EXT. CITY STREET – NIGHT, RAINING
A medium-size city street on a cold, rainy night. People rush home from work to get out of rain.
SHIRO TULSEN, 23-year-old half-Japanese man wearing Hawaiian-like attire and small, thin mustache walks home from another day of work without an umbrella, a care for the weather, or anything.
Shiro passes an alley. He hears something from the alley. The sounds of a little girl crying echoes from inside.
Shiro enters the alley.
MAYLA, 4-years-old with light-green long hair, light-blue eyes, wearing dirty, raggedy clothes, on her knees crying over a basket.
Shiro finds a little girl all alone in the alley.
Mayla feels someone behind her. She turns to Shiro as she cries harder than the rain.
In her basket are six eggs, each a different color: red, yellow, brown, cyan, lavender, and white.
Shiro stares at the sad little Mayla with a sense of pity.
TIME SKIP – “Dear Dad…”
ARRATO – A mid-size city with the tallest buildings barely reaching about 15 stories and about 20 years overdue for repairs. Murals fade from the walls they once painted.
Homeless seem like the dominate population mostly due to frying their brains. One lady collects sticks. Another carries a box and advertises himself as a shoe shiner. As dying as the city seems it still has life to it.
INT. HAIR SALON – DAY
An average hair salon with about 10 hair dressing stations.
Shiro, now 33-years-old, works as a hair stylist. He has been working as one for 11 years. He is on his last job of the day, a woman going for a particular look.
SHIRO: Alright. Ready for the big unveiling?
WOMAN: I honestly hope so.
Shiro turns the woman around to a mirror. Her hair is long on one side and diagonally gets shorter.
WOMAN: Not bad. No wonder my friend suggested you. (to Shiro) How much do they actually pay you? I feel like I am ripping you off.
SHIRO: Never was big fan of those high-class, fancy places. This is only a job anyway.
Woman gets up and pulls out a tip for Shiro.
WOMAN: Well, I hope for you I can get just as fine of a job next time. I’ll be seeing you in the future.
Shiro cleans up his station and heads to the front. He runs into LASHANDA, his boss who works at the reception table sometimes.
LASHANDA: You pulled in another one.
SHIRO: Should that be a thanks for more business or a threat if I quit.
LASHANDA: Which one do you think I prefer?
SHIRO: I am afraid to answer.
LASHANDA: I just got a call that you-know-who is coming in on the 12th. You think you can be here to handle it?
SHIRO: Honestly, Lesh, I am not the only one here. Why not ask Peter? He’s just as good.
LASHANDA: He has that court hearing about his last customer.
SHIRO: That guy never gives up.
LASHANDA: Shiro, ‘they’ are our number one. They practically keep this place alive. I don’t want the place to go under just because of one lousy cut. You saw what they did to that place in Rico, right?
SHIRO: Haven’t seen international news lately, but I get the idea.
BUZZ Shiro’s phone is buzzing. Shiro walks outside.
EXT. HAIR SALON – DAY
Shiro answers his phone.
MAYLA (O.S.): Hi Dad.
SHIRO: Mayla, I just got off and am on my way. You don’t have to call every time.
MAYLA (O.S.): Sorry.
SHIRO: How was school?
MAYLA (O.S.): Ms. Hemmester gave us a paper. She said we could choose our topic as long as it was relevant to the subject.
SHIRO: And how is everything at home?
INT. TULSEN FLAT – DAY
The third floor of a three-story apartment complex located around the Praires, the shady, slum area of Arrato. A big central room that comprises the living room, kitchen, and dining room. The kitchen is all against the back wall.
There are four bedrooms, a bathroom, and closet in the back. A balcony is just outside.
Mayla – now 14, wearing a bandana, apron, and a dress – stands in the kitchen, cooking.
BOOM A fairly big explosion happens behind Mayla in the living room.
MI (O.S.): NIII!
There are five other girls scattered throughout the room:
- MI – 12-years-old, with long, messy, deep-red hair, wearing a loose, gray jacket, a loose striped tank-top, slightly baggy pants; pyrokinetic; loves sweets, especially mini-chocolate ducks – chases NI – 12-years-old, with short, cyan hair, wearing jogging clothes & a soccer ball hairpin; electrokinetic; loves sports, plays soccer – who is bounding around the room.
- KOBAI – 12-years-old, lavender hair, purple eyes, small, lavender, dragon wings on her back, two curving horns on the side of her head; wears glasses, shirt & pants almost her exact color; telekinetic; loves to read, prefers to be distant – reads on the ceiling
- XENA – 8-years-old; brown hair that cover her like a dog, head hair goes to neck & is bushy; clothed – sits on the couch
- CALIF – 7-years-old, yellow, long hair, dressed like a painter with a beret; little painter; knows she is cute, mainly shown in a chibi form with thin eyes; able to calm an area – draws a picture while lying on the ground
Mi & Ni are fighting again, both using their powers with Mi attacking & Ni playfully evading. Xena tries to stay out of it by hiding against the couch.
NI: (bouncing) Come on. You won’t make the team if you can’t keep up.
MI: (furious) You ate my snacks again, didn’t you!
Mi throws fire ball.
Ni counters with electricity.
NI: Too slow.
MI: (furious) I’ll show you slow.
Xena cowers in the couch.
ZAP Lightning comes within inches of Xena. Xena explodes into a ball of fur.
Calif, unphased, continues to draw.
Kobai is getting irritated.
KOBAI: (annoyed): Would you Two SHUT UP!
Kobai chucks the book she was reading. Bullseye at Ni’s head.
Ni goes down, Kobai pulls her books towards her, Mi pins Ni down.
MI: Now then, time for repayment.
ZAP Ni shocks Mi.
Mayla wants to stop it but is uncertain of what to do.
Mi is numbed and Ni slips through. She stops on a handstand.
NI: (sing-songy) So close, so close, you almost but so close.
MI: I’ll show you close!
Mi bounds toward Ni. Ni jumps before Mi lands her.
Ni snickers. Mi continues to throw fire and Ni bounds around.
Xena shutters as a ball of fur.
The chaos ensues.
CLICK The door unlocks. Everything stops.
The door slowly opens. Shiro (Daddy’s) home.
Mi & Ni are petrified. Kobai looks up from her book. Mayla is still uncertain. Xena’s eyes poke out of her ball. Calif stands up and shows her drawing.
Shiro stares into the flat. He turns off his phone.
MAYLA: D-Dad. You’re home early.
Smoke rises from Mayla’s hair. Everyone notices.
Mayla shows her hair. Mi’s fire has sunk into Mayla’s hair.
Mayla, Mi, Ni, Kobai, & Xena panic.
SHIRO: (panic) EVERYBODY GET DOWN!
Shiro rushes in and slams the door shut.
BOOM! Mayla’s hair blows into a light-green goo all over the flat.
The flat and everyone, except Mayla, is covered in the goo.
Mayla turns around and nervously laughs.
INT. TULSEN FLAT – EVENING
The goo washes down the drain. The flat is cleaner than before the goo explosion.
Dinner with everyone at the table.
Mayla washes the goo down the drain.
At the table, Shiro sits at the end.
On one side leading to Shiro: Ni, Mi, Kobai.
On the other side: Mayla, Calif, Xena.
SHIRO: Why is it every time I come home, I have to stop a fire fight?
KOBAI: Because these two can’t settle it humanely.
NI: Why yes, that is a smart thing to say from the one who gave me this knot in my forehead.
KOBAI: Well how else am I suppose to break up to raging gorillas?
MI & NI: GORILLAS?
Mi & Ni shut up. Kobai returns to composure. Mayla takes her seat.
MAYLA: I hope I didn’t ruin anything.
CALIF: (eating) Your cooking’s still the best, sis.
SHIRO: Calif, what have I said about eating and talking?
MAYLA: At least I know it’s good.
SHIRO: (to the other side) Now then, you three-
KOBAI: Hold on, I would like to say I wish to be no part of this-
SHIRO: Kobai, I’ll get to you when I’m done with your younger sisters.
NI: (stands up) BY ONE MINUTE.
SHIRO: Ni, sit down.
Ni sits down.
SHIRO (CONT’D): Now then, I checked your grades today, and you are not doing so well.
NI: It’s just a C, Dad. Most people have Cs anyway.
SHIRO: You are teetering on a D. If you don’t pull that up to a higher C before soccer takes off, I will pull you out.
NI: Dad, you can’t do that. Coach says I am her best shooter. The team needs me.
SHIRO: Your school has a grade policy that states that if you have a D or below in any course, you have to be kicked off. Plus, there are twelves other girls who can fill in your position.
NI: You’re not serious.
SHIRO: I am. That means no sports if your grades are still as they are. And that includes disguising yourself as a boy and entering the boys’ team.
NI: What makes you say I will do that?
Shiro lifts up a pair of men’s underwear Ni’s size.
Kobai spits splattering on Xena. Mayla chokes.
Ni has been cornered.
MI: Told you he’d find out.
SHIRO: I’m not done. Mi, your grades are quite bad. Ni has one only one.
MI: It’s just school. I’ll be out and it won’t matter.
KOBAI: (reading) “You just don’t have much as far as leverage goes.” That is what you’re thinking.
MI: Says “Miss Four-Eyed, Four-Square Perfectionist.”
SHIRO: Enough. Mi, I want you to bring up your grades.
MI: I think we have already established that you have nothing on me.
Shiro lifts up a pack of mini-chocolate ducks.
Mi burst into frozen hysteria.
NI: Oh. I knew I didn’t eat those.
KOBAI: (continues reading) Well, now that that is settled-
Shiro takes Kobai’s book.
SHIRO: Not so fast, missy. I said I would come back to you.
KOBAI: A moment father. I would like to revisit the fact that you point that my grades have not fallen below the top 20 for the past two years. There is no evidence to indicate any form of punishment for my stellular academics-
SHIRO: I got a call from your guidance counselor about an incident with another student.
KOBAI: That is highly exaggerated. I merely told her that I was not cheating-
SHIRO: And you two started to pull out each other’s hair.
KOBAI: A perfect example of the inability of others to see their lack of reasoning.
MI: We’re teens. We don’t have that in the first place.
SHIRO: Incidents like this are liable to suspension. Out of the three of you, I thought you would be smart enough to avoid these types of situations to stay in school.
KOBAI: I was provoked. That will not happen again.
SHIRO: Hopefully not, because you three seem to get less responsible as this year goes on.
NI: Then I say we get our own rooms.
The guilty three mutter complaints.
KOBAI: Studies have shown that cohabitation is more strenuous on individuals such as ourselves. So our own separate rooms could allow us to break from this decaying track we are on.
Mi & Ni nod in agreement.
SHIRO: Your reasoning is fine, but our expenses say otherwise. Plus there are many places close enough to my job to move to and I am still hearing back from your aunt about her car.
CALIF: Are we going to the mountains?
SHIRO: I haven’t said we aren’t…
Xena gleams with excitement.
SHIRO: Here’s what I say: Ni, get your grade up or I will pull you out of soccer myself. Mi, you should pull your grades up so you’re not left behind.
MI: Are you trying to humiliate me?
SHIRO: You seem to be doing a fine job on your own. And Kobai, anymore incidents such as this and I will have you switch clubs.
KOBAI: Switch clubs? How is that-
SHIRO: One I think you will personally benefit from. Am I clear?
Mi, Ni, & Kobai respond disappointed.
MAYLA: Dad. Do you want to here how my day went?
SHIRO: Anything else besides the paper?
MAYLA: Not really…
SHIRO: Do you know what you are going to write on?
MAYLA: Not yet… We just got it today and it’s not due for another two weeks… but we need to get her approval on the topic by the end of the week…
Mayla shrinks in her seat.
SHIRO: If you want, I can help you decide.
MAYLA: (embarrassed) Sorry you have to help me.
SHIRO: I don’t mind. Calif, how did school go today?
Calif pulls a painting of a group of butterflies forming a bigger butterfly from under table.
MI: Show off.
Calif pouts at Mi.
MI: Hey, I didn’t say it was bad.
MAYLA: It is beautiful.
Calif feels proud.
SHIRO: It certainly is good. Might be better than the last one you made.
CALIF: It is. And Papa, guess what? Mr. Aldin said he would enter one of my painting in an art show.
NI (whispering to Kobai): Did we have art shows in elementary school?
Kobai ponders for a bit.
CALIF: It’s not one at the school. He said he would enter it in the… the… (thinking hard) Theeeeee West… Alter… Collage Show.
Kobai is shocked. Mi & Ni are confused.
KOBAI: T-T-That’s an internationally renowned art exhibition.
Mi & Ni join in Kobai’s shock.
SHIRO: I am not surprised. I think I saw a plaque in his office when I came that one day. He’s actually a well-received art critique. (to Calif) Anyhow, I’m glad you got your work recognized like that.
MAYLA: So am I.
Calif is boastfully happy about her praises.
Xena turns to Shiro a bit surprised that her name was called.
SHIRO (CONT’D): what did you do today?
Xena slowly answers.
XENA: I cleaned your room for you…
Xena stops in shame.
SHIRO: I don’t mind. I appreciate the thought. Anything else?
XENA: I watched some television… read a book… practiced writing…
SHIRO: Did you check on Shell?
The room become intensely silent. Everyone stopped to listen to Xena. Xena feels too worried to even speak but musters some courage to speak.
XENA: Nothing new.
The tension sticks in the room but lifts a little.
SHIRO: At least it isn’t worse. All we can do is wait.
The room is not at ease but everyone continues eating.
NI: Hey, Mayla…
Mayla looks at Ni.
NI (CONT’D): Are you sure you remember anything else besides our names?
MAYLA: I wish I did… It could answer a lot.
KOBAI: Can’t be helped. It’s been nine years, correct? I’ve done the math. All six of us hatched from our eggs being 4 years old… (beat, to Ni & Mi) Some better timed than others…
Ni laughs it off. Mi just ignores.
KOBAI: (to Mayla) You probably only have a year’s worth of what our parents were like, which at four is barely any. I wouldn’t hope at remembering at all.
Mayla feels like a disappointment.
MI: Hey, it could be worst. You could end up a triplet.
KOBAI: And what is that supposed to mean?
MI: Why do you need to ask? We’re thinking the same thing.
NI: That you’re a slob?
MI: And you’re not?
KOBAI: Don’t hurt yourself.
Ni continues to think.
WHIZ She shorts herself out and falls to the ground.
SHIRO: Ni, you get the last shower.
Ni moans a response.
INT. TUSLEN FLAT, OUTSIDE BATHROOM – NIGHT
The hallway consists of four bedrooms – two on each side – a bathroom around the corner and a closet. The girls are taking showers one at time. Mi waits outside the bathroom.
Kobai comes out of the bathroom in a bathrobe.
Mi heads for the bathroom. Ni bounces into the bathroom and locks the door before Mi can get in.
MI (banging door): Hey, Dad said you are taking the last one!
NI (O.S.): You can warm the water yourself.
MI: That’s not the point!
Calif heads to bed barely able keep her eyes open.
SHIRO (picks Calif up): Come here. Someone’s had a long day.
Shiro looks into an almost empty & dark room.
INT. SHELL’S ROOM - NIGHT
In the room, Xena has passed out next to a bed. On the bed is SHELL, 13-years-old, long, white hair, and has been in a coma for nine years.
Shiro picks up Xena. He looks at Shell.
SHIRO (to Xena): Guess you wanted to tell your sister good night. (to Shell) You’re missing out, Shell. We can’t wait to meet you.
Shiro walks out holding the two youngsters.
INT. MAYLA’S ROOM – NIGHT
Mayla, Xena, & Calif share a room. One regular bed and a bunk bed. Xena sleeps on the top while Calif sleeps on the bottom. The room is very tidy with Calif’s art hanging throughout the room. Some sketch pads, easels, and other art supplies lie next to Calif’s bed.
Shiro tucks in Xena. He smiles at her serene face. Calif sleep in bed, hugging a plush paint brush. Shiro leaves the his two youngest to their dreams.
INT. TRIPLET’S ROOM – NIGHT
Mi, Ni, & Kobai share a room. One bunk bed & a loft with a desk & draws underneath. Ni sleeps on the top, Mi has the bottom, & Kobai has the loft.
Clothes scatter the room, mostly Ni’s athletic clothes & Mi’s clothes. A stash of snacks lies next to Mi’s bed. Kobai’s desk is neatly organized with books, a lamp, & a box of tissues.
Ni messes with Mi from her bed. Kobai reads a book.
Shiro comes in to check on them.
SHIRO: Okay, girls, lights out.
NI: Awwww. Can’t we have five more minutes?
SHIRO: You’ll be asking for that in the morning.
Shiro eyes Mi with a bag of cookies in her hand. Mi unwillingly puts the cookies in her stash and slides it under her bed.
Kobai turns off the light.
Shiro grabs the doorknob.
SHIRO (closing door): Good night, girls.
MI, NI, KOBAI: Goodnight.
Shiro closes the door.
INT. TULSEN FLAT – NIGHT
Shiro walks around the quite apartment.
Shiro notices Calif’s art supplies left out on the floor.
SHIRO (heading for art supplies): Mi rubs off on her too easily.
Shiro cleans up the art supplies. He notices something outside the window. Mayla stands on the balcony.
EXT. TULSEN FLAT, BALCONY – NIGHT
Mayla stares up at a clear sky. The stars are not visible.
WHOOSH The sliding door opens. Shiro comes onto the balcony.
SHIRO: See any stars?
Shiro joins Mayla.
MAYLA: Just some airplanes passing over.
SHIRO: Thinking about what your parents were like…
Shiro has hit the nail on the head. Mayla does not have a quick respond.
MAYLA: Dad, what were your parents like?
SHIRO: Well, they’re not dead, I can you tell you that. (beat) What do you want to know?
Mayla is uncertain how to respond.
SHIRO: I’ll start from the top. I grew up on a farm. I have two sisters, not unlike yours. Both are married, one moved off and lives in a big city - last I heard - and the other one inherited the farm. My dad threw out his back about four years and has had problems since.
MAYLA: “Last you heard…”
SHIRO: That’s another story.
MAYLA: Did you hate your sisters…?
SHIRO: That’s just how siblings are: can’t stand them no matter what yet you can’t hate them more than you can throw them. (beat) Which reminders me, I need to call Gale. Tomorrow’s her birthday.
MAYLA: When was the last time you saw her?
SHIRO: I think three years ago. I somehow ran into her. Said she had a busy schedule, so we only had lunch. You girls were in school. (realizing) Ugh. I should have told her to stay longer so she can meet you girls. Hopefully my letters will do.
Mayla is still confused but has cheered up a bit. Seeing Shiro acting worried makes her feel better.
Mayla hugs Shiro.
MAYLA: Thanks for talk, Dad. I think I’ll go bed now.
SHIRO: All right. Don’t wake your sisters.
Mayla heads into the flat. Shiro stands outside for a bit.
SHIRO (V.O.): And that is how I found the flat when I came home today.
Shiro pulls out a letter, a pen & writes.
SHIRO (V.O.) (continue): You’d think after ten years I’d be used to it but they always keep pushing it. I guess because it still seems like almost yesterday when I saw that same sad face. I don’t know where those girls came from, or what they are…
INT. MAYLA’S ROOM – NIGHT
Mayla, Calif, & Xena sleep soundly in bed.
SHIRO (V.O.) (continue): And I never thought I would be a dad so quick…
INT. TRIPLET’S ROOM – NIGHT
The girls are asleep but are very rowdy. Mi sleeps all over her bed half under her blanket. Ni experiences a very fun sports dream. Kobai has fallen asleep with a book under her arm and is using her powers in her sleep as books float throughout the room.
SHIRO (V.O.) (continue) Especially not to kids such as these. But I wonder sometimes
INT. SHELL’S ROOM – NIGHT
Shell in coma almost dead.
SHIRO (V.O.) (continue) “Would anyone else have taken them in? Would they still protect them?”
EXT. TULSEN FLAT, BALCONY – NIGHT
Shiro looks off at the city.
SHIRO (V.O.) (continue) I’ve never regretted that decision and I’m just glad they don’t have to ask those questions. I hope you get to meet your granddaughters soon. They will love you and mom.
FADE TO BLACK
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