Crimes of the Fay II, Chapter 20

Our anticipation mounted high as we braced ourselves to receive a really dramatic revelation, and then Clifton announced, “Kaleo has a bit of a criminal history, but it’s all petty stuff. And seeing how it was all against Fay Folks, given that he and his wife fall into that category now, we didn’t think it posed a threat to any of you.”

“That’s it?” My hopes of obtaining juicy information that could assist Aidan and me in solving the mystery of how Lake Ana Wai disappeared had deflated so unceremoniously that it soured my mood in a nanosecond! I couldn’t accept this as the conclusion to the story he had for us! Did he truly believe Aidan and I would go through such an extravagant measure merely to learn about some cockamame misdemeanors?

“I’m sorry, did you want me to tell you that we transplanted your family to the home of a murderer or something?” Clifton retorted.

I admitted, “Kinda, yeah!”

Clifton shook his head. “Listen, I understand you two miss your jobs, but you can’t go fishing for a crime to solve like that! Try to find a way to relax more! I’m sure Mister Toonella will get captured soon, and you’ll be home before you know it!”

“That’s not true!” I disagreed. “I thought they’d nab him before our plane hit the ground!”

“And who says we’re not relaxed?” Aidan challenged him.

Clifton pondered, “Were you relaxing when that mob was trying to force you into an asylum?”

Aidan responded, “You guys are going through a lot at the moment- why add more stress to yourselves?” Clifton posed to us.

Neither Aidan nor I had a snappy comeback to that. He had a valid argument about the chaos we were currently undergoing- it was difficult to claim that we would be better off pursuing a case where we could potentially create another adversary who aspired to propel us into our demise! I knew that Agent Hearne would have most likely boiled over if we had to go through Witness Protection for our aliases, and normally, that would have been enough for me to put a lid on this venture, but something inside of me steadfastly maintained the stance that this vanishing pond had a link to Wade somewhere! He brought those teddy bears to the empty bank for a reason, and I felt determined to figure out his motives for doing so! Perhaps his fatal illness caused him to lose his mind, but I couldn’t rule out that he had a more sinister intent for putting those toys in that location! I couldn’t fathom what, but it couldn’t have been for anything good! Regardless of what scenario would prove to be the truth, I simply had to get to the bottom of this enigma!

“Hey!” Aidan cried out when we reached Lani Noni. “That’s our truck ahead of us!” The five children realized we were in the van behind them and threw some funny faces in our direction. “They went somewhere without us?”

Clifton pointed out, “Well, you went somewhere without the eight of them!”

I groaned, “The house was empty today? So, we could’ve had enough privacy to finally… do things?”

Aidan bemoaned this lost opportunity, but Clifton spared us no pity! “Well, you two interrupted Tarosh and me, so forgive me if I don’t feel too badly for you!”

“We forgive you for nothing!’ I folded my arms and pouted.

“Romeo!” Minna chimed as she wheeled herself out. “Oh, you came to see me! I knew you would! You were only ignoring my texts ‘cause you had too much to tell me and it wouldn’t fit in a small message! I’m here for you, baby! Talk to me!”

Clifton urgently requested us, “Please hurry!”

I entertained the idea of delaying my departure from his vehicle to enact revenge for his slight, but Minna’s overbearing antics were too cruel of a penance for Clifton’s offense, so I hopped out with alacrity. Immediately following our withdrawal, Clifton peeled out of the area! Minna called out to him, “Wait! Don’t be afraid of intense feelings!” When he became a dot in the distance, Minna cooed, “Aw, he’s too shy to admit his burning desire! Isn’t that adorable?” Everybody glanced at each other for cues on how to react to that!

“Did I tell you that we’re both scorpios?” Minna asked the people sitting at the dining room table.

“Yes, several times while we headed back here,” I answered from the ledge of the loft where Aidan and I were eating. “And a couple more times once we got inside!”

Minna gushed, “Scorpios are known for being very romantic and passionate! Together, we’ll be explosive!”

Mason wondered, “Is that a good thing?”

“Not everyone can handle that sort of intensity, but I thrive on it!” Minna purred. “You wanna see a picture of him working on a tractor?”

“Not really,” Harper honestly told her.

Minna displayed her phone for everyone to view it anyways. “He doesn’t just help farmers, he is one! Isn’t he dreamy?”

Aidan shooed a cat away from his plate when it tried to steal his meal, and then he riposted, “Yeah, his boyfriend thinks so too!”

“Minna, don’t you wanna go for a guy who’s a little more available?” Mom probed.

“You can’t choose who you fall in love with!” Minna shot back.

I nearly choked on my bite upon hearing that sentence! My mom had previously expressed a similar sentiment to me, but my situation was rather different since I was falling deep for a man who I believed was responsible for a series of brutal killings! Aidan turned out to be innocent, so it was totally okay for me to love him, but it wasn’t so okay for Minna to keep getting enamored with men who were already taken! Then again, she appeared to get smitten with any reasonably attractive fellow who crossed her path! This observation struck me with some inspiration though! “You should see some of the hot dudes in Eka Nahele!”

Minna puzzled, “Eka Nahele? What is that? A music group?”

“No, it’s this really nice town in the rainforest,” Aidan filled her in during his attempt to shield his dish from the sneaky kitty. “I didn’t pay much attention to the men’s looks though, there were a lot of strange individuals there! Oh, you’d fit right in!”

“If you’re trying to set me up with somebody, you can forget it! My heart is already set!” Minna happily sighed as she hugged an image she saved of Clifton.

Laraleigh brought up, “I thought you had a huge crush on my brother.”

Minna shrugged. “I still like him, but I’ve felt some distance between the two of us lately. Probably ‘cause of the restraining order!”

“If I give you a treat, will you leave me alone?” Aidan snapped. Everyone gazed at him peculiarly, so he clarified, “I was talking to Lulu!”

“You can thank Wade for that,” Mom remarked. “He used to give them tons of treats off of his own fork! It’s been two years since he moved out, but they still haven’t forgotten these bad habits! He’s gonna haunt me forever!”

Minna conversed, “You can parade as many beautiful beaus in front of my face as you want to, but you can’t convince me to worship anyone else but my beloved Romeo!” She spotted a photo on Laraleigh’s cellphone, and her interest piqued. “Ooh, who’s that?”

Laraleigh bellowed, “That’s my husband, and if you lay your hands on him, I’ll tan your hide from here to New York City!”

“Why New York City?” Minna catechized her.

“It’s far away!” Laraleigh barked.

I proposed to Minna, “If you really feel that strongly about Clifton, how about you prove it? We’ll go to Eka Nahele tomorrow, and if none of the hunks there tempt you, then… well, we’ll figure that out later!”

Aidan threw a piece of meat for Lulu to run after, and in the same instance that the feline munched on this morsel, Minna reached her decision, “Alright, fine! I’ll do it and show you all!”

Lulu aimed to return to Aidan’s side, but Aidan put up a force field and blocked her! Once both matters settled, we ate more peacefully. I was quite curious on what poor soul would have the misfortune of getting Minna’s attachment, but I was more eager to get some answers from the Hekekias’ Hut, put a rest to the stumper of wha Wade wanted with that evaporated body of water, and pretend like we followed Clifton’s advice about backing off all along!

“Can I ask you something?” Kinsey inquired to Aidan and I as we sat in a booth at a tropical restaurant.

“If it’s about the red hair, I’ve already explained that to you!” I muttered while pulling my hat further over my eyes. If she kept discussing our attempt to conceal ourselves, then Aidan and I would never be able to blend in with the crowd and get this operation done!

Kinsey assured me, “It ain’t about that! I just wanted to know… “ She turned her tone into a whisper, “… Did y’all ever kill anybody on the job?”

From their table ten feet away from us, Laraleigh commanded, “Don’t answer that!”

“That’s a yes!” Kinsey grinned triumphantly. “What’s it like?”

“I can’t give out classified info,” I partially expressed the truth there- I certainly couldn’t spill details of certain cases, and while I could illustrate the science and psychology behind using lethal force, I couldn’t give her a first-hand account on it. I did see a few victims die during my shifts, but I wasn’t about to divulge any descriptions of that to a teenager! Especially since we were striving to create an inviting atmosphere for Minna to attract a potential new boyfriend! The sooner she was occupied with a budding romance, the sooner the love of my life and I could slip out of there to do our secret mission! Determination brewed in Kinsey’s eyes, so I excused myself from her presence, “I’ll be back. Feel free to change the subject, babe!”

Kinsey was objecting to my suggestion behind me, but I ignored her as I walked over to Minna at the other table. I sat next to her and checked in, “See anyone you like?” 

“Nope!” Minna reported.

“That’s ‘cause she won’t quit looking at pictures on her phone!” Mom tattled on her.

I glanced over her shoulders, and when I beheld that Minna was ceaselessly scrolling through Clifton’s social media pages, I snatched the device out of her clutches! “Hey!” she protested.

Undaunted by her agitation, I challenged her, “How about now?”

Minna begrudgingly scoped out the premises, and then she opined, “No one here compares to my Romeo!”

Not believing that a packed and hip establishment like this could have no promising prospects, I surveyed the space for myself. After a minute, I found a gentleman at the bar that made me wish that Sandra was here so I could watch her drool over his handsomeness! I pointed him out to Minna, “What about him?”

“Gosh, he’s gorgeous! But I couldn’t betray my dear, sweet Clifton over a dreamboat who looks like someone who could give me hours of pleasure!” Minna mulled over her statement and then changed her tune, “Nevermind, I’ll go talk to him!”

“Atta girl!” I encouraged her as she wheeled off.

Laraleigh commented, “She’s gonna blow it!”

I admonished her, “That’s not fair! You don’t know that!”

“Oh, yes I do! She’s not exactly smooth with pick up lines…” Laraleigh elucidated. “We really should have given her some stuff to say!”

“Why didn’t you mention this earlier?” Mom grilled her. “I’ll go grab her before… Oh, too late!”

Minna went up to the gentleman, and in a silky voice, she invited him, “Hey, hot stuff! You wanna come back to my place? We can’t have sex there ‘cause I have a bunch of roommates, but we could play a mean game of Parcheesi!”

I cringed at the disaster I watched unfold! I was expecting something cheesy that a man interested in her could overlook, but this was a failure beyond repair! Didn’t she just express a sensual desire for him seconds ago? Why would she utter anything of that sort? I grew extremely exasperated at this mishap, and my singular optimism at this juncture laid in the off chance that some of the other eligible bachelors in this joint hadn’t seen this blunder! I reviewed the room, and it wasn’t too reassuring! Suddenly, it wasn’t so much of a problem anymore… I saw something frightening that forced me to forget all of my other woes!

The Unsuper Heroes II, Chapter 12

Staring into the bubbling potion in her cauldron, Thanamenti yelled, “You can’t be serious!”

Mercinon, who was sitting on the floor of the cave with a half finished lantern holder, took exception to that, “Oh my gods! I only asked if you could conjure some more twine for me! Sheesh!”

“I’m talking about what those overly powerful imbeciles did, not you! I wasn’t even listening to you!” Thanamenti disputed with him.

“So, how did this round go?” Dason, whose birdcage had gotten lined with a small, woven rug, queried with a note of derision in his voice. This caused Marcin, who now donned a macrame vest on top of his yoga, tittered at Dason’s quip, but when he saw that it caught Thanamenti’s attention, he hid his face behind the book he was reading.

Mercinon worked on tightening the knots on his current project and casually conversed, “So, they defeated the onocentaur, huh? How did they do it? Did the strong one throw rocks from the mountain at him?”

Thanamenti raged, “No! They got him drunk and he drowned! They really didn’t even use their skills this time! They cheated!”

“Why did you send a creature whose weakness was alcohol somewhere where they could get some?” Marcin probed. “You’re making it too easy for them!”

“They were on a mountain! An empty one! How was I supposed to know they’d bring alcohol with them?” Thanamenti argued. She grew saddened and ruefully stated, “They were all hungover too! This should’ve been a cinch! I mean, I know the strong one didn’t drink, but still!”

Mercinon got up and put a sympathetic arm around her shoulder. “There, there! It’s not over yet! We’ll find a monster that’ll maim them! At least you got to see them in agony for a while! That was fun, right?”

Thanamenti sniffled a little. “Yeah, that was nice!”

“And there’ll be other monsters, right?” Mercinon reminded her.

“Yeah, that’s true!” Thanamenti’s spirits started to lift up.

Mercinon told her, “See? Everything’s fine! Now, don’t you feel dumb for getting all worked up?” This filled Thanamenti with a blazing ire, but Mercinon didn’t seem to notice that he offended her. “So… How about conjuring that wine now, hmm?”

Thanamenti coldly regarded him, “OH, I’ll get you your twine!”

She aimed her staff towards the section of the cave where Mercinon had stationed himself, which conjured enough twine to bury Mercinon!

As Dason laughed uproariously and Marcin chuckled behind his book again, Mercinon stuck his thumb out from beneath the heap. “This’ll keep me busy for days! Thank you!”

Thanamenti looked irritated that her plan to punish him seemed to have backfired, but before she could react, they heard a series of thumps coming from Echinda’s chamber. “Ooh! Did she have a multiple birth?” Thanamenti wondered.

“Elysium forbid you check for yourself!” Marcin said under his breath.

“What did you say?” Thanamenti eyed him suspiciously.

Marcin grinned sheepishly at her. “I was just saying that I’m on my way to go check on her.” He scrambled to distance himself from her as she continued to glare at him while he walked towards Echinda’s cavern room. He didn’t glance back at her and instead focused on cautiously scoping out the situation. He peeked inside and reported, “She gave birth to ordinary people! They don’t seem very scary!” All of a sudden, something shifted about their appearance that made Marcin try to get away form them! A couple of claw-like fingers caught him and dragged him into Echinda’s territory! “Oh Aigea! She created more people eaters!”

The others ignored his terrified screams. Mercinon sifted through the pile of twine and questioned, “Where is my lantern holder?”

“Exelda didn’t drink any liquor? She kept her promise to me!” Dason celebrated.

“She didn’t do it due to your promise! She did it because she-.” Thanamenti cut herself off when she recognized that she almost let something slip out.

Dason prodded, “What? What are you hiding from me?”

Thanamenti replied honestly, “Lots of stuff! There’s loads of dark things in my past you don’t wanna know about!”

Before Dason could interrogate her any further, Marcin popped out of the room scratched up but otherwise unharmed. “Wow! You’re sure regenerating faster now!” Thanamenti remarked.

“No, I’m not! They didn’t want to eat me!” Marcin corrected her. “They’re not cannibals, just blood drinkers, and they passed on mine ’cause my dead blood is too cold for them! Huh! I think I actually feel a little hurt for getting rejected to get eaten by them!”

“I found it!” Mercinon declared as he held his project up in the air proudly.

Thanamenti rolled her eyes and then turned her attention to the image in her cauldron. “Okay now, you contemptible twits! Let’s see you defeat these guys!”

Marcin posed to her, “Are you sure you wanna encourage them to do that?” Thanamenti gave him a hard stare, and he figured out what she meant. “Oh, I see what you were going for there!” He quickly immersed himself into the book he had been reading previously, and Thanamenti gave an exasperated sigh as she continued to observe the heroes.

“So, have you thought of any names for you baby yet?” Kefalia asked Exelda as they traversed through a thick of mostly barren trees.

“I haven’t had time to think about anything but surviving this mission!” Exelda answered her. “It still doesn’t feel real to me! Well, except for all the vomit! And I can see a little bump now. I didn’t know it was a baby before, I thought I was just bloated!”

Narcius assured her, “Listen, I know you wanna name your son after me so he can mimic some of my stunning qualities, and you’re afraid to say it because you’re concerned that I would want to reserve that right for my future son, but I’m completely fine with you bestowing that honor the future prince! It’s okay, really!”

Exelda raised her eyebrows at that absurdity, and then she responded, “First of all, I’m, like, ninety-nine percent sure that I’m having a girl…”

“How do you know? A couple days ago, you thought your swelling came from gas!” Akintos teased her.

“Trust me, a mother knows!” Exelda remained steadfast on her conviction. “But secondly, I don’t wanna decide on anything ’til I can discuss it with Dason! Oh Eileithyia, I hope that we can get him out of his bird form so he can help me parent this kid!”

Stocastin reassured her, “I’m confident that the feathers we shall find will reverse the effects of his avian visage!” A deadened branch whipped him, so he vexedly tore it off its base and tossed it to the ground. “I’m not quite as confident about the odds of finding a feather in this arboretum of nothingness! Why are we even bothering to search this area? It seems highly improbable that the sympathies would choose this god-forsaken place to hide a sacred object!”

Kefalia knowledgiably let him know, “The Lofundasos forest dried out, but if we keep heading south, we’ll hit the Chartikano Papermill, and their river leads to Agrochorio, my hometown! Such a special village, there’s gotta be a feather there!”

“Well, let’s hurry up and get there ’cause there’s clearly nothing here! I hope! It’s sort of creepy like something might be hiding here though!” Narcius shuddered and then consoled himself, “Yup, definitely nothing here!”

“Look, there’s something over there!” Akintos pointed to something over Narcius’ shoulders.

Narcius dismissed that notion, “Nice try! I’m not falling for that trick again!”

Kefalia backed Akintos up, “Actually, Akintos isn’t lying this time! There is something there!” “Aah! Don’t let it hurt me!” Narcius shrieked. When he finally beheld what Akintos had referred to, he composed himself and poignantly asserted, “That’s not something there, that’s someone! More than one person, actually! Oh Adonis! What are they wearing?”

“Quiet! They might hear you!” Exelda cautioned Narcius.

Narcius differed, “I don’t think their hearing is that good!”

One of the mysterious figures announced to his comrades, “There’s people in the distance! I heard one of them talking about our clothing!”

“Oh great! Now they probably won’t help us!” Exelda threw her hands up aggravatedly.

“Go over there and help them!” a female in the group directed the male who had spoken up a second ago.

Narcius bragged to Exelda, “Ha! See! I didn’t hurt our chances for us to get help from them!”

Exelda brought up, “You said they couldn’t hear us! You can’t take any credit, I was the one who was proven right!”

An old man wearing a crude toga made from a burlap sack approached the heroes and greeted them, “Welcome, weary travelers! Won’t you sit with us by our comfortable fire?”

“A comfortable sit? I like this guy!” Akintos chirped.

“Wow! I love your clothes! So much fancier than ours!” the old man complimented them. “Yeah, you guys look good!”

As Narcius followed Akintos towards their camp, he soaked in the man’s praise. “Yes, I know I look good! I was just saying that this morning!”

Kefalia, who fell into the rearmost position in their group, didn’t see that the old man suddenly grew fangs and claws while he tried to bite her! She abruptly moved her head in a way that made him miss as she exclaimed, “Oh, there’s a feather! No, never mind, it’s a dead leaf!” The old man grimaced as he changed back to his normal appearance and joined everyone else.

They found a group of people whose ages all ranged widely sitting around a large bonfire with an extraordinarily long spit over it, and when they finally reached them, they all welcomed the heroes, “Hello, travelers!”

Exelda awkwardly waved to them. “Hi, everybody! We have some questions for you, if you don’t mind!”

“Not at all!” a middle aged man obliged. “Please, sit down.”

“Oh, that one is with child! Go bring her a seat so she doesn’t have to stoop so low!” a woman instructed a young boy.

As the young boy delivered their one and only piece of furniture, a rudimentary and somewhat holey chair, Exelda told him graciously, “Oh, that’s so kind of you! Thanks!”

The boy wondered, “So, when do we eat?” His teeth and nails sharpened, and he tried to take a bite out of Exelda.

As the other heroes settled themselves down, they failed to perceive that Exelda was in any peril. Coincidentally, Kefalia glanced over, which caused the boy to immediately turn back into his normal self. Akintos inquired, “What are ya cooking on such a large spit?”

“Oh, whatever we can catch!” A middle aged woman eyed them with a hint of voracity in her eyes.

“We’re on a journey to search for very distinct golden feathers. Did you guys happen to have spotted objects like that?” Stocastin posed to their hosts.

A young woman responded quizzically, “Golden feathers? What are you going to do with those? Add some ornaments to your splendid outfits?”

Narcius rubbed his chin contemplatively. “Hmm…! Gold feathers would look absolutely dashing on me! What a fabulous idea! I never thought I’d get good fashion advice from people who dress so terribly!”

Exelda put in, “It’s kinda complicated, but the feathers may help us stop the riots in the kingdom.”

“There’s riots going on in the kingdom?” an old woman questioned.

“You guys don’t know about them?” Kefalia reacted in surprise. “They’re happening all over Chaos!”

The old man they initially met shrugged. “We haven’t been anywhere besides this forest! Oh, we did go to a cave once!”

As Exelda explained the dilemma to them, a young man slowly crept up to Akintos. “Basically, a bunch of citizens have been radicalized to think that this dead criminal should be king ’cause they believe this sham about the royal family practicing dark magic and drinking people’s blood!”

Just before the young man took a bite in him, Akintos lounged back further, and the young man had to quickly shift back before he caught him. Akintos opined, “Who is disgusting enough to drink blood?”

The people in burlap glanced at each other uncomfortably, and Stocastin misinterpreted their expressions. “Quite abhorrent, right? But by retrieving these golden feathers, we believe that-.”

“Hey!” Narcius had pulled out his hand mirror from his toga pocket, and he caught a young woman with her pointy transformation right as she almost pierced his skin! “They’re trying to eat us!”

“Narcius, that’s ridiculous! They…” Exelda trailed off as everybody changed forms. Her opinion reversed, and she cried out, “Oh Zeus! It’s true!” The old man charged at her, so she used her sword against him. It wouldn’t pierce his skin! “Dammit! I’m so tired of that not working!”

Stocastin turned invisible, picked up a rock, and hurled it at the young man’s head. It didn’t phase him, but he did grow confused as to who did that to him. “Stone doesn’t work either!”

Akintos relayed to them, “My fireballs are working!”

“Throw them into the fire!” Exelda commanded. While Akintos continued to throw fireballs, Exelda used her strength to make the old man fly into their bonfire. Kefalia flew to the old woman, picked her up, and dropped her into the fire. Stocastin tripped the young man, and the young man fell backwards into the flames. Narcius used his speed to both evade the ones around him and apply enough force to push people into the fire quickly. They repeated the process until the area appeared empty. “Is that everyone?” Exelda surveyed their surroundings just to be sure.

“Yes!” Akintos replied to Exelda’s inquiry. A little girl appeared hanging off of the tree branch above him, so he changed his response to, “No!” He destroyed her with his fireballs, and then he affirmed, “Okay, now we’re good!”

Exelda asked Kefalia, “Do monsters run that paper mill you mentioned?”

Kefalia answered her, “I don’t think so, but I haven’t been there in a while, so…”

“Wait, were those people monsters, or do they normally haunt these woods?” Narcius’ eyes darted all over as he fretted about the possibilities.

“I don’t think so! It’s not like they have a representative in the Senate!” Exelda kidded. “Plus, if they were around longer, I’m sure ‘Konna’ would claim they’re from the royal family’s palace and let her loyal dupes watch them go after people!”

Akintos stated, “I hope the paper mill people are nice to us!”

Stocastin disagreed, “I actually hope that they’re more on the unfriendly side because lately the individuals who behaved kindly towards us have tried to assassinate us!” Kefalia, Narcius, and Akintos shared his sentiment and crossed their fingers for that outcome as they headed out.

The Clearfront Balcony Club, Scene 10

Scene 10: A paper chain is wrapped around Brisa and Owen’s balcony. Owen stands outside in his dress uniform, and he looks excited but nervous. Rob stands outside in a polo and nice slacks. Jessica and Drew are also dressed nice and are ready to take pictures on their phones. Nedra and Theo stand on their balconies ready to watch. Juniper has a laptop propped up on her balcony. Mendel comes out and starts flying his drone, centering it around Brisa and Owen’s apartment.


MENDEL: And we are rolling!


JESSICA: Cue music!


Juniper hits play on her laptop, and a wedding march plays. Brisa slowly walks onto her balcony in her wedding gown. Brisa and Owen then face Rob, who begins speaking when the music stops playing.


ROB: Dearly beloved, we’re gathered here today to join this man and this woman in marriage! The couple will now recite their vows to each other.


BRISA: Owen, my life wouldn’t be complete without you in it! You’re my rock, my soulmate, my everything! When the world seems dark and scary, you make it all seem lighter. When life gets crazy, you make me feel sane again. When I feel sad, you make me feel better with just your presence! I don’t know what I’d do without you! As your wife, I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to make you as happy as you made me! I love you so much!


OWEN: When I first saw you, I thought you were too pretty to want anything to do with me! I had no idea your heart was just as beautiful as your looks! You got me through a really tough time, and although we didn’t meet under ideal circumstances, I’m so grateful that it helped me find you! We face another difficult situation, but there’s no one I’d rather go through this with! You’ve made me into a better person, and I can never thank you enough for that! I still can’t believe you’ve chosen me, and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter of our life holds for us!


ROB: You may now exchange the rings.


BRISA: Uh… They’re late in delivery.


OWEN: Here’s what they would’ve looked like.


Owen pulls out his cellphone and quickly pulls up an image of their order. He then sets it aside to continue the ceremony.


ROB: Well then, it’s my great privilege to now pronounce you husband and wife! You may kiss the bride!


Owen and Brisa kiss, and everyone cheers. Mendel lands his drone, and Nedra pulls out a set of frosted cupcakes that are individually wrapped.


NEDRA: Okay, Juniper, I used your rice flour to make you and Mendel vanilla cupcakes. Everyone else is getting chocolate.


DREW: Sounds good to me!


Nedra pases out the cupcakes, and once everyone gets them, they wait to unwrap them until Brisa and Owen open theirs. They feed each other a bite, and then everyone else starts eating theirs. Carla comes out with a swaddled baby.


JUNIPER: Oh, hello dear!


JESSICA: Hey, Carla!




NEDRA: What are you doing out of the hospital so soon?


CARLA: They were out of rooms, so I just promised I’d take it easy.


MENDEL: Who’s the newest member of Clearfront?


CARLA: Well, originally I was gonna name her after her daddy, but I decided I didn’t want her to be anything like him! So, her first and middle name went from Blake Finley to Jessica Drew!


Jessica and Drew both look surprised and touched.


JESSICA: Wow, I’m honored! I don’t know what to say!


DREW: I can’t believe it! I… Who wants a drink?


Everyone expresses interest in that. Drew passes out champagne glasses to everyone.


DREW: Okay, everyone except for Carla and Mendel, hold your glasses as close to my balcony as possible. Sorry, it won’t work with a balcony separating us.


Mendel and Carla don’t look offended. Everyone else holds their glasses close to Drew’s balcony. Drew pours champagne into each of their glasses with flair. They all applaud when he’s done. He passes the champagne to Jessica, who pours some for Mendel. Carla grabs the bottle and drinks straight from it.


CARLA: Yes! I needed this!


JESSICA: A toast to the happy couple!




BRISA: Owen and I would like to make a toast to all of you for helping us out with our wedding! Especially you, Jessica! Without you, none of this would be possible!


JESSICA: Oh, I was happy to do it!


OWEN: Cheers to all of you!


BRISA: Here, here!


Brisa and Owen clink their glasses together and take a drink.


JUNIPER: Would you guys like me to play some music for your first dance?


BRISA: Nah. It would feel a little silly since no one else can do it. Well, I guess you guys could…


Brisa indicates to Theo and Nedra.


THEO: Nah, I’m good.


NEDRA: He’s not that good of a dancer.


THEO: I didn’t say I was a good dancer! I’m just good not dancing!


NEDRA: I knew what you meant! I was just making another point!


THEO: (to Brisa & Owen) This is your future, you know! After almost fifty years, you’ll turn into this!


OWEN: I can’t wait!


Brisa and Owen clink their glasses together again and give each other another kiss.


JUNIPER: So, that’s a no on the music then?


MENDEL: That’s a no. I think the cupcakes and champagne are the extent of their wedding traditions.


ROB: How about a wedding present?


Rob pulls out a gift bag. They open it to find toilet paper.


OWEN: Oh, heck yeah! I think I’m more excited for this than the gravy boat Brisa’s mom sent!


As they set it aside, Brisa notices her wedding bouquet on the ground.


BRISA: Oh, I know another tradition we can do! I can toss my flowers!


CARLA: Don’t you dare throw that to me! I don’t need another man in my life right now! You know, at first I was worried about doing this by myself, but I’m kinda liking the break, actually!


JUNIPER: I would also like to politely decline your flowers. I had a great romance once, and no one else can top it! The universe may change my mind one day with someone special, but until then, I would rather enjoy my life of singlehood.


Brisa shrugs and turns to Jessica.


BRISA: Here, catch!


Brisa throws the bouquet to Jessica, but she misses and it falls to the street. Brisa looks down and apologizes to someone on the street.


BRISA: Sorry!


Brisa turns to Jessica.


BRISA: Sorry!


OWEN: Don’t worry, I think she’ll do okay anyways!


He looks at Jessica and Drew and winks. Jessica grins and blushes.


DREW: So… Do you wanna go out sometime?




Drew and Jessica laugh.


JESSICA: I’d love to!


Drew smiles broadly. Carla’s baby starts crying.


CARLA: Sounds like someone is hungry!


THEO: Yeah, I’m starving!


Nedra shakes her head.


NEDRA: Are you sure you’re okay by yourself?


CARLA: I’ll be fine! If I need any help, I can always reach out to the Clearfront Balcony Club!


ROB: Absolutely!


Carla goes inside.


BRISA: The Clearfront Balcony Club… I love it!


JESSICA: Me too! I don’t know how long this virus thing’ll last, but I’m so glad I have you all to go through this with!


DREW: Here, here!


An ambulance rolls by.


JESSICA: Saluté!




Everyone takes a drink. They then chitchat until the lights fade.



Wedding Day

The Clearfront Balcony Club, Scene 9

Scene 9: Jessica eats soup on her balcony. Drew comes outside wearing a bandanna around his nose and mouth.


JESSICA: Did you make a trip to the bodega?


DREW: How did you know?


Jessica points to her mouth. Drew suddenly remembers he’s wearing a bandanna and takes it off.


DREW: Oh, right! I guess I’m getting used to it. It’s weird that this is becoming normal!


JESSICA: Yeah, totally!


Drew almost steps forward more but realizes that there’s something there. He picks up a wrapped bowl of food.


JESSICA: Nedra made potato soup for everyone.


DREW: Oh, sounds much better than the TV dinner I was gonna make!


He unwraps the bowl and drinks from it.


DREW: Mmm! This is so good!


NEDRA: (from inside) You’re welcome!


DREW: Thank you!


He grins and continues to drink the soup.


JESSICA: Is there more food at the bodega now?


DREW: Yeah, there’s a bit more. I didn’t do any food shopping though. I thought I’d get some champagne for the wedding tomorrow. I have a pouring technique I’m dying to try!


JESSICA: Sounds like fun!


Nedra steps outside.


NEDRA: That reminds me, what kind of cake does everyone want?


JESSICA: I’m okay with anything.


DREW: Same here.


Juniper points her head outside.


JUNIPER: I’ll eat anything as long as it doesn’t come from an animal.


Nedra mulls this over.


NEDRA: Hmm.. I’ve never made a vegan cake before…


Mendel pokes his head outside.


MENDEL: I’m good with a vegan cake since I can’t have anything with lactose, but I also have Ciliac Disease, so…


NEDRA: So, I gotta make a cake with no dairy or gluten? You guys aren’t leaving me with a lot of ingredients!


Juniper and Mendel shrug as they go back inside. Nedra shakes her head in frustration and then goes back inside. Brisa and Owen step outside. Owen is holding a notebook.


BRISA: Can you guys help Owen with his vows?


OWEN: There’s nothing wrong with my vows!


DREW: What do you have so far?


OWEN: Days may not be fair always, that’s when I’ll be there always…


BRISA: It’s repetitive!


JESSICA: Very repetitive considering it’s from an Irving Berlin song.


Brisa glares at Owen.


OWEN: I thought it was cute!


BRISA: You didn’t even try to write your own vows? Don’t you love me?


OWEN: Of course I do! That’s why I’m marrying you!


BRISA: But why can’t you say it then?


OWEN: I love you more than anyone in the world! I don’t know how to say it any longer than that!


Brisa gets exasperated, but Jessica steps in before she can argue.


JESSICA: We’ll help with your vows!


Brisa hands him a pen and goes back inside. Owen sits down to write.


OWEN: We were supposed to surpise each other with the vows, but she got suspicious when I finished too fast. I love her, I just don’t know how to express it poetically.


JESSICA: How did you first meet?


OWEN: In the principal’s office. We both got caught up in the tardy sweep.


JESSICA: What did you first think when you saw her?


OWEN: I didn’t think she’d talk to me ’cause she looked like one of the popular girls.


JESSICA: But eventually you did.


OWEN: Yeah! Well, she did. I never got in trouble like that before. She saw how upset I got and made me feel better. We became good friends after that.


JESSICA: When did you become more than friends?


OWEN: Pretty much after they released us from detention. As soon as they let us leave, we were inseparable.


JESSICA: That’s cute! Now, how do we put that into something more romantic sounding?


OWEN: Now you see my problem?


DREW: I got it!


As he speaks, he looks forward but makes shy glances to Jessica.


DREW: When I first saw you, I thought you were too pretty to want anything to do with me! I had no idea your heart was just as beautiful as your looks! You got me through a really tough time, and although we didn’t meet under ideal circumstances, I’m so grateful that it helped me find you! We face another difficult situation, but there’s no one I’d rather go through this with! You’ve made me into a better person, and I can never thank you enough for that! I still can’t believe you’ve chosen me! I can’t wait to see what the next chapter of our life holds for us!


Jessica blushes furiously as Owen scribbles all of it down.


OWEN: Wow, this is gold! How did you come up with it so fast?


Drew still can’t meet Jessica’s eyes.


DREW: Oh… It just came to me…


Drew cautiously peeks at Jessica, who stares at the ground but grins broadly. As Owen writes, they’re quiet. Suddenly, Rob bursts outside with a bag in his hand.


ROB: Whew! I’m glad it’s the weekend for me now! Anyone thirsty?


He pulls out a six pack of beer.


DREW: I’ll take one!


JESSICA: Me too!


Rob hands one to Drew and Jessica, and then he offers one to Owen.


OWEN: I dunno, I’m a little nervous about tomorrow. I think I need to keep my head clear.


ROB: Man, you gotta have a drink! You didn’t get a bachelor party!


OWEN: I guess this is like my bachelor party!


He accepts a beer from him. Jessica hold her beer up.


JESSICA: To Brisa and Owen!


DREW & ROB: To Brisa and Owen!


They hold their beers as if they were clinking glasses and take a drink. Drew notices something on his beer.


Drew: Hey, Mendel!


Mendel pokes his head outside.


DREW: This beer is gluten free. You want one?


MENDEL: That sounds really great actually! Thank you!


Rob happily hands over a beer to Owen, who passes it to Mendel. They sit on the balcony and chitchat as the lights fade.
Drew & Jessica

The Clearfront Balcony Club, Scene 8

Scene 8: Jessica, Drew, Brisa, Owen, and Juniper are all outside. Juniper passes a white gown over to Drew, who passes it to Jessica, who passes it down to Brisa and Owen. Brisa looks at it fondly.

BRISA: Oh my gosh! It’s so pretty! I think I’m gonna cry!

JESSICA: It looks gorgeous!

DREW: I can’t believe it used to be a tablecloth!

OWEN: How much do we owe you?

JUNIPER: Oh, I could not ask for money for a favor! You did me a service by keeping me occupied for a couple days, so I think it would generate bad karma if I asked for a payment!

OWEN: We couldn’t ask you to do all this work for free!

BRISA: We wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t pay you! There must be something you could use the money on! Like… crystals? Do you like crystals?

JUNIPER: (considers her offer) I could use more crystals…

Carla comes out very slowly with one hand on her stomach and one behind her back.

JESSICA: Are you okay?

CARLA: Oh yeah, I’m fine! I just wanted to thank you guys for being so nice to me, so I wanted to contribute to the wedding too. I didn’t hear anything about a veil or how you’ll wear your hair, so I thought I could help with that.

BRISA: Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that! What did you have in mind?

She takes the hand out from behind her back to reveal a beautiful tiara.

BRISA: (gasps) I love it!


CARLA: Well, you’re welcome to use it as your something borrowed. I would like it back when you’re done.


BRISA: No problem! Thank you so much!


Owen reaches up and takes it from Carla. He then hands it to Brisa, who admires it.


BRISA: It looks like the crown of a princess!


CARLA: It’s actually a queen’s crown. I was prom queen my senior year (sighs) Back in my glory days!


JESSICA: (to Drew) Oh, she was prom queen! I guess their lives don’t always turn out perfect, do they?


DREW: I said I was sorry! I was wrong, and I apologized. What is it gonna take for you to forgive me for that?


From inside his apartment, Theo laughs uproariously. He comes outside and addresses Drew.


THEO: Son, women may move on from your offenses, but they’ll never forgive you for it! They’ll remind you of how you messed up for the rest of your life! When Nedra and I were first dating, we saw a movie with Raquel Welch in it, and she looked gorgeous, so naturally, I couldn’t help but admire her. Nedra noticed and got really jealous. She asked me, “Is Raquel Welch gonna cook dinner for you after a hard day of work?”


JESSICA: What did you say?


Carla takes a really deep breath and rubs her belly.


THEO: I didn’t think I could make the situation worse, but I said, “I didn’t know Raquel Welch can cook!”


Jessica and Brisa groan, but then they laugh along with Drew and Owen.


THEO: Fifty years later, Nedra still-


Carla interrupts him when she lets out a large groan.


JESSICA: Something’s wrong!


CARLA: The baby’s coming!


Mendel pokes his head out of his apartment.


MENDEL: I’ll call an ambulance!


He goes back inside to make the call.


CARLA: No, it’s coming right now!


DREW: Right now? Are you sure?


Carla screams in pain.


JESSICA: Theo, go get your wife!


THEO: Oh! Oh, yes!


He goes inside for a moment and comes out with a book.


THEO: She’s indisposed and can’t come out at the moment. I have one of her old college books you could use.


He tries to pass it to Juniper, but he can’t raise his arms. Rob comes outside.


ROB: What’s going on?


Carla screams again.


ROB: Got it!


THEO: Take this!


Rob hastily grabs it and passes it to Owen.


CARLA: It’s coming! What do I do?


Owen quickly opens the book but then gets distracted by a picture.


OWEN: What is that?


DREW: Looks like this book predates women shaving their bikini zone!


OWEN: Good lord! Hey, it looks like the bodega cat!


Carla screams again.


BRISA: Owen!


OWEN: Oh, sorry! (reads) Lie down on your back with your legs spread apart.


Carla lies down with her head pointing towards her balcony and her legs pointing towards her apartment.


OWEN: Help your baby move through your vaginal canal by pushing with your contractions.


CARLA: Okay!


She pushes as she feels another one. Mendel comes outside.


MENDEL: The ambulance should be here now.


JESSICA: They just pulled up.


Carla groans as she pushes again. They hear a baby crying as the paramedics arrive. Nedra runs outside.


ROB: She did it!


Everyone cheers as the paramedics load her onto a gurney. They keep celebrating until she disappears.


NEDRA: Wow, she must have been in labor for a while without realizing it!


BRISA: Hey! Her daughter’s birthday will be the day before our wedding anniversary, Owen!


OWEN: Oh, that’s true!


Owen passes the book to Rob.


ROB: (looks at the book) Hey, that does look like Crumbs!


Everyone laughs as Drew offers a beer to everyone in celebration.Baby is Born

The Clearfront Balcony Club, Scene 7

Near sundown, Drew watches as Jessica puts the finishing touches on the paper wedding bouquet.

JESSICA: And… Voila! They’re done! What do you think?

DREW: When you said that you wanted to make paper flowers, I didn’t have high confidence in how they’d come out, but I gotta admit, I was totally wrong about this one!

JESSICA: That’ll teach you to never doubt me again!

DREW: I won’t make that mistake twice!

They both laugh.

DREW: I think Brisa will love them! Well done!

JESSICA: Give yourself some credit! You contributed too!

DREW: You spearheaded it. I just followed your directions!

JESSICA: We did this together! We make a good team!

DREW: I’d like to think so!

Drew smiles at her, and she smiles back bashfully. They’re quiet for a moment.

JESSICA: So… I guess I should give these to Brisa.

DREW: Oh, yeah… She’ll probably want them at some point, huh?

Jessica giggles as she kneels down in order to knock on Brisa and Owen’s back door. A moment later, Owen comes outside.

JESSICA: Oh, hey Owen! We finished Brisa’s flowers!

OWEN: Oh, awesome! I’ll get her. (Peeks his head inside) Hey Brisa, come here!

Brisa comes outside wearing oven mitts.

BRISA: What’s up?

Owen points upstairs, and when Brisa sees them, she is delighted.

BRISA: Oh, they’re so pretty! Thank you so much!

Brisa tries to grasp them but can’t with her oven mitts on.

BRISA: Oh, sorry! I just pulled dinner out of the oven.

Brisa hands Owen the oven mitts so she can grab the flowers.

DREW: What’d you guys make?

BRISA: Oh, well, we don’t have much, so I just combined the leftover chicken nuggets with canned spaghetti and some mixed veggies to make some sort of casserole. I hope it’s good!

JESSICA: That might be good… I gotta figure out what to make for dinner too.

Nedra comes outside.

NEDRA: You kids hungry?

OWEN: Always!

NEDRA: You like pizza? I got extra!

JESSICA: Oh, pizza sounds great! Thank you!

BRISA: Yeah, thanks!

NEDRA: Oh, no problem!

Nedra goes inside.

THEO: (from inside) Hey, I was gonna eat that!

NEDRA: (from inside) You said you were full!

THEO: (from inside) I didn’t say I was gonna eat it tonight! Maybe I want it for breakfast!

NEDRA: (from inside) Since when do you eat pizza for breakfast?

THEO: (from inside) Well, I’d at least like the option!

NEDRA: (from inside) Oh, you hush!

Nedra comes outside with four paper plates that have giant slices of pizza on them, and each are wrapped in plastic wrap. She passes them up one by one to Drew, who passes three over to Jessica, who passes two over to Owen and Brisa. They unwrap it and take a bite. Everyone looks pleased.

JESSICA: Mmm! This is amazing!

OWEN: It’s really good! Where’d you order it from?

NEDRA: Order it! I made it from scratch!

DREW: From scratch? You have a gift! You could open up your own restaurant!

NEDRA: I’d love to! I can’t work anymore! If I could, I’d go back to nursing since they’re desperate for more help. Unfortunately, a few years ago, I got blood clots in my lungs and lost sixty percent of my breathing capacity. I’m too high risk to help fight this virus! And now I can’t even see my grandkids! So, now I’m just looking for ways to make myself useful around here! It gets me through the days…

BRISA: If you want, you can help us with our wedding! I gave up on the idea of having a cake to cut, but maybe you could…

NEDRA: Count me in!

Rob comes outside.

ROB: Oh, hey guys! I got my…

He sees everyone finishing up their pizzas.

NEDRA: Don’t worry, I have one more slice!

ROB: Oh, thank you!

Nedra goes back inside.

ROB: I was just gonna say that I got my certification! I’m officially an ordained minister!

OWEN: Oh, perfect! Tomorrow, we should get the dress, so we can probably have the wedding-

BRISA: On Sunday! Oh, I can’t wait!

She happily celebrates. Nedra comes outside and gives Rob a slice of pizza. Their general merriment comes to a halt when Carla comes onto her balcony with a total poker face. Everyone is quiet for a moment.

CARLA: Is Mendel here?

Mendel cautiously pops his head outside.

MENDEL: I can hear you.

CARLA: I just wanted to apologize for yelling at you! You were only trying to help! Honestly, I knew I needed to get out of that situation, I just didn’t think I had a lot of options! Especially now! I can’t go anywhere! Not because of the pandemic, I mean, I’m so sore that I can’t even make it to my mailbox let alone the store! I need help, and I thought he was my only option.

MENDEL: If you need help, you have plenty of options right here!

JESSICA: That’s right! If you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask!

ROB: Yeah, I work at the bodega, so if you need anything before I go to work, just holler!

NEDRA: You hungry?

CARLA: Well, honestly, I haven’t eaten anything all day!

NEDRA: Oh no! We can’t have that! I’m out of pizza, but there’s some leftover pasta in the fridge. I’ll get it for you!

Nedra goes inside to get it.

THEO: (from inside) You’re giving that away too? I wanted to eat that too!

NEDRA: (from inside) You haven’t eaten it so far!

Nedra comes outside shaking her head. She passes the plate to Rob, who passea it to Owen, who passes it to Carla.

CARLA: Thank you so much!

ROB: Yeah, thanks for sharing your food with us!

NEDRA: Oh, it’s just nice to have people to share it with!

Carla smiles gratefully and goes inside to eat it. Mendel also goes inside,but his mood is clearly elevated. Owen and Brisa finish up their food.

BRISA: Come on, Owen! Let’s go work on our vows!

They go back inside. Rob’s cellphone rings.

ROB: Oh, hey Mom! Guess what I got today!

After everyone else goes inside, Drew looks at Jessica admirably.


DREW: It’s just amazing! You volunteer to help a couple of strangers with their wedding, and now everyone’s benefiting from this project! It’s crazy how your one act of kindness has had such a ripple effect! What would we have done without your help?

Jessica smiles and blushes.

JESSICA: You’re too kind!

DREW: No, you are!

Jessica shyly laughs. They continue to casually chitchat as the lights fade.