The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Chapter 14

With one last thread of hope lingering in her voice, Lisa asked Delron, “Was he, like, a nice judge who tried to save the innocent victims and put a stop to that madness?” She clasped her hands together and prayed for this to be the scenario! She didn’t think she could have handled it if he condemned guiltless individuals to an unjust demise!

Shaking his head sadly, Delron answered her, “Melas didn’t have any judges like that! And unfortunately, Judge Basset was the most senior member of the court, so he made most of the rulings in those trials!”

“My ancestor sent dozens of people to their death, and none of them deserved it!” Lisa sunk into one of the chairs by her kitchen table. Her mind had trouble absorbing this fact, it just didn’t seem real! She had always believed that she came from a long line of honorable citizens, and until the present instance, she saw no evidence to contradict that! How could so many benevolent men and women have come from that vile monster?

“Twenty five to be precise. A hundred fifty more were awaiting trial for witchcraft, but they got saved when the governor intervened after someone accused his wife.” Delron espied the appalled expression on Lisa’s face, and he apologized, “Sorry! I know this can’t be easy for you, but don’t let this change anything! Humans have roamed this earth for thousands of years, so odds are we all have an ancestor who committed a heinous act!”

Lisa countered, “But how many folks have a relative who destroyed as many lives as mine?”

Delron argued, “Not a lot, but a few out there have descended from worse! Cruel dictators, mass murderers…”

“Tell that to the vengeful ghost! I’m sure she’ll lay off when she realizes that the man who sealed her fate isn’t the most evil person in the history of the globe!” Lisa caught a glimpse of herself in a spoon, and she recalled how the spirit revealed to her that she had the judge’s eyes, which prompted her to push her reflection out of her vision! She didn’t know how she would ever cope with viewing an image of herself ever again! She couldn’t blame the essence for harboring such acrimony over the matter! If she had gone through an unjust execution like that, she would have become beyond angry too! That point addressed another aspect of the issue too… “So, this ghost is getting revenge for the witchcraft trials?”

“It would seem so,” Delron confirmed. Lisa buried her face into her palms, so he tried to console her, “But the good news is we can narrow down who the ghost is from the twenty five victims of that period! If we can identify her , maybe we can find some clues to stop her from hurting anyone else!” Lisa appeared unmoved by his articulation, so he offered, “I can do some research on my own if you’d like! I’ll show you tomorrow, ‘kay?” Lisa shifted her hands, but she didn’t respond to him, so he pat her wrist as he exited her home.

Once she was alone, Lisa found herself wishing she had that he stayed- she felt as though she couldn’t trust herself! Did any of the judge’s inklings get passed on to his descendents? Her muscles grew numb, and she didn’t feel confident she could regain the strength to carry on! How could she knowing what she knew? How could she fight that apparition when she had a valid reason for her hostility? Her ex’s fans accused her of being a terrible person- maybe they were right! Maybe she wasn’t worthy of taking the lead on saving this town…

All of a sudden, she felt a familiar force brush by her ankles! “Hester?” The cat’s form manifested by her kitchen! “You forgave me? How could you? I’m awful!” Hester mewed sympathetically prior to her disappearance. She disliked that early departure, and she stared at the spot she stood in hoping that she would return! After a few seconds, she noticed the nearby trash can, which had her juice-soaked clothes sticking out of it. She remembered how many bystanders could have gotten seriously hurt from that incident, and she recognized the importance of collecting herself in that moment! She wasn’t like the judge, she wasn’t going to allow the blameless to suffer! She decided to get her thoughts back in line by grabbing her purse and heading out!

Underneath a sign that said, “Welcome to Shade’s Thrift Shop,” Lisa saw that the red tagged items were half off, and she took a mental note of this as she went into the women’s shirts. Every once in a while, Lisa glanced up to gauge what the others were wearing in order to finalize her choices. She could discern that several of them were gossiping about her, but she ignored it because this outing’s purpose was to relax her thoughts, and she had no desire to boggle her brain with whatever claptrap they might have been discussing! Besides, constant whispering had become background noise to her! She pondered whether or not this normalization boded well for her mental health, but she figured that when her outfits blended in and, more importantly, when she defeated the great evil that plagued this region, she would hear a lot less rumors about herself!

When she got to the women’s pants, she detected someone staring at her from the corner of her eye, which struck her as unusual since most of her neighbors would take a quick peek and move on. She couldn’t comprehend why anyone would fix their stare on her like that, so she turned herself in their direction to determine their motive. She expected somebody sinister, but to her surprise, he was rather handsome! Not as good-looking as Adam, but he was still someone that allured her! Well, for a minute anyways… She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but there was something off about him! He had smoldering eyes, but they ogled her in a fashion that one might use when zeroing in on their prey! He also seemed more well-dressed than the normal etiquette for a typical second-hand store shopper! She deemed it necessary to go get in line and dodge whatever advancement he intended for her!

While she waited in the queue, a deep, raspy man behind her spoke, “You’re Lisa, aren’t you?”

Lisa spun around and cringed to learn that the well-dressed man took a position close to her! She probed, “How’d you know my name?”

“You’re the one everyone is talking about,” the man pointed out. “Must be nice to have reached celebrity status, huh?”

“My ex is a celebrity, and his fame didn’ interest me whatsoever!” Lisa asserted. “I was actually kinda hoping he’d take more time off and we could get a cozy home in the country… just the two of us…”

The man conversed, “I was only joking! It’s gotta make you mad to constantly get treated like that!”

It stunned Lisa to receive this empathetic observation from him! Not a lot of citizens in Melas showed her any kindness, and it felt quite refreshing to get support! She began to consider that perhaps she had misjudged him. “Yeah, of course! It got old real fast!”

“What are you gonna do about it?” the man inquired.

“Uh…” She certainly couldn’t reveal her actual plan, so she hatched up another plausible explanation, “I’m just gonna do what I can to get ahead and show them that they didn’t get to me.”

The man pressed her, “What do you plan to do to get ahead?”

Something about his timbre altered, and Lisa got the vibe of a slick salesperson coming off of him! She privately urged the individual ahead of her to go faster so she could get out of this interaction! “I wanna continue improving at my job in the library, and then I’ll work on making a few friends.”

“That’s it?” the man puzzled.

“What more could there be?” Lisa shot back.

The man interrogated her, “Don’t you want to make them pay for what they’ve done to you?”

Lisa didn’t like where this conversation was heading! She had no clue what he meant for her to inflict upon her wrongdoers, and, quite frankly, she didn’t want to know! She wasn’t positive on how to reply to this man, but luckily for her, the cashier became free! She rapidly relayed to him, “I don’t wanna make them pay! All I wanna do is pay for my clothing! Excuse me!”

She assumed that she had successfully broken away from this freaky dude, but to her dread, the cashier posed to her, “Will you be paying together or separately?”

“Separately,” the man informed her. As she rang Lisa’s garments up, the man catechized, “So, you don’t have any desire to get vengeance of any sort?”

“No!” Lisa insisted. She hated confrontations, but she was more than willing to tell this jerk off! She built up the necessary steam to do so, but then she caught a glimpse of his pending purchase- an array of glass bottles like the ones that JT acted so protective over! Clearly, those bottles carried some kind of significance, and she now had the opportunity to discover exactly what that may have been! “What are those for?”

The man glanced down at them as though he forgot they were in his possession, and he hurriedly explained, “The witching bottles? They’re protection against dark spirits. They won’t help you get vindication against the rumor-mongers though!”

Lisa stamped her foot in frustration! “I don’t want to do that! Will you please-?”

“You’re lying!” the man accused. “I saw a strange haze hovering over this place before I came in, and my buddy, Marshal, said it was there this morning by JT’s home! You’re planning something, aren’t you?”

“Did you say that…?” Lisa’s veins coursed with fright! She visited this establishment to gain peace, and instead, she would have to fight a paranormal battle! The cashier handed her a couple of bags, but she couldn’t complete her transaction without verifying the accuracy of his claim! If he was giving her the truth, then she didn’t deem it prudent to evacuate the area! Most people wouldn’t fabricate a statement like that! But, then again, he was comrades with that conniving sheriff, so it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility for him to practice deception… “Marshal and you are close, huh?”

As the cashier rang him up, he substantiated that, “We’re best friends personally and professionally! Ezekiel Bibber, attorney at law, at your service!”

Ezekiel handed her a business card, and Lisa scoffed at that gesture. “I’ll pass!”

Lisa marched towards the exit, but Ezekiel shouted after her, “Start searching for a decent defense lawyer! I have a feeling you’ll need one soon!”

She chose not to react to that as she reached the entrance to the outside, and she crossed her fingers that he wouldn’t follow her so she could authenticate his account on the mist! To her shock, the door wouldn’t budge! She furrowed her brows, but she didn’t have a second to spare! If the malevolent phantom had honestly picked this building to haunt, she had to move urgently! She swiveled around in order to use another means of leaving, and Ezekiel leered, “You’re gonna attack us, aren’t you?”

Prior to her ability to deny that allegation, a woman from the other side of the facility yelled, “I can’t get out!”

“This door’s jammed too!” a second lady declared.

“What’s going on?” the cashier fretted.

Ezekiel virulently broadcasted to everyone, “She’s punishing us for all ‘cause I offended her!”

Lisa refuted, “That’s not true!” It didn’t seem like anybody believed her, but it was difficult to verify that since the entire space proceeded to fill with smoke…

The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Chapter 5

“What’s happening?” Lisa nervously eyeballed the vicinity, but she couldn’t identify anything that would cause Delron to panic as much as he did, so she was left udderly addled.

“Whatever you do, never touch the Proctor Bible!” Delron vehemently stressed to Lisa.

As Delron dug through some drawers underneath a cash register, Lisa furrowed her brows over his cryptic warning. She couldn’t comprehend the motive behind this high degree of alertness until she recalled the tour she did with Melanie, and then she apologized, “Oh, I’m sorry! I forgot that the boss told me not to touch anything from the historical collection without gloves!” As she studied it, the book didn’t seem so delicate to her, but it did appear at least three hundred years old, so she thought perhaps the oil from her skin might have damaged it, which made her feel somewhat guilty about her lack of discretion.

After slipping on a pair of rubber mitts, Delron filled her in, “Yes, it’s important to handle the antiques with care, but this one is different. You couldn’t destroy it if you tried! And believe me, a lot of people did try!”

“If it’s so hard to destroy it, then why do I have to be so careful with it?” Lisa asked with her befuddlement renewed once more.

“Because…” Delron hesitated before answering. He mulled it over for a moment, and then he concluded, “Well, you’re gonna find out sooner or later, so I’ll have to tell you… That tome is cursed!”

Lisa grimaced in a slight agitation. Just when she reckoned that she finally met a normal person in this town, he sprung that on her! She skeptically questioned him, “Cursed? Really?”

Delron pulled out an ancient-looking wooden box with a lock keeping it closed, and he flipped it over to the bottom where old words were etched. “See for yourself.”

“Do not touch this vessel with thine flesh lest ye wish to unleash a deadly wraith,” Lisa read out loud. That definitely sounded ominous, but something didn’t make sense to her… “If we’re not supposed to handle it, how did it wind up in the book drop?”

“It keeps turning up in different places to try and trick us into contact with it!” Delron spelled out. “Sometimes it shows up in large piles, and other times, it appears in spots where we may lay our hands. Watch out for what you come into contact with around here- it can manifest anywhere!”

Lisa inquired, “But who’s putting it there?”

Delron replied, “A ghost. No, seriously! This building is totally haunted!” Lisa’s face remained firm in skepticism, so he elucidated, “Have you experienced any cold chills or felt something brush against you when the room was empty?”

The truth of the matter was that she had, but she didn’t want to accept that as evidence of the paranormal! “There could be a lot of explanations for that stuff!”

“Seen any orbs?” Delron probed. “Any lights in your pictures that weren’t there with you?”

“I…” Lisa did think the glare in her photo of the river was odd, but it still seemed like a coincidence to her. “It was probably the flash! Or it could have been a reflection of-.”

Delron queried, “Did you hear any weird footsteps?”

Lisa reported to him, “I heard footsteps, but it wasn’t weird! Melanie left a note when she came in this morning, and it’s not unusual to hear a librarian come in an hour prior to opening!”

“You said you heard it around eight? Melanie didn’t come in ‘til about ten to nine,” Delron let her know.

“Ugh! Why do you gotta lie like that?” Lisa grumped.

Delron insisted, “No, really! She had a parent teacher conference at nine, and she wanted me to give you the note, but I was in the bathroom. She yelled a bit, but she’s saving more for later when she can spare a few minutes. You’ll see it occur, I swear!”

Lisa found this revelation somewhat daunting, but her mind still didn’t want to accept such a ludicrous idea- there had to be another explanation for all of these events! Still, she didn’t want to drive away the one person in Melas who acted kindly towards her, so she decided not to question it any further. Instead, she promised, “Alright, I’ll make sure not to touch that book.”

“Good!” Delron breathed a sigh of relief. He put the Proctor Bible away, and then he turned his attention to the computer above the till. “After the book drop, we check our delivery requests. It’s really easy- you find the books or movies they’ve requested, and then you bring it to them. This one wants season one through four of Thackery’s Adventures. You can see the children’s DVDs at the end of the first aisle.” Lisa went to the site he indicated to, and once she found them, Delron directed her, “Perfect! Now you can take them to the Ingerturn Gable.”

“What is that? A hotel?” Lisa puzzled.

Delron illuminated her, “No, it’s just a historic home. It’s super easy to get there- you just follow the alley across from the back gate all the way up.”

Lisa grew slightly nervous due to that instruction. “You’re not going with me?”

“I’d like to, but I’d have to shut down the library in order for both of us to leave, which I’ve had to do quite a bit when Melanie is out. Thank goodness you’re here!” Delron gave her a grateful smile, and she returned the gesture as she headed out the backdoor. She couldn’t remember the last instance where she felt truly appreciated, and that elated her enough to forget her nerves over this task as well as that ghastly ghost business!

“Ah-ha! I knew I saw a bike under here!” Lisa mumbled to herself as she went to the rear yard. Beneath the staircase leading out of her studio was a somewhat antiquated bicycle with a covered wagon attached behind it. It began to rain, so she put the videos in their enclosures and then tightened the hood on her jacket preceding her departure. She opened the gate, and she beheld an alleyway directly in front of her. It didn’t seem so spooky from this angle, and as she started pedaling, she crossed her fingers that it would stay like that!

To her surprise, the alley didn’t contain anything too sinister! The road was rather muddy in some parts, but otherwise, it was very peaceful! There were a lot of fences and walls to people’s properties, but it didn’t show signs of the people themselves. Its stillness made her feel at ease! At least it did until the path curved and went up a small hill! Lisa’s asthma kicked in, and as she huffed and puffed tremendously, she was glad no one was around to see her struggle! She pushed through this arduous feat though because she grew excited about meeting a new neighbor, and she envisioned herself making a friend on the other side of this ordeal! 

At the exit of this avenue, she espied a house that was as dark as coffee with several triangular eaves on it, and she presumed it to be old enough to identify it as the structure Delron referred to. She parked the bike by the stony driveway, and she opened up a rickety fence to get to the porch. She marveled at her surroundings- it bore the facade of a stereotypical haunted hovel, and yet, its form somehow inspired an iota of comfort to her! It was strange- it emitted an aura of familiarity as though she had been here previously…

Lisa could hear children loudly playing inside of the abode, and she hoped the customer would hear the doorbell when she rang it! The archaic chime boomed throughout the facility, and while it caused Lisa to jump, it didn’t seem to bother the youths at all! The entrance became ajar with unexpected speed, and a fairly disheveled woman approached her. “Is this the order for Marilyn Bell?”

“Yeah,” Lisa confirmed without total certainty. Delron didn’t give her the name of the patron, but based on his description, she assumed that she found the right individual. “Forgive me if I was slow! You see, I’m brand-.”

“Marcy! Get down from there!” Marilyn hollered. Without making eye contact with Lisa, she grabbed her cartoons and curtly stated, “Excuse me!” She slammed the door, and Lisa overheard her scolding her daughter in  a severe fashion. Lisa backed away, and as she vacated the premises, she absorbed the sting of disappointment from not earning a fresh acquaintance!

When Lisa returned to Brigfell, she beheld Delron on a ladder putting books onto a shelf. He swiveled his head around and checked in with her, “How did it go?”

She didn’t know how to summarize her odd interaction with Marilyn, but she wanted to assure him that she could handle the job, so she shrugged as casually as could. “It went fine I guess.”

“Were the kids super noisy?” Delron catechized.

“The noisiest! I can see why she got such a loud doorbell!” Lisa laughed.

Delron chuckled, “You’ll get to know our regulars fairly soon! They… have their quirks…”

Lisa tittered, but then his comment jogged her memory of a statement her cousin made to her. “So… like… Is the whole city sorta… quirky like that?”

“Pretty much! I think you have to have a penchant for the peculiar to live in an area like this!” Delron joked.

“Hey! I’m a new resident here, and… I can’t really defend myself against that!” Lisa chortled.

After they shared in some mirth, Delron informed her, “I’m gonna make the next delivery. You can finish shelving these. Don’t worry, it’s simple- fiction is shelved alphabetically.”

As he prepared to take off, Lisa grew slightly anxious. “What if someone comes in to borrow a book?”

Delron responded, “Oh! I suppose it’s possible! Well, if that happens, call me! I’m two on the speed dial.” He waved goodbye and embarked on his errand. Lisa gathered that in-person clients were rare before commencing in her assignment.

Lisa found this project uncomplicated and reasonably enjoyable. She initially fretted about not interacting with the public, but she found that she relished the silence! It had a soothing effect, and she savored the chance to detox from all of the stress she endured lately! In the midst of her requiescence, she heard her phone sound off. She chose to ignore it as well as the next one, but soon, her device pinged her more and more! When it got to the point of ridiculousness, she irately paused her pursuit and glanced at her cell. When she learned what was causing the heightened activity, her jaw dropped…

She got tagged in several social media posts, and none of them were very flattering towards her! They labeled as crazy and a liar, and Lisa couldn’t comprehend their motivation for doing so until somebody mentioned her monstrous behavior towards Tommy Dane… She readily located an article about his recent comments, and apparently, a reporter pressed Tommy about the outburst at his proposal concert, which prompted Tommy to characterize her as a jealous fan attempting to ruin his shot at happiness! Blinding rage flowed through her veins and coursed  throughout her entire body! How could he? She was leaving him alone, why couldn’t he have given her the same courtesy? He had so many fortunate assets around him, so why did he have to focus on her instead of them? Why did he have to continue to humiliate her?

Once she switched off the notifications for these apps, she returned to her original agenda but with far more venom in this instance! Lisa seriously weighed whether or not to post pictures of them doing romantic activities together, but then she theorized that his followers likely accuse her of faking those photos. She felt so powerless to stop him, and she desperately wished for the means to get even with him! He needed to get punished for his cruelty! All of a sudden, she felt warmth below the publication in her hand! She gazed at it curiously, and her eyes went wide with terror when she recognized how gravely she messed up…

The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Chapter 3

As soon as Lisa stepped off of the bus, a woman with a scraggly, gray wig and dark, tattered clothes stuck her long, warty nose within inches of Lisa’s face and froggily greeted her, “Welcome to Melas! Explore my streets… if you dare!”

Once the witchy figure finished cackling, Lisa pointed out, “You know, they never caught any actual witches, don’t you? How dangerous could the streets be from innocent victims?”

“Boy, you’re a delight!” the witchy figure muttered in a slightly more masculine voice. “If you’re not into the festivities, why did you come here?”

“I live here now,” Lisa conveyed to them.

The witchy figure frowned considerably at this notion, and they dryly bade her, “See you around, neighbor!”

As Lisa walked away from that scene, she said to herself, “I’m off to a great start!”

While the witchy figure gave salutations to another person in their periphery, Lisa soaked in the scenery. She espied a blocky, gray building that had a silver-lettered sign with the words “Bayside Estates” etched on it, and while it certainly had a view of the ocean down a small hill, Lisa wondered why they put this institution by a bus depot rather than the water! She found it slightly odd, especially since it labeled itself as luxury condominiums! It gave off a cold vibe, and she questioned why well-off individuals would want to spend their money there! She suspected something off about this site, but when she recalled how her cousin described most of the citizens of this district as strange, she shrugged off any leeriness she had and determinedly aspired to prove both of their first impressions of Melas wrong!

Once she passed the obstruction of Bayside Estates, she beheld a long, cobblestone road with a variety of Colonial Tudor construction. The pictures she had previously viewed of Melas’ downtown area looked much more clean, but in reality, the avenue’s stones seemed slightly uneven and often unmatching. The structure of the edifices appeared slightly unbalanced as though a transcendental force kept them from toppling over, and Lisa would have guessed that they were condemned if it weren’t for the scores of patrons popping in and out of the various businesses there! She couldn’t comprehend it, but she realized that she would simply have to get used to her new surroundings!

The boulevard was fairly quiet, which sort of relieved Lisa but also disturbed her- why wouldn’t the community socialize with each other? Living in quarters close to the tourists’ zone usually meant dealing with a lot of clamor on the main arteries, but not in this case! Many denizens chose to keep to themselves, and a lot of passersby avoided eye contact with one another! The few who chose to congregate talked in whispers or hushed tones! Lisa got perplexed by this until she caught someone telling her friend, “Do you see that flashy outfit? Who does she think she is?” Lisa gazed down at her garments, and she didn’t esteem that her pick of attire was so egregious until she studied everyone else’s outfits. Most people wore neutral shades, and the handful who dared to sport a bit of color donned soft hues. Lisa’s bright fabrics definitely stood out! It disheartened her to perceive that she may need a totally new wardrobe, but with how little she possessed at the moment, she convinced herself that she would have had to do this anyways, so perhaps it was for the best.

She came to a fork in the road that stemmed from a town square, and an ancient architecture loomed over the entire plaza. It had a large plaque indicating that it was the old city hall! It left Lisa awestruck to envision the corrupt trials that led to the unjust executions of the Puritan era, and although she read that their sentences were carried out elsewhere, this epicenter’s shady wood radiated their pain and anguish! A glum mood began to overtake Lisa, but when she remembered the eerie phenomena that supposedly occurred within these borders, she purposefully cast that sentiment out of her mind and moved on! 

The right path had a much more inviting appeal than its counterpart! Its bustling shops brimmed with cordial folks, and the sun radiated over the rooftops. A scarcity of stragglers trudged through the left, and shadows cascaded throughout the thoroughfare! Lisa would have loved to have sought the comfort the right path suggested it had, but her new home laid on the left, so she peeled her eyes off of the ulterior boundary and convinced herself the quiet darkness appealed to her!

The further down she went, the rarer it became to spot anybody milling about! She theorized that perhaps the influx of visitors ebbed and flowed like the salty brine. Speaking of the shore, Lisa discovered that this terrain edged by the sea! She could smell the salty mist and hear the crashing waves, and she couldn’t grasp why more Massachusetts tourists didn’t frequent this locale! She could see a tuft of grass next door to her destination, and she assumed it stemmed from an adjacent park. It baffled her as to why the region had been so readily abandoned, but she reckoned that it may prove advantageous to her to have this gem remain clandestine- she could keep this secret all to herself!

Lisa turned to Brigfell Library, and she could hardly believe that this place existed in real life! Its lofty height coupled with the outlandish layout of the trim gave it more of a cartoonish facade! It reminded her of a drawing she created in her childhood depicting a fairytale cottage, and a part of her felt positive that entering the facility would instigate the wrath of a wicked sorceress or something! She could only imagine Lydia seeing this establishment- she would have begged her not to set a single toe into a house that probably harbored a multitude of apparitions! With the defiant mindset of proving her viewpoint as incorrect, Lisa went inside!

Immediately, Lisa felt something brush past her legs! Fearing that she had accidentally released someone’s pet, she stuck her head out of the door and cried out, “Psst! Hey! Get over here!”

“Most people start with hello!” an unamused female from behind her chided Lisa.

“Sorry! I think I might’ve let an animal out!” Lisa apologized.

Upon facing the lady, Lisa raised her eyebrows in a slight shock! She sounded so nice over the phone, but this lady gave off the distinct perception of antagonistic venom! Her fierce frown made her round head appear almost sharp, and her glasses only magnified the contemptuous stare she emitted. Her rigid stance made her plump body look anything but soft, and her curly locks practically melded into her charcoal dress! Lisa speculated that her previous vision of trespassing onto a villainous chamber may not have strayed far from the truth, and she scolded herself for not giving her new boss more of a chance! The lady furrowed her brows at Lisa, and she stated, “I don’t have any animals! I’m actually allergic to cats!”

Lisa puzzled, “Really? I could have sworn…” She glanced out of the window, and she didn’t see any hints of furry creatures running around, so she pondered what else could have possibly manufactured that sensation…

“Ahem… You must be my new assistant!” She shifted her timbre to a more falsely sugary inflection and jovially extended her hand to Lisa. “I’m Miss Romero, but feel free to call me Melanie!”

“Nice to meet you… Melanie!” Lisa shook her hand, and she strove not to wince as she touched Melanie’s icy palms! Lisa had never handled a corpse before, but the clammy texture of Melanie’s skin was exactly how she would have thought it to feel!

Melanie smiled at her, which somehow rendered her more intimidating! “It’s a pleasure to meet you! Let me give you a tour!”

Lisa was so preoccupied by the non-existent critter escaping that she failed to notice the unusual arrangement of this space! The public’s sphere was circular, and a small maze contained shelves that were at least ten feet high! As Lisa marveled over this oddity, Melanie explained, “This is where we store most of our books! There isn’t square footage to expand out, so we went up! Don’t worry, we have ladders!” She tapped on an old but sturdy set of steps that attached to rollers and a rod that encompassed the entire labyrinth.

“Do customers ever fall off of those things?” Lisa inquired as she ogled its massive altitude.

“Actually, most of our clients prefer to have their titles delivered,” Melanie replied.

Lisa’s optimism deflated when she received this information. “Deliveries? Oh, um, I don’t have a car…”

Melanie assured her, “That’s fine! I have a bike for you to use. Your new coworker, Delron, has a car, but he prefers to use the bike ‘cause it’s easier to peddle through the alleyways than it is to fight through traffic!” Lisa felt a rush of relief, but this jubilation got subsided as her curiosity tried to forecast how maintained these alleys were. She sincerely hoped that they weren’t as daunting as the ones she watched in movies…

“Over here is our RAH section!” Melanie had gone on without Lisa knowing it! Lisa scurried to catch up to her as Melanie continued, “RAH stands for rare and historical. If you handle anything over fifty years old, it’s absolutely imperative that you wear gloves!”

“Alright,” Lisa acquiesced. She kept her internal interrogation of why she had such a high emphasis on that rule to herself- it seemed weird, but she didn’t want to enhance any bad opinions that Melanie may have gotten about her already by acting too nosily or something!

Melanie gestured to a region by this glass case, and she spelled out, “Here’s our reading lounge. It hardly ever gets used, so make sure to dust it every once in a while.”

Lisa got entranced by this setup! A couple of plush, leather couches and chairs gathered around an antique fireplace, and a large window gave this nook a breathtaking scope of a waving river, a lush field, and even a bit of the Atlantic! Lisa’s heart skipped at these accommodations, and she couldn’t wait until she could peruse through a pleasant novel over there! One aspect of this arrangement mystified her though… “How could anyone opt to get their books delivered when this cozy corner exists?”

“Well, because of the graveyard, of course!” Melanie responded in a fashion that attempted to hide her obvious condescension on the issue.

“Graveyard?” Lisa’s face contorted into an expression of confusion. She had not come across any graveyards, and yet Melanie had uttered that in a manner that indicated that it should have been plain for her to see! She didn’t want to further Melanie’s probable belief of Lisa not having as much sanity as she did during her interview, so she studied the scene outside to discover what she was referring to. It suddenly dawned on her that the acreage she hypothesized to be a park got utilized for another purpose entirely… “Oh, yeah! That!”

Melanie knowledgeably briefed her, “The Corigiles Cemetery is one of the oldest graveyards in the country! Some of the original inhabitants of Melas are buried there…” Lisa glanced at it with more profoundness. If that property dated back to the sixteen hundreds, then that meant the witchcraft victims were likely beneath those tombstones! The momentous event that birthed this municipality’s spooky reputation ended within feet of where she now stood! Melanie tentatively asked her, “Does… Does this scare you off?”

If her cousin was present, she would have most definitely advised her to run and never return! Lisa had no intention of adhering to that apprehension though! The concept of residing next to the catacombs and coffins was gloomy, but she was determined not to allow it to daunt her! She firmly answered, “Not at all!”

After breathing an exhale of alleviation, Melanie articulated, “Good! Then there’s one more piece of matter we gotta go over…” Melanie approached the fireplace and tugged on a decorative candlestick. Lisa found this action sort of bizarre until the wall opened up…

The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Chapter 1

With slightly shaking hands, she struck a match. Success! She carried the small flame to a black, Halloween candle, which felt sort of odd to her. Yes, obviously, a candle’s purpose is to light up whatever space they occupy, but she originally bought that solely for decoration! Her boyfriend didn’t care for any festive embellishments, but she liked to bring out a couple of small things whenever he was working. Now she could only pray that wax didn’t drip out and blow her secret…

Lightning cracked unexpectedly, and this abrupt cacophony caused her to drop the taper! She groaned, and as she picked it up, she admonished herself for getting so frightened! It wasn’t as though she had never experienced a blackout before! Plus, the gray skies and howling wind made for the perfect atmosphere during this spooky season, so she reasoned that she should have been enjoying this spectacle, and yet she wasn’t! As she gazed out of her large, penthouse window, she couldn’t rid herself of these nerves! She wasn’t sure if it stemmed from the deserted street of a normally bustling downtown area or if it was the somewhat human reverberations that emanated from the forceful gale, but something felt different that night! The air had the aura of a climatic horror movie scene, and nothing she could say to herself would convince her anxious brain that disaster was not near…

Suddenly, the lights flickered back on, which made her jump! Wasn’t this the outcome she wanted? She tiptoed across her posh living room, and after a visual scan of the terrain, she determined that everything was exactly as it had been preceding this dark experience- so why did it seem as though it had gotten tampered with? She glanced into an ornate mirror that hung on the wall by their bedroom, and her pale, beige skin had somehow become even paler, and her golden-brown irises were surrounded by red lines. Her deep brown hair appeared to have lost some of its luster, and her hunched over posture gave her already thick curves a more round shape. She felt shocked by seeing how much this had affected her! Especially since absolutely no ounce of logic supported her apprehension! She decided to ignore her heebie-jeebies and take more practical steps in this matter!

She picked up her cellphone, but its battery had died. She intended to plug it into the charger by the kitchen’s island when she heard a loud crash outside! She ran back to the window, and she discerned that it came from the direction of the stadium! Now she had a more valid motive to panic! The person she cared about more than anyone else in the world was slated to perform there that night! She grabbed her jacket and dashed out the door! If she couldn’t call him, she was going to check on him in the flesh!

When she got to the arena, she could see the clamor she witnessed had merely been from a billboard falling down! No one had sustained any injuries, and they were still allowing patrons into the venue1 Phew! She was tempted to return to her apartment to take care of business, but her feet wanted to continue on to the concert. She didn’t know why, she had seen him and his bandmates perform a million times, but she figured it couldn’t hurt to give him a quick visit. So, with a shrug, she headed to the megaplex.

She walked over to a backstage entrance, and a burly security guard blocked her admittance. “It’s okay- I’m Tommy Dane’s girlfriend!” she asserted.

“Psh! Do you know how many girls tell me that?” he dismissively responded to her.

“No, it’s true! See?” She held up her device’s case, which depicted her getting kissed on the cheek by a dashing man with a flowy, sable mane, navy eyes, and a trim, well-dressed body, and it stunned the security guard to get this verification! “Can you let him know that Lisa Basset is here?”

He rather reluctantly spoke into a small speaker, “Uh, Mister Bane, Miss Bassett wants to see you.” He listened to a reply, and then he reported to Lisa, “He says to enjoy the show, and he’ll talk to you afterwards.” He handed her a ticket, which puzzled her a bit. Eventually, she reached the conclusion that he was simply busy, and she resolved to watch the performance in peace.

The concert actually turned out to be a fairly fun venture! All of the songs were painfully familiar, but the band seemed extra enthusiastic about it, especially Tommy! Tommy brought a lot of energy into this performance, and the crowd really absorbed it and went wild! Lisa had enough fun that she almost forgot about the trepidation she endured earlier! It was a weird day, but it ended well! Or so she thought…

Once the attendees settled down from the final song, Tommy set down his guitar and took the microphone. This move piqued Lisa’s curiosity- Tommy always held an instrument while he sang because he couldn’t dance to save his life! What was happening? “Thank you, Botwulfshire! This audience means so much to me, every one of you! But someone here is more special to me than anyone else in the world…” Lisa’s heard rose up to her throat! If he was mentioning her, it could only mean one thing… “Now, you know I like to keep my private life, well, private, but I’ve realized I met the woman I wanna spend the rest of my life with, and I want the entire planet to know it!” Her pulse skyrocketed! After three years together, they had certainly discussed the possibility of getting married, but she had no clue he’d pick tonight to put them on the road to the wedding aisle! “Baby, come up here!”

Lisa bolted up immediately, but prior to her setting one foot towards the stage, Tommy addressed her, “No, not you, ma’am! I appreciate the support though!” Lisa’s spirits plummeted from this rejection! Did he just call her ma’am? She could not fathom  good grounds behind this move! Was it a cruel joke? She couldn’t comprehend why he would have wanted to wound her in such a callous manner! A blonde woman closer to the front stood up, and Tommy beamed at her. “Come here, my love!” Lisa’s mind reeled- this couldn’t be occurring! Tommy loved her and only her, he’s made this clear! Who was this chick? The woman took an awkward stance next to Tommy, and Tommy romantically regarded her, “Annie, I want you to be my wife!” He got down on one knee…

“You bastard!” Lisa bellowed. Everyone swiveled their heads to face her, but she could hardly pay attention to them at a juncture like this! The shock hit her like a freight train, and anger over his betrayal made her blood boil! It probably wouldn’t have stung so much if she saw any sign of an imminent breakup, but she had the impression that they were happy together! And he chose to end things by popping the question to somebody else while she watched? She never pictured him acting in such a sadistic fashion, and now that he had, white hot rage surfaced, and all she wanted to do was tear him apart! 

“Security!” Tommy motioned to some of the guards stationed in her vicinity.

Lisa was filled with too much animosity to go down without a fight! As the guards seized her, she vehemently shouted, “How dare you! After three years, you owe me an explanation!”

Tommy grimaced, and then he snidely snickered to his spectators, “Yikes! I didn’t know a crazy person would ruin my big moment!”

“I’m crazy? You’re gonna act like I’m crazy! You’re the one who-!” Lisa strove to counter that.

“Go home, crazy lady! Go home!” the throng erupted in a chant, and as she got dragged out, they heckled her! Some of them even threw trash at her! She couldn’t wrap her brain around this! Not only did he dump her in a completely vile style, but he had to humiliate her too? Lisa fell limp as they went into the unlit halls of the exit, and she wasn’t certain what to do next!
Later that day, the front door slowly creaked open, and Tommy crept into the pitch black foyer. He cautiously switched on the light, and he was instantly greeted with a pillow violently flying in his vicinity! He ducked, and it hit a decorative vase on a small table by the entryway. A second pillow nailed him in the stomach, and he grunted, “I deserved that!”

Lisa irately agreed, “You’re damn right you do! I gave you everything for over three years, and this is how you repay me?”

“I can explain!” Tommy claimed. Lisa folded her arms in utter disbelief of this statement, but she did not object, so Tommy went on, “My publicist said that sales on our albums went down ‘cause people are over this forty yeard old bachelor thing, and the paparazzi already caught me with her. It had to be her or else everyone would think I’m a cheater!”

“They should think that ‘cause you are!” Lisa yelled. “How could you cheat on me?”

Tommy confessed, “Actually, I cheated on her. I met her four years ago.” Lisa took a second to absorb this fact, and then Tommy apologized, “I’m sorry! I should have told you sooner, but I knew you’d dump me if you knew the reality of the situation! I didn’t wanna lose you…”

Lisa growled, “So, you imagined that I’d be fine with seeing you propose to another girl?”

“I didn’t know you were gonna see the show!” Tommy contended. “I was gonna have a chat with you later, but this seemed a little easier. But now that the cat’s out of the bag, we’ll have to take extra precautions when we go out together….”

“What do you mean ‘when we’re out together?’ You still wanna see me while you’re making plans to marry someone else?” Lisa wondered.

Tommy assured her, “Of course! She’ll be my spouse, but you’ll always be my lady!”

He amorously grabbed her waist, and she pushed him away. “You can’t be serious!” Lisa shrieked. “You want me to spend the rest of my life being your secret mistress? I’d never get to proudly walk arm in arm with my man, I could only hide in the shadows whenever we go out! And… what? If anyone spots us together, I’d have pretend to be your sister or something?”

“Well, since I had to pretend you were a nutty fan today, you’ll have to change your appearance slightly so we can pull that off. Dye your hair, maybe wear colored contacts too,” Tommy instructed. Lisa marched into the bedroom, and when Tommy beheld her taking out a large suitcase, he inquired, “Where are you going?”

Lisa resolutely replied, “Away from here! And I’m not coming back!”

Tommy scoffed, “Where are you gonna go? You relied on my income to survive! The food, the furniture, the utilities, that all came from me! You have nothing to live off of! Your entire existence revolves around me- you can’t go far on your own!”

With her luggage stuffed with as many essentials as possible, Lisa snapped the lid shut, looked Tommy straight into his eyes, and retorted, “Watch me!”

She stormed out of their home without glancing back at him! She didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of viewing the tears currently rolling down her cheeks! She assumed that he would chase after her, but he didn’t. She interpreted this as him waiting for her to turn around and go crawling back, but she was determined not to give him that victory! She sped towards the elevator, but then a strange silhouette forced her to slow her gait! It appeared to have been a very tall female with a raggedy attire and an unusually pointed hat. She recalled the eerie sensation she went through earlier, and she approached the individual with absolute caution! Was this the proponent of the malevolence that befell her this evening? The circumstances were so out of the ordinary that a sinister force might have played a role in what transpired! She took a deep breath and caught sight of the culprit, and it proved to be a mere cardboard cutout of a witch advertising the complex’s upcoming events! She admonished herself for getting so easily fooled, and she cast all of that supernatural nonsense out of her imagination as she stepped inside of the shaft and dialed a number on her phone…

The Hessian, Chapter 5

“You’re asking me what to do in the future, and I’m still trying to comprehend what happened in the past!” Clarissa sunk into the bedside chair previously occupied by the doctor and relived the events from earlier that day. “I just can’t believe he came back! Once he was executed, I assumed that I would never see him again…”

            “Who is he?” Kenneth inquired. He suddenly recalled her prior nervousness upon the subject of his military adversaries, so he added, “Was that… Was he a Hessian?”

            Clarissa had to close her eyes and steel herself up in order to reply to him. After she had braced herself for this juncture, she revealed, “Colfrith had many merchants coming to purchase lumber from C.C. Asher Mill, but none of the regular clients ever became a part of the community except for Alastor Derstreich. He rubbed elbows with the town’s most elite members, and he charmed everyone he talked to. He became the most celebrated person in the village other than Cornelius Cole, the mill owner and governmental representative, or my late husband, Brenner! About a month ago, while Alastor was speaking to Brenner, a piece of paper slipped out of his pocket. It turned out to be an envelope that prominently displayed the Hessian seal! Everyone knew that no patriot would possess such a document, and he never denied the accusation that he was a spy! The hurt from this betrayal brought everyone’s vitriol to his hanging, and he vowed to unleash vengeance on us all from beyond the grave…”

            Kenneth asserted, “Well, that explains the motives behind that specter’s attack! But it doesn’t explain why that physician determined that my disclosure of this event signified that I had lost touch with reality! I couldn’t have been the Hessian’s first victim!”

            “No, you weren’t! After Alastor’s death, a lot of strange things started happening…” Clarissa narrated. “People heard music that wasn’t there. Random individuals would wander down Hallow’s Alley and have no recollection on how they got to that location. So much pain and so many ailments surfaced that no one could trace their origins to! Multiple neighbors got consumed by anger and hatred, and then a lot simply felt nothing whatsoever! Everyone could tell some abnormal force had taken over the area, but nobody believed that Alastor’s spirit was the culprit behind it all!”

            “Why not?” Kenneth puzzled. “He threatened to enact revenge after his demise, and then these inexplicable episodes began to frequently occur, so logically, wouldn’t the blame get cast on him?”

            Clarissa somewhat bitterly responded, “It would be if logic was the principal guiding most of their decisions! For one brief night, everybody was united by the outrage from a beloved figure’s double-crossing, but then some started to question the facts surrounding the incident. They no longer found it natural for somebody so well admired to suddenly turn on his allies like that. They were convinced that a supernatural commodity played a role in swaying his mind to commit such an atrocity! Then they treated that theory as truth when Brenner perished in a mysterious manner…”

            Kenneth cried out in disbelief, “They believe you cursed the region? How could they think you would benefit from damning the district that you rely on to function in your own life?”

            “I don’t know if they actually attached a valid reason other than pure evil and control. At least when it came to terrorizing them! They’re certain that I killed Brenner to gain control of the inn! They didn’t understand that I was always in control of The Leafy Taverne, just not on a legal basis! Once he passed, not a single soul could fathom why I didn’t pass the reins over to a man! We never had any children, so there were no sons to inherit it. And I refused to sell it to Oceanus Montgomery or Cornelius Cole or any other male with a large purse for that matter! Apparently, I’m skilamalink for not wanting to let this place go!” Clarissa looked away and sadly sighed.

            “Did you love him?” Kenneth probed.

            Clarissa’s head instantly whipped back towards him upon hearing that enquiry! “Who? Cornelius?”

            Trying his hardest not to make her feel foolish, Kenneth clarified, “I meant Brenner…”

            “Oh!” Clarissa blushed furiously from the topic he raised. “No one has ever brought that up before! Not even Brenner!”

            “I’m sorry for making you uncomfortable!” Brenner apologized. “I merely guessed that perhaps you held on to this establishment so ardently because you didn’t want to let him go. I know I had some difficulty getting rid of some of my wife’s possessions after she succumbed to her illness, but a year or so later, one of my daughters wondered why I never wore any of my pretty dresses in the closet, so out they went!”

            Clarissa giggled at his quip, which brought a smile to Kenneth’s face. She then grew curious and queried him, “How many kids do you have?”

            Kenneth gladly filled her in, “Five. My youngest is ten now, and the oldest is sixteen. They’re all living with my mother while I fight in this war, although my son is considering joining a militia. I don’t know if I’m ready for him to-.” Suddenly, another gust of wind blew by and shook the entire building once more! The echoes of irate whispers sounded throughout the entire space, and their brief instance of levity vanished! Kenneth recalled their more serious discussion and then articulated, “Alright, so we have the spirit of a Hessian spy haunting this borough. How do we stop him?”

            “Alastor abandoned his assault on you because of this.” She displayed her cross necklace for him to view it more clearly. “Most of the citizens belonging to this township are low-waged sawmill employees, so not everyone can afford this sort of protection. So, I’m not sure…”

            “Your cross saved me? How close were you to my body?” Kenneth petitioned her.

            With her cheeks flushing furiously again, Clarissa divulged, “I was shielding you from his dark magic. I couldn’t help it! I wouldn’t have been able to stand it if I had to witness your murder! You didn’t deserve to die like that!”

            Kenneth riposted, “Neither did you though!”

            “You risk sacrificing yourself each time you do battle for resistance against tyranny! Am I not allowed to do the same for a resistance against the paranormal?” Clarissa challenged.

            “That’s your choice to make; I just hope I never put you in a position to make that sort of decision again!” Kenneth had expressed that very seriously, but he gave Clarissa a meaningful smile. For a second, Clarissa pondered if he was going to kiss her… The howling draft returned and instantly shifted their mood straight away from anything remotely pleasurable like that! It hovered around their abode, and then it abruptly veered south! “We have to warn everyone!”

            Kenneth attempted to hop out of bed, but Clarissa kept him pinned down. “The doctor recommended that you rest! He may not know the true cause of our recent unrest, but he does know a lot about the human anatomy! Whatever Alastor put you through must have been tremendously taxing to your health!”

            Reflecting back on his arduous experience, Kenneth recalled, “He kept sending flashes of agony that would course throughout my veins as he condemned my troop’s purpose on the battlefield! He acted as if I deserved the torment that I got after committing this horrendous sin! When I went unconscious, I was so sure that he would bring about the end of me…” He shuddered as he relived this nightmare, but after the memory had elapsed, he made another bid for springing out bed. “We can’t allow anyone else to go through that! We must advise his intended targets of this impending calamity!”

            “They won’t listen to us!” Clarissa morosely disagreed with his suggestion. “No one trusts me, they’ll credit my claims to a pursuit of some sort of malicious spell that I want to spread! And as for you, well… Many people’s allegiance to the liberation front changed when Alastor was done away with. They started to believe his outrageous arguments that the fight for freedom was, in reality, a dangerous campaign to sow seeds of anarchy throughout the world! Some individuals had the audacity to blame the Continental soldiers for creating the circumstances that brought Alastor to his doom as if the message against tyranny gave birth to the madness that got him killed! I would dearly love to assist in the protection of Colfrith, but what good would it do to talk to those who won’t listen?”

            “Someone will listen to us!” Kenneth insisted. “Even if we only convince one person, it would be worth our efforts to save that one life!” Clarissa appeared doubtful still, so he further iterated his objective, “Hear me out! My military unit has received some of our finest officers from primarily loyalist towns! We may not be able to persuade them all, but if we can win over a few, we may find the allies we need to defeat this menace! We don’t have the ability or resources to take down this fiend, but somebody out there does! And it’s up to us to discover them! So, what do you say? Are you with me on this?”

            Once Clarissa’s mind had fully drunk in his words, she slightly grinned as she told him, “I can see why you were promoted to lieutenant! You could embolden anyone to charge into combat!” Kenneth beamed at her, and she concluded, “Let’s go!”

            Clarissa led Bailey by his reins as Kenneth rode on his steed and observed the bystanders around them. He spotted one man nearby and called out to him, “Excuse me, sir!” The man looked frightened to get addressed by him and scurried away as fast as possible. He took another shot with a woman walking with her youngsters, “Pardon me, madam! I-!” The woman scooped up her lot and glared at Kenneth prior to steering her little ones away from that area. Kenneth seemed rather put off by this behavior, but when he espied Clarissa’s skepticism resurfacing, he assured her, “The actions of a few do not dictate the rationale of the rest!”

            He could see her striving to dissuade her doubts, but before he could broach the issue any further, the wealthy coffeehouse owner emerged from his business and shouted, “You there!” Kenneth turned to him with a glimmer of hope in his eyes, but Clarissa grimaced. She sincerely mistrusted that Oceanus would have flagged them down on any amicable grounds! Oceanus scolded Kenneth, “You owe my daughter an apology for your blatant rudeness!”

            “Sir, I apologize if she construed any ill manners from my actions!” Kenneth graciously regarded him. “I truly didn’t mean to-.”

            “That hang in chains is yelling at Mister Montgomery!” one passerby infuriatedly noted.

            Clarissa defended him, “He didn’t even raise his voice! Just because they are having a disagreement doesn’t-.”

            Another onlooker decried, “Don’t give us this cockamamie story of civility on your part! You came here to cause trouble!”

            “No! We came to save you from it!” Kenneth retorted. “You see, an evil entity has besieged your village…”

            “Yes, we know! It’s standing right before us” a lady countered, which made the spectators around her titter.

            Clarissa exclaimed, “Abigail, you don’t have to like us, but if you don’t take heed of our information, something truly terrible will take place!”

            Abigail accosted her, “You dare to threaten us!”

            “We have no desire to harm you!” Clarissa contended. “But someone else does!”

            “You’re lying!” Abigail vehemently hollered. “You want to deceive us so we fall prey to your scheme!”

            Clarissa rebutted, “What motive would I have to do such a thing? The only maligner in these quarters is Alastor!”

            Abigail stepped within inches of Clarissa and growled, “Alastor was an honorable paragon to our society! How dare you besmirch his righteous name!”

            “He made plans to doom us all!” Clarissa feverishly disputed. “And he didn’t stop with spilling our secrets to the British!”

            “You’re a liar!” Abigail hysterically screeched.

            Clarissa went on, “His wickedness has overcome death! His wrath resumed in Colfrith by means of-!”

            With the speech of deeply timbred male, Abigail bellowed, “Silence, you snake!” She gutturally growled and then lunged her hands at Clarissa’s throat…!

The Hessian, Chapter 4

“Do I dare?” Kenneth queried himself as he peeked his head out into the long, narrow hallway. The door he had seen Clarissa go into last night was still closed, and he assumed that she was still sleeping, so he reckoned that he would probably have been safe in venturing back downstairs without getting seen in pajamas, but probably was not a certainty! He would hate to repay her kindness towards him by performing a rather offensive act of indecency! He considered simply waiting in his room until she woke up, but he was ready to leave now and who knew when she might get out of bed! He already had an exhaustive night with very little sleep, so he couldn’t stand the idea of doing nothing for even an hour more! He did see a few books in there, but the titles all depicted narratives about running a business, and he doubted that they would add much to his entertainment value! He would have loved to have said goodbye to her, but he esteemed that perhaps it was better that he left before he saw her again because if he had run into her once more, he imagined that she would insist on making him breakfast, they would have a very stimulating conversation, and he would become too enamored to ever leave! His troops needed him, so he had to do what was best for them and their fight for freedom, no matter what personal needs he may have had to sacrifice! So, he took a deep breath and crossed his fingers that she wouldn’t emerge from her chambers until after he was gone!

            He found his garments laid out so nicely in front of the gently burning flame in the fireplace, and a pang of guilt surged through him! She had done so much for his care, and he hadn’t even intended to say thank you or farewell! As he hid behind a large, supportive beam and changed back into his uniform, he wished that he had a way of leaving her a note prior to his departure! Suddenly, he spotted a guestbook, and he became relieved! As soon as he was fully dressed, he dashed over to the ledger and jotted a quick message about how grateful he was for her help and that he would never forget her thoughtfulness! He then slipped out of the door before she had a chance to discover him there, and while he trudged over to the livery to get Bailey, he privately thought that he would never be able to disremember her and wondered if the hurt he felt now would ever pass!

            Kenneth glumly steered his horse through the pathway through the northern woods, which he found sort of odd seeing that he had only known that woman for one day! And yet it had been the lightest span of his life since his wife’s demise! After his bride had passed on, he truly believed that no other lady could sway his interest, and after meeting one that did, it seemed like a shame that he had to let her go! He noticed that his steed appeared fairly morose as well, so he pat him comfortingly and sympathized, “I know, boy! I miss her too!”

            Quite abruptly, Bailey’s gait came to a screeching halt! “We’re not going back, young man! Come on!” Kenneth attempted to coax him into moving ahead, but Bailey refused to go beyond that point! “Look, we have a war to fight! We have to-!” Bailey neighed in a worried tone and fidgeted with total apprehension, so Kenneth probed, “What’s gotten into you?” He observed that something on the ground was frightening him, so he gazed at the floor to determine the cause of his distress. He saw a small stream of a strange, brown substance below them, and he puzzled, “What is that?” He dismounted and gave it a closer examination. It had the texture of oil, but he could see that it was bleeding out of a parched log in a small clearing to their left side. He couldn’t espy anything that would logically create this effect, so he concluded, “This can’t be good!” He stepped towards the log, and Bailey vehemently objected! “I have to investigate this! What if it’s something dangerous?” Bailey’s cries magnified as he got closer to the log, and he couldn’t comprehend why until he was right next to it… His eyes widened and he let out a voluminous scream!

            Clarissa bolted up from her slumber! She thought she had heard a cry of anguish from afar, but then she recalled that this had become a frequent occurrence in Colfrith lately. She didn’t think it was something that she should ever get used to it, but with the rate it was happening, she supposed that it was something she would have to come to terms with. That was difficult though- the afflicted endured unbelievable pain, and none of the medical procedures that they had their disposal could alleviate their symptoms! It was hard to fathom that she harbored such empathy for individuals who acted especially cruel towards her, but she found it impossible not to care when they were going through something so atrocious!

            After Clarissa slipped on a robe, she went across the hall to check on the handsome soldier that she had temporarily housed. To her dismay, his room was empty! “He went away already?” she enquired out loud to herself. He seemed like such a benevolent fellow that it surprised her he would do her this discourtesy, but then she concocted an alternative theory, “Maybe he’s waiting for me downstairs!”

            She hurriedly descended the staircase and fully expected to see his beautiful smile beaming at her as he awaited her entrance, but the tavern was empty! Same as always ever since Brenner died a month ago! It stung her to have lost someone that she had developed a genuine connection with! Her neighbors had turned on her, and her husband’s illness rendered him incapable of any true closeness, so Kenneth had really provided a spark of hope for happiness in her future! She knew he wouldn’t have been able to stay in her life permanently until the Revolutionary battles had ceased, but she dared to feel optimistic that he may have wanted to keep in touch with her! She hung her head low as she grieved for this loss, but then she forced herself to collect her wits and move on! She couldn’t lament this matter forever! She decided to clean up the place in case any visitors finally decided to come to this establishment, and as she retrieved her broom by the doorway, she spotted some handwriting that hadn’t been in the guestbook previously! She read it and broke out into a broad grin! It altered her mood completely, and she found it so much easier to go about the drudgeries of her day knowing that someone out there sincerely held her dear!

            The sun started to poke out of the clouds a little, and just when Clarissa began to speculate if she should put on a proper wardrobe to prepare for prospective patrons, she heard a horse whinnying outside! Clarissa initially grew alarmed by the notion of getting seen in wear unsuitable for public viewing, but when she denoted the distressed intonation in its voice, her alarm began to stem from something else… She glanced out of the window, and she observed that this animal truly behaved as though it were in an urgent state of panic! She went out to her porch and visually scanned the perimeter to discern whether or not a nearby rider was experiencing an emergency, but she saw no one around them, so she realized someone somewhere else must have been in trouble! It definitely wasn’t a wild creature, it had a saddle! When she got a closer look at that saddle, her face fell in total terror…

            The horse bore an emblem of The Continental Army, and as far as she knew, there was only one soldier in this region… “Is your master Kenneth?” The steed calmed its movements at the mention of that name, and he gave Clarissa a very meaningful stare! At that juncture, Clarissa didn’t fret about anything else- she had to recover him immediately! She swiftly mounted Kenneth’s colt and commanded him, “Take me to him!” He did so without hesitation!

            Minutes into their trek, the sky above them darkened, and somehow, Clarissa knew that this signified that they were getting within range of Kenneth’s location! All of a sudden, Clarissa and the horse sighted a bizarre green glow ahead of them! Her ride declined to go any further, so Clarissa quickly slid off of the horse and ran towards the peculiar phenomenon! When she got within feet of the haze, she was aghast to learn that Kenneth was inside of this mist with a tortured expression on his face! But to her horror, he wasn’t alone…

            “Alastor?” Clarissa uttered in sheer shock. She gawked at a nearly translucent silhouette of the man whose hanging she witnessed firsthand! Seeing any version of him ever again never crossed her mind, and now that she had, her brain couldn’t process it! She had to be hallucinating!

            “I told you death wouldn’t stop me!” Alastor leered. He kept one hand aimed at Kenneth and directed another to target Clarissa! She instinctively dove out of his trajectory, and whatever spell he meant for her missed! She hid behind a log, and Alastor cackled, “Fine! Go ahead and hide! I’ll catch up with you after I finish this traitor off!”

            Clarissa’s blood boiled at that pronouncement! She ardently vowed not to let that scoundrel harm that brave and noble man, so she sprang up and charged forward! She recognized that she couldn’t combat this version of Alastor, so she concentrated on protecting Kenneth! Alastor raised his arm to eject another attack, but Clarissa tackled Kenneth and lowered him below Alastor’s projectile! Alastor maniacally laughed at this display, “It’s permissible by me if you want to perish together!”

            As she turned over and shielded an unconscious Kenneth, Clarissa bellowed, “Leave him alone!”

            “You are in no position to give orders, you patriotic snake!” Alastor sneered. He postured himself to execute another strike, and Clarissa didn’t know what to do other than to brace herself for impact! Right as his malevolence reached its pinnacle…

            “No!” Alastor roared in a red-hot fury after eyeballing her chest. He instantly disappeared, and while Clarissa studied her cross necklace in confusion, Alastor’s words rang out into the atmosphere, “You can’t save them all!” Bailey trotted over to them and stooped down to their level. “My powers reach farther than you can imagine!” Clarissa heaved Kenneth’s body onto Bailey’s back, and Alastor went on, “I am limitless, and you are not!” Clarissa climbed onto the steed, and as they took off, Alastor cried out, “You can’t escape! I will get you! I’ll get you all!”

            Kenneth’s lids opened extensively, and he violently struck his periphery as if he were in a struggle! Doctor Cuthbart placidly addressed him, “Woah, woah, woah! It’s alright! You’re safe here!”

            Clarissa peered over Doctor Cuthbart’s shoulder, and having her in his vision ensured his jangled nerves that he was now longer in peril! But he was not convinced the same for everyone else! “We have to put a halt to his scheme before it’s too late!”

            “Lie down!” Doctor Cuthbart delicately ordered. “You’re in no state to contend with anyone!”

            “But the threat is imminent!” Kenneth protested. “We have to take action!”

            Doctor Cuthbart denied him access to do that. “You have very little strength in you at this moment! You couldn’t lay one finger on an adversary without collapsing! You must-.”

            Kenneth contemplated out loud, “Hand-to-hand combat wouldn’t do us any favors anyways! You can’t physically assault a ghost! But then how do we bar him from going forth with his wickedness?”

            Doctor Cuthbart reached into his satchel and asserted, “I’m afraid his trauma has made him delirious, so I’m going to-.”

            “I’m not delirious!” Kenneth refuted that claim. “I was tormented and besieged by a specter!”

            “Take a drought of this elixir!” Doctor Cuthbart poured a light brown liquid onto a spoon and tried to serve it to him.

            Kenneth flung the spoon across the room! “I’m not unbalanced! The ghost is real!”

            Doctor Cuthbart assured him, “It’s simply a calming mixture!” Kenneth’s visage stayed steadfastly defiant, so Doctor Cuthbart placed the solution in Clarissa’s palms. “Have him drink a spoonful every eight hours or so and see that he rests for a few days. Don’t fret, he’ll be back in fair health soon!”

            When Doctor Cuthbart turned to make his exit, Clarissa exclaimed to him, “For the record, he’s telling the truth- there is an unfriendly spirit out there!” Doctor Cuthbart gave her a smile that didn’t exactly cover up his discomfort over the magnitude of her statement prior to his hasty withdrawal. Clarissa realized that her charge must have made him doubt her sanity as well, but she wasn’t bothered by that! The entire village already believed she was a spiteful sorceress, so she would have gained nothing by withholding her honesty! Besides, there was one benefit to the deed she performed…

            She swiveled to face Kenneth, who beamed at her for her vote of confidence They savored this sentiment for a brief instance, but before either of them could initiate a discussion on their ordeal, a howling wind flew by the window and reverberated its sound throughout the entire structure! They were silent for a minute, and then Kenneth brought up, “So, now what?”

The Obssessive (Entire Story)

FADE IN.

INT. UNDERWORLD.
Establishing shot. Time Unknown. SUPERIMPOSE:
“The Underworld-Order of the Serpent Headquarters.”

A group of hooded men sit at a round table. B.G.-the walls are cavern and the room is round. The room also has small caves leading out from the room. A statue of a snake made of copper hangs on the wall at the front of the room.

APOLLYON:
Welcome, brothers, to the Order of the Snake.
Cresil, have you made progress?

CRESIL:
With help from Mammon…

Cresil nods to one of the hooded men, who nods in acknowledgement.

CRESIL:
We managed to infiltrate Emperor Keres. His love
of money clouds his judgement. He now rules with
the soul purpose of gaining money. He does not
care for his Polis or the people in them.

APOLLYON:
Excellent work, men!

VETIS:
Apollyon, sir, Orthon and I want to work on
the townsfolk.

APOLLYON:
Why?

ORTHON:
We need some people on the outside to agree
with the emperor’s new ideas so they have
other voices to convince them that the change
in government is a good thing.

APOLLYON:
Good idea. We need an outspoken individual to
reword the emperor’s laws to convince them to
comply. Velos?

VELOS:
Yes sir?

APOLLYON:
Help Orthon and Vetis find the right soul.

VELOS:
I won’t fail!

INT/EXT. VELOS’ LAIR/GREEK STREETS. DAY.
B.G.-the cavern room is small. It has a chair, a stone table, and a crystal ball. VELOS (handsome, chiseled jaw, cold eyes, pale skin) waves his hand over the crystal ball lazily. He looks bored. The stone wall has a projection screen that changes every time he moves his hand. The screen shows ancient Greek people with orbs in various colors over their hearts.

VELOS:
Is there no one who could draw
a crowd?

He suddenly stops, and his eyes grow wide in awe. ANGLE ON- GREEK KORA (beautiful, brunette, golden eyes, curvy physique). Greek Kora lounges imperially in a bath. ZOOM IN to the screen and FOCUS on her golden orb. CUT BACK to Velos, who is mesmerized by the image. Orthon and Vetis walk in.

VETIS:
Did you find someone?

Velos’s look changes to a lustful greed.

VELOS:
Oh yes. I found my future bride!

Orthon and Vetis look at the screen and smile.

ORTHON:
A worthy choice.

VETIS:
That’s the princess! How are you going
to convince her to marry you?

VELOS:
Let me work my magic!

EXT. GREEK BRIDGE. NIGHT.

SUPERIMPOSE: Greece 872 B.C.

Greek Kora stands on the bridge looking at the stars. GREEK ANDREW (good looking, blue eyes, dark curly hair, strong) approaches her cautiously.

GREEK ANDREW:
Princess?

Greek Kora looks at him and smiles.

GREEK KORA:
Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you coming.

GREEK ANDREW:
Your father in law is looking for you.

GREEK KORA:
Of course he is. He’s missing one of
his most prized possessions. He’s changed.

Suddenly Greek Kora shudders.

GREEK KORA:
Who else is out there?

GREEK ANDREW:
Only your lowly slave.

GREEK KORA:
You’re not just a slave. You know that.

GREEK ANDREW:
No, it’s true. I’m yours. Whenever you
need me, I’ll be there!

Greek Kora smiles. Greek Andrew smiles too. ZOOM IN on Greek Andrew clasping his fingers with Greek Kora’s. CUT BACK to Greek Kora and Greek Andrew smiling at each other.

INT. GREEK KORA’S ROOM. NIGHT.

B.G.-Greek Kora’s room is all golden-including the walls, the cushy bed, and her desk with a vanity mirror. Greek Kora sits in front of her mirror combing her hair. Suddenly, Velos appears in the mirror.

VELOS:
Hello my love!

Greek Kora gets surprised by his sudden appearance. She looks behind her and sees no one. The image in the mirror is very clear.

GREEK KORA:
Who are you?

VELOS:
I’m your future husband.

GREEK KORA:
What?

Velos climbs out of the mirror. Greek Kora is frightened.

GREEK KORA:
Who are you?

VELOS:
You asked me that already. But I will indulge
you. I am Velos, ruler of magic in the
Underworld. I went looking for souls to steal,
and when I saw your beautiful soul, I fell
deeply in love with you!

Velos stares deep into her chest. Greek Kora backs away from him.

GREEK KORA:
Get away from me!

VELOS:
I will never stay away from you,
my beautiful bride!

GREEK KORA:
I’m already married, and I would
never marry you!

Greek Kora turns to run away.

VELOS:
You can’t run from me! Wherever you go,
I will find you! I’ll kill anyone who tries
to take you from me! Whenever your soul
reincarnates, I will find you! We’re meant
to be together-embrace your fate!

Greek Kora quickly leaves the room. Velos rolls his eyes and disappears.

EXT. GREEK FOREST. NIGHT.

Greek Kora runs through the forest as fast as she can. She looks truly frightened, her clothes are torn, and she has a few scratches on her. She finally runs out of breath and clutches against a tree. ZOOM OUT to show she is by a river.

VELOS (O.S.):
You can keep running all your life
if you want.
(laughs)

GREEK KORA:
You won’t hurt anymore of my friends!

Greek Kora hurls herself into the river. Beat. Velos comes to look for her and eventually her corpse floats up.

EXT. MEDIEVAL ROAD. DAY.

SUPERIMPOSE: England 1619

MEDIEVAL KORA (looks like Greek Kora but with medieval garb) walks down the street happily. She greets people as they pass.

VILLAGER 1:
Good morrow!

MEDIEVAL KORA:
‘Tis indeed!

VILLAGER 2:
How fare you?

MEDIEVAL KORA:
Very well!

VILLAGER 2:
As always!

Medieval Kora chuckles. She reaches her destination and enters into a house.

INT/EXT. MEDIEVAL KORA’S HOUSE. DAY.

Medieval Kora sits by a window reading a book. She looks very relaxed. She closes the book, and looks out to the sea. INTERCUT to the ocean. INTERCUTT BACK to Medieval Kora sighs in contentment.

EXT. MEDIEVAL ROAD. NIGHT.

The villagers all carry torches and shout in anger. Medieval Kora is tied to a post, and hay surrounds the post. A medieval LORD reads from a parchment.

LORD:
Due to the suspicious amount of murders
around thee and the strange activity
coming from thine house, you have been
charged with heresy. Thou art sentenced
to burning. Any last words?

VILLAGER 1:
Burn her!

VILLAGER 2:
She’s a witch!

MEDIEVAL JULIAN (dark hair, brown eyes, skinny physique) runs up to her.

MEDIEVAL JULIAN:
Don’t let them do this! Tell them
thou art innocent and they’ll let
thee go!

MEDIEVAL KORA:
Everyone is safer this way.

The lord pushes Medieval Julian out of the way. The torch bearers light the hay. Medieval Kora closes her eyes and embraces her fate.

EXT. VICTORIAN SHIP. DAY.

SUPERIMPOSE: Virginia 1824

VICTORIAN KORA (dressed in servant robes) sits at the side of a large ship. She gazes out at the water. INTERCUT to her view of the land in the distance. CUT BACK to Victorian Kora. Her cat, MICKEY (a long-haired white cat) jumps onto the edge with her.

VICTORIAN KORA:
Look at it! It’s Virginia, our new home!
Sure, I’ll be an indentured servant, but
once I’ve earned enough money, I can buy
my freedom! Can you imagine it? No longer
will I slave away in poverty! And no
uptight aristocrats judging us. Everyone
here came for an adventure. I cannot wait
to have my own adventure! That’s what
freedom is-an adventure! Nothing can stop
us now!

INT. VICTORIAN KORA’S ROOM. SUNSET.

Victorian Kora lays on her deathbed. She is extremely pale. A VICTORIAN DOCTOR enters.

VICTORIAN DOCTOR:
Your influenza seems to have taken
a turn for the worst.

VICTORIAN KORA:
Yes.

VICTORIAN DOCTOR:
Why did you wander outside in the
winter with no cloak?

VICTORIAN KORA:
I was focused on…other things…

VICTORIAN DOCTOR:
A lot of people have died around
here lately. It’s a shame to add
one more to the list.

VICTORIAN KORA:
No, it’s better this way. I’ll
finally get my freedom!

VICTORIAN DOCTOR:
Alright, well, let’s try blood
letting one more time. Maybe
this time will take.

Victorian Kora grows fainter as he puts leeches on her.

VICTORIAN KORA:
Everyone is safe now! Freedom!

The Victorian Doctor looks at her strangely as he places the leeches.

INT. VELOS’S LAIR.

Velos bangs one of his fists against the wall and cries out in frustration. He then paces back and forth angrily.

VELOS:
How do I keep losing her?

Velos stops and looks at his crystal ball.

VELOS:
Mark my words-next lifetime, she
will be mine!

Velos waves his hand over the crystal ball. ZOOM IN to the crystal ball, which gains a multi-colored cloud.

CUE OPENING MONTAGE

SUPERIMPOSE: San Francisco 1987

KORA’S ROOM
ZOOM IN on Kora’s boombox. PLAY SONG “I Got My Mind Set On You” by George Harrison. Kora shakes her rear end to the drum intro. When lyrics start, ZOOM OUT to Kora in her pajamas (shorts with hearts, tank top) singing into a full length mirror using a gold hair brush.

GEORGE HARRISON (O.S.):
(singing)
I’ve got my mind set on you,
I’ve got my mind set on you,
I’ve got my mind set on you,
I’ve got my mind set on you.
Kora goes to her dresser and picks out an outfit while still dancing and lip syncing to the music.

GEORGE HARRISON (O.S.):
(singing)
But it’s gonna take money,
a whole lot of spending money,
it’s gonna take plenty of money
to do it right child.

PAN AWAY from Kora to the floor and show her pajamas hitting the floor.

GEORGE HARRISON (O.S.):
(singing)
It’s gonna take time,
a whole lot of precious time,
It’s gonna take patience and time,
mmm, to do it-

PAN BACK to Kora, who is fully dressed.

GEORGE HARRISON (O.S.):
(singing)
To do it, to do it, to do it, to do it,
to do it right child!

Kora goes to her bed. BG- various posters are behind her bed, including the Princess Bride. Mickey is on the bed, and Kora lip syncs to him.

GEORGE HARRISON (O.S.):
(singing)
I’ve got my mind set on you,
I’ve got my mind set on you,
I’ve got my mind set on you,
I’ve got my mind set on you.
Mickey runs out of the room.

HALLWAY

Kora passes by four portraits. One is of her. Also up there is DYLAN (high school aged, brown hair, brown eyes), MERNA (late forties, curly brown hair, green eyes) and HAROLD (early fifties, salt and pepper hair, golden brown eyes).

GEORGE HARRISON (O.S.):
(singing)
And this time I know it’s real,
the feeling that I feel-

BATHROOM
BG-Kora’s bathroom is small but cozy. Kora does her hair.

GEORGE HARRISON (O.S.):
(singing)
I know if I put my mind to it,
I know that I can really do it!
I’ve got my mind set on you,
set on you.
I’ve got my mind set on you,
set on you.

Kora does her make up.

GEORGE HARRISON (O.S.):
(Singing)
But it’s gonna take money,
a whole lotta spending money,
it’s gonna take plenty of money
to do it right child.
It’s gonna take time,
a whole lotta precious time,
it’s gonna take patience and time,
to do it, to do it, to do it,
to do it, to do it, to do it right.

When Kora finishes her make up, she does a little kiss towards the mirror and walks out.

HALLWAY

During the ten second breakdown, Kora dances in the hallway.

STAIRWAY

Kora goes up and down the steps rhythmically.

GEORGE HARRISON (O.S.):
(singing)
I’ve got my mind set on you,
I’ve got my mind set on you,
I’ve got my mind set on you,
I’ve got my mind set on you.

KITCHEN

Kora dances as she prepares toast and coffee.

GEORGE HARRISON (O.S.):
(singing)
And this time I know it’s real,
the feelings that I feel,
I know if I put my mind to it,
I know that I can really do it!

Kora goes to the kitchen table to eat and drink her breakfast.

GEORGE HARRISON (O.S.):
(singing)
But it’s gonna take money,
a whole lotta spending money,
it’s gonna take plenty of money,
to do it right child.

Kora dances into the living room.

LIVING ROOM

Kora grabs her shoes that are by the door and puts them on while sitting on the couch.

GEORGE HARRISON (O.S.):
(singing)
It’s gonna take time,
a whole lotta precious time,
it’s gonna take patience and time
to do it, to do it, to do it,
to do it, to do it, to do it right.

Kora heads outside.

FRONT YARD

BG-Kora’s home is brown and has grass and bushes on the front lawn. A small chain fence surrounds the house, except for the backyard, which has a wooden fence. The Bay can be seen in the distance. Kora, who wears a walkman, dances down the porch, unlatches the gate, and heads out.

GEORGE HARRISON (O.S.):
(singing)
Set on you, set on you,
set on you, set on you,
set on you, set on you,
set on you, set on you,
set on you, set on you,
set on you, set on you.

SONG FADES

END OF MONTAGE

EXT. JULIAN’S HOUSE. DAY.

Kora walks toward her house with a small grocery bag and a small cup of soda. BG-Next to Kora’s house, there is a pink home with similar architecture to Kora’s home. Julian emerges from his house. He sees Kora and waves happily. Kora does not see him. Julian runs up to his front gate and taps her shoulder. Kora looks confused and then looks towards Julian. When she realizes who it is, she takes off her headphones excitedly.

KORA:
(gasps)
Skipper!

JULIAN:
Kora!

Julian hops over his gate, and they give each other a hug.

KORA:
So, I’m not the only one moving
back in with her parents!

JULIAN:
Actually, my parents retired in
Florida. Ugh, so cliche! I
own this house!

KORA:
Wow, so now you own a house
and a boat!

JULIAN:
Well, I inherited the boat
but I bought the house from
my parents. Guess who’s San
Francisco’s newest public defender!

KORA:
You’re practicing law now? Why
didn’t you tell me?

JULIAN:
I wrote you a letter, but apparently
you don’t live in Seattle anymore.
What happened?

KORA:
Graduate school wasn’t right for
me. I don’t think I’m meant to be
a teacher.

JULIAN:
So, what are you going to do now?

KORA:
I’m looking for work in the Bay
Area until I figure out what I’m
meant to do. So, have you settled
down with anyone yet?

JULIAN:
(laughs)
Yeah right! Too many cute men out
here! Though you’ll be happy to know
I’ve started using condoms more.
(laughs again)
Seriously though, you can’t be too
careful right now.

KORA:
I knew a guy in Seattle that got
AIDS. He’s not doing too well.

JULIAN:
No kidding! What about you?

KORA:
I don’t have AIDS.

JULIAN:
No, I meant do you have a man
in your life?

KORA:
Are you kidding? I’m a twenty-
four year old living with her
parents and I have no job-who
would want me?

JULIAN:
Someone will. How could they not-
you’re awesome!

KORA:
I’m not worries about finding a
man. When the right time comes,
he’ll come to me. Anyways, I’m
more concerned about finding a
job with equal pay.

JULIAN:
Well, good luck, sister! Listen,
I got to go! Let’s do drinks some
time this week.

KORA:
Sounds great! Oh, I’m so glad that
I can hang out with my Skipper again!

JULIAN:
It’s going to be so much fun! But if
a cute guy’s around, remember to call
me by my full name, Julian Alwin,
esquire.

KORA:
Alright. See ya later!

JULIAN:
Later Kora!

Julian goes to his car in the driveway. Kora smiles and walks to her house.

INT. KORA’S KITCHEN. DAY.

Kora is eating lunch when Harold, Merna, and Dylan walk in wearing church clothes.

MERNA:
Hey! I thought you were too sick to
go to church!

KORA:
No, Mom, I said I was sick of church.

HAROLD:
Look, no one likes going to church, but-

KORA:
Last week everyone said a prayer for me
to get a job. It’s embarrassing to be
center of attention like that.

DYLAN:
So, get a job and problem solved, right?

KORA:
I worked hard to get my degree, so I
deserve to make the same amount as man!
Mom, you make as much as a man; aren’t
you proud?

MERNA:
I’m a female pilot-no one thinks I
exist, so they pay me like a man.
Maybe if you go to school for it,
you can be a pilot too.

HAROLD:
Oh no, I’m not paying for more
education til Dylan goes to college.

DYLAN:
What if I get a football scholarship?

HAROLD:
Oh please! At the rate you’re going,
you’ll be keeping your sister company
after high school!

KORA:
Hey! Do you really think it’ll take
me that long to get a job?

DYLAN:
I can’t be that bad if they keep
letting me on the team.

KORA:
Then why were you the only boy
allowed to play on the Powder
Puff team?

DYLAN:
I disguised myself to look like
you so boys would stop hitting on me.

MERNA:
That’s enough! Even though kids grow
up, they still squabble like children!

HAROLD:
Kora, you’ll get a job if you keep
trying. Dylan, boys will stop hitting
on you if you cut your hair.

Dylan rolls his eyes.

MERNA:
So Kora, have you done any job
hunting today?

KORA:
It’s Sunday, Mom. Everything’s closed.
Look, you don’t need to worry about me.
It’s not like I want to stay here
forever. I’m just tired of taking chances
on things only for it to not work out.
If I accept another job, I want something
that will last, something that means a lot
to me and will let me live the life I
want to live. I know what I’m doing, so I
don’t want people watching my every move.
I do want to maintain a small sense of
freedom, okay?

HAROLD:
Alright, alright, we’ll back off. We’re
cool. Do you kids still say cool? Oh I
got it, we’re radical. We’re radical!

Kora and Dylan laugh and shake their heads. Merna laughs, and Harold smiles.

INT. KORA’S ROOM. NIGHT.

Kora sits in her room in her pajamas while listening to some upbeat music and reading a book. She looks out the window and sighs. Mickey jumps onto the windowsill, obstructing her view.

KORA:
Oh, hello Mr. Moody! Am I not
paying enough attention to you?

Kora goes to pet Mickey, but Mickey gives her a stern look.

KORA:
Or maybe you just wanna look
out the window.

Kora stands up and also looks out the window.

KORA:
What do you see when you look out
there, Mickey? The ocean gives me
hope. It just reminds me there is
more out there. Like, no matter
what’s happening to me here, there’s
a whole world out there, and my
problems seem less significant.
Doesn’t work with rivers though.
I don’t know why.

Kora sits back down.

KORA:
I feel like something is coming for
me, but I don’t think it’ll be easy
to get. Sometimes I fear I’ll never
be happy, like I’m doomed by some kind
of curse. I try not to think like that
though. All I can do is take it one day
at a time. I don’t need my answer right
now. I’d settle for the Niners beating
those stinking Cowboys!

Mickey jumps off the windowsill and scampers off. Kora turns off the music and lights and then goes to bed.

INT. KORA’S ROOM. DAY.

Kora wakes up and gets out of bed. When she gets to her dresser, she sees a shadow move out of the corner of her eye. She looks in the direction of the shadow, sees nothing, and shrugs. As she starts to undress, she senses the shadow behind her. She looks again, sees nothing, and continues to undress.

INT. KORA’S BATHROOM. DAY.
As Kora sits on the toilet, she hears someone take a deep breath. She finds it strange but does not do anything about it.

INT. KORA’S KITCHEN. DAY.
Kora’s family sitting down for breakfast. Merna is wearing her pilot’s uniform, Harold is wearing a suit, and Dylan wears school-appropriate clothes. The radio in the kitchen is playing a news station.

NEWSPERSON (O.S.):
…This stock market crash is the
biggest fall we’ve seen in a long
time, which prompted the media to
call this day “Black Monday”…

HAROLD:
Great! My clients will not be happy
about this.

DYLAN:
What does working for a bank have
to do with the stock market?

MERNA:
People who lost money are going
to look at all their assets. I
wonder how this will impact the
British economy. I guess I’ll
find out later.

KORA:
I’ve always been fascinated by
England. I don’t know why, but
for some reason I always think
about a big bonfire when I
picture England.

HAROLD:
You should be a writer. Sometimes
you say the most random things!

The family is quiet for a moment. The napkins at the center of the table suddenly tip over. Merna picks it it up, and Kora stares at it peculiarly.

INT. TROLLEY. DAY.
Kora sits in a crowded trolley car. The lady next to her is doing her make up. Out of the corner of Kora’s eye, she thins she sees some cold eyes looking at her from the mirror. She turns and looks at the mirror. All she can see is the lady doing her make up. Kora looks confused.

EXT. OFFICE BUILDING. DAY.
As Kora walks towards the entrance, she slips, but someone catches her.

KORA:
Thank you!

Kora looks around and sees no one. She frowns and walks inside the office building.

INT. KERES’S OFFICE. DAY.
Kora enters into an office and speaks with a man whose desk labels him as John KERES.

KERES:
Hello! I’m John Keres, the hiring manager
for Globalnet Finanical Investments. Have
a seat.

Kora sits down.

KERES:
Do you have any experience in finance
or business?

KORA:
No, but I have a bachelor’s degree.

KERES:
What was your major?

KORA:
English. And I started a graduate
in Education but-

KERES:
Do you have experience in sales?
Office management?

KORA:
For a while, I was a cashier at
Montgomery Wards.

KERES:
Okay, great. So, what is your
availability like?

KORA:
I’m completely open.

KERES:
Can you come in on Monday?

KORA:
For a second interview?

KERES:
No, I’d like you start working.

KORA:
I got the job? Just like that?
Oh, thank you! Did you like my
job experience then?

KERES:
No, I like your ta-tas.

KORA:
Excuse me?

KERES:
I should say the company likes your
ta-tas. We like to have a girl on
our staff because other financial
investors tend to donate more when
they see an attractive woman.

KORA:
So, I wouldn’t be doing any actual
work? I thought you were advertising
for a financial assistant!

KERES:
And you would be assisting us. Just
wear a tight blouse and act like you
understand what the men are saying.

KORA:
I understand a lot about finances!
My dad is a bank manager.

KERES:
Sweetie, you don’t need to use your
brains anymore. You’ll be making twice
as much as you did at Montgomery Ward
but all you gotta do is look pretty.
Like modeling.

KORA:
Without the dignity!

KERES:
What? You’re offended? You feel
complimented!

KORA:
I don’t want your job if it means
a lack of respect! Find another
pin up, dickhead!

Kora storms out. Keres raises his eyebrows, shakes his head, and throws away her paperwork.

INT. BAR. NIGHT.

Kora and Julian sit on a couch in a trendy bar.

JULIAN:
What a pig! You should sue him!

KORA:
Yeah right.

JULIAN:
Seriously, sexual harassment victims
can sue for thousands. I’m talking
six figures.

KORA:
Yeah, and I’m sure his high priced
lawyers will claim I’m just trying
to pull a scam since I’m having so
much trouble finding work. I don’t
want that drama. All I want to do is
find a job!

JULIAN:
You don’t just want a job. You want the
job. Otherwise you would’ve taken that slimeball’s
offer.

KORA:
I guess I just feel like I belong somewhere.
I’ve been in the Bay Area, away, and back
again. Why is it so much trouble for me?

JULIAN:
You got standards. Like, look at our dating
history. Do I get more dates than you? Yes.
But I’m not going for the stable guys with
a future.

KORA:
But you have a stable job.

JULIAN:
Yeah, I got my life, so a man would have
to be pretty darn special to change that.
But my point is most people settles for
something that makes money. You want
something that makes you happy. Take your
time ’cause that won’t be easy to find!

KORA:
I can’t just take my time. I already have
bill collectors bugging me about my
student loans. I feel so hopeless!

RANDY (a sleazy bar patron) sits on the arm of the couch next to Kora.

RANDY:
You feel low? I’ll raise you up!

KORA:
Who do you think you are to just
go up to a girl and say that?

RANDY:
Name’s Randolph, but girls call me
Randy ’cause that’s how I make them
feel.

KORA:
Ugh! I’ve had enough creeps today.
Get lost!

Randy attempts to touch her, but Kora pushes his hand away, which causes Randy to spill his drink on her blouse. Kora marches straight to the bathroom, very angry.

INT. BAR BATHROOM. NIGHT.
Kora slams the bathroom door closed. She looks at the red stain on her blouse and growls. She tries wiping it off with a paper towel, but it doesn’t come out. She thrusts the paper towel into the trash and takes off her blouse. Her white camisole is low cut, and as she tries scrubbing out the stain with soap and water, she does not notice Velos appear in the mirror. He looks down her cleavage and smiles pervertedly. He watches her chest moving while she cleans.

VELOS:
Oh yeah!

Kora hears this. She looks around the bathroom but sees no one. Velos disappears from the mirror, but Kora catches a glimpse of his eyes. She does not understand what just happened, but she feels a little violated. She grabs her blouse, quickly puts it on, and rushes out of the bathroom.

INT. BAR. NIGHT.
Kora rushes up to Julian.

JULIAN:
Don’t worry, Randy’s gone. Started
hitting on some slutty girl that he
says looks like Debbie Gibson. I’m
like please, she is no Deb-

KORA:
Skipper! I think someone is following
me!

JULIAN:
Someone in this bar, you mean?

KORA:
No! All morning I saw shadows
everywhere. And after I tripped this
afternoon, someone caught me and
disappeared. And just now, in the
bathroom, I saw a guy in the mirror
watching me.

JULIAN:
There’s a man in the ladies’ room?

KORA:
No, he was in the mirror.

JULIAN:
Like it was a two way?

KORA:
Sorta. But as soon as I noticed
he was there, he disappeared.

JULIAN:
Okay, if you file a police report,
you’ll need a to have a little more
proof. Wait til you’re completely
sober and get a long enough look to
get a description.

KORA:
Can we just get out of here?

JULIAN:
Of course! You call me if he
causes you anymore problems!

KORA:
Thanks Skipper!

He gives her a hug, and they leave together.

INT. KORA’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.
Kora bursts into the living room, not paying attention to why her father was in the room.

KORA:
I’ve had the worst day!

HAROLD:
Kora…

KORA:
This town is full of perverted men!
Why can’t I seem to get rid of them?

HAROLD:
Kora-

KORA:
The fact that my blouse is ruined is
the least of my problems! That interview
I went to was a disaster! That man outright
said he liked my ta-tas! Can you believe
that? I wanted to kill him!

HAROLD:
KORA! We have a visitor!

Kora had been so busy ranting that she didn’t realize a man was sitting on the chair. ANDREW (looks like Greek Andrew but with a thin mustache and detective clothing) turns around.

KORA:
Oh! Oh gosh! I’m so sorry! I’ll
just go upstairs so you two can
talk alone.

Kora starts to go upstairs.

ANDREW:
Actually, I’m here to talk to you.
Kora stops and turns to him.

ANDREW:
Detective Andrew Zalman, homicide.

KORA:
Homicide?

ANDREW:
Yes, homicide. I’m investigating
the murder of John Keres.

KORA:
He’s dead? No way! I just saw him
this afternoon!

ANDREW:
I know. You, apparently, were the
last one to see him alive. We found
your resume on top of his desk. It
was covered in blood.

KORA:
Wow. So was he shot or stabbed?

ANDREW:
Why don’t you tell me?

KORA:
What’s that supposed to mean?

ANDREW:
Did you kill him?

KORA:
What? No!

ANDREW:
You just said you wanted to.

KORA:
Not literally! The guy was a
scumbag, but I’d never kill him
over it! For god’s sake, my best
friend’s a lawyer! I’m on the
law enforcement’s side!

ANDREW:
Alright, alright. If you didn’t
kill him, then you must’ve seen
who did.

KORA:
No. I was so mad that I stormed
out. I used a pay phone to call my
friend to meet for drinks. Some
people passed by on the street, but
I wasn’t paying attention to their
faces.

Kora starts to head upstairs again.

ANDREW:
Where are you going?

KORA:
Upstairs. You’re added to list of
men who offended me today!

Kora starts going upstairs again.

ANDREW:
So, you have nothing else to say
to me?

KORA:
Yeah, that mustache makes you look
like a dweeb!

HAROLD:
Kora!

Kora goes upstairs. SOUND EFFECT-Kora slams her door.

ANDREW:
If she remembers anything else,
have her call me.

Andrew hands him a business card.

HAROLD:
Yes, sir.

As Andrew leaves, he feels his mustache and ponders.

INT. KORA’S ROOM. NIGHT.
Kora angrily gets ready for a shower.

HAROLD (O.S.):
Kora, I’m picking your brother
up from football practice.

KORA:
Whatever.

HAROLD (O.S.):
Are you okay?

KORA:
I’m fine!

HAROLD (O.S.):
Alright, I won’t be long.

Kora says nothing. After she hears him leave, she starts to leave the room. She hears Velos take a deep breath. She checks all over the room to places where a man could hide but sees no one. Though she feels uneasy, she leaves.

INT. KORA’S BATHROOM. NIGHT.
As Kora lays in the tub trying to relax, she hears more heavy breathing. She looks around and can tell the sound is coming from just outside the door.

KORA:
Who are you? Show yourself!

The door cracks open, and Kora clearly expects the worst. Mickey pops in.

KORA:
Oh, it’s you.
Mickey stares at her fixedly.

KORA:
Mickey, why are you watching me?
You never do that.

Mickey stares and sits completely still. Kora is suspicious and bathes as concealed as she can get.

INT. VELOS’S LAIR.
Velos watches her bathe through the eyes of the cat. He puts his hand down his pants and continues watching.

INT. KORA’S ROOM NIGHT.
After Kora has finished bathing, she goes to her room. Before she takes off her robe, Mickey pushes his way in.

KORA:
No, Mickey! You leave!

The cat does not move.

KORA:
Get out of here!

She pushes the cat, but the cat does not move.

KORA:
Get out!

VELOS:
(through the cat)
I can’t! I love you too much!

Kora screams.

INT. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.
Harold and Dylan arrive when they hear Kora’s scream. They run up to help.

INT. KORA’S ROOM. NIGHT.
Harold and Dylan run in to see Kora backed into a corner of her bed as far away from Mickey as she can get. Mickey stays firmly by the door.

HAROLD:
What’s going on?

KORA:
The cat talked to me! Like he moved
his fucking lips and said he loved me!

DYLAN:
The cat said that?

KORA:
Yes! I saw his lips moving! But it
wasn’t like he was trying to be
sweet. He sounded like…

HAROLD:
You’ve had a stressful day.
Get some rest.

Harold and Dylan start to leave.

KORA:
Wait! Take that thing away from
me!

Harold and Dylan give her a look, but Dylan stoops down to take the cat. Mickey digs his claws into the rug, and Dylan cannot move him. Harold stoops down and releases the cat’s claws. Mickey looks mad as Dylan takes him out of the room. Harold looks at Kora, worried, then leaves. Kora, still freaked out, gets off the bed.

INT. COFFEEHOUSE. DAY.
Kora stands in line at a coffee shop. JESSE (handsome male barista) sees her and smiles. She smiles back shyly. When she gets to the register, Jesse takes her order.

JESSE:
What’ll you have?

KORA:
A medium latte, please.

Jesse picks up a medium cup and writes her order on it.

JESSE:
Can I have your name?

KORA:
Kora, with a K.

JESSE:
Okay, Kora with a K, can I
get your number?

Kora blushes.

BARISTA SUPERVISOR:
Not on company time, Jesse.

JESSE:
I get off at two.

She digs out her wallet, but Jesse gestures to stop.

JESSE:
It’s on me!

He pours her the drink and hands it to her. The supervisor comes over and looks mad. Kora slips away, smiling.

EXT. COFFEESHOP. DAY.
Kora, wearing a very tight, sexy outfit, heads to the coffee shop. She stops to check herself out in a car window. She makes a couple of adjustments and then keeps walking. She comes to a chair outside and sees the back of Jesse’s head. She taps it playfully. Jesse falls to the floor. She immediately goes down to help him, turns him over, and sees that he has been stabbed. Her eyes go wide.

KORA:
Oh my god!

EXT. COFFEESHOP. DAY.
Kora talks to a couple of police officers outside the coffee shop, which is now surrounded by crime scene tape. Andrew arrives on the scene (now mustache free). He goes over to Kora.

ANDREW:
Wow, this is the second murder scene
you’ve been connected to in the last
twenty-four hours!

KORA:
Are you kidding me? They both have
been coincidences!

ANDREW:
Two homicides within twenty-four
hours in a big city like this?
That’s not a coincidence! You are
connected to these murders.

KORA:
Yesterday, you accused me of killing
someone I hated. This is different. I
was gonna go on my first date in four
years!

ANDREW:
It’s all about sex then. Keres advanced
on you, so you killed him. Today
presented another opportunity to do it,
so you stopped it the possibility from
happening.

KORA:
That’s stupid! If I didn’t wanna sleep
with him, I would’ve stayed home.

ANDREW:
I better set out a warning to all of the
men in San Francisco to watch out for the
black widow! Gotta protect any man you
want to sleep with.

KORA:
Well, I guess that means you’re
safe!

Andrew frowns.

ANDREW:
I’m gonna have to have a female
officer come search you.

KORA:
My outfit is skin tight. You could
see if I had a weapon!

She spins around to show him. He rustles her hair a little and peeks inside her small purse.

ANDREW:
You can go. Just remember we can test
DNA from crime scenes now, so if you
left any trace of yourself at another
murder, I’ll be back.

KORA:
I’m not worried. I did nothing wrong!
She starts to leave.

ANDREW:
If you know who is connected to
this, you need to tell me!

Kora turns back to him.

KORA:
I don’t know anyone who would…

She stops mid-sentence, remembering.

ANDREW:
Aha! You do know something!

KORA:
Goodbye!

She storms away. Andrew wants to follow, but the officers stop him, shaking their heads.

EXT. PARK BENCH. DAY.
Kora sits in a secluded part of a park, crying.

VELOS:
It’s okay, my love.
I’m here.

Kora looks up in horror.

KORA:
You’ve been following me,
haven’t you?

VELOS:
Every time you reincarnate,
my future wife!

KORA:
Future wife?

VELOS:
Yes. I’ve been trying to get
you for four thousand years,
and this time I’m gonna make
you mine!

KORA:
You killed those men, didn’t
you?

VELOS:
I will cut down anyone who
gets in the way of our love.
Now, come with me.

KORA:
Go where?

VELOS:
To the Underworld to marry
me.

KORA:
You’re out of your mind!

VELOS:
Come! You belong to me!
Come now!

Velos grabs her wrist and tries to pull her. She breaks free.

KORA:
Help! Help!

A jogger comes by to help. Velos disappears.

JOGGER:
Are you okay?

KORA:
A man tried to grab me!

JOGGER:
I’ll find a phone and call
the police!

KORA:
No! I mean, it’s okay. I just
wanna go home.

JOGGER:
Can I give you a ride?

Kora runs away. The jogger shrugs and keeps jogging.

INT. COURT ROOM. DAY.
A public court just finished wrapping up a case. Julian packs up his papers into a briefcase when Kora walks up to him.

JULIAN:
Kora? You’re a mess! What
happened?

KORA:
Can we talk privately?

JULIAN:
Of course. Let’s go to my
office.

He gathers up his things, and they leave.

INT. JULIAN’S OFFICE. DAY.
In Julian’s law office, Julian sits behind his desk. Kora sits in the client chair with her hand on her lip, clearly lost in thought.

JULIAN:
I have a consultation in fifteen
minutes, so spill it.

KORA:
Someone is definitely following
me! He tried to grab me just now.

JULIAN:
Woah, he tried to grope you?

KORA:
No, he was gonna kidnap me.

JULIAN:
Kora, you need to tell the
police!

KORA:
The police suspect me of two
murders now.

JULIAN:
Wait, they suspect you of murder?
Two of them?

KORA:
Yeah. That sleazebag who interviewed
me yesterday and this date I had at
the coffee shop. I’m connected to
both of them. But even if I wanted to
go to the cops, I don’t think it’d do
much good. I don’t think my stalker is
human.

JULIAN:
You don’t think he’s a human?
What do you mean?

KORA:
All I know is he was in front
of me in one second and he
disappeared in the next second.
He said he’s been following me
for four thousand years!

JULIAN:
He’s delusional!

KORA:
No, I think he’s telling the
truth. He possessed my cat
last night too. He talked to
me through Mickey!

Julian looks contemplative but non-believing.

KORA:
You don’t believe me, do
you?

JULIAN:
I’ve seen a lot of liars in
my career, and I don’t think
you’re being dishonest. But
how can I-?

He is cut off when Velos appears and puts an arm around Julian’s throat.

VELOS:
Who is this? Another potential
boyfriend?

Velos threatens Julian with a knife.

KORA:
No! He’s my best friend from my
childhood! And he’s gay!

Velos loosens his grip on Julian a little.

VELOS:
How do I know she’s telling
the truth?

JULIAN:
Check my desk drawer.

Velos opens the nearest drawer and sees a picture frame. CLOSE UP on the picture, which shows Julian kissing on an ex-boyfriend.

VELOS:
Alright, I believe you.

Velos lets go of Julian.

VELOS:
Just remember, I’m watching
you, Kora!

Velos disappears. Julian stands up and paces, trying to process what just happened. Beat.

KORA:
What do I do?

Julian opens his mouth but cannot think of an answer. His secretary walks in.

SECRETARY:
Mr. Aldwin, your four o’
clock is here.

JULIAN:
I gotta go, Kora. Keep yourself
surrounded by potential witnesses,
okay?

KORA:
Okay.

Kora leaves.

INT. KORA’S KITCHEN. DAY.
Merna, who clearly just came back from her flight to London, sits at the table. Kora enters the house and tries to avoid eye contact. Merna sees her and gets worried.

MERNA:
Sweetheart! What happened?

KORA:
I wish I could tell you.

MERNA:
You can tell me anything, you
know that.

KORA:
It’s better if you don’t know.

Kora looks at the window and sees a bird on the sill staring at her oddly. She starts crying and runs upstairs. Merna wants to follow but hears Dylan come home. Dylan enters. She goes to talk to him.

INT. KORA’S ROOM. NIGHT.
Kora lays on her bed with a hot towel on her face and the radio playing. She feels a tap on her shoulder, shrieks, and hits the hand away. She takes off the towel to see a very confused Dylan.

KORA:
I’m sorry, I thought you were…
never mind.

Dylan looks at her like she is strange but decides not to press the issue.

DYLAN:
Mom says it’s dinnertime.

KORA:
Okay, I’ll be there in a
minute.

Dylan looks concerned but leaves. The radio plays “Somebody’s Watching Me.” Kora throws a pillow at it, causing it to fall down and break. Kora reluctantly goes down to dinner.

INT. KORA’S KITCHEN. NIGHT.
Harold, Merna, and Dylan sit at the table happily. Kora sits down, avoiding eye contact. She eats, not really paying attention to the conversation.

HAROLD:
Kora? Hello?

KORA:
Huh? What?

HAROLD:
Didn’t you hear your mother’s
question?

KORA:
No, sorry. It’s been a long day.

HAROLD:
Lots of job applications?

KORA:
Jobs? Oh right, that.

The family looks to each other for answers but just get a confused look from each other.

MERNA:
Are you feeling okay?

KORA:
I’m fine.

The napkins on the table fall over again. Kora starts crying and runs out of the room. The family turns to each other to discuss.

INT. KORA’S BATHROOM. NIGHT.
Kora goes into the bathtub with a full swimsuit on. Instead of taking a bath, she takes a shower. She goes quickly. She steps out and sees Mickey there.

KORA:
Leave me alone! Please!

Dylan opens the door and the cat runs out.

DYLAN:
Oh, sorry! Wait, why are you
wearing a swimsuit? Did you
take a shower? You always take
baths!

KORA:
I don’t wanna talk about it.

DYLAN:
Is this something to do with
the murder that guy accused
you of?

KORA:
I don’t wanna talk about it.

DYLAN:
You’re going to have to explain
it sooner or later.

KORA:
I wish I could. I really wish
I could!

She pushes past him to leave. Dylan looks concerned.

INT. KORA’S ROOM. DAY.
Kora wakes up on her own. She looks around the room. She picks out an outfit, not paying attention to whether or not it coordinates. She gets dressed in front of her closet with her backside partly in the closet to keep watch. She gets her shirt on, but before she can get her pants on, Velos appears behind her. He holds her against him and kisses her neck.

VELOS:
You are so beautiful!

Kora breaks free and runs out the bedroom door.

INT. LIVING ROOM. DAY.
Kora runs to the front door. Velos magically appears before it.

VELOS:
Why do you run away from me?
All I wanna do is love you!

KORA:
I don’t love you! I don’t
even know who you are!

VELOS:
But I know you. I know every
inch of you!

He caresses her. Kora whimpers, not knowing what to do. A knock on the door is heard, and Velos disappears. Kora starts crying. The person who knocked lets himself in. It is Andrew. Kora turns, sees him, and she feels slightly annoyed but still more worried than anything else.

KORA:
Go ahead and yell at me if you
want. Right now, I’m too scared
to really care. Do whatever you
want with me! Apparently what I
want doesn’t matter!

She curls up on her couch and starts crying hysterically. Andrew sits next to her and sympathetically pats her on the back.

ANDREW:
You do have a man killing people
over you, don’t you?

Kora says nothing.

ANDREW:
Has he touched you?

KORA:
He’s held me, kissed my neck, and
tried to take me away…

ANDREW:
Do you know his name?

KORA:
I shouldn’t have told you that.
You’ll be next!

ANDREW:
I work surrounded by police
officers, and I live next to a
firehouse. There’s always
someone close by to help me, so
let him try! What’s his name?

KORA:
I don’t know.

ANDREW:
When does he bother you?

KORA:
All the time!

ANDREW:
I can assign police protection
to you.

KORA:
I don’t think that’ll help. He’ll
still be there.

ANDREW:
You know, most rapists get away with
their crime because women fail to
report them.

KORA:
I can’t report him. I really wish it
were that simple!

Andrew frowns but gets ready to leave.

ANDREW:
Just remember, you don’t have to be
a victim; you can fight back!

Kora contemplates this and sees some truth. Andrew starts to leave.

KORA:
Wait. Why did you come here?
Was someone else murdered?

ANDREW:
No one was murdered, not
yet anyways.

KORA:
Then why did you come?

ANDREW:
Just checking on you. What? Did
you think I was gonna just leave
you alone after you were connected
to two crime scenes?

Andrew grins, and Kora tries to smile but cannot muster one.

ANDREW:
I’m gonna figure this out. Whatever
you’re hiding, I’ll find out.

KORA:
It’d be a miracle if you solved
the case and figured everything
out considering I’m still trying
to understand it myself!

Andrew shakes his head, waves goodbye, and leaves. Kora runs to the kitchen.

INT. KITCHEN. DAY.
Kora goes over to the kitchen and thumbs through the phone book. She finds what she is looking for and picks up a phone that’s hanging on the wall.

KORA:
Hi! I don’t go there, but I’d like
to make an appointment with you.
(beat)
I have something I’m trying to
understand, and you seem like the
best person to help me.
(beat)
Okay, I’m gonna change and take
the BART down there.
(beat)
Thank you, bye!

Kora hangs up and runs upstairs.

INT. PROFESSOR CLEIO’S OFFICE. DAY.
PROFESSOR CLEIO (fifties, curly hair, big glasses) grades some essays in her office. A KNOCK is heard.

P. CLEIO:
Come in!

Kora enters, slightly nervous.

KORA:
Hi! We just spoke on the phone.

P. CLEIO:
Ah yes, have a seat.

Kora sits in front of P. Cleio’s desk.

P. CLEIO:
What’s your name, dear?

KORA:
Kora.

P. CLEIO:
Kora is an Ancient Greek
name. Did you know that?

KORA:
Makes sense. Four thousand
years.

P. CLEIO:
Excuse me?

KORA:
Well, I, uh, read this story…
but it only slightly referenced
this subject, and it’s been
bothering me.

P. CLEIO:
Okay, so what specifically did
the story mention?

KORA:
It’s set here in 1987. This girl
is being followed by a man. He
watches her through mirrors and
animals that he possesses. He
comes out to murder people who get
in the way of their love. Except
she doesn’t love him, yet he keeps
trying to take her.

P. CLEIO:
Sounds interesting. What makes you
think it may be a historical
reference?

KORA:
He mentioned taking her to the
Underworld. Isn’t that Ancient
Greek?

P. CLEIO:
Yes, it was. The Underworld was
where the dead went. It was also
where Hades lived along with a
few demi-gods.

KORA:
What kind of demi-gods?

P. CLEIO:
Here. I’ll give you a list
that you can look up. I could
fill a lecture or two about
them.

KORA:
Oh thank you!

P. CLEIO:
(as she writes)
It sounds like your novel is
modernizing Greek mythology.
It was common for gods to
steal mortals as their brides.

KORA:
Why would they do that?

P. CLEIO:
Many reasons, just like when
people fall in love in real life.

KORA:
(pouts)
Some love! What kind of man would
put his lover through so much
anguish?

P. CLEIO:
Can I read it?

KORA:
What?

P. CLEIO:
When you’re done with it, of
course. It sounds like good
fiction!

KORA:
Fiction, yeah. It doesn’t
sound real, does it?

P. Cleio thinks she is making a joke and laughs. P. Cleio hands her the list.

KORA:
Great. Thank you so much
for this information!

P. CLEIO:
Take care, Kora.

KORA:
I’ll sure try!

Kora leaves, and P. Cleio goes back to grading papers.

INT. COLLEGE HALLWAY. DAY.
As Kora walks down the hall, she hears P. Cleio scream.

KORA:
No!

Velos appears in the hallway with a blood-soaked knife.

VELOS:
Why did you make me do that?

KORA:
I made you kill her? Why would
you do that? She wasn’t hitting
on me! How could you!

VELOS:
What did she tell you about me?
Kora does not answer.

VELOS:
You will find out all you need
to know on our wedding night!

KORA:
No!

VELOS:
What did you say?

KORA:
You heard me, creep! You cannot
take me! Find another mortal to
steal!

Velos slaps her across the face. She falls down. He picks her up by her hair.

VELOS:
Why did you make me do that?
Do you think I like hurting you?

Kora is in pain, but she tries to reach for his body. She cannot.

VELOS:
Let’s go, Kora!

He drags her by the hair. Kora finds his arms and digs her nails into it. He cries out in pain. She starts to run, but he catches her and uses his body to pin her to the wall.

VELOS:
Why did you have to do that now?

Before Kora can say anything, Andrew enters the hallway. He sees what is happening and draws his gun.

ANDREW:
Put her down!

Velos sneers at him.

DISPATCH (O.S.):
Zalman, what’s your forty?

In the moment that Andrew looks down to answer the radio, Velos disappears.

ANDREW:
Shit! Where did he go?

KORA:
He disappeared, I don’t know.

When Andrew answers the radio, Kora runs away.

INT. BUS. DAY.
Kora sits on the bus, trying to catch her breath and relax. Just as the bus driver is about to take off, someone stops the bus. The bus driver lets the person on. Kora looks out the window, not seeing the person who got on. She winces as someone puts their hand on her shoulder. She turns to see Andrew.

KORA:
Crap!

ANDREW:
(concerned)
Why did you run away?

KORA:
You can’t help me; please
stop trying!

ANDREW:
Protecting people is my job.
You need to tell me about
the man I saw you with.

KORA:
I can’t!

ANDREW:
You have to! I know you’re
scared, but it’s vital that
I know!

KORA:
I’m sorry, but I just can’t!
Andrew sighs.

ANDREW:
Then I’m going to have to
arrest you.

KORA:
What? Why?

ANDREW:
The other officers don’t believe
that there was a man on scene, he
left no evidence. As far as they’re
concerned, you’re the number one
suspect. And you fled the scene,
so that just adds to their evidence.

KORA:
You know I didn’t do this!

ANDREW:
Hey, if you don’t wanna tell me
things then I can’t help you! Do
you have something for me now?

Kora looks weary but says nothing. Andrew is angry.

ANDREW:
Well, then you’re going to jail.
He handcuffs her.

KORA:
Maybe it’s better this way. He can’t
hurt anyone if I’m alone in a cell
not talking to anyone.

ANDREW:
You prepared to lose your freedom
over that crap?

KORA:
You’re mad at me? This isn’t my
fault!

ANDREW:
It is your fault! You wouldn’t tell
me the truth, so now someone innocent
is going to jail while a guilty man
runs free! Come on! I hate doing this
to you, so let’s just get it over with.

Andrew escorts her off the bus.

INT. JAIL CELL. NIGHT.
Kora sits by herself staring out the barred window, looking at the stars. She hears the warden come in and turns around.

WARDEN:
Miss Nicodemus, you have a
visitor.

Kora gets up and Julian enters.

JULIAN:
It doesn’t look good, Kora.

KORA:
No, this is perfect. I’ll spend
the rest of my life in jail where
there is always someone with me.
He can’t get me here!

JULIAN:
So, you’re going to live the life
of a murderer and you think that’s
freedom?

KORA:
What else am I supposed to do?
He can feel things, but I’m pretty
sure he can’t actually die.

JULIAN:
There has to be a solution!
There’s always a way out!

KORA:
Yeah, I could die and hope that
in the next lifetime, I find a
solution!

JULIAN:
Don’t you dare contemplate
suicide! Look, the more evidence
you have at a trial, the better
chance you have of proving your
case. The more you find out about
this guy, the better chance you
have of finding out the weakness
to take him down.

KORA:
I got a list of Greek demigods
that live in the Underworld.
Skipper, he has to be on that
list! The police have the list.

JULIAN:
You’re lucky I’m your lawyer.

He opens his briefcase and shows her the list.

JULIAN:
Luckily I get a chance to review
the evidence against you. I’ll do
as much research as I can, but I
gotta start preparing for your
defense.

KORA:
Don’t do your research alone! He
killed that lady ’cause she gave
me a clue. He let you go once, but
if he finds out that you-

JULIAN:
We’re both going to live through
this! We’ll find a way to defeat
this guy, and I’ll be at your
fiftieth wedding anniversary in
the Bahamas!

Kora starts crying because she does not believe in it.

JULIAN:
I mean it! That’s what I picture
in your future! Not this! Don’t
lose faith in me! And especially
don’t give up on your future! That’s
what makes life worth fighting for!

Kora wipes her tears.

JULIAN:
I gotta go. I’ll see you soon,
okay Kora?

KORA:
Okay!

Julian squeezes her hand through the bars. The warden escorts Julian out. The warden is not gone long when he returns.

WARDEN:
Miss Nicodemus, you have more
visitors.

The warden lets in Harold and Merna.

HAROLD:
You owe us an explanation, young
lady.

Kora hesitates, trying to decide how much to tell them.

KORA:
I’m not a murderer, you know that!

MERNA:
Well, of course not! In my gut, I
know my baby isn’t a murderer! But
why would they think you were?

KORA:
Stuff is happening that is out of
my control! I’m trying to find
answers, but I don’t know what to do!

HAROLD:
Tell them the truth! You have nothing
to hide, right?

KORA:
Look, I don’t know how much Julian
would want me to tell you…

MERNA:
Of course, of course. But we just
need to have some justification for
bailing you out.

KORA:
What? Why would you do that?

HAROLD:
What? You wanna await trial in this
dank cell all by yourself? No, you’re
coming home.

MERNA:
But you’ll have to wait ’til tomorrow
’cause the bank isn’t open ’til nine.

HAROLD:
Now, we have to put the house up, so
you better not do anything to get
yourself in more trouble!

KORA:
You’re risking the house?

MERNA:
Do you know another way for us
to get a hundred thousand dollars?
Anyways, we just wanted to let
you know the plan. We’ll see you
in the morning!

KORA:
No! Don’t put up the house for
my bail!

HAROLD:
We’re doing it, end of discussion!
Goodnight, Kora!

Merna and Harold leave. Kora looks worried.

INT. JAIL CELL. NIGHT.
Kora is asleep on a bench. She hears the cell door open. She wakes up and looks confused.

KORA:
What’s going on?

ANDREW:
You’re being released.

KORA:
What? Why?

ANDREW:
There’s been another murder. You’re
connected, but you were in here all
night, so you’re obviously not guilty.

KORA:
He did this on purpose! He doesn’t
want me in the safety of this place!

ANDREW:
You’d be safe if you just told me
who is doing this.

KORA:
Who died?

ANDREW:
Some guy named Randy. He had some
wine-soaked blouse that turned out
to be yours.

KORA:
Oh god! I forgot about that blouse!

ANDREW:
If you won’t tell me, I’ll find a way
to get the information one way or
another.

KORA:
Can I go?

Andrew lets out a frustrated howl but steps aside to let her go. She sheepishly walks out.

EXT. DARK STREET. NIGHT.
Kora gets off the bus and walks down the street. It is cold enough for her to see her breath as she exhales. She hunches over from the cold weather. Once the bus takes off, the street is eerily silent. Kora walks quickly. She darts her eyes erratically and expectantly. She kicks a soda can on accident, pauses, and closes her eyes in dread. Nothing happens, so she goes on. She quickens her pace. Suddenly, Velos appears before her. Kora almost falls trying to stop and avoid crashing into him.

VELOS:
Now there is nothing keeping us
from leaving together.

KORA:
There is one thing-me! If you
don’t leave now, I’ll scream
and wake up everyone in the
neighborhood!

Velos appears behind her, covering her mouth. Kora tries to break free, but his grip is strong. Before he can magic them away, she bites his hand. He loosens his grip involuntarily, and she tries to dive out of his arms. He grabs her waist, so she turns over and knees him in the groin. The pain makes him let go, and Kora falls onto the cement pretty hard. She ignores her pain as Velos reaches for her again. She almost springs up, but Velos grabs her ankle. She kicks him in the face, and when his grip loosens, she runs away. Velos is angry.

VELOS:
I’m everywhere, you know! My
men and I have infiltrated
the minds of powerful people!
You can’t avoid me forever!

Kora disappears from his view.

INT. KORA’S KITCHEN. DAY.
Harold, Dylan, and Merna are in the kitchen eating breakfast. Kora walks in and tries to hide her face from them.

MERNA:
Kora! What are you doing here?

Harold notices something on her face. He stops her on the staircase and makes her show her face.

HAROLD:
Did you escape from jail?

KORA:
No, I was released.

She hands him some paperwork she had in her back pocket. Merna examines her wounds.

KORA:
I’m fine.

MERNA:
Someone attacked you!

HAROLD:
Why would you take the bus in
the middle of the night?

KORA:
I just wanted to be left alone,
for once! Look, you don’t have to
risk the house for my bail money
anymore, so let’s just forget it
ever happened, okay?

Kora heads upstairs. Merna sees blood on the back of her Kora’s head.

MERNA:
You cracked your skull open!

Kora feels the back of her head and finds dried blood.

HAROLD:
You’re going to the hospital.

KORA:
I-

HAROLD:
Don’t even try to argue! You’re
hurt and you need help, so you’re
going to the hospital. End of
discussion!

Kora unwillingly goes down to her parents. Merna throws her car keys to Dylan.

MERNA:
Take yourself to school.

DYLAN:
But I wanna know what’s wrong
with her!

MERNA:
We all do, dear.

KORA:
There’s nothing wrong with me!

HAROLD:
Really? You really wanna walk in
looking like hell and tell us
nothing is wrong?

Kora says nothing.

MERNA:
If you don’t tell us what’s
emotionally wrong, we’re at
least gonna make sure you’re
physically normal. Now, come on.

They leave.

INT. DOCTOR’S OFFICE. DAY.
The DOCTOR (same as Victorian Doctor but in modern dress) finishes sewing up her head.

DOCTOR:
You’re lucky your injury
wasn’t more serious!

KORA:
I’m lucky? That’s a joke!

DOCTOR:
You know, it could be worse.
I have some patients in a coma
that’d gladly change places
with you.

KORA:
Is that an option?

DOCTOR:
Sounds like you’re a little
emotionally disturbed.

KORA:
It’s not my emotions that
are disturbing me.

The doctor finishes patching her up.

DOCTOR:
As great as a person as you are,
I hope I don’t see you back here
for a while. If the person attacking
you isn’t going away, perhaps you
should start carrying a weapon.

KORA:
That’s a good idea, actually! Maybe
there is some hope for me.

DOCTOR:
Of course there’s hope-you’re alive,
aren’t you?

The doctor chuckles. Kora gives him a faint smile and leaves.

INT. LIBRARY. NIGHT.
Kora and Julian look exhausted as they thumb through books. Julian puts the book he was reading on top of a large pile and starts a new one.

LIBRARIAN:
The library is closing in five minutes.

JULIAN:
I think I’ve learned every Greek god
that’s ever existed, and yet we still
haven’t found him!

KORA:
He told me he has infiltrated the
minds of a lot of powerful men. I
don’t see anything in Ancient Greek
culture about that. I’m gonna check
this book about ancient gods from
cultures around the world.

JULIAN:
Well, we can see how much we can
read in five minutes. If not, maybe
we can try again another day.

KORA:
I may not last another day! He isn’t
telling me his name for a reason! If
we find out his identity, we’ll find
a way to stop him!

Julian silently agrees and keeps reading. He notices Kora’s eyes grow wide as she stares fixedly at page nineteen. Andrew enters, so Kora slams her book shut.

KORA:
How did you know I’d be here?

ANDREW:
I don’t know. So, you guys are
really into pagan religions, huh?

KORA:
What do you want?

ANDREW:
I’d like to know what you and
your lawyer are doing that
prompts this guy to kill for you.

KORA:
Don’t start following me!

ANDREW:
I’d stop if you just tell me
who is doing this.

KORA:
(sarcastically)
An Ancient Greek demigod is
trying to take me as his bride.
There, you happy now?

ANDREW:
Oh, very funny! I don’t understand
why you won’t cooperate with me
when all I wanna do is protect you!

KORA:
You’re just going to have to accept
that you can’t save everyone! Sorry,
Dudley Dooright, but I can’t be your
good deed for the day!

ANDREW:
You know what, fine! I give up!
I’ll just let you keep getting
attacked and blamed for murders
that you didn’t commit!

KORA:
Good!

ANDREW:
If you change your mind-

KORA:
I won’t!

ANDREW:
Your dad has my card.

KORA:
Great. You can leave now.

ANDREW:
Fine!

KORA:
Fine!

Andrew storms out.

LIBRARIAN:
The library is now closed. If you
have some books to check out, please
do so now. Otherwise, we open again
at nine a.m.

Julian grabs the book that Kora was looking at.

JULIAN:
I’m gonna check this out. Your mom
is outside waiting for you, right?

KORA:
(still angry)
Yeah.

Julian grins.

KORA:
What are you smiling at?

JULIAN:
Nothing. I’ll see you tomorrow!

Kora leaves, still a little huffy. Julian smiles knowingly and goes to the check out desk.

INT. KORA’S ROOM. NIGHT.
Still angry, Kora gets ready for bed. Before she can take her clothes off, Mickey walks in with that same glazed look in his eyes. Kora takes off her shirt and throws it on top of his head. By the time Mickey wrestles the shirt off, Kora is already in her pajamas. Mickey jumps into the bed with her.

VELOS:
(through Micky)
I love you!

KORA:
Ugh!

Kora gets up, grabs her pillow, and leaves the room.

INT. DYLAN’S ROOM. NIGHT.
Dylan is sleeping when he hears a KNOCK on the door.

DYLAN:
Come in.

Kora walks in, embarrassed.

KORA:
This is gonna sound kinda dumb,
but can I sleep in here with you?

Kora’s eyes brim with tears. Dylan gets up, takes off a pillow and blanket from his bed, and sets up on the floor.

DYLAN:
Take my bed.

KORA:
Thank you!

Kora puts her pillow on his bed and lays down.

DYLAN:
Please get help for whatever
is bothering you!

KORA:
I’m trying!

Dylan looks at her sympathetically. Kora smiles appreciatively but turns away. She looks out at the night sky, which is full of shadows, and tries to go to sleep.

INT. KORA’S KITCHEN. DAY.
Kora’s family is just finishing with breakfast when Kora walks in.

HAROLD:
We saved you some pancakes.

KORA:
Thanks.

MERNA:
We got a phone call. Someone
you know died.

KORA:
Of course they did.

Harold and Merna both look surprised that she is not surprised.

MERNA:
It was your friend from Seattle.
He lost his battle with AIDS.

KORA:
Oh! Oh no, that’s awful.

HAROLD:
There is something wrong with
you! Tell us now!

KORA:
You won’t believe me!

MERNA:
Try us anyways.

KORA:
Okay, well, I have a demigod
trying to take me as his bride
and kills anyone who stands in
his way.

Merna and Harold exchange looks of concern.

INT. PYSCHOLOGIST’S OFFICE. DAY.
Kora begrudgingly sits before a psychologist.

PSYCHOLOGIST:
Tell me, Kora, who is our
current president?

KORA:
Ronald Reagan.

PSYCHOLOGIST:
Good. Do you know where we are?

KORA:
A shrink’s office.

PSYCHOLOGIST:
Do you hear voices that no
one else does?

KORA:
No.

PSYCHOLOGIST:
Do you have any hallucinations?

KORA:
No.

PSYCHOLOGIST:
Are you feeling paranoid?

KORA:
No.

PSYCHOLOGIST:
How do you feel most days?

KORA:
Fine as long as I’m not being
attacked.

PSYCHOLOGIST:
Who’s attacking you?

KORA:
Some creep.

PSYCHOLOGIST:
A Greek demi-god?

KORA:
At least he thinks he is.

The psychologist writes some things down.

PSYCHOLOGIST:
Okay. Excuse me.

He leaves.

INT. PSYCHOLOGIST’S WAITING ROOM. DAY.
Harold and Merna sit anxiously. When the psychologist enters, they stand up anxiously.

PSYCHOLOGIST:
She seems normal, though whoever
is attacking her is not!

HAROLD:
Normal? But there’s obviously
something wrong with her! In
the past few days, she has
completely changed her personality.

The psychologist shrugs. A CRASH is heard from inside the psychologist’s office.

MERNA:
Maybe her mind is fine,
but her soul is not…

INT. CHURCH. DAY.
Kora sits defiantly as a pastor performs an exorcism.

PASTOR:
Satan, be gone!

Beat. The pastor grabs a vial of holy water.

PASTOR:
The power of Christ compels
you!

He throws the holy water on Kora. Kora finds it annoying but otherwise does not react.

PASTOR:
I don’t believe she is
possessed.

MERNA:
Are you sure?

Behind them is some stained glass, and only Kora can see Velos in the window laughing.

KORA:
Can we go now?

Merna and Harold reluctantly agree.

EXT. BAY VIEW RESTAURANT. DAY.
Julian waits at a table at a restaurant by the bay. Kora arrives, looking annoyed.

JULIAN:
Finally! You know I only have
like ten minutes ’til I gotta
get back to work.

KORA:
Sorry, my parents were trying
to heal my mind and soul.

JULIAN:
What’s that on your neck?

KORA:
That would be holy water. My
parents missed a shift at work
for this crap.

Julian looks slightly amused.

JULIAN:
Well, I have something that will
make you happy.

He opens up the library book back to page nineteen.

KORA:
Oh my gosh! I forgot!
(reading)
Deep in the Underworld rests the
Headquarters for the Order of the
Snake, a group that has existed
since the dawn of time. Named after
the snake that tempted Eve, the
Order’s soul purpose is to use magic
and manipulation to induce humans to
bring about the end of the world, when
they will be free to roam the Earth.

JULIAN:
From the sounds of it, I think
this guy is your stalker.

Julian points to the book.

KORA:
Velos!

The waiter comes over to them.

WAITER:
Hello, beautiful! Can I get
you anything?

KORA:
No, I’m fine.

WAITER:
Yes you are!

KORA:
Oh god, don’t hit on me!
Seriously, you have no idea!

WAITER:
Sorry, you’re just so pretty…

JULIAN:
Here’s the money for my meal.
Keep the change and get the
hell out of here.

The waiter raises an eyebrow but leaves. Kora stares at the bay. INTERCUT to the bay and CUT BACK to Kora.

JULIAN:
That poor bastard!

Andrew enters.

ANDREW:
Don’t worry, I’ll keep an eye
on him.

KORA:
Oh good, then you’ll have to
leave me alone.

ANDREW:
But you’re never alone, are you?

KORA:
Shut up!

JULIAN:
Kora, since your family still thinks
you’re unbalanced and you don’t wanna
sleep alone, why don’t you stay at my
place ’til this thing is over?

KORA:
Good idea! Thanks, Skipper!

ANDREW:
Skipper? Like Barbie’s friend?

KORA:
No. He owns a small yacht, so he’s
nicknamed Skipper.

JULIAN:
How do you know about Barbie
stuff?

ANDREW:
I had to buy a Skipper doll for
my niece’s birthday once. It was
super embarrassing!

Julian snickers. The waiter comes out and heads to his car.

ANDREW:
Looks like our potential victim is
on the move. I gotta go-unless you
wanna tell me-

KORA:
No!

ANDREW:
Then goodbye-for now!

Andrew goes to his car and follows the waiter.

JULIAN:
Very nice! Does he have a gay
older brother?

KORA:
What?

JULIAN:
Don’t be coy! I can cut the
sexual tension with a knife!

KORA:
Sexual tension? With him? You’re
crazy! He makes me so mad!

JULIAN:
Uh-huh.

KORA:
First he accused me of murder,
and now he won’t leave me alone!
I can’t tell him what is happening!
You saw how my parents reacted when
I told them.

JULIAN:
Alright, alright.

Kora looks out at the bay sadly. INTERCUT to the bay and CUT BACK to Kora.

KORA:
The ocean used to give me hope.
Now I don’t feel like I have any!

JULIAN:
Don’t say that! We’re a step
closer now.

KORA:
So, we know his name now. And that
super creepy group he’s a part of.
What does that do to help me?

JULIAN:
This guy is in love with your
soul. How do we stop this creep
from following you in this life
and next?

KORA:
I can’t die-he lives in the land
of the dead. So, what do I do?

Julian hands her a ten.

JULIAN:
Go buy some tequila and margarita
mix. I’ll make tacos and we’ll have
a fiesta for dinner!

Kora gives him a small smile.

JULIAN:
I’m late for work. I’ll see
you later.

Kora watches him go to his car and leave. Beat. A few police officers race down the street. Kora drops her head to the table in anguish.

INT. JULIAN’S LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.
Kora watches television despondently. Julian comes downstairs.

JULIAN:
So, I see you’ve put trash
bags over all the mirrors in
my house…

KORA:
Well, I’m not gonna make it
easier for him!

JULIAN:
Fair enough, but just so you
know, I’m gonna have to use
the mirrors on my car in the
morning.

KORA:
Oh, right.
(beat)
Have you thought of any solutions?

JULIAN:
Like I’d keep that from you if I
did!
(beat)
Wait, he wants to marry you. So,
what if you just got married?

Velos appears behind them.

VELOS:
Nice try! When you lived in
Ancient Greece, you were married.
You were a princess because you
married Emperor Keres’s son. You
did not love him, but you were
comfortable.

KORA:
Keres? Isn’t that the name of
the guy you killed?

VELOS:
One of them, yes. He was an
important tool in the Order.
I was sad to see him go. But,
like I said before, I’ll kill
anyone who stands in the way
of our love!

JULIAN:
If you want her, you’ll have to
go through me!

VELOS:
(chuckles)
Oh, you want to join your ex-
boyfriend? I can help you drown
like he did!

JULIAN:
You son of a bitch!

Julian rushes to him. Velos uses magic to us Julian’s lamp to knock him out.

KORA:
Stay away from him, Velos!

VELOS:
Kora! Come with me! Now!

Kora pulls out a knife.

KORA:
Never!

VELOS:
Okay, I’ll can go next door
and kill your family!

KORA:
You wouldn’t dare!

VELOS:
You don’t think so?

Kora rushes to him, brandishing the knife. Velos grabs the arm she is using to brandish the knife and pushes her down. He goes after her, but she manages to grab the knife again and stabs him in the eye. He looks like he is in pain. Kora watches as his eye quickly heals/reforms. Kora tries to run, but he grabs Kora with both arms.

VELOS:
It’s time!

Suddenly, Velos is flung away from Kora. Julian has gotten up. Velos brandishes his dagger, but Julian holds him back. Kora is frantic, not knowing what to do. All of a sudden, Velos disappears. Andrew is in the living room with his gun drawn.

ANDREW:
Where’d he go?

KORA:
He disappeared.

JULIAN:
Why did he disappear for you?

ANDREW:
You’re injured.

JULIAN:
I’m alright.

ANDREW:
(to his radio)
We have some head trauma, we’ll
need an ambulance sent to this
location.

DISPATCH (O.S.):
Copy that.

ANDREW:
(to Kora)
Are you alright?

KORA:
I’m alright.

ANDREW:
No, you’re not. But you will
be. We just gotta figure out
how to send this guy to the
dimension of hell he belongs
in! Yes, I know.

KORA:
You don’t think I’m crazy?

ANDREW:
Seeing is believing. I watched
him use magic to kill that
waiter. As soon as he knew I
was there, he disappeared. I
told you I’d figure it out. Like
it or not, I’m involved now.

Andrew had a slight grin. Kora looked away, slightly annoyed. Andrew put his hand on her back. She looked back at him more softly.

KORA:
Damn it, Julian! I hate it
when you’re right!

Julian smirked. Before Andrew could ask what they were referring to, the paramedics enter. They escort Julian to the ambulance. Andrew and Kora follow them.

EXT. JULIAN’S HOUSE. NIGHT.
Julian gets put into the ambulance. From Kora’s house, Merna, Harold, and Dylan come rushing out.

MERNA:
Kora? Oh, thank God!

Merna gives Kora a hug in relief.

ANDREW:
Go with your family, get some
rest. I’ll see you when Julian
gets released from the hospital.

KORA:
Thank you!

Andrew smiles at her and then heads into the ambulance.

HAROLD:
We’re glad you’re alright!

KORA:
I’m glad you’re alright!

MERNA:
Why wouldn’t we be?

DYLAN:
It’s cold out here-let’s go
inside!

HAROLD:
Yes, we’ll go get some rest.
You won’t be alone, Kora. Your
mom doesn’t have a flight
leaving ’til the afternoon, and
I’m taking the afternoon off to
see your brother at the Homecoming
pep rally. And you can have your
brother in the room as you sleep.
You’ll be okay, Kora.

KORA:
I hope so! He’ll never leave me
alone, but he better leave you alone!
(shouts to the air)
Leave them alone! You hear me? Don’t
you dare touch another loved one!

Everyone else had left, so the family is confused as to who she is talking to. They shrug and escort her inside.

INT. KORA’S ROOM. NIGHT.
Kora sleeps in her bed while Dylan sleeps on the floor in a sleeping bag. Velos strokes her hair. Kora wakes up and looks around everywhere. Velos is not there. Kora groans and tries to go back to sleep.

INT. KORA’S ROOM. DAY.
Kora wakes up groggily. She checks around the room. She decides to act quickly. She undresses as fast as she can. When she is in only her bra and underwear, Velos tackles her. He holds a hand over her mouth to muffle her. He looks at her with great interest. As he bows his head to kiss her, a knock is hear on her door.

DYLAN (O.S.):
Kora?

VELOS:
(whispers)
I’ll take care of him!

Unable to move, all Kora can do is shake her head and plead with his eyes. He is about to use magic against Dylan when the DOORBELL RINGS. Velos looks a little frightened.

VELOS:
Damn it!

Velos disappears. Dylan bursts into the room protectively.

DYLAN:
I used a paperclip to jimmy-open
your lock. I heard a man in here!
Where did he go?

KORA:
He disappeared.

DYLAN:
The man who’s attacking you really
is a demi-god, isn’t he? I don’t
think you’re crazy. I mean, why
would you be afraid of your cat
for no reason? And a man was in
here and then he wasn’t! Anyways,
I believe you.

KORA:
Thanks Dylan.

Merna walks in.

MERNA:
What’s going on?

DYLAN:
Kora fell down. I was just
seeing if she was okay.

Merna does not quite believe him but decides to not press the issue.

MERNA:
Okay. Well, there are people waiting
for you downstairs.

Merna and Dylan leave the room. Kora gets dressed.

INT. KORA’S LIVING ROOM. DAY.
Kora sits in the living room with Julian and Andrew.

JULIAN:
I can’t believe how much glass was
stuck in my head! They were all in
little chunks too, so it took forever
to get out! The doctor ordered me to
go on bed rest. I could totally work
today if they’d let me!

ANDREW:
You got a serious hit to the head.
I think it’s a good idea to monitor
your behavior to make sure you didn’t
get brain damage. Besides, it’s only
one day, and then it’s the weekend.

Merna and Dylan enter.

MERNA:
Niners are playing this weekend.

KORA:
Hmm?

MERNA:
You love watching the forty-
niners play!

DYLAN:
Mom, she’s a little stressed
out right now.

Merna looks deeply concerned.

MERNA:
You’ve given up everything you
loved-baths, music, dressing
cute, and now the Niners…
Are you gonna be okay?

KORA:
Probably not.

ANDREW:
She’s going to be fine. We’ll
stay with her. Go ahead and take
your son to school, Mrs. Nicodemus.

Merna still looks concerned but she and Dylan leave.

KORA:
Velos almost got Dylan.

ANDREW:
When?

KORA:
This morning. I was getting dressed
and he pinned me down. Dylan knows
about him. My family isn’t safe with
him around!

JULIAN:
We need to end this! When I was in
the E.R., I had a lot of time to think.
We don’t have a solution, but I think
there’s strength in numbers. The more
people we have on our team, the better
the odds are of someone finding a
solution. If seeing is believing, we
just need to show people who Velos
is and what he’s capable of.

KORA:
How are we supposed to do that?

ANDREW:
Your brother has a pep rally
today, right?

KORA:
Yes, but how would we get Velos
to surface with that many
witnesses?

ANDREW:
Dress up really cute and go to
the coach. Give him a kiss, and
hang on his arm the whole time.
It’ll drive Velos crazy, and
eventually he won’t be able to
stand it and probably try to attack
someone. I mean, that’s how I
would react if the girl I loved
did that! It’s instinct that takes
over, not logic! He’s bound to
take the bait!

KORA:
That will probably work, but what
if he kills the coach or some high
school kids?

JULIAN:
Once he calms down, he’ll get
overwhelmed by the people that
saw what he did, so he’ll disappear.
then we will step up and recruit
people for help.

Kora looks skeptical.

JULIAN:
Come on, you have to try! I
mean, how much longer do you
wanna live like this?

KORA:
I can’t let him hurt my family.
Something must be done.

JULIAN:
Exactly!

Andrew eyes Kora suspiciously. Merna returns.

ANDREW:
I gotta go.

JULIAN:
Me too. I really need a nap-
I got no sleep last night, if
you can imagine that!

ANDREW:
We’ll see you at the pep rally…
right Kora?

KORA:
Yes….
(beat)
It’s time for a final showdown!

BEGIN SHOWDOWN MONTAGE.
Play Europe’s “The Final Countdown.”

SCHOOL GYM
The crowd arrives at the gym.

BUS
Kora looks dismal on the bus.

SCHOOL GYM
Once the beat begins, show crowd getting fired up.

BUS STOP
Kora gets off the bus near a forest.

SCHOOL GYM
The cheerleaders get ready to introduce the team. Julian and Andrew wait for Kora to arrive.
FOREST 1
After fifty five seconds, the beat changes. At this point, Kora enters the forest.

SCHOOL GYM
The football players and coach run into the room. No sign of Kora.

FOREST 2
Kora walks cautiously through the woods.

EUROPE (O.S.):
(singing)
We’re leaving together, but
it’s still farewell.

SCHOOL GYM
The pep rally begins. Julian and Andrew cannot find Kora.

EUROPE (O.S.):
(singing)
And maybe we’ll come back
to earth, who can tell?
I guess there’s no one to blame.

FOREST 3
Kora keeps walking.
EUROPE (O.S.):
(singing)
We’re leaving ground,
will things ever be the same again?
It’s the final countdown!

SCHOOL GYM
As the pep rally continues, Julian and Andrew grow more and more anxious.
EUROPE (O.S.):
(singing)
We’re heading for Venus and
still we stand tall,
’cause maybe they’ve seen us
and welcome us all.

FOREST 4
Kora keeps walking.
EUROPE (O.S.):
(singing)
With so many light years to go
and things to be found,
I’m sure that we’ll all miss her so.
It’s the final countdown.

SCHOOL GYM
During instrumental solo, Andrew and Julian give up.

JULIAN:
She’s not coming. Where could
she be?

ANDREW:
Let’s go find her.

JULIAN:
Where?

ANDREW:
I know where she is.

JULIAN:
How?

ANDREW:
Trust me.

FOREST 5
Kora is still moving.

ANDREW’S CAR
Andrew races down the highway with Julian to get her.

FOREST 6
Kora is still moving, but she starts to hesitate.

EUROPE (O.S.):
(singing)
It’s the final countdown.

BUS STOP
Andrew parks by the bus stop. Julian and Andrew race towards the forest.

EUROPE (O.S.):
(singing)
It’s the final countdown.

RIVER BANK
Kora runs out of breath.

EUROPE (O.S.):
(singing)
We’re leaving together…

FOREST 7
Andrew follows subtle clues, and Julian follows Andrew.

EUROPE (O.S.):
(singing)
The final countdown.

RIVER BANK
Kora rests on a tree trunk but looks worried.

EUROPE (O.S.):
(singing)
We’ll all miss her so.

FOREST 8
Andrew and Julian keep moving. Andrew seems to know where they are going, and Julian looks uncertain/scared.

EUROPE (O.S.):
(singing)
It’s the final countdown.

RIVER BANK
Kora looks ready to embrace something.

EUROPE (O.S.):
(singing)
It’s the final countdown.

When the music comes to an end, Velos appears.

END MONTAGE.

EXT. RIVER BANK. DAY.
Velos looks at Kora, who stands up and faces him.

VELOS:
My beautiful bride, what are you
doing here in the middle of nowhere
all by yourself?

KORA:
There’s only one way for my family
to safe.

She holds out her hand. Velos looks greedily victorious. He takes her hand. They are about to disappear.

ANDREW:
No! You can’t have her!

Kora looks horrified when she sees Andrew racing to them closely followed by Julian.

KORA:
If I don’t go, he’ll keep harming
my family in this lifetime and next.
I’m ending the cycle today!

JULIAN:
So, you’re gonna stand by his
side while he and his men destroy
the world?

VELOS:
That’s right! She will live, and
you won’t. You lost, so let her
go! She made her choice-she belongs
to me!

ANDREW:
No-she belongs to me!

VELOS:
What?

KORA:
What?

ANDREW:
I know her. That’s how I knew the places
she would go. I knew she would try to
sacrifice her own happiness to protect
her family. I know how she’s feeling, and
why, without her telling me, she does the
things she does. I’ve known this in every
lifetime, haven’t I? It’s why you disappear
when I’m around. You’ve seen both of our
souls and they match, don’t they? We both
claim she belongs to us, but unlike you, I
don’t view her as a prized possession. I
belong to her as much as she belongs to me.
Why do you think I’m risking everything to
save her? I wish I realized this several
lifetimes ago! She’s my soul mate!

Kora is surprised, but deep down she know it is true. Velos holds her close.

VELOS:
She’s mine! She promised herself
to me!

KORA:
No, I didn’t. I just held out
my hand.

VELOS:
Be that as it may, your souls only
belong together if you marry your
soul mate. Too bad you don’t have
time to go down to the city and do that!

ANDREW:
We don’t need time! We can do it here!
He can marry us!

Andrew points to Julian. Kora and Velos look to Julian.

ANDREW:
He owns a boat, and a ship captain
has the power to marry people!

JULIAN:
That’s true! Legally, I can marry
people.

Kora shoves off Velos’s hands and holds Andrew’s hands. CLOSE UP Andrew and Kora clasp hands. CUT BACK.

JULIAN:
Um, Andrew, do you take this woman
to be your wife in this lifetime and
each one that follows?

ANDREW:
I do!

VELOS:
No!

JULIAN:
Kora, do you take this man to be
your husband in this lifetime and
each one that follows?

VELOS:
Kora, no! I love you!

Kora glares at Velos and faces Julian.

KORA:
I do.

VELOS:
No! She’s mine!

JULIAN:
I now pronounce you husband and
wife. You may kiss the bride.

Andrew and Kora kiss. Velos bitterly shrieks. When they break apart, they see Velos is bitterly crying.

VELOS:
Fine! I would’ve treated you like a
queen, but enjoy the suffering that
Earth may bring! Don’t think you’ve
seen the last of me! My men and I will
take over the world, and I’ll have no
problem destroying you!

Velos leaves. Andrew, Kora, and Julian cheer and hug each other. Kora cries out of relief and happiness. Andrew strokes her hair.

ANDREW:
It’s over, Kora!

KORA:
I can’t believe it!

JULIAN:
I can’t believe he cried! I almost feel
bad for him.
(laughs)
He did love her, in a sick, obsessive
way. But that’s not real love. True
love is comfort and trust, it lets
you make your own decisions ’cause you
know each other so well that you know
that they’ll do the right thing. Or
if your love wants to do the wrong thing,
the other will balance out that wrong and
make it right. You guys seem to have that!

ANDREW:
Yeah, this is awkward. Our souls know
each other, but we know very little
about one another.

KORA:
Yeah, awkward! Well, we’ll have plenty
of time to get to know each other now
that we’re married…

JULIAN:
Spiritually, you’re married. Legally,
you’re not. You would need to sign a
marriage license.

KORA:
Let’s hold off on that for a while!

ANDREW:
Yes! This is sort of backwards. We
got married and now we’ll begin
dating. I mean, only if you want to.

KORA:
You’re my hero, why wouldn’t I wanna
date you?

The three laugh.

JULIAN:
Oh my god, let’s get out of here!

KORA:
Seriously!

Kora walks between Julian and Andrew, though she is still holding Andrew’s hand.

EXT. BUS STOP. SUNSET.
Police have gathered by Andrew’s car. Harold and Merna are a mess from worry. Dylan looks anxious and eyeballs the forest expectantly. He spots Andrew, Kora, and Julian emerging from the woods.

DYLAN:
Look! There they are!

Everyone gathered has cheered. Harold and Merna run up to Kora and hug her tightly.

HAROLD:
We thought we lost you!

KORA:
You almost did! These two
saved me!

Harold and Merna hug Julian and Andrew.

MERNA:
So, all the craziness is over?

KORA:
Basically.

POLICEMAN:
Did you get the man who was
attacking her?

ANDREW:
He’s history!

DYLAN:
So, what now? Should we just go
to the Homecoming game?

KORA:
Sounds great!

ANDREW:
Before you go, are you still
looking for a job?

KORA:
Oh right, I guess I’m back to
that old search again!

ANDREW:
You’re tough as nails, plus you’re
so smart and clever. I think you’d
make an excellent detective. I mean,
you would have to start off as a
police officer, but we need more
women on the force. I think we need
to start a domestic violence unit.
So, what do you think?

Kora looks skeptically. Andrew interrupts her before she can object.

ANDREW:
We would offer you equal pay, if
that makes a difference.

Harold and Merna laugh. Kora smiles gratefully at him.

KORA:
I think that feels like that
right place for me.
(beat)
You’re amazing, you know that?

Andrew smiles. Kora and Andrew kiss. The family looks on fondly.

EXT. CARIBBEAN BEACH. NIGHT.

SUPERIMPOSE: Bahamas 2152

FUTURE KORA and FUTURE ANDREW (elderly) dance on the beach with a bunch of people. There is a banner that reads: Happy Fiftieth Anniversary. The song “Caribbean Queen” by Bill Ocean plays.

FUTURE KORA:
I’ve always liked nineteen-
eighties music. I don’t know
why!

Future Andrew laughs. They keep dancing. PAN TO ASHANTI (young, African-American, lots of curly hair, nice body) dances happily. The view of the scene changes to Velos’s screen, and he sees Ashanti’s golden orb. ZOOM IN on Ashanti’s orb over her heart. Velos breathes heavily.

FADE TO CREDITS.