Where Blackbirds Mourn is a feature-length dramatic tragedy with a low fantasy medieval setting. Featuring a large cast of the staff of Frogaia castle, Where Blackbirds Mourn explores how genuine people under pressure destroy themselves.
INT. CEREMONIAL CHAMBERS-MORNING
The attendants in the room lean towards the Ashenwing,
And shall be replaced as my heir
with Blue, descent of Star.
Shocked gasps, Salem staring at the ground in disbelief.
RAT (26) Captain of the royal guard wears a lilypad pin on
their cape, a small scar on their nose. Rat chuckles.
So who wants to tell Star, eh?
INT. CASTLE KITCHEN-DAY
The kitchen is a wide, bright room. Small windows line the
top of the walls for ventilation. Large ovens leave just
enough room for racks.
BLUE (17) the apprentice chef cheerfully kneads dough to be
passed to her mother,
STAR (36) the head chef of Frogaia castle expertly pulls the
prepared dough into the requested types of loaves, counting
the time under her breath before popping them into one of the
blazing ovens in a blink. Tapping toes count the oven time.
I think Salem’s gonna be a great
Blue hums a melody to match Star’s tapping beat, now
gathering exotic fruits around them to cut.
They have been preparing very long
that’s true, but it takes more than
preparation to be a good King.
Blue glances towards Star, still cutting in beat.
You think they’re missing something
You never know until you’re up on
that throne little frog.
There’s a little part of people
that comes out only when a crown is
put on their head, for good or for
Blue pushes the platters of fruit over to Star. Star quickly
examines the plates for error but simply smiles and moves on.
Blue moves over to a row of barrels. In the doorway, Captain
Rat’s head pokes out to watch.
Rat ducks out of sight as Blue drags a barrel to the table.
Rat reappears with WILBUR (26) a wizard with cat ears poking
out from the top of his wide-brimmed hat, glowing freckles,
rainbow eyes, and a cat tail hidden by his cloak.
The twins push and shove trying to get the other to go in.
Star notices the twins.
What are you two goofers doing over
The twins awkwardly stumble through the doorway catching
themselves to stand in the kitchen. They elbow each other to
get the other to talk as Star watches with an eyebrow raised.
Fine. Einy meiny miney you.
Star switches pointing between the two to land on Wilbur.
The will’s been read and... there
was a surprise announcement?
Turns out Salem’s not the heir now?
Star stops tapping, the room goes silent as Star stares at
the twins, who inch away from her.
Blue looks between the three adults with confusion.
Why? What’s wrong?
Star’s stern expression wavers. Leaning against the worktable
for support, Star puts one hand over her face.
The oven starts smoking. Blue yelps and runs to save the
Rat and Wilbur each reach out to comfort Star. Star puts a
hand up to give them pause, eyebrows clenched in anger.
Give it to me straight you two.
The will says Blue’s inheriting the
throne of Frogaia now.
Blue drops the paddle he was using to pull the bread from the
oven in shock. Just the twins turning in Blue’s direction.
Twins both give a shrug, Star doesn’t react.
Hope you know how to write a decent
speech, nobody’d blame you if it
was subpar though. Salem might.
Wilbur silently nobs in agreement and Star frustratedly pulls
them both out as the chef’s apprentice stares off.
Star rushes up to Blue and gently holds Blue’s clenched hand.
Sweetie.. I know this is a lot.
The funeral is tomorrow isn’t it..?
Blue watches Star slowly nod.
Blue’s breath catches and their eyes widen, looking from the
burnt bread on the ground to the door to Star.
Shoot! Ma can you finish the meals
still? I-I need to prepare?!
Blue hurriedly runs out of the room, crumbs scattering as
Star’s arm lingers out in Blue’s direction.
Yeah.. I’ve got things handled kid.
INT. FAMILY ROOMS-NIGHT
Star sits in a modest room, tapping at the main table with a
candle lit beside her. Storage barrels occupy a corner of the
room with linens neatly folded on top.
Blue opens the door, messy scroll under her arm. Blue looks
exhausted, ink staining his clothes. Blue glances at Star.
Sorry I missed dinner.
Blue it’s late but you still have
to eat, I’ve got a meal saved.
Blue hesitates. Her gaze locked on the door to her bedroom
before Blue sighs and falls into a chair across from Star.
Would you wanna look over my notes
while I eat?
I’d love to my frog.
Together they sit at the table, eating and talking until the
candle does out.
INT. CEREMONIAL CHAMBERS-MORNING
The Ashenwing priest stands at the end of the old hall,
holding a blackbird in a birdcage with sacred grace. The
staff and nobles stand watching the priest.
All present here shall bear witness
to the departure of our beloved
King Callydrias. May the blackbirds
carry him to peace.
All attendants carry a object of ceremony in their hands,
nobles carry exotic bird beaks, the staff hold branches of
dye, and those close to Callydrias offer locks of their own
hair. Most with locks wear unenthused expressions.
The offerings are all laid in a large bowl, the hair last.
Captain Rat lays a lock of grey hair, not their brown hair.
Salem’s lock is tied ornately, their face red from crying.
Blue goes to place his lock of hair when Star catches Blue on
the shoulder. Star ties their two locks of hair together and
lets Blue put both the hairs in the bowl.
The Ashenwing sets down the birdcage. Taking the bowl and
pouring crystal-clear water into it then mixing it until the
contents become a dye.
Using the dye, the Ashenwing decorates the caged blackbird
with markings. Releasing it, the bird flies out of the room.
Fly little blackbird and guide us
to where the journey home begins!
The attendants watch it fly eagerly, following the Ashenwing
as they carry the bowl out into the...
EXT. CASKET YARD-DAY
The restricted courtyard grows wildly and unhampered. In the
center of the untrampled flora is an exquisite stone casket.
The attendants stop and form a circle around the casket,
standing only on the stone paved circle around the courtyard.
Only the Ashenwing continues moving through the plants,
delicately stepping between plants and letting the contents
of the bowl spill and stain their white robes.
As the Ashenwing reaches the casket, they empty the bowl at
the base of the casket.
Taking a measurement of the wind, the Ashenwing adjusts their
positioning to be in the wind and motions Blue to come
forward opposite to them.
The blackbird flies it’s course, so
let us begin our duties.
Blue takes in a deep breath as he stands at one end of the
open stone casket, he looks down at Callydrias laid inside.
The King’s pale skin had already begun to lose it’s color,
his brown hair left braided in two large loops in the back
with the top hair left flowing. The sides of his face are
taken over by a muttonchop beard. A fine blue vest is held in
place by his cape, giving form to the deep blue undershirt.
Blue clears her throat and looks up again at the crowd.