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S1 E4: A Chance to Cure

As Alba and Holly race to cure a deadly outbreak of cranial swelling, Magnus receives a visit from the kingdom’s most feared outlaw.

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Episode Transcript

INT. OPERATING ROOM

SOUND: Footsteps and bumping of stretcher

ALBA

(rushed)

Get him up on the table.

PATIENT

(barely awake)

Ughhh….

HOLLY

You’re gonna be okay. Alba’s on the case, and you’re doing great.

SOUND: A thump

ALBA

Magnus, be more careful.

MAGNUS

Well, his head is huge!

ALBA

Holly, hook him up to the monitors, please.

HOLLY

On it.

MAGNUS

What we got, Doc?

ALBA

Patient is male, mid‐fifties. Reported a headache this morning, and noticed the swelling later, along with dizziness and blurred vision.

SOUND: A little “tink!” at intevals, like a heartbeat monitor

MAGNUS

Hey, how come you didn’t use the tinky‐tinky machine when you were healing me? My injuries were way more life‐threatening.

HOLLY

Do we need to anaesthetize?

ALBA

No, but a silence spell would be great about now.

HOLLY

I meant the patient.

ALBA

He was self‐medicating with plum brandy all morning.

MAGNUS

That’s what that smell is…

HOLLY

So his head isn’t supposed to be this big?

MAGNUS

What is wrong with him? Is it an abcess?

SOUND: Soft tapping

ALBA

Nope. See that? That’s bone. His actual cranium is enlarged.

SOUND: A scrunching, creaking noise, like something growing

MAGNUS

And getting larger.

HOLLY

Oh, that’s easy! He’s pregnant!

MAGNUS

Uh, humans don’t give birth through their foreheads, Holly.

HOLLY

Well, excuse me.

MAGNUS

See, this is why I have a problem with fairies doing medicine on people.

HOLLY

Fairies are people, monkey boy.

ALBA

Focus, please.

HOLLY

His pulse is strong and fast.

ALBA

So clearly, his humours are out of balance, with an excess of blood in the—

HOLLY

(puzzled)

Actually, the scroll says his humours are fine. Nothing out of balance at all.

ALBA

What? That can’t be right…

MAGNUS

I say we lance the swelling.

HOLLY

You always want to lance things and cut things open.

MAGNUS

Only ‘cause it gets results. Once, I treated a guy who had this huge lump on his—

ALBA

(interrupting)

Medicine is detective work. We don’t go in with the scalpels and needles without knowing the root cause.

SOUND: Scrunch

MAGNUS

Boring… Whoa.

ALBA

Still growing.

HOLLY

Ew! That vein in his forehead!

MAGNUS

What happens when it gets too big?

HOLLY

I don’t want to know!

ALBA

It can’t be purple bloat, and it’s the wrong time of year for balloon worms.

MAGNUS

Maybe it’s a curse?

ALBA

Hmm. Good thought. Go and get the Orb of Hydrogenes from my office. (hi‐DROD‐jen‐neez)

MAGNUS

And then can I lance him? Back at the monastery I had to save this monk who got a scratch on his arm from a zombie sloth and it bloated all up like a great big—

ALBA

Get me the Orb, Magnus.

MAGNUS

Fine. Promising young surgeon thwarted yet again.

SOUND: Scrunch

PATIENT

Urgh…

HOLLY

Stay with us. You’re strong and healthy and you’re gonna beat this thing.

ALBA

Holly, I don’t think he even knows what you’re saying.

HOLLY

It’s called an affirmation. It strengthens the spirit.

MAGNUS

Is this the right orb?

ALBA

That’s the one.

SOUND: Magical shimmer

ALBA

Hmm… No sign of malevolent magic.

HOLLY

So what do we do?

ALBA

(beat)

I think we’d better lance the swelling.

MAGNUS

I’ll get the needles.

SOUND: The ominous scrunching, growing sound again

SOUND: Rattle of instruments

PATIENT

Ughhhh…

HOLLY

(to patient)

You’re gonna be all right. You’re hale and hearty, and you’re gonna make it just fine.

MAGNUS

All right, my beauties. Who’s up for a little trip to the centre of the brain? Ten gauge? Eight gauge? Perhaps the one I like to call Ye Old Apple Corer?

ALBA

Standard gauge, number Four B.

MAGNUS

Your wish is my command. 70

ALBA

A little higher up, that’s it. Just behind the ear.

SOUND: A tiny, squishy noise, followed by a splatter of fluids

MAGNUS

Yeaaaaah.

HOLLY

Eww!

MAGNUS

Holly, if you can’t take the goo, get out of the operating room.

HOLLY

It’s glowing!

ALBA

Now that’s even stranger. Why is the cerebral fluid glowing?

MAGNUS

Dunno, but at least it should take the pressure off, shouldn’t it?

SOUND: The scrunching noise intensifies to dangerous levels, and the ongoing “tink tink” is quite RAPID NOW

ALBA

Or maybe not.

MAGNUS

Should I poke him again?

HOLLY

Oh gods!

ALBA

Get down!

SOUND: A messy, splattery explosion

MAGNUS AND HOLLY

(yell)

SOUND: Eerie silence—the “tink” noise has stopped. just the occasional drip

MAGNUS

Did you see that? That was awesome.

(beat)

But, you know, in a really bad way.

> MUSIC: OPENING THEME

HERALD

By appointment to the King and Queen: Alba Salix, Royal Physician! Episode the Fourth: A Chance to Cure.

INT. RECEPTION

ALBA

I’m so very sorry, Mrs Strudebaker.

MRS S.

Thank you, Miss Salix. I’m sure you did everything you could.

ALBA

It was quick. And I’m quite certain he didn’t feel any pain.

MRS S.

The way he drank, he seldom did. Oh, Arthur. Poor, silly Arthur. I just knew he’d meet a bad end some day… Would it be all right if I see him?

ALBA

Not just yet.

SOUND: Interior door and clanking of buckets

MAGNUS

(passing through)

Good morning. Don’t mind me…

MRS S.

What’s in those buckets?

MAGNUS

Nothing! Nothing to see…

ALBA

(sotto voce)

Magnus, I told you to use the other door.

MRS S.

That sound earlier… He didn’t—Arthur didn’t explode, did he?

ALBA

Well, in a manner of speaking…

MRS S.

It would be just like him, you know.

SOUND: Exterior door

GERRARD

(entering)

Help! This is an emergency!

MAGNUS

Whoa, check him out.

ALBA

Oh dear, not another one.

GERRARD

Are you the Royal Physician?

ALBA

That’s me.

GERRARD

My head is swelling. I need medical attention!

ALBA

All right, hold on to your hat. Sorry.

MRS S.

Is it an outbreak? Are we all going to explode?

GERRARD

Who’s exploded?

MRS S.

My husband!

GERRARD

Is this true? People have actually exploded?

ALBA

Well…

MAGNUS

Maybe.

ALBA

One.

MAGNUS

A little bit.

ALBA

We’re working to ascertain the cause.

GERRARD

I demand to be treated this instant!

ALBA

Please stay calm, Sir.

GERRARD

Do you know who I am?

ALBA

Yes, you’re that real estate man on all the signs around town.

GERRARD

Carlton Gerrard, property developer. I own this town. And you’d better have a cure for this, this… whatever it is!

ALBA

Yes, yes, come this way. Magnus—

MAGNUS

Standard gauge Four B?

ALBA

No. You stay here and… see to Mrs Strudebaker.

MAGNUS

Three B?

SOUND: Door slams

MAGNUS

Dangit.

INT. OPERATING ROOM

SOUND: Bubbling and stirring, plus the tink! noise again

GERRARD

So you have no idea what’s wrong with me.

ALBA

We’re working on it. Now, if you’d be so kind—

GERRARD

I need answers!

ALBA

Have you been drinking, Mr Gerrard?

GERRARD

Never touch the stuff. A man’s body is a temple. If I poisoned my mind with alcohol, I’d never have gotten this far—

ALBA

Just ruling out some possible factors. Any recent illnesses?

GERRARD

None. I’m healthy as a horse. Haven’t missed a day of work in twenty‐six years. And that includes weekends.

HOLLY

(hushed)

Alba, I’ve gone through the books… the symptoms are all wrong for brain galls.

ALBA

(hushed)

Damn.

HOLLY

But then I thought, what about a shrinking spell?

ALBA

Then he’d have a tiny head that’s still about to explode.

GERRARD

What are you two muttering about? Get on with it!

HOLLY

It’s okay, Mr Gerrard! You’re healthy as a horse! You can beat this thing!

ALBA

You had to say it, didn’t you?

INT. RECEPTION

MRS S.

It’s a shame, really. We never saw enough of each other.

MAGNUS

Yeah, you mentioned.

MRS S.

It was the show business, you see. He was always on the road.

MAGNUS

Uh huh.

MRS S.

“Strudebaker the Magnificent”. The best stage magician who ever lived. Dazzlioni, Bagatelle… All those younger so‐called illusionists, they stole every trick they know from my Arthur.

MAGNUS

But he didn’t do any real magic.

MRS S.

Oh, he dabbled a bit. And once he started losing his audience to those young upstarts, Arthur started hawking crystals and whatnot to make ends meet. Not that that ever worked.

MAGNUS

Wait a second. You said he was travelling?

MRS S.

Yes, he was just back from touring the west coast, down through Mediocria and the Pointy Lands. He caught some tropical disease out there, I just know it.

MAGNUS

You think?

MRS S.

I always warned him, don’t drink the water, and certainly don’t eat the food—that’s just asking for trouble.

MAGNUS

Sounds like a recipe for health.

MRS S.

But did he listen? Of course not. Always travelling, to all parts. Farloria, Balgomar, Eastrise… He went all over the place.

ALBA AND HOLLY

(both yell, off mic)

SOUND: A messy explosion in the other room

MAGNUS

Tell me about it.

MRS S.

And now he’s gone and exploded.

MAGNUS

Yeah. Listen, I gotta get back in the operating room.

(leaving)

We’ll have the undertaker call by your place, okay?

INT. OPERATING ROOM

SOUND: Dripping

HOLLY

(shellshocked)

I don’t understand it. We gave them pinchweed, elm bark…

ALBA

None of the incantations seemed to do anything.

SOUND: Door opens

MAGNUS

Another one blew and I missed it?

ALBA

Grab a mop.

MAGNUS

Yes ma’am.

ALBA

This is awful. Two patients lost in one day. And high profile patients at that.

MAGNUS

That’s a heck of a splatter radius. We should really put up some curtains or something.

HOLLY

Urghh…

SOUND: Mopping up

ALBA

But why these two? What did they have in common besides the symptoms?

HOLLY

Both male, both human…

MAGNUS

Both old, and kinda full of themselves.

HOLLY

You don’t know that.

MAGNUS

Hey, that’s what Mrs Strudebaker said. But more importantly, she says he probably picked up some tropical disease on tour.

ALBA

Really! Now that is interesting.

MAGNUS

See? Detective work.

ALBA

But how would Gerrard have caught it? He hasn’t left town in years.

HOLLY

Maybe he went to a magic show?

ALBA

Wait a second. What was that first thing you said, Magnus?

MAGNUS

Strudebaker was on tour in Melluria…

ALBA

No, about both patients being full of themselves. What if… what if that fluid in their brains was actually ego?

MAGNUS

You mean their heads got too big? Literally?

HOLLY

Oh no. That means…

ALBA

The egotistic fluid!

MAGNUS

The what?

ALBA

It’s only been a theory until now. This could be the first time it’s been isolated.

HOLLY

Oh my gosh it’s my fault. It’s all my fault.

ALBA

What is?

HOLLY

My affirmations. I told them both they were strong and they could fight it off. Oh gods, I fed their egos and now they’re both…

ALBA

I don’t think it was you, Holly.

HOLLY

(in tears)

I’m a bad fairy!

ALBA

Something out there is causing people’s brains to overproduce egotistic fluid. People with over‐inflated egos will be the most susceptible.

SOUND: Desk bell, from the other room

HOLLY

Oh gods, it’s another one!

ALBA

We don’t know that yet.

(calling)

Be right with you!

PAGE

(at the door)

Forgive me, Miss Salix, but this is a dire emergency.

ALBA

Let me guess. Who’s sick?

PAGE

Her Majesty the Queen.

ALBA

Oh no. If anyone’s got an excess of egotistic fluid, it’s Parabel.

INT. PALACE

GUARD

State your business.

ALBA

Royal Physician and her assistant to see Queen Parabel.

GUARD

Carry on.

SOUND: Gate opens; their voices and footsteps echo

HOLLY

(hushed)

I killed them, Alba!

ALBA

Nonsense. How were you to know?

HOLLY

I’ve killed two of your patients, oh, Alba… I don’t want to be a bad fairy.

ALBA

Well, help me with this, then. The salve you brought should induce melancholy, and on top of that we’ll both work on deflating her ego.

HOLLY

Both of us?

ALBA

We have to. It was always “me, me, me” when we were growing up… now she’s Queen she’s completely out of control. You should have seen her birthday party.

HOLLY

I saw the fireworks in the shape of her face.

ALBA

That’s Parabel for you. At dinner she had to have a different dress for every course.

HOLLY

I still don’t think I can be mean to her.

ALBA

Just keep your affirmations to yourself and leave the rest to me.

HOLLY

Okay.

ALBA

And don’t let on about the other cases. Don’t want to get her blood pressure up.

SOUND: Door opens; no more reverb

GUNTHER

Alba, thank goodness you’re here.

PARABEL

Alba! You have to help me…

ALBA

Your Majesties. Oh, Parabel, for heaven’s sake, what have you done now?

PARABEL

Me? Me?!

ALBA

See what I mean?

PARABEL

So much for bedside manner.

ALBA

Holly, she’s got the same symptoms. Cranium is enlarged, warm to the touch…

HOLLY

Okay. I’ll have the unguent ready in a sec.

GUNTHER

The same symptoms? There are other cases?

ALBA

(realizing her slip)

Yes. Two so far.

PARABEL

Oh, my head…

GUNTHER

There, there, dear. You’re in good hands. You can overcome this—whatever it is.

PARABEL

And I’m too young and beautiful to die.

GUNTHER

That goes without saying.

PARABEL

Oh, honey duckling…

HOLLY

(sotto voce)

Alba…

ALBA

Your Majesty, we’re going to have to be alone with the patient.

GUNTHER

But Parabel is in a weakened state…

PARABEL

And my Gunther gives me strength to carry on.

ALBA

Sorry, but no. Your Majesty, I have to insist.

GUNTHER

Very well. Courage, dear.

PARABEL

Oh, darling, I miss you already…

GUNTHER

Be strong, my treasure.

ALBA

Out!

SOUND: Door closes

PARABEL

Alba, why do you always have to ruin things?

ALBA

It’s my job. Hold still.

PARABEL

Oh, it’s too awful. Don’t look! Stop looking at me!

ALBA

How am I supposed to cure you if I can’t look at you, you stupid girl?

PARABEL

You see? You always treat me like I’m still your baby sister.

ALBA

Well, if the slipper fits…

PARABEL

I’m Queen now, and you’re not. And you should show some respect. Isn’t that right, fairy?

HOLLY

I wouldn’t know. I don’t get involved in human affairs.

PARABEL

Where did you find her? Are you sure she’s a good fairy?

HOLLY

Okay, I have to apply this to your forehead now… hold still for me, Your Majesty.

(whispering, to Alba)

Can I still call her Your Majesty?

ALBA

It’s fine.

INT. RECEPTION

SOUND: Quiet squishing and scraping

MAGNUS

(to himself, as he works)

The upper jaw connected to the cheek bone. Cheek bone connected to the temporal bone. The temporal bone connected to the… Wait. No, you’re part of Gerrard’s skull, you should be in that pile. Temporal bone connected to… c’mon, where is it…

SOUND: Door opens

GUY

(bursting in)

A surgeon! Ho! A surgeon!

MAGNUS

(startled)

Alba’s not here right now… can I help you?

GUY

I need medical attention, on the instant!

MAGNUS

Everyone’s so demanding today.

GUY

I have been wounded in a duel. Pierced here and here with a poisoned blade.

MAGNUS

That looks pretty deep.

GUY

Are you a surgeon?

MAGNUS

Well, I… yes! Yes, I am the House of Healing’s resident surgeon. So… poisoned, huh?

GUY

Indeed.

MAGNUS

Well, I’m okay with the surgery, but poisons aren’t really my department—

SOUND: Shink! of a sword being drawn

GUY

Forbidden to heal a known outlaw, are you? Don’t worry. I won’t tell. And neither will you. How’s that for fair?

MAGNUS

I’ve got a better idea. Hyah!

SOUND: Flurry of limbs. sword clatters to the floor, then picked up

GUY

Oho! Clever move, monk.

MAGNUS

Nice sword. I like the weight.

SOUND: He gives the sword an experimental swing or two

GUY

Yes, isn’t it nice? That’s why I always carry a spare.

SOUND: Shink!

MAGNUS

Well, aren’t you a tactical genius.

GUY

I hate to boast, but yes.

SOUND: Swords clash

MAGNUS

I trained in the Monastery of Dragon Mountain, for your information.

GUY

I’d guessed by the robes. But by the way you fight, I surmise you didn’t actually train for very long, did you?

MAGNUS

That’s a special technique to keep you off your guard. Haaa!

GUY

Really! I thought it was to get me to take pity on you.

SOUND: They fight, blades whirling and furnishings smashing, until…

SOUND: A wire whips through the air

MAGNUS

Glrk!

GUY

Drop the sword, little brother.

MAGNUS

(strangling)

Okay.

SOUND: Sword drops to the floor

GUY

Guy Van Fleet is the name. I’ve killed two men today, so I have a few to go to keep up my average.

MAGNUS

(awestruck)

You’re Guy Van Fleet? The highwayman?

GUY

No, Guy Van Fleet the scullery maid. You, young sirrah, will find me a remedy for this poison, and bind the wounds. Yes?

MAGNUS

That sounds like a good deal.

GUY

Now, as a little incentive, I should warn you that the wire around your neck is enchanted. I call it a dead man’s garrotte. If you’re wearing it and, let’s say, something happens and I die…

MAGNUS

(as the garrotte tightens)

Hurk!

GUY

…there goes your head.

MAGNUS

Uhhh…!

GUY

Now, let’s see about this poison, shall we?

MAGNUS

The pantry’s this way.

GUY

Good. And remember. I die…

MAGNUS

Hlgk!

GUY

…you die.

MAGNUS

Ingenious!

INT. PALACE

SOUND: Dabbing and squishing

ALBA

Any change?

HOLLY

No… I tripled the strength of the salve, but it’s still not doing anything.

SOUND: Scrunching noise

PARABEL

I knew I should have summoned Krankel sooner.

ALBA

That horrid little phony?

PARABEL

Why did we ever make you Royal Physician?

ALBA

Oh, I don’t know—for saving your life and Gunther’s?

PARABEL

And now I’m about to die because of you!

ALBA

It’s not my fault your head is swollen!

PARABEL

Oh? Whose fault is it?

HOLLY

It’s yours.

PARABEL

(speechless for a moment)

Well, I never!

HOLLY

(steeling herself)

It’s true. You’ve brought this on yourself.

PARABEL

How dare you address me like that. I’m your Queen.

HOLLY

See! And that’s the problem! You’ve let it go to your head.

PARABEL

Just who do you think you are?

HOLLY

I’m… I’m a good fairy who knows what’s best for you… Your Majesty.

PARABEL

It’s bad enough I have to listen to my domineering older sister.

ALBA

When have you ever listened to anything I’ve told you?

PARABEL

You don’t even have any natural talent.

ALBA

Unlike you, of course.

PARABEL

One happens to be the third daughter of a third daughter.

HOLLY

Well, why aren’t you out healing people, then?

ALBA

Good one.

PARABEL

Because I’m Queen, and I have more important duties!

ALBA

Such as?

PARABEL

Such as ruling, and representing Farloria to the world, and inspecting the Royal Constabulary…

HOLLY

But anyone could do that.

PARABEL

I’ve had enough of your impertinence, fairy.

(calling)

Guards!

HOLLY

(cracking)

I’m only saying it because otherwise you’re going to die, just like the others!

PARABEL

(stunned, then)

Die? People have been dying?

ALBA

So much for keeping that under wraps.

HOLLY

I’m sorry, but yes. We had two other cases like this today and they both…

PARABEL

What?

ALBA

Had complications.

HOLLY

(simultaneously)

Exploded.

PARABEL

And you couldn’t save them?

ALBA

If we’d saved them, they wouldn’t have… had complications.

PARABEL

Oh, gods, I’m too young to explode!

HOLLY

There’s no such thing. You… You’re not strong enough and you can’t possibly fight this!

PARABEL

Where’s Krankel? Summon the Sorceror General!

INT. OPERATING ROOM

GUY

Aaaaarghh!

MAGNUS

Seriously, I can give you a local if you want.

GUY

I prefer the pain. It’s good for you. Makes you feel alive.

MAGNUS

How’s the numbness?

GUY

Completely gone.

MAGNUS

That’s good then. The antidote’s working.

(to himself)

Thank the gods.

GUY

Arghh!

MAGNUS

So, close call, huh?

GUY

Hardly. I’ve survived far worse than this. When I broke into Castle Coconella, I slew twelve of the Duke’s elite guards with nothing but a lead pipe, and that with my hands tied behind my back.

MAGNUS

You’re kidding.

GUY

All in a day’s work for the kingdom’s most feared outlaw.

MAGNUS

Say, you haven’t felt any swelling in the, uh, head region, have you?

GUY

No… why do you ask?

MAGNUS

Just making sure it’s not.. something else. Okay, that’s the right side done. Turn this way and I’ll get that other wound allll sewed up.

GUY

It’s “sewn”.

MAGNUS

Yeah, I was just being, you know, colloquial. You know how we hardened criminals are.

GUY

Of course.

MAGNUS

So I was just thinking, if you ever need more help, you know, in future, with break‐ins or hold‐ups or anything, ‘cause I trained at the Monastery of Dragon Mountain where I learned to fight plus a lot of other useful skills such as sewing up stab wounds and splinting broken limbs and I’m also pretty good at mopping floors and… oh and I broke out of prison once! Well okay, a cage, anyway, I haven’t actually killed anyone before although I’m working my way up to it, I mean, I came pretty close this one time but yeah maybe it’s best to leave that kind of stuff to you since you’re the… expert…

A long pause.

MAGNUS (CONT’D)

I’ll just get you stitched up now.

GUY

Yes, that would be best.

INT. BEDROOM

SOUND: Door opens

HERALD

(entering)

The Sorceror General to see you, Majesty!

KRANKEL

Your Majesty.

PARABEL

Oh, Mister Krankel—!

KRANKEL

Doctor Krankel.

PARABEL

Thank heavens you’re here. Alba says I’m dying.

KRANKEL

Indeed. I came as soon as I could. Excuse me, ladies.

ALBA

Not at all.

KRANKEL

Good heavens. This is quite worrying.

PARABEL

(frightened)

Ohh!

KRANKEL

If your Majesty would be so kind as to hold this cup while I fill it with thrice‐distilled spirit of amber.

SOUND: Clasps on a bag being opened

SOUND: Flask opened and poured into a metal cup

ALBA

And what is this meant to achieve?

KRANKEL

A proper diagnosis. Observe the ripples on the surface of the liquid. Yes, it appears Your Majesty’s physical form has been distorted by mystical means.

ALBA

We’ve already tested for curses.

KRANKEL

Not necessarily a curse—possibly an accident. Let me see, now…

INT. OPERATING ROOM

GUY

Nnghhh!

MAGNUS

There we go. Just gotta tie that off…

SOUND: Snip of scissors; needle dropped into a tray

MAGNUS

And we’re done.

GUY

Good work, Brother Magnus.

MAGNUS

Hey, any time.

GUY

You may be young, but you could be quite a fine surgeon.

MAGNUS

Well, you know, I—gurk!

GUY

Which is why it’s a shame I have to kill you.

INT. PALACE

KRANKEL

See how the ripples cross now—the sign for water.

PARABEL

I must be taking on too much water!

HOLLY

That’s not what it means! Your Majesty.

KRANKEL

Hmm. Water can also refer to reflection or refraction…

PARABEL

Like a mirror?

KRANKEL

Quite. Has Your Majesty seen anything unusual in a mirror today?

PARABEL

In a mirror…

ALBA

Or glass or a crystal?

PARABEL

(suddenly guilty)

A crystal?

HOLLY

Like this crystal?

PARABEL

Oh, that silly old thing.

KRANKEL

A Prystorchion crystal! How did Your Majesty come to possess such an item?

PARABEL

It was a gift!

KRANKEL

Let me see. Yes, an impure specimen. Very dangerous. Your Majesty wasn’t attempting to work magic with this, I hope?

PARABEL

No, no, of course not.

ALBA

Then how do you explain this little pamphlet on “Your Crystal Clear Path To Prosperity”?

PARABEL

I have no idea where that came from.

HOLLY

Yeah right!

ALBA

(surprised)

Holly!

HOLLY

I can’t stop it, Alba! All these mean words are coming out by themselves now.

PARABEL

I found out how much my birthday party cost and I just felt so guilty… I didn’t want the kingdom to go broke on my account.

ALBA

Where did you get the crystal, Parabel?

PARABEL

I bought it from that traveling magician, Strudebaker.

ALBA

Aha!

PARABEL

I did the ritual from the pamphlet and I saw myself reflected in the crystal, with my head all bulging… I looked hideous!

HOLLY

Not much of a change, then!

ALBA

That’s enough, Holly.

KRANKEL

As I thought—just look at that curvature.

PARABEL

Well, yes, but… Doctor Krankel, this is hardly the time!

KRANKEL

Definitely flawed. Typically one would use it in a spell to attract certain energetic patterns such as money… but an impure crystal can cause feedback, distorting the mental anchor, specifically the spell-caster’s own head.

PARABEL

Am I going to die?

KRANKEL

By no means, Your Majesty. Now that we know the mechanism behind your malady, breaking the spell is as simple as—

SOUND: Crystal smashes, followed by the sound of the magic spell dissipating

SOUND: The scrunching noise

PARABEL AND HOLLY

(gasp)

KRANKEL

—breaking the crystal.

ALBA

Why didn’t I think of that?

KRANKEL

Well, not everyone can be an expert on magical healing.

HOLLY

You lay off Alba, you smug bully!

KRANKEL

Miss Salix, you ought to curb your fairy minion.

HOLLY

Minion? You’re a minion!

INT. OPERATING ROOM

MAGNUS

(choking)

Gack! No, you don’t have to do kill me! I won’t tell, honest…

GUY

I’m a wanted man, you see. I rode seven miles out of my way to avoid being followed here. I won’t be caught because some foolish boy couldn’t keep his mouth shut.

MAGNUS

I won’t tell. I won’t tell anyone.

(the noose tightens)

Honest! If I tell anyone you can kill me, but I won’t, I really won’t! And hey, if you ever need healing after a big job goes down, I’m your guy… Guy.

Pause.

GUY

That’s not a bad point, you know.

MAGNUS

Free of charge!

GUY

Very well, then. Just remember—I have eyes and ears everywhere.

MAGNUS

Gurk!

GUY

And if you breathe a word to anyone about this, you can bet that what’s left of your miserable life will make the fires of Hell look like a vacation on the Meyurian Riviera.

MAGNUS

Absolutely! Fires of Hell!

SOUND: Wire whips through the air as it’s retracted

MAGNUS

(gasping)

Oh thank the gods.

GUY

Farewell, and remember…

MAGNUS

Not a word!

SOUND: Door opens and shuts

GUY

(from outside)

Hiyo Arsenic, away!

SOUND: His horse whinnies and breaks into a gallop, fading

MAGNUS

Thanks Guy!

(sighs)

You’re the best!

INT. PALACE

PARABEL

Oh… oh dear, it aches…

KRANKEL

You see? Your Majesty is already returning to a normal, healthy tiara size.

ALBA

When are you going to learn not to meddle with things you don’t understand?

KRANKEL

With respect, Majesty, I must concur with your sister. These magics are not to be trifled with—

PARABEL

I’m a third daughter of a third daughter! I have the gift!

ALBA

Of stupidity, clearly!

HOLLY

Clearly.

PARABEL

The Royal Physician and her assistant are dismissed.

KRANKEL

Good day to you, Miss Salix.

ALBA

Shove it, wizard.

HOLLY

Minion.

KRANKEL

Majesty, if I may—

PARABEL

You too! All of you! Get out of my INT. bedroom!

KRANKEL

Yes, Majesty.

HOLLY

And Your Majesty’s head is still too big!

SOUND: Door slams

EXT. ROAD—SOON AFTER

SOUND: Daytime birds and insects

ALBA

We’ll have to put out a public health bulletin—there may be more crystals out there.

HOLLY

Do you think Mr Gerrard had one too?

ALBA

I’d heard he was in bad shape financially. He was trying to build a new planned borough on the edge of town but it fizzled. He must have turned to magic to get himself out of debt.

HOLLY

So it had nothing to do with their egos at all.

ALBA

Not directly.

HOLLY

So we were just insulting the Queen for nothing.

ALBA

That was satisfying, at least.

HOLLY

(sighs)

I’m such a bad fairy.

ALBA

Nonsense. Have your wings and skin turned grey?

HOLLY

Um… no, not yet.

ALBA

Teeth?

HOLLY

(she checks)

Still not pointed.

ALBA

I think you’ll be fine.

HOLLY

I still have some good deeds to perform for you. Though I understand if you don’t want me to…

ALBA

Well… to tell the truth, you’ve been a lot of help.

HOLLY

Really?

ALBA

Verging on useful.

HOLLY

Aww. Thank you, Alba!

ALBA

Don’t mention it.

HOLLY

We’re like a team now!

ALBA

Maybe I can still get Parabel to fire me.

INT. OPERATING ROOM

MAGNUS

Brother Magnus, chief surgeon and special assistant to Mister Guy Van Fleet. Heh.

(mimics a whirling sword)

Whuppa‐whup‐whup! This is a dead man’s garrotte. One move and kchrkk!

SOUND: Door opens

HOLLY

(entering)

The team! The team that cares! The team that heals! Together!

MAGNUS

Oh, hey, guys.

ALBA

Magnus, I thought I told you to clean up around here.

MAGNUS

I was just getting to that.

ALBA

Have you called the undertaker?

MAGNUS

In fact, that’s the very next thing on my list.

ALBA

All the instruments are just lying out. And what happened to the chairs in here?

HOLLY

Are those sword marks?

MAGNUS

Uh…

ALBA

Honestly, Magnus, what have you been doing for the past two hours?

MAGNUS

I’ve been busy…

ALBA

What, having a duel on top of the reception desk?

HOLLY

Ha! And then stitching up the other guy afterward?

MAGNUS

Maybe I was. You don’t know.

ALBA

Is that what happened?

MAGNUS

…no, of course not. Ha. That would be ridiculous.

ALBA

Well, get back to work. This place is a disaster.

HOLLY

Kinda like you! Sorry! Sorry!

SOUND: Interior door slams

INT. OFFICE

PARABEL

I came to apologize for throwing you out. I called you terrible names and behaved like a spoilt child after you’d just saved my life. And I shouldn’t have been meddling with magic, of course, although I was only trying to help our kingdom.

KRANKEL

Your Majesty, there is no need to apologize. It was a stressful situation.

PARABEL

But you were right, of course. It was foolish of me to try to practice without the proper study and understanding.

KRANKEL

And is that perhaps the other reason for Your Majesty’s visit?

PARABEL

What do you mean, Doctor Krankel?

KRANKEL

Do I gather that Your Majesty seeks to… develop her inborn gifts?

PARABEL

Gifts? Oh, you mean that nonsense about being the third daughter of a third daughter.

KRANKEL

It would be a pleasure to help shape such a prodigious natural talent as your Majesty’s.

PARABEL

It’s nothing, really.

KRANKEL

But if I may—why not go to your sister instead?

PARABEL

Do you really think she’d teach me? She doesn’t trust anyone, least of all her little sister. Do you know she says you’re plotting to take over the kingdom?

KRANKEL

How very amusing, Majesty. Probably best not to tell her about this, then.

PARABEL

Oh, gods, of course not. Alba can get stuffed.

KRANKEL

Indeed. Shall we begin?

> MUSIC: CLOSING THEME

CREDITS

ANNOUNCER

In “A Chance to Cure”, Episode Four of Alba Salix, Royal Physician, you heard:

Barbara Clifford as Alba Salix

Julian Sark as Magnus

and Olivia Jon as Holly

with

Marisa King as Queen Parabel

George Bertwell as King Gunther

Carter Siddall as Helbard Krankel

Abbas Hussain as Guy van Fleet

Elaine O’Neal as Mrs Strudebaker

John Palmieri as Mr Gerrard

and Jasmin Cheng as the Page.

Written and directed by Eli McIlveen.

Engineered by John Palmieri.

Sound design by Eli McIlveen.

Produced by Sean Howard.

Associate producers: Carter Siddall, Eric Portelance, Mark Fenwick, Josh Clavir and Dave Addison.

Alba Salix, Royal Physician is a Forgery League production. Visit forgeryleague.com.