Amaryllis & Little Witch

By Pascal Brullemans
Translated by Alexis Diamond

Amaryllis & Little Witch
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In these dark fairy tales, two girls face danger while grieving loved ones, and learn some hard truths about growing up along the way. Imaginative and curious, these fables illustrate adventures for children who have to make big choices.

In Amaryllis, a preteen goes missing ... Read more


Overview

In these dark fairy tales, two girls face danger while grieving loved ones, and learn some hard truths about growing up along the way. Imaginative and curious, these fables illustrate adventures for children who have to make big choices.

In Amaryllis, a preteen goes missing on her birthday. Amaryllis heads out with her sister Fey’s ashes, determined to scatter the remains and set Fey free. But when she discovers that Fey is stuck between life and death, she realizes she has to join Fey on a trek to the Land of the Dead.

In Little Witch, a sickly mother and her daughter live in the deep, dark wood. One day, Big Witch finds an ogre caught in a trap. They make a deal: in return for saving him, the ogre agrees to take care of Little Witch once Big Witch has passed. Soon, the little girl finds herself in the ogre’s home, frightened and alone except for her pet cat. But when a Hunter Boy gets caught by the ogre, Little Witch must make a choice: save herself, save the boy, or choose another path . . .

Pascal Brullemans

Pascal Brullemans got into the National Theatre School to woo a girl, only to discover that he actually had talent; his first play was directed by Wajdi Mouawad. After a foray into writing for young audiences with L’armoire, Pascal reached out to teens with his plays Isberg and Monstres. Amaryllis took top honours at Lyon Playwrights’ Days and won the Louise-LaHaye Award for Young Audiences in 2013. He lives in Montréal.

Alexis Diamond

Alexis Diamond is a Montréal-based theatre artist and translator. Her award-winning plays, operas, and translations have been presented across Canada and internationally. Alexis’s 2018/19 season included a piece for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the touring production of Little Witch. Her translation of Erika Tremblay-Roy’s The Problem with Pink was published by Lansman Editeur in fall 2019.

Excerpt

Amaryllis

You got all the good stuff. That left all the bad for me.

Fey

Cursèd be she

who betrays her family!

Amaryllis

Oh, yeah? What if I don’t have a family no more!

Fey

“What if I haven’t got a family anymore .  .  .  ”

Amaryllis

What?

Fey

You used a double negative.

Amaryllis

How can you be so perfect and not get it!

Fey

What have I failed to grasp?

Amaryllis

How everything got messed up when you left! Mom took off. Dad’s been a total zombie. The only time they’re kinda with it is when they’re standing in front of the mantelpiece looking at your urn.

Fey

You can’t just steal my urn,

a gesture most unwise!

It won’t undo the turn

of my untimely demise.

Amaryllis

It’s all I could come up with.

Fey

So, what is your plan for my ashes?

Amaryllis

I was just going to throw you off the end of the pier.

Fey

You wish to drown the dead?

Amaryllis

Well .  .  . maybe it’s not the best idea.

Fey

It’s absurd!

Amaryllis

You got a better one?

Fey

Yes! Seek assistance!

Amaryllis

Watch Miss Perfect fall apart.

Fey

I’d rather be perfect

than wicked!

Amaryllis

I’d rather be wicked

than dead!

Fey

Enough, please stop.

You’ve gone too far.

Think being dead

is fun — a lark?

I didn’t want

to fade away,

nor do I want

to stay this way.

Amaryllis

So why are you here?

Fey

I’m hanging on by a thread.

Once dead, my relieved soul fled,

crossed over to the other side,

where I met sad souls who tried

so desperately to find a door.

I found mine but could do no more,

held back by a bit of ribbon.

I traced it here, to its origin,

my last earthly tie drawing me

to the foot of the white tree.

Narrator

At the centre of the garden stands the Ribbon Tree. It is what is holding your sister back. Thousands of ribbons are tangled in its branches. One thread for each of the dead whose loved ones refuse to let go.

Amaryllis

Why didn’t you untie yourself?

Fey

No solution availed.

Whatever I tried, failed.

Narrator

Only the living can untie the knots.

Amaryllis

Well, if that’s all, I’ll go do it.

Narrator

You can’t just enter the Land of the Dead like it’s the mall.

Fey

I could be your guide,

but promise to be good — 

don’t make me nag or chide.

Swear to listen as you should!

Amaryllis

On one condition.

Fey

State your terms.

Amaryllis

No more rhymes. That’s it. I’m fed up. Starting now, you talk like everybody else.

Fey

You demand too high a price

for so great a sacrifice!

Amaryllis

Fine. Whatever.

Fey

Wait! Okay .  .  . I’ll try.

Amaryllis

Deal! So, which way to the Land of the Dead?

Fey

To cross to the other side,

simply swallow your pride,

promise this hand to heed

wherever it shall lead.

Amaryllis

I’m sorry, what was that?

Fey

Hold my hand.

Amaryllis

Now you’re talking.

Fey takes her sister’s hand.

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