INT. SHIRO’S FLAT – NIGHT (Prologue)
A bunch of bills and paperwork line the table. Shiro is working through the night to finish it all. A lantern is lit. Mayla has fallen asleep with the basket near her.
Shiro sees the sleeping Mayla and her unhatched five sisters. He wonders how he can keep the place he has and still be a good father.
Amongst the papers, Shiro sees a stylist magazine he subscribed to. He grabs it and considered ending his subscription.
Mayla stirs in her sleep. Shiro considers Mayla and looks back at the magazine. His job is a hair stylist. What would happen if he quit? Could he get another job? Can he afford to lose the one he has? Is this magazine more useful than he thinks?
Shiro looks through the magazine. Inside, he finds new technics he had never considered.
INT. ARRATO MIDDLE, AUDITORIUM – DAY
The debate team performs a mock battle with Kobai going against an 8th-grade boy. Their topic is “The usefulness of the school bus system.” Kobai is against the topic and wears a bandana.
In the seating, the debate team has taken the front row. Mayla sits in the third row watching Kobai go at it.
BOY #1: As you can see, the bus route is designed to be optimal with picking up students by going along a linear route that negates any form of retracing or crossing of previous parts of said route, thus optimizing time and gas consumption.
KOBAI: I am afraid I must deter your loose information. For starters, you have had a very repetitive statement going throughout your entire speech.
BOY #1: I assure you I have not been repetitive. Have you once heard me say the exact same sentence through any of my points?
KOBAI: Yes, as you have used redundant statements to seem as though you have said a completely different statement. For example, around your thirteen sentence, you said that the buses are “economically sound & help reduce vehicular congestion,” which is similar to your fifth sentence that started your first point in which you said “cheaper & causes less traffic,” a point you repeated roughly about sentence fifteen in which you said in multiple variations throughout that buses were “cost effective & take up less space on the roads.”
BOY #1: It is important to bring up your points consistently throughout a presentation.
KOBAI: But do you not find fifteen different wordings of the exact same sentence tiring and unnecessary?
Boy #1 is caught off guard.
KOBAI (CONT’D): Plus, four every eight times you said the exact same thing, you could have provided at least three facts per sentence, making your argument more solid instead of hollow and, from an audience’s perspective, unwatchable.
Boy #1 breaks down.
KOBAI (CONT’D): All in all, your inability to make a substantial speech means that you lack in knowledge to fully uphold any debate worth having. In which case, I could easily present one point and undermine your entire banter of worthless mouthing.
Boy #1 is petrified.
KOBAI (CONT’D): For example, if the bus routes are as time effective as some claim, how come 30% of the buses are always 20 minutes late for homeroom when homeroom is only allotted 15 minutes? Furthermore, our school provides breakfast for anyone who cannot afford one, yet about 60% of them ride the bus, making roughly 18% of them miss not only homeroom, but also the first half of 1st period?
Boy #1 is crushed.
KOBAI (CONT’D): Ladies & gentlemen, as you can see, this debate has been rendered pointless.
Harold, sitting in the front, dead in the middle, stands.
HAROLD: This session is over. Kobai Tulsen’s argument stands.
Kobai is not surprised but is smugly disappointed in her opponent.
INT. ARRATO MIDDLE, HALLWAY – DAY
The school day nears its end. Kobai heads for her locker. Mayla walks with her.
MAYLA: You did amazing, Kobai.
KOBAI: It was literally nothing. My opponent didn’t even have anything to his view. He basically declared defeat himself. Plus, it was only a practice match. You didn’t have to come.
MAYLA: Can’t an older sister be supportive of her younger sister?
Kobai scratches her bandana.
KOBAI: You could have come when there was an actual debate and see how one is done.
Kobai scratches her bandana harder.
MAYLA: Is everything okay?
KOBAI: I’m fine, but my horns are tearing through this thing.
MAYLA: They might rip through?
KOBAI: I’m bending them back some but it’s not helping much.
MAYLA: You are allowed to wear hats.
KOBAI: In school, but not during a debate. That’s one area I can’t wear one in. I could but it has to be brimless, and I don’t have one that meets the requirements and me.
MAYLA (gets in front of Kobai): How about we buy you one tomorrow? I need to go shopping, anyways, and we can check some places that sell hats.
KOBAI: Well if you already planned on doing it, I don’t see why not.
Mayla trips and falls.
INT. TULSEN FLAT – EVENING
Family dinner. On one side, from Shiro down, Mayla, Kobai, Xena. On the other side, Calif, Ni, Mi.
SHIRO: A new hat? I’m guessing the debate has a regulation against hats.
KOBAI: Unless you are using it for visual references or are in costume relating to the topic, you cannot wear a hat if you are a boy or has a brim overtop your face.
MI: You’ve got plenty of sunhats, don’t you?
KOBAI: I will not dress up every time I have a debate just to wear a sunhat. Besides, most debates will be inside.
SHIRO: What’s the point of the rule?
KOBAI: I think it was to do with someone cheating a few years ago.
NI: I may not know a lot about debating, but isn’t the idea that you are supposed to know your topic and be prepared to defend it or destroy the other person’s idea?
KOBAI: Not that simple but generally yes. You can have printed information or notecards to back yourself up or if a source is too large to memorize.
NI: SO how do you cheat? It’s not like soccer where you could-
Shiro glares at Ni.
NI: I only know because I play it. I never plan on cheating, Dad.
KOBAI: From what I have gathered, someone had a headset hidden underneath a hat while someone else looked up information online and told the speaker what to say via an ear pierce. I don’t know all the specifics but that is the general idea.
SHIRO: Do you two need money?
MAYLA: It shouldn’t be too much. I’m going tomorrow because the store is having a sale. Someone overstocked and they need to get rid of it so it doesn’t spoil in storage.
MI: How do you know that?
MAYLA: I spend so much time there that I have gotten to know some of the workers.
MI (back to eating): Figures.
NI: Hey Dad-
SHIRO: You already have a swimsuit. You are not getting another one.
NI: Come on…
SHIRO: The carwash is Saturday, but you also have practice afterschool. And you will especially not wear a bikini. Am I clear?
Ni has been seen through.
NI (depressed): Yes sir…
INT. TRIPLET’S ROOM – NIGHT
Mi gets her shower stuff together. Kobai reads in a chair.
MI: Why do you need a hat to cover your horns?
KOBAI: The same reason you don’t wash yours properly.
MI: I hear from a lot of guys at school. They are pretty jealous about how special you are treated.
KOBAI: I can assure you that I do not wish to be special with this matter, though my teachers know that I am responsible enough not to abuse the privileges given to me.
MI: Is that you speaking or your grades?
KNOCK KNOCK Someone is at the door.
KOBAI: Come in.
Calif, having already gotten in her pajamas, walks in.
Kobai grabs a bookmark and places it in her book.
KOBAI: Calif. What brings you in here?
CALIF: Have you thought of what kind of hat to get?
KOBAI: Not really. I’m hoping to find one that works tomorrow.
CALIF: Have you considered a beret?
Kobai considers Calif’s proposition.
CALIF (CONT’D): It doesn’t have a brim and it might- will look good on you.
MI: And you just want to have a matching clothing item with one of your sisters.
Calif pouts at Mi’s sarcastic comment.
Mi goes to take a shower.
Kobai sees that Calif is serious & the sentiment behind it.
KOBAI: You want to spent time with me & Mayla tomorrow?
Calif quits pouting and looks at Kobai. She nods yes.
KOBAI: Alright. Wait outside the school tomorrow and then the three of us will have some bounding time. Sound fun?
Calif is bursting inside, and it shows on her face. Kobai joins in Calif’s excitement.
INT. ARRATO MIDDLE – DAY
RING School’s over. Mayla, Mi, Ni, & Kobai walk down the hall together. Ni is in her soccer uniform. Mi looks like she is about to die. Mayla looks over a grocery list.
MAYLA: This shouldn’t take too long, so getting a new hat shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
NI: You two are lucky.
KOBAI: Soccer practice not enough?
NI: You guys are going to the mall. I haven’t been in forever.
MAYLA: Maybe next time. Besides, we’re not staying long.
KOBAI: And the sporting-goods store is attached to the mall, so you are bound to return.
MAYLA: If you to come with us, Mi, you’re welcome to.
MI (moaning): No thanks. I just had a big test. My brain is fried. I’m going home.
NI (splits off): I’m off to practice. See you back home.
EXT. ARRATO MIDDLE – DAY
Students waiting for their rides in front of the school, others head on out. Calif is waiting on bench just outside the school.
Calif spots her sisters and rushes towards them.
Kobai, Mayla, & Mi comes out of the school.
MAYLA (to Mi): Are you going to be okay?
Calif bumps into Kobai. Kobai & Mayla stop. Mi trudges on.
MI: I know my way home. You three have a good time.
Mi slumps on her own.
KOBAI: Now then, shall we?
Calif nods in agreement and scurries to the exit. Kobai and Mayla catch up with her.
INT. SHELL’S ROOM – DAY
Shiro & Xena are playing a game of checkers. Shiro is purposefully losing. It’s his turn.
Shiro pretends to be thinking very meticulously about his next move when he already knows what it’s going to be.
Xena watches what Shiro will do.
Shiro moves a piece right next Xena’s creating the perfect opportunity to do three consecutive jumps.
Xena looks at the board. She is uncertain what to do.
O.S. The front door opens and closes.
Mi walks in front of the doorway.
MI: I’m home.
SHIRO: Didn’t want to hang out with your sisters?
MI: Big test. Head hurts. Need chocolate. Going to room.
Mi trudges to her room.
XENA: Are test that hard?
SHIRO: For Mi, that might be understatement.
Xena continues to figure out her next move.
EXT. ALFIN MALL – DAY
A mall built into the side of a hill with two stories, each with their own parking lot, with some small island shops and a small strip section on the second floor. An under-tended fountain with a waterfall flows down from the second to first floor.
Kobai, Calif, & Mayla head in through the ground floor entrance.
INT. ALFIN MALL – DAY
A small little mall that needs some work. The flooring is old, and the tiles have dirt extruding from the crevices in-between. The walls are a dull yellowish-brown with stains here and there, yet it is still packed.
Kobai, Calif, & Mayla look around for a store that sells hats.
Mayla spots something. A bookstore with a display shelf showing a sale on cookbooks. She wonders what to make for dinner tonight.
MAYLA: I haven’t thought about what to make tonight.
KOBAI: Maybe dad will let us order take-out.
Mayla is not so sure about that.
The girls walk up to the second floor. A sign on the escalator reads: OUT OF ORDER. Graffiti: PLEASE USE LEGS.
Calif hops up the stairs while Mayla & Kobai walk up.
Calif reaches the top and spots something.
CALIF: Found one.
Kobai & Mayla reach the top.
The top floor of the mall is cleaner and a lot sunnier with white walls and clean tiling.
Mayla & Kobai see that Calif found a hat & headwear store.
INT. HAT STORE – DAY
A store packed with all different kinds of hats and other headwear, such as hair accessories for girls.
Kobai & Calif peruse the racks and shelves to find berets. Mayla is just hanging out with her sisters.
KOBAI: You see any?
CALIF: Not here.
KOBAI: I wonder if they have them separated by male & female attire.
Mayla picks up a hat and looks at its price. It shocks her.
KOBAI: What is it?
Mayla points to the price tag.
Kobai picks up a hat and looks at the price.
EXT. HAT STORE/INT. AFLN MALL – DAY
Kobai, Calif, & a dazed Mayla walk away from the store empty-handed.
KOBAI: Guess we should reevaluate our options.
- The girls go from store to store trying to find some berets at a cheap price.
- Calif gets distracted by a high-end art set
- Kobai drags Calif away from the window with easy.
- Search continues
INT. GROCERY STORE – DAY
A typical grocery store with goods lining the aisles.
Mayla pushes a buggy with some groceries already in it. Calif is riding inside the cart. Kobai follows behind.
KOBAI: Who knew finding a hat would be this strenuous.
Mayla grabs something from the aisle.
CALIF: I forgot where I got mine.
KOBAI: Dad got that for you for your birthday.
Mayla continues down the aisle.
KOBAI (CONT’D): He might have put a little more into it than what we have.
MAYLA: Calif, can you check off flour?
Calif checks the list.
KOBAI: Are you still trying to make bread?
MAYLA: Not now. This is for next week.
KOBAI: I forgot. Finding a new hat must have distracted me.
A grocery stacking goods spots Mayla.
GROCERY #1: Evening, Mayla.
Mayla waves back and continues out of the aisle.
KOBAI: You certainly spend some time here. I can assume your source is the manager.
MAYLA: No. (pause) Though they have been employee of the month for four months…
KOBAI: Your shopping habits never cease to amaze & disappoint.
EXT. GROCERY STORE – DUSK
A grocery store located in the west side of town. The lot is not kept in the best condition and cigarette butts are here & there throughout the lot.
Calif carries some bags that are clearly too heavy for her. Mayla carries quite a few while Kobai has two in one hand.
KOBAI: I told you to hand me some of those.
CALIF (struggling): I… can… manage…
Calif’s position does not mask itself. She continues to struggle but gives away and drops the bags.
Kobai picks up Calif’s bags and gives Calif her bags.
The girls head on home.
INT. TULSEN FLAT – EVENING
Shiro turns Xena into a braided mess turning most of her body hair into braids. Ni practices her washing skills by miming with a sponge.
Door opens. Kobai, Mayla, & Calif walk in with the groceries.
MAYLA: Groceries are here.
NI: Give me a second. I’m not done with this car.
Mayla, Kobai, & Calif put the groceries down & put them up. Xena jumps to help. Shiro cleans the couch.
SHIRO: Any luck on finding a beret?
KOBAI: We searched the entire mall. Nothing more than expensive fezzes.
CALIF: Dad where did you get mine?
SHIRO: Let’s see, where did I get it… I got it at a small shop just on the edge of the Praires. They sell a lot of handmade clothes and some weird cheese.
MAYLA: How weird…?
SHIRO: I don’t even want to know.
KOBAI: If it is necessary to our shopping pleasure, please warn us. It seems like the only viable option at this point.
Ni lies dead on the ground.
SHIRO: They don’t have bikinis, Ni. Besides I would not trust a handmade swimsuit from a local shop. (to Kobai) Do you have enough?
MAYLA: We spent 15 dollars less than I thought, so we should have enough.
SHIRO: I’ll tell you name tomorrow. Don’t take a shower tonight.
Kobai, Mayla, & Calif stare at Shiro while Xena keeps putting groceries up.
EXT. MARIGOLD FLEECE – DAY
A small little store on the edge of the Praires. It looks nice outside but has an unusual odor about it.
Kobai, Mayla, & Calif stand outside the building, questioning the smell. They all cover their noses.
MAYLA: Dad wasn’t wrong.
KOBAI: Well we’ll just have to deal with it until we’re done.
PAN TO Mi not holding her nose.
MI: It might smell better inside.
CALIF: How is this not killing you?
MI: I’m surprised it’s bothering Kobai considering Ni’s laundry after a game.
INT. MARIGOLD FLEECE – DAY
A well-kept store on the inside with handmade clothes and hats along the walls with cheese on sale at the counter. No one seems to be inside.
The girls enter the store, which smells fresher inside. They are impressed by how different the inside is to the outside.
OWNER: Welcome. Are you girls looking for anything?
MAYLA: We heard that our dad got our little sister’s beret here and were wondering if we could find another one. Do you have any?
OWNER: Yep. They aren’t very popular. Probably in the back somewhere.
Kobai & Calif head to the back.
MAYLA: Thank you very much.
Mayla heads for the back.
MI: How much is the cheese?
The back of the store has a varied small assortment of hats and some shirts. One of the weirder ones is a cowboy hat with a beak which Calif stares with an uncertain sense of curiosity.
Kobai takes off her own hat and tries on one. Mayla looks through a box of assorted hats.
KOBAI: Not bad. I can’t believe they made these here.
Mayla has found something.
MAYLA: Hey, Kobai-
Mayla pulls out a bright, colorful apron. She puts it over herself and shows it off to Kobai.
KOBAI: It certainly fits you.
Calif looks through the shelves. She spots something on one of the top shelves. A bunch a beret line the top shelf.
CALIF (O.S.): May, Ko, over here.
Mayla & Kobai come over to Calif and see the beret.
MAYLA: It’s a bit high up.
Kobai steps up to the shelf.
KOBAI: Keep an eye out for me.
Kobai pulls out her wings from her underneath her shirt. She flies up to the top shelf. She smirks at the sight of the hats, grabs three berets of each sister’s color, and comes down without a hitch.
Kobai hands Calif & Mayla the beret that matches their color. They all try on the berets in front of a mirror.
KOBAI: Not bad.
CALIF: I want to get a good picture of this to paint later.
MAYLA (giggles): Maybe we should get one for Mi.
The girls look in the mirror, think about getting Mi a beret, and walk to the front. Kobai telekinetically pulls the hat towards her.
EXT. MARIGOLD FLEECE – DAY
Mi sits in front of the store with her hands in her pockets.
Kobai, Mayla, & Calif walk out wearing their berets.
MI (getting up): Nice. Now you look like one of your romance novel girls.
KOBAI: Well we thought about getting you one but you- (pause) Never mind.
Kobai walks away.
MI: HUH? The queen of debates is lost for a comeback!?
KOBAI: It would have been a fact.
Calif & Mayla follow while Mi can’t believe what she heard.
MI (catching up): What fact? Hey, tell me, come on!
INT. TULSEN FLAT – DAY
Mayla shows Xena how to cook. Mi lies on the couch eating her chocolate ducks. She gives on to Calif.
Mi takes one from the package, opens her mouth to bite, and the duck flies out of her hand.
Kobai telekinetically pulls the duck to her and eats it.
MI: Hey, I was going to eat that!
KOBAI: I figured you were offering them.
Mi forms a fireball in her hand.
MI: I think I have something more to your tastes.
Ni & Shiro come inside, Ni acting as if she is about to die.
SHIRO: Well, no point in asking you. (to the room) How was everyone’s-
Shiro spots Calif belly snacking the duck.
SHIRO (beat): I can tell you have been hanging out with Mi more than expected. (beat) So, did you find one?
Ni crashes on Mi.
Kobai holds out her beret.
MAYLA: All three of us got one. Mine’s in my room.
Mi shoves Ni off. Ni falls on the ground.
SHIRO (to Mi): Did you go with them? (Mi nods) Did you get anything?
Mi reaches into her pocket and pulls out a bag of the cheese. It now smells.
Shiro covers his nose, Mayla & Xena gag, Calif turns green, and Ni jumps to her feet. Kobai telepathically forms a bubble with the stench.
MAYLA: You bought that cheese?
MI: It didn’t smell like this in the store.
SHIRO: That’s why I told you to not take a bath last night.
Kobai throws the bubble onto Mi. Mi does not react.
INT. TULSEN FLAT – NIGHT
The windows are open. A fan blows out one of them. The door to the balcony is open.
EXT. TULSEN FLAT, BALCONY – NIGHT
Mayla faces away from the open door. She is laying defeated on the banister. Her hair is melting.
Shiro, coming from the kitchen with two bottles of water, spots Mayla. He heads for her.
MAYLA: It took four hours just to figure out what to do with the cheese.
Shiro sticks a bottle in Mayla’s hair. The bottle slides down her hair.
Mayla feels the bottle, grabs it out of her hair, opens it, and drinks.
Shiro smells himself. The stench lingers on him.
SHIRO: I soaked in your goo and I can still smell. I hope it’s only stuck in my nose. I hate to see my dreams tonight. Maybe I should just stay up tonight and rest once I get home tomorrow.
Mayla drinks. She chokes a bit.
SHIRO: The smell stuck in your nose?
MAYLA (choking): I think so.
Mayla get her choking under control.
SHIRO: I forgot to ask, did you girls have fun, aside from the cheese Mi bought?
MAYLA: It was a lot more fun than I expected.
SHIRO: You girls should hang out every-so-often. I used to do the same with mine. (beat) Then my older sister ran and the rest is history.
Mayla is quiet.
MAYLA: Do you think I am a good older sister?
Shiro can’t believe what Mayla said.
SHIRO: You let that bother you too much. Why do you keep asking?
MAYLA: I am the only one to see our parents… yet I don’t remember what they look like. All I remember is… crying… I feel responsible for them not being here, or where we are from. I-
Shiro bops Mayla on the head with his empty bottle.
SHIRO: That does not make you a bad sister. I am still trying to figure what makes one bad or good, but something like that does not make you bad. If anything, you are far better than anything three of them deserve.
Mayla smiles to herself.
SHIRO (CONT’D): Though Ni was very motivated today. I think they washed about 50 cars-
Mayla leans on Shiro and falls asleep.
MAYLA: Thanks Dad.
Shiro smiles at the peaceful look on Mayla faces.
INT. TRIPLET’S ROOM - NIGHT
Ni is dead in bed while Mi is asleep.
Kobai is reading with the beret hanging on one of her bed posts next to her bed.
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