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Screen Play



--Which Witch is Witch

Which Witch is Witch: A Fairy Tale


“She is a witch BURN HER!” the crowd yells, marching down the street with torches in hand.
Honey Spinster Ella is a witch. So, she scurries down the little alleyway to her colourful cabin. The pebble pathway leads her out of the dusty streets towards her dimly lit home. The path gets smaller and smaller as she approaches the narrow entrance to her cabin. Her face is pulled tight and her teeth are clenching, but there is a bounce to her step and a giggle tickling her cheeks waiting to burst out. She rushes into her home, shuts the door tightly behind her and the sound of the angry crowd grows distant. She laughs nervously.

“Phew,” Ella sighs. She leans up against of the back of her small wooden door to catch her breath. She does up all five rusted bolts—that are hardly nailed to the aged wood—locking out the intimidating chants. Ella wipes her forehead with a polka-dot handkerchief as she wobbles down the candle-lit hallway that opens-up into her warm hideaway.

“Gosh,” she frowns. “Where do those nasty witches get off giving me such a bad reputation?” She shakes her head disappointed. For, poor little Honey Spinster Ella knew she had asked herself the same question many times before.


The crowd loses sight of the witch and it begins to rain. They all gather with their fire-lit torches into town hall. The roof is leaking and water trickles into buckets at each corner. The room is big and dank. Wet blathering bodies rush in. The ceilings are high and the acoustics carry echoes of gossip and chatter.

The first man who gets up to speak is Father Peter De Lancre, a retired priest and witch-hunter for 15 years now. “…The witch is a hazard. She lures in young children and uses their rendered fat in her bread.” He waits for a response, with his thin nose in the air. There is none. He continues, “The witch is a natural calamity. She can hinder men from begetting and women from conceiving. The witch is a danger and she must be purged from our town.”

The crowd cheers, well most of them. The rest just looked at everyone who is cheering and slowly begin to join, hesitantly clapping their hands in agreement, as crowds often do.


Honey Spinster Ella takes off her long patched-up, faux fur coat and reaches into her heavy canvas bag for the sugar that she had left the house in such a huff to retrieve. She pulls out the paper bag and a stream of sparkling sugar leaks out of the bottom right corner. She smiles at the silly thing that almost got her burned. Then she places the bag next to the chocolate chips and flour on her colourful, mosaic counter top and throws her big black pointed hat onto the chez lounge.

“Ouchie!” a little voice squeaks.
“Oh my dear I am so sorry,” Honey Spinster Ella shuffles over hurriedly and pulls the beautiful purple lizard out from underneath her hat. “I did not see you there my friend, and after the rush of the hunt out there,” She sighs. “Oh gosh, I feel terribly Belleizard.”

She scoops up the little reptile and its scales slowly change from a deep purple to a glowing red.

“You know, Ella, if they just gave you a chance. If only once they would get to talk to you, try your sweet baked goods, hear you funny jokes, they would love you. I know it. But, a human being is a complicated thing, mortals have a lot to them that we will never understand, at least not until they give us a chance.”

Belleizard makes a good point. Honey Spinster Ella lets the little lizard—now streaked with both shades of reds and yellowish-green—sit upon her shoulder as she washes her hands getting ready to bake.


An attractive middle-aged woman is waiting in the wings behind the stage. She is divided from the platform by musky, navy blue velvet curtains. She is standing in front of a mirror playing with facial expressions, getting her pout just right. She is well made-up. She re-applies her red lipstick three times. She draws eyeliner under her eyes and then smudges it off naturally, as if she has just cried.

Muffled by the heavy velvet curtains a voice says, “An active member of the parent council and social advocate, Madame Beaudior, shall now join me at the podium to help illustrate the trauma of her personal encounter with the witch”.

The woman straightens her posture and smiles at her reflection. She pulls down her fitted blazer and pulls up her breasts with a shimmy and the standard manoeuvre. She takes a crumpled piece of tissue out of her pocket, licks it and rubs it under her big blue eyes. She sniffles and then composes herself as she makes her way to the stage.


Madame Beaudior proudly shakes hands with De Lancre as she steps up to the podium. She whispers, “thank you darling” into his ear. He turns a sinful red and takes a seat behind her on stage. She clears her throat and begins her story.

“I first saw the witch on March 19th. I was merely washing dishes and happened to glance out of my kitchen window.” The woman trembles feebly. She always wanted to be an actress, but was destined to be a housewife. She loves the attention one receives at the podium. She brings her left hand upwards daintily and rests her leather glove on her chest.

She goes on, “The witch—she was tip-toeing through the fields of my neighbours crops. She did something strange with her hands. It must have been magic,” She claims innocently. “I was going to yell for help, but that’s when she started talking out loud to the plants. It looked like they were conversing. She was speaking to them; she was talking to the plants! Then she was laughing, cackling I sware to you.”

She dabs the tissues on her chest, drawing eyes inward and pauses to perform her well-practiced pout. “I don’t know,” she says, shaking her head. “I couldn’t see clearly, but She was mad. I was in such a fright.”

The crowd gushes in awe. The woman is encouraged to go on. “The next thing I knew she was gone. It didn’t rain over our fields for the next week, having detrimental effects on my husbands crop supply.”

The drama queen goes quiet, closes her eyes and tries to squeeze out a tear, but it does not work. So, she steps down from the podium.

The crowd begins to gossip. Chatter fills the swarming hall.


The cookies are in the oven. The smell of rising flour and melting chocolate fills the quaint home of the witch. Honey Spinster Ella is sitting back in her big pink velvet chair with her feet up on a plush pedestal flipping through the latest Witches Digest.

Bellelizard is in its hammock humming a happy tune. As Ella glances at the airbrushed images of brooms and cauldrons, she comes across the issue’s feature article and her stomach drops.

“Oh gosh no, Bellelizard! Come down from there and look at this! Satan is speaking in the forest of Atropos tonight at sundown. Only evil results from such fired rallies. I know exactly what the event will be like, massive orgies, crazy pushy witch-reporters, sadistic witches and warlocks from all over the globe. That is why I moved all the way here, to this mortal village in the first place. I wanted to escape all that evil. Witches can be so mean. For once I would like to go and speak out against the devil.” She pauses in thought and half-grins.

“I’d open with a joke, then ask the devil kindly to stop stealing the lives of my family, stop perpetuating evil and calamity and then I would ask politely if only, maybe, Sir Satan could stop trading precious lives for undying power.”  But Ella knows her meagre voice will not do much besides get her eternity in the heated underground gorge. “It is hopeless Bellelizard,” She sighs.

Poor Honey Spinster Ella begins to weep. The flowers on her windowsill slowly wilt and her yellow and green striped socks roll themselves down from her calves to her ankles. Bellelizard crawls up the side of the big velvet chair, up the witches arm and onto her shoulder. Lifting itself up with all its might, the lizard turns a glowing red and gives Ella a kiss on her wet rosy cheek.


De Lancre steps back up to the podium, thanks the drama queen for her wise words and introduces the next member of the witch-hunt to come forward.

He is a younger man about 23. His name is Andy McKee. He is a top student at the local university studying religion and politics. The crowd claps welcoming the young academic, but nobody comes up on to the stage. De Lancre calmly asks for the crowds’ patience, telling them it will only be a minute longer. Then he turns his back to them and waves the drama queen back up to the podium to occupy the audience. She tries to stall the crowd. She leans forward on the podium, batting her eyelashes.


De Lancre is backstage stomping furiously ripping back the velvet curtains leaving clouds of dust particles fluttering behind him.

He finds young Andy McKee sitting on the damp ground reading over his cue cards with a frightened glare. “Hey kid!! What in the name of burning hell are you trying to pull. Get out there and stun the crowd, just read the cards like we talked about. It’s all written out in front of you.”

Andy McKee responds in a soft monotone, “I cannot do it Father, it doesn’t feel right. I never even saw the damned witch…”

De Lancre pulls him up by the arm and pushes him through the curtain out onto the platform.  


The crowd cheers and the young man slowly steps up to the podium. The drama queen nods with approval and pats his back. He looks respectable in his big black pea coat with the blue and grey emblem embroidered onto the breast pocket. He runs his fingers through his thick brown wavy hair, cracks his knuckles and pauses a moment staring out palely onto the many eager faces. Then he begins, hesitantly, to articulate his knowledge on the witch.

“Great religious leaders such as St. Thomas Aquinas once told us their philosophies on evil. Speaking on behalf of apostolic authority it is our duty to prevent the taint of heretical depravity and of other like evils from spreading their infection to the ruin of others.” His voice cracks; he turns pink and with frightened eyes he looks back over his shoulder at De Lancre whom is nodding anxiously in approval. He continues, “Women have proven their weak-will from the beginnings of the bible and it would not shock one to hear that they have once again submitted to the offering of the devil. We must remove all impediments that hinder the teachings of our church.” The young student pauses a minute to shuffle and realign his cue cards. He feels self-righteous and guilty. He clears his throat and goes on.  


Ding! The oven timer goes off and the cookies are ready. Ella puts down the magazine and with Bellelizard loyally on her shoulder she goes to go open the oven. The cookies are just the right sort of golden-brown and the warmth behind the oven door seeps out and hugs the two creatures. Delighted and excited they put the cookies on a big round tray and bring the tray over to the cozy velvet chair.

They each pick up a soft cookie, and smile with glee as the melting chocolate touches their skin. As they are about to bite into the cookies with there mouths open wide, the sound of the humans chanting in Town Hall echoes through the air. The chants are banging on their windows and knocking at their door. But they don’t say a word; in fact, they are a little too quite. 

They shiver at the thought of the hunt out there, and the possibility that perhaps this cookie could be their last. Bellelizard looks up at Ella with sad eyes; Ella acknowledges the feeling with a nod and a big bite into the warm treat. Bellelizard follows and soon both of their faces are smudged with chocolate. As they enjoy their cookies their minds wander. They know it wouldn’t be long until they are found and burned. They giggle amongst themselves and go to bed early.  


The sky is midnight blue. The moon is at full glow. The witches pile into the forest from every direction. The grasses are rough and uncut. The ground lets off a steam that is thicker, darker and stickier than smog. Shadows pour out from behind big weeping trees. It smells like rotten cow carcass at high-noon.

Amongst the crowd there are screech owls and snakes, flying and slithering. The forms of horns and tall hats stick out above deformed heads and tree branches. The sounds of the creatures are high-pitched and deafening.

Then there is silence.

A massive burning red light and a larger-than-life figure emerges from the moist earth. Witches and warlocks push and shove, but no one makes a sound. The figure speaks and the forest shakes.

“There is reason to believe a witch has betrayed her oaths. The ungrateful cunt was born into this way of life; her blood was drawn and signed into the Sabbat at birth. Yet, she fails to provide her role as a maleficent magician and a sexual slave. She ruins our powerful reputation and taints our menacing name. She will be found, tortured, punished and cleansed of her pathetic, happy illusions using the harshest of methods.” The crowd begins to growl and sneer.

“SILENCE” the devils voice blows through the crowd like hurricane winds. Trees fall over crushing bones, but still, no one makes a sound. 


There she is, not on a broom, but on a unicorn. There she is flying, soaring through the clouds. There she is sliding down rainbows, smiling from ear to ear. Her black pointed hat flies off into the bright sky towards the sun, where it gets caught in the shining rays and burns a warm glowing red. Her laughter echoes through her head and she tosses in her bed, waking from her colourful dream.
It is dawn. Ella gets out of bed, half-smiles confused and puts on her fluffy slippers. She goes to go check on Bellelizard; the reptile is still sleeping in its hammock and is a solid pink in colour. Ella knew that shade of pink meant Bellelizard is having a romantic dream. She chuckles to herself, pours a glass of warm sugared milk and tiptoes out back to watch the sunrise.


“ I must be gone before sunrise,” The devil speaks with a thunderous roar. “Tucked away from the obscenity of natural sunlight! Stop fucking for a fucking moment and find me the fucking cheerful traitor!!”

The voice resonates throughout the forest of Atropos. The noise pounds at the roots of dead trees, dried, cracked branches fall to the ground. Naked Warlocks pull away from the behinds of helpless startled goats. Depraved witches stand to their feet, wiping blood accumulated at the corners of their lips. Owls are squealing and thick steam is rising up from the earth. Satan is lowered back down bellow and the crowd begins to snarl and chatter. 


A mob is forming outside the Town Hall. The crowd begins to snarl and chatter. Voices yell fearful complaints. The governing staff is flustered and overwhelmed running around looking for temporary answers. Whispers and fabrications are floating around blindly getting the crowd confused and excited. It is rowdy and people are pushing their way forward, barging in demanding answers: “Who is this witch? Does she do voodoo magic? Is she part of a cult? Are our children safe? What will be done to protect our fate?”

People come to the town headquarters from all walks of life with their different work uniforms and their predictably different concerns (nuns want to know about cults, priests ask about sexual habits, mothers fire tens of questions at a time, teachers ask about the children’s education, sheriffs ask how to protect humans from beyond-human evil, others chant for revenge with wooden bats). 


The sun is shining when Bellelizard wakes up and Ella is already busy doing chores. She is humming as she sews the little lizard a winter coat, because it is getting cold out there and well, the witch knows somewhere in the back of her mind that soon enough they would have to leave this small town in order to stay alive.

Bellelizard yawns and blinks as it crawls down the ladder that hangs from its hammock.
“Good Morning my friend,” Ella says endearingly as she straightens her posture welcoming the lizard to crawl up to her shoulder. “Shall I bake some goodies? Would you like sugar cakes or molasses muffins for breakfast?”

Honey Spinster Ella puts down her sewing needles and with the cute yellow and green shaded lizard on her shoulder, she leisurely stands out of the big velvet chair and turns towards the kitchen.  


As the witchy pair enjoy their breakfast things do not seem right. They are not as giddy as usual, they are not speaking much and Ella does not seem to be enjoying her sweet candied molasses muffins. Tension is in the air. The yellow and green shades of Bellelizard’s scales begin to melt together and darken. The lizard takes on a solid deep puke green colour and says,  “Ella lets get out of here.”
Ella does not respond, but instead begins cleaning up the table, pulling the plate from right under Bellelizard’s long tongue. She is red in the face and sweating. She takes off her knit sweater and begins washing the dishes. She scrubs them three times over and over and over. She is staring blankly in a trance-like state at the bubbles watching them float up off the clay, dance in the air and… pop. Ella does not turn around to let the loving lizard see a tear roll down her cheek. Her lips are quivering, but she wipes the tear, sighs and dries her water-wrinkled fingers on her apron. She sits back down heavily on the wooden log that serves as a bench at her kitchen table.

“We will be okay, ” Bellelizard assures her. The lizard then crawls up onto her hand, making its way up her forearm, raising its head and tilting its concerned eyes towards Ella’s frown. “We just cannot be late leaving this time, your escape plans always get us out, and you know they do. As soon as you realize optimism will not lend us justice, we will survive this one, like we have so many times before. ” Ella is staring dizzily at a poster of a unicorn on marshmallow clouds, which hangs over the kitchen sink.

Ella sighs, resigning to the reality of the hunt and the two of them decide to leave their quaint cabin by sundown.


With the devil gone the witches move into their habitual Sabbat traditions: feasts, orgies, whippings, drinks and naked dances and chants.

After the raunchy customs, an old and well-respected warlock hushes the manic crowd. He speaks out, “Something must be done about the rumoured traitor. We must immediately disperse and flock off in search. We must divide ourselves into our local cults and capture this unworthy evil who paints themselves in fair colours. Pick through every mortal town and plague them with our hunt.”

Every servant of Satan there agrees. They yelp and screech. They light fires and bless each other with protection spells and chants. Then, the nasty witches set off on a witch-hunt of their own.


“Something must be done about this evil witch. Who is with me?” Father Peter De Lancre yells appointing himself to head up the hunt.

A team of witch hunters is compiled outside of Town Hall. Most members are men under 30. Before they set off in search of sweet Ella, a rally breaks out. De Lancre reads prayers. The crowd cheers. Lists of names are blessed and others are cursed. The crowd cheers. Symptoms of possession are read out and the towns’ people are warned. The torches are re-lit. The sun goes down and the search sets out.

The crowd cheers.


Ella and Bellelizard are dressed warmly. Ella has a stick with a fabric parcel tied on the end over her left shoulder and Bellelizard on her right. They are walking through enchanted forests, quietly stepping over tree roots and twisting around poisonous snapping flowers and creepy nocturnal animals. It is foggy, dark and hard to see more than a few feet ahead of them. But Ella has a small, rusty lantern helping to illuminate their path. One step a time,” Ella whispers to Bellelizard with a nervous grin, but she is really just assuring herself.

Bellelizard is humming a soothing melody into the emptiness inside them and around them. But then Ella stops dead in her tracks and the lizard stops humming too; they are at the end of the forest and have two dirt paths to choose from. They squeeze their eyes shut and hold their breath. Instinctually—after a game of eeny, meany, miney, moe—they continue on the path to their left.


The servants of Satan are flying through the air whipping viciously around small villages, tearing straw roofs off huts, ripping children out of their mother’s arms and destroying any fence in their path. Animals are running free, children are crying and many houses are set on fire. In few distorted minutes whole villages and lives are destroyed. The cackles of hundreds of witches echo through the sad night air.


The terrifying chants of a hundred men fill the dense grey air. The crowd floods the dirt roads leading out to the surrounding villages. They follow the dirt path to the first village, which is already destroyed, on fire and half-abandoned.

“She must have already gotten to them. That dreadful, moral ridden, evil plague in the form of a woman, she must have been here tonight, for babies are still crying and fires are still burning.” Father De Lancre says as he steps over the body of a bleeding child still half- alive and peers into the entrance of a roofless house. He sees a woman inside lying on the floor shivering drenched in tears. Too quickly, he turns around, looking back at the traumatized crowd of grown men waiting sheepishly for answers.

“She cannot be far now, ” Father De Lancre assures the crowd. “We must move on immediately. We must follow the path. We must find her and purge the world of her evils before the sun rises illuminating our hunt.”

Andy McKee, the studious young man, speaks up in a nervous, cracking voice, “But Father, shall some of us not stay behind and help the people suffering in this village? Shall some of us bring water and food to the—” Many of the other men in the hunt are shaking their heads subtly in agreement with smart young Andy. But De Lancre cuts off the young student, “It is too late you poor, naive Andy McKee, the only way to help now is to watch the witch go up in flames.”  Andy replies hopelessly “But Father…”

“SILENCE” De Lancres voice blows through the crowd like hurricane winds. The sound of crows flying away in fear and owls’ hoots fill the air, but no one makes a sound. 


Owls and black crows swoop over Ella and Bellelizard in incredible numbers. They duck and gasp. “Something is going wrong” Ella says, “Some one is out there. They must be looking for us. We should begin to speed up, head towards the nearest village and find a nice spot deep out in the cornfields to lay low for the night. We must get there before sunrise, so we don’t risk being seen.”

Ella and Bellelizard continue down the dirt path. As the night fades from black to a thick morning grey, the fog thickens. They cannot see more than a foot ahead of them. They begin to hurry as it approaches dawn. One step a time,” Ella whispers. “Time is of the essence.”


They arrive in the small village. It is silent and everyone seems to be asleep. The fog hangs over their heads with each tired step. They stop quickly and quietly at the town well to draw some water in order to last the night. Ella leans over to fill their canteens and Bellelizard jumps off her shoulder onto the brick wall surrounding the wells. They are exhausted and in the thickness of the early morning fog they neglect to see the approaching glow of a hundred torches.

They sit down behind the bricks that surround the well and lean their backs against the side opposite to the approaching crowd. They gulp down the water and chat optimistically about where their new home could be. They smile as they talk about the possibilities that could await them at the end of the path. They talk about their dreams of a world of amity: the possibility of real, kind human neighbours who bring them baked goods, colourful conversation filled with laughter and shared warm chocolate chip cookies. They bask in thoughts of human acceptance.

Suddenly the roars of the angry crowd approach the town. Ella peeks up over the edge of the bricks surrounding the well. She sees the witch-hunt and they are within meters. She ducks back down gathers her parcels and Bellelizard hops back up onto her shoulder. Caught off guard, they run out from behind the well and scurry behind a small straw house. “Over there is a farm Ella, look on the left! Let us hide amongst their tall stalks of corn they will never find us there,” Bellelizard suggests to the panicking witch.

Ella takes in a deep breath and quickly scrambles with her short stubby legs in quick small steps, across the dirt road dividing the village, towards the vast cornfields. 


“Hey, what is that!!” shouts the youngest member of the hunt, pointing at Ella the witch. The boy is no older than 13 and excited to be a hero. “AFTER HER!” De Lancre roars.

The crowd chases after poor Ella. Nervously, she trips over herself and falls to the ground. She sticks her chin up off the ground with a mouth full of blood and sand. Her eyes meet Bellelizard who is black in colour and shivering. “Run my friend, live a life of peace and modesty. Run my friend as far into the fields as you can. Hurry away my dearest friend and find a place for your bones to rest. Enjoy freedom for all its worth.” She is running out of breath and the crowd is approaching. Panting, she squeezes out a few more words, “...never judge a chameleon by its coat,” Ella murmurs with tears in her bright eyes. The lizard scurries off into the cornfields. 


De Lancre pulls Ella up out of the dirt by the back of her neck, shouts obscenities and spits in her eyes. Ella is not crying, but instead her face is pale in a state of shock and awe. The crowd ties her up off the ground onto a tall wooden pyre. They chant and celebrate the purification. People are throwing rocks and stones at poor Ella as De Lancre splashes holy water on her limp body reciting prayers.


Just then, screeches and shadows fly down from the sky, hovering over the town causing a thick and unrelenting darkness. The witches arrive on broomsticks yelping and reciting spells that sound like backwards poetry and nursery rhymes on rewind. Their black capes are fluttering like flags in the sky.

They settle down on the ground and surround the human crowd, creeping in on them like stalkers. The humans slowly step back from the witches around them. They push together forming a clump, with the bits and pieces of hell surrounding them.

De Lancre speaks up, “Who are you and what do you want?” The witches hiss and move closer. One witch breathes a stinky, green musk in his face. De Lancre begins to sweat, some people fall to the ground shaking, others are crying and some are even apologizing.

One of the witches responds with a raspy roar, “a mortal aspiring to do a witches job—HAH! PATHETIC—he shall be punished as firmly as she whom has been the cause of the crime. Mortal men where are your wives? You better find them before the sunrise.” The witch licks her lips and lets out a cackle that cracks like thunder so loud it slaps De Lancre across the face.

The witches and the mortals go on bickering. De Lancre is thrown to the ground with a witch’s cold stare. Two young men brake out of the crowd trying to run from the scene. They are chased down within seconds and impaled on a witches broom like a chicken kebab.


Meanwhile, Ella watches the show from above. She is bleeding and her clothes are all torn. She is wrestling with the pyre that holds her. With each twitch and wiggle the wooden ties rub through her skin, cutting her flesh leaving bloody wounds.

But then a little squeak whispers “Ella just hold on,” Ella’s eyelids open and close as she drifts in and out of consciousness. The brave chameleon crawls up the wooden poles, which hold her prison.


Andy McKee pushes forward to the outside of the circle. He is face-to-face with the head witch and says, “We can all kill her together. It can be a new way of thinking: man and witch bound together by a common goal.” McKee is grabbed by the neck and raised off the ground by the leader of the witch clan.

Another boy, a friend of McKee’s, steps forward with torch in his hand and lights the witch’s cape on fire. The burning witch drops him with a high-pitched screech and Andy McKee falls to the ground gasping for air.

The witches and humans brake out in war.


The lizard is chewing through the ties that hold Ella’s limp body with undying strength. One at a time the twigs slowly snap away. The good witch begins to show signs of life; she is turning and her eyes open. Bellelizard is chewing away, one strand at a time. Ella’s right side is freed and then her left.

The colourful chameleon crawls onto the kind witches shoulder and whispers, “one step at a time.”

Ella and the heroic lizard climb down from the wooden pyre.


People are quickly dying and witches are melting into formless puddles of flesh on the floor. Men are running off into the enchanted forests and witches are chasing after them hissing and screeching.

The whole town is in flames. It is a war zone and a mass grave. Humans and witches alike piled on top of each other, dead.

The fog is lifting and the sun is rising.


Ella and Bellelizard are lying in the vast cornfield behind the ghastly, bloody scene. They are hidden by tall corn stalks blowing in the morning breeze. Ella doesn’t speak much. Her lips are pasty and dry. She is wounded and bloody. She smiles at her friend who is coloured a warm red resting in its place on her shoulder.

Ella closes her eyes and falls soundly asleep….


There she is. Honey Spinster Ella is riding a unicorn. There she is flying, soaring through the clouds. There she is sliding down rainbows, smiling from ear to ear. Her black pointed hat flies off into the bright sky towards the sun, where it gets caught in the shining rays and burns a warm glowing red. Her laughter echoes through her head.  

Laughter echoes on and on and credits roll…. laughter echoes on and on...