Rebels of Darkness, Chapter 4

No!” Gwynivara screamed. A gargoyle with long fangs hovered over a man in bed. The creature saw her and lunged towards her direction. She slammed his bathroom door shut, but it still burst through, sending her flying backwards! Gwynivara landed on her back with both the door and the beast on top of her! Her sword laid just out of reach, and her breath started to run out. The creature leered over her, snarling and drooling over her. All she could think was that if she died, all of her efforts would have been for nothing. She wouldn’t have been able to help the Rebellion at all. Being a soldier down would make it harder for them to find a cure, and more people would get hurt, like the lady in the video! And the man in bed! His fate could end up just like the lady in the video! No, she couldn’t let that happen!

Her body ignored the fact that it was running out of breath as rage burned deep inside her heart, and when it got to the height of its fervor, she saw a ball of light rise from her chest. It had a warm glow but beamed a vibe of powerful energy. Without thinking, she moved her arms back and pushed them forward, which sent the ball of light flying towards the gargoyle. The creature shrieked and shot backwards, crashing into the back wall of the man’s bedroom!

She tried to push the door off of herself, but the ordeal had, apparently, weakened her since it wouldn’t budge. Before she could groan from self disgrace, a man, whose thick, medium-length, dark hair covered his smooth, peach face, picked up the door and moved it out of the way. He gruffly offerd a hand to her, which she accepted. When she got up she felt a small jolt of surprise from his crystal-like blue eyes. His strong jawline and short stubble made his visage very becoming, but her stupor of his looks quickly vanished as she observed a deep scowl. He bellowed, “What the hell were you thinking?”

His words stung, but before she could really process the motive of his temper, Emorick, using a master key, unlocked the man’s door and entered with a few concerned bystanders. They saw the gargoyle’s body in his room, but they heard shouting from Gwynivara’s room, so they craned their heads that way. Gwynivara defended herself, “I saved your life!”

“You don’t think I had a plan?” he yelled. “You put yourself in danger for no reason! You’re lucky you didn’t get killed!”

“That wasn’t luck!” Gwynivara argued. Now she was thoroughly vexed from his attitude. “I’ve had Venenatus Sanguis for ten years-I’ve got skills!”

He seemed unruffled by her response. “That doesn’t give you the right to help when it’s unwanted! Next time, mind your own damn business and-!”

“Kierram!” Emorick scolded. “That’s enough!” Kierram huffed and walked away. Gwynivara’s ire ebbed slightly, but she also felt a little guilty. Kierram had made a good argument, and she questioned her judgment now. Emorick observed both of them and noted, “Besides bruised egos, it looks like no one got hurt. Thank god! Do you want us to remove the body or do you wanna wait a couple hours for it to disappear on its own?”

Kierram snided, “Put it in her room since it was her fault!”

“I didn’t create this beast!” Gwynivara snapped. “If you had fought the thing yourself, it still would’ve died in your room, you know!”

Kierram looked as though he wanted to utter a mean retort, but he saw his father’s non-verbal warning, so instead, he pouted. After a moment, Emorick lamented, “I thought the nightmares stopped.”

“I can’t help what I dream!” Kierram spat. “Sorry, I can’t forget what I went through as easy as you did! I still get…visions…!”

“What, you think I don’t see them too?” Emorick shot back.

“No, you don’t!” Kierram cried. “You sent people like me to the front lines! Don’t act like you know what I’m going through ‘cause you don’t!”

“Stop it!” an African-American woman about Gwynivara’s age stood between the two men, both of whom wanted to continue arguing but stopped themselves by her mere presence. Beneath her silky robe and elegant up-do was an air of sheer strength. She didn’t even need to raise her voice much to get their attention! “If you two don’t calm down, we’ll have another beast in here, so stop acting stupid!”

They realized that she was right, but neither of them admitted it. Each of them took a moment to compose themselves, and then Emorick coolly told Kierram, “Since you’re not gonna sleep anyways, why don’t you go relieve Niqun from guard duty?”

“Fine!” Kierram picked up a book and stormed off.

Emorick exhaled loudly, clearly venting his frustration. Gwynivara felt compelled to apologize, “I’m sorry!”

Emorick had forgotten she was there and almost jumped when she spoke. “What are you sorry for? Killing a monster?”

“Speaking of which…” The girl who broke up the fight studied the body of the gargoyle. “How did you kill this thing?”

“I saw this ball of light,” Gwynivara explained, “and I just threw it at the beast. I mean, I didn’t touch it, but I made it move…”

“Wait, you did an incantation?” Emorick’s mood instantly lifted upon hearing this information.

The woman from before congratulated her, “Nice going! It took me weeks of training to conjure anything! Oh, I’m Bernadette by the way.” She extended her hand.

Gwynivara shook Bernadette’s hand. “I’m Gwyn.”

“Glad to meet another female officer!” Bernadette grinned.

Emorick addressed the bystanders, “Alright, show’s over folks! We gotta a lot of work to do in the morning!”

A man in the crowd sarcastically joked, “What? Finding a cure for this disease is hard?” Emorick gave him a dirty look, so he quickly iterated, “It was a joke! Sheesh!”

After the bystanders left, Emorick turned to Gwynivara and assured her, “Don’t worry about Kierram. You did the right thing!”

“Really?” Gwynivara’s confidence had gotten shaken by Kierram’s reaction, so she really needed to hear this.

“Not everyone will appreciate your help,” Emorick remarked sagely. “That shouldn’t stop you from helping those in need, just keep that in mind.”

As he left, Bernadette whispered, “Kierram has a huge chip on his shoulder, but deep down, he’s a good guy. If he’s a jerk to you, don’t pay any mind to it.” She winked and left.

Once everyone had left, Gwynivara stood still in her place. She felt like she just woke up from a strange dream, and yet her wildest dreams were never this strange! She saw the creature’s body still lying in Kierram’s apartment and cringed. She didn’t need any reminders of their ugly exchange, so she shut the door. After she did so, she realized that Kierram’s bathroom door was still in her space, so there was no escaping it, she figured. She got into bed but didn’t lie down. She sat up, wide awake from the adrenaline of it all. She sighed, “How can I sleep after all of that?”

She turned on her radio and listened to the music playing for a moment. She rested her head between her knees, not really knowing how to feel. When the disc-jockey began talking, she startled herself when she realized that she hadn’t actually heard the song that had played previously. She felt a little disturbed that she could listen to something and not hear it. She then noticed some dirt that had got onto her from the fight and tried to rub it off.

The disc-jockey went on, “…only days away, so don’t forget to vote! Now, we gotta go to commercial, but stay tuned everyone! We’ve got more funky hits right after the break!”

The dirt wouldn’t come off, but Gwynivara didn’t feel like getting up to wash it, especially since the gargoyle’s body probably hadn’t disappeared yet. She licked her thumb and scrubbed her skin as a very calm female’s voice sounded, “Deadly disease-it can happen to anyone, which is why the Public Health Center of Great Dismal Falls works tirelessly every day to research treatments and cures for fatal illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and even Venenatus Sanguis.” Gwynivara dropped her focus from cleaning herself and paid attention the announcement. “But we can’t do it without your help. Please, act now and save a life today! For information on how to donate or volunteer, please call us at one eight hundred…”

The announcement concluded after she listed the rest of the phone number, but the wheels in Gwynivara’s head began turning. She didn’t know how much progress Emorick had made in finding the cure, but judging from their small clinic, she figured that the researchers at the Public Health Center probably had made more progress. She wondered what the Rebellion knew about the government’s understanding of Venenatus Sanguis. Even if they got it completely wrong, in order to solve this thing, they still need all of the facts and figures on the disease. And if the Public Health Center was looking for volunteers…

On top of a craggy rock, a woman sat on a throne made of dark crystals. Thunder clapped and lightning clashed as snarling beasts tugged on their chains. Men wearing animal-skin capes and loin cloths marched near the edge of the surface. None of the things that made Gwynivara nervous phased the woman on the throne. In fact, she sat regally as she lorded over the scene. Upon creeping closer, Gwynivara noticed that this woman had light green skin. At first, she thought her eyes were playing tricks on her, but the closer she got, the more she knew she saw it right. Despite her strange skin color, the woman had a well sculpted body draped in a low-cut, golden dress as well as long, jet black hair and beady, black eyes. Despite her appealing allure, her expression was menacing, and her vibe made Gwynivara scared enough to stay rooted to the spot. When she spoke, her voice had a booming echo, “The more you learn, the closer you come to your demise! Stay away from the source!” Her eyes glared angrily, and then…

Gwynivara’s alarm went off. She had no clue that she had fallen asleep until now! That nightmare didn’t make sense to her, and she had no idea why such a thing would even pop into her head! However, she decided to shrug it off. It seemed pointless to dwell on it. “It’s not like dreams are even real!” She got up and went into the bathroom. Peeking cautiously into Kierram’s room, she felt relieved to see that the gargoyle had vanished. Kierram hadn’t come back either, which was probably for the best since they still needed to fix his bathroom door. As she brushed her teeth, she gazed into the mirror, and as she looked into her own eyes, she suddenly got deja-vu so overwhelming that she actually shuddered. She began to second guess her previous conclusion. “Dreams aren’t real…right?”

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Rebels of Darkness, Chapter 3

Chapter 3

Growling sounded from behind a nearby shrub, and Gwynivara’s nerves filled with dread. She stood with her sword at the ready, but Emorick pushed her arm aside. “That won’t be necessary.” Despite her nerves still needling inside her, she relaxed her arm more, yet she watched warily as a creature stirred the bushes. An almost metallic-looking hyena emerged, and everything in Gwynivara’s impulses made her muscles tense up in anticipation of a fight. She kept glancing over to Emorick, who stood coolly as the beast crept closer and closer. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw her questioning expression, so he assured her, “Wait for it!” When it came to the point between the catacombs and a large tree, it activated a tripwire, which made a gun in the tree blast it in the chest. With a final yelp, it fell backwards and remained motionless. As Gwynivara’s body flooded with relief and admiration, Emorick grinned. “What? You think I’d establish a hideout without any protection?”

His comment made her laugh a little, but soon after, she apologized, “That was probably from me, sorry!”

“Never apologize for being human!” As Emorick pulled the stone slab far enough for them to enter, he told her, “Besides, it happens a lot around here.” She realized that he had a point and decided to let it go, which became easy to do now that the door had opened.

Upon the first impression, the inside had all the markings of what one would expect from a catacomb tomb. Cavern rooms were barricaded by small, rod-iron fences. A few torches lined the walls to give the space a dim light. The center of the vast room was empty save for the stone floor, but as Emorick put the stone slab door back into its original place, Gwynivara observed that each cavern room contained two polished, wooden coffins, which prompted her to ask, “Whose bodies are in there?”

He finished closing the stone slab door and then answered her, “An old family. We like to think their spirits help protect us, but, more often than not, we find that anyone who ventures down here doesn’t have the gall to stay long.”

Emorick led Gwynivara down the long row of cavern rooms, and, at the end, a broad indentation filled the center of the wall. An ornate coffin propped up inside a glass case took the majority of the space, and a fresco painting of early townspeople covered most of the facade behind it. Emorick went behind the casket, and after Gwynivara joined him, he told her, “If you’re ever followed by police or anyone else who isn’t welcome, make sure they don’t see this.” Giving him the utmost attention, Gwynivara watched as he pushed the fresco wall, and to her astonishment, it opened up like a door! They stepped inside quickly and shut the door.

They stood on a foyer where the walls, ceiling, and floor were all made of stone. The end of the platform had a steep staircase whose darkened walls gave no indication of what may exist on the other side, but Gwynivara could see a small light glowing at the end of the staircase. At that moment, an elderly woman’s voice called out, “An bhfuil tú ina chara?”

“Is cara liom!” Emorick called back. He turned to Gwynivara and instructed, “Memorize that.” Gwynivara nodded and whispered it quietly to herself.

They watched as the tiny speck of light grew larger and larger. The echo of the individual’s footsteps sounded soft but grew louder as someone climbed up the stairs. A woman surfaced with a lantern in her hand. She had to be at least in her eighties, but she had a vibrant glow in her skin suggesting that she had an almost youthful amount of energy. She had a very gaunt body, but the way she carried herself conveyed that she was by no means frail. Gwynivara heard her speak in Gaelic, so she was a little surprised to see that she was Asian. Her wide eyes flickered over to Gwynivara and gleamed delightfully. “Oh, ni hao! I’m Niqun!”

“Gwyn.” She extended her hand.

Niqun shook her hand and said, “Welcome! Follow me!”

Niqun headed back down the stairs, Gwynivara went after her, and Emorick brought up the rear. Emorick explained, “Everyone takes turns guarding the front entrance. We’re not likely to have any problems, but if an adversary ever shows up-”

“They better not cross me!” Niqun interjected. “They’ll be sorry if they do!” Gwynivara giggled a little by her abrupt boldness. Meeting Niqun made her feel more at ease about her time here. She had hoped that the rest of the residents here would offer an equal amount of personality. At the bottom of the stairs, Gwynivara saw a cushioned bench and a long curtain rod with red drapes that obviously had the purpose of providing the door guard some privacy if they required it. Niqun dimmed the lantern and flopped back onto the bench. “Okay, Gwyn! Here we are! Wan’an!”

Gywnivara smiled and replied, “Thank you.” She could hear a quiet babble of conversation and commerce coming from the other side of the curtain. Her anticipation surmounted as Emorick strode over to the curtains. He noticed Gwynivara’s eagerness, grinned, and announced, “Welcome to the Rebel Hideout!”

He pulled back the drapes, and Gwynivara was pleasantly astonished to see a warmly lit hallway with large, cavern rooms where a small array of folks roamed in and out. The vast hall stretched as far as the eye could see, and the people roaming the hall all seemed so relaxed for the most part. A few people had despondent faces and walked alone, but the majority had a cordial demeanor. Like the catacombs, everything from the ceiling to the floor was made of stone, but the amber light and amiable conversation gave it more of a homey feel. Gwynivara remarked, “Wow!”

Emorick chuckled, “Were you expecting a rat’s nest?” Gwyinvara didn’t want to admit it, but she also didn’t want to lie, so she smiled sheepishly. Emorick didn’t seem offended by that at all. “That’s alright. Generally, criminal hideouts aren’t so nice. But considering we’re all suffering from a disease that feeds on darkness, I didn’t think it was smart to have us live in doom and gloom.”

Gwynivara nodded in comprehension. “That makes sense!”

Emorick informed her, “Everything you need for day to day function can be found in one of these rooms. The first room on the left has women’s clothes and shoes, men’s clothes are on the right. Feel free to take what you need, but keep in mind we only get supplies a little at a time, so no hoarding. Let me get you settled in before you explore though.” Gwynivara agreed, and they walked on. “This room has any toiletries you may need-shampoo, toothpaste, et cetera. Over here, we have snacks and dry food. Next to that is a shared kitchen. We have volunteer chefs that prepare meals for large groups sometimes, but if you’re hungry any time, feel free to use it. Across from the kitchen is our first aid station. We can treat minor injuries and illnesses, but if you have any major injuries, we’ll have to rush you to an actual hospital. Next to that is a ceremony room that people use for worship services; Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, or whatever other religion is welcome! Across from that we have an activity room with games and other things in case you get bored.”

They reached a fork in the road, and whether Gwynivara looked left or right, the cavern rooms all seemed much smaller than the ones behind them. She also noted that these rooms all had doors. Before they went on, Gwynivara inquired, “How do jobs get assigned?”

“It’s all volunteer based,” Emorick answered her. “Each room has a schedule, and generally people are pretty good about making sure the vacant spots are filled before it’s too late. Now, if you go all the way to the left, we have a large auditorium where we practice combat. You’re going to to live in the far right with the other officers. I purposely put our practice grounds on the opposite side of our living quarters so that the officers have to pass by everyone and help anyone in need.”

“And I’m an officer?” Gwynivara was surprised by this title.

“Clearly, you’re a fighter and have the mentality of an officer!” He bent in close and whispered, “You saw the video. We need strong minds to make sure that never happens here.”

Gwynivara’s eyes widened with concern. She sincerely hoped that an incident like that occurred seldomly in the hideout. As they passed by the houses, Gwynivara noticed that some people kept their doors open, but most people had them shut. She hoped that this was simply due to the hour of the day and not a usual occurrence, otherwise she didn’t know how she would be able to watch over the other inhabitants.

At the end of the hall, Gwynivara saw one cavern room that appeared to be larger than the rest. Emorick explained, “That’s my room. It’s also the armory. For safety purposes, we can’t have easy access to dangerous weapons. If anyone would like to learn how to use more advanced weapons, they’re certainly allowed to stop by and request lessons though. I do give everyone a large dagger for protection, just in case.”

Gwynivara briefly wondered where the weapons and the other supplies came from, but she now felt a little tired and decided to ask about that at another time. So, she simply asked him, “Which one is my room?”

“Two doors left of mine,” Emorick answered. He opened her door, and Gwynivara’s eyes sparkled as she saw her new living quarters. Even though her space comprised of a single room again, there was more space than what she had before. The bed looked a little larger than her last one, and the pillows and sheets seemed more cushiony than the old one too. She had a nightstand with a radio like she had previously, but this one stood next to an ornate candlestick. The side opposite to the nightstand had a small fireplace nestled nicely into the wall. On her right, next to the dresser, she saw another door. Emorick saw where her eyes rested, so he revealed, “That’s a bathroom. You’ll have to share it with your neighbor, who happens to be my son. You guys…should get along.” Gwynivara noticed the hesitation in his voice but decided not to ask. If there was any issue involving his son, it was probably none of her business, she thought. “If you need more batteries for the radio or matches for the fireplace, you can find them in the toiletries room.”

“Thank you so much!” Gwynivara truly felt grateful for everything. At the same time, it also felt so strange! When she woke up this morning, she was just a janitor renting a room in a mobile home, and now she was an officer in a rebellion! Her new surroundings and title definitely were an improvement, but it was so different than before and she still found it hard to believe. Everything changed so fast that she found it difficult to accept it mentally!

Emorick softly pat her back. “If you need anything, you know where to find me. Training begins at o eight hundred hours. See you in the morning!”

“Good night!” she chimed as he left. She took a moment to soak it all in. It still didn’t feel real to her. She saw what time it was and decided to get ready for bed. She set her sword down by the dresser, and she remembered that she had already dressed in her pajamas, so she didn’t need to do much to get ready for the night. She shook off the disbelief in her thoughts and went into the bathroom.

The bathroom was small, but the way it was built almost made it seem luxurious. The shower door was made of glass, but the rest was made of stone. They had a small bowl in place of a sink, and there was a faucet right above it. The toilet gave the feel of an outhouse, but it didn’t have a bad smell to it at all. Gwynivara vaguely wondered who was responsible for cleaning it. Since she got appointed as an officer, she relished in the fact that she was, most likely, done with janitorial duties!

As she washed her face, she noticed another door on the opposite side. That had to be Emorick’s son’s room, she figured. She saw a razor and shaving cream on the sink, and she pondered what it would be like to share a bathroom with a guy. So much curiosity surfaced now! She had so many questions about who he was. He must be an officer too, she thought, to live in this section. She wondered about his history and how he got Venenatus Sanguis. She figured that she would find out tomorrow at training and would get to know her new neighbor in the morning. It would be rude to introduce herself at this time of night; after all, he was more than likely sleeping right now. Or was he…?

She heard a loud crash coming from his son’s room! She pressed her ear to the wall, and it sounded like flapping wings. It sure sounded ominous, but she wasn’t sure if it was what she thought it was. If she was wrong and it was a pet or the radio, she would feel terrible for barging in. However, she remembered that Emorick had mentioned that it was part of her duties to watch over the other members. She decided it was best to take the risk and apologize later if she was wrong. She opened the door slowly, and in an instant, she knew that she wasn’t wrong!

Rebels of Darkness, Chapter 2

Across the field, Gwynivara and the mysterious man fled to the woods. The gnarled branches bent low enough to hide them, but they kept moving as swiftly as possible. As they reached the heart of the grove, they saw flashlights beaming through the trees, so they ran off the narrow pathway and hid against two large trunks, laying as flat as they could. Standing still, hardly breathing, they sensed the police were close to them. Gwynivara still had her sword, but she silently prayed that she wouldn’t have to use it. They heard one of them conclude, “I don’t see anything. Let’s go!” They heard the police head in one direction, and so they took off in the opposite direction.

The forest soon became quiet, which gave Gwynivara and the mysterious man a chance to slow down. The man walked with purpose, so she inferred that he intended to take her somewhere safe. Now that they were out of danger, her curiosity started to peak. So many questions raced through her mind, but she felt hesitant to speak yet. They were most likely out of harm’s way, but she didn’t know how cautious her accomplice would want to remain. As they reached the edge of the woods, she couldn’t help herself. She had to have some idea of what was going on, and her impulses only gave her a split second to choose between the myriad of urgent inquiries. She ended up going with, “What’s the plan?”

“Not here,” he replied softly. “Too many chances for interference. I’ll explain everything when we get there, I promise.” That satisfied Gwynivara’s thirst for knowledge, at least for the moment, so she followed him silently for a spell.

At the other side of the forest, Gwynivara saw that they came to an empty, two lane road. On the other side, overlooking a dirt path, was a rod-iron fence with a wiry archway that read: Talamh de Suaimhneas. The pathway divided two vast fields of tombstones, which prompted Gwynivara to ask, “A graveyard?”

“Yes,” he confirmed. “Are you afraid?”

“No!” she asserted. As they set foot inside, she actually did feel a little on edge, but with his confident demeanor, she convinced herself to push past her insecurities. After a while, she noticed a low mist hovering close to the grounds, and the moonlight beamed off of the tombs. She thought out loud, “This place is oddly beautiful!”

“Glad you think so!” the man remarked. “It’s the perfect place for a hideout. No one ever comes in here.”

“Because most people are scared of death?” Gwynivara surmised.

“That, and the fact it’s considered sacred grounds.” He paused for a moment, and then he probed, “Who are you?”

“I’m Gwynivara.” Gwynivara felt a wave of relief. Since he was asking questions, she knew she would get the answers that she longed for. “You can call me Gwyn.”

“Gwyn, huh?” He inquired, “Who are you, Gwyn?”

She hadn’t mentally prepared herself for that response. “Well, I…Uh, I’m a janitor at…no, I just got fired. So…I guess I’m nobody.”

“That can’t be true!” he objected. He decided to change tactics. “How long have you had Venenatus Sanguis?”

It felt strange to talk about the disease since she had gotten so used to hiding it, but she didn’t think there was any point in denying it to him. Besides, if he wanted to do her harm, he would’ve been better off turning her into the police! She figured she may as well tell the truth. “I’ve had it for almost ten years actually.”

“So, I was right, it did begin in Great Dismal Falls!” When he saw Gwynivara’s puzzled expression, he explained, “I’m Lieutenant General Emorick Conley of the U.S. Marines. A few years ago, I heard a man in the barracks screaming, so we rushed in to assist. When we got there, it was too late; the man laid in a pool of blood. I knelt down to check his pulse, just in case, and as I attended to him, a scaly, wolf-like creature snuck up and bit me in the leg! We killed it, but I lost a lot of blood from my injury, so they rushed me to the field hospital. When I started to come to, I heard my doctor talking to some civilian medical personnel, and they not only said I had Venenatus Sanguis, but they said as soon as I came to, they planned to send me to a quarantine zone! I only knew two things about quarantine zones: one, they have a high mortality rate and two, the survivors never came out. After surviving three wars, I wasn’t gonna let this end my life! When they weren’t looking, I hid a gun in my pants, and when they brought me to that so called hospital, I shot my way out! Even though I became a fugitive, I knew I could do more good on the outside. I vowed to find a cure! In order to do that, I figured out that I needed to find the origin. From the newspapers that I obtained from across the country, I found that the oldest cases that were reported came from…”

“Great Dismal Falls,” Gwynivara finished his sentence. “So, that’s why you want to help me? Since I was one of the first to contract it, you want to question me?”

Emorick disagreed, “No, that’s not why. If you got it directly from the source, then maybe. But no, that’s not why I brought you here…”

They stopped in front of a catacomb mausoleum, which, from far away, simply had the appearance of a giant block of cement, but up close, Gwynivara could see columns and gargoyle carvings. Initially, Gwynivara had reservations about entering a room of easily accessible coffins, but behind the stone slab door, she could see a faint, amber glow, so she decided to hear his explanation. Emorick questioned her, “You fought them?”

“Fought who?” Gwynivara answered his question with another question.

“The monsters formed from your emotions. You fought them?” He gazed at her with his own curiosity starting to surmount.

Gwynivara felt a little surprised by his inquiry. “Well, yeah…”

“For ten years?” He seemed to know the answer but needed the confirmation.

Gwynivara now felt a surge of confusion. She couldn’t figure out why would ask so many questions on something that seemed so obvious to her. “Yes, of course! I didn’t have a choice!”

“But you did have a choice,” he pointed out.

Gwynivara initially dismissed this notion. “No I didn’t! They were trying to kill me! What choice did I have? Let them kill me?” Emorick nodded, and then it clicked for her. “Oh! Okay, so I chose life. Is that so unusual?”

“Yes!” Emorick reacted in admiration and wonder. “Considering there’s no cure, which means the person who contracts Venenatus Sanguis has a choice-risk a life of pain or end their suffering. Not a lot of people have the courage to stay strong for that long. You fought back! Almost ten years of suffering, but you haven’t given up! That’s quite a feat!”

Gwynivara accepted the sentiments, it was quite flattering, but she didn’t quite believe her actions were remarkable. “I didn’t realize survival was considered a feat!”

Emorick emphasized, “It is! Which is why I need your help.” This immediately captured Gwynivara’s interest. Rarely did anyone need her help, let alone a high ranking military officer! However, she didn’t let that deter her. Something deep inside her felt passionate about serving those most in need of help, so she listened to him with the utmost attention. Emorick went on, “I’ve made it my mission to not only save people who want to survive but to train a select few for combat. I don’t know who’s responsible for creating this disease, but this has all the signs of biological warfare. My gut says when we get close to the origin, the person responsible will retaliate. I need troops to back me up. You’ve already proven that you have the aptitude to fight this, and I need as many soldiers as I can get to grow our numbers and build up a true rebellion to this injustice! What do you say?”

The opportunity sounded amazing, but Gwynivara did not feel worthy of this honorable position. Truthfully, she wanted to say yes, but she had so much self doubt. She deemed herself fortunate to have eked out of so many dangerous situations, but she didn’t know how much longer her luck would run. The idea of people relying her was terrifying! She uttered, “I mean…wow! I don’t know what to say! I don’t have any experience as a solider…”

Emorick enspeeched, “What is a soldier? What they always were to me were people who dedicated themselves to serve for a vital cause. They commit to selflessly working to help the community and to save lives. They’re willing to sacrifice what’s personally convenient to them in order to help those in need. That’s a soldier to me, and anyone with the drive to do that noble work can serve in this battalion!” Gwynivara still seemed unsure, so he added, “Of course, I’ll make sure you’re trained. Actually, one of the reasons you’ll be an asset to our cause is your Venenatus Sanguis! It creates monsters from the energy we emit when we experience strong, stressful emotions, but do you know what happens when you experience powerful, positive feelings?”

This idea both intrigued and perplexed her. She shook her head, and she asked, “What happens?”

He explained, “You can create anything! A powerful force gets created, and you decide where it goes and what it does. Venenatus Sanguis has the potential to be overwhelmingly deadly, but those who can manipulate it like this can do so much good for the world! Yes, I want to eradicate it still, but until then, for those who have it may as well use it as a powerful tool. Combining this with the intrinsic desire to defend the innocent, a soldier with Venenatus Sanguis has the potential to defeat the true enemy! I can see a lot of fight in you, and with a little honing of your abilities, you’re truly an asset to the rebellion!”

Gwynivara relished this new insight into the disease she had. She had no idea that she had that kind of potential inside her! However, she still had some lingering doubts, “Listen, I wanna help, but we don’t know for sure that I’ll make a good rebel. Okay, I fought for my own survival, but does that really separate me from the hundreds of other people who have it? What if I fail? What if I do more harm than good? I appreciate the idea you have of me, but are you sure you have the right person? I mean, I’ve failed over and over again in the last decade! I don’t think I’ve had enough success to help anyone! When it comes down down to it, what makes you think I’d be good at the fight?”

Emorick didn’t say anything at first. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small, glass orb with purple smoke swirling inside it. Gwynivara got entranced by its beauty and mysterious nature. Emorick divulged, “This can store all of the data I’ve collected and play it back at my will. Let me show you a video I obtained from one of the quarantine hospitals…”

Gwynivara peered into the orb, and she saw a small living room with a couch that sat against the kitchen wall. A sword rested on the coffee table while a woman with an athletic body, a long nightgown, and sullen eyes propped her legs up on the sofa. At that moment, a large, snake-like creature that had four legs crawled into view. The woman didn’t move, she didn’t even blink! “What isn’t she grabbing her sword?” The creature crawled onto the foot of her couch and the woman remained motionless. “Get your sword! It’s not too late!” The creature unhinged its jaws and clamped onto her feet. “Come on, don’t give up!” It swallowed her feet and moved up to her shins. “No! Don’t do this! You can fight it!” It moved up to her pelvis. “Fight it! Come on! Your sword is right there! Fight it!” Gwynivara grew hysterical as it inched its way up and more of the woman disappeared. “No! No!” As it swallowed her head, Gwynivara howled and started to bawl. “You could have fought it! Why did you give up?”

Emorick handed her a cloth handkerchief, and as she dried her eyes, he told her, “Gwyn, what just happened, everything you just said, that’s what I saw in you! Tell me now you don’t want to at least try to fight!”

With one last sniffle, Gwynivara took a deep breath and removed her hands from her face. She couldn’t stand the idea of so many people succumbing to this! With a brazened star, she asserted, “I’m in!”

Rebels of Darkness, Chapter 1

Rebels of Darkness

“Good morning, Great Dismal Falls!” a wood-grain, plastic clock radio sounded as the digital time flipped over to seven o’ clock. The disc-jockey continued, “You’re listening to K-F-N-U, home to the greatest hits of 1976! A heavy fog still fills the sky but will lift by the afternoon. Don’t get too excited though, dark clouds stretching from the swamplands to the bay will start October off with very gloomy weather. Speaking of gloomy, our friends to the north have reported a road closure near the Chesapeake tunnel, so bad news for those of you who commute northern Virginia! No, it’s not from construction or a car accident this time. Sadly, a man living in the structure was found dead. Police suspect Venenatus Sanguis as two commuters were attacked by-”

A pale hand slammed down on the off button, and a woman’s voice grumbled, “Not today!” A blonde with feathered hair laid face first into her thin pillow. Her twin bed, which took the majority of the space in her room, had a disheveled heap of sheets covering it, and only a small corner rested on the curvy body of the occupant. With a groan, she picked herself up and got out of bed. She yawned as she opened her dingy bedroom door. Across the narrow hall was a cramped bathroom with peeling wood panel walls. She got a glimpse of her face, and her normally fair skin looked a little sallow, and her golden brown eyes were glossy and etched in red lines. She started to sigh, but she stopped herself. “No, not today!” she told herself as she turned on the shower.

After her hair had dried, she put on a ruffled white shirt that matched her white, flared trousers. She put on a pale pink blazer and a matching scarf to break up the color pattern. She felt reasonably pleased with her make up job; it was harder to tell that she didn’t sleep much last night. She grabbed her beige purse and walked to the end of the hall where a linoleum foyer that separated the living room from the front door. She gazed over to see her elderly roommate sitting stiffly in her recliner watching television. She let her roommate know, “I’m off to work! If everything goes well, I might-”

“That’s nice, dear. Have fun.” The roommate had adjusted her shawl, but other than that, she did not take her gaze off the television set. The younger lady stifled a sigh and headed out the door.

In a tiled hallway with florescent lights, she sat in a chair that stood outside an office with a big, wooden door with the words ‘Hiring Board’ etched on it. She had an application on a wooden clipboard that she began to fill out. The first line asked for a name, and, without thinking, she wrote Gwynivara Wallace. She started to fill out her address when she realized what she had done. She scribbled out the name she wrote and thought for a moment. She whispered to herself, “How do I spell my last name again?” The receptionist at the triage desk gave her a funny look, so Gwynivara tried to cover her tracks with a polite smile. The receptionist didn’t say anything and went back to filing her nails, so Gwynivara went back to her paperwork, trying to remain more inconspicuous.

After she turned her paperwork in, she waited silently for them to call her in. Her muscles were tense, so she took a couple of deep breaths to relax more. At that point, a man with large glasses and a lab coat poked his head out into the hallway and called out, “Taylor McCartney?” At first, Gwynivara doesn’t respond, so he called out again, “Taylor McCartney?”

Gwynivara snapped to attention. “Yes, that’s me!” The man, with a slight look of disappointment, beckoned for her to enter, so she complied and went inside.

The room was empty except for a long table where four men in lab coats sat. The doctor who got her from the hallway took the fifth seat and addressed his colleagues, “Gentlemen, this Taylor. She is applying for the head janitor position.”

The other men frowned, and the one in the center regarded her, “I’m afraid there’s been a mistake. Miss McCartney, you can go back to work.”

Gwynivara didn’t move or speak for a moment. She had a vacant stare like she was still trying to process what just happened. Another doctor asked her, “Is there a problem?”

“I don’t understand,” she replied. “My interview was for this day and time, I’m sure of it. What’s the mistake?”

The doctors, who had already gotten up to go on with their day, sat back down grimly. The man in the center explained slowly, “Miss McCartney, I’m very sorry our job board wasn’t clear enough, but this position is for men only.”

“But…!” Gwynivara’s heart sunk. “But I’ve been cleaning for years…!”

Another doctor piped in, “Cleaning up after your family doesn’t count!”

“No!” she objected. “I was a janitor at the library, and before that I cleaned hotel rooms. I’m the best janitor here! I know all the cleaning procedures inside and out! I’ve even trained people to do this job! I have the right experience for the promotion! Why should my sex matter?”

The center doctor responded unsympathetically, “Yes, you have an excellent background, which is why we accepted your application. But with a name like Taylor, we thought you were a guy. Look, I didn’t wanna waste your time, and I certainly don’t wanna hurt your feelings, but we can’t have a woman in a leadership position, especially a woman like you.”

That last comment made her nervous. “What do you mean?”

He clarified further, “I don’t mean that in a callous way! A person in a supervisory role has to be tough and a little intimidating to be taken seriously. You’re so pretty and sweet, I just don’t think any man on your staff would take you seriously.”

At first, Gwynivara seemed relieved that his previous comment didn’t mean what she thought it did, but she came to realize that this was not that much better. The more he talked, the more she pronounced her frown. After he had finished, she scoffed, “So…if I make myself ugly, can I re-apply?”

The five doctors exchanged uncomfortable glances, and the man in the middle talked to her sternly, “Look, women have many strengths, but being tough isn’t one of them. I mean, let’s say you have a man about my size on your team and he broke a major company rule. I’m upset, I’m agitated, could you honestly say you have the strength to fire me?”

Gwynivara leaned in close, stared at him dead in the eye, and stated firmly, “Doctor Richards, I would love to fire you!”

The men all got a jolt of shock at her response, and clearly Doctor Richards was offended. “Well, young lady, if that’s going to be your attitude, then you’re fired!”

For a moment, Gwynivara couldn’t move. Her mind couldn’t absorb what just happened. She wasn’t even aware of the fact that she had picked up her purse and had left the room. She sat on the bus and could care less about the people around her. She tried to wrap her mind around what happened, but she was too dumbstruck to accept it. With her body on autopilot, she managed to get off at the right stop and walked herself home. When she got to the mobile home park she lived in, it started to sink in, but she forced herself to not think about it or show any emotions. As she walked through the complex, she switched from watery eyes to nerves on edge. Every noise and movement made her jump. Finally, at the end of the row, next a chain-link fence, her house came into view. She ran towards the front porch and checked all around her. When she saw nothing precarious, she took a deep breath and went inside.

After she had changed into her pajamas, which were black sweat pants with a black tank top, she sat on her bed and scoured over the classified section of the newspaper. She had a mug of tea next to her on the nightstand, but she ignored it as she poured the job ads. She pushed back more tears as she focused on her search. Her hands started to shake a little, so she set the paper down and took a drink of tea. As she held her cup, she had one of her legs on the floor. At that moment, a rat brushed by her ankle! Instinctively, she pulled her leg up, but as she did, the contents of her mug spilled forward. The tea spread through the newspaper and even soaked into her bed. That was the last straw! Gwynivara finally broke down and cried her eyes out!

After a minute or so, she heard a loud bang outside. She stopped crying and stared outside in fear. “Oh no!” She reached under the bed and grabbed a sword. She watched the entire window-side wall pulsating, so she stood with her weapon at the ready. Soon, the wall gave in and came crashing down. The perpetrator was an eight-foot tall creature whose appearance somewhat resembled a mix of an elephant and a pit bull! It had sharp talons and glowing red eyes that glared fiercely at her. After a split second of assessing the situation, Gwynivara ran across her bed and headed towards the beast’s body. It swiped her away like a bothersome fly, sending her sailing outside!

She landed in the barren field that laid outside where the fence used to stand. She got up in time to avoid getting crushed. It tried to bite here, but she swung her sword at it, scraping off a lot of its mouth. It had a momentary distraction from its pain, so she ran closer to its throat and tried to stab it, but it flung her away. She landed on her back this time, and immediately, she saw its head dive towards her. She stabbed it in the eye, and it roared in pain. She got up and ran to where its heart most likely was located. She stabbed it, but the sword only pierced its skin, which was so thick that she couldn’t get her weapon out. Before it could swipe at her, she dodged its attempt. She kept avoiding its reach as she racked her brain trying to think of a way to defeat him at this point.

Suddenly, a muscular man with a clean cut and deep gray hair style, a slate tank top, and camo pants appeared and fired a spear gun at the beast! The spear had a rope attached to it, which trailed behind it as it hit one of the beast’s knees. Before the creature could react, the man ran around the beast, making the rope bind the creatures legs together and made it fall down. Gwynivara ran to it, and, with one foot on the monster, she used both her arms to pull her sword out. The man instructed, “Get its throat!” She heeded his word and jammed her weapon into its neck. It let out one final shriek as she dragged her sword from one side to the other. They watched as the beast took its final breath.

As her adrenaline started to slow down, Gwynivara realized that her neighbors had come out to witness the chaos. One neighbor observed the destruction and cried out, “What the hell happened?”

Another neighbor answered, “Look at that thing over there!”

A third neighbor exclaimed, “Oh my god! It’s Venenatus Sanguis!”

As everyone rushed to find a phone to call the police, Gwynivara knew she had to escape before they could get her. The man who helped her directed, “Follow me!” Something in his voice had a timbre that conveyed confidence and genuine care, so her instincts told her to trust him. She followed him as he fled the complex.

War of the Mystics: Frozen

Attention Readers: the free version of my novel, which I posted a chapter at a time on my blog, is no longer available. However…you can purchase it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble online, Createspace, and eBay. So please, check it out and spread the word!!!

War of the Mystics: Frozen, the Novel

For anyone that read chapters of my novel, I want to thank you. Each individual is appreciated for your support. If you’re a fan and would like to purchase a hard copy of the book, it is available here: https://www.createspace.com/6854358. In a few days, it will be on sale in Amazon. Thanks so much!

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.