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Alba Salix 206: Signed, Sealed, Delivered

The royal baby arrives well ahead of schedule — and so does an unwelcome guest.


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Starring:
Barbara Clifford as Alba Salix
Julian Sark as Magnus
Olivia Jon as Holly
and Elaine O’Neal as Antalia Pearcey

with Marisa King as Queen Parabel
George Bertwell as King Gunther
Hugh MacLeod as Aten‐Aben
Mbula Enobong as Loria Berenice
Abbas Hussein as Withrow Lee

plus special guests
Leon Stamatis (from Greater Boston): Braden Lamb
Edgar Preston: Alexander Danner, co‐creator of Greater Boston
Lady Jonewood: Sarah Golding

Written and directed by Eli McIlveen and Sean Howard
Music and sound design by Eli McIlveen
Associate producers: Michael Hudson, Jack Pevyhouse, Paul Tedesco, Keiko Kanda, Heather Collins and Julian Sark
Supporting Producer: Kim Bellinger
Executive Producer: Dave Addison

Content warning: Violence, knives, panic, heights, hijacking, death threats, magical pregnancy and labour, separation, allergies, and ever so much screaming.

INTRODUCTION

ELI

Hey! Habari! Annyeong! Ey up! How are you? It’s Eli here, with Alba Salix, Season Two, Episode Six.

Yes, we are up to our season finale and—okay, fair warning, this one gets a bit intense, so brace yourself—check the show notes if you’re concerned.

In the meantime, I’ve got some people to thank, starting with our wonderful cast, who made us laugh and cry in the booth and made this series a joy to record. Thanks also to our amazing special guests this season, who were a total blast to record with. We love you all so much.

Thank you to our fabulous sponsors this season. And thank you to all our generous and lovely donors on Indiegogo and Patreon for making this all possible.

Thanks to everyone who’s helped spread the word on social media, given us a review, told a friend, drawn fan art, or just dropped us a line to let us know you enjoyed the show. It is really our pleasure to make these stories for you and we’re so looking forward to the next season.

I say “we”, but… thank you to my partner, co‐producer and co‐writer Sean, who has really pushed me to go bigger and bolder with our stories this season, and who has provided so much support day in and day out. Thank you, dear.

And finally, one more kind of unexpected thank you. So my computer pooped out last week. Just went pfft! Screen went dark, wouldn’t start up again, and made for some extremely panicked moments. Luckily, it was all backed up, and even more luckily, our housemate Stephen got me up and running on his old laptop so I could complete this here episode. So Stephen, you rock. Thank you, thank you thank you thank you.

Whew! All right. Get ready—it is time for Episode The Sixth, the dramatic finale to Alba Salix Season Two. Enjoy.

MUSIC STING

EXT. FOREST, MIDNIGHT

Crickets.

PARABEL AND WITHROW

Hear us, Keeper of the Red Sceptre. Hear us, Guardian of the River of Souls. Hear us now.

A wave of magical energy like a hot wind.

ATEN‐ABEN

Who summons me from my realm?

PARABEL

It is I, Queen Parabel of Farloria—

ATEN‐ABEN

Molten puppies! I’ve never been summoned by a Queen before.

PARABEL

Hear me, O—

ATEN‐ABEN

I got a duke once. Wizards, merchants, an elderly couple who stumbled on a magic lantern… but never a queen. Until now.

PARABEL

Hear me, O demon.

ATEN‐ABEN

Oh, for hell’s sake, call me Aten‐Aben. So you’re Queen Parabel, and who’s this one?

WITHROW

(laughs nervously)

Uh, I’m just here helping out.

ATEN‐ABEN

Withrow Lee! Well, I’ll be danged. You used to call on us Guardians all the time, you and that Alba Salix girl.

WITHROW

That was us, yeah.

ATEN‐ABEN

Which means you must be Parabel Salix, right?

PARABEL

Yes, I am. If we could get down to business.

ATEN‐ABEN

Yeah, it’s all clicking into place now.

All right. Lay it on me.

PARABEL

I am with child.

ATEN‐ABEN

Nice. Congrats.

PARABEL

Alba tells me the child will be a boy.

ATEN‐ABEN

Yep, it’s looking that way.

PARABEL

Which would make him heir apparent, and void our enemies’ claim to the throne. The moment they learn a crown prince has been born, his life will be in mortal peril.

ATEN‐ABEN

Gotcha. Yeah, that makes sense.

PARABEL

But you have power over destiny.

ATEN‐ABEN

I can push the world toward one future or another. If you wanted a girl, you should have talked to me before you went and got preggers.

PARABEL

Well, what good are you, then?!

Mister Lee, couldn’t you have summoned me a proper demon?

ATEN‐ABEN

That hurts.

WITHROW

It was short notice. Everybody’s booked up on the full moon. It was this guy or Sovono‐gargh, the god of snails.

PARABEL

Rrr! Unbelievable. Send him away!

ATEN‐ABEN

Now, hold on. Let’s think this through. Magical power runs in your family.

PARABEL

Yes…?

ATEN‐ABEN

Am I right? Look at you. Look at your sisters. So. What if I told you… I can make your kid the most powerful wizard alive?

PARABEL

How powerful?

ATEN‐ABEN

Powerful enough that no one can harm him. Your boy shall have all your magic—all the magic of your whole bloodline put together. I can make him so powerful that the land of his birth shall never fall to its enemies so long as he lives.

PARABEL

What must I do?

ATEN‐ABEN

(laughs)

FADE TO:

INT. STOREROOM

Parabel gasps for breath.

The door squeaks open.

ALBA

Parabel?

Parabel. What are you doing in the storeroom?

Are you all right?

PARABEL

I’m fine. I just needed to—oh!

(she gasps as another contraction hits)

ALBA

Parabel!

PARABEL

I think I’m… Oh no!

I think… I might be… having the baby.

ALBA

Really! You don’t say.

PARABEL

Alba… I’m… I may have done something… OH FLUKI ABOVE!

ALBA

Shhh. Breathe. Focus on your breathing.

Well, if you’re going to have a baby six months early, at least you’re doing it somewhere with plenty of clean towels.

She fetches some towels.

PARABEL

Please… if you have to choose between me and the baby…

ALBA

Don’t you dare even say it.

PARABEL

Save the child, Alba.

ALBA

Breathe.

A sudden tearing, rushing noise, similar to the previous scene.

ALBA

What on earth?

ATEN‐ABEN

Hey hey. It looks like I’m just in time.

ALBA

Aten‐Aben.

ATEN‐ABEN

Alba Salix! I was hoping I’d see you here too. It’s been forever!

ALBA

What in all the hells are you doing here?

ATEN‐ABEN

I’d have thought that would have been obvious. I’m here for the baby.

PARABEL

(groans)

OPENING THEME

HERALD

By Appointment to the King and Queen: Alba Salix, Royal Physician—Volume Two!

Episode the Sixth: Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

INT. KITCHENS

A clatter of cutlery.

MAGNUS

Holly! Ow! The spoons are trying to kill me!

They descend on him with little whooshes, and crack him vigorously on the head.

HOLLY

Well, that’s what you get for animating them!

MAGNUS

Ow! I’m not a creme brulee! Dammit! Ow!

Finally, he manages to fend them off. Spoons jingle noisily across the floor.

A set of pans clatter at Holly.

HOLLY

Don’t you start too! I don’t care what the pots said! All you pans get back to the stove! I have a ladle and I know how to use it.

The pans rattle irritably.

HOLLY

Now let’s taste that soup.

A pan snaps its lid shut at her.

HOLLY

Ow! Why you nasty little…! Let me taste your soup!

She smacks the snapping lid with a ladle.

HOLLY

Gimme. Come on!

Magnus, now! The lid!

Magnus runs over and grabs the lid.

MAGNUS

Ha! Got it.

HOLLY

Thanks!

MAGNUS

Ow, ow, it’s hot it’s hot it’s hot!

Holly stirs the “soup”.

HOLLY

Hold onto it!

Hey, this isn’t soup, it’s just hot water with some onions in it.

MAGNUS

The knives stole the rest of the ingredients. They’ve been hoarding them all in the top cupboard.

HOLLY

What? Why?

MAGNUS

How should I know? Stupid knives.

A dozen knives go shing!

MAGNUS

Sorry, I mean, very nice, shiny knives. You’re all super great and I think we should be friends!

HOLLY

Whoa, look out! Plates incoming!

The plates clink together as they close in.

MAGNUS

We’re surrounded.

HOLLY

(sings)

Hello bowls! Hello plates!

MAGNUS

What are you doing?

HOLLY

I don’t know—maybe they like music?

(sings)

What’s wrong? Was it something you ate?

The plates rattle louder.

MAGNUS

I don’t think they like music.

HOLLY

Let’s back away slowly.

CUT TO:

INT. BALLROOM

Anxious chatter.

GUNTHER

We’ll be back on track in just a second. The Royal Physician has gone off to look after Parabel. She has everything under control.

The doors burst open and Holly and Magnus tumble out into the ballroom, screaming and pursued by cutlery. A few guests scream as well.

GUNTHER

What on earth?

PEARCEY

Magnus! Holly! What is this?

MAGNUS

We’re having some minor technical issues in the kitchen.

HOLLY

Magnus! Make them stop!

PEARCEY

Why are there forks and knives following you?

The knives follow, with whispery sounds of metal on metal.

MAGNUS

(crawling backwards)

See, that’s a long story that hopefully I will live to tell you later.

(whimpers)

Nice cutlery!

C’mon, you wouldn’t hurt the one who brought you to life? Would you?

A tense silence. Then the knives and forks all abruptly crash to the ground. Magnus and Holly gasp in relief.

HOLLY

So, who’s hungry?

MUSIC STING

INT. STOREROOM

The storm rages outside.

PARABEL

Alba… Don’t let him near me. Don’t let him hurt the baby.

ATEN‐ABEN

I would never hurt the baby. I’m simply escorting him to his new home.

ALBA

Begone, demon!

ATEN‐ABEN

Go ahead. Hit me with your best shot.

ALBA

Aten‐Aben, diabolum! Aten‐Aben, exeas! Aten‐Aben, effugare!

She summons a swirling magic wind, but it fizzles out to nothing.

ATEN‐ABEN

(laughs)

Somebody a bit short on power?

ALBA

Is this your doing?

ATEN‐ABEN

I am only following Her Majesty’s wishes.

ALBA

Parabel…

PARABEL

He promised my son would be the most powerful wizard alive.

ATEN‐ABEN

And he will be! But you can’t just create that much power out of nowhere. It’s much easier to borrow. From the family, as it were.

ALBA

You’ve given all our power to the baby.

ATEN‐ABEN

Yup.

ALBA

That’s too much for one person to handle. You’re endangering him. And everyone around him.

PARABEL

You didn’t tell me any of this!

ATEN‐ABEN

You didn’t ask.

PARABEL

And now you’re here to take him away?

ATEN‐ABEN

He’s going to be quite the star back home.

PARABEL

You promised he would be the defender of Farloria.

ATEN‐ABEN

Mmmmnope, I don’t recall saying anything about Farloria. I believe it was: “The land of his birth shall never fall to its enemies so long as he lives.”

PARABEL

But we’re in Farloria.

ATEN‐ABEN

Yes, but… shhh.

They fall silent. The wind howls fiercely. The walls of the building begin to creak and groan.

ATEN‐ABEN

That’s our ride.

Wood splinters. The whole building shakes violently.

ATEN‐ABEN

(laughs)

PARABEL

What are you doing?

ATEN‐ABEN

The child will be born in my kingdom.

The walls groan and crack.

ATEN‐ABEN

It’s pretty nice, as hell dimensions go. Good neighbours. Spectacular scenery. Warm all year round. He’s gonna love it.

Come on, let’s go.

Bricks crumble and wood splinters as the building lifts off into the air.

CUT TO:

INT. BALLROOM

Crashing and creaking. Guests tumble to the floor as the building sways and furniture slides across the room. Gale‐force winds shake the walls.

LADY JONEWOOD

What’s happening?!

LORD JONEWOOD

Dear me, it’s quite the storm out there now, isn’t it?

LADY JONEWOOD

I should say it is. It’s lifting us right into the air!

GUNTHER

Oh dear. Parabel! Has anyone seen the Queen? Darling, where are you?

He stumbles out to the hall.

PEARCEY

No! Your Majesty!

(too late—she groans)

Everyone! Try to grab onto a wall. Make your way up here to the stage so you don’t get hit by the furniture. Hold on to each other for safety.

HOLLY

Magnus! You didn’t magically animate the whole building, did you?

MAGNUS

Are you kidding? I barely managed to levitate some knives.

HOLLY

Which nearly killed us.

Aten-Aben’s amplified voice rings out.

ATEN‐ABEN

Your Majesties, ladies, gentlemen… This is your captain speaking, welcoming you aboard this nonstop flight from Grandville to the hell dimension of Qwaytox. Please stay seated. Keep your soles on the floor. You may experience some turbulence as we make our ascent.

Screams as the room lurches.

MAGNUS

See? He said “hell dimension”. We’re being stolen away by demons! I’ve got nothing to do with it!

HOLLY

Then why have your eyes gone red?

MAGNUS

The kitchen was kinda smoky?

HOLLY

Glowing red.

MAGNUS

Whatever. You’ve been drinking too much moonshine.

HOLLY

Also… you’re floating two feet off the floor.

MAGNUS

I’m what? Whoa! What the hell?

HOLLY

I told you. I think you’re possessed or something!

MAGNUS

Ha! How cool is this?! I wonder if I can fly?

A whoosh. Magnus cries out as he runs smack into the wall.

HOLLY

Magnus!

MAGNUS

(panting)

Ow. Okay. I’m okay. Just… stuck to the wall, apparently.

LORD JONEWOOD

I say, this is a bit more exciting than the Jackalope Sanctuary fundraiser, what?

HOLLY

Magnus, what did you do?!

MAGNUS

I swear, it wasn’t me!

EXT. FOREST, MIDNIGHT

A discordant shimmer of magic.

ATEN‐ABEN

It is done.

PARABEL

Just like that?

ATEN‐ABEN

Yes. All that remains is for you to await the birth.

PARABEL

Good. Good.

WITHROW

So… are we all done here?

ATEN‐ABEN

Just one question.

PARABEL

Yes, O demon.

ATEN‐ABEN

There’s a boy lying in the bushes.

WITHROW

There’s—what? No…

PARABEL

(hisses)

I thought you said you hid him!

WITHROW

I did!

ATEN‐ABEN

I can sense his body heat.

Who is this?

WITHROW

The kid? Oh, he’s nobody important. I already made him forget what he saw tonight.

MAGNUS

(snores)

PARABEL

And you’re absolutely sure about that? If Alba finds out…

ATEN‐ABEN

What’s this about Alba?

PARABEL

Oh, nothing…

(struck by a sudden thought)

Would you care for a sacrifice? Would that help with the baby’s destiny?

WITHROW

No, no! If Magnus goes missing, Alba’s gonna start figuring things out.

ATEN‐ABEN

Does this boy work for her?

WITHROW

He’s her apprentice.

ATEN‐ABEN

Is he really! And she’s the Royal Physician now, yes?

PARABEL

Yes. Yes, she is.

ATEN‐ABEN

Well then, this should work out perfectly.

PARABEL

Yes?

ATEN‐ABEN

When it comes time for the baby to be born…

A magical shimmer.

MAGNUS

(gasps in his sleep)

ATEN‐ABEN

young Magnus here shall assist with the delivery.

FADE TO:

INT. BALLROOM

MAGNUS

Seriously, all I did was float some dishes. I can’t fly a whole building full of people.

HOLLY

Try it, though! Maybe… think about veering to the left?

MAGNUS

Veering to the left… veering…!

No.

HOLLY

No, really, really concentrate on it.

MAGNUS

All right, all right.

(grunts through gritted teeth)

The whole building creaks. A few screams from the guests.

HOLLY

There! There it is!

MAGNUS

(in sudden agony)

Aghhh!

HOLLY

Oh geez. Magnus, are you okay?

MAGNUS

(groans)

Okay, maybe you’re right. It feels like I’m being pulled through the air towards something. But I can’t control it. Holly… it’s… the second I try, it’s like I’m being stabbed in both ears!

HOLLY

Okay. Okay, deep breaths.

MAGNUS

(calming)

Aw, man…

HOLLY

Just… stay put. I’m going to go find Alba.

She flies off.

MAGNUS

I’m stuck to this wall. Where am I gonna go?

I mean, besides Hell.

MUSIC STING

INT. STOREROOM

ALBA

So why don’t you just transport her to your dimension? Why fly a whole building all the way across the planar convergence?

ATEN‐ABEN

Style, my good woman.

ALBA

You don’t have the power to do it yourself.

ATEN‐ABEN

(caught out)

I’m flying the building, aren’t I?

ALBA

Are you?

ATEN‐ABEN

Not long now! We should be crossing out of this dimension in just a few minutes. How’s the patient?

PARABEL

(under her breath)

The patient will see you burn in your own hellfire.

ALBA

She’s fine.

ATEN‐ABEN

Excellent. Still a good while between contractions? Can’t have the baby arrive until we’re safely on terra inferna.

PARABEL

So my child will be king in Hell?

ATEN‐ABEN

Oh yes. My home country, to begin with, but with his power we could rule whole continents.

PARABEL

And what’s to become of me, then?

GUNTHER

(through the door)

Parabel? Parabel, are you in there?

PARABEL

Gunther!

GUNTHER

(through the door)

Parabel! I’m coming.

The door rattles, but it’s locked.

ATEN‐ABEN

Oh, no, no, no.

This simply will not do.

PARABEL

Gunther!

Gunther takes a running start. The door bursts open and he tumbles into the room.

PARABEL

(gasps)

Oh my.

GUNTHER

Darling! You’re safe.

ALBA

Gunther, run!

GUNTHER

Why? What’s going on?

ATEN‐ABEN

The witch is right. We can’t have the husband present.

Gunther strides over.

GUNTHER

Who on earth are you? Explain yourself, sir!

ATEN‐ABEN

Am I right, Alba? Men—they always think they can handle it, and halfway through they faint, just like that.

He snaps his fingers. A sharp crackle of magical energy and Gunther collapses to the floor with a groan.

PARABEL

Gunther! No!

ALBA

Gunther!

PARABEL

(cold fury)

What have you done to him?

ATEN‐ABEN

He’s just asleep, probably.

What does it matter?

PARABEL

That is my husband. The King of Farloria. Father of my child.

ATEN‐ABEN

And no harm will come to him if you behave yourself.

PARABEL

(steely)

Yes. Of course.

Alba has moved over to examine Gunther.

ALBA

He’s breathing.

ATEN‐ABEN

Told you.

ALBA

Hmm. His Majesty’s pupils look normal. I think he’ll be all right.

PARABEL

Well, that’s something.

HOLLY

(whispers)

Alba!

ALBA

(startled gasp, then, in a barely audible whisper)

Holly. Get out of sight.

ATEN‐ABEN

What’s that?

ALBA

Nothing.

ATEN‐ABEN

Who are you talking to?

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY—CONTINUOUS

We hear the roar of the wind, and Holly’s breathing, very close. The voices of Parabel, Alba and Aten‐Aben emerge from the room.

ALBA

No one. Just myself. Clearly this tense situation is getting to me.

Holly’s wings flutter as she flies up to the rafters.

ATEN‐ABEN

There had better not be anyone out in the hall.

As he speaks, he pokes his head out the door. Holly holds her breath.

ATEN‐ABEN

Hmph. I could have sworn I heard someone.

He slams the door. The voices are muffled now.

ALBA

I told you. It’s just me and the voices in my head.

ATEN‐ABEN

You talk too much.

ALBA

We do, don’t we Parabel? We’re so fairy talkative. Fairy, fairy talkative.

PARABEL

What’s that supposed to mean?

ALBA

It would be fairy good indeed and help people

HOLLY

(gasps)

ALBA

…if you were to get hold of your tongue.

PARABEL

What? Do you think I should have been the quiet and dutiful little girl, while you lectured me at every turn?

ATEN‐ABEN

Both of you be quiet.

ALBA

I’m just saying. Parabel just has a tongue like a viper. It’s practically poisonous.

PARABEL

You’re one to talk.

ATEN‐ABEN

I won’t ask you again.

ALBA

What? Blame her. And her poisonous viper tongue.

ATEN‐ABEN

One more word and I’m going to chuck your beloved king overboard. Understood?

ALBA

Mm hmm.

HOLLY

(whispers)

You got it, Alba. We’re on the case.

MUSIC STING

INT. PEARCEY’S APARTMENT

LEON

Today, 10 to 10:15am.

Stop in at florist to change order for centrepieces: fifty orange vipertongue blooms.

PEARCEY

Florist?

LEON

Apologize to them for last‐minute change but make request top priority.

PEARCEY

When did even I put that in the calendar?

Loria enters, dressing for work.

LORIA

What’s up, babe?

PEARCEY

Nothing, just… another new appointment I don’t remember making.

LORIA

Spooky. Like when it told you to buy an umbrella?

PEARCEY

Yes… and I wish I had. I got drenched without one.

LORIA

So, just to be clear, you’ve got a piece of rock possessed by a dead guy…

PEARCEY

I have a Prescient Outsourced Presence who tracks my schedule.

LORIA

And fills it with random things.

PEARCEY

Only occasionally. And they’ve been very useful random things.

LORIA

Now you’re all “Trust Leon. He’s always right.”

PEARCEY

I thought you liked him.

LORIA

I’m just saying. You better not lead my Tally wrong, Mister Rock, or you’re gonna be paving a road. Got me?

LEON

I strive for reliability and accuracy.

PEARCEY

Is that everything in the calendar, Leon?

LEON

No further events. I have cleared your schedule in case of further contingencies.

PEARCEY

Good.

This gala is going to be the end of me.

LORIA

You’re gonna be fine. You got this. You always do.

PEARCEY

No swan boats.

LORIA

No swan boats! You’re gonna be amazing.

PEARCEY

Thanks, love. See you tonight.

They kiss.

LORIA

There’s a ton of paperwork coming down, so I’m probably gonna be a bit late. Save me some wine?

PEARCEY

I will.

Loria heads out. The door shuts behind her.

FADE TO:

INT. BALLROOM

Nervous chatter amongst the guests as the building flies onward.

PEARCEY

(to herself)

No swan boats. No swan boats.

(aloud)

Everyone, please calm down. Let’s not jump to any hasty conclusions.

MAGNUS

Yeah, exactly! The reason I am stuck halfway up this wall is because of a rare equilibrium between the aero‐static forces and… the fabric of my robe.

PRESTON

What’s wrong with your eyes?

MAGNUS

Nothing! I am simply tired from cooking… and so I am keeping my eyes shut so that they can rest.

LADY JONEWOOD

He’s in league with the demon!

LORD JONEWOOD

Yes, yes! Out the window with him!

MAGNUS

No! Guys! Listen, I’m pretty sure I’m the only thing keeping this building from crashing to the ground.

Holly bursts back in and begins flying rapidly around the room, gathering flowers.

HOLLY

(shouting as she flies)

Everyone! I need your help.

PEARCEY

Where are the King and Queen? Are they safe?

HOLLY

They’re in the back. Alba’s with them.

PEARCEY

And the demon?

HOLLY

Yes. He’s got them in the storeroom.

Gasps and mutters.

HOLLY

But Alba figured it out! All we have to do is gather up all the flowers from the centrepieces.

PEARCEY

What?

HOLLY

They’re called vipertongues.

PEARCEY

Of course! That’s what they were for.

Yes. Everyone, please gather up the orange flowers and give them to Holly.

PRESTON

Ugh. No, get those things away from me!

(sneezes)

PEARCEY

(to Holly)

Some of our guests have been sneezing all night. So do these cause more severe reactions in demonic species?

HOLLY

Exactly! We’re going to smoke this demon out, everybody!

Which I’m feeling a little bit conflicted about. I mean, we’re healers. We’re not supposed to harm anyone, but… he is doing very bad things.

PEARCEY

I think we can safely make an exception.

MUSIC STING

INT. STOREROOM

ATEN‐ABEN

(sings)

Six hundred and sixty‐six souls in a bag, six hundred and sixty‐six souls…

You’re not singing!

(sings)

take one down, thrash it around—

(sneezes)

ALBA

Bless you.

ATEN‐ABEN

Very funny.

(sniffs, sneezes)

What’s that smell?

ALBA

(feigning innocence)

What smell?

PARABEL

I smell flowers.

(sneezes)

ATEN‐ABEN

Ugh. What is going on?!

(sneezes again)

This is some sort of trick!

ALBA

It’s probably just the catering staff. They’ve been having a lot of trouble in the kitchen.

ATEN‐ABEN

(shivering with cold)

Witch! What have you done to me?

ALBA

I haven’t done anything.

ATEN‐ABEN

Liar.

ALBA

You took all my magic, remember?

ATEN‐ABEN

Tell me what is happening!

ALBA

(with exaggerated sympathy)

Oh dear. You’re going a bit purple. Are you cold?

ATEN‐ABEN

Yes!

ALBA

I’d say it looks like APF.

ATEN‐ABEN

Which is?

ALBA

Acute Pyrostatic Failure. A dangerous condition for a demon. Your core temperature is plummeting.

ATEN‐ABEN

(now gasping for breath)

You poisoned me.

ALBA

Did I? Have I left this room?

ATEN‐ABEN

You were passing messages to your staff. All that talk about poison and tongues… It was code. This is some kind of toxin, isn’t it?

ALBA

You demons really have to be careful when you leave your home dimension. It’s freezing cold up here.

ATEN‐ABEN

You’re going to pay for this.

Aten‐Aben staggers forward, but Parabel suddenly pushes her way between them.

PARABEL

Oh no. You will not touch my sister.

ALBA

Parabel.

ATEN‐ABEN

Out of the way, Queen.

PARABEL

Surely you wouldn’t do anything to harm the baby.

ATEN‐ABEN

I could do a lot to you to without harming the baby. Besides, I intend to claim custody of the child once he’s born. And I can only do that if he’s an orphan.

PARABEL

Why, you loathsome creature.

ATEN‐ABEN

It’s called How to Get Ahead in Hell. If something’s getting in your way, destroy it.

He rises and walks over to Gunther.

ATEN‐ABEN

In fact, let’s start right at the top.

It’s been a good reign for old King Gunther, hasn’t it?

Another magical charge begins to build. Aten‐Aben strains mightily.

PARABEL

Stop this!

ATEN‐ABEN

He’s probably not gonna rate more than a page or two in the history books, but who knows? I guess that’s gonna be a question for the scholars.

PARABEL

No! Gunther!

The magic builds to a crescendo—then Alba slams a chair into Aten-Aben’s head. He staggers, and the magic dies instantly.

ATEN‐ABEN

Augh! Dammit!

ALBA

I might not have magic, but luckily, we’re locked up in a storeroom full of chairs.

ATEN‐ABEN

Get away from me, human!

(straining)

ALBA

Aww, is somebody short on power?

ATEN‐ABEN

(panting)

Witch! I will throw you in the Dungeon of Thorns myself. A few centuries there should rid you of that smugness.

He tries another spell, but it’s weaker still. An icy crackling

ALBA

That’s another symptom of APF. Your body’s Lugosi cells are shutting down. You’re out of power too, Aten‐Aben.

PARABEL

Yes, demon. How does it feel?!

Parabel picks up another chair and hits him as well. Aten‐Aben groans and slumps to the floor.

ALBA

Nice swing.

PARABEL

Thank you.

Good heavens. Did we really just…

ALBA

Knock out a demon?

PARABEL

Yes.

ALBA

Yes. Good job!

They share a laugh. Then:

PARABEL

We should tip him overboard before he causes any more trouble.

ALBA

I’ll do it. Stay here. I’ll be back in a minute.

PARABEL

Alba… be careful.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY—CONTINUOUS

The door opens, and Alba begins dragging Aten‐Aben to the back door.

HOLLY

Did it work? Yes!

ALBA

Yes, it did. Thank you, Holly.

HOLLY

It wasn’t just me! Ms Pearcey ordered the flowers, and you gave me the idea to use them, and everybody else helped me gather them up.

ALBA

Help me open the back door.

HOLLY

You’re going to… oh my gosh.

ALBA

Yes I am. And we need to do it fast. If we cross into the Infernal Plane, he’s going to start regaining his strength.

HOLLY

Okay…

Together they open the door. It blows violently open. The wind howls outside.

HOLLY

Oh gosh!

ALBA

Be careful, Holly!

Alba strains to shove the demon out without being pulled out herself.

ATEN‐ABEN

(weakly)

It won’t do you any good, you know.

ALBA

What won’t?

ATEN‐ABEN

This building is still on course. Even without me, it’s going to fly all the way to the Pits of Qwaytox.

(laughs)

Sorry, Alba. Your sister’s boy is still going to be born in Hell.

ALBA

Maybe. But at least he won’t be raised by you.

She shoves. Aten‐Aben screams as he falls.

Then, nothing but the howling wind.

HOLLY

Are you all right, Alba?

ALBA

Better.

I’m going to look after Parabel. Can you head back to the ballroom and tell our guests what’s happening?

HOLLY

Not yet. I’ve got a job to do.

ALBA

What job? Where are you going?

HOLLY

I’m going to turn this carriage house around.

ALBA

You’re what? Holly, no!

Holly launches herself out the door.

She strains and beats the air with her wings.

ALBA

Holly!

HOLLY

It’s okay, Alba. I’ve got this.

She screams fiercely as the storm swirls around her.

CUT TO:

INT. BALLROOM

The walls groan and crack. The chandelier smashes to the ground. Guests scream.

PEARCEY

Is everyone all right? Hold on!

Magnus, what’s happening?

MAGNUS

I don’t know! You guys, it’s like something’s trying to push us off course.

Aaaaa—!

SHOCK CUT TO:

EXT. CARRIAGE HOUSE

HOLLY

Come on! You can’t—fight—the Queen of the Wind!

The boards she’s hanging onto crack and fall away. Holly careens off into the night sky, screaming.

FADE OUT.

INT. BALLROOM

The carriage house is still in flight, but no longer being buffeted by turbulence.

MAGNUS

So, how’s it looking, boss?

ALBA

It’s definitely some kind of Qwaytoxian magic. Your body is being pulled toward… our destination, whatever that is. If I had my magic, I might be able to dispel it.

MAGNUS

Yeah. Demons kinda suck, you know?

For a minute there, it was like something was fighting me, trying to push us back. It was like we flew into a hurricane.

ALBA

Yes.

MAGNUS

And then it just stopped.

ALBA

Yes.

MAGNUS

Was that Holly?

ALBA

It was.

MAGNUS

Aw… dammit.

I hope she’s okay. I mean, she’s a crazy fairy who eats too many weird mushrooms, but she’s just a better… everything than me, you know?

ALBA

I know.

MAGNUS

That’s where you’re supposed to say, “No, no, you’re brilliant, Magnus.”

ALBA

(chuckles softly)

You’re getting there.

You always had great potential.

MAGNUS

(snickers)

So much for that, eh?

The sky’s starting to get red.

ALBA

Yes. We’re getting near the convergence.

MAGNUS

Oh boy. They basically eat humans, don’t they?

ALBA

It’s not going to be a warm welcome.

MAGNUS

Aw, man.

The door opens.

HOLLY

(out of breath)

I made it. Is everybody okay?

ALBA AND MAGNUS

Holly!

HOLLY

I’m sorry. I couldn’t turn the building around. The demon magic is too strong. I’m sorry, Alba.

ALBA

You did what you could.

MAGNUS

So… I got a question for you, Holly.

HOLLY

What.

MAGNUS

Listen. Do you think, if the building wasn’t flying… do you think you could carry it? Or bring it down safe, at least?

HOLLY

You mean…

MAGNUS

Like… if I wasn’t here.

ALBA

Magnus.

HOLLY

I think I could probably land the building, but…

MAGNUS

Okay. Good.

HOLLY

But what about you, though? Where are you going?

MAGNUS

Well, see, this beam I’m stuck to? The bricks around it are starting to fall apart. A couple good kicks and it’ll probably come loose.

ALBA

That makes sense. It would have been easier for Aten‐Aben to attach you to a beam than a whole building made of different materials.

HOLLY

But… but then you’ll be flying off to Hell. By yourself.

MAGNUS

Better than all of us.

ALBA

I’ll grant you that.

HOLLY

Magnus, you can’t!

MAGNUS

Hey, we gotta do something. I figure it’s gonna get pretty hot in here soon.

HOLLY

It’s going to be so quiet around the House of Healing, you know…

MAGNUS

Aw, you guys will be too busy to notice. And hey, you got Minister Pearcey now. She’s a laugh a minute.

HOLLY

Because I know we fight and get on each other’s nerves a lot, but now and then…

MAGNUS

Yeah. We do okay. We do good in the world. The team that heals together, right?

HOLLY

Right.

Silence.

MAGNUS

So, Alba. Go ahead, say it.

ALBA

Say what?

MAGNUS

“Go to hell, Magnus.”

ALBA

(laughs)

You’re a better person than I was at your age.

MAGNUS

Whoa! Was that praise? I’m not dreaming, am I?

ALBA

All right. There’s not much time left.

MAGNUS

(deep breaths)

Okay. Okay. I… I can do this. I’m gonna—

Holly seizes him in a hug.

MAGNUS

Holly! Geez!

HOLLY

I’m not crying. You’re crying, like a… like a dumb human boy.

MAGNUS

Yeah, that’s me.

ALBA

Take care of yourself down there. We’ll find a way to get you back.

MAGNUS

I’ll be fine. I’m always good. I mean hey, I’ve fought with bandits, and dragons… and I got trapped in Limbo once by an angry goddess, and I managed to get out of there! Hell is gonna be a piece of cake.

ALBA

…Limbo?

MAGNUS

Yeah. Long story. Tell you later.

(to the room)

Okay. Everybody hold on tight! We’re gonna try a thing here.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE NIGHT SKY

Over the wind, we hear a cracking, crunching sound as bricks give way.

MAGNUS

Oh gods!

Another crunch. Broken bricks tumble away.

MAGNUS

Oh geez!

With a twisting, wrenching sound, the beam tears loose and soars past us at an unbelievable speed, carrying a screaming Magnus with it into the distance.

At the same time, the wind begins to whip up into a tornado. We close in on Holly, groaning with effort as she beats her wings furiously.

Finally, there’s a cracking, crashing noise as the carriage house hits the ground.

FADE OUT.

INT. BALLROOM

Gasps and groans.

HOLLY

(nearly fainting from exhaustion)

Did it work? Did we stop in time?

ALBA

It worked. I don’t think we crossed over.

HOLLY

Yay.

Is the Queen all right?

ALBA

Let’s hope so.

PEARCEY

Everyone. We should make our way outside.

ALBA

Oh dear, that’s a nasty cut.

PEARCEY

If you are able, please help out anyone nearby who needs it. And watch out for debris.

ALBA

Keep the pressure on it. I’ll come back around.

Outside, morning birds chirp.

LORD JONEWOOD

I say, is this Hell?

LADY JONEWOOD

I don’t think they have birds in Hell, dearest.

LORD JONEWOOD

Oh, I didn’t realize you’d been.

LADY JONEWOOD

I haven’t!

Not yet.

GUNTHER

My fellow Farlorians, I have good news.

Queen Parabel and her new baby are alive and well.

A cheer goes up.

GUNTHER

I’m afraid we don’t have a name yet. He arrived a little earlier than planned, but he’s certainly a good size.

From inside comes a clap of thunder and the sound of the baby giggling.

PARABEL

(from inside)

Now, stop that!

GUNTHER

And quite… vigorous.

It’s probably safest if nobody goes back there.

PEARCEY

(near exhaustion)

Mister Preston, can you please check the guest list and see who’s unaccounted for? Is the way to the kitchen safe? Hopefully some food survived the trip.

ALBA

Minister, you’ve been on your feet all night. Get some rest.

PEARCEY

But things need to be organized. And we’ll have to find some way to get a message back to Grandville, too…

Oh, goodness. Loria.

ALBA

Antalia Pearcey, have a seat. Doctor’s orders.

PEARCEY

Yes, Alba. Perhaps I’ll just… lie down for a minute.

What about you?

ALBA

Never mind me.

She begins to circulate among the guests outside.

ALBA

Lady Crannion… oh no, that’s broken, isn’t it. Hold it steady—sir, could you look for some cloth and something to use for a splint? I’m going to go and check on Her Majesty and her little one.

Another giggle. More thunder.

ALBA

Wish me luck.

GUNTHER

Well then! I suppose the next question is… does anyone know where we are?

CREDITS

CLOSING THEME

ELI

In “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”, Alba Salix, Volume Two, Episode Six, you heard Barbara Clifford as Alba Salix, Julian Sark as Magnus, Olivia Jon as Holly,

and Elaine O’Neal as Antalia Pearcey,

with Marisa King as Queen Parabel, George Bertwell as King Gunther, Hugh MacLeod as Aten‐Aben, Mbula Enobong as Loria Berenice, Abbas Hussein as Withrow Lee,

and special guests Braden Lamb as Leon Stamatis, Alexander Danner as Edgar Preston, and Sarah Golding as Lady Jonewood.

Written and directed by Sean Howard and Eli McIlveen.

Music and sound design by Eli McIlveen.

Associate producers: Michael Hudson, Jack Pevyhouse, Paul Tedesco, Keiko Kanda, Heather Collins and Julian Sark.

Supporting Producer: Kim Bellinger.

Executive Producer: Dave Addison.

If you enjoy the show, check out our Patreon. Donors get weekly bonus content, early access to episodes, and an invite to our wonderful fan community on Discord. Look for the Patreon link at albasalix.com.

TAG: HOLLY DEPARTS

Birds chirp in the background.

ALBA

I just wish there was more I could do.

HOLLY

Alba. You’re doing so much already.

ALBA

I know.

HOLLY

You just work on getting your magic back. Magnus and I will be back before you know it. I’m sure I’ll meet some helpful people along the way!

ALBA

In Hell.

HOLLY

There are nice people everywhere if you look hard enough.

ALBA

Good luck, Holly.

HOLLY

You too. I hope you find your sister!

ALBA

(chuckles)

Oh, don’t remind me.

HOLLY

Bye Alba.

Music swells as she takes to the air.

HOLLY

I’m on my way, Magnus!