The Child

by
Steve (Ironhand) Block)

 

This vignette was, I think, the very first script I ever wrote. It was in response to the KEG Klonan the Adventurer episode called “THE CHILD”. In this ep, Klonan and his merry band rescue a pregnant woman who promptly delivers unto them a child, then dies. It turns out that the baby is a prophesied redeemer who was destined to save the world. Klonan and his friends keep the child alive at great trouble and inconvenience (without milk!), and finally (reluctantly!!!!!!!!)turn it over to a group of monks headed up by Sister Red Sonya the war nun (You think I’m joking?), who will take proper care of it and make sure it fulfills its destiny. Various posters to the Keller Message Board identified the child as Crom, Mitra, a premature Jesus, or Max Keller.

Within 24 hours I had, in a white-hot ecstacy of disgust, created the following. Serendipitously, it provided an opportunity to get rid of Klonan’s companions.

INT. –: HYBOREA — A VILLAGE TAVERN — DAY.
People are eating, drinking, talking; barmaids are hustling back and forth with mugs and jugs. Suddenly a tall, hugely muscled,
bronze-skinned barbarian enters through the front entrance. His square-cut black mane is chopped off straight at about shoulder level; his blue eyes look like they were made for volcanic smouldering, but instead he looks wild-eyed and panicky. He is cradling an infant in his arms.

A barmaid sashays up to him.

BARMAID:
Hi, Big Guy! What’ve you got there?

CONAN:
(Tries not to look crafty)
What’s it look like?

BARMAID:
It’s a baby!

CONAN:
Good! You pass!
(Shoves baby at her)

BARMAID:
(Without thought, her arms accept the baby, then her brain catches up with her instincts)
Hey! What…

CONAN turns abruptly and strides purposefully for the door.

BARMAID:
Wait a minute! What do you think you’re…hey!

CONAN has left the building.

EXT. — OUTSIDE THE TAVERN — CONTINUOUS.
Conan’s companions are sitting on their horses, watching the tavern door.

OTLI:
Why did Conan tell us to wait out here?

BAYU:
I don’t know, but I’m thirsty!
(Shifts his weight, preparing to dismount)

Suddenly CONAN strides purposefully out the tavern door and mounts his horse in a hurry.

BAYU:
Where’s the baby?

CONAN:
You can stay here and look after the baby if you want to, but as for me, I found it a good home and I’m for the open road!
(Spins his horse and canters off)

OTLI:
Hey!
(He and Bayu take off after Conan)

ZZEBEN is torn. He hesitates, fidgeting on horseback.

BARMAID
(comes out through door, carrying the baby. She spots Zzeben)
Hi, Pretty Eyes! Did you see a big barbarian type come out here?

ZZEBEN tries to communicate with her with hand talk.

BARMAID:
Are YOU the father?

ZZEBEN tries again to communicate, panics, spins his horse, and gallops off.

BARMAID:
(looking bewildered)
Who was that mute man?

CLOSE

ALTERNATE ENDING B:
Zzeben stays, settles down with the barmaid to raise the baby, stars in a spin-off titled ONE MUTE’S FAMILY. One at a time, Otli and Bayu drop by the wayside.

ALTERNATE ENDING C:
Zzeben, Otli and Bayu ALL stay, and form a household with the barmaid to help raise the baby, star in a spin-off titled ALL IN THE FAMILY. Conan continues on, free as the wind, as Howard fans everywhere rejoice.

“Conan” ©Copyright, Conan Properties, Inc. “Conan The Mighty” ©Copyright 1996, William Galen Gray.

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