Episode 14

Twinsburg - Episode 14


FADE IN:

EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD STREET -- MONDAY MORNING

A traffic light turns green. It is raining.

CUT TO:
EXT. DANI’S HOME -- MORNING

Rain falls into a puddle along the curb. Pan up to reveal Dani’s house.

CUT TO:
INT. DANI’S HOME -- BEDROOM -- MORNING

CU -- DANI lying on her side in bed, staring off into space. Thunder rumbles.
GALE (O.S.)
I brought you some coffee.
Dani shakes her head.

NEW ANGLE

GALE, still wearing his suit, exhales and nods his head. He places the coffee cup on the nightstand and sits on the bed. He puts his hand on Dani’s shoulder.
DANI
He didn’t deserve to die.

GALE
Of course not.

DANI
I can’t stop thinking about him. He wasn’t always like he was. He wasn’t all bad.

GALE
No one is.

DANI
Oh, Martin. We were happy once. When we met. It was in my hometown in Alaska. We were way out in the middle of nowhere, and I’d had a very sheltered life. Then he came, a university student on a research project. He seemed so worldly. I fell in love with him, totally. I was in agony when he left at the end of that summer. But we wrote to each other through the year, and the next summer he came back. But this time, I left with him. I was so happy, out in the big world with him. It was so exciting at first. Then he graduated, and didn’t seem to get anywhere afterward. I took a job at the bank. Then he started to withdraw into himself. I felt so... I didn’t know...

GALE
It’s all right.
Dani rolls onto her back and takes Gale’s hand in hers.
DANI
Martin, thank you... for staying with me. I don’t know what I... I feel so alone.

GALE
You’re never alone.
They move closer to kiss. Dani closes her eyes. Gale hesitates and draws back. Dani opens her eyes again.
DANI
It’s all right.

GALE
I need to go.

DANI
Okay.
Gale stands. They look at each other for a moment, tenderly. Then he turns and exits.

CUT TO:
EXT. TWINSBURG INN -- MORNING

Rain is falling heavily.

CUT TO:
INT. TWINSBURG INN SUITE -- MORNING

Water streams down the window. Pull back to reveal JEREMY, sitting in a chair and listening to the cassette using headphones. JANET, in her nightie, comes up and pits her hand on his shoulder. He looks up, stops the tape, and takes off the headphones.
JANET
You’re up early.

JEREMY
Not really. I’m still on London time, you know. It’s afternoon there.

JANET
(indicating the cassette)
What do you think?

JEREMY
Intriguing. I would say it’s a woman, or more likely a girl, being raped. Recorded from a short distance. In the forest, I should think. Sounded like leaves blowing around, and trees creaking.

JANET
Yes, that’s what I thought.

JEREMY
So what has it got to do with anything?

JANET
James Clapsaddle is the boy who’s been making trouble for us. The little snoop is always making tapes of things, according to what Kent told me. I had thought to find the tape of our conversation, but I ended up with this.

JEREMY
He still has the other tape?

JANET
Yes, but you see, a girl was raped and murdered here about a week ago. It’s been in all the papers. Maybe James saw who did it.

JEREMY
And planned to blackmail them, too? Conniving devil.

JANET
Well, then, now we have him over a barrel.
Jeremy takes the cassette out of the player and taps it on his fingers.
JEREMY
The withholding of evidence is not very popular with most law-enforcement agencies. So, we have one less thorn in our side.
Janet smiles and crosses the room to brush her hair. Jeremy begins thumbing through a fashion magazine lying on the coffee table.
JEREMY
Now, about our other little problem.

JANET
Yes, Alan has been acting so very strangely since his accident. I’m worried. He even seems to be trying to get back together with his first wife.
Jeremy stops at a full-page advertisement featuring a man and a woman next to each other.
JANET
She’s one of those tiresome Greens, and Alan’s been saying the most ridiculous claptrap about saving the world or something. She just came back to town a few days ago.
Jeremy slowly tears the woman’s half of the advertisement out of the magazine.
JEREMY
Then we’ll just have to see that she’s out of the picture. Permanently.
CUT TO:
INT. CARTWRIGHT OFFICES -- MORNING

BRADLEY, wearing a suit, is waiting near a sexy RECEPTIONIST. She is sitting behind a desk and he is in a chair against the wall. He is a bit nervous and looks over at her. She is biting her pencil and looking at him seductively. He looks away, nodding his head, uncomfortable with the situation. ALBERT enters the office, wearing a trenchcoat, which he takes off and hangs in a closet.
ALBERT
Bradley! Good morning.

BRADLEY
Mr. Collins. Ready to be shadowed?

ALBERT
Well, only the shadow knows. C’mon through.
They start to cross the office.
RECEPTIONIST
Who knows what lurks in the hearts of men?
Albert laughs. The receptionist has dropped her pencil and leans over slowly to pick it up. Bradley checks her out.
BRADLEY
This is looking like a good week.
Suddenly, ALAN storms out of his office, wearing jeans and an open-collared shirt. He is surrounded by a gaggle of shorter men in dark suits. They are all complaining to him. Alan holds up his hands.
ALAN
Quiet!
The office falls silent.
ALBERT
Alan? What’s all the hubbub?
Alan puts his arm around Albert’s shoulder.
ALAN
Albert, I have received a new vision for the company, and therefore, I’ve decided that the mall expansion must be cancelled altogether. I cannot allow one precious blade of grass in those beautiful soccer fields to be destroyed. Not one.

ALBERT
Alan, that expansion is a major project. We’ve already got a great deal invested in it.

ALAN
I know. Albert, I know you to be a man with heart. I want you to tell me, who could look at the delight in the eyes of all those children chasing that black-and-white ball down an emerald lawn, and then say to those innocent lambs, “I’m taking this away”? Not I.

ALBERT
Well, Alan, to call things off at this stage will--

ALAN
I’m sorry. But each of us is called upon at certain times in our lives to sacrifice our own desires for the good of future generations.
Alan pats Albert on the back and moves off. Albert and Bradley are at a loss.

CUT TO:
INT. TWINSBURG INN -- LOBBY -- MORNING

GALE enters the building and takes out his tape recorder.
GALE
Roseanne, it’s 9:37 AM, and the weather in Twinsburg has taken a turn for the worse. The seemingly perpetual gloom has given way to a steady downpour. Mt perception, however, of the world at this moment is not at its most reliable. Simply put, I am dog-tired, Roseanne. I spent last night trying to console Dani over the sudden death of her husband. I find that she touches me more deeply than I could have imagined. She moves through my inner walls as if they did not exist. All I need now is a few hours of quality sleep and a nice hot cup of herbal tea.
Gale moves over to the table where coffee and other beverages are laid out. JEREMY is pouring himself a cup of coffee. He turns around as Gale comes up behind him.
JEREMY
Oh, I do beg your pardon.

GALE
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.

JEREMY
Not at all. I’m just rather preoccupied sometimes.

GALE
I know the feeling. You’re English.

JEREMY
Yes, just in last night, in fact. Visiting my mother.

GALE
I hope you find Twinsburg as rejuvenating as I myself have. It’s quite a town.

JEREMY
Yes, I’m hoping my stay will be very profitable indeed.
Jeremy smiles and walks off. Gale squints, starts to make another recording, but changes his mind.

CUT TO:
INT. HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY -- MORNING

PENNY is removing all her books from the locker she shares with NICHOLAS, who comes up to her.
NICHOLAS
What are you doing?

PENNY
I don’t think we should share a locker after all.

NICHOLAS
Why? Will you stop that? Look at me.

PENNY
Don’t touch me. Just leave me alone.

NICHOLAS
No. I want you to talk to me. What the hell is your problem?

PENNY
Oh, you really sound like you care!

NICHOLAS
You’re being unreasonable, Penny. I don’t care about Jean, if that’s what you’re so upset about. This isn’t like you.

PENNY
Who gave you the right to decide what I’m like? It’s my life! This has nothing to do with Jean! Damn it!
Penny storms off, crying. Nicholas slams his fist into the locker, making a loud bang. The other students in the hall stop what they are doing and look at him.
NICHOLAS
(yells)
What?!?
The students go about their business. Nicholas fumes.

CUT TO:
INT. ROSEMARY’S PASTRY SHOP -- MONDAY NOON

Pan along the pastries behind the glass counter.
GALE (O.S.)
Is that raspberry?

SHERIFF (O.S.)
Boysenberry.
NEW ANGLE

GALE and SHERIFF peruse the pastries. ROSEMARY stands behind the counter.
GALE
Boysenberry.

SHERIFF
Rosemary, those aren’t banana nut muffins?

ROSEMARY
Fresh out of the oven, Sheriff.

SHERIFF
(to Gale)
Rosemary’s banana nut muffins are prizewinners every year.

ROSEMARY
Since 1983.

GALE
Bob, that’s a recommendation I can’t ignore.

SHERIFF
Four banana nut muffins, a coffee, and -- milk?
Gale nods.
ROSEMARY
Coming right up.
Rosemary prepares the order.
SHERIFF
You look worn out.

GALE
I stayed the night with Dani. She was very upset, confused. I think she just needed a friend.
Rosemary returns with the order and Sheriff pays for it. Then Gale and Sheriff go and sit at a table by the window. It is raining outside.
SHERIFF
I can’t imagine what she must be feeling.

GALE
It’s difficult. I notice a distinct change in your manner since yesterday.

SHERIFF
Last night, Yvonne and I... came to an understanding.

GALE
Good news?

SHERIFF
The best.

GALE
Congratulations.

SHERIFF
Thanks. How are we looking on the investigation into Megan’s murder?

GALE
I believe the pieces of the puzzle are out of the box. It’s just a matter of turning them all over and putting them together. But I’d say that, unless something major turns up, we’ve a long way to go to get at the truth of what happened.

SHERIFF
Well, working with you, I’m starting to expect the unexpected.
Gale begins drawing on a napkin.
GALE
Speaking of which, I am becoming increasingly ill-at-ease about Llewellyn. The pattern seems to be there, but I can’t make sense of it. I can’t see how the disparate threads interweave. I’m missing something vital.
Gale shows Sheriff the napkin. He has drawn two triangles. Inside one he has written “Llewellyn,” and has labeled the apex “Lady of Light” and the points of the base “Astronaut” and “Electrical Man.” Inside the second triangle is written “Gale.” The apex is labeled “Brownturtle” and the points of the base are labeled “Box Lady” and “?”

CU -- QUESTION MARK ON THE NAPKIN

BACK TO SHOT
SHERIFF
I’m afraid I can’t help you with that. But I’ll back you a hundred percent.

GALE
Thank you, Bob.

SHERIFF
Come to think of it, you remember that pair of bikers who came into the station a few days ago?

GALE
Yes, the twins.

SHERIFF
Right, Dan and Don Barrett. They’re known for being pretty much experts on local lore. They have a show on the local college radio station sometimes, dealing with myths and legends of, well, you name it. You might want to talk to them about this Lady of Light stuff.

GALE
I’ll do that.
Gale takes a drink, giving himself a milk mustache. He wipes it off with the napkin.

CUT TO:
EXT. TWINSBURG HOSPITAL -- MONDAY AFTERNOON

Lightning flashes across the sky behind the building.

CUT TO:
INT. KIMMY’S HOSPITAL ROOM -- AFTERNOON

KIMMY is lying peacefully in her bed. Thunder rumbles. TERRENCE enters, pushing the wheelchair-bound ELLIOTT. Kimmy’s face brightens when they enter.
KIMMY
Hi!

TERRENCE
I brought you a visitor.

ELLIOTT
Hi, honey. How are you feeling?

KIMMY
I feel fine, thank you.

TERRENCE
Kimmy, have you been able to remember anything else since we talked last?

KIMMY
I’m sorry, Doctor. I’ve tried and tried, really, I have, but nothing comes to me. It’s like living in a dream -- there’s no past to give things meaning. Everything is new and mysterious.

ELLIOTT
What do you mean, honey?

KIMMY
Like these flowers. I love them, and they’re so pretty, but I wonder if they have any connection to me beyond that -- if they ever played some part in my life. And the person who sent them obviously cares for me, but their name means nothing to me. They know so much more about me than I do, and they may be just an acquaintance. It’s such a weird feeling. You can’t imagine the role memory plays in our conscious experience until it’s gone.

ELLIOTT
Uh, I guess so.
Elliott gives Terrence a worried look.
TERRENCE
Would you excuse us a minute?

KIMMY
Of course. Please.
Terrence wheels Elliott out into the hall.

CUT TO:
INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY -- AFTERNOON

In the hallway, TERRENCE squats down to be at eye-level with ELLIOTT in his wheelchair. Between them, KIMMY can be seen lying in her hospital bed inside the room.
ELLIOTT
Doc, that doesn’t sound like the Kimmy I know.

TERRENCE
Well, Elliott, for all intents and purposes, that’s not the Kimmy you knew. She’s trying to reinvent herself from scratch, and subconsciously, she’s modeling herself on the image of who she’s always wanted to be.

ELLIOTT
Will she get back to normal?

TERRENCE
It’s difficult to say. But it’s a very delicate process, and we want to avoid putting undue stress on her. So I don’t think now would be a good time to tell her of her brother’s death. It would only make her feel guilty that she doesn’t feel anything else.

ELLIOTT
I got you. But can we do anything to help her?

TERRENCE
I’ll tell you what, I’m going to release the both of you tomorrow. You can take Kimmy home, show her around, try to stimulate her memory with familiar things.

ELLIOTT
Okay. But you want to know something, Doc? I’ve never seen Kimmy looking so... peaceful.
Shift focus to Kimmy, looking happy and carefree.

CUT TO:
INT. SHERIFF STATION -- LOBBY -- AFTERNOON

LYNDON pokes his head around the corner. He looks over at Abigail’s desk. It is unoccupied. Near the desk is the coffee machine, and Lyndon begins to approach it cautiously. He hears someone approaching and jumps back around the corner. GALE approaches, looking in his notebook. He notices Lyndon peering at him, but Lyndon jerks his head out of sight. Gale goes into the conference room. Lyndon scurries over to the coffee pot and quickly pours himself a cup of coffee. He hears someone else approaching as he is putting sugar in it, causing him to spill the sugar on the table. He takes the cup and hurries down the hall. ABIGAIL enters in time to see him vanish around another corner. She gives a quizzical look and goes to her desk. NICHOLAS and PENNY enter.
ABIGAIL
May I help you?

PENNY
Agent Gale asked us to come in this afternoon.

ABIGAIL
Oh, yes. One moment.
Abigail activates the intercom.
ABIGAIL
Agent Gale? Nicholas and Penny are here to see you.

GALE (V.O.)
Send them in, please.

ABIGAIL
You can go right on in. Second door to the right of the water cooler, next to the bulletin board.

PENNY
Thank you.
CUT TO:
INT. SHERIFF STATION -- CONFERENCE ROOM -- AFTERNOON

NICHOLAS and PENNY enter. They do not look at each other. GALE stands up as they come in.
GALE
Penny, Nicholas. Thank you for coming in. Please, sit down.
Nicholas and Penny sit, keeping an obvious distance between them. Gale takes his seat again.
GALE
To get down to the point, I’m hoping you’ll be able to help me solve Megan’s murder as you did Millicent’s.

PENNY
We’ll be glad to do anything we can. But neither of us knew Megan all that well.

GALE
I understand that you have known Bradley Thomas, however, for quite some years. Is that correct?

PENNY
Yes.

GALE
Do you have any idea why he might blame James Clapsaddle so insistently?

PENNY
No. I have no idea.
Gale squints at her.
NICHOLAS
That guy’s always latching onto brain-dead ideas and holding onto them like a pit bull, no matter how crazy. Who knows where it comes from? He probably just hates him.
Gale thinks for a moment.
GALE
I’d like to talk to Penny alone for a few minutes. If you could wait outside, Nicholas?
Nicholas gets up and exits. Penny does not look up. Gale stands and looks out the window at the rain. Penny looks at him, waiting for him to say something. She grows uncomfortable.
GALE
Penny, whatever is going on between you and Nicholas is not my concern, but I know that it may sometimes seem wrong to tell the truth. Unfortunately, however uncomfortable it may make you feel, I need you to tell me about James. Understand that everything you tell me is in strict confidence.

PENNY
I talked to James after the funeral. He told me that he was in love with Megan. He loved her with all his heart. Bradley hated him for it -- he’s always been insanely jealous, about everything. And James made him feel threatened, because he couldn’t understand the kind of love James could feel.

GALE
Megan knew how James felt?

PENNY
No. I don’t think so. No, James never told her.

GALE
Did James tell you that?

PENNY
Yes. He could love someone from afar, and not be interested in anyone else. He was that kind of person. So good, so innocent. He couldn’t have hurt her. He wouldn’t hurt anyone. I know it.

GALE
I have as yet no reason to believe James is involved in the crime. I’m merely trying to determine the dimensions of Megan’s relationships, and the source of Bradley’s accusations.

PENNY
(starts to cry)
The whole town is coming apart. What’s happening to us? What’s going on here?

GALE
(goes over to her)
It’s all right. Things will return to normal, in time. They always do.

PENNY
I hope so.

GALE
Would you like a glass of milk?

PENNY
I can’t. I’m sorry. I’m allergic to dairy products.
Penny smiles weakly. Gale smiles in return.
GALE
Come on.
Gale walks Penny to the door.

CUT TO:
INT. SHERIFF STATION -- LOBBY -- AFTERNOON

GALE and PENNY emerge from the conference room. ABIGAIL is at her desk. NICHOLAS and JEAN are talking. Gale is startled by Jean’s appearance. Penny is furious.
JEAN
Penny, I was hoping we could talk this out. It’s all a misunderstanding, really.

PENNY
(indicating Nicholas)
Did he tell you we were here?

NICHOLAS
Penny, come on!

PENNY
There’s nothing to talk about. Especially with you.
Penny pushes past Jean and exits the building.
NICHOLAS
Penny!
Nicholas charges out after her. Jean puts her hands on the sides of her head and exhales through her nose, calming herself. She looks at Gale.
JEAN
I’m sorry. Please, don’t ask.
Jean exits. Gale is astonished.

CUT TO:
EXT. WOODS -- AFTERNOON

Maple trees sway in the rainstorm. Thunder rumbles in the distance.

CUT TO:
INT. CARTWRIGHT HOME -- FOYER -- AFTERNOON

DUANE enters the house. The door to the den opens, revealing ALAN.
DUANE
Dad!

ALAN
Come in here, son. I want to talk to you.
CUT TO:
INT. CARTWRIGHT HOME -- DEN -- AFTERNOON

DUANE enters. ALAN walks over and sits on his desk.
ALAN
Please, have a seat.
Duane sits down in a chair.
ALAN
Son, I want--

DUANE
(simultaneously)
Look, Dad, if--
They laugh nervously.
ALAN
Go ahead.

DUANE
No, really, you go first.

ALAN
Duane, I know I haven’t been much of a father figure to you, especially lately. We just seemed to go our different ways, and our worlds were slowly pushed apart. But that can change. I want it to change. Son, I am beginning to see our universe as it truly is, and the fallacies that I have believed and pursued my entire life are falling away like ashes. I stand here with a new perspective, and I see us, Duane. I see us disconnected. I look back over your life, and at where we stand now, and I wonder what kind of legacy I’m leaving for you. A corrupted planet and an empty soul. We’ve got to reclaim the essential things in life before it’s too late.

DUANE
Before yesterday, man, I’d have laughed in your face. You’ve been laying some weird eggs since you cracked your head, but man, looking down the barrel of Patrick’s gun, I thought I was hamburger. My whole life flashed in front of me, you know, and it didn’t add up to jack squat. And it wasn’t nobody’s fault but mine. I always blamed you or mom when I was pissed at myself, but it ain’t that easy. When you two split up, that hurt, man. That really hurt.

ALAN
I’m sorry.
Alan holds out his arms, and they embrace. Alan pats Duane on the back.

CUT TO:
EXT. MAPLE LODGE -- MONDAY EVENING

KENT has returned to the horse-riding ring and is walking around, getting rained on. He leans on the railing and thinks back to yesterday, smiling wistfully.
RAMONA (O.S.)
Hey!
Kent turns around. RAMONA emerges from the main building and stands on the back porch.
RAMONA
Why are you standing in the rain?

KENT
I was hoping to find you.

RAMONA
Come on up.
Kent walks over and goes up to the porch.
RAMONA
You’re soaked.

KENT
I wanted to see you. I want you to know I had a great time last night. After I met you.

RAMONA
Me, too. Sorry I had to run like that.

KENT
I was afraid I wouldn’t ever see you again.

RAMONA
Look, I know my social skills aren’t the best. But I do like you. I’ve just never really had many friends. People friends, I mean.

KENT
Yeah.

RAMONA
Don’t take it wrong. I’m just a free spirit, that’s all.

KENT
I like that. It’s very attractive, I mean.

RAMONA
Well, I have to finish cleaning up inside. The weekends are a blast, but the place is always a mess come Monday. You’re welcome to stay.

KENT
I’ll help you clean up.

RAMONA
If you want.
She smiles. They go inside.

CUT TO:
INT. SHERIFF STATION -- LOBBY -- EVENING

SHERIFF comes out of his office and walks up to ABIGAIL, who is doing her nails at her desk.
SHERIFF
Abigail, have you seen Lyndon?

ABIGAIL
I haven’t seen him all day, Sheriff, except ducking around corners and disappearing through doorways. I think he’s avoiding me.
GALE approaches.
SHERIFF
Avoiding you?

ABIGAIL
It just isn’t like him.

GALE
What’s the buzz?

SHERIFF
I asked Lyndon to check out if the bikers had settled in what’s left of the Shadygrove campground. Apparently, Cartwright pulled all of his equipment out today.

GALE
Why?

SHERIFF
No idea. Yvonne mentioned he’d been acting strangely. I don’t know if the two are related. Anyway, I was hoping he’d be back in case you wanted to go out and talk to the Barretts.

GALE
No problem. I am, in fact, planning on spending the evening with Dani. In this time of crisis, she is reaching out to me. And I want to be there for her. She needs a friend.

SHERIFF
She couldn’t have a better one.

ABIGAIL
Oh, Agent Gale, I have a message for you from when you and the Sheriff were at lunch. I’m sorry I forgot to give it to you.
Abigail hands Gale a slip of paper. Gale reads it.
SHERIFF
What is it?

GALE
It’s from Franklin. He’s coming back to Twinsburg tomorrow.

SHERIFF
Why?

GALE
I don’t know, Bob. But I very much doubt it’s good news.
CUT TO:
INT. SUPERMARKET -- EVENING

JEAN is pushing a shopping cart half-filled with groceries. She seems vaguely distracted, and is all but oblivious to what’s going on around her. JAMES, carrying a can of potato chips, come up behind her.
JAMES
Hi, Blue Jean.
Jean gives a startled jump.
JEAN
Oh!

JAMES
Sorry.

JEAN
Oh, hello, James. You scared me half to death.

JAMES
Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to sneak up on you.

JEAN
It’s all right. How are you?

JAMES
I’m fine. Just came to pick up some chips. You seem to have quite a load.

JEAN
I promised I’d help Aunt Wilma with the shopping while she’s recovering.

JAMES
Right. That is really good of you, to come and stay with your family and help them out like this. I mean, it’s impressive to me. I can’t see that happening in my family.

JEAN
I’m sorry to hear that. But you might be surprised.

JAMES
Yeah, you never know. People will do things you never expected. It’s just that everyone in my family is basically selfish. But I guess everyone is, really. I’m not saying we don’t get along or anything -- we do. But we do it on our own terms, you know.

JEAN
I guess so.

JAMES
You know, I really had a good time Friday night at the Lighthouse. Usually, this town is so boring, because you see the same faces all the time. But you’re different.

JEAN
Funny of you to say it like that, since most people look at me and just see Megan. It’s like they think I’m her. Or worse, they want to make me her, you know?

JAMES
They don’t know you, that’s all. I’m sure if they knew you, they wouldn’t want you to change.

JEAN
Well, thank you.

JAMES
Say, I’m glad I ran into you, because I wanted to ask you if you’d like to go out or something. I thought we could go out to dinner sometime this week.

JEAN
Um, well, I’m very busy, actually, with my family, you know, doing the cooking for everyone and all. I’m sorry.

JAMES
Oh. Well, I understand. How about the weekend?

JEAN
No, I’m sorry. I really have to be going.

JAMES
Okay. Well, I’ll see you.
Jean moves off. James squints.

CUT TO:
EXT. DANI’S HOME -- EVENING

The rain continues to fall. Gale’s car pulls in the driveway.

CUT TO:
INT. DANI’S HOME -- EVENING

Pan across the dinner table, laid out with the best china and a very elaborate meal for two. DANI is lighting the candles when the doorbell rings. She is dressed up, and the house is immaculate. She opens the front door and GALE enters.
DANI
Martin, hello. Come in, please.

GALE
Hello, Dani. You look... exquisite.

DANI
Thank you. May I take your coat?

GALE
Thank you.
Gale removes his trenchcoat and hands it to Dani. She hangs it in the closet as he walks over to the dinner table.
GALE
You’ve been very busy, I see.

DANI
I couldn’t stand just sitting around. I needed to be doing something. I didn’t want to dwell on things or I’d just go crazy. I’m so glad you’ve come. You’ve given me a chance to keep my mind occupied. And more.

GALE
Anything I can do, I will, gladly.

DANI
Please, sit down.
They sit.
GALE
Dani, I understand your need to distance yourself from the intense emotions you are feeling, but I want you to know that you will have to face what’s happened, and what you’re feeling, and deal with it. I know it’s very difficult, but hiding from the pain won’t make it go away.

DANI
I know. But I’m so afraid of being alone. I can’t face that.

GALE
If you ever need me, I will be there. No matter what. You don’t have to fear facing your inner pain. You don’t have to face it alone.

DANI
It’s not even so much fear as just confusion. My feelings are all so jumbled up. I loved Patrick and I hated him, and that was just life. But now he’s gone, and I don’t know what to feel, or what to think. I just can’t see my way through it. I can’t find the way to the other side.

GALE
I know how you feel.

DANI
Do you?

GALE
I do. I lost someone a long time ago. Someone very close to me. Her name was Cheryl. She was beautiful, intelligent, honest, and open. I loved her. I was working on a case with my first partner, the man who taught me everything I know about being a Special Agent, a man named Wynton Duke. And Cheryl was his wife.

DANI
Oh.

GALE
At first, Cheryl and I were merely good friends, but falling in love seemed inevitable. Objectively, everything about it was wrong. But when we were together, nothing mattered to us except each other. I knew Cheryl was troubled, but I never suspected the cause of her distress until she came to me one night and revealed that Wynton was an abusive husband. He had the personality type that is considered by the Bureau to be “aggressive.” But it is a cruel euphemism. Cheryl was in the first stages of a total nervous collapse, but Wynton and I were on a very sensitive, very important mission. And she was my partner’s wife. So I did nothing. When she reached out to me in her greatest moment of need, I hesitated. I wasn’t there for her. She committed suicide.

DANI
Oh, my god.

GALE
Wynton was shattered, the case went up in smoke, and I became lost and confused. I withdrew into my role as a Special Agent, closing off those parts of myself that were raw with pain. I wanted to escape from the anguish and guilt. I had put my duty as an agent above my duty as a human being, and it nearly cost me everything. I didn’t want to live with that. But since I’ve come to Twinsburg, I feel as though I am once more becoming attuned to my essential self, that part of me I had thought lost. I want to help you through this, Dani. I want to be there for you, not for my sake of Cheryl’s, but because I care for you very much.
Gale puts his hand on Dani’s. Tears are running down her cheeks.
DANI
I’m sorry.

GALE
It’s going to be all right.
Gale crosses to her and takes her into his arms. Dani breaks down sobbing.
GALE
Everything will be all right.
CUT TO:
EXT. SHERIFF’S HOME -- MONDAY NIGHT

Rain falls steadily.

CUT TO:
INT. SHERIFF’S HOME -- LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT

SHERIFF and YVONNE are having a picnic in the middle of the living room. Behind them are the patio doors leading to the backyard. Lightning flashes occasionally.
SHERIFF
Well, you know what they say about the weather around here.

YVONNE
Yes, it’s always dreary.
They laugh.
YVONNE
I love the rain. It’s the Earth’s way of cleansing itself. I wish our lives could be cleansed so easily. When I think of all those years I wasted with Alan--

SHERIFF
Hey, I do not want to talk about Alan anymore.

YVONNE
I’m sorry, sweetheart. You’re right. That’s all behind me now. Ancient history. My future is with you.
They lean in to kiss, but a loud thunderclap and a bright flash of lightning startles them. They embrace, laughing.
SHERIFF
Remember that time we were caught in the middle of a huge thunderstorm and we had to take shelter in Mr. Bilson’s old barn?

YVONNE
Oh, yes! I’d totally forgotten about that. I can’t believe it. You remember what we did during that storm?
Sheriff laughs. Yvonne smiles and gets up. She crosses to the patio doors and opens them.
YVONNE
I think it’s time we did that again.
Yvonne walks out into the rain. Sheriff stands. Yvonne unbuttons her shirt and pushes her wet hair back. She holds her arms up to the sky, closes her eyes, and grins.
YVONNE
Come to me.
Sheriff walks outside. They kiss. Lightning flashes.

CUT TO:
INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY -- NIGHT

GALE and DANI approach the Box Lady’s room. TERRENCE meets them in hall outside the room.
TERRENCE
Agent Gale, thanks for coming right out.

GALE
How is she?

TERRENCE
She seems to have taken a turn for the worse.

BOX LADY (O.S.)
Martingale!

TERRENCE
She’s been having fits, calling out your name.

GALE
You were right to alert me.
CUT TO:
INT. BOX LADY’S HOSPITAL ROOM -- NIGHT

GALE, TERRENCE, and DANI enter. The BOX LADY is in bed, under restraints. She is struggling madly. A NURSE stands nearby.
BOX LADY
Martingale! Martingale!
Gale sits down next to the Box Lady and takes her hand.
GALE
Ma’am? It’s Martin Gale. I’m here.

BOX LADY
Martingale!

GALE
I’ve come. I’m here. Help me.
Box Lady’s entire body tenses up and she shakes tightly. Her eyes are wild as she stares at her clenched fist in Gale’s hand. Then she turns her eyes to Gale’s face. Her voice is deep, slow, and strange.
BOX LADY
Time’s up -- the Feast of the Abyss!
She passes out.
DANI
What does it mean?

GALE
I don’t know. But I know where to find out.
CUT TO:
EXT. MALL PARKING LOT -- NIGHT

JANET, dressed in a long black raincoat, black boots, and black gloves, stands under a black umbrella next to her car. The rain pours down. A car pulls up and stops. JAMES gets out and just stands in the rain.
JAMES
What’s this all about?
Janet takes a small tape player from her coat pocket and turns it on. The sounds of the stolen cassette play for a few moments.
JAMES
So, it was you. What do you expect to gain from that?
Janet stops the tape.
JANET
I think the police would be very interested in hearing this tape. I can only imagine the questions they would have for you. How did you make it? Who is that poor girl? And perhaps most importantly, who is attacking her? They really are remarkable for what they can figure out from the most ordinary things, you know. And whatever your reasons for not turning this in, the police also don’t look favorably upon obstruction of justice.
James squints.
JANET
It’s simple enough, really. I suggest we consider ourselves at a stalemate.

JAMES
Cats.

JANET
I beg your pardon?

JAMES
Tic-tac-toe.
Janet scowls and gets into the passenger side of her car. It pulls away. James stands in the rain watching it go.
JAMES
And I’ll skin you yet.
CUT TO:
EXT. SHERIFF STATION -- NIGHT

Thunder rumbles as the rain continues.

CUT TO:
INT. JAIL -- NIGHT

GALE enters and walks up to the cell where SALTARES is being held. Saltares is reading when Gale approaches. He looks up and smirks.
SALTARES
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig. Good evening, Agent Gale.

GALE
The Feast of the Abyss.

SALTARES
Oh. Now where did you hear of that?

GALE
What is it?

SALTARES
Well, wouldn’t you like to know? You’re a very curious man, Special Agent Gale. You ask about things you ought to be glad you know nothing about. Know this, then -- it is a sacred day, not to be spoken of to the ears of unbelievers. There are secrets in this world older than time itself, secrets guarded by beings of such power that we are less than nothing to them. Don’t you understand, little man with a badge? You are toying with forces beyond your comprehension, and they will swallow you up!

GALE
When is it?

SALTARES
I will tell you that much, since it’s only five days away.

GALE
Valentine’s Day!
Saltares bursts out with a long, evil laugh.

FADE OUT




Cast of Characters


Special Agent Martin Gale, 34. FBI agent.
Sheriff Robert Armstrong, 36. Sheriff of Twinsburg.

Jean Bellew, 19. Megan’s lookalike cousin.
Bradley Thomas, 18. High school senior, Jean’s cousin.
Alan Cartwright, 50. Real estate developer, mall owner.
Penny Gardner, 17. High school senior.
Duane Cartwright, 18. High school senior, Alan’s son.
Lyle Terrence, 62. Local doctor.
Rosemary Clapsaddle, 40. Owns pastry shop/catering service.
Nicholas Grey, 17. High school senior.
Elliott Grey, 42. Owns bike shop, uncle of Nicholas.
Kent Clapsaddle, 16. High school sophomore, Rosemary’s son.
Abigail Voigt, 24. Sheriff’s secretary.
Dani Clapsaddle, 29. Rosemary’s sister-in-law.
Janet Flynn, 39. Twinsburg native returned from England.

James Clapsaddle, 18. High school senior, Rosemary’s brother.
Lyndon Pfiffer, 26. Deputy.
Gabriel Saltares, 44. College professor.
Albert Collins, 48. Lawyer.
Box Lady, 53. Local eccentric.
Kimmy Clapsaddle, 38. Sister of Rosemary.
Yvonne Temple, 36. Environmentalist, mother of Duane.
Ramona Wingfeather, 18. Maple Lodge janitor, Native American.
Jeremy Flynn, 20. Criminal mastermind, son of Janet.

Receptionist
Office Workers
High School Students


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