The Clearfront Balcony Club, Scene 5

Scene 5: As the sun is starting to set, Drew sits outside drinking a bottle of beer. Jessica comes out with a bowl of pasta. Drew makes eye contact with her and waves.

DREW: (jokes) Is that your dinner or another craft project?

JESSICA: (sits down on her bench and laughs) My apartment felt a bit stuffy, so I thought I’d eat outside.

DREW: What’d you make?

JESSICA: Spaghetti. Well, not really. All the store had was this pasta that I think is supposed to be for soup. (shrugs) Whatever, it still tastes good to me. Oh shoot! I forgot my drink!

DREW: You want a beer?

JESSICA: Sure, I’d love one! Thanks!

DREW: No problem!

Drew uses a bottle opener to loosen the cap and hands it to her. She takes off the cap and holds it up in a toast.

JESSICA: Cheers!

DREW: Cheers!

They clink their bottles together, take a sip, and sit back down.

DREW: What did we just toast to?

JESSICA: (takes a bite of food before she answers) I dunno, we’ll think of something later.

Drew chuckles as he takes another drink.

DREW: How was your night after we finished crafting?

JESSICA: (playfully sarcastic) So exciting! I walked all the way down to the mailbox!

They both laugh.

DREW: I guess the halls are pretty empty now, huh?

JESSICA: Yeah! It’s weird! Usually when I get the mail, I pass by the gym and it’s always full. Today, not only was it empty, but the room was dark! I’ve never seen it like that!

DREW: I miss going to the gym!

JESSICA: I miss having the option to go! I never could get into a habit of exercising since my schedule was constantly changing for whatever gig I landed. Now I wish I went! Maybe I wouldn’t be so out of shape!

DREW: What’s wrong with your shape? I like your shape!

Jessica looks up in surprise, and Drew gets embarrassed.

DREW: I just meant that you appear in decent physical shape. I mean, based on the glue stick toss, you’re obviously not athletic, but…

JESSICA: Hey!

She jokingly threatens to to throw the bottle cap at him.

DREW: You’re throwing it? I’ll be fine then!

They both laugh.

JESSICA: It’s funny, I haven’t been told I’m in good shape in ages! You don’t get that often as a plus size model!

DREW: You’re a model?

JESSICA: Just a plus size model.

DREW: What’s wrong with being a plus sized model?

Jessica blushes and looks away bashfully.

JESSICA: Well, I did a bit of modeling to help pay the bills. After I finally landed a leading role, I didn’t think I’d have to worry about that for a while! I have enough to last a couple months, but if this thing lasts longer than that, I’ll have to figure something else out!

DREW: Join the club! Half the tenants in Clearfront gotta worry about that!

JESSICA: Probably more than half! Hopefully soon, it…

An ambulance blares loudly. Jessica and Drew watch as it pull up in front of their complex.

JESSICA: Oh no!

Brisa and Owen run out to see what happened.

BRISA: That did pull up in front of Clearfront!

Rob and Nedra emerge from their apartments.

ROB: I was just in that hallway! It better not be that damn virus!

Juniper comes out to see what’s happening, and Carla and Mendel curiously watch too.

NEDRA: It was only a matter of time before it reached us!

JESSICA: Don’t say that! It might not be that!

JUNIPER: (pointing down) There they are! Oh goodness, they’re so young!

NEDRA: They could have underlying health problems, but really, this thing affects people at any age!

DREW: Wait, look at his arm!

JESSICA: You’re right! That’s broken for sure!

JUNIPER: Oh, thank the heavens! It’s just a broken arm!

Everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Carla, Mendel, Juniper, and Nedra all return to their apartments.

OWEN: Whoo! Thank god! (mulls it over for a moment) We’re happy about a broken arm! We’re living in weird times!

ROB: That’s for sure! Man, I did not need this today! Work was stressful enough!

BRISA: What happened?

ROB: We got a shipment of toilet paper in this morning…

Everyone perks up when they hear this.

OWEN: The bodega has toilet paper?

ROB: It had toilet paper! For, like, three seconds! People stormed the place and fought over it like it was a plasma TV in a Black Friday sale! After it was gone, I spent the whole day trying to explain why we’re out!

JESSICA: What’d you tell them?

ROB: The truth! At first. I got tired of explaining it, so I started telling people that Crumbs took it to make a cat house! They didn’t think it was funny. Whew! I need a drink!

DREW: I got you!

He reaches into his cooler and pulls out a bottle for him.

DREW: (to Brisa and Owen) You guys want one too?

BRISA: That sounds great!

OWEN: Thank you!

Drew loosens the cap to three beers and passes one down to Rob. He passes two to Jessica, who passes them to Owen and Brisa. They all take a moment to take a drink and let the effect of the alcohol calm them a bit.

BRISA: If I change my wedding registry to the bodega, do you think I could get toilet paper?

They all laugh.

ROB: Oh, I haven’t gotten to that certification yet. It’s just been…

OWEN: We know! It’s gonna take a couple of days for her gown to finish anyways, so it’s okay!

They take another moment to savor their drinks.

JESSICA: So, what on earth do you think that guy was doing to twist his arm like that?

DREW: I’m not sure I wanna know! It’s a helluva time to go to the ER though! I wonder if he’ll even be able to get a room!

BRISA: All those poor people stuffed together, risking exposure…

ROB: I feel bad for all those healthcare workers! My job’s tough right now, but compared to what they gotta go through…

They contemplate it all, and their expressions grow grim. Jessica is suddenly struck with an idea.

JESSICA: I’ve got it! I know what we can toast to!

She holds her drink up high.

JESSICA: To their good health!

Drew holds up his drink.

DREW: To their good health!

ROB: Saluté!

BRISA & OWEN: Saluté!

They toast to each other from a distance, take a drink, and then continue to chat with each other as the lights fade.Jessica & Drew

Temca Academy, Part 22

INT. JOSHUA’S ROOM. NIGHT.

Anielle arrives at this door and pounds on it. She listens and does not hear a sound. Toci and George watch as she uses her scepter to melt the hinges. She kicks the door open and sees Joshua passed out on the floor, surrounded by empty alcohol bottles. Toci gasps. Anielle checks his pulse.

ANIELLE:
There’s still a faint pulse.
George, call a rescue healer.
Toci, there’s not a lot of
time. You know which plants I
need.

 

INT. EMERGENCY HEALING ROOM. DAWN.

Just at the brink of dawn, Joshua wakes up to see himself in a healer’s bed. He looks to his right to see Anielle, who has sallow skin, heavy bags under her eyes, and a big smile. He is a little confused.

JOSHUA:
What happened?

HEALER:
You got a second chance! You
drank a lethal amount of alcohol.
Thank your lucky stars this
young lady brewed a toxin
banishment potion! If it weren’t
for her swift actions, we wouldn’t
have been able to save you.

JOSHUA:
Wow. Anielle, somehow thank you
doesn’t seem to be enough!

ANIELLE:
It’s not enough. I want you to
promise me you’ll never drink
that much again!

JOSHUA:
You have my word.

The healer smiles and leaves the room. George enters, and Toci flies onto Joshua’s bed to hug him. Joshua groans.

ANIELLE:
Careful, his stomach is really
sensitive!

GEORGE:
Dude, you scared us!

TOCI:
Next time you’re really upset…

JOSHUA:
I’m done using alcohol as an
escape.

ANIELLE:
Two things you should know.
Peter and I broke up. And
after rescuing you, I realized
what I wanted to do. I’m
switching my major to rescue
healing!

JOSHUA:
That’s really great!

TOCI:
The bad news is you have to
heal real fast ‘cause Babelsama
is sending henchmen to kill us.

JOSHUA:
Ah, so my life was saved only
to die more painfully!

GEORGE:
Look, we better get going. Toci
was already talking about seducing
the whole trauma ward!

TOCI:
What? It’s a form of healing!

George and Toci leave. Anielle smiles and waves to Joshua, who smiles and waves back.

 

BEGIN HENCHMEN MONTAGE:

INT. BOOKSTORE. AFTERNOON.

Toci and Anielle are buying things at the bookstore. Toci pulls out money from her bra and hands it to the cashier. Right as they are about to leave, a couple of henchmen burst into the shop. Other shoppers scream and run away. Toci and Anielle motion to a peace officer. The henchmen get scared and runaway.

EXT. MAGIC LACROSSE FIELD. AFTERNOON.

Joshua and George are playing magical lacrosse when a couple of henchmen appear. They start to fight, but a cat walks by the field. One of the henchmen is seriously allergic, so the henchmen run away.

INT. LOCKER ROOM. EVENING.

Anielle is talking with a couple of cheerleaders while George unsuccessfully flirts with a couple more. A few henchmen burst into the room. George and Anielle, along with all of the cheerleaders, yell and raise their scepters. The henchmen freak out and run away.

EXT. LETTER ROOM. MORNING.

Joshua and Toci are in a letter room, which is a huge roost for bats. A henchmen bursts in, thinking he has them cornered. Toci simply commands the bats to swarm the henchmen. The henchmen is forced to run away.

INT. ANIELLE AND TOCI’S ROOM .NIGHT.

Toci is nursing a big, red slap mark on George’s cheek when a couple of henchmen come in. Before George and Toci can react, Circe and Agatha walk by and eye the henchmen flirtatiously. The henchmen put away their scepters and follow the girls.

EXT. PARKING LOT. EVENING.

Anielle and Joshua are talking while they unhitch their brooms. In the sky, a couple of henchmen appear before them. They make some threats, but as Joshua and Anielle draw their scepters, a barrage of students on broomsticks run into them. The henchmen can no longer be found. Anielle and Joshua shrug and return to their prior task.

END HENCHMEN MONTAGE.

 

INT. JOSHUA’S ROOM. MORNING.

Anielle enters the room expecting to see Joshua but instead sees George.

GEORGE:
You don’t look happy to see
me! I know I’m not as exciting
as your secret crush!

ANIELLE:
Shut up! We’re just friends!

Toci enters.

TOCI:
I’m not gonna rush you, but
you gotta do what feels right.
I have never found a guy that
I wanna see again in the morning.
I’ve never had an opportunity
like you have with Joshua. You
gotta act before it’s too late.

Joshua enters.

JOSHUA:
Why are you all in my room?

GEORGE:
We wanted to discuss where
Babelsama’s lair must be. I’d
say it’s gotta be close to
campus.

ANIELLE:
Wait a minute! I think I know
where it is! On the fly over
here, my dad and I saw this
old office building. My dad
said there was a man dancing
on the front porch. I was used
to him making fun of the poor,
so I didn’t think much of it.
But that must’ve been him!

JOSHUA:
You had this clue all along and
never said anything?

TOCI:
Look, it doesn’t matter right
now. Let’s go get him!

Everyone stands up.

ALL:
Yeah!

TOCI:
Wait, we have finals today!

ALL:
We’ll get him later!

They all disperse to study.

Temca Academy, Part 18

INT. DOG HOUSE. NIGHT.

Everyone in the dorm is having a good time until a tremendous earthquake shakes the building. Everyone runs out screaming, except for Toci, who meets up with Joshua.

TOCI:
Where are George and Anielle?

JOSHUA:
Men’s room!

They run into the bathroom.

 

INT. MEN’S ROOM. NIGHT.

George, Anielle, Toci, and Joshua try to keep their balance while Kristof watches the destruction in mad delight.

KRISTOF:
No scepters, and no one here
to protect you. Babelsama will
be so proud of me!

TOCI:
Prick!

The earthquake stops. The four brace themselves for Kristof’s hex. Without Kristof’s knowledge, the dog that was chasing the running woman enters. Joshua sees the dog and digs in his pocket.

JOSHUA:
You look so pale! Here,
eat this!

Joshua throws a chicken leg into Kristof’s shirt. Before Kristof can remove the chicken leg, the dog goes for it. The dog ends up biting Kristof pretty badly. Kristof dies. The dog is startled when Kristof’s body turns into a fear monger. George pats the dog.

GEORGE:
Good boy! I wish our dorms
let us keep large dogs!

TOCI:
Wow. Kristof was impaled on
his own sword.

ANIELLE:
How did the dog get in here?

JOSHUA:
Trying to hide from the
earthquake maybe? I dunno,
who cares!

ANIELLE:
Joshua, I wanna know something…

JOSHUA:
Nothing happened with me and Circe.
After I ran into you, I wasn’t
really in the mood. Circe still was.
She practically raped me, which I
didn’t think was possible…Anyways,
nothing happened.

ANIELLE:
Thank you for that, but what I
really wanted to know was why the
hell you had a chicken leg in
your pocket!

JOSHUA:
Oh! I…I don’t know!

Anielle shakes her head bemusedly, and everyone laughs.

 

INT. MAGICAL CONSUMER CLASS. MORNING.

Anielle attends her magical consumer research class. The professor, PERSEPHONE (a smart looking woman in her thirties) leads the class.

PERSEPHONE:
If you did a consumer research on
Temca Academy, what you’d find is
that the residents’ greatest need
is a way to combat fear. I bought
actual ad space in “The Black Cat’s
Yowl” to put a slogan that students
can tell themselves to alleviate
their anxiety a little. Before we
spout out random sayings, let’s
ask ourselves this: how do you combat
fear? Yes, you.

STUDENT 1:
I go party.

PERSEPHONE:
Well, that won’t work all the time
since you cannot party twenty-four
seven. And yes, alcohol does loosen
your inhibitions, but if you drink
too much, you could get alcohol
poisoning. Anyone else?

STUDENT 2:
I tell myself that God has a plan
for me and I should trust His
judgment.

PERSEPHONE:
That’s good, but not everyone is
religious. What else?

STUDENT 3:
I just tell my nerves to screw
themselves ‘cause I won’t be held
back!

STUDENT 4:
I eat a lot of junk food.

STUDENT 5:
I look at porn. Once I’m in that
zone, I forget everything else.

CHAD :
I ask myself, “Is this a rational
fear?” Also, I locate the fear’s
source.

PERSEPHONE:
All good. How about you, Anielle?
I heard about that earthquake in
your dorm. How did you get through it?

ANIELLE:
Umm…I dunno. I had more important
things to worry about.

PERSEPHONE:
Okay, all good. Think about this
and bring back slogan ideas.
Class dismissed.

Everyone leaves. Persephone stops Anielle.

PERSEPHONE:
Anielle, are you enjoying your
business classes?

ANIELLE:
They’re a bit tedious, but when
I take over my father’s broomstick
company, it’ll be different.

PERSEPHONE:
Not really. You get good grades,
but I can see that your heart is
not really in it. Have you
considered other careers?

ANIELLE:
If I changed careers, my dad will
stop paying for school.

PERSEPHONE:
There are other options for paying
for your education. Right now, you
got to decide between what’s safe
and familiar versus what will make
you happy. I recommend the latter.
You should know businesses take
risks all the time. Sometimes it
doesn’t work out, but most of the
time they end up okay. It’s important
to seize opportunities when they come
up, or you’ll regret it the rest of
your life.

ANIELLE:
I’ll think about it…

Anielle leaves, deep in thought.