Episode 19

Twinsburg - Episode 19


FADE IN:

INT. SHERIFF STATION -- SHERIFF’S OFFICE -- SATURDAY MORNING

Extreme close-up of red roses. A bee crawls across the nearest flower, pauses, then flies away. Pan down the petals, the thorny stem, to the water-filled glass vase. Pull back to reveal RAMONA, seated, looking intently at the roses, which are on the sheriff’s desk. SHERIFF is sitting behind the desk, filling out a form. GALE stands at the window, looking outside.
SHERIFF
And when did Kent go missing?

RAMONA
Last night. After he found out James had been arrested. He said he’d been framed, and he needed to do something about it. He went out, and we haven’t heard anything from him.

SHERIFF
Who did he think was framing James?

RAMONA
I don’t know. A woman.

GALE
What makes you believe that Kent is in trouble? It seems he’s disappeared for a day or two before. It may be he felt the need to be alone, in order to deal with the shock of his uncle’s arrest. I understand they were quite close.

RAMONA
I just have a bad feeling. Something’s wrong. I sense it.

SHERIFF
Well, Ramona, I’m afraid we’d need a little more to go on than that. Plus, Kent can’t be officially considered missing until he’s been gone for twenty-four hours. But if he hasn’t returned by then, we’ll do all we can to find him.

RAMONA
(dejected)
Okay.
Ramona exits.
GALE
I think we would be unwise to dismiss her intuition altogether. She has an unusually strong aura.

SHERIFF
Well, we’ve really got our hands full with the Festival of Lights today.

GALE
Agreed. That must be our first priority. Nice flowers.

SHERIFF
From Yvonne. Valentine’s Day.
CUT TO:
EXT. CEMETERY -- MORNING

ALBERT lays flowers at Millicent’s headstone, then lays another bouquet at Tuppence’s headstone. The graves are side by side.
ALBERT
I miss you. I miss both of you so very much. I think about you all the time. How could it happen? You were so alive, so beautiful. What went wrong? Why did it have to happen to us? So much horror. I can’t... But, I wanted to tell you, there’s a chance -- I have a chance for something wonderful. I’ve met a young woman, she’s amazing. And I’ve fallen in love with her, but I don’t want either of you to think I’m betraying you. I couldn’t ever do that. I’ll never forget you, either of you. But I’ve been so alone for so long, on the outside of my own family, looking in. I wanted so much to be with you both, but it hurt so bad. And then I felt so alone. I just can’t face that total isolation anymore. I need to reach out to someone, and Emma is reaching out to me. I think, somehow, she understands. You see, don’t you, I can love her and still be true to you. Tell me you understand. I have to move on. But you’ll always be in my heart. I love you.
CUT TO:
EXT. WOODS -- MORNING

Maple trees sway against a pale gray sky.

CUT TO:
EXT. SHERIFF STATION -- MORNING

CUT TO:
INT. JAIL -- MORNING

DUKE enters the cellblock and goes to the cell holding SALTARES.
SALTARES
What do you want?

DUKE
Information. I want information.

SALTARES
You won’t get it.

DUKE
By hook or by crook, I will.
Duke opens the cell door, steps inside, and closes it again.
SALTARES
Leave me alone. You don’t know what you’re asking for.

DUKE
On the contrary, Professor. I know far more than you realize. I know about the strange, dark powers of the Lady of Night. I know you serve her. I know you know her terrible secrets. And I want to know what is the source of that power. I want to know how to tap it!

SALTARES
You’re mad. No mortal can make a slave of the Lady of Night. You don’t know what you’re dealing with!

DUKE
No more excuses! I give you a choice -- talk or suffer. Remember...

SALTARES
Yes, all right! I will tell you what you want to know. There is a place beyond the shadows of this world, known to us as the Shadowrealm, a weird mirror image of our own universe, wherein dwell beings of such power that we cannot hope to comprehend them. The greatest power belongs to the Lady of Night, for she dwells deep within the Forest Beyond. It is here, in the Great Abyss, that the Lady of Night has been imprisoned since the Dark War. But the very land itself is imbued with her power, which then flows through the roots of the maple trees from their world into ours. Near the Great Abyss stands a fountain of utter blackness, and whosoever bathes in its waters shall receive power beyond imagining.

DUKE
A human being can go there, then?

SALTARES
Oh, yes. He who is chosen as the leader of our Brotherhood of Amber must journey to the fountain to be baptized in its depths. So has it always been.

DUKE
How?

SALTARES
The way is fraught with danger. Some never return. One must travel to the End of the World, cross the Plain of Spirits, but unless one knows the true passage--

DUKE
Enough! Where is the gateway? From this world to the Shadowrealm?

SALTARES
Nearby. Deep within the woods here.

DUKE
You know where it is. You will take me there.

SALTARES
No! I won’t!
Track down the cellblock to another cell, holding JAMES, who is listening in on their conversation with great interest.
DUKE (O.S.)
You have no choice!

SALTARES (O.S.)
Don’t--

DUKE (O.S.)
You know Andromeda would not be pleased!
Saltares makes choking noises. James squints.

CUT TO:
EXT. MAPLE LODGE -- MORNING

CUT TO:
INT. MAPLE LODGE -- MAIN HALL -- MORNING

GALE, SHERIFF, and LYNDON confer, while various TOWNSPEOPLE make final preparations for the opening of the Festival of Lights.
SHERIFF
Okay, we’ve pulled in additional deputies from three neighboring counties. we’ll have men covering each of the entrances the entire day. Also, we’re watching the driveway and the main road. Besides that, I’ve got foot patrols covering the grounds. If the cult takes a shot at it, we’ve got them.

GALE
Good work, Bob. Excellent. Lyndon, you have your instructions?

LYNDON
Yes, sir. I’ll be guarding one of the contestants in the Queen of Lights contest.

GALE
I know we can count on you.
Gale gives Lyndon the thumbs-up. Lyndon moves off as KRIZMAN approaches.
KRIZMAN
Well, good morning, gentlemen. I want to say welcome to the Festival of Lights on behalf of the Maple Lodge Elders. We’re all very glad you’ll be watching over us. We’re expecting a pretty sizable turnout this year, you know.

SHERIFF
I’ve instructed my men to keep a low profile, so we shouldn’t be in anyone’s way. But you can rest assured, Mr. Krizman, we’ll see that things go smoothly.

KRIZMAN
We’re sure they will, Sheriff. Especially with Agent Gale lending a hand.

GALE
My pleasure.
EMMA enters, leading WAYNE by the hand. She is wearing a sexy dress, and both Gale and Sheriff check her out in spite of themselves.
KRIZMAN
Hello, my dear. It’s always a pleasure to see you.

EMMA
Thank you, sir. I’ve been looking forward to this.

KRIZMAN
(to Wayne)
How are you, big fella?

WAYNE
Fine.

KRIZMAN
That’s good. You’re going to have fun today, aren’t you?
Wayne looks up at Emma. She smiles at him warmly.

CUT TO:
INT. MAPLE LODGE -- ENTRANCE HALL -- MORNING

PENNY and MARY enter. Penny is nervous, but her mother is very excited.
PENNY
Why do we have to be here so early?

MARY
They said you should be here good and early. You want time to go over your speech, don’t you? You’re going to be terrific. Stop worrying.

PENNY
I don’t know. So many of the other girls are a lot prettier than I am.

MARY
Oh, nonsense! Not another word. Your father and I are so proud of you, Penny. We just know you’re going to win. And that scholarship money will really help this fall when you go off to college. My little girl, so grown up!
CUT TO:
INT. MAPLE LODGE -- MAIN HALL -- MORNING

ABIGAIL enters and sees GALE and SHERIFF.
ABIGAIL
Good morning, Sheriff, Agent Gale.

SHERIFF
Morning, Abigail.

GALE
Good luck.
LYNDON comes up to her.
LYNDON
Hello, Abigail. I’ve been assigned to be your bodyguard for the day.
Abigail begins to smile, then checks herself.
ABIGAIL
That’s fine. I guess.
Abigail and Lyndon move off.
SHERIFF
You seem pretty edgy. It’s not like you.

GALE
I just have the feeling that something is going to happen. Something major.
CUT TO:
INT. DERELICT CHURCH -- MORNING

KENT is tied up, spread-eagle, and suspended by his wrists so that he is in a standing position. He is shirtless and gagged. JANET and JEREMY enter the building and walk up to him. Kent looks up weakly.
JANET
Hello, loverboy. I trust you slept well. I brought you breakfast.
Jeremy goes behind Kent. Janet reaches into her purse and produces a syringe. She holds it up as Jeremy ties off part of Kent’s arm.
JANET
This is a special protein and glucose mixture that should keep you going. It’s easier this way, really.
She injects the needle into Kent’s arm and leans in close to him.
JANET
(whispers)
Seeing you like this really lights my fire. I dreamt of you last night. Did you dream of me?
She withdraws the needle and smiles at him.
JEREMY
It’s time we headed for the festival.

JANET
Wait in the car, Jeremy. I’ll be out shortly.
Jeremy walks down the aisle and out. Janet begins caressing Kent’s chest and kisses his ear and neck. He struggles weakly.
JANET
I did dream of you. I wasn’t lying.
CUT TO:
EXT. MAPLE LODGE -- SATURDAY AFTERNOON

CUT TO:
INT. MAPLE LODGE -- MAIN HALL -- AFTERNOON

A MAGICIAN is performing on the stage. JEAN, BRADLEY, CASEY, and WILMA enter the hall and join the crowd of TOWNSPEOPLE. Casey is excited to see a magic show. Jean looks over at NICHOLAS, who is a short distance off through the crowd. Nicholas sees her, but looks away. DUANE is standing near Nicholas. DAN and DON laugh with OREGON as ROSEMARY watches the show distractedly. GALE looks the crowd over from the back of the room. TERRENCE enters.
TERRENCE
Hello, Agent Gale.

GALE
Doctor.

TERRENCE
Congratulations. The sheriff was just telling me you’ve been reinstated.

GALE
Yes. Thank you.

TERRENCE
You’ve done a great service to our town these past few weeks. I don’t know how we can thank you.

GALE
The experience has been reward enough. You have quite a beautiful and remarkable town.
SHERIFF enters.
TERRENCE
Well, enjoy the festival. Excuse me.
Terrence moves off.
GALE
How do things look, Bob?

SHERIFF
All nine contestants for Queen of Lights are here, and we’ve got a deputy assigned to each one. Plus, all the other men are in position.

GALE
I notice two of the contestants are identical twins. Is there a possibility of confusion for their bodyguards?

SHERIFF
Right, the Menelski twins. I thought of that, and assigned a couple of guys who knew them growing up, and they swear they can tell the girls apart. I guess they all dated in high school.

GALE
Bob, you’re all right.
DANI and YVONNE enter and approach Gale and Sheriff.
DANI
Hello, there.

SHERIFF
Hey.

YVONNE
Hi, Bob. Agent Gale.

SHERIFF
What took you so long?

YVONNE
Oh, you know. Girl talk.

SHERIFF
I liked the flowers. Thanks.

YVONNE
You’re welcome.
Dani kisses Gale on the cheek.
DANI
Thank you for my flowers. They’re lovely.

SHERIFF
What’s this?

DANI
I received a beautiful bouquet from Martin this morning.

SHERIFF
(to Gale)
You sly dog!
Gale smiles. Sheriff laughs.

The magician finishes his act and leaves the stage. The crowd applauds. Dan and Don whisper to Oregon, who then breaks up laughing. Duane moves away from the crowd to the back corner of the room. The red curtain closes and KRIZMAN walks out in front of the curtain.
KRIZMAN
Well, we hope you all enjoyed that. Amazing stuff. I remember some great magic acts from when I was a youngster, and it’s good to see some things don’t change. The band’s setting up behind me here, and in just a minute, we’re going to have a couple’s dance, since it is Valentine’s Day, of course. So, everybody grab a partner and let’s have some fun.
Krizman leaves the stage. The curtain opens, revealing the BAND, but in front of them is a startled LYNDON, who scurries off, embarrassed. The lights dim as people move onto the dance floor.

Nicholas and Jean look at each other from across the room, then Nicholas turns away. Bradley notices that Jean is upset and puts his arm around her. He looks over at Nicholas and squints.

The band begins with a slow song, and many people dance, among them ELLIOTT and a dolorous KIMMY. Across the room, ALAN enters and looks around. He sees ALBERT and EMMA talking and waves to them. They wave back, smiling.

Elliott and Kimmy continue to dance.
ELLIOTT
Are you sure you’re okay?

KIMMY
Yes. It’s just...

ELLIOTT
Kimmy, I want you to listen to me. It doesn’t matter if your memory has come back. We can still have that freedom we had before. We can recapture it, if that’s what we truly want.

KIMMY
But there’s just so much. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning.

ELLIOTT
I know. But I’ll help you. You know I’m always here for you, honey.

KIMMY
I know. I know.

ELLIOTT
Marry me.
Kimmy is stunned. Tears well up in her eyes and she smiles, then lays her head on his chest.
ELLIOTT
We can make everything all right. Together.
Kimmy closes her eyes and holds on to Elliott tightly. They dance past the buffet table, where Rosemary and Oregon are snacking.
ROSEMARY
I hate when Kent goes off like this. Doesn’t say were he’s going, doesn’t call. Why can’t he just let me know where he is? I worry about him.

OREGON
Now, darlin’, I know it’s tough, but he’s at that age when boys want to git over that ol’ fence and ride the open range. You cain’t keep him tied to them apron strings forever. A man was meant to be free, livin’ by his wits and the strength of his arm. Kent’s a sharp kid. He’ll be just fine, you mark my words. He’ll be Jim Dandy.

ROSEMARY
I know. I can’t help it. I’m his mother. And he’s all I have.

OREGON
Well, now, that ain’t exactly so, seein’ as you got me. And durned if I don’t hate seein’ you all broke up like this.

ROSEMARY
It’s sweet of you to say that.

OREGON
Well, I’m sweet on you, little darlin’. Fact is, well, all things bein’ equal and all, what I mean to say is that I -- that is, we -- I mean -- aw, hell!
Rosemary looks at Oregon with happy disbelief.
OREGON
Damn it, darlin’! I’m in love with you!

ROSEMARY
(excited)
Oh, Oregon!
She gives him a bear hug. His eyes bulge.
OREGON
(coughs)
Y’know, little filly, I reckon it’s only right, at this here juncture, to tell you, well, what my real name is.

ROSEMARY
Real name?

OREGON
Sure. Oregon Blackthorn’s just my Old West moniker. Everybody in the Old West Preservation Society has a Old West name. It’s part o’ the effect o’ recreatin’ that whole era. My real name’s Clarence Roth.

ROSEMARY
Clarence?
Rosemary registers a look of disappointment, then covers it up with a smile.

CUT TO:
EXT. WOODS -- AFTERNOON

There is a large pit filled with dark water, surrounded by mossy rocks. The water suddenly begins bubbling.

CUT TO:
EXT. RURAL AREA -- AFTERNOON

Birds sit on a high-tension wire, silhouetted against the pale sky. They suddenly launch into flight.

CUT TO:
INT. MAPLE LODGE -- MAIN HALL -- AFTERNOON

GALE watches intently as PENNY stands on stage making a speech. MARY watches nervously in the crowd, standing next to NICHOLAS. TERRENCE, ELLIOTT, KIMMY, CASEY, and WILMA are also among the audience.
PENNY
And so, even in the darkest times, we can all find within ourselves a light that will guide us. We’re not always sure if we’re heading in the right direction, and the light may flicker sometimes, but I believe that if we have faith and follow that light, we will find our way through the darkness. And if we keep that light burning as brightly as we can, we can help others who have lost their way. Just as one candle can be lit by another, our inner light can reach out to the people who need us, and help them to find their own way. Each of us has a duty to maintain that light, and to do what we can to illuminate the world. Thank you.
The crowd applauds warmly, except Mary, who claps very energetically, bobbing up and down and whistling. Penny sees Nicholas in the audience and smiles at him. KRIZMAN comes onstage.
KRIZMAN
Thank you, Penny. Wonderful job.
Penny goes backstage.
KRIZMAN
Well, folks, now you’ve met all the contestants for this year’s Queen of Lights contest. Let’s give all these beautiful ladies another round of applause.
The crowd applauds again.
KRIZMAN
Okay, let’s see. Oh, we’re going to have another dance now, and immediately following that, we’ll begin the talent portion of today’s competition, and believe me, that’s something you don’t want to miss. So, strike up the band!
The lights dim as the curtain opens and the BAND begins playing a more up-tempo piece. YVONNE is at the punch bowl getting a drink. ALAN comes up to her.
ALAN
Hello, Yvonne.

YVONNE
Alan, how are you?

ALAN
May I have this dance?

YVONNE
Sure. Why not?
They move onto the dance floor and dance.
ALAN
This brings back a lot of memories. You remember that charity event just after Duane was born? The dog show to support the new animal shelter. But all the dogs got loose on the dance floor and attacked the buffet table! What a disaster! But it seems funny now.

YVONNE
So you’ve mellowed in your old age.

ALAN
Ouch. In fact, I’ve been thinking a lot about the old days recently. About us.

YVONNE
Alan, I think what happened between us was for the best. There was a great deal of pain on both sides, I know, but I think it was the right thing for both of us.
NEW ANGLE

Across the room, DUANE, drinking some punch, sees his parents dancing together and watches intently.

BACK TO SHOT
ALAN
I agree. But that was a long time ago, and I’ve changed. I’ve really changed on a fundamental level. Somehow, while I was in that coma, I had an epiphany, and I see things differently now. I rediscovered that part of myself that fell in love with you all those years ago -- the innocence, and that hope for a better future, that we would help make. We can try again, to make that future for all of us, for Duane.

YVONNE
Alan, what are you saying?

ALAN
I want you back. I love you, Yvonne, come back to me.

YVONNE
Alan, no, no, Alan. We’re not the same people we were when we were kids. Neither of us is. You’ve changed, you say. But so have I. It’s more than over between us, Alan, don’t you realize? There was never really anything there to begin with.
Yvonne walks away.
ALAN
Yvonne. Yvonne! Please...
Alan hangs his head.

NEW ANGLE

Duane crushes his plastic cup and walks out of the building.

CUT TO:
EXT. RURAL ROAD -- AFTERNOON

Dead leaves blow across a lonely stretch of road.

CUT TO:
INT. MAPLE LODGE -- MAIN HALL -- AFTERNOON

EMMA is onstage, wearing a costume with a maple leaf motif, doing an interpretive dance with two long ribbons, one white and the other black. GALE, SHERIFF, JEAN, BRADLEY, TERRENCE, ROSEMARY, NICHOLAS, ELLIOTT, DANI, WAYNE, ALBERT, KIMMY, YVONNE, CASEY, WILMA, OREGON, DAN, and DON are in the crowd of TOWNSPEOPLE watching. They are all mesmerized. The dance concludes and the curtain closes. KRIZMAN comes onstage.
KRIZMAN
Spectacular, eh, ladies and gentlemen? Wow. Well, you’ve gotten to see nine wonderful performances, showing without a doubt that Twinsburg girls are the most talented girls in the world. Well, now our judges are making their final decision. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes! But now, let’s have a big round of applause for all our girls.
The curtain opens again, revealing, all in different sorts of costumes, Emma, PENNY, ABIGAIL, the twins KATHLEEN & CATHERINE MENELSKI, and four other teenaged girls. They are lined up and all take a bow together. The crowd applauds enthusiastically. Gale leaves his seat next to Dani and goes across the room to Sheriff.
GALE
Everything ready?

SHERIFF
You bet. I’m presenting the check for the scholarship. As soon as the winner is announced, we’ll zero in and keep her covered. I won’t let her out of my sight.

GALE
Good.

SHERIFF
That cult won’t be getting their hands on this year’s winner, I guarantee.
Gale looks back over at Dani. She smiles at him. He smiles back.

Krizman returns to the stage, carrying three envelopes.
KRIZMAN
We have our winners, ladies and gentlemen, for this year’s Queen of Lights! The judges’ decision is in. Here we go. Third place goes to...
He opens the first envelope.
KRIZMAN
Abigail Voigt!
Abigail is thrilled and moves forward to accept a bouquet of flowers from a LITTLE GIRL. Krizman gives Abigail a kiss on the cheek. Abigail waves and goes back to the line of contestants.
KRIZMAN
And in second place, we have...
He opens the second envelope.
KRIZMAN
We have a tie between Kathleen and Catherine Menelski! The Menelski twins, ladies and gentlemen!
Kathleen & Catherine move forward and each receives a bouquet from the little girl. Krizman gives both twins a kiss on the cheek. Kathleen & Catherine wave and go back to the line of contestants.
KRIZMAN
And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the winner and new Queen of Lights...
He opens the final envelope.

NEW ANGLE
Gale and Sheriff exchange glances.

BACK TO SHOT
KRIZMAN
Emma Corbett!
The band begins playing. Emma screams for joy and the other girls reach out to her in congratulations. Emma moves forward with tears in her eyes. Krizman puts a tiara on her head, and the little girl gives her a giant bouquet of flowers. Krizman gives her a hug and kisses her on both cheeks. Emma waves and throws kisses to the crowd.

NEW ANGLE
Wayne stands on his chair, clapping excitedly. Sheriff looks at Wayne, then speaks into his walkie-talkie.
SHERIFF
Move into position.
BACK TO SHOT

Sheriff comes up onstage and goes to Emma and Krizman, carrying a large presentation check. Krizman hands Sheriff the microphone.
SHERIFF
Thank you. Emma, on behalf of the people of Twinsburg, I would like to congratulate you and present to you this check for the amount of five thousand dollars, payable to any college or university you wish to attend. Congratulations.
Emma hugs Sheriff.

NEW ANGLE

CU -- GALE squints, waiting for something to happen.

CUT TO:
EXT. MAPLE LODGE -- SATURDAY EVENING

CUT TO:
INT. MAPLE LODGE -- MAIN HALL -- EVENING

The BAND plays a slow tune. Many people dance, among them GALE and DANI.
DANI
What’s wrong?

GALE
It’s been two hours since the contest and there is still no indication of the cult making a move.

DANI
Did the girls always disappear right away?

GALE
No, not always. But none of them made it through the entire weekend.

DANI
Are you going to be with Emma all weekend, then?

GALE
Bob has informed her of the kidnapping threat, in the vaguest possible terms, and she has agreed to police protection.

DANI
I was hoping we could spend the weekend together.

GALE
I want to. I wish it were possible. But I am torn between my desire to be with you and my duty to stop this cult, to stop Llewellyn before he kills again.

DANI
I understand.

GALE
Dani, I’ve realized you mean more to me than life itself. I love you. You have stirred feelings in me that I have been afraid to feel for a long time. But I’m not afraid to feel them with you.

DANI
Martin...
They kiss as the music ends. They go to a table and Dani sits down.
GALE
I’ll get us something to drink.

DANI
Okay.
Gale goes over to the punch bowl and pours out two cups. RAMONA appears.
RAMONA
Having fun?

GALE
I assure you that if Kent has not come home by Sunday evening, the Sheriff and I will do everything we can to find him. You have my word. In the meantime, I can only ask that you be patient and see if things work themselves out.

RAMONA
Things don’t work themselves out--
KRIZMAN walks by.
KRIZMAN
Agent Gale. Hello, Ramona.

RAMONA
Hey, “Surge.”
Krizman moves off.
GALE
You know him?

RAMONA
 “Surge”? Sure, I’ve known him for years.

GALE
Why do you call him that?

RAMONA
That’s his nickname. He’s an electrician. Plus, that’s sort of what his name looks like. Sergei, Surge -- get it? Actually, though, I think he got the name when he was a kid. They say he burned down the high school with some crazy experiment with lightning. A big bolt came down and blew the place sky high. He survived, though. Yep, old “Surge” Krizman.

GALE
(squints)
He Who Was Of The Lightning. The Electrical Man!
Gale goes after Krizman.

CUT TO:
EXT. LIGHTHOUSE -- EVENING

CUT TO:
INT. LIGHTHOUSE -- EVENING

The large room is all but deserted. Music plays from the jukebox. The BARTENDER is a pretty redhead. PENNY and JEAN sit at the bar.
PENNY
I just had to get out of there. Especially after not winning anything. Not for me, I don’t care. It’s my mom. She made such a big deal about the whole thing, you know, like she wanted me to win for her. Some kind of vicarious thing, I guess. Anyway, I’m just not the sort who wins beauty pageants.

JEAN
I was hoping you would win.

PENNY
Why?

JEAN
Because. I think you and Nicholas deserve all the happiness in the world. I really do. You belong together. I can see that. Nicholas is a truly good person, Penny. Don’t ever let him go.

PENNY
It may be too late already. I tried to tell him how I feel. But I don’t know. I needed my space, that’s all, just to get my head together. Now, while there’s time, before we commit to anything. But I may have driven him away.
The song on the jukebox ends. Suddenly, the doors burst open and NICHOLAS appears. He is holding a guitar. He plays as he crosses the room toward the two girls.
NICHOLAS
(sings)
You’re the one that I adore
Please come walking through my door
And I’ll tell you, girl, that I love you so

You won’t ever feel alone
We will have a happy home
And I’ll tell you, girl, that I love you so
Nicholas takes a rose out of his coat and gives it to Penny.
NICHOLAS
I love you. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Penny smells the rose and smiles.
JEAN
I’m happy for you.

NICHOLAS
I heard about James.

JEAN
Yeah. I’d really rather not talk about it.

NICHOLAS
What are you going to do now?

JEAN
I’m going home tomorrow. To Cincinnati.

PENNY
Tomorrow?

JEAN
Yeah. I have my own life there, my job, my apartment, and I miss it. I came to Twinsburg to help out my family, and I think they’re to the point that they don’t need me anymore. So I’m going home.

PENNY
We’ll miss you. Maybe I haven’t shown it, but I’m glad we got to meet.
Penny and Jean embrace.

CUT TO:
EXT. MAPLE LODGE -- EVENING

CUT TO:
INT. MAPLE LODGE -- BASEMENT -- EVENING

GALE comes down a staircase into the lower level of the building. The walls are covered with dark paneling, and the floor is tiled with a zig-zag pattern. At the end of the corridor, Gale finds a door and goes through it into a dark room. A candle is suddenly lit at the far end of the room, illuminating KRIZMAN.
KRIZMAN
Welcome.
Many other candles are then lit, illuminating the MAPLE LODGE ELDERS.
GALE
I need to go to the end of the world.

KRIZMAN
We know. We’ll show you the way. But first, there is much you must learn.
Gale squints.

CUT TO:
INT. MAPLE LODGE -- MAIN HALL -- EVENING

Another dance is going on. DANI is sitting at the table, waiting. She gets up and goes to the ladies’ room.

CUT TO:
INT. MAPLE LODGE -- LADIES’ ROOM -- EVENING

DANI looks at herself in the mirror and runs her hand lightly through her hair. She takes her lipstick out of her purse and puts some on. Midway through, her facial expression becomes blank and her eyes go glassy. She turns the lipstick tube so the colorant comes up as far as it will go. Then she squishes it into the sink basin and rubs it around in circles. She turns to leave the room. As she goes through the door, she passes RAMONA, who is entering. Ramona looks at Dani, sensing something is wrong.

CUT TO:
INT. MAPLE LODGE -- BASEMENT -- SATURDAY NIGHT

KRIZMAN and the MAPLE LODGE ELDERS, holding candles, have formed a circle around GALE.
GALE
You are the followers of the Lady of Light.

KRIZMAN
Yes. I speak for the Elders of the Maple Lodge. We’re the caretakers of the Lady of Light’s house here, through which her beneficence may reach those in need, and also to give shelter and assistance to those who serve her cause.

GALE
As you secretly assisted my investigation into Llewellyn’s killings.

KRIZMAN
We did what we could. Most of our energies were directed toward helping Sheriff Gruffydd in his quest to battle Llewellyn. You see, Agent Gale, throughout history, our fellowship has led the battle against the dark forces of the Shadowrealm. It’s our task to safeguard this brief era, and when we pass away, others will take our place, and the circle remains unbroken.

GALE
I believed that I was to destroy the tunnel at the rock formation used by the cult of the Lady of Night, and that this would destroy Llewellyn. But I was incorrect. Still, when the tunnel was destroyed, both Llewellyn and Gruffydd disappeared in the midst of battle. What happened to them?

KRIZMAN
Being mystical creatures, they’re dependent on the powers of their mistresses to remain on our plane of existence. When the tunnel collapsed, the link to the Shadowrealm was severed and they were temporarily discorporated. The Lady of Night expended a vast amount of power to gather up all the tiny shards of Llewellyn’s shattered being. Unfortunately, the Lady of Light couldn’t do the same for Gruffydd.

GALE
He’s lost?

KRIZMAN
No. But it will be a long time until he’s able to reintegrate himself.

GALE
The Lady of Light was unable...?

KRIZMAN
Well, she didn’t lack the sheer power, of course. But, unlike her adversary, the Lady of Light will not just use people like tools and throw them away when she’s done with them. Gruffydd can wait, but when dealing with us mortals, more immediate attention is needed. The boy, Wayne Corbett, has helped us a great deal. He’s a special child, very gifted, but the fates have been unkind to him. So, the Lady of Light used her power to reward him. She took his mother, poor woman, barely functional as a person, and remade her into the ideal woman.

GALE
Whose ideal?

KRIZMAN
Well, Albert Collins’s ideal, of course.

GALE
I don’t understand. How does that benefit Wayne?

KRIZMAN
No one exists in a vacuum, Agent Gale. You know about the interconnectedness of people better than most. After all, finding the threads that tie people together is your job. You see, the Lady of Night has torn away everything Albert held dear -- she slowly destroyed the people he loved, and left a gaping hole in his heart. Wayne, too, lost the people he depended on -- his parents. So, when Emma and Albert come together in love, as they will without doubt, they can provide for Wayne the loving and dynamic parents he deserves. The voids in all three lives will be filled. Such careful arranging of the threads of life is difficult and takes a lot of effort for our Bright Lady.

GALE
But, if these beings possess such power, how can the Lady of Night be defeated?

KRIZMAN
It’s not easy. And it will be the most dangerous mission you’ve ever undertaken. For if you fail, it will utterly annihilate your soul.
Gale squints.

CUT TO:
INT. MAPLE LODGE -- MAIN HALL -- NIGHT

EMMA and ALBERT are dancing as the BAND plays. Among numerous other people, SHERIFF and YVONNE dance nearby, with Sheriff keeping a close eye on Emma. Several DEPUTIES surround the dance floor, watching the crowd.
SHERIFF
I wish I knew where Martin and Dani disappeared to.

YVONNE
They’re big kids now. And this is the day for lovers.

SHERIFF
I can’t believe he would go off at a time like this. That’s just not like him.

YVONNE
Well, nothing’s happened yet. And you know how it feels when two people are in the heat of passion.

SHERIFF
To be honest, I have trouble picturing Agent Gale in the heat of passion.
Sheriff steps on Yvonne’s foot.
YVONNE
Ow!

SHERIFF
I’m sorry. Again.

YVONNE
Maybe we’d better save the dancing for when you don’t have your mind on something else. That’s the third time you’ve tromped on my toes.

SHERIFF
I’m really sorry. I’m usually a lot better at this, really.

YVONNE
I remember. Don’t worry, my love. I know you’re working. Look, I think I’ll just go over and get some coffee.

SHERIFF
I know this isn’t much of a Valentine’s Day for you. But I’ll make it up to you, I promise.

YVONNE
I’m looking forward to it.
Yvonne kisses Sheriff and goes to a table across the room with a coffee maker on it. Sheriff remains near Emma. Yvonne pours herself a cup of coffee. She holds it up to her lips, blows on it, and takes a sip. Suddenly, the lights go out and several smoke bombs explode. People start screaming and yelling as everyone bursts into confused action. A strobe light comes on, increasing the crowd’s disorientation. Sheriff grabs Emma and pushes her to the floor shielding her with his body.
SHERIFF
(to deputies)
Close ranks!
Across the room, JEREMY appears behind Yvonne and knocks her out with chloroform, grabbing her as she collapses.
JEREMY
Lights out!
NEW ANGLE

CU -- Yvonne’s COFFEE CUP falls to the floor and spills. Slow-motion.

BACK TO SHOT

The lights come back on and the strobe effect ceases. The smoke begins to clear. Jeremy and Yvonne are gone.
SHERIFF
(to Emma)
You’re all right?

EMMA
Yes...
Sheriff stands, helping Emma up. Emma and Albert embrace.
SHERIFF
(to deputies)
Check the building! Find out what happened!
The deputies move out.
SHERIFF
Yvonne.
Sheriff looks around frantically.
SHERIFF
Yvonne! Yvonne!
CU -- COFFEE CUP on the floor, surrounded by a pool of coffee.

CUT TO:
INT. MAPLE LODGE -- BASEMENT -- NIGHT

GALE speaks with KRIZMAN and the MAPLE LODGE ELDERS.
GALE
I know you’ve been drawing me toward this mission from the very beginning, since the Lady of Light first appeared to me. I knew when the Box Lady told me Llewellyn would return that it wasn’t over.

KRIZMAN
It’s true that Llewellyn is gathering strength under the dark veil of the Lady of Night. But he’s still weak, so now is the time to stop him, to destroy him forever. We need our champion.

GALE
Why me? You know your enemy, you know how to fight him. Why do you need me?

KRIZMAN
We are all old, and the task before you will prove very arduous. You’re strong, in both body and mind. And more, you can stare into the darkness without fear. You’ve faced Llewellyn before and vanquished him. Now, the time for the killing stroke is at hand. The amber circle must be shattered.

GALE
How?

KRIZMAN
You must first journey to the End of the World. Once there, follow the path. It will take you to the Plain of Spirits. There, you’ll find your guide to show you the passage.

GALE
I know of the passage. George Brownturtle recited it to me, the prophecy.

KRIZMAN
It’s not that kind of passage. It’s a gateway to the very source of the Lady of Night’s power, deep within the Forest Beyond.

GALE
And when I reach this power source, what then?

KRIZMAN
You’ll know what needs to be done.
CUT TO:
EXT. DERELICT CHURCH -- NIGHT

CUT TO:
INT. DERELICT CHURCH -- NIGHT

KENT struggles against his bonds. He looks up and realizes that the beam one of his arms is lashed to is rotten and has pulled loose from his weight. He pulls on it with all of his failing strength. The beam shifts, and he yanks on it frantically. Finally, he pulls the beam free and it crashes to the floor. The rope goes slack and Kent is able to untie his other wrist. He collapses. Then, he musters his strength and pulls out his gag.
KENT
You won’t hurt me anymore.
CUT TO:
INT. MAPLE LODGE -- BASEMENT -- NIGHT

GALE is with KRIZMAN and the MAPLE LODGE ELDERS.
KRIZMAN
The time has come. We’ll lead you to the gateway into the Shadowrealm. Your journey must now begin.
Suddenly, RAMONA enters the room. Gale is surprised, but the Maple Lodge Elders seem not to be.
KRIZMAN
Yes, my dear? What’s wrong?

RAMONA
They’ve taken one. She had the dull eyes of a slave. She went into the woods, and I lost her.

GALE
Who was it?

RAMONA
Your girlfriend.

GALE
Dani!

KRIZMAN
The forces of darkness have struck, as they always do when their Feast of the Abyss coincides with our Festival of Lights. But this is very grave news. We’d hoped you’d be able to finally break the cycle by protecting the Queen of Lights. But the powers of evil know you, Agent Gale, and they fear you. They fear you enough to break the cycle themselves and claim a special victim, one close to your heart. Their tactic is clear -- to destroy your courage.

GALE
(sternly)
Tell me what I have to do.
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.
Wayne Corbett, 9. Local boy.
Lyndon Pfiffer, 26. Deputy.
Gabriel Saltares, 44. College professor.
Albert Collins, 48. Lawyer.
Emma Corbett, 25. Mysteriously rejuvenated woman, mother of Wayne.
Casey Thomas, 41. Father of Bradley.
Wilma Thomas, 40. Mother of Bradley.
Mary Gardner, 45. Mother of Penny.
Kimmy Clapsaddle, 38. Sister of Rosemary.
Yvonne Temple, 36. Environmentalist, mother of Duane.
Oregon Blackthorn, 35. Wild West enthusiast.
Dan Barrett, 30. Motorcyclist, twin of Don.
Don Barrett, 30. Motorcyclist, twin of Dan.
Ramona Wingfeather, 18. Maple Lodge janitor, Native American.
Sergei Krizman, 68. Maple Lodge Elder.
Jeremy Flynn, 20. Criminal mastermind, son of Janet.
Kathleen & Catherine Menelski, 23. Local twins.
Wynton Duke, 48. FBI agent, Gale’s former partner.

Magician
Bartender
Little Girl
Band
Deputies
Maple Lodge Elders
Townspeople


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