking away as the severed head is held up, and tossed in the cart) ..What’s taking Dekron so long? “
Delsun: “ Dekron says our connection isn’t good,.. there is an electrical storm approaching, and we’ll have to wait it out to coordinate the next time-dive.” ( he puts a reassuring hand on Veeryna’s shoulder; she looks to him, pursing her lips, as though in grudging acceptance, and tilts her head to touch his hand. Jahon’s eye’s widen as he notices the public display of affection. Jahon looks to Teenuh, who is out of his reach)
The women line up, with a fourth assistant, directing them, opening the cart, and guiding them down the steps of the cart exit, to the scaffold stairs . The women begin approaching the guillotine, one at a time, with a line of three standing behind the bascule, after each woman is executed.
The factory like speed of the enormity, makes one of the Time-Lost think of a possible remedy: somehow preventing the Guillotine from being invented. But before Jahon announces it, someone grabs his arm. It is Gedmar.”
153 words: 884 sub
Gedmar: “ See, … Marie’s workshop ,.. de did a wunerful job, .. dittent day,…” ( he has lowered the pike, to show the taxidermy job )
Jahon: ( seeing how pitful, Gedmar is, some empathy is elicited) “ ,.. yes,..”
Chief Narrator: “ Jahon turns away and walks closer to the site of their intervention; where the sixteen dancers, are being beheaded, one at a time. The assistant executioner displays a freshly severed head. The eyes are still moving, and the mouth still moving, as it is displayed. “
The crowd is seen as a man is holding it up, for each side he displays it to. Finally, he reaches back, to toss the head onto a cart of heads on the right side of the scaffold. The head tossed in the cart bounces in the basket. The crowd is heard to roar louder; sounding delighted, and jeering. Callous spectators undeterred by the morbid aspects of the gruesome entertainment event , Guillotine beheadings were considered during the Terror.
Teenuh: “ Yeah, can we get the Hell out of here,.. as it is , I’m going to have nightmares for weeks,..is that a drop of water I felt. ( she looks up, with a expression, ‘can anything else go wrong).’”
Jahon: “I see why they called this the rain of terror. “
Teenuh: (frowning, looking to him like a sibling that anticipates a bad pun, and elbows them in the shoulder. They aren’t siblings, but they act like brother and sister – despite Jahon being more than brotherly interested) “ Brilliant.”
From above the cart, all the heads surrounding the freshly severed one, are seen to visibly blink; as the newly added head motions it’s mouth. Chanting picks up to a crescendo:
“Off With her head!” “Off With her head!” “Off With her head!” “
171 words: 1055 words
Chief Narrator: “ A loud thunk sound is heard, and a splashing of blood enters from the left.
The head in the cart, blinks as blood splashes on its face, and the mouth frowns. The fresh blood drips around the forehead, over an eye, as the eye winces, looking up annoyed. “
48 words: 1103 sub
Teenuh: “ Can we go now? I don’t want to watch anymore,.. we already know what’s going to happen.”
( she looks pale, and slightly angry; the din of the crowd, like a rock concert; the attitude of the crowd, and it’s disregard for the events, is unsettling to Teenuh; a fiery idealist, with little tolerance for what she doesn’t agree with. )
Jahon: ( supporting his colleague, whom he rarely agrees with whole heartedly, but in this instance he doesn’t hesitate to second her motion, for early) “ Yeah, lets identify the ‘witchfork’, – so we can make sure this never happens.
Chief Narrator: “Cheers from each side of the crowd are heard, and then the eyes look alarmed, and flinching as though bracing for impact; face squinching up; as another head is tossed into the cart, and knocks the first head away like a billiard ball.
The newest head, is black haired, straight, in a bouffant.. and looks pouty, petulant, and feelings hurt – angry. The head seems to slowly fall to one side – then all the heads seem to jostle; after a horse command -a whip sounds. The cart begins to move.”
91 words: 1194 sub
Veeryna: “,… I’ve had enough ‘Terror’ for one day.”
Delsun: “I’ll check with Dekron,…” ( he waits for his connection, which seems to take longer than five minutes.)”,.. sorry com is still down. “ ( he looks around, trying to be resourceful and meet the needs of his comrades). “ Meanwhile, why don’t we take a walk over to Tussauds, and see if anything changed?”
Chief Narrator: “ The team is eager to get away from this place, as they walk toward Tussaud’s, Gedmar calls after them: “
19 words: 1213 sub
Gedmar: “ Nice chatting wit ya,,.. “
Chief Narrator:“ He turns back to the scaffold, where the guillotine is beheading another woman from the dancing troupe. Seemingly warmed by the human interaction with the Time-Lost; despite his pitiful state, Gedmar is, a lonely brother who misses his sibling; by crowd participation, simply trying to be around others – and contribute somehow.”
52 words:1265 words subtotal
Chief Narrator: “Not moments after they are out of earshot, Gedmar picks up the chants of : “Off with her head! Off with her head.!”
Brandishing the head on his pike, like a patriotic flag. These people are merely participating in the zeitgeist. They didn’t create it. It was the Jacobins, and the Public Safety Committee that ordered the executions.
Gedmar watches the scaffold – as a woman at the front of the scaffold line, steps into the bascule, and as it is lowered into place. The cart of heads and the other cart of headless bodies, ride off.
The Time Lost have reached the road leading toward Tussauds, going in the same direction as the cart carrying nine of the beheaded dancers. Veeryna makes a perturbed expression. “
128 words: 1393 + ( +29 )
Veeryna: “ I thought using the witchfynder to warn the victims would save lives. But, don’t you see. In a way, we are playing god. And have caused these women to be executed in their place. “
Delsun: “ That wasn’t the plan.”
Chief Narrator: “The headless bodies in the cart, jostle. The cart circles a mass grave, still being dug and parks. Assistants open the rear door, and begin dragging out, bodies, like heavy furniture, and tossing them into the pit.
5 bodies follow a curved trajectory, with some parts swinging, seeming lifelessly tossed, over the edge of the grave.”
56 words: 1449 1265 + 1321 sub
Veeryna: “ Do these women deserve to die any more than the ones we ‘rescued’. What’ve accomplished? This is an exchange – a sacrifice! “
Jahon: “ I have qualms about this too!” ( directed at Delsun, the apparent leader)
Delsun: “ You bring up a good point, Veerah. This unexpected outcome, verges on conflicting with the principles of ‘doing no harm’. I say we have to find a better solution.”
Chief Narrator: “The bodies in the mass grave are nude; a third assistant is shown removing the clothes, and putting them in another chest, apparently callously scavenging the clothes of the executed; more interested in their finery. Inside the rear of the cart of severed heads; jostling, moving, some eyes shut, one still moving.
52 words: 1373 sub
The Time-Lost pass the area of town where the guillotine is executing the last it will claim, before the Terror ends in 3 days. About to enter Tussaud’s workshop, Veeryna speaks to Delsun, sharing an epiphany:”
89words: 1538 sub
Veeryna :“ I have one!” ( like a Eureka moment ). ( sounding on the verge of a break through, speaking rapidly – like Sherlock Holmes putting together a puzzle, starting by itemized the pieces, to then rearrange them)
Veeryna: “,.. the Tribunal found 16 women guilty of counter-revolutionary activities. “ ( as though this is enough of a hint for the rest to catch on, and come to the same conclusion)”
Delsun: “No matter how many people we warn, each time the continuum changes, there will still be 16 women executed in their place. “
Jahon: “ The witchfork *isn’t the people knowing in advance…”( looking over to Teenuh, nodding his head, with a smile. Glad to have solved the problem; despite the terror, taking it’s toll on everyone’s composure)
Teenuh: “ The tribunal is the witchfork! “
Jahon:“ Maybe if we can stop the tribunal from forming somehow,..”
Delsun: “,.. Then maybe we can prevent the Reign of Terror,..” ( sounding sardonic, skeptical,)
Veeryna: “ ,.. well, it’s worth a try.” ( said sighing, and wistful)
Chief Narrator: “The team walk toward tussaud’s. In the full moonlight, Jahon wonders if Teenuh is aware of his feelings for her. They have been on 4 missions together, and each time, they are near each other, he feels an energy. He isn’t ready to share them – unable yet to articulate them. As the peaceful breeze, rustles the spanish moss, and crickets at night, it seems a stranger to this area would not know there was a reign of terror.
But in Tussauds workshop, there are the severed heads, to remind the Time-Lost, the terror is far from over. “
99 words: 1637
“ At the back of a wax museum. A paper is handed to the cart driver, and two assistants exit the museum steps, with baskets and bags.
The assistants put heads in bags, and baskets; appearing like a market place, with customers handling fruit to purchase; setting the tone that this is a clinical, ordinary task, that though chilling and horrifying to the viewer; is partaken of in an emotionless perfunctory way; expressing how the event has been performed so frequently for these people, that it is ordinary.
The basket, is held by the gloved hands, of a museum assistant; indicating the delivery of the severed head shipment. The massive museum has stained polished hardwood floors, walls, stair rails; shiny, waxed, dark burnt sienna. There are vases, and suits of armor,…”
1500 Grand Total