INT. TULSEN FLAT – NIGHT, STORM (Prologue)
A newly-moved-into flat with only two living room tables and a table for dining purposes.
4-year-old Mayla sits in a chair holding the basket with the eggs. She is scared and will jump at anything.
Shiro calls the police.
SHIRO (to phone): I found her about an hour ago. (pause) I got her something to eat. (pause) No, she doesn’t look starved… (pause) No marks either. (pause) Thank you for helping. No, I would not like to file a report. Thank you.
Shiro hangs up the phone. He goes to Mayla and kneels next to her.
SHIRO: Did you run away?
SHIRO: Can you tell me your name?
SHIRO: Where are your parents?
Mayla can’t help but cry. The crying gets more and more intense. Shiro tries comfort the disturbed Mayla. Mayla wails in anguish.
MAYLA (under her tears): MOMMA. PAPA. DON’T LEAVE. DON’T LEAVE.
Shiro hears Mayla’s cries and tries to comfort her.
EXT. TULSEN’S APARTMENT – MORNING (Present Time)
A clear morning sky over the apartment. A calm, nice morning…
NI (O.S.): AAAAH!
INT. TULSEN FLAT – DAY
A morning with the Tulsens. Ni running around the flat searching everywhere and under everything. Mayla, wearing a headband, fixing lunch for Calif. Kobai at the table reading. Mi eats breakfast almost half asleep. Shiro getting his tools together for work in a special bag.
NI (frantic): Has anyone seen my cleats!?
MI: Have you tried cave diving? They might be in one of the mountains of clothes.
Mayla gives Calif her lunch. Calif set her lunch by her colorful bag.
KOBAI: Don’t you mean “spelunking?”
MI: Do you think I’m going to say something I can’t spell?
SHIRO: Ni, you need to do your laundry. I don’t want your uniform to grow something over the weekend.
Mayla approaches the table.
MAYLA: Are you two sure you don’t want to take a lunch? I have extras.
KOBAI: Thank you sis, but it’s Friday. I want to see what they have this week.
Ni searches through the cupboards.
MI: I don’t mind a second lunch.
Ni bounds out. Mi gets up and grabs another lunch.
SHIRO: Okay, let me make sure I got this right: Ni has soccer practice-
NI (O.S.): If I can find my cleats!
SHIRO: Kobai has a debate team meeting. Calif, I know Mr. Aldin wants to meet with me. I put a note in your folder. Can you give it to him?
Calif gleefully nods.
SHIRO (CONT’D): And everyone else will be home right after school. Am I missing anything?
NI (O.S.) (underneath): My cleats!
MAYLA: That sounds about right.
Xena has just woke up. She enters the living room.
XENA: Good morning-
Ni picks up Xena and checks where Xena stood. Ni puts Xena down and runs back to the back.
MAYLA: Good morning, Xena. I made pancakes.
SHIRO: Morning Xena. What’s your plan for today?
XENA: Nothing, really.
Kobai gets up from the table and comes to Xena.
KOBAI: I have some more study material for you if you want something to do. (crouches in front of Xena) That sound fine?
XENA: Thank you, Kobai.
Kobai pats Xena head and continues to the back. Xena goes to eat.
Shiro is all ready for work.
SHIRO: Everyone good?
Mayla cleans up the dishes. Mi lugs her bag onto her back. Calif puts her bag on her back.
NI (O.S.): Found Them!
Ni rushes to the table and devours her breakfast, almost choking.
KOBAI (O.S.): Dad,
Kobai walks in with two hats: a ball cap and a fedora.
KOBAI: Which one goes better with my outfit?
SHIRO: Kobai, you are one of the few people I know who can pull of a hat with everything.
KOBAI: Which one goes better with my outfit?
SHIRO: When did my opinion matter?
KOBAI: Dad, this is middle school, not preschool. The importance of my wardrobe in terms of attracting or repelling attention is vital in my teenage years. (thrust hats) Which one goes better with my outfit?
Shiro studies the hats and Kobai’s outfit.
SHIRO: The fedora is nice but stands out more and clashes with your hair. Plus, your teachers might get on you less with the ball cap if you flip it back so they can see your eyes.
Kobai places the fedora on the couch. She puts the ball cap over her horns.
Ni has cleaned her plate. Her gym back is next to her.
XENA: I can clean that up for you.
NI: Thank you, Xen.
Ni grabs her gym back and heads for the door. The other girls are ready to go.
Shiro & Calif are the firsts to leave.
SHIRO (standing outside): I’ll probably be back later today. Lashanda wants me to get ready for the special appointment
MAYLA: Have a nice day.
SHIRO: Same to y'all.
Shiro & Calif leave.
Mayla, Mi, Ni, & Kobai head out.
KOBAI: Bye Xena.
The door closes. Xena is alone.
EXT. SIDEWALK – DAY
Mayla, Kobai, Ni, & Mi, head for school. Ni goofs around as she walks down the sidewalk.
MI: Shut up! How are you hyper this early?
NI (walking backwards): I’m not ‘hyper.’ I’m motivated. Plus, you don’t get up until… (pause) Never?
Mi just scowls at Ni.
KOBAI (to Mayla): Have you decided on the topic of your paper?
MAYLA: I have been thinking, then I thought about doing it on cooking.
KOBAI: Because cooking is a form of chemistry which is a type of science?
NI (slides up): Tasty science. I bet even Mi could help you there.
KOBAI: Will she approve it?
MAYLA: Well, she’s not my hardest teacher-
MI: And you turn in your work on time.
KOBAI: That’s your problem.
MI: I’m sorry, but I don’t have any reason to keep the rules, like be the teacher’s pet, stay in sports, or be able to wear a hat in class.
KOBAI: You are well aware of necessity to conceal my horns.
MI: Right, because we’re freaks.
Everyone stops. Kobai turns around.
KOBAI: We are not freaks. We may have hatched from eggs, have supernatural gifts, and abnormal features, but we are still kids. Dad has told us that multiple time. Xena especially. So I suggest you cease your hostile demeanor & focus on trying to please Dad by improving your grades.
NI (slides beside Kobai): Yeah. And besides, who says they don’t? (suspicious gestures to Kobai) For all you know, they be hiding their differences under-
WHACK Kobai whacks Ni with a book to the face. Kobai continues walking. Mayla and Mi follow. Ni comes back to her senses and catches up.
EXT. ARRATO MIDDLE SCHOOL – DAY
A medium-size school with a very dense attendance. Resides in near the slums of town.
Ni proudly stands in front of the school’s entrance.
NI: You thought I would not return. Well then, you were wrong, because the rising legend of this universe has returned!
WHACK Kobai hits Ni over the head with a book. Kobai, Mayla, & Mi head towards the school’s entrance.
KOBAI: Come on. Put away your grandeurs till soccer practice.
INT. ARRATO MIDDLE SCHOOL, HALLWAYS – DAY
The interior looks rundown. The paint is coming off. The hallways barely have room for a mouse to slip through. Lockers are built into the walls and some standing lockers line the rest of the walls.
Kobai, Ni, & Mi are at the lockers. Kobai is leaning against the lockers. Kobai is putting her stuff in a locker. Ni is holding her gym bag.
MI: Think if I left anybody would notice?
KOBAI (putting stuff in her locker): Your teachers, your classmates, us, OUR DAD.
MI: I said ‘think.’
NI: Hey Kobai, want to share a locker?
KOBAI: Do you even know where yours is?
NI: Hey. I may be failing a class, but I know how to use a locker.
MI: I don’t see a use in them. Just more clutter somewhere else.
KOBAI: Now why don’t you two share one?
MI (gets up & heads for class): Simple, I sold mine.
Kobai & Ni follow.
RING Classes are starting. Everyone is heading for homeroom.
INT. HAIR SALON – DAY
Shiro practices on a head in the back.
Enter PETER, an obviously desperate bisexual man.
PETER: Ever so desperate to stay here, aren’t we?
SHIRO:Peter, I thought you weren’t supposed to come in today.
PETER: I asked Lashanda for some overtime since she cut my pay.
Peter observes Shiro’s handy work.
PETER: Miss anything?
SHIRO: I'll warn you right now, they are coming next week, and I need to be prepared for anything. And you-
PETER: Say no more. I get the idea. Even I’m not that desperate. Plus, don’t you have kids of your own as well?
Shiro stops & looks at Peter.
SHIRO: You adopted?
PETER: I might… Though being a single parent is hard enough. And seven, if I’m not mistaken. Why don’t you bring them here? Let them see what their father does?
SHIRO: Don’t you have a long day to get to?
PETER: You are so hard to get.
Peter heads onto the floor.
Shiro picks up the cut head. He sighs and bumps foreheads with the head.
INT. ARRATO MIDDLE SCHOOL, MS. HEMMESTER’S CLASS – DAY
4th period science for Mayla. A small classroom maxed to capacity. Science posters line the walls. No windows
Mayla enters just before class starts. She heads for her seat: 2nd row to the left, 4th seat down. Mayla spots someone. It’s MICHAEL LONG, dirty blond with his right eye almost covered up who treats Mayla as a friend.
MAYLA: Morning, Michael.
MIHCAEL: Hey, Mayla.
Mayla takes her seat in front of Michael.
MICHAEL (CONT’D): Have you decided on your topic?
MAYLA: I have an idea… but I don’t know if she will accept it.
MICHAEL: Not with that attitude. And you’re the oldest in your family?
Mayla cowers down.
MICHAEL: Want to hear mine?
Mayla looks up a bit curious.
MICHAEL: Okay. “How to Make the Perfect Free Throw.” It has physics, and that is a type of science.
MAYLA: I’m guessing all the boys would have a sport-themed paper…
MICHAEL: Why, what’s yours?
MICHAEL: You know you’re very easy to read. You need to work on a face to use when you need to act tough. That way your sisters can respect you. (beat) Oh by the way. I saw Mi in the hall earlier. You’ll find out later.
Mayla sees great pain later.
MS. HEMMESTER (O.S.): All right, class, settled down.
MS. HEMMESTER – 50-years-old, a kind-yet-stern teacher with almost 30 years under her heels – approaches the front of the class.
MS. HEMMESTER (CONT’D): Has anyone seen Caity?
STUDENT #1: She has a dentist appointment.
MS. HEMMESTER: If any of you see her, please ask her what topic she plans to do. I’m still missing quite a few of you. If anyone has their topic, raise your hand and I’ll go ahead and approve it.
Mayla, Michael, & 3 other students raise their hands.
MS. HEMMESTER (CONT’D): All right. When I call, tell me your topic and what field it relates to. Jasper.
JASPER: “How Long Does It Take Ice Cubes to Melt.”
MS. HEMMESTER: Mr. Andrews, you are in middle school, not 2nd grade. Please choose something fitting for your grade level. Nicole.
NICOLE: Make-up and health issues.
MS. HEMMESTER: See me before you leave school. I need a better explanation. Michael.
Michael stands up to says his.
MICHAEL: How to Make a Perfect Free Throw from Half Court.
The class is riled.
MS. HEMMESTER: A very interesting topic. If you need help, ask Mr. Dennis. He’s big into figuring out how basketball games could have been different.
Michael sits back down grinning from ear to ear. Mayla is happy for Michael.
MS. HEMMESTER: Mayla.
Mayla is caught off guard. She is now the center of attention and cannot recompose herself.
MS. HEMMESTER: Do you have a topic?
Mayla tries to utter a coherent sound.
The entire classroom is silent in confusion. Mayla realizes no one understood her.
MAYLA: Cooking. I meant cooking.
Mayla can’t hide her embarrassment.
MS. HEMMESTER: Ah. I’m guessing your trying to explain cooking with chemistry?
Mayla nods yes.
MS. HEMMESTER (CONT’D): It’s a very interest topic but it seems too broad for one paper. Try to narrow it down some more.
MAYLA: Yes ma’am.
Ms. Hemmester continues to the last person.
Mayla comes down hard from her stage fright.
MICAHEL (whisper): Mayla.
Mayla turns to Michael.
MICHAEL (CONT’D): She didn’t turn it down.
Mayla smiles in comfort and pulls herself off her desk.
INT. ARRATO MIDDLE, CAFETERIA – DAY
A crowded cafeteria with hardly any room. The ceiling is fairly low. The gym connects to one end of the facility.
Michael & Mayla sit together. Mayla suffers from post-stress hysteria.
MAYLA: Awwwwwwww. I thought I was going to die.
MICHAEL: If you were to die, would you want to be a vampire or a zombie?
MAYLA: I think I’d be a slime…
MICHAEL: Slimes are weak but not undead and you are not that weak.
MAYLA: I just feel like melting away.
MICHAEL: See, this is what I was talking about. You need a backbone.
MAYLA: Slimes don’t need backbones…
MICHAEL: But older sisters do. I mean, look at your other sister. One’s a soccer addict, I here from some our classmates that one of them is a monster on the debate team, and I’m pretty sure the last one is a repeat offender of school disciplinaries.
Mayla melts on the table.
MAYLA: At least I feel safe at home…
MICHAEL: And they are all younger than you. You’ve got to show that you have what it takes to face up to them.
Some of Mayal’s hair ends up on her tray. Michael notices the green stuff.
MICHAEL (beat): Where did you get the gelatin from?
Mayla throws Michael’s attention away. Mayla gets rid of her hair goo. Michael faces back, confused by what happened, but forgets it and keeps eating.
INT. ARRATO MIDDLE, GYM – DAY
A school gym.
WHIZ Whistle blows. A game of dodgeball is about to begin. Ni & Mi are in the same class.
Ni grabs ball after ball and goes ballistic. Her throws are like punches knocking her targets out with sheer power. Every shot to either flies by or she catches and returns with extreme precision.
Mi stands around like a tackling dummy.
A ball taps Mi.
MI: Guess I’m out.
Mi walks off the court.
Ni continues her assault with great energy and enjoyment. She doesn’t want it to end.
Game over. The opposing side is littered with bodies of Ni’s victims.
NI: Is that the best you have?
Ni grabs two balls and lights herself up.
NI (CONT’D): Come on. I say, THIS ISN’T OVER!
Everyone is in terror by Ni’s monstrous presence.
Mi sits next to a wall watching her sister go overboard.
INT. ARRATO MIDDLE, LIBRARY – DAY
An average school library crammed with books and a few computers.
Kobai is reading. She is in the library on a class visit.
HAROLD – 8th grader, captain of the debate team – intrudes upon Kobai’s reading.
HAROLD: I see you are preparing for your next trial.
KOBAI (glued to book) Harold Carter. If I am not mistaken, this is a public library, not the rotting seems of a 200-year-old podium. Although, I guess anyone of your species does not care how old the wood is.
HAROLD: You are really putting on airs. I’ll have you know that most first year don’t make it past their first mock debate.
KOBAI (glued to book): And yet we have already had three. Is it possible to make one into an official match?
HAROLD: You really think you are something.
KOBAI (glued to book) I have six siblings and live in a flat with only one bathroom, four bedrooms, only cable as a source of external entertainment, and a father with a job that at normal rates would barely allow us to have that which I just listed. (to Harold) And you tell me I can’t handle a simple argument?
Harold holds back from going all out.
HAROLD: This is not the place to do this. We’ll save this for later.
Harold heads out.
KOBAI: Giving yourself enough time to find out about species. I’ll give you a hint: you're related to ants.
HAROLD: Low tactics, my dear Koby. They can only get you so far at the podium.
Kobai scoffs off Harold’s statement and continues reading.
EXT. WESTSIDE ELEMENTARY – DAY
Calif’s elementary school. Brighter than Arrato Middle.
INT. WESTSIDE ELEMENTARY, ART ROOM – DAY
A small room within Arrato Elementary with no windows. Different types of art line the walls. Art supplies dots the room in special places, all well-kept. Desk cover the floor with one big desk in its own corner.
A class of second graders draws. Calif sketches a fine masterpiece that should be in an art museum.
MR. ALDIN, Arrato Elementary’s art teacher, once a traveling artist, peruses the young artist. He takes particular notice of Calif’s drawing.
MR ALDIN: Fine work as always Ms. Tulsen.
CALIF: Thank you Mr. Aldin.
MR ALDIN: Have you told your father about the art show?
CALIF: He’s looking for a time to meet with you.
MR ALDIN: Well I can send him my schedule if you would be willing to-
CALIF: Yes sir. I will.
MR. ALDIN: Good. Meet me after school. I’ll have it ready by then.
Mr. Aldin leaves Calif. Enthusiastic only taps how elated Calif feels.
INT. HAIR SALON – DAY
A slow Friday afternoon. Shiro is working on a lady’s hair. Lashanda is looking for Shiro, eventually finding him.
LASHANDA: Shiro, do you have a minute?
SHIRO (working): Does it look like I have one?
LASHANDA: I just found out when they’ll be here.
Shiro takes his eyes off his client but continues to cut.
LASHANDA (CONT’D): They’ll be here on Tuesday.
The lady in the chair is concerned since Shiro is not paying attention to her and is still cutting.
SHIRO (O.S.): Tuesday? I’ve never seen them here when we’re busy-
LASHANDA (O.S.): But now we know the exact day, hopefully…
SHIRO (O.S.): I haven’t made any plans yet, so we should be fine.
LASHANDA: I better tell Jamie to keep that day free.
Lashanda heads for the front. Shiro finishes his work. The hair cut was a surprising success. The lady does not know how to react.
EXT. ARRATO MIDDLE – DAY
The school day is over. Everyone is heading home.
Mi waits out front.
Mayla & Michael walk out front. Mayla spots Mi. Mi can’t pass up the opportunity to mess with Mayla.
MI: Hey lovebirds, how was your honeymoon?
Mi can’t help but chuckle. Mayla realizes what she responded to and tries desperately to retract what she said.
MAYLA (flustered): I meant “We’re not dating. We just so happened to be walking out the same way!”
Michael can’t help but feel sorry for Mayla.
MICHAEL: I’m going to head on home. (runs off) Good luck on your paper.
MI: So, where did you to meet?
Mayla walks back home. Mi follows after Mayla.
EXT. SIDEWALK – DAY
Mayla & Mi walk home the way they came.
MI: I’m saying, you two are cute together. He’s the big, strong man, you’re the cute, loving woman. It could work.
MAYLA (sigh): You’ve been saying that for a year now.
MI: And I’ll keep saying it. You should consider it. Not many boys seem worth it. Believe me, if Ni is the closest you’ll get to seeing a real one, Michael is a miracle.
MAYLA: We’re just friends. Nothing more.
MI: That’s what they all say.
Calif is at the crosswalk. Mayla & Mi meet her.
INT. TULSEN FLAT – EVENING
Mayla, Mi, Xena, & Calif watch TV together. Calif draws. A bag of potato chips sits next to Mi.
Shiro walks in from work.
SHIRO: Kobai & Ni still at school?
MI: Knowing those two, Ni probably made everyone run ten laps every minute while Kobai is chewing off her seventeenth head today.
SHIRO: And how was everyone else’s day.
CALIF: I learned the difference between turtles and tortoises.
SHIRO: I see. And you two?
MI: Nothing special.
SHIRO: Was yours about same, Mayla?
MAYLA: Almost. My topic got approved.
MI: And she revealed her secret boyfriend to me.
MAYLA: We are not dating. He’s just-
DING A kitchen timer went off. Mayla runs to the kitchen.
SHIRO (to Mi): Any secret boys I should know about from you?
MI (grabbing chips): Wait a few days & it might just pop out.
Mi shoves her mouth full of chips.
SHIRO: Xena, how was your day?
Xena looks down.
XENA: Nothing special.
Shiro stares at Xena in a very concerned way.
BOOM Ni burst through the door screeching to a halt. She strikes a victory pose.
NI: CLEARED. Yes. Not the last one home.
Kobai walks into the flat.
NI (dancing): I. Am. Not. A. Rotten Egg. I. Am. Not. A. Rotten Egg.
Ni continues her victory dance and song.
Background: Mayla puts her dish on the table.
Kobai walks to her room. Mi is getting frustrated.
MI (on fire) SHUT UP!
INT. BATHROOM – NIGHT
A small bathroom with a tub that has a shower.
Mayla is taking a bath in her goo. Gross as it sounds, it is a good cleaning material. Mayla is thinking about something.
She opens her eyes to see Calif also in the tub.
Mayla stares at Calif, wondering when she got in.
Calif just sits there with a relaxed expression.
XENA (O.S.): Mayla, can I join you?
Xena enters the bathroom and gets in next to Calif. Xena is entirely covered in fur. She could almost be mistaken for a dog.
MAYLA: If you want, I can leave some for you whenever we’re at school.
XENA: Did I use too much cleaner?
MAYLA: I just thought it would be helpful. It’s a lot easier to clean with.
CALIF: And it feels nice.
Calif bathes in the surprisingly pleasant feel of the goo. Mayla is happy someone finds her goo useful. Xena joins in.
INT. TUSLEN FLAT – NIGHT
Mi, Ni, Kobai, & Shiro are watching a movie. Mayla walks in.
SHIRO: The other two asleep already?
Mayla knobs yes and sits down next to Shiro. A nice family night after another day.
MAYLA: What are we watching?
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