|Shaharazade and the King, Chapter 2 (of 2), Part 2 (of 2)|
by Julian X  /  scripts  /  9 Oct 2007
1. The vizier walking back to his house in a wide, narrow panel -- paralleling the first panel on the previous page. Caption: “The vizier returned to his house and repeated the king’s message to his daughter.”
2. Shaharazade bathing, naked, beautiful.
3. Shaharazade putting on clothes, half naked.
4. Shaharazade using a mirror, spraying herself with some perfume.
5. Shaharazade packing her things in a bag. Caption (over panels 2-5): “Shaharazade was overjoyed at the news and began packing and preparing herself immediately.”
6. Shaharazade approaching her younger sister Dunyazad. Caption: “Then she went to her younger sister, Dunyazad.” Shaharazade: “Sister, listen carefully.”
7. Shaharazade bending down a bit to her sister, putting her arms on Dunyazad’s shoulders. Shaharazade: “When I go to the king, I’ll send for you.”
8. The two sisters looking in each other’s eyes. Shaharazade: “When you see that the king has finished with me, say, ‘Sister, if you are not too sleepy, tell us a story.’ Then I will begin a story, and it will stop the king, save myself, and deliver the people.”
1. The vizier walking, with Shahrazade, back to the palace in a wide, narrow panel -- paralleling the first panel on the previous two pages. Caption: “At nightfall, the vizier took Shahrazade to King Shahrayar.”
2. King Shahrayar in bed with Shahrazade, fondling her breast. She is crying, very much like a scared young virgin. Caption: “But when the king took her to bed and started fondling her, she wept.”
3. The king leaning over her in bed as she cries. The king looks sensitive, Shaharazade sad. Shahrayar: “Why are you crying?” Shaharazade: “I have a sister, and I would like to say goodbye before daybreak.”
4. The sister being escorted by troops to the palace. A wide, narrow panel -- paralleling the previous such ones. Caption: “So the king sent for the sister, who came and went to sleep under the bed.”
5. Dunyazad in the room with Shahrayar and Shaharazade, who lie together on the bed.
6. Dunyazad getting under the bed, beneath Shahrayar and Shaharazade.
It’s worth noting that, while Dunyazad under the bed is particularly strange, the idea of sex being a private act that children should not observe is a relatively new development in human history: until the late 19th and early 20th century, it was simply assumed that children would have to see heir parents having sex -- after all, living quarters were much smaller and children were rarely given their own rooms. So Dunyazad being under the bed of the king does sound like the stuff of fairy tales, but her presence wouldn’t necessarily be thought all that odd.
A page of panels showing Dunyazad under the bed, her eyes open and staring up at the bed’s underside. The bed’s underside is undulating. Dunyazad shouldn’t be utterly static either, but redrawn each time to communicate the passage of time.
A string of connected word balloons belonging to Shahrayar (off-panel) run over each panel, each saying simply “uh” or “uhh” or “ohhh”. The last panel and the second panel before last should have no such balloon. The panel between them, the panel before last, should have the balloon “uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” (which I imagine with letters that decrease in size at staggered intervals). Caption: “As the night wore on, she woke and waited until the king had satisfied herself with her sister Shaharazade.”
1. A shot of the space under the bed, showing the full length of Dunyazad. Caption: “Then Dunyazad cleared her throat and spoke.” Dunyazad: “Ahem! Sister, if you are not too sleepy, tell us one of your delightful little stories to wile away the night, before I must bid you goodbye at daybreak.”
2. Shahrayar, covered in sweat and looking particularly contented, on the bed with Shaharazade. Shaharazade: “King, may I have permission to tell a little story?” Shahrayar: “Yes.”
3. Shaharazade, naked, looking relieved, if not happy, that this part of the plan has worked. Shaharazade: “Listen...”
4. An overall shot of the scene as the naked Shaharazade tells her tale to the naked king and to her sister under the bed. Caption: “Shaharazade began a tale and told it until dawn broke, when she stopped, leaving the king burning with curiosity.”
1. Dunyazad under the bed, speaking. Dunyazad: “What a strange and wonderful story!”
2. Shaharazade in bed with Shahrayar but speaking to her sister below. Shaharazade: “It only gets stranger and more wonderful, sister. I will continue it tomorrow night...”
3. Shaharazade in bed with Shahrayar. A moment. Shaharazade: “...if the king lets me live.”
4. King Shahrayar in bed with Shaharazade. Shahrayar (thinking): “I will spare her until she finishes her story. Then I will have her put to death the next morning.”
1. The king leaving the bedroom and the two sisters. Caption: “The king left to attend to his kingdom’s affairs.”
2. The vizier praying to Allah in the morning light, his face full of joy. Caption: “Shaharazade’s father the vizier was overjoyed and amazed not to have to put his daughter to death or die himself as well.”
3. The king getting into bed with Shaharazade, both fully clothed. Caption: “After a day of governing, Shahrayar returned to his quarters and got into bed with Shaharazade.”
4. Dunyazad speaking from beneath the bed. Caption: “When he was done, Dunyazad spoke to her sister.” Dunyazad: “Please, sister, if you are not too sleepy, tell us one of your delightful stories to wile away the night.”
5. Shahrayar and Shaharazade nude in bed together, after sex. Shahrayar: “Let it be the conclusion of the story from last night.” Shaharazade: “With the greatest pleasure.”
6. Shaharazade telling her story, in bed with Shahrayar. Caption: “But Shaharazade did not finish the story, and stopped when dawn broke.”
1. Dunyazad under the bed, speaking. Dunyazad: “What a strange and lovely story!”
2. Shaharazade caressing the king sensually as she promises him better things tomorrow night. Shaharazade: “Tomorrow night I will tell of even stranger and lovelier things.”
3. King Shahrayar entering his bedchamber, Shaharazade sprawled out on the bed seductively. Caption: “The king left for the day, returning at night to take pleasure with Shaharazade and hear more of her tale.”
4. The king and Shaharazade on the bed, just after sex. Dunyazad (from under the bed): “Please, if you are not too sleepy, tell us one of your lovely stories to wile away the night.”
5. Shahrayar and Shaharazade in bed together. He’s turned to her and is speaking authoritatively. Shahrayar: “Let it be the conclusion of your story.”
6. A close-up of Shaharazade mouthing the words, seductively. Shaharazade: “As you wish.”
7. Shaharazade telling her story, in bed with Shahrayar. Caption: “But Shaharazade did not quite finish her story, stopping when dawn broke.”
1. A sort of timeless shot of Shaharazade telling her story, in bed with Shahrayar. Perhaps the art could be rendered in a different style, emphasizing the timelessness -- perhaps the colored pencil effect used in Marvel 1602 or Origin. Caption: “In this way, day after day passed. Shaharazade’s stories seemed to continue endlessly, filled with characters who themselves told stories that lasted for many nights.”
2. Shahrayar listening attentively on the bed, nude with Shaharazade. Caption: “In time, the king stopped demanding the conclusion each night.”
3. Shaharazade speaking to the king in bed. Emphasis on her slyness, the consciousness with which she’s telling these tales. Caption: “Many of her stories told of men’s jealousy, of kings finding good women worthy of their love. But not all of them, and never too obviously.”
4. Another shot of Shaharazade telling her story, in bed with Shahrayar. He seems content, as if he’s grown used to this and grown to love her Caption: “The nights came to number in the hundreds.”
5. A close-up on Shaharazade’s wry smile. Caption: “What happened, ultimately, is the matter of some conjecture.”
6. A small black panel. Caption: “But tales have been told.”
Page 27: Inset Story 3 Page 1
Again we shift to a different style to indicate that this is a tale within a tale -- of sorts.
1. Shaharazade giving birth in a nice bed, attended by nurses. She’s sweaty.
2. Shaharazade looking lovingly at the bloody newborn baby.
3. The newborn baby being laid with two others. The others are about one and two years old, respectively.
4. Shaharazade telling her tales from a bed as she recovers from childbirth. Shahrayar sits nearby, listening attentively.
Caption (spread out over page): “As the nights blended into years, Shaharazade bore to the king three children, but never paused in the telling.”
Page 28: Inset Story 3 Page 2
1. Shaharazade concluding her tale, in bed with Shahrayar. A major moment between the two. Caption: “On the one thousand and first night, Shaharazade concluded her final tale and then made a special plea.” Shaharazade: “And this is the end of the story.”
2. Shaharazade and Shahrayar look at one another, poignantly.
3. Shaharazade and Shahrayar in bed together. She stares into his eyes, looking at him with great poignancy and weight. Shaharazade: “My king, this was the one thousand and first night I have told a story, or part thereof. Might I then be bold enough to beg a boon of Your Highness?”
4. Shahrayar replying graciously. Shahrayar: “Ask, Shaharazade, and it shall be yours.”
Page 29: Inset Story 3 Page 3
1. The couple now dressed as Shaharazade brings their three young children before him. Caption: “The two dressed, and Shaharazade had their children brought before them.”
2. Shaharazade kissing the ground before the king, her children around her, as she pleads with him. Caption: “Setting them before the king, she kissed the ground before him and spoke.” Shaharazade: “Lord, I beg you release me from the doom of death lest you render our children motherless and find no woman in all the world who will rear them as they deserve.”
3. Shahrayar looking down at her with the utmost quiet love upon his face. This ought to be a great moment, very understated. The image must convey the importance. Shahrayar: “I pardoned you before our first was born.”
4. Shaharazade, honestly moved by his kindness, reacting with great love.
5. Shaharazade kissing his hands and feet. Caption: “And she kissed his hands and feet.”
6. Shaharazade kissing his head as he smiles, contented, happy with her happiness. Caption: “And she kissed his head.”
Page 30: Inset Story 3 Page 4
1. A large panel showing great gathering of the king’s officials as they receive gifts. Caption: “With morning, the king bestowed gifts upon his officials, but upon no man more than the vizier and the father of his wife.”
2. The vizier seeing his two daughters for the first time in 1001 days.
3. The vizier embracing his two daughters, but especially Shaharazade.
4. The king and his attendants surrounding the viziers with gifts: large gold ornaments and the like.
Page 31: Inset Story 3 Page 5
1. Shahzaman with his attendants on the path to his brother Shahrayar’s city. This ought to mirror the earlier shots in the previous chapter, when the brother made this journey before. Caption: “Again, Shahrayar summoned his brother, greeting him with gifts and feasting.”
2. A large panel showing the two brothers talking amidst fine dining and gems and the like. Inset panels show various women beheaded and various shots of Shahrayar with Shaharazade in bed as she tells stories. One or two inset panels can even show Dunyazad beneath the bed. Caption: “To Shahzaman, the king related all.”
3. The two brothers continuing their talk amidst opulence. It’s Shahzaman’s turn to speak now. Caption: “And Shahzaman told the king how he had remained unwed, disdaining woman’s infidelities.”
Page 32: Inset Story 3 Page 6
1. The brother Shahzaman in the guest palace, as seen in a shot mirroring those of the fist chapter.
2. Shahzaman cavorting with his brother Shahrayar as well as the two sisters -- fine dining, beautiful surroundings, etc. Caption (over the first two panels): “The brother stayed in the guest palace as long as before, spending his day with Shahrayar, Shaharazade, and Dunyazad.”
3. Shahzaman wedding Dunyazad in a large and beautiful ceremony.
4. Shahzaman with Dunyazad and a great retinue, all on the path back to his own city. Caption (over this and the last panel): “Before returning home, Shahzaman wed Dunyazad in a great ceremony, which pleased his brother the king.”
Page 33: Inset Story 3 Page 7
1. Shaharazade, now a few years older, talking to a group of scribes in a palace library. Her children, now a few years older, are running around. A large, finely illustrated panel. Caption: “In time, Shahrayar summoned scribes to record his wife’s stories.”
2. A close-up of the scribes writing in Arabic script. Caption: “She repeated them to the scribes as best she could, then copied and disturbed them around the kingdom.”
3. A thick book being added to the palace library’s shelves. Caption: “They became the book known to us as The 1001 Nights or The Arabian Nights.”
Back to the regular style, as we exit the inset story, though only for a single large panel with a kind of timeless feel.
This page features a full-page shot of Shahrayar and Shaharazade, nude in bed together as she slyly weaves her tales. Dunyazad is just slightly peeking out from under the bed. Caption: “Or so it is told.”
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